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About Starpuck

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    Ranger Artist
  • Birthday 11/29/1976


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    Chicago 'burbs


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  1. Starpuck

    Starpuck: Journey through the Mire

    The car loan advice was given to my coworker right before she bought her house this past May. Now she's younger, and didn't have a great credit score, so her lender said do NOT pay the car off until after you purchase the house. I think the theory is that if you pay it off you have no installment loans on your credit score to show banks and lenders that you are capable of making monthly installment payments against your debt. If I pay off my car, I have ZERO monthly debt. I have a credit card I use monthly for all my buying (ease and cash back bonus lol) but it's paid off every two weeks. So if I pay it off now, and have no installment payments for the next year, it could put up a small flag to lenders that 'oh, huh... wait, we have no recent history of her making payments, and we're gonna get her on a 30 year loan!?' So tough. I could ask the guy that did my pre approval I suppose.
  2. Starpuck

    [Wolfpool] The Unchained Predator

    Man so much hype here Wolf! Great to see these positive updates! Get me all super juiced to be bad ass myself. Great rundowns on the workouts... makes me want to go out right now and lift some iron (I can't, it's work hours right now lol). I have totally done the same thing with incorrect plate math. I posted it on my twitter feed for #dndfitness, that I was unsure if I should be proud for the PR, or ashamed of the failed math lol. Keep up the great work Wolfie!
  3. Starpuck

    Pack. Move. Unpack: Tanktimus Relocates Forum Headquarters

    Catching up finally. Lots of fun stuff going on here. Sounds so exciting getting your house set up and in order. Fun fun! You guys are getting close with ze mini tank as well! Hoooooly cow, right? I flipped over and did that test. Like the others I'm unsure how well it's pegged me, and like @Sloth the Enduring I feel like many of the questions I could have answered either way. I ended up with 1-9-7, so the Reformer/Peacemaker/Enthusiast. I don't feel very agreeable or complacent as the 9 would suggest for my second, but the perfectionist in 1 is dead on. When do we get pics of the new headquarters?!?! I need to live vicariously through the new home owners on the forums for pete's sake.
  4. Starpuck

    Raxie Thinks She Can Dance

    Man I cannot come to a Raxie thread without instantly feeling super motivated. I mean, I know we share a lot of feelz on a lot of things, and your organization methods always make me squee. But sheez, now your food pics and dance videos. It's so exciting and lovely to witness! Busy as always, but man you thrive with that. Keep up the work with inspiring me! I just ordered a new pre-formatted bullet journal from Amazon. That was totally thanks to you and your one you shared... I opted for a one and done purchase for now, just to see if I get back into the habit. Right now, doing my own layout was more work than I felt the time for... but I definitely want to organize and track. Woosh.
  5. Starpuck

    Cheetah gets back to business.

    Your trip sounds so amazing Cheetah! Everything about it, from the activities, to the food, the location, the hikes, the gaming... pure heaven! That is totally what I'd enjoy on a getaway with my sweetum! You did so great with the food too! Enjoyed it, but didn't go bonkers. Well done. Job opportunity also sounds promising and hopeful. What a splendid bit of catching up was had here today! Thanks for sharing it all and producing some Illinois smiles this way!
  6. Starpuck

    GoodDoug joins the circus?

    I am in the exact same boat right now and taking the same advice. I remind myself that a week off from lifts (as it will end up being for me) doesn't mean I lose everything, it means I gain the benefits of resting. Still so hard to do though! I hear ya on the tired and sore bits, I think for me, I get into a real good groove and my mind brainwashes the body to think all is well, like... Brain: "Look at you body, you're so amazing! Doing the things. All the things! Yes! It feels great doesn't it!? Have some endorphins!" FWOOOOOSH Body: "Yeah... yeah, it does feel great.. OOOh thanks, that feels great too! I'ma keep feeling great!!" Two days later... Body.oO( What did I let him talk me into??? Ooooof.) Your updates sound great! So glad things are going well for you! I am jealous that you own a unicycle!!!!
  7. Starpuck

