our upstairs neighbor is bigfatpig. he's a big fat pig. when he drinks, he snores. when he snores, you can hear it through the ceiling. this ain't my first rodeo, i've had upstairs neighbors before. but never before now have i heard big fat pig-snores through the ceiling. he drinks a lot more frequently lately. sometimes he passes out in the living room, sometimes he makes it to the bedroom. i sleep with ear plugs so it doesn't bother me. the spouse, on the other hand, is frequently woken up by it in the middle of the night and has to go sleep in the den. bigfatpig owns an un-neutered boxer named winston. he refers to winston as a "thoroughbred" although how he came to use this nonstandard term i don't know. winston, like most boxers, requires lots of exercise. bigfatpig doesn't like exercise. so the dog does what dogs do and he finds his own way of bleeding off energy. this usually takes the form of running at full tilt from one end of the apartment to the other. this sounds like a freight train rolling over our heads. sometimes bigfatpig and winston wrestle. they've knocked ceiling fixtures loose. when bigfatpig doesn't feel like walking winston, he sends him out to the balcony and lets him potty there. we don't use our patio in the summer because of the overwhelming stench of dog urine.
our next door neighbors are three persian techno douchebags. three guys living like sardines in a three bedroom apartment, because each gives higher financial priority to the three luxury cars in the parking lot they can't afford. one of them has a blue BMW with a vanity plate that says "awaz." awaz can't pay his car payments. he flatted two of his tires to prevent the repo man from towing his wheels. ultimately that didn't work, though, and they yanked the car in the middle of the night anyway. two months later awaz and his two roommates celebrated when he managed to scrape together enough money to get his car out of hock. unfortunately his two roommates, whose cars also mysteriously disappeared around the same time, do not seem to be on the same fast track to success. awaz and co like persian techno. correction, they love persian techno. the one who sleeps in the bedroom on the other side of the wall from our den REALLY loves persian techno. sometimes the spouse wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of bigfatpig snoring, goes into the den, and is kept awake by persian techno. on those nights he sleeps on the sofa in the living room with the air conditioner blasting to cover the noise. sometimes he sleeps with a pillow over his head, too.
have i mentioned the fact that we're buying a house?
my left door neighbor i have not seen yet, but i know he smokes weed and listens to jungle techno. My right door neighbor is 90 years old. He enjoys spending time in the little metal cage that surrounds our front door steps. He stands there all weekend, occasionally talking to his 85 year old friends who sit in lawn chairs next to our steps. They peddle cigarettes by the unit to passerbys.
My upstairs neighbor has two dogs. They have big nails, and when they run around they sound like horses. Luckily, unlike auntie's neighbor mine takes them out running so they get tired real fast. Besides, I could have a pack of horses living above me and it would not compare with my previous upstairs neighbor in Paris - the Walrus - who liked to use a wheeled office chair to navigate his 350 pound body between the fridge and his room (and probably the bathroom) at all hours of the night.
My upstairs upstairs neighbor is more scary. He likes to sit in the staircase with his walkman on, singing out loud in a voice that sounds like he is being exorcised. My roommate tells me he likes drugs a bit too much which is why he acts funny.
^ :D walrus
living in a house allows you to avoid all of those joys.
back in Chicago I had a running feud with my downstairs neighbor -
a record from that time:
Just because I'm a paranoid, vindictive bitch, doesn't mean that nobody else is. Case in point, my downstairs neighbor.
I've detailed the eccentricities of our plumbing before; to sum up, there's not enough hot water pressure for more than one person in any of the three north-facing apartments to take a shower at the same time. Please also consider the separate fact that, as a freelancer, my schedule is not only highly varied but also entirely unpredictable, ergo I take showers at odd times of day, and never the same time slot twice in a row.
Given this information, the fact that I've been shorted hot water three times already this week is beginning to look like a vendetta.
It happened again this morning. The red line on the el is monumentally jacked up, and I had to get to the chiropracter's office by 10:15. I therefore had to leave the ghetto by 9:15 at the very latest. At 9:00, I realized I was a smelly beast, so I ducked in for a quick rinse. After about thirty seconds under the stream I was fully soaped, and the pressure suddenly dipped precipitously. I grabbed the shower head and pointed it toward the wall, knowing I was about to be either frozen or boiled. It's a lot harder to short the cold water in this building, so it's almost always "frozen."
