Monday, June 15, 2009

My 40th Birthday...and My New House!

[01 Jun 2007 | Friday]

Current mood: relieved
Category: Life

First, let me apologize to everyone out there for not writing more lately, but if you're one of those that actually knows what's been going on, Bless you for understanding. If you're not...please read on with this one caveat: If you're approaching a milestone birthday, I got one word for you...Beware!

Lemmee tell you about my birthday…it wasn't exactly what I expected it to be. I don't know how I survived. Maybe good genes or a whole lot of patience. I dunno. I do know that I think a lesser person would've run down the street screaming like he was on fire and flung themselves in front of a semi. Believe me...I thought about it. Anyways...on with the story.

I took the day off from work to do my normal birthday stuff (go to the Secretary of State's, etc.). Other things on the docket that morning included getting my homeowner's insurance, a union grievance meeting at work at 2 pm and teaching the EMT class at work from 6-10 pm. I decided to get the easy stuff out of the way first. Off to the Secretary of State's office!

Well, it seemed all good at first glance. Nobody waiting in line. Cool! I'll be done in no time and I might actually have some time to sit around and do nothing for a little while today. I had no problem re-registering my truck, but I also had to renew my driver's license. Well, apparently, now they do a check on a national driver's database when you renew your license. And guess what…something came up. An incident in New York. They gave me a contact number and an incident number so I could resolve it…but I couldn't renew my license until the incident was resolved. Right about now, I start to get a little worried.

I call the contact number and then I remember what happened. I was involved in an accident back in 1988 in upstate NY. A couple of friends and I went up to Montreal to celebrate the Fourth of July in my buddy's truck. I was the designated driver and the two guys were plowed. Unfortunately, I fell asleep while driving, ran off the interstate, and hit a tree. Nothing major for injuries but apparently (unbeknownst to me) the cops cited me for an uninsured accident (I didn't have my insurance on me because it was in my own vehicle at the time) and apparently revoked my driving privileges for a year. I don't remember receiving any mail or anything like this (but that's probably because I had most of my mail go to my parent's house and it might have gotten lost somewhere….who knows). Anyways I find out from the NY DMV what I have to do (download a form from the internet and sign it and mail it) but the guy on the phone tells me it'll take four to six weeks to process. Now I start freaking out.

I need a license. Secretary of State says they can't do squat until the incident in NY is cleared off of my record. I need a license so I can go to work, so I can work and also because I need a valid ID for that Friday because I'm closing on my house. I leave the SOS office and go home to tell my dad what's going on. I download the form and get it ready to mail. While I'm talking with my dad, I get a phone call from my soon-to-be roommate, telling me to get my ass over to my house (the one that I'm buying and closing on Friday).

I jump in my truck and blaze over there (two miles away). My roommate meets me at the door, telling me this story: She came over to the house to finish painting her room and the first thing she sees is one of the builders there at the house. Just to back up a second; my dad owns the property (has the mortgage and the lien), and a real good friend of ours (Mark) along with a friend of his (Pete) did most of the rebuilding of the house. They went in on the deal together to basically try to make some money (buy a fix-it-upper, redo it and resell it for a profit). Well, the housing market went south and they couldn't sell. Dad basically begged me to buy the house from him to salvage whatever he could from the deal. He was losing over $2000 a month and was already $20,000 in the hole. The builders weren't going to do much better. They were going to lose about $15,000 a piece. But, that's better than losing more than what they were already.

Ok…back to the story. Pete is over at the house. The first thing my friend sees is his minivan and him shoveling stuff into it. My friend runs into the house to use the bathroom and discovers that the electricity isn't working (as was previously). She goes back out to talk to Pete and asks him about the electricity not working and he tells her that he'll look into it. Anyways, as soon as she turns her back, he jumps into his van and takes off like a bat outta hell. Then she goes back into the house, figures out why, and calls me.

I walk into the house to discover that all of the kitchen cupboard drawers, the cupboard doors, the garbage disposal, the sink fixtures and the lighting fixtures (in the kitchen and the three baths) are all gone! I go downstairs and discover that the circuit breaker box for the electricity is gone! The electric garage door opener is gone (so I can't get into the garage)!

