Friday, November 30, 2007

Johnston High continued

I'd like to respond directly to DMD's comment on my post about Johnston. Yes I think a lot of the responsibility rests with the district (I never blamed the teachers and I still don't, I think the district abandoned them too.) I am the daughter, granddaughter, sister-in-law, niece, and friend of teachers. I think I have a pretty good grasp on the shit they have to go through. The reason I blame the district is because they did not do anything to keep the kids who don't have to work 40 hours a week from leaving. They did not address the problems at Johnston seriously until it was obvious the school was closing. From their actions, one would think that they want the school to close. And nobody wins in that case. If that school closes, other area schools have to absorb the kids and it will hurt the kids in those other schools because a lot of the Johnston kids are going to have the same problems they had at Johnston (abseentism, discipline problems, language barriers, teen pregnancy, etc.) and suddenly they're befriending kids at the other AISD schools and we've got more kids falling prey to the above problems. I also think responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents and the students themselves. But the district needed to do more to get the students and the parents involved. Webb Middle School was turned around by community involvement. But on the other hand, it is very hard for people who have an income of $9,000 a year to get involved in the school. They are probably too busy scrambling to keep their family from starving to death. The parents of the children who left the school in droves, the ones who are upwardly mobile enough to transfer their children, they are the ones whose involvement would have saved it. Which is why I think Dr. Forgione is too late and probably wanted it that way. You would not believe how racist Austin is, it is astounding. Houston is much more integrated. When I first moved here my eyes practically bugged out of head at the segregation: white folk on the west side of 35, black and hispanic folk on the east side. Oh, and don't drive on the east side, white girl, you get a cap in your ass. Which of course is not like it is at all.

Okay, I'm climbing off my soapbox now. Seriously, DMD, thanks for your comment, I really do enjoy thinking about why I have my position on things. I don't get to argue with people I disagree with enough because I don't work with Republicans anymore!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Week!

One week from today we will have the keys to our new house. Yay! We have survived nearly 4 months living with Tim's parents. And there's been no blood! I want to be all ready to move and was going to spend Stella's nap packing, but there really isn't much to be packed. We didn't unpack much here and so we don't have much to repack. I figure if I spend a couple of her naptimes next week getting packed, I'll be just fine. Wow, if I use the word "pack" one more time, I may come up as the first page in a Google search for the word. I kind of feel like I'm twiddling my thumbs. Like I'm a short-timer.

I just reserved the truck, so it's official! Our plan is to get the inflatable mattress and Stella's pack n' play in Thursday, the day we close, so we can start sleeping in our new house right away. Tim's parents have been so generous to let us live here this long, but we're ready to have our own space!

Stella did something really cute at the playground this morning that I have to share. It was playgroup and she and John David, who is a month older than Stella, both brought snacks, he brought apples and Stella brought crackers. They were eating each other's snacks and John David's mom Rebecca told John to say "please" to Stella and ask for more crackers. Stella said please! It shocked Rebecca because she didn't know Stella was talking. I've also never heard her clearly say please, it was pretty cool. She's been repeating a lot of what I say lately, so perhaps the reason she's being so fussy is that she is experiencing a milestone.

Damn, she's awake after another mere 90 minute nap. She usually goes 2 hours, but the past couple of days she's only been doing an hour and a half or less. I was going to give her ibruprofen before she went down today because I think teething pain may be waking her up, but I forgot. Pooh. Oh, well, hopefully she'll be in a better mood than she has the last few days!

