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16 September 2010 @ 01:12 pm
The move is now two weeks behind us and I've found almost everything worth finding, except my necklaces.  Not jewelry, just necklaces.  Which is especially odd as the rest of the jewelry is where I packed it... right next to where the necklaces used to be. 

Theft hasn't even entered my mind, as these were all ridiculously cheap and were nothing but vehicles for tiny pieces of moonstone and sea glass.  But I bring this up as I bought a necklace to wear while I waited for the others to turn up, and that's gone missing.  I left it hanging on a lamp yesterday and today?  Vanished.

There's only one explanation: the underpants gnomes have franchised. 

(I expect the necklaces to be returned once the underpants gnomes realize that magpies doesn't carry cash money.)

Did I mention I got three hours of sleep last night or can that go unsaid?

04 September 2010 @ 09:03 am
For the first time in weeks, if not months, I have an actual Saturday.  I don't know what to do with myself.  I need to draw (lots) and paint a tiny bathroom, but otherwise, nothing.

Although finding a color for that bathroom has been a chore.  The tile is a dull yellow holdover from the 1960s (closest is Pantone 600 C with more green in it).  I've tried everything from dark blue to maroon; both looked great but Brown took one look at the color scheme and said, "So we're cheering for State this year?"  He's right.  Every color I throw at becomes a football jersey.  I'm down to white, cream, and brown (color, not husband) .  Brown (same) looks okay but is such an... evocative... color for a bathroom unless it's set off by white tile, and the shower and floors are oh-so-yellow.

You have no idea how happy I am that this is the most significant decision I hope to have to make all day. 
(but mainly for Larry, who might need a chuckle)

I am profoundly sorry for my mismanagement of the discussion on genetic engineering.  When I said, "Dibs on the sex slave with nine penises," I should have immediately diffused it with humor ("tentacle porn has been done to death..."  "because ten or more just gets weird..." etc.).  As this did not occur, the conversation turned, as such uncontrolled topics are wont to do, to the physics of ownership required for a nine-penised sex slave.  The inevitable mental image, which no doubt involved freakish cowboy-with-six-shooter gestures, was not appropriate for polite conversation, or, indeed, should exist anywhere but certain regions of the Internet.

(see what happens when you aren't there, Larry?)
16 July 2010 @ 01:23 pm
Oh SyFy, you are forgiven for "Reign of the Gargoyles."

(I can never stay mad at you, baby.)

((Can you imagine if you were unlucky enough to have been the singer for this?  You go to your next audition and hand them your singer's CV, and they tell you it's excellent but they have some questions about this... Sharktopus?  Could you explain this, ma'am?  Ah.  Um... yes.  Original song, you say?  How... interesting.  A letter of reference?  "Cynthia's commitment to our project helped bring Sharktopus to life..."   Thanks, we'll be in touch.  No no, thank you, we don't need to hear...  No.  Just no.  Henry will show you out.))
30 June 2010 @ 07:34 pm
Dear Internet:  I am sorry I have been so out of touch.  I'm so far behind on reading you that I feel as though I have homework due.  You've hinted there's a Supreme Court confirmation hearing,  and something about the ocean undergoing a dye job, but beyond that your URLs blur into strings of alphanumeric hodgepodge.  Please know you are welcome in our new house at any time: we are having some great fun with the early renovations!  I promise as soon as Time Warner gets off of their butts and lets you in, I will pass you a cold drink and we can spend the nights the way we used to . . baby, I miss your Hulu, your Netflix instant downloads, and that sweet hot Ustream artist/illustrator on Wacom tablet webcam action.
18 May 2010 @ 09:59 am
We think - think, mind you - we might have a new house.  It appears a third appraisal was done, and everyone seems to be satisfied with taking the average of the three appraisals and using that to determine the value of the property.  The updated contracts have been signed, the bank has done whatever it is banks do, and everyone seems happy.  Heck, we're ecstatic - all of this commotion saved us more than $12,000.

I still don't believe this process is over, though.  We have been here before.
13 May 2010 @ 10:20 am
Let's do this all magazine-a-fied and such so the information doesn't get too repetitive:

0 - Contact (email, phone calls, etc.) our agent and our banker has received from sellers since Monday.

1 - Appraisals required to purchase the average home; in our case, the number of appraisals the bank has determined are "invalid," as well the number of appraisals we still need to get.

2 - Appraisals performed on the house.

3 - Days since the close of the contract; alternatively, total number of appraisals required, and days since we've heard from the sellers or their agent.

7 - Days remaining before the contract becomes invalid (important!  See: $6500).

10 - The date (May 10th) we should have closed on the new house; alternatively, the number of "grace days" after deadline during which the sale can be completed before the contract is invalid.

$1840 - Savings kept from the difference between the manufacturers' list price and what I paid for new appliances, which I then returned when we lost the house, but should have kept as we had gotten the house, but it was okay to return them because we had lost the house... wash, rinse, repeat.

$6500 - The amount we stand to lose from the housing tax credit stimulus if our contract expires.

$32,000 - Difference between the price stated on the contract and the value of the home as determined by the bank.

Stress headaches?  Why yes.  Yes, I do have them.  Thanks for asking.  Our agent says that we can likely keep the tax credit if certain conditions are met; sadly, negotiating those terms requires contact with the sellers.  Who have vanished.  I am simply astonished how everything that was a spectacular cock-up two weeks ago continues to evolve into larger, hairier, messier cock-ups. It's like playing Pokemon with home buying disasters.
As of nine yesterday morning, we had lost the house.  The first appraisal was the one that stood as best reflecting the overall value of property and the sellers could not let it go at that price.  I immediately went over to Sears to return the appliances we had purchased.

As of noon yesterday, we had gotten the house. I swore my ass off for losing the Earth Day discount (30%) plus North Carolina appliance stimulus incentive rebates (15%) on the appliances... it's fine.  It's fine.  It's fine, I reminded myself they already delivered the fridge and that was fine as the old fridge was over two decades old and was making death rattles and the sale price was still valid for that, but now I have to go through all of those damned price checks and discount hunting again and I'm never going to find deals like those...

As of nine yesterday evening, we were back in limbo. The sellers "really want to make it work," even at a massive loss to them, but they don't know for sure...

For the record, we were scheduled to close on May 10th.  We feel absolutely terrible for the sellers and have (misplaced) guilt coming out of our ears, but right now we just want the process to be done.

06 May 2010 @ 10:38 am
Previously on Adventures in the Life of Someone Who Should Not Be Allowed to Use the Pointy Scissors, our heroine and her husband had just learned that the appraisal for the house they were under contract to buy had come back in at $32,000 under the agreed priceWe rejoin them as they realize they are two business days away from the closing date and they still don't know if they will own the house or not.

Uncertainty sucks.  Literally.  It drains your energy and enthusiasm and replaces it with anxiety, stress, and their fun-fun buddies sleep loss and incidental bickering.   We have made absolutely no progress from the last time I posted through today -- we are told a second appraisal has been made, but Brown and I have no evidence of this. We have also been told that the sellers will walk away from the sale if the appraisal comes back below mumble-mumble value, but they haven't actually bothered to enunciate that particular number in our presence, our banker's presence, or our agent's.

We've done some (rather stupidly obvious) back-of-the-envelope math and it's clear to us that the sellers are highly motivated to move but won't drop below a specific amount.  They are hoping the second appraisal comes back in their favor, and that when the first and second appraisals are averaged together the final amount will be close to or above mumble-mumble.  We cannot blame them for this: if the circumstances were reversed, Brown and I would be doing the same darned thing and keeping our fingers crossed that we won't get screwed on the deal.

What really, really sucks for us is that we don't know where we're going to be a month from now. I don't know if I should use every single waking moment packing, painting, and repairing our current house for sale, of if this will just be wasted effort. It's in our favor that we've moving by choice and not out of obligation - we fell in love with the sort-of-future house - but we are tired, and angry, and so sick of the process that we are almost hoping that the whole thing collapses in on itself and we can stay in our freshly-painted home. And then we remember that it's the perfect house in the perfect location and we will never have to move again, ever, and that thirty years from now it would still be our amazing little artsy cottage in the woods.

I go throw things now.  Grargh.
27 April 2010 @ 08:02 pm
As I contemplated whether I should actually try and slide a coin into this new dime-sized hole in my leg while I still have access to some phenomenal painkillers, it struck me that a blog update was an excellent way to distract me from rummaging for spare change.  So, briefly, I've had some surgery, which is not a fun experience but is necessary to excise (exorcise?) those cells with a mind of their own.  Every couple of years I get some maintenance done and it's just time for another round.  I usually spend a couple of weeks feeling sore and move on with my life.  Always wear sunblock, sex in the champagne room depends on who you ask, etcetera, etcetera.

The septic tank was discovered and is absolutely fine  - we know this as they found it using some sort of specialized poo-camera with a tracking feature.  Apparently someone mistook a vat full of poop for pirate gold and they buried it 35 feet straight down.  There was quite possibly with a curse on it, for as soon as they found the tank, the appraisal came back at $32000 under the price we closed in the contract.  If you have never bought a house, the appraisal is best compared to the mileage on a car:  houses and cars both depreciate over time, and the appraisal lets you know the Kelly Blue Book value of the home at the time you offer to purchase it.  Houses that are in pristine condition can gain value, but houses that haven't been maintained or even remodeled to remain competitive in the market lose value.  With the exception of the kitchen, our new place hasn't been remodeled or landscaped in easily twenty-plus years.  We didn't mind this - hell, we were planning to do most of the remodeling and landscaping ourselves and were looking forward to it - but now it is a money issue as we'd be paying more for the house than it is worth.  Which sucks, and we won't do it.  We even have it written into the contract that we won't pay above appraisal.  Now we get to wait and see if the sellers will drop their price to appraisal value (yippie!) or if they will terminate the sale (dog cocks!).

If they terminate the sale, everything we've been doing for the past four weeks means nothing.  I will invent words.