I know I've said it before, but now I am finally confident that my house is sold. Yesterday afternoon my realtor stopped by my house to put the "sold" sign on the realty sign in my front yard. The final contingency, securing financing, has been released. Apparently the buyers of my house had some difficulty securing financing, but they've finally been approved. They were supposed to release all of the contingencies by last Friday, so I was getting a bit nervous. This weekend, my fiancee and I will be moving the rest of our belongings from the house and we'll finish up cleaning next week before closing on the sale on Friday of next week.


29 Days

There are now 29 days remaining in the school year. That means not only is the school year soon coming to a close, but so is my career as a teacher. Ever since I was offered a position with a test development company, I have been looking forward to being done with teaching. I am just so tired of dealing with disrespectful students. Today however, I began to have second thoughts about leaving my profession of seven and a half years. There are a lot of things that I will miss about teaching. Sure, I’m going to miss getting to go home from work before 4:00 every day and having my summers off. I’d be lying if I said that these weren’t great benefits of teaching. They are not the only reasons that I became a teacher though. In fact, they were really small considerations. I am going to really miss working with young adults who genuinely enjoy learning or who at least give it some effort. I think that I’ll enjoy my new job. Instead of trying to motivate students who don’t want to be motivated, I’ll be able to sit down and actually do mathematics. I think that this new job will all me to use my skills to help students in a different way. Instead of teaching them directly, I’ll be indirectly guiding what it is that they learn. While I think that I am going to miss teaching some of the time, especially during the summer and between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon, it’s not as if I am completely closing the door on teaching. If I find after a few years that I don’t like my new job, I can always try to return to the classroom.

Sales Pitch

Sunday night when my fiancée and I returned to our Waterloo home from Cedar Rapids, she got a phone call informing her that we had won several prizes including a two-night, three-day stay at a resort hotel, a $200 gift certificate, and a free photo sitting. We had registered with this company when we attended a bridal show in March. Now, to get the prize we only had to go to a meeting at a local hotel. They told us to be sure to have room to try some foods. Not only were we going to win all these fabulous prizes, but we would be fed as well.

Now I recognized this for what is was right away. I was sure that they were going to try to sell us something, and that they did. We, along with three other couples, sat through an hour and a half long sales pitch for Royal Prestige cookware. After informing us how the cookware we have in our cupboards is going to kill us – one thing he told us was that Teflon releases poisonous gasses at high temperatures and that aluminum from aluminum pans gets into our food and then when we eat it, it doesn’t leave our bodies – he showed us their line of “Health Systems” cookware. This cookware is made of surgical grade stainless steel. He also cooked some chicken and vegetables for us. They turned out great with little effort. These looked great pieces of cookware, but when he showed us the low price of slightly over $1800 for the seven-piece set, we decided to pass. Now this set of cookware has a 50-year warranty. He told us how we would save money by not having to replace our inexpensive cookware when it wears out, since this will last a lifetime, but that didn’t convince us.


I Haven't Done a Quiz in a While

Your Linguistic Profile:

80% General American English

10% Upper Midwestern

5% Dixie

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

I've Got My Star Wars Tickets!

I just got done buying tickets for my fiancée and myself to see Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith at midnight the night of Wednesday, May 18! I had been talking to a friend of mine earlier this evening and he told me that one of the theaters in Cedar Rapids was already selling tickets for the midnight showing, so I went to their website where I was directed to Fandango.com to buy tickets. There was a one dollar service charge per ticket, but at least I know now that I will have tickets for the show. I don’t have to worry about waiting in line for several hours to get them. We’ll still have to get there a fair amount of time ahead of time in order to get good seats though.

I went to the midnight showing opening night when Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones came out and it was a lot of fun. It was more fun than it would have been to see it at another time. One thing that I am doing differently this time is taking the next day off from work. I put in a request for a personal day for May 19 at the beginning of the school year as personal days are hard to get toward the end of the year.


The Weekend's Almost Here

I can’t wait until after work today! Mel and I will be heading back to our Cedar Rapids house. That means we’ll be busy spending the weekend unpacking and possibly painting some more rooms in the house. Of course, that also means that we’ll be spending some money. One problem about moving into a new house that I have noticed is that it costs more than one anticipates. There are often things to do, like buying furniture, paint, cleaning supplies, and eating out more than usual. At lease I won’t have a house payment to make in May. That should help free up some money for these extra supplies.


Two Houses

I now own two houses! Actually, one of them is owned by both my fiancée and me, so perhaps I should say that I owe one and a half houses. On Thursday, we closed on the house we were buying in Cedar Rapids, and on Friday, the moving company we hired delivered most of our belongings. Now we have a house full of boxes and a mostly empty house in Waterloo. While Mel spent most of Friday unpacking boxes, I spent the day painting. All of the walls of the new house are white, with the exception of a couple of rooms that have wallpaper and most of that wallpaper will be coming down in the near future as we don’t like it. It was tough coming back to Waterloo yesterday afternoon. We really did not want to leave our new house. I can’t wait until Friday, when we get to go back to the new house. Of course that means that we will be working on more painting and unpacking, but we’ll be at our new, and better, house.


