28 November 2006

frightful the weather...

To go to work, or not to go? The weather here is pretty nasty. Where I am there isn't much snow, just a light dusting, but it is wet underneath from the last round of snow and all of it is crusty ice because of the low temperatures.

So I noticed on the news though that the areas I would have to drive through were very badly hit and lots of people are still trying to drive to work clogging all the roads and freeways.

Now I have 4wd and chains and I know I could get to work if I wanted to, but all those clowns out there abandoning their cars obviously do not! So when the freeways are littered with abandoned cars and traffic grinds to a crawl or all-out halt what is the point?


Thank you, that is all. If people whose cars couldn't handle this weather had stayed home, maybe I would have gone to work! However, I am watching the news and it is very comical how many people felt the need to go in spite of the weather not realizing that the day is short and the drive home could be worse than the drive in!

Well, keep warm and stay dry.



18 November 2006

laundry day...

I have a headache today. I've been sleeping on a couch much of the past week and I finally get a chance to go home for the weekend and I stay up too late and sleep in and wake up with a headache. Does that sound right? No I didn't think so.

So in honor of being home I went to see a movie last night; Casino Royale was pretty good. My friend had a problem with it being a prequel that was not set in the time the first 007 movies were made. I told him he was hung up on a very minor issue. If you ignore the flashy cars, enormous jumbo jet, cell phones and of course the AED in his glove box there isn't a whole lot to suggest any specific period of time about the story or the characters.

Also, it seems to me that all of the movies based off of Ian Fleming's character live in an element of fantasy compared to other action movies of the spy/intelligence agent variety. There is no need to attach them to a specific period of time or suggest that they follow any kind of chronology even though Star Wars for example, chose to.

Well, other than that I stopped by the Bungalow for a minute last night and there are some interesting changes but it looked about as busy as normal. I'm not sure I like the changes personally but at least they are trying. I didn't see any of the old staff (I was there only two weeks ago) and the guy tending the bar said he was the owner. I found that kind of hard to believe but he was pretty bad at it so maybe he is.

Well for those of you keeping tabs on me the new job is going well. I finished my chemistry training yesterday and Monday I start microbiology and collection/processing training in the mornings. I think I figured out why they have so many younger, less experienced people though. There is talk that their recent affiliation agreement was a kind of bail-out and that even several years ago they were in financial trouble and offered their more senior employees a chance to retire early. That could explain why even my boss is much younger than my other bosses had been, not to mention the people in charge of certain sections don't seem that much older than me. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing if these people stick around too long it may be hard to move into their positions! HA!

I think overall this will be a better group to integrate with. So far most of them seem to think like me and of course I am convinced that is the way it should be! Training will continue through this week and then they are putting me on night shift starting the 4th of December. I only know that first weeks schedule and it is full. Hopefully after that first week I settle back to 3 or 4 days per week so I can spend more time working on loans for people. It also means I can spend more time here instead of living out of suitcases up there.

Well, I am working on some laundry today and as soon as I am done I need to get out and go to my mom's art show. Yep that was today and I overslept so I'll be getting there toward the end. I'm sure she will be uber happy with me over that! I was also going to put some of my photographs out but obviously it might be too late for that.

She hasn't called today though so maybe she is too busy with guests and that would be a very good thing. Let's hope that is the case.

Well, enjoy this new song from Damien Rice. I cannot tell you how long I've been waiting for this album. This has been a great year for so many of my favorite artists to be coming out with good follow-up stuff but this is definitely the must have of the year!



10 November 2006

why do i even try...

I went to the Post Exchange today (which is like the military's version of Wal-Mart) and I am not sure why I bother sometimes, but I decided to browse the music section for some CD's that have come out recently and I have been meaning to add to my collection as it has been several months since I have done that.

Well, apparently my taste in music is so out there that of the 5 artists whose music I was looking for were not to be found. I even checked to see if for some reason they would have been miscategorized, but sure enough they did not have any Alexi Murdoch (perhaps understandable as his cd is being considered his debut even though he had an EP 3 or 4 years ago), Ray Lamontagne (neither of them), My Morning Jacket (well they had one I wasn't looking for but they have several cd's including a new one), Damien Rice (well I know his new one isn't out until next week, but I didn't even see his old one or the b sides), or the Bad Plus. I saw plenty of boy bands, butt rock and rap. What nobody listens to good music anymore?

Sorry, just ranting, nothing more.



08 November 2006

staring into the face of unconditional love...

I couldn't sleep a week ago because I knew I needed to get up early, pack and head to Tacoma for at least the next week or so. Of course the other reason I couldn't sleep was that I typically don't go to bed until well after midnight.

