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Tuesday, July 31, 2001
A Question of Translation: When you read a translation of a poem, how can you be sure it's faithful to the original? Answer: you can't. Witness the following: a poem by Antonio Machado, and I think translated by Robert Bly.
Sorrow, it is not true that I know you;
you are the nostalgia for a good life,
and the aloneness of the soul in shadow,
the sailing ship without wreck and without guide.

Like an abandoned dog who cannot find
a smell or a track and roams
along the roads, with no road, like
the child who in a night of the fair
gets lost among the crowd,
and the air is dusty, and the candles
fluttering – astounded, his heart
weighed down by music and by pain;

that's how I am, drunk, sad by nature,
a mad and lunar guitarist, a poet,
and an ordinary man lost in dreams,
searching constantly for God among the mists.


I loved this poem so much that I bought a book of selected poems by Machado, translated by Alan S. Trueblood. Here's his version of the same poem:
But that's not it - pain, I know you better:
you are the longing for the happy days,
the loneliness that fills the somber heart,
that haunts the ship unfoundering and unstarred.

Like a dog left behind without a trail
to sniff, straying this way and that,
no way his own, and like
a child on carnival night,
lost in the crowd, the dusty air,
the spurting flares,
bewildered, his heart aching
with music and distress,
I go my way, a moody sort of drunk,
strumming a crazy tune - a poet,
a poor creature in a dream,
groping for God continually in the mist.

Different? You be the judge. Yet from my limited knowledge of Spanish (I can ask where the lamp is, where is your father, young lad, and does this fruit scale measure in metric), they're both acceptable translations. Still, the second version, to me, is stilted and clumsy. The first feels more lyrical, more Spanish...if that can be said by someone who's never been to Spain and whose notions of that country are probably too romantic for words.
And for you Spanish-speaking Not My Dog [No es mi perro] readers out there, here's the original:
Y no es verdad, dolor, yo te conozco,
tú eres nostalgia de la vida buena
y soledad de corazón sombrio,
de barco sin naufragio y sin estrella.
Como perro olvidado que no tiene
huella ni olfato y yerra
por los caminos, sin camino, como
el niño que en la noche de una fiesta
se pierde entre el gentio
y el aire polvoriento y las candelas
chispeantes, ateonito, y asombra
su corazón de músix y de pena,
así voy yo, borracho melancólico,
guitarrista lunático, poeta,
y pobre hombre en sueños,
siempre buscando a Dios entre la niebla.

Monday, July 30, 2001
More signs of a stupidly litigious society: I had a drink with Jon and Rory on Saturday night in celebration of Rory's birthday. One of her friends gave her a plastic can with the flashy, metallic title "Extermination" on the side along with the PlayStation logo. You're supposed to think it's a new video game. It was, of course, a joke gift, with snakes exploding from the can as soon as it was opened. Here's the bit that I found ridiculous: in not-so-small type on the label is a warning along the lines of "Caution: contains projectile items. May cause injury." Oh, spoil the surprise, why don't you? That's as stupid as "Caution: contents hot" on a coffee cup. But what gets me is that in the annals of American law, someone somewhere sued a joke company after being bopped in the head with a coiled joke snake. "Your Honour, my client was under the impression that she was opening a can of peanuts. The resulting trauma left her unable to work, afraid of all nut products, and with a greatly reduced libido. She claims $6 million in damages."
Is the jealousy abating? Yes, but slowly...very slowly. I have to will myself to stop dwelling on the three situations. Luckily, I have a few days of Theo the Wonder Hound coming up, and he's sort of like a bad mood rodeo clown--he always manages to distract me from brooding and cheer me up. Even when he eats my books or mouthes my expensive running shoes.
I realized very suddenly last week that I am truly in a bad patch, a slump where hope disappears and life is burdensome. This is made all the worse by the realization that I actually have very little to molder and stew over, and yet that frackin' serotonin won't stay level in my noggin. Twice or three times a year I am plunged into this nothingness. Luckily I've learned to adapt, although occasionally I still run afoul of my life--witness last year at EyeWire, and The Troubles therein. At this point I must interrupt and say--hey, it really wasn't all to do with me, and frankly I got royally boned by the job in the spring of 2000, but the slump made it very hard to keep any perspective.
