Generally, You Don’t See That Kind of Behavior From a Major Appliance.

Monday, May 13th, 2013

I’m beginning to think that the appliances in our new place are possessed. What’s funny is that here, I find it kind of quirky and charming (and fixable), yet in our last apartment, the same sounds would have sent me into a rant about how much that building sucks and should be condemned. Funny what a change in venue can do to your perspective.

Anyway, it started with the refrigerator — about a week ago, it started making a loud whirring sound when it ran, much louder than it had previously. It wasn’t every time, but I made a mental note of it. We also have some issue where our ice machine ice all smells like onions, regardless of the presence of an onion in the fridge or freezer, but I think that can be fixed by replacing the water line, not a root vegetable exorcism.

So the fridge started making the sound more frequently, until the heat over the weekend really kicked into overdrive. When it kicks on, it sounds like one of those riding lawnmowers is idling outside the kitchen window. Nothing so loud it’s unbearable, but definitely not a good sound. I assume maintenance will replace the fridge or fix what’s wrong with it. At least it’s not putting off onion-scented exhaust.

We usually keep our windows open. After two years in Las Vegas, where we lived like mole rats with the blinds and windows shut, A/C almost year-round, and after 6 months in dank mausoleum that was our last apartment, we were ready for some fresh air and sunshine. But when the sun went down last night and it was still 82 in our apartment, with every window open, every fan at top speed, we caved in and battened down the hatches for some glorious air conditioning.

I noticed it last night and dismissed it, but today, as I’m alone in the apartment, I really notice that the A/C sounds like people talking. It stops when it goes off, of course, so I assume it’s the sound of the air ducts vibrating or bowing in and out as the air is forced through it. Or perhaps it’s the sound of condensation dripping against the ductwork… or both. But it still is kind of creepy. Amusing, but creepy. It’s like people are talking behind a closed bathroom door, having a conversation, as if it someone is talking about you behind your back.

It also makes a high pitched squeal as it starts up, which reminds me of the timing belt on Judy,  my old ’95 Chevy Cavalier, so I’m guessing it’s a motor thing. I’ll report that noise, along with the fridge mower noise and hopefully both can be resolved without having to get that Dead Files chick in here.

If I start tweeting about the end of days, though, you might want to look into it…

Categories: domestica, Life

Say Dong Again

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

pressforchampagneThere’s a mysterious “ding-dong” doorbell sound in our neighborhood that happens multiple times each instance and multiple times a day, with no real specific times or intervals. It doesn’t bother me or anything — it’s actually kind of a pleasant sound — but it rings out quite clearly every day at varying times. My curiosity is at eleven.

Usually, it rings 3-4 times in a row. “Ding dong! (Pause) Ding dong! (Pause) Ding dong!”  I thought it might be some kind of clock chime, but that’s not it.  Our units don’t have doorbells, so I know it’s not another apartment and it’s loud and echo-y enough to not be one of the apartments. I called the leasing office and asked if they know, but they acted like I was sniffing glue.

So I called the sleep study corporate building that is across the street and the receptionist there had no idea what I was talking about. She said I should try the Frito-Lay offices/distribution center, which is on the next block.

What I find weird is that these other people don’t hear it. Not the leasing office employees, not the receptionist next door, yet they’re all within earshot of this sound. Mike’s heard it, so I know I’m not insane.

Wait! There it goes again! Mysterious…

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Have I mentioned that I love our new place? I really do.

I’m so happy that we decided to return to the same complex I lived in before we moved to Las Vegas. It felt like home as soon as we moved in. I’d forgotten how peaceful this area is. It’s so nice to wake up in the morning and, despite all the boxes that have yet to be unpacked, feel relaxed and comfortable. I was depressed every day in that old place. It made me sad to be in that apartment — all dark and dreary, musty, dank and cold. And it shows — I look frumptastic and could use a day of self-maintenance and beauty.

