Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NPR - Sleeping

I've lived in my place now for over 20 years. Long ago, folks said I should have bought a house and would now see, minus the market bubble burst, the advantages of owning a home. Well, some experts would argue, "Yeah, right." My Dad bought a home in 1964, his first and only and using the GI Bill. He passed away in 1994 after making the last payment and getting clear title.

When we crunched the numbers, we discovered they, since both Mom and Dad worked and paid the mortage, had paid more over those 30 years in interest, insurance and taxes, even subtracting the tax write-off, than the value of house. And that doesn't include the amount over those years for maintenance and improvements they made to the home. The total turned out to be a huge loss for them. They had a home to live one and not for the money.

It was as one analysist recently of the current housing crisis, "it's debt renting.", meaning you're losing money for the privilege of thinking you're buying something. Anyway, I'm wandering from the topic. You see, I love my place, two bedrooms, two baths, 1100 square feet, etc. with a 44 foot deck overlooking the southeast horizon of the Narrows Strait, the Twin Narrows Bridges and Mt. Rainier. And no neighbor above me (top floor).

The problems is the adjacent neighbors over those two-plus decades. Occasionally I get one who likes to invite friends to party into the wee hours of the night, sometimes all night. And despite a noise curfew, which the current manager seems reluctant to enforce for fear of losing tenants (previous ones had no problem), they won't bat an eye waking everyone around them up. And now I have one of those neighbors, who works swing shift and likes to invite friends over to 2-4 am.

I've worked both graveyard and swing shift and it really messes up your schedule, if you let it. You have to reschedule yourself to have a normal daytime life. Otherwise your whole life is shifted 8 hours from everyone else's. And you can understand the problems when your 5-10 pm (after work time) is everyone else's midnight to 5 am. Especially in an apartment complex.

And so after my neighbor's pattern of time and friends became obvious, I took up sleeping in the living room, on the floor with my air mattress and sleeping bag (from hiking). I don't sleep well in sleeping bags and why I haven't done very much overnight camping or backpacking. It always takes me 3-5 nights to get used to the situation, by which time you're back home in your bed.

And so, in the last month-plus with the new neighbor I've managed to overcome this and sleep fairly well now away from him and his friend's partying, and the noise. I miss my bed and probably won't get to sleep in it (its' too close to the neighbor's apartment) until he leaves, likely in a few months. But it's not a problem of sleeping anymore.

So, sometimes you never know when a bad thing isn't and sleep is relative.

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