Tag Archives: speakers

I thought I couldn’t dislike my neighbor more…

14 Aug

…I was dead wrong.

Have I talked to you guys about how much I dislike my down the street neighbor?  Wait, yes, I have!  I wrote about how he and I were feuding after he had like a 3 day long rager when I had work and someone, I am not going to say who it was, called the cops on him after that someone repeatedly asked him to turn down the club speakers he had installed in the garage behind his building because said speakers were making the entire bed of the unnamed person who called the cops on him vibrate.  After that happened, down-the-street-neighbor told my landlord that the tenants of my apartment were throwing cigarettes onto his roof (none of us smoke), causing my landlord to lock the roof, thereby effectively ending our not-so-legal roof access.  He also started growling at me when I walked by, making as if he was going to spray me with his hose while watering his flowers, and mimicking me whenever he heard me on the phone or laughing aloud or anything.  This has been going on for the better part of 2 years, if I had to guess.  Oh and by the way, this man is in his 50s.  It is really incredible how some people literally never grow up.

As you have probably assumed, I really, really don’t like this man.  What’s crazy about it is that we used to get along really well back in the day but it’s like once you allegedly do one little thing the whole damn relationship just goes up in flames and you are forced to roll your eyes at least 3 times a week in response to his growling.  Rolling my eyes and feeling thankful that I Am (sort of) An Adult is the only thing that keeps me from pissing in a bottle and then pouring the urine over his carefully tended plants in the dead of night.  Seriously, I have thought about this.  My sisterfriend Marissa and I have talked about it.  Many times.  In detail.  I even have plans carefully sketched out with escape routes and everything.  Anyway, all that is really neither here nor there.  What is, however, both here and there is that today when I got home from training at my new job I noticed a lot of brightly colored things hanging from the bannisters of the stairs leading up to the building. This is never a good sign.  I then rushed to my bedroom and looked out the window, and there it was:  The Big White Tent.  Fuck.  The only time there is a Big White Tent in his backyard is when he is planning on having some sort of incredibly loud family gathering.  Seriously, you guys, I really don’t like when people use shorthand for things on the internet but FML for realz.

Just as a slight aside, I am someone who is good at a few things.  One of the things I am especially good at is my ability to fall asleep once my head hits the pillow in my bed.  I think it’s because I really only use my bed for one thing:  sleeping.  Okay, that is not entirely true.  I also use my bed for some other things but I don’t really want to get into that right now.  Or ever.  On my blog.  With my dad reading.  Dad, pretend like I never said that about the other things.  Just like, go back to the beginning of the paragraph and read up to the point where I said “sleeping” and then jump back down to right here.  HERE DAD!  THIS IS WHERE YOU START READING AGAIN!  As I was saying, I don’t really watch TV in my bed or read in my bed.  I just sleep there.  For me, having a place thats real purpose is to allow me to shut my brain down is incredibly important.  It’s like an oasis.  An oasis full of cats.  Well, two cats.  Plus the third cat that they leave behind on my comforter that doesn’t seem to ever disappear no matter how often I vacuum the damn thing.  Fuck that third shed kitty.  I will suck him up in my vacuum over and over again.  I will win this war, shed kitty!!!  I am having a hard time focusing if you haven’t noticed.  Maybe if I start a new paragraph.

Take two.  So I fall asleep really quickly.  Sometimes I wake back up again but then I pretty much just look at the time, express my displeasure at being awake by emitting one of those terrible clicking noises that I hate when people make but which I make anyway all the time when stupid things happen, and go back to sleep again.  Then I sleep all the way until the morning!  It is so good!  What I am not good at is not sleeping.  Some people are good at it.  There are all these articles out there actually about how people who have insomnia are smarter than the rest of us and maybe that’s true but that’s okay.  I would rather be dumb and well rested, thank you very much.  So the reason I mention this is that I have had one of those weeks where I am really burning the candle at both ends.  This is what happened:

– Went to bed really late on Sunday night.
– Had to get up at 7:45 to be at a training on Monday morning.
– Worked behind the bar Monday night until 4am during which time I had to listen to someone talk about how we are living in a post-racial society.  It made me really mad.  It made me so mad that I snuck to the bar nextdoor and had a demeanor-saving shot of Powers.  This is something I will get to at a later date.
– Had to get up at 7:45 to be at a training on Tuesday morning.
– Went out for drinks on my way home from said training, had a delicious summer-time Manhattan made with rye and dry vermouth which led to me falling asleep at 9:15.  Bliss.
– Had to get up at 7:45 to be at a training on Wednesday morning.
– Got a last minute call to cover a shift Wednesday night and walked through the door to my house at 5:30am.
– Had to get up at 7:45 to be at a training on Thursday morning.

