Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I am an aunt again, this time to a boy! As soon as I got the call that actual labor was definitely happening, around 9 p.m. Monday, I hopped in the car and started driving south to NYC. At 10:30 I was halfway there and zooming down the highway when I got a call from my sister. "So," she sighed. "I had the baby." I had missed the entire thing! Apparently what I missed mainly involved a very very painful and stressful car ride to the hospital (Park Slope to mid-town Manhattan), in a van piloted by my dad. My sister was in so much pain she threw up into a little bag she'd brought, with varying degrees of aiming success. The ride was so nightmarish that my sister, dad and bro-in-law all seem to be suffering from a little post-traumatic stress. As soon as she got to the hospital they wheeled her up to the labor and delivery room and checked her out, and told her (to her dismay) that an epidural couldn't happen -- the baby was coming now. Four pushes later, and out came my nephew: 8 pounds, 8 ounces of tomato-skinned boy. Seriously, the kid was dark red when I saw him. He has cute crinkly ears and makes snurffly kitten noises. And because he came out so fast, his head and face are perfectly round.

My niece met the baby today, and she seems to like him. She declared him " cute" and was petting him and kissing him (and her mom). We'll see how that goes. She turns three on Thursday -- they just missed having the same birthday. As for now my new nephew shares a birthday with Lesa and Miles, which means I'll actually remember their birthdays from now on.

Monday, January 29, 2007

For the past couple of days I've actually avoided clicking on the link to my blog, out of shame that it had been so long since I posted. I had a lovely weekend, though not a very productive one. Saw a couple of fun/beautiful shows, played some fun games with firends, laughed a lot. I'm still waiting for my sister to go into labor (she's due Feb. 1, her daughter's birthday); something might happen at her weekly checkup today that would help move things along. Meanwhile, have I been getting extra sleep in anticipation of potentially pulling an all-nighter of driving and birth-partnering? No, I have not. Not for lack of trying, but I'm going through a serious bout of insomnia due to excitement/stress/anxiety. My adrenaline isn't shutting off, all due to the new house, waiting for my sister's phone call, and a new romance that's a-brewing. That's three things at once that individually would have me waking up at dawn with my heart pounding, and feeling hungover from lack of sleep for the entire day. B vitamins are the only things keeping me upright.

Still to do on the house, and soon: Get rid of several more piles of empty boxes (yay!); unpack and arrange my Meaningful Objects (i.e. crap, tchotchkes, knick-knacks); hang all of my pictures/shadow boxes; dust and sweep/vacuum. Slightly longer-term, but still important: buy a large rug (or two), buy two more chairs for my dining table, buy two stools for my kitchen counter, get an electrician over to fix my front door light and hang a pendant lamp for me. Note how all of the longer-term items cost me money. I just got my propane tanks filled, and they left a card saying how many gallons they put in and how much the gas costs per gallon, but didn't say the total cost for the fill. I'm too scared to do the math myself and I'm waiting for the actual bill... It might be scary-high. But I've been trying to live my life without fear, and so far the results are very promising.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I just read a news article in the local paper that referred to Grampy's, a convenience store that's been a 7-11 for several years now. The long-time residents still call it Grampy's, though, since 7-11 isn't very specific.

The house is great. I have no complaints so far. Well, maybe the sound on the lofty second floor is a little echo-y; I'll have to devise a way to dampen that. I have still to unpack all of my studio stuff and knick-knacks, but everything else is pretty much set up. Last night I called my neighbor friend so she could come over and learn how to feed the cats (in case I am suddenly called away by my laboring sister), and we decided to eat dinner together. I was in the middle of making some previously-frozen salmon steaks and pasta with pesto, and she brought over a salad and a bottle of red wine. It was fun times.

