Saturday, July 30, 2011

Death is not imminent

I got my biopsy results in the mail.  And it was kind of like a college acceptance letter.  I quote:

"Great news! Your pathology results are in, and they were BENIGN!"

See, at my outpatient surgery I got a lot done.  As in, 4 separate procedures.  2 of the procedures involved biopsies, lucky me.  Initially, I was all, "Eh, they're just being super cautious."  Then I wasn't feeling so well, and then the other one started to hurt, and then I got in such a panic that I thought death was imminent.

I really wish someone would give me Xanax. 

Anyway, all is okay, I'm not going to die just yet.  I still have the bandaid on my tummy because I caught a glimmer of dark gray, and I'm pretty sure I'm being held together by a staple.  I'm soooo not ready to see that. 

S's parents should be arriving momentarily. 

I want a nap. 

I'm hungry. 

As you can see, I'm working way back to my sense of normal. 

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wedding Rundown

I should be writing about the wedding today.  Most of the time it seems like I need some time to process events, sort my thoughts, and - well - breathe.  Catch my breath and do a blog entry a day or two later after I have processed everything.  Is anyone else like this?  It's hard to write about things before they are properly absorbed.  So this may not be the only entry, there may be another after I've had some processing time.  But with all of my nervous energy around this, I feel like I owe y'all a rundown.

I think most of my regular readers are my FB friends, and I posted the pictures there.  If you aren't and want to be, just e-mail me at my contact address on here. The pictures essentially tell the story of the day, minus the vows and my speech.  They had really cute vows - like "I vow to eat my vegetables."  When your wife is in school to be a dietician, vows like that are cute and appropriate.  My husband said my speech was good, and of course he would never, ever lie, right?  :-) 

Weather - eh, 60ish degrees, no rain, not that windy (thank goodness!)
Bride and groom - happy
Sailboat ride - good.  Seeing the city from Puget Sound was really nice.  The ceremony was very short since basically they just read their vows and exchanged rings (3-4 minutes). It wasn't like the 30 minute ordeal of a Catholic ceremony like I did.  It was a 2 hour sail, which was more than adequate and actually kind of long.  I was starting to get a little claustrophobic with 10 of us + 2 crew members sharing a small-ish space. 
Logistics - pretty smooth, just a few minute wait for the shuttle to take us from the boat to the restaurant
Other attendees - nice
Food - good.  I've never seen mashed potatoes look so much like chowder. Seriously, they looked weird.  They tasted decent (heavy on the cream though). Salmon was good. Hubby's fish and chips tasted good.  (Well, of COURSE I ate all of my food and then ate 1/3 of my husband's food...duh.)
Cake - gluten free, dairy free.  It was lemon-y, yummy, on the dense side but the frosting was fairly light. 
My hair - curled it, hair sprayed it, pulled some of it back.  It loses curl rather quickly, unlike my daughter's natural curls. Due to the very little wind, at least it wasn't blowing all over the place.

The bride and groom are officially married and ready to start a new chapter of their life together. Congrats!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Almost elopement time

It's the night before the elopement. It would be considered an elopement since they aren't telling their family that they're getting married, right?  Elopements are so much more romantic than weddings. (This coming from a person with a church wedding. The grass is always greener.)

Love is an interesting concept, and each person defines it differently. I self-admittedly overuse it in my everyday vernacular: I love pizza, I love naps, I love my pillow, I love amusement parks.  Love, love, love, I love just about every non-proper noun.

As for proper nouns, I've struggled with the concept of love and specific people for a lot of my life.  Like probably everyone, I always wondered how you would know you were in love.  Most books mirrored most people's responses:   "You just know."  If you know me, you know I'm very... calculated.  I was envisioning a scale that went from red to green, and when you were in the green zone, you'd hear a ding-ding-ding.  I read Judy Blume books and other teenage romance trying to figure out specific patterns that indicated a pathway to love.  As you might imagine, these books were zero help.  The main character just suddenly proclaims that she is in love, and I re-read the preceding pages in order to get some sort of clue as to how it happened.  Stolen glances, a few sentences exchanged, and  Well, that's so not helpful.

