Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yay!

We have a place to live!

No internet for a bit! Stay tuned!

Monday, February 26, 2007

"Minor Revisions"

Last night the "real estate agent" (I use that term loosely it appears and jackass could do what this jerkoff is doing) left me a voicemail--there are some "minor revisions" to the lease they want to do. He wants to meet at 7:30 tonight.

Hm.

Why do I have the feeling I'm getting screwed?

I'm researching places to put our stuff in storage.

I'm so sick of this runaround.

I went thru a real estate agent so that this would be easy. It's nowhere near being easy. This has been a nightmare.

I had to threaten to go somewhere else to get this jackass to call me back on Tuesday of last week. I should have known.

Every time we talk to him it's always "Yeah, you'll have the keys soon, don't worry about it..." and then it's always ONE little thing more.

I'll get the cashier's check today, but I'm prepared to walk out of this meeting tonight and put our stuff in storage tomorrow.

Sofar this place is making my San Antonio-husband-separation-nightmare look like a pleasant dream!

UPDATE:

The "real estate agent" (hereinafter known as "Señor Asshat") called me. He apologized for me getting the feeling we were being jerked around.

He said that the "minor revisions" to the lease were adding something about us declining washer/dryer hookups in the place (washer? dryer? I'm nearly 30, why would I want a washer and dryer of my own?) .

However he stated he "wasn't really sure though because he didn't ask the other agent what the revisions were."

He assured me we'd be able to move in tomorrow.

Hm, where have I heard that one? Oh yeah, on Wednesday when we signed the lease.

So here's the plan. I have obtained a cashier's check. I will attend this meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. If I don't like these "minor revisions" I will have the lease torn up and me, Dr. Mad Scientist and Chunky will take our money elsewhere. If that is the case I will put our junk into storage tomorrow, return the truck and continue on our quest for housing.

I've found a couple of places near Princeton that are complexes. Yes they're an extra half hour out of the way for Dr. Mad Scientist but you can always count on housing in a college town to be a bit more accessible.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Well...

...I have to go with a bank check to their offices and pay the deposit/first month's rent on MONDAY.

So another three nights in a hotel=$300

Two extra days on the truck=$200

Sigh.

Dr. Mad Scientist has to work on Monday. I have NO clue how I'm going to rig all this.

I tell you what, I am dedicating the next two years of my life while he's at Mt. Sinai on learning how to buy a house on my own.

Why?

Because if I can't get a damn realtor to work for me to rent a lousy apartment, how do I expect them to help me do the important things like buy a house.

Well that's assuming we have ANYTHING saved. This move has officially put us in with the rest of America---we're living in the red. Bye bye savings. It was nice knowing you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sigh.

Day Five In New Jersey: Still in the hotel.

The realtor we went with is apparently a part time realtor. And apparently the chick representing the landlord of the place where we signed the lease (also a realtor with his company) can't seem to meet with her client to get her to sign the motherfucking lease. Yesterday the realtor was sick and couldn't do it, blah blah blah.

You know, I've got $3800 with this landlord's name on it and the promise of $1200 a month in rent for 12 months thereafter (why yes, I realize this is a decent sized mortgage payment. Can I tell you how much I HATE being a fucking nomad living nowhere for more than X years at one place at a time?). The place is sitting empty. Why is it so hard for these people to get back to me? I mean seriously!

If we've signed a lease but the landlord hasn't, are we legally bound by that lease? Or can we pull out? Hm. Interesting. Because I'd love to use that as fucking leverage right now.

I guess if worse comes to worse, we'll toss the cats on side of the road, put our belongings in storage (the truck is due back Sunday) and live on credit in hotels while I wait for these asshats to get their shit together or we find a new place. (Sorry cats, you're costing me $20/day at this hotel and a $600 pet deposit at this alleged new apartment, Mommy can't afford to try and find a new cat-friendly place if this place falls through).

I'll give them until 3:00 p.m. until I call back again.

SIGH.

But I'll leave you with a cute kid picture courtesy of my Oldest Younger Brother's wife, Kindubkin, who I finally got to meet--they've only been married for six years and have four kids now! She's one cool cat!

It's Chunky riding around with his cousin Booshe. She's 11 mos. younger than him and they hit it off immediately. We never saw much of the two of them as soon as we rolled into North Carolina.

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Aw! Aren't they cute? Sorry for the tiny picture. I'm out of my realm blogging on Dr. Mad Scientist's laptop and ripping off other people's pictures! Ha ha!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Well We're Here--Sort Of

We've made it to New Jersey. But still not place to live. I'm writing this from a Days Inn in East Windsor, New Jersey.

We're hoping to meet the realtor tomorrow to view those properties. I'm not holding my breath though--I couldn't get a hold of him today.

So maybe we'll be surfing craigslist tonight.

