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Life in Julian: My House
[ Non-fiction : Humour/ ]

Here I am, stuck in my “basement,” waiting for the president of a major game company to call me. It’s late. He’s on the road, flying into San Francisco. He wants a night time chat on the phone about his company. I’m eager to help.

I spend my time helping companies in various ways, usually tech or entertainment companies.

And why not? A few years ago I helped launch a company that reached a valuation of more than 6 billion dollars. It stayed at that lofty valuation for about an hour or so and then plummeted to something over 2 billion dollars.

Little MP3.com was indeed a success. Of course, when Paul McCartney and a ton of other people and companies sued us, we became slightly less of a success. It was embarrassing to me to be sued by a Beatle. Flower power and high priced lawyers are a nasty mix.

In any event, after we sold our company to an even bigger company, I decided to bail from my long time home town of San Diego and move out to the mountains. Yes, the San Diego area has mountains where in the winter, snow falls from the sky and piles up on the ground. Strange thing is, I can drive for an hour and fifteen minutes and be at San Diego and go surfing while people in Julian are stuck mired in the snow. It’s an odd little county, San Diego is.

Not so little, I suppose. Let’s compare San Diego County to, oh, Monaco.

According to the 2000 Census, its population was 2,813,833, making it the third largest county by population in the state and the sixth largest in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,526 mi² (11,721 km²). Now, let’s take a look at Monaco. The Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco), more commonly known as Monaco, is a constitutional monarchy and city-state in Western Europe located along the French Riviera between the Mediterranean Sea and France. It is one of six microstates located in Europe. A microstate is a country in Europe that may only have one public bathroom. Pardon me, I mean “public toilet.” Water closet. Whatever.

Monaco is the world's most densely populated country and second-smallest independent nation; with a population of just 32,410 and an area of 1.96 square kilometers (485 acres), Monaco is the world's smallest French-speaking nation. There is no truth to the rumor that Monaco also has the world’s smallest French speakers, pygmies who munch on delicious French flavored food and look like Hobbits with berets.

Clearly, San Diego County kicks Monaco’s ass.

Now, my home in the woods of Julian is pretty cool. Located deep in forty acres of forest, the forest itself is full of exciting wild life like mountain lions. Mountain lions like to pull people off of bicycles and drag their ass into the bushes where they proceed to eat their faces. This happened a year or so ago in another part of the forest, up towards Los Angeles. I haven’t seen any mountain lions myself, but I’ve seen their tracks. A couple of miles away a hunter killed a mountain lion with his mighty bow and arrow. Mountain lions are not supposed to be killed, according to the authorities. The hunter said “the mountain lion looked threatening, so I killed him.” I suspect the lion flashed a gang sign.

The house I live in is three stories. The ground floor we call “the basement” but it’s not really a basement, just the ground floor. On this floor we have a sun room, with a nice bar, a den with a groovy HD TV, a pop corn machine, a guest room that looks like something out of a bed and breakfast, and a bath room. It’s a real bathroom, with an actual bath. If you travel through Europe and ask for a bathroom when you are about to shit your pants, they will laugh and say, “We don’t have a bathroom” and let you go back outside in confusion until you shit your pants. You have to ask for a “toilet.” Europe is a location where you have to be very specific regarding stating your needs. Anyway, since in Europe (and here in the USA, come to think of it), they don’t call a small room with one or more toilets and no bathtub a “bathroom.” It’s our fault, really, due to our loose use of language and our American desire to refrain from directly discussing taking a crap with perfect strangers.

Once you get to know us, regarding American men, that is, most of us are willing to discuss taking a crap with great detail. You know how it is, if you know any American men or are one yourself.

Anyway, the ground floor of my house is very cold in the winter. There was, until recently, no real heater down here in the “basement.” The whole ground floor was essentially useless during the winter. The primary heating system serves the two top floors. That means the middle floor is usually chilly in the winter, but the top floor is always too hot.

Three story houses are sort of dumb, where heat control is concerned.

The middle floor has our kitchen, a living room, dining room, my daughter’s bedroom, my son’s bedroom, and another bathroom. My daughter sleeps with my wife and me in her crib, still. She also apparently owns the television in our bedroom. My son usually sleeps in his bedroom, but he also apparently owns the television in my bedroom. Sometimes there is a form of litigation that pops up between the two children as they proceed to attempt to murder each other in order to establish television supremacy. Just as controlling the center portion of a chess board is crucial during play, controlling the remote for the television, or at least knowing where it is, appears to be secret to television supremacy.

The second floor is chilly in the winter, even with the heat on, because heat rises. If I make the second floor a comfortable temperature, the kids pass out from heat prostration while they are fighting over the remote on the third floor. It’s an environmental issue. Part of this issue is due to the fact that the third floor is essentially a huge loft. There is a very large master bedroom on the third floor, and walk in closets and a nice bathtub and a separate shower. My family spends most of their time up there, trying to blame me for things that I am not responsible for. My daughter’s first words were, “bad Daddy.”

Not having any neighbors, our home is very quiet, save for the sounds of my children screaming at each other and my wife screaming at the children to stop screaming at each other. Driving to the office is a cheerful event for me, sometimes.

My wife is very beautiful. She modeled for a famous graphic novel’s cover. She taught my daughter to say “bad Daddy.”

Outside we have a nice swimming pool. Carving this into the side of the mountain was an expensive endeavor. As a form of punishment, the County of San Diego raised our property taxes when we built the pool. I don’t know if Monaco would have done that.

You can visit me at Bangrok.com, my website, and tell me about your start up company if you want.

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