25 January, 2010

State of the Moose at the End of January

My new mortgage servicing company has made a fine festuche of the escrow statement on my PMI as I moved over to them. Sent them a doc on 12/10/09 to have them correct the error (they somehow assumed I wasn’t going to pay the PMI that was on the bill for December and January, despite never being late with a payment?!?!). Called today because the February bill shows an increase (which was threatened in the incorrect escrow statement) to collect the “missing” PMI. They did indeed get my letter via fax on the 10th, but no one ever bothered to send it to the escrow department to have the thing fixed. Oy. So, step one was having that happen today, and I’ll call to bug them in a week. In the meantime I have to pay the bill with the extra $17 and change on it and then deal later with getting that somehow credited to a future bill or to principle. Right. It’s not a ton of money, but frankly I don’t want to pay them a penny more than I owe them. I have little faith in this new company so far, though the reps I’ve spoken to in the two months I’ve had them have been fairly pleasant to deal with.

Oh, and my favorite part of dealing with them? For the first time since about my third mortgage payment back in 2006 I’m paying my mortgage via check. Why? Because they want to charge me to make the payment online, in an amount that adds about 1% to the bill. No thanks, I’ll happily pay the USPS to deliver it instead. Dingbats.

And there’s some question why people dislike financial institutions?

Anyway. Other than that, training is going okay. My foot began to bother me a little at the end of last week, but several nights of sleeping in the brace has staved off the ever-possible plantar fasciitis. Went absolutely nuts in making soup last week, so I have gobs of the stuff in freezer bags now for easy meals later (whip up some fresh rice and heat up the soup, voila, homemade meal in no time). Curried split pea soup and African bean soup (also slightly curried, but with peanut butter in the broth – yum). Mood is much elevated thanks to regular exercise again.

Mike is looking at condos in Beantown these days. It’s been fun to watch the excitement and apprehension that goes along with that process. In a lot of ways I wish I were up there to look at places with him and watch the possibilities unfold. I did have to admit to him that I was a bit apprehensive when he first said that he was going to buy rather than rent when he moved this spring (it does make the long-distance aspect of the relationship a bit more, well, lasting for the near future), but spitting it out and talking about it with him released that anxiety. Yes, we’ll be traveling back and forth for a while to come, but I think he’s worth it.

Work has been hellacious as we move toward budget hearing time with the President’s budget coming out on Monday. Today was spent going over mind-numbing anticipatory questions and answers (the programs guessing what the Hill is going to ask us, and then answering said questions). On the one hand it’s a good picture of the overall direction of the BGA. On the other, it’s tedious and time-consuming, and one gets tired of correcting grammar and statutory reference mistakes. Eh, as long as they keep paying me. Though I do look forward to getting the ad out on the street for the other appropriations attorney position we’re supposed to be putting out. Soon. I hope. (Help!)

NTP is in full start-up mode. The newbies register on Wednesday and then the fun begins. I have two docs to edit up this week, and then we’re good to get started.

Been thinking a lot about decorating, again. Mainly paint and some minor things around the apartment. It’s been 4 years-ish since I moved in and I’ve not painted a thing. Whoops. I did come up with an idea for the color (though not the exact shade) for the bedroom this afternoon. Looked around when I got home and I think it’ll work. Not saying much past that, but I’m hopeful. Need to find someplace to do some framing for me, too (oooh, and there’s an idea for the front hall. Hmmm…). Anyway, it’s a slow process (re: 4 years, no paint), but is good to get some more concrete ideas. Oh, and cleaning out of closets will happen shortly. Lots to do, lots to do.

28 July, 2009

Back Into It

Category: Biking,Body,Exercise,Food,Government,Running,Stress,Swimming,Work — Moose @ 9:17 pm

Training, that is. Ran and swam yesterday, biked this morning, running a long run tomorrow. Definitely feeling it tonight; almost didn’t do laundry as planned, but managed to get off my butt and get it done (yay for clean sheets). It’s a good kind of tired though – good, honest physical exhaustion from exercise.

Work’s nuts, which seems par for the course these days. I wonder if all political transitions are this crazy or if the economy being in the crapper has substantially added to it. I’d prefer not to find out for a while. What would be nice is to stop stress eating (why couldn’t I be one of those people who can’t eat when they get stressed instead of the opposite? silly body).

Long run planned for the morning, first in a while. Was prepping things for it tonight (water bottle, etc.) and I think I need to hit Conte’s or the like and pick up nutrition this weekend – down to two gels and two things of shot blocks. Not enough to make it through training or the two races, by a long shot.

21 June, 2009

Relaxed, Finally

Category: Dancing,Drinks,Food,Friends,Leisure,Mood,Stress,Work — Moose @ 4:16 pm

Been loving being here in the bay area the past two days. I’ve worked on my tolerance for beer, wandered around in town, run into friends on the street, and gotten to meet several folks I know, at least one for the first time. Went dancing last night at the local every-other-week bear get-together. Stayed out late yesterday. Crashed early Friday. Eaten lots and lots of good, inexpensive dim sum.

And I can tell I’ve relaxed considerably because I actually have fingernails and cuticles again (I tend to chew them off when I’m stressed, and so they’ve not much been in evidence lately as they’ve been thoroughly taken down at work). Precisely what I’ve needed, and while I’m looking forward to the retreat this week, I’m also very much looking forward to seeing more friends the week after.

11 June, 2009

So Tired

Category: Health,Leisure,Mood,Queer,Racing,Stress,Travel,Work — Moose @ 6:35 pm

I think the theme of this past week has been “yes, I’m incredibly tired and I’m so, so, so, so, so, so ready to go on vacation now, thankyouverymuch.” It’s been difficult to motivate myself to do much of anything.

Sort-of prepped for a 10k on Saturday, then likely planning to go watch the parade Saturday evening, and perhaps find myself out and about somewhere later that evening. Sunday is of course the festival, and I plan to go down and try not to get too sunburnt.

Also more than a wee bit tired of the daily thunderstorms now. With one exception they’ve all been in the evening this past week so have (theoretically) not interfered with my workouts, but I’m still a bit tired of the light shows and the wet. And the accompanying humidity. Not that we shouldn’t expect 198% humidity in DC in June, but still.

Gotten my stuff together, mostly, for California next week. I’m set for a ride to Wildwood, have made a couple plans to see folks, but will need to be making calls & dropping notes this upcoming week to try and set a few more things up. Looking forward to the Tut exhibit at the De Young, and the zoo, and yarn shopping. And, most of all, just not being at work for two full weeks. I need the down time from it or I’m going to seriously go nuts. I’m very, very glad I planned this trip and got it approved back in December, because it’s coming at a perfect time to get the heck out of Dodge.

9 May, 2009

Family Visit

Category: Body,Dating,Driving,Family,Health,Shopping,Stress,Stuff,Triathlon — Moose @ 7:25 pm

What is it about traveling that always throws my system off? My hands are covered in eczema from something, likely the stress of travel and not drinking nearly enough water. Driving a ton more today, down to North Carolina to visit my grandparents and back, probably didn’t help any.

The family is doing okay, and it’s been a pleasant visit all told. My brother didn’t make it down with the younger two nieces, but I did get to see the eldest niece and give her a hard time (as well as an antique pendant for her birthday). Picked up a set of mid-century import china I’ve had my eyes on for the past 3-4 years now (dragons!), and I’m also hauling back a mounted set of moose antlers from my grandfather (a moose he evidently hunted himself in Canada some many, many years ago). Where I’m going to hang the antlers is a whole other question, but at least they fit in the back of the mini to haul back to DC. Going to have to figure out how to clean and preserve them, too – they’re a tad dusty and dry from years in an attic.

Managed to avoid having to plant walnut trees by delaying the trip until mother’s day. Sneaky, but smart. Though I’ve also missed the last good weekend to get in long training before the race next Sunday. So, I’ll just have to wing it on the 17th. I know how to do it, I know I can do all three events separately, and I’ve done this race before, so I’ll finish, but it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Had some fun on the dating front, but I’m not going into it yet. Too early to tell where it’s going, if anywhere, so aside from noting that something is happening, I’m going to leave it at that.

19 April, 2009

Catching Up/Change

A mixed weekend for me. Had a big club event on Saturday where a lot of our newbies got to get out on a ride with the rest of the club and get in some social time. Today I let a guy I’ve been seeing for a couple of weeks know that it wasn’t working and I didn’t want to go out again.

The ride and run on Saturday went pretty good for me personally. I won’t be as fast as last year on this course, but I’m going to be able to do it, and that’s the important part. The base is coming, and I’ll be well set up for the other two races I’m signed up for this season. So I was pleased with how that went, exercise-wise, even past the social aspects, which were also good. I wore my ultilikilt out to the site, and it was quite a hit, getting a lot of positive comments (and a lot of inquiries if I was going to ride that way). Fun times.

The dating just wasn’t working out. He’s a good guy, but not what I’m looking for in the final weighing of things. And even knowing it wasn’t a good match, it’s still difficult to cut things off (“change is stress”).

