Friday, February 29, 2008

Alanis

This is my favorite song by Alanis Morissette and it was such a thrill to see her perform it live in concern yesterday. In fact, I had been hoping she would sing it, and was astonished that she opened with it. I just love the haunting, gothic nature of this song, and its emotional intensity. Also nice to see the video because I was sitting in the cheap seats and there were no monitors so I could see a figure on the stage who could very well have been Alanis Morissette, but who knows for sure? All in all, good stuff.

Hmmm, shiny tech

Apparently you can put a "call me" button on your weblog now, courtesy of google. If I do such a thing, it means you all can call me -- without knowing my phone number -- and leave messages on my voicemail. The more techy me of a decade ago would have been all over it. The new me is just overwhelmed by the myriad ways people can get in touch with me and somehow, even with two cell phones, three email address, one land line, three AIM name and on one Y!messenger name* it's not enough ways to keep in contact. I can't even imagine what life on Myspace has got to be like. Isn't that one long contact fest?

* BTW, I'm not counting the three ways you can contact me at work.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

House part II

I've seen more than 50 houses now and my choices still haven't clarified themselves, but I'm getting closer to narrowing in what I like.

* First, is it worth buying new construction in a new neighborhood that's surrounding by shady surroundings? I drove through there last night and was happy to see a public library right across the street from the new subdivision and I was reassured by the presence of a gigantic FBI building and two churches. But other than that, the street's main residences are crumbling apartment complexes. I looked up the rent on them and they're $400/unit. There are no nearby convenience stores that don't have bars on the window. I realize that if I buy in this neighborhood, which has everything I want except location, I will pretty much hang out in my house because there is nowhere -- not even a McDonald's -- to eat or go that looks remotely safe.

* Second, is it worth buying a fixer upper in an older, established neighborhood that is becoming gentrified? Lots of new construction, lots of renovations and remodeling in this neighborhood and a new Starbucks in process of being built. In this case, I'd be buying a hobby not a house, and it could turn into a money pit. But at the same time, I'd be in a house that will appreciate probably at a better and faster rate than the new construction.

I have pretty much ruled out townhomes, and anything that looks too contemporary. I like Victorian architecture, but barring that, I don't want anything that looks too dated on the outside or that appeals to very specific tastes, such as metal exteriors.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Home shopping

Things I've considered in the past 10 days:

* Number of bedrooms -- 2 to 4 and in one occasion, 5. What the heck am I going to do with more than 2 bedrooms? But here in Sweat Sock City, more is often cheaper.

* Verticality -- How high do I want to live? In Sweat Sock City, developers like to build up, not out. Yesterday I visited a 4-story house. I'm in good shape, but good grief. By the time I got to the fourth story, I was done for.

* Yard -- How much land do I want? At one point, I wanted a lot of land, and another point, I was all about paving it over with cement. Who needs greenery?

* Granite! -- And other such options. Tile in the kitchen? Laminate backsplashes (ugh!), hardwood floors, Berber carpet, spindle railings, art niches; these are the things I've been thinking about. Only a couple are a must have for me.

* Proximity to things I like -- This is a big thing. For a while, I was reluctant to look outside of my current neighborhood, which is young and professional and up coming and hip and all those things. I found the house I like just a few miles outside of where I wanted to buy a house and for quite a bit less.

I'll keep you posted on progress.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I was there



What a trip to finally see Bill Clinton in person. It was super cold and late, but so worth it. Plus, it was nice to see just how much support Hillary has. When I was walking back to my car with my Hillary rally sign, cars were honking support. It was great.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Anything's funny 40 minutes to midnight

Time stamp 1
: 10:11

http://seema.org/2008_02_01_archive.html#7025422022110791436

Time stamp 2: 11:10

http://seema.org/2008_02_01_archive.html#8743336212879365087

Completely unintentional and coincidental.
No love

So I'm already having a falling out with the IRS. I don't have a problem paying taxes because I understand that taxes are what makes this country go. It's what provides the roads that take me to work and the various other amenities we enjoy. What I just can't deal with are the archaic language and form numbers and good GOD, all the convoluted financial stuff that is possible. Apparently if I sold a sheep for a loss while standing on my head and singing "La Bamba" to a trio of underprivileged school children, I'll get a tax credit. When I'm reading through, I'm like, "Why didn't *I* think of that?" I'm finding out soooo many interesting things that can get me qualified for the Alternative Minimum Tax. On second hand, maybe I won't sell my sheep in 2008...
Note to self

Shredding tax documents very, very, very bad.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super duper

The bad thing about being a grown-up is I won't see how this Tuesday plays out. I no longer have the ability to stay awake much later than 10 pm, and even my first 10 minutes of the Daily Show are a hard fight to stay awake. The good news is, tomorrow I'll find out first thing in the morning how it all turns out. Amazing, I've watched more of the endless (read: dull) coverage of Super Tuesday than I did the Super Bowl, which didn't even register on my radar (I watched Masterpiece Theater on PBS).

Monday, February 04, 2008

Post 2100

Nutty, nutty.

Brother has to pay for twin's traffic tickets.
LotD the second

Thought you were going to be politics free this evening, didn't you? Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, and so I wanted to point all of y'all to Stanley Fish's All You Need Is Hate, an intriguing commentary on the Hillary!Hate.
LotD

Hat tip to jemima.

12 Website FAQs We Suspect Aren't Asked That Frequently.

My favorite, courtesy of Aeroflot:

"Is it possible apropos of epidemic of the bird’s flu to transport shell parakeets by Aeroflot from Moscow to Kaliningrad? The parrots will be bought in Moscow. The reference for export is available; also, there is a sanction of the main veterinary of Kaliningrad. What documents are required else?"

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ring-a-ding

I got a call from the Obama campaign today. I guess John Kerry must have sold them my information. I didn't really hear what they had to say after the "We're so excited about Obama's chances going into Super Tuesday. Aren't you?" And I started my spiel about being so glad and proud that the Democrats had such good candidates this year but for now, I was supporting Hillary Clinton. The only response was dial tone.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sarah!

The new Sarah Brightman CD is out. On iTunes, it says it was released in July 1998, which makes me a little nervous, but I'm pretty sure it's "Symphony." This is the first time I'll be buying an album completely electronically which makes me a little nervous, but brave new world and all that, plus it's cheaper and easier to get into my iPod and I can burn a CD to play in my car. Still, there is something nice about liner notes and the pretty CD designs.

Note -- the electronic version (MP3) is cheaper on Amazon than it is on iTunes by a sizable difference -- $3. That's a cup of coffee at Starbucks! Or half a cup anyway...
Saturday morning

I really envy people who can turn off their internal clocks and sleep in. It's Saturday morning, I was darn tired last night and fell asleep in front of the television before 10 pm. I woke up around 7, just a few minutes later than my usual wake-up time. This is a plus in the sense I rarely oversleep during the workweek, even when it's difficult to wake up, but on the flip side, when I'm tired or go to bed late -- say 3 am in the morning, though I can't remember the last time that happened -- I still wake up at the same time. Aggravating, aggravating. I guess that's what Saturday naps were made for, but even those are slip sliding away from me. ::sniff::