Jobs for days.

Another week where I thought it might ease up after a while, but didn’t. But no matter — work is better when it’s busy and this week I got to interview Don Was, so that was a cool interlude, although it was on video, which I hate, but oh well that’s where the ad buy is this month.

It’s up, and you can see it here. Please don’t say anything cruel about my hair or makeup.

The weather cooled off this week, and Alan’s been working in the yard. New bushes, transplanting a hydrangea, the usual mulching and cutting back and waiting for spring to really hit the gas, as well as getting the boat ready for the water in a few more weeks. Much of the work we’ve been doing (OK, Alan’s been doing, although I scrub the fucking toilets, so it evens out) around here is stuff we’ve put off for years, which makes me wonder if homeownership is even worth it. It’s wonderful on a summer night when you can go into your back yard, put some cool tunes on the Bluetooth speaker, start a fire in the pit and enjoy it all, but man — keeping even a well-built house in good repair is exhausting.

On the other hand, a friend of mine just bought a house in Ann Arbor, and the prices there are — no other word for it — simply jaw-dropping. Like, over $400 per square foot jaw-dropping. They’re bad here, but there? Ai yi yi. Then I think about people I know who went back to renting after owning, and simply hated it. The noise, the neighbors, dealing with a landlord after being your own, all of it — they couldn’t deal, and bought another house p.d.q. Our own is approaching payoff, and I expect we’ll be here until we can no longer climb steps.

What’s going on in the news? Afghanistan, the world’s tar baby, claims another victim. It’s the Venus flytrap of quagmires, to mangle a metaphor. And someone asked about Covid in Michigan. It’s…complicated. The governor is resisting further restrictions, and pushing vaccination instead, but the acceptance rates are insanely low. I can’t explain it. Unburned forest, i.e., large numbers of uninfected? Yes. Variants? Yes. Dumbasses who won’t get the shot? Also yes. We’re carrying on, and fully vaccinated. Doesn’t look like a month in Europe will be in the cards this fall, though, as I had hoped. Sigh.

On the other hand, children are still being shot to death by police, so. Things could be worse.

Happy weekend? Yes, happy weekend. I’m going to watch the new Bob Odenkirk movie and be an extra in a video — not for Kate’s band, another one. Tell you more after.

Posted at 8:22 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

34 responses to “Jobs for days.”

  1. Dorothy said on April 15, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Well at the same moment I was putting this at the end of the previous post’s comments, you posted this new one. And since you mentioned the second dose, here’s a good article about it – free to those of you who might not subscribe to the WaPo.

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  2. David C said on April 15, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Housing is going nuts all over the place. My sister just sold her house in Wyoming, MI (suburb of GR). It’s an old house with old house wiring and plumbing. They had 60 bids and sold it for $10K over asking price. They even had a Facebook stalker trying to persuade them to sell the house to her. We’re thinking of moving back to West Michigan but it looks like we’re already priced out of anything in the Grand Rapids area equivalent to our current house. Kalamazoo looks pretty sane still which would be close enough. My sister’s real estate agent told her something like one out of five houses are being bought by investment trusts and they’re the ones bidding up prices. Nothing like inflating the housing bubble again.

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  3. alex said on April 15, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    We’re getting solicitations right and left to sell our properties, but not budging. Yet. As I may have mentioned before, the remaining unsold undesirable lots in our old ’50s addition got snapped up and McMansions went up overnight, as has the price of everything in our zip code. Median price per square foot is only $111 but around here in Bumfuckland, that’s huge. People who were considering moving are just staying put and adding on because even if you make a windfall on your old house where can you move in a tight market like this one?

    Morale sucks in my workplace. I can’t tell how much of it is COVID and Trump fatigue and all of the other crap over the last few years versus changes in management, but a colleague informed me today that she gave notice and is retiring because our office culture has turned to shit and told them so, and we’ve had a whole bunch of other unexpected departures of late for exactly the same reason. Honestly, if health insurance didn’t cost so fucking much I’d try to retire early too. So I see a future in which we’ll be making do with less staff as we’ve already been doing and feeling resentful and feeling like we have less quality of life outside of work because we’re too stressed out when we’re at work. I’m 59 and want to enjoy what’s left of my life and this ain’t cuttin’ it.

