Sunday, June 29, 2014

Neighbours

I've written about neighbours a few times here before.  There were the annoying neighbours, the overheard encounters with the two boys below me (now a boy and a girl, although I think just a girl for the summer), the two I got too close to, too fast (who have now moved, thank fuck), and the dog, Milhouse*, and his owners, who are a nice young couple.  I just realized I've mentioned the annoying ones twice.

On the first floor, there's a young lady in one unit and Alex in the other, a young fella who once helped push my car out of the snow.  I think he paints and collects Warhammer.  I had been worried about him the past little while, because his car doesn't seem to leave his spot much.  I've been there before.

The couple that moved have left one empty unit.  That makes up the building.  It's a nice building, everyone is polite.  In the morning, the girl below me doesn't get in the shower until she hears me get out.

If I look at the land surrounding our building, we've got four cars nicely lined along the back, and one that parks closer to the door.  Sometimes the grass gets a little long, but it's nothing that bothers me.

I told you that, so I could tell you this.  It's a small building, I have windows on both sides (makes for a nice cross breeze), which lets me see the building on either side of me, if I want.  On the south side, there's a nice building filled with young couples, and one old hippie** who rides his bike everywhere.

Then, there's the building to the north.

I wanted to take a picture of the yard, but I'm worried someone in the building would notice, and then beat the tar out of me or shoot me with a bb gun.  There's no joke here, this is a genuine concern.  Instead, I'll provide you with a small inventory of what I see through the weeds lining the fence, which are about waist-high:

  • 3 electric scooters, which are constantly being worked on
  • 1 jolly jumper
  • 1 dollhouse
  • 1 wheelbarrow, filled with running shoes and water
  • 2 rusted out, retired barbecues
  • somewhere between 5-8 bicycles, in pieces
  • 5-8 lawnchairs, pulled in or out of the building as needed, but often left outside
  • 4-5 large pieces of moulded plastic that were once items like kiddie pools or sandboxes
  • 1 fire pit, which is the only item not surrounded by crap
  • and other bullshit that congregates around classy people

When it comes to the building itself, most of the windows don't have screens on them, and those that do are busted up.  When the windows are open, the curtains are often spilling out and sticking to the bricks.  All air conditioners are tossed into the windows haphazardly.

Now, here's where I get uncomfortable.  All of this I'm writing here may sound like I'm making fun of people with less money than me.  The reality is, although it's very quiet out there right now, the number of domestic disputes and screaming I've overheard*** would almost be enough to want to move.  They also have this tendency to lean out the windows and yell conversations to people in the yard.  They've been loud enough to wake me from a dead sleep at 1 am. The cops visit there sometimes, but not often enough.

So, basically, I hate my neighbours, is the gist of this post.  Fuck them.




*Milhouse's actual name is Milo.  In the original post, I had changed his name to protect his identity.  I don't know why I felt the need to do that, he's a dog for chrissakes.  No offense to dogs.  Milo, if you're reading this, WHO'S A GOOD BOY?  WHO'S A GOOD BOY?
**The old hippie played Kraftwerk's Autobahn really loudly one afternoon, which made me disproportionately excited.
***Some of their greatest hits include "HOW COULD YOU? I FUCKING LOVED YOU!" in a shrill female voice, "YOU TELL HIM, IF HE COMES AROUND HERE AGAIN, I'LL KICK HIS FUCKING ASS!" and my personal favourite, "OF COURSE I'M GOING TO JAIL!!!!  YOU THINK I DON'T REALIZE I'M GOING TO FUCKING JAIL TOMORROW???" spoken by a gentleman we probably won't be seeing for 6 months, less a day.


Friday, June 27, 2014

On perfection.

My father helped install my air conditioner this year.  This meant that a 3 hour feat of setting the unit on the windowsill, throwing a piece of plywood to cover the hole above, and then stuffing any empty spaces with socks and towels became a 3 week venture of measurements, a planning and design phase, resentment from both parties, extreme politeness, and - finally - implementation.   What a good handful of people would probably refer to as "overkill."

