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9th November 2008

Warm Fuzzies @ 21:36

So, given the negative and sad state of my last few posts, I thought I would post some photos of Fall in Washington and bunnies taken today with my new Nikon D60, to end your day with a smile.

Cut for Cuteness OverloadCollapse )

 

12th September 2008

My Bimmer is Back! @ 23:22

YAY! All fixed and better than before...

Car after accident

 

8th August 2008

I'll Take 'Things That Suck for $1000, Alex'. @ 21:11

Photobucket

So, 'oops'.

Fortunately, Travelers is the best insurance company EVER (I kid not) and they adjusted and cut a check within four hours to repair my car. Too bad I will probably be dropped after this.

In other news, Chad's BMW M5 randomly just died. Now, not only does that suck on top of my car being 'broke', but almost everything that can go wrong with an M5 is ridiculously expensive to fix because it is the closest thing possible to being a supercar (Ferrari or Lanborghini) you can get without actually paying for one. It retails for 92 grand new, to give you a frame of reference. Yeah, we had our moments arguing about him getting it (NO, we did not by new), and affording it, but whatever, you can't turn back time...what's done is done.

So essentially, the car broke down two weekends ago. It was cranking over but not sparking. And so it sat, as Chad researched, and every time he researched, he came back with a story more glum than the last.

'I think it's the VANOS' (the car's variable timing), he came to me and said after one night on the computer. New VANOS = six thousand dollars.

Next: 'Hm, maybe I threw a rod in the engine.' A new engine for an M5? TWENTY-ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS for a new engine.

I kid you not.

Finally? 'I think the crankshaft might be broken.' Um, well crap, that's even more ridiculously expensive than a new engine, and the car would basically be a pile of worthless junk at that point because I am not paying more than 20 grand to fix a car.

So, we essentially had resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to have to either re-mortgage the house or put the car on blocks in the garage and part it out or stop eating to save up to repair the dang thing. I was also feeling pretty good about the fact that we had bought this cheap $900 POS truck to haul things, which ironically was the only running car we now had.

Finally, a friend of mine who does mechanical work on the side suggested the ECU (main computer) may have crapped out. This actually caused a sigh of relief, because as expensive as that sounds, it's actually cheaper than all the other problems I mentioned above. So, yesterday Chad is researching the computer and comes across information on the DME module. Suddenly, he summons me to go out to the car and hold up the lid to the container that houses the main computer. He starts taking out little gadgety things by the load, removes the computer, and pulls out a tiny, two inch squared box with a plug at the end. Inside? A fuse. A fuse that had blown.

Sixty two cents worth of repair later, his car is running again.

So, Thank God for small miracles. Now, if my car can just get fixed it would be all good.

 

12th December 2007

(no subject) @ 19:19

The end of the semester is so close I can taste it! I am beyond excited and beyond tired. I cannot wait to come home tomorrow night, fall into bed and go to sleep without worrying about what is due the next week. I can't wait to start working out again regularly, and looking for a new job, and applying for more scholarships.

I love the show Pushing Daisies, such an odd one, but so strangely enjoyable. I'm glad all of the shows I like are on ABC, so I can download them in my spare time instead of arranging my schedule around them.

In other sad news, our doggy, Kita, died two days ago. Yeah, the one that wreaked havoc on our lives for months, flooding our condo and making us high risk insurance. I was out of the house at the time. Chad made a meatloaf, and when he turned his back, she jumped up on the counter and tried to wolf the whole thing down, blocking her airway. Chad tried to unblock it, but she bit him. He couldn't save her. :/ It's very sad...despite all of her havoc, she had a fantastic temperament. We really loved that doggy. Well, perhaps we will get another one someday. RIP, Keeters.

Back to homework.

 

9th December 2007

Good Things Is Happening... @ 14:59

So, I applied for a scholarship on a whim at the beginning of the semester through our school. a week or so ago, I got a letter in my email congratulating me for winning! However, I had no idea how much I had won. Well, yesterday, I got another letter, and it was over $1600.00! How awesome is that? I was supposed to owe $75 for my graduation application, as well as $220.00 for next semester above financial aid, and this scholarship paid for all of that and then some!

It's closing in on school being over for the semester, as well as permanently. I finish this semester on Thursday. I finish school in June and can hopefully get a new job! I am aiming to finish one of my papers today, in which case I will just have to wait it out until Thursday to present my research.

Chad got our tree today, but it was too tall to fit in the house without chopping extra off the top! So, I guess there will be no angel on top of our tree this year. The house smells like fir now, which is good, because our bunny can be a smelly little animal when she wants to be, and this covers it up.

 

20th August 2007

That went quickly. @ 23:34

4.0 for the semester. Yeah baby!

In a slice of other news, I was watching a classic car auction on television when, offhandedly, I said to Chad, "That would be fun! We should get a classic car and fix it up!"

Uh, yeah. Never say such things to those lacking risk aversion.

So, $500 poorer and approximately one week later, we are the proud owners of one 1974 BMW 2002 coupe. It's older than me. Shoot. Still, the body is in pretty good condition, though the interior could stand to be re-upholstered. And almost everything under the hood could stand a rehaul. Nonetheless, these things are going on Ebay for anywhere between $5 and $15 grand, and they get bids. On an aside, it was odd, but I felt more at home in this car than in any of our other, fancier cars. Sure, my car looks like a freaking Italian cow puked gray leather everywhere, and the dashboard has so many instruments I'm sure my car could likely guide me home without help, but my Saab does not have that certain je ne sais quoi. No, it does not have personality. Not like this tiny Beemer Beast. When you sit in this car, you know it has been places. It has done things. It has maybe even seen more sex than you have. It begs you to name it.

And so, we shall see how this one goes. It could be a great investment. It could be a nightmare. Lord knows it will be an adventure.

I'm looking for a new job, too. And I am working on wrriting a book I had been promising myself I would start.

All in the next two weeks.

Then it's back to school. Oh well, nine more months.

I can do this.

 

15th July 2007

All is Well... @ 10:56

Life is well. I was a bit apprehensive about going to school during Summer, as I was feeling a bit burnt out, but I breezed through the first term with a 4.0 and barely no stress, so now I'm good to go. I've gotten two weeks off and have to start back on Wednesday, but all is well because I will be completely done in a little over a year, so I have no problem continuing to push at this point. I've had time to work out, and have lost 5 pounds in two weeks using my 'methods'. I'm pretty happy with that, but I was upset with myself for getting off track while in school. I thought I didn't have enough time to work out, but I really should have made time...I am now convinced of this since my labs came back from the doc and my LDL cholesterol was a tad high. That motivated me to make time to get to the gym...no use having a degree if you're dead of a heart attack!

Chad's birthday was yesterday, and he may have had the best birthday in the history of the world. First he got one of those iPhones (for those with a grudge against Mac for no reason, sorry to disappoint) which he loves and has come in great handy a few times when already with the wi fi internet access almost anywhere. Then, Friday night he bought himself a top of the line BMW, the M5. Even I must admit I have never sat in anything like it, with it's damned hand-sewn leather seats, $4000 custom paint job, and 400 horsepower that is enough to give you whiplash. Then we went to dinner, which was pretty much paid for, and then went to drinks, which his friends paid for. So yeah, a good day for Chad, to say the least.

So, I guess that's all for now...life has been very drama-free and things are going quite well...probably couldn't be better, in fact...

 

9th June 2007

No Rest for the Weary @ 20:07

So, somehow I managed to pull off a fairly stellar 3.7 GPA in grad school last semeester. It's stellar considering that I was working 40 hours per week, taking three classes, and bought a house. Take that, stress!

Of course, I got a little loopy. Exhausted, really. I really did feel as though I might be losing it there for a bit. The act of juggling is becoming a bear, and I am burning out. I always thought I would be a professional student, but now I think this is the end. When I am done with my program, I shall just work. Of course, I will continue to learn on my own, but more in the form of crossword puzzles and world travel, less in the form of 50 page papers and business feasibility NPV studies.

I love our new house. The mortgage is a bit much more than we had paid prior, but it's still a good deal less than many people I know pay, and it will pay off over time. As soon as I moved in, I knew we had made a good decision. It felt like home. Well, then again, I guess that was before my sister's new-to-her Honda Civic was stolen from the street in front of our house. The car was stripped within six hours and the frame left by the side of the road. I guess that's what you get for buying nice things for yourself around here? Oh well, karma's a bitch. Insurance will pay for it, too, but we won't buy another popular model car while we live here.

