Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Noise Complacency

Oy oy. Here comes a mildly passive aggressive post. 

Our new neighbors below are in their own little noisy world. Loud music will emerge at 2am, 3am, 5am, etc. We've gone down and asked them politely if they could turn it down. And we're greeted with a bunch of stoned, befuddled dudes who say they'll take care of it. The thing is a girl lives there and we've yet to see more than slight glimpses of her in the hallway or poking her head out of her room. She sends her dudes  to do her bidding and answer the door. The queen bee she is. 

The other weekend we went down during the late Sunday afternoon to have a cordial conversation with the girl about the trend in late night noises. We could hear her and friends there in the front living room. We knocked loud enough but they did not answer. 

Last night we were awoken at 2am to loud bass thumping beneath our head. I tried ear plugs. It didn't work. My girlfriend was quick to get up and go down to ask them to lower the volume. She went down through the back sun porch area. A dude stoned out of his mind took a good minute to realize she was addressing him. Some other dudes were in the kitchen arguing loudly about who loved the song that was playing more. She finally got through, the dudes were confused, and the elusive girl tenant could be seen walking down the hall, into the bedroom, and the music was lowered. Not two minutes after my girlfriend came back up the music was back to booming. Down we went again. The mocked us that we were just down there. After we came back up we could obviously raised voices proclaiming that we must be "Iowa. No, no, I wouldn't give them the decency of being from Iowa, they must be from Nebraska! Where do you find these people?!! It's my birthday!!!! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!" The taunting continued from these belligerent dudes. I called the police. Then I heard more belligerence from the back sun porch area "what's wrong with 4 guys drinking Coors Light. Oooo. Scary! Who the fuck calls the police!" Well, we, sir, call the police when you are incapable of being reasoned with. My adrenaline was rushing. I had to hold myself back from running with the "fight" response that was brewing. I finally drifted off to a quick dream where one of the dudes was down there celebrating Christmas with his parents in October. He got a new electric guitar with a swiveling neck to do some serious bending riffs.

As far as we know, and as far the landlord knows, it's one girl that lives there. I'm pretty sure these dudes are her hipster, unemployed friends crashing at her pad, looking for a constant party. Because they oh so represent the freedom of this generation. I wish them the very worst hangover of their lives this morning. The kind that aches the bones and laps nausea through every cell, sucking it dry. The thing is I understand a little noise. That's not necessarily the problem. Well it is in redundant trend. But the outright mockery and disrespect of us like were that lame old couple killing the party on the block pissed me the #$%^ off. We've tried being good guys, reasonable, flexible, and their behavior is now forcing some new tactics of serious confrontation on our part. In all honesty this is one of the reasons we left Wrigleyville, to get away from this douchebaggery. 

But this all reminds me of a time when I had just turned 21 and my roommate and I would often drink to the point of obnoxious revelry and we often roused the wrath of our upstairs neighbor who was a flight attendant. We always viewed her as being this big old bitch. The red headed bitch is what we referred to her as. But really, especially now with the perspective of being in the working world and having to get up in the mornings, we were in the wrong. We were the little bitches. There's this tendency among the loud and drunk to cast aspersions on whomever asks them to quiet down as though they are utter bitches and assholes. 

There is a point of view on everything. 

In my senior in college one of my roommates would often bring back a bunch of buddies from the bar at 4am. I would awake and have to pee. But after a couple of times stepping out and dealing with these fellas, and the bathroom lines, I took too pissing in a Vitamin Water bottle lying on the floor, capping, and disposing of in the morning. I would try to stock pile empties. If lacked any, I would exit the back door of my room which led out to the garage and little driveway below the train tracks to piss away. I did this because I wanted to avoid very unreasonable people and did not want to continually step out into the sudden and be launched into the appearance of a grumpy, party-pooping nerd. Even if I was only getting up to pee. My groggy eyes were all too telling of a presence at the mid week party. 

There's this tendency among the loud and drunk to cast aspersions on whomever asks them to quiet down as though they are utter bitches and assholes. And I feel bad that I had ever once adopted such an opinion. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Feigned Ghost

We recently moved into a new apartment on the cusp of Logan Square and Avondale. The building I live in has been around since 1907, rehabbed in 1999 with all of the original wood work. As a ghost enthusiast I was half hoping it would be haunted with friendly spirits. But didn't experience anything. Friends of mine at my house warming party tried to convince me they thought it was haunted. They kept hearing some creaking. But you know, old buildings shift and settle with movement. Easily debunked. 

Until lately... I was mighty hung over last sunday and my eyes were playing tricks on me as they were adjusting to the dark at bedtime. I thought I saw some vapor drift into the room and hover over me as I drifted quickly off to sleep. 

I woke up Monday morning and thought I heard an old lady's voice in my room but my girlfriend was in the shower. Maybe it was just a deflected murmur from the floor below. 

We've been seeing shadow cats. Movements of shadow playing, like "Shadow People", but of cats. We've been feeling an animal jump up on the bed but find that our cat is still licking itself in the other room. 

