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10 August 2011 @ 09:47 pm
Holy moly.. haven't made a post in LJ since May 20th.  Can't believe how much has happened since the last post.  Even for the last 5 months, when I reflect back, I have NO idea how life has changed and gone topsy turvy so much.  I've never experienced crazy chaos like this since 1993, and even then, I was a kid so I didn't have to navigate the adult responsibilities.

Loosing Tom, Neph's dad was really hard.  Such a sweetheart of a man and so loving and giving to all around him.  The memorial service was absolutely beautiful and all of Neph and Sae's hard work was truly appreciated.  Not a dry eye in the house and the photographs and music selections were truly wonderful.  The family that spoke and the open mic during the reception were helpful to those that may have not known Pop for the length of time that some of us have.  Friends from out of town attended.  Some I had not seen for over 15 years.  A real trip to see everyone all grown up and responsible.  heh.

More stress through the months.. but.. it DOES get better!Collapse )
Current Mood: tiredtired
20 May 2011 @ 12:12 pm
Damn.. this housebuying stuff is pretty stressful.  All the documents to be signed, I'm checking everything, and double-checking others... I guess it's probably good, in some ways, that I'm a Project Manager by day, because my control-freak tendencies come out when I'm nagging the shit out of others to do their part.

I'm lucky to have a great real estate agent and an awesome bank, but working with the selling agent and their bank for the owned property is really a pain in the aryse.  Those people are woefully disorganized.  Because of my experience with these people, I've documented "lessons learned" to share with others who plan to enter the homebuying process.  The least I could do is to offer some words of advice to help others avoid the headaches I've had to deal with.

That stress, compounded by school homework stress, compounded by work stress and the Stanford class I'm taking this week has put me on damn near full-tilt.  My patience has been EXTREMELY low, as of late.  I'm tired, and my ulcer is acting back up.

The irritants of today where some total dufus was driving down a one-way road in my neighborhood, to turn the corner and then enter YET ANOTHER one-way road in the wrong direction, made me more than a little agitated first thing in the morning (and to mention, I was up 2 hours EARLIER than I normally am)....  Additionally, I bring my lunch in today and begin to enjoy my yummy soup to hear two ladies going into some serious graphic details about child birth and doctors stitching up all sorts of bodyparts.. f'ing sick!  I never understood why chicks talk so openly about that crap.

So.. maybe I should be grateful for some things to counter-act some of this weirdness:

+ Mom's job interview went well.  So well, that Big-B offered her a job, on the spot.  Salary offer to come today/Monday!

+ Today, I finished class #2 of 6 for my Stanford advanced PM certification.

+ Homeowner's insurance came in $240 LESS than anticipated by the bank/me.  I even get about 25% MORE coverage than I originally requested, giving me more than enough coverage for damn near all possible issues that I could encounter.  Even the insurance agent said "wow, I was really impressed that the price of this policy is so cheap - you and Mr. Rockstar are not considered "risky insured individuals"

+ I am down 4.5lbs from stress.  Gonna see if I can keep this weight off.  If so, I'll be 3lbs less than when I left weight watchers, over a year ago.

+ I have no "official" plans for this weekend so I intend to sleep damn near every bit of the weekend away.  Additionally, I'm happy that next weekend will be 3-days.

+ Tonight is game night at E&B's house.  Should be a great time with everyone.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
17 May 2011 @ 10:36 pm

So... onward and upward. I have lots to be thankful for:
Mom has her job interview with Boeing this week. She also has a back-up offer for another job. She even has the option to go to school for the entire Summer, if she wants to. I am so proud of her.

Inspection on the house Mr. Rockstar and I entered into contract on went great. Waiting for the seller (bank) to clarify one item, and then we begin the closing process. So happy we close at 4.75% I locked the rate yesterday and reminded myself that it really paid to wait a couple years to buy. Mr. Rockstar and I have been patiently looking for over two years. It was worth the wait!

Feeling like I am making some really great progress in my advanced Project Mgmt classes @ Stanford. The course is challenging, but the instructor is super cool.

