Uploaded by which ones are weeds.
Last night, Jake, Rachael, Marni and Nola hung out and watched four episodes of Survivor with me. They brought Pancake Sue and Cassie, too. It was quite the night of chasing cats, whipped cream on puppy noses and pizza.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
The week has been uneventful, if not a little depressingly dull. Last week, before and then after the big dress-up Seth's party... Jake and I went and saw a couple movies. Actually, on Friday it was Nola, Jake and I and then on Sunday it was Rachael, Jake and I. I had already seen The Mist when it first came out, but enjoyed it on the big screen.. and then watching Gone Baby, Gone was surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable. We even got some pizza from a new place this time, making an evening of it.. with a tub of popcorn and all.
I had an odd meeting with the bank guy last week about just opening up a new checking account. Seeing as they're giving me a discount on my mortgage, why not? But then he tried selling me life insurance for almost a half hour. For who? My cat? Plus, I have decent life insurance through my work to cover all my burial expenses and what not. But who knows in the near future; not marriage, as my mother just asked last night.
But I was being a good first-time home buyer and have been diligently studying this booklet sent through an insurance agency on behalf of the bank on what it means to own a home. It's really elementary and condescending, written for a 5th grade level, but I have made the best of it. The 2nd aspect of the process was a followup phone call to verify that I knew what I'm talking about and if I had read the manual. Well, it turns out the caller stopped asking me questions after five minutes since he could tell it was a waste of time, and instead turned the topic fo his PhD son in Texas and about his recent experience buying a house. Oh boy. Thirty-five minutes later (time I will never ever get back), I hung up.
I've also been doing some planning for some extra-pay through work. Yah yah, I just got a new job and a pay bump, but who doesn't like extra money every 3 months? My 2nd as-needed position pays well, so I've been working with them on doing some upgrades to all the programming I've done for them in the past couple of years. Plus, they're inheriting tasks from another department.. which means I'll need to design the online system for them. It couldn't come at a better time. In fact, I'm having a business lunch with N tomorrow at the Mel. Their treat.
I've almost finished Earth Abides, which has been a really amazing book. It definitely makes me want to read more older, harder scifi than the myriad of semi-current stuff, semi-futuristic collection I've built. Somehow, reverting to the 50s and 60s, people seemed to have a better grasp on where humanity was heading. But I find myself as of late wanting to curl up and read, than do pretty much anything else.
1. Lunch with Alison, which ended up being a side-trip to a knitting store... a nice break.
2. Fire drills at work without a coat in subzero temps... an awful stunt pulled by the fire marshall
3. Meetings that only meet to discuss topics for followup meetings... useless
4. Getting back to the gym on a daily basis is improving my mood and outlook currently... it can only improve
5. I think I speed too much. Time to slow it down.
6. A tiny bit of anxiety about being tied down to a house has entered my mind as of late. What a weird, foreign and unusual sense.
But all is not horrible. Saturday was a nice birthday for my aunt and grandmother. And now that I have most of my family eating low-carb (and successfully, at that!), dinner was delicious, and my desserts delectable! Plus I burned videos from the last couple Easter Egg Hunts and we watched them for about a half hour. Hilarity, I assure you. Plus a couple witty and well-timed jokes on my part. Spent about 6 hours with them. I missed my family, and realize how much it means to not move away even further.
But on the way back from a semi-successful trip to the casino that night, I got a nasty flat tire on the Thruway about midway between two exits. At 11pm. In 28 degree weather. Ugh. Waiting over an hour, the guy finally came and exchanged it for my spare... just in time for me to limp home well after midnight. I now get the opportunity to battle my car club on reimbursement and face the followup expense of possibly replacing the tire. Do car problems come in threes? Because I'm hoping this is the LAST of my car troubles in as many weeks.
Posted by Luke at 11:57 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Seth's 25th birthday tonight... theme-ish party. Come as your favorite village people characters from the game Werewolf. The Massey's came as THE Village People. Funny, as always.
Marni as a Russian Villager (note the unibrow)
My best impression of a local farm villager
Massey's performing YMCA after arriving as 3 of the "Village People"
General good times with people playing Werewolf
Posted by Luke at 1:10 AM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
When last we spoke, I was just getting into work after a bad morning of broken cars and frustrated phone calls. Well, I have my car back and it turns out the problem was completely unrelated to the accident (uh huh...) and as such, my insurance company not responsible for the repair. However, I'm past that now and am moving forward.
I'm thinking and daydreaming more and more about my new house. I'm thinking about how I'm going to decorate it. What furniture I'm going to buy. What colors I'll paint the walls. What parties I'll throw. Even considering hosting game night some nights once Rick and Tina move to Binghamton. I keep thinking about all the great things that will happen once I have a house. How pleasant it'll be. Plus, I have a good game plan about getting out of my lease a couple months early. That'll be ideal, since I need to redo the hardwood floors and finish the master closet in the first couple weeks. Plus I have my Caribbean Cruise at the end of April. Yikes.
