Monday, May 6, 2013

Do Not Enter...SERIOUSLY!

I have no idea what my deal is. I always manage to live in places where someone somewhere is trying to get all up in my space. I figured that moving to the 6th floor of a building across from a school and down the block from the fancy shopping hub would mean that I'd never have to worry about intruders trying to bum me out. I was in the clear until this last weekend.

Let's be kind and rewind here, shall we? It all really just started after college. I moved into my first apartment alone in Minneapolis. It was a ground-level apartment that was in a relatively safe neighborhood. It was okay until the Great Mouse Invasion. There were mice getting in and it turns out there were drawn to the apartment of my (certifiably) crazy neighbor who hoarded garbage.

Then I moved in with my first male roommates, Perek and Mitch, as a way to escape the mice and crazy. It was a great apartment in the 'burbs and I had my very own balcony off my room that overlooked a small little forest of trees. One morning I woke up to a helicopter trying to land in or near the forest of trees. It was so low and so close that I made eye contact with the pilot. And let's just say that I was not dressed for visitors. So that was a rude intrusion.

When the guys and I moved to the big ol' fancy house in the city and Geo moved in, I was SURE I was in the clear. There were some mice, a bird that came up our back stairwell and neighbors who stole our beer and screamed at each other on the street, but at least I felt safe.

Then I lived with Claire. That was the easiest place to live. Until the cats moved in. Remember the Cat Gate I built to keep the cats out of my room??

Anyway, that brings us to this weekend. Everything was going swimmingly until my neighbors down the hall started getting sketchy. It's a mom and her 2 sons, who are like high-school age but are NEVER AT SCHOOL and their friends always try to get ME to buzz them up, which is just weird. Anyway, then comes Friday night.

Kim had just left when I heard a commotion in the hall. I tiptoed to the peephole and looked out into the hall. What I saw was one of the neighbor dudes with his phone pointed directly at my door and he snapped a picture. I have NO IDEA why he would take a picture of my door, but I immediately got spooked. I felt like my privacy and space was being violated, but I couldn't figure out why. I felt incredibly unsafe, but for no understandable reason.

So I did what I did when I wanted to keep the cats out. I built a high-tech alarm and lock system. Despite the very capable (and multiple) locks that are on the doors in these apartments, I took matters into my own hands and built this contraption.
That's my new Neighbor Gate!

That is a balance ball that is slightly weighted at the bottom, making it crazy-hard to open the door. Then there's an open coin purse full of pennies, a heavy wall hook, a Rubik's cube, my heaviest boots and my purse which is full of heavy, noisy things. If someone was going to break into my apartment, I was definitely going to hear it.

Nothing has happened since that night, and I feel a LITTLE silly setting up various gates every night, but whatever. I guess I wouldn't feel like it was Home if I wasn't irrationally (or not) freaked out by something, right? And let's keep it real...I'm getting incredibly good at building home security systems, right?!

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