Friday, July 22, 2011

Frat House Boys

I live in a residential neighborhood in the city. It actually COULD feel quite suburban, were it not for the close proximity to the center of the city, the extraordinarily diverse community, and the prevalent bus, subway and commuter rail options right outside my door.

Our street is pretty quiet, but there are certain things that go on here that are usually only experienced in the city. For instance, it is not a terribly uncommon occurrence for there to be small crimes on our street. Since living here, a handful of car windows have been smashed in, two bikes have been stolen DURING a block party and one grandmother was mugged walking back from voting in a special election. Still, I feel relatively safe here and we would never dream of leaving our home which has such great city amenities like instant access to buses, trains, Children's Museums, art exhibits, big-tall buildings, shopping, great food, airports, etc.


All that said, there is a neighbor in particular that is a thorn in my side. I really need to let it go, ESPECIALLY since he's a renter, but he is without a doubt the most inconsiderate person in our neighborhood.

A little background for you, I live at the top of a one way street that ends at a very busy street that leads straight into our village and then into the city itself. When we first moved here, there weren't many people our age here. There were a lot of older people and a lot of families with kids already in high school. So when the house across the street from us was for sale, I was really excited about the prospect of a young family moving in. Instead, two recent college grads bought the house with help from their parents, chopped up all the rooms inside and rent it out on what seems to be a monthly basis to whomever decides they want to live there. We call it the Frat House.

One of the recent tenants went on a drug binge last summer and ended up so high and out of it that he tried to break down my other neighbor's door...with their American Flag and a remote he stole from someone else's home. He was arrested and given a retraining order, even though charges were never pressed, and from that moment on, was actually not-that-bad a neighbor.

But his friend is just flat. out. dumb.

This guy's car window was smashed last year so he pushed the glass over to our sidewalk and left it there for my son to find and my husband to clean up.

Over the winter, when we had cumulatively more snow than we've ever had before, he would clear off his car INTO our shoveled sidwalk. And leave it there. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! As in, I was in the process of shoveling the walk - and it is a corner lot, so there is A LOT of walk - and he blatantly shoveled the snow from his car into a mound in the middle of the sidewalk. And when I asked him about it, he mumbled that he would take care of it and then in the blink of an eye he was in his house and refused to answer the door when I knocked on it.


His other trick is to rev the engine of his motorcycle at ridiculous levels at all hours of the day and then go FLYING out of the driveway and down our street. Then, oddly (and I know this because you can HEAR it) he just drives back up the street over from us and back into his driveway. He does this at least 5 times an afternoon. When I approached him very nicely about slowing down on our residential street, since now there are LOTS of families with young kids, and perhaps revving his engine once he got on the main road, he mumbled an 'ok' at me and then nothing ever changed.

But that is nothing, NOTHING, compared to the latest.

Because the frat house has so many tenants and they all seem to have more than one car as well as girlfriends with cars, parking has become strained on our street. There is a law in our city that prohibits people from parking right up on the corner of the streets so that the emergency vehicles, trash trucks, snow plows, etc. can get by. But with so many cars on our street, the frat house boys have been parking up at the corners for years.

Last week, I noticed a funny little green mark on our sidewalks and wondered what it was. Then, on Wednesday, I found out as the public works department started jack hammering the sidewalk to install 'No Parking to Corner' signs. Since we're on the corner, we got to hear the jack hammer for almost 90 minutes and Little G was none too pleased.

Later that evening, after the signs had been installed and everyone had started arriving home from work. I had just looked out the window to see our awesome neighbor carrying one of the signs down the street and TOSSING IT into another neighbor's yard!


I was livid. LIVID. My first thought was great, now I have to listen to them jackhammer this crap again. My second thought was the realization that our sidewalk was totally messed up from where they took the sign out. Lastly, I thought about how regardless of taking the sign down, you DON'T THROW IT IN A NEIGHBOR'S YARD!!!

So I did something that felt really good at the time, but quickly felt awful. I went outside and yelled bloody murder at him. I went racing out of my house shouting, "Are you a FUCKING MORON?!" He just looked at me dumbly while his blonde girlfriend stared at me smoking a cigarette.

