Friday, April 29, 2011

Am I the only one that does this?

Ok, so Mother's Day is apparently upon us again.

Every time I get a reminder about some kind of Mother's Day gift idea/option in my email inbox, I respond to it in my own special way.

Like the offer from "Introduce Mom to her ancestors" it said in the subject line. I said, "Um, I'm guessing that would be tougher for me to do than it would be for her to do herself right about now."

Or the one today from 24 Hour Fitness. "Make it a moving Mother's Day! Spend some quality time with mom and take part in a special Mother's Day weekend Zumba class!" To which I said, "Hmm...I'm thinking that'd be pretty gross. And challenging. Are corpses welcome in Zumba these days?"

This is a tough time of year for me, basically. Yes, I have a mother-in-law...but it's not the same. And yes, all my sisters are mothers, but I haven't traditionally given them anything for Mother's Day in the past. Ever since mom died, it just seems to be a lost "holiday" for me, basically. And I suppose that makes sense on some level, but I also feel a little guilty because I should still help all the moms I know that are still alive to feel special and happy for having taken on something so daunting as raising a kid! (Or two, or three...)

But then I think, well...that's on them, really. I mean, they chose to have those kids, not me! So fuck 'em! :P

Really, though, it's just a shitty time of year for me because I miss my mom so damned much. And then we have Father's Day a month later, and's just too much.

Dark day, indeed. was blocked in my workplace as of today.

I usually start my day off with laughing so hard at those random autocorrect submissions, and get everything started off on the right foot!

That's it: if they're going to take away a pretty innocent and damned funny break from my day? I'm gonna start taking naps -looong ones! - in one of the solitary rooms down the hall from my desk. Just like the dude that does it every day from about 4:15 - 5. We usually make fun of his as, but you know what? Not anymore.

Not anymore. Fuckers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's better: an awesome admin assistant, or an awesome boss?

I liked this Would You Rather question over at the Dooce Community today. And I'm interested in my readers' take on it, as well. It seems to be a pretty subjective issue, of course, and even I had to choose having an awesome boss over having an awesome admin assistant...

...but I am the admin assistant. So, that explains that! ;)

But honestly, if you had to choose whether you're going to have an awesomely wonderful boss, OR an awesomely wonderful admin assistant (who works for you, or your team, or whatever...depends on what kind of job you're in, of course), which would you have?

Happy Administrative Professionals Day, all!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let's re-cap Friday, hm?

By the time 2:30 p.m. rolled around on Friday afternoon, I started pushing our agent for answers on our offer we'd made on the house we wanted. She got a hold of the seller agent, and he said it was a no-go. They wouldn't even respond to our offer. They want to sell it for asking price, and won't negotiate anything lower.

Oh. Ok. Sooo, that house will sit there and rot, I guess. Sad. :(

Fine, though. We'll find another place to make an offer on. The thing is that Leo and I can't really agree on one that we both like, so that's a bit stressful. I got to go home early, though, so we were looking at houses online together a bit. It was depressing, though. I was still really sad/mad about the other house we wanted, and how stupid those sellers were being about it. So I gave up and started drinking wine.

And then I got the text from our agent that the buyers for our house fell through. They couldn't get the financing they needed to buy our place.


Ok. Well...MORE WINE PLEASE! And I guess in the long run, this was a teeny tiny blessing. Because (a) that meant our neighbors that we really like and want to remain friends with wouldn't wind up living next to a couple of dumbass tools, and (b) we don't have to rush to find a new house to move into now.

But still...GAH.

Here's a small tip: if you can only afford to put down 5% on the house you want, you need to look for a cheaper house, or keep living in your parents' basement for a few more months to save up more down payment. Because it's gonna be rare that a loan company will wanna help finance you in this day and age, mkay? Alrighty then...

So Friday pretty much sucked balls.

But our house is back on the market. And we went ahead and raised the price by $5000, so now it's listed at $170,000. I'm not exactly sure what the logic is behind that one, but the realtor suggested it, and we're just gonna give it a go for a week. And then we wanna have an open house this coming weekend, so that should be fun. We had a call for a showing on Saturday night, but it was at 5 p.m., and they wanted to come over at 5:30. We'd figured we were free and clear for the day when we hadn't had any requests by 4, so we went to the Moose as usual, the dogs were in the kitchen, and we really didn't have the house as clean as we like to have it when we have showings. So we had to turn it down...painfully. I asked my agent to please contact the agent involved, if she could, so she could explain why we had to do that. And then told her that in the future, we will be ready at all times. However, an hour notice is prefered. I mean, we might've been all the way across town, for pete's sake!

