Mr. Leo’s Neighborhood

Mr. Leo’s Neighborhood
I live in Regency park, it is a quiet apartment complex full of interesting folks. I live in a townhouse that has 3 beautiful floors and a newly planted flowergarden. But you already know plenty about me…let’s learn about the people who live around me, in my Neighborhood

Smoker Couple
Our next door neighbors to the right are a slightly overweight couple in their 50’s I imagine. They really don’t talk much at all. they will walk right past you if you are siggin on the front step without saying a word. You have to make the effort to get them to converse. As I said they are smokers, they smoke inside their home, sometimes that smoke smell makes it’s way into our basement laundry area. I am not sure how it happens, but it does…smoking indoors is just gross. I never see them have people over…I guess it is just their hermit nature.

To the left lives the subject of much conversation in our home. This man moved in about a month or two after we did. He is an African American man who always dresses in style, hes got it all together green shoes, green shirt, green hat, and plenty of bling bling. In the beginning, we always joked about how he never worked regular job hours, he would leave at 11am and then make random stops back home, then be gone at night, then be back, it was never a regular schedule. There was a lady that lived with him too , and for a time we thought that maybe she lived there and he was the boyfriend but that was just a shot in the dark. Kids would pop up every once in a while but that was rare. Well our next door neighbor always had a nice car, but then he got rid of that one, and got a new one…it licence plate said something like YZY *** so Tom dubbed him Izzy. But that licence plate soon vanished as did his car in favor of another new one. In joking we always said that he may be a pimp since he had no regular job and was pulling in the big bucks, this joke was made even more hilarious with the new license plate that said 253 WMN. “Dang that’s a lot of women!” well we saw his comings and goings and started to notice that a lot of the time cars would pull up, make a call on their cell phone, get out of the car, leave it running, go up to the door and then then leave. this happened numerous times, sometimes Izzy would come to the car, or even get in to take a 3 minute ride and then be dropped off. It was now clear to us that Izzy was a drug dealer…Raelson’s girlfriend saw some white powder being handeled once by a driver in front of our house so we were pretty sure. Nikki actually talked to Izzy and found out that his name was James and he claimed to be a poet with works published in the Grand Rapids community college’s library. Now I am not one to talk, but if poetry is so lucrative that you can own 10 different new cars in 8 months, then sign me up. Recently the drug deals have become more frequent and the number of cars that he owns have grown to 3 for him (including a mustang, PT Cruiser) and 1 for his wife/girlfriend…the kids are around more often, and the mother yells at them like no other. I have talked to a police captain that comes into work every once in a while so we shall see how things go…

Nikki, Tanya, Amy, etc.
Nikki is Raelson’s girl, they have been dating since winter, she lives on the other side of Izzy with three other girls who haven’t become the closest of friends to our house. Andrew spends plenty of time at Nikki’s but hey they are dating so that is the way it goes…

This elderly woman has short cropped light grey hair, drives a red PT cruiser, and lives with her young granddaughter. They live together across the corner of the parking lot, they have a nice fron yard. Phyllis brings her granddaughter home from school every day and that is when I see her most…though the other day I saw her yelling at kids throwing rocks (some being the ones that I specifically placed in my rock garden) Go Phyllis!

Crazy Linda
Crazy linda is this large black lady that wears high heels, drives a nice car, has big hair, and fingernails like Flo-Jo. Tom met her first, but I had the honor to experience her wierdness. She has a cat I guess because When she saw Little Jerry, she came up to the door while I was working outside and asked if she could hold him because he looks like hers. In her raspy voice she showered the cat with lovey words like “oohddyboodywiddwe mwa mwa mwa I wuv you…” with her big lips covered in red lipstick, she kissed Little Jerry’s head and even started to pinch his head with her lips. Little Jerry just sat there in fear and then it was all over…That is Crazy Linda

Bill is our mailman…nicest guy in the world, I think I am the only one in the whole apartment complex who says thank you or hello to him…Tom came up with the best joke concerning bill which I will leave you with…
DTE Energy Bill: $34.76
Consumers Electric Bill: $45.26
Mailman Bill: Priceless!

So I guess Bill is like my Mr. McFeely…I have no Trolly, And I don’t change my shoes when I come home…but I like where I live. I just need to find the crayon factory so I can take a tour of it!

