Archive | condo RSS feed for this section

Change Is Good

30 Mar

Long-time readers of this blog know that I often write about needing change in my life.

Well, today I’m announcing some big changes. Three of them.

The first is the obvious one: I’ve moved my blog to a brand-new home.

After six and a half years at, Martin’s Musings has taken up residence at WordPress, and yes, here at

It’s the same blog you’ve come to know and love, but better.

For example, I’ve done away with the white-text-on-black-background look that screamed “Amateur!” and I’ve chosen what I think is a cleaner look for this new iteration.

In addition, now you can subscribe to the blog, so you won’t miss anything. Just type your email address in the field at the top-right-hand corner of this blog post.

And you now can share the blog posts you like, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and yes, on Google+ too. (All those options are at the bottom of this and every blog post.)

I’m even going to be writing more often than I have been, on some different topics than movies, so that’s something to look forward to as well.

Why is that? Well, that brings us to the second big change … Continue reading

Sweet, Sweet Victory

21 Dec

Generally, I’m a guy who avoids confrontation.

I’d rather just live with an unpleasant situation than confront the person who is making it unpleasant for me.

No, actually, what I usually do is be all passive-aggressive about it, and complain, bitch, and moan — often for the sake of a laugh — even though that does no good in terms of helping the situation.

It’s what happened in my old apartment building, with my violin- and flute-playing neighbors, and for a whille, it was happening with my current upstairs neighbor, who would not only never remove her shoes when she walked around her apartment, but had a proclivity to clean her apartment late at night, and worse, to vacuum her floors at even later hours. Continue reading

Changing Over

6 Jun

I spent a good chunk of the last day of my 35th year doing what any other good straight male would do: I changed over my closet from winter to summer. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) I kinda had to do this, now that the temperatures have gotten consistently warmer and all. An unfortunate truth about my condo is that my closets are too small to keep all my clothes upstairs. But the other truth is that I’m a bit of a pack rat (as has been well documented on this blog), so every now and then it’s good for me to go through my stuff, see what I’ve been hanging on to for way too long, and just get rid of anything I haven’t worn or that’s weathered and old. You’d be surprised at how many shirts and sweaters I just never wore all winter, despite thinking I would. Or how many of the same color shirts I owned. And some things I just wore too often and needed to get rid of them. And, I’ve been buying some new clothes lately that I needed to make room for.

I guess deep down, I wanted to do this today because I thought there was something metaphorical about cleaning up and renewing myself, and purging some old and unwanted belongings, the day before I turn another year older. And what the hell — yes, I also thought I’d get a blog post out of it (and given how few and far between they’ve been lately, that was a bonus).

Cliches and cheesiness aside, it felt good to do this. Not only did I get rid of a bunch of shirts, tshirts, and sweaters, but I also cleaned my apartment in the process and got in some exercise (walking a heavy tub up and down the stairs to and from my storage unit wasn’t easy). And, another bonus, I have a nice donation to make to an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters.

So now I’m sitting here in a cleaner apartment, with less than I had at the start of the weekend, and I’m feeling good about waking up in the morning.

Noises Off, Please

21 Sep

It usually starts after 10pm. That’s when my upstairs neighbor — we’ll call her LC — starts making noise. You can almost set your watch to it. Night after night, it’s like she’s sat quietly in one place, and then, just when my evening is starting to wind down, she gets up and just wanders around the apartment. Sometimes she decides to rearrange the furniture. Sometimes she drops things. And sometimes she decides to vacuum, though she often saves that task until Sunday night. She has a very heavy walk. Oh, and did I mention she wears shoes (they sound like heels) when she’s doing all this?

I must be fated to have bad luck with my neighbors. Maybe I was a bad neighbor in a former life, I don’t really know. But what I do know is that for the past, oh, three years, whether it was the piano-, the flute-, or the violin-playing back at 110, or my current inconsiderate neighbor upstairs, I’ve had some real tests of my patience lately.

