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Wednesday, August 9
The kid issue

I said before that I don't have an issue with CN's kid.  And I don't.

I have issues with her dealing with him.

He'll have issues (if he doesn't already) when he realizes he's been emotionally abused.

Case in point: the pack mule syndrome.

Whenever they get back from whatever they are doing and if there is anything to be brought into the house... for example, say, a large watermelon (yes, we watched him struggle with one up the yard)... who do you think does it?

The pack mule that she sired.

I feel extremely sorry for the kid.  We hear her yelling at him pretty much all the time and if not yelling, speaking fairly roughly.  And whenever the yelling becomes screaming (about a weekly occurance) within a half hour either grandma or grandpa shows up.

And yet...

"It's just the two of us now."

*gag*

But the saddest thing... the words that just ripped out my heart because they were spoken right in front of him:

"She's the only thing that is important to me in my life."

CN was talking about her cat.  Yep.  I forgot a rather crucial part of the end to the cat saga in my post the other day.  She said this with her son not but four feet from her.

Issues.

Abuse.

Darwinism.

Some people should just NOT be allowed to reproduce.

Posted at 4:15 pm by the monkey
(1) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Tuesday, August 8
Amazing morning

Today I went for my normal walk and deviated from the woods to walk around the neighborhood.  I find the humidity is lower and it's easier on my feet when I skip the forest for the concrete.  Anyways... I'm rounding the corner about half way through a turnaround when I see a flutter in the grass.  I stop and look deeper into the green.  What to my wandering eyes should appear but a tiny monarch butterfly with wings still damp and slightly curled!  Apparently I caught the little thing just as it was finishing drying off because I watched it flutter wetly about a foot and a half, testing out it's wings.  It took about a minute or two before the wings were dry enough for it to take flight across the street to land in the top of a tall shrub.  It was a completely breath taking moment and I can tell today is going to be a great day.

Posted at 9:29 am by the monkey
(2) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Monday, August 7
It's about time

I could talk about my birthday.  It wasn't as bad as some, but not as great as others.  Overall it's about what I expected.  No phone call.  Again, I could go into details but I'd rather not be depressed right now.

Instead I'll talk about something that amuses the hell out of me.

My neighbor.

I'm not entirely sure why she is like she is.  After observation we've established that a part of the problem was raised by her parents.  Ha.  Uhm... okay, so what am I talking about?  As I dwelve into the bowels of my entries I realize that while I eluded to the beginning of my interaction with CN (Crazy Neighbor) I never elaborated more on the story.

So...

It all started way back when I was a little girl...

Oh wait... that's the birthday details.

Uhm... okay, it really started with the day I got the keys to the house.  I take Nelly to go see it (because I'm rightly excited) and we explore.  As we tour the outside of the building,  Nelly sees a black cat with a collar peeking around the opposite side of the house.  We call "kitty" and it comes running towards us.  Obviously very friendly.

I look on the collar's tag and see only a number.  And it's a "800" number.

No name.  No address.  Nothing but that number.

Did I mention this was a black cat?  On an 80 degree day with nary a cloud in the sky?

So we did what any rational animal loving person would do.

We brought the cat inside the (cool, shaded) empty house and called the number.

Turns out it's a pet service.  They tell me that the cat belongs to CN (actually, they couldn't give me a name or a number but they did give me an address and I find out that it's my next door neighbor) and someone should be calling me shortly.

Nelly and I wait.  And wait.  And wait.

Ten minutes later, a guy calls me.  He says that he is the ex-boyfriend of my neighbor and he's not sure why they called him since he's no longer associated with my neighbor but he'll try to get a hold of her for me.

Gee.  Thanks.  You're such a freakin' humanitarian (of course now I can understand his hesitancy on contacting the nut).

And we wait some more.

