Thursday, May 25, 2006

26 more days.

I got this picture in an e-mail this morning and had a nice chuckle over it. I mean, in the end, all we can really do is laugh, right? Oh yah, and while we're at it, we can forget about ever trading my little bug in for that H3 Hummer. The way gas is, I'd never be able to afford to leave the dealership, lol.

So 26 days until we're on an airplane. It's kind of a weird thing. It seems to be taking forever but then a week goes by an I blink and think "holy crap, where did that week go?" I guess while you're actually living the week, it just seems to move in slow motion.

The moving truck arrives in one week. I feel pretty confident that we'll be ready, but then again, part of me doubts that we'll be getting much sleep the night before, because if we forget just one thing, it has major potential to suck. I do plan on keeping some things, like clothes and towels, for about a week after the movers leave, and then mailing it to our new house, so that will give us a good opportunity to scoop up any little things that have been left behind.

Fed Ex is supposed to arrive today with papers for us to sign on our new place. I taked to the guy at the escrow company and he even provided me with the final numbers, so now I have a real amount to attatch to this as far as wiring funds, and it makes it even more real feeling.

We have a really busy day today. This morning, Sebastian has an "Author Party" at school. This is where the kids take stories that they have written and illustrated, that were later bound, and they read them to the class and to the parents. He's really excited. His story is about his upcoming move, and I am very happy that he's writing about it, because it makes me feel good about how he's accepting this move and it lets me relax a little bit about his own fears.

Then, sometime in the mid morning, we're expecting those papers, so after the party we hope to come home, sit down and go through them and sign whatever we can, and then I guess one needs to be signed with a notary, so we'll have to go get that done, too. I would like to have everything done so we can Fed-ex everything back out today, so we don't have to worry about it anymore.

This evening is the retirement party for Phil's mom, which we've all been looking forward to. Especially her, I bet. :) I hope that it turns out to be a lovely evening and that everything goes nicely for her, this is a really important day.

Well, I have to cut this short today. I have to get dressed and ready for Sebastian's school party.

Have a good day.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The official ONE MONTH mark arrives....

Well, today is the 20th of May. And we're out of here on a plane on the 20th of June. So the one month mark has hit. I haven't started to panic yet. I probably should be, but right now I'm more concerned about house closings than I am about getting shit into boxes. We need our house here to close so we don't have it hanging over our head when we get out to Washington. And of course we need our house there to close so we're not camped out on my dad's doorstep.

And the funny thing is, that I went an entire year without having too much going on, and then all of a sudden May comes and my calendar is jam packed with things I have to do and places I need to be, and this isn't counting moving related stuff.

Like last week, I went with Sebastian's class to Space Farms. Kind of a cool place, and I had never been there before, so it was fun to experience it with Seb. I got a lot of cool pictures, but instead of bogging you down with a screen full of ring tailed lemurs (my favorite!) and groundhogs, I am just going to share my favorite one of Seb, his buddy Stephen, and one big ole bear. Was a lot of fun, and it was a fun break from all of the rest of the things that are going on. Right up until I got home and learned that we need to redo our septic before we can close on our house here in NJ. /sigh.

We broke down my computer desk the other day, and I now type from a keyboard that is balanced on a TV dinner tray. LOL. I couldn't pack up my printer or the fax machine because we'll need to print/fax papers to close our house out in WA, so they will be the last things on the truck I think, since we're supposed to close on the 1st and our truck comes on the 2nd.

Motorola/Verizon Wireless Pink Razr.

It's cute, it's pink. It's a cute pink piece of crap.

So, a couple weeks ago, we went to Verizon Wireless to get Phil a new phone. His was looking pretty sad, the top of it was coming off of it's hinge, so it was time. We got in there, verified that he was due a new phone, and went looking.

From across the room I saw it. A pink phone. I figured that this was a sign, since Andrea is taking over my pink Ipod, this was to be my pink gadget replacement. And if we bought one of these, then we got some other phone for free. Awesome.

Got this phone home and it didn't take long to realize that I hated it's guts. In the game section, this phone listed Pac-Man and Tetris as available games to play, but it wouldn't let me play either of them, it kept telling me that the license was not found, and asking me to insert the card I installed them from, which ummm, didn't come with the phone. Eventually I got pissed. I decided to remove them altogether. It wouldn't let me delete them without prompting me once again for the card I installed them from. Then I decided to just re-download them. I needed the installation card to do that, too.

So I called Motorola. The guy I talked to was stumped. He couldn't figure out why they were there when all that was supposed to come with the phone was "Bejewelled". He told me to take it back to Verizon.

Went back to Verizon. They decided that they were just going to swap it out, and give me a new phone. Very cool. They transferred my contact list over to the new phone, and sent me on my way. I left, got out to the parking lot, and realized that Pac-Man and Tetris were still on my fricking phone.

