Archive for May, 2005

Tagged Again

May 28, 2005

I’ve been tagged again, this time by Terri. Since it’s about books, one of my very favorite things, I suppose I will oblige and fill it out myself.

1) Total number of books I’ve owned:

Several hundred, maybe a thousand. It’s really hard to say!

2) The last book I bought:

“Mostly Harmless” by Douglas Adams; for some reason I had all of the others except for that one.

3) The last book I read:

I just finished “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” by Douglas Adams and am reading “Mostly Harmless” now.

4) 5 books that mean a lot to me (not those I think are the best, but ones that have a special place for me):

Lord of the Rings-Tolkien: My all time favorite book(s) ever; I re-read them every year around Christmastime, starting with The Hobbit.

The Oval Amulet-not sure of the author: I read this as a kid and it stayed with me for a long time. It is no longer published anymore and if I find it again I WILL buy it.

The Clan of the Cave Bear series-Jean Auel: my dad recommended I read this when I was in college. It is one of the few things he’s done right in my life (and I sincerely wish I was exaggerating more than just a little, but that is for another entry). I really hope she finishes the series someday; it’s another one that I plan to re-read many times.

The Mists of Avalon-Marion Zimmer Bradley: when Jay and I were dating and we went through an on/off phase, this was one of the books I read in the “off” phase. It was a really emotional time for me and the absolutely perfect book at the time.

The Bible: Despite the fact that I don’t have a “home” church right now, my faith is still very important to me. I don’t read my Bible as much as I should, but it has been a tremendous source of comfort to me in times of need.

5) Tag 5 people and have them fill this out on their blogs:
Since I’m answering this so late and nearly everyone I know online has filled this one out, I will refrain from tagging this time around.

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I am Drained

May 25, 2005

Gosh what a rough couple of days. I feel completely emotionally exhausted and I was just (thank goodness) a bystander. In the last week or so there have been rumors flying around the group where I used to work about layoffs. It finally happened yesterday; 120 people (out of 700). Many of whom I know, including one VERY good friend of mine. Fortunately he and several others already have offers from elsewhere in the company, but it’s just been dreadful to watch. I am so thankful that I moved divisions last September, even though I have spent the last 8.5 months sharing an office. Well the group that was loath to give us any office space and locked us out of the lab will now be vacating many offices in the coming weeks. This is really not how I wanted it to happen, though. I’ve been in the same building as most of these people for three years now, and it is excruciating to see good people get hurt because of some bad decisions made by people I didn’t care for. Well that’s all I’ll say as I don’t want to be specific since this is the internet. Suffice it to say I’m worn out.

We should be getting our new kittens Saturday morning as long as they have put on sufficient weight. When I checked with the foster family Sunday they were well on track. I’m planning to relax this weekend, play with kittens, spend some serious time at the gym (or exercising outside) and I’ll be going to a BBQ Sunday with some friends from college. Most of us have kids now or are married and it’s always fun to catch up with them.

On a stitching note I finished the Dr. Seuss Forever and Ever piece on Monday. I will try to take a picture of it at lunch today. I started a small piece last night on a whim; it’s the Truswell 2003 limited edition kit (the Winter Reflections one on the Silkweaver purple opalescent fabric). It should go quickly; I just needed to work on something different for a change. I pulled out my Mystery 8 and worked on it for awhile but really wasn’t into it last night. It will be nice to have a couple finishes close together for a change.

Unfortunately Jay needs some costly dental work so our budget will be derailed for the next couple months. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that we won’t be moving in the immediate future. I guess I can live with two years; then all of our debt will be gone and we won’t have to use all of our income for a mortgage payment. I was watching a special last night (on PBS or the Discovery channel; I can’t remember which) about National Park Lodges and I realized that I have not done nearly as much travel in recent years and I really miss it. I wish I lived in an area where a house would be affordable with money left over for extras, but I just can’t see leaving San Diego anytime soon. Oh well; aside from the drama yesterday, I really can’t complain. It sure is somber here at work today, though.

Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!

May 18, 2005

Thanks for the comments again about the house; Sue do you have a blog? I want to make sure I have it linked if you do. 🙂 If not I’m still happy to “see” you online and thank you for the encouragement with the whole house thing. Jay and I talked about it last night and we have decided we will look next summer. When we drove to visit the kittens last night (more on that in a bit!) we drove most of the way to where I’d have to drive if we moved to that area and I’ve decided the commute is doable-I guess. We will keep Luke in his preschool for one more year and then try to buy a house in Carlsbad the summer before kindergarden. If nothing else, knowing that that house was there should help keep me focused on our financial goals.

