Thursday, December 9th, 2010
I live in kind of an odd neighborhood. The houses are new, big and cheap, by California standards. (I saw a sign the other day for a 6000 sq ft luxury home for $230k — madness!) The neighborhood overall is pretty quiet (except for when the middle school down the street lets out and all the little pubescent hooligans are walking home) and in general, I like it.
I really like our house, but the surrounding commercial/retail area is kind of… meh. Shabby. Run down. I call it a Living Ghost Town because there was so much development and expansion in this area pre-Bush, but when the economy bottomed out, it hit North Las Vegas pretty hard. So there are lots of new commercial buildings and strip malls that are empty with for lease signs all over. The only close grocery is Walmart because all the others couldn’t compete and closed down. It’s a little depressing. But, I just keep telling myself that I’m spoiled coming from Southern California. San Diego is probably one of the best cities in the world, certainly in the United States, and a fairly affluent one at that, so I’m trying not to judge.
You can stop laughing.
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Friday, March 19th, 2010
So, I have this neighbor – he’s an older man, probably in his late 60′s, maybe even 70′s. I sometimes run into him on the stairwell or in the parking lot, bringing in our groceries or whatever.
He’s always been super friendly. My front door is right at the top of the stairwell, so I often see him walk by through my ‘ice cube glass’ windows near my desk. When I moved in, he complimented me on the happiness my yellow hibiscus brought him when it bloomed. And I thought how nice it was that someone even noticed besides me. He looked like a nice old man, what I envision a “grandpa” to be.
Cut to a week or so later, when I’m tempted into downloading a Sex Offender Locator app for my iPhone. You can see where this is going. Grandpa indeed.
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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Last May, I moved into a new apartment complex. It’s kinda schmancy and overall, I have very little to complain about except perhaps the rent price and the dude downstairs who has a penchant for action movies and a deep, personal relationship with his surround sound. And maybe the Tacky Water People. And the Friendly Pedophile. But I digress.
When I moved in, I was given one covered parking space on the end, very close to my stairs. Score! To my right is parked a white Miata, circa 1992 or so. It’s in 1992 condition… not bad, but certainly not cherry.
The day after I moved in, while I was unloading things from my (2009) Matrix, a man in a pith helmet with the mullet flaps on the back sidles up to me with this hands clasped behind his back, like he was ice skating in a Rockwell painting.
“So you just moved in, huh?” he says.
“Yes, just yesterday,” I replied.
And then, with a weird knowing grin and the tone of someone hosting a children’s storytime, he said, “Ok, well, don’t you go dinging my car now.” (wink) “I keep a close eye on my baby,” gesturing to the Miata.
I laughed politely and ribbed him a bit back, assuming he was just trying to be cute. “It’s a deal. Wouldn’t want to mar such a classic!” Then I wished him a good day and off I went up the stairs.
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
So can we talk about my neighbors some more? It seems no matter where I go, I end up with at least one subpar neighbor. I had to ask mikey if maybe it was me — perhaps I’m doing something that makes the neighbors jerky, or maybe I have unrealistic expectations, but he insists it’s them.
Remember the Tacky Water Bottle people from across the hall? Well, last Friday, I received a notice on my door from the apartment management, letting me know I’m in violation of their “common areas” policies with my water bottles. While I wasn’t thrilled to hear this — I mean, where else are you supposed to keep them in an apartment? — if that’s their policy and I’m in violation, fine. I’ll figure something out.
So I called the office to let them know I was going to comply and ask for suggestions on where I might keep them, since it’s a month’s worth of water. I was connected with the manager, who informed me that I was issued the violation primarily because there were “several complaints” about my water bottles “blowing over and rolling down the hallways very noisily” and neighbors were having to “round them up” for me.
I like to consider myself a lady, but I have to quote my father here and cry, “Horseshit!” Total, utter nonsense. And I told her so. I said, “I’m happy to comply with your policies if that is the case. It’s not the most convenient thing, but if that’s your rule, that’s how it goes. However, I can tell you with about 99.9% accuracy that those ‘reports’ are hogwash. I am home all day, every day and my desk is right on the other side of the ice cube glass window/wall from those bottles. I sit right there. If there were anything blowing anywhere, especially noisily, I would have heard it. If there were someone out there rounding up my anything, I would have seen them. I know you can’t tell me who it is, nor do I really want you to, but if it’s the neighbors across the hall, I have an idea of what this is about. “ Then I briefly recapped the interaction on the 4th of July.
She told me I can store the bottles on my patio and I, as obviously retaliatory as it was, informed the management that “if we’re going to go there”, then the neighbors across the hall aren’t exactly angels, rummaging around in their storage unit (in the common area of the hallway) loudly at 1am every night. I also mentioned the constant stream people going in and out of their apartment loudly (which is directly across from the ‘ice cube glass’ wall, so I’m constantly distracted by it), multiple times, at all hours of the day from dawn until midnight, causing me to speculate how many people actually live there. I also mentioned that their guests occasionally peer in my glass wall/window, sometimes even putting their hands up to block the side glare. Into my apartment! They can’t see anything, even with the lights on, except shapes, but I feel kind of skeeved by that! I told her that other than that one interaction, I’d never spoken with them and didn’t want to start a feud with my neighbors, but that I wouldn’t stand for fabrications and again, “if we’re going to go there”, then I would also no longer stand for morons peering into my apartment.
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Saturday, July 4th, 2009
So I was just climbing the stairs to my apartment and while on the second landing, I heard a bunch of people coming down from the third floor, where I was heading. I paused politely to wait for them to come down so there wouldn’t be a traffic jam.
I hear them talking and one of the women says REALLY snidely, “Oh my GOD, someone keeps their water bottles on their front porch? How TACKY!”, then they all start filing down the stairs. When they see me, they all say excuse me cordially and one woman was extra sweet — Texas style. Meaning, covered in bullshit, bless her heart.
I smiled back and said jovially, “Oh, it’s no problem. I’m just the woman with the tacky water bottles on her porch.”
They looked uncomfortable and kept walking. But at the bottom of the stairs, I heard one of the women exclaim, “I am SO embarrassed.”
Good, lady. If you’re going to talk shit, keep your voice down or be prepared to be called on it. They’re 5 gallon bottles of delivered spring water, where do you suggest I keep them? Those capris you’re sporting are tacky, but you don’t hear me complaining.
I feel a little bad for firing back and embarrassing her in front of her friends — I could have let it go. But… I didn’t.
No high road for me today I guess. Given the expression on their faces, the low road is more scenic.