Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Living with the Locos

I had felt ill last Thursday, so I spent Friday and Saturday eating recovery foods. Foods like oatmeal, jello, saltines and animal crackers--basically bland but easy to digest foods. So thinking I was better on Sunday, I made some chili fries and ate them. By that evening, I was feeling ill again. Clearly, my stomach wasn't ready for the hot, spicy food. Luckily by midnight, I was feeling better. But just to be safe, I decided to stick to recovery food for a few more days.

I went in to work Monday, which was actually a Federal holiday. Most people wanted to be off so they could have a three day weekend. Me, I like working on some Federal holidays, because I get holiday pay ;) While I was leaving for work, I was surprised to see my neighbors out so early in the dark morning. I live around some really strange people. Most are nice, but some I find very unusual and perplexing. Usually, the Old Bird and her son don't emerge from their nest til the sun had been out a few hours. But this cold morning, they were out under the porch light, feeding the cats--the strays and the pets who like to hang around for the free food.

I usually try to avoid the neighbors, especially the Old Bird. Mostly because I don't want to get trapped in a conversation dominated by her naming her many ailments and how they're affecting her. It's really more of a report on her medical condition than a legitimate conversation. I don't think she really cares who she talks to, as long it's someone hearing her talk. And the Old Bird's 'disabled' son thinks of himself as a movie critic, because he rents a lot of movies. I'm not exactly sure what his disability is, but he sure does drive a lot to the movies and rental places and for take out. He likes to offer unsolicited opinions on films and which ones he deems worthy of being watched. I really don't give a crap about movie critics. I don't need anyone to tell me what to watch and if I should like it or not. I have my own brain, I'll decide what I want to watch and how I'll feel about it!

I said hello to them, we had a small exchange about the weather, then I left for work. I try to be polite, but truthfully, I don't like to get too close to the neighbors. I really just want to be left alone. But it's nice to be courteous to people. After work, I got home late. I ate a late dinner near midnight, when I heard the sounds of argument out in the parking lot. I looked out the window, and on the other side of the building, I saw some woman who seemed to be yelling at someone I couldn't see. She seemed drunk, and I figured it was probably just a drunk couple.

I thought about whether or not I should do something. On the one hand, they were getting annoying and loud at times, and they were drunk. I thought about calling the cops, but then I figured, well, they're not really hurting anybody, and I really didn't want to get involved in their private argument. Just let them work it out. Besides, if someone else has a problem with the noise, then they can just call the cops themselves. After 15 minutes, I stopped hearing their argument. An hour later, I heard the woman yelling at the man again. But the man didn't yell back. I looked out the window again but I didn't see them. I thought maybe they had moved their scream fest to their porch. But then I saw a head rise up from between the cars in the parking lot. It was the woman, and she was calling out to the man, who seemed to be on the ground. I saw her reach down in an attempt to shake him and yell at him to get up.

I was a little alarmed, thinking, perhaps something was wrong with him. Maybe I needed to call an ambulance. But I thought maybe I ought to head out and see what was wrong before I made any emergency call. But when I got out the door, I saw they had stumbled to their front door, opened it, and went inside. Ah, well, that was a relief. I didn't really know that couple because honestly, they were new in the neighborhood. Some neighbors keep changing as people move in and move out. So far, the new couple hasn't made a favorable impression.

I woke up early this morning at five and decided to go for a walk. I had plan on running, but I wanted to take it easy for a few days until I felt better. As I passed by the drunk couple's car, I saw a purse and it's contents spilled all over the ground--a cellphone, credit cards, a wallet, lipstick, and some keys. I gathered the contents and put them in the purse. I took the purse and left it by the front door. Then I continued on my walk. It was a chilly morning, but I was energized. Today is a good day. I thought about my crazy neighbors; and while we may not be close, at the very least we seem to maintain some semblance of respect for each other's space. Live and let live.

