Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What Tarot Card Are You?

You Are The High Priestess

You represent mystery - secrets that are yet to be revealed.
You find yourself sitting between two worlds: one dark, one light.
You tend to hold these two worlds in balance, reconciling the two.
Open and welcoming, you invite others to learn your secrets.

Your fortune:

Something hidden, or latent, in your life is about to come forward.
You need to pay more attention to your dreams, thoughts, intuition, and imagination.
And if that involves tapping into your dark side, it will all balance out in the end.
You have a lot of potential dying to be unleashed, so let those gates open!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Graduation Party

Well, somehow or other, we managed to get it all done. Big A was as little help as he could manage to be. Then when I got upset with him, he played stupidity cards.... which weren't flying.... but he did manage to bet it done. It just took a lot more effort on my part to be a pain in his neck until he did it.

His complaints ranged along the lines of "I didn't know that I would have to sweep the trash off the patio" when he was asked to clean the patio... and "What do you mean I have to pick up all the trash in the garage" ... grrr!!!!!

But, it's over, it was nice... the bbq pork sandwiches were good, the mints were awesome, the cake was incredible... and there's a lot left over.

Oh, and mom did an awesome job on Big A's scrapbook! It looks great and is filled with tons of pictures. I'm only a little upset that she didn't make copies of the pictures she took out of my photo albums and cut up for his scrap book. I guess I can just keep telling myself that it's all for a good cause. Right???

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Book meme - can you tell I'm bored?

The original instructions for these meme are as follows:
Book Meme!
1. Copy & paste.
2. Bold the ones you’ve read.
3. Add four recent reads to the end.
4. Tag!

Robust McManlyPants, over-acheiving as usual, suggested the following extensions to the base system:
* italicised, but not bold = a book I want to read but haven’t yet
* italicised and bold = a book I’m currently reading
* bold and struck through = a book I tried to read and have formally abandoned out of disinterest
* purple and bold = a book I have read and is a favorite
* purple, bold and italicised = a book I have read and love so much that it’s always “current” reading


Anyway, here it is.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) - J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) - J.K. Rowling

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) - J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) - J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) - J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) - J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) - Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Unberable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
The Nature of Blood - Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules - Ed. David Sedaris
The Last Continent - Terry Pratchett
The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice - Laurie R. King
Persepolis 2 - Marjane Satrapi
The Sound & The Fury - William Faulkner
A Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami
The Bridge of Birds - Barry Hughart
Foundation - Isaac Asimov
The Fabric of the Cosmos - Brian Green
Philosophy & Social Hope - Richard Rorty
The Long Emergency - James Howard Kunstler
The Jesus Incident - Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom
The Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean Auel
Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
Time Flies - Bill Cosby

Pleasures meme

Phil, Stef - you're tagged to go next...

Four Guilty Pleasures in Books/Reading:
1. Harlequin Romances
2. First/Women's World/etc
3. The headlines of the wacky papers in the check out line
4. Everybody's blogs

Four Guilty Pleasures in Movies: (I don't watch anything that qualifies - but here's some moments of movies that I really enjoy)
1. a really, really good chase scene
2. a really well filmed explosion
3. the just right, sexy guy grabbing the woman with passion for a kiss - a nice slow one
4. a good belly laugh from something that's funny

Four Guilty Pleasures in Food:
1. Anything with Cream Cheese in it... ymmm
2. Chocolate - Chocolate - Chocolate
3. Chocolate with cream cheese
4. cream cheese with chocolate


Four Guilty Pleasures in Music:
1. Head-banging hard-core rock from the 80's blasted loud on my car stereo
2. Vengaboys - thanks a lot Phil - now the first nice day of the year means I have to dig out my only cd...
3. singing along to vroom vroom vroom to the car commercials (is it nissan?)
4. Singing at all - at least I should feel guilty - I'm really, really bad

Four Guilty Pleasures in TV:
1. Survivor
2. Gilmore Girls
3. CSI - the gory parts.... and look who got back together - Sara Sidel and Grissom!!!!
4. Mash - all the old reruns

Four Guilty Pleasures in Booze:
1. Surfer's on acid
2. Jack Daniels shots straight up - chased with Pepsi
3. Slippery Nipples - baileys & buttershots on ice
4. Cranberry/Malibu/Pineapple juice - safer than #1

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Salaried

I'm ok with taking a salaried position, important thing to keep in mind is that things tend to take a long time to process at WFF... and I can expect that even if I get the position, it's probably a couple of months before that happens, which means I can expect to still do some short-term overtime in the meantime.

