Monday, October 5, 2015

My New Neighbors Hate Me Because I Exist

Hey guys. Bryan here. If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I have bad luck with neighbors. Like, really bad luck. Like, really truly bad luck. They always invariably hate my guts, mostly because of poorly conceived rumors or misinformation or sheer idiocy.

Well, now I have new neighbors. I was hoping for a fresh start with them. They're Chinese. Now, I don't mean that they're some kind of Asian and I just assume they're Chinese by default because white people think all Asians look alike. I mean they're actually from China. And let me tell you, so far it's going well.


And by well I mean terribly. I think they hate me, simply because I exist. There's a whole household of them, ranging from teenager to grandmother, and while the teenage son smiles and says hi, everyone else avoids eye contact with me and flees upon seeing me. And 5 out of 6 Chinese people agree - Bryan is fucking awful and should be avoided at all costs. Apparently.

Mom, pictured above giving what I assume is the Chinese hello, likes to stare at me when we're both outside. I imagine that she thinks I don't notice. But the moment I look in her direction and say hi, she averts her gaze so quickly I'm worried she'll get whiplash, starts grimacing, and walks away while pretending she couldn't hear me.

Out of all of them, though, Grandma is the worst. I don't annoy her. I just terrify her. Yesterday I was out front with my 3 tiny dogs, letting them use the grass equivalent of a bathroom. Grandma stepped outside of the house. I picked up my poodle so he wouldn't try to run over to her and jump up on her. I then waved and said hi.

This was how she reacted.




I've never seen a woman that age shuffle so fast. She ducked her head, shielded her eyes with her hand, and did a complete 180. She burst back inside the door from whence she had came before I could so much as attack her with a caustic, "How are you?"

Which, I mean, is just amazing to me. This surely has to be the first time ever that a person has fled in terror at the mere sight of a thin white guy with 3 cat-sized purse dogs.




If you think that's terrifying, you should see the sleeveless sweater-vest I rock in the summer so I can let "the guns" breathe.

But really, I can only imagine Grandma running back inside, heart racing and out of breath, struggling to relay her tale of horror to the others about the ghastly white guy that almost asked about her day.






Maybe I should have told them I'm not actually all white. That I'm part Mexican. No, wait, then they'd think I was in a gang, selling drugs. Better they just think I'm an evil, scary white guy.

Anyone else here have neighbors that hate them simply because they exist?

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Olympic Ayres
Beer: Goose Island Oktoberfest




124 comments:

  1. Man you really do have bad luck with neighbours. I come from a small town but I still don't really know my neighbours. I used to be close with them but then they moved away and the only thing I know about my new neighbours is the occasional bit of abuse I hear through the walls. Maybe it's time you tried to move to the barrio with your Mexican brothers and sisters. They'd probably hate you for being white. White people hate you for being part Mexican, Asians hate you for being white, and Mexicans would hate you for that too.

    I guess you have to move to the ghetto. Then you'd be hated for being white. You just can't win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, you know the funny part is I live in a white, yuppie neighborhood, and they all hate me because they know I'm Mexican. They spread rumors that we're drug dealers because that's clearly the only way a Mexican family could have money and live in a nice-ish house.

      Racism - it's awesome!

      Delete
  2. If brandishing tiny dogs really worked, my neighbor two houses down would rule the neighborhood. He doesn't, so I don't think that's it.
    Who knows what that family is thinking. What do they do when they go to the store? It's full of white people. The horror!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I can't speak for the neighbors, I have had quite a few Asian-American friends over the years with xenophobic parents/grandparents, and here's what they would ultimately do.

      1) Send the kid. Chances are good the kid has an American accent and likes dealing with white people, anyway. Why not make him/her do it?
      2) Go to the Asian-mart. We have plenty of those around here.
      3) Everyone goes out, but the kid checks out and deals with everything while the parents/grandparents hang back.

      Not kidding. It's a lot of work just to avoid the people you encounter in everyday life.

      Delete
  3. Maybe you should, I don't know, ring their bell and introduce yourself as a hard-working member of the neighborhood, and offer a home-made cake (assuming you can bake something half-decent) to show you mean no harm? Isn't that how American neighborhood interactions work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe in 1950. Now in America you just brandish your gun and make sure they know you're one not to be fucked with.

      Kidding aside, I've known plenty of Asian people over the years, and one thing I've noticed is that most of the people from Asia do not care for sweets*. That's why your typical Asian restaurant doesn't polish off your meal with a triple-chocolate chip caramel lava cake. So I feel like that might only make things worse.

      "The stupid white guy next door brought us this awful sugary dessert thing. I think he's trying to give us diabetes."

