I write about nerdy things, and celebrate those things as a college writing teacher.

Posts tagged with ‘brooklyn life’

liveblogging my eventual encounter with the police.

  • I enter the apartment and give the Sniffler a check for my share of the last month's electric bill and tonight's rent, I'm on the phone while I do this.
  • ME: Here you go.
  • SNIFFLER: Thank you. When can I expect you out tonight?
  • ME: 12 noon tomorrow.
  • SNIFFLER: No it has to be tonight.
  • ME: No. [walks away].
  • SNIFFLER: I will call the police.
  • ME: Knock yourself out.
  • [An hour later, he still hasn't done it. I figure he'll wait until late in the evening to call them to freak me out while I sleep or he won't do it at all. I'm pretty sure it will be the latter].

Y’all won’t believe what just happened. I just told the Sniffler that I was moving out first thing tomorrow morning, and he said: “No, today is your last day. If you do not have your stuff out of here by the time I get home at 9pm your stuff will be out on the street.” (He’s German, so that’s what he sounds like: robotic and menacing). And I said, “no that won’t be happening. I’m working all day and I have class tonight, my new place isn’t ready until tomorrow so I’m not moving out until tomorrow.” He said no you move out today or your stuff will be out on the street tonight.  

I am NOT making this up. This really just happened. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough. As my friend Margie said, “My life is a movie.” This entire year, starting last May, has been one for a book.

So some cops just busted into my apartment just now.

Saying they got a call from a “Marcus” who said he was going to hurt himself at this address. I was stirred awake like a fucking hurricane just blew out my windows as they rushed through this apartment, flashlights everywhere—a crew of six of them. I thought at first it was a home invasion. When I answered the door, they seemed quite nervous they got me and I had no idea who they were talking about. Six of them in the apartment looking for someone saying they were going to hurt themselves. Seems a little out of place. I’m fucking stir crazy agitated and freaked-the-fuck-out right now. I’m glad I’m moving to a new place next week, far from this neighborhood.

Excuse me ladies and gentleMEN, I’m here to sell some WEED, not for no basketball team, or some school fund. I’m selling it to better myself and stay out of trouble. I’ve got…

— a kid on the subway earlier today. Not to be all NYC-inside joker-y, but you’ll get why this is funny if you’ve ever taken the subway and there is some kid selling some candy for a dollar for his basketball team.

The first week of February was a piece of shit.

Ned's heard this story already, but since you, Internet, have not I might as well explain what the hell it was I was blabbering about the first week of February. 

The week (Feb. 5) starts with The Sniffler (my roommate sniffles quite audibly as to be heard through the walls) saying my rent is due a day early and gives me this phony electric bill on an Excel spread sheet, saying I owe him three months electricity. I give him the rent and ask for the monthly statements of the electric bill for my records.

Wednesday I find my ceiling leaking. I call, text, and email the Sniffler to get the landlord’s number. No response. The following day I text, call, and email him again. At home, I go through the mail to get the landlord’s name, Google her, and get her work number off her website. She gets right on it and is mega-supportive but at first doesn’t want to get involved because the lease is in the Sniffler’s name but she gets her guy Frankie to come around. He checks it out but isn’t able to do anything. This is Thursday night now and he also expresses concern about going on the roof, with good reason because it is probably quite treacherous up there. So Frankie says he’ll come around tomorrow to work on it.

After work, I call him. He comes over, takes the fan out, sees the damage. He won’t—yet again—go on the roof to get the ice off which I think is the only real solution. He won’t do anything until it rains which is supposed to be Saturday. He says to call him first thing.

So I sleep under the cardboard tiles he replaced in the night. I’m shivering all night in the cold and frustrated waiting for the slightest creak in the ceiling to get me to roll out of the way of the collapsing ceiling.

My iBook dies that night. Screeching to a grinding halt with lines running across the entire screen and then shutting off.

