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January 2019


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  string(4847) "I have an industrial-strength case of writer's cramp. A team of neurosurgeons labors to pry the pen from my hand. I have signed  and initialed more documents than the Japanese surrender delegation aboard the U.S.S. Missouri.

I have closed on my new house. Closing is an apt term for the final purchase of a residence. During the process, stacks of paperwork close in on you.

Sure, for the first one or two signatures, you're a Really Important Guy signing Really Important Stuff. But after that inaugural Ed Norton pen flourish, it degenerates into an incomprehensible scribble fest. For all I know, I've also signed myself into a nursing home and given power of attorney to  Carrot Top.

And speaking of attorneys, it was sheer coincidence that the lawyer who handled this closing is the same guy who did my first closing a decade ago. Despite the thousands of closings he's done in-between, he actually remembered me. That's because the first closing was highlighted by a vitriolic argument about a brand-new living-room carpet vandalized (with red clay, the most convenient artistic medium for a Georgia vandal) by disgruntled ex-employees of the homebuilder. I wanted a new carpet to replace the damaged one. The builder said it could be cleaned and rendered good-as-new.

The hour-long contretemps reached its zenith when the builder (only present via speakerphone; it was like addressing the Great and Powerful Oz) said, "Now, if you bought a new coat and didn't know someone else had tried it on in the store first, that would be OK, wouldn't it?"

At which point I turned deep magenta and clutched at my aorta. The lawyer, fearing a stroke victim on the premises, leapt in. With Solomon-like alacrity he declared, "I will decide about the carpet." (Note to historians: The rug was replaced. Massive quantities of red clay can never be completely exorcised from beige carpet.)

What the second closing lacked in acrimony, it more than made up for in sheer anxiety. Because if you divided all closing-related documentation by category, I'd say 90 percent of it relates to foreclosure. Banks are very particular on the subject. They want you to know, at length and in great detail, that if you do not pay up on time, a team of sheriff's deputies will labor to remove you from the aforesaid domicile.

Trouble is, you'd have to be a cum laude grad of the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Institute to get through all the paper stuffed with foreclosure-related legalese — at least during the couple of hours it takes to have a closing. It would be far more effective to have a dollhouse on the conference table, with two dolls and some credit-financed doll furniture used to illustrate the process.

"Here you are, " the lawyer would say, holding up one of the  figurines, "and here are all your worldly goods." There's a crash as he empties the dollhouse with one hearty shake. "Now that's foreclosure."

Almost as impressive as these veiled threats are the array of taxes and fees one pays in buying a house. It's akin to  visiting a foreign country where there are 125,000 units of local currency to the  dollar, and money suddenly ceases to have any real meaning.

Once you get into the spirit of the thing, you blindly pay for services that make no sense at all. I shelled out $100 for a "rent comp fee," even though I'm not renting anything. I paid an $80 tax service fee, as if paying the actual taxes wasn't bad enough. There was also a $90 "document control" charge, although the number of documents coming down the pike was completely out of control.

There was a "Georgia Res Mtg Tax," which seems to imply that if you live in the state and go to a meeting, they can tax you. Plus application, processing, underwriting and flood certification fees. The latter really has me worried, because I'm not sure if they certified that I won't have a flood or will have one.

Then there were express mail charges, since documents related to the sale of my home we're being airlifted to Billings, Mont. As geographical non-sequiturs go, Billings is sure up there. I mean, you don't think of it as an international center of high finance. I suspect my mortgage is being held by the Cattle Rustler's Savings & Loan, Walter Brennan, chairman of the herd. All mortgage payments to be made in gold dust.

But my favorite charge — the piece de resistance — is the intangible tax. According to Webster, intangible means "incapable of being defined." So I'm being taxed on something I don't even know I have. It must have been a bourbon-kissed night when the legislature came up with that one.

Despite it all, buying property is a good investment. As someone pointed out, God isn't making any more land.

Now, if He'd just cut down on those fees.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is moving from Alpharetta to Alpharetta."
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I have closed on my new house. Closing is an apt term for the final purchase of a residence. During the process, stacks of paperwork close in on you.

Sure, for the first one or two signatures, you're a Really Important Guy signing Really Important Stuff. But after that inaugural Ed Norton pen flourish, it degenerates into an incomprehensible scribble fest. For all I know, I've also signed myself into a nursing home and given power of attorney to  Carrot Top.

And speaking of attorneys, it was sheer coincidence that the lawyer who handled this closing is the same guy who did my first closing a decade ago. Despite the thousands of closings he's done in-between, he actually remembered me. That's because the first closing was highlighted by a vitriolic argument about a brand-new living-room carpet vandalized (with red clay, the most convenient artistic medium for a Georgia vandal) by disgruntled ex-employees of the homebuilder. I wanted a new carpet to replace the damaged one. The builder said it could be cleaned and rendered good-as-new.

The hour-long contretemps reached its zenith when the builder (only present via speakerphone; it was like addressing the Great and Powerful Oz) said, "Now, if you bought a new coat and didn't know someone else had tried it on in the store first, that would be OK, wouldn't it?"

At which point I turned deep magenta and clutched at my aorta. The lawyer, fearing a stroke victim on the premises, leapt in. With Solomon-like alacrity he declared, "I will decide about the carpet." (Note to historians: The rug was replaced. Massive quantities of red clay can never be completely exorcised from beige carpet.)

What the second closing lacked in acrimony, it more than made up for in sheer anxiety. Because if you divided all closing-related documentation by category, I'd say 90 percent of it relates to foreclosure. Banks are very particular on the subject. They want you to know, at length and in great detail, that if you do not pay up on time, a team of sheriff's deputies will labor to remove you from the aforesaid domicile.

Trouble is, you'd have to be a cum laude grad of the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Institute to get through all the paper stuffed with foreclosure-related legalese -- at least during the couple of hours it takes to have a closing. It would be far more effective to have a dollhouse on the conference table, with two dolls and some credit-financed doll furniture used to illustrate the process.

"Here you are, " the lawyer would say, holding up one of the  figurines, "and here are all your worldly goods." There's a crash as he empties the dollhouse with one hearty shake. "Now ''that's'' foreclosure."

Almost as impressive as these veiled threats are the array of taxes and fees one pays in buying a house. It's akin to  visiting a foreign country where there are 125,000 units of local currency to the  dollar, and money suddenly ceases to have any real meaning.

Once you get into the spirit of the thing, you blindly pay for services that make no sense at all. I shelled out $100 for a "rent comp fee," even though I'm not renting anything. I paid an $80 tax service fee, as if paying the actual taxes wasn't bad enough. There was also a $90 "document control" charge, although the number of documents coming down the pike was completely out of control.

There was a "Georgia Res Mtg Tax," which seems to imply that if you live in the state and go to a meeting, they can tax you. Plus application, processing, underwriting and flood certification fees. The latter really has me worried, because I'm not sure if they certified that I won't have a flood or will have one.

Then there were express mail charges, since documents related to the sale of my home we're being airlifted to Billings, Mont. As geographical non-sequiturs go, Billings is sure up there. I mean, you don't think of it as an international center of high finance. I suspect my mortgage is being held by the Cattle Rustler's Savings & Loan, Walter Brennan, chairman of the herd. All mortgage payments to be made in gold dust.

But my favorite charge -- the ''piece de resistance'' -- is the intangible tax. According to Webster, intangible means "incapable of being defined." So I'm being taxed on something I don't even know I have. It must have been a bourbon-kissed night when the legislature came up with that one.

Despite it all, buying property is a good investment. As someone pointed out, God isn't making any more land.

Now, if He'd just cut down on those fees.

[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]

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  string(5109) "    Close this!   2003-12-25T05:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - A taxing experience December 25 2003   Glen Slattery 1223649 2003-12-25T05:04:00+00:00  I have an industrial-strength case of writer's cramp. A team of neurosurgeons labors to pry the pen from my hand. I have signed  and initialed more documents than the Japanese surrender delegation aboard the U.S.S. Missouri.

I have closed on my new house. Closing is an apt term for the final purchase of a residence. During the process, stacks of paperwork close in on you.

Sure, for the first one or two signatures, you're a Really Important Guy signing Really Important Stuff. But after that inaugural Ed Norton pen flourish, it degenerates into an incomprehensible scribble fest. For all I know, I've also signed myself into a nursing home and given power of attorney to  Carrot Top.

And speaking of attorneys, it was sheer coincidence that the lawyer who handled this closing is the same guy who did my first closing a decade ago. Despite the thousands of closings he's done in-between, he actually remembered me. That's because the first closing was highlighted by a vitriolic argument about a brand-new living-room carpet vandalized (with red clay, the most convenient artistic medium for a Georgia vandal) by disgruntled ex-employees of the homebuilder. I wanted a new carpet to replace the damaged one. The builder said it could be cleaned and rendered good-as-new.

The hour-long contretemps reached its zenith when the builder (only present via speakerphone; it was like addressing the Great and Powerful Oz) said, "Now, if you bought a new coat and didn't know someone else had tried it on in the store first, that would be OK, wouldn't it?"

At which point I turned deep magenta and clutched at my aorta. The lawyer, fearing a stroke victim on the premises, leapt in. With Solomon-like alacrity he declared, "I will decide about the carpet." (Note to historians: The rug was replaced. Massive quantities of red clay can never be completely exorcised from beige carpet.)

