Mine Reads “Mrs. Roper”

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

So, our property has this online social network that allows management to alert us to new events on property, announcements, if we have a package in the office and we can submit maintenance requests through it, as well. But each unit has their own profile, and you can add a photo, your birthday, your interests, etc and display your profile in the “My Neighbors” listing, like a phone book.

UH, NO THANKS. It’s apartment living, I’d like some semblance of privacy. I love where we live and I’ll happily smile and nod at a neighbor or wave or coo at their dog, but I don’t need to know that Kenneth and Oliver in Building 5 are wine enthusiasts in matching shirts who indulge in weekend thrifting when they’re not handcrafting leather jewelry (though I’ve probably seen them at Mo’s). I’m glad to see most of my fellow neighbors eschewed profile photos or even listing their profile altogether.

Unless you’re UPS, no one who sees me in my towel turban watering the plants on my patio needs to know my full name.

Categories: Life, neighbors

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…

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.

Poolside

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.

Ernest Goes Door-to-Door

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Ernest Goes Door to DoorLast night, around 8pm, we were sitting on the couch playing Mario Kart while Lulu cavorted around the living room.  Suddenly, we hear the assertive rapping of a key on our front door. *Rap rap rap*

I rarely answer my door unless I’m expecting a package. I don’t know if it’s years of living alone or what, but I just don’t answer my door unless I am expecting someone. I especially hate when I look through the peephole and whomever is out there waves, as if I know them — or they can see my shadow blocking the peephole.

Since moving back into an apartment, we’ve gotten a lot of solicitors… to the point that I’m considering hanging a sign on the door: “If you’re selling anything, do not ring this doorbell if you like your balls.”

Anyway, so we didn’t answer it. About 30 seconds later, he raps again — harder this time, but still with the keys.  We ignored him. Within 30 seconds, he rapped again, even harder and then rang the doorbell a few times and knocked again. I mean, what the hell?!  When I was a kid, I was taught it’s impolite to 1) pop over to someone’s house unannounced and 2) show up at someone’s after 8pm unless you were invited.

(Which reminds me, about a week ago, a few people ran up the stairs to our place and rang the doorbell like they were visiting a frat house. They rang 3-4 times, giggling and chatting. When we didn’t answer, they disappeared. Still curious what that was about…)

So, now Lulu was all freaked out and I was getting pissed off.  I peeked through the keyhole and naturally, the guy waves and says, “It’s your neighbor, Ernie!”

I don’t know any of my neighbors, so I thought perhaps it was my neighbor, Ernie, so after throwing a few looks back and forth with mikey, we decided to open the door. Perhaps he had some of my mail or maybe my car had something wrong with it… I don’t know! So, I opened the door.

Ernie was selling newspapers. He assures me that he is my neighbor (yeah, sure) and that he “handles the newspaper on the property for everyone” and could he interest us in the paper?  I said no, thank you, we’re Internet people. And despite me trying 6 (seriously, SIX) times to get him to go away, he kept interrupting me at every turn, “But what about just Sunday? What if you want coupons? It’s only $3 a week!”  Dude, I don’t want the effing paper. Please go away. He even said, “What about for the rabbit?” who he saw while craning his neck to get a look inside our place through the 4 inches of open doorway I was standing in.

CREEPER.

I practically had to slam the door in his face and after he left us, we heard him key-tapping doors up and down the hallway, louder and louder with every try.

But really, is this how it is now? They’re worse than telemarketers, showing up at your home way after business hours and then cop-knocking on the door until you answer it?  Jesus Christ!  Aren’t you just supposed to knock and when no one answers you go the fuck away?

I called the apartment office after he left, leaving a message on their voicemail. I rambled and trailed off a few places, so I probably sounded like a moron, but it’s because I kept getting distracted by his incessant knocking on people’s doors. I could hear him calling out to people, “I’m your neighbor… Ernie!” 

I thought the office should know that someone is going around using them as leverage, claiming to be working for them, selling papers on the property. Let’s hope he’s not just casing apartments.

No one wants your archaic news media, ERNIE. Fold it into a kite and go fly that sucker.