Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Real Estates

 How the State of Maryland is Amazing?

I lived in the State of  Maryland for over 6 years, in the late 1990’s, mostly close to Washington DC, Bethesda, Kensington., Gettysburg… I ventured to Baltimore, Annapolis, Frederick and once spent a couple of days by a lake high on the mountain.

I knew these regions very close: I dabbed in Real Estates in Montgomery County. I walked plenty and distributed leaflets in each street for listed houses “For sale“…

I did visit Philadelphia visiting a high school class mate of mine in Lebanon Charles Helou, who was teaching math at a university.  Dr. Helou was #1 in the French mathemen exam in Lebanon in 1969.  We visited Helou family along with my sister and brother-in-law Victor. On our way back we stumbled on a gay parade. We never saw Charles again.

I visited New York City and New York State for 3 days with the family of Nicholas Choukeir. And I once and went boating in Maryland.

Though I don’t recall drinking local beer or hearing of any local brewery.

BS in Bmore posted this March 25, 2014

15 Reasons Why Maryland is Amazing

I may not have chosen to grow up in Maryland, but I did decide to continue to live here (and trust me, I have thought about moving away, California always sounds nice).

There is just something about Maryland that keeps me here and keeps me happy.

On this day, 380 years ago, the first European settlers landed on what is now known as the great state of Maryland. In honor of Maryland day, I bring you 15 reasons why Maryland is amazing:

1. We have all 4 seasons. While snow at the end of March is not ideal, it is going to be in the 60s later this week. Maryland, you crazy. I like you, but you’re crazy.


2. Getting crabs in Maryland is not a bad thing. Blue crabs that is.


3. We have it all. Beaches, mountains, cities, farmland. You can hike, bike, swim or boat, whatever your little heart desires.


4. The National Aquarium is in Maryland. No, not the Baltimore Aquarium, not the Maryland Aquarium, the National Aquarium. We don’t mess around when it comes to our fishies. We’re serious.


5. Two words: Old Bay. I grew up putting this on everything… popcorn, pizza, crabs, french fries, chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, potato chips… heck, I’ve even tried Old Bay ice cream.

I now work at McCormick & Company where I get to talk about Old Bay everyday AND it’s encouraged. Can you say dream job?


6. Maryland is really funny shaped, which makes for great jewelry. A square with a heart in it just wouldn’t be the same (no offense Colorado, you’re still awesome).

maryland heart

7. We have this crazy, yet beautiful flag. It’s yellow. It’s red. It’s in your face. Who came up with this pattern? I like it. Plus it makes for some great clothing and accessories. Thank you Route One Apparel(Photo credit: @linnylou_who, Twitter, posted on Route One Apparel’s Facebook Page)


8. Maryland is home to many historic towns. Annapolis, Baltimore, Frederick, Old Ellicott City and so much more.

Some of my favorite times are spent wandering historic main streets exploring the shops and restaurants. (and apparently I like to take photos of couples holding hands in these places)


9. We’re not quite “Northern”, we’re not quite “Southern,” which means when we head north or south, we don’t quite fit in, but the silver lining is that no one really dislikes us.

10. Maryland makes some damn fine beer.

Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, Union Brewery, DuClaw, Brewer’s Alley and so many other craft brewers. It’s easier to “buy local” when your local beer is top notch.


11. Location, location, location.

While Maryland is great, variety is the spice of life. We are within close proximity to many other top US cities. Wherever you might be in Maryland, you could wake up one morning and take a day trip to DC, Philadelphia, NYC and more. No big deal.


12. You can only find Berger cookies here. They are rich and decadent.

Sure, the FDA’s proposed ban on trans fat could put them out of business, but you know it is worth it.


13. I have not met many other people in the US that have quite as much county pride as Maryland residents.

I’ve actually met people from other states that have no idea what county they are in. Nonetheless, we rep the counties we grew up or live in like no other (hocofoshoyo, now with bmore street cred).

14. It might not be cheap to reside here, but it sure is cheaper than DC

15. This is birdland. Through thick and through thin, we support our Baltimore Orioles and Ravens.


Idiosyncrasy in “accreditation”: Academic, Institutions, and States? (Jan. 2, 2010)

In a previous post I described a recent certification process for B enterprises. This article is to provide further explanation on how these “accreditation organizations” are launched, prosper, and fade away. Generally, in societies not centrally controlled, you have, now and then, a few “accredited” members in every discipline or syndicate making waves on the ground that “performance” (ethics, standard of knowledge, training, transparency…) is declining and that the discipline has to be reformed; then, they start a certification process that never goes far because money is generated when an idea catch up with the awareness wave of the public.

