Thursday, March 06, 2008

Time flies when you're having fu...
uhh...I mean...when you’re busy.

The new house
The new Casa AJ on Closing Day: Thursday, January 24, 2008

The happy new homeowners
Michelle & AJ: The Happy NEW Homeowners
Geeze...Has it really been six weeks?
Just a quick post to celebrate the six week anniversary of our being in the new house. The photos above are courtesy of one half of our real estate agent tag team, Realty Gal Leslie. She was even kind enough to take the first photo (top) and run it through an illustrator-type filter in Photoshop, creating a lovely watercolor-like image that she had nicely printed and framed for us as a housewarming gift. The picture is now proudly displayed in our entryway.

And speaking of housewarming, we're just two weeks-plus away from our official open house gathering of family and friends to celebrate the wonderful fortune that God has granted on our behalf. Yes, this new home is something that we did work very hard for, but in the long run — the way it all came together — we definitely consider it a gift from above. We've made an open invitation to all of our friends to join us and partake of Michelle's luscious cuisine, play pool, hang out, and just have fun on Saturday March 22nd, from 5:00 PM to whenever.

So if you're in town that weekend, do stop on by!

But just remember, you have to let me win at least one game of pool, aiight?

Am I getting warm...yet?
Other than the obvious correlation to the six-week anniversary of being in the new house, I mostly wanted to post the pictures today because I couldn't believe so much time has flown by already. It seems like just last week we were moving in. In fact, it seems like every day is moving day, we’ve got so much crap to unpack, go-through, and install.

Michelle's and my weekday evenings typically consist of the following: if we don’t subsequently have a Predators game to rush off to, we get home from work, usually around 6:00 PM, have dinner while watching one of out fave primetime TeeVee shows, then force ourselves to get up and get busy.

Weekends, same thing, ‘cept it’s all day and all night long.

Like I said previously, I need a vacation.

Michelle has devoted the bulk of her time to making window treatments and decorating, both with the stuff from our old house and with a few new items we've purchased that lend themselves better to our new surroundings. She's the painter in the family, and has already painted one room, and will eventually do two more before the party.

And that's the primary reason we decided to wait nearly two months to have our housewarming; we needed the time, and it still might not be enough.

As for me, I’ve been hanging stuff up on walls, putting up laundry room cabinets, assembling new furniture, and installing additional kitchen and bathroom hardware (towel racks, utility shelves, and the like).

It's all tedious, boring, but necessary stuff that makes a house a home. But some of the chores are less boring than others...

...Like...installing cue racks.

Um...have I told you about my pool table yet?

My coo...I mean...pool table
AJ's coo...I mean...pool table
Oh yes, we got trouble...
With all apologies to The Music Man and Robert Preston, the only trouble I’ve had with my new pool table is trying to pull myself away from it every night (you didn’t think I worked all the time, did you?). But as much as I would like to play, so far I’ve only been able to justify the time to do about a rack or two per evening, unless of course our son Shawn swings by with a six pack of beer (I mean, c’mon, let’s be reasonable). Bottom line is, there’ll never be enough time for me to play as much as I’d like to; that’s just how much I love it.

It's a beautiful eight-foot Ohlhausen Eclipse, a ‘better pool hall-quality’ table with midnight blue felt. It plays like a dream. Mind you, I didn’t say that ‘I’ play all that great — yet. No, I’m attempting to overcome one of my biggest frustrations in life: being a mediocre-to-bad pool player. If there’s one thing that a guy in our culture should never want to admit, it’s that he’s an easy mark in the pool hall.

That's one egregious character flaw I hope to correct.

I’ve loved playing pool my entire life, but haven’t done so often enough to acquire the consistency to be even an average player (in my own estimation). But if there’s one thing that I am, it’s a good loser — especially when it comes to pool. I enjoy the game so much that I can say honestly, I could play it every single day, not win once, and still enjoy myself.

The sad part is how appallingly close to reality that aforementioned scenario is in terms of my competitive billiards experience. I’d like to turn that around, if not 180 degrees, then at least enough to heighten my enjoyment a little more and embarrass myself a little less. That’s why it’s pretty much a dream come true for me to own this wonderful piece of recreational furniture at long last. I now have the ability to practice — something I’ve never truly had the opportunity to do before.

Not only is it something that I’ve wanted to have in our home for years, but Michelle too has always seemed enthusiastic about the idea of owning a pool table. However it was always a ‘one’a these days’ kind of thing — something we wanted, but could never quite afford or justify shoe-horning into the discretionary budget.

Even with the windfall of profit from our previous home’s sale, which gave us the ability to furnish our new abode in ways our typical cash-flow would never allow, the pool table was close to last on our list of priorities when the money we had to work with was finally meted out.

The two things that we wanted but didn’t quite have the cash leftover to purchase were a fence for our dog and a pool table. They were both about the same money, but in the end we decided to go with the pool table. We purchased it on credit — something I never do — but not on a revolving plan like a major credit card. Instead, the billiards retailer offered a six-months-same-as-cash plan, which gives us more than enough time to save up and pay it off. As long as nothing crops up to interfere with that plan, it looks like we’ll be able to have our breaks and eat ‘em too.

Nevertheless I’m still a little bit nervous, as the thought of borrowing money in any amount nauseates me like bad tuna fish. However I’m reasonably certain that between our upcoming tax refund and Uncle Dubya’s tax rebate check, we’ll probably have the sucker knocked out within a couple of months.

Back to Blogging
Although I still feel good about my new policy to never apologize for not posting (especially when there is as good a reason for it as have been my circumstances lately), I am itching to get back and finish up a few series that I started but left idle in January before the move.

Going back chronologically, I think my first priority should be to wrap up this whole Moving Experience deal. That series has about two or three parts left to write, and I will backfill/backdate those posts and announce here when everything’s done.

Then, I’ll re-address the series that I know a lot of folks are anxious to see the conclusion to, the Two Tales of One City saga involving my brother Alex, which will follow shortly thereafter. Again, in order to keep all the parts together in the blog contents list, I will backdate those as well, and offer links to them in a new post at the time they’re ready to view.

Thanks as always to all who continue to hang in there and check this space daily, weekly, and monthly. I see all of you (in my Sitemeter) and deeply appreciate your support and interest in this blog.

Have a great weekend, all.

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