Saturday, November 29, 2008

Was this beta tested? With, like, people?

I bought some Arrowhead bottled water. In their "eco-shape" half-liter bottles. These bottles claim to use 30% less plastic than normal half-liter bottles.

Which sounds good for the environment.

Except, this is what happens every time I open the aforementioned eco-shape bottles: The caps are, y'know, tightly attached, like a good water bottle cap should be. So you need to grip the bottle tightly in order to get a good grip and twist the cap off.

This operation can be performed fairly simply with a normal, bad-for-the-environment water bottle. But the eco-shape bottle is made of a thin, flimsy plastic. So, when you grip it (to take the cap off) it squeezes inward. You then remove the cap and, since you are pressing the bottle inward, water gushes up and out the top of the bottle.

Every. Freakin. Time.

So you waste the water you spill from the bottle. Not to mention the paper towels you use to clean it up, and to dry your hands.

All tolled, I think the eco-shape bottle is, at best, a wash for the environment.

It does make you wonder whether, in all the testing as to whether a thinner water bottle could hold the water, sit on shelves, and be sold to consumers, they ever bothered to have some consumers actually open them.


Today I did something I swore I'd never do.

I drove backwards on a one-way street.

And while I was looking around madly for any lurking cops, and realizing that I would have no way out of any possible ticket, and thinking that the points on my license would have been way not worth the time I'd save by not just driving around the block ... I still put the car in Backwards and went for it.

(I am so weak.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

On Black Friday

I'm happy I sold my condo. I think I've mentioned that before. :)

And I'm OK with cooling my heels in this apartment while I'm waiting to find the right to house.

And I'm totally OK with taking advantage of Black Friday sales in order to buy gifts for my friends and family.

What annoys me is that I can't take advantage of any of the sales to buy stuff for me. All sorts of deals on home electronics and home improvement stuff -- some of which I'm sure I'm going to want -- but no idea of which stuff I'll want, because I don't know what home it will go into. And I really can't get much other random stuff for myself, because I've got no real place to put more stuff. Basically, I need to postpone Black Friday until I have a new place. (Anyone think the retailers will go for this?)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Thanksgiving

Yesterday, I was going to write the standard "things I'm thankful for" Thanksgiving entry, but it just wouldn't write.

This morning, I finally realized why that was -- the attacks in Mumbai.

It's hard to sit here, counting my blessings -- taking a moment to note that, even setting aside our current economic downturn, this is still a totally amazing awesome country in which I live -- when I am reading about people who hate us so much they're taking hostages and particularly looking for people with US and UK passports.

There is so much to be thankful for ... and there's also so much work yet to be done.

Peace to all.

Monday, November 24, 2008


The cat made a break for it.

As long as I've been at this new place, she hasn't greeted me at the door when I come home. Yesterday, she did; so I thought we might be back at the point where she stands near the door and I have to make sure she doesn't get out.

I had maintenance come to the apartment today, and made a point of telling them to look out for the cat.

They did. I came home today, and I saw the cat right inside the door.

Then I saw her right outside the door.

That's right -- I was so concerned about the maintenance guy not letting her out, I let her out.

I'm one of those people who really tries to be rational in a crisis, so I made a point of grabbing my keys before I ran after her.

She ran down the hall one way. She ran down the hall the other way. Much running.

I ran after her calling, "Jasmine!" This did not work; she just ran more.

I stood still and did that little clicking noise you do with your tongue to get a cat to come. She actually responded. (This is shocking, truly.) I picked her up.

Holding tight, I took her for a little walk down the hallway so she could see what she was missing. Much squirming on her part. Couldn't tell if she wanted me to let her go so she could run, or if she didn't like outside and wanted to go back in. I didn't want to find this out the hard way, so went back in the apartment, closed the door, and let her go. And now she's really normal, as though nothing ever happened.

(Cat freaked me OUT.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And this makes sense HOW?

When I left my condo, I had to terminate my cable service. "Had to" might be a bit of a stretch. I used to actually like my cable company, but, of late, the idea of leaving them had been a bit more ... anticipated. (Had something to do with their actual admission that they wouldn't do anything to fix my crappy modem service until four people in my building called -- three apparently being insufficient to warrant repairs.)

In any event, they told me to return my equipment after service stopped. I did this, the next weekend.

(And, let's note, they told me to return it to their location in the next city over, even though subsequent research indicated that they had a place in my city.)

That was about a week ago.

