Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I am loving...

California. Seriously. It is great. Last week, Matt and I went hiking several times. The first time, it was a very strenuous hike, and I didn't bring my camera, so, no pictures. Sorry! Although, it is probably for the best since I was very, very sweaty and worn out on that hike. The second hike I brought my camera. Can I just say that the wildflowers are so beautiful this time of year? I love it!!!

Here's a mountain stream that we happened upon: 

And I climbed up there :)
The trail:
Which path did we take? The left one. Although, it is actually a loop, but we didn't quite complete the whole thing that day. Maybe another day...
Beautiful flowers, in bloom everywhere on the mountain:
We climbed up to the top, and this is what we saw:
If you squint, in the background you can see the LA skyline. It was a little hazy, so Matt and I plan on making this hike on a day after it rains. Hmmm...it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Maybe we'll take a quick trip up there :)
We also got acquainted with the local wildlife while we hiked.
Yes, that is a rattlesnake, right across our path. We gave it a wide berth.

And, if you look closely, you can see the ever-present lizard, chilling in his hole. He was not concerned about us being near him. He was just enjoying the sunshine.
We had an awesome time hiking, met a friend (who we saved from the rattlesnake) and really enjoyed ourselves. I can see us doing this a whole lot more often.

On another note, I got a dresser. For free. I was complaining about the lack of storage in our closet yesterday and Matt recommended going on Craigslist to find a dresser or something. Well, as we drove down our little street, we noticed a free dresser alongside the road. So...we picked it up, brought it back, spraypainted it, and now it is in my bedroom. It is a little dresser, but it looks nice in there. NOw, if I can just be assured that there are not any more spiders inside it... ;)

Well, I'll keep you updated on our house. Hopefully we'll be closing on the 9th. Wish us luck!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

I don't have terribly exciting pictures...

...of our afternoon, but here's the rundown. Matt got off work early today (thank goodness for paid time off!) and we headed down to Burbank. Matt's friend hooked us up with VIP tickets to see the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I've never been to a taping before, and Leno was a cool one to watch. For one thing, it is actually filmed "live." Of course, it isn't shown live, but there's actually breaks for commercials, and there are no second takes. Very cool. So, we weren't there for hours having to laugh at the same jokes over and over, like with a sit-com. For another thing, Matt and I got front row seats.  I was utterly amazed when the NBC page sat us down in the seats closest to the stage. You know, the one where Leno does his monologue. Yeah, that one. When he first came out, we got to storm the stage, and he shook Matt's hand (along with a bunch of other people's). He didn't shake mine, passed right over me, but that's ok. I think it's weird that people want to touch famous people. Like it will rub off on you, or something... Anyways, the monologue was great. Sitting right there in the front was awesome. Of course, there are no photos, but I'm sure if you watch the video (on Hulu or something like that) you'll see me and Matt, right there. The music was great, the guests were funny. All in all, a great time. I did take a couple pictures, but not until we were driving around after the show, trying to find something to eat.
Here's the NBC studio sign, just to prove that we were there :)

And the show was filmed in this big, non-descript building--Studio 11.

Then, as we were driving around, we passed Disney Studios in Burbank.

Look closely at the fence posts. Cute, huh?

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the big building on the Disney lot. It has the 7 dwarves on the side of the building, looking like they are holding it up, or something.

And, finally, something that caught my eye:

Just look at all the nails and staples and screws are in this light pole. Wow, huh? Pretty popular corner, I guess. How many years did it take, do you think? Or did this just happen in like a month? Hmmm...

Anyways, we drove around a bit, then decided to head over to the mall to find something to eat. We ate at an Indian restaurant, and had a great discussion on the spiciness of Indian food. Not necessarily hot spices, just the diversity. Then, we drove home, just as the sun was setting and dusk was settling in. Beautiful evening. Just perfect.

Don't forget that the Vernal Equinox happens tomorrow. Equal amounts of light and dark. Only happens twice a year, you know?

Well, I'm about ready to head to bed. Goodnight, all :)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

It is Official!!!

You are now reading the blog of a California resident. Yep, that's right. I braved the DMV today (so glad that I had an appointment) and two-and-a-half hours later, I am in the possession of a temporary California driver's license, along with registration for the truck. Let me just say that it was a MADHOUSE at the DMV. The wait time, just to be seen by someone, after you got through the line of about 40 people, was 2 hours. Well, since I had an appt., I skipped that line and got my number in a few minutes. Then, it was about 20 minutes for my number to be called. But, since I had driver's license, as well as registration to do, just wading through the paperwork and waiting in other lines took quite a while. For once in my life I was completely prepared with all my papers when I got to the DMV. That totally saved me. I watched the employees have disputes and shouting matches with customers. I saw people get really upset. I even saw (after it happened) a woman fall off the curb and hurt herself. I told you it was a madhouse! But, you attract more with honey than vinegar, and I just remained very calm and pleasant when dealing with the workers, and they were polite back. Also, I had to take the driver's license test: 36 questions. I could miss 6. I got a perfect score :) I did have some last minute study help with my fellow line holders. That was my saving grace.

