jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Toby and I have our last screen printing class tomorrow night. There's going to be a little pot luck thing, so we decided to make hummus and bring veggies and chips. I'm going shopping today for the ingredients, so I texted Toby to ask him what to get. His reply was "[list of ingredients]. I got a [more money than I'll make for all of 2016] raise today :)" Nice little afterthought. Heh.

We have not combined finances, as I very much do not want to allow myself to live off of him, even though he'd be willing and I totally could. I really want to feel like I'm carrying my weight before we do too much life weaving, though we both agree that is the ultimate goal. So his giant raise doesn't directly mean much to me just now, but it's still pretty good news. I've encouraged him to stash away a good chunk of what he can toward buying more property. He owns a rental now, and we both want to own more, so...yeah. I think that's the plan. And one day it will be our combined empire, I guess? That's the hope!

I got some sort of discouraging news last night, though. A friend has been considering buying a new property in Portland for a while, and we've discussed it a bunch and it's always been one of those things where he promised to keep me in the loop when his thoughts get more serious. Without making this too much about other people's personal lives, here's the skeleton of the situation: two of my friends, both polyamorous, are in relationships with other people who do not want kids. Both of these friends do want kids, and have talked about co-parenting arrangements, involving living in side-by-side duplexes, things like that. The idea was that if this were to come to be, I'd find them a property and everyone would live happily ever after. BUT one of those friends (with whom I've never been terribly close; I know the other one much better) is dating Dan (my ex). And apparently Dan is likely to be living in that house now. So they don't think they can hire me as a Realtor. Ugh.

Our breakup was not pretty -- our relationship existed in a very bad time in my life, and as I started to come out of that period of darkness, I realized the relationship was not what I wanted. I ended it as kindly as I could, but the end dragged out way too long -- we were living together (a decision a sane and healthy Meg would never have made, sigh), and the time between the breakup and when Dan moved out got really tense. Still, I feel like I was very kind in how I let him stay until he found something else, and then keep his things here even longer...I'm sure his side of the story is a little different, but my point is I didn't TRY to make it awful between us. I just wanted to end the relationship, and he pretty much decided not to be in my life anymore after that, which has been fine. We haven't run into each other at all. But it was a surprise to me that he would be a roadblock to someone else buying a house from me...someone whom I still consider a friend. I was surprised to hear my friend last night tell me that Dan has very uncharitable thoughts toward me. That's just shitty. I think back on all the awful things he said about his ex-wife, too. Things I took at his word at the time...but here's the thing: she ended their marriage; not him. I ended our relationship; not him. If the partners in his life have been so awful, why wasn't it he who ended things? I know it's never black and white and of course people stay in bad relationships all the time...but when there's a pattern of "she dumped me, isn't she wretched?" maybe it's time for some introspection? I haven't wished him ill in the time we've been apart. Sometimes I've been curious how he's doing, but he made it clear he wants no interaction with me, and I'm content with that anyway. But today I can't help but be angry with him. I can understand him not wanting to hire me as HIS Realtor, but I wouldn't be in this case, and honestly that's kind of secondary to wtf is he saying to my friends about me now, more than a year out from our breakup, that is so uncharitable? Hrrrnnng.

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal, and I'll get over it soon. Hopefully my friends will still work with me if they do buy a house together. If not, I'll be disappointed but understanding, and hopefully they will at least let me refer them to someone else. Right now I'm going to go cardio out some frustrations, and daydream about the life that exists for me when I am a big shot Realtor partnered with a big shot programmer, and the disappointments of my past romantic follies no longer cut so deeply.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Just dropped Toby off for his flight to Edinburgh, so now it's just me and my brother's dog Slim here in Brooklyn for a few days. I'm already feeling a little lonely (Slim isn't much of a conversationalist), but a few days of unwinding time will be good. I was just settling into a nice relaxing evening of absolutely nothing when I got a work email -- an offer on my listing! It's been sitting for a while and I've been antsy to get some action on it. Waiting for the sellers to call me back to discuss it some more. Dunno if they'll accept it right off, but I'm psyched to have something to discuss, anyway! It'll be less fun trying to coordinate this stuff from Mexico, but whatever.

I really miss Cleopatrick, too. He can be a real shit, but I got used to it. And I miss being scratched and jumped on all the time, apparently. I'm really excited to see my family and be at a fancy resort in Mexico and all...but I'm really REALLY excited to be back in Portland with my kitten and my sweetheart. Not that I want vacation to zip by quickly. I love my family and want to be with them. I just want to be in both places at once.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)

So many things going on. This'll be a long one.

Falcon Ridge

Our flight landed in Newark at 5am on Wednesday. We hadn't slept much, and desperately needed to catch up on snoozes before the drive up to Hillsdale, so we picked up our rental car and came into Brooklyn to nap in my brother's apartment. We got up and got on the move around noon, showered, reorganized our suitcases so that we could leave some non-essentials back in Brooklyn, got some foods and set out on the 3-hour drive to Dodd's Farm. We got there around 4:30 and I giddily ran around giving hugs and introducing Toby to my Shantyfam. Then we went to set up our tent...

Toby opened up my small suitcase to look for it and I said "oh, no, it's in the other suitcase." "The other suitcase?" "Yeah..." "Oh..."
See, when we set out, I went to get the car from where I'd parked it, and asked Toby to bring all our stuff down to load. I stayed in the car while he and the doorman loaded everything, and never really took inventory of what went it. Turns out he'd thought when I reorganized my suitcases, I'd put everything I needed in the little one and was leaving the big one here with stuff I wouldn't need for camping. HA HA WHOOPS.