The house does still feel like home, though. I am proud we were able to buy all of the furniture in it (couch, tables for living room, flat screen television, counter height table and chairs for dining room) using cash. No debt. That felt great. You certainly wouldn't catch me saying that was possible a couple of years ago.

My Houdini keeps escaping our yard. Not onlly that, she keeps bringing other dogs back. Just trots home with them like it's an average day in the life. It's truly hilarious. The other day, in fact, she brought home a small female pit bull.

We also had this big red golden retriever walk by. He looked as though he was starving, so we fed him and put him in the back yard until we could call the pound. He had tags, so it's not like I was resigning him to euthanasia or anything. Anyway, we had him for a few days, fed him. Then Chad took him to the pound. This was oh, a week ago. Today, my sister calls me to tell me that the damned thing is back. He must have been spurned from the joint by his owners and used some kind of dog GPS system to find our house again. Crazy. We let him go, but i have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him.

Anyway, back to homework. At least I'm only taking two classes this semester. It gives me time to replace my current job, which is getting pretty ridiculous. More on that later, though it's a bit of a non-story, just have outgrown the favoritism and nepotism, is all.

 

15th April 2007

rapid change @ 12:25

So, things are going rather quickly. I don't even think it was a month ago that we started looking for a new house, and now we have a moving date set for this coming Friday. Craziness. I am excited, though. We bought a new dining room table because, well, my dog ate one of the legs on the last one. the table is really nice. It's counter height solid wood table with bar stools for chairs. The fabric is the same microfiber color as my new couch set. I think they will complement each other nicely. I say 'think' because the table and chairs came in a box and we haven't unpacked them to put together since we are so close to moving.

In other news, during all of this madness I still got a perfect score on my Finance housing market project. The professor said my paper was so good that he wanted a copy to pass on as an example. That puts me on track to earn a 97 out of the class. Not bad. I thought grad school was supposed to be harder, but I suppose when you are a creative type and you are pitted against a bunch of students who prefer to write dry papers on stock analysis it always works in your favor. Should pull my GPA up positively (not that a 3.6 is bad, I'm just always aiming for better).

I got a new car. I had a 2005 Toyota Corolla. It was a great car so far as economy and reliability. It would have been fantastic if I were going to have a family soon. Alas, I do not plan to have a family any time soon, and after driving Chad's Mercedes I decided I wanted to go with some good old European engineering. As a result, I now own this in gray:
http://auto.nonstop.com.ua/wall/wall/2803-Saab-9-3-Aero-Sport-Sedan-3.jpg

Oooh, it is nice. Leather interior, sunroof, 210 hp versus 110 with the Corolla. Goody goody.

Anyway, back to homework. Busy week ahead.

 

23rd March 2007

Selling to Buy @ 13:56

So, about a week and a half ago, we calculated how much our condo was worth. Based on comparables in our immediate area, we found it to be worth 170,000. This was great considering we had paid 110,000 for it a bit over a year ago! Yay! So we thought, hey, we should see if there's a house on the market that we can afford and move up in the world, get out from under our evil neighbors, etc. No more apartment-style living with ownership overtones.

So, to make a long story short, things have morphed a bit, but we went house-hunting last weekend. We found something we liked alot almost right away. 2000 square feet, hardwood floors throughout, brand new kitchen, and a separate studio apartment attached with separate entrance where my sister can live and have her own space, fairly good area, considering house prices around here

Great! Step on taken care of. So, I went to find financing. Found that rather quickly with my 740 credit score, low debt, and great payment history.

Great! Last step was selling OUR condo. The condo which has been in a virtual state of construction flux since we moved in 14 months ago. We had to get it on the market quickly to capture the house we wanted. Yipes. So this past week has passed in a whirlwind of hammers, saws, and floorboards. Pressure.

When we got the counter offer from the folks selling the house we want, they wanted the house listed in three days, turns out, and they said they wouldn't take their house off the market until we had an actual offer. More pressure.

So, Thursday afternoon, we listed the condo. It was still a mess, sawdust and flooring everywhere. Mess, mess, mess.

Guess what? Less than 24 hours after going on market, we got an offer for almost exactly what we wanted! So now we can move and have our house.

To think, this whole plan began less than two weeks ago. Crazy. We'll be moving right around my birthday.

Party at my place!

I'm excited.

 

Look at me! I'm Doing Stuff!