      *the ones who grew up here, on the other hand, love that shit...as God intended

      Delete
  4. No, I don't have neighbors like that...I AM a neighbor who hates my neighbor for existing. He's not really doing anything wrong per se, but he has a loud car and starts commuting at 5 AM, parks on the lawn and plays loud "international jazz" (it's the only way I can describe jazz using sitars and steel drums) at reasonable hours (reasonable hour, unreasonable music). Maybe that's it. I know your affinity for muscle cars and maybe you're playing music at 3 pm that sounds like the porn soundtrack to a sea turtle mating with a gibbon in a Las Vegas casino bathroom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't remember the last time I had to leave the house earlier than 10 am in my loud muscle car, and I hate most jazz/porn music, so I think it's safe to say you wouldn't hate me as a neighbor. Who the hell do you live next to, Ron Jeremy?

      Delete
  5. I had Chinese neighbors once too. They acted like that for about the first 6 months that they were neighbors. Then the wife and I both got pregnant and she would say hi and ask me questions about my pregnancy. They were horrified that I wasn't having family come stay with me after Abbey was born. Hell I never want my family to visit. Except for my sister. No matter the circumstance. Then when I told her I was having a girl she asked if I was disappointed. I'd love to say they were the weirdest neighbors I've ever had, but they weren't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That reminds me of a fantastically fucked up quote from The Dictator.

      "So, are you having a boy or an abortion?"

      Also, I would say these are the rudest neighbors I've ever had, but they're not. Not by a long shot.

      Delete
  6. "a caustic, "How are you?"" had me laughing out loud for real. Very clever.

    I'm guessing they won't be going into a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's any time soon? Maybe it'll turn out like that movie Gran Torino and you guys will all be best friends, have BBQs, and you can let them drive your classic car. No, wait. That movie didn't end up so well for the white guy. Scratch that. Keep your distance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I am definitely the grumpy old white guy with high water pants growling about the goddamn kids staying off his lawn in this story.

      No, wait, I don't want to be that guy!

      Delete
    2. It may be too late, Bryan. Too late...

      Delete
  7. I think I might be the Chinese neighbor.

    They probably believe I'm just a reclusive wino who hides in her house surfing porn all day. I don't know how their guess would be so accurate, though, considering I don't know them.

    All of our disdain for each other is acted out passive aggressively and mostly involves whose trash cans get pushed out to the street.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last time I took out the trash, the Chinese neighbor lady was pushing hers out at the same time. She saw that I was pushing out mine, so she started pushing faster and hiding her face so we didn't have to cross paths. Then while I propped mine into place, she ran with the fury of a thousand winds and retreated into her garage.

      Apparently there's something to be said about pushing out trash and neighborly feuds.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I like my purse dogs like I like my women - small, cute, stupid, and convenient to store. Awww yeah.

      Delete
  9. Not too bad, usually just noise issues which when I shouted through the wall would stop, now my only nearest neighbors are cows and well they are fecking noisy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind being neighbors with cows. I mean, free access to milk and steaks.

      Delete
  10. Maybe "Hi" in Chinese means "Go fuck yourself and your grandmother, too". Or maybe it is because your physical presence is much more fearsome than even you understand. Or maybe they are trying to avoid looking at your dogs thinking that you would be offended if your neighbors thought they looked tasty. I'm just clutching straws here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Italian Greyhound DOES look pretty delicious.

      And at 5'10/170 lbs I didn't think I physically intimidated anyone, but then again Grandma's probably 4'11 and 90 lbs soaking wet, so maybe I do.

      Delete
  11. Daisy's genes are Laotian though she was born here and she often said the question she'd often get was "are you Chinese?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An old pal of mine is Laotian and he always got the same thing. But the best question isn't "Are you Chinese?" it's the even more misinformed "So what kind of Chinese are you?"

      Delete
  12. Isn't there some sort of Asian respect thing where women aren't supposed to look at men in the eye? I bet the Mom and Grandma think you are hot and have to avert their gaze and run away or otherwise they will be subject to some sort of hideous Chinese torture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That just changed the entire tone of this post, and I feel like for the worst. Especially in explaining things to my wife.

      "No, no, no, they don't hate me because of my skin color. See, they just want to fuck me."

      Delete
  13. Aren't the Chinese more cat people? I know they worship cats ad have restaurants where cats walk around inside. Maybe you need to take Gemma for a stroll. Or that could cause them to think the scary white guy has wild animals in his house and is some kind of animal trafficker. Then they may ask you for bear spleen though, Chinese people buy those for $30,000 a pop, no joke. Maybe you have your in to get rich? lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These guys don't have any pets whatsoever, so I don't know. They may be hoarding bear spleens, though. Colorado has a decent amount of bears. Maybe that's why they're here - the spleen market is just waiting to explode! ...Figuratively, of course. No one wants an actual exploded spleen.

