Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Happy Tuesday

So far so good... the real estate gods have yet to smote (or whould that be "smite?) our 3rd deal.  Inspection was a little depressing (looks like we'll need to replace the fabulous deck at some point in the next 5 years) but nothing deal-killingly major. We've asked them to fix one little bathroom vent and are proposing to take a few grand off the price to compensate for the needed deck & other repairs, and are once again anxiously awaiting word of approval.
Inspection on our house is this afternoon.  We're hoping their inspector is nowhere near as picky/thorough as ours!  Our buyers actually refused to go along with an earlier close date so it looks like we'll be moving *after* the New Year.  Which takes a little stress off.  But our sellers have yet to formally OK the change in closing date so I suppose that could go squirrelly,. too.
The Critter is getting cuter by the minute.  He's about mastered the Gene Kelley carseat tipping manuever.... climbs in when it's on the floor, crawls to the other side until it tips and dumps him out on the carpet on the other side.  Then repeat.  He's like a little tank on all fours... will actually go OVER any obstacle even if it means going out of his way to do so.  I am praying this tendency does not grow into a love of all things monstertruck or military.  
He began planting big fat slobbery open mouthed kisses on everyone this weekend.  While the dog was ecstatic to see her affection returned in kind, the kitties were much less thrilled.  They've upped their baby evasion training regimen as aa result. The Critter has also begun whining in a much more pleasing tone of voice.  The old Draconian shrieking was earning him quick trips to his crib... I think he is much more pleased with the delayed bedtimes, cuddles and hugs that he is earning now.  He finally had a wonderful time at swim class last week, too.  Thanks, we're sure to the club actually turning up the temperaure in the pool to a more baby-friendly level.
Oh, and *I GUESS* you could say he's started saying his first word.  Not "Mama", no.  Not for the 10 months of nausea, hemmorhoids and indigestion I endured to bring him into this world.  Not for the roughly 3 hours of time I sit around with my tit in a wringer pumping out life-sustaining breastmilk every day.  No.  No "Mama" for me.  Instead, one night last week when I brought him to bed in the wee hours of the morning and Curt as usual presented his back so he could go back to sleep.... the Critter sat back on his heels, slapped his shoulder and clear as a bell shouted "Da!".  Followed by another "Da!".  With that he turned his father into the biggest puddle of putty to be manipulated with the palm of his tiny little hand. Now it's "dada" whenever he's feeling neglected.  And still - no word for the Mama. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rape as punishment

Echidne revisits the issue of rape victims "asking for it" by dressing provocatively, being drunk, promiscuous, etc.  This time after an Amnesty Int'l survey of British views on rape, which found that:
"more than a quarter (26%) of those asked said that they thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing, and more than one in five (22%) held the same view if a woman had had many sexual partners.

Around one in 12 people (8%) believed that a woman was totally responsible for being raped if she'd had many sexual partners.

