Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Did You Know - Part II

I did a post like this last year and enjoyed sharing with you some stuff you may or may not know about me. I'm in a sharing mood again, so here we go:

Did You Know...

… that every time, every time, I throw a sack of trash into the dumpster I panic that I’m throwing away some vital piece of paper or cherished item?

…my favorite dead actor is Cary Grant?

…my favorite live actress is Judy Dench?

…I sleep with a giant teddy bear named Norman?

…I knock on wood to ward off bad luck?

…I used to bite my nails? It was a hard habit to break.

…that white calla lilies are my favorite flowers?

lilacs are my second favorite? Their scent is heavenly!!

…I have a tattoo? It’s really small and only three people have ever seen it. Are you one of them?

…I once hit another car while driving and kept driving instead of pulling over?

…I hate doing yard work?

…Elizabeth I is my hero? She wasn’t perfect, but no hero is, really.

…I would rather write in my journal for eight hours than scrapbook for two?

…my bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in three weeks? Yes, I’m ashamed.

…I was once in love with a boy named Crusher?

…I just found out that a good friend has leukemia? I need to call him.

…I’d rather be deaf than blind? (Knock on wood that I never become either!)

…I have a recurring nightmare based on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None?

…my favorite song currently on my iPod is Regina Spektor’s Fidelity?

…that if I had to make a choice between mints or chocolate, I’d choose mints every day and twice on Sunday? I love chocolate, but I need mints.

…I’m related to King John (of Robin Hood fame) on my dad's side?

…I prefer sitting on the aisle instead of by the window?

…I once was offered, and considered briefly, a job as a stripper?

…I’m craving chicken pasta salad (with grapes), chocolate chip cookies, and ginger ale?

…my biggest fear is regret?

Bon Jovi’s (You Want To) Make a Memory makes my heart ache?

Now you know everything about me - I have no secrets left! I might as well close up shop for awhile so I can build up more things about me you may not know. Or, I'll have to start inventing things.

Oh, speaking of...I lied...I think it's actually been four weeks since I cleaned my bathroom! I'll go and hang my head in shame now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Julie: Homeowner

I closed on my condo this morning!

Yes, it was supposed to be last Friday...don't get me started on how frustrated I felt last week. Nothing can be done about that now, so I'm just focusing on the fact that it's done! I'll get the keys as soon as the transaction records, hopefully tomorrow, supposedly no later than Thursday.

It hasn't really sunk in that I own a home. Afterall, I don't have the keys for it and I don't live there yet. This week is going to involve a lot of work, but I try to focus on my favorite part of the moving process - finding places for my stuff! I especially love putting away my kitchen things. There is something so blissful about finding the perfect spot for one's pots and pans, spices, and such. I've already got a mental list of things I'd like to purchase which will enrich my kitchen experience. Top of the list: cool canisters for flour, sugar, etc. I currently have some white plastic ones that function properly but that are ugly. Sigh. I can't wait!

Maybe, just maybe, I'll take pictures this week to post on my blog. Don't hold your breath, though. I'm not a picture-taker. Plus, maybe if you don't have pics of the condo, you'll feel more inclined to come visit!!!

Come for a visit!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Closing, Hopefully

I should be closing on my condo this Friday!!!!

Recently, I started to panic a little because a) my agent and the broker said at the start of all this that everything should be ready really quickly, then it seemed to stall for no apparent reason, b) I have to be out of my apartment at the end of the month - next weekend!, and c) I'm a planner that likes to give myself a lot of time to do things, just in case something goes wrong.

Turns out that my end of the loan process finished two weeks ago - the broker said he'd like 1,000 clients like me because I have "all [my] ducks in a row" and was the "smoothest loan applicant ever" - but the lender needed a document signed by the developer to ensure that the developer's partners couldn't interfere with anything in the future. Well, the developer chose this month to go out of the country. He got back yesterday, signed the document today, and so we're closing on Friday (knock on wood - seriously, I'm superstitious).

