Wednesday, March 14, 2007

WARNING: Don't go topless on our street

Things had been pretty quiet on Crazy Lady Lane.

We were settling in to our new abode at a comfortable pace. Crazy Lady next door seemed to be leaving us alone since her attempt at having our car towed.

Overall, things were getting to be quite peachy.

Saturdays around the Russell household usually consists of coffee and breakfast cozied up on the couch in front of a home improvement show. Sort of an early morning pep talk for the rest of the day. Feeling freshly inspired we’ll pull on our grubs and get started on the latest project that has our attention.

Around our house, that could mean any one of 237 projects we currently have going.

And on any given Saturday we could be working on 1 single project.

Or 22.

Because we have what I call PADD.

Or Project Attention Deficit Disorder.

(I self medicate with wine)

I seem to recall that the Saturday that I am slowly getting my story around to, was one of the Saturdays where we had at least 4 things going on.

It was late morning and I was walking out front, probably AWAY from something that was annoying me and in search of either something else to catch my attention, or Trevor – so he could fix it.

Out front I stumbled across Trevor and one of our neighbors.

This was very exciting at the time because up until now we had only briefly met two of our neighbors.

Being the new homeowner that I am I had all these delusions of moving into to our FABULOUS new house and meeting all our FABULOUS new neighbors. We would all become GREAT friends, invite each other over for spontaneous dinners on our patios, drink wine on Sunday evenings, share gardening tips, housesit for each other, and enjoy many a quaint conversations over the fence whilst holding gardening shears mid-prune.

Because pruning the lemon trees is #34 on our project list.

And thanks to PADD, a friendly neighborly conversation over the fence is an excellent way of distracting me from work.

So imagine my dismay when we move in, get ticketed and cited for towing on two separate occasions, and have only managed to get a couple “hi, welcome to the neighborhoods!” in passing in the entire month we had been there.

Granted it was the middle of winter and no one really hangs around outside with wine trying to coax you into their backyard on a Sunday evening with promises of a delicious meal.

Come to think of it, if anyone did that I might turn and run the other way.


What the hell was I getting at?

Seriously. People?

You have no idea what it is like to be me, and to try and blog.

I read and REread my work repeatedly.

And not because I’m anal.

Well, there IS that too.

But what I’m referring to is how many times I reread my work because I have gotten myself so off track that I have to recall what the hell my point was.

Not including all the times I reread my work just to make sure I like what I wrote.

So by the time I’m done with a blog and ready to post, I have in all likelihood read the damn thing at least 12-15 times.

And then I publish it – and go read it physically ON the blog.

And then?

You got it…I find something ELSE wrong and have to go and edit it.

Usually I’ve posted and reposted each one of my blogs at least 3-5 times.


And no, I don’t take any medications.

But hey, some people wash their hands repeatedly.

I’m perfectly happy to just read and read and read and read my work.


NOW I have to go reread what I wrote so I can figure out what the hell I was writing about in the first place AGAIN…

Ok, right.

So Trevor and a neighbor were conversing in our front yard.

Naturally I go and butt in because I’m excited that not only has a neighbor approached us, but he also seems enthusiastic and very friendly.

Definate possiblities for wine schmoozing on Sunday evenings. Or Tuesdays. Or Wednesday, Thursdays or Fridays evening.

Point is, I'm not discriminatory over which night of the week I drink wine. Or schmooze.

Our new neighbor John proved himself to be quite the valuable asset in just the first 10 minutes of making his acquaintance.

Having lived on the street – just 2 houses down from the Crazy Lady – for 10 years, he has quite the load of gossip.


He LOVES to gossip.

We learned many an interesting fact in our first conversation with John.

Crazy Lady was born into the house she currently lives in. Her parents took ill when she was young (probably 20’s) and she was forced to take care of them having been their only child. She never dated, never married, her parents died and she has lived in the house ever since.

(I'm thinking being a virgin has probably caused most, if not all, of her psychosis)

There was some vague recollection about an ambulance having a hard time getting to the house during an emergency that has led to speculation as to why she obsesses about her driveway and cars parked in near proximity.

We suspect she has never even had a job – possibly never even made it off the island.

We learned that she apparently has calmed in her old age. John recalled many times he had been ticketed just for parking on the street – never mind near her house.

When she’s feeling particularly spirited she’ll even throw kitchen scraps on your windshield as a means to convey how she feels about your car being there.

More prodding and we got even more fascinating stories…

Neighborhood kids used to throw a ball around on the street since it’s a quiet cul-de-sac. Until one afternoon 4 cop cars came screeching around the corner with their sirens blaring because apparently she had called 911 reporting that there were “men with daggers” in her yard trying to “stab her”.

We weren’t sure how much credit to give that story until a week later we met another neighbor – he shared a few Crazy Lady stories of his own, including a time he was playing ball with some friends when he was a kid and all these cops showed up because there had been an attempted stabbing reported by the Crazy Lady.

Lastly, John shared with us a time a few years prior that some person visiting a friend on the street had the poor misfortune to not only park RIGHT in front of the Crazy Lady’s house, but in a convertible with the TOP DOWN.

She marched right out front, threw her garden hose in the car, and turned it on.

We have yet to verify that story with any other neighbors, but people?

The bitch is crazy!

We continued to keep a sense of humor about her.

And Trevor never leaves the top down on his car.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The beat we live in.

Christmas came and went. We had no more cars ticketed, cited abandoned, or towed.

Overall, a good holiday.

Come Tuesday Trevor decided to take advantage of his day off and head over to the police department and see if he could talk to someone there about the recent “issues” we had been having with the crazy old lady.

We thought it might be best to start some sort of record in case we had to push any kind of harassment suit.

Now, keep in mind we have always kept a sense of humor about our neighbor. We are not stressed, freaked out, angry, frustrated, or pissed off.

Life is too short - and seriously? This is pretty freakin' amusing. By the time that I'm writing this (oh, like 2 months after the fact), we actually look for ways to push our limits with the old bitch. I mean, really. We're not going anywhere, she's probably going to live to be 110, so we may as well make this a little entertaining.

But, that being said, we also know how fine a line it is between being annoying in a psychotically eclectic sort of way and being a flat out pain in the ass that’s costing us money.

We know how important it is to make sure your ass is covered when they stop being harmless, and start getting expensive.

We’ve both dated people like that.

So, Trevor headed off to the small town USA police station to file some sort of record with the station and ended up actually talking to the police officer that “runs our beat”.


Apparently do we not only have just ONE cop that is in charge of our neighborhood…

But we live in a “beat”.

That’s right.

Very nice guy as it turns out.

A very nice guy that is very familiar with the “woman next door”.

Apparently she makes frequent calls to the police department for a whole litany of reasons. He informed Trevor to “not worry about it”, “she’s harmless”, and we’re “not special, she does this to everyone”.

Oh gosh.

And here I was hoping we were her “special” victims.

Now that I know that she treats EVERYONE like this, I feel used.

So basically, as long as we continue to obey the law, and refrain from parking 6 inches into a red curb, we should be ok.

For the most part that put our minds at ease. What anxiety we DID have about the issue anyway.

But we were not looking forward to the frequent conversations we would be having with the police – scratch that – this one cop guy, because we knew we would soon begin a lot of construction around the house.

And neighbors usually don’t like construction.

And neighbors that already suck and have the police on speed-dial?


We were starting to think we should keep a box of donuts and a fresh brewed pot of coffee on hand every weekend.