June '6


Kassie and I have been busy the last couple of days.

On Monday, we picked up a moving truck at 8:30, met our realtor at the house for a second final walk-through at 9:00, and closed on the house at 10:00.

Second final walk-through, you say? Yes. Our first one, on Sunday morning, was marred by the fact that the place was still a mess. After the seller's realtor made threats of calling the health department withholding some of the seller's money for cleaning, we were assured it would all be cleaned up. I think I was the only one who was pretty sure it would be clean anyway, as it looked like she was in the middle of doing it. (But I think it was supposed to be clean by the first walk-though.) When we got to the second walk-through, everything was out of the house, but much of it was pretty filthy, especially the kitchen. Our realtor, Michael Farnsworth, who you should use if you're looking for someone in the Twin Cities, gave us the gift of Pablo and His Guy. Pablo is a cleaner and they were at the house by 11:00. They did a great job. Thanks, Pablo, His Guy, and Michael!

There was another problem, though. Much of the seller's garbage was out on the sidewalk on Nicollet Avenue next to the house. She correctly assumed that people would go through it and take much of it away. She had hired a neighborhood kid to help her clean and move, and told us at the closing that he was going to return and get rid of everything that hadn't been taken. We're sitting on $200 of her money to make sure it's gone by Friday (the day after garbage day). Unfortunately, the folks going through the stuff have not been particularly careful about how they did it. It was all strewn all over the sidewalk and into the street. We've been too busy to get out there and pick it up. Yesterday, on my pullout from the bus garage, I saw one of our neighbors picking it up. We owe someone big, but only because I suppose it's technically our stuff now...

So back to Monday.

We went back to her condo and started loading the truck at 12:00. Kassie's dad, my mom, and Kassie's friend Mollie helped us load up. Mollie's husband Trevor and Kassie's brother Pete showed up later, in time for some unloading. We ordered (not enough) pizza and relaxed for a while. My dad came over to see the house. We dropped off a big piece of furniture that we can't use at Mollie and Trevor's and returned the truck. I think everyone slept well that night.

Kassie went shopping yesterday and now we have a lawnmower, a grass trimmer and a dehumidifier. Very exciting.

Here is a fairly haphazard gallery of the house, empty. I just realized that I failed to take pictures of the kitchen. Huh.

click for gallery



A whole city giving aid and comfort to the enemy! Right under our noses!


When you say...


you've said a mouthful!



This post may veer into PG-13 territory. You've been warned.

Sometime when I was in junior high or so, my family took a trip that included an overnight in Sioux Falls. My brother Corey and I slept on the floor in the basement with the son of the people who lived there. They had cable TV. It got late and we were awake and The Last American Virgin came on. Well, what are three young red-blooded American boys going to do? Of course, we watched it. The boobs (and there are plenty of them) temporarily kept my mind off the story that my dad told me about sewer rats that came up from the sewer and out of the toilets in his college dorm, which was mere blocks away. And I was sleeping mere feet from a bathroom. Never mind that this was twenty years and a technological century from that dorm. But I digress. The Last American Virgin was very exciting. Those may have been the first live-action-media breasts I'd ever seen.

As I entered adulthood, I often wondered about that movie. A few years back, I googled it and found that there was something different about it that set it apart from the other teen sex flicks of the early eighties. But I never read the spoilers to find out what it was. My curiosity finally got the best of me and I rented it the other night. Yeah, there is a lot of dumb teen sex stuff and other wacky hijinks that are kind of funny, but about 2/3 through the movie, it turns dark. I've been thinking about it all day. And not the boobs part. If you think you can stand the dumb stuff and gratuitous nudity, I think it's worth seeing. You know, if you feel like it.

A little while ago, when the weather turned warm, my apartment management sent all the residents a letter. It was to remind us that when our windows facing the courtyard are open, the sound really travels. The note ended with a request to keep the volume on our TVs and stereos down.

