What empty chair?

31 August, 2012 § Leave a comment

Did you happen to catch Mr. Eastwood’s duet at the RNC last night? I found it to be most sensational, inspirational, celebrational and, above all else, Muppetational.


Movin’ on up.

2 July, 2012 § 4 Comments

On my desk I have a card sent to me by my parents. The card reads on the outside, “A new place — Decorate your new place in your own special style…” and then on the inside, “…fun, colorful, and full of love. Congratulations!” Also on the inside is a personal note my mother wrote in:

David & Holly —

We’ll miss having you two around. But we’re also excited for you & very proud of you for taking this big step and going out on your own. Please know that you will always have a place to come home to, if you need it. You’re welcome any time for dinner, to visit or whatever (but just give us a heads up so I’ll be sure to be serving enough! ­čÖé )

Congratulations! We love you both!

Mom & Dad

I received this letter in February of 2007 right after Holly and I moved into our apartment across town from where I’d grown up and spent the majority of my life, and where Holly had been living with us for the past two and a half years. We had refrained from telling my parents we were moving because we wanted it to be a surprise, so we didn’t tell them until after we’d been approved to move in. “Hey, guys, sit down for a sec. We have something to tell you,” I started. As soon as those words registered, their eyes widened and I realized what they thought I was going to say. “Oh, we’re not pregnant. We’re moving out next week.”

And we did. In fact we got a really great deal on our apartments, too, which was part of the reason we were rushing to move out since we had to sign our lease by a certain date in order to take advantage of the deal.

So that happened. Then, last November, we received a notice that our rent would be increasing by nearly $150 when we re-signed our lease in February. So we realized we had to expedite our plans to move out. We had been looking for a house off and on for several months, but only once we found out our rent payments were about to skyrocket did we become determined to move out as quickly as possible. We contacted a friend of ours who was in real estate, told him we were interested in learning more about moving out, and began scouring several real estate websites to see what our options looked like.

We had only a few requirements: 3+ bedrooms, a large kitchen, and an open floor plan. Easy enough, right? We began actively looking at houses in December. Unfortunately our work schedules never quite seemed to sync up so we were viewing maybe three or four houses each week. Also unfortunately none of the houses we looked at locally really suited our needs. On top of that, the particular lack of saved funds made it especially difficult to find a house we could afford with a reasonable down payment. Nevertheless, we continued searching. We were approved for an FHA mortgage loan and we even found one or two houses that impressed us enough to make an offer, but unfortunately we were too late on all counts, once by as little as an hour.

Fast forward to March of this year. A coworker of mine (also a real estate agent) suggested we try looking a bit further out of our area. She told us about our loan options for rural areas since I had expressed concerns about dealing with a down payment. I contacted my lender and he informed me we were eligible for a USDA loan, which would require no down payment. So we began looking for houses in rural areas north of Dallas. Unfortunately our friend was less familiar with rural housing and loans, and with his blessing we switched agents to Sue, the woman I work with who told us about USDA loans in the first place.

Sue took us out to Anna, TX and in one day we viewed ten houses; many of which matched what we were looking for very nicely. When we walked into the eighth or ninth house, we knew it would be the one. We made an offer and two days later we had a signed contract for a house.

During the next couple months we did all the tedious stuff — paperwork, inspections, loan stuff, government stuff… Finally on the morning of Thursday the 14th of June 2012, Holly and I signed the closing paperwork for our house.

The following Sunday, Father’s Day, we broke the news to my parents, who had no idea we were even looking for a house to begin with. “Holly and I have an announcement. No, we’re not pregnant.” I led them on for a while, explaining that Holly and I had been under a lot of stress lately, and that we were feeling pressed for cash — these were things they knew, but they didn’t know why. Finally I laid it on them, “On Thursday, we closed on a house. We’re moving out of town on Wednesday.”

