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Apartment living is an intimate affair


Apartment living is an intimate affair

This summer I posted this Top Ten list on apartment living. I have now had a good three months in our apartment and decided to update the list.


UPDATED: Top 10 things you worry about when living in an apartment again after 18 years:

10. UPS will drop a large, heavy package at the clubhouse for you and you'll have to schlep it up three flights of stairs. (And since you are still working on your stamina, you will have to stop for a break at every landing.)

9. The balcony you have been asked not to use, because it is unsafe, will collapse and kill the quiet, pot-smoking neighbors downstairs and someone who actually gives a crap about noise will move in.

8. The lathe your spouse is using in your bedroom will vibrate the floor so much the downstairs neighbor's ceiling fan will fall and crush them. (Then again, if the balcony hasn't killed them yet, they probably won't care because they are always high.)

7. Your new downstairs neighbors will channel Michael Keaton from Pacific Heights. (This might not be a bad thing- then they couldn't complain because all their construction projects would drown our noise out.)

6. You will die one day and since you haven't made any lasting impressions, no one will find you for weeks- either your dog eats you, or you don't get your deposit back. (This one stays on the list.)

5. Birds that come to feast from the bird feeders you put on the balcony (without getting permission from management)will get through the screen door, panic, and bad things will happen.  

4. You'll run out of snacks during your late-night movie and when you leave to stock up it will set off a community-wide chain reaction of dog barking that won't stop for hours.

3. While walking the dog through the courtyard, you run into the neighbor who lives in the building across from you and was making love with their shades open last night. You try not to make eye contact and keep from blushing.

2. You have guests and the air mattress they sleep on (because you no longer have a guest room) leaks air all night until the excess plastic has encased and suffocated them. Carrying bodies down three flights of stairs is not an option.

1.You forgot to get any of your holiday decorations out of storage and now have to purchase things that have no sentimental value and make you hate Christmas even more than usual.


Walking toward a killer?


Walking toward a killer?


We walk our dog on weekday mornings along the paths around the university where I work. The paths weave in and out of forested areas and along a creek. They are covered with pea gravel or cedar chips, but a few sections are wood-slat walkways through high grasses. In the mornings, the grasses and surrounding flora and fauna are covered in dew. Our dog loves to chase the birds, squirrels and rabbits through the high grass--coating his fur in a layer of dew, grass, and pieces of blackberry bush. His joy is contagious, even on a Monday morning.

Today, near the end of our walk, I found a laminated list on the ground. It was a 3"x 3" typed, laminated list with 23 names- they were numbered with 12 names on the front and 11 on the back. I didn't recognize the names, but that means next to nothing. I wondered aloud at its origins-- the names and numbers of players on a sports team, a seating chart, rankings of students by grade, etc. (A theme emerged, influenced by the proximity to a college campus.)

My partner, JJ, automatically went dark. His prediction? A hit list. 

Let's move forward on that assumption. A picture of this assassin is beginning to form. I am working on some possible scenarios for the lost list:

  • They are working on his organization skills. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
  • They were supposed to memorize the list and then burn it, but their memory isn't what it used to be.
  • They're a list maker and finds pleasure in crossing off a task- but they only use dry erase pens just in case something doesn't work out.

What do you think? Any good reasons an assassin would carry around a laminated list of their victims?