Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shaved Head, Family and 50th Who

So the guy who was suppose to come by this morning and remove my spa cancelled.. and he had a pretty good excuse. His wife went into labor. So will have to reschedule for next week.

Was heading out to see family but first I wanted to cut my hair. As I continue to lose my hair I like to keep it really short. My trimmer died last week and my buddy Robert got me a new one for an early Christmas present. Well it came yesterday so I was looking forward to checking it out. I assumed that the same setting on my old trimmer would be the same on this one.. well I was wrong. The first pass on the right side of my head I knew it was wrong. But I had no choice, I either shave my entire head the same length or walk around with this strip on the right side of my head. I like the buzz cut look but this is really buzzed to where it looks like I'm completely bald. Luckily for me it's not a big deal. I know it's just hair and in a few weeks it will be where I thought it would be when I first did it. And after taking this picture I think it looks pretty good.

I got to my family around noon, went out to lunch with my dad. We went to Red Robin and enjoyed some tasty comfort food. We then went to Target to do a bit of Christmas shopping. With all this craziness that is happening in my life I hadn't even thought about Christmas shopping. I didn't pick up much but did find some stuff from my buddy Chris, niece Molly, nephew Kenobi and my brother Mike. Afterwards we headed back to the house where my brother, sister-in-law and kids were home so I got to play with Kenobi and Molly for a few hours.. oh how I adore those kids. I had a great time hanging out with them. I was there until around 6pm. Got home around 8:30pm and decided to watch Doctor Who.

The 50th anniversary special for Doctor Who aired today on the west coast at 11:50am. I knew I was lucky that I didn't see any spoilers on twitter or Facebook but I also knew my luck wouldn't hold out for long so I opted to watch it tonight when I got home.

I loved it, it's what I expected as far as who the John Hurt's character was. Had some great writing and storytelling. I really liked how they brought Billie Piper's Rose character into the story. This episode had so many great nods to past Who and set up a great story for the future of Who. Having Tennant back really made me miss him as The Doctor. I'm still bummed the Eccleston couldn't appear in this special but it was amazing to see Tom Baker at the end. I saved it on my DVR as I know I'm going to have to watch it a few more times before I fully get everything. Can't wait for Smiths swan song in The Christmas Special.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Finding A Place To Live

Packing continues at a very slow rate. I think once the general house inspection is over and everything is in the clear I'll be able to really start packing things up. Right now things are in a limbo state. I have been getting emails from my realtor with questions & requests from the buyers. I'm worried that when they get the inspection evaluation, they are going to want me to fix every little detail which I will not. I still think they got this house at a steal. It's not brand new there are going to be minor fixes that they will have to do when the move in. I refuse to put any more money into this house even if it means these buyers pull out. Now if I sold the house for $20,000 more then what I did sell it for then yes I'd be happy to do the fixes but for the price they are paying.. not a chance. General inspection is this coming Tuesday.. wish me luck.

I have been thinking about where I want to move next. I have a bunch of friends who live within a few blocks of each other in North Hollywood. I, of course, would love to move within that neighborhood but the price of rent might be a bit to much for me if I moved into a one bedroom so I was considering getting a two bedroom and looking for a roommate. My buddy Robert and I have talked about moving in with each other in the past but in recent conversations I'm getting the feeling that he is not wanting to leave the Santa Monica area where he works. And I don't blame him, traffic can be a pain in the ass at times. So I put it out there on twitter and Facebook that I might be looking for a roommate and as I expected friends who don't live close by said they would love to roommate with me if they lived closer but I did get one person who seemed interested, my friend Red.

My other issue with moving is do I want to rent an apartment or a house. I have lived in this house for four years and then before that, Harry and I rented a house for a few years so can I go back to apartment living? I guess it will depend on the apartment. I already know my space will be limited. I have accepted that. I am going from a 2000 sq foot house to a less then 1000 sq foot apartment/house. My biggest issue are the neighbors. I have gotten use to the peace and quiet and I know living in an apartment you don't always have that peace and quiet.

I haven't really started looking into renting a place yet, as I have mentioned above that I'm in a state of limbo with escrow. I don't want to move forward with renting a place if the escrow falls through. I think once all the inspections are done and everything looks good then I might consider finding a place. If not then my plan B is to put everything I own into storage and move in with my brother for a few weeks and look for a new apartment come January.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hobbit Tickets and Podcasts

Today I continued to pack up stuff around the house. It doesn't look like a lot of stuff until you start putting it in little boxes and then it looks like it multiplies 1000 times.

