Archive for the ‘hey sexy mama- wanna kill all humans?’ Category

Dear the bearded shirtless man (a.k.a., the patriarchal figure (presumably) of the Next Doors),

By all accounts, it is still October.  When I left this morning, barely beating out the sunrise, it was approximately thirty degrees, not even counting windchill.  I was wearing multiple layers and a winter coat.  You were… not.  You were, at seven in the morning, in October, in the Northeast, sitting on your porch, as bearded and shirtless as ever.  I appreciate that you bustled indoors once you heard me emerging from the safe cocoon that was my warm (oh so warm) abode, but it did not spare me the image of your vast, fleshy, perplexingly naked back shuffling off.

Does the beard keep you warm in the winter?  Is that it?  You don’t need all of those flashy Halloween decorations you put up circa-September.  When the small children approach your house tonight seeking candy, they’ll see you and be frightened enough.


the Brain


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When I was a youth, my best friend, who also happened to be my neighbor, and I were inseperable. We were practically family, to the point where we could just waltz in and out of each other’s houses. I was an invited guest at family picnics, had been to all of her siblings’ homes, and had spent time at her house quite by myself the summer I took care of her dog.

Why the delightful skip down memory lane, Brain?, you may be asking yourself. Because, reader-type person, in my inescapable habit of watching my neighbors and shaking my head in shame, the other day I happened to notice a black station wagon, piloted by a newly-minted Teen Driver, sitting at the curb (directly across from my front window, don’t look at me like that). For five minutes. For ten minutes.

Little Timmy sat in his mom’s borrowed car for thirteen minutes (keep in mind, he was already there when I happened to peek out of Jason the Window Guy’s brand-spanking-new windows, so it’s more like 13+ minutes) before the high school aged McAcrosstheStreet came out and hopped in. Little Timmy straightened and slumped, dangled an arm out of the window to pretend to be cool, flipped his cell phone open and shut to pretend to be busy. But not once did he get out of the car and go to the McAcrosstheStreets’ front door to ring the bell. I should be grateful he didn’t honk at the house, I suppose, but you’ve gotta wonder why he couldn’t ring the doorbell. That’s what they’re for, right?

Or am I just terribly, terribly old?

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You know what they say. (You know, because they only say the one thing.) ‘Art imitates life.’ Wait, no, that doesn’t apply here. Hold on, I’ll think of it. Tortoise and the hare… nah… Um, a stitch in time… that’s not it, either… A watched pot never… nope. It’s on the tip of my tongue, here… Ah, yes. ‘If you make fun of your hillbilly neighbors often enough, you too will become a hillbilly.’

In my defense, the enormous couch on my front porch is just there for a few days, a transitional thing because it can’t go out to the curb for pickup until Wednesday. And because by actually physically moving it out of the living room, I am officially One Step Closer to actually getting rid of the damn thing. It’s temporary hillbillyism.

Of course, that was before Jason the Window Guy came to redo the windows. Now there’s a bunch of leftover wood from the frames and a smidgen of pink insulation (honestly, I don’t know why that’s there) on the porch. BUT, the Next Doors took a look at that and decided to up their ghetto quotient by removing the screen from their front door, so they can just climb in and out without opening it.

Who is the real winner in this scenario?

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This is the sound of my coworker checking her email. You see, she has approximately an inch (maybe an inch and a half) high window in which to read her email. And given that most of her emails are from eBay (I know this because I have to help her print them once a month), they use an excessively large font, so she can read approximately one line (of three words) at a time. So she scrolls down. Manually. clickaclickaclickaclicka.

There are several potential solutions to this. She could: A) use the neat little double-arrow cursor to drag her (three inches plus tall) inbox window up so she has more space to read actual content; B) maximize the entire window (they got this button thingy in the corner that does just that, I hear); C) use that neat little ‘scroll’ feature on the side of the window; D) use those cute little arrow keys designed for this sort of thing; E) move her finger a centimeter to the right and use the mouse wheel. She does F) none of the above. She probably doesn’t realize she can do G) any of the above. And my best guess is she wouldn’t even care should I snap and bring this up.

(Although, what does one say in this situation? ‘Your refusal to apply logical thought to basic technology is producing a sound that makes me want to punch a baby.’ Would that help? Or would she just think I’m crazy?)

I don’t know, I think it’s the sheer refusal to learn or change that makes me crazy, moreso than the sound itself.

Nope, it’s not.


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How does Miss Manners suggest one deals with coworkers that don’t shut up? In my little 9-to-5 world, I do not get paid after 5. So why, at 5:10, am I still standing there? Because for the past ten minutes, one of my coworkers has been regaling me with tales of their sister/cousin/vague relative of some sort. Someone that she knows, that I most definitely do not. And this is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. So there I stand, bag in hand, sunglasses perched on forehead for split-second ease into the ‘ready’ position at the bridge of my nose, rattling my keys and looking, to anyone with eyes, like someone who has clocked out and wants to go home. Except my coworker does not have eyes, and I’m stuck there, studying her every sentence for a definitive end where I can cut out and I can make a graceful exit. “Oh, your sister’s ex-boyfriend’s neighbor’s cat has liver cancer? Yes, that is a shame. Well, I should run. Wouldn’t want to catch it myself.”

But really, how is one expected to counter these attacks? Should I keep a plethora of small and shiny objects at my desk to distract her with? Rig up an elaborate system of lights and mirrors to bream pretty lights every time she drops by? The worst part is, on particularly boring and seemingly endless days, I embrace her ability to chat forever on completely unrelated topics as to distract myself from tedium for a half-hour or so. It’s like saying, “Well, I hate money, except for when it’s buying me stuff.”

By the time all these thoughts are done dancing about this Brain’s brain, it’s already 5:20 and I’m already thinking about lying on my time sheet and saying I worked for those extra twenty minutes. This should count as overtime.

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I like to think of myself as relatively easy-going. (Stop laughing.) Still, there’s a part of me, some might say my patience, that comes to a grinding, screeching halt, like a cat getting caught in an engine, when certain scenarios come to light.

For example, the associate who does not know the words ellipsis/ellipses, and refers to them as “a dot dot dot.” You know, that one, even, I’ll let slide. Punctuation has a lot of big, elaborate names for what is essentially a handful of dots. And it’s not as though I don’t know what is meant by the phrase (all right, maybe sometimes it takes me a minute, but I’m a Brain, after all, and therefore terribly elitist, and expecting the same from my compatriots).

Or there is the individual I know with the absolutely abysmal grammar, the don’ts instead of the doesn’ts, and the frustrating ability to drop vowel sounds at random (and in a non-ironic way. I cut a lot of slack for poor spoken language skills when used for intentionally comedic effect).

And then there’s the person who likes to send emails such as the following,


The second-line indentations, the misspelled verbs, and the unforgivable capslock sin. Rest assured, that one is committed every time. My skin, how it crawls. My only consolation is that the way this body is arranged, it might be the sender’s misguided attempt at poetry. (Aren’t all attempts at poetry by definition misguided? Ignore previous posts.)

How can I ever achieve a Zen state when faced with these situations?

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It should be noted (should it? Should it really?) that currently on the Next Doors’ porch are six dining room chairs, a rug, a rocking chair, an end table, and what appears to be some sort of armoire. Now, I try not to judge, really I do. But seriously, what are they going for here? Is this a future locale for a Seven Dwarves cocktail party? Do they rent out to a brood of cats who like to nap on sun-warmed cushions and want to eliminate the window middleman? Perhaps they’re hoping to establish some sort of porch cafe for an upcoming B&B?

But the most important question of all may be: is there any actual furniture in their house?

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