I was too dumbfounded to be flaming pissed. WTF!!!! The first thing I did was call Dad up and let him know what was going on. As soon as I hang up with him, Dad's on the phone with Mark wondering what the hell is going on. I'm taking pictures of everything missing and making a list. My roomie comes back to the house and I get her and her friend (who also witnessed the incident with Pete) to write a statement, just in case. Meanwhile I'm still trying to figure out what to do about my driver's license. I had gotten online at the State of Michigan website before I left Mom and Dad's and grabbed a phone number or two for the state DMV and start calling. Nobody can help me, saying that I have to get the NY thing off my record. I talk to one lady and then her supervisor and then her supervisor. Always the same thing.

Also about the same time, I realize that there's just too much going on right now. I call up the boss and my union representative and tell them I have to cancel the grievance meeting. I also cancel my teaching stint, just in case. This day just got a whole lot longer.

Dad finally calls back and said he finally got a hold of Mark and Mark called Pete and then Mark called Dad back. Basically, Pete wasn't happy with the deal he's gonna be getting by selling the house (apparently he wants to lose even more money), so apparently, we decide that this (stealing everything—and probably more if my roomie hadn't interrupted him) was his way of blackmailing my dad for a better deal. Dad finally makes it over to the house to see the damage and then we also find one of those flyers that has all the house information on it for potential sellers and the latest one has Pete as the seller-owner and he was the person that reduced the price of the house from $194,500 (my Dad's original asking price) to the present $180,000. So once again, Pete was the one that slit his own throat by lowering the price anyways. We're starting to conclude that Pete's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Anyways, Dad and I finally decided that it wouldn't hurt to call the police and at least get the ball rolling. Dad's already told Mark to tell Pete that there will be no negotiations until the house is back to it's original condition or he's going right to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. In the midst of all this, I'm still freaking out about my license. So Dad and I decide that we need to call in the big guns. Boy, I'll tell you it is a good thing we got our noses in politics. We always try to help during the campaign seasons and we figure that our State Representative would be a good first choice. So I call up the office and talk to the legislative aide (who it turns out is a good friend of the family) and tell him my story. He takes my information and says it might take a bit of time (since it's now about 3 pm) but he'll get back to me. A police officer finally shows up and we tell him the story, but we decide that we'll hold off for now on the police report and if we need to do anything about it, just to bring the pictures, statements and everything down to the police station and they'll proceed.

We went back to my parents, downloaded all the photos and then ran over to the post office to stand in line for a half-hour. I send the form next-day priority mail to New York DMV and then a trip over to Home Depot to buy some new locks. The last thing we did on my birthday was change the locks on all the doors of my new house, finishing up about 8 pm.

The next day (Thursday) started just a little bit less hectic. Dad was already on the phone with Mark and Pete by the time I got rolling. He had scheduled a quick meeting with both of them already that morning. Basically, the same as before: Pete puts everything back by 5 pm or he's going to jail. No negotiating. Nothing. I'm off and running up to State Farm to get my homeowner's insurance, but first a quick stop at the house to let Mark and Pete into the house so they can start putting everything back. After I let them in, I'm off to State Farm. I get a call from Dad stating that the legislative aide from the State Representative's office just called and told me to go to the Secretary of State's office and have them call a phone number (that he provided) and talk to a lady at the other end.

So, ok, everything's starting to look up. I get to the State Farm office; find out my agent is gone to lunch. So I take the time to run to downtown Mt. Clemens (not too far) and visit the Secretary of State office there. Have the lady at the counter do what I was told to have her do and call the phone number. Presto, chango. It (the NY incident) still needs to be addressed and taken care of but at least I got my license! Took my picture for my new license (a pretty good one, actually, for a change). Ok…that's done. Run back up to the State Farm agent and get my homeowner's insurance taken care of. That gets done in about 20 minutes and a chunk of change. WOOT! I'm on a roll for a change!

During all these goings-ons I'm keeping Nicole updated and we decide to meet up for lunch. She's at the doctor's office (down in my neck of the woods) and I'm up in her territory. We decide to meet up at Applebee's up near her house. While I'm waiting for her I decide to do a little window shopping while I'm waiting. I run over to the furniture store (Art Van's) to do a little browsing. I walk thru the door and suddenly wish I had a million dollars. I just about fell in love with the set sitting right in front of me right inside the doors. Just a gorgeous four-poster bedroom set with kitchen and sofa sets to match! All told probably 6-7 grand. Obviously, I can't afford it right now so I do some asking and get a brochure on the set so hopefully one day I'll be able to get it. I wish I would've gotten some pictures of the set. Modern with an antique feel to it. Fit me to a tee.

