Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bring on the popcorn!

I've decided to treat my life as if it were something happening to someone else. Really, when you step back and look at it, this situation is not without humor.

The background: My progress toward getting a house has been held up at the last minute by a bureaucratic mixup: the bank says they need my husband's signature on the loan or else they need documentation proving I'm unmarried.

The story so far: My HR department, who are wonderful, offered to fax or email a screenshot of my single status in their records. So I called the bank to get a fax number or email address. This time got a woman customer service representative.

Me: All I need is a contact number or address and I can resolve this situation today. There is a time-critical element to this issue; if I can't resolve it, I won't be able to close on the house.

Her: I'm sorry, I can't give you any contact information. Because of your last call, your loan application has been put into an expedited queue. You can't send any information in, but a customer service representative will call you to deal with your situation personally.

Me: When will they call me?

Her: In a couple of business days.

Me: So instead of resolving the situation today, you're saying that I will have to wait a couple of days so you can expedite it?

Her: Yes.

So far as I'm concerned, my life is some kind of dark comedy. I like to think that Julia Roberts is playing my role. Bring on the popcorn!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Okay, God, enough already?

No matter how bad things get, there's no reason why they shouldn't simply get worse.
-Douglas Adams

I thought I was all set. I finally asked the seller to provide a home warranty for a year. If he was that confident in his wiring and plumbing, I wanted him to back it in writing. And he did, so I figured everything was settled.

Nope. There's more house drama.

My headache du jour is with the 401k people. I'm taking out a loan to cover the down payment (since I will please God get a loan from a relative in a few months to pay the 401k back).

So I go to fill out the form they sent me, and it indicates that I have to have my husband sign as well.

I call the 401k company and explain to the customer service rep I'm not married.

Him: Our records indicate that you are married. This could affect getting the loan approved.Can you prove that you're not married?

Me: How do I prove that I've never been married?

Him: Well, do you have any documentation? Maybe a copy of a divorce settlement?

(At this point I begin gently hitting my head against the wall...)

They consider this issue serious enough to delay my getting the loan, which means I'll have to push the closing date back, which means I'll have to... oh, I don't know, probably something. Hey, maybe they can delay matters for a couple more weeks, at which case I'll be out of my apartment and homeless!

Yes, I know I'm dramatizing. I like to think of the Worse Case Scenarios even though they almost never come to pass, just so I can be prepared. On the plus side, eventually Life is going to get tired of throwing challenges my way. Or I'll become a tough, assertive person who sneers at obstacles, climbs over them, and charges ahead to her goal. Well, it's possible.

I'm not going to hold my breath though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

News from the home front

Never attribute to malice that which may be explained by stupidity.

Does the course of true home buying ever run smooth?

Made an offer on a house, had it accepted.

Had the house inspected, told the seller all the trivial details that needed to be fixed (e.g. dry rot in the foundation, leaks in the plumbing, electrical outlets that were miswired).

Seller's response was basically "Gee, could've sworn I got all the dry rot out. That plumbing was done by a licensed plumber, but to be nice I'll fix the leaks. But the electrical outlets are all fine, nothing needs to be done about them."

My Realtor, seeing that the deal was going to fall through over this issue, called the electrician personally. He said the outlets were wired fine.

She asked him why they failed the home inspector’s test. He replied that maybe they needed to be fixed. He’ll write a letter offering to fix them.

She asked if he could email or fax the letter. He doesn’t have email or a fax machine.

She asked she could drive by his office to pick up the letter. He doesn’t come in to his office very often.

At this point I’d almost feel sorry for the Realtor if she hadn’t gotten so snippy with me the other day when I’d said I was concerned over this issue. (“Well, the inspector can’t see through walls, you know. If the electrician said it was fine, then it must be fine.”)

I started out thinking that since the seller was a contractor, they must have some idea that these things weren't done right to begin with. Now I'm starting to think the seller is merely inept. Doesn't fill me with confidence either. And he does have some experience with home renovation. Google tells me that he and the electrician went to Mississippi with members of their church to renovate homes after Katrina. That's a positive sign, anyway.

