Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

House Hunting (or "Looking For A Place To Roost")

Did I tell y’all that I’ve been starting to ponder the possibility of looking at houses? I actually made my first call to a realtor the other day to look at this cool little house. It’s in a town I like, next to a little creek. The main house is small, and next to a busy road – but it has a guest building, a 2 car garage with back-room storage, and a fourth building behind the garage. (In my mind, I decided that it would make a great studio. Dave exclaimed, “BAND ROOM!”). I had high hopes. The little compound had potential.

In my mind I picture the great parties I could throw in the beautiful back yard. I’d finally have enough room to get a dog! Dave, on the other hand, reminded me that having a dog at that locale would be bad… “Kelly, are you prepared for that dog to get killed on that busy road?”

“There is no dog... You’ve just killed my imaginary dog. How dark are you?” I asked.

We walked back to the driveway. Suddenly, a little black rooster appeared. “Hey,” said Dave observantly, “A little black rooster!”

I moved away from the bird. Birds aren’t my thing. I have nothing against birds in the wild – I like looking at birds in bird feeders, I've held birds, I've spread peanut butter and birdseed on pinecones to feed birds. I've allowed my father to listen to bird call tapes in the car... but to be honest, ittle birdy feet just gross me out. I am not, I repeat, am not petrified of birds. They're just not my thing.

“You’re afraid of roosters?” asked Dave.

“Not really. Their feet gross me out, and I’d much prefer to live and let live,” I explained. I silently wondered if Dave was making fun of me… Ok, I actually knew he was making fun of me. The rooster WAS only about 8” high at the top of the comb.

“Stop making fun of me!” I said, responding to the look of mockery on his face.

(Non sequitur bird story #1: Once, I had to free a sparrow who flew into a deli I was going to buy my lunch from. The bird was freaked out, the deli ladies were ridiculously unhelpful - and the thought of a bird pooping on my chicken salad was just unbearable. It was clearly up to me - I caught the bird, released it, and sanitized.)

The rooster, meanwhile, was checking out the car. He strutted by the tires nonchalantly as I walked to the front of the house. The rooster then moved towards us somewhat purposefully. “He's coming after us. I really think he's following us.”

Now, Mr. Smirkity Smirk was just loving this.

“You’re afraid of roosters!”

I gave up the normal explanations, and wasn't in the mood to proove my history with birds. I muttered something about bird flu and walked around the front of the house, peeking into the front windows.

(Non sequitur bird story #2: When I was young, my father, rescuer of animals in distress, acquired a crow who couldn't live in the wild due to some injury or some such thing. The crow's name was Jasper - and he lived in a cage in our backyard. Eventually, for some reason I can't remember, we gave the crow to our vet, who was really happy to have him.)

As we left the property that evening I just want you to know that I checked to make sure we didn’t run the stupid rooster over.

(Final non sequitor bird story: Years ago, my parents went to dinner at a now defunct restaurant called "The Golden Goose." The place was by a pond - and naturally, had a few geese hanging around. As my parents approached the restaurant, they were surprised to see another patron get too close to one of the geese. It reared up it's wings, lowered it's head and ran right towards the guy. My father, rescuer of humans in distress, ran towards the goose, and in one fell-swoop, grabbed the goose, diverted it from it's near-victim, and once again, saved the day - sans injury to himself, the goose, or the other patron. True story)

A few days later, we returned to see the house with a realtor. She was kinda cranky, if you ask me. “You know," she started, "You really should have bought a house three years ago…”

What does one say to that? I nodded and smiled politely - I have to be honest here - the realtor didn't really earn my confidence that afternoon. She sort of waved around the house pointing out the obvious, "This is the bathroom. This is the master bedroom. Here's where you can hook up a washing machine."

It didn't bother me much... It took a mere ten seconds to realize that even if Mrs. Realtor crankypants handed me the deed for free– this wasn’t the house for me:

1) The walls were painted paneling – with stenciling… Large swags of stenciling everywhere you looked. I cannot tell you how painted paneling grates my Trading Spaces/Vern Yip sensibilities. I can't tell you how 96% of all stenciling gives me great pause.
2) The drop ceiling was low enough to reach flat-footed… at my height. Ridiculous. I'm 5'5".
3) The only bathroom in the house was miniscule, had no tub, and was located directly off the living room.
4) The master bedroom had no door.
5) The central air never worked – “And don’t ask the owner to fix it. He said under no circumstances would he fix anything…” explained the realtor.
6) The second bedroom had a very, very low ceiling. Lower than the living room.
7) Need I mention that the carpet was bright blue?
8) And in loving memory of the imaginary dead dog, I must say for the record that the road was awfully close to the house, and the traffic was awfully loud.

I was annoyed and disappointed - so I'm not proud to say it, but I began pointing the more hideous features of the house to the lack-luster realtor: "Um, where's the DOOR?" "This doesn't make sense." "Where does one take a bath?" "And Where did the rooster come from?"

Then she told me the worst thing of all - that the rooster lived in the storage room behind the garage - and at one point attacked a fellow house hunter the other day. I looked at Dave triumphantly.

To be honest, the property was so lovely that I was disappointed… But the good news is – I fully enjoyed fussing about how bad the house was – it’s kind of therapeutic in that odd neurotic sort of way… And – the better news? It’s still a buyer’s market. I'll find another place to roost.



  • At 5:50 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Ha! "roost"


    I can't wait to see where you end up. I suspect that we have the same love of higgly piggly houses with charm and character. It will probably turn out to be one of those weird odd little sensibilities of ours like armadillos.

    Had a dream about you the other week... you can to photograph our life for a book we were doing for the 5 Hispanic children in CA which we were adopting. You made very interesting art of the otherwise quite ordinary images: our house, the dog, our cars, the closets, etc. Hum. What does this mean?


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