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devil duck


Major life stress #4: we bought a house yesterday.  We spent two hours signing and initialing papers without reading them, which is scary, but if we had stopped to read them all and have our lawyer explain them, we'd still be there.  There was only one hitch: the mortgage company wanted proof of our liquid assets, e.g. a bank statement, which we hadn't provided earlier because our bank, headquartered two blocks from the World Trade Center, hadn't sent out its September statements until November.  I offered to drive home and retrieve the latest bank statement, but that would have added an hour, and the various lawyeres had other closings scheduled later in the day.  So I called the bank, was told "all customer service representatives are currently busy," and left a message asking them urgently to fax a copy of our statements to the mortgage company's lawyers.  Their voicemail system refused to take my message because it was too long, so I tried again, speaking faster.  On the third try I succeeded in leaving a message, only to be told "Thank you.  Your message will be responded to on the next business day."

I went on signing for a while, called back twenty minutes later, and was put on hold for an estimated ten minutes (progress over simply leaving a message).  While I waited, our lawyer called the mortgage company and was put on hold himself.  Twenty minutes later I got through to a human and was told I could only do this transaction in person at a branch, not over the phone.  Meanwhile, our lawyer got through to a human and successfully convinced the loan manager to drop the requirement for verification.  So then things went through fairly smoothly.

We didn't actually go to the house until after dinner.  The first priority was finding out how difficult it would be to strip wallpaper, as we wanted to do that and paint the walls before pulling up the wall-to-wall carpeting, before moving furniture in.  We were pleasantly surprised: the wallpaper came off easily, in large pieces, and we had removed all but a few tiny patches from living room, dining room, stairwell, hallway, and master bedroom in about an hour.

So we're going to Home Depot this morning to buy paint and painting supplies, then to the house to smooth, prime, and paint the walls.

Except that I still have two sets of final exams and 2-1/2 sets of homeworks to grade, so I can turn in letter grades, which are theoretically due today.

Odo has been standing with his head in my lap, whistling and whimpering, for half an hour, so I'd better get dressed and walk the dogs.