I physically am still recovering from that place — I’m still coughing and wheezing and my skin is kind of a mess, but it’s only a matter of time before I work that out of my system. The air quality there was so bad, I can only hope it didn’t cause any permanent damage from breathing in all that crap (potentially asbestos, in addition to the mold).

Here, the sun streams in and when we open the windows, the breeze blows through… I hear birds chirping and watch the dogs playing in the park across from us. Once I get my office situated, it’ll be close to perfect.

It’s got a couple quirks — like any apartment. We’ve got a view into the dumpster area from the front porch/balcony, which I didn’t notice before, but it’s well-covered, well-maintained and doesn’t smell, so it doesn’t bother me. We do have a hobo that likes to rummage in there every morning, which is kind of noisy and creepy watching him tear open our trash bags, but this isn’t really a hobo-laden area, so I called  the management and they alerted the grounds staff to look out for him.  But that is a small price to pay compared to the dozen hobos at our old place walking around with their shirts off, smoking cigarettes. And the flies around the dumpsters. And the broken elevators. And the smelly hallways. And… and… and… screw that place. I can’t believe people pay that much to live there. I am not sure what I was smoking when I chose that place. It was a total Monet.

Overall, I’m really, really happy with our new place. Rent in San Diego is obscene, but it’s the best extra $300/mo we’ve ever spent. Absolutely worth it.

Categories: domestica, Life, yay!

Cable and the Cray Patio

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Marjorie, The Trash HeapI realize hoarding is not something to joke about, that it’s a real condition, etc. etc. That said, I think the woman currently living in our new apartment is a bona fide, crazypants, orange-peels-from-1987, jars-full-of-moldy-pork chops hoarder — at least based on her patio of overgrown houseplants and garden tchotchkes.

When I was touring our new property (which I’ve lived in before, if you recall), I passed by a second-floor unit that had a balcony so overloaded with succulents, hanging fuchsias, lawn jockeys, geraniums, garden gnomes and basically every weathered, foil-covered, potted plant you see when you enter a grocery store. Every one on the planet, stuffed into her 78 sq foot balcony. I couldn’t even see the front door. I thought to myself, “Damn, someone’s got issues.”

Cut to a week later when I bring Mike up there to look at floorplans and guess what? The next one coming up in our budget with the floorplan we want is that one… naturally. On my way out, it occurred to me that if this woman’s patio looks like that, I can’t fathom what must be going on inside. So I called the property manager to ask if the carpet was scheduled to be replaced because if her patio looks that insane, I’m picturing like, free-range chickens and a furry swingers club inside.

Maybe I’ve just been watching too much World’s Worst Tenants. (Oh my god, I love that show unabashedly.)

Anyway, the manager says, “Yes, that’s uh, how shall I put this?  That’s the only cray patio we have on the property.”  The fact that she said “cray” made me laugh, because she clearly relaxed enough with me to drop some of her “leasing office facade”), but she confirmed that yes, even though we’re renting a “Classic” unit and not a “Renovated” unit, we’d get new carpet.  And new sink fixtures because I casually mentioned that was the one thing I didn’t like about living there before were their wonky kitchen faucets.

The balcony lady gnawed at me, though. Something wasn’t sitting right. Sure enough, the tenant asked for an extension on her notice. Initially, she was supposed to move out on March 13th, but extended it to the 31st. If she’s got as much shit inside as she does on the patio, it doesn’t surprise me that she needs more time. I just hope that 5 days is enough time for the crew to flip our unit, especially if it does turn out to be a very special episode of Hoarders inside.  I guess all I can do is have faith they’ll make the apartment good as new or will fix whatever isn’t.  I’ve always loved living there before and their maintenance staff is awesome, so I’m trying to not sweat it.

So anyway, I called this past week to schedule the on/off of our utilities — gas & electric, mail, etc. But when I tried to schedule my cable transfer, I was told the current tenant hadn’t scheduled her shut-off yet, so they couldn’t schedule mine. Fine, fine.  So I called back at the end of the week, thinking “Ok, she’s moving out in a week, surely she’ll have done it by now.”  But nay, she had not. So I called the complex, asking if they could give her a courtesy call and they redirected me to their direct contact at the cable company.

