Wednesday, August 01, 2007

 
I’ve become a Harry Potter widow. I told Fritz this morning that I assume it’s his revenge for my obsession with opera. He reads the new book in bed in the morning when he wakes up, at night in bed before he goes to sleep, and in his normal reading and TV chair in the evening. He’s about half way through it now. He reads Harry Potter like I read history and biography. I’ve never read a single Harry Potter book or seen any of the movies beyond TV clips.

I think this is very healthy. We have so much in common and love doing so many things together that it’s good we each have some interests that are exclusively ours. Fritz told some friends that the range of interests between us could be judged by Saturday the 21st of July when I spent five hours at the Metropolitan Opera watching the Kirov Ring production and he was at the movies watching Harry Potter 5.

*******

I received a note from blog friend Alan Ilagan, a writer from upstate New York, celebrating the tenth anniversary of his coming out via a letter in his local newspaper. He’s put the text of that letter onto yesterday’s post to http://www.alanilagan.com/ and it’s well worth reading, a beautifully reasoned yet deeply personal statement to his friends and greater community. Bravo, Alan and happy anniversary!

*******

We go up to the construction site at least once and usually twice a day or even more. The excavation phase was long and sometimes fraught with delays but now that construction has begun—especially, I suspect, in a depressed market for new house construction—it’s all happening pretty quickly. The electrician and plumber were there as soon as the general contractor needed them and he has told us on a couple of occasions that the framers are good to go just as soon as the slab is poured and has cured.

We saw today that the drains out of the first floor had been set in the bed of crushed rock that had been laid by the excavator over the insulation panels that had been laid at the bottom of the excavation. Rolls of wire reinforcement grid are on site and the next phase is to get them laid out and the heating pipes installed on the grid. When all that’s complete, the slab is poured four inches thick, six inches at the edges. With luck, the slab may be poured on Saturday, meaning that the framers could be on site as early as Monday.

As we came down the hill to go to lunch today, I commented to Fritz what a complex piece of work a modern house is. Ours will be somewhat involved given that we’re producing our own electricity and will have radiant heat and a couple of extra features like a sauna in the house and a hot tub outside. But we won’t have a highly technological place with computers turning on and off a ventilation system, turning lights on and off, security cameras or a major home theater installation. Still, the coordination of details in the schedule of the construction, and the amount of checking and confirmation that needs to be done as we progress, make me very happy my house sold as early in the game as it did.

Frankly, I’m not sure that it would have sold this summer if E hadn’t come along and fallen in love with it. In the two or so months since I accepted his offer, the so called “bottom” of the existing home sale market in Boston has dropped further and further, each month bringing progressively greater and greater numbers of foreclosed housed flooding onto the market. Median selling price is dropping lower and lower. I wonder at the heartbreak and suffering of the many, many families who are being turned out of their houses. The latest estimates are that the market may not begin to recover until some time late in 2009.

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I’ve spent this week doing all the things needed to get my car to be a proper New Hampshire resident. Fritz’s insurance company accepted me as his domestic partner over the phone when I said we were married in Massachusetts, even though this is New Hampshire, and without asking for any paperwork to prove it. So we get the family discount and both our rates go down. Not alone that New Hampshire’s rates are incredibly lower than those in Massachusetts which has an antiquated, unfair and corrupt system, but with the family discount from The Hartford, my annual premium will drop from $1760 to around $450--with better coverage and lower deductibles into the bargain.

With the insurance I was able to register the Jeep and get my new “Live Free or Die” license plates with a graphic of the iconic Old Man of the Mountain rock formation that became the Old Pile of Rocks at the Foot of the Mountain on May 3, 2003. Natural weathering finally and catastrophically overcame all the steel rods and injections of epoxy the state had been using to try to keep New Hampshire’s symbol and major tourist attraction from dropping off the top of the cliff. Suggestions from the governor that a Disneyesque plastic recreation be hung in the Old Man’s place blessedly were never realized.

Now you see him . . . .

Now you don't.

Today I got my new license or, rather, my temporary 60 day license that is given only to those just moving in from out of state. The real license comes in the mail once the state checks me out to make sure that I’m not some sort of undesirable.

If they only knew!

Comments:
My god, you'll never get that car license, will you? I mean, after they discover who you really are! And there's good news about Harry Potter......it's only a book, so there will be an end to it. Sometime. I emailed Alan about his 10th Anniversary....isn't that great? It was my tenth earlier this year. 1997 must have been a good year to come out.
 
Fritz: Check out this link on the artist who did the horses at the Portland Airport:

http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/6aa/6aa320.htm
 
So much in life we take for granted. The Old Man of the Mountain was something I first glimpsed as a youngster around age six or so. It was something that seemed like it would always be there, much like the World Trade Center, and that bridge in Minnesota.

The loss of that natural monument which gave a name to Profile Lake, was probably hard on the psyche of the average New Hampahirite...it was the state symbol, on the state quarter, the ilcense plate, everything.

And now he's gone, like some childlike concept of God.
 
No doubt some fundy somewhere has taken the old man of the mountain crumbling to the base as a portent of the wrath of "god".

I read my new Harry Potter for eleven hours straight the other day until my eyes were unfocused and bleary and my soul was satisfied. I have stood in line-ups to buy the book. I own a Quidditch jersey. I guess you can say I am one of the Harry muggles of the world ... and loving it.
 
At least he's not playing EverQuest/World of Warcraft. :-p
 
Go Fritz! I didn't wait in line at midnight for the final HP installment, but I got up early Saturday morning to get my copy at Costco and had finished it by Sunday afternoon. Now I'm rereading it at a more leisurely pace. The ball and chain is all "My God, didn't you read that once already," and I'm all "Step back, bitch! How many times have you seen La Boheme?"
 
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