For example, the certifying organization that issue B (for benefit) rate to enterprises that sign up to demonstrate that they are socially and environmentally performing has hired 12 employees across the USA to do “random” audits: every two years, a B enterprise has to ask to renew its certification, pay for certification renewal even if it was not audited.  This is how certification organization make money: they get paid for doing nothing after the first issuing of certification for many years until it is discredited for fraud or when the original entrepreneurs are discovered not to be passionate and resilient enough to bar companies’ gimmick of using a certification for “green washing” their image instead of investing on programs with tangible results. The B certification organization is currently working on a budget of $1.5 million and growing exponentially but it has proven to be conscientious and meaning to improve business practices.

Certification organizations enjoy gold mine businesses when supported by political institutions or deep pocket multinationals aiming at destroying independent competitors.  When you hear “accreditation” the first thing that come to mind are academic institutions. Renowned universities expand overseas and extend their names to local universities after submitting to accreditation procedures. It is the process that is interesting because university administration and staff scramble to communicate with one another, concentrate meeting sessions among professors who never talk with one another, encourage emailing ideas, suggestions, programs, result data, graphs, sophisticated presentation gimmicks, gastronomic explorations, touring campaigns, and whatever is necessary to offering a good image to the accreditation team.

In most cases, the accreditation team is enjoying his stay and being paid lavishly for just listening to good natured “professors” who are making a living the harsh way until opportunity knock to participating in accreditation teams. Business is business and no hard feelings are supposed to tarnish a excellent profitable business that parents of student pay for an imaginary piece of paper certifying that their offspring graduated from such a “certified university” and recognized by a developed country. Sure, after graduation the student is automatically admitted to continue his higher education as long as money is available. This naïve student, who never opened a book and barely can write in his own language, is asked to read half a dozen books per week in an exotic language and write analyses of what he read. As if professors are paid to teach! Professors are meant to be “advisors”, mentor, and abuse students to do their own projects contracted out from companies.

I hear that when a professor is awarded the Nobel Prize or any other recognized international award that students are cognizant of then the professor receive a “chair” from the university and maybe a building is named after him or occasionally, a building is erected in his honor.  It is the latest university that gets all the honors and the others academic institutions that taught the “professor” are irrelevant. In return the university expects increase in enrollment: the students want to ogle the “chair” but the chair is empty.  The professor is more comfortable on his rickety chair, in a secluded environment.

We join syndicates such as Real Estates or mortgage loan officers.  We are asked to pass a test before we sign in as members after paying our dues.  The tests are basically about your knowledge of the laws, regulations, and rules of the game. You may pass the test but your lawyer fill have no ground to prove that you are totally stupid to have passed the test. You may end up making money by trial and errors at your own expenses because the tests are not related to acquiring any knowledge of the practice.  People who are not members of syndicates can practice the job and go unpunished because they did not pay money to be punished and learn the laws and regulations!

The same mentality goes to nuclear proliferation signatories. Iran and North Korea mistakenly signed up on that treaty.  India and Israel refused to sign the treaty and they can do whatever they want. Iran and North Korea have to suffer the ignominies of the UN veto members. Treaties are hell that open the doors to superpowers to control your independence with no return for your good will!

A Dream Real

 Note: wrote this piece when I was in Real Estates

1.   My fellows make fun of me, of my choice of name.

           Posting Dr. Adonis is intimidating, it scares people off.

A few, maybe.  Plenty call on me.

           They keep me busy, friendly, alert and happy.


2.   Dr. Adonis has no business selling homes.

Dr. Adonis was meant to teach, to be employed.

Dr. Adonis joined the rank of the selfish, the greedy.

Dr. Adonis is banished from the elite gangs.


3.   I got to know the mind of the Realtor.

           You see one, you see all.

Like you, I don’t like him.

           He sells houses for fees.


4.   Long hours, long days and nights.

           I sell a friend “My Home”.

I make that dream come true.

           I am associated with a few dreams.

Long lasting dream, long lasting me.

           Kids have their own rooms; I never had mine.

Kids play in the basement; I sleep in part of one.


5.   I call, I mail, I follow up and serve.

I serve and call no more:  Just drop by.

Big hearts, big smiles open the door for me.

I have no home of mine:  Home is where that heart is.


I am a Realtor.  I don’t like him.

I sell dreams, Real ones, at last.

Clara from Nigeria: Introspection (Addendum #12)

Smiling for Three (Dec. 2002)

Dedicating this song to Clara

She responded to my numerous ads in a few of the Real Estates magazines.

