Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crazy Busy Times

I spent almost all day yesterday trying to deal with my car title situation. We'd paid off the car in October but I never got my title. So I call the Clerk's Office and they say to bring down my lien release letter and I'll be good to go. So I go down there (in the freezing cold, I might add) and wait in line for an hour. To have the lady tell me that they no longer accept the letters, but instead need a form tc-something-or-other from the former lienholder that has the EXACT SAME INFORMATION as the letter I'm holding in my hot little hands. And after I get that, I have to fill out another from in triplicate and have it notarized and then bring it all back.

So I call Chase and they fax it to me and hopefully I'll get the rest of that straightened out today, if I can find a notary.

And I'm packing. Which is a pain. And feeling really weird for no apparent reason (this started on Sunday -- I woke up feeling like I had vertigo; can't move my head too fast; no balance, etc. And it keeps coming and going. My eyes even went all wonky for a bit.).

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Just a brief note...

I'm headed off to bed in just a mo, so this is just a quick note. Tony is off again to Toronto (2 days) and then Chicago again (3 days) this week. *Sigh*. I can't wait until we move. I feel like a weekend wife.

We had two showings today; one of which was a second showing. A couple with two kids. Very cute. I brought out Mr. Potato Head for them to play with, but then we realized it was all just Mr. Potato Head pieces (eyes, noses, hats, etc.) and no Mr. Potato Head himself. I have two, I just don't know where they are. Something to find once we start packing.

I'm actually going to start some packing this week. And cleaning out my closet, something I have desperately needed to do for ages. Now is a good time.

Also started walking with Lois on Friday. Am supposed to go again on Monday. We're walking the malls -- inside, where it isn't so cold. The temperature today was all over the place. It's like the weather can't decide what it wants to do.

Anyway, going to bed. More later. Love to everyone. And to everyone I owe an email, I promise I'll get one out soon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ladybugs and ringtones

Ladybugs...A ladybug had been living on my desk on the third floor for a while now. I brought it downstairs last night and gave it sugar water and then today I released it into the potted strawberry plants outside. I was worried it would be too cold, but Jameson said he just saw a bunch of them up at the cabin he was at this past weekend, so hopefully it is all okay. I certainly don't want to kill it. But I don't really want it living in the house either. Sooner or later Grace will notice it and it'd be a goner.

Ringtones...Tony is a hacker at heart and he figured out how to make our own ringtones for our new phones, rather than having to buy some. He wanted, for some reason, to have Carmina Burana ring when I call him. He says he means that in a good way...I hope so. :-) We wanted his ringtone on my phone to be Mama Said Knock You Out because, for some unknown reason, that is his theme song (yes, inside my white boy husband is a big black man trying to get out). But I guess we only have it on tape, so I did the next best thing: Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta. From Office Space. For my normal ring I did the Gorillaz' Clint Eastwood (I'm happy, I'm feeling glad, I got sunshine in a bag, I'm useless, but not for long...the future is comin' on, is comin' on) since that, for an equally unknown reason, is one of my theme songs. Though I guess I gotta run for the phone if there are kids around and Tony calls.

I have no title today

It seems that no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get myself into a normal sleep schedule anymore. I lie awake all night dreadfully sleepy, but not sleeping. Maybe when we move to Chicago and gain an hour it will help.

We're officially listed with a realtor now. It just seems so unreal sometimes. Not sure why. But doesn't the house sound great? Well, it is great. I'm sad to leave the house behind. Not Louisville, but definitely the house.

Today I really need to return some things to Value City that didn't fit Tony. And maybe call around and see if I can find an antiques dealer to give us a quote on buying a few things. Maybe transfer some money around. We've had double our normal expenses for the last few months due to a family situation and we're getting to the not-very-much-ready-cash stage. Tony's thinking about cashing in some stock but I hate for him to do that when the stock price really isn't at it's best. We've already decided to sell the knockdown armoires because the chance of them fitting into whatever new house we buy (and I mean literally fitting in; they are really tall) is pretty slim. So maybe I could sell them early. I dunno. I think we're actually going to try and sell a bunch of the furniture. It will reduce moving expenses and a lot of it really isn't worth moving or is too hard to move.