Unfortunately, real life was not helpful either.  I have affectionate feelings for a lot of people, but I never had that ding-ding-ding moment where I could say that it was now love.  It was a slow progression.

I'm happy for the happy couple. I wish them all the happiness in the world. I hope the day is all that they want it to be.

Weather forecast at 10am (wedding time): 60 degrees, cloudy, 20% chance of rain.  At least there's a low chance of rain.  :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday randoms

I haven't been feeling well for the past few days - physically or mentally.  I always know my blogging chi gets all screwed up when that happens, and then I choose very superficial stuff to talk about very sporadically.  Hopefully, crossing my fingers, my spell will be lifted this week if I DON'T hear anything.  No news is good news in this instance. 

Due to being in my funk, here is yet another superficial post about nothing in particular. (Hey, at least I warned you.)

- Went for reflexology today.  My third time at the Korean spa.  I don't think I ever talked about my second experience.  During that one, I had a woman for the upper body massage and a man for the lower body (I'm not even in the mood to make a joke here, please insert your own).  The weirdest thing happened with the woman during that one.  Laying there, minding my own business, and she sticks her finger in my ear!  Kind of massages in my ear.  That is ... odd.  I must say that I've never had anyone stick his or her finger in my ear.  That orifice has never had such a probing - except that one time I had an ear infection and the doctor stuck something in my ear (not his finger).  This time I had the guy again, and thank goodness he's not into sticking fingers in ears. 

- In bloggy land and in FB land, I've heard such rave reviews about Friday Night Lights (the TV show).  It's based on this high school football team in Odessa, TX that was really, really good in the late 1980s.  By coincidence, I lived in Odessa, TX in the late 1980s.  I actually lived 2 blocks away from Permian High School.  I was only a kid then, but even I knew how much football made that town go round.  As much as I want to distance myself from that whole experience, I did get sucked in by that show (Netflix streaming).  I have such a soft spot for teenage dramas. 

- As I'm typing this, my husband is complaining about how hooooooottttttt it is.  He then asked if I'm writing about him complaining about how hot it is.  Now I have to add that. 

- I listen to my iPod with all the songs on random unless something goes haywire and then it starts spewing them in alphabetical order by song title.  I've tried playlists, but it doesn't work too well.  I'm not terribly patient, and I fast forward through a bunch of songs to find one I like better.  Of course I have a reason for each song being there, and I feel kind of bad that I zip through the same ones over and over.  How did I survive in the days of cassette tapes when you had to manually fast forward, then you overshot, had to rewind, etc.?  We have it so good now. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Impending Visit

S's parents are in town.  They're staying up with S's brother (who has moved into a duplex after he and his wife separated) for a little over a week, and then they're coming down here for a week or so.  Thus far, I still have a good attitude about it.  However, this year there are mitigating factors that didn't exist last year:

- Last year there were EIGHT freaking people staying with us for two weeks.  And 6 of them essentially invited themselves. 

- We had moved in 6 months previously and still had a very long to-do list (we still do, but we're down to the big expensive things now).

- We canceled cable this year.  No more Fox News!!!!  YES!!!!  Since that's pretty much all S's parents watch (at epic volume), I will be so so sad not to hear any yelling from the TV and toward the TV.  :-) 

- The bragging.  I seriously do not understand why parents of multiple children brag about their other children toward the inferior child.  If that isn't what it is, it's really what it feels like.  We get to hear about the saintly brother and sister and how wonderful THEY are doing.  At least this year, with brother-in-law cheating on sister-in-law (against the Catholic church, mind you), either they are going to have some really good spin or the bragging about S's brother will ebb a bit.  They will likely overcompensate by bragging about the sister, so I'm not sure we'll get around the whole "Your siblings rock, you suck" speeches. 

- With S's father's double bypass, hopefully he's been eating better and feeling better, which means he might not be as edgy. 

