Thursday, November 30, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Closing's official. I have signed my life away. I am now a homeowner.

Thursday morning, I had to go to an inservice about strokes. They fed us brunch, then kept us awake by telling us all about how an MRI works. It was riveting! I think I went into snooze mode in less than 6 seconds. I can't complain...I get four hours pay for going.

After that was finished, I hauled ass (carefully) to Raytown to the realtor's office, skating into the building (who knew their parking lot also doubled as a ice rink!) and signed my name (including middle initial) about 117 times. They show you what you will be paying if you pay the loan, in it's entirety, over the full 30 years. I damn near passed out from the shock. For that kind of money, I could live across the street from Kay "Where's Waldo" Barnes in Briarcliff.

My hand cramping, I finished and decided to stop by the new dwelling to have a poke around...alone.

I wandered around the house. My house. I'm still in disbelief that I actually did it. This was something I had always imagined myself doing after I got married, because that is what all the women in my family have done. I'm doing a lot of things that are firsts for my family: college degree, career, not married, buying a house on my own. I'm venturing into unfamiliar territory! It's exciting and scary all at the same time.

Now, everyone will get to read my adventures in Home Ownership. This should be fun, especially if the toilet explodes. Hopefully, I won't be sitting on it if it does.

After my little reflection period in the house, I drove back to the safe confines of Platte county. Snow had started to fall everywhere but there. I stopped by Lowes, fatty gift card in hand.

Ever have a moment where you have money to actually spend, but have no idea what you want to spend it on? That was me, wondering around Lowes. I did take note of the ceiling fan I want for the Great Room...and which colors for the Great Room, master bedroom and kitchen. I walked out of the store only buying a bottle of window washing fluid. And no, I didn't use the gift card for that (Paul already asked).

Incidentally, Paul is feeling better, so I won't have to pelt cans of chicken noodle soup at him. He was a bit fearful, he knows I don't throw like a girl.

It's now 2am. We still haven't got squat for snow...which is almost disappointing considering all the weathertards were making like it was the Storm of the Century. Well, some folks got a nice white blanket. We got the same seven flakes blowing around. I can only hope the roads are clear enough for me to get to work tomorrow night.

I'm going back to bed. It's freaking cold!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hump Day Blathering

I worked extra last night. I'm going to be working a lot of extra shifts. I have a new refrigerator to consider....and washer...and dryer....and a new living room set.

The night passed by slowly, so we had time to goof off with the new espresso maker one of the docs bought for us for early Christmas present. I'm the night shift coffee maid. I've become quite the proficient at steaming milk. It's good to know that in case this whole nursing thing doesn't pan out, I can always apply at my local Starbucks. I made lattes for everyone, including our RT for the evening. Paul was working, but declined for he was sick. Not sick in the "you're so pathetically cute looking I just want to take you home and mother you" kind of sick. It's the kind of sick where you don't want to be within 20 feet of the person, and the nicest thing you can think of doing is throw cans of chicken noodle soup at his head.

At any rate, he was working while wearing a mask. This morning, he was planning on going home and crawling into bed. I don't expect he will emerge from bed before Sunday.

I was so tired when I came home. I put on my comfy pj's and turned in. Two hours later, the lender rep calls. I answer the phone, sounding all bleary, and the first thing she asks is if I was sleeping.

No, I want to answer. I just got a hold of some bad crack.

She tells me that I have to bring x-amount of dollars to closing tomorrow, and it has to be in the form of a cashier's check. My realtor says they have been doing this for as long as she can remember. Apparently, some assclowns would write a check at closing, take possession of the house, then go out and cancel the check.

I know that I have an inservice all morning, and I know that I will have to cut this inservice short if I am going to make it to the realtor's office by 1pm. I know that my credit union is in the opposite direction of where I will be, and I am painfully aware that the weather sucks.

So, I get dressed, put on my warm winter coat, and furry scarf. Yes, it's made with real rabbit fur. Go to hell, PETA. The rabbits went well with tators and carrots...roasted.

I creep to the credit union, getting there just before they close. I get my cashier's check, not to mention a cool Norman Rockwell calendar for FREE! Then, I creep back home. Cursing the entire way that the lender lady woke me up, and made me go out into the crappy weather....risking life, limb and a $500 deductible for a $200 check. Damn her! I did ask her for her home number so I could call her at 1am tonight. She laughed at my joke. I wasn't joking.

