Under the Weather
(As a side note: I have not forgotten Puerto Rico postcards and my journal entries from the trip. Both are almost finished; hopefully next week, I will get the last of the pictures posted and will gather the courage to face the disgruntled postal workers at the Ellicott City office and send out the postcards to those of you who requested them.)
It does seem that it is my fate this year to get sick just before departing for my happy holidays. I came down with a cold the day before leaving for Puerto Rico--that wreaked havoc on my ears while flying the next day, to be sure--and it seems that the yucky bug has struck again. This time, it's weird. Monday night, whilst chatting on YIM and having a merry time with a badly behaved Finrod muse who had decided to invade my apartment, open a bottle of wine for himself, and torment poor tarion_anarore, exhaustion dropped on my like an anvil. I credited it to having been on the computer for pretty much five hours straight, chatting with four people at the same time, and filling out that lengthy meme that everyone seems to have been roped into doing. Suddenly, I could barely keep my eyes open, and it was just after ten.
I had this strange tight pain in the muscles in my back and chest, like someone had taken them and given them a good, hard twist. At the best (now), they hurt when I sneeze or cough like I'm being punched. At the worst, I couldn't take a deep breath without hurting. I fell asleep with chills that continue to persist: It was in the 90s here in Maryland yesterday, but I did not turn on my air conditioning all day. In fact, my arms bristled with goosebumps even in the heat, and I spent most of the evening with the air conditioning in the apartment turned back to a balmy 74 (Bobby keeps it at 70, and I am comfortable with that) and wrapped in a fleece blanket. I have been getting random sharp pains like being stabbed with a dull knife, mostly in my head, ears, and elbows. And now my throat hurts too.
Today, it was slightly better. The tight pain in my back and chest is gone. I can breathe, yay! The sharp pains have subsided, luckily; I think I've had four today and was getting several an hour yesterday. And the chills are much better too. In fact, I have my air conditioning on my office now and got so warm before that I had to put my hair up off of my neck. But it was a normal kind of warm, not a fevered kind of warm.
It doesn't help that it is that favorite time of the month, and I always have one day of extreme lethargy right at the beginning of it when I contemplate work and fun alike with disdain and the muses run and hide with my husband. I have learned that forcing myself to do things helps a lot, and thanks to the happy hormonal regulation of Aviane, it's always Wednesdays that this happens, and Wednesday is usually a skating practice, which usually knocks me out of my PMS funk. Tonight, I have a date with my sister-in-law Erin (I have to specify since I have two sisters-in-law now, squee!) and mother-in-law to have dinner and see Click, the new comedy with Adam Sandler. Felak finds Adam Sandler quite endearing. Anyway, my mother-in-law should be nominated for sainthood and could make Morgoth smile and dance a jig, so I'm hoping that this evening will help. I strongly considered calling to cancel--feeling badly and still having pre-trip preparations awaiting me at home--but decided that it won't help, that I will wallow and get lonely without Bobby and not eat (because I only bought meals enough for two nights, counting on tonight, and don't trust myself to stop at the grocery store). So I'm going to do my damndest to have a good time tonight.
On a completely unrelated note, I have declared outright war against our next-door neighbors. Some of you might remember the post a while back about their annoying dog. Yep, they're one and the same. Yep, the dog's still there. After we sent in our letter, the dog-situation improved immensely and--like I said--it wasn't about depriving them of their pet so much as asking them to respect their neighbors by not leaving the dog home alone twelve hours a day to bark out the window at all inhumane hours and constantly, in that bark that's like a dentist's drill to my eardrums. But things improved, so we never pursued having the dog removed, being nice people. Really, we are. Really, we are the easiest people to live with, we just ask for very basic levels of common courtesy, the sorts of things you learn in Kindergarten.