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous about buying a "house". No, I'm not. In fact, I can't wait. I know I can afford it, and if ever I feel like I need a little help, I have room for a roommate (hopefully it never comes to this - knock on wood again!). And, I really look forward to moving in to a new, bigger home.

I've lost all desire to cook in my current "kitchen"; it's depressing. I can't wait to have counters on which to roll pie crust dough, a full-size oven in which to roast a turkey, and a dishwasher in which to hide all my dirty dishes!! Sigh. Also, my poor little studio apartment is busting at the seams; I don't have room for everything I own and I don't even own that much stuff! Books are piled on my kitchen table because my bookshelves are full and I don't have the space for a new bookshelf. My pitiful closet is home to at least 5 kitchen items that won't fit in the hutch my boss gave me when I moved in. I have nowhere to stack mail, store suitcases, or hang my fabulous Emile Bellet print that I won on my cruise last summer. Also, my new place comes with a washer and dryer so I won't have to go over to Mom's house every time I need to do laundry! AND, part of the HOA dues includes cable and wireless internet. I'm also thinking about getting a pet.

See why I'm excited???

If all goes according to plan, I'll close on Friday, get the keys at the beginning of next week, and start moving boxes the rest of the week. Then, on Saturday I'll move all the big stuff and whatever boxes I didn't move on my own. Saturday afternoon I'll clean. That night I'll spend the first night in my new home. Sunday I'm driving to Page, AZ for a two-day job. What would life be like if it weren't hectic??? Actually, it could be worse - today I was offered the possibility of a job in Sacramento next week. I'd have to leave Tuesday for the 12-hour drive, work Wednesday, then drive home on Thursday. And still move that weekend. However, they didn't want to pay as much as I'd need to be paid to make it worth my while to go (they wanted to pay half of my estimate, which wouldn't even cover my costs!), so next week won't be nearly as bad as it could have been. I really wanted the job, though. Oh well.

So, keep your fingers (and toes) crossed, knock on wood, say a prayer, and wish on a star for the closing to go through on Friday as planned. Thanks!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting By

I'm exhausted.

I just worked 12 hours doing hearing tests at a local manufacturing plant, and am ti-red. Well...I did have a 3-hour break around lunch time, which I spent at the office working on stuff for my upcoming trip to Wyoming, but didn't really get any time to rest, so I'm not counting it as a break.

Yep, I'm heading to Cheyenne, WY tomorrow. On Tuesday, as I was heading home from a job in Price, I received a call from my office saying a woman had called from Logistics (the same company that hired me for the job in Colorado) and asked if I could work an "event" in Cheyenne this Saturday. (Logistics isn't known for its advance notice; at least, with us it's always been very last-minute.) Well, I thought about it for 2 seconds and called the woman with an affirmative reply. It's a really long drive, and I want to be somewhat rested when I start testing at 6:30 Saturday morning, so I'm leaving tomorrow after work and spending the night somewhere along the way. I'll finish the trip Friday, work Saturday, and come home Sunday/Monday. It'll be a long, tiring weekend, but I'm actually really looking forward to it. I've never been to Cheyenne, and I've discovered that I enjoy driving The Beast, now that I know what I'm doing a little bit better, so it'll be a good trip.

Plus, all this work I've been doing means extra money for me in the form of commissions! Yeah! That's always nice!

Sigh. Did I mention this has been one heck of a week? I've been working practically nonstop, waking up way too early for comfort (5:00am Tuesday and 3:45am today), trying to get over a breakup, and celebrating my birthday tomorrow. "Celebrating" is a loose term, really. Tomorrow, I'm finishing testing at the place at which I worked today, going to the office to finish getting ready for my departure and to tie up some loose bookkeeping ends (paychecks, pay some bills), then heading out of town. It's okay, really, that I'm not doing anything for my birthday. Afterall, I'm just turning 31, it's not like it's a momentous birthday. Plus, my family plans on celebrating it sometime next week, so it'll just extend the "celebration" a little longer. *smile*

Speaking of the breakup...I have good times and bad times, naturally. There are times when I'm so busy that I forget all about it. Other times, I'll be doing something so commonplace and it'll hit me like a freight train. Example: today, I was in the testing trailer packing up to go home for the day. I was chugging the remains of my bottled water and remembered that I don't have any cold bottles of water at home. Then I remembered the gallon of cold water in my fridge. All at once, I pictured all the times I've poured Anthony water from that (or similar) gallon of water and I missed him so much I almost cried. Isn't that weird?