I was really hoping that I would be able to recreate my Tuesday night and go to sleep super early.  I ate some snacks, I drank some water, I watched some bad TV, I did not have a Manhattan, summertime or otherwise, and then it happened.  Drumming.  Live, loud drumming.  The drumming went on and on and then the drumming left and went on a tour of the block during which there was some silence.  Then the drumming came back.  Then there was a quiet ceremony and now there is loud singing.  With more drumming.  Because as I mentioned before dude has MASSIVE MOTHER FUCKING SPEAKERS.  It’s so crazy because this isn’t like, Madison Square Garden or a club or some shit.  It is a small parking lot type situation on an ordinarily quiet block on a Thursday night.  I know that I am sounding like a total old fogey here but like,


This is the problem I have with the world.  People do not give a shit about the other people.  I know the parking lot is his private property but you know what isn’t his private property?  The air through which the incredibly loud noises coming from his huge speakers is currently traveling.  The thing is that everyone in his small parking lot would be able to hear all of the things happening without huge speakers.  He might not even need speakers at all, to be honest.  All he needs are some people who are good at projecting their voices.  I know some of those people.  They are called actors.  Some of them sing.  Some of them even sing traditional Indian songs that are accompanied by lots of drumming.

The other thing about all this is that normally, I love this music.  Like, if I were sitting in my room on not a Thursday after I got 2 hours of sleep when I have to bartend tomorrow and the next day and when I also have house guests coming (I am so excited!!!) I would totally be in my happy place.  This music reminds me of being in India and I love being in India.  I could pretty much be there all the time.  Which would mean I would live there.  Things are hard for me right now.  Don’t judge.  Sometimes I watch Bollywood.  Here is a video:


You need to wait until you see the military guy’s mustache.  Unreal.  Seriously.  You don’t even see that shit in Brooklyn.

Anyway, I lost track and I actually don’t even know where I was going with all this because I am so deliriously tired that I cannot even form a coherent thought.  So, in summation:

1.  My down-the-street-neighbor fucking sucks

2.  I am so tired and frustrated about the fact that this is happening right now that I might actually cry

3.  A tear just rolled down my check

4.  If anyone wants to help me with the urine-on-the-plants plan I am taking applications.  We’ll call it Operation Revenge Wiz.

5.  Everything is loud and I am sad.

Okay, I am going to put in some earplugs now and hope that somehow a miracle happens and my misshapen ear canals don’t force the earplugs out almost immediately rendering the entire approach completely useless.  Wish me luck.

Harassment via Loud Speaker! A Novel Experience!

19 Nov

What follows is a rant.  So, consider yourself warned.*

As I have mentioned before, I enjoy running.  I love that it allows me to move my body. I love that I get to clear my mind.  I love that, as a four-season runner, I get outdoors on days when I normally would cower inside, wrapped tightly in my house sweater.  (Yes, I am aware that the fact that I have a “house sweater” makes me sound old.)  Perhaps most of all, I love that when I go out for a run I leave all technology behind.  Well, okay, that is not entirely true.  Sometimes I bring a podcast with me but that is only on days when I run over 13 miles.  Aching hips and the monotony of repeated running routes can spell the premature end of a specific workout and can, if repeated weekly, make the race I am training for terribly uncomfortable.  Believe me, I know.  And so, on those high mileage days, I allow myself a slight distraction.  Normally, though, I find the freedom from technology and the ability to take in the sights and the sounds of my neighborhood a perk to my running habit.

