Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Almost-Offer

Over the last week, we've had five showings. We had one today immediately before the baby shower at Stephen's mom's house. I really thought it went well, the client AND the agent were absolutely gushing about how cool the unit is, how great the skylights are, how the train noise isn't so bad, and on and on. I was trying very hard not to get excited. Then Stephen came back upstairs with Sam and reported that the conversation in the lobby was quite different- we're only top five, he liked the one on Ashland better, he liked "the first one" (not us), etc etc. Great. I pouted all the way to his mom's house. (this probably does not sound like BAD news, but trust me, in today's market, being top five, you might as well be top 100, it's meaningless, it's worthless, they're not going to make an offer.)

I had already called my mom to say the showing went well, so when we walked in and saw her, I was gearing up to tell her how I wrong I was. Except I couldn't, because she was on the phone, clearly discussing real estate. As she hung up, I said, "well, I thought it went well, but it really didn't." She cut off my whining to say, "That's the agent from yesterday, he's emailing me an offer."

When Stephen and I finished peeing ourselves, he took her to his mom's computer to get the offer. Oh yeah, the agent messed up the .pdf conversion and the file couldn't be opened. My mom immediately called the guy back and told him what happened. He said he'd be out of the office for an hour and a half or so, but that he'd resend it, and gave her the rough details of the offer. Low offer, but not as low as we'd both expected. Super late closing date of November 23rd- not good, we'd definitely try to change that, but if it was non-negotiable, it wouldn't be a deal-breaker.

Then...nothing.

It's now almost 10pm, and the other agent never sent the offer again. Stephen is totally convinced the buyers changed their minds. I'm mixed, but when I called my mom to ask what she thought, she did not say what I wanted her to say. Which was, of course, "Don't be ridiculous Kathy, he's just busy/being a douchebag/whatever else might have happened." She said, "Well, I hope not, and I don't think so, but I can't promise you anything. And if that's the case, then they're not the right buyer anyway, they would've pulled this in a week after we'd gone to contract, and that would be worse, so it's better for it to happen now."

A few counterpoints to that:

1- There is no such thing as a wrong buyer at this point. We'd sell to ANYONE who wanted to give us money. I mean, seriously.
2- How 'bout it just not happen at all? How 'bout they make an offer, go thru inspection and atty review, and then closing???

So now Stephen is entirely resigned to this deal being off the table. I think it's probably the right attitude, because it doesn't really do any good to be hopeful, but I'm having a hard time just giving up on it. The agent WAS a total douchebag yesterday, I wouldn't put it past him to just put it off until tomorrow. Maybe he didn't feel like doing it today. maybe this is a bargaining tactic and he wants to make us sweat so we're more likely to accept anything they bring to the table.

It's all pretty unlikely. I know it's a buyer's market, but realistically, if you're serious about making an offer, you make an offer, you don't make put it together, send it, and then ignore any problems with it until the next day. It's better to just write it off...right?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Burn incense, light candles, pray, whatever...

Earlier today, my mom sent me an email saying we should be ready to convert the front bedroom to a nursery sometime in mid to late October. It's amazing how quickly I can be reduced to hitching, snotty sobs these days. In my defense, though, she's been the one insisting all along that the place will sell, that I'm being silly, that the market is just slower than it used to be. So, yeah, talking about making rooms into nurseries shows a degree of pessimism she did not have before. I commented that it seemed like most people aren't really buying anything, just riding around on their real estate agent's gas tank, looking at places for shits and giggles. She didn't disagree.

Let me interject for a second- people, this is rude behavior in a market like this. Real estate agents don't get paid unless they sell something. Gas costs nine thousand dollars a gallon. If you don't have any intention of really buying something one day in the semi-near future, get in your own car and go to open houses. Seriously. Yeah, it drives US crazy because we get our hopes up and scrub our house to a sparkle, hoping to wow you, but really, you can't treat your agent that way. Not cool.

Anyway. I've been sitting here, stewing in my own juices, all day long (work is intolerably quiet, which is not helping, as I have no distraction). I googled every combination of "how do I sell my goddamned condo" that I can think of (I mean, not that my mom doesn't know, I'm just trying to see if there is some wacky scheme that she normally wouldn't suggest but might be called for under the circumstances). Google is like, "Sorry dude, can't help you, but do you want to see ads for other condos you might want to buy?" The best we've got is HGTV, and I sort of doubt that's going to do much for us.

Turns out we have a showing tomorrow at 3pm. My mom has known the agent for years. She told him to just bring an offer, any offer, and if he sells it, she'll love him forever. He, apparently, laughed. Did he think she was kidding? She's not. Neither am I. His client wants upgrades? Let's talk upgrades. My husband is an excellent baker, do they want cookies? Every week for a year, they got 'em. Done. Fast closing? No problem. Closing in two months? You got it. (message to baby: don't come before we move.)