      Delete
  14. The grandmother could have reverted to middle school age and finds you attractive so she runs away. Possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I was wearing that really sexy faded t-shirt with a permanent mustard stain on it yesterday, so anything's possible.

      Delete
  15. Scary white guy. I have an unfriendly neighbor who doesn't speak to us since I told her six year daughter and friend that they couldn't play around my pool fence. I was just being mean. It had nothing to do with me being afraid they would go in the pool and drown or anything. At least there's about two acres between us and them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Times like these, I wish electric barbed wire fences were still legal.

      "Well, little Timmy wouldn't have been fried to a crisp if you'd only taught him to stay on your property."

      Delete
  16. B&B:
    I can SO relate to those oddball neighbors.
    Why do I call them "oddball"?
    Well, they sure as hell ARE NOT what normal folk would call...well, NORMAL.

    It's a FAR cry from neighborhoods I grew up in, with FIFTY row houses per block where everyone KNEW you and you almost had to take a number when saying "hi" some mornings...lol.

    Now, on a block with only TEN houses (usually one being unoccupied), no one says a damn thing, so after a while, you don't say anything either.

    People want to "claim" that today, they';re MORE diverse, are MORE tolerant, and MORE understanding...(yeah right), when just the OPPOSITE is true.

    Then again, some of MY "neighbors" are also people with 150 visitors per month (drug dealing), and the only way I'd even get close to them would be in a holding cell at the local jail (not gonna happen where I'm concerned).
    I sure miss those kinder, gentler days...when people took that chance, said hello, smiled, and actually got to KNOW who was living on their damn street....and a time when people acted a LOT BETTER than they do now.

    Excellent post.

    Stay safe out there, guys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't say hi to anyone around here either anymore. People just all ignore each other. It's like they prefer it that way. When I'd go for walks or runs in the past and pass people and give them a wave or a hello they'd always look at me like I was some kind of swamp monster and say nothing or look away. Sorry I was being friendly, guys. Won't happen again. My bad.

      Delete
  17. I wonder if they realize there are other white men in Colorado?
    Very peculiar. I suggest you guys invite the kid over for some beers - maybe that would loosen the whole family up...before you serve jail time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe he just looks like a teenager, but he's got really good genes and he's actually 47. Asians are lucky like that.

      Delete
  18. HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh dear. I'm sorry, but I find this hilarious. What exactly is so terrifying about you, I wonder...? I just have to know. Do you have bonfires on your lawn at night, fueled by inferior beers? Do you sacrifice squirrels and crappy literature, while you dance around the fire, naked and singing Neil Diamond songs? Because that just might explain their terror. Otherwise, I got nothin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I'm out front, it's usually because of one of two things.

      1) I'm taking my tiny dogs out to pee, and coaching them through it with stupid phrases like "that was a good pee," because I'm a firm believer in urinary positive reinforcement.
      2) I'm out front on my balcony with my lush potted garden, where you'll find me watering plants, trimming them, or picking fruits/vegetables.

      Really, I'm like the Mr. Rogers of the neighborhood. I'm surprised there aren't Nelsons out front of my house at all times of day pointing at me and calling me a nerd.

      Delete
    2. Hey, nerds are the best people around. I'm proud of my nerdiness. :)

      PS: How do you keep a lush potted garden? I swear I'm incapable of keeping potted plant life alive for more than a few weeks. They call me "The Black Thumb of Death." Kinda sad, really. Those poor plants never knew what hit them...

      Delete
    3. The only advice I can give is water them regularly and don't beat them with baseball bats and don't throw them at homeless people. Outside of that, they're very easy to take care of. Maybe there is something to that whole green thumb thing.

      Oh, and whatever you do, don't water them with Brawndo. Even if it has electrolytes (which plants CRAVE)... it also murders the hell out of them.

      Delete
    4. I think he meant lush pot garden.

      Delete
    5. That's on the other balcony and the neighbors aren't invited back there.

      Delete
  19. My neighbors and I were very distant the first two years I lived here. (Multi-racial, multi-cultural.)The adults would not budge. I kept smiling, waving, and praying for them anyway.

    The start of the third year brought a huge snowfall. I live at the top of the hill - if you want the best sled/sleigh ride - see me. It's a 100 foot ride at a 45 degree angle! School was out and the neighborhood kids were on it. I brought out my own sled which holds 4-5 people (stacked!)... loaned it to the kids. The deal was: if they wanted to ride, I had to meet their parents. Worked like a charm!

    During summer I let them play baseball in the garden; football and soccer in the fall. They're already waiting for the next snow!

    My point being: Don't give up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like that experience is different for a woman, though. You offer a sleigh ride to the kids, you're being a good person. I offer sleigh rides to kids, and it's because I'm the neighborhood pedophile being creepy.

      Now then, you said to see you about this whole sleigh ride thing... when we going? It's flat here, and I'm sick of trying to make my dogs pull me around (they can't).

      Delete
    2. February - I got plenty of room - bring the sled dogs too. About the time that nasty groundhog says, 'spring is on the way...' bullshit - we'll have 8-10 inches of the fluffy stuff on top of ice. It's a 'weiner-wonderland.'

      You'll fit in great with the kids! Wear toboggans and sunglasses - you'll need those to reflect the bright white snow! Ha!

      Delete
  20. My hubby is the guard dog of the neighbourhood. I have lived there since 1999 and still don't know most. When we met and he moved in 8 years ago, he soon knew all the people and what was going on. There are some that really hate us...no idea why and oh well. If a neighbour openly shows his discontent, my hubby will tell him in no uncertain manner where to go and how. Now you would think we would have death threats left on our door step...nope! Later these same people end up talking to my hubby and saying hi. He can openly tell someone to F off and they say thank you, how are you. If I wave nicely I get the finger or the stare of death

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, what's your hubby's secret? The last time I told a neighbor to F off (and he deserved it), he didn't even so much as glance my way when I passed by. That lasted for years until he finally moved. Which, frankly, is what I would expect. I mean, that just seems so weird. "So I know you told me to eat a dick and fuck off last week, but how's it going, man? That car of yours still running okay?"

      Delete
    2. I have no idea what his secret is but he can be downright in your face if you cross him. He also helps people in the neighbourhood by cutting their lawn and using the snowblower. I swear I want him to wear a cape but instead of the letter S it should be Mr. ADHD Man:)

      Delete
    3. "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's hey let's go ride bikes I'm hungry I like your shoes."

      Delete
  21. You're suffering from the too intense gaze of a writer. It freaks people out.
    Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you telling me I'm inadvertently giving them the Zoolander? Because...well, let's not rule that out.

      Delete
    2. Something like that, yes. We'll just start calling you "Blue Steel."

      Delete
  22. We have been pretty lucky with our neighbours mostly. The ones we have now, are great. Even the drug dealers that we lived next to once were friendly enough.
    One time we lived between neighbours that hated each other, that didn't end well, literally blood and glass on the street after one bad night.
    Good luck with your new neighbours, maybe they are just shy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe your comment made me actually say to myself, "Man, I wish I lived next to friendly drug dealers."

      Delete
  23. I wonder if your Chinese neighbors are paranoid about all the people in your neighborhood, or if they reserve that special privilege for you?

    There's an elderly Chinese woman who lives by herself several streets over in our neighborhood, and out of the blue one day, she stopped and knocked on our door. Why our door, I still don't know. At any rate, she wanted help understanding a bill she'd received, so we explained everything to her, and I gave her a ride back home. A couple days later, she came back with a bag full of Oriental treats for us. After that, she came back often, and we were doing more and more favors for her, and taking her places, all kinds of stuff. We didn't have a problem with that, but we DID have a problem with her bringing us presents all the time. We kept telling her NO, and my hubby kinda lost his cool with her one day. She stormed off (as much as a very old lady with a bad leg can storm) and has never come back. Oh well. I saw her in bank ABC with another couple from the neighborhood a couple months ago, and that poor couple was beside themselves, trying to straighten out a financial matter concerning her house. I quietly informed them her mortgage was actually with bank XYZ...

    Poor old gal. She's paranoid, too. When I took her to the grocery store, she kept accusing the cashiers of trying to steal from her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's kind of an odd duck, huh? I'll tell you what, that last sentence just reminded me of the few times at the grocery store where I've seen an old Asian woman haggle with the cashiers, like they set the prices. It's every bit as hilarious as it is frustrating (especially if you're behind her). And it's only ever old Asian women. I think they're too used to authentic Asian markets, where you can actually haggle. In Wal-mart? Uh, not so much.

      I haven't seen the neighbors talk to anyone else, so at least it's not just me. Like, if I went outside and there they were, talking to the blonde neighbor girl, and then they saw me and suddenly ran off in disgust, that would certainly earn a hearty, "Hey, what the hell, you assholes?"

      Delete
  24. >>... 3 cat-sized purse dogs.

    Ha!-Ha! I like that. Consider it stolen.

