Archive for September 2009

Back To Sanity, Sort Of

September 30, 2009

I’ve been playing a little catch-up lately with some important things.  No, not work, I said important things.  This past spring, I missed an episode of The Office since NBC felt it was more important to broadcast local emergency flood updates all night instead.  I called into question their priorities, but be that as it may, I didn’t get a chance to finish the season because of that.  And don’t even tell me I should have watched it online, because I have discovered I do NOT like watching television shows online.  I didn’t buy a 46″ LCD and a comfy recliner to hunch over in my computer chair and squint at a 19″ screen for my favorite shows.  It just doesn’t make sense to me. 

Knowing that, I was understandably excited when the season was released on DVD.  I have since purchased said season and I am caught up completely, minus last week’s episode, which is patiently waiting for me on my DVR and will be watched tonight. 

After that I’ll set my sights on season four of How I Met Your Mother, which I also purchased and plan to knock out in record time beginning tomorrow.  Upon completion, I feel like my life will be back in harmony again.  I felt like I was missing out by not keeping up with those two shows especially, since I have a number of friends who watch both and  I was basically precluding myself from 80% of conversations held the day after each show aired.  Nevertheless, I’m back in the game and I’m loving every minute of it. 

Looking ahead, I’ll be heading out of town for the weekend to catch the final Minnesota Twins game that will ever be played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.  Not even going to lie, I may cry.  I’ve been sore about the new ballpark ever since I heard about it, since the dome is so near and dear to my heart, and I see it fitting that I will be in attendance for such a game.  Now I just have to hope for my dream scenario in which the AL Central title is completely dependent on the Twins winning that game, and they win in the bottom of the 23rd inning on a Joe Mauer inside-the-park homerun, after which he signs the ball, rubs his sideburns on it, and gives it to me.  Okay, not ALL of that has to happen, but if they don’t win the final game in the Dome, I am going to lose my shit.  Not only will that break my heart Metrodome-wise, but then all I’ll have to look forward to is a baseball team playing all of their home games in a stadium with no roof.  In Minnesota.  In April, May, September, and October.  Yeah, that’ll be real pleasant.  I can’t wait to drive five hours to Minneapolis for a Twins game one weekend only to have it rained out or be 40 degrees and foggy.  Truth be told, I was going to honor the Dome with a rundown of my favorite Twins moments in the glorious stadium, but I just got choked up and depressed thinking about it, so I decided against it. 

I need to stop talking about it, I’m getting a little verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves … I’ll give you a topic.  Rhode Island is neither a road, nor an island.  Discuss. 

Okay I’m better again.  Moving on to plans further up the month.  I’ll be spending my off time packing up my things and gradually moving in with Jess while prepping my apartment to get my deposit back.  I hate moving more than possibly anything else in the free world, so to say that I’m not looking forward to it would be an understatement.  Despite that, it will be nice to no longer fork over millions of dollars every month for rent, so things could be worse. 

And straight out of the “Downright Depressing” file, comes this update: summer is officially over in my neck of the woods.  It was gorgeous last week, in the mid 70s, sunny, and just all-around pleasant.  This came to an abrupt end Sunday when temps dropped faster than Lindsay Lohan’s panties at a Playboy mansion party.  Since then, it has remained cool during the day, and has gotten downright chilly at night, dipping into the 40s more than once.  I guess it’s just a matter of time before we’re graced with snow again, but I’m really hoping to finish moving before anything big hits.  That’s probably wishful thinking, though.  I’m usually not that lucky when it comes to the weather.  Actually, when I think about it, I’m usually not lucky when it comes to anything, so I’ve come to accept it. 

If I don’t make it back by Saturday, I hope everyone has a good weekend, and send your positive thoughts in my general direction regarding the Twins winning the AL Central.  Seriously, I don’t want to cry at the Dome. 

One love,

10

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“Hmmm … Sure, That And A Pair Of Testicles”

September 25, 2009

“What makes a man, Mr. Lebowski?  Is it being prepared to do the right thing, whatever the cost? Isn’t that what makes a man?”