This brought on a couple reactions. First was amazement, and then came the follow-up question I expected: “What do you mean, ‘out of town’?” We had, in the past, traveled to Denver a few times because Holly used to have family up there. My parents knew we absolutely loved the weather and atmosphere and had, once or twice, discussed the possibility of moving out there. I assured them that no, I was not moving out of Texas for the first time since 1988; we were only moving about twenty miles north.

So my mom raised her glass and everyone toasted our new endeavor. It was late and Holly and I had actually spent most of the day painting in the house, so we decided to call it a night and go home (to the apartment).

Monday, I took my computer up to the new house and had our water services activated while Holly packed up in the apartment. Tuesday I had the house inspected for our Certificate of Ownership, and had the carpet cleaned that evening — while Holly packed up in the apartment. Wednesday we woke up early, took the cats to the vet to have them boarded for the day, packed up and rearranged some final things in the apartment, and at 8:30 the movers arrived.

There’s not much to say about the move itself, so I’ll let you use your imagination. But by 11:15 we were done.

I think dinner that night was Hot Pockets and champagne.

Thursday, we had our satellite service installed and my mom and brother got to see the house for the first time (my dad had come by Monday to help me get some of our electronics hooked up). Friday my parents came over again, as well as several close friends, for a day-long pseudo-party. There were drinks, good food, and baseball on the “big screen.” The big screen is really just the blank wall our projector is aimed at. Did I mention the previous owners left us a mounted projector with a DVD receiver and surround sound system? That was awfully nice of them.

Saturday, we rested for the first time all week.

Sunday, I went back to work while Holly enjoyed the last day of her vacation. I don’t remember Monday except that night Holly and I made dinner together for the first time, now that we’ve got a kitchen we can both fit into at the same time. Tuesday we had the internet activated (it had been activated Thursday morning, but some of our phone wiring wasn’t connected properly and we couldn’t get that taken care of ’til Tuesday). I also restocked our bookshelves.

Thursday was a milestone for me; I had an early shift at work and Holly was working late, so I decided to take it upon myself to make dinner. With no help at all from Holly (first time ever), I made a “pasta pie.” Pictures are below.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday happened, and that brings us to today. Today we had a professional mow our lawn for us. We wanted a sort of “template” before we begin to maintain our lawn on our own. He did a fantastic job and we couldn’t be more pleased. Tomorrow we’re having the house re-keyed, so if you happen to have a copy of the current keys, tonight will be your last chance to break in. With keys.

And now, pictures!

Our big backyard. Not pictured: the shed. There’s a shed.

Open concept; living room view from kitchen. Pre-purchase. Previous owners’ furniture/decor.

Front-view of the house. I was standing in the field across the street to take this shot.

Getting ready in the apartment. Freyja’s helping.

I had to pack up the cats’ toys eventually. I don’t think Freyja was thrilled about it.

This was the first picture I took of the house as a homeowner. Holly did the honors of letting us into our house for the first time.

This was the second picture. Someone had to turn on all the lights.

Sunday, after breaking the news to my parents, we broke the news to all our friends on Facebook; many of whom had been left in the dark as well. This is how we did it.

Our first dinner cooked together: pasta! (I wouldn’t have it any other way)

My first dinner cooked without any help whatsoever: pasta pie! (No, really, I wouldn’t have it any other way)

I stood on the bed to get this picture. That empty spot is where I was sitting while I unboxed all the books.

Freyja’s finally settled in to her new home.

Those are all the pictures I’ve got for you here on the blog. To see all our pictures (including those of houses we viewed prior to this one, more pictures of this house, pictures of us painting, more pictures of cooking, and plenty more pictures of us preparing for the move) don’t forget to like my page on Facebook!

Pill Poppin’

27 May, 2012 § 2 Comments

 Saturday, 26 May 2012
For days I’ve had these two packages of pills sitting on my desk. I bought them the other day but was unsure of what to do with them. Yesterday evening, I had an idea: let’s grow them.

The time was approximately six thirty in the evening. I was tired of sorting, cleaning, organizing, lifting, carrying, and rearranging things (because those are the sorts of things I do when I’m home alone all weekend). I needed some excitement — I needed an adventure.

