Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Happy Leap Day!
I know I'm supposed to post these for Money Mondays, but computer issues have kept me from doing so - but hey, better late than never right? Right. Let's go!
How to be a Serious Home Buyer...by Austin the Realtor
So…you wake up one morning and decide you are tired of renting and you want to own your own home. You go to your computer and search homes. You find some you love and call to make appointments. You do this for 3 months and finally fall in love with your dream home. You contact your bank and guess what? You are not approved for the amount of the home! You just wasted 3 months!
The above is a typical approach to home buying, but it’s the WRONG approach. Would you go grocery shopping without knowing how much money you have to spend? Probably not. Many believe that they "have good credit” and this is enough to qualify for a loan. Just like any other venture, you must do your research.
Get pre-approved! This serves multiple purposes. It lets you know what the bank will lend you and you know what price range to shop in. You can also determine an estimate of your monthly payments and determine if these payments are in your budget. I like to advise buyers to do what I call a “reverse pre-approval.” This means after you get your pre-approval from the bank, determine the monthly payment you are comfortable with and ask the bank what that payment equates to as a purchase price. This is your limit. Start your search here. Pre-approvals also let sellers know you are a serious home buyer and will be more willing to negotiate with you. Some sellers will not even take the time to show a home unless the buyer is “qualified”.
Next - happy house hunting.
Once you find a home you are interested in, determine an offer you would be willing to pay for the home and present it to the homeowner. If accepted, stop there. Schedule an Inspection. An engineer may find things you cannot see with the naked eye. (i.e. bad plumbing, termite infestation, rotting wood, poor foundation). Once you receive your engineer's report, discuss with your attorney and determine if the property is still worth purchasing. You may want to reconsider your offer if major work needs to be done.
Once you are satisfied and contracts are signed, begin the loan process. Since you are pre-approved, you should be comfortable that your loan application will go through. If you left out important financial information that can be a detriment to you, this will surface during the underwriting process and may cause your application to be denied. In other words, be honest!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
- This weather is glorious! I know El Nino, La Nina and Global Warming are messing everything up, but I'll take it for now. This is the day that the Lord has made and we should all be glad in it!
- I still managed to catch a cold though :-( I think it's working itself out.
- Birthday weekend - woo-hoo! My last year in my 30's - it's about to go down! This will be my best year yet!
- I think I want a Jeremy Lin t-shirt. Not a jersey, just a t-shirt ;-)
- Can someone give me a gift certificate to Carol's Daughter? Thank you :-)
- I'm selling Girl Scout cookies like hot cakes! Maybe they just sell themselves, but I'm taking credit :-)
- Trying to stay out of the Gap, but they keep emailing me 40% off coupons!
- I have a $100 gift certificate to Coach too...why for tryna test me!?
- I could go for some oxtails and rice and peas.
- I tried watching Braxton Family Values today, but couldn't do it...that one with the fake lips irks my nerves...not the Bomb.com.
- I need new bras. Is that TMI?
- For some reason I hate checking voicemails at work. I'd rather just call back a missed call than check the message. Not good.
- I've been so thirsty lately - going to find water!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Today's blog is a question(s) of the day.
Is there an age that is too young to have sex? What is the cut-off?
Can you ever be "too old" to still be a virgin?
If you REALLY want to be bold, you can tell us the age you lost your virginity and if you feel you were too young, too old, if you wish you had waited or if you wish you had done it sooner...Go!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday...by guest blogger “Disco”
I’m still mourning the loss of Whitney. RIP. Her songs have been on constant rotation on my iPod lately. As much as I would like to have witnessed a grand memorial (a la Michael Jackson), I honor her family’s wishes to keep the funeral private and more intimate. But how great would it have been to maybe see Beyonce belt out “I Believe in You and Me” or Alicia Keys perform “I Look to You”?
I hope y’all had a happy Valentine’s Day. Time to buy some candy on clearance sale.
The Knicks are on a roll thanks to “Linsanity.” Jeremy Lin is on fire, but I’m getting tired of all the puns – Lincredible, Linning, Linvincible… He has a great story (NBA player sleeping on his brother’s couch?). His stats have been fantastic, but I wonder if he is getting all this coverage because he’s Asian-American?