For those who are unfamiliar, that line is a question posed to The Dude in The Big Lebowski. The answer he gives has been used as the title for this post.  And a fitting title it is.  Sometimes, it takes a big man to make the decisions he knows are right, despite what those decisions mean  in the way of practicality and normalcy.

That being said, I had to really man up and make a big decision lately about my life.  A decision that I know is the one that will work out best for the future, even if it isn’t ideal for the present.  A decision I don’t know that many men in my position could make.  But before I tell you what that decision is, a little background info is in order.

When I was 19 years old, I moved out of my parents’ house.  I moved into a huge apartment with a handful of friends, and we had the time of our lives.  I set out and determined myself to live off of my very own money, which I made working at my very own job.  I prided myself on not having to ask Mommy and Daddy for money, and I told myself that I was building character and being independent as an adult.  Ever since then, I haven’t asked for a dime from anyone.  And I’m proud as hell to say that.  I worked my ass off, sometimes at two jobs, in order to keep myself living in the real world, keep myself in school, and cement my independence and my adulthood. I moved from apartment to apartment, each of which got more expensive than the last, but I always made sure I didn’t over-extend myself.

Sure, I’ve hit rough patches along the way, but that happens to everyone.  I’ve always bounced back stronger than before.  Up until a little over a year ago, I’ve always had a roommate.  Last summer, I decided that I wanted to give the whole “living alone” thing a shot, and I went for it.  Sure, it was nearly twice as expensive, but I worked harder and longer to make it work.  The bills came in, and they got paid on time.  Granted, I wasn’t saving as much as I would have liked, but I hadn’t succumbed to eating ramen noodles three meals a day either.  Back in July, my rent went up about 18% – which is fucking absurd by the way – and even though I was still making it work, I didn’t like it. Now that I am in the process of looking for a house to buy, I am realizing just how expensive it’s going to be.  I ran the numbers, and I don’t think there is a way in hell I’d be able to save up to afford it considering the amount I’m spending on my apartment.

So I started looking at other options.  Maybe I could move into another apartment.  It’s a college town, so there are a ton of places to live.  Granted, they are either total shit holes or wildly overpriced, so I’d either be living between a crack dealer and a crazy cat lady, or I’d still be hemorrhaging money like crazy.  Maybe I could get a roommate.  Seems to me that all the people I’d want to live with are comfortable where they are.  Plus, I’d still be spending a fair amount to live in a moderate place in which I wouldn’t have to fist fight cockroaches for my grilled cheese sandwiches.  Maybe I could (gulp) move back in with my parents.  Well, my Mom’s place doesn’t have a lot of extra room, and my sister took over my room at my Dad’s house long ago when I first moved out.  So that’s out.  Then came an offer extended, almost as if it were facetious in nature.

“You could always live here!” Those were the words spoken by Jess’ mom not more than two weeks ago.  I laughed.  But once the laughter settled, the thought continued to resonate.  The more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense. My thoughts swirled;

Well, they DO have a lot of room in their house.  And I WOULD be saving a big chunk of money each month.  Jess has lived there since she moved back to town, so I’d get to hang with her more often.  Plus, their schedules are almost the exact opposite of mine, so I’d basically have the place to myself all day while they’re at work.

And so we come to my big decision.  On Thursday night, I told Jess to pass along to her parents that I wouldn’t mind taking them up on their offer.  And Friday, it became settled.  Next month, I will be moving out of my one bedroom apartment and moving in with my girlfriend and her parents.  The move is based purely on the fact that I’ll be able to save for a down payment on a house exponentially faster than if I were to keep renting at my overpriced apartment.

I don’t really know what to expect from this journey I’m about to embark on, but I think I’ll be fine as long as I limit my number of Ben Stiller moments* and respect the rules of the house.  You can believe there will be more to come from this story as it develops.  To all my close friends, I’m sorry you’re hearing about this for the first time on my blog.  I did it this way because I didn’t feel like making any phone calls, and I figure this will give you all a chance to mock me behind my back before you see me, ya know, to get it out of your systems.  Oh who am I kidding?  Knowing my friends, they’ll have plenty of material left for me.  At least when they do make fun of me, I can run home and cry to Jess’ mom and ask her to make me cookies.  Worth it.

