Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Tricks

Austin (the dog) has always been very bad about asking for things. She never caught on to the concept of asking to go out. She just holds it until we let her out or she pees on the floor (to her/our credit that hasn't happened in years).

In the last 4 months we've been able to train her to tell us when she is out of water by scratching her bowl. She has it down pat and even when we are downstairs in the office we can hear her scratch her bowl above us and we fill it up for her.

In the process of learning this she now knows we are "trained" to answer her when she scratches. What does that mean? She scratches her toy when she wants to play, she scratches the rug when her ball rolls under and today she was scratching the tripod we have in the office. Why? I have no idea. I thought maybe it was in her way so I moved it. Then she just scratched it again. Maybe she is just lamenting the loss of production equipment in our basement.

I miss it too Austin, but now we have lockboxes, real estate signs, and rolls and rolls of architectural plans. Get with it! This is our new life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Starting to Paddle

This week is the official "Fykes Community Involvement Initiative." Last night we listened to our senator Bob Corker's telephone town hall meeting. If given the opportunity I was going to ask what he saw as a good first step for the health care crisis since within the first 3 minutes I heard him say he was vastly opposed to the current initiative so we didn't need to beat that issue to death. I was not going to go on and on about my hip ailment nor was I going to mention my age which seemed to be what most callers brought up. Funny what you say when you get your "moment" with someone important. Reminds me what this well known band was telling me one time about what people would tell them during meet and greets. You have one minute with this band whom you love and you tell them about how you almost missed the show because your dog threw up on you? And then you want to squeeze in between them for a picture? Nice.

Next stop of the night was our neighborhood association - community cares committee. I am now co-chair of the welcoming committee because as my mother always says if you have an idea you will be put in charge of it. No worries though I'm paired with a great teacher which means we will both be hard workers.

Thursday we attend a meeting about Nashville public transportation to try to be a part of that solution. I don't know how impactful we can really be at that one but darn if we aren't going to try.

We are all done sitting on a sinking ship just waving at the passerbys. Until we have kids we can do all these things and STILL have time to watch episodes of This American Life at night.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Party in the Back

This weekend Joshua and I played badminton as our Saturday exercise. I went outside to set everything up and noticed a lot of mosquitoes. So like a responsible adult I went back in and told Joshua we were going to need some bug spray. So I sprayed myself and then Joshua. And by "spray myself" I apparently mean that I just spun around with the bottle spraying the air aimlessly. Joshua had not a bite on him and this is my aftermath.

I adjusted the color to try to capture how much these buggers itch but it doesn't do it justice. In hind sight the stationary bike we are borrowing would have been a better choice.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

4 Years of my Life

So I was in the band in high school. I played bells on the sideline. Its one of those things that consumes at least half of my really great memories from high school. At our school the band was just as good as our football team (better in 1997). Now don't get me wrong, you didn't earn "cool points" for being in the band but you didn't really lose them either. We had our fair share of homecoming queens that had to change into their band uniform at halftime.

Somehow I came across a link to one of our shows on facebook. Thought I'd share it with you.

Now this was my least favorite show from high school so don't bore yourself with watching it all but just skip ahead to 4:32 and hear my little solo of "Jesus loves me" that the percussion director added in there for me. It was an Arabian show so why Jesus loves me? I have no idea.

Then you can also skip to 4:54 and imagine the camera director saying "Piccollo girl, scoot over so we can loose that random girl behind you. Camera 2 can you get a better shot? THAT GIRL IS RUINING THIS SHOT." Yeah I'm in all kinds of other people's shots due to where I had to stand. Awesome!

Anyway, if you want to hear a show that I loved that would be the show my freshmen year. We basically won state with this show.

So what did you do in high school that none of your adult friends know anything about?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Makin Usselves Smawt

Joshua and I have started reading out loud to each other. We were watching John Adams and thought it was such an inviting image, John and Abigail sitting by the fire reading aloud to each other. Sounds like a past time that makes you smarter. Not like this summer reality television that will slowly simmer your brain. Now I'm not talking about the quality Fall Reality TV - this stuff is "More to Love" and "Help, I'm a celebrity get me out of here." This is trash and if you watch this stuff I'm sorry but we can't be friends. Now if you watch Survivor or Amazing Race pull up a chair.

Anyway, back to the not being stupid. At the same time that we made the decision to entertain ourselves like an 18th century intellectual couple, Newsweek came out with their 100 Best Books list. Well darn if we don't need to make sure we've read all of those. Perfect timing! To make sure each book we read is better than the last we are starting at the end. As appealing as Churchill's history of World War II sounded, we decide to skip ahead to the first novel The Color Purple.

Currently we are just shy of the halfway mark. If you aren't familiar with the book it is written as letters to God in broken English. So, instead of sounding smarter today after the hour we read last night, I sound uneducated and have to consciously insert prepositions. Because Joshua was only listening last night he has no issues today but I am really struggling. You just wouldn't believe how quickly those little things lift right out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Turnabouts Fair Play

Check out this article I found via @mproctor on twitter. (I know that sentence makes no sense to about half the people that read this).

If we are going to have churches that meet in movie theaters this seems only fair.

Honestly it is great from a sustainability standpoint and it is also great for preservation. Win, Win, plus its just cool!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Go Horns!

Tomorrow I go to the fabric store to buy fabric that will "hypothetically" become a quilt. Again, choosing colors FREAK me right on out so I will make Joshua come with me to help decide what's going in the quilt. You know he's going to love that.

