Who Knew?

I am an Asian Mafia of one.

Who knew? The other night, a weeknight, there were four boys, 15-ish-years-old, out in the courtyard making the ruckus of the century by whooping, literally, saying “Whooooop! Whooooop! Whooooop!” at the top of their lungs to badly projected music playing at top volume from the family mini-van, of all things. Over and over and over and ooooover again. Started at 10:30pm-ish. Grr. This particular night was just another one in a series of nights, all equally loud.

After about an hour, the woman across the hall opened her window and bellowed down, “Shut up, already! Some people gotta get up in the morning.” Ironic, because she leans over the stair railings and screams like a banshee for her kids multiple times, day and night. Karma, anyone?

Needless to say, the “whoooooping” ceased. Only to be replaced by Krump dancing. Badly, I might add. And still a ruckus. I’m often up into the wee hours of the morning, as it is, so the noise wasn’t keeping me up per say, but the total disregard for the existence of other human beings sure was. Shoulda got dressed and traipsed down the three flights of stairs to where they were and

A) asked if I could join them. They teach me to Krump. I teach them to Charleston.


B) played the ditsy-impressed-female role of “Golly gee, boys. Y’all do that so well. Love to see you perform in the daylight sometime, but ya think ya could maybe let a girl get some rest tonight and wrap it up-blah-dee-blah-blah-blah” … yeah, not happening.


C) enlightened them by demanding actual responses as to what made them so very special as to be the uninvited vocals disturbing other folks drifting off to dreamland. Would have left me to feel like an overly stern wretch of a woman. Ms. Butt-Inksie, I am not.

All the while, there was a family of five unloading a large U-Haul truck into their newly rented apartment from the courtyard. One of them approached the boys asking if they could keep it down, casually pointing out that it was disrespectful. So, save dancing with them, I saw my two options more or less, tried and tested. And failed.

Sometime after 2 am, hours later, I was sitting in the Spare Oom at the computer in the dark. The light of the monitor had gone out as the computer slipped into sleep mode upon finishing up some work. In the dark, I reached for my nearby camera and snapped a shot out the window in their direction. Ha! Such wonderful dorky fun. One of the boys says, “Whoa! What was that? You guys see that?” His three friends went on totally ignoring his observation. I giggled to myself. Snap! Took another shot. The same kid says, “See?! Oh my God, what was that? You see that red light? And a flash?!” to which his friends said, ” … yeah … yeah! What WAS that?”

His friends all ran in the opposite direction scrambling up the short hill to the cover of the roadside trees.

Now all four boys are standing side by side staring up at my window, and I grew quiet thinking surely, their gonna come upstairs and check it out. I’m thinking I’m not quite sure what the heck I’m gonna do. Ignore them, answer the door, etc. My short-lived dorky fun is at its end. Snap! Took another photo! The first guy, the observant one, shouts out, “Asian Mafia!” leaps up into the air, his body splayed out in an “X” formation as though he’s in a suspended jumping jack. He lands well behind the parked U-Haul truck hidden from sight. His friends all ran in the opposite direction scrambling up the short hill to the cover of the roadside trees.

And I thought my fun was over. Too funny! Over the next minute or two, all four crept back into the courtyard area and proceeded to loudly say things such as, “Man, crazy how some people gotta take all the fun outta a guy trying to be positive, do the right thing, and have some innocent fun. We ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong.” After their statements of angelic purity, they sat themselves down on the stoop near their own apartment and QUIETLY talked on. The family of five gathered around the back of their open U-Haul where one proceeded to tell the others, “Those kids leaping all over the place out here just a minute ago all scared themselves silly thinking the Asian Mafia is out to get ’em. Dumb-asses.”

