Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Baby's Momma...

In 1980 I was granted a divorce from a woman who later became known as my first wife... I immediately met Marsha, a woman about 3 years older than me, who taught me that sex could be an everyday experience. I was 33 and she was 36, so there was not a great deal of difference in our ages. She also taught me that baggage was a horrible thing, when not used to carry personal things on a trip. This woman was so full of hate, it freaked me out after awhile. I shed Marsha and bought into a bar in Sedona and I think it was there that I received a call from my first wife. Somehow, probably out of guilt, we reunited our romance and she moved back to AZ to be my ex-wife and current girlfriend. That lasted about 6 weeks when I realized all of the reasons that I divorced her for were still pretty prevalent. It was about 3 weeks after Easter when she came home from the bar and caught me with a broomstick in my hand, trying to prod the bunny she had bought, from behind the last bush it could destroy, so I could toss it over our fence, to give it it's freedom and retain whatever part was still available of my security deposit on the townhouse we were renting. That little bunny was a one rabbit destruction machine! She walked out to see me with a broomstick in one hand and trying to reach behind the bush with the other and screamed, "What are you doing to that little bunny"? It looked a lot worse than it really was. It was just the last straw for me and I walked out the door, never to return, but did manage to support her and my 2 sons for about a year and a half, before she moved back to Chicago to be closer to Mom and Dad... It was during that 18 month period that I met Tobi.
Tobi was great. I met her at a dance club/bar one night when she was out with her sister Ruth. Tobi was attractive, very funny, a great dancer and married. I didn't do married, but she never let me know until much later. She gave me her phone number and every time I'd call, her sister Ruth would answer and say Tobi was at the store or in the restroom or picking up her daughter and then about 20 minutes later Tobi would call me back from a pay phone, but it was before caller ID, so I never knew. Tobi and I were just good friends and never really got intimate, but enjoyed each other's company for lunch about once a week and an evening drink occasionally. One night, shortly after the bunny incident, Tobi came to the motel I was temporarily staying at and spent an evening with me. It was just the two of us and a bed. What do you suppose happened?
Soon after that, Tobi faded away, as she often did, and I didn't run into her for several years. By this time I'd learned that she was in a bad marriage, but had returned to her husband to try to make it work. In 1985 or so, I got a call from Tobi and she was shopping at PV Mall and thought I might live close. We chatted and she asked where exactly I lived. I told her and she came over. I remember being outside near the pool when she came in unannounced carrying a 2 or 3 year old boy name Johnny. I had been sweeping the pool when I turned and looked and dropped the pole I had been pushing around the bottom of the pool. This adorable little boy looked like the spitting image of my younger son, Brad. Could it be? Could this child look so much like my offspring? What could cause that? Could I be the father of this child? All I did was look at Tobi and she understood my confusion and my nonverbal question and nodded her head, YES!
I cannot tell you the volume of emotions that went though me that instant. Pride, guilt, confusion, what role would I play in this boy's life? I felt like running to him, but yet I also felt like running away. I wasn't prepared for this. One thing that did play heavily on my mind was how a man is responsible for a life, even though it was just a night of fun and the importance of our actions.
It turned out that Tobi remained with her husband and no one ever knew who the father of that boy was, besides Tobi and me...........and now you.
Johnny is a successful attorney now, at age 26 and I occasionally think of using his services from time to time, but better sense legislates that I don't....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Got a Contract on the House...

What's noticeable are the number of foreign home buyers in our market. This was pointed out to me by my Realtor, causing me to remember that I haven't told you of my latest offer.

Out of the blue came an offer from some people named Rporirrolkeeuejjkeiy whose real estate agent was a nice lady named Patel. The potential buyers looked at my home some 50 days ago and suddenly an offer comes in for a whopping $65,000 LESS than I was asking. Needless to say, I was less than excited about this offer and countered at a few thousand dollars less than full price. In addition, the buyers want ME to buy them a home warranty for my lovely home, affording them piece of mind. I refused to buy them such a warranty, however would be willing to throw in the 50 cent socks I bought at Park and Swap last winter, as they've not performed to my expectations, similar to my home buyers...