Now I can't say for sure if they read it or not, and I understand that they could very well have memorized it, but based on my experience last night around midnight, I think the whole noise-traveling thing may have escaped the attention of a boy and girl who live somewhere near me. As in: when a boy and girl love each other very much...



There was a fire at the Franklin Street Bakery the other day. I heard about it on the bus, of course. I guess bread production is down, but I can still get donuts.

I had heard that the Minneapolis Police Department was trying out Segways, but when I saw a couple cops tooling around on them I laughed out loud. I don't know why I thought it was so funny. I'm sure the people on my bus thought I was a freak.

The other day I strolled over to Downtown Jaguar from the 6 terminal to use the restroom. On the way in, I couldn't figure out what was going on in the garage. There was a line of cars passing under and through fluorescent lights and people with notebooks on ladders looking at them. On the way out, I noticed that the silver SUV currently in the lights had been hit pretty badly with hail from last week's storm.

I passed a distraught woman sitting in her car on Tuesday. How do I know she was distraught? One of my passengers told me she was. And he explained to the bus what distraught means. Apparently, she hit a pedestrian. My passenger was pretty excited because he saw the whole thing, so I didn't get the complete story. It had something to do with a car accident. The car accident was still being sorted out, as evidenced by a woman screaming at a cop in a parking lot. The distraught woman was gawking at the accident or the pedestrian she hit was running into the street to see the accident. Or both. Again, it was unclear.

There are probably a hundred places one can go online and read all about the cars vs. bicycles debate. Who's worse, who can't seem to obey traffic laws, etc. etc. etc. I don't think pedestrians get mentioned enough. I can name four times in the last week alone that I had to brake heavily for a pedestrian who was walking against the light and got in my way. It happened three times in the bus, and once in my car. The car incident was the worst, probably because people walk in front of the bus all the time (and not just on the Nicollet Mall). She saw me coming a half block away. I was moving at about 35 mph, but she kept walking. She'll stop, though, since she looked right at me, right? Nope. I laid on the horn and braked hard as I entered the intersection. She made a nasty face at me as if I should have stopped in the middle of the intersection at the green light to let her walk in front of me. I don't get it...



Our realtor called Kassie today with the news that we will be able to close next Monday, the 26th. Sweet. Now Kassie has somewhere to live. And she'll have a couple days to get out of her condo.

I can't get a real feel for my work this pick. Part of the problem is that I drive the 21 on Tuesdays and Fridays during rush hour. It goes through many potentially troublesome areas (traffic-wise). It can go very well and I'll stay on time one day, then the next time or the next week I'm out there, I'll get ten minutes late. The morning parts of my work are nice, though.

A Latino guy got on the 21 with a t-shirt bearing the familiar logo of the very famous motorcycle company from Milwaukee. Only it said Harly Division.

Later, I waited for a guy at Lake Street and Park Avenue. I heard him yelp as I drove through the intersection. I caught a glimpse of colorful clothing and assumed it was the hearing-impaired guy who rides with me on occasion, known for his squawks and yowls. It wasn't. It was a very large guy who got on and stared at me, then sat down. And he was sort of singing along with whatever was playing on his headphones. By "sort of singing" I guess I mean "wailing" or "howling." He rode with me, singing when the mood struck him, until 1st Avenue. Thankfully, that's a pretty short trip. As he got off the bus, I was finally able to understand what he was singing. "In the chuuuuurch of the poooooison miiiiind!" Go get 'em, Boy George...



There are too many things going on in my life. I finally filled out the calendar on my computer so I won't forget what I'm supposed to be doing. I didn't put "write things on the TL" down anywhere, though. Maybe I should have.

Kassie got a new job! It's with the state and it has something to do with getting mentally ill people on meds, finding them jobs, getting them counseling and making sure they keep their jobs.

I picked up a guy at Lake and Chicago last week. I was headed west on the 21. He had been drinking and he chatted me up the whole time he was on the bus. Somewhere between 4th and 3rd Avenues, he said, "I want to get off at Chicago. Are we there yet?" Uh, yeah, that's where you got on. "Oh, I'll just take the 18." Have a nice day, dude.

A lady got on my 11 on Tuesday. She's a really nice lady who always remembers when she last rode my bus. At least she thinks she remembers. But anyway. She had put her cat to sleep the day before, and she wanted to tell me all about it. It was sad. She recounted every single move that she and the veterinarians made. She'd had the cat for 22 years. It was clear that it was good for her to talk about it, so I only said as much as was necessary to let her know I was still paying attention (which I was). When she got off, she thanked me for listening to her. Listening is part of the job, of course, and it's one part I really like.

Donald Trump was at the Minneapolis Convention Center today giving his lecture "How to Get Rich by Inheriting a Pile of Money From Your Daddy." Or something like that. Think Big Day, which is how the seminar was billed, was supposedly going to bring in 20,000 people. I drove the 11 today, which goes right by the Convention Center and we were warned that it could get very busy down there, especially in the morning. I talked to one driver who drove through there this morning and he reported that it was no different than any other morning. I guess it, uh, didn't quite live up to expectations. And, as that article mentions, there were people handing out free tickets all week. Sad.

I saw Oz today. I haven't been talking to him much lately. He didn't ask me for money, so I think it'll be OK for me to talk with him again. His stepmother died and he just found out about it. He'd been out looking for (and successfully finding) his dad to chew him out for not being at the hospital with her when she died. Sounds like the same old Oz for the most part, though. He says he's getting better, but it's pretty hard for me to believe it. He has been living with the same woman for about two years now, so I guess there may actually be something to it. We'll see...



Kassie sold her condo. The agreement paperwork gets signed tomorrow; she'll close on June 28. We're, um, very happy about that.

That means we're going to try to get our closing date moved up to June 26 so she's not homeless. The lady we're buying the house from wanted to move it up, but we've been hesitating so we didn't have to pay two mortgages.



No sign of the Health Department, but here's what they would find in my kitchen:

getting better...

I got about ten minutes into my 11 line this morning when I got called back to the garage to get drug-tested. I think I did pretty well. Well, no, I didn't. I had to retake the test. I could only produce 30 ml on my first try. So I drank 40 oz. of water and walked on the treadmill and was just able to muster the required 45 ml. The guy administering the test was kind of a hardass. He was nice, but I think he wanted to get out of there. First he wanted to know why I couldn't pee. Um, dude, I don't get on a bus with a full bladder. Then he kept hassling me to try. Whatever. I never got back on my bus. Lake Street this afternoon.



I can't remember the last time I was In Trouble. I mean, I've been in trouble with Kassie and some of my other friends, but it's not In Trouble. I think it may have been when I was driving on I-80 in Iowa and got a ticket. My RX-7 had tinted windows, which is apparently illegal in Iowa. Since I'm fairly sure a fix-it ticket would have sufficed, I suspected that the Podunk County Donut Fund was low and wrote them a letter saying so. I also enclosed $10 in cash for them to put toward the fund. (Then I never cashed the check I got back...)


You know, I take a shower every day, sometimes two. I'm pretty picky about hygiene.

But as I said a few days back, my apartment is a mess. It's a little dirtier than I'd like, but mostly, it's just messy. It's not like there are half-eaten pizzas lying around or anything like that. Just lots of clothes and miscellaneous junk.

My days off this week were spent with Kassie, and we got a lot of important stuff done. But we didn't get my apartment clean.

They've been showing it, though. I got a call today from my apartment manager. She said that if I don't get it cleaned up, she's going to call the Health Department. Awesome. Suddenly, I'm That Guy, right up there with the cat ladies and the people with a path through the newspapers from the front door and the kitchen to the bedroom and the bathroom.

Guess I'll start cleaning. Now.






May '6