Journal Entry: July 13, 2009

In my last journal entry I mentioned working in the garage last Wednesday night, which required me to move a couple window A/C units. Apparently in the process I severely hurt my back. I’ve been limping ever since, and for the last two days I can barely stand up or walk. It’s awful.

Last Thursday evening D–‘s mom came into town to pick him up for a family reunion over the weekend. As is her wont, she came over to our place to see AB and share dinner with us. D– ordered pizza for us, and we had a pretty pleasant evening talking. When they headed out, T– and I watched Flight of the Conchords while I researched used cars online.

Friday I used my RDO to make a 9:00 dentist appointment a little more leisurely. Then I went to lunch with T– and N–‘s mom, and afterward headed up to OC to see if I could start filling out paperwork. I didn’t have any luck — no surprise, showing up without an appointment on a Friday afternoon in the summer — but I spent half an hour wandering around campus, basking in the nostalgia of it.

Then I spent much of the afternoon working on this blog. When I transferred my old Xanga posts to Blogger last year, I spent a couple weeks crawling through them and setting titles and labels based on the content, but I ran out of steam 2/3 of the way through the process, and never picked it back up. Courtney’s been commenting on some of my older posts recently, though, and that got me thinking that I needed to finish that task, so Friday afternoon I read through and labeled a hundred or so posts from 2007.

Turns out 2007 was a really good year for me, personally and socially. Prepping those posts was a fun experience, even if it was tedious at times. And now I’m finally done with that, at least as long as I stick with Blogger….

Friday night T– and I huddled together around the laptop to dig into the ugly truth of our financial situation. It really wasn’t as bad as we’d expected. Most of our regular budgeted expenses match real-world expenditures even though it’s been two years since we sat down and figured that out. The only ones we have trouble with are the discretionary income — allowance and entertainment — and while that might seem obvious, it’s a helpful point. Because we can cut those in times of need. If our real grocery or gas expenses were, say, twice what we had budgeted, we wouldn’t be able to do too much to cut those. We can stop going out to eat, though, and get some frozen pizzas instead of Papa Johns. So that’s the plan.

Our real difficulty is in the unreliable income. T–‘s monthly pay can fluctuates by hundreds of dollars, and even though our mortgage payment for the Tulsa house is a constant $650, our rental income can (without warning) be anything from $0-$675. Months when both of those values are close to max, are income exceeds our expenses. Months when both of those hit zero, we hit crisis. Adding the car payment certainly isn’t going to help, but we came up with some realistic averages and figured out what we can cut, and we decided we could handle it. Probably.

Anyway, that took the whole evening.

Saturday morning we got up early and took AB over to K– and N–‘s, who had graciously agreed to babysit. Then we went to Bob Moore Saturn, who had a promotion going on Saturn Vues (exactly the car we wanted), with no-haggle internet prices. We took a short test drive in one, checked out another, and chose the best value one at the highest of the three price points we could afford. We drove away in an ’08 Vue with 30k miles on it.

Then we went back to K– and N–‘s place, where K– grilled up some hot dogs for us for lunch. I took AB home for a nap, and T– celebrated having a second car (for the first time in weeks) by going grocery shopping. Yeah, she’s wild. While she was out, I took a nap.

Saturday night we watched Flight of Conchords, and I started and lost a game of Civ. Then suddenly, somehow, it was midnight. I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. I got up around 1:00 and killed some time on the computer, then went back to bed to not sleep some more. It was a long, weird night.

Sunday morning I got up at 8:30 to mow the front lawn (which was badly in need), and then get cleaned up in time for church. Rob is back, and he gave an excellent sermon on being holy. Then we hung around for the Second Sunday Fellowship, where I got a chance to talk with Gail a little bit about teaching Tech Writing this fall. I’m getting more excited about that.

Afterward we went back to the house and put AB down for a nap, then I went over to K–‘s place to play some Gears of War with him while N– was away at a baby shower. Three hours flew by, and we didn’t even finish the act. I had to head home, though, because I’d agreed to help T– with the babysitting.

Said babysitting was for my sister’s girls, who had been dropped at our place around 3:00 so my sister and her husband could go catch an early, free showing of Harry Potter on base. I showed up at 5:00 and watched the girls for a few minutes so T– could get dinner ready, then she took them out back to play in the sprinkler while I took another nap.

D– and his mom came over again, their reunion concluded, and they hung out until after seven before leaving to grab some dinner. We watched Madagascar with the girls, then put AB to bed around nine, and watched Dora the Explorer with the nieces until Shannon showed up around ten.

After they left, we were both exhausted, but we were both badly in need of some laughs, too. So we watched a couple episodes of Flight of the Conchords, and then headed to bed around eleven.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.