Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Hey, It's Not My Life
Yes, it is. I guess I can't deny it any longer. I'm an everyday hero.
There's a dog that lives across the street from me who suffers at the chubby hands of a blonde three-year-old with narcissistic tendencies and the temper of a 40-year-old bank teller. He tortures Plum Pudding, a mid-size terrier whose real name I have yet to memorize, whenever the focus shifts away from his Tonka truck skills (which, I admit, are not bad.) He puts her in a head lock and starts running, or tries to run her over, or pulls on her beard. That's where I come in. I visit Plum Pudding when the little master is off terrorizing his preschool, and restore emotional health to a good-tempered dog in a bad situation.
When I'm not visiting Plum Pudding, I'm usually off at the Armenian market, letting people cut in line at the deli counter. I smile when the woman who has been in the produce aisle until ten seconds ago pretends that she has been waiting for hours, and smile when she pretends that she does not speak English. I know her game, but I'm not going to play it.
When I return from the Armenian market, I check on Plum Pudding again. My nameless blonde neighbors appear to be feeding her, so I return home satisfied.
There are usually no thank yous, no medals, no back rubs, but I keep going. That's just what a hero does.
Monday, September 11, 2006
"I Work Hard"
For the last two months, my next-door neighbors have been in the process of building a new patio. Anywhere from five to ten workers begin renovations at 7:30am and finish around 6:00pm, Monday through Saturday. The project drags on week after week with very little chance that it will ever finish. The workers are not building a patio; they are filming a set of informational videos on how to make others believe you are working hard on a construction site.
Lesson 1: Make lots of noise. The informational video will include a set of CDs, the "I Work Hard" Construction Soundtrack. Disc 1 is hammering, Disc 2 is louder pounding (the tearing down of a wall, etc.), Disc 3 is sawing wood, Disc 4 is cutting stone. You get the picture. Today is Monday, so Disc 1 has been playing. Saturday morning, I was woken up by Disc 4.
Lesson 2: Everyone believes numbers. Although only one loud noise is heard at a time, there is always a group of men milling around their back and front yards. One worker can be supervised or questioned about his hours, but ten strong workers is a seemingly intimidating group of construction know-how.
Lesson 3: Make a mess. For the last two months, everything in our back yard has been covered in dust. I suspect that a bag of loose cement was purchased and disseminated while Disc 5 (the leaf blower) was playing. Aside from the dust, stacks of tile, brick and wood have sat in our neighbor's front yard since the project began. The piles have not decreased even though "the project is very close to finishing."
I could make a believable "I Work Hard" Office Soundtrack. It would take more effort than the construction version, as it would have to entail a symphony of office sounds: different degrees of typing (the relaxed memo, the angry email, etc.), the opening and closing of file cabinet doors, the double ring of the out-of-town phone call, the shredding of documents. It would probably make millions and I would have to start a company, and then I would try to play my own CDs at the office and everyone would know what I was up to...
Monday, September 04, 2006
I Want to Rock Your Gypsy Soul
This is a picture of Gypsy, the geriatric one-toothed wonder (see "There Are No Cats in America" 5/15/06). Her camouflage skills, once a valuable asset in the wild, have become a hazard in California. She blends into the carpet, making it very easy to step on her and to get your foot caught in her dreads.
Addendum: The Man Who Gave Our Computer Cancer
I came home the other night to find this. It is payback for leaving the confines. I probably won't do it again.
Once "The Man Who Gave Our Computer Cancer" was posted, additional information was uncovered. First, the man who gave our computer cancer was not paid $35/hour, but $50/hr, and he was talked down from his original price of $60/hr. We've been had, Davis family. I can just feel it. Second, we found that my brother also has a snake hole in his room. Even worse, the snake hole in his room provides a clear view into my room. So, while the man who gave our computer cancer was in my brother's room, he could watch me undress, he could watch me sleep, or worst of all, he could watch me as I prolonged the delusion that I was a good volleyball player and practiced jumps in my room.