Friday, December 28, 2007

Don't say I didn't warn you

Tomorrow I'll be on yer radio (88.7 FM) or yer webstreamz (wxdu.org) from 1-3 pm (eastern) doing the Mondo Mundo show. Tomorrow's theme is "Mondo Merengue," so you're likely to hear everything from Johnny Ventura:



to Fulanito:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

When Sunday morning dandruff turns out to be confetti

There's nothing like an impending move, even if it's a few months away, to make you suddenly realize how much stuff you have that you don't really need. I posted four things on Durham Freecycle today and three of them went claimed within the hour. The quickest was the huge batch of X-mas wrapping paper left over from back when Mr. Pants worked for the wrapping paper company. It was a hot item and everyone wanted it. It had been sitting around here for years, and suddenly it had to go. It seemed like a good idea to bring it home at the time, until we realized we were generally too, er, frugal to buy anyone x-mas presents.

I also took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and sold some books to Nice Price. And I still have too much stuff left.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Living for thirty minutes at a time with a break in the middle for adverts

I suppose that sooner or later I'll have to mention that Mr. Pants and I are separating. I won't go into any details here except to say that it wasn't my idea. So there.

There reason I figure it needs mentioning is that this blog is likely to become a "Finding a decent home for under $150,000" blog, because I need to embark on a house hunt. (First question out of everyone's mouth is "Do you have an agent?" because folks love to recommend real estate agents. Yes, I'm going with the agent that we used when we first to Durham and then later for the mother-in-law's house, just because she really knows us and was spot-on in steering us to the properties we now own. But thanks anyway!)

I reckon my days as a Trinity Park resident are numbered because there's not really anything in this neighborhood I can afford (in which I would actually want to live). Besides, I spend at least three evenings a week and lots of weekend time out at the dog training facility way out on Farrington Rd., so I may just move closer to it. Or maybe I'll find something cute around Northgate Park, which I might even like better than TP because I'm always taking the dogs there anyway--it would be great to be a short walk away. Fortunately there are a few nice neighborhoods in Durham where I can get a decent house with a bit of yard for less than $150,000, so I'm not worried. (There are people in the Triangle who think that absolutely none of Durham is a nice neighborhood ... which is precisely why people like me can still afford to live here. I think the fact that those kind of people choose to live in Apex and Cary is what makes Durham such a nice place to live.)

Trinity Park has remained hot (and maybe even gotten a bit hotter) despite recent blips in the housing market, so our cute little 1920s bungalow should sell quickly once we put it on the market (we have to spiff up a few things first). There's no question of either of us staying in it--it's gone up so much in value that neither of us could possibly come up with the scratch to pay the other half the equity. A house up the street just hit the market for $360,000, but it's going to be supersized first (it's currently smaller than ours but will end up bigger ... but uglier).

SIDE NOTE: When a neighborhood gets so hot that people are trying to squeeze McMansions into every possible crevice (like an old graveyard, for example), I think it won't be long before folks start buying properties like ours in Trinity Park as teardowns. When someone has upwards of a quarter of a million dollars to spend (not that we know how we're going to price the house yet, but sheesh people are getting a lot of money for little houses around here and we certainly don't want to cheat ourselves), they usually want a little bit more than a 1,600 square-foot, 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a tiny kitchen. Or hell, why not build multi-unit and maximize the revenue? So I think those of you who are planning to remain in TP need to get on the stick and work on getting historic district status or soon you'll be living in Chancelloryville, but without all the cute houses that used to make the neighborhood special.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Yeah, I know, but ...

I thought I was too busy to blog, but then I got excited listening to a couple of songs and had to share the love: La Onda Tropical has posted two songs written by Shakira for the movie version of Love in the Time of Cholera that are so pretty they put a lump in my throat. Two more reasons why I think I'm really starting to like Shakira.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I've gone AWOL

Sorry there's been precious little blogging action going on here lately. I blame it on the puppy. I'll be back sooner or later.