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There was no entry on Monday, as I was observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by sitting around and watching movies and stuff.
(Of course, the advantage to not writing for a couple of days is that I actually have something to report besides, "woke up, went to gym, ate, worked some, watched a movie, time for sleep.")
So, Tuesday afternoon, yesterday, I guess it must have been, we got up a little later than usual, and went out to get the gym over with. (We're just into Return of the King, in the home stretch now. Got to find something else for my ears, to avoid the media wall.) Still kind of out of - I actually forgot to take off my shorts before putting my pants on, and left with the strange feeling that I was wearing some kind of diaper or something. Needless to say, I was more than a little confused, then concerned, to find that the Congress Street bridge was closed, apparently by a bunch of guys in army fatigues. We couldn't find out what the hell was going on, but eventually made it back around to our side of the river. Couldn't find anything in the news, but we did see a marching band on the other side, and I think troops were moving out of Fort Somethingorother, so it was probably just some USA! USA! Let's Go Stomp On Some Brown People parade. I was already fairly crabby, and that just shoved me over into Hate The World mode. So, good start.
(For some reason, and despite all appearances and indications to the contrary, I have the distinct impression that this whole Iraq thing is going to blow over without a major war. No idea why, but that'd be something, huh?)
After a quick shower and a bite to eat, I started to make my way up North, to retrieve a copy of my 2001 income taxes from the IRS office on the top side of town. Of course, crossing the bridge was an issue, and I waited about twenty minutes in traffic to get around the blockage, to another bridge. (Because, you know, celebrating our military superiority is a lot more important than letting people get around town. Doesn't everyone just scream around in jets like they do? I'm looking around, and I don't see a goddamn fleet, people!) After bypassing that, and a secondary snarl, I made it to the den of taxmen, took a number, sat down, and started reading a book of Greg Egan short stories from Amazon UK.
After waiting about fifteen minutes, the power went out.
Some transformer blew somewhere, and all the lights, computers, printers, data lines, and take-a-number systems were down. I kept reading. People started getting what they could get sorted out without computers sorted, and began filtering out. A big white guy came out and started helping little old mexican ladies, in pretty passable Spanish. Forms were distributed, and papers filled out. I just waited and read; I'd rather hang around and catch up on some sci-fi than make another trip up some other day. My patience paid off - the lights came on ten or twenty minutes later, and I sailed through the sparse line, got my printout, and left.
I stopped by Fry's for a little retail theraby, picked up a sale game or two, browsed the washers and dryers. After an uneventful trip home, I started putting together my 2002 financial info, based on invoices, pay stubs, and ratios from the 2001 return. Not so good. Turns out, I made a lot less money last year than I thought I did. Like, half. This whole tricking someone into giving us a hundred thousand dollars or two thing was starting to look not so good. But I just wrote down the numbers, and waited for the professionals to work it out.
Well, they worked it out today, and I don't think we're getting the blanket pre-approval that we were counting on. I think the loan is still on, but now we have to find a house first, then get that amount approved. Or something. This is all pretty much black magic as far as I'm concerned. Luckily, we've got a decent mortgage broker and realtor to make it all go. (Dave and Mel used them for their recent house purchase, and it all worked out just fine.) But I'm skipping ahead.
After I got back from my IRS adventure, we drove around some prospective neighborhoods to hunt for houses. Pickings are mighty slim for our meager price range, let me tell you. Even in the not-so-good areas, it wasn't looking so good. But, we had one or two potential maybes, and duly noted the names and numbers to pass onto Sasha, our house finding lady person. Afterwards, we dug in at the barbecue place around the corner, which was pretty decent and pretty cheap, for being so close. Should have tried that one out earlier. So, food makes it all better.
And then, I started playing Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland.
So, going to sleep at 7:30 in the morning, and waking up around 1pm after playing a video game all night sort of puts a damper on that whole "wake up real early, go to gym, get stuff done" thing I had going on. (It's 2am right now, and I'm just about to wind down.) Damn Phil and his damn wacky games. I feel like I can mark it down as a research cost, though - It's a pretty unique game, and I've got a handful of new ideas to incorporate into various projects of my own here and there.
(In other, totally unrelated news, a friend of ours from Organic reports that everyone has to undergo "sensitivity" training. I am so totally not taking the blame for that one. I'm not even in the state. Totally innocent. Of course, I think that the time would be better spent on some "do your damn job" training, but that's probably just me.)
(((Fell asleep. Finish up in next entry.)))(January 22, 2003 11:59 PM)