April 6, 2011

Apartment update

About a week ago, my landlord decided he's done heating the apartment until next winter. I share his frustration that temperatures have ranged from 30 to 50° F in the past two weeks, but that doesn't mean we no longer need the heat. I've been working in many layers of clothes plus a blanket. The problem is that when I'm in a cold room, covered in blankets, it's very easy to fall asleep. Last night, after falling asleep on my couch a few times, I gave up and went to bed at 9:30 p.m.

I also have new neighbors across the hall. Overall, they seem like much better neighbors than the previous occupants, who left their violent children unsupervised for hours every day. They do have a two year old who throws tantrums, but the screaming doesn't bother me because I can't hear it from my bedroom.

The main problem with the new neighbors is that they constantly forget to take their keys with them when they go out. When they return, they buzz everyone in the building, over and over, until someone lets them in. Then they sit in the stairwell, with the restless two year old, and call the landlord (who lives 30 minutes away). Lately, they have been leaving their actual apartment unlocked, but they still use the "buzz everyone until someone lets me in" method of getting past the gate.

I'm also dealing with inconsiderate neighbors on the second floor who smoke in the stairwell because they don't want their own apartment to smell, and because it's cold outside. (Well, these days it's just as cold in the building.) I've discovered that stuffing a towel under my door keeps most of the smell out, but it's still gross and irritating. My anti-smoking activist friends want me to persuade my landlord to make the entire building smoke free, but that would never happen...

And I can't talk to my landlord about anything right now, because if he remembers that I live here, he might remember that my lease expired nearly two years ago. Every time he remembers that it's time for a new lease, he raises my rent. So I let other neighbors complain about the cold and other problems while I hide out and hope to remain inconspicuous.

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