I teased you a couple of days ago about my Tuesday. I’ve been trying to get it out of my mind for a couple of days. It was just a roller coaster day where things started off bad, got a little better, then got bad again.
Looking back on it, the roller coaster started on Monday, ramped up through Tuesday, and eased on Wednesday. Here’s a little play-by-play with the ups and downs… (don’t worry, there’s a little personal finance mixed in.)
- Check Engine Light – The “check engine” light on the way home from work goes on… never good. I’ll have to put it in for service tomorrow.
- A’s-Red Sox – Went to the game and Red Sox were never in it. Jon Lester finished last year like a Cy Young candidate, but could do anything tonight.
- Stompy – My wife got a picture with the A’s mascot, an elephant, in her full Red Sox gear. She loves Stompy.
- Kara – Kara, an A’s employee, does interviews on the big screen is going to interview the people in the row in front of us. Somehow her and my wife are talking and find that they have a friend in common. Kara’s getting ready to do the interview with the A’s fans below and my wife starts up The Sprinkler Dance. Before I have time to bust out my Robot Dance, Kara cuts the segment. Too bad, I think the stadium would have loved to watch a couple of Red Sox fans act like jackasses. Unfortunately this didn’t endear us to the row in front of us, and lead to an interesting discussion about the Tuck Rule game. (There’s no real way for an Oakland fan and a Boston fan to “discuss” this rationally).
- Tax Trouble – I wake to see an e-mail from my tax people. The information I gave them wasn’t very good. I admit it was disorganized, but I had given it a week or two before and it’s the day before the deadline. Gotta scramble because the wife’s military job is a stickler with getting taxes done on time and right. Sadly, my taxes are not the easiest with this website.
- Lost Glasses – I can’t find my glasses for probably the 30th time this week. This time it doesn’t look like I’ll find them. They aren’t in the standard places. I don’t really need them unless I’m going to more than 30 minutes in front of a computer.
- Car to the Shop – I call up my mechanic and tell him that my car needs servicing. He asks me to bring it down. I tell him about the check engine light and he says he’ll get back to me in a half hour. Since I have the best mechanic in the world, he does get back to me. Asks me to come back down…
- Glasses Found! – They fell out of my pocket into my wife’s car on the way home from work and slipped through the seat.
- Major Bug at Work Found – I found a bug in my testing that went past Engineering and QA. My friend/co-worker follows up the lead and we get engineering to put a patch in place. Considering that this isn’t why I’m there, I’m pretty happy to do something extra.
- Car Diagnosis – An animal ate through wires in my car. It’s hard to fix because they are eaten at the base. The mechanic says he’ll do the best he can, but it’s going to be a lot of labor – probably $180 and it might not hold.
- Get Taxes Fixed – Spend an hour getting the taxes in order.
- Getting Work Down – Fresh off my other work victory, I decide to join in on a holy war at work. I don’t know if that’s a universal term, but basically I’m fighting for what I believe in against what someone else believes in. Groups of people are taking both sides. The fight is still on (Friday), but I think we’re close to winning the war.
- Meet with Tax People (Part I) – I go to the tax people. On the way, I see a homeless man with a sign saying that he’s retired and he doesn’t have enough money. I wonder if he’ll have the company of 9 more people before too long. I have a couple of dollars in my pocket from the Red Sox game last night. I don’t know if I’m giving him the money to be nice or buy some Karma points. Finally I get to the tax office, but while I’m waiting a minute I get a phone call…
- Tenant Troubles – Apparently, I didn’t buy enough Karma points… or Karma points can’t be bought. For those who missed it, this has it’s own story: My Tenant: “I’ve Lost My Job and I Can’t Pay You…”
- Tax Time – This goes beautifully, far better than I could have predicted. My numbers are just how they want them now. I have answers to all their questions. I was getting ready to write Uncle Sam a big check when I found that we’ll be getting a big refund. It turns out we could carry losses on investment properties from last year. Since we earned a lot in 2007 (when I had a full-time job), we couldn’t those losses. In 2008, with me blogging full-time we earned less – those losses can be taken now.
- Car Ready – With taxes done, I get a call that my car is ready. I would love to rush back, but the 60mph wind gusts is making driving fast in a light SUV dangerous. Better to be safe today of all days – I’ll go slow.. I don’t need to trade one car for another. The mechanic found a new plug that makes rewiring a lot easier. Of course the part costs money. So it comes to the same price, but at least he feels certain that it’s a sturdy fix.