Everything is falling into place now... fyi - I just got a call about a possible interview for PL/SQL development, although they wanted to know if I would negotiate the pay... I will, mainly because this job isn't a given... although, between the two, I'd rather negotiate with the company I know and know that I enjoy working with. So, we'll just let things play out and see where they lead to.

An easy $15 - need to sign up for more freebies

Last night I got a set of coupons for formula in the mail - and thought, what the heck, while I'm on the phone with Stef & my brother about Senior Pictures, I'll quickly list it in eBay... the auction will be over post-grad party, and why not?

Within two minutes of posting the coupons, I got an email asking me to offer it with a buy it now option as they wanted them for a sale on formula for next week. I asked if they'd be willing to pay $15 plus s&h for it - which is about what I would normally make. They said yes and to let them know when I'd updated the listing. Within five minutes I had the money.... I really do need to sign up for more of these freebies.... I think it cost me $1.00 to list/sell/mail it.

Applying for permanent placement at WFF

Well, they've opened a full-time position here doing what I do now. As a Business Systems Consultant Level 4. I got the email about fifteen minutes ago notifying everyone in the department that the position was open. I spent about five minutes trying to log into the internal site that had the position posted. I sent an email to my manager asking for a copy of the job description since I was having trouble logging in. About three seconds later, she brought the print out to my desk and did a VERY HAPPY little dance to show how excited she was that I was considering applying. She asked me to copy her on the email including my resume and felt that I was a great candidate for the job.

I spent about two minutes deciding to apply - and spent the rest of the time on a 'cover letter' explaining what I could do for WFF... and have applied... Why you ask? Because it's almost a 20% raise....!!!!!! I can get out of debt, I can afford more expensive daycare!!!! If I get this position, things will actually start getting better for both Alex & I. Plus, I'd still have the option of working a little from home. Only question I have is if it's Salaried or Hourly - not that they work a tremendous amount of unpaid overtime - so much as that I want the option of making a little extra a few hours a week from home... at time and a half - that's almost $60/hour. Why not try to help out with this database or that.... or help out on a couple of projects, or what have you? Especially if that extra time is spent with my laptop on my lap while Alex plays at my feet. Why on earth wouldn't I want that option, huh????

So, here's hoping!

DIEPART in the news...

One of the investigator's that came to my house this last weekend was in an article for the local paper.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Revisiting task list

  1. have addresses, have invitations - need to get MAILED TONIGHT!!!
  2. Menu figured out - need to buy the meat for cooking in crock pot on Thursday night - Friday, pick up the salads, buns, chips
  3. Balloon bouquet? Need to order/pick out
  4. the accomplishment table - where I'll put his school letter, some of his memory pictures, and his artwork - items collected - need to wait until Friday to set up
  5. Framed senior picture - and prints for people to take
  6. Figure out where to put the two remaining bookshelves that I have no place for - corner of garage works for me
  7. Figure out where to put the excercise bike that I have no place for - corner of garage works for me
  8. Move the three bikes into garden shed and out of drive way
  9. Figure out where to put third loveseat that I have no place for - corner of garage
  10. Finish cleaning out garage
  11. Re-clean everything a dozen times more - since Little A and Big A aren't being relocated - so therefor new messes will arise every day
  12. Make 3 graduation cards - nephews & son - Nephews are done - need to make one for Adam and mail Jason's (since I managed to forget it on Sunday)
  13. Figure out a creative "card" thing-amajig to set out for people to give Big A cards
  14. Oh, and find a job, and a place to live
  15. Add lawn care
  16. Add cleaning basement to list

Stef - you've got nothing to worry about

Besides being too busy for dating for the next two months - I'm sure I've used up my cute, sexy, sweet guy allotment for the next five years and will be stuck meeting toads for a while.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Knowing when to say when

I've been busy, I've been thinking about my relationship with Mr M. He's a super nice guy who has family in North East Iowa. He's got two kids, a mother recovering from her second bout with cancer, and an elderly father. His older brother died recently - and his younger brother lives out of state. So, it's really just him around to help his folks out.

