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5:26 a.m. - 2003-04-15


You know...I've got some really cool neighbors now.

There's Todd to the right of us. He's a musical minister or something like that. He works for a church and coordinates music for the church or something.

But he's young and cool. He's got one of those hip cool beards. It's what we used to call a "soul patch" ... just a bunch of whiskers in the indention below the lower lip. Except he's let his grow out like he's a member of Metallica or something.

He's always in a good mood, which I guess is par for the course when you work for God. I call him "Mr. Fancy Yard" to his face because he's always working on ways to improve his yard even though it still looks like crap.

I think he likes my nickname for him and I bet he thinks I'm being sincere when I call him that.

It's just a matter of time before he discovers my underlying cynicism in the nickname.

Then, last night my other next door neighbor Troy came over.

Troy's going to be a trip. I can tell that already. We stood out in the driveway for 45 minutes, talking like old friends.

He and his wife just got married last fall.

Even though she was on the pill, she was also on antibiotics during their honeymoon.

Their little girl is due at the end of June.

They're happy...but shocked.

They didn't want a baby this soon.

I couldn't help but be amused by his story. I showed my amusement by being doubled over with laughter in my driveway at his predicament.

He obviously wasn't as amused as I was.

I was probably just light-headed from all the yard mowing that I had just completed.

At least ... that was the excuse I gave him when he stood there staring at me.

We've also got a British guy named Martin across the street that seems pretty cool. His wife teaches third grade at a local private school and she seemed pretty cool too.

Actually, either Susie or I have met every neighbor on the street with the exception of one house. They're what I'd like to call "No-Goodniks".

Because they're no good. The "niks" thing has been added because the "No-Goods" just sounded stupid.

They had this really ragged-out car parked in front of their house for about two months. We have a rule in our cannot be parked on the curb for longer than four hours.

Four hours...two months ... what's the difference?

Anyway, Troy told me last night that he heard through the grapevine that car belonged to the couple's son who's a drug dealing gang member who came to sponge off his family in their new neighborhood. Apparently the family finally got tired of his shenanigans and kicked him out of the house.

But now they've got this huuuuuge truck parked in their yard.




It's got like a cherry picker on top of it.

And it's an eyesore to the street.

Some of you may think I'm just being picky and bitchy.


You people have never shelled out big bucks to be part of a decent neighborhood where everyone takes care of their homes and yards and takes pride in their neighborhood...only to have one family keep bucking the rules and being the juicy pimple on the supermodel's fine ass.

Troy echoed my sentiments last night. We became homeowners in this neighborhood because we wanted to be around people who took pride in their homes and neighborhoods.

So yeah.


For those of you sending cards to Erynn, the little girl whose class is making fun of her because nobody sent her postcards for her class project and we're going to shower her with postcards and make her the queen of the class ... the person who is taking all the adventures that are reflected in the postcards that we send her is "Flat Stanley".

Not "Flat Erynn".

Erynn would be less than thrilled with us sending postcards that said "Flat Erynn visited Milwaukee today and had a beer!"

It's "Flat Stanley".

(OKAY...I STAND CORRECTED ... It is Flat Erynn that we write on the postcards...NOT Flat Stanley. I'm all jumbled on this. Bottom Flat Stanley mentions, only Flat Erynn mentions. If we screw it up, we screw it up. I think Flat Erynn will live through this. Oh...and I think that the postcards can be mailed from wherever in the world you may live. The further away, the better. This is not limited to American and its imperialistic swine.)

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it here ... but several years ago, one of my nephews was doing the "Flat Stanley" project and sent us a picture of "Flat Stanley" which we had to do crazy stuff with.

It just so happened that I was attending a press conference that Bill Gates was speaking at.

Now, Bill wasn't about to hold up the picture of Flat Stanley while I snapped a photo.

So while he spoke, I was sitting in the front row at the press conference, just feet away from Gates.

I held the sheet of paper with Flat Stanley on it at arm's length and snapped a photo.

I'm shocked that I wasn't roughed up by any goons, but if I recall, Bill didn't even bring any goons to the press conference.

Anyway, that was pretty cool. My nephew's class wasn't too sure on who Bill Gates was, but I hear the teachers were pretty impressed.

So yeah...just send a postcard to that address and say "Today, Flat Stanley visited (your city here) and (name activity that is unique in your city)".

I think that would be more than sufficient for the cause.

And thanks for doing it.

Yes, there's more worthwhile projects and charities out there to be contributing to for children.

But this is just something cool that we can all do for a little girl who's down in the dumps about something at school.

We're helping a total stranger.

And ya know...honestly...if I can use this diary to help people as well as semi-entertain you guys ... that makes me a very happy guy.

Speaking of which, Jenne still needs your old bras and five spots.

So help her out too.

Have I mentioned how much I love my new job lately?

Yesterday I crafted a letter that served as a recommendation for our Mayor to be nominated for an award for tourism.

Basically, if the Mayor wins this award, he has me to thank for it.

If he doesn't win it, I can expect him trying to run me off the road every time I'm driving home from work and calling me in the middle of the night saying things like "I'm in your son's bedroom" in a really scary voice and then hanging up and having me freak out and run to my son's bedroom to find him sleeping peacefully and safely.

I hope like hell he wins it.

That's it from me.

Be good to each other.

You never know when you'll desperately need someone else's help and people are more willing to help you when you've been nice to them in the past rather than acted like an ass towards them.

It's like I've always said...if you treat everyone around you like crap and then one day your car breaks down on the side of a busy road, karma says that all those people you've treated like crap will be driving by, honking and laughing at you and not willing to help you.

Basically, it pays to be nice to people.

So there ya go.

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