Friday, May 30, 2008

24 hours down, a lifetime left

It's official. I am a home owner. The closing went like a breeze (I think I only signed about 30 times, I was expecting WAY more). I met the daughter and son-in-law of the woman I bought the house from. I'll tell that story soon. It's cute.

I work tonight and tomorrow (Saturday). Moving day is Sunday. I'd say my apartment is 90 - 95% packed (there are boxes everywhere!) I woke up at 11 am this morning (unusual) and finished my 2,000 word paper. I didn't expect that, but it really reduces my stress. For school, I still have to answer a discussion question by Saturday and type up a 75 word portion of the team paper. Once I sit down to do it (tonight after work), it should take no more than 30 minutes. I need to participate (respond to three discussion threads) on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Hmmm. Sunday will be interesting. But, if I post after midnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning, that would work. That should only take 20 minutes or so.

The realtor (Spencer) kept thinking I should be more nervous than I was. He kept asking to see my hand to see if it was shaking. It wasn't. I guess I wasn't nervous for the closing because I knew my finances and I know that this is the right house for me. It was a fast process from approval to finding a house to closing, but when it is right, it is right.

The things I have left to pack are all things that don't fit in the traditional box or are something I would label "Misc." I'll be throwing most of these things into boxes or bags tonight after work. Should only take a couple of hours.

That's where I am at in life. I can't wait until Sunday when I start putting things in the new house. I have all of next week off of work so that I can settle in and get all those little things done (like Homesteading the property, buying a lawn mower, getting a washing machine, unpacking, arranging, and making the place mine.) I need to find out where the post office is to turn on mail service for the address and then make many calls to change my address. I'll put a forwarding address out with the post office too.

I think I'm going to have my car serviced next week too. It makes a funny noise sometimes that bothers me. Hope it's not too expensive. I'm due for an oil change as well, so that will probably help the car and improve gas mileage.

With gas prices as they are, I'm happy that I am living 1.8 miles from work and .4 miles from Dad. Mom is about 4 miles away. It's also nice that the car gets over 30 miles to the gallon, even on city streets. It's more on the highway.

The next week is going to be exciting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

T minus 11 hours and counting

My expectations were to be more nervous than I am. There's an odd calm that has surrounded me. I'm unsure if it is focusing on school, distracting myself with packing, or working this week that has done it, but I'm pretty relaxed about tomorrow.

In just over 11 hours, I will start the signing-my-life-away process. Spencer is meeting me at the house between 11:30 and 12:00 for a final walk through. Afterwards, we will head to the title office and I'll start signing papers. Lots and lots of papers. I hope I have a good pen.

The cashier's check is ready. I've given everything to the loan processor and she said it should be fine. The utilities are set up (cable on Monday - ooh, shiny Internet). After the closing, I plan on heading to the hardware store, picking up the new locks for the doors and installing them. Dad is going to meet me after he gets off work and help spray this bug killer around the perimeter of the house. Mom will call when she gets off work.

I plan on being at the apartment before 7 pm. I'm going to work on this paper (that isn't really due until Sunday, but being ahead of the game is important.) I'll get my group assignment done tomorrow (75 words or so, I could do it right now, except I'm planning on bed soon). I'll finish a discussion question for class, participate a little, and then watch the season finale of LOST (which I haven't been too impressed with this season, but it's a hard habit to break).

I'll then call DM, pick her up (just an hour or so early) and head to the Chalet. James said he'd probably be up earlier than normal and Betsy is joining us when she gets off work.

I don't have much (besides locks & bug stuff) planned for the time after the closing until 7. I might get some food. Maybe Mom or Dad will want to eat something. I'm not planning on moving any boxes over on Thursday, although it couldn't hurt. I still have some packing to do in the apartment, but nothing that can't be finished by the time everyone arrives on Sunday. It's mostly the things I'm still using (computer, bath stuff, food, bedding, clothes for the week, etc.) I've got a lot of boxes and I think they might be enough. I hope so. I can start using bags if necessary. The things left to pack are little odds & ends. I may just label them as "Misc" because the reason they aren't packed yet is that they didn't fill a box and it seemed wasteful to put one small thing in a big box.

