Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update on "Sleep"

I came home late last night after I'd written the last blog entry. Ok, not *late* but a few hours later. I half expected there to be a note under my door. I was nervous. When I got home with my bags and opened the door, I saw nothing. When I turned around to hang my coat on the hook behind the door, there it was: not with my name meticulously written on top. I read it and the tenant apologized. She said she had no idea how loud she was being and that she was speaking with her relatives in the Philippines. She was very thankful of me for letting her know the volume and that it would never happen again. She was also sorry I had to go down there and knock. Man, how I was relieved. So what did I do? Well, as nerve wracking as it was, I knew she was home (her light was on) and I debated leaving it at that or thanking her personally. I wanted to thank her personally, but I was scared. Why was I scared? I dunno, I guess I thought she'd think I was a dork, but I did it anyway. I was very appreciative of her being nice and understanding, that I just wanted to tell her that there were no hard feelings. So I did. I think I surprised her, but I don't care. I felt better and she was able to see the smile and appreciation on my face. She's still kind of a clunker of a neighbor (meaning she makes tons of noise just being home), but I can deal with that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I can't remember if I've posted anything on the subject yet, but probably should.
I love sleep. Really, who doesn't? Even people who don't sleep much, cherish it. When I was younger, sleep would transport me to a magical place with parallel universes where I could be and was, who ever I wanted. I lived out stories of other people's lives, I'd travel to south American and Egypt and the pyramids (even though I've never been.) I could taste the ocean's salt water and the sun's warmth. I looked forward to what new dream my subconscious mind would take me. Where would I go to next, that is if I actually slept through the night.
I stopped having fantastical dreams when I noticed I wasn't getting much sleep. Sleep no longer meant a rest for the weary, it meant a rest for the totally exhausted body and mind. Living at 21st and Marshall, I rarely got to sleep the whole night through do to my neighbor's animal sex and drug dealing. My bedroom was at the hallway door that didn't shut quietly, rather it slammed. And no one was courteous enough to help the door a long in it journey when it was 3am or 5am, both times of slumber for me. I used to be a huge night owl, I very well still could be, but I choose not to. I actually really like getting up at the butt crack of dawn, before everyone and walk to the gym. No traffic, no busyness on the streets. 23rd is one of the most beautiful places to walk through when it's just you and the cold. So with that said, I'd actually need a good nights rest to be able to peel myself out of my covers. I've realized as I'm getting older, that I need a good 8-10 hours. Isaiah can function with 6 and 8 is just too much. Other people are the same, they need less or as much as I do. I notice that if I don't get those full 8-10 hours of un-awakened sleep, I"m a grouch, the world sucks and I hate people. Its all a snowball effect. If I'm sleep in the morning, I sleep in, if I sleep in, I can't go to the gym, if I can't go to the gym, I have to go after work, if I go after work, I get home at 7 instead of 5:30. If I do get up and am super tired, it's a waste because if I was supposed to run 3 miles, I run 1. If I was supposed to do a half hour on the stairs, I do 15. I just need more sleep to feel refreshed and concur the world. So I moved. Marshall, even though spacious with parking most days, was much too noisy and the neighbors were inconsiderate. My downstairs neighbors played their music loud, smoked (you could smoke) and had get togethers on Sunday at 8am, loudly. When I asked them to keep it down, they were asses. Very rarely were anyone at that complex nice. I had to get out of there, work and my relationship was suffering because I was so unhappy. So I moved, I moved to 24th and Glisan. People warned me that 23rd was worse than Marshall could ever be. There were deliver trucks, bums, drunk post-college kids (like myself) etc. But when I went to see my little jem that had been built in 1910, I feel in love. It was completely re-done with new floors, new appliances and new paint. It was just 8 units and the Landlord, who owned it, was super nice and really sought out people who were quiet, early rises and early to bed. There are always exceptions to the rule of course, but that's what he was looking for in a tenant. When I walked in, I could feel it, the quiet. It was the middle of the day and I could hear nothing. At first, I had not gotten the place. The person that had seen it before me, decide to take it, but after what the landlord had said about the quiet, he second guessed himself. He worked days so he'd be getting home late at night and didn't guarantee being quiet so it went to me. I was a bit nervous cuz it was a hasty decision, but I went for it. I had a few problems along the way (like the issue with space and the couch) but it's all been worth it to get those 8-10 hours of uneventful sleep. But that's all been disrupted this last few days.