Went back in, and they took my phone and told me that they were going to have a tech look at it, and asked me to come pick it up in a half hour. One hour, 45 minutes go by, and the techs at Verizon were left scratching their heads, on the phone with some national service line, and basically telling me that I was pretty much out of luck and that I couldn't get another Razr, because it turns out that ALL of their pink razrs were messed up like mine. They told me that I could either keep it and wait for Motorola to update their software, or pick out a totally different phone. At this point, I'd been there going on three hours, so I just left.

I went home, stewed about it during the weekend, and realized that I really hated the phone. It seemed like the volume wasn't loud enough...I really had to press the dang thing up to my ear to hear anyone, and that was just not right to me. And then the battery...well both my first razr and the replacement phone drained their batteries like whoa. I realized that the fact that this phone was pink was just not enough to hide the fact that it sucked ass, and I told Phil that I just wanted to take the phone back, which made things messy since his phone was the "get one free" on the deal. Turned out that we'd both have to take back our phones. I felt bad about that, but the bottom line is that I need a phone that *works* above all else.

Back we went. Turns out they were having a special on a different phone, another buy one get one free deal, but this time around, I made sure to test it by making calls on it and making sure that it wasn't buggy. A little bit bulkier than the razr and even my old phone, but I liked that it flipped open to reveal a keyboard and screen if I wanted, which meant that there might be hope for my craptastic text messaging skills! The bonus was that it had just enough gadgety geek crap to entertain us, and both Phil and I liked the phones....AND I could still use the bluetooth ear thingy that was pretty much the only thing about my Razr that I liked.

The V phone. I don't know what it's real name

is, but who cares. It works.

That was really the first time I'd ever had a bad experience with a cell phone. The bottom line for me is that I use my cell phone as my primary phone. I only keep the house phone hooked up in case the end of the world arrives and wipes out the cell towers. :) I need something that works...cute just doesn't cut it.

So. If you're in the market for a pink Razr, or any Razr for that matter, make sure that it doesn't list those two games in it's menu. Make sure that you have battery chargers galore, and that you don't mind not hearing anyone who calls you.

I'm off to knit and think about how I should be putting shit into boxes.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Yes. I'm still alive, and Seb's spring concert!.

Well, I had originally intended my next post to be about some yummy buttery soft yarn that arrived from Uruguay last week, but one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was just not able to keep up with the daily events that have been taking place.

First of all, at the risk of "jinxing" ourselves by announcing it, it appears that we have sold our house. In our area, all real estate transactions need to be closed by attorneys. Dumbest crap I've ever heard of, especially when I know what it takes to close a transaction after working the title and escrow end of it back home. It just seems that what started as a happy, peaceful transaction, gets all mucked up once you have two egotistic attorneys sending nasty letters back and forth to one another.

Anyway, we are out of the process that they refer to as the "Attorney Review" and we are now officially considered "Under Contract". Providing that nothing gets totally buggered up, we should close just a few days before we fly out of here, and the buyer, understanding our moving plans, has agreed to let us stay here rent free from the closing day until we leave, so we will close on the 16th and fly out on the 20th.

Sebastian's school had their FIRST annual spring concert the other night. This was the first concert that didn't take place during school hours, so we got to invite Grandma and Papa Sal. We went to Frank's Pizza for dinner before hand, and got there early enough to get a good parking spot AND a front row seat. I know I've mentioned it a dozen times, but the parking in this school sucks ass, so I always like to get there early so I don't have to hoof it a mile to the school. Not only that, but I'm a front row piggy. I don't care how early I have to be at that school, but I'm going to get a front row seat. I just bring my knitting and park my butt front and center, and I am happy waiting. :)

It was a really nice concert. Each class got up and did their own song, and then after that, all the classes did a couple songs together. Sebastian was quite excited about the whole thing, but I know from past experience that he tends to get a bit nervous and just stand there staring at the audience while all the other kids sing, so I tried to talk him up, and told him that I wanted to hear him singing. He told me that he would try, but he didn't understand why he always has to go to the bathroom as soon as he gets on stage. Poor kid, lols. He did great though.

This picture was taken after the concert, just because it isn't often that you see him in slacks and a belt. Note that we couldn't get him to ditch the converse. I'm glad that we didn't dress him up more, although I seriously thought about a white shirt and a tie. Turns out that a lot of the other kids didn't dress up at all and had we really dressed him up, he would have stuck out like a sore thumb.
Here's Sebastian, Grandma, and Papa Sal outside of the school after the concert. I really like this picture a lot.

