Thursday, February 26, 2009

online purchasing

i've made a bunch of online impulse purchases recently. actually, today. even though the economy is down, ecommerce is still going strong. amazon click-and-buy is dangerous. so is

this morning i saw that had a 25% cashback from, and since my old backpack had a melted arm strap and a broken zipper, i decided to drop $26 for a nice new boblebee bookbag. part of the reason was that i liked saying boblebee.

then christine sent me a link to snowboard helmets by bolle. when i see something discounted from $90 to $19, it's an automatic "purchase" response in my head, even if i'm not sure if i really want a snowboard helmet, even if i'm not sure that buying both an x-large and a medium will get me the right fit. (i wear a large.) maybe i can sell them online somewhere later. that's a hope.

lastly, i finally bought the mozart 99 essential masterpieces album from amazon. it's not a bad purchase ($3 for all the most wellknown mozart pieces?) of course, digital music sales are 100% profitable for a place such as amazon. there's nothing for them to produce! the danger, however, is that i purchased it through the "click to buy" button which suddenly took me to the downloads page. that means i'm charging things to my amazon credit card without any confirmation webpage that might stand between me and a more expensive impulse buy. online purchasing is dangerous. but while it's downloading, i'm listening to some really cool and really well-written rap by greydon square:

Scared of the Truth

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

interesting facts about blood

i donated blood again. i give blood every time the red cross is at lincoln...partially to be charitable, partially to overcome my fear of needles and being impaled, and partially to make my body work harder to replenish that blood, and thus "lose weight." it gets easier each time, too. this time the finger prick was almost welcome (almost) and i listened to music, so i squeezed around once every 3 seconds instead of every 5-10. i was done much faster that last time, and the blood flowed much more freely because i drank alot of water and basically was hyper hydrated.

a few notes (for my own benefit):
my next eligibility is april 22.
my blood pressure was 118/82.
my heart rate was something like 68.
my blood type from last time i checked was B+, i think.

some facts about blood, now that i'm thinking about it:
the blood pressure is measured with two numbers: the systolic/diastolic. the systolic pressure is the pressure from the heart pumping blood to the body, and has a normal range of less than 120. the diastolic pressure is the blood pressure between beats, when the heart is at rest. a normal range is something less than 80.
(sources 1, and 2. ) it seems my diastolic might be a bit high. it also seems that athleticism doesn't affect blood pressure (except that an athletic person should have blood pressure in the normal range.) of course, resting heart rate is lower for an athletic person.

foods that replenish blood: actually i couldn't find any facts on this. for some reason i thought i heard that grapefruit and spinach are good for after giving blood. maybe it's just because they're healthy in general, maybe it's because i like to eat them both. spinach makes sense because it's high in iron, but i don't know why i had imagined that grapefruit juice could be used to quickly replenish blood or at least act as a fluid in your system. i grabbed a can of grapefruit juice anyways, after devouring a cookie.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

hungry mornings

this morning i woke up hungry, which is a feeling i havent felt in a long time before. i got to work super excited about my cereal and milk. and that's when i realized that i was really motivated in cutting weight again.

last night it took monumental willpower to not consume the rest of the ravioli that i didn't finish for dinner. because even though it's just one bite, that usually leads to drinking some oj, which leads to eating something else. and besides, the real way to cut weight is simply to not eat after 7 pm. (i say 7 because i'm not home until after 6.)

but it's a really different feeling to be hungry in the morning, not just because it's a habit to eat a tasty breakfast, but to actually start to crave the feeling of cereal. i've only just started and i feel like my body's craving the meager carbs in every piece of bran flake. of course, then i went and ate all of my lunch at 11 am and afternoon rations at 12 pm. so i dont really have a right to say anymore right now. until tomorrow's morning, when i might be hungry again.

good luck to those competing at west point. i know what it is like to have to cut weight for the inctl (now the ectc) and i wish you strength to make it through the week.

