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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

News

May 30 is going to be a helluva day.

Firstly, I've been selected as one of twelve finalists in Harrisburg Magazine's Cover Model contest. I have to show up to a photo shoot that morning before work at Gamut. I doubt I'll win - undoubtedly some hot busty blonde will make it to the cover. Plus, I put maybe 10 pounds on this winter past.

Secondly, I have Lear rehearsals that day, of course. There's one in the morning, and the first run of the play will begin around 6pm that evening.

Thirdly, the Music Department at West Chester University contacted me; they want to hold placement exams that day at three. Bosses willing, I'll be booking it down the highway and back in between Lear rehearsals.

The house inspection was all right. There are about $2,000 worth of repairs that need to be done right away (coincidentally the very amount we said we were willing to spend on the contract), and, of course, lots of recommended repairs. The inspector said the house would be a lot of work, but that it was not as bad as he thought it would be. I guess that's good. 28 days till settlement ...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Plans and Provisions

Yesterday I went on my first home improvement shopping spree. I'm trying not to go crazy - I can't buy many supplies until have exact measurements of the rooms at our new house. I did buy a lovely random orbital sander, though.

Matt will be taking exacto measurements of each of the rooms today; he's attending the house inspection this afternoon.

I have to remain in Harrisburg. Today and tomorrow, we're building the stage for HSF's Free Shakespeare in the Park. This morning I got my first good look at a large patch of poison ivy, and I'm terrified it's all over my pants.

Speaking of nature, last week, I saw a red fox running around just off Cameron Street. It was my first good look at a wild fox. I was pretty chuffed.

Edit 6:00pm - I cut my hair. See above.

  • Ian McKellen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "In 2003, during an appearance on Have I Got News For You, McKellen revealed that when he visited Michael Howard, the Tory Home Secretary, in 1988 to lobby against Section 28, Howard refused to change his position but did ask him to leave an autograph for his children. McKellan agreed, but wrote 'Fuck off, I'm gay.'"

  • Oh. My God. I remember seeing the Gor books in secondhand bookshops when I was a kid first getting into scifi. Dog-eared covers with garish pictures of round-breasted, scantily clad women in various compromising positions, and titles like "Slave Girl of Gor." I can't believe people built a culture on that awful crap. I can't fathom how anyone would base their system of beliefs on goddamn science fiction novels. What the fuck is wrong with the world?

  • As Matt said, and I agree, "I consider myself pretty addicted to computers, and I have never had the 'cyber shakes.'" I think I would laugh my arse off at someone with the cyber shakes.

  • the perfect kitchen - though, of course, I doubt I can afford it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

RIP Ms. Borgia

God, I love Law & Order. I love it! So many gaspies! Sam Waterston is the fucking bomb!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

eBay madness

My idea of the worst job in the world is now an eBay lister. Over the past two days I have listed nearly 50 items on eBay, and by God, it is an uneviably tedious task. I would not take it on as a career for all the money in the world. Mind you, I'd never pay someone else to do it either, so I guess I'm stuck listing my own items.

The camera is full of pictures of eBay-ready crap, but Matt snuck in two shots of me sleeping with a curled up Tripoli.

Insert all the usual whining. People are dumb. The weather is terrible. I have allergies - and PMS. Hamlet finally wrapped up last Friday. Lear rehearsals begin today. I have a Romeo & Juliet next Monday, although we're having trouble finding a time to rehearse it. I haven't finished the business plan I promised myself I would finish by the end of April. Things are as overwhelmingly busy as ever. I really need a holiday sometime. I swing between feeling overwhelmed and tired in the morning and hysterically giggly and tired at night. Whine whine whiiiiine.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

And it's ours!

And it's ours ... for the very price our agent said would be fair. Good lord. We're buying a goddamn house. Time to trade the stress of finding a house for the stress of fixing a house.

Leave it on the counter

Zing! They have countered our offer with ... a counter offer! So then, we countered their counter offer with a counter counter offer!! Now we await their reply!! Argh!

Real estate hath murdered sleep

I had a very disturbing dream this morning that my ex-boyfriend wrote me a letter detailing everything that was wrong with me. Of course, since it's uber-difficult to read in dreams, he appeared suddenly in the room to read the letter aloud to me. Among the accusations were many forgotten wrongs I had committed against random people that I didn't even remember.

We haven't received a reply on the real estate offer, but of course, I can't stop thinking about the house. I suppose that's understandable. It's not every day you roll the dice on $80,000 or so.

