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April 2, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Amazingly, it all came together. The photo shoot was this afternoon, and the house looked great. The photographer took some excellent shots. They will combine them into a virtual tour, set to upbeat music. The purpose, I am told, is not to document everything about the house, but rather to attract people to come look in person. Let's hope it works. I will post the link here when it's available, probably Friday or next Monday. On Friday, I complete the dreaded "disclosures", and then we visit other properties for sale in service of setting the price. I can already see how that's going to go --- the price I have in mind is probably above what people are asking for comparable or better houses -- so the price will have to be set lower. I am psychologically prepared to price it to sell. Someone will get a peach of a house at a bargain. I am also psychologically prepared to prune like crazy at my office. The official estimate came in at 6 - 7,000 lbs from the office. I do NOT need to schlep more than 3 tons of books and papers with me across country. Today, 3000 interview audiotapes went into secure destruction, and I plan to divest myself of almost all journals that are available online.

Posted by hgroteva at 7:33 PM

April 4, 2008

Ready to Debut

The hot tub service company came out today - the spa is working very well, although the heater coil had to be replaced. On the work order the service man wrote, "Spa has been inspected. All functions of spa are in perfect shape." - in case any potential buyers wonder. The realtor spent a few hours making detailed measurements inside and out. The photos and virtual tour will hit the website Monday (I will post a link), and the open house / luncheon for realtors is at 11:00 Tuesday. I rode with the realtors and looked at 4 other houses on the market today in Falcon Heights - I think our asking price is quite reasonable; in fact, I would say the house is priced to sell. Truly, the house has never looked this good! I just hope that the folks who own the house I eventually will buy are preparing it as well.

Posted by hgroteva at 6:05 PM

April 5, 2008

THE Virtual Tour is up!

The Virtual Tour of the house is now available. Here is the link; go there and click on "VHT Tour - Video" in the upper right corner

Tell your friends!

Posted by hgroteva at 7:26 PM

April 8, 2008

Buy This House!

The house is now officially on the market. Click here to see the official listing. Be sure to take the virtual tour (click on the "virtual tour" button beneath the photos.)

Over 20 realtors toured the house today and had lunch, courtesy of our agent. By all reports, people really liked the house, felt it was in excellent shape, and felt that there definitely should be one or more buyers for it. I hope they're right. Now it's just a matter of leaving it pristine every morning as I go to work. But that's fine, if it sells.

Spread the word!

Posted by hgroteva at 7:38 PM

April 12, 2008

Musical Farewells

Even though much of my time is being taken up with preparing to move, I've had two wonderful musical adventures in the past few weeks. I'll talk about the most recent one at this sitting. On Thursday night, Mark and I went to hear Anoushka Shankar at Orchestra Hall. Click here for the program notes. I first heard her on 89.3 The Current several months ago, when they played a piece from her 2007 CD "Breathing Under Water." I loved iits mixture of classical Indian sounds and contemporary western beats. I've listened to it quite a few times; the tunes stay with me.

Breathing Under Water.jpg

Ms. Shankar is 26 years old - she is the daughter of Ravi Shankar and the half-sister of Norah Jones. She has been performing publicly for half her life. Her official website is quite visually appealing - take a look.

Thursday night featured horrible weather -- we were in the midst of a spring snow / slush / ice / sleet / rain storm, accompanied by thunder and lightning (Minnesota's famous "thundersnow.") I thought Orchestra Hall would be thinly populated, but I think it was full, or almost so. The ensemble included 5 folks: Anoushka Shankar on sitar, Tanmoy Bose on tabla (incredible!), Sanjeev Shankar on tanpura, Leo Dombecki on piano, and Jesse Charnow on drums. A spectacular group.

This was her first appearance in the Twin Cities. At one point, she said "What's with this weather?" - and people understood. (She said she was heading back to San Diego -- the American city with the most perfect climate, IMHO.) The audience was what I would call "slow to warm up" - but maybe it was the weather. By the end of the evening, however, people were smiling, shouting, bravo-ing, and applauding loudly - it was a love affair.