So we turned around and went back to Brooklyn to get it. It wasn't just the tent, or we'd have borrowed one from someone else -- it also had my meds and ALL my clothes. So going back was necessary. Since we had six extra hours to spend in each other's company, I launched into a relationship talk -- that'll teach him to forget shit! Seriously though it wasn't anything bombshelly or difficult. Just like "hey so we basically live together now, can we get a little more organized about how we handle planning and budgeting for the house and the future and stuff?" and we talked about that. It was nice. We've always been on pretty much the same page, but it's good to talk about it rather than just assume shit.

On the way back, Toby read to me from my new Scientology book. We were back on the farm by 11ish, set up our tent by the light of our headlamps, and got down to the socializing right away.

The festival was great, as it always is. The stars were out in full force each night, and we could see the arm of the Milky Way clearly overhead with our naked eyes. It was hot during the days and cool at night, and only rained overnight, when it was no inconvenience to any of us. We did some contra dancing this year, and like every year, I always come away from that wishing I did more of it at home. So that's on the list of things to try in Portland. We also went to a few more stage acts -- our friend Eric Lee had a solo set on the Lounge Stage, so we checked that out (he's great! so happy for him to be moving on up as a singer/songwriter), saw Mike & Ruthy (of the Mammals), Brother Sun, Eric Schwartz, and The Grand Slambovians. That's like five more acts than I usually see :)

Back at camp, we played our instruments with friends -- I still feel nervous about jamming, but I'm getting better at it, and when it's a song I know, I can really nail it. Eric gave us some pointers that helped a lot, and we learned some new tunes that I really enjoyed. We also did a lot of yarncrafting. Toby had his knitting, and I'd brought a crochet hook and a skein of yarn -- I knew someone there would be willing to give me a refresher course, and after a quick lesson, I was working on a nice rectangle :) The idea is baby blanket, but this may just be a practice one. I'm not sure I have enough yarn to make a very big one, but it's something to do with myself for now and I'll be ready to pick up a few skeins and do a real project when I get home. There was lots of singing and drinking and merriment.

Friday afternoon/evening was our annual camp party. This year it was a steak and martini luau. Luau because that's what we'd planned all along, and steak & martini because Stuart used to always host a steak & martini night for whoever wanted to participate. Janice (Stuart's widow) was there just for that one day and overnight, and we started the festivities with a big circle and chatka for Stu with his favorite Scotch. We passed the bottle around and took turns sharing memories and love, and everyone cried a lot, but it was one of my favorite moments from the fest this year. Of course it was devastatingly sad, but to lay bare our emotions and be there for each other was really special. We hugged and held each other and raised our glasses and our voices to our friend, and it was really beautiful.


Toby and I got back to Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon, and promptly fell asleep for five hours. We still had to return the rental car to Newark, but going later in the evening meant a fairly smooth journey. My cousin Ben and his wife Lorraine were staying here at WT's place as well, so we hung out and caught up with them for a while. Ben is the oldest in my generation (57), and I'm the youngest (33), so we've never really done much hanging out, and I hadn't seen him more than 3 or 4 times since Marma died in 1998. But it was great to hang out and chat, and they seemed to like Toby, too. Good to get the seal of approval, even though I don't require it.

Monday morning we went for a walk in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and decided we'd try to do a theater thing later. Toby's never been to the city before, so I wanted to give him a good NYC experience without being overly touristy about it. (No Statue of Liberty, no Times Square bullshit, etc.) My little cousin Byron from the other side of my family is living here now, so we made plans to meet up with him for a show. I found a ticket app that has discount tickets for same-day shows, and after browsing the list of available options, we were most interested in something called Drunk Shakespeare. The blurb wasn't really clear on what it was, but the title was enough of a draw anyway. Here's what I wrote in an email to Emily about it:

Drunk Shakespeare was amazing. It's set up as this like Shakespeare club meeting thing, and I'm not sure if they rotate different plays each time (from their social media, it's clear that the one we saw has been done before, but it also sounds like they do some others), and one actor does five shots before we start. Also the whole audience gets shots as we're being seated. They constantly call points of order, and this part seemed totally improvised, where one cast member will make a suggestion to change something. Usually it's to make another cast member do their next lines as someone else (elmo, donald trump, liza minelli, in german, while doing the macarena, whatever). The "drunk" cast member is definitely not the only one who's intoxicated, they're just the most so. My favorite part was when the drunk cast member decided she didn't like one of the character's names, and she took suggestions from the audience to change it. The five-year-old boy who becomes Macbeth's main challenger was known from Act IV on as "Big Dick Kitty Cat." They didn't do the entirety of Macbeth, but they hit all the main points, so that the whole story was done in the time of the show. It was a great mix of Shakespeare's original dialogue and some hilarious modernizations and improv. Anyway I think you'd really love it if you ever get a chance to see something like this.

Yesterday we had plans with our friend Craig to do a trivia night in Bushwick, but plenty of time before then to check out some other things. We started the day by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, and browsed around Chinatown and Little Italy (with a gelato stop in Little Italy, natch!) before heading uptown to check out the Museum of Sex.