My brother and I spoke about the difficulties of asking dad for a favour, and neither of us are all that keen on it.  It just took me much longer to realize than him.  My brother and I are adults now; when we ask dad for help with a number of things, we're simply asking for an additional pair of hands.  Dad, on the other hand, has this tendency to hear our requests in our teenage voices (long deceased, although their ghosts visit on some nights of heavy drinking and reminiscing), and pull the entire project on his own shoulders.  It's sweet (and mildly fascinating), but we're at the point where it often includes some complaining about the situation.

The air conditioner is in, and my father has built this nice little window box that fits snugly above.  I appreciate the effort my dad put in, but the amount of stress he experiences and drags me into is quite the price to pay.  The amount of planning in particular was far more than necessary.

Now, I've told you that story, so I could tell you this one.  The AC adventure of 2014 is a perfect example of Wallace over-analysis and perfectionism, often mislabeled "Wallace Genius."  A lot of my laziness is inspired by the frozen feeling that comes along with perfection.  In the case of myself, it translates roughly to:

  • Why lose weight if I'm not going to have the perfect body?  You're just shining the silverware on the Titanic, chubby*.
  • If I write a horror story, it should scare the shit out of Bloch/Benchley (Peter, not Robert)/LeFanu.
  • If I write humour, it should cause fits of laughter in Wodehouse/Benchley (Robert, not Peter)/Sedaris (both Amy and David)**. 
  • All satire should top Brooker/Swift/Bierce.
  • All erotica should inspire mad wanking upon reading the first sentence.
  • And other, somehow grosser, examples.

No wonder I get so little done.  Analysis-paralysis.

I watched The World's End tonight.  It was enjoyable, but something about it missed the mark for me. Prior to this, I might have said the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost combination was infallible.  I did laugh out loud at a few moments, so it's not a complete bust, not by a long shot.  Maybe I'm being a little harsh on a movie that I would have been really proud to be a part of.  At any rate, the knowledge that even Simon Pegg can slip up*** should be enough of a reason to keep trying.

Here's a clip from one of my favourite ventures of his, Big Train:


Kevin Eldon kills me in that clip, holding up the two pieces of paper stuck together.  That's just funny.  Stellar team, that cast.  Although the show does have some weak points, this clip is near to perfection.


*As an aside, this particular attitude has been left on the curb for the past couple of months, and I've lost 14 pounds.  It's slow moving, but I already feel better.
**I'll make the joke before you can: this blog is clearly the exception.
***I am full out ignoring the existence of "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The sad realization that I'm not cool

I've always known, somewhere in my mind.  I mean, there were hints throughout my life, but nothing stark, nothing obvious.  Nothing like tonight.

I recently purchased a new (to me) vehicle.  A Jeep Patriot, about 6 years old.  I love it; it does everything I need, and it's good on gas.  It's new enough to me that I went for a drive tonight.  Music on loud, windows down, I love it. I notice there's a Jeep CJ* driving along beside me, with the doors off and music blaring. We stop at a light, and he's not right next to me anymore, he's next to the guy in front of me.  The guy in front of me rolls the window down, and leans across his girlfriend, and starts yelling friendly stuff at the CJ guy.

CJ guy can't even hear him.  Hip hop music blasting.  It's mildly embarrassing for sedan guy in front of me, but I don't know what my plan would have been if I'd been beside him.  Roll down my window further, crank up my music more?  Try and shout something friendly about how Jeeps** are great?  Then, get mad when he sneered at me?  "You bastard, this had to travel the Rubicon Trail, just like your model!" I'd yell. "Rubix cube tail***? What the fuck, lady?" he'd yell back.  

Would I roll down my window further, and crank up my music more, bobbing my head to the beat while making eye contact?  In the interest of full disclosure, this is what I was listening to:

 

Anyway, the light turns green, I end up beside him again, and I finally take a real look at this guy.  He looks like a total goof, to be honest.  He's at least 10 years younger than me, I can see his underwear over his top of his (too big) shorts, his shoelaces are undone, and there's a nice responsible looking dent in the front of the Jeep.

