Thursday, March 25, 2010

This title is oh look! She's eating a bunny! Um... I'll finish this title later, ok?

Biiizeee day. Yes indeedeedoo. Busy busy busy. Bit of running around at work, got some errands done, sorted through some books, bought a house, that sort of thing.

Also managed to squeeze in an ungodly amount of time watching an owl that somehow got her talons on a webcam. In my defense she has itty bitty birdy babies. That trumps fulfilling responsibilities any day.

That said my next priority should definitely be focusing on the whole bought a house thing. That's obviously going to be pretty high priority just by virtue of the fact that it's shopping related. In fact shopping on that scale could actually trump owl with itty bitty bird babies as a priority, and were it not for the fact that it involves housework it probably would. Alas, though, packing does qualify as house work, and watching an owl with a web cam definitely takes precedence over housework. Ask anybody watching the owl with the web cam if you don't believe me. Actually, probably better to ask their dirty, hungry little children. Nobody wants to be distracted when they're watching an owl on a web cam.

And one of the first things to make it into the charity donation box was the book I bought on how to do housework. Like it's so much fun I want to sit down and read about it when I'm not actually doing it. No, I wasn't high when I bought the thing, but perhaps I would have had better judgment if I had been. After all, there's no way I'd throw out a perfectly good book of cookie recipes.

Tell me I did not just write that. No, I will not bake cookies at ten thirty at night. That's ridiculous. Get that idea right out of your head, me.

Of course this could all turn out to be a dry run. The place does still have to pass inspection to my satisfaction, and it very well might not. I know this because they accepted my first offer, even though I knew for a fact they wouldn't like it and they didn't. They accepted my terms even though I know for a fact they didn't like them either. They quibbled. I stood firm. I got my way. That was way too excellent not to mean trouble.

Yes. I do hear myself complaining about getting what I wanted. Yes. I'll stop now.

No! I will not bake cookies! It's about ten minutes later now than it was the last time I thought about cookies. If it wasn't a good idea then it sure as hell didn't magically become a better idea in the meantime now did it, me?

If it's not my house, it's not my house. I'm not attached to the idea of it. I was getting attached to the idea of it, but then I knew that was trouble and backed off emotionally and to my great surprise it worked. How well did it work? Well if it doesn't pass inspection and I'm found an hour later with tears running all the way down to my cleavage and cookie dough crusting all the way up to my nostrils, I'll know I still have some me-work to do there.

But worst come to worst it's still another excuse to go shopping, right? And there are very few things so bad in life that cookie dough can't make them better anyway.

Hey. Cookies. That sounds like a great idea. I better get right to it, though. Nearly eleven.

Gotta go.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hey, if there was a problem with this title don't you think I'd tell you about it?

Hm. Hmmm. Hm hm hm hm hm.


This is the closest I've come to making an offer on a house. It requires much humming (see above) and hawing (not quite sure what that is, but I'll get right on it as soon as I do have a workable definition and/or whatever necessary equipment and training one requires to haw) and deliberation. Definitely a fixer-upper. That's cool if I get it for a good enough price. There's every indication I can get it for a good enough price, too.

Hm (and/or haw).

Been on the market for awhile now. Vacant. Former occupant is deceased. Didn't ask if the guy died on the premises, but come to think of it I should. That doesn't really weird me out, but it is a little piece of history that tends to be reflected in purchase pricing. Hey, he was very old and lived alone. He might have moldered in there! If my dogs are pawing and whining at the floor I want to know what they're after.

I think a big part of why it isn't moving it is the color scheme. The dark, fake wood paneling in the living and dining rooms is complimented by a rich, orangey golden carpetting. The over-all effect is that of a wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling nicotine stain. I think that puts buyers off a bit. Money will definitely need to be thrown at that. Also the kitchen is old in a rustic, completely devoid of charm kind of way. People really place a lot of importance on nice kitchens. Not a huge problem for me, though. It's more than sufficient for stacking pizza boxes in.

Yard's good but needs a fence. Also not a problem. I have good fence karma. You string a little barbed wire for a person and they remember it, apparently. My volunteer fence-putter-upper is on stand-by.

Needs new shingles. Nuh uh. I ain't goin' up there. That'd be straight out of pocket.

The bathroom is a good size. The tub is deep. That's divine. Oh god. I hope he didn't die in the tub. Okay now I'm getting weirded out.


Okay. Refinishing the tub's on the list. That's also going to be out of pocket.

The basement doesn't freak me out (what I lack in fear of dead bodies I more than make up in my fear of squirmy things with bazillions of legs that you get the feeling would like nothing more than to be than deep inside one of your warm, wet orifices and always appear to be in an extreme hurry to find one). Most basements in my price range do freak me out. This is a bonus.

No garage. I pouted as I typed that, but again, if I get this place for a good enough price I'll have enough money left over for a pair of big girl pants to wear while I suck it up. It's not like I'm used to having one anyway.

