Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo A Realty Tale of Terror

In honor of Halloween, I offer the following tale of realty terror.

Dumpy little houses always appear as sweet Victorian cottages to Realtors. Just need a little paint and some flowerboxes. I’m all fired up about a shack in a sweet area & entice, I mean flat out lie to my wife that we’re going to Fields and on the way, park in front of shack. Now you know I’m brave. One I’m a Ninja of some variety. Two I handle all pest control at home. Three I have come between a woman and a 13 hour sale. Though the rusty gate, up an overgrown path into a shag carpeted living room full of boxes tall as a man. I go for the light switch. Click click – no power. Through the musty dining room with torn shades. The kitchen cabinets creak and something scurries across the floor. I lure her to the cellar with the promise of future rumpus room glory. Down the narrow wooden stairs lined with old glass jars full of who knows what. We creep around the little torture workshop rooms past carcasses of old snow blowers and tennis rackets. I work up all my courage and go for the last ditch save. Storage. I reach up through the cobwebs. She looks anxiously at the fading sun through the tiny cracked windows. In the back of the room is a cubbyhole with a set of sliding wood doors. I give it a shove but the side near my wife’s head opens. Out leaps a naked glassy eyed doll, hands grasping for my wife’s throat.

To this day when we walk past with the dog, my wife eyes the dark windows, hastens her step and gives me a little jab in the kidney.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Like the First Robin of Spring

You know a neighborhood has gone good…

When the Women Joggers Appear
especially at Night
Maybe I should alert that Freakonomics guy

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

BADDITION® - Time Capsule

Thanks go out to Bertblogger for this sweet find.
It's a veritable archaeological dig of Chicago building materials in the last 40 years:
You've got your Tudor, your brick, your white vinyl siding.
6 different window replacements, glass block, a window ac that was at least centered, a shut up porch, a balcony and a balcony shut up with an old door with what appears to be that wavy green glass from the 70's.
Alas - as so many of its peers - its value as a landmark has been dismissed and it is slated for tear down.
For shame. For shame.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Go to grab my open house signs from the next block.
Dude you think they just GIVE them to me? They’re like $60 bucks a pop. I treat them like a vintage Corvette. Wash, wax, use packing tape to make repairs. They even have a cush bath towel covering them in the car. Weasels.

Next week I am randomly stalking the area, looking for more more more listings. Fab brick 20 unit on a corner no upkeep – for the taking people. They also sell something out one of the first floor windows. I walk up to the woman leaning out and before I can ask the owner’s name she’s all “Great you’re here.”
I roll. I roll.
A man comes to let me in & brings me to the basement. It’s a Sunday at 11 am. I am wearing a full suit and tie before my open house. Drug psychos think I’m here to repair the washing machine.

And there - in the laundry room - against the wall is my freakin sign. With the patched corner. I charge right past the guy, grab my sign and flee into the shadows.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sorry - I Fell Asleep

Can we invent a new word to replace the following boorrring phrase?

“Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood throughout”

I fell asleep typing that. Keyboard full of drool. Because I have typed it over 6 million times now. Let’s just agree on some standard so we can get on to the really cool parts of the listing.
Like “Finish Trifecta” or “SSGCHW” or “AsIfWeCouldEvenSellAnythingNowadaysWithoutTheseFinishesDoWeLookLikeCrazyPeople?”

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Does Blackberry have a Taser Feature?

Walked by an Aikido class last night. They were learning how to defend against closet rod attacks. More skilled practitioners got to wear black pants. Told wife that I want to get to the black pants level. She pointed out that I should aim higher cuz I’ll need to ward off the closet rod with one hand while negotiating on my Blackberry in the other.

Ninja skill set not broadened.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

BADDITION® - Leave Geometry to the Ancient Greeks

I’m coining the word “baddition” right here. There is no reason to make the top or back of your house look like a refugee camp. Bad design happens to too many good people. Every Wednesday we’ll feature one of these bad boys.

For our debut, we have a fascinating feat of angles and siding. I think is the shape they call trapezoid if I remember correctly. And the bay window? Why? Do ya really think they have a window seat built in there? Sure they do. Out of leftover white siding. It’s only a matter of time before the fine people from the Chicago Bungalow Association become vigilantes, staging midnite demolition raids. I’ll be with them.

Between the Lines

Under the Hobbies & Interests section on my biography I put:

Gardening, Boating & Antiquing

You know that means turning the sprinkler on twice a year, having a canoe on my garage roof & garbage picking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

St Joseph is my Homeboy

For Open Houses (OH) I don't boil those smelly dead flowers, bake cookies, create curly bamboo archways or bury resin Catholic saints in the former coal chute under the light of the waning moon. Don't practice Santeria, I ain't got no crystal ball.

I am trying to get a handle on the weather factor tho.
No traffic at your OH? Rained, kept 'em inside watching the Food Network.
Low traffic at the OH? 72 & sunny, they went to the zoo, mowed the lawn, dusted off the kite.
62 people, all preapproved, gasping at the joy of builder's white on the walls & you ran out of business cards despite it being a freakin hail storm outside and the slab is in a floodplain?
Yeah, your wife buried Joseph under the hostas because she likes the part where you have heat in the winter.
There he goes, floating by with some old army guys and a marble.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Guerilla Gorilla

Walking round Uptown - found this guy - he does not know the way of the ninja - the outfit is too shiny.
Yet I admire his brashness.