sue called me during lunch today to let me know she’d had her baby this morning around 9:30am. it’s a girl. they named her…uh…simcha ruth. “simcha” (pronounced sim’-ka, i believe) is hebrew for “happiness, joy”. she was a little over 8 lbs and the labor evidently was only about 3.5 hours or so. i went over there after work today and everyone seemed to be doing well. i held the new arrival for an hour or so while jack and i watched nacho libre. i wouldn’t have really volunteered for holding her, but sue gave her to me rather abruptly when she got up — then she was doing okay so sue left her with me.
after finishing moving on wednesday, then going and doing the radio show that night, i got up early thursday morning and headed to my hometown (brady, Texas) to visit the parents and my grandmother for thanksgiving.
thursday i ate a late thanksgiving lunch with the family and then immediately fell asleep for a few hours. (i’d not gotten much sleep the night before.) late thursday night i drove out onto an isolated rural farm-to-market road to stop and look at the stars. it was a bit chilly, but it was a cloudless sky and the sliver of moon had already set. amazing. simply amazing. the light pollution of houston completely obscures the sky, so it’s always jaw-dropping to see the night sky in central Texas.
friday i watched Texas a&m defeat t.u. friday evening i went with my dad to a high school football playoff game in comanche. my dad and i talked a fair bit about theology and the history of the church on the way. the game was may versus richland springs in 6-man football. we picked that over wall versus blanco (an 11-man game) in brownwood. i’ve seen a few 6-man games, but not many, so i was hoping it’d be a good game. unfortunately, richland springs beat up may and the mercy rule (>45 point lead) was deployed a few minutes into the third quarter. i guess in 6-man it’s not very common for two teams to play each other close.
saturday in the early afternoon i realized my rear driver’s side tire was flat. (probably due to my thursday night excursion to look at the stars.) most of the places in brady that fix flats were closed, but fortunately we managed to find one place that was open. we took the tire off and took it there. you want to talk about small town stereotypes…two haggard, greasy, dirty, partially toothless white guys running a shop in an old, dirty building with tires and various parts of things (vehicles and otherwise) strewn haphazardly everywhere. they fixed my tire and charged me $6. one guy found out i worked with computers and said he did too, and started asking if i had any parts i wanted to get rid of or sell. he evidently has a trailer behind the building that he both lives in and runs his computer shop out of.
sunday i hung out with my grandmother, ate lunch with her and my parents, helped set up her xmas decorations, then left for houston. after stopping by the cemetary in art where my grandparents are buried, i dropped off a pedestal sink at the art house. my parents had bought it for their house years ago but then decided to not use it, so they gave it to tamara and me for our house (which we of course never used — it’d been in the garage of 9023 this whole time). i figure we can use it either at art or beaver creek. i also brought my 1911 charles daly .45 back with me. i’m planning on getting someone to look at it to see if they can get its feeding/ejecting problem fixed.
well, here it is — the first post from my new place of residence. i’m sitting here in the living room in the dark, drinking some chocalate hazelnut liquor and listening to johnny cash. (which means i got the stereo set up…it’s about the only thing.)
last night i was originally planning on eating with sue at her house, but i realized it was getting late, i had a big load to move, i had to set up my bed at the new place, and i was transporting lenin (my cat), — so i decided to just come straight to the new house. i managed to get the bedroom set up enough to sleep in it. i think raj said they turned the pilot off on the heating unit. if not, i was cold last night for no good reason. i decided to not even try messing with it.
this morning i got up and headed over to 9023. i had left a bit more there than i’d thought, but i managed to get almost all of it in the back of my element. just before i left, the new buyers came by so i talked with them and showed them around the place. i left them the keys since i still had a garage door opener, then i took off.
i unloaded the stuff at the new house, then the potts showed up. we ate lunch at the house of pies, then we dropped jack off at work and i went with sue to my old house. i showed her and jackson my empty old house. i loaded the final few things in the back of my pickup and drove it (with no brakes except the parking brake) to the potts’ house. sue then gave me a ride back to the house so i could get my motorcycle. i made one final walk through the place, both sighed and smiled, then hit the garage door button and ran and avoided the electronic eye while the door was closing. the door closed and that was that. i hopped on my motorcycle and headed to my new place.
i had originally planned to take some pics of the empty place, and to make a video, but i didn’t really have time to plan and execute it. when tamara and i bought the house back in aug/sep 1998, jack and sue went with us when we first took the keys to the place. jack was operating the camera, and he walked behind us as we walked into the place and looked around. it was only two or three minutes probably. anyway, i wanted to watch it and figure out the path, then walk through it now in exactly the same pattern. at the end i would pan down and then zoom in on a picture all by itself in the middle of the floor in a completely empty room. the pic is one of tamara looking pissed off and flipping off the camera. i thought this would be a poignant way of bookending the events of my time in the house.