What the second closing lacked in acrimony, it more than made up for in sheer anxiety. Because if you divided all closing-related documentation by category, I'd say 90 percent of it relates to foreclosure. Banks are very particular on the subject. They want you to know, at length and in great detail, that if you do not pay up on time, a team of sheriff's deputies will labor to remove you from the aforesaid domicile.

Trouble is, you'd have to be a cum laude grad of the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Institute to get through all the paper stuffed with foreclosure-related legalese — at least during the couple of hours it takes to have a closing. It would be far more effective to have a dollhouse on the conference table, with two dolls and some credit-financed doll furniture used to illustrate the process.

"Here you are, " the lawyer would say, holding up one of the  figurines, "and here are all your worldly goods." There's a crash as he empties the dollhouse with one hearty shake. "Now that's foreclosure."

Almost as impressive as these veiled threats are the array of taxes and fees one pays in buying a house. It's akin to  visiting a foreign country where there are 125,000 units of local currency to the  dollar, and money suddenly ceases to have any real meaning.

Once you get into the spirit of the thing, you blindly pay for services that make no sense at all. I shelled out $100 for a "rent comp fee," even though I'm not renting anything. I paid an $80 tax service fee, as if paying the actual taxes wasn't bad enough. There was also a $90 "document control" charge, although the number of documents coming down the pike was completely out of control.

There was a "Georgia Res Mtg Tax," which seems to imply that if you live in the state and go to a meeting, they can tax you. Plus application, processing, underwriting and flood certification fees. The latter really has me worried, because I'm not sure if they certified that I won't have a flood or will have one.

Then there were express mail charges, since documents related to the sale of my home we're being airlifted to Billings, Mont. As geographical non-sequiturs go, Billings is sure up there. I mean, you don't think of it as an international center of high finance. I suspect my mortgage is being held by the Cattle Rustler's Savings & Loan, Walter Brennan, chairman of the herd. All mortgage payments to be made in gold dust.

But my favorite charge — the piece de resistance — is the intangible tax. According to Webster, intangible means "incapable of being defined." So I'm being taxed on something I don't even know I have. It must have been a bourbon-kissed night when the legislature came up with that one.

Despite it all, buying property is a good investment. As someone pointed out, God isn't making any more land.

Now, if He'd just cut down on those fees.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is moving from Alpharetta to Alpharetta.             13013475 1245583                          Talk of the Town - A taxing experience December 25 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 25, 2003 12:04 am EST
Close this! | more...
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  string(4674) "An irrepressible conflict. The clash of armies. The Blue & Gray.

A Civil War story? No, this involves real hostility. It's about selling my house.

Putting your home on the market  evokes critical backwash from every  would-be buyer, all of whom double as architectural, landscape and interior design experts. But that's nothing compared to  the home inspector.

When people are interested enough in your house to consider an actual purchase, they send an inspector. He visited our establishment and made the following report:

"Plumbing: The main source is polybutylene blue, which is prone to breaking and was used in some homes until 1996. Polybutylene has a 50 percent failure rate and is the subject of a class action lawsuit.

"Inside plumbing is gray polybutylene plastic piping, which has a history of failure. Because of depleted class action suit funding, any repairs or replacement of existing blue and/or gray piping will be the responsibility of the purchaser."

I couldn't even spell the name of this stuff, much less know it was in my home. A week ago, if someone asked me about polybutylene blue, I'd have guessed it's the cause of America's latest drug epidemic. That's the price for cheating my way through 10th grade chemistry.

But polybutylene is the one of the biggest dirty little secrets to ever run through Middle America, having been installed in countless U.S. homes between 1978 and 1995. Like F-5 tornadoes and grapefruit-sized hail, it's a disaster that originated in Texas. At least that's where early PB (I'll never think of peanut butter the same way) failures occurred.

Friends from Texas who live in our neighborhood escaped this plague. Put wise during their days in the Lone Star State, they reached Georgia asking that polybutylene not be used in the construction of their home here, spending an extra $300 for good old copper pipes. Lesson: Given a choice between some five-syllable synthetic and a basic metal, always go with the one listed on the Table of Elements.

Those of us not from the land of Texas tea have to suffer the consequences. In my case, it was a demand from opposing counsel, the term I use to describe (at least it's the only printable term I use to describe) the people who might buy my place.

"They want us to re-plumb the entire house," reported my wife, who heard it from our realtor, who heard it from their realtor, a grand dame whose continued requests for this and that led me to believe that the Sudetenland will be her last territorial demand  in Europe.

"What?"

At first, I thought it was some bizarre wish to have fruit trees installed on  the property.

But no. Our alleged buyers wanted us to pay for complete removal of all polybutylene pipes and their replacement with new, non-PB material. They thoughtfully provided a plumber's estimate for the work, which added up to $7,200.

Wait a minute. What happened to the purchaser being responsible for new plumbing? Particularly galling: There is nothing wrong with the pipes in our house; we've never had a leak. And to qualify for the class action, you must have water seeping through your walls. The system is basically urging me to go out and bust a pipe so I can qualify for reimbursement.

And what's so bad about a 50 percent failure rate? Human beings are 100 percent defective; sooner or later we all give out, with the possible exception of Dick Clark.

As with so much surrounding the sale of my home, I ranted, raved and did a dinner theater-quality impersonation of King Lear — at the conclusion of which I gave in.

Because it turns out that most of my neighbors, equally afflicted by the  polybutylene curse, have had to do the same if they wanted to sell their homes. They  didn't announce it to the general public,  but they gave in on the pipes. And realtors, possessing a delicate sensibility usually associated with great white sharks,  know this.

Ergo, at closing time, I'll be $5,200  poorer. It was a moral victory to find a plumber who'd do the work for two grand less than the other estimate.

Given the Civil War motif, a battle of the blue and gray in which both colors represent the losing side, it is appropriate to close with an observation from Lincoln that describes one's feelings about selling a home under financially adverse conditions.

Being president, he said, is like being the man who was tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. Someone in the crowd asked how he liked it, and the man replied that if it wasn't for the honor of the thing, he would much rather walk.

Singing polybutylene all the day.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is prone to breaking  in Alpharetta."
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  string(4720) "__An irrepressible conflict. __The clash of armies. The Blue & Gray.

A Civil War story? No, this involves real hostility. It's about selling my house.

Putting your home on the market  evokes critical backwash from every  would-be buyer, all of whom double as architectural, landscape and interior design experts. But that's nothing compared to  the home inspector.

When people are interested enough in your house to consider an actual purchase, they send an inspector. He visited our establishment and made the following report:

"Plumbing: The main source is polybutylene blue, which is prone to breaking and was used in some homes until 1996. Polybutylene has a 50 percent failure rate and is the subject of a class action lawsuit.

"Inside plumbing is gray polybutylene plastic piping, which has a history of failure. Because of depleted class action suit funding, any repairs or replacement of existing blue and/or gray piping will be the responsibility of the purchaser."

I couldn't even spell the name of this stuff, much less know it was in my home. A week ago, if someone asked me about polybutylene blue, I'd have guessed it's the cause of America's latest drug epidemic. That's the price for cheating my way through 10th grade chemistry.

But polybutylene is the one of the biggest dirty little secrets to ever run through Middle America, having been installed in countless U.S. homes between 1978 and 1995. Like F-5 tornadoes and grapefruit-sized hail, it's a disaster that originated in Texas. At least that's where early PB (I'll never think of peanut butter the same way) failures occurred.

Friends from Texas who live in our neighborhood escaped this plague. Put wise during their days in the Lone Star State, they reached Georgia asking that polybutylene not be used in the construction of their home here, spending an extra $300 for good old copper pipes. Lesson: Given a choice between some five-syllable synthetic and a basic metal, always go with the one listed on the Table of Elements.

Those of us not from the land of Texas tea have to suffer the consequences. In my case, it was a demand from opposing counsel, the term I use to describe (at least it's the only printable term I use to describe) the people who might buy my place.

"They want us to re-plumb the entire house," reported my wife, who heard it from our realtor, who heard it from their realtor, a grand dame whose continued requests for this and that led me to believe that the Sudetenland will be her last territorial demand  in Europe.

"What?"

At first, I thought it was some bizarre wish to have fruit trees installed on  the property.

But no. Our alleged buyers wanted us to pay for complete removal of all polybutylene pipes and their replacement with new, non-PB material. They thoughtfully provided a plumber's estimate for the work, which added up to $7,200.

Wait a minute. What happened to the purchaser being responsible for new plumbing? Particularly galling: There is nothing wrong with the pipes in our house; we've never had a leak. And to qualify for the class action, you must have water seeping through your walls. The system is basically urging me to go out and bust a pipe so I can qualify for reimbursement.

And what's so bad about a 50 percent failure rate? Human beings are 100 percent defective; sooner or later we all give out, with the possible exception of Dick Clark.

As with so much surrounding the sale of my home, I ranted, raved and did a dinner theater-quality impersonation of King Lear -- at the conclusion of which I gave in.

Because it turns out that most of my neighbors, equally afflicted by the  polybutylene curse, have had to do the same if they wanted to sell their homes. They  didn't announce it to the general public,  but they gave in on the pipes. And realtors, possessing a delicate sensibility usually associated with great white sharks,  know this.

Ergo, at closing time, I'll be $5,200  poorer. It was a moral victory to find a plumber who'd do the work for two grand less than the other estimate.