I said, 'I saw you take the sign' and he cut me off and said, 'it was already down, what was I supposed to do, run over the shrapnel and leave it there?"

People, that's a lie. He was already parked across the street at the time.

So I turned to him and said, "I don't give a shit how it came down, you don't throw it in your neighbor's yard".

And then I turned to his girlfriend and said, "you need to leave this asshole. He's a fucking moron. Last winter, when I was pregnant, he was throwing snow off his car into my cleared sidewalks while I was shoveling it. He's an real class act. YOU could do a LOT better."

I turned to leave and she just yelled at me that clearly I wasn't very nice either.

And that was that.

Except I seethed for hours.

And then I felt bad.

And then I needed to tell my confrontation avoiding husband what his hot-headed wife had done.

And then we decided that I needed to apologize so that next time the kid doesn't throw the sign in our yard.

So that's what I ended up doing. Yesterday, I saw him come home from work and stepped outside and walked up to their front door and miraculously he answered and I apologized. I told him that I had had an incredibly bad day (which was true) and that watching him with the sign was the last straw and I just snapped and I shouldn't have handled the situation the way I did. And he condescendingly gestured to my belly and said that his sister is pregnant too so he understands my getting all worked up. (jerk)

And it pisses. me. off. Because he didn't apologize for one. darn. thing.


Of course, who raised me to go running out of my house screaming expletives at people?

Alright. That's enough for today. My blood pressure is up again just writing this.

I try to remind myself that it could always be worse. It could be a crack house or a whore house instead of a frat house. But still, I just don't think it is too much to ask for the RENTERS to be more considerate.

Do you a 'bad' neighbor?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More spoils

I uploaded this photo from my phone and I am done trying to get it to show up in landscape mode so screw it.'s the take from the CSA box yesterday. Lots of yellow squash and zucchini. I think I'll make breaded zucchini coins with it and potentially shred and freeze some of it to use later.
There also green beans, blueberries, kale, a head of lettuce, some arugula, and new potatoes! I'm hoping to make the potatoes and the kale into something with some ground sausage this evening. Not sure about the lettuce. If it lasts until Sunday, I'll take it with us to the beach. If not, it may have to be a sacrifice. The arugula will be MINE for lunch tomorrow. MINE MINE MINE! (can you tell I love arugula?) And Little G and I can nosh on the green beans for snack for the rest of the week.

What's in your box this week?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Turning Two

Little G turned 2 earlier this how time flies! We had some friends over for a small birthday gathering...of course, once you add in everyone's kids there is no longer such thing as a small birthday gathering. Luckily it was a beautiful day, so there was plenty of space to hang out inside or out.

I had some favor bags for the kids with balloons and that was pretty much the extent of my decorating. As opposed to the craziness from last year!

Aunt M and Uncle E were excited to celebrate with us.

And Little G was excited to eat hot dogs!!

But even more excited to open presents!! Yeah...he didn't even hesitate...he knew exactly what to do.
The aftermath...
A super cool, flannel ball from C&R and M.
Aunt M and Uncle E got Little G this fun construction set with columns and arches...appropriate considering their penchant for archaeology.
The 'big' present this year was a scooter from mommy and daddy.

Gotta get that helmet on!


Then it was time for cake! White cake with whipped cream and strawberries. YUM!!

Not long after the cake, it was time for people to go. As my husband and our friend B said goodbye in the front hallway I realized why I had been mistaking the two of them for each other all day...twins, right down the sunglasses perched on their heads and the specific shoe style!

Later that night, Grammy and Grampy read Little G a book before going to bed. It is still currently his number one favorite book.

I can't believe he's two. I certainly can't write down all the stuff he is too much to even comprehend. The kid's been talking in sentences for months ever since his first one, "I threw the fork!". Which we were proud of...the sentence that is...not the fork throwing. Other milestones are jumping and walking down the stairs without holding on...which freaks me the heck out! Pretty soon he'll be moving into his big boy room. I haven't posted much about it here since most, if not all, of our home decor posts end up over at Musings but I will be sure to cover the process of moving from a crib to a bed and how we all cope with that.