In other news, I'm quickly approaching my four month mark of not smoking, and I am feeling really good about it. I don't find that I'm really wanting to smoke, and the smell of smoke no longer makes me want a cigarette, but instead makes me kind of sick. Now I'm working to lose a bit of the extra weight I've gained from eating bags of Doritos and Oreos as a substitute, but all in all, I'm pretty happy with how I've done.

Well, I'm a bit behind on my packing, so I'm going to go get some stuff done.

Have a good day.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Who says child labor is bad?

Ahh, childhood. When the prospect of painting a wall sounds like a blast.

Sebastian begged us ALL day today to let him paint. Who can say no to a face like this? I tell ya, Martha Stewart would be proud.

So, we listed our house five days ago with an agent from Remax. Our whole deal was to not have to show it to prospective buyers really for another two weeks, but if an investor came in, we'd show it...just because if one walks in and offers us a price that's acceptable to us that allows us to sell the place and get out of here without having to dump a lot of money just to get it acceptable to sell, we'd be open to considering that possibility.

Since listing, we've had wave after wave of agents through here with their clients...and we've gotten pretty good feedback, so we're feeling very positive about where we're sitting right now. I would love to be able to move home without having the burden of having to pay the mortgage we just put on this place, on top of the taxes that are due on this house in a couple months. The idea of truly having a fresh start is really something that we're anxious to have, without having financial obligations on both coasts.

It's getting closer to moving time. My dresser has been moved down into the room that's now filled with boxes, and my clothes are now stacked up between two laundry baskets which has proven to be quite an adventure. The house for the most part, is packed. Technically we could pack the rest of our shit and be ready to go in just a matter of days...but considering that we'll be without our stuff for about 18 days once the truck is here, I'm not too anxious to pack the rest of the stuff up quite yet.

Some things I really look forward to when we move:

  • Seeing my dad.
  • Being with my friends again.
  • Asking for tartar sauce for my fries, and not having someone behind the counter look at me sideways and say "What fo?" like the lady at White Castle in Newark did from behind bullet proof glass, and it also means that the people in MacDonalds won't make fun of me in Spanish anymore as they hand me a dixie cup full of tartar sauce. Yah, I know. I'm weird.
  • Not having to put plastic on our windows in the winter time to keep the cold out, only to freeze our butts off anyway.
  • A kitchen where I can put more than two plates on the counter without running out of space.
  • A dishwasher. I've not had one since I've lived in this state.
  • This kinda goes with the one above about the windows, but not having to pay $400+ power bills EACH month will kick ass.
  • Espresso stands. Shitloads of them.
  • Turn lanes. No more fucking U-turn routes. I can't tell you how much I hate having to drive past the store I want to go to, and then having to drive a MILE down the road to get to a U-turn route so I can turn around and come back on the correct side of the road. What's wrong with these people?
  • Denny's. We have them out here but they're rare, and very far away.
  • Decent schools.
  • Not having to drive a couple hours to get to a real beach.
  • Silver Lake.
  • Herfy's Burgers. Good grief, I hope that place is still there.
  • My son having his own bathroom. This means he will no longer fill my half bottle of carefully rationed Biolage with water. Oh, and the little shit filled my conditioner too, so say it with me: Woot.
  • Taco Time. No, not Taco Bell...but Taco Time.
  • A laundry/utility room. I guess you'd have to see my current house...right now, my washer and dryer, well, they're kinda in the kitchen. It's always irritated the shit out of me. So woot to that, too.
  • Chili cheese dogs from the Wienerschnitzel. omg.
  • My son's bedroom not being connected to ours. Right now, he has to go through our room to get to the bathroom or any other part of our house. In fact, his room will be on the OPPOSITE end of the house. What exactly does this mean? Well, this means that in the middle of a romantic interlude, our darling son won't charge into our room screaming "What's wrong?" ever again.
  • Closets in all of the bedrooms, not just the sorry excuse of closets in the master bedroom like what we have right now.
  • The Everett Mall.
  • C-89 FM

I could go on and on, but I think I'm going to end this and go veg out in front of the TV and knit for a bit.

More later!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Long post inc!!

Long time no post!

It turns out that ripping up our house is more time consuming than I had originally anticipated.

On top of that, the usual expected hold ups have taken place. I mean, it would be silly of us to expect everything to go on without any problems, right?

Basically we send Sebastian off to school in the morning, and we get to work. The only room that has not been taken apart is the room I'm posting from, the computer room. And see, this is the most important room in our house to us, so chances are, we'll be waiting til the last possible second to take this room apart.

Somehow, I've managed to knit. I'm on a sock knitting binge. Mostly because I managed to pack all but two pairs of my regular socks by accident and I'm not sure what box they're in or where the Hell they're at, so I'm furiously knitting every night.

