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jessicaberlin

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Today [02 May 2013|03:53pm]
Today I spent hours trying to figure out if we should refinance. There are lots of questions that even my smart friends seem to have no answers to:

- Are all brokers bound to the same interest rates? If so, how come they all advertise different ones? Are they - as one of them implied - straight up lying? Or is he straight up lying?

- We have owned our home for 2.5 years now. The first year you pay only interest. That means out of the tens of thousands of dollars we have sunk into mortgage payments only a tiny fraction actually went toward paying off our loan. If we refinance now, don't we lose all that interest we paid, because the next lender will also want us to pay a year of interest-only? How can saving $250 per month make up for all that lost interest? What am I missing?

It's a world of used car salesmen! I wish I could get unbiased advice, but it seems impossible to find.

Any input is appreciated.
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I just posted this as a comment on somebodys Facebook post [22 May 2012|04:12pm]
I guess it should go into my memoirs:
"We didn't have school lunches. My mom made me sandwiches which I usually didn't like so I went to the fast food cart across the street from our grade school and bought dinner rolls filled with ketchup for 20 pennies a piece. For some reason I didn't throw my mom's sandwiches away but left them in my bag until they became moldy and the bag started to stink. Then I finally threw them away but I couldn't get rid of the stink so I sprayed a cheap teenager perfume on it that an aunt had given to me. It was called My Melody. So then my bag smelled of moldy bread and My Melody. It was the scent of my grade school days."

I'm going to write more soon. I've been busy herding cats and domes for the upcoming campout, collecting music for my DJ set and making plans for our Berlin trip that's just around the corner. So much busy...
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I'm very emotional today... [21 Jul 2011|12:24pm]
... so I might as well post here. It's been a long time. I never had a lot of friends on here, tribe dried up and I just can't get into facebook. So for a long while I was blog-less but I guess I write for myself, not for an audience.

I've been on this emotional rollercoaster of being very much in love and having (irrational) fear of losing my love that comes out in nightmares that have been keeping me up the last two nights. Lack of sleep isn't helping with the emotionally volatile state.

I go through phases when I don't like myself... because I'm not likeable. I don't know if it's hormones or what but I go through stretches where I really turn into a bitch from hell and drive my poor husband crazy for a few days and then suddenly it ends and I go into the opposite extreme where I feel really guilty and wonder why he even bothers with somebody like me and figure it's just a matter of time until he realizes that he could be happier elsewhere. That's where I'm at now.

When I talk to him about it he says "Don't worry, I still love you. We will be together forever." and those words are everything.

So I'd like to be better and I know that getting back into a more spiritual lifestyle will help. I signed up for dharma talk/meditation events this week and next and will see how I can make time to write and meditate and have quiet, creative time. I also want to be more sober when I face the social circuit. Quitting smoking a month ago was a step in the right direction. I just want to be more in control of my shit and less controlling about other people's. I want to be positive and supportive and not get trapped by the temptations of complaining and shit-talking. I need to get back in touch with my compassionate side.

Life has been so very good to me. Why do we get cranky when things are easy? Why do we get strong and deep when things are rough? I need to find balance.



It's time to figure out what happens after he takes her home.
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Holy fucking shit we are in Escrow!!!!!! [18 Aug 2010|03:36pm]
Things are looking good, we might just own a little house on the Oakland Berkeley border soon.
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Name Changing... [05 Apr 2010|04:57pm]
...is a huge pain in the ass, yo.

And very very expensive... at least for immigrants.
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Pictures from our *other* wedding [23 Mar 2010|04:25pm]


Pictures from our bachelor(ette) party turned "The Wedding of Mr. & Mrs. Spank Part II - IMAX Way Legal Collector's Edition" at the River Queen in Monte Rio, CA are behind the cut: see picsCollapse )
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I'm an Aunt! [17 Mar 2010|03:36pm]
As I was getting married for the second time, my brother and sister in-law had their first baby: a healthy boy named Hannes.



Just like me my brother never wanted kids. Just like me he changed his mind about that just a couple of years ago.

Now he's all over it.

I'm so happy for him.

Look at my mom:
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Too legit to quit!!! [17 Mar 2010|09:23am]
On Saturday Spank and I got married a second time around because we just can't get enough.

The three-night rager at this pimp mansion http://www.rrgetaways.com/riverqueen_1.htm was initially planned as our Bachelor(ette) party but since a California marriage license isn't good in Thailand and since Polly didn't get to officiate the first wedding we did it all over again. This time in the company of our klowns and closest freak family.