Today I get my final bill. For $633. Apparently, they slam an "unreturned equipment" charge on your bill they day you terminate service, and then send the bill out immediately. Which says "past due" on it, even though, y'know, it isn't.

I called them (from inside the post office, the second I opened the bill) and asked for an explanation of the $633. Five minutes later, the employee admits that, yeah, they have my equipment. And I don't owe $633. In fact, Charter (for that is the cable company in question) actually owes me about $30, as they bill for the full month in advance.

Are you ready for the kicker? She tells me I'll get my $30 in about eight weeks.

And I say "Eight weeks??"

And she says, yes, they have to go through the Payable Department, and that takes some time.

Apparently, they can tell you that you owe them $633 past due within 24 hours of terminating service, but if they owe you a lousy $30, they'll sit on it for eight weeks. Yeah, try sitting on a check you owe them for eight weeks ("I'm sorry; it takes that long for my Payables Department to cut a check") and see how understanding they are.

Yeah, so sad to be leaving my cable company.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lemme Be All Lawerly For A Minute

OK, so the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the cases challenging the validity of Prop 8. And folks are wondering exactly what basis there could be to challenge Prop 8.

I read some of the submissions to the court (they're out there on the court's website for your own persual) and have a bit of a handle on it. In some ways, it's awful technical (in which case any decision by the court overturning Prop 8 might be seen as the court being all activist and using legal technicalities to override the will of the people). But in other ways, it's downright fundamental.

The idea, basically, is that -- according to the California Constitution itself -- the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority vote of the people on an initiative measure, but if it's going to be revised, you need a two-thirds vote of the Legislature first.

The big question -- and the one to which I have no idea how the court is going to rule -- is whether Prop 8 constitutes an amendment or a revision.

But here's how the argument goes: the Supreme Court has determined that the existing Equal Protection clause protects against unequal treatment of gays and lesbians when it comes to marriage. Prop 8 revises that, saying that the Equal Protection clause no longer means what it used to mean. And that's just too fundamental of a change to be handled as an amendment. Because it radically undermines the existing constitution.

Or, let me put it more concretely. The latest estimates regarding California's demographic breakdown say that non-Hispanic white people are only about 43% of the population. So, let's suppose that someone decides to put on the next ballot the constitutional amendment that non-Hispanic white people have to pay twice as much in taxes as they used to, while everyone else pays nothing. And the 57% of the population that would not have to pay taxes under that deal thinks it's a brilliant idea, so the initiative passes.

And the white people who all of a sudden have to pay double taxes would say, "Dude, this is a TOTAL violation of Equal Protection -- what with treating us unequally with respect to the tax burden simply because of the color of our skin." And the folks who passed the initiative would say, "Tough darts; we amended the Equal Protection clause to not apply to you guys when it comes to taxes."

And the white people would say, "What the hell is the point of having an Equal Protection clause if it can be overridden by a simple majority vote?"

And that's basically the argument. Like I said, I don't know whether it's going to fly -- but the issues that it raises involve an awful lot more than whether gay marriage should be permitted in California -- it's really about who gets to make the final call on the meaning of the constitution, and how easily fundamental rights can be taken away.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bailout for the Auto Industry??

Y'know, I'm all about getting this economy back on track, but anecdotal evidence gives me a gut-level "No" on the idea of an auto industry bailout.

And this is why.

A few years ago, when I was shopping for a car, gas prices were (what we then believed was) high, and people wanted to buy hybrids faster than they could make them.

And I was interested in the Ford Escape Hybrid, and I went to my local Ford dealer for a test drive.

My local Ford dealer did, indeed, have an Escape Hybrid on the lot. So I went to check it out.

As all new cars do, the Escape Hybrid had a sticker on it, on which was the sticker price.

But there was also a piece of paper taped to the window next to the sticker, and the paper said: "+$10,000."

And I looked at the salesman standing next to me, and asked for an explanation of the additional $10,000. And he replied, "Because we can."

So when someone asks if I'm in favor of a government bailout for the auto industry because nobody is buying cars in these tough times, I think back to my local Ford dealer's decision to increase the price on its hybrids by an additional $10,000 because the market would pay it. And my knee-jerk reaction is: "Live by the free market, die by the free market. Bastards."

Litter Hog!

My cat uses a relatively hard to find kitty litter.

