home comments edit

I went at 11:00a to the title company and promised my mortal soul in exchange for…

Oh, wait a minute.

I mean, I went to the title company and signed all of my loan papers, handed over a ridiculously large check, and now my house is in escrow. As soon as the loan funds and records (which should be Friday), I’ll be getting some keys to the place because, at that point, the house is mine.

Of course, the lady selling the house won’t be out until April 3, which was part of the offer - allowing her to stay there rent-free for a few days while her new house closed and she moved out - so I won’t be able to go in until then. I’ll take a couple of loads of stuff over, maybe roll around on the carpet, nothing major… but on the fifth, I’m movin’ in.

My realtor, Gregory, missed my paper signing, but I think it was just some sort of miscommunication or something. He said he didn’t get the message on when the signing was, while my title officer (who is, coincidentally, also my aunt) says she left a message for him with the info. Gregory is understandably irritated because he thinks it reflects poorly on him, while my aunt is also understandably irritated because she thinks it reflects poorly on her. I don’t think it reflects poorly on either of them; they both provided me with excellent service and will be getting future business and recommendations from me. These things just happen sometimes. I’m not sure what Gregory would have done there anyway, other than just showing support; it was basically just a bunch of new versions of loan documents I already signed.

All in all the signing took about 45 minutes and I signed probably - seriously - 100 different things (I have two loans - a primary/first mortgage, and a secondary/home equity line of credit - so there’s double the usual paperwork), many of them duplicates of each other, but all reasonably straightforward. Now that it’s said and done, I’m not sure what all of the hazardous warnings and bad signals were all about that I got from people I talked to; the signing isn’t really a bad experience, and there’s not a lot different there from when you buy a car or any other big-ticket item. There’s just more to sign, which doesn’t make it bad, just a pain in the wrist.

Only one more step remains in the entire process - the actual move. We’ve been packing nightly and getting things ready to go, but there’s still so much more. I’m wiped out, man.

I’m sitting at the allergy clinic, waiting for my weekly shot, and they have the stupid country music station playing. Apparently this is Toby Keith singing a song called American Soldier. It occurs to me that this is probably one of the worst capitalist sell-outs I’ve witnessed (in a manner of speaking) in a long time. I mean, how cheap do you have to be to write a really bad tribute song to cash in on the emotions of military parents and sympathizers? Terrible.

I went to U-Haul this weekend to pick up some “mirror packs” - gigantic flat boxes you can pack things like framed art in - and ended up spending like $80 on boxes. I bought not only the mirror packs, but they also had these styrofoam corners you can strap onto to the picture to protect the frame, so I got those, too. But at $6.50 per box and $5 per set of corners… well, nobody ever said moving was cheap.

So there was some packing this weekend, but not the quantity you’d think. Instead, Jenn and I got into this sort of triage mode where rather than just dumping things into boxes, we’re going through everything and separating it into piles. We’ve got an eBay pile (things we want to try to auction off); a garage sale/Goodwill pile (things we’ll try to sell at my parents’ upcoming garage sale and donate if it doesn’t go); and a garbage pile (stuff to just pitch out).

As part of that triage, I decided to go through my magazine collection. I have this pack-rat style problem when it comes to magazines. I’ll read them, then if I find an article I like or pictures I like, I’ll keep the magazine. This reached a particular head during my Sarah Michelle Gellar phase a few years back and resulted in my having probably 250 magazines of various natures stashed in the closet. Time to weed out. To that end, I decided that my pack-rat nature would be satisfied if I somehow kept the article even if I didn’t keep the whole magazine, so I set about scanning all of the articles that I was interested in keeping. I spent probably 16 hours on that this weekend, and a couple of hours last night, and I finally scanned all of the articles out of the magazines I’m throwing out. 588 pages worth of scans. I won’t even get into the nightmare pile of magazines in the middle of the computer room floor. I have to clean that up tonight.

Speaking of packing/moving, my parents have listed their house for sale. They’ve been toying with the idea of moving into a condo for a while now and it looks like they’re actually committed now, which I think is a good thing. Not the condo part - I’ve tried to convince them out of that; I think it’s been too long since they’ve lived in an apartment and understood that there’s no such thing as a good attached neighbor - but the fact they’ve committed to the decision. It’s been up in the air for over a year now, and it’s time they shit or get off the pot.

In other news, Jenn and I watched an episode of The Sopranos season four via our On Demand cable a couple of weeks ago and it was intriguing. Enough, at least, so that we went this weekend and rented the first three episodes to the first season. We’ve seen the first two episodes and I’m liking it. I’m not as sucked in by it as some shows, but something about it compels me to watch. I’m sort of fascinated by the way it’s like GoodFellas meets Analyze This.

Oh, and I’ve been sucked into that show Wonderfalls. I’m not even really sure why, but I think it’s got something to do with the writing. The main character, Jaye, sounds like a live action Daria, and the sharpness of the whole thing reminds me of a song by Cake. I can’t not watch it. Maybe I should figure out when its regular time slot is (we caught a couple of episodes in “special encore” showings). I asked my mom if she’d seen the show and she had but couldn’t watch it. Apparently there was “too much going on.” I think the generation gap is starting to widen.

media, movies comments edit

I watched Matchstick Men this weekend. It said “comedy” on the side of the box, but I don’t think I’d classify it as such.

