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March 26th

First, I check out the online form for transferring my service, but it doesn't seem to say anything about DSL so I call customer service where I talk to Ernie to set up the "move" to the new place. He promises something fantastic -- that the phone will ring at both places starting on March 28th. Then, they'll send out a new modem that should arrive by the 8th when they transfer the DSL to the new place and shut off the phone at the old place. Total down time, 1 day.

March 28th

A Tech calls Tim at home warning us that they're going to be shutting off everything -- dialtone & dsl at the old place -- because Ernie doesn't know what he's talking about. He gives us the number of a woman named Tina who can help us sort things out. I call and leave two messages for Tina (long distance) and she never calls me back. We check the new place on Saturday -- no dialtone.

March 31st

Per the tech's instructions ("If nothing happens, call this number.") I call repair and talk to Beth. She decides that our order is scary and requires a specialist. She transfers me to Trisha who says that Ernie doesn't know what he's talking about and that there will be an $18.25 charge to test the line. Then she hangs up on me.

Shortly thereafter, I get a phone message from Diane apologizing for the inconvenience and informing us that our service will be completed by 7pm tonight.

Then someone calls Tim at home saying that we're going to lose service at the house today. (Sound familiar?)

Next, John from St. Paul calls me and says something about order reissue and that I have to talk to Central Office and proceeds to call someone and say he's going to put me through to him and then hangup and I say "Hey, wait, no, don't you go away because I don't know what is going on or what I'm supposed to be asking for" and he doesn't answer that, but talks to the other guy and they get my number and then they hang up on me again.

April 1st

Nothing is working at the new house as far as I can tell. According to repair, order numbers T & F57371347 have both been cancelled. Order number T90841413 supposedly has been done since March 28th and F90841413 is scheduled to be completed on April 8th. Of course, no where can you seem to find out what those "orders" are for. What do we do, just wait until April 8th and see if anything happens.

The condo is starting to look pretty barren. We made a lot of progress this weekend and we've got a bit of a "break" on the moving part... Tonight I paint the office and on Wednesday we celebrate Tim's birthday. Tuesday will probably be a big old box moving day. We've kind of reached a point where we're running out of boxes. We've got a few left and we're going to have to decide if there's stuff we want to move after the furniture, or it makes more sense to unpack some of the stuff and leave it sitting around before we get furniture in there to put it away.

This will be our first weekend of moving. Not our first moving, for sure, but the first weekend. We've made good progress and I think we'll be in good shape for the furniture movers on the 8th. Still, it feels like there's a million little details that I'm not thinking of that will crop up and bite me. Like just the other day I remembered that somewhere in the middle of this, I need to do my taxes! Eek!

Going out for cocktails tonight -- woohoo! Haven't done that in a long time and am really looking forward to it.

Today our new microwave gets installed -- thank you Pauline! Making our new kitchen bearable one piece at a time.

Tim's been rocking on the boxes, and I've been packing too. We've got most of the livingroom shelves packed up and progress on the book cases. I made headway on the hutch and tonight Jenny is going to help me with the fragile stuff. We've got movers coming for the furniture on the 8th and our goal is to have the rest of the "stuff" there before then so the movers don't have to navigate that -- the quicker they can get in and out, the less the bill will be. Besides, by then, we'll be woofied.

We have a signed purchase agreement on our condo! The only "contingencies" are the standard "read the bylaws" and making sure it appraises at what he's offering. I'm not super worried about that since we had an appraisal recently that indicates it should be fine.

So, eek! It's time to get moving! The way I see it, I've got less than 30 days to get everything moved out of the condo and moved into (and put away) the townhouse, because a month from yesterday is Jenny & Pietro's rehearsal dinner. It's not nice to have guests in a boxed up house. Although the boxes could function as tv trays...

It's very exciting today -- it was a little freaky yesterday. This morning, I left my comb on the counter and the top off of my hair gel. Take that* you not-on-the-market-house!

Keeping my fingers crossed, and hoping everything goes smoothly. We've received an offer on the condo and we're scheduled to sign a purchase agreement today at 4pm, which means that we'll have to move pronto... Yikes!

NetSlaves, which first chronicled the whining of the overworked internet worker and now chronicling the whining of the unemployed and bitter internet worker seems to have sensed their own dire tone and has a new thread about Five Things That Make You Happy No Matter What. Since I'm a lurker there, I'll put my list here...

