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Well this is a bummer...

Last post I mentioned that we were going to talk to a guy about what it would take to get a home. Our credit being good, despite Andy's foreclosure and my incredibly high student loans, we still could get a home loan. However, that 3.5% down payment is still WAY out of reach.

Housing prices being what they are we'd have to come up with at least 12K, but more likely 15K if you take into account the closing costs. We simply don't have that much and are unable to come up with it.

So when I was saying, well we couldn't be making that much less than our friends that are buying, what have they got that we don't got, apparently the answer to that question is parents capable of "gifting" down payment.

I know for a fact that this is how at least one of my friends was able to get his house. I've also read from other friends trying this process that this is what mortgage people commonly ask "So can you get the down payment from your parents?" I knew to expect it, but I didn't realize this is the only bright idea the industry has when it comes to coming up with a down payment. For those of us whose parents are not firmly middle class enough to have tens of thousands of dollars tucked away somewhere, I guess we are just SOL. Andy had a second conversation with the guy about the down payment yesterday and I guess the guy was like "I understand your parents are deceased but there's still Miranda's parents you can ask." As if it's a matter of us not wanting to trouble them or being afraid to ask as opposed to that money simply not existing.

It's a sad state of our generation when that is how we are expected to get a start in this world. That even in our 30s and 40s we are expected to resort to crawling to our parents for a loan or gift to get our starter home. It's even more upsetting when people don't understand the meaning of the words "my parents don't have money"

So it looks like we have no choice but to endure weathering this shitty rental market and hope that our rent doesn't go up too much and we get another year in Crown Hill.

As for making a plan, the thought of leaving the Seattle area entirely is looking more and more attractive. One can't help but feel as though if you can't afford to live here the city wants nothing to do with you. If you're not happy to pay out the ass to live in a tiny apodment for the privilege of having a Seattle zip code, then you're just a fucking NIMBY that's part of the problem. Despite being practically a native, I feel like the secret about this beautiful place is out and it's going to be the next San Francisco/Bay Area of have and have nots, but without the public transportation to sustain the outward movement of people. On the other hand, I do really like my job and though I would like to make more, (probably going to ask for more during this current review period), unless we move to a college town and I get a similar gig, I'm not going to make much more in a town that has a cheaper housing market. And remember I pay a third of my income to student loans so it's not like I can take a huge pay cut. There's also the fact of abandoning this town's really great comedy scene but I'm already seeing those folks being priced out of here too so who knows how much longer this scene is able to even last. (Not that I'm deep into it, but I've got a show that people enjoy doing and keeps me tuned into to some of the talent this city has...for now). But then also my parents are getting up there in years and would I feel right abandoning them?

Okay I'm officially rambling now so I'll stop myself. Point is, it doesn't look in the cards to buy a home here lest we win the lottery prize or something. *sigh* I still want to use this information to sit down with Andy, come up with goals and make like a 5 year financial plan. I really do. But it sounds like in order to do that we still need to think about where we really see ourselves in that 5 years. Is that going to be in the Seattle Metro area? It's hard to say. In the mean time. we're just going to have to bend over and take what is given and accept it. 

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Garden Update

The garden is doing pretty well. There has been some good harvesting going of cucumbers, zucchini, beets, carrots and especially green beans. OMG these green beans are growing like crazy! Last week we harvested on Wednesday and there were enough to harvest all over again by Saturday! We did a test harvest for the corn and the cob was only about half full so we pollinated again. The kernels that we did get, though, were mighty tasty. We also got our artichoke and had it the other day. It smaller than those you get at the store, there wasn't a lot of meat on the leaves, and there were some ants that we had to get out of the leaves, but the heart was sure tasty! That's the problem we are having now, trying to keep up with eating all the veggies we've got. A lot of green beans to eat. Luckily our green beans are SO DAMN FLAVORFUL we don't mind having them day after day. In fact, I'm going to rue winter when we have to go back to the waxy store-bought green beans.

Now please enjoy pictures of our bounty...










Spooky Shit
I've been bad at posting about spooky happenings close to when they happen. Since my last post, we've had a couple more instances of stuff moving around upstairs. A couple of weeks ago we went up after hearing a noise to discover Raye's pillow moved and a padfolio of hers standing up. I don't know where these items lived before they moved but they were not in the middle of the room.


We left it like that for a little while before getting around to moving them. Twice in the past couple of weeks, I have come into the bedroom to discover the door to the stairwell open. Uppon one such occasion, we investigated upstairs to see that Rob's hats (as you can see in the picture on the left on top of that tan furniture piece) were knocked haphazardly on the bed. I didn't take a picture of this as I didn't have my phone on me at the time.
Still nothing on the typewriter.

QC
A couple weeks ago I had the cast of the show over for a BBQ as a thank you and talk a little business. It was a good BBQ. Andy made his signature carne asada. Sparky and David's dog, Kane, sort of got along. We had a good discussion about taking the show to the next level but I also really enjoyed their company and it was nice. I've been wanting to do that for a long time so I'm glad to have done so.

Planning for the Future
Today Andy and I have an appointment to talk with a mortgage guy about the prospect of buying a house. Our lease ended in July and the property management company has not gotten back to us about a new lease and say they are still negotiating the rent with the home owner. For anyone reading who isn't in the area, Seattle's got a housing problem. The rents are skyrocketing. Home prices are shocking. People are being priced out of the city left and right. It's pretty fair to say that if we get priced out of this rental, we're resigned to renting in the suburbs most likely. (Though I refuse to go back to the area I grew up in. Not that it's a bad place necessarily but it will make me feel like a failure, like I have not progressed.) We are at a kind of fork in the road. Do we keep paying the rising rents and get nothing, or do we try to find a place to own, most likely in 'burbs because the median house price in Seattle is half a million now. We are spending about $2K a month now on rent and that's considered a steal for a house, considering studios are going for $1,500. When we were looking for a house to rent two years ago, there were plenty of places already asking for $2,500/mo. I don't want to think how high they have gotten considering that earlier this year rents went up 11% in one month.

I don't know if we are ready to buy or not but I want to have some questions answered from a professional because this is a conversation Andy and I have gone around in circles about for months. and months. We make pretty good money but are getting squeezed by this rental market. Friends of ours are buying and we think that they can't be making THAT much more money than us (well maybe they are) but I'm sure they don't have a bankruptcy, foreclosure and a shit ton of student loan debt working against them, as we do. (And when i say student loan debt I'm not talking like I pay for or fice hundred dollars a month, I'm saying I pay over a thousand, I literally pay a third of my income to student loans). We keep looking and using these mortgage calculators and mortgage looks comparable to these high-ass rents, but then we think what we have on hand for a down payment and are disheartened again.

Writing about it right now is getting me pretty depressed, but that is likely because I just read This article. Which is weird because I've been the one so far taking a pragmatic approch to this. Thing is, we basically need to come up with a plan. We can't just wait this out (or maybe we need professional advise that we should) or keep going around in circles. It's time for us to set goals and come up with ways to achieve them. So even though we might not like the news we hear today, we are taking a step in the right direction. 
I've been pretty quiet on the political front because everywhere I look I see nothing but vitriol on all sides. Pretty much all my friends on social media, short of my extended family, are pretty much progressive (with a couple of libertarians hiding in there) so I've been lucky to not have to deal with any Trump supporter nonsense. That doesn't mean, however that there aren't wars and nasty messages going on all around me all the time. I am a Bernie supporter but I'm going to do what I must to make sure that Trump does not become President. I'm aware of Hillary's scandals and shady-ness of her and the DNC. Yeah it makes mad and it sucks to have to choose a lesser of two evils but that's the reality we live in.

I've thought of an analogy for it, or at least how I see it, that I think holds up...

You know that scene in Shaun of the Dead. When Shaun's mum dies from having been bitten by a zombie and now she can turn into a zombie at any minute. There is the heavyness of loss and sadness in the air but it is not long before David cocks the gun and is all "we've got to take care of her." Shaun gets understandably upset, as as they argue, and more people get involved it becomes about other things and not just the problem looming. Shit get's peosonal and our characters or not just screaming and flinging insults at eachother ("You're the one that's gone from being a chartered accountant to Charlton Heston!" "i'm not a chartered accountant" "Well you look like one!") it exaserbates into everyone all screaming at eachother and holding sharp objects to eachother's necks. Meanwhile the in background there's a subtle moaning as the zombie in Shaun's mum starts to rize.

I feel like this is where the left is at right now. People, whose intellegence I respect and people I love are on both sides of the to vote/to not vote for HRC. Emotions are understandibly high. There has been a loss (Bernie's nomination) that is deep felt and heavy. There's a lot of other shit going into the argument (questions of privilage, principle, cowardess, protest) but stakes are high as the reality is that a monster (Trump) will soon drastically change the dynamic of the room and yet all they can do is scream at eachother.

Eventually, Liz does what I want to do every damn day and screams "Everybody CALM THE FUCK DOWN!"

She tells Shaun that even thogh David is being a twat (as some HRC supporters have been) and that she can sympathize how hard this must be for him, the state of affairs are as such that David is right. Something has to be done to stop the monster that will destroy them all. It's terrible and downright reprehensible to have to shoot your mother in the face (vote for HRC) and it really sucks that you find yourself in the posision that you have to be the one to do it but it doesn't change the fact that it has to be done. You have to stop the moster.

Yes I equaded shooting one's mum in the face to voting HRC, which might seem like hyperbole, but for the Bernie or Bust people (or 3rd party person) on the left whose hatered for HRC is so stong, I believe that analogy is astute. I don't feel that strongly against her which is why the choice at hand is, sure dissapointing and nothing to get excited about, but clear. To other's it's as morally reprehensible as shooting thier mums in the face.

True to the analogy is the fact that shooting your mum in the face is not going to help the overall situation. You're still hold up in a pub with a comical number of Zombies outside, wanting to get at you. The status quo aint ideal. However you can't figure out how to get out of that situation if you're busy fighting of the zobie version of you mum trying to gnaw at your neck.  If you let the monster win, no one has a chance to get out alive.

In the movie Shaun's mum kind of hisses and he's able to pull the trigger right as she is about to attack. I hope that this is the case in November. I hope that although now were are all still fighting, screaming and pointing broken bottles and cork screws to eachothers' necks phase, come Election Day, those who don't want to do what they have have to do to fight the mosnster end up taking the shot. It's not right or fair that they're in this position, holding a gun to their mums face, but it's a posision that we are all in together at the end of the day. The moster is coming. The moster is real. the moster will eat us all if we let it.  

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Yet another spooky update

So today Andy and I went upstairs to put the table away that I had pulled down for QC (it's been sitting in the living roon for a while, lazyness). Now when we last went up there on Wednsday night we found the poster of Raye's sitting in the middle of the room, if you remember from my post earlier this week. That was the second time we had found it like that. We found it like that on Tuesday, put it back then on Wednesday discovered it was back in the center of the room again.

Here's a refresher of pretty much how we left the room the last time we were up there on Wednesday night (though this is a pic from Tuesday, it's pretty much the same).


So today when we went upstairs to return our table we discovered the room like this...



If you look at the two pictures as a before and after, you'll see that the other framed art was sitting behind that pile of boxes on the left of this first picture. You can see that the stool was stacked atop another stool on the right of the picture.

So yeah...Interesting.

We put the pictures away. We put them in a differnt place this time, we proped them up along a part of a bare wall facingout. We also tried an experiment I've been curious about trying for a while. Nothing may come of it but I have my typewriter up there. It's a vintage mechanical typewriter. We opened her up and put paper in there to see if anything happens. Nothing may come of it. I don't even know if I believe whatever is responsible for moving shit around and making noises is even capable of communication. But it's a fun experiment. We shall see if anything comes of it. 

Gardening update

Man I have been wanting to do a gardening update for a while. Things are going along pretty well.
We've harvested half of our beets. The green beans are starting to pruduce. The tomatoes have finally started to produce, but are a ways from being ready to harvest. Our carrots should be ready soon. The Zucchini is producing really well! The cucumbers are starting to produce too. The corn is looking really good. We have pollenated the stocks and should probably do so again soon.

Today I put a lot of effort into trimming the tree in the back yar, mowing the front and back yards, weeding in the garden, watering and I finally put some TLC into the flower bed. Here are some pics I took today to share how it's going...

The back yard & garden

The green beans are growing like crazy!


Artichoke and our corn (On the 4th of July we were at a BBQ and our friends who live in our neighborhood mentioned that they tried to grow corn last year but the birds kept getting at them. The next day saw me and Andy putting up netting around our corn to protect it.)


Brussel Sprouts, aphid problem seems curbed but it's still not ready to produce.


Zuchinni producing really well so far


Cucumber!


Beets (1/2 harvested)


Carrots


So that's the garden. Like I said though I also put some love into the sad flower bed in the front yard.

Flower bed before...sadly neglected.


Flowerbed after. We went to Swansons and picked up some new flowers to add. Happy flowerbed.


Also I've been taking picutres of some of the stuff we've harvested in the past few weeks. Check it..
Zuchinnis, bell petter, green beans and a test carrot. :)

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Spooky update

I have so much stuff that I need to update about and I've just been too darn busy.  I haven't done a garden update in ages it seems, and there are weekends, birthdays and drama not to mention a rant that's been percolating in my head.

However I do have to take a moment to log a spooky thing, as it's been a while, and I'm trying to be accurate and consistant with logging these things to see if there are any patternes.

So last night I was home and thought I heard a noise in the bathroom which was weird becasue Andy was outside smoking and both of the pets were in my sights in the living room. It sounded like a soft thump like when the cat jumps down from the counter but there was kitty in front of me curled in a ball on the floor, sleeping. When Andy came in from smoking I muted the TV and asked if he heard anything. He stood there for a minute and thought he heard kind of a soft grunt or something. He went into the bathroom, then the bedroom to investigate but found nothing weird. So he announced he was going upstairs.

As I've mentioned, we've got Raye storing her stuff upstairs right now and the whole time it has been up there things have appeared undisturbed until now. The last time I went up there was to get a table for QC the other week and the only thing that was off was that the door, which had been left open was half-closed. Everything else though was normal.

Last night we went upstairs to find Raye's poster positioned in the middle of the floor.



This poster was standing on its side, against some boxes and stuff. It was sitting picture side out, so it didn't just fall over in this position or it would have been face down. It seems unlikely to have fallen from the bottom end and into this position especially as it was sitting on the short side. I can't explain it. Yet another item deciding it belongs in the center of the room when we aren't looking.

Nothing else strange, apart from Sparky being locked in the bathroom when Andy came home on Monday. That's pobbilby the pets themselves though.

As for the state of the house, has been a mess but also been clean. Like it got messy but we spent last week steam cleaning and stuff.  Work has been kicking my ass, and I've been working late so it's gotten pretty messy this week. There is a lot of stress in the house. But usually our company helps decrease the stress in one other.

So yeah it's not much but worth noting.

**EDIT**
So it's now 7/21 and last night I worked late and came home. Andy had a bad day and was in a bad mood. We went out to dinner, which also turned out to be a clusterfuck as they were really slow with our food and when it came out it was cold. So we had to have it sent back and it came out a second time and some of it was still cold. Andy was at the point where you just have to laugh at the day for not giving him a break. So when we got home enegry was still pretty negative.

Shortly after we got home Andy headed to the kitchen to get a soda from the fridge and i went to the bathroom to pee. We both heard a thump-thump. To me it sounded like it could have been Andy like throwing an empty soda box into the recycling but I wasn't sure so I yelled "was that you?" He shouted back that it wasn't, saying he thought it was me and I was like "No, I'm on the can, that wasn't me."

So we looked around on the main floor but everything looked normal so we eventually went upstais. The door upstairs that we distinctly left wide open was closed but not latched closed. Andy pushed the door open and there it was again. The poster that we had put back just the night before was sitting in the middle of the room yet again.

Prone to the dramatic when he's in a mood Andy dropped the flashlight with an "oh fuck this shit" and we decided to leave things the way wthey were. We left the door open but we didn't bother putting the poster away this time. We just picked up the flashlight and went back downstairs.

So once again we were lured upstairs by a strange noise and we discovered Raye's poster placed in the center (with wise of the walking space of the room).

So I needed to log this and also note the energy around Andy at the time. If it's significant. There are other times when there is far less moody energy and shit happens. Can't seem to find a consistant pattern. 

Weekend update

I have to make this quick becasue I'm so teribly busy but i would be sad if I didn't update after having a pretty good weekend, actually all be it rather short.


QC
On Saturday we had a show at the Pocket Theater in Greenwood.



There are ups and downs for the Pocket shows. I love being in Greenwood becasue it's closer to home. We can party afterward. The shows are shorter and there is only one so the prep for it is a little more laid back. However I can't check ticket sales, until I get thee which might be for the better for my sanity so I'm not refreshing the list every 20 minutes and freaking out.

As it turned out, we had 33 tickets sold. (Woot!) The show was tight. We got the timing just right. The precious thing was delightfully strange (a little statue of a boy peeing). It was Ian's birthday weekend so we had a slide at the end to wish him a happy birthday and we had a big sing along for him. We also went out after the show for his birthday (though i didn't stay at the Baranoff becasue my mates wanted to go get food across the street at Northstar, my new favorite diner).













New do
On Sunday, Andy had up set an appointment for us to get haircuts with our barber. I don't know what came over me, I decided as I was falling asleep after a good night of QC so maybe I was just feeling confident or something, but I was ready for something new and different. So Sunday I asked for kind of a bob, with bangs and all. I haven't had bangs since I was a sophomore in high school so...1998? After I got my haircut we went to do some shopping at Fred Myer and even though i knew it was kinda against my better judgement I bought hair color. I know I said "never again" but also since we moved from Magnolia I haven't really had a regular colorist. Groupons have come and gone for cheap colorings but they never seem in a convienent neighborhood for bussing and it just seems like such a hassle. This is why I've fallen into learning why my natural hair color is...and it's boring. So, though at the moment it's a bit loud, I am a red head again.


New haircut                                                            New color

Gardening Update

We've been having a case of June-uary as per usual. There has been a lot of rain, low temperatures and sporatic bouts of sunlight. Though we haven't had to water the garden ourselves much, it has impeded production and caused some problems.

When I was on the bus taking Tiff to our place for the first time during our visit I texted Andy to let him know we were on our way and I got a text back saying 'I'll be in the back yard, gardening emergency" Tiff and i had a laugh becasue we couldn't wrap our heads around it and come up with what a "gardening emergency" could possibly be. Turns out an aphid infestaion is, indeed, a gardening emergency. The cold, wet weather had produced an infestion of a particular kind of aphid (I don't remember what kind) on our brussel sprouts. It was wried they sucked the moisture out of the leaves to make them curl up and when you opened the curl it looked like mold but was in fact thousands of little grey aphids. Gross. So Andy went to Swansons (the awesome Nursery down the road) and got some kind of oil to spray on the plants that the aphis dont like. he also got more lady bugs to put on the plants and he got this praying mantis egg sac. Supposidly we place it in the garden and in a few weeks we get 300 baby praying mantises. Scary! They haven't hatched yet. I have mixed feelings about when they do.

We've got production going strong on the green bell peppers. We had a couple of brocolinis sprount but they went to flower before we picked them because, clearly this is a learning experience and we don't know what we are doing. We weren't sure if it was time to pick them yet or if they were going to get bigger. The zuchinni has started to flower. We have some beats that are doing really well. The beans have climbed up the fence but are just starting to produce a couple of buds and the the corn is growing nicely, it's bigger than the fence now. The cucumbers have stalled, the tomatoes are barely hanging on in this cold and the burssel sprouts have yet to turn to stocks and no stocks in the artichoke yet either (I'm worried we didn't geive the menough space). And something still keeps eating the strawberries, but maybe it's an offereing that keeps the mystery vermin away from the other plants so I'm not too bothered.



Corn


Artichoke & beans


Our poor brussel sprouts HANG IN THERE!

Cucumbers (back) and zuchinni (front)


Beets!


