Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Trump's Administration

"And that's all I have to say about that."  -Forest Gump

I am blogging to you today from the CityMarket Coffeehouse, in beautiful downtown Kansas City.  Some sort of Pandora music is blaring in my left ear while a handful of people stand around either waiting to order something, or waiting for their order. It's difficult to tell.

I am here because my house is showing. A realtor requested a two-hour window to do so, so here I am, making myself scarce. I think about two dozen showings so far. A lot, for just a couple of weeks. No nibbles yet.

I still have a non-working Yamaha console organ in one of my closets.  Otherwise I think I have gotten rid of everything that is 1.) not wanted and/or b.) big. I can't say that I'm really ready to move. It's highly doubtful. I figure it's one of those things that will probably happen as soon as it absolutely has to happen. I'm feeling kind of burned out. Last night didn't help, as I was up late waiting for MSNBC to call Pennsylvania. They never did. I gave up.

That's about all for this rather disjointed entry. 23% battery.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

House 4 Sale

This is getting old. And the house has only been showing for one week, almost. I've had lots of visitors--not that I ever see them. I'm supposed to clear out--clean up, turn on all the lights, and leave. Tuesday, in the early afternoon I was all set to lay on the couch and watch some mindless TV until I fell asleep when I got a text from the realty company requesting a house showing in an hour. Of course I always reply "yes." I dragged myself up out of the couch and left for two hours.

Why was I trying to fall asleep in the early afternoon? It's because I can't sleep all that well at night with all this going on. I wake up at weird hours, like 4:15, or 5:10 and I can't go back to sleep. I'm just starting to see the light in the sky through my window, so I start thinking about a cup of coffee.

Silver lining: to keep myself occupied during this particular house showing, I went to Barnes and Noble thinking I had a small amount left on my $50 gift card and I went to the embedded Starbucks on the second floor and ordered a frozen pumpkin spice frappuccino. Never done that before. I figured, maybe I'll find out what all the fuss is about. It was great. The only other fancy coffee drink I ever ordered was a Cubano, once. It tasted like coffee mixed with hot chocolate, but you can get those at the Quicktrip for $1.40. If you like, you can bring a felt tip marker and write your name on your styrofoam cup, but that is entirely optional.

Quicktrip does a surprisingly good job on coffee. Seriously. Now, when traveling, I not only keep an eye out for the Village (People) Inns along the way, but for the Quicktrips.  By the way, if you doubt my sincerity and veracity when I write about food, just look at this picture that I submitted to Google Maps while eating at Winstead's hamburger joint in Kansas City the other day.

Part of the program, here at Villa DeGregorio, is to sell off extraneous belongings, to trim down to my "moving weight," which is not quite precisely just those things that will fit in a '72 Olds Cutlass, not including a driver. (And even if I managed, I don't own an Olds Cutlass anymore, but something much smaller.) I sold quite a bit of stuff via Craigslist. It's never easy.

I am currently in the midst of selling my old 2003 Ford Focus. In the midst, I say, because it is a multi-stage process. Like I said: never easy. Nice kid, works at the grocery store down the street, going to junior college, needs a car, he likes the Ford but would like to take it to his mechanic. No problem, I think, though it turns out to be an afternoon-long extravaganza of miscommunication.
Eventually the kid comes back, wants to buy the car, haggles the price down (quite expertly) and then, in a surprise maneuver, after I agree to his price, says, he has to talk it over with his dad. Fast forward (too bad you can't do that, really,) to 24 hours later, he texts that he will buy the car. Awesome. I get the title out and discover that some time ago, when I was intending to give the car to my son I had him sign the buyer's information on the back of the title. Now that I'm selling it to someone else, that signature constitutes a mutilation, maybe, or at best an illegible sort of situation--anyway, the title's no good. Got to get another one.

No problem, you're thinking because, hey! This is the DMV! They'll know what to do!  Fast!  No. That is not true. 10 days, probably, or, alternatively, I can drive to Topeka and they'll make me up a new, replacement title while I wait. Anyway, I don't really want to drive to Topeka.

Anyway. Got a nibble yesterday. I think. A realtor showed the house for a second time to the same buyer. This is a good sign.