So, kittens! We visited the foster house last night. The litter at the foster house was rescued with their mother from the Los Angeles pound at 2 weeks old. Apparently at that age they euthanize the kittens because they don’t have the means/space/etc to care for them properly. Thank goodness for organizations like this rescue group that we found. There were five kittens in the litter and the mother and two of the kittens had already been adopted. The remaining kittens were a female tortie, a male orange tabby, and a male black long hair. We were only planning to take two, but I couldn’t leave the last one all alone so we ended up adopting the remaining three! I don’t have pictures of them yet but I will share them when I do. We should be able to pick them up in about two weeks; they still have to be neutered and the orange tabby is the runt of the litter so he needs to bulk up another 9 ounces before they’ll be able to perform the procedure.

Well that gives me two weeks to declutter the house and remove things that kittens can decimate. I am so excited; I haven’t had kittens since I was a little kid and I know Luke is going to have so much fun with them. It is a good day. 🙂

More About the House

May 17, 2005

Thanks Faith Ann and Christine for your comments. Faith Ann: I’m not sure why they said it would be good as a retirement home; it would be the perfect house for us, a young family.

Christine: property taxes are 1.25% so assuming we could get it at $600,000 it would be $625/month. The same house where we live right now would be aroung $480,000-$520,000 and in the beach community where we lived two years ago it would be about $900,000. We make pretty good money; I don’t know how the “average” family can afford to live here.

I showed it to Jay last night and he spent an hour looking at jobs online in the area. It’s about 25 minutes away (worse with traffic) and we could only afford to have one person driving a long commute. There are several golf-related companies and courses in the area so he could get a better job there and be able to pick up Luke from school. We seriously looked at it last night, but it would be such a stretch. We’d be left with $250/week for food, gas, etc and I’d have to fill up the gas tank ($26) once every 6 days. I am so sad; if all of our other bills were paid off we could buy it now! Argh!

Realistically, we will probably look to move in 1 year. By then we’ll have the tv, computer, car, my student loan, and most of the equity line paid off, leaving just the one credit card with the balance transfer at 1.9% on it. Also we really like Luke’s preschool and he won’t start Kindergarden until fall 2006. I know I shouldn’t have looked, but Jay had been talking so much about wanting to live near the beach and I wanted to see if it would even be possible. Almost!

The good news is that this has been an eye opener for me and I am motivated to eat at home and not buy anything unnecessary so that we really can get out of debt and buy a house.

On a very happy note though, we get to visit the kittens tonight. If all goes well we’ll be picking out two to take home in another week or two after they’ve been neutered. Luke still insists that we should get three, but he’s not the one that will be scooping the litter boxes. I am really excited to be getting kittens. 🙂

I Found My Dream Home…

May 16, 2005

Too bad it’s two years too early: It’s Perfect! Jay wants to live closer to the beach and I want a backyard that is big enough for a play structure for Luke. This house is perfect. If all of our other debts were paid off right now we could buy it. Sigh. Well knowing this is out there gives me hope that we can reach a reasonable compromise. It is very unlikely that we’ll be able to buy this one, but maybe there will be another one like it when we’re ready. Hmm, maybe if we went with an interest only loan to get our feet in the door…the potential for that kind of loan to backfire is so great though. I guess I’ll just keep dreaming.

I’ve been tagged

May 15, 2005

Well, I’ve been tagged by Faith Ann so here goes…

I pick five things from the following list, and then complete the sentence, and then go on and tag another 3 people.

If I could be a scientist . . .
If I could be a farmer . . .
If I could be a musician . . .
If I could be a doctor . . .
If I could be a painter . . .
If I could be a gardener . . .
If I could be a missionary . . .
If I could be a chef . . .
If I could be an architect . . .
If I could be a linguist . . .
If I could be a psychologist . . .
If I could be a librarian . . .
If I could be an athlete . . .
If I could be a lawyer . . .
If I could be an inn-keeper . . .
If I could be a professor . . .
If I could be a writer . . .
If I could be a llama-rider . . .
If I could be a bonnie pirate . . .
If I could be an astronaut . . .
If I could be a world famous blogger . . .
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world . . .
If I could be married to any current famous political figure . . .

1. If I could be a doctor I would spend some time every year working through one of those charity groups that provide medical care to third world countries or war torn areas.

2. If I could be a missionary I’d go to far away places and teach people how to read and take care of themselves.

3&4. If I could be a professor and scientist I’d study astronomy or volcanology and do research in Hawaii and exotic places and then have an unassuming teaching position Indiana Jones style.

5. If I could be a linguist I’d become fluent in as many languages as I could and work as a translator for the UN.

So, who’s left to tag? If you’ve already been tagged then feel free to ignore this 🙂 I tag: Melissa, Rani, and Susan.

Okay, it’s Sunday afternoon so therefore I’m off to finish the laundry and clean the house as much as I can bear. I’ll try to write a “real” entry again sometime soon.

