Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bird Buster Fluster

A few other random occurrences: The last Saturday in February, I took the bus up to Novato and spent the weekend with Carol Joy. We had lunch at Toast and dinner at a Thai place in San Rafael (not Thai Smile) and breakfast the next day at a place in downtown Novato, and we played several hands of Sneaky Pete, and we saw two movies: No Strings Attached and Just Go With It.

By the way, the reason having to buy a mattress was a psychological burden was that I just did it not that long ago, and it took forever, and I ended up with something that now needs replacing (I think). Per the Internet, quite a large percentage of people end up being unhappy with whatever they buy.

I’m now sleeping on the new mattress and the old one is sheathed in aluminum foil (I guess it’s been a while since it was tin foil), but I have the strong feeling that one of these days I’ll be asking Tom to come down and help me swap them so I can retest the old bed. Just to be sure.

An ominous note appeared in the lobby of my apartment building several weeks ago saying that “Bird Busters” was coming to deal with the pigeons on the fire escape. I hastened to their website, where practically the first thing it says is that they are bird friendly. Whew! On the appointed day, I thought I’d take a last look at my little friends and, to my dismay, saw there was a baby in the nest. I called my landlord and asked if she could ask Bird Busters to come some other day.

She didn’t warm to my suggestion, but, fortunately, when the Bird Buster fellow arrived, he said that if there was a baby in the nest, he’d come back another day. He climbed up to take a peek and reported that there were actually two babies in the nest and that he thought they’d be gone in two weeks. By then, I’d called Animal Care and Control and sent an email to the pigeon people at Cornell and so forth. That you can send an email to a pigeon expert and get an authoritative answer in a couple of hours is one of the aspects of our civilization that is working best.

I started checking the birds regularly and after several days, one of them was gone—but the other wasn’t, which I had to go out onto the fire escape to see. While I was out there, I also offered some encouraging remarks.

The adult birds didn’t seem to be around much and I began to wonder if this youngster had been abandoned. I re-read my emails from Cornell and fretted a bit. Finally, just a few days before the bird people were coming back, I stepped onto the fire escape and saw the nest was empty, which was a relief.

I suppose I could have just let my building manager know that the date needed to be changed again, but the fewer doings there, the better.

Speaking of whom, she has evidently decided that Thursday night is a great night to throw a party, judging from the past seven weeks out of eight. They don’t play music, but there are several people talking at the top of their lungs in the room right underneath me. Last week’s party ended at 2:35 a.m.

It’s slightly tricky because it’s the building manager doing it (!) and because she and I get along poorly. Some of her guests are smokers, and, despite stepping out front to smoke, manage to fill the hallways completely with foul-smelling fumes, which then seep into the various apartments. It was bothering Tom, too, and he announced I was going to have to send an email of complaint. You might think it might be Tom’s turn to send an email of complaint, but you could wait forever for that, whereas I’m well practiced in this area, so I went ahead and sent a note saying there seemed to be a good deal of smoke in the building, and could the building manager please post a notice reminding tenants it is a non-smoking building? I didn’t allude to her or her guests at all, but I knew she’d take my meaning, so I was terrified to look at my email afterward.

In fact, I decided just not to check my email for a week to avoid the unpleasant experience of reading her enraged reply, but then I realized that if I read it right away, a week later the experience would be seven days in the past and somewhat less acute, so I opened her email and was astonished to see that she was entirely civil and reasonable. She said she had a houseguest who was smoking out front, and that he’d be gone soon, and that she’d ask him to make sure the front door is securely closed. I thanked her warmly, and was pleased.

However, I didn’t conclude from that that she would welcome a note objecting to the Thursday night soirees. I think it was a fluke, or that she felt guilty about all the smoke. I think she probably thinks she’s bending over backward by refraining from playing music, which I do in fact appreciate.

I’ve been just using earplugs on Thursday nights, which works fine until I roll onto one side or the other. Then the earplug gets forced into my ear, which is somewhat painful. I ended up having to remove the earplugs last week—which is how I know the party ended at 2:35 a.m.—and was grumbling about the whole thing to Emily later that day at work. She recommended another type of earplug, which I will try.
Post a Comment