full life

(no subject)

The Good:
  1. Ween's new album, "Quebec", comes out tomorrow.

  2. Kath and I are leaving for North Carolina on Friday, returning on the 17th. Can't. Fucking. Wait.
  3. I've been reading "The Elephant Vanishes", a fantastic book of short stories by Haruki Murakami. Very Richard Brautigan-esque, but Japanese.

The Bad: Got into a somewhat heated argument with my landlord yesterday. The story is as follows:
  • As Kath was getting ready to leave for work on Friday morning, our apartment got buzzed. Turns out that our downstairs neighbors (of bongo/cowbell practicing infamy) have a huge leak in their bathroom, which is doing a considerable amount of damage. I took Friday off from work, and called my landlord to let him know (in case he didn't already know). He said that he had spoken to them, and that they wanted to come up to my apartment later that night to take a look - apparently the main guy who lives down there knows a thing or two about plumbing.
  • Friday night comes and goes; they never come upstairs.
  • On Saturday, they finally come upstairs. It's at this point that we acknowledge that while we both have been living in this building for over 3 years, we've never formally introduced ourselves. He offers me a Corona while he checks out the pipes behind the bathtub. Unable to find the source of the leak (and also ultimately clearing us of any water-related negligence), he calls the landlord and after explaining the situation, he says that the only thing he can think of doing is to turn our water off from his apartment (since we can't do it from ours) and that, if we need to use the bathroom, we should call him - and that this arrangement will last until Tuesday, which is when the landlord will come by.
  • This, to me, is ridiculous. I can appreciate the need to turn the water off, although I'm a bit peturbed about having to constantly bother my neighbors so that I can flush my own toilet (not to mention that both Kath and I were having some serious stomach issues this weekend) but I can't understand why we have to wait until Tuesday to get it taken care of, especially since we (my neighbor and I) are sure that there's no way our landlord is gonna be able to fix it. So I call him after my neighbor goes back downstairs and I basically say that Tuesday is too long a wait, and I demand that he either get here earlier or at least let us call a plumber ourselves because we're going on vacation at the end of the week and we don't necessarily feel comfortable with plumbers and random people being in the apartment without one of us being here. Especially if the bathroom floor caves in, which could very well happen. He hesitates, and then says that he'll come by on Monday (today). Afterwards, I go downstairs to let them know that he'll be by on Monday, and also to give them a heads up that we'll need the water turned on at 8.
  • As I anticipated/feared, 8am comes and goes and neither of the phone numbers that my neighbor provided are ringing through. So I go downstairs and feel like an asshole, knocking on the door and asking them to turn the water on. While I'm down there, they say that the leak is still happening, in spite of the water being turned off - so they turn it and leave it back on. Doesn't solve their leak problem, but at least I can flush the toilet without needing clearance.
  • Since my landlord lost my last rent check but wouldn't admit it, I call him up to tell him that we're gonna leave the rent checks in an envelope on the counter for him. He says ok, and then he rails into me, about how I was really rude and inconsiderate, and how I have no idea what it's like to live without water, and how when he bought his house 35 years ago his well ran dry and he had to manually fill it up every day for 4 months, and how my complaning about being without water for 2 days was absurd. I said, "You're right, I have no idea what it's like to be without water for 4 months. I don't see why I should start now." Then he goes into this whole spiel about why he won't call a plumber, because he doesn't want to raise the rent, and how it's hard enough keeping the rents the way they are what with this war in Iraq and how oil prices are going up - and here I interrupt him and say "Yeah, you're right. It's gotta be affecting every landlord in the NYC area. And yet, I'm the only person I know in this city who can't sign anything longer than a 6 month lease." To which he gets all huffy, and how he would love to sign us to a 4 or 5 year lease, but that would bankrupt him. And then he just starts yelling at me about how he was in the hospital last week for having horrible poison ivy, and how I was being incredibly rude about demanding that he come to the apartment one day earlier.
This was the last straw, for me. This is the same man who tried to extort $300 from me when I told him that my girlfriend was going to be moving in - he didn't trust that we'd stay together, and he didn't want to get burned if we broke up (which makes no sense, especially because since I moved there in January 2000 I already had 6 different roommates). I love the space, and I love the price, but I can't stand this guy, and there's so many problems with this apartment - in a structural integrity sort of way - that we don't feel safe, really. Because there's also leaks in the ceiling, and half of the windows in the apartment won't stay closed, and while it was nice to break the ice with the neighbors downstairs I don't really trust them. If we weren't getting married in May, we'd start looking for a new place as soon as we get back from vacation, but I don't see how we can afford a down payment on top of all the wedding-related shit we gotta pay for. So it's very, very stressful. I'm sure this particular tension between my landlord and I will subside - we've had rows like this before, except it was always him accusing me of some horrible thing that I didn't do, and we were actually getting along for a while until he lost our rent check last month - but I still feel uneasy about the whole thing, and Kath still harbors this suspicion that he's gonna kick us out.
This sounds really sketchy. Did you make sure to put a stop on the check your landlord "lost"? Seems to me that there's little keeping him from conveniently "finding" it again and then "cashing" it.

I think your landlord and my landlady should meet and fall in love. It seems like a match made in heaven. (This is the same landlady who refuses to turn the heat on until mid-December when standing water starts to freeze in our apartment.)
Re: the check - here's how I know he lost it. In the past, he would call us after a week had gone by. However, it takes him at least a week to deposit the checks regardless of when he receives them, and we've sometimes had to call him and make sure that he received them. So last month, we sent him our checks on the 31st, but we noticed that he hadn't deposited them. We called him, and he got all flustered, and then (while I'm on the phone with him) proceeds to look all over his house for them, and then says he never got them. So yeah, you're damned right I stopped those checks immediately.

I hope your landlady likes her men old, grizzled and toothless.
My landlady is in her sixties, has Sideshow Bob hair, and wears black eyeliner and braces. The more you describe your the landlord, the better this idea gets. ;-)
Sheesh, that really sucks. It would truly be a shame if your landlord had to do his job and keep his apartments in working order. What exactly are you paying him for anyway?

Good luck with that. Where in NC are you going? That's where I'm from originally.
We're paying around $1355 for what I guess could be called a 3BR, which is a huge deal, and which is really, really big. I love the space, and the price is great, don't get me wrong. But the apartment building itself is really, really old and is in failing condition. There are TONS of problems with it, and it doesn't seem to have undergone any sort of "real" renovation in many, many years. My landlord likes to do everything himself, which pretty much means just slathering rubber cement over the whole apartment. Cracks in the walls? Rubber cement. Cockroaches? Rubber cement. Huge leaks in the ceiling, light fixtures falling out of the ceiling, broken windows? Rubber goddamned cement.
It's in Corolla, in the "Pine Island Community." I think that's the Outer Banks? No idea. We're staying in a huge beach house, that's all I know.