Mother’s Day, etc

May 11, 2005

So Mother’s Day was Sunday; not that it was different from any other day. I don’t expect Jay to really do anything since I’m not his mother and all, but since Luke is only 4 it would be nice if he would help Luke to do something. Oh well. He did stay home with him Monday when he was sick so I didn’t have to miss work. Of course he was off and all he missed was golf (he did golf Tuesday) but still it was nice to not have to use my vacation time to take care of a sick kid. I have enough accrued now for our week in Myrtle Beach next month, finally.

I have decided to re-join “The Wagon” until my birthday in August. I have spent too much money on myself lately and I really need to concentrate on paying off our bills so we can afford a “real” house. In addition to not buying any stitching items (except my pre-defined exceptions of the Mini Mystery I kit and the Celtic Quilt part C group) I am planning to not buy clothes or any unnecessary items either. The exception to that is that when I reach 135 pounds (I’m at 143.5 right now) I can buy myself a couple outfits of nice workout clothes.

I went to the gym last night and I’m planning to go tonight and tomorrow too. I took Monday off; in addition to Luke being sick I decided that two weeks in a row of almost vomiting on the elliptical (thanks to Fear Factor’s dreaded stunt #2) were enough. I try not to watch but since I can’t read on the elliptical there are only so many other places to look besides straight ahead. By the time I would have gone Monday it was just after 8, and I didn’t really want to go any later.

So in stitching news I am almost done with my dreaded Dr. Seuss piece for Luke’s room. I don’t know what I’ll work on next; it will probably be back to Mystery 8 and Alpine.

Still no kittens yet. Soon though, I hope!

Well that’s it. Hopefully blogger will let me post this…

Just a Few Things

May 6, 2005

It’s been an up and down week. I looked at the Escondido Humane Society website earlier this week and saw so many cats and kittens on the site (updated the day I checked, so it said) and so we took off early on Tuesday to go adopt kittens. Yeah, right! The lady at the Humane Society was a TOTAL bitch, and aside from that they didn’t have kittens “available” anyway. We couldn’t even pick them out and pay the adoption fee and wait for them to be ready; her excuse was “they aren’t in a public area”. Well then why the *hell* are they posted on your website, huh? If she had been a tolerable person I would not have been quite so upset, but man was she awful. I have spoken to a handful of people since then who have had bad experiences with her (or that particular Humane Society in general).

Fortunately I found an awesome cat rescue organization here Kitties I have filled out their questionnaire and we are “pre-approved” to adopt kittens. In another week or so there should be a litter ready for visits and then we go from there. The woman on the phone was *so* nice (and said that many people with whom she’d spoken had complained about the EHS) and it’s such a great organization. Rather than having a main shelter with cages they actually have all of their cats housed in foster homes. And it’s a no-kill shelter too. So, now we wait; Luke is not being the most patient of course, he wants a kitten NOW, but then he is 4.

And now I have a couple non-related co-worker rants because if I don’t say *something* I will go postal on a couple of people with offices near mine:
1. Please please please go to the doctor or just STAY HOME!! I have listened to you cough all week and I’m about to lose it. I can’t close my office door because I share my office with another (male) engineer (which is totally unfair since you are an admin and don’t need the extra space like I do, but that’s a different rant and not your fault) and even with my headphones on it doesn’t drown out the racket. Oh good Lord please just GO AWAY!!!
2. Is it really necessary for you to *bathe* in cologne so that it can be smelled halfway across the building, and if you’re going to be so discourteous as to use speaker phone all day (at maximum volume) could you at LEAST close the door? See item 1 about why I can’t close mine.
3. Is there a particular reason why the construction across the hall has to be done during business hours? If I hear a jackhammer one more time someone is gonna get it.

Okay, that’s enough for today. Have a lovely weekend everyone. 🙂

It works, it works!

May 1, 2005

At last, my ipod shuffle works. I am so happy!! I hadn’t tried it with my laptop because it only had windows 2000 sp3 and I didn’t think the USB port was 2.0. Well, the USB port *is* 2.0, and my brother downloaded sp4 for me while he watched Luke when I went to the gym yesterday (what a good brother). I spent several hours last night and this morning converting songs and fit 260 songs in 976MB. The capacity is 990 so when Jay gets home I can take the two CD’s out of his car that have songs I want to add. Now I have no excuse when it comes to exercise, except being lazy of course. 🙂

I weighed in yesterday at 143.5, down another pound since the last time I weighed. Just 18.5 more to go! I am still only running/walking a little over 2 miles in 30 minutes; last time was 2.18 and the time before was 2.25. I feel like I will never be in shape, but all I can do is keep trying, right?

Well, I have to go fold laundry and then I’m going to stitch some since I didn’t stitch at all last night (too busy converting songs!).