March 2006

So we own a house!

Closing was actually pretty painless, except for having to sign my names so many times that I forgot how to spell it, with the end result that the government probably thinks the co-owner of the place is named Usrul N. Venn. (The actual Usrul N. Venn is probably living somewhere on the steppes in Outer Mongolia, and may be startled by his new mortgage. I imagine he would have preferred a yurt.)

And then we went shopping. And we bought paint and blinds and curtains and power tools and scrubby things and shower curtains and drop cloths and rollers and cleaning supplies and ladders and tape measures and the $500 I had kinda hoped to move in on ran away like water. Heh heh heh. Oh, well, it’s only money. There are still a great many things I want to do–replace a particularly vile brass light fixture, replace the godawful vinyl accordion shower door, and that doesn’t even start us on the yard (bird bath! Butterfly bush! Lantana! Echinacea and bergamot!) but some of them will have to wait. At least we managed most of the immediately neccessary things. (Still need a new fume hood. The current elderly avocado number is not happy.)

But hey, we’re gonna be living there! We have time! Muahhaahah!

Meanwhile, after a day of doing nothing but sign papers, measure windows, and shop–we installed exactly one blind, and called it a day–I nevertheless feel like I fought in a war. Possibly the Revolutionary War. I am exhausted. Despite having only been awake for twelve hours, I am ready to sleep for a week.

And this is the last one! I swear! Because if my realtor doesn’t get back to me in the next hour with the total for closing costs so I can get a cashier’s check, I’m gonna drop dead of anxiety and never paint again!

Tomorrow morning, we close.

This evening, we do The Final Walkthrough.

This afternoon, I have to get a cashier’s check for some ludicrous sum for closing costs.

This morning, I am sitting at my desk and twitching like a gaffed fish. My hands tremble. My stomach roils. My bowels…actually, let’s just leave them out of this. Overall, I am as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Having said all that, let me add that so far, buying a house has been surprisingly painless. I think buying a car was worse, even if it took a lot less time. Now that we’re down to the wire, though, I am waiting for Stuff To Go Wrong, and I’m sweating and twitchy and the Anxiety Creature that lives under my xiphoid process is stumping around the cage of my ribs and running its little tin cup over the bars.

In specific, the toilets. For no reason I can determine, on some level I am secretly convinced we will get there and find they never installed the new toilets. This seems highly unlikely, and anyway, we would refuse to close until we got our damn toilets, but the Anxiety Creature is not susceptible to such logic. It knows there will be no toilets. And probably no carpet. And a dead deer in the driveway.*

It’ll be better soon enough, but for the moment, I’m twitchy as hell.

*Our realtor had this happen to her once. She was showing a house, drove up with the clients, and discovered that the homeowner had selected this time to begin cleaning a dead deer, in his driveway.

This one’s for Batty Den, and his longsuffering care of those adorable echidna puggles!

Also, any excuse to draw puggles in diapers.

Power, cable, gas, internet, water & sewer & trash, oh my!

Making all the calls so that we’re not sitting in a darkened house without running water come Friday. I should also Really Really Really be working on Digger, since there’s no chance I’ll get to work on it this coming weekend, but my brain is still full of advertising labels. White Wombat Flour! Ask for it by name! Platypus Papaya tea! Stinkin’ Shrew Soap! The only soap good enough to be called “stinkin’ shrew!”

…Tanuki plum tea! (Heh heh heh. I have a sophomoric sense of humor.)

Actually, it’s pretty funny–since inevitably, people don’t read the descriptions, I’ve gotten a coupla comments on the tanuki like “Dude. Those kinda look like balls!” and “Are those testicles!?” Through sheer volume, it no longer bothers me when people don’t read the descriptions (though I can’t help but feel that they’re missing the best part with mine!) but I still find it vaguely amusing.

I’d get these on Cafepress mugs, but I’m not sure about the quality. I like a big solid mug, myself, and I suspect the Cafepress ones are the cheap, rather narrow kind. Still, I suppose ordering from a bigger merchandising place would break the bank, and require an order far in excess of what I could hope to move. Anybody gotten Cafepress mugs recently? They respectable?

My, that was a yummy mango.

Another tea label! This time featuring a tanuki, which I’ve never drawn before, so I’ll issue a blanket “If your workplace has a problem with stylized tanuki testicles, this is NSFW.”

And there’s another statement I wasn’t sure I’d utter in this lifetime…

I dunno about the design, the colors are a little sedate, but I do rather like the tanuki.


over at Metal and Magic

or VCL!

(Man, tough gettin’ this one up…)

Another sign I’m getting old (or perhaps that my fans are getting younger and younger…)

Instead of “I love your art! Will you marry me?”, I’m getting “I love your art! Will you adopt me?”

My feelings about this are mixed. Oh, well, at least they like the art…

Dad beat the HOA!

Apparently the HOA’s lawyer told them flat out that they’d lose the case, and it would cost them a lot of money they didn’t have, so they publically and grumpily dropped the case against Dad’s solar panels. He’s still going to go speak to the Senate on behalf of solar power in spite of HOAs, though. Woo!

Hey, it’s a big kitchen. I needed at least two labels!

I wish I could effortlessly turn out the kind of sleekly minimalist shapes that some artists excel at–alas, my nature is to slather on rather than trim away. I’m still not sure how I got the original wombat that slimmed down to begin with! So the capybara’s not quite so iconic, but I hope it still works.

It’s funny. We always give lip service to the fact, but it really is true–I could have painted most of a damn capybara, every coarse hair and every glistening bead of rodent snot on the quivering nostrils, in the time it took me to pare down the design that far and look like anything worth keeping.

Decided to do a set of the Wombat Tea labels for my own kitchen (at least, if all goes according to plan.)

I’m not sure about the dead space on this one. It’d be nice to put in “Wombat on Ice” or something, but I suspect it’d get too cluttered. If anybody has any suggestions, design, as I’ve said many times, is Not My Strong Suit.

And following an excellent suggestion:

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