Monday, February 23, 2009

ironies of life

today i was biking along on my se draft with my crotchless bike seat when my chain slipped, causing my pedals to spin and me to slip. i landed roughly on the side of my leg right between my thigh and jewels. it hurt. i played it off naturally, but as i biked home i thought how ironic it was that in order to save my children, i got this bike seat, but because i had nothing really to sit on, i ended up almost sacrificing half of them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


i realized today that my palate is very unrefined. that's how i can eat anything and enjoy it...but it's the same if you give me caviar and truffle polenta, or leftovers fried rice. yesterday i decided to experiment with tomato sauce - i made a onion, tomato, and garlic sauce with oregano, thyme and dill. of course, i couldn't taste any of the individual ingredients. who knows if oregano, thyme and dill are a good mix, and how much to put in it? in the end, i put a bit of white wine too, but the whole sauce just became too acidic and very tomato pastish. but still, it was tasty, with my spinach ravioli.

but when i started making pasta sauce with tomato paste, i realized that i had no idea how to put in the right ingredients. i want to be able to take all the basic ingredients - tomato paste, veggies, herbs, and tailor them to an infinite different shades of pasta goodness. however, now i just make an anything-goes pasta sauce, that will go well with any type of pasta, and which i eat either hot or cold, it doesn't matter, in the end it's all food to me. and that's how it's always been, but it has to change.

so here is my new resolution. i will be working to train my palate, and to be able to appreciate good food, and realize what is bad and perhaps not worth eating. and i will document it in a new food blog. i know, there are tons of foodie blogs out there, and i wont try to be unique. it'll just be a record of how i can finally discover how to eat again.

ps a few pictures i took with my camera. i think the same goes for my photography "palate" - it needs refinement, and will come with practice.

cumin and garlic pork chops, steamed broccoli and spinach ravioli with above sauce

haymarket karma

im a pretty terrible person when it comes to judging people - i usually assume the worst when i look at a random person out in the street, especially in a place such as boston where the weather, traffic, and local behavior pretty much keep people on edge.

i went to haymarket today to get vegetables. i've already accepted that haymarket is about cheap prices, not customer friendliness. i like to put on a pair of earphones and walkthrough the street ignoring everyone, and making quick transactions without dealing with the sellers for too long. i used to try to bargain, but what difference does getting five apples instead of four get you? a savings of five cents per apple, which isn't worth the argument.

on the way back, i tried to catch the haymarket station green line train, and while going through the turnstiles a few quarters fell out of my wallet. i was already through so i turned to see if they were accessible - they weren't really, and the lady behind me picked them up. i waited a sec to see if she would hand them to me but she put her hands into her pocket, so i assumed she was claiming them for herself and i just turned and walked away. a few random thoughts passed through my head that second. "it's only fifty cents, no big deal." "i could have gotten so many veggies with that." "i can't believe that lady was going to keep the money." "i'm going to walk in such a thug way that she'll feel intimidated." "it might not have been my money, let me check my wallet." "don't take out the wallet, pretend it's no big deal." "it's only fifty cents."

i think out of the corner of my eye i saw her walking toward me and i sat down at a nearby bench instead of the one all the way down the train station. then she extended her hand and i looked up, and instead of the face i had pictured (one of petty greed) it was a kind, smiling old black lady who had also come from haymarket, and she handed me my two quarters. i said in a fake surprised voice, "oh those were mine? thank you!" even though i had gone through like ten different situations dealing with those two quarters in my head. and suddenly i felt really bad because i had projected what i might (or might not) have done if someone in front of me had dropped some change, or at least what i thought the majority of people would do.

maybe i'm an idiot for thinking people are as petty as me. but i feel like it's my duty to continue passing on this good karma, even though it was just a measly two quarters, it's the fact that people will do the right thing that i'll try to follow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i haz a publikashun

this is a pretty shameless self plug but i ran across a website of one of my former supervisors, saul griffith, who is basically the most genius and awesome person i've ever known at MIT, despite having only known him for maybe 3 weeks. and my timing in joining joe jacobson's molecular machines lab was key, in getting my name into a publication by saul for his PhD.