The Museum of Sex is great and I definitely recommend it. But there was one major flaw. The first several exhibits were, as one might expect, very sexy. It's hard not to get a little hot and bothered in there. And of course I was there with my very sexy boyfriend, so I was feeling a little worked up...but then the last exhibit is about animal sex and sexuality. It was very interesting and totally relevant, but I guess I just didn't really enjoy going into that feeling horny. It was awkward. Great museum, though!

We walked around that neighborhood for a bit afterward, and stopped in the Museum of Math for the gift shop -- we didn't have time to check out the museum, and I'd been there before, but the gift shop had awesome stuff and we got a new game to play and he picked up some gifts for his niece and nephew in Scotland.

Today we're going to check out the NYC Transit Museum, then I'll take Toby to the airport and he'll fly off to Scotland for two weeks. I'll miss him, most of all during the next four days when I'm just sort of hanging around Brooklyn by myself, but then I'll be in Cancun with my family so the second half won't be so bad.

McKenzie Feels

Before this trip began, Z and I had been communicating a lot more frequently, and it had been really nice. Very friendly, not just mere logistics. We were getting along great and being kind and supportive. Still keeping a safe distance, but communicating. Then I found out from Katy that his parents have their house listed for sale. That was a real punch in the gut. I know they have a Realtor friend they've worked with for years, so I'm not outraged that they didn't hire me, but I was surprised they didn't talk to me about it first anyway. It hurt to find out after the fact. So I sent McKenzie an email just saying I didn't really know what to do with my feelings about it and asking him if he knew why they had chosen not to talk to me. He didn't reply. I figured he was busy with the NABC so whatever, I let it go. Then he sent me a short email on Sunday with some quick business about our property transfers (STILL not done). I wrote back, answered his questions, and asked him to please address my previous email. He wrote back but only responded to the condo part of my message, and again ignored the part about his parents. I wrote back again and called him out for ignoring me, saying it's okay if he doesn't want to talk to me about it, but he needs to at least SAY that. So he wrote back and said he wouldn't talk about it with me. There was a little more back and forth and the content is unimportant, but the point is that I could feel that his attitude had shifted in a bad way. I could tell he was upset with me. I have no idea why and he won't tell me, which sucks. I've had so little interaction with him that it's impossible that it's something recent that I've done. He's either mad about something from the past that he only just now learned about or is starting to process, or he heard something from someone else that's not true and is mad about that. In either case, I'd like the opportunity to defend myself, or at least do damage control. Even though we're not together, I hate that he's upset with me, and I hate that we have another backslide now when our communications were at a place where talking to him was leaving me feeling GOOD. So to lose that sucks.

I asked some mutual friends if anything had happened that they knew of that would have caused such a stark change in his attitude toward me. No one could offer me anything more than theories -- he had a bad time at the NABC, or maybe it's the stress of moving. So I found out he's moving to Alabama to be with his girlfriend.

Hearing that was hard. Obviously I'm with Toby and I'm very happy and we're serious about each other, so it's not like it's out of the question that McKenzie could've found the same thing with someone else, too. But it's still hard. I think it would be easier for me to wish him well if he'd told me himself, or if he were still being kind and friendly. But since I'm hurting from the way he's spoken to me lately, my first reaction is not wishing him well but rather smugly enjoying the fact that I know he will hate living in Alabama. I don't like that I feel this way, but...okay. And maybe whatever made him change his tone to me is more about him than me. Maybe he's sad to be moving away and he's having triggery feelings about when he left Portland to move to Virginia with me and I'm sure that's hard for him. I don't know if that's what's making him change his tone the way he has, but until he can talk to me about it thoughtfully the way we had been talking, my feelings are not charitable.

There are several silver linings, though. The FOMO will be so much less -- while he's been in Seattle, he's been in social groups with lots of people I used to be social with and have really missed since leaving bridge. It's so hard to know that he's been up there having fun with the people I really miss. Since I don't know anyone in his Alabama circle, I will be a lot less jealous about his life there. And it makes room for me to get back in better contact with the Seattle folks, since now I could go to Seattle and not feel weird. It also means he won't be working local bridge events, so I'll feel free to actually participate in them again. I really do look forward to that. Toby is learning and I want to play with him in real events. And now I will be able to, so that's good.

I talked to Katy yesterday and told her about some of my concerns, particularly regarding whether my in-laws still want me in their life, since they didn't tell me about the house. She assured me that they love me very much and I'm still family, so that made me feel a lot better. The McKenzie stuff is hard and probably always will be, but I'm in a good place, really. Toby is wonderful and I'm happy in Portland and in the relationships I've got. Things are good. If I'm not scoring 10's across the board, I'm still okay.

Off to the transit museum now!

