Thursday, October 28, 2010

Road Trip!

About a six weeks ago, shortly after Glen Beck's rally in Washington DC, there was an uprising on the internets that Steven Colbert should have a rally.  I thought that sounded fabulous and decided that if it were to truly come about, I should see about going.


When Colbert and Jon Stewart returned from their Labor Day vacations, they eluded to an announcement that would be coming shortly.  My hopes jumped.


After two weeks of hints, they finally announced Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive.  I immediately emailed my sister, Haley, the only person I thought I might be able to convince to join me in attending a crazy event such as these, and she was game!


So we are off!  The rally is this coming Saturday, Oct. 30th, on the National Mall in Washington DC.  We have a hotel room in Arlington, VA, just a couple of blocks from the Metro station.  I am going up to Indianapolis this afternoon.  Haley and I will jump in her buggy on Friday morning and be D.C. Bound!


I've never done anything as crazy as this, and I'm sure I'll never have the opportunity, let alone the nerve, to do it again.  Frankly, I'm sort of nervous – I'm not good with crowds, you know, and they're expecting a whopper!


Today, I found the preliminary schedule for the event online:


10:00 a.m.: The pre-pre-show begins with videos and music on the jumbotron to keep the gathering crowd friendly and entertained.
Noon: The pre-show starts with a performance from The Roots.
12:40: A comedian (to be determined) warms up the audience.
12:57: A video countdown with a show introduction.
1:00: The show kicks off with the national anthem by a musical guest (to be announced).
1:05: Mr. Stewart welcomes the crowd – whose projected size is ballooning daily. Currently, there are 200,000 sign-ups on the official Facebook page alone.
1:20: Mr. Colbert enters, and two actors – Don Novello [Fr Guido Sarducci] and Sam Waterston – perform readings.
1:40: Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staple perform for 10 minutes, followed by Stewart and Colbert until 2 p.m.
2:15: Sheryl Crow performs for five minutes, followed by speakers and guests (to be determined).
2:30: Musical guests (also still being lined up) come on.
2:40: The show turns to a pre-taped sequence – The Sanity and Fear Awards.


So after I get off work, all I have to do is hit a gas station for fuel and munchies, and I'll be off!  I have the iPhone available for pics and status updates on Facebook.  I can also blog from the road, although typing on that thing isn't convenient, so any blog entries will be short and to the point.  I've got my camera and almost no hopes whatsoever of getting very close to my heroes, but maybe I'll have pics.  Wish me luck!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Merle - A True Man

I have come to the conclusion that Merle, although some parts may be missing or nonfunctional, is a true man. 
His appointment for his calendar photograph was Saturday, the 16th.  The last time I saw him was Monday, the 11th. I went outside each morning, lovingly carrying his bowl of Meow Mix and called in my not-quite-so-dulcet-it's-7-AM-voice for him to come to breakfast.  I would place it on the porch and call him until my voice cracked or the cold concrete made my feet run inside on their own volition due to frostbite.  Nothing.
But that was ok.  I knew that he would show up on Saturday morning, like a normal man, all "what!?"  Looking innocent and handsome and making me want to punt him to Poseyville and give him loving scritches at the same time. 
Each morning, the tone of my voice grew more frantic and my feet were able to withstand higher levels of hypothermia because I knew that this was an important mission.
Saturday morning.  His appointment is at 8:15.  I've timed the trip and I know it will take 30 minutes to get there.  I wake up at 6:00 - I SET THE ALARM FOR A SATURDAY!  I don't do this often and generally it's for important things like meeting the Pope!  Not that I've met the Pope, or am even Catholic, that is not the point.  Not only did I set the alarm for 6, but I actually got up at 6.  I got ready and did a little farming, because a girl has her priorities, and at 6:45 I went outside just knowing that the handsome devil would be there. 
He was not.  I called.  And called.  Nothing.
I went back inside and played solitare on my iPhone.  (Have I blogged that I went ahead and got my iPhone? - more on that later, I'm sure.) 
7:00 - I went outside and called.  Nothing.
Have I mentioned that I woke up with a sore throat and aching head?  I would have given anything to say screw it and go back to bed.  But I KNEW this was important, damn it!
Back inside.  The indoor bunch think I've gone mad... and I'm not sure they are wrong.
7:15 -- outside - nothing.
7:30 -- ditto.
7:45 -- I call the photographers and reschedule the diva's (is there a male diva?) appointment.  Now he has an appointment for tomorrow morning.  But I'm not overly concerned because I've talked to the paper and if he doesn't get his picture taken, they will print the picture we submitted.  And frankly, I don't care how good Bob Straub is, I've met Merle.  I've taken Merle's picture.  I don't see Bob Straub getting a better picture than the one Haley took.  So we'll see what happens.  Now that we have a contingency plan, I'm guessing he'll be sitting on the front porch looking at me all handsome like tonight when I get home.  Sigh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We're Movin' on Up!

Things have been busy for Rose the past couple of weeks.  I can't recall if I've mentioned this before, but I made a comment to mom at one point over the summer, while we were working out in the yard, that at some point she was going to have to accept that she's almost 70 and isn't/ won't be able to maintain the place and I'm lazy and I have no desire to.  I pointed out that if she wasn't ready yet, it was fine, but surely it would be better to make the decision to move/sell the place on her own terms rather than out of necessity.  She nodded and said "yep," and I went on trimming the forsythia bush.