Saul Griffith's Page

here is the video i made that contributed so greatly to his thesis (ha.) look, look, it's my shadow!

here is a
pdf to a draft of his paper
. I dont remember which journal it was published in - there might be a better version out there.
and those pictures are definitely mine - the crooked arrows are pretty signature of my handiwork.

there was an article on today - five things that you'd think would make you happy but dont. The 2nd one was Genius. and i keep thinking how true that might be. saul griffith has got to be a real genius - he's received the lemelson prize and is a macarthur fellow, among a huge list of other awards. and he is also a cofounder of Instructables, which i've used once in a while, as well as an advisor on Make magazine. to live among the rest of us, must be enormous boredom. except that he probably lives with a bunch of other genius, tan kite surfing australians.

and here i am, signing up for online classes in order to compete in taekwondo. but anyways, my name appears on a paper near saul griffith's name. yay!

geographical idiot

sometimes i get the feeling that to become a better man, it might help to not be so worldly-ignorant. when i hear talk about israel bombing palestine, and droughts and deaths in nigeria, and venezuela promoting socialism, i realize that they are actually just names to me, and probably for the majority of americans they're just some far off place where trouble brews but will never hit home.

maybe a bit of geography knowledge will help us realize just how real the worlds' troubles are.


i'll start with an assessment of my familiarity with countries. here is a game that basically gives you cities and countries, and see if you know where in the world they are. i actually got one location (somewhere in ireland) exactly right - 0 km difference from my selected spot and the actual location. however, then i was presented with a place that was somewhere near new zealand, and i clicked in east europe. fail.

thanks to christine:

Free Poverty - play to donate water

twigs, flakes, & clusters

i am about to embark once again on that magical journey of self discovery. it's a journey not just to lose weight but also to discover just what your limits are, and how far someone can go in tricking themselves that they are motivated for real change before they realize that life is too short to eat twigs, flakes and clusters.

i last posted about trader joe's high fiber cereal maybe a year ago, maybe two...back then, it was simply called trader joe's high fiber cereal. yesterday, after browsing the meat section and before perusing the wines, i found myself in the cereal aisle again and was face to face with my nemesis in times of plenty and friend in times of dearth. this time my eye went to the box called "twigs, flakes and clusters", which actually had pictures of the components of the cereal that were made into smiley faces:

at least they are honest. the slightly sweetened cereal only tastes a bit more palatable than real twigs. of course, in time, that could change. at i know that each serving is 12 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. who knows what i've been getting with my salty ramen flavored oatmeal.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


kids are cute. i'm beginning to think that having kids is a good idea because then you can make them do silly things and then post them on youtube. one of these guys deserves the father of the year award, or at least a big fat meme.

ninja fatherhood:

How to avoid an attack, via regretful morning

david after the dentist

i'm going to be a horrible father.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

stop motion dreaming

this is so cool

thanks dan and rene.

more discussion to follow

perceptions are contextual

everything can seem good or bad depending on the context. the state of life you are in. for example, tells it like it is: "38?! IT'S FUCKING COLD (fresh off the tap)". but to me, 38 is FUCKING AWESOME because i only have to wear two layers of jackets instead of 3.

also, i weighed myself at the gym today (to see if that lofty goal of bantamweight is even possible) and i am at 151.4. i'm also able to guess my weight pretty accurately based on how i look and feel. and 151.4 basically is a huzzah because recently i've been as high as 156.5, so it means i'm getting there. talk to me one year ago and 151.4 would have been the upper bound, and very undesirable. but now, it's far less than 156, and close enough to featherweight (the backup plan).

i'm sure there are other things that are radically different in their being good or bad based on the context. life is full of ups and downs. try to see the downs in the context when they'd be an up.

Friday, February 6, 2009

history's strongest disciple kenichi

i've started yet another long manga series, History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi and today my productivity has been zero. however, i've come to learn a lot about martial arts and life. a lot of the philosophy and theory that we actually learn in taekwondo is almost exactly the same as in this comic. when people read it, they probably think, "haha, how stereotypical, but it's kind of far fetched." actually, many quotes that struck me from the manga stood out because i could totally see somebody on the mit stkd team saying it. i will attempt to find a few lifelike scans from kenichi:

"Talented individuals, you can find them anywhere. What you have is conviction."

kensei ma tries to convince kenichi he is a love expert

after training with weapons genius shigure, a mere dagger is laughable. it's like kicking double hogu drills


Chapter 79 is a testament to what we always think during IAP and summer, that while we are training hard, our opponents are also training hard. Over the holidays, if you decide to take a break and slack off, that will put you into that much more of a disadvantage than if you assumed that your rivals are working to increase their strength and endurance and technique.

Until It's Worn Out

But, the upside is that while you are training hard and consistently, even if you don't see the radical improvement of your yellowbelt days, understand that the moment you return to the ring you will see that you've improved. To the MIT CW crew, your taekwondo has improved so much over IAP and I can tell. Keep it up. The ECTC will be amazed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

sound and the brain

i ran across a website that was dubbed the best white noise generator on the web. it's called simply noise and basically features a generator to create white noise. and it works amazingly well. i've always wanted to have something to block out distractions, and here's a generator that will do it for you. it also features brown and red noise, which are still randomly generated signals but which have different power spectra. a brief explanation on Wikipedia will help, and also includes brief audio samples.

the brown noise sounded like a heavy downpour of rain, which is also super soothing. so then i found the downloads page which has a 60 minute audio of a thunderstorm! which is actually really awesome when you plug in the earphones all the way into your ears and the sound of the white noise permeates all 360 degrees of your mind. it's like rain pattering down on a hut in the tropics. and then when the first rumble of thunder comes out (not quite white noise anymore) you can feel the humidity. it's pretty relaxing.

i used to have some white noise ocean sounds, which weren't as good because there were intermittent instrumental parts.

a while ago, i ran across an article on binaural beats (thanks reddit and your randomness which expands my world). apparently there's some pseudoscientific claims that hearing two beats at some exact difference in frequency will induce your brain to produce certain sensations, such as awareness, focus, or relaxation. it all sounds super sketchy - almost like a brainwave drug, or scientology. but i tried it briefly on i-dose and if nothing, just having something playing in my ears kept me focused for a brief period. richsinn didn't think it had any effect on him, especially the coffee break. nowadays, i just drink a ridiculous amount of coffee everyday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


loft beds are so cool. ever since living at phi sig i've always loved lofts. if i could only get a place with a high ceiling, i would totally loft it. maybe we can demolish the 3rd floor of our new house?

How to get rid of the bedroom by Treehugger.

the hardwood floor and modern style makes it more awesome, of course.

a drop down bed. i'd be scared that i'll crush someone standing underneath, or my laptop, though.

i WANT this for my bedroom.

japanese style. omar, you should try to get something like this

this bed looks awesome. a step up from phi sig lofts, but very similar.

morning thoughts

  • obama is getting a lot of flak. it's like the opposing politicians are ignoring how shitty bush was and capitalizing on every little thing our current prez does. it's so clear, however, how different they are - obama admits to mistakes and is willing to change them. hope that his honesty won't just add more fuel to the fire.

  • i went to get my car fixed today - get a nonretracting seatbelt replaced, fix my cigarette lighter power outlet, replace my car splashguard. the first item should be under warranty, the other two i wanted estimates. so they try to charge me $98 for a diagnostic, and i walk. if i just wanted to get my seatbelt replaced (for free) it would have cost me $98. bullshit.

  • being an hour early gets you a front door parking spot.

  • our house has been delayed to march 17. i highly dislike banks (especially shady ones that deal with foreclosures) but i still can't pass on a good deal. however, i am getting more respect for lawyers, at least the one i've dealt with.

  • gmail does some magical address booking where if you enter an address and select the second one on the list enough times, it becomes the first one on the list. so if i type "jordan" and two items exist - and, after a few sent emails finally becomes the default when typing in the letters "jordan".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

buying a house, emails with the lawyer

Here is a recent conversation i had with our closing attorney.