Joshua knows if left to myself with this decision there is a chance I could turn into a mess in the middle of a very nice fabric store where some of his (or my) clients might be. So after mentally weighing the cost he'll decide it's actually a very smart business decision to join me.

Whatever! I need the moral support.

I think after a quick preliminary discussion a few days back we will be going with a nice orange color with blue accents. By no means will this be a Longhorn quilt but we miss being around a pleasant orange color so that is probably driving some of the decision. Hopefully they have enough options in the orange we are wanting and I can show you the spoils of the trip once we return.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This sale will make all the other sales jealous

So my first listing did the impossible. We had an almost full price contract within 3 days from a cash buyer and this cash buyer waived the biggest hinderance in getting deals closed right now: the appraisal.

I know this is not how all deals will go and the inspection still offered a few scary moments but overall it was a smooth process. Tomorrow it will close and that's only 20 days after it was listed. Just ridiculous.

Before you start thinking I'm all proud of myself I want to say this had more to do with the sellers than me. I can only do so much but these sellers listened on where to price the house and worked hard to make it show well. More than anything that is the part of this deal that I'm trying not to get used to.

Tomorrow I take that sign and plant it in front of a house in East Nashville. We'll see if the impossible can be done twice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flashing Ad Update

As of this evening I am approved and have a certificate to receive my $500 VISA gift card. I have only to hold my breath and hope that nothing falls apart. There is a slight chance I could be DQed but hopefully everything goes great so you don't have to endure a tearful retraction of this post.

So here is the official breakdown:

I ended up spending $70.12 for different products I had to buy/try out.

I have already received a $10 Exxon gift card and then I will also be getting the $500 Visa card.

If my math is correct that is a 439.88 return on the 5 or 6 hours I spent doing this. I'd say $73/hour isn't too shabby. Plus I know my credit score, I have 25 downloaded songs in my iTunes, I've learned a little German and I have some killer tights.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And that is why we don't have a coffee table

Our dog hates getting a bath. My mom's dog loves a bath. She gets all excited and tail wagging when my mom mentions the word bath. We've been reduced to spelling out B-A-T-H so that our dog doesn't pee on the floor from fright. And now I'm pretty sure she knows how to spell it. We'll probably start calling it C-L-E-A-N time.

The most tragic part of Austin hating baths is that she has this really nice skin condition that requires her to be bathed every 5 days. Not every month like regular dogs. So at the Fykes house every 5 days we lure our dog outside so she can pee on the sidewalk instead of our hardwoods once she realizes what is about to commence. Then after the most HORRIBLE experience of her life where she is put under warm water in our bathtub she is deemed clean and then the most HYSTERICAL thing happens.

She rubs on every rug surface in our house completely oblivious of furniture. She runs full speed throwing her body on the ground, rubbing, running to the next rug, throwing her body down and repeating the process. I don't know if she is trying to get her old smell off the rug or give it her fresh clean scent but its just the funniest thing to watch her run back and forth between the rugs in the living and dining room and then all of a sudden she'll remember there is a rug in the office downstairs and off she clicks down the stairs.

Almost makes it worth having to endure her tortorous stares after we've set her in the bathtub.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Car Dancing

One of the many things I love about Tiff is her car dancing. I myself am not prone to bust a move while driving, but Tiff frequently can be caught groovin' down the road. Now this isn't just regular dancing, no, she's always inventing new moves based on the tempo or style of the song.

For instance, the other night on the way back home we were listening to some hip-hop something and she started bobbing her head. Then out of nowhere she started throwing her whole body into it and came up with this half body twist, half karate chop. It was equal parts amazing and hilarious.

Friday, July 3, 2009

You Do What?

Since I started teaching piano at 14 I have had the most random jobs. And not random jobs one at a time, 5 random jobs at once.

My soiree with The Company led me to believe that "normal" people have two jobs at most. They work for their company and then they freelance on the side for themselves but its the same kind of work that they do for their company. No sane, self respecting adult has 5 different jobs at once.

We are sharing our life stories at community group and after I was done someone said "you have had the most jobs of anyone I've ever known." The thing they didn't know was I just hit the highlights. Just to be thorough lets make a list:

  1. Piano Teacher - 6 years in highschool and college
  2. Manager at Blockbuster - in college so I could watch all the movies I needed to to see for school for free
  3. Substitute Teacher - I'd go sleep in my car during my off period because 7:00 was just too early for me
  4. High School JV Basketball Coach - Just one season
  5. Knitting Instructor - 2 years
  6. Worked at a Yarn Store - 2 years
  7. Selling Scarves I made in boutiques - Faith Hill bought one of my scarves
  8. Online Bookseller - still have some books listed now
  9. Office Manager for FYK Architecture - I specialized in client relations for a man who only has 200 words to use everyday.

While doing most of those things I was also doing my video production work either for myself or for The Company.

My goal for 2009-2010 is to revive the tax return that includes at least fifteen 1099s and ZERO W-2s. This blog isn't called "Normal" right? What do you expect?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Little Competition

The Middle Tennessee AIA chapter held a design competition to spruce up their diggs at Cummins Station. The design is confined to the entry and hallway (no interior). We weren't allowed to remove or demolish anything existing, only add. So here's my stab at it:




FYI - All the text/logo were requirements of the competition.