  1. The smell of earth on the first warm spring day.
  2. A Saturday morning cuddle with an extra half hour of sleep.
  3. Driving across country on a clear, sunny day -- no matter what the season.
  4. Laughing uncontrollably with my sister about the things that only she and I would find hysterical.
  5. Having dinner in the excellent company of my husband. (Yeah, "Rat Bastard" -- you've met him.)

Post your five things on the board over there -->

Yesterday they delivered the dumpsters and the siding to start the "renovation" of the condo exterior. I still wonder who has the brother or buddy in building contracting that is benefiting from all the work they're doing on the condo. Whoever buys our place will be walking into a unit with brand new windows, roof & siding -- none of it out of their pocket. Good for them, bad for me.

In the meantime, I've started to move stuff over to the new place that I don't figure I'll need for a while -- ribbons, breadmaker, bran flakes, pine nuts, etc. I don't know for sure that this will help the show-ability of our place, but it surely can't hurt...

"Hey, this condo doesn't have any bran flakes. I'm outta here!"

"... What we don't know is whether happier people get married, or married people get happier." from the Star Tribune article "After marriage: Same old, same old"

An interesting article that says basically you get hyped up on the wedding day and then after a couple of years settle into the "happiness level" that you had before the wedding. I think that's probably good and bad news at the same time. After nearly 4 years of marriage, I'd say that I'm as happy has I was before the wedding. But I was pretty happy to start with. Thinking about my friends, I'd say that they're about as happy as they were before their weddings -- which doesn't necessarily mean good things for them.

But I am inclined to think that the people who get married (especially those that get remarried) are an optimistic sort to begin with -- the kind of people that aren't convinced that marriage will ruin their lives for certain (even if it did before.) I admire that kind of optimisim. And if More Magazine had an article archive, I'd link to a story they ran 3 years ago about women that had been married more than 3 times. If you run across it sometime, it's fascinating reading.

We're up to 13 showings on the condo. The townhouse has a freshly painted living room and Mara's room. The office has been prepped for painting and we're slowly bringing some things over every time we go.

Mom left this morning and we're into Jenny's wedding full swing and then Mara's birthday. Hoping that I get to destress and sleep someday (10 days from now?) but right now I'm completely wiped out and getting very cranky with my coworkers.

It's been a week of town-homeownership and it's been fun. We (mainly my mother, who came into town town help us) painted the livingroom and got rid of the hideous mint green. Yeah! We're planning on painting Mara's room this weekend and maybe even the office. I've spent way too much time trying to peel nasty contact paper out of the kitchen cupboards and am almost* done.

We keep getting showings on the condo, but no offers so far. Poor Tim got 5 minutes notice last night before he had to bail. We're kicked out as of 10:30 am tomorrow and we would have one tonight if our association fees weren't so high (they backed out of the showing when they saw that it was $290/mo.) Can't say I blame them.

Still, the more time we spend in the new place the more we want to move in.

Update... We closed on the townhouse on Friday. We love it. We wandered around the rooms singing its praises. We spent the weekend with my mom at Menards and Home Depot checking out paint, sinks, cabinets, all kinds of stuff that we'll do "someday" (except the paint, which will be soon.)

We had two showings on the condo on Saturday so the activity keeps going -- good news, we think. Mara came and saw the new place on Sunday and picked out a wallpaper border with my mom.

The fridge sucks, but the washer and dryer rock -- as does central air. What a luxury!

Now we just can't wait to move in and enjoy it! Maybe we can plan a housewarming eventually.

02.26.03 - Time be time, mon
Well, I'm not feeling any more relaxed, and I'm wishing I had the freakout pills I had a year or so ago when I was twitchy. But I don't think I really wanna go begging for drugs.

Especially since this situational stress has definitive ending periods. Eventually, Jenny's wedding will have happened, the townhouse will close and the condo will sell.

So in the meantime, I'll ramp up the exercise and wait.

02.24.03 - Situational Stress
So the closing on the townhouse is Friday. Mom is coming that day. The condo still hasn't sold and we're living in a state of perpetual cleanliness alert. Jasmine's tiny psyche is in a state over at Pauline's. Tim's medication should arrive this week. Jenny's wedding is now only 8 weeks away.

I'm freakin'.

Last night at 12:30 when I was wide awake, lying in bed made me crazy and walking around the uber-tidy condo made me crazier, I could tell myself all the rational reasons why everything would be okay with no results.

This morning I woke up with that searing heartburn that goes all the way up into my ear canals when I'm stressed out and tried to deep breathe my way out of it, only to feel like I was hyperventilating.

