Baby Steps

Many thanks to the 22 of you who chose "years of complaining" in my "what will be the result of the O'Connor family move to Portland?" poll. I thought I'd find it funny when half of you picked that one, but I was genuinely offended when it became the most popular answer among any poll I've ever posted. Either 22 of you know me too well, or several of you were so confident in my complaining abilities that you actually voted more than once. Wow.

This weekend brought another step forward in the O'Connors Move to Maine initiative. We found a two-bedroom side-by-side duplex to rent in Portland, five minutes from my office, a mile from Byron's place, and right around the corner from the Great Lost Bear, which I expect to become my regular haunt for the next year or so. We sign a lease tomorrow.

The next step would be the formalization of the offer Jill got on her house last week. If all goes according to plan, there's a Purchase and Sale in our near future and a closing date not to far thereafter. Keep your fingers crossed.

The last step will be Jill finding a job, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. She'll be in Framingham for at least the rest of September, while I go back to fending for myself and hoping to avoid scurvy for another three solo weeks in Maine.


I Didn't Have to Use My AK

After a rough one yesterday, today was indeed a very good day. I got a job offer at 10:15, had a counter offer accepted by 10:16, had given my notice at the 'socket by 1, and by mid-afternoon it was in writing. I'll be the Accounting Manager at the Un*ted W*y of Greater Portland on Monday, September 11.

I left work early, had the car washed, made a few calls to potential homebuyers, sent emails to a few potential sublessors, and settled in for Le Charme Desret de la Bourgeoisie. Sufficiently guffawed-out, I saw that the Red Sox had a big lead and the Y*****s a big deficit, so I went out in search of someone with whom to celebrate. The in-laws were out, and Joe wasn't at Marc Anthony's, but I stayed long enough to drink a free High Life courtesy of Buzz, high off his big Keno payout. Now I come home to find a potential room lease in the works, a 9-1 Sox lead in the 8th, and the Angels leading for The Cause, 7-4.

Not a bad Friday. If only I were tipping High Lifes with the wife...



I'm so exhausted, physically and mentally, that I initially spelled it "Exhaustian" above. Sounds like the ruler of some failed empire that got swallowed up by Greece or Rome before it could impose its reign of mild bestiality and required casual Fridays on the world. "All hail Exhaustian! He's the best we've got!"

Anyway, my laundry list these days includes:

-waiting to hear back about a job offer I was supposed to get yesterday

-trudging through a job I can no longer stomach without the luxury of having given my notice

-trying to sell a house whose only responsible owner is in China

-waiting to hear back from realtors I plan to interview about the sale of said house

-trying to find a place to live alone in Portland in September and how to furnish it

-thinking about where to live with Jill in October and how we're going to pay for it if said house hasn't sold

-making regular four-hour round-trips on weekdays in attempt to accomplish the two items above

-tracking down the credit card I lost in my last trip to Maine

-keeping all of the above from my employer for fear that the whole thing falls through and I have to stay at my current awful job for a while

-knowing that I have almost no vacation time since I just took a two-week honeymoon in May

-physical exhaustion from the return of tennis to my life (hard courts never left me this sore when I was 18) and yesterday's parking lot football game at work

-"cooking" for myself, keeping the house clean for potential buyers, and sleeping alone every night for an unprecedented 17 days

-trying to refinance an auto loan in an era of high interest rates

-accepting the fact that the Y*****s are heavy favorites to win the World Series, while the few healthy Red Sox pitchers, even Jonathan Papelbon (my RoY, MVP, and Cy Young pick until this week) and third-through-fifth string catchers can't get anyone out anymore

-actual laundry


Near Misses

This year's Songs List Summit is less than two weeks away, and as Jill's trip to China forced her to finalize her list a few weeks early and mine's been in the works for months now, I thought I'd lock it down on a lazy, lonely Saturday afternoon. In the spirit of Mark's entry before last year's list, I thought I'd advertise the songs I had the most trouble leaving off this year's list of 20. Keep in mind that anything nominated for last year's list is ineligible in '06, so you're looking at #s 21 through 50 that didn't get a mention last year.

21. Sing, Travis - an addictive tune, but a little too pedestrian lyrically to crack the list
22. Don't Change Your Plans, Ben Folds Five - one of last year's final cuts just misses again
23. Stray Cat Blues, The Rolling Stones - ditto
24. Adrenaline, The Roots
25. Everyday, Buddy Holly & His Crickets - very nearly a late addition to the list
26. E-Bow the Letter, REM
27. God Makes No Mistakes, Loretta Lynn
28. Country Comfort, Elton John - could've taken 5 or 6 EJ songs; took one
29. Stand By Me, Ben E. King
30. Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Shirelles - the best of three versions of this song I auditioned
31. At Last, Etta James
32. A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
33. Seeing Other People, Belle and Sebastian - too much B&S last year to nominate another one...
34. Cover (Version), Belle and Sebastian - ...but this would've been a decent choice too
35. Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
36. Idioteque, Radiohead
37. I Feel Free, Cream
38. Jesus, Etc., Wilco - so many great Wilco songs, but none transcendent
39. Hey Ya!, OutKast - too easy?
40. Come on Eileen, Dexy's Midnight Runners - I just couldn't go there...
41. Dancing Queen, ABBA - ...or there
42. Reuters, Wire
43. Positively 4th Street, Bob Dylan - see Wilco comment, add 30 years of great songs
44. For No One, The Beatles - I couldn't list two Beatles songs, and I'm a sucker for the old stuff these days
45. Pass in Time, Beth Orton
46. Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor - if only it was the best song on its album...
47. Ordinary Joe, Terry Callier
48. No Surface All Feeling, Manic Street Preachers
49. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Paul Simon
50. Get Gone, Fiona Apple - I nominated this song last year, but nobody seemed to notice, so I almost snuck it in again