Given the Civil War motif, a battle of the blue and gray in which both colors represent the losing side, it is appropriate to close with an observation from Lincoln that describes one's feelings about selling a home under financially adverse conditions.

Being president, he said, is like being the man who was tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. Someone in the crowd asked how he liked it, and the man replied that if it wasn't for the honor of the thing, he would much rather walk.

Singing polybutylene all the day.

[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]

''Glen Slattery is prone to breaking  in Alpharetta.''"
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  string(4977) "    But they'll shut up for 5K   2003-12-18T05:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - The pipes, the pipes are calling December 18 2003   Glen Slattery 1223649 2003-12-18T05:04:00+00:00  An irrepressible conflict. The clash of armies. The Blue & Gray.

A Civil War story? No, this involves real hostility. It's about selling my house.

Putting your home on the market  evokes critical backwash from every  would-be buyer, all of whom double as architectural, landscape and interior design experts. But that's nothing compared to  the home inspector.

When people are interested enough in your house to consider an actual purchase, they send an inspector. He visited our establishment and made the following report:

"Plumbing: The main source is polybutylene blue, which is prone to breaking and was used in some homes until 1996. Polybutylene has a 50 percent failure rate and is the subject of a class action lawsuit.

"Inside plumbing is gray polybutylene plastic piping, which has a history of failure. Because of depleted class action suit funding, any repairs or replacement of existing blue and/or gray piping will be the responsibility of the purchaser."

I couldn't even spell the name of this stuff, much less know it was in my home. A week ago, if someone asked me about polybutylene blue, I'd have guessed it's the cause of America's latest drug epidemic. That's the price for cheating my way through 10th grade chemistry.

But polybutylene is the one of the biggest dirty little secrets to ever run through Middle America, having been installed in countless U.S. homes between 1978 and 1995. Like F-5 tornadoes and grapefruit-sized hail, it's a disaster that originated in Texas. At least that's where early PB (I'll never think of peanut butter the same way) failures occurred.

Friends from Texas who live in our neighborhood escaped this plague. Put wise during their days in the Lone Star State, they reached Georgia asking that polybutylene not be used in the construction of their home here, spending an extra $300 for good old copper pipes. Lesson: Given a choice between some five-syllable synthetic and a basic metal, always go with the one listed on the Table of Elements.

Those of us not from the land of Texas tea have to suffer the consequences. In my case, it was a demand from opposing counsel, the term I use to describe (at least it's the only printable term I use to describe) the people who might buy my place.

"They want us to re-plumb the entire house," reported my wife, who heard it from our realtor, who heard it from their realtor, a grand dame whose continued requests for this and that led me to believe that the Sudetenland will be her last territorial demand  in Europe.

"What?"

At first, I thought it was some bizarre wish to have fruit trees installed on  the property.

But no. Our alleged buyers wanted us to pay for complete removal of all polybutylene pipes and their replacement with new, non-PB material. They thoughtfully provided a plumber's estimate for the work, which added up to $7,200.

Wait a minute. What happened to the purchaser being responsible for new plumbing? Particularly galling: There is nothing wrong with the pipes in our house; we've never had a leak. And to qualify for the class action, you must have water seeping through your walls. The system is basically urging me to go out and bust a pipe so I can qualify for reimbursement.

And what's so bad about a 50 percent failure rate? Human beings are 100 percent defective; sooner or later we all give out, with the possible exception of Dick Clark.

As with so much surrounding the sale of my home, I ranted, raved and did a dinner theater-quality impersonation of King Lear — at the conclusion of which I gave in.

Because it turns out that most of my neighbors, equally afflicted by the  polybutylene curse, have had to do the same if they wanted to sell their homes. They  didn't announce it to the general public,  but they gave in on the pipes. And realtors, possessing a delicate sensibility usually associated with great white sharks,  know this.

Ergo, at closing time, I'll be $5,200  poorer. It was a moral victory to find a plumber who'd do the work for two grand less than the other estimate.

Given the Civil War motif, a battle of the blue and gray in which both colors represent the losing side, it is appropriate to close with an observation from Lincoln that describes one's feelings about selling a home under financially adverse conditions.

Being president, he said, is like being the man who was tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. Someone in the crowd asked how he liked it, and the man replied that if it wasn't for the honor of the thing, he would much rather walk.

Singing polybutylene all the day.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is prone to breaking  in Alpharetta.             13013409 1245484                          Talk of the Town - The pipes, the pipes are calling December 18 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 18, 2003 12:04 am EST
But they'll shut up for 5K | more...
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  string(2930) " Historic Druid Hills is typified by stately homes — er, mansions — of traditional design. And then, tucked high on a hilltop, there's Angelo Fuster's home: Think Alpine cabin meets polygon.This octagon-gone-mad exterior is paired with a stunning wrap-around deck, countless windows and skylights revealing glimpses of majestic trees towering above.Fuster, a longtime Atlanta politico, has worked for three mayors and on numerous campaigns. Parts of the decor reflect his strong connection to the city: an enormous commemorative Swatch watch of the 1996 Centennial Olympic games; a photograph of the Atlanta skyline by Panorama Ray; and a collection of baseballs signed by Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Hank Aaron.Creative Loafing: What style would you call this house?Angelo Fuster: Rustic mountain cabin, which makes it quite unusual for this area. This was built before there was a Druid Hills historic district, or it would have never been built. Because they have very strict standards about what is appropriate to the neighborhood.What's the appeal of a  "rustic mountain cabin"?It's very informal, and we are very informal people. We do most of our living near music, wine, food and books — and all of that is quite near us. Of course, also, the fact that I'm within walking distance to Manuel's Tavern has a lot to do with it. Laughs. That's one of the few places where if I don't go two days in a row, I get a phone call, the bartender saying, "Are you sick?"Have you ever counted how many windows are in this house?No. Downstairs there are at least six. And upstairs ... it's windows all around. The one good thing, particularly when the trees are full, is you don't have a sense of having to close the windows.It's almost like a birdhouse on a hill.Some people used to — somewhat derisively — call it "the birdhouse." And by the way, you can really hear the birds. When it's not too cold, we'll leave the windows open at night and the birds will wake you up.Where are your political mementos?I have everything in boxes, waiting for all this to be open. I have all that packed: posters, photographs, a great collection of political T-shirts going back to Andy Young's first race for Congress in 1972.How many races have you been involved in?Probably 20-25 races, including senate, presidential, mayoral. I started working on political campaigns in college, for Bobby Kennedy in 1968. In fact, I was in Chicago setting up his headquarters when he was shot.Describe that moment.We were watching the returns in California, and watched what everybody saw, which was Bobby being shot. We closed that place and walked out of there. I went to a car-driving agency and hired myself to drive a Checker Cab (for transport), one of those big ones like you see on "Taxi," yellow and everything. I drove it from Chicago to Miami the next morning. I just couldn't hang around.cityhomes@creativeloafing.com"
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  string(3222) "    Politico livin' la vida local in Druid Hills   2003-12-18T05:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Make me the mayor December 18 2003   Lauren Keating 1306477 2003-12-18T05:04:00+00:00   Historic Druid Hills is typified by stately homes — er, mansions — of traditional design. And then, tucked high on a hilltop, there's Angelo Fuster's home: Think Alpine cabin meets polygon.This octagon-gone-mad exterior is paired with a stunning wrap-around deck, countless windows and skylights revealing glimpses of majestic trees towering above.Fuster, a longtime Atlanta politico, has worked for three mayors and on numerous campaigns. Parts of the decor reflect his strong connection to the city: an enormous commemorative Swatch watch of the 1996 Centennial Olympic games; a photograph of the Atlanta skyline by Panorama Ray; and a collection of baseballs signed by Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Hank Aaron.Creative Loafing: What style would you call this house?Angelo Fuster: Rustic mountain cabin, which makes it quite unusual for this area. This was built before there was a Druid Hills historic district, or it would have never been built. Because they have very strict standards about what is appropriate to the neighborhood.What's the appeal of a  "rustic mountain cabin"?It's very informal, and we are very informal people. We do most of our living near music, wine, food and books — and all of that is quite near us. Of course, also, the fact that I'm within walking distance to Manuel's Tavern has a lot to do with it. Laughs. That's one of the few places where if I don't go two days in a row, I get a phone call, the bartender saying, "Are you sick?"Have you ever counted how many windows are in this house?No. Downstairs there are at least six. And upstairs ... it's windows all around. The one good thing, particularly when the trees are full, is you don't have a sense of having to close the windows.It's almost like a birdhouse on a hill.Some people used to — somewhat derisively — call it "the birdhouse." And by the way, you can really hear the birds. When it's not too cold, we'll leave the windows open at night and the birds will wake you up.Where are your political mementos?I have everything in boxes, waiting for all this to be open. I have all that packed: posters, photographs, a great collection of political T-shirts going back to Andy Young's first race for Congress in 1972.How many races have you been involved in?Probably 20-25 races, including senate, presidential, mayoral. I started working on political campaigns in college, for Bobby Kennedy in 1968. In fact, I was in Chicago setting up his headquarters when he was shot.Describe that moment.We were watching the returns in California, and watched what everybody saw, which was Bobby being shot. We closed that place and walked out of there. I went to a car-driving agency and hired myself to drive a Checker Cab (for transport), one of those big ones like you see on "Taxi," yellow and everything. I drove it from Chicago to Miami the next morning. I just couldn't hang around.cityhomes@creativeloafing.com             13013412 1245487                          Talk of the Town - Make me the mayor December 18 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 18, 2003 12:04 am EST
Politico livin' la vida local in Druid Hills | more...

