Category Archives: Apartment Life

My Apartment Is A Gold Mine…

This is another column-turned blog post, like my shower column, below. I got a little tired of showing my headshot on here, and missed being able to insert silly images as per my discretion. I can’t tell you how much material my apartment has given me for conversation, for blog posts, and, obviously, for my column.

Here’s another look into life on 2nd St in Hoboken—

I have a little secret. Sometimes, I prefer the company of couches.

It’s not that I don’t love my bed, or my pillows (I have several including a fancy one engineered for side sleepers.) It’s just that whenever I find a comfy couch, that’s it. When you find that perfect ratio between cushion give, but not so much that you sink, where else would you ever want to be?

Of course, I blame my wealth of knowledge on the subject due to the fact that last winter, I spent a lot of quality time on the couch. Among my family and friends, I am known as what you would call a night owl. I hardly go to bed at a reasonable hour. But, my logging in of long hours on the couch was not from my nightly habits.

While my roommates and I have been very lucky not to have a run in with any serious pests (except one water bug we caught and another I swear I saw in the utensil drawer that mysteriously got away) we do have another annoyance—our water pipes clang.

Alright—it’s not like it’s on the hour or anything, but rather, it cannot be pinpointed, which adds a whole other dimension of annoying.

I call it our Woody the Woodpecker. There I’ll be, in my room, and there it goes—a repetitive tapping noise that sometimes fires off at the rate of what a machine gun would sound like. I’m can even hear it now as I type this on my couch.

Other times, it starts slow and creeps up, then tapers off. Think of it as the unpredictable barking of a dog, or a car alarm, where soon enough, you aren’t even keeping up with what you were originally concentrating on (like writing) but rather, just waiting for the noise to go off again. Cringe.

When I discovered this unfortunate situation, I roamed my apartment and played Goldilocks around the apartment: which piece of furniture was going to be just right to sleep in? The Lazy Boy, the couch, or the air mattress? Since the air mattress is a tight fit next to the coffee tables, and the Lazy Boy rocks too much, it was clear that my bed for the next few months, at least until the cold weather thaws, was the couch. It was a rough winter 2009.

This year, I’m a little more used to our pet woodpecker, but he still gets me from time to time. Every few nights when I forget to put on music, you’ll know that I’m definitely thinking about making those couch cushions a reality, just waiting for the roommates to retire to their rooms for the night so I can break out my neck pillow. (Also, for some reason, the noise is worst heard in my room, naturally).

Between the freezing shower that I call Chilly Willy, and our Woody the Woodpecker noise that lurks from the southwest corner of our apartment, it’s like a ‘50s cartoon showcase in here, from which, I will watch from the couch.

Quite The Wake-Up Call

In college, as soon as I signed up to be an English major, that was the end of math class, at least, for me. Never again did I have to worry about all those crazy formulas, prime numbers, and other math terms that I can’t even remember now.

Then, why on earth did I have the desire to create a line graph the other day? No, certainly not out of any nostalgia for geometry class, but, I have to admit, perhaps my teacher was right: I do need some math in the real world.

You see, it appears that for the second winter in a row, the shower in my apartment gets stage fright in the morning when it comes to providing hot water. Its nose of a nozzle appears to look down on us on the fact that we prefer to stand in hot water in the morning.

I thought plotting the times on a graph would help me spot a trend. Nope. The same 8:30 AM that gave me hot water on a Tuesday morning did not suffice the next morning, or on the following Tuesday, for that matter. The following times also failed: 6:50 AM, 7:15 AM, and 8:07 AM.


For three girls trying to hop in between one another in our primping rituals while getting ready for work, it really makes me want to convert to becoming a night shower-taker. I was one once, but I switched over when I first moved to Hoboken. In my first apartment, the shower truly spoiled me with perfect temperatures and pressure.

You have no idea what you’ve got ‘til its gone.

In my downtown apartment, I’ve been told that there is a better chance of hot water at night, but now that I’ve switched to morning showers, I can’t go back. More importantly, I’m stubborn, and I just want to figure out how this situation came to be. My roommates and I just can’t figure out why we don’t consistently get hot water in the shower. We get hot water in the kitchen faucet. So hot, in fact, I’ve used it once to sponge bathe when I first learned of our shower obstacle.

We’ve also learned that if you pull the shower handle really hard to the left, the water seems to get warmer. Either that or the sheer strength it takes to pull on the handle heats up our muscles so that we feel warmer. If I had the proper tools to make the handle loose, I’d have no mercy on the shower. We’d probably also have a flood.

Maybe the shower needs a little love. Maybe we need a new hot water heater. Either way, I’m afraid the roommates and myself are in for a few more months of character-building cold showers and ridiculous stories of bathing in the kitchen sink like pioneer women.

At least when we’re older, we can tell our kids, “In my day, we had to take cold showers!” And, just like my math teacher, I’d be right.