Breaking Your Heart

This article on Johnston High breaks your heart. It really does. For those of you outside of Austin, Johnston High is in danger of closing under the "No Child Left Behind" rule. It is zoned to take in 1,357 high school kids from the surrounding area. It only has about 650 kids. Anyone who can transfers their kid to another school. It was actually due to close this year, but the commissioner took some pity on it and is giving it another year. Although it doesn't sound like it's going to make it. Some quick data points to illustrate how dire the situation is:

There were 12 people marching in the band at homecoming. Oh, but 5 of those were volunteers from other places that didn't attend the school.
They had to cancel their football season because they didn't have enough players that passed their classes. They did play homecoming, but they were tromped.
"At the nine-week mark in the school year, 57% of Johnston's students already had at least two unexcused post-lunch absences." There was a suggestion to close the school for lunch, but the PTA president bended to parent pressure not to close it. Can you believe that parents wouldn't want the campus closed to prevent at least some of these absences?
"One in five girls at the school will bear a child before she graduates. One in three doesn't speak English. About 40% of those students who enter Johnston in any given year won't finish the school year there. And with an average household income of $9,000 in the surrounding neighborhood, many parents expect their teenagers to work. PTA President Geneva Oliva, herself a 1974 alumna, admits that once the money starts rolling in, parents often decide a GED is just as good as a Johnston diploma."

We really need to save our nation's schools, this is a tragedy and it's going to be repeated elsewhere. I cannot believe how bad AISD lets their schools get before they try to do something.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thank you CNN!

Because you thought it important to do an article on the winner of "Dancing with the Stars", I now know that the winner was some race car driver. And so if I, heaven forbid, get forced into a conversation with someone who watches "Dancing with the Stars", I have something to talk to them about. In fact, CNN was kind enough to give me a blow-by-blow of the finals, and even listed the "celebrities" (who are these people, anyway?) who were cut before the finals. So me and the "Dancing with the Stars" afficianado who get stuck in an elevator together can have at least a two minute conversation. Yes!

I just have to say, I think Mel (C.? B.? I'm not sure the article said, I assume it was the one who had Eddie Murphy's baby), was robbed. And how could you not give it to that irrespressible Marie O.? I mean, she's forever that adorable little 16-year-old singing with her brothers in my opinion!

I'm just glad we have the fine upstanding journalists at CNN to keep me apprised of real news like "Dancing with the Stars". Oh, and that whole Natalee Hollaway thing. Because nothing is news like two and a half year old stories about white girls who go missing on their spoiled rich kid Senior trip!

Excuse me, I think I need to go take my anti-bitter pill this morning...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cable vs Satellite and DSL

So this post might be easily classified as boring beyond all belief, but this is where my head is right now. We are seriously considering switching from the Time Warner behemoth to the AT&T behemoth plus satellite through DirectTV when we get into the new house. The savings are enormous, like $50 a month! Anybody have any experience with this? We've never even had the opportunity to try DSL before because we've never been in the service area. And I always bought into the cable propaganda about satellite going out in rainstorms, which apparently is much rarer than Time Warner would lead you to believe. And they have local channels, unlike what the cable consortium tells you. I just don't think the combo of Cable phone/internet/tv is so great that it's worth $50 more a month than the combo of Landline/DSL/satellite.

The other thing on my mind is closing costs. Our mortgage company STILL has not gotten that estimate to me. I'm really annoyed because our loan officer is really hard to get a hold of. So I left her a message and should expect a call back God only knows when. She was supposed to call me back yesterday after checking on it, but of course, no call back. She's very nice when she does call, just impossible to get a hold of. I just want to plan. I am a planner and since we don't have the moolah back from Newmark yet, I need to know exactly how much we need to close to be sure we have it. And the time I really have to spend on this stuff is when Stella is asleep, so it'd nice if she called now. I'm debating over calling her cell, but for some reason I feel really bad doing that. It's right there on her business card, so I really shouldn't, but I can't help it. It feels too much like calling someone at home.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cramming my head with design

So this lovely 4-day weekend we've just been cramming our head with pictures of mid-century design. I went to the library Wednesday and checked out three books on modernism and mid-century design, looking for things we like. Then Friday we went to a bunch of vintage stores looking for specimens, and then last night we went to Barnes and Noble and looked at modern and mid-century modern books and magazines. In between I've been scouring the internet for pics too. And I think we've already made a few decisions:

