Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

(come on, all you Sesame Street lovers. . . in your neighborhood, in your neigh-bor-hooooood, Who are the people in your neighborhood, they're the people that you meet each day. .. )

There's just something about living so close to another person, it has to be written about. Matt and I have been married for 10 1/2 years and have lived in 2 apartments before buying our home (we've been here about 6 1/2 years). Our first apartment was like any other newly married couple. Let's just say we lived on love, because there wasn't room for much else in that place. We were there for about 7 months but oh, the neighbors we had. We were on a ground level apartment not far from "Salt Creek". Let's just say when you were just a few short blocks away, you could say, "we're getting close, I can smell it." Mmmmm, breathe in the sulfur. We were in a corner apartment so technically we only had one "neighbor". At one time in his life he was a famous Nebraska Cornhusker football player (actually won the Heisman trophy--we haven't had too many from Nebraska so you may be able to narrow it down). Now a days. . . . not so much. Let me begin this by saying he was always very nice to us, just not so nice to the guests in his apartment. I don't know why those who like to yell and rant and rave choose to do so at such a late hour. His favorite time started at 11 pm or so and DID NOT STOP until well after 4am!!! This was almost every night!! Perhaps he was upset that he was now a "has-been" or that he had to drive a run down, beat up Chevy sedan, but come on!!!
Let's not leave this apartment memoir without recalling the millions of parties that took place at this complex (far too close to the University campus), and our car was "bumped" more than a couple times by the drunks headin' home. Gotta love those confident drunks---"I'm not even close to that car!"

Ok, apartment number two, located in "the hood", if there is such a thing in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was a six-plex apartment building and hey the rent was cheap, it was a big apartment and they let us keep our cat. You'll find out later why I was glad we had a cat in the apartment! (Oh, the suspense is killing you, isn't it?) So let's begin with the Mexican family that lived below us. . . Don't get me wrong, I'm all for culture, but not in the form of huge parties with everyone singing Spanish Karaoke!! All night!! They would cook in their little bbq (you know, the ones that are just about 12 inches in diameter, and 2 inches off the ground) right out on the front lawn, which was on 27th street, one of the busiest streets in Lincoln, then party all night. So, several times we went down and banged on the door, or stomped on the floor, but to no avail. But I tell you, the moment I brought home a treadmill, they were right up banging on our door. I guess I should've just waited to exercise until Midnight when the party was reaching it's frenzy!!! I do still use that excuse to not exercise (oh, I don't want to wake or bother the neighbors!)
Alrighty, the apartment right across from us. . . they were fairly nice, didn't cause much trouble but the smoke that seaped through the walls of our "non-smoking apartment!" The worst was the bathroom. I tell you, if I ever did want to get a little buzz, I could just go hang out in the bathroom for about 2 minutes and I'd be fully loaded!!
Onto the next, upstairs. The drug addict guy, mentally handicapped wife (I think), and 1 year old boy. I know you think I'm making this up.. . . but I have several family members that could testify on my behalf! So all night long, during the mexican fiestas, people were up and down the stairs. .. hmm. . . our little good Mormon minds would wonder "what's goin' on??" Several times the lovely police department arrived at our apartment complex to drag him out. Matt would love to stand by the peephole of our door and watch the whole thing play out. . . he would always sing "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" Matt, stop, I swear he's going to shoot us! I'm sure he always thought it was us that called them. Ok, maybe we did call, but only once or twice.
Now the apartment across from the pusher. . . she must've known our old neighbor. She would choose 3 am to fight out the window to the parking lot (which was right out our bedroom window) with her boyfriend. I think he liked to stand RIGHT UNDER our window! Maybe I was just being trained for my future children and being up all night.
Ok, thank goodness we had Smokey the cat. So, my guess is that someone, once upon a time, in our apartment building had hamsters. They must not have liked them, and left them behind, to dwell forever in the walls. (Maybe they escaped??) So for about 3 months, while on the computer in our 2nd bedroom, you would hear little scratches in the walls. Just enough to make you stop and listen and it would stop too. It got worse and worse and we got used to just pounding the wall to make it stop. One morning our fearless cat left us a gift outside our bedroom door. A dead hamster. I guess that hunter mentality was still intact. I wasn't sure what it was at first. It wasn't a mouse, or a rat.. . .so we decided maybe a hamster? Where the heck did she get a hamster? A few days later, in the living room, as we arrived home, another dead hamster. Boy, Smokey was a great hunter. Not that I liked having dead rodents, but better than live rodents. . . just wait. I think she caught one more, but I can't remember. A lovely Saturday afternoon, I was lying on the floor, Matt on the couch and Smokey was on a chair in the kitchen.
Matt says, "Wendy, don't look."
"Don't look, just stay right there."
Of course I'm not going to just sit there, so I look to the kitchen.
Sauntering across the floor is a hamster. I look at Smokey and she is just lazily watching this thing cross our floor, I'm sure she is thinking, "Honestly guys, haven't I done enough around here? Do I have to keep killing these things? All the fun is just gone."
So Matt manages to catch the thing in a shoebox. Ok, now what? Matt calls a pet store to see what we should do. They guy that answered must've been having a great day. He suggested that we just let it go and watch the cat catch it. After a while, Matt says that she's already caught and killed 3 of them, and that his wife may not want to watch that happen. The guy finally says, we can bring it in and he'll "take care of it." Great. So we head off with our little shoebox, delivering this little thing to his death sentance at "The Pet Ark."

