Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wake Forest friends at the Orange Bowl game

More Arizona pictures

This is a shot of the Grand Canyon. I did edit the color a bit, because all of my photos looked really washed out. I suppose the quality of the light is part of the reason people go there in the summer versus the winter. That is Duane standing next to a really tall cactus at the Saguaro National Park.

Some Arizona pictures

This is Duane sitting on a petrified log and our wigwam that we stayed in at the Wigwam motel in Holbrook.

Nap time?

I don't really remember anything that happened last week. I am having a hard time remembering it is Wednesday today.

Oh, Duane finished installing the new garage door opener and I cleaned the garage last Saturday. Exciting, no?

This week my car has decided to become unreliable. The ignition switch is messed up and there is a 50/50 chance that the car won't start. This happened on Monday. The car is fine one day, not fine the next. Duane and I are carpooling.

My deal closed yesterday and that went all well and good. Well my buyer locked herself out of the garage because the seller gave her 3 house keys and 1 garage key (one set of 2 house keys and 1 set with a house and garage key). She had given the garage key to her husband who had to drive back to Indiana.

I did do a little bit of work today. We are having ahi tuna steaks for dinner that I got at Trader Joe's. Well, I hope Duane eats his. His experience with tuna has been rather limited thus far.

OH, I remember why I can't remember last week. Duane was in LA for most of the week. I had lunch with a good friend that was supposed to watch our pets for us while we are on our trip. Unfortunately he will not be able to do this for us. We have 12 days to get it figured out. We had some fabulous russian food for lunch and saw the movie Premonition (movie was so-so).

I have started 3 baby quilts and I hope to sew them all tomorrow. It will be a sewing marathon. Maybe this time I will remember to take a picture before I give them away!

My mom's birthday is tomorrow. She is having a total knee replacement this Monday and I know she is very nervous about it. I am planning on making some dinners for the freezer this weekend.

I could take a nap right now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The deal-i-o

I am still working on my most recent deal. Over the weekend the listing agent managed to not fax me an amendment ("I faxed it but didn't wait to see if it went through"), and then emailed me instead of calling me when she re-faxed. Oh and she changed the closing date from what we had previously talked about. My manager got on my case for not getting on her case, but man can't people just do their job correctly?

My buyers still want the house, which is good. We went into it this Sunday with her parents and they seemed ok with it.

Oh and the listing agent is not going to be happy when I send back the amendment today reinstating that the seller should make sure the boiler works (which is supposedly under warranty). Is it so strange that I would like to make sure that my buyers have heat when they move it?

So work ate up most of my time this weekend and I didn't get to go to Chicago. Maybe next weekend!

Also, Borat is a strange, strange movie. I wonder how long it will take for Duane to stop randomly talking like Borat?

Vending machine karma

I have complained in earlier posts that I am very likely to be the target of malcontent vending machines, but today I was vindicated!

I was supposed to have lunch with Duane before I took him to the airport (last minute trip to CA this week). He wasn't ready to go, so no time for lunch. I went back to work and purused the vending machine selections. There was a cup of EasyMac that seemed decent enough and I had a 1$ coin to use. The machine keep spitting the coin out (even though it is clearly indicated that the machine accepts such coins) but I persisted. On one of my tries, 2 1$ coins spit out along with the one I put in!! I figure this makes up for the earlier money I have lost (and the machine did eventually take my coin).

On a related note, read the fine print on snacks in the vending machine. I ended up with chocolate "flavor" coated pretzels (totally nasty!) instead of the chocolate "covered" pretzels I thought they were.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Well, even though my buyers have given up on the bad inspection house, the seller does not want to roll over as easily. I will be talking to one of my buyers tomorrow about the situation (face to face finally). The only way to really get out of the deal may be to lose $500 in earnest money.

Also work related, I was given a lead last Friday. An older woman was selling her house and the deal fell through on the house she thought she was moving to. It wasn't the greatest lead (ie she was not buying a million dollar house and I would have paid 20% of my commission to the person who gave me the lead). She said she was going to look at a house and would let me know if it didn't work out. Well I didn't go after her full bore (where is this house..are you working with another realtor?) because I don't really believe in hounding people. I called her on Monday and she let me know that she was going to buy that house. She called me today freaking out because those sellers wouldn't return her calls. I assured I would do everything I could to help her (the house is a fsbo that refused to pay any commission to a realtor). The sellers did finally call her back and assured her that they were going to sell to her. She thanked me so much for talking with her and offering my help (she wanted to give me money). I am sending her some business cards and she promised to refer me. I think this is a better resolution to the scenario then if I had hounded her and possibly cost her the fsbo house. I suppose that is why it will take me a little longer to make the megabucks in this job.

The laptop is not charging the battery right now. The devil kitty (aka Boots) put a tooth mark into the ac adapter, which seemed to be ok after a little electrical tape. "Something" happened to the plug-in part on the laptop which bent it slightly. We have been fiddling with it for about a week to make the ac adapter plug in to the laptop and it seems we may have fiddled too much. The ac adapter will run the laptop but not charge the battery.

I guess that is only 2 problems.

OK Go was pretty decent last night. The concert was sponsered by Jack Daniels, but we did not know that they would only be serving Jack Daniels. Luckily for Duane, there is another bar in the same building (10 feet away no less!) so he could have a beer (well 2 because I did not like my selection). He was then more amenable to the free Jack Daniels drinks (they gave you 2 tickets per person). So a free concert and free booze! I didn't like every single song they played, but they were quite fun and entertaining.

