Friday, September 30, 2005

Hooray for quick house-ownership-turnaround.

The buyer is requesting nothing be repaired as a result of the inspection. She does want to come look at the old termite spot (fixed long before I bought the house; The Agent is giving her my old termite inspection report, too) tonight, but otherwise I'm free and clear. I didn't really expect anything to need fixing (except possibly the pipe in the laundry room), but still, hooray!

Book meme

This, as I got it from poking around LiveJournals of people I only know by proxy, is the American Library Association's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 list. This is a meme. (Late, but hey, it's still Banned Books week.) But it's about books. So the shame-o-meter is kind of balanced on this one. Bolded are the ones I've read.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (I think)
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine (well, some of them--they were slightly after my time; I read a lot of his Fear Street stuff, though)
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel (first one only)
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (and the three after it)
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (sort of. I've read bits of it several times in bookstores. Does this count?)
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan (always wanted to, though. I read several others of hers.)
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (loved this. I still have it. It's signed.)
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I've been told never to because I wouldn't enjoy it)
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer (inextricably linked to Bridge to Terabithia in my mind, because we read them back-to-back in school)
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Y'know, there are a lot of classic kid's books I haven't read. I'll just have to wait until I've got kids, I guess.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

There was a storm last night.

Waking up two hours late may be the worst thing that can happen on a workday. Not because of being late to work (at least, not in my case) so much as because when that happens, you wake up refreshed and relaxed from a lovely, uninterrupted sleep. And then you look at your watch and it's nine-thirty and you squint at your alarm and realize the numbers are flashing and you look at your watch again to make sure you read it right the first time. And your good waking-up feeling is instantly replaced by annoyed stress and thoughts of "Is it even going to be light out tonight when I get home after making this time up?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Words and seasons

Our new Boss of Bosses has been working with Marie on a problem. He came in this afternoon and said something about "Are you getting tired of this, young lady?" I don't believe he calls Cary or Joe "young man," but I could be wrong. Anyway, they discussed this problem, and Bob said, "We're going to my office to take care of this right now. Bring your poop."

I turned around. One of Bob's favorite phrases is "dork it up," which is funny once and irritating in the aggregate, but I can pass it by. This I couldn't pass. "What?"

He turned to me quizzically. "Her poop."

"Meaning what?" I knew what he meant, I was just aghast.

"You know, her stuff." He swept Marie out while I twitched.

I suppose I could hail it as simply another euphemism. But I can't. "Your shit" is vulgar and "your crap" isn't much better, but at least they're used commonly enough that they actually mean, you know, stuff, in addition than their original meaning. "Poop" does not qualify. Christ.

(I never used "Christ" as an expostulation before I wrote Naomi, who used it. I should do something with her someday.)

In other news, I don't get that job I asked for but I may have made a contact, which pleases me; and it feels very much like fall. I missed fall last year, you know. I didn't realize it at the time, mostly because I wasn't in a state of mind to notice such things, but fall pretty much passed me by (except for one manic afternoon unnecessarily raking leaves, and not really even then). This year I'm in a much better frame of mind, and I love that it's rapidly cooling, I love the sky again in a way I don't in the heat of summer, and I enjoy sitting in my front room doing cozy things rather than feeling guilty about them. It's this last one that really got my attention. I haven't done anything different, it's not really any cooler inside (of course, now the thermostat's off rather than set on cool at 76), but suddenly my same activities feel different. I suppose my incipient move (five and a half weeks!) has something to do with it; fall is my time for new beginnings and I'm embarking on another one. I start to pack as soon as it turns October.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Going begging

I have "Superfreak" stuck in my head. Why are they playing it so often now? Is it because it's Halloween season? And what makes it a Halloween song? Is it that weird not-quite-screeching riff that M. C. Hammer stole?

Ahem. I am trying to write a letter to beg for a job from somebody who isn't advertising they want to hire. It's harder than I'd thought it would be. I can't seem to help sounding like a sixth-grader. Considering it's writing-related, this is not promising.