Me, I'm not tied to Newton nor Des Moines, but economics being what they are, I haven't had a nibble yet from any jobs in CR/IC, not that I've given up on them or anything, but I've been feeling pretty negative about the "lack" of interest I'm feeling in my credentials.

So, with Mr M feeling negative, and me feeling negative (and did I say busy?) - I decided not to contact him this week or weekend, and only to respond if he contacts me.

He wrote me an email saying he was sorry, but he's been doing a lot of thinking, and the distance is too much for him. He figures that the lack of communication is the end of things. Which means that my not being pro-active is really the end of things. But, to be honest, I'm certain that if I had been more pro-active - it would have only delayed the inevitable. He's been thinking about ending things for a while.

I'm already over it - I guess I braced myself for this two weeks ago, and at this point, he's just a super nice guy that I enjoyed dating for a while. I wish him the best... and am ready to meet someone new.

DIEPART

DIEPART had a very, very quiet evening on Saturday - they didn't notice any activity, any sounds, any bumps in the night, no eerie chills, nothing. They did try to do some special activities where the members focused in on trying to think through questions that they wanted answers to - like why did they find a picture of Vicki Fisher in my house, etc. And now they want to take the time to review any EVP's they might have found to see if they picked up on those answers.... we'll see.

I guess they had a second team re-visiting the "colfax house" and had no activity there either.

Interestingly enough - they were late for my investigation because of a major accident on I-80 - three people died. Wonder if that affects other things in the area?

I did get a chance to ask if they had finished reviewing the recordings from the April investigation - they said that they captured over 100 EVP's before they stopped looking. I didn't get a copy of the rest of the EVP's that they had... but will ask for them. Just out of curiousity.

Doing more at work

They've asked me to assist in reviewing other analyst's documentation... not too bad a gig, I'm a contractor, so if I piss the wrong person off, it's not the end of the world, plus they expect me to do it when I have extra time and/or an hour here or two at home, so I can work some overtime - they've gotten me approved for 5-10 hours of overtime a week.

For overtime pay, I've got no problems reviewing someone else's documentation and giving it a review.

Friday, May 19, 2006

CBS Evening news has bigger fish to fry

They decided to go to Texas to film illegal immigrants making a run for the border - can't say that I blame them - totally a hot topic for the news right now.

DIEPART is still coming out tomorrow - but now it's not going to hit the national news. My mom will be very relieved.

Kick ass Friends

Have I ever blogged about how awesome my friends are???

Stefanie has agreed to do Adam's Senior Photos - even though I had intended to do them myself. And she did such an absolutely amazing job of it that I can't even consider how awful they would have been if I had done them. Now, to pick just a handful of the best!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Never a waste of time

I spent several years working for a company that seemed to always get it wrong - Phil - you KNOW who/what I'm talking about.

But it's never a waste of time.

My new project initial expectations and current expectations are completely different... which is fine except for the fact that my manager agreed to the initial expectations which are documented. The current expectations were given to me verbally and in print - but without the "plan manager" name on it. The "plan manager" has thrown her hands up and said "I trust you to figure out how your going to manage this process" and "I've done my part of getting you involved and am now just going to step back and let you do it" and "I trust you to figure this all out". Which wouldn't be so bad - except for recent history with different projects has proven this to be a set up for failure.

HOWEVER, with past experience at you know where to guide me... I spoke to my manager and composed an email documenting said conversation and asking for clarification of our roles/responsibilities. It's called CYA, and I have SOOO learned how to do it well.

Limping less today

My toe isn't quite as bad today... I'm able to walk with only a slight limp today. Toe's still swollen, and red & blue... it's so pretty - lol!

