Friday, May 30, 2008

Crash bang boom

Fellow blogger Lena made an excellent point yesterday that everyone’s music sucks when blasted into the general atmosphere, thereby disturbing drivers, pedestrians, homeowners, children, old people and pets.

She’s right. I don’t care if you’re playing my absolute favorite musician or my absolute favorite song. If I can still hear it and feel it from more than 20 feet away, you should be shaved, sterilized and destroyed, after your sound system is shot full of holes and then set on fire.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love music. Been jamming to it since my tenure in the womb. No shit. Mom has this great story about how I was kicking to the beat when Dad put on his Stones records. Been hooked ever since. Was an addict to radio; AM in the 70s, FM in the 80s. I don’t think I got any sleep from 1982 to 1987 because of MTV. That of course was back in the day when they played music videos and not some insipid programs about overly rich 20-somethings or has-been celebrities stuck in a house together.

I’m on my third iPod that’s filled with nearly 9000 songs and over 330 music videos. iTunes, Amazon and ear-X-tacy get a LOT of my money. Plus I’m constantly finding some oddball, out-of-production musical gems scattered around the net. So I have a lot of weird stuff on there.

I listen to it in the car, at home and at work. But I have a rule that if EVER something really awful, disturbing or unpleasant comes outta that thing, all someone has to do is speak up and I will gladly turn it down and/or skip ahead to the next song. I do NOT want to become a nuisance like the punk-ass troglodytes and their boom cars.

Ever since I moved out on my own I’ve had to deal with the stereo morons. Every apartment, every house, I’ve had to complain to someone about their fucking stereo blaring thru the floor, the ceiling, the wall or rattling the building off its foundation.

I was hoping that would stop once the Spouse and I bought our house in a nice, respectable neighborhood. And for the past 3 or so years it’s been peaceful. Until yesterday.

About a year ago some people moved into a house on the corner of our street. All seemed quiet until a few month ago when there seemed to be an increase in traffic and the number of vehicles parked in their driveway and in front of their house. My paranoia kicked in and I’ve been watching the activity down there. And that’s when I noticed to boom cars. Up until now, the cars would turn the boom down as they entered the street. And I can live with that.

But last night about 8 the Spouse and I were parked on the couch, reading our respective books when the booming started: BOOM da da boom. BOOM da da boom. In my head I sighed and trying to relax and stay focused on my reading while taking quick glances outside to see what was going on down there. There were four cars currently parked, one of which is a junker that never leaves. The second was a truck I had never seen before and a teen boy standing on the driver’s side talking to someone inside. The other two cars are in the driveway, one of which has its trunk and doors open.

Fuck. Great. Somebody down there has decided to serenade the entire neighborhood with their personal selection of melodies about bangin’ ho’s and poppin’ bro’s.

It wasn’t that loud. I mean no one is on the street, shaking their fist and yelling. The neighborhood Scooter Brigade of children are playing nonchalantly. The houses aren’t rattling off their foundation. But I can still hear it. And feel it.

Fifteen minutes pass and I’ve barely read a page. I get up and go to the bathroom. Even with the door closed I can still hear it. Fuck. I go to the office and sit in front of the iMac to check email. I can still hear it. Damn. I go back to the living room and try to read again. And I can still hear it. It’s now been going on for 45 minutes when I snap.

“All right. That’s it.” I storm off to the bedroom to grab some shoes and while I’m back there I can still hear it. That just adds fuel to my growing anger inferno. As I charge by the Spouse on my way out the front door I say, “Keep a look out and make sure I don’t get my ass shot while I’m down there.”

I blast across the front yard and onto the street. Two little girls from the Scooter Brigade see me and yell, “Hi! Hey, where are you going?” I didn’t even answer. My radar turns on as I stomp towards the guilty house and quickly deduces that the noise is not coming from the truck with the teenager standing next to it, but instead focuses in on the car with the open trunk and doors. Standing next to the car is an older lady talking to a pair of legs sticking out of the trunk.

I am now rethinking my action as I see the sweet, grandmotherly face of the woman. I’m starting to feel ever so slightly stupid.

“Excuse me, but could yall turn that down just a smidge? We can hear it down the street,” I say in my most pleasant voice with a smile on my face.

She looks at me and then calls to the legs sticking out of the trunk. I’m expecting another teenager, an obnoxious one at that. Instead I get a kindly, older man with a smiling face emerging from the trunk.