I'm so tired, I don't care if we live in a shithole.

It's been great being able to move, but I'm ready to unpack and get into a routine. Plus I just want to get this whole deal of shelling out nearly $3000 to secure an apartment done and over with you know?

I've checked my email and was so happy to see a ton of KAYE entries! Woo!

I'm going to reiterate that the February drawing might be a little later than expected due to this move. But once I'm back up and wired, the yarn love will commence.

Keep those entries coming!!!

Alright, cross your fingers that we find a place to live. Dr. Mad Scientist has to go into Mt. Sinai to pee in a cup, get a physical, and sit down with the postdoc office to go over paperwork on Monday. The moving truck is due back Sunday. Lord I hope we have a roof over our head sooner!

Stay tuned!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

This Concludes Our Broadcast Day

(Insert the National Anthem Here)

Dr. Mad Scientist wants to dub this move "The Manhattan Project." I laughed and told him that when we visit my Oldest Younger Brother in Goldsboro at the Air Force base they'll NEVER let us on if we mention that. Something about moving trucks and explosions. Would you blame them?

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My bedroom on Saturday--notice the lazy cat there. It's a wonder I keep him on the payroll.

I call to cancel the internet/phone/cable today and return the equipment tomorrow.

I pack up Chunky's room and the bathroom today. (The last two rooms left.)

I clean the oven today.

I clean everything else tomorrow.

We pack the truck on Wednesday.

We leave on Thursday morning.

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Oof.

Actually this trip should be a good one. We're doing the great-sibling tour on the way there. We'll spend the night in ATL with my Older Younger Sister, another night with my Oldest Younger Brother in Goldsboro, and the night before we roll into New Jersey with Dr. Mad Scientist's brother and his wife (The Spawners). I haven't seen most of them in years. I haven't even met Oldest Younger Brother's wife or his FOUR kids!

So we'll catch y'all on the flip side. Hopefully the next time you'll hear from me I'll be a Jersey girl lighter a few more thousand dollars from this move, but with some real knitting content to post again!

Keep sending in your KAYE entries--I'll add you to the pool when I get back. By the time I get reconnected I'll probably be pulling February's winner too!

Happy trails! Until we meet again!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

You Asked For It!

Pictures of typical winter life in Alaska.

We get taught moose safety in school.

Because quite often you see these in your backyard:

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Mmmm....fresh compost! You're not supposed to feed moose. But it's good for the earth to compost. So if a moose gets into your compost pile and starts eating banana peels is that bad?

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These photos are courtesy of my Mom. In her typical random style (which I think is hereditary from the rambling emails I get from my grandma) she commented on the content of yesterday's post, but ended it with a sentence out of the blue about how moose was munching on her compost pile. Sgeddes requested to see the moose if my mom did indeed send along pictures.

So there you go. I aim to please!

Now I must go continue packing.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

The Mitten Queen Strikes!

Check this out! I’m minding my own business surfing my favorite blogs one day and I’m on The Mitten Queen Poops’s blog admiring the latest mittens and fingerless gloves the human mitten machine has made. On there she's made this brown pair of fingerless mitts with a red trim she said looked like something Laura Ingalls would wear.

C’mon who am I to resist a Laura Ingalls reference? I had to leave a likewise comment.

Before I could read and read all the books, I watched the TV show. My poor mother can attest to braiding my hair like Laura and I even remember a Laura Ingalls dress she made me—it was brown calico with orange buttons. Maybe that was an "Annie" dress though. I had a thing for Annie when I was Chunky’s age. Gah, I was such a girly girl!

Now I'm grown up and no longer dream of being a red headed orphan, I could still end up like Laura Ingalls in the Canadian wilderness on my potato farm.

And guess what I’ll have covering my hands when I hoe my potatoes?

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Can you believe that? Poops sent them to me!!! What a sweetheart!

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Thanks Poops, my jaw dropped when I opened the envelope and realized what they were!

Now about when Ma and Pa Ingalls were born (I’m just assuming here, humor me, I’m leading up to a segue!) the Alamo was going down in San Antonio.

Approximately 170 years later, my boys would go visit it one last time before we left San Antonio.

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Check it out! Would you say that qualifies as a Crockett Tub(b)? Yes, that was awful on so many different levels, I know.

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Don't you love the way that right ear sticks out more than the left? Stephen Colbert has this problem too, so I still have hope for him leading a normal life. Ha ha!

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

One Week Until Liftoff!

The boxes are still being packed and the boys are doing some last minute sight seeing this afternoon and checking out the Alamo.

I’ve heard back from the realtor in New Jersey and he’s sent us four listings of rental houses. Of the four we like three of them. So keep your fingers crossed that no one rents those places while we’re in transit!!!