I've got to say thank you to all of you who have texted, emailed, or called to see how I'm doing. It has really helped. There have been a couple nights when I was feeling really low and someone would call to chat and by the end of the conversation I'd be doing tons better. It's times like these that remind me how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life. Thank you!!!

I wasn't really sure what I'd end up writing; I just felt like writing. I have a couple ideas milling around in my head for more upbeat type posts, so hopefully I'll get them posted in the next few days (don't hold your breath). 'Til then...

P.S. Have you noticed that I don't post pictures any more? Does this make my blog boring? I admit, I'm lazy. It's easier to write than to worry about pictures. AND because the pictures were never pictures I actually took, just pics I found on Google that went with my post, I figured I didn't need them. Someday, maybe in the millenium, I'll start taking pictures and posting them. Again, don't hold your breath.

Friday, May 09, 2008

A Tale of Two Theories

As I'm turning 31 next week, I've been thinking a lot about this past year in my life. I realized that since turning 30 last year until now, I've had more significant interactions with men than in the whole decade or so before (only a slight exaggeration, unfortunately). Here's a summary, in case you haven't been keeping track (shame, shame):

It started just a couple weeks before my birthday last year when Adam informed me that he was interested in me AND I went on a blind date with Nolan. Nolan was nice, but nothing happened. That was okay because, as you all know, things progressed quite nicely with Adam for a few months, 'til we broke up. During the time I was dating Adam, I also had a date with Anthony AND got hit on by various men on my cruise to the Caribbean, including a very attractive waiter who aimed for my lips but ended up kissing me on the cheek/jaw. After Adam, there was an extremely brief thing with Lincoln, but I quickly realized that he and I weren't well-suited for each other. There were many offers from friends and family to be set up with guys, but none of them panned out. No problem. In November, Anthony started coming back on the scene and right before Christmas we went on our second date. We eventually started dating more regularly, even talked about marriage a little (mostly he did, I just said we'll see). And who could forget the Colorado incident last month? Shawn and Fred made the weekend very interesting, especially Shawn. Those kisses still make me blush and smile a little. Sigh.

Anyway, as I reflected back on all these experiences, I wondered what this next year is going to hold for me, romantically-speaking. I came up with two "theories". In a year, we'll see which theory was proven most correct. Here they are:

Pessimistic Theory
This theory states that the universe decided that my 31st year (the year I was 30) would make up for the extremely dry, and partially self-inflicted, romance desert that I'd been in for the previous several years. During this year, more or less, I'd have lots of fun, interesting, hard, challenging, and rewarding experiences with menfolk. Then, when the year was up, more or less, the experiences would dry up and vanish forever. I'd be a blossom that only bloomed once, for just one year.

There is some evidence that this theory could end up being correct. The most obvious is the fact that I broke up with Anthony last night. Coincidence that it happened right before my birthday??? You decide. There are a couple guys on the "fringe", but maybe they'll all disappear this next week or so. I guess only time will tell.

Optimistic Theory
This theory states that the universe chose my 31st year (the year I was 30) to be the start of many wonderful experiences with men, mostly because I had finally started to come to terms with my fear of vulnerability and inability to trust men. As my mental/emotional status improved, the universe introduced me to opportunities to grow as a woman and to learn what I want in a man. Each successive experience helps me prepare for the next, helps me enjoy it, helps me grow from it. So, when I turn 31, the experiences from the previous year will lead me to more, fulfilling, enjoyable experiences with guys 'til someday (in this year or in some future year) the timing will be right and I stumble across the man who I choose to be with for all eternity.