As they couple explain that they’re working on the car and are very friendly and polite about turning it down, I now feel like a fool. I’m trying my best to smile and act like it’s nothing major. My anger has cooled to the temp of your average Otter Pop®. We all smile as he agrees to turn it down and I thank him profusely. I quickly walk back to our house, much to the amusement of the two Scooter Brigade girls. One of them shouts, “Wow! You sure do walk fast!” I smile, say ‘thank you’ and dart back in the house.

The Spouse is happy I didn’t get my ass shot off.

I sat on the floor and said, “Well, that’s taken care of.” Then I proceeded to tell him all about the nice older couple who live there, and how friendly and pleasant they were, and how they’ve instructed their kids to turn the music down or off when they come home. And how stupid I feel for blowing up over it when it wasn’t anything like what I thought it was going to be.

But the Spouse was supportive and understanding, even if I have become the ‘crazy lady down the street who hates loud music.’ And at least the neighborhood was quiet for the rest of the night.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Things have FINALLY calmed down at work. For the past three weeks I’ve been driven completely batshit crazy by an unusual overflow of work, not to mention constantly harassed by the sales gurus needing their stuff NOW.

Needless to say, I’ve been in a very fowl mood. Alcohol helps, but not always. Whoever created that crazy rule about not drinking at work obviously NEVER worked in printing. But I digress...

I’m enjoying being able to breathe at a normal rate, not having to prairie dog and hide every time I see a sales slug approaching my desk, and getting more than one bathroom break a day. My day was further brightened when I received one of those silly little surveys from Nicograph. It’s brainless, it’s a waste of time, and it gives me a chances to blather about myself.

Four places that I go over and over:

Barnes & Noble - The Spouse and I call it “book therapy.” I could stay in there for days.

Book & Music Exchange - A great little local used shop that carries books, videos, DVDs and videos games. The guys who work there are a riot

Work - Da job. 5 days a week.

Gatlinburg - A once a year thing. We have our favorite shops, favorite restaurant (Best Italian) and even our favorite hotel. We already have our room reserved for next year.

Four of my favorite places to eat:

Shogun - It’s sushi and it’s closer to our house than Sapporo. And the sushi bar guys know us very well.

Ramsi's - Wonderful international food. Haven’t found anything on the menu I don’t like.

Panera - Not your ordinary soup-and-sandwich place. They have some tasty goods in the bakery and a broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl to die for.

Vietnam Kitchen - One of Loserville’s best kept secrets. It’s practically a hole in the wall with maybe a dozen tables. Delicious food. You know it’s good when the local Vietnamese frequent the place.

Four places I would rather be right now:

On my deck - Now that the weather has finally warmed up I’ve been taking full advantage of the patio table, chairs and umbrella. This holiday weekend I spent nearly all three days our there with a drink in one hand and a book in the other. And, dare I say, I actually got a little color on my normally pasty flesh.

Barnes & Noble - As mentioned before, book therapy is always good for the soul.

At the sushi bar at Shogun - I could eat sushi every day and never get tired of it.

On a cruise ship to anywhere - I don’t care it was Hawaii or Alaska, the Caribbean or Europe. I would so love to feel the waves gently rock the ship as we ventured to some exotic place.

Four TV shows I watch all the time:

Ghost Hunters - Yall know how much I love spooky shit. The entire world must come to a halt when a new episode airs. I love the show so much I already have the book.

Dirty Jobs - The Spouse suspects I have a crush on Mike Rowe (he does have a nice voice) but I really do love watching that poor slob deal with some of the most god-awful, gross, vomit-inducing situations.

UFC Fight Night - As mentioned in a previous blog, I’m hooked on watching to men beat the living shit out of each other. And, forgive me, I recently bought a Tapout shirt while in Gatlinburg.

HBO Boxing After Dark - See above. This has become a Saturday night ritual. If a Saturday goes by without a fight, the Spouse and I are depressed.

So, what are YOUR fours?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stay tuned for this important announcement

Just to let everyone know, I am not joining any more membership websites (I.E. WAYN, Facebook, LouisvilleMojo, etc.) I am here and on MySpace and that's it. No more.

I am not joining any forums, no matter how cool the website or who operates it.