On a school related note, do I really want to write about my personal, professional, and educational goals for the next five years? No. Will I? Yes. Will it be true? Who knows.

Two thousand words all about my learning experience. Whoopie.

But, school is another countdown. In twelve days, I'll be exiting the university with a piece of paper that states I'm qualified to do the job I already have. Sounds great, doesn't it? At least the company I work for paid for the majority of it. That's a pretty nice benefit.

Off to sleep, perchance to dream of white picket fences.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bullet Point To Do List

Two full calendar days left. About four minutes of Monday left. Walk-through on Thursday at noon and closing scheduled for one.


To do:

  • Go to bank on Tuesday to change one cashier's check in for another
  • Call mortgage processor (before trip to bank) to get exact amount for cashier's check
  • Buy new locks
  • Spray perimeter of new house with bug killer (thanks Dad!)
  • Write 2000 word paper by Thursday about the past, present, and future of my academic career (oh, the joy) *started
  • Write introduction section to learning team paper due by Saturday *started
  • Participate in class so that I don't end up with a B in this class too *partially done
  • Restrict rage against other group members who don't contribute
  • Finish packing up bedroom *90% complete
  • Finish packing up hall closet #1
  • Finish packing up hall closet #2 *95% complete
  • Finish packing up kitchen *85% complete
  • Finish packing up scrapbooking stuff in dining room
  • Finish packing up bathroom *97.5% complete
  • Finish packing up living room *90% complete
  • Get more boxes
  • Create directions for the possible 17 15 people helping me move on Sunday
  • Relax *working on it
  • Work Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Call water company and hopefull get through this time
  • Confirm that electric and gas are set up through same company
  • Don't freak out *still working on it
  • Clean bathroom
  • Clean kitchen
  • Clean living room
  • Wash windows
  • Clean bedroom
  • Clean dining room
  • Buy washing machine *next week
  • Buy lawn mower *next week

Yeah, stress level rising a bit. Oh well, it's exciting!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Update to Lyrical Quiz* Updated Again!

The opening lyrics that are unsolved are listed first. There are still 19 points available!

2. I want you between you and the feeling I get when I miss you, when everything here is telling me I should be fine, So why it so hard above as below that I'm missing you every time; I got used to you whispering things to me into the evening, follow the sun as the colors left this world, seems to me that I'm definitely hearing the best that I've heard...

3. As I walk along I wonder what went wrong with our love a love that was so strong - 1/2 credit to DM for getting the title "Runaway". Who is it by?

5. I keep hearing you're concerned about my happiness, but all that thought you're giving me is conscious I guess, if I were walking in your shoes I wouldn't worry none, while you and your friends are worrying about me I'm having lots of fun...

8. Winners, losers, small time misusers, do what they must on their own

9. I'll give you the best I can give you baby, that's all I can give, we'll live it the best we can live it baby, as long as we live

12. Someone told me long ago, there's a calm before the storm, I know, it's been coming for some time - CCR, what's the title? DM 1/2 point

13. When the rain is blowing in your face, and the whole world is on your case, I would offer you a warm embrace

14. You and me we were the pretenders, we let it all slip away, in the end what you don't surrender, well the world just strips away

16. Aaaah hey! Oh yeah baby. Like a fool I went and stayed too long, now I'm wondering if your love's still strong

17. Fearless people, careless needle, harsh words spoken, and lives are broken; thoughts for ages, help me I'm fading, heaven's waiting, it's time to move on

20. We got something we both know it we don't talk too much about it, ain't no big secret all the same but somehow we get around it

24. Her face is a map of the world, is a map of the world, you can see she's a beautiful girl, a beautiful girl, and everything around her is a silver pool of light, people who surround her feel the benefit of it, it makes you calm, she holds you captivated in her palm - KT Tunstall, what's the title? 1/2 point to DM

29. They put a parking lot on a piece of land, where the supermarket used to stand, before that they put up a bowling alley, on the site that used to be the local palias - Not a trick question. I have both versions.

