Sunday, April 22, 2007

I Just Threw Out A Bunch Of Softballs This Morning, Would You Like A Few ESPN?

ESPN really sucks.

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan for the Red Sox/Yankees game.

Guys? It's 2007! Get with it.

The generic, patently insincere announcement of this game is disappointing. I understand the 'national' appeal of this match-up. I just don't understand how a network that claims to be the 'World Wide Leader' in sports coverage would allow such a dead-boring, unexcitable, incompetent, and down-right repulsive (in the sense that they turn you away from wanting to listen) pair of commentators to do this game!?


It's like listenting to my friggin' uncle talking about all the guys on his high school hockey team. Yeah, it's factual - but do I give a shit?

{well, yeah, in that case I do.. 'cuz that's my uncle. and it's a cool story. but you obviously see my point. it's like hearing one of these stories - as the commentary for an entire game. See what I mean?}

Fuck Tenure. These guys are so out of touch, I feel like tomorrow's my first day of Little League practice.

Especially now... with Papelbon looking to shut it down, 7-6 Sox. It sounds like they're describing a fishing show. Unacceptable.

Just the Facts, Ma'am

As hinted at a bit more than a week ago, here's an update on the real estate situation...

After a week of casual research, it's becoming more clear that if I'm going to buy something it's not likely to be a single-family, detached dwelling. It's not completely out of the equation but it's on the remote edge of what's possible at this point. Never say never - but let's be realistic, shall we? And isn't that the best way to view the world, with a heavy dose of realism? Particularly when it involves money. As they say, it doesn't grow on trees. Trust me, I've been looking at alot of trees, lately. There's nothing there.

So, with that, my mental net has been re-cast a bit. Now I have to decide if I'm willing to go short and get into some sort of condo/townhouse situation. Way back when, I lived in a townhouse with an ex-girlfriend. It was a two-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath, with access to an attic and an unfinished basement. It wasn't bad. The worst I recall of it was the electric bill - as the heating system was all electric. Well, that was the worst of it, technically. Personally, it was a terrible nightmare it turns out.

Though, every grey cloud... so, that's rule #1 for me if I'm going into something like that... I won't buy anything with electric-based heating. Not in New England.

There are a few other 'must-haves' (at least right now they're 'must-haves') I'd prefer to have before I venture back into something like that.

I don't want 100 neighbors. I can't set a maximum limit right now because I haven't even seen what's out there, yet. I just know that I'd rather a small group. Better yet, a simple, stand-alone duplex, before a giant 100-unit complex.

I want limited - or no - restrictions on what I can do for interior alterations. If the outside is going to be somewhat generic and nondescript, I'd like the option to alter the inside to suit my individual taste. More on this, later.

I'd prefer an end unit, if possible. Always better to have only one neighbor sharing a wall than being sandwiched in between two.

Definitely need an external entrance. I'm not sure I could handle one of those places that the first entrance to the unit is through a shared main entrance. Not too fond of the shared hallway with hotel-like doors to the unit. Again, never say never... but this would definitely be last-on-the-list material. Especially if I'm buying it.

In-unit washer/dryer hook-ups. No question.

{side note : ESPN sucks. I've got the Red Sox game on and Matsuzaka is pitching in the first. They're playing the Yankees. These announcers blow. The old dude just refered to the 'gyro ball'... Everyone, by this point, knows it's absolute rubbish. There is no such thing. Yet, there it was. Pathetic. Give me Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo... PLEASE!! This is going to be painful to watch. I may not make it through the entire game.}

I'd like a garage, if possible. More likely in a duplex but I've seen some condo/townhouse places that have single-car garages. That'd be sweet.

There's sure to be more but, at this point, the only other criterion I'm looking for is the commute-value ratio. Basically, that's the trade off between how close the place is to where I work against the quality of the unit. For example, I'd gladly give up 10-20 minutes of commuting time for a newer place that satisfies more of my wants than take a beat-down place in a lousy location that's closer to where I work.

Now to address the aforementioned ability to alter the interior to my taste. I don't claim to be a professional decorator by any stretch of the imagination... but some of the photos I've seen of the interior of houses for sale are, to be put plainly, astonishing. Not in a good way. What is wrong with these people!?

I understand styles change with the times - but I'm not even talking about 'dated' interiors. Some of the decor I've witnessed can't be described as anything better than hideous. Especially rooms 'designed' for children. Whoo! These poor kids. I fear they'll be scarred for life by the garish surroundings they're forced to live in.