And then I remembered the pills. Holly and I were out running errands the other day — we visited the Asian World Market and bought about six million exotic snack foods and packs of ramen noodles, finally saw the new Hunger Games movie, and then stopped at the grocery store for some much-needed essentials. It was there, at the grocery store, that I discovered the pills: colorful, mystical, wonderful, magical pills.
« Read the rest of this entry »

My 2011 in Facebook status updates

31 December, 2011 § 1 Comment

Here it is, a selection of my favorite or most meaningful Facebook status updates from the year 2011. Many of them are meaningful because they indicate a vacation or an event, whereas some are considered “favorites” simply because sometimes I’m hilarious. One particular post, from November 17th, is notable because as of right now it has a grand total of 2,697 comments. I hope you enjoy reading these almost as much as I enjoyed going back through my timeline and reading every. damn. one. of my Facebook posts for the last 365 days.

01 January 2011
Herpe gnu YARRRRR

05 Jan
Holly says I should start a blog. Like, the professional kind. I don’t think I’m smart enough for that.

« Read the rest of this entry »

What Happens in Vegas…

15 October, 2011 § 1 Comment

…shows up on WordPress, apparently.

A few weeks ago Holly and I took a vacation to Las Vegas for our fourth anniversary. It took some time, but I’ve managed to chronicle everything we did, to the best of my recollection, day by day. Here it is, for your enjoyment.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Just some oak and some pine and a handful of Norsemen

20 July, 2011 § 1 Comment

When it comes to books and movies, Holly and I have a pretty healthy collection. Not the healthiest, by any means, but healthy enough. In any case, our collection of each was a bit too large for our storage space. Our bookcase was about three feet high and had three shelves. Books were doubled up on each shelf (packed two deep) and even stacked another couple feet on top of the case. Our DVD rack was shorter, but maybe half a foot wider. Movies were again packed two deep and even piled on top of each other. I never got any pictures of our bookshelf, but here’s one of the DVD rack:

So lately we’ve been looking around for a new bookcase and DVD rack. The bookcase is in our bedroom. The picture above was taken in our living room. We also wanted both in the living room. Not finding anything that we really liked (or that was inside our price range) online, we decided to visit IKEA. If you’ve never been there, IKEA is kind of a big deal. We’d never been to one, but had driven by the local IKEA many times in the past.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Nickelback so bad?

11 July, 2011 § 12 Comments

Somehow, the band known as Nickelback has managed to garner at least a dozen adoring fans. How have they done this? Nobody knows. Is it Chad Kroeger’s luscious locks? His sensual, don’t-give-a-fuck voice that’s eerily similar to at least sixty other popular rock bands who debuted around the same time as Nickelback?

One thing is for certain: no matter who I’m talking to, if the discussion ends up on the topic of music, Nickelback will be mentioned. More often than not, they will be mentioned first by me. The conversations typically go something like this:

Friend: Hey Dave, what sort of music do you like?

Me: Blah, blah, blah, blah, anything but Nickelback.

Friend: Why the animosity toward Nickelback?

Me: They are the bane of the music industry. They are the scab on its knee, the wart on its chin, the long black hair growing out of the ugly mole on its neck.

While Nickelback sounds exactly the same as at least sixty other popular rock bands who debuted around the same time, they pretty much led the pack of suck as they motorcycled their way onto the scene in their ripped jeans and leather jackets, with their unkempt hair and gravelly Eddie Vedder voices. But what I really can’t stand about Nickelback – what can’t [necessarily] be said about those other sixty plus bands – is that their music doesn’t just sound the same across the board; it is the same across the board.

Without any further ado, here’s the video that inspired this post:

Edit: There’s certainly no denying that their song is catchy. You know the one, since they’re all the same anyway. Since making this post early this morning, the song has been stuck in my head all day. Such are the dangers of discussing Nickelback and their colossal cornucopia of suck.

%d bloggers like this: