Neighborhood Mailing Lists

I spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday trying to find the old Yahoo Groups site our neighborhood used to use as a mailing list. I wanted to search up (as Scout* phrases it) some of the past inter-personal squabbles for a writing project. The group was at but has been archived and as far as I know is completely inaccessible, and can be retrieved if you are a data wonk who can parse comma delimited files and such. It was far too much work for what I wanted to do with it. But I went down the rabbit hole anyway, because apparently social media has left me with the inability to focus on a single task for any length of time.

Until this morning, I had forgotten that all those old squabbles were in my actually email account. The old one under my past name, of course, but all still accessible to me. Oh, the treasure-trove of human foibles it is, too. The casual racism. Good grief.

It appears we officially shelved that mailing list in 2015 and turned to the Nextdoor site for our neighborhood sharing, which is a shame. Lately the folks on our street have started a group WhatsApp to contact one another and it feels a little closer.

I’m counting all this past reading as research time for my writing project but really it’s just fun.

I do need to actually write something in this project, though. It’s one I’ve had around for a long time but lost interest in because I couldn’t work out how to make the plot go. (I have a lot of trouble making the plot go, if that’s not clear from everything I’ve written here about my own writing.) I’ve picked it back up again realizing a different angle on it. I hope I can capture something now that it seems fun again.

I remember when I was reading about Agatha Christie’s notebooks that she would scribble an idea on a piece of paper and years later return to the idea and complete it, her brain having noodled out the problem over the ensuing piece of time.

[*Scout is the child of one of our friends and is preternaturally smart for a 6-year-old.]

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Neighbors Tore Up My Backyard & Patio

If you recall last year in mid-September, I took a week off work and put in a new patio and walkway in my backyard, with a great deal of help from my friend Kathy and a lot of hard work myself. I dug out the pit for the walkway and laid the pavers for it by myself, and it was one of the most difficult (and rewarding) things I’ve ever done.

Turns out it didn’t even last a year.

I came home this evening and found this:

[edit needed: update photos from 2005-08-31]

The neighbor’s contractor is building a garage, and he decided to drive his backhoe through and across my backyard (which was made from one of the unique types of residential hardscaping) while digging the pit for the garage. The pavers are now uneven, and scraped up where he dragged his blade across them, and the grass I’ve been cultivating for 3 years is completely gone — he took out half of my lawn. I can’t imagine how he plans to explain that to me — there’s no way in the world that he could justify this, at all. He had no permission whatsoever to be on my property, and he drove halfway across it.

Needless to say, I’m furious and upset. I don’t know the name of the contractor yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll be posting it here, and on Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau.

I think the thing that upsets me most about this is that I’m not strong enough to fix this. I can’t do what I was able to do last year; I can’t pick up these pavers anymore. Just having the garage sale was way over-doing it for me, especially moving and carrying the stuff in and out of the house. There’s no way I can fix up this problem. I can’t even keep the front yard weeded and in order, because I’m not strong enough to pull some of the weeds.

UPDATE: I believe the contractor’s name is:

This is the info from contractor’s permit site from Indianapolis:
Pro Built Inc.
Bob Abbott
11585 E. 241 St
Cicero, IN

This is what Angie’s List says:
Pro Built Garage Co.
PO BOX 598
CICERO, IN 46034
Phone: (800) 878-2845

Contact’s Name:


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Buy the House Next Door to Me

The house next to mine is going up for sale at the Sheriff’s auction on September 17th. The auction is held in Room 260 of the City-County building, and bids can be put in starting at 10 a.m. The auction starts after 3:30 p.m.

It would be really wonderful if someone bought and renovated this house, because it has a great history and has really beautiful architecture. Plus my property value would go up.

2005 Update: someone did end up buying the house next to me, and is doing a great job of renovating. Very exciting.

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Talbott Street Bar Issues

Here’s the whole story on the previous rant I posted:

I live next to the Talbott Street Bar, and I’ve had a lot of problems with the bar patrons parking in my backyard and also parking in front of my house, waking me up late, leaving piles of beer bottles and fast food trash in my front yard and trespassing through my side yard on the way to the bar.

In addition to this, some of my friends have been less than considerate while attending the bar. They’ve come by late at night when I’m in bed and either awakened me or tried to. They’ve parked at my house without permission, etc.

A couple weeks ago, I invited some friends over to my house, including a woman I recently met named Pepper. We all went out later to Talbott Street Bar. Since then, Pepper seems to think that she has free reign to park in my backyard whenever she wants to to go to the bar, without letting me know or getting my permission to do so.

The night after we all went out, Pepper parked at my house with a friend. I didn’t recognize the car, so I called the tow truck to take the car away. When I went out to meet the tow truck, I realized there were people in the car having sex. I didn’t know who it was, so I called the police to have them arrested. Turns out it was Pepper and her friend. I was really embarrassed, and angry, too. They apologized, took me out to dinner, etc., but Pepper never seemed to really understand, despite the fact that I said it about 20 times, that I don’t want anyone parking at my house.

So last night, I met friends out at Utopia. Pepper mentioned that she and her guy friend were going to Talbott Street. I said 3 times, “Have fun. Don’t park at my house.” Apparently, she thought I was joking because she went right ahead and parked at my house late at night. I discovered her car because I had a guest coming to visit me, and she couldn’t park at my house because the space was taken by Pepper’s car. So my guest had to park down the street and walk to my house.

I was incredibly pissed off. Twice I picked up the phone to call the tow truck, but I decided to try to manage my anger. I wrote a polite note asking her not to do it again, and went out and put it on her car.

At about 2 a.m., I got an unbelievable answering machine message from Pepper. She ranted, she raved, she cursed at me and told me to fuck off. It’s an amazing message. You’ll get to hear it yourself soon, because I’m converting it to mp3 for download, so that the 22,000 people who visit this site every day will have the chance for a good laugh at her expense. It’s always nice when assholes shoot themselves in the foot, so you don’t have to.

I now have the tow truck on speed dial.

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No Parking

I thought I had communicated this to all of my friends, but apparently the message isn’t getting across. I AM NOT THE AUXILIARY PARKING LOT FOR THE TALBOTT STREET BAR. IF YOU PARK AT MY HOUSE FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN TO SEE ME, I WILL HAVE YOU TOWED. What does it take to get this message through to everyone? Do you want me to use your garage to park to attend some event in your neighborhood? I didn’t think so.

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Backyard torn up again

I got home from work yesterday and discovered that, for the third time, someone had driven through my backyard and torn up the grass. I’m going to rig a webcam up to the back window of my house.

In other news, be sure to send this link to your younger brothers: University Of Toronto Study Analyzes Chances Of Homosexuality.
Summary: Roughly one in seven gay men may owe his sexual orientation to the fact he has older brothers, say University of Toronto researchers.

Incidentally, in an informal, unscientific poll I took moments ago, very few of my gay male friends have older brothers.

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Weekend Update 2002-05-28

So, I should probably say something about Memorial Day weekend. I wouldn’t say it was the best weekend of my life. I did get to spend Saturday with my Mom and my niece Riley, which was very cool. We picked out a bunch of flowers for hanging pots and then put together the ones for mom’s house. I also bought a hummingbird feeder, and hostas and other groundcover plants for the flowerbeds around the trees in the backyard.

One of my neighbors is a pain in the ass, and the guy who owns the property next door is a giant asshole. But he’ll stick his own foot up his ass, eventually, so I don’t have to do it for him. But bad karma wishing on him. The girl who lives next door, Crystal, is cool, and so is Tonya, the chick who lives in the grey house two doors south.

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Video Trouble

Phone call actually received by someone I know, from next-door neighbor:

"Our cable TV is having interference right now, is yours?"

"Not as far as I know… what channel are you watching?"

"We’re not watching a channel. We’re playing a tape."

During the Gulf war, here in Israel, there was a family watching the Cosby show, and taping it just in case there would be another air-raid siren. Sure enough there was, and they filed into their sealed rooms. After the whole thing was over, they returned to watch their video tape. And what do you know, the same thing happened just about the same time in the show. After they retuned to their sealed room for a third time they realized it was the tape and not a real drill.

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