Tag Archives: horns

Beantown Observations #1

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I am approaching the 3.5 month mark of living in the Boston area.

Things I’ve learned.

1. I don’t believe they have any streets that go in a straight line. Whoever designed the road system must have been drunk or on the tilt-a-wheel ride. How many intersections have I come across where it’s not the typical four, perfectly 90 degree angled lanes, we all love. No, I’m talking 5 lanes…or 3 lanes… and every which way but straight ahead roadage. I get so confused, that I can’t figure out which stop light is my light. I pray to either get through the light or have someone in front of me who knows the area.

2. They LOVE roundabouts. Or traffic circles.
LOVE.
THEM.
Generally they have 3 or 4 exits off of them, as normal roundabouts would. But no, last night, I entered a roundabout where Elvis, on Waze, told me I had to get off at the “6th exit on the roundabout.” How in the hell am I supposed to know when I’ve reached the 6th exit? First off, I’m trying not to get killed in the two lane traffic. Secondly, it’s not like there’s any signage. Thirdly, the roundabouts are strange little NASCAR race tracks…no lines, it’s a free for all. Enter from the right and keep on going. Best to just keep your eyes shut.

Needless to say I went around this particular circle….TWICE.

3. If you come to an intersection, where you have a stop sign and the road in front of you has traffic going in both directions…you know from left to right….and right to left…..

Well, if you are waiting for traffic to clear and you don’t move fast enough, the residents here won’t honk at you. They just drive around you.

INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

And to think I thought Miami drivers were crazy!

The kicker is, as I learned today, when two cars went around me…… The oncoming traffic STOPS!

4. Cars here don’t have horns. Unlike Miami, now when I hear a horn, it scares the hell out of me. They are rarely, if ever, EVER used.

E V E R.

Forty thousand of us could be backed up on the main highway into downtown Boston. In fact, we are every morning, but you don’t hear a single honk. No beep. No WAAAAHHHHH. Nothing. We’re all in this together. Putting along at 7 mph.

5. Houses here are stinking cute. CUTE. CUTE. And historic. I saw one the other day, with a giant sign over the front door. It was “Ye Olde ______ House.” I can’t remember the name. I quickly scribbled it down on a piece of paper while I was sitting at the light. Researched it on Google. Yeah, it is a historic house, belonging to the wax maker that supplied the candle wax for Paul Revere’s candles. You know, the whole one by land and two by sea? Well this little house currently has 4 apartments. Oh and a guy was killed there last year. (I joke about the wax maker. Not the killing.)

6. There is history EVERYWHERE. I love it.

7. The check out folks at the two Whole Foods I’ve gone to are actually NICE! Genuinely nice. In fact, everyone here is nice. It’s odd. Strangers talk to each other. They let you into traffic. They hold doors for you. I thought Alaskans were friendly. Well, these folks here are Alaskan cousins. Of course, after this winter….I’m calling our area, “Little Alaska.” That was a whole other earlier blog…the winter. Some of these people I’ve met for the first time, I feel like I’ve known them FOREVER. Odd.

Of course, the fact that my new chiropractor said she can’t help it …..but I remind her of someone, she can’t put her finger on it. Then she said Anna from the show Downton Abby. Okay. I’ll take that.

8. They have a lot of wildlife. And I don’t mean just squirrels and birds. Right now there are hundreds of frogs outside singing in the night air. Could be thousands, but since I am not a fan of frogs (they’re so unpredictable) we’re going with hundreds. Coyotes roam in the woods behind my house and literally take down deer. Someone said to be happy it killed the deer…. as the deer has ticks. Yeah, well, I don’t think a deer is going to try and take me down on my way to take out the trash at night…..a coyote…could. And I’m small. And if I’ve just had a bath, I’m salty from the detox soak concoction I make. If anyone wants to know where the wild turkeys are hanging out ….they’re here! I hear them in the morning in the woods behind our place. Gobble, gobble, gobble. The cross the highway like they’re on the Thanksgiving Day Parade! They’re protected along with the squirrels, coyotes and Fisher Cats.

9. I see things I haven’t seen in ever time period….still operating Dairy Queens. Shoe repair shops. Nearly every gas station is full service. Of course, when I drive into the gas station, all I hear is, “Monna. Wachta servictico bolded whishtenfoul booperbump today?”

Did you catch that?
Me neither.
It’s the Boston accent.

Wicked Smarht.

Yeah, fill it up, unleaded. Fuck. Shut the door. No idea what that guy just said. Good thing Norman is only a 10 galloner.

10. The crowning glory, for the moment, which was a tie with the beauty of spring. Trees are just leafing out…whites, pinks, greens, yellows….just gorgeous. No, the crowning glory has to be the genius idea to offer a ferry from this side of the pond right into downtown Boston. Forget the driving. Buy a breakfast sandwich from the lunch truck out front of the ferry terminal, where the guy knows your name or jump on board and get a cuppa cuppa coffee. Relax and enjoy the ride. The best part of this ferry? The return trip. BAR SERVICE BABY! Oh yeah! 40 minutes….what can I get ya?

Strobe Lights In My Sleep…They’re Keeping Me Awake!