It was ridiculous and highly romantic all at the same time. I hope to get pictures soon. We will still celebrate 2/20 as our wedding day but our paperwork will have 3/13 on it so both events will be thoroughly cherished and remembered.

We indulged in the usual fun: marathon hottubbing, naked karaoke, costumed visit to the local gay bar and the general ringing-in of spring out in beautiful nature surrounded by blooming trees and the sparkling Russian River.



Since I don't have pics from this event yet I have to throw in a couple of favorites from the Thailand set:


Kitler?


Squid on a Stick!



We didn't hire a photgrapher for either of the two weddings and we are quite happy with the pictures our friends and family took. Only hang-up: you have to chase them down and be patient. It might be a while until I get the River Queen pics.
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Wedding Pictures are Here! [16 Mar 2010|01:22pm]


Click this link for the full set:
http://picasaweb.google.com/112100904393333474365/OurWeddingInThailand_202#
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I guess I should jot down a few wedding memories while they are still fresh in my mind... [09 Mar 2010|03:21pm]
It really was amazing. After the initial jetlag hang-ups passed and as people started to arrive our beautiful beach transformed into an exotic version of Camp&Son's: Everywhere we went we ran into our friends - beautiful!

There's a live reef right off the beach that I snorkeled out to a lot and that looks like a tripped out strange planet - hundreds of different kinds of coral and lots of colorful fish.

Haad Salad has accommodations for every budget: from the janky wooden shack right on the water for $9 a night to fabulous suites in grand resorts. We moved between the very simple and the very swank and loved both.

Every night we would eat a big grilled fish fresh from the sea, covered in garlic and herbs.

At $8 an hour there really was no reason not to get a massage every day and these ladies sure know what they are doing.

On my wedding day I insisted that I wanted to get a massage, go for a snorkel and eat a grilled fish before I get married. I got it all but lost a lot of time and had to shower, wash and do my hair and make-up and get dressed in 40 minutes flat. Probably world record for a bride. But hey - it was worth it.

The ceremony was amazing. We did it on a sandbank that connected the beach to an island: between two bodies of water and two bodies of land with a dramatic sunset behind us and dragonflies flying between us. Because our group was so small we were able to do a truly intimate ritual and had everybody drop their cameras for a while and hold us tight in a circle of energy.



And just to have all this time with friends and family - days for them all to meet and get to know each other. This was such a good idea!

Our trip to the Krabi province was an adventure. We kayaked through caves and swam waterfalls. We explored a famous cave with an opening in shape of a skull and ghostly cave paintings that date back 3000 years when a huge storm hit with thunder and lightning - very Indiana Jonesy. We had great times in not-so-famous Krabi Town where we found the *real* Thailand we had been looking for.

In the end the three weeks were way too short but that's how it goes when you have to work. I can't wait to go on the next big trip. Hopefully next year.

Next week I will deal with all the paperwork to change my name etc. The feeling of being married doesn't come all at once. It comes in little steps. It starts when you move in together, then you make long term plans, work on big projects like trying to buy a house or plan a family, you consolidate your accounts, get into the groove of truly running a joint household and eventually have that ceremony but in the end there's so much more legal stuff to follow that it seems like you keep getting married for months and that's actually very nice.

More pictures very soon.
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Sorting through wedding pix... [03 Mar 2010|01:22pm]
I'm barely back, totally jetlagged and today quite sick to the stomach for mysterious reasons but looking at the pics makes me smile.

Here's my favorite:



What is it about wedding pictures? Nobody ever looks their best in them. Spank somehow didn't fasten his vest properly and looks like he has a massive girth that he doesn't have at all in reality and I look worn out and tired but that's no surprise.

My first 10 days in Thailand were rough. I had the worst jetlag of my life, couldn't eat at all and didn't get more than 4 hours of sleep for the first 10 nights which somehow triggered a huge anxiety attack that seemed to go on for days - very strange - I'm not really an anxiety attack kind of person. Spank said he never saw me like that before. He was so compassionate and kept on trying to make me laugh - I'm the luckiest woman alive to have him as a husband!

In this fragile state we pulled together the entire wedding planning which was much harder than expected. I wasn't really aware how frail Spank's parents are and Thailand isn't a place for people with even mild physical handicaps. This took the planning to a level of detail that is nearly impossible to communicate to people who barely speak English. In the end everything worked out perfectly but it took a lot of leg work.