Oh. I almost forgot!  I said I would post a link to the house listing. Here it is: 

The room in picture 12 of 20 is where I am sitting right now.  Note also how splendid the lawn looks, both front and back.  (Not.) Otherwise, rest assured the house is not normally that neat. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Photo Day!

There is a certain sequence to this stuff. Today, the photographer is coming to take pictures of my house for use, I guess, on the Internet during the selling process. Tomorrow, the house will go on the market, officially.
The realtor has been here "staging" the house and I find myself in this weird alternate world where I'm in my house, but a lot of the things in it are not mine. Right now there is a strange little lamp on my desk where my cool UFO desklamp used to be. There is a different lamp in the livingroom, too. And a different centerpiece on the kitchen table. There is a strange picture hanging on the bathroom wall. My bed has a multi-colored comforter on it, instead of my blue quilt. And a different lamp on the nightstand. I see a pattern. I'm no good at picking out lamps.
Because I can only assume the realtor thought these and other things were nicer, or looked better, or more "stagier" than the things that I had. It doesn't hurt my feelings. In fact, I'd like to have this lamp on my desk here. It seems to work better than the one I had before. In the other universe.

On Tuesday I borrowed a power-washer to clean off the deck boards. They are old, and where they extend out beyond the overhanging roof, they had gotten weathered and black (mold, of some kind, I assume.) The power washer did a great job of making the boards look all nice and fresh, except, only where they were weathered. The other half of each board, under the roof, was steadfastly holding on to the tinted stain or paint or whatever it was, that had been applied fifteen years ago. I couldn't blast it off, and now the boards weren't the same all the way along their lengths.
I had to buy some stripper, and so I spent most of the day yesterday painting the stripper on, letting it sit, then using the power washer on the decking. Eventually, I finished, and about all you can say about it is that it looks better than it did with the mold all over everything. So, a generally positive outcome, though maybe not commensurate with the effort I expended.

I looked at a loft that was for rent downtown. Pretty funky. 800 square feet and configured pretty much in a square shape, one huge area, except bath and a small kitchen, with old plank floor, and brick walls and tall windows all along the outer wall. The view was of the building next door. I could visualize living there, though it would not be the height of convenience. Parking was vaguely described as "we have three lots." To get to the loft, one must either use the stairs (I believe this was on the third or fourth floor) or the freight elevator. The other problem, if you could call it that, is that there is no grocery store nearby. I hadn't even thought about that, but that would require I alter my habits considerably. I would have to actually think while grocery shopping. I suppose I could do it.
On the plus side, there was no "pet deposit," or additional "pet rent." This is encouraging, because I have found that most apartments require this. Well, if you saw this loft, you would agree that it is hard to imagine an animal of any kind that would be capable of doing any damage to any part of it, except maybe a wild boar.
There is a more traditional, older neighborhood in south Kansas City where I could probably find a house for rent. This would be OK with me if I didn't have to do yard work, or just had to do a minimal amount of yard work. I'm not in a hurry, at the moment. It is amazing to me, though, how few places there are for rent on any given day, in Kansas City. Maybe this is a symptom of the same thing that is causing the housing market to be so hot. Not enough houses. So, good and bad, as usual.
I just had a thought. Wherever I move, I could probably hire my realtor to furnish it, or at the very least, provide the lamps.

 That is all for now. I will send links to photos when I find out where on the Internet they will be.

Monday, October 17, 2016


I'm going to meet my realtor today. She will probably be disappointed in me for not cleaning the house enough. Well, I still have time to actually clean the house, if I want to ruin my morning. But I haven't de-cluttered enough. I don't have time to correct that. It's a work in progress.

To augment the festivities, the universe has arranged to have my street "slurry sealed" today. They tried last week but had an equipment breakdown. So, today. Everyone who intends to use their cars will have to park said cars on a side street. I must remember to do that, as I do indeed intend to need my car.

Someone finally came over yesterday and took the free printer. The reason he wanted it was because he found the proper ink cartridges in unopened boxes on the floor in the back seat of his car. I'm sure there is a story there but I don't know what it might be except that it intersects nicely with that of my printer.

Got a nibble on the antique bed/dresser combo for sale. Someone wants to buy just the dresser. It's always something. I'm the kind of person who orders food at restaurants using the "path of least resistance decision tree." Like, I'll order a Number Five, as long as two or three of the seven things on it are what I want. This, to me, is preferable to ordering a "Number Five, but can I have chicken instead of ground beef, and no tomato but extra onion, and . . . do you have tater tots?" That's OK. I don't mind selling the dresser. I just wanted to rant about ordering at restaurants.

