rhia_starsong: (john gate)
Wow, I didn't realise how long it had been since I last updated!  Nothing much to tell, but I figure I'll post anyway.  Work is still pretty good; we've hired a couple more paralegals, whom I like.  Half the office was out on Friday, which was kind of nice, since it was quiet, and kind of boring at the same time.  I'm house-sitting this weekend, and then Monday is my dad's birthday.  I'm making the most sinful non-chocolate dessert recipe in our family, my grandmother's goofy bars.

Today was my yearly shopping trip to the good mall.  I needed some more spring work trousers, and I was looking for a new purse as the ones I have are finally wearing out.  Since I got both of my old purses on sale and kept them for so many years, I was reluctant to spend a lot of money on a new one.  But I did have some coupons, so it wasn't as bad as it might have been.  I also paid way too much for a pair of khakis, but they're comfortable and look nice, so whatever.
rhia_starsong: (Default)
So, my family has finally finished joining the 21st century--Mom and I bought the iPhone 5s today.  I had a 3G once a long time ago, so not such a big deal (although after years of having nothing but a basic phone since, it sure is nice), but Mom has never had anything more complicated than a phone that dials and maybe takes pictures that she never figured out how to use.  So we'll see.

Buying the damn things was a big ordeal, though; they were only on sale at Best Buy; okay, fine, we also had a cashback thing through the credit card company for buying online if you go through their portal; nice, right?  Yeah, until you go to order.  First, it turns out you already have to have a plan from your phone carrier that works with smartphones before you can order, so we had to call Verizon and do that first.  Okay, fine.  We had some nice stuff from them, including waiving the activation and upgrade fees.  Neat.  So, you would think we're home free and can order the phones, right?  Not so much.  Best Buy's website tried to charge us the upgrade fee Verizon had already waived.  When we contacted Best Buy, they told us they couldn't change it.  So we'd have to buy in the store, thus missing out on the cash back.  So we called the card company to see if they would give it to us anyway, since it was hardly our fault Best Buy's website sucks.  No dice.  Mom and I had gone out to Best Buy at lunch, and it turns out we should have just bought them then, because the store didn't charge for anything but the phones themselves.  Go figure.  So I'll be setting up Mom's phone tomorrow, not that it will take much time.

Still, I'm very excited to finally get rid of the old flip phone.  We both got the space grey colour, so we'll have to get different cases to be able to tell them apart.

Since our president gave us today off (originally only tomorrow was a paid holiday) I had time to do this, as well as make a key lime pie this morning (yes, it was very good!) and other holiday stuff.

Hopefully all of you will have a wonderful winter/summer celebration of your choice (or have already done so), and we'll see you in the new year.
rhia_starsong: (Default)
Well, I guess there are still a few of you out there...  Anyway, time for another drive-by update.  I kind of feel like they're all 'this week at work', but since I don't really have a hobby other than you guys (fandom), oh, well.  In the exciting life of Rhia, we had two more near-disasters with the Christmas tree (we've never had this many problems with a single tree before), got almost all the rest of the decorations up, and are working on the candied pecans.  I want to take some in to work, to contribute to the holiday fattening-up.  ;)

Speaking of work, I was terribly excited to find out that we do indeed have an office Christmas party, and it will be at a ritzy restaurant in town next Thursday night.  On the company expense account.  Susan asked us all what kind of wine we wanted with dinner.  o.O  Should be fun, as I really like all my co-workers.

Also, I'm putting this out to the Universe, as Wings says: one of my friends at work (an asset manager) told me that the company might be hiring three new AVPs (asset managers) and he thought I should let Erin know I would like to be considered, because I do such a great job at my job that I would be good at the AM job.  I was very flattered, and decided, 'what the hell, why not?' and let Erin know.  She said essentially she'd talk to Tom about it, but I figure I lose nothing by mentioning it.  I love the job I do now, but the AM job would pay more (and be a ton more responsibility...); if I don't get it, I've still got a job I love.

My cat is eyeing me with disfavour at the moment since I put some Burt's Bees cuticle stuff on my fingers earlier and she doesn't like the smell of it or the feel of it on her fur, or something.  Oh, well.  Everyone's a critic.  I actually semi-seriously considered kidnapping one of my cats to sit on my lap and keep me warm at work this morning.  It's freezing here, and the office is always somewhere between 67 and 71 F (way too cool for winter, when it's 20-40 F outside).  Alas, Mom thought it was a bad idea, so the cat stayed here and I froze.

rhia_starsong: rule,britannia (britannia)
It's a good sign when they start giving you more work, right?  I'm kind of brain dead these days after working on SBA liquidation plans.  The trouble is, they're long and not all that complicated unless you haven't been working on that loan very long (at all).  So I'm taking loans that I have maybe a passing familiarity with and am trying to detail our plan to liquidate the assets left, how the borrowers got into the state they're in, etc.  Fascinating, but very time-consuming and filled with 'I have no idea if that's what they're looking for, but whatever' moments. 