1) We do NOT want a house that looks like a 50's or 60's museum. We looked at a book called Atomic Ranch (made by the people who put out the magazine of the same name), and most of the spaces looked ridiculous. People had meticulously sought out only furniture and accessories from the era. They all had Nelson benches which I think are cool, but they are so ubiquitous that we are starting to wonder if they are standard issue when you purchase a modern house. We do think we'd like to use a bench as a coffee table, just not necessarily a Nelson bench type. (We know we won't be using a real Nelson bench as they are a few hundred dollars). We'd like to combine period and modern pieces to create a house that reflects our taste. One really cool idea we saw in a book was stainless steel cabinets from a restaurant supply store used in the living room and dining as buffets. We also think stainless steel countertops would look great in the kitchen (although that's a few years off) and were popular in the time period.

2) Our debate over whether the tv can be on display or not rages on. Tim thinks it's okay to have it out in the open, especially if we one day get the cool type that hang on the wall, while I hate having that black box staring at me all the time and want it covered up, no matter what the type.

3) The large ikea lanters that the current owners put in the dining room and breakfast area are PERFECT for mid-century modern. Nearly every house in our modernism books has globe lighting. We'd also like to put globes on the front

4) I want a modern sofa, as in new. Tim is fine with a used sofa. Another debate. While the miser in me loves the thought of getting a sofa for a couple hundred dollars, the person with back problems in me wants comfortable new seating where the springs aren't already shot and the cushions worn down from 40 years of resting butts. Our cheap IKEA sofa that was last seen breaking several times in Little Murders cost me many weeks of back pain before it was replaced. There are some really beautiful sofas at Crate and Barrel, this one being our favorite. Although it's also $1500. Which REALLY seems like a lot for a sofa, even one we love. We also like this one at IKEA. It's pretty cool looking, pretty comfortable, AND half the price. PLUS through December 22nd, if you buy a couch at IKEA, you get 20% back in an IKEA gift card. So the couch would really technically be $600. What a deal! Of course, this puts some urgency into our purchase. And we may not have the money for the purchase by then. Which is okay. I just hate to pass up a deal like that!

Okay, I know my furnishing discussion is just enthralling you all. You can come see the house for yourself when LGT has our fundraiser there December 15th, a mere week after we move in. It's going to be awesome!

Fresh off the success of Little Murders, Loaded Gun Theory presents a reading of our next production, The Automat, a NEW play by LGT resident playwright, Timothy Thomas. The show won't be performed until February 29th-March 16th at the Dougherty Arts Center, but you can get a sneak peek at the script in December!
Loaded Gun Theory is having a fundraiser to read The Automat and raise funds for its production. Admission is by donation and we'll be selling baked goods and hot chocolate to keep you warm. All donations will be matched 100% by an anonymous donor.
Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy The Automat Under the Oak! And watch for further readings in our "Under the Oak" series.
When: Saturday December 15th at 3pm
Where: 3403 Santa Monica Dr., Austin, Tx 78741 (the new Thomas residence)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bea Arthur, my daughter

Stella is all allergy-ridden and phlegm overrun like the rest of us here at Chez Thomas and when she talks she sounds like Bea Arthur. It's funny and kind of sad at the same time. She was just rolling around her toy Fisher Price train and saying, "go, go" (which I'm not sure I've heard her say before) and she sounded like she'd been smoking a pack a day of Virginia Slims 120's since the 60's.

I wish I lived near Julie, we could go to breakfast together since we and our daughters are the sole inhabitants awake in our respective houses this Thanksgiving. Although I'm actually pretty well-rested since I went to bed early last night. I was going to take a walk, but it is COLD. And I have no sweatshirts. So I'm going to stay warm in the comforts of the house.

Speaking of houses we are at 2 weeks, 2 hours until our closing. In 2 weeks, 3 hours, we should be done signing the paperwork and I will probably immediately commence moving things from the in-laws to the new house. Even if I have to borrow their truck and do it by myself. We'll of course have an "official" move that Saturday, but I just am soooo anxious to get in, I have the feeling I'll be unable to wait. Maybe I can at least get in the things we'll need to sleep there. That would rock. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for our close to get moved up to next week, but with the holiday and everything, I kind of doubt that will happen.

