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Thursday, September 27, 2007

news of note

Don got a job; he starts work on October 15th in a development position with one of the Big Two -- a major defense contractor. It's full time, so it puts our original plan into total disarray. But we're used to that sort of thing by now. So the money situation will be mostly resolved in about a month, when he starts getting his paychecks.

The Anapurna Girls will be at the Darkover convention over Thanksgiving weekend; if you haven't made plans and are interested in fantasy and science fiction, consider going. And, you know, buying stuff from us.

The HVAC is still not done. The guy came on Friday and spent some time downstairs doing SOMETHING, although I'm not sure what, since nothing appears to have changed. We thought he was supposed to come back Monday; needless to say, he didn't. We finally got hold of him yesterday and he said he'd call us back today. Sure thing. [For those counting, we started this whole nonsense on JULY NINTH. This has been THREE WHOLE MONTHS of nonsense for a job that should have taken a week.]

The holidays are coming up, and with them a slew of family visits. Don's whole family lives relatively nearby -- the furthest away is his brother in Norfolk -- but mine is strewn about all over the country. So getting to see them is often a treat. My father and grandparents will be coming down from New Jersey the weekend before Thanksgiving; my mother will be flying out from Washington for Thanksgiving proper; and my sister is coming to visit for a whole week in December. Very exciting!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

in which our collection of backyard animals grows

We ran out to get some food last night -- McDonald's, if you must know -- and pulled back into our driveway to discover a VERY LARGE ROTTWEILER and his equally large ferocious looking friend wandering happily around in our yard. The rottweiler had a collar; the other dog didn't. I think Don almost had a heart attack when they showed up in the headlights as he pulled into the driveway. We have no idea where they came from; they must be neighborhood dogs, as they certainly looked domesticated and well-fed. They trotted around in the yard for a while wagging their tails and looking for somebody to REND THE FLESH FROM, and then headed out down the driveway while we sat quivering in the car. [Don called his dad, who recommended that we a) throw hamburgers at them and run for the door or b) sacrifice whoever was in the passenger seat. We chose to wait them out, instead.]

Hilariously, one of the damned cats who normally inhabit our yard peeked out from behind the shed while the dogs were wandering around. It looked annoyed at the intruders, who were presumably keeping it from performing its usual ritual of sleeping on top of Don's car and leading him on fruitless chases around the dumpster.

Fortunately, the dogs didn't stick around or notice that there were food-like smells coming from the car, but it was a moderately terrifying ten minutes to be trapped in our own driveway. Don spent the rest of the evening muttering about fences; I think he's planning on turning the entire property into a gated estate now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

false hope

I say this every single year. Autumn in Baltimore almost makes up for summer, winter, and spring in Baltimore. Normally I say it a lot later, though. We've been having a bout of unseasonably awesome weather lately; crisp air, perfect breezes, blue skies. It's all excessively autumnal and wonderful, but it's NOT REAL. Autumn here doesn't really start until like mid-October. The trees are all still vibrantly green, which is a little jarring when you feel like you ought to break out your (very stylish and sexy) autumn jacket and the close-toed shoes. This particular wave of weather is expected to end next week, and we'll go back to unpleasant warmth again, which is why we haven't yet taken the window air conditioners out and flung open the windows so that the cat can enjoy her autumn tradition of staring menacingly out at The Outside World, how dare it exist without her.

The HVAC guy is officially scheduled to come out and finish the first floor on Friday. Let's hope this doesn't prove to be as fleeting as the weather.

Also providing a measure of false hope: Don has a job interview on Thursday. But it's for a job which is a) full-time, not what we were expecting and b) kind of far away, practically on the south side of DC, which is a commute we were hoping to avoid. He'll find out at the interview whether the pros really outweigh the cons well enough for him to take the job.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

things of note

There was a water main break on our street this weekend. We got up late Sunday morning and discovered that none of the water in the house was working. After a flurry of "did you pay the water bill" "of course I paid the water bill" "are you sure you paid the water bill" "dammit I paid the water bill"-type conversation, we called the number on our water bill to find out what was going on and were told that not only was there a water main break, it was specifically on our street. That would be the problem, then.

Fortunately we were heading over to Don's sister's house for the afternoon, so no lack-of-bathroom-related disasters could happen. (Don't worry, Tina, we don't just love you for your functioning bathrooms. [The pool is pretty nice, too.])

The water was, of course, eventually fixed. Not much else going on -- I've been really busy getting ready for Anapurna's show on Saturday, and Don is gearing up for rush week, so we mostly just exchange harried glances and add things to each other's to-do lists these days. Things will be a little more calm next week, and calmer still after the end of the month when I've turned in the project I'm working on for work. But autumn tends to be the busy season for me, no matter what I'm doing. At least the weather is improving!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

this blog is about to go downhill

Don is going to go to school full-time. If all goes well and the University is accomodating enough to actually offer the courses he needs, he ought to be able to finish in two semesters. It's a lot faster than working full time and having to sift through the night classes, hoping that what he needs is available at the right time, which is what has taken him so long to get to this point. Once he's got the degree(s), he'll be infinitely more hireable. In the meantime, we're looking for a part-time job for him in something like bookkeeping, to make up the small shortage in money and to keep his hand in the financial field (if any of you local types know of anything like that, let me know).

This means that the house is pretty much going to be on hold. Once the HVAC on the first floor is finished (as it should have been TWO MONTHS AGO), we'll move downstairs. For the duration, it'll be like living in an apartment, kind of. We may occasionally venture upstairs in our free time and work on pulling down paneling and plaster -- we won't be able to afford to do anything else with our free time, after all -- but in general, nothing is going to get done on the house. Which means, of course, that there won't be much to write about here. I'll write, but you should probably consider Ancestral Pile on hiatus for a while.

If you're desperate to pay attention to me (um, probably just my mom then), you can head over to my revamped LiveJournal, which is currently serving to chronicle my trials and tribulations as I attempt to write fiction and apply for a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University (also kind of on hold until Don finishes school, but in the downtime I'm teaching myself to write, it's fun and exciting).