Shortly after moving into my new apartment complex, I was quickly welcomed to the community with a series of calls from my concierge. “Are you home?” Yes. “Are you bouncing a basketball?” No. (Random)”Have you bounced a ball of any kind this evening?” No. “What are you doing right now?” (Intrusive) Uh, making my bed. “You’re making too much noise, get a rug for underneath your bed.” Okay.

Looking back, there was no way that making my bed was responsible for sounds similar to that of bouncing a basketball. But I was so timid, I had no idea how to tell her how absurd that was to suggest. She would call when I wasn’t home. She would call when I was. But never when I was bouncing a basketball. To this day, she probably still thinks it’s me.

Either way, eventually the calls became less frequent until finally they stopped. The noises in my apartment complex, however, have been going stronger than an Energizer bunny. What lives are people living to cause this persistent stream of noise?

Right now I’m experiencing a periodic banging noise. And the only coping mechanism I’ve found to be successful in helping me endure this unbearably long marathon of pounding noises has been listing all the scenarios that could be causing such a ruckus to occur:

  1. Bouncing a basketball
  2. Hammering
  3. Sex (which would transform “banging noise” into a pun)
  4. Excessively tenderizing a piece of meat with a meat mallet
  5. Dobby the House Elf punishing himself for telling Harry Potter secrets
  6. Aggressively flattening a piece of clay on a surface
  7. A man stuck under a very long and wide table trying to get out from underneath
  8. Persistent knocking on the door from denial that no one is home
  9. Engaging in a prolonged fight over the bathroom
  10. Noah 2.0 building an arc
  11. A resident hulahooping in their walk-in closet, not phased by hitting the walls
  12. A concussed head banger unaware how close to the wall they are
  13. Gnomes in a cabinet excitedly jumping up and down in tall hats
  14. Practicing for a (professional or amateur) pogo competition
  15. A very tall man fist-pumping
  16. A tap dancer tapdancing in scuba diving fins
  17. Learning how to kickbox using the wall – cross, cross, uppercut, roundhouse kick
  18. Frustratedly trying to excavate a genie from a lamp
  19. Assembling a complex, thirty-piece IKEA table
  20. A hard-of-hearing elderly man in a rocking chair too close to the wall
  21. A stomp-only step class

Now cut it out so I can sleep.



Despite being fully moved into my apartment for three months now, I just realized yesterday that I’ve only used my oven twice, my stove three times, and my microwave once. Look, some people are meant to cook themselves dinner every night. And some people are meant to rummage through their cabinets and/or refrigerator playing a game of what-can-I-snack-on-and-call-it-dinner (currently undefeated).

This runs in the family (sorry, Mom). In preschool, I politely outlined in a class assignment just how (un)gifted our family was in the kitchen. We were asked to share a family recipe with the class, in which I recited our favorite dish:

Step 1: Cook the vegetables.

Step 2: Burn the vegetables.

Step 3: Eat them anyway.

If there was one thing I wasn’t, it was a liar.

I personally didn’t attempt using kitchen appliances much, though, so who was I to throw the first stone. When I did, 1 in 4 times something went awry.

When I was 9, I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave. I didn’t realize that when I pressed 3 that meant three minutes and when I pressed 3-0-0 that meant three hours, so I pressed the latter. That was not only the longest snack I’ve ever had to wait for but that was also the day I learned how to call 9-1-1. It didn’t take the full three hours for the microwave to catch on fire and for the whole first floor of our house to fill with smoke.

When I was 14, I had to bake brownies with two of my friends for a school-wide bake sale. They ended up paying us not to sell our brownies when we brought a tray full of oily brownies, because apparently measurements are not a part of the recipe you can play by ear.

In college I grew up in a lot of ways, culinary skills not being one of them.

The freedom of having access to a kitchen I could use at any time was both liberating and dangerous. But the one thing it wasn’t was helpful or conducive to learning to cook, bake, or even reheat.

I did, however, learn some valuable lessons my senior year. A mimosa is not a meal. And placing a piece of cheese on bread and heating it up in the microwave will never taste as satisfying as real grilled cheese. And just because there’s a buy-one-get-one sale on a 1-lb bag of ziti pasta, doesn’t mean you should cook both bags at once, especially if all you own is a medium-sized pot. And adding 1 cup of flour and two tablespoons of cheese instead of 1 cup of cheese and two tablespoons of flour would not result in queso but in an uncooked cheesy bread that should never be dipped into with a chip (no matter how hungry you are).

You’ll be proud to hear, I don’t even need an oven or a stove to ruin a meal.

A few weeks ago, I went to my kitchen, opened my refrigerator, and saw the two avocados I had bought a week ago and was waiting (as) patiently (as possible) for them to ripen. I squeezed them. Finally, I was going to get to make guacamole with these beautiful avocados.

To give you a full picture of the scene, I was so focused on these avocados, I didn’t even turn a light on in the kitchen. I’m like an 8 out of 10 on the hungry scale, so I’m working hastily.

I use a knife to cut the avocado in half and this knife is so top-notch I didn’t notice that I had sliced right through my pointer finger in the process. The moment I see blood, I immediately release a sound oohwhoaaohh and start sliding down the nearest wall. As soon as I hit the ground I realize I’ve just simulated my own faint. I’m not afraid of seeing blood and I haven’t lost nearly enough to be dropping in and out of consciousness.

I chuck the avocado at the ground, because betrayal.

I stand up, and reach for my phone contemplating whether I should tweet about this first or call my mom, but ultimately I knew there would be time for crafting a witty 140-characters later.

What do I decide to say first? “Mom, there’s blood everywhere.” Not true. “I sliced through my finger in an avocado accident. It won’t stop bleeding.” It just started. “I’m going to head to the hospital.” I had been working from home so I then added, “I’m going to have to email [BOSS] and let them know what happened.

But my mom knows me. She instructed me to send no such emails and to, if anything, seek an urgent care facility. But to wait it out to see if it will stop bleeding on its own. I told her “But I don’t want to lose too much blood.” I’m not a doctor, but retrospectively, that was highly unlikely and/or impossible.

Eventually the bleeding stopped, I wore a band-aid for a week and it slowly healed leaving behind a scar reminding me that there’s a cost to “cooking” hungry.

All I wanted was guacamole.

On that note, who wants to come over for dinner tonight?