Sunday, July 03, 2005

Apartment Living a.k.a. How to be an amateur CSI

Living in an apartment building always proves to have its interesting quirks. I consider myself pretty lucky overall. My apartment building has probably about 60 or so apartments... not that I count the rooms, but I seem to remember there being about that many mailboxes. Anyway... I live in the back corner of the building, so I really only have two neighbors that I share walls with. One next to me, and one above me. The one who lives next to me, I have never actually seen, but that's not surprising because I rarely see anyone unless I pass them in the parking garage, and this neighbor just moved in a month ago. Anyway, she seems pretty quiet because I rarely hear anything from that side of the apartment. The only problem is that whenever she uses the shower, the sounds of the water running through the pipes in the wall is deafening. When I'm sitting in my living room watching TV and the shower comes on, I literally cannot hear the TV anymore it's so loud. On the bright side, I can only assume it's just as loud when I use my shower too, so I guess I can't fault it too much. It's usually not too bad though.

Now we come to the neighbor upstairs. Again, someone I have never actually seen, but her balcony is actually directly over part of my patio. As close as I can tell, it's some old lady who lives there... and she has cats. Our apartment has a no pets, no smoking policy, yet I know the old lady who lives above me both has cats, and smokes. How do I know this? Well, how can I not. I've seen her cat both in the window sill and out on her balcony. Plus, when I left my window open the other night, I was awoken at about 6am to the sound of the lady out on her balcony talking to what I can only assume was her cat. As for her smoking, if I have the door open, I can sometimes smell the smoke wafting into my apartment, which is just FABulous, let me tell you. Though like I said, her balcony over hangs over my patio... so the result is that anytime something falls off her balcony, it lands right on my patio. She seems to have some nice flower planters on her balcony railing, which she apparently waters frequently, because I just jumped halfway out of my chair when I heard the sound of water crashing down on my cement patio. And considering there isn't a cloud in the sky and it hasn't rained for a week, I don't see much other explanation. The other day I found a lighter on the patio, she must have dropped it one day. In a case of extreme evidence seeking, I decided to dust it for fingerprints.

Of course, I must have lost my Acme Fingerprint Identification Kit, so I had to improvise. Fortunately, considering my friend Andrew is a forensic scientist, he was able to provide me with the necessary instruction. First I needed some "fingerprinting dust" (no, I don't think that's the technical term, but it works). So I didn't have any nearby, but I could use some graphite from a pencil. Of course, I learned this from an old episode of MacGyver. :) I searched and searched for a pencil by only found a golf pencil. But it sufficed, and I used the file of a swiss army knife to grind the lead down for some fine graphite dust. So far so good. Now I was supposed to have rubber gloves... oh well, I must have left them in my other jacket. I'll just try not to touch the lighter too much. I was now told that I needed a paintbrush or something to put the dust onto the lighter. Well, I found a basting brush in the kitchen, it managed to do the trick. And after all was said and done, I found nothing but a big smear of dust and not a fingerprint to be seen. Oh well, it was fun I guess.

1 comment:

Jer said...

I used to live beneath an old lady too. No smoking, no cats. But I can emphathize with the sudden rain on a sunny day from the patio above. And she stomped around a whole lot between 4 and 5 in the morning.

P.S. Ha ha found your new blog!