Archive for December, 2008

Cabin fever

Unless you’re not from around here or you’ve been stuck under a rock you know that Portland has had one of the worst storms in recent history, which of course is awesome. Loads of snow and ice have bombarded us, effectively shutting down the city and causing everyone to ‘hole up’ and not leave their house. For me I am in heaven. As long as the lights are on and the heat is blowing I’m good to go. I’ve been alone now for 3 days with no human contact. I’ve had a few phone conversations but that’s about it. No one’s here, no one bugs me, no one expects anything of me. The day, the night is mine. I LOVE IT. Not that I don’t like people, but with nowhere to go, and nothing to do I can do anything! So I do nothing! ha. Actually I’ve cleaned loads, sold some things online, did some reading and an insane amount of guitar playing. I find it funny how many friends are going a little crazy. They’re willing to dig themselves out of the snow, struggle to put chains on their car, slip and slide down the road and all for what? For a few hours of work, or to go down to the store? What did people do 100 years ago when it snowed really bad and they lived in a tiny house out in the country? It’s interesting that no one can sit still. Kind of sad in my opinion. I like to be alone with my thoughts and sort through stuff. I used to think that solitary confinement in prison would be just allllllright. Much like this Far Side cartoon…

the guards would have to tell me to stop singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for the 83rd time “GALILEO, galileo GALIlEO FIGAROOOOOOOO” I do all the parts when I sing it and it is quite spectacular. My brain is always going.

But even though I like me I suppose it is good to have some human contact from time to time. I felt myself getting pretty goofy this afternoon and making myself laugh over stupid things (more than normal). I played the guitar for a long time and kept getting more and more hyper until this came out. I was getting a little crazy and took it out on the guitar, I had to tone down my dancing for the video. Maybe I should get out.

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Revolting Real Estate

6:00. I’m late, I should already be at the house to show my clients but traffic was bad and I was busy slurping my second bowl of soup at my sister’s house. I pull up to the dark, vacant house and see my clients parked in the driveway. Dangit! I hate being late. I grab my stuff, get out of my car and approach them.

“Hi guys sorry I’m late, have you been waiting long?”
Wife: “No, not really”
Me: “That’s too bad I was trying to make you wait awhile.”
Wife: “MICAH!”
Me: “sorry.”

It’s nice to show houses to people I would categorize as ‘acquaintance friends’ someone I’ve gone out to drinks a few times with and I can be more of myself. The wife of this duo is certainly comfortable with me and speaks her mind freely, which is surprising at first but really makes my life/job so much easier, there is no guessing where she’s coming from.

We all walk up to the dark doorstep and I point out the shiny new doorknob.
“Look at the shiny new doorknob!”
Wife: “wonderful”

I don’t usually bring such silly details to the surface, but one week earlier we were on the very same darkened doorstep facing a door with no handle or knob, the handiwork of malicious teenagers no doubt. Prior to this we had seen the house once, so you can imagine my client’s disappointment when there was no way to enter the house last week.

I opened the door, we walk in and I begin going through the house flipping all the lights on. The husband gets busy immediately pulling out his tape measure, taking note of the entryway and living room. The house is vacant; victim of a bad loan and people living outside of their means. A tragedy for something that wasn’t even built two years ago. The real tragedy is how something so new can look so tired and used. Once beautiful carpets now spread across the house in an array of mysterious stains and colors. Holes in the walls, trash in the backyard, unpaid bills stuffed in drawers, broken shelves in the corner, all these things are tell-tale signs of an owner that was forced to leave and relinquish his home in a hurry.

The first time I showed the house I noticed the blue tape and the warning stickers across the sinks and toilets, clearly showing that the water had been turned off and not to use any of the facilities. I was curious when I flipped on the lights for the downstairs bathroom and noticed the tape had been ripped off the toilet seat.

