Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday, August 27th

It's been a relatively quiet week or so. The weather finally broke this past weekend with Saturday being relatively cool and rainy, much to the relief of the entire population of metro Birmingham. I may have the energy to finish the packing. Of course, we're out of storage space and will be until the new storeroom is built. That's awaiting the engineer and the architect who are taking their own sweet time. I'll jump on them again this week.

Tommy and I went to our first grand bat mitzvah party on Saturday. The honoree a young lady with whom we have performed in various musicals, did well with her torah reading and the bash on Saturday night had a Hollywood/Broadway theme. We didn't do much for ourselves costume-wise as most of our items are in storage but we had a great time eating too much, catching up with friends and watching the young people cavorting.

Saw 'No Reservations' at the movies with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. Is it a good film? Not especially but it's a harmless formula romantic comedy with two talented and attractive leads so it's worth the bargain matinee or a rent. Besides which, the food looks yummy as it takes place in a NYC upscale French restaurant.

There's melt down in a few areas at work that's likely to make things exciting over the next couple of months. It never ends. One of these days I'll need to make them pay me more to cope.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday, August 16th

The heat wave continues, smashing 125 year old records. The bad mood continues, smashing 45 year old records. Or old 45 records. It's ridiculous. There is much to be done in the house, but more than about 30 minutes of work leads to exhaustion and an inability to do more than stand there and sweat. The temperature is expected to cool over the weekend. No higher than 98 or 99.

The U-Haul saga is over, after profuse apologies from the local office. They have towed the truck off and last heard of, it was baffling their mechanics even after a replacement of most of the electrical system. I think it has hauled its last U. This weeks excitement is the roadblocks at the bank regarding the financing. Everytime I turn around, they want something else before allowing the loan to close. Currently, it's additional inspections of the foundation, despite prior engineering reports and a recent visit from the foundation specialists. Grrrrrr.

On the good news front, the plumbing and electical rough ins for both kitchen and bath are essentially complete. The cabinet maker is moving forward. The countertops have been dealt with. The bathtub is on its way and the tile has been ordered. On the bad news front, our new storage room remains delayed by a dallying architect which means a backlog of storable goods sitting in boxes in odd places.

I have taken photos but haven't had a chance to download any for display to y'all yet. Maybe this weekend between moving chores, writing a CME newsletter, meeting about a playwrighting contract, giving a speech for a Caregivers conference and the med school's white coat ceremony.

This last is a new thing since my days in medical school. Now the first year students are ceremonially inducted into the priesthood and presented with their sacred vestments in a big public display. We used to pick ours up at the bookstore. I suppose tonsures are next.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10th

I am exceedingly crabby. Everyone better stay out of my way for a while or I am likely to say waspish and cutting things that I don't really mean. Why the nastiness? Lots of little aggravations adding up. The remodel has turned house and home completely upside down. Due to the scorching heat wave where it's 85 outside at 8 AM and tops out around 105, all with 95% humidity. Move a box and your drenched with sweat. Several brave souls went well and above the cause of friendship this past weekend when they helped us shift furniture and boxes out of the house and into the POD and into a U-Haul.

Ah yes, the saga of the U-Haul. We rented a 14' truck on Saturday in order to haul the furniture, props, costumes, wardrobing supplies and other things theatrical that we have in our home down to the Playhouse costume/prop cooperative downtown. We loaded it Sunday and on Monday I drove it down to deliver. Or rather tried to when it had a dead battery. Jumper cables did restore it to life and we got it down there and unloaded. Got it back home Monday night and tried to return it Tuesday afternoon after work. Dead battery again. This time, no response to jumper cables necessitating a 9-1-1 call to the 1-800-UHAUL number. They promise to send out a mechanic right away. They give the mechanic both the wrong phone number and address. He arrives over four hours later. It is much too late to do a return and he finds a short in the electrical system that is draining the battery. Calls to UHAUL inc. are answered by a peabrain who is less than helpful and just tells me that her computer says the truck is overdue. We detatch the battery cables and hope to keep it from draining and get up early Wednesday to return truck. Reattach battery cables, no luck. Try to jump it. It doesn't budge. Several irate phone calls to U-Haul later, they promise to have it towed. It's still there Wednesday night along with a bunch of 'you're late' messages. It's still in front of the house blocking things (including yesterday's piano movers) despite twice daily phone calls. I'm about to call the towing company and have it removed and delivered to U-Haul COD. The moral of the story, rent from Penske.

The cats are royally perturbed at the weather, the changes in their routines and the strange workmen in the house. Patrick bit my nipple at 3 AM the other night which almost caused him to learn to fly. Shadow spends most of his time under the bed and Archie is more skittish than ever. I understand their feelings. Tommy and I are using what little spare time we have to argue about paintchips, floor finishes, tile and to curse the hundred and one little inconveniences and holdups that happen around projects like this.

Then there is the bank. They've renegged on their loan terms and it's going to be a lot less money for a higher interest rate. This means I have to get a quick advanced degree in creative finance to pay for the misery I am putting myself through. Calgon, take me away!!!