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Real estate is moving so slowly for me this year. Last year I sort of just lucked into a lot of good client situations. This year I have things going on, but nothing has closed yet and it's all moving at a snail's pace. I've had one short sale deal pending for six months now. I have a handful of clients in the "I'll be ready really soon" stages. I have one active listing in a small community that's not very busy. And even Toby's deal, which is a private transaction without Realtors, is taking forever. I'm not officially working for him -- he's buying the place he has been renting for the last three years from the previous landlord, who is offering it at a discount price since neither party is using Realtors that charge commissions. FSBO's (For sale by owner) are notoriously difficult. There's a reason most people hire Realtors. We're fucking worth it. If that doink had hired me, this shit would've been closed months ago. If Toby didn't have me advocating for him, he'd have signed off on a bad deal months ago. Basically the landlord is trying to get out of making any necessary repairs on the basis that he's giving Toby a good discount. Um, no. The discount is based on what you'd get if the house were in perfect condition. He keeps threatening to pull the deal and just list the place at the price he wants, but I told Toby to call his bluff. If he does list it, any buyer who comes will come with a Realtor who will advise them the same that I'm advising Toby: either get the repairs done or demand a lower price. And that Realtor is going to ask for 3% commission. So it's in the landlord's best interest to stop dicking around and make the repairs, but he's trying to wring some extra dollars out of it. The annoying thing is that he's making a big profit on it anyway. What's $3000 in contractor work when you're pocketing a $30,000 profit? I mean, 10%, okay, but still. And actually I have no memory of what his purchase price was, other than that it was much lower than the sales price. Anyway.

I'm doing some work, though. I'm a lot more active in real estate than I was earlier this year, and hopefully that will begin to pay off. It's just a slow kind of thing. Buying and selling houses are not decisions made in a day, so any relationships I cultivate now aren't going to yield a closing for many months at least. Sigh. So I'm doing other things in the meantime. Uber driving. Trivia hosting. Airbnb renting. Flipping tickets on Stubhub. (I just bought my first Timbers tickets to sell and I feel so DIRTY.)

One of my favorite colleagues at Windermere is also in WW, and this week we started going to the same meeting and hanging out after. She's younger than me and got licensed about a year after I did, so she's just now getting going. We have some things we're working on together, and I'm looking forward to what that may yield, too. I had a really nice time hanging out with her yesterday afternoon. She's very like-minded and I just love her. She's also the first person I consider a peer who calls me Margaret. Heh.

Speaking of WW...down 18.4 pounds total. My goal weight is just 7 pounds away, but I set that when a 25 pound loss seemed monumentally difficult. Now I'm thinking maybe I could move the goalposts a little farther away. Bodies are funny. I don't remember what I weighed when I started my sophomore year in college, but I do remember that I was a size 12, and my roommate mentioned to me that she weighed 142 pounds. And that sounded really high to me then. I was not fit at all, and I had a bit of a belly roll, but I'd guess my weight was like 130 at the time? That was also the year that I started gaining weight like crazy. When I was at my heaviest, at age 22, I was 199 pounds. I wasn't going to let it tip over to 200. But I was still just a size 16 then. I am really tall, after all. It was spread out. But anyway I started working with my first trainer then, and she got me down to 166 over the next two years. 33 pounds lighter, and I went down to a size 14. One size down. (I was lifting weights and doing cardio that built my muscle up, but I hadn't changed my diet yet.) Then I joined WW and set my goal weight at 142 -- that number that had once seemed irresponsibly heavy to me. And I did get there. It was from a solid combination of exercise and diet, and at my smallest, I was a size 6 in most clothes -- 3 sizes down from when I'd been 130 in college, and a size I'd last worn before I hit puberty. I weighed 105 the last time I squeezed into a size 6, at age 14. Today I weigh 162 and I'm wearing a size 12 again. I imagine I can get down to a size 8 or so, but I'll be surprised if my weight ever dips below 150 again. Muscle. It makes a difference. (Also, that self-righteous 19-year-old who thought 142 was heavy? She can go fuck herself. Except she won't because she was afraid of vaginas back then.)
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I have clients who want to look at a property in Gresham today. Just one property. Gresham is over an hour from my place. But this is my job and I'm happy to do it, so I drive out to Gresham. And I get there and...the house is inaccessible. There's a key in the lockbox but it only works on the exterior garage door. Some previous Realtor has locked the interior door, and there is no key for that. So you can't get into the house at all. I called the listing agent, thinking maybe he would be able to rush over and do something about it. He told me that he was aware of the problem and had tried to get in yesterday, but couldn't. He'd called a locksmith but it might be a few days.

Me: Okay, well you should probably put a note in the RMLS so people don't waste their time coming here when they can't get in. My clients and I drove a long way.
Him: You know these things happen.
Me: Sure, but you're aware of the problem and it would be easy for you to put a note for other Realtors.
Him: Whatever.

Um, dude? Fuck you. I left Taborgrass shortly after 11:30, got to the house to show it a little before 1, had that conversation, and now I've just gotten home at 2pm. 2.5 hours of my time completely wasted because you're a lazy bunghole.

By far the worst part of this job is depending on other Realtors to do their jobs well. Because it's pretty rare.
jianantonic: (Default)
If the offers I wrote today get accepted and these deals close, I will have made more money TODAY than I made in 10 months last year.

I feel good about these offers. I know better than to get my hopes too high, but I do feel good. Anxious to get responses from the sellers.

The waiting around in this job is agony.

But I'm killing it.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Real estate is taking up just about every free waking moment I've had lately, as well as a lot of moments I'd prefer not to be waking. But it's good! It's just busy. I'm getting better at organizing my to-do lists and all my time, but it's a challenge.

