At 7:30 this morning I was down in my basement with a push broom, removing the last detritus from last year’s Basementgate. Sure, it’s been clean down there for ages, but I never swept out all the corners. Now I have.
This afternoon I steadily filled my brain with information until I had to go curl up on the couch with the remote and a bag of chips to recover. I’m not quite done recovering, honestly.
I showed the house to the family who called around lunchtime. They showed up with all four of their (adorable) children in tow, and while we attempted to discuss roofing and leech fields, the children ran to and fro and each tried to claim which bedroom they felt they were entitled to. (All of the girls wanted Chickadee’s room, which makes sense, because her room is painted to be a beautiful garden; the little boy was ready to claim Monkey’s room but then decided he’d rather call dibs on the master. Heh.)
A few hours after they left, they called and made an offer. A low offer. A low offer with a contingency on selling their house. My hopes are not high. But I guess we’ll see if we’re able to negotiate anything workable. In the meantime, property values around here continue to tank, so maybe I should shut up and take their $5 and offer to come bury one of those little statues in their yard.
I’ve decided to continue obsessing about our (potential) new house and its location and how that will affect where the kids go to school next year, because I didn’t have enough other stuff to worry about. We are looking at two different areas, and they couldn’t be more different. And you know, when I looked at the schools, initially, I looked at test scores and thought it was a very straightforward decision. I somehow missed the part where the schools with the higher ratings were almost exclusively white, because, you know, the school my kids go to NOW is almost exclusively white and it just doesn’t occur to me as a problem.
But, see, the difference is that where I currently LIVE (in the white people sticks) IS mostly white. So for the school to be mostly white is representative of the area (for better or for worse).
But a mostly white school in an area that is actually mostly people of color is… troubling to me. Call me crazy.
So, back to the ratings I went. I dug a little deeper into the second area, I found that yes, some of the schools I would find unacceptable, but some of them are quite a bit better than their aggregate scores suggest at first blush. A couple of them are, in fact, very good. Okay! Second area, not only back in contention, but at the forefront!
Then comes the fun part: This second area doesn’t have area-dependent school assignment. Parents get to request specific schools, assignments are then made on a complicated scale of preference and grandfathering and perhaps greased palms, and everyone else left over gets put… wherever they fit. So we could buy the house next door to the school I want and the kids could be refused admittance. Plus we would be buying a house completely blind of what school we’d be assigned to.
Stay tuned for my misadventures in attempting to subvert my Yankee brashness into sweet-talking a small Georgia school district into letting me enroll my children during preregistration despite not yet being a resident. (Hmmm. Otto is a resident. Otto is eligible for preregistration. What would you call it if you had a quickie wedding to accommodate the whims of a school board? Would that be a chalkboard wedding?)
All of those focus on moving and related concerns reminded me that I have to start thinking about actually, you know, MOVING. I started poking around for information on the internet (because if you can find it on the internet, it must be true!), and came across this little gem:
Do not pack hazardous materials. These items include: paint, thinners, solvents, oils, varnishes, firearms and ammunition, bottled gas, propane, lamp oil, anything flammable, explosive, or corrosive, motor fuels and oils, nail polish remover, bleach and aerosol cans. Also note that spilled sesame oil leaves a terrible stench.
Spilled sesame oil? Is this such a pervasive national problem that it warrants special addressing? But thank goodness, because I was totally planning to spill sesame oil all over my bullets and guns to protect them during transport. Damn.
Of course, when you live with kids, you become somewhat inured to terrible stenches. Just one more perk of the gig.
I discovered by accident today that when I use my new headset with my new cell phone, it works with voice commands. I had no idea. I mean, if I’d read the manual I might have known, but I have no time for such foolishness. I am far too busy painting and obsessing, obviously.
Anyway, I put on my earpiece, and a little voice in my ear asked me what I wanted to do. I was a bit taken aback, but I was willing to play along. “Call Dad,” I told my helpful phone.
“Do you want to call Dad?” It replied.
“Yes,” I said. (I was afraid that if I said, “Yes, Dumbass” that it would get mad.)
“Call Dad on Mobile?” It asked.
“No,” I answered, figuring our verbal dance was about to come to an end.
“Call Dad at Home?” It tried.
“Yes!” By now I was thinking I probably could’ve dialed him, filed my nails, and gotten a snack in the time this was taking.
“Calling Dad at Home,” the smooth voice informed me. And then it CALLED MY DAD AT HOME. Which I have to admit was pretty cool. I mean, someday I might go blind. Or lose all of my fingers. And I will still be able to use my cell phone. Such a relief to know, in this time of uncertainty.