Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tangential Rant Time

So, in the latest episode of Far Lands or Bust!, Kurt talks about real estate and owning vs. renting.  One thing I know from having rented in the past that he didn't mention was that when you rent a place, certain things get subsidized into that rent.  The water bill is a common example.  For apartment complexes, things like yardwork and maintenance are also included in the rent, because the apartment complex has a list of companies they've contracted for various things like that.

tan( rant ) =

So my experience renting a place was both good and bad.  I liked not having to deal with my parents on a day to day basis, even though I did see them twice per week anyway.  I liked having certain bits of maintenance essentially be "schedule a work date with the apartment complex".  They covered all kinds of things, including regular replacement of the air filter in the HVAC unit.

But you're not here to see me rant about things I like, are you?  No, you're not.  You want to see me complain and rage about things.  Well, here you go.  Also, language, because I don't discriminate against words.

I guess it was just a delusion of grandeur.  I thought that living in an apartment with two other guys that I was already friends with would be great.  And in case either of them ever read this, I mean no slight against you.  However, when one lives with other people for an extended period of time, there are certain assumptions one has, namely doing stuff with the people you live with.  All three of us are gamers, but guess how many games I played with them?  Zero.  Both of them worked at a movie theater, so guess how many movies I ended up going to see?  One, which was Pacific Rim.  There were maybe one or two spontaneous "hey, let's go grab some food" moments.  I guess what I really expected was a bit more spontaneity than I got.  Then again...

There were always guests over.  They were friends and never objectionable people.  While I'm not opposed to the idea of having guests, and certainly not every guest needs to be scheduled in advance, it got a bit overwhelming at times.  This was mainly because the guest bed was a fold-out couch that happened to be right next to my computer.  Whenever someone stayed over for a couple days, I basically lost all my personal space.  I know, I had a bedroom.  It was full of boxes from the day we moved in to the day we moved out.  We planned on setting up the network situation so people's computers could be in their bedrooms, but that never happened.  Thus, 95% of the time I spent in the apartment was right there in the living room, and everything else that happened in the apartment happened all around me.

It also seemed like even when having guests over was a scheduled thing, I got told at the last moment and was typically the last person to find out.  This held true for a birthday party for one of my roommates.  I found out about it from a friend who'd been invited.  Apparently all the planning had taken place on Facebook, and given that I don't really use Facebook, I was out of the loop.  Asking the other roommate later, he said "well, I felt like I could just tell you anytime, and I guess I kinda forgot.".  Okay, that's fine.  But seriously, do try not to forget to tell me about a party when it involves cramming at least fifteen guests into our small apartment and some degree of help setting up.  Really, I do event staffing on a yearly basis, I think I got this.  Just tell me when it's happening and what I need to do.

Also, the specific location of the apartment complex let itself quite well to tenants that I really didn't want to be around.  The complex was mostly targeted at college students.  Students whose mommies and daddies often pay for things like rent and bills.  Students who therefore have very little attachment to the area, their neighbors, or even the buildings themselves.  We never once heard a peep from our downstairs neighbors, but our upstairs neighbors were an entirely different story.  I still to this day don't understand what was happening up there.

I have this mental image of the layout of their apartment, based on all the thumping and things being knocked over on a regular basis, but it has no basis in reality because I never once interacted with them, let alone entered their apartment.  On any given day it sounded like there were anywhere between four and seven people, all male, in that apartment.  Given the noises they were making, all three of us deduced that they very much enjoyed incredibly rowdy gay sex.  We could also hear their conversations with each other on most occasions, because they were the type that only had one volume level, which was shouting.  They called each other "bro" on a regular basis, and also blasted (and occasionally sang along to) Miley Cyrus on a regular basis.  They would litter the concrete patio area out front of our apartments with empty beer cans on a regular basis, and not clean it up, despite there being a single-stream waste disposal dumpster a short walk away.  Plus, one of them was always taking my parking space. *grumble*

The apartment complex itself definitely had its shortcomings.  Our illustrious hardwood floor sagged and squeaked in a number of places.  We had to get all the outlets replaced because the things we were plugging into them would not stay plugged in.  The kitchen was a closet with a horrible excuse for a vent fan in the wall next to the gas stove that always ran ~50 degrees too hot and burned several pizzas that didn't deserve it.  There wasn't even an in-unit washer and dryer.  They had maybe two laundry rooms for the entire complex and they each had three coin-op washers and dryers in them.  The coin receptacles on these things would regularly get jammed and eat your money.  This was one of the two reasons why I still saw my parents at any point during the week, because at least at their place I could do my laundry.

Also, I'm convinced that they had fewer parking spaces in the complex than tenants, judging on how hard it was to find a parking space sometimes.  Plus, it seemed like the apartment manager wanted access to our apartment for something at least once a week, whether it was painting the railings on the balconies, or putting a sticker on everyone's broiler door (gas stoves are weird) that said "LOL DONT STORE THINGS IN HERE BECAUSE IT GETS HOT".  Yet, when we reported that all three of our bedrooms had broken windows, when filling out the move-in inspection thing where they already know everything that's wrong with the place and just want to see how much of it you can find so they know how much they can ding you for later when you move out, they just went "meh, you can live with it.".  So for the entire duration of our living there, we had towels underneath the cracks in the windows, because every time it rained, water would come in.

I don't really have a good way to wrap this up, so you'll just have to deal with the sudden ending.

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