- I'm feeling slightly less edgy due to there being only 2 people coming (instead of 8), we've made more progress on the house, feeling a bit more settled in, etc.

Their ETA is only about a week away.  I always feel like it's parents weekend at college.  I want to pretend we don't live like heathens that eat dinner in bed most days and have perfectly kept up closets.  Or at least create the illusion.  With my mother, it's a foregone conclusion that I'm a horrible housekeeper.  After all, I don't fold my dirty clothes.  My mother folds her DIRTY clothes.  Do most people do this?  I think it's very weird, but she always has folded her dirty clothes.  And she washes her dishes completely before she puts them in the dishwasher.  I don't get it, never have, she doesn't understand how I can live so slovenly (although most people say I'm a tad on the compulsive side).  Before S's parents arrive, we have to get the guest bedroom ready, the water saving shower head put on, the cobwebs removed, etc. And don't forget yardwork.  I swear, after you turn 60, you begin to be obsessed with yards.  S's family loves to critiques lawns like my mom loves to critique my dirty dishes and dirty clothes. 

Next house: studio apartment, so no one can stay with us.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So this is summer

It's windy out.  Not the type of windy that will turn your umbrella inside out and stop you in your tracks.  It's more like the gentler wind that makes you zip up your hoodie.  I'm not outside right now, but the window's open and I'm a wind connoisseur who has 20 years of experience with Seattle summer(ish) winds.

Speaking of summer, unless you're in Seattle, you're probably feeling kind of balmy.  We're not so balmy out here.  Did you know that Seattle has had 78 MINUTES of summer (defined as 80 degrees or above) thus far this year?  It's really messing with my head because it feels like early June if I just go by internal weather assessment.  But here it is close to August, and I haven't even had a legitimate sno cone yet.  Plus I found sno cone syrup at Target on the clearance rack for 50% off already!  Not that I mind terribly that I got a good deal on syrup and I'm not dripping sweat, it's just kind of odd - that is all. 

It is 4am.  Yep, insomnia is alive and well.  My insomnia activities are somewhat limited.  I could go downstairs and do stuff, but unless it involves retrieving food from the kitchen, I'm not all that inspired.  Turning on a light to read may wake my husband, and the poor guy has already been woken up by Julia and by me sneezing.  Click clacking on the laptop while the screen is dimmed to the minimum seems to be the most benign option.  If only I had some epiphany about what to talk about... 

Oh yeah, the article I just read.  Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy that hired a model that looked like her.  Unless Old Navy said it was Kim and it wasn't, I don't think the lawsuit will go anywhere.  Seriously, how big of an ego does she have that she think no one else who kinda looks like her can model?  I saw the picture of the other model.  I have never watched an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and really don't even know why Kim is famous, but even I know that the other model isn't Kim.  Sheesh.

Better get a few more hours of sleep!

Monday, July 18, 2011

How Mario gets guys to talk

The summer I was ten or eleven I spent a couple of weeks back in Pittsburgh staying with my grandparents, my dad, and my uncle.  My uncle was fresh off a divorce and had moved back in with my grandparents.  My dad had moved back after his divorce from my mom, so essentially my grandparents were supporting both of their divorced sons.  My grandmother was ill, my grandfather was cranky, my dad was either working or at the bar, and that left me with my uncle – who was rather depressed after his divorce.  Let’s just say the house wasn’t brimming with love.  But it was brimming with a familiarity that I needed after constantly being jostled from state to state by my mother. 

During the vacation, my uncle bought a Nintendo. He and I would sit and play it for hours. It was an escape for both of us.  Back in the early days of video games, most games were one player, and the two player version was basically each person rotating.  In the adventure-type games and the games that had progressively more difficult levels, it could be that each person’s turn was 15-20 minutes after you had mastered the initial levels.  One game could easily be an hour long, and there was downtime for the person who wasn’t actively playing.  It’s easy to start talking in this scenario when your eyes are focused on a TV intently, and some people are compelled to fill any voids with talking.  My uncle was angry and frustrated after his divorce, and he used me as the person he vented to while we played video games. I didn’t mind; for the most part, he treated me like a grown up despite me being a tween.  My dad wasn’t home, my grandmother didn’t know who I was, my grandfather was always swearing and throwing cigarette ashes aimlessly.  At least my uncle talked, and it was interesting to hear the intricacies of marriage despite not knowing what terms like “affair” meant.  