As usual, I didn’t bring in lunch today. Not in the mood for a five-dollah footlong either.
I watched the new Survivor last night. Men versus women – both teams sharing the same camp right on the beach. Gee, I hope the production crew has a supply of condoms readily available. Immunity reward might include STDs.
I am loving this mild winter season. I didn’t have to worry about bringing out my sweaters from storage.
So Kim Kardashian says that she would like her next wedding to be private, preferably on a deserted island. Next time, I hope she wouldn’t tell us ‘cause we really don’t give a f—k!
Every time I see a news story about death on the railroad tracks, I gotta ask: Why are they playing on the tracks in the first place? How can you not see or hear the oncoming train?
Anyone see this show My Strange Addiction on TLC? On the last episode, one guy is totally in love with his car. He enjoys kissing the hood, caressing the steering wheel, and giving it bubble baths. What happens when his 1998 Monte Carlo needs an oil change?
Is it Friday yet? I am so looking forward to this three-day weekend.
Kudos to the NJ Nets last night for paying tribute to Whitney by having her perform the National Anthem...again. In honor of George, Abraham, America...and Whitney....
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I’m an incurable romantic. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me. Even having suffered heartbreaks that have brought me to my emotional knees, I stood back up and inevitably loved again. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m a sugary, sappy mess around Valentine’s Day.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered that my equally romantic, Pisces boo thang does not believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day.
That threw me for a loop.
At first I thought he was rebelling against V-Day because it’s considered a “Hallmark” holiday where florists, greeting card companies and Godiva conspire to bankrupt us all in the name of love. I had a comeback ready for that until he informed me that he had done some research. He read that the holiday centered around the death of St. Valentine, so how could he celebrate something like that? My rebuttal against his research was simple – St. Valentine was martyred in the name of romance since it was believed that he was killed because he secretly performed marriages to young couples against the emperor’s wishes. That’s romantic right?
Not to him it wasn’t.
After going back and forth, he simply said “Why not show love every day, not just on February 14th?” I sighed and resigned myself to the fact that no flowers would appear on my desk on Valentine’s Day.
But is that so bad? Let’s face it – most men probably don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, but feel pressured to send flowers to their lady’s job out of obligation or the spirit of competition. After all, they don’t want their woman to appear “unloved” on Cupid’s Day.
But Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily about love – it’s about romance. You can be romantic with someone you don’t love, and you can love someone without being romantic. Some women look forward to V-Day because it’s the only time of the year they can squeeze any kind of sentiment out of their non-romantic boyfriends. If that’s the push they need to hold their women over for a few months, is that so wrong?
While I agree that we should show the people we love that we appreciate them every day, how many of us can actually say that we do that…or feel appreciated in return? I can honestly say that I feel loved by my sweetheart daily simply by all the little things that he does, but not everyone is so lucky. Some compensate for their romantic shortcomings by flooding their lover with flowers, candy and gifts on V-Day in hopes that it’ll hold them over until their birthday. Is it lame? Yes, but wrong? Maybe not.
For others like me, February 14th is just another excuse to express our love for love and all things rosy – it’s as natural to us as breathing. Will it devastate me if I don’t receive a card, a single rose or a teddy bear? Of course not, because we are supposed to write poems, offer gifts and deliver flowers from the heart, without expecting anything in return.
The pink and fuzzy feeling we get should not be exclusive to Valentine’s Day, or birthdays or anniversaries. True romance, the notion of it, can’t be confined to one day, because true love isn’t fleeting. Sure, we can designate a holiday to celebrate the magnificent power and splendor of love; but to satisfy your romantic heart, we have to capture and hold tight to that intoxicating, crazy kind of feeling all year round.
So don’t just look to Valentine’s Day as your only opportunity to express how you feel, and don’t punish your boyfriend for boycotting that day if you know in your heart that he truly loves you. What’s worse, having a man who loves you, shows you he loves you but doesn’t celebrate a commercial holiday - or never having love ignite in your heart at all? The greatest thing you’ll ever know is to love and be loved in return. So celebrate that, every day, every sugary sappy moment of it – it’s the sweetest thing you’ll ever know.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11th at 8:24pm, I got a text from Dmoe.