To sum it up, there are still some issues that caused concern in the title. We took an initial look at the title before all of this, and didn't really see any problems, but we're not title experts. maybe it is better to hire a title lawyer early on to make sure that these problems are addressed before the closing date looms. on the other hand, as a foreclosure, this property is bound to have a messy title history.

the take away lesson is that we are still looking at many potential fees. if the closing doesn't happen this friday, we will have to pay a redraw fee of $150 or so. we are already paying $200 for a mortgage rate extension from 2/4 to 2/6, which is a fine price and doesn't really matter, but if it takes another 2 weeks or so for the selling bank to clear the title, we might have to just get a new mortgage or pay >$1000 for our last extension. we just don't have a clear idea of when it will happen.

and dealing with a bank on a foreclosure is full of potholes. we signed the P&S agreement without really understanding all the fees that we'll have to pay. these things come as a learning experience, but there's no way we would have understood the implications in the beginning anyways, or anticipated the fees that would follow. either way, we'll probably end up paying more fees until this process finally ends - but i think it is still a good deal considering the low price of the foreclosure, and the price of never having to deal with mass realty advisors again.

Lynda Mooney
to me, John, Rene

You are correct. There is nothing fair about dealings with the foreclosing bank. It actually can get much worse because the terms of the P&S have the buyer waiving all their normal rights - even if the property burns down - or is damaged during the time between the P&S and closing. Two weeks ago I had a client who entered into such a contract (against my advice) and was required to pay full purchase price even though the property had been broken into after the P&S and all the copper wiring and plumbing was removed from the house with all the corresponding damage to the walls and ceiling.

Unfortunately when you sign a P&S with a foreclosing bank, you are dealing with the devil. It's only a good deal - if there is a happy ending. If all that happens here is that you incur a couple of extra closing costs, you will be doing well - even though it doesn't feel that way!

Please don't shoot the messenger.

Lynda Mooney

From: Bobby Ren []
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 12:16 PM
To: Lynda Mooney
Cc: John McSherry; Rene Chen
- Show quoted text -

Subject: Re: FW: Another foreclosure

- Hide quoted text -
Hi Lynda,

Would the withdrawal fee be something we are responsible for, if it is the seller's decision to extend the closing date because of a deficiency on their document? I suppose there's nothing to do but pay for a longer extension for the mortgage but it seems unfair that we would have to pay the redraw fee in that case.

Please keep me updated on any feedback from the seller's attorneys.



On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 12:08 PM, Lynda Mooney <> wrote:

Sure - it boils down to this. If it doesn't get cleared by Friday, we can not close because the bank that signed the P&S and the proposed Deed to you (which foreclosed on the property) does not have the proper authority according to the documents of the Registry of Deeds. Without the proper technical authority, I am unable to certify to you or the lender that title is good and marketable. If I can't certify to the lender - they won't allow me to spend their $$ on your purchase even if you agreed to proceed. These defects are technical only and can be corrected by new documents that we can record at the closing - but I don't know how long it will take the seller to obtain them. One is an internal Wells Fargo document but one is from the original lender of record and I'm not sure of their corporate status.

According to your P&S the seller has the unqualified right to extend the closing date for thirty days while it tries to clear title - or to terminate the transaction at its sole option.

I hope this helps. We do usually have a happy ending in these situations - it's just frequently delayed.

Lynda Mooney

From: Bobby Ren []
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 11:59 AM
To: Lynda Mooney
Cc: Rene Chen

Subject: Re: FW: Another foreclosure

Could you just briefly clarify the actual issue that is the snag? Like, if this doesn't get cleared by friday, is it something that they will be able to clear in the future? or is it something that must be cleared for the sake of the mortgage bank, or to prevent future title issues for me?


On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 11:54 AM, Lynda Mooney <> wrote:

Hi Bobby - foreclosures are different animals every time so I can't predict. It is definitely a seller responsibility and there is nothing we can do to facilitate the process.

