Saturday, February 13, 2016

Listening Through the Static and Hoping

In July 2014, Pulse 96.7, an exclusively dance music station, apparently came on the air in Las Vegas. I thought it had been a few months ago, but according to an interview with programmer Joel Salkowitz, it was July 2014.

From my room in this bungalow at Green Valley Country Club near Green Valley and Wigwam here in Henderson, when I first heard about it a few months ago, I couldn't get it at all. I could hear it in the car, but barely a signal in my room. Hold the antenna up a little, and it was only minutely clearer through the heavy static. Drop the antenna and it dropped too.

Now, a few months later, with the antenna still below, there's dance music through the static. The sound rises and falls back on its own, but I can hear more of it. Not like the crystal clarity of one of the omnipotent Clear Channel stations, but it's there.

This coming Friday, my family and I are signing a lease back at Pacific Islands, past Green Valley and Robindale (which I walk every weekday morning, up Robindale, to get to work at Cox Elementary), near the holy intersection of Green Valley and Warm Springs, just before the train track. At that intersection, you take a right, and you get to the rest of Henderson. A left, and you start on Las Vegas. It's the best crossroads for us and one of the reasons we're moving back, after the cigarette smoke in our apartment from above and next to us chased us out well over a year ago.

At our new apartment, which will be at the front of the complex, we have a dumpster across from our patio, behind the carport parking, the recycling dumpster to our left, next to the smaller second entrance, and the front office directly to our right, which means the mailboxes are right there, and the small gym my sister uses. We're more exposed than where we were last time, but the front of any apartment complex is always taken care of better than the rest. Pacific Islands is also remodeling the apartments with new paint jobs, new appliances, new lighting fixtures. Even the carports have been repainted and new street signs are blue with white lettering. Sure the rent's gone up a bit because of this since the last time we lived there, but one of their new policies is that if they either spot someone who hasn't picked up after their dog, or one of their neighbors tattles on them, they're charged $50. I hope this will lead to a policy about smoking inside the apartments, especially considering the hefty investments they've made in the remodeling. One of our new neighbors, across from our building, smokes on her patio. So be it. She has 11 grandchildren and is quite the formidable matriarch. She's earned it, and it's not that often during the day. Plus, there's significant space between the front door of our new apartment and her patio.

It's in this setting that I hope Pulse 96.7 comes in clearly. I don't go to nightclubs in Las Vegas, I don't attend DJ shows, I've never been to the monstrously profitable Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But I love the music. It expands my imagination. I've loved it since the mid-'90s, listening to Power 96 in South Florida when I was in middle school.

Even putting the transience aside, this town is hard to get used to at times, still after two years, because people aren't that open, maybe because of the transience. But I need some stability now, especially after the year of Green Valley Country Club having to fix the overhead air-conditioning unit 11 times (they're awful about fixing anything here), and it crapping out the evening before the hottest day of the year. We had to fight with them on the phone to get them to come fix it the very next morning, and they did. It took about 4 hours after 9 a.m. hit and they began work. There were a lot of soaked t-shirts in order to keep cool, a lot of spraying our two dogs and two finches with water to keep them cool, and it's why I'm used to summer here now. Not just tolerating it. Used to it. I know even moreso what to expect when those temperatures hit the high 90s and well over 100. I can live with it now, hopefully with better air conditioning this summer. But then, the air conditioning units are far better at Pacific Islands, since they're on the ground and not ridiculously overhead, so I know it'll work, just like it did last time.

Add to that the leaking shower faucet in the bathroom my dad and I use, and having to move from the first-floor unit of a two-floor apartment building across the street here because the upstairs neighbors were very loud, and the kids in the neighborhood used to scream around the grass across from our three windows, and they even used our car as a scooter ramp, scratching it. Thankfully, the insurance covered that, but we couldn't handle it over there. Unfortunately, we traded all that for a drafty unit. Terrible in winter, whereas the previous apartment actually held heat, and when it rained, you couldn't hear the rain at all.

So yeah, I'd like some actual stability, and I think it starts not only with the fact that this is the last place for us here in Henderson, but with music that I've always loved and have never been able to find easily here until now. Online, sure, but I don't like to be on the computer all the time. Being that there's no hill after Green Valley and Robindale, hopefully that will help in Pulse 96.7 coming in clearly. For now, I will listen through the static. I will make it the station I wake up to every morning until we leave for Pacific Islands and hope that I can make it the station I wake up to every morning over there. Recovery from moving. Recovery from having moved five times in a little over three years. Time to start living again. Music that I've always loved and should listen to more, and a new apartment to actually live in, to decorate the right way for us (instead of all these boxes, which we're finally going to get rid of), is a proper start.