My first sale closed yesterday. It is done. Success! Then the second sale I had, which was supposed to close two weeks from now, fell through. We had an inspection last week and it was just bad news bears, so we bailed. It's a bummer, because I'd put a LOT of work into that one, and it's kind of a kick in the face how much work it takes to cancel a deal and not get paid, but I'm still working with the buyers, and we'll find something. We're just starting over, and it'll be a little longer until I see a paycheck for it. But it's all good. I really like these clients and don't mind working more with them :) Friends Chris and Bethany have been gearing up to sell their townhouse and buy a new place for after they get married this summer, and we submitted an offer on Sunday night (and then an addendum yesterday when competing offers came in), and found out yesterday afternoon that we'd won that contract. I'm currently sitting in their living room while an inspector does the pre-inspection for their listing. Between competing for the contract and getting their listing ready yesterday, as well as the last-minute closing stuff for the other sale, and then combing the market for new listings for my other clients, I was spinning in all directions yesterday. But by the end of the day, I had a closed sale, a contract, signed documents for the listing, and a showing appointment for today. So. All is as it should be. Professionally, anyhow.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
So impatient.

I submitted an offer on behalf of my clients on Tuesday. I was told at the time that they were expecting multiple offers and they would present them all on Sunday afternoon (today). I advised my clients to write the strongest offer they could, and I'm pretty confident about their offer. But I can't exhale until I get the signed contract.

I got an email from the listing agent around 7 tonight asking for details about my clients' financing. I took that as a good sign -- they wouldn't give a shit if they weren't considering our offer, right? I sent the requested info back immediately and obsessively checked my phone for a response for the next three hours.

I finally got an email from the agent, and I opened it all kinds of excitedly. But it was just a heads up that he'll let us know tomorrow. For fuck's sake. Apparently we're one of 9 offers. I know it's a lot of paperwork for the agent, and maybe the seller is going to be thinking about it, but omg I just want to know now. I guess not being told no is a good thing. But I would like to have a definite yes.

Anyway...fingers crossed.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Thank you for the supportive responses to my last post -- it's just like I said; my friends are amazing and wonderful and make me feel good. I love you guys so much.

In professional news, real estate is really picking up! I have one sale pending (I am the buyers' agent, and it is set to close on 3/16), and all of a sudden I have several new clients that I'm working with. I'm taking a family out on tour tonight in SW Portland. I met these guys when I had a fish tank emergency last week and was in and out of the aquarium store all weekend. On one of my later visits, the guy who was helping me mentioned something about going to lots of open houses with his wife. You don't say! So I asked him if they were working with a Realtor yet, and when he said no, I gave him my card and told him to get in touch. He's been taking AMAZING care of me with all my rookie fish tank problems, and I'm going to take equally amazing care of his family when we look for a house. His wife called me the next day and I've been sharing listings with her all week. Looking at 5 tonight, then probably 5-10 more tomorrow. Suddenly all my free time is filled with clients and I have some direction in my work. It feels great. Makes me wonder about my insurance job, though, and how much longer it makes sense to stay there. Even with all this business going, the paychecks are slow to come in -- I don't get paid on anything until a few weeks after a successful closing, and I put weeks of work into it before that happens. So even if I start making deals left and right this week, it'll be at least six weeks before I'm paid for any of it. So, even though I'm much busier with real estate, I have to still squeeze it into my time off from claims for now. I have been feeling extremely busy and overscheduled. But I'm happy with what is on my schedule, so it's okay.

My aquarium now has 5 fish. We had a bit of a tank catastrophe last week, and I'm still working on fixing that, but thanks to my fish guy, I've got temporary fixes in place for while I figure out the major stuff, and the fish are content. I got two bright orange clown fish, and one really beautiful Bangai cardinal. I'll add pictures soon, but I haven't had any time to photograph them because it's been nonstop maintenance for a while. Fish tankin' is hard work, y'all. But I'm doing it, so there.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
The best news is that my clients made an offer on a house today! I spent most of the morning tweaking and working on it, but got it submitted to the listing agent right at noon. Now just holding my breath until we hear back. They have a deadline of 8pm tomorrow. I think we wrote a very strong offer. Fingers crossed!

Other good news is that I met with the DI team that I'll be mentoring this year. I'm not their team manager, but everyone on the team, including the TM, is new to DI, so the local board hooked them up with me to help them with any questions they have. The team is 3 sixth-grade girls, and they've chosen the service learning challenge. For this challenge, they have to identify a problem in the community, do something to address said problem, and then give a presentation about their efforts. The problem they chose is gender inequality in science and tech. Not misogyny, just that there aren't enough girls. They say they're aware that efforts exist to get girls more involved in these fields, but these programs tend to target high school girls. They want it to start sooner, and so they're gearing their work toward elementary school girls.

Pause right here to say how awesome that is, and how proud I am that this is what they've chosen. I love it.

But here comes the facepalm...

The way they're going to engage little girls in science is by showing them that to make cosmetics, you need chemistry. They're holding a demonstration where they'll make lip gloss and other (their words) girly things.

I will say that I think it'd be fucking rad if my friends and I had a lip gloss making party. Shit, maybe we will. I do love lip gloss. And I love making stuff.

And you know, this is probably a great angle for them to use. It does sound fun and I'm sure the kids will like it. And they're only 11, so it's not like they have really experienced the gender gap that will stand in their way later in life, so it's not like they're missing the point or something. It's just...it bums me out that in order to get little girls interested in male-dominated fields, there's such a need to feminize it. Pinkify.

Oh well. They're really bright kids and I think they're going to do a great job. I'm excited to see their solution. But, but...sigh.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I held two open houses this weekend. Well, one house, but two times. I feel like I'm still not great at talking to the people that come through. I can answer questions about the house, sure, but the real purpose is to pick up clients from the people who are looking. I'd been whiffing at that the first bunch of times I held opens, but practice makes perfect, right? So I'll keep at it until I get better. Today was the first time when I felt like I met some people who might actually call me. Part of the problem is that I keep holding this same house open, and it's been on the market for a while and it's shop worn. It would be better to get a new listing to hold open, but I guess at least I'm familiar with this one...

