profiles in parenting!
Meet Bruce McMahan. "A secret sexual relationship with his daughter was not enough. There had to be a wedding."
i told you not to call it a comeback
it has been a crazy few days, but let me run down the details for you: we made an offer. the owner made a counter-offer. we agreed to the counter-offer. our offer was accepted. THE DEAL WAS ON.
and then we had the engineer's inspection. our engineer was referred to us by our lawyer who has been a lawyer in brooklyn for 3988 years (and therefore has 3988 years of brooklyn-awesome under his big lawyer belt). the engineer looked at the house. he said a couple of things that were interesting. here they are in no particular order, but in as-close-to-verbatim verisimilitude as i can muster after this many drinks. call them engineerisms:
anyway, you get the picture. i had a client-crush on this man. he was good.
oh. by the way ... did you happen to catch something in the above list of statements that was a potential deal-killer? a little alarming, perhaps? did you? look back. it's up there. take a guess. if any one of those awesome utterances was likely to be the statement to make us ultimately walk away from the deal, which one do you think it would be? let me give you a hint: it wasn't the fact that he is a crazy italian. no. we liked that about him.
here's another hint. our lawyer read the engineer's report. so, naturally being 3988 years of awesome, he had a couple cogent things to say. these are few of his greatest hits:
so you get the picture. the garage had been converted. the garage had not been converted legally in the eyes of the city. papers had not been filed. and given a couple exceedingly arbitrary and ridiculous zoning laws, this house can officially not be made legal in the eyes of the city. therefore no bank has an incentive in financing us. they might not care, but they also might decide that the property is not legal enough to warrant their trouble. so. granted, this is merely a risk, but it is a risk we are not willing to take. end of story.
oh, by the way, here's a choice quote from the broker: "what's the big deal? i sell houses every day that aren't entirely legal! an illegal deck, an illegal apartment in the basement. nobody needs to know."
right. nobody needs to know until they need to get a loan. or refinance a mortgage. or, if the banks missed their property's imperfection up until this point, nobody needs to know until they try to sell it. and then NO ONE WANTS TO TOUCH IT because it's 25 years later and the real estate market is no longer 86 billion degrees centigrade in brooklyn and banks are looking for any excuse they can find to not proffer a loan and oh, my, isn't that interesting?, this property doesn't totally comply with city zoning laws. sorry charlie. NO LOAN FOR YOU!
so we told the owner and the broker yesterday that unless they could find a way to make the converted living space legal, we were walking. they said "ok, we'll try." and then. THEN ... THEN! mrs nice guy discovered today that the house was officially back on the market. it's listed online as we speak(easy). ugh. i feel awful.
do you know what it feels like to see the house you almost bought back on the broker's website? it feels like seeing the craigslist girl you had disgusting "casual encounter" sex with newly listed on j-date with a brand-spankin' new profile.
you feel hurt. you feel sad. you feel betrayed. you feel drrrrty.
moral of the story? if any of you happen to find a gorgeous house in brooklyn on the market with a funky little history as both an auto body garage AND an underground nightclub ... be forewarned that the city of new york does not consider that bitch legal. and, according to my lawyer and engineer, there ain't no way to make it legal. sign a contract at your peril.
And my all-time favorite made-up band name for my nonexistent band, which has mystifyingly gone unclaimed for several years now (someone please take it and use its powers for good):
Here are two actual names that high school friends' bands had: Trousersnake (so very excellent) and Canadian Border Patrol (which used to play with a huge canadian flag hanging behind them. after they started getting gigs at Gazzari's (R.I.P.) and the Whisky and the Troubadour, they shortened it to Border Patrol. pretty good actually.)
I'm taking suggestions. Anyone got a good band name?
the wife and i went back to our suddenly-repulsive condo and
we she crunched some numbers. basically, we she realized that if we sold our condo for just enough money, we could afford the house and the utilities and all the sundry monthlies and bank fees and lawyers and engineers AND still have a whopping $8 a month to live off of.
so we made an offer on monday night.
yesterday it was accepted. then, for the second time in less than a week, i had to change my shorts.
that's why it's been hard to blog. it's actually been physically challenging to blog: i am in the midst of a three-day heart attack. my sphincter has seized up. one sip of coffee gives me seizures. my usually-strapping muscles are tied into Gordian knots. i think i just had a stroke trying to remember how to spell "Gordian." oop -- there was another one. there's no point in wearing clothes because i'll only sweat through them. WHAT. ME STRESSED?
so. deep breaths. every time i am confronted with a vision of my daughter being forced into sex slavery to help daddy pay the mortgage, i look at the original listing for the house again. and instantly, i feel better. i mean sex slavery, shmex shmavery. this house was a speakeasy!