We have another showing tonight. So hopefully that will go well.

::sigh:: I really do not enjoy this process as much as I did when I was just buying a home for the 1st time. This is hard, dammit.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reason *should* prevail...right?

Well, we've jumped in the house-buying pool with both feet. We made an offer last night, and are currently waiting to hear back from the sellers. Here's what we have going for us in this negotiation:

- They are retired in San Antonio, and don't live in the house anymore.
- They don't have a mortgage payment on it, as they owned it for 25 years, and are free and clear now.
- The house has been on the market for over a year, off and on, and has had no other offers.
- It's a contemporary house that appeals to Leo and I, but not many other buyers.

What we have against us?

- We're offering them about $125,000 under their asking price!

But the thing is, they're dillusional about the value on the home. They put some work into it, updating the kitchen to a degree that makes Leo and I drool. But that's on them. Just like how the $60,000 addition Leo and I put on our home is on us. Did we ever think we'd be able to get that money back? Um, no. Because we're in our right minds.

They did a great job keeping the home in really lovely condition, and we will negotiate to a certain point on our offer. We really, really want the house!

But if it doesn't work out, you know what? There are other homes out there. So we're ok. And they might just wind up with a big, fat empty house to take care of from afar for the next 10 years if they don't let us have it for a reaonable price. So...ball's in their court!

But cross your fingers for us, will ya?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I *do* believe this is a hangover...

It's been a while since I've had a hangover during the week. Blech.

Boxes of wine with easy-pour taps, house-hunting and selling, and late nights are a dangerous combo for me, as it turns out.

::lays head on desk::

Monday, April 18, 2011

For those who are interested in this house-selling crap...

...we sold our house yesterday. Well, we at least received an offer, and accepted it, and now we're moving forward with the signing of papers, fun inspections, and all that good stuff. We found a couple of new houses we really, really like. But we're going out tonight to see a few more. The ones we like so far are on the Missouri side of the state line, and we're both a bit worried about what that might mean when it comes to taxes, Leo's school tuition, commutes to school and work, etc... So we're looking specifically at Kansas houses tonight in an area we absolutely love to see if they stack up. I have a feeling a couple of them just might. We'll see! Anyway, keep your fingers crossed that everything works out. Can't believe this is all moving so fast! Makes me a bit dizzy...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Proper staging ALWAYS involves George Clooney

I'm an avid HGTV watcher. (I don't think I'm unusual in that regard, but figured it might need to be said all the same.) So staging the house for the sale process wasn't all that hard for me to do. We got rid of clutter, but not to the point of making the house feel sparse or cold. We have things immaculately clean right now, and make an extra effort of keeping it like that for quick escapes/unexpected showings. And we cleared out all of the personal photos we had around the house, both of ourselves and our loved ones. The realtor said we could keep one photo of us as a "cute couple" that might help the buyers see who they were getting the house from, if we wanted. So we did! It's this one that Leo made me for Valentine's Day this year. We keep it in the living room, and it makes me giggle every time I look at it. I hope it doesn't creep anyone out, and instead makes them giggle as hard as I do when I look at it! So far, the feedback from the realtors showing the house haven't included any negative comments about it. So I'm leaving it! Maybe George will be good luck. (And then my plans to stalk him in Italy by his villa will be that much closer to becoming a reality...)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our House is Officially For Sale!

I don't think that I'm exactly stalker material. But one never instead of linking to the MLS listing for our house, I thought I'd put up the photos, and give a general description of our area, and then if anyone happens to be interested/knows of anyone who might be interested in a cute, 1-story ranch home with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths, they can email me at faithsista at yahoo dot com. Sound good? Alright, here we go!

So we've never had a house on the market before. This process has been whirl-windy and kind of overwhelming. Fortunately, I keep good records on EVERYTHING. (Shocking, no?) So answering realtor questions and getting the paperwork ready to go has been an easier process thanks to that.

