Friday, April 29, 2005

Haggling Over Home Sweet Home

"Lovely, well priced. Showroom home in great condition. Window treatments, ceramic tile and three full baths."

The above is the realtor's description of the home we are trying to buy. All in all (and considering there are no pictures of the home online) it's not very descriptive. The selling points are basically "nice looking, well priced, window treatments, ceramic tile and 3 baths."

Did you notice that 1 out of the 5 selling points is the window treatments? And they are quite nice, probably way-expensive designer curtains & drapes. We took that into consideration when we made the offer.

The seller wants to take the window treatments with her. She countered our perfectly (more than) reasonable offer to say that she is renegging 20% of the original offered setup. And she wants to close ONE DAY EARLIER. And she thinks we should pay $75 instead of $50 for the HOA transfer fee.

Crimminee. Why are sellers so weird??? Who changes a contract for $25? It was a struggle to keep J from countering with a HOA fee of $62.50 just to spite her. I thought we should have demanded the washer, dryer and refrigerator as replacement for the upstairs curtains. But I was overruled and informed that people just don't do that in Texas. I barely got away with asking for the refrigerator. And it was so tempting to add in "AND 3 BOTTLES OF KETCHUP AND A CASE OF PEPSI. DIET PEPSI."

I could have used that washer and dryer. If she dares to counter again, I'm getting the washer and dryer or she can take her pretty house and STUFF IT.

Little Rebel

My dog sheds twice a year. By "sheds," I mean that his fur makes a mass exodus from his body in chunks the size of hampsters and he begins to resemble a cancer victim, or a cat that has recently lost a fight.

I have a habit of reaching over to him and just pulling the already detached chunks of fur out, despite the fact that for some reason it really annoys J.

The way I see it, I would rather have a poof of fur in my hand to throw away than to find it strewn around the bed, couch, and carpet. A poof in hand is worth several distributed around the house. And it's not like it hurts the dog.

What always cracks me up is my dog's response, that when I pull a dangling tuft of fur from his hind quarters, HE WANTS IT BACK. You would think that we were on the playground in fourth grade and I had just stolen his lunch. He whirls around and does everything he can to TAKE BACK that poof.

I don't know what he thinks he's going to do with a mouthful of fur. Sometimes I'm tempted to give it to him to see if he tries to stick it back in. But then I think of what he looks like when he's hacking up hairballs.

That's when the fruitless arguments ensue.

"If you're so concerned about keeping it, then stop leaving it all over my house."

I can tell as I say it that I'm sinking into the pit of pointless communication. Not because my dog doesn't understand English - HE DOES - but because his standard response is that the house and everything in it are in fact HIS (did we not notice that he has marked the ENTIRE backyard???) and he may distribute pieces of himself anywhere he darn well pleases.

He has such and attitude sometimes. At first the talking back was kind of cute because we've never actually seen a dog do this before. To see it is very reminiscent of watching a teenager roll his eyes and silently mimic his parents' gripes behind their backs. Except that Hastings does it to our faces. He knows better to bark back, but boy can he mimic. And like most cute things, it gets old after a while.

It's scenarios like this that make me a wee bit anxious about parenting. If our dog thinks we're retarded, what will our kids think?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Call me to say you spoke with the listing agent today and the contract previously pending on the house we wanted to buy fell through, and that we now have the option to step in and negotiate a contract on our perfect dream house.


How to Make Me VERY VERY Grumpy

Put an offer on our perfect dream house the day we find it. GRRRRRR.

Yesterday, I almost wrote an elloquent description of this fabulous house we found on Sunday. It was, without a doubt, the best house for us that we had seen in our search of over 20 houses and we were going to buy it. It was exactly what we were looking for in every respect.

Our real estate agent called yesterday to start negotiations and BAM. Somebody beat us to it. Then we discovered that somebody has also beat us to our second choice home.

Back to square one. Sigh.

Monday, April 25, 2005

How to Annoy Me

Hire a person to answer and take phone orders who doesn't understand English.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Linguistic Profile

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

15% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

0% Yankee

Anybody know what a "cruller" is?

