The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Just finished the test.

50 questions, 15 seconds to answer each question, no need to phrase responses in the form of a question. Some easy, some hard, ended up passing on about 5 or 6 of them. A couple of the harder ones I passed:

Karl Marx' co-author of "The Communist Manifesto" was _____ ?
An 18th Century Prussian king named _____ the Great.

Any ideas, before I look to Mr. Google?

Kristi's taking a test, and so am I.

In under 20 minutes, I'll be taking an online test in an attempt to be a contestant on "Jeopardy!"

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

First things first: good luck to Kristiface as she tackles her big exams beginning tomorrow.

Okay, time to bring you up to date.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. - John 3:20-21

I heard these words at Mass back on Sunday. The things I was giving up for Lent? Yeah, I've indulged a bit with each of them. But the reason the words struck so close to home was stuff that's been going on between a Mormon gal and myself. We met online, and have hung out a few times. Most recently, we've seen a couple of movies, "Ultraviolet" and "V for Vendetta." (Apparently, every futuristic movie with a female lead, I'm supposed to see with this gal...) Anyway, up until last week, we'd only hung out at night. After the films, we'd go somewhere to run the bases, if you know what I mean. (Or as many bases as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will allow.) Last Thursday, though, changed things.

It was a rare day off for me, so I decided to see if the Mormon would like to have lunch. She said yes, and I went to pick her up. She wasn't very committal about where she wanted to dine, so long as it wasn't meat (apparently, people that have had eating disorders are like that). We ended up going to a sushi place near her apartment.


Take a lack of conversation, an overly spicy lobster roll that she sent back, a delay in getting another dish out to her, and her fidgetyness turning into a major distraction by drumming with chopsticks, shake well, and you have what I went through.

Thinking about that verse made me realize something: maybe we're good night-time friends, but not such great friends when the sun is out. Putting it another way, fun to hang out with and kiss, but as for anything more substantive, not so much.

more later...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

- "everyone who does wicked things hates the light..."
- New friends.
- Old acquaintances.
- Fabulous prizes.
- Wanting to be an asshole.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Okay, remember the other day, when I was whining about all I could afford was a "rinky-dink condo"? Well, I guess that's not such a bad thing.

Sunday morning, soon after I finished that post, my folks showed me an ad for an open house for a condo near the house. My dad and I went to check it out, and I was pleasantly surprised. A 20-something-year-old unit, it was rebuilt due to an attic fire. New flooring, new appliances, new paint, it was all very nice. And, in what could only be described as kismet, my dad ended up knowing the real estate agent representing the seller; they worked together back when my dad was actually working.

I ran some numbers, and saw it'd be a lot more reasonable than if I got an actual house. So, I decided to put in an offer for $500 over the list price. (There were 2 other offers that were in when I got mine in.) And then, I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Then, a little after 4:00 in the afternoon, I checked my voicemail. The following message was waiting for me...

"Hey Greg, it's Richard. You got the condo."

I'm a homeowner.

Norm turned 30 over the weekend. (cue applause)

And it made me think of something I asked him back in 2004: "What do you want to accomplish by the time you turn 30?"

i'd like to find a woman who is that into me. 30's only a year away... so i'd like to have published a story somewhere, finished a novel i am proud of and maybe shopping, paying off my loans, improving my credit. and when i turn 30 i'd like to have a spectacular badass party.

So, did we "git-r-done"?

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Apparently, I'm not as well off as I thought I was.

Yesterday, I continued down the path to home ownership by looking at some houses. I met with a family friend who is a real estate agent yesterday morning (after a pretty tiring Friday night, more on that later). After looking through the MLS, we found about 6 or 7 homes that were in my price range. We hopped in his late-model Mercury and stopped in to these houses. We saw some that were a good fit, some that weren't. After our first go-round (and the most dramatic Rose Ceremony ever), we narrowed the possibilities to 4.

