Living in a War Zone (San Jose)

I must be getting old. My tolerance for ass-hattery is pretty much shot. I mean, who doesn’t love firework displays? However, there is a limit.

Last year, living on the wrong side of CA85, it was like a war zone on New Year’s Eve. I was hoping that by moving to the “better” side, with more single family homes, and fewer apartment and duplex/triplex dwellers, the volume, and intensity of fireworks would be lessened.

I was sadly mistaken. There were a couple of early events, but the real displays began a few minutes before 8 PM. Not even when the frickin’ ball dropped in Times Square. From that time on, it was a pretty steady staccato of the illegal sort all night. Firecrackers, bottle rockets (and larger), as well as Roman Candles. Annoying, but ok, I can understand this slight bending of the safe and sane rules.

Heck, I was a kid once, and enjoyed the pop of firecrackers.

However, the renters a few doors down went far beyond this. They had professional grade mortars, at least 4″ shells that they were firing off.

From their driveway.

The black powder lifter charge was concussive enough to trigger car alarms along the block. The “bursting” was enough to shake your teeth.

They fired these off not once, not twice, but a few per hour until after midnight.

Fuck. No wonder poor Garrett was huddling, drugged in our bedroom.

Of course, they were not alone in the use of professional grade fireworks, but part of a community of assholes who take pride in spending ginormous amounts of money on etherial displays of penis compensation.

At least for the Fourth of July festivities, it is (mostly) over by 10:30PM or so. Not so for New Year’s Eve. It starts early, steadily building to a crescendo peaking at midnight, and then an orgy of gunpowder and alcohol fueled bacchanalia, before finally decaying into a pungent hangover, where hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on things that go “bang“.

It is now 6:20 AM on 1/1/2016. We survived, it was better than the apartment, but it makes me pine for our time in Tucson, AZ, where the population density was low enough, and we were far enough from the center of town that we were largely unaffected (apart from some yahoos in the unincorporated SR properties behind us discharging weapons into the air).

Next up is the Lunar New Year, where our ethnic Chinese neighbors celebrate with long strings of firecrackers. At least they don’t set off car alarms.