My cats have been driving me crazy. There's no easy way to keep them from my bedroom loft, and even if I could, I'd be able to hear them meowing. Junebug especially is insistent that 4:30 a.m. is time for breakfast, and it takes multiple shoves off the bed to get her to leave me alone for another half hour, when the routine repeats. I can't ever give in, of course, because I'd be teaching them how to get me out of bed. I'm pretty frickin' tired. Maybe I need one of those magical automatic feeder machines! But then maybe one cat would discover the food and eat it all before the other one was aware of what happened. Hmm...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hey, look at me -- I'm finally in art-o-mat! Click on my name to see samples. The whole process only took me three years (cough). Hopefully they'll be available in machines soon...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I’ve now spent two nights in the house. The cats are still acting nervous but seem to be enjoying all of the high places they can now access. I still only have minimal furniture – my futon mattress is on the floor – but I was able to unpack all of my clothes and some of the kitchen stuff, as well as set up my TV. Last night I visited a co-worker who lives a few houses away. Her cottage is adorable and cozy and filled with the kind of friendly, interesting clutter I like. She made me a cuppa tea and when I was leaving made me take some leftover eggplant parmesean. It was lovely.

My laptop is sick. When woken, the screen flickers and then dies after a few seconds. Luckily I have Applecare, and repairing it should cost me nothing. I dropped the computer off at Yes today, where it won’t even be looked at for 2 or 3 days. The agony! My baby has been taken away. It’s going to be rough, but not as rough as no-computer-and-no-TV. At least I now have delicious, delicious digital cable. All of the movie channels are unlocked (not the premium on-demand stuff, however) for some undetermined trial period, but I still didn’t find anything I wanted to watch at 10:00 p.m. last night. I’m too ashamed to tell you what I actually ended up watching.

I’m looking forward toi finally getting all of my stuff into the house, even though I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to put everything. It’s like playing dollhouse but with a real house. Which is fairly obvious and goes without saying, but there it is.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My closing was yesterday, and I was a homeowner!

Note the past-tense.

Oh, I will be a homeowner -- officially I haven't owned the house at all yet, but I did sign everything and handed over a huge check and got a key, and my lawyer said "now, officially, you're not supposed to go in there until the deed has been registered..." and I said "OK, as far as you know, I will not be entering the house." And I then drove over there with a car full of stuff, including my TV and my computer, so I could meet the cable guy and get hooked up. I spent the day moving my clothes-on-hangers, my plants, all of my hanging artwork, and some various random items. I used the toilet on the first floor, and the plastic arm which raises the water stopper thing in the tank broke, so I went to a hardware store, bought a replacement, and repaired it. I hung a picture in the bathroom. I swept up some of the dust bunnies, and dusted everything. A small hammock had been left on the top porch, and I lay in it dreaming of spring.

And then my lawyer called me from the road at 4:15, saying there was a problem.

Apparently the bank thought it was missing a piece of paperwork which they in fact did have, and the check was very late in getting to the seller's lawyer. They got the check, finally, at 4:05 -- five minutes after the registry of deeds closed for the three day weekend. Now the seller just needed to sign some legal indemnity thing saying I would not hold her responsible if I broke my leg on the stairs or something ... But the seller's lawyer had taken off from work early, mine was in a car heading to NYC, and anyway, the seller "wasn't comfortable" signing such a thing, since those indemnity things can be contested in court.

I'm leaving out the frantic drive to the seller's law office (which was closed) and many calls with the seller's nasty, prickly realtor (though I have the seller's cell phone number, I didn't use it) in which I begged her to talk to the seller and convince her to sign the thing. But no. The most galling part was the realtor saying that the seller felt like she had already jumped through so many hoops and had bent so much throughout the process that she wasn't willing to bend any farther. What the fuck? Her expectations must have been crazy and unrealistic, because we've been super-easy about the whole deal. I even bought her furniture, for a very fair price! (I bought her house for a very fair price, too!) Apparently she's very "by the book" so blah blah blah good for her. Enjoy my giant check.

