Tag Archives: Dr. Gavaris

Chicago, The Frenchman, And The Missing Teeth Generation

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

Please Show Me The Courtesy

Clowns Of Society
Clowns Of Society
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Date: Fri Jul 14, 2000 11:41:28 AM America/New_York

Small service failures are everywhere, but with a bit of hopeful news and personal grit, Sue writes, "Gill Rogers called and will do the appraisal next Wednesday at 1 PM. His phone number is 703-866-xxxx."

"Thanks sweetie. Guess what? Twenty of twelve and not a peep out of Covad or Toad. What kind of pipehole service is this! And Richard Waller thinks he is such the suffering saint...I don't know what we have to do to get the good Doctor Gaveris to contact us, but what if he doesn't, and doesn't even show up for the closing? Meanwhile this emergency co-location with ToadNet due to our move while we wait for Covad and Bell to settle their differences to install at our new place, is technological hell. Why can't Toad simply restart my machine when a bit of thunder and lightning takes down their power service?"

Never one to miss out on a controversy of time and consideration, the always fluent Richard Waller adds more fire to the boil, "Please show me the courtesy of advising the removal date of my website. Thanks."

My turn. "Dear Sir. Whew! Finally broke down and spent another wad for a dial-up modem since Bell Atlantic and Covad continue to play keystone kinetics with my broadband order (since I no longer had a modem in the house, having giving the last one away to Tim a few months ago). So I come to you courtesy of an AOL connection established two nights ago, just in time for your latest scolding. But back to the business at hand. The site will be dismantled this afternoon with a single click of the button. Trust this satisfies you immensely, GT."

Unfortunately, I have yet to come across the email where he asks for any shutdown date, much less August 31. By inference, I just thought that he wanted it closed. And so I closed it.

Richard responds, "I specifically asked for August 31. Just another example of the difficulty of working with you. Just wrote a letter to Agency Chicago to take a look at it Monday. Will never fogive you for your behavior. Bye bye to you both."

"Gabriel has really bent over backwards (another cliché like shut up) for you because you are family. I really do wonder why when you apologize to us (remember those four or five nasty notes when it was your ISP's problem), it wipes the slate clean, but when Gabriel apologized to you (IN THE SAME NOTE), nothing happens...
A day later, Richard is back. "So you have really removed it before I was ready. I am disappointed in you as a person. I really do think you need help in relating to other people. When Pep or Tommy Hedrick was here Memorial Day, we talked about a possible website for his orchid business. Your name came up. I'll let him know about my bad experience with you."

Another day goes by. Richard again. Timestamp is Sun, 16 Jul 2000 15:55:55 -0400. "I really do like my website and would miss it terribly if it were gone. Please let me know your terms to keep it running for the rest of the year. We can decide before New Year's what to do next."

The next day Sue jumps in a bit late to tame the sharks. Date: 17 Jul 2000 12:47:15 -0400. "Richard, this will be just a short note to reply to you...I will tell you just what I think later when I am not plummeted with my duties here at my office.

"First of all, you should not jump to conclusions about anything that we are or not doing... You must think you are alone in the universe, that anything that happens is only to you or about you. I have told you that our servers are in Annapolis, MD and not immediately reachable to restart when there is a power outage. Gabriel has usually had to drive to Annapolis to take care of the servers. This is what happened on Friday—ALL of our websites where down, not just yours. If you have a question about whether it is just your site or all or ours, go to http://www.imote.com. If the iMote does not come up, then our servers are down, and to repeat, in Annapolis, MD and not immediately reachable! We drove to Annapolis on Saturday to restart our servers and then of course your site came back up.

"Gabriel has really bent over backwards (another cliché like shut up) for you because you are family. I really do wonder why when you apologize to us (remember those four or five nasty notes when it was your ISP's problem), it wipes the slate clean, but when Gabriel apologized to you (IN THE SAME NOTE), nothing happens...

"To quote my beloved, 'Arrogance and humility suck on the same straw.' Just sign me: The Unforgiven & Mistaken, Sue Hedrick," and Sue is outa there. Richard then pastes his plea to Gabriel to please reinstall his website because he is sure he will now miss it, in another note to Sue. A piece of work, this Richard Waller. While we are at it, although she did right by me, the quote is actually:

Ignorance and virture suck on the same straw.

Poor Richard's almanac ends here for now.