Friday, August 31, 2012

Hooray! - Break Out the Boxes

I got a phone call around 10:30 this morning.

I was asleep but can't exactly get annoyed for anybody waking me up at 10:30 in the morning.  My awesome real estate agent, V~, called saying my second appraisal had come in at the selling price.  Thank Jebus.

She then let me know that the seller's agent wanted a response by 5:00 today to the list of repairs which included: replacing the water heater, replacing the air conditioning, replacing the drywall in my garage because of mold (of which there is none...I would know, I'm allergic), replacing the combustible flooring in the garage (by combustible that apparently means linoleum, wood, carpet...and I strangely have linoleum tiles in my garage), installing a smoke detector (there are 3...seriously?)....

I just don't understand.  Yeah, the water heater is old, but it heats my water well.  The air conditioning works fine.  Why replace things, especially big things, that don't need replacing?  Seems a little environmentally irresponsible to me, but...I DO live in Orange County and a lot of people don't really care about that here, unfortunately.  They just want new and shiny.

-_-

We went back and forth but the good news is...it's all decided and I'm finally going to close sometime mid-September.

Thank goodness.

Now I get to find some movers, decide on an actual closing date, and start throwing away all my junk (or donating it).  There's already a sock pile happening in my bedroom.  I also have to take my giant media tower and see if I can sell that and buy a skinnier IKEA version.

Progress.

Yay!  =)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Behind Schedule....

When I was a kid, I couldn't picture myself as an adult.  I guess, in my head, "adult" meant 30, so I came to the natural conclusion that I would die before I was 30.  This is a belief I held on to until the day I turned 30. I was actually surprised.

I kind of feel the same way about closing and moving.

Today was the day I was supposed to close.  The new closing date is officially September 7th, though my real estate agent says the 14th if we're lucky.  And I think we all know by now...I am not lucky (wah wah).  The second appraisal happened on Tuesday, though he has to come back because while I thought I had a carbon monoxide detector, in fact I did not.

On the plus side, I've discovered the joy of brown rice rice cakes.  While my mouth loves all bread, my metabolism does not...but it doesn't mind brown rice rice cakes!  I've made peanut butter and jelly open faced "sandwiches" on them, cheese and egg sandwiches...

In the meantime, I do have an apartment to move to sometime in the month of September.  Yay!  I've been trying to figure out what to downsize and realized that I also have to go buy something for my tv.  I've been having weird dreams about saying good-bye to people; some of whom I haven't seen in person for 10 years...odd.

I want to move.

I just can't picture it actually happening.

Just like turning 30.

(it didn't occur to me that I would be exactly the same at the age of 30...just older)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 3 and Day 4

Well.

I am in Oakland partaking of the hospitality of my friend and her boyfriend.

I didn't go into SF today because there was no reason to.  No apartments to see that looked appealing.  I have a main apartment in mind now, so really I'm comparing all new apartments to that one.

The apartment in the lead is the Japantown apartment in Lower Pacific Heights.  The manager has been so responsive, it's in a great neighborhood, it's close to Japantown, it's a mile from downtown, it's by several MUNI lines...it's a reasonable price for SF and comes with parking and has laundry in the building.

I kind of feel like I'm 22 again.  It's strange, going from having a house and a steady career to starting over.  Fortunately for me, I'm not a person who has ever been preoccupied by things or status, so that's cool.  I'm just worried and anxious about 1.) my house 2.) getting a job.

Come on, Google!  :)

I've been gone for 4 days now, and while I love being up here, I am ready to go home.  I just want to sleep in my own bed.  I want to sleep in something wider than 2 1/2 feet.  :)  I want to eat yogurt for breakfast.

Oh, one other thing.  I LOVE the weather here.  LOVE.  While I'm walking down the street, I put out my arms and actually say, "I LOVE THIS WEATHER!"  It's cool and breezy  Perfect weather.  I'm so happy.  I don't want to go back to the 90 degree weather of Southern California.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apartment Hunt : Day 2

I didn't see as many apartments my second day.

After 12 hours of glorious sleep, I finally dragged myself out of bed to check my email, craigslist ads, made some calls only to find out that 3 of the apartments I planned on seeing were already rented out.  One person had the nerve to sound annoyed I was calling until I politely pointed out that the ad was still up.

Seeing as how I had to check out at noon, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.  I went to Starbucks again (I had a soy caramel macchiato and a chicken wrap), talked to some people, and then walked to Japantown; a little over a mile.

I haven't been to Japantown since I was a kid.  My family would frequent it on our visits to San Francisco, but it has been a while.  I always enjoyed it in a bland kind of way.  I was curious to see how I would react, since I've never really identified with my culture.  Much to my surprise and delight, I loved Japantown.  I discovered some stores I had no memory of, went and saw all the cute little things....bought some snacks and rice balls.  I've decided that Japanese stuff is awesome.  It's cuter, more efficient, and cheaper than American stuff (sorry America).