Whatever. After an embarrassing phone call with my realtor in which I was crying too much to speak clearly, I spent a few hours yesterday evening with a splitting stress headache and feeling like someone took the house and burned it to the ground. Then I recovered somewhat, and I called all of my friends who were going to help me move, I called the utilities so I would have electricity and heat in my apartment for a few more days, I rescheduled the truck rental, and resigned myself to being in this apartment a bit longer than I had planned. Everything I own is in taped-up boxes, so I can't spend this time making artwork, or reading, without doing a lot of unpacking. I definitely can't cook. And of course I have no TV or internet access. I did finally remember that I can watch DVDs on my laptop (which I'm writing on at the Woodstar right now) and I happened to have the "Stella" DVD set from work, so I watched some episodes on the couch with the cats.

My realtor has been exceptionally sympathetic through this whole thing, and she says we should do a smudge-stick-smoke-purge of the bad mojo left behind.

I guess the big move will be next weekend, which is not a three-day weekend; the present three days will be completely wasted on me. I will try to find something creative to do outside of my depressing apartment. Maybe go to some movies by myself? I don't know.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hey! What are you doing this Saturday, say around 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or so? Want to get some exercise, hang out with awesome and funny people, and see my amazing and funky new home? Then you should help me move! Email me if you're interested. I've got 3 definites already but I can't shake my utopian vision of 10 people showing up and each only having to move a few things. For together we are strong. (If I knew more about Socialism better, I'd have a better slogan for you.)

Today on my walk to work, a guy about 10 yards in front of me appeared to be wearing a coonskin cap, complete with tail. I thought it was cool and retro until I got a little closer and realized it was his hair -- one huge puffy racoon-tail of matted dark blond hair. Nice.

P.S. Thanks, everyone, for the congratulations!

Monday, January 08, 2007

First of all, this is my 900th post.

Second of all, the bank appraisal came in -- at exactly my purchase price! Suspicious, yet awesome! I guess I'm actually going to be buying a house Friday morning. Whee!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Update: I did not hear from the bank appraiser on Friday, though my mortgage guy at the bank attempted to track him down. I guess we'll hear Monday. So I am just going to go ahead and believe that I'm getting the house and that nothing bad will happen. I don't have much of a choice, since the seller is moving out of the house today, and this is the last weekend before I'm planning on moving so I need to pack. A lot. The seller sold me a bunch of her furniture, which is a HUGE relief. Now I'll have something to sit on in the living room! Amazing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Still waiting to hear about the appraisal! The Processor needed me to fax over some more documents. And I have to meet with insurance people tomorrow morning. Leaving for trivia soon (Smokin' Lil's first).

Today I got a co-worker to put Easy Cheese on her face. It was actually related to a work matter.

I had a dream last night that I was driving through the curved roads of a well-maintained suburb with ultra-green lawns and flowering gardens. Each house had a big sign with the sale price on it, and almost all of them were priced less than the house I am buying. Sometimes dreams are easy to interpret. I am still barely holding the line against illness; a cold is trying very hard to creep in...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year! It’s two-thousand and heaven (because nothing else rhymes well) and goddamn, this year has got to be better than the last. On the Eve, I did in fact dance my butt off, though because I’ve been working out I never had to take any rest breaks.

I also had a very productive weekend – there’s nothing like an impending move to put a fire under your ass (again with the butt references). Most incredibly, I am now almost finished the art-o-mat pieces I started oh, 3 years ago or so. They should be mailed by the end of the week. I also sewed some slipcovers for my Ikea POANG chair and ottoman, sewed a cat toy from some scraps, did some laundry, culled my sweater and hotel shampoo collections, cleaned half of the bathroom, and started packing. I always forget how time-consuming and distressing packing is. Part of me enjoys the organizing and the busywork aspects, but the other part of me wonders where all this stuff came from and why it takes so many, many boxes to contain it. Last night I was so stressed out and hyper from my day of organizing, cleaning, sewing, and packing, that I was still wide awake in bed, with eyes open, at 2:00. I had to take drugs to get any sleep at all.

House-buying update: Not much to report. Minor septic thing was taken care of. Waiting for my mortgage approval, and right after that should be the dreaded bank appraisal. All of this should happen by the end of the week. Fingers crossed …

Edit! Apparently the bank appraisal is happening tomorrow! I don't know when I will find out the results, however...