Coming back from putting my laundry in the dryer I assumed my girlfriend was still taking a nap in the bedroom. I had to use the lavatory so walked right up to it and opened the door. Heard a quick startled moan and saw a lady sitting there on the john... 

It was my girlfriend. She had got up from her nap. Yet my heart was still beating the fuck out of my chest as I had bee-Jesus out my barrel chested body hive. And so there really is no tangible phantom happening here. Just mind playing tricks. The grass is greener on the other side. Actually having a ghost would most likely be bothersome.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

RPG of a Post World Order

Yesterday during my commute home from work I smelled smoke. I thought perhaps a building was on a fire and I look around yet saw no plumes. Must have been a barbeque. Down I went into the subterraneae of the subway and waited for Blue Line at Chicago. It arrived, for once there was room on a rush hour train and I got on the train. Then the smell of an electrical fire became an intense stimuli to everyone and the the conductor announced for everyone to get off of the train. A mass of people streamed out into the gathering smoke and up we went, unhappy, gasping, a hipster had a hissy fit, and we all split into different groups waiting at the nearest bus stop. I called my girlfriend and luckily caught her during her drive home and convinced her to pick me up. Whenever I read about Congress not getting along, and European debt problems, I feel a pseudo glee that the status quo of the money world is going to be disrupted and we will be living in a world similar to the post apocalyptic RPGs of our childhood. There's something exciting in that right? Something dangerous. Something fresh for all of us. Because then an IPO will not have any more power than an animal or a volcano. But then I think about my cat. Transporting him from tent town to tent town in the woods would certainly rouse panic beneath his soft fur. Desperate, hungry people might try to eat him. I'd try my best to protect him, to make him understand and to talk strategy with him. He might become curious of the outdoors and get lost, scratching his way out of the canvas sheathe at our camp. Then the fantasy becomes less a game and the dire concerns that come with fatherhood to any degree are churned. I still can't believe no one has found a real solution to the economy. Perhaps if we laid it all out, all of the criss-crossed problems of world community, into and RPG game and gave it to an enthusiastic fat kid to play all day we would come out the better, into the bright euphoria of a successful revolution.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Stick in the Mouth

I've seen a lot of dogs as of late trotting around with sticks in their mouth. Many different dogs. I likes seeing the psyched quality in their eyes. They truly like their possession.  It makes me happy to see the ease and joyful step the stick stimulates.

Yesterday a colleague told me about a bleeding injury they had. I tried to be charismatic and listen and make him feel important but the detail made me shudder and squirm a bit on the inner. It made me think about what my blood may have been doing in and around my liver the morning prior after an evening of Bushmills and a variety of beers.

I read article yesterday in the Washington Post about the economic ramifications if everyone quit smoking. The drop in revenue from cigarette excise tax would wreck state governments. But perhaps would trigger growth in other industries as serious smokers would have ten to twenty extra bucks in the wallet daily, and most likely with an increased appetite. Restauranteers would smile and count their blessings. People that get on buses with their cigarette butts stubbed out still stink up the place even though it's not smoldering smoke. I wish they would stop, but I'm not very ballsy in picking fights on such a thing. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Suns, Double Daytime

I read this article yesterday about a planet that orbits two stars. I felt a quick wooshy de-ja-vu type feeling when I imagined what it would be like to experience the throws and refractions of light on that planet's sky from the rays of two suns. What would evening be like, where in our experience, light fades the horizon. But what if light faded back cancelling out that spread of dusk. The contrast of darkness when rotated on the dark side of two suns must be a harsh contrast, like an angry desert that bites the the marrow with chilly.

Sunscreen won't help you here during double day time. I hope their ozone is in good shape and every industry there went green a long long time ago.

I had another space dream last night. The view of Earth was refreshing. Dark cool blue, on the dark side of the planet. Quiet. I floated. A good dream to have.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Self Centered Sweat-shine

Last night I dreamt that I was in High School. I was trying to be a big shot on the baseball team. I had a handicapped friend with severe cerebral palsy whom I was responsible for helping get around the school. In order to go to the baseball tryout I had to leave my handicapped friend in the locker room all by himself. I had to put him in a closet room to make space. I came back after the tryouts to find him missing. After panicking, the coach startled me as he emerged from a side closet within the closet. He reamed me for leaving my friend abandoned. He assured me that he was in a safe place, but he desired to teach me a lesson and that I needed to reach new moral grounds before he would have me a star on his team.

I awoke drenched in sweat despite the AC on full blast.

This morning on the bus an old lady got on, swiped her card. It flashed an insufficient value and the bus driver tried calling her back. The old lady waddled to her seat. The driver called over that she still owed a dollar on her fare. The old lady didn't hear. Finally the driver got the old lady's attention and she rose to swipe her card again only to be badgered by the bus driver. I searched my wallet for bills to help her out of this demeaning situation but had no bills. A lady sitting near the old lady retrieved a wallet to help the old lady but the bus driver told her not to because the old lady just didn't want to pay and didn't deserve the help. The old lady wound up riding without being forced to pay the dollar but certainly had to persevere death glances from the driver. I felt the bus driver's attitude unnecessary but didn't have the guts myself to tell her to knock it off.

