We had our first child-birth class this past Wednesday out in Oak Park, at the hospital where lil' Springsteen will arrive. It was pretty laid-back, and there were only three other couples, who were also cool. Nobody was a hyperactive/worrywart parent-to-be, or anything like that. Our instructor Pam has five kids and is in her mid fifties and funny. We didn't necessarily learn too much on this first class (out of five total), but it was nice to know that the stuff we had already known from books was correct. It's nice to not get super surprised by anything so far.
My office space (at home) is slowly being overtaken by Springsteen's stuff. The crib is in there, as is the dresser for all of his clothes. This dresser is already nearly full, for a kid who is negative-two months old. Impressive.
We finally closed on our home refinance. For something called a "streamline" it was torturously slow moving. In mid-July when we started, our banker had given me a huge list of documents to provide, and emphasized that I needed to get them submitted within 48 hours. This was heavily emphasized: 48 hours. Ahh!
So, like a good boy, I got them submitted within three hours. Great! I was told I was a "gold star client."
Then we basically waited, and it became September, when it was supposed to have been finished.
Then we waited some more, and my inquiries got less friendly and more sarcastic.
"Oh, we're waiting on something from your insurance company. It's been like 9 days."
"So. . how about you tell me this, and I can call my insurance company and get them moving?"
"Ok, good idea, let's do that!"
More foot dragging followed. Then on Monday, our of nowhere, I get an email "You're clear to close and we MUST close on Wednesday."
So, ok, we scramble our schedules so we can close on Wednesday at lunch.
Wednesday comes and they haven't told me how much money I need to bring to close this thing.
Fifteen minutes before closing they call and tell me.
It is triple the amount they had estimated back in July.
Great. One of the benefits of Kristin and I both being non-profit employees is that we are constantly swimming in extra thousands of dollars, right? The bank knows exactly how much money we make, how much we have in our accounts, how much we owed on our mortgage. But. . . yeah, they kind of forgot.
But, worry not, the "closer" from the title company isn't at Kristin's office where we are. He has gone to our house instead. Does it look like a museum, fella? Does it?
Anyway, he shows up finally, we sign pounds of papers, we've now got a 3.5% interest rate. Huzzah. We don't have to pay our new mortgage until December, so we can replenish the money we've just laid out. I'm rather annoyed, still, that in more than two months nobody ever mentioned "oh hey, you'll need to bring an extra three grand to the table. Just fyi."
Worth it, but annoying.
I don't know if there's anything to say about the presidential election that hasn't already been said, but I will say this: when people begin to believe that polls are fixed/skewed/corrupted, it is always a sign of desperation.
There was a bit of this in 2004, when many Democrats were convinced that the "cell phone gap" was under-reporting Kerry voters. There was some of this in 2008, when people were convinced that ostensible Obama voters were lying to pollsters to cover their latent racism.
This year, the idea of GOP loyalists is that every pollster (except for Rasmussen) is intentionally over-surveying Democrats.
This is not possible to do. Pollsters do not call Democrats/Republicans/independents. They call phone numbers, and ask the respondents "Do you identify as Democrat, Republican, or independent?"
If there are more Democrats, it is because there are more Democrats. Full stop.
Another great (I hope) finding of this election cycle will be, I think, the dog that didn't bark: Citizens United. The big fear amongst our side of the ring was that GOP billionaires would push so much money into the campaign that it would swamp the president and the Democrats. SO FAR, that has not been the case. If this continues to be the case, it will tell us that the point of diminishing returns had already been reached ---- at a certain point, more money doesn't do anything. Once you are in a swimming pool for a few seconds, you can't get more wet.
Oh man, I can't believe I didn't write about this until now. Josh (Katie McGilll's Josh) and I went to see Bruce Springsteen at Wrigley Field on September 7. It was easily the most fun I've ever had at a concert, ever ever ever.
It was at Wrigley Field, for one. We were on the field, maybe twenty yards from Bruce. The weather was perfect. We had spent the three hours pre-show at Sheffields bar, eating brisket sandwiches and drinking Revolution beer. Again, we were twenty yards from Bruce.
And the show, oh the show!
How does Bruce start a huge stadium show? With a ten minute musical intro to Prove It All Night, followed by My Love Will Not Let You Down. Dude. You are just showing off now.
When he ran by on one of the stage parts that goes out into the crowd, I got a handful of Bruce-sweat when I went for a high-five.
Bruce and the E-Streeters played for three and a half hours. I did not want them to stop. The past three shows I've been to, they were great, but I was ready for the finish each time. This time, I could've kept going for another three hours.
Ok, take care world, more exciting news later.