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Creative Loafing: What's the deal with all the monkeys?

Cooper Sanchez: That's how I promoted my business at first. I made these monkey cutouts and put them in Candler and Inman parks and Midtown with my phone number and everything. I got a bunch of business and now I'm selling more monkeys than I am cutting grass.

Did you always want to be  a painter?

I just always painted. I never romanticize or made a big deal out of it. I just wanted to make pictures. Here in my studio is where I do illustrations and my girl does Web design. We do freelance work.

Have you done work for any famous people or someone we possibly know?

No. Well, I just did some stuff  for YM. You know, that little  girl magazine.

And who plays music?

My girl plays piano really well and I mess it up. She plays pretty and I make it ugly on top of that. I bang on pots and pans, play harmonica and sing while she plays.

We head toward a shed with peeling paint.

This here is my shop. I have two companies: Ape Man landscaping and CooperSanchez.com where I sell artwork. I keep my trucks and tools in here. There's an alarm installed. Basically, it's a barn. I have a refrigerator where I keep my beers.

How long would it take you to do all the renovations on your house?

Having landscape work coming and tools and free Saturdays and Sundays, it's going to take me a year to kill all this kudzu back here. I got basically half an acre of kudzu.

So how do you get rid of kudzu — with a huge weed whacker?

No. I'm going to wait until the leaves fall off, which will be in a couple weeks then go ahead and cut as many vines as I can find. I'll cut the low trees out and use Roundup in the spring.

This is the doghouse/studio.

What kind of dog are you getting?

The doghouse is for me.

What was in the chicken coop?

The guy raised chickens and white decorative doves. It was  somewhat of a farm that raised different birds and what-not. Before  I moved in here, they found  1,500 arrowheads.

So what are they trying  to say, that Indians lived around here?

It's either one or two things: an Indian storage place or some Boy Scout's collection that he left behind. We're talking about more arrowheads than I've ever seen.

They didn't find any dead chickens back there?

No, they found chicken bones.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com"
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__''Creative Loafing:''__ __What's the deal with all the monkeys?__

__Cooper Sanchez:__ That's how I promoted my business at first. I made these monkey cutouts and put them in Candler and Inman parks and Midtown with my phone number and everything. I got a bunch of business and now I'm selling more monkeys than I am cutting grass.

__Did you always want to be  a painter?__

I just always painted. I never romanticize or made a big deal out of it. I just wanted to make pictures. Here in my studio is where I do illustrations and my girl does Web design. We do freelance work.

__Have you done work for any famous people or someone we possibly know?__

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__And who plays music?__

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''We head toward a shed with peeling paint.''

This here is my shop. I have two companies: Ape Man landscaping and [http://CooperSanchez.com/|CooperSanchez.com] where I sell artwork. I keep my trucks and tools in here. There's an alarm installed. Basically, it's a barn. I have a refrigerator where I keep my beers.

__How long would it take you to do all the renovations on your house?__

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__So how do you get rid of kudzu -- with a huge weed whacker?__

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The doghouse is for me.

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__So what are they trying  to say, that Indians lived around here?__

It's either one or two things: an Indian storage place or some Boy Scout's collection that he left behind. We're talking about more arrowheads than I've ever seen.

__They didn't find any dead chickens back there?__

No, they found chicken bones.

[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]"
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Did you always want to be  a painter?

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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 11, 2003 12:04 am EST
What you know about the E-A-S-T S-I-D-E? | more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 11, 2003 12:04 am EST
No description provided | more...
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  string(1472) "One day you will get old. Someone should just tell you. Everyone's been tiptoeing around it, but that's the deal. I volunteered, and all your friends thought it was cool for me to let you know.00
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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 11, 2003 12:04 am EST

One day you will get old. Someone should just tell you. Everyone's been tiptoeing around it, but that's the deal. I volunteered, and all your friends thought it was cool for me to let you know.00
Rating: 0.00000

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| more...
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  string(4821) ""Good afternoon, and welcome to All-Talk Air, the airline that won't shut up from the minute you arrive at the gate to the moment, oh so many hours away, when we finally land.

"If you're trying to change your seat assignment — especially if you want to  prevent life-threatening blood clots from forming in your calves and speeding to your heart, lungs and brain by obtaining a seat that has more than 2 inches of legroom — forget it. All the good seats have already been parceled out in an arrangement more mysterious and inscrutable than the Skull & Bones society.

"At this time, we invite all ticketed infants, persons in need of special assistance, members of Mensa and the Academie Francaise, extended family of Queen Victoria, anyone whose last name is Wright, first class, business class and platinum, gold, silver, bronze, or other semi-precious alloy fliers to board the plane. Any simple adult working stiffs who paid hard cash for a  regular ticket can board after the pets have been loaded.

"All luggage brought on the aircraft should adhere to guidelines which require you to stow baggage securely in one of the overhead bins. None of which will matter to the Hawaii-bound eejut who shows up at  the gate with a dismantled hang glider  two minutes before we pull away from the jetway. You can rent that oversized narcissistic crap when you get there, sir.

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"If this is a particularly long trip, however, we're going to show an in-flight movie and charge five bucks for the privilege of taking your mind off the fact that you're strapped into a tube of sheet metal hurtling three miles above the earth at 550 miles per hour. Funny thing about those movies. They're never really bad — but they're not very good, either. In-flight mediocrity might be a more descriptive term.

"And good luck trying to use those headphones, which have the consistency of overcooked linguini and make everything you're hearing sound murkier than a Radio Marti broadcast that's been heavily jammed by the Cuban government.

"The more literate among you can opt for a selection from our magazine library, which always seems to focus on golf and computers, two subjects that have always been the stuff of exciting journalism. And why is it that  you never see an article about wind shear  in an in-flight publication? It's a highly  relevant topic.

"In case you don't opt for magazines or so-so cinema, now would be the ideal time to get on the nerves of fellow passengers. Shoving your seat back into the lap of the person behind you, playing a noisy video game, and getting rip-roaring drunk are all methods that come highly recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"And speaking of aviation: How safe are you right now? Sure, those security guards stripped a 78-year-old epileptic grandma of her manicuring scissors back at airport security, but every 10-cent Action News TV station in the country has its investigative reporters smuggling everything on board from box cutters to explosive bullets — all while the feds are actually laying off more airport screeners. If Osama bin Laden is alive and well, forget the Afghan-Pakistan border and start looking along the Virginia-Maryland state line. This guy is working for the U.S. government.

"We're now preparing to land. Please place your seat tables in the upright and locked position, not that it will do much good if a  terrorist on the ground has one of those |shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles in the upright and locked position. We handed those suckers out like Cracker Jack to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan a few years back. Inventory control ever since has been kinda lax.

"On behalf of your Atlanta-based flight crew — and do you really care where your flight crew is based and therefore why do we bother to tell you? — welcome to your destination city.

"Isn't it incredible? We take off 45  minutes late and still get here right on time. Bye-bye."

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery taxiing to the end of his  column in Alpharetta."
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"The more literate among you can opt for a selection from our magazine library, which always seems to focus on golf and computers, two subjects that have always been the stuff of exciting journalism. And why is it that  you never see an article about wind shear  in an in-flight publication? It's a highly  relevant topic.

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[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]

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  string(5097) "    Now stressing at Gate 6   2003-12-11T05:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - The angina monologue December 11 2003   Glen Slattery 1223649 2003-12-11T05:04:00+00:00  "Good afternoon, and welcome to All-Talk Air, the airline that won't shut up from the minute you arrive at the gate to the moment, oh so many hours away, when we finally land.

"If you're trying to change your seat assignment — especially if you want to  prevent life-threatening blood clots from forming in your calves and speeding to your heart, lungs and brain by obtaining a seat that has more than 2 inches of legroom — forget it. All the good seats have already been parceled out in an arrangement more mysterious and inscrutable than the Skull & Bones society.

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"Isn't it incredible? We take off 45  minutes late and still get here right on time. Bye-bye."

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery taxiing to the end of his  column in Alpharetta.             13013355 1245381                          Talk of the Town - The angina monologue December 11 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 11, 2003 12:04 am EST
Now stressing at Gate 6 | more...
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  string(4416) "I believe in reincarnation. I've come back as a homely high school girl.

Because here I am, brokenhearted, staring at a phone that never rings. No one has asked me to the prom. More precisely, nobody wants my house.

It's been on the market for seven weeks, with as many lookers. None at all in the  last 10 days. Meanwhile, the house two doors over sold so fast you'd think there  was a vein of gold running through  the basement.

It makes you question yourself. Did I fail the house in some way? In bringing it from new build to the age of 10, did I not spend enough time with it?

Sure, you can paint a house, wash the windows and keep the lawn weed-free  (well, sort of). But in paying attention to  the surface matters, did I neglect the  basics of character that make a domicile  roll over the second you put the "for sale" sign out?

"That house has character," people say, as they outbid each other to take possession. My house, on the other hand, is a character. A house, they say, is not a home. Just ask Heidi Fleiss. At a time like this, signage becomes all-important. There's the sign  outside your subdivision saying, "Turn  Here to See House for Sale." Next is a sign at the end of your street saying, "You're Getting Warmer."

That first sign has been there the entire seven weeks of my real estate purgatory.  But the second one, at street's end, kept  disappearing. Last weekend, I put the fifth such placard out at noon, only to find it gone an hour later.

