Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dog Poop Dilemma

I've been puzzling this over in my mind for a bit, and I've decided I'd like some input.
I mentioned in the Fire post that I had a chance to speak to my neighbors about their dog pooping in our yard. These are the neighbors who have friends in the house on the other side of us, so they are often traipsing through our driveway/yard, are responsible for the demise of the back fence, and are loud from time to time, though not as bad as others who have been next door.
My house's yard is not big, and especially when the grass was not growing it was glaringly obvious that the dog (Maui, I think) NEVER went in her own yard, always in ours. I've seen people waiting on their front porch for her to do our business in our yard, and they see me and don't seem to care a whit that our yard is now the one with little piles all over (for of course they would never think to pick up their dog's poop). I know this has happened to the others that live in my house, too. It's like they think our yard is also theirs, when it clearly is not, and they also do not care that they have essentially destroyed the yard.
Last night, it happened again, around 11 - midnight. Dude in a bathrobe was standing on the front porch, and Maui was squatting in our yard. I went out and called to him and asked him not to let her go in our yard. He said it was his roommate's dog and he would let the guy know (which is exactly what the other guys said last time I asked, at the scene of the Fire). I really have no idea how many people live in that building, but find it annoying that so many people take the dog out so I don't know who the owner is, and that the message has not seemed to filtrate through their collective brain stems.
So...what do I do? Our yard really has too much poop in it. I am afraid to walk out there, which is irritating because come outside season, I like to sit in my skychair, which hangs from a tree on the front lawn. Even if they finally make Maui poop in her own yard, we still have her collective poop from before to deal with. I was going to content myself with the idea that the next time they traipse through our yard, someone is going to step in poop, but I don't think that's enough. If I catch the dog out there yet again, what recourse do I have? And would it be reasonable for me to ask them to clean up the poop that is there? How?
As an addition problem, it would be nice if I could just ask my landlady to talk to their landlord about it, but I'm pretty sure the dog is not supposed to be there at all. I have nothing against the dog, but I am sick of this problem.
I need some suggestions on how to handle this. The hot season is fast approaching, and I cannot deal with a stench in my own yard. I refuse.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday Night Movie

So, I made a mistake last night.
I was tired, and looking to relax, but I also wanted to rent a dvd. Unfortunately, all the movies I have wanted to see recently but haven't yet are depressing or dark: The Mist, Sweeny Todd, and I Am Legend are examples.
I went with The Mist in keeping with my tradition of Friday-night horror. Dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.
I thought, hey, it's a supernatural flick with critters in it. I knew it was a smarter-than-average horror flick, but hoped it wouldn't bum me out. Anyone seen it? Yeah, well you know where I'm going with this.
Imagine my distress when it turns out actually to be intellectual in nature; crittery, certainly, but with the character sketches including a hyper-religious nut (and those terms are mutually exclusive, please don't get me wrong) and the "shocking ending" being hopelessness, well...I wasn't best pleased. Every time Marcia Gay Harden's character was talking, I kept coming up with reasonble and Christian responses to her, like "Why doesn't somebody point out how satanic she's being, with all of her self-pride?" Fight zeal with counter-zeal, you know? Or, "First pull the plank out of your own eye, before you try to help your brother with the speck in his eye," which is a paraphrase of Luke 6. No one even tried that approach.
I was also left sort of wondering what the point was, and after a moment early on in the movie when I said to myself, "There was a transition just now where I was supposed to suspend my disbelief and I didn't" I hoped for a bigger payoff. I don't even remember that moment clearly, just that this is what I thought. I found the crucible compelling, and if I were in the mood for this kind of film I might have been all over it (Crash comes to mind as another example of story-of-human-condition that leaves me deflated, except that it's also offering redemption, which The Mist doesn't. Schindler's List is another example.). I think, anyway--I don't know if "look how awful we all are" is really sufficient justification for a movie. But still, I label this my mistake. Combine that with the fact that I didn't watch it until LATE, after a whole string of Comedy Central Presents and Whose Line Is It Anyway? and you know I went to bed annoyed.
So, The Mist, I was hoping for something else from you, and I'm not sure how I feel about you, but I do know I won't buy you, no matter how cool your creatures were, because I just don't see myself watching you again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

5 Random Friday thoughts

I bought some Moonflower and Morning Glory seeds and a Clematis a week ago. I can't wait to get them in the boxes on my porch, but it's possibly going to be 43 degrees at some point next week and I am thus nervous.

Last night's Supernatural: Hilarious. Ghost--FACERS!
My two favorite shows right now smashed into one. How I love the spooftacular vision of Supernatural.

I went to Beckett's last night post-show. Good times were had by all. I had a beer and a cherry coke, because that's how I roll.

I just bought a plant from the Society of Entrepreneurs. I asked what they entrepreneur and no one answered. I decided against asking them if they knew how to spell entrepreneur. The plant has a butterfly in it.