Our Newmark salesman, in an effort to add to the holiday spirit, emailed Tim yesterday to tell him that they are not going to give us our deposit back. Grinches. $6,413 they are going to keep and get back from the next house purchaser, PLUS the at least $28,000 they are going to make by selling our house at their new higher price. They could get out of debt simply by milking saps like us. Tim's parents drove by Tuesday and they were digging a big trench in the front yard. The house still isn't painted. We're all taking bets as to whether it will be ready by December 21st for the next tenant. Somehow I doubt it. I've forwarded the $6400 mess to our realtor in the hopes that he'll be able to get at least some of that back for us. Even if we have to lose that money, I still know we made the right choice.

I checked out some great books on Modern design from the library yesterday and Tim and I have decided we are going to collect items to furnish this house over time, rather than running up the credit card at IKEA and getting knock-offs that look good, but hold no personal value or history. I think vintage stores and antique stores are going to become our new best friends. I of course want everything to look perfect from the moment we move in, but that's really too expensive and too easy. I'm going to try and shift my focus from finding the perfect coffee table, couch and dining chairs to purchase, to trying and make what we have fit for now. Actually, the two purchases we're going to make right away are a fridge (of course) and a big dining table. It's just the dining chairs that I'm prepared to scour the internets and the stores for.

Well, there is an "eau de poop" smell in the air, so I guess Stella needs to be changed. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pig-Tails and New Words

I finally downloaded some pics and video off my camera, including my first attempt at pig-tails, and Stella's 2nd time (but first time on tape), saying MeMe, which is what we call my mother. Stella said, "ow, ow,ow" the whole time I did the pigtails, even when I wasn't pulling her hair. I tried to tell her that this was her obligation as a little girl and my obligation as the mother of a little girl to fix her hair and make her go "ow". Perhaps she'll understand when she's older:)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wasting time

So I've spent like the entire day today on Mid-Century Modern house websites. I found a couple that were awesome quite randomly off a comment on DaddyTypes. Tim's sister Caroline and her boyfriend Daniel are here for the week, so I've had lots of folks to entertain Stella. Which is why I'm able to drool over mid-century beauties until my eyes pop out. But I think our beaut holds up to just about any of them. Once we've got the outside up to snuff, we can go toe-to-toe, mano y mano. Bring it on, MCM's!

This weekend was closing of Little Murders. We had fantastic audiences, awesome shows and we were all really sad to see it go. I especially. I didn't realize how sad I would be until I walked off stage after getting my brains blown out. I pretty much bawled. I'm not proud of this fact. I had to walk outside so I wouldn't sob too loudly. I guess it was just a culmination of the fact that I'd wanted to do this show for so long, I felt such a connection and love for Patsy (my character), I'd gotten a lot of positive feedback for this role, and I found out I wasn't cast in the show I'd auditioned for that morning right before curtain. I didn't expect to actually be upset about that, really, because I'm going to be so busy with moving into the house and getting ready to direct The Automat, not to mention that rehearsals and performances are on the other side of town, but when I got to the audition, I had a lot of friends I wanted to work with again there and the script was a lot of fun. Plus rejection never feels good. But by Sunday morning I was really glad I hadn't been cast, actually, because I need a break!

I just don't know when I'll act again since I'm pretty booked up until the end of April. Perhaps I can do a show that runs in May, if any of those come up. I just am totally addicted to acting right now (and scared about being stuck in this house all day and in the evenings. Even if it is just for a couple more weeks.)

LGT meets tonight to plan our next project, a fundraiser at our new house December 15th where we will read The Automat. You're only as good as your next project!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye

So my belief that we might get back some of our money from Newmark just plunged dramatically. They're probably filing for Chapter 11:


I reached goal in Weight Watchers today. 30 pounds. Gone. Yay for me, moment of celebration!

