The Playlist and the House

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I easily could have gone to bed earlier than I did last night, but I decided that I couldn’t put one very important task off any longer. I absolutely had to create… a new playlist.

And so I sat there at my laptop, clicking and dragging 104 songs into my newest playlist, taking well over an hour to finish it. (I had to listen to some of the songs, of course. Plus I have over 2,500 songs on that computer.) I know, I know: what’s so important about a playlist? I mean, they’re fun and cool and all of that, but why was it so crucial I do this one, now?

Because it’s my playlist for my book. The stuff I can listen to while driving, working out, etc. to get myself inspired to come up with new scenes!

I haven’t made a playlist for this book for a few years now. I used to make them all the time. How sad is this… I have a couple of cassette tape mixes I’d done for this SAME book. And more than a couple of CDs that I’ve burned over the years. My sister has copies of some of the mixes/playlists, too, because she’s my biggest fan so far for this story. But since having the MP3 players, it’s been too easy to just put the thing on shuffle and go from there.

This new playlist has me excited, because I put a lot of thought into it. New playlists, in general, are fun, anyway. I can’t wait to play it as soon as possible after I make one. I started listening to the new one today on the way to work instead of the same old lame morning radio show, and I love it so far– so here’s one pat on the back for me, oh yeah.

Yesterday something entirely new occured to me for the book, so I think that’s what spurred the playlist creation. I’m just going to play around with this new idea and see what happens; I’ll write an experimental chapter today and tonight, most likely, because it’s right on deck and I don’t want to lose it. But for the first time EVER with this book, I will be messing with the narrative. Meaning, Zachary may not be the (or, only) first person speaker if this little game works out well. I’m psyched to play with this!

So, in other news, I went to therapy again yesterday afternoon. It went pretty well, but the tightness in my tendons isn’t loosening up like they’d hoped it would by now. I’ve now had three cortisone treatments, and to be perfectly honest I don’t feel much different afterwards. I guess I expected it to be like the time I had a cortisone injection to help reduce the swelling on my herniated disc (the epidural… oooh, joy) and the relief was pretty much immediate and lasted for three days. (That was it?! For all that pain and trouble, only three days of relief? Ridiculous.) I haven’t felt that, yet, with this iontophoresis treatment. The therapist told me yesterday that if there isn’t much more improvement after I’ve had 5 treatments, then we might want to talk about the injection. But no one wants to do that if we can avoid it. That’s because it’s probable that the tendon itself can rupture from the injection. Ouch, and ewww. So, in the meantime, I’m just going to keep doing my stretches and exercises, wearing the brace and going to therapy. And I’ll hope that it gets better so no one is jamming needles into my wrist tendons. Yeah. It would be nice to avoid that.

I have some anxiety regarding the tax credit check. I tried to find out again yesterday what the status of my credit was, and the IRS basically told me (after switching me to three different people, I might add) that they do not have more information at this time other than that they did receive my “supporting documents” that they’d requested, and they were being processed. They explained there is a huge backlog of these things, and since my return was one that was chosen for auditing, it’s taking longer than usual. I asked for a ballpark time frame as to when I might hear something, anything, back– they told me it could be within the next two weeks, or… 4 to 6 weeks at the maximum. UGH. I just wanted to drop my head straight down on my desk and pound my forehead repeatedly when I heard that! I even said to the woman who told me that, “Jeeze Louise!” which is not a common swear-phrase for me, but one that has been coming out in situations where I can’t really curse (like at work).

And so, all plans to finish remodeling/ painting/ installing functional RV gates remain at a complete and total standstill. Oh, well. At least I have a house, right?

I still wish so badly that I didn’t have to get forced into a new car. I love the HHR very much, I really do. I’d love it a lot more if it didn’t come with a car payment, though.