I launched an investigation and  sauntered down to a neighbor with a good view of the corner crime scene. Through subtle probing, in best P.I. mode, perhaps I could find a clue as to the identity of the sign stealer.

Me: Did you see who stole my sign?

He: Yeah, it was Ed. I saw him put it in his car.

I don't know why episodes of "Law and Order" take a whole hour.

Ed is a zealot/subdivision officer who yanked my house signs as a violation of neighborhood covenants. That's a heavy word, covenants — Old Testament heavy,  as in God's covenant with Abraham. I  have trouble applying it to such weighty matters as the regulation height of a  mailbox post.

I explained to Militant Ed hat if my house doesn't sell, I'm going to be paying two mortgages. This left him unmoved  until I added that, if I go broke in the process,  I'm going to camp out on his driveway. He still  won't let me put the  sign up, but at least now he's worried.

It doesn't matter, because by the time you get in front of my house it resembles one of those billboard-pocked stretches of the interstate. You can barely see the place for all the signs planted out front.

There's the standard realty company  sign with broker name and phone number. Then the "Take a virtual tour" sign  displaying a Web address where you can take a look at my desk from the comfort  of yours.

Plus a box containing fliers with the home's vital statistics. People have taken at least 100 of these leaflets. This sounded promising until I realized that there are  115 homes in my neighborhood, each  populated by someone nosy enough to  want to know our asking price. The way  I figure, we've still got another 14 fliers  to go.

My home is also depicted in one of those real estate booklets, each page of which  contains 28 murky photos the size of a Christmas Seal. In this format, you'd look at Buckingham Palace and say, "Can I see something a little bigger?"

After viewing the picture of my home in said flier, it became clear why people are giving it the same wide berth as a garbage scow in mid-August. I appear to be the owner of two large shrubs with a door  in-between. Not trimming the hedges for a decade has given the place a wooded, Dark Shadows kind of look.

With photography and signage having flopped as sales techniques, someone  advocated a more direct approach. As an incentive, we were advised to up the  broker's commission from the standard  3 percent to 4 percent.

This was outrageous. It's bad enough having to fix every latent nail pop in my house before putting it on the market. Worse that I have to power wash every  millimeter of the place to erase all signs of human habitation, because God forbid it should seem as if people live there. Now I have to resort to bribery? It's undignified, unethical and ...

Will that be cash or check?

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery, P.I., is on assignment in Old Testament Alpharetta."
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Because here I am, brokenhearted, staring at a phone that never rings. No one has asked me to the prom. More precisely, nobody wants my house.

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It makes you question yourself. Did I fail the house in some way? In bringing it from new build to the age of 10, did I not spend enough time with it?

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That first sign has been there the entire seven weeks of my real estate purgatory.  But the second one, at street's end, kept  disappearing. Last weekend, I put the fifth such placard out at noon, only to find it gone an hour later.

I launched an investigation and  sauntered down to a neighbor with a good view of the corner crime scene. Through subtle probing, in best P.I. mode, perhaps I could find a clue as to the identity of the sign stealer.

Me: Did you see who stole my sign?

He: Yeah, it was Ed. I saw him put it in his car.

I don't know why episodes of "Law and Order" take a whole hour.

Ed is a zealot/subdivision officer who yanked my house signs as a violation of neighborhood covenants. That's a heavy word, covenants -- Old Testament heavy,  as in God's covenant with Abraham. I  have trouble applying it to such weighty matters as the regulation height of a  mailbox post.

I explained to Militant Ed hat if my house doesn't sell, I'm going to be paying two mortgages. This left him unmoved  until I added that, if I go broke in the process,  I'm going to camp out on his driveway. He still  won't let me put the  sign up, but at least now he's worried.

It doesn't matter, because by the time you get in front of my house it resembles one of those billboard-pocked stretches of the interstate. You can barely see the place for all the signs planted out front.

There's the standard realty company  sign with broker name and phone number. Then the "Take a virtual tour" sign  displaying a Web address where you can take a look at my desk from the comfort  of yours.

Plus a box containing fliers with the home's vital statistics. People have taken at least 100 of these leaflets. This sounded promising until I realized that there are  115 homes in my neighborhood, each  populated by someone nosy enough to  want to know our asking price. The way  I figure, we've still got another 14 fliers  to go.

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With photography and signage having flopped as sales techniques, someone  advocated a more direct approach. As an incentive, we were advised to up the  broker's commission from the standard  3 percent to 4 percent.

This was outrageous. It's bad enough having to fix every latent nail pop in my house before putting it on the market. Worse that I have to power wash every  millimeter of the place to erase all signs of human habitation, because God forbid it should seem as if people live there. Now I have to resort to bribery? It's undignified, unethical and ...

Will that be cash or check?

[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]

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That first sign has been there the entire seven weeks of my real estate purgatory.  But the second one, at street's end, kept  disappearing. Last weekend, I put the fifth such placard out at noon, only to find it gone an hour later.

I launched an investigation and  sauntered down to a neighbor with a good view of the corner crime scene. Through subtle probing, in best P.I. mode, perhaps I could find a clue as to the identity of the sign stealer.

Me: Did you see who stole my sign?

He: Yeah, it was Ed. I saw him put it in his car.

I don't know why episodes of "Law and Order" take a whole hour.

Ed is a zealot/subdivision officer who yanked my house signs as a violation of neighborhood covenants. That's a heavy word, covenants — Old Testament heavy,  as in God's covenant with Abraham. I  have trouble applying it to such weighty matters as the regulation height of a  mailbox post.

I explained to Militant Ed hat if my house doesn't sell, I'm going to be paying two mortgages. This left him unmoved  until I added that, if I go broke in the process,  I'm going to camp out on his driveway. He still  won't let me put the  sign up, but at least now he's worried.

It doesn't matter, because by the time you get in front of my house it resembles one of those billboard-pocked stretches of the interstate. You can barely see the place for all the signs planted out front.

There's the standard realty company  sign with broker name and phone number. Then the "Take a virtual tour" sign  displaying a Web address where you can take a look at my desk from the comfort  of yours.

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With photography and signage having flopped as sales techniques, someone  advocated a more direct approach. As an incentive, we were advised to up the  broker's commission from the standard  3 percent to 4 percent.

This was outrageous. It's bad enough having to fix every latent nail pop in my house before putting it on the market. Worse that I have to power wash every  millimeter of the place to erase all signs of human habitation, because God forbid it should seem as if people live there. Now I have to resort to bribery? It's undignified, unethical and ...

Will that be cash or check?

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery, P.I., is on assignment in Old Testament Alpharetta.             13013298 1245269                          Talk of the Town - Realty check December 04 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

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Talk of the Town

Thursday December 4, 2003 12:04 am EST
Hello Kitty is a false idol. She will not answer your prayers. She mocks you with her silence. Do not worship at her altar of cuteness. Look away! | more...
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Talk of the Town

Thursday November 27, 2003 12:04 am EST
image-1 | more...

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Talk of the Town

Thursday November 27, 2003 12:04 am EST
Bees are easily disoriented by air freshener; however, wasps will simply respond to air freshener by smelling like a cool summer breeze while stinging you in the eye. | more...
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  string(4867) "Help, I'm trapped in an infomercial.

Not the one for BodyFlex. Your intrepid  correspondent's six-pack abs are caused by exposure to beer. No, my TV-spot hell is the one that shows you how to buy property even though you don't have a nickel. Starring Carleton Sheets.

I love that name. Carleton Sheets. It has a Dickensian ring. If you were going to invent a fella who shows people how to get something for nothing, his name would have to be Carleton Sheets.

His infomercial depicts a succession of ex-nudniks who've found fortune using Carleton's no-money-down system of property acquisition. Some guy who six months ago languished behind the super nachos counter at 7-11 now owns seven houses, three warehouses, a block of burgeoning downtown storefront and a gooseberry patch developers want to transform into a strip mall.

And it's fascinating — even if such hyperkinetic financial activity is atypical. Who cares about typical? This is the American Dream. It's why people vote Republican and play the lottery. Because we still think, no matter how bland, boring and miserable life is, that someday our ship will come in.

Indications are that my vessel will arrive in December. That's when I close on a second house and become a bona fide member of the Sheets School of Multiple Homeownership. Completely against my will. Because owning two homes is going to take me straight to the bottom of Lake Debticaca.

Great, my ship finally comes in and it's the Lusitania. I never thought this could happen. Like chicken pox, Cirque d'Soleil and dying, owning a home is something I only wanted to experience once. But here I am, waiting to possess a pair of them. I tell you now, I don't have the chops to own two properties. Two utility bills. Two tax bills. And the light bulbs!

How did this happen? Whose fault is it? First, I blame testosterone. The same aggression-producing substance that makes me overbid on eBay and has hair falling out of my head to root in each ear, is now wreaking destruction on a new front.

Second, I blame BMW. More on that in  a moment.

The abbreviated background: For about a year now, we've thought of moving. Looking here and there, never quite finding the schloss to ignite our domestic fantasies. Then, finally, we see the place. It's perfect. Brand new, a bit pricey, but we can hold it with what's called a contingency. You put a few thousand dollars down, and it puts off the awful day when the builder wants the full purchase price. Nice thing, a contingency.

One minor quibble. It's technically possible for some deep-pocketed plutocrat to come along with enough cold cash to buy your house right out from under you.