A Delicate Balance

We're shopping for a house right now. And discovering once again that this kind of thing is always more complicated than you think it's going to be.
First there's the mortgage, and the fact that the myriad of mortgage calculators available online are virtually useless because they never seem to match what the bank seems to think you can afford, nor can they estimate important stuff like property taxes which have quite the impact on your monthly payment.
And mortgage paperwork is insane. Two months records of this, three months of that, last year's this, your most recent that, every piece of identification you have available. Sign here, here, and here. And here. And here. Oh and here, here, here, here, here, no just initial there and there, sign here, here and here.
The timing is also quite crucial. If your lease expires in June, you want to close on a house in June because that way you get to skip any housing payments in July and can therefore use the money for moving expenses, closing costs, etc. So if you start your search early and find a house you like, you end up waiting around until the proper time to make an offer, just so you can close at the right time. But if you don't start searching early enough, you end up being unable to see all the options and possibilities available, and wonder if you're purchasing a second choice instead of "the one that got away."
One day things will be simple. They will.

Friday, April 15, 2005

There's a breeze today.

I can't express how totally awesome I feel today.

Went to the DPS to (finally) get a Texas Driver License. And to Office Depot.

With my fly down.

Yeah, I'm that cool.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

And that makes me special.

I have hit a new revelation. I am the first woman in the history of the world to ever have gone through the first six months of pregnancy.

I draw this conclusion from the fact that apparently I'm the only person in the entire country ever to outgrow the waistline on a regular pair of pants, yet need maternity clothing that isn't abso-freakin-lutely-huge-i-mongous.

Seriously. Normal clothing doesn't fit anymore, but when I walk into a maternity store and try on the smallest size they have available, I could fit three camels and a polar bear in those pants with me. Kids, don't try that at home.

As in, I stand up and the pants don't stand with me. Not gonna happen. So I ask the girl at the counter what they do for women who are in the "in-between" stage and she shows me this thing called a Bella-something. It's basically an ace bandage that you're supposed to wrap around your gianormous pants to hold them on.

Chic. We're talking some serious style.

"Or you can wear your normal pants unbuttoned and put this thing around the top to hold them up."

You have got to be kidding me. You're telling me that after millions and billions and trillions of pregnancies throughout the history of the world, NOBODY has come up with a real solution to the first six months of growing waistline?

I have just decided upon the first living-vicariously-parental-aspiration for my child.

Monday, April 11, 2005

How to Sell a House

J and I went browsing this weekend for a new house and based upon what we witnessed, we would like to offer the following suggestions for anyone out there who may be wondering why their house has been on the market for a long time:

  1. Your selling agent has called and told you when we will be coming by. Take the hint and LEAVE. I do not want to be opening your closet while you're standing there.
  2. If you insist on sticking around while people browse through your house, please wait until we are gone before taking that HUGE SMELLY DUMP THAT STINKS UP THE ENTIRE TOP FLOOR. You know, I may have wanted to see that bathroom, or any part of the upstairs for that matter.
  3. If you choose to vacate the house, take all your children with you, even if you think your 3-year-old will sleep through an avalanche. We are homebuyers (and strangers!), not babysitters. Don't make me call Child Welfare.
  4. Do not lie in the realtor's description of the property. If your house hasn't been recently painted, WE WILL KNOW when we show up and there are dirt smudges all over the walls. And we will wonder what else you lied about.
  5. It helps if the house looks as though it's been cleaned sometime in the last 5 years.
  6. If you have 3 dogs and 2 cats, please stop kidding yourself with that puny little air freshner. YOUR HOUSE STINKS. Have your pets and your carpets professionally cleaned. And wipe WHATEVER THAT IS off the wall.
  7. You may think that despite the fact that you have removed all the furniture from the house, the pair of sandals on the porch give it a "homey" feeling. The dead bird in the shoe does NOT, however, support your cause.
  8. If your weeds are taller than your trees, you might be a ... turnoff.
  9. Please refrain from cooking overly oderous ethnic meals within 24 hours before showing your house. I'm sure the food tasted great at the time, but the stale after-smells make us wonder what died in your kitchen.
  10. If you have a dog that is not fully potty trained, please do not leave it roaming free around the house while you're away. Yes, puppies are cute. But we're not buying the puppy, and we're certainly not buying the carpet he's currently tracking poop all over.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Cantoni was totally fun yesterday. They got one of those Fom pillows and taped it to my belly to "enhance" the fact that I'm pregnant. I looked like I was about ready to pop at any moment.
Then I was paired with a guy named Todd and we were "the expectant couple" lounging on the couch (the round couch that was totally cool and I really wanted to take it home with me).