I am anxious. I want to get better, faster. I want more time to spend on real estate, but the problem is that I'm not making money at it yet, so I can't afford to not make my hours at my paying job my top priority. With all my personal life upheaval, it just feels like I have very little time to put toward this thing that I really want to be a big thing in my life. I'll get there, though. Once I get a couple of closings under my belt, I'll be able to reduce my hours (quit?) at the insurance job and put more time into Realtoring.

I mentioned personal life upheaval. Yeah. That's happening. I mean, it has been for a while. Maybe it would be more of an upheaval if things were calm. I'm just so sad all the time. McKenzie is sad all the time. I think it's probably exhausting to be my friend right now, because all I talk about is how sad I am, and how things are just in a repetitive cycle of sad. That's why I'm not posting much these days. It's just the same sad stuff around and around again. My marriage is in trouble. But I love my husband. He loves me. We're both sad. We both want it to work. But we're failing. Are we breaking up? Are we staying together? When will we make a decision that sticks, one way or the other? It's so draining. He changed his travel plans and will be coming home tomorrow so that we can do some emergency relationship maintenance. Maintenance may not be the right word. But the point is we're going to work together toward progress of some kind.

I'm trying to keep myself busy with productive, creative, and healthy endeavors. I'm going to the gym regularly, hiking when I can get friends to join me in the cold, wet outdoors, and just trying to be around friends more. My friends are wonderful people. They rally hard for me when they know I'm suffering. They make sure I always know I'm loved and appreciated. They entertain me. I include my LJ friends in that group, too. I am so grateful for this platform. I'm sad it's not what it used to be and so many people have stopped using it, but I've also made so many great friends here by looking for new people when my friends list went quiet, so in a way I'm glad it's not what it used to be, too.

Anyway, if you're one of those friends who'd like to be there for me more, but you live far away, may I suggest a visit to Portland? I've got guest rooms and airline miles I'm happy to share. I'd be really grateful for company, for the opportunity to focus on being a Portland ambassador, for in-person hugs.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My sewing instructor is sick, so class was canceled for tonight. I took advantage of my surprise free time to start building my Windermere website. It's still VERY preliminary, and it's not even really live yet -- it exists on the internet, but it won't show up on the Windermere directory or in search engines until it's more complete. Still, you can take a look at what I've got so far. Margaret Myers Portland Real Estate. I wrote the first blog post and put a temporary picture of myself on the page -- I was supposed to get professional photos done today, but that person also called out sick, and I decided a smart phone can take a good enough photo anyway, so I'll go with that as soon as I have the time to dress myself up again. I spent over an hour doing my hair and makeup this morning! Sigh. Just so that effort doesn't go completely to waste, here's a selfie I took:

After waking up early to make myself look business cardworthy, I went to a meeting and did Realtory things in the morning. Then I tried in vain to find an affordable place to get my photos taken when the photog couldn't make it to the meeting, and when that failed, I gave up and changed into my gym clothes for another session with Ertan. I guess he decided last week that our time off didn't set me back too much, because we were back at 100% pain today. The way he works me out is to set up a circuit of three different exercises at a time, and I go through the circuit three times, then we move on. Usually one of those three items is next-to-impossible level of difficulty, a second one is hard-but-not-as-hard, and the third in the group is usually kind of an active recovery thing. Today, everything was top level difficult. I'm sore. But I did it all. Ertan was proud. I'm proud. Woo.

I got the notice that sewing class was canceled after the gym, so I got to work on the website stuff instead. I need to link my custom domain to the site, get my work email in there (only problem is right now I don't know what my work email IS), get a newer photo of myself, and add something in that pathetically empty "Useful Links" field. I've written one blog post, and I'll try to post to that semi-regularly. I decided that quick blurbs about my favorite Portland things would be great fodder. That's a well that won't dry up. I'll also post more realty-specific things, too.

It also occurs to me that I should mention this to my friends -- I am only licensed in Oregon, so I can only be your agent if you want to buy or sell here, but if you want to buy or sell somewhere else, I can refer you to someone near you. Realtors pay each other referral fees for these things, and it can be a significant portion of income. So if you or anyone you know needs a Realtor, hit me up, even if it's not in Oregon. Pretty please? Kthx.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I need to be productive today. I have let myself sleep in and relax a little bit, but soon it will be time to get this shit moving. I'm working on my real estate tools, going through the slow and tedious process of adding everyone I know who might ever buy or sell a home in Oregon to my work database. I have ideas swirling around for my website, too, but I haven't decided on anything concrete yet. My friend Paul gave me the BEST IDEA EVER for one of the tasks I have to tackle, but I'm not going to write about it specifically because that will spoil the fun surprise that's coming.

Other things I need to do today: go to the gym, go to the fabric store and get materials for the next project in my sewing class, whatever real estate work I can do, and maybe be crafty. I have some incomplete jewelry projects I could work on, and may do some practice stuff with my sewing machine. Blazers fan fest is this evening, and i'm going to that with Shellie, so I guess I need to get all these things done before then. I am so freaking excited that it's basketball season again, finally. I love the Blazers.

Last night, Z and I went on a movie date for the first time in a long time. We didn't know anything about anything that's showing now, but we both liked what we read about The Skeleton Twins, so we decided to go see that. It was definitely a good movie. But. It was kind of absolutely the wrong thing for us to see together. Way too many parallels to the shit we've been going through, and it got really hard to sit in the theater together with that weight on us both. We did talk it through after the movie, though, and I'm really pleased that we were able to do that in a healthy and productive way. I was really afraid the effect of the movie would be that we'd both be bristly and uncomfortable with each other for days, but we talked and the bristliness went away within a few minutes instead. Yay progress! So my review of the movie is that it's good and often funny but you shouldn't see it if you're in the middle of relationship struggles, and you definitely shouldn't see it with the person with whom you are relationship struggling. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I was supposed to have a massage on Monday, but the therapist got sick and had to cancel at the last minute, so I was rescheduled for last night, and they gave me a free upgrade to the 80-minute massage for my inconvenience. Great, right? Eh. They also gave me a different therapist without telling me, and while I'm not really picky about who massages me, there are a few I don't like, and this was one of them. He's a nice enough guy, but the first time he massaged me, he did things with my legs that just made me feel really uncomfortably exposed, and it's hard to relax like that. So I wouldn't have chosen this guy if I'd known. I told him about my accident and he decided that meant he needed to spend the entire 80 minutes on my upper back. He definitely loosened it up, and I guess that's good, but today it is SO BRUISED. It hurts to move. Some massages are like that -- they kick your ass to get your body back the way it's supposed to be -- but I just wanted a relaxing rub down, and that's not really what I got. Eh, first world problems.

It's a little overwhelming to think of all that I have going on right now. My therapist and I talked yesterday about breaking things down into little goals. So here's what those look like right now:
Goal for this week: get my car registered in my name
Goal for this weekend: start work on my website
Goals for this month: get one listing and at least one real estate client (in addition to the listing)

Getting the listing and clients are tricky -- it's not like I can follow step 1, step 2, step 3 and then I'm there. I have to work for it, but the timing has to be right -- I have to meet the right people who want to do this kind of work right now and who want me to help them. So it'll be trial and error and probably lots of swinging and missing for a while, but I hope that my efforts (whatever they will be?) will result in at least a few quality matches. I'm not really sure what, exactly, I'll do to work on this, but the website is one piece, networking is certainly another -- but it's really important to me that my friends don't feel used. I'll need my contacts to help me in my career, but I still value them as friends above potential commissions. I also want to hold some open houses for other agents who have listings but don't feel like spending whole afternoons sitting around these homes. It's pretty common for new agents to do this, so I should be able to hook up with some established agents and maybe make some new contacts that way. I'm hopeful!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I passed my licensing exam today! I was so nervous about it that I've had a terribly upset stomach all day (even now, several hours after passing, my nerves aren't quite settled yet), but I'm over-the-moon happy. No time to bask just yet, though -- back to my claims job for the rest of the week, with busy evenings, too. I'll use what down time I can find to start building my website and start setting up my broker tools in the Windermere system. Then this weekend I'll have some more time to spend on it. Think I can get a listing next week? Heh, doubtful...but I'd love to! I really want to have my first listing by the end of October. That's my next goal. I'd be much obliged if you could help me out with that -- if you know of anyone looking to buy or sell property in Oregon, tell them to call me! The fact that I'm brand new to it means that my supervising broker will be watching me very closely, so if I do fuck something up, he'll make sure it gets fixed before it's a problem anyway. And I don't have dozens of clients to steal my attention away...yet! I'm going to rock this job.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I went into Windermere this morning to get set up as much as I could -- there's only so much I can do without a license, because I can't get my RMLS ID, and I need that to set up all my Windermere accounts and whatnot, but I at least met some people and got to know the office a little better. I also finished the application for my license, which was the last step before scheduling my licensing exam. It took a couple hours, but I got the confirmation of that and then was able to schedule my exam. The list of options included three time slots a day starting tomorrow, so I just took the earliest one. I'm taking my exam tomorrow at 3:30. Holy shit.

I was told it takes ten days to schedule the exam, so I didn't think I'd actually be looking at taking it until at least next week. But, nope, tomorrow.

I guess I'm spending tonight studying.

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
This weekend has been awesome. But today has been full of suckitude. Lemme esplain. (Full disclosure: I'm already drunk from celebrating the things I'm about to write about.)

I had wanted to finish all my real estate course exams this weekend. As of Friday, I had five to go (out of the original seven). I had intended to spread them out, but Friday and Saturday were so full of awesome that I had no time at home to do lame things like study and work. So Sunday rolled around and not only was I exhausted from a funtastic weekend, but I had five tests left to take, and all the review...by noon, I was still tossing and turning and trying to squeeze some more rest out of the "night," and had made no progress. But I'd promised myself (and my new boss) that I'd finish this weekend, so I had to buckle down. It took me all flipping afternoon, but I finished the tests! You have to score 75% or better on each in order to pass. I passed them all on the first try, but I scored 76% and 78% on two of them. That was close!

As a lifelong 4.0 student, I'd normally feel pretty shitty about C performances like this, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of the shit that I was tested on is only tangentially relevant to a real estate career, so I don't feel the need to know it thoroughly. Also, my brokerage is behind me 100%, and after I pass the licensing exam, I'll have that safety net under me throughout. And I'll learn it all as I experience it. Exactly 0% of this coursework dealt with how to negotiate, how to be a salesperson, stuff like that. It feels like this is just the hurdle I have to jump before I can start the job. I know I'm going to fucking love it. I'm so psyched that I'm ready to start now.

