Tag Archives: colorado springs

No Longer a Homeowner!

It really happened and everything went through as had been hoped for:  my Colorado Springs home now belongs to someone else!

Bye Bye, Lisa Drive

It’s surreal for it to be actually a true statement.  I no longer own a home.  HOLY SHIT.  Do you even understand the stress that has been on my back for the last 10 years???  It’s been a pretty good investment and a wonderful tax deduction, but to have to suck up the times when I didn’t have renters?  That only happened very rarely, but when living in NYC and having that situation occur was very painful to absorb.  It’s not so bad now, but I haven’t had renters since last July, so yeah, double rents for me!  And I paid to get it fixed up so I could sell it, which was totally worth it, btw.

All of this is just a long way for me to say I can’t really believe it happened and didn’t catastrophically veer into disaster.  The buyers obviously liked the house, my wonderful realtor made the deal happen, I got a good price for it and actually made a profit on the house (although let’s be honest, if I add all the money paid over the years and when I didn’t have renters…let’s consider it even), and on Friday, the closing happened.  And the proceeds just arrived today.  WOW.

Larry & I can actually and realistically start to plan for buying a home of our own now.  My VA loan is available again and I have the means to provide a good chunk towards a down payment.  We’re not in the market until early next year, which works out fine.  This is just…wonderful.

Pictures from Colorado and of the New TV

Let’s have a post where I get the picture situation under control and take care of it before I get way out of date!   Got a few sets of photos for this post, one of work stuff while the rest are fun fun fun!

January 22 – 24, 2014 – Denver, Colorado

During this past week, I was out at the Dry Creek facility in Denver.  It was a good trip and I got to see a lot of interesting stuff and see a lot of people.  (I know, that was extremely detailed).  It was a trip that definitely needed to be done and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do so!

January 24-25, 2014 – Colorado Springs, Colorado

I was most excited about this trip to Denver as I was able to visit my Colorado Springs-based friends, Susan and KD & Eric.  Timing and availability all worked out for this to happen, and so on Friday after everyone at work called it quits, I went back to my hotel and awaited my chariot.  My chariot happened to be driven by Susan!  She was actually up in the Denver area for Guard stuff (hello, Major Ruby!) so it really did work out for the best.  She picked me up and drove me back to the Springs, which gave us tons of time to catch up.  After getting there, it was dinner time at Rock Bottom Brewery (their Mac & Chicken is especially good, as are their beers).   KD wasn’t going to be back until around 10:30pm as she had concert rehearsal, so we managed to kill time until then and went to KD & Eric’s awesome new home.  It’s ridiculously awesome.   More catching up ensued and I really got nostalgic for those days of 2006 and 2007.  These folks are the best.  We hung out until around midnight (BEYONCE tracks were played, to be sure), then Susan and I left for her place for the night.  Early the next morning, we headed back to KD’s as Eric was also flying out from DIA at pretty much the same time I was.  So we had more time to laugh and bond – LOVE THEM.

We are going to try to go back in March for vacation purposes – hopefully Breckenridge will be the destination!  Oh, and if you doubted my assertion re: KD & Eric’s place, THIS is the view from their backyard!

IMG_2623From L to R, that’s Cheyenne Mountain, then Pike’s Peak and the Garden of the Gods, with assorted views of the city also there.  IT’S RIDICULOUS.

Okay, here are the pics I took from my oh-so-brief adventure with Susan, KD & Eric:

January 25, 2014 – Pics of our New TV!

We bought a new TV!  It had been since 2009 when I bought the 52″ LCD TV that had held the fort down in the living room starting with the UWS New York apartment, then to Santa Monica, and finally now with our Silver Lake apartment.  But in the time since 2009, TV technology has been constantly improving, and it was time for us to indulge.  The new TV is now 65″, 3D (with 4 pairs of glasses), a Smart TV, and is even thinner than the last one.   After setting it up when I got back from Colorado on Saturday, we played around with it and it’s just amazing.  I don’t have the best depth perception (I think it’s time to go to the optometrist to see what can be done about that) but I can still some of the amazing 3D we now have at home.  It’s awesome.  And the Smart TV functions are pretty amazing, as well as the fact that the TV can really act as media machine too with Netflix and Amazon Prime built in (along with a ton of other video features).  So yeah, it was an awesome upgrade.  We ended up moving the other TVs around too so that we’re making the best use of them.

So yeah, it’s been a good weekend.  And then this upcoming week?  I’m headed to NYC for a few days yet again for work.  Another day in the life of me, the jetsetter.  LOL.

Random things:

– We ate at the Burbank Media Center In-N-Out yesterday after Larry picked me up from the airport.  We ended up eating next to Mirielle Enos (the star of The Killing on AMC as well as Brad Pitt’s wife in World War Z) and Alan Ruck (Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!!!!) who apparently are together and have a little girl together as well.  It was kinda shocking to find ourselves next to them.  Larry first gave me the eye-indication that something to be seen was next to us.  Sometimes that look is for super hotness…in this case, it was celebrities!

