|Go home, lawn ornaments. You're drunk.|
|Go ahead, buddy. Right out in the open. The world is your urinal.|
|This happened in a very tony part of town, too. Probably some rich entitled little assholes.|
|The diagram of my written proposal.|
|Take that, you little fuckers.|
|Yes, don't worry, I painted that little blemish on the left corner of the foundation after the Bondo dried.|
|Also check out my new full-length shade screen.|
So the shed needs color correction, but it functions great. We had a good windstorm a few weeks after I built it and it didn't move one millimeter. I poured four gallons of water on the roof to test for leaks and everything stayed dry. Then I bought these shelves that fit perfectly. I wanted black shelves but the white ones were on clearance for half price! I guess no one wanted those. Really, I'm just happy all this construction crap is out of my living room.
Just as I planned, the fence and shed together enclose the back yard really well, with room enough for two cars in the driveway. Before and after:
As you may know from my previous posts, I keep careful track of all my expenses. The fence, including the fencing itself plus concrete, hardware, gates, hinges, posts, slats, labor, and everything came to $1334. The shed itself plus the pavers, gravel, lumber, sealant, cables, hardware, shelves, and everything came to $866. These costs were spread out over 12 months, so an average of $183/month. Combined with my lot rent, it's still cheaper than any apartment in the area, plus I'm learning skills that I wouldn't if I were renting a finished place.
Now that both of these big projects are done, here's a typical view from my back door: a bicycle piled high with cardboard and tarps and trash, parked across from the drug house (behind that solid white wall) where there's often shouting and fighting and police out front. The difference is that now I'm not worried they'll jump the wall and come throw trash on my patio and yell that Jesus is coming.
|Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence, or is the tarp just more blue?|
And I was even MORE grateful for that Jello fence when, right after I finished the shed, a nearby business upgraded their drainage lines that ran under the empty plot of land that borders the trailer park. That empty lot was previously full of weeds and trash, but also trees that shaded my back yard. Workers ripped all that out, including the chain link fence that separated the trailer park from the empty lot:
|The view from my back window.|
I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I would benefit from better drainage and less flooding during monsoon storms, and tearing down those trees evicted the numerous birds that routinely bombed my house and car in pterodactyl-sized droppings. On the other hand, now my yard is totally exposed, with no shade or privacy, and the Western idea of bulldozing trees shows a "dominion" attitude towards nature I don't like. The Phoenix metro area, being surrounded by mountains, also has an air quality problem and I think we need all the trees we can get.
Thank goodness for my little fence, because otherwise people could walk straight from the road right into my back yard! All my unfenced neighbors are 100% exposed now. The entire west side of the trailer park is completely open for who knows how long. Man oh man, thank goodness for the Jello fence.
Before the trees were bulldozed, I had been toying with creative ways to add even more privacy to my yard with trellises, shade screens, and a mini cabana, but the other thing that happened is the new park managers, in a fit of myopia, tore down the park's sign and piggybacked a rickety, too-large gate onto my fence post to close off the triangular area to make a so-called "dog park":
To be clear, it's not big enough for a dog to fully run around in, it's plain hard dirt instead of grass, and apparently there was no plan to stock it with poop bags, to make sure people were picking up their dogs' poop, or to clean and maintain this area at all.
It's absolutely fucking disgusting. There are about 5 or 6 dogs that live in this park, and all throughout the day, people quite seriously stop by for 30 seconds, let their dog shit, and leave without picking up the mess. The dogs are conditioned to recognize that this is their litter box and poop on demand whenever they stop by, because they are brought there for no other purpose. Like Pavlov's dogs, but instead of salivating when they hear a bell, they poop when they enter the triangular area.
This has been a problem for about 3-4 months. I've complained to the park manager numerous times, asked her what the
cleaning schedule is, offered to clean it myself for reduced rent, and loaded a Super Soaker with white vinegar and sprayed the freshest piles to neutralize the smell. I've considered reporting it to the city health department and the park owners in Beverly Hills. I've tried to not get so mad by telling myself these dog-owners have learning disabilities and don't understand responsible dog ownership and read online that picking up dog poop is a relatively new thing in American culture and only one or two generations ago everyone let dogs poop wherever they pleased and just accepted it as "natural."
The manager's response has been to clean it for a few weeks, let it build up until I complain again, clean it for a few weeks, let it build up until I complain again, repeat and repeat. I'm sure she thinks she's adding "amenities," but no halfway decent park would have such a thing right next to someone's trailer and directly across from the office at the front entrance of the park--the first thing visitors see when they come in.
The good news is that I'm on the home stretch with renovations. I just refinished the walls, am collecting materials for two closets, then I'll assemble the kitchen and that's it. The bad news is no matter what I do, this place will be a tough sell. No matter how adorable it is, who would want to live in a ghetto next to a fresh feces collection that's replenished daily?
Well, lazy dog owners probably wouldn't mind, I thought bitterly.
Aha! I'll market my place as "Dog owner's paradise! Never pick up dog poop ever again! Management picks it up for you!"
In addition to dirt-cheap rent, what dog owner wouldn't LOVE that??
I'll turn this bug into a prized feature.