Similarly, more than a quarter of people (30%) said that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk, and more than a third (37%) held the same view if the woman had failed to clearly say "no" to the man."
Our divine bloGoddess tries to draw a parallel between rape and a brutal mugging and then wondered if it was an effective analogy. Many feminists don't like it as it seems to perpetuate the "woman/sex as property/commodity" dynamic and downplays the added psychological trauma associated with sexual assault.  But I myself think it's an excellent analogy and is the one I prefer to use when the subject comes up.  Not perfect as rape is such a complex issue, but I do believe it's the most effective way to illustrate how hypocritical the "blame the victim" mentality is to folks who have never experienced it themselves, or are so self righteous and naive they think it will never happen to them.  So, some more analogies:
If a man were to go to a sports bar every Monday night and was very "promiscuous" with his money by buying the house a round everytime his favorite team scored, and got totally drunk and very friendly himself in the process... does that entitle other patrons of the bar to take him into a backroom, take turns beating the shit out of him and then each take $20 from his wallet?  What if he was dressed "provocatively" in a rival team's jersey?  By the logic of those who blame the rape victim, yes, yes it does.  He was asking for it. 
What about the very generous guy who routinely gives a handout to every homeless person he sees.  If some other homeless person knows he's an easy mark and asks him for a handout, but happens to be refused this time... does that entitle the rejected recipient from physically assaulting the good samaritan and stealing his wallet?  By the logic of those who blame the rape victim, yes.  Yes it does.  What do you expect when you "put out" willingly on a regular basis?
Or, to put it in the context of character.   What if you're a drug addict.  Or addicted to gambling and go blow your paycheck every week at the local dog racing track or Indian Casino.  Or you regularly drop a few c-notes down the g-strings of strippers at the local titty bar.   Obviously you don't value your own money and financial well being.  Why should society blame a potential mugger or ID/Credit thief for taking your money/good credit from you by force what you give up so willingly?  Why, by the logic of those who like to blame the rape victims, even brutal, potentially fatal physical force is justified apparently.
There is no excuse.  No justification.  No defense.  This mentality of blaming the victim needs to stop NOW.  And increasingly I'm convinced, the only way to do it is to steal the wallet or purse of anyone who is stupid enough to verbalize it. "you really think she deserved it, huh?  Where do you bank? Why do I ask?  oh, no reason... just having a friendly conversation...." 

Monday, November 21, 2005

Rightie Echo Chamber

Barbara O'Brien over at the American Street document the not-so-elusive Rightie Echo Chamber in action. Here's an interesting experiment in social psychology. Someone set up a rightie persona (that self-identfies with the Right and throws in a little liberal bashing for credibility) and use it to post comments on rightie sites using actual quotes from lefties. See what kind of a response you get. Then when they all start bobble-heading with you in unison throw out the "funny... that actually came from so and so's blog....". Someone should totally do that... someone with more time and energy and a stronger stomach than I, that is. I'll help compile the results, though.

Excitement Free Zone

This time, I'm not getting excited.  I'm not posting pictures, not even crossing my fingers.  Until AFTER the inspection on Wednesday.  Hell, maybe not even until after we close & move in.  But if I were to have gotten excited, it would have been because we made an offer on a house Saturday and it was accepted yesterday.  A 1978 split level. yes, I know BUT that happens to be the most common floorplan that is most conducive to having a mother in law stay with us (within our price range, that is).  It's been totally cleaned up & repaired... new paint, new fixtures, new carpet, new linoleum (the faux stone stuff I like because it looks EXACTLY like tile but is softer on little baby heads). Nicely landscaped.  Huge kitchen - range and dishwasher are old but the old cabinets were stained a beautiful cherry finish that look new.   New sink.  Gorgeous decks on the backside.... one with a view of Mt. St. Helens over the neighbor's roof!!!  In fact, if we put in a window in the dining room... we could watch all of her eruptions from there.  Pretty cool, huh? Could use some prettying up on the outside (shutters and different paint, eventually new windows/front door or other more extensive entry "makeover"). But otherwise?  Totally move-in ready.  Which it looks like we'll have to do before we leave for as week in Indiana at Christmas.   Ugh.  Good thing we'd all pretty much agreed to go low-key & cheap for Christmas 'cuz I sure won't time to shop!  Though I'd hoped to make the Critter's first Christmas a little more memorable.  Not for him (I know he won't remember) but for us. 