Tonight, I made a frozen lasagna thingie from Stouffers. N-A-S-T-Y! I should know better than to trust frozen lasagna. You can only trust your own lasagna...and meatloaf.

I ended up having some nachos and cheese instead.

It's almost 9pm, and I am going to call it a night. I hope everyone is warm and safe. If you see a black PT Cruiser in a ditch, please pull me out...or call Triple A.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Great Room Colors

Now that it is official...I'm closing on Thursday afternoon. I wasn't even certain until this afternoon that it would actually happen because Cartus is an evil corporation that sucks the life out of first-time home buyers. But it is going to happen, and now I am planning how I am going to make this place my very own.
This is the Great Room. I want to paint the wall above the fireplace, as well as anything else that isn't covered in brick and wood (ceiling excluded). I didn't like the mustard color it was painted before they painted this beige color. There is a big wall space between the entrances to the kitchen and dining room...ideal for artwork. I have to give props to Rachel for introducing me to Natasha Wescoat. I really like her work (except the strange stuff with the little monkeys). had their CyberMonday sale to which all their stuff was 25% off until midnight tonight. So, I bought 3 prints to hang in the aforementioned wall space.
These are the three prints I ordered. It incorporates the various colors I want to have around the living room to tie it all together. It appeals to my attraction to jewel tones. I was going to have them in black or dark brown frames, I'm still undecided on the matting.

So, what would be a good color to paint the Great Room walls?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Morning Surprise

After morning coffee, I came home around 9:30am. When I opened the door, the smell hit me first.

Sam was crouched in the corner of his kennel, the most foul smell emitting from it, his bed, and himself. It was hideous. There's only two words for the horror that greeted me when I looked inside the kennel.

Explosive diarrhea.

The last time this happened was when I unwittingly gave him some popcorn a year or so ago. Never, ever give a dog popcorn. Trust me.

So, I took him out of his kennel and put him outside on the patio. I then took his dog bed, tossed it in three garbage bags. Took a half a can of Scrubbing Bubbles and cleaned out the kennel, followed by a nice coating of Lysol.

Kennel cleaned, I retrieved Sam from the patio, and tossed him into a tub full of warm water, soaped him up in cherry blossom scented soap, and rinsed him off. Tried to towel dry him before he took off, shaking water all over the apartment. George was not impressed. Then, I noticed it.

Sam was bleeding...out of his butt. Could this morning possibly get any worse?

I don't know much about veterinary medicine, but I know that in people medicine, bleeding out of your toot-hole is never, ever a good thing. I called the vet's office and explained the situation, they told me to bring the dog in...and could I get a small stool sample?

So, I did. Armed with a wet dog and a baggie containing the foulest smelling shit on the planet, I sped to the vet.

They ran the stool sample and determined he wasn't carting around parasites. Colitis, they told me. After some quick calculations, some turkey bones and skins the little shithead managed to get into Thursday night was the likely culprit. Awesome.

An office visit of no more than 30 minutes, two prescriptions for antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and I'm out $100.

Now, he doesn't appear to bleeding as much. I've managed to cram two pills down his throat. Why couldn't they make them peanut butter flavored? It's now 11:20am. I'm supposed to work tonight, but I'm seriously considering calling in. Who can sleep with these circumstances!

So, now I have two special-needs pets. I have a cat who gets a plugged-up peehole, and a dog with colitis. All I need is a fish with an under bite, a blind guinea pig, and a retarded parrot and I've got the makings of a telethon.

Support Heather's Kids.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Laundry Fun

I have two loads of wash. Whites...and scrubs. I have enough scrubs that they get their own load. That, and I never know what's on said scrubs...VRE, MRSA, E-coli, etc.

So, I lug the basket across the apartment complex to the little laundry hut. Some old woman wearing no bra (and she had no business running around without one, if you get my meaning) has claimed monopoly on almost all the washers and dryers in the building. There's at least 20 of each.

I'm reduced to the washer and dryer that sounds a lot like the very first car I owned.

I just keep remembering that I'm in the final stretch of laundromat subjection. Soon, I will have a set of my very own. My own washer and dryer that only I will use. No more will I have to use public washer, wondering just what was in it before I came along. (Which reminds me of the story my cousin told me about the time her and her husband shagged in a laundromat during late hours. ~shudder~) No more will I have to take a gamble on a dryer, wondering if it's going to actually get my clothes dry, or just toss them around still wet.

