08 July 2007

Forgive me this terrible pun, but...

I've spend the summer so far meeting my (ice cream) maker.


This week it is a cream-enriched frozen yogurt, sweetened with honey and then brightened with a pint of blueberries and a bit of rum, from a recipe on Apartment Therapy. I'll make it again, but next time with less cream (mouthfeel too rich in the original iteration) and with a stronger flavoured honey. The ice cream maker may be a unitasking appliance, but I think it is worth the space up which it takes. Seriously, there is no easy way to get ice cream home from the store on your bicycle, without packing coolpacks and concertedly hauling ass.

In a great segue from hauling ass, I've joined a gym. It all started in the winter, when I lost some stress weight. I didn't mean to lose it, I don't feel like I needed to lose it, but with it gone, I realize I am in bad shape. And I am getting older. And I am less active than I was in Chicago. So I'm taking advantage of My Big Employer's Corporate Health Plan-sponsored gym discount, and of two free summer months. My first complimentary personal training session is Wednesday. It's really taking a lot of mental energy to make myself commit to this--I mean, the last time I was in a gym was my required year of phy ed my freshman year of high school, and I clearly recall the stereotypical set of feelings I had about the situation at that time. Luckily, I am no longer 13, going on 14.

+ + +

From our department of "the hype is kind of mostly true, in my opinion," I drove a Prius today. The best part might have been just being behind a wheel again--any wheel--but the distinctly precious and toy-like nature of the Prius was pretty beguiling. Though I don't really like the push-button start; call me a traditionalist, but I do so love to turn a key. When I filled up the tank (gas included in the car share! gas included in the car share!), the attendant at my local station (full service) was totally hitting on me. An older Pakistani gentleman. As a holdover from my busted-ass-car-owning days, I still think it's a good idea to be on excellent terms with your local service station, so though I will not be taking him up on his offer to let me borrow *his* car whenever I wanted, I will be waving when I walk by and getting fuel there henceforth.

+ + +

Do you think that John Waters knew that his original "Hairspray" would be adapted to the stage and then back to the screen in this manner? I'm going with no.

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07 July 2007

Eastern Time


Conan is on very, very late out here in EST-land.

That is all.

01 July 2007

A problem.

My upstairs neighbour (male, single, late thirties/mid-forties?), heretofore known to me as The Muttering Barker, could now better be called The Keening Wailing Shouter. In the month that we've lived here, I'd seen and heard him talk to himself, bark at himself, twitch slightly, and shuffle step down the block. This morning he is moaning, keening, wailing, shouting, mewling, racing in and out of his upstairs apartment and the building, and (for the second Sunday of my notice) screaming "I Hate Life" occasionally.

I do not want to be ableist, and up to just this morning I'd thought maybe he had Tourette's or some similar mild ailment that allowed him to remain independent and high function, not a danger to himself or others. Not so sure now that he's not at least a danger to himself, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little hesitant to continue trying to say hello and good morning to him when I see him around the building or at the bus stop. Selfishly, this was at seven in the morning and I was trying to sleep.

Can, or should, I do anything, I wonder? My real worry is that he will hurt himself. Should I send my landlord a quiet emailed word of concern--"I think my upstairs neighbour may be having some troubles; do you have an emergency contact for him who may be able to check in on him or speak with him?" On first thought, this seems responsible and caring, and if my landlord knows about the tenant's condition he may be able to tell me that the tenant is not a danger to himself. Then again, my landlord may not know about the tenant's condition and I might be playing a small part in what could turn into housing discrimination if my landlord refuses the tenant's renewal. Calling the cops is obviously total overkill, and I also don't feel that approaching him myself to ask if he is okay is appropriate; additionally and frankly, I don't care to do so, given that his refrain on the way down the stairs about an hour and a half ago was in Q-and-A format and in two voices and involved "Why don't they just shut up? They should just shut up."

It's definitely a "where do my renter's rights end and his begin" kind of question. While I should be able to feel safe in my home, he should also be able to be safe to be himself in his home. But if he's not safe with himself--and secondarily, if I am not safe--is concern and action appropriate and if so, what action is proper?