This wasn't exactly intentional. When I adopted her from a box outside the grocery store, I went in the grocery store and bought a litter box and a bag of Cedar Fresh Scoop -- a flushable clumping litter. Since that time, that store has stopped carrying Cedar Fresh Scoop, but I found it at a different market. Since there's no point changing a litter my cat actually uses, I make it a point to get my litter at this other market.

And, also, because I am a nice human being, who realizes that this litter is fairly hard to find, I make it a point not to buy them out. I'll only buy one bag at a time -- I'll buy a second bag only if there's at least two left on the shelf. Because, y'know, I know what a litter emergency looks like, and I don't want to be responsible for leaving someone else in that situation if I can help it.

So, we're running a little low on litter this week (largely because the bag burst a hole in it when I was moving it from the condo to the apartment), so I stopped off at the store to buy a new bag.

They were out!

Sometimes they have some hidden in back, so I asked the nearby employee stacking product if they happened to have any Cedar Fresh Scoop in back.

He said they didn't. He said there's this one lady who comes in every month and buys all the bags they have. (And that's all she buys.) Said that when she came in before, she took everything from the shelf and the stockroom in back. Wench walked off with ten bags of litter.

Dude did not seem too open to my suggestion that, in future, they place a "Maximum of Three Bags" limit on litter purchases. He did say that they were going to start ordering more so that they didn't run out -- but I'm sure that she'd buy twenty if that's how many they had. I think it's time to start lying about how much litter they have in the stockroom, so that the rest of us don't end up with our cats standing there sadly with their little paws crossed.

(Well, no, that's not what they'd do. They'd express their displeasure with the lack of litter by urinating elsewhere. And you know that isn't gonna be pretty.)

From now on, though, no more Ms. Nice Cat Owner. Next time they have litter in stock (tomorrow, actually) I'm buying two bags, and making sure I always have a spare.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Escrow closed!

No longer have title to the condo.

Big pile of money wired to my account.

Much joy!


(Yup, Lori. I sold the condo. Mostly.)

There's this pesky little quirk about recording the documents (and closing escrow). The Los Angeles County recorder is a bit of a stickler for having the entire trust deed recorded. Seems my escrow company transmitted only the first two of three pages, leaving out the signature page. The county recorder -- noticing that the pages said "1 of 3" and "2 of 3" on them -- rejected the document for lack of "3 of 3." Especially since the third page was a signature page.

Escrow found the missing document but was unable to file yesterday.

I was really annoyed by this. Really really annoyed. I shot off an email to my agent which was a masterpiece of passive/aggressive writing -- as the frustration of still not being rid of the condo on top of having packed for 14 hours the day before, and paying the movers overtime to be sure to be out by close of escrow -- put me in that place where I'm simultaneously angry and on the verge of tears. Particularly because I couldn't understand why they couldn't refile the documents on the same day -- as they found the missing page before 10:00 a.m.

I ultimately found the county recorder's website which explained that, when documents are filed by a messenger or third party, they actually have to be submitted the day before and then get picked up the next day. So my escrow had sent the wrong documents on Monday (Tuesday being a holiday) and got them rejected when they went to pick them up Wednesday morning, and resubmitted Wednesday for a Thursday pick up.

OK, fine. Made sense. Still annoyed at the escrow for not proofreading their damn documents. Real estate agent had the good sense to tell the escrow guy to call me because (well, I expect the conversation went something like, "she's really pissed off"). He called and attempted to placate me with (a) apologies; (b) an extra $100; and (c) telling me he'd already paid off my mortgage.

I let him off the hook for this, even though (a) he's still a moron for missing the third page; (b) $100 way doesn't cover the overtime I paid the movers; and (c) paying off my mortgage was most likely a huge violation of his escrow instructions. If I was the buyer, I'd be pretty ticked for giving $80,000 to the seller's credit until such time as the deed in my favor had been recorded. I also imagined a vast legal quagmire if, for some reason, we don't close this deal.

Wish me luck for today. Damn thing better record now; I cancelled my insurance on the property as of this morning, so if it happens to burn down, I'd really like it to be owned by someone who is not me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holy crap! I've got a lot of stuff.


It's actually misleading -- one thinks I have less stuff than the vast quantity of stuff that I do, in fact, have.

I think it's because I've "hidden" all my stuff. I mean, I've got one storage cage full of stuff; and then there's the stuff I brought over to the apartment -- so that stuff isn't even there anymore. But then there's also the fact that, while I had the condo on the market, I hid a lot of my stuff in drawers and closets and such -- so that the place didn't look cluttered.