I didn't get the kitchen as clean as I wanted, but it's getting closer... I managed to get dishes caught up (except for what Big A hasn't brought up yet), and started clearing the table that's filled with tools, and lots of stuff that couldn't be put away for some reason or another while we were re-arranging furniture and removing carpet. But things are coming along.

Big A has been a tremondous help - picking little A up from the sitter so I can run errands, etc. And he's not complaining TOO much.

I'm busy at work - yeah! All three projects are in progress now, and they're letting me use my 'excess capacity' to keep from being bored, which is very good. My current contract is scheduled to end by the middle of July, so I don't have to worry TOO much about having to find work right away.

I've sent emails & resume's off and am trying to touch base with some other contacts for potential work... so things are in progress there too. Perhaps something will turn up around July?? Which would be good timing.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My plans for the week

Monday after work
- Meet WFF rep to refinance car (again) to lower payments and get cash for graduation
- finish cleaning kitchen
- all while hopping around on one foot
- yell at Big A until he brings up dirty dishes and pop cans from basement
Tuesday at work
- schedule Big A's haircut
Tuesday after work
- Little A meets with the speech specialist/early childhood specialist for an hour to work on speech
- finish cleaning Bathroom
- yell at Big A until he finishes cleaning the basement
- dishes from basement
Wednesday after work
- finish cleaning Bedrooms
- yell at Big A since he probably won't be done with the stuff from Monday or Tuesday night
Thursday after work
- meet Stefanie to take Big A's senior pics - late, but since we're doing our own, it should be fine
Friday after work & Saturday day
- re-clean all the rooms that have been pit-ified and are dirty all over again.

Garage will still be a pit - that needs to be cleaned by the following week, but hey, gotta get my priorities set - house first, garage second.

Good news is that after the investigation and graduation are done - all I'll have left to do before listing the house is the bathroom remodel (because I'm near certain I don't have time to finish it before then.

Things OFF my big list
- chairs (mom sent a dozen home with me last weekend)
- mints (mom's ordering a 100 for $10)
- scrapbook (mom's doing it for me)

Notice a trend here?

- living room cleaned (with help from big A)
- china hutch moved to living room (with help from big A)
- recycling to the curb (thanks Big A)
- trash to the curb (thanks Big A)

It's called delegation - I'm not great at it, but it has it's purposes.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Slept in a little - started cleaning a little - what happens? Little A throws a small 'weight' and breaks my little toe. woohoo! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 12, 2006

So much to do - so little time

OK - I gotta start making lists - and I might as well bore you while I'm at it...

  1. Take digital camera and Adam and get some senior photos taken - albeit home made
  2. Pick up ink cartridges and card stock to print out invitations for graudation party (May 27th at 1:00 for those of you who might be able to come)
  3. Get extended family addresses from mom so that I can invite them knowing full well they won't come - but who knows? they might...
  4. Figure out the menu - right now I have a cake ordered at Walmart, figure on Cooking up some pork loin and shredding it for BBQ pork sandwiches, so buns, potato salad, frut salad, chips... soda...
  5. Maybe try to talk mom and Aunt Cindy into making those yummy delicious cream cheese mints I love - I've got the grad mint molds, and they're cheap to make, but time consuming - so cost too much to order on my current budget
  6. Figure out where the hell I'm going to find enough chairs - I've got four to five tables, but only a handful of chairs
  7. Pick up paper plates, napkins, cups, utensils
  8. Balloon bouquet? important if I want to embarrass Adam enough
  9. Scrapbook - HA! HA! as if! I have an empty scrapbook, a bunch of photos I want to put in it, some happy graduation stickers and assorted nonsense to make it pretty - time to put it together - not even remoted. And I suppose they would notice if I brought it to work to work on, huh?
  10. Cheap tin buckets, assorted grad keepsakes - all dolled up with confetti & ribbons for centerpieces
  11. I've got a couple of 'grad' table clothes - and a couple plain white or red & white checkered plastic table clothes for the food and 'accomplishment' table -
  12. the accomplishment table - where I'll put the unfinished scrapbook, his school letter, some of his memory pictures, and his artwork
  13. Framed senior picture - and prints for people to take
  14. China Buffet moved out of garage and into free space left in living room for it
  15. Figure out where to put the two remaining bookshelves that I have no place for
  16. Figure out where to put the excercise bike that I have no place for
  17. Move the three bikes into garden shed and out of drive way
  18. Figure out where to put third loveseat that I have no place for
  19. Finish cleaning out garage
  20. Finish cleaning kitchen, basement, bedroom, bathroom
  21. Re-clean everything a dozen times more - since Little A and Big A aren't being relocated - so therefor new messes will arise every day
  22. Make 3 graduation cards - nephews & son
  23. Figure out a creative "card" thing-amajig to set out for people to give Big A cards
  24. Keep on Big A to make sure he doesn't flunk his government class so that graduation actually happens (he has a D- right now)
  25. Oh, and find a job, and a place to live
  26. If I have time - LOL! - remove the cabinet in the bathroom so I can remove the last of the wallpaper, paint - restore cabinet, remove flooring and replace with flooring tiles that I've already bought - ha!ha! as if!

