Austin Girl

i'm a mommy, a supportive wife (mostly), a loving daughter, a lazy but well-meaning friend, a texan, a reformed party girl, a slacker, a seeker, a chameleon, a reluctant L.Alien, trying to find the meaning of life in los angeles.

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Monday, January 31, 2005

Crazy landlords

so we live in this great place. we love our neighbors, we love our apartment, we love how easy it is to get anywhere in LA from where we are. but we've been plagued with unbelievably horrific landlords. the first, let's call him mr. chu, at least was a colorful personality and reasonably friendly. he gave us korean cake during the holiday. about 50, a contractor, he had a pony tail, and rode a harley. once he showed up at our house wearing leather pants and jacket holding his motor cycle helmet. a very mod korean fella.

when mr. chu fixed things, it was never a good thing. he would never call a professional, but would patch up anything in the cheapest way possible. a true story. our neighbors have lived here longer than anyone else. once before mr. chu bought the building, the tree/bush which covers their balcony fell over the driveway. when chu took over they warned him that the tree/bush had grown back, and he might want to do something (i.e. trim it) to avoid a similar liability. so chu shows up with the biggest drill ever, drills through the cement balcony, loops a metal cable through the holes and wraps it around the tree/bush, bolting it to the balcony. kinda scary.

when we moved in, (into the unit chu had inhabited), we had RATS! or big ol' mice. not entirely sure which, but definitely the rodent family of the larger variety. my mom stayed with us for a week, and was met by one of these monsters in the bathroom in the middle of the night. i hear mom say, "oh great." (she's not one for drama) it ran from behind the john, under her feet and under the sink. two days later she was getting something out of her suitcase and one jumps OUT FROM UNDER HER CLOTHES. that time she did emit a small scream.

so while we're waiting for chu to take care of this problem, my heroic husband takes matters into his own hands. he starts boarding up every hole, crack, whatever in the place. i even researched traps. i found the sticky traps inhumane and yucky (who wants to bag a struggling mouse and throw it in the garbage still wiggling and kicking?) and the traps are nightmarish. then found this thing called the rat zapper: a box the varmints are lured into, and then they get snuffed with a huge volt of electricity. it can hold up to 5 large rodents! you can even get a whole system- 5 rat zappers that all communicate to a motherboard so you can tell when they are full. brilliant!

luckily, we never went that route either. called the city vector control who cited chu and he had to eradicate the problem.

there are so many more chu stories. but he sold the building without telling us. one day this slick guy shows up and says,
"hi. building changed owner yesterday. i'm new property manager. sign lease."
"huh?" we say
"talk to a lawyer" my mom squaks from the dinner table (lucky, mom is always visiting at these interesting times) yes, he shows up at 8 in the evening unannounced. there's a lot more, but i gotta run. more from the landlord chronicles later.


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