This week I must focus on my school homework. I know I can do better, but after work happy hour shennanigans with friends seem to beckon me more than they should.

This week I send positive thoughts to two friends that need some good in their live. One has surgery on Thurs. The other is just trying to find a way, right now.

Here's hoping we have some sun this week! So motivating. :)

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03 May 2011 @ 03:53 pm

My goodness… where to start.  Felt like I needed to "dump" into LJ to be rid of my full brain and, hopefully, gain some sort of semblance of order, again.

Hummm.. I'll begin with my birthday shindig at Mulleady's and the super fun time I had that eased me into being my new age of 35.  (I have to remind myself, all the time, that YES.. I'm 35).  Damnit.  I stopped growing "up" around 25 so I figure if I can have the attitude of a younger person, perhaps I'll look like a younger person as well.  ;)  heh heh heh.  Ahhh.. The eternal search for the fountain of youth.  So, after said birthday party, Mr. Rockstar and myself decided to really put the pedal to the metal, so to speak, and amplify our search for a home.  We were blessed to have a pre-qualified loan through BECU with an amazing interest rate so we felt we may as well get our asses out and about to search for our new home.  And we found it, or so we thought….

The same day we requested an offer letter from BECU for a house in Shoreline, we found out that my mom's company had just laid off 30% of their entire workforce… "oh-holy-crap" is all I could think.  Poor Mom, and the other 40 people that got laid off.  Wow.  So, Mr. Rockstar and I elected to not make the offer on the house until we could be 100% sure that my mom was financially stable.  Her unemployment benefit was practically insulting, but she was determined to make things work, no matter what.  And that she did.  She was able to network with some folks at WorkSource and got enrolled into a very limited/exclusive credential course that was directly related to the industry she has worked in for 30 years.  Such a blessing for her to have the opportunity to refresh her skills and she seems to be adapting well to the "school life".  She also applied for 3 jobs, and all of them she received call-backs on, interviews and even an offer from one of them, so far.  How amazing to go to school and have a job waiting for you when you complete your studies.  *blessing!*  Mom has done a great job keeping a positive attitude through the stress of loosing her job.  Her schooling is complete as of next week so I'm happy to see her with renewed vigor towards a new career in the industry she enjoys so much.

Our next hurdle came with the extended sickness of my grandmother.  She had a nasty cold during the holiday season that ended up turning into pneumonia.  She battled the illness and was making some headway in beating the sickness.  And then.. She took a turn for the worse.  Her kidneys just couldn't handle the stress on her body.  We lost my sweet family matriarch on April 6th.  I was grateful to be with her when the good lord called her up to be with him.  So very humbling of an experience.  The family is trying to adjust through the process of not having such a strong leader around anymore.  The family gathered at her and my grandfather's home for Easter, as we all have for many, many years.  We had the best time we could, under the circumstances.

And yet, another hurdle…when we found out a close friend of ours was diagnosed with melanoma.  Wow… what a blow.  Mr. Rockstar and I were soooo very worried about our her.  She had her diagnosis and then was scheduled for surgery about 10 days later.  (I can't even begin to imagine the feeling of having to wait that long to really know what the heck is going on).  Her surgery went very well and the doctors were able to remove the cancer, completely.  *THANK GOD*  The procedure she had to go through was painful, but she handled it so well, and had an amazing attitude through the whole process.  So very grateful that she was able to catch it before it spread anywhere in her body. 
(For the record: I did schedule my long overdue skin exam with my dermatologist).  Sometimes these "reminders" make you realize how vulnerable you really are.

Through all of this I was able to continue work full-time, go to school part-time AND go through my Project Management Professional (PMP) study courses (8-hrs a week for 10-wks) and prepare to sit for the exam.  I have elected to reschedule my exam for the late-July timeframe as Mr. Rockstar and I are in the process of buying a house.  We made an offer on a place last Friday, and should (hopefully) have mutual acceptance from the seller, either today or tomorrow. *fingers crossed*  The location of the house is in West Seattle, in the Admiral Point neighborhood, about 1-mile from Alki beach.  It's a fun neighborhood, so we are looking forward to the possibility of enjoying this Summer in an amazing place that we can call our own.  I guess it's funny when you have a vision of where you may end up living, it may not always be where you first thought it would be.  We said we'd move as far North as Shoreline, and as far South as West Seattle in the Alki neighborhood.. We thought we'd end up somewhere between (and had been searching and searching in Ballard, to no avail) so this place really came as a surprise to us.