One love,

10

*The phrase ‘Ben Stiller moments’ is derived from any of his movies in which everything seems to go wrong for him, to the point where it becomes totally irrational and unlikely.  This includes, but is not limited to: Meet The Parents, Meet The Fockers, Along Came Polly, A Night at the Museum, Duplex, Envy, There’s Something About Mary, and The Heartbreak Kid.

Everyday Struggle

September 25, 2009

Yeah, I’m shitty at blogging.  I know.  In my defense, I have actually been pretty busy lately.  In addition to working more than normal lately, and the fact that I’m trying to take advantage of the tail end of summer, Jess and I have started shopping for the biggest purchase of our lives: a house. Despite having my mother for a real estate agent (and she’s a fantastic one, too), the whole process is, well, it’s quite a process.  It has occupied a lot of my free time lately, which is a trade off I’m happy to make considering how important a decision it is.

Nevertheless, since it has been so long since I’ve shared my useless and meaningless thoughts with you all, I’ve missed a lot of potential blog posts.  The beginning of the college football and the NFL seasons, the Twins chasing the Tigers for the AL Central title, Kanye at the VMAs, the PGA playoffs, the day I was stuck in Fargo with a work truck because the key broke when I tried to unlock the door, the bet made between JK and I in which if the Vikings make it to the SuperBowl, I have to buy a Favre jersey and wear it everyday for a week straight and take pictures with the daily newspapers to prove it, and if they don’t he has to take a cell phone video of himself crying, send it to me, and I will upload it to this very blog, the Vegas trip that was, and then wasn’t, and then was, and then wasn’t again, my run in with the guy who came to fix my bathroom vent, and so much more.

Not only have I missed a lot of chances to write, but I’ve completely neglected reading all of the other blogs I normally read daily (sorry Hammen, Beach, Bigsby, Kos).  I’m not happy about it, but like I said, I’ve been keeping busy.  It’s not like I’m sitting on my couch everyday with just a t-shirt on, elbows deep in Cheez-Its, watching reruns of “The Flavor of Love” or something.  But on that note, since I am in the market for a house, I have been watching a lot of HGTV lately (no homo).  It’s not as lame as I always imagined.  I always pictured dainty little shows about people planting flowers in biodegradable pots and sewing window drapes by hand.  Turns out, it’s actually a pretty informative channel with a lot of decent shows, especially geared toward anyone interested in buying, selling, or renovating a home. Don’t worry, I still watch shows where people tear houses apart with heavy machinery and plenty of football too, so I keep a good balance.

What has been a little flattering though, is that over the past couple weeks I’ve gotten no less than a dozen texts, Facebook messages, BBMs, and face-to-face confrontations asking me what my deal is lately and why I haven’t indulged you with any of my nonsense.  So thanks for the continued interest.  That actually makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Anyway, back to the house stuff.  The timing is almost as right as it can be.  The market in the area is geared towards first time buyers as there are a lot of affordable homes available, interest rates are nice and low, my rent skyrocketed back in July, and there’s that whole $8,000 tax credit from Uncle Sam to entice buyers.  All that’s left is for Jess and I to save up for a little bit (potentially more on that next time) so we can get the house that’s right for us, and to find it.  We’ve seen probably ten houses over the past  couple weeks, and the only one that caught our eye enough to possibly put in an offer has already sold, so we’re back to the drawing board.  I’ve said it a hundred times already, and I’ll probably say it a hundred more, thank God my mother is a realtor, because I’d be so lost without her in this whole process.  I’ll keep you plenty updated on this whole process, and I am committed in trying to be more consistent with my blogging habits.  For now, it’s time for me to head to work.  Turns out, the bacon doesn’t bring itself home.

One love,

10