Friday, September 29, 2006
Haley is the four year old across the street from my house. I hate her. I know you're not supposed to hate children or babies, but I do not like Haley. Or maybe it's that I don't like her parents who spend half their time calling her name, telling her not to go into the street, asking her if she wants to go inside, begging her not to scream because has the most annoying, bratty sounding scream you've ever heard and it goes off every five minutes without fail. I guarantee that she hears her name at least 500 times a day. At least. She will respond only after the third "Haley." I bet they even spell it some stupid way like Heylee or Haillye or Jualee (though who am I to talk). For our Halloween party, I've been thinking about going as a Fishtown person, but that just seems too easy and pretty mean and not very clever in any way. Every year, I obsess about Halloween costumes and every year I wait until the last minute. My criteria for Halloween costumes are:
*Must be somewhat cute, but not too cute--not like a fairy or a princess or anything. Jodie does not care about cuteness. Neither does my friend Liz, who once came to a party dressed as Dustin Hoffman in his role as Tootsie and bore a striking, uncanny resemblance. Jodie once went as a balding, moustached Gus, the Rotarian.
*Must be somewhat clever or have a twist. Hence "Miss Fortune," and the Freudian slip costume and, less cleverly, Condom Girl and the conceptually interesting but poorly executed "Mermaid Caught in a Net."
*Must be somewhat violent. I just like to have blood on me.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Him: Hey, there pretty lady.
Me: Good morning.
Him: Don't tell me you're going to work right now. Tell me your going to Atlantic City.
Me: I'm going to work so I can afford to go to Atlantic City.
Him: You married?
Him: Got a boyfriend?
Me: Yes. We live together.
Him: Ain't that a shame.
I don't know if I should be flattered or depressed. I'd be depressed if he thinks he seriously has a shot. It was kind of sweet--kind of small townish, but on the other hand, if I turn up missing, you now have a clue as to who kidnapped me and took me to AC.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I've been having my kitty dreams again--that's the dream where I am in charge of many, many cats and can't manage them all. The other night, I had to take care of three litters of white kittens, all different ages and all in separate locations. Mixed in with the kittens was a litter of puppies, also pure white. Each group had six, so that's about 24 small animals I kept having to look for and keep from dying. At the same time, I was being pursued by vampires. Am I like ten years old that I have frightening dreams about kittens and vampires? Last night, I dreamt that I met Peter Krause, the guy who played Nate on Six Feet Under. He had given up acting and was becoming an artist instead. I was quite relieved in the dream because I thought this would make him less popular and therefore more accessible to non-famous me. He gave me his address and told me to stop by after work. I subsequently lost his address and drove around for the rest of the dream frantically trying to find him.
My friend Dave told me there is not enough "dave" in my blog. But really, many of the stories I could tell about him are inappropriate for this forum for one reason or another. Okay, here's one. Our first year in grad school, we all went out a lot, but Dave was the king of staying out late. He could start the evening at 5 p.m. and end it at 5 a.m. without ever looking the worse for wear. However, I do remember there was one night when we went to play pool at Sharkies and he drank way too much but wanted to go out for more. I think he and Brian ended up buying some alcohol and drinking. I went home. The next morning, I was walking to the coffee shop and saw Dave ambling towards me in the same clothes from the night before. He was disheleved, his hair all over the place. He had a poppy seed stuck in his teeth. He said, I slept on the golf course last night. I said, Oh, okay. I didn't tell him about the poppy seed.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
A photo from one of his many books:
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Sorry to hear about your cat. He was always my favorite. The older one seemed like a bit of a dick. I didn't really mean that. I hear there is a new cat. Hurrah! See you soon.
P.S. Have seen picture of the new cat--cute! But not as cute as our family dog, Cracker, who passed away last year. She was a vicious bastard. We loved her. See enclosed.
P.P.S. J. Tim is actually not that good!"
Padhraig used to always refer to Jodie and my cats as "it." As in, "How is it? What's it doing now?" He took care of Puddy when Puddy had a tumor the size of a grapefruit on her mouth. I believe he knew that Gretel was a girl cat and not a boy, but I could be just saying this to make myself feel better. I wish I knew how to use my scanner and I'd add the pic of his dog Cracker, who is stretched out on a red blanket with a bone in her mouth. She may or may not have legs. It's hard to tell.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Yesterday was Kelly’s last day at work and both Amanda and I have been suffering low-grade depression over her departure. I’ve been waking up most mornings feeling slightly blue and not at first sure why—until I remember, Oh, yes, Kelly’s leaving.