I think I like the new tenants! And the boys? They haven’t been out at night since. Too bad, I really wanted to teach them the Charleston. ♦

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Illuminated Nipples

Bean and I went to see The World’s Fastest Indian at the Grand Cinema in downtown Tacoma awhile back. I love, love, love quaint independent movie houses. How I’d yet to pay a visit to the Grand is beyond me. (Best theatre goes to the Harvard Exit off of Broadway & Roy in Seattle with its creaking staircases between floors, musty curtains, old piano and gorgeous tree-lined sidewalk easily viewable from the large foyer windows.) The Grand has an aqua blue velveteen-covered scrapbook in the lobby. It contains all the articles written about them over the years. They’re missing at least one, though. Bean did an article on them back in school and now plans to send them a copy to add to the book. Neato! Did I mention that the Grand serves REAL butter for their popcorn?

Her coy suggestion was that they hang tassles from each light’s knob in homage to Ms. Page.

So, cut to us sitting in the theatre awhile later, chatting about this and that. My gaze falls to the light fixtures. Installed are a series of round lights along the perimeter of the room every few feet, or so, near the ceiling. Definitely looked like glowing boobs. A brass knob jutting out from the middle of each orb-like fixture serves as the nipple. After commenting on them, Bean said Matt, her boyfriend, had also noticed them on a previous occasion. Conversation between us continued, and then off to the left, an older couple was sitting quietly eating their popcorn, when the man loudly proclaims, “Why, I see there be illuminated nipples for our viewing pleasure!” in his gravel-tinged voice. Ha. *Smile* I love old men, they’ve had time to develop character and therefore have great entertainment value. Bean’s wonderment was whether they’d be showing the new Betty Page flick. Her coy suggestion was that they hang tassles from each light’s knob in homage to Ms. Page.

I was out and about tonight. Was driving through a neighborhood, rounded a corner, and lo and behold, there stood a group of teenagers wearing black top hats and dancing with canes in cabaret style smack in the middle of the road, apparently rehearsing for a performance. They were gooood, too. Crisp in their movements, in sync, smiles on their faces. Life is too good, it’s true that you never know what’s right around the corner … ♦

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Smitty’s Demise

Goodness gracious, me-oh-my! Let me tell you what has transpired going into this past weekend …

Last Thursday afternoon, I’m driving along up the road on the way back to work. This tremendous sound, an out-n-out ruckus, begins. Like a piggie-squeal. UUUUURRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! I look over to my left at the Bronco next to me, thinking, “Sheesh, that poor vehicle has some issues!”

A few minutes later, I roll up to a red light. UUUUURRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! It’s back! Look to my left again. Yeah, no Bronco. Look forward. POOF! Large grey puffs of smoke are billowing out from all sides of my hood. MY hood. Look to my right. People are staring aghast at me in my little car. I slowly slide the sunglasses on my forehead down to over my eyes. Must hide. The light turns green. No one in any lane moves. They hang back allowing my dying car to lead the pack one last time. Lead, little car, lead.

I managed to pull into the parking lot of where I work, still squealing, all the while. The car, not me. The day passes and then after work, I call my dad who lives nearby and let him know I’m gonna attempt to head over to his place where the car can rest in peace free from fear of being towed away until I can call to have it junked (Waaaaaaaaagh).

Upon turning the key, UUUUURRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Without a moment’s hesitation. I head out to the main road, only to find myself coming up on the rear of a black SUV, real quick! My brakes are ceasing up, the clutch is useless, it’s a total melt down! What to do?! Luckily, I veer off to my only out before impact and pull into an open spot in a large parking area. Call my dad to please come pick me up.

So, this means that SOMEONE, some nut, has stolen my beloved, though dead, little car.

It’s all about timing. You see, the week prior, plans were set in motion to purchase a new car. To be purchased and picked up Friday morning. Yeah, the very next morning! YAY! Big-time YAY. The next day, I’m on my way to work, and I pull into the lot where my little car had died just the evening before. Hhhmmm. No car. Double. Triple take. Once at work, Bean and my Dad call, as they often do, and I mention the car being gone. We detemine calling the towing company posted on signs outside is the first course of action. Thing is, there are no signs posted on the other side of the building in the lot where my little car died. All the same, I call only to be told “Nope, no record of a lightish, greenish, little car with a giant daisy on the hood!” So, this means that SOMEONE, some nut, has stolen my beloved, though dead, little car. Smitty. He was such a good little car. Now he’s probably been stripped and sanded, buffed, and redistributed as mere parts to only God knows where. Smitty lives on as a patchwork amongst many other little cars now. He always wanted to travel …

And so here I sit, smugly enjoying the last laugh with my brand NEW (used) little car. What to name him. Or her? ♦

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Absolutely Enchanting!