The movers came on Tuesday to get all the stuff out that we don't need right now. We staged the house for sale, and then the photog came that afternoon. In between, our landscaper showed up and mowed the lawn. I didn't expect him until Wednesday, so it really was fortuitous timing on his part! Leo and I cleaned the hell out of everything, got the last pieces of art hung, and then the photog did his magic.

Now, his magic is interesting, IMO. He does some brightening in the photos, and gives the perspective a kind of length that makes spaces look a bit larger than they might be in real life. But it shows the rooms off beautifully, and I'm used to seeing photos like this on the real estate web sites, so I think it's cool over all.

Here's the front of our house. His photos didn't show our awesome landscaping we had installed last year on the south side of the front lawn. It's all just starting to bloom, and looks really pretty! As you walk in the front door, you enter the living room... We have a medium sized leather sectional in there that is perfect for the space, I think. On the other side of the living room from the entry is the kitchen. Part of what I don't like about the brightening procedure the photog used is that it makes our cabinets look a bit streaky. They look much richer in real life. The entrance to the back deck/yard is through the kitchen...

It was a gorgeous day, by the way. Absolutely perfect!

Back inside, on the other side of the living room is the guest bath, the guest bedroom, and the office.

(The guest bedroom has turned out beautifully. I LOVE this space!)

Then the master bedroom is on the back side of the house. We added a foot of space to the room, removed the little closet that was in there originally, and it gave us room for our king size bed and a set of drawers.

Then you go into our master's relatively large.

And we have a closet in there that we made large enough to fit the laundry into. I pretty much LOVE IT.

And here's the closet side...

I asked for a picture of the toilet to be put up, but apparently, they didn't want to put it on the listing. I dunno. Does it look like our master bathroom doesn't have a toilet? Because it does, I swear. It was just about the whole point of the addition in the first place. It's way at the end, so I can shit in peace, dammit. And it's lovely. :)

Anyway, the house is on the market for $165,000. It's off of 71st Street between Lamar and Nall. It's a lovely part of town, and we've really become happy there. We'll likely look for a house not far down the street to move into, actually, we love the neighbors so much! It doesn't have a basement, though, and it only has a one car garage that can't be added on to, which is our reason for the move. Leo needs a garage space. Dude has paid his dues! And I need a basement because tornadic weather and I realllly do NOT get along.

Email me if you have an interest, or know of anyone who might! Gracias...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't you just *hate* that type?

I carpool to work a couple of days each week. I'm next door neighbor happens to work at the same company as me, but is in a different building. So I drive us to work one day each week, and he drives another day. The days vary from week to week, but usually, it's on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Our company has set aside a few parking spots in each garage that are relatively prime parking for those of us that carpool. It's a first come, first serve kind of deal. And they don't have any decals or anything that ID a car as being a carpooling's done on the honor system. So if you park there, you're saying your car is green somehow - either it's a hybrid, or you carpool, or whatever.

So I dropped my neighbor off at his building recently, and then was lucky enough to find one of the green spots open. I parked in it, and walked in to my desk. While I was parking, an SUV pulled in to the last spot open next to mine. Apparently, it was a coworker that knows me. She IM'd me as soon as I got my computer up and running that day.

Nosey coworker: Hey [Faith]- i didn't know you carpooled too - good for you! who do you carpool with? You know you can log all your miles and such and win prizes in the Smart Commute program here at [Company]?

Me: Yep! My neighbor works in [building next to ours]. So I drive Tuesday, and he drives Wednesday. It's nice. We don't drive enough miles to win any prizes. We're only 7 miles from here.

Nosey coworker, who's still trying to make it look like she's NOT accusing me of parking "illegally" in a green space: i'll say - with gas prices like they are - [my coworker] and i both live in Lees Summit and we drive together every day and it helps SO much

Me: That's AWESOME! :D

N.C.: why don't you guys carpool on Mon, Thurs, Fri?

Me: (What I wanted to type? "Because we have lives.") Actually typed: because he has kids. So he can't drive with someone every day because of driving to school duties he has. Also I have chiro/acupuncture appointments a lot. And they're after work. So we just can't.

