Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Less Than a Week Now

We'll be on the road in less than a week. We hope to hit San Antonio next Wednesday. Do we have a place to live yet? Nope. They're still "reviewing" my lease application. Don't ever rent with Aimco. They suck. If it's going to take a week to review my application, then don't send me an email telling me it will only take 24 hours and then call me a week later because I sent an email to your national office bitching about how you never return my phone calls feeding me yet another excuse that your "computers are down" and you won't be able to get to it yesterday. They've got til 2:00 p.m. today to contact me or I'm contacting another place that actually REPLIED to me in a day after I sent an inquiry. Boy I hope the other place turns out so I can tell Aimco to suck it. That will be worth forfeiting the $70 application fee in and of itself.

And if I can't find a place to live down there and I have to forfeit my job while I find a place to live, oh well. I know I can live unemployed. I've been doing it for two months. No big deal.

Moving on to what I have accomplished lately! Yesterday was clean the stove day. I haven't cleaned the stove in the nearly 6 years we've lived here. Ok, well I have wiped it down, but I haven't lifted the burners, pulled out the drip tray thingys and cleaned the oven in nearly 6 years. Yup. It took nearly all day. Part of that was due to the oven cleaner taking 8 hours to "work" according to the package.

So here it is in all it's clean-y goodness:

stove top

oven

Check out that shine!

If you've made it this far into the post, you probably realize, as I do myself, that I am so boring I've resorted to posting pictures and descriptions of my adventures in cleaning a stove on my blog. How truly sad.

But despite all this cleaning and packing, I've managed to knit:

Soleil

I frogged the Lotus Blossom and started this--Soleil. My originally planned third Texas Trio Tank Top. It's funny how I abandoned it for the Lotus Blossom thinking that it was too hard. Then Lotus turned too hard and suddenly Soleil looked like a piece of cake--and has been sofar. Obviously that lace at the bottom will need some serious blocking.

Finally, speaking of frogs, and because I just read Rain's post about her frog pond, I leave you with a frog of my own from our garden trip last Friday.

frog

Ribbit.

Friday, June 16, 2006

If Only It Was This Easy

springs&map

To find a place to live...you just find a map of someplace and curl up under it. Sigh.

Finding a place to live blows. Maybe I'm being too picky? All I want is a backyard. Apparently if we want a backyard, we must be prepared to pay $300-$500 more a month than we currently pay in rent. I know the midwest is a cheap place to live but c'mon, Texas isn't California or the East Coast. Yikes.

As some of you know I found this really cute property that fit my criteria, backyard and not a total pain the pocketbook in monthly rent. So I emailed the realtor. He emailed me back and was skittish about renting it to us sight unseen. So I wrote him this:

I appreciate you being willing to work with us long distance. Unfortunately I don't have anyone down there that could view the property in my place. When we moved to Michigan nearly six years ago we had the same challenge. So this would not be our first time renting
sight-unseen. However, we have been living in the same place we rented sight unseen nearly six years ago. If there's something wrong with the property please let me know. Otherwise, we are not about to break a lease.

If it's a problem to rent to us sight unseen let me know and I'll focus my attention on other properties in the San Antonio area.


Finally he wrote me back this:

1--- Edison is a very old property and with the exception of central heat and air has very few modern amenities. It has vinyl floor tiles in half the home that are poorly done. They are raised at the seams and some are loose. The carpet is older sculpted carpet of days gone by but looks almost new. The bedroom closets are very small though there is a hanging closet in the hall and dining room. Some of the cabinet doors don’t fit right due to many coats of paint. The interior paint is blotchy. The back bedroom is all wood paneling that is very dark and shows years of wear. The cabinet in the kitchen is the old steel variety. There are washer and dryer hook ups in the kitchen and the owner is willing to move the sink down the wall to accommodate side by sides if you have them. It is very cute from the street with a huge yard. The owner is installing a shed out back for storage of your lawn mower etc. Some people have expressed concern over the neighborhood. I was looking for a home in that neighborhood to buy. I suggest you go to www.mysanantonio.com and look at the crime blotter section to make up your own mind.

Ok, I can live with shitty linoleum, carpet and cupboards that don't close. You should see the crap we live with now--the linoleum is yellowed, cracked in places and generally awful. I remember the apt. manager bitching about it when we first moved in. And don't get me started on our current carpet. Part of our living room floods each summer and as a result we've got stained patchworky carpet due to them "fixing" the problem each year. There's also mold growing in the drywall where it floods each year. Yes, it soaks the drywall. Disgusting.

But what did it for me was the neighborhood. If it was just me and The Mad Scientist, I wouldn't care. But damn kids. You throw them into the mix and your values change. Sigh. I want a backyard for him to play in where he won't get abducted or shot in.

I give this realtor credit for being frank with me. That was nice of him.

I might just have to throw in the towel and find some freaking apartment complex to live in. I enjoy being nomadic and living in new places every X number years, but in some respects I wish we could settle down and think about buying a house. I know it will be soon enough that The Mad Scientist finally gets a permanent job where buying a house would finally be an option--but that's not soon enough! :-)

Hopefully finding childcare won't be this much of a pain. And hopefully in a few months I'll be melting in San Antonio with both Chunky and Dr. Mad Scientist and laughing about this whole ordeal.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm back baby!!!