There's a new tenant downstairs. When I first met her via the landlord, she had scrubs on so I assumed she was a nurse or intern, etc. Cool, I thought. I noticed that she was a bit noisy when it came to the bed room. I could hear her walk, move things, close doors etc. Ok whatever I thought, its evening time, it happens, things will quiet down and they always did. But last Wednesday, when I was alone (which is now rare) I went to bed excited to not have to get woken up by Isaiah coming into bed a couple hours after me. So i snuggled and closed my eyes and I heard it: she was on the phone talking. Ok cool, well it's 11pm, I"m sure she'll quiet down. I must have dosed off because I don't remember much else, but I do remember getting woken up at 3am by her laughs . . . on the phone again. Either it's the same conversation or she's just calling people up in the middle of the night and chatting. Anyway, since I can't sleep when I can hear things that are inconsistent (as in silence, then laughter, then laughter, then silence followed by laughter, etc). I have bionic ears so I attach myself to any sound that isn't white noise. It's annoying, but it's also annoying to hear someone else's telephone conversation at 3am! So when I finally dosed off *again*. I got up and attributed it to a fluke.
Fast forward two days to last night. It happened again. As I was heading to bed at 10:30 (yeah, it's Friday, so! I was tired and I wanted to get up with Isaiah so I could go to the gym at 8am). It was happening again. Since I'd had a bit of champagne, I was able to doze off but once again, I got woken up at 2am to her laughing into her phone. I thought, again, seriously? Is this how it's going to be now? I was furious. I didn't want to have to deal with this again. Isaiah said to put in ear plug and I said they don't' work, the fall out or I pull them out. I moved so I didn't have to deal with people being loud or with having to put in ear plugs. This time, since it was an hour earlier, I wanted to make sure it was her so in my pjs I walked outside, down the stairs and around the apartment to hers. Her living room was dark but her bed room was light as day and I could hear her, laughing, talking. Mind you, I have no idea what she's saying as she's speaking another language (the first time, I tough she was but I was listening through floor boards, but this time, I was right outside her window, so I knew she was.) She could easily be chatting with relatives in a different continent, etc. And THAT'S FINE! What's not fine is not taking into consideration that it's 2am and everyone around you is either trying to sleep, asleep, or quietly watching tv (as was my next door neighbor.) I knew it wasn't her because I went into the living room and stood and I could hear her cough and the soft murmur of her TV. SO I put on a sweat shirt, my slippers and walked down stairs. One time is a fluke, twice in the same week is a habit and I"m going to nip this in the bud so help me! I knocked on her door once and waited. I knocked twice and waited. I could hear her talking. I waited for a silent part in her conversation, I knocked a third and fourth and nothing. By this time, I'm tired, frustrated, embarrassed and FURIOUS. I'm shaking, so I go back up stairs and try hard to concentrate on falling a sleep. I keep having dreams about her on the phone and every time I'm starting to doze off, she starts laughing again, loudly. This happened about 4 times until my mind finally went.
So this morning, instead of getting up with Isaiah, I set the alarm for 10. I was pissed that i had to do that. I was so tired. I"m still tired! I also decided to write her a note. I basically said please be aware of the time and location when you want to be that loud on the phone. I told her it's not happened once but twice. SO basically, after this warning note, if it happens a third time, I'm calling the landlord. That I didn't say, but she should sure as well be smart enough to know that. And if she has a problem with me cuz perhaps I'm loud and I don't' realize it, please tell me. I'm assuming here that what I'm doing is ok. I try to be an extremely considerate neighbor. Yes, I'm drop things once in a while (because of the small confines) but I don't' even wear my HEELS until I"m out the door. I don't slide chairs, I pick them up. I don't play the tv loud after 10pm and I don't practice my music before 10am or after 10pm. So please, if I'm do something horribly bad, tell me and I'll remedy it. I don't want to be a hypocrite but I won't know I'm being one until I'm told.
So, let's hope the note works and all other scenarios I played in my head do not unfold.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rain rain . . .