With all the stressful events, I have to say that I have learned I'm a pretty strong person.  I can also be quite resourceful and I also do count my many blessings that happened along the way.  I'm so grateful for my family and all of my friends.

- Thank you Mr. Rockstar for the un-ending love and patience you show me when I'm tired, stressed or grumpy.
- Thank you Mom for having a darn good attitude throughout the last few stressful weeks.
- Thank you to Mr. Rockstar's family for their support and love throughout our homebuying process.
- Thank you to Neph / Sae for hugs, kisses and kind words.  You are always so generous with your support, even when your own lives are busy/stressful.
- Thank you Jay for doing the best you can, even when you don't wanna.
- Thank you to Lizzy-B and Brian for your amazing help at Easter, and with always lending a listening ear (and pulling up a bar-stool for me on those nights when it seems only a laugh and some beer can take the stress away)
- Thank you to Zerlina for "nudging" me to write this LJ post.  It's been very "cleansing" to put these events into writing.
- Thank you Marina for your friendship and spiritual support during my grandmother's sickness.
- Thank you to Ricker for always making me laugh and for helping me to keep perspective.
- Thank you Christie for encouraging me at work when I need to take a break and get away for lunch with the silly lunchtable crowd.
- Thank you to my boss at work for being SO flexible when I need to leave on a moment's notice.  Having that ability is truly a godsend to me during those difficult times when I needed to take care of family matters.
- Thank you to Stephanie for coming up with the plans for shennanigans on Cinco de Mayo on Alki.  Additionally, I VERY much look forward to riding trikes-for-beer with you and Michelle on Queen Anne in a couple weeks.  I can only imagine the photo opportunites that will be had.
- Thank you to my sweet kitty, Midori.  She's got an unconditional love that is not normal for a cat.  I'm grateful to have my little buddy there all the time.
- Thank you UW for my season ticket seating announcement. Exactly the seats I wanted + my priority voucher for the Apple Cup tickets!! Oh Yeah!!!
- Thank you to the folks at BECU for being amazing.  I've seen other friends have such negative experiences with other banks during the homebuying process.  BECU has shown amazing support and follow-through on everything I've asked for.

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
21 February 2011 @ 06:10 pm
Confucious say.. man who behind car get exhausted.  He also says:  man who infront of car get tired.

And, Exhausted / Tired is how I feel today.  Damn.  BUSY weekend.  Fun weekend, but I'm paying the dear price of being tired today for it.

Friday, went to Mr. Rockstar's "holiday" party for his work at Jak's steakhouse/cafe. OMG was the food there amazing!  Entertainment wasn't bad either to watch Mr. Rockstar devour a giant steak and then watch his boss eat a 40oz porterhouse steak, potato pancakes and get a side order of mashed potatos as well.  Plus 3 cocktails.  Impressive...  hahahha

Saturday, Mr. Rockstar, Ricker, Kevin, Matt, Johanna and I paid a visit to Clearwater Casino for shennanigans.  I left the casino double what I bought-in at, so I was quite happy.  The winnings paid for my entire grocery trip + booze + lotto tickets.  ;)

Sunday, Mr. Rockstar and I went to an open house for an adorable place in Seattle.  Cute 2-br brick rambler house that has so much charm and is an a great neighborhood.  The house literally has the same layout of my childhood home, so I had some warm-fuzzies when I walked in and already knew the layout of the place.  Rockstar and I decided to go forth and pursue the place, so I'm crossing my fingers that things pan out with this place.  All the others have started with amazing prospects and then the "discovery" phase occurs where you manage to find issues (unpaid taxes, HOA instability, etc).  This place seems to be legit - checked the public records and the current owners have had the place for 26 years + taxes are all paid in full, so that's an excellent start to the process, thus far.  Bonus is that the owners are asking quite a bit less than the appraised value, so I bet my lender would look favorably upon a positve equity situation. *yay* From what I've seen in this market, not many opportunities to enter a positive equity real estate market.
After checking out the house we wandered over to Rockstar's mom's place for a birthday family dinner.  Turkey dinner was JUST what I needed.  Felt like thanksgiving with everyone there and we had a blast.  I'm blessed to have a boyfriend with an amazing family that I really enjoy being around.