I left thinking....I want to live by Japantown.

I took a walk over to a corporate apartment complex.  A few streets past Japantown, it suddenly had a different vibe.  Nothing horribly scary, but definitely not the haven of Japantown.  I interacted with a kind fellow who seemed very...corporate and uptight, though I managed to calm him down and even got him to share a personal anecdote or two.  It's my gift.

It's not really for me, though.  It's just...sterile.  I'm coming from sterile.  I'd like a little more character :)

My second visit was with this wonderful lady with whom I had been communicating the last two weeks.  We've been calling each other and sharing information, and I was very hopeful.  The apartment complex is 2 blocks from Japantown.  It's 2 blocks from the park.  It's by a Whole Foods :)

The inside of the apartment was...okay.  Not fabulous, but big enough and the price is very reasonable.

I have to accept that, for my price range, I won't find something I love.  It's kind of sad.  But that might be reality.

I still don't think it's ever going to happen.  While I was sitting in Japantown I got a phone call from my real estate agent.  More complications.

In the meantime, I'm staying at my friend's apartment in Oakland, which means I need to be back every day well before dark.  She's kind to let me stay on her couch for so long.  But now I have nothing to do and wonder what I'll do tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Apartment Hunt: Day 1

It's Thursday.  I think.  On Tuesday I slept maybe 5 hours before being awoken by termite people.  On Wednesday I didn't sleep at all because Thursday morning I had an early flight and my late night tendencies and early flight...well....I've been awake for 33 hours now?  I think?  Still not anywhere near my record but I am definitely sleepy.

My day began with booing at United Airlines when the announced a delay (seriously, the last two times I've flown have had 3-5 hour delays) but it ended up only being about a 30 minute delay, which wasn't so bad.  When I got into SFO and actually knew where to go and how the BART, it was strangely comforting.  As I sat watching the scenery go flying by, I had a little moment where I got very excited and thought wow, I get to live here...eventually...I hope.  I also appreciated the only "graffiti" I saw was a happy face drawn on the seat in front of me.

I got off at the Powell Street exit, ready with my giant warm coat (thank goodness, I'm so happy to be away from warm weather) and realized my stomach was trying to eat itself from hunger.  I dropped my bag off at my hotel (too early to check in) and proceeded to find somewhere for a good sandwich or burger.  I sat, in Union Square, trying to decide and finally went back to the sandwich place where I ate the most delicious club sandwich last time...because I wanted a delicious club sandwich.

Walking around downtown San Francisco, I was both amused and annoyed by the mass amounts of tourists (I know I'm a tourist too, but I think I must walk fast), excited and intimidated by how fast paced everything moves (literally)...I wanted to be a tourist and look around but I don't want to be mugged :)  I already have that "easy target" look to me.

My hotel was super nice and let me check in early, so I got in around 1:30 instead of 3:00 and proceeded to take a 1 hour nap before heading out to my slew of apartment viewings.  I had made a copy of a map and made pink dots with addresses on it so I knew where to go, but made sure it was on a normal sized piece of paper to make me look less confused/lost.

Apartment #1 - A mere 4 block walk, the apartment was cute.  Fairly big for SF, very bright, but...the neighborhood made me a little bit uneasy and nervous.  Just a little bit.

Apartment #2 - 3 blocks a way., a bigger place, very cute, and even though it was only 3 blocks away I liked the neighborhood better.  It was also at the top of my price range once you add parking, and it just...I didn't love it to spend my max amount.

Apartment #3 - 5 blocks but entirely uphill.  As I climbed my way up to Pine, all I could think was...if I make this walk every day I'm going to have really strong legs and a really strong butt.  It was...I was looking forward to this one, but it was tiny and blah.  Great neighborhood.  I sat around talking with two guys who also came to see it, and we all lamented over how difficult it is and how all 3 of us are not SF residents right now.

Apartment #4 - 9 blocks and I was trying to get there in time for the open house.  I got there, nobody was there, and it was in a less than safe neighborhood.  Not horrible, but...I wouldn't want my parents visiting me there at night.

I only saw 4 apartments but it felt like way more than that.  I'm exhausted.  My dinner is goldfish crackers because I'm too tired to go anywhere.  For me, sleep always wins the sleep vs. food fight.

I had my first REFRESHER from Starbucks today.  Thank you to all my students who have gotten me Starbucks cards over the years...you are feeding my adventure when I'm too lazy to go somewhere else.  The refresher was so good.  Juice + caffeine = perfection for me.