Alas, they have begun pressing my buttons again. Firstly, the dog situation is back to being bad again; not as bad as before since it is too hot to open the windows, but they've taken to leaving the thing home for long hours again to bark it's merry little lungs out. Secondly, they have taken to discarding trash in the hallways. My dad used to have a saying: Where it drops, it stops; where it lays, it stays. That must be their motto. Cigarette butts and cigarette boxes were the beginning. Then Bobby came home and discovered that they'd shaved their dog on the front steps and left the hair strewn across the sidewalk and garden. He wrote a nasty letter and stuck it on the bank of mailboxes, and the hair was picked up. But still, wouldn't common sense and respect dictate that in a clean and quiet community like ours--or anywhere, I like to believe, but our community certainly does not lend itself the appearance of neglect--that a person should pick up the disgusting gobs of dog hair from their disgusting rat-dog?
Local businesses come by and leave menus and fliers in our doorways a lot; this is hardly the only community where this happens (though it happens to be against the rules in ours, I guess they don't bother to notice the big "NO SOLICITATION" signs posted everywhere). Even my parents in the middle of bum-screw-nowhere used to get fliers on their mailbox. The logical--and courteous--thing to do is take the fliers and throw them away. Preferably recycle them, but alas, I think I really hope for too much there because the recycling cans are at the end of our cul-de-sac and require devoting a full minute of walking to take trash to be recycled down there.
But no. They throw theirs in the hallway or parking lot. One day I came home to find that they'd dropped a dry-cleaning hanger on the stairs. Like I said, where it drops it stops; where it lays it stays. So being a nice and patient person (really) and hoping that maybe a gentle nudge might bring them from the ghetto-mentality in which they live to behave like civil adults, I would pick up the fliers and put them on their threshhold. Again, it is against the terms of our lease to throw garbage in the hallways--and fliers are specifically mentioned--but I hold out hope for the best in people, despite every indication otherwise.
Alas, I came home the other day to a flier again in the hallway, stuffed between the banister and the support, with a note attached: "We do not want this trash on our door." So, being nice again (when I could have gone straight to the leasing office with proof in hand of their slovenly habits), I wrote back, "Please do not leave your trash in the hallway. You are not the only people in this building, and it is not your trashcan. Please show some respect." I came home later to find the trash moved to my doorstep.
Okay, so all-out war has been declared. I mean really. What sort of lazy, ignorant sot do you have to be to choose to toss your garbage in the communal stairwell rather than carrying it with you into your apartment--since you are in the process of walking into your apartment, doubtlessly, at some point of the day--and expect that people will 1) pick up your trash or 2) put up with your piggish behavior? Bobby and I just signed a new lease; we are under new management and half of the conditions on the lease, the people next door violate.
I told Bobby last night that I am sick of them; I am sick to paying close to a thousand dollars a month for a one-bedroom apartment that I can't even enjoy because of a combination of their noise, filth, and reek (and they--meanwhile--have late-rent or eviction notices on their door almost every month) while they act like they live in a dorm or the fucking ghetto. No. If I wanted to live in the ghetto, I'd save my thousand dollars and move to the damned ghetto. So it has become my goal to get those people out of there. It seems pretty clear that they are not going ever learn basic decency or respect, and I'm tired of waiting for a year now. As the saying goes, come Hell or high water, they will be out of that apartment.
I am pissed off. I am pissed off and PMSing. Watch out.
I think that we will get them not on the fliers or even that fucking dog but the drug use: We have come home a dozen times if we've come home once to a building that reeks of marijuana, clearly coming from the third floor. Now there are two apartments on the third floor: us and them. I'm guessing that the State law enforcement employee and the US Customs employee are not the ones causing it.
Last night, I read our new lease and discovered an interesting half-page diatribe about the sale, manufacture, harboring, or use of drugs in the apartment.
Again, we have been nice. We could have easily called the cops or the apartment management and reported them months ago. As it happens, Bobby and I both believe that marijuana should be legalized, and we also both believe that adults who are minding their own business should be allowed to keep their private business to themselves (negating the fact that they make the entire building reek) and so we have overlooked it. No more. As they say in hockey, the gloves are coming off now.
But...first I am going to enjoy my weekend, enjoy the sun, the sea, and my husband, and leave dealing with the skanky ghetto potheads until we get back. I wish you all the best weekend and will talk to everyone when I return!