Saturday, November 18, 2006

It Just Ain't So...

Ya know that old adage: Pictures don't lie? It's false!!

And that one about pictures telling a thousand words? Yep! A lie, too...unless you are looking for a thousand words of untruths...

And I have proof!

I've been house-hunting this year (yes, I for almost a year...but I am sticking to one small area so I go and see each home that comes on the market...). Recently one went up for sale that was a model that is really too small for my needs. But, because I am seemingly a masochist at heart, I did a drive-by. And wow! It was in a perfect location, had a tile roof (as opposed to an old original shake roof which quite a few in that area still have...remember...I have vivid memories of not goin' there again...), and was on the side of the golf course that I'd really prefer.

Alas... the realtor had not posted any pictures of it, but the description sounded lovely. Lush landscaping, fountain in the entryway, pristine condition. (Yeah...we could also talk about truth in advertising here, too...). But my current home is not ready to put on the market yet (yes, we are still in the friggin' cleaning mode...), so I kept my cool and did not call my agent for a showing. After all, the floor plan was really too small for my needs. I don't want to throw out or give away everything!

But then...this week... the listing realtor put up a picture. Not the normal four or five or six or ten... but one. And oh my!
It was one of the backyard...and it was amazingly beautiful. Large! Covered patio for part of it that overlooked a grassy area with some trees, secluded, the golf course and mountains farther out. So what if the floor plan was small...I could LIVE on that patio, I excitedly told myself! And geez... maybe the owner would consider throwing in the terrific patio table and chairs!

Alas...why hadn't I finished getting my place ready, I berated myself. I knew this would happen, I chastised. No sense in going to see it, I meanly told's so terrific, it'd be sold in no time...and you, Ms. Procrastinator-Extraordinnaire, still have shoveling to do in the current abode. So hop to it, I commanded thyself.

But, but, but, Ms. P-E came back meekly... maybe seeing it would be just the "push" I needed... And, and, and...what harm could viewing it actually do? Other than waste a bit of my agent's time and my time... So, I made an appointment to see it today...

When I arrived at my agent's office, she handed me the detail sheet to read over, and it says it has a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. Now I've been in enough of these homes to know...they ain't got no walk-in closets in the master bedroom or otherwise! Buy hey...I'm not opposed to that! Even it is done without a permit... So off we go!

Upon entering the gate, I see that the fern-lined walkway with fountain is really a fern-entangled jungle! Hmmm...okay... I can just have my new landscape dude fix this for me...

I walk to the back as my agent struggles with the door locks...(graphite, I think to myself...just a little graphite is all that's needed...) to view the "gorgeous" huge, honkin' backyard... that's the size of a postage stamp. Talk about trick photography! It turns out it's about half the size as MOST the other yards I've viewed! And lush landscaping: uh...can we say "overgrown mishmash"? Yes, yes we can. My heart sinks a bit.

But, there's still the lovely patio table... which was obviously turned the long way to make the picture look better, but has a huge crack in the glass, and the chairs are all broken and beat up. So, I won't be beggin' for them in the offer, I think...

And the "covered" patio...uh... it's bird netting. Yep. Bird netting.

But, it's also pretty secluded, and I can see the golf course, and the view is pretty amazing. By this time, agent has struggled through the four locks with success, and we go inside.

It is very clean. A definite plus. The only room remodeled in the "extensive" 2002 remodel was the kitchen (which is very small but really, really nice!)...and the master bedroom closet which has been made into a walk-in by taking up half the garage. And there is a HUGE dip that could substitute for a skateboard gangplank between the two rooms.

So...pristine really equals permitless...

And is probably why there's only one picture. That has been expertly doctored.

So...the next time you see a photo of yourself that you hate...and think that can't possibly be you... you'll be right! And you have my full permission to refer to this blog entry for proof.

And the good news here: I don't have to rush with the Current Abode Clean-Up this weekend. Woo Hoo! Ms. P-E is most gleeful about that!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Beauty and the Beast...

Randy posted the following comment:

...Once, after the major part of a firestorm had passed, I watched the residual fire slowly eat up a was eerily spellbinding. I'm also reminded of a line from the book, "You Can't Go Home Again" spoken by a bored debutante leaving a typical Manhattan party after a fire had broken out in the apartment: "If only there could always be a fire."...

And I have to really got me thinking how true that is. That something so horrible can also be beautiful. And, on the flip side, something so beautiful can also turn horrible.

Let's take fire for example. I have only been really looking at the negative side of it. After all, when I have nightmares, they usually have one of two recurring themes... planes crashing (I saw one once...that was enough for me...) and the house burning down. And yet, there is little that can compare with the comfort of sitting by a roaring fire crackling away (contained!) in the fireplace on cold evening or Christmas morning. Or roasting marshmallows by one while sitting on the beach. There is also something very primitive and wild and free about fire.

Probably one of the most amazing things is what occurs after a fire. How nature comes back even after the most devastating of burns. I remember a few years back, a wild fire ran through my dad's grove and it appeared destroyed. Yet, within a week, new sprouts on his avocado trees began pushing their way out on on the burned and blackened branches. Within a month, those determined sprouts were tender new leaves, and within a couple of months, it was hard to tell there'd been a terrible fire that had burned or destroyed close to a hundred homes.

I still have a hard time understanding how someone can just set a fire for the sheer destruction of it, but perhaps they don't think past the possibility that it might burn so outta control. Maybe they feel confident that the abilities of firefighters will keep it contained to a few acres at most. And yes, there is a certain excitement to watching a fire, just as most of us slow down to gasp at the twisted metal of a car wreck, not taking into account there might also be a twisted body.

Maybe the fascination of destruction has less to do with the ruination itself but is more about the spirit of what's survived and what lives on afterwards...