I purchased my Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tickets. They went on sale moments ago and I grabbed six of them for a Sunday afternoon showing. Within a few minutes five of my friends claimed the tickets (which I knew they would). I actually was thinking of getting ten tickets but I played it safe. So we're going to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on Sunday December 15th at 4:30pm at the Arclight Sherman Oaks. We're seeing it in 3D but not HFR. Our showing also has the Atmos audio system which is truly the best sound I have ever heard. Me and my friends will be sitting in Row J if you want to join us. There are still plenty of seats around that area.

I wanted to get a jump start on the next few episodes of my MASH 4077 Podcast. Since I'll be moving next month (if all goes well). I wanted to get the next few episode edited and ready to be released so I didn't have to worry about them with all the other craziness that will be happening next month. I spent about four hours editing Ep 67 (which is due out Dec. 1st). I started prepping Ep 68 (which will be released on Dec. 15th). If I can, I'm gonna try and prep the next six episodes just to get a jump start.

The guy who is interested in my Jeep stopped by my house with his wife and a fresh battery. He wanted to see if  he could get the Jeep started up and if it did he could hear the pinging sound that I mentioned was the problem. We hooked up the battery and seconds later the engine was running. He took a listen to the sound and said it sounds like it's a valve in the engine block, luckily he can fix it himself. His wife liked the Jeep and he is defiantly interested in purchasing it. Said it will take him a few weeks to get the money together but hopefully by the beginning of December the Jeep will be gone and one less thing I have to worry about.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Packing, Screeners, Jelly Beans and Delivery Man

Spent the day packing on and off, it's difficult to pack full on when I still have a little less then a month of living in the space. I also have Thanksgiving dinner next week so I can't really pack much of my kitchen up. But I am trying to pack up things that I know I won't need this month.

I got more screeners in the mail. They are arriving alot slower then they have in previous years. I don't know if that means I will be getting less this year or the companies are just getting their screeners out later. Today I got The Croods which I have not seen yet but have heard great things about and looking forward to watching. Prisoners which I did see a screening of and enjoyed. It's a very intense movie and I don't know if I could watch it over and over again. And the final screener I got today was Gravity. I saw this on the big IMAX screen and loved it. I'll be interested to see what kind of experience you get when you watch it on a much smaller screen.

My buddy Chris turned me on to this video that uses Jelly Beans to represent the days one has in an average life span. It really makes you think about your life and question just how much time you really have to just "live". Check out the video below.. it really does put things into perspective.

Today the septic tank people came by and inspect the tank, they were there for quite a while and when they left there were two large holes in the ground. Not sure what's going on but I'm sure I'll hear soon enough if there is a problem.

I don't think I mentioned this on my blog yet but one of the conditions from the buyers that I agreed to was to get rid of my broken spa. A friend suggested that I put the spa up on Craigslist and see what happens. Well I was completely surprised by the response to my "free" spa ad. I got over 30 emails, within 12 hours and everyone of them wanted my broken spa. So instead of paying someone $400 to remove it I choose a guy who seems to do this professionally, he is the only one who offered to drain, remove and cap off the wires with no damage to my patio. He is also insured. So I contacted him and we set up a time for him to come over on Saturday morning. Fingers crossed that this all goes well.

The final thing I did tonight was have dinner with my bestie Robert and then go to a prescreening of the new Vince Vaughn movie Delivery Man. I drove over to Robert's place and parked my car. We then headed to Islands for some yummy burgers and fries. Afterwards we headed to the theater. Neither of us had been to this theater before. We were early to we walked around the mall that the theater was in. We got in line and soon was in the theater and both Robert and I were very impressed with this theater. Big screen, nice sound system and comfy reclining seats.

If you haven't heard of Delivery Man here's a brief synopsis: David Wozniak, using the alias "Starbuck", is a sperm donor who learns that he has fathered 533 children. When a large group of them petition the sperm bank to reveal his identity, David has to decide whether or not to come forward. Simultaneously, his girlfriend is deciding whether he would make a suitable father.

