Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Monster Ball

Waaaaayyyyyyy back in October, I was asking my professor for a five-minute bathroom break beginning at 9:57 so that I could get online and order Lady Gaga tickets.

That seems like forever ago.

The concert itself was last Thursday, and, to be honest, it kind of snuck up on me.  In the midst of buying a house and wrapping up 3rd quarter stuff at school, I just wasn't thinking about it.  Also, I'm not actually a huge Lady Gaga fan.  If I were going to see Justin Bieber again, I would've made a paper chain countdown.  By the time this concert rolled around, my feeling was just... eh.


I think that concert might have been the best show I will ever see in my life.

Lady Gaga is crazy.  Like, certifiably crazy.  But she is also a creative genius.

This evening, which conveniently happened to fall on St. Patrick's Day, was so much more than a concert.  It was a show, a play... an experience.

Kelli and I wore green to comply with the societal expectation of the holiday...

but we felt pretty underdressed.  Why didn't we think to roll beer cans into our hair?

Or to dig out our fairy costumes?

Or to dress in drag?

Next time, we'll know better, I guess.

The whole storyline of the show was Lady Gaga trying to get to the Monster Ball on time.  For those of you who aren't up on your Lady Gaga lingo, she refers to her fans as "little monsters."  Throughout the concert, she requested that we "put our paws up," and everyone obliged.

See below the many outfits of Lady Gaga:
Disclaimer:  The picture quality isn't great.  It could've been the concert lighting, but it's probably my camera.

Almost as often as her clothing changed, the stage set changed.  We started out with a smoking truck.

Then, it changed to a subway car scene:

Later, it turned into a park/forest

And then we "went to church"

Where Lady Gaga laid down to pray

Although it was a bit strange, her message was good.

Finally, the monster appeared, and we had to help her kill it.

Alas!  She made it to the Monster Ball on time!  And all was well with the world.

  • This woman can sing.  Like, really sing well.  She's got raw talent.
  • People have no sense of shame in appearance, including Lady Gaga.
  • Paying $100 to see this show was absolutely worth it.
  • Next time, I need to take the following day off from work... midnight is just too late to be out.
  • St. Patrick's Day is a worthless holiday.  What is it that we are actually celebrating, anyway?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Falling Into Place

Some people think that the lady that lives below me is a little bit crazy.

I think she might have saved me.

On Thursday of last week, the lady that lives below me was outside with her dog when I took Harper for a walk.  She suggested that Ashley (her dog) and Harper could play together this Spring.  I told her that it was a great idea, but that we had to move because Harper was too young to live there.  She was very disappointed and said that she was sad to have to see me go.

In the letter that my apartment manager sent me, it said I needed to be moved out by March 23rd.  Since the builder of my house foreclosed on it, the house is currently owned by Citibank.  I submitted paperwork with my realtor to request to move into my house three weeks before closing and pay them a per-day fee.  Then, I just had to wait.

Coincidentally, last week, I was reading my assignment for my grad class.  Our book is Hal Urban's Choices that Change Lives.  Two of the chapters that were assigned to us were "Prayer" and "Scripture."  In the chapter about prayer, Urban talked about the different answers God has to our prayers.  They are:  "yes," "no," "be patient," and "I have something better in store for you."

Even though my timeline for moving was getting shorter and shorter, I remained surprisingly calm.  I just kept keeping in mind what I had read about being patient.  Admittedly, I sometimes have a hard time trusting that things will work out how they are supposed to.  I should have been stressed having only twelve days to find a temporary place in which to move for a three-week period.  But, I was patient.

On Friday (March 11th), twelve days before I was supposed to move out of my apartment, I received an e-mail saying that Citibank has a strict policy against letting people move into their home before official closing.

Dang it.  This was the option that I was really hoping for.  I could use my Spring Break to move, which would prevent me having to take time off from work.  I wouldn't have to move my things into storage, I wouldn't have to inconvenience friends or family by moving in and imposing upon their lives.

But, the answer was a firm "no."

Patience is what I kept reminding myself of.

Within a few hours, I received an e-mail from my apartment asking me how much additional time I needed.  This was after several attempts to contact them and request an extension.  I replied with a request to stay until April 12th (only two days after my closing date), and within minutes I had a response saying that I could stay.


I couldn't believe it!  Why had it taken them this long to respond?  Why the change of heart all of a sudden?

Well, on my way out the door on Saturday morning, the lady who lives below me came out in her nightgown to tell me that she had gone to talk to the management for me.  She said that she told them that their puppy rule was ridiculous and that it was rude of them to kick a young teacher out of her apartment with nowhere to go.  I thanked her, and I told her that I thought she was the reason I was getting to stay.