Nelly can't wait anymore (she's moving at the same time we are) and asks if I can take her home.  We leave a faucet dripping for the cat (the apartment was completely empty so no bowls or anything for her to drink from) and I worry the cat will do it's duty in our one and only carpeted room.  But it's much better than leaving an ebony cat to fend for itself outdoors.

After dropping Nelly off and arriving back at the old apartment, not but a minute passes when my phone rings.  Sure enough, it's our friendly neighbor.

Now.  I don't remember exactly word for word our conversation... but her side pretty much sounded like this:

"My cat is an outside cat during the day and she's usually outside so she needs to go outside.  Because she's an outside cat during the day.  She's really old and she's used to being outside during the day, so could you put her outside?  I don't want her to have a 'kitty heart-attack' (yes, those were her exact words... I remember them) because she's not used to being inside.  She's an outdoor cat.  I put her out during the day so she can be outside.  Because she's an outside cat."

Or... something very close to that.  And I mean close.  She must have said the word "outside" about twenty times in a two minute conversation.  I'm not exaggerating.  But she did mention that the cat was old (later I find out she's about 12-14) and I know that I left her in unfamiliar territory with no food, no potty and a hard way to get water.  And if that had been me with DC... I know I would have been freaking out too.  Only I would have said "inside" about fifty times.  And I would have flown home to make sure she was okay all the while thanking the person who found her and brought her inside.

But that's not the end of the story.  Hell no.  She asked me to put her outside.  Because she's an outside cat.  So I drive back to the house (other side of town... roughly fifteen minutes depending on traffic) and let the poor cat out.  Roughly an hour had passed since Nelly and I brought the cat in.  I wasn't too worried about the cat but I wanted to make a good impression on the neighbor (oh if I had only known what I know now).

After letting out the cat and spending about five minutes apologizing to her for "locking her up" while petting her, I drive back to the apartment.  On the way my phone rings, but I don't like the distraction of talking on the phone while driving the beast.  I listen to my voicemail when I get home and guess who it was?

That's right, the crazy lady from next door.

"I'm calling to check and make sure you let out my cat.  Because she's an outside cat.  And she's old.  She needs to be outside.  Could you please make sure you let her out?"

Oh.  My.  God.

I wish I could say I was exaggerating.  I wish I could say that I'm completely making this up.

But I'm not.

So I call her back.  She's at work.  When I finally get her on the phone (after waiting about a minute and a half) her tone with me is very irritated.  As if "how the hell do you justify calling me at work??  You fucking bitch.  You're getting me into trouble and I hate you."  Never mind that I'm calling her back on the number that she has called me from twice before.

I tell her that I have indeed let out her cat and that all appears to be well.  I am sorry for locking up her cat inside.  All the while in my head I'm starting to think "Cuckoo!  How dare you take that tone with me when I'm doing you a favor by looking after your cat?"

The end.

Just kidding.

I wish I wasn't joking.  Really I do.

Seriously.

But it was not the end of the cat saga.

The first day we plan to (and did) spend the night at the new place she walks up while I'm beginning to weed the side garden.

"I wanted to say I was sorry for freaking out on you about my cat.  You see, she's old.  And I was worried about her.  I was doing yoga on the porch that morning before work and she ran outside.  She didn't come back in so I left her out.  Normally she goes outside at night.  And I'll move my car, I see you guys are moving in and I know you have the driveway."

Did you catch that?

Yes... apparently the cat goes out at night not the day.

Huh?

Say what?

Can you repeat yourself because I'm not sure I heard that right.  In fact, I know I must have heard that wrong because earlier you made it expressly clear that she was an "outside cat during the day" and that she must be outside.  Because she's an outside cat.

*sigh*

And the kicker is we've seen the cat out more during the day than the night.  But it is a black cat.

Anyways.  That's my tail and I'm sticking to it.