31. When I was a young boy, my mother said to me, there's one girl in the whole world for you and she probably lives in Tahiti

32. Talking to myself and feeling alone, sometimes I'd like to quit, nothing seems to fit, hanging around, nothing to do but frown

33. Oh, why you look so sad, the tears are in your eyes, come on and come to me now, don't be ashamed to cry, let me see you through, cause I've seen the dark side too

34. Take me now baby here as I am, pull me close try to understand, I work all day out in the hot sun, stay with me now til the morning comes

35. I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time, I keep the ends out for the tie that binds

37. There you go and baby here I am, well you left me here so I could sit and cry, golly gee what have you done to me,

39. Once upon a time, once when you were mine, I remember skies, reflected in your eyes, I wonder where you are, I wonder if you think about me, once upon a time - Moody Blues, what is the title? 1/2 point to DM

40. Well my heart knows me better than I know myself, so I'm gonna let it do all the talking, I came across a place in the middle of nowhere

1. Summer has come and past, the innocent can never last - "Wake Me Up When September Ends", Green Day (DM got it right!)
4. Give me a ticket for an aeroplane, I ain't time to take no fast train, oh the lonely days are gone, I'm coming home - "The Letter" Joe Cocker - Yea DM! (Granted she said it was #5, but we'll give it to her)
6. You know that it would be untrue, you know that I would be a liar, if I was to say to you, girl we couldn't get much higher - "Light My Fire", The Doors (Go DM!)
7. When the night has come and the land is dark and the moon is the only light you see - "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King - 1/2 point to DM, 1/2 point to Teri! I would have also accepted the John Lennon cover version.
10. See the stone set in your eyes, see the thorn twist in your side, I'll wait for you - "With or Without You," by U2. Way to go Teri!
11. A man walks down the street he says why am I soft in the middle now why soft in the middle the rest of my life's so hard - "You Can Call Me Al", Paul Simon (DM got it!)
15. Shadows grow so long before my eyes, and they're moving across the page, suddenly the day turns into night, far away from the city, but don't hesitate 'cuz your love won't wait - Awesome job Teri! It is "Baby, I Love Your Way," by Peter Frampton! You are amazing to get this one!
18. Well a man come on the six o' clock news, says somebody been shot, somebody been abused, somebody blew up a building, somebody stole a car, somebody got away, somebody didn't get too far - Tobey Keith & Willie Nelson, "Beer for my Horses" point to DM!
19. What is happening here, something's going on that's not quite clear, somebody turn on the lights, we're going to have a party starting toniiiiiight - Teri is really good at the hard ones! This is "Dancing on the Ceiling," by Lionel Richie!
21. All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standing here outside your door, I hate to wake you up to say goodbye - "Leaving on a Jet Plane", DM said John Denver (who I think was the original. I have the Peter, Paul & Mary version) - 1 point awarded
22. Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train; and I's feeling nearly as faded as my jeans - "Me and Bobby McGee", Janis Joplin - Point to DM
23. There's a port on a western bay, and it serves a hundred ships a day, lonely sailors pass the time away, and talk about their homes - "Brandy", Looking Glass - Go DM!
25. Who's gonna tell you when it's too late? Who's gonna tell you things aren't so great? You can't go on thinking nothing's wrong - "Drive", The Cars, W00T to DM!
26. I had a friend, was a big baseball player, back in high school, he could throw that speed ball by you, make you look like a fool, saw him the other night at this roadside bar, I was walking in, he was walking out, we went back inside, sat down, had a few drinks - "Glory Days", by the Boss, Bruce Springsteen - point for DM
27. Put on my blue suede shoes and boarded the plane, touched down in the land of the Delta blues in the middle of the pouring rain, W.C. Handy won't you look down over me, yeah I got a first class ticket, but I'm blue as a boy can be - "Walkin' in Memphis", Marc Cohn, go Dana!
28. Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine, never understood a word he said, but I helped him drink his wine, he always had some mighty fine wine - "Joy to the World", 3 Dog Night, Go DM!
30. What you want, baby I got it, what you need, you know I got it, all I'm asking is for a little ... - Go Teri! This is "Respect" by Aretha Franklin!
36. I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window, I saw the flickering of love on her blind, she was my woman, as she deceived me, I watched and went out of my mind - "Delilah", Tom Jones, DM gets a point!
38. I used to hang out down at Jack's pool hall, you go down there don't do nothing at all, you wanted to play some cards there was a game in the back, if you wanted a shot of something you went and talked to Jack - "Rack 'Em Up", Jonny Lang, Nice one DM!

