I told someone I had every intent of actually updating this over the weekend, then again sometime early in the week, and as usual I didn't do it, citing too many other things I had to do. The truth is that I spent most of the
weekend sitting in front of a video game console of one sort or another, and most of the rest agonizing over was to follow, but more on that in just a bit.

I quit my old job at ISI on Sunday. Yes, Sunday. Well, early Monday morning, about 01h00. Friday afternoon I had a job interview, and I filled out my employment forms before walking out the door. I originally told my new manager that I'd need a week for courtesy's sake, but then I realized that to give them a week would only be wasting my time and theirs. I hadn't done anything truly productive in the last five months, and it wasn't going to start after I'd told them I was leaving. Plus, it would've been more money spent on parking or train fares, more boring days wasted playing Freecell and wondering if the axe would fall. So, Sunday afternoon I resolved to clean out my desk and leave a farewell e-mail in my ex-manager's inbox. It was a crass thing to do, to be sure, and I'm not saying this sort of tactic is justified or polite, but under the circumstances I couldn't see any other way of handling things that wouldn't have felt like a waste of five days.

I'm taking a slight paycut at my new position, but it should represent an increase in real take-home pay, considering it's a shorter commute and I won't have to pay to park. The job's in Newtown, which apparently is one of the oldest settlements in the country, and obviously is one of the most expensive. It's going to be something of a shock, driving my little Escort clown car in and amongst BMWs and Mercedi. Mercedeses? Fancy cars made in countries whose names I can't pronounce, to be sure.

This alone promises to alleviate most of my stress. My schedule will still be offset from Jessie's by a few hours, and I'm not real happy about that, but I will have an extra hour in the morning that I can sleep, meaning I have an extra hour in the evening I can afford to stay awake with my mate, which over time means a lot more time together. Hopefully if Jessie can get either Saturday or Sunday free consistently, it'll mean a lot more
time we have, which will be extra-bonus.

I got the exit paperwork from my old job today, and I had that signed and returned in the afternoon post. With any luck, my paycheck Friday will have my vacation time on it already. If not, I should get that in a seperate
payout in a few weeks. I'll be closing my stock account over the next week or so; I'm only piddling around with the funds as things stand now. Add to that the 401k payout from my old job 'cause my new one doesn't have that
kind of program, and my income tax refund in February, and I should be more than set to do the house thing.

I know, I know. I should roll my 401k over into a Roth IRA and save those pre-tax dollars and all that investment. Truth be told, right now I'm more concerned with making the down payment on the house and getting that started so that I can afford to escape the rental trap and start building some equity. The fastest track of which I'm aware to financial security is to have a house purchased outright, which drops the biggest single portion of
monthly expenses. With Kelly living with us, and Jessie and I both working, I hope to have a place purchased and "our own" in ten years' time.

Of course, Life is what happens while you're making other plans, so I'm not going to demand this happen or damn the universe if it doesn't. I just think it's within our abilities if things continue to go as they currently are.

We've been getting out of debt, too, lately, which has been a shocking feeling unto itself. Before I was maybe squeaking out fifty a month ahead on my cards, but with Jessie working it's shot up to close to four or five hundred, which means my VISA should be clear in a year, and my MasterCard hopefully in three. Not having any external debts is a good feeling, and I want to get back to that point as quickly as possible.