The Old House

Celebrity Monologues

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Ice Cream Jonsey
Posts: 21871
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 2:44 pm
Location: Colorado

The Old House

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:40 pm

My wife and I have woken each other up from a dead sleep once. I did it when they caught the East Area Rapist. She did it when she found her dream house in the mountains. Each of us thought the other could now rest easy.

The house we're in now is in downtown Denver, a few blocks from Coors Field. We're leaving it tomorrow. We're headed west, into the Rocky Mountains, for various reasons. Some of the reasons are hers, some are mine, some we share. We couldn't afford to do it without selling the house we're in now. This house was built in 1894. We call it the Old House.

My wife and I wanted to live together before we got married. SCANDAL! I was living in a big giant house in the suburbs, she was already downtown. We couldn't find a house together, we split up, we got back together and the house that she bought when we were split could not house any sort of arcade. So she found the Old House. It was three blocks from the house she picked out. And it was a mess.

I guess there's a 5 point scale of houses when it comes to whether or not the assessor condemns it. The Old House in the state it was in before we bought it, was just above "Condemned." I think my wife sweet-talked the assessor. We spent a year working on it. It didn't have a roof. It didn't have a furnace. The hardwood floors had this weird sticky tile on it that we had to remove. We worked hard to turn it into something that we could be proud to live in, but sometimes we had to hire people and contractors out here (with very few exceptions) are scum of the earth. Aside from the fact that they don't close doors - seriously, why the fuck do they never close doors - they never finished anything well. We literally had contractors working on the house up until the day we listed it.

We did list it. This is the house where I proposed to my wife, because our (at the time) two dogs and five cats were nearby and our entire family was present. This is the house where Boggit died of cancer and where Frobozz was murdered. It's where I tried to train a rescue dog and failed, it's where a mutual friend "crashed" without ever giving us much warning and where he brought in a girl neither one of us met while my wife and I were at work and banged her without bothering to mention it to us. It's where we found out that the smoke detectors didn't work the day after our wedding when our dog Honey accidentally turned the burners on trying to get some steak juice-laden pans off the oven.

But it's also where Flack's kid played arcade games for an hour one summer day, where I wrote the bulk of Cyberganked, where I learned how to take pictures, where we walked to ball games and football games and hockey games. Where we had one get-together after another and where I started many a day with my beautiful wife having coffee before we started our jobs just a few blocks away.

We're leaving and while I'll miss parts of it, this is for the better. This has been an ok neighborhood. Our neighbors were incredible, but there's been some minor crime. My old car was broken into twice, with the window getting shattered the last time before I sold it. My current car was rifled through once when I forgot to lock it. There's slightly more gunshots than I'd like, all things considering. The armed forces love running helicopters down town past 10:00PM on week nights. But at the same time, I haven't been pulled over in the 4 years we lived here, so at least the cops leave us alone.

We'll have a commute, but at least for me that may not be too bad because we've got a work-from-home policy now.

This house was the biggest non-computer project I'd ever taken on. Good bye, Old House.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

Casual Observer
Posts: 1274
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:23 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: The Old House

Post by Casual Observer » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:15 am

What a great story, though I'm keen to see some pics of your new awesome mountain abode. A couple of my coworkers live in the Colorado mountains, one near Longmont I think and the other one is a grey hat hacker who has a cabin pretty high up somewhere packed with hundreds of expensive whisky bottles.

Sounds like ICJ did what you're supposed to do with real estate, buy low then refurbish and sell higher so congrats!

Myself, I was kind of scarred by my parents approach to real estate. They moved every few years of my childhood but were adamant that they absolutely had to buy a house wherever they lived. My dad wasn't much for maintaining or improving houses and also tended to buy in areas that weren't really appreciating from a real estate value poitn of view. So as such, my parents lost money on several houses throughout my childhood and I ended up working full time jobs to get through high school and college.

Anyway, I've taken the opposite track, only renting for the last 22 or so years. Once you get over the fact that you're not paying to own something but rather just deal with the fact that it costs x amount to live then it's ok. My dad never could get over that and it cost him tens of thousands of dollars in losses before he finally ended up in the place he would live the rest of his life. I still don't know where I'll end up buying property though it probably won't be in Cali. The nice part about renting is not having to refurbish floors or replace roofs, but of course rent is just money you pay so someone else can own where you live. The other nice thing about renting is I can move whenever I want as the lease is up every year. This year I'm going to move closer to the ocean, probably south san francisco or if I get another remote work job I'd love to move to Santa Cruz.

ICJ, pls to be sharing pics of your new abode!

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Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: The Old House

Post by Flack » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:29 am

When my wife and I moved back to Oklahoma from Spokane, we bought a cute little starter home that we planned to start our family in. It had three bedrooms, which back then, meant a master bedroom with a computer room (his) and a craft room (hers). We had my 25th birthday at that house, a party that involved kegs and pretty much everybody I knew. It was the best party I had every thrown. Then we spent the next two years trying to make a baby and gradually realized something was wrong. That's the house where we went through fertility treatments, where we hoped things would happen and were worried they wouldn't. There were some pretty low lows until the treatments worked, things happened, and Susan got pregnant. We spent months converting the craft room to a nursery. One of the things we did was paint a mural on all four walls. It was like every great emotion wrapped up into one little three bedroom house.

Then I got a raise, Susan got a raise, and we found a new, larger house that was amazingly priced. It was four bedrooms, with a three car garage, a bigger backyard, four bedrooms plus a bonus room, a pool, and a building that would eventually become my home arcade. The only deterrent was leaving behind our first house. Leaving behind those memories. Leaving behind that mural.

The couple that bought our old house were younger than us, looking to start their own family. One of the things they asked the realtor was if it would be okay if they painted over the mural before they moved in.

I keep a lot of mementos because they remind me of good times and good people. (Every day when I sit down at my computer I look up and see my Cryptozookeeper DVD case!) So there's that little sadness when you realize you can't keep a piece of the old house, you can't take any of it with you to the new house to hang on to those memories. Pictures help, stories help, blog posts help. It feels a little like losing a friend and gaining a friend on the same day. Your old house was great, the new house looks great. Best of luck with the transition.

"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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