In other news, I was ousted from bed this morning by the house inspector--I mean, I got out of bed because he knocked on my door. I hope he didn't find anything wrong, except maybe the batteries in the smoke detectors. It only occurred to me last week that I've lived in the house for a year and haven't once checked the batteries.

It also occurred to me, last night, that I still had mint M&Ms from last Christmas in my freezer, and if I waited much longer to eat them the stores would have fresh ones, so I took out the bag. I only ate maybe a quarter of it last night. I'm not sure how long it'll last, though.

Oh, I hope he wasn't grossed out by the piles of dirty laundry in the laundry room, too.

I had a fun meeting Friday with Huxley--now to be known as TB (ask M)--and The Other Jenny At Work playing video games. Well, it was fun except for Huxley being immature and earning his new moniker. This week we've been told no more video games, which is sad. I also told a couple of people at work--Peggy and Marie--that I'm leaving, under strict orders not to tell anyone. Peggy has her own reasons to be unhappy with work and with TB in particular lately, so she'll probably obey, and I know Marie will. Still, I'm feeling this was a risk. But I'd rather trust people than not.

I looked at a house in Toledo over the weekend. The idea of buying a house without a job continues to make me very uneasy. Right now what I want to do is get a six-month lease and house-hunt in the spring. If I go to school fall after next--I'm not going next fall--that'll be only a year and a half in which to live in the house, but it seemed to work okay for this one, so why not? We'll see. I also looked at the classifieds and didn't see anything exciting. Thus this letter that I need to improve to at least an eighth-grade level before I go home and see whether the house inspector stole any of my mint M&Ms.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Recent knitting progress

Here are my latest knitting projects, minus Christmas presents. The shirt is the Tivoli shirt, which looks very nice on me except for the mile-wide neckline; it needs fixing with, I'm told, crochet. The dark object on the upper right (actually dark green chenille) is a scarf in mistake rib (knit 2, purl 2 on an odd number of stitches). The slippers below are the finished Fuzzy Feet, which I love to death. I recommend them for everybody. The sad crippled yellow object is the Bubby bear. I got that far and then realized it was ugly and overstuffed and I hated it, so why finish? I threw it in the waste basket after the picture. And the mass of yarn on the left is some yarn I just dyed with Kool-Aid and Easter Egg dye. The white fuzz on the far left is the batting for TST, not quite denuded of its border because I'm slow and also working on other things. Posted by Picasa

Dear Author of This Proposal,

I thought I knew what the project was about based on the kickoff slides and the discussions we've had of it. However, this understanding is not anything like what the proposal said. This is partly because you refuse to say what you mean and partly because you refuse to say the same thing twice. A hint, Author of This Proposal: when it comes to clarity, synonyms, particularly made-up ones, are not your friend.

On work.

I just got handed a copy of NeverWinter Nights and told to learn it for a project I'm on. This may be the single coolest assignment I've been given while I've been here (though reading the Koran was close--it would have been better if the Koran were easier to read). Figures they're pulling out the fun stuff now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Yesterday and today

The Renaissance Festival was a lot of fun. I did a little shopping (not for me) and had a surprisingly good lunch and enjoyed the shows and the vendors. In particular there was a place with clothing made from hand-woven fabric (cotton--wasn't the cotton gin invented after the Renaissance? Oh well) that was soft and lovely and I wanted it, but there were no price tags and I figured that meant Too Much For You, Lowly Mortal, so I didn't inquire. I also enjoyed the swords but the only ones I really wanted to own were a couple of rapiers, and they were too expensive. There was a girl in a clothing shop who said, "Would you like me to tie you up? Please may I tie you up," but she was probably talking to Eric and not me. Jen left a little early to avoid the rush, which was a smart move. Everyone in the car going home was in favor of creating costumes and maybe setting up a booth next year, so I'd say the trip was a success.