There is some evidence that this may be the correct theory. Shawn has re-entered my life, though it may prove to be a brief reappearance. He said he's thought about me all month and is still interested if I am. I am.*** He seems like an interesting guy, and I'm inclined to learn more about him. And, if nothing comes of it, so be it. It'll be another interesting experience.

Shawn isn't the only possibility. There are a couple others I know of, plus there could be others I could never even dream of just waiting to be fulfilled. That's the beauty of the future...untold possibilities!!

***Please don't think I broke up with Anthony because Shawn came back on scene. They are two separate events that have only the slightest hints of connectivity.

As a rampant optimist, I naturally tend to lean towards the latter theory. However, having been burned before because of my optimism, I try to swing back to the former, just so I'm not let down if men experiences really do dry up this upcoming year. So...I end up right in the middle. No matter what happens with guys this next year, though, I've really had a good time this past year. I don't regret a thing and wouldn't redo one moment. (I almost said I'd have let Sunil kiss me on the cruise, but I know I wouldn't have...I had a boyfriend! Don't you dare mention Colorado!! Those were two completely different circumstances, even though they seem similar!)

Now all we have to do is sit back, see what happens, and enjoy the show. Anyone have some Raisinets?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A couple tidbits

Just a quick update about a few things that have been going on since Monday:

I took the CDL driving test today...and PASSED!! Hooray! Despite what you all might have thought, passing wasn't a foregone conclusion in my book. I realized there was a very distinct possibility that I'd totally mess up and fail the darn thing. This pessimistic attitude led me to practice and practice and practice until I had dreams (nightmares???) about backing up with the truck and trailer. It paid off, though, because I passed with no major hiccups. I did get a little nervous for my offset backing test - it's a lot harder than you might think, at least what I thought until I tried it. It's been the arrow in my Achilles heel, so I was kind of nervous and therefore made a couple mistakes. However, they were minor mistakes and only caused a few deductions from my score. Everything else went without a hitch. Figuratively speaking, of course, since without the hitch, it would have been pretty difficult to pull the trailer.

Admit it, you smiled a little while you rolled your eyes, didn't ya!?

Next Big Adventure
I'm going on another cruise this summer! My cousin Cassie, her mom, and I are going on a Canada-New England cruise at the end of August. The ship leaves port in Boston and we dock in a couple Canadian cities and Bar Harbor, Maine. Cassie and I (and at one time Alyson) have talked about taking a trip together since last early Spring. Then, when Adam and I were kind of getting more serious, AND I was thinking of moving somewhere, we kind of thought the trip wouldn't happen. Well...both of those concerns didn't pan out, so we revived the trip idea. I know Casssie has worried a bit that I'd cancel because of wedding plans with Anthony, but I'm really not anywhere close to getting engaged - honest. I did warn her that I might have to beg off due to buying a condo, but I resolved those worries, so we recently booked the cruise and flights! My other two cruises were on Carnival ships, this one is Norwegian, so I'm interested to see what the differences will be. I'm really excited to go!! Cruises agree with me; I like meeting new people, I like having my lodging and dining decisions made for me, I like going to bed at night and waking up in a new place without me having to do anything. Okay, I admit it, I'm a lazy traveller.

Home Sweet Home?
Things are progressing with my condo purchase. I met with the lender and filled out the loan application. He said I have great financials (credit score, etc.) and can't see why the loan shouldn't go through. Of course, it still may not, and I have enough of a healthy pessimistic streak (to offset my rampant optimism) to not let myself get too excited until it definitely goes through. Other aspects of the deal are falling quickly into place; the appraisal was completed yesterday, the seller gave me the documents he was required to give (CC&R, disclosures, etc.), and the inspection takes place tomorrow. There should be no problem (knock on wood) closing on the condo by the end of the month, if not a bit sooner. Last night, as I looked at my incredibly small sink containing a few dishes, I sighed and thought of the day when those 2 bowls, 3 plates, and smattering of utensils will be tucked nicely away from sight in the dishwasher. Aaaahhhh.