And that's the little box my brain is running around inside of today.

Hey everybody who pointed out that this whole house buying thing isn't easy: you were right!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I hope this title answers your question, Nessa.

I Shouldn't Have to Tell You This:
Home Selling Edition

  • Don't try to frame and install a picture window yourself before listing. In fact, don't try to frame and install a picture window ever under any circumstances unless you are a certified window framer and installer. No, make that unless you're at least two certified window framer and installers. And well supervised.
  • Be home for longer than one hour a day.
  • If you're only home for one hour a day, make it a more accessible time for people than eleven am to noon.
  • If you're only home for one hour a day from eleven am to noon, don't leave two large dogs in your house that like to attack realtors when you're not there.
  • Take your air mattress and the rest of your squatter fantastic lifestyle kit with you when you vacate for the showing. Finding that crap in the closet gives me the serious oogies.
  • If the buyer prefers e-mail, communicate with them by e-mail. If you keep being pissy about it they might just contact your company and ask them why you're uncomfortable dealing with the hard of hearing.
  • Don't assume your client isn't hard of hearing. They don't owe you an explanation about their preferred modes of communication, so operate under the assumption that it's none of your damn business why they prefer e-mail and just cooperate.
  • Don't be so unprofessional that your behavior inspires three bullet points in a row on a list titled I Shouldn't Have to Tell You This: Home Selling Edition, Mr. Big Dumb I-Won't-Talk-To-You-Unless-You-Phone-Me Crappy Realtor Head Whose Stupid Listing Isn't That Nice Anyway So There.
  • Collect the police notices out of the mailbox regularly.
  • Clean off the scuff marks left by whoever it was that tried to kick in your front door.
  • The door of mystery in the basement? Unlock it. Find another place to keep your strange uncle Marty if you must. Not knowing is scarier than knowing.
  • Don't insist on at least breaking even with what you paid for it three years ago when they opened the tar sands. Unless, of course, you have an insanely rich oil strike you'd like to share with the group. 7-11 isn't handing out $700 hiring bonuses anymore, McDonald's isn't paying $10 an hour to start anymore, and you're not going to find anybody as desperate to live in that house as you were in 2007.
  • If you're going to paint every room, install new flooring throughout and even spring for new kitchen cabinets, go the extra mile and clean the oven. Dude. C'mon. That's like staying up all night to work on your resume and not bothering to wear pants to the job interview.
  • Oh yeah, wear pants. Prospective buyers can be swayed by little touches like that.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Title is conveniently located directly above the blog entry.

My head is filled to brimming with the pudding of distraction. Realtors dance through my dreams at night like three ring binder winged fairies, sprinkling my eyes with hyperbole dust. Days are filled organizing and sorting and throwing away and regretting and digging through garbage and retrieving and ending in a lot less accomplished than energy expended. It's all very giddy and surreal and awesome and terrifying.

Yeah. I'm having a good time. Complacency kills brain cells. Nothing like a good jolt of sheer economic terror to keep the think muscles limber and supple. I really do live for this kind of nonsense.

Got the mortgage pre-approved on Friday and just had the market evaluation an hour ago. The numbers actually do crunch quite agreeably. So far. Knock on wood. Unless I've made a horrible mistake that I'm completely overlooking and aren't going to discover until I'm fully committed and will have to work three jobs - one of them partially naked - until I die just to make the minimum monthly payments. Barring that, though, so far so good. Looks like the next thing to do now is buy a house, since I sure ain't going to try selling this place with a half bald sixteen year old dog taking regular squats in the living room. First we go away then the new flooring comes in. That is the appropriate order of things. It's bad enough Andy the wonder cat kept leaping for the realtor's back every time the poor guy leaned over to look at anything. Always fun to watch someone try to ingratiate themselves to you through gritted teeth, but kitty really needs to learn that what I think is cute can be what someone else thinks is grounds for caticide.

Tomorrow's house was built in 1916 and features 1.5 bathrooms. A spare toilet is the most wonderful thing a house can have, second only of course to a primary toilet. Just one of those things that it's just nice not to have to take chances with in life. Wednesday's house was built in 1920 and features pretty blue siding. Yeah, that's a stretch for a sales pitch, but the bottom line is it's boring but looks like it's in pretty good shape for a pretty good price. I'm staying way way way within my financial comfort zone on this deal, and after all I'm not looking for a house to die in. I'm looking for a house to get me the hell out of the suburbs. Anything that can rescue me from the beige brain rotting blight of planned communityville is inherently awesome. Pretty blue siding is just a great big juicy cherry on top.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'll even throw in a free title!

I have now had a full night's sleep. Also, the little tiny goblins with the razor sharp teeth have stopped nibbling at my toe nails. These facts are likely related.

So. Morning people. Can I just ask why?