Packing Continues

Ok, so my absence from blogging didn’t last very long. I have a few minutes to write before I go off to work. I found out from my realtor last night that everything is going well with the sale of my house. The buyers have completed any inspections that they will be doing, and all of the legal documents, such as the title abstract, have been requested by the buyers’ attorney. Meanwhile packing continues. All day Sunday was packing up the basement and most of the upstairs. Last night, I finished packing up the basement, except for disassembling the computer, and then packed up all of the clothes. Tonight we tackle the garage. I don’t think it should be too bad. There are a lot of my fiancée’s things in the garage which are still in boxes from when she moved in. Well, I had better be off to work.


I Shall Return

I'll be back, probably next week. With all of the packing that I am going to be doing the remainder of this week, as well as moving into a new house, I probably won't have much time for blogging this week. I will return when I can however, so don't despair.

I Want to Sleep!

I don’t get to sleep in at all this weekend. Yesterday morning I had to go to work at my usual time to administer the ACT test to 18 high school students. That really wasn’t all too interesting, but it was pretty easy. While giving the test, I was not supposed to do any reading, other than the instructions, so I could keep an eye on the test takers. Midway through the morning, I was thinking to myself, “Why did I give up my morning to do this? It is so boring.” I’ll probably be thinking differently in a couple weeks though when my paycheck from ACT arrives. It will be nice having a little extra spending money right now since my fiancée and I are moving most of our belongings into our new house on Thursday.

When I got home from work, I had to get started on packing. However I didn’t have all evening to do that. Mel and I had tickets to see “Miss Saigon” at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus. It was a good show. It had been a while since I had seen a musical. We both had a good time, even if I was getting tired by intermission.

Now I am up early once again because the bell choir is performing at church this morning, and as I am in the bell choir, I kind of have to be there. This will however be my last performance with the bell choir since Mel and I may be spending weekends after today at our new house in Cedar Rapids working on getting it painted and on unpacking. I’ll miss playing in the bell choir, but it will be nice to not have to worry about Wednesday night rehearsals any more.


Sold! Again!

My house has been sold! Again! Of course this sale is pending an inspection and the buyers securing financing. They are going to look at it again this afternoon with their realtor. Then they will decide if they actually want to go ahead with an inspection or not. I hope they don’t. I don’t want them to be scared off by some minor defects that may exist. Also, I don’t think I can afford to fix anything that they may find.

In other news, my fiancée has a preliminary job interview today. It’s with a company which will soon begin operations in Cedar Rapids. I hope she is able to get a job there so we can get moved to Cedar Rapids as soon as possible after taking possession of the house. I really don’t want to be living here while most of our furniture and belongings are in our new house. Of course, the daily commute from Cedar Rapids to Waterloo isn’t going to be cheap considering current gas prices. Fortunately, I have a fuel-efficient car.


Goodbye Jasper

Yesterday afternoon, after both my fiancée and I had gotten home from work, Jasper the cat did it again; he sprayed the wall and carpet by one of the heat registers. It seems that since we started him on his medication, his peeing on the carpet has only gotten worse. We would have loved to try the medicine longer, but we really need to get the house sold, and a urine-smelling living room is not a feature that most home buyers are looking for. So yesterday afternoon, I had to take Jasper to the humane society. Hopefully he’ll be able to find a nice home where he won’t have this problem. I didn’t like doing it, but it didn’t bother me too much until I walked out of the building from dropping him off. It was then that losing the cat really got to me. I had to call my insurance agent to discuss the insurance for the new house to keep my mind off of what I had just done. I’m doing fine today, although I do miss Jasper. The other cat, Ike, doesn’t seem to mind his friend missing. When Jasper spent a few days at the vet several weeks ago, Ike really liked being the only cat in the house. Hopefully he does alright without Jasper.


Now Who's Out of Touch?

It seems that Republican legislators, many of whom supported the law allowing federal courts to hear arguments regarding Terri Schiavo and the removal of her feeding tube, are upset at the judicial system for not ruling the way they wanted them to. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has lambasted the judges involved in this case for not interpreting the Terri Schiavo law the way that Congress intended for it to be interpreted. I was under the impression that it is the judicial branch of government whose job it is to interpret laws, not the job of the legislative branch of government. If Congress dictates to the courts how exactly to interpret laws, we might as well get rid of the judiciary altogether. Santorum is of course now calling these judges “activist” judges. This seems to be the term that conservatives like to throw around when courts do not rule in their favor, especially when their rulings do not seem to follow the beliefs of a large portion of Americans. In this case, however, it seems to be these Republican legislators who are out of touch with what the American people believe. A FOX News poll taken yesterday shows that 54% of Americans feel that removing Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was an act of mercy, not an act of murder. Only about one third of those polled feel that way. Even looking at just Republicans, a majority of those polled, 61%, do not feel that removing the feeding tube is murder. Hopefully this case will encourage people to make sure their wishes on the matter of what measures should be taken to sustain their lives are in writing and very clear, so that we do not have a situation like this happen again.

Let's Sell This House!

The finale of William Shatner’s Invasion Iowa airs tonight on Spike TV, appropriately on April Fool’s Day. I haven’t yet watched last night’s episode since I had parent-teacher conferences that I had to work at until 8:30, but I did tape it.

I did get some news about my house yesterday. My realtor brought a contractor over to write an estimate on what it will cost to fix the radon problem that I have. The estimate was better than I thought it would be. On the high end, it should cost about $1,100, which is still a lot of money. With that expense, I probably won’t be earning any money on the sale of my house, unless I get an offer for my full asking price, but that’s alright. Right now I just want to get this house sold!