Like a week or so later, she brings home a "for sale by owner" magazine from the grocery store just to see what is out there.  Says she thinks we can aim to put the house on the market come springtime.


A Sunday about a week later, we see that the condo association across the road from our church has an open house that afternoon, so we go.  I LOVED it.  Hard wood floors, three nice bedrooms, a 2-car garage.  But mom said, probably correctly, that it was too much – money and room – for us.  Besides, we need to wait until the spring.  So we drove home.


A couple of weeks later, she comes home from a Tuesday morning bible study telling me that there's another, smaller condo, in the same place having an open house Sunday.  So we go.  This condo is in a building containing eight units, and is on the second floor with a "bonus" room (i.e. 3rd bedroom) on the third floor.  It has a balcony overlooking the woods and the lake.  It is marvelous!  I LOVED it on sight.  I figure the cats will fully enjoy chasing each other up and down the stairs to the 3rd floor.  The price is better, but…   Also, in that Sunday's paper, there's a condo for sale by owner listed... we go.  It had its niceties, but I preferred the first one of the day.  By the end of the evening, mom is having a "heavy feeling" in her chest and thinks we should wait until spring.  Ok. 


The next weekend, Haley comes down ready to look at condos.  But we're waiting, so all she gets to see is the outside of both of them. 


Mom has me print off all the info from the county assessor and treasurer websites about the condo, but she still has questions about buying real estate that I can't answer, so I hook her up with Jennifer, my mentor in all things legal, and she has a nice phone conversation while I watch Glee on Tuesday.  After she's done talking to Jennifer, she tells me to contact the bank about getting pre-approval on a loan and Mom'll make an appointment for the weekend to see the condo.  We be back on!  So I called Holly, (Haley having just been down I didn't figure she'd want to come back the next weekend), to see if she (Holly) might be interested in coming down to see the condo on Saturday.


Saturday, Mom, Holly and I pack up the party van and go to town to see the condo.  Holly LOVES it and tells us to go for it.  By the time we leave it, we have an appointment to come back in the next afternoon to fill out the papers for an official offer. 


Sunday, after church and lunch, we go and make the "official" offer and my headache starts.  (And the headache didn't go away until much drugs, both Rx and OTC, and a good night's sleep later.)  But just a few hours later, we receive the news that the offer was accepted as written!


Monday, my instructions were to find a home inspector and arrange for an inspection AND to call the woman at the bank…. Not OUR bank, mind you, because that woman NEVER (and still has not as of this writing) returned my initial phone call.  I talked to Steve about his recommending an inspector and he tells me to call the guy on the other side of the big arbitration case we had a couple summers ago.  We ended up with an appointment for Friday morning for the inspection and Friday afternoon for the bank to fill out the loan papers.


Saturday, mom and I met with the realtor about asking the sellers to fix the few minor issues the inspector came up with.


So, here it is, Tuesday.  Mom is out of town, gone to San Diego with Aunt Chris to visit their other sister Bonnie for 10 days.  I'm left here herding cats, preparing for our office's bosses day luncheon/celebration, and waiting for word from the bank (re: the pre-approval of the loan) and the realtor (re: sellers' response to inspection). 


Home/property ownership seems to be the final hurdle for me to jump before I land squarely in "adulthood."  And I'm not keen on that jump.  I've been happy being a (relatively) obligation free, child-like soul all these years… I figure it's what kept me young at heart.  But now I'm going to have a MORTGAGE!  Yikes!  I can foresee future blogs regarding the property tax issues and zoning questions and filing the LONG form for taxes!  I shudder at the whole idea!  I need a nap and am really missing kindergarten right now. Sigh..

Monday, October 11, 2010

Merle - The Rest of the Story

As promised, I'm letting my "out of town" followers know the outcome of the "election"/calendar contest.  Merle got 968 votes and placed #12 (top 14 go in the calendar), so he's in!  We are all very excited for Merle.  Merle, however, remains stoic on the subject.  So the beautiful picture that Haley took that shows off his beautiful eyes will be in the calendar, right?  Wrong.  Friday, as Mom and I are driving to the bank (more on that later) I get a call from a woman at the Courier congratulating me and Merle on his getting in the calendar and telling me that I need to call Bob Straub Photography to make an appointment for Merle to get his picture taken for the calendar!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?  I haven't had the heart yet to tell Haley as I know it'll break her heart that the picture she worked so hard to get and is so, rightfully, proud of will not be in the calendar.  But take heart!  My thoughts are there is still hope.  Frankly, Merle is an outdoor cat.  Merle isn't fond of strangers.  Merle is not the easiest subject to work with.  Merle likes to go on walkabouts, so it isn't even guaranteed that he'll be around on Saturday (the day of his appointment) for me to even attempt to nab him (by myself, as mom is in San Diego this week) to get him there.  So in my mind, there is still a possibility that they'll (have to) use Haley's picture… so I haven't told her yet.  Sigh.