Home again, home again, jiggedy jig!
Lucky for us we decided to pack before crashing on Sunday night because the wake up call we asked for never came and we woke up a half hour before we were set to leave. I'm amazed we made it through customs at all looking as bleary-eyed and unshowered as we did but we did. As soon as we got through the doors to Vancouver airport we b-lined to the nearest magazine stand and bought a copy of Half blood Prince (It came with a free tote bag!). I've managed to get three chapters in and so far I'm loving it. No spoilers.
The cats appreciated us being back, Charlie, a Balinese and for some reason genetically prone to neediness, was making a lot of noise and making it known that he needed to be held for several days straight. What a great cat. Kinsey and Augie were nonchalant as usual.
What an amazing weekend! So much happened and we had a really memorable, fun time. It's too bad we had to come home to more crap from the neighbours... Which I'll get into in a moment, but first I want to mention Brian's fabulous present of coolness!
So Saturday night we meet up at the Hyatt Bar and Ruth has this big, wrapped box. I open it and am stunned to see a shoulder bag, like any other computer bag but on the flap is this orange and white silk panel stitched into it and a label that says something about the International Space Station and the Soyuz mission. I immediately love it and think it's just so geeky cool because I'm a huge astronomy fan. But then Brian and Ruth say "Look inside, look inside!" (it was pretty loud in this bar), so I look and find a letter saying that panel of silk on the flap is actually parachute silk from the Soyuz Lander that was up in space for 194 days. And it's signed by the astronaut from that mission which happens to co-incide with events in One Small Step.
I burst into tears. It's the neatest thing ever and fucking wow! I start showing it to everyone in the bar. Joss Whedon was right there and I shove it in his face and say "Look! This was in space!" and everyone was patting it down and feeling the silk. All night I'm meeting people and everyone is patting down my Space Bag (as Tony Harris has Christened it). I am so on cloud nine.
So we get home and the neighbours are building a shed under our window.
Back story. The neighbours on the corner have this house, which they claim is Victorian but damn if it's not Edwardian, and they have been renovating it over the past three years. The first year we moved in we had to deal with a hellish five days in the summer where they decided to pave down the entire yard with elaborately cut cobble stones. Being as cheap as they apparently are, they felt it was a great idea to cut all the stones on site instead of having them cut elsewhere and brought in. The result: five days, from 9am to 9pm of a wet saw screaming through our morning sleep, meals, work and relaxation time. Friends of ours on the opposite side of the building from us were totally rattled, we were on the verge of having a total nervous breakdown. No warnings, no apologies.
So then they build this silly dinner tent under our balcony. Okay, it's tacky, whatever. They have dinner parties in it and play the same bloody Eagles CD over and over all night as they chatter about inane crap. Okay, they're boring, let it be. Then September comes. And the rains come. And the tent ROTS. My asthma gets triggered by all this mould and I'm just miserable from it. Winter comes and it gets doused with snow and one night... Providence. I'm working late into the night and suddenly I hear a loud SNAP! I rush out to the balcony and see the tent caved in from the weight of the snow. A very happy night indeed. The tent is soon taken down and life goes on.
Spring comes around and more reno work. Endless days of circular saws and hammering and loud contractors. We start to get used to it. We still seethe but it's ignorable.
Then last fall a giant sign goes up on their lawn, the kind you see in front of construction sites for townhomes. We learn that all this work has been to convert this tiny, three storey Victorian house into three STRATA condos starting at $395,000. Of course we just laugh our asses off at this. I just can't imagine paying so much for a basement suite! What a bunch of greedy assholes. And then they build another tent, I suppose to make it look more attractive. Ugh.
By spring the price has been marked down to $354,000 and a few months after that the giant condo ad is replaced by a small real estate company's for sale sign.
Last month we awoke to chain saws. It was jarring and unpleasant and we made our way to the balcony to see a couple of "landscapers" hacking up the giant fig tree in the yard. This beautiful fig tree's branches have reached over to our railing for the last three years and we've enjoyed stretching out for figs, lying under it's shade and listening to rain on the massive leaves. Half asleep our first reaction is "This is fucking awful! What the hell are you doing?"
The guy with the chainsaw is incredibly aggro and defensive and starts yelling up at us to fuck off, calling us names, screaming about "liability issues" and then turns to his silent stooge and says "nuke it to the property line!". In other words the guy with the husqvarna is fucking PSYCHO. We go back inside and fume.
In the end the tree is still there but thinned so we don't get as much privacy as we used to from those neighbours. Yay.
We begin talks about a possible move. The apartment rocks but fuck this noise. We decide to wait another year until after we get married, which oh yeah, we're doing next spring, woo hoo!
Monday afternoon we get back after maybe three hours sleep the night before (the annual Dead Dog party was too great to miss) and what do we hear? More saws, more hammering, and this great, big, stupid looking shed going up under our window. It starts up again this morning, 9am sharp. No warnings, no apologies. Not one iota of consideration for the people living nearby who have to put up with all this shit. How can people be such assholes?