Carrots

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Commencement Weekend
So this past weekend was commencement at the day job. It was exhausting and, for the first time this year, quite irksome for some reason There are so many stories, so many annoyances, so many things that bothered me. I don't want to go into the in and outs of it, because this is not the forum to talk about it. All in all I think I did a good job in my roles and put forth the effort and was a team player despite thing getting on my tits and my feet hurting from too many days in heels. On the plus side, the event itself went off without a hitch and I got to enjoy a pretty view of the city from the private floor of the Space needle on Friday at the pre-commencment dinner.







Sam's Birthday
After commencement was over I went home for a quick change and Andy and I went down to Renton for Samuel's birthday gathering. We couldn't stay too long for a handfull of reasons, one being me being exhaused and not up for pub crawling after 3 days of being on my feet in heels, not to mention being on the side of broke afte buying Decendents tickets. We stuck around for the gathering at Chez Sam though and saw the opening of prezzies and the surprise birthday cake. Even though we didn't stay long I was glad I got to wish Sam a happy birthday and also got to hug Raye after the good news that the first step in getting Rob over here had been approved!


Sam and cake.

Spooky Shit
So this gets logged under spooky shit, however it's the most adorable spooky shit to date. When we got home from Sam's we discovered a little surprise waiting for us in our bathtub.

Sitting directly in the center of our tub, in the center of one of the little grippy designs was one of my rubber ducks. It usually lives, just for display, on the top self of one of those wire corner shelf units for bathtubs. It's not impossible that kitty could have knocked it off, but highly unlikely that kitty could get up there without pulling the whole structure down. Plus the other rubber duck that lives up there was undisturbed. So yeah, it was really cute to find the little pink duck looking up at us. Nice trick, spooky house. Well played. I'd like more of this, less scary banging in the middle of the night.

**EDIT**
An hour or so after I posted this I was in the shower when I was startled with three knocks on the window right behind me. I screamed, then yelled and called Andy an asshole, figuing it was him outside trying to scare me. It was not Andy. There's so mush brush and bamboo outside that window, which is also so high, it would be difficult for him to do so form outside. I mean maybe it could have been a rat or something outside but it sounded like three quick knocks. I don't know. If it is a spooky thing. Not cool man, not cool. 

Can't fix stupid

So here's the Facebook argument I memtioned in yesterday's rant. I tried to copy and paste but LJ said that the post was too large to go through. So I had to take the screencap route. I guess I include this for memory's sake in the future or maybe to enlighten any non US friend (hi Karen!) on how frustrating this argument is. How deaf to logic and facts these people are and how shitty they are at choosing objective sources to back up their claims.

I'm picking up the argument where I came in. I do reply to what the guy is saying and use quotes of his. however, I'm not going to include the conversations that he's having with others where he puts forth all these asinine points of view.

FB ArgumentCollapse )

Would you look at that. The "sources" that he produced were ALL conservitive pro-gun blogs. Not what I would call objective sources. I'm not sure you can tell becasue it's from an image so you can't click on the links but I provided links to articles from the Guardian and The Washington Post. I made I point to only point to reptutible news outlets. I have one link to a study that was done by a gun-control advocasy group and I made a point to point that out in an effort to make another point about how the NRA has lobbied to keep the CDC from studying gun violence. I have to say it here becasue, otherwise, I'll find myself joining the thread again to point this out to him. I mean, he used Reddit as a sourse to back up his claims!!! Reddit! In the dark corners of Reddit you could use what someone says to back up anything! I'm sure you can use it to say that women aren't human beings or that aliens live under the Denver airport! But of course if I were to point out that, if this were a high school debate team the teacher would tell him to go back and find more objective source material, he would counter about there being a 'Liberal Media bias' and and that that the facts I presented are the product of a liberal bias. He even says that you can throw out enough data to support anything. This is why we live in a dystopian future. This is why I get depressed. People don't understand fact from editorial anymore, opinions are paraded as news or as intrinsically valid. Yes everyone is entitled to opinions, but that doesn't mean your options are inherently right. Your options can be called out for being misinformed or WRONG.

I know that these people, mcuh like the homophobe who committed this terrible act, are on the wrong side of history. I'm just concerned how long it will take for our country, and how much self destruction it will take, for this country to get where the rest of the civilized world is on this issue. 

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