Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind

3051 165th Pl. NE, Bellevue, WA 98008

I can’t really tell what’s being offered for sale here… a house or an alien spacecraft making a midnight landing.

About the Author

Marty E.
Naked Loon Editor-in-Chief

17 Comments on "Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind"

  1. RE: “…a house or an alien spacecraft”

    Why not both?! You’ve got the Mother Ship for the… nuclear… family and the MIL (Mother-In-Law) ship for extra personnel! It set down 2 blocks from Microsoft and it’s only $650k!!

    Of course the interior floor decks in the commissary betray the age of this older ion-drive model. Probably had a few meteoroid impacts over the years, too. It might have successfully masqueraded as an Earth house, were it not for the frightful appearance of those public areas…

    OK, for real… I can see why such a prime location comes at such a (relatively) low price – an almost complete remodel would be needed in the public areas to cleanse this monster of its dated and hideous forms and materials. Looks like they already did a good job of that in the kitchen and master bedroom, but doing it for the whole house might just tack on another 50% of the asking price. I guess if you have the bucks and the wherewithal it might be worth it, considering the location. But hoo-boy… is it gonna take some doing!

  2. It *is* a pretty low price for the area. The first thing I noticed was that the first few pictures were all tables with chairs around them. Then I thought ‘microsoft’ and images of 2-3 untanned t-shirt-clad successful 20- something guys sharing a house came to mind. Splitting a too-big-for-one-person house with a couple other guys seems to be a trend here.
    For myself I would like to see the other bedrooms. I think they hit the high points with their remodel leaving the final finishes to whoever moves in.

    I was thinking of asking Emerald, do you do any kind of building or designing as a career? You seem to know quite a bit.

  3. No alien craft here – this is definitely a home-grown specimen. I like it. It’s restful. The yard looks very serene, with good trees and a landscape that easily repels undesirables.

    The interior is disturbed by bits that could easily be replaced, modified or stripped out entirely. The door, that pebble glass by the door, and those metal railings all spring to mind. Pity about the apparent forced-hot-air heating (floor register near the door). Maybe they don’t need it much.

    The only other real hazards to peace are, of course, those varigated brick fireplace-walls. Some of it might tear off. A deep new-england-brick-red colored stain (not on the grout!) might reduce the noise to something warmer and more uniform… but one would probably end up re-facing the actual hearths with something more retiring and plastering the rest. Sigh.

    Love the ivy-pattern towels and the moss dish in the master bathroom, and the pocket-door between that sink and the “business” area – and the shower’s nice enough to tempt anyone to take on the upkeep. :D

    I think Samme is right: three people have been living there. I suspect it’s spaces are well enough composed that it worked comfortably, too.

  4. @Samme: I seem to… doesn’t mean I do, lol. Actually, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s of Arch in Urban Design. Before you gasp… I’ve never practiced and that leaves out the bulk of actually knowing of what one speaks. Between my own internal issues (which I didn’t know I had at the time) and the dysfunctional faculty, I managed to have a breakdown *and* clinical depression in my first year of grad school. I did manage to finish because, dammit, I wasn’t about to let the whole thing be a *total* waste! But I’ve never been able to do anything that stressful since. I’ve tried, but the results were not pretty.

    Not every faculty member was a reincarnated Gestapo agent. Enough of them were, though… I was not the only student falling apart; we had the highest drop-out/transfer rate in the university. They had that “We’ve got to toughen you up! If we don’t, you won’t survive!” attitude. None of them seemed to realize this philosophy made the situation self-perpetuating. It hardened those who survived, turning them into the next generation of faculty/professional abusers.

    The few naturally talented students were not subjected to eviscerating public scorn, as the rest of us were, yet their benefactors seemed to harbor no fears for their futures, despite them never having been put through the grinder… as if the professional realm would welcome them with kid gloves. (College stars as failed NFL rookies, anyone?)

    Almost no one on the faculty *at that time* seemed to consider that mentoring, along with legitimate criticisms *not* delivered at the point of a metaphorical dart (“Oops! Did that hit you? I was aiming for your crappy design…”) might have produced some quality architects who were not also emotionally damaged ones. They likely also failed to note that it was clear as the sun in a low altitude orbit that they were revealing their own insecurities and past experiences through their actions.

    So… yeah… I’m still angry at the pain they inflicted on so many, not just me. It doesn’t eat me up on a day to day basis, though. And I’ve heard things aren’t quite so bad anymore… I sure hope so. Maybe going from having just 1 or 2 female faculty members to having more than half of them being women is why. I like to think so, anyway.

  5. @anodean: Hmm… maybe a remodel wouldn’t be as expensive as I’d imagined, only just as messy.