I had a discussion with my supervisor yesterday. In it, he said, "I don't want you to be the go-to person for proofreading anymore. That does nothing for our group." I protested (mildly) that we hardly have any proofreaders, and he said, "That's not our problem." He was also quite disappointed in me for failing to notify him that I was working on the tasks he asked me to work on and asked me about whether I'd be interested in a particular area he wants our group to get into. I'm uncertain but he pushed me into saying no, then said he was going to have me try it anyway and if I hated it too much he'd find someone else. "We'd probably have to hire somebody," he said, not quite accusingly. In fact he'll probably enjoy hiring someone to replace me. Or maybe he'll just buy a potted plant.

Today, he sent me a paper of his I did a tech read for and said, "Proof this." Shortly afterward, Bess begged me to pick up a proofreading job she'd been needing a proofreader on for days. I sent a message to my supervisor asking if I could, then (when he said yes) told Bess he was why I hadn't said yes earlier. She promised to smack him around. Just now she came to me and said, "I punched him. He came in and I asked him what was the big idea? It's not like we have enough proofreaders as it is. I railed on him. Then I said, 'I hope you're not coming for something from me.' He said, 'Not anymore.'"

This week is the company workshop, the one I managed the past two years. I'm not missing it. I'm sorry for Marie, but she's bearing up under the strain much better than I ever did.

Six weeks and a day until I leave. Not that I'm counting or anything.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Analyst abuse.

Only we're not analysts anymore. But we're the lowest-ranking people in the company, Marie and Peggy and New Coworker and me. I haven't heard anything bad of NC fact, I haven't heard anything of her at all, but that's probably because nobody would tell me such things.

Marie has taken over the workshop that I organized the past two years, and these days is, I think, feeling a bit comforted by an officemate who knows exactly what she's going through. There but for the grace of Huxley's rabid lack of interest in the workshop go I. The workshop is next week. Yesterday Allen, spying Marie in the hall, remarked to someone with him, "Marie doesn't look all that frazzled yet. Do you think she's got it under control, or that she's just stupid?"

Today in a meeting Huxley described each person's role in the project the meeting was for. "Peggy is the wild card," he said last. "I don't know what she brings to the project."

"She'll keep us smiling," suggested CS. "When things get ugly we'll turn to her."

"Except she may introduce more trouble than she's worth," Huxley said, laughing. Incidentally, I now see exactly why Middle Easterners are offended by being shown the sole of someone's shoe. Mud-encrusted shoes do not belong on the table and, like excessive chest and back hair, are not things I or anyone should be exposed to in a business setting.

I've been mildly annoyed and hermitlike at work today. Actually, that's my normal state at work now. Seven weeks. I'll fix whatever my buyer wants me to.

elucidate question

I was trying to reconstruct a Magnetic Poetry poem I wrote (arranged?) earlier this year. I needed the words 'elucidate' and 'question' and I could not find them. They weren't on the floor or on the sides of the refrigerator or its door. (The bottom rim of the door was greasy. Where did that come from?) I've lost Magnetic Words! I thought. Then I wondered if they hadn't been single magnets, if I'd constructed them out of other words, which is, I suspect, the real reason I like playing with Magnetic Poetry. For example, I once constructed 'absolve' by layering 'about,' 'so,' 'will,' and 'love.' It was probably more effort than it was worth, but then so are jigsaw puzzles. Anyway, I knew I hadn't constructed 'elucidate' and when I looked I couldn't even find a word that began with Q so I knew I hadn't constructed 'question' either. I went away to work on Bubby's arm--there's an error in the instructions, but it's an obvious and therefore not serious one--and when I came back there was 'elucidate,' buried in the middle of the crowd of magnets that I'd already examined four times. And glancing to the left there was 'question,' off in a little clearing by itself where I had also already looked four times. I huffed. Then I finished the poem. Mom suggested that I get all my checkups before I lose medical coverage (because again, she thinks I'm never going to get another job, ever) and I had my vision checkup fairly recently, but maybe I should go again.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Or not.

I've also seen a hummingbird and some gorgeous butterflies. They almost make up for the kamikaze insects flying into my window with alarming thumps. Can you tell I don't work in the inner city?

