Thursday, July 30, 2009


Went swimming again and it was awesome. Since then I've been entertaining myself by reading articles about the best way to prepay a mortgage. Apparently there are options. Prepay, invest, emergency fund, home improvements, other savings... I spend my work life prioritizing items, so this should be a piece of cake, right?

In this case it's more about optimism. Do I think Jer or I will lose our jobs? Do I think the house needs maintenance?

If you've ever read an entry here, you know this is what I do for fun. I spend a lot of time playing the "what if" game. You're remarkably patient if you're still reading.

I don't think I've mentioned yet that we picked up the keys and closed successfully. So you know, yay. Only two weeks-ish to go.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Staying cool

Seattle set an all-time record high today of over 100 degrees. Ouch. We even have smog out there. It's like I never left southern CA. And then there's the humidity...

So, for the first time in four years, I put on my swimsuit and went in the backyard pool. I swam for about an hour and it was heavenly.

I'd been avoiding the pool because I felt bad about never helping to clean it. The owners take turns with the chemicals and I never signed up. But today? Screw it. I'm going for a dip. And I did. The end.

In other news if you sign mortgage documents you should probably check to make sure you're using blue ink. No reason.

Monday, July 27, 2009

burying the lede

You don't want to hear it; it's hot. You don't know what hot is, you say. Fine, I say. But I actually do know a little about heat. Hyperthyroidism meant I spent a lot of my life uncomfortably sweating -- as opposed to comfortably sweating -- with the added bonus of a heartbeat that never went less than 110 beats per minute. So you know what? An ultrasound to the thyroid later I totally get to bitch about the heat, even if I'm obviously sensitive about it, okay?

I'm glad we got that out of the way.

And it's only in the 90s. I am a freaking delicate flower.

So today I guess we bought a house. The guy at the escrow office never called us to confirm, but we checked the county records and confirmed it's official. We couldn't make it to the Realtor's office before they closed to get our keys, so we'll do that tomorrow. Kind of anti-climactic since we don't move in for two and a half weeks.

And in two weeks I have a birthday. Two years ago on my birthday I got engaged. Last year on my birthday I was just coming back from Japan. This year I'll be a homeowner. So there ya go. You just never know.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

getting my endorsement

It's a beautiful sunny Sunday and getting warmer all the time.

The motorcycle class was pretty fun. I knew it would be intense and I was more concerned with getting my endorsement, so I opted to take the class on a scooter. This is considered acceptable cheating. In the end both Jer and I got our endorsements, which means we passed the riding and written tests, and can update our driver's licenses.

The first day started in a classroom at 8am. About 12 of us watched videos, read from a booklet, and proved we had appropriate footwear. We took a break for lunch and then at 12:30pm met at the range across the parking lot, on the other side of a warehouse. We were given helmets and assigned bikes and taken through each step at a decent speed.

We started by walking the bikes back and forth, revving the engine, putting the bikes in neutral (I followed along as best as I could without being able to shift), power walking the bikes, and then progressed from there. The next day we focused on turns and maneuvering. We did a figure 8 -- basically two U-turns in a row -- an S-curve, a hard stop, swerve, and a lean on a curve.

The instructors were great. We took the course through Pacific NorthWest Motorcycle Safety and I would recommend them. The plan is to get our own protective gear, get our licenses updated, and then practice practice practice. We'll see where it goes from there.

I really enjoyed riding the scooter. I don't need more things to spend money on, but I could see myself riding one of those around town for short trips to the store or the mall or whatever. Plus it was really fun to take the class with Jer so I'd say it was a successful couple of days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

eat my dust

Technically I'm on vacation but it doesn't feel like it. I don't get to sleep in or stay up late or visit exotic places.

I'm taking two days of PTO (personal time off) to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

I'm brewing some coffee, watching some television, and getting ready for a quick trip to the grocery store. We need to bring our lunches to class and we're low on options here.

I never saw myself doing this, but hey, why not?

Wish me luck.

Like $240 worth of pudding but not at all

I just received the shipping notification for my order of five bookcases. Each unit ships in two boxes and the total weight for everything is 740 pounds. Since I bought from during a promotion, shipping was only $1.00.

Dude. 740 pounds! On its way to me right now!

What have I done.

And more importantly, where am I going to put it all?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


We are buying a house. Fer realz. (The gerund form as opposed to future or past, we are -inging it up in here) I just wired the money over and my account feels naked.

Also we signed all of our documents today. There was some last minute chaos where numbers didn't match but in the end we proceeded to sign an hour's worth of paper.

Please start referring to me as "Tree Killer, Killer of Trees." I earned it.

I am giddy crossed with sleepy and will be drinking a celebratory beer soon.

For some reason I am finding it hard to concentrate. Go figure.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bookcases on the brain

When I was a little girl I had green bookshelves and I loved them. Since then I've amassed many many books and the quest for storage space has been a constant battle.

Today I ordered five of these:

I am finally going to have a home for my collection. Hopefully all of it, or at least most of it.

We visited our new living room yesterday and I am so excited; it is my new library. The seller also showed us how to clean the filters in the furnace and took Jer into the crawlspace to show him around.

Only one month to go now!

Jer also gave me a very nice surprise last night. He acquired the first three episodes of True Blood Season 2 and we're not so far behind now. I'm still amazed at how different it is from the books -- well, I've only read the first one so far but there are some big differences.

Packing calls.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Isn't it nice to get away?