Yesterday they held a little potluck going-away (me)/coming back (coworker who had surgery to remove her cervical cancer) lunch. It was very sweet of them to do this, especially considering I have only worked here for seven months.

Papa Bear Boss gave me a mug as a going away present.

As I was packing it, it occurred to me—I’ve really made it in the world.

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See the mug on the right? That’s my Schiester, Shafter, Conniver & Dodge, P.C. (the law firm I worked at in Lansing) mug.

It used to be that I only got a nametag to take with me when I left a job. Woo! Now it’s mugs!

On the subject of moving, I’m aiming for Tuesday to be the day we disconnect the internet and TV so it will be all dark here for probably a few weeks until we land again.

I want you to know I won’t be dropping the ball with K.A.Y.E. while I’m gone—only letting it bounce for a bit. Keep emailing your name and email and blog address (if you have one—not required!) if you qualify this month!

Hopefully by the time the end of the month rolls around we’ll have the internet hooked back up again, and I’ll be able to spread the kootchie awareness yarny love!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Now With More Knitting!

In between the packing I have been knitting. I’ve been knitting more than I should be. I should be packing more at night. When I set February 9 as my last day of work, I thought I’d have more time to pack. Not really—that just gives me a weekend and basically two days to get everything packed up. Valentine’s Day will be spent packing up the truck and doing the heavy duty cleaning of the place.

But check out how much of my sock I’ve got done:

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Can you say one of these things is not like the other? One of these things just doesn’t belong? The first sock had a much better swirl of colors around the cuff. Second sock, not so much. I thought maybe I decreased my stitches—nope. There’s the same number of stitches that I had on the first sock. I thought maybe I’m knitting tighter? That’s possible as the first sock cuff is wider. However, I think that’s due to me trying it on and it has become a tad bit stretched out.

Ah well. Fraternal socks never hurt anyone. I’m still madly in love with the colors.

On the moving front things are progressing somewhat well. We’re having a hell of a time selling Dr. Mad Scientist’s car. Texans seem to freak out about a car that is originally from Ohio, spent most of it’s time in Michigan and has driven in snow. I had the most surreal experience trying to explain how much snow it has driven through to a native Texan who had never seen snow. It’s not like we took the damn thing offroading! It’s a teensy little Mazda Protégé!

It looks like we’ll be dragging it to New York/New Jersey. The places I’m looking at settling in New Jersey I’ve been told can handle having two cars.

Of course still no place to live yet. But I found a realtor by accident on Craigslist. He seems nice enough and when he emailed me back yesterday, it ends up his brother in law is the chief brain surgeon at Mt. Sinai.

I just hope this guy realizes that a postdoc and chief brain surgeon do not make the same amount of money. One of the “wonderful” things about being married to a new Ph.D. is that a lot of people just assume Dr. = Money. Lord, I wish. Even with this new job at Mt. Sinai, he’ll only be making a few thousand more than I was in Lansing as a professional paper pusher/legal secretary. I’m just thankful he was smart enough to pick a grad school that didn’t require payment for tuition. We’re not faced with a buttload of grad school debt now. In fact, his Ph.D. is paid for before his Bachelors is!

Ok, so I’ll leave you with some food porn pictures in the vein of my favorite Moshin’ Mommy Stacie (she takes the best food porn pics!)

Part of moving involves what I’ve dubbed “Operation Pantry Raid.” It’s where you come up with meal ideas from the food you have on hand so you don’t have to pack a case of canned soup with you when you move.

For some reason I had a can of garbanzo beans. So what can you make with garbanzo beans? Hummus of course!

But what can you have with hummus? How about lamb kabobs?

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Plus we’ve got some charcoal and lighter fluid we have to use up before we leave so this worked out great.

There’s a funny story involving Dr. Mad Scientist going to the butcher shop for that lamb and being the only gringo in there. Because he doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, he got leg of lamb instead of lamb shoulder, but hey, it was still tasty!

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Chunky and I had to pose for a picture with our completed spread of homemade pita bread, lamb kabobs, hummus, and a yogurt sauce.

Boy it was delicious!

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

It Has Begun

I got a few solid hours of packing in today. The place is already a mess.

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But so far, so good.

Giving my two weeks notice was incredibly painless.

When we broke the lease, they told us we had to give 60 days notice and pay 2 months of future rent as a penalty, but because they like us they only charged us 1 month future rent (and two extra days--damn February for only having 28 days!). I think it helped that they were able to lease our place out the DAY we gave notice we were leaving to someone else. I'm also not discounting Chunky's ability to charm the ladies who work at the front desk of the leasing office as helping us out.

The moving truck was also incredibly cheap to rent. Only $850 this time. When we moved from Lansing to San Antonio it cost us $1100 for an 18 foot truck. Did I mention we ordered the 26 footer this time? That's a massive overkill but the 18 footer won't fit our bed since it's all THREE of us moving this time--hooray! Allegedly the larger truck gets better gas mileage too. I don't know if that's a scam to get you to upgrade or what. I'm no engineer so it worked on me!