Open House

In your own home, certain words apply. Relaxation, pride, creativity, control, respect, and recreation come to mind, but when you hold an open house to try to sell your home, you can throw all of those descriptions out the window. It's really an unearthly feeling.
I made plans with Linda to be sure to be out of the house before this event took place, however Linda called at 11:30 to say she still had to do her hair and drive over. She guesstimated her arrival time at about 12:30 to 12:40. Promptly at 12 noon my realtor rang the bell. I had taken the provision of putting on my shirt ahead of time, as the last time I opened the door to my Realtor, I was shirtless, prompting her to look at my 9" surgical scar down the middle of my chest. Her reaction was rather disconcerting, so out of thoughtfulness, I saved her that indiscretion. (go figure). While she set up, I busied myself with doing a little last minute housekeeping, putting away the vacuum and sweeping the desert off of my front entrance way and landing. After returning the broom to where I keep it in the backyard, I entered the house to see a strange duet, 2 women that were obviously a couple, browsing through my house, doing the "white glove" test wherever they chose. I nodded to them and smiled as I passed them in the kitchen, but they broke eye contact and looked away, making me realize this is the first time people have ever been in my home and totally ignoring me, treating me like the stranger I was. Not letting them get away with ignoring me, I casually offered that I were the family butler and if they had any questions, just to fire away. They left and I realized I were better off leaving too, but NOT with them. Linda arrived and we headed out for Chinese food and none too soon!
After dining at my favorite Chinese restaurant, I felt like enjoying a little festivity and headed over to the grand opening of Costco in my neighborhood. They had everything but clowns at this circus atmosphere. The place was literally mobbed and we had to park about a city block away. A wink at the card checker got us in, as I knew him from his job at my "old" Costco. I'm a known Costco customer. I think Linda was impressed! One thing that really surprised me was a table full of jeans that were promotionally priced at $109.95 a pair. Were we at Costco, really? Women's hand bags for $185.00, yikes! We browsed around and consumed our share of free samples and left, heading to Desert Ridge's Kohls to return the wedding earrings we fought for 3 weeks ago. I'm learning a lot about how to shop.
Was it Norm Crosby that made a career from using the wrong word when describing a situation? Well, I got a call today from Ron Peters. He is the Norm Crosby in my life. You may remember him from his world famous comment to me a few years ago, that I'm sure I quoted, "If you don't keep an eye on your kids when they're growing up, it's "ineditable" they'll get into trouble"... He's such a good hearted guy, that I never have the heart to correct him. Today he told me his Realtor found him and his girlfriend their new house from the LSM (MLS) book.
I've known Ron for over 30 years, we were in the same business.......... automobiles. He was always talking about buying the property his used car lot was on, I was always talking about buying more cars. Eventually Ron paid off his lot and bought the adjacent property next door. Two years ago he sold the full parcel for 2.3 million dollars and disclosed to me that he also has over 20 other properties that are free and clear, one of which he's in the process of selling to Pulte Homes for 3 million. Who knew??? I let him say "Ineditable" over "Inevitable" any time he wants now. You won't catch me correcting him one bit!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whoa is Me...

I've been told by several people that I haven't posted anything for awhile and to them I reply, huh? After my last innocent post, I lost the desire to write for a time, as a direct result of some bad comments, but I'm past all of that now. To anyone who doesn't like my attempts to explain my life, I once again reply, huh?
Bad news. I got notice in the mail today that I would be without health insurance from this point on. Here's what happened.
In 2005, I suffered at the hands of a renegade doctor that was over paid, but under rested, a wound to the descending artery of my heart, rendering me almost dead and unemployed. It is my unemployed status that concerns me today. Although I don't work, as a result of the economy, but mostly because of my disability, I do maintain my dealer's license, so on paper I am eligible for the state subsidized health insurance. Last year I was asked to supply tax returns to the insurance company showing a minimum income of $20,000 per year. I explained that I could not do that, as I'm actually retired. Almost whispering, that agent told me that they are understaffed and only one out of twenty members get audited and my chances off remaining insured are really pretty good. By the way, this insurance was less than adequate, but made me feel covered for $482 per month. A few months later, with no advance warning, said insurance went up to a whopping $788 per month for the same coverage. I called and asked questions, but never the less, it remained my new monthly premium. Choking from overpaying and being under covered, I pressed on. Today, I got my renewal form for next year and in order to apply this year, they are requiring copies of my tax returns for 2006 forward, along with copies of my state sales monthly tax returns, showing activity. Obviously, I cannot produce those documents, and as a result........................ no insurance! Ain't life grand..
My life is about to change in a drastic way. Why, you ask? The new Costco, that is near my house, is opening today. That means I can actually get to Costco within 5 minutes, instead of driving 12 minutes to the old one. Yep, things are buzzing around here.
Now you can see why I haven't posted anything in awhile. Nothing seems to be happening!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Owe-n-owe Raps...

Dippy, who shall from this point on be known as Linda, expressed a need for a name change due to the message that comes along with the moniker, Dippy... More than one person asked why I call her Dippy and since I have a hard time even spelling Serendipitious, which was her screen name when I met her, I've simply decided to go with "Linda". (That and the punches in the shoulder everytime I call her Dippy).

