Thursday, December 6, 2007

Niagara Falls and Austin Natives

OK…so I have decided that my neighbors must hate me. I am sure it is due to the fact that Maverick insists on barking (not just whining…full fledged baying) every morning while I am in the shower or any other time he is left alone in the kitchen while I am in the apartment. Their revenge for the noise created by my adorable pooch is to take showers at odd hours of the night and morning. Now one might wonder why taking a shower is such a bad thing. The fact is I have never in my life heard such terrible noise until I heard the sounds coming from upstairs when the shower is turned on. It truly sounds like Niagara Falls is coming through my ceiling. During waking hours, I can ignore the noise by turning up the volume on my TV or whatever other form of entertainment I might be partaking in. But the late night and early morning showers are enough to wake me from a dead sleep (and that takes a lot if you know anything about how I sleep). During the Thanksgiving holidays while my parents were visiting, my lovely neighbor (who by the way I have never even laid eyes upon) decided to take a shower at 3:30 in the morning. My father was still awake and was trying to determine why I was taking a shower at that time (yes, folks, that is how loud it is). So Daddy proceeded to come in my room where I should have been comatose and ask me what the noise was. Another night it was 2 AM. This morning I guess they needed to be into work early because it was 5:30. Now these aren’t short showers either. I am talking a half hour minimum. This morning’s wouldn’t have been so bad except I don’t normally get up till 7 (ah the joys of living close to work) and it also woke Maverick up who decided it was time to go outside. My dilemma now is this…do I introduce myself to my neighbor and kindly request that they be more considerate of the time they shower or do I suffer in silence until May 31st when I can run kicking and screaming from the apartment world never to return again?

Now on to the Austin Natives (sorry to cover so many topics in one blog but that is why this is called rambling). I have discovered one thing about people who live in this city in the short time that I have lived here and that is they do not like to venture too far from the confines of the community they live in. So those who live in South Austin stay in South Austin, those in North Austin stay in North Austin, etc. The fact become even more apparent to me when I was trying to tell my sister-in-law’s parents (who happen to live in South Austin) where I lived and worked in Northwest Austin. They have lived in Austin for many (30+) years and all I got from them were quizzical stares as they had no idea where I was talking about followed by the comment, “Well, we don’t go up that way much.” So I was determined not to be one of those people once I moved here however, the opposite is becoming quite true. The running joke with me is that if it isn’t off the 183 service road, I don’t know where it is. With the exception of the occasional trip to parts further north (Round Rock) and parts further south (Kyle), I have not left Northwest Austin (more specifically the 183 service road) much. So the thought of venturing too far out of my comfort zone (without the aid of my trusty tour guide) makes me feel like the shut in on October Road when he tries to leave the house. I break out into a cold sweat and start to have chest pains. So imagine my dismay last night when I return home from work and prepare to settle down for a night of classic Christmas cartoons only to discover that my cable box (which I have only had for 3 weeks) will not turn on. After a phone call to Time Warner, I discover that the easiest way to fix the problem will be to return the box to the cable company to replace it with a new one. This would, however, require me to venture off the 183 service road (thanks for the directions, J). So this morning I headed out on my trek to Time Warner located at the corner of Duval and MoPac. I found my desired location with little trouble (I was so proud) but the return trip was a different story. I swear the sign for MoPac South (which would return me safely to the 183 service road) told me I needed to turn left but once I approached the traffic light, I realized that I did indeed need to be in the right turn lane. With no way to make that happen, I proceeded through the light and found the next spot to turn around (at this point, the heartbeat was definitely racing). After turning around and making my way to MoPac South, I hopped on long enough to hop back off in a half mile at the Braker Lane exit (could have stayed on the service road). Finally, I had returned safely to the confines of my part of Austin and my heartbeat started to return to normal. The moral of this story is that I will no longer venture out of my limited travel area without said tour guide who needs to hurry home so we can continue Julie’s tour of Austin in the Mini.

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