It reminds me of that morning after you've been tripping, before you sleep. You're exhausted, wired, your body has been through the wringer and your mind is worthless. Only I didn't get any cool visuals or giggle fits.

Roam, if you want to. -B52s

We got final approval on our mortgage, which I guess had been stressing me out without me realizing just how much I was tweaking. Now there are only two things left to do. I'm not saying they're small things -- close & sell the condo.

Oh, and move. Eep!

02.20.03 -- Food Kinda
A couple of guys on the elevator this morning are chit-chatting about one fella's breakfast -- a Jamba Juice smoothie. He says it tastes "okay", but at least it's healthier than Taco Bell.

To me, the kicker is that a smoothie is 860 calories & 21 grams of fat. (Or, to simplify, 18 Weight Watchers points.) A Taco Bell Taco is 170 calories and 10 gms of fat. (Or 4 WW points.)

I'm guestimating this man's weight, but I think that if he were on WW, he would have been in the 24-31 point range per day. This means that he could eat about 1.7 smoothies all day or 8 tacos.

I'm not saying that a smoothie isn't delicious and that it doesn't have some vitamins & minerals (so does lettuce & tomato on a taco) but it's indicative of America's confusion over what is healthy and what is not -- fueled completely by marketing. Positive & negative.

I particularly find this interesting since after the first of the year, Tim and I have almost exclusively eaten at home (so sad, no restaurants) and the result is that the few pounds I've been fighting for a year disappeared without any other lifestyle change. This is bad news for me since I was hoping for some magical equation that still included burgers and beer. Thank goodness I wasn't addicted to smoothies.

The uneventful days are the most difficult in this whole house process. They are the ones that make me feel the most ineffective and with something this large, I hate the idea that there's nothing I can do. I've always felt in my life that no matter what, there was always something I could do to help things along.

When I talked to my loan officer today she indicated that she didn't want to bother underwriting too soon, which made me feel all over again like this whole process is voodoo and my future rests on the whims of the Carlson School of Management worthier-than-thou students that sneered at me while I walked down the path to the Studio Arts building.

Sold another book on, (good riddance, Jakob Nielson) although it's Presidents' Day, so I can't mail it. Hopefully they'll be understanding.

We had three showings over the weekend, at least one of which seems promising. As Coral points out, it only takes one buyer. Every day I wake up and think "maybe today I'll get a call..."

We also got to go look at the new place with Mara. It seemed so much smaller than I remembered it! I guess this is a natural thing, plus the woman is in the process of packing, so nothing is quite as presented as it was. But I've got measurements and floorplans and all of our furniture seems to fit with adequate walking space (even seem a little sparse in places) so I'm not going to worry about it. If you feel like peeking, you can look.

Oh! And in other good, house related news, the association manager told me that the other two bedroom (the trashed, cheap one) sold, so hasta la vista underpriced competition!

Happy Valentine's Day, folks!

The morning started out a little hectic -- I had to drive in with the laptop, but at 7:45am got a call that there would be a showing at 10am, so I called in late to work, did a last minute tidy-up and ran to work. Opened my email to a bitchy, condescending email from our contract tech guy elaborating the steps for registering a domain name. Hmm. Think I know that, butthead. Then ran into more troubles because the laptop couldn't just hook up to the network like it had before. Two strikes against contract-tech-guy for today.

But hopefully, there are people in my house right now thinking about how much they adore it and that they want to make an offer right away! I can think of worse things than having my Valentine's Day dinner delayed because we're busy signing purchase agreements.

If not, I'm going to spend the evening with a yummy gyros kit and playing a little Siberia.

Oh, and with the love of my life! Smooches to Hubby!

Congratulations to Jenny who started her new job today -- adding a little evil to the purity of wa-wa. You are the ninja.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, but also it's two weeks before we close on the house. Possibly more importantly, it's the half-way point through the traditionally coldest month of the year. March is usually quite snowwy, but in that "I'm going to tease you with some bright beautiful sunshine and then dump the white shit overnight" kind of way. Since the best part of winter is the melting snow part, I don't mind March as much as February.

Of course, we had snow all the way through April last year. Horribly unfair, really. Maybe this year we'll get that early and unseasonably warm spring. Keep your fingers crossed inside your mittens.

Pt. 2 -- Giraffe's death at Como Zoo remains a mystery -- Uh huh. When was the last time MIKEY was there?

Half day today, which is nice, stupid insurance meeting today, which is lame. At least I like my agent.

