Karaoke Terrorists: Episode 3

When last we left you, we had a face-to-face confrontation with the Terrorist neighbors. That was back in April. After that, we went full throttle into calling our Community Officer and writing to the landlord. And while the noise is somewhat lessened, it’s still a weekly thing. And we’re talking “lessened” as in our house no longer vibrates every time they karaoke, but yes, they are still karaoking. On top of that, since the weather has finally turned nice, they have taken to blaring Vietnamese pop music from the house sound system to the backyard while 10-30 of them gather every weekend to smoke and drink and be complete inconsiderate assholes. They have a car port behind their house which means their cars are all surrounding them as they hang out- sometimes 6-8 cars clog the driveway and the backyard as they sit around a makeshift table and grill, toasting with beer after beer, one upping each other in the volume department.

Are we supposed to be grateful that the noise isn’t AS bad? Because, fuck that shit. It’s still a nuisance, persistent, and rude. We cannot hang out in our own backyard if they are out there- the sheer volume of their conversation is enough to drive us away but then they add the music, OHMYGOD THE MUSIC IS SO BAD. I can’t even. Yesterday I stood outside my back door and filmed this 22 second clip of it:

Yesterday’s party started around noon and went past 8pm. We finally retreated to the basement living room to eat our dinner and watch TV so we could drown out the noise. Upstairs is the worst when they are partying and then our bedroom- even in the basement we can hear it because our bedroom window looks out onto their driveway and living room window. We called the cops around 7 when they started doing a sing along in the backyard. Someone pulled out an acoustic and they were kumbaya-ing in Vietnamese. A little bit later they cranked the karaoke sound system up because WHY NOT?

When we call the cops before 10pm, the dispatcher reminds us that the noise ordinance doesn’t go into effect until 10 but our Community Officer told us to call regardless. The cops will only come out if they aren’t busy. The last two times we’ve called, we didn’t speak to cops so we’re not certain they came by but the noise level lessened. Because they have turned down the bass, the noise level might not be as bad for other neighbors as it is for us now. There is no one sharing their yard from the back (the house is vacant) and we haven’t met the neighbors on the other side.

Maybe you’re tired of hearing me complain about these guys but can you blame me for venting? Would you want to come over and hang out in our backyard for a cook out when that was happening next door? I’d be embarrassed to have anyone over! We were considering getting a new fence put in but with them as our neighbors, why pour the money into it when we can’t go out into our own yard and enjoy it?

I’m calling our Community Officer again, talking to a lawyer friend about drafting a strongly worded letter, and writing again to the landlord but this time sending the first letter and the new letter certified mail to ensure it’s getting to her. I’m sick of feeling stressed out in my own house because of these inconsiderate dickheads.

 

Zzzz is for Zombie

You guys? I’m tired.

It should be stated that I am the worst kind of sleeper- a light sleeper who snores. I’m a total asshole. I complain about other people snoring because it keeps me up and yet, I myself snore. I wear ear plugs every night because noise from the street or the cats or my neighbor upstairs wakes me up and I have The Hardest Time falling back to sleep.

It’s going on a week now that Mr. Darcy has had a cold. A cold  that moved from head congestion to chest congestion. Congestion has made his regular snoring worse and subsequently, I have slept like shit for days on end.

I am not blaming him even though it sounds like it. He can’t help being sick. But last night I slept on the couch because his snoring was incessant and I could not fall asleep to its soundtrack.  The couch, while comfy, is not a bed and today my back is in knots. I’m pretty sure I left my sunny disposition between the cushions.

Excuse me while I go stare off into space like a zombie and try to keep my mouth shut so I don’t say something mean out of sheer exhaustion. Not sleeping well brings out the bitch in me.

Shop Til You Drop(kick Someone)

I’m not a crowd-loving person. I’ve mentioned this a few hundred times already. I don’t particularly enjoy people up in my personal space, or fighting like a salmon swimming upstream to break through the herd of people shuffling along with no awareness of anyone but themselves, or the cacophony of loud voices and what should be private conversation broadcast for your neighbor to overhear. Mr. Darcy is not a fan either and yet we braved Ikea this weekend.

Let me tell you, even a soft serve ice cream cone can not soothe the wounds inflicted from shopping there. We managed to escape without maiming anyone or getting into an argument with one another.

But then we went to Old Navy. Which was, of course, a very baaaaaaaaaad idea.

You see, Old Navy has very chirpy, seemingly helpful staff who can’t seem to run a check out line to save their life. Every time I go there, I am subjected to a long wait and this cannot be because I have the worst luck ever picking a check out line. (Can it?) There’s inevitably someone who needs to return something or ten somethings and they just so happen to be in my line. I switched lines thinking the shorter one would race me through faster. NEVER TRUST A SHORT LINE. The customer in front of me had multiple purchases so she could use multiple coupons. I was deceived! After the first transaction which required a lot of negotiation and I was starting my deep breathing to calm myself, the check out woman says to me, “This is going to take a while.” So I hop on over to my first line and the clerk rings me up and overcharges me but I didn’t notice until I was out the door. It was buy one, get one free so I had to go back. This is why shopping on-line appeals to me- no crowds, no chirpy, inept sales clerks, no deep breathing required.