So seriously people, all three of you reading: channel ALL your positive energy towards this showing. Pray to your higher power of choice, set up a semi-circle of troll dolls and cast spells, stick pins in dolls, do a tribal dance, whatever you can think of. I'll be doing all of the above, but I'll also be busy scrubbing my shower with a toothbrush, so I will only have so much time for that.

Friday, September 19, 2008

So here's a funny story.

A month or so ago, I came back from the gym to find Stephen sitting on the couch with the sheepiest of sheepish looks on his face.

"...what?" I asked him.
"Wellll, I have to tell you a story."
"WHAT?"

Turns out he was outside with Sam when he saw two young guys with hoodies pulled up, shaking cans of spray paint, ducking around the building. Our building gets tagged a LOT. They set of Stephen's radar (um, maybe the spray paint?), and before he could think it through, he started running after the guys. With our huge dog. The two guys took off running and Stephen came inside, satisfied he'd chased them off.

Oh yeah. They were coming into our garage, and the spray paint was for a dresser they'd stripped and were repainting.

Ok, first of all, hee. I mean, nobody got hurt, and it's kind of funny. (kind of really funny, but maybe only to us? Cops and nurses have sick senses of humor.) Having said that, I was also annoyed with him and reminded him about the safety (or more accurately, lack thereof) of running after people on the street when he's not actually working, not to mention the fact that he was chasing after two innocent guys. He just kept saying they'd set him off, they weren't acting right, etc.

WELL.

I should listen to my husband more often. (crap, did I just say that out loud?!)

Remember the signs about the stolen hockey equipment? It was traced back to the spray painters!! Apparently, the owner of the hockey equipment filed a police report, and while the police were searching the area, they spotted the hockey equipment in the back of a truck. They traced it, somehow, to these two guys who were renting in the building, and long story short, they totally stole the hockey equipment! There were also two bikes stolen from the building in the same time frame. Nobody's proven they took those, but come on. Occam's razor and all.

So the boy has instincts. I still don't like him chasing after people off-duty, but I have to give him that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Universe is Against Us

We had a showing today. Hurrah!

Sigh. Apparently someone left lots and lots of expensive hockey equipment somewhere it could be stolen (they referred to the storage area, but I know our storage lockers and they're just not big enough to hold everything they described, so I'm inclined to think they left it lying around, quite frankly), and, well, it got stolen. They have chosen to handle this by absolutely plastering the building with signs about their stolen items, and how they can't believe someone who lives in this building would do such a thing.

Answer me this: would YOU be inclined to buy in this building?

Stephen was going to go around taking the signs down, but we got behind on cleaning and ran out of time. It would've taken forever, anyway.

I'm sorry this douchebag's stuff got stolen, I really am. But? In addition to my doubts about how well-secured these items were, there are better ways to publicize your losses anyway. Plus, if I want to be one of Those Kind of Condo Owners, you're not allowed to post signs in the building without approval from the board, which he did not have.

It's not as bad as the time the dogwalker got trapped in the elevator, but it's a close second. Right behind this is, of course, the hurricane we had this weekend, preventing anyone from coming to our open house.

It reminds me of that Simpsons episode when Homer has to go back to work at the nuclear plant because Maggie comes along. You know, when Burns hangs the sign in front of his desk? "Always remember: You're here forever."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Kingdom for an Advil

There is nothing quite like being awake for an hour every night with the feeling of a searing hot poker being driven into your lumbar spine and sliding its way over to your right hip.

My back hurts. A lot.

It hurts all day, wtih varying intensity, but after I've been sleeping for a few hours, it wakes me up out of a dead sleep. No position is comfortable, the slightest movement causes every muscle in my back to seize up, as if to say, "you stupid bitch, when will you learn?! Don't MOVE, that only makes me ANGRY!"

I need two things. I need Advil, and I need to go see the naprapath. I can't take Advil. When I learned that, I thought, eh, no biggie, I'm not going to have cramps! I also won't be running very long distances, so no worry about muscle aches. I can take tylenol for the occasional headache. I really didn't miss it until now. How foolish I was.

The good news is, after I see the doctor tomorrow, I'm sure I'll be able to go see the naprapath (...famous last words), and that helps much more than Advil ever has, so there is that.

The other good news is that I took monday night off from working out, and when it didn't help, I decided to work out last night. It actually helped a little bit while I was on the elliptical (no running though, I'm not that brave), and definitely didn't make it worse, so at least there's that.

On a totally unrelated note, I'm fascinated by all this BPA news. I am my father's daugther and therefore severely allergic to, and deeply offended by, junk science and knee-jerk reactions. So really, for the record, we don't know as much as some (*cough* Julie Deardorff you moron *cough*) would have us believe. We know that people with higher concentrations of BPA in their urine (and therefore, we presume higher exposures to BPA) also have higher rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and elevated liver enzymes. Let me preface this by saying that correlation does not imply causation, so for those of you inclined to move to an organic farm and weave food containers out of home-grown bamboo, you can sit tight. But?!?! This is FASCINATING news, because those three physical ailments? Make up metabolic syndrome! They all go together! It's not like they've found higher rates of brain tumors and toenail fungus, these are things that go hand in hand. This is truly fascinating, and I really hope it gets fully explored, and we don't all just panic and decry the evil Nalgene conspiracy. Because here's the thing- metabolic syndrome is also much, much more common in people who are overweight. If these physical findings are actually related to BPA, why is that? Is it that the overweight people who are developing these symptoms eat more processed food that has higher concentrations of BPA? OR?!?! Is it that a higher proportion of adipose tissue predisposes you to absorb higher levels of BPA? People, this is fascinating!

