Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things that make ya go hmmmm....

On the form at the gynecologist

Check one:
male or female


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tales from the 'Hood: The Parking Space

I live in a townhouse community. We have a "U" shaped court with 18 townshouses in 3rows. Each house has 2 parking spaces. Due to the fact that we each have 2 spaces and there is only parking along 2 sides of the court, each house's spaces are not directly in front of the house they go with. Each parking space is numbered matching the house numbers - for example house #3225 has 2 parking spaces each numbered 3225. So therefore one would think that it would be quite easy to ascertain where one should park and where one shouldn't park. Not exactly.

My next door neighbors are from Yemen. They have 11 children. They always have visitors of one kind or another. My parking spaces are directly in front of their house. More specifically my "left" space, which is the one I always park in, is most directly in front of their house.

When I moved into the neighborhood almost 6 years ago to the day, we had some issues with their guests parking in my spot. Although it was never more than 1 car, it was always the spot on the left - there was a place for me to park, but it wasn't my spot. At 1st I let it go. I mean I could park and I wanted to be neighborly.

About 3 years ago I kept my mom's purple Volvo while my parents sowed their wild oats in the RV, which meant that I had 2 cars and needed both spots. All the sudden there were always cars parked in my space. At least once a week, sometimes twice. At first I was nice. I would go over and knock and ask them to move the car, which they always did, with apologies. When I continued to find cars in my spot I started getting angry. I attempted to explain that I had 2 cars and that under no circumstances should they allow their guests to park in my spot. I continued to find cars in my spot.

One day I came home and found a car in my spot and that was it. I'd had it. I parked them in and went into my house in search of the phone number for the towing company. Being as the spots are rightfully mine it is well within my rights to have a car towed. I glanced out the window to see one of the older girls and the guest standing outside baffled as to who might have parked them in. I went out and had a few words with them. Let's just say that wasn't a conversation for the children. I moved my car and allowed her out, after I'd been called a bitch several times.

The parking in my spot has declined since then, however I'm sad to say that it still continues, although not as frequently, I find someone there maybe 8-10 times a year and most of the time they move the car quickly when they see me coming or I just don't say anything, because obviously asking them not to park in my spot doesn't work.

This evening I returned home at 11pm after a fun evening celebrating Susan's birthday, and found a mini van parked in my left spot. My spot. There was a spot for me on the right, however, they were in my spot and I have asked so many times that they not park there that I was pissed.

I went in the house and wrote a nasty note to put on the car. As I was heading out to put the note on the car the neighbors were heading out of their house. They started with the apologies. I started with the angry words. I mean really, they seem to think that they can just use my spot whenever they want and just apologize it away? Oh and BTW not once have they ASKED me to use my spot, if they asked I'd prob say "sure" - other neighbors have used it and they have all asked - one even wrote a note and stuck it in the door when I wasn't home, I didn't care. I'm happy to share, just ask, realize that it's not yours to use at whim. Anyway, I lit into them about how we have been over this a thousand times and what part exactly of "DON'T PARK HERE" is confusing?

I then turned and walked to the mailbox to get my mail and the father followed me, again with the apologizes. I suggested that maybe he stop apologizing and not allow his guests to park in my spots. I explained that there is PLENTY of guest parking (really there is - a whole street where anyone can park, less than a block away, and it's very safe), and that when the rest of us have guests, that's where they park. I also suggested that he ask before he allow his guests to use my spot. He then launches into a whole sob story about how his son has hurt his back and just came from the hospital and yada yada yada. I didn't even care. Hospital or not, the rule is still don't park in my spot, or if you do, move the car fast (ie before I get home and find it) - I understand if they were getting him in the house etc, but they have so many people around all the time there's no reason they couldn't have moved the car as soon as the injured person was out.

As I'm yelling at the father the owner of the car drives up and tries the apology thing and says that it was her fault. I explained that it was in no way her fault, that it was their (I motioned over to the owner of the house) fault because they don't ask their guests to park in the appropriate guest spots.

I then stopped talking and walked back to my house, ignoring their many attempts to apologize.

I'm probably overreacting. It's the fact that they give me the impression that they think my spot is theirs because it's right in front of their house and no matter how much asking, yelling and threatening to tow* I do they just continue to do as they please and have seem to have no respect for my spot, my asking, or the general community rules. Maybe next time I have guests I'll have them park in their spots and see if they like how that feels?

*I'd be happy to have their car towed, however they always seem to see me park and come out (despite the fact that all their windows are covered b/c the women can't be seen w/o their head coverings) and if I called the towing company the car would be gone by the time they got there. I'm thinking that next time I'll pull my car out to the main road and then call on my cell that way they won't see me. I'd hate for it to come to that, but they just aren't getting the message.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Daisy Wants....

Daisy gets.....

Daisy Mae has taken a liking to sleeping in my wingback armchair. It used to be when I wasn't home but now she'll try and hop in anytime. Even to the point of being peeved with me when I sit there. She'll pace and sniff and try every angle to get in and then walks away perturbed that she has to sleep on the floor. Nevermind that the couch is right there and she used to sleep there all the time, but doesn't like it anymore.