ah, the pic in question. it was taken by me on memorial day weekend of 2001. we’d gone to fayetteville arkansas to look at the place, look at houses/apartments, and for me to find information about employment (which didn’t much exist for me there). i don’t even remember why tamara was pissed at me, but she was mad about something. we were sitting in the car after driving up to the hotel room we were staying in. it was raining some. anyway, she was mad about something and i had the camera nearby and i jokingly said we should take a picture to capture this moment for posterity, so i raised the camera and told her to smile and she looked at me angrily and frustrated and flipped me off. then i hit the button.
it’s been a good picture to have around to remind me of her and how she treated me. fortunately, enough time has passed and enough things have changed that i wasn’t too affected by the finality of leaving the house. if it’d been one or two years ago i probably would have had a really difficult time going through it, even though i was trying to move on then too. thank G-d i seem to be beyond most of the darkness from those horrible times.
this is the final post from 9023 belle glen dr. i’m about to shut down the computer and move it to the new abode. there is almost nothing left in the house. i’ll be making one last trip over here tomorrow to pick up some final things and do a final walk-through to make sure i didn’t forget anything.
this morning when i got up i went by the post office and set up my forwarding, then i dropped by southern maid for some late morning breakfast. i continued getting stuff done around the house and loading the element until the movers showed up (about 1.5 hours late). it only took them about 2 hours from start to finish. i came back and have been doing all the odds and ends (kitchen and garage). i also called the water, phone, and electric companies and requested service be shut off.
9023, i can’t say i’m sad to see you go. i wish the buyers the best on turning a profit on you, but i have my doubts.
more good results today! i’m liking the trend here…
i got up a bit late, loaded up the element, picked up jack, dropped him off at a car rental place downtown, then headed to the house where i unpacked. from there i went to the post office and they still had my passport! the exclamation point is necessary because it’d been 10 days since they tried to deliver it and normally they return stuff after about 5 days. so that rocked. and as hoped, the passport pic is amazing. even most of the people at work were impressed. perhaps i normally look like a mass murderer, but this pic is a straight-up match for a police pic of the likes of john wayne gacey or some other deranged madman. i’m so proud!
from there i headed into work, where i put in about 4 hours of work. (don’t worry, i accounted for all of my time appropriately.) i left around 5pm to head back to the house and get some more stuff done.
before starting on the house, i took off to get two more gallons of high octane gas and some junk to create a special gas concoction. i ended up just buying some heet, which is supposed to clean gas or something. (people up north use it as gas antifreeze…i think it absorbs/neutralizes water and such.) i was reading the containers for gas treatment, fuel injection / carb cleaner, system cleaner, octane booster, etc. and they all sounded about like they did the same stuff. back home, i poured about half the heet into the tank, then about half the octane boost, then the two new gallons of gas. i started the bus up and got it backed out of the garage and into the driveway (in the same place it’d sat for a year or more before the home owners’ association got wise and made me move it).
moving it out of the garage gave me access to most of the rest of the stuff in the garage. i went through most everything and either packed it in the element, sat it aside for the movers, or put it in the trash pile. once done, i finished loading the element and then piled the last of my clothes in. i took that over to the new hacienda and dropped it all off. while there, i picked up the new registration sticker for the bus and the business card for the people who bought my house, along with a day bag.
on the way back to my house i stopped by the potts’ and picked up jack. i put the new registration sticker on the bus and then i made a clandestine night-time drive to jack’s. the bus never ran very well. if the rpms got very low, it’d die. i eventually got pretty good at using downshifting and the parking brake to slow/stop myself so i could keep the rpms high. it died and i had to restart it a number of times, but the bus is now sitting at the potts’ house (and i smell like some kind of chemical smoke).
i shouldn’t have any problems taking care of everything that’s left in the house outside of what the movers are moving for me. they really have a pretty light task, actually. i probably could have done pretty much everything myself if i’d rented a u-haul tomorrow. oh well.
tonight is my last night in the house. tomorrow my bed will be moved, and i’ll be staying at the new place. i stopped by taco cabana on the way home from jack’s — i wouldn’t be surprised if the first meal we ate here in the house was food from taco cabana. it’s kind of like southwestern-colored bookends.
