my life

Selling the house: third time the charm?

Well, we've got another buyer lined up for my grandfather's house. Third time's the charm? Hope so. Not only do we really need the money (I've gone about $50,000 in debt to fund buying his second wife out of the property and the renovations), but the emotional strain of not having my grandfather's estate settled yet is really wearing at all of us. We should settle at the end of September or early October.

Wallball

I just got back from doing something I haven't done in over twenty years: playing wallball.

Now, Googling for "wallball" reveals several different games by that name. (Including, oddly, some stupid computer screen-saver program to train PHBs in their jargon. WTF?) But the proper way, of course, is the way my brother Jim and I used to play in the alley.

The house where I grew up was located at the confluence of two alleys T-ing together, our house at the top of the T, making a nice wide playing area out of the junction where they opened into each other. The house across the alleys to the right (looking up the T toward our house) was home to a snowball business that operated out of a truck; it was, to us, the "snowball truck yard", I don't think I ever knew the names of the people who lived there. The truck was kept on a parking pad at end of the yard, which was separated from the higher ground of the rest of the property by an cinder block retaining wall about six feet high. In the summer, the truck was out selling ice with flavored syrup most of the time, leaving us the perfect playing field.

Vegetarian Glucosamine

Things I didn't know were out there: I was under the impression that the only source for the popular supplement glucosamine (believed to support joint health) was shellfish. Turns out there are vegan sources. Deva makes a glucosamine with MSM and CMO supplement that's available at vegan specialty retailers; KAL makes a vegan glucosamine that you're more likely to find at your local store. I will probably add this to my regimen...maybe to Piccolo's too, she's been having some knee problems.

house for sale again...

Well, the deal with my grandfather's house fell through...again...

My grandfather passed away last year, and the majority of his estate consisted of his house, which he left to my mother, my brother, and me. After much drama and hassle about buying his widow out of her share of the property (did you know that in Maryland, a surviving spouse can go against the will and take 1/3 of the estate? We didn't.), we fixed the place up a little (not much - it was in fantastic shape), and put it on the market back in June. And quickly found a buyer.

Unfortunately, that buyer got screwed over royally by their bank - the day before closing, they told the buyer that the mortgage payment would be several hundred dollars more than originally promised. Severely disappointed (after my father's heart surgery earlier this year, we really need this sale to happen), we put the house back on the market. And quickly found a buyer.

Paul Krassner: Life Among the Neo-Pagans

For those of you who've been to Starwood, neither it nor Paul Krassner needs any further introduction - enjoy his take on it.

For those of you who've heard me talk about it, here's a little insight into the Starwood Festival from one of its treasured speakers, Paul Krassner. (I sat next to Paul at the "Shamans and Drugs" workshop he mentions, and briefy talked to him afterwards about this article.)

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050829/krassner

Life Among the Neo-Pagans
Paul Krassner

As a stand-up commentator, I rarely work the comedy-club circuit, preferring to appear at more offbeat venues. Several years ago, I performed at the Starwood Festival ("a Magickal, psychedelic & multi-cultural event") in Sherman, New York--Amish country on the border near Ohio and Pennsylvania--on private campgrounds, where clothing was optional. Many women were bare-breasted, and several men and women were fully naked, a practice known as "going skyclad."

So Mundane...

Up late tonight, getting the website up and also putting together some wooden pre-fab storage furniture from Target. Some nights are magic, dancing around bonfires until dawn; some are mundane. Chop wood, carry water; administer website, re-arrange bedroom.

Mundane, that is, except for the music. I finally opened up the CD I bought from Chris Chandler a while back, "Convenience Store Troubadours". Wow.

Some of you have heard me rave about this guy. Well, I'm going to do it again now. Check him out. Spoken word + folk music = "folken word," as he puts it. He's living in Maryland now and I'm hoping to turn more friends on to his work.

Hear some of his stuff in RealAudio at http://www.puremusic.com/listenten.html (scroll down a bit to the links for "Chris Chandler & Anne Feeney", "Chris Chandler & Convenience Store Troubadours", and "Chris Chandler". Do it! Do it now!

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