Okay, now the tough part, the part I was dreading: Maintenance. For the next 6 weeks they monkey with the points I can have a day and see where I gain weight, where I lose until I'm maintaining. My leader said I will gain weight. That's depressing. I don't want to gain an ounce. But of course, I understand why they do it. I have to had 4 points to my daily total right off the bat. This is a huge amount. Or at least it seems that way to me. It scares me. I'm so programmed to eat a certain way. There is an upside to this, though. I shouldn't be spending money right now. So because I may still be gaining/losing weight, this is not a good time to be buying clothes, even though I want to. So I won't be tempted to buy new clothes since I don't know exactly what size I'm in yet. Brilliant!

The booklet for goal says you are supposed to celebrate somehow. I have to think of something cool that doesn't cost too much to do to celebrate. I can't believe I can't think of a single thing! If anybody has suggestions, I welcome them!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HEB Rocks!

Go to HEB today and stop giving excuses about why you can't buy reusable bags:
From Metroblogger
"I returned from England a few months ago impressed at how most of the grocery shoppers carried their groceries around in reusable totes. While Austinites are still arguing about the environmental impact of paper versus plastic grocery bags, the English had moved on to a third choice, reuse. Since then, I've noticed reusable bags for sale both at Central Market and Whole Foods Market but I haven't seen a lot of people using them.

Today, Texas-based H-E-B tries to get Austin involved in it's reuse/recycle philosophy by giving away 20,000 reusable shopping bags. Go to any H-E-B today (Thursday, November 15th) between 10 am and 7pm with 5 plastic shopping bags (any brand) and H-E-B will give you a free reusable bag.

"The more we can encourage people to switch to reusable bags, the better it will be for the environment, " said Leslie Lockett, H-E-B Director of Public Affairs for Central Texas. "By giving away 20,000 reusable bags for free, we can invite people to give the bags a try and really begin to change habits in our community."

If you miss out on a free bag today, don't give up. You'll be able to purchase the reusable bags from H-E-B for 99 cents. H-E-B is also providing recycling bins for plastics that can't go in the city's recycling bins: newspaper delivery bags, dry-cleaning bags, and six-pack rings."

You know, I had entertained the thought of going to the Super-Walmart because it's going to be super close to our new house, even though I hate Walmart and Super-Walmart in particular, but I think I'll go ahead and battle the masses at the HEB at Oltorf and South Congress. Because HEB does good by Texans and by peeps in general. Thanks Butt family!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


At least according to this research. Fascinating stuff. Apparently women who have lower waist to hip ratios tend to have children that score higher on tests and tend to be "cleverer".

Yes, I've always thought that when I let my thighs do the thinking I do much better.

Starting from Zero

So while Stella was sick we let her have her binky all the time because, well, she was sick and it was comforting. Now we are back at square one. She wants her binky all the time and hunts around for it and then cries if she doesn't find it (what she's doing right now). Sigh. And we were doing so well! Of course, I don't really have the energy today to care whether she's upset or not, so maybe this is the perfect time to get back on the binky-less-track!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Turn

So the stomach virus of death continues its path through our house. Stella's on the mend, but I started getting sick at about midnight last night. Apparently Tim's mom was sick all night too. I'm now at that "I'm starving, but do I dare eat?" stage. Sigh. THANKFULLY Tim's Dad is watching Stella so I'm free to just lie here and moan. That's about all I have the energy for right now.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I am so sophisticated

My blog is a Junior High blog!
cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weight loss and acting

So I lost another 1.6 pounds this week, so I'm now only 1.2 pounds away from goal! Yay! I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to try and lose more (my goal is 5 pounds over my lowest allowable healthy BMI, so I could try and get down to that mythical weight). It is feeling really good, I have to say. I just feel so much more confident, my clothes fit so much better, it's wonderful! i'm actually in a size 10 for the first time since freshman year of college! I can't recommend Weight Watchers enough if you are looking to get in better shape and better health and drop a few pounds. (I know it sounds like I'm some sort of paid spokesmodel, but I can only wish!)

