Archive for July, 2009

Proceed with caution

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Mood: trepidatious | Drinking: the tea

caution

All around me, life is in disarray. It’s a natural consequence of change, I know this. And I’m also aware that change is, quite often, a very good thing.

But all of this upheaval is very unsettling. Uncomfortable. Exhausting.

This is the state in which I have found myself for the past two months, and all signs point to things continuing to be uncomfortable and exhausting for another two. At least.

I’m learning the practice of living from moment to moment. To be okay in this moment, the one that’s happening right now, and to not worry, stress, or even think about the moment that’s going to be happening three minutes from now.

But to be honest, I’m not having much luck with that sort of Zen mindset.

Eighty percent of my possessions (including all my friendly, life-saving books) are currently boxed in a storage locker on the other side of the city. My home is not my own, as half the furniture in it is not even mine anymore, and I’m constantly being displaced so strangers can tramp through my space and drill holes in walls and write things down on clipboards.

I realize this is all part of the real estate package. Escrow and inspections and all of that, but while I’m waiting for our buyer to sign the final dotted line, I’m also trying to find my own home to buy.

Well, to be more accurate, we are trying to find our new home. Boy is in on this too, all the way. And LeeLoo, whether she likes it or not.

(Speaking of the dog, age 11 is showing its teeth in the form of cataracts in her left eye, arthritis in her right rear leg, and a pronounced loss of hearing. Or maybe its selective hearing. Maybe she thinks that since she now has so much distinguished gray in her muzzle hairs, she can sniff at that tree in the park a few minutes longer instead of trotting right over when I say “Come!”)

A facebook friend who’s a realtor in another state chirpily informed me that selling a house is really hard right now, but buying is easy. Yeah, well, I beg to differ. Because, as with most things in San Francisco, the status quo doesn’t float here.

Selling is easy. Buying is a whole ‘nother story.

San Francisco is situated on the very tip of a narrow peninsula. The whole city is only 7 miles by 7 miles, and is surrounded on 3 sides by water. This means that land here is extremely finite. We’re not going to keep expanding ever outward like oh, Phoenix, let’s say.

And since it’s such a gorgeous, magical, lovely city and so many people want to live here, the limited supply of land and high demand equal pricey living space, a la Manhattan.

Even in such a dismal economy, even at the so-called bottom of the housing market, in San Francisco you still have houses that are only on the market for 1 or 2 days before they are snapped up. You still have multiple offers. You still have bidding wars.

One wee little place that Boy and I set our sights on ended up getting 25 offers and selling for $100,000 over asking price.

Although we are prepared, in our own modest way, to wheel and deal, $100,000 over asking price is not in our price range.

So finding a little house to call our own has been a much more daunting task than I expected, and all these bidding wars and people willing to toss out extra tens of thousands of dollars has been disheartening, for both of us.

As a person who thrives on stability and routine (yes, I’m very exciting that way), living in Limboland has been excruciating.

I have a mantra that I repeat to myself whilst banging my head against the wall, “In a few months, this will all be over. In a few months, this will all be worth it. In a few months, in a few months, in a few…” *bang. head explodes.*

But really, no really, it will work out. We’ll sign the papers. We’ll change our address. We’ll move our boxes. In a few months, I’ll be surrounded by packing peanuts and paint chips. I believe this. I know it. I’m fine.

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here setting out orange cones and flashing yellow lights to alert all oncoming traffic that there is a slight detour. We are under construction. Please excuse our mess. We’ll be with you shortly.

-Lo, warning you that there may be falling objects. Hard hats are required.

Be a Renegade

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Mood: Anticipatious | Drinking: Later

sf2

I’m heading to the Renegade Craft Fair tomorrow with my friend Kathy, and am very excited to see some of my Etsy favorites in person, like this girl.

If you’re in the San Francisco neighborhood, you should go, too! Support your friendly DIY artists.

The fair is happening today and tomorrow from 11am to 7pm at Fort Mason, down by the water. Check the Renegade site for details

I’m ready to get spendy. But first, I’m off to Hogwarts with my pal Michael to get my Potter on.

Happy weekending.

-Lo, all chilled out. For now.

Avatars & Armchairs

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Mood: spoiled | Drinking: black tea

revolt

Going Green

She looks so alive
standing in the street
staring down soldiers
head covered, fist raised.

The vermilion shock of blood
only floods the streets
with more defiant green.

Bullets cannot quell
a heart bent on freedom.
Fear will not force these voices
into silence.

In California, we add emerald
to our facebook avatars
in a show of “solidarity”
with a cause
we barely begin to understand.

We’ve grown so fat on freedom
we expect to affect a revolution
from our armchairs.

Green is just a color
that costs us nothing
more than money.

*****

I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile. It was inspired in part by these photos.

-Lo, from her armchair.

I am a hunter.

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Mood: reluctantly patient | Drinking: the tea from home

empty_house

A fresh poem for you. And yes, this one’s mine. No borrowing today…

Hunter

Remember when we had a home
when every street lamp
and sidewalk crack
was familiar
as the way your palm
fit my face.

On my walk to the park
I would pass oblivious tourists
and think if they knew
they would want to be me.

Once I had a place for everything
here fits my wishbone,
there rests my dance card
and in the corner
always you
in your chair.

Now I am a hunter
ferreting through wreckage
for a piece that will
fit it all back together.

-Lo, who has taken to reading real estate listings like a horoscope.