Matchstick Men is the story of Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage), an obsessive-compulsive con artist. He’s been conning people for years, has a bit of a shady past, and wants to get out of the business. He’s done some big cons, he’s done small cons… and now he’s going to do one last big job and quit.

It occurs to me that being a con artist must be a lot like being a gambler. You do it often enough and you become greedy, and rather than knowing when to quit, you somehow feel the need to make one last big play before cashing in. At least, that’s how it seems from the movies.

So Roy decides to do one last con. Unfortunately, he’s run out of medication for his OCD so he needs some psychiatric help to get some more medication. He goes to see the psychiatrist and starts discovering things about himself. He feels sort of empty and needs to get in touch with what really matters in life.

Eventually he gets in contact with his teenage daughter (Alison Lohman), who he’s never met. And, somehow, life seems that much better. The compulsive ticks slowly dissipate and you finally see a man complete and happy.

I thought this was a great movie. It legitimately made you care for the characters, which is not something you see a lot of lately, and it told an interesting story. I will tell you this - there was a colossal plot twist that I never saw coming. It just makes it all the better.

If you have the chance, give this a rent. It’s well worth your time, as are most Ridley Scott films.

Cruising in to work this morning, I saw one of those WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) stickers on the bumper of a car and it got me thinking. Besides the fact that I hate bumper stickers (as long-time readers know), if you’re asking me what Jesus would do in a situation, I’d like to pose to you the following:

As of now, if Jesus were alive, He’d be over 2000 years old. Chances are He’ll have seen it all and done most of it. It’s also pretty likely that He’d be fed up that people haven’t figured things out by now and will probably have lost patience with stupidity, arrogance, and all the other traits you generally find in people right now. I mean, seriously, even Job would be like Sam Kinison by now.

So, having established a few facts and knowing what we know, let’s run through a scenario. Jesus, sitting in His 1984 Honda Civic hatchback, driving down the highway doing 70mph. He’s got places to go, people to see, He’s probably late for work. Okay, now some guy gets on the freeway and merges right in front of Jesus going 40mph. Knowing that the freeway speed limit is 55mph and the rest of traffic is doing at least 65mph, What Would Jesus Do?

Option 1: Slow down and say a small prayer for the person who just merged in front of him. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, please bless the poor soul in front of Me, who feels cautious and careful while driving. Please bless him that he may gain confidence in himself and his driving abilities, that he might someday allow himself to take full advantage of the abilities bestowed upon him. Amen.”

Option 2: Lay on the horn and yell - through the windshield, basically just to Himself - at the merging person while shaking and beating on the steering wheel. “What in the hell is wrong with this guy?!?! HEY, COCKLUNCH, FIGURE OUT HOW TO MERGE ALREADY! What is this, rocket science? People like you are the cause of road rage! A pox on both your houses! Sheeit!

Yeah, that’s what I thought. After 2000 years of ridiculous drivers - all the way from the people unable to steer their camels in the marketplace to now - you’d be pissed off, too.

Let’s try on one more, just for fun.

Jesus, still driving His ‘84 Civic, in the middle of rush hour and almost home. He makes this same trip every day. He starts driving down a busy road where there’s a peripheral street that merges into the main road. The peripheral street has a yield sign; there’s no traffic control telling the main road to slow down, stop, or anything. It’s up to the peripheral street to fit in where they can.

Instead of letting traffic flow the way it was designed, the people on the main road stop to let one, two, sometimes three cars in off that peripheral street at a time. This ends up backing the main road up something awful. After sitting on the main road and hardly getting anywhere for half an hour (while everyone on the peripheral street has it free-and-clear), He’s almost past the peripheral street when the guy immediately in front of Him stops and lets one… two… three… FOUR cars through and seems to be letting more in. What Would Jesus Do?

Option 1: Pull out His PocketPC and write new scripture until the person in front of Him decided to resume travel. No time like the present to reflect on one’s life, right?

Option 2: Get out of the car and part the main road like the Red Sea. Following the laws of God means following the law of the land, too. That’ll teach those bastards. “Learn to drive, bitches!”

Again, a pretty cut-and-dried choice if you ask me.

I’m thinking the “What Would Jesus Do” people really haven’t taken into account the true nature of the issue here. Jesus might have been the Son of God, but he was human, too. Maybe something to think about, eh? :)

(Yeah, I’m probably going to Hell for that one, I know.)

home comments edit

I got word yesterday that my home loan was officially approved. The paperwork is being wrapped up and sent to the title company for closing. One step closer!

In other news, the packing is going reasonably well. We’ve got a lot of the books and appliances and things we don’t use daily boxed up, but there’s still a long way to go. Tomorrow I’m going to have to get a couple of large boxes for framed artwork, so that’ll mean a trip to U-Haul. Once we get the art off the wall in the living room, we’ll set about repainting it (it’s cobalt blue now; it needs to be white when we leave). To that end, we’ll be picking up some primer tonight at the store.

Jenn thinks we’re working way too far ahead of the packing game as it stands. I think, though, that it’s more accurate to say we’re right on schedule. What I’m trying to avoid is the stressful mad-dash-of-packing at the last minute. What I’d rather have is one or two boxes packed each night until all that’s left that last weekend we’re in the apartment is the stuff we use on an absolutely daily basis. Especially since we’ll be busy most of next Saturday with a pyrotechnician training class.