Last night the play went fantastically. My big scene just had a lot of life, Ian and I were both really cooking, and I just had one of those transcendent moments that remind me why I heart theatre so much. Afterwards, I was still shaking and the audience laughed at all the moments of my monologue they're supposed to laugh at. A lot. Uproariously. Awesome! Hopefully I've turned a corner and it'll be that good every night. But even when I have an off-night, like Thursday, when I wasn't doing so hot and then a MOTH decided it wanted to get in on the action, Tim said that it was really good (even with the moth). That little pisser. He flew onto stage and landed on my sleeve right at the part where I'm laying into Ian, and I shook my arm, which made Ian smile and then I was just totally thrown off. THEN he landed on Ian's stomach and just sat there while I was delivering my big heartfelt moment during my speech. Ian said we should make ourselves feel better with the fact that the Moth only has a 3-day lifespan and this was probably the highlight of its life. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say!

I'm trying not to just think about househousehousehouse, but it's hard. We're going to go to IKEA today to scope out all the stuff we want for the house. Of course, we'll be house poor when we first move in, so most of those purchases will have to wait a bit, but it's still fun to look! I've got a big master plan for the front of the house that I'm really excited about. We're totally going to "borrow" ideas from Vintage Modern to really bring out the modern details on the front of the house with paint, and then we want to re-plant our beloved cactus in the front flowerbeds. The inside is pretty much ready to go (other than a couple of hallway light fixtures I'd like to replace), so we can concentrate our efforts on the outside. I'm not much of a landscaper, but I'm really excited about what we can do! (Vintage Modern uses frames so I can't directly link to it, but check out the house that's 1537 sq ft under "homes already sold" for a sneak peek of what we're thinking of. It has a lot in common with our new house, including the roofline, beams and an intricate front door and I think what they've done with it looks fantastic. Oh, and look at that yummy window. Maybe one day we could replace the front windows with that type. Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

My big question is how to cover up those rounded front windows. Those just are not modern at all. I mean, what was the architect thinking. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Why we chose another house

Tim, my dear husband, has a great post that details our house saga and why we went for this house. I'll link to it for now because I don't have time to put in my own explaination right now: But to answer folk's questions:

Yes, you can park on the street, there is TONS of room. They've had weddings in the backyard, so you can fit lots of cars along the extra-wide streets.

Our close date is set for December 6th, but the owner is totally open to moving earlier. So we told the mortgage company that the faster they can get it all put together the better. So we'll see how quick they can do that and talk about a sooner close date.

The woman who owns the house got married and her and her husband both own houses, so they just wanted to sell their house and start a new life together in a new house. How sweet!

Also, apparently she googled us and we google well:) So this is a good karma thing all around.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

WE GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG, we got it. I'm so excited! So I can finally elaborate.
So it's a 1968 modern ranch with giant windows on the back and a huge park-like backyard. It has a 600 year-old oak tree and doesn't have back neighbors because it backs to an easement for electrical lines. So you don't have to cover the beautiful windows. It sits on 3/4 of an acre, has walnut floors throughout the house and tile in the dining, breakfast and kitchen. It is A-dorable, looks to be in immaculate shape. Some photos are below, I'll put the rest up at since Blogger is being wonky and I have to go to show! But pictures don't do it justice!

The 600 year-old oak (with stage for future LGT productions):
Living room:

Master with the private sliding glass door to patio:

Dining Room

I am full of nervous energy

Perhaps I will blog 10, 12 times today, who knows? But I just thought I'd share some self-portraits of Stella and I from a bored Monday afternoon.

I like the following two because we're both making the same expressions. Here we are "working it" for the camera:
And here we in the "synchronized therberts" competition:

Man, I love that girl. And she allows me to be as stoopid as I want to be. I can always break out in a silly dance and she thinks it's the funniest thing ever. If I just give up and play with her, we usually have a blast. It's when I try to get things done that things go haywire and she tugs on my leg. Gotta' work more on a balance there. Once this house mess is out of the way, perhaps I can get her into a mother's day out program. I know I want her to do preschool starting like next Fall. Oh, the pressure, the pressure! But there's no point of even thinking about that until we know which part of town we'll be in: 45 or 41. (PLEASE 4141414141!)