Many of the pieces they played were ragas. According to Wikipedia:
"RÄ?ga (Sanskrit, lit. "colour" or "mood"; or rÄ?gam in Carnatic music) refers to melodic modes used in Indian classical music.[1] It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is founded. In the Indian musical tradition, ragas are held in different times of the day. Indian classical music is always set in raga. Non-classical music such as popular Indian film songs sometimes use ragas in their compositions." The entry is much longer; for further information click here.

All in all, it was a delightful evening. It was Mark's first time at Orchestra Hall (not that he hadn't been offered opportunities before), and he truly enjoyed it. He talked about coming back down for Sommerfest. I asked if he had thought about playing an instrument, and he said he'd prefer to be a sound technician - he'd be great.

Posted by hgroteva at 6:27 PM

April 20, 2008


It took a while to come, but I am now fully able to get rid of stuff with the best of 'em. Since the house was having showings or open houses most of the weekend, I spent a lot of time at the office going through stuff. I filled another 2 recycling barrels and have several more boxes of paper in my office waiting for the barrels to be empty again. Most of my file cabinets are now pared back to the most important paper that I intend to take. I've also identified at least 50 books and shelves of journals that I will put out for graduate students to go through.

It's hard to make decisions about how much research and teaching documentation to keep. The university and APA have records retention guidelines, but in a 20 + year longitudinal study, it's really important to keep some of the source documents. Nevertheless, I've concluded that I have way too much paper. It's all interesting, but most of it will never be needed again. My goal is to move as unencumbered as possible. There's so much more to do before the moving van pulls up in 33 days.

Posted by hgroteva at 6:58 PM

April 27, 2008

Old Friends

I've been putting off this decision for a long time, and today was the day to make it. Shall I leave my LPs and turntable behind, or drag them along on this move? I've gotten pretty good at pitching stuff in the past few weeks, so I felt ready to confront the decision. When the time was right, I was rested, and the light was good, I sat down next to the cupboard where the LPs are stored.

And what did I discover? Many old friends! Many that brought a smile to my face or a memory to my mind's eye. Just as with the coffee cup collection in my office, I can tell a story about most of the LPs that remain. It wasn't a difficult decision to make - I'll be taking my friends with me. (If I had time, I'd get an LP to CD converter and digitize them, but that is simply impossible for now.)

As a nod to my need to trim, I identified about 50 LPs I can let go of. Some are ones I had purchased CDs of, and others are ones that I'm just not interested in any more. A few I have on "greatest hits" CDs, but there's something about the memory of the songs in their exact order that brings that smile. It's odd, but when I hear a greatest hit CD, I get disoriented when the songs are in a different order than on an LP I played a zillion times. (This happens rarely, and only about certain LPs I care a lot about or have very vivid memories attached to.)

Do I have eclectic tastes? Judge for yourself. Here are a few I didn't want to part with.

Phoebe Snow.jpg

Phoebe Snow, "Second Childhood" (1976). This may have been her first album. I love her unique voice.

Twin Sons.jpg

Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg "Twin Sons of Different Mothers" (1978). A wonderful collaboration (flute & guitar). Fogelberg died in December of prostate cancer at the age of 56.

Zeffirelli Romeo Juliet.jpg

Soundtrack to Zeffirelli's "Romeo & Juliet". I loved this movie and the score - it really made Shakespeare accessible. And Olivia Hussey was a great Juliet.

Missa Papae Marcelli.jpg

Palestrina, "Missa Papae Marcelli" - This was a Deutsche Grammophone Archiv recording - It always felt like an extravagance to buy these, but it was worth it! This sealed my love of sacred choral music.


"The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds" -- 'celestial counterpoint with words and music' The back cover says "must be played in the dark" -- Hey, I went to college in the 60s!

Howdy Doody.jpg

"Howdy Doody and Santa Claus" This is a 78 rpm set from my childhood (1953) - How could I let go of this friend?
Why does all the world look bright
On this very merry night?
All because of Santa Claus,
Hurray for Santa Claus.
From his wrinkley nose
To his twinkley toes
Hurray for Santa Claus!

Where would we be without friends??

Posted by hgroteva at 12:06 PM