I'm sure I'll have more later - lol! This is just all I can think of right now.

An uncertain future

I've been updating my resume, getting my resume on the web sites updated. Not just to see if something comes of finding work in Cedar Rapids, but also because my current job may end soon. I've got a project for the next eight weeks - which is a better promise than some of my co-workers currently have. There are three that have found new jobs and at least eight others looking for work. The 'word' is that most everyone is going to be let go by July - and that they would 'hope' that if work was to start up again in October, that they might be able to get some of us back. Don't know about anyone else, but I REALLY can't afford to sit around and not work for several months in a row. There's also rumours abound that they're trying to offer full-time permanent jobs knowing that if all the contractors are gone, they've lost a ton of knowledge that they can't afford to lose. But it's all about politics, and I'm not sure that I've got the right people pulling for me to count on them.

In the meantime, I drove around a bit yesterday after work looking for 'house for sale' signs in Stefanie's neighborhood. There are some cheaper houses for sale that I might be able to get a smaller house payment going if I were to move to Des Moines. It's just a DEPRESSING act - to look for houses that are cheaper knowing that the quality of the house is going to be MUCH less than what I have now. My tastes are far more expensive than my budget ability. There are pockets of nice neighborhoods though - and I'll just keep in mind that if you buy the worst house in a nice neighborhood - you can invest in the house and see the greatest reward as a result. But, I also know that I can't afford to invest in it without a good pay raise (or even a job) in my future... which means that I'd be living in a dump for a little while. It's either that or living in a dumpy apartment with no sign for improvement though... so which is the lesser of two evils?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mr M emailed

first time in three days - when he used to email me two to three times a day.

He said "I don't know what's going on this weekend" - after last weekend was little more than a booty call

He said "I don't know where things are going with the expense and careers" - after I've already told him that without a job offer in my hand, I can't make any promises. I can look, but I'm not likely to find...

So - I told him that I didn't know what to say that I haven't already told him... that I don't want things to end, that he knew where I lived from the first time he met me, that I'm doing what I can, but can't move without a job - and right now, the jobs are in Des Moines - and why is this affecting everything now when I haven't even moved yet - why does it have to affect it so much - couldn't it just reduce our visits... and then - I told him it was up to him - if he wanted to end things - than so be it.

I gave him my plans for the next three weekends - which are busy and packed with too much to do anyway. Told him I'm spending all my free time preparing for the news crew and graduation anyway.

Still sad - but I'll survive - I've got too much to do to dwell on it anyway.

CBS Evening News

Well, I still don't know what I think about all this. I do know that I have a TON of housework and cleaning to do before a national news crew shows up at my doorstep.

Which means - that I don't get to come to CR in time to see Phil & Trevor - sob! But, I should still have time to go to my nephew's graduation party - but I won't be able to spend the night so I can see my mother on mother's day. But I can make Adam cook me dinner for mother's day and make him do a ton of work for mother's day - LOL

The following weekend is another nephew's graduation party - so another fast trip to Eastern Iowa and back - because that's the weekend of the investigation that's going to be filmed. Oh, my. So much to do - no time at all to do it in!!!!