I got called yesterday during lunch from my realtor. I've been given a mortgage committment... in FOUR days after I applied for the loan. How exciting is that? It usually takes many weeks... and I got it over a weekend. Now all I need to do to close is to take a couple classes to get some free grant money and I'll be all set. I went to the first of several last night... and it feels like a total waste of my time. But hey.. free money is free money.. and a couple hours is nothing when it comes down to it. But it was so very clearly obvious that the classes are not meant for someone in my situation.
Seth's birthday is this weekend. Plus game night tonight is extra special with a big meal planned. Jake wants to see a couple movies on Sunday (a double feature). My mother is coming up to Rochester on Saturday to spend the day. And Diary of the Dead is coming soon.. that new zombie movie in the theme of Cloverfield. A lot of neat little things to look forward to.
Posted by Luke at 3:52 PM
Monday, February 11, 2008
The new job is going so so. That has not really been the priority on my mind as of late. Work is work.. but by god, I'm buying a house, so I've been doing that most every day. Working on paperwork, organizing finances, meeting with people, walking through the house evaluating stuff, looking at online resources and such. My sister is already getting paint color sheets for me to pick out paint colors. I think that's getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Last week was a full seven days of goodbyes and hellos to people and jobs. Coworker Emily put in her notice about a month ago and we've had gatherings, dinners and lunches to celebrate her time and friendship over the past many years. It was a lot of fun and a lot of great social time with the coworkers. It felt like every couple days, we were all eating together socially. The Elmwood Inn was a big spot, and we even went out to the Olive Garden on Wednesday. I was accused of being conceited last week, so that was a highlight, and then immediately compared to David Spade and his humor. Not sure how they were related.
After a very successful house inspection with my engineer, I learned a ton of stuff about the house. In general, the house is in great shape and needs very little to bring it back up to 100%. I knew the roof will need some replacing in the next 5 years going into it, but the previous people put in a lot of work. I expect not only will my new house appreciate from what I purchased it at, but that it will provide me with just enough challenges over the next year to keep me interested and enjoying home ownership. Did you enjoy the video and slideshow? Nola did a great job reviewing the whole place. I can't wait to move in.
I met with my mortgage broker on Wednesday, and unfortunately I no longer qualify for the SONYMA mortgage. Which ultimately is a good thing since my employer still has a program to assist first-time home-buyers. Plus the loan interest rate dipped slightly last week, so I'm getting a really good rate. A little hiccup happened when reviewing my bank records which indicated a very large deposit from my mother, but I think I have that straightened out by the bank considering it a "gift" even though it's not a gift. I've signed a dozen papers, faxed and mailed stuff to lawyers, banks, engineers and Realtors and have just started touching on the myriad of things involved in closing on a house. Fun for me.
My car started acting up shortly after the bank meeting, but I thought nothing of it, as it was cold out and I was running low on gas. Hoping for the best (and filling up on gas), I drove again on Saturday with plans to go home to my mother's for the weekend. Well, almost every dashboard light was blinking randomly over the course of an hour. I ended up delaying my trip home and paid a visit to the dealership. Unfortunately, they were entirely unhelpful and recommended I return the car to my collision shop. On Monday. Sigh. Risking trouble, I headed home and visited with family and spent the night at my mother's, enjoying the comforts of home and the hot tub present on premises.
With weather threatening to get bad and a Polar Plunge event at noon, I headed back to Rochester in severe weather and whiteout conditions. The roads were bad, and my car was continuing to threaten to shut down at any moment. The dashboard went completely dark, but always bounced back. After a very enjoyable 20 minutes in the bitter cold up on the lake watching Jake, Dennis and Marni jump into the lake with 1,000 other people and hundreds of people in the crowd, plans were made to head to lunch and get warmed up.
If you read the news, there was a 36 car pile up on 390 with one dead on midday Sunday. I watched it happen, and fortunately got off on the exit a couple hundred feet in front of the horrible scene. With a car on the fritz, and more plans for the day, I had an overwhelming feeling to seek shelter inside and to stay safe away from the roads. Cut to Jay's Diner with the gang, and then to the casino with Deb, Mary Joan, Frank and Nola for the next five hours. Losing a very valuable $20 in mortgage savings (haha), I had a great time laughing with the whole of them, before limping back to Rochester in subzero temperatures in high wind. Unfortunately, my car started dying right as I pulled onto my street to go home.
This morning, I called my insurance company and started the whole process to get my car looked at and hopefully brought back to 100%. Getting no sympathy from the GEICO rep, I ended up driving the car toward the repairshop before having the whole thing shut down on the middle of Elmwood Ave in heavy morning traffic. The whole morning was a debacle, but between the rep on the phone giving me attitude, to my claims adjuster telling me this is unrelated to my accident repair, and the towtruck guy telling me it was all because of the cold, I just about had it. It was a tough day, and it had just begun.
Luckily, the rest of the day left off without a hitch and... we'll see about the next few days.
Posted by Luke at 10:20 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Had a nice gathering of people tonight for the Super Bowl.
Rachael stealing some food early on
See, Marni snapped a picture of me. I do attend my own events!
They Massey/Hetzel/Wolf family
Seth and Kelly keeping comfortable
Steve, Nola, Alex, Marni, Dennis and Alison also were there, but camera shy. Thanks all for coming.
Posted by Luke at 11:43 PM