What I took from my experience with my uncle is that guys will talk if given a no-pressure environment  when the focus is on something else, like a video game. It helps that I adore those arcade type games or the adventure games like Mario or car racing games.  I’m not such a fan of the intense competitive games since it requires so much thinking that you can’t hold a good conversation while doing it.  

Back in the day especially, girls didn’t want to play video games. At all.  They turned up their noses at even the thought. My only potential video game compadres were guys.  So I’d play with the guys. And nearly every guy I played with ended up talking just like my uncle did. Eyes intently on the TV or computer screen, they would talk about feelings, or their relationship with their parents, or their dreams for the future, or what they enjoyed doing…these deep sorts of conversations for teenagers all under the guise of playing video games. Sure, we did actually spend many, many hours trying to save the princess (Donkey Kong, Mario), but we spent an almost equal amount of time talking about nothing and something.  It demystified guys in so many ways because they were mostly like me – insecure, not sure who they were or what they wanted to do, kind of lost.
Over Mario, I made connections. If I was masterful at anything in my life, I would say it definitely was drawing guys out of their shells while playing video games.  Innocent, open-ended questions that led guys to prattle on for the longest time.  I think a lot of them thought I wasn’t hearing them.  When I’d tie something new they said back to something they said before, I’d get these stunned reactions, as if they thought I wasn’t paying attention.  I pay attention. It’s not like Mario is THAT interesting. 

What came to be hysterical is when girls would ask me to go shopping for clothes, and I would say that I was going to play video games at some guy’s house and they’d roll their eyes at me.  Like I was missing out on some big event (shopping) to do something hideous like playing a video game with a boy. The girl didn’t realize that the connections and understanding took place while playing the video game surmounted anything that could happen at the mall, and I sure wasn’t going to try to explain it.   It’s hard to explain a connection you have with someone else that transcends a generic activity. I think most of them got something out of it too since I had frequent invitations to visit. The guys could say they were playing video games, which was true, but they had someone to talk to, someone who would listen.  It really was a mutually beneficial friendship.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Painting Like Bob Ross

I'm frustrated. 

The wedding is coming up, and I'm trying to figure out logistics like my hair.  Since the wedding starts at 10am (yes, A! M!), we have to leave our house by 8am.  I don't know any hair salons that open at 7am, sooooo.... that means I'm on my own as far as hair goes.  Or I can get my hair done the night before and sleep sitting up.  That doesn't sound all that comfortable. 

I am flying solo on hair, and don't forget the wedding is on the boat.  That means --> WIND!  Obviously the best solution would be to completely pull it back and hair spray the heck out of it til it's completely stiff. 

I've been watching Youtube videos on how to do an updo yourself.  Of course it looks easy in the video.  They make it completely easy, just like Bob Ross does on the Joy of Painting.  He paints his happy trees with such whimsy that you think, "Hey, this painting stuff is easy. Get me a canvas, a few oil paints (burnt sienna is a must), and I'll follow along with very hairy Bob with a soft-spoken voice and come out with a masterpiece."  Yeah, right.  Bob Ross was one of those guys that made painting look like riding a tricycle when in fact it's an art that few people have the talent to do.  Hair stylists are the same at creating updo masterpieces.  I cannot replicate their instructions in such a way that it even resembles something that isn't a tangled mess. 