I used to advertise myself as “Dr. Adonis” since I earned a PhD in 1991 in Industrial Engineering.

This story is taking place around 1999.

My odd ads occasionally generated calls for healing the sick people.

Clara actually wanted to buy herself an apartment.

She could secure a loan for a $100,000 property. She knew her limits, but a palace would be far nicer.

Clara hired me to help her buy her first real dream.

Clara is from Nigeria, living in the USA, working for an International organization.

She is beautiful, in her thirties, a young single mother raising a 10-years old boy.

We toured two dozen properties together, mostly in her car, and we wrote a dozen failed offers.

Finally, she managed to move in, in my first choice of a neighborhood, which she refused to consider 6 months ago.

When we signed the deal she was ecstatic and I was happy for a hard job done.

Clara liked me very much and stuck with me during these depressing successive failures.

Four years later, I remembered her and I am dedicating this song to Clara.

        You know Clara; I am more independent than most men.

I am single, with no children to care for.

One meal suffices and I am not picky with food.

No mortgage to pay.

You are single too,but you have a kid.

You have to work for two.

You have to worry for two.

You have to be scared for two.

A woman, with a child and no family support, emigrating from modern Africa.

A harsh life there, but still a harsher life here in the USA.

        You know Clara; you still have more life than me.

If you smile, you are smiling for two.

When you are happy, you are happy for two.

When you laugh, you are laughing for two.

Not often.

But how could my feelings come close?

        You said: I don’t mind working, worrying, and fearing for more than two people.

I would like, one more time, to be happy.

      I want to smile and laugh for three.

The road to perdition (Introspection chapter#49)


 My brother-in-law, Victor’s assignment, as military attaché of the Lebanese government, lasted barely two years and I had the opportunity to meet with many US officials, the Lebanese community, and Lebanese army officers on training missions.  I was living and working in San Francisco since 1992 and was invited to live with my family in Washington DC, before we relocated to Montgomery County in Maryland.


My sister Raymonde prepared countless dinners, all by herself, for dozens of invitees each time. Mother stayed with us for six months and was of great aid preparing dinners.  We toured the USA as a family, a few  Disney’s lands, New York, North Carolina and on.


Victor and Raymonde had wider opportunities to tour the USA as invitees of the US military to Hawaii, Colorado, Louisiana, and Niagara Falls and on. I went biking and walking with the kids in the forests.


The time came in 1996 for the Choukeir family to leave for Lebanon.  Every member of the family was distraught.  The kids were very unhappy because they experienced a new learning climate for investigative minds; they even learned music and playing musical instruments and tampered with computers.


Victor insisted on purchasing and shipping a large gas guzzling van that they used to tour Jordan and Syria in their first year in Lebanon, before it turned a relic, parked and taking space in the parking lot because the kids had grown out of family vacations as a group.

I refused to leave with them.  I had no earning job and I was practically broke; I was plainly conscious that the hardest period is ahead of me, but I refused to succumb yet to a “suicidal life” in Lebanon; I had to make a final push for financial stability.


Two months before the order for Victor to definitely return to Lebanon, I had read an announcement that a free course of 3 weeks in Real Estate was opening; this course would permit me to sit for a testing exam that may introduce me into this closed business.

My next four years to the labyrinths of Hell took off, especially for someone with a foreign accent, short, and ungainly, who posted his real estates signs “Dr. Adonis” .  I had a PhD in industrial engineering and was not lying with any title.

I can write a whole book just on my personal experiences in Real Estates business and thus, I would restrain my experience to just a sketchy section of my first two years.  The sign generated many calls from distraught people suffering of physical ailments, but I was of no help.

I have published on five pieces (poems) related to my attitude and feelings on my life in this business, and particular chapters describing my life and the real estates business.

I recall the innumerable hunger, humiliation and indignity I suffered in the first two years in the real estates business, and many more after I started earning a living.

I rented rooms in humid basements.  I finally purchased a decent 4-year old car with my credit card.  I paid the ads of my listed properties with credit cards.  I know how the US lived in the last three decades on just credit cards…

Once, I lost weight and my acquaintances believed I had AIDS.  I got scared and visited a community dispensary and paid $10 for the check up.  The physician sadly told me: “You are not eating properly.”  What can a broke person eat?  I hadn’t discovered any soup kitchen announcement in this ultra wealthy county.

Four years of hell, but I made it with many topics to write about.  Nothing else but frustration and abuse, and many listings generated mostly from 50 calls a day to unknown people, using the phone book, and asking “Do yo care to sell or buy properties?”.  I never liked calling and still don’t.




October 2022

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