Like the new armoire in our bedroom. Great piece, but we had such a time getting it up the stairs and we don't want to go throug that in reverse. The last thing you want to do is damage walls as you're moving out of a house. So I'm hoping that whoever buys the house will buy it from us.

Maybe we'll have an estate sale or something like that. There are only a few pieces of furniture that I'm definitely keeping no matter what: our hall tree, our china cabinet/bookcase, my reproduction record player... I guess the rest is fair game. And I think I want to keep the desk I'm using currently as a makeup table. I got it from Arhaus. Not sure about the half-round leather topped desk. It's nice but not very practical. It's really a writing desk vs. a working desk and who knows if we'll have space for that kind of thing. Definitley not moving the desk on the 3rd floor though; it is ancient and falling apart. Some college student can buy it from me for $50. Same with the bookcases up here. Though I'll definitely need new ones when we move. I just don't think it is worth moving these.


It's all just stuff, I suppose. It is hard to decide what to keep and what to sell. What are the things that make our house -- our house? There are pieces that I like, such as that antique settee, but are hard to move and not very practical. If we mind up in a much smaller house, what do we do with it after we've paid to move it? I don't know. On the one hand, it seems like a good idea to just purge and start fresh. On the other...

Tony, of course, doesn't dwell on stuff like this. He doesn't get attached to things and that's probably the way I should be.

So I'm almost done with the "price list" so that prospective buyers of the house can check out a menu of furnishings and decide what they might want. Just not sure if I should try and sell some things ahead of time to pull in some extra cash. Maybe I'll have a few eBay auctions for smaller things. I don't know. Don't want to deal with shipping stuff, not really.

We did have a U of L professor's wife stop by this past week to see the house. She seemed to like it and they want to see it again once the professor is back in town. He's actually a new VP over there at U of L. They have two kids. And a guy who lives on 4th street across from the park is interested -- he wants to downsize (so he must have one of those huge mansions).

I just generally feel discombobulated. Isn't that a great word? I also feel like a teenager again...the hugest pimple of all time is lurking on my chin. What is up with that? I didn't get pimples this huge when I was a teenager. Tony says maybe it is just stress. I don't know.

Sometimes, I'd like to change places with Grace or Harley for a day. Probably Grace. Harley is too high strung. But Grace...she's like napping flubber.

P.S. Hey Pam, I'm thinking about you. Love ya. Hug Ra and let him lick all over your face.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Lazy Sunday

We got new phones yesterday -- LGVX8600 (I think -- why don't companies give things real names instead of numbers?). About time for me since my cell phone has been broken for months. We're keeping our old phone numbers (FL numbers) until we move to Chicago and then we'll do the big switcheroo.

There's someone coming over to see the house this afternoon at four. The wife of a professor at UofL -- they just relocated here from Texas. Be perfect for someone like that...literally two blocks to work. So hopefully they like it. We'll see.

We're hanging out upstairs. Tony is working, as always. I have a flat, round cushion on my desk next to me so that Grace can hang here with us and sleep but not get in the way. If there's a pillow, she'll stay on it. Otherwise, she tries lying on the keyboard. It's cute. She's snoring.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I've updated the Picture Albums and added the pictures from our recent trip down to Florida to visit family (Tony's dad and Janet, my mom & Watson, Lisa, Steve, and the kids, and Tony's Aunt Kay). Also saw Pam since she was down visiting as well. It was good to see everyone. Tiring, but good.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Looking up...

Things on the house side are looking up. Last week saw a lot of calls and two groups came out this weekend -- a couple from LA on Saturday and a lady from Michigan (transferred in from Ford) on Sunday. Also got a call from a U of L professor (this house would be perfect for a professor). I'll just be happy if we can sell it to someone who wants to live in the house vs. someone who wants to rent it out. But mostly we just want to sell it, though we aren't in a huge rush. Being in a rush only gets you in trouble.