Of course, she is not moving to Alaska and will, in fact, be about five miles away as the city pigeon flies, but there won’t be a Kelly in her cubicle at work with her i-Pod on, coming up with brilliant ideas for how to snag alumni, and she won’t be in meetings with me any more where I spend half the time thinking of ways to make her laugh, and she won’t be walking with us to 7-11 to buy Diet Cokes and cigarettes. That is the hardest part about someone leaving, how it creates this hiccup in your day, a loss of the familiar.
For the record, I highly recommend her as an employee. She spent every second this week sweating to get everything done before her last day—was almost late for her fond farewell happy hour because she was trying to tie up loose ends and keep pace with more than one last minute edit and changes to projects. I almost had to slap her when she offered to take work home this weekend. I said, Kelly! You’re done. You’re not going to be paid for this. But she said “I feel bad…” She did not suffer at all from the f-you-itis most people leaving a job often come down with. On Friday, I heard her patiently disagreeing with an irrational vendor she never has to deal with ever again when she could’ve been like, “You know, Joe, I have to go. My skirt just caught on fire. Sorry!”
We will miss you, miss you, miss you and hope to have you in some classes next year!!!! KIT, BFF, remember the Alamo, and stay gold ponytail girl!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
In the meantime, the cats continue to romp and even eat together. It's a relief that they get along. But who wouldn't love this (completely unposed!) thing:
Except sometimes, he does naughty things, like climb into the rafters:
And here is the photo of Shawn, me, and Zena making it possible for Ernesto (his name, it appears) to have a huge jungle gym above our heads in the kitchen:
And here is the kitty who I still miss with all my heart (and who would beat the shit out of the new cat):
Thursday, September 7, 2006
Here is what it sounds like in Fishtown or rather, here is how my neighbor’s sound, the people across the street who are invisible—I never see them. I only hear them; they are like animals. There’s a little boy who screams and screams, he wails, he may not even be crying, he sounds like the ghost of a little boy—so mournful and unhappy and fucking loud. Then a woman, maybe his mother, who uses the same hard voice with exclamation points to say everything. “Haley! Get in the house! Now!”
Oh, I just turned off the lights in the living room to be less visible myself and saw her. She’s slightly overweight with blond hair on top of her head in a peroxide bun. She’s wearing a gray t-shirt and white pants. “Get in the house! Get out of here now! I’m bringing your stuff in now. Get back from the door! NOW!” Some guy walked by yesterday while they were caterwauling and said loudly “I’m glad I don’t live on this block with you people screaming all the time!” They have a little dog that sits in the window on the second floor, looking out. The kid is not crying now. She’s bringing in his furniture. I thought it was the house beyond down from them with the tall fence. She has such a hard voice, probably from yelling all the time. I don’t know what Haley looks like, only that she’s bad because she is always being shouted at and she’s always off down the street somewhere.
When I first got home, someone was playing AC/DC cock rock music. I didn’t even notice until the family started yelling that they hadn’t been home before that. They came back and the music shut off. One disturbance replaced by another, all with the occasional back noise of the Norris Street bus swooshing by, leaving exhaust fumes in its wake. And the constant sound of people’s footsteps walking in front of the house. And the tinkly-tinkly maddeningly repetitive sound of the ice cream music as it makes its 500th round through the neighborhood.
Dear God, something else is wrong with the little boy again. How could he possibly be this distressed all the time? Wa—wa—he literally cries, Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! He can talk though (sort of—it’s hard to understand what he’s saying most of the time because he’s crying). I can’t be good for a child to be weeping more than fifty percent of the time that he’s awake. “Give me it! Give me it!” He’s crying yet again. For at least the tenth time in fifteen minutes. I think his name might be “Shane” or “Shame.”
The woman says, “Where you going? Where you going? Hale! Haley, if you don’t act right, you’re going in. I mean it. You’re going in.” She has to repeat everything at least twice. It sounds like she has rocks in her throat. I think “going in” is one of the worst threats she has. I wonder what it’s like inside their house.
Someone just ran down the street calling, “Piece of shit! Piece of shit!”
A one hypodermic needle, two used condoms morning on the way to the train stop the other day.
I guess maybe we are a curiosity to them, if only because we don’t sit on the front porch and yell at each other. Give us time. We’ll get there. I wonder if it will be offensive for me to go sit outside with my laptop to connect to the random Internet signal and post this to my blog. I’ll fit right in.
Omigod, okay, I'm outside right now and I have made a startling discovery. The crying little boy is really a little girl named Haley. She's bare foot on the sidewalk wearing a pink shirt and pants, her hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her brother or friend or whoever is playing with her by bouncing the basketball on the chain link fence. She cries whenever she doesn't get her turn. I guess maybe it's not so traumatic after all. I don't know. I don't know why she cries so much, but I know that I will start crying if that fucking kid doesn't stop banging the basketball against the fence.
More later with photos...