Monday, April 02, 2007

Oh, so they want to play

Warning: gripefest coming on...

I've been trying over the last few years to be a less reactionary person... taking the 'moral high road' so to speak; going to people who are stepping on my toes and trying to calmly discuss the issue with them and arrive at a resolution, but this approach also assumes that the other party involved has some regard for entities outside of themselves.

The apartment I live in is a tad shabby, but it is in a relatively safe neighborhood, the rent is currently reasonable, and there are good neighbors all around. A minor caveat: the walls and floors are poorly insulated, especially against sound. I can often hear conversations that my upstairs neighbors are having in a normal tone of voice. My roommate and I usually work second shift and we typically sleep until late morning due to this schedule. Lately we have been awakened to the sounds of DMX, Eminem, and assorted gangsta rap artists (think of LOUD REPETITIVE BASS-LINES) starting around 7-9am. I tried to go up there and explain to them that we slept late because of the shifts we worked, the walls and floors being poor sound-insulators, and politely asked if they would please keep their stereo turned down in the mornings. I thought everything was good and no sooner had I gotten back down to my apartment when they TURNED IT UP LOUD ENOUGH TO RATTLE THE PICTURES ON THE WALLS... and they left the volume right there. I took no action because it wasn't worth my energy at the time. This morning they were at it again and lately I have been incurring lots of sleep debt because of them.

The sound ordinances in this town are such that anyone making excessive noise at any time of the day is fair game to have the police called on them, but I really don't enjoy wasting the PD's time with petty noise-wars and other such frivolous issues. So... I happen to have a nice little sub woofer attached to my computer stereo system. I keep it turned all the way down most of the time but when it is at top volume, it outstrips their stereo by at least 30 decibels. So I took the sub woofer, mounted it on top of my entertainment system, pointed up into the ceiling, cranked it all the way up to top volume with a bass enhancement plugin running on my computer's music playing program. I put it on the loudest, most brainless, obnoxious, repetitive club song I could find in my music folder (Noname - I'm Your DJ, Johnny Vicious Remix) and set it to repeat for a good 20 minutes. The trick seems to have worked for now. Time will tell if I need to take this approach again. My next step may be to go down in the basement and start randomly flipping the circuit breakers for their apartment.

Yeah, this probably seems like an immature, retaliatory method for dealing with the issue but I already tried the nice-guy approach and I am heavily dependent on getting enough sleep.

Currently dreaming of the future time when I will have my own house on my own land and not have to deal with things like this.

Thanks for listening to my whining.


Anonymous said...

Hey its better than calling the PD on their punk a$$! I'm all about respect when it comes to sleep. I worked 3rd shift for a brief brief time, and sleeping during the day was tough... ah, yeah it didn't work for me so I gave in to returning to my normal day shift. Good Luck!

nonsequitur said...

Third shift is a brutal adjustment... I tried pulling a few third shifts back when I lived in Burlington and it made me feel like death warmed over for several days afterward. I think I'm a second shifter for life :)

Mike Airhart said...

I understand the metaphorical utility of fighting fire with fire, but what should I do when my neighbor plays my favorite club music too loudly?

"OH! So you think YOUR Kaskade's so loud, huh? Well let me show you how loudly *I* can play Kaskade!!"

Good luck with your neighbors....

nonsequitur said...

Haha, playing each other's favorite genres of music is not likely to happen with these particular neighbors Mike :) They seem to like country, hip-hop, and gangsta rap... three of my least-favorite styles (save for country, which I don't mind in small doses by actual talented artists). Since the writing of this post, I've had to administer a few more auditory psych treatments, but it appears that my methods are beginning to work. Their reaction time on turning down their stereo is improving drastically.