Archive for the 'Whimsy' Category

How to NOT Sell Your Home

said on February 4th, 2012 filed under: Real Estate Nuts and Bolts, Whimsy

Sixteen Ways to Make Sure
Your House Will NOT Sell

16. List it for more than its true value.

15. List it as a 4 bedroom instead of a 3. When the buyers get there… SURPRISE!  Only 3!

14. Put a tenant in it to make sure it has that “lived in look” and to assure that potential buyers feel as uncomfortable as possible when they come for a visit.

13. Make sure every flat surface is cluttered with little things.  If you run out of surface area, stuff the rest of the clutter inside your closets and cabinets.

12. Leave your dog to run loose during showings.

11. Make it as difficult as possible for the buyers’ agent to show the property by requiring an “appointment with the owner” or “48 hours advance notice.”

10. Stay home, follow the buyers around, tell them all the reasons you love living there.

9. Stay home, follow the buyers around, tell them all the reasons you hate living there.

8. Stay home, follow the buyers around, ask them to “please excuse the mess.”  Go on to explain just how hard it is to remove all of the black mold and dry rot, but you’re almost there.

7. Stay home for the showing, put on your helmet made out of tin foil, and sit on the couch and stare at the TV the entire time without moving or blinking.

6. Demonstrate that you are environmentally sensitive and frugal as well.  Turn OFF all the lights, close the blinds, and draw the curtains.  Really dark curtains are best.

5. Do NOT  have your windows cleaned.  Clean, sparkling windows let in too much light.

4. Boil a few dozen eggs so the entire house smells like farts.  Frying fish is an acceptable substitute.  In fact, any strong and obnoxious smell is helpful.  The best smell?  Pet odor.  Make sure your cat’s litter box is in plain sight and never empty it. Do NOT wash your dog.

3. Leave a note on the table that says to be careful in bedroom 3, but don’t leave a reason why.

2. Have your friends or your kids hide in the closets and SCREAM each time a buyer opens the closet door.

1. Draw three chalk outlines of bodies on the living room carpet. Use police crime scene tape to seal off the room.


(Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are jokes.  Also number 7, I hope.  Thanks to the Christiansen Team from Fort Wayne Indiana for the idea and for several of the actual items on this list.)

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Rain Gear

said on December 4th, 2011 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails, Whimsy

Start your run in the rain. Avoid getting your feet wet. Dodge puddles. Try to run on the side of the path that has become a Class II rapid.

Sooner or later, you will mis-step and come down ankle deep in the creek. The other foot will continue reading…

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Bali 9–Eat, Pray, Love, CJ

said on June 11th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

Julia Robert

Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular book, Eat, Pray Love, and the Julia Roberts movie based on the book, begin in Bali, in the little city of Ubud, and end in Bali, the “Love” part of the journey. The elderly soothsayer, Ketut Liyer (pronounced keh-TUT lee-AIR roll the “r”) tells Gilbert to return to Bali, whereupon he will teach her “everything he knows.” She returns, and he doesn’t even remember who she is. Droll. And by the way, in spite of what you may have heard, Ketut Liyer does not play himself in the movie, no, the role is handled, superbly, by an elderly actor named Hadi Subiyanto.

I thought it would be amusing if I could locate the real Ketut Liyer and arrange an audience for CJ . Naturally, I sought out the services of my own Ketut, Big Ketut from the Ubud Inn where we were staying. If you think there are a lot of Ketuts appearing in this narrative, you are right. Balinese first names indicate the person’s birth order, so there are a LOT of Ketuts. So I found Big Ketut sitting with a bunch of smaller Ketuts, a couple of Wayans, and our other main guy, Little Abhut. continue reading…

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Bali 8–The Funeral

said on June 9th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

Big Ketut asks, “Do you want to go to a funeral?”

Executing a suave backflip, I admit “I wouldn’t mind.”

“Important Brahmin funeral” he said, “Big deal.” Bali still observes a 4-caste system with Brahmins at the top of the ladder.

Ketut had set the whole thing up, a complicated endeavor. One driver was to take me in to the capital city, Denpasar, a trip of about an hour and a half. The driver would turn me over to a guide who would try to keep me out of trouble. At the end of the funeral, the guide would turn me over to another driver for the return to Ubud.