I had agreed to work the holiday yesterday, so I could be off today. Part of the reason I enjoyed working the holiday was because of the extra pay. But the truth is, I really wanted to be off today, because today is President Barack Obama's inauguration.

It's such a great feeling, an optimism and celebration has got a hold of the country, maybe the world. I'm glad my old tv broke, because I can watch the inauguration on a bigger screen. I've lived to see some amazing things, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism in Russia, the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. Now, today, I'm seeing the first mixed race President get sworn in. It's an amazing time to be alive. It's an incredible feeling to know that hope and change has come.

My favorite pic of the inauguration: President Barack Obama makes a shaka (aloha spirit) sign to his Punahou High School marching band all the way from Hawaii! Aloha!!!


  1. Yes... but.. and I'm sure you've been asked this before... what is Jello?
    Oh, and congrats for the big day!

  2. Scarlet B, Jello is gelatin dessert. I'll update my post to include some pics :)

  3. Reading about your neighbours reminded me of how much I don't miss hearing the constant fighting from downstairs at my former apartment *shudders at the memory*

    And yeah! Go Obama!

  4. Snooze, Yeah, usually, it's a quiet neighborhood. Most loud people don't last very long around here. The mgmt usually warns them about noise.

    I have lived in some ghetto places that were really loud and annoying. I'm glad I don't live there anymore. But it is great about President Obama! At least for today, it's a celebration for all Americans past, present, and future.

  5. I took the day off to watch it too.

    Miss Scarlet: Jello is what you Brits call jelly as in "ice cream and jelly".

  6. We don't have jelly or jello here. We have to make it ourselves.

    Who is the surly bald white man in the photo?

  7. MJ, It was a great day and a great inauguration! So peaceful, energetic, and joyful.

    CP, I'm shocked Denmark doesn't have jello! You have to make your own?

    I don't know who the bald man is, and I don't think he holds any major gov't leadership position. I make it a point to know who the big gov't leaders are, so I can know what's going on in gov't.

    I think that bald man (and his bald friends!) might be Secret Service.

  8. Of course he is! How did the other bald surly man. I wonder if they all get razors first day of the secret service.

    Yes we don't have Jello. I've looked almost everywhere. Except US import shops.

  9. How did I miss the other bald surly man. That's what I wanted to say.

  10. CP x2, They're so good at their jobs that we don't even notice them! I wonder if shaved heads is a habit from the military. I hear some of the Secret Service recruit from the top forces in the military.

    As for the Jello, I just thought everyone had it. Apparently not. It's one of those things that's popular in one place and not another.

    I have some cousins from New Zealand who visit from time to time. When they leave, they always buy jars of mayonnaise. I asked them, why mayo? And they said, it's because they don't have real mayo in New Zealand! I was like, what? How could you not have mayo? They said it's only weak and terrible tasting stuff available to them in NZ. NZ doesn't have American mayo with all the fatty goodness and delicious tangy taste.

  11. Why dont they just make their own mayo , the lazy devils

  12. There will be a time for chili fries again - hopefully by the weekend!

    I was so tempted to call in sick to watch the inauguration but there was too much crap to do at work. Blah. Thankfully CNN and a few other channels shows playbacks of stuff. Oh and I had to stay up to watch The Daily Show to find out what that crew had to say about the whole thing. Too funny.

  13. Beast, You'd think all those fat Hobbits who eat all the time down there would've made their own mayo by now; but I guess not. I smell a business opportunity!

    Tara, That's the plan: eat chili fries by the weekend! I luv the Daily show and the Colbert Report! They are hilarious!

  14. Erm.. But... Jelly? What flavour Jelly? I haven't eaten Jelly for years...

  15. Scarlet B, I had Strawberry-Banana, then I mixed Raspberry with Orange, then mixed Cherry with Lime. Basically, jello I use to make Jello shots, except no vodka this time...might make some jello shots tomorrow, though :)