Here's my review... I LOVED THIS MOVIE. It was funny, sweet and had so much charm. Vince Vaughn was adorable in this lead role. It was fantastic to see Cobie Smulders who plays his pregnant girlfriend and Chris Pratt was great as his best friend. You try and put yourself into his situation and ask what would you do. I don't know if I would have gone down the route he did, it was frustrating at times because you like his character but he makes some stupid decisions. But of course in the end it all works out. I found this movie very heartwarming and it brought me to tears several times. I can't wait to get this on Blu-ray. I can see this being a movie that I watch when  need my spirits lifted. I give Delivery Man a solid B+

I did find out later in the evening that this is a remake of a French Canadian movie called Starbuck that came out last year. I think I'll have to check that one out as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hobbit BTS, My Jeep & A Surprise Dinner

Today was all about The Hobbit and packing. Got up early and was still in my Hobbit mood after watching the extended edition of The Unexpected Journey yesterday. Now if you know Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson, you know he does these amazing behind the scene documentaries that are hours and hour long. Well the one for this Hobbit movie is over 9 hours of extra behind the scenes footage. So while I was packing today I watched about five hours of it.

I think I was just as excited to see these behind the scenes as I was to see the extended edition as I was to see the actual original theatrical release. Jackson is right up there with Spielberg and Lucas in my eyes. He's created these amazing masterpieces but what makes him different from the other two directors is that he shares his experience with the world. He explains everything, from his choices of cameras, to scouting for location, casting, prep time, post time and premiere. If you don't like a choice he made creatively in the film. You can normally get an explanation as to why they made that choice in the amazing commentaries that he does for each of his movies. I've always loved the behind the scenes docs and Jackson's Lord of the Rings and now The Hobbit have the best I've ever seen produced.

While I was watching the BTS and packing several inspectors came by the house as part of the escrow deal. First was the well inspector. He actually came twice and will be back a few more times as they are testing the well pumps and water being pumped. Also a termite guy stopped by and looked around my house for termite damage. I'll be getting their reports in a few days.

When the termite guy was leaving he drove down my driveway but then stopped and backed up. He got out of his car and came to my front door and knocked. I opened the door and he asked if I was thinking of selling my Jeep. I don't know why he thought it was up for sale. I mean it's just sitting over in a corner of my property. So when he asked me I was surprised. I told him yes I actually was thinking of selling it. I explained what problems it had when I stopped driving it and that it's currently not starting, even with a jump. He asked how much I want for it and I really just want to get rid of it so I said $1000, it's actually worth about $4000 even in the condition it's in but I think it would be hard to find  someone who would purchase a non-operational car for $4000. He seemed interested and said he would get back to me. He left once again and once again turned around and came back. This time he was sitting in his car in front of my house on his phone. A few minutes later he came back to my door and asked when I needed to be out of the house. I told him mid December and he said great, I'll take the Jeep but it's going to take me a week or two to get the $1000. He said he'll give me a deposit this weekend as good faith gesture. So it looks like I sold my Jeep without even advertising :)

During the evening I headed out to Pasadena to celebrate my buddy Josh's birthday. For the past few weeks Nicole (Josh's ex/current/I don't know girlfriend) and I have been gathering money from his friends for an Xbox One for his birthday. Tonight we were giving him what we had gathered. We didn't get enough for the Xbox but what we got will be a good start and hopefully with some Christmas money he'll have enough to make the purchase. Anyways we went to his favorite Asian food restaurant called Pei Wei. Me being there was a surprise, we both arrived about the same time and they actually parked one spot away from me but luckily there was an SUV in between us so he didn't see me. He was really surprised and happy when when I came up behind him. We ate and had a nice time. We then gave him the gifts. Nicole took her portion of the money and actually got single dollars bills and taped them together end by end so when he started pulling them out of the box it kept going and going and going.. it was pretty funny. Me on the other hand just had a card signed by all those who contributed and then the cash inside the card. It was a fun evening.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Escrow, A Friend and The Hobbit

Was up once again at 5:30am and couldn't go back to sleep so I got up and started to pack up things around the house. Escrow officially starts today and that means I have 30 + 2 days to vacate this house if everything goes through. So I must be out of the house by December 19th. So I figured I'd start packing and downsizing.

I got to have lunch with my buddy Craig, I don't get to see him as much as I would like to but when we do we have some good times. Craig has been HIV positive since 1988. I met him when I was volunteering at APLA (Aids Project Los Angeles). I've known him for over 15 years. His health has been on a decline and he's been in and out of the hospital the past year. He called me up a few days ago to say goodbye. He is near death and he doesn't know how much longer he'll be around. He has his good days and his bad days and luckily for me he was having a good day and we were able to go to a local Denny's and grab some lunch and catch up on each other's lives. He has set short term goals, he said it helps him focus and not dwell on his situation. His next goal is to survive until 2014. So if you could muster some happy thoughts and send them his way I would really appreciate that.