I'll try a few more attempts before completely giving up on the updo; however, I'm going to need to have a back-up plan. My back-up plan is the hair style I'm semi-comfortable with: curling my hair, pulling half of it back and leaving half of it down. I like my hair down.  Having some it back will help ever so slightly with the wind factor. Of course, it will end up being more wind blown than the updo.  Balancing comfort with the wind is a hard juggling exercise. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rainbow Sherbet

I am dismayed by the young adult book section nowadays.  At least 2/3 of the books are vampire/magic/supernatural.  I don't have anything against the supernatural, but it's quite, ugh, prevalent everywhere you look.  As in, even Hilary Duff (or a ghostwriter) has written her book that she hopes will be as successful as Twilight.

Back in my day, book series were popular.  Lots and lots of books were in each series, and they had to be written by ghostwriters because it seemed as if there were one or two published a month.

Sweet Valley High

Babysitters Club

Fear Street

Choose Your Own Adventure

Boxcar Children

Then there were the lesser known series I enjoyed.  Like some other teenage girls, I loved the Sweet Dreams series. I read what seemed like every book in this series from when I was 12-15 years old.  And then...I don't know, real boys are quite different than how the Sweet Dreams series portrays. Not bad, just different. Anyway, it didn't seem relevant to my life anymore, so I stopped reading them.  Apparently the series continued on even after I went to college.  Check out this groovy cover I found - yes, it's Courteney Cox!  It's as if someone threw up rainbow sherbet all over her and she's into women now.  But Sweet Dreams books weren't that racy and diverse, so she probably just modeled during the height of Miami Vice.

I read Lurlene McDaniel books for a while until I caught on that the main character always dies. Sure, once in a while I can take a sad ending, but every stinkin' book?  Her books seemed a little depressing for the mainstream teenage girl audience although I suppose if you had leukemia it might be somewhat comforting to read.  The character finds love (comforting), and then she dies.  This one is entitled Time To Let Go.  Even though I haven't read this book, I'll give you a hint - she probably dies.

I wonder where all of these old series are.  In the library, I cannot find any of the old Sweet Valley High, Sweet Dreams, or Babysitters Club books. Where have these books gone? Landfills?  So sad, I'd love to reread a Sweet Dreams book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Obsession

I love the PBS series that show current people going back in time and role playing life during a different time.  There's Colonial House, Frontier House, Manor House, 1900 House, Texas Ranch House, and I'm probably forgetting a few.  They were PBS's version of reality TV back in the day.  They are so darn...interesting.  People are inherently interesting, and then taking them into a historically accurate time to assume a role for 3 months seems like a breathtaking sociological and psychological experiment.  Plus, learning about the life back in the time period is fascinating.

Right now I'm re-watching Manor House.  I think I watched the series back in '03.  It's been a while, and I forgot many of the characters and the plot.  I wish PBS had produced even more of these series because they are so darn good.  It's like educational chocolate or something like that.

I'm forcing myself to do some writing (non-blog), and then I hope to catch a little more Manor House before I fall asleep.  :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Rain

I love rain.  It makes sense I live in Seattle as opposed to, say, the Sahara Desert or some place like that.  Even though I'm used to rain, I love summer rain in particular.  There is such an intensity to it. 

My ideal summer rain is on the East Coast.  We have intense summer rain here, but East Coast summer rain is usually accompanied by hail, thunder, and lightning.  It's even more intense.  And it smells so...summer rain-ish.  I loved summers on the East Coast with those afternoon thunderstorms, torrential rain, these moments of intensity and then the clouds clear, and things go back to normal.  Only even more humid.

On Sunday I walked to the playground late at night and played on the swings.  I was all by myself in the deserted playground.  I kept swinging higher and higher until I got to the point where you hang in the air momentarily and your stomach drops.  It's such an amazing feeling.

Summer = an intensity that isn't there during the other seasons

Friday, July 8, 2011

Psychology of Men and WwF

There's this guy I have known for quite a while.  We have some mutual friends, and all of our mutual friends adore him.  I've never been all that jazzed about him.  I don't bash him or anything (til now), but I've just never been that crazy about him.  I couldn't really ever pinpoint what about him that makes me so uneasy.  It was just one of those gut feelings backed up by the ever so slight comment or action that was imperceptible to everyone else.  So I keep my thoughts to myself and think I'm the lone dissenter in his rather large, adoring fan club.