    For whatever reason, I have always had the ability to look at Asians and usually know if they were Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or just Asian Asian. (:o))

    I've known plenty of friendly, outgoing Asians, having grown up in such a huge melting pot as L.A. But, as a general rule-of-thumb, in 56 years I've found that Asians seem to be more cliquish than other racial groups and often don't care to mix much with others.

    So, you probably shouldn't take their behavior too personally. Personally, yes. But not TOO personally.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to take it fairly personal, but now I'll scale that back to just a little personal. Code orange on the personal terrorist list, if you will.

      Asians are definitely very cliquish. Fun story: in high school, my wife was approached by some Asian girls who wanted to be her friend. They hung out, they were all getting along well, then one day one of them asks her, "So what kind of Asian are you?" When she answered, "Uh, I'm Mexican" they recoiled in horror and dumped her as a friend. Like, it didn't matter that they got along well and had a lot in common, they instantly stopped talking to her when they realized she wasn't Asian too.

      If you're wondering, she has slightly slanty eyes, but I can promise you she doesn't look Asian at all.

      Delete
    2. >>... it didn't matter that they got along well and had a lot in common, they instantly stopped talking to her when they realized she wasn't Asian too.

      Well, you know, she wasn't Asian, so they were totally justified and smarter'n the average Hawaiian-born voter to dump her like a plate of hot Hispanic.

      I could probably take a one-second look at your wife and label her as:
      Messican-Asian. (By the way, those are my very favorites of the slanty-eyed Mexican-Asian racial group. And I'm very particular about the sub-racial folks I hang out with. For example: Muslim-Americans are anathema to me, but American-Muslims are OK, while Japaslimericans are my favorite of all racial groups... "Not that there's anything wrong with that.")

      D-FensDogG

      Delete
  25. I can identify with this. The last neighbor never spoke to us, for over 6 years that we lived there. We would glare at each other - when they blocked our driveway, or their son's girlfriend blocked our driveway, or they did a myriad other things but never ever spoke. I may have gifted them with a few choice words about intelligence during aforesaid blockage issues, but we moved and don't have to see them any longer. The only ones who didn't like me for what I was (female) was when I lived in little Italy and tried to discuss rent or such with one of the males of the renter's household. OMG - women presuming to actually talk to men. . .thankfully another short lived stay as I left them behind in the dust and crummy basement apartment they rented. Now in our new place, things might change. Neighbours are like relatives, we don't get to choose them, we just have to tolerate them if we can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be mad at you for commenting on this post, but I assume you're just transcribing your husband's thoughts, as he's the only one entitled to an opinion on "manly matters" like this.

      Kidding aside, crazy that some people still think like that. Speaking of, I wonder if the neighbors will see my wife leave for work, see me stay at home, and then just shit bricks.

      Delete
  26. Hmmmm... I dont think any of my neighbors hate me. But...maybe they do? I guess I'm pretty ok with that. Leave me and kitty alone, randos! No, you cannot borrow a cup of sugar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if they were going to borrow anything from me, I think they'd just ask for a cup of MSG.

      Delete
  27. In "my" part of Colorado we waive at all of our neighbors and 90% of them wave back. We watch each other's houses and pets, get together for parties, hang out with various groups on Fridays for a refreshing adult beverage or three, and even give a hug when we haven't seen them in a while. There are around 300 houses up here. No we don't know them all personally but very few of the "bad neighbors" seem to last. I dunno, maybe we're just too friendly for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got room for 302? That sounds like paradise. I'm not saying I want to be the best of friends with all of my neighbors, but a little bit of kindness and respect would be nice. Plus, if I was getting robbed blind while I was out of the house, I'd like the kind of neighbor that would stop and say, "Huh, that's not Bryan taking all of his valuables out of his house. I'm gonna call the police," and not, "Huh, dude that lives there must be moving. Oh well, none of my business."

      Delete
  28. Maybe there's a simple explanation.... Maybe the previous dwellers told them you were a no good Mexican drug dealer. So maybe they think you're El Chapo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In that case they clearly misheard. I'm not El Chapo. No, I'm El Guapo.

      Delete
  29. Gee, and our neighbourhood is all warm and friendly - like a war zone.

    I was out mowing the lawn a few years ago, back in the olden days when I could still do that stuff, and fell in the front yard. In full view of several neighbours, I might add. It warmed the very cockles of my heart the way they turned their backs, walked inside, or stood on the sidewalk and laughed. A few days later one of the neighbours knocked on the door, looking for a ride to the store, and my husband answered.

    His response? "Yeah, remember how you helped my wife when she fell? Hike your sorry ass the whole 6 blocks to the fucking store." How I love that man!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many bonus points for hubby.