A couple of people have tried to tell me that I'm an idiot for trying to move with a Penske (think U-Haul but more reliable and cheaper) truck to the city.

Even though we still don't have housing lined up, I seriously don't think I can live in the city. We're eyeing some cities in New Jersey that are a bit over an hour commute for Dr. Mad Scientist. He'll just have to deal and bring a sleeping bag to the lab if he ends up running overnight experiments.

No knitting to speak of right now. I only had the Cordless Yoke Pullover on the needles and the boredom of the sleeves made it quite easy to pack that puppy up! Basically that leaves my other swirly sock that's unpacked and actively being knit. I'm planning on hitting the knitting group Janna introduced me to (I don't know if they have an official name, so that is how I shall refer to it!) for a little post-packing, pre-game knitting tomorrow afternoon. I'll try to post pics of the sock after that. It's having some swirl issues that I'm not too keen on.

Lord knows if I do much more packing I'm going to end up looking like this:

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Don't let that smug pissed off look fool you. That little furbag loves it when we move--she can indulge in her box fetish!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Fatzah, My Mini Katze*

I got the dreaded email from my Old Man in Palmer yesterday.

Him and Mom had to take my old cat, Fatzah, to "The Big Red Barn."

The Big Red Barn is a vet clinic across from the Alaska State Fairgrounds. It's shape like well, a big red barn. Those four words have been ominous ones for any cat living at my old home. When a cat visits The Big Red Barn, it is usually because they're ill and need to be put down.

This time it was Fatzah's turn.


Fatzah



As you can tell from my glasses in this picture (sorry, all my good pics of Fatzah are packed!) Fatazh was pretty old.

She was born the spring of 1996. I remember coming home from work one day to see a sweet little black kitty nestled on my Youngest Younger Sister's shoulder.

The Old Man and the rest of the non-joe-job working gang had picked her up from Walmart where the Big Lake animal shelter was holding a cat-giveaway. About a month after we brought her home, the shelter she was at burned to the ground leaving many already homeless animals homeless again.

She was a good little kitty and even though I only lived with her for about four years (and basically only in the summers when I was home from college) she was my sweet little kitty.

She enjoyed lounging on my magic afghan (that pink and blue acrylic afghan I'm sure you've seen me use as a backdrop for some of my finished objects). It was dubbed a magic afghan because of it's ability to attract cats to snuggle on it. It still works like a charm to this day with my own cats.

I enjoyed finding her lick spot--you know that one particular spot on certain cats that you can scratch and as a reflex they start licking themselves--and grabbing her little tongue when she'd start licking herself. Yeah that sounds a little weird, but I was gentle and never yanked her tongue out.

On the first day of my required moronic college speech class we had to go around the room and tell the class who our hero was. Everyone picked their mom, dad, grandpa, or someone as equally sappy and expected. However I stated that Fatzah was my hero. I mean c'mon, the ability to give unconditional love, take a nap anywhere and the flexibility to lick your own butt and not care that you're licking your own butt! How can you NOT admire that? Needless to say that speech teacher didn't care much for me.

Fatzah also helped me from a distance too. When I married Dr. Mad Scientist, even though he grew up with cats, he never made them talk. (Yeah you know who you are--you change your voice and have conversations with your furry four legged companions!) I introduced Dr. Mad Scientist to this practice and he dubbed my cat voice "the Fatzah voice." Even if I am having a conversation with Squeaky or Springs, the voice I use to have them reply back to me is in essence "the Fatzah voice." Fatzah helped indoctrinate Dr. Mad Scientist into understanding the weirdo he married a little more.

The same principle goes for any black cat we see--it is always a "Fatzah cat."

She was more my Youngest Younger Brother's cat since she lived to be nearly 11 and I left home for good at the very end of 1999 after I got married and he's 10 years younger than me. I still However, I'll still miss her meowing on the phone when I would call and my Youngest Younger Sister would be home. She was always the one who could get Fatzah to meow over the phone for me.

Farewell my little black cat!

*"Katze" (caht-zuh) is the German word for cat. The Old Man was an Air Force brat and graduated from high school over in Germany. As a result, much of our family vocabulary is peppered with random German words. Fatzah rhymes with the word katze.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

And The Winner Is...

(You thought I was going to make you wait all night didn't you?)

Lil Knitter c'mon down!!!

I'll email you shortly for your address to send your prize to.

I also want to take this time to thank all of you who have mentioned on your blog, put the button/link in your sidebar, or donate yarn to the first annual Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza. It is truly appreciated.

Spread the word, spread the legs, spread the love!!!

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