Thursday, January 20, 2005

The War On McLane Ave.


The neighbor situation has, I think, escalated to a full-out war. While still loud, my upstairs neighbors' TV/stereo has mainly been kept to a reasonable minimum, at least until last night and today. However, they have redoubled their stomping and slamming efforts. Not a day goes by where I don't hear SLAM!STOMPSTOMPSTOMSTOMPSTOMPSTOMP or STOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMPSLAM! Yesterday evening, it was past rude, it was ridiculous. I was in the shower, which shares a wall with the neighbors' infamous stairwell, getting ready for work, and I lost count of the number of times at least two people went up and down the stairs (see STOMPSTOMPSLAM! above).

One thing about me is that I don't get angry very easily, irritated, yes, but not angry. A fortunate thing for the world, because when I get angry, truly and passionately angry, I am capable of really horrendous things. I'm a Scorpio, and you probably already know we're famous for our capacity for revenge. Again, fortunately for the world, I generally am able to maintain the vengeance fantasies as just that, fantasy. It really takes quite a lot to push me over the edge, but when someone does, they need to look the fuck out because there is no going back.

I have been entertaining various revenge fantasies for the past week or so. These range from the destructive (letting air out of tires, driving a nail into a tire) to mostly just annoying (filling a mailbox with snow, I have an elaborate plan). It takes someone pushing me so incredibly far to lean toward destructive methods, and usually the thought of karmic backlash keeps me from acting on them. I mostly am content with entertaining various fantasies of exacting revenge, and it takes a lot of pushing, such as inflicted by my psycho ex, to drive me to acting upon them. There is a certain satisfaction, mainly because the types of revenge I come up with are devious and not overt; I get twisted pleasure from being the only one who knows, and watching the person continue on oblivious.

This afternoon, I came home for lunch after my first class and my upstairs neighbor's music was so loud I could hear the lyrics as if it were playing in my own apartment. I wanted to use Audioblogger to record and post it so that you wouldn't think I was exaggerating, but the handyman showed up to unfreeze my shower drain. I was so livid that I can't even remember what song it was, but I did recognize it. I have been debating what to do about the situation, considering the polite route no longer appeared to be a viable option. It's gotten to the point of ridiculous, and perhaps I'm being paranoid or projecting, but I get the distinct impression they are trying to be extra loud at every turn just to piss me off. I've been woken up at 6am to much stomping in the room above my bedroom, the music/TV gets blared well after 11pm, not to mention all the stomping and slamming.

I really didn't want to start a war, and I truly hesitated to call the landlord. I was holding off on that as a last resort, but today I couldn't take any more and I called him. I do at least know now that the Motown noise ordinance begins at 11pm, though the landlord said he couldn't do anything about it during the day. The stereo was still blaring upstairs while I explained to him that I'd tried to politely ask them to be more considerate, but that they make so much noise it's driving me crazy. He said he would call and talk to them.

I'm not sure if he called immediately, but within five minutes, the music got cranked UP even more. I sat here with my mouth open, in complete disbelief. I was so angry that I was shaking. I thought, Okay, fine then. You want a war, you fuckers, you have a war. You'll be sorry! And I did what anyone would do; I searched my MP3s for a bass-heavy track, turned one of my speakers on its back facing the ceiling, placed it on top of my stereo and against the wall (about a foot away from the ceiling), and cranked it LOUD. When I say it was loud, I mean it. It was loud enough to almost completely drown out the music coming from upstairs, and man, did I ever enjoy that song. I feel a little sorry for the guy downstairs, since he's generally pretty quiet. My desk, walls, and even the floor were vibrating with the bass. I apparently got my point across, because mid-song, the music upstairs stopped. I was making a point, however, and let the entire thing play to the end, and then turned it down. If you'd like to hear what I played at top volume, email me and I'd be happy to send it to you.

It hasn't stopped completely, and earlier they were blasting again, though thankfully not at the same volume as this afternoon. The stomping and slamming will never end, though, so I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. I am not exaggerating when I say that I feel as if I'm being tortured and that it is driving me mad. I am being driven to the brink of sanity with all this noise. I can tell you right now that if any of this bullshit continues after 11:00, I will be calling the police. I've been thinking about leaving a note in their mailbox, but I'm smart enough to know to be wary about putting things in writing, and what I want to say is really bitchy and snarky. If I do end up doing something evil, I don't want a paper trail. I'm hoping I can restrain myself and that it doesn't come to that.

