Archive for the 'life' Category

Caramelo

Feb 28 2011 Published by under culture,family,life,past

caramelo cover

Each morning Uncle rolled out huge dusty towers of fresh flour tortillas for his boys and served them hot with butter and salt for breakfast, or if he was feeling daring, with peanut butter. —Nothing like a hot peanut butter taco and a cup of coffee, Uncle said.

♦♦♦

In 1915 more than half of the Mexican-American population emigrated from the Valley of Texas into war-torn Mexico fleeing the Texas Rangers, rural police ordered to suppress an armed rebellion of Mexican Americans protesting Anglo-American authority in South Texas. Supported by U.S. cavalry, their bullying led to the death of hundreds, some say thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans, who were executed without trial. The end result was that Mexican-owned land was cleared, allowing development by Anglo newcomers. So often were Mexicans killed at the hands of the “Rinches,” that the San Antonio Express-News said it “has become so commonplace” that “it created little or no interest.” Little or no interest unless you were Mexican.

From Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

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Snow Day

Feb 10 2011 Published by under life,present

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All Sewn Up

Jan 19 2011 Published by under life,present

Exquisite Corpse

So I am now in full recovery from last Friday’s surgery. All went well, although the doctor said he had to cut a little deeper than he had planned. And while I do have some internal stitches, I have to be careful because the main incision is on the surface and must be left open to heal on its own.

Today was my first day back in the office, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. But by 4:30, I was definitely ready to go home. Recovery’s been OK. I’m not in too much pain, and changing the dressings is only mildly annoying. The worst part, though, is the anesthesiologist caught my bottom lip between my teeth and the metal instrument they used during intubation, and now I have these enormous painful lip cuts from hell.

But it’s over. Hopefully, this means all my health problems will gone within a few weeks. Last month’s tooth abscess seems to have cleared up since I got the root canal, and once this incision heals, I shouldn’t have any more pain or constant infection from the undying cyst. Even my physical back in October reported that my extremely low Vitamin D levels had improved to normal. And of course, I’m still at my ideal weight (even if I’m on hiatus from the gym because of surgery).

Yes, 2010 was all about expelling the ill and trimming the fat… This year I get to focus on the good stuff.

IMG SRC: Cadavre exquis

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Hello, Holidays

Dec 16 2010 Published by under life,present

Happy Holidays!

Well, I’ve had a few posts started, but haven’t mustered the energy to finish them. So I’ll just gloss over the past few weeks… Thanksgiving in the Valley was wonderful, came back with a swollen face due to an abscessed tooth. Had the root canal this past Monday and also saw the doctor about removing this cyst on my upper leg, which turns out is a larger (though not life-threatening) problem, which will be taken care of early next year. Work has been alright; I’m just ready for this year to be done with.

One of the great things about the past few weeks is that Brad and I have, once again, been able to hang out with our friends. Kat is one of my good friends that I met during my semester in Italy. She and her boyfriend Ryan live in Dallas, and we’ve finally been able to get our schedules in sync. Our mutual friend Kelly is in Dallas until the end of the year, and it’s been amazing to just hang out like we did back in Italy.

As a holiday gift, Kat bought us the paper wreath kit. The outcome is pictured above. We had a great evening of crafting and chatting, and even though it took a couple of “do-overs,” it came out beautiful. Monday, Brad and I put up the Christmas Tree, made some cookies, and yesterday we got all of our gift shopping done.

The holidays are here, and I’m ready to put all the dentist and doctor stuff aside, and just concentrate on what matters… family, friends, peace and love.

Christmas Decor 2010 - 1

Christmas Decor 2010 - 6

Christmas Decor 2010 - 3

Christmas Decor 2010 - 2

Christmas Decor 2010 - 8

Christmas Decor 2010 - 9

Christmas Decor 2010 - 10

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Rochester

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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Music and Family

Nov 12 2010 Published by under family,life,present

Mikey with Parents

A nice, quiet end to an eventful week! As I mentioned earlier, the Resounding Harmony Singers performed “A Suppertime Celebration” on Wednesday evening at the Myerson Symphony Center here in Dallas. This was my first performance with the group. We’ve been practicing for this concert since August, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The music was fantastic. I had an incredible time. It’s been longer than 12 years since I sang in a choir, and all the joy just came rushing back. I expected to be nervous on stage, but I couldn’t have been more excited. It was wonderful. We sang our hearts out… and all for a good cause. Thanks to ticket sales, fundraisers and donations, we raised more than 200,000 meals for the North Texas Food Bank!