No Job but Flowers

The YMCA Called me this morning at 9:00 after I tried to get a hold of them multiple times yesterday. They said they decided to have someone else fill the position…Josh Leo will not be working at the YMCA this summer…I thought my interview went really well last week. They were looking for very creative people who woul dbe good with working with kids. One would think that 2 years of elementary education courses and a summer of working at the boys and girls club (with 300 kids) would be enough experience. Not to mention that I considermyself to be a very creative person…I am just kind of mad that I don’t have anything set up yet…I hate the uncertainty of unemployment…sure I work at Beaners but they aren’t giving me many hours, and the pay is the lowest I have ever made. I guess I need to call Schuil coffee to see if they still want me for June. If that doesn’t work out, I am in the same boat as Raelson, he has been applying everywhere and has had no luck yet. I would love to work for that guy who comes into Beaners but that whole situation is up in the air. Last summer was so easy. Jobs in Alaska are plentiful and easy to get…

Flowery Flower Fun
This past weekend I planted all the flowers that my mother and I bought, they look really freaking nice, yesterday I took out all the stones in front of our house, weeded the dirt that they were lying in, and individually placed them back in a more orderly way. I planted the groundcover that my mommy bought me, hens and chicks and creeping thyme…it looks nice. I enjoy getting some things done around the house, working in the yard makes me feel like I am actually acomplishing something. I only wish I was getting paid for it. if anyone would like to come over and compliment my garden or watch a movie, I would be much abliged.

when do people start calling because they want to hang out with me?…I am still waiting…I have recieved one phone call from a friend who is not in GR, and that was very nice! I guess I have to call them!

Saliva and Job

Did You Know That!?
The mouth produces a quart of saliva a day.

That reminds me of a time when I was a kid and I decided that it would be fun to fill an entire cup with my own spit…I had no other plans for the spit, just to have a full cup of it. I remember spitting and spitting while I watched tv on the couch, I think I eventually got bored with it, or maybe my mouth dried out, or my mom saw me and told me to stop it. I still think that having an entire cup of your own spit would be kinda cool, I imagine it would be fun to pour out…all viscous and what not…But there always is the underlying temptation to have someone else drink it…or to throw it at them.

No word yet from the YMCA…This guy who comes into Beaner’s every day mentioned that there might be a position that I might be able to fill with his business…He is a really nice guy, a Calvin grad, and he makes the slow days a bit more fun…aside from that I only knew that he sold furniture on the internet. Well he is going to start selling cell phone accessories too and might want to employ me. I am all for it, cool people, new environment, new field, perhaps some actual experience in an area that might have some pertinance to my major, and higher pay. He said in addition to doing the random stuff involved, he would teach me “The Ropes” of starting an internet business…so that is cool! Let’s just hope that summer employment works out for me…otherwise I will be poor and hungry…

That’s all for now…

Wating on YMCA and Plants

Just waiting to hear back from the YMCA and on grades…

I planted my flower garden this weekend, have a lot more work around the house to finish…mostly cleaning and weeding…if anyone is in GR for the summer that I don’t know about, please let me know and we can hang out!


so it turns out that it is thursday and I forgot the random fact of the week…well instead of trying to do it a day late and break all the rules that hold this “blog” together I will make this a fluke thursday entry of madness:

When the chainsaw parrot wings it’s wicked beak towards our sphere, no one can escape it’s loathsome gaze. We scatter like flies from a rotting corpse, but only see the faint glimmer of rain. tapping our bloated bodies with pellets of purity the fog grabs ahold to our minds. Patiently we wait without squirming for fear of being devoured. Why move when we can sleep? Why sleep when we can run? Why run when we can fly? Further and Further we climb until nothing surrounds us, no light, no sky, no black, no white, no air, no nothing, since nothing is something. Play it off like you’ve done it before, like you are used to it all, they wil never know the difference, close your eyes and let it out.

Argos books has old books, and magazines…I found one that a girl wrote in in 5th grade in the late 1890’s, I bought it for 50 cents!

Watched The usual suspects today…not bad…good twist.

I think that this summer will be quite different than any other, with all the work, the effort needed to be made to hang out with friends, and the fact that I am not home (or in Alaska) I think it should be good.

Art, Rant, Politics

I have begun the long-postponed Labor of love that is Art. I made a box in sculpture and printmaking class my senior year of highschool¬† ihave it on my mantle right now. it has a picture of Thoreau on the back, swigs jutting out in all directions and quotes all around. I went to the Art Institute of Chicago and saw some boxes by Joseph Cornell¬†I was inspired and decided that I liked it so much that I would take the style and make it my own. I bought some rustic boxes off ebay along with a tintype, I have been gathering random junk for a few years and went to Michaels the other day to get inspired…I bought a bunch of supplies and have started the work on the first free-lance box. no assignment, pure enjoyment. once it is done, I am sure there will be a picture of it on here!

2 exams done, 2 to go!