Right now I'm working on one where the obligors haven't given us any financial information (P&L statements, balance sheets, nothing) since loan origination in 2006.  And of course, since they're tens of thousands of dollars behind on their loan and also in delinquent property taxes up to their eyes (the IRS actually froze their accounts at one point), they're no longer talking to us.  So I'm having to guesstimate whether these people have anything other than the houses they put up as collateral for us to bother with.  It doesn't look like it.

But.  I have done one of these and have another to follow.  That's good, right?  I sure hope so!

At home, we went and got our Christmas tree on Saturday last, and got it up and all the 10,000-plus lights on it on Sunday (around watching the too-exciting Panthers game!).  Nice, but then that night we discovered the tree stand had been leaking onto our carpet (it went right through the protective mat) all day.  So the tree was sitting in the middle of the living room the last few days, waiting for the carpet to dry.  Dad had to pick the thing up, lights and all, to get it out of the stand and into the new one.  I went out on Sunday night to Lowe's to get a new one at 7:30 and it was already below freezing!  I want hazard pay for this. ;)

Mom and Dad are headed out of town this weekend, which is why we were in a bit of a hurry to get the lights on, as it takes both me and Mom to do it.  But the tree is the only decoration we've managed to get up so far.  I think it's going to go a lot slower this year with me working.

How are you doing, dear flisters?  It's been raining here since last night; the kind of really cold soaking (hovering around freezing or just above all day) that makes it miserable out.  I nearly hydroplaned off the road on the way in this morning, but lived to tell about it.

rhia_starsong: (Default)
This under the category of 'we're such bad people'...

Mom and I were just watching Jeopardy!, and it went to commercial break.  The first commercial is always for Wheel of Fortune, which airs right after Jeopardy ends.  It was showing this husband and wife team winning...something...that I honestly didn't pay attention to.  It was sort of lost because the two kind of reminded me of those Weebles; they were so large they couldn't even hug each other properly.  So I just said, "Oh, my" and my mom, who hadn't looked up yet, was saying that she was thinking about making some popcorn, and then, just as I finished speaking, she looked up and said, "Or maybe not" quite unironically.  Then we realised what we'd done and started laughing hysterically for about five minutes straight.  When we get like this, Mom and I tend to just fuel each other's laughter, so it lasted a while.  Generally, when this happens, my dad is sitting there trying to look like he doesn't know us; the only reason he wasn't tonight was because he's stuck upstairs on a conference call for work.

Yeah, I know.  We're terrible.

At least we burned some healthy calories laughing.

rhia_starsong: (Default)
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and to those who don't, peace and happiness. 

We've had a beautiful Christmas so far; it started yesterday with my Panthers beating the pants off the Buccaneers here at home.  It was the best they've played in at least two years.  And how about Cam Newton and all his record breaking?  Yes.

Then we caught the end of the original Miracle on 34th Street, the one with Natalie Wood.  I thought it was the one where the little girl proves the existence of Santa Claus to the court by taking a dollar bill and circling the words 'In God We Trust' to say that if the federal government believes in the intangible existence of God, why can't the state believe in Santa Claus?, but apparently that wasn't it.  Maybe the remake?  IDK. 

Today has been nice; we got up and did the presents and stockings, had our special Christmas morning breakfast, and now Mom and I are doing our team cooking thing where she cooks and I help/clean up along the way.  We've got Christmas music on because Dad's in the back yard in this duck blind he uses to hide from the songbirds and photograph them.  He's hoping our male Baltimore Oriole comes back while he's out there with his camera and a lens that's so big I called it Hubble and he decided Edwin was better (it's not; who thinks, 'Oh, Edwin, like Edwin Hubble'?  No one.).  So that's about it.  Hope everyone's having a good day.

rhia_starsong: (Josh victory is mine)
Guys, I did it, I finally graduated!  The ceremony was today, and it was awesome.  Well, except for the part where I'm pretty sure the crowd at my high school graduation was better behaved.  It's like these people have never been to a graduation before (which is impossible, since obviously their kids graduated high school to get to college in the first place).  It was so bad that most of the names they called were impossible to understand. 

It was a little weird, because I'm so used to Davidson's small graduations; not only have our final grades not been reported (yesterday was the last day of exams), but we don't even get our diplomas until February--in the mail.  So we crossed the stage rapid-fire, handing a card with our name on it to the dean of our college, who read it as we crossed, briefly shook hands with the chancellor, and were off.  It took about an hour to graduate ~1200 PhD/masters/bachelors degree students.  But it was still pretty neat, and my dad and stepmom came all the way from Alabama to see me.  We all went out to lunch before and dinner after, with ice cream cake and sparkling wine (not together) at home.  It was a lot of work, though I suspect that cleaning the house for all this was more work than this semester at times, and I feel like I richly deserve this after so long.

rhia_starsong: (Josh victory is mine)
Wow, it's been a while since I posted!  I was kind of avoiding checking my grade for that second summer class, but I looked today and I made a B!  I was kind of hoping I'd squeaked by with a C, so that final paper must have gotten a really good grade.  I swear, it was literally the most depressing class I've ever taken--History of the Holocaust.  But now I only have three classes left to take, only one of which is in my major (it's the thesis class though--yikes)!  Then I'll be through!  (And then I'll have to either find a job or get into something like paralegal or grad school.)  

