Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Few Things I'm Enjoying...

Totally ripping this idea off from the lovely ErinPatricia, because I have nothing else to blog about. Here are some things i'm currently enjoying:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

House Hunting!

For the past few months, Jason and I have casually discussed buying a house together. Obviously, this is the best time to buy a house right now with interest rates and overall prices at an all-time low. This past week, we've discussed it in a lot more detail and yesterday we really began the initial stages of house hunting.

Right now we rent, basically throwing away $650 each month, money which we could be using to pay a mortgage on a house we own instead of just borrow. Last night we calculated different loan/interest rates/down-payment options online and found that for homes in our price range, our monthly payments would be anywhere from $400 - $600/month! We found a list of foreclosed homes in our area as well as other houses we were interested in from different realtor's websites and went out driving around. We found two we absolutely loved and a few more that we want to tour.

As I know next to nothing about owning my own house and how to go about the process, i've been reading different articles and researching online most of the day, trying to inform myself. There is so much information out there and so many different options to pursue. Fortunately, my sister's fiance's step-mom is a realtor, so we have someone close to answer our questions.

Like I said, we are just in the initial stages right now, but we are both committed to the idea and if a good opportunity comes along, we will definitely jump on it! The next steps are to keep looking to get a feel for what is out there on the market and to meet with my bank to discuss loan options. Since Jason and I arn't married (yet!) the house will most likely be in my name as I have the better credit score. We definitely want something not too old with at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a decent sized yard. Also, we'd prefer a basement, but that's not a necessity, Jason just wants somewhere to party. LOL. For all those friends in the Richmond area, keep your eyes peeled for us!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yay Jason!

I just wanted to take a moment and let my bebe know how proud I am of him. It has been almost 3 months since Jason quit smoking. He did it cold turkey and when I say he quit smoking, I mean he QUIT smoking. Actually, it was more of him kicking smoking in the ass and throwing it out the door packing. He just decided one day that he was done with it, smoked the rest of his current pack and never bought another one. He hasn't had a single cigarette since that day.

It was amazing watching him quit. He claims he barely had any cravings, minus one night when we were drinking, and wasn't moody or irritable at all. He said a lot of it being so easy had to do with the fact that I didn't smoke and we spend so much time around each other...but seriously, this man has amazing will-power. Also, he just decided it was time to start paying attention to his overall health and well-being.

I just wanted to let everyone know how well Jason was doing with the quitting process and to remind him again how proud I am of him. For those of you that don't know, I'm extremely anti-smoking, almost to the point of being a bit militant about it. It's just so funny now to watch Jason react to the disgusting smell of cigarette smoke the way I do and to hear him complain about his clothes stinking after being around people smoking. But anyhoo, great job Jason and I love you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hi, my name is Erin and i'm a work-a-holic.

So I currently have 4 part-time jobs. LOL. I know, crazy me. But this past January, those ever pesky student loan payments kicked in and I have a boyfriend who has a very seasonal-type job. When Jason makes money, he makes GREAT money. But when work is slow, he makes next to nothing, and all that goes to his child support. So i'm by far the "breadwinner" of the family, paying the majority of the bills. Don't get me wrong, Jason's fabulous. He does all the cooking (something I'd rather die than do) and helps out with cleaning and all that jazz and he does get paychecks, we just never really know when and how much.

Anyhoo, thus the reasons for me needing to work quite a bit right now. Since last July, I've been employed as the DMC Project Coordinator for Madison County, Kentucky. Basically, I do statistical analysis and technical report writing for Eastern Kentucky University and the Department of Juvenile Justice looking at disproportionate minority contact amongst juveniles. It's a fantastic job and pays quite well at $18.75/hour, but it's only currently part-time at 24 hours a week. I work this job Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays from 9 - 5pm.

On Thursdays and Fridays from 9 - 5, i've just started a new gig at the Pyramid Society in the Kentucky Horse Park. The Pyramid Society is an organization dedicated to the breeding of Egyptian Arabian horses and my good friend Rachael is employed by them. She mentioned their need for part-time office help. This past week was my first week and I really am enjoying it so far. Although I'm just doing basic office work like faxing, mailings, copying and database management, i'm finding the job fascinating. I know next to nothing about horses and it's been very intriguing learning about the stunningly beautiful Egyptian Arabians, a breed unlike any other horse i've ever seen.

For the past 2 months, I've been working Friday night, Saturday night and every other Sunday night at Hardees. Yes. I said Hardees. Fast-freaking-food. Ick. But, hey it's money and in all actuality, it's not that bad of a job. I work backline so I don't have to deal with customers (after 4 years at Wal-Mart I don't ever want to deal with customers again, thank you very much!), it's a very clean fast-food restaurant, and the store i'm at has excellent managers. It's mindless work, but is really helping me out with the student loans.

The fourth and final job is my dictating which i've been doing since last summer. From 2001 - 2006, I was a medical transcriptionist for a Urologist here in Richmond. All this experience qualified me to dictate documents and interviews for the Kentucky government. I get to work from home and it pays over $50/hour, so needless to say, it's one heck of a job. However, the work tends to be a bit sporadic, so I can't always rely on it to pay my monthly bills each month.

Well, that is what's going on in my work life at the moment. I'm working my butt off and am pretty worn out, but I've been watching my savings grow each paycheck and it feels pretty great. I'm still on the full-time job hunt (I didn't get that Master's degree for nothing, darnit!) and a few of the places i've applied look promising. But let me assure you, once I finally get this elusive full-time employment, i'm dropping all this other stuff like a bad habit. LOL.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Haunting on Barnes Mill Rd.