Speaking of the house, Tim talked to Jamie again (yet another Jamie in my life, can you believe it?!), and the other agent really liked the offer AND our loan officer also talked to her so she knows we're really solid financing-wise. They're supposed to make a decision today. Until then, I better mainline Pepto Bismol! So I am now "cautiously optimistic" again rather than "catastrophically pessimistic".

I'll let everyone know as soon as we get the house and I'll post pictures and you'll fall in love with it just like we have! (Even if we don't get it, I'll post them so you can see the one that got away.)

Oh, Tim also got an email from Newmark Jamie and gave them our new address for our closing papers. Hopefully those won't be necessary! And Super-Realtor Jamie is going to try and get our money back, he's optimistic that he can get at least part of it back. That'd be nice so we can use it for our closing costs.

Don't Fall in Love

So we found out this morning that there are multiple offers on the house. So we are currently engaged in that quaint housing market boom-time practice of the bidding war. Hopefully we can still get it, as we're willing to go quite a bit over asking price. But I cried when Tim told me this morning. Jamie Avila at Austin Advantage Realty, our fantastic new realtor who actually answered our call (as well as my friend and fellow actor), said that we didn't even need to probably go as high as we initially offered, just about $11k over asking. So now we wait. And we pray that our offer will be accepted. Tim thinks there is a second choice, but I don't. This is the house, there's no second choice for me (okay, that's overly dramatic, I will of course either live at 2045 Amur Drive or find another house, but nothing matches this one.)

Going through this, I'm reminded of why we built our first house in 2000. The market was so hot you had to see a house the day it went on the market, and then you had to put an offer in that day. The thought of all that stressed me out so much that we decided to build. Of course, now I'm getting a taste of it and perhaps that wasn't such a bad idea. I just hope this is resolved quickly. I've had insomnia the last two nights and it's killing me to get no sleep!

I wish I hadn't gotten so excited, but it's just impossible. I realize that most of us are not meant to live in our dream houses. So it would be pretty darn unlikely to get this house. So I'll just go back to living in a nice house that I have to work on to make fit my design aesthetic, instead of a house that is my design aesthetic ripped from the pages of Dwell.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wish us luck!

We put an offer in this afternoon on my dream home. Seriously, my dream home! I walked in and started tearing up. I don't want to say too much yet because I don't want to jinx things, but keep your fingers crossed that there aren't any other offers and we'll get it!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What else should I be doing at 12:05am?

I've got insomnia, so instead of continuing to lie in bed, I decided to get up and blog. Actually, I was going to read In Style, but since my computer was up here, I decided to send out a couple of emails that were bugging me.

I have insomnia because my brain pan is all full again. I decided to take another trip through the MLS today and surprisingly found quite a few houses I liked. Which Tim liked also. And they were in our old hood, 78741, near where Erin currently lives. We really love that area. They range from gorgeous to so-so, but they are all large, have hardwoods and lots of windows, and are in a fantastic area of town. And are (mostly) in our price range. (Our price range might be expanding. Tim did those little mortgage calculators online and found out that due to low interest rates, we may be able to afford more than we thought.) We drove by them tonight and have been trying to get in contact with Paul, our real estate agent, except that his voicemail box is full. As usual. Ashley tells me that he went to Vegas to see Elton John. This from the man who says he never takes vacations. But anyway, we want to jump because we don't think these houses will last long. And the sooner we look, the sooner we can put in a contract if we like one, and the sooner we can MOVE OUT OF HERE! So wish us luck. If we don't hear from Paul by noon tomorrow, I'm going to contact a friend of mine who is a real estate agent and Paul can just kiss our business goodbye. It just might be awkward since we didn't use Jamie to sell our house. ya' know?

