T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o

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Hodgepodge Mismash Assortment

2007-08-13† Ė† 1:21 p.m.
Since last writing, Iíve started and stopped several blog entries. Hereís a collection of the unfinished few.

I went to Houston a couple weekends ago with full intentions of buying a house. However, when we toured the place, my parents decided that this was exactly the house that they wanted to live and eventually grow old in. Being an exceptionally good daughter who understands the importance of having no stairs to climb, a bedroom large enough to stumble around in, and an oven that doesnít require bending over, I of course gave them the house.

I fought the urge to call and make my own offer for $1 more. Again, because Iím an exceptionally good daughter, I did no such thing. But donít think I didnít tease them about it for the rest of the weekend.

In exchange for not outbidding and giving them what would have netted me the pre-tax equivalent of a shiny new Corvette, Iím now allowed to decorate the whole house. My parents decorate like theyíre blind, so having control over this should be fun. Mine all mine all mine!

You bet your ass that one bedroom will have a bunch of photos of yours truly for being the best oldest daughter ever. One who will give you the house she wants. One who will sit with the agent and talk through the contract. One who will then call her Texas contacts to get you a mortgage broker. One who will then call another mortgage broker who calls back a lot faster so you can file the necessary papers today.

In fewer than 45 days, my parents will be closing on their new house. And over the next six or so months, theyíll eventually have the old place cleaned out and be in the new one.

By then Iíll have the crown moudling re-caulked, the rooms painted in solid colors, the fireplace stripped to remove the painted-over the bricks, one wall knocked out, new carpet installed, wood flooring laid, sealant poured over the terrazzo flooring, the back deck replaced, and new kitchen counters and cabinets.

This isnít a fixer-upper by any means. Iíve just got my design eye out and roaming.

Another highlight to that weekend was going to my nephewís fourth birthday party.

The boy is now four!

Tons of people came out for the party, which consisted of all the sugary drinks the kids could stand to drink, all the icing-heavy cake they could eat, and a baseball bat that was passed around so the kids could beat a lion-shaped piŮata until its candy innards fell out.

Today I feel like I drank all of the vodka in Russia.

Unless I need something specific, itís pretty well known that I think going to the doctor is pretty useless. Applying a little common sense and the occasional oh-so-handy Google search can do plenty.

Got a cold? Wash your hands. Donít hang around others. Get plenty of rest. Match your symptoms up to whatís on the side of a box of syrup. And just wait it out.

Got a hurt leg?

Today I went to the doctor. She made me wait a really long time, so I felt justified in stealing a magazine.

I love real estate. Love it, love it, love it! Iím not to the point that I can do it full-time for the money, but Iím fortunate enough to recognize what I want to do and dabble in it here and there. In the not-too-distant future, I hope itís what I do day in and day out.

Someone once told me that you wonít fully reach for and complete your goals if you donít write them down. That official inked-in acknowledgement seems to be what separates the dreamers from the doers. During one of the self-composed exercises that I work on each week (man, I really am such a dork), I wrote out what I want to accomplish by the end of the year.

I wrote out: Own 3 properties by the end of the year.

I stared at it for a bit, thinking the numbers through and looking at the very broad parameters.

Three properties within the next six months.

Are these single family homes? Apartment complexes? Campgrounds? Car washes? Batting cages? Laundry mats?

Are they in Chicago? Houston? Austin? Long Island? Even in this country?

And although most people would say that having a more specific goal in mind would do you better, I looked at it differently. With no barriers to what Iíd defined, I took my pen and made two little marks to upgrade to my stated goal.

The 3 was then transformed into an 8.

Now this is something that will take a bit of effort. *gulp*

As I sit at my desk during after-work hours and scour the housing listings, my attention returns repeatedly to the same property type, filling the needs of a given demographic. Once deciding to get into real estate, Iíve made jokes about being a slum lord. With my decision to own a trailer park, at least Iím working with a demographic I understand.

Ten random things about me

Josh wrote this the other day. And since Iím bored (not because I strive to be just like Josh, mind you...), I figured Iíd come up with a list too.

I love sneezing. I have this explosive, full-body sneeze that feels like itís expelling the devil each time I rear back and let go. Iíve always enjoyed sneezing, but only recently have I said anything about it. I guess Iím just curious to know if anyone else loves sneezing like I love it. Let the comments section know.

Purses are my weakness. In my short trip to New York, I bought seven purses. Who needs seven (ahem, more) purses? Certainly not me! But today I switched into a vintage red leather purse that is too smooth for words, and Iím loving it.

Iím really good at being single. Really, really good. I always feel like when I get into a relationship, much of this goes to the side and my time is spent elsewhere.

Last night I had a dream that the ex was trying to get back with me. I can only remember two of his attempts: He dyed the side of his head to match the rest of his black hair, and he baked me brownies.

Cosmetic improvement and a show of domestically competence might be the way to someoneís heart. However, I loved that sprinkled grey on the sides, and I donít like chocolate.

Last September I posted a W4M looking for an actuary. I didnít think much about the ad, but it apparently stirred up a few offices in the week it was posted. Between the actuarial message boards, the industry newsletters, and a friend of a friend passing my now-private MySpace page along, I got some great responses.

Very little came out of it romance-wise, but I dated an econ professor a few times, made one friend, met a table full of message board readers, and passed many on-the-clock work hours browsing through the emails.

A friend googled the ad the other day and passed along some information. Apparently there is a recent forum posting saying that a woman is now writing guys back from their response to my ad. Thereís a photo included, and there was some talk about poetry and grade schoolers.

Accept no imitations, guys. This is not me.

Gypsy soul.

Hey tough guy! Let me be your weakness.

No Appointment, No Disappointment

I read something recently that a friend wrote about a Zen Commandment titled ďNo Appointment, No DisappointmentĒ, and it hit on something Iíve been thinking about lately. (Iíve been calling it ďExpectations ManagementĒ.) Basically what it means is that if you have your expectations low, you canít really be disappointed when things donít work out.

It sounds pretty pessimistic in how I describe it, but think about it like this: Say you met someone online. Youíve had decent emails back and forth, and the requisite phone call went well too. But when you show up for the first date, heís four inches shorter, 60 pounds heavier, and wielding a gift of hot pink long-stemmed roses with babyís breath.

If you looked at the date as merely something to do one evening after work, it becomes a funny story to later tell your girlfriends. However, if you did what sometimes happens to even the strongest of women, wondering if heís The One, itís a disappointment.

I had a recent encounter that has my stomach in knots. Itís not a scenario like described above, but Iím still on-edge, nauseated, and jumpy. Possibilities are just that -- possible. No guarantees. No contracts. No tell whatís going on or will happen.

Iím a planner. I like having everything mapped out, complete with a contingency plan. Call it the head protecting the heart (not just in a lovey-dovey sense either), but itís the way my brain works, and thatís that.

Itís not to say that Iím incapable of jumping on a whim. Iíve certainly done a lot of that in my days -- from random evenings that end with the sun rising as I enter my home, to moving to Chicago while jobless and friendless.

Thereís a certain amount of confidence I have in most aspects of my life, where I know that no matter what I do, everything will work out. I suppose I know that everything in every other aspect will also work out... but itís not a slam-dunk.

So when something creeps up on me in one of those not-so-clear areas, I canít help but be on-edge. †

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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