So when I speak of overbearing jealousy, I should remember that it's overbearing me precisely because I'm not actually in my right mind at present. It's not a bad mind, I mean, I don't go around muttering "Blood, blood, BLOOD" or crying in the middle of meetings or anything...but.
I joke about why I'm alone: the big ass, the repellent personality, etc. But it's the brain as does it, you know. Perhaps people like me aren't meant for relationships other than purely social ones. Well, it makes a damn good excuse, anyhow.
The Apartment DeGunk Update: Stay tuned for a list of items (books, CDs, videotapes, household implements and more) that I will be putting the skids to this week. My junk can be your junk. Oh, yes. Anyone for a 1979-vintage Olympia electric typewriter? Writes good, eh? Only used by a procrastinating Classics major to hammer out term papers between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m.
Saturday, July 28, 2001
2001 Calgary Folk Festival: (or part of it, anyhow): I would cheerfully watch Billy Bragg cut his toenails, or watch him mow the lawn, as long as he kept talking throughout. So it wasn't much of a hardship to sit through 5 hours of intervening acts before he took the stage. I needed a nap, so even welcomed The Cowboy Junkies and their usual soporific effect upon me. And the requisite folk fest Super Group, featuring Gord Downie (I think it was called Dinner is Ruined or The Ruin of Dinner or something equally pretentious) wasn't all that bad, really, though no screaming hell. The crowd was massive, and typically lumpen, but I was exceedingly lucky to be seated by a permanent picnic table. The people sitting at it took pity on me sitting on the grass, and invited me to share the table. And there were fragrant wafts of marijuana from the nearby bushes, which made everyone in the locale smile widely. Billy played all alone on stage; and as usual, I found myself getting engrossed in his strange, melodic-but-slightly-flattish voice. And for me, the logic of his anti-violent protesting was inescapable: "Don't waste your time ripping up local McDonald's -- you'd be better off fighting to get a union into McDonald's." Hallelujah.
More Tales from The Hunter of Houses: I saw another four houses today. I can distil my comments into one word: yoicks. The only other thing I can say is that if you read the term "handyman special" in the description of a house, silently add the words "and a faith healer wouldn't hurt, either." But in one house, which was Cheap Panelling Central, there was a box of books priced at 5 for a dollar. I found some gems, including an old Prairies school reader titled "The Gay Adventurers," and a first edition of Steinbeck's "Cannery Row," minus a dust jacket. It may only be a library first edition, but I don't care. I think the late owner must have been a Mormon, as there was a Book of Mormon and several other highly religious-sounding titles. I picked up a 50s edition of "Spiritual Advice: The Armageddon - is it Coming?" Yep, and apparently the only way to escape it is to put up lots and lots of panelling. Jane has spoken.
Friday, July 27, 2001
Personal Failings Inventory: Jealousy. Whoever decided to make it a deadly sin knew what he/she was doing. I have been deeply, darkly jealous of three good friends lately. People I love. And fucking jealousy is shrivelling me on the inside, making me avoid them and curse their happiness. If that's not a sin, I don't know what is. The truth, though, is that it's a sin against myself, against my better instincts. It's also a sign that I need to expand my perspective a tad.
But on a brighter note, there's my hair. I've just had it tinted Safety Match Red, and I'm confident that it, like the Wall of China, can be seen by orbiting spacecraft.
Fury: I am Wile E. Coyote, and the Royal Bank is my personal storm cloud. This is the bank that I have had an account with since God was in short pants. And apparently all one has to do to knock it off the perch of efficiency is (a) deposit an American cheque, and (b) pay a bill online. I deposited my stock options loot on June 11, and was told it would take 30 days to clear because it was drawn on a U.S. bank. I thought this excessive, but realized it was a way to keep me from spending the cash like a sailor on shore leave, so I said nothing. Thirty days later, I make out a cheque to my broker. The cheque is refused. I have an irate broker on the phone, who makes me equally irate. Upon phoning the Royal Bank, I find out that they put a hold on the cheque for 30 business days, which no one had made clear last month, but that they were “willing to take the hold off a little early because I was a long-term customer.” Oh, thank you. Let me cover your boots with smooches.
