Item 1:

When giving directions to the house, I have always had the best luck with the following: drive down Bixby past the drug dealers until you see a sign on your right which instructs you not to turn right. Immediately after you see this sign turn right, right into our driveway. Many people in possession of this information have become lost on the way to the house. That being understood, the above may be disregarded to your advantage.

Item 2:

The sign posted at the market across the street states that the store's hours are 9 a.m to 9 p.m. I have known the Ocean Market and Deli to open as early as 7:30 am and to close as late as 10:15 pm. If all else fails, 7-11 is a block away. It's always open.

Item 3:

Trash night is wednesday. If you don't remember, chances are no one else will.

Item 4:

The kids next door: play in the driveway, throw pebbles at the living room window, sporadically invite themselves into the house, leave offerings on the doorstep: leaves, rocks, bottles, sticks. Be forewarned.

Item 5:

The family across the driveway: The boy is named Chris. He will try to befriend you. He gave us CDs stolen from the bar around the corner when we first moved in. He is in high school, but his mind is frozen in prepubescence. He will ask you for beer and drugs. Avoid him.

Item 6:

Regarding your next door neighbor on Barson: He likes to sit on his front porch and drink massive quantities of Tecate and play salsa music. The volume increases exponentially with every six pack he empties. His parties occur quite frequently, but most often on Sunday evenings and Catholic holidays. Plan your schedule accordingly.

Item 7:

You may be perplexed by the immense satellite dish in the yard. If you watch television, you will be pleased to find that you receive cable. You will not be billed. I don't know if it's legal. I don't watch television, and I've never asked questions.

Item 8:

The chimney was cracked during the '89 earthquake, rendering it a safety hazard. The property management company had it capped, rendering it a greater safety hazard. Though I would advise against having having fires in the fireplace, the space can be put to good use. We kept our stereo there.

Item 9:

The plaque outside the front door that says "Santa Cruz Historical Trust" has no significance other than marking the fact that the house is at least a century old. I'm sure there are stories, but the Chamber of Commerce won't tell them.

Item 10:

The floors creak. The walls creak. The ceiling creaks. If you think you can be discreet about having sex in this house, you are wrong.

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