One step at a time

Lisa and I have been talking about buying a house, preferably before the wedding… scratch that – yesterday Lisa went out with a realtor to look at some houses… scratch that – we put a bid on a house… scratch that – we put a second bid on a house and are waiting to hear back from the realtor.

Things are moving at a slightly faster pace than planned (at least in my mind). Right now I’m not sure what I’m more scared of – the sellers not accepting our bid or the sellers accepting our bid. At the same time that I’m arguing with Lisa as to whether or not we can actually swing it financially, I’m already putting up shelves and knocking down walls in my mind.

I can see us in that house, and that’s both comforting and terrifying.

Are you ready for some football?

That’s right, a football post out of the blue. But what can I say? Looking nearly dead just a week or so ago, my Eagles have a chance tonight to move right back into the thick of the playoff hunt and (dare I say it?) even the division race. Thanks to the ‘Skins and Giants blowing up big time yesterday, the NFC East just got a whole lot more crowded around the middle.

And believe it or not, but last week’s loss in Washington was almost a relief after all of the garbage that’s gone on this season. For the first time in a while, it really felt like we were just watching a good football game again. To be honest, I miss that.

So tonight is a Dipper’s kind of evening. If you want to come and scream your head off and cheer on my mighty Birds… or even if you want to hang around and gloat if we fail miserably… come on out to Hoboken for a fun filled night of drinking, football, and maybe even a cheesesteak.

What? Oh, you want my opinion on T.O.? Honestly? He’s an idiot. An extremely talented receiver, but still an idiot. And I don’t like forgiving such faults in people simply because they are talented. When I watch highlight from what he did in his short time with the Eagles I am in awe of his abilities. But it saddens me to realize that this man has worked so hard to destroy what was a sure-fire Hall of Fame career. Do I want him back? If I could have back that incredible feeling from last season, then yes. But I have trouble rooting for him now, and what good is winning when you can’t even enjoy the games.

What can I say? Us Philly fans are sticklers about our athletes. We want good, honest, hardworking, blue collar-type guys out on the field – players we can really get behind. And so we run the loudmouths out of town and maybe lose another chance at a ring or a trophy. Oh well, it’s only sports. And if it can’t make you feel good, what’s the point? I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season, so let’s hope that tonight is a sign of good things to come.

Good times now and then

Things were jumpin’ over at the local B&N tonight. That’s my way of trying to sound hip when mentioning that Barnes & Noble sure was packed for a Saturday evening. I always find it amazing that so many people feel the need to buy books (and coffee) at the same time. In reality I know that a lot of them are just killing time until their movie starts or for friends to arrive for dinner (this store is, of course, located in the middle of an uber-shopping complex). It’s just amazing to me how such a megastore has become such a mega-hangout.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. This is exactly what my friends and I were doing back in high school. Gee, what a surprise, me and my nerd crew back in the day had nothing better to do than hang out in a book store. That’s what you get when you’re 17 and living in the ‘burbs and the movie gets out at 10:30. Nothing else is left open, and at least at a Barnes & Noble you could grab a cookie or a slice of cheesecake or something.

Sometimes I wonder where everybody hangs out. Do people out there have real lives where they connect and interact with fellow humans on a regular basis? Last week I dropped by Buskers in Hoboken to see the ol’ gang – a crowd I used to see multiple times in a week. Now I see them once in a blue moon. I mentioned how much I missed living in Hoboken just for the aspect of being a short block away from the “action.” Joe told me I wasn’t really missing anything – everybody just gets together to drink and talk whether they’re in the city or not. But being in that city area certainly makes the getting together part that much easier.

I’m not complaining about life in the ‘burbs. Honest. I just want the best of both worlds.

Score one for Gmail

I’ve already been a happy user of Gmail for quite some time now, but it just proved its usefulness tenfold. Having finished up directions to my apartment in an e-mail, I just wanted to doublecheck something on the Google Maps page I had open (just call me a Google Whore). Instead of select the last tab, I clicked on close current tab. ARRGGHHH!!! But wait, Gmail now has an auto-save feature and I only lost one sentence!

Score one for Gmail indeed.