Now usually when I cannot sleep, I start thinking about all kinds of things and this night was no different. I suppose you can call it anti-dreaming. Anyway, my mind was drifting from one thought to another; where I would be looking for a place to live, would I be working enough hours at my job or would I need to arrange to work in an office to do more loans, would drill go well and how would all of that work out, and of course there is always time to consider how to solve the mystery of the fairer sex!

So ordinarily when my mind drifts to the wide world of women I am thinking of someone specific, perhaps someone new who caught my eye and who knows, maybe my hopes are even getting raised for one reason or another, but being that I am moving to a new city—and who knows what else—I seemed to be thinking less specifically (as if of someone I know or knew) and more metaphysically.

I wanted to let that word sink in for a moment because I wouldn't want anyone reading this to skim over it to fast. Obviously there is an immediate question that should come to mind, if you do not pass over it in haste to get to the next random thought to pass through these fingertips to the keys. So maybe you know and maybe you are a bit like me and the word only vaguely conjures loosely connected thoughts and memories of hearing that word used in and out of context. Perhaps this is either or both of those, but I will explain how I mean to use the term in the paragraphs that follow.

I don't know what everyone believes when it comes to relationships—especially those of the romantic variety—and there are certainly numerous schools of thought and even some notions void of reason that seem to work just fine for those who subscribe to them, but many seem in some way or another to attribute much of their lives to things outside their control. Some may refer to it as destiny, others perhaps dharma; then when it comes to their love-lives they might refer to another as "the one" or their "soul mate." While I would not want to disregard any truth, however small, that may hide deep inside the meaning of these words, I do not find myself rushing into line to buy what Disney is selling.

So why would my mind wander to think of a woman who only theoretically exists? Why would I personify her in my mind as someone I almost know?

I cannot answer that anymore than I can clearly explain who she is. Yet that night it was as if I were able to escape the limitations of the physical world—and the limits of the rational mind—and connect with the person I am to marry at some point in the future. Sound weird? It gets weirder, though probably not as weird as you might be starting to think! Please, this is PG folks.

Imagine you were able to somehow able to communicate with someone outside of your present space—perhaps even your self at some point in the future. What would you say? What kind of questions might you ask?

No sooner did I begin to sense this connection with this person than my mind began to run through all the questions I probably could have asked and I crossed them out one by one as I realized most of them were irrelevant. Why were they irrelevant?

Imagine with me that this person is real. This person exists in the same time you exist, though not in the same space obviously. Imagine also that in another time you exist in the same space also. This is a real person with their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, and their own past, present and future. Many of the questions I might have asked seemed insensitive at the moment. Perhaps I could've asked who she was, why we haven't met (or if we have met, why we haven't really noticed each other or whatever the situation really is), but no sooner would I consider asking this than I came to conclude that it may not be a question she could answer. She may be asking the same questions herself.

Suppose then that you begin to wonder what kind of person she might be. Certainly curiosity might get the best of you and would you be to blame if it did? Then I thought; does it really matter? If she is the person I chose, if she is the person I waited this long (and who knows how much longer) for then she must be worth it. No sooner did consider this than I began to imagine that she may be equally curious about me. Do I live up to her expectations? Who was she in her youth and what dreams did she have for her life? Was it me she was dreaming about or did life have to crush her dreams and replace them with reality? Did she settle for me? I would hope not, but how would I really know?

So I could keep going. This went on for a short while. I wouldn't say we talked as one would in the physical world. That's the weird thing about metaphysics; nothing is really quite the same as what you might otherwise relate it to. While I would classify this as communication it was more about making each other's presence known and about being known and realizing the knowing. When this was over I was left with many thoughts running through my mind, not the least of which was trying to make sense of it.

Imagine knowing there is someone out there looking for you. Imagine also that this is the person you have been looking for yourself. The main problem I have with looking at this as "destiny" or your "soul mate" is that these concepts exist in a linear reality and obey its rules. They presume that there is one person out there for you and this is the person you will simply randomly find?

The (admittedly) subtle difference between those lines of thinking and what I experienced is that I choose this person and she chooses me. Not now; then. Soon I hope. Anyway, I still believe that life is what you make it. You are responsible for the choices you make and you are the one that must live with those choices. Yet as soon as these choices involve another, the other must live with them as well (and you with theirs).

