Yesterday was a bit of a rough day. I woke up and started cooking -- that was fun, but also a bit stressful as we started coming close to serving time. Limited time, lots to do. When I'm cooking in that situation, I tend to get a big adrenaline rush; it's oddly exciting, timing everything carefully in my head, moving quickly. I feel a bit like a general marshalling her troops: "Little pastries -- out of the oven! Mushroom biryani, in! Bake for 30 minutes! Milk toffee, set, damn you, set! Fried onions, go go go!" A few minor injuries were sustained in the line of duty (one finger cut, one finger burn), which slowed things down, but we did finish on time, even if it came right down to the wire.
We served: mango-orange punch, mushroom biryani (new recipe, excellent!), coconut sambol, chili-lime-mango salad, ginger-garlic chicken pastries, shrimp toasts, curried mushroom tea sandwiches, curried egg salad tea sandwiches, mango chutney-cream cheese tea sandwiches, potato curry buns, beef curry buns, milk toffee. Great spread, enough food for about 100 normal people at a tea, devoured in less than half an hour by 75 ravenous mathematicians. It was good to watch them eat. :-) It was also satisfying to me to do something for the math department; they went to some effort to try to coordinate a job at UIC in the English department for me, so it was nice to have a chance to give something back to them, even if indirectly.
So the cooking was all good and fun, but inevitably also tiring. My right arm was aching (I *wish* I was more ambidextrous; I've tried stirring with my left, and it's a dismal failure), my feet were hurting. I think I put in close to a dozen hours cooking, spread over three days. Kevin put in a few more. Not something I'd want to take on more than a couple times a year. And I was so tired from lack of sleep, and somewhat overwrought about the house stuff. So when I went to wake Kevin up yesterday morning, and we tried to talk a little about this house decision, I ended up bursting into tears for half an hour (which of course messed with the cooking schedule).
Just goofy -- I was so emotional, about a house that I didn't even know about three days ago. I just kept picturing it in my head -- the tall faded brick interior walls, which gave it a sort of castle-ish feel. The part with the little half-stairways, all going off in different directions, like something out of Hogwarts. (That's Harry Potter's wizarding school). An entirely irrational affection; I do agree with Kevin that in many ways the house is less than ideal.
The kitchen is only 9x10 -- workable, but a bit small, considering how much time we both spend in there, and how many larger kitchens we've seen. There are really only two bedrooms, both a bit smaller than the one we have now. The supposed third bedroom is a 9x10 box, without closets. If we took it, we'd probably rather just knock out the wall, make it a charming nook that would be open to the light and space -- but that might make it harder to resell, since we'd then have to advertise a two-bedroom space. And perhaps worst of all, there's a super-steep staircase up to the office space and the roof deck -- bad for resale, a bit dangerous for day-to-day life. To make it functional, you'd have to extend the office on the roof, I think, so you could put in a larger, turning staircase. If that's even allowed; we're not sure. Oh, and I forgot to mention yesterday that we (and our realtor) think it's significantly over-priced, by about $40-50K. So yes, there are problems with the place.
I just don't care. I love it, I want it. I may not get to have it, though. The realtor told us yesterday that they had just received an offer on the place. So if we want it, we should make our own offer today. We hadn't planned on moving that fast; we'd need to scrape together a minimum downpayment quickly; just barely do-able, I think, but a pain. We're going back to look at it at 2:45; if we do decide we want it, I guess we make the offer we think is reasonable (a lot less than what they're asking), and then wait to see if we beat the other offer. Apparently, they don't tell us what the other offer is, which I think is weird -- I'm not sure who that's supposed to protect. I'd think you'd want full disclosure all around?
Anyway, that's the plan. This morning, I rest and clean up -- the kitchen's a minor disaster; casualty of war. Finish a bit of grading work. Then lunch with Shailja. Then I meet Kevin at the house to look at it again. We'll see what happens.