My niece is going to turn 1 in just over two weeks. I can't wait to see her and give her a big auntie hug. I had lipstick on my teeth today, so I am well on my way to being her crazy aunt Avacious.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Putting out Fires

I'm double-posting this here and on facebook. Enjoy.
As I mentioned the other day, we had a fire next door Friday night/Saturday morning. First, a digression. Last week, this happened:
You can tell we're close to the end of the year when people do dumb things like this; if you can't tell what's happening, it's a car parked straight in front of our driveway. My theory is drunkenness--you'd have to be drunk to be so dumb as to leave your car parked where it is obviously blocking a driveway. As someone pointed out, it's a good thing it got towed, because the owner was not likely to return in a better state than when he left.This weekend, our neighbors were having a party. They are sometimes loud, but at least their parties usually end around 2 or 2:30. It does still irritate me, because there are children living across the street and in other near areas, and a once quietish residential section is kind of ruined, but they're not the worst neighbors I've ever had so I deal as best I can, even with them traipsing across our lawn, knocking down our fence, and smoking in our driveway.
Then, about 5:30 am, I woke up to some strange noises. I thought it was someone who lived in my house at first, then figured out it was outside. Given my paranoia for my car, I got up to investigate, and found this scene in the street:

I came out on my front steps and craned around the side of the house to see this:

The excitement, evidently, was ending with firemen hacking off the siding from the neighbors' outbuilding. I didn't wake up to the trucks, the men, or the hoses. It took the axes. Given that I am a light sleeper, that was pretty stupefying, and when the police and head fireman came to talk to me, I told them the must have been pretty sneaky.
"It's a new program, to get involved with the community," said one. "We were in stealth mode."
They were kidding of course, but I complimented the fire department on its quiet work. The head man asked if I'd seen anyone around in that area, and of course I'd seen guys out smoking around 3 (I woke up to that, but not fire trucks), but then all was quiet. Evidently, the idea of arson was being bandied around.The next morning, I went out to survey the damage, as did my neighbors both in my own house and the houses on either side. A very focused line of charred earth under the fence which held our trumpet vine was the most obvious evidence of the fire:

As you can see, any further one way and it probably would have set their house on fire. Any further the other way and our garage would have been touched. The guys mentioned the i-beam cross (a common formation for vine growth), as being a potential dumbass magnet to set on fire, except the fire was mostly away from the cross. One also said the fire department had mentioned gasoline. In any case, we're all a little baffled and hopeful that nothing else weird is going to happen.
The experience did give me the chance to ask the neighbor guys to quit letting their dog poop in our yard, which was positive, and I met a few of my own house-neighbors I didn't yet know (which seems weird, but there are a bunch of different entrances to our house, so we don't have much interaction). I'm also hoping it gives these guys more reason to monitor their parties more closely and take things more seriously. No one got hurt and the damage was minimal, but it's still pretty scary...and I didn't get much sleep.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Word, Y'all

So, I just gave my workshop on rhythm in poetry, which means there is now one less thing on my plate. It went pretty well; I did that thing where what you're saying is important but you don't treat it quite like that, at first, but I kind of got into my rhythm (ha ha) and started tying loose ends together, and it went better. I worked Rudolf Laban's effort principles in and that always makes me feel better about stuff.
I have to admit, I've been kind of angry this week, and also unfocused. During the faculty meeting yesterday afternoon, while we were being asked how everything was going and (I think) sympathized with that there was so much to do right now and this really is a bad time of the semester, I really almost lost it and walked out. I'm behind. I have a lot to do. And I was sitting in a faculty meeting that repeatedly got off track or that went over things that were really very concisely and completely written up on the agenda. I appreciate the sympathy, I really do, but as Eliza Doolittle says so eloquently, please don't exPLAIN, SHOW me. At literally the busiest point in the semester, let me have my time to do my work. My sense of duty helped me keep it together, but it was really sort of dodgy there for a while.

Anyway, this is just a note to let you know that I'm thinking about you all, that my health is improved quite a bit, and even though it is spitting rain right now, the sun will be out before too long. Hopefully my mood will brighten in direct relation.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Avacious is...

reeling from one of those middle-of-the-night, wake-you-out-of-a-sound-sleep leg cramps that seemed to go on forever. Does anyone else ever think that they're never going to be able to walk again when that's happening?

about 90 % healthy

glad Supernatural is coming back. It may be a rerun Thursday, but I have sorely missed my Sam and Dean.

looking forward to the rest of Sense and Sensibility, but was surprised that it opened with a love scene featuring ragged breathing. I was kind of glad I wasn't watching it with my parents.

contemplating what she would sing if she ever did karaoke. This will be a facebook note shortly.

really enjoying the Lite Brite's presence in her office. Even if it does stay on for only 3 minutes and then shut itself off to conserve batteries. Times have changed!

out of many important staples of life, like milk, Dr. Pepper, lettuce, and Strawberry mini-wheats. And mustard. Who runs out of mustard?

beginning to catch Spring Fever, but is also suffering from hockey withdrawal. Very confusing.