Having Good Neighbors

Drumming isn't the quietest of hobbies.

by Kassie Lamoreaux

Transcript of Layer Cake Podcast Episode #1

Welcome to layer cake. I'm your host, Dr. Angela Brumett, and this is your English fluency podcast. Layer Cake is sponsored by Parlay Vacay English Immersion Weekends. Build your English fluency online and in person at beautiful and relaxing destinations.

Layer Up your English!

You can listen to Layer Cake on your favorite podcast app, or go to Parlay ParlayVacay.com/LayerCake where you'll also find podcast notes, more about our guests, and learn all the new vocabulary and phrases in the content of our show.

And with that out of the way, let's get started.

For this episode, Layer Cake is honored to feature the work of American writer Kassie Lamoreaux. Kassie is a writer, a drummer, and a teacher of English as a second language. You can find out more about Kassie on ParlayVacay.com/LayerCake.

Layer Cake presents Having Good Neighbors by Kassie Lamoreaux.

I've been blessed to have good neighbors. This has been particularly important after I bought my first drum set. After all, drumming isn't exactly the quietest of hobbies. But I've always lived with tolerant (and often encouraging) roommates and neighbors. My philosophy has always been this: be a good neighbor to have good neighbors. And it's worked so far. From the very beginning I'm open about my drumming. I tell my landlords, roommates, and neighbors--- usually with a plate of cookies and a promise to never play after 8:00pm and/or to have my phone near me so I can receive a text telling me it isn't a good time to play. (I've never gotten such a text, by the way.) Right now, Hubby and I have particularly good neighbors, which is especially fortunate because we live in a close-knit community and single level apartment complex. We share two walls with different neighbors. Two other neighbors live quite close to us as well. The one opposite of us has a little girl and one on the way. Her attitude has always been, "If you don't might the occasional crying and screaming, I can do with the occasional drumming." Next to her is an older gentleman, and when we first moved in and I told him I had a drum set, he said he was practically deaf (or going deaf), so he didn't think he'd hear the drumming over his loud TV, which he hasn't. Ha ha! The neighbor just next to us is named Terry. She talked for ages with me when I met her, and she said drumming wouldn't ever be a problem for her either. It was the neighbor sharing the wall closest to the drum set that I worried most about when we first moved in--- not only because she'd be affected the most by the drumming, but because I could never catch her at home to introduce myself. I eventually just dropped off cookies with a note, explaining that she'd sometimes hear me drumming but never too late in the evenings. We've lived here for almost three years now. It wasn't until two or three months ago, though, that I finally met the neighbor closest to the drum set. She asked me in the parking lot if I was the drummer. I said I was. She said her name was Natalie and she had a nephew who played the drums. We talked for a while, but she essentially said I sounded good and to keep it up! I was so excited, I ran home and told Hubby, "I met Natalie!"

"Natalie Portman?" he asked.

"Our neighbor Natalie. She said she could hear me playing my drums and I sound good." "Natalie Portman is our neighbor?" he teased. Anyway, I saw Natalie again today. (Not Portman.) She told me she hasn't heard me drumming much lately. I told her I've been sick, but I'm feeling better now. Her encouragement today got me behind the set again after a long battle of being sick, lazy, and just having the post-holiday blues. I think having good neighbors is important, especially to a drummer. I always just hoped to have neighbors that didn't complain about the noise, but I think having neighbors like Natalie and the others has been even better. Natalie's not the first to ask about my drumming when I haven't played in a while. My other neighbors will comment sometimes, and they're always very sincere and encouraging. I hope you also have good neighbors. Or live next to Natalie Portman.

Did you hear any new words or phrases? Check out the transcript and the fluency builder lesson online at Parlay Vacay.com/layercake

Kassie Lamoreaux

Layer Cake and Parlay Vacay would like to thank Kassie Lamoreaux for her contribution to the inaugural episode of this blogcast. We would also like to tell you more about Kassie.

Kassie grew up in Utah and currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two baby trees named "Crenshaw" and "Bob."

Kassie loves to travel, but when she can't make it to China, Australia, or other exotic places like Utah, she hops on the back of her husband's motorcycle, and they drive around the Phoenix valley! Kassie has been a teacher of English to speakers of other languages since 2013 and a writing tutor since 2005. Her blogs center around her teaching, drumming, and writing.

You can find this article and more from Kassie Lamoreaux at Doing That Thing I Do: My Journey to Become a Confident Drummer.

Layer Up your English!

These items may be useful before and/or after listening to the recorded episode.

Key concepts are followed by the Vocabulary and Phrases then Questions for understanding and Discussion Topics.

Items are presented in the order they appear and are defined only as used in the featured piece (other uses may exist).

Key Concepts

Natalie Portman: popular American female actor known for her beauty and poise

drum set: a group of drums played together

to drum: to play a drum

drumming: the act of playing a drum(s)

drummer: someone who drums/plays a drum(s)

Vocabulary & Phrases

roommates: individuals who rent a property and live together

my philosophy: my way of thinking or point of view

landlord: owner of a rented property (also landlady)

and/or: indicates that items could be combined or separate

Hubby: endearing nickname for "Husband"

close-knit community: an intimate community in which everyone knows each other more than usual

single level apartment complex: a group of one-story apartment buildings with the same owner

the one opposite of us: the neighbor across from us

…one on the way: pregnant, literally another child will be born soon.

do with: can tolerate

going deaf: gradually losing the ability to hear

ha ha: used in writing to represent laughter or amusement

for ages: a long period of time

catch her at home: communicate with her when she is home

keep it up: used to encourage someone to continue doing something. “Keep” means “continue” here.

to tease: to provoke a reaction in an amusing way

got me behind the set: inspired me to sit down again to play the drums. “Set” here means “set of drums.”

a long battle: a difficult event that lasts for or takes a great amount of time

post-holiday blues: refers to the feelings of sadness when the holidays end

in a while: after a moderately short time


inaugural: marking the beginning of an institution or activity

hops on: gets on something quickly and easily

center around: are mostly about

Questions for Understanding

1. What is Kassie's philosophy about neighbors?

2. How could a neighbor notify Kassie that it wasn't a good time to play?

3. Why did the older gentleman think he would not be disturbed by Kassie's drumming?

4. Which pieces of information did Natalie give to Kassie in the parking lot?

5. What joke did Kassie's husband make?

Discussion Topics

1. Which of your hobbies is the noisiest?

2. Do your neighbors ever disturb you? How?

3. What is your philosophy on maintaining good relationships with your neighbors?

Parlay Vacay sincerely hopes that you enjoy Layer Cake. Please like, share everywhere, and subscribe in your favorite podcast app. We'll see you at the next Parlay Vacay immersion weekend or next week, whichever comes first!

Thank you.

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