Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Car-less In Seattle

In May 2004 we decided to buy a car that we would keep forever.  We were tired of the car buying experience and wanted something that we would love, and that would last, longer than it took to pay off the car loan.  Mike did hours of research, including reading articles, attending the International Car Show, visiting a couple car dealerships to speak directly with salesmen, and then finally making the purchase.  We put a lot of effort into making an educated and responsible decision and we wound up buying a gorgeous and fun 2004 Acura RSX Type-S.  This was Mike's dream car and he loved it. 
We sold Mike's dream car yesterday.

The selling of Mike's dream car makes us car-less in Seattle, changing our day-to-day life and affecting us more acutely than anything we've done thus far in our preparations for relocation.  We felt it's loss almost immediately, after just selling it and wanting to run to the ATM to deposit the money we had just received we realized that there would be no more "running" anywhere. 

Going car-less is a life changing event.  We have to change our mindset and it won't happen overnight.  But, because we don't plan on having a car again, at least not while we're abroad, we'll have plenty of time to get used to our new state of being.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Stop the Presses!!!

Mike just received an "unconditional" offer from the University of Dundee.  They've reversed their initial decision.  Mike's been accepted!!!

Mike is going to apply for both financial aid as well as his visa this weekend.  If he is granted a visa then Desi will apply for hers, since hers is wholly dependent upon his.  Apparently, these items are equally as important as the University's acceptance and can be more difficult to achieve.  If we don't get any one of them then we can't move to Scotland.  So, basically, it's not a done deal yet and Puerto Rico is still a very attractive backup plan.  But, as of now and until we hear differently, we're moving to Scotland baby!!!

The Portfolio Did It

Mike received news last night that his application to Edinburgh College of Arts was "unsuccessful."  As disappointing as it is to be rejected from four schools, this bit of news does clear the way for our move to Puerto Rico.  Honestly, we couldn't be happier!

Regarding post-mortems, Mike has already heard back from the University of Edinburgh with suggestions to strengthen his application for next year.  Apparently, it wasn't a lack of college credits that sunk his application at the University but his portfolio.  So, rather than taking more college classes for credit this summer, Mike will be taking art classes, wherever he can find them, to strengthen his portfolio.  We're looking into his options now.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Everything Must Go

Last night we completed our first purging session of the month.  The target was this large, random closet that we've been using to store all of our useless crap - in addition to useful stuff like games, blankets, and coats - over the past seven years and have managed, despite its size, to stuff it completely full.

We emptied the closet completely and then separated the items into three piles: 1) Keep (these items will be coming with us to Puerto Rico), 2) Sell/Donate (these items we'll try to sell at our yard sale next weekend and donate whatever remains), and 3) Discard.  Happily, our largest pile was Sell/Donate.  This means that although we no longer want these items they're not absolute junk and we weren't storing them for no reason. 

Surprisingly, we had to make some hard decisions throughout this process.  We truly didn't think we were sentimentally attached to anything we have.  But, we realized early on that most everything we have has some memory attached to it and there were a few items where it was physically difficult to place in Sell/Donate.  But, at the end of the night logic prevailed and we are now very happy with the contents of that closet - two boxes filled with blankets and purses/bags and a few jackets.

Next stop: kitchen.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mission: Renovation

Desi met with the realtor this past Friday and although the news was good it was not as good as we had hoped.  We've decided we can't, and shouldn't, sell our Seattle home in this market and that we have no choice but to hire a property manager and turn it into a rental property while we're in Puerto Rico.  Desi plans on speaking with some property managers this week and hiring one by the end of the week.  We'll then spend the month of May getting our house ready to rent.  We've got to depersonalize the place, paint it, finish some unfinished projects and get rid of a lot of clutter. 

This weekend we've already replaced all the kitchen cabinet hardware, which should have been done when we first moved in seven years ago.  We also got rid of most of the books we've accumulated over the years, selling them to Half Price Books.  It was sad getting rid of our book collection because books mean a lot to both of us but our frame of mind right now has us moving around a lot in the coming years and heaving boxes of books from house to house seems unnecessary.  We hope to be able to restart our book collection someday, though.

We've got a long list of things we need to do to the house by the end of May in order for this place to rent quickly.  We've got seven years of renovations to complete in one month and if the past tells us anything it's that we're not motivated people.  But, the promise of living a few months on a Caribbean island seems to be giving us the push that nothing else has for quite some time.
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