Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Stories and Lent

Ok, so a couple of housekeeping tasks.

First, I've decided that since Imperceptible Rantings was intended to just be a "whatever whenever" blog that stories regarding my first home somewhat break the "no theme" rule. So I've created a second blog - Diary of a First Time Home Buyer. There's nothing there yet, but I will post all the stories and info regarding mi abode there.

Tomorrow (actually Today since it's after midnight) is Ash Wednesday. If you don't know, Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent which is a 40 day long (I think the actual length is debatable depending on if you count Sundays or something like that...I remember a huge argument in 8th grade regarding it). During these 40 days, Catholics are supposed to give up something that would be difficult to live without.
Since I haven't "observed" Lent in this way the last couple of years, I have decided to post my Lenten observance here so that people can hold me to it.

I will not drink alcohol during Lent.

However, to avoid setting myself up for failure, I am going to install the following 2 exceptions to my Lenten observance:
1) The day I close on my house - This is currently set for March 10.
2) Our (Mike, Pete, Will, and Me) annual St. Patrick's Day party. Since St. Patty's Day is on a Tuesday this year...and Holy Week isn't helping us out like last year...This will probably be either the Saturday before or after St. Patty's Day. I need to check with some establishments in St. Paul to see what their plans are.

That is all for now. Goodnight!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My New Home!

Here is the Richfield house that I am buying. I've posted all my pictures from the house inspection today to my web album here:
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House Wars VI: The Return of John

Sticking with the Star Wars themed titles, this is my latest update.


I found out early Wednesday morning that my offer was accepted. Things are moving quickly. Closing is set for March 10. EEK. It was kind of hard managing all the items from out in DC too. I'm sitting at Reagan Airport right now typing this. My flight leaves in an hour putting me back in Minneapolis around 11:30 am. Then I'll get a couple hours sleep and head over to the house to do the inspection. Then I have to start filling out paper work for the mortgage and call someone about setting up home owner's insurance.

I also need to start thinking about doing my taxes this year. I think I really need to speak to a professional rather than doing my own. I want to make sure I get the most refund I can. Everything I've found on the internet says that I can claim that new First Time Home Owner's tax credit that was included in the stimulus bill on my 2008 taxes even though I bought the house in 2009. Of course, that's the NET, and you can't trust EVERYTHING you read there. Anyone know of a good tax guy/gal they'd recommend?

So many things to to start planning for furniture...I should make a list of the things I'll need. Luckily, there isn't much to do in the house itself. I don't think I'll need to paint or anything. No big projects that HAVE to be done. Mike will just have to deal with having to lower his head when walking through his door for now.

I'll post pictures after the inspection today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Amazing Burger

I'm sitting at the Red Rock grill at the airport waiting for my plane...I just had the Double Swiss and Mushroom was AMAZING.

Seriously, try it sometime.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

House Wars - Episode V - The Curse Strikes Back

If you know my family, you know that we have had a long battle with what we jokingly call the "Engelman Family Curse" or EFC for short.
The EFC isn't a real curse like a haunted mansion or zombie pets but more of a container for all the random things that happen to my family. At least once a week something happens, where the only response from another family member is "Only an Engelman". This would be an instance of an occurrence of the EFC.

Here was where the EFC made it's appearance during my search for a new home:
I found a house I really liked in Richfield a couple weekends ago. I liked the house a lot and knew immediately that I can see myself purchasing it. But instead of putting an offer in then, I decided to give it a couple days to see how I felt about it. I looked at a couple more houses and decided that since my parents were coming down last weekend, that I would do a showing with them and see what they thought.

So, I set up a showing from last Friday afternoon. As the EFC (not luck, it's never luck) would have it, my flight out of Maryland (where I was for work) was delayed and my parents' car broke down in Fergus Falls.

So we rescheduled for Saturday. We looked around on Saturday and my parents really liked the place and again I was sure I wanted to put an offer. But AGAIN, I decided to wait a day to see how I felt.

I just so happened to drive by the property again on Sunday and noticed a lot of cars outside that looked familiar...oh yeah, they were the same cars that pulled up right after we left on Saturday. Great, someone else is having a second showing.

So I picked up the phone and told my Realtor that I wanted to put an offer in. She checked to see if I needed to do it that night, but the listing agent said no. So we met yesterday and put the offer together. We went aggressive to see how much movement we could get from the owners on the price.

A couple hours pass, and I haven't heard anything. Finally, around 7pm last night, my Realtor calls to tell me that the listing agent has said they aren't going to respond to my offer that night because they were expecting another offer the next day and that they would allow me to amend my offer if that happened.

So today rolled around and I get a call from my Realtor and of course....another offer is written so I have to decide what is going to be my best offer take-it-or-leave it. This is not how I wanted to buy my first home. So we decided on a price and now I'm just waiting to hear.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, why is this a big deal? How is the EFC involved in this? Isn't this sometimes normal when buying a house?
My answer...I guess so, maybe, you could think of it that way. But instead, I'm fixating on the fact that the house has been sitting on the market for 9 months with only 1 price drop, everyone agrees that it is still listed to high, and the day that I submit and offer, SOMEONE ELSE DECIDES TO OFFER TOO! NOT A WEEK AGO, NOT NEXT WEEK. THE SAME FREAKING DAY!

The EFC is a cruel bitch....

House Wars - Episode IV - A New Home

As you may or may not know, I'm currently in the process of trying to buy a house. This was all started when one of my roommates bought a town home and moved out and my landlord decided this was a good time for her to stop earning the mortgage payment from rent and asked us to move out....

Enough ranting there.

I finally found a house in Richfield that I really want. It's listed way too high, so I've decided to make my offer very aggressive. So I'll see how that turns out.

Now it's just a waiting game.

More news to follow.

P.S. - This post was written retrospectively. More has happened, but I want to order my stories in a certain way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Those who have come before me.....

So I was talking with Sidd the other day online and I decided to google myself. Yes, that's "google" and not "Google". I am using the verb form which according to Webster's New Millennium dictionary is defined as "to search for information on the Internet" and not the proper form in reference to the Mountain View, CA based company.

Anyway, I googled my own name (first and last) to see how far I'd have to go before I found something (except for a directory listing) that was about me...I was thinking maybe page 2 or 3....

Page 1...

Page 2...

Page 3...

Page 4...

Page 5...

Page 6...

Page 7!!!!

WHAT?! SERIOUSLY?! PAGE 7!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Man, that's disappointing. So I decided I'm going to share with you some of the things that me and my brethren are.

  • I have extension experience in the music industry
  • I am an alumni advisor at Dartmouth and "a genuinely good guy"
  • I live in Detroit.
  • I married Themla Froman and we have 4 kids....I also died in 1985
  • I was in 4 episodes of "George of the Jungle"
  • I donated $2,850 during the 2008 election cycle
  • I am a scientist at S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
  • I am a chiropractor in Fountain Valley, CA
  • I brew my own beer called American IPA
  • I also live in Delaware.
  • It appears that I am on the board of a few Chemistry boards.
  • I was married to Ursula until my death in March 1942.
  • I'm the manager of an Illinois little league team.
  • I coach girl's basketball in Illinois...I have a record of 233-121 a .658 winning percentage.
  • There's lots of family history sites that I'm a part of.
  • I work in the construction industry.
  • I am a photography with a semi-sweet website ( say semi-sweet because it looks cool until you click on things and get under construction on a white page. But I guess it's understandable considering all the other things I'm involved in.
So there you resume :-)

Oh and as for Sidd....try googling "Siddartha Sanathanamurthy"...he's the first result...Jerk.

Monday, February 2, 2009

First thoughts and a Get To Know Me

A couple days ago I received what amounted to a Facebook Chain Letter. Remember those things when you first got an email address? "Forward this letter to 10 of your friends and you will be cut a check for $1000! No seriously! My friend's mother's co-worker's niece's college room-mate's dog's masseuse's secret lover did it and he just got his check!"

Yeah, did anyone actually EVER get one? Not likely. Yet we are all still suckers for a good chain letter. And as such, I was easily pulled in to the "25 Things" Notes on Facebook. I got so into it that I spent most of the afternoon writing my list of 25 Things. It was was funny and serious; heart-felt and sarcastic; a self-introspection and a public display of both my good and bad. It was actually quite exhilarating. But right before I clicked the Post button, I accidentally hit the backspace key causing my browser to go back a page and I lost everything I wrote. SON OF A.....

Anyway, I procrastinated re-writing it the rest of the day, but eventually did it. Afterwards, I thought to myself, "Maybe this kind of vent writing could ease a little stress in my life." And so here it is, my own personal blog....Imperceptible Rantings. The only guideline for my posts will be that there will not be a theme. I'm just going to write what I feel like, when I feel like it. In fact, you may see posts that will suddenly change topics in the middle of a sentance. This is how my brain works.

So to start, here is my muse....the originator of what I'm hoping becomes my therapy (unabridged). Enjoy.

1) I am currently on track to be homeless in 4 weeks....Awesome.

2) I watch a lot of TV....seriously. In any given week, my DVR records at least 11 shows.

3) Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate...I love them all. If it involves space travel, I'll probably watch. I also secretly wish that I could be frozen and thawed in 500 years when all of it is a reality.

4) Josh, Chad, and I were once stopped by a police office who thought we were attempting to burn down our school. Only, we didn't go to school there. When we didn't have an answer about why we were lighting fires, he asked if we were doing it "for shits and giggles". That still cracks me up to this day.

5) A police office once warned me and a group of my friends that he would "take us downtown" even though we were across the street from the police station. We did not point this fact out to him.

6) Subscribing to Netflix was the BEST DECISION EVER.

7) Besides Netflix, I also own over 300 movies. This does not count TV show box sets. There is at least 1 DVD in my collection that has NEVER been placed in a player. Sad.

8) Kelsey and Courtney once spent an hour teaching me that "pillow" is pronounced PILL-O and not PELL-O. Thanks girls.

9) I almost lost my right arm as a child. An inept nurse put the IV through my vein and didn't check on me for hours. Apparently if it had gone on for another 30 minutes, they would have had to amputate my arm.

10) I have a severe hatred of needles. Can't stand them. For the first 22 years of my life I didn't know why. That Christmas my parents finally told me about #9. Now I understand.

11) I remember belching so loud in the cafeteria in 2nd grade that everybody stopped and looked at me. Mrs. Sebesta gave me a punch in my punch card for it and then told my mom. This started the epic battle between me and Mrs. S and why she is my arch nemesis.

12) I spent Spring Break of my freshmen year learning to solve a Rubik's Cube. It takes me between 2 and 3 minutes. No world record, but I'm proud of it.

13) I am very scared of having kids. Not because all babies hate me, but because I'm worried that I will either be too lax or too strict and it will scar them for life. When I think about this, it makes me even more proud of my parents since they pulled it off with 4 kids.

14) I am the only one of my siblings that is not a Johnnie or a Bennie. I catch a lot of hell for it when I go home.

15) I have to stick my foot in my mouth a lot. For example, I once called Will a "big slut" in front of his entire family. In my defense, I said it while walking into his room and had no idea that his family was in there. It was super awkward. We all tried to pretend like it didn't happen. It hasn't been bad lately, but I know that's because it's all pooling up for one enormous train-wreck of an incident.

16) I am the only person in my family to ever break a bone and have to get a cast. Did I do it in some fabulous blaze of glory? No. I did it in gym class...playing Wiffle Ball.

17) It's A LOT not ALOT and ANYWAY not ANYWAYS. Thank you Mrs. Schroeder.

18) I am very good at taking things apart but not always as successful at putting them back together. Items that have met their fate because of me: tape player with microphone when I was 7, just 2 days after my parents gave it to me for my birthday, lawn mower when I was 15 and digital camera when I was 24.

19) I killed my baby blanket when I was 8 or so by laying too close to the space heater. It started on fire, I almost started on fire, Peter saved me. Thanks bro. Sorry blankey.

20) I have made some pretty dumb decisions in my life: using a chain-saw while drinking when I was 18, driving through a blizzard to Fargo for the State Class A Boys Basketball tournament, driving Sean's Audi TT down 169 at 120 mph at 3am, launching fireworks off from a steal pipe leaning against my uncle's propane tank. I am still amazed that none of these situations resulted in bodily injury.

21) I wish I had stuck with piano. I also wish I could play the guitar.

22) I am a sucker for John Cusack movies. I don't know why but High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank are two of my favorite movies.

23) This is the 2nd time I've had to fill out this form. I completed it and then accidentally closed my browser before I posted it...I am having difficulty remember all the things I wrote the first time, so this is a filler :-)

24) I am a fidgeter. My roomates get very irritated with me because I'm constantly fiddling with anything that is lying around. Most of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it.

25) I lost a bet in high school and had to Nair my entire chest and stomach. It was not fun. To this day, I have an odd shaped bald spot on my leg where some Nair dropped.