My soccer mom car turned at the next light.  Time to go home and listen to Kevin Eldon, Simon Munnery, and Brian Cox talking about CERN.


*My love of the CJ stems not only from the fun look and impractical handling, but the rich history of the car.  Another indication that I'm not as cool as I once thought.
**Incidentally, the whole "it's a jeep thing, you wouldn't understand" is exactly the kind of brand attitude that I can't stand.  The kind of smugness is a little obnoxious.  Oddly enough, since expanding their line so extensively, it mostly involves the Wrangler tough-guy models, and not the Soccer-mom models (ie, the Patriot).
***the runner-up for this joke was "Ruby's entrails."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Nothing. And cavemen.

I'm tempted to write "Rien" as today's post and leave it at that, but I do feel the need to write a proper entry, so here it is.  As uneventful as it may be.

Recently, I had noticed that my clothes were tighter, and I felt sluggish.  So, I decided to do something about it.  Truthfully, my habits had gotten so bad, that one of the goals was as simple as "stop going to fast food drive-thrus."  I could write here that I've struggled with my weight all my life, but the reality is, I've been ignoring my weight most of my life.  For a long time, that was easier.

Anyway, I'm in week 4 of this lifestyle change, and I'm starting to lose my mind.  Portions of my brain are starting to bargain and rationalize at a level usually reserved for day 10 of a kidnapping.  The problem isn't that I'm actually hungry.  The problem is that I'm restless.  My brain just doesn't want to quiet down for me.  I'm really tired, but I don't think going to bed will help.  I want to do everything, and yet I want to do nothing.  The first week of this change wasn't like this, I felt elated, like I could take anything on.  These mood swings are why I worry about my mental health.  I haven't written much about that aspect of this blog for a long time, but the concern is always there, in the background. When I'm trying to be clever or funny, I usually just thank my lucky stars that I'm not in the mood I'm in now.  It's incredibly hard to accomplish anything when I'm feeling this way.  On my way home from my parents' I went to an empty parking lot tonight so I could sit in my car and write in my journal.  There are just too many distractions at home to trust myself to do it there (and I live alone!)

So there you have it, dear readers.  When you see creeps hanging out in a parking lot, looking down at their laps, they're not all masturbating.  Most are.

Nevermind what I just said.  Stay away from people sitting in their cars in parking lots looking down at their laps.  Unless that's what you're into.

I suppose I could have gone to a coffee shop, but that would have entailed three things:

- purchasing a coffee-like beverage, which I'm trying to avoid at the moment
- dealing with other patrons/distractions
- being that girl in the coffee shop who writes in her journal.  A journal that's riddled with Radiohead/Arcade Fire lyrics.  Seriously, no one wants to be that girl.

Also this.

I'm incredibly frustrated about everything this evening.  My lot in life, how things have turned out (better than most; I do try to be grateful), how not only have I not met "the one," but I haven't even come close to that first "mistake" marriage that unstable people like me are supposed to have.  And I'm trying to lose weight, but that's no guarantee to happiness.  Great, I'll be thinner and even more socially awkward, because I might be flirted with more, but I'll be no closer to correctly identifying when its happening.

Do you ever think about how you might have fared better in a different time?  My life would be much easier if I existed before things like language and makeup were involved.  If I could just be clubbed on the head and dragged back to a cave, that might be ideal*.   Of course, knowing me, I'd probably just latch onto the nearest family and be the kindly, kooky aunt, secretly resenting my friend Lucy.  Lucy would of course have been clubbed and dragged back to a cave many years before I would.

Wipe that grin off your face, you smug slut.

This isn't to say that I'm not getting any attention, of course.  There will always be people willing to fuck anything that moves.  This is all well and good, and I don't judge anyone interested for this reason, but I imagine the conversation afterwards being more disappointing than the sex**.

I guess I'm just better off being restless.




*I apologize if I'm setting us back a few - well, million - years, ladies, but keep in mind, this would put my existence before suffrage ("which is a good thing, but it sounds horrible," as Phoebe would say) or the birth of bell hooks.
**and the sex is plenty disappointing.