After lunch with Craig I went to my realtor's office to sign some paperwork. There is ton of paperwork when selling a house.. and she said this is only the beginning.

I did a bit of work around the house like fix my garage door. I now have two fully operational garage doors...yay!!

During the evening I sat down and watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition. I purchased this a few weeks back and have been dying to watch but just haven't had the time.. so I made some time today. I haven't seen the Hobbit in a few months so it was fun watching it again and it was fun seeing what they added into the cut. They actually added 13 more minutes to the movie making it just over 3 hours long. I recognized small addition here and there but the two major scenes were the additional songs. One sung by the Dwarfs in Rivendell and one by the Goblin King. I enjoyed the extended edition very much but I can never get enough of Peter Jackson's version of Middle Earth.

Next I'll have to find nine hours so I can watch all the awesome behind the scenes and an additional 3 hours to watch the movie over again with commentary from Jackson and company.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Waiting Game...

I couldn't sleep last night, I tossed and turned and finally got up around 5:30am. I went to check my email as I had a few more messages from friends giving me advice on what to do. My friend Thomas gave me the best advice when he said (paraphrasing), if I reject the bid and go to sell my house for a higher price and every month that it doesn't sell I will have to be paying the mortgage out of pocket (which I don't have) and that will be coming out of the profit margin when it finally does sell. Depending on when I sell it that could be the different between the price they offered me and the new price I would have liked.

That made sense to me and along with everyone else great advice I emailed my realtor at 5:30am in the morning and said to accept the offer with the changes we made to their conditions. Got emailed me back at 9am that said it has been done. Also that she hasn't gotten any more inquires or requests to look at my house.

So now it's my turn to wait and see what they come back with. Hopefully they'll just accept the changes I made to their original conditions and we can move forward. While I waited I finally finished painting the outside of my house!!! I started a year ago in October and this hellish job has finally come to an end. I will never ever paint a house/garage pretty much by myself ever again. I'm happy it's over and I'm glad it turned out nice.. but man it was hard.

Around 2:30 my realtor called and said, well they accepted the changes. All you have to do is give the okay, sign the paperwork and your house will go into escrow starting tomorrow. This was it, this was the final time I could actually pull out of this contract but I was happy with the final deal. I knew selling this house, because of it's location would be tough. You'd have to find the right people at the right time.. and mine just happen to be on day one of the sale. So I officially accepted their offer and the deal was done.

After painting I headed out to my garage as to clean out some of the crap as I'm going to be going from a 2000+ square foot house to a more then likely less then 1000 square foot apartment. Time to thin out what I have. As I started I kept coming across things that I hadn't used in a year or two but saw the possibility of using in the future. But I kept fighting myself asking if I'm going really use it. Is it worth keeping if I don't have the space. I struggled with throwing things away. I admit that I'm a pack rat but I didn't realize to what degree until I tried throwing stuff away today. It's going to be tough but I have to get rid of things that I haven't used in over a year. Regardless of if I think I'll be able to use it in the future. Time to downsize!!

In geeky news I watched the latest Once Upon A Time. If you haven't seen it don't read on as I'm going to spoil things. Once Upon A Time this season has been kind of lackluster. I was getting tired of the group walking around Neverland deciding how to save Henry. But I have to say the last few episodes with Ariel and Storybrooke have been fantastic and today's episode has turned the corner for me. Though it took place mostly in Neverland with that same group of characters, the story moved forward and we got some HUGE revelations. The biggest was that Peter Pan is actually Rumpelstiltskin's father. We get their backstory and when all this went down my jaw must have hit the floor. I actually applauded the TV and Once Upon A Time. I love those OMG type moments and that was one of the best. Also Rumple being sucked into Pandora's box and the final scene with Henry removing his own heart and putting into Pan was amazing. A nice little cliffhanger, and now we have to wait two weeks until we see the conclusion. I hope Once Upon A Time can keep up this pace. I hope the save Henry, stuck in Neverland storyline ends soon. I really miss Storybrooke and seeing all the different characters. But if they keep this pace up I'll be happy to watch a few more episodes as this storyline concludes.