More Ranting and a Random Ten

Emily and I live in an apartment community here in South Florida, and-- in general-- we like it. The neighbors we know are nice, the apartment itself is spacious and perfect for us, and it's nice to start each day with a few laps in the pool. However, there are frustrating things too-- last Sunday, we returned home from our viewing of The King of Kong with Brian and Amy to discover that the police had blocked off the entrances to our community while-- guns drawn-- they advanced on the apartment of one of our neighbors (who, presumably, was being arrested for something kinda terrifying). We also wish that the young parents who lived here would actually pay attention to their demon-seed offspring as they're running through the parking lot; I've almost run over so many children, the prospect now ceases to terrify me. Also, several of the young adults who live here are the type of people who still use the word "party" as a verb-- as in, some nights they party so hard that the next day, those of us who swim first thing in the morning have to fish chairs out of the pool before we can swim our laps.

Most irritating, though, has been the fact that some of our neighbors are downright hostile to the very idea of recycling. I mean, I understand being too lazy to take the time to recycle-- I used to be that way myself. But these people aren't just lazy-- they're malicious. I can't tell you how many times I would go to take our newspapers or bottles out, only to discover that people had filled the recyclable bins with discarded furniture, or Chinese food containers, or-- most galling of all-- soiled diapers. I mean, these are people who have kids, and they're actively trying to destroy the earth.

Anyway, this week our property manager made the decision to remove all of the recyclable bins. Can't say I blame her-- her staff was having to dump the entire contents of the bins into the dumpsters, which meant Emily and I haven't actually been recycling for a long time. Eventually, someone's back was going to go out-- that's too high a price to pay for my worthless neighbors' slovenliness. Nevertheless, this is disappointing; this means Emily and I either have to give up recycling, or start collecting our stuff to take to the recycling center the next town over every Saturday morning.

Actually, there's very little choice at all-- we're going to continue recycling, obviously. But meanwhile, I think we've decided that-- once our lease is up-- we're definitely going to move. To be honest, moving wasn't really considered an option a couple weeks ago-- we thought we'd stay in this apartment until we either bought a house here or accepted jobs elsewhere. But, as Brian has noted, property value had dropped considerably in the past few months, and Emily and I have discovered-- much to our surprise and delight-- that we can now afford to rent a house or a duplex in this area (which we couldn't do just a year and a half ago, when property was more expensive and Emily was working part-time). So, maybe I should thank my self-centered, destructive neighbors-- we wouldn't have realized we could do better if they hadn't been so terrible.

On the other hand, you know what I'm excited about? I'm getting a new iPod next week-- the new 80 gig iPod classic (the old one broke-- I'm not the kind of prick who always has to have the next big technological thing-- I just like wearing my iPod when I work out or when I'm cleaning the house). It's less expensive than the newer ones, and holds a ton of songs. Can't make phone calls on it, though, but that's okay. Complaining that your music player can't make phone calls seems to me like complaining that your video game system can't defrost chicken-- like, that's just not what it's used for. Anyway, what you do with an iPod is, you put it on shuffle, then record the first ten songs that come up. That's how we get a Random Ten. I can hardly wait. For now, though, I'll generate mine through iTunes.

1) Lou Reed-- "The Bells"
2) Sean Lennon-- "Spectacle"
3) Willie Nelson-- "Frosty the Snowman"
4) Lou Reed-- "Power and Glory Part II"
5) Wilco-- "Should've Been in Love"
6) Cyndi Lauper-- "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
7) John Cale-- "Movement 10-- From Kiss"
8) Elvis Costello-- "My Science Fiction Twin"
9) Meat Loaf-- "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (don't start with me, okay?)
10) Warren Zevon-- "Dirty Life and Times"

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