The lullaby of chimes and jackhammers

When I lived in New York City, people would assume that I woke up to car horns and garbarge trucks, but that wasn’t the case where I was living. I woke up to birds chirping in the back and unfortunately on windy days, to the sound of chimes. Both are oddities in Manhattan, but we had a tree in the back and this one neighbor had hung chimes from her section of the fire escape. Because this tenant liked her chimes, it meant that all 50+ of her immediate neighbors then had to hear her chimes and was forced to like or hate them too. I hated them, they used to annoy the heck out of me. At times it would sound like an alarm going off late at night.

Now our condo neighbors, which are only 15 feet away from our back window, of course have these gargantuan chimes dangling. The recent Santa Ana winds then had the stupid things chiming and clanking away all night. If those were mine I’d be so embarrassed knowing that they were causing such a racket. It’s one thing if the chimes were inside their home for decoration or outside a house where neighbors were further apart, otherwise you’re just a selfish jerk in my book.

Then as if that wasn’t annoying enough, a persistent jackhammer started to ba ba bang steadily after midnight and for the next couple of hours, thanks to the nearby I-405 highway widening. In the past, I’ve heard the sound of a beeping truck, backing up late at night because of the same construction, but that would at least fade away. This evening though, their work sounded like an Army helicopter was on our roof and playing new age/spa music involving chimes. Worse even, the ear plugs that I keep under my pillow for just such chime/jackhammer emergencies didn’t do anything to mute the sounds.

Study: Redbook writes “Sleep deprivation doesn’t just leave us groggy and grumpy—it also puts us at great risk for obesity, heart problems, depression and motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, more than half of American women get a good night’s sleep only a few times a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2007 Sleep In America Poll. One likely reason [besides jackhammers and chimes going off late at night] 87% of us opt to zone out in front of the tube for an hour before bed rather than turning in early, and watching television stimulates the brain, making it harder to fall and stay asleep. To ensure sound slumber, TiVo your favorite late-night shows for later viewing, and crawl into bed.
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