Thursday, January 03, 2008

What’s Been Going On

There is no question about it: I have dropped out of sight. Every now and again I resurface long enough to leave a silly comment on one of your blogs, then I scurry away again. What is up with me? Why this ridiculous behavior?

Well, every now and again life seems to get a little complicated and, when that happens, I have this tendency to jettison whatever trifling duties and responsibilities I can to ease the pressure. This blog, while it can be a source of great pleasure and a wonderful outlet — giving me the opportunity as it does to write with the hope of someone reading — can sometimes feel like a burden or chore. I am sorry for this and wish it weren’t so. I am also sorry that I haven’t been as regular a visitor to your blogs as I have in the past.

I am happy to say Daughter Number 1 has been doing generally quite well coping with her nephrotic syndrome. Right now she is extremely reluctant to commit to one of the two courses of treatment Dr. Strangeglove has laid out for her, preferring instead to continue with a sort of maintenance program that has more or less controlled the symptoms. Last week she checked into Children’s Hospital for three days of testing and therapy, but her attitude was very good because this time she saw it coming and knew she wouldn’t be kept there indefinitely. While DN1 was in the hospital I painted her bedroom walls a tropical orange, which, bizarre as that may sound, actually looks pretty good.

Daughter Number 2 turned 17 yesterday and her older sister threw her a surprise birthday party. Boy they grow up so fast, don’t they? 17 years old. On Christmas day we invited a family over for dinner, old friends we’ve known for a long time, and after dinner we sat down to watch a video of a ballet class DN1 took with their daughter. It was really funny watching giggling 5-year-olds take these comical, tentative, stumbling stabs at ballet— but then you look up and see they’re 20 now and all grown up! It’s crazy, man, just crazy.

What’s been consuming me lately has been the mortgage to our house. Everyone’s heard of the sub-prime mortgage crisis I assume? Well, I took a close look at our mortgage a few months ago and discovered how bad ours really is. It’s called an Option ARM, which means that if you choose to pay only the minimum payment (which we have always done), your principal goes up. I didn’t know that. Our broker, if she mentioned it, must have done it under her breath or in Latin, because I sure didn’t catch it. So now I am trying to refinance to a more responsible mortgage, which means I can expect to pay a hell of a lot more each month than what we’re used to . . . so, preparing for that, I have been seeking extra work as a housepainter on the weekends (years ago I was a proud brother of the brush). The problem there is, having been out of the painting game for so long, I find myself completely out of touch — I know no one anymore. Through Craigslist I have gotten three painting gigs so far and have made some extra dough that way, but I need something steady. However, perseverance will see me through as it always does. That and a little pluck and courage, right? And elbow grease of course.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and didn’t do anything too embarrassing under the influence of eggnog and mistletoe. I got those mid-calf socks I asked for and now hope my birthday next month will bring me boxer briefs. Ah, yes, then the circle will be complete. My undergarment needs will be satisfied.

See you around.


Blogger LL said...

Schprock!!! You're almost alive! I guess now I can turn my la-boratory onto other Frankensteinish concerns other than your reanimation.

Good to hear that DN1 is holding her own (I'd still give the dandelion tea a shot) and that you have wintered well, so far.

The mortgage thing is something that I've never heard of. But on the bright side, the more you pay in principle, the more it's worth... right? Before long, you'll be living in a mansion!

1:38 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

Glad to see you're still amongst the living!

I'm pretty glad I rent at this stage in my life, because this mortgage crisis is out of control.

Good luck with everything in the new year!!!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Irb said...

Welcome back, der Schprockenmeister!

Sorry life's so complicated at the moment, but here's hoping you can grab it by the neck and bitchslap it into submission, much like they used to back in biblical days.

Happy New Year!

12:17 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

That sure is a lot to handle, Mr. Schprock. At least you can rest easy that though your personal life is taking a beating, your Patriots have made NFL history by going undefeated.

As for the kids, your story reminds me to cherish the time I have with mine. My oldest is only eight, but that means he's only a couple years away from being a teenager.

Hang in there, buddy.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

Yay, Schprock! You're alive!

Glad to hear you're holding your own, despite the messes, and that DN1 is holding her own and facing her thing head-on, and that DN2 is one year away from being legal!

(Oops. Did I write that last part out loud?)

12:37 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

You're back! I waited and waited, prayed and was a good girl ... and here you are! Yes, I'm being silly, but I can't help it.

I'm glad both daughters are doing well and that DN1 is not doing poorly. I do wonder about her.

My daughter's bedroom is a tropical orange type of color, but with the decor, it's actually quite beautiful ... so I get it.

We had problems with our bank recently. Financial problems are never easy. I wish there were another answer to yours besides a second job. I'm really hoping you get a respectable mortgage that's armless, legless ... even headless. Well, head's okay, but no extra appendages weighing you down and making you paint.

If all else fails, try the Tom Sawyer approach once you do get the gigs. Then at least you can still get all the cash without actually working. Although you know, you'll at least have to dance around a few times with that roller, really sell it, but we're talking about 10 minutes dancing ... tops.

11:19 PM  
Blogger tiff said...

Oh, the ARMs. The hurt of thousands, you can be sure.

Good to know that even though you're in some busy and uncertain times, you're still around.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Happy New Year, Schprockie. You have been sorely missed.

It's good to hear the DN1 is doing better or at least dealing with it all better. I heard that apple cider vinegar with local honey can cure just about anything - at least that's what its proponents profess.

I'm glad you caught the mortgage issue before it became too much of an issue. Good luck on the refinancing.

Happy Belated Birthday to DN2.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Oh yeah, orange bedroom. I think these would look lovely in her room. I almost bought them today.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

And Happy Valentine's Day too. (it's coming up) Don't be too pissed at me about the Giants post.

9:14 AM  

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