We have ordered our entire civilization around your schedule since... oh let's see now... carry the one, times infinity... since forever. That's how long you've controlled everybody's lives. Forever. And what have we night people been doing all this time?

Tip toeing around. Teaching ourselves how to sneeze silently without having an occular haemorage. Being dirty because the shower makes noise. Wondering which will make you angrier - our waking you up by flushing the toilet or your waking up and discovering that the toilet isn't flushed, and then deciding the hell with it, a ruptured bladder can't hurt that badly, and maybe if we just don't drink anything for the next eight hours we can hold it.

Putting you to bed when you come home drunk and answering your phone calls when people break up with you and you've been awake crying half the night and don't know anybody else to call at that hour.

Making appointments when it's convenient for you, even when we're the ones paying.

Oh sure, I mean thanks for the convenience stores and Wal-Mart. You know, seeing as how we can't get absolutely everything from those incredibly cheerful obviously recorded by morning people infomercials you leave behind for us after you've chewed your way through all the topical information and first run series and gone to bed. It's nice to have those options since ordering that crap at three am does nothing to alert the delivery person that leaning on the doorbell of it's recipient at nine am will probably make them cry. You know, because delivery people are as obedient to the morning person rules as the rest of the world is. Cute little boutique shops, professional offices and technicians that don't require a second house mortgage and the selling of blood to afford? All very much in your world and not ours too.

So yeah. Why? Why does it have to be this way?

Nobody's arguing that it has evolved to be this way through necessity. Before electricity humans really sucked at night navigation. Mostly they just found things to bump into, and were found by things looking for food before ever finding food for themselves (excepting, of course, when they managed to step in it). Curling up and lapsing into unconsciousness really is about the only thing a human in a natural environment has any talent for after dark.

For city dwelling humans in the western world there no longer is any such thing as dark, though. It's not like morning people use substantially less electricity than night people do, either - we see you there, with your light bulbs all lit up while the sun's still in the sky. You're not fooling anybody. Never mind all that juice you pump out to stay comfortable during the hottest part of the day while sane people in equatorial countries sleep. Meanwhile the streets are fully illuminated from dusk till dawn with barely anybody making use of all that electricity being spent. You know. Because you complain about how noisy it is when people drive on them.

I propose tradesies. We've done it your way. You enjoyed it. That's cool. Now we get a turn.

Let's not be morning people oriented anymore. Let's be night people oriented. You guys be the deviants. You do the tiptoeing around and the getting inspired just when you need to be getting to bed in order to get enough sleep for work in the evening and watching crappy tv and not being able to find anybody on the internet when you're bored because you're wide awake and everything interesting is closed.

We'll be the super cheerful ones wishing you "good evening!" as you struggle desperately to remember how to make a pot of coffee using only the eighth of your brain that you could persuade to wake up when the alarm went off.


Monday, March 1, 2010

I can't write this title with a straight face.

What are the odds, right - what are the odds that I would start communicating with two realtors whose first names combine to form the full name of someone I knew two years ago on the very same day said former acquaintance should happen to get his e-mail account infested with malware, which then led me to see two familiar names that I was expecting to see in my in-box and then in the warm, cozy cushion of trust that is my brain at two thirty in the morning open said e-mail's attachment with unquestioning abandon, only to quickly realize that things of that nature most certainly are not generally featured in real estate listings - nobody's going to want to eat anything off that counter again - and that I'd unleashed a torrent of passionate spyware that I have only now, eighteen hours after the fact, managed to eradicate, right? I mean really, what are the odds?


No hell no it is not funny. But it is okay, you know? I just have to deal with this crap. I don't have to live inside the poo addled brain that invented it. Now that would make me feel sorry for myself. Think about it - people really do live non-lives like that. Sends a chill, doesn't it?

What is funny, though, is how Trend Micro thinks that a consumer reporting a failure of their product to protect a computer on an epic scale is a great dialogue opener to say "hey, would you like to buy an even more expensive product from us now?" Yes, I laughed for the full forteen hours it took them to fix the damn thing.

Another thing that's funny is that when I went to have dinner one of the tines on my fork was slightly bent, and I quickly looked at the handle and realized to great relief that it wasn't one of my good forks. "Oh good," thought I, "it isn't one of my good forks," and then I doubled over laughing for the better part of five minutes.

Another thing that's funny is absolutely everything when you haven't slept for over 36 hours.

What isn't funny, though? Having only a small pot of instant mashed potatoes for dinner. I think that's the saddest thing I've done for a long time. That's about as sad as wearing your old prom dress at a birthday party for your dog or something.

I'm still writing, aren't I? I kind of dozed off in the middle bit there, but I'm happy that it appears I've come to some sort of lucid conclusion. Hope you liked the part about the elephants - I wouldn't want to have to untangle those parachutes!

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Alberta, Canada
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