Dude. Felt like I got beat up by a rollercoaster! Last Sunday, Bean woke me up to ask if I wanted to go to Enchanted Village. She had FREE passes from Matt’s mom. Yay! Jess had stayed the night, so the three of us went and spent the afternoon riding rides until Jess had to leave for work. Bean and I returned to the park to go on one last ride. The Wild Thing rollercoaster. Ups, downs, and a few twists and turns upside down. You’re enclosed in the seat by a pull-down harness that rests on either side of your head. Standard coaster seating. The ride started out smoothly enough rounding the bend and starting the climb up the track -chu-chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk- until the peak and- WHOOOOSH!!!!

The WHOOOOSH was great! Good fun. And then on the upsweep, rounding another bend, it happened. Something boxed my ears. All the way through the upside down swirls that followed, my head bobbed back and forth like a pinball, between the harness on either sides of my poor little head. Youch!! Totally hurt. Wasn’t expecting it. And it cracked me up. Could hear me sister’s head rattling around over there, too. Laughing hysterically, we were! At each other’s yelps from continuous boxing of the head. The car pulled into the loading area. Ready to get off? Nooooo! They send you through a second time. Off we went fairing a little better a second time through, but boxed all the same. Nevertheless, the pain was so worth the thrill.

I’d told her all about the upcoming trip and to jokingly share that she was free if they’d like some extra company.

Our amusement park outing landed on one-year-to-the-date of our last trip to another, altogether better amusement park: Disneyland! Early last May, Tina told me to keep the 21st open. Said we were gonna be out and about all day starting with an early rise in order to make it down to the waterfront to watch the sun come up. The 21st arrived, and I was up and ready to go by 4:45 a.m.-ish. Down the hall walks Denise and Michelle, two good friends! Denise is going on about how we need to book it to make it to the airport on time. Turns out, weeks before, I’d been telling Bean all about Denise’s latest trip to Disneyland for the 50th anniversary celebration (she works for Alaska Airlines, hence, free travel, and is the biggest Disneyland fan I know). Denise had another trip planned to take family down for the upcoming weekend (See? Including our trip, that makes three trips in one month alone!) Tina, being the second biggest Disneyland fan I know, was wishin’ and hopin’ to go along in vain, when I suggested she send an email to Denise stating that I’d told her all about the upcoming trip and to jokingly share that she was free if they’d like some extra company. Denise being Denise, totally took Bean up on her email and set a date for the four of us to spend the day together a few weeks later, on the 21st. They decided not to tell me because at the time, I was a bit down about school coming to an end which meant I wouldn’t be seeing people I cared about on a regular basis as I had been. One of those melancholy endings, happy to move on to a new phase in life and sad to leave the old, comfortable one, you know? They figured what better to put a smile on my face, then to take me to the happiest place on earth! SURPRISE! Totally worked. :)

So many things to love about that day … from the Starbuck’s at the airport to the doting, exceptionally friendly airline attendant to walking down the colorful tile tunnels at LAX out to the first glimpse of swaying palm trees beyond the parking lots in the background. Love Toon Town, Mickey and Minnie’s houses are too cool with their paint jobs, all the shading and blending of colors. Love! My favorite is New Orleans Square with the likes of the Pirates of the Caribbean (love those fireflies!) followed closely by Tom Sawyer Island. The best treats have to be Tigger tails at Pooh’s Corner and Bean and I adore that gooey honey popcorn. The Mad Hatter was great fun to interact with! Give the man an Oscar. It’s a Small World, is wonderfully tacky and a bit creepy, too.

Bean and I’ve gone three years in a row now and need to make it a fourth. DisneyWORLD, not LAND, would be nice, I’m thinking. In fact, Denise just returned from there last week! ♦

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