      You know, between my story on your blog and your story on our blog I don't have a lot of faith in humanity anymore. I mean, if anything I'm just surprised that people didn't whip out their cellphones and start recording you while you were on the ground in agony, hoping to send it to America's Funniest Home Videos or upload it to YouTube for a couple thousand views.

      Delete
  30. Oh and btw, I think you'd be a blast as a neighbour, I might even make you beer. =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MAKE me beer? Do you brew? Because if so, that would automatically qualify you as best neighbor ever. I've got a honey wheat brewing right now that when bottled should be pretty awesome. And because the neighbors suck, I can't share any. But on the plus side... since the neighbors suck, I don't have to share any.

      Delete
    2. I 'brew' what I call Oldtimer beers, the kinds made by layering things like persimmons and honey locust pods, etc... that were made in early America. Also make applejack the old-fashioned way, by freezing it repeatedly to distill it.

      My sweetheart brews modern beers and makes interesting wines, like elderflower and honeysuckle. We give these out for Xmas gifts. =)

      Delete
    3. Last beer I brewed was a lemon shandy. I'm definitely partial to a good cider. Never tried homebrewed... I bet it's fantastic.

      Delete
  31. Well maybe she's just really shy? Or maybe she just hates...people.

    I have lived in the same apartment for 18 years and since I don't go out much *agoraphobia* some of the neighbors either don't know I exist or if they do spot me they make shit up about me because I 'look' mean. One new resident a few years ago stopped to say hello to my hubby and had no idea he was my hubby and said to him, "Do you know that fat lady that lives in #3 over there. Hubby says yeah and the guy goes on to say, I said hi to her the other day and she didn't even smile at me. She shot daggers out her eyes at me when she looked at me. That's one scary b*tch."

    To which my hubby replied, "Yeah, I know. She's my wife."

    Hubby said the look on the guys face was one of pure panic and he started apologizing when hubby started laughing and said, You'd be surprised how many people say something like that about her but she's just a bit of a recluse."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am a bit of recluse, and I have that wonderful "resting bitch face", so I try to be conscious of that when I'm outside. I'm considering they might be shy, but if they are, that's some painful shyness, because Grandma practically sprinted to get away from me. Usually I have to date a woman before she gives me that kind of treatment.

      Delete
  32. LOL this is so funny . . . maybe stop walking out there in your boxers? What do you expect? :P

    But, I do know my fair of Chinese people, and the older ones usually freak out and run away when they don't speak English. Like they seriously distrust anyone who isn't from their country and you're clearly going to kill her if she can't understand you.

    It could also just be your house has a #4 in it or the location is terrible feng shui and they don't wanna catch your luck. Sounds insane? Totally plausible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll stop strutting around my front yard in a speedo the moment my buttocks stops looking that damn good in tight leopard print.

      And all of our houses are identical townhomes that are squished together side by side in a row, so if it's about Feng Shui then no wonder they're so pissed off; the entire block is just FUBAR.

      Delete
  33. We've been lucky with neighbors. Most have been good. If they haven't been good, they've been silent, which is sometimes better. Some have been a little weird, but none have been hostile. I'm forever grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't get me wrong, these guys are a little rude, but they're also completely silent, which makes them my favorite neighbors I've had yet, hands down.

      Delete
  34. I've actually struck up hellos recently with a little guy who's teething and his folks from around the corner. Can't say they've been fulfilling conversations, but it's more than Ive said to most of our neighbors in the last six years. Other than, "yes, my dog is cute, thank you".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Babies won't talk to me AND no one tells me my dogs are cute. What am I doing wrong with my life?

      Delete
  35. If they are so xenophobic, why on earth do they come to the US? And once in the US why on earth don't they settle somewhere that is full of the people of their own ethnicity. Of course you are a scary fellow with all those dogs, I can kind of see the problem. Just as well you don't have Shepherds or Rottweilers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I even heard one of them studying for their citizenship test (they leave the windows open). They sure don't act like they want to be here all that much...

      And hey, my Italian Greyhound is part Rottweiler. Zero percent, to be exact.

      Delete
  36. I don't think they hate you just because you exist - they just don't know how to communicate with you and sometimes they like to stay within their own "community" even if they don't live in that said "community".

    Maybe, they found out you guys drink too much beer and they are afraid you will write about them on your blog which you did...hahaha...

    seriously, it must just be a cultural thing...you rock so don't let it bother you...

    ok, just had to so I went on that site where you can open a fortune cookie just for you and this is what it says..

    ",Friendship is an ocean that you cannot see bottom"

    lucky numbers 47,08,18,35,03, 12 - now go win that million...then you can move...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for the fortune cookie! The neighbors wouldn't even do that for me.