honestly, i think i’ve been through too much and it’s been too long for me to get too emotional about moving out of the house. it was a constant pain, and overall i’m not sad to see it go. the circumstances leading to it, not so much. but even with that, i have to work with what was given to me. i’m trying to make the best of things, and i feel like things are about to get a whole lot better. here’s hoping.
good news, brothers and sisters. packing/moving continues to go well. i’m currently basically finished with the dining room, living room, upstairs, and master bathroom — pretty much anything left can be moved by the movers on tuesday if i don’t get around to it. work still to do: the kitchen is at around 85%, and the garage is probably at around 50%.
the only negative at this point is as i was unloading at the new place one of the garage apartment dwellers came out to meet me…and give me the mail she’d been saving since no one was there. in addition to a number of things for raj and kiera, there was a cingular bill for me…and a delivery slip for my passport. dated 11.10.2006. i’m hoping the post office hasn’t sent it back. i’ll be dropping by to check monday (this) morning.
in totally cool news, tonight i poured two gallons of new high octane gas in the vw bus and began trying to start it. for a long time it didn’t do anything. then it would barely sputter a bit and then nothing for a long time. after about 15 minutes or so of this, jack started spraying carb cleaner in the air intake and then it started sputtering more vigorously, blowing noxious smoke, and then nothing. eventually it cranked and would run as long as i held the pedal to the floor (and still lots of beautiful smoke). after 5 or 10 minutes of this it finally kicked in more solid (and with a giant burst of white smoke for effect) — i’m assuming some of the good gas got through the fuel lines. but it still won’t idle. if i let off the gas and the rpms drop much it will die. monday i will be buying two more gallons of high octane gas, as well as some octane boost and fuel injection cleaner. hopefully this cocktail will blow all of the years of nasty crap out of the engine and i can get it running well enough to drive over to the potts’ house. you have no idea how happy i am that the thing started after sitting there all this time. hopefully it will continue to behave itself and i can get it to the potts’ under its own power.
thursday evening/night i managed to finish packing the upstairs, and moved most of it to my new digs.
i was working friday evening/night for an enterprise maintenance window, so i got to go into work late. i used the morning hours to take care of my eztags, talk with an automotive restoration company, and make a drop-off of stuff at the new place. while at the office, i managed to get in touch with a moving company and set up a move appointment for 1pm tuesday.
saturday i got up and started packing some more. jack came over in the afternoon and helped me. i made one full trip to the new house, then i ate supper with the potts at chuy’s. i got my first mail at the new house today — a star of hope letter (i’d updated my address with them) and the title to the vw bus. i’ve still yet to see my passport.
my hope is to be able to move almost all of the box-able stuff myself before the movers come. as of the end of saturday i’m 100% done with the upstairs, about 75% with the dining room, living room, master bedroom, and kitchen, and 0% with the garage. i’m thinking at this point i can meet my move out deadline without too much pain, but every now and then i start to get worried that it’s all going to take me much longer than i anticipate. mostly it’s the garage that concerns me…there’s a lot of crap out there.
i went ahead and called my credit union and paid off my motorcycle thursday. that frees up $300/mo. since i no longer have debt in the form of a home loan, that means my total debt resides solely in the element. i must say, it’s nice to know i could pay that off and be completely debt free. i’m planning on using cash reserves to do things to the truck instead of dropping it into paying off the element right now though. having brakes that work will be a good first start.
speaking of the element, it should be refinanced within a week or two, at which point the title will be modified to be only in my name. the house is already dealt with, of course. the qdro paperwork is being processed (thanks to me taking matters into my own hands) and should be complete within a couple of weeks. so pretty soon there should be almost no outstanding legal/financial issues between tamara and myself. thank goodness.
i’m currently also trying to play catch up on my retirement funds for all of the money tamara was able to unfairly take from me due to a less than adequate legal system as regards divorce laws. my company automatically gives a set percentage of your salary to your retirement fund regardless of how much if anything you put aside, and a few months ago i started kicking in a fair percentage myself. with this in place, i’ll hopefully be able to recover from tamara’s cash grab within 4 years. what tamara did is already done, so all i can do is try to recover from it and move on.
in a random fit of absurdity, the universe actually saw fit to make something happen quickly for me. that’s right, on the way into work this morning my realtor called and said “we’re closing today at 2pm.” the paperwork had already gone through both the buyer and tamara. so as of around 3pm i am no longer the owner of a house. (raj and kiera should be excited to read this, since that means i’ll be paying them rent soon. all i’m saying is landlord better not be trying to come down on me!)