Today was no different.  I am just starting the process of training for the Manhattan Half Marathon at the end of January.  Yes, January.  In Central Park.  Sadly, this will not be my first time being stupid enough to run this race.  I am actually embarrassed to say that a few years ago when I ran it the temperature at the start was something like 13 degrees with a real feel of like, 5.  For the entire first loop of the park my feet were so cold they had gone numb and I literally felt like I was running on planks of wood.  It was absolutely terrible.  And yet I registered for it again.  Like a moron.  So I headed out of my house for an 8-9 mile training run, abandoning my phone on my bed.  I made my way up and around the cemetery and then, on Fort Hamilton Avenue, I experienced what was perhaps the worst case of street harassment directed at me ever in my life.  Well, it’s tied with that time the food delivery guy grabbed my ass like three houses up from my front door.  So there I was, minding my own business, enjoying the fall colors and the weird car-repair place that looks like an old-school drive-in restaurant with those girls that deliver the food on roller skates, when I heard, from what sounded like an intercom,

“Can I eat you down there, honey?”

Wait, what?  I stopped running.  I honestly could not believe that what I thought I heard was actually what I heard.  I looked around, saw an out of service MTA bus, the driver staring at me.  And then, just as I began to run again, thinking my ears must have deceived me it happened again.

“Can I eat you down there, honey?”

I turned around.  Through the haze of my anger the only thing I thought was that it must have been coming from the bus.  I took note of the time, the bus number, the cross streets.  I thought about whether or not I could give a description of the driver.  I hyperventilated.  Running when you are insanely angry and feeling violated and kind of afraid is no easy task.  I rehashed what happened again and again in my mind for the next mile until I convinced myself to let it go and think about something else.  Without a phone I couldn’t report it right then and I couldn’t snap a photograph.  I did, however, check my memory of the bus number every 5 minutes or so to make sure that when I made the report, which I was most definitely going to do, I would have all the details correct.  So I enjoyed the rest of my run as best I could, which was actually made easier by the fact that the park is one of my safe spaces.  I am always, always happy in the park.  If there comes a day when I am unhappy in the park, I will move away and not look back.

I arrived home and immediately went online to find the number to report complaints about MTA subways and buses.  511, in case you were curious.  I called and, after going through a whole lot of different menu options, I was connected with an extremely unhelpful lady.  The conversation went as follows:

Me: Hi. So I would like to file a complaint but I first am wondering whether or not it is possible for MTA bus drivers to make announcements on some sort of outside speaker.
Lady, snottily:  Well, why would you want the inside announcements to be heard outside?
Me:  Well, I wouldn’t, which is actually part of why I am calling. I just don’t want to make a complaint against someone and have them get in trouble for something that it is not possible for them to have done.
Lady:  So tell me the complaint and I will let you know.

I relayed my story to her.  She laughed.  Asshole.

Lady:  Well, I just can’t imagine anyone would say something like that.
Me: Yea, I couldn’t either until someone said it to me. So you can imagine why I would want to report this person.
Lady: Hold on.

I was then on hold for like 5 minutes while she did some combination of the following things: continued laughing, told all her friends about what I had told her, pretended she was doing something when actually she was just sitting there playing Candy Crush on her phone, or sought out a supervisor or bus-knowledge-haver to find out whether it was possible to make outside announcements.  She came back.

Lady:  It’s not possible.  Anything else?
Me:  No.  Thanks for your compassion.

It occurred to me that maybe the lady on the phone was lying.  I don’t know why she would do it but I thought it possible.  I hung up the phone and immediately posted on Facebook the following message which some of you may have seen:

Does anyone know whether MTA drivers have the ability to make announcements that can be heard outside the bus?

I received the following message from my friend Kevin which was so funny that it almost made the whole experience  worth having:

Does anyone know whether MTA drivers have the ability to make announcements that can be heard outside their heads?

Anyway, the whole experience sucked.  And it sucked even more because I was so convinced that it was the MTA bus that I didn’t look around for vehicles like cop cars and tow trucks that would be more likely to have outdoor speakers.  But also, it’s like, fuck you.  Who does that?!  Who makes sexually explicit comments to someone running over their fucking intercom?!  It’s like, let me broadcast that I am completely devoid of a moral compass.  Let me express my manhood by publicly making this woman feel entirely disempowered.  I hope someone sticks a nail in all his tires, breaks his speakers, and kicks him in the nuts.  Not necessarily in that order.

*That was really for you, Dad, since I know how much you love the rants. 🙂