– We checked out an open house on our walk back from the barbershop today.  It’s a fantastic house that we’d certainly be right at home in, as it’s got a modern design sensibility (the MLS listing calls it “architectural”) and a lot of great space.  Going for the super reasonable price of $1.2MM.  🙂  Chump change, truly.

Life on the Rails

My LA Metro commuteWith Los Angeles steadily increasing its mass transit options, especially with fuel prices staying still pretty fucking high (a conversation at work indicated that it’s pretty fucked up when we think that a gallon of gas dipping under $4 is great….it’s shocking that gas is as expensive as it is yet we’re used to it now), I have been experimenting with getting to work using the Los Angeles Metro.  As my dad could tell you, I do love me some subway systems.  I still don’t know if there’s anything quite like the Washington, DC Metro stations.  Those things are eerily futuristic and beautiful.  Seeing them in a decrepit post-apocalyptic state in the video game was Fallout 3 was both strange and thrilling.  The Paris subway system is unreal in how many lines there are – it’s also extremely picturesque and nearly romantic.  Except for when it smells or is dirty.

Los Angeles’ Metro is a mix of subway, dedicated bus lines, and light rail.  The first part that opened up was the Red Line, and it went from Downtown LA and Union Station for about two stations west.  That was back in 1996, and since then it’s obviously expanded all the way up through the Hollywood Pass into North Hollywood.  Subways aren’t always a great fit in an earthquake-prone area like Southern California, and also prohibitively expensive at times.  Play any game of Simcity and you’ll find that out for yourself.  Light rail is what LA went with, especially when trying to reach distant parts of the county.  First the Blue Line to Long Beach, then the Green Line that runs along the 105 almost to LAX (such bullshit) from the 605, and then the Gold Line, which reaches now into Pasadena (into Monrovia, yay!, in 2015) and swoops thru Union Station and into Little Tokyo.  Finally, FINALLY, the West Side of LA is starting to get some love.  The Expo Line light rail system (Phase 1) opened up in April, with the Culver City station having a delayed opening until last week.  It’s awesome to have this option, especially on days like Thursday and Friday when traffic on the 405 and 101 in the afternoon basically is terrible.

The commute does take longer now, but when you’re not behind the wheel and having to deal with jackholes who can’t figure out how to drive, there’s an element of stress reduction that can’t be overstated.  Additionally, I’ve been able to figure out that the $8 in gas I spend in a daily commute is more than a $5 Metro Day Pass.  If I decide to do this commute more than once or twice weekly, then it would even make sense to consider a monthly pass.  But we’re not there yet, as you can see the Expo Line only goes to Culver City.  So I still have to drive 10 minutes just to get to the endpoint.  But in 2016 (geesh…), the Expo Line will extend to Santa Monica.  That will be an awesome day.

By that point, who knows if Larry & I will be in Santa Monica still.  I have dreams of one day living in Downtown LA as there are some freakin’ awesome places down there.  Then I’d be centrally located to not only get to work (the Red Line Universal City station), visit Mom & Harv (Duarte stop on the Gold Line), but in 2016, the Expo Line would also take us to the beach in Santa Monica.  I think if you buy property in downtown now, you could be poised for a decent return if you decide to sell in the 2015/2016 timeframe, as you’ll be perfectly located to get many many places, plus Downtown is really getting revitalized.

Why the hell am I writing about this?  Well, I am fascinated by LA’s evolution into a city that not only is getting a cool downtown area, I love that it finally has a freakin’ Metro.  Go LA!  I keep up to date on the happenings via Curbed LA, a fantastic site that covers all the real estate, urban development, mass transit, and city issues that impact LA. What I love to read is that when the Purple Line extension to the VA Hospital on the West Side is supposed to be done: 2036.  Hahahahahahahahaha!  Ridiculous.  But that one is a subway so yeah, there’s lots of digging.  And Beverly Hills is being bitchy NIMBYs.  Screw you guys.

In other news….Colorado Springs IS ON FIRE.  HOLY SHIT!  This is a pic my friend Susan posted on her Facebook.   The fires that started in Colorado a few days back have basically become out of control.  I thought I had read the fires were initially up closer to Denver, but yeah, not the case.  These fires are on the West Side of the city, closer to Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, and the Air Force Academy.  All these locations are places I know very well and can’t believe that there’s a chance a lot of it will go up in smoke.  I am fairly certain my house is okay…for now.  It’s on the far east side of the Springs, and basically the entire city would have to flare up.  I’ve heard the winds are bad, but there’s also reports it could rain tonight.  It’s just crazy.  And I actually sign the paperwork to refinance my house tomorrow.  Here’s hoping I actually have a house that goes along with that loan.  Oy.  But let’s be serious and look beyond my own selfish needs at the moment…I really hope that the people who live there are safe and evacuate as necessary to stay out of harm’s way.  I have friends out there and really hope that they and their homes remain fire-free.

I think they may need this guy to help put out the fires.  Although he may start fires of another type.  I apologize for not posting plenty of pictures of shirtless hot guys recently.  I’ve been remiss.  But don’t worry – if you need a good sampling, this weekend’s release of Magic Mike is going to be…INSANE.