It took two professional movers -- with me helping -- fourteen hours to box it all up and load it in the truck. That's not even counting taking it to storage tomorrow. (Which will cost me even more money -- over tonight's time-and-a-half -- but it's my own stupid fault, because I couldn't take tomorrow off because I'm really behind at work. Which, by the way, means that I will finish the thing I'm working on in half the time, so I really could have taken tomorrow off. I digress.) FOURTEEN HOURS. The moving guy totally overestimated the amount of boxes we'd need and we used every box. In addition to a bunch of things I was able to put in their original boxes (I saved original boxes for all my electronics, and most of the snowglobes). I haven't seen the total yet, but I think it's close to eighty. Eighty!

This is what happens when you live someplace for 16 years. Stuff just ... accumulates.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Very Unfortunate Discovery About My New Place

Things you don't want to learn the hard way: the snooze button on the alarm clock is broken.

I innocently smacked that thing this morning, hoping for the extra standard 8-12 minutes of sleep. Twenty minutes later, I wake up of my own accord, and the clock radio still hasn't gone back on.

The really sad part is -- I'm not going to replace the alarm clock. I think that if I actually wake up when my alarm clock goes off, I might show up at work on time a bit more often.

Happy news: it took about 24 hours, but that cat started using the box tonight (yay!) and even ate supper. I'm very relieved. 24 hours is a very long time to not ... put anything in one end or out the other. She's still a bit skittish, but is exploring our new environs and seems a lot more comfortable. And I went back to the condo and brought her basket, which I'd forgotten yesterday. She likes to curl up in it a lot, so I thought she'd feel better with her comfy basket. Maybe it'll get her out from under the bed tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dear Jasmine,

Hey kitty,

Could you do me the honor of urinating in your new box?

I know you're freaked about the move. I realize it's been a number of years since you've even been outside, and here's me springing a whole new location on you. I've got your same food (barely touched) and your same bowls, though. And some really nifty toys to cheer you up.

Perhaps now was not the best time to change cat box styles on you. The litter inside is the same stuff you've happily peed and pooped in for years, though. (And it's a nice new bag of it.) And I even took off the lid in case you're finding that uncomfortable in some way. But the oval-shaped box fits better in here, and the high sides will hopefully reduce the amount of litter tracked all ovet the new place. You know, the new place with the hefty security deposit. And the rule about "no pets who aren't housebroken."

It's not that I think you've peed someplace else. (I likely would have known by now if you did.) But you've been here about 14 hours so it's probably time that you pee someplace, and I'd feel an awful lot better leaving for the office if I had evidence that you're acclimated enough to be left alone.

Thanks, baby. Wuv you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

They have no desk

The furnished corporate apartment into which I am moving has no desk.

How can it have no desk?

Hotel rooms have desks. Corporate travellers need desks.

And yet, this morning, when I came by to check out my new home and start unloading: deskless.

They even have a cable modem. It's wedged in the entertainment center next to the TV. It reaches as far as the coffee table (although if you do that, you have a tripping hazard). No desk. I check the unit a second time just be sure it isn't hiding someplace. It isn't. The place is desk-free.

This is a bit of a problem as I'd planned on bringing by desktop computer. They tend to require desks.

I first considered rearranging the furniture and repurposing the dining room table into a desk. (I can't just leave it where it is, the ethernet cable won't reach.) So I dragged the dining room table within range of the modem, but that's no good. Can't sit on the sofa and comfortably reach the dining room table. And if I move a dining room chair in there, it renders the sofa completely useless. (Can't move the sofa where the dining room table used to be. Well, I could, but it won't face anything but the wall. The entertainment center is too heavy to even turn, much less move.)

Considered bringing the laptop instead. Rejected this for a number of reasons. (Need printer. Need to do substantial writing. Want the dvd player in my desktop.) Next considered bringing the desktop and a wireless router, and just setting up camp on the dining room table. Rejected that too. My wireless router slows down my signal something wicked. AND I'm planning on using my internet connection for my phone (via magicjack) and I don't need my phone depending on a dodgy signal.

Wondered if I could cram my desk in the back of my S.U.V. ...

Resolved: bring the desktop anyway. Set it on the coffee table, and type with the keyboard in my lap. Not ideal, but the goal here is workable, not ideal.


I'm sure that went poorly

They say that you can check in to corporate housing with nothing but your toothbrush.

Or, in my case, a toothbrush, a litter box, and a cat.

This is, in fact, a vicious lie.

