The month of July becomes a lot of things: Weekend barbeques and pool parties with friends, the fireworks, of 4th of July, imbibing a few rum drinks at Frankie’s Tiki Room, and even having a few friends stop by from Texas.
Jesse and his crew were my first visitors. I hadn’t seen Jesse since we worked at MumboJumbo/MacPlay in Dallas, so it had been a few years. So we headed out on a few roadtrips, and created the legend of the “Gentleman Lobster”, a giant, radioactive lobster that could dole out death and destruction in the lonely mountains of the 95N, but looked very dapper in his top hat, monocle, and cufflinks.
You put creative types together in a car, this is what happens.
Before I could focus on anything else, however, I had to address issues with the house I was trying to buy.
The situation wasn’t going well.
Actually, it was falling apart.
My realtor remained “unavailable” on a regular basis. I could only talk to his assistant. My requests for anything on the process were all denied, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Everything seemed to shift in favor of the bank. My closing date was constantly moved around, and was met with little more than half-answers or simply questions that were never answered.
The inspection showed some minor damage to the house. My realtor and mortgage guy tried to make me fix the house on my dime. If I met the conditions, would my loan get approved and would I get the house? Not necessarily, but it would help things. They tricked me into transferring the utilities in my name (water wouldn’t allow it as the house was not in my name) because of some bullshit story that the bank was turning things off and appraisal needed it. They didn’t tell me that should never be my responsibility before close of escrow, and it makes me liable for someone else’s house (I shut the utilities off immediately).
I told them that I will not repair a house that isn’t mine if it doesn’t help me secure my loan, nor would I cover the bank’s utility payments. They shot back that I had better because the bank has already lost enough money paying for these things, and they need to be cut a break.
So cover the bank’s utilities, and fix the house, no guarantee on the loan, so if I lost the house, the bank could turn around and sell a fully repaired house to someone else.
The realtor couldn’t make himself available to sit with me to review paperwork, even when I didn’t understand some things, and said as such. They told me to sign anyway. Some papers were completely incorrect, and I pointed out the errors. They told me to sign anyway. I asked them why they so badly wanted me to sign things without representation, and why isn’t my realtor helping me? They wanted me to sign anyway. And I began to refuse. And they began to get angry.
Not to mention that they started slipping in papers such as pre-payment penalties, and they wanted me to waive my right to the title of the house.
Think about that for a second.
They wanted me to waive my right to the title of the house.
So I consulted other housing professionals on the side.
A friend of mine in the industry was willing to help me, and I even convinced my mortgage guy to talk to her. Due to some odd universal quirk, said friend just happened to work at the mortgage company that was apparently my mortgage guy’s arch-enemy. He hated her company, even though she in specific had nothing to do with this “ripping off” he ranted angrily to me about. When I began to call him out on some inconsistencies….
He canceled my loan the next day. No warning. Nothing. He told me that I need to shred my documents, and go work with my “little friend” at the company he hated so much. He reiterated it 2-3 times in the e-mail he sent me. He then told my realtor that I was harassing him. Doing the first work that he has in two weeks, my realtor got my loan reinstated under the condition that I am banned from contacting, communicating with or questioning my mortgage guy. If I did, my loan would be pulled again.
The “team” that was supposed to be working for me nickel and dimed me, and denied/ignored every request until I simply had enough and walked. I even tried a new realtor/mortgage team, and they weren’t exactly ideal, either.
But my realtor called back, and took the fall for what happened, accepting responsibility for letting it get out of control, and admitting that he shouldn’t have sat back and let his secretary run the show for the sale. All the nonsense that we were dealing with for weeks “magically” went away like it never happened.
So with a “break”, my friend John came into town.
We hung out, I showed him the now “back on” house, and we just caught up and made merry before he made his way back to Texas.
It was a relief at this point to have a little bit of sanity, and I even worked on the set of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief over at Caesar’s Palace for another all-night shoot.
It was there, as I walked through the Forum Shops early one morning, that I saw this in the window of the movie memorabilia/autograph store:
It was that effing clown from Poltergeist, all nonchalantly lurking in the window with its evil smile, no doubt ready to snatch some hapless soul and pull it into a dark corner.
The next night, however, as I finished my second day of filming….
It was gone.
It was like it never existed.