Suffice to say, I'm well aware that no matter what, if anything, I end up with - my best tools will be a phalanx of good scrapers and paintbrushes. At the same time, I won't let a visciously disgusting pink second bedroom dissuade me from an otherwise promising place.

{Holy shit : Manny, JD Drew, Mike Lowell, and Varitek just smashed back-to-back-to-back-to-back solo ding-dongs to take a 4-3 lead after trailing 3-0. Un-frickin-believable!! If Wily Mo Pena knocks one out... I might jump out a window. Nope, he K'd. I'm safe.}

That's the up-to-date at this point. It might take me a while to settle into this type of market but it seems to be the best way to go from here. Hey, I've been where I am know for 8.5 years (which seems like 5), so 3-4 years in a townhouse should be a breeze...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Time Ain't On My Side

Whoa... I've been itchin' to create a post lately and when I checked in today, I was shocked to see that my last one was almost a month ago. I know, I know. If you read the nonsense I put in this blog - and I know you don't - there have been much more vast expanses of post-free wasteland before in this space.

Guilty as charged. I was more surprised by how quickly the time has passed, not by my typically sporadic pace. That's pretty much been the only consistency here. Sporadicalness.

In my mindframe, this is all happening a week and a half ago.

I'm not sure if Albert Einstein tinkered with this phenomenon while pondering traveling alongside a light beam and who would be moving faster in time - him or the guy watching him... (turns out, it's the guy watching him) but had he worked a bit longer on the problem, I'm convinced he'd have proven the ol' notion that as we get older, time seems to take less time to happen than it did in the past. At least relative to each of us, individually.

What we know as a 'week' seems to take more like four or five days. It's nuts. Not sure I want to think about this much further. Time does move faster as we get older. I'll take it as fact on faith... that way you can't refute it. After all, it's faith. Isn't that more accurate than fact? Silly question. Of course it is.

This is unfortunate for me, however. Recently, my landlord told me that he will be putting the house I live in up for sale at the end of the month. There's no guarantee it will sell - and he informed me that if he doesn't get what he considers a decent price, he may not sell it. The unfortunate part is that I have no idea if anyone will buy it or not. Nor do I have any guarantee that, if it does sell, the new owner will allow me to stay or not. So, in essence, I'm running out of time.

I don't want to get stuck with only a month's notice before I need to vacate and relocate. But if I do need to relocate, maybe I should start thinking about purchasing a place. Problem is, I wasn't expecting this and I don't know whether or not I have the appropriate means to buy something... something other than a dilapitated shack an hour and a half away from my job, that is.

Granted, I've been living here for 8.5 years at this point - so, yes, perhaps I should've been considering this a while ago. But as Einstein would've proved if he had taken up the challenge, and I've confirmed on faith, a while ago wasn't really that long ago. Unless you're six. In that case, it would have been a really, really long while ago. I'm not six.

What's the plan? That's the question I'm sure you're all asking yourselves about now. That, or, why am I reading this rubbish? Can't answer that last one for you. The plan, however, is fairly straightforward. It'll never pan out this way, for sure. But it's always better to have a plan than not.

Part one : throw everything out. All non-essential items must go. Typically, I try to recycle whatever I can. Right now, I'm not sure I have the time for that. I'll make an effort but can't promise anything. I just don't want to get blindsided and pack up a bunch of trash just to move it to wherever it is I might be headed... and then throw it out then. Nope. It's all going.

Part two : sock away some cash. Doubtful I'll be able to manage a 20% downpayment by the end of the summer - but there's no time like the present. That means no more pedicures; no more filet mignon; no more weekend trips to the Louvre.

Part three : keep an eye on the real estate situation. Easier said than done. Luckily for me, there's some lame-ass local election going on around here. I'm sure I'll rear-end some poor, unsuspecting motorist as I drive around trying to distinguish the campaign signs cluttering lawns from For Sale signs. Excellent. As if these nitwit politicians haven't been pissing me off enough, lately.

Part four : expect the unexpected. A ridiculous notion, for sure. The idea is to remember to take everything in stride. I think that's the point of that cliché.

So there it is. The perfect plan.

Who knows? If you're unlucky enough, I may feel compelled to unload more of this drivel into this undoubtably irresistable blog. If I can find the time.