I then decided to have my folks take a look at those homes that made the cut. Most of these were FHA foreclosure homes that were on auction, but with only about 36 hours (at that point) to enter a bid. We ended up going to three of them: a house that was painted blue with some not-so-nice carpeting, referred to as the Blue House, a two-story house with no flooring whatsoever and a hint of cat urine, referred to as the Stinky House, and one with a low list price and a neat covered patio, referred to as the Last House.

There were pros and cons with each house. Blue House was pretty nice: a decent size yard, and really only required a new paint color and new carpet. The neighborhood, though, wasn't the greatest. Stinky House was palacial in comparison: 2 stories, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a huge yard in a nice neighborhood. The agent stated that I should try to put in a bid near my price target or maybe even a bit below, if I got it, it would be a steal. All I would need is some muratic acid and some paint and I'd be set, he told me. The Last House seemed to be a deal, but upon further inspection, seemed to have more wrong with it then I first thought, possibly adding to the overall cost (and headache) of owning it.

That night is when the cold hard fact hit me: I'm not ready to own a home. At least not one in my original price range without becoming "house poor." So now it's either take another year or so to save up for a proper down payment (which may work if the Fed decides to stop raising rates), or buy a rinky-dink condo just so I can get out of my parents' house. It was a bit sobering, especially when I see all these "zero-down" offers for homes in the paper. Oh well... back to the old drawing board.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just a few quick things...

- March Madness is upon us again. I set up a bracket group at ESPN's Tournament Challenge for the sports blog, feel free to join us. Search for group "athletes in action," fill out your bracket, and sit back while I get the high score! ;)

- Good thing: getting paid today. Better thing: being pre-approved for a mortgage on my drive home from work.

- October 14, 2006: not just Alumni Weekend against Baylor, but something even more major. My 10-year High School Reunion. (It feels like it's important, that explains the capitalization.) Time to really get cracking on that losing weight thing, eh?

Monday, March 06, 2006

I saw her tonight.

I went to an event known as Theology on Tap tonight downtown. A gentleman gave a talk about Natural Family Planning. And if it sounds exciting, it was. Oh, the excitement.

Anyway, about 10-15 minutes into the talk, a couple of people walked into the bar. One of them was Suzanne. The other was a guy that she's been seeing since January. At first, I tried to be cool about it, only casually pointing them out to a friend I was sitting near.

After the talk and a short Q&A session, there was more socializing. And that's when I decided to go over and say hi. We talked for a little bit (how's work, how's the dog, how are your parents, etc.), then before either of us could say, "Boy, this is awkward," I wished her well and returned to my corner.

I thought that would be that; I hoped that was the signal that I was finally starting to come to terms with the breakup. Apparently, it wasn't. I don't want to get too specific, but I was somewhat of a wreck on the way home. Guess there's still work to be done...

Thursday, March 02, 2006


So my friend Laura has a theory as to why things are going so slow with K and I.

While in Austin this past weekend, I met up with my old friends from UT, Laura and Vanessa. I told her about the situation with K, and in a few words, made the conspiracy theorist in me awaken.

"Maybe she has an out-of-town boyfriend."

Last week, I made plans with K to go to Fiesta Texas for my company's Family Fest. (Even though I have no family of my own, I was allowed one guest. How nice of them, eh?) She wrote me an e-mail on Monday saying she wasn't going to make it, due to moving, as well as "heading up to Houston that afternoon" to see her brother's friends.

Maybe she's telling the truth, but ever since Laura said that, I can't help but think about the possibility...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


So today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and sacrifice for us Catholics. What am I giving up? Two things.

One of them I've tried before. The other... not since college. The two are somewhat related, at least in my mind.

Yes, I'm giving up sex again. Three years ago, when I did this the first time, it went pretty good, for the most part. A couple of cheats, but I was good otherwise. But I'm adding something to the mix: alcohol. My dad's given up alcohol during Lent in the past (not that he has a problem with it, he only drinks during meals), and ended up losing a few pounds in the process. So I figure I can do the sacrifice and help myself get to my goal at the same time.

This should be fun...