Karaoke Terrorists: Episode 3

When last we left you, we had a face-to-face confrontation with the Terrorist neighbors. That was back in April. After that, we went full throttle into calling our Community Officer and writing to the landlord. And while the noise is somewhat lessened, it’s still a weekly thing. And we’re talking “lessened” as in our house no longer vibrates every time they karaoke, but yes, they are still karaoking. On top of that, since the weather has finally turned nice, they have taken to blaring Vietnamese pop music from the house sound system to the backyard while 10-30 of them gather every weekend to smoke and drink and be complete inconsiderate assholes. They have a car port behind their house which means their cars are all surrounding them as they hang out- sometimes 6-8 cars clog the driveway and the backyard as they sit around a makeshift table and grill, toasting with beer after beer, one upping each other in the volume department.

Are we supposed to be grateful that the noise isn’t AS bad? Because, fuck that shit. It’s still a nuisance, persistent, and rude. We cannot hang out in our own backyard if they are out there- the sheer volume of their conversation is enough to drive us away but then they add the music, OHMYGOD THE MUSIC IS SO BAD. I can’t even. Yesterday I stood outside my back door and filmed this 22 second clip of it:

Yesterday’s party started around noon and went past 8pm. We finally retreated to the basement living room to eat our dinner and watch TV so we could drown out the noise. Upstairs is the worst when they are partying and then our bedroom- even in the basement we can hear it because our bedroom window looks out onto their driveway and living room window. We called the cops around 7 when they started doing a sing along in the backyard. Someone pulled out an acoustic and they were kumbaya-ing in Vietnamese. A little bit later they cranked the karaoke sound system up because WHY NOT?

When we call the cops before 10pm, the dispatcher reminds us that the noise ordinance doesn’t go into effect until 10 but our Community Officer told us to call regardless. The cops will only come out if they aren’t busy. The last two times we’ve called, we didn’t speak to cops so we’re not certain they came by but the noise level lessened. Because they have turned down the bass, the noise level might not be as bad for other neighbors as it is for us now. There is no one sharing their yard from the back (the house is vacant) and we haven’t met the neighbors on the other side.

Maybe you’re tired of hearing me complain about these guys but can you blame me for venting? Would you want to come over and hang out in our backyard for a cook out when that was happening next door? I’d be embarrassed to have anyone over! We were considering getting a new fence put in but with them as our neighbors, why pour the money into it when we can’t go out into our own yard and enjoy it?

I’m calling our Community Officer again, talking to a lawyer friend about drafting a strongly worded letter, and writing again to the landlord but this time sending the first letter and the new letter certified mail to ensure it’s getting to her. I’m sick of feeling stressed out in my own house because of these inconsiderate dickheads.


The Karaoke Neighbors: Episode 2

I tried the nice approach. We have called in noise complaints three times in three weeks and police have come out to shut the party down. We’ve tried enduring it, turning up the TV, shoving earplugs deeper in my ears. The neighbors insist on loud karaoke parties weekly, sometimes 2-3 times a week. Friday night, I was home alone and their party started up around 8 and was still going on past 11:30 when I attempted to fall asleep, rocked by the vibrations of their bass. By Saturday morning, I was pretty much a wreck. Having endured The Music Man for five years while managing the apartment, I have some sort of PTSD when it comes to this shit. I broke down crying to Mr. Darcy. I feel so stressed out living in our house! How messed up is that? That these fuckers should impact my enjoyment of our home to this degree?

So then it’s Sunday and my family is over for Easter dinner. It’s a beautiful, sunny day so we dined outside as did our neighbors and their mounting crew of people. As we sat there eating, more and more cars drove up the driveway and their chatter increased. I became very tense, worried that what would follow would inevitably be how they celebrate every holiday and every damn day, really. More karaoke.

It was about 8pm when we started to feel the vibrations. We’re sitting on our couch, clear across the house, and can feel it. We talked about what to do, tried to watch some more of the show, but then Mr. Darcy was like, “I’m going to go over there.” So of course I said I’d go too even though the thought of it made me want to throw up. As we walked across our lawn, I had to stop to take a deep breath. As ballsy as I might be, I loathe confrontations like this. I just want to be nice and have everyone get along. I don’t want to have to negotiate with karaoke terrorists.

We knocked on the door multiple times which turned to pounding on it because their music was so loud they couldn’t hear us. I knocked so hard my knuckles hurt. A guy opened the door and I think I said something like, “Your music is too loud.” He kind of shook his head but appeared drunk and I’d never seen this guy before so I said, “I want to talk to John. Where is John?” He wouldn’t get John and meanwhile the karaoke singer just kept going even though she could see us standing there at the door. I broke my own rule and swore during a confrontation saying “I’m sick of this shit.” I try not to do that because it always escalates the situation. The drunk guy blearily said something like, “This is my house blah blah blah.” I’m like, “This is YOUR house? Where is John?” He tried to shut the door in my face and that’s when shit got real and I don’t totally recall everything I said because I was SICK OF THIS SHIT. Mr. Darcy said I kind of lost it. Yep, I did.

