It is a new year and the odds are favorable for improvement over those just past. We got that ambulance bill at the beginning of December and a few days before new years our furnace died. I called some heater-guys and told myself that I would have to inspect everything if they recommended replacing the entire furnace. But I was standing right by as the guy pulled out the circuit board. It looked like something that Ethan would make at school using construction paper and macaroni shells. There was a big black scorch mark on the board and the wiring harness was melted. They said that the board, alone, was $1300 and they would need to replace that to get it running so they could begin to determine where the water running through the machine was coming from.
We ended up buying a whole new furnace. It cost $5001. The guy said there was no way he would take off that $1. I said, "Well, could you throw in a free duct-cleaning?" I didn't realize that duct cleaning is a $1500 service and when he told me, I said, "Well, it doesn't cost anything to ask." And he said, "Actually, it does. I'm writing that down, right here." Funny how a $5001 day at work fires up your sense of humor. Before we signed, he told us he told us that we could take our time deciding and that he wasn't going to pressure us. I said, "You won't pressure us but Winter outside on the doorstep will." It was 20 degrees that night. We won't start paying for a couple of weeks but I am still willing to save 2007 by calling the heater issue a 2006 problem.
The best thing I can think of about 2006 is that after all of our deductions and my sketchy work year, our reportable income will be below the poverty level. Cha-ching! Tax Return, Yo! It might even be up around three, possibly four, figures. 2005 was probably the highest grossing year of my life and now I follow it up with a 2006 wage that a high school drop-out could achieve.
It was a hard summer with work, selling a house, work, buying a house, work, moving, work, buying a car, and work. And let's not forget the car accident I was in. Now I've been T-boned from the left AND the right. My spine should be back where it belongs.
I haven't had a vacation since 2003 unless you count unemployment, during which time I mostly visited Job Service. But I am planning a vacation for this spring; my job is lenient and mismanaged enough that I should be able to take some unpaid time off. Oh yeah, January 1 of 2007 was the official day I decided I was too sexy for company health insurance. $400 per month for the pleasure of paying 40% of costs to keep the doctors we have had since before our kids were born. Thanks, but no thanks. It makes me feel elite. It didn't meet my high standards of SAVING ME MONEY SOMEHOW.
Now that I have "relaxed" at a job that doesn't give a damn about what I do, I will start looking into a real job. Possibly, even into going to school again just to prove that I am hard-headed enough to keep pounding it against the wall until either the wall yields or I fall down dead.
I would list the good things about 2006 but when I think about them... it turns out they are all just things that I miss to myself while I'm working. Here is a good sign though: I have received movie passes for my birthday in August and more for Christmas. I have been trying to use them since August but I get shotdown everytime. But tonight we went out and (finally) saw "Blood Diamond." It is pretty rough and tough but a very good movie at the same time. I think it is good for the world and I encourage people to watch it if you care about anything that goes on beyond the edge of the suburbs. I hope Leonardo wins an Oscar for it.
I have never been into New Year's Resolutions. Possibly because I have never smoked or been overweight. But this year I think I shall resolve to write about my experience of moving to Utah, making friends and surviving a totally f***ed up school. "Lindsay-Weaver" posted an EXCELLENT representation of this experience when her son tried to forge a teacher's note but it seems to have been removed. WHY, Lindsay-Weaver?
I have thought of telling these tales for years but have never felt I had the right approach but, again, I am tired of waiting around for life to happen. So here it comes, perfect or not.