Today, I sit at my desk in the back of our building, one of only two offices that is not insulated to keep the sounds out. I have a backdrop of pouring rain, sheets of rain, buckets of rain and I find it comforting. Last night, after my first trip to the gym (after an absence of 2 weeks), I was greeting by the sheets. Just the few feet to my car left my hair damp. The only thing I could think about, as I giddily dodged puddles, was putting on my rain boots, a rain coat and going for a walk. It was not that freezing cold rain that most Portlanders are used to, it was a warm rain. A rain that confuses the body and the eyes: "Ok, it's wet outside, it must be cold, I'll put on a sweater." I thought to myself this morning. Then the radio weather man, Matt Zaffino, announces that the high today is sixty. I stand in the middle of my bedroom for a few seconds, and rip my orange sweater off. "Well damn," I think, "I'm not wearing this. I'll sweat!" Out I pull a crocheted, short sleeved sweater from the summer time. This should suffice with my jeans and boots. I remember a few years back, when it had rained in January 30 days straight. 30 DAYS! At the time, I hadn't noticed it. I was at a new job that was completely out of my league, I was in a dead-end relationship, and I was living in an apartment that felt alien to me. I was so immersed in my own misery, that I didn't even notice the rain rather it felt more like the rain was just part of that dark time. Now, much happier, in a super cool place in a happy and fun relationship (same dude), I can take time to look at the rain and either yell at it for being so predictable, or commend it for being comforting in its attempts to bring the little kid in me, out to stomp the puddles.
So thanks rain, for always being a constant. Some days I hate you, and some days you're fun. We should hang out sometime, you, me and a couple of rain boots.


In an effort to do my part for my country, my community and myself, Isaiah and I have decided to make a conscious effort to eat locally and seasonally. We plan on eating legumes, fish and white meat, with just beef and pork twice a month, if we can manage. We won't be strict, but we'll think twice about the sausage McMuffin with egg at McDonald's. And no, it won't all be bought at the farmer's market, but I'd like to at least have 60-80 percent of it purchased there, that way I can help local farmers, Portland economy, and my digestive system. Of course, I'll have a craving for pizza, for string cheese and the occasional banana, but I'll be checking this here chart the Portland Farmer's Market websites provide so that I can plan my meals around what is in season.
And, in the effort to eat locally, I'm also going to try to cook much more. I suck at it, meaning I just don't make that time for it and I find it to be a huge chore, but the effort is always worth it. After having spent the weekend at my parent's place house sitting and just s l o w i n g d o w n in general, I want to make things from scratch. My friend sent me to this here site, The Pioneer Woman, and she's totally inspired me, opened up my eyes and made me envious and nostalgic for something I don't have. But as my other friend pointed out, sure, I may not live on a ranch and Isaiah is not a wrangler, I don't have four kids, but I try in my own way, and I want her statement to be true: I want to be her, but of course, here in the city. I have many friends who make their own soup, bake their own bread, etc. I want to be like that. I want to be that person. I want my children to remember and long for home cooked meals the way I do. I want them to remember the smells, and the feelings of dinner around the table with their brothers and sisters, the way I do. I want that for my family. Isaiah has very different memories. He felt that he was "forced" to eat around the table and "forced" to eat lentils and quiche. I don't want my children to feel forced, I want them to feel excited for when they all get together and chat and eat a home cooked meal their mama slaved over. That's what I want. That's what I'll do and that's what I'll get.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lipstick Jungle

