Wednesday, October 29, 2008

no mortgage

We got a letter from our buyer's attorney today. They need an extension on the mortgage contingency because they don't have a mortgage yet.

WE CHECKED THIS. My mom called their loan officer before we went to contract, and was assured they would have no trouble getting a loan. We checked.

We've jumped through every hoop they've presented to us (except for replacing the ceiling, which, seriously, you really asked for that???). I realize that people are sometimes shocked these days when they can't get a loan. I realize standards are a bit more stringent. But I think if you go to contract on a condo and act as obnoxious as our buyers have, and you can't even get a damn loan, you are the biggest loser on the planet. LOSER.

Our attorney is supposed to get in touch with their attorney today and find out exactly what the problem is. We're hoping our loser asshole buyers are just holding out for rates to drop after election day. It's the only possible good answer we could get. Otherwise, I hope they get run over by a bus. Slowly.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I'm sorry, I just went to childbirth class and lapsed into a coma.

I was very annoyed, because the only way to tour the hospital and find out exactly where to go and what to do when the little chickpea decides to make his/her entrance was to sit through the entire eight-hour course. I think we all know my control-freak tendencies make skipping the tour a total non-option. I NEED to know where to go and what to do when that day comes.

They pretty much covered the stages of labor, showed a few videos, and then took us on the tour. I was not bored because I went to nursing school, I was bored because the stuff they talked about is common knowledge to anyone with a copy of What to Expect and a cable subscription that includes TLC or the Discovery channel. There were a few hospital-specific tidbits about pain management and intra-/postpartum routines, but overall, I could've taught the class as a junior in college.

The most interesting part was that Stephen and I were the only couple, out of eleven couples, that did not know the sex of our baby. I know a lot of people find out ahead of time, but that really surprised me. It was also fun to look around the room and try to guess whether people were having boys or girls. I'm usually pretty accurate- low and wide can be either a boy or a girl, but basketballs are usually boys, in my experience. Not the case in our class., which puts me BACK in the position of "totally clueless" regarding the sex of this baby. I guess I still think it is a boy because when I think about it being a girl, I know I would be shocked, but when I think about it being a boy, it makes sense to me. I don't know.

Because we are total assholes, we also had fun mocking our classmates. In our defense, one girl was wearing a bright orange velour jumpsuit with her stomach hanging out the bottom- we had NO CHOICE but to mock her. The rest may or may not have deserved our snottiness, and I flatly deny all accusions related to either of us using the word badonkadonk at any point throughout the day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ohhh, that's TINY.

There were a lot of kids at Henry's birthday party tonight. Lots and lots. The tiniest was the itty-bitty son of her friends. On our way out the door, I asked how old he was.

"Twelve weeks," she said,

Jesus tap-dancing Christ.

The baby was TINY. WAAAY too little to be away from his mommy.

And yet.

That is exactly how old my child will be when I abandon him/her and return to work.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pish Posh.

I was really disappointed when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. To me, it showed a serious lapse in judgement and more than whiff of desperation ("ohgodpleaseIwantthissobadlymaybethiswillgettheHilaryvote"). Somehow, though, I was still shocked and appalled when I finally took the time to watch him address the issue of a woman's health as it factors in to late-term abortions.

This isn't actually about pro-life vs. pro-choice to me (and seriously, can all of us rational, thinking people stop saying "pro-abortion", and acknowledge that while we may not agree, pro-choice people are no more pro-abortion than pro-life people enjoy seeing rape victims get pregnant?). It's not. It's about paternalism and condescension. Because when you use air quotes to refer to the "health of the mother" as it relates to late-term abortions, and imply that the real-life health consequences for some women in pregnancy are a figment of our hysterical imagination, you insult women. Period.

Pregnancy can threaten a woman's life. Severe pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and uterine infection are all very real conditions that can, and have, killed women. If these conditions become severe prior to the 24th week of gestation, a woman is faced with a choice- attempt to last until 24 weeks and die in the process, or terminate the pregnancy (the only known cure for two of those three conditions, and the only complete cure for infection). Here's where it's not about abortion rights: if you believe the woman should have no choice other than to continue the pregnancy, then you feel that way, I'm not really arguing that point right now. But you can't make that point without acknowledging that the woman will most likely die. Again, this is not imaginary, this is real.

If McCain really feels that way, well, he and I are never going to see eye to eye on that and it's fruitless to even discuss it. But I would come a wee bit closer to respecting his opinion if he would sack up and say so, instead of implying, as medicine has for centuries, that women are inventing these silly little problems.

Not that I was exactly on the fence about the election, nor are any of the three people who read this, but it's nice to know his opinion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home, Take Two

So, we had our attorney kill the deal on the last house. It just kept getting more and more expensive, we kept finding more and more problems, and it finally seemed like a decision so stupid, we had no choice but to reverse course. It is sad, because it was a very cool house, but the sellers were total douchebags and the house was in worse condition than we'd ever expected, so we had to do the wise thing and FINALLY pull the plug.

