Chicago, The Frenchman, And The Missing Teeth Generation

10 Aug

I Love Livin' In The City

I Love Livin' In The City

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Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 08:29:00
From: Margaret Nix

So nice to get such a long email from you. I know it is a relief to have the purchase of your place taken care of, and so, onward with the contractors. It would be nice if you do come, anytime. I am not sure when Fall quarter starts, but I am still attending one class in this quarter and am working on one more final exam and two research papers, to be finished by 8/21st. I am very tired, but feel good about all that I have gotten accomplished.

Ed was here last week. We walked along the lakefront from my house to downtown Chicago (miles). Both of us enjoyed it, but we really got too much sun on our faces and necks. And Ed's bald head was pretty blistered. We should have worn hats. Did I tell you I apparently threw my upper teeth out in the trash or something? Went to bed early one night with them in my mouth, got up and did something with them in the night, and have not been able to find them.

I have given one presentation at school without my teeth, and if I got through that without a panic attack, I can do anything I decided. I will, of course,have to get new teeth just as soon as I can figure out the money. I hate going around without my teeth! Remind myself of Evey. All my classmates have been really nice about it —they insist they can't tell the difference, but I know they are lying.

Something has happened to my modem—so I am off line at home again. What a nuisance! It is never a problem to use a computer here at school, however. Since you have gotten yourself up and running again, I will go ahead and mail my manuscript to you. I will go with whatever you suggest for charging.

Time to go for now.

Love, M

Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 20:23:14

Mother, now that we finally boast broadband connectivity again with my servers back inhouse, and as of Monday afternoon, are official owners of this tiny but quaint space in the North Van Ness neighborhood of Washington. Next comes the tug and tussle of working with the General Contractor in getting our new kitchen and main bookcases in place. We had to shave back on our desires to finance the whole enchilada. The appraiser beat us up again (if you recall we lost $9,000 off a signed contract on the front end of this relocation maneuver due to an appraiser's opinion), this time shaving $8,000 off the top end of what he thought should be lent us in securing an adequate build-out. I telephoned this latter appraiser, a man named Gill Rogers, to discuss the situation, and gave up in disgust after I found him to be talking out both sides his mouth.

Not until the kitchen is refurbished and all my books and papers are snuggly in place, out of storage and into a sensible order, will I truly know we have arrived, but I feel like we are halfway there now. Of course the General Contractor is out of town until mid-August on his own vacation, so the long drip drip drip continues.
I spare you the wretched details, but Sue went back to the seller (who we never met, not even at settlement, an eye doctor, too important for such mundane gestures I presume) and threatened to back out of the deal unless he softened up his asking price somewhat. Turns out we were ambushed by a special assessment of which a final payment will be due once the cleaning and pointing of the exterior brickwork is completed in late September (a two year project which has cost each unit in the building somewhere in the $10-11,000 range already) in a final adjustment made to the initial contract. Our obligation to this final payment as present owners of the unit could fall between one and three thousand dollars, so after telling Sue late one night that he would not budge off the original price and contract, the good doctor called early the next morning to say he would pay $3K of our closing costs, so I am certainly glad we stood up for ourselves, but it was not a fun exercise.

The seller had refused to return Sue's phone calls made desperately over the final two weeks before the scheduled closing and we seemed to have no recourse save being swindled or refusing to sign the mortgage and simply stay on as renters until that lease expired. That would have been an uncomfortable situation, but when it seems that everybody else in the equation is squeezing blood from a rock and that rock is you, it does get a little painful to just sit back and take all the pomposity of others at face value.

Everybody else in this transaction is an experienced professional, even the doctor who owns many other properties, and the fact that he had some pal of his (living in this building right above us, but long gone to Paris for a six week vacation) act as his agent, illegally I believe, since this Frenchman has no license to practice real estate (but made certain oral promises) made communication problematic and made us feel like victims in a smoke and mirrors parlor trick. I gave you some details the last time I wrote and there are many more, but let's just say we're glad this leg of the race home is behind us. Not until the kitchen is refurbished and all my books and papers are snuggly in place, out of storage and into a sensible order, will I truly know we have arrived, but I feel like we are halfway there now. Of course the General Contractor is out of town until mid-August on his own vacation, so the long drip drip drip continues.

In fact just this week some quite youthful-sounding telemarketer gal was grilling me from Chicago about the weather while she waited for her supervisor to come finish up the call, and I mentioned you and your situation. Of course she wished that she had had your energy and determination to have finished up her own schooling...
I'm going to an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor as soon as I can choose one and schedule an appointment. I think I have been hosting an infection in my left ear for two solid years now. What I call an infection never seems to get any better or any worse but in addition to the tinitus which is incurable (said the specialist who treated me August two years ago), I feel like something organic lives in that ear, and while I occasionally suffer sharp pains in both ears especially when I lean over, that clogged-up feeling in the left side of my head certainly seems like it can be treated and eradicated.

I have tried calling you several times in the past few weeks, but you've always been out. Feel free to call here collect sometime. We're signed up to a five cents per minute anytime, anywhere in the continental states plan, so if you have a window of opportunity, call from a pay phone collect (on a cell phone YOU pay either way, whether you initiate the call or receive it). I then can get your number, and call you right back at the lower rate. This was how my friend Sue Mioduser used to ring me years ago, although in reverse. She wanted to use her dime, but she just wanted to make sure I was home, and not some roommate or whatever. You get the picture.

Anywaze, continued grace in your studies. I am quite proud of you and still mention that my mother is powering up the scholastic track to the stars any time I get the chance. In fact just this week some quite youthful-sounding telemarketer gal was grilling me from Chicago about the weather while she waited for her supervisor to come finish up the call, and I mentioned you and your situation. Of course she wished that she had had your energy and determination to have finished up her own schooling...

Until I get my ears checked, I hardly have the ambition to fly to Chicago much less Paris, but I plan on both trips, so wish me luck at the doctor's office. . .

That's about it, so I'll close for now.

Love,

Gabriel

© 2000 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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