Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The 'Mercian Dream

It really is amazing how many people you hand large sums of money when you are buying a house. It really is quite ridiculous. You know what else is ridiculous? You just bought something that costs six figures! (I assume) SIX FIGURES. That is a lot of money. In fact, it's a lot of money that you probably don't have. But someone thinks you can pay it back plus interest (which is no small thing) over thirty years, so they just hand you over the money. Which is other people's money, by the way. It's all very weird and it feels like a house of cards -- which it kind of is, look back to 2006, for example.

Anyway, congrats.

I'm trying very hard to not type an eight-paragraph rant on the idea of "The American Dream." Scam. Instead, I'll just leave this quote here:
"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." -John Steinbeck, possibly (most likely paraphrased from him, anyway)
 I'll also leave this quote here:
"Verifying quotes on the Internet is a pain in the ass. Also, it's stupid. It should be about the idea, not who said it. Which, by the way, is everything that's wrong with politics and... Shit. I'll stop." -Jeff Ford
Enough with the politics. So, the pope I murdered in Assassin's Creed was one of the Borgia family popes. Either Calixtus III, Alexander VI, or Innocent (ha!) X. He put up a good fight, though. As I was trying to kill him I was all, "Damn. When did they start teaching Popes hand-to-hand combat?" I'm pretty sure Assassin's Creed is historically accurate. Also, the current Pope only seems pretty okay because every other Pope has spent most of their Papacy covering up for child molesters. Which he's also done nothing about, by the way.

I completely agree with your assessment of Girl Scout Cookies. If you haven't yet, you need to try Potbelly's Chocolate Brownie Cookie. My various Top Three lists of things are pretty fluid, but the Chocolate Brownie Cookie has been sitting atop my Top Three Cookie list for several years now.

I don't even remember what I got on the SAT's. I know that I was shooting for 1400 but didn't get there. I took it more than once because I didn't think my first score would get me into Notre Dame. My classmates thought I was crazy, but I also went to a school where people were very impressed by any score that registered four digits.

Speaking of Notre Dame, I just found out that the neighbor kid who mows my lawn did not get into Notre Dame. I'm bummed because: 1) He's a good, smart kid and I think he'd be good for ND and ND would be good for him, and 2) He asked me to write him a letter of recommendation. He'll be fine, but I may never recover. I guess Notre Dame doesn't value my opinion as highly as I might have thought. Maybe it's due to my history of Pope murder and Pope badmouthing? Nah. It's definitely because I don't donate enough money.

Also, I'm the old guy who writes recommendation letters for prospective college students now. I'm really leaning in to this gray hair thing.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gigolos could be a type of Girl Scout cookie

We haven't closed yet - 3/31.  We keep giving people all kinds of money - it's horrible.  My view on the new place is a little blurry, because I've only been inside it once, and there were a lot of other condos that day.  I imagine gigolos (gigoli?) feel the same.  Right now my favorite thing is having a FUCKING WASHING MACHINE.  If you'd asked me as a child what my dream home would involve, I'm sure its own washing machine wouldn't even make the list, because I just thought everyone had one.  It would be like saying, "toilet."  But having lived in Chicago for 13 years has made me dream sweet dreams of doing laundry when I feel like it without scaling flights of stairs and hoarding quarters like a damn hobo, and having to talk to people and have them touch my underwear if I'm not back downstairs the instant the dryer stops tumbling.  I feel like the first couple weeks, I'll just start taking off my clothes halfway through the day, washing them, and then putting them back on again.  I'm sure I'll get over it soon enough, but for now, yeah.  Laundry.

Yes to plain doughnuts.  As I age, I find sugary/flavored things absolutely revolting.  Plain oatmeal, plain yogurt, yum yum yum! I like things in them, sure.  Fruits, nuts.  But I like to add fresh ones.  Anytime anyone other than me has control over the sweetness of something, it makes my mouth pucker.  I mostly feel like I can taste chemicals in anything flavored.   Just the slightest twinge of death.