But hey, I got two new pairs of yoga pants for the price of one.

We didn’t stop there because we are apparently masochists. Macy’s was having a one day sale so we went. Mr. Darcy managed to get three new shirts at $10 each (total steal!) whereas all I got was a minor meltdown in the dressing room.

But that, my dears, is a post for another day.

Costly Kindness

The people pleaser in me is stressed out to the max.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say a situation that I thought was over is NOT over and has come back with a vengeance and some strongly worded scapegoating. Not fun! It’s times like these where I wonder if being nice is worth it. So now I am trying to calm down after being verbally attacked via email and figure out a proper response that doesn’t come from a place of defensiveness.

How the hell do you respond to an attack without being defensive?

I told Mr. Darcy last night that I need us to figure out a plan for when the apartment management gig will no longer be necessary. I need a light at the end of the tunnel. I need to not have the stress of people taking advantage of my good nature. I need to not live where I work.

Send me some good vibes if you will. I need some clarity.

Far From Perfect

I don’t know what my problem is.

I can talk around it but I can’t seem to pinpoint it. I wish I could just shake it off, turn off a switch, take a nap long enough to sleep it away. I feel bone tired by life.

Maybe this happens when both jobs feel busy and my social calendar is filling up and my to do list keeps growing and I haven’t carved out any “me time” and I haven’t been creative in months, haven’t worked out in longer than that, and have thought having a glass of wine instead of going to yoga would make me feel better.

Bad choice.

I’ve decided to not drink any alcohol for a couple weeks and focus more on my self-care. Because when I don’t prioritize taking care of myself I become a pretty shrill, crabby, lazy, bitchy person. I do not like her. And I spent too much of my life already not liking myself.

I’ve noticed that the first person I take out my bad mood on is Mr. Darcy. He’s not doing anything but offering to help, being patient and easy going and flexible and what am I doing? Nitpicking and pushing him away. The poor guy can’t win. I’ve done this before with my nice guy exes. Just ask James Dean or Dumpling.

I don’t know what to do to fix myself enough so that I’m no longer this person that is no fun to be around. I feel like he has to put up with me, endure my moods as it were, and that is not fair. Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I be emotionally stable and not this chick who gets freaked out and closes up? Why can’t I just unlearn every bad thing that keeps me from being truly open and vulnerable in a relationship? Why can’t I just be happy being happy?

I hate feeling broken and like I’m wrong. I hate not being able to control my surroundings so I can feel safe. I hate needing help or not having the answer. I hate being emotional. I hate that all of this makes me feel like I am not good at relationships and that ultimately I will fuck this up. I hate how my fears twist inside me so I begin to shut the windows and doors to my heart out of self-protection.

I hate it all. But I don’t know how to change it except to talk about it. Name it. Have a good cry. Try to behave differently in small (but almost unnoticeable to anyone but me) ways. Not give up.

I am not a quitter.

I am trying so desperately to not succumb to my old patterns. I’m internally fighting myself all the time but externally it probably looks like I haven’t done anything. But I am! It’s just not changing very fast. And I feel like a failure. Like the clock is ticking and time is almost up and I’m going to get a big fat F on my Life Test.

(Gah! This post is so negative, over-indulgent and whiny. I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t even post it. But I’ve got to get out of my own head so I am dumping it here.)

Work It

My life is basically all about work right now.

I’m five days away from our biggest fundraiser of the year. A luncheon that has over 1,200 guests (compared to last year when we had about 750) that is slated to raise $700,000 (compared to last year where we raised roughly $525,000). Needless to say, the pressure is on and my focus is there. Even when I am at home, my mind is running through my event checklist. I suppose I can thank my over-active mental state to the fact that I remembered JUST IN TIME that we didn’t include the lead sponsors on the thank you card. Three separate people reviewed the proof and none of us caught it. I scrambled and called up the printer saying, “Stop the presses!”

I’ve always wanted to say that.

Have you ever tried to manage a guest list of 1,200 people? It’s basically mind bending. If you’re into that kind of thing, I highly recommend it.