Father-daughter poetry is interesting in its own right, from Shakespeare to T. S. Eliot, and it is usually touching in its emphasis on safety (Prospero shushing his feisty daughter Miranda by bewitching her to sleep: "tis a good dullness"). Maybe there is a genetic factor that makes it harder for women to reach the pinnacles of human endeavour. But we will only really be able to tell once poets start writing odes to their sons, warning them that they are too frail to be tall poppies.
Work on Fridays starts early. I have to arrive when the parent's leave around 5:30, and take a catnap. But...the kid woke up at 5:30 this morning. Sometimes he does this. Other times he sleeps till 6:30. The raw power of that single 60 minutes is astonishing to me. The hour between 5:30 and 6:30 has such magical attributes that if you sleep during it, you wake up refreshed. If you don't, you wake up feeling like someone has crapped in your mouth. But with the kid, there's not telling which one it'll be. It's anybody's guess! This is the sum total of excitement in my life.the entry goes on from there to describe how you saw some gross man getting a handjob in his car! so gross! and i have to say, claudia, that it is beautifully written. gorgeous. and funny! let me quote some more of my favorite parts because something tells me you will end up taking the entry down.
hahahah! wankyjohn mcpeckerpull! that's straight up brilliant. (now, where have i heard that before? hmm ... don't seem to recall.) whatevs. really, claudia, i am impressed by your blogging skillz. you sure are witty. i am going to ask all my readers with a myspace account to email you their feedback.
I head toward my favorite coffee house. I take in the scenery. I glance to my left and I notice a parked car. I notice all its windows are open. I notice there are two people in the front seat. I notice that one person is a pasty male, 40ish. The other person, I notice, is a tramped up woman in her bra, 30ish. I notice that she is giving him a vigorous handjob...
The funny thing? When i get to the coffee shop, it isn't open yet because it's still just shy of 7 in the morning and apparently only underslept nanny's and handjob hookers are out 'n' about. Denied of life-giving caffeine I am forced to flip a u-turn with the stroller and walk past the parked car again. I suppose I could cross the street. A normal person would probably do this. But I was risen at 5:30 and I am not going to go out of my way so as not to embarrass Wankyjohn McPeckerpull.
Our story is simple. About 3 years ago... on the street corners, playgrounds, parks, and beaches of Manhattan & Brooklyn... we saw a new breed of tattooed, *down to earth* parents! Our best friends, co-workers, and closest family were among these tattooed parents. They were still cool... still fun... and (of course) still tattooed!!! [their emphasis, not mine]OMG!! tattoos are so totally down to earth. and if you have a tattoo you can have a kid and still be cool at the same time! phew, i was worried that not having a tattoo made me uptight and adding a kid to that made me hopelessly anal and lame. thank god, there is still time for me to attain cool down to earthness in spite of my daughter. i mean, lord knows there aren't any douchebags with tattoos out there.
Meet James! He's the loveable [sic.] character at the heart of this charming story. James is afraid of his new tattooed neighbor... The Tattooed Man, until he discovers that his Mommy has a tattoo, too!of course what the book doesn't mention is that mommy got the tattoo while on a three-day tequila-and-MDMA bender in TJ with her sorority sisters from San Diego State University. and that mommy's tatto looks like this (warning: not remotely safe for work. or your sanity.).
In one afternoon James learns that tattoos aren't scary... that his new neighbor is quite nice (so is his dog!), and that sometimes laughing is the very best thing!keep laughing, young james, it's the only thing that will stave off the crying. also, is it just me or does it sound like the dog is tattooed too?
A cadre of fashion-forward types thought they were doing something to separate themselves from the vanilla middle classes but are now discovering that the signs etched into their skins are absolutely mainstream. They are at the beach looking across the acres of similar markings and learning there is nothing more conformist than displays of individuality, nothing more risk-free than rebellion, nothing more conservative than youth culture.
Another generation of hipsters, laid low by the ironies of consumerism.
As pressure to breast-feed increases, a two-class system is emerging for working mothers. For those with autonomy in their jobs -- generally, well-paid professionals -- breast-feeding, and the pumping it requires, is a matter of choice. It is usually an inconvenience, and it may be an embarrassing comedy of manners, involving leaky bottles tucked into briefcases and brown paper bags in the office refrigerator. But for lower-income mothers--including many who work in restaurants, factories, call centers and the military--pumping at work is close to impossible, causing many women to decline to breast-feed at all, and others to quit after a short time.of course, if you don't feel like reading about it, you can see proof of (the first half of) her premise here: