Archive for the 'goals' Category


Nov 17 2010 Published by under future,goals,life

They say that Texas has unbeatable home prices, but after extensive house hunting this past summer, Brad and I were dismayed that in order to get something even half way decent in Dallas, we were going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. Small, older two bedroom/one bathroom homes in remote, questionable neighborhoods start right around the $100,000 mark. And many new constructions lack the character and detail that we desire, and they are still out of our price range. The search was frustrating and a factor in choosing to put off buying until the time was right.

Brad and I are constantly in search for the right place we can call home. A place where we’ll be paid fairly, where we can own a home for a decent price, and where we’ll have a high quality of life with culture and entertainment. It looks like Rochester, New York may be just the place.

The home pictured below is being offered for $72,900. It’s described as a ready to move in Colonial with new kitchen, new maple cabinets, new counters & ceramic tile. Updated main plumbing lines, circuit breakers & windows. Recently refinished hardwoods. New paint, light fixtures, two remodeled baths, a garage and large backyard!

True it isn’t the absolute best neighborhood in Rochester, but it isn’t the worst either. And judging from Google’s street view, it actually looks like a great neighborhood.

Beautiful period woodwork and gleaming hardwoods!

Completely renovated bathrooms!

A beautifully updated kitchen.

A nice spacious living area.

A large backyard with storage garage!

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The Barcelona Chair

Nov 03 2010 Published by under art,design,future,goals,life,past,photography,travel


In the summer of 2008, I studied art history and drawing in Italy. Afterward, I decided to visit Spain and stay a week in Barcelona. It was the perfect opportunity to visit the German Pavilion of Bauhaus designer Mies van der Rohe, which was a longtime dream of mine. The Pavilion houses my absolute favorite piece of modern design, the Barcelona Chair, which continues to inspire me to this day.

When I was a just a boy of twelve, I wanted nothing more than to sit in my bedroom all day and play Nintendo games. I also stayed up late at night drawing and watching reruns of The Fall Guy. I was entering that pre-teen phase where I just wanted to be holed up in my room all day, away from the adults, away from the children, doing my own thing.

I typically sat on the floor, hunched over my work and straining my neck upwards to watch the screen of my 13″ Emerson. My dad saw my poor posture and decided to get me something to sit on. At the time, he really enjoyed going to local auctions and picking up interesting items on the cheap. This is where he found a collection of art books and supplies from the ’40s that helped me transition from drawing Ninja Turtles to figures in repose. This is where he found me the perfect chair.

He couldn’t have paid more than $20. It was the perfect size for my room. It was about three feet wide and sat two comfortably. The only defect was one of the leather straps beneath seat cushion was broken, but could have easily been stitched back around the chrome frame. I loved this comfortable chair, but when it came time to move, it somehow got left behind. I didn’t worry because my parents still owned the old house which sat vacant for several months. But the house was soon rented out, and the chair was never reclaimed.

Several years passed and I came across a book on home furnishings at a garage sale. There I saw my chair pictured and listed as the Barcelona Chair, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929 for the German Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Barcelona. Designed at the height of the Bauhaus movement, the Barcelona Chair remains one of the most stylish and elegant pieces of modern design.

As you can imagine, the loss of my own Barcelona Chair has weighed heavily on me for years. Currently, an authentic Barcelona Chair ranges from $4500 – $5600. And a vintage Barcelona Chair, like mine, may fetch more than that.

For years, the chair has been a source of inspiration for my pursuit of art and design. And I hope to one day be able to own another.

around the house
By MŪV*MƏNT on flickr

Pictured above are two vintage Barcelona Chairs dating from the 1960s,
matching the size and color of my own lost Barcelona Chair.

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How I’d love to live here!

Oct 27 2010 Published by under future,goals,life,real estate

4308 E Side Avenue, Dallas TX 75226
via trulia

During our adventures in house hunting, Brad and I saw many, many houses. We came across a few gems. We both love older homes with character, like this house in East Dallas built in 1940. It’s got great curb appeal, a large lawn and a lot of space inside (1900 sq. feet!).

This house is currently on the market for $89,740 and in a prime location. It is priced well below market value and marked as a “distressed sale.” I’m sure there’s some unfortunate reason for the low cost, but look at how cute it is!

While we’re not quite ready to re-enter the house-buying game, at least Brad and I know what we like. I’ll try to post the properties that jump out at me, for future reference.

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The plans are always changing

Aug 07 2010 Published by under future,goals,life,present

Searching for a new place to live has never been more difficult. We have more than four months until our lease is up, but I’ve just about had it with this tiny apartment. I’ve been scouring the web for a suitable new home, to no avail.

The real problem, though, is that for the last two months Brad and I were looking to buy a house … a plan that did not pan out.

For anyone who has ever bought a house, you know that it’s a very stressful time in a person’s life. We put so much into finding the perfect place, filling out all the paperwork, negotiating the contract, getting the pre-approval and finding the right lender. I even developed a nervous twitch in my eye (which has returned as I relive that rollercoaster of emotions). I don’t doubt Brad’s own emotional contribution to the whole thing, but ultimately it was his decision to scrap the whole plan … and I was crushed.

Terminating the contract definitely wasn’t without reason. Although we both absolutely loved the house, there were a number of repairs that neither we nor the sellers could afford to make right away. Money is always tight for us since Brad relies heavily on a part-time job and student aid, and I’m not exactly raking in the big bucks. It was the wise choice — the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Still, I am the type of person who takes great care in planning for the future. If I want to accomplish something, I set out well in advance to put myself on the path I believe will take me to it. This path guaranteed a five-year plan to build equity, establish myself as a working designer, and possibly have children. In fact, one of the reasons we chose buying rather than renting is because we are looking into surrogacy or fostering a child, and we figured a nice starter home in a safe, established neighborhood would offer some stability for a young child. I’m 30 after all, and I am very much OK with the settling down aspect of life.

Brad, on the other hand, tends to get bored and antsy within the confines of one place within a year. It stems from the transient childhood of an Army brat. Being younger, he also feels that life passes by too fast and that if you stick around one place too long, you’ll miss it. He’s had some great aspirations for his life. And I feel like we’ve both done very well to accommodate each others’ goals in those plans, however, Brad tends to change his mind frequently. I’ve lost count of the number of times our two-year outlook has changed. I don’t know how we ever came up with a five-year one. And it seems lately that the life plans — these enormous, earth-shattering, mountain-moving plans — have been changing on the fly. It’s getting to be dangerously close to reckless, and I think Brad needs to learn that making these big decisions cannot, should not be done in a snap. There is an insecurity there that he needs to acknowledge. Yes, there are some fantastic options in front of us, but if we choose one, we need to commit to it and see it through to the end.

It’s a different perspective that I don’t think he can see clearly just yet. But I’m here to help. I appreciate and encourage Brad’s ambition, but I also want him to realize there needs to be some responsibility on his part. These decisions are the ones that really matter and cannot be made lightly. There’s more at stake and there are more people depending on us to follow through. After making a huge investment, breaking that contract is bound to yield some penalties.

In the short term, let’s hope I can make some headway into finding us a new place to live. It’s been very difficult to let go of what was very nearly ours, and changing our plan so drastically makes me anxious of being stuck in this tiny place forever. I think I need this little bit of change to help me move on.

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