Friday, December 19, 2008

Bah Humbug!

Beware, this is a whiny, whiny rant.

I've decided to forego any Christmas spirit in the casa this year. This makes me extremely sad. I love Christmas. I love the decorating and the baking and the gift giving and wrapping and tree decorations. It is something my dear Mamos passed along to me. When the year is extra tough and this year has been so very tough. I think to myself, at least there is Christmas. For me, the excuse to decorate and give is too perfect to pass up. But how can I embrace this when the casa is attacked on all sides from sun up to sun down with noise, noise, noise? I like to imagine myself as a grinch when I type that but really, I am not. Right this minute, as I type this, there is a loud buzz, buzz, buzzing of a an electric saw coming at me from my left. The tiny casa is one half of a duplex in a bungalow court. There are four duplexes which makes for eight units. Five of these units are vacant and the landlord is redoing them ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

THE. SAME. TIME.

This means that not only are we somewhat isolated from happy neighbors since there are none, we are bombarded with the hammering (which right this instant is knocking pitctures off my wall) and get the visual pleasure of bathtubs and debris somewhat artfully arranged outside our door. The workers kept using our tools without asking and returning them unclean. We put a note on them but still, they used them. We had to hide them. They are eating the blood oranges on the tree. The tree does belong to the landlord but we have been caring for the tree for five years now. That aside, the fruit won;t technically be ripe until March. The pick and try and spit it out and leave orange peels all over our garden. They are not bad people, they smile and greet me as the wheel another load of dirt past my dining nook window. The dirt they are dumping in a mountainous pile under the clothesline which they broke. Up until last week, the weather was nice enough to dry our clothes on the line if there had been one available.

Bah Humbug!

The work has kicked up all sorts of dust and debris and I have a bronchial infection. I also have a cold but can't stay home to nurse it, to nap or to decorate because of the noise, noise, NOISE! I would sleep in to aid in the healing process but when the hammering begins at 8am who can sleep?

Bah Humbug!

If there was no construction, I would be baking and writing. I have articles to write and papers to prepare for school. The commotion is so that I am even having problems writing this right now. Bah! I haven't been able to cook or clean or even bathe in a normal manner. When they leave at 5pm and Mr. a-go-go comes through the door shortly after, the poor witch-baby knows it is safe to come out of the kitchen. She hunkers down in the far, far corner not moving an inch but sometimes she howls when the noise is particularly loud. Poor witch-baby.

Bah Humbug!

There are fresh new cracks in our living room wall that skate across in a glorious pattern. There are small pieces of plaster hiding in my water glass on skipping about the floor. When I showed the landlord, he told ne they would replaster. All I had to do was move everything out of the way. We would then have to repaint the wall. Oh joy!

Bah Humbug!

In a none too admiring light I am cranky. I am uncomfortable. I am whiny and mad. I am sad for the lack of festivities. The tiny tree is out but I cannot muster any energy to decorate it. Whine, whine, whine. We have always had a pretty good relationship with our landlord. We know that he needs to do the work but how much of it is acceptable? Would it be inappropriate to ask for a break in our rent? When I looked it up online it suggested that a landlord must wither give you a rent break or put you up in a hotel. I shouldn't complain. We have water, we have heat, we have power. We also have new cracks in our walls, noise pollution that drives us to leave when there are things to be done and piles of dirt and debris all around us. Yeah, festive. Don't ya think?Can you see what I am talking about?

7 comments:

  1. What a nightmare :( Are they anywhere near being through? We added a workshop last summer and the noise made me crazy too.

    Now the hammering and sawing is over, but I have to listen to the neighbors' lawn services which consists of three guys with leaf blowers going at the same time.

    Go ahead and ask for a break on the rent. The place is nearly uninhabitable so you might as well.

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  2. I really feel for you! I can't stand noise at all but what you're going through sounds like torture. I'd be thinking of moving out. Easier said than done, I know. Your poor kitty (is it a kitty you're talking about in this post? I just started reading your blog, sorry)To tell you the truth, I think the landlord owes you free rent while this is going on. How would s/he like living with that all day, day in and day out. Here are some ideas, although you may have already thought of and tried them. Try to be somewhere else from 8 to 5 everyday: library, coffee shop, etc. Make a new schedule for yourself for the time being. Write at the library for 2 hours every morning, return calls and emails at the coffee shop for an hour, lunch somewhere (hopefully free where you can bring your own), matinee movie everyday at 1 LOL etc. If you know when they're going to be done, it might make it more bearable. Blast your music, TV, whatever (at least you have control over that).The fact that they're doing it all at once is good in a way, since it will all be over with sooner.

    Sorry for all the unsolicited advice. I want to help and I don't know how else to do it. Want to come to Indiana til they're done? Sliding around on the ice would probably be less stressful than what you're putting up with there. LOL
    Diana

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  3. PS Do you have a friend in a quiet (at least quieter) neighborhood who is gone from 8 to 5 and wouldn't mind you working at their house/apartment during the day? You could leave goodies you baked, clean a little, be there for the repairmen, etc. who wouldn't love that?

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  4. Oh my goodness - that stuff really isn't funny, and as someone who is particularly sound sensitive myself I can completely understand why it's driving you to distraction.

    Personally, I'd write to your landlord and explain just how detrimental an effect this is having on your life and state what you want him to do about it.

    I hope it eases up for you *huge hugs*

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  5. icky, ick, ick. What a pain. Your land lord really should be giving you a rent break. It is soo hard to get into the spirit when you are being hammered at, in your case literally, w/ annoying reality. Poo on the outside world for intruding upon the festivities. In the midst of a move myself, so unable to decorate. But that is half the fun, so drink some nog or cocoa, string some popcorn & see if you can drown out the construction by singing loudly.

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  6. You know, you decided to rent from him not just for shelter, but because of a certain atmosphere the place has. That IS what you're paying for, every bit as much as the physical property itself. Because if it had a distinctly unpleasant atmosphere, it wouldn't be worth near as much, and your rent would be much lower (and you would have chosen not to live there in the first place.) So yes, he owes you. It's shocking that it apparently hasn't occurred to him, but maybe he has no idea how awful it is? Or maybe he doesn't care. You don't have a lease do you? My inner cynic would be wondering whether he's trying to get you to move out so he can get higher rent on the place.

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  7. Girl! You TOTALLY deserve a rent break or a hotel break. Ring a community lawyer - get some free advice - get some of the language you need to sound assertive and like you know what you are talking about, write your landlord a friendly but firm letter - give it to him in person, smile and say "I'm sorry to do this, but the noise is driving me mad. I appreciate we've always had a good relationship and I hope it can continue."

    You deserve better than this - it's outrageous!

    Good luck!

    xx Helen

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