Maytag closing in Newton

Whirlpool bought Maytag and the worst possible news got announced today. They're closing the headquarters and most of the manufacturing down in Newton! So - the housing market is going to bust - which means that I will have trouble at best selling my House.

All I can hope is that some other company will see all these workers and manufacturing space - and jump into the void and maybe salvage some of this mess.

Vicky Crady

Vicky called, and then stopped by my house last night. She thought that when DIEPART originally contacted her that it was a joke, or it was related to her 25th high school reunion, and only later realized what was going on. She didn't believe them at first, but she's at least open minded enough to believe that there's something odd going on - so at least she didn't refuse to discuss things with them - or me.

We couldn't find a connection between her and our house. Nor her and a small boy. Although, her grandfather or great-grandfather used to live on the corner - and friends of hers lived down at the other end of the street... but nothing else. So - we really don't have any more answers. I guess DIEPART has an article or two coming out in the newspaper - and they've asked her permission to post her picture and name on the 'front page' of the Newton Daily Newspaper - and the Des Moines Register - I don't think she's going to agree to it. I don't blame her. I wouldn't want my picture/name on the front page of the papers associated with a story about ghost hunting and paranormal activities.

She's just as 'shocked' and 'curious' as we are about how her picture ended up in my house. I offered to return the picture to her - but she doesn't want it. LOL - at least she wasn't too afraid to come to my house.

She was worried that I'm selling the house because it's haunted - I said no - I'm selling it so I don't have to commute to Des Moines anymore.

Nice person - had some rough times that she shared with me that I don't need to publicize for her. I'm glad she's gotten her life together and more stable.

I just wish I had some answers to some questions - but then again - who knows how I'd get any answers?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm still not sure what this will mean - but

Diepart caught the attention of CBS Evening News. They are sending a reporter from Chicago out to accompany the group on an investigation. Specifically, my investigation which is scheduled for two weeks from now.



That's NATIONAL television.




Doing a story on ghosts




in my house...



I'm still going to keep my identity and location anonymous to try to keep from getting inundated with nutcakes.

My mom and Stefanie are going to FREAK out - they already think I'm insane for allowing ghost hunters to come to my house.


but ... oh ... my... god!

What are the odds that they'd want to do a story, decided to pick a group from Des Moines - and then pick my house out of their options. Probably because they had time that weekend - lol!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Possibly the start of the end

Mr M didn't spend the weekend like he normally would.

He did stop out last night - long enough for a bite to eat and a bit of fun, spent the night and left early this morning. He won't be available again for probably two weeks, unless I stop to visit him this weekend on my to/from Eastern Iowa.

I understand why he's pulling back, but understanding doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. I haven't even moved yet, and already distance is sstarting to end this for us. Now, Mr M is looking to end things because he can't afford the gas and I can't commit to moving closer to him without a job offer. I can't say that I blame him totally, I can't afford the gas either.

How odd is it that this will be technically the fourth relationship in a row that ended due to distance being an issue?

Jeremy had to go to Seattle and then from there Idaho, at that time I didn't want to move from Eastern Iowa... let alone move to be with a guy I couldn't trust not to cheat on me. Tim lived too far away and I honestly never expected it to develop into a relationship, but it did - but the distance proved to be too limiting... I needed someone I could see more than once every couple of years. When I pressured him about finding a way to be together, he assumed it meant I wanted to get married (which he wasn't ready for - neither was I)... but in essence I did want more than he could give me - I wanted physical closeness - and 5000 miles is just too impossible. John and I broke up the weekend I started my new job in a new town 90 miles away. Now Mr M.

So, new rule - don't date anyone more than 20 minutes drive away. And I probably won't start dating again until I'm moved so I don't end up being in another position where I'm dating someone and then moving further away. Enough is enough.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mr M

Mr M has responded to my email that I sent to him about how he's the reason I haven't already decided to move to Des Moines... that I was on the fence, because I am concerned about finding work in CR/IC... that the easy move would be Des Moines - not because I want to, but because the work is there. But that I don't want to move further from him know that it might be the end of the relationship.