Apartment life sucks.

Late Turkey Blather

I worked Wednesday night as a favor to one of the other nurses. She had family coming in for the holiday and was slated to do all the cooking. She didn't ask me to work for her, I just offered.

See...I can be a nice person!

That, and the idea of the extra holiday pay sure helps.

It was odd, going into work on a Wednesday. The night passed slowly with no significant events, which is normal for a holiday, even at a larger hospital.

In the morning, I went home, and did some turkey preparation. I bought the smallest turkey I could find (which was pretty small), prepared the stuffing (I got the bonus giblet bag with TWO hearts!), stuffed the turkey, put it in the oven on a low setting, then went to bed.

I wasn't going to have anyone over for dinner, and I didn't go to anybody's house for dinner. Instead, spending the day in the comfy confines of my bed. However, I couldn't bear the thought of no leftover turkey, no leftover stuffing. Besides, I consider it a sort of dress rehearsal for the time that I actually have to cook a big turkey for family members. I know lots of single people who have no experience with such an undertaking. It's safe to say I got the turkey-prep down to an art.

I debated getting up before the butt-crack of dawn to go shopping with the rest of the KC masses. I looked over the ads to see if there was anything I just couldn't live without. There wasn't. I didn't bother to set the alarm...I just slept in. It was glorious.

So, I am going to go toss some scrubs in the laundry, and take a nap. Another weekend comes upon me, and things will be back to normal in the halls of the hospital.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

As the Dryer Turns

I ended up not buying the washer and dryer from the couple in Belton.

After I looked at it and went home, I just had a nagging feeling in the back of my head. The couple advertised it as brand new, never used, tags still on it. I had a feeling that just wasn't the case.

The next day, I called the couple again to get the serial numbers off the set, claiming I was going to check the warranty information. They gave them to me and I tracked down the number for the corporate office for the makers of said washer and dryer.

Turns out, the washer was made in 2001, and the dryer in 1999. So much for being brand new. Also, the dryer had a record of having service calls on it. So much for never been used. The company doesn't even make these two particular models anymore.

I called the couple again and spoke with the husband, telling him everything I had found out about the washer and dryer. I didn't accuse him of being dishonest, but I said I had changed my mind about buying the set. I wasn't an asshole about it and neither was he. I mean, what could he say?

Truth be told, Paul and I both got the impression this couple weren't the brightest crayons in the box. Oh well.

I noticed they re-listed the washer and dryer on Craigslist again. Same price, however, the said it was "almost new" and only "used a couple times because it sat in a vacant house for a while."

That's what I thought. In the end, as my grandmother used to say, everything came out in the wash.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Hunt for Major Appliances

This morning, I had to drive all the way down to Belton to go look at a washer and dryer advertised on Craigslist. I've never utilized Craigslist. I always thought Craigslist was for perverted married men to go trolling for casual encounters with anything that moves.

Turns out, there's lots of stuff on Craigslist besides that. This couple listed a European washer and dryer. Some research online and speaking to a European revealed to me that this was a very good price for a very good washer and dryer. If Scandinavians have got anything mastered, it's anything with engineering and clean underwear.

At any rate, I enlisted Paul to go with me in the event the sellers of said washer and dryer were psychotic killers, and I wouldn't be brutally murdered and somehow incorporated as part of this family's Thanksgiving dinner. Which begs the question: what kind of gravy goes good with Heather...white or brown?

So, we went and looked at said washer and dryer. I told the couple that I would make arrangements to have them picked up tomorrow night.

I dropped Paul off at his car and came home, took a nap, got up and dressed, and thought I would stop at Nebraska Furniture Mart and price refrigerators.

I don't know...maybe I did it wrong. But the fridges at Lowes are cheaper than the ones at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Either they were insanely expensive and ginormous, or cheap and tiny. None in the middle where my budget resides.

They had one there that had a television in the door, which begs the question: Why? During those late night snack raids, you can pop in Pride and Prejudice, pull up a chair and watch while you eat whatever tickles your fancy?

Another lady was staring at he $3500 wonder of technology, clearly puzzled. I told her that this particular piece was new to the "More Dollars Than Sense" Line of appliances.