    I totally agree the fireplace walls are hideous! They’re large enough that they may be load bearing, so total removal might not be an option. I’ve seen numerous examples of altering the appearance of such features with a simple paint job, usually in a light neutral color. The amount this adds to a sense of spaciousness is remarkable and it also acts as a good visual unifying force, which means you can have a sofa and chairs with actual color to them.

    It’s the stone flooring and arches that would be messy and problematic to get rid of. I doubt any paint would help with the former. The arches are likely not load bearing, simply… “decorative” if you like that sort of thing. Arches in general are fine, it’s what you do with them that can make or break the room. These are quite dull and the two-tone color system horribly breaks up any sort of continuing line that might otherwise almost please the eye. Paint on the columns would definitely be the way to go there. The same could be said for the very dated fake ceiling beams, too.

    The idea of an arched window in the front hall could work, as it would tie in with the existing arches, but it would need to be re-sized to have the same proportions as the arches. The current doubled up narrow ones clash. Similar arched windows in a new door set would be better, too.

    What we’ve got is an architectural wardrobe of plaids, paisleys, wools and chiffon. There aren’t enough basics that coordinate to build a nice outfit on. Bring in one or two of those and the better parts of what you already have can still make for… interesting accessories. The rest should be dropped off at the nearest Good Will donation bin.

    Well, that’s more than enough verbosity for now. Ciao…

  6. @Emerald63: Dear Emerald, I always appreciate your expertise as well as the innate creativity and humor with which you express it. I delayed to respond until I could find the link to this cartoon for you. I think it is a more eloquent response than any other that I could offer.

    Many years ago I read a book called “What Color is Your Parachute?” I don’t know if it is still in print, but anything can be got used on the internet these days. It had some moving advice and exercises toward uncovering what you’ve loved best and finding your way to work that will give it to you. The example of a lady who had loved opera above all things (but who knew it was now far too late in life to train up for it) who found her bliss in the management of an opera troupe stays with me.

    It’s hard when an experience seems to have worn a permanent flinch into one’s psyche, and creative people are uniquely vulnerable to the abuse of their creative endeavors – but the river flows on and we do continue to transform.

  7. @anodean: Thank you, Anodean. It’s very, very kind of you to be concerned and to look for the wonderful cartoon. I’m familiar with the “Parachute” book, as it was from my era too.

    What I enjoyed prior to college was designing houses. There wasn’t anything else that appealed to me that could work as a career path (not many art historians can earn a living) and I’m definitely not the MBA sort. But I had little to no idea what I was getting myself into with studying every aspect of the building arts.

    I suppose you could compare it to wanting to be an eye doctor and having to go through a mandatory gastrointestinal rotation as an intern – literally enough to turn one’s stomach, lol. Didn’t help that whenever I was told I *had* to do something (especially when it had to be tailored to the teacher’s/boss’s personal preferences) I eventually lost a huge percentage of my interest in the subject.

    Over the years I’ve regained my interest in and affection for lots of subjects I simply had to stay away from for a while after school. It took longer for me to enjoy “studying” architecture again, but I *am* here now. I enjoy looking at various designs and discussing them with others. I also look at other sites from time to time, delighting in all the wonderful human creativity.

    It was the process of design IRL, starting from nothing, being responsible for every ingredient necessary for both the engineering and artistic qualities of a built environment, not to mention having to weave them into a coherent whole, that got me. But… that was due to my own personality traits, not the influence of others. What happened in school all those years ago started a very long process of self-discovery for me. It wasn’t always an easy road follow, but if I hadn’t gone down it I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

  8. @Emerald63: Anodean@anodean: Hey, I just logged onto my Cheezburger account so I could “fave” the cartoon. When I clicked on the link for the original source, Incidental Comics, I found that the original cartoon is almost twice as long as the part posted at Cheezburger. I’ve saved the longer version to my hard drive. Thank you again, Anodean. :)

  9. @Emerald63: Oh, good – I hadn’t found that myself until much later, and there you are. :D

    Lately I’ve been exploring different (polite way to say off the wall, I guess) approaches to the same old problems… mostly involving cardboard. More comes every day, with no tears shed for spoiling half-a-dozen tries until my combination storage bin, bedside meal stand and sock dispenser fits and works perfectly.

    This by way of giving you fair warning why I am far enough around to twist to wonder if you would enjoy building miniatures, or whether you have the skills to execute paintings of houses. I recall there being a market for people wanting a nice “portrait” of their house.

    Enough of my burbling, though. Just know that you’re loved. ;)

  10. @anodean: Oh you are a sweetie, aren’t you! Well, the answer is, alas, a flat out “no” to painting skills. Actually, building minis and making “renderings” (any image of a building or future building in any number of media) are both a bit too reminiscent of “those days” for me to enjoy. Also, I’ve steered clear of putting my artistic expressions into the hands of paying clients for validation, although I do share them with people regularly.