The picture above is the current pair I'm working on. I absolutely love them. I'm using Trekking XXL in color 100, and I just have to say that this stuff knits up really nice-into a really nice thick and really soft sock. I think these will be my favorite socks ever.

The picture below is a pair I finished the other day in Knitpicks "Dancing". I dunno why, but I love this yarn, too. I think it's because it has a nice stretch to it, which really makes for a comfy sock. That, and the colors are terrific. Can't beat that!!

Anyway, I'm not sure how I've managed to get any knitting done, to be honest. It's really been just one big comedy of errors around here.

Starting with our Pods. You remember that idea right? How we figured that we were so clever for deciding to load all our crap into Pods, storing it so we can get work done on the house, and then finally having them transported to the new house in Washington? Yah well. It was such a good idea. Right up til the Pod guy got here and refused to drop the Pod because our driveway is elevated and because he didn't think he'd have enough room.

So that was on April 20th. And we ended up having to really scramble to get a reservation in with a regular moving company. Which means that, instead of having all of our boxes being stored in some Pod somewhere, that they are now stacked up in our tiled room, which is where they will sit until June 2 when the moving company shows up. In turn, the few pieces of furniture that we plan on bringing, now sits on our back deck covered by tarps, because there's no where else for it to go.

We have ripped up all of our downstairs carpeting. All that's left is the bedroom carpeting. Once we get the house painted, we'll have the new carpeting put in. Until then, the cats run across the living room floor and it sounds like a herd of elephants in tap shoes.

The bird cages arrived at my dad's house. We'll be shipping the birds to him ahead of time, so I went ahead and had both cages shipped to him. Sadly, one cage arrived all squished and beat up, and we're waiting for a replacement to arrive. Obviously I can't ship the birds until both their cages arrive, but it's getting warmer out and the more that happens the worse it is for shipping animals...especially birds.

He did get the big cage put together, though. And trust me, as someone who has spent many nights cussing and throwing shit as I've put cages together, this is a great accomplishment heh. And then he sent me an e-mail with a picture of the cage. Amazingly enough this is actually bigger than the cage that Bumbles currently has. When we originally got him, he was still a baby, and at the time his current cage was appropriate for him but now that he has grown a bit I wanted to give him a bit more space, even though he usually spends more time OUT of his cage than in it.

Overall, I think that we are way ahead of the game as far as getting stuff into boxes and stacked up. Phil has been replacing/fixing the little odds and ends around the house that needs to be done. Slowly, we're getting there. So we're looking at 32 days until the moving company gets here, and about 50 days until we're actually on an airplane and out of here. It seems like a long time, but it's going to fly as we work to get things done.

Not only that, but this month is busier than hell for some reason. This past week or so I had Sebastian's parent teacher conference. Then Phil and I went to the Roundtable event for the game we play, Dark Age of Camelot. It was a lot of fun to hang out with other people who don't look at me funny when I tell them I play online video games, because they're just as, maybe even more into it than I am.

Then I've had various dentist appointments to follow up on my root canal with one more to go. Seb's had a couple dentist appointments. Coming up is Sebastian's spring concert at school. Then there's the field trip to Space Farms that I'll be helping to chaperone. Then on the 25th is an "Author" party at school, where the kids read stories that they've written, edited and published. That same night is the retirement party for Phil's mom.

All of it is stuff I look forward to, but I find myself frantically clutching my calendar and double checking it each time I end up adding things, because I'm not used to having so many things I have to do, and then when you add that to the crap that we have to get done prior to moving, like vet appointments for health certificates for flying, a trip to VW to have my car check up and oil change, getting my car transported, etc etc etc and then that makes it even more ... interesting.

All of this, and I'm still not smoking. I hardly ever think about it anymore, unless I am around someone else who is smoking. Phil still smoking has made things a little difficult for me from time to time...and I find that chomping on a good ole piece of sugar free gum really helps. Only on one side though, because apparently it was my gum chewing that contributed to cracking my root canal tooth.

The only drawback to not smoking is that I've managed to gain a bit of weight. I'm not sure what happened because I was doing okay until the last month or so, and now all of a sudden I'm having a hard time squeezing into my jeans. I think that a lot of it is that I've been living off pasta because of my dental work, and most of all, when I smoked, I wasn't ever hungry until dinner time and now I wake up hungry and basically shove food in my face all day.

This has resulted in my having to me more aware of what I'm eating for the first time in my life so I can get back into my jeans which is a pretty odd experience for me. My goal is to lose all that weight before I get on an airplane. Which means that the late night trips down to the kitchen to inhale an entire box of pringles are over.

Well, today our bed is being taken apart, and we're switching to a luxurious aerobed. So I'm off to find an airpump or something.