I didn't buy a refrigerator on this day. I suppose my search would be easier if I didn't want a black one, side by side, offering up ice and filtered water. So, the search continues.

Meanwhile, the realtor continues to haggle over the repairs I want done. Cartus is supposed to respond by tomorrow night. I didn't request a huge amount of stuff to be done...just things that I felt were safety issues. So, we shall see.

Nurse Follies: Keeping it Real

When we admit a new patient, we ask a long series of questions designed to figure out your medical history...providing the patient is coherent enough to answer. We want to know EVERYTHING. Allergies, medications, medical history, recreational drugs, favorite foods and thoughts on the global warming threat. You can't keep secrets from nurses, so don't even try.

(And don't even think that we believe the story that you were innocently reading the bible while naked, fell, and got a potato and a jar of concord grape jelly conveniently lodged in your descending colon. We don't believe it, not even for one second.)

I received a patient, and had to ask all the pertinent questions, like, "How many licks does it take you to get to the center of a tootsie pop?" I try to streamline the experience as much as possible because at 1am, no one really wants to answer how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood. And at 1am, I really don't want to know.

Me: Have you experienced any unexpected, unplanned weight loss recently?
Patient: No... (patting his belly) I don't diet.
Me: (observing the girth of said belly) Okay...I believe you.
Patient: Men don't diet.
Me: Okay.
Patient: I'm don't diet.
Me: Some guys do. I know a couple who are dieting right now.
Patient: Now why would a man want to diet?

You know that filter that is between your brain and your mouth? Apparently, I left mine at home that night.

Me: Because they want to look good naked for their women.

The patient looked thoughtful for a moment while his wife was dissolving into fits of laughter. With all seriousness, he looked at me and said, "That's a REALLY good answer."

Later, Paul came to the floor and announced he had been molested by a patient in isolation, rubbing her hands in his hair and Lord knows where else. He felt violated. He felt dirty. He never admitted to it, but I think he was secretly excited.

One nurse had an epiphany and thought we should wash his hair with one of those no-rinse shampoo caps. They are quite handy. You zap the cap for 30 seconds in the microwave, put it on their head and rub the cap, making sure the hair gets evenly cleaned. Minutes later, you take the cap off and towel dry. It's magical!

Paul was initially reticent, but we convinced him that walking around with pseudomonas, C-diff, VRE, and whatever else in his hair is no laughing matter. He conceded to let us experiment...I mean, help him out.

So, I nuked the hat. Paul sat in the break room while a small group of nurses gathered to watch because, to be honest, none of us had ever used a shampoo cap before. It was almost like having a product inservice. I slapped the cap on his head and poked at the cap until I was convinced the hair was clean.

Minutes later, clean flowing hair abounds, and the awe-inspired nurses vow to use the caps whenever possible because it's the best invention ever made. On a roll, we begin to offer free hair washings to other staff members: a tech, a couple residents, and a housekeeper. No one else takes us up on it.

Whatever...they just don't know what they are missing.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Friday Blather

Friday...I finally got the tags renewed on the PT. They were due in October. Yes, I am a procrastinator.

Ask me about the newborn baby blanket I am crocheting for Peanut.

After that, I had to stop at Walmart for dog chews as Sam has taken a liking to chewing on my clothes when nothing else is available to him and the cat won't stand still. Some lady in a Honda gave me the finger...for making a turn while she was more than 50 feet away. I returned the favor by giving her a thumbs-up, smiling and waving. I've found that is much more effective at pissing people off than just flying the bird.

She was very animated about waving that bony little finger around.

Classy. But it is Walmart, after all.

I put a bag of garbage in the back of the car, with the intent of dropping it off at the dumpster on my way to work. Halfway to work, I remembered that I forgot to stop at the dumpster.

That's going to make for a nice-smelling car in the morning. Awesome.

Thank goodness for Febreeze.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Because Everyone Knows I am a Hardass

The mammoth company of Cartus realized that I am a force to be reckoned with, and have agreed to give me the card. Assholes. You advertised for it in the first place. Maybe one of them was my patient at some point.

" don't want to piss this one off. I know firsthand what she can do with a catheter!"