I decided that I was sick of having Daisy sleep in my chair - it's got a slip cover on it that is getting really grungy from constant use and the dog only makes it grungier - so I thought I'd pile up some stuff in the chair to keep her out. This morning I put my cross stitch basket in the chair, my wheeled "reading table" in front and the crammed the ottoman in front. I figured this was sufficient for an ancient blind dog. I figured's what I cam home to.....

Remember that she is blind....can't see a did she ever wedge herself in here?

Tales From the 'Hood: New Concrete

Yesterday there were work crews in my court replacing cracked and damaged portions of the sidewalk, leaving a number of squares of wet concrete to dry on a surprisingly un-humid day.

Last night, around 7:30, I stepped out to retrieve my dog, who had escaped yet again through the fence that doesn't quite close tight and the lawn-boys always leave a little open, and I saw 2 of my neighbors contemplating the new sidewalk square.

I said: Checking out the new sidewalk huh? and my neighbor replied: "Did you see what my son did?" And she pointed to some barely visible writing at the top of the square (by where the sidewalk meets the yard of the house in front - where her son had carefully etched his name and the date into the fresh concrete.

I chuckled and allowed as to how I'd considered writing something in the wet concrete myself! She says that her son did this once when he was 4 and now he's going to college and he is still doing it and tells me how mad she and her husband are.

I said that I thought there were way worse things and really a name etched in the pavement gave it character. She was stunned, and I think a little peeved that I wasn't upset about this. I then added that now every time I head out I'll see her sons name and think about him, I might even say a little prayer that all is going well for him in college (she is one of those scary "you are going to h*ll if you miss a Sunday at church, prayer (something good) can't possibly come of something this heinous" Christian, so I know that comment peeved her, which was my goal). She seemed flabbergasted that defacement of public property didn't bother me at all.

I left her to her anger and went to drag my dog home. Being extra careful to make sure she didn't step on the new concrete!

As I walked away I thought....
First of all, he ain't the sharpest tool in the shed - if you are going to vandalize something (and admittedly writing in wet concrete is vandalism) DO NOT write your name!!!! HELLO!!!!! A heart, a peace sign, a smiley face, all would have gotten the job done w/o drawing any attention to yourself, unless someone saw you, and even then you could deny it.

2nd - lighten up people! If this is the worst thing this 18 year ever does (and that's how the parents were acting) consider yourself lucky. I mean etching ones name in small letters in new concrete is hardly a punishable sin considering all the other trouble an 18 year old college bound kid could get into!

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's The Muppet Show, or why Facebook Rocks my World

About 3, maybe 4, weeks ago my good friend Consuelo invited me to join Facebook. I'd been on MySpace for years and hadn't ever considered Facebook, but ok, sounded good, I'll sign up. Turns out there are a lot of people I know on Facebook and it's way, way better than MySpace! I think I have close to 60 friends on Facebook, one of them is Matthew Stensrud, one of the kids I worked with in Oklahoma. Matthew was always one of my favorites (and I'm not just saying that because he'll likely read this either...) and so I was thrilled to re-re-connect (We'd found each other a few years back on MySpace), but I was even more thrilled to hear that Matthew was working in DC for the summer!

After dodging all of our committments, which was a challenge b/c we are both busy folks, we met up this evening to visit the Jim Henson Muppet Exhibt at the International Gallery and grab a bite to eat with Matthew's boyfriend, Michael.

Matthew and I met at the Smithsonian Metro - how amazing to see him all grown up! I think the last time I saw him he was maybe 13? Middle school or early high school, we can't remember. Now he's 21, taller than I am, but the same fun, funny, caring, sensitive, intelligent Matthew! It was so wonderful to see him! :)

We had about a million things to talk about as we headed into the museum, to see the traveling exhibt all about Jim Henson's Muppets and how they came to be. The exhibit was pretty good - they had a few of the actual muppet puppets on display - Rowlf the Dog, Bert and Ernie, one of the Kermits. Jim Henson's work is pretty amazing when you look at all the techincal and creative thinking that went into it.

After we finished persusing the Muppets, we walked a few blocks (it was a stunningly beautiful day - barely 80 degrees and no humidity - a near miracle for August in Washington DC) to a cute little pizza place for happy hour deals! Along the way Matthew and I had a chance to get all caught up on what's happening with the other "kids" back home, what his plans are and life in general! It's hard to get my brain around the fact that all these kids who were in elementary school are now getting ready to graduate from high school! They have jobs and drive cars and all that stuff! Of course I haven't aged a bit!

We met up with Michael, who is a great young man, and had pizza, drinks, and discussion at a little pizza/bar somewhere in DC (I just followed Matthew!) It was so great to meet Michael and I enjoyed talking Olympics and light politics!

All too soon it was time to hop back on the metro and head home, unfortuently Matthew and Michael are heading back to Ohio on Saturday, but hopefully we'll get together again soon! :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Yummy Cake!

You Are an Ice Cream Cake

Surprising, unique, and high maintenance.

You're one of a kind, and you don't want anyone to forget it.

You're fun in small doses, but it's easy for people to overdose on you!