Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I did NOT want to start the new year grumpy! ... OR, apartment living and noise "pollution"

Happy New Year, everyone.  What a crock.  As if January 1 is really any different from December 31.  Sure, we've got big plans in the works, what with selling just about everything we own, and donating or throwing away whatever's left, and then moving back home to California.  But today is still just another dreary winter day when the banks are closed and no one gets any mail, and if you need to grocery shop you're mostly SOL.  So I'm bored with it.  Whatever; maybe it's just me.

I've checked all of the online stuff that I could possibly check today, and played all of the offline computer games I can stand, and I've fed myself and the cats a few times, and then...

Stephen started mucking about with Rock Band.  He invited me to join him, so I did.  He plays guitar or bass, depending on his mood (or how recently he's played with any regularity), and I play drums or I sing.  Since I sing all the time anyway, I only sing "with" Rock Band (into the mic for points, you see) if someone else is over and wants to play drums.  For the most part, with Rock Band, I play drums.

Now, the Rock Band instruments do not produce any ACTUAL music, but you can hear the "playing" of the instruments... guitar button "clicks", drumsticks on the pads, and the kick pedal is spring-loaded, so it probably sounds a little "stompy" - if you're listening.

I have lived under some REALLY NOISY people.  Unless the noise is being produced at an unreasonable hour, I don't say anything.  I've only ever called the cops when the noise was unreasonable and OUTSIDE, because there are usually noise pollution LAWS in place.  My cats make more noise running through my apartment than I make "stomping" on my Rock Band Drums kick pedal.  The only noise I ever hear from my kick pedal is the squeak of the spring.

But somehow, I manage to piss off the neighbors, or at least it feels like it.  Today is EVERYONE's day off.  And we were playing in the MIDDLE of the day, in the MIDDLE of the living room.  We were wrapping up, playing our last setlist, when we hear this VERY LOUD banging.  It sounds like it's coming from the kitchen.  So I step out onto the patio to look for the source, and see nothing.  I step out front and ask the neighbor whose wall I share (along the living room and kitchen) whether we're being too loud for her.  She wants to know "when? I never hear you - you never make any noise."  My immediate downstairs neighbor, with whom we share floor/ceiling, has not stepped out, or come upstairs to complain.  I don't think it's him; I think it's actually the downstairs adjacent, because they's ALWAYS making noise.  But to "keep the peace" we quit playing anyway.

It's not fair, and I don't like it.  If your work schedule forces you to sleep in the daytime, sleep in your bedroom, not the living room.  If I REALLY am making too much noise for you, invite me in to hear what you're hearing (and have Stephen "play" the drums).  Don't just bang on the ceiling and expect me to know that it's ME you're addressing.

And now I'm grumpy.  I was having fun.  I LIKE Rock Band.  I LIKE the drums.  I KNOW I'm not really any good, but it's fun, and it makes me sweat, which can't be a bad side effect.  Why do I have to give in to YOUR unreasonable expectations?

Do you have an opinion regarding this rant?  Any experience with apartment living and noise?  I'd love for you to "weigh in" - in case there's a side of this coin I haven't considered.


  1. Keep doing what you're doing, I say. Until someone makes some sort of comment/note to you directly, how are you to know who they're knocking/pounding/broomsticking for?

    If the noise is truly a problem for them, they should contact apartment management, who should contact you. Passive-aggressive BS is usually an indicator that they know it isn't a big enough deal to be a legitimate complaint.

    1. Thanks, Missy. I had kind of reached that conclusion myself, altho I do look to see if his car is in the lot. He's a homeowner - these are mostly condos - and I rent, so I don't know if he knows who to complain to. Although, he does know that he can come upstairs and say something directly to me. I know he works 7p - 7a, so I do try to be considerate of whether he's worked last night. But the living room noise REALLY shouldn't drift into the bedroom, so I'll continue being as considerate as I can but still play, and if he keeps banging, I'll keep stomping. :/


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