Sure enough, the water went icy. I turned the cold water tap off the whole way, and then used the mist coming off the now-scalding low-pressure spritz emanating from the shower head to rinse the soap off my body. On the way out of the shower, I noted that the pipes coming through the floor were oddly silent.
Given the acoustics of the plumbing, this meant that my downstairs neighbor was not making a valid attempt to actually use the shower. If she had been, she'd have still been in there, glad I was out. She was just shorting me hot water, trying to drive me out of the shower.
Now, here would be the ideal moment to score karmic kudos, make the world a nicer place, and myself a nicer person. I resolutely failed to do this.
I dried myself and dressed, and lo and behold the pipes were singing. Bitch was in the shower. I casually turned the hot water in the tub on full blast and let it run while I brushed my hair, put on some makeup, put on my shoes, and got ready to go out the door. I turned the water off just before I left, and then flushed the toilet for good measure.
To my left is alcoholic veteran. I thought I had made a connection with him one day last summer when I was out in the yard and he wanted to show me his new puppy. We seemed to be on the same page re: the responsibility of a pet, keeping her inside, etc. A few days later he was drunk in the front yard, was trying to train her to sit. She was on a leash, about eight weeks old. I looked through the fence. I wanted to say something like, you know they respond really well to praise (over criticism or punishment). I didn't say anything (my regret)- didn't know how to phrase it so that I wouldn't set him off. Not long after that I didn't see or hear the puppy anymore. I think he got wasted one night and killed her. I haven't seen him in weeks, I think he's in rehab.
On his left is G's abandoned house. My other neighbor L, to my right, reminded me that it's been three years since G went to prison and should be getting out soon. Pedophile- liked teenage boys. But the worst of it is that his background was public knowledge, we had seen the area sex offenders list. One of the boys' mother knew, but it didn't stop her from pimping out her sons for cash and trips to McDonald's.
L is raising her three grandchildren because their mother is in prison for meth. A few years ago she decided she wanted to go to school and will graduate with a BS this summer. She called me last week, said her g'daughter had let a couple of people into the house to use the phone and they stole her laptop. She wants to get out of here. Me too.
Each of my neighbours has a unique and interesting personality.
The couple who live above me are in their late thirties. The woman has a job, the man doesn’t. He only does odd jobs from time to time, probably dubious ones, too, as the police came a couple of times asking when was the last time I saw him. He disappears at regular intervals, which is a good thing, because he is often drunk and then he does stupid things. He knows he’s in trouble, so he tries to find little ways to appease Betty’s imminent wrath, but they almost always end up as a small-scale Armageddon. For example he tries to prepare dinner for her when she comes home, but falls asleep and burning the pot. Of course there’s a horrible smell, so he cunningly tries to cover up his tracks by throwing the pot out of the window in the naïve belief that Betty won’t notice the appalling stench or the missing pot. At other times he tries to do the laundry – of course, only when he’s drunk – but does it so awkwardly that he manages to flood not only their flat, but mine, too. (Once I had to go up and help him to sort out the problem, when it started raining inside my flat. He was trying to mop up a washing-machine amount of water with a handkerchief!) Another one of his endearing endeavours consisted of dying his salt-and-pepper hair red. I strongly suspect he was drunk, when he decided to surprise Betty this way, because the end result was scary. (He disappeared again, after that.) Anyway, they used to have huge fights, fortunately mostly yelling at each other. Betty is quite vocal, also during lovemaking sessions, which can be embarrassing at times – it depends on who is visiting me. (Once a friend came over and was telling me about her nervous breakdown, but she couldn’t finish with all those noises, which was kind of liberating for me.)