The nice thing about doing everything yourself is that you get exactly what you want:
We had the ceremony on the nicest beach on the island (didn't quite translate in the pics), we had lobster dinner in the best restaurant on our beach and the swankest suite for the after-party.

The big winner of the week were our friends who insisted on helping out and procured beautiful flowers (white lotus!) and stocked the bar in our suite so well that the after-party went on for two days! We couldn't have done this without our peeps.

Lisa P deserves a special shout-out for stepping in as our last minute emergency backup minister because Polly got delayed and we didn't know until a few of hours before the ceremony if she would make it in time. With only one day notice Lisa delivered an amazing ceremony and Polly and Scott made it in time to be part of it.

And now I'm Mrs. Spank an I couldn't be happier.

More pictures soon.
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Lost in Music [08 Feb 2010|10:46am]
What could be funner than to DJ your own wedding?

Spank and I spent the weekend making sets for dinner & dancing. I hope we get to use them.

Weddings are the time to pull out all your happy songs and do I have happy songs!

I haven't had a chance to listen to Spank's sets yet but I know they will be amazing. I made a 140 minute dance-set that rocks the house. Of course it's heavy on the disco and the funk but I also threw in some 60s, 80s, glam and mashups.

DJ Mermaid - if you read this - I toasted you a couple of times while making the mix because getting my disco queen on always makes me think of you.

I triple dipped on Donna Summer because she's always sure to make everybody's e come on even if they're stone cold sober. :)

Here's Donna Summer's "Dim all the Lights" which isn't just the most romantic Disco song ever but also surprisingly dirty:



Dim all the lights sweet darling
Cause tonight it's all the way
Turn up the old Victrola
Gonna dance the night away

Love just don't come easy
No it seldom does
When you find the perfect love
Let it fill you up

Dim all the lights sweet darling
Cause tonight it's all the way, hey baby
Turn up the old Victrola
Gonna dance the night away

Love just don't come easy
No it seldom does
When you find the perfect love
Let it fill you up

Dim all the light sweet honey
Cause tonight it's you and me
No need to worry darlin'
Cause it's for eternity

Love don't come easy
This you know I understand
I want to be your woman
If you'll be my man
Let yourself go freely and I'll
Show you things that you've dreamed of
Don't think that your dreaming
We've found the perfect love
And I'm like a cup
So fill me up

Dim all the lights sweet darlin'
Cause the night is on the way, oh baby
Turn up the old Victrola
Gonna dance the night away

Do what you want
You can use me all up
Take me bottom to top
Don't leave even one drop
No, no, no
Do it tonight
You know the moments are right
Turn my brown body white
Come on, dim all the lights

Dim all the lights sweet darlin'
Cause the night is on the way, hey baby
Turn up the old Victrola
Gonna dance the night away, hey baby
Dim all the lights sweet darlin'
Dim all the lights sweet honey...
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What a nice day!!! [05 Feb 2010|12:43pm]


I have my passport!!!! I'm so relieved. What a last minute cluster fuck - but now all is well and I can enjoy my pre-wedding bliss and get on my plane on Monday.

It's absolutely gorgeous outside. I just got back from the German consulate and I walked all the way back to work because it was so nice out. It felt like a mini-vacation in my favorite city. I waked across Nob Hill and enjoyed the sweeping views, past Grace Cathedral and the fancy hotels, past cable cars in the sunshine. I picked up a frilly parasol out of a shop window in chinatown. It may come in handy on my wedding day. I smiled at everybody I passed and they all smiled back.

When I got back into my building the mail man in the lobby sang a love song and the security guard by the elevators sang another love song. Love is in the air!

What a great day! What a beautiful city! What an amazing time in my life this is!

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Nothing can touch me... [01 Feb 2010|03:58pm]
... because I'm protected by an armor of thick cheese and problems of any kind will simply slide off of it.

Spank and I made our wedding mix this weekend and it came out super schmalzy with extra cheese. We rat packed it and filled it with the new romance of the deepest 80s, we sprinkled it with 70s glitter and even included one of our own songs.

I'm floating on this happy wave while I'm trying to solve unsolvable problems regarding our pending real estate deal which might fall apart in our absence because our lender won't accept a power of attorney ... and and .... and...

I'm letting the fact that the German consulate has lost my passport application and may or may not have a passport for me before Monday just slide off the velveeta coat.