Co-worker #1: Are you going anywhere on your vacation?

Co-worker #2: I'm riding a motorcycle to Victoria, BC.

Me: I think it's very courageous of you to travel through time like that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

money on my mind again

I just called my bank and they tracked down the paperwork I sent for authorizing money stuff. (How's that for specific?) They found it and are processing it now, they said, so I may not have to drive to Idaho and beg for my money after all. (Sorry Lily, no surprise visit.) I even got a super secret phone number to call when I'm ready so I can confirm receipt.

This grown-up stuff is tiring. And 65% tricky.

We also received word yesterday that the underwriters have approved their portion of the loan. Finally. No more letters of explanation about why our landlady didn't know our move-out date (3 months early), or copies of bank statements justifying our tax refund. I'm just thankful we've had such a great team of professionals helping us through this process. I understand the underwriters have to be careful and protect their investment; I just wish our jobs, financial history, and savings counted for a little more.

What else? More boxes should arrive from uline today. I'm working with an agent to get our new insurance policy set up. Next week is our motorcycle class.

In the evenings I've been sorting old paperwork for recycling or shredding and I came across my student loan statements from 2005. I owed $23,500 for photography school! That doesn't even seem real anymore. The interest rate was over seven percent and rising. And for what? I dropped out. Makes the pit of my stomach gurgle just thinking about it. I'm so happy I made paying that off a priority. Except now I'm flirting with the idea of going back to school at night... so it's good to be reminded how much that kind of debt can suck.

A lot of my entries are focused around buying things or wanting to buy things, but that is misleading. Jer and I lead a pretty frugal life. We've had the same cars for 8-10 years. We don't go on expensive vacations and neither of us work in industries where we have to wear fancy clothes. We have a couple of hobbies we splurge on from time to time and we eat out more than we should, and that's about it.

When I do find something online I want to buy, I bookmark it in a folder called, "Things to buy if I had money." Usually that's enough to deal with the immediate urge and if I still want it later I can save for it. Or ask for it for Christmas.

There is so much going on right now. I can't wait to be on the other side of it all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

loopy, thanks for the asking

I had a small success today. For the first time I walked all the way up to the grocery store, bought a loaf of bread and some cheese, and walked all the way home. It took about an hour and involved a hill.

Better late than never.

I think back to all of my evenings and can't figure out what the heck I've been doing. Probably World of Warcraft crossed with idle Internet surfing mixed with liberal amounts of tv vegetation.

Or maybe only today is real and the rest has been a dream. And in that time I've died a thousand tiny deaths...

Or maybe I should drink more water. I may not be hydrated enough to speak to the Internet.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More home buying fun

More twists and turns today that left me sleepy. Nothing bad so far, just the result of thinking I had more time than I did before we fork over the money. I had to find a notary at lunch and run to the post office to send some forms to my bank. It just occurred to me to find out if they could mail a cashier's check and turns out they don't do that.

Alrighty then.

Apparently wire transfers aren't just for laundering money as a plot device any longer. Who knew?

We're also in the process of consolidating our insurance policies. Whee.

So that was my day. I am crossing my fingers that it will all come together in some magical fashion.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

limes make it possible

I am fighting not to keep every little thing. I am a horrible packrat, but I live with a person who, while not a clean freak, enjoys a clean surface. My own clutter doesn't bother me so much because I just don't see it.

So I am using up the last of the limes and the tonic water and trying to make a dent in the excess paper.

The weather turned and is now cooler, with the occasional burst of thunder. Last year at this time I was sitting outside working a festival, and I have to say that I am very glad to be inside and dry this year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


It's been four years since we packed all of our belongings and relocated to Seattle. Today we've begun the monumental chore all over again, only this time we're hopefully going somewhere a little more permanent -- at least according to the 30-year mortgage we're about to enter into.

I've made an appointment with movers for one month and four days from now.

The last 2 hours we've been packing books and we're about half-way done. Smallish boxes though so they don't get too heavy. It's hot today and I am insisting on an ice cream break. If it keeps up, I may also insist on a vodka break.

This is how I roll.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

where i'm at

I'm doing that self-destructive thing again. The tell-tale sign is following everything up with "seemed like a good idea at the time."

Monday, July 06, 2009

Independence Day

With the exception of the pork disaster, the food turned out amazing. My calves, on the other hand, were angry. Apparently you use those muscles when standing for 10 hours at a time? Who knew.

Post-pork, I decided to improvise. If following the recipe got me charred pieces of meat, then not following the recipe would have the opposite effect, right? As opposed to affect. Let's get emotional.

I ended up with chicken enchiladas, margaritas, drunken beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, cake, and salsa. I did not make the corn or the cheese dip as planned, but I forgive myself. There was enough food.

The weekend went by fast. Like, I blinked and it was gone. The fireworks were not as good this year, but hey, fireworks are pricey and the economy and all that. It was fun.

I did not reread the Declaration of Independence, but I sang "We the People" to myself. Quietly.

I mailed our move-out notice to the landlady today. No turning back now.

Friday, July 03, 2009

on second thought

Using the zester wasn't as difficult as I thought.

Slow frying pork on the other hand...

On the plus side I may have stumbled onto a great jerky recipe.

the reward is margaritas

I have one goal. I am focused. I am committed. I am in it to win it.

Today I will learn how to use the zester.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

i blame HGTV and World of Warcraft

With all this solitude and opportunity for reflection, I should really have my shit way more together.