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  4. LAMary said on April 15, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Just looked up my current home value. 751. per square foot. That is crazy.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on April 16, 2021 at 2:02 am

    After seeing the March 29 police killing in a Chicago alley today, after the police apparently locked down all the info (how was the media silenced to this?) until Thursday, I was dismayed as the police charge the 13 year old boy had a gun in his hand and had just dumped it off over a tall fence, raised his hands high, turned to the cops in what appeared as full surrender mode, and was shot to death by police. So just a few hours ago, there was a FedEx shooting in Indianapolis. The shooter is dead of his own bullet, and by now you all know the rest of it, which is developing now.
    I diligently took care of all the paperwork which followed my wife’s death, but today for the first time I was very mad to receive some forms and a letter from the bank saying they wanted me to know I was subject to foreclosure if I didn’t pay up on the loans against the house. The caveat is that after her death I decided to pay off the two loans in full. Of course, phone tag resulted, an hour on the phone, nothing resolved. Even when you pay off a bank they still harass you. I hate these people. Tomorrow, at it again. It make me sick.
    If any of you lost someone to Covid19, FEMA is compensating funeral, casket, urn, headstone, travel costs capping at $9,000. Our funeral director said to file ASAP as it’s a one time block grant and when it empties, it’s gone forever. Even though the literature states to wait until any delayed memorial services are complete, he said file now to recoup at least all you have receipts for.

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  6. Deborah said on April 16, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Waking up to another mass shooting. This one sounds like someone went postal, to me. Now we have either a police shooting a black man or a mass shooting by a crazy person every other day.

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  7. Connie said on April 16, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Dexter, I had a similar problem. We sold the Elkhart house and closed on the sale in April. I got my first foreclosure call in August. I told the caller he needed to bump me up a level because the house had been sold, the mortgage paid off, and I had paperwork. He did hook me up with a kind of investigator, and it didn’t take him more than a day or two to confirm my story and stop the foreclosure stuff.

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  8. Pam said on April 16, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Any news on the Iron Heirloom? Real estate is insane everywhere. Would someone mind explaining about these real estate trusts and what their end game is? That just came on my radar a few months ago but don’t know much.

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  9. ROGirl said on April 16, 2021 at 9:43 am

    I had my 19 year old kitty euthanized yesterday. The vet came out to my car and sedated her. He took the top off the carrier and she came into my arms. I held her until she was out and then he took her inside (no one allowed inside still). I’m glad she wasn’t in the building for the sedation.

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  10. Jessica Weissman said on April 16, 2021 at 9:59 am

    My house just inside the DC Beltway in Maryland is finally worth more than we paid for it 12 years ago. We sold the old one at the previous height of the market and bought this one ditto.

    It’s possible that with many organizations opting to continue work from home, being close in may be less of an advantage in the future.

    We’ll live here until we can’t any more. The only things I need to use the stairs for are cat feeding and watching baseball.

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  11. nancy said on April 16, 2021 at 10:00 am

    The iron heirloom is doing fine. It took days to get most — not all — of the baked-on crud off. This was followed by a vinegar bath and now it’s ready for the heat phase, but I got busy. So I coated it in oil and it’s waiting in the basement. Looking good. The de-gunking revealed its maker’s mark: Erie.

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  12. Dorothy said on April 16, 2021 at 10:08 am

    I’m so sorry, ROGirl. It’s by far the worst part of being a pet owner.

    Dexter thank you for that tip about FEMA. I immediately texted my co-worker who lost her dad to Covid in late March last year, at a nursing facility in Syracuse. She was so grateful. She said the funeral alone was $10,000. She’s looking into that immediately.

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  13. David C said on April 16, 2021 at 11:05 am

    My guess about what the real estate trusts are doing is to bid everything up until the suckers try to get in on the game. They’ll then dump everything, take their profits, and leave the the steaming pile left for the rest of us to sort out. Just like they did with the S&L crisis, and the 2008 housing crash.

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  14. bb said on April 16, 2021 at 11:36 am

    That was a 1st rate interview, Nancy. If I had DW’s resume, I fear I’d be way more full of myself than he seems to be. I liked his concept of selfish vs. generous music. I’d never thought about it like that, but knew immediately what he meant.

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  15. Deborah said on April 16, 2021 at 11:42 am

    The Fire Dept boat was back this morning in the same spot and again two divers were swimming around. This time they found something that took the two divers to haul into the boat and when they were putting whatever it was (dark matter) into the boat it appeared to be in pieces. I hope it wasn’t a decomposed body, that would be grissley and sad. I will look into the local news to find out if there’s anything about it, I’ll let you know.

    ROGirl, so sorry, 19 years is a long time to enjoy having a kitty, our 2 sisters lived to 15 and 17. It’s hard to let them go when they need to.

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  16. Scout said on April 16, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Real estate is nuts here in AZ too. My little ranch is allegedly worth $382 per square foot. Perfect time to sell, but there’s nothing affordable to buy and with 5 cats there’s no way we’re becoming renters. Besides, rents are through the roof as well. We pay under $700/month mortgage but Zillow claims we would pay $1840/month if we were renting it.

    ROGirl, I am so very sorry about your loss. Losing our companions is the hardest thing about loving them so much. I hope your good memories and knowing you gave your baby a wonderful life helps to heal the hurt.

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  17. nancy said on April 16, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks, bb. He really was a joy to talk to.

