Sunday, April 27, 2008

good bye old house

I finished the last bits of cleaning in the old house and turned in my keys today. A few days previous I had walked around the emptied place, thinking of all the life I had spent here. Moving in here with the mate. All the hawks who lived in the living room. The garden we planted. I will miss the beauty of the house, the fireplace tiles and all the curves, I will miss the avocados, but I will not miss the drafty aluminum windows and the summer heat that built up under the uninsulated roof.

In January I had planned to take this week off, meaning to take a trip to Yosemite. At that time I had no idea I'd be going not to the hills but would stay in the flatlands by the Bay unpacking in my new house.

A dear friend from university has given me a lawnmower on semi-permanent loan. My parents never had a lawn. So to my great shame against all that America stands for, I have never mowed a lawn in my life. I know how to iron a shirt better than I know how to mow a lawn. Fortunately my friend also provided the user manual. Gassed and oiled it, plugged in the spark, primed it a few times, and yanked the starter about 10 times. Primed it a few more times and yanked, and a small cloud of white smoke rose to the sky to join the other greenhouse gases and, by god, Houston, we had contact.

In about a half hour or so I was sweating like a pig but had a nice flat lawn that would keep my neighbors' property values up. The thing I don't understand is why the front wheels are locked in position. Why doesn't it drive like a car?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

so far so good

I've been scrubbing and wiping and finding out this old house is a mess. I think I'll try to cut a deal with the landlady. She's going to want to paint anyway, I'm pretty sure, so I'll try to get away with cleaning the kitchen and bathroom fully, and doing the floors in the rest. I'll give her a few hundred out of my deposit for painting. Let's see if she's okay with that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

boxes are moved

but not yet the soul -- meaning the boxes need to be opened. The movers did a great job.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Wednesday afternoon the RE agent called saying I might close that day. I called the title company and my escrow officer confirmed that it was definite, then she called him. I got my keys that afternoon after work.

I packed up a sleeping bag and some minimal necessaries for being in a completely empty place, grabbed the bird and necessaries for perching & feeding him, and we spent the night in the new place. Along the way we took a few minutes out and picked off a crow feeding on some crushed crackers in a parking lot.

As I bedded down for the night, the house echoed and made occasional creaking noises, raccoons trotted overhead, and sleeping on a floor was something I haven't done in 20 years. But I had this slightly stunned sense that this was mine, in (obviously) the good kind of way.

There was still a lot of trash left behind and not enough good stuff. I was given one key that opened the front door only. There were no remotes for the garage door. And they took the shower head (a really good one, drat.) A remote for a ceiling fan I knew was missing already.

The next morning I was getting used to the paths around the place. I bought and installed new locks for the doors, put in a new shower head, installed towel racks (where the hell did they put their wet towels, I wonder), a TP holder, and a shower curtain rod. Cleaned the filthy bit between the stove and the countertop (shocking considering the spotlessness of the rest of the house, but perhaps less so considering the paint, rotting cardboard boxes and wood, and other trash left behind). Measured two windows for new blinds and helped the painter out with some minor stuff.

I'm wiped out but happy. I'm back at home (soon to be former) and hitting the sack in seconds.

Friday, April 11, 2008

hung up

I ordered some bubble wrap online, and I should have done it sooner. The dishes & glassware and myself are just hanging loose waiting for the stuff to arrive.

P & I got out today and had a few crow slips. Passing through an intersection, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye but passed it up in favor of a more likely spot. That turned into a bust so I came back to check it out. It was an awkward location so I had P on the glove all ready to go.

It turned out to be a jackrabbit, which P has turned his nose up at quite a few times. He generally likes sitters -- if they're moving, he just doesn't want to commit to the inevitable rolling that happens. Even for bunnies he won't commit. We haven't gone after jacks since I gave away S.

P launched, sailed up high, did a pretty little tiercel wingover and hit dirt. I expected that: the wingover works in very thick cover (where the rabbit is limited where it can go, and how fast) but not in landscaping. I pulled into the parking lot and walked a little ways away, then walked back through the landscaping, hoping to flush it.

Which it did, later than I expected. It must have been freezing almost right below P. It ran into the side street (fortunately no traffic at all) with P coming down from the tree he'd stopped in. Slammed it in the shoulder, struggled, and landed it in the street. He'd made a terrific tear in the skin, it was bleeding badly, and there were bits of rabbit fluff on the ground. I ran down and of course the jack, already terrified and screaming, sprang to life and ran around under my feet, me trying to get a hand on it.

After a few seconds the situation stabilized to a falconer kneeling on the lawn over a panting, wired hawk and a dying rabbit. Driving away from the scene of the crime I spotted a crow overhead, and as I got onto the street I saw another crow picking up the rabbit fluff to add to its nest.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

into the homestretch

Into the scary place where small squimy things have lurked, where the air, laden with slimy particles, glues itself to all surfaces. Where foods from backwards lands and undesirable gifts have settled for years, their decomposition arrested by chemistry.

The kitchen.

< cue "Jaws" theme >

Sunday, April 06, 2008

damn i love


and kissing, and the bed sounds, and the scent of sex mixed with her perfume, and seeing clothes strewn all over the floor, and holding her silently listening to the songs of birds I haven't heard before

while the sky washes away into dusk

Thursday, April 03, 2008

starting to come together

The house is starting to have a semblance of being packed. There's still stuff all over, but it's better. It was pretty nightmarish when it was not just packing but reorganizing. The mate's parents always stuck a pair of nail clippers in the Christmas stocking, and now I've collected about a dozen of these damn things that you can never find when you need one. Tools get moved from garage to upstairs as needed, and don't get put back in one place; now they are, more or less.

It's almost as if you need to clear some space and start making piles before you start on boxing up. Computer stuff. Decorative stuff (SO much decorative stuff). Wall art. Tools. Small photos. Videos. My drawing/drafting equipment. Framing and matting stuff. And the big pile is things to give to Goodwill -- that one is a mess.

Furniture has been shifted to make room for boxes, and things are looking clearer. Bookshelves are empty and now I can clean them (hawk=dander and feathers, living a block from the freeway=lots of dust.) I want to have everything clean when it gets moved to the new place. Except for the toaster oven. No one ever cleans a toaster oven.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

for some reason I just want to say

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck

Mysteriously, I'm not upset or mad about anything. It's just a momentary Tourettian lapse, perhaps a low level reaction to the many things happening. Individually speaking, none of these things is worth even half a line, but it's all the minor little fucks that build up.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck

That's better now. Time for a beer.

My RE agent is lame. My loan officer is lazy and, as far as I can tell, has very little experience. My loan processor doesn't call me back. However, I do have a good escrow officer and the people in another part of loan processing are very good too. The inspectors have been great. And I am going to get this house, so there must be some good coming out of it despite the less than helpful people I'm dealing with.