      It's been too cool and rainy to drink beer on my balcony, so if they hate beer drinkers, things are only gonna get worse this weekend when the weather clears up and I decide to hang outside with a brew or three. Maybe when I do I'll drink a Tsingtao and show them I'm down with the culture.

      Delete
  37. ya know Bryan, I hope you never move next door tome. Or across the street. I'd be all staring out my window with binochulars, inventing stories about you and your little dogs. I'd electrify my front lawn so they don't eeww on it.

    Nope, a good looking white boy like you would not fare well in my neighborhood with all the old hoarders, big dog owners (looking for a midday snack), and us cat ladies. You'd be eye candy Dude!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like there are much worse problems to have. I'll make sure and wear that sleeveless sweater-vest I mentioned to get the show going. And my dogs only eeww on my own yard. I'm considerate like that. Or rather, I don't want the neighbors to actually start hating me for a valid reason.

      Delete
    2. Don't forget to sport the crossbow so I can pretend you're Daryl Dixon in that sleeveless vest :)

      Delete
    3. I can even stop washing my hair completely for the full effect.

      Delete
    4. Works only if you have long hair . . .

      Delete
  38. I almost snorted guacamole out of my nose when I read this line. "This surely has to be the first time ever that a person has fled in terror at the mere sight of a thin white guy with 3 cat-sized purse dogs." You gotta put a warning up or something, broseph.

    ReplyDelete
  39. At least you're consistent. Eventually you'll just accept that no matter who moves in... they are going to hate you. Because you exist. Or because you were sweater vests. Just sayin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You laugh, but paired with an ascot I look like the white Carlton, aka sexual white chocolate.

      Delete
  40. Do you remember my alien neighbors in South Carolina? The ones with the daughter who came over at 3:00 a.m. with glitter all over and fairy wings? Or the drunk lady that would come up and scream at us for no reason? Or in Daytona Beach when I had the horrid neighbors who partied and played video games quite loudly ALL NIGHT LONG? I can say I've had my share and I feel for you. Maybe this Chinese grandma is mistaking you for some other white guy who rights really scary books and she's terrified? Send her over a dish of rice and beans as a peace offering...!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, yours were a lot worse. At least mine are silent the rest of the time they aren't fleeing from me in horror. And taking them rice and beans could either make things a lot better or make things a LOT worse.

      "The new neighbor came over and brought us something."
      "Oh yeah, what?"
      "Diarrhea."

      Delete
  41. Well, at least you don't have The Hulk living upstairs from you crashing around so hard he might come through the ceiling. I do. I think it's karma because our old roommate did the same thing.

    You could also have somebody who either hung a picture on the wall for an hour or had the most boring sex ever. To be fair, that was a one time thing, but I'm not sure they wanted to relive either circumstance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe The Hulk isn't tromping around, then. Maybe he's just having the most exciting sex ever. That might also explain why people have to rehang pictures all the time.

      Delete
  42. That would mess with me. I'd spend weeks trying to get to the bottom of why they hate me for apparently no reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure it's one of two things - either they're shy or they hate white people. And either way I won't ever get a straight answer out of them.

      "Why? Why won't you talk to me?"
      Option 1, they're shy: Run away! He's talking to us!
      Option 2, they're racist: Run away! He's talking to us! He's white!

      Maybe I'll just never know.

      Delete
  43. Nope, no such luck. My neighbors like me. Happy to hear that you got a good degree of consistency in your life though.

    Father Nature's Corner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At this point if someone moved in next door and was happy to see me, brought me a welcoming gift, and wanted to hang out, I'd assume they were an assassin sent to kill me.

      Delete
  44. Makes me wonder if there's something with their culture about women fraternizing with men outside their culture, or men period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I think they're either just racist or really shy. Or really shy racists. Why rule out both?

      Delete
  45. You know, if you stop peering in their windows at night, they might not be so freaked out by you. Or at least wear a clown mask when you do it. Yeah, do that. Send me video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like the premise for a really off-color, racist-sounding joke.

      A) What's the worst part about murdering your Chinese neighbors?
      B) Getting blood on your clown shoes.

      Delete
    2. Hahahaha. Well, if they're red, it won't show.

      Delete
  46. I definitely lucked out with neighbors. Though before, when my girlfriend and I were living in different apartment/condo buildings. We'd take turns staying at one another's places over the weekends because our neighbors were so intolerable. Though, her's definitely took the cake. Her upstairs neighbor was a deaf hooker who loved to blast heavy-bassed Brazilian music on weeknights (and would be very angry when you went upstairs at 11pm and politely asked her to turn it down), and the other neighboring residence consisted of 2 single mothers with 10 children by 10 different fathers, who periodically showed up at the building to shoot up some heroine.

