Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Continuing Joys of Apartment Living

It's me. I'm here. Back posting on my own blog and on a Saturday morning with coffee. Thanks for following me to read while I was out flitting around, and here's what was going on here in the meantime.

The Noisy Update
When I last left, the neighbors had called security on us for no good reason and for the second time in a month (and the only two times of my life), and I was pretty honked off. That morning, I did go into the apartment office and raised some hell about how we don't even feel comfortable even breathing in our apartment and that we felt a bit harassed and that we are really concerned about the idea of doing nothing wrong but possibly facing eviction at some point if it continues. Apparently the security guy didn't seem to think it was us (hmmm, maybe because of the silence he heard upon arrival since we were, um, not doing anything wrong or loud?), and the apartment office isn't at all concerned about it since they wonder if it could have been someone else. Oddly, even if it was someone else, we heard nothing, and since we could barely even hear the tv and had the subtitles going, we would have heard something unless it was the sound of bullshit piling up around us... In any case, the noise complaint doesn't go in our file, the apartment was going to call the person who complained to try to find out more information and hopefully tell them to back off, and if there is another call, I have zero qualms about going back into the office every time. We are pretty sure (but not positive) which neighbor complained, at least this time, but we don't feel it's safe to deal directly with the neighbor for a few reasons and are afraid that a confrontation could make it worse, at least at this stage. We'll see if that stage changes.

The Enflamed Update
So, all was as it was when we went to bed Wednesday night, quiet as the little mice we've become, and then Tom woke up a little after 2AM to make tinkle (just a test to see if he still reads) and then woke me up and invited me into the bathroom to see if I also thought it kind of smelled like a match. Yah, kind of it did, but I found it barely interesting and not so alarming. I mean, the smoke alarm goes off when I boil water, so if my ass was on fire, I'd probably hear about it. I started to kind of doze off when I heard the sirens likely headed to where someone else lives, and evidently those other people lived very nearby because the sirens were getting closer, not further.

When I could see the reflection of the flash of the lights on the wall, I flew out of bed, suddenly very awake and much more concerned about that harmless little "someone lit a match" smell that was now also in my living room. Even my cozy purple monkey pajamas couldn't keep my legs warm in the ridiculously cold air (and, yes, if you read my guest post, wearing pajamas outside to check on an apartment fire falls under the guidelines of appropriate use of bedware). At our place in Oregon, they would have had half the police, all of the firetrucks and a few ambulances because they loved to over-dispatch, but here there were just 3 firetrucks.

And our building. On fire and smoldering.

A few or nine observations:
  1. Firemen really do tend to be such a kind bunch. When I walked over to one of these kind faces in a fireman's hat while pointing at our unit and asking if we needed to be concerned or should start evacuating the cats, he kindly leaned in and put his hand on my back while he listened and told me that we'd be fine because they had it, thankfully, contained. It was just a nice gesture, and there is a lesson in there somewhere about how to comfort people.
  2. While worrying about whether the fire would spread, it was a nice reminder to check on the status of the transfer of my renter's insurance so that it would cover Tom's stuff, and the next day I talked to the agent. Again. It's still not transfered, but I lit a fire under his ass a bit. Horrible pun intended.
  3. Apartment living scares the hell out of me because it only takes one dumbass to destroy 20+ homes with one act. I've always known this, but I've never actually had firemen spraying at my apartment building until now and have always just tried to tell myself it wouldn't happen. I'm not sure what to tell myself other than that hopefully it won't happen twice?
  4. The fire was started by an errant cigarette butt, which I find kind of ridiculous, considering I smoked from the age of 12 to 35 and always managed to put them out without offending Smoky the Bear or calling forth fire trucks, but maybe I'm exceptionally brilliant. And judgemental because mistakes happen, but still. Come on, people.
  5. Oklahoma is quite a bit behind the hippy Northwest (I say that affectionately) on the smoking thing, which I knew just from seeing how very many more people here still smoke but also because of the reaction I got whenever I even mentioned the trend in Oregon toward apartment buildings going non-smoking (which I've written about here a few times back in 2007 when it was kind of new). I'm still not one of those asshole-ish reformed smokers, but I do think this experience kind of tips me more into that camp after that whole waking up to the building on fire thing. One of the ladies in the apartment office kind of laughed and said they'd have very few tenants if that was a rule here, and I bet she is right.
  6. There is always time to Twitter and Plurk, even when there is a fire.
  7. I'm grateful that our unit was completely unharmed other than a smoky smell that went away in a day, and my heart goes out to the person that was careless because I'm not sure what happens to the person from here (eviction? paying for damage? other?), but I bet it sucks, and mistakes do happen as long as we keep being human, and things are tough enough right now for so many folks and possibly that folk.
  8. Tom's sense of smell is to be trusted, and he might have been right about how much better it would have been to have rented a house (another test to see if he's reading).
  9. I need more coffee, just in case anything of any sort happens because being caffeinated brings joy in the face of a wide assortment of bad things.