I love my house. It's a rental, but Jason and I have managed to fix it up quite nice. We've painted, cleaned carpets, spent a lot of time decorating, keep it clean and have done a whole mess of improvements to the yard and gardens. Overall, it's a wonderful place to relax and call home for the time being. Now I have even more of a reason to love my house, I believe it's haunted. But not by one of those terrifying "I'm going to crawl out of your TV soaking wet and kill you" movie-ghosts. I really feel like this is a peaceful spirit, for the reasons I'm about to tell you.

According to the landlord, the house was built in 1944. So it's not old, but it's not a spring chicken either. I want to do a bit of research and see if anyone died in the house or if there is a significant event connected to it in history to get a sense of where the spirit came from. But before I get ahead of myself, here's what's happened recently:

About a month ago, Jason's mother, Cheryl, and his sister, Shawnda, were visiting our house. While sitting at our kitchen table, Cheryl all of a sudden felt extremely cold. She then began to feel something stroking the top of her head, kind of a sensation of her hair being played with. Reaching up, there was nothing there. She looked and felt around, to see if there was a cobweb or draft or something else which could explain the feeling, but nothing could explain the sensation. This same event occurred 3 more times, a very distinct feeling that something was touching her head. She finally asked her daughter if she felt anything and almost as soon as she did, Shawnda shivered and said that she just felt extremely cold for no reason (it was a warm day outside and in the house).

We talked about how strange that was, but basically forgot the incident until 2 weeks ago when I experienced something similar. It was around 1:00 am and I was in bed, lying on my side. Jason was already asleep, lightly snoring next to me. All of a sudden, I felt a pressure on my side, just like an arm had been rested on me in the "spooning" position. My first automatic thought was that it was Jason, but I knew I hadn't heard or felt him move. Flipping quickly over on my back, I confirmed that Jason was still on the other side of the bed, facing away from me. I rolled back over on my side again, and as soon as I did, the feeling returned. I rolled back over and looked at the blanket to see if it was bunched up or if a cat had snuck up on the bed, anything to explain this mystery pressure on my side. Nothing. I rolled back over and AGAIN I felt the mystery arm on my side. Except this time was different. I felt an incredible sense of calm and ease wash over me. I wasn't concerned at all about why I felt someone's arm and hand who wasn't there embracing me, I just felt extremely relaxed and at ease. I fell asleep almost instantly.

It was such an interesting experience and i've never had anything like it happen to me before. So far, those are the only two incidents which have occured, minus something that happened two days ago when a kid's toy showing up somewhere it had NOT been before we left the house 30 minutes earlier. While that was extremely strange, i'm not attributing it to the possible ghost due to the fact that one of the cats could have batted the toy into the kitchen. Although the toy was pretty heavy and it had to travel a long way from the boy's room to the kitchen, I don't want to be over-reactionary, so I'm keeping open the possiblity that one of the animals was responsible for that.

So, so far only Cheryl and I have experienced anything strange. Jason hasn't noticed or felt anything "off", which is a bit strange as he is a very intuitive individual and is very sensitive to other's emotions, feelings and thoughts. I think the next time, if anything happens, i'm going to attempt to communicate with the spirit and see if it will communicate back with me somehow.

Currently listening to Better Than Ezra. Gotta love 'em.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Brand Spankin' New

After many annoying attempts to maintain a blog on MySpace (the most user-unfriendly blog on the planet), I've decided to look elsewhere, hence my new appearance here. I've always loved to write in journals, detailing and preserving memories and events from my life, but tend to get lazy and not write for long spans of time. Since I spend the majority of my day at work in front of a computer screen and can type much faster than I write, I figured, what the heck? It's internet blog time, baby.

Because it's late, I have to work early tomorrow and I've spent all my night on the couch playing X-Box 360, I don't have time for well-thought out, clever post. So you guys just get some random thoughts for now.

- Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, the season finale. Did Captain bandana seriously pick Penthouse Pet/stripper extraordinaire/fake eyebrows Taya over the sweet/sexy/country girl Mindy? Yep. I sense a Rock of Love 4 coming on.....and yes, I will watch it because i'm hopelessly addicted to trashy, stupid reality television.

-Weezer. What an amazing, incredible band. I've been listening to them all night and have such a deep respect for Rivers Cuomo and the rest of the group. I love all the variety to their music. They have fun songs, like Hashpipe and Pork and Beans. They have incredibly sweet and surprisingly tender love songs like Across the Sea, Smile and El Scorcho. They have songs that speak to your inner geek like In the Garage. Heck, they even have songs that sound like 5 songs in one, with The Greatest Man That Ever Lived. I just love 'em. I mean anyone who has the line "Watching Grunge leg drop New-Jack through a press table" in one of their songs is awesome. That type of cool lyrics are right up there with the "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" level of greatness. Rock on Weezer.

- Five days ago, I bought my Bulldog, Gimli, a new tire toy to replace the old one after he decided it was time to go to the great dog toy basket in the sky. The tire is really durable, but has two thick ropes hanging off each end. Well, with the original, he chewed them off and ate them, only to later puke them up. They looked like big red chunks and I thought he somehow managed to cough up a kidney. Gross. So cut to tonight. He's managed to chew off the new green ropes from the toy. I chase him around trying to get them away from him. I fail and he swallows them. A few hours later there is a big pile of puke with a green, half-digested rope in it. Double gross. Ahh Gimli, my cute little boneheaded dog who doesn't learn from his mistakes.

Well, i'm off to bed for now, but tomorrow i'm telling you guys about the ghost in my house. Seriously. It's interesting stuff. Stay tuned.