We were basically cracking up the whole time because he kept having to do things like put his hand on my belly, pat the belly, kiss the belly, rub the belly, and it was just plain weird...although admittedly, it probably would have been weirder if it had been my real belly. Then we ditched the "baby" and did some shots as the "professional couple" coming home from a long day of work and collapsing on the couch, which of course is what we had wanted to do from the beginning (what else could a couch like that be for?). I hope that one turned out ok, but I think it may have been a little stiff due to the fact that I had to fall backwards onto Todd and was really worried that I was going to clock him right in the face.
Can't wait to see how the commerical turns out. Apparently they're going to be airing it in several major cities across the country toward the end of the month.
Also got to be in some Tostitos shots while I was there for some internal video they did. Fun stuff. I hope I get the opportunity to do some more work like that. All the people at the production studio were great to work with and seemed like really neat people.

The Cost of Healthy Living

$1.35 for a fruit cup. A 2-oz plastic cup with maybe 5 edible pieces of fruit, most of which were grapefruit (ewww), which of course tainted all the other fruit to taste like grapefruit (ewww) because that's what grapefruit (ewww) does.
I can get a chocolate chip cookie the size of my head for $1.00. I can get a king sized bag of chips for $0.65. But try to go the healthy route and you have to take out a loan to pay for it.

If God intended us to eat healthy, he should have made it cheaper.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Arboretum Mission Successful

Got my picture :)

You can't really tell in the picture, but this was my first attempt at wearing the dreaded MATERNITY SHORTS in public, as my belly is slowly but surely outgrowing the waistline on my pants. Actually, they're quite comfortable and the lack of buttons & zippers & ties cuts down on the bulk in front.

Friday, April 01, 2005

April's Fool

I get giddy this time of year. This is the time in Texas when winter ceases and I can put away the sweaters and dark colors, but the scortching summer heat hasn't arrived yet.
This weekend I'm dragging my family to the Dallas Arboretum to take scads and scads of pictures of budding flowers (I hope the tulips are in!) and fill several pages of my scrapbook with a collage of color. J hasn't decided if he's going or not, but what he doesn't know (or won't until he reads this) is that he's going to be under immense pressure to go with us because I WANT A PICTURE of the two of us with some pretty flowers.
Seriously, since I'm usually behind the camera, we don't have nearly enough pictures of the two of us. And with #3 on the way, I have a feeling that he/she will be the focus of most of the pictures taken after a certain day in October. Which I'm sure is going to make my cats happy and drive my dog crazy.
And I finally have a spare battery because I have not once gotten through an arboretum trip in which my camera hasn't died way to early.
Don't know why, but I've been a little scrap-happy recently. Sure, I always like to scrapbook but over the past couple of weeks it's been more of an...obsession. Which is doubly unfortunate because I have run out of pictures to scrap (hence the arboretum trip) and when I'm in the mood to scrap and can't, there's only one thing left to do. SHOP. Yes, danger is my middle name. Found a new scrapbooking store in Frisco that is AWESOME and I could totally live there. And between weddings, new houses, birthdays, and OF COURSE, BABY, I have lots to shop for this year. Hee hee hee...
Anyway, it's supposed to be a lovely April weekend and I plan to take full advantage of it.