Yikes! I needed formal attire, and I had less than 2 hours to get it together. I quick-stepped up Monkey Forest road to the information kiosk across from Ubud Palace. The attendant told me to go down to the big pubic market and get sarong, sash, white shirt, and udeng (the traditional men’s head scarf). I was concerned that I would choose something that would brand me as a clown, pervert, commie, or American fool trying to pass for Balinese. She told me not to worry, that men and women and fools all wore the same fabrics, and to pick something I liked. continue reading…

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Bali 7–Ubud Redux

said on June 4th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

Hooray! We’re back in Ubud, our home sweet home, where we plan to stay for the remainder of our vacation.

Bali dog

We are welcomed home by a lovable Ubud pooch.

Bali monkey forest road up end

This time we decided to reside closer downtown on our favorite road, Monkey Forest. continue reading…

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Bali 6–A Respite in Ahmed

said on May 27th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

Bali ahmed shore

We were so exhausted from all the relaxation on the Gili Islands that, before returning to Ubud, we decided to go over to Ahmed on the northeast coast of Bali to rest up for the remainder of the vacation. Truthfully, we wanted to get back to Ubud as soon as possible, but we had promised ourselves to scout Ahmed as the site for continue reading…

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Bali 5–Eeny Miny Gili Meno

said on May 26th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

Have you ever wanted to get out of LA, leaving La Cienega Boulevard far behind? Have you ever wanted to disappear onto a tiny sun-drenched island in the tropics, a sleepy refuge from urban despair, a secret place where you don’t have to see anyone unless you want to and everyone already knows to leave you alone, where a breezy bungalow doesn’t cost a bloody fortune and you can eat well for less than twenty dollars a day, a quiet spot under shady palm trees where you can meditate, or write, or loaf, hide from the world, or create strange art works along the beach?

Bali meno art

Gili Meno is the paradise for you.

The day before we planned to depart Gili Trawangan and return to Bali, we decided to explore the tiny neighboring island of Gili Meno, the smallest of the three Gili islands.  I had already poked around on the middle island, Gili Air, for a few hours and don’t recommend it.  Gili Air is not as pretty and laid back as Gili Meno or as fun and silly as Gili Trawangan. continue reading…

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Bali 4–Silly Gili

said on May 21st, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

The Gili Islands are not part of Bali.  The three small islands are just a mile or two off the coast of Lombok, another large island province of Indonesia. To get to the Gilis, depart Bali on the “slow boat”, cross the Lombok Strait, swing around Lombok on the north east side, keep going a bit, and you will come to Komodo, where there be dragons.  No, no don’t go that far.  Just stop near Lombok, and wade ashore on the sandy, low slung Gilis.  This is the tropical paradise of your dreams.

Bali meno to trawangan

That’s Gili Trawangan, Gili Tee, in the distance as photographed from the even smaller island of Gili Meno.  The hill you see on Gili Tee is the highest continue reading…

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Bali 3–Welcome to Gili Tee

said on May 18th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

CJ believes that any real vacation must include blue water, white sand beaches, and palm trees, so off we go to the Gili Islands, three microscopic specks off the coast of Lombok.  Gili Trawangan,  revered for its all-night parties, is the largest of the three islands, called “Gili Tee” by those “in the know.”  A short boat ride away is Gili Air, the middle child.  Another short boat ride gets you to Gili Meno, the littlest.

To get to these Gili Islands we took a Parama bus down to the sleazy harbor town of Padang Bai, about an hour southeast of Ubud.

After hanging around on the Padang Bai dock for a scorching hot interval,

Bali padang bai dockan

we boarded a tender which took us out to the “Slow Boat.”  This old inter-island ferry was indeed slow, but oh so cheap.  We bid goodbye to Padang Bai . . .

Bali padang bai harbor

. . . and settled in for a totally enjoyable boat ride of 4 hours.  The old boat was exotic, the passengers few, and the crew cooked and shared a delicious continue reading…

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Bali 2–Family Guest

said on May 15th, 2011 filed under: Whimsy

Ubud, the spiritual and artistic capital of Bali.  Ubud the Sweet.  Ubud the Cool.

Bali ganesha

Thanks to the Goddesses and Gods (especially you, Ganesh!) that we are in Ubud and away from the sleazy streets of Kuta.

Ubud is only an hour north from Kuta, Denpasar, and the airport, but it is a world away in mood, or as we say in Sanskrit, in the bhav.  If you are going to Ubud, there are three or four roads you can take.  Tell your driver to take one of the back ways through the countryside, otherwise he will drag you continue reading…

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