The only reassurance I received from this experience was that there may well be a reason why we couldn't have found each other sooner. I know that I am always becoming and I must assume that she is becoming as well. I can only assume that had we found each other sooner we would not likely have chosen to build this connection that we no doubt some day will. So life is about opportunity and about timing, but ultimately it is about taking the risks to discover the opportunities when the time comes. So really, have I been waiting for her or she for me or have we merely been waiting for the right time and place where our paths finally cross?

So if this does not make sense to anyone, please let me know. I may revise it in the future as I think more on the subject. I just thought after a week I might have mulled it over enough to at least put it down on binary.



05 November 2006

life from a new city...

It has been a week since my last post. I apologize in advance though if this is not quite my A game. I just thought I would give everyone an update.

I got the job up here in the Tacoma area. I start Tuesday. So I am staying in what counts as a hotel room to some people, but to me it is just four walls with a restroom and showers down the hall. There is also a slight odor that sort of went away when I brought in some yakisoba for dinner last night.

Friday I went in to meet my real estate agent. For those of you who don't know, I had a condo in Lakewood before when I was on active duty. After several weeks of researching the MLS on my own I finally contacted a few agents to start looking at places and one of them referred me to this guy. I liked him a lot more than I liked the other agents I met and ultimately that is the point. Do they listen to you? Do they act like they have better things to do than help you find a home? I wasn't very happy with either of the other agents I had talked to so I was happy to find this one.

Now after buying and selling the condo with he and his wife I am back in the area and looking (hopefully) to buy something right away. I am cautiously optimistic of course. So now they are co-owners of a real estate firm of their own. I guess I am not the only one who agrees that they are good at what they do.

So we met Friday night, talked over a few things and hit the road to find some listings to look at. First we went to an old building downtown that was recently converted for Condo's. There are two units there and they are the most expensive thing I had on my list. They were both very nice and about the same square footage so it was a toss up between their different floor plans and the less desirable floor plan had a private patio. The one beneath it did not have a patio, but was much friendlier in terms of layout.

Anyway, the building is old and in spite of its recent overhaul, it has the odor of a building of its age, but not so much in the units themselves. Also with the coffee shop downstairs and all of the charm of downtown Tacoma at its doorstep it is a definite contender.

Next we looked at several places but either they were too small, too weird, or the neighborhood wasn't as desirable. Finally I came to the conclusion that this IS what I want, now it is time to find out if I can afford it.

Being a loan officer I essentially know how I can finance it and what I would need to do to get the best payments, but I still come up with a payment about 500-700 more than I can afford (which I am figuring conservatively in case I am not as successful as I want to be doing loans on the side from up here).

It is a 2 br/2 ba condo so if I can find someone who would pay that much for a room in downtown Tacoma then I'm golden, otherwise I need to wait.

Also, if I suddenly find out that this agent or his associates are interested in referring clients to me for financing or my internet ads start to yield more inquiries, then maybe I would be more inclined to step out on a limb and expect it to support me.

Either way I need to wait a few weeks so I can close a loan I have been working on a while and work on my other leads while starting this new job. The beginning will be awkward because they will probably want to do my training on day shift and my pending loans will require my attention during the day as well. I am nervous that the two may conflict somewhat.

Otherwise, I am very optimistic about the possibility of having two income sources for a while and seeing what happens. I may ultimately decide to rent something cheap and plan for something else in the future.

From what my agent has been telling me there are a lot of condos coming into the downtown area in the next two years, so much so that he is afraid the influx in inventory during a period when the market is soft may result in falling prices. Of course that may be the perfect opportunity for me to get my dream home at a more reasonable price while saving my money in the mean time.

The other thing I was working on this past week is what I call "up-certifying" in my other career field. I wasn't that happy with the starting wage so I looked into why my application for certification at the next level has not been answered. They told me they were waiting for verification of my clinical experience from my last employer and it seemed to have gotten lost. So I called them and got them to fax in a letter and I expect to be taking that test very soon. The difference could be as much as nine thousand per year and several hundred dollars a month. Obviously it may behoove me to wait before buying.

So the only thing is that I am not thrilled about the idea of staying in a hotel room while I am working up here for the next month, much less longer. Obviously what I need to figure out, and very soon, is how long I will need to wait before I can buy and if it will be more than a couple months I should just get an apartment on a short lease even though I don't like that idea (was hoping my next move would be my last for a while).

Well I promise my next post will be more exciting. Just thought I would fill in all inquiring minds on what has been going on during this boring, yet eventful week of silence.

Enjoy "One Big Holiday" by My Morning Jacket. This version is live from the Bonnaroo music festival this past summer and comes from the blogger at captainsdead.com. If it loads too slowly I apologize, I assumed it was just me because my connection here is unpredictable.