I’m going crazy trying to remember this. Who is the big name author who told fans to write all the fic they wanted, saying something like, “Come play in my garden,” and then got in a copyright battle with a fan who accused her of stealing an idea? There’s a lot of copyright infringement hullabaloo in fandom right now, and I wanted to go get some grounding in some of the history.
The last four nights, I haven’t gotten a wink of sleep. The first night, there was what sounded like a very loud dinner party next door, with people screeching with laughter long past what most 9-5 people would call a decent hour. When I went to knock on the door to tell them to turn it down, they never opened the door, but one girl yelled, with what sounded like an inner city accent, “Tell whoever it is to go away. We don’t have cable; we have to entertain ourselves somehow.”
The next night I slept great… until 5:00 AM, when whoever it was came home and started moving heavy furniture to unpack a sofabed. I went over to complain, and this time they opened the door wide: it was a young Irish couple, who said they were sorry; they should have thought to do that before they went out.
Last night was more shrieks of laughter and boisterous activity. I finally lost my temper around midnight and asked them to turn it down. The middle-aged woman who answered the door, dressed in a coat as if she was preparing to leave (or had just arrived), seemed confused that there had been previous complaints and said, “This is the first night we’ve been here.” But she at least promised to keep the noise down.
I went back to my room, but although the noise lessened, there was still plenty of it. And her words had been puzzling; I still hadn’t reached any sort of agreement with whomever actually owned the apartment. So, at 1:00 AM, I went back over there, and the woman, now in a dressing gown, explained the situation: My entire apartment complex is being turned into a “residential hotel,” whatever that is. As each person ends their lease, Management takes over the apartment and start renting it out night-to-night. Check-in is at 5:00 PM, check-out at 11:00 AM.
In retrospect, this explains the 15% rent hike they gave me last year–clearly, it was an attempt to chase me out. They can probably make in 2 nights what I pay them per month. And I wasn’t planning on renewing my lease anyway, but my lease comes due in six weeks, and I do need those six weeks to know if I should move my stuff back to Northampton and become a vagabond for six months before moving across the country for grad school, or whether I’m going to a city school and should just get another apartment in the city. So, is there anything I have a right to do in the next six weeks to ensure a good night’s sleep at least half the time?
For the past eight years, I’ve celebrated February 13th. A few of you know why, but basically, it’s the day I quit a lot of bad habits and gained a great friendship. I put more effort into doing something for February 13th every year than I do into celebrating my birthday. And despite the snowstorm, my mom just came by with flowers, hugs, and plans to take me out to dinner tonight. And Sam’s coming in this evening to spend the day tomorrow.
So this morning I flipped back eight years in my diary, looking for a glimpse of who I was then, and stumbled across a list I wrote in great pain of ten things I’d given up hope of ever happening. Most of the things on the list had either happened or ceased to matter in the past eight years, but one item, halfway down the list, caught my heartstrings: “Being happy for a whole day.” With one or two justifible exceptions, I take for granted that any given day is going to be pretty damned good, and it’s hard to think back to a time when that wasn’t so. I think that gulf of understanding is the best gift I can give myself this year.