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Archive for August, 2008

condo possibility update

August 31st, 2008 at 07:39 pm

So not gonna happen.

I took my sister (and two of her kids) and my ex Andrew to go and see it. Andrew is an architect so while we were looking around the inside he was inspecting the building grounds and area for damage.

While 6 of the units are owned three are rented out. Most people living there are "educators" whatever that means. The grounds are not well kept for the hoa fees and a lot of work needed inside and out. Too much to be real. There is obvious water damage in the kitchen but two of the people who lived there never heard anything about flooding. Then I looked around the side at another condo and found unfinished French drains which mean lots of water issues that are not being taken care of in the community.

Such a disappointment but it needed too much work for me to live there and too much work (finishing work) to be rentable to students or others. Andrew did some rough estimates and just the items we saw (kitchen, bath/laundry, windows, fixing the previous owners construction mistakes etc.) was around 35k. I was so lucky drew called to see if I wanted to have dinner tonight before he leaves to return to Espana. We even called his dad and sent some pictures via cell phone and his dad said: NO WAY! So while it was worth the visit there is just too much to do.

Meeting the neighbors was good but the one I would have shared a wall with was...um...well let us just say the aroma of his condo was interesting...and leave it at that. He was helpful but not what I would want in a neighbor.

SoÖa big bust on this one.

possible condo?

August 31st, 2008 at 02:03 pm

I am going to look at a condo today with my sister. It is a one bedroom one bath deal in a complex with only 9 units. I am seriously considering it because I think the resale value will hold as it is one block from the major university in our town. I can pay it off in less than 10 years and if nothing else it could become a rental property being so close to the school.

It has a washer/dryer set up in the unit and the area seems nice: pool, gazebo, bbq pit area etc. the unit is listed at 116,500 which is quite cheap. I think it was a fore closure and now the bank just wants to get rid of it. The agent said she might be able to talk them down to 100k which would mean my payments would be about 600/month at 6.25 interest. Even if they want the full amount the payments are only 725 a month. It is something to think about but at this price it will go fast. It needs a new kitchen area and the bath could be updated a bit but overall it looks ok. There is even a fireplace but I canít tell from the pictures if it is real of gas. Laminate wood looking floors were put in a few months ago and there is a covered parking space provided as well. The only thing is, they were built in 1978. the price per square foot is 156 and ideally i'd like to get it to around 100. (ha!)

I really want to be out on my own and not sharing a space any more. This is totally affordable and wonít stretch my budget at all. Weíll see how they look.

Saturday August 23, 08

August 23rd, 2008 at 09:22 pm

Edited for correct date.

Today was busy in the AM but then slow and relaxing for the afternoon and evening. I was up early for a massage which helps keep the stress and migraine headaches away.

Then I went and purchased books for my classes this semester: $200 and I grabbed two donuts on the way home. I balanced my check book, transferred the money for the books I had to purchase so I can pay the credit card on Monday.

We recently went from cable to direct tv. May I say that I am enjoying direct tv quite a bit. The movie channels have a lot to choose from (we are not sure if we are keeping them. It would raise our bill $15 but it would make it easier for me to stay in.) Our cable source was horrible and half the time I could not get out local channels or the NBC CBS ones I enjoy watching. With this satellite I can see them all in my room clearly! With the dvr thing it is so easy to record the shows I like to watch for the entire season. I really only follow 6 shows: ER, Medium, NCIS, Criminal Minds, CSI (original) and one other I canít think of. Last season there was no new show I watched for the entire season. I started a couple and got bored. This season looks like maybe a couple of shows will catch my interest. I am more interested in seeing the last season of ER. Many of these shows come on too late for me but it is nice to watch them on my time. I wish I could down load them to y I pod for the gym that would be really helpful.

Tomorrow is pretty quiet. I need to go grocery shopping, make a deposit at the bank, pick up a prescription, get gas, call my mom, clean out my car and wash it, return something to IKEA, finish my book, find my school stuff for classes Monday. Maybe meet my sister at her house and play with the kids. Lots to do and I know I have lots of time but I really want to just veg. I think I can get most of that done in two hours and then kick back and relax and maybe watch one of the movies I recorded today for the times when we donít have HBOish channels.

end of week update august 23

August 23rd, 2008 at 12:07 am

What a weekÖthe had been rumors for weeks that my direct supervisor was leaving our office. People were asking when he was announcing his last day. He has been out on medical leave this week and called me yesterday to say that today would be his last day but that he is out. Everyone on my team found out weeks ago but I find out yesterday. Shows real grown up behavior right? And people wonder why I say that we are not a team, morale is low and that there is no communication. Anyway, he is leaving and I am relieved. He tried to give me lots of complements and told me he appreciates me and my hard work, I am brilliant and intelligent, and donít forget that I am good at my job and he respects me etc. I just said thanks and moved on. I just donít really believe him, or didnít realy until he said he would hire me if he ever had a job opening. Considering how we didnít get along that surprised me but I donít think I would considering everything that happened.

I did not get the job I interviewed for last week but I lost to an internal candidate so I donít feel too bad. There are two jobs I am applying for Monday. One is a promotion but only a raise of about 300 per month. The other one is the same pay grade but both get me out of where I am now and that is all that matters. (And free parking!)

I have spent very little money this week until yesterday. SLH being in town and treating to lots of things meant no real spending Mon-Wednesday. Yesterday I got my hair cut and highlighted. I love it and it feels good but it was very expensive. I needed to go to someone I trust and that I have seen good results on other people including my sister and my nieces. I just love the color and she helped to remove the red I had in my hair for the past year or so and gave me the blonde highlights I love. The stylist kept remarking how soft and luxurious my hair is and such great condition. She actually called over other stylists to show them. The secret? I never style it and almost always let it air dry unless it is winter and below 40 degrees when I leave the house (which is rare). I use no products or anything. Now for this new cut I might have to use a little bit of something to help it keep some shape and keep the bangs in place. Yes, bangs. I have not had bangs in probably 10 years. It is much shorter (but still long) and in a cut I can let grow out and just get the bangs trimmed (free!) at the shop. So there goes the cheap week I was having.

Tomorrow I have a massage, lab work to get done for the doctor and then off to buy school books for the semester. Not cheap but needs to get done. I recycled some bottles today or $3.66 that is going into my vacation account.

Sunday is pretty quiet and I am not sure what I am going to do. I just realized that next weekend is labor day weekend. Anyone have any plans for next weekend?

Weird situation to find oneself, comments requested

August 20th, 2008 at 10:32 am

This post might go along with one that BA posted and others have posted in the past few weeks: dating and money and relationships.

I ended my two year relationship this past April. Andrew and I are still friends and talk weekly but our lives are just going in two different directions. He currently lives in Barcelona and has spent most of the past 24 months there for work. His company is transferring him to Hong Kong in October for 18 months then to NYC for what he hopes is a permanent move. He works on large construction of hotels and conference centers as an architect and engineer and loves what he does, but he is never here in the country.

We always shared expenses for things except for when he bought me a ticket to visit him when he first moved to Barcelona, (he paid for the whole trip because I had just returned from visiting my sister and could not afford a second trip that quick with out canceling my next trip to see her and her family.) He makes 3-4 times what I make but I always tried to make sure that we were equals in other ways. He always said just because we make different salaries does not mean that we canít still have fun. He did not care about paying for things we did and it only bothered me sometimes that I could not pay as often as he did as we were having fun and he honestly did not care. We are and will remain friends.

I have been spending some time with the kid-equivalent of the woman I rent a room from. I have lived here for 2.5 years because it is convenient to all I need and want to do and has great freeway access. He is a nice guy but we are not dating as there is no real chemistry but we talk and laugh and have a great time. There is hardly any dead time because we just talk for hours. Ironically we went to the same college and had classes in the same building but never met. He recently returned from 13 years in NY state so he is getting accustomed to California and seeing his family more than once a year.

In July when he was up he wanted to see something in the area where I grew up and I volunteered to show him. He drove (about 100 mile round trip in a truck with horrible gas mileage.) I bought dinner (less than $25) because he drove and he kept trying to give me money but I refused. He said, next time itís on me.

Fast forward to this past weekend, he mentioned he still owed me dinner. We talked and decided either state fair or sushi. We decided on sushi because I had little interest in going to the fair this year. Had great sushi (I love Mikuni!) and he paid. He wanted to go to XXX for dessert. I said ok, thinking I would at least pay for what I drank or ate but he would not take any money from me and when I tried to pay the waiter took his money over mine. 5 hours later at midnight I get home. We had a great time and I tried again to pay him for my share and he said the whole evening was on him. The whole evening was about 4 times what I paid.

Last night we went to the state fair and had a great time. The only thing I paid for was parking and that was only because the parking attendant was outside my window and I had the cash out. He paid for entrance fees, dinner, drinks, etc. The only thing I purchased was the funnel cake he wanted as we were walking out $3 and proclaims it better than what he got in New York! I only paid because I was quicker on the draw than he was with the cash.

I tried to leave him money in the truck last night when he was not looking with a simple thank you note. It was back on my car this morning which means he found it and came back from the hotel to return it after midnight last night or early this morning.

This is driving me nuts that he wonít let me pay for anything. We are going to go and see Sheryl Crow near where he lives at the end of September. We both just mentioned we wanted to see her this weekend but both have plans we canít get out of and donít relish the trip to South Lake Tahoe, getting hotel rooms etc. He called this morning after I got to work and said he can get great tickets for the show for us. Of course we have to buy them together to ensure we are sitting together but he wonít tell me where they are or how much they cost so I can reimburse him the expenses. What do I do? I am sure the prices will be on the ticket, but how can I get him to accept the money?

It is just a strange situation to be in, as we are not dating and I donít get those vibes from him and I am not sure I would want to be dating him either. But we do have fun.

Comments and input requested please!

Sunday August Activities

August 17th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Today was pretty quiet. I slept in and had lunch at home and then went to see the movie swing vote. I thought it was pretty good. Typical ending of everything closed up nice and neat but still was enjoyable. I enjoyed it and it was worth the time and money to sit and do nothing. I also really like Kevin Costner as an actor and I felt he was great as a total slouch who grows up in the end.

I had dinner with my sister and her family: fish, hash browns, cut up melon, srimp (which I tasted to be polite but donÔŅĹt think I would eat regularly) and a great green salad. It was great to have dinner with them and a great meal. The kids swam after dinner and I left about 7:45 to come home. I still had laundry to do and at least get hung up so that it can dry by Tuesday.

The kid equivalent is here (btw he is 41). He is staying in his towable trailer out by the lake that has no water. Here in CA we are really short of water. This is not new news as we can all see the lakes are bone dry but the powers that be in the government just this last week put out requests to conserve water. Why were they not released months ago? Just take a look at Folsom lakeÔŅĹ no water!! I will never understand government.

My house mate did something pretty stupid and it really angered me. She came home last night at 6:30 and turned on the hose to water down an area where she wanted to put a tree today. The directions said to soften the dirt with water. She then went upstairs and did not come down until at 9:30. I went downstairs at 7:15 to make dinner and the water was still running and was now going down into the street. I moved it and watered the back yard because with the contractor person being here it would not get done until Wednesday. When she came down I mentioned that I moved the water and finished it off. She looked at me confused. I said the water you turned on and left running? She said oh I forgot it was running! I needed it to make the dirt soft. I just looked at her and could not believe that she forgot she turned the water on. She was going to have waster GALLONS of water and since I pay for 1/3rd of it, it was coming out of my pocket. This is one of the reasons why I took over watering two years ago. She would just turn it full blast and lose gallons and gallons of water. I make sure it does not go over the flower bed areas and leak anywhere down the alley ways. Since I started doing it our water bill has dropped by over 50%. That seems like good incentive to know where the water is and how much is going literally down the drain.

Time for bed for me! I am up at 5:45 tomorrow.

Broadway series, weekend activities

August 16th, 2008 at 07:02 pm

I stayed home today and spent no money. So I did not have to drive the 50 miles round trip (saved gas) and I did not have to fill up my tank like I need. This saves me money at least until tomorrow when I get gas instead, but one more day is good. I am trying to make sure that I donÔŅĹt go below half a tank but I am almost empty, I can go about 75 miles more.

There is a good movie on TV tonight that I plan to watch and enjoy. I am also going to go to bed earlier then I have been, maybe flipping between the Olympics and the movie.

It was hot here today and the ac has been on all day. Ug, I do not want to see the cost of the bills in a couple weeks, but the summer has been reasonably cooler than normal and we have not run the ac very much, only a couple hours in the evening then off. My house mate would run it all night and day (says it is better for the aging equipment) but I am not going to pay to run the equipment that much. We could be running the whole house fan if she would just fix the cord that starts it. That takes up only 15% of the energy the ac uses but she still has not fixed it. I am looking forward to the cooler fall weather as our bills drop substantially in the fall and spring with no ac or eat running. I only want to pay $150 per month to her for utilities and in the fall and spring I build up a nice cushion with her for the winter and summer months it is kind of like budget billing with the utility companies. That way my budget for housing stays the same each month with no changes or surprises.