Ever since I moved into this house, I haven’t had any money. I get down to the “teens” in my checking account right before payday. I’ve had to borrow money from my Mom. I definitely have my moments of extreme doubt that I can really do this. I do believe I got in over my head…not by much, but enough to make it difficult. If I could go back in time and not pay as much as I did for the place, I’d do it. I’d also never hire that stupid contracting company because the work they did was sooooo not worth the extra $26K I paid them. I start crying when I think about it. I hate them, and I hate the FHA loan counselor who pushed me to do thisthisandthis on the house and didn’t fully explain the process or answer all of my questions. I think, in retrospect, they took advantage of how stressed out and desperate I was at that point. After months and months of house trouble, I just wanted to wrap this up and get in the freakin’ house already. If I had been at my best, I probably wouldn’t have fallen for most of it. In fact, I probably would have hired a different contractor. I felt rushed and forced into using the company I hired, and I regret it. So I guess, if there is anything to learn from this experience, I’d say it is this: 1) Make SURE you completely understand the FHA loan requirements before you sign ANYTHING; 2) Work with a realtor and financial advisor who have actual, proven experience doing FHA loans–particulary the FHA 203K renovation loan; 3) Start making calls to potential contractors the day you make the offer on the house so you have someone lined up as early as possible and 4) forget the whole thing and decide to rent!

Yeah, I am admitting right here that I wish I didn’t buy my house. I do love my house, I love how far it has come already, and I even love my weird house-spirit. However, when you look at the numbers in black and white… it doesn’t add up. I really may not make my money back on this house when I go to sell, unless I’m in it for 15 years or more. And in the meantime, I am strapped to the breaking point every single paycheck so far. Not good.

I’m very good at making major mistakes.

First I marry the WRONG guy, and have to claw my way out of that mess. And now, I might have screwed up my financial life by buying a house that’s not worth what I paid for it. (By the way, if I do end up getting that $8,000 check, I will need to stay in the house for three years. If I sell it before three years is up, I will need to pay that $8,000 back to the government. So there’s that, too.) At the minimum, I have to get through more than two years of this. That’s because of the capital gains tax that they slap on you for selling your house after you’ve owned it less than two years. I know that I had to pay about $12K on my condo when I sold that so I could live with the horse’s ass–I mean, X.

Well, I probably shouldn’t dwell on this house thing beyond venting here on the blog. There isn’t anything I can do about my situation other than make the best of it, so that’s what’s gotta happen. If I ruminate over this for much longer, I’ll make myself crazy and depressed. (I mean, more depressed than I already am, of course.)

Maybe I really do need to just close my eyes to all the other distracting shit and just pay attention to my writing, for fuck’s sake. It’s sitting right there, waiting for me. And now I have this new fancy playlist and everything…! And…and… last night I baked a strawberry cake. Tonight I’ll frost it and put strawberries and blackberries on top. It’ll be gorgeous and delicious and happy.

Who can be mad at strawberry cake? No one. It’s one of the rules of nature.

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3 responses »

  1. Ooh, strawberry cake! (I can has recipe?) I’m sorry that your finances are shitty right now (believe me, I so know how that feels). If it helps, all of your advice will really help me out when — if — I can ever get in a position to become a homeowner. I know that doesn’t help YOU, but rest assured that I will take your advice to heart.

  2. My strawberry cake is Duncan Hines… nothing special about it! It’s just so good, though. I know my sister has a trick for making cake mixes taste more like bakery cake, but I totally can’t remember what it is right now. (Adding cream, maybe?)

    It would be cool to know my venting served some tiny purpose, if you buy a house sometime. The FHA loan is a good deal, for sure. If I were to do it again, I might consider a house that didn’t need a ton of work, and just get a regular FHA loan, not a renovation loan on top of the mortgage, which is what I did. I probably could have bought a more-finished house for the same amount of money my entire loan totalled up to, and not had to deal with the hassles and stresses of getting the contractors involved and everything. Of course, it would also had been easier if there were two of us dealing with all of it, rather than just me, alone (having a spouse shouldering half of it would be helpful, yeah). When you are ready to do this, you’ll do great. Plus, I suspect you are a little smarter than me, overall. I’d put money on that, in fact! 🙂

  3. That cake looks delicious! I want some. 🙂

    I totally understand the concerns about your house. It was a huge decision and caused you a lot of pain and aggravation. But I do think you made the right decision. You love that house. Buyer’s remorse is natural and because things are still all up in the air things don’t feel so great yet. but they will get there. We actually did a story today about the $8,000 tax return and we mentioned about doing it when you file your taxes. Can you include it then and then maybe move the IRS along a bit more quickly? I am not sure about all the particulars but that is what we reported. And the news is never wrong, right? HA!!

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