Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Okay. I know that today is Halloween and everything, but ...

There is a guy here, who is walking around in a Hawaiian shirt, Mardi Gras beads, shorts and flip flops!!! (And I don't even mean Tevas or Merrells or something, but rubber flip flops like you would wear in the shower at the gym or something). And the thing is, no one else around here is wearing any kind of a costume (well, I did pass someone in the hall wearing a Bozo wig, but that was it). Totally bizarre.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dinner Time

Introducing a New Member of the Family ...

I'm still tossing names around, but I'm leaning towards "Fitzgerald" or "Fitz" (Fitzie) for short.

Friday, October 27, 2006


So, I actually had to scrap off my car this morning. Amazing.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Insult to Injury

And now I have a sneezy-snuffly cold to boot. Not. A. Good. Week.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dental Update

So, it turns out that I have an infection and am going to need another root canal (on a different tooth). Just shoot me and put me out of my misery. They didn't even give me any good drugs, just antibiotics. Phooey.

This dental place I went to was weird. I've been going to my old dentist in NYC for so long, that going somewhere new is a strange feeling. Anyway, the first thing that made me nervous was the attached a credit application for Capital One with the paperwork I needed to fill out. WTF do I need Capital One credit to get my teeth checked? If someone needs to charge treatment, do they really need to open special credit cards just for the service? Sheesh. Some of these credit card companies have got balls, I'll tell you. And I'm sure the dental company is getting a kick-back for every application they get. I'll bet plenty of people fill these things out too, thinking it's just another part of the required paperwork. Well, they didn't get one from me anyway. Sneaky bastards.

So, after filling out all the paperwork I was finally brought back into the treatment area. This was the really weird part, there were all these dentist chairs in this open air room, separated only by a set of shelving between each. Like a hair salon. I swear I felt like I was at Super Cuts or something. This makes me very nervous, I have to say. Well, to their credit, they were all very nice and seemed very professional. They're referring me to a specialist for the root canal which is good because I really don't know how comfortable I would be having root canal there. I am coming back for a cleaning and a minor re-filling on another tooth though.

Tooth Pain

So, I woke up yesterday with very bad pain in the area where I had root canal last year. Today it is worse and has migrated up into my ear. I'm trying to concentrate on work and am hoping the handful of advil I just took will kick in soon. I made an emergency dental appt for this afternoon. ARGH! I hope my insurance covers it all, I need to save my immediate cash for the house purchase (by December I will be less stressed about the money thing, but this is pretty bad timing).

You realize that it's not likely to be a good week ...

... when you start it off by wearing the wrong color shoes to work! (black shoes with brown pants, for those who are interested). Argh!

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Wow, I just realized that I hadn't written in a while, over a week. Anyway, nothing too much is really new really, so there is not much to catch up on with me.

It's that time of year that I love so much and I seem to be enjoying it even more so here in New Hampshire. Today it feels that Autumn has fully and finally settled in. This week we had some pretty warm weather, but then that was all blown out by wild storms yesterday and last night. Today is rather cool and breezy, but very sunny and beautiful. It's feeling rather like Halloween. I actually turned my heat on last night too, it's definitely getting chillier.

I've gotten in the habit of driving home from work the "long" way, down some of the back roads that twist and turn their way through the town that I am moving to (which is one town south of where I have been living all of these months). Not only does it help me to get to know my way around, but it is a lovely drive and a pleasant way to unwind a little bit from the work day. It's been an especially nice drive as the seasons have changed, watching the daily and weekly change to the trees along my route. Once the days get much shorter I imagine I will be back to taking the shortest route home, but for now this has been a very pleasurable alternative. Certainly a far cry from the stress and annoyance of my old Long Island RR commute (or my former subway commute, which was worse). What a difference a year makes.

Things seem to be coming along with the house purchase. I believe all that needs to be in place before closing has been done at this stage. Home inspection, appraisal, title search, second earnest money deposit ... the final thing I did yesterday was arrange for home owner's insurance, so now even that will be in place. I guess it's now just down to waiting these last few weeks for the closing date (scheduled for November 17th). I had a local moving company come by to evaluate my stuff to give me an estimate for moving. They're projecting about $485, so I went ahead and booked them for Monday, November 20th, that's exciting, it kind of makes it "real". Of course, now I need to start to do some packing (I've been procrastinating about that, for sure).

Oh, in my search for the information I needed to establish insurance, I ended up speaking yesterday to the president of the home owner's association. Very nice guy and it was a pleasure to talk to someone who actually lives there. Anyway, he told me that this is actually not a condo at all (here I was all this time thinking I was moving to a condo) but they are what is called, "clustered housing", which is a new term for me. Whatever. Anyway, he said that the HOA offers various discounted landscaping services which sounds great to me! At least now I know I won't have to run out and buy a stupid lawn mower.