Monday, September 12, 2011

28 Years Kicking out My Feet

It has been a bit since I've last posted. August was a wild month featuring a trip to Minnesota, a summer cold, a handful of live sketch shows with Wood Sugars, packing up the old apartment, moving into a new one, and celebrating yet another year alive and healthy. I haven't written a damn thing in a month, and I've gotten antsy. The novel is back in revision stages, some short stories are set in motion. My energy is back up to par for daily demands after rough little kick in the calves. All through August I felt a sense of gleeful complacency knowing that my girlfriend had some extra money and had booked some movers. My first time with that, have always bribed friends with pizza and beer to help us move shit in and out of a rented U-Haul. Which had always worked well despite having lots of shit, but we figured maybe we're getting too old to expect that sort of favor. So psyched for the movers we were, everything ready in boxes, cat locked in one of the now empty bedrooms with his litter box, food, water. Everything cleaned so it would be an easy empty and returning of the keys on August 31st, the last day of our lease. 

But then the movers did not show up. They were due between 5-6pm. At 6:05pm we called to see an ETA, assuming they were just running late. Traffic can sometimes throw curve balls. No one answered. We tried again. No answer. No call from them. The patterned ensued until about 7:40pm when we lost faith that they would show. Desperation flared, here we had all of this stuff, some big furniture pieces, and the lease soon to expire. U-Haul had no availability until  10am the following morning as August 31st is one of the biggest moving days of the year. Using my BlackBerry we found a moving company on Craigslist that was hoping to put our anxieties at ease. The guy manning the phone called out to a crew finishing a job to see if they didn't mind an extra gig. They were game. But there was some mis-communication between the amount of stuff we had and a fairly small truck was sent, along with three guys. We had asked for three. Half of our stuff was loaded up before the main guy realized they wouldn't have enough room, then he started to panic about time. Even though we asked for three hours he now wanted to be done in 1.5hrs. So ultimately they only helped us move our big furniture, and milked us out of a lot of money. My girlfriend and I made trips in her four door sedan, filling up all available space to transport everything else, back and forth. We wrapped this about 5:45am. I got 30 min of sleep, she got 10 min before the next work day. My body barely held itself through the next day after what was essentially an all nighter, with physical exertion on a muggy summer day. One of those experiences that reminds you to work out more prior to such an activity. But we had expected the moving company we had hired to show up! Even after confirmation the prior day! We were quite aghast at the gall of them not even calling, we certainly understand shit comes up, but communication is what separates the professional from the piss poor mother fuckers. Allstate Movers dropped the ball. When we got a hold of them the next day (we had left several messages and didn't even receive a return call the next morning) they acted surprised that we didn't receive our service. The receptionist then said one of their drivers had a seizure, which is terrible and I feel for him, but still, could they not have called to alert their clients? She was going to speak to her manager. We still have not heard from them. I wrote them a 1 star Yelp Review. So had 3 other people on the 1st of Sept, to vent them same thing happening to them on August 31st with a No Call/No Show from Allstate Movers. But Yelp has filtered all of reviews. Perhaps because there were so many on one day and it flagged it as perhaps one person really trying to ruin a company. In this harsh economic climate I wish all small businesses success, but Allstate Movers needs to close business because they have proved unable to deliver the service they advertise and have no problem leaving you hanging. 

I will end my rant with mention of one of the repercussions. Since we didn't have the 22 ft truck we required, we didn't have room to bring my bicycle. So I had to lock it up across the street on a bike rack, outside of a well lit condo building. Both a U-Lock secured the frame and front tire to the rack, and a chain wrapped through securing frame and both sets of tires. When I went to retrieve it a few days later to ride it home, it was gone. Someone had apparently picked the U-Lock. If you see someone riding a black Jamis Commuter 1, feel free to tackle and question. 

So the week covering my 28th birthday had a rough patch, a test of patience and stamina towards bullshit. But the good news is I am moved into a new apartment and I love it. The building has been around since 1907 and has all of the original woodwork, although refinished in 1999 to keep it all nice looking. No ghosts yet, you would think perhaps an old building in Chicago might have a few spectres but it's a peaceful parlour. I also got to see Pearl Jam at the PJ20 event at Alpine Valley Wisconsin. Despite rain on that Saturday I enjoyed the rock and roll, Eddie Vedder's wine infused melodic grunting and Chris Cornell's special appearance. I have come to love the music of Liam Finn. And I still found burrs on my shoes the next morning after stepping up to be my brother's friends designated driver, hopping fences and ditches to find his car parked in some remote lot, a marshy field in Wisconsin. I was crabby during the field romp as I was still sleep deprived from the moving fiasco, but the next day I appreciated the opportunity of running around under a faint cloud covered moon in rural lands. We all need the fresh air and dark night to boot sometimes. 

So 28 has given me a kick to the teeth in ways, but I'm hoping I've met my bullshit quota for the year, getting all of that out of the way, and onward we go to glorious year, kicking ass in good ways.