I read Don's review of the hotel he stayed at in San Francisco and when he mentioned his review didn't sound like the others, I thought, of course not. Don is literate and writes well. Then I thought of me filling out the seller's disclosure form the realtor needs for the sale of my house. It's a checklist that is supposed to help the seller disclose any pertinent information regarding the condition of the house. "Are there any problems with plumbing, wiring, or Karmic emanations radiating from the sheetrock?  Yes___ No___  If yes, please explain in lurid detail on the two inches of space provided below:

It's like they are encouraging you to lie. However, there was a question about water damage, foundation repair, settling, cracks, and so on, and I had to write an explanation that became so lengthy it required a separate sheet of paper, to be attached. Yes, I did have problems with the foundation, and I did take corrective action, but it was a multi-stage process that took place over a few years. No problem, I thought to myself. I'm a good writer and I can do this thing.

Not that easy. I can say it stressed my writing abilities to the very edge of that envelope of comprehension that we all try to stay inside of.  That's because I was compelled not to lie, I realized. If you can't lie, then you have to pick your words with great care. If you want to not lie, and also try to create a positive impression none-the-less, (or, let's say, not create a scary, negative tone,)  it becomes very difficult indeed.

And inevitably, when engaging in anything that approaches technical writing, you must defer to literal accuracy and throw syntax and rhythm and pace and the beautiful flow of language out the window. Although I have to say I was proud of this passage:

The Norton & Schmidt engineering report stated that the structure (house) was mechanically sound, and said that the wall and floor movement in the SE corner of the basement was likely due to the flow of rain water beneath the basement floor and foundation, which when combined with the severe drought in the area in 2011 caused the soil to settle more than normal.
I mean, c'mon. You could dance to that! 

I also found out I may be able to rent a two-bedroom apartment in a building in a very desirable part of town for an amount inside my budget. I'll find out more about that later today. Having somewhere to go, a goal, sort of, makes all this annoying, frazzling work around here at least somewhat bearable.

So that was yesterday.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Starting with the basics. I am selling my house. I lived in it for 16 years, most of that time with my wife and son. With my wife passed and my son leading his own life (in which he seems to have a lot of fun) I don't need all of this real estate.

I also don't need about three fourths of the stuff that I have which is currently filling it up, at this point--at least all but a couple of the rooms in this house. I've been working on clearing things out-- giving, selling, donating, and making some progress, though it is slow going.

I need to speed up. On Wednesday, I believe the realtor said, a photographer is going to come and take pictures, so I need to have the house "staged." To my realtor, this means it should "look like a motel room." All jokes aside about motel rooms, this is a daunting task. However, I may make it if I continue to focus, and if this blog entry does not take up too much of my time this sunny Sunday morning.

I used Craigslist to sell some furniture, and I have a couple ads on there right now, but getting no responses. I'm trying to sell an antique oak bed and dresser. Absolutely no interest. I have the price set ridiculously low, and it is not helping. The funny thing is trying to give stuff away for free on Craigslist. There is a section for that. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is. I gave away a sofa hide-a-bed and exchanged numerous emails without about four people before someone finally just came over and got the damn thing. I am trying to give away a printer, and even though I stated pretty clearly what it is and what condition it's in and the fact that I am giving it away because the ink refills cost $90, etc., etc., etc., still people are emailing me "feelers"  Do  you still have it?  Yes, I do. Yep, uh huh. Still no one has just driven over here and gotten it.

I may try this next: place the unwanted object in the center of the HyVee grocery store parking lot down the street from me, and then place an ad on Craigslist that says,

I placed [this thing] in the middle of the parking lot of HyVee at ______, and if you hurry, you can get it for free before the people at HyVee tell one of their "associates" to go pick it up and throw it in the dumpster. Good luck!

Or, maybe do that but not bother with the ad.

I have more to say, but I need to take a walk, eat breakfast, continue my project. Time's a'wastin'.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

This Will Have to Do

. . . .until the proper inspiration strikes. The hour is late. At the moment, I'm sort of half living here, and half not living here. But that second half doesn't live anywhere else, so . . .  yeah.