Work seems to be going well these days. I just had a meeting yesterday with our customer sponsor who announced that the business has officially decided to adopt our reporting method as their standard. So we are officially out of the experimentation mode and into true development and support mode. This means that there will much more and varied opportunities there for myself and for my team, so it's all pretty good news. I guess I've managed to do something right over these past many months. Because there have been some failures and some successes, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster, so this news is very welcome. After this meeting, I told my manager about this announcement and he seemed very ecstatic (those were his actual words, "I'm ecstatic", LoL). I know he has been working very hard and has invested a huge effort into getting these services in place, and in getting the team entrenched as a force there, so I'm glad that this has worked out so far for him.

Anyway, so things are generally pretty good these days. I'm content here. I go through emotional ups & downs at work where I worry about whether I'm doing a good job, but I have to just try to move forward with the assumption that I am, and use this energy less on worry and more on work and focus. I'm looking forward to my move to the new place (I just wish all the logistical details were over and I was moved in already), but I am also lamenting about a few things that I will be missing here too, so it's a little bitter sweet. Still, it will be nice to finally be settled in somewhere, almost a year after the start of this process.

I have no plans for the upcoming holidays, but that's actually okay. I'm kind of looking forward to my first holiday season here. Settling in, making my house a home. Maybe I'll enjoy my fireplace some and get a second dog. In any case, I think I can perhaps finally relax a little bit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

These Days

I'm addicted to HGTV. I. Just. Can't. Stop. Watching. I suppose it's better than being addicted to "The Bachelor" or something.

Take That! NYC Subway Pervs!

NYC women fight back against the plethora of pervs that ride the city's subways. I love it!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Under the Category of, "People Are Weird":

Okay, there is right this second a woman standing in the middle of the Ladies Room (here at New Company) with her filofax open in front of her, making phone call after phone call on her cell phone like she is in her own personal office or something -- toilets flushing in the background and everything (sheesh!) In the meantime, I just walked past at least 5 or so empty conference rooms, team rooms and visiting offices in the immediate vicinity. The Ladies Room strikes me as a pretty strange place to settle in to make a bunch of phone calls, especially when there are plenty of other options around here.

Friday, October 06, 2006


It's just gorgeous here now. We're pretty much right at peak foliage now, I think. The weather is cool, but not cold. Good sleeping weather. It's comfortable to come to work in a sweater or a light jacket. This is my weather, I just love it. Probably the best time of year here (and in NYC too, for that matter).

On Thursdays my work and updates for the week move over to production. Sometimes I end up working furiously until the end of the day to have everything ready, but yesterday I had all of my stuff ready by mid-afternoon. I had about a half an hour to kill before a scheduled meeting, so I decided to take a little walk around part of the New Company campus. I followed a drive down a piece of road I had not been down before and then followed it down a wooded path for a ways. At one point I even wondered where I was. That's how big the campus is, I can walk and actually end up being lost, while still being on company property. Amazing. Anyway, my path finally looped back to a drive I know. It ended up being a nice little walk, I should do this more often, it really is a nice perk at New Company and this is the perfect time of year to walk during the day. In the Summer it's too hot, so you don't want to be out sweating in your work clothes.

I wish I was settled in my new place by now, this would be the perfect weather to be enjoying from my screened porch and deck.

Oh yeah, I ended up deciding to stick with the original house, even with the issues the sellers are not willing to fix. I figure it's the yard, deck, screened porch, kitchen combination that made me want the place the most in the first place. The other condo was fantastic, but I was never going to be able to add a porch or a yard to it, and making the kitchen or the porch larger would also not be possible. Whatever may be wrong with the first place can be fixed or updated eventually though. Plus, I just want this whole process to be done now. I've been living out of boxes for almost a year now and I'm just weary of it all. I need to be settled and in my own place, finally.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cube Culture

OMG, I am cracking up. There is some guy here, sitting in a cube a couple of rows away from me, yelling into his phone, "Can you hear me now? Can you hear me NOW???"

So. Freaking. Funny.

My Realtor Has Absolutely NO Idea What I want

She really doesn't. She just called to tell me about this house that she thought I may be interested in. This is the first property she's actually come up with on her own, pretty much everything else we've seen I've found online myself and told her about (with the exception of her then finding a couple of others in the neighborhoods of the places I've requested, just to fill in the time).