Dana's sitting at 16 1/2 points right now. Teri has 4 1/2 (and got some pretty hard ones!). Anyone care to join in the fun? The winner will receive an original brooksba item! (Hint, most likely a picture in a frame)

I'll post the answers next Monday (after the cable gets set up at the new place.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

18 and Life

Yes, yes, I know, cheesy title. But what can you expect from a mind overworked by ethical thinking, logical reasoning, and puzzle solving as the boxes pile up and space for more boxes must be created.

School has started. That's where the "ethical thinking" and "logical reasoning" are coming from. This last class is the Capstone, or the one where we put it all together. I was afraid of statistics, but at this point, we've been discussing what is ethical and where do we stand on certain issues. Interesting at least.

I drove by my house again. The sign in the front now states to the neighborhood, "SOLD" with confidence. I'm so excited about this and can't wait to move (because seriously, apartment living is really starting to suck). Moving involves a lot of work, which at this point involves gathering as many boxes as I can lay my hands upon and trying to pack things so that I'll be able to find them again once I move.

One of my aunts is a consultant for a crystal company. She has done this for years. What does this mean? It means that for every birthday and Christmas I received crystal. It's beautiful and functional and delicate. And a bitch to pack. Over the years, I did the right thing at each move. I kept the boxes. Sure, they take up a lot of space (at Dad's house for the last 4 years), but it was nice to bring over 9 - super duper garbage bags full of empty crystal boxes. The packing of these items can be a bit challenging in figuring out how each piece fits, but once the box is closed, the items are protected well.

I have the first week of June off of work. It will be nice to have the time to settle into the new place, again, my place. I'm just getting used to saying that. It feels good. My mom said she might take some time off during that week to help out and we could be doing a bit of shopping. IKEA may be a destination.

I feel as if there was a point to this post that I lost about the time I signed in. The title offers me little help, other than to remind me that I have 18 days before I am a homeowner. Interesting.

Since I've lost what I was looking to post about, I think it may be time for bed. Good night!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Pini gemellati

The weekend has arrived again and the stress level should hopefully decrease some. All is well on the home ownership front, although I may be having an unexpected expense that has nothing to do with the house popping up (car related in fact). I started packing tonight. I believe I officially have 10 boxes ready to haul. Unfortunately, that's not even a dent.

I met with the inspector on Thursday. I think I wrote about that already. Maybe. It's all so jumbled right now. While walking around the backyard, my dad suggested a name for the home. With two Norway pines growing in the backyard, he suggested, "Twin Pines." And the mood I'm in tonight, I thought I might spice it up a little. What do you think of "Pini gemellati"? From what I can gather, this is the Italian translation of Twin Pines. It may not stick.

I thought I'd post a picture, just in case anyone was curious. Twenty-five days left. Wow!

I'm exhausted. I may post again tomorrow to discuss the war I'm going to wage with the management of my apartment complex. It appears they cannot do math and do not want to live up to their end of the agreement. Grrrr!

Pini gemellati

Friday, May 02, 2008

Test of Patience

Patience is a virtue that others have commented that I have. At times, I feel as if it is wearing thin, but all-in-all, I can normally survive and make others feel comfortable. Lately though, it's been harder. The stress of so many life changing events is starting to get to me.

Rarely do I have troubles sleeping. I'm still able to sleep straight through when I do fall asleep, but so many thoughts have been going through my head lately that it is hard to fall asleep. When this happens, I try a trick my mom told me when I was pretty little. She explained that she would tell herself stories when she was trying to sleep. The stories always involved having to hide from someone (bad guys or something) and having to be very still and quiet so they wouldn't find her. My stories are variances of this same thing and I usually fall asleep before the story gets any farther than the previous night. In this sense, I've been stuck in the same place of my current story for at least 8 months now. That sounds rather boring, but it helps to fall asleep.

