Getting closer

We signed the disclosure documents earlier in the week and are having the inspection this afternoon - I'm pretty excited about that. The whole house buying process is starting to feel a bit more real now, like it might actually be pulled off. Here's hoping that they don't find out the place has house AIDS or anything of that nature - basement crabs.


No quarter given

1:15AM - just after the harrowing encounter.

I had gone downstairs to turn out the lights Dan left on in his man-cave, and was just about ready to head up for the night. On the way up I made a stop to use the facilities, and was lost in thought when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye - quick, furtive, darting, low movement across the doorway, towards the kitchen.

My nemesis.

There's no mistaking that scurry - that tan/gold blur of hate - the reckless disregard of nearby human presence.

I finished up and looked left and right before exiting the bathroom, to size up the location of my foe and make sure that he wasn't waiting to ambush my toes as I crossed the threshold. Curse him for matching the color of that damned carpeting the landlady installed before we moved in!

I grabbed my trusty weapon - my hockey stick - which is always nearby to provide convenient protective space between me and the object needing smushing. I started towards my many-legged foe after being sure that it was him laying low and not a dust bunny. I was about to do him in with the butt-end when I realized I'd probably never want to handle the stick again with that evil gore where my hands would touch.

Flipping the stick over, I poked tentatively at the beast with the toe of the blade, half afraid the jab would make him jump on me - centipedes, of course, possessing the magical ability to leap great distances when provoked (who doesn't know that?). After about the third try I managed to pluck up the courage to do him in, and then quickly scooped him up to toss his still-writhing bug husk out the window.

Now I am left with the pressing questions:

How did he get in?
Was he acting alone?
Was he on recon?
Will there be reinforcements?
What were his plans?
Will there be more in my boots in the morning? I swear he was headed towards them!
Why the hell does he need all those legs?

I may have won this round - but I fear the end may not yet be in sight. Tonight, dear kitty, you will need to be on your guard!


We have a house*

Dan called me last night from Houston, at the Astros game, to tell me that our offer had been accepted more or less outright. *I am reserving doing the happy dance until we have keys in hand because things can never be that simple with us. Apparently the place they had lined up to buy just got taken off the market because the seller wants to sell to a family member; I hate to be the one to wish ill on anyone's hopes and dreams, but I'm kind of pulling for that sale to fall through so we can get this over with.

As things stand right now, we have a closing date of 9/1, 'or ASAP;' if things move along quickly, we'll move more quickly. This presents a minor problem because our lease is up 8/1. The plan as of right now is to throw our stuff in pod storage and live with the folks - on the bright side, this won't need to go on too long because we're going to be in Europe for the majority of August.

So, still waiting, but this time with a bit more hope.


Plot twists

It's hard not to feel like something out there is now jerking our chains. Last night we were scheduled to see three places - the new one in Bridgeport, the one we were about to sign on in Oak Park, and another random joint that looked really nice in OP.

So the Bridgeport place was everything we wanted, sans the yard space, though that was made up for with an awesome deck and balcony. We were on our way out of the neighborhood when we decided to call our realtor to tell him to cancel the other showings, and that we wanted to move on the place. As it turns out, Paul was already on the phone with the listing agent for the Oak Park place that was waiting for our signature - a pipe burst while they were replacing the bathtub - we wouldn't be able to return there until Thursday. Excellent, we now had time to figure things out without having to stall.

Beyond that, the sellers of the Bridgeport place are poised to move and have a place picked out at their destination that won't sell to them on a contingency. Basically, they want to get out as quickly as we want to get in; if everything goes right, we could have this sealed up without that place ever being listed on the MLS.

So here is the hardest part - waiting. Their listing agent, the notorious S from the 3331 debacle, has been working hard to get this done for us - to make it up to us - but doesn't know these sellers well enough to be able to say whether or not they'll get freaked out or become greedy over the fact that they had a good offer before even listing. Hopefully not. We met the wife, and she seemed awesome, but that never means anything.

So, now we wait - with all luck things will fall neatly into place. I feel like I've deserved them to after all the stress and heartbreak this process has caused, but I know I'm not owed anything in the grand scheme of things. All I can ask for is speed for the good or bad news so that I can get to moving on!


Decision-making time - again?

A quick and dirty update on the long saga of house hunting that I have been sparing whatever readership I have left from:

January: I contacted a realtor to see a couple places in Bridgeport, which I went to see with Audrey because Dan wasn't ready to look yet. Those were a flop, but the realtor seemed like a good guy, so we kept in touch - him sending me properties that fit our criteria, and me, for the most part, vetoing them.

February: Dan joins the search party, and we begin to look at places in earnest as our lease was going to be up at the end of May. Things seem to be going slowly but steadily, though nothing really sparked our interest.

March: more of the same.

April: A nice 2-flat came on the market, Dan and I put in a successful offer and were ready to buy when 3331 Lowe showed up. 3331 was a cute brick number on the street we currently rent on; it was dated and needed some work, but overall it had a ton of potential. We made an offer, beat out a competitor, and eventually had our offer accepted - or so we thought. A couple days later and talks start going downhill. All the sudden the seller doesn't want to use the dates she had previously agreed to because they are too soon - keep in mind that any later date will cause us to be homeless in the interim. Seller refuses to cover our storage and housing costs for this homeless period and seemingly re-agrees to our dates. Hours later, she backs away completely, telling her listing agent that it is simply too mentally and emotionally taxing to sell. That same day she shows her property to other people - days later it is under contract to someone else.

May: We manage to extend our lease on a monthly basis on the understanding that we will give our land lady two months notice, and will not leave after August if we haven't told her we were intending to. We continue to look, this time in Oak Park because no properties have hit the market in Bridgeport since 3331. Oak Park begins to look great - loads being listed - historic, lots of land, tons of room, etc. We put an offer in on our dream place, but are told that there is already an offer in that is higher than we think the place is worth.

June: Time is ticking. Found another place that is very much like 3331 Lowe in terms of charm and potential. Put in an offer, got a reasonable counter, and were hours away from signing. Call comes in from our realtor the evening before we sign that he had heard from the listing agent from 3331 - she has a dark horse contender. We are given the option to preview a place that hasn't even hit the market yet in Bridgeport (this apparently happens a lot - things sell there that never officially hit the MLS). Tonight we see this place, and go back to see the Oak Park place - it's decision time about whether we stay put, or move on. Space or location; city or burbs. This may seem minor, but it's anything but - it's a shift in lifestyle that Dan and I have to jointly decide to make - or not.

Here we go.


Crazy Eyes Chronicles

For those of you who know Dan and me, you probably have heard me tell stories about Dan's sleep talking, or as I like to call it, Crazy Eying or Running Manning. Well, I've always wanted to start writing these down, possibly keeping a notebook by the bedside so that I could remember to make fun of him the next day. I think that notebook will be this blog.

So, this morning's entry (or last night's - it was somewhere in between) is dedicated to the rummage.

~2:30 am - wake up to Dan sitting bolt upright in bed, rummaging in the covers.

Me: What are you doing?
Dan: Looking for *mumble*
Me: Looking for what?
Dan: I'm looking for awesome.
Me: You're looking for awesome? It's right here!
Dan: *gives me dirty look, goes back to rummaging*
Dan: I need to find the awesome belt.
Me: OK love - you find it *rolls over and goes back to sleep*

Later that night/morning
Me: *returns from bathroom and jostles Dan while getting back into bed*
Dan: *tenses up and gives me a crazy stare*
Me: *busts out in nervous laughter*
Dan: *joins in, laughing*
We: *laugh together for a bit, at entirely different things I'm sure*
Me: *goes back to sleep*
Dan: *keeps on chuckling to himself*


Settling in, uneasily

For those of you who have spoken to me over the last month or so, you already know my situation at work has been a bit rocky with uncertainty and miscommunication. Well, at the end of my first week in my new management position, things appear to be going more smoothly than they were the past two weeks when I was on my own, without my minions. Our office is full of summer student interns - all completely brilliant and totally overqualified for the tasks they're doing (in many, but not all cases - some of the work is pretty awesome) - and things are flying along at breakneck, hair-pulling pace.

Somewhere within all this mix, I seem to have developed a little cocoon of safety from the intense scrutiny I had become accustomed to when the office was more empty. Though we are a nonprofit, it should be understood that we are run very much like a corporate entity, with constant oversight, micromanaging, and 'Tough Love'-style motivation tactics. What doesn't kill or drive us mad here is supposed to be a learning experience that makes us stronger. This includes overtime without pay, apparently.

It has been interesting to see the new blood coming in and realizing what they've signed up for; most of them, like me, come from liberal arts backgrounds, and are feeling the cold shock of an entirely different style of work environment. Friends have often heard me employ the term the Seagull Boss in relation to some of my interactions here - while those experiences were frustrating and even infuriating to have had personally, I have to admit they're really funny to watch unfold as an outsider. There is a moment, just after someone checks their morning emails and lets out the telltale exasperated grunt, or when I hear someone being called into the office, where I snicker and imagine Keyboard Cat getting ready to play as failure ensues.

Today I actually received a positive comment in response to something I emailed and nearly crapped myself, so hopefully that means I've figured out the formula and will be relatively grief-free for the next eight weeks. Like a beaten child I am wary of shows of kindness out of the blue, and hesitantly wait for things to go back to the usual attempts at trying to pass under the radar. More to come.