But I have just learned from Members that they have already scheduled the loan with their investor so if we cancel it you will have to pay the redraw fee that we talked about yesterday. Might as well go forward and keep our fingers crossed that they get what we're looking for in time for Friday.

Lynda Mooney

From: Bobby Ren []
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 11:50 AM
To: Lynda Mooney
Subject: Re: FW: Another foreclosure

Hi Lynda,

Thanks for the heads up. I'm not familiar with titles and POAs so I'm not sure I understand the implications of the current document problems. Do you anticipate that we will need more time to clear up these issues? Is it something that should be transparent to me and just taken care of by the selling party?


On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Lynda Mooney <> wrote:

Hello - As you can see from the title insurance underwriter's comments below, we're not out of the woods yet with this bank owned property. There are several problems with documents already of record. Bobby as you instructed, I have sent Members the scheduling sheet but at this point you would have grounds to postpone scheduling until the seller advises us that they can clear up the title deficiencies. Your call.

I'll let you know what I get in the way of a response from the seller's attorney.

Lynda Mooney

From: Lynda Mooney
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 11:38 AM
To: 'Kathleen M.. Morelli'
Subject: FW: Another foreclosure

Hello Kathleen - Below is the explanation from the underwriter as to the problems with : 1) Argent's POA (related to the Assignment from Argent to Wells Fargo, NA, Trustee); and 2) Wells Fargo's POA as it relates to the Foreclosure Deed. Please forward this to the attorney handling the matter and advise whether you can obtain two corrective POAs - or if they are already of record.

Thank you.

Lynda Mooney

From: Desantis, Anthony []
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 11:17 AM
To: Lynda Mooney
Subject: RE: Another foreclosure

Good Morning Lynda,

Confirming our discussion.....

The problem with the assignment is that it is executed pursuant to a POA (49089/199) and, unfortunately, said POA relates to certain pooling and servicing agreements, which have no relevance to the current transaction. If there is a good POA of record, then you have a good assignment -- where the assignment indicates a "Date of Transfer: September 15, 2007" and we will rely upon the same.

We are not concerned with the lack of Trustee Certificate.

Unfortunately, we cannot rely upon either POA (51835/77 or 48844/155) in support of the Foreclosure Deed and Affidavit -- as both of these POAs relate to certain pooling and servicing agreements which are not at issue.

Additionally, we cannot rely upon the Assistant Secretary's Certificate from Barclays (49567/237), as it fails to identify what officers can execute deeds, affidavits, etc., stating only the "proper officers" and it seems to relate to Wachovia not Wells Fargo -- That said, I did find a good Assistant Sec. Certificate, attached.

Please make sure you have copies of all certified mail pieces, evidencing that notice was properly sent pursuant to Ch. 244, s. 14.

Provided the above issues are rectified by the recording of proper POAs, then the deed to the next buyer would be supported by the POA recorded at Book 48844, Page 155 -- that said, please make sure the signatory of said deed has the proper authority to execute the same.

As always, if you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Take Care,

Anthony E. DeSantis, Title Counsel

From: Lynda Mooney []
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 5:37 PM
To: Desantis, Anthony
Subject: Another foreclosure

Hello Anthony - I have a purchase of a bank owned property at 74 Prospect, Somerville.
The loan was originally from a Maria Gomes to Argent Mortgage Company, LLC dated 3/24/05 and recorded the following day (Bk. 44874, pg. 32)

There is a Service members Civil Relief Act Notice on record from Wells Fargo, NA as Trustee dated Jan 17, 2008 which was recorded in March (Bk 50693/588). There is not an assignment on record to Wells Fargo, NA Trustee until August! (Book 51321/428). There is no information about the trust that they are trustee of?

The later Vote (49567/237) and POA 51835/77 seem to be in order if you are satisfied with the Wells Fargo, NA as Trustee.

My questions to you all boil down to "Do you care?"
1) that the assignment is later than the notice;
2) that there is no trustee certificate or information?