Then I decided to take advantage of the much-touted online banking service the Royal provides. I signed up, entered my client code, and with a swaggering air, proceeded to pay my Visa account. Unaccustomed to receiving payment ahead of the Past Due, Dammit notice they send out, Visa and the Royal figure that something nefarious has happened with my client card, so they cancel it to be on the safe side. When do I find this out? At the head of a long rush-hour lineup at Safeway, basket of groceries already rung through, with a suddenly non-performing ATM card. I arrive home, worried, to a phone message from Visa telling me that they’ve cancelled my card and could I phone them. Once again: THANK YOU, ROYAL BANK.
I know why they’re doing this. They’re punishing me for not using their investment services, and switching my RRSPs to another institution. But they won’t defeat me. However, from now on, I’m referring to them as the Death Star.
Funny: Along the same line as my habitual gaffes (see the “Do you have hair?” entry earlier) comes the following: a friend of mine wished to buy a fitness ball. They’re sold through an outfit called Fitter Canada here in town, and also through other sporting goods stores. My friend can’t quite remember the name of the company, but figures she has it close enough. So she phones up a store and gets a male clerk on the line. “Yeah, hi. Do you have Fit balls?” A long pause. “Uh...yeah,” is the cautious reply.
A Bike Seat Ripped My Pants -- Rzzzzz! Yep...on the way to work yesterday morning, as I stood in the pedals to go up an incline, I felt my pants catch on the front of the new comfort seat. Suddenly, an unexpected draft of cold air sent out an alarm. Great. A huge rip along the inseam. And I was late-ish for work already, am carrying 20 pounds of potato salad (don’t ask), and couldn’t return home to change. I walked very carefully all day, believe me.
Wednesday, July 25, 2001
So last night I was riding my bike back to my apartment, and when I was still a block or two away, I became aware of a bad smell. A very bad smell. I rode for another block, breathing through my mouth, then attempted a cautionary sniff. The staggeringly horrible miasma nearly knocked me off my bike. What was it? Turns out that there was a sanitary truck down the alley, which had been engaged in emptying the porta-john used by workers on a nearby construction site, when the hose burst. I came upon the scene of two very unfortunate human beings cleaning it up. I wasn't about to wait for olfactory adaptation to kick in -- I high-tailed it to the recently 90% degunked apartment and tried to think happy thoughts. I turned on the television and there was Steve Irwin, manic animal guy, squeezing the viscous poison out of a cane toad.. Gag, retch, spew.
Monday, July 23, 2001
Physical update: Hair: Gone. Nearly. Reduced to a scant 1/2-inch in length. I call it the Julius Caesar, and I have to say, it's timeless in a way that Farrah Fawcett curls and Lady Di feathered bangs are not. "Gimme the Julie" I sez to my stylist, and out come the clippers. One drawback: one of my cats keeps licking my head when I'm trying to sleep. Cat spit: the new styling product. ["Bave de chat" for our Québecois chums.]
Bum: Still gloriously big and square.
Bunions:Bigger than ever, the bastards. I may be the only jogger on earth whose shoes wear out over the big toe knuckle before the soles give out.
Nerve endings: Still intolerably frayed.
I can no longer claim to being one of the few writers out there who hasn't read Tolkien. [Oh, sure, I tried to read "The Hobbit" as a callow teenager, but those were my punk years, and the hobbits were just too hippie-ish for me at the time.] Now I've embarked on The Lord of The Rings. It's a bit of a task, but enjoyable so far. Like Jon says, it's kind of comparable to never having tasted chocolate. And because I like beating metaphors to death, I will say it's like sitting down to dark chocolate, meaning I can't gut through dozens of pages at a time, but have to savour a few at a time, slowly.
The Apartment DeGunk continues: Someone's bright idea on the weekend was to steam-clean the futons. They're still a long way from being dry. I'm sure my guests won't mind sleeping on the floor...perhaps tonight I'll rearrange my books by size and colour.
Friday, July 20, 2001
Thanks for the e-mails, my emoticon-lovin' pals. Yes, I do know why they're popular. Yes, I can see they're a form of shorthand. But I repeat: if I think something's funny/wry/sad/frustrating in your message, I can manage without the :-) ;-) :-( :-pppp
Today is not proceeding smoothly: I've just been chirruped at by a mortgage broker for nearly half an hour. She birdily told me an array of figures and percentages and lending rates, and twittered at me for having another broker work on a pre-approval ("You should have told me this when you called" --chirp, chirp--"We all get the same information, you know"--peep peep). Confession: I am hopeless with this kind of stuff. No, I can't make my mind up over the phone. Yes, I'll get back to you. Maybe. This is so typical--I've got a huge decision to make, and I'm avoiding it at all costs, even though the whole thing was my idea. Sigh.
