la Ketch

my life story

Sunday, March 25, 2007

march madness

March in New York so volatile. It's schizophrenic really. It will be 60 degrees one day and a snow storm the next. Everyone thinks it's Spring but it's not really. I'm mean technically it is but I don't think Spring really hits until May. Still, today was pretty nice and I'll take it. The bulbs I planted in the Fall are starting to come up, which is awesome. Time certainly does move forward...

One thing the warm weather brings with it are mosquitoes and other bugs but it's the mosquitoes that really upset me. They love me. LOVE me. Last summer it wasn't unusual for me to wake up with 6-7 bites all over my body just from one pesky fucker living on our ceiling. I'll wake up in the middle of the night and turn on the lights and make poor Dup help me kill it.

It doesn't help that our next door neighbor, who is certifiably insane, is breeding mosquitoes in a stagnant fish pond he has in his back yard. There's no pump, no fish. He doesn't change the water ever. It just sits there green and disgusting and crawling with mosquito larvae. I looked up what mosquito larvae look like on the Internet. They look like itsy bitsy tadpoles. I looked over the fence into his pond one day last summer and the thing is crawling with them. There must have been a thousand. I wanted to rip my skin off.

I called the city and filed a complaint. I sent in an e-mail complaint to the Health Department, they even have a special form to fill out for stagnant water reports on their website. Nothing was done.

I can not approach him directly because he's insane in a very real way. I've had a few long conversations with him and he talks a lot about the war (Vietnam). I think he was badly damaged by it. He's very angry and his sentences bounce from one subject to the other with no connection. He makes reference to people that you don't know as if you know who he's talking about. He growls. His eyes are glazed over like he's on a lot of meds and he drinks heavily. So, he's really not the kind of guy you want to potentially pick a fight with or even suggest that they empty their fish pond for that matter. You just don't know how it will turn out...

So what I did is, I got these things called "Mosquito Dunks." You put them in stagnant water and the mosquito larvae eat them and they die. They are non toxic to other animals. I broke a few of them up into little pieces and threw them into his pond. You're supposed to do this once a month. I bought enough to last until next winter. I believe in my heart that they will work.
Also, I'm going to build a screen on our back door and I'm going to buy a silent mosquito zapper. I'm so not fucking around this year. I don't want Dup Jr. getting West Nile Virus for God's sake and I really want to be able to go out into my backyard without wearing protective clothing from head to toe, covered in Deet.

The other thing about the neighbor is that Dup hates him. He growls at Eliott and Eliott howls at him and one day he yelled all sorts of drunken, incoherent yet horrible things at Dup over the fence and now Dup won't acknowledge him. I've taken the opposite approach. I figure, if this guy is crazy we should be really nice to him so that he isn't hate vibing us or freaking out on us. So I always say "hi" to him and sometimes I stop and "talk" with him which is more like being yelled at. Dup calls him "psycho killer" but I've learned that his name is actually Frank and that's what I call him.

One thing Frank really likes to do is sit out in his back yard without a shirt on, drink Budweisers and play classic rock really, really loud. He plays Steve Miller Band & Tom Jones so loud that you can't not hear it from anywhere in the house. It's sort of torturous.

About three months ago we got a Bose Sound dock for our IPods and I decided it was finally time to get rid of this huge boom box we've used as a stereo/cd player since I moved to New York. It works great but it's really clunky and takes up space and there's just no reason to have it around a small apt. So, I decided to put it out on the street. When I went out there with it Frank happened to be sitting on his front stoop. I set it on the street and he said, "What's wrong with it?!" I explained to him that it worked great but we just got a new one and didn't want it anymore. He walked down the stairs to inspect it and I went back into the house. When I came back out again he was on his stoop. "That thing works great!" he said, "If you ever get rid of any more stuff, I want it." I was thinking, this is so wonderful, I'm finally making friends with this guy. He loves me now. Then he went on, "I had one but the speakers blew. I was saving to get a new one but that one works great. I can play music year round." Then I remembered. The loud music. He has blown out his speakers and here I was supplying him with a new sound source.

He's out there right now. Playing my old stereo super loud. It's a classic rock station so the worst part is that you have to listen to the commercials. I feel like I should walk around and apologize to all the neighbors. Oh well. As long as those damned mosquito dunks work, I really don't care about the music.

In other news, I have officially stepped down as manager of the Dog Run. To say that it's a load off would be the biggest understatement ever. I was able to pass along some key tasks to some really generous, great people and we had a meeting where about 10 people showed up and they gave me a gift. It was a very nice ending. I'm still going to stay on to see through a final project. We got a grant from the city for $1,000 to fix a dangerous, dilapidated fence. I want to make sure that gets done and then I'm completely done. I don't regret my involvement in the Dog Run. It was very fulfilling in a lot of ways because we got a lot done in a year. It was also a huge learning experience or I should say re-learning experience for me.

Even something as seemingly benign and seemingly unimportant in the grand scheme as a dog run in a city park can become all encompassing. It has to do with bureaucracy on any level and public service. I honestly have no idea how politicians do it. You would have to have SKIN OF STEEL and how do you have skin of steel and remain compassionate and open hearted so that you can serve your community? It's a tall order. It's like acting that way. You have to be able to handle the worst rejection but have all of your heart open at the same time. It's tricky stuff.

I made some enemies at the dog run that's for sure. Also, I made one really good friend and I think it's worth it for that. She really helped me through the whole thing, was a great voice of reason and her dog happens to be Eliott's favorite. It's funny how Eliott will often get along with dogs whos owners I get along with. Dogs are very intuitive.

We're getting the apartment ready for the baby. It's very exciting. Spring is here and the baby is coming and no more Dog Run and no more mosquitoes and life is good.

So Happy Spring Everybody!


At 11:18 PM, Blogger Meg said...

I got a good idea.........
someone needs to buy Frank his own ipod then he can blast his own ears

At 7:14 PM, Blogger A Large Slice of Cake said...

I hate mosquitoes. They love me, too. They make some self-destructive choices, don't they?

On another note, what are the bones of contention that create ENEMIES at the dog run meetings? I am very curious about storyling. Maybe we could get THE ACID QUEEN: THE DOG RUN YEARS. Think about it.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger kww said...

One thing I loved about the city was that there were no mosquitos or really any bugs--how is it that you have them in NYC? That is not right man, there are supposed to be perks to not having nature around.


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