He's one of those smooth guys.  He always has a line.  His lines often make me want to roll my eyes, but -again- lone dissenter when I associate with the zillions of people in his fan club.  My strategy with most people is to give back what they give me in general terms. If you're honest and forthright with me, I will try to be the same toward you - with the proviso that I have to trust you.  If you tell me lines, I'll tell you lines.

My gut instinct told me very early on that he was a chauvinist and was kind of fragile and tended toward overcompensating.  BUT...he played the part of being so progressive with his fan club.  Honestly, if you're a chauvinistic ass, I'd prefer you just to be a chauvinistic ass.  When you pretend not to be but really are, it's so disingenuous.  The thing is, I didn't really have any hard evidence of his chauvinism and him making himself feel better by putting others down.  There were a few small comments that put me on edge, but had almost anyone else made them, I wouldn't have zeroed in on them in the way I did with him. 

My strategy with him has been to fly under the radar.  If I don't threaten his ego, then my theory is that we can get by relatively easily.  That means I play the part he wants me to play.  I am non-threatening female who asks his advice on a lot of things, espouses overwhelming appreciation for his sage advice, and shows him the deference he so desires.  It has worked successfully because, from his perspective, I am yet another adoring member of his fan club.  What this also means, by extension, is that he doesn't really know me.  But then again, he doesn't really need to know me, he just needs another member of his fan club. 

And then he goes and pisses me off.  Here's how it all went down. 

He tells his fan club that he loves playing Words with Friends (WwF).  I freaking love that game (it's an app).  It's a nerdy Scrabble-type game.  I found it about six months ago and play every day.  He gives out his user name to a bunch of us. 

Then I talk to him one-on-one and bring up WwF.  Of course I am playing the role that comes naturally to me when dealing with him.  I say with proper deference, "I love that game.  I'm sure you're awesome at it because you're so smart.  There's no way I could ever win against you, but it would be fun to play."  (I can almost hear my husband retching as he reads this.  It is retch-worthy, I know.  If I said that to any of my real friends, they would find the sarcasm instantly.)

This guys says, and I'm not kidding, "Not to brag, but I'm undefeated." 

I want to slap the guy.  I really do.  Pompous asses deserve it.  But of course I will make that a figurative slap as I pound his ass in WwF.  GAME ON! With the amazing ability to continue worshiping the god, I reiterated that I was sure he would win against me if we ever played. 

So I started a game with him. I'm not sure if he knew it was me because I use my FB user name as my WwF user name.  My actual name isn't part of it, but it gives away gender.  We steadily start bouncing back moves.  I'm not sure if he had a run of bad luck with his letters or if I had an especially good run, but I start off in the lead and then continue to add to my lead.  I get about 150 points ahead of him. 

... Pompous Ass RESIGNS from the game!  I was completely taken aback by it.  Then I thought that maybe he thought he was doomed (which he wasn't, there was enough time to make a comeback) and would start a rematch.  Hours pass, days pass, and we're at the one week marker right now.  Nothing.  No rematch. 

So, Pompous Ass, are you still undefeated if you resign from the game?

So, Pompous Ass, how does it feel to get beaten by a girl? 

It's not like he's the first guy I've played who has done that.  There have been two other guys I've played that have done the same thing.  But I kind of EXPECTED it from them because they are blatant chauvinistic asses that couldn't stand a girl outdoing them, even on a stupid Scrabble game.  Him?  I guess I expected that he would have enough decency to play the whole thing out.  I didn't expect him to ask for a rematch if I won after getting through a whole game, but I did expect for him to at least finish the stupid game. 

