Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nate's Take on Everything

Ah, yes, that guy mysteriously referred to as "N" in the previous posts. Sara (I should probably refer to her as "S" since that seems to be the "blog" thing to do) was a bit reluctant to let me blog anything on here, fearing that I may talk too much about Sarah Jessica Parker having a horse face or the annoying fact that I have been unable for some time now to find Marshmallow Alpha-Bits cereal in stores. I'll attempt to keep the blog somewhat house-related, although S's soliloquy on Indiana Jones was quite a bit off topic.

We just got done making our final decisions on our house at the design center. I'll try to recap that as best I can below, although I can pretty much sum it up as, "Yes, S (although in this case I actually would have referred to her by name since that would have garnered strange looks from the saleswoman), you're right..." (repeat numerous times)

S picked me up from work, and then we headed over to the design center. Initially, she was a bit of a:

Well, maybe she was more like:

OK, maybe she wasn't really either of those, but I had to at least try the picture function on this thing. She does get crabby sometimes, though, for sure.

Anyway, we got to the design center, and we were already pretty prepared. We've spent several weekends driving around, looking at homes interiors and exteriors to figure out what we want. The toughest decision for us was the exterior of the home. We were trying to decide between Arcadia and Oldham Tudor. Initially, we thought we were going to go with Arcadia, because it's a pretty sharp, light looking brick. However, the two types of siding that go best with Arcadia were unavailable because the neighbors on either side of us have them. So, the big question was, "Do we risk it and go with Arcadia and lighter colored siding, not really knowing how it will turn out, or do we take the safe bet and go with Oldham Tudor with Champagne siding, which looked really sweet (see the previous photos) on a finished house that we saw earlier?" Hmmm, the last time I took a risk and avoided the safe bet, I ended up working for a lousy start-up company in Boston. That turned out really well. Gee, that brick decision wasn't so hard after all...Oldham Tudor with Champagne siding it was!

Everything else wasn't too tough to work out. Amazingly, we agreed on just about everything. One thing S has failed to mention, however, is the canned lighting, which is a type of recessed lighting. It really adds a different type of feel to the rooms, and I think they are more awesome than a movie starring Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Jackie Chan. We will have them in the kitchen, master bedroom, family room, and loft (also known as Nate's Party Palace). I'd like to have them in every room, but getting lots of them can get kind of expensive, and they rejected my trade proposal involving an exchange of Lola for a few more. Below is a picture for reference.

We also headed out to the site last weekend and took a few pictures of our lot. Below is a picture facing our lot from the culdesac.

It's a fixer-upper!

OK, not really. Below is the actual picture, just wanted to make sure you guys were still awake.

And a picture from the back of the lot:

And, finally, one from the side:

(Please ignore the bulging biceps of the guy in the above picture)

We're pretty excited. The lot is a decent size (~10,000 sq. ft.), so we should have a good backyard. Plus, we'll finally be able to grill out, which should be nice. We didn't get a chance to meet our neighbors yet, but I think I saw them both mowing their lawns when we left. If I wasn't mistaken, they were:

Sports prediction for the night: Detroit over Boston, 85-74

Keep it real, readers!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Greater love hath no man than this...

We will never forget those who have gone before, not in search of glory, but to preserve a fragile peace. We will never forget those who today bravely forge a path towards freedom.

To those who have lost their lives to preserve my freedom...
To those who even now are serving on my behalf...
To the families of these, both past and present...
To my father and grandfather...

Thank you.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

N and I spent the afternoon driving through another Ryland neighborhood trying to pick out brick and siding for our new house. We aren't allowed to have the same brick or siding that the neighbors on either side of us have, so this knocks out two types of brick and two colors of siding. We drove through the neighborhood and picked 14 houses that we admired. NINE of them had at least one color that we aren't allowed to have. :( Looking on the bright side, at least we know the neighbors have good taste, right?

Here are a few pics of what we have it narrowed down to. We are consistently drawn to a lighter brick called Arcadia. The most popular sidings it is paired with are the two we aren't allowed to have: Sierra and Sand. But here it is paired with Champagne, a little lighter than Sierra or Sand.

This picture has it paired with Sand siding on a house that is a little bit closer to what ours will look like.

There is also this darker brick, called Oldham Tudor, that we found ourselves really drawn to today. Here it is paired with Champagne siding.

We plan to go back to the Design Center on Tuesday to do a little more research on the siding. Maybe we will be able to find a color that is close to Sierra or Sand that will go well with the Arcadia brick.

What do you guys think?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And the Razzie for 'Worst Movie Ever' goes to....

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

N and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie with friends last night. I will admit, I was not particularly excited to see this movie (I haven't seen any of the old ones) but the vote was 3-1, so I went. I expected the movie to be stupid but I seriously underestimated just how bad it would be. You know before you go to an action hero movie that you will have to suspend reality just a bit for the sake of the movie, right? This one was just ridiculous.

***SPOILER ALERT*** (if you haven't seen the movie yet and are willing to waste a perfectly good $9.50, stop reading now)

1. Indy survives an atomic bomb by jumping into a refrigerator and being hurtled hundreds of miles in a tiny metal box.

2. After said explosion, Indy is simply showered off and he is ready to roll.

3. A fight scene in which Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett sword fight while driving two vehicles side by side through the uncut jungle.

4. Indy and his pals brave three giant waterfalls (we're talking Niagara-level) in a tiny boat. On the first fall, THEY DON'T EVEN FALL OUT OF THE BOAT. Seriously? I'm supposed to buy that?

5. The whole 'mission' of the movie is to return a crystal alien skull back to its home. For what you ask? The aliens go home (in a big spaceship that comes out of the ground, no less) and Indy and his pals go back home too. The space aliens kill the bad guy Russians. What kind of stupid story line is that? *YAWN*

Bottom Line: George Lucas should retire before he ruins his legacy of excellent movies with useless drivel (see also the last three Star Wars movies).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Moving on up!

Last Sunday N and I signed a contract to build our first home. Finally, after four years of dorm life and five years of apartment-dwelling, we are going to be home owners. I will get to paint walls and buy 'real' furniture. We are so excited!

We have worked and saved hard for this house and it is everything that we wanted. We went from 'just looking' to contract signing in only four weeks. It has been so easy (too easy!) as N and I have agreed on every element with little discussion. Builder, neighborhood, lot, floorplan, and upgrades were a breeze. Brick, siding, carpet, flooring, light fixtures and door knobs were a cinch. We only have one decision left, and we cannot agree! N wants a blue front door and I want a red one. Seriously, is that going to be the only real debate we will have for the biggest purchase of our lives?
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