DMoe: "Whitney is gone"
I reply: "??"
I mean, after all...there is only ONE "Whitney" - just as there is only ONE Prince, ONE Janet, ONE Michael, ONE Madonna, ONE Cher, ONE Luther...the list goes as to those who have achieved single name status. Yet, when I read "Whitney is gone," I refused to believe that it was THAT "Whitney" he was referring to.
DMoe: "Whitney Houston"
Me: "Gone as in dead?"
DMoe: "Died. Dead B"
It felt as if my heart stopped.
Whitney Houston was dead at the age of 48. Wow. I was stunned.
I immediately opened up my laptop to log onto Facebook where I seem to get all of my up-to-the-minute information nowadays. Post after post read "RIP Whitney", "We will always love you Whitney", "We miss you already Whitney."
It was true. So sad...so tragic.
But as I read more, there were those that left other sentiments.
"This is what drugs do to you, she brought it on herself."
"Overdose, she was acting crazy, I saw this coming."
While there was no official cause of death determined as of yet, a combination of prescription pills and alcohol are believed to be the culprit. So while her death may have been self inflicted, the cynicism on some posts seemed a bit cold, and unnecessary.
Yes, she struggled with drug abuse. Yes, she displayed erratic behavior. Like so many millions of people who struggle with addiction every day, what they need is not cynicism, or judgment or condemnation. What they need is help. They need prayer.
You never know what a person struggles with on the inside - what demons they try to hide from the rest of the world. And when you are a worldwide phenomenon like Whitney Houston, dealing with and hiding those demons would be a monumental feat. Most people suffer in anonymity. I can't imagine a life where in exchange for sharing your God given gifts with the world, the trade off is surrendering your privacy to the point where your faults, mishaps and mistakes are on full blast.
Yet even with her addiction, there was just something about her. She moved through the world as if she had universal carte blanche, with regal ease. She was a queen, a diva with talent unmatched - the voice of an angel. Beneath the poise and her presence was something more. We admired her, not just because of the power behind her voice, but because we suspected that she had the influence of Divine favor upon her. She was a child of God. It's called Grace.
And any of us can fall from it.
For many of us, it is through the Grace of God that we are still here. He protects us, is our source of strength and guides our steps. And when we've had enough, when we can no longer stand on our own, he either holds us up, or calls us home. Whitney surrendered to Grace and now rests in perfect peace.
She is no longer an addict. She isn't battling anymore demons. There is no more fear. Her spirit is comforted and she is made whole. She is made perfect through God's care and mercy - washed clean with majestic grace. She is free.
What we can learn from her passing, especially if you are suffering out loud or in silence, is that you don't have to be called home to receive God's grace upon you. You don't have to search for anything "out there" to take your pain away or to cope with life's tribulations - because the Kingdom is within. The universe is there to support you. THAT assurance gives us the ease we call grace - and we have unlimited inner resources to battle any problem, affliction, addiction or circumstance.
Life is unfolding in its perfect pattern, and death is no accident. It may seem sad and tragic to those of us who are living, but God knows exactly what He's doing. So savor this precious time that God is giving us - the days of grace that we are so blessed to have. Help and pray for those in crisis, and rejoice when suffering ends. Be transformed by wisdom and understanding in times of need and quieter moments of reflection, and be blessed on your life path...and be a blessing to others.
Friday, February 10, 2012
This is my 700th post! Wow!
So just now, President Obama appeared on television to announce that birth control would be free for all women who seek it. It wouldn't require religious-based organizations to provide it, but insurance companies would. Of course, Pres. Obama is catching some heat behind it, but what else is new?
This comes on the heels of Sherri Sheppard's mini rant on The View where she stated that she had many abortions - a rant that was in response to a new Texas law that requires women to get sonograms before going through with an abortion. Take a look:
I usually try to stay away from polarizing topics on my blog, but it seems that preventing an unwanted pregnancy, and making that option available to all women, is a much better option than having to have multiple abortions...not that that is the only option available to women who don't want to have a baby.
While I don't agree that abortions are or should be used as a form of birth control, I DO believe all women are entitled to do whatever they feel is best for them and their body. No one should police a woman's reproductive rights, so if you don't believe in birth control - don't use it. If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. And if you feel that you don't want to use birth control, or have an abortion, and would jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if you got pregnant because you don't want to have a child...then keep your legs closed.
