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What a crazy year 2010 was! What an equally auspicious start to 2011 already!  May I unburden myself for a moment?

A quick recap of the news. The Chinese Government issued regulations forbidding reincarnation without proper authorization. Peruvian President Alan Garcia declared that “inbred national melancholy” is to blame for his recent low approval ratings.  Romanian witches, angry at having to pay taxes for the first time, are using cat excrement to cast spells on their government.  And astronomers are revising the number of stars upward to 300 sextillion, meaning there are probably trillions of “earth-like worlds” populating the universe.  A reassuring thought for sure.

Thanks  for indulging me.  Since Real Estate of Mind is conspicuously lodged on the front page of the Sentinel Real Estate Section, I’ll try to navigate a little closer to home in the future.

Anybody catch the pre-Christmas art installation by Bay Area sculptor Lucy Puls?  Held at the Electric Works in San Francisco, it advanced “found object art” to the more socially relevant genre of “foreclosed object art.”  Puls’ show was called “Repossessed: Brief Madness”  and featured pieces inspired by illicit forays into numerous unoccupied, foreclosed homes. Google it.

Paul Auster’s new novel Sunset Park is a stark existential tale about home and its many threads of meaning. The acclaimed author uses the nation’s housing crisis as a narrative backdrop and his description of a work crew cleaning out REO properties that begins the book, will resonate deeply with those mindful of the sad humanity underlying all those distress sales happening out there. Google Auster/NPR and hear him read a passage.

Anyone notice the guy standing at River Street and Hwy 1 for weeks, right next to the Homeless Services Center,  waving a red sign at passing traffic, advertising a  huge TENT SALE  for a local retail outlet?  Panhandling is illegal but folks in clown suits standing on street corners selling tents isn’t.  We could up the irony quotient by hiring some homeless folks to push Safeway shopping carts around town  as mobile sandwich boards featuring those promotional pictures of Real Estate Agents wanting to list your home.

An unemployed Santa Cruz carpenter has found a way to turn the squeezed-out labor market into an enterprising attempt at lemonade.  He’s pioneered a new, new age technique aimed at revitalizing sick or unsold homes by performing acupuncture on them.  Using a specially adopted nail gun, he shoots 16 penny nails into the energy meridians of a home’s framing structure to get the positive chi flowing again.

Internet entrepreneur Jon Jacobs recently completed the largest single Virtual Real Estate  transaction on record – selling his property on a giant virtual asteroid for $330,000.  Google it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to get my own virtual house in order and make sure my Real Estate Avatar is ready to rock and roll.

Question: What’s the name of the biggest, baddest gang in the Palm Springs/Palm Dessert area?  Answer: Barrio Dream Homes. Google it.

Promoters in Las Vegas are poised to announce the grand opening of Dystopia Acres, America’s first official “Subprime Suburb”. It will be billed as a planned community that’s been thoroughly unplanned and then completely re-planned again to meet the needs of the future and remedy the sins of the past.  They’ll kick off the festivities with a Broken Dream House Raffle awarding a free home to some richly deserving soul.

Also popular this coming year will be a series of ground-breaking neuro-marketing seminars based on A.K. Pradeep’s new book called  The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind.  Google it. Pradeep’s precepts will supplant older high-touch models based on Vulcan Mind Meld Techniques as a means of allowing Agents to get into the heads of their buyers and sellers.

There is no truth to the rumor that limericks will become a popular way to  promote homes.  There is also no truth to the rumor that real estate agents will begin collecting cover charges at their weekend open houses.

Advanced Data Mining by Real Estate Agents using Facebook and other Social Media sites is apparently in the works. Special software algorithms have been developed to chase down all mentions of  major life transitions like job loss, old age and death and send follow-up automated e mail solicitations.  Getting divorced ? Look for a special message from the Community Property Asset Protection Service coming to an inbox near you.

By the way, there is no truth to the rumor that Al Gore invented algorithms despite the whimsical similarity in names.

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