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Snowy Days and Broken Trees

I’ve been pretty remiss in my updating. “But your last post was five days ago, and for you, that’s really good,” I hear you cry. Well, I appreciate the encouragement, but see, the post from five days ago was random nonsense, which means it’s been ten days since the last post of any meaning. And furthermore, I must add, the past ten days have been, well, full. Full of stress, full of possibility, full of advancement, full of waiting. And I have been remiss, dear readers, in filling you in as I promised I would.

So to recap, when last we left our heroes, they were in the midst of finding a house. One had been located, and the garrulous realtor was, while not extremely helpful, not completely harmful. Yet. But oh how that was to change.

The story is long and potentially tedious. Instead of rehashing it here in full and glorious detail, I am instead going to copy from a conversation I had with a college friend several days ago. If it seems a little disjointed, that would be because Misa’s comments have been removed and I did a very half-assed job of editing. So without further denigration, I present you with the log:

Rosa, this realtor we never hired but somehow ended up with, was now representing us to the house we wanted. What seemed at first like an innocuous tendency to babble and often need things repeated, turned into an inability to remember much about us. We had a bunch of questions for the owners, like “how much of a security deposit do you want?” and “what is the application form?” and “what is the pet deposit policy?” Rosa answered “from her previous experience”, which once we finally got answers turned out to be mostly wrong. She emailed the other realtor, who has a preference for communicating by email. Rosa, by the way, does not like email and insists on talking for 20 minutes about something that can be covered in a text. So when she couldn’t get answers from calling, she called me and would tell me how it’s not her fault because she couldn’t get a hold of the other lady, who was, depending on your interpretation of Rosa’s thick Spanish accent, either “very busy” or “very bitchy”. And then I would get a reiteration of Rosa’s theories as to what the answers ought to be.

We finally emailed out the list of questions to Rosa, since she was incapable of getting them over the phone. She forwarded the email to Wanda, the other realtor, and then forwarded Wanda’s response to us. We had answers to most of our questions, but were missing major things like, oh, say, an application form. Rosa’s response was to “fax” us one she had in her office labeled “For Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington, DC”. The house we want is in PG County. Rosa insisted that the form said it was for Montgomery County (which is in MD), the entire state of Maryland, and Washington DC. She said all she had was that and a form for Anne Arundel County. But this one would be good. Also, it didn’t really matter which form you use because they’re all the same anyways and really all they want is your work phone number so they can verify income. Which, let me tell you, is very reassuring since we’d already told her we both freelance and therefore have nontraditional jobs, i.e. no work phone number. Her form also asked for things like bank account numbers and passport number in addition to driver’s license and social security number. When I asked about the passport number, she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. She tried to not admit it but it was pretty clear she had no idea what was on the form.

Finally, she got the correct application from Wanda. She told me it was all Wanda’s fault because even though Wanda said the form was attached to the listing, it hadn’t been attached properly because of fear of viruses and so there was no form. Or something. At any rate, I was “fax”-emailed the correct form. (There’s this service that emails you a fax, with cover sheet and everything. I think you fax it to their number and then they email it to the address you specified.) I started to try filling it out. I had many questions.

So here’s the thing about all these forms: she sends them to me blank. Totally blank. So stuff like address of rental property, name of owners/agents, security deposit, terms of lease, all this stuff that’s supposed to be talked over with the people we’re applying to rent from, it’s all missing. And then there’s this big ol’ page at the back for a Pet Addendum, with big blanks for “Pet Deposit” and “additional Pet Rent”! Now, we pay pet rent for Lilit. That’s normal. But I’d sort of like to know what the pet rent will be before I go signing! The last place, we paid $15. Here, we pay $20. (She doesn’t work her little fuzzy butt one bit to pay for her share of the rent either, I’ll have you know.) But if they come back and say they’d like $100 a month additional, this place is no longer in our price range. Which is sort of important information to have before we drop a non-refundable $80 on a credit check.

On top of all this, Lilit had dental surgery Monday, so she’s on pain meds and sounds like a cross between a parrot and a frog. It’s pathetic. Fortunately, her medicine is liquid and she LOVES that she’s on a special diet of pureed boiled chicken and lunch meat.

Ah yes, Lilit’s surgery. We just went back to the vet and she got a clean bill of health, so everything’s fine and she’s a total trooper. But I’ll save that for a post all its own. Back to housing.

With some wonderful advice from the mother of a friend, we fired Rosa the Realtor. From there, we proceeded directly with Wanda, finally getting the answers we needed. The application was turned in last Thursday. Friday morning, they called to confirm that they had received it and would probably finish processing on Friday or Monday. So we waited. It was a very long weekend.

Tuesday, Ben called again to get a time estimate. The woman he spoke with sounded very positive, but couldn’t give us anything specific. She told us we should know by the end of the week. So again, we wait. At this point, I am so tired of waiting. SO TIRED. I’m also a little tired of sitting at the computer right now, so I’m going to get into snow gear and go take some photos outside. I promise I’ll finish the rest of the story this evening.

IMG: “Ben is humoring Megan”


The photography side of Pique is beginning. I had my first true client this week. Today, however, was a re-shoot. I thought I could make do like I had before, by sticking to outdoor-only shoots. That assumes the weather is planning on cooperating. It didn’t, so we moved indoors and the photos all came out way too dark.

Luckily, Glymaris is a rock-star and decided to give me a second chance. I ordered the lighting kit I’ve been eyeing (and agonizing over the price), and it arrived yesterday. By the time she came over for her photo session, I hadn’t even had it a full 24 hours. We got some great stuff anyways, but it definitely took longer than it should have.

The Artist

So I’ve been playing around with images. I’m running out of subjects, though. So far, I have a ton of photos titled things like: “Ben Is Humoring Megan Against A Black Sheet” and “Ben Is Humoring Megan With Cat”. Little do they know it, but the family will all be subjects of headshots this weekend…

Happy Birthday, Lilit!

Note the paws gripping the knee for dear life. If she holds on tight enough, the hat might go away...

Ben indulged my whims today in a major way, which is one of many reasons why he is so wonderful. See, Lilit turned 14 today (I think — I know it’s some time in April, and a few years back, I picked an arbitrary day because, well, she won’t know the difference).

I asked Ben if we could make her a birthday cake, which we did. He got out some of the ground pork to defrost while I was at work, and when I got home, we mixed it with some matzo meal (good breadcrumb replacement), put it in a mini cake pan, and baked it. It came out looking sort of like a hamburger, only with a lovely caramelized top. And Ben asked for party hats, so I made party hats for the three of us. Lilit was less than pleased with her party hat, but the cake pretty much made up for it. She liked that part.