__Side Note__
Now…’s that saying go? ‘Curiosity something’ed the something’?
__/Side Note__

I wish I knew because I walked over to the toilet and it was clear that someone had completely disregarded the lovely blue tape and the job they had completed was not a quick Number 1. “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me” were the words that slipped out. “What?!” inquired the wife. I told her to forget it, but she obviously had never heard that curiosity saying either. Retching, she cursed and used her foot to slam the toilet seat down and continued to mutter some words better left to the imagination.

I walked upstairs to continue my dutiful task of turning all the lights on and as I flipped on the lights in the upstairs bathroom it was the same scene as before. Either someone was feeling the taco bell burn or this house was having some serious sewer problems. Disgusted and feeling a little queasy I pressed forth into the master bedroom. With nothing amiss in the bedroom I strode confidently into the master bath deciding this time to not even look at the toilet. Instead I looked at the sink where my eyes captured a basin FULL of vomit. Nearly laying my cookies down right next to the sink, I bolted out of the bedroom, downstairs and past my clients. Outside I breathed in the fresh air and thought of puppy dogs, guitars and pretty ladies (things that make me happy and generally keep me from puking). Once recovered I ventured back indoors and advised my clients to not look in the master bathroom. The wife pressed on as to ‘why’ and I finally told her.

We all ventured upstairs but I decided to hang back and let them take the lead. Minutes had passed since I had advised them to not look in the sink and apparently they forgot as their unison groan echoed loudly through the empty house. As the husband was finishing his measurements in the roomy walk-in closet the wife and I were trying to decide what happened. It was apparent that the vandals of the doorknob most likely succeeded in entering the house. We were thinking druggies at first but the husband pointed out the cigarette butts and the used condoms in the master closet. ‘The WHAT?’ we said as we both scurried to the closet. Sure enough used cigarettes and condoms were strewn across the floor. Absolutely disgusting.

The best we could figure out is that some teenagers broke in and had a party. They got drunk, did the deed and the violent mixture of chalupas, pineapple flavored vodka and the jarring affects of putting the biscuit in the basket most likely caused someone to get sick….a lot. Either way afterwards we went to Old Chicago, washed our hands three times, had our own drinks and wrote an offer.

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Prelude No.2 in Cm like you’ve never seen before. (Tony! Watch THIS)

A couple years ago I saw this guy on youtube doing the theme from Super Mario Brothers, it was impressive but I thought that’s all he did. Today I came across his channel and realized the SMB’s theme was only the beginning. This piece by Bach really takes the cake. It is especially amazing as it reminds me of the summer Tony would come to my house and bang out this piece on the piano, then he would fall asleep on the couch and leave at 2am, but that’s a different story. Anyways, I find it thrilling how different people’s minds works. Check it out

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Sweet Red Wraps

After making an offsides remark to M at kickboxing I told her she had nice hand wraps. She said she’d like to have me write something about them, I accepted her challenge and this is what came out.
Slowly the faded fabric touches her skin. My eyes widen as she starts at her thumb, goes down her wrist, across her hand and over her knuckles. The excess strip lazily hangs from her arm, gathering like tangled spaghetti on the dirty floor. Quickly she picks up speed, and in a hurry she tightly twists the red strap over and over until the final edge securely clings to the soft velcro beneath her wrist. She grins and triumphantly raises her fully mummified fist for all to see. Indeed it is a wondrous sight to behold, such precision and care even an Egyptian would be proud. Gentle hands of healing transformed into violent tools of destruction before my very eyes. For nearly an hour crimson flurries slice through the air as she mercilessly pounds and pummels the helpless bag with the aggression of a thousand donkeys. Finally she is finished and the red wraps lay peacefully in the corner. Wet and wrinkled she scoops them up and rolls them tightly, tossing them into her bag for another day of destruction.

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Recipe for a hodown

Recipe for a hodown
First start with a reluctant Grandmother “oh…I don’t know if I have enough wind to play anymore” as she whips out her harmonica WOOOHEEWOOOHAA (that’s what a harmonica spelled out looks like).

Then add one brother-inlaw with sick guitar skills that would make most men cry.

Next drop in one banjo pickin’ goofball

Top it all off with the adoring fans

And you have yourself a good old fashioned country hodown.

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Phil in a nutshell, part two

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