$??!!&!! and Good Things, Too

Sunday we discovered a place, where else? – down the block – that has both Chinese food and sushi and delivers, and if we have to call for delivery then we are sick or snowed in because there is no other excuse. We also discovered that said restaurant’s food looks nothing like the pictures, and when we asked, we were told it was “an old menu.” Nonetheless, the food was good. AND they have shrimp toast! Shrimp toastHere is the pic for those of you who have no idea what that means. It’s shrimp all mushed up together and deep fried – so greasy, it’s only good every year or five, but oh the shrimpy goodness. Not only that, I had forgotten and was pleasantly reminded about duck sauce!!! For you never-been-east-coasters, that is sweet and sour sauce that is less sweet than the red sauce you get with Chinese spring rolls and more like the sauce you get with Thai fried (vs fresh) spring rolls. Very delicious.

Yesterday I went by the new job – more on that in a different, upcoming post. After that, we went to Fell’s Point, which is a place by the water, east of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and downtown areas. I lived there during my last semester of college in 1992. Had dinner at John Steven, that is on the corner of the block where I used to live with my friend Chris and another guy named Jesus (not pronounced the Spanish way). Jesus used to berate me about my use of plastic, like tupperware – we didn’t get along very well. Had raw oysters (so good!) and crabcakes – very good but could have used some Old Bay – I mean, really, crabcakes without Old Bay? Lori even tried them! The rent on my old block is now about 5x as much as it was, since all the rowhouses have been rehabbed. You now have to pay for parking and there’s quite a few more bars and restaurants. I love it still. A lot of these places are on a cobblestone street, Thames street, which you non-Marylanders may be interested to hear is pronounced in the way that rhymes with James. This bummed Lori out since it took her years to pronounce it in the British way.

We then had ice cream at Maggie Moo’s, and discovered an incredible flavor, Udderly Cream. Freakin’ fantastic. It was a warm night but not humid, we ate outside then walked by the water while we ate ice cream and we were struck by how wonderful it was to just relax and have a date, something we haven’t done, it seems, in at least a couple of months. It was really, really nice.

…which was great, because today was not so nice. We slept in (okay, till 9) and got a bit of a late start getting to the Motor Vehicle Administration. We went to the one in Glen Burnie as opposed to the closer one in Baltimore City because the wait times were way shorter. I’m sure it’s because of the million things we’ve been doing and keeping track of, but somehow despite my careful checking and planning, I failed to bring our inspection certificate, which already meant a second trip back, but also didn’t notice that we each needed TWO forms of proof of Maryland residency, which neither of us had at the moment, meaning we couldn’t even get our driver’s licenses in that first trip.

So back home we went, had lunch from Sam’s bagels where the woman who owns/runs it is just out-of-control happy and very sweet and watched some of a very cool documentary about the building of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Lori had no idea she was moving from one Bay Bridge city to another. Back we went to the MVA for, as Lori called it: “MVA, Take 2: The Reckoning,” wherein our hapless protagonists succeed at acquiring one driver’s license (mine) and new plates and registration, but alas, find they must make a third trip at some point after Lori clears up something from her old New York and Florida licenses from twenty-four freakin’ years ago. The MVA guy said all of the country’s records are now connected. Well if they are so connected, why has Lori had her California driver’s license for 20 years without a peep? The goddess, please help us. Lori called Florida, they have to get something faxed from New York, where Lori can only reach someone from 8am – 12pm, so has to call tomorrow.

The new Maryland license plates are very…umm…patriotic. They have the flag, they say “The War of 1812” below Maryland, and the MVA lady was impressed that I knew that was because it was during that war that Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem from Fort McHenry in Baltimore. And fireworks. And they are red, white and blue, of course.

And we haven’t had time to unpack at all yet this week. Tomorrow brings more errands and bureaucracy, but at least Thursday someone is coming to put together our Ikea furniture. Maybe we can relax again on Friday?