Work has been scary lately -- this endlessly growing list of stuff that's "coming" but isn't ready for us to work on yet. Usually all our clients conspire together and want everything to go to press all at once and we go nutso. I envision them all holding off until the day of my closing and making my life extra stressfull. Or maybe they are all just waiting until after they file their taxes?

Last night I experimented with listing some books on to sell. I figured that a little extra money in my pocket and a few less books to move would be a very good combination. I actually didn't list as many as I thought I might, being as sentimental as I am toward books, but already this morning one has sold.

I also watched Joe Millionaire and was supremely disappointed. 'Nuf said.

Let's see, it's the beginning of another week and that's all I can really say about today. Chugging through work, wrestling with server problems, ravenous for some reason and otherwise tense.

Very much looking forward to seeing the climactic ending of Money Grubbing Hos though. Go ZORA!

So yesterday I started freaking out about "what if" not selling our condo and then realized that the house had been on the market for about 48 hours. Apparently I'll just go looking for something to worry about.

We're heading into the first weekend after the listing and hopefully there will at least be some showings. I chatted up the nice girl in the building telling her that it was available and she actually seemed kind of interested -- I guess she's renting now, which I didn't know since she's lived there for almost as long as I have.

It's freaking cold out and poor Tim is smoking outside to keep the condo smelling sellable. It's cut down on the quantity of smokes for sure, but definitely increased the amount of nicotine withdrawal headaches. Ugh.

I'm glad it's Friday even though I'm not feeling like being very productive and I've got a big old work day ahead of me. Just keep plugging and it'll end eventually, right? Happy Friday folks.

I put together a page with pictures of the condo we're trying to sell and emailed it off to all of my friends. I think most of them have their own places, but maybe there are friends-of-friends and so on that would be interested.

We had an accidental showing last night -- a realtor and client were looking for lockboxes when I came home from work and I told them about my place. They came and looked while Tim and I sat in the exercise room watching King of the Hill. I don't know that they'll be interested, but at least two more people have seen the place -- and been able to compare our house to the other units.

Pulled together all my paperwork and it weighs a ton. Hoping I don't have to carry that* everwhere. Talked to the treasurer of the new association at the townhouse and found that it's, er, a close group!

Now the freakout begins. We listed our house last night and it's on the MLS. Everything is clean and orderly and now we just wait for someone to fall in love with our house and the mortgage(s) to be finalized. How nerve-wracking!

I don't anticipate getting a lot of sleep this month.

Tim and I are pretty excited. Loving the house we've just agreed to purchase is going to make all the hard work we have ahead of us much easier. There's getting our condo ready for sale, putting it up on the market, going through the bridge financing and the final mortgage for the new place. Just when I've got all the inspections and open houses done and the multiple closings (interim financing, townhouse closing, condo closing) I get to relax and uh, move.

If anyone is looking for a nice, 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath condominium on the second floor of a well appointed building in a neighborhood they're calling "the new uptown", drop me a note. It's going on the market early next week.

01.30.03 (part 2)
We got the house. (!)

So the Townhouse saga continues. The listing agent has violated the Realtor Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 1-6 and rather than allow my agent to present a signed purchase agreement on Tuesday night, she is continuing to hold showings and requiring all offers be presented this morning. Bidding wars are a fact of life in a hot real estate market, but I find a planned bidding war to be distinctly distasteful.

As irritated as I am, however, I actually feel sort of bad for the seller -- I understand that she's in a hurry to sell as she just got a job out of state. How was she to know that if she'd picked a more ethical realtor that her house would have been sold 48 hours ago?

Tim and I met with other realtors before we chose Coral. They represented varying flavors of slick and had both had helped friends and family before. While they were a little sales-y for us, they definitely didn't seem shady. We picked Coral because we felt 100% comfortable with her style and ability. I'm sure that she'll prevail on our behalf today.

For myself, all I can do is keep my fingers crossed. I have confidence in my realtor and we both feel that she will be presenting a strong offer on our behalf. I should know by noon today. Eep!

Tim and I found a house we love last night. It's a townhouse, in our neighborhood, in our price range, and it's perfect (for us.) People always said we'd just know when it was right and we did -- we didn't even have to see the whole thing before we'd decided.

We dashed out of the showing to our relator's house to write up a purchase agreement. The listing agent is stalling on letting us present our offer, which is tweaking us out. (And unethical, I might add.)