Tonight we went to contract on a beautiful house in Old Irving that we both love a lot, with a yard as big as my parents' yard in the suburbs. Sam is thrilled. So are we. Finally.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


You guys.


Were you aware of this? Apparently, in a few limited (LUCKY) locations, Judy Blume's birthday is celebrated with readings, dramatic reenactments, and Q&A sessions with Judy herself.

I am so not kidding. I read all about it here.

Can we PLEASE do something about this??? We have a whole year, and HOW MANY librarians? Come ON!!

Do it for Margaret.

Friday, October 10, 2008

well, that's a pickle.

We had the home inspection for our chosen house yesterday. Our chosen house which is owned by two of the biggest douchebags in the Chicagoland area, as is only fitting for this entire real estate experience. There was nothing cataclysmic, but a few things that absolutely need to be addressed, will cost significant money, and must be addressed by the sellers (circuits overtapped to the point they're a fire hazard, leaking gas valve on the water heater, just to name the two biggest issues). We asked that these issues be rectified, in addition to a bunch of other stuff that any reasonable person would agree to fix but these people most likely will not. We also let a LOT slide, including major kitchen issues, since we will be gutting the kitchen anyhow.

We are fully expecting our sellers to tell us they will not fix a single thing. We decided, when we agreed to pay more than our original best and final, that if we were not happy with the inspection, we would walk. Someone else could pound sand for a change. Our two other potential choices both have significant drawbacks, but if it got to the point where we would be making a financially irresponsible decision, we'd take the less-than-ideal houses over this mess.

Seems straightforward,right? Of COURSE it's not! I talked to our loan officer yesterday, and she somehow managed to lock us into an interest rate of 5.99%. It's a miracle! ...but we have to have our contract in the computer by wednesday, and it has to be the contract for the house we ultimately buy. Meaning, we can't put THIS contract in the computer, then change houses, and keep the rate. Our sellers have until monday at noon to respond to our inspection demands, and possibly until tuesday, if their attorney chooses to view Columbus Day as a non-work day (our attorney will be working, but theirs could easily say no). So we'd have to move IMMEDIATELY on our second choice, and just pray to have the signed contract in place in time. Interest rates, as of today, are nearly 0.75% higher than our locked-in rate. This will come close to $100/month.

Now it turns into a complicated math problem, where we try to figure out how long we'd have to stay in the house to have the expense of a higher rate outweigh the expense of the repairs the house needs (answer: pretty darn long), in addition to the questions about how we'd feel about one of those second choices, and making sure we're not having a kneejerk reaction to the assholes selling us the house. Because, make no mistake about it, they are truly assholes, but once we close, they are assholes we never have to deal with again. (well. I suppose that, given both our jobs, we could conceivably have to deal with them in the future, but not in a real estate context.)

We're going back sunday to decide which house is our second choice, just in case. I'm not sure how easy it will be to make that decision, since one house is completely gorgeous and amazing, but on a rotten block with no backyard to speak of, and the other is a very small house which we would ultimately outgrow in several years, on a very nice block with an enormous backyard and, oh yeah, one of the biggest high schools in Chicago located directly across the alley. This? Is why we've put up with so much crap with our sellers thus far. Decisions, decisions.

I'm pretty sure this is interesting to nobody in the world except us.

ICE CREAM! Today I did an experiment, and mixed a 100 calorie snack pack of Chips Ahoy with my daily ice cream. It sounds good, doesn't it? It really wasn't. I mean, it wasn't bad, but I wouldn't bother with it again. That's me: attempting variations on McDonald's ice cream so you don't have to. You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And the universe said,

"Go pound sand." And we were left with no choice but to pound sand.

Let's see...

1- we already sold at a ridiculously low price. Buyers market and all (ha). Now it turns out we'll also be replacing the entire furnace, the special assessment for the atrium that has been discussed the entire time I've lived here will be passed several days to a week before our closing, leaving us holding the bag, and the deal might fall through anyway because the buyers expect us to replace an entire brick wall and replaster the whole ceiling.

2- we ended up spending $20,000 more than our original best and final on the stupid house we chose because we can't find another house that works. And for the record, this house only works after approximately $30-40,000 worth of work. That's the best we could do. Those buyers are already trying to list exclusions. Our inspection is tomorrow, I'm sure they'll refuse every single repair and we'll have to decide what to do then.

3- I am having serious, profound irritation with a work situation and I'm just going to leave it at that because A) not gonna discuss details of work and B) anyone who doesn't work in health care will think I'm evil and deserve everything the universe is throwing at me. I get it, it's hard to understand that sympathy only goes so far for people until you have to deal with them day in and day out, so I'm not even going to try to explain.

I'm just beyond fed up and that's just the way it is and the way it's probably going to be for awhile.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Curse you, McDonalds.