Everything will fall into place because lovers and fools are protected by the gods and in times of pure romance there simply is no space for spoilers.

Here, have some cheese: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sZzCyJVb4o
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I got promoted! [28 Jan 2010|08:51am]
All I had to do was ask. Who knew? :)
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Last night was all kinds of spiritual [27 Jan 2010|09:32am]
I went to Grace Cathedral for their Tuesday night yoga. Can you imagine doing yoga inside Grace Cathedral to live music? Amazing! Last night they had a guy playing five different instruments including the Didgeridoo and next week they have a harp player.



Then I had dinner with Spank and Polly to discuss our ceremony. I got all kinds of anxious over it which is weird. I've also been doubting my dress lately. Strange... I thought I was above all those jitters. I guess I'm not.

Then I went to bed and had the weirdest nightmare: I dreamed that I'm being attacked by a ghost and it's making me feel very very cold. Then I slowly woke up and was aware that I was in bed covered in three comforters but I was still really really cold and I knew that can't be and wondered if the ghost is real. When I finally awoke all the way I wasn't cold anymore. Very strange.

I just looked up some more wedding traditions and again I got all choked up just reading about it. That happened the last time too and when I gave some of it to Spank to read it happened to him too.

It's deep shit yo!
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I'm back to meditating every day [05 Jan 2010|12:29pm]
Right now my life is too full of important steps, significant decisions and important projects to miss any nooks and crannies of consciousness.

We made a couple of big mistakes last year because we simply lost the overview. Won't happen again if I keep my mind centered, focussed and aired out in nature on a regular basis.

Now if I could just find the disciplin to start my daily writing again...
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Looks like the new year will be glorious! [04 Jan 2010|09:42am]
I think it's all sorted and we decided to go the adventurous route into the future. Very exciting! The last two days were very glowy, romantic and at peace with the wild ride that we chose 2010 to be.

NYE was spent at a fun little house party surrounded by my klowns. The friends who stayed with us were chill and fun to be around. We went to the movies and saw Avatar and I am quite surprised that such a anti-imperialist pagan hippie love fest can make it to number one at the US box offices without raising too many eyebrows. A good omen for the new decade me thinks.

I was just pondering what this last decade will be looked back as. We don't really know what to call it. The 2000s? Maybe the whole concept of comparing decades will end? I came up with a pretty positive picture: Most of the 2000s were dominated by Bush and the "War on Terror" BS and a general reverting to the dark ages after the fairly enlightened 90s. Then it all turned around and we got an Obama and an economic crisis that shook capitalism at it's very foundation. Environmentalism went from a tree-hugger pipe-dream to an international marketing strategy and music with real instruments had a come-back.

Now where is this all going? I can't wait to find out.
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I just ordered a vacuum cleaner, that made me happy! [30 Dec 2009|01:59pm]
I also bought our tickets to Koh Samui. Buying things relieves stress I hear. I've been having some pre-wedding jitters. I guess this is where you move from the Cloud 7 phase to the freaking-out phase. Not about the wedding. That's cake. About the concept of getting married. I find myself scrutinizing our relationship looking for weak spots and feeling insecure about all kinds of bullshit. I'm sure it will pass any moment and I know it's normal but it's still annoying. I liked my Cloud 7. Can I get back on pleeze?

I will go hiking tomorrow, rain or shine. There has been too much holing up in the warm house. I need air and I need nature and I need to move.
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The Big Four Oh [18 Dec 2009|11:43am]
I just realized that I'm turning 40 in less than a month. I've been so busy lately I actually didn't think about it until the last couple of days.

Clearly I'm not obsessing about it. This is a bit surprising because in years past I've certainly struggled a little with the fact that I'm aging.

Then again: I've been deeply immersed in planning my wedding, trying to buy a house, trying to finally figure out if I want kids or not, planning a trip to Thailand and another group trip right after I return. All these things don't spell middle-aged to me. They are things that my parents' generation did in their 20s and early 30s. Things that are about planning your future, not looking back at your lost youth.

The things that freaked me out about aging, namely the untimely appearance of deep wrinkles and a significantly lower energy level are things that hit me in my mid-30s. I have since gotten used to them so I'm actually less freaked out about aging now than when I was 35.

It also doesn't hurt that I met the man of my dreams not too long ago and that athletically I'm in the best shape of my life and for once don't have to struggle at all to keep my perfect happy-weight.

I guess that's that. Party on!

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