Bat Mitzvah Chronicles
Not really an update from our end, but progress toward the great destination. The sixth grade had their service on Friday night: in twos and threes they led every song and prayer, from up on the bimah. M was the only one who went solo: she introduced the evening. She also led a prayer with I think two other kids and talked about her class's mitzvah projects. I can report with confidence that she was a total star, not just on the basis of my own bias, but on the number of compliments I got from other parents, and even grandparents (not just hers--I ran into a grandparent at the gym yesterday who asked if I was M's mom and said that they'd been commenting on how fabulous she was, and her daughter had pointed me out as M's mother!).
On the other hand, they all looked so young up there. It's really hard to believe that in a year, give or take, they'll be like those giant seventh graders, confidently parading through their very own services.
We have put down a deposit. Estimated start of construction: beginning of May.
Three contractors, all highly recommended, came to meet with us. The first was enormously knowledgeable, asked tons of great questions which prepped us for the others, had great ideas, gave us a ballpark figure half again as much as the top of what we'd been prepared to spend, and then told us that he'd met with the Town building inspection dudes and it was impossible to do what we want (Town has some wacko zoning laws that serious circumscribe our project) (in case you've forgotten, or never knew, the project is turning the third floor, currently a small under-used room and a large attic, into three bedrooms and a bathroom).
The second came in, looked around, asked a lot of dumb questions, made some bad suggestions (if you've got floorspace issues, why would you put in an extra piece of hallway?), left, and was never heard from again, as we predicted. I'm sure he's great at what he does, but this project was clearly too much for him.
The third came in, looked around, and said he could do it. Did he have questions? No. Was he worried about permitting? No. Then he came in with a bid that was significantly less than the minimum we expected to spend. Too good to be true? Good friends of ours swear by him, and say they know many people he's worked for and everyone loves him. One of his clients who lives in our neighborhood called us, at his behest, and invited us over to see her third floor, where he did basically what we want for our third floor. Beautiful work, legally permitted, and she loves him too.
We are waiting for the shoe to drop, but we've put down a deposit (the contract is on the dining room table, waiting for S to review--it looked fine to me, but he, probably with good reason, wanted to see for himself).
In the last two weeks I have turned down two temporary job offers and withdrawn from a search after a finalist interview. I've also gotten one new piece of work and am almost certainly about to get another long-term contract. My two current long-term contracts want me to stay on. The job I withdrew from was a job job, not a consulting position, and a job I thought I wanted. But the interview was unpleasant and I thought, why give up all this work I'm doing that I like, with great people, and lots of flexibility, just to have a job? So I think I have just made a conceptual shift from "I am consulting until I get a job," to "I am a consultant," though of course I wouldn't turn down the perfect job.
Horton Hears a Who
Tedious. I fell asleep.
Moderately in check at the moment. One thing I will say for this crisis is that it has revealed new levels of awesomeness in my husband. I'm not one to go around praising my husband in this blog (for that, see Dawn). Usually he's either not around, or I'm annoyed by him (please take that with the light sprinkling of salt with which it was intended). But I totally dragged him into this crisis without even asking, and he has risen to the occasion, and beyond, to the point that he is now even more committed to doing the right thing than I am.
There are some crocuses. There are some green shoots. Yesterday the air was bitter. Today it is soft.
The terrible substitute teacher of the bad yoga class? She redeemed herself the next week with an absolutely delightful class. This morning I was supposed to go with C and Neighborhood K to some special spring yoga class that P's husband was playing guitar for, but of course I didn't sign up in time (uh, try last night) and it was full. So I went to my regular yoga class and the up-and-down sub is gone and the regular teacher is back and it was again delightful, lots of shoulder and hip openers and crazy semi-lotus poses (there was a name for it, but I forget--one knee bent and shin going back alongside thigh with top of foot on floor, and then the other leg does all sorts of bending and lifting and stretching--very nice, as Jenny would say). So I'm feeling all open and stretched and relaxed.
I think that's it, for now.