I think my most consistent pregnancy addiction has been McDonald's plain vanilla ice cream in a cup, no topping. I've had some that came and went- Chipotle, lemonade, cold cereal (well, that one actually got so expensive I got annoyed and just stopped, but anyway), a few others I can't remember. But I've been wanting their ice cream the whole time. Well, not really. I'd STRONGLY prefer chocolate ice cream, because vanilla, as we all know, is a synonym for "plain" or "unflavored". However, chocolate is only an option in shake-form, and while the plain ice cream has a reasonable amount of calories and fat, making it a reasonable every day treat, the chocolate shake has neither, being a once-in-awhile, oh-my-god-I-can't-resist kind of treat. So. Plain vanilla ice cream it is. In a cup, because I think it's unbecoming to lick an ice cream cone at work. (oh yeah, there's also the convenience factor, it's right here in the hospital. I'll refrain from editorializing on the appropriateness of a McDonald's being located inside a childrens hospital, particularly in the midst of an obesity epidemic, but you can guess where I stand on that. ANYWAY.)

I'm already quite confident the people who work at McDonalds make fun of me when I'm not around and call me Ice Cream Lady. And they see me coming and they're like, godDAMN, it's ice cream lady again. She never wants her receipt and she never takes any damn peanuts, so we have all these extra peanuts, and then we run out of ice cream.

Whatever, too bad, I want ice cream, they can make fun of me all they want. But today? I went for my cold cup of deliciousness, and the bastards had the audacity to be CLEANING THE MACHINE.

I totally take this personally, because I'm there at the same time every day, and you just KNOW they were like, "Ooh, ice cream lady's coming, put the machine on 'wash'!" Those of you who think I'm either kidding or paranoid never worked in foodservice, because, let me tell you, we absolutely do those things.

Five minutes, they said. SO I said I'd go back. And oh, believe me, I WILL, that ice cream will be MINE, oh yes it will. Ice Cream Lady will remain unvanquished. (Ok, I guess I'm partially vanquished, since I currently have no ice cream. whatever.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

every bad thing I've ever done...

The karma train is coming back around for me in the form of real estate.

Which, I mean, isn't all that dramatic of me- I haven't really done anything truly terrible iny my life. All the little things, though- every time I cut someone off in traffic, every mean thing I've ever said, all of my general misanthropy, it's all coming back.

The condo deal *looks* like it's still safe. I probably shouldn't say that and anger the gods (not to mix metaphors...or something...), but the inspection wasn't a total disaster, and while they'll probably counter with some ridiculous demands, whatever, we're prepared to screw the pooch.

Turns out the world of estate wants us to do that on both ends. The house we found, that we like, but needs major work to make the kitchen remotely acceptable? (I mean, we're talking about moving walls, just to give you an idea of the scope of work.) We gave the owners an admittedly low offer. They countered at five under their list price. They've been on the market nearly a year. When their agent showed them the comps from the neighborhood, that are just barely above our offer, their response was that it doesn't count, because those people gave their house away. They also said they're considering pulling the listing. They don't even live there anymore. They bought a two-flat, and are living in one while they rent the other for additional income. They're claiming they want to rent both units and move back into the house, because they're that sure they can do better in a more favorable market.

Here's the thing: the house needs roughly $40,000 in work. We're talking about a really great block, in a neighborhood that has never been popular, that will never BE popular, that is two blocks off a stretch of Milwaukee where half the storefronts are boarded up. I'm incredibly disappointed that they're not willing to deal, but neither one of us is afraid to walk away. We already took a hit on the condo, we're not taking one on the house, too.

Still, it's aggravating, because everything else on the market is a total piece of (overpriced) crap. They keep saying it's a buyer's market and I am here to tell you that is a load of horse poo. There is nothing good on the market, because anyone with anything good is waiting, and anyone who is trying to sell is living in total denial.

I'm not sure where this leaves us. I guess we're gonna end up in a house we don't really like, that we'll end up trying to sell when the market rebounds, if it ever even does, provided our own buyers don't come back from inspection asking for thousands of dollars.

What I do know is that the whole topic is even boring to ME, so I'd like some resolution, just so I can start talking about something remotely interesting again.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I would've waited.

I was almost to work today when I happened to glance at my gas gauge and notice I had, um, no gas at all. Bah. I had already driven past the Really Expensive Shell station, and traffic was terrible, so I decided to go to the I'm Gonna Need a Loan For This Mobil station. It was actually only two cents more per gallon, which is a small miracle.

I pulled up to the pump and went to swipe my card, when I noticed that all the pumps were turned off and the gas station was closed. I contemplated going after work, but I was early enough, so I went back to the Shell station and filled up. Having a near-empty gas tank stresses me out beyond all reason. Like, if I DO run out of gas on Lincoln Avenue, there will be no one to help me? Or one of the really shady people who hang out in Lincoln Park will rob me at gunpoint in broad daylight during rush hour? I don't know. Anyway, I got my gas and went on to work.

On my way home this evening, I passed the same Shell station. The gas was eighteen cents cheaper a gallon.

You go to hell, Shell station. You go to hell and you die.

The World's Biggest Lap Dog


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Inspection on Saturday

NOT relieved yet.

Really holding our breath. Fingers crossed.

There may be an end to this real estate adventure in the year 2008 after all...