Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Probably Not the Right Reaction

As I normally do, I scanned the day's headlines when I got to work this morning. I saw one that bummed me out: "Cheney OK after Afghan Blast".

I don't normally wish people dead, but I'm not so sure Dick is a person.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What a Difference a Week Makes

In last weeks polls, A&M was hanging out at 8th/9th in the nation. Then, this last week happened to teams in the top 10. There were a lot of losses for top ten teams when they went other places to play. Apparently the road was a hard master:

-- Wisconsin lost at Michigan State and at Ohio State, and slipped from 2 to 5
-- Florida lost at LSU, and slipped from 3 to 4
-- UNC lost at Maryland, and slipped from 5 to 8
-- Pitt lost at Georgetown, and slipped from 8/10 to 12
-- Washington State lost at Oregon, and slipped from 9/11 to 13

What's great about these slippages is that A&M was able to insert itself to #6 again, tying our highest point in the polls so far. Of course, we didn't have a tough road game this week. I think Oklahoma State might have just laid down and died when we came into the arena. This week, however, we have a tough road game against Texas, who has managed to work their way up to 15th in the nation. Oh, and they're mad we beat them earlier in the season. If we can impact Durant's effectiveness this week like we did a month ago, and not get shut out of scoring from our side, I look forward to embarrassing the Longhorns at home.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Get Behind Obama

I have decided that I am now supporting Barack Obama for one reason: the Republicans are afraid that he can beat them.

It is so obvious by the way the elephants are waging their war on Senator Obama that they want the Democrats to put forth Hillary Clinton for the 2008 presidential race. They feel they can beat her. And if they feel they can beat her, I don't want her in the race. So, this is my call to all independents and democrats out there -- vote in your Democratic primary next year for Obama. Make sure that he is there running against whoever the Republicans can put forth.

Rudy Giuliani vs. Barack Obama could be a race that I could actually want to vote in. And I think this country is ready for a classy president who actually knows what he's doing. I'm tired of lesser-of-two-evils voting situations. Please help me (and the United States) out.

Things I've Avoided

I have tried not to post about basketball as often as I've thought about it. I realize that most of my two readers don't care about sports. But then I remember: this is my blog, dammit!

Also, I haven't wanted to jinx my Aggies amazing season. However, I've decided there is nothing I can do to derail them at this point -- they're just too good. Earlier this afternoon I thought I heard a commentator say that Texas A&M was out of the tournament. I had to run to the TV to see what stupid sports dude was about to be out of a job. Then, I realized they were just saying that A&M wouldn't get a #1 seed. Well, that's a perfectly acceptable thing to say. Wait -- was he trying to say that there was a time that A&M could have gotten a #1 seed? I just can't imagine. When there's only 4 of those, and we haven't been ranked above 6 in the nation, there would have been some teams really pissed off if we'd been seeded that high. I'm still holding out for a good last two conference games, a good Big 12 tournament showing, and therefore a #2 seed in the San Antonio region. That would be my ideal situation, and I would have to have tickets to their Sweet 16 and Elite 8 showings if that was the case. Yeah.

Our next game in this Wednesday night here in Austin, and yes, I'll be there. We're taking a great 22-4 record into the Erwin center, and we've proven we can play Durant's game and beat him at it. I can't wait to be there to cheer us on to do it again. I love going to the A&M/UT game each year in Austin. It's just a great feeling to be rooting for the visiting team in a hostile environment. It adds to the pressure, and I love watching the home team fans get beaten and how dejected they collectively act. I'll have to let you all know how that goes.

Really, *Really* Bad Movies

You know how sometimes you're in the mood for a bad movie? Well, sometimes I really want to see an absurdly bad movie. They are generally good for a laugh, and they don't make you think about broader social issues, and that kind of relaxing movie can be nice.

This sounded just the thing necessary after a few weeks of seemingly non-stop housework. We went to see Ghost Rider. Let me just say that we were expecting a bad movie, and it exceeded all our expectations. This is one terrible movie. I can't even figure out why they finished making it. It would seem some bigwig would have sat there looking at all that CGI expense and forbidden this thing from being completed. I have to say that I'm completely flabbergasted that this was the top-grossing movie of this past weekend. And I helped that to happen with our two tickets. I feel so dirty.

What was so bad about it? The character's motivations didn't make sense (why would the devil create a being that fights evil?), the guy finally gets the girl and rejects her, the CGI stuff was really bad, the acting was really horrendous, the lines were atrocious, and there was obviously some stuff I was already supposed to know from the comic books that I didn't know, so the story was even more disjointed. Other than that, it was great.

Maybe our next bad-movie-venture will be more of what I expect. On the other hand, I went to see a bad movie, and it surely delivered.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm So Proud

I haven't ever posted pictures here on the Strangeness site, but I am so proud of the pictures we put together for selling the house, that I want to share them. And by "we put together", I mean my husband took them, and I stole them directly from the email he sent to the realtor for the flyers. But, it just took something of this magnitude to finally decide it's high time for me to figure out the picture attaching stuff. Well, not so much the attaching part, but the arrangement within the post part of it.

First, we have a couple of pictures of the front of the house, from two different vantage points. Please be sure to notice how nice the flowerbeds look, and how good the paint job is. These items required much pain and suffering, so I want to be sure to get credit for that. At least as much credit as one can get from a blog post. I know you can't tell how many flowers are really there, so let me fill you in. There are 60 blue pansies, 30 burgundy pansies, 2 marigolds, 8 cyclamens, 10 gerbera daisies, 1 hydrangea, 2 birds of paradise and 4 calla lilies. Those all got planted on Sunday. Whew!

Then, we have a panoramic-type picture of the backyard. This makes our backyard look bigger than it really is. And for some reason, people seem to like that stone picnic table. We tried to get rid of that thing so many times, but how do you dispose of a 300-pound stone object? and then we never really wanted to deal with the dead patch of grass that we'd surely have had to do something about. So, it stayed. At least termites don't eat stone picnic tables, and they don't rot, so we've never had to repair it, and that's always good.

Finally, there are pictures of the inside. Again, be sure to admire the quality paint job that we finally found had done, after much effort finding a contractor that actually wanted to take our money. Also, notice how clean everything is. I would even say the place is spotless. The living room is a nice big room, so we were able to accomodate the baby grand piano, which makes the possibilities for that room seem even grander than they should. And that picture of the kitchen makes that room look really appealing, even if you can still tell that there is blue painting tape on the French doors.

My husband sure can take pictures that make a small space look desirable. And I sure can steal them for my own uses.

Categories Are Fun

So, I've finally entered 2005 and started to categorize my blog entries. Of course, that could be because Blogger forced me to upgrade to their next version, and it does categories/labels by default. So, the other day I made up some categories and went back through my old posts and put them in the new areas. I hope you enjoy them. One day I might even update my template to the new format, and fix it up to be fancy like other people's blogs. Or I might just continue to compel you to come to my site for the witty banter and wonderful storytelling. HA!

If things start changing over here at Strangeness, it's not my fault. Blogger made me do it.


Well, we've sold our house. It didn't take long, and we now have a signed/escrowed contract and a backup contract. Pretty crazy. The option period on the contract is up on Tuesday night, and then we are going to closing mid-March.

Meanwhile, we weren't planning to move to Santa Barbara until the first week of April. We don't have a place there, yet, so for the time being, we are homeless people. No home in Austin, none in California. I guess we should get working on fixing that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Heather MIA

Sorry I've been missing or otherwise sporadic in my posting. We've been working excessively hard to get the house on the market. I'm happy to say that today is the day, and we are officially listed.

Now, I've never sold a house before. My parents have, but I've never been involved in the transaction itself until now. I bought a house once...seven years ago, and now I'm trying to sell it. We got the house freshly painted, inside and out. We removed several pieces of furniture, lots of pictures from the walls, and quite a bit of stuff from surfaces, so it wouldn't look cluttered. We finally got around to getting a bedskirt for our bed. We finished the staining and poly-urethaning of the French doors that we put in nearly a year ago. The windows and curtains all got washed and preaned. We put $200 worth of mulch and flowers in the front yard for that all-too-important curb appeal. I have to say, after all this work, the house looks good enough that even I might buy it.

Then we found a realtor and together we based the list price on comparable house sales in the past six months, and went up a little bit. The average selling time for houses in our area in 23 days, so I figured we'd put it on the market, have a few people take a look at it this weekend, and start the negotiating process in the next few weeks. That's how I thought things would go.

I was completely off base.

Within an hour of listing the house, we have three offers in hand. I am completely floored. There are a couple of things this can mean:
  • There is a shortage of quality houses on the market right now.

  • We listed it way too cheap.

  • Our house just rocks, and all that work on the house has paid off.

While I would love to believe it's option three, more likely, it's option 2, and we just didn't do a good enough job of predicting how much to list the property at. And now we have a multiple offer situation which could be really good, or everyone could back out and we end up waiting for the next thing to come through.

Who knew we'd have so much activity and interest in the first day? I haven't even had a chance to bake cookies and put on some light jazz for the house to show great. That was my plan for the weekend, and we may not even get there with the house still open for business.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Middle of the Day TV

I'm stuck at home on the couch with the flu. Official flu. I went to the doctor this morning and got diagnosed, along with this little medical gem: "After the first 48 hours, there's not really much we can do -- you just have to ride it out." I just can't get over how little there really is on during the day. Lots of court TV, daytime soaps, and random violent talk shows. I realize we only have basic TV that we can get over the air. I guess if we had cable or something, my sick days wouldn't be so miserable. But then, that's kinda the point of the sick day -- that you desparately want to get back to your regular routine. Well, Middle-Of-The-Day-TV, you've won -- I don't want to watch anymore Judge Alex or Jerry Springer or As the World Turns. I want to get better and go back to work.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Do You Want My Money?

I feel like I should start asking that question of the so-called "contractors" that I've been working with over the last few weeks. In trying to get the house on the market, we really need to paint it. The paint is peeling in some places, and it looks bad. Since the fabled curb appeal is lacking in a house with peeling paint, we're trying to correct that.

First, I called a guy who came very highly recommended from a friend. I was told he did good work, and was actually pretty cheap. Apparently, he was too cheap, and forgot to pay his phone bill. I was never able to get through to him.

Then, I called a guy who was recommended by a neighbor. I was able to get through to him, but he said he wouldn't be able to get to our house until the end of February. Since we want the house on the market sooner than that, I thanked him for his time and moved on.

Third, I called another recommended dude. This time, the guy had been told that we needed some work done, and I came home to a message on the machine from him that he was available to do the work. I figured, we're on the right track now! So, I called him back, and he came the next night to walk through the house and get an idea of what we wanted to do. He said he would get back to us with a quote in a day or two. At the end of day two, no contact. I left a message. The next day I sent an email. Still no response.

All I can figure is these people don't want my money. I guess I'm done with recommendations, and am moving on to the phone book. Maybe I'll have better luck there. And I'll start my queries with the title question. I'm sure that will help.