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Housing up. Happiness down.

HomeValues

 

A new post. That’s what a few people have been asking me for lately. And frankly, I’ve not been able to really think of anything to write about lately, because I would prefer to keep my blog as positive as possible.

But this hasn’t been a very positive couple of weeks for me. Holidays have historically stressed me out a little bit (although I only seem to ever notice it in retrospect), and I’ve been dealing with an ex-roommate/friend who appears to have made the decision to fuck up my Christmas by screwing me out of several hundred dollars right before the holidays. Working for Best Buy during the holidays is no picnic, either, even though I know how lucky I am to be working in the corporate offices instead of putting in the horrible hours in a store.

But I think the thing that is really taking a toll on me right now is a realization that I’m just plain getting older. Don’t misunderstand, however. I could care less about my physical age, and I don’t really have any fear of losing youth. The depressing part about this is the realization that I’m not ever going to be able to afford anything. I can begin to clearly see that I’m always going to be living paycheck to paycheck. My credit is always going to be pretty fucked up. I’m probably never going to own a home. And although I have become very adamant about taking personal responsibility for how my life turns out, I really think that my generation (and those younger than me) are really getting the short end of the stick when it comes to home ownership.

Above, I’ve posted a pic (which you can click to see better) that describes for you what has happened with housing prices, adjusted for inflation, over the last 100+ years. You may notice that anyone who didn’t already own a home is pretty seriously fucked at this point. Renting looks like its going to be a long term deal for me right now, and that puts me at the whim of landlords and roommates.

Being at the whim of landlords and roommates has costed me about $1000 in the last month in unneeded expenses, so I’m not feeling too sunshiny about that just this moment.

Perhaps I’ll have a nicer, and more positive, thing to write about tomorrow. But for today you’ll just have to wallow in negativity with me. Just for a little bit.

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I love you

GlassRose

I usually try to do the writing for my blog myself, and I don’t spend a lot of time linking to other people’s blogs, because I usually think that if you wanted to read someone else’s blog, then you’re free to just go do that, right?

This is the exception. What I’ve linked to here is possibly one of the best blog posts that I’ve read this year. There are parts of this that I very much wish I would have written. There are portions of this that I’m very happy I did not write. There are cute little videos intermittently interjected every few paragraphs. It is alternately funny as hell, and occasionally touching. Also, it is sometimes inappropriate, and I approve of that.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

100 Ways To Say I Love You

The Return of Sangria Sunday

Another one of my favorite things about fall is the return of certain rituals that seem to get lost in the summer months.  One of them is Sangria Sunday.

Red Wine Sangria

2 oz Merlot
1/2 oz brandy
1/2 oz triple second
Splash of sprite/7up
Fill with OJ and pineapple juice and fruit chunks
Shake vigorously until frothy

Not only do they tasted like delicious fruit punch, but they pack a little kick in them as well.  These are  best served directly before, during, and after breakfast.  I also recommend that you be either alone or with others.

And, of course, the best place to get one is, without question, the Washington Square Bar & Grill.  See you next Sunday!

My communication-interweb-tele-techno-music-video-chat device.

blackberry

I have been with T-Mobile for nearly 7 years.  I can’t name many people who have been with a cellular company for that long, especially because they nearly force you to switch every couple years if you want to update your phone.  The reason I chose T-Mobile in the first place was because I wanted a super cool phone that had this remarkable new Bluetooth technology and a COLOR screen!  Remember, this was in 2001.  And I had the beautiful T68i.

That phone died long ago.  I can’t even remember what happened to it.  So I have been just buying cheap replacements and waiting patiently for some sort of killer deal to come up.  But sadly for me, I only seem to want the best thing available, and I can never afford that sort of luxury, so I just continued to wait.  And wait.  And wait.

Fast forward to October 2007.  I’ve been meaning to get myself something nice for ‘quit smoking for over a year’ present, but I hadn’t really needed anything, or been able to afford it.  T-mobile had been pissing me off for a couple years now, having never given me a deal on a new phone despite nearly 7 years as a loyal customer, but this was partially my own fault, because there really hasn’t been anything I wanted that was in my price range.

And then not long ago something came out called the BlackBerry Curve.  I’ve always wanted a device that had a full keyboard and email functionality, but also had a camera and wireless internet capability.  There has been very little available with that kind of functionality for less than $500, and this is only barely an exception at a street price of $450.  But T-mobile had a special deal going for new subscribers for $250, so I called and made my plea…

Long story short…  I’ve got a new phone for $200, and it can do nearly everything!

Plays video
Plays MP3’s
Has Camera
Full Keyboard
Internet Access through cellular
Internet access through Wi-Fi
Mapping software
Plays games
Makes Chet happy ‘cause he’s not carrying around a big pile of Suck anymore for a phone.  🙂

Anyway, you probably don’t really care about my phone fetish, but I thought I would share a little of myself with you.  Exciting, huh?

Zen and the art of egg peeling.

Eggs

Long ago, I discovered that having a diet plan was good for me and my potentially bulging mid-section.  Nothing written in stone, mind you, but at least a fairly competent idea of what breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks should consist of.  Not only does it help offset the massive quantities of beer and wine that I love to consume, but it makes me a generally healthier person as well.

Back in the Ultimate Electronics days, I used to take a mid morning break for a Hot Pocket every day at precisely 11 AM.  Since moving to Best Buy, my day starts much earlier, and I decided that there is nothing even remotely healthy about Hot Pockets, so I’ve switched to an apple and banana every day at 9:30 AM.  This has been a perfect mid-morning snack for about the last year and a half, but lately I’ve desired a little change in life.

Enter the hard boiled egg.  These are a great addition/substitute for fruit in the morning for a few good reasons.  They’re small and easy to carry.  They keep well and are delicious.  They have lots and lots of protein (which is needed now that I’m back in the gym in the mornings).  They’re damn near free.  And there is one unexpected benefit that I just completely noticed this morning.

Peeling eggs forces you to achieve an almost Zen-like calm.

It’s true.  You can’t peel a hard boiled egg when you’re in a hurry, or if you’re pissed off at something.  It won’t work.  You’ll wreck it.  (No need to discuss how many times it took me to figure this out completely).  You must stop… think… breathe…  and maintain a single-minded focus as if you were trying to pilot an x-wing fighter using the force alone.

This ‘forced-focus’ is the same thing that I love about golf (sometimes).  That’s another activity that you’ll completely suck at if you don’t manage to achieve zen-like inner peace and tranquility.  I can play golf when I’m frustrated and unfocused, but I’ll suck at it, and swear a lot.  Only when I’m in my happy place, partial meditation and complete calm, can I hit that damn ball correctly.  Or peel an egg without wrecking it.

Anything that puts me into that zone, even for a brief minute, is a good thing in my book.

Last weekend with my Sister

 

Last weekend, my Mom, her boyfriend John, and I all drove down to Troy, Missouri together to visit my sister Kati. While we were down there, we went and saw the Deutsch Country Days, and visited several wineries. It was fun. Blah blah blah.

So if you click on the pictures, you should be led to more photos of the weekend. I’m really not in the mood for storytelling right now, as you can probably tell, but I wanted to get these photos up, and at least put something on my blog today. This is already more than I was planning on getting done today, you know…