Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Houston, We Have Tenants

Three very young, very sweet, very nerdy boys, first-year students living on their own for the first time. They came with money for the security deposit this evening and signed their rental agreement. We are old enough to be their mothers and feel kind of like we are in fact their camp counselors. We went over every clause of the agreement this afternoon, just to make sure they understand what's up and don't mistake us for surrogate parents.

And they don't seem to be quite as green as we feared; they mentioned that they're looking into renter's insurance, which is something that never even occurred to me until I was a good dozen years older than they are. Also, they asked very nicely if they could have a new shower head.

In the last week we've fielded dozens of calls and emails, showed the apartment to twelve or fourteen prospective tenants, but received only six actual applications (two of whom each called back within a day to say they were taking another place). I've now had enough excitement for the next year or two and now just hope [karma being what it is] that these guys don't do what we did last year and ditch us for another place in the next week.

Also that they're really as low-key and unassuming as they seem. They mentioned that their big social event is video game parties on Sunday afternoons. I think I can handle that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

omg what was I thinking?

I put up an ad for the rental on cregggslist in a panic last night & now am being inundated with emails.

This is a good thing, right? er, right??

ok must go call more prospective tenants now. Or crawl into bed & turn off the phone, that'd be good too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just Living My File

Scene: Parking lot just off the Nearby Suburb Main Street, wherein I have just parked the camper van so I can pick up some takeout lunch and a prescription.

Sweet-Looking Little Old Lady *approaching the van and waving frantically so that I think maybe I have a tail light out or something*: Hello! Hello!
Me: Uh, hi!
SLLOL *in endearing mittel-European accent*: I think ve have the same car, yes?
Me *spotting her nearly-identical [though much less beat-up] camper van parked nearby*: Oh, yes, I guess we do!

[there follows several minutes of camper-van talk in which I pump her in vain for information about good local repair people, we compare vintages, van histories, immigration histories--I'm from America, she's from Germany--etc. I'm feeling the warm fellow-feeling that camper-van owners often evince in each other, and am close to asking for her phone number so I can get the name of the repair guy her son uses]

SLLOL: So, your husband, he is from America too?
Me *in the breezy manner which usually successfully steers people out of making a big deal out of this one way or another*: Well, I don't have a husband. I have a spouse. She's a dual citizen: American and Canadian. Our daughter's dual, too.
SLLOL *befuddled*: A spouse? So, he is your husband?
Me: No, my spouse is a woman.
Drunk guy on nearby bench: AND THERE'S NOTHIN' WRONG WITH THAT!
SLLOL: A voman?!
Me *determined to be cheery*: Yes, I'm married to a woman.
SLLOL *eyes widening in comically visible shock and horror*: But, the BIBLE says, that...that...
Me *cancelling plans to get her phone number*: Well, people have different opinions about it.
SLLOL *gently explanatory; really, I just couldn't hate her, she was so sweet in spite of herself*: Ve are ALL sinners. I, too, am a sinner.
Me: I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
SLLOL: [long and patient explanation about how Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins].
Me: I would never tell anyone what to believe.
SLLOL: Ah, vell, it is your file. I have my file, and you have your file. It is your file.
Me *picturing a heavenly filing cabinet with a winged angel putting my name in the "sinner" drawer*: I'm sorry, I don't understand. My...file?
SLLOL: Ah, sorry, my English is not so good. Your...FILE. Ve all have a file.
Me: My business?
SLLOL: No, no, everyone has a file. To make of what they will.
Me: Oh! My life!
SLLOL: Yes! Yes! Your life! It is YOUR life!
Me: Oh, my life! Well, yes, it is.
SLLOL: [more about Jesus]
Me: Your religion is really important to you. What religion are you?
SLLOL: I am a Christian!
Me: I mean, what denomination?
SLLOL: De...nom...in...
Me: Lutheran, or...?
SLLOL: Ah, yes! Lutheran!
Me: Right. Great!
SLLOL: And you? What religion are you?
Me *more determined cheeriness*: Me? I'm Jewish.
SLLOL *lighting up like, you should pardon the expression, a Christmas tree*: Jewish! Ah! I love the Jewish people!
Me: Um, thanks.
SLLOL: So, you know, then, the Old Testament?
Me: We don't call it the Old...Yes, actually. Pretty well.
SLLOL: [long recitation about Abraham and Moses]
Me: I can see you know your Bible.
SLLOL: Always I am loving the Jewish people!
Me: That's great! Well, it was really nice meeting you! Goodbye!
SLLOL: God bless you!
Me: You too! Bye!
Drunk guy on bench *shouting after me*: You be proud. Be PROUD to be a Jew!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Back Porch Report

This is me, posting from the covered back porch of the New House, where the Internet reception reads as "very good" even though the modem is all the way in the bedroom!

What I can see:
  • our backyard and garage and Twinkie
  • the back porch of the motorcycle-riding neighbors who kindly informed RW the other morning that we'd left the door of the van open all night.
  • the roof of the house next door on the other side.
  • the Lions Gate Bridge, though not the water itself.
  • Lots of sky.
  • And maybe, if I stand and squint, a few hints of mountains way over to the Southwest.
  • Also Shy Kitty, through the back window, perched on top of some boxes that are perched on top of the kitchen table.
On Tuesday I was at the old place and RW was at the new place, and I was packing and packing and shoving stuff into place for the movers, who were not at all pleased about the inordinate number of both books and stairs, and I had this moment of thinking: why are we doing this? Why are we leaving this place?? (Because, wouldn't you know, our landlady is probably taking the house off the market after all; we wouldn't have had to leave at all.)

And then the second truckload was loaded, finally, and RW drove up the hill to get me and bring me over here, and I came in to the house all full of boxes already with the movers swearing and kvetching about having to move stuff to the rooms they were labeled for rather than dumping it all in the living room, and I thought: Oh! This is a nice place. And any lingering nostalgia about the old place vanished into the ether.

I perched myself on the extra single bed that we've got in the living room for the time being, out of the way of the movers, and tried to rest my back and resist the urge to jump up and move things around. (It's hard for me to just sit there while other people are doing manual labor, even if I'm paying them.)

But I did, mostly-- I just sat there, feeling the rightness of the place.

This house is not perfect; we knew that when we bought it, and have discovered a few more idiosyncrasies in the past few days. (For one thing, the shower is crappy.) But it is, as our realtor kept saying, a good house.

By Tuesday night, I had more or less set up all our bedroom furniture, and even unpacked a few books.

On Wednesday, the Shaw guy came and made our phones and wireless work.

On Thursday, I put together the Mermaid Girl's bed and set up her furniture. (Miraculously, even though her room is about two-thirds the size of her old room, she appears to have more wall space here than she did there, so everything fit just fine.)

I should be back at the old house this evening, packing the stuff we left: most of the bathroom, much of the kitchen, and tumble of stuff from RW's and my office spaces. (I probably could've packed and moved everything on Tuesday when the movers were here, but I ran out of boxes.) So really if I'm not packing over there I should be UNpacking over here, so as to free up more boxes to take over there.

But I'm not. I'm just sitting here, enjoying, and contemplating (as Chasmyn suggested in the comments below) all the things I have to look forward to in this house.

It's a beautiful evening.

*Addendum: As I was getting ready for bed (RW and MG are out of town for a few days), I heard faint booms from outside and remembered that this is the last fireworks night. So I ran back out to the porch, and yup, I could indeed see the very highest fireworks, far away and small over on the Bay, but clearly visible.