One of the best parts of this experiences was having my parents see me perform. They live more than 500 miles away and don’t have much money, so it’s rare that I even get to see them. They haven’t been to Dallas since last year. I really wanted them to see the show, so I bought them tickets front and center and they made the trek up here. They enjoyed it thoroughly. This was also the first time Brad has seen me perform on stage. Of course, he’s used to me singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of my lungs in the shower. But this was a whole new experience for him. I’m so happy he enjoyed it.

It was so nice to have my parents over for a visit. It was too quick, but Brad and I will be down in the Valley for Thanksgiving. That, too, will be a quick visit. But it’ll be nice to be with my sisters, nieces and nephew and all the family I rarely get to see.

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A Stocked Fridge

Nov 07 2010 Published by under life,present

A Stocked Fridge
Our fridge.

It seems we rarely get a nice quiet weekend to relax anymore. Saturday morning started out wonderfully with a trip to the dentist for a painful abscessed tooth, then rushing to the Myerson Symphony Center downtown for dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s Resounding Harmony choir concert. Despite the pain, I was somehow able to perform pretty well. The concert is going to be amazing.

But I still needed to get the final pieces for my concert outfit, which meant a trip to Aldo for some boots and JC Penney for a tie and pocket square. Then Brad and I began our two-day affair of grocery shopping. Sometimes it’s easier to split the grocery shopping into two days since we typically hit up more than one store. Saturday, we got our meat and poultry, along with some other items at Super H Mart in Carrollton. Sunday evening (after my regular rehearsal with Resounding Harmony), we stocked up on Oatmega3 bars, bulk items and a dinner for two at Central Market. We finished off with buying the majority of our groceries at Kroger.

Of course, Brad and I are so privileged that we are able to stock up on groceries — that we can afford these necessities. We rarely consider those who can’t afford food or who don’t have the ability to drive around the metroplex buying whatever they like. As I mentioned before, this Wednesday evening I will be singing with the Resounding Harmony chorus in a choral concert to benefit the North Texas Food Bank. Tickets are still on sale and range between $30 and $50, and it benefits the North Texas Food Bank. We are taking food and money donations, as well as silent auction items, and of course beautiful music. I’d love to see you there.

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The Barcelona Chair

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

mies3

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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Lily … A Retrospective

Oct 31 2010 Published by under life,photography,present

Baby Lily

Lily's Reflection

Teenaged Lily

Lily as the Madonna

Lily - Contemplation

Halloween 2010 - Happy birthday, Lily!

Today is my cat Lily’s 8th birthday. She was born a few weeks before Halloween, but that’s the day I brought her home. She’s definitely a handful at times, but I love her… despite the bites, scratches, blood and scars.

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Tin Men / Exquisite French Robots

Oct 31 2010 Published by under entertainment,family,life,present

Halloween 2010 - Costumes 1

Halloween 2010 - Costumes 2

Halloween 2010 - Costumes 3

After spending the afternoon shopping for fall clothes (I love Zara!), Brad and I made ourselves up for a night out at the Cedar Springs / Oak Lawn Block Party in Dallas. We live only two blocks away from the event, but that didn’t make our evening any less stressful. We got home just as everyone had descended upon our neighborhood, and our un-policed apartment parking lot was full. Luckily, after alerting our landlord, I was able to squeeze my car into a legal spot behind the complex.

Since Brad had been feeling ill and we had things to do, we had to throw together some sort of costumes at the very last minute. We didn’t arrive at the block party until 11:30, but there was still lots to see. We had a good time overall — even if our costumes weren’t as top notch as last year’s.

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