Off to Applebee's. Get there a little early and get myself a beer. Finally! Didn't have any Guinness so I have to settle for a Killian's tall. Nicole finally arrives and gives me my birthday card. What a hoot! Star Wars themed…you know the opening lines: "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…." Open the card to hear the Star Wars theme in music and the punch line…"You were born!" Best card I've ever gotten from her! Got a good laugh from that one. Anyways we both had a great lunch with good conversation and good food.

After that, I ran back towards my house to find that Mark and Pete had finished putting everything back. Well, mostly, anyways. Missing a couple of light bulbs and the sink leaked a little bit. After that, back to Medstar to teach the paramedic class for the evening.

Friday morning found myself back at Medstar to teach the 800 MHz radio operator class for the latest group of new-hires. Then off to sign on my house. At 3:56, I was a new homeowner and my Mom and Dad were ecstatic that the gorilla was finally off their back. Me? I guess my first thought was…"Wow!" As soon as I signed the papers, I was off again to the city offices to file my paperwork and then off to teach again that evening. My students got their (rather amusing) explanation of why I couldn't teach on Wednesday. I think I was forgiven.


That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Sorry for the verbosity. I get crazy like that sometimes.

It's now been a month to the day that I signed on my house and moved my butt into my house. The place looks like a demilitarized zone on a daily basis, but I'm slowly getting my stuff unpacked and stowed away.

My first meal was spaghetti with homemade sauce. No I don't have a recipe…It's on the spot, but it was damn good! Actually, most of my meals are home cooked…I'm not much of a TV dinner guy. I got Mom and Dad to thank for that. All those years of spending time in the kitchen are finally starting to pay off. No offense to anyone else (especially my cousin who's the personal chef of Mr. Joe Dumars) but, I got dibs on the best cook on the planet! Learned how to cook from Mom and how to bake from Dad (not that Mom can't bake, mind you…she can bake like Betty Crocker!), but Dad can get the job done too!

I'll say this much about being a new homeowner. It's a different ride. Not that I was Mr. Irresponsibility by any stretch of the imagination, but now it's a bit more; sometimes it feels like I bit off more than I can chew (and obviously, I can chew a lot!).

Anyways, you guys have been clamoring for pictures of my house. So, don't say I didn't warn you….without further ado…my house!

Me signing my life away. At least it was for a good cause!

Mom and Dad were especially happy!!! Look at them! All serious!

My lil' ol' house! Probably can't see the weeds in the assured, they're there!

The back deck. Not much to look at but it's a deck!

A better view of the backyard and a hint of a garage! More weeds in the flowerbeds! Aaauuuggghhh!

One view of the kitchen

And another view of the kitchen.

The front room...notice the hardwood floors. WOOOOT!

Not sure exactly what to call this's connected to the kitchen and obviously has the back doorwall. Also connects to my bedroom on the right. I guess it could be the dining least for the time being...something for me to think about.

A view from the back yard. The two windows on the right are to my bedroom and a half bath just for me! pics of the bedroom yet...if there is a demilitarized zone in the house, that's where it's concentrated the most!

Except maybe here...the basement and my pile o' shit. Amazing that I had all this (and more) wedged in my parent's house. I used a shoehorn apparently!

And this is proof that I actually did celebrate my birthday on my birthday...I had to improvise because a little blonde birdy that lives in some mountains said I had to. Yes I enjoyed my twinkie!! Couldn't fit 40 candles on two twinkies tho.

Ok folks, that's pretty much it for now. As things get back to normal (whatever that may mean), I'll write more and snap more pictures. I'm also getting pressure to have a house-warming party so stay tooned for more information on that!

God Bless "! Everybody!"



Only you Mikey!!! The house looks great. Whats for dinner Drew and I are hungry? Love ya nicole
Posted by Nicole on [02 Jun 2007 | Saturday] - 00:28

congrats on the house...Let me know well ahead of time about the house warming so that I can send you a gift
Posted by Andi on [02 Jun 2007 | Saturday] - 20:48


Congratulations on your new purchase! Welcome to the debtors club!!!! What a feelin!

Hey also, by the way, happy 40th you old man! Glad you were was cool to see your parents in the pics too. I haven't seen them in years! They look great.

Anyhow, where is this purchase at? Is it in our wonderful St. Clair Shores?

All the best!
Posted by Duckstr on [13 Jun 2007 | Wednesday] - 18:55

1 comment:

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