His response - "we'll just keep it casual then"

It makes me sad...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Renting an apartment/house

I was convinced that I was going to rent no matter where I move to, so that I have more flexibility. And I may just have to do just that (since my credit rating has dropped so much lately - we're bottoming out soon, I hope).

But, as I look at rent costs in Des Moines area - and see that I can get a lowsy, small two bedroom apartment (with no room for washer and dryer) for only about a $100 less than I'm paying right now for my house payment... it's gets to be a tough decision. I HATE doing laundry at a mat - it SUCKS! Ideally, if I could rent a house with hook-ups, then that's cool - but I really, really can't afford to pay more than I am right now on my house payment. And my fear is that the $$$ issue is going to get me stuck in a really bad neighborhood. That's why I started thinking about buying a fixer upper (and not necessarily investing a lot into it besides elbow grease) and not worrying about it being an 'investment' as much as a cheap living option. So many things are up in the air and I'm just trying to see what all my options might be so I know who to start talking to to investigate.

I also thought since my mortgage is handled by my former realtor that they just might be willing to work with me to finance down in housing since I've been late the last couple of month... but who knows. If I explain what I'm trying to do about reducing expenses and getting my finances back in control... and knowing they can charge me up the *ss with higher financing charges. You get the picture.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

thoughts about the future -another brain dump of random thoughts

Mr M seemed quiet this weekend - so I figured I'd make sure to leave him space to figure out what he wants to talk about... and it seems email is his easier method of communication... he sent me an email wanting to think about our future.

He's definitely still interested, however, he doesn't want to speed things up any more than I do. Which is pretty much where I stand on things as well.

He's concerned, however, with the cost of gas, and the distance he is already from his boys and from me - plus the potential of me moving to Des Moines making it even further.

He figures he spent close to $200 in gas in the past two weeks just to spend time with his kids and me. Isn't it a shame when gas prices of all thinsg is the worst thing we have to discuss in our relationship - and truth be told, might just be the end of the relationship.

I'm not tied to my employer... I'm not tied to the Des Moines location.

However, I have to be able to support myself and get myself out of this debt h*ll I've created for myself. At this point - I can literally work anywhere - however, I'm not sure I can make as much money in Eastern Iowa as I do in Des Moines. I can't afford to take a major pay cut when I'm doing everything I can to try to increase income and decrease expenses. I can live cheaper in Eastern Iowa than I can in Central Iowa - rent and house payments are in general at least $200 - $300 a month cheaper.

I keep going back to the dream of working from home - if I had a career like that - I could live in Eastern Iowa and make what I need to. The opportunity in Process Management is on hold for at least another month - and I put out a discussion about working from home - and it's probably not going to be the option. They (as in not the hiring manager - but a potential co-worker) hinted that I could always take the position for short term, and just quit when I got another opportunity in Eastern Iowa... but that's not ideal. Ideal is getting to live/work near Mr M... but I can't make a decision to move there when income is going to be shorter.

I haven't pulled out all the stops in my job search yet, so I guess now is the time to start doing just that. I've just been on the fence and 'peeking' at the opportunities in Eastern Iowa.

???? I want to keep seeing Mr M - not that I'm in love with him, but the thought that I can fall in love with him if we could still see each other without some of the issues we face now.

Back to that thought of working from home - how cool would it be to be able to spend time every day with Mr M since he works nights - even if I was working at a desk and he was putting around the house and yard... hmmm.... what will it take to have what I want?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Still in pain

Still hurting pretty terribly - although, I did manage to pick up a refill on my Darvacet, and just need to keep taking it. Hopefully, after a couple of double-doses, I'll be back to normal.

I hate that I can't do as much as I want to/need to do... because I'm not physically capable of it. Yesterday morning... Mr M came around the corner as I was trying to stand up... and taking my time doing it. I feel like I'm 90.

I made an appointment with a doctor here in Des Moines... to try to replace my general practice guy in Newton. I guess it's the first step towards making the decision that for the time being, I'm going to be relocating to Des Moines and not Cedar Rapids. If the job market were more optimistic in Cedar Rapids, I'd be there in a heartbeat... but the longer I wait, the more opportunities I have here. I just wish housing was more affordable.