Of course, they were probably long gone by the time the home owners tried to plug in an appliance.

Tried a new sport tonight: indoor jogging. Well, it was different.
Jog/walk 2/2 9 times.

Brick wall courtesy of ... oh heck, click here to find out.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Top 10 things to do at 3 a.m.

1. Stare at the ceiling fan going round and round in its pointless existence. Try to avoid thinking of any parallels with your life.
2. Whine on your blog.
3. Watch the raindrops running down the window.
5. Take deep breaths until this becomes actively irritating.
4. Learn to list things in order.
6. Surf the internet until this becomes intensely annoying.
7. Think of all the things you didn't get done today and therefore need to get done tomorrow.
8. Get cold, go back to bed, get restless, get back up. Repeat.
9. Ask yourself a lot of "Why" questions to which there really aren't any answers or at least not any good answers so it's fairly pointless.
10. Listen to an audiobook that a kind friend has shared with you. (Thank you, McB!)

Maybe exercise will help. 50 minutes jog/run 3/2.

Thanks Keziah!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

10 steps to a Happy Inner Slug

Top 10 reasons I haven't blogged in a week:

1. Working 12 hour days
2. Sleeping 4 hour nights
3. Spending much of the intervening hours trying to switch the ratio of #1 and #2.
4. Aliens. They're always a good reason.
5. Trying to cross every i and dot every t in the Getting-a-House process. (Yes, I know the phrase is usually the other way around. I was being symbolic, or ironic, or trying to indicate the use of subtext; one of those things.)
6. Learning that sometimes people who sell houses Aren't Always Honest.
7. Working on not getting emotionally involved in the G-a-H process, but nevertheless spending hours each night staring at the ceiling grinding my teeth (see #2).
8. Taking life Waaaay more seriously than I should.
9. Christmas presents? Oh wait, wasn't I supposed to buy things and ship them to people?
10. Trying to think up better reasons than these for not Getting On With The Program, and working on avoiding feeling self-loathing, self-disgust or self-avoidance (that last is a tricky one) for giving in to the Inner Slug.

The good thing about posting a list like this? It's motivation for me to get off my ever-expanding backside and go out there and move. Now.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Me & Hugh Laurie

More excuses.
And why didn't you exercise yesterday, Mary?
Well, I bought a house.
Tsk. Not good enough. You'll have to come up with a better excuse that that.

It's a beautiful house, if that's any excuse.

I got very discouraged from having spent weekend after weekend looking at scruffy, depressing, even-with-a-lot-of-fixes-it'll-still-be-a-dump houses, then I walked into this house and fell in love. Makes me wonder if I gave up on dating too soon. Maybe I should hire a relationship broker and start touring fixer-upper style men?

Oh all right, so that's not a good enough excuse for getting distracted from exercising. I am glad that this week is over. Next week I'm going to go back to my regularly scheduled exercise. Nothing to worry about except the fact that I'm going to move in three weeks. Not sure if I should break open the champagne or go throw up.

Photo of my new house Castle Howard courtesy of flickr.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Excuses, excuses

Not been a good start to the week. Though I'm no longer a valid invalid, I still can't stop coughing and sneezing. I have been giving out lots of gratuitous and unreliable exercise advice on Cranky Fitness. Does that count as exercise? No, I didn't think so.

Plus we're still getting hit with the tail-end of that typhoon. Just now the wind was so strong it was actually shaking the long building of townhouses where I live -- which is a neat trick. This area is pretty sheltered, with lots of... lovely tall trees... oh dear. No, seriously, probably no worries. I might drown, but I doubt a tree will do me in while I sleep.

In other words, no, I didn't run today. And I'm not going for it tonight either. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Maybe a fresh set of excuses. On the other hand, maybe I should take some thought to taking up swimming.

Pictures of an Oregon park courtesy of flickr.