Posted at 7:33 pm by the monkey
(1) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Wednesday, August 2
Over The Hedge

It was a cute movie and all I really have to say is that I would have loved to see more Shatner.  He was underused.  And I could have lived without Wanda Sykes big mouth blaring from the surround sound speakers.  Short story is I wouldn't buy it for my collection (a little more Shatner... a little less brass... and I would have) but if you have a family and a few bucks to spare I could think of worse ways to spend the money and time.

Posted at 8:12 pm by the monkey
(2) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Tuesday, July 25
Clerks II

Okay first of all I just want to say what the fucking hell is wrong with parents that think it's perfectly fine to take their 10 and 6 year old children (again, estimation and Thumper's guess) to see this (rated R) movie????????!!!????

Now that THAT is out of my system...

I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time.  Well... at anything that didn't come from Thumper's actions or mouth.  I was near tears more than once.  Holy hell was that funny!!  Worse than the first for vulgarity and content and that's a good thing.  I don't want to say it was better than the first... but...  oh who am I kidding?  It is better than the first one.  And that's rare.  1) Because Clerks is damn funny.  2)  Because sequels are... well, generally as a rule... made to suck.  Think about it.   It's a continuation of a story.  The "What happens after the end?"  And usually should never be thought of, much less made.  But Clerks takes the issue up and forces it down our throats like ass to mouth in an awkward moment.  Only this is funny.  And doesn't taste like ass when you lick your lips.  Uhm.

Anyways.  I know this post is totally out of character for me but I don't care.  Go see this movie.  But not if you are in the least bit offended by... uh... anything.  The greatest thing that this movie has going for it is that while it did show some great scenes in the trailers... you can't really appreciate them till you see the movie.  And those by far were not the best scenes.

Kevin Smith... you fucking rule.  Thank you.










Oh, by the way, this is definately going into the monkey's dvd vault.  Just FYI.

Posted at 6:11 pm by the monkey
(2) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Friday, July 21
Big update

There is so much to say and I don't really have the energy or time to go into details...

so...

1) the neighbor situation is somewhat resolved.  the war (I believe) has been won but battles will continue to rage until either she moves out, we move out or our landlord grows a backbone.  details to follow.

b) monday is my birthday and I'm not entirely pleased about it.  I'm never thrilled about the day which stems from issues developed when I was a child torn between two households and nurtured through the years by a lack of a phone call.  again, details later.  Thumper is throwing me a party of which I am both happy and anxious about.  happy for various reasons (the biggest ones being some really good food and great company) and anxious about being the center of attention.  I don't like attention.  not direct attention that is.

III) it's that fucking time of the month again.  on top of the annual birthday depression.  so yay me. and either it's really bad this month or I did something today I shouldn't because my back hurt so bad tonight that I drugged up.  and we all know how monkey and the drugs don't mix.

lastly) I don't know.  the top two are the main diversions to me posting.  part of me doesn't want to share and part of me wants to share perhaps too much.  so I haven't.  just to be safe.  but at some point it's going to explode and it's better that the blast go through cyberspace instead of through an actual wall.

and if monday comes and goes and I don't get a phone call, again, well... I won't be surprised.  thanks.

Posted at 10:57 pm by the monkey
SHOCK THE MONKEY  

Sunday, July 9
Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Be warned: Watch this and prepared to be sitting there just like you did for Matrix: Reloaded.  Not because Pirates is a subpar movie.  Quite the opposite.  I think it was great in almost all aspects.  Except for resolution, but that can be tolerated (barely) knowing that the resolution comes next year when At World's End debuts.  Just like in Reloaded I sat there expecting more.  Knowing I'll get it in the future doesn't really help.  I still felt like there should have been more... well, ending.

Depp didn't steal the show this time either.  Knightley does in almost every shot she's in.  Watch it and see for yourself.  Her facial expressions and mannerisms steal the spotlight from her costars (or so I thought) nevermind all the great lines she's given and delivers with near perfect timing.  Don't get me wrong, all the actors gave 100% into the film and it shows.  Even Nighy who you can't see underneath the CGI/makeup.  I'm not sure who came up with the snorting/snuffling he did and it doesn't really matter... it's perfect.

