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Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Hi, Annie-fans. I know it's been a while since I've updated, and this is because I've barely had time to visit my own home throughout the month of March. I did say I wanted this year to be exciting, and it's certainly shaping up to be that way. Here are a few of the things I've been doing lately...

Buying a house.
The day I closed on the thing, I got a phone call from Drew the loan guy, frantically telling me that I needed to clarify something about my rental history because I'd been randomly audited. Aparently, the government troll had never heard of anyone using their parents' address as a permanent one while they were still renting, and took the liberty of changing my loan application. Drew, who is one of the most boring people I ever met, actually yelled at the woman until she fixed it, and the deal went down with only a slight coronary event for me. I'm not moved in yet, as I just got the floors don this week (I was NOT about to leave sixty-year-old carpeting in my dining room), and I've barely had time to go over there because of...

Falling in love.
That's right, I finally found someone that I can go on dates with and not constantly be thinking to myself "Man, I could so be reading a book right now." His name is Mark. He a post-doc entomologist studing tiny wasps, he wants to write a comic book about a man with the powers of an aphid, and I'm pretty sure I could beat him at arm-wrestling. We're so into each other that his friends have already opened a betting pool on when he'll buy the ring. Luckily, we're both a little more sane than that and think that we should at least live together first. It's pretty obvious though that we will have skinny, dorky, bespectacled children, because the only thing we seem not to have in common is that I like musicals and he likes football. Speaking of sports, I have also been...

Seeing my first live soccer game.
While visiting my friend in Massachusetts, I got to see the Canadian women vs. Brazil in a "friendly" game, since they'd both already qualified for the olympics. I've got to say, the Canadians are a lot tougher and way less dramatic. The one exception was when Brazil's goalkeeper and a Canadian jumped into the same space at the same time, and the side of the Brazillian's head collided with the Canadian's shoulder. This was when I leared the difference between what they call "flopping," and when the Brazillian goalkeeper falls to the ground and does not move.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping the world safe by explaining to the ever-expanding crop of poison-control partakers that they cannot use foggers as shot-sprays, and there is no such thing as The Hemlock Maneuver. I'm also trying to keep Shifu from giving up entirely with most of the adult student body at FEMA either working at night or pregnant.

Stay tuned for my review of The Hunger Games movie. Here's a preview - Lenny Kravitz: Good. CGI: Bad. Jennifer Lawrence: Hot.

If anybody needs me, I'll be in my hat.

Brains are HOT.

I'm in love with an entymologist. He met me at the door with a rose in his teeth on Valentine's day.

An Open Letter to Rick Santorum

Dear Mr. Santorum... snicker,

I've heard that you seem to think we liberals have sissified politics, and decided that as a concerned citizen, I shouldn't let this stand. So, I thought I'd challenge you to a fight, a la Al Franken with Rich Lowry. I haven't been in a real fight since I was four, but I'm pretty slippery and think I could take you. This would take place in the parking ramp of my workplace between the hours of 1030pm and 4am. I'm not allowed to kick you in the nads and you may not punch me in the breasts. Otherwise, it's like Fight Club: First one to say Uncle loses. If I win, you apologize and disappear from the public eye. If you win, I stop making fun of your name. How about it?

Yrs,
Annie F.

Mannish?

Since I'm tired of telling my internet dates that they should look for the girl who kind of looks like Daniel Radcliffe, I've been making a bit more of an effort to feminize my appearance when I go out. So far, this has only taken the shape of v-neck sweaters and a couple of accessories, but you know.

Then last night I went to dinner by myself at a bar, having reverted to a red hoodie and cargo pants for the evening, as I planned only to do just that: Eat dinner by myelf. Then this drunk fella two stools over started talking to me about Farscape and Blackadder, and by the end of the conversation, he told me I was attractive, and that it's not often one meets a cute scifi geek.

I went home and asked my mother if the outfit said "Hit on me!!!" Mom said I looked cute, which she always says.

Phase... God, who knows anymore?

The seller agreed to come down to the appraisal price. We're back in it!

Phase XXV in Operation What-Could-Go-Wrong

The inspector says the house is in fine shape. The furnace is over a hundred fucking years old, but this is more or less offset by the brand spanking new roof and siding.

Then there was the appraisal, which finally came in yesterday. If you ask me, it makes more sense to do this at the beginning BEFORE anyone makes offers, but what do I know? Anyhoo, the appraised value turned out to be about 5000 less than the asking/agreed price, which means I have two options: I can try to get the appraiser to reconsider(not bloody likely), or get the seller and her horde of offspring to reconsider (moderately bloody likely).