Ok, I usually don't do posts of things I watch cuz I feel that it makes me look superficial, but whatever! I love Lipstick Jungle as well as Ghost Whisperer, (ok, that one I used to before Friday.) I like Lipstick because of the female characters, and well mainly becuase I just want to dress like them. I was looking through some family pictures while house sitting at my mom and my my my, did I NOT have fashion sense. I still kind of don't, so I play it safe A LOT.
Anyway, to my point. I wanted to ask Isaiah this question, but then I panicked with him thinking I was speaking of myself (even though I know he'd wonder for about 10 seconds.) But in one of the episodes, the Brook Sheild's character who is happily married, mother of two, gets kissed on Halloween weekend by a male friend, who is unhappily divorcing, father of one. It was obvious that he was the instigator, but she didn't exactly slap him off. They were both shocked by what had happened, but she was more confused. It didn't go any further than that, and they both were actually really embarrassed and awkward about it as the episode went on. She asked this of her two girlfriends (one who was having an affair and the other who is single) if it was cheating. They said "nothing happened." So now I pose it to you, my friends (holy crap! those two words will never be uttered with out a chuckle). Is kissing cheating? If not, what is? Is emotional cheating the worse you can do? Is intercourse cheating? Is having a really great friendship with a person you're attracted to cheating (as in you don't have physical contact, but you tell each other everything?) Where do you draw the line? My opinion? Well, I don't have much experience in the dating/relationship field but this is my take: My instinct is to say she cheated. But, what is a kiss, really? If it were another woman, it wouldn't be. What if she was a lesbian and kissed a dude? Is that cheating? So I conclude that its the intent behind the kiss, so she didn't cheat, BUT, she also said in the episode that she didn't hate it. So is that ok? Is that even WORSE?
I have friends who have cheated and been cheated on so I KNOW that there are really strong opinions on both sides and with a person that's been cheated on, cheating is always wrong. But is cheating ever ok or right? When do we justify it, how?

Your thoughts?

p.s. She didn't tell her husband at first because she was afraid that he'd freak out, so she waited 2 weeks and finally told him. He said that what hurt him was not the kiss, but that she lied. Do you agree? As much as I say I'd be cool with it, I'm not sure how I'd feel if my dude kissed someone else. . . . I guess it depends on intent and who? But does it? I dunno.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did

Last night was amazing. I'm not a very good writer so I'm going to be very simple about it. The country feels different, there is this sense of common unity. I feel like we were all individual bubbles but after last night, those bubbles are one large bubble, filled with pride and hope. People are smiling at each other, they're laughing, they're happy. I've always loved my country, even when Bush was in office, but now, more than ever, am I proud to be an American.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I must say, I'm on the edge of my seat for the first time in my life on election day. You see, I've never been political. I actually hate politics and politicians . All they do is either a) lie to your face by twisting their magical words, or b) make normal folk just YELL at each other cuz you might not agree with their point of view. I'm not saying that this election is different in that sense. I'm not saying that Obama and McCain supports *love* each other, or even tolerate each other. On both sides, there is a lot of fear, hate and racism going on. But for the first time in my life, I've stepped out of my non-confrontational bubble and declared: I am FOR Obama. You would think it's obvious that'd I'd be for him because I lean democratically. Voting Democrat would be expected, and is almost an after thought. But this is the first time in my life that I actually *believe* in a candidate. I have faith, and hope wrapped up in this one person. Sure, I don't agree with all his issues, and I"m sure him and I will have a bumpy relationships (as all relationships do) but I can say that without a doubt, I voted for Obama and am proud of it.
I don't hate McCain, I actually like him. I can tell that he loves his country and not just because he served it. He cares about the American people and about his policies, but unfortunately, that's as far was we go. Once him and I get down to the nitty gritty of it, that's where our ideas differ and I respect him for wanting that kind of change, but I don't agree with him on how that change is to come about. I also don't like his VP choice and I'll leave it at that (I'm retreating back into my bubble, can you tell?)
But all in all, I'm like a nervous teenage waiting for the quarter back to call me after he asked for my number. I can barely work for fear of missing something important! But, MSNBC tells me I have 3 hours and 51 minutes until election results, so I'm sure I can squeeze in a little work before I get obsessed.