So what say you?
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
- This weather is nutty.
- Do you think marriage is dead? Do you care?
- Still trying to get used to my new hair. For those of you who haven't seen it yet....ta-da!
- I have an amazing group of supportive women friends. Thank you for helping me through this transition. It's gonna take a while, so your friendship means so much!
- Thinking of a cool gift for Valentine's Day? Know someone who loves coffee? or are you a coffee lover yourself? Purchase a Coffee Lovers Gift Basket from our very own Serena Wills! You can go online to her store at www.serenawills.com/store.html - she's doing great things - let's support!
- I need to step up my workout game if I'm gonna lose 10 lbs by my birthday. February 25th - mark it down people! LOL!
- Ask my why Mob Wives is on my tv...I didn't leave the channel on VH-1 last night. Hmmm...
- I'm hooked on Aloe Water - the grape one is delicious!
- I have fish for lunch!
- Still haven't made my appointment to get my taxes done. I think all of my documents are in now...so no more procrastinating - doing it today!
- Going to see Act of Valor tonight. Safe House was pretty good...I enjoyed it.
- Chocolate drizzled caramel corn is the business!
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Today is National Black AIDS/HIV Day - get tested, practice safely and have some Black sex... #shrug
I want to have sex with some music playing. It's been so long since I've taken the time to stop the action, find the perfect album, press play and go back to the romance.
It doesn't have to be romance music. It doesn't have to be all smooth mellow grooves. Whatever fits the mood is fine with me.
I began my musical interludes with, believe it or not, Public Enemy. It just happened to be the music playing when young Jaguar grabbed my face and pressed our lips together. She was a pretty girl with curly hair. Both of us in high school and the banging erratic beats must've amped her up.
...echoed in the room as our trip to third base commenced. Our dry humping in the humid attic of her house increased. Hot, sweaty and her hair a mess. The soundtrack added so much energy to the session.
Jodeci, gave me the courage to caress Mercedes as she slept next to me after a long night of studying. Every freaking night, every freaking day. Next thing I knew she was topless on top of me. Jodeci became our soundtrack. She always found a way to turn it on when she was turned on. Sex in the car as K-Ci begged and pleaded. Sex in the bathroom as Jo Jo whined and Mr. Dalvin and Devante did whatever the hell they did.
R. Kelly was in the CD player when I turned up the music so the neighbors wouldn't hear the moaning and dirty talk during a threesome. "Arah" beats bumped as Honey Rider road me and Phoenix watched. It was still in the player three days later when Honey Rider came back alone for a return engagement.
I've had sexual interludes to great soul voices like Marvin, Al and Stevie, but never to James Brown...yet.
One of my former lovers would get overwhelmingly horny whenever she heard India.Arie's "Brown Skin." It worked out well for me. Like turning on a light switch.
I've fondled, kissed, caressed and received oral in a taxi ride to music from Pakistan. I've had private in home "lap dances" to a sexy playlist arranged by a lover. Prince has sung, moaned and screamed through many of my moaning and screaming sessions.
But recently? No music. Only the moaning, slapping and sweaty sounds of passion. Is it because music just isn't the same? Do I need to go back to the old school music, or is there something new out there worthy of getting it on to?
What about you? Do you like music while you sex? Is there a song that reminds you of a particular session? Do tell…
They call me The Fury and I'll be your DJ with all the platinum hits.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Since we didn't have Random Thoughts Thursday yesterday, we'll just have Random Thoughts Friday!
- So happy it's the weekend. I need to chill.
- Going to watch SU whoop St. John's tomorrow at the Garden, should be fun!
- It's a bit brisk today - guess winter is trying to finally get here. I don't mind 60 degree days in February though...jus sayin'.
- I have to renew my driver's license this month.
- Also need to make an appointment with my accountant. Hope I get a nice refund...or that I simply don't owe anything.
- Did I miss the Love and Hip Hop reunion?
- Still haven't see Red Tails yet. I'm slippin'.
- Wrote my self assessment and was pretty much told I rocked this year! Yay!
- What kind of hair cut should I get?
- It's my birthday month! Let's get it!