Jameson and Fred are back in today doing some painting and staining. The staircase is really looking good. Once the newels are on, it's going to be great. We should have done this ages ago, we just had thought we'd be doing a total refinish.

Mom is in a good mood too -- even though Watson's car got hit around New Year's (but they found out who did it) -- she's psyched 'cause they are going to move into a new apartment soon with more space. Pam's friend Jay is buying a place and is going to rent it to them. It works out for him too -- he knows he's getting a renter that will take care of things and probably, if anything, improve it. So that's really good news. I'm happy for her. They've had quite a time with different health problems and stuff like that, so this is good. And I think it will mean less stairs for Watson, which is good. He's had surgery on his knees this past year...I think more than once.

That's about it for now. I dropped Tony off at the airport again this morning. I just had him for the weekend. *sigh*. He'll be in Chicago until Friday. And tonight is the Gator bowl game for the championship. I hope they win. Otherwise, it's just as well he's in another state.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

B as in bumbling

I think the "b" key on my laptop keyboard is starting to go. Every now and then it doesn't show up when I type and I have to go back and re-hit it. Or maybe my left pointer finger is starting to go and I just don't know it.

I just finished reading Brother Odd. I started reading it again after I picked up Tony from the airport and we'd settled in to bed and watched a little TV (very fuzzy TV, since I never did get the cable turned back on. We get a few channels. The network ones, mostly. And Tony has rigged up an antenna -- I say rigged because he bought an antenna -- modern day rabbit ears -- but then managed to shut both antennae in the doors of the armoire...so now they are "augmented" by misshapen balls of aluminum foil that he has to massage into different shapes to get different channels to come in. Why don't we buy a new antenna? I have no idea. Probably because we don't watch all that much TV. Or maybe because there are so many other expenses and an aluminum foil antenna is the least of our worries. Who knows. At any rate...End digression).

The problem with reading fast is that I know I can finish a book in a few hours and even if those few hours fall around my bedtime, I somehow just can't stop. Yet another contributing factor to my inappropriate awake/asleep schedule.

Koontz definitely left it open for another book, though he has exchanged Elvis for ol' blue eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. In a nutshell (i.e. not remotely like a review I would write for YABC), I liked it. It still doesn't have quite the magic of the original Odd Thomas book, but it is good. That's the thing with series. It's hard to keep the same level of magic going, especially in Odd's case when his dead love, Stormy, is always on his mind.

It makes me want to write about a girl who's got some kind of oddness about her. Some kind of ability that's as much a burden as it is a blessing. A girl with a bit of biting wit. But not the whole I see dead people thing. As well as it works in Odd Thomas, it's been done and done again (you know...Sixth Sense, for one.)

I have that other sketched out idea for a book about a teen that is training to be the next Grim Reaper, but that's got to be a guy, not a girl. And it won't be at all like that Dead Like Me show (never seen it, but I just read the summary to make sure my idea wasn't anything like it).

So I don't know. I guess I'll have to just dwell on it for a while. Frustrating when you have a character's voice in your head and no story for them to live in.

And with that, I'm going to go to bed.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ye-gads...two in one day.

After posting my last post, I looked at the blog and the new doohickey thing that tells you how many posts by year (etc., etc.) and saw that my 2006 total was WAY lower than my 2005 total. Awful! Especially awful for a writer!

Of course, I should count up the posts from my other blogs. That should count, shouldn't it?


I'll have to do better. But heck if I'll make an actual resolution about it.

And now...on to actually blogging about something...(in my head, I hear that fellow from Monty Python going "And now, for something completely different...)

I'm reading Brother Odd right now. This is a book I'm reading just for me -- not for review, not for research...I'm just actually - oh my heavens - reading it. Tony got it for me for Christmas because I -- egad -- asked for it.