"That probably won't happen," said the builder cheerfully.

Two weeks later, we got the call. The unlikely plutocrat had come along to unhorse us. That's why it's called a contingency, see? Because it's contingent on not having a meddling sumbich upend your dreams. Yeah, well, contingencies suck.

Anyway, just to show he wasn't hard-hearted, the builder let us have 24 entire hours to make up our minds. We could let the house go or scramble to buy it, even though the house we still live in hasn't sold.

I don't know about you, but without the sale price of home No. 1 in my checking account, the odds of me acquiring home No. 2 are right up there with the Falcons' chances of making the Super Bowl.

This depressing fact was top-of-mind as we sat, possibly for the last time, in the new Home That Might Have Been. We'd just about resigned ourselves to running up the white contingency flag when some well-dressed chappie in a late-model luxury car pulled up. He entered and with a proprietary glance asked, "Mind if I look around?"

We nodded, dumbly. He disappeared upstairs. I looked out the window at a large, long pearl-gray BMW. And it all clicked.

"That's the guy," I said.

"What guy?" replied my wife.

"The guy trying to buy this house —  our house."

This was too much. I hate BMW drivers. They have more money than me, take better vacations and use their eight cylinders to cut off my four on the highway.

And so every competitive, aggressive cell in my body (there are seven; I've named them like dwarves) united in an unshakeable vow: No one with a BMW is going to get my dream house — not even if I have to sink into an everlasting abyss of debt to prove the point.

Fortunately, a number of responsible lending institutions are willing to abet me in this moronic decision. They offer what's called a "bridge loan," something that will tide you over to buy a second home while you're waiting to sell the first place.

As bridges go, it's kind of rickety. And if it topples me into a fathomless river of homelessness and red ink, I hope someone notes my final words:

Oh Sheets.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery says there's so place  like homes."
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  string(4907) "__Help, I'm trapped __in an infomercial.

Not the one for BodyFlex. Your intrepid  correspondent's six-pack abs are caused by exposure to beer. No, my TV-spot hell is the one that shows you how to buy property even though you don't have a nickel. Starring Carleton Sheets.

I love that name. Carleton Sheets. It has a Dickensian ring. If you were going to invent a fella who shows people how to get something for nothing, his name would have to be Carleton Sheets.

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And it's fascinating -- even if such hyperkinetic financial activity is atypical. Who cares about typical? This is the American Dream. It's why people vote Republican and play the lottery. Because we still think, no matter how bland, boring and miserable life is, that someday our ship will come in.

Indications are that my vessel will arrive in December. That's when I close on a second house and become a bona fide member of the Sheets School of Multiple Homeownership. Completely against my will. Because owning two homes is going to take me straight to the bottom of Lake Debticaca.

Great, my ship finally comes in and it's the Lusitania. I never thought this could happen. Like chicken pox, Cirque d'Soleil and dying, owning a home is something I only wanted to experience once. But here I am, waiting to possess a pair of them. I tell you now, I don't have the chops to own two properties. Two utility bills. Two tax bills. And the light bulbs!

How did this happen? Whose fault is it? First, I blame testosterone. The same aggression-producing substance that makes me overbid on eBay and has hair falling out of my head to root in each ear, is now wreaking destruction on a new front.

Second, I blame BMW. More on that in  a moment.

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One minor quibble. It's technically possible for some deep-pocketed plutocrat to come along with enough cold cash to buy your house right out from under you.

"That probably won't happen," said the builder cheerfully.

Two weeks later, we got the call. The unlikely plutocrat had come along to unhorse us. That's why it's called a contingency, see? Because it's contingent on not having a meddling sumbich upend your dreams. Yeah, well, contingencies suck.

Anyway, just to show he wasn't hard-hearted, the builder let us have 24 entire hours to make up our minds. We could let the house go or scramble to buy it, even though the house we still live in hasn't sold.

I don't know about you, but without the sale price of home No. 1 in my checking account, the odds of me acquiring home No. 2 are right up there with the Falcons' chances of making the Super Bowl.

This depressing fact was top-of-mind as we sat, possibly for the last time, in the new Home That Might Have Been. We'd just about resigned ourselves to running up the white contingency flag when some well-dressed chappie in a late-model luxury car pulled up. He entered and with a proprietary glance asked, "Mind if I look around?"

We nodded, dumbly. He disappeared upstairs. I looked out the window at a large, long pearl-gray BMW. And it all clicked.

"That's the guy," I said.

"What guy?" replied my wife.

"The guy trying to buy this house --  ''our'' house."

This was too much. I hate BMW drivers. They have more money than me, take better vacations and use their eight cylinders to cut off my four on the highway.

And so every competitive, aggressive cell in my body (there are seven; I've named them like dwarves) united in an unshakeable vow: No one with a BMW is going to get my dream house -- not even if I have to sink into an everlasting abyss of debt to prove the point.

Fortunately, a number of responsible lending institutions are willing to abet me in this moronic decision. They offer what's called a "bridge loan," something that will tide you over to buy a second home while you're waiting to sell the first place.

As bridges go, it's kind of rickety. And if it topples me into a fathomless river of homelessness and red ink, I hope someone notes my final words:

Oh Sheets.

[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]

''Glen Slattery says there's so place  like homes.''"
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Not the one for BodyFlex. Your intrepid  correspondent's six-pack abs are caused by exposure to beer. No, my TV-spot hell is the one that shows you how to buy property even though you don't have a nickel. Starring Carleton Sheets.

I love that name. Carleton Sheets. It has a Dickensian ring. If you were going to invent a fella who shows people how to get something for nothing, his name would have to be Carleton Sheets.

His infomercial depicts a succession of ex-nudniks who've found fortune using Carleton's no-money-down system of property acquisition. Some guy who six months ago languished behind the super nachos counter at 7-11 now owns seven houses, three warehouses, a block of burgeoning downtown storefront and a gooseberry patch developers want to transform into a strip mall.

And it's fascinating — even if such hyperkinetic financial activity is atypical. Who cares about typical? This is the American Dream. It's why people vote Republican and play the lottery. Because we still think, no matter how bland, boring and miserable life is, that someday our ship will come in.

Indications are that my vessel will arrive in December. That's when I close on a second house and become a bona fide member of the Sheets School of Multiple Homeownership. Completely against my will. Because owning two homes is going to take me straight to the bottom of Lake Debticaca.

Great, my ship finally comes in and it's the Lusitania. I never thought this could happen. Like chicken pox, Cirque d'Soleil and dying, owning a home is something I only wanted to experience once. But here I am, waiting to possess a pair of them. I tell you now, I don't have the chops to own two properties. Two utility bills. Two tax bills. And the light bulbs!

How did this happen? Whose fault is it? First, I blame testosterone. The same aggression-producing substance that makes me overbid on eBay and has hair falling out of my head to root in each ear, is now wreaking destruction on a new front.

Second, I blame BMW. More on that in  a moment.

The abbreviated background: For about a year now, we've thought of moving. Looking here and there, never quite finding the schloss to ignite our domestic fantasies. Then, finally, we see the place. It's perfect. Brand new, a bit pricey, but we can hold it with what's called a contingency. You put a few thousand dollars down, and it puts off the awful day when the builder wants the full purchase price. Nice thing, a contingency.

One minor quibble. It's technically possible for some deep-pocketed plutocrat to come along with enough cold cash to buy your house right out from under you.

"That probably won't happen," said the builder cheerfully.

Two weeks later, we got the call. The unlikely plutocrat had come along to unhorse us. That's why it's called a contingency, see? Because it's contingent on not having a meddling sumbich upend your dreams. Yeah, well, contingencies suck.

Anyway, just to show he wasn't hard-hearted, the builder let us have 24 entire hours to make up our minds. We could let the house go or scramble to buy it, even though the house we still live in hasn't sold.

I don't know about you, but without the sale price of home No. 1 in my checking account, the odds of me acquiring home No. 2 are right up there with the Falcons' chances of making the Super Bowl.

This depressing fact was top-of-mind as we sat, possibly for the last time, in the new Home That Might Have Been. We'd just about resigned ourselves to running up the white contingency flag when some well-dressed chappie in a late-model luxury car pulled up. He entered and with a proprietary glance asked, "Mind if I look around?"

We nodded, dumbly. He disappeared upstairs. I looked out the window at a large, long pearl-gray BMW. And it all clicked.

"That's the guy," I said.

"What guy?" replied my wife.

"The guy trying to buy this house —  our house."

This was too much. I hate BMW drivers. They have more money than me, take better vacations and use their eight cylinders to cut off my four on the highway.

And so every competitive, aggressive cell in my body (there are seven; I've named them like dwarves) united in an unshakeable vow: No one with a BMW is going to get my dream house — not even if I have to sink into an everlasting abyss of debt to prove the point.

Fortunately, a number of responsible lending institutions are willing to abet me in this moronic decision. They offer what's called a "bridge loan," something that will tide you over to buy a second home while you're waiting to sell the first place.