I think I shall bake this woman an abundance of food before I leave.  And maybe buy her some flowers.  Any other ideas on how I can thank her?

So, the lessons learned (or, rather, reiterated) are:
-Be nice to your neighbors.  You never know when you might need them to yell at management for you.
-Be patient.  God is in control.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

Monday, March 7, 2011

Well, Hello!

It's been a while, hasn't it?

In my last post, I described the day I was told I had to move.  Things since then have been a bit crazy.  I began a thorough search of every home for sale and for rent in this city.  I went to open houses, I went to private showings with my realtor, I looked up information on the county assessor's website, I met with a mortgage broker, I made an offer (followed by several counter-offers), and I did a lot of praying.

In the midst of all of this, I had two nights of parent-teacher conferences, more meetings than I care to count, and a minor pet emergency which involved an a trip to vet and a week of prescription food and pills.

I thoroughly believe that this whole ordeal is a God thing, and He has really come through for me, just as He always does.  I met my realtor through a girl in my Sunday school class - it's her boyfriend.  He has been great to work with, and has been so flexible and understanding given my timeline.  I submitted my mortgage paperwork online, and God sent me to Noelle, a wonderful woman at WellsFargo.  She stayed after hours one Wednesday night to answer all of my questions and to go over in detail with me all that a mortgage would entail.

After all of the searching and paperwork and meetings, I am finally a homeowner!  Joe, my realtor, brought the paperwork to church this morning for me to sign.  I don't know of many people who sign their home ownership paperwork in church, but I can't think of a better place for it to have been done.

That was the easy part, I'm afraid.  Now, I have to order an inspection, wait for an appraisor to visit, complete all of the mortgage paperwork, and beg Angie, the manager of my apartment complex, to let me and Harper stay here an extra two weeks.  Apparently, banks don't think it's possible to close on a home in fourteen days.


Then, after all of that, I have to actually do the moving.  I hate moving, and I'm not very good at it.  And, since I won't be able to close before my Spring Break, I'll probably have to take some time off of work in order to get it done.  Unfortunately, April is a big testing month, so the timing on all of this is going to have to be just right.  And I trust that it will be.

So, that was the chaos update of my life.  Luckily, I have wonderful friends who have kept my spirits up in the midst of all of this.

Harper is doing better with potty training, and she loves visits from her Aunt Ashley and Uncle Jeremy.

Harper looks so small in these pictures!  She must be growing.  Which means I must start taking more pictures of her.


Saturday night was a bit of an adventure.  My friend Kelli called at 5:30 to see what I was doing at 6:00.  I thought maybe she wanted to go to dinner.

Nope.  Her nephew got into some trouble, so she inherited his tickets to the "Blizzard Tour," which was a concert featuring artists Cali Swag District, Sick Puppies, 3OH!3, and Nelly.  So, I agreed to go with her, despite the fact that my grad school homework wasn't done and I hadn't yet showered for the day.

There were tons of people there, and it wasn't really my type of crowd.  This kind of music isn't what I typically listen to, but it was free entertainment.  These people were loving it, though:

It was general admission seating, so we decided to sit fairly high up and out of the way.  Once we found some open seats, I realized that I was sitting next to a girl who I used to babysit.  She's fifteen years old now, which makes me feel old.  At one point, she and her friend decided to go to the bathroom and asked if I would save their seats.  I agreed, but in doing so, I had to shoo away a herd of former students who asked if they could have the seats.


Attention, former students:  Please don't judge me for having gone to this concert.  I assure you, I am not nearly cool enough to have done so.  Also, this music is far too inappropriate for you (and me) to be listening to.  Let's just keep listening to Bieber, who won't corrupt us.  Furthermore, I hope you didn't inhale too deeply where you were sitting.  And I hope you're too naive to know what that smell actually was.

Kelli was mostly interested in seeing Cali Swag District because she is a huge fan of "The Dougie."  In fact, she referred to this event as the Cali Swag District concert, even though they were the least well-known earliest performance of the night.

Can you see how excited she was?

Sick Puppies performed next, but I only knew one of their songs from the radio.  Also, they swore an awful lot, so I was ready for them to be done.

Then came 3OH!3, who had a few songs that I recognized.  They, too, swore a lot, which I didn't think was necessary.

Finally, at nearly 10:00 (way past my bedtime), Nelly came on with his St. Lounatics.

He was actually a pretty good performer.  I recognized most of his songs from the radio... he's been performing since I was in middle school.

By 11:30, Kelli and I were yawning pretty heavily, so we left.  Also, we wanted to beat the crowd out of downtown.  All-in-all, it was a pretty fun night!  Much better than grading papers, which I should have done.