  1. I am glad there is always time to Plurk and Twitter. I was reading when you Plurked about the fire.

    Firemen around my parts tend to be Rednecks who really like fire, as in yelling YEEHAW upon seeing it. Glad all is well.

  2. I'd wondered how that whole noise complaint thing turned out.

    Glad to hear everyone was safe from the fire. I had a similar incident at my last apartment building. The apartment two below me had something happening in the laundry room. (I think one of the ducts got clogged.) We didn't have to evacuate either, but it WAS scary!

  3. wow, you've moved into a mighty interesting building you have... glad you're safe and unhurt and undamaged though!!!! keep it that way.

  4. Happy to hear all is well and that your weirdo neighbor isn't being taken too seriously.

  5. I am glad the noise complaint isn't about to get you tossed. And that you didn't burn down.

    I don't even like living in duplexes anymore, although the one we are living in right now is apparently so well sound-proofed we absolutely cannot hear each other -- they have two little kids and I have never heard a sound from them (which is probably very good since Tess got that drum set for Christmas...). in apartments means you don't have to rake and mow and if you make nice with the neighbors go outside to borrow a cup of sugar.

    And if there's a pool you get to use it without the hassles of cleaning and chemicaling.

  6. I would put a bumper sticker on my car so that all my neighbors could see it that would say, "Keep it up asshole, someday I'll be your landord."

  7. Damn Maggie, I am glad you, Tom and the cats are ok. Cigarette butts huh? Maybe the way of not smoking in your apartment isn't such a bad rule after all! I am like you...not really into taking the right to kill oneself away from those who really want to keep it but I was at a friend's apartment who smoked in it recently (he normally goes outside) and DAMN did it stink! I am soooooooo glad I am off the Marlboro living! I really wanted a cigarette and smelled the "dead butt smell" and decided it was not such a good idea. Anyway, hope everything works out ok there.

  8. I was also wondering about the noise complaint ordeal. I'm glad they didn't seem concerned about you; but it still sucks. And it's still enough to have a person paranoid.

    As for the fire. I was ALWAYS paranoid about that when we were in the apartments. (It didn't help that I knew for a fact that the apartment next to us, above us and across the hall contained no less than two pot smoking idiots per unit.)

  9. Dam I missed that Plurk thread. SO glad it was not a serious fire. They have more fires down here, just a little farther south than you caused by a carelessly thrown cigarette.

    I hope the issue with the *&#*&^&% neighbor get resolved.

  10. Holy crap - that's massively scary about the fire. Even living in a house now, fire is one of my worst fears.

    If you find out for sure which neighbor it is, when I come to Oklahoma, I'll take a detour and stop by and be loud right outside their door. Then you won't get blamed, and I'll be on my merry way. Jerkheads.

  11. things I realized after reading this post:

    1) mah lordie, where the heck did you settle into? sounds like a psych ward of sorts! this is all so not cool!

    2) I would be the first in line to buy your book, if you were to write one. I have always absolutely ADMIRED your writing - not only you write very, very well, but the content itself is gripping and well seasoned with wit. I honestly urge you to consider writing something and pitching it to publishers!

  12. See what happens when I slack off? Big things happen and I have to read about them after the fact. My own fault, I guess. Glad you're ok!

  13. Wow! I'm so glad you're alright!

    (I have to admit, a bit sheepishly even, that when I first read the line about Tom waking you up, I thought you were smelling his pee and thought it smelt like a struck match. You were so calm I started to go, "WHA--?!?" and then realized I was just crazy. Thought you'd like a little chuckle at weird ol' me.)

  14. well that's a scary little thing to wake up to in the middle of the night! (yes, pajamas are allowed in this situation and yes, i agree about the firemen and their niceness, and also would like to add "hotness" to that, terrible pun intended as well).

    glad everyone is ok (including the kitties) and glad that you're not in the noisy tenants file!

  15. Yikes! Glad all was okay after the incident, you and Tom and kitties all safe. Yikes!


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