That said, let's move on to last night's entertainment. Linda's son, who I think should be called Owe-n-owe, does a little "rapping". I've decided on the name Owe-n-owe in honor of the infamous Eminem, also a popular "rapper". Owe-n-owe writes and performs rap music and frankly I'm impressed. Rap music is nothing more than poetry set to music and this 22 year old kid is good! He writes the poetry and performs it at a local Tempe (ASU) bar on their open "mike" night and we went last night and watched him and he was just great. I never knew I liked rap music until I saw Owe-n-owe perform.

While I am both new and experienced in the bar scene, I marvelled at the differences in the Boat House, where we were to any other bars I had frequented. We went with Linda's 30 year old daughter and her 22 year old son and were prepared to meet Owe-n-owe's new girlfriend Lindsey there, along with her entourage of girlfriends, all about 22 years old. Eric, one of Owe-n-owe's friends joined us later. Here's the thing that amazes me. They all smoke, every one of them. Even with the way society and medicine looks at smoking, this is a diehard group that will quit when they are a little older, hopefully. The group ordered a "bucket". Having no idea what a bucket was, I casually ordered my diet coke, as our 21 year old waitress checked IDs. Linda and I commented that we had forgotten ours and would it be okay? Our cute little waitress wasn't amused and we changed the subject. About 3 minutes later, she reappeared with a bucket containing a six-pack of bottled beer in ice. Thus, a "bucket".

As I sipped my diet Coke, our innocent waitress casually walked over to me, put her hand on my knee and whispering in my ear, asked if I weren't drinking an alcoholic beverage because I didn't have any ID?. I pulled away just busting inside with my accumulated 63 years and replied, "no, I'm not ordering an alcoholic beverage because I'm an "alcoholic"! Our cute innocent waitress trotted away with an earful. I think that's when Linda peed her pants a little and we both went to our respective restrooms, where somethings just don't change. The men's room looked like every college bar restroom I'd ever seen. "DISGUSTING"!

That's when Owe-n-owe went on stage and did his thing with a guitar and saxophone for background. He was REALLY GOOD... We left.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Won't be Moving Any Time Soon...

The phone call came at about 9:30 this morning. I was about to step into the shower when I heard the song on the radio start playing some tones that we "off key" and didn't fit. I immediately checked my phone to see it it were the untimely notes and it was. It was "fat realtor".
Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in myself, as I'm usually a better judge of character and although I immediately took a disliking to this tactless person, I didn't figure her for a liar and a fake, but I evidently underestimated her. I picked up the phone as she was rattling along saying how her imaginary investor backed out, when she asked him for a small increase that any idiot would have absorbed herself, making me wonder if he ever really existed. Even my new realtor said it wasn't likely for the following reasons. Investors don't back out after making offers, that hurts their credibility. They seldom try to buy houses in my price category, usually trying to stay under $300,000. And NEVER offer on a house sight unseen, that's listed "as is".
Chunky style Realtor was on her way over to remove her sign and her lock box and would be here in 20 minutes. I timed my shower perfectly, but was shirtless when she rang the doorbell. I enjoyed the 90 seconds I made her wait in the heat while I looked for one that read, "My Realtor is a Lying Creep", but settled for a conservative print.
She entered with a fake smile as she offered the termination papers at the front door, handing me a pen. I ignored her, as I walked into the computer table where my glasses were, she followed like a puppy offered a pork chop. I read the paper, and casually signed it, while she offered me great luck and all of the best of everything. That's when she confirmed to me that there was NEVER an investor. She produced an email that she took the trouble to print and show me. It was obvious to me that it was bogus, as she pulled it away almost immediately, so I couldn't inspect it for times and dates and point of origin. What honest person would produce an email to confirm something she has already stated? Only a liar would think to do that! She quickly left after that and took with her 5 weeks of my selling time. Time to move forward...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Boring Mel Gets Excited...