Friday, November 18, 2005


Last night the Critter got two baths.  Thanks to Mommy not realizing the sitter had left some formula mixed in with the bottle of breastmilk she sent home with us and giving the bottle to the boy following our trip to the grocery store.  Who, in his own defense *did* give us fair warning about his imminent pukage by waking up and whimpering in his crib a couple of times after we put him to bed (a fairly unusual occurance lately... the frequent wakings in the evening that is).  Which warning we did ignore by simply retrieving the binky and patting his little head and shushing him back to sleep.  The sleep which was next interrupted by a pitiful wail, emanating from a puke-covered baby wallowing in his own puddle of regurgitated organic sweet potato and chicken dinner.  Which he had so enjoyed going down.  Shame. Hope it doesn't sour him on sweet potato forever.  
For those keeping track at home - that's two puke fests in two weeks.  One viral induced, one bad-formula (and bad mommy) induced.  Don't worry, bad-mommy got her come-uppance in the second round of come-upping when she couldn't get the baby to the sink fast enough and was coated in vomit for her tardiness.  The 3rd round came when Daddy was trying to get the baby dressed and diapered and forgot to grab the handy-dandy puke pail bad-Mommy had used while giving the Critter his second bath.  Bad-Mmommy may have even thought to herself "maybe I should tell Daddy to be sure the puke pail accompanies the child" before summarily thinking "fuck it - I've got puke in my hair... let him deal with it" and once again may have earned herself another come-uppance when the 3rd come-upping erupted all over her & Daddy's down comforter.  But then again... Daddy hogs the comforter anyway so no big loss.
An hour or two and one bottle of formula-free Mommy's milk later the Critter was once again feeling himself with no further come-upping in sight.    And cracking Mommy up while sprawled, exhausted - in the parental bed with his little pinkie hooked in the corner of Daddy's sleeping mouth, the vision of a Minnie Me Moment.
Tomorow Daddy & the Critter will be staying at home while Mommy accompanies the realtor for one more marathon house hunt, since yes... the real estate gods shit on our second deal, too.  Let's hope the 3rd time is a charm.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kind of fun

I typically avoid memes like the plague, but Sarahlynn hooked me with this one:
Google your first name + "needs" and find out what the internet thinks you need.  Kind of puts your life in perspective, no?
So according to the GoogleGods, MustangSally* needs:
A New Pair of shoes (actually just got 'em, thanks)
donations to help pay for costly cancer treatment :(  (thank Maude, no...!!  Knock on wood!)
a few acting lessons
some nookie (well, yes, that always helps)
a family that is patient  (yep)
spice in her journal (very true - it's become veritably vanilla lately)
a life (not true - mine is keeping me way too busy lately.  Resulting in item just above).
help (who can't?)
minor healing from surgery  (again, no - thank Maude)
a good critique (maybe... though I should warn you I don't take criticism well).
some fucking watts - turn the muther fucker up really loud
to write us, we are all feeling FRISKY
lot of positive vibes sent her way (always.... still no word on if they've accepted our offer on the 2nd house!)
*obviously, not what I actually googled.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When it rains, it pours....

The real estate gods are not smiling upon us.  I don't know what we need to do to make amends... maybe make offerings of fruit baskets or something.  Fate turned against us this week.... the woman who was buying our house revoked her offer.  Even though our realtor TOLD her the lot was not divideable she didn't believe her and was counting on that for investment purposes.  Only to be given a rude awakening by the county when she actually went to check it out.  Luckily, we still had the other competing buyers who are still interested... though they're asking us to pay $5k in their closing costs.   They, however wanted to buy our place out of pure love, not avarice so I'd actually feel better about selling to them.  Gardeners, who would love and appreciate our yard.  With a new baby on the way.
Then, yesterday's inspection of the adorable little farmhouse, pictured below killed any possibility of that working anyway.   First, there was the problem with the electrical.  The owner, an electrical engineer by trade apparently thought he could totally lie his ass off about the wiring to the garage conversion and not get caught.  His story - it was all done as part of a 60's remodel and all he did was put outlets on existing wiring (that was poorly done as it was) so didn't need permits.  Yeah right.  The obviously 90's era electrical panel, wiring materials and total amateurish job (panel itself was a fire hazard) totally gave him away.  An EE degree does not make you a licensed electrician.  Then there was the roof (again a patchwork of amateurish work that would need to be totally replaced... with who knows what kind of trouble underneath).  And the worst problem - the foundation.  Crumbly on one side of the house (and would need to be repoured), plus unstable brick foundation losing its mortar on the other side which would kill any chance of our getting earthquake insurance.  With good reason.  This place being 20 miles closer to an active volcano, and the whole region ripe for "the big one".... no way in hell was I going to risk our lives in an old 2 story house that could very well come down with minor shaking.
Oh, and the clincher?  Exposed asbestos tape (peeling) on heating ducts in the stairway.  With that we actually cut the inspection short by an hour or two and ran for the hills. 
Today we looked at a 1978 split level that has a mother-in-law's apt. situation totally set up on the lower level.  It would require nothing to move in.  I got over my inherent disgust of all things 70's housing (be they ranches, or split levels) and we're going to make an offer.  They've already got one that's contingent in the hopper but it's bumpable. We're offering $5k over their asking price (it was underpriced anyway).  Cross your fingers.  It's not my ideal but for a split level?  It's damned cute.  Brand new, paned windows with shutters... a deck, hot tub... fantastically landscaped.  Fireplace and pellet stove.  Small kitchen and bathrooms but in this price range I can deal with those.  Terrific quiet neighborhood.  Fully fenced backyard.  With a firepit!  And a pond!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bye Bye little house