Anyways. I never thought it would happen. But now it is happening very quickly. Can't be mistaken for an out-of-stater, now. I am a resident :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Earthquakes

So, did you hear about the earthquake this morning at 4am in LA? Well, I heard about it...at about 6am. Yeah, I slept right through it. Matt THINKS he woke up to it, heard the lamp moving or something. But, he's not sure. Nothing fell off shelves in our little place. Nothing broken. Pretty anticlimactic. I don't even think I can count it as my first earthquake, since I slept through it. Oh, well. There will be plenty more, I'm sure. I found out that our new house (see previous blog) is near a fault line. So, that might be fun...

Anyways, speaking of our house, I'm going to get an estimate on getting the piping redone for the whole house. Should be interesting to hear what they would charge. Maybe we can get the sellers to help us out on that. It shouldn't be too much, considering there IS a crawlspace. We were also going to get a camera down the sewer line to see if there was any problems. Only thing is, we found out that the house is on a septic system. We think. We're still finding out. So, I'm going to cancel the camera for now. And someone might be calling me to give an estimate on hooking up the house to sewer. Which is available.

One bright thing, though. Verizon Fios is available at the house! Yeah! No more Time Warner Cable. I'm ready to have Fios back. And the internet speed will be even faster than in Virginia.

Well, I guess I should get ready for the day. Lots to do. Who cares if I still feel like crap? I need to mail off my Virginia license application, be at the house ready for the inspectors, get the laundry done, shower, man. Big list today, huh?

Talk to you later,

Monday, March 15, 2010

For Kristin

Ok, Kristin. Here it is. For everyone else, this is a really boring video (unless you are learning how to crochet, that is) that I made on how to make a scarf. My friend Kristin has been wanting to know for a long time. Well, here it is :)



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our {NEW} Home

Or soon to be :) For all of you out there who don't know (and there's probably quite a few who don't. Sorry about that. This last week has been super busy and I haven't made all the phone calls that I wanted to) Matt and I have been house hunting. Yep, that's right. While our house in Virginia is in Escrow (where we basically sit around and wait for 30 days to turn ownership over to the new owners, and all the paperwork gets done) we decided to dabble. Look around a bit. See what there was out there. And, guess what. On our second excursion, we found a house that we liked. Really liked. Not the newest house on the block. But the house with the most potential. And, mainly just cosmetic fixes, that we could see (we would have to wait until the home inspector gave us his verdict [more about that later]). Anyways, we liked this house. So...we made an offer on it. The offer was made on Thursday, and we didn't want the sellers to go putting on open houses to get more offers, so we said we wanted an answer on Saturday. Well, Saturday came and went, and we didn't have an answer. Monday came, and our agent called me and said that they wanted an extension. If we didn't give it to them, our offer would be void, and we would possibly have to put in another offer. The owners are just trustees, and they live out of state. The woman who owned the house passed away, and now they are selling the house. We figured they were just dragging their feet, waiting for a better offer. We had offered $15,000 lower than asking price, which we figured they would counter with a higher number. Well, on Wednesday, we finally heard---we were getting the house. Of course there were stipulations, but there always are. So....our closing date will be April 10th. Can you believe it? I certainly can't. It doesn't quite seem real yet. Our landlords are awesome. They don't think they'll have a problem getting someone in here, and they are quite happy for us. Excited, in fact {when I say awesome, I mean REALLY awesome!}. Well, if you made it through all of that, here's what you've been waiting for: pictures.

The front of the house. There's a garage, and a circular driveway.
The living room, right when you come in. Notice the fireplace (we'll have to get it checked out if we want to use it, but I think it's cool.)
Above: The kitchen and dining area. Yes, that oven is original, and it still works! :)

There's a sunroom, that's right off the dining/kitchen:
There's three bedrooms, two bathrooms. Here's the guest bedroom.
And the guest bathroom:
And wait, what's that just to the right? Yes, that is a shower door, that leads to...
The shower, which leads to....
The other bathroom. In the master bedroom:
And then there's the third bedroom, which is a huge, long room. We'll probably use it for a media room. We're thinking: Movie Theater. What do you think?
And that's about it for the inside. I don't have pictures of the little 1/2 bath or the laundry room, or the garage for that matter. But here are some pictures of the outside:

And there it is. Our {soon to be} house. It is all happening really fast, and I hope it continues that way. We had the home inspection on Saturday, and it went as well as can be expected. Some issues: the roof on the sunroom needs fixing. The pipes are old (aka original) and need replacing. There are some safety issues, like no smoke detectors. And the garage needs a fire door. But, all in all, it is in pretty good shape. At least it is not on a slab--there's a crawl space!! We're excited about that, because it makes our job a LOT easier. AND there's an attic over the whole house! Upgrading the wiring will be so much easier :)

Well, thanks for having a peek. I'll try to keep you updated as to the progress. Our house in VA should close on the 22nd of March. And then our loan for the new house can really get rolling!