Sunday, January 17, 2010

Maya Eventov Paintings

A gallery in the area is moving to a smaller location and has to liquidate a lot of their pieces. Because I know the owners I was allowed to come by the gallery and pick out anything I wanted at a discount. I found these amazing pieces by an artist named Maya Eventov.

I walked around the gallery for quite awhile and kept coming back to these. They're so "alive" to me and spoke to me on a very deep level. It's obvious by my own artwork that trees hold a special place with me. I couldn't decide which one, so I took both out on approval. I tried them on different walls to see if they would even work anywhere. I would walk around the house trying to decide which one to keep and in the end couldn't decide. So, I kept them both.

We haven't had any real direction for our Master Bedroom and these fit perfectly. Now we have something to pull inspiration from. One is already hanging in the bedroom, while the more vibrant one is hanging in the kitchen - the colors and size are perfect!

Every time I come around the corner and see one of them I smile. They're beautiful pieces with beautiful energy. The colors and texture in each one gives it so much depth that it feels like it's real - like you could touch the painting and become a part of it. Ok, I know this all sounds cheesy - especially for me, but I'm realizing it's hard to put into words how these paintings make me feel.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Multi-tasking and Death Machines

While I have several habits I'm changing this year (notice I didn't say "resolutions"...that's because "resolutions" fail - I'm "making changes") the biggest and, I think, most important one is cell phone related.

I've decided that I will no longer use my phone in the car. Period. I will only use "hands free" when I can master voice dialing (which I'll practice at home, not in the car). My phone now stays in my pocket. If my phone rings, I ignore it until I stop somewhere (and that doesn't mean a stop light or stop sign). I'm just so fed up with all of the close calls I get driving to and from anywhere. I'm cut off numerous times a day, or get trapped behind that person driving 5-10 miles below the speed limit - or the person who doesn't realize the light turned green. EVERY SINGLE TIME, that person is either on the phone, dialing the phone, or text messaging.

I have a news flash for everyone. The average car weighs in at 2 tons (4000 pounds) - that doesn't begin to get into the SUV's and Uber-Trucks that are on the roads right now. It is a machine - a machine that has the ability to crush and maim other people or yourself. We all think we can drive well enough to multi-task while driving, but study after study after study have shown that a majority of accidents are caused by people multi-tasking behind the wheel. So, guess what - get over your pride and ego and realize that you're driving and controlling a very heavy, potentially deadly machine - it isn't an extension of you.

I admit I was one of the worst, but over the past year I've had to limit the multi-tasking more and more because I had to be on the lookout for all the other idiots as well as myself. It was too much to handle safely. And it dawned on me one day - what the hell is soooo important that it can't wait until I'm safely parked somewhere? There was a time - not so long ago, when cell phones didn't exist - or were rare. You don't have to take that call while maneuvering through town at 40-50 mph. If it really can't wait, then pull into a parking lot somewhere and call the person back (there's a crazy feature on all phones that actually tells you who called and most have a "call back" feature).

Please do the world a favor - yourself included - and put the phone in your pocket or bag while driving (and don't fish it out if it rings.) Since I've been doing it my rides have been a little less stressful and it allows me to pay attention to all of the other idiots out there multi-tasking in their death machines.

It's 2010 y'all!

Another decade down - amazing!

Let's get one thing out of the's pronounced "twenty ten". In 1910 they didn't say "one thousand nine hundred ten". It was "nineteen ten". Sure, maybe a few centuries ago it was "the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred ten", but especially in the age of texting and tweeting everything should be done in as few syllables as possible. So, say it with me, "twenty ten". Don't be the douchebag that says "two thousand ten" - you will be laughed at - and not just by me.

And before I start getting comments saying, "well they also said 'nineteen-o-five' when we said 'two thousand five'." Bite me - besides the fact that we're a lazy society and need to use as few syllables as possible, it just sounds cooler to say "twenty ten."

I'm Back...for real this time...

Wow - so much has happened in the past few months. We bought a house, fixed it up, had a very successful housewarming/holiday party, went to Disneyland, faced the holidays (especially hard for Mark this year since weather prevented him from going home). Now it's 2010.

I seem to have replaced my blog with Facebook, which at first I enjoyed. Now, not so much. It seems I've actually missed blogging. I quit when I felt like I couldn't write what I wanted because I was trying to protect people around me. Those events consumed so much of my life that it felt like there wasn't anything else to write about. I would find myself sitting here staring at the screen, blank. Nothing would materialize - so I decided it was time to "take a break."

That break turned into a year with a very pathetic attempt at starting up again back in August. Pathetic attempts are over with now. Looking back at old entries I've realized that Facebook is not a replacement for blogging. So many people I know have retired from the blog world, but I'm betting it'll make a come-back. So, in that vein, I'm starting it back up - and this time for real.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just messing around

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

in the meantime...

I know I need to post - there's plenty to write about, but since I was asked to post the link to Mark's new blog, I will.

Zeitzeuge Redux

Maybe I'll write a little sumpin' sumpin' tonight.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Loft thing

So, here's the thing...and I've had a few drinks, so I'm sorry if this gets a little rambly and confusing. We found this loft to go look at. It's right down the street, has a separate bedroom, 2 baths, and a gorgeous view of downtown. The building is cool and so is the space...with a few "taste" upgrades. So, we scheduled to meet with the listing realtor...she sent her husband and "partner."

After spending a good amount of time looking, he mentioned that the prior deal fell through because the building was no longer FHA approved. ????!!!!!?????...Ok, so we want an FHA loan. Apparently one tenant bought a 4th unit to expand his loft (must be nice) which rendered the property FHA DISapproved. The HOA had no idea that they would lose this status with his buying another loft, so ever since they've been in a battle to regain FHA status. That was disappointment #1.

THEN he mentions that the $255/mo HOA dues had an additional assessment fee attached to it because of the new elevator they put in...after reading the paperwork I discovered that this elevator that goes 2 floors cost them $150,000...WTF?!?!? That would be a total of $390/mo in HOA dues until "assessment was paid."

THEN we asked to see the rooftop deck (one of the selling points) to which he says, "oh, my wife hasn't allowed me up there yet." So, I thought I'd ask about another selling point - the extra storage downstairs...his response? "There's extra storage?" we made a laundry list of what needed to be done:
  1. rip out the brick "wine storage" that looks like a firepit gone wrong and is not structural
  2. fix up the secondary bath
  3. buy shelving for the master closet
  4. remove the hd projector and painted screen
  5. add a "loftwall" for the second bedroom
  6. paint all the walls
  7. sand all of the beams
  8. remove carpeting from section of bedroom
  9. remove part of the built in shelving because it doesn't accommodate our living room
  10. remove "maple" panels from refrigerator and replace with black or stainless
And yes, some of these things can be done after we get the place and down the road, but still, quite a bit more work than we want to do. $169k for 1588sf... Our budget isn't that high.

The realtor's wife (the principal) wrote me back and apologized for the confusion with everything. She said that they are in the process of working out the FHA thing and that the assessment was either already paid for or would be rolled into the seller's closing costs. I told her that if he would even think of $159k for it we would take another look with her to show us around the rest of the building.

I got an email this morning from her saying that she would contact the seller and haven't heard back, so I'm writing that one off. On the other hand our realtor emailed a couple of listings this morning - one great house in Lake Highlands (near White Rock Lake) that we absolutely who knows where this journey will take us.

We aren't seriously planning on moving until the Fall, but if something were to come along in the would just have to be a perfect fit and deal for us to take it right now.