The cable rep called the tenant, left a voicemail and sent an email asking her to please contact their office so they can schedule her shut off in order to accommodate the incoming tenant. Instead, the tenant emailed back and snidely (according to the rep) said, “I will be moving out on March 31 and I will call and schedule transfer of my service to my new address.”  That doesn’t really tell us anything, like when does she plan to schedule her transfer?  No one is asking her to turn it off today, just call to schedule it to be turned off.

The cable representative suggested, “If her patio is as cluttered as you say it is, maybe she’s just attached to her home and has problems letting go of things. So she wants to wait until the last minute.”

Because I am she of little faith, I think she’s just being a spiteful dick, waiting until the last minute because she knows someone wants to move in. Or perhaps she wanted to stay longer and they told her no, that her place had been re-rented, so now she’s blocking my cable appointment, stripping the copper pipes and taking a dump in the tub.

Now I definitely have been watching too much World’s Worst Tenants.

The Hell Out of Dodge

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Mikey and I bought a mold testing kit yesterday and set it in our bedroom/bathroom area. So far, there are tiny signs of mold growth in the petri dish, but despite their “as early as 48 hours” results, I half expected to wake up to tribbles with all the breathing problems we’re having in this apartment. We hate this place. Hate it. Hate it with the burning fire of a million suns.

But, regardless of the mold results… we’re moving!  Early next month, we’ll be comfortably ensconced in our new abode.  I gave our notice yesterday, though I don’t know for sure if they’re going to let us out of our lease or if we’ll have to fight the lease break fee. They’re pretty nice,  but I have a stack of ammo if they push me; I’m not worried about it.


The rent is high in this city — which is tough… at least for the more “luxury” apartments (which means just about anything built in the last 15 years with a W/D and amenities).  I could buy a house for the price we’re paying in rent, though it wouldn’t be as nice of a house as the new apartment. I figure if we can swing this rent for a year or so, we can afford to buy a house — like a financial responsibility test drive. Of course, this assuming the market doesn’t blow sky high and median home prices go to half a million dollars again.

You can rent places for less — even houses, but unfortunately, the houses tend to be on the tiny side (smaller than an apartment) or haven’t been updated since 1974. There are a few prospects out there that I’m going to take a peek at, but we’re comfortable with our choice of where to live. Some people may think it’s “uncool”, because our chosen area of town is kind of near some business parks, and it’s not much of a “neighborhood” vibe.  But it works for us — it’s close to mike’s work, it’s 5-10 minutes anywhere I want to go and the complex is really quiet since it’s near corporations. (Read: College kids don’t want to live there.)

Same square footage as our current place, but it’s utilized much more wisely… and built within the last decade. It’s a newer place — in fact, I used to live there before we moved to Nevada. This time we got a larger 2 bedroom unit and even though it’s north-facing, we get a lot of light, which we’re super happy about. And a washer & dryer — no more Stranger Pubes in the lint trap!

We get a view of the on-site dog park, which makes me happy and  there are a lot of sidewalks in the area for walking. Plus, they expanded their on-site gym with all new equipment and upgraded their pool area to include more bbqs and cabanas with free wifi and flatscreen TV’s.  I’ll be working from the pool this summer, by god! (though I’ll have to hide my adult beverages in a sippy cup or something — no booze or glass by the pool. Tres tragic!) Oh! And the best part — there’s no one above us or below us (just our garage), so we don’t have to worry about bothering anyone, really. (What with all the wild partying and Hip Hop Abs I do.)

It has it’s quirks, like any apartment, but after this joint, the new place might as well be Shangri La.  After this, I’m putting a moratorium on domicile bitchery — unless we have good cause. I don’t want to nitpick this new place, I just want to be happy… even if the fridge does open on the wrong side.