There is also an unrecorded Affidavit from Wells Fargo assistant secretary saying that she complied with the publication and mailed notice requirements. Should I record that at closing?

Thanks for looking at this.

Lynda Mooney

Monday, February 2, 2009


the getfit program at MIT is a team-based 12 week fitness challenge that aims to get people into shape purely through the drive of peer motivation. it's reminiscent of when i used to document things dealing with my fitness, ie calorie intake. of course that ended less than one week into it because it truly is a pain to estimate the impact of every banana and handful of fruit snacks. but for an exercise junkie and a excel spreadsheet obsessor, getfit is a great combination of obsession with records and obsession with results. just think of all the cool graphs you can make at the end of every week!

our team, "just tae kwon do it", currently consists of karolina, becca, eric and gordo, suzanne, snix, alicia and me. we're pretty much all gym rats or taekwondo regulars so it's no big challenge to meet the recommended amount of 150 - 300 minutes per week. my last week, during which i really slacked and didn't work out at the gym, and taught at MIT more than i trained, counted 570 minutes. with alicia's salsa schedule i feel like she'll log more than 1000 per week - tuesdays and fridays have salsa following taekwondo, sometimes late into the night.

interestingly enough there's an extension of getfit at Lincoln Labs called who's the lab's biggest loser, which mimics reality tv's The Biggest Loser in monitoring the weight loss efforts of two platoons of high BMI participants. i think that the TV show was always pretty inspiring, and despite having the obligatory drama that accompanies any successful reality tv show, does give watchers a better reason to watch than to see who's sleeping with who. the getfit biggest loser program is being blogged, so we'll get to see personal insights of people that i might actually know, who are actually in the same workplace as i am.

of course this morning i finally started going to the gym at lunch again, and the scale registered a 156.6 lbs. i realized that unlike some people (chris) who have been gaining weight but staying the same size, i have been gaining weight and volume at the same time. thanks to delicious home cooked meals! but with a looming 20 lb weight cut to consider (though i might make it just 9 lbs to get to featherweight) i will be starting my own biggest loser program in my head...starting tomorrow. tonight is butternut squash ravioli.

buying a house, closing week

it looks like the last entry on our house purchasing process was a bit overenthusiastic, as we were unable to close before the end of the month and now we're rushing to close on friday, 2/6/2009.

our selling bank, by all accounts, is a bitch. i know this process usually takes a long time but their realtor has been especially unresponsive and irresponsible. more and more i wish we at least had fredson on board, so he could do a lot of the interaction with the sellers, but more importantly, could have earned some of the realtor's pay that is now going 100% to the seller's realtor, who doesn't deserve it.

in finalizing the closing of this property, i've been talking with two separate parties who have actually been very cooperative. john mcsherry is the mortgage consultant who we've been working with to approve the mortgage. he has been in charge of organizing our paperwork (financial documents, proof of funds, etc) in order to get a mortgage approved. he has also been the one to find pricing for the loan - getting a good mortgage rate, and also paying for extensions.

i've also been working with lynda mooney, who is the lawyer for the mortgage company and is in charge of scheduling the closing, and working through a title search. They've recently cleared up some problems with the title history (which wasn't a big problem to begin with) and only today was she able to talk with the selling bank's lawyers. currently, she has received some documents that she is sending out to get final approval. I have no idea what these documents are, but in 3 days the banks (which one? i dont know) will approve it and thus we should be able to finally sit down together and sign some forms. she is also "ordering" the funds for the mortgage and that will be ready in 3 days. it's like amazon prime shipping!

so if all works out, and though we have learned to be pessimistic it's almost something we HAVE TO do by friday, there will be a HUD (which is a document that itemizes all the monetary transactions) that is approved by friday and which we will get together and look over and sign. finally we will be rid of contact with mass realty advisors, and have the house for ourselves.

i think soon i will have to create a separate blog just to document the full purchasing process that we went through, because the next house i buy will be greatly dependent on my current experiences.