We sold our little house. Full asking price plus a little extra (there were 2 competing bids) I'm a little torn. I'm really going to miss it. Especially seeing the fruition of all the hard work (and nursery stock) we've put into it. But if there's one thing the new little farmhouse does have in abundance it's plenty of opportunity to personalize! And we're going to take cuttings of some of the more special plants, anyway to help it feel like "home".

I'm hoping to look at one or two other possibilities besides the farmhouse before we really commit to it (inspection is tomorow) just to be on the safe side, but everything's starting to fall in place which makes us both think it must be fate. Our buyer is an investor who is buying our place as a rental, so there's no big rush to move - we can just rent from her for a few extra weeks to get some of the work done that we want before moving in.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Please notify NASA

...that the Kansas state board of education has voted to formally replace Earth as the official center of the solar system. That might save some embarassment with the upcoming envisioned trip to Mars.

...In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

Next meeting, the genius members of the board who voted in favor plan to require all students to learn Biblical tongue-speaking as a second language.

"This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat."

Yes, yes you are. But if it's any consolation, it's the sad, irony filled tearful kind of laughter. That hurts us as much as it does you.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Holy Shit they Accepted our Offer!

So we're on our way to getting the house!!! Woohoo!!

Just need to sell ours first and from the volume of realtors calling wanting to show it in the last 36 hours since we listed it, that should happen pretty quick. Hey, maybe we'll get into a bidding war. A girl can dream, can't she?

I'm a little scared. Excited, but scared. Now we've got to deal with packing and moving and everything. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Maybe our new house!

Maybe our new house!
Originally uploaded by MsMustangsally.

We just put in an offer on this 1920 farmhouse. I think I'm nuts. We were originally looking for "newer" construction to save the hassle of endless home improvement projects. But as much as we wanted to avoid that hassle, there are two things we have to have in a house that you can't really get without buying an older home: Privacy and character. This is on almost 1/2 acre lot which is very hard to find around here. Brand new construction going on down the street from this are on 3500 sq ft. lots (just like every other new development). And though there's plenty to keep us busy project wise, there's nothing critical.

The big bonus, though: the detached garage has been converted to a studio apartment and Curt's mom has agreed to a trial move from Indiana for a couple of months to be our "nanny". Which, if it works out, will save us daycare costs. Curt really misses his family - especially his mom and this would give her & Duncan the opportunity to build a relationship. I had my grandma living next door when I grew up and though she caused some incredible problems for Mom & Dad, it was great for my brother & I. So cross your fingers!!

Oh, and in the meantime - what to do with the orange walls in the living room? Just extend the light green from the dining room or something darker? I'm thinking periwinkle.