Thursday, October 27, 2011

Househunting: Buying a house when you're about to quit your job

It sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?

Actually, it might be the best decision for me, if I can find a place I can afford.

So, in order to get an apartment that has everything you need to live (like air conditioning and washer-dryer hookups) in Orange County, you have to pay upwards of 1300/month. We started out paying 1400/month for the place we have right now, and it's currently closer to 1600/ month. This is leaving very little extra for stuff like food, clothing, and paying off credit card debt, which is currently more important than food or clothing to me.

The other option is to buy a condo or townhouse, or, yes, even a mobile home. A 150,000 home will run you about 800/m mortgage payment. The drawback is that just about everywhere you go in OC, there is an association fee upwards of 200/m. The nice ones are around 400/m. The plan we have right now (my mother and I) is to have her cosign a loan if she can, get a three-bedroom whatever (I'm great with a mobile home as long as I can put flamingos on the lawn and christmas lights on the porch all year long) and rent out the master bedroom for about 500/m (depending) and have a goood chunk of the mortgage taken care of until after I get out of college, which I should start going to full time next summer/fall. (Summer I may go part-time, but just because you really can take only one class in the summer since the semester is so short.)

Now, on one hand this whole thing is frightening. I don't mind TMIing you and saying that every time I look at a property I like, I get a tickly feeling in my large intestine. It's scary as hell, but I feel like it's the best option for me and my mom right now. The only other option would be to get a one-bedroom, which would still run us aroun 1300/m. It's really horrid.

On the other hand, this is a really good decision. Lowering the house payment, hopefully taking on a renter, and getting an FHA or HUD loan are good things. They're designed for people like me. My job even has an assistance program, which is one of the only perks of working for the government.

We shall see how it all goes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

American Holidays or, "No, really, not everyone celebrates Christmas."

So, I work in a multi-racial place for the government. There are a lot of people from other countries here, and a lot of them have no idea about Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. So, they ask me. This is probably due to the fact that I'm easy to talk to and amazingly beautiful, but I like to think that it's also because I'm white.

I've explained that in the Christian world, Easter really is a lot more important that Christmas. Christmas is pretty much a secularized holiday, so I'm always surprised when people get a bee in their bonnet about it. I mean, if you really want to keep the sanctity of Christmas, then let's try to not kill anyone at Wal-Mart this year while you're pushing people out of the way (in the name of Jesus?) in order to get that $40.00 X-Box Kinect. I don't like Christmas, and the Wal-Mart tramplings are pretty much the reason why. Actually, what the Wal-Mart tramplings represent is really more my problem, but the dead people really upset me. Is an ipad really worth a human life? Is it?

Anyway, this always leads to wondering what I'm doing for Christmas, they always look a little disappointed that I'm just going to my brother's house, and we're going to have dinner together, and then the kids can open gifts. When pressed as to why I'm not surrounded by my huge extended family, I explain that they don't celebrate Christmas.

Well, they don't ignore Christmas. I think my buddhist cousin and her fiance put up some garland and fairy lights, and my unitarian Auntie puts out a Hanukkah bush for her granddaughter and lights some candles. My gay cousin and his boyfriend both head 'down the pub' to hang with their friends, and that's it. I mean, I don't have a huge family, and that's what we do. If my brother's in-laws didn't make such a big fuss about it (mostly because they have a tradition of opening packages of socks and underwear every Christmas), Christmas wouldn't be a big deal in my house at all.

I have to say, though, I have a lot of fun looking for gifts. Especially for my geekier friends. You wouldn't believe the different ways one can make something look like a blue police box!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So, this one time my dad asked me if I'm gay...Hawwwwkward!

I need to preface this by saying that my dad did not ask me if I'm gay in order to help facilitate a coming-out for me, out of deep concern for my feelings and thoughts on the matter. No, my dad asked me because he's a narcissist who wants grandsons, and no one in the family seems to be giving them to him, and he wanted to know if he should give up on me or not.

I mean, at this point in my life, it's not like he could want anything from me other than grandchildren (specifically grandsons), right? Fathers just don't maintain relationships with their non-childbearing offspring, right?

The thing is, my dad's obsession with having a grandson rather than all the icky granddaughters he has is directly proportional to how much my brother loves his two girls. I have no idea if my dad's medieval way of thinking impacts my step-siblings much, but I know that my brother was determined to be a great father and show our dad what it means to have kids who actually love you and respect you.

The hardest part about the question is mostly that I'm not single by choice. I would love to get married and have kids--both sons and daughters--but it's just not working for me at the moment. I'm in a transitional phase in my life that I chose, but never mind about that. I'm still transitioning, and even if I were to meet a great guy, it would be a huge job to fit him into my life. I know this objectively, but in practise it's pretty difficult. I would like to be married. I would like to make some babies. I love my cat and all, but he's not a baby. He is a pretty good cuddler, though.

Still here...silent all these years

Okay, so I haven't been blogging or reading blogs too much lately. I've been busy sucking at algebra, dancing, and fighting stomach flu, and now just plain old flu. I guess the flu shot I had last year has worn off?

Anyway, I have done lots of stuff. I read a book called "The Atheist's Daughter" that I'd like to review, I went and petted penguins at Seaworld on my birthday, we celebrated Rash Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and just lots of good and bad has happened this last month.

Things I'd like to blog about soon:

Holidays in America: What to say when people ask you what you do for Christmas, and you have an unconventional answer

The Atheist's Daughter: Books are for reading, not for burning. Also: how not to judge a book by its title.

Babies: The pandemic sensation that is sweeping the nation.

House hunting: buying a house when you're about to quit your job.

My dad asked me if I'm gay: the perils of being over the age of 30 and still single.