She needs to be better about giving an accounting of the money. When I first moved in it was 5 times a year. We saw the bills and what we pay broken out for each month. Lately because of her personal issues it took a year of me nagging her. She only did it because we lost a house mate and she needed to closer account and be able to show a perspective house mate the monthly previous totals.

Her kid equivalent was coming up for the weekend to work on the house but changed it to Sunday ÔŅĹWednesday. I was so relieved. After the week I had with momÔŅĹs issue and ER visit I really wanted a quiet weekend day without hammering, painting, etc happening around the house. I really wanted the peace and quiet.

Tomorrow should be pretty quiet but I need to go to the grocery store and pick up things for work this week for lunch and dinner, put gas in the car, maybe something fun and cheap, hitting a book store to read a book and not buy it?
This is my last week before school starts and I want to have a nice relaxing week after work. I will be in classes three nights a week for the first 8 weeks then I will only have class one night a week but still have the online course. I am taking a voice class again, a class on weather and a real estate course. I really want to learn CA laws for real estate as I prepare to buy a house in the next year or so.

I bought season tickets to the Broadway series here in town. I think this is something I am going to figure out how to do every year. I take my mom and we have a lunch out, a matinee performance and a lovely day together. She loves the theater like I do so it is a nice, fun activity. Our tickets are on Sundays at 2:00. Our shows this year are: the drowsy chaperone, he color purple, avenue Q, Frost Nixon, and the lion king. I really want to take my nieces and nephews to the lion king but will have to see if I can afford it. The shows are the Broadway touring casts so really excellent. It is an expensive set of tickets but worth the time with my mom and she really enjoys it. I just figured out that the tickets I bought this year totally a little less than 1% of my salary for the year. Add in lunch and I am probably at 1.25% to me, worth it.

Update since the last one

August 15th, 2008 at 09:10 pm

It has been a while since i last updated here goes:

The new neighbor has two weiner dogs that bark incessantly when she is not home. I have called the city on her twice (and will do more if she does not do something). She moved into the neighborhood in May and told neighbors that if they donít like the barking they can move. Some of these people bought new thirty years ago and she treats them like this? She even told me in a letter if I donít like dogs to move someplace without animals. I love dogs but it is irresponsible, inconsiderate and rude neighbors I donít like. This has got to stop, anyone know about suing neighbors who wonít keep their dogs in line? The neighborhood association wonít do anything they just say, call the city. If this happens again tomorrow I am going to report them as abandoned because I have not seen her at the house in almost a week. Help if you have an advice about the dogs.

I interviewed for a good job at the agency I want to move to. Not sure if I will get it but my former supervisor was on the panel and he is listed as one of y recommendations. There might be politics at play with internal candidates or something. I hope to hear Monday. The job I really want has come open under him but there is no job posting yet that I can apply to. It would be funny but my whole section from my office has moved to this new agency and works together over there. It would be nice to get back together with them.

Money is ok. I have been spending more than I should but I know I have it and am not adding to debt. I needed to upgrade the ram in my computer as I have vista and it took 5 minutes to turn on and off and forever to do anything. I upgraded to 4 gig and the computer is working marvelously. The best part, I installed it myself. Am so proud of me! Anyone know if I can sell the 2 512 pieces I have and how much they would be worth? Monkey mama, does your husband need any?

Mom had an emergency episode on Wednesday and ended up in the ER. She is home now and resting. They think she had a gall bladder attack but she has no gall bladder (removed 30 years ago) and other tests came back with elevated enzyme levels. More testing next week to determine what is going on. It was scary to get that 330 am phone call and I made it from my house to the hospital in 48 minutes. She lives 40 miles from me. I did not speed much but if I had gotten pulled over, I would have fought it. At 330 am there was no traffic and I think the officers were on lunch breaks.
I think my boss is leaving. Of course based on our relationship I would be the last to hear. I wonít miss him but I am desperate to leave as well, so I am more jealous than anything.

Niece is engaged. Will have 18 month engagement and they have been together for more than 4 years. She is 21 he is 22 and they make a very good couple I just think they are both to young and she is very immature for her age. She works a dead end job and he wants to go to the law enforcement academy next June when he graduates from college. Something else to save for.

I am looking around for a part time job I can take up for the weekends. I live near a mall and I think having a part time job will help me to reach a goal I have by my 35th birthday next July. Am looking around and will start applying all around tomorrow.