Sigh. Y'all just lapsed into a coma, didn't you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Looking on the bright side...

As frustrated as we are by the lack of a buyer for the condo, I did not mind our lack of a house one bit this weekend. I really never have any interest in bailing out my basement, but in my current state, I'm pretty sure I would've had a nervous breakdown. Flooded basements are no fun.

Speaking of not selling our condo, we're going to be on HGTV! We were chosen as one of the alternatives on House Hunters. Exciting, no? I am sure I can say that, as I have the agreement for the show and it says nothing about keeping quiet about it. It's going to be a giant pain in the butt, because we have to have the place SPOTLESS, obviously, plus we have to get Sam out of the house for the duration of the filming. We almost didn't do it. Then we found out it's only a few hours of filming, they changed the scheduled filming date to a thursday, so I'll be off work, and we don't have to relocate the cats during filming. Honestly, it still kind of seems like a pain, but it's also free advertising, and if we didn't do it, I'd feel like we were letting a big opportunity go by. Now we can add to our listing comments "as seen on HGTV!" Wouldn't YOU want to buy our house after you read that?! Oh, but that is a silly question, because if you're reading this, you're smart enough to know you would've bought our place without that, so awesome is our condo.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Amazing.

Come February, I will be the first woman in the history of mankind to go back to work, leaving her child in the care of another person.

Oh wait. That's not right. I'm just ACTING that way.

I never thought I'd be a good stay-at-home mom. I never really wanted to be a SAHM. Then something really weird happened, sometime between the faintest second line in the history of First Response popping up and the first time I saw that fluttery, flickery little heartbeat. I found myself completely horrified by the prospect of going back to work and leaving my baby at home. I feel like I'll never, ever see the kid. Some total stranger will be raising my baby. They won't feed them the same way I do, or put them down for naps the same way, or do anything the way I do. (ohmygodwhatifthebabylikesthembetter?????)

And then I remember that I am NOT the first person ever to leave their baby with someone else. Millions of people do it every single day, and their kids turn out just as well as the kids whose moms are home. I know, objectively, that the kid won't forget who I am, or decide they want to go live with the nanny (shut up, I saw Irreconciliable Differences at a very impressionable age). I guess I just wasn't expecting to ever feel this way, so I had never really thought it through before, and I'm just blowing it all out of proportion.

It still sucks, though.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mysteries of the Universe

Mystery the First:

Why did they stop making Underoos? You KNOW kids didn't stop wanting them. Why did they stop making them? It makes no sense.

Mystery the Second:

If you didn't grow up on Star Wars, is Darth Vader still an objectively terrifying figure? With the ridiculous helmet and black swooping cape? I don't think I know anyone who can answer that for me. Maybe one of the toddlers we've hired recently as new nurses? Except, even they probably grew up on Star Wars, watching it on tv and video, if their parents cared at all about their cultural development. Must investigate further.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lopsided Belly

I keep trying to get a picture of it, and I keep failing, but my bump keeps going all lopsided. The side that gets higher is really hard, like there's a skinny little booty right there, with its knees jammed up to its chest. Then my whole stomach does the wave.

People. It is SO FREAKING COOL.



On a totally unrelated note:
Samantha Bee!! I love you. call me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Domestics

Our neighbors hate each other. A lot.

I mean, okay, some people like to yell and bitch at each other. Stephen and I develop anaphylaxis at the mere thought, which is not necessarily healthy either, but part of that is that, you know, we actually like each other and we don't want to hurt each other's feelings. Anyway, my point is that I know Stephen and I Do Not Enjoy Fighting, but there are some people who Really Enjoy Fighting.

This is different. I am TELLING you. They haaaate each other.

They have a knock-down, drag out several times a week. We know this because we hear every word. Our paper-thin walls are partly to blame (but look at our immaculate silestone counters! and let me show you the rooftop deck, it's really a lovely place to live, really!), but the screaming doesn't exactly help. I can never make out *exactly* what they're fighting about, but there's lots of screeching and expletives and rage. One of our personal favorites was:

Domestic No. 1: 'morning.
Domestic No. 2: oh, what the fuck is your problem NOW?

I'm not even kidding.

They're having it out right now, and I hope it's a big one. Usually that'll tide 'em over for awhile, and we have a showing on thursday evening. It wouldn't be as bad as "Well, my client liked the unit, but not the elevator that trapped the strange New Zealander," but it'd be right up there to hear, "It's priced well, but my clients are afraid they'll have to call the police when a strange odor permeates the unit from next door."