Unlike the “musicians” at 110, I’ve actually said something to LC about the noise. For example, there was that one night a year ago when I came home from work late (i.e.: around 10pm) and heard some particularly loud, beat-heavy music playing upstairs. I knocked on her door. No response. I buzzed her from the front door. No response. I slipped a note under her door asking that she not play her music that loudly so late at night. Finally, after 11pm, and another round of knocking and buzzing, she got the message and turned it down. Now she prefers to taunt me with her late-night walking around and cleaning.

Oh, and there was also the time when her toilet had a leak and it was dripping into my bathroom. I was very civil with her and thankful for her quick (though cold and half-hearted) response. So yeah, it’s not like we haven’t ever been in touch.

Don’t get me wrong: I realize that living in a condo (or any other kind of multi-unit) building means I’m going to hear noise from other residents, especially when I live on a lower-level floor. I’m just saying that I seem to have gotten the short end of the stick here. When I come home, one of the first things I do is remove my shoes — not just for comfort and cleanliness, but also because … well, I guess those are the only reasons I do it (after all, I don’t have anyone living below me). And I don’t turn the volume on my TV up as loud as I’d like it because I know that’s rude. So why does LC not show the same consideration? I mean, even my banjo-playing neighbor has asked me if he is playing too loudly (I told him not really) and has adjusted so as not to disturb me.

I know I’m probably not a perfect neighbor, but I’m sure I’m more patient than most. And I’m also friendly; whenever I see LC in the hallway, I say hello to her — despite my frustrations. Maybe eventually she’ll think about her neighbor and will be a little bit nicer to me.

Home Sweet Home

27 Mar

A year ago today I became a condo-owner. It’s amazing how fast time flies. I wish I had some grand statement to make about the anniversary, but I don’t. It’s good to own the place, but to be honest, it doesn’t feel all that different since I have a management company to deal with the pesky details of building maintenance. And my condo was pretty much brand new, so I haven’t had to deal with any big issues of repair like some other new owners might. Still, a year later, it’s nice to not have to deal with a rent increase or the debate about whether or not to move. And sure, I don’t feel like I’ve fully moved into my condo — there’s still some decorating I want to do — but it’s home. And it’s mine. And today, that feels pretty darned good.

Life Is Better

18 Jan

I always thought the first rule of condo-buying was “Get a new TV.” Well, I waited to get mine. But now I can introduce y’all to my new BFF, a 42-inch LCD TV from LG. I ordered it from (low prices, no tax, and free delivery/set-up!) and it arrived yesterday. Woo hoo! The TV was intended to be a joint housewarming/birthday gift, but given the delay, and the fact that I also used money I received for Hanukkah to buy it, and the fact that I was holding out till I got a new job, and then I used a Best Buy gift card I received as a farewell gift from my old company toward the purchase of a stand, the TV is like a big ole belated multi-occasion present to myself. And, since I was holding onto the stimulus check I got over the summer to use toward this purchase, it also allows me to play my part in the jump-starting of the economy.

But forget about all that. My new TV is damned cool. First of all, it just looks great. It’s sleek and black, with a red accent around the edges. The picture on the screen is large, it’s so bright and sharp, the blacks are deep blacks, and the 120Hz makes it all even better. Plus, the sound is good (though I’ll admit, it would be better if I had surround sound speakers). Damn, I love my new TV (and of course, that photo up there just doesn’t do it justice). I can’t wait to watch all my favorite shows on it. Yesterday I watched The Dark Knight using my new upconverting DVD player and it looked good. I even like the TV stand, which I assembled all by myself. But the TV is really awesome on a day like today, what with the multi-colored high definition weather reports and football games and all. And with the snow coming down outside, it looks like I’ll be spending most of today on my couch getting to know my new acquisition.

LG’s corporate slogan is Life’s Good. Today I can say that my life, which was already pretty darned good, is even better. Woo hoo!

