February Update

Hey there.  Here is your first ‘hood update of February on the haps here in Springfield (per your request, I will try to get them out more often and with pics – I am now officially carrying my camera in my purse, like I am Nancy frickin’ Drew of the new century).

So, the people next door are definitely practicing to be “America’s Next Top Car Commercial Announcer”.  These people yell at each other about everything under the sun, the moon, and Pluto (is it a planet, or a piece of crappy rock in our solar system – who cares?!)  The other day I heard them scream at one another about a grocery list back and forth from the alley behind the house.  He tells her to get some bread at the store, and she tells him “What the f**k ‘else you want you a**hole?!  I shouldn’t be the one doin’ your shoppin’ for you anyhow – you lazy, no good, cheatin’ bastard!”  They drink like fish (in fact they were out on the front porch this morning at 9am with beers in their hands – um….ew?!) and then the yelling seems to begin about mid-afternoon.  This is definitely a case alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, and neighbor’s sanity abuse – but I think it is SHE that is the abusive one, and he is the co-dependent).

I have called the police every night on them for a week – because the fighting starts early, then they turn their music up to cover up the argument – and then they yell OVER the music.  On Wednesday night, I had to call the police THREE times (and they came out THREE times, at 10:30pm, 2am, and 5:30am).  They have gotten wise to me too – when the police come and rattle on the front door for 15-minutes, they do not answer.  They turn the music down, get real quiet, wait for the officers (with guns drawn) to leave.  Once their vehicles are out of sight – music goes up, tempers go up and the battle is back on.

Who can fight for that long and still have energy or a voice for that matter – this impresses and intrigues me.  I am thinking of going over and asking them for voice lessons.  I would like to discover their secrets for how to project so well that you can hear them coming from two blocks away!  We have called the owner of the house and he is having trouble with getting them evicted.  On the other hand, I am also thinking of buying a bullhorn, so that I can open my window when they start fighting and telling them I will play country music until they shut the f**k up.  And then I will blast Travis Tritt through the bullhorn until their ears bleed.  Can somebody give me an “Ahimsa” up in here?!

On a less bitter and angry note, there is a woman named Josephine who lives across the street.  She was going around the ‘hood last Sunday to collect funds to bury a friend of hers who had recently passed away.  In exchange, you could buy “eggs”.  Not sure if they were chicken eggs, or maybe her eggs.  Of course, we declined the offer – and as we watched her go, we had the chance to read the back of her t-shirt…….which said……wait for it…….

“I am Rick James’ Bitch”!  Holla!

Neptune Beach in January

Hi there!  Sorry for the delay in sending you all your next update – I got scolded this weekend by a few of you for not sending them out sooner.  I have no idea how many days go by sometimes!  As a result – I have three short stories for you – written out in as long of form as possible!  😉

For a few of you this will be review, but I wanted to give you a brief history of Jacksonville – so that you start to get a better visual of what my mom’s neighborhood looks like.  Back in the late 1800s, early 1900s, Jacksonville was the old Hollywood…..before Hollywood, CA existed.  This is where early films were made, and stars were born.  They all lived where my mom does now, in a neighborhood just north of downtown called Springfield.  After things moved west, the area became depressed, and Springfield went to the degenerates, addicts, and homeless.  It has only been in the past 5-10 years that people have moved back into the area, and started to refurbish some of the old homes and mansions that were still left.  Some were in such disrepair that they had either fallen in on themselves, or were condemned and are still being torn down.  In their place, new homes have also been built to fit into the style built 100+ years ago.

Because the neighborhood is still in transition, many of the older “residents” to the area, have made claim to some of these dilapidated buildings – and they are the most interesting people in the neighborhood!  I know that one day, the yuppies and Gen-Xers will force them into some other more impoverished area, but what they don’t realize is that these are the people that give Springfield its charm!  And even though, I have lived off Colfax for the past 8 years, in Denver, there is some s**t down here that happens that surprises even myself.  Ladies – there are just some things that go one down here that people who live above the Mason Dixon line don’t think of doing…..

One such resident is a man that lives here in the neighborhood who owns 8 or 10 mannequins.  They all reside on his front porch, and he dresses them up so that it always looks like there is a porch party happening at his place (people LOVE to have porch parties here, a term I had not heard until coming to Floriduh).  Sometimes the parties he has are fancier, and they are all dressed in evening gowns (because all the mannequins are female – since the man is a playa after all).  Sometimes there is a beach theme, or an early afternoon garden party.  It is fun to drive by every now and then and see what sort of porch party he is hosting that day.  My mom and I place wagers on what we think it will be (my mom is winning 3-1; but I think she has an unfair advantage).  Seriously – who has that kind of time?  And then I remember, “oh yeah, I do.”  If mannequins weren’t so damned expensive, I could buy some new friends and have a fabulous porch party of my own (I will name one after each of you)!  Come to find out from one of the other women in the neighborhood – there is another man (we will call him Mark) – who enjoys buying his dresses from the porch party scene – and Mark is straight.

In the ‘hood, there is a church located nearby that, I kid you not, is called the “We’re for Jesus Love Center”.  Interestingly enough, it happens to be on the same corner that most of the ‘hood hos hang out.  Now I know that Colfax is notorious for these kinds of “residents” as well, but how many of them carry their four kids with them while working?  Why doesn’t the church offer these poor single mothers some sort of day (or night) care option?  It just seems like they would make a killing – on a busy evening – I easily see 20 kids waiting for their mamas to come back to their corner.