    Over the years I’ve enjoyed counted cross-stitch, including designing some of my own. That hobby is out of favor in craft circles now, although I have enough patterns and materials to keep myself busy for a looong time. In years past I’ve won several ribbons at our state fair for my entries.

    I also enjoy coloring. This ain’t your kid brother’s coloring, either. Dover Publishing has an extensive line of “adult” coloring books with complex drawings and patterns. Zillions of subjects, too. And I also love doing jigsaw puzzles. In fact, our front closet is now overflowing with them!

    So I feed my artistic needs in a number of areas that please me without having to please anyone else and feed my intellectual needs with non-fiction reading and documentary watching.

    If I lived in a bigger city I’d likely spend time in museums, as I did in my youth in Chicago. Maybe that’s why I still love going to the state fair. Besides crop and livestock displays, there are also amateur and professional fine artworks, as well as domestic arts, including endless quilts, needlework, and other crafty items like duct tape dresses and purses. (Nope, not kidding.) The quilts are pretty to look at but not my thing for making myself.

    I really enjoy looking at the miniature scene displays, which are really just dollhouse-like displays… on steroids, lol. I hadn’t considered making any of my own, though that is a thought… The only real problem would be figuring out how to make them in a house with six cats and a lack of work spaces with actual doors to close! Still, a much better item to consider than, say, chainsaw sculpture, lol.

    Anodean, do you have an account at Cheezburger? Perhaps we could move the conversation over there if you do. And thank you again for being a caring human being. It really does matter. :)

  11. do you have an account at Cheezburger?

    Yes, (I actually had to go check), and there does seem to be an entirely empty messages facility in it. You may message at will. Do I need to select you somehow first? Is your avatar green, a little guy with shamrock thingies? Note how likely it is that I shall be laggart in checking my mail and do not take lapses to heart. ;)

  12. @anodean: Yes, that avatar is me. I sent you a friend request. When you accept that we can message. Maybe we can continue to start conversations here then agree together to move over there if we get off the site topic here?

  13. Not to be a stalker, but would you mind if I joined in? SammeBear on cheezburger.

  14. Well, this is totally embarrassing. I cannot discover any way to send or receive conversational/email messages at cheezburger. Apparently the “message” area (which itself takes a few conniptions to reach) exists only to display the on-site lolz that your friends have tagged.

    Is there a secret? Otherwise, I guess we’ll all just have to ration ourselves a few diversions over here from time to time. (Fine by me, Samme.) :)

  15. @anodean: I think I know what’s confusing you…

    On the left-hand side of the DashBoard (the profile page for an account), those with cheezfriends, will see: both the LOLs favorited and those made by cheezfriends; notices about messages exchanged between yourself and your cheezfriends; *and* messages between your cheezfriends and any of their friends, whether those friends are on your own list or not.

    The area for messages specifically to you is in the bottom right corner of your profile page. If I or any other cheezfriends you add to your list type inside the blank box there, then click “post,” the message to you will show up just below that. If a message is longer than the little snippet on your DB can handle, there will be a “more” link at the end of the snippet, as well as a “Read All Messages” link beneath all the messages. Clicking on either will get you to a messages-only page for your account.

    There are two main ways for *you* to send an outgoing message. First, you can go to *my* DashBoard (DB) where you can type your message in my version of the blank box. Hit post, and I’ll get your message. (I also have my account set up to notify me with the same message by email, although I can only respond by logging in at ICHC.) You can get to my DB several ways – by clicking on my avatar on your DB, by clicking on the “Friends” option in the menu at the top of your DB, or by clicking on my screen name when it’s in link format, say when you see things I’ve faved or made show up on the left-hand side of your DB.

    You can also send or respond to messages from cheezfriends without first going to their DB. While in your messages page, you can select “reply” or “show conversation” beneath a message. Reply will take you to the other person’s DB. Show Conversation will display only those messages sent between yourself and and that particular cheezfriend, as well as providing an empty text box from which you can reply without leaving your own DB. This last version is especially handy for reminding you of what you’ve told to whom if you talk to lots of people, as well as seeing how long it’s been since you’ve talked to someone. Further, the past conversation stays visible while you’re typing the new one.

    Be aware, people do sometimes follow the conversations of others, but you can always delete your incoming messages after reading them if you choose. If you do, those that have been deleted will not show up when you click on Show Conversation under subsequent messages. This is handy if you want to exchange email addresses. Wait till both parties are logged in, post the address, then immediately delete that message. It doesn’t guarantee no one else will see it, but it minimizes the risk. Or… just chat at ICHC. There are things I will *not* discuss or reveal there, so I have exchanged email addies with a few people, with no regrets. :)

    Let me know here if you still have problems, OK?

  16. @Samme: Works for me Samme. I’ve sent you a friend request. :D

  17. Thanks, accepted, still trying to get a feel for it.


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