I'm boring. It's nothing new, I've been boring for years. Why do you think bright gray is my favorite color? I've been told from time to time that I'm boring, but usually by people that are completely out of control. I personally consider myself medium boring to daringly boring. You know, pretty much like everyone else.
So here's what's going on in my boring life. I fired the Real Estate Broker that I hired for not doing shit to market my lovely home. She came here, threw around a few insults about decorating and smells and listed me in the MLS as a home for sale. Then she sat on her rather wide ass and waited for someone to sell the pink elephant. It didn't happen. I decided to go with another broker that would be proactive in marketing my house with virtual pictures on the Internet and having a professional come in and do the photography, as well as a few open houses thrown in for good measure. This gives me the impression that she's trying, not just waiting for the commission. and resting on her laurels.
I no sooner fire her ass, that by the way I made sure when I hired her that I had an escape clause, that she calls me up with an offer from a private investor that she miraculously has in her back pocket. Keep in mind that I don't trust this woman any farther than I can throw her and I've already indicated she never suffered a day in her life from anorexia. At the height of the real estate fiasco, my house was selling for $800,000 and the offer on the table (not in writing, so far) is $400,000. I'm asking $440,000, but am about to drop the price to $425,000. I counter with a $410,000 and am declined and the buyer is firm at 400G. Now my real estate broker steps in and gets creative and offers to waive a good portion of her commission, creating a net price to me that is almost equal to my counter, within 2 grand. I tell her I need 24 hours to digest it, and she immediately thinks of food and hangs up. While tapping my right index finger to my temple, I go over the facts. My chunky old broker is about to become history, when she pulls this offer out of her ass. She then gets creative, trying to make it happen for Boring Mel. I'm thinking that if she had tried a little harder, I'd go her route. With her kind offer, her commission would be $12,000 instead of $20,000. That's still a lot of money for her doing very little. She has someone do the paperwork and drove it all the way over for me to sign. Then she lifted the phone and ordered a sign and posted her new listing to the MLS, moved a few trinkets around my tables in my living room and left. She's the listing and selling agent on this deal so she gets 100% of the money. If she dropped her commission to 2%, she would net $8000 for her work. If she doesn't accept my counter she gets nothing. I tell her my counter offer, explain that it's business, not personal (she needed that) and she replies, "I don't work for nothing". I sweetly explain that if she doesn't accept my kind counter, she will be working for nothing and she finally realizes I right!
She called me back to tell me she can't get in touch with her buyer because of the weekend and she'll call me back when she hears something. I think my house "may" be sold!
Now I've got a new problem. One of the contingencies is that I be out in 30 days. Where will I go? She wanted me out in 10 days, but that's just not possible.
You may or may not know that I'm seeing a woman named Dippy. Her real name is Linda and she's about the sweetest woman I've ever met. My goal upon meeting her was to get to know her pretty well and try to mold my boring life to hers. We've only been together about 6 weeks though and everyone knows that's too soon, right? A friend of mine told me that when you get to my age, you're supposed to switch to dog years to measure time, because frankly your days are numbered. 6 weeks in dog years is 48 weeks and that's almost a year. So I said to Linda, would you consider me as a roommate? With that shocked Dippy look, she said, hell no! Then I let her get used to the idea and we talked and then we thought about it for awhile and talked some more. She asked where I'd put all my stuff and I said, storage. Hmm..... she said. I hardly know you she said, I agreed. We just spent 2 days together, almost 48 hours and she never gets on my nerves and I don't think I get on her nerves either. I do kind of love her (a li'l bit) too and she feels the same. Hmm..... again....
We talked on the phone tonight and she told me she discussed it with her daughters and to my surprise, and frankly it was clever of her to do this, she ran a $40 background check on me and called to say I had no record. I laughed and told her I could have saved her $40 by just asking. Hey, I'm boring Mel, boring guys don't get in trouble! The thing that really pisses me off about the whole thing is, with that $40 we could have gone to dinner!
I'm really not sure if we'll do that yet, but it's nice that she cares... I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


In 2005 I refinanced my house. I took a 5 year ARM. My ARM is due and payable at the increased rate in June 2010, which is rapidly approaching. When I took this type of mortgage, I was assured by the mortgage salesman that all I had to do before the ARM went to fruition, was to refinance again and with my good credit, it would be NO problem. All he was trying to do was to get me to sign on the dotted line and really didn't know what the future would hold. Now, being retired, I cannot get a new mortgage and who would have believed that Countrywide, the largest mortgage management company in the world, would be gone?
I am now the victim of Bank of America and I've never dealt with a more inadequate corporation in my life. Someone ought to do a stand up comedy routine about they're menu when you try to call them. Yesterday, after spending no less than one hour on hold listening to the same 57 seconds every minute of the same boring jazz tune, there would be a 3 second message saying how sorry they are that you are losing your mind. Finally, after 20 minutes of that part only, I was connected with a lady named Alexis that informed me that I had the wrong department, to call back and try again. I was sadly obliged to tell her what I thought of her employer and thank my lucky stars that I didn't use any profanity, because Alexis actually called me back after I slammed the phone down in her ear. She politely called back and said she was sorry that we were disconnected and she's had the exact same problem when she was trying to refinance and to be more patient. I told her we were not disconnected, that I hung up on her and I'm sorry. We bonded and laughed about how certain things like recordings can drive us almost insane. She then told me she'd make the calls for me and get back to me with a phone number, a direct line to the right person and call me back in about 20 minutes, to sit tight and left her do the footwork. With my mouth wide open, I managed to thank her and went ahead and trimmed my beard that was really looking shaggy, but that's another post. Ten minutes later the phone rang and it was indeed Alexis calling with the information.
I offered to write a letter to her employer, detailing her performance but she said it wasn't necessary and said, good luck! There are still a few good people, that work for major corporations, that still care...