Saturday, September 15, 2012

Time is collapsing in on itself

Is it a black hole when time magically compresses itself? There must be one nearby, then .. and I wish it would visit my apartment and save me the work of packing!

  • In April a job was posted at my company that I knew I could do and thought I wouldn't hate.
  • In May I applied and told my company that much of my motivation was that I'd be moving to Portland by the end of the year and couldn't do my current job remotely. While I'd been hoping to return to Portland from the moment I left, this was my first real step in making it happen.
  • In June I learned an external candidate got the job but was assured they'd figure something out for me.
  • In July I learned a slot had been added for me on the team to which I had applied. I also let them know that I was changing my move date from the rather vague "end of year" to end of September. Suddenly time was of the essence; my current job got posted while I was on vacation.
  • In August I learned who was applying for my current job.
  • In September my boss interviewed and selected and should be announcing my replacement next week.
Suddenly I realize that the next time I'm at work, I'll have seven days left in the office. Two weeks from now the move will be behind me and my stuff should be in storage.

Honestly, my head is a bit spinny now!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Someone bought "my" house!

Dangit. Remember how I was playing it cool and not REALLY stalking any specific house? Well, I lied. There was one I was pretty interested in, with a 95 walk score and 1.5 miles from my three friends. It was listed in my price range and had been on the market just over 100 days - and as of last night, it's pending!!!

Ah well. That means I have time and don't have to spring into action the second I arrive in Portland. It gives me more time to save money - renting from my friend for a few months is going to help a lot in that department! It looks like I'll be able to save as much as half of my take-home pay every month I'm with my friend, if I'm pretty stringent. I suppose I might tour a few houses when I get up there, but I haven't seen any other house quite as interesting as that one. One of my friends assured me there will always be more houses - I am sure he's right.

In other news I've been a packing fiend (or at least I was over the weekend). I think I'm doing a good job - I winnowed my games and actually threw out some photo albums. I also recycled all my papers from grad school, and a pile of really not-very-good college poetry. In the unlikely event I have a biographer..well, he or she will have to work a bit harder now!

It's really weird to pack all my stuff with no idea when or where I'll see it again. I'm going to rent a storage unit and can visit it to retrieve things, but that's not likely to happen much. I'm going to have my clothes, work files, and a few kitchen things at my new space (namely my food processor and KitchenAid mixer). Everything else: see ya eventually!

I feel pretty sure I'll be doing even more weeding on that fine fine day I unpack.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I'm using for house shopping

Since I haven't yet moved (and don't get me started on the process of packing...), I'm doing some long-distance online house shopping, mostly to get a feel for the market*.

I've got three different apps loaded on my iPod touch: redfin,, and zillow. I'm using the favorites feature in both redfin and, which helps me keep track of different houses. I also like that I can tell it to NOT show certain houses, so I'm not revisiting listings for houses I've discounted (because they need too much work, usually).

Once I've found a house I'm curious about, I use Google maps to zoom in closely to check out the neighborhood, yards, and surrounding houses. Then I use street view to "walk" up and down the street a little (and as a bonus, I think I found a sour cherry tree near one house! I'm definitely planning to do some walkbys in the spring/early summer to see about harvesting some cherries). Anyway, cruising through the neighborhoods is kind of fun and gives me a small feel for the area.

Finally, I use to assess the general area. I currently live in an apartment that gets a 91 (walker's paradise) and I really love that I can spend an indefinite period of time in my 'hood without having to drive. Right now I can walk to the grocery store and library, and there are at least 20 restaurants and four coffee shops nearby - and a yarn store, post office, and movie theater! I can't hope to afford to buy something in such a great neighborhood in Portland, but I DO want to have at least a couple coffee shops and restaurants nearby, and would prefer to have a grocery store within a half-mile if possible.

A personal factor is that I have three friends who live quite near each other in one part of town: two houses within a block of each other, and a third person less than a half-mile from the first two. I currently live walking distance from four friends and would like to have something like that in my new life too. I really do want it all!

So, my criteria are: price, location, and condition - like every other buyer in the world, I know!

* Oh, fine, I'm not really "getting a feel for the market" I'm totally torturing myself by stalking certain houses...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Calendar: September

My September calendar shot is another one from last summer's trip to Greece, and it's not the last time pictures from that trip will be featured this year! What can I say, but that Greece is extremely photogenic.

I took this picture on the Acropolis, but I can't say for certain which building it's attached to! I can picture where I was standing when I took the picture, and I think that this is a column on the Erechtheion, more famous for its Porch of the Caryatids. You can see that the part below the curve has been better protected from the elements, but it's mind-boggling to think that this was created over two thousand four hundred years ago.