It’s hard enough to fall asleep, let alone stay asleep. Like the annual arrival of Girl Scout cookies, my sleep pattern is such that if anyone needs a wake up call at 2:30AM – I’m your person. Want to play Scrabble at 2:45AM, I’m in. Need your dog walked at 3:00AM, call me.

Seriously.

Like clock work.

I’m up.

Sunday night friends came over for dinner and we watched Inception. Very interesting movie. I won’t give anything away, in case you haven’t watched it yet. But sure enough 2:30AM and I’m up pondering an entire scene where I should have gotten up to get my calculator to get the answer easier but no….I tried to do math in my head.

My theory on math has always been:
There are number people and there are letter people. I am a letter person.

Had I gotten up to get the calculator, even an abacus would have worked, my mind wouldn’t have still been rolling about at 4:00AM. No, I never did get the answer I was looking for…I needed more than ten fingers and toes.

Monday night, I had my better half download an app on his iPhone for me to try. It was an Inception Dream State thing you listen to with ear buds. Okay, this should be cool. Lights out, ear buds in, cats snuggled in…..one, two, three…sleep. Notta. I’m laying there listening to this music, which is on a short repeat cycle. Deep breathing, calming music….come on sleep!

As I listen to the dream sequence I selected there’s this great sound in the far reaches of the musical notes. Almost a deep drumming sound, hard to explain. I figured it was one of those deep sleep, sonic mind-wave tracks that was playing, lulling my mind to sleep. Amid the tingling waves and gentle notes I focused on the beats of this drum tone.

Veeeerrrrrrmmmmmm.

Veeerrm.

Veeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmm.

Veeeerrrrm.

This went on for about ten minutes and I thought I felt sleepy enough to turn off the music and rid myself of the ear bud cords. (If I hadn’t taken those things off, I’m pretty certain I’d have wrapped myself up like a spider’s snack in a web of torture.)

Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing….and hey, there’s that drum tone again…but louder. For pete’s sake you have to be kidding me! Those weren’t dream inducing sonic mind wave drum beats….that was my better half snoring! The music had drowned the snoring out enough to make it seem like a lullaby. Drum beat my ass!

Last night, I’m exhausted after two nights of crap sleep. After reading 30 pages in my bedside book I finally feel strong enough to attempt sleep. I’m delighted. I’m out like a slowly burning candle.

Until I’m awoken by two Pterodactyl dinosaurs fighting.

I sit bolt upright in the bed. What the hell IS THAT?

Two cats in bed sleeping – check.
The better half in bed snoring – check.
I’m in bed awake – double check.

Certain death is being had on our cul-da-sac. I wonder for a moment if James Cameron is filming a new Aliens movie and forgot to tell the neighborhood. The screeching and rumbling is nearly ear splitting.

Now I’m fully awake and realize what’s happening. It’s the fucking road grater, clearing the snow in our cul-da-sac. Wait, we weren’t supposed to get snow.

Two things come to mind immediately:

1. If we did get a bunch of snow then the grater wouldn’t be making that kind of noise.

2. If we did get snow, our cul-da-sac wouldn’t get plowed for three days.

Which leads me to the conclusion they’re clearing snow at 3:00 in the morning, simply for entertainment. God isn’t even up yet at this hour! I get up and look out the front window. Sure enough, the street has been scraped nearly down to black pavement…..hence the screaming Pterodactyl Dinosaurs.

Apparently, this must be the annual, “Road Snow Beautification Sculpture Contest” for the road crews as our cul-da-sac is perfectly groomed and would make Tiger Woods proud, if placed on Pebble Beach Golf Course.

And the point of this at 3:00AM is what?

Idiocy.

Back to sleep I struggle, now that we have our beautiful snow green out front. I think of what the gentle golf announcers would say on tv:

“Watch out for this one ladies and gentlemen. Looks like the Idiot is going to go for the double birdy on this shot. Hope he sees that white SUV in the rough. Let’s watch.”

Double Idiot.

Finally, at some point I fall back asleep. I only know this due to the beautiful music I hear in my dream. It’s quite lovely, like a 12 piece band playing at an USO dance. Lots of horns and trumpets, quite nice really.

As the music continues, I start to wake up, only to realize it’s that damn road grater AGAIN! Now clearing the snow from the road behind our house.

Really?
Can this not be done by daylight?
Well now, it’s obvious.
Our road crew is made up of vampires.

I flop around in bed and open my eyes only to be greeted by strobe lights from the road grater. Is this all necessary? Only vampires who want to be golf course groomers are up at this hour…let the rest of us sleep! Let’s call more attention to ourselves and turn on the strobe…just in case they can’t hear us already. Like there’s a lot of traffic on roads that aren’t even secondary roads in the middle of the night.

Between the screeching Pterodactyl Dinosaurs, orchestra horns sounding from the backing up beeper and now the added disco strobe light…I can’t stand it any longer. I may as well get up…it’s 4:00AM.

Apparently, my cat FeeBee thought the same. She decided to get up and have a hairball. Lucky for me she managed to projectile aim it off my side of the bed.

Awesome, I’ll go get the paper towels….