Saturday, September 24, 2005

The cat is gone, the pressure is on and other subjects

Things seem to finally be coming down to a normal level, judging from the fact that we have been able to post a little more often.

The cat is finally out of our hair, actually we never had direct contact with the cat so it really was never in our hair... these English language expressions are quite annoying. What does it mean to have something in your hair? Where do sayings like that begin? How do they transalte to bigger things? Suppose it all started with people being happy to get rid of lice. How does it's finally out of our hair (talking about lice) ever translate in anyone's view to stuff like: that salesman is finally out of my hair, or the kids or anything bigger than say a fly. Wouldn't you notice if something that big was in your hair to begin with, wouldn't your head fall off if you had something that heavy in your head?

Talking about heavy in your head, a house is a lot of work. So many things need to get done in so little time. It better be worth it. I don't really know how I got tricked into this house buying cause as far as I remember I was sure I liked renting a good bit. Oh well. We like the house so hopefully that makes up for all the headaches.

We went to Jamil's uncle's house yesterday to drop off the cat. Looking at the mess of boxes makes our move even more dreadful: not looking forward to doing all that ourselves. We (at least I) moved many a time in college (8 times over the course of 7 years), every move was at least twice as hard as the previous always. I am a pack rat. Everything is attached to a memory, a time, a place, a person. We have many boxes stored in a closet, some of them haven't been opened in a few years. The problem is that every box is a trip down memory lane, and I like memory lane. There is a bit of traffic, but the pace is nice and constant, not many accidents happen on memory lane.

We watched the apprentice this afternoon. I always think of myself as a TV addict, yet anytime and everytime there is something else going on in my life, it is really easy to stop watching TV with the same intensity, so maybe I am not as addicted as I think. In fact, I have lived places without a TV for as much as a month or two at a time and not been bothered by the lack of TV. The truth is, however, that when I want to truly relax, I plug in to the tube and it works really well. Since today is the first time in a while that we've been at home for a good bit of time, I have been plugged in to the tube for a bit. Other things we did: play the guitar (p), sleep (P&J), work on Bible study(J-currently), mail house paperwork (P&J), forget the cat is gone and then smile when we rememember it is gone(P&J). I think I will go in and continue reading "Of Mice and Men" in a bit.

In other news:
One of our friends is really sick and not suspected to make it past tomorrow. Actually, he hasn't been expected to make it many more days for about 9 years, so it is kind of hard to really think this is it, but he is certainly worsening. The nurses don't expect him to hold on much longer. Please keep his family in your prayers. He is ready to go home to the Lord, and those around him understand this and find comfort in this, but it is one thing to know it in their minds and another when reality hits. Pray for God's direction in trying to figure out how to be there for them.

The funniest thing about posting in a blog is that we tell each other, hey I posted on the blog today, and that is the only way the other will ever know to read it. Being that we are probably 90% of our audience, this is pretty sad. Oh well, it is better than chatting on MSN accross the room (we don't do that...anymore).

Take care and don't forget tomorrow is a Church day.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Closing on a house...

So, it looks like we are finally going to close on a house... After much intense negotiation, it looks like the seller and us have finally been able to agree on a price.... The closing date will be October 12th, if everything goes well (and hopefully it will)... Patricia and I have signed the contract, but as far as we know, the seller has not signed it yet.

There are a lot of things to take care in preparation for the closing:
  • Get everything straightened away with the lender (this involves signing tons of forms, and looking up papers from as far back as 2003)
  • Getting hazard insurance (this involves calling insurance companies, and getting apples-to-apples quotes --- some of the companies will trick you by giving you a lower quote by changing the deductible, or by not including certain coverages)
  • Get a home inspector to visit
  • Get the home appraised

Right now, we are both pressed for time with a million things to do, and having to "prove" all sorts of things --- for example, Patricia has to prove that her degree relates to her job in some fashion... (It's apparently not enough to prove that she has an income, and that she is a full-time employee)...

With all the things that the lender pokes their nose into, I find I'm worried about the possibility of identity theft (especially because we shopped around for a lender)... and of course, I found it funny that one of the insurance companies said to me, "we can add identity theft to your coverage for a mere $10 a month, it covers up to $25,000"... I'm wondering --- don't my credit cards protect me from that already anyway? As far as I know, I just have to call the credit card companies and say, "Hey, I didn't do that!"...

In other news, the cat was in its cage (travel container) today. So far, we've found it: in its cage, in the chimney (fireplace), on top of the cabinets, behind some boxes, under the table, and behind the couch. I cleaned the litter this morning. Ick!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Why Jamil and I should not have pets

We are cat sitting for Jamil's aunt and uncle who just moved from Florida to Atlanta kind of (they ahven't actually closed yet, and a hotel is not a residence). We were asked to sit for their cat Omar. Originally, they were all going to stay with us for a night. I guess the fact that we only have 1 bedroom and on top of that we live far from where they have to do their errands stuff, made them decide to stay away at a hotel in Lawrenceville (the middle of nowhere, GA). We got left with The Cat.