    Starpuck: Journey through the Mire

    Checking in here from rainy Suburbia. (We need the rain. And the break from 95 degree days. Though it's still gonna hit 93 today, and 100 tomorrow, oof!) Thanks for all the check-ins guys, it's definitely something that keeps my anxiety-fueled brain running full gear. There are some good questions in here, and mostly I think it's a case of desperately needing to spread my wings. It's hard to explain this- or maybe it's hard to say it because it feels shitty to say. I have an amazing, absolutely loving, caring, generous family. I have lived with my sis and her husband since my dad retired to Florida, when I was just 19. Their lifestyle (mostly my brother in law) is hard on me. He's older, very negative, quick to snip and snap with his tone of communication, and the biggest issue - he is a hoarder. Not to the level you see on those shows, because it's mostly his collections and toys and accessories that are the issue (as opposed to animals, trash, and worse) but the house is packed to the gills. The kitchen is cluttered and cramped- the fridge is so full I couldn't store any of my own food even if I wanted to. So, I need to get out, because I don't want to continue having that cramped-anxious-negative atmosphere for the rest of my life. Owning? Because it just makes more sense. I've been good with my money. I'm not a big spender, and I've saved up a down payment that will be 20% of the house in the price range I am looking for. The downside is that almost 20% of my yearly salary comes from our bonuses. (A year end bonus, plus a Christmas bonus.) So my monthly take home pay is very reasonable, yes, but not for solo owning a house in this area. The common follow up to that is, 'why not rent a house, or apartment then?' I would have no problem doing that (though as a lover of the outdoors, I really REALLY want to have a place to sit out and enjoy nature) except, the cost to RENT a house in the same area is often more than what your mortgage + taxes would be. A typical rate for a 2-3 bedroom house rental here, is $2000+ and apartments have 1 bedroom's at around $1200. I could no more afford that, than I could a house. But at least a house of my own begins the hopeful process of building some equity. As soon as you add a second income into the picture it becomes doable. Like. Immediately. $1500 / 2 leaves me $750 for things like ... electricity and water, and ... food, lol! It just brings a lot of other questions and concerns to the table. (But hey, at least I am not just running straight to the "Oh god, I need to find a husband, and must be married and have a S.O. in my life to function!" solution. *wink*) A trusted housemate, with a written agreement on how things will break down under various circumstances that come up, is totally an option for me. The trusted housemate is the hard part of that plan. Just need to sort things out and see if I can take the leap on something that will be uncertain no matter what decision I come to- and I am not great with making decisions unless I know they are fool-proof. In the meantime, I'm going to do a bit more shuffling around of money and hang tight. Talk to the people I need to talk to about the big talks and see how it all feels once things are aired out. Only question I have is; If you had the means to pay off your car 20 months early, would you? I will spend more in interest on paying the loan for 2 years, than I would make if that same amount went into a savings account. And then I could put the "car payment" into savings from now until whenever and by Jan probably have the same amount I paid off, put back in. Also, I plan on putting $3000 of that into my 'car replacement' fund so that I have like $10k saved up for car emergencies. Rest goes into main savings fund / house fund. Some people have told me to NOT pay off your car loan if you are in a serious position of trying to buy a house in the near future. But if I put that off until 2020, is that enough time that a paid off car loan won't affect it? In other news... eating has not been great. Exercise hit or miss due to excessive heat and lunches with customers. Art has been going fine though, so that's something!
  8. Starpuck

    Starpuck: Journey through the Mire

    So, weekend was botched. Mood's all over the place. Too much I am trying to solve all at once, and many things can't be solved - I need a BuJo set up that shows big goals and aspirations with small steps planned to get there. I think part of my perfectionism/anxiety, is not so much just random stress- but that I cannot be at peace without a full decision/resolution made or in progress. Not a great quirk to have- not sure how to combat that. Sat am bike ride was fine. The gaming house we all do ALL of our D&D'ing at, has no AC, and our temps have been in the mid 90's for going on over a week and with no relief in sight until the 25th of July. Basement hits mid 80's of hot, stanky, humid, gross air when we game and people get crabby fast. So crabby in fact, that after my game ended on Sat at 9pm, friend who was supposed to go to ren faire with me on Sunday bailed out end of game talks, in a heat induced meltdown. I caught him before he went to bed to say we would cancel ren faire - because no way was I subjecting him to a day in the SUN and 90's, only to return to that sticky basement once again. So the entirety of the weekend got shifted around. It is what it is. But the above situation triggers right into my situation with the house. This is the friend I *could* have gone into a house with. He won't move out unless I include his current roommate, and I have absolutely NO peace on that idea. His current roommate (also my friend) is a nice guy, but has failed to show any responsibility or care or cooperation in the upkeep of his OWN house, so I have no interest in an eternal renter like that. This pushes my goal of having a house to near impossible. Here's why... This is a SMALL house in the area I have lived/grown up in. (Thus feel safe and knowledgeable about my surroundings.) Home Price $219,900 Down Payment 20% - $43,000 30 Year Fixed, 3.850% Interest Principal and Interest $825 Property Taxes $518 Homeowners' Insurance $90 $1,433 per month That is PER month property taxes in Illinois. Seriously, this is the most fucked up state in the US. Add to that our lovely new gas tax... The plan doubles Illinois' state gas tax to 38 cents from 19 cents per gallon, which will vault the total tax burden on Illinois gas beyond states such as New York and California to second-highest in the nation, according to 2018 data from the Tax Foundation. It's just blood ridiculous. There is no way, that even a reasonable person, making a reasonable wage, can afford to live here on their own. You need to either be married, or have roommates. You need two incomes to have a house unless you're making like $80k + So I feel stuck, and trapped and hopeless. And that means food took a dive this weekend. I am back on track today, but constantly stressed about thinking these formulas and ideas over and over. Additionally, I think I have to talk to my friend and point blank tell him - "If you are absolute on not moving out without offering your roommate a chance to come with, then I need to move forward without you, and that might mean I pursue other roommates and solutions. " And THAT could be the first step in a change in our relationship that I am going to have be ready to accept. Which is hard. Ugh. I just don't know what to do, and I can't find peace until I have a plan, and none of the plans work.
  9. Starpuck