So, we press forward with a closing date at the end of this month. Two weeks away! I still have a shit-ton of stuff to pack. I anticipate the moving to take a while, at least I won't be hurried to do it. I can move the smaller stuff over with the help of my brother and his truck. Then, I can book a moving truck and move all the big crap later.

Last night, Mom invited me over to meet "the boyfriend"...because it is important to her and this relationship is supposedly serious. Ugh. I really didn't want to go, but I had to take her the license tags I so generously got for her. My trip was rushed because yesterday was last day for open enrollment at work. I was just going to not turn in my paperwork because I didn't have any changes, but Paul nagged me to the point that I was paranoid about losing my dental coverage...butthole.

So, his name is Glen, and I think she met him at her job, but he no longer works there. He's sort of a jack-of-all-trades...home remodeling, scuba instructor, international procurement (whatever the hell that means). Mom was telling me about how he took her to Ruth's Chris for dinner and bought her a bottle of champagne that was around $100.

I complained to Paul.

Me: Why is it that no one buys me fancy bottles of champagne?
Paul: Your Mom probably put out for it.
Me: You're probably right. But still, no one has ever done that for me. What do I get?
Paul: You get chocolate milk.

There you have it, folks, Heather puts out for Shatto Chocolate Milk. I should have that as a bumper sticker. That's endorsement you just can't buy, people! Someone should call the Shatto people right away.

(On a side note, however, I did get a Kitchen Aid stand mixer once...and a cell phone...and a satellite radio....and a Hoover Carpet Cleaner...all from guys I dated in the past.)

(On another side note: I've never put out for chocolate milk.)

So, I meet Glen at Mom's house. In pictures, he sort of looks like Herman Munster. In real life, he looks more like Leslie Nielsen from the Naked Gun movies. He seems smart enough, and he seems like my mom...but it's still kind of strange seeing her with someone other than my stepdad, and saddening at the same time.

This morning, Mom called me and wanted to know if I liked him. Sleeping, I just grunted. He wanted to know if I liked him, and all Mom could say, "Hard to say with Heather."

At least it is well known that I am not a pushover.

So, now that is over with. Glenn has yet to meet my brothers. Glenn has four sons who are all gay. This is NOT going to go over well with Johnny. He can't stand it that his cousin is a lesbian. Wait til he finds out that his four potential stepbrothers prefer sausage to the taco.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Another Setback

Okay, so you are probably tired of reading about my homebuying crap because it seems that is all I write about. Well, it is pretty much the biggest thing going on in my life right now, and until Paul concedes that we are dating, you get to read about me buying a house...or my efforts to.

Monday, we had the inspection done by 5 Star Inspections. The inspector, who also happens to own the company, is ridiculously hot, but married. Heather loses interest when she sees the ring. Some girls like chasing married men. Fortunately, I'm not one of them.

At any rate, the inspector does his thing, and I follow him around with my digital camera to take pictures (of the house, not the inspector), and listen to him as he points out things I need to know about the house. At one point, he turns on the water and the house sounds like it's going to launch itself over Arrowhead. Turns out, the house had been winterized, and the water pipes were completely empty. However, all the faucets were left on, so water started spraying everywhere in the utility room. Awesome.

The inspection takes about 2.5 hours (including the termite inspection), and in the end, I get a nice binder with the inspector's report, complete with color photos and booklets explaining stuff about home maintenance that no one really tells you about until the toilet blows up. I walked through the house, and I kept thinking about how in a month, I would be calling this my home. I mapped out where I was going to put my furniture, and what kind of flowers I would plant by the house.

Talk about premature!

A little background on the house: it is owned by Cartus, which is a corporate relocation company. They deal with relocating employees for companies large and small. They deal with almost all the aspects: moving, selling, leasing, mortgage...all of it. Initially, they were asking a ridiculous price for the house, which is why it was on the market for over 200 days. Then, they drop the price by about $25K and offer a $3500 gift card to either Lowe's or Home Depot to the seller.

Then, Heather comes along. Heather likes the house enough to make an offer. They accept. Fun and games ensue.

My realtor and I fill out the contract that they sent us, only to have the company say it's the wrong contract and we have to fill out a different one. We fill out the new contract, and now they are saying they don't want to give me the gift card because they don't do that anymore.


Now, if this were just dinky small amount, I wouldn't sweat it...but $3500 in what I can use for home improvement is nothing to sneeze at. Besides, it's all over their listing online, and the paperwork I have at home. I have proof!!

