Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two Year Plan

On Thursday we met with Rebecca, the international student recruiter for the University of Edinburgh. We spoke for 30 minutes with her and she provided us with a lot of critical information that will inevitably help with us being accepted to the University of Edinburgh.

The good news: International students are basically guaranteed acceptance. According to Rebecca, UK and EU residents have government subsidized tuition. International students aren't eligible for government assistance and are responsible for the full tuition. Accordingly, international students are basically guaranteed acceptance if they meet a few basic requirements. They must have the equivalent of 1-year's worth of college credit, earned within the last 3-years, with at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Additionally, they should have a letter of reference from a professor, preferably within their chosen program.

The bad news: It is impossible for us to gain 1-year's worth of college credit before the application deadline for fall 2009. With this reality we decided we had to strategize our next move. Thus, the Two Year Plan was born.

We're going to begin taking classes at Seattle Central Community College as soon as possible. Fall quarter started 9/22, so it's possible we can't start until next quarter. Hopefully by September 2009, or at the very latest February 2010, we'll have enough college credit to meet the basic requirements necessary for acceptance at the University of Edinburgh for a fall 2010 start date. Meanwhile, Desi is going to continue to work at the foundation and Mike is going to continue working temp.

Desi has applied for another job within the foundation, located in Washington, DC. If she gets the job then the Two Year Plan will be carried out on the east coast. If she doesn't get the job, then we spend another 2-years in Seattle. Our goal remains Scotland, but we have to postpone what we had hoped would be a fall 2009 move to fall 2010. Meanwhile, we'll be accumulating college credit, saving money, paying off debt, and renovating our Seattle house. The additional time will be well spent.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Renovation Pictures

This is a picture of our solid wood walls. The squalor surrounding them would be 77-years of wallpaper and some type of very thin Masonite-type material. We were planning on removing the wallpaper, but once we decided that tearing the walls to the studs meant tearing down the walls, we decided to just leave as-is and apply drywall on top. The new plan means much less work and less chance of our house falling down. Another picture of the same thing but this one provides more context. Here are our hallway floors. We've been living with these for over 5-years because we just didn't have the energy to remove multiple layers of linoleum and asbestos tiles after doing it in all the other rooms, even though this was by far the smallest space. None of our hallway doors have closed entirely due to the difference in height between the rooms and the hallway. It took us about an hour to remove all the layers. All doors now close and the floor is down to the original hardwoods, just like the living room and master (right doorway). Had we only known this project was going to be so easy, we would've tackled it years ago. We're losers.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Our Walls Are Solid Wood

Yesterday, while trying to demo our existing master bedroom's walls, we discovered that under the 77-years of wallpaper layers there is only wood. Not lath boards, which is what we expected to find under the layers of wallpaper, but massive boards. No wonder our house has such good bones.

Change in plans, we're no longer tearing down our walls. We've decided to just apply thin drywall, probably 1/4", over them. That definitely makes the job both less messy as well as easier. YAY!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mission: Master Bedroom

We purchased some fantastic hardwood floors in 2006 that we have yet to install. They're currently piled up against walls in our small house, camouflaged as tables and shelves, and occasionally moved around when deemed an obstruction. We identify the purchase of those floors as our last attempt at renovating our 1931 Craftsman bungalow.

Yesterday, however, that vast 2-year desert of renovation inactivity may have ended. We moved everything out of our bedroom, relocating the bed into a storage room we call our Aluminum Room due to the corrugated aluminum roofing material we installed to hide the aging walls. The plan is to completely renovate the master bedroom, installing new drywall, floors, and moldings, to reinvigorate the tired space. By working on weeknights to keep our weekends free, this project suddenly seems both enjoyable as well as doable.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Bumbershoot, Never Again

Yesterday we went to Day 1 of Seattle's 3-day music festival, Bumbershoot, to see Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, and Beck. Two words: Never Again. Bumbershoot has increased their prices each year and this year it was a painful $35 for one day. Perhaps that doesn't sound like a lot to those of you having never attended the event before, but know that a short year or two ago the tickets were only $20, and before that they were only $12. For the increased ticket prices you get an enjoyable day spent in lines and maneuvering through crowds.

But, because there were at least 3 acts that we were excited about, we felt the $35 was a good price and we would just strategize to avoid the crowds as much as possible. However, in addition to being crowded, this year the festival was also poorly planned and designed. It took 20 minutes to get in when bags weren't even being searched and another 20 minutes to get to Neko Case's stage. Luckily, Lucinda Williams was playing on the same stage as Neko Case so we didn't have to do any navigating. Another positive was that free water was available in two different locations at this stage so we could fill up our water bottle at no cost, which was incredibly thoughtful and generous because other festivals typically charge at least $2 for water. But, that was the last good thing about the festival.

After Lucinda Williams and before Joe Bonamassa we wanted to grab a drink. In Seattle, beer and wine are only available in designated "beer gardens." We hit the beer garden a bit past the Joe Bonamassa stage but were surprised to find a line that reminded us of Disneyland and that wasn't moving since the beer garden had hit capacity. We wandered to the garden closest to our preferred stage and saw the same situation. Then we decided to bail on Joe Bonamassa and hit the garden next to the Estelle stage, who we wanted to see after Joe Bonamassa, but saw the same situation as twice previously.

By this time we were both so frustrated by the crowds that we decided to just bail on the entire festival and grab a cheaper drink off-grounds. Since we were still planning on returning for the Beck show that evening, we needed to get our hands stamped in order to re-enter. We quickly got our hands stamped but then found that we had to stand in line in order to exit. When we got to the front of the line we were told that we had to get our tickets stamped in addition to our hands, something the hand stamper didn't mention. So, we had to leave the line, get our tickets stamped, and get back into line.

By this time Desi was on the ledge. She was pushed off the ledge when one of the volunteers shouted to the crowd, "thanks for your patience." Desi turned on her and screamed, "NO patience!" At that point we both knew we would not be returning for the Beck concert. Bumbershoot has only gotten more crowded, more expensive, and less fun over the years. We will not be returning again.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...