My one consolation is that the seller is bound to realize that anyone else in my position is bound to be in the same, well, position. Jonna says it's an important setback, but not impossible to overcome.
A lot has happened in the last 48 hours. First, Jonna took me to a moldy house, then to a tiny house, and then to a house that was so new to the market there weren't even any pictures up on line. The latter was more of a might-as-well type of thing, since I had no idea what it would be like, but the price was good and it claimed to be in move-in condition. What we found was a place inhabited by a 92-year-old lady with COPD, who's lived there forever and done a great job keeping the place up. The second I walked in, I thought VILLA VILLEKULA. There's an open staircase, and a front porch, and a back deck, and a kitchen that's big enough to put an island in. There's even an attic. An attic! I could hide all the political refugees I want!

So we had a second showing last night with Mom and Dad, who loved it as much as I, and Jonna and I drew up an offer. The nonagenarian's seven kids had to all agree on the terms, which I though would take at least a couple of days. They came back with a counter-offer this morning, agreeing to all the terms except that they wanted the asking price. I'd been willing to pay the asking price in the first place, but Jonna said we should low-ball it so there was room to negotiate.

TL;DR: I started thinking about buying my own place just before Christmas, thinking it would take a few months at least. Contingent on the inspection next week, I'll have gone from a half-homo to a home-owner in the course of about twenty days.

The Kubler-Ross model of buying a house

1 - Denial: No, you can't have the one with the swimming pool, the pool table, and the swimming table. That doesn't even make any sense.

2 - Anger: You want HOW much for this asbestos-ridden death rattler???

3 - Bargaining: Okay, you don't have to cover the closing costs. But I want the dishwasher and that nice snow shovel I saw on the porch.

4 - Depression: This is never going to work. Why did I ever think that anyone would be stupid enough to sell me a house? I'm going to die in my parents' guest room!

5 - Acceptance: They accepted my offer? Seriously? No. SERIOUSLY?

So far I've got stages 1-4. We'll find out about 5 tomorrow morning.
Phase II in Operation Grow-Up-And-Find-My-Own-Space: Leg work

I met with Jonna the adorable realtor (old friend of my sister's from college) and her sidekick the pre-approved loan guy (who for some reason kept using my first name through our meeting even though we were the only ones in the room), and I came to the conclusion that if it will save me money, I'll gladly shovel my own snow and mow my own grass. So today, I'm looking at three different houses - One at Randolph and 35E, one in Midway, and one in Minneapolis. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the one in Midway, because I'd like to borrow sugar from Gwerold whenever I need to.

Meanwhile, I've taken my parents up on their offer to stay at their house during the process, so that I can save a little more money in case I need to buy a refrigerator. I just hope Hamish doesn't do anything to make Mom hate him enough to turn him into a violin.

In other news, on their last day in town, my sister and her wife insisted on taking me off of OkCupid and putting me on match.com, where there will hopefully be fewer swingers. I made sure to include in my profile that I will not consider anyone who thought Revenge of the Sith was a good movie. So far, I've been contacted by one entomologist who thought it was an okay (not good) movie, and one so-called English major who actually used the term "could of" when he meant to say "could've." I'm assuming he did this ironically.

Operation Stop-Being-A-Fifth-Wheel

Since my office is moving farther west in Bloomington (making a house in East St. Paul a bit of a drag), and new babies take up an extraordinary amount of space for such tiny creatures, and I'm not getting any younger so it would be wise to stop wasting money on rent,I've started looking for my own condo. So far, I've perused a bunch of realty websites, gotten in touch with a rep at Coldwell Bankers, and started a list of deal-breakers and desires. Here's what I've got so far:

Musts:
Between 35E, 35W, Larpenteur, and West 7th
A second bedroom or a dining room
Laundry
Cats allowed
Reasonable association fee
Place to put my car during a snow emergency
Storage space
Walking distance to bars

Would be nice:
Wood floors
An actual garage
Counter space
Built-in buffet
Dishwasher

Cannot:
Have bullet holes
Smell like a cafeteria in an old folks home
Be in a basement
Contain any vortex leading to a place where hamburgers eat people
Be haunted, except by Amy Winehouse. Or Heath Ledger. Or Brittany Murphy, God rest her soul.