Erm, for the record, I feel obligated to add I'm glad my neighbours can't write little interesting details about me.
there's 6 apartments on the top floor of my apartment building-- the people on my right are nice, the house is hers. she inherited it when her son died. she has a boyfriend with 50 earrings and a weird voice. i think he's had some medical issues with his vocal cords. he moved in with her recently.
the girl on my left is about my age. she has an incontinent labrador dog. a puppy really, but the puppy has grown rather big and standing up, reaches up to my chest with his head. his name is jungle. he used to pee and poop right behind my neighbor's door, making the hallway reek of dog crap. she walked him 5 times a day and it still wasnt enough. that was ok back then, because jungle still looked so small and cute. now she's using a dog service to prevent him from crapping in her apartment. she also has a boyfriend with a 10-year old son that visits sometimes. he made a hole in her wall while installing a bathtub.
further down the hallway lives a 50-year old drunk, he always carries a pocket bottle around. he recently bought a bicycle that he never uses because he has a scooter.
downstairs (not directly below me fortunately) lives a crazy woman. she complains about everything, literally. she always has her door open, so the big dog she has runs around in the hallway. its a big dobermann and he's always growling at me. one time when entering the elevator, he grabbed my crutch and made me fall. she said that was because i had looked at the dog and this made him afraid.
the moral is: don't look at dogs, and don't let ten year old boys do your plumbing.
My neighbours? Very nice young people! :) (With my biblical 28 I'm the house-eldest I figure, they're all like 18-22) Unfortunately they're moving in and out so fast (I only memorise the British couple - 2nd floor? or 4th? - and the two glam punks, such a cool iro that one got - 4th floor? - among the newest influx - very friendly!), that it never gets more than greeting or a little small talk on the stairs or at the door when fetching one's postal package delivered in absentia or asking for anything (sugar, milk or info on when there'll be warm water and heating again like last winter).
After the two guys originally from Hamburg and the two girls from Brandenburg (my stepladder still has the pink paint on it from when the pinktised their rooms, used to drink beer with them on their balcony - 1st floor excellent first row view on bus stop and sidewalk) have moved out like 2, 2.5 years ago I am the last remainder of the first inhabitants - the front house stood empty till 2004.
One of the two neighbour parties on my floor - 3rd - seem to cook lots of cabbage (or something similar, it's a slightly rotten veggie "smell" in any case), I always open the little windows in the stairway, they always close them. Above me there used to live a guy trampling around and bumping stuff on the floor or something a lot, preferably after midnight on workdays, I used to bang with something against the copper tubes from the central heating when it got too enervating, cos then he'd stop it. One day I went up, asking whether he could borrow me a lightbulb, he gave me one and then he said: "You the one who's banging sometimes against the heating?" Me *blushing*: "Yes... it's just..." He *blushing*: "Oh, is it that loud?" Me: "Ah, mostly not." He: "Just bang when I get too loud." Me *grinning*: "kay."
Strangely the back house people, well actually it's #49 and we're #50, I scarcely see at all, I only know these in whose flats I can see from my kitchen window, there's also one flat who always have a cloth tightly drawn closed in front of their window - just like these strange neighbours CJ mentioned once - but in contrast to them, mine have curtains not in black but in a colourful friendly pattern, so I figure they are good-hearted, friendly vampires living from donor blood.... ;)
Q for Wednesday:
¿ What's beyond the horizon ?
(symbolic, or not, how you like)
me: new ideas & ways of thinking
I can settle down and be doin' just fine
Til I hear an old train rollin' down the line
Then I hurry straight home and pack
And if I didn't go, I believe I'd blow my stack
I love you baby, but you gotta understand
When the lord made me
He made a ramblin' man.
Some folks might say that I'm no good
That I wouldn't settle down if I could
But when that open road starts to callin' me
There's somethin' o'er the hill that I gotta see
Sometimes it's hard but you gotta understand
When the lord made me, he made a ramblin'man.
I love to see the towns a-passin' by
And to ride these rails 'neath God's blue sky
Let me travel this land from the mountains to the sea
'Cause that's the life I believe he meant for me
And when I'm gone and at my grave you stand
Just say God called home your ramblin'man.
beyond the horizon:
an uphill climb
On the neighbor question: She's a sweet heart. She often brings food over even though we don't need it. She likes to give. The only thing I have a slight problem with, but its tolerable because she's nice either way, is when she drinks to much and calls me to gush about something or me. Those times I don't understand a lot of what she says and she doesn't listen well. It's usually a one way conversation.
Over the horizon: Something I've worried too much about my whole life but at least now I feel better about it because I have a few extra tools close by.
Gerbil-tank cleaning before sunset.
Today, upon coming home from work I was welcomed with a mighty reek.
I'll start cleaning in 26 minutes.
over the horizon is another mountain range, and then another one and another one. eventually there's some ocean.
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