After this day, I mean maybe it's because I've been awake for so long, but....I just feel like Lower Nob Hill isn't for me.  It feels a little too fast paced and a little too gritty for me at this point in my life.  And downtown seems like...hotels and tourists and people and....I think I just want to go a to a quieter place.

Tomorrow I venture into the Lower Pacific Heights area and...I think Pacific Heights, too.  I'm also going to go intrude on my last Lower Nob Hill place (he wouldn't email me back so I'm just going to call or show up because it's right by my hotel).  I might go see a possible roommate situation in Russian Hill.

Aw.  I just ate all my goldfish...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Non-Update Update

My adventure blog isn't very adventurous, yet.  I say "yet" with optimism.

The past week has been me sitting around, really.  I'm planning another trip up to SF on Thursday, but there are all these obstacles and contingencies happening.  My real estate agent and the buyer's lender are trying to figure out a way around my house being appraised low (both sides had a, "WHAT?  That's not right" reaction), and my buyers have asked for these repairs to be done on my house but...when I had MY inspection done, these issues hadn't come up (like my garage floor being combustible).  I've had two termite people come and inspect my house and while both noted water damage by my water heater, neither noted mold.  And yet the buyer's inspector noted mold and now they want the drywall replaced and a new water heater.

-_-

Pushing and testing the limits, always.

SO, my closing date got pushed back by a week.  I feel like I've been saying, "I'm moving in 3 weeks" for months now.

I'm going a little stir crazy.  I want to move, I want to get out of Southern California, but I do not want to get ripped off or sell myself short to get there.  The tenuous balance, eh?

Between now and Thursday I have to go buy some sweaters, because apparently all I own are teacher button down shirts and cartoon t-shirts.  I'm going to have to master the layering technique once I move :)

Yeah.

I'm bored just talking about it.  Let's go already!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SF Trip #1 - Apartment Hunting

I went to SF this weekend in my attempt to find an apartment.  I was REALLY hoping it would be super easy and everything would magically fall into place (as a cosmic sign that everything is meant to be), but in typical fashion...it just wasn't that easy.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 1:41 on Friday.  I got to the airport, stood in line at the security check point only to discover they have gone to the full body scanner.  This being my first time, I was caught a bit off guard and the lady barked at me when I put my arms in the wrong position.  When I stepped out of it (I secretly felt like I was stepping out of a transporter from Star Trek).

I then stood in line for about an hour at the little booth by the gate because my mobile boarding pass said, "see agent" and I had no seat assignment.  That's when I found out my flight was delayed....by 4 1/2 hours.  I did get a seat, at least, but sitting in the airport for 4 1/2 hours was NOT fun.  I played DRAW SOMETHING and read my book.

By the time I got to SF, it was 7:15 instead of 3:30.  I made it onto the BART, got off the station, looked around confused and finally resurfaced.  See, the whole plan was to get to SF in the daylight so I could navigate with more ease.  Everything looks the same to me at night.  And even though the BART station ended up being literally RIGHT IN FRONT of my hotel, I somehow got turned around and walked away from it and got confused.  Fortunately, my friend was meeting me and called me asking, "Where are you??"  My answer was, "Um...in front of a Starbucks."

My apartment hunting itself was...well, it was strange.  I had all these printouts and had emailed and called all these people with the intention of seeing around 12 places, but so many people just didn't contact me back.  It was weird.  And I was supposed to go see this place by Alamo Square on Saturday, but don't ya know, as soon as I got to the bus station...there was parade and all transit was cut off.

Great.

So I spent my day walking to and from places, and probably ended up walking a good 5 miles that day.  I'm clearly out of shape, as I was huffing and puffing pretty early on.  I'm going to have such strong legs after a year!

In the end, I didn't end up with an apartment.

There was one place that wasn't bad, but the cost to love ratio was off.  And even though time is now ticking, I don't want to get a place out of sheer panic, and I don't want to settle...as I tend to do.  I'm a "play it safe" kind of person, but that sometimes gets me into trouble.

So NOW I am trying to figure out how to go back up there, when to go back there, and if I really want to impose on my friend and her boyfriend and stay on their couch for an extended amount of time.

I'm going try to talk my parents into going to SF so I can stay in their hotel :)  At least for a little while.

AND, I didn't get an interview for Google.

AND, I didn't win the lotto.

It was a rough weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yo-Yo Ma + Dudamel = LOVE

Last night, I went to my very first Hollywood Bowl Concert.  It was Yo-Yo Ma playing the Schumann Cello Concerto, and Dudamel conducting the LA Phil playing Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony.  It was an amalgam of my favorite people and pieces.

My friend H~ and I took a shuttle up to the Hollywood Bowl.  We were walking up to our seats when I heard, "Miss M~!"  Yup.  It was a student.  =)  Her mom said, "You look so different!"  It's because, when not trying to dress like an adult....I dress like a 14 year old child.  I like a t-shirt with a cartoon character on it, what can I say.

Yo-Yo Ma is...my best friend.  He just doesn't know it.  He came out to play, and it made me wish I was sitting right next to him, creepily staring and enjoying his music.  One of my favorite things about him is he genuinely looks happy when playing.  You can tell he enjoys it which makes me enjoy it that much more.  I also LOVE that he slightly missed a few shifts.  It's a reassuring reminder that he's human, and that what makes his music amazing is not his ability to play everything 100% technically accurate.

Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 is one of my favorite symphonies EVER.  I first played the last movement when I was 12 at summer camp.  It brings back memories of that, and the next time I played it was when I was getting my teaching credential.  Dudamel is...entertaining.  I couldn't decide if it was endearing or annoying that he grunts during the intense moments.

BUT.

French Horns!  This piece makes me want to be a brass player.  All the fanfares and moments where I'd totally stand up if I were a brass player...it's so exciting.  And the horns just clammed their opening fanfare.  And then every time they had a moment in the first movement, someone just could NOT get the note spot on.  I know it's hard, but come on!  This is why you play french horn!

:)

It was a fun night and kind of my official good bye to Southern California.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Smile on the phone!

I have a gift.

When dealing with people in person, I can almost always get them to smile and have a moment of niceness (I made the lady at the DMV laugh, which I considered a major accomplishment).  I an also usually make people on the telephone loosen up and be friendly, too.

(One of my big tricks as a teacher was, if there was somebody irately angry at me via email, I'd make them come talk to me in person.  People who yell on email are usually people who haven't met me in person, and once they do they realize...hey, I'm not evil.  I'm really nice and friendly.  And then they can't be as rude to my face.)

My employer submitted me for worker's comp almost 2 months ago.  I was telling someone about it and they filled out paperwork for me and submitted it.  At the time, I was genuinely touched at someone going out of their way to do that.

But dealing with these worker's comp people...it's so unpleasant.  I finally have my case worker on my side, and he's finally loosening up.  When first talking with him, he'd give me these lonnnnng responses.  They were the responses of a man paranoid of being yelled at and/or sued and/or fired.  He still does that a little bit, but there's a friendly tone to his voice instead of an "all business" tone.

There's a list of doctors I'm supposed to choose from to get a second opinion.  I called them today, and they were all SO unpleasant!  This woman answered the phone and said, "Hello?"  I was a little confused, so I said, "Hi!  Have I reached the doctors offices of _____?"  She paused and really rudely said, "...uh, YEAH."   That was basically her tone the entire conversation.  She not only talked to me like I was a child, but talked to me like I was a stupid child.

It made me grumpy.

It also made me feel sorry for people who are like that, because clearly they're like that because they have to deal with unpleasant people day in and day out, and they've developed this kind of demeanor from running out of patience and tolerance.  But still.  If I'm nice to you, you should at least be civil to me.

And I go out of my way to be extra nice to people who seem like they could use it.  Usually, it catches those people off guard and then they are nice in return.  But sometimes you run into people too far gone.

It reminds me why I'm opting for change.  I'd be sad if I turned into that.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A lead...

I found a friend who has a friend who works at Google!  He put me in touch with him, and the Googler submitted my resume!  This time, I actually got an email saying that someone would contact me within a week.

Hooray!

Also, in my craigslist search for an apartment, I came across a house share.  While sharing wasn't initially on my contemplation plate, I'm giving it a chance.  Especially since I'm entering San Francisco jobless, it might be nice to live with people and make some friends that way.

My escrow papers finally came in the mail yesterday.  I don't understand them at all.  As soon as I start reading through the legal jargon, my inner and dormant ADD decides to wake up and convinces me that what I really need are Wheat Thins right now.  I need to read them, fill them out, sign them, and find a notary.

I had another teaching anxiety dream last night.  It's the first one in a really long time, and again it involved me having no room to teach and trying to figure out where to take my 50 person class.  It's unfortunate that these anxiety dreams come from very real situations that have occurred countless times during my teaching career. I woke up, stressed, at 7:52 a.m.  I convinced myself to go back to sleep but had another stressful dream.

Oh well.

On another note, I'm loving the new Lumineers CD.  It's folksy in an indie rock kind of way.  I also started re-listening to the Fun CD, which didn't speak to me as immediately as the Lumineers.  Their big hit, We Are Young, sounds different than the rest of their CD.  And there's a strange Maroon 5 quality to the lead singer.

I miss singing along.  In another 4 weeks I will be allowed to sing (yay!) but until then I pretend.

This upcoming week is my follow up doctor's appointment.  I am also going to see Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (WOOO!!!!).  And on Friday, I'm going to fly to SF to go apartment hunting.  It's a big week.