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  18. ROGirl said on April 16, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    I loved Was Not Was, glad to know Don Was is a good guy.

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  19. JodiP said on April 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Hi RoGirl, I am also so sorry to hear about your cat. It is wonderful to have pets, and so hard when we have to say good bye.

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  20. Deborah said on April 16, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    That was a great interview, Nancy. I had never heard of Don Was before but now I want to listen to his music and find out about him. The guy was articulate and seemed really into talking to you about music and you could keep up. Kudos to you for asking good questions that illicited interesting responses from him. I could never in a million years do what you did, talking to somebody famous on camera and on air, holy cow it gives me the willies just thinking about it. I would be a sweaty mess of gibbering nonsense.

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  21. LAMary said on April 16, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Very sorry about your cat, RO Girl. You gave her a good life and lots of love, I’m sure. When my cat Edith died at age 22, my younger son was about 8 years old. I told him Edith was a cat angel now and he said no, she was a cat goddess. I’m sure your sweet cat deserves that title too.

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  22. basset said on April 16, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Ya did good on the interview. Next time, Bob Seger.

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  23. A. Riley said on April 16, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Yet *another* mass shooting. Yet *another* unstable man with a gun. God damn it.

    We’re supposed to be a civilized country. How can a civilized country allow this to continue? This can’t go on. How can the spell be broken?

    My extended family in Indiana will be gathering for a nephew’s housewarming next month. I was already fretting about whether everyone will be masked or not, and now I get to fret about whether there will be guns in the new house or worse, on someone’s person. If I see a gun, I will turn around and leave. And they’ll all talk about it for the next twenty years.

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  24. kayak woman said on April 16, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    You lived in my Planet Ann Arbor neighborhood for a bit so you know what the houses are like. We bought ours more years ago than I am strong enough to count for $65K. As scary as that price was in the beginning, we paid it off in 13 years and felt no need to trade up. My attitude was something like, “this is the only house we can afford around here with a woods behind the back yard”, well plus I have always liked the neighborhood and pre-COVID I could walk to the grocery store. I don’t keep track of what my house is “worth” but I know it is somewhere over $300K, which I think is ridiculous.

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  25. LAMary said on April 16, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    If I sold this house where would I go? I’d like to stay somewhere fairly close to my kids but couldn’t afford the property tax. We have the cursed proposition 13 here which means my property taxes are not much more than when I bought the house in 1986. That’s very low when you consider what the house is allegedly worth now. If I bought a condo, even the dinkiest one around my taxes would be at least four times more per year than I’m paying now. Again, this is crazy.

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  26. Scout said on April 16, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    FB informs me it is Jeff B and Sherri’s birthday today. Happy Natal Return to both of you!

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  27. Bruce Fields said on April 16, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    In Michigan, it was proposition A that capped increases in taxable value to inflation each year:

    (Subtlety: the cap applies each year–if the value doesn’t keep pace with inflation one year, it can’t “catch up” the next–so the inflation-adjusted value only ever goes down.)

    Great if you’re a long-term owner–until you want to move.

    Zillow thinks the median value of a single-family home in Ann Arbor is $475.

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  28. Sherri said on April 16, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I accepted that when we sold our house in California, it meant we were never moving back. Housing here is expensive, and our house here has gone way up in value, but not like California real estate. Our house in California is 2/3 the size and 1.5x the cost of our house here.

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  29. Dexter Friend said on April 16, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    RO, so sorry about your little kitty. Friendo (age 14, Blue Russian cat) and Pogo, 12, (Black Labbie) are now my house companions. Pogo sleeps on the floor on a couple old blankets and Friendo curls up beside my pillow, all night long. Losing a pet is awful.
    And, following up, I was told to go to the local bank branch to clear up my problem, was turned away as that branch is closing in 7 weeks and they have two tellers working, no loan specialists. Nothing to do but try the phone again, and this time they recognized my account and addressed my problem, and I decided to play their game and do what they said, faxing (yeah, I know…I thought faxing died years ago) certificates and their questionnaire back to them. Boring stuff, sorry; I only posted it yesterday because I was so mad I was ready to throw stuff around. I skipped my weekly shopping last weekend and tonight I stopped in for just a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread. And I spent $100.02. I got a few more items than I had intended. 🙂

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  30. Sherri said on April 16, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks, Scout.

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  31. LAMary said on April 16, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    Happy Birthday to Sherri and Jeff B. It’s also the birthday of the in house brit and Dusty Springfield. Wishin’ and Hopin’ you all a happy birthday.

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  32. jcburns said on April 16, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Happy birthday Sherri! And Jeff B!

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  33. Sherri said on April 17, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, friends. And if it crosses your mind tomorrow, send a cheer my way, because I’ll be competing in my first powerlifting meet in two years!

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  34. LAMary said on April 17, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Appropriate of nothing, my Instacart shopper this morning is named Fnu.

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