Today was busy at work and now I have to prep for my math test.  Was going to take it tonight, but I'm so damn tired, I don't think I could get through it.  So, I'll have to ditch out, early, of my PMP class tomorrow night to make it in time to complete my test.  Ugh.. I keep saying I won't wait til' the last minute to take these damn tests, but time always gets the best of me.

This week should pass quickly and I'm looking forward to a potential Redhook visit with Rockstar and Ricker on Wednesday and birthday shindig that Rockstar planned for me on Friday.  Should be fun to hang with the gang.  The social calendar is busy next week with Irish Week activities, Mardi Gras on March 8th, the St. Pat's dash on the 13th, St. Pat's day on the 17th and then the dreaded PMP exam on the 27th. 
Trying to find a time to take a long weekend for a quick vacation, but it isn't looking like my work calendar and Rockstar's work calendar will allow for anything sooner than May, when we're planning for New Orleans, and then July for Portland Brewer's Festival.  Taking 10-cr for Spring qtr @ school may burn me out so badly that I may have to take Summer qtr off.  Sometimes I have to ask myself, why in the hell do I spread myself so thin on activities?  WTF...  I guess I'll just go back to my old stand-by motto "I just get shit done".
Current Mood: tiredtired
04 February 2011 @ 10:34 am
Glad the week is over.  It's been "interesting" to say the least, but I made it through.. in one piece.

The PMP study group is going along quickly.  I have been skimming my PMBOK book - it's been years since I read the damn thing and now I have the assignment to read it twice.  The first time to refresh my mind, and the second to start taking out elements that will be the most pertinent to the PMP exam.  This week at work was so busy I barely had time to eat or visit the restroom.  I don't mind when things are fast-moving as the week flies by.  Was bummed I couldn't go with the Dragonfly and Butterfly to the Ladybug's Grandma's funeral on Thursday.  I thought about Betty all day, that day.  I wish I could have gone to see her and support her through a difficult time.

Have to attend a memorial service on Saturday for my Mom's best friend's father.  My heart hurts for her to see her dad slowly dissenegrate over the years from Alzheimer's.  So painful for her to watch.  She's been like a second mom to me so I feel it is necessary I go with my mom to support Deb.  She has been through a lot with her own life and to have this sadness, makes things only more painful.

I guess there has been a dark cloud over this week for others around me.  I'll offer gratitude to remind myself that life is good to me and I value those who make my life better.

- Thank you to Mom for the yummy dinner the other night and for helping me find a cool storage container for the project I'm working on.
- Thank you to Mr. Rockstar for always listening to me and offering helpful advice during those times when I can get irritated and exhibit less than optimal patience with others.
- Thank you to Big-B for the 3-weeks of pay bonus.  This helps to pay off two bills 3 months faster than anticipated.
- I'm enjoying my Valentine decorations.  I'm also enjoying the Mardi Gras decorations I put out (early) so I could remind myself of NOLA.
- I'm looking forward to going to NOLA and Portland this year.  A possible trip to Cannon Beach as well.  Might be interesting how to finaggle these trips and also buy a house.  I guess I'll cross the bridge when I get there.
- Looking forward to Sunday Super Bowl @ The Pratt's house.  Their ManCave is awesome and will allow for much fun to be had by all.  Making "Packer" jell-o shots (two-layered with pineapple and lime).
- Put a deposit down on my UW football tickets for 2011.  My season ticket holder priority is 6-years running and I'm lucky enough to be able to request the exact same seats, every year.
- My mind is focused on the PMP exam.  Started making flashcards last night.  Thank you to Neph for offering to support me with a cram study session after St. Patrick's day.
- Thank you to SLC for sending me the email at work regarding the AWESOME job opportunity.  I applied for it and if it pans out, my career goal of obtaining my L5 is fulfilled 5 years earlier than planned.
Current Mood: busybusy
24 January 2011 @ 04:29 pm
Monday... Monday.. 

