Day 81, real estate and baseball

Tuesday, 2/19/2019

For no reason I can fathom this has been a hard day emotionally. I started with a brisk walk (brisk because the air was chilly, but the sun was bright which makes all the difference) to the Y and a little workout. Then I reviewed some more slide groups while waiting for Chuck to arrive to talk about selling this house. Maybe something in the slides? No, even before that I was just awash with, I don’t know, call it grief. I’m sure the Norwegians have a very precise term for it. Walking around the outside of the house with Chuck, I was going to point out Marian’s favorite azalea in mad bloom, and I couldn’t get the words out, my throat just locked up. Oh well.

Chuck is an old friend and, as I think I wrote on Day 78? he was also our agent in two prior real estate transactions. Today he looked over the house and the neighborhood, considered the size of the lot, and so on. I have to say, looking over the house with a third-party’s eye, its age really shows. But no matter: ISMISEP, baby. That’s our mantra.

Chuck went away to research comparables and think about whether the house will most likely sell to a developer who’d scrape it (always my and Marian’s assumption), or someone who’d want to remodel it and live in it. What depends on this is whether, or to what degree, the house should be “staged” before being shown. If the owner/occupant option is what to aim for, “staging” might go as far as remodeling the kitchen and bath, expensive stuff. A developer, however, only cares about the size of the lot, the location, and any impediments to construction — take for example, the two protected oak trees that they would have to work around.

Chuck also mentioned he works with a designer who plans his staging. I sat up at that, because a designer is exactly who I’d like to consult with, in planning the layout of a hypothetical unit at Channing House. Later in the day I obtained the floor plan for the one available unit there, the jumbo studio, and emailed to Chuck with the request that his designer give a ballpark idea on whether it could be made a livable unit with spaces for working, reading, watching TV and sleeping. Maybe nothing will come of that, but.

I started scanning some slides and was surprised and disappointed with a couple of the ones I’d selected for their pictorial quality, as I saw it looking into a hand-held slide viewer. When actually scanned and on the big monitor, however, both these turned out to be soft, not properly focused. One is a lovely composition of a water bird (a male Smew, actually) moving through the water. The light was perfect, it made the water look like liquid glass and the bird is posed just right. Except, damn it, the bird’s head and eye are not in focus. The sharp focus was just past the bird, on his tail and the water. Looked fabulous in the hand viewer, but in detail it’s a complete miss. I’m sure when we projected that slide back in ’95 we jointly lamented the bad focus. But still we kept it. Sentiment.

In the afternoon something reminded me of baseball, which reminded me I’d been talking (to myself) about getting a Stanford Baseball season ticket. Well, why not now? And I did. It was only $220 for a 35-game season and what I know is a good seat at Sunken Diamond. I compared their schedule to mine and printed out the tickets for the games I think I’ll be able to attend (about half of them).

Then I sat down to watch Gene Kelly in An American in Paris.

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