I have and interview at the YMCA tommorrow, I hope it goes well

My brother leaves for Europe on Wednesday

I watched the movie Roger and Me today, it is the first big documentary by Michael Moore (Bowling For Columbine) the main thing that I took away from it is that we all have a moral responsibility to eachother and that responsibility must be lived out. We depend on other people, and they depend on us, that is the essence of society. We must let go of our selfish nature and try to make things better for people around us. There is no reason for a person to harm others for personal gain. I also believe that we should try to focus on our own problems before we can help others. This idea applies to the poor and starving within our own country as well as the fight for equal rights of all people. Our country has serious problems, we need to worry about those before we can worry about other countries.
I hate it when people fight over political issues, I don’t like radical statements that lean far to either side. I feel as though no one has the full story but they act as though they do. It is way to easy to just blame everything on president Bush and say that he is a big idiot. It is also foolish to say that the “problems” that the country is facing arent problems at all. I HATE war, and I would consider myself to lean more towards the left than the right. but I really hate it when people get extremely biased information from news sources that lean to either extreme and present it as the factual unbiased truth. We don’t have the full story! When people show “hidden” findings that make the other side look bad, they are just relaying an incomplete picture.
Hypothetical Example: Let’s say that your friend comes and shows you a picture of a boy holding a rifle to a dogs forehead, this dog looks like the cutest little innocent canine in the world. His big puppy-dog eyes stare up at the boy with love. Your immediate reaction would be that this kid is messed up, what kind of kid would shoot a cute dog like that!? the next picture is one of the dead dog lying in a pool of blood and the boy smiling. Your friend explains that the dog was mad and had already bitten this boy’s little baby brother, the dog needed to be killed out of mercy for the dog and to protect the family.
This is what happens every day, people see one side, tell one side but do not know the motivation, do not know that back-story. I am not saying that the war, or any violence against another human being is ever justified, I am just saying that we cannot react to only half of the story. I believe that killing is wrong. I believe that the death penalty is wrong, I believe that war is wrong. I do not think that one person has the right to determine if another person should live or die, that is God’s responsibility. Sure prisons get crowded, and it costs taxpayers money…but we don’t need to spend so much on military supplies, corporate CEO’s don’t need to make as much money, schools need better funding, this country has serious problems. we need to face those first. we need to love one-another. we cannot blindly follow people leading us into wrong, we need to voice our concern, but what we need to be cautious of is in our efforts to stop blindly following one power, that we do not do the same to an apposing power. More people need to admit that they don’t have all the answers, all the motivations, all the history. We need to realize the faults in the system, and the revolution. We need to hold fast to basic moral truths and values and never give them up. The End

Job Well Done

I seriously want someone outside every classroom that I take an exam in to be there to give me a big high five and hug when I am done…inside I am rejoicing and jumping around that it is all done, that I finished that beast of a test, but all I get is an empty quiet hallway where I would get nasty looks if I screamed and clicked my heals. I want President Byker to be there to say…”Job well done Josh, just three more to go!” I need some sort of pat on the back dag nabbit!!!! or at least someone to buy me a cheesy gordita crunch in celebration…”Job well done Josh, here is your cheesy gordita cruch compliments of me, President Byker”

I am done until monday…YAY weekend!

Exams and YMCA

First exam: soon approaches, not even an hour until my wrist starts to ache from the extensive essaying.

I turned in an application to the YMCA on wednesday, I turned it in to the girl at the front desk, and was a bit apprehensive about not giving it to the person who was meant to see it, but i did it anyway. I called the next day to make sure that he got it, and he didn’t..he said he would look for it and call me…three or four hours passed witout me hearing from him. I called again and left a message on his machine for him to call me…waited the next day and he didn’t call…well I called him again and he said that he e-mailed everyone in the office and hasn’t found the application, so we set up an interview for tuesday. I would like to be a full-time summer day camp leader, I have done it before in Alaska (look at entries from last summer for some fun stuff)

well..I am gonna go take an exam for a really long time…which is not very cool at all!

In a Jiffy

Did You Know That!
A jiffy is an actual unit of time. It is 1/100 of a second.

So when someone says that they will “be back in a jiffy” you can scream at them “Bull Crap!” there is no way, unless they don’t actually even leave that they will be back in a jiffy. Don’t even get me started on Jiffy Pop…that takes minutes!!

Peruvian Fun
Well let me tell you something, it sure is hard to find adventurous people who don’t already have plans for next interim, who are nice and get-along-able to go to peru with. I am scared that it might not happen…I can’t go alone, i considered it, but then decided that since I don’t even speak spanish I couldn’t get out of the airport! so…I will work here all summer and make peru a priority. This is the only chance I have to do something this extreme, this exciting, this amazing. I am in college, I have no wife, no kids, no steady job, I have a month free to do anything, I want to go to Machu Picchu! I want to live in peru for a month! I am willing to shell out the cash because I know that no other random vacation will be as awesome. I just need a buddy!!! they don’t need too much training or gear…just the willingness and good-hearted spirit of adventure…and I have to get a long with them.

Please comment on thie things I write, this is my plea! I feel like I have friends when people write on here.

Last class of the year is gonna happen in half an hour…that is kind of cool. but then exams hit me in the chest like a baseball!

Dreaming of:


Upon further research, I have decided to go to peru and hike all around there making a visit to Machu Picchu and other cool incan things, the large city of Lima has hostels and is located near a lot of things and offers ways to get around Peru. The weather will be good in December and January and the plane tickets are around $850-$950, if I save enough…I just might be able to work it all out!