- Big thank yous to Mr. Rockstar for his big-helps during the weekend.  Taking out the trash and not looking down at me when I don't want to get outta bed til' 1pm in the afternoon....
- Fun with Ricker on Friday.  Glad to see he's back at Big-B to provide needed stability for him.
- Was nice to loaf around the house all day Saturday.
- Had fun @ Matt & Johanna's place on Sunday for the two football games.  Super Bowl players are decided and I'm looking forward to the big ol' crazy party at Alvey and Stephanie's place on February 6th (also thankful I took Monday the 7th off of work and scheduled my 1-hr massage from Groupon that day too).
- Hoping the Big-B bonus will be a nice one this year.  Release of how "much" we may get should be in the next day or two.  Anything helps to contribute towards downpayment funds.
- Hoping Lizzie-B and Brian are able to buy in Ballard.  Being neighbors would be awesome.
- It has been decided that Portland Brewfest will happen this year.  Mr. Rockstar and I did not make it in 2010 and ended up regretting it.  2011 will absolutely have to happen.
- Feeling a (albeit small) positive feeling from the new vitamin supplements.

- Still feeling a little ache'y and pain'y left over from the weekend.  Didn't make it to the gym so not sure why I'm sore as if I went.  I'm thinking I'm sleeping really tense again.
- Anticipation of the PMP classes has my mind all a'flutter.  Reality is setting in and I'm thankful I didn't enroll in the second class at school.  5-credits + full time job + 6 hour class commitment each week for PMP prep is plenty for me.
- Irritated that the dumbass meter maid who patrols my neighborhood is not real thorough in her pass-identification.  Apparently she did not see the Zone 13 guest pass in Mr. Rockstar's car window.  Stupid blind parking cop gave him a ticket, but we're fighting it.  Ugh.  Wasted time on my end as a result from someone's careless mistake.  Hard to control my impulses in not making a giant, florescent green cardboard arrow that sits on the dashboard and points to the pass and says "Hey, Traffic Cop, the pass is HERE" so there is no mistaking that the pass actually exists.
- Trying to be patient for the New Orleans trip to reduce in price.  Saints didn't make it through the playoffs so I'm still waiting for the cost to reduce by atleast another $150.  I already know I'll need a trip in May.  No question about that.
- Math test is in a week....
Current Mood: coldcold
19 January 2011 @ 05:25 pm
No real plans developed for this weekend and I'm glad about that, quite frankly.  Been burning that candle at both ends and really do need to take er' easy.

Work was busy today and the day flew by.  Got my corporate photo done.  Turned out "ok", in my opinion.  I needed some sort of professional headshot that I could use for work/job stuff.  All the photos I have been using have me with a beer in hand, or sunglasses on, or where I managed to crop out people to try and get a decent photo of me.  Atleast I now have a "grownup photo".  Was told by a few people that it definitely says "corporate".  Even, "real estate agent"  hah hah.  Well, it's official.  I have drank the Big-B Kool-aide and I'm a "life'r".  No doubt about it.  I have had my ups and downs with the company but there have always been more ups than downs.  I intend to stay here for another 20 years and retire at the ripe ol' age of 55.  That's the master-plan, but life can throw a few curve balls and who knows what lies ahead.

Some action in the neighborhood last night with a bomb scare.  WTF?!  Really?  The city life never ceases to amaze me with the plethora of dipshits that inhabit Seattle.
Current Mood: restlessMystified
17 January 2011 @ 09:16 pm

Good weekend and was glad to celebrate my little bro entering a new decade.  He's 30 and I'm in total denial because that makes me soon to be 35.. ugh.  Time really does fly.