There's two guys I steadily play WwF with.  One is my husband, who would never ever resign from a game.  I have to look at our statistics although I think I have about a 50% win rate against him. And one other guy who I routinely trounce, but he always keeps rematching me. We've probably played 10-15 games, and he's won once.  I like that he has the ego strength to keep playing despite the fact that he rarely wins.  That's a guy who's secure with himself and is playing for reasons other than he wants to win to stroke his own ego.

Back to Pompous Ass.  I think this incident is so reflective of who he is as a person.  It completely twirks me that he did that.  Mr. Undefeated just can't take the ego blow of a girl winning.  It's really pathetic, and it affirms my views on him.  After this, it's going to be tough for me to be the same happy member of his fan club when I want to say something to him about it.  But I'm not completely sure that he knew that it was me, and why stir up trouble when he might not know it was me.

Forever more his nickname will be Pompous Ass.   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fold in half and fall

My daughter is little.  She's 26 lbs when she's fully clothed at 3 years old.  To put it in perspective, there's a little girl who is also 3 years old that came into my work and she's 45 lbs!  19 lbs heavier and an inch or two taller.  While I do think my daughter is on the slight side, I think 45 lbs is a little on the ....errrr...husky side.  Most kids her age are probably in the 30-40 lb range.

If you try to determine where most of her weight is, it's in her head.  We cannot get any shirts over her big ol' fat head.  Torso is about average.  Legs are incredibly skinny, and we have to pull all her adjustable waist pants in, and they still sag on her.  The bottom half of her is almost non-existent.

So I take her to her first movie today.  She's very excited.  We get our tickets, and I put her into the seat next to me.  The problem is that her legs are so light that they can't hold the theater seat down.  It keeps folding in on her, so her legs are forced up to her nose.  And then she starts slipping down the huge gap that occurs when the seat folds in on itself.

"I'm stuck, mama!"

"I'm falling, mama!"


I suppose the solution is that until she is weighty enough to not fold in on herself, I have to hold her.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If I ran FHA

I get so angry over foreclosures. At the risk of being called a Republican, I think people who take out mortgages need to follow through on their commitments.  I don't relieve the mortgage companies of their responsibility to ensure - to the best of their ability - that the people who take on these mortgages can afford them (personally, I like to see mortgages that are no more than 2x annual income, but I do realize that some areas have such a high cost of living that this is not possible). 

What angers me even more is when people who afford their mortgages decide to (their words) "give the house back to the bank."  What a kind phrase they use.  "Give" as in they are giving a present, isn't it cute?  No, it's not cute.  It's a strategic foreclosure. You are choosing to not to pay a mortgage you can afford because you have negative equity due to your own stupid actions (taking a home equity loan typically).

I don't have any sympathy.  You have the assets, you have the income stream.  You just don't "want" to follow through on your contractual commitments anymore.  When people lose their jobs, that's a different story.  Ideally, before you buy a home, you should have a year of mortgage payments in the bank in the event of job loss.

I think my ideal career is underwriter because I have this vision of the people I will loan money to, and coincidentally the people I would loan to are likely the people who don't appear to "need" the money, at least on paper.

But, just think about it.  Had my loan criteria been used for the past two decades, there might not have been such a huge housing crash.  Of course, it may never have soared as high initially.

Criteria 1:  20% down payment
Criteria 2: Enough in the bank after Criteria 1 fulfilled in order to pay 12 mortgage payments
Criteria 3: Loan amount doesn't exceed 2 years of gross annual income

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quiet Weekend

The blogosphere has been quiet this holiday weekend.  So have I. 

The sunset sure looks pretty, and there's a cold breeze coming in through the windows.  I love when the room gets so cold that you have to bury yourself under lots of covers to stay warm.  Now the frogs are starting, with intermittent fireworks in the background. 

The Stepford neighborhood down the street is extremely patriotic, as one might expect.  One house even spraypainted stars on their front lawn.  It's, ugh, interesting.

Damn those Double Stuf Oreos.  I wish Julia would eat them at a faster rate than 1-2 per day. 

July Fourth plans are that some friends are coming down, bbq'ing on the deck, and hopefully continued relaxing to be had.  Have a great holiday!