The Year of Martin

31 Dec

I can’t believe 2008 is already over, mostly because when I look back on the year, I remember it as being as a great one in the life of Martin Lieberman.

Three big things happened: I bought a condo, my niece was born, and I got a new job. All three were huge, life-changing events.

I mean, my niece being born … yeah. But the condo purchase came after more than six years of living in the same place, and the new job came after more than seven years with the same company.

So I guess there’s very good reason for some of my friends to be calling 2008 “The Year of Martin.” Continue reading


19 Nov

The more things change … I returned to my old second home, Star Market/Shaw’s on Comm Ave., last week and was shocked to learn that the whole place had been remodeled! It was only in April that I moved, and while I now do my weekly grocery shopping in other Star Market locations, I find it hard to believe that I haven’t been back to this one in a long enough time that it gave the store a chance to totally change and look completely different. And don’t get me wrong: It looks great! I really enjoyed walking up and down the aisles discovering where all the foods had moved to. Yes, I know it’s totally lame to be excited about a supermarket’s new look, but I spent a lot of time here during the first 11 years of my Boston residency, so I considered this a big deal.

The more they stay the same … Alright, I finally have to post something about this: My new next-door neighbor plays an instrument. A guitar. Or at least I think it’s a guitar. It sort of sounds more like a banjo. But it’s an instrument nevertheless. And he plays it a lot. Like, every night. However, things are different now. For one thing, a guitar (even one that sounds sort of like a banjo) is not nearly as bad as a violin. Or a flute, for that matter. Secondly, it’s not like it’s soooo loud that it interferes with my TV-watching like the playing did in my old place. And finally — also most importantly — I’ve met my neighbor and he’s a nice guy. So if I was ever that annoyed by his playing, I’m sure he’d stop, even though I know he doesn’t have somewhere else to go. So I’m going to keep a positive, tolerant, flexible attitude about this. Still, it’s totally amusing to me that I’ve moved next to another instrument player. What luck I have.

Ah well. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.


7 Sep

When I was looking to buy a condo, one of my priorities was that it have an actual kitchen, with counter space and room to cook (yes, I really shot for the moon on that one). And believe it or not, in the past two weeks I’ve actually made great use of my kitchen. Last week, I made a baked French toast that was really tasty and totally easy to make. That was a good warm-up. Yesterday, I made whoopie pies completely from scratch — that means no cake mix, no pre-made icing, no easy way out. I mixed the flour and the eggs and the cocoa powder and all the other ingredients all on my own, and made a nice mess in my kitchen. The pies were a challenge at times — my mixer got a good workout — but the end result was worth it. Suffice it to say, they went over really well with my friends. The recipe came from a recent issue of Hannaford supermarkets’ Fresh magazine. If you’re so inclined, I highly recommend making — and eating — them.

Get on the Bus, Gus

13 Aug

Just a quick kudo to the MBTA and their bus service. I was in my beloved Harvard Square tonight having dinner with Amy, and knew that getting home would involve some strategerie. Used to be that when I lived in Coolidge Corner I could just take the 66 bus and it would go right to Babcock St. Now that I live where no buses go, I needed a new plan. Anyway, long story short, the 86 bus went right to the corner of Comm Ave. and Chestnut Hill Ave., and after a quick two-stop B-line ride, I was home in no time. Seriously, the whole trip took less than a half hour — a fraction of what it would have taken if I had used the subway. So, nice job MBTA. That’s a pretty sweet way to get from home to Harvard Square and vice versa.

But if I can just throw in my two critical cents: Why does there have to be a bus stop on, like, every block? It’s worse than the B line used to be. It’s worse than the 66 bus. Can’t people walk like the people who take the train do? Especially considering all the traffic lights we have to stop at, there’s really no reason the bus has to stop sooooo often. Otherwise, I love taking the bus. Woo hoo!

%d bloggers like this: