It's been so long ...
Oh MAN it’s been a long-ass time since I’ve written! Bad blogger!. Maybe you can blame it on my new life in New Hampshire. Used to be while living in NYC, I spent pages ranting or complaining about all the annoyances of daily life there. Here I honestly find very little to complain about.
Here are just a few quick notes about what’s been going on with me over the past few months:
Travel. In late May I traveled to Las Vegas for a conference for work. The conference was pretty good and it was also good to see a few former colleagues from Old Company. Vegas though, I don’t think is really for me. Maybe I would feel differently if I was there with friends and just hanging out, but I don’t know. Everything is so … fake. And, yes, you KNOW it’s fake going in, it’s not like they’re trying to pull something over on you or anything, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting myself to find it so cheesy. I also found it surprisingly expensive, but I didn’t have much time to go wandering around looking for deals either. So, bottom line, I guess if given the opportunity to go another time with friends I would give it another chance, but I’m not going to be going out of my way looking for trips out there either.
Sh*t Happens. Coming home from Vegas late after about 12 hours of travel, I somehow managed to back into this low-slung cement pylon at the Manchester Airport. $1,300 worth of damage – lovely. My wonderful, wonderful car! Of course I got it fixed, insurance paid, but I still had to shell out $500 for my deductible.
Home. Around that same time I discovered that the air-conditioning set up here did not work at all. I had deluded myself into believing that I could struggle through this Summer with what was here (two completely antiquated wall-installed units). After getting a couple of quotes I found that these 20 year old units are not salvageable and are not even a standard size, so the cost of replacing them would end up costing as much or more than the solution I finally went with, since they would have to resize the wall cut-outs. It just didn’t make any sense to spend that kind of money on something that wasn’t even an efficient or adequate cooling method. Because I have radiant, electric heat, I don’t have ductwork in the house, so installing central a/c wasn’t a viable or affordable option (I could probably have gone into debt for about $20,000 and had ductwork run and central installed and hoped that my heating network didn’t end up being damaged in the process, but I didn’t want the debt or the risk). So, I finally ended up having a “ductless central a/c system” installed. It basically works very similar to traditional central air, only instead of ductwork, there is a unit on the wall that distributes the air, it works with a condenser that sits outside (like central air) and eliminates the humidity too, etc. Anyway, it wasn’t cheap, but it was the best option that I could pay for with cash, so that’s the way I went. There are plenty of days here where I don’t need a/c (like tonight), but on the days that get up there, and/or are very humid, I’ve been pretty happy with the results. It’s also nice and quiet, so I hardly even realize it’s running sometimes. Anyway, so that was a chunk of change.
Dental. After my root canal and other dental work I had a few months ago, I had a consultation with the oral surgeon about the work I have to have done on the adjacent tooth. I actually have to have the tooth extracted, they will then do a bone graft and let it heal for about five months and then I get a dental implant. The cost for all of this is $6,000 – yikes!
Money. So, with all the outlaying of cash I’ve been doing over the past few months, most of my home improvement projects have been on hold for a while. I’m determined to live without debt (other than my mortgage) so the stuff I want to do in the house will have to wait until I have some free cash. Luckily with the dental work, at least, I get to pay for it as each piece of the work is done. This means that I only have to pay about $1,800 this month and the balance won’t have to be paid until the rest of the work is done, about five months from now.
Anyway, so I’ve had some financial things come up. I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t been able to do anything more with the house at this stage, but I figure that I don’t have to be in a rush either, so I’m not really stressing out too much about it. I really would have liked to get some wicker furniture for my screened porch though, but maybe I’ll be able to find something on sale next month. If not, it can wait until next year.
Friends. My friends Luminita & Paul are moving to New Hampshire! Luminita had contacted me months ago because she was interested in looking into opportunities at New Company. At the time I asked my manager for help in finding an area where I could target her resume. Well, Manager liked her resume and kept a hold of it, hoping that maybe something would open up (he actually had hoped to create something). Well, that never happened, but then a great position opened up in the group (our internal customer) where I’ve been working and so, we forwarded her resume to our contacts there. They interviewed her, they liked her and offered her the job! So, they move up here next week. It will be great to have some local friends and they’re also very excited about their new lives here, especially now they will now be able to afford a house.
Work. I got a raise! And had an “Exceeds Expectations” rating for my review. I was almost more excited to hear my rating than I was for the extra money. I still continue to struggle with confidence issues and concerns that I could be doing a better job, so it is very nice and a relief to get such positive feedback. I love my group at New Company.
Dogs. My dogs are the greatest, I just love coming home to their funny, happy faces every day. That little Fitz is not so little anymore, he’s kinda huge, almost as big as Lola at this stage (I’ll have to post some updated pictures soon). He is a total sweetie too, as well as a little naughty boy (as dogs his age tend to be). I have also filled out an application with a New England Boxer rescue group. They followed up with a lengthy phone interview, they’ve checked my personal and vet references and now I’m waiting for a home interview to be scheduled. If I make it over that hurdle, I will be cleared to adopt a Boxer sometime in the future, when an appropriate dog for my situation and canine dynamic becomes available. I know some people think I’m crazy for wanting to have a bunch of dogs, but I don’t care, it’s always been my dream to have a few and it’s something I was never able to have while living in a city apartment. Anyway, with all that said, I think three should be enough for awhile. Someday I may live in a place with more space and a bigger yard or whatever and may consider having more, but I think three should do it for now.
Exercise. I’ve been trying lately to walk more, taking my dogs on 2-mile loops around an adjacent neighborhood. And I joined a gym in town this week. It’s amazing how inexpensive it is! $20 a month and I can also go to any other location they have (it’s a Gold’s Gym). I figure for $20 a month, even if I’m not going every day, it’s worth it. They have a pretty big facility and they have Spinning! In NYC, a similar membership would cost close to $100/month.
Health. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning with a new doctor (primary care recommended by my GYN). I’m nervous as I really hate going to doctors and I get especially freaked out when I’m scheduled to see a new one. I’ll be a lot happier when the appointment is over.
Female Problems. Nah, I’m not going to go there. Consider yourself spared.