Happy birthday, Little G. It's been a crazy ride! Thank you so much for all of the joy and boundless enthusiasm you have brought to our lives. We love you more and more every day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This week's spoils

This week was particularly rewarding since I didn't have to keep the cucumbers in my box. Nope! I just traded them in for more zucchini. Which can only mean one thing.


Other items were:

  • Beets - I made a super yummy beet/beet green risotto as found on my Farm Share website last night and it was delish. My only issue with the dish was that I used long grain BROWN rice trying to be healthy and ended up stirring the pot for almost an hour. OUCH!

  • Yellow squash - I still have some from last week and hope to make a gratin and then I'll probably make these incredibly delicious coins from

  • Kale - not sure what to do here. If it lasts until Friday night, I'll probably just blanch it and freeze it for later

  • Arugula - didn't make it more than an hour after getting home ::grinning sheepishly:: It's just so darn good!!! I enjoyed mine with some salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil topped with a bit of tuna salad.

  • Lettuce - used in a salad for dinner a couple of nights ago

  • Green beans - I been noshing on as snack

  • Fennel - headed for that gratin

  • BLUEBERRIES!!!! - OMG these are SO sweet and delicious. They didn't last more than a couple of hours in our house. Sigh.
What's in your box this week?

Friday, July 08, 2011


Little G, you're two today.

I'm in such denial it is well beyond my capacity to grasp.

You have changed so much in one year and gone through so many phases, both challenging and rewarding.

Our love for you is unending and ever growing.

Thank you for being the light in our lives.

Mommy and Daddy






Thursday, July 07, 2011


So this is a lame-o post because I don't have any pictures to go with it and it's all about the success I had with my dinner adventure last night - which would REALLY benefit from pictures.

Instead, I was busy scarfing down my dinner.

Anyway, for my own records, I figured I would write down what I did. Especially since it totally killed two birds with one stone.

How, you say?

Well, in addition to our vegetable CSA, we also belong to a meat CSA. One of the things we get periodically is a ham steak and I never know what to do with it. At some point in the last year, I remember someone suggesting that they usually cook it and then chop it up and put it in other things - eggs, salads, bean dishes, etc. - and it is tasty and way more exciting than just eating a slab of ham.

So, last night, when faced with what-to-make-for-dinner, I decided to cook up TWO of those ham steaks. They broiled very easily for about 4 minutes on each side.

Then, I cut up and blanched my kale for four minutes.

While the kale was blanching, I thinly sliced four big shallots.

Then, I took a smidgen of the fat that had fallen from the ham steaks, poured it in my dutch oven and sauteed the shallots in it.

Lastly, I tossed in the blanched kale and the ham steaks, which I had chopped up into small pieces.

It was FANTASTIC!! My friend was totally right. Pork fat will cure anything! And now I am down two ham steaks and a bunch of kale.

Have you had any cooking successes recently?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

My dirty little kale secret

I have a confession to make.

See this kale:
I threw it out.

See, we headed out of town last Thursday and I ran around like a crazy person that day trying to get everything in from packing to last minute groceries to getting the car filled up to a client meeting waaaaaaay over across the river in ::hush:: Davis Square to writing my posts that were due for FLOR. Needless to say, as I exhaustedly headed to the car to pick up my son from day care so we could leave immediately from there, I decided that rather than keep the kale out on the counter to disintegrate over the long weekend I would throw. it. out.

Yup. Week two and I already failed at my goal to not toss away anything from the farmshare this year.

Oh well, I'm over it...are you?

Good...because we got MORE KALE this week, so who really missed it anyway?

Other spoils include
  • two large zucchini's - I see zucchini bread in my future!!

  • two medium sized yellow squash - I'm thinking a gratin

  • Three cucumbers - Meh. Forgot how much they frustrate me. There isn't much you can do to dress them up, there's only so many pickles I can eat alone, and you can't put them away for later. They may be my biggest nemesis next to kale...oh...and eggplant.

  • Beets - YAY!!

  • Lettuce - already absconded with during tonight's dinner along with the...

  • Sugar peas

  • A small head of fennel - maybe I'll saute that with some onions and add it to my yellow squash gratin

Next week we apparently will be gifted with blueberries. YAY YAY YAY!!!!!