How's that for omens?

I just saw two turkey buzzards fly past my window. (Are turkey buzzards the same thing as turkey vultures?) They're quite striking birds. Still.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Do I still have to pester the lawn guy about not mowing my backyard?

(I bought two CDs from, "G. Lee and Jet Blond" and Diana Lorden. Because I needed new music and they were offering all profits to the Red Cross. The former is light and pop-rocky, the music much better than the lyrics, and I really like the latter. I'm listening to it now, while I rip out the border of TST in order to replace it with something that will, I hope, make the sashing look a little less wonky.)

They accepted the offer! My house is sold. Assuming things go okay with the inspections, anyway. I think they will. (In case they don't, how much would it cost to replace a huge cast iron pipe in one's basement that appears to be a drainage pipe?) So, again assuming things go okay, I close on November 4 (Friday) and move the 5th and cede occupancy the 7th. It's a week later than I'd originally planned, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm anticipating moving on the 5th and coming back down to clean (and pick up my car, maybe, depending on how the moving truck thing works) on the 6th. I'll be giving notice two weeks previously. Also, I learned today that we have three floating holidays starting next month, and I'm going to have to use at least one before I go. Right now I just wait for the inspectors to ask permission to enter and start making lists of what I have to do.

Jennifer Homeowner frets.

I made a counteroffer on the house. The Agent recommended I take the original offer but said they would probably accept my counteroffer. Now I'm feeling kind of bad. Partly apprehensive that they won't accept it and partly guilty for asking for more, especially when the terms of the offer make it pretty clear they probably don't have anything to spare. The way it went was I asked for amount X, they offered amount X but that I pay $3000 in closing costs/mortgage points/whatever they wanted to use it for, and I countered with raising X by $1000 and moving back the closing date a week (but still a week later than I was hoping). This way they don't have to come up with the extra thousand up front, but I get it when it's all over. We'll see what happens. Mostly I'm annoyed about feeling guilty for wanting to get what I can for the house--and also for driving up its price. Is that illogical or what?

Regardless, I've still got to get rid of those weeds in the parking space and the sticks in the driveway and the last dried paint from the basement floor. And I've got to call Shawnscape every day until he gives up and sends his guys to mow my back lawn just to get me to stop calling. They did not come yesterday, obviously.

Also I talked to Idiot Green Truck Driver's insurance company yesterday. They'd sent me a letter saying "We have been trying to contact you regarding an accident you had September 3, 2005. Please contact us immediately." I called and the woman I spoke to asked what had happened. "How far out where you? Where was he parked? Which side was damaged? Which way was he turning? How far out was he?" I asked her if she wanted to talk to my insurance company and she said, "No, we have to talk to you. We haven't yet spoken with the insured but we'll do that and then make a final liability decision." I called my insurance agent and left a message describing the call, since she might like to know and at worst it'll only waste a few seconds of her time listening to the message. So not at fault. The rental car I'm driving while Jane is in the shop is reasonably nice, though. And red, which is fun. Still. So not paying for it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sour notes

(1) "You'll have to run all the statistical tests you can think of and pick the results that make us look the best."

(2) I cannot handle homemade spinach-and-cheese-stuffed pasta shells. I don't know why, but I've made them two different ways now and they make me sick both ways.

Monday, September 12, 2005

House and home

I have an offer on my house. Since the house has only been on the market a few days, I'm a bit unwilling to bend to these people's wishes. The Agent says it's a good offer, but I've got the vague, unsubstantiated feeling that he's not concerned about me, just about pulling in his commission as quickly as possible. (Though the offer asks for closing in November, so it wouldn't be that quick.) I'll be asking him more about it tomorrow--he called at 9 PM tonight to tell me. I also had two other sets of people look at the house today--the offer is from the ones who saw it Sunday, and incidentally their realtor forgot to lock my front door behind her--so I'm kind of hoping one of them calls tomorrow with a better offer. I liked the last group of people best, but I suppose all I really ought to care about is their money.