Initially, when I set out to find a house, I wanted a place that was move-in ready. I'm not handy at all with tools and wood (of the tree!) , so I wanted something that the very most I would have to do is paint. This house, however, needs a little bit more than paint, but I was willing to overlook that because I could use said card to defray some of the costs (and with a little help from friends, family, and Mom's current boyfriend).

My realtor is up in arms. For every different person she talks to, she gets a different story: we used to offer it, but not anymore...we will honor it...we won't...someone besides us must have offered it.

Annoyed, I told her that if they offered it with the listing, then they are going to give it to me even if they had to set up a jar at the front desk to collect it. To me, that's bait and switch. To me, that's unethical and I think we've come to expect that out of large companies who no longer care about the little guy.

I also told my realtor that if they couldn't honor what they advertised, they know where they can stick their house. If they won't honor something as simple as a gift card, how can I trust them when it comes to something as important as buying a house?

I like the house, I really do...but I know there are other houses out there I could like just as well. Sure, this could move back my moving date a month, but I have come to the point that whatever happens, happens as it was meant to happen.

I should hear something from my realtor tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

I'm Skeered

I think I am the last one on the planet who hasn't switched to the beta version of Blogger. I've read bad things about it, and I don't know if the hassle is worth it.

And I hate change.

Your thoughts??

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The Preliminary Homeowner

That's me!

The realtor called me this afternoon to tell me that the buyers accepted my offer. She was going to call an inspector to schedule an appointment, but I gave her the number of the guy I wanted to use. Ironically , I got the business card from the apartment manager who is also buying a house. So, the cat is now out of the bag to the management.

After the inspection is done and everything is deemed honky-dory, I will submit my notice to the apartment people that I'm blowing out of this shithole. I can't wait to give Bloated Single Mother the finger. She's been a real hag as of everyone in the building, not just me. I don't feel so special anymore. Rats!

I meandered around Home Depot today. Is it just me, or does Lowe's seem a little more organized? Anyway, the sellers are giving me a gift card (to either place) to the tune of $3500. That can buy a lot of paint.

Did you know they have gift registries for new home owners? Two people told me this. Apparently, this is a relatively new thing because when Paul bought his house, he did a wedding registry...but made up the name of his intended. I think he gave her a stripper name. Maybe he was hopeful about marrying a stripper someday. He's never been married, so I'm pretty certain those dreams were never realized.

Mom told me she has the hook-up to a guy who does remodeling and such when I am needing stuff done to the house. He won't charge me market price, she says. I don't know who this guy is, or how my mother knows him, and I'm not going to ask. I don't want to consciously know that I'm getting the "I'm Boinking Your Mother Discount".

Ignorance is, indeed, bliss.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hump Day Blather

Today, I went shopping. I don't like shopping, but sometimes, you just have to buck up and do it.

I went to Zona Rosa, and they are already putting up the Christmas tree. Bastards. Can't they even wait until after Thanksgiving? In my house, we NEVER put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. Now, you see the Fat Man in Red jiggling around in July.

One holiday at a time, please!

I bought two pairs of jeans, two sweaters and some new underwear. Did I mention I love new socks and underwear? You'd think my underwear drawer would be overflowing, but it is not due to Sam always finding them and chewing holes in them. This is when they are CLEAN, and sometimes brand new if I carelessly toss the shopping bag somewhere.

Sam: The Panty Bandit


I've been reading the aftermath of the election. Props to Missouri for passing the stem cell measure, even if narrowly. I find it interesting that most everyone for the measure were "big city folk" and most everyone against it was "small town folk". Ironically enough, larger city hospitals will see the benefits of stem cell research long before the small community hospitals will, especially if those bigger hospitals also function as learning and research facilities.

I consider myself to be somewhat a conservative, but I don't go straight ticket...usually, I can be found straddling the fence. I find it very amusing that some Republicans cried themselves to sleep last night. And Rummy quit! Now, all we need is for Cheney's pacemaker to, uhh, stop working. I can tolerate Bush in the way people tolerate the short-bus kid screaming from the back of the classroom...he just can't help the way he is, but Cheney is a douchebag.

And Johnson County is all in a lather over their failed soccer thing. Meh...they make it sound as though all the youth will now turn to a life of crack and selling themselves to congressmen because they don't have soccer fields to play in. You folks really, really need to get a life...and a clue.


