You Heard It Here: The Neighbors

Most people deal with it at some point. Having bad neighbors can be life altering. Whether they live above you and pound on your roof like elephants gone wild, or live next door to you and blast the music so loud it rocks the pictures on the walls, living near people that have no common courtesy is an absolute ball-buster.

Then there are those neighbors who save us on a regular basis. The ones who are there to take in our trashcans while we’re at work and the rain is coming down. The neighbor who brings over extra birthday cake after their child’s party, or picks you up when you get a flat tire fifteen minutes from home.

I used to have the good kind until my neighbors of 22 years sold their house and moved. Now I have neighbors who don’t seem to understand that when they leave their dog alone all night long, he barks…all night long.

My neighbor situation arose after I wrote Dangerously Close where Mel was not originally happy about having a neighbor. (Especially since he thought he had a private mountain top to himself.) He initially thought his neighbor Ashley was going to be a problem and worried that she might uncover his secret. Then he found out she couldn’t see him. So what started out as a potentially bad neighbor situation turned into one that he could live with. Ultimately it turned into the best relationship of his life.

Have you ever had a bad start with a neighbor, only to end up later being great friends? Or the other way around? Did you start off with a good relationship and something happened to change it into an uncomfortable one?

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You Heard It Here: The (Hollywood) Animals Have It.

It’s the first of the month which means another Hollywood story. I wondered what I could talk about this month and I decided I’d share a list of all the animals I’ve worked with over the years. (Although I use that term loosely since I didn’t necessarily work with the animals so much as share the same set with them as I worked with the actors around them.)

So, keeping in mind that this list is probably forgetting one or two or ten of the animals I’ve shared a set with, here we go:

I worked with Mike Meyers and a bear for one of the Oscar telecasts.

Countless numbers of dogs, cats, ponies and horses (this includes a zebra).

An elephant (Who also happened to be the elephant that starred in Water for Elephants.)

Orangatangs, monkeys, possums, goats, cows, snakes, iguanas, lizards, spiders and every type of bird you can imagine, including an eagle and falcon.

A tiger, although I made sure I was off the set when that bad boy got there.

A sea lion, which the trainer billed as a wet lion. I’m sorry, but I had to chuckle at that. I might not be able to outrun a lion, but I’m fairly certain that on dry land I can outrun a sea lion. (I’m may be small, but I’m fast. LOL.)

(Of course there was the time I came face to face with a black panther, but that wasn’t Hollywood related. It happened in Texas when I was very young so it doesn’t count. But I felt inclined to add it since you don’t get much more exotic when discussing animals!)

Hm… I think I might’ve covered everything. Not a bad list, right? I’m a huge animal lover – especially dogs – which might explain why I put a dog in Dangerously Close. (Roamer is a combination of my old dog, Sam, and my new dog, Zachary.)

What about you? Any history of meeting a unique animal that didn’t include the zoo?