i got about $4400 at closing, which is nice. that means tamara made about $3600 off of me, which isn’t so nice. but whatever. all of the worry, pain, embarassment, stress, aggrevation, etc. that was 9023 belle glen dr is no longer on my shoulders. it’s sort of a bittersweet moment though, because it forces me to think about how things should be as compared to how they are. but i can’t do anything about that — as i said in my last post, i’ve wasted enough time on worthless causes. now i just have to worry about getting moved out within 7 days.
the buyer’s agent seemed like a decent enough guy, and we were able to hold a conversation by ourselves for probably 20 or 30 minutes or something. the title guy came across as one of those nice people who probably comes across as fake a lot because he’s too busy to take the time to be as nice as he’d actually like to be. or maybe he’s just fake. the buyer came across as a jack4ss. or at least toward me. maybe he was just trying to be “professional”. stand out moments were him saying “terry, when are you going to be moving out?” in a tone that suggested me being there at all was a burden he shouldn’t have to deal with, and “uh, are you going to give me your contact information?” in a tone suggesting i was trying to slip something by him — after i’d just asked the title guy to go get some paper so i could write my info down. maybe he just thought he should play “bad cop” to make sure i got moved out and took him seriously.
it was all a horribly inbred lot. my realtor had worked under the buyer’s agent for years. the buyer’s agent and the buyer obviously worked together professionally a lot. the buyer actually ran a title company, and was friends with the title guy for this place, and they’d known each other for years. i’m sure real estate and construction and such are just as much good ol’ boy networks as other businesses. they figure out ways to make money for/amongst themselves off of any outsider that has to go through their system. (lawyers and the legal system, anyone?)
but whatever. i was in a bad spot due to tamara and i just needed to get out of it. now i’m out. what happened is now the past and it’s done and i can’t change anything about it anymore. it was a deal and it’s signed and it’s over. i mean, it’s a binding agreement but it’s not like i made a lifetime commitment to them or anything. 😐
one of the even less pleasant things about packing for this move (than packing in and of itself) is having to go through all of the reminders of my marriage and the good things my ex used to be and mean to me, the person i loved. the blog title comes from the ending of a birthday card she left at the house for me on july 1 2003 since she was going to be out. anyway…
last night a spent a nice evening relaxing at brasil. sometimes it’s good to get out and just sit somewhere and talk and drink coffee, to have a chance to get away from packing and the emotional strain that can pop out unexpectedly when i find something i’d forgotten about.
today at work i got in touch with the qdro departement for my old company’s retirement group. actually, i gave up on the qdro folk ever calling me back and called the general help line — then they connected me to a qdro person they’d called. the end result was i learned that i can submit the stupid qdro myself, thus bypassing the ineptness of tamara and/or her attorney. it’s either that or they’re evil…i suppose either is entirely plausible. whatever the case, it’ll be nice to get that crap out of the way.
which brings me to the house. when i got home after work today i could tell someone had been in the house. the curtain to the sliding glass door was half open, and the master bathroom door was open (for example). no one had contacted me about coming into the house, or left a message about it. i was pretty pissed. i didn’t really care for the idea of living here while people came and went while it was showing, but i understood it was a necessary annoyance if i didn’t want to pay two rents. since the house has been off the market for like two months now, i shouldn’t have to be dealing with it. and even if i was, it shouldn’t be without my consent, or at least letting me know.
so i emailed my realtor and told her about it, and asked if we could remove the lockbox so this kind of thing wouldn’t happen in the future. within a few hours she wrote me an email apologizing that it was her fault because she was supposed to let me know the buyer’s agent was going to be coming into the house with another repairman for estimates.
not that it necessarily should, but this really concerns me because this is the same pattern that happened with the last two buyers and then they backed out. i’m tired of everything tamara is still somehow involved in being a pain in the 4ss to deal with. at this point the house has been off the market for a couple of months, and if a third buyer falls through i’m going to be really annoyed. i was content enough just letting things go along, but since i moved everything forward i’m getting tired of being in an unnatural middle state. either the buyer buys or they don’t, but i’ve been strung through a couple of months due to three buyers and tamara, and i’d really just like to get it out of the way.
my life will be much simpler and carefree once this sh1te is over with. i’ve already wasted enough time on worthless causes. of course, that’s a lot easier to say (or type, as the case may be) than to actually believe and feel. still, i think i’m looking forward to having all the loose ends tied up and my life being my own once again. which doesn’t mean that’s what i wanted, but i’ve got to play the cards life and tamara dealt me. and if yet another buyer backs out, i’ll just have to keep rolling with the punches.