Ah! Home sweet home! San Antonio was nice, but it's not much fun being a tourist on your own and it's hard to do touristy things when it hotter than hell outside 24 hours a day.

The interviews went well. I had a total of four of them when all was said and done. I had two lined up when I went down on Tuesday and set up two more while I was down there. Good lord, I am interviewed out!!!

Housing scouting was well--meh. Most of the houses I liked had already been rented out so I just checked out a couple of mediocre townhomes. Nothing to write home about. I really want a backyard for Chunky to be able to frolick around in.

So here's the touristy shit--

Me in front of the Alamo:

self portrait

The Riverwalk:

riverwalk

That's about all the touristy stuff I did there. I checked out the library (downtown). Sadly they've got about just as many knitting books as Lansing has. But for an hour in the lovely library A/C I read a great book about the Swedish Bohus Stickning knitwear cottage industry.

Between interviews I of course had to hit:

yarn barn

The Yarn Barn!

Check out my haul:

100_1096

Ok, yes, not THAT much, but I didn't have much room to bring stuff back with me. I scored a really purpley skein (100gs) of Sockotta, a hank of Berroco Cotton Twist--that they balled for me at the store (!!!), and Fiber Trends seashore shawl pattern (it came in the page protector like that--how cool!)

I love the color of the Cotton Twist:

cotton twist

I think this may become a Dream Swatch in the future.

On Saturday after I checked out of my hotel, I had a few hours to kill. I found an open air mall near the airport. They had a Half Price Books there. What a cool store! I bought an old copy of a book called The Book of Knitting and Crochet. I don't have any stitch dictionaries, and while it may be no Walker, look what I found inside the book:

book score

That's an old 80's-ish looking skein wrapper, half of a letter from what I'm assuming was the woman who owned the book's daughter talking about potty-training her son and giving her and her husband's sweater measurements, a picture of three old people at a Halloween party, a photocopy of a dishcloth pattern, and then the coolest thing: a vintage Reynolds mohair sweater pattern. It appears to have come from a knitting kit, but honestly it's not a really ugly sweater. Well aside from being yellow and made of mohair. Ha ha! The book and everything the person who owned it before me left in there cost me a mere $5.98. Score!

The moral of that story--before you donate a book, check it for stuff you've stuck in there! This isn't the first time I've found stuff in used books. The most notable I think was a copy of In Cold Blood I bought that came complete with a snapshot of a guy firing a pistol on a beach somewhere. Given the subject matter of the book, I was a little creeped out by that picture.

Overall it was a good trip. I've got a better feel for the city and by the last day I was more comfortable driving around without worry of getting too lost. But it's good to be home with The Mad Scientist and Chunky again!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Forecast

Tuesday: 99°
Wednesday: 101°
Thursday: 102°
Friday: 99°
Saturday: 100°

Yup. I'm going to melt.

Two years, it's only for two years.

Friday, June 02, 2006

This Is What I get For Laughing

At Turtlegirl when she was tagged by Rain to show the innards of her knitting bag. Karma's a bitch. So here goes:

I've got more of a knitting "basket" for my at-home projects:

basket

As you can see, therein lies the re-cast on of the Lotus Blossom Tank from IK (also pictured). In there is my copy of the Stitch n'Bitch designers journal that the 'rents gave me for Xmas. Underneath all of that is a box of t-pins for blocking, and a tapemeasure. Whee.

T., if you're reading--see those papers in the background? That's Greg and Barry! I unearthed them in my packing adventure. Poor Greg and Barry was a collaborative short story (?) that T. and I started two or so years ago about a gay couple living in Salt Lake City who decide to take a road trip to San Francisco to get married. I think they've been stuck in Reno for the past two years.

Ok, back to the task at hand--here's the outside of my purse/knitting bag:

rascal

I love this thing. It's smaller than a briefcase, but larger than a normal purse. The front pocket I use for my pursey-shit like checkbook, bank card, etc. Then there are two large compartments:

inside rascal

As you can see, this is the compartment I keep my travelling knitting in. I've got my sock ready to go to San Antonio here. There's also a small little notebook that my first CASP Sherry gave me and another tape measure in there.

One of the things I like about this bag is the pattern pocket in this compartment:

pocket

Heels by number! My favorite sock cheat sheet.

Needles are kept in a vase on top of the stereo on top of the entertainment out of the way of a certain pair of cats:

needles

And finally, this really isn't knitting bag related, but I have to show off the nifty yarn cutter I scored at Joann's this weekend:

cutter

Hopefully I'll be able to get that on the plane with me. I dig this design much more than those antiquey-Clover models out there.

And ha ha, I'm going to be nice and not directly tag anyone! Hee hee! If you want to spill the innards of your knitting bag--go for it.

Ok, well I'm off to organize my shit for my trip Tuesday. I've got the Yarn Barn down on my must-see places in San Antonio per Penny Karma's suggestion. Anyone else have any suggestions? Maybe I can try to find my bicycle in the basement of the Alamo if I run out of things to see and do.