I wish everybody could have as happy a Halloween.

After a relatively dismal performance playing indoor soccer up in Portland on Friday night, I was prepared to go down in flames again in today’s outdoor game. Almost unbelievably, I had my best game of the season, topping even last week’s two goal performance. Within the first 20 minutes I had two goals and an unselfish assist (because I could have wheeled and shot it but gave it up instead to a guy facing the goal), and subbed out to major league kudos from teammates. That we went on to win 4-2, making my contributions not just nifty but essential, was the icing on the cake. That’s two weeks straight where my play has been both good and meaningful. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

It also didn’t hurt my mood to come home and find my Steelers up 24-10 at halftime against the New England Patriots. In short, Pittsburgh kicked the crap out of the previously unbeaten Pats in a 34-20 final that wasn’t even that close. I’m starting to wonder if this is the year when Pittsburgh finally puts it all together. Boy, would that be cool.

I noticed during a commercial break that The Amazing Race is starting up in mid-November, another happy thought for me. I thought the last race was fantastic, and particularly liked the way Colin was so gracious in defeat. I’m pretty stoked for the new season.

We got our escrow account information yesterday. Increases in property taxes and house insurance mean we need to pony up some $236 to get the escrow account where in legally must be. You’d think this would bum me out a bit, but I’ve become used to it year in and year out, and it now operates as decision point for how much to increase our monthly mortgage payments, specifically our prepayments.

In that respect, I’ve decided to push our contributions up a bit. The overall monthly payment has to be modified anyway (or else we lose ground in paying principal and interest because the escrow contribution has to go up). So we’ll be kicking it up a little more even though I tell Erin every year how I’m not planning to increase our prepayments. Ultimately, I don’t think she’ll mind being out of debt faster, though. I mean it’s not like I’m taking the money and buying a Ferrari.

So if all goes well—and the teachers union still has yet to reach an agreement with the district for this year—we will have the house paid off in 5 years 9 months. At the current pace, that’ll be just under 11 years from when we moved in. I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t want to do it in under 10. We’ll see.

And a couple links just for the heck of it: Aaron Schwartz’ brilliant weblog has a bit on the psychology of evil which I found fascinating. Aaron’s a freshman(!) at Stanford and his blog is a daily read for me.

My friend Julie and I have both spent too much time playing the Give Bush a Brain Game. My high is 10 for 10. Addictive!

Only 1 trick or treater this year. Jonah the Pirate had a good time anyway, though, visiting our neighbors Fred & Jeff and driving over with Mom to the grandparents’ house. Happy Halloween everybody! It sure was for me.