Thursday, July 19, 2001
I really, really, really hate emoticons. Why? Because they're essentially gutless, a cop out, a cringing compromise wrought from political correctness. Oh sure, they were cute back in 1995, and in some sense they're still winsome. I hate the way they've become rebuses in modern communication. Put a smiley face on something so people know you're just kidding. Why not write "Just kidding"? Oh, because an emoticon takes less keystrokes. Yeah, let's not exhaust ourselves writing out words or anything.
I know this is a rant, but it's been building a long time. To me, emoticons have done to language what Steven Spielberg does to movies: "Okay, the symbolism is coming up. Okay, here's the symbolic part. Did you get it? No? Well, we'll bring it back a second time." Emoticons, to me, are patronizing. "Smiley face: This was a joke, so don't get mad." "I'm being sarcastic here, so here's a winking face." Why not let the reader interpret the message? There's a revolutionary thought. If you're afraid that what you've written may be misinterpreted, either write it better or include an explanation.
Phew. I must have been clearing a blockage. Listen, all my correspondents and NMD readers, if you want to use emoticons, feel free. I am not the boss of you. Just don't expect *me* to use them.
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
The House Hunt: I have seen a wide range of oddities in my hunt for a suitable abode. It's not like I'm looking for anything special: just a small detached bungalow or 1.5 story, preferably with a fenced yard, possibly with a garage. Outstanding oddity: The Horse House, a small A-frame that'd be a cowboy's dream. Wagon-wheel chandeliers in the main rooms, covered wagon lamps on every table. Horsehead silhouettes on the fake shutters. Western prints and patterns everywhere you look. Alas, it had no basement, merely a dugout for the furnace and water heater accessed through a utility closet. Great for hiding bodies of no-good rustlers, no doubt, but not much use otherwise.
So far I've seen three possibles: A 1912 bungalow with a built-on loft that serves as the master bedroom. It's situated in a quiet neighbourhood close to my favourite park. Then a sturdily built bungalow, circa 1955, nothing special from the outside, but in great condition with a biggish yard and new garage, and full basement. Too small for a couple, but perfect for one person. And third, an entirely funky 1912 bungalow across from a park, with extensive renovations and a wide-open layout. Drawbacks: It's close to a very busy thoroughfare, and the neighbouring property is a rental duplex. Oh, and the fence would fall down with one good sneeze. Right now I'm thinking the 50s bungalow is probably it. Now to see if I actually can afford it. More later.
I am addicted to the blogs of young, 20-something Asian men. Favourites: Asian Bastard, BoyKani, LittleYellowDifferent, and The Only Gay Eskimo. The first three are extremely erudite and exceptionally talented, with an encyclopedic knowledge of media. The fourth is often extremely raunch-ridden, yet entertaining in small doses. Grant! What have you got me into! Welcome back, by the way
Monday, July 16, 2001
On a scale of weirdness from 1 to 10, rate your previous weekend:
The Kayak Expedition of 2001: I came back from a 14 km run on Saturday mornning, doused myself in the shower, etc., and met Fearless at Ft. Calgary at noon. She had done sterling work in renting and picking up the kayaks and accoutrements. (And, as she herself said, picking up a little extra--she's got a date with one of the fellers at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Well done!) We drove down to our starting point at Bowness Park. And that's when the day began getting weird.
To start with, river kayaks are built to be snug and flexible. So snug, though, that I could have used a shoe horn to get in mine. And the sight of me shimmying into the neoprene "skirt" would have been worth money, if we'd thought to sell tickets. And then, I lost my brand-new pair of sunglasses between getting into the kayak, affixing the skirt, and pushing off into the river.
Now, if you know what you're doing, river kayaking is easy. If you don't really know (and that would be me), it's nerve-wracking and tippy. A lot of my first hour or so was spent spinning in circles, or floating sideways in the water. I kept reminding myself that it was a beautiful day, the water was warm, and no matter what happened, I wasn't going to drown. Didn't help. We docked at a small island, but it wasn't a great place to stop--we were looking for the island that we'd lunched at the previous year when rafting on the river. I had a lot of trouble getting my skirt back on the kayak, and pushing off into the water, and that, along with my underlying apprehension of getting swamped in the kayak, was disaster. Despite many warnings against doing so, Fearless came over and shoved my kayak into the water, and received the full brunt of my anger for her help. At that point, I thought the day was a total loss, and couldn't wait to get to our finishing point and just get the hell home.