Classes start up again on Monday.  Mom and I took the opportunity to drive up to Maryland last week to visit her aunt for her 88th birthday, and that was kind of nice.  Seven hours in the car each way wasn't actually too bad split between us.  Not much else going on, but finding out that I did better in that class than I thought has really made my day.
rhia_starsong: (kitty!)
So, my streak of predicting the Super Bowl winner based mostly on who the QB is has gotten back on track; Green Bay pulled through. 

In other news, the best commercial IMO was the Audi rich people's prison escape.  It's followed by the Doritos one with the guy taunting the dog and the dog totally winning.  Most of the others were just sort of blah.  The game itself was pretty exciting, though.  My cat has gotten so used to us jumping up and yelling at great catches/TDs that he doesn't even look up any more. 

The commercial for the Chevy that has the facebook checker made me ashamed to be a human being.  Have we really gotten this asinine and shallow?  Gah.  The Motarola one spoofing an Apple commercial was good, though.
rhia_starsong: (Josh victory is mine)
So.  My mom finally badgered me into doing my taxes this afternoon.  I swear it gets more complicated every year, but this year, I was finally vindicated in my financial filing system.

There's this thing on the state form called the Consumer Use Tax, and it's intended to apply state sales tax to most things you buy on-line and aren't charged state tax for.  Stuff like books, computers and other electronics, that sort of thing.  What's noticeably missing from the list is DVDs.  Yeah.  It's got audio and video tapes, and CDs, but not DVDs.  Good thing, too, since that's most of what I buy. 

And here's the awesome thing: it pays not to keep up with your receipts.  Because then, all you do is go, 'Hmm, yep, total interwebs purchases in these categories is less than $1000, and I definitely don't make more than $40-something thousand a year in taxable income; aha!  Two dollars it is.' 

That's right, I'm paying $2 in Consumer Use Tax.  My mom, who is extremely anal about stuff like taxes and receipt-keeping, had originally carefully worked out that she owed $57, but then realised that my way made it only $39.  And then she went back to last year's return and realised she'd overpaid by $90.  (Here I must confess that until this year, I didn't actually bother finding out what this thing was, so I just assumed it was zero, which isn't far off.)

So, I may have to end up paying both the Feds and the state, but at least I got to say 'I told you so'.
rhia_starsong: (Default)
...in my kitchen last night.  So I had already gone to bed, and my parents were almost in bed (what? I haven't slept well this week), when I was startled by this rather loud whooshing sort of noise that seemed to be coming from right outside my door.

It took me a minute to react to it, but once I realised it couldn't possibly be coming from upstairs, you better believe got myself downstairs pretty fast. 

Meanwhile, this noise is getting louder, and I'm turning on lights as I go, just knowing that it's going to be some sort of horrible gas leak or something.  I got as far as the kitchen (well, one step into the dark was enough), where I abruptly stepped in about 2 cm of very chilly water!

Now, I suffer from pretty bad insomnia, so I had already taken a prescription sleeping med, so I'm pretty proud of how fast I put it together that the water line to the fridge was leaking (more like asploded), and started running up the stairs, yelling about the flooding kitchen.  Thankfully, the kitchen is right under my room, because my parents didn't hear this at all, and we would've woken this morning to a very wet downstairs if I hadn't been here.

So my sleep was seriously delayed by flood cleanup; fortunately again, the damage was minimal.


ETA: ::headdesk::  I was just cleaning the kitchen after breakfast, and my dad uses this really annoying cast iron skillet to cook eggs in, which we generally finish drying on the hob.  So I left it on there while I finished up the hand washing and counters, intending to turn the hob off, as usual.  Only I forgot.  And was subsequently reminded by the fire alarms--both of them.  ::facepalm::  Yes, from flood to almost fire in under 24 hours.  That takes talent.  I still feel a tad wobbly.
rhia_starsong: (classic who)
Ookay, so I've had some interesting days lately. I spent the weekend of the fourth driving four hours down to my dad's house, and then we rode another two or so to my stepmom's sister's place for dinner and stuff. I love it there; out in the country, they have horses (they had two registered Tennessee Walkers this time!) and it's really relaxing to get away from my mom.

Monday started the second summer session, and guys, I really can't believe I'm getting credit for this class: the History of Rock n Roll. Yep. I get free music out of it, too.

Mom's still all in a tizzy about remodelling the house, starting with replacing windows this weekend, which I am not looking forward to at all. Other than that, life continues to be uneventful.
rhia_starsong: (sam and dean)
Well, I've only been down here for two days, but it seems like a week. Amazingly, my family are all getting along, which is actually quite frightening, if you know my family. Grandma is still hanging on, but we're hopeful that she'll be able to move to the other side very soon. I might or might not be back for next week, or part of it, but the memorial service will be next Saturday here. I didn't fall asleep last night until after four a.m., so even though it's only 8:30, I've been yawning for a while now.

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