Monday, July 18, 2016

These candidates are too freaking old!

Religion and politics.

I've heard those are two topics to avoid at dinner parties. Sadly, in my world of Southern California, where adults frequently wear ball caps and Jams, I find that dinner parties are not that common any more. Are these still topics to avoid?

As the Republican National Convention commences in Cleveland today, I actually am not here to talk politics. Rather, I am going to point out a bipartisan issue that I believe all can agree on:

These candidates are too freaking old!

Seriously. Donald Trump is 70 and has eight grandchildren. Hillary Clinton is 68, has two grandkids and entered the White House as the First Lady 23 long years ago.

These candidates are too freaking old!

Perhaps the funniest thing about this election is that the most viable third candidate was Bernie Sanders. He is 74!

The oldest president ever elected was Ronald Reagan, who was 16 days shy of turning 70. That means if Trump somehow is elected, he will be the oldest president ever elected. Hillary will be second only to Reagan.

These candidates are too freaking old!

Sanders would be 75 on election day — by far blowing away Reagan's age. I find it cute how Sanders somehow was often considered "the voice of youth." I also find it cute that he was somehow considered an"establishment outsider," after being a Congressman from 1991-2007 and Senator from 2007 to the present.

What is going on here? And what do all of these old candidates say about 'Merica?

I'm worried that these old candidates show a systemic problem with leadership throughout the U.S. Where are the inspirational leaders under 60 nowadays? Or better yet, how about under 40?

I am not a fan of these old coots, whatsoever. When Obama entered the office, he was 47. That is reasonable. He had kids, Malia and Sasha, grow up in the White House, as did the Clintons with Chelsea.

Bill Clinton was 46, and JFK was 43. Teddy Roosevelt has the record as youngest president at 42.

Only two children were born to presidents in the White House. JFK Jr. (pictured above with JFK) was born when Kennedy was the president elect, and we'll count that. And trivia question Esther Cleveland was the only child ever born to a sitting president as Frances Cleveland gave birth while Grover was in office.
I bet that a younger president is good for the morale of young people. Why in the world am I forced to vote for a person who cannot possibly be good at sex?

Yuk. I don't want think about Trump, Hillary or Sanders in that way. But, egads, is the only way to avoid any type of silly-ass sex scandal to get an old, asexual politico into the White House?

Plus, style is majorly compromised with Trump and Hillary. Trump's hair and his odd orange glow are not things we should show other countries. Hillary's pants suits aren't anything special. What would the French think of these two?

These candidates are too freaking old!

By comparison, Obama and even George W. Bush actually look slick. They would not be out of place in GQ. Trump and Hillary aren't going in any fashion magazines. Are these all superficial points I'm making? Of course they are.

Actually, how in the world has good-looking Obama avoided any type of sex scandal with critics like Fox News treating him like a cross between Flavor Flav, the anti-Christ and Corky from "Life Goes On"?

We all assume JFK and Marilyn Monroe had an affair going on. Bill Clinton took a horrific step backward from Marilyn when he had a fling with Monica Lewinsky. But is 'Merica so prude that we are forced to vote for presidents who are in absolutely no risk of having affairs?

These candidates are too freaking old!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Polack's view of SoCal real estate

Goodbye, Long Beach.

For the past 18 years, I have lived in Long Beach, Calif. — a gritty, eclectic city in Los Angeles County. But those days have ended.

My home at 3390 Lees Ave. has been sold, and for the time being, I am homeless — temporarily living in a long-term hotel I like so far.

Luckily, I am in the midst of escrow to get another home, three miles from the previous one. But this one is in a different city — Cypress, Calif., in Orange County.

The move is an upgrade in many ways. The home itself is much larger. The street is much quieter. The community may have more cache. But, man, it has been an extremely difficult process to execute this move.

Without the boredom of all of the details of why this move has been so difficult, let's just leave it at this: Southern California real estate. Gotta love it (yeah, right).

Cypress — I imagine not a lot of people outside of Southern California know anything about it. Perhaps its claim to fame is that it's where Tiger Woods grew up. I'm hoping his selfish personality never rubbed off on the Cypress community. By the way, here's the house Tiger grew up in:
Regardless of this move, my identity remains entrenched with Cleveland. However, my 18 years in Long Beach rivals my Cleveland time. Once I made it to college, I never again was a full-time resident of Cleveland. But with so many formidable experiences, and important friends and family, there, I know that home will always be CLE.

Long Beach has evolved, as have I, in my 18 years there. But I must stop my lamenting, reminiscing, etc., about L.B. In fact, this whole premise of "leaving Long Beach" is a bit silly because my daughters will still be going to school there, and I will be about a mile and half from its border.

This move made me realize three main things that I would recommend to everyone for better living. I guess they're my Polish real estate tips. But, really, these tips can help any Polack improve his life ASAP:

1) Throw away stuff — as much stuff as possible — immediately, and avoid bringing crap into the house. I had been in my home for just under eight years. To me, that isn't especially long, but it was significant. I thought I tried to keep junk out of the house, but with perpetual trips to Target, I brought in way more stuff than was necessary. I felt liberated to throw stuff away. If it does not bring you joy, do not keep it.

2) Do home improvements ASAP, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. I was pretty good with this one, although my L.B. home was in excellent condition when I got it eight years ago. But I had to upkeep this place, and I added a few minor upgrades.

The couple who moved in had a legitimate "turnkey." I moved out on a Thursday. They moved in on Friday, the next day. Too often I see people do upgrades to their home just to sell it. Why not do that early so you can enjoy those upgrades?

3) Location, location, location. Yeah, that adage in real estate is totally correct. I found something fascinating in Cypress. Nearly the entire city had similar home prices, yet after seeing a boatload of homes, I could pinpoint the best homes to two tracts. Once we sold our Long Beach home, it became a waiting game to hope something came on the market in those tracts.

It's still a bit of a waiting game, as we must complete escrow before we can remodel a bit and then move in. But at least the most hectic part is over — moving all my worldly possessions, but throwing out a ton that I realized had zero street value.