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Friday, June 23, 2006

The Old Man Next Door.

My company re-located offices to a very old and quaint area of town right before Katrina hit. We're in a beautiful, old building that's situated in a residential area. I love it here because our office space feels very home-y, and the neighbors and neighborhood are just wonderful.

A few months ago I noticed an older gentleman who lives in the house next to our office. He waves to me every morning. He's usually outside in the mornings with his little dog. I never really understood what he was doing outside because he would just stand around staring off into space. My first thought was that he was an Alzheimer's patient, but after watching him one morning, I saw him get on a bus. I always wondered where he was going and what he was doing.

My co-worker's grandfather was recently in a car accident and has since had his car keys taken away from him. Old age is cruel, unfair and inevitable. I can't imagine being stripped of my independence, but when your inability to think quickly and see clearly starts affecting your ability to drive, there's no other option. I digress. After the car accident, my co-worker walked over and started talking to the old man next door. She found out that the bus brings him to a local community center where seniors get to engage in all sorts of fun activities - line dancing, bingo, aerobics classes, etc. I think this is a fantastic program!

Since she first talked to him, they've become friends of sorts. He's opened up about his life to her, and she relays all of this information to me. Today she told me that the little dog he played with every day and took on hour long walks had to be put to sleep a few weeks ago. This just broke my heart. I know he's lonely. His wife passed away, he never sees his children, no one is ever over there with him - I imagine his dog was his only companion (besides the friends he has at the community center). I just feel like running over there and giving him a big hug. My heart is connected to this man for some reason.

I'm not sure why I posted this here. I guess I just need to collect my thoughts. When she told me about his dog I started crying (like an idiot). I just feel so sorry for him. I just wish that there was something I could do for him. I can't imagine being lonely at that stage of your life - everything and everyone you love is dying around you and you're just standing there watching it happen.

Friday, June 9, 2006


Yes, we've been hit - hit by a mailbox smasher. You know the type - the pubescent, zit-faced loser kids who think it's funny to go around denting up and ripping off people's mailboxes. It's an epidemic in our area. Countless mailboxes have been beaten to a bloody pulp with no hope for survival. No matter how beefy the box, it's no match for a baseball bat (or whatever object of destruction is popular these days with the kiddies).

It started about a mile down the highway from our house. Since many of the residents on the highway have mailboxes across the street from their homes in tight sections of 10 or more boxes, it's an easy 1. 2. 3. punch for the little bastards. I'm sure they can take out 10 or more boxes with one quick whip of the bat. After the first batch of boxes were taken out, a new batch of brand new boxes appeared the next day. A day later, the new boxes were gone, too. It's disgusting!

We figured that since we live in a neighborhood off of the main highway, we were immune to this stupid prank. No such luck, amigos. Joe calls me at work this morning to tell me that our neighborhood has fallen pray to the zit tards aka the mailbox smashers. What's even more astounding to me is that Joe and I were outside this morning for at least 15 minutes, and we didn't notice that our mailbox had been knocked down. How observant are we? Obviously not very!

So, a few of our other neighbors were also the target of the tards, and now everyone is up in a tizzy (rightfully so). I think it's such a terrible crime to deface someone else's property, and these little asswads should feel very relieved that I didn't create the laws in our area.

Crime: Mailbox smashing
Punishment: Death

OK, maybe not so severe (well, maybe). Anyhoo, Joe is already trying to fix the mailbox as best as he can. I guess we'll just have to be more vigilant with these bastards and hopefully one of us will be able to catch them. I would personally dance a jig of glee if they were caught, and that's saying a lot because 1) I can't dance and 2) I'm not sure what a jig is. Nevermind, I looked it up - it's a hop or a skip - I can hop and skip. No problem!

Oh, and wouldn't you assume that a metal baseball bat (or whatever instrument they used) hitting a metal mailbox at brute force would create a noise loud enough to at least wake up the dog? Nope, not our dog. Joe and I are both deep sleepers, but our dog is such a light sleeper that he will bark when someone walks down the street in front of our house. How did he not hear that? Was he high? Drunk?

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