N.C.: Well, i highly recommend you at least joing the Smart Commute program soon because i think starting in April or May - they are giving us stickers to put on our cars that give us visible permission to park in the Green spots. if security doesn't see your sticker you'll get a boot... :(

Me: Ooh...good tip. Thank you for the heads up! I joined it a couple of years ago, but then just lost interest for some reason...

N.C.: ya, there are a LOT of fakers [you mean like you thought I was???] out there taking up our spots so the program manager is sick of it and trying to come up with ways to make people register for them like the pregnancy spots

Me: I think that's a good plan for sure

N.C.: any whooo...... just wanted to give you a high 5 for carpooling!~

Yeah, SURE she did. I so wanted to call her on her whole Good Cop routine, but she's in charge of a committee I'm on at work, so I tried to remain cordial about it all. Sometimes, I just hate people. ::sigh::

Friday, April 08, 2011

Retail therapy was in order.

Last night, I had tea with whiskey to help smooth over the week.

I talked to Leo, and explained my concerns about his over-focussing on his schoolwork, and how it's kind of fucking things up lately. (But I also told him that I'm really, really glad he found something he likes studying so much! Because I am.)

I watched recorded episodes of ANTM and Top Chef Masters, and then promptly got a rousing kick to the gut from my IBS immediately after finishing dinner. So I went to bed early after texting my trainer to tell her I wouldn't be able to make it in this morning.

I felt better this morning, but still kinda moody. My coworker and I had a planned trip to Kohl's today, though. She reminded me about it when she got here this morning. We were looking for a sweater we like that her boss wore earlier this week. I actually hated that sweater on me, but found 6 other things I liked a lot. They were all really cheap...I don't shop at Kohl's very often, but DAMN. I need to!

Net/net: I feel like my mood is entirely lifted. I'm cheerier, and feel good about what I'm accomplishing at work. I don't feel like whiskey is a natural given at the end of the day today.

Sometimes, it's just weird what a little shopping can do for a girl. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Well, my week just keeps getting better and better! (Hint: I'm lying.)

My week has not gotten better as it's gone forward. I'm truly looking forward to getting home tonight, and packing some boxes, clearing out closets, and just basically busting a nut DOING stuff. Leo and I signed on with a realtor this week, and we're putting the house on the market next Thursday. Prepping the house for the online photos and the (hopefully!) inundation of people touring the place is formost in my mind.

Unfortunately, even though I thought Leo was also interested in getting things packed up and ready for storage, he has been uber-focussed on a project for his interior design class that was due today. On Monday, he found some new way of drawing the furniture into his 2D designs, and he literally spends hours drawing, erasing, and re-drawing furniture into different configurations. It's mildly offputting.

That said, I'm glad he's as invested in his class as he is. He seems to have found a new direction for his life that he's really excited about. YAY!

BUT. His ADD is causing him to not realize how much time he spends on all this stuff. So instead of budgeting time for different shit, he gets all caught up in one thing, and hours go by, and he suddenly realizes that the day is gone. ::sigh:: Sucks a lil' bit.

Anyway, so I'm having a rough week, blahblahblah, moving on...

I got my hair cut. I'm very wary of the length... Ok, not really. I like the length. I just looked weird in that photo! Here's another shot where I'm all WHAT-EVER!
Those photos were right after I'd had it done. This is what I look like when I do it myself. More shaggy...less smooth. Booo...
And this is what I look like as a crazy pirate! Aaarrrggghhhh...right up the nose, matey!
One of the activities we chose to do while in Wisconsin on our little Spring Break was to play the 18 hole 3D mini-golf course they had in the resort. It was a little ridiculous. Here are the twin and I discussing a shot...
It was so dark in there...and so glowy. And then putting on the 3D glasses? Ridiculous.

I'd rather play that course every day for 3 straight hours a day all week long than have to deal with the week I'm having, though!

Actually, that'd be kinda fun. Hmm...

So in my initial post about the trip, I shared a photo of the crazy-ass wonky house we saw on our way to Baraboooo, up by the Dells, from Madison. This is what we saw from the highway:

So, of course, I suggested that we drive back down and try to find it one of the ways we were there, so we could take pictures of it. And we did. But we couldn't find an access road to the dirt road it was on. So I pulled over on the highway (it was one of those 2-lane numbers...nothing too major!), and we took some better shots of it, as best we could. Seriously, what is going on here??? My theory: the house was collapsing. Instead of dealing with a full-on collapse, they nailed a bunch of wood to it to hold it down, and keep it in it's tilty position.
Honestly, WTF??? What do YOU think is going on there?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Wisconsin lessons #2 & #3: Dry wit & risotto? Um, NO.