The gem show was fun. There were displays on unusual rocks and how to cut gems and a real-life garden with various specimens in it; and then in the ballroom beyond there were the vendors. The vendors had fossils, mineral specimens, balls of pyrite, crystal wands, loose gemstones, artist demonstrations, everything. It was wonderful. We had an especially good time talking to one vendor who really loved her stones and was overjoyed to be talking to people who knew enough to properly appreciate them--specifically, Eric and Edith. I admitted I knew hardly anything about them and she was still quite nice to me, but it was clear that I was no longer an object of interest. I didn't mind. In another few years I'll be able to talk with her.

I'm currently trying to apply to three different job ads from Sunday's (Toledo) newspaper. I should be going to bed, but I don't want to put this off. I don't know why it's taking so long. It's kind of amusing to have to print a resume out again, though; I haven't done that in a long time. I've also just ordered some yarn from Knitpicks, some for a present and a ball of sock yarn to mess around with glove designs, because I can't let the idea of custom-made four-fingered gloves alone even though Gabe is not going to need them for another four years at least.

The lawn mowers didn't come Friday. I got home Sunday and the lawn was still ragged and tall. The message on the phone said, "We're running late, but we'll get to you by Saturday, or Sunday at the latest." Tonight when I got home the front was cut except for the long weeds in the extra parking space but the back wasn't. I called and he said, "Well, your grass was pretty long, and one of the mowers broke." He said they would be out again tomorrow. Oh, and Brandon (really Guy, I imagine) left another note in my mailbox. Not a chance. I'll be selling the house soon and I won't need to worry about it. I mean to finish cleaning the basement floor (at this point the paint is coming off better with a putty knife than with the Goo-Be-Gone) and get rid of the branches in my driveway and cut down those weeds in the extra parking space this week, but maybe if I take that offer I won't have to. I'm much too lazy to own a home.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A mostly fiber- but somewhat yard- and weekend-related post.

I put the second lining in Unbiased last night. (Second time sewing, not second layer.) It's lovely and I might actually use the bag and if not I'm at least proud of myself. I also felted the Fuzzy Feet and they're a little loose around the ankles but otherwise adorable. You know what I should do? I should take pictures. Maybe Sunday if I come home and find muddy footprints all over my floor. I should hope I do; I want people to come look, right?

I've committed myself to making the teddy bear pattern from Knitty at the needlework group meeting next week. I think this means it's going to have to be bright yellow, as I refuse to buy yarn for it and I think that's all I have that will be anything near the right sort of yarn. There's nothing wrong with yellow teddy bears, right? Think Paddington. With jaundice.

My earphones are making my ears itch. Yes, I'm transcribing again. I was supposed to be proofreading a paper, but it didn't appear, and then Phoebe asked me to proof a different one, and now it looks like they'll both be coming to me very shortly at the same time, but only if Ivy is actually at work today and not home sick, so--I'm transcribing. It's easier when I'm not faced with a lifetime of it. Anyway, I have cotton-and-elastic sock yarn. I wonder if making some tiny covers would help? It would at least prevent the cover of the one from lodging itself in my ear and not coming away when the rest of the earphone does.

I chopped up and put away the weed pile in my driveway but not the stick pile. I just hope I've cleared away enough of the sticks on the side of the yard that the Lawn Guy will cut down that overgrown patch. How is it that the waist-high grass is brown while the short(er) grass just beside it is green? Oh well. Also the bush I cut all the branches from that caused that patch to be overgrown (because I didn't move the branches until now and so it couldn't be mown) has gotten twice as big. I knew I should have just cut the whole thing down. On the other hand, the branches now cover the window in my garage, and I rather like that. I also spent some time scraping at the paint in my basement--a putty knife works well, it turns out. So my list of improving the house stands as follows: (1) continue scraping the basement floor, (2) remove pile of sticks from driveway, (3) attempt to scrub off crushed pokeberries from driveway (they leak deep pink juice), (4) have the lawn mowed (today, possibly at this moment since I don't know when he's coming over), (5) cook something to get rid of the smell of green peppers in the kitchen. I don't normally cook with peppers so maybe that's why I'm sensitive to it, but it seemed very strong this morning and the dishes had all been cleaned.