As bridges go, it's kind of rickety. And if it topples me into a fathomless river of homelessness and red ink, I hope someone notes my final words:

Oh Sheets.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery says there's so place  like homes.             13013247 1245170                          Talk of the Town - Bridge over the river debt November 27 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday November 27, 2003 12:04 am EST
Gimme a double | more...
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  string(3011) " Walking into the Fayetteville home of Cee-Lo Green — the  former Goodie Mob MC, now solo producer and idiosyncratic  entertainer — is a little like walking into an episode of MTV's "Cribs." The way your eyes sweep the curvilinear contours of the effectively minimalist European furnishings is reminiscent of how a camera smoothly pivots on its gyroscope, taking in every angle. There's almost a sense of deja vu. Oh wait, Cee-Lo's home was an episode of "Cribs," a rare episode concentrating more on the host house's coherent fashion than whether there was a bottle of Cristal champagne in the fridge.

In the hour graciously extended to showcase several thematically  dramatic rooms — beginning in a basement conversion completed since the "Cribs" taping (a CL  exclusive of sorts) — it's never volunteered what's in the fridge. But looking at the pristine pieces procured by Cee-Lo's wife — interior decorator Christina Callaway — it's clear that a direct connection between the house and the homemakers' creative sensibility exists, voicing an endeavor toward originality.

Creative Loafing: A rounded, late '60s aesthetic runs throughout your furnishings, and your music. What attracts you to this curvaceous, funked-up form?

Cee-Lo: I believe even  furniture is an extension of one's fashion statement, and late '60s furniture and music attract me because of the struggle and integrity they both embodied. Due to the struggle of those times we've overcome so much. And the fashion of that era aspired to break the mold, decide the bar, so I'm attracted to an older modern.

Yet you contrast retro- futuristic 1969 Eero Aarnio bubble chairs, molded LCP transparent chaise lounges and a decidedly contemporary Philips flat-screen TV ...

In both the house and my music is a mixture of a little something new, a little something old. A flat screen in the '60s may have crossed some designer's mind, so here it is — two dreams fulfilled. My music is similar — old-school values but new-school strategy; old dog, new tricks.

As the decor seems very much to be a conscious  statement, what would be the best summations of the other rooms' indications?

The studio is known as "Inner Space," a place to explore my own creativity, so it's dark, painted with the solar system, a place where it's easy to be light years away alone in your thoughts. With my recent album, however, I'm feeling more energetic and empowered, so we'll probably paint that, lighten the mood. The kitchen is a sunflower, warm and welcoming. Upstairs is a more naturalistic, lived-in feel.

Each room contains little excess. Is it a deliberate attempt to equally emphasis form and function?

There's an attempt to keep all rooms thematic but simplistic — like music, honest and direct — because a cluttered home is a  cluttered mind.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com

Cee-Lo's new album, Cee-Lo Green is ... The Soul Machine, is scheduled for a Jan. 20 release on Arista Records."
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In the hour graciously extended to showcase several thematically  dramatic rooms -- beginning in a basement conversion completed since the "Cribs" taping (a ''CL''  exclusive of sorts) -- it's never volunteered what's in the fridge. But looking at the pristine pieces procured by Cee-Lo's wife -- interior decorator Christina Callaway -- it's clear that a direct connection between the house and the homemakers' creative sensibility exists, voicing an endeavor toward originality.

__''Creative Loafing:''__ __A rounded, __late '60s aesthetic runs throughout your furnishings, and your music. What attracts you to this curvaceous, funked-up form?

__Cee-Lo:__ I believe even  furniture is an extension of one's fashion statement, and late '60s furniture and music attract me because of the struggle and integrity they both embodied. Due to the struggle of those times we've overcome so much. And the fashion of that era aspired to break the mold, decide the bar, so I'm attracted to an older modern.

__Yet you contrast retro- futuristic 1969 Eero Aarnio bubble chairs, molded LCP transparent chaise lounges and a decidedly contemporary Philips flat-screen TV ...__

In both the house and my music is a mixture of a little something new, a little something old. A flat screen in the '60s may have crossed some designer's mind, so here it is -- two dreams fulfilled. My music is similar -- old-school values but new-school strategy; old dog, new tricks.

__As the decor seems very much to be a conscious  statement, what would be the best summations of the other rooms' indications?__

The studio is known as "Inner Space," a place to explore my own creativity, so it's dark, painted with the solar system, a place where it's easy to be light years away alone in your thoughts. With my recent album, however, I'm feeling more energetic and empowered, so we'll probably paint that, lighten the mood. The kitchen is a sunflower, warm and welcoming. Upstairs is a more naturalistic, lived-in feel.

__Each room contains little excess. Is it a deliberate attempt to equally emphasis form and function?__

There's an attempt to keep all rooms thematic but simplistic -- like music, honest and direct -- because a cluttered home is a  cluttered mind.

[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]

''Cee-Lo's new album,'' Cee-Lo Green is ... The Soul Machine, ''is scheduled for a Jan. 20 release on Arista Records.''"
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  string(3303) "    Cee-Lo's pimpin' in the motherpad   2003-11-20T05:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Make your funk the C-Funk November 20 2003   Tony Ware 1223520 2003-11-20T05:04:00+00:00   Walking into the Fayetteville home of Cee-Lo Green — the  former Goodie Mob MC, now solo producer and idiosyncratic  entertainer — is a little like walking into an episode of MTV's "Cribs." The way your eyes sweep the curvilinear contours of the effectively minimalist European furnishings is reminiscent of how a camera smoothly pivots on its gyroscope, taking in every angle. There's almost a sense of deja vu. Oh wait, Cee-Lo's home was an episode of "Cribs," a rare episode concentrating more on the host house's coherent fashion than whether there was a bottle of Cristal champagne in the fridge.

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Yet you contrast retro- futuristic 1969 Eero Aarnio bubble chairs, molded LCP transparent chaise lounges and a decidedly contemporary Philips flat-screen TV ...

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As the decor seems very much to be a conscious  statement, what would be the best summations of the other rooms' indications?

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Each room contains little excess. Is it a deliberate attempt to equally emphasis form and function?

There's an attempt to keep all rooms thematic but simplistic — like music, honest and direct — because a cluttered home is a  cluttered mind.

cityhomes@creativeloafing.com

Cee-Lo's new album, Cee-Lo Green is ... The Soul Machine, is scheduled for a Jan. 20 release on Arista Records.             13013191 1245061                          Talk of the Town - Make your funk the C-Funk November 20 2003 "
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Talk of the Town

Thursday November 20, 2003 12:04 am EST
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  string(4715) " We've stopped anonymous telemarketers — for now, at least. But what about people you know?

My lawn company has gone berserk. The people putting 35 cents' worth of chemicals on my grass each month, and receiving  35 bucks to do it, have ratcheted up the pressure. They call almost every night.

I don't know whether they had a bad third quarter, or an embezzler at HQ wants to make up missing cash with extra sales calls, but they won't leave me alone. Used to be they asked permission to come over. Now it's more aggressive.

"We're coming to lime your lawn."

Not, "Can we stop by?" Or a faux-impromptu, "Hey, we'll be in the neighborhood!" No. They're coming, whether I want it or not. All of which begs the question: What does "lime your lawn" mean? Will the yard smell like a giant margarita when they get done?

When they called about the liming, I told them no because it was an extra charge over and above the regular service. Next morning, I look out the window and there's a guy in the yard.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm liming the lawn," he said.

Up to this point, the conversation was strictly rhetorical. I mean, I knew what the guy was doing, and he knew what he was doing. What's more, he knew I knew. This level of comprehension required no further communication on our part.

Shaking with anger (or caffeine; the coffee was too strong that morning), I went in and called the central office, nerve center of the lawn conglomerate that was trying to shake down my yard. I flatly said this was an unauthorized liming, and that I would not pay for said service. Surprisingly, the person on the other end of the line was most cooperative. He apologized for the intrusion and said there would be no charge.

The next morning, a different guy was out there liming my lawn all over again. And I got two bills.

The lawn company's high-handed  attitude calls to mind a larger mystery:  For years, they've been running around  my third-of-an-acre doing things I don't understand — and leaving notes to prove it.

"We applied pre-emergent today."

The only thing I understand about that message is that something was shpritzed on the ground. What it is or does, I have no idea. Does pre-emergent make the thing that wants to emerge actually emerge? Or is it to prevent the would-be emergee from ever emerging in the first place? And since it's pre-emergent — i.e. for something that hasn't shown up at all and may never arrive — how can anyone tell if it's worked?

"We provided grub  protection."

Every year they provide me with grub protection, and every year it works. Because something is protecting those grubs. Every year they chomp on my lawn. Grubs are supposed to be tiny little things, but the ones chowing down around my house must be the size of Victor Buono by now.

"We will winterize your lawn."

What are they going to do, pull a big cardigan over it? I could send the lawn to Florida for the winter, but then it would call and say I never visit.

All this has been on my mind because it's aerating and seeding season. The time of year when your lawn, decimated by months of alternating drought, floods, gophers,  beetles, grubs and other pests documented in the Book of Job, is recreated for a fleeting wisp of Camelot glory during the piping days of autumn.

Aeration and seeding. The whole concept has a heavy irony to it. First, because seeding requires soil soft enough to welcome seed. And fall is one of the drier seasons, leaving Georgia clay at the same mass and density as steel plates used to lay the keel of a battleship. So as the run-up to A&S, I spend a week pouring water on the lawn until it achieves the consistency of a Vietnamese rice paddy.

Second, what's wrong with this picture? I'm simulating rainfall that doesn't naturally happen to plant seed that doesn't naturally occur in this ecosystem and hoping the net result will flourish in an environment with the temperature of Farrah Fawcett's old blow dryer eight months out of the year. And letting a guy punch holes in my turf who scatters an anemic quantity of grass seed that could easily be contained in one of those weenie boxes of Special K you get in motels with continental breakfast.