Sorry it's been a while since I wrote. We've been busy these past couple of weeks, and work is exploding, and finding time to just sit and be funny and have fun is just hard to do.

And I know that coming here to read about my whining is always fun, so there's that. :/ I told the Twin I can't think of anything to write about, so she encouraged me to write more about Wisconsin (which, of course I haven't uploaded those photos I promised last week...::sigh::), and I figured that, yeah, there are a couple more lessons that everyone should be aware of when it comes to Wisconsin, so here we go!

Wisconsin lesson #2: "Uncle Ben's" is apparently synonymous with "risotto" for them.

Our first night in town, we found a lovely, bustling Italian place calleed Sorrento's for dinner. I ordered some yummy gnocci, and the Twin ordered what sounded like a yummy chicken dinner, and had a side of risotto with it. When they set the risotto down on the table, though, it looked more like a dish of rice pudding. And she took a couple bites of it, but didn't seem all that enthused, really. Also, her chicken dinner was NOT yummy, and then she told me the risotto sucked. So I tried a bite.

Yeah, that was NOT risotto. I don't know what they think risotto is, but it specifically needs to be made with arborio rice, and they had clearly heated up some Uncle Ben's, or some shit, and threw some insane amount of butter and maybe some parmesian in there (but even that is a mystery to us), and then called it risotto.


Even better, we went to a more "fancy" restaurant on Sunday night for dinner, and found out it was run by the same chef, or whatever, as Sorrento's. I ordered lamb, which was delicious, but it came with a pea risotto. And we all expected it to be the same, but I guess there was still a hope in my heart that it would be REAL risotto. But no. This was the same weird Uncle Ben's concoction that the Twin had had the night before, but they threw peas in it, was all. ::sigh::

Risotto ain't that hard, y'all.

And if they're gonna serve it in two of their restaurants at that resort? They should at least figure out how to fucking make the stuff. At that second restaurant we went to on Sunday, there was a lady at a table behind me that openly complained about it to the serving staff. I wondered how often that happened there. Because I can imagine it happens a LOT. And yet...they make risotto like that all over their resort, still. Hmm...

I'm thinking they don't give a rat's ass!

Anyway, on to the 3rd lesson!

Wisconsin lesson #3: Sarcasm? They don't get it.

The Twin and I come from a family that's pretty ridiculous with the dry wit. We are sarcastic mutherfuckers through and through, and while we crack ourselves up with it a fair amount, and usually get laughs from those with us because they understand what we're talking about and find it funny as well (to a degree, anyway), in Wisconsin? I don't think they got us.

It was mostly the front desk clerks that fell against the receiving end of our wit. We had an issue with the room that the Twin reserved for us on Saturday when we arrived, and I had to stay at a different hotel that night due to the lack of space/beds for all of us. When I was checking in at my hotel, the Twin and her daughters came inside with me to check out the place. (It was a Great Wolf Lodge, which I told them we also had in Kansas. Maybe next time they get a hankerin' for indoor water parks, they'll come here instead. Weee!!!) The front desk clerk took my credit card, and then said, "It's just you in the room, correct?" And I said, "Yes. Well, and these guys will be staying in the closet, but it's just the one bed I'll need, yeah." And she was handing me back my credit card while I was saying that, so I was putting it away and apparently, her eyes got all big and she stopped what she was doing and looked at all of us, and the Twin said, "She's kidding...we're staying up the street." Which I suppose was a relief to the poor woman.


It was funny to us, though. :D

They just didn't get us up there, is all. We kept mostly to ourselves, really, so I suppose that helped a bit. There were so many people at that resort. So many people. It was mind-boggling. And while it was Spring Break, and the amount of people made sense, I just cannot imagine what it's like up there when it's summertime. ::shudders::

Ok, I swear I will get pictures uploaded sometime in the next 20 years, and I'll share them. Just so much stuff going on...too much really...