I wasn't as awed as I was when I saw the first film with the special effects... but not because the second film's were bad.  In fact, they held up and perhaps surpassed the first one.  But I wasn't wowed.  I didn't sit there stunned (with one exception - the water wheel scene... but that wasn't computer generated (was it?)) by graphics or action.  I guess it's because the CGI was on par with what it should be for this time in our history, and the action was as well.

Plot.  Well... for what it is (second in a trilogy) it's okay.  As I said earlier I felt like more was needed at the end, but it's personal.  I can't wrap my head around the *spoiler warning* return of Captain Barbossa.  I mean seriously... I thought he was dead?  In checking a few chat boards and spoiler rooms I find that I'm in the same boat a lot of other people are in (haha get it?  same boat?  ...oh come on!!) about it.  Some people say that perhaps the third movie will explain it.  It damn well better.  In movies (the second and first) where there are few plotholes (few that I see when I watch them - discussions afterwards be damned) such a big plothole would be it's undoing for me if not explained in some way in the end.

Bottom line (lol - so many puns, not enough time) is that I would buy this on DVD in a heartbeat... if it weren't for the Matrix fiasco.  Let me explain before you keelhaul my arrrrse.  I liked Matrix: Reloaded okay enough.  I bought it on DVD hoping that Revolutions would be much better and justify the expense.  And then I saw Revolutions and sobbed.  Couldn't have Reloaded without Revolutions... so I have the whole set but will only bring the second and third out when I feel the need to justify the money spent on them.  Yeah.  So I won't go running when this one comes out.  Unless, of course, either of the following applies:  Thumper or someone else close to me buys it for me; it goes on one heck of a sale; or I have money to burn...

Posted at 10:11 am by the monkey
(1) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Saturday, July 8
Ye Olde Perve

Yesterday Thumper and I went to visit my grandmother in rehab since she cracked five ribs in a nasty fall two weeks ago.  What rehab did you think I meant, man?

Anyways, while we're waiting for her near her room (she was finishing up with physical therapy) this old man in a wheelchair comes toward us.

At first he seemed pleasant enough.  He said I looked good today and then proceeded to joke a little with Thumper about how he would say that Thumper also looked good... but it might get taken the wrong way.  We all laughed.

Then... the conversation turned into a XXX Twilight-esque discussion.  Mostly one-sided as the old man proceeded to tell us exactly how his member functioned and how long it had been since he used it.  I'm not kidding.  Also, how his friend would take pictures of his wife (making love) with various objects.  Still not kidding.

But he was "okay with it".  Both with his friend and how long since he had any action.  Viagra, of course, was mentioned as well.

Thumper and I just smiled politely and tried not to give any encouragement to continue the discussion.  After the guy wheels away, Thumper tells me he hopes never to turn into that.  So lonely that all social grace and mental filters fail.

Posted at 2:48 pm by the monkey
(1) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Monday, July 3
Why we called the cops...

As a friend pointed out today, I failed to post the story about the driveway/cop situation.

My bad.

(maniacal laughter)

So...

Ever since we officially moved into the duplex our neighbor has made it known that she doesn't quite agree with our landlord about the driveway rights.  The first day I met her (when she proceeded to tell me that the cat she had so vehemently insisted was an outside cat during the day earlier was actually an outside cat at night) she said, without any prompting on our part, that she would move her car which was parked in the middle of our driveway.  She continued to say she understood it was our right to park there (it's in our lease, even) but... did not move her car until two days later.  When she actually parked where we thought she would.  Parallel to the curb and leaving us room to back out of the driveway clear and free of her bumper.

Fast forward another two days (or so) when something changes in her routine and she is driving a different, larger vehicle.  This she parks where she has been parking.  Unfortunately the bumper now sticks out in the beast's path.  Luckily his driver looks where she is going and is good at starting/driving a stick shift with no emergency brake or there might have been a slight problem.

