Well I managed to track down an old girlfriend today and for a change this one was actually happy to hear from me.
I'll save the saga of Carol and Tommy for another post as it is too long to recount here in the few minutes I have while Samantha is preoccupied with Baby Bear on Sesame Street. The main reason that I wanted to throw a post up on the Boolog right now was because Carol mentioned when I spoke to her on the phone that she had been reading it. (I can only guess that she googled my name after receiving my e-mail.) Anyway, she said that she had been reading the log and laughing and I immediately thought to myself "Holy crap I haven't written anything funny in a while. Mostly I've just been bitching about Veterans Ford." So, I can only hope that she went deep enough into the Boolog to sample a taste of the comedic fucking genius that is Booray.
That's what this post is for. If it's your first visit to the Boolog and you're reading this post I beg you please... look back a few months and find some of the funny stuff. Otherwise, this blog makes me come off like a guy who does nothing but bitch and whine on his website when in fact I'm a guy who does nothing but bitch and whine on his website but is funny while he does it.
Just a quick note about my belief that the housing market will decline in Florida this year:
My realtor sent me an email to say that she had received a call from one of the custom builders that we had been talking to about building a home for us in a new community. The builder had called to let her know that they are dropping the price on the model we like bu $18,000.
It's all downhill from here.
We almost bought a new house last week.
We were driving around a couple of weekends ago looking at houses and property when we found this great house. We drive around just about every weekend, partly because we are interested in buying a new home but mostly because the kids are easier to manage when they're strapped into the back of the car. My life would be a whole lot easier if I could strap my children to the couch all afternoon, not to mention, the risk of a head-on-collision is severely lessened in the living room.
Anyway, we found this house for sale on a small lake in Odessa. Now, let me be clear about this: We have a mental list of all of the things that we definitely want in our next house. The house we almost bought did not have any of these things. The children's bedrooms were not on the ground floor. The guest room was not on the ground floor. The kitchen was not part of the family room. The master bathroom was small. The master bedroom was small. The house itself had less square footage and we would like. There were no live swans in the fountain. The wine cellar only held 200 bottles... Etc. etc. And yet, despite all these things, we decided to buy the house. Why? Because it just felt like home.
It took us a week to get an appraisal because there are no other houses like it in the area that have sold in the last few months. Eventually, the appraisal came back and it was lower than the appraisal the seller had done just a few months ago. If the seller would have agreed to sell at the appraisal price we would have gotten a bargain over what we were prepared to pay originally. He might have sold at that price, I don't really know, as I decided not to buy the house.
It's a rare occasion when I put my foot down about something as far as the family is concerned. Our family is very much run by committee except that Bobbi's opinion counts a little bit more than mine most of the time. It's not that she's more important, it's just that I have reached the point in my life where I would just as soon "go along and get along." Also, she's more important. Despite this turn of events, I put the kibosh on the deal myself. Several things that happened in the last week sent up red flags: First off, the appraisal on the house we want to buy went down instead of up in just a three-month period. Second, the entire housing market has been in decline. Third, I've noticed there are a lot more homes for sale in my neighborhood... and it doesn't look like anyone is closing a deal. Fourth, I've had several neighbors tell me stories of friends trying to sell their homes to no avail. Fifth, my horoscope this week said, "More money in the bank means more hookers and malt liquor."
Sometimes your gut just can't be ignored. The closer we got to buying this house the more my gut seemed to scream it was a bad idea. So, despite this house being wonderful, I decided we would stay a little bit longer in this little shoebox that we call home. I'm convinced that no one is going to make any money on their house this year and so there is no harm in waiting since home values will not be increasing. I have said many times that I would love to see the housing market collapse to the point where I actually lose money on my home. I live in a cheap house. I would gladly give up 20% of my home's value to save 20% on my next home since my next home will be much more expensive than my current one.
Sidenote: Sometimes I like to search on realtor.com just to see how the other half lives. It's fun to look at the multimillion dollar homes for sale in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Last night I decided to look up the expensive homes for sale in my old hometown of Monroe Louisiana.
Would you like to know what $900,000 will buy you in Tampa, Florida? It will get you about 3500 sq. ft on a piece of property in a subdivision with about 15 ft between you and your next-door neighbors. By contrast, in Monroe, the most expensive home listed for sale on realtor.com was $875,000.
It is 8700 sq. ft. On 40 acres.
There are many differences between Bobbi and me. As I have chronicled many, many times on this blog one of the main differences is Bobbi's inability to finish anything that she starts. If she drinks some wine, the bottle will be on the counter. If she puts the bottle in the trash, the full trash can will not be taken out. If she kills a homeless person, she will always forget to hide the body. It's a character flaw.
However, there is one area in which I have a character flaw that she does not (yes, I know, hard to imagine...). I take some small solace in the fact that most people possess this same flaw to some degree. Bobbi, however, does not possess it at all.
The flaw? Measuring your own self worth by societies standards (or someone else's).
Let me give you an example. If you meet me, and you ask me anything about myself... or even if you don't ask me about myself at all... within a few minutes I will probably tell you that I used to be a disc jockey and I had a national show on a bunch of different radio stations (also, I have incredible fashion sense and won the Nobel prize in economics in 1997). This is because I want you to know that I used to be somebody, when in fact, I wasn't really anyone at all. My own self-worth, my own self esteem, is somehow tied into the fact that I feel the need to impress people in order to make myself feel good about myself. I was never good at anything in my life, not really good, and having been a disc jockey is the only thing that sets me apart. So, I cling to it. It's pathetic and a little sad and most people do it in one way or another. Sometimes it's their job, or their athletic prowess, or how much money they make... but most people have got it just a little bit.