House Update: My lender just called to inform me she had to put my realtor in her place because she wanted to know about things well out of her scope. Financial folks are bound to confidentiality laws, similar to the medical information privacy laws I am bound to. I like my lender lady...she totally rocks. Too bad she lives so far away, otherwise, I would buy her a drink.

This also explains why my realtor was somewhat short with me on the phone. Whatever. I don't have to recommend her to anyone I know looking for a house...and I come in contact with more people than she does. Sure, I probably could fire her, but this would definitely push back my desired closing date. The plan is to be out of this shithole by the end of the month...finding a new realtor would certainly throw a wrench in those plans.

Who knew that buying a house could be so fraught with drama!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day: Yawn

Today, I went out and voted. I'd like to tell you that I've done this lots of times, but truth be told, this is the first. For the most part, I haven't really encountered a candidate (for anything) that I actually liked. They all sucked. I can easily bitch about one or the other, so I usually choose to bitch about all of the above.

Personally, I think anyone who makes a career out of being a politician isn't to be trusted...but that's just me. Maybe it's because most of them are lawyers, and therein the issues with distrust reside.

At any rate, I voted. I drove to my little voting station, weaved through the small crowd holding their little signs for whomever they were stumping for (what a crappy job to have), went inside and discovered another good benefit to having your last name at the end of the alphabet: no line for people P-Z.

I got a long sheet of paper and a felt pen. I was somewhat relieved about not having to do a computerized voting thing. I'm not certain how I feel about that.

I must say, I didn't know a lot of those people listed. Do I really care who the county assessor is? I mostly came because I wanted to vote on Props 2 and 3 (to which I voted yes on both counts, in case you were wondering). I don't like either McCaskill or Talent. I think they are both asshats. Talent reminds me of some cartoon character, but I can't seem to think of the name...

Anyone remember the movie Brewster's Millions? Where Richard Pryor hijacked an election, spending huge amounts of money, so everyone would vote for none of the candidates? Yeah, I was looking for that "None of the Above" box, too.

Today, I also mailed some junk, received some junk, and wandered around what will probably be my second home once I move: Lowes. I've already found a ceiling fan I think would look good in a living room.

Maybe I will go and wander around Home Depot later.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday = Recovery Day

The weekend at work didn't suck in grand fashion, although there were a few little annoyances here and there. A wound-tight resident who imploded at every little thing (she really needs to take up yoga or something), a screaming patient who cleaned out the entire floor out of Raisin Bran, and then wondered why she had diarrhea all the time, a husband of a family member who kept falling asleep in a chair and falling out of said chair. Plus, we are running a special this week for people who suddenly have a sustained heart rate in the 185-210 range. For those who are not medical savvy...that's not a good thing.

Last night, I managed to get fish oil on my jacket. I smelled like a bottom-feeder for the remaining of the shift. I found some body spray in my locker and tried that, and only succeeded in smelling like a cucumber-melon catfish. It was nauseating.

This morning, I came home so tired!! I was so tired, I didn't even have the energy to mess with pajamas. I just stripped off the fishy-cucumber-melon-smelling scrubs and crawled into bed. This was 8:30am.

At 10:30am someone was knocking on the door. Naturally, Sam was going apeshit. I stumbled out of bed, and in my sleepy-stupor, I stood in my bedroom for a minute trying to figure out why I wasn't wearing any clothes.

I found my robe, remembered how to put it on, and answered the door. Damn. That squirrelly maintenance man to come and check on my bathroom ceiling. Guess what! It still leaks. I pointed to the water stain, grunted, and went back into my room, slamming the door behind me. Usually, waking me up immediately results in pain of death. I was too exhausted to do it, though, even if the guy was small and I could have easily squished him.

Squirrelly guy muttered something about the leaky ceiling, left, and never came back. Maybe he had a feeling his life was in great peril. Maybe he's realized that he has no idea what he's doing and will defer to professionals. Maybe both.

I slept until noon, got up, got dressed, and drove to the realtor's office to sign my offer and look over some paperwork. An inspection had already been done by the company that owns the house. An extensive inspection. If the previous owner had hemorrhoids, I'm almost certain the inspector would have found them, and noted it on his report. That's how thorough the inspection was.

For my own sanity, I'm going to have another inspection done.