The next morning, I’m doing the dishes and the Sniffler comes in to get a report. He hasn’t responded to a single email I’ve sent him or anything like that and he asks me about the electric bill, I kindly remind him about the the statements and he responds by saying he thinks it is sufficient what he gave me. I say it would be a personal favor to me if he did it this way, I’d like to get the actual bills for every month and not do it every three months. It’s not like he’s not going to get paid, I’d just appreciate it if he did it this way, so I have the actual bill for my records. He insists he’s going to do it this way. I’m like that’s fine, I just want to get the statements if that’s alright and he won’t do it. I want it this way and there’s no reason to be unreasonable, you’ll get paid no problem. He insists that what he gave me is sufficient and this is how he wants it done and if i’d like to pay in advance that’s fine. Well, that won’t be happening. Fine, he says, and asks if I’d like to find a new flat if I don’t do things his way. I tell him that’s fine if he’s going to be unreasonable about it, I’m within my rights to ask for the actual statements. He then goes completely ape-shit and asks if I’m trying to “ruin” him, and I have no bargaining chip to barter with him, he can throw me out whenever he likes since I’m not on the lease.

“Ruin you? Are you fucking insane?” I look at him shocked that someone actually said that. I said I’m not trying to ruin anyone, I’m just trying to verify this is the correct amount because your Excel document was not sufficient for me. He asks when he’s going to get the Utilities money, I tell him plainly he’ll never see it if he doesn’t give me the statements because now I think he’s scamming me.

Flash to today: I still haven’t seen those statements. To say the least, I’m looking for a new place.

Library Bathroom.

I follow a Germ-a-phobe into the second floor bathroom. He walks into a stall, patting down the door with his coat sleeve, then sniffs the ground; quitting on this stall he moves into the one next door, going through the same routine, but closes the door this time.

My stomach has been doing back flips since Sunday and now it does back dives into a sea of senseless acid and awkward annoyance.

When I walk out of the bathroom, I hear him say: “Wee-Wee pad.”

What's Going on in Brooklyn Today?

  • Me: I just made fun of a kid's hat that looks like someone scalped a Wild Thing. We moved the office printer to my desk for the shorter people to reach.
  • Friend: Hahahaha.
  • Me: I just dumped half a jug of a water on the rug.
  • Friend: Dork.
  • Me: The joke I made about the Wild Thing Scalp Hat Thing is that the kid is so going to regret it ten years from now when he looks through old Facebook photos with him wearing it.
  • Friend: Yeah, I get it, but what about the spilling water?
  • Me: I was refilling the water cooler.
  • Friend: oh haha. i didnt get that.
  • Me: And i spilled about a fourth of it on the rug. It was dramatic.
  • Friend: hahaha oh dave. i love you.
  • Me: you can picture it can't you?
  • Friend: yup

Well today was something. 

Today was a somewhat long day, I’m staying late photocopying some stuff for my 6:30 class that my boss teaches when he gets a phone call from his wife who is hysterical, screaming through the phone that there is a squirrel in the house. I’m so bored from organizing the handout for tonight’s class which is Aram Saroyan's self-titled poem with such shit lines as saying “crickets” fifty-three times in a row and spelling light “lighght”.  I'm so bored with it that, as I write this little story in my little reporter's notebook in class, I write speech balloons on certain pages saying, “I'm Ronald Reagan and this pisses me off.” I don't know, I'm going stir-crazy and in my craziness, earlier in the evening, I overhear this squirrel conversation Prof has with his wife. He doesn't know what to do and tells his wife to call the police. My dumbass is so stir crazy that I'll do anything to get out of the office and I say aloud:

"Yes! I am an Adirondack Man and I can handle this squirrel problem!" So he says okay and we leave the office and campus and walk to his nice house nestled in a cul-de-sac off of Ocean Ave. I get in there and the wife is hysterical: "What do you need? How are you going to get it?" To which I reply, "I’m going to Clark Griswold it" [see the Video above]. The fucker is on the third floor and my Prof’s Dachshund is going crazy at it.  "Holy Fuck it’s huge," I say and the thing is definitely fifteen pounds, scaling the third floor window’s overhang like a rock climber. Zipping up my hoody, flipping the hood on, getting the workman’s gloves on, I am now completely prepared with a sixty year-old ball-peen hammer, a garbage bag, and a stick that opens the window. I’ve opened the window on the second floor because it looks like I’m going to have either brain it with the hammer, usher it into the garbage bag or chase it down a flight of stairs and out a window. I’m hoping it just jumps right into the garbage bag and I can throw it out the window.

So the thing is scaling the third floor window’s overhang like Spider-Man and the entire time it is giving me the stink eye because I am clearly up to No Good wrapped up like a mummy.

"Fuck off, squirrel, do not even think about jumping on my face, I will splay your brains all over the place if you even lunge mother fucker."

"What was that?" from the second floor.

"This thing is giving me the eye like it wants to go for my face."

Then it doesn’t. It scurries to the left side, I flush it with the 10ft stick and it moves like a fucking flicker of mother shitting light right between the legs of the Prof who has NO IDEA it is behind him. BEHIND YOU, I cry. WHAT? NO, and right through his legs, the Dachshund chases it into a corner, Prof gets out of the way and I try to dump a basket on top of the squirrel and it just barely scurries past it and right between my legs. It is staring right up at me directly in between my legs and I am so: No Fucking Way and prepare to Brain it with the hammer. I miss and it scurries down a flight right to the open window and it…fucking sits there. Thinking about going outside, as if it is debating it wants to torture us some more.  Eat fucking stick and I push it out the window, slamming the stain glass window shut. 

Yes this really happened, and yes this entire entry was scribbled in my notepad while I’m fucking burnt out in my class. So burnt out I scribble speech balloons into Aram Saroyan’s shit poem: “Get this thing a No Prize" complete with DFW-like footnote defining exactly what a No Prize is.

And tomorrow is only Tuesday.

Yep, typos like these are pretty common in my neighborhood.

Yep, typos like these are pretty common in my neighborhood.

Giving a paper.

There’s a large amount of venom in my body whenever I hear this phrase. I hear it all the time being in grad school. In my head, a British voice says it. Try it. The sense of superiority is astounding to me, the self-important air to it is incredibly obvious, and this is just in the word “giving” because when you give something the word associated with it is usually a gift of some kind. Something wonderful and nice and very kind and generally free to who you are giving it to. But in this case the gift is your thoughts on a topic, you are giving away the precious gift that is your thoughts. How special you must be.

Except you’re not really giving it away, more than likely you’re being paid to give your paper to a crowd, or the people who invited you to give the paper are paying for your transit and your lodging. You’re not really giving anything except your enlightened thoughts.  The very nature of this phrase is big-headed and cringe-worthy and I think this is why people have such an adverse reaction to academics and how most are seen as snotty. “I’m giving a gift to you all that is my paper on a topic.”

Now I don’t want to loop all academics into this group because that would be incorrect but there are definitely people who don’t deserve it, my boss is one of them. The guy who was in charge of my Thesis Prep class last semester is one of those academics I’m talking about. He left the class for three weeks because he was “giving a paper on Shakespeare” at some conference. Felt it was more important to be giving the gift of his thoughts on a person that has been analyzed to such an extent that how could anyone have anything fresh to say? Regardless, he was “giving a paper,” and he had to be gone that long because he was so busy “giving.” But no, he was important enough, his thoughts fresh enough, to give others his gift of thoughts on someone who has been analyzed for years.  And—let’s just be honest here—probably no one has anything fresh or new to say about Shakespeare.

"Giving a paper," I cringe at the phrase just as much as when someone says or types "LOL" or "BRB" or "LMAO".