Luckily for the day, we came upon the island we were looking for, and docked. I was still pretty furious, and had to sit for about a half an hour in silence while deciding what to do. Eventually I realized I just really wanted to swim. And Fearless, who had by that time a number of reasons to tell me to step on a land mine, came along. Swimming proved to be the cure for the day. Battling the current is hilarious, and the water is clear and bracingly cold. Diving in is one of those life-affirming moments that make you laugh out loud at yourself--which is exactly what I needed.
But more weirdness lay in store: We had a leisurely lunch on the island, watching other boaters and rafters come by. A group of teenagers running along the opposite bank and floating down the river was very entertaining. But then there was the man. The man who sat on the opposite bank and stared at the two of us on our island, eating our lunch. The man who then, in slow and progressively faster stages, committed the sin of Onan. Standing in the bushes, shorts around his ankles, right across the river from us. What to do? Both Fearless and I were dismayed that a deviant was in our vicinity, but determined not to be chased away from our lovely picnic spot by such a bozo. I felt that what this mentally deranged person wanted was a negative reaction to add to his thrill, and resolved not to give it to him. So we just carried on with our conversation, taking no notice of him. Eventually he left, and we talked for awhile about how fundamentally weird--and sad--such behaviour was.
The remainder of the trip was fairly uneventful, except that I nearly flipped my kayak twice, and went through some very fast water under the Louise bridge that made my eyes open really wide. Fearless, the athlete in this friendship, was making much better progress. I'd go kayaking again, but not until I've taken some lessons. It's been years since I did what we called an Eskimo roll, and then it was in a swimming pool, not a strong current. But to show the Bow that I harboured no bad feelings, I went back last night with Bryce and Theo the Wonder Dog, and splashed about for awhile.
The other weird part of the weekend was house-viewing with my realtor. I'm amazed at the number of people who put their house up for sale, then spend no time cleaning it up or showing it to its best advantage. Man, there were some fearsome heaps out there.
Friday, July 13, 2001
Something else to live down: how do I keep doing these things? I was just on a site where rude but occasionally funny t-shirts are sold, and I saw a shirt with the following logo: "My Dixie Wrecked." It made no sense to me, even though I try to keep current with North American slang, so I leaned my head out my office door and called to my colleague, Dave, "Hey, what does My Dixie Wrecked mean?" Dave heard what everyone else in the vicinity did: "Hey, what does 'My Dick's Erect' mean?"
And then there was the time when I was 19, trying to rent a video of my favourite musical at the time: "Excuse me, but do you have 'Hair'?" Yeah. So cool.
Thursday, July 12, 2001
Uh-oh....we're renting kayaks. "We" being Fearless and I. This Saturday, after my long run (105 minutes...oy), we're meeting up to float down the Bow. I'm a little worried about getting stuck in the kayak...they tend to fit me snugly about the midriff. Perhaps Mountain Equipment Coop also sells extra-large shoehorns.
Phew...I did not scream myself awake this morning. The temperature was fairly bearable last night. Meaning only 30 degrees Celsius in the apartment, not 38.
More Yells while Pounding the Pavement: Monday night, an old lady, wearing a full-length parka and mittens (in 31 degree weather, too), yells "I told the others to slow down and let you run in front!" Cackle, cackle, wheeze. Last night I'm running along the river and an older man yells "It's awfully hard, isn't it?" Perhaps he was concerned by my eggplant-coloured face. I refrained from replying, but I wanted to say something immortal like "Sleep it off, Gramps. " Really, he was just being sympathetic. The hot weather does not bring out my best side.