I'm going to try to make contact next week with a realtor with the hope that they might find me a fixer-upper that I can buy cheaper than rent (even with my record-low credit rating right now), in a decent neighborhood so that I can decrease housing costs in the hope I can use the difference in cost of gas and housing towards getting out of debt. I know that I'd probably have better luck increasing housing cost and getting some of the money for the house going towards debt (since lenders like to do that...) however, I still need to keep in mind that if I move to Des Moines, it might not be for forever, and I can't afford to owe more on a house than it's worth in case things improve in Eastern Iowa and I can relocate later.

We'll see, I guess.... in the meantime, I have a graduation (?????) to plan, a house to prep for sale, and a teenager who wants help developing a business plan so he can get a business loan to start a new business (???). Wonder how long that will last until he's begging to live in a basement for free?

Monday, May 01, 2006

And you thought I was off my rocker for the last two weeks.

But I think I'm dying!

No, not really - although, I sure as H*LL hurt from one end to the other and back again.

This weekend was the last chance to take garbage to the curb for curbside clean up before I list the house for sale. So, we took a ton of trash and disposables to the curb. My entire living room set (yahoo!!!) plus carpet out of the living room and hallway and my bedroom and Little A's bedroom. Only the carpet in my bedroom had been removed prior to this weekend. When I had to move my waterbed last fall so that they could come in and put in my new windows, I tore the carpet up in the bedroom and threw it into the garage. Which means that this weekend I moved every piece of furniture in the living room and baby's room at least once if not twice - so that I could tear out the carpet and underlayment - and then scrub on my hands and knees the floor. The living room looks exceptionally good - only a couple of dark spots that I'll need to tend to and a few minor scratches that I might be able to hide with a good rug. Little A's room, however, needs a good shine added to it, and some paint spatter cleaned up. I got about half of the big drops of paint up - will tackle the rest once I recover more.

We've got the baby's room back to being a baby's room -however, all his toys are in tubs in the middle of the living room... goal is to sort through and remove toys that he's outgrown for a garage sale in a few weeks. Remaining toys are to be put on the bookshelves that have relocated to his room for storage. He's got such a small bedroom, but they sure do look nice in there.

I've got two of the loveseats in the living room, ottoman, and the two identical tv stands holding up my tv. But the rest of the living room is in a shambles, as is the kitchen which has several pieces of furniture (i.e., desk, filing cabinet, etc.) all sitting on rollers so that when I figure out where I want to put them, I can roll them into place. Issue is that I don't really want them in the living room, but don't have room anywhere else. Here lies the issue - how do I stay functional until I put the house up for sale, and look nice at the same time with all my paperwork, books, etc that I'm using to try to sell items on ebay to get them out of the house? Do, I just give it all up and haul it all to goodwill??? Don't tempt me - as I'm about at the end of the coping with my aching back as it is.

As for the curbside pickup event in Newton - there was a little bit of deterrent with all the rain all weekend. However, everytime it stopped raining for a second along would come a caravan of vehicles, vans, trucks, SUV's etc... driving through and looking at our piles for something of value. In fact, that's how I often noticed it had stopped raining - as suddenly the deadly quiet of our dead end street was broken by these herds of 'trashers'. Luckily, the rain deterred my sister and mother from coming out. I find it pretty embarrasing how excited they get over the opportunity to take trash out of someone's yard. As in, they look forward to it and were disappointed with the rain forecast. My mom actually commented - well, it's not like anyone is going to put anything out on their curb? ... as in, she keeps forgetting that the purpose of curbside pickup isn't for the people that come through to collect the stuff - it's to get rid of what you believe is trash and you want to get rid of it. I had to explain to her, that no... everyone who wants to get rid of their trash HAS to put it out this weekend rain or shine... and that if you want to get rid of it, you don't really care if it gets rained on. She had to think about that one.... omg! She's so convinced that it's really all about attracting people to come get the 'stuff' that she forgets that it's really about getting rid of stuff. oh, well...

Me, if I hadn't had an early call and a late afternoon call, I probably would have spent the day in bed with a hot water bottle and heating pad on all my sore, aching muscles.