At this point in the story I should stop and describe the full driveway situation and why we have the rights to it.  It's a triangle styled driveway which we share with our other neighbor (different building).  We have two full-sized trucks.  Our other neighbor (I'll call her Sassy since I know her name starts with an S but for the life of me I can't remember what it actually is) has people over on a pretty consistent basis.  I would have been willing to share our driveway with Crazy if not for Sassy's visitors.  If Crazy parks in front of us (even on the very side of the end) and Sassy has friends over, we could not get out of our driveway without ten minutes of back and forth driving on our lawn.  And that is why we have full rights to the driveway.

Hoping she might get a hint, Thumper parks my truck nose first at the bottom of the driveway.

Crazy cat lady takes this as a "rude gesture" (direct from her lips when I confronted her later) and parks nose to nose with the Hulk.

I mean they were almost lip-locked.

Did I mention that while the "new car" was larger than the one she had been driving, it was still only a half my truck's size?  Hmmmm...

This means she's now perpendicular to the curb out in the street.

Her car stays this way for a weekend and a day.

After witnessing me pull into the drive about a half an inch away from her side mirror, she decides it might be in her best interest to...

Park in the driveway.

Granted, it was all the way at the bottom or as Thumper said, "The apron."  Luckily Sassy didn't have any guests that day.

At this point we have already called our landlord (we did so when she was parked nose to nose with the beast) but had not received a call back.

Thumper's near wit's end and is threatening harm to either her or her vehicle.

I play nice while he's at work that day and actually ask her "What the hell did we do to piss you off?"

She plays dumb and replies "What?"  I ask her why she is parking in the driveway after saying she knows we have the rights to it.  She then goes into this circular conversation (it was way too close to the conversation I had with her about her "outside cat") explaining how the previous tenants had let her park at the bottom of the driveway and they had "two trucks larger than yours" and never had a problem with her.  She mentioned that she thought it was very rude of us to park at the bottom of our driveway the way we did and oh, did she mention that she never had a problem parking there with the guys that lived there before us? 

I told her there must have been some previous miscommunication or lack of communication when we moved in because we were under the impression that we didn't have to share the driveway.  I explained that we did not want to share the driveway.  But after repeatting myself for the fourth time I finally gave up and started walking away.

She all but yelled after me once she realized I was ending the conversation, "Call the landlord if you have a problem with it!"

As I continue walking away from her I replied in a normal tone, "We already have."

In a shrill tone of disbelief (I think she thought I swore at her) she screams (in a tone I recognized my mother using more than once) "What did you say?"

I said it again, louder, and used our landlord's name.  We know the guy.  We like the guy.  We've been doing work on the duplex for him.  Yeah.  Take THAT Crazy lady!

And I drove to the apartment where Thumper was packing.  I explained to him all that had transpired with her (I was shaking I was so upset - I had come to realize driving to him that she was not going to move her car just because I asked her to) and he didn't say much as we turned right around and went back home.  He saw how upset I was and realized that we had to deal with this now.

Enter the police.

Thumper had called our landlord once again but after leaving yet another message (he may be a nice guy but his returning of phone calls leaves a little to be desired) he decides to call the cops.

A K-9 unit responds and says there isn't anything they can do unless it's business hours and she's parked perpendicular "in" the street.  However, since the driveway is personal property, we can have her towed.

He walks over to her unit and warns her by explaining the same thing.  She says the same thing she said to me earlier in the day (she's never had a problem before with the other tenants) but adds that she will move her car.

The cop leaves.

Her car is still at the bottom of our driveway.

This had been about 7:20-7:30.

Ten o'clock hits and Thumper tries our landlord once again and actually gets through.  He explains that we called the cops and the officer told us we have every right to tow her ass.  He also adds that we don't want to do that as it is an extreme reaction and not how we want to interact with our neighbors.

