Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's the Day

This morning my partner and I waited outside our bank as it opened to get the certified checks we would need to buy the business. The denim clad employee whose un-eaten begal
and steaming coffee called to him throughout our transaction took our life savings out of our account, more out of our new HELOC obtained for the purpose, and printed our official looking checks.

We met all the parties at our landlord's office, where our lawyer had used a whole roll of sticky tabs to mark all the places we and the sellers had to sign. We pushed the checks across the table, and it was done.

To celebrate, we shared breakfast with the now-previous owners, all 4 of us swimming in a surreal, transitional space. We chatted about the store and music and facebook until we couldn't put it off any longer; we each departed for our new lives.

My partner and I arrived home to a bottle of Champagne left by a friend on our doorstep, and he headed off for his first day of work, where my mom had sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

A new era in our lives has begun.
I hope those blank checks arrive soon...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2 Days

We finally got our insurance guy on the phone- he says our liability insurance (required by the landlord to start our lease) is "in progress" and "should be no problem" getting us covered for the closing on Friday.

Still waiting for our checks

Still waiting for our business credit card

Received a giant box containing our brand new banner (Thanks Guy!)

Our Bookkeeping-tutor is coming next week after the close to show us how to do Payroll.

Our merchant-services company says it "will probably be okay" to go in Thursday night and switch from the current owners account to our account.

Authorized our first special order, had to ask for COD (see "Still waiting for Credit Card" above)

Our son asks "when does dad get his new job?"

2 days honey. Your dad will be the manager of his own music store in 2 days.

Monday, February 23, 2009

4 Days

The bookkeeper came last Thursday to our house to help us set up Quick Books. Many hours were spent on the phone by the seller to make sure we can have continuous phone service (this is in jeopardy as we are switching providers, and the competing companies don't like to cooperate). My partner is at the store right now helping the owner count guitars- we have to have a relatively confident inventory to establish the final cost at the closing. We also have to re-hire all the current staff, so my partner is drafting a "welcome" pack for these guys who have been there for years.

We are eagerly waiting for our printed checks to come; it will feel so much more official not to be writing "starter" checks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring Rain

Today when my son and I woke to get ready for school it was dark and rainy. I promised myself I didn't have to run in the 40 degree rain, and after dropping Wuggie at school, rolled out my yoga mat in front of the window. I did my first few sun salutations, listening to the rain on the window. The rain reminds me of winter in California, and I remembered the feeling of running in the rain on a warm spring day. I refuse to think of 40 as warm, but I thought about how it is not supposed to get out of 20s in the next 10 days, put on my running shoes and rain jacket and headed out.

This time of year is as awkward as child entering adolescence. The piles of ice and snow left by the plows, now dark with exhaust and dirt, still squat on every corner, though every other surface is covered with the damp degrading fall leaves now clear of snow, and things are just kind of muddy. I was shocked to see the first shoots of crocuses poking through under a bush by my front steps, and hope they will be okay as the ground re-freezes later this week. I ran along a creek filled with rushing brown water, the drainage of not only the rain but the melted snow. There was one giant iceburg in the middle behind which the ducks were hiding. As I ran downstream giant rectangles of ice had broken free and smashed into one another in a kind of spring-thaw rush hour traffic jam. Further downstream yet the ice was solid, and I imagined the water rushing below it to the lake.

Leaving behind so many dear friends in California, I always think of them when the weather does something weird. "Come look at this!" I want to say, but by the time they got on a plane and flew 3000 miles, the brown speckled songbird would probably have moved out from under the bush, and the ice would have moved downstream. And so I blog, in a vain attempt to share it. This one's for you guys.

15 Days

The close (on our purchase of the music store) has been officially moved up to the 27th! It started to feel real when my partner had to call NYSEG to get the utilities transferred into our name. He has designed a new logo which our friend Guy is making into a banner for us as a business-warming gift (thanks Guy!) We have a band to play at our grand re-opening party on April 17, and our landlord says we can HAVE a grand reopening party, and reminded us to contact the press.

Today we are submitting our application for credit card services and meet with our Business Services Banker for the first time. My partner is trying to figure out why the owners currently pay so much for web hosting, while being on hold with various phone companies. Wow. It's really happening.

Monday, February 09, 2009

It's not me!

When our outdoor thermometer broke we replaced it with an indoor-outdoor. I put it here by my desk so I can see how cold it really is out there. Just for kicks I switched it over to "indoor" -- it was 60 in here by my computer desk. Turns out the register in this room is not getting warm for some reason. While we try to decide if it's worth calling the furnace guy out to fix it I've dragged the space heater up from the basement and turned the rest of the house down to 64. Our dog, who normally keeps me company here in the office while I work, looked suspiciously at the heater a few times, whimpered, and then went to hang out with my husband. The thermometer now reads 62.6 and I can't believe how much warmer it feels. And here all this time I thought I was just a California wimp. I will keep wearing my wool socks and wool sweaters, but I'm relieved not to have to knit those fingerless gloves I thought would be my salvation for cold mornings at the computer.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

20 Days (or maybe 18?)

We met with the owners of the music store last night. We haven't talked to them since our first meeting- lawyers have been doing all our talking for us. We met them at the store and finally had a tour of all the strange little nooks and crannies, and got to ask them all our questions. (Our son even got to try a banjo.) They are good folks and were very kind and patient and sad to have to sell their store. My partner is getting a better sense of what he will be doing day to day, and he says "it seems like a lot of work." Some things have been done the same way for decades, and we wonder what we will be able to update right away and what things will have to wait. Generally we feel like continuity is the key. A gradual smooth transition. There is plenty of time for everything else. We hope to be at this for a while.

Since March 1 is a Sunday, we are going to try to move the closing up to the 27th.

Friday, February 06, 2009

22 Days

Yesterday we came to an agreement on the lease for the store. Tomorrow we meet with the current owners to ask our list of questions. Our favorite band has agreed to play the "Grand Re-Opening" party. Next? Credit Cards; how does that work?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Not in Berkeley Any More

I was driving home form work the other day, and the one public radio station near the church was having a pledge drive so I hit seek on the radio. Many Christian Stations. One preacher was talking about the very same bible story I had talked about the week before (Jonah) so I let him talk. Shortly he came to say "I can't imagine anything that would make me more afraid than to come before God on Judgment day having stood in the pulpit and said that the bible is not the literal inerrant word of God divinely inspired." I felt like he was talking about me specifically. Except he kept calling these preachers who talk about metaphor and symbol as "he." "She!" I called back to the unhearing voice. He went on to talk about the nerve of these preachers to pretend to follow God, pretend to have faith. It started to rankle.

Especially since that same week I learned that the UU church is not invited to participate in the local cooperative that addresses poverty in our county because we are "not Christian." Now I have recently had occasion to explain on more than one occasion that although Unitarian Universalism has Christian roots, and there are Christian UUs, I don't happen to be one of them. So I'm not going to try to have it both ways. If the cooperative is only for Christians, I'm not going to argue semantics. But I don't really see what doctrine has to do with caring for God's children. It's a theological climate that is very different from the one I left behind in the San Francisco Bay Area, and even different from the one I leave behind each time I drive across the border from my home in Ithaca.

Added to "To Do" list- stop 'round the Jewish and Muslim communities in the county and say hello.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

25 Days

Yesterday we made a corporation. Our lawyer (I can't believe I have a lawyer) is sending in the papers to the Secretary if State. Next our Lawyer is drawing up by-laws to be adopted at our first shareholder's meeting. Now we are on familiar territory. If there is one thing a UU minister knows it is by-laws and annual meetings.