After 2 hours of this, I finally got to come home and crawl back into bed, this time making certain I had pajamas on.

I'm still tired. I have a quiche in the oven, and as soon as a piece of it settles in my stomach, I'm going to retire for the rest of the night. Tomorrow is election day, and I can't wait to weed through all the crappy candidates.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The House in Mind

I gave the realtor the green light to make an offer today.


I snorted tasty Shatto Rootbeer Milk out of my nose when I saw this one.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: And Then There Were Two

Another day with the realtor. I must confess, I really wasn't in the mood to house hunting this morning. (Being crapped on will do that to you.) Without going into detail as to why I am so sad, I will do what every girl does and blame the opposite sex, even if it's true.

What doesn't kill us makes up stronger...or whatever bullshit slogan people say to make demoralized people feel better. Now that I have said that, it's probably a scripture or something and I've now moved up the list of those going to Hell. ~sigh~

Today was the Final Four of the houses I liked. Once again, Paul agreed to go with me for an unbiased eye. However, he worked the night before, and had to drop his car off at the garage for a whatever-thousand mile service. My morning: get up, drop Sam off at daycare, go home and shower, get ready, drive to someplace I've never been before to pick up Paul (who regales me with the story of him changing in the washroom, and being scared half to death by seeing another guy standing there...only to realize it was his own reflection in a full-length mirror), drive to Gladstone to meet with the realtor, pile into her car and go to our first house.

House #1
This is the teal-trimmed house. I still like it, but the seller would have to make pricey concessions for me to buy it: new carpet/flooring in the entire house, new driveway. It would be a fine house for someone, but not for me. Sorry, teal-trimmed house.

Moving along...

House #2
After the realtor took us back to my car, we drove to this house. I remembered how to get there under my own steam. Yay. I tell Paul that I know of the one thing he will hate about this house. My guess is correct when he blanches at the site of the neighbor's yard: old boat, old Beetle that looked as though it hadn't been driven since the 60's, and various clutter. "Do they make 10 foot privacy fences?" he wonders.

This house is white, but it's a cold white that gives it a blue-ish cast. Paul calls it blue. Whatever. I still like the's really move-in ready and I would have to do very little except paint the colors I want. Lots of room in the basement for my brother's family to live in should they stop making house payments again. My initially suspicion was correct in that I thought the house was flipped. It was. The seller really didn't have much to say on his disclosure because he "only knew about stuff he did to the house". A nice house to be certain, but I didn't feel like it was my house. I liked the house, but I could be easily swayed that is a pretty good indicator to keep looking.

House #3
This is the beige house that was the front-runner on my list. No one had been there since we looked at it last week (the realtor card was still on the counter). I poked around a little more. Paul thought it was good house, he was immediately smitten when he saw the red front door.

It had been on the market for so long because the sellers initially were asking way too much for it. I made mental notes of stuff I would have to do: paint, kitchen counter tops, and get rid of the fugly chandelier in the dining room.

If I put in a bid, I'm going to try to low-ball the piss out of them.

House #4
This is the realtor's favorite house. It's been very well cared for, but sorely outdated. I expect to do some updating no matter where I move to, but I do have to consider the extra amount I need to spend. Painting in all the rooms, new appliances, building additional work surfaces in the kitchen.

The selling point was the rec room, but it seems the seller wants to nickel and dime me for every little extra. Apparently, he didn't read the reports that it's now my market. You want to sell your house? Toss in the hot tub. The rec room would be perfect for entertaining guests. Then, I remembered that I haven't done any serious entertaining since I was the activity coordinator for the singles' branch...which was, ummm, years ago.

This house is closer to work than the other ones I looked at. One straight shot and I am downtown.

So, it comes down the houses #3 and #4.

We bid our farewells to the realtor and came back north. Paul complained that he felt like his blood sugar was tanking, so I mentioned I had crackers in the glove box. He fished them out, ripped open the bag, and popped one in his mouth before I had a chance to tell him that the crackers were at least one and a half years old. The look on his face was priceless, but he chewed and swallowed like a good little trooper. He declined any more crackers, but accused me of tricking him.

We had a late lunch, I took him back to his car, and I came home and took a nap.

I will spend the next few days deliberating. I will probably look online and see if anything has been newly listed. If not, I should have a decision made by the end of the weekend.