darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
When you turn 60, joke-getting-old cards actually become funny. Who knew?

This one was from my little sister, who's only 58.

birthday card front showing two old ladies in a red car with shiny sunglasses and laughing. One asks Where we headed? and the other says I don't know!

birthday card inside showing same two old ladies. The second one is saying 'I thought you were driving!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
This happened a week ago:

Two countdown screens showing 100 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, and 99 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds
Retirement Countdown

so the "My Typical Workday" meme (which I spotted on [personal profile] lamentables' journal) seems like a good way of celebrating, since there will only be a few more of them.

Mememememememe )

Abode Hunt!

Aug. 5th, 2013 10:57 am
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Decluttering)
Naturally, the first condo I saw a listing for was perfect, unsurpassable, ideal for my needs, and already sold.

Now all other listings that pop up seem less-than. It's a weird state of mind. I know I'm getting in my own way, and that I projected perfection onto that first one because it would have meant accomplishing a major project with minimal effort.

The project, it turns out, is to eliminate my mortgage. The only reason this is conceivable is that my crappy little house has been transported, through the magic of gentrification and urban growth, from an iffy neighborhood with gunfire to a hipster neighborhood with bike boulevards, and is worth a surprising amount of money. Meanwhile, condo prices have been pretty depressed.

Suddenly I seem to be in the enviable position of being able to sell my house, pay off my existing mortgage, and buy an apartment with the leftover cash. If I can do that, I can live off my retirement income and still pay for health insurance. Who would have thought, when I moved into the hovel on Failing Street (yes, really), that it would turn out to be an accidentally brilliant play?

So now the trick, according to my sister the realtor, is to be ready to jump the minute the next perfect condo comes on the market. Moving! Gah! Business. Money. Finance. Change. It's all a bit terrifying.

Gotta go call my sister's mortgage broker. Eep.

Car go

Jun. 26th, 2011 05:19 pm
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
Well, this is it: my car is cleaned, detailed, photographed, and listed on Craigslist. My sister and her "car guy" man are taking charge of selling it for me, since I'm a completely incapable being when it comes to automobiles, money, and selling anything. (They get ten percent.)

Apparently there have been a few inquiries. Cross your fingers for me, because I want that thing gone, and it would be nice to get a few bucks for it.

Where on earth will DarkEm's Train of Life Change stop next?
darkemeralds: Old French poster of bicycle with naked flame-haired woman. (Bike)
So, who here is a cyclist? I'm looking for encouragement and anecdotes.

I just came back from bike shopping. This was a spur of the moment thing that I've been thinking about doing for at least a year. Up until today, the prospect of taking my gray-haired, overweight self into a Portland bicycle shop and announcing my wish to join the club was unimaginable. Today, for reasons I can't put my finger on, it became totally doable, so I did it.

"Hi," I said to the baby boy at the counter. "I want a bike. I haven't had a bike since I was 14 years old. I'm going to ride four miles back and forth to work in downtown Portland."

It was pretty painless. He didn't flinch, squint, laugh, or frown, even a little. He just walked me back to a very large rack of bicycles and pointed me to the ones he thought would suit me.

I have made a choice. It's a hybrid (I think they call it), with straight handlebars and tires that are neither real skinny nor real rugged and fat. It comes with fenders, a bell, a front grocery basket, a kickstand, and lights front and rear whose power is generated by the bike's motion. It is, in short, a city bike.

It has a belt rather than a chain, and some kind of "automatic transmission" where you can shift while you're not pedaling and all the geary things are inside a drum on the back wheel.

It's white. I can lift it up--handy for bus and light-rail loading, as well as for hanging on a hook, to be located somewhere inside my tiny house. It's the 2010 model, not due out till September.

My sis, [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234, who is an avid and accomplished cyclist and owns two bikes the way I own two computers, will give me riding-to-work lessons, but we are on utterly different planes of athleticism (she's athletic, I'm not, in a nutshell) so it's not like we'll be doing a lot of cycling together.

So, bicycling stories, anyone?
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
This long Memorial Day weekend has been mostly about food. Well, okay, food and "Due South." And massive life changes.

My nephew and I made ice cream yesterday for his 12th birthday party. He couldn't decide on a flavor, so we made all three: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

In the past few days I've cooked several other things that I would never have thought of as "homemade": pork jiaozi (a huge production number, but fun); steamed baozi with sweet red bean paste (I still haven't got them quite right--they're tough instead of cloud-like); pita bread (not a PITA at all to make) and hummus.

I mention all this because it's part of a change in my life, and today, in talking with [livejournal.com profile] roseambr, I became conscious of just how massive that change has been.

Kind of a Project Empty update )

This weekend I realized that the journey that began with clearing a shelf in my living room has carried me into a whole new country. I barely know who the hell I am anymore.

But whoever I am, I'm in pretty good form, and I kick the ass of who I used to be, six ways to Sunday without breaking a sweat.

So, yay.

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