Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It's The End of the Year As We Know It...

...and I feel fine.

Ah - End Of The Year, or Death By Numbers for those of us involved in this massacre of taxes and revenue, labor distribution reports and profit sharing contributions. EOTY is the time when all good accountants are tested to their max PSI. I figure mine is about 52. Or 53. Maybe 55, but not much more than that.

See, ever since we started this here EOTY process, I have become the absent-minded professor. I misplaced (lost) two of my W2's. I can't remember a damn thing my husband told me five seconds ago. And I feel like he isn't getting much of my attention. I thank God he is handling our personal finances right now, because I don't think I could cut it handling my work ones and my home ones. I feel like a circus juggler, with a hundred balls up in the air. The best part? Waking up at 2:37 a.m. freaking out because I need to do something at work and I don't want to forget.

Top that with our recent move (which we are done with, so you can all start answering your phones again when I call!), and it's a recipe for a stress bomb. Even now, I sit here trying to take a break and bust out a quick blog and I struggle to be funny. Cute even. As I always say, work is a rude interruption to the rest of my day.

The good news? LOST is on tonight. So I can relate. Although, I am not seeing an issue with being stuck on a tropical island with the likes of Sawyer and Jack. Charlie even. How about you?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Life's Lessons Learned

So we found a house. Which is funny, since we were getting so incredibly frustrated with the whole process. We came from a 2,400 square foot brand-spankin'-new house in Phoenix and we just aren't used to having to lower our standards. I'll admit, my husband and I are two of the most picky people you will ever meet when it comes to our standard of living. To be truthful, we are downright snobby about it. We enjoy eating out occasionally (if that means every other day and twice on the weekends), we like to shop for new things, and we like to travel. Most of all, we like to live in "cool" places, like brand new homes or trendy downtown apartment mid-rises with a gated garage, locked and secured front door, and an elevator. An elevator! Lookout Weezy, we're movin' on up!

Enter San Diego, the mighty teacher of "You Cannot Afford Your Snobbiness 101". Little more is humbling as being schooled in the fine art of "Build A Bridge and Get Over Yourself 105" with a lab of "Living Within Your Means 210".

Yes, career-wise this was the best thing we could have done for my husband. It gave him a kick-ass raise, or so we thought at the time, and a great promotion, and left all kinds of opportunities to prove himself ready for advancement. He was simply being swallowed up in Phoenix, and moving here let him shine in the spotlight.

So what happened to that raise? You know, the "kick-ass" one? Let's see. Milk is like $4 a gallon unless you buy them in pairs. Apparently the State of California is trying to help out the dairy farmers (which I am all for). But I am lactose intolerant, and so my husband won't LET me drink masses of cow's milk, due to my *ahem* digestive issues with it. So I drink Soy Milk, he drinks the Moo Juice. And if we had two of those babies in the fridge, well, they would rot.

On top of that, we are paying about $2.35 a gallon for gas, and that includes my diesel for my VW, which by the way, they don't even sell here (the Diesel VW, not the diesel). My dad ranted to me once about how diesel was a by product of the processing of gasoline, so it should be free (he's a trucker) and I agree with him. But I digress. Moving on.

For the sake of argument, our insurance went down. Our housing expense went up, as far as rent is concerned, but our electricity bills went down (the most I paid ALL year was $91! I don't miss AZ because of THAT!!).

But overall, when the husband and I do go out to eat, it's easily $40. Just walking in the door. And that's if no beer or wine is purchased. And that, my friends, is hard not to do, considering we haven't attended "Order Water, It's Cheaper 307".

Monday, January 03, 2005

Don't Judge A Cottage

The hub and I are looking for a house to rent. Because of the astronomical housing prices in San Diego, we have all but given up on the fact that we will be able to buy a house larger than our car. Therefore, in the interest of not killing each other and having room for my pillow, we have decided to rent and pay someone else's mortgage for a while.

The back story to all of this is the fact that we were released from our lease early, due to the FIVE complaints I put in writing to our leasing company about the frat boys that live upstairs. They seem to wear shoes made of cement, and like to do dishes while jackhammering new ice sculptures. And that is while they are sober.

So five written complaints and three conferences with the manager later, we are being released from our lease with no repurcussions. It's a funny thing, that Landlord/Tenant Act. They sure don't like you to be familiar with it. Especially that small part about a Tenant's Right To Quiet Enjoyment of their space. Basically, because my complex put in writing that between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. it is quiet time, any excessive noise made during these hours is grounds for violating my Right. They don't like the fact that I made my self familiar with it, but they really didn't have a choice. I happen to be smarter than the average bear, and I like to research stuff. Especially when I am up at 1:27 in the morning because the upstairs neighbor is in the middle of his Touret's Riverdance (translation: screaming profanities while jumping up and down on the floor).

That being said, we are now facing a ticking clock. We need to be out of our digs by January 31, and a lot of what is available right now, people want you IN right now. And since we have been looking, we have noticed really great ways that real estate people, and owners, like to "dress up" their dump.

If the ad says "Quaint One Bedroom Cottage", you can safely assume that it won't be much bigger, nor cleaner, than a McDonald's restroom. Likewise "Quiet, Comfy Condo" means a two bedroom apartment, built in the 30's, that was converted. Conversions are a BIG thing out here, but that's for another story. "Great for Pets" means the yard has about a square foot of grass in it. "Completely Remodeled" means "We threw in a new fridge".

I love old houses, don't get me wrong, but please, just call a spade a spade!

So for now, we continue on our search. Two professional married people, just trying to avoid a $2,600 mortgage payment.

Oh look - "Charming 2 Bedroom Flat, hardwood floors....."


So many people have been getting into this whole weblog thing. I even saw a cartoon in the Sunday paper about it this weekend. Not that I read the cartoons in the Sunday paper. Ok, I do.

So being the voracious reader that I am, and the closet writer, I decided to do my own. And I can only hope that you don't throw tomatoes!