    Starpuck: Journey through the Mire

    Coasting would suggest continued forward movement without a lot of effort. Treading water is getting nowhere, despite a lot of work under the surface. Nope, what I've got going is much more like trudging... through the swamp of sadness... without Artax. {I did not use that picture because we've all been traumatized enough by that.} The truth is, while I haven't back slid entirely... I'm eating like an ass again. I'm exercising fine enough. But I've given into the swamp lately. Life situations, weather patterns, poor sleep - whatever the reason/excuse might be - it's still up to me to put my foot down and choose to push through, rather than sink. Step 1 - FULL RETREAT! Wait, what? Rangers never give up, never surrender! Nope... sometimes a strategic retreat is what it takes to the win the war. I fell down the cookie hole. Cookies, candy, cakes and brownies. If there's sugar in it, I'm craving it. Sure, some of that came from the fact I started baking. [I had bought 'cheap' matcha and could not stomach it for my tea and latte, but it works great in matcha bread and brownie recipes... woops.] Most of it is just that they are tasting so darn good lately, that 2 is not a serving. So, this is a full retreat from sweets. I realize that going cold turkey is a bit of a huge jump, so I am going to allow frozen yogurt bars as evening sweet treats. Likewise, my toasted bread with pb& honey is okay too. These are things that I will NOT over indulge on so I feel they accomplish the brain-trick of 'hey sweet' without being a problem. Goal - Limit sweets to proscribed rations. (Yogurt bars and pb toast.) ** There is a 50th bday party and also 4th of July in this mix. As such, I will allow myself two specialty treats during this five week span. (I'm starting today!) Me... facing sweets. Step 2 - Don't Stop Mapping! When you have a good map in hand, and you have yourself oriented... keep using the map! I've been tracking for a while now. And MFP tells me I have an impressive streak of logging in. I'd say that probably 90% of those days are accurately and intentionally tracked - and the other 10% are half tracked, or 'man I am logging in to keep my streak alive'. Even still. 90/10 is a damn tough thing to do, and I'd really like to hit the 1 year mark! I just want these last 2 months to be more articulate in the tracking. I also had gotten to a really good point of cooking at home. Summer always gets more tricky because I do my 'home cooking' at my friends house. My friends house that does not have AC, and whose basement.... BASEMENT, hit 81 degrees last night while we were gaming. Using ovens and stoves, in a kitchen that has me literally sweating while I cook, is really hard to get around. But it's the only option I have because home cooking ain't gonna work, and I don't have my own house. So, maybe I look up more 'no cook' recipes and do more cool-related foods- or just tough out the heat for some quick stir-fries or something. I gotta stick to this. My calorie purse and pocket book will thank me. Goal - Cook food to eat on game nights - 1-2x/week Goal - Continue tracking, and track more accurately - 7x/week Step 3 - Keep the feet, and the pencil, moving! I actually have been doing really well on exercise. 2 lifts a week, and 3 others a week- either boxing, bike riding or hockey. I don't need a goal for this because I'm in a good place on this task. But this is just a reminder that if I want out of this swamp, I need to keep moving. Art, on the other hand, is a skill I put a lot of time and love into, that is fading. Not for lack of wanting to do it, but because I haven't been making time for it. Along with this, comes now, a fear of having to regain some lost bit of polish on my efforts. It's probably a little like riding a bike, but I am going to need get some confidence back and handle a few bumps along the road. I've been at a place, where I feel like I want to change my style - and I'm not sure how one does that. I have two Udemy courses in my course list that I can start working through. I need to set days to do this. Goal - Artwork practice - 3x/week Goal - Art Lesson - 1x/week **Set days so it is a routine. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday +1 weekend day.) I think I will be setting up a simple BuJo for this, and also try to get into the habit of keeping that updated. Some other side goals for this are as follows: ☐ Update NF on the weekend. ☐ Continue to work on D&D Prep ☐ On 7/1 - Pay off all bills. (Maybe pay off car.) ☐ Rework budget and start using Expense Tracker!!! ☐ Do some planning/actual paperwork on house goal. Alright, let's do this. To those of you who stalk me on facebook, please poke me there to keep me accountable here. You have my full permission!