Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adapting to a troublesome situation

I know, I know, I'm not blogging enough. Sorry. There just isn't much going on. I could tell you what other people are doing, but that's not my job. So I'll tell you about the annoying little "trouble" light on my alarm pad.

So when they built these apartments they wanted this building to be all super-cool-European-flat-like (I know: I moved in here when they were first built and that's how they marketed them. It worked then; this time, eh). The parking is on the first floor with a gate, and also on the first floor are alleged shops. I say alleged because for the ten years this building has been there, the only thing that has managed to stick around is the hair salon and the police sub-station. There is a little stop-and-rob but I can't see it lasting since the guy's hours are like 7:30am to 5pm or something. He is never open. He just sort of makes his own hours. Really not convenient when you are talking about a convenience store.

Anyway, so you go into the lobby that has a sitting area that no one sits in and the mailboxes and the elevator. You remember the elevator - those dogs are still just as stinky as ever. The doors from the garage and the outside into the lobby area of course require a key. Then you go up to your floor and down the hall and there is your apartment. In each of the apartments is a security system. The City of Beaverton, being the City of Beaverton, requires that every resident pay $10 for the very idea of this security system. If you want it activated you have to sign on with an independent company and pay that separately. But if you don't want to you don't have to. No matter what you choose, however, you still have to pay the City of Beaverton your $10. I paid $10 to get the crap annoyed out of me pretty much nightly.

So this $10 key pad on my wall by my front door is lit - it has a green "ready" light, and then some "region" lights that light up when, say, you open the front door or the deck door or if somebody throws a chair threw the window or something. That's it. There is also a little light marked "trouble" that I never noticed until one night about 2 months ago when I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I heard beeping, about every 5 seconds. Be-beep (one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand, five one-thousand) be-beep. You get the idea. I don't generally turn on the lights for the mid-night pee simply because it hurts. But this night, I thought, Oh crap, the smoke alarm battery is dying. Having just moved in I grumbled to myself about how irresponsible it was for the management company to not have looked into this, but as I neared the smoke detectors (moving AWAY from the front door) the sound got fainter. And the little smoke alarm lights were solid green. Hmmmm. Finally I followed the be-beeps and found the "trouble" light ablaze. Well what the heck does THAT mean? This building is a fortress for Pete's sake, and since I am on the third floor and Spiderman doesn't exist in real life, I am sure no one was climbing onto my deck. Tired, I gave up and just went to bed. I fell back asleep pretty fast. And forgot about it until about 3 weeks ago.

The be-beeping thing started happening one night while I was watching TV. Nobody dropped a vase upstairs, I wasn't doing laundry, I wasn't using the blender. Just sitting there watching TV. TROUBLE! Be-BEEP! Gads. Not knowing what to do I just continued to put up with it. It stopped on its own accord. And started again in the middle of the night. It became pretty sporadic, maybe every three days or so and only for a few minutes, but gradually started increasing in frequency.

About a week ago I went to the key pad and just started banging on the numbers to make it stop. It did. The lights went back on ("ready" and "trouble") after about 10 minutes but the be-beeping didn't come back, so that's my remedy now. Bang on the keys until it stops. So trouble is in the air, but the $10 key pad knows I know so it must figure it's doing its job. Every now and then I will see that the trouble light is out, and if it's right before I go to bed I just sigh heavily because I have learned that trouble will definitely begin brewing sometime right after my TV timer in my bedroom goes off.

I am learning to live with trouble. I let it lull me to sleep last night. When I got up this morning I needed a little mental kick-start to remind me of the routine I have stuck to for the last 15 or so years (brush teeth, wash face, put in contacts, moisturize, take vitamins) and I ran in to a couple of walls early on, and forgot how to get to Lincoln Tower and lost my place a couple of times when answering the phone, but I think I am getting used to it. I'm pretty adaptable.


At 8:19 AM, November 01, 2007, Anonymous Becky H. said...

I don't know how it's possible for a multiple paragraph blog entry about a beeping sound can be so entertaining, but you manage to make it so. You really should write a book - you have quite a knack for writing, Joycie. Please keep the entries coming. It's been a week since your last one...I can't take it! B.


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