In the past couple of weeks, I keep having other thoughts in my head and I forget to tell myself the story. So, my sleep is delayed each night. Unfortunately, the alarm clock still blares music at the same time each workday.

I'm overly excited about the reality of home ownership. Today, I met with the inspector and toured "my" house again. If everything goes well, it will be my house in 4 weeks exactly. Wow [full stop]. My dad was nice enough to meet me at the house for the inspection. I felt much more comfortable with him there since he understands the information much better than I do and has way more experience in fixing little things than I. There are a couple little things that need to be done in the house and I'm sure I'll have a million and a half projects lined up. But, all-in-all, this house is livable. That is important to me. Some of the others I viewed required quite a bit of work before I could even sleep there.

I'm stunned at how fast this entire process is going. Although it may seem long each day, I have to remember that there is a real possibility that I will have gone from the unknown to the preapproval to the house search to the home owning in less than 6 weeks. In fact, if everything goes right, it will be 38 days. I work for a fairly large bank and all of my co-workers are amazed at how fast this is. In many ways, this helps reduce my stress because I won't have it as long. In other ways though, it seems to drag and is probably larger than I expected.

On top of the home buying process, I have one final class left for school. In less than 6 weeks, I will be a college graduate. My last class starts on Tuesday and I still have only a vague idea of what it will entail. I have to fill out some paperwork tomorrow at work to have the class reimbursed (thankfully the Large Bank is paying most of the bills for school - nice benefit).

The last class I took was on eBusiness. It was an absolute nightmare. I managed to pull off a B+; a fact I still haven't told my dad. (That story is to come one of these days when I actually start my encyclopedia of brooksba posts.) Besides the subject matter being rather boring, I was stuck with a teacher that didn't gain my respect and a learning group that prompted me to give really nasty (in a professional way) remarks at the end of the class. There was a guy in the group who refused to participate during our forming stage and then demanded that we change the way we met at his whim. What really bothered me about the situation is that he wanted to communicate with others by using teleconferences. He rejected any ideas posted in the online forum and negatively impacted discussions. We attend an online school (in which most teachers discourage or actually don't allow teleconferences for communication) and we were taking a class on how to conduct business online! Really? Really?

It didn't help his overall score that he turned in his portion of the paper extremely late and left the compiler (not me - in fact, I was the ONLY group member to turn in my assignment on time or within 4 days of the due date) in the lurch. I helped the compiler with editing and reading through the paper and helped make the right adjustments.

In these classes, what stuns me the most, absolutely appalls me, is the lack of skill found within certain group members. I look at the classes we are in and I know how much schooling is required before reaching this point. I just do not understand how these students have made it this far in the process without learning anything. The minimum amount of classes at this school alone (assuming credits from other institutions and prior learning from high school) to be at this point of the program is something like 17 classes. In each of those, there is an individual paper due weekly and group assignments due usually 4 of the 5 weeks. That means these people have written at least 85 individual papers and contributed to 60+ group assignments. By this point, you'd think they'd have learned how to cite a source, how to use transitional statements, and how to format a paper in APA format (which has been required for every single paper). I don't even want to go into the subject of grammar or being specific in writing. It's exhausting.

So, with one class left and the amount of stress purchasing my first home added to the mix, I hope to make it through the next 6 weeks with all of my hair still on my head, all my fingernails still intact, and with my blood pressure remaining in the healthy range that it always reads.

Someone at work joked tonight that I could add more to my plate by applying for other jobs, getting promoted, and possibly trying to get married. Funny. Yeah. Marriage is not a possibility at least. I'd also have to apply for another job if I was looking to be promoted, so that's not something I'm going to add to my mix right now.

But deep down (well, and on the surface), I'm still extremely excited about this house. I'll post soon some pictures and more information about it. There are pictures on my camera of this house that my dad dubbed, "Twin Pines," today. Don't know if that will stick, but it might. There are two beautiful Norway Pines in the gigantic backyard.

I really need boxes now. I do need to start packing! The good news is that I have the first nine days of June off to be able to move most of my things. I'll also have my apartment until June 30th and be able to get really situated correctly. This helps.