When there isn’t anything going on in the ‘hood – which is a rare occasion I must say – we go out to the beach.  My mom normally won’t go to the beach until the temp hits 80 – but she has conceded to go with me when I need some time to just stand and stare at the ocean.  The first time I made her go out, it was 41 degrees – and I stuck my toes in the sand (pics attached, because I know you jealous)!  Saturday was nicer at a balmy 72, so we headed out – again against her rules, since she also doesn’t go on the weekends because it is “too busy”.   She is spoiled – and I love her for it.  But, she would have missed the guy we saw yesterday with a propeller, and a gas tank strapped to his back – he was flying around with a parasail.  It took him about an hour to get his fat ass off the beach and into the air, but once he finally did – it was an intriguing sight to be had…..Orville Wright, meet your great-grandson….



I think that about does it for the month of January.  Thank you again for indulging me.  And thank you all for being the wonderful friends and amazing women you all are.  I think of you and each of your unique strengths that you each possess.  I am blessed to have you in my life – and for helping me push through the crap and the muck to be the blooming lotus (someday).  I ran across this quote, and thought it certainly held true for the friendships we have with each other:  “A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.”  – William Arthur Ward

Arrived in JAX!

So, now it is official – you will all now be receiving Laura’s Updates from the ‘Hood on a regular basis – the intention being to give you a grasp of the interesting folk you meet here in Springfield.  If you would like to unsubscribe, too bad ‘cuz I miss you and I need something to do to laugh (and so do you).  Here is a recap from yesterday (which I am also writing in an effort to distract myself from sending out resumes to jobs I am completely incapable of working at right now BTW…….your tax dollars are hard at work……).

Yesterday I was awakened to the sound of the loudest black woman you have ever heard yelling profanities at her poor, unfortunate boyfriend who most likely deserved the awful words coming out of her mouth.  (All this racket was coming from the house next door, I mentioned to you).  Needless to say, I was not on her side of the argument at the moment because it was FIVE F***ing THIRTY on a Sunday morning!  At this moment in time, she was the devil – and I hate her for waking me up because it is rare these days that I sleep at all.  I wait for a while to see if she is going to ever shut up and alas no, so I get up to let the dog out and get the animals their breakfast.  This tirade of obscenities continues until my mom woke up at around 7:30 (how she didn’t hear these two fighting, I will never know – she sleeps like the dead and I am completely envious).

I had the most awful headache from the meds I am on, and I myself am now pissy since not only do I have to feel the pounding in my head, but the woman next door’s voice is pounding through the walls!  My mom promptly calls to report the noise complaint.  (Can I just tell you that the Denver Police Department should come down here and intern with the JAX PD?!  These guys know a little something about response time – of course, the population is a third of what Denver’s is – but who cares right?)  The police show up, I kid you not, in about 4-minutes flat.  They tell the two to knock it off, and then leave.  Shortly after pulling the away, the two are back at it of course, but now they have turned the music up to try and cover up their vile feud.  And would you like to know the song they were playing???? “Doin’ the Butt”, by E.U.!!!!  My mom and I are now sitting on the back patio (because it was warm and the sun was finally out, thank gawd) – and we are just dying laughing!  We decided, at this point, to go down and take Ginnie to the Riverwalk and get some exercise and fresh air, and we can’t stand listening to them for one more second!

Upon return, an hour and a half later, yes ladies – the couple is STILL fighting.  We choose to stage a sit-in protest with bowls of chocolate chip ice cream on the living room couch until we see the fire department and an ambulance show up to the house next door!  WTF – we didn’t call anyone…..noooooo….someone from inside the house next door called.  My mom gets on the phone with her neighbor from the across the street, because from his front door he can see directly into the next to my mom’s (do you need a diagram for this yet?).  He reports that someone has fallen down the stairs.  My mom hangs up with him, and he walks out of his house and across the street to stand and chat with one of the fireman about the excitement.  A neighbor from down the way comes out of his house to check the scene as well – and brings popcorn!

Now the two men are standing there, with the fireman, eating popcorn while the next-door neighbor gets hauled out of the house, unconscious, no movement, drunk as a skunk with a pulse and a neck brace, AND his girlfriend STILL yelling at him as they put him in the ambulance and haul is ass to the hospital and then most certainly to detox.  They say he tripped and fell – but ladies, I do believe this is a cut and dry case of she pushed his ass down the stairs……

The rest of the afternoon was pleasantly quiet.

Christmas Eve (yogi style)

By Laura:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,

All the yogis were chanting to Ganesha who rides on a mouse.

The mats were hung to dry after being cleaned with care,

In hopes that Shiva soon would be there.

While seated in lotus at the front of my mat,

I just settled the class down for a long Svasana nap.

When out on 13th Avenue there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the studio to see what was the matter.

The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow,

Gave a luster of mid-day to Bender’s Bar below.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But Vishnu and his 10 incarnations are here.

More rapid than Vayu, God of the Wind, his avatars came.

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

“Now, Matsya! Now, Kurma! Now, Vamana and Varaha!

On Krishna and Kalki! On, Buddha and Parshurama! On Rama and Narasimha!

Top the top of Trimurti, to the top of the wall,

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

He sped off with his team, on Garuda he took flight,

Away they all leapt, like Hanuman into the night.

But I heard him exclaim, as they all transcended away,

“Om Shanti to All and to All Namaste.”