Life in Atlanta, at least for another year or so. . . That I refuse to sell my house in this depressed real-estate market means that I will be here until economic conditions improve - a situation, I firmly believe, that will come quicker with a Democratic Obama victory than a Republican McCain victory in this years' presidential elections.
The listing for my house came off the realtors' databases, and I've been inundated with telephone calls from agents not understanding the situation and asking if they can represent me - instead of my former realtor - in selling the house. I tried to politely explain to the first several callers that in fact I've decided not to move, the house is not for sale, and there's nothing here for them, but they're stuck in sales mode and keep insisting that they can do a better job in selling the house than my last agent. Although I don't like to do it, I've often had to be rude to them just to get them off the line. Simply hanging up on them usually does the trick.
I have to admit that I've played with a few. I've told one of the more cheerful/phony callers that I decided not to sell the house at this time in order to take care of my wife's funeral, pulling the rug out from under his "isn't-it-a-sunny-day?" attitude. and I've told others that I'm soliciting cash bids for the privilege of representing me, stating at $2,500, and will select the highest payment I receive.
But there's really no point in generating bad karma. I make their day a little miserable, and they in turn take it out on someone else, who passes it along, etc., and the world's a little worse off for my effort. So for now, my strategy is to just try and not answer their calls.
Over at the unsellable condo, Stanley Steamer couldn't get the stains out of the carpet. I got a bid ($2,100) for replacing the carpet with hardwoods, which should allow a higher rent and position the condo better for an eventual sale, but haven't yet authorized them to proceed. My cleaning lady is making one last-ditch attempt today at using some miracle solvent to try and lift out the stains (which I now believe to be children's play paint), but if that fails then I'm pulling the trigger on the hardwoods.
What else? Last Sunday morning, I led the new-comers' orientation at the Zen Center and on Monday, I led my usual evening service. On Tuesday, I got back involved with the Beltline project, attending my first Advisory Board meeting of the year. Two years ago, I worked like hell to get on the Board, but then, after moving to Portland, with all of its world-class public transit and bicycle accessibility, seemed like an option, I pretty much dropped off the Board. But now that I'm back, I'm now willing once again to get involved with the Beltline project again and all of its contentious politics.