Oh..also my dumb self realized that I would miss 3 out of 5 woodworking classes that I signed up for while we are on vacation (26 days till!) Luckily I am able to transfer the money I already paid (for a $5 fee of course) to the next session of the class.

We might go see the new movie 300 tonight or veg at home watching America's Next Top Model.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


aka Justin Timberlake

I went to see him in concert last night in Chicago. Now I don't have a whole lot in common with screaming high school girls (and some boys) but the concert was good. It helps that he is a cutie, he can really sing, and he can really sing AND dance at the same time. The local po-po seemed to be clueless that so many people were going to be at this concert. The main parking lot was full and they were haphazardly directing people to an overflow lot across the street. There were NO signs telling you anything but we ended up not having to pay the $15 for parking.

Duane got a good deal on the tickets on Ebay, but made a strategic error. He asked a very nice friend of mine to pick up the tickets yesterday since they had to be picked up by 5. I went to her house to pick them up (in Chicago) and ended up taking about 1.5 hours to get back to the Allstate Arena (normally a 30 minute trip). We missed the opening act (Pink), but got there right when JT started.

Tonight I am going to see Ok Go (you know those guys that do the dance routine on treadmills) in town and the tickets are free. It could go either way (fun or not fun), but I am going with Duane (who is usually fun).

The weekend turned out pretty well. We got the kitties vaccinated Saturday morning (although Mister Kitty's vaccination made him sick :( We saw butterflies and moths with my nieces and nephew, and had a great dinner at my parent's house celebrating our birthdays. Sunday was a veg out day. We spent a bunch of money at Target stocking up on the usual things.

Friday, March 09, 2007


I forgot to mention that I made chicken paprikash last night using the new paprika that I got from Penzey's Spices. Duane really liked it even though he saw me stir sour cream in at the end (he hates sour cream). I used spicy paprika even though you traditionally use sweet and I served it over brown rice (Duane likes rice better than pasta). It was yum, yum!


Yes, it is my birthday and yes, I do feel old. Why can't 33 be the new 23? I have been considering eye creams because I am convinced that is why no one thinks I am younger than I am anymore. I was told this day would come and yes, it does stink.

In other news, my recent buyers had their inspection today. They could not be there for it, so I was there. It couldn't be good news could it? The electical panel was a mess, there could be structural problems, and a whole bunch of smaller things. My buyers could decide not to buy this house, which would be fine. They had another house that they liked. Or they could decide to ask the seller to fix a bunch of stuff and we could go through that whole rigamaroll. I also haven't received something in the mail from them that is important! It was sent priority mail, so you know in 1 or 2 (or more in this case) days it should be here. Just more stress for me.

We will be taking all 3 cats for their rabies vaccinations tomorrow. We take them to a clinic which is cheaper than taking them to the vet (no office visit charge). At least they will all be in carriers, so waiting in line is easier (than with the dogs). Now getting them IN the carriers is a different matter entirely.

We are then headed down to Jville to see some butterflies and hang out with family.

Sunday we may go to a flea market, although every flea market I have been to in WI is really a crap market. We will also be seeing a movie with my friend Fran, but I don't know what yet.

We watched The Departed the other night and I really, really liked it. The end was not my favorite part, but I didn't write the script so I can't make the movie end the way I want it to. I think Leonardo is a hottie again!

The weather is warming up and I might be able to get Santa and his fallen reindeer off the roof this weekend.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Work picks up and the weekend

We will now have money to pay for the travel and hotel part of our trip next month.

I got a lead from work last week that paid off in an accepted offer yesterday with a closing in a couple of weeks! I swear sometimes it is just luck, but I must know how to do this job (at least a little bit!).

This weekend Duane and I sampled beers at the Ale Asylum brewery on Friday night and some great beers at Cocoliquot on Saturday night. Duane had the Hopalicious on Friday and really liked it. The hoppy taste is right at the front when you drink it, instead of being bitter as it goes down your throat (as other hoppy beers can be). On Saturday night I had a La Fin Du Monde, Duane and a Appenzeller Holzfass-Bier, and then Duane and I split a giant bottle of Corsendonk Abbey Ale.

At dinner on Saturday we had an excellent cheese plate (although one of the cheeses was creamy with a weird bitter taste), frites (fries), and mussels for an appetizer. Our main dishes were not that exciting and I wish we had skipped them. Duane had a whitefish. I had venison prepared in two ways (stewed and grilled). It was tasty, but not worth $26 to me. The dessert plate was outstanding. It had vanilla creme brulee, a honey cake with lemon creme and blueberry compote, a chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, pomegranate ice cream in a chocolate spoon, and milk chocolate something with banana. Yum yum!

My weekend was very busy with work and leisure. I had a friend in town from Chicago. We visited Paoli where there is a small art gallery with a fabulous restaurant. We had a great lunch. We visited a few shops there, but I didn't find anything to buy. I worked before we went to Paoli and after, and most of the day on Sunday. Sunday evening we went to my parent's house and had a nice dinner.

Duane's birthday is tomorrow. He will be 29. If you know his email address, give him a shout. My birthday is on Friday. I will be older than Duane.

I must go shopping now. We will be watching The Departed, Beerfest, or An Inconvenient Truth tonight as Veronica Mars is not on (and no I do not want to watch the Pussycat Dolls find a new member).