Monday, November 05, 2007


Thar be pirates, argh!

And tigers, roar:
I wasn't there to witness the madness because of tech week, but here are some cute shots of the kids trick or treating. Lions and pirates and pirates, oh my!

Also a bonus of Tim and I as a classic Hollywood movie cowgirl and cowboy.

In other news, please come see Little Murders! We had a very slow opening weekend, although we did well Saturday night with 31 people. Sunday we had to cancel because only 2 people showed up. It's an awesome show and you don't want LGT to go bankrupt, do you?
(And for those of you who can't come, we always accept cash deductible donations, just email me!)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

7 Weeks

So we got our closing date yesterday. It was not the news we were hoping for. December 21st. In by Christmas, but only by the most technical of measures, as that is the Friday before Christmas and no one will be around to help us move. I feel like Christmas is sort of ruined for us and especially for Stella, although I realize Stella is too young to care about it. But the thought that we have 7 more weeks here is quite depressing. We've been here 12 weeks so far, so I guess it's much less than that, but still, it's not enough less. Sigh. Tim put a counter on his blog and it's 48 days. We should have listened to the builder. He said it would be 10-12 weeks from our pre-sheetrock orientation which would have been just a little after this date. Our salesguy was the one who kept giving us completely unrealistic estimates. I guess we must be one of the last groups to close before the end of the year. We were hoping for earlier since there are already people living there and they are supposed to be closing 7 houses a week from now on. I guess the hold-ups with the inspections and stuff pushed us back and other houses have rocketed past us. If they stick to this date, and Tim tells me apparently they are contractually obligated to finish it by 12/21 now, although I would not be suprised if it gets pushed back, our house will take about 9 months and a week from the date we signed the contract to completion. This surpasses what we thought was the slowest house building process in the world, our KB Home, which took 7 months. By comparison, they were speed demons. Of course, in Newmark's defense, KB did already have roads when we started.

In other news, we opened last night and other than a wine spill during one of the blackouts, things went off without a hitch. I did invert a few words and I didn't have one of those acting moments where the muse takes over and you really are on fire like I did Thursday night, but it still went well. The 8 people who were there really enjoyed it. Now I'm ready for tonight, when we should have quite a houseful since we're having a party with free beer afterwards. Nothing draws them out like free beer. I just hope folks get out and see the show. I'm really nervous with how much we've spent, especially since our rent went up by $900. I just hope we make back most of our expenses!

Friday, November 02, 2007

What are you doing tonight?

Going to see Little Murders, that's what! This show is going to knock your socks off, come on out!
Tickets are going fast, so get your reservations in or purchase tickets online by going to Plus you'll definitely want to join us for our opening weekend party on November 3rd after the show to celebrate Little Murders' opening. The generous folks at Real Ale Brewing Company have donated a keg of their finest brew for the event, so FREE BEER for all!!! No, you don't have to come see the show to drink our beer, come out and celebrate with us anyway.We're so excited about this show. It's looking fantastic with a great cast. More information below:

Little Murders
Written by Jules Feiffer
Directed by Karen Jambon
Presented by Loaded Gun Theory
produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The Newquists think they're a typical All-American family until their overbearing daughter Patsy brings home her nihilist fiancée Alfred to meet them for the first time. As Alfred destroys their expectations and their New York neighborhood falls victim to a series of unexplainable murders their seemingly perfect world spirals out of control. Join us for an evening of dark familial comedy presented by those masters of edgy satire, Loaded Gun Theory.
WHERE: Arts On Real
2826 Real St
WHEN:November 2-4 (Fri-Sun)
November 8-11 (Thu-Sun)
November 14-17 (Wed-Sat)
(Note: We've added a special Wednesday performance for all you theatre folk who are otherwise occupied Thursday through Sunday. Aren't we clever?)
All shows are at 8pm except Sunday matinees (November 4 and 11) which begin at 5pm.
General Admission: $12. Call 280-2156 or visit for reservations.