Except for Bobbi.
Bobbi is more successful than anyone I know and yet you will never hear her say it. I'm not just saying that she won't drop it into casual conversation (she won't), I'm saying that even when the moment screams out for her to say something about it she won't. She's so magnanimous about it that it makes me want to puke. Just gloat little for God's sake! (Understand that when I say "successful" I'm not necessarily talking about money.) I mean come on, if you were Michael Jordan and somebody started talking about what a great basketball player they were, at some point wouldn't you want to just take them down a notch. Just a little notch? It frustrates the crap out of me because it sets an example that cannot be ignored, forcing me to aspire to it on an almost daily basis.
Will the day ever come when I can meet a stranger and in discussing what I do say simply, "I own a title company,"... leaving the stranger to decide if it's a small company or a large one and not caring if they believe that I have worked in the insurance industry my entire life?
62. I was on a 62 stations.
"Hey, I forgot to ask you... how did the scent jar I gave you work in Mackenzie's room?" My sister asked.
"Hang on," I turned to Bobbi, "Duana want's to know how the scent jar is working in Mackenzie's room."
"It still smells like shit," she said, "It smells like eucalyptus and shit."
I picked up the phone, "Duana? Yeah, it smells like somebody ate a eucalyptus tree and took a shit in the middle of the room."
"So it's not working..." she said.
Perhaps you read my earlier post where I wrote about my experience with Veterans Ford here in Tampa, Florida? Well, today it got even better. Rather than elaborate on how this experience makes me feel, I'll just give you the facts and you can decide for yourself.
Yesterday I called to talk to Jerry, the guy who ordered my truck for me, but he wasn't in. I did speak to someone in his department who told me that Jerry had been sick for a couple of days. I told him I was just calling to check on the status of my truck to see if they had heard anything about when it would be ready and he took my information and said he would look it up and call me back.
Of course, he didn't call me back.
So, today I called again and asked to speak to Jerry. I was transferred to voicemail. The outgoing message on the voicemail was someone other than Jerry. Now, this is the same thing that happened to me a few weeks ago when I was sent to voicemail. So I called back, spoke to the receptionist again, and told him that I had been sent to voicemail that was not Jerry's. He said, "Oh, it's his, he just hasn't changed the outgoing message yet."
"Well, maybe someone should get on his ass about that," I said.
"Listen," he said, "I don't need this."
"Well, I'm a customer and I don't need to be wasting my time calling you back because I'm not sure if I've been sent to the right voicemail."... and that was when he hung up on me.
So, I called him back and asked to speak to the sales manager. I explained what happened and apologized for having used a curse word (he replied, "it's not that bad..."). He then took my number, said he would check with his inventory manager and promised to call me back. Within an hour he had called me back and told me that my truck would be arriving the first week in April.
...and so it goes.
Postscript: Veterans Ford may deserve a second chance. See here...
There are so many things that you are never prepared for when you become a parent. For example, I knew that potty training would be an ordeal but what I didn't know was that it pales in comparison to trying to teach my daughter how to put on her panties. "Panty Management" occupies more time in our house than sleep does.
Another lesson that is very hard to get across is "The Ultimatum." Lately, Sam has begun to push and push and push more often. If you offer her one thing she wants another, if you offer another, she wants the first thing. That sort of thing. This forces us into little mini showdowns once or twice a day. Last night, we had a doozy at bedtime.
Sam knew that it was story time and time to go to bed but she was giving her mother a hard time about it. Bobbi is much more patient than I am with Samantha but then she doesn't have to deal with Samantha all-day long like I do. Once daddy enters the picture, things can get ugly fast. We went into her bedroom to put her to bed for the night and after much arguing she finally got into bed. I gave her a choice of two different books to read for story time. She picked the first book. Then, once I got the book out she changed her mind to book number two. After I switched to book number two, she decided she wanted book number one again. That was when I put my foot down and said no. Well, she refused to listen to me and kept demanding and demanding book number one. I explained to her that it was book number two or nothing and that if she didn't stop by the time I counted to three there would be no book at all. She continued to scream, I counted to three, and the book went away.
Now, as always happens in this situation, Sam decides that she would like to have book number two after all. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option. My father only gave me one piece of advice when I had children, he said, "If you ever tell them you're going to do something be sure that you do it." So, once I said there would be no book, there would be no book.
We move to the next phase of bedtime which is the tuck-in and the kiss goodnight. As I am trying to get this accomplished, Samantha is still screaming about book number two. I explained to her that is no longer an option and that we are now doing tuck in. We now have a repeat of what happened before because Sam is stuck on book number two and I am trying to convince her that option is gone and we are moving on. Eventually, I counted three again and now she has lost the tuck-in and the kiss goodnight. Well, you can imagine how this goes over. As I get up to exit the room she goes into a full screaming fit, no longer worried about the book, she is having a breakdown over the fact that she is not getting a tuck-in and a kiss. I, being the terrible parent that I am, turn out the light and leave the room.
It's a tough thing to do, leave the room when your child is screaming for love, but sometimes it's necessary. If there is one thing that I want my children to learn it is that when daddy says something is going to happen, it's definitely going to happen. I wonder if she is too young for this lesson but I am afraid to wait too long to give it. I try to give her options as much as possible so that she is involved in the decision-making process and feels like she is a part of it but she has to learn that when I say she has a choice between thing number one and thing number two that number three is not an option. Furthermore, if she refuses to make a choice, I will make it for her. I want my children to understand that when daddy says he is going to count to three it's time to forget whatever you are upset about and pay attention to what daddy is trying to tell you because nothing good happens once he reaches the number three.
I don't know if I'll succeed at this lesson but I've got to try.