Stayed out way past bedtime on Saturday night and was up at 9am to get ready for the Hawks' game at the Waterwheel.   Was absolutely packed so had to call off the others as there was no where to sit.  I had a couple mimosas and watched the game and ended up meeting Lizzy-B at Hale's.  Had breakfast and caught the rest of the game.  Was hoping to see the Dragonfly and Butterfly, but timing was gnarly with the Waterwheel being packed and all.  Will have to catch up with them in the next week.  Got home and took a nap and when I woke up is when I discovered ugh.. I think my cold is STILL hanging on.  WTF?!?  Thought maybe just allergies, but the aches and pain that came later only confirmed that this shitty crud will hang on for dear life.  Made it through work today (barely).  After work, I got to thinking that I'll need something decent to wear in my corporate photo (scheduled for Wednesday) and I don't really have any suits anymore.  Did a massive closet cleaning last year and got rid of a bunch of crap and all the clothes that were too big for me.  So, alas.. no blazer or jacket or suit to wear for said photo.  Hit up Goodwill and found some really cute stuff, but noting I could commit to in the corporate clothing dept.  Did manage to find a pair of $100 shoes that were brand new.  Got them for $7.99.  Damn.  Lucky.  I've managed to get some good mileage out of the gift card Mr. Rockstar's mom got me.  She knows I dig Goodwill and love treasure hunting.  Well, maybe I'll have better luck at the Ballard Goodwill tomorrow.

Having a hard time buckling down on the math class, tonight.  Seem to find anything else to do besides the homework.  Must.. find.. motivation.  All I know is that if I feel as bad tomorrow, as I did today, I'm staying home from work.  Sleep seems to be the only cure for this shitty sickness.

Mr. Rockstar and I are devising an interim plan for living arrangements if his work moves to Seattle before we buy a house.  Really want to avoid the 520-toll, so it will make financial sense for him to move to the queen anne apt until we can find what it is we are looking for (that seems friggin' impossible, lately).  Some neat places here and there, but always some sort of catch.  I think I'm just finicky, but if we're gonna part with a downpayment and be locked into a 30-yr mortgage, I'm not real hot on taking the first thing that jumps out at me.  It's a buyer's market so I'm sure something will turn up.  Interest rates are better than they were 2 years ago, the prices of houses are down 15% from where they were 2 years ago and I'm not competing with those that got the tax credit (although, it would have been really sweet to get that credit) but I've found that the credit was a maximum savings of $8K and a house that was going for $240K then, is now around $225K, so really a savings of $15K is worth the wait.

Looking forward to a chill weekend.  Glad Ricker is back on this side of the mountains so we can hang out with the gang.  Should make for an interesting year ahead of all of us.

Well... Going to attempt to tackle the homework.


Current Mood: tiredtired
12 January 2011 @ 04:35 pm

Whoa… school is fully underway and wow was I tired last night after many hours of math. Ugh. The snow was coming down fast last night and 3" was on my car by the time I went to bed (midnight). Woke up this morning and the world's largest slurpee seemed to be strewn all over the street. I made the trek into work and was surprised at how many people actually came in. Got lots done today and feel a bit tired, so I may need a coffee to get me through. Because I managed to get my homework caught up last night, I'm treating myself and meeting some pals for Trivia night at my favorite dive in Ballard, The Waterwheel. Geeks who drink are my favorite trivia folks and the fact that you can win a big "tube" of beer as the grand prize, makes things even sweeter. Should be fun and the fact that I have a Groupon, will make things fun and cheap. ;)

I did a good deed today and mailed some dude his license back. Found it on the ground at the gas station yesterday and all I could think of is that I'd be bummed to have to go wait at the DMV for hours, pay $30 bucks and likely get a worse picture on my card than the one prior. So, I mailed the license off to the guy with no return address. Either it gets to him or not, he's obviously no worse for it. Twice I've done this - the other was for some blonde chick that left her license in the ladies room at a bar. Hoping that for anything I have lost (or will loose in the future) will be returned to me because of the karma. *wink*

Well.. Off to find some coffee. Workday is nearly over. *does Kermit The Frog "Yay" dance*

Current Location: Work..
Current Mood: busybusy