- Game Time – I have enough time come back home, feed the puppy, change, get in my fixed car (with the wind it’s safer than my wife’s), and go to the game.
- We’re Moving! – I get a text message from my wife that our application for a new place we saw on Saturday was accepted and we’re moving. I was hoping we’d get to negotiate some and maybe we still can. However, we don’t have a lot of leverage now that my wife gushed about how perfect it was. (We aren’t moving far, just about a mile or two away to bigger place that seems to give us more for our money.)
- Game recap – The Red Sox force the A’s pitcher to throw 40 pitches in the top of the first and build up a nice 3-0 lead. Dice-K then pitches 43 in the bottom while he gives up five runs. The Red Sox score two more runs. The game goes into the 12th and my wife is giving me the look of “if we don’t leave soon, expect to be woken up with divorce papers.” After the day, how can I leave the game having spent 4.5 hours and not knowing who wins? The Red Sox don’t score in the top of the 12th, so I agree to go. The train back to our car is running about 25 minutes instead of it’s usually 5 minutes. When the A’s win on an infield chopper in the bottom of the 12th our friends show up at the train station and meet us. We could have watched the whole game – we didn’t get home any earlier. Red Sox player Dustin Pedroia later says it was the coldest game he remembers playing in. I wouldn’t argue with that.
- Bridge Closed – The bridge that takes us across the bay to our place is closed for some reason. This means we have to drive some 45 minutes out of our way to take another bridge. It’s 1AM by the time we get home.
- Sign Taxes – I remember that my wife has to sign the tax papers. I have to get them back to the tax people the next day.
- Bring the Signatures to the Tax People – I get there and find that my wife only signed the top paper. It was late and I probably didn’t mention that there was a state form to sign underneath. I’m already at the tax people about an hour and half from my wife (they are 45 minutes in different directions from my house). I tell them and they say it’s no problem. The signed paper is just authorization for them to eFile on our behalf. With one signed they are confident they have our permission. We can send in the other signature in a couple of days. Crisis averted.
- Rush back for the day game – I’m on the way back when I run into traffic. It’s 11:30 in the afternoon – makes no sense. It made a lot more sense when I saw the flipped car and the 17 ambulances. I can’t even feel that bad about missing the start of the third game with the half hour delay.
- Third Game Set-up – One of my favorite players, Tim Wakefield, who I have written about before, is taking the mound today. The Red Sox bullpen pitched 10 innings just 12 hours before. News was out that DiceK was on the disabled list. Another starter, Josh Beckett, is suspended for throwing at a player, even though the umps ruled he didn’t do it. Jon Lester has not been good. The team that was a favorite to win it all is 2-6 and sending Wakefield who has never had success in Oakland. Knowing all this, Walkfield ducks his head in the manager’s office (which has been dealing with the DiceK and Beckett issues) and says, “I understand the circumstances of today… No matter what, don’t take me out.” (referring to the spent bullpen)
- The Game – I show up in the second inning and watch Wakefield carry a perfect game into the fifth inning. Mike Lowell has an uncharacteristic error, but the no-hitter stays until there is one out in the 8th. Wakefield has pitched one of the best games of his life. By this time, the Red Sox have a big lead. Even though he gives up a four hits and a couple of runs at the end of the game, Wakefield has done the job. He went the full game, got the win, and no one in the bullpen even had to warm up.
From there the roller coaster ended. I was reminded of some universal truths along the way.
- Be Prepared – I could have avoid a lot of hassles by having taxes done before… or having a second set of glasses ready. I could have left for the tax people earlier and missed the big car accident (or at least had time to get through it).
- No matter how bad your day is someone else has it worse – Throughout the day Tuesday, I was thinking, “what next?” However, when I look back, I had it pretty good. My tenant lost her job. I don’t want to think about what happened inside of that flipped car. The homeless guy who was retired, but didn’t have enough money certainly doesn’t have it as well as me. Some people would love to have a car and gladly take the problems I had. I don’t know too many people that would be too upset going through all the tax drama, when they found they’d be getting a $4,700 refund. These reminders were all around me and I couldn’t see them.