Anyway.. let's see. I started my new job last week, and it's very different than what I'm used to. For one, it's very small as far as staff, and the servers are expected to do all the bartending, hosting, setting up, bussing, cleaning/polishing glasses and silverware, hauling ice, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. The owner is an absolute perfectionist and he makes me very nervous. Overall, the place is very nice, the customers seem more polite than I'm used to, and most of the other staff seems very nice. Until I'm trained, I'm not technically a server yet, I'm a 'backer', which means I'm basically everyone's bitch. I water the tables and bring bread out, replace dirty silverware, and anything else that gets asked of me. One of the chefs is from Oakland, so he's been really nice to me because we have a Bay Area bond, but the other chef is snarky and kind of a bitch. I don't know what it is about cooks in general that they feel it's part of their job to give servers shit, but whatever.

I still don't feel totally settled in here, and I think that's because I'm not fully unpacked and set up yet, plus, as a creature of habit, I feel as if I haven't gotten into any routine yet. I mostly am unpacked, but my place is a disaster. When I moved here, I felt that everything in my life was pointing to my needing to quit smoking and to either stop or majorly cut down on my MJ consumption. The latter is not conducive to being a good student, and I'm tired of wasting my brain by being half-assed at school. This is the big leagues, after all, and the only time I'm wasting is my own.

I've also said in the past that I feel I have at least a couple God-given gifts, one of which is the ability to achieve almost anything I set my mind to. My mom used to always chide me for putting my eggs in one basket when it came to things, but to be honest with you, it generally works out for me. It's part of my personality to focus all my energy on one thing, with one backup plan, and while this gift never applies to women or relationships, I do generally get whatever it is I go for with all my heart. I don't know how or why, but there it is.

So a couple weird things about the last two paragraphs and my new job. Cafe Bacchus was the only place I applied here in Morgantown. I wrote what I considered to be the best and most inspired cover letter of my entire life, and didn't send it and my resume until I'd already moved and been here a week. I'd felt confident about it, but as soon as I sent it, it occurred to me that perhaps I was delusional and that I wouldn't get the job. But then, only a couple days after I'd mailed it, I got a call from the owner asking me for an interview and I was both totally stoked and relieved. I have great luck with interviews because I can be incredibly charming and charismatic in person (especially when I want something badly, heh), so I always feel that if I can get an interview, I have a really good chance.

My first night at work, one of the girls asked me, "How did you get a job here?" I didn't understand the question at first and told her I'd sent in my resume and a brilliant cover letter. She then went on to tell me that it's impossible to find work in Morgantown, and even harder to get a job at Cafe Bacchus. She said it's unheard of for someone to get hired there without knowing someone who works there. I was a little floored, as I'd had no idea about the difficulty of either things. You can't tell me that's not a little weird, in a gift-from-God kind of way.

And then, secondly, there are no smoke breaks during shifts. Hardly anyone smokes there, and if I'm working 3-11+, the earliest I am allowed to go outside is after the last guests leave. Again, I totally feel that everything in my life is pointing to my needing to quit and part of the gift of this job will be enabling me to do so. It was really difficult at Olive Garden because almost everyone smoked, so it was impossible to get away from it on a daily basis. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but it is definitely going to be a big help to be around non-smokers, and to have to go 8+ hours at work without a smoke break.

By the way, the menu is amazing. Nearly every dish that goes out of the kitchen, I watch it go by with complete envy; Oooooohhh, I wish I was having that! During the 3-11+ shift, there's a staff meal at the beginning, where the chefs concoct something yummy for everyone to eat. Last week, it was chicken and pork stir fry.. sooooooooo good, I can't even tell you. It's such a wonderful difference from OG in a lot of ways, not just that they actually feed us for free, but we can come in with one guest and get 50% off our meal, including alcohol. I'm totally bringing Angie and I can't wait to actually get to try some of the stuff. I did get to have some mashed potatoes with leftover pinot noir mushroom sauce poured over the top. GOOD. Not to mention the fresh-baked breads, including rosemary foccacia, which I dipped into the sauce and the only word I can use to describe it is orgasmic.

I don't have a lot to report as far as school, other than I kind of have a crush on my Plant and Soil Sciences lab teacher, who is a cute and smart lesbian. I know I have no chance, not to mention there are probably no-fraternization rules, but I can lust from afar, can't I?



Currently Playing...
Song: Lisa Thiel & Ani Williams - Child of the Wind
Book: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (SUPERTHANKSAGAINMARTHAS!!!)
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

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