Sunday, March 22, 2009

Real House Hunting, Day 1.

Today after a quick sushi lunch, Tim and I headed out to view some properties on the west side. Nothing really jumped out at us, other than pure sticker shock. We were looking in a nicer neighborhood, but still, $749,000 for a three bedroom, one bath sort of blows my mind. One of the realtors was asking us about the property, and I said one of our "musts" was at least a bath and a half. She was like, "you could always build on another bathroom." Lady, for three quarters of a million dollars, I expect my house to have two toilets (the two toilet houses in the neighborhood were $900,000.) The one property that was sort of interesting to us would have required some renovations (it had two kitchens?) and it was close to the freeway. But all of the searching helps crystalize what we're looking for. Like... a home that has doorways big enough to fit a dresser through (the last house we looked at had such tiny doorways that we realized we wouldn't be able to get a dresser into the master bedroom unless we put it through the window.) We have also learned that we are probably not going to find anything in our price range in Mar Vista.

We also went to TJ McMarshalls and Tim got some new sneakers for his poor flat old feet. Between watching all of the March Madness, and seeing a show on the Science channel last night about people who are eight feet tall, I am feeling like my 6'6" husband is on the shrimpy side. Maybe he will put lifts in his new shoes. I got silver sandals, which I am already in love with.

The other thing we've been doing this weekend is torturing the cats. Thor really loves anything stick-like. He is like a puppy in that way. He steals pens, he steals chopsticks, and once he took a paring knife out of the dish rack and batted it into the bathroom. Thankfully, he didn't cut his paws, but he did give Tim a bit of a shock - he thought the cat was going to stab him. The other thing he really loves is straws. If you leave a straw-adorned beverage around the apartment, he will pull the straw out and then carry it around in his teeth. And I present, the Tale of Thory and the Starbucks Straw.

First, he stalks it, and looks at it with love.

Then, he tries to yank it out (and gets yelled at.) When I finished my beverage, I gave him the straw.

Then he bats at it and carries it around the apartment. Lulu is mostly uninterested.

She prefers to perform kittie karate kicks on the lamb puppet.

Here's Tim and his reluctant kitty machine gun.

And then he takes aim and fires! Lulu doesn't play kitty machine gun, because she doesn't like to be held. When you do pick her up, she makes noises like you're choking her. She's more of a grenade and less of a rifle.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thrift Store Love.

Today was very exciting, because I went to the House of Return Thrift Store and bought myself a fabulous new outfit that I am totally wearing to fancy dinner with mom, when we go up to San Francisco next month. Oh yes. I love thrift store dresses. They are so fabulous and weird and most importantly, they are a bargain.

Here is my new outfit. It features both a dress AND a coat. That's three outfits for the price of one. I will definitely wear the coat on its own, I will certainly wear the dress by itself (I am planning on wearing it to an event for work next month!) and I will wear them both together for double sparkly. Please observe:

The dress is a little big on top, but nothing that some tailoring can't fix.

In other fun "old stuff" news, my mom and I made a pincushion for me to display my pins the other week when I was home. She used to have all of her flower pins above her dresser, and is passing along the frame to me. Sara generously sacrificed an old velor dress from high school as the backing. The pin is above my CD rack and I can look at it lovingly. Tim told me that I was an idolater.

What else? We are very disappointed in the Bruins, but had a fun time watching the Badgers last night. Now that my boys have broken Coach Wooden's heart, I will switch to my second allegiance and root for Wisconsin. We had to take Tim's car in to the dealership this morning - the fan crapped out before Christmas, but we had just never gotten around to fixing it. Now that the weather is getting warmer, we are missing the AC. Thankfully, it's covered under warrenty, and once they get the part (Tuesday) it should be a quick fix. Out of the four Hondas we have owned, this is the first time we've had to take a car in for any sort of malfunction before the car was 10 years old or over 100,000 miles. I love me some Hondas.

We booked our trip to Door County for the 4th. I am over the moon with excitement. I can't wait for Tim to get a little piece of my childhood lore. Time to wash our hair in Lake Michigan!