We love our neighborhood now. But each neighborhood has "it's thing." But that's for another blog. So, if you're keeping track so far (and still reading this), here are the people in my neighborhood---

Has been, yelling, Heisman Trophy winner
Countless drunk college students
Mexican karaoke loving, hibachi cooking, partying, haters of treadmills
Smokestacks across the hall
Drug dealer, et al
The Bickersons
4 forgotten hamsters

So, Who are the people in YOUR neighborhood?


lisa v. clark said...

I love "The Pet Ark" we killed many a fish from there. . . Oh, MY neighbors?! You've inspired a blog all my own. . . :0)

Bek said...


This one was KILLING me. Who knew that neigbors could be fodder for so many chuckles.

As for the mexican hibachi cooking....we have a beach that we always go to near us and every weekend there are one million hispanic families there. They have tents, coolers and of course Hibachi's. It is quite a walk from the parking lot too. They cook and cook all day. At any give time there will be 100 families. It must be a cultural thing.

I just throw PB&J at my kids and tell them to brush the sand off.

I am getting new neighbors soon. Hopefully I will have good stories soon.

lisa v. clark said...

Wendy, I can't believe you didn't write about our roommate, SHOE! I know she wasn't a "neighbor," but COME ON: "Your food smells. .. grosss. . . to. . . me. . . " Blueberry muffins smell worse than FISH HEADS AND POO? (sorry for the inside joke)

wendysue said...

Lisa, how could I forget Shoe! I must have completely repressed it! I think my nose sensors have never been the same! Well, I guess it's been said before. . . that's another blog!

Bek, I think those same 100 families were in their apartment for the fiesta karaoke party!

~j. said...

can't...write...too...many...memories...OH!! *sigh* We lived at Wymount, were the managers of a complex, I've got dozens of stories. I fear that somewhere in the blogging world, our Wymount neighbors have written about the night they woke up to a noise that they were afraid was their toddler son in his sleep, only to discover that it was their neighbor (my husband) that they could hear through the wall, snoring. The byu really should do something about soundproofing their married student housing, and not just for wandering snoring sounds.

Blog about roommates? Anyone? Anyone?

wendysue said...

Jenny, I couldn't stop laughing thinking about those poor Wymount couples. No insulation in the walls of those newly married baby making factories!!! I can only imagine the black-mailing that could go on! As the managers, did you get to send out noise-ordinance warnings???
Between you and Lisa, I can feel a roommate blog coming on. . .

Bek said...

Wendy, PLEASE do a roommate blog. I am sorry that you and Cimony (sp)both went back to Lincoln--but that is when Lisa moved in w/ me so it all worked out in the end--well for me anyway. ;-)

You guys had some doozies. Lisa and I had a couple of fun ones too. I think I can beat all of you though. I had the honor of checking not ONE but TWO roommates into the cookoo house my freshman year! The next year we got one that just came OUT of the psych ward. She had visions tried to kill her missionary compation. Oh, I feel a roommate blog of my own coming on.....

As for the Wymount thing. When Derek and I were first married, we lived in the dorms at Princeton. They don't have married people there (therefore no married housing) so we lived in the place that housed foreign or handicapped students. I guess being married as an undergrad in the Ivy Leauge is considered both foreign and handicapped. Anyway, we had the honor of having people puke in our halls and pass out on our doorstep...fun times......

wendysue said...
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