Guinea Pig scare

Last night when I came home, Lisa greeted me with some troubling news: Jessie was breathing weird. At first I thought it was just her overreacting. Afterall, she has made me poke them awake in the past because their occasional habit of sleeping with eyes open makes her nervous. But this one was fairly unmistakeable. There was a raspy wheeze coming from Jessie – almost like a rattle in his lungs. We could only surmise that it was his breathing that was going all wonky.

So I quickly scooped him up and pet him – cuddled him closely and scolded him for being sick. Oddly, though, everything else seemed fine. His skin and fur are in excellent shape. There was no discharge from his eyes. He quickly gobbled up all of the food we gave him ad then ran over for a drink. Plus he had no problem falling asleep wherever he desired. I even put him out on the floor and he scampered around per usual (perhaps even more energetic than usual).

Our nearby vets that handled Teddy were already closed, so it became a debate about he cost and aggravation of driving to he emergency clinic when everything but his breathing seemed normal. After surfing the Web for a while, I determined that letting him rest until morning would probably be fine – even if it meant a rough night’s sleep for me. Instead I would simply check up on him regularly and make sure no other symptoms developed.

Lisa woke up around 3 AM and decided to check on him – no noise! When we woke shortly after 7 in case a vet trip was necessary, I was able to bring the little goober to bed so that we coul both listen to his normal clicks and gurgles. Everything seems fine. Whew! Emergency averted.

I can only think of a few possibilities for such a speedy recovery – possibly something caught in his throat or a stuffed nose that cleared up overnight. But since adding a hutch to the cage a couple weeks ago, their sleeping area has gotten messier faster. I cleaned that up last night, and will make sure to stay on top of it – perhaps this was a respiratory infection that we nipped in the bud. Regardless, I’ll be keeping a close eye (and ear) on Jessie for awhile.

Happy days are here again.

Michael Heilmann noted this little gem on Wikipedia.

It has been recently reported that the loophole in German tax law has been revised. Starting January 2006, contributors to failed films will no longer be able to profit from failed films through a tax writeoff at the end of the year. This may well result in an end to Boll’s film career, as it would make it impossible for him to capitalize on films that fail at the box office, resulting in a loss of investors.

Could this be the end of Uwe Boll? Mark, dare we dream?

The Minivan Saga

Did I mention that Lisa was in a car accident a couple months ago? I see I did. You’ll notice that was back in August. Lisa finally has the minivan back. If only it had been totaled…

The Odyssey’s hood had been collapsed, which means lots of bodywork with little internal damage. At least, that’s what you’d like to think. But once a vehicle has been hit, it’s rarely ever the same. With the accident occuring on a Friday afternoon, parts being on backorder, and Labor Day creating a short week it was something like 3 weeks to a month before we even got to take it to the shop. I don’t even remember what the delays were once they had it, but we didn’t get to pick it up until the middle of last month. And then it died.

That’s right, it died the night Lisa and I were rushing off to see Franz Ferdinand. It shuddered a bit on the way to her job, and then refused to start again once there. All sorts of wacky stuff going on – the dashboard would blink like crazy just by opening a door. This was not a dead battery or a bad starter, but something electrical seemed to be toast. So they tow it back to the shop and proclaim, “IT WAS OUT OF GAS!”

Uh, no way. Half a tank of gas does not go in 4 days of limited use – even in today’s economy. But the mechanic insisted, much to the irritation of one Lisa, that she had let the tank go dry. So, after fixing a headlight that was also faulty, they cleaned her up, put half a tank of gas in, and… let her die. She was leaking like… like a minivan with a very leaky fuel line or something (don’t you just love analogies?) At least it died on them, and not while Lisa was on the Parkway. Plus it left us smug and vindicated!

After fixing some switches and such, we finally brought the car home last week – albeit a tad shakey. So yesterday it went back to Honda for some more work. Just a routine oil change, but the tires were also unbalanced – which caused the shimmying and whatnot.

There’s still a bit of a smell, and Lisa is getting her… road legs… back. But at least our household might have somewhat of a return to normalcy – in other words, I won’t be driving all over this dman state all week long anymore.