Friday, July 4, 2014

Still alive. Still inside. Still in hiding.

Well, I hope the fireworks here are as exciting as people say. My family has refused to go see fireworks for years, mainly because in the Bay Area it becomes a hugely crowded thing where you have to go to Great America or drive really far and get trapped in a crowded parking lot and still not get a great view, so they don't see it as worth it. But since I am on a hill I am told there will be a good view of the fireworks from right here, so here's hoping.

Still here, sitting around and reading and sometimes hopping in the pool. The only problem with the pool is that it is really only comfortable when fully submerged, or else you are fine except for your head which is on fire. Not having gills, the fully submerged route doesn't quite work for me. Also, there's not much to do when completely under water in a pool that is not much bigger than my couch or a good-sized sofa sectional. I went in the other day because there were no loud splashy children, and then discovered that only loud splashy children, because they are so small, are going to have fun swimming from one end to the other in a pool that small. I know, I know, I am complaining in the face of riches. What I need is a waterproof book.

Changing the subject completely, has anyone tried stand-up paddleboarding? There is a co. that rents out these boards and (I hope) teaches you how to use them without falling off. There is also a lady who does regular SUP yoga classes, but considering that I can easily fall over while doing regular land yoga, that sounds way too challenging for me. But probably highly entertaining for anyone who wanted to watch me.

Anyway I am working up towards trying out SUP. I have promised a lady in the apartment complex I would go with her and try it. Eeesh. It is unfortunate she knows I am a teacher and have summers off. This lady is a definite SoCal type that I would not have expected around here ---- she is clearly way over 65 and has told me about being retired (and bored, as you will see) but dresses and tries to emulate Paris Hilton. Now, Paris Hilton doesn't look particularly good on Paris Hilton, but it looks especially bad when you are in your sixties. All the bling and bracelets and long, bleached, cocker-spaniel style hair ---- yeah, all of that is also the stuff that I loved to hate when living in Gradschooland. Like I said when I moved away: I hate California, but there is "California" and then there is a sizeable population of "people who hate California but in such a California way," and I am so very much part of that group. Hence the weird homesickness for hating on things when I was in Postdoc City. What I need to find here is the second group and I keep running into people who want to be the first group.

Now, EternalYouth Neighbor has been living here in the complex for years, and I think she likes to know everyone and get all in their business (hey, that's very much like Postdoc City people!). I think I mentioned her and probably gave her a different nickname in a way back post ---- she had an annoying fat little pug when I moved in, but it died and now she has a cute but annoying fluffy eared little chihuahua type mix. From listening to her, it sounds like she has gone through a lot of cats and dogs which doesn't really speak well of her. Some she has "lost" or they escaped, some had health problems she didn't deal with or understand and they died, some she hands off to people for reasons I don't quite follow. The pug, at least, I know was old because when I first got here I heard the whole saga about how she thought it was developing dementia and couldn't get the vet to agree.

I about died when I mentioned I was putting off going to visit family because I wanted to drop the cats off at the vet and board them when they re-opened after the 4th and she cried out, "oh, but I could come in and take care of your cats!" I just have the feeling that she would go through every inch of my apartment and my personal stuff while I was gone. Not that I had a good way of explaining that to her, so I just know I got this weird string of facial expressions go over my face before I said I wanted the vet people to keep a close eye on the cats, especially after the fireworks. It is true, my cats are afraid of the fireworks noises, but not so bad that I'm not going to go out on the street and watch them.

So I am trying to walk this balance between not being rude and not getting myself roped into being a constant companion of this lady. It seems like she has absolutely no interests except talking to people (but without any thing really to say) and being the center of attention ---- she has borrowed my laundry facility key because she locked her keys inside and at the same time mentioned that she locked her keys in the apartment so often the management installed a special lock on her door so she can't lock herself out). More disturbingly, after a call to the health hotline asking about what happens if you take twice the muscle relaxant dose by accident resulted in them dispatching EMTs, the fire department, and the police ("I never had so many men in my apartment before!"), she now seems to be regularly manufacturing incidents that would bring out those numbers of people and levels of attention. I guess the good side is that I get weird and interesting stories to pass along here, but I never get to put a word in edgewise.


Fretful Porpentine said...

OMG, your neighbor sounds SO much like the elderly auditor we just took on the study abroad trip, except she is the Deep South version of the type, so she doesn't dress like Paris Hilton. But the incessant talking, the intrusiveness, and the learned helplessness? That is SO our auditor. (Be glad you're not stuck in Ireland with her for a month!)

Sisyphus said...

That's so interesting because I never would have used "learned helplessness" in conjunction with her! There's something so very sly and calculating in her eyes when she talks about that stuff, particularly when she offered to care for my cats.

But I met the Lady in a Church Hat type a few times in Postdoc City and I would *not* like to deal with them on an extended basis ---- especially since they have no concept of efficiency and time.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Oh, we were never sure ours was genuinely helpless; on the balance, it seemed more likely that she had 78 years of practice in manipulating people to do things for her.

Contingent Cassandra said...

You may have to be at least a bit rude, at least by your lights, since she does, indeed, sound manipulative and boundary-less.

And no,I wouldn't hand her your house keys, at least not long enough for her to make a copy (because it would be so "neighborly" to be able to help you if you got locked out, or were away and needed to take care of something, etc., etc.)

With any luck, if you put up some boundaries, she'll latch onto someone new(er) soon.

undine said...

Let's review: bored neighbor with wayyyy too much time on her hands likes drama and excitement enough to generate it. She wants your keys? I follow everyone above in voting "no."