I smacked that damn door open and said loudly, “I WANT TO TALK TO JOHN!” Over and over until John appeared. I was going nowhere. I had reached my limit of nice and it’s not pretty when I cross over. There’s a reason people think I’m east coast. Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy is standing behind me ready to punch that little drunk dude as he was getting in my face. John finally came to the door and came outside to talk to us. Darcy introduced himself and we attempted to reason with him. We tried to be nice. We want to be neighborly but when we can feel the bass from our couch clear across our house, it’s not cool. At one point I almost started crying, lamenting how I didn’t move to the suburbs for this after enduring the apartment managing for years. I don’t know you guys, I was kind of breaking down under all the stress. Meanwhile. some chick kept opening the door while we were talking to John to yell in Vietnamese. He’d wave her off, she’d shut the door, then a few seconds later, she’d do it again. These people are crazy, man. Mr. Darcy made sure to repeat to John: You understand that we are giving you this chance to make this right? That we need the volume and bass turned down? He said yes and honestly, when we got back home, we couldn’t hear it.

As we were walking back to our house, our across the street neighbors arrived home and hollered over, “Good! I’m glad you went and talked to them. I’ve had to go over there in my pajamas it’s so loud!” So we walked over to them to meet them and talk about how crazy these karaoke people are. It helped to know we’re not the only ones suffering and that if it came to it, we’d have more neighbors on our side to get these assholes evicted. We also learned that the woman who used to live in our house before it was purchased at auction and flipped, had a son who murdered someone. The neighbor showed us an iPhone video he shot of the SWAT team surrounding the house, looking for the suspect. The woman/mother was the only one home and they tore her house apart. Holy shit! I hope us living here can bring some joy to what was obviously a very sad house. If only we can get these karaoke neighbors to cooperate or leave.

From now on, we’re not negotiating with the terrorists. We’ve got the police noise complaint number memorized and will use it. We’ve looked into the tax records with the help of our realtor friend but it only shows the address next door for the landlords. I’ve got a few other friends with sneaky connections who are investigating the landlords. I am determined to locate them and inform them of the situation. The across the street neighbor said the lady who owns it is very nice and had mentioned she might open the house up to a section 8 renter so I’m also going to call that office. This is a neighborhood of families and retirees. These people are in the wrong damn neighborhood and they’ve pushed me past my breaking point.

Things & Other Things

Life continues to ramble on as I wait for the onslaught of doctor’s appointments scheduled in early September. I find myself crying at odd times- the day after I have my first session with a new therapist specializing in grief and infertility or in the office of my acupuncturist that I hadn’t visited since the week I found I out I was pregnant. And not so odd times- when a favorite song plays and my voice catches as I sing along, hugging old friends that I miss terribly, watching moms with their babies, thinking about how far along I’d be if. . .

We took a quick trip to California for a cousin’s wedding where I got to see, hug, and laugh with extended family, visit the ocean, drive across the Bay Bridge eight times, and see some of my oldest & dearest friends (albeit too briefly). It was a nice distraction.

My August is busy, busy, busy. First the California trip then this weekend, Portland to celebrate Jenny Two Times’ 40th birthday, then back to Seattle to ready our house for Mr. Darcy’s 40th birthday gathering on the 24th, then to the Washington coast for some, hopefully, quiet and disconnection from all the busy. I’ve decided I will rest in September though I’m sure the Universe hears that and laughs, readying a plan to thwart my best intentions.

So many of you have asked about the karaoke terrorists and I have been meaning to update you but part of me worried I would jinx it. We had sent a second letter to their landlord with some strong wording that basically hinted at forthcoming legal action if we didn’t hear from her and she finally called. She seemed reasonable and took our complaints seriously. She told us she intended to speak to them directly and that if they didn’t knock it off, she would not renew their lease in November. We also learned she has six people on the lease over there. SIX! Uh lady, that’s your first problem. All of them are under 30 too. And, when she spoke to them after our first letter they told her we were complaining because we hate Vietnamese people. No, but we do hate your raucous parties, blaring music, and complete disregard for your neighbors.

After our phone chat, we noticed a decline in gatherings and noise. There has been zero karaoke that we can hear and when they do have people over, it’s a lot smaller and less rowdy. Sometimes on Fridays and Saturdays it appears that no one is even home! Guess they found somewhere else to party which is fine by us. After months of enduring their nonsense, the peace and quiet is welcomed. Hallelujah!