Sunday, April 29, 2007

Traffic Blow Out (Y1/M12/Day 29)

It took a really long time to get back home to LA. On the way to the Oakland airport we were delayed a bit by this gas tanker that apparently took a turn too quickly and crashed and exploded. The whole damn freeway pass was blown out. I've never seen anything like it. The collapse happened not long before we passed and I took this photo out the car window. I wish I'd thought of it 30 seconds sooner because you don't really get the effect from this photo.

But the shocking part is that, even in the wake of this catastrophy, San Francisco's traffic was only about 50% as bad as the ordinary-every-day traffic I sat in upon my return to Los Angeles.
Here's a professional photo of the wreckage from the New York Times:

Pacific Heights Weekend (Y1/M12/D's 27-29)

I spent the weekend in Pacific Heights visiting my friend Elle. She's thinking of moving to Brussells and I must say I envy her about-to-be-very-International lifestyle. She lives on this very very pretty street. Which is also very envy-worthy.

I love the way the leaves create that mottled sunshine on the sidewalk. I took this picture when I was walking back from lunch (crepes & french fries! YUM!) with two of my girlfriends in Hayes Valley. I picked up this little Lomography camera at Flight 001. It has eight lenses and takes eight separate images in quick sequence that all print on one photo. It creates this very cool montage effect and because of the low-tech lens you get a nice 70's feel to the exposure. I can't wait to take some shots of E and El Sid with it.

I sure did miss waking up with E and El Sid; I missed them desperately. Even waking up on this pretty pretty street was no match for waking up to a wet dog nose and a snoring E.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stupid Sock Creatures (Y1/M12/D11)

It's official: there are no homes for sale in my price range in my target neighborhoods. It seems like this whole housing bubble thing will never end.

On to other topics. On the left are the first two stupid sock creatures I made from the book I told you about. The Sidster was very interested in sinking her teeth into one but I am happy to report that each stupid sock creature made it to its new home unscathed.

The stripey one went to my brother in Boston. The sea-monster looking one went to my little neice (she's really my second cousin but let's not get technical) in Washington.

He has a pretty cute butt, huh? While loosely based on one of the patterns, this little guy is actually a unique critter inspired in no small part by El Sid herself.

This one is actually a bit more complicated. There isn't much room to insert the two side arms on each side and those little tentacle-type feet are made individually then added on. I wish I could take credit for the design but she's pretty much straight from a pattern in the book.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bunny Cupcakes (Y1/M12/D9)

This isn't the greatest photo of the Bunny Cupcake(s) that I made for Easter this year, but it is what it is. You may notice that this is a slight modification of the groundhog day cupcake.

The ears were made from York Peppermint Patties -- but next time I would try using some kind of a chocolate covered marshmallow candy for a couple of reasons. First, most kids don't really like mint. Second, it was a foggy day and Peppermint Patties tend to melt a bit when they get damp. So the ears started to fall off after a few hours sitting around in a damp atmosphere.

Instead of using chocolate cookie crumbs for dirt I opted for grass made out of coconut flakes dyed green with food coloring. I only made about a dozen but it was a pretty time consuming project.

Also, El Sid snuck up and stole one of the bunnies off the assembly line when I had my back turned. She was as silent as a ninja. My only clue was the occasional chewing and a couple of stray jelly bean eyes on the kitchen floor.

Friday, April 06, 2007

House Number the Fifth: REVEALED! (Y1/M12/D6)

This was the fixer that we bid on and did not get. Once again, the house sold for exactly the same price that I offered. The winning bidder, however, offered to take the house as is. I wasn't willing to risk paying an additional $10k for termite damage so I'm back on the street looking for houses.

What the hell, people? There are over 50,000 listing in Los Angeles right now -- that's a record high inventory. Subprime lending is exploding. Everybody is talking about Armageddon in real estate. And yet a girl like me, who has solid credit and income appropriate for the homes I'm bidding on, can't buy a house (at list price, even!) I mean, when there are 50,000 homes on the market, why should I have to waive all contingencies and go so far as to move the effing seller's left over furniture out of the house? Jesus.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

If you want this house, you have to sell their crap (Y1/M12/D4)

As you may recall, last week we put in a bid on a fixer. And we were the only bidders. Well, on Monday I discovered that three other bidders surfaced (of course) and we received a counter offer with the "multiple offers" box checked. They countered us asking for an additional $10k and asking us to pay for all termite damage and asking us to clean up their miscellaneous furniture and crap. We said we'd give them another $10k and clean up their crap but not pay for the termite damage.

As to the crap, there are: sofas, some mattresses, chairs, china, glasses, porcelain parrots, plastic parrots, stained glass parrots (these people loved them some parrots!). So, if we get it, it looks like we'll be having one big ole parrot-themed garage sale. As to the termite damage, that's a big unknown. As far as I know, there's been no inspection yet so the damage could run from a couple of thousand to nearly ten-thousand. There's just no saying.

Hopefully, we'll have an answer by the end of the day but it could be later in the week. Wish us luck!