Got to see NRJTM this afternoon for lunch outside in the glorious weather we had for most of the weekend, as well as some shopping to pick up some sundries. Caught up with some friends online after that, and headed to a late dinner now with a friend who’s just moving back to DC after a west coast hiatus. Will be good to see him and meet his new bf.

8 April, 2009

Just Stop It

Category: Annoyances,Health,Racing,Stress,Weather,Work — Moose @ 7:33 am

Dear weather, it’s April, I shouldn’t need to turn my heat on. Stop it.

Dear sinuses, I don’t have time for a cold. Stop it.

Dear allergy meds, you’re not supposed to fail me in the middle of allergy season. Stop it.

Dear work, I don’t have time to get to all the things you keep throwing my way. Stop it.

Dear upcoming race, I’m not ready for you and you’re approaching too quickly. Stop it.

Dear life in general, the whole minor annoyances thing? It’s not working for me. Stop it.

25 March, 2009

Busy Moose/Dating on the Brain

Haven’t made time to write because I’m either getting home & being a total veg because I’m wiped out from the work day or I’m going out to see friends or maybe even a date or two. Work continues to roll along at a crazy pace. I’ve given myself a big assignment that I’ve not been able to start yet because of other fires that keep popping up. It’s needed, but finding time is a challenge.

Training is almost non-existent at this point. I’m swimming, but with the colder temps I’ve not gotten out to bike in the mornings and I’m unmotivated to haul the trainer back out. It’s not supposed to be this bloody cold in late Smarch in DC, damn it.

Much has also been on my mind about dating and the extent to which one compromises versus standing firm. After BC there are some things I consider to be vital to my well being which are not precisely the norm (Body Electric comes to mind), and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about those things and how and when to introduce them. With a couple guys I can tell there are distict differences in relationship styles that I don’t think will ultimately be compatible. And how does one express that and not sound cliché?

11 March, 2009

Continuing Apace

The cult co-op’s annual meeting wasn’t so bad. The usual suspects got up and spouted their insanties, and we got through it without a lot of other nonsense. Of course, they started half an hour late, and we barely had quorum, but hey. I did finish a baby sock, got back to the apartment all excited about it, only to realize that when I did the first one I must’ve skipped a step (a few plain knitted rows) because the original is much shorter in the leg than the one I just finished. Crap. I so fail at reading directions sometimes. So much for giving the co-worker with the new baby a pair of baby socks next week.

Did manage to sleep fairly well last night, bourbon notwithstanding. I think it helped that it was a nice, calm, peaceful night out chatting calmly with a charming gentleman in a not-too-obnoxious bar. After we left the one that was doing drag bingo, that is.

I get to skip work entirely tomorrow in favor of my one (one) professional development activity for the year – the annual approps law update over in the legislative branch. Huzzah. Then it’s work HH, followed by club HH. I’ll have to pace myself. And drink lots of water. And take taxis. But since I am working on Friday, I’ll definitely behave as hangovers at work are teh suxors. It’s not like I’ve been bad lately anyway, as evidenced by my surprisingly higher than ever before in my ten years as a fed sick leave balance. I keep this up I might get to a higher sick leave balance than my annual leave balance, which would be a definite plus since it means I could start using sick leave for doctor’s appointments instead of annual leave, and save the “good stuff” for real vacations like this June’s.

10 March, 2009

Time Keeps On Slipping

Category: Dating,Habits,Home,Sleep,Stress,Work — Moose @ 7:19 pm

Holy shit, it’s Tuesday evening. As in “it’s already Tuesday evening,” and also “is it only Tuesday?” all in one. The time change threw my already precarious balance with sleep and the morning meetings completely off. Add to that a host of “too much work-itis” and you have a mix that’s just been more than a bit nuts. Oh, and social and cult/co-op obligations most of the week as well.

I fully expect my candle to be completely burnt out by Saturday evening.

I will cut my participation in the cult thing short tomorrow if I still find myself in need of sleep. Won’t be able to keep functioning otherwise, and frankly I despise those things and would like as little to do with the process as possible. The folks who are most vocal at these things are batshit-crazy and best avoided under normal circumstances. And then they wonder why they can’t get more participation. Despite the advantages of desk service and on-call maintenance, it is enough to drive one away from communal living arrangements.

The boy bingo has been interesting. Did confirm something based on a friend’s post from day or so ago – I have no tolerance for the folks who lie about their age online. I’m not talking about “oops, had a birthday a month ago and forgot to update,” but rather the deliberate attempt to blur one’s identity by moving up or (more likely) down in age in some vain attempt to make one look more attractive. The last few times I’ve run across that it hasn’t been a pleasant thing, and it engenders a sense of distrust in the person and who they ultimately are under their public persona.