Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Humongous, Intrusive, Annoying Tree Fort

During my down time I enjoy hanging out in my back yard. It's my oasis. I have a water feature, a chimenea that I use a LOT, lovely plants and my kitties hang out with me. It's a very relaxing place. Or at least it was.

My neighbor got the bright idea to build a tree house in his tree which sits right next to my fence. This means that he and his family - which include two very rambunctious and loud boys - will be able to see directly into my yard. The tree house he's building isn't small either. Once it's done he claims that it will be a little over 100 square feet. It's all I can see when I look out onto my patio. I mean this thing is going to be huge!

I was so alarmed to see it going up, I went next door and quizzed my neighbor about how big it was going to be and to find out if there was going to be a window on the side facing my yard. He assured me that there would not be a window but that there would be a "porch" surrounding it (which means that his hellions boys will be able to spy on me). In an attempt to make him rethink his plan, I stated that I was glad that there wouldn't be a window because on occasion, I liked to walk around my back yard in my skivvies and I wouldn't want to shock his kids.He gave me a look like he wasn't sure whether to believe me or not so I made sure to emphasize that walking around 1/2 dressed was something I enjoyed doing. A lot.

It's been about a month and 1/2 of constant sawing and hammering and the fort still looks like the picture above. I'm not sure what's taking so long but the amount of progress versus the amount of time spent building does not match up. And that's OK with me since I don't want the thing to go up in the first place.

Today as I was getting ready for work I noticed an intense light shining through my bedroom window. It reminded me of those huge search lights that you see car dealerships use to draw attention to their store. The thing was about a trillion candle power! Since it was still dark when I left home, I slowly drove past the construction zone and noticed that the most intense driveway spotlight I have ever seen had been installed and was shining on the tree house. Now besides having to look at it during the day, I also get to look at it at night.

Lucky, lucky me.

My family and I have been secretly plotting how to get rid of this terrible eyesore since building began. One idea was to poison the tree it's built in so it would die and fall down. Knowing my luck, it would fall onto my fence then the kids would have free reign of my yard. Plus, I don't have the heart to kill a tree.
And besides that, the neighbor would likely figure out that we did it and I'd go to jail for tree murder. Another plot was to notify the city about the lack of a building permit. But I have no way of knowing if they got a permit or not. Walking around semi-nude might alert CPS and I'd go to pervert jail. So, I don't know what to do about it other than suck it up and try to ignore it.

Over the weekend Manchild and I were discussing it and he proceeded to load the chimenea completely full of bald cypress fronds. If you don't know, the fronds will burn like crazy and smoke excessively. So picture the neighbor up in his tree house, plodding along hammering and sawing when all of a sudden everything within a 3 house radius is completely enveloped with white, pungent smoke.

Here's a little visual for ya. And I'm not exaggerating! I think the city was about to deploy the hazmat team because of the amount of smoke. You could not see or breathe for a good hour. Guess what? It did not stop the construction. Nope, the behemoth is still going up. 

The little kids are excited because I hear them every single day screaming and begging their dad to let them climb up on the deck. The other day I heard one boy ask his dad if he could get up there 17 times in a row. The dad was blissfully ignoring his son but I heard every screech...all 17 times. If it's any indication of things to come, I'm going to end up zapping one of them with a stun gun. And I imagine that someone is going to end up falling out of the tree house - preferably on their driveway and not my back yard. The kids are wild and crazy (and clumsy) and the parents are extremely fond of drinking copious amounts of wine. I know because I hear at least 3 wine bottles hit the recycle bin every morning. Clumsy hellions and drunk adults....greeeeaaaaattttttt.

This will be an ongoing story since it's not completely built yet. I'll be sure to keep you posted. Hopefully, I won't be writing from jail.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Future Superstar

Ever since I was a young teen - and that was thousands of years ago, I've wanted to be a rock star. When I was in middle school, I imagined a name for my future band...Electric Blue.

I was going to be a sen-say-shun!!!!! It didn't matter that I couldn't play the guitar or drums. I was trained to play classical piano and I figured that I could wing it until I could play rock music for real. That, or I could play a mean cowbell or tambourine. I did not practice or join a garage band, I just figured a rock gig would fall into my lap and I'd be a sensation.

After I got older, I rode on the coattails of my brother who was in a small informal band. The lead musician of the group liked me and he let me get up on stage on occasion and sing backup. And let me tell ya, I was in heaven. I had found my niche. I did a fair job of singing harmony and could enjoy the glory without having to remember the lyrics of every song they played. I felt like a rock star even though the only places I got to sing at were mom and pop restaurants on the outskirts of the city and at lake parties where all of the visitors were drunk.

You can't see them, but there were lots of drunk people watching us.

At Mancuso's restaurant playing for about 20 people.

At Mancuso's again. Playing for about 15-20 people

Don't I look snazzy? I like the coat I'm wearing in the middle picture. It looks like the color gods threw up on me. And they were on acid at the time.

I have to admit that those times I got to sing backup were some of the best times I've ever had. I loved singing even if I wasn't the greatest. I felt special because I got to stand on the stage and shake my hips and watch the audience nod their heads to the beat. 

I've been known to jump up and join the musicians on open mike nights because the urge overtook me and I just could not sit still any longer. I figured if the evening was devoted to amateur musicians, I wouldn't get into too much trouble by joining in. 

I'm 51 freakin' years old and I still want to be a rock star!!! I still don't have any ability to play a musical instrument but I can harmonize. I don't even want to be the lead musician. Just give me a pair of leather stilettos and let me gel my hair up into spikes and I will be good to go. All I need is someone who wants a person older than in their 20s who is happy to turn their volume down and harmonize. That's all I need. Please. Someone. Anyone.