Wednesday, July 11, 2001
"She awoke, screaming": Generally, this line is confined to bad horror novels or bodice-rippers. Yet that's what happened to me this morning: I was having a standard Jane nightmare, where someone I trust turns around and starts hunting me down, methodically, impersonally, and just when I think I've evaded him/her, I turn around with a sigh of relief, only to get the knife/bullet/pitchfork/straight razor, etc. in the throat. This and the tornado dreams have been regularly broadcast my entire life. Usually I don't scream myself awake -- I mean, what will the neighbours think? But anyway, I blame the current heat wave. It takes me forever to fall asleep and I'm not getting my usual amount of delta wave slumber.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
I survived my first Staff Appreciation Day at Karo. People here call it "SAD Day," probably because it sounds kind of ironic. Anyway, though pedantic by birth, I didn't tell them they were in effect saying "Staff Appreciation Day Day."
For the last couple of years Karo has sent its staff down the Bow River on Zodiac boats, but a combination of alcohol and the realization of the incredible insurance risk taken thereby led to a different choice of activity for this year: making movies. Everyone gathered at the Inglewood Lawn Bowling Club (est. 1936) for lunch, then were formed into teams. Each team had to pick, by random, two props and two famous movie lines. Then they were handed a video camera and tripod, and sent on their merry ways.
Tanks Gott I ended up on my boss's team. For weeks everyone at work had been saying "We hope you'll be on our team, so you can come up with the idea." That's more pressure than I like as a writer, and I usually fail to shine on such occasions. But Michael, my boss, is made of sterner stuff. We were throwing around ideas when he hit on a great one: make a "health" film inspired by the early Coronet and Encyclopedia Britannica classroom series. Our props were a bathroom plunger and a camisole/shorts ensemble with a teddy bear pattern. Our lines were: "Luke, I am your father," and "I'll be back." In other words, we lucked out disgustingly.
We decided to use the props and lines in every scene. I was cast as the prim and nerdy narrator. The others took random roles. My favourite scene was Michael, as a drug dealer, trying to sell a honeymooning couple, played by Ross and Amy, a bunch of different drugs: Tijuana Time Travel, Guatemalan Pituitary, and special today: 1 oz. of "Luke I am your Father"--very nice! Make you happy! Eventually he sells them the bathroom plunger.
The best part of the film was that the five of us really got into the absurdist thing, and had an incredible amount of fun during the filming. Oddly, we even had the rudiments of a plot, with a strong moral (something about not becoming fixated on household implements, I think).
The day ended with a barbecue at the president, Chris's, house, and a screening of all films. The guests were the judges--and to our surprise, "Corny-net Studios 'Lessons For Living' Series, Episode 1: Sex Education, Narcotics, Hygiene and Juvenile Delinquency" won Best Picture. Even more surprisingly, my hair was voted Best Special Effect. (I had slicked it down with water and gel and whatever I could get my hands on, but as it dried during the course of the filming, it grew bigger and bigger with each shot, eventually resuming its usual fuzzy mushroom cloud self.)
Best Thing Seen During Stampede so far: A series of chalk slogans scrawled on the sidewalks around town: "Rodeo hurts horses," "Calf-roping is cruel," "7 horses killed in chuckwagon races," "Rodeo is cruelty to animals," etc. Hear, hear. Oh, and all you business people in your bolo ties, Cowboy hats, Justin boots, -- or ruffled skirts, neckerchiefs, yoked blouses -- YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS. GO HOME AND CHANGE.
Monday, July 02, 2001
Life in vaudeville continues: First incident, during a 70-km bike ride southeast of Red Deer yesterday. What happens when Janie turns from a paved road onto a recently rained-on gravel road? A bona fide "yard sale," that's what. I crashed amazingly and my pannier bag burst open on impact, scattering clothes and tools across the road. I say I crashed "amazingly" because the damage was minimal, though muddy. My older brother had no such trouble...the only danger he faced was internal hemorrhaging from sustained laughter.
Second act: Later yesterday afternoon, at the swimming pool, trying to convince my eldest niece that a rolling dive from the springboard is easy. And so it is, as long as your top stays on. Otherwise you are forced to tread water underwater while you yank up your straps and tuck in the escapees. Can you buy turtleneck swimsuits?
Back on the Domestic Front: I've resumed the house-hunting with vigour, and am not taking any sass from real estate agents. They always want to know my price range. And when I tell them, (a) they laugh and say there isn't anything available (an utter lie) or (b) show me hovel after hovel in the effort to prove that I really should buy a condo in that development out west of town that they just happen to have a share in, and by the way they can get me a really good deal if I act right away...but I rant. Tonight I'm looking at a quaint 1940s bungalow which I'm pretty sure is beyond my means, but....nothing ventured...