I can't get into Twitter.  I like the idea, but I wish it just stayed at its roots of saying pithy little bon mots.  I hate clicking links to pictures and trying to figure out what people are responding to.  Just make fun of Crocs/Paul Reubens/your family and be on your merry way, thankyouverymuch.  #poundsign  

Was it the current pope that you murdered?  Because he seems pretty okay.  I hope it wasn't him.  A video game I really like is Don't Starve.  You're just kind of stranded in a world and you gather sticks and berries and stuff, and then you have to get back to your fire before dark or dogs will eat you.  Sometimes you collect bison poo.  If they're not in heat, OBVIOUSLY.  I don't know why I love it so much - it's incredibly boring.  It's the plain yogurt of video games, I guess.

Is Scarlett going to do any Girl Scouty-type stuff?  Here is my ranking of all the Girl Scout cookies from best to worst:

1. Thin Mints.  Classic.  Crispy.  Universal.  You can eat a sleeve without even noticing.  One word: CHILLED.
2. Samoas (sometimes called "Caramel Delites").  Possibly more delicious than Thin Mints, but you don't get as many, and you feel a little sick after eating two of them.  They're really good once in a while.
3. All the other ones.  They are garbage.  I used to like Tagalongs, but we got a box this year, and they are grosso.  I don't know if they've changed the recipe or if it's my sugar-tongue at it again.  There are also some lemon somethings that are just the most disgusting thing ever.  I guess there are more flavors now than when I was a Girl Scout.  What's the point?  People only want the first two.  

One time my boss tried to get me to buy some Boy Scout popcorn, and I told him I wouldn't give them any money because I disagree with their policies on homosexuality.  It was possibly the weirdest moment we've had in the 10 years I've worked for him.  I mean, he was cool about it, but, you know.  It was weird.  They've since lightened their stance, (probably because of me) but they could do better.  

Girl Scouts : Thin Mints :: Boy Scouts : those lemon things.

Man.  Remember the SAT's?  What a load of stressful hooey.  I took them once, got a 1200-something, and was like "Eh.  That's fine."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The System is Down

Congrats! You are now a homeowner! Condoowner? Homeowner. The condo is your home. Welcome home, homeowner. This is the part where I give you advice about owning a condo based on my experience as a condo-owner. Here's all I got: Don't buy a condo in 2006. You'll be stuck with it for much longer than you like. So, you nailed it.

Everyone always says that moving is one of the most stressful events in life. I'm sure it's partially because of all the paperwork and such (especially in the case of buying a place) but I think it's mostly because it breaks all of your systems. Your system for where you put your keys. Your system for storing your pots and pans. Your system for brushing your teeth. Your system for where you put your clothes. You've got to figure out all new ways to do all that shit that you haven't thought about since you moved in to your last place. It's like the operating system of your life got a brand new UI and you have to figure out where everything is again.

Or maybe that's just me.

Have you closed? Are you all moved in? If not, when do you get to move in? What are your favorite parts of your new condo?

I have not heard of these new brownie batter doughnuts from Dunkin' but they sound awful. I'm a boring doughnut person. Give me plain glazed and I'm good. When you start stuffing it with shit, I'm out.

I have some of those tapered sweatpants. I like them. However, I was very self-conscious about wearing them at first. Then I realized that everyone who might see me in them (I don't wear sweatpants outside the home often) already thinks I'm the kind of guy who can pull them off. So it's cool. They're comfy. I mean, they're sweatpants.

I think your assessment of Snapchat nails it. I fail to see why it's intriguing. However, maybe that is exactly the appeal. As soon as the kids see that the old folk don't see the point, they are immediately attracted because it can now be "theirs." Unlike Facebook (ugh) and Twitter (yay, kinda). Seriously, though. I haven't looked at Facebook in about a month. I don't miss it. Especially during elections. Right now, I only use it to post links to these posts and then I get the hell out before I'm tempted to read anything. I do have a Snapchat account, though. It's the only social media account where my username is not something that is derivative of my actual name. I don't know if I like it or am embarrassed by it.

Scarlett came into my office one time when I was playing Assassin's Creed. She asked what I was doing and why there was fighting. Not an easy thing to explain to a 3-year-old (obviously, this was a couple years ago). For some time after that she would ask me if I was going to "play the not very nice game" every time I went into my office. Since then she's seen [SPOILER ALERT FOR STAR WARS] Han Solo murdered by his son and she's yet to turn her toy light saber on me. [END SPOILER ALERT] But yeah, lots and lots of video games are based around murder. In Assassin's Creed I even got to murder the Pope once! The Pope!