That listing is the epitome of what I don't want in a house. It gives me the suburban heebbie-jeebbies just looking at it. Plus it's too much money.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Drama

I finally had a response from the sellers to my request for some credit and repairs on the house (based upon the findings of the home inspection). Basically, the only thing they are willing to do is replace a toilet seat that is broken. Most, if not all, of the windows in the house have some kind of permanent damage (fogging) so the panes will have to be replaced. I requested that these be repaired or, if they prefer, they could leave their washing machine & dryer in lieu of the repairs. There is a piece of sheetrock missing from the garage that my home inspector said is a big safety issue. With it missing, it leaves the house vulnerable to fire (a fire in the garage could now easily & immediately spread into the rafters of the house). This is a small cut-out and shouldn't be too hard to replace. The fence around the property is rotting and falling down. It is stated in the condo bylaws that any structure like this that is unsound and/or unsightly is subject to removal or replacement by the HOA, at the owner's expense. Lastly, the roof is 20 years old and the home inspector seemed to think it would need to be fixed soon. Depending on who I've spoken to, it seems I can expect this to cost anywhere from 5K - 10K+.

The realtor's response on the behalf of the owners was:
* There is nothing wrong with that roof.
* There is nothing wrong with that fence.
* They were never led to believe from their inspection on the house 7 months ago (oh yeah, have I mentioned that they've only lived there 7 months?) that there was any safety issue with the missing sheetrock -- and this is my problem, because?
* They are keeping their washer & dryer because they are new.
* The sellers have put 10K into the house since they moved there.
* They need the entire selling price out of it.
(they said nothing at all about the damaged windows)

When my realtor asked what they spent the 10K on, the response was, oh new counter tops and flooring, new carpeting and some other stuff. Well, that granite counter top in the kitchen is beautiful, I'll give them that. But who in their right mind would install an expensive slab granite counter on top of
formica cabinets??? To me that's insane. It will now be extremely tricky and difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade those lower cabinets without damaging or destroying the nice counter. Or you can maybe do some bastardization project of replacing the doors and doing some kind of laminate on the rest, but it's F*ed up as far as I'm concerned. The flooring in the kitchen is nice, but it's pergo, not hardwood. And the carpets already look worn and soiled (with 5 kids and a dog, that's no surprise).

I guess I'm maybe being petty about my requests, but this house was not listed as a fixer-upper, I'm paying their full asking price and there are some things that are damaged or in need of pretty much immediate repair. I didn't really feel like my requests were that out of line, but I feel that the seller's refusal to even negotiate for any compromise is a gesture of bad faith. It's leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

In the meantime, because I was pissed, I asked my realtor to bring me to see this condo for which I had seen a online listing:


I really liked the condo and it's also a lot cheaper (and it is a little bit bigger). However, it doesn't have a garage, a screened porch, or a yard. The kitchen is considerably smaller, as is the deck. But still, it was in perfect condition and in a very nice condo complex with lots of walking trails, etc.

So, I think I am now even more confused, but I have to make a decision soon about what I'm going to do. Like in the next 24 hours.

On a good note, I ended up talking to a local moving company and it looks like the move isn't going to cost me nearly as much as I had feared (my expectations of prices for everything around here are so skewed by my experience with NYC costs). So that is a huge relief.

Another Update

I just got the title report back. Everything checks out there too.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I just can't seem to stop ...

... buying socks. Seriously. I was just putting away a bunch of clutter in my apartment and I must have come across at least 10 pairs of socks that haven't even been opened yet. This is added to the 5 or so other new pair that have recently been opened and worn. This has got to be some kind of sickness or something. Damn you Target!!!

House Update

Got the appraisal back today, so that's all set (no surprises there, not that I was expecting any, but you never know).
My mortgage broker expects the title report any minute.
Locked in my mortgage rate on Friday (for 60 days).
I finally spoke to the relocation company, which was a complete relief. I was getting nervous about those closing costs being covered. Although I found out that my move is not going to be covered, so that was a rude awakening. But still, the closing cost is the biggie.
I am waiting for the seller to respond to my request for credits and concessions, that went to them last Thursday and I haven't heard anything yet.

There were also some pictures of the house in the appraisal which is fantastic because my camera batteries went dead on the day I was going to take my own pictures, so I never ended up actually getting any. I can't figure out how to strip them out of the pdf file, otherwise I would post some here. Oh well, at least I can look at them and try to plan where things should go and what color I maybe want the walls to be. Or whatever.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Rainy Sunday

There is just something I love about a rainy Sunday in the Fall. Being able to sit in my living room with the sliding door open to the deck so that I can listen to the rain pouring down outside, cozy & comfortable in the knowledge that there is no where I have to go, no place I have to be. I know, I'm a freak, most people are upset when it rains on the weekend. I wouldn't want to have this weather for every weekend, but once in a while it is a pure, decadent pleasure.