Nah, nothing unnatural there.

The scariest thing about all this is the terminology lawn guys use. They aerate to let the grass "breathe." Five times a year they "feed" it. I go to bed at night and lay awake thinking, "That damn yard is alive!" It's already a decade old. A few more years, and it'll want to go to college and start dating other lawns.

And when I get old, it won't even visit me in Florida.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

Glen Slattery is aerating in Alpharetta."
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My lawn company has gone berserk. The people putting 35 cents' worth of chemicals on my grass each month, and receiving  35 bucks to do it, have ratcheted up the pressure. They call almost every night.

I don't know whether they had a bad third quarter, or an embezzler at HQ wants to make up missing cash with extra sales calls, but they won't leave me alone. Used to be they asked permission to come over. Now it's more aggressive.

"We're coming to lime your lawn."

Not, "Can we stop by?" Or a faux-impromptu, "Hey, we'll be in the neighborhood!" No. They're coming, whether I want it or not. All of which begs the question: What does "lime your lawn" mean? Will the yard smell like a giant margarita when they get done?

When they called about the liming, I told them no because it was an extra charge over and above the regular service. Next morning, I look out the window and there's a guy in the yard.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm liming the lawn," he said.

Up to this point, the conversation was strictly rhetorical. I mean, I knew what the guy was doing, and he knew what he was doing. What's more, he knew I knew. This level of comprehension required no further communication on our part.

Shaking with anger (or caffeine; the coffee was too strong that morning), I went in and called the central office, nerve center of the lawn conglomerate that was trying to shake down my yard. I flatly said this was an unauthorized liming, and that I would not pay for said service. Surprisingly, the person on the other end of the line was most cooperative. He apologized for the intrusion and said there would be no charge.

The next morning, a different guy was out there liming my lawn all over again. And I got two bills.

The lawn company's high-handed  attitude calls to mind a larger mystery:  For years, they've been running around  my third-of-an-acre doing things I don't understand -- and leaving notes to prove it.

"We applied pre-emergent today."

The only thing I understand about that message is that something was shpritzed on the ground. What it is or does, I have no idea. Does pre-emergent make the thing that wants to emerge actually emerge? Or is it to prevent the would-be emergee from ever emerging in the first place? And since it's pre-emergent -- i.e. for something that hasn't shown up at all and may never arrive -- how can anyone tell if it's worked?

"We provided grub  protection."

Every year they provide me with grub protection, and every year it works. Because something is protecting those grubs. Every year they chomp on my lawn. Grubs are supposed to be tiny little things, but the ones chowing down around my house must be the size of Victor Buono by now.

"We will winterize your lawn."

What are they going to do, pull a big cardigan over it? I could send the lawn to Florida for the winter, but then it would call and say I never visit.

All this has been on my mind because it's aerating and seeding season. The time of year when your lawn, decimated by months of alternating drought, floods, gophers,  beetles, grubs and other pests documented in the Book of Job, is recreated for a fleeting wisp of Camelot glory during the piping days of autumn.

Aeration and seeding. The whole concept has a heavy irony to it. First, because seeding requires soil soft enough to welcome seed. And fall is one of the drier seasons, leaving Georgia clay at the same mass and density as steel plates used to lay the keel of a battleship. So as the run-up to A&S, I spend a week pouring water on the lawn until it achieves the consistency of a Vietnamese rice paddy.

Second, what's wrong with this picture? I'm simulating rainfall that doesn't naturally happen to plant seed that doesn't naturally occur in this ecosystem and hoping the net result will flourish in an environment with the temperature of Farrah Fawcett's old blow dryer eight months out of the year. And letting a guy punch holes in my turf who scatters an anemic quantity of grass seed that could easily be contained in one of those weenie boxes of Special K you get in motels with continental breakfast.

Nah, nothing unnatural there.

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And when I get old, it won't even visit me in Florida.

[mailto:glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com|glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com]

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My lawn company has gone berserk. The people putting 35 cents' worth of chemicals on my grass each month, and receiving  35 bucks to do it, have ratcheted up the pressure. They call almost every night.

I don't know whether they had a bad third quarter, or an embezzler at HQ wants to make up missing cash with extra sales calls, but they won't leave me alone. Used to be they asked permission to come over. Now it's more aggressive.

"We're coming to lime your lawn."

Not, "Can we stop by?" Or a faux-impromptu, "Hey, we'll be in the neighborhood!" No. They're coming, whether I want it or not. All of which begs the question: What does "lime your lawn" mean? Will the yard smell like a giant margarita when they get done?

When they called about the liming, I told them no because it was an extra charge over and above the regular service. Next morning, I look out the window and there's a guy in the yard.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm liming the lawn," he said.

Up to this point, the conversation was strictly rhetorical. I mean, I knew what the guy was doing, and he knew what he was doing. What's more, he knew I knew. This level of comprehension required no further communication on our part.

Shaking with anger (or caffeine; the coffee was too strong that morning), I went in and called the central office, nerve center of the lawn conglomerate that was trying to shake down my yard. I flatly said this was an unauthorized liming, and that I would not pay for said service. Surprisingly, the person on the other end of the line was most cooperative. He apologized for the intrusion and said there would be no charge.

The next morning, a different guy was out there liming my lawn all over again. And I got two bills.

The lawn company's high-handed  attitude calls to mind a larger mystery:  For years, they've been running around  my third-of-an-acre doing things I don't understand — and leaving notes to prove it.

"We applied pre-emergent today."

The only thing I understand about that message is that something was shpritzed on the ground. What it is or does, I have no idea. Does pre-emergent make the thing that wants to emerge actually emerge? Or is it to prevent the would-be emergee from ever emerging in the first place? And since it's pre-emergent — i.e. for something that hasn't shown up at all and may never arrive — how can anyone tell if it's worked?

"We provided grub  protection."

Every year they provide me with grub protection, and every year it works. Because something is protecting those grubs. Every year they chomp on my lawn. Grubs are supposed to be tiny little things, but the ones chowing down around my house must be the size of Victor Buono by now.

"We will winterize your lawn."

What are they going to do, pull a big cardigan over it? I could send the lawn to Florida for the winter, but then it would call and say I never visit.

All this has been on my mind because it's aerating and seeding season. The time of year when your lawn, decimated by months of alternating drought, floods, gophers,  beetles, grubs and other pests documented in the Book of Job, is recreated for a fleeting wisp of Camelot glory during the piping days of autumn.

Aeration and seeding. The whole concept has a heavy irony to it. First, because seeding requires soil soft enough to welcome seed. And fall is one of the drier seasons, leaving Georgia clay at the same mass and density as steel plates used to lay the keel of a battleship. So as the run-up to A&S, I spend a week pouring water on the lawn until it achieves the consistency of a Vietnamese rice paddy.

Second, what's wrong with this picture? I'm simulating rainfall that doesn't naturally happen to plant seed that doesn't naturally occur in this ecosystem and hoping the net result will flourish in an environment with the temperature of Farrah Fawcett's old blow dryer eight months out of the year. And letting a guy punch holes in my turf who scatters an anemic quantity of grass seed that could easily be contained in one of those weenie boxes of Special K you get in motels with continental breakfast.

Nah, nothing unnatural there.

The scariest thing about all this is the terminology lawn guys use. They aerate to let the grass "breathe." Five times a year they "feed" it. I go to bed at night and lay awake thinking, "That damn yard is alive!" It's already a decade old. A few more years, and it'll want to go to college and start dating other lawns.

And when I get old, it won't even visit me in Florida.

glen.slattery@creativeloafing.com

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Talk of the Town

Thursday November 20, 2003 12:04 am EST
Look down every once in a while or you might accidentally trip over a miniature pony. You know, like a circus pony? They are precious, but clearly a sidewalk hazard. | more...
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Sean Daniels: I started to, but then I went to work and left my mother alone in the house for seven hours. And when I came back there were stylish twigs everywhere.

Did she skin the leopards herself?

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Do you approve of the decor or are you going to add some zebras?

It's a little too Hef from time to time, but you have a couple of martinis and it all begins to make sense. This is when I peaked: Feb. 15, 1983. I showed willingness to share and was rewarded for it. I decorate my fridge with my bad awards.

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Our tour continued from the paisley and flower wallpapered kitchen to the bedroom.

This is where the magic happens. It's not really exciting except that I travel so much I always have a packed suitcase. I'm too lazy to unpack it and repack it.

Is it clean?

No, it's just packed.

We wandered across the hall where the bartender stood behind a small wall of liquor bottles. The only thing larger than his smile was his huge "Magnum P.I." molestache.

And how long have you been Sean's personal bartender?

Starley: Since December of last year, when I was laid off from my last job.

Daniels: He accompanies my autographed picture of Don Ho, who I saw after leaving the emergency room in Hawaii. That's why my arm is in a sling.

Starley: True story.

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Starley: It gives me time to work on my memoirs.

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Are you aware that the clock is completely wrong? It says Jan. 15, 2:02.

Starley: That's when my parole's over.

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[mailto:cityhomes@creativeloafing.com|cityhomes@creativeloafing.com]"
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Did she skin the leopards herself?

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Do you approve of the decor or are you going to add some zebras?

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Thursday November 13, 2003 12:04 am EST
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Talk of the Town

Thursday November 13, 2003 12:04 am EST
image-1 | more...