Colorado Springs Revisited (MM)

We’ve now resumed our regularly-scheduled programming, bitches!  I was a tad drunk still when I wrote my last post, but I think I emerged from it unscathed.  It was a great dinner to say farewell to one of the most incredible team members our group has ever had.  In that spiel I wrote, I promised pictures – and pictures you’ll have!  You’ll need to click on the MY PICS link above and a Colorado Springs 2010 link will be awaiting you there.  Here’s a little bit from a previous post where I took a bit about what we did during the trip too.

Sept 10, 2010 – Day 1 Return to the Springs

Touring Garden of the Gods

Sept 11, 2010 – Day 2, Touring the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO

Sept 12, 2010 – Day 3, Driving up to the top of Pikes Peak

Sept 13, 2010 – Day 4, Visiting the Royal Gorge

This weekend was sooooo necessary – finally a time when I didn’t have to fly anywhere.  It is pretty exhausting to have to continuously fly – rest suffers greatly.  This weekend was thus a nice lazy time.  Made it over to JG Melon’s on Friday night for a splendidly wondrous burger experience on the Upper East Side with Lawrence.  He’s trying to figure out just what furniture he’s gonna want to keep before moving to Los Angeles, so I went over to help decide.  It seems like pretty much 80-85% of it is coming.  We’re going to need a decent-sized apartment in LA, that’s for sure.  Then on Saturday, we spent time with his family for Yom Kippur and saw his sister Alyssa who is ready to pop out that baby girl of hers!  Today was a very nice lazy day and we saw the movie Easy A which was hilarious and well worth seeing.

And now it’s evening and Larry is making Baked Ziti, we’re watching Contact on Blu-Ray, and tonight will be a new episode of Mad Men.  It’s truly a nice Sunday.  BTW, so bummed that Big Brother 12 is over, although gotta say I’m going to miss Britney mostly.  LOVE her.  She needs to come back on TV on the Amazing Race.  Her and Lane can be a team.  Would…be….awesome.

Chinese Silver Tubes (MM)

I’m not going to promise you a rose garden, so let’s consider this a place of honesty.  I have plenty of pictures from my trip back to Colorado Springs – that’s true.  But I’m in no condition to post them just yet.  I’ve just returned from an NBC team dinner and yes, I got suitably drunk.  And it’s just past 11pm and I have to go back to work tomorrow.  UGH.  Stupid Thursday night drink nights.  Of course dinner also happened, but let’s just say the drinks won.  So I’ll post my pics this weekend – PROMISE!

I am writing in part because someone sent me an email asking me where my blog update was and I have to confess I’m shocked anyone still is reading!  I’m not even 100% positive who this person is that wrote me an email, but I am willing to wager a guess it’s from a friend I made in the Azores – just a different last name.  I’ll have to write back when I’m sober.  As well as after I’ve posted this entry too!

So just like Sgt Jenny – I seemed to have been unable to continue the 30-day exercise.  I was telling myself recently that it’s not something I can keep up with, but maybe I’ll just continue anyways and fill out answers regardless.  I love talking about myself, and let’s be honest, that’s some fun stuff.

So what’s been going on in my life?  Well, first, I was promoted at work!  I’m a Director at NBC Universal now.  It’s kinda cool.  I’ve been performing these duties a bit as it is anyways the past two years or so anyway, but to get the position title and salary bump is to put it nicely, NICE.  Director Barnes has a nice ring to it.  I also like Captain Barnes, but Director Barnes is something I never ever would have suspected would have been a title I’d get.

Also, went to Los Angeles last week for work – we’re constantly working on expanding our reach, and Universal and the .com worlds are next on our radar.  Look out you guys, you’re about to get rocked with our awesome powers.  In a good way.  We don’t do anything hostile!

That was for a few days though, and thanks to that trip, I was able to swing by home and visit with Mom and Harv.  I love traveling on the company dime!  After returning Thursday evening, it was a trip back home to change suitcases and pack up for the next flight out the following morning out to Colorado Springs, this time with Larry in tow.  It was a trip to just get a little bit of vacation and to show Larry around my previous hood.  We spent the time with Kelly Dean, Eric and Susan primarily and it was a phenomenal vacation.  We got to drive up Pikes Peak, visit the Coors Brewery, tour Cheyenne Mountain (so weird and yet so cool to visit it again as a civilian – which I am now as my 3 years of inactive reserve status ended the 1st of September!!!! Yeehaw!), and also go to the Royal Gorge.  Yes, those pictures are on the way this weekend.  I promise.  Lots of fun and lots of good times – I really miss those friends I made there.  Le Sigh.

Oh yeah – what’s a Chinese Silver Tube?  Well, on the flight out to Colorado Springs, while we were about to deplane in Dallas, the flight attendant got on the intercom and told us that because we were in these Chinese Silver Tubes, would we mind closing the window shades as if we don’t, the plane heats up significantly.  Well, he didn’t actually say Chinese Silver Tubes though…but it certainly sounded like it.  It was actually Shiny Silver Tubes….but I like my (and Larry’s) interpretation better!

I’ll continue the 30-day thing later – I can’t think of a photo immediately that makes me angry/sad just now.  I want to put away my laundry and pass out.