This weekend I'm off to a gem show in Toledo and picking up apartment and house guides and the Sunday ads. And not going to the yarn shop down the street (because I'll be at the gem show...probably not for the full seven hours, but still, no yarn shop, because I'll be at the gem show). And firming up plans for the next several weeks. I do like plans.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jennifer Homeowner's first potential buyer.

There's a church I pass on my way to work, and it has a sign with sayings--not funny ones, usually, but ones intended to be inspirational. I keep reading this week's message as "Fleas don't have to master you." I suppose that could be inspirational, if you were a dog. Don't let your bloodsucking parasites get you down! You're still the dominant life form! Without you they'd die. You are truly their master! Even if they do make you itch unbearably.

Actually, of course, it says "Fears don't have to master you."

Someone and his realtor is in my house right now, looking around. I'm glad I stayed up last night to do the dishes. The Agent came by yesterday and made me sign a billion papers (actually, though, not so many as when I became a new employee at work) and took pictures (I had to keep moving stuff out of the way; I don't think my house is that messy, but it's not display quality) and put a sign up in my yard and it's all official. It's crazy. I kept thinking it ought to be harder to make a move of this magnitude (or at least expense). It feels a little creepy to know that someone and his realtor is looking through every room of my home, opening the closets, checking the water pressure. Noticing that the closet doors are still off the closet. I left them off when I was painting, you know, and never put them back. The Agent attempted to do this for me before he left, but the carpet is too thick and the doors need to be sawn down. The person who's in my house didn't have an appointment, just saw the house and called The Agent because he (or she; I don't know) wanted to see inside. (This despite the overgrown grass and the piles of weeds and sticks. It is a pretty house.) Maybe if he likes it enough he won't ask me to put the closet doors up at all and it'll be his problem.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More calls

(Why am I suddenly so chatty?)

I just called to close a credit card because I don't want to worry about having too many open, and the guy seemed most distressed that a customer was going to close her account without redeeming points for gift certificates--or you could earn only 10,000 more to get round-trip airfare--I feel really bad about this--wait! If you stay with us I'll give you 3,000 more!--

After several rounds of this I stopped saying, "No thank you," and started saying, "Please close my account." Finally, after that last bit about the extra points, I said, "This is as bad as talking to AOL." I think that offended him; he said, "The account is closed, you can cut up your card now, but there's no way to get those points back. I feel really bad about this." Christ. I suppose it wouldn't have been a bad idea to take some of his suggestions, but I was in no mood to be sold anything and I certainly didn't want to have to go through all this rigmarole again.


I called my insurance company. I told the woman I spoke to that I'd never filed a claim before and she kindly explained that they would pay for the damages to my car and then try to get the truck driver's insurance to reimburse them, including my deductible. This is just fine unless the other insurance company won't pay up, in which case I'll have a $500 deductible for mostly cosmetic (I think) damages and an increased insurance rate.

I called my parents, too, yesterday. They both implied that I was being rash and stupid and they were afraid I would end up destitute and alone because I would never get a good job again and my boyfriend would dump me. I tried to explain that I wasn't leaving the job or Dayton because of him, only the moving to Toledo part, but I think they're convinced that I'm finally acting like a stupid emotion-driven girl and dropping everything to be with my crush of the moment. They tried to say they only wanted me to be happy, but Mom at least also added a bunch about "I can't do things for you anymore," and "Children don't want what their parents want for them," and Dad said a couple of times, "I can't tell you what to do." As Eric pointed out, they're only trying to protect their little girl. And I am trying to protect myself from being too much their little girl.

Finally, I called Bev, and that was a much nicer call. She sent me an article from her local newspaper about her and Gabe (about asthma), and he's such a beautiful little boy now. He's come a long way from the little alien baby he was.

