Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sat started as all 'good' Sat mornings do with Spouse going to his personal trainer appointment and me enjoying coffee with Roger Hazzard and Tonya Meme of "Sell This House". Once Spouse got home we had a light lunch on the screened porch and met up with a bunch of buddies at the beach. It was a spectacular day with lots of sunshine, 83 degrees, low humidity, and a steady breeze coming off the water. What a fantastic day! Except that I scorched my feet on the hot sand. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store, then showered and relaxed for a bit. That evening we met up with our friends Doug & Jim for dinner at Hobo's. It was a lovely evening so we ate on the front porch. Spouse doesn't drink, but the rest of us started with cocktails, followed by appetizers. Spouse had the roasted tomato and basil panzanella soup and I had the AWESOME eggplant artichoke dip which is so good it must contain something illegal. For dinner Spouse had the chicken Buddha bowl and I had an eggplant and goat cheese quesadilla. (Menu here.) Dee-lish! Afterward we went for a short walk on the boardwalk before heading home. I discovered my friend and karaoke DJ Trelynda was working at Dos Locos that night so after I dropped off Spouse, I hung out with Tre for an hour and sang a few tunes. It was great to see her! Then I stopped in at Mandance and shook my groove thing for an hour. I still managed to get home before 1am, which was a good thing since Spouse was waiting up for me!
Sun Spouse & I both slept in until 10:30 (gasp), then had a lovely breakfast on the screened porch while we discussed how to spend our day. Although I kind of wanted a 3rd day in a row at the beach, I acquiesced to sticking close to home and tackling a few projects around the house. We made a quick run to Lowes where we bought spray paint, a medium-size pot (on clearance), grass seed, potting soil, a rosemary bush, 2 pots of basil, a pot of parsley, and a pot of oregano. Back at the ranch I spray painted 2 side tables for the screened porch while Spouse potted all the herbs. He moved some decorate rocks while I spread and watered some grass seed around the porch foundation. We relaxed on the porch for a bit, then showered and dressed for a birthday cocktail party at Deb & Greer's. We saw some friends we knew and made some new ones which is always tops in my book. Neither of us was in the mood to make dinner so we decided to eat out. After checking out (and rejecting) a possible dinner spot, we ended up back at Hobo's. The porch was full so we ate inside which was a nice change of pace. The atmosphere was cozy and quiet inside and lent itself to more conversation. It was almost like being on a date! This time I had the chicken Buddha bowl (which Spouse had the night before) and he had scallops with red curry. Again an amazing meal and a wonderful time with Spouse. TV watching finished off the night and the weekend for us.
Crush du Jour: James Clarke
Friday, August 27, 2010
Spouse remains committed to following Weight Watchers with another 3 lb. loss this week. After 9 weeks he's lost a total of 38 lbs. He's now able to fit into some clothes he bought brand new but was never able to wear.
It occurred to me this week that although our screened porch expansion was completed last month, I never posted any photos of it. So here's the back of our house and you can see the previous screened porch on the far left side.
On Wed I got my new glasses. (Please ignore the weird faces I was making.)
This summer I have spent more time at the beach than ever before and despite my usual paleness, I am getting a tan for the 1st time in years. Not that it was my goal to get a tan, but its kind of exciting to longer resemble a member of Casper the Friendly Ghost's family. Of course, Spouse is 'concerned' that I am going to get skin cancer, despite the fact that I always use sun screen and sometimes sit in the shade of an umbrella. I like the way I look with a little color in my face.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
This is my 4th time seeing her perform there. Last year Steven & I went, and this year Steven & Thad and Jason and I went together.
We started with dinner at Cafe Azafrain. We all enjoyed our food but we were slightly annoyed by a small but loud party nearby and the long wait for our food. Fortunately the food was really good. I had 2 tapas plates: baked goat cheese with olives and roasted peppers, and spinach gnocchi. Jason also had 2 tapas plates: fried calamari and seared scallops. Steven had the mozzarella and roasted pepper salad and pasta with wild mushrooms. Thad had the roasted vegetarian plate.
After dinner we walked up the block to the Blue Moon and waited a few minutes for the opening of the doors to the performance space. After securing seats together I went to the bar for drinks. (Cosmo for me, Malibu and diet for Jason, Ginger Ale for Steven.) At the bar I ran into our part-time neighbors from around the corner, Chris & Paul, and learned that they are living here full-time now! We shared our desire to get together soon and catch up. After returning to my seat with the drinks I saw Doug & Jim enter the performance space. There were 2 empty seats directly in front of us so they took them and we were able to chat a bit before the show started.
As beautiful and elegant as always, Miss Coco Peru entertained us with her hilarious stories, inspirational thoughts, campy musical numbers, and her unique perspective on life. Fresh, new material of course. We all roared with laughter over and over again and had a grand time!
In her closing, she announced that she would return to the stage for photo taking and selling of her DVD, something she had not done in her previous 3 visits to the Blue Moon. I was thrilled to hear this since I'd suggested Steven bring his camera, just in case.
Sure enough, after the show I got to talk to Coco!I reminded her that we had chat via email and Facebook messages over the past few years. She asked for my email address and when I spoke it, she said "Oh yes of course." Then we posed for a photo:
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
A song's appearance here does NOT mean I think the song is stupid or that I don't like the song. In fact, today's song is one of my all-time favorites! Personally I think this song is musical genius. But the lyrics? Not so much. To me they just don't make sense.