I don't know if any of you (beyond my sister -- I know she's done it) have ever packed to temporarily live someplace else for "at least a month, most likely more," but it's not a really a science -- it's guesswork.

I'll be checking in to corporate housing with (at current count) two duffel bags, a suitcase, two medium-sized boxes (one labelled "kitchen," and the other labelled "desk"), two file boxes (two for "bathroom," one with all my critics circle stuff for the year (we have to do nominations soon), and one half-full of DVDs and books, so I can keep myself entertained -- as if my life will somehow be less busy when I'm living a mile away), computer, monitor, printer, litter box, litter, new scratching post, and cat.

Ooo, and this stapler. I should probably take the stapler.

The suitcase packing was particularly difficult given that, although it's November now, it's been over 80 degrees. So, while I'd like to be able pack for only one season (hopefully, it won't be that long till I find a house), I've really got to have pretty much all climates covered.

I had this theory, though. My theory was that if I took stuff out of my closet still on the hangers, and laid it all flat in the duffel bag, if I stuffed the bag tight enough, everything would stay on its hangers even when I stood the bag up on its side. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow -- I haven't had the heart to stand the bag up yet. Besides, the cat is sitting on it. She usually gets a little upset when I'm packing because she doesn't like me to go away. I don't know what she thinks with three suitcases and six boxes. Especially since she saw me put her toys in one of the boxes. ("Dude, it's fine if you go, but leave the little mice.")

Although, honestly, the most depressing thought about this whole process (besides knowing with certainty that I'm doing it wrong, and will have simultaneously overpacked and underpacked in all sorts of ways) is the fact that I'll have to do it again. The next time, I'm sure, will be better, because I'll be packing up for a house, in which I intend to live for, y'know, ever. But the fact that I'm going someplace temporary, so really shouldn't get too settled in -- while, at the same time, I have to get settled enough to live for upwards of a month -- is surprisingly frustrating.

I'm happy about moving out of the condo. I've been trying to do this for years, and packing to leave here feels right. It's just the idea that I'm still not done with moving yet that is putting the rain cloud over my parade.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

So very much to do ...

.... which is why, of course, I'm blogging, rather than doing it.

Escrow is set to close on my condo on Wednesday. The buyers approved everything on their final walk-through and signed their loan documents. I've given escrow the deed. So, as long as escrow doesn't, y'know, run off the deed and the money, things are looking pretty good.

I hate counting my chickens and all, and I knock wood everytime I say something about escrow closing, but I also have to plan for the, shall we say, expected eventuality that, come Wednesday, this very nice couple will have title to my condo and I'll have a big pile of money.

I'll also have no place to live.

I've spent quite a bit of time trying to find one of those furnished corporate apartments to live in, since I need something on an I-don't-know-how-long-I'll-be-there basis. There are tons of such corporate apartments in Pasadena, and I'd figured that, with the economy the way it is, I could probably get a good rate on one.

Well, turns out that the economy being the way it is means that the corporate apartments are full out here. Apparently, with the collapse of Indymac bank, hordes of consultants descended on Pasadena, and got all the corporate housing. Seriously. Two corporate housing companies could find nothing available; and a third could give me a place starting on the 25th. A fourth had a place available but it was really, really pricey.

It was so pricey, I started looking for other alternatives. The other alternatives turned out to be: (a) a corporate studio apartment a substantial distance away, which would kick my commute time up to at least 45 minutes each way, and put me far away from my friends, grocery store, and life in general; and (b) a local "Extended Stay Hotel," which was not inexpensive by any means, but was right next to the freeway (not in a good way), and if online reviews were any guide, was a disgusting rat trap with mold in the bathrooms and stains on the sheets.

I took a look at my "estimated closing statement" from the condo sale, and decided that maybe I could use a little bit of the aforementioned big pile of money to pay the additional rent expense of living in the Pasadena furnished corporate apartment. Throwing myself on the mercy of their account rep, I actually got a bit of a discount on it -- which is really impressive, given that it's the only available corporate apartment in Pasadena, so someone totally gets a gold star in customer service for that.

I have the apartment starting tomorrow. Movers are coming on Tuesday (conveniently, I get the day off, so I can be here with them) to box up all my stuff and put it in storage.

Two days ago I got a PO Box, so my mail will be accessible wherever I happen to be living.

Yesterday, I called everyone who sends me bills (or money) I gave them my change of addy info. I also turned off my utilities as of Thursday.

