Our nearsighted zoning council recently approved a modified plan for the Catonsville Promenade, a misguided development project that’s been lurching along since before Finley was born. Details on the project are sketchy at best, but I found an interesting article summing up the developer’s iterations, all of which have me wondering what they’re smoking. The most recent maps show only one point of access and have the entire development squished up against the Beltway, which seems like an unappealing and inaccessible plan for a bunch of hotels and restaurants nobody will visit. It’s obvious the builder is holding out for the state to sell him adjacent land from the Spring Grove complex, so that he can continue the plan northward, add more buildings, and link up to Frederick Road. Which will clog our traffic pattern tighter than a heart attack.
The final date has been a long time coming, but I’m going to be packing this weekend for a trip to Mexico City. This one is on a lot shorter notice than the others, and I’m going to be doing a lot of winging it while I’m there, but due to my teaching schedule I’ll have two days in Mexico City on the company’s dime (wish that could have been London, honestly). This month’s schedule looks absolutely bonkers, actually–I teach next Wednesday, fly out Thursday morning, fly back out Tuesday evening, work from home Wednesday, and teach Wednesday evening. There are a lot of logistical issues to work out (gotta book my flight, for example) but this is going to be interesting.
After comparing rates and details with three different lenders, we’ve got a lender lined up to refi the house. Now I’ve got to get the ball rolling before I leave the country…
I’ve been slacking, I know. I’ve gone back and forth between having a lot to write about and then feeling like it wasn’t worth mentioning, but fuck it.
Jen and I are in the middle of the last season of Penny Dreadful, a series that aired on Showtime up until this summer. It’s a wild, beautiful, gory horror story set in London of the 1890s and it’s absolutely stunning in its production design, writing, and subject matter. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a series this much since Deadwood. I’ve also been trying to sort out my thoughts on Stranger Things for about two weeks now, but I’m struggling to say what I’m thinking. More on that later.
I ran into a friend on the train by chance who shared employment with me in a previous organization, and we caught up on life since we both moved on. He’s doing very well, is much happier, and we filled in some of the blanks for each other–things I was unaware of, but found hilarious and annoying. I’ll just say it was great to have some unexpected validation on a Thursday evening.
Jen and I spent some quiet time on Saturday morning looking through a bathroom remodeling book for ideas. It’s getting closer to reality, which is kind of shocking. Further research on a home equity line of credit took me down a different path to where we’re looking at refinancing the house. I spent about two hours on the phone on Saturday with banks going through the information and getting quotes, and along the way I wound up with a Navy Federal Credit Union account for a $5 minimum deposit and no monthly fee. If the math is correct, and the quote doesn’t change drastically, we could wind up dropping more than a full point, pulling a chunk of cash out to use on finishing the bathroom, and saving a bunch of money each month. I’m supposed to get the final quote by Wednesday (fingers crossed) and if everything looks good, get it on the fast track to close as soon as possible.
School starts up this coming week, and I spent Sunday finishing my syllabus, posting everything online, working on my first lecture, and sorting through admin stuff. I’m starting from scratch again this semester, so I had to work through the schedule and the workload repeatedly to make sure everything balanced correctly. This class is once a week for four hours, so the schedule is compressed, and I hope it works out well.
All photos by Mama. God, she’s gotten so big.
We’ve had a clutch of five baby bunnies living in our driveway for over two weeks now. Their mother apparently had no idea how to select a safe, protected nest for her children, so she abandoned them out in the open, where any crow, fox, cat, dog, or Finley could find them. Jen sprung into action and dug them out a proper nest, added paper bedding, and found a plastic organizer to put over them. Since then they’ve sprouted hair, opened their eyes, grown three times their original size, and are now venturing out of the nest. Mom seems to come and feed them at dusk, and they seem to be healthy; Jen has a dedicated following on Instagram demanding daily updates.
Jen and I are dealing with sore throats, runny noses, and overall malaise due to a summer cold. Finn doesn’t seem to be suffering the same way we are even though we got it from her.
I met up with my old friend Logan on Monday night at the Brewer’s Art, which was like a double flashback. We haven’t seen each other in years, probably going on 10. He was a fellow classmate at MICA in the day but I didn’t really get to know him until after we were out of school. I had a job at Hopkins and he was running his own screenprinting shop, and we fed each other jobs, spending a lot of time in the basement of the Brewer’s Art, which was centrally located between my apartment and his studio. He moved out of Baltimore sometime around the millenium for L.A., and has since built a globe-trotting career as a stencil artist based out of New York. We spent about three hours drinking, catching up, talking about our kids, and laughing. I got home at 1AM, long after my normal bedtime, and paid for it all day Tuesday.
Video by Howard County REACT
We drove through this area hours before everything was swept away. I don’t know how they’re going to be able to rebuild it all.