Waking thoughts on this house:

  1. The roof is a standing seam metal roof, not just a plain old tin roof. Apparently, the lifetime of metal roofs like this is pretty much indefinite if they're taken care of, so perhaps we won't need to replace it after all. Many of the new ones come with 30-50 year warranties at least, so it's quite possible that it hasn't been changed since the house was built in 1930, and that might be OK.

  2. It's easier than I thought to reposition a stove in a kitchen. I still think it ought to be done by a professional, because gas scares me - even natural gas, which isn't very dangerous compared to propane.

  3. I found a solution to the need for more windows in the two upstairs rooms. I'm not sure how difficult a skylight is to install on a metal roof, but I sent them an e-mail asking.


Maybe I'll go back to bed.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Swinging on a Star

Today we made an offer of $78,000 on the house we want, a good $11,000 under the asking price.

I can't get this song out of my head.



Would you like to swing on a star,
Carry moonbeams home in a jar,
And be better off than you are,
Or would you rather be a mule?

A mule is an animal with long funny ears.
He kicks up at anything he hears.
His back is brawny, and his brain is weak.
He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak,
And by the way, if you hate to go to school,
You may grow up to be a mule.

Would you like to swing on a star,
Carry moonbeams home in a jar,
And be better off than you are,
Or would you rather be a pig?

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face.
His shoes are a terrible disgrace.
He ain’t got no manners when he eats his food.
He’s fat and lazy and extremely rude,
But if you don’t care a feather or a fig,
You may grow up to be a pig.
Would you like to swing on a star,
Carry moonbeams home in a jar,
And be better off than you are,
Or would you rather be a fish?

A fish won’t do anything but swim in a brook.
He can't write his name or read a book.
And to fool the people is his only thought.
Though he's slippery, he still gets caught,
But then if that sort of life is what you wish,
You may grow up to be a fish.

And all the monkeys aren’t in a zoo,
Every day you meet quite a few,
So you see, it’s all up to you -
You can be better than you are.
You could be swinging on a star.


I danced to that tune in my jazz class at age five.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Real estate angst

I finally had the opportunity to see inside the house I want. There's a good reason it's at least $20,000 cheaper than anything else in the area: the interior is a dump.

Mind you, I sort of wanted a dump, because I would like to be able to fix a house and build equity. This house is going to need a lot of work, though, and I can't do all of it myself. Here's my list of things to do, should I end up purchasing this house.

  1. Hire a skip.

  2. Put useless detritus in skip. This includes a mattress, and a bunch of rotting wood and house parts under the porch at the front of the house.

  3. Strip the horrific wallpaper from all the walls ... and the goddamn ceilings. This will also take care of the fact that the walls and ceilings appear to be covered in 40 years of cigarette tar. I thought at first that the wallpapers were all brown, but after looking more closely, it seems more likely that they were other colors originally.

  4. Paint the walls. Nice, flat, solid, light shades, such as white. God fucking damn, I hate wallpaper.

  5. Pull up the carpet. This won't be difficult, since the carpet isn't actually properly laid, but just lying on the floorboards. That's a good thing, though - the carpets are as cancerous as the walls and ceilings.

  6. Carpet the living room, dining room, and two bedrooms properly with some decent durable carpet in a light color which isn't too expensive. Carpet the stairs, which are currently bare.

  7. Rearrange the kitchen. At some point, someone thought it would be a good idea to install the stove in the worst possible position to waste the maximum amount of space. Thus, rearranging the kitchen may entail doing something to the gasline.

  8. Replace the linoleum in the kitchen and the bathroom. Maybe I could even tile the bathroom.

  9. Reattach the rainwater gutters, which are loose at the back and make it difficult to open the back door.

  10. The electricity might be a bit old and dodgy, though I'm not sure. In any case, it would be good to get new light fixtures, since some of current ones are really pointless.

  11. Install laundry hookups in the basement, or in the outside storage room.

  12. Landscape the front and back garden. There's a nice picnic table out there, but the garden is a shithole. Maybe put up a picket fence in back to separate it from the neighbor's garden, also a shithole.

  13. Fix the lattice that skirts the house.

  14. Repaint the exterior, especially at the rear.

  15. Here's one that I really can't do without help: create new windows. The house is an end rowhome, so one wall is completely blank with no windows, making it darker than my liking inside. However, there's a driveway between the house and the next one, so it would be possible to benefit from some windows on that side. I have no idea what the costs and provisions are for punching two (or even four) new windows through a brick wall.

There's also the matter of the roof - I have no idea how good it is. At some point, it has leaked, but that may be fixed (or not). Oh, and also ... there are these exposed pipes in the dining room, and I have no idea what they are for. They run floor to ceiling; there's a sewer pipe and two copper pipes (water? gas?). I am most confused by them, since there isn't a bathroom, or any kind of gas fixture upstairs. Why the hell are they there?

So, yes, there is a buttload of things to fix. Part of me is asking if it's worth it, and part of me is arguing that if I have to travel any further to college, I'm going to kick myself in a year's time. This is the only house we can afford for miles that isn't a mobile home.

We're making them an offer $8,000 below their asking price, or perhaps more. We'll see what comes of it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stupidity

There is no limit to the level of idiocy in the world. See this? That's an auction Matt and I threw up a few days ago. Note well the following phrases:
"As-is: fix or for parts"
"This is a dead pedal"
"one of the guys in my band plugged in the power supply with the wrong polarity and blew it up"
"It doesn't turn on with the battery in it or with a 9v adapter."
In my mind, that's pretty fucking clear. And yet, the guy who won the auction sent me the following e-mail, which I quote it verbatim and in its entirety:
dose mxr phaser work right
Mr. Bob Dodd, a.k.a. unewink: you, sir, are the very definition of fuckwit. I look upon you and despair.

After he called me to let me know that he won't be paying for the pedal (he sounds exactly as you might imagine he sounds), I now have to comb through the other bidders to see if anyone wants to take it, and failing that, I have to list it again. I only hope to god he never breeds.

Tonight, I finally get to see the house that I want in Downingtown! I feel bad for feeling so happy; the owner's husband's funeral was this morning :/

Monday, May 08, 2006

Subscribe to Mormolyke's Blog

Avid readers: if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will now find that there is a way to subscribe to this blog a la Xanga so that you receive a daily e-mail when I update. God bless Feedburner.

There's a house for sale in Downingtown that we want. Unfortunately, the owner of the house is an elderly lady whose husband has just passed away, and she's too distressed and overwhelmed to show it. Hopefully I can get access this Wednesday, but I've worked myself into such a state of frenzy over the location that, short of termites, an open sewer in the kitchen, or the complete lack of a foundation, I'm going to try for it.

By this evening, I have to read five chapters of my godawfully dry Ethics textbook and write two papers. My last class and the final exam is tonight. I know nothing. It's been such a stupidly busy week. When I haven't been driving two hours each way to look at houses, I've been performing in The Brementown Musicians, leading my last Gamut Theatre School classes through their final performances, writing press releases for Lear, or performing at the annual Arts Awards (see picture top left). It's all a bit overwhelming. I'll be better tomorrow.

My mother called on Friday night to remind me of Mothers' Day and harangue me about having a baby. She's very stuck on the idea that I have to give birth in 2010, so I can look forward to four years of this. According to her interpretation of Chinese astrology, if I don't have a baby in the year of the Dragon, I'm doomed. I when I tried to tell her that I don't really want to have a baby (I stopped short of saying that astrology was the single dumbest reason I could think of to procreate, but I was thinking it), she insisted that I only ever do the opposite of what she tells me.

"Well, if you're so smart, Mum, why don't you tell me not to have a baby?"
"OK, then! Don't have a baby! If you have a baby, I'll never speak to you again! If you get pregnant, have the baby in secret and don't tell me! You might as well piss on me!"

It was tres hilarious. Maybe you had to be there, but it was the most fun Mum and I have had together in months.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Today Matt and I were pre-approved for a home loan! The very amount we asked for! I'm so proud. So grown-up and proud.

In other happy news, I will be playing Perdita in Theatre of the Seventh Sister's production of The Winter's Tale in Lancaster's Long's Park this July, huzzah! I was reading up on the story on Wiki; I didn't cotton onto the Anne Boleyn allegory before. The play makes a lot more sense in that context.

  • Jamie Tarabay - I hear her voice on NPR almost every morning. Her accent has morphed somewhat, but it's still obviously Australian.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

  • The day of the beast approaches! If the antichrist really is being born, and if he is anything like Damien in the second and third Omen movies, I really must find him and make friends with him, because he was pretty cool, and kind of spunky. However, it's already been pretty well established that the real number of the beast is 616. Which means that, in all nations except America, the date passed in January, and in America, it's five days earlier than June 6. Or maybe it's June 16 of every year. Argh, numerology is retarded.

  • Mario Opera. Goddamnit. I was talking with fellow actors at the King Lear auditions about how badass it would be to do a Mario musical, and it seems like someone already got the idea. Which totally sucks, because mine would be better.

  • Cheese, Grommit!!!