Day 1:
Jamil wakes up a good bit before Patricia, after searching for the cat everywhere, goes to take a shower. Patricia wakes up shortly after and searches for the car herself (not knowing Jamil had done so already). Patricia tells Jamil she can't find the cat, hoping that Jamil would say don't worry I saw him when I woke up. Well, Jamil had had no luck and soon it was Patricia and Jamil searching furiously for a cat all over their *small* apartment living room/dinning room and kitchen (we obviously kept the bedroom and bathroom doors closed). At this point Jamil is almost late to go to the dentist and Patricia is past due on her ironing.

The night before they had seen the cat go into three different places. The last one being the chimney, the scared cat owners made us cover the entrance to the chimney with a box. Low and behold Omar had figured out how to get in anyway and after 40 minutes of on and off searching we found the cat. We left in a hurry.

Around 10am, Patricia realizes no one left any food for the cat. Thankfully, we had leftovers in the fridge and live close enough to home where we could go and fix this.

After work, we came in quietly in hopes that the cat wouldn't hide. Once again, the cat was nowhere to be found. Now, our apartment living area is pretty empty at the moment and we have no furniture or anything of the sort, but we searched easily for 15 minutes including lifting the heavy couch, the chimney, the fridge, cabinets etc. The cat was camuflaged in his kitty cage. I think that's where we should have left him all along. Jamil cleaned the litter right before bed.

Day 2:
Wake up. Search for the cat. I believe that on day 2 we didn't have as much trouble finding him (he was in the chimney and very upset). Jamil cleaned the water plate. We left for work. A few hours later Jamil was on the phone: "Hey, I am out of my meeting and forgot to put water back out for the cat". Seeing as to how the cat hadn't eaten much of his food the day before when we forgot to leave him food, we decided to wait until we were out of work to solve this.

At 5:30pm we left work with a list of things to do, including putting water for the cat and getting rid of the darn cat. Jamil ran upstairs to take care of the water issue and found a memo from the leasing office: they will be entering apartments the next day we were to secure all pets. Two good thoughts followed: 1. an excuse to leave the cat caged, 2. a reason to kick the cat out of our place (since we are not supposed to have a pet). Other side thoughts included: maybe the cat will run away, maybe Jamil's uncle won't want the cat locked up so long so he'll pick it up. Just as a smile began to show in my face, the phone rang: Jamil's uncle had broken his arm, also they hadn't closed on the house so they had no way to keep the beast.

6:30PM dinner
8PM Band practice
9:30PM Pick-up Jamil
9:45PM Emergency room

yep at 9:45pm we were on the way to Lawrenceville (read very very far). We spent the best part of an hour at the emergency room.

12am Search for the cat.

Thankfully, the cat was so depressed at this point, that it was just sitting on the cage.

12:15am Kill a bug
12:20AM Clean the cat litter

Stupid cat pooped and urinated about 3lbs worth, I don't even think he ate that much. I am going to guess that Jamil just didn't do a good job the night before cleaning the litter.

1AM or so, sleep.

Day 3:
Wake up late on account of the lack of sleep. I ran in the bathroom for some alone catless time, Jamil searched for the cat. This time it took 15 minutes to find the stupid thing and another 15 to try and get him down from the top of the cabinets that run over the fridge. Jamil got afraid of the cat because it hissed and managed to get him to stay as far out of reach as possible on top of nothing else but the fridge.

Thankfully, we left the cat in a cage today, without food and without water, so we have had a not cat worries day today. I am secretly hoping they fine us, just to ensure Jamil's uncle would never ever think or leaving the cat with us again.

Then again, in 3 weeks we move into a house, duh!


Jamil and I shouldn't have pets!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Change your job! Change your house!

So... House shopping is tough... The house we thought may have been "THE HOUSE" turned out to have a very different price than we thought... Oh well... back to searching the market... We want a Single Family Home --- not a townhouse (although we would go for a townhouse if it was big enough and private enough)... We want a home more than we want an investment... (so fixer-uppers are out, as are houses that seem like they will madly appreciate, but don't feel like "home")... Yet, both of us still want a good deal... Maybe we should look into purchasing foreclosures...

I switched jobs... I no longer work at Federated Systems Group... I now work at Internet Security Systems as (drumroll) a contractor! Yes, I finally took the leap into contracting. It's better pay, and if I work more than 40 hours in a given week, I get paid for it. What about benefits, you ask... Well, I can use Patricia's benefits, or buy them myself (with some of the extra money)... What about job security? Yeah, contractors are generally let go before full-time employees, but I'm not worried. The market is good right now, and when the market does go bad again, I still don't think it will be too much of an issue.

Hmmm... I think Patricia and I are going to cheat on our diets tonight... Red Lobster is doing all-you-can-eat shrimp, and it's September 9th --- one of the many special dates for us...