Lately, when I walk in the door of my apartment I just want to collapse. I’ve probably been at work 10 hours minimum already and worked the weekend. So no real reprieve. I want mindless TV and a glass (or 3) of wine. But of course that’s not what I’ve been getting. More like psuedo-panic attacks at the thought of the mountain of stuff I am not getting done around my home, around the building and in my personal life. When you’re already operating in overwhelm, it doesn’t take much to push you over the edge.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I had to give a tenant a three day pay or evict notice. I do not like doing this one bit. He’s decided to move out which means he’ll narrowly avoid getting thrown out for insufficient rent payment but that also means I have an apartment to rent. During my busiest week of the year. And Mr. Darcy and I are planning to escape to Portland next weekend for a much needed togetherness time in a nice hotel (thanks for the hook up Kerri!) and so he can see one of my favorite places and meet some of my favorite people. I don’t want to cancel this trip so I can sit around hoping people will want to view the unit.

Except, that’s kind of my job.

Besides that, other building things have cropped up- a door off its hinge, again with the pot smoker/dealer dude, a discovered leak under a sink, and painters who park in my driveway without notifying me which as we all know already really, really ticks me off. And insult to injury- the painter dude insulted me saying he “fixed” the vacuum and that he ran it because the floor was filthy. That guy is a liarhead. He should be glad I did not punch him in the face. I do not keep a filthy building! But like I said, it doesn’t take much to throw me over the edge right now.

Five more days.

Then it’s show time.

Good morning, panic. What’s new?

This morning I woke up at 5:20am without an alarm.

I am three weeks out from my biggest fundraiser of the year and I AM FREAKING OUT.

There are awards to be engraved. Thank you text to write. A program to craft and a printed program to write. There are speakers who need talking points. There are table decorations that need creating. There are over 1,200 expected guests at this “sold out” event and I can’t even feel happy about that because THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I HAVE TO DO and I am only one person.

I don’t know if I will be able to actually do anything resembling a personal life until March 11th. So if you don’t see me around or I don’t reply to your emails or return your calls it’s because I’m busy freaking out working.

P.S. There is a lot more I can say on this but not here. For the full story, email me.

Listen Here

I have a very expressive face. I realize that you’re just going to have to take my word on this since your experience of me is through these words but trust me, it’s true.

Also, you should note, that I am a horrible liar.

This is not the best combo because every emotion I am feeling will wash over my face and HELLO TRANSPARENCY. This is one of the reasons I avoid playing poker. I have no poker face. (No, I will not play poker with you.)

Add to this that I am a direct person. I’m not the type to coddle and ass kiss. I am nice but not in the sense where I will say one thing and mean another just to make sure that no one gets their panties in a bunch. That shit pisses me off. You want someone to blow smoke up your bum? I am not your girl.

So let’s review:

Expressive face. CHECK.

Horrible liar. CHECK

Direct communicator. CHECK.

Put these all together and what do you have? Apparently, a checklist for trouble.

I am almost 37 years old folks. I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to all of a sudden be the type of person who will swallow my opinions and thoughts in an effort to make other more passive people feel comfortable. Your INdirectness is not my problem.* Just like your feelings are not my responsibility.

Though, I’m just now learning that your feelings are not my responsibility. My therapist informed me of this a few days ago and when she said, “You need to remind yourself that their feelings are not your responsibility” I laughed. Laughed! Because that is so far from my realm of reality I felt like she was asking me to learn another language. I suppose she is in a sense- a new emotional language that does not require me to fix or rescue or control anyone (except me).

For the record, personal growth sure is a lot of work.

But I guess what I am getting at is: I’m not going to stop being fundamentally who I am which is a person who speaks her mind, who will always tell you the truth even when it’s hard, who will probably say too much but mean every word, who cares enough to give a shit and say so, who will not just say what you want to hear when what you really need is a (loving) kick in the ass.

I refuse to apologize for who I am or to buy into your bullshit that your inability to communicate your own feelings and needs are somehow a result of me being me.

Got that?

Good.

I’m glad we had this little chat.

Carry on.

*By “your” I do not mean you in particular. This is a general you.

I Swear I’m Only Like This For a Few Days*

I’m irrationally irritated at mundane things. A sample list of thoughts that have crossed my mind in the last 24 hours:

Why is everyone in my way?

Why are people talking?

Why can’t I be invisible?

Why is work so much work?

Did I just stare off into space for five minutes during a meeting? Is someone asking me a question? Ooops.

Why are you crossing the street in the pouring down rain in the pitch dark at a snails pace where there is no cross walk? Do you want to die?! Why are you so stupid?

Why do I keep dropping everything?**

Why am I still hungry?

Where did my motivation go? All  I feel like doing is sitting on the couch watching American Idol.

How slutty is 21 lovers at the age of 36 on the scale of Prude to Free Love? Can you include oral on that list?

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups sound really good right now! No they don’t. They are gross. I do not believe your lies. Eat a spoonful of natural peanut butter and a square of dark chocolate and PRETEND. Fine. (pout)

I have the attention span of a gnat.

How hard is it to just be in a good mood? Pretty hard when your hormones are driving.

Can I just hide in my apartment until I am nice again?

*Okay, maybe a week. Tops.

**Seriously why do I become a klutz when I have PMS?