Also he's going to have a cousin in May. My other cousin Jaime is pregnant. This means I have to make another baby blanket--I'd give them WUALF, but I'm feeling somehow that it wouldn't be right for them--and maybe a little baby elf hat. I'm also going to look through my fabric stash tonight to see what I can put together quickly into a blanket to donate for the Katrina refugees. (TST still isn't done. I'll have to finish it before I pack.)

This is why pretty people scare me.

New Coworker walked in, looking for Marie. "I just heard something really funny and I had to tell someone," she said. "I just saw Bucky and he said that if women have babies they should stay home and take care of them. Isn't that hysterical?"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Those days are gone.

I cut down the weeds. I didn't pull them because they would never have come up. I tried. Instead I took my hedge clippers and cut down the overgrown thistles and these huge bushes that were taller than me and sprouting beautiful sprays of leaves and black berries (blueberry-shaped; they must be poisonous or people would let them grow, like huckleberries). I almost didn't want to cut them down, but they do make the house look like nobody's done anything to the yard since spring. (Which is true, but irrelevant.) Also I picked up branches. Now the Lawn Guy can come and mow again. The weeds are in a huge pile in front of the side door. I'm planning to let them wilt, and when they're small enough to fit in a garbage bag, I'll put them in a garbage bag in the garbage can and nobody will know that I've never once gone to the yard waste recycling collection area like I'm supposed to.

The Lawn Guy will probably be making my house look presentable on Thursday, which is too bad as I'm meeting with The Agent tomorrow at the house. I'm selling it. I'm quitting my job and moving to Toledo. I'm hoping to have a job there before I go (since that'll make it easier to find a place to live), but if the house has sold by the end of October, I'm leaving regardless. As M pointed out--and as I knew--as everyone I've been talking to knew--I haven't been happy with my job or my city for quite a while, and I have nothing really to keep me here and several reasons to go elsewhere. I'm not a risk-taker, which is why I haven't done this before, but then again maybe the chance of moving without a job will spur me into getting something--anything. I'm not going to be too picky. I need a living wage (which is not very high in Toledo, apparently) and a job where they won't ask me to devote my entire life to it. That's all. (And actually I do have some money to rely on for a few months, assuming I don't lose very much with the house. At first I was thinking longingly of not working during November and December and getting a job in January. Two months of doing whatever I want? Bliss. But I need a job to get an apartment or a mortgage. And if I go back to school I'll need money saved up.)

So I'm going to be looking at the Sunday ads this weekend (we're going to the gem show) and doing whatever The Agent says I need to in order to get the house sold and house-hunting and giving whatever clutter I have to Goodwill and contemplating the lovely thought of walking into work on my very last day, and the even lovelier (if scary) thought of walking out of it.

Oh, and I'm going to be dealing with my insurance company. Eric and I were in the Office Depot parking lot. I started the car, looked in the rearview mirror--a green truck had just pulled into a space a slot or two down on the opposite side, but otherwise all was clear--and pulled out. I put my hand out to shift into gear and heard a crunch. The green truck had backed out into my left rear door. We all got out and the driver of the green truck said, "I don't think I'm at fault here." He said it several times. The first time I said, "I know, your insurance company tells you to say that," but afterwards I just ignored him. The police officer he insisted on summoning (Eric called and was told that the police can't file a report or make a citation on private property, only mediate the exchange of information) tactfully told him he was, indeed, at fault, while I muttered aside, "Yeah, I hit him good with the side of my car." We filed a claim on the insurance website that day. They say they'll get back to me within one business day, so tomorrow I start pestering them.

I finished the Tivoli shirt, but the shoulders are too big. It's knit from the top down, so this is problematic. I also finally painted the inside of my bathroom drawers--now that I've decided to leave; figures--and started some Fuzzy Feet, which is just another reason to leave the house, since I've got hardwood floors and slippers are just not the best things for me to wear on hardwood floors. I slipped in the basement again, trying to finally clean up the paint that caused me to slip the first time. I'll get it done though. Soon, too, looks like.