Posted in Home, Travel on October 5th, 2001 by Дмитрий

I spent every evening this week repainting my apartment, and now that the weekend is here, all I want to do is sleep. Sounds fine by me.

[Strangely, no, I never did comment about my trip to Monterey. Here’s what I DO remember from it, now over 5 years later (in other words, there was absolutely nothing to report):

I went to what I thought was a queer bar, but had turned into a totally empty sports bar. Went to what was still the queer bar, and after being cruised by some yuppie creep for a half hour I went back to the hotel and slept.

I ended up going to Santa Cruz as well. It was pretty much just as unexciting.

I walked around downtown Monterey and Santa Cruz quite a bit, and ate at a total of 3 diners. I posted pictures of them somewhere after that, but now only remember it was “Grandma’s Kitchen” in Monterey and the ‘Santa Cruz Diner’.]

Too Few Years of Solidtude

Posted in About Me, Fresno, Get In My Head, Home on April 15th, 2002 by Дмитрий

I have looked at my home often as a sanctuary. Growing up in a very closely-knit family meant that privacy and time by myself were often an afterthought. My strong desire for solitude is in part a type of survival instinct. I often feel that without it, I’ll end up getting depressed or taking out my frustrations on those who I care about the most.

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Contemplating the Pittsburgh of the Carolinas

Posted in Home, Winston Salem on February 7th, 2006 by Дмитрий

… So if David and I moved to Winston-Salem, would y’all ever come to visit?


We’ve been looking at houses there. There’s so much more of the types of neighborhoods we like there, and it’s all so much cheaper. Plus the decay and oldness of the place satisfies our ever-so-gothy aesthetic affectations… Plus it’s much closer to David’s folks, who are needing their baby nearby more and more lately.


… It’s by no means a sure thing, but I would regret the idea of all the new friends I made in Charlotte and having to do it over again…

To My Homeowning Friends

Posted in Home on February 27th, 2006 by Дмитрий

…Please share with me your first-time-home-buyer stories.


As many of you know, David and I are shopping for a home. We are looking to move this summer. I’m so totally clueless and I want to hear something from people other than industry peeps and my parents on what the best ‘order of operations’ might be.


I’d be especially giddy if any unmarried couples (homo and otherwise) who are sharing ownership of a house have some pointers for us from a legal/tax perspective…

House Hunt

Posted in Home on March 7th, 2006 by Дмитрий

More houseunt blather - feel free to move along if you’re sick of it…


Just got a call from the preapproval lady.


Wow. Our credit health is better than we thought.


They’ll probably try to make us look at like 500k houses and junk, even though I know we can only afford around 150k.


Now to find that 1962 mod split-level with rust shag carpet and orange mosaic bath tiles…

Pros and Cons of New Construction

Posted in Charlotte, Home on March 20th, 2006 by Дмитрий

This weekend we made our first visit to one of the ‘new construction communities’ of Charlotte. Blah. Alas, I remember back when my parents did the same thing in the mid-80s and it was actually pleasant and promising.


The hot real estate market has made people shelve the idea of owning a home in favor of owning Real Estate. People no longer want a home of their own to live in, they want an investment to occupy or hold for a while before reselling.


This is overwhelmingly the reason for new neighborhoods all being fenceless, colorless, treeless demi-condo developments where living without a Home Owners Association is the worst of all blasphemies.


The proliferation of HOAs alone to me is proof that people are more concerned with the near-term investment potential of their property than with having a home to live in and make theirs. Rather than buying a home and having a sense of ownership and self-investment for it, they buy Real Estate and ensure that they can control the behavior and appearance of their neighbors to avoid damaging their investment.


I just don’t understand the point of these places. If you want a ‘low maintenance investment property’ you buy a condo. To me, the reason one buys a house, as opposed to a condo, is the ability to paint, landscape, and personalize the property. Ceding control of those privelages to a committee of your neighbors for any reason just baffles me - why bother with the burden of property at all in that case? It’s especially true these days when you pay a 100-200% monthly premium just to own (at least that’s the figure in most markets).


I look forward to the day the bubble bursts. Then maybe I’ll finally be able to find new construction like my parents landed in the 80s: landscape your own friggin’ yard, paint your house green and purple, park your hearse on the grass, and by all means, spend a couple decades there…

Back in San Francisco

Posted in Home, Travel on March 26th, 2006 by Дмитрий

Another three weeks in purgatory. I’m trying to decide whether this is getting old.

In home-search news, hubby and I have decided that Winston suits us better. We’ve been pre-approved for more than we expected and we have a buyers’ agent in the Triad