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6:18 a.m. - 2002-03-16

THE NIGHTMARE HAS JUST BEGUN

For those of you who got here early yesterday morning and missed my big announcement, we were approved for a loan to build our dream home.

This may come as a shock to some of you because I've been ranting and raving about "our new home" for the last few days like I was already moving in.

But since I'm rustier than an antique rake when it comes to buying houses, I completely forgot that just because you reserve a lot and tell the real estate agent that you want to build a house on it doesn't exactly mean you're getting it, unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in your pocket.

You have to have a mortgage company look you up and down like a teenage Korean prostitute and finally say "Yeah, alright...you're good enough."

Then you break into a big grin, relieved that the mortgage company wants to screw you once a month for the next 30 years.

We have not gotten the loan yet. I'm still shopping around for a loan with a smaller interest rate than 7%, which is apparently "good", but I want "better".

My new next door neighbor Mattie Gee (third guy from the left) got a 6.75 interest rate. So naturally, I'm jealous of him and since I went and bought the house next door to him, the least I could do is get a piece of his interest rate as well.

So...being Saturday and all ... we have to go BACK out to our new neighborhood today and hope that the model home is open so that we can walk in and get a really close look at everything, because in six months this same home will be built for us and we want to see what all we'd like to change for ours.

AND ... we must start cleaning out the clutter of our home. This is going to prove to be extremely difficult because we're

A) Trying to clean out clutter.

B) Trying to get ready for a yard sale.

C) Cleaning the house and KEEPING it clean with a shedding dog and a baby who has a fascination with dragging toilet paper around the house and tearing it into tiny bits.

Last night we were supposed to tackle the hall closets.

We filled up one box with vintage games and stopped since we only had one box to work with.

But man...have we got a ton of games we'll never play and probably never sell.

We have TWO of the original Star Wars games. A Wicket the Ewok (?) game from Return of the Jedi, a Charlie's Angels game and The Godfather Game (given to us by the evil boss Wendigo back in the day when we were collecting toys). I have an old "Bewitched" game that is in great shape as well as a "Barnabas Collins" game. Barnabas was the lead vampire on the 60's soap opera "Dark Shadows". I had this game as a kid and never played it ... I just wanted it because it had an authentic pair of vampire teeth that made you look just like Barnabas.

And when I wore them, I DID look just like Barnabas. You know...if Barnabas was a fat 8 year-old with a crewcut.

Anyway, boxed up a box of games and then watched "Joy Ride" which Susie actually liked. She was on the edge of her seat the whole time so now we both can highly recommend it. It's creepy and only has a split second of gore in it. Just a good psychological thriller that's a bit far-fetched ... but good.

We also went to a children's consignment sale last night. Susie loves these things and we can usually get Andrew some pretty nice clothes for rock bottom prices. As he gets older, we're going to have to buy all the name brand crap for him, but as a baby he's more than happy wearing used clean clothes. He's only going to wear them for six months anyway, there's no use in paying $15 for something you can get for $2 at a consignment sale.

...As long as you don't mind hobnobbing with professional bargain hunters.

I can't stand professional bargain hunters. They're rude, they're pushy and they become violent at the drop of a 100% cotton sleeper.

Last night when we got there, Susie headed for the clothes while I took Andrew over to the toys.

Andrew fell in love with a little Weeble playground thing. So he was playing with that, content in his own little Weeble world.

We took the Weeble playground over to where Susie was rummaging through clothes and slowly sinking in to professional bargain hunter mode which made me temporarily hate her because that's my job. So I sit Andrew on the floor and let him play with the Weeble playground.

A lady ran over and started looking through the clothes next to us, trying to scarf up anything good before Susie could get to it. So now my wife is in a contest with this woman who probably didn't even have children, she was just there to grab bargains.

The lady looked down at Andrew and I could SWEAR a look of digust creeped across her face, which made me want to smack her. Nobody looks at my precious little angel boy with disgust. He is perfect in every way and I won't have somebody glance at him like he's trash because he's happily sitting on a consignment sale floor, babbling to some weebles and pushing them on their little weeble swing.

"Is he in your way" I asked the woman.

"No," she said, trying desperately to be nice. "He's fine."

"Yes he is," I said.

The lady looked at me with disgust. I then realized that it was just her face. She had one of those sour looks that some people have and can't get rid of.

This would have been a much better story if I had told her off or something. But I didn't.

It just kinda irritated me that somebody looked at my son with a look that was less than fawning.

Eh.

Anyway, I've gotta go. I've got to go straighten up the workshop in the backyard in order to move about 17,000 board games and Barbies out there.

I may have gotten a loan for a new home and thought that the nightmare was over.

Now I realize...it's just begun.

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