I am not adding any quiz applications to my profile, here or at MySpace, nor am I buying anybody as a pet. Nor do I care "how much I am worth" or "how much you are worth."

I do not do any form of online chat (I.E. iChat, AOL Messenger, MySpace Chat, etc.) so don't bother with the invites.

No offense to anyone who wants to do that stuff on their own, and no offense to those who have sent me various invites to do so.

I'm just tired of getting inundated with spam from all these unnecessary websites and other silly doo dads.

If you wish to contact me, you can do so here or via MySpace. If you're looking for my email, it's VERY easy to find (pretend you want to volunteer at my Haunted House, visit their website - in the column on the right - and look for the contact info).

Thank you for your time. Carry on...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Danger: Radioactive Toxic Waste

The Spouse and I grumble a lot about getting older. We find ourselves saying, “It sucks getting old” a lot. And it does. The body aches, the loss of energy, the greying hair, the weight gain... *heavy sigh*

But, there are some benefits to getting old (besides cheaper car insurance). The main one, I feel, is not having to deal with “high school drama.” You remember the crap that used to go on when you were in high school and college? Fighting about who you can be friends with, what guy/girl you’re allowed to date, what clothes your social group wants you to wear, and the ever-popular two girls fighting over the same guy (or vice versa).

I was so glad when I got out of high school and was able to leave all that behind. But even in my late 30s I’m amazed at the number of people around me who are old enough to know better who still are playing these stupid games and behaving like they’re 15. And we’re talking a wide array of people: close friends, not-so-close friends, acquaintances, co-workers... *another heavy sigh*

The problem is that I sometimes get pulled into this shit. I do my best to stay away from toxic people like this but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Maybe I’m gifted in that my intuition is better than everybody else. I seem to be able to spot ‘problem people’ and can avoid any attachment to them by simply ducking out.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be flashing red lights and warning bells, but my “creep” and “bad news” radars work fanastic. I can see something wonky about someone and then consciously make the decision not to get any closer. I don’t want to reach out and help. I don’t want to be a hero and fix their problem. I don’t need closure or any kind of finality. I just smile and walk away. Quickly. I pride myself on the fact that I’ve never been in abusive relationship and have exited toxic, codependent friendships quickly with little or no damage.

In the past few months I’ve watched certain people (and ‘people’ is very plural here) do the dumbest shit and get themselves in the worst situations. I read about it in their blogs, I hear about it in their phone calls, I watch it happen at work, out in public and at various social gatherings. I feel like a parent watching their child spiral down, wanting so badly to just shake the hell out of them while shouting, “What the hell are you doing?! What are ya, STUPID?!”

How come I can see disaster coming and they can’t? *yet another heavy sigh*

I’m not perfect, nor do I have a perfect life. I have trauma and stress just like anybody. I just do my best not to drag people down into my pit of despair. And I try not to stay down there too long and have to rely on people to come to my rescue. I do not elaborate about my personal problems on the web, on late-night phone calls or to total strangers I meet in public. That’s private, it’s none of your business, so go away.

Some people seem to thrive on bad news, and they want everybody to know about it. Maybe it’s the only exciting thing in their life. But FUCK... the constant negativity gets OLD after a while. Hearing the same bad news over and over and over...

So, needless to say, I’m staying away from these people. I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to get pulled into something that’s gonna leave me covered in the same radioactive muck that these poor boneheads keep stirring up.

Speaking of high school, I have a 20 year reunion coming up next month. Now I went to my 10th and had a good time. I didn’t go to reunite with old friends. I went to thumb my nose at them and say, “See? You DIDN’T keep me down, assholes.” The only people I graduated with that I care about are WasabiJohn and AmandaJo. The rest of them can go suck eggs. Seriously. High school was traumatic for me. Those naive bastards that always say, “These are the best years of your life” are fucking morons who didn’t live past 20.

At first I wanted to go, but I’ve been really thinking about it. Do I REALLY want to go? There isn’t anybody there I want to see. I get to see WasabiJohn and AmandaJo whenever I want. I don’t need this particular social event to do it.

Granted, all those people are 20 years older and hopefully not the same snobby little shits they were back then. But still, do I really want to see them again? For what purpose?

I think I’ll pass (unless WasabiJohn or AmandaJo talks me into it). I seem to have plenty of toxic situations I’m successfully avoiding. I don’t need any more.