Tomorrow we are going to go and scope out some open houses. Still in no particular rush, but we want to start getting a better idea of what exactly we're looking for. And it's nice to know that if we find something amazing, we can move forward with the whole process. We also have to go to the laundromat. Today was cleaning and cooking day - so domestic. If you can stop being dazzled by my outfit, check out my wonderful crockpot. It is filled with delicious garlic artichoke chicken. Which I made using the new apron that my grandma made me. She is the best (this is from yesterday, when I made pizza.) Grandma is such a nice.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


So the biggest news is that we met with a mortgage broker on Wednesday, and on Friday got our approval letter, officially authorizing us to start our home search (I know we could have looked before, but if I'm going to drive all around the West Side going to open houses, if I find one I like, I want to be able to buy.) We're approved for more than we can afford, of course, but it's nice to see that good credit and saving money pays off somewhere. The realtor has sent us some more listings; we have sent him a better idea of what we're looking for, and Tim will begin his online research, and we will start looking in earnest. HOORAY! The whole process stresses me out quite a bit, I must admit, but my boss reminded me that this is supposed to be fun, and celebratory, because we are buying our first home and building our lives together, so I am trying to keep up that attitude.

Last night we went and saw Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I'd never seen it before and fell in love. I adore musicals, I love sequin dresses, and I myself am partial to jewelry. The movie had everything I needed to be happy, and it was fun to see it at LACMA, with an audience that laughed and clapped and cheered along. We'd gotten pupusas for dinner before, and got frogurt on the way home, so it was a perfect date.

Today I went to my former boss's baby shower. It was a big group of her friends, and a lot of my old coworkers, so it was a fun time. I'm definitely glad to be off to bigger and better things though. Having 21 days off instead of 10 is enough for me - I would have changed jobs even if there wasn't also a pay raise!

We've got a chicken pot pie in the oven (I cooked, Tim cleaned up) and once we've devoured some chicken and vegetable goodness, we're going to spend the rest of the evening watching a movie. From here on out, it's March Madness, all the time (even though I find basketball too fast paced and stressful.) Go Bruins! Tim bought me a little UCLA keychain that plays the fight song. I love it, but poor Thory is terrified of it - he hates when I wave it around, and the sound seems to freak him out also. His lack of blue and gold spirit is disappointing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Hawaii.

Jasmin posted a few new photos on her facebook - some from our last day at the North Shore (the day my camera battery died) and some from the wedding (taken by the professional photographer.)

I just thought I would share.

Here is our seal friend!

The sunset we saw on Waimea. It was absolutely beautiful, and is one of the moments I will treasure most from our visit.

Me with the boys. You can hardly tell how sore they were afterwards.

Us picking up the Fluff. I look crazy and possessed, which is of course why I'm sharing it.

We are going down to the OC this weekend to celebrate mom's birthday. Dad has promised to take us out for sushi and I am hoping to show mom a good time. She's my best mom ever.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Little Gossip

Sorry blog readers/family members - we have not been eaten by bears. We are just up to normal, boring life stuff.

Yes, we are still looking for a house. Next week we have an appointment with a mortgage broker recommended by our realtor, so we will see how all of that goes. I will feel better about for real going to look at houses when we have a preapproval offer, and buyers know we are serious. We are still looking at things online. We are also hoping to win the lottery at some point. Sheesh.

Last week I had plans Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night, which was odd for me in terms of popularity. Then over the weekend I was in San Diego with some of my college girlfriends "the England Girls." We drank wine at 11:30 in the morning, took naps, got massages and ate like linebackers trying to gain weight before the NFL combine. A good time had by all!

Tim went down to Cal State Fullerton to talk to a video game club about his job and how he got it. I think it's very cute, because when he was a youngster, he started a video game club at UCLA, which was a big boon in his efforts to get hired at EA (because Lord knows his grades didn't serve him well at all!) This week he's been doing some training stuff at work re: becoming a technical director. He loves him some engineering.

There's been some fun conversation going around the Miller-Thiel-Nollin family re: the Fourth of July in Door County. I am so excited to see everyone and have Tim experience some of my favorite memories from my childhood. In San Diego, I bought a Door County item that I am so excited to show off in a few months. For now, it's a Suprise Prize. I've had random midwestern friends ask about the possibility of coming up for a day, to which I say, the more the merrier. Prepare yourself for cold beer on the porch and a lot of smart mouths talking all at once. Also, bring Deep Woods Off!

Tomorrow we are going to see Rent at the Pantages. A few weeks ago we saw Man of La Mancha, and I immediately bought the soundtrack and have been singing it nonstop. I've also been mixing in a little Hello Dolly! It's all musicals, all the time (but not Phantom of the Opera. We saw that before Valentines Day, to which I say THUMBS DOWN. Out of all the plays we've seen in the past few years, none by Andrew Lloyd Webber have cracked my top ten. Now Oklahoma!... THAT'S a musical.)