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How to Deal with your New, Loud Neighbor

Why do the loudest people always listen to the shittiest music? Why can’t I have a neighbor that blasts Best Coast and Minus the Bear during the day, then the best 90s jams on weekend nights? We could bring each other beer and make mix CDs. Instead, I am forced to listen to death metal while cooking dinner and crappy techno that shakes my bed until 3 in the morning. Enough is enough; after two weeks, I’m ready to shed the Minnesota niceties and declare war. Are you in the same spot? Join me in trying these techniques of torture.

1. Burn calories!

I’ve always refrained from doing cardio DVDs in my apartment because I didn’t want to disturb the people below me. My upstairs neighbor is always stomping around, shaking my dishes. I can’t imagine the havoc that jumping around for 45 minutes would wreak on the valuables of the people below. Now, the deal is off and the tennis shoes are on. The most effective time here is going to be when you get up for work, so between 6 and 8 am. Don’t be afraid to move between multiple rooms, either. If he’s a sound sleeper, he’s not going to hear you stomping around above his kitchen.

2. Make complex smoothies upon waking

This is tricky because you don’t want to upset the neighbors next to you. Your best bet is to set up shop by the outlet halfway between your living room and bedroom and let ‘er rip for a good 2 minutes. It’s even more torturous to stop it now and then to mix the ingredients around and do a taste test. He’ll think you’re done and breathe a sigh of relief, but that’s not happening today, mister!

3. Set up speakers facing the floor

Make a playlist of your favorite obnoxious Top 40 hits, plug in your computer speakers, and lay them on the ground face down. Turn up the volume, make sure it’s on loop, and leave for work. If you’re feeling more sinister and your safety screens allow, get a power cord and lower your speakers to his window. Only when he’s driven mad and has to step outside will he see what you’ve done.

4. Party!

Make sure your friends bring their dancing shoes (and don’t take them off) and invite your DJ buddy that can never get a gig.To avoid pissing off your other neighbors, placate them with some Miller High Life tallboys and weak conversation about the weird people in the building next door. Utilize community dances like a conga line or the electric slide to maximize your impact.

5. Have loud sex

Pull out all the stops! Encourage your partner with suggestions to constantly change positions and locations around your apartment and to go “faster baby, YEAH!” Since Mr. Techno is playing his heart out until the wee hours of the morning, this is a game of endurance. He can drown you out for a while, but he’s got to have a breaking point! Just get some lube, some toys, and Cosmo’s 365 Sex Positions book and you will come out victorious! Afraid his music will ruin the mood? Have your own sexy jams playlist on repeat to drown it out. Just don’t forget to brew extra coffee in the morning.

If all else fails, you can always just knock on his door and ask him to keep it quiet or use headphones after 8PM, or even report him to the management company. But that’s denying your true passive-aggressive Minnesotan nature, isn’t it?



A Note to Future Suitors: Things I Will Not Apologize For

You guys always go for the quirky, cute girls. What you don’t realize when you come my way is just how many quirks I have. I’ve learned to embrace them - they help define me and make me so irresistible to you. Now it’s up to you to take them or leave them. Here’s a primer on what you’ll be expected to put up with once you’ve garnered my discerning affection.

1. My Fragility

My parents were not a good genetic match. Humans are supposed to pay attention to pheromones to instinctively recognize a partner that will produce the most ideal offspring (see Two Days in Paris). Instead, they produced me. I’ve got medical problems a mile long and prescriptions that would put me on the street if it weren’t for some great health insurance. You’re just going to have to deal with my asthma, acne, allergies, trigger points, herniated disk, stiff neck, easily bruised skin, horrible eyesight, and catastrophic digestive system. It’s a shame bodies don’t come with a warranty. But every boy wants a damsel in distress, right?

2. My diet

This ties right into #1. I’m at least trying to fix things, alright? This means I don’t consume meat, wheat, dairy, soy, beans, caffeine and I try to have a healthy, mostly vegan diet. Don’t try to bring me to B-Dubz (would I really be dating a guy that likes a place like that anyway?).  Be prepared for minor breakdowns at restaurants that don’t serve anything I can eat and ready to try foods you’ve never heard of. I promise to make positively delightful meals & treats for you, but accept my messy cooking style. Do you even realize how many ingredients and dishes it takes to make vegan & gluten-free macaroni and cheese?

3. Rampant elitism

I can be a major misanthrope. Having spent my entire childhood in gifted & talented programs, Honors & AP classes, and academic summer camps, I was surrounded by people on my level. My dad even taught me to drive much-superior manual cars. Going to a public university introduced me to the rest of the world, Uggs and all. I am still baffled by how such dullards can survive for so long without major consequences. You’ll have to deal with constant rants about frat boys and sorority girls, Crocs, obesity, smokers, useless majors, poor drivers and reality TV. I promise to constantly lavish you with compliments and praise about your brilliant creativity and witty banter.

3. Road rage

Having been in a major car accident and being constantly cut off on my moped, I have developed a healthy sense of driving aggression. Add that to the elitism mentioned above and I am a positive monster when I get in the driver’s seat. My driving style has been described as a “slow-motion Bond” and “purposeful.” I’m looking into amateur race car driving, too. Maybe it could dissipate this road rage, but I know it’s probably just going to make me that much more aggressive. Driving a manual car means that I’m constantly engaged in my environment and the task at hand. No other drivers seem to do this, though. I am constantly yelling (usually with the windows rolled up) at people who make poor lane choices, cut others off, or drive too slowly. It would be great if you could participate in this by shooting the offenders with your imaginary lazergun or squishing them between your fingers. It will make me laugh and keep you from staring at me in horror over the obscenities spilling out of my mouth.

4. Use of profanity

Steven Shein necklace
Steven Shein necklace (see more glitter jewelry)

Those obscenities? Get used to them. My sailor mouth often disarms people, just like my tattoos and crazy stories. I may seem quiet and reserved at first, but the vibrant red hair should have tipped you off. One of my favorite words is fuck, and it constantly peppers my conversation. It’s so useful to have a word in the human language that can convey anything from disgust, excitement, anger, to lust. I don’t just love you - I fucking love you; leaving the toilet seat up isn’t gross, it’s fucking disgusting. Emphatic!

5. The hair I shed

Okay, I’m a little sorry for this one. I have a ton of bright red, very long hair. Unforunately it doesn’t just stay on my head looking luscious and perfect; I shed a ton of it, too. Just accept the fact that you’re going to find strands in your beard, on your hoodie, and in your wallet. At least no one will need to ask who you spent last night with, right?

6. Playing Top 40 music in my car or in the shower

I am not afraid to like catchy songs from any genre - just look at my running playlist. When I’ve still got my runners’ high from my stint around Lake of the Isles, Bon Iver isn’t going to keep that alive. When I’m en route to pregame at a friend’s apartment before going dancing, can Andrew Bird really meet my needs? Don’t be too alarmed, though. I promise I don’t listen to songs until they invade your dreams and I’ll always turn the channel when Pitbull comes on.

7. My refusal to wear clothes indoors

If you have a problem with this, just say sayonara now. You’re probably gay and need to do some soul searching. I live alone and one of the primary benefits is the ability to do everything naked. Doing the dishes, brushing my teeth, sleeping, etc. I know my body isn’t model-worthy, but I’m pretty okay with what I’ve got and this is what you signed up for. Maybe I’ll occasionally throw on that silk robe I got in Paris when it’s chilly to add a little suspense, but why go through the work of peeling off layers when the mood strikes suddenly?

You’ve been given fair warning.