Judge for yourself.
performed by Queen
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide no escape from reality
Open your eyes look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me
Mama just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life has just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, oooooooh, I don't want to die
Sometimes wish I'd never been born at all
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro
I'm just a poor boy nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go. Let him go!
Bismillah! We will not let you go. Let me go!
Will not let you go. Let me go! Will not let you go. Never, never, never, never
Let me go, o, o, o, o.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh Mama mia, Mama mia, Mama Mia, let me go
Beelzebub has the devil put aside for me, for me, for me.
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters, nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows.
Crush du Jour: Benito Villella
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sat morning Spouse had his personal trainer appointment and I had coffee and watched "Sell This House". After a quick bite to eat, we went took Big Ella to a car show in Georgetown and met up with our buddies Rick & Nick and Ken & Don. There were 101 cars registered and we enjoyed being there despite the humid weather. Afterward Spouse took a nap and I went to the beach at 2:30 and played several games of beach volleyball with Jason and the other volleyball guys.
Friday, August 20, 2010
This little "FAIL" ditty came my way via my friend Jared.
Sometimes things don't always turn out how they were meant!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I'm taking tomorrow off work for no particular reason other than its Friday, the weather is supposed to be good for going to the beach, and I have vacation days to use. Hopefully I'll have something fun and witty to share with you tomorrow.
Crush du Jour: Tod Macofsky
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I've thought about the concept of making less money and reducing our expenses. There are certainly things we could sacrifice (bi-weekly housekeeper, eating out, Big Ella) but even those likely wouldn't make up the difference. Beside, I adore having the house cleaned by someone else, eating out, and having Big Ella!
Our mortgage is our largest expense and we certainly don't need to live in a 5 bedroom house in the historic district. I considered downsizing to a smaller house in a less expensive neighborhood. We'd have to get rid of a lot of furniture, but it would be worth it to me to change my employment situation. However, the current real estate market is not favorable right now to sell our house and maximize its real value. Not to mention that we just added a garage/bath/closet addition last summer and a screened porch this summer. Spouse really loves this house and its location, so we are committed to living in this house for several more years, at least until the market improves.
You may be wondering what I would like to do if I were able to quit my current job.
I want to become a Community Improvement Specialist. This is a job title I made up because it best describes what I want to do. I want to purchase distressed properties, rehab them, and sell or lease them, thereby improving the overall appearance and condition of the community. It is similar to property flipping, but the intent isn't solely to make a profit. The intent is to re-inhabit and improve the general community by fixing up vacant, run-down properties and making a profit at the same time. I would concentrate my efforts in specific communities so that the impact of the rehabbed properties would be multiplied, kind of like the way Habitat for Humanity does.
What does an account manager for a technology company know about rehabbing property? More than you might think.
Mine & Spouse's 1st house in 1996 was a bank foreclosure that had been vacant for sometime. We didn't have much money then, but we did what we could to clean the place up, paint, remove old wallpaper, tame the wild yard, and update the flooring. 4 years later we sold the house at a 64% gain. Our 2nd house needed less cosmetic updating but we spent more and updated it more because it was in a very desirable location. 8 years later we sold it for more than double what we paid. Just a few months ago we bought a condo that was a bank foreclosure in pretty rough shape. We updated the entire unit on a budget in 2 weeks and rented it in just under a week. All those hours of watching HGTV shows really paid off!
But getting to the point of being able to replace my current salary doing Community Improvement seems like a long way off. There are many steps to take and likely an equal number of hurdles to jump. Since I can't do all the work myself, I'd need to find reliable, affordable people to do the stuff I can't. I'll need seed money to purchase the property and materials and pay the workers. Then there's the accounting and tax records.
So I thought that becoming a realtor might be a complimentary way to transition into my new industry. I can go to real estate school part-time 2 evenings per week for 3 months, then associate myself with a broker and try to list and sell homes on the weekends. Great idea, right?
Well, there are some cons. The classes alone are over $500. Once I finished the classes there would be an indefinite period of time where I would 'ramp up' in the real world. There would be licensing and advertising expenses too. Plus, my precious, precious weekends which are usually chocked full of fun activities, friends, and weekend guests would be spent working. I would be working 7 days a week until I felt able to quit my current job. You can imagine how THAT idea sets with me.
So I'm not sure if working as a realtor on the weekends would really bring me closer to my goal of becoming a Community Improvement Specialist. But maybe becoming a realtor (but not working as one) might give me some legal knowledge or other other advantage that would compliment my Community Improvement Specialist business.So that's where I am. At the age of 46 years old I finally think I know what I want to be when I grow up.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sat morning Spouse had his personal trainer appointment and I had coffee and watched back-to-back episodes of "Sell This House", our favorite Sat morning rituals. Once Spouse returned home and showered, we had a light lunch on the screened porch and then drove Big Ella to a car show in Millsboro. It was a beautiful day for it; sunny with very low humidity and temps in the low 80s. I was torn between spending the day at the beach and going to the car show, but since our buddies Rick & Nick were going to the car show, Spouse thought we should meet them there, so we did. It was fun and there were some really great vintage and collector cars there. We didn't enter Big Ella because we didn't want to hang around at the show the entire day. But there wasn't a single Cadillac there so Big Ella would have really stood out if we would have entered her.
Friday, August 13, 2010
After 6 weeks on Weight Watchers Spouse has lost another 2 lbs, making his total weight loss 33 lbs. He's really committed and I'm really proud of him.