    Maybe your best bet would be to own their intolerance and do something that'll truly freak them out. Organize some satanic seance or something. At least that way you'll feel that they're justified in their uneasiness around you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet the sounds that a deaf hooker makes during sex is heeelarious. Especially if it's all in Portuguese.

      Also, if they truly hate white people, I don't need to do a satanic seance. I can just put on an obnoxiously loud Friends marathon. That's practically the same thing.

      Delete
  47. My neighbor brings beer over all the time!
    He's polish, though. They drink more than Chinese folks.\

    My other neighbor lives 1/2 mile back in the woods. I don't see him much 'cept when he's dragging a dead animal back to his house in the woods to feed his skeletal mother. I can still see those bloody teeth of his gripping that roadkilled raccoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Polish food and I love Polish beer. I think having a Polish neighbor would be pretty awesome. And by awesome I mean I'd just be drunk all the time. So your other neighbor, it's Norman Bates, right?

      Delete
  48. At least you know they'll always leave you alone? That's a good neighbour in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, they're completely silent and they keep to themselves, which makes them, by default, my favorite people that have ever lived in that house. I'm not even kidding. I'll take racist silence over loud, annoying neighbors any day.

      Delete
  49. I wouldn't take it personally that they all put on masks and sunglasses whenever they see you now! I also got a kick out of your "man purse." It's possible that they have trouble speaking English and don't want to be caught in an embarrassing situation. A few years ago my mom had Asian next door neighbors that didn't talk much, but they were nice enough to bring her food on occasion. Most of our original neighbors have moved away, and the one neighbor that we are close with loves to tell me about all of the other neighbors' parties that we're not invited to.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure they can't speak English very well. I've only ever heard them speak Chinese with each other. Also, I think Mom is trying to become a citizen. They keep the windows open, and I often hear her singing the Star Spangled Banner in very broken English. It's kinda cute. She's either applying to be a citizen or is more patriotic than I could ever be. I was born here and all I know is that it starts with oh say can you see and at some point there's a red rocket glaring at people.

      Delete
  50. Damn.... I'm speechless. Are you sure it's not because of your dazzzzling looks? Some women are afraid of impure thoughts, you know?

    The grandma?

    Yeah, forget what I said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I've ever turned a woman on so much that she fled in panic. That seems like the complete opposite of lust.

      Delete
    2. Not when she's on her way to church to confess..... or the ladies room, of course. Just saying....

      Delete
  51. Well, at least they're neighbors that will leave you alone. And the anthem playing every so often is better than that bone shaking bass of bad rap/hiphop/whateverteenslistentothesedays. I have a neighbor next door that just never acknowledges me, like I'm invisible. I'm wonder what she'd do if I ever tried to talk to her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is 100% true. Give me awkward silence over bone-rattling bass any day. And I genuinely think Grandma is terrified of my toy poodle. She saw him again today - just saw him - and she freaked out. Turned around and fled. If a toy poodle scares her, I imagine trying to make conversation with her would lead to a massive heart attack.

      Delete
  52. Yes. And now, I have a neighbor who refuses to acknowledge that I exist because I politely asked his kids to stop screaming. I think they went back to him and said I was a monster. When he found out I wasn't, he got so embarrassed and apologetic that he won't make eye contact now. But still smokes pot in his garage. Classy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once lived near a guy who made hash oil in his garage. With the garage door wide open. When I asked him one day, "Why don't you ever, you know, close the garage? Just in case someone sees and wants to call the police?" all he had to say, in a wonderful wigger accent, was "Cuz I don't give a fuck! I say come at me! See what happens!"

      Maybe he currently sells to your classy ass neighbor.

      Delete
  53. I never had bad luck with neighbors until I moved into an apartment. It sucks, it really does. A few of the folks in my building are nice enough and we greet each other, but typically it's the teenagers that come out nowhere and go... I don't know where... that give me the stink eye and generally (loudly) disparage my existence. They also throw stuff at my dogs when they're on the patio for a breather which pisses me the hell off, but what am I going to do? *sigh* Just counting the days until we can move.

    Sorry for your crappy neighbor luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about your apartment woes. I don't know what it is about apartments and crappy neighbors. You never hear stories like, "Yeah, I just moved into this old apartment... and it's great! I'm friends with all of my neighbors, we constantly get together for pot lucks, and we watch over each other's apartments to make sure everyone is safe."

      Yeah right.

      At this point, as long as they're quiet (which they are, they completely keep to themselves) these neighbors are pretty much the best ones I've ever had.

      Delete