Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apartment Woes

Apartment living is a crapshoot.  You never know how crazy the people who live around you are until you move in and it's too late to move again!  Are they loud?  Do they have annoying habits?  I've been pretty lucky the 11 years I've lived in Turlock to, for the most part, not have annoying neighbors.....that all changed in June.

We moved to a new apartment complex, an upstairs unit.  We discovered quickly that our downstairs neighbors smoked.  I don't know about you, BUT I HATE CIGARETTE SMOKE.  It makes me want to gag.  You have every right to smoke, but don't force me to inhale those horrible toxins, and stink up my home.  Living upstairs meant that the fumes came directly into our living room, and into Brandon's room when they smoked on their porch.  So I had to either close all the windows and doors until they were done, or let the smell engulf my home.  I slammed the windows shut every time!

A few weeks after moving in, we noticed that we weren't smelling smoke nearly as often.  We discovered our smoking neighbors moved.  We have no idea how they moved without us ever seeing, but we didn't care, we were SO EXCITED!  It was like being free.  The air was clean, the apartment didn't smell like smoke anymore, the hills were alive with the sound of music, the world was a happy place again!  The apartment was empty until the middle of August.

One Sunday the inevitable happened;  people were moving in below us.  Within minutes my happy, smoke free environment came crashing down.  Our new neighbors were Smokey Smokersons....and there were a lot of them!  I wondered if there was a sign on the building that said, "Smokers Welcome"....what were the odds of having another set of neighbors who smoke?  In 11 years of apartment living, I don't recall having neighbors who smoked.  Maybe it was my turn to suffer!

Since they moved in, I've discovered that Lysol spray gets rid of cigarette smoke very quickly, so I've been able to leave my doors and windows open.  I'm very grateful it's almost winter...the windows and doors will be shut and we won't have to inhale that garbage as often!      

  Apartment living also creates the problem of loud music from neighbors who simply don't care about the world around them.  I've never understood this mentality.  I have NO PROBLEM with loud music during the day.  Sure, it's a little annoying, but you can survive.  At one point in life I think we've probably all played our music a little too loud.  My problem is loud music AT NIGHT.  People, children, the world is trying to sleep.

We have a neighbor who plays the most offensive, loud music from his car.  Unfortunately his parking space is right across from our house, and Brandon's bedroom.  It's so loud that it shakes our apartment.  It will be 8, 9, 10pm and this man will be blasting his music.  We have "apartment security/noise control" (the term used lightly).  I've called on many occasions, but this man continues blasting his music.  I could handle it if the words weren't so offensive, but who wants to hear that garbage, or have their three year old listening to it? 

Another downfall to apartment living is parking.  A few years ago I lived at a townhouse where you had to literally ram people off the road to get a parking space.  It was a fight to the death, you had to beat people home from work because there simply weren't enough places to park.  And if you had to leave your house at night you could be sure your spot would be gone when you got home!

Here, we have both designated covered parking and uncovered parking.  I thought the majority of the world understood that covered parking means that it's for the residents, and uncovered is for the visitors.  Maybe Turlock residents missed that memo.  I've only lived here four months and I've had to leave notes on car windshields asking them to not park in my designated spot, wait for people who parked in front of my spot to  move, and even ask a city worker to kindly move their truck out of my spot and into the uncovered spot!  There's plenty of uncovered parking, why aren't they using it?  I just don't get it!

Sure, I could park in an uncovered spot until the people move, BUT I LIVE HERE, I PAY for that spot.  Why do people think that they can just go and park in someone else's spot?

And finally, the biggest problem of apartment living:  location, location, location!  If you live near a college, you can expect it to be a loud complex full of students who love to party.  That's why we chose somewhere quite a distance from the college.  What we didn't realize was how close the train tracks were to the complex.  Again, I've lived in Turlock for 11 years, and I NEVER knew how many trains came through this town until I moved to this complex.  We are literally right next to the tracks.

I have no problem with trains during the day.  I understand they have to blow their horn to warn us that they're coming.  Trains come through Turlock ALL NIGHT LONG.  There's one usually every hour, sometimes more frequently.  Here's what I don't understand:  if it's from 12am-5am, when most people are sleeping, why do they feel the need to blow their horn SO LOUD and SO LONG that it could wake up the dead?!!  It's already quiet outside, why not blow the horn quickly one time and then stop?  Why the need to blow it continuously through the entire town?

After living here for four months, a train still wakes Brandon up at least once a night.  I shut his windows and everything, it does no good.  And it's usually the 5am train that wakes him up, making me lose my last hour of sleep each day!

So, the next time you go apartment hunting, remember that you truly have no control over your surroundings...with the exception of where the train tracks are!!!

This award is for the Smoky Smokersons, the Loud Music Man, and all the people who don't understand the rule of covered parking:

Whew, I feel so much better now!


  1. You're so funny! I feel your paint about apartment living. You wouldn't believe how many people smoke out here in Ohio. I think they still have smoking/non smoking sections in restaurants! When we were your neighbors at Lakeside, the previous tenant in our apartment was a smoker. Even our DISHES reaked. It was disgusting. Then we moved to that duplex across town and we were close to the train tracks. Eventually, I was able to block it out and it became background noise but it's still annoying!

  2. oops, i feel your pain, not paint. hehe!