As I mentioned last week, Steve and I have been bombarded by the crazy noises from the upstairs and downstairs neighbors. This week, one of those neighbors has taken us on a fun-filled tour of that crazy.
Our upstairs neighbor, if you remember, is the one who, starting at 10 pm every night, decides to either jump up and down, or Riverdance her way to glory, or just pick up every piece of furniture she has and then drop it on the floor.
Steve and I were baffled by what could be causing such a ruckus. Well, last night, he found out.
Our laundry room is in the garage where there are also storage lockers for each unit. Steve was getting his laundry out of the dryer when he bumped into our upstairs neighbor, who was getting some things out of her storage locker.
This woman asked him how we were liking the building and if we were finding it noisy at all. Steve confessed that we were hearing a lot of noise from her apartment and were wondering what was going on.
She then proceeded to explain. Her boyfriend, she said, had recently bought her a tropical fish. Immediately I wondered, is it the largest clog-dancing fish in the world? No, it is not.
This fish needs to be in warm water or it will die. Apparently, neither she nor her boyfriend have ever heard of fish-tank heaters, so she warms the water in the fish tank by placing....wait for it....hot water bottles all around the tank.
Now, while this is exceptionally odd, none of this explains the loud banging, but don't worry, it ain't over yet!
This woman also collects rocks....lots of them. And to anchor the hot water bottles in place around the tank, she has built a wall around the tank with these rocks, and then she wedges the hot water bottles between these rocks and the tank.
Now, you only have to picture a pyramid of oranges at the grocery store to see what is happening. She pulls one rock away to make room for the hot water bottle, and another rock falls. She replaces that rock, and two others roll to the floor, and so on, and so forth. I am waiting for the day when one of those rocks smashes the glass of the fish tank and water comes dripping through our ceiling, or else she will drop a rock into the tank itself, killing the fish.
Let's face it, I think the latter scenario would be the best thing for everyone, especially the fish.
According to Steve, she explained all of this while making nutty wide-eyed faces and sweeping hand and body gestures, as if she were a Kabuki actor or a member of Mummenschanz.
When she had finished the tropical-fish-rock-wall-hot-water-bottle story, she then warned Steve that she would be making a lot of noise that night (it was already 11pm) because she was bringing everything from her storage locker up to her apartment, because her storage locker had been broken into.
When God calls, she said, you have to answer. And apparently you must answer after midnight.
When, you might ask, did this break-in/God-call occur? Well I'll tell you:
Seven years ago! That's right. That God-call came in seven years ago, and clearly, midnight on a Tuesday seven years later was the time to answer.
I'm pretty sure that this woman is the one who is smoking the pot I frequently smell, and I guess to a habitual pot-smoker, taking action seven years after an event is actually considered a speedy response time.
I don't hold out much hope for that fish; it will be hungry, and ten years later she will drop some food in the tank and wonder why it's upside-down floating in the tank of hot-water bottles.
My wine for a little more crazy is a 2009 Maxime Magnon Rozeta from Villeneuve des Corbieres in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France. This wine is made from around 65% Carignan with Grenache and Syrah rounding it out.
This wine is also produced using Carbonic Maceration. Often called "whole grape fermentation", instead of crushing berries so the yeast can react with them and begin fermentation, whole grape clusters are placed in a vat with a layer of carbon dioxide so that fermentation occurs from the inside of the grape.
This creates ethanol as well as wines with fewer tannins, less acidity and a lighter, fruitier flavor.
In the case of the Rozeta, that fruit flavor of cherry, redcurrant and cranberry also takes on notes of watermelon Jolly Rancher. It is a light, fruity, fun wine that is easy to drink. With or without rocks and hot-water bottles.