I'm going into the office tomorrow to set up MY office. My website, etc. Getting closer. I need a good domain name for my website. I'm using my legal name, Margaret, instead of Meg as an agent. So the URL should include my name and something about property or real estate or something...I'm TERRIBLE at coming up with this stuff. Any ideas? One of my colleagues is named Stacy, and she has realestacy.com. Makes me wish my name was Stacy...and that domain wasn't already taken :P Anyway.

YAY. I'm so close!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I just passed another real estate exam. I have 5 to go, then will be able to schedule my licensing exam. I intend to complete those 5 over the coming weekend. They don't take long, I just have to spend some time reviewing before I take them. On Monday, I'm going into Windermere to start setting up my office. Exciting!

And since I got everything done early tonight, I'm going to try to catch up on some snoozes. Woohoo for going to sleep before 9pm!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Youguysyouguysyouguys! I finished my real estate coursework! I still have a few steps before I'm licensed -- there are end-of-course exams I have to pass, and I should study a bit before I try to take those, because some of that reading is not very fresh in my mind, but I did take one of them today and passed it (for the most recent subject material I covered). It only took about ten minutes to complete that exam, though, so I don't think that the rest of them will take up too much time. Then I need to schedule my final licensing exam, pass the mofo (you find out immediately), and proceed with my startup stuff like getting photos taken and launching a website and all that fun stuff. I'm so close! Finishing the coursework was huge for me, though. I've been stagnating for a long time, really close to the finish line but just not focused enough to fucking get it done. We talked a lot about that in therapy last night, discussed strategies to get the ball rolling again (and to stay on task), and whaddya know, I applied said strategies and was successful. Huzzah!

Therapy has been really good lately. I'm feeling a lot better about so many things, and both Z and I are much more relaxed in our coexistence than we have been in...ever. So that's good. Obviously there's a lot about it that's still really hard, but I feel like we're making the right kind of progress.

I've got an awesome long weekend ahead of me. We've got three different guests coming for various stays -- Jen Cote is coming up from NM tonight, and will be here through Tuesday. She was here about this time last year and I love her and we always have a blast together. Then tomorrow, Jen Chalfan is coming down from Seattle, probably bringing her daughter, and staying for the weekend. We're all signed up to run a 5K on Saturday, which happens to take place at a local amusement park, so that'll be a fun day. Then on Sunday, we have a new short-term renter moving in.

In preparation for all of this, we've been doing a lot of housework. That's something else I'm working on in therapy to try to be better at...not letting my laziness overcome me to the detriment of my living conditions. It's a struggle. But guests are good motivation.

I've also solidified most of my travel plans for the rest of the calendar year. I've all but given up on hitting the mileage requirement for Gold status again, but I'm well into Silver anyway. I was hoping to go someplace international, and I still might if the right fare pops up, but right now I'm just planning on sticking around here for the most part, and going to Providence for the duration of the NABC (after having Thanksgiving in Virginia with my folks). Because of my work schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm able to take two full weeks off and only having two days covered by my coworker, so even though I'm traveling for a long time, it's not a major burden on my office. That's nice. I still haven't worked out what I'll do for Christmas. I would say that going home over Thanksgiving is enough, really, but William and his family don't come down then -- only for Christmas. So if I want to see them, I need to go then. And of course I want to see them! So we'll see. All this stuff is time off work, money spent, etc. More likely to go to VA for a quick Xmas visit if I don't end up doing any more traveling the rest of the year, and it looks like that's how it'll go. I'd like to get down to Phoenix a time or two to visit with A and Katy, and my regular four-day weekends should make that a viable option. But I also want to dive into real estate up here, which means I probably should be around a lot.

Anyway, super excited to have some of my favorite people visiting for the weekend, and I look forward to hugs and talks and good workouts and girlfriend time.

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I hadn't really thought about it, but when the folks at work saw me doing my PT exercises for my neck, it became clear that I look like I'm simulating a blowjob. Except my mouth is closed. The therapist called it the "chicken neck," but really it's just me bobbing my head back and forth. And I've been doing this at my desk all day. Maybe I can claim more pain and suffering due to the embarrassment? Heh.

I'm going to see 10SS tonight. I love them so much. A new friend is coming with me. He says he will judge me based on how much he likes the show. I am not worried.

I haven't heard from the other insurance company since they told me they were accepting liability. I can't believe they haven't tried to settle the total loss yet -- every day that goes by is another day they pay for storage for the car and for my rental car. Fine by me! I'm really liking my little rental. It's a Hyundai Accent, which is basically exactly the same as our Elantra, only smaller. I like it a lot and would consider buying one, but McKenzie wouldn't fit in it, and if I'm going to have a car for driving real estate clients around, it should probably have a comfortable back seat. The back seat on the Accent is basically cosmetic, as there's no way a human person could fit back there. And anyway I really want to get another Honda, because I'm completely convinced the Accord saved my life. I'd like an Insight, but again, that's a pretty small one...maybe a hybrid Civic? I'm putting the cart before the horse here, though. First I need a way to pay for it. Gotta buckle down on that real estate stuff. It's just been really hard to focus with all the other bullshit in my life lately. I am close to done, though.


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