poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Jun. 03, 2008 . Time: 4:56 p.m.

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Despite the massive gender imbalance where I work, I've experienced very little inappropriate behavior. There were one or two incidents which ended in apologies and were not repeated after either no or limited action on my part. I think this speaks for the type of people that work here.

Even the subtle stuff is not common. I remember a meeting at NA*SA as a young intern, the only female in a room of 4 30 year old men. They were joking about nak*ed chic*ken fights and other sexual jokes. There was an engineer at Boe*ing, much older than myself, who I realize in retrospect visited WAY too often and was just too touchy-feely. There was the mentor who liked to tell me about his difficulties with his wife. This kind of thing has been virtually non-existent here. And I really appreciate that. It really only takes one inappropriate colleague, if they're a superior or if you interact with them regularly, to make life very difficult.

This morning, something happened which kind of blew my mind. In other places, it probably wouldn't, but here where I've been basically blissfully asexual for the past 4 years, it was weird. And uncool. Though not entirely unpredictable. It was the beginning of a very, very bad day, though mostly for the usual reasons.

So many things are very, very good about my current situation. 'Work' includes living in Seattle, which I like. But.

4:56 p.m. - Jun. 03, 2008



Global warming or no, we had exceptionally heavy snowfall this winter, for the 3rd winter in a row. The last two in particular have been bad. As a result, the early trails which normally open in June are still snow-covered or inaccessible. I was browsing through the NFS website to find a hike, and this is what I find.

This year, the trails will be open (or many of them) in early to mid-July, and then become inaccessible again at the end of September / early October. That's roughly 12 weekends of hiking. Many higher altitude trails will be accessible for even less time than that. I need to re-discover my fondness for snowshoes.

9:49 a.m. - Jun. 01, 2008


hillary again

On Hillary and Obama.

11:43 a.m. - May. 29, 2008



Vacation was great, if way, way too short. We stayed in Win*throp and Leaven*worth. The first is basically a Western theme town, and the second is a Bavar*ian theme town. I preferred the first. Leaven*worth was made up like some Swi*ss town or something, and the natural setting was beautiful, but it was so fake, it killed me. Were there any actual Bavar*ians in the region? Who knows. On the other hand, while wandering through the hills outside Winthrop, we ran into men in cowboy hats with 4 horses (2 per man) just casually going from point A to point B. They were having some kind of rodeo, and there was also some kind of motorcycle meetup, so the majority of the people in the town on the first day were either motorcyclists dressed in leather or wearing cowboy hats and western style clothes. It was fairly amusing. As usual in small Washing*ton towns, of course, the food was terrible! By this time, however, we have rearranged our expectations.

8:26 a.m. - May. 29, 2008



This story is just heart-rending.

8:14 a.m. - May. 23, 2008


three cheers for BECU

Christina's post about the sketchiness of realtors hits home for me. However, rather than recap my usual rant about real estate agents, I decided to talk about how great my lender was.

I borrowed from BE*CU. Here are a few things that were great about them.
1.) They don't sell mortgages. Barring a policy change, they plan to hold my mortgage indefinitely. There's no guarantee, of course, but that's how they have operated for a long time.
2.) My mortgage broker was easy to talk to and fielded daily calls from me for about two weeks answering questions about rates and points as I tried to wait and lock in on a day when rates were low.
3.) The closing costs were exactly as advertised. Actually, they were a little less. They would give me a printout on a given day, and it listed what the costs were if I locked in on that day.
4.) They had low rates, and their rates were available online (without detailed info about points, though). You didn't have to call them to find out what the daily rate was. I shopped around and didn't find anything as cheap, and other lenders required calls or even face-to-face meetings to provide rates and good faith estimates.
5.) They never, ever tried to convince me to get any sketchy type of loan. When I said I wanted fixed rate, there was no talk of interest only, or any of these odd loans. In addition, they never tried to convince me I could or should borrow more than I thought then and still think was reasonable and comfortable. I told them how much I wanted to borrow, they said that was fine, and they wrote me a letter, and that was that.
6.) Because I put down such a high percentage on the house, they didn't require an appraisal. This was just one less thing to worry about and one less person to pay.

I had one significant complaint, however. My broker went on vacation right before I closed. I also went on vacation, so I shouldn't complain too much, but there were a few days when I really wanted some reassurance that everything was in order, and he was not around. But everything went down perfectly in the end.

So, if you're ever in Washington, I highly recommend borrowing from BE*CU.

7:53 a.m. - May. 23, 2008


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