Our landlord calls her and talks to her.  We will never know exactly what he said but I can tell you right now I know exactly what she said.  "I never had a problem with the previous tenants!"

HAHAHAHA

So he calls us back and by this time it's almost 11 at night.  He says it's all taken care of and she should have her car moved.  He asks that we "play nice" and try to get along.

Thumper looks out our window and sure enough... we couldn't get her to move her car.  The cops couldn't get her to move her car.  But the landlord must have said something that got through her thick skull because she finally moved her car.

Granted she's been parking almost perpendicular in the street and over enough that I still have to keep an eye out so as to not hit her bumper... but she's not in the driveway.

And like I said earlier, the garbage man is making his position known too.

*fading maniacal laughter*

Posted at 5:58 pm by the monkey
(1) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

Sunday, July 2
Tales of the other side

So...

(Yes my dear monkeys, it's the infamous "So..." opening - oh joyous return!)

Today is the second of July.  In about 48 hours (more if you wait for darkness to fall) most of the country will be celebrating our independence by lighting of many firecrackers.  Our neighbors have decided to partake in this sport a few days early.  No big deal, right?

*sour laugh*

So...

Our cat-loving neighbor has a son.  He's probably around 6 (Thumper's best guess - I'm clueless.  He's old enough to walk, talk, operate a RC monster truck and take the groceries into the duplex for his dear old mom while she's... using the battery operated fun toy no one is to mention outside of the house?  I keeed - I have no idea (nor do I want one) if she has a fun toy) and fairly cute as young kids go.  We certainly have no qualms with him.

Thumper's in the kitchen putting away dinner when out of our front window he spies "Crazy's home and there's another dude.  Not ZZtop."

Side note - We call her crazy because of the cat incident which I could kind of (kind of) relate to and then felt it was justified with the whole driveway/cop situation.  ZZtop is what we call the dude we've seen hanging around more than once (pimp?) and he looks exactly like one of them too.  Seriously.

I creep over to spy out the window but the "new man" is hiding behind the car (parked perpendicular to the curb mind you - even the garbageman hates her now) and I can't even see the boy.  We wait and sure enough after a couple of moments both "man" and kid walk to the middle of the culdesac. 

"Sweety, I think that's a chick."

Granted... I could see where Thumper might think that was the baby-daddy of the week (also known as the rent payer of the month) but I could see feminine features (although very little in the chest region - I swear I'm not a mean person (this should become my mantra of late)) and she/he's watching the kid... lean over a firecracker with a match.

Yes.  Mom's nowhere in sight (she was in the duplex I learned in a few minutes...) and the firecracker is not lighting.

So what does the adult do?  What does any sane adult do in this situation?  That's right - gives the kid her/his lit cigarette to help (What do you mean that's wrong??).  They're both leaning over the firecracker although (I have no idea how big or little it is and don't think it really matters in any case becase...) the kid is the one actually touching the tiny bomb.

At this point I'm fighting every maternal instinct in my body which wants to open the door and scream at them.  (It's at this point in the story that I should tell you that I believe in Darwinism and that's the biggest reason why I was fighting that instinct.  Okay, so I do have a mean streak.)

The cigarette fails and the adult takes it back and gives it a big huff.  Addicted much?  Then... THEN proceeds to give the kid her/his lighter.

The kid can't figure out how to work it so the adult shows the kid and continues to watch (still leaning over the firecracker) but the thing still won't light.

At this point our very maternal neighbor runs out of the duplex screaming at both of them for not only standing in the middle of a heavily used turn-around, not only for standing over the firecracker but also screaming because her little baby was lighting the firecracker!!

Just kidding. 

No, instead she saunters out of the door, purse in hand, and proceeds to herd everyone into the car.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Won't you be my neighbor?

Posted at 7:24 pm by the monkey
(3) SHOCKED THE MONKEY  

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