Hopefully, we'll be able to present our offer tonight and know by tomorrow whether or not we get this gem. Keep your fingers crossed for us please.

My big plan for the day was to go grocery shopping, but mid-morning I realized that to go there would be to put myself in the middle of a million people wrestling for the chips and bean dip as they stock up for the SuperBowl. It seems almost as unpleasant as watching the game.

Thankfully, I won't have to watch the game. I'll be at the movie theater watching dwarves biff each other. Which will suck too.

I hear tell that there are people in Minnesota that love winter. I've never seen any of these people because I wouldn't be caught dead in one of their sleazy hangouts -- ice skating rinks, ski slopes, frozen lakes. Devil's workshops I tell you.

Still, I love Minneapolis. I even like the snow, provided I don't have to be anywhere near it.

I'm sure I've linked to it before, but the phototour of Minneapolis is a pleasant way to browse the city. You can even check out Marcy-Holmes and see why I want to stay livin' where I'm livin'. Dave might wanna note that they link to the Neighborhood Association now.

I wouldn't say I'm healthy yet, but when I woke up this morning I was pretty sure that this wasn't the new, horrible state of my life and that I would recover eventually. My brother-in-law went to urgent care yesterday and they confirmed that we all just had a particularly nasty strain of Influenza. Good I guess.

But it reminds me that I've always been curious about why people used to die from the flu. Yes, I had a fever, a cough, stuffy nose and an upset stomach. But since the decongestants seemed to upset my stomach more than clear my nose and chest I didn't take them much. I should have drank more fluids than I did, but I didn't.

At no time, however, did I feel like my life was honestly in danger. Were our bodies just weaker in general? Was the virus more aggressive? Suppsedly you can't "catch your death of cold" so the central heating shouldn't have figured in. The only modern convenience I suppose that may have made a serious difference is Kleenex. I didn't reintroduce more virus every time I blew my nose. Gross, really. Life saving? I hope I never know.

I'm sick as a dog and it totally sucks. Started feeling a little foggy on Saturday morning and by that night I was wheezing and moaning. Pretty much slept all day Sunday and now I'm home from work on Monday. Classic cold. I'm optimistic though -- my fever is down to 100 and I'm feeling a little hungry after basically not eating for two days.

Well, for a while at least I think I'm going to do this manually. can't have a separate template for the archives and the regular posts which makes things hard to read. Plus, it's not all that hard to do, really.

Tonight I've got a work party at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Not super excited about a WORK party, but I'm looking forward to seeing the Egypt exhibit, wearing my newish dress and seeing Tim in his pink sport coat!

A little frustrated with It seems to work pretty well and the files stay on my server, (er, Bill's server) but I can't make the archive template be different than the display template which is annoying. If I had lots of room to put a lot of posts here, I obviously would. Maybe I keep this part manual for a while.

Evenutally, this area here will be powered by a blogging program -- most likely In the meantime, Tim and I are experimenting with a little change of pace with the web site.

Undoubtably, links are broken and content is missing, but I've been staring at it too long, and so I'm going to let it be for now. You could* email me if you wanted to make my job easier.

01.14.01 - Stewartville, MN

Stewartville, MN is a very small town just south of Rochester on Hwy. 63. It can be on your route to St. Louis, MO if you decide to take the diagonal through a lot of small towns.

If you ever drive through Stewartville, you'll notice that they have beautiful ornate streetlights down the main drag of the town. Of course, they've got them about ever 10 feet which results in a very surreal looking scene.

However, this odd lighting was explained to us... by the mortician of Stewartville... who picked Tim and I up off the side of the road when we were hitch hiking because our car broke down between Cannon Falls and Zumbroda...

Now, Stewartville is in the news because their porn store, Pure Pleasure, is offering a clergy discount, much to the chagrin of the clergy.

01.06.03 - Escaping the Post-Holiday Blahs

Usually this time of year I'm completely plagued with post-holiday-party-um where I mope around for a good month missing all the fun. I stare at the Christmas tree alternately loving and hating it and putting off taking down the ornaments.

This year, though, I'm lucky. My sister is getting married in April and I've got a bunch of new parties to plan instead of missing Christmas. I've got a bachelorette and rehearsal dinner to host, a shower to attend, shoes to find, gifts to shop for! Woohoo! Maybe she could do this every spring?

01.02.03 -- A new year

Meet the new year. Same as the old year. Hope everyone survived the holiday season without the EggNog raising their cholesterol too bad. Take care.


Tim Mitchell, Comedian

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