Today I start packing; tomorrow I move me and the cat into the corporate apartment. Seemed wise to do that on a weekend so I can spend some time with her while she's getting acclimated to the new digs. (Anticipate never seeing my "pet security deposit" again, but hoping for the best. And putting the cat on a weekly claw-clipping schedule, with daily anti-hairball treats.)

I've far passed the point of hope hope hoping this escrow will close, and am now at the point of having to act on the assumption that it will. Which is pretty cool.

Monday, November 3, 2008

An Open Note to President-Elect Obama

Well done. A decisive victory. Yes, you did.

And, if I may, I just want to give you a few words of advice for the job you will soon be taking on:

Don't screw it up.

And I mean this not so much in a policy way (although, yes, it would be nice if just once, when a party takes control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the party doesn't go off the deep end with an agenda advanced by party radicals, rather than a more moderate approach), I mean it in a more intangible way.

You've run on hope. It looks pretty stupid when I see it on the screen, but, in a lot of ways, it's true. People voted for you because they genuinely believed that you're different; that you're capable of leading this country in a better direction; that you're not just another Washington politician. You've galvanized the youth, and many of my own generation, in a way I've never actually seen before.

Let me put it this way: I was born in 1968. My political awareness pretty much started with Nixon's resignation. And from then on, it has never been in fashion to really like the government and the dude heading up the Executive Branch. Whether the President has been a Republican or a Democrat, cynicism has been the preferred attitude toward the man in the oval office. And you've managed to undo that -- to get people to actually feel positive about you and our nation's future. "The Audacity of Hope" indeed.

Now the problem is -- that's one hell of a campaign promise to deliver on.

We've been screwed on this once before. Bill Clinton gave my generation a glimmer of hope that he was actually one of us -- when he campaigned on MTV, played his sax on Arsenio Hall's show, and admitted smoking pot. But he quashed that hope -- long before he started hitting on externs -- as early as when he signed his first bill into law as President. Because he wasn't "Bill" anymore; he was "William Jefferson Clinton" -- and that was when I first realized that I'd been played, and that Bill was just some character he'd used to get my vote.

People believe in you, Barack (can I call you Barack?) -- and you've encouraged that, with rousing speeches and "Yes we can." It's pretty remarkable, when you think about it, that you've actually got otherwise cynical people believing in government, especially given the fairly crappy situation in which this country finds itself. But now that you've done that, it is vitally important that you deliver. It isn't just about getting the economy out of the dumpster, getting a decent exit strategy on the war in Iraq, finding alternative sources of energy, and dealing with looming foreign policy crises (although, of course, that would be nice). It's about the fact that you've got a nation's faith in you and in the idea that if we vote the right person into office, that person will act honorably and decently, and be someone we can actually be proud to call our President.

And if you betray that belief, Lord only knows when any of us will ever try hoping again.

Do not screw this up.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Can we have the election already? Please?

Now that my condo is in escrow (YAY!) I need to find a house to buy. This should be easy, with the economy where it is. It isn't.

And, even more surprising, over the past few weeks, there have been no new listings in my area. Nada.

My real estate agent thinks that things will pick up again after the election, but that, right now, everyone is in waiting mode.

I think she's right. I'm not entirely sure what sort of thought process would lead to the idea of "well, I need to sell my house, but let's not post the listing until after the election," but I just have this gut feeling that she's right. There's this almost national "holding your breath" going on right now. For Obama supporters, I think it's that the election seems to be pretty much in our grasp, and we're just hoping that nothing screws it up between now and Tuesday night. For McCain supporters, it's probably more a matter of hoping that the polls are wrong (a not necessarily unreasonable belief) and that there will be an upset. But either way, I think we all just want to know what's going to happen with this country already. There may be some immediate economic effects after the election -- could be that the stock market will pick up if investors feel as though the electorate made the right decision. But, basically, I think we all just want it to be resolved, so we can move on with our lives.

I'm certainly noticing that I'm getting snippier of late. Indeed, I'm almost like I was when waiting for Bar Exam results. Sure, I was fine shortly after the exam, but as we approached that weekend when I knew the results would arrive in my mailbox, I got a little touchy. The day before, I was nearly ripping heads off (especially when people would innocently ask if I passed yet) -- and, that afternoon, when I knew that the results were in my mailbox at home but I couldn't get to it, I was pretty much a basket case. I'm feeling that same ramping out right now -- I just can't bring myself to focus on anything except wanting to know the election results.