You have to understand...I receive in hundreds of books a year for review. I almost never buy books anymore. I don't have time to read the books I do get in (though I recently had to go on a reading spree for the Cybils awards...which means now I have a huge backlog of reviews to do).

Though he'd slightly missed -- Tony, that is. I'd actually asked for the trilogy, since I'd read the first book (Odd Thomas) before. Phyllis had loaned it to me. He couldn't find Odd Thomas in stock anywhere, but he did find Brother Odd...but that left me without the middle book, Forever Odd. So I actually had to get that one first (I read it last night) so I could then read this one.

Which was a really long story to get to the point that, yes, I happen to be reading a book right now and it is called Brother Odd. By Dean Koontz. I wasn't actually a huge Koontz fan before Odd Thomas (his books were okay, but nothing that lit a fire under me). I liked Forever Odd, though it didn't have all the charm of the first book. Brother Odd has, so far (I'm about half way through, I've only been reading it for about an hour and a half), seemed to capture more of that original charm. Odd is a lovely little character. Someone I'd like to have tea with.

Though I have to wonder, out of all the potentially famous (or infamous) ghosts out there for Odd to have as a silent but constant companion...why did Koontz choose Elvis?

I am not a huge Elvis fan myself. I was born in the wrong time, but more importantly, I knew someone who was a big Elvis fan that I have reason to not like at all. That person is the same reason I'm not overly fond of pickup tricks, the South, and heavy beer drinkers. Certain Elvis songs just set my teeth on edge. But at least the Elvis featured in the book is silent, almost clownish.

I actually should like Elvis. After all, I love Doris Day movies. And Sandra Dee. And those perfectly saccharine Gidget movies.

Maybe I only like girl musicals.

Nah. I also hold great love for Fiddler on the Roof and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and The Music Man. And, heck, I even have a complete collection of Maurice Chevalier.

Anyway, I rather like Brother Odd. If you haven't read Odd Thomas yourself, go check it out. Not that Dean Koontz needs any help from lowly little book reviewer / writer me.

New Year = a New You...but is that me?

I didn't officially make any new year's resolutions this year. Sure, I could make the standard "regular people" ones (lose weight, get more organized, etc.) or the standard writerly ones (write more, write every day or xxxx # of words a day). But they mostly seem to be challenges set up to fail...like as soon as I set the high water mark, my brain fizzles and becomes like a recalcitrant child. "But I don't wanna!" it cries out, shuffling its feet and scuffing the floor.

Maybe I should make resolutions that are the exact opposite of what I want to do.

But reverse psychology probably doesn't work all that well on yourself. Probably. I mean, you know what you're doing to yourself, unless you have some kind of split personality, right?


I've actually gotten a fair amount done this week. Quite a bit on the house -- had Jameson and Fred over. The first coat of stain on the stairs (looks great), the porch has been fixed up, everything powerwashed, got a doorbell up (I actually did that all on my lonesome, whoo-boy), fielded some calls about the house (that's starting to pick up -- I guess, now that it is the new year, people are starting to house hunt again). Got all the emails out to the publishers so I can start planning the YABC 2007 calendar. Got votes back from my "staff" to narrow down the teen reviewer finalists. Did a mailing of prize books. Blah, blah, blah.

Came up with a new superhero power -- actually two, for my Super Freaks book. That's not the official name (well, maybe it is, who knows). One power involves hair and the other involves scratching. That's all that I will say...

And no, we're not talking all Mystery Men here or anything. Really.

Health-wise, been kind of "ehhhhh." The back has mostly been better since the steroid pack thing, but I feel like I'm fighting off a cold or the flu or something. Tony's been sick for about 2 1/2 weeks, but I think (I hope) he's finally kicking it. At least his Kleenex consumption has gone down. Though it is hard to keep tabs when he is in Chicago (he gets back tonight).

I wish they could bottle energy. I'd buy some of that.