Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bringing Out The Bitch In Me

As many of you know, I'm not so very fond of my neighbors. And by "not so very fond", I mean that I hate them. Well, last night I couldn't take it anymore. It was the umpteenth time that their friggin' dog barked NONSTOP from the moment they left the house until 3 hours later when they returned. So, when I heard them come back because the dog stopped barking finally, I decided to summon up the courage to ring their bell and have a little chat. Now, I will put "VI to represent my neighbor (the Village Idiot) and "Me" to represent, well, me. When you read the VI dialogue, make sure you do it with a fake British accent like he actually does. It went a little something like this:

doorbell rings

Me: Hi, I need to talk to you about your dog.

VI: Oh yes, we got a text from you not even an hour after we left tonight.

Me: Yes, and I can tell you that I let an hour go by of your dog barking before I wrote it. Here's the thing, the barking is otu of control and I need you to make it stop.

VI: Well, I don't kow how to make a dog stop barking.

Me: Hmmmm......I need you to figure it out, I can't live like this anymore. I have alerted you to the problem repeatedly and I get messages back like "I'm out". Well, I figure as much because the moment you all leave the house, she goes bananas.

VI: That's weird, I never hear her bark.

Me: Right, because it's when you LEAVE that it happens.

VI: I just can't believe that she barks nonstop, I mean I can imagine a few minutes but then she must settle down.

Me: Again, I promise you it's happening and it's nonstop and if it were just a few minutes, I'd be ok, but it's the incredible marathon barking session for hours on end that gets me frazzled like this. And by the way, you couldn't have a neighbor less sensitive to sound than I am, given my hearing aids and all.

VI: Ha ha.

Me: So, I promise you that if it's bothering me, it's gotten out of control.

VI: I just can't believe she barks that much, it's so unlike her.

Me: Once again, I assure you it's happening and it's very much like her. I know this because it happens ALL OF THE TIME. Do you think I"m lying about this?

VI: No. You know, I believe that dogs should be trained and when I've had dogs, I've always trained them. So, when she's around me, she doesn't bark.

Me: that's my point. I've grown up with dogs, multiple dogs, and I've never experienced anything like this.

VI: Well you wouldn't have because you wouldn't know what they did when you were out of the house.

Me: Ah, excellent point and it's exactly what I AM SAYING!!! I'm informing you of what's happening every time YOU leave the house. So, with your experience, maybe you could "train" your dog to not bark any of the time. I could live with 10 minutes after you leave, but the endless hours are frying my brain.

VI: Well, when you live in a condo, you do have to concede that there are noises and smells and other ways where you are aware of yourneighbors. I mean, I can smell the food you cook and I can hear your tv.

Me: Well, don't be a martyr, if there's something you need to tell me re: a way that I'm iimpacting your quality of life, please tell me and I will do everything I can to address it. I hope you are not suggesting that I should concede that 3 hours of barking is just a way of life?

VI: Well no, but sometimes you can hear things and Ih ave very good hearing and I hear things too. I'm really sensitive to music and pitch and tone, I just can't handle it when people sing out of tune.

Me: That's great with your stellar hearing and all, but your hearing impaired neighbor is going crazy listening to your dog so let's get back to how to fix that. I think that anyone could agree that there's a threshold for everything and it turns out that this is mine.

VI: I don't know how to fix it, maybe I can look online.

Me: Yes, maybe you can do that and here's what I'm saying, either we can solve this amicably as neighbors and youc an let me know how you will be fixing the problem or I will bring in a third party to address it and I am quite certain that will be an unpleasant experience. so, I'm telling you in person that this is an issue and am requiring that you address it and either you do and we live happily ever after, or I involve the authorities. The choice is yours.

VI: I just can't believe she barks that much.

Me: She does, I've been tempted to tape it and play it back for you from midnight until 3am so you can experience just how disruptive it can be.

VI: That would be great so I can hear what she's doing, do you have a voice-activated recorder?

Me: I neither have the time nor the inclination to do any such thing. I think you can figure this out yourselves. I have to go, this has been exhausting.

So, then he wanted to just chat with me about everything, clearly not getting that I'm standing there threatening to call the police/animal control if he doesn't address the issue. So, I ended the conversation saying, "I have to go now, American Idol is on, but you probably knew that because you can hear it upstairs. Good night and I look forward to hearing your solution soon."

Why am I being tested like this? Why must I be the ongoing victim of their stupidity and ignorance? Why cant' I just have normal neighbors with normal IQs and a sense of humanity? Is that too much to ask?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Forgive Me, It's the Meds Talking

A couple of days ago I hurt my back pretty badly and since then I've been stuck on my couch on some heavy meds and I've had some time to do some thinking. And there are a few things that I've thought of that I'd like to share with all of you. First of all, when I injured myself and had to go to the hospital, I took myself there and had to park in the parking lot of MGH. Now, not every person who goes in for an injury arrives in an ambulance, many of them are in my position and have to take themselves there. Well, having strained my lower back, I can't say that I was the most mobile person you'd ever seen. I finally found a parking spot on the top level of the garage and then had to wait until the end of time for the elevator to open up. It was cold, it was windy, and my back was spasming like it was nobody's business. So then I had to get off the elevator and walk through the obstacle course they set up to avoid the construction going on so I could enter the hospital. Then, guess what? Another elevator which took a year and a half to arrive. I finally get to the urgent care center and I have to stand in line to check in. My knees began to buckle and I couldn't hold it in any longer so I literally threw my ID card on the desk and said, "I have to sit down, I'm dying, let me know what you need me to do." And then I proceeded to sit down in the waiting room and sob like a 12 year old at a Justin Beiber concert. People brought me tissues and asked if I was okay and tried not to stare as I made a little scene. I'm not a pretty crier. I don't have one delicate tear that goes down my cheek, I'm a sloppy slobbering mess when I really get into my tear fest and that day was certainly no exception. The only person who didn't seem to have any sympathy for me was the nasty woman behind the desk who kept making me get up to sign things and to give her my co pay and to get my change. She was a real doll. So, what's my point? My point is that as an injured person, it couldn't have been more painful to ultimately get in to see someone to help me with my condition. So, I then I have to go pick up my Rx for my meds which I was so desperate to take but couldn't until I was safely at home. Well, the pharmacy didn't make it much better either because all of the back pain meds, patches, and other treatments were on the lowest shelf. Seriously, did anyone think about this before they put them there? Do you really think people with back pain can bend over to get those things? It's like putting allergy medicine in the middle of a pot of flowers. Stupid. But luckily they did have some chairs so I could sit while waiting for my Rx to be ready. But next to where I was sitting is the free blood pressure monitor and this guy lumbers over and stuffs himself into the arm cuff and takes his test. He smelled like a bottle of booze and a chimney so I suspect that blood pressure may be the least of his concerns at the moment. But, hey, good for him for at least checking. Okay, what the hell was I talking about? See, this is the effect of these meds, I lose track of what I'm doing pretty quickly. Okay, so I finally make it home and this is where it gets tough. I can't move, I can't walk, I can't stand up straight, I'm pretty much a lump on the couch where I'm forced to search Facebook for updates and watch tv in the hopes of seeing something that will catch my interest. All the while I'm trying desperately to not overeat so that I don't undo all the hard work I've done over the past 7 months to lose weight and get healthy. The story that keeps playing on all the news stations over and over is about this woman who ordered a pizza every day from Domino's and when she didn't for 3 days, a driver came looking for her and found that she had fallen. All of a sudden I realized that I'm not a "regular" anywhere and if I fell, who would find me after 3 days? Certainly not my neighbors, they'd be psyched. So, I've made commitments to talk to certain people at various times over the next fews days so that if I don't make our "appointment", they might suspect something's up. Now, while I'm happy that this woman is okay now, how come no one is reporting on the real story here which is that this woman ordered a pizza EVERY SINGLE DAY. Who's checking HER blood pressure? Watching tv all day has really made me realize how important it is for me to get the hell out of this house as soon as I can possibly get up again. I fear my mind is turning to mush by the second and when I start agreeing with Elizabeth Hasselback on The View, I know that something is terribly terribly wrong. So, those are some of the things that I've been thinking about over the past few days. If I rambled and didn't make sense, please forgive me, it's just the meds talking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The World Traveler

So, my job requires quite a bit of travel and over the past few years the amount of international travel I have to do has increased significantly. Now, don't get me wrong, I love being in the places I travel to, but I really hate the process of getting to and from there. I've written previously about my packing issues, so let's start with getting to the airport itself. Usually I have to drive to work, park and then take a taxi to the airport. This adds another 25 min or so to the overall "arrival timetable" that I try to work out in my head. I spend the whole day thinking about what time I have to leave my house and while I think of myself as a relatively intelligent person, I instantly become an idiot unable to determine how long it will take me to do the things I need to do before I am ready to leave. How long will it take me to empty the litter box? How long will it take me to take my suitcase to the car? How long will it take me to shower and blow dry my hair? Things I do on a regular basis are things that I'm unable to predict on the day I need to go anywhere. Inevitably I usually get to the airport way too early and then I just have time to burn. No, scratch that, I spend that time regretting how much I packed in my carry on bag as I walk around and feel an ache in my back that will reach an unbearable degree of pain by the time I'm ready to board the flight. The flight itself usually becomes a blur of Tylenol PM, dim lighting and trying to avoid getting my knee knocked off by the cart driving through the aisle. Oh and I always bring my own headphones for fear that they will give us earbuds that people with hearing aids like myself can't use. However, when you fall asleep with the recording studio headphones on that I bring with me, it makes for a fantastic feeling when you wake up and you feel like you might have actually dented the outside of your ear permanently. Oh and that magical feeling when you arrive and make your way down to the baggage claim. I always have a pit in my stomach due to the fear that my luggage will be lost and I will have to find clothes that can fit my, well how do I put this delicately, not so slim figure into when I'm in a place like Europe where you are considered "plus size" when you wear anything beyond a size 4. Should I pack an extra outfit in my carry on? Sure, but who has room after I jam all the other "necessities" I determine I can't live without for the week. Honestly, when I finally make it to my destination, I'm always amazed at all the things I'm convinced I'll need, some of which I never even use at home so why the hell do I think i'm going to need them overseas? If you run into me in the U.S., I usually have myself pretty well together and have my make up done and my hair in place. When I'm overseas I'm simply a hot mess. I feel like my make up falls off, my hair develops a life of it's own and frumpy is an understatement when I think about my clothing in comparison to the people around me who have it all together. On my way home it all starts over again and until I'm back in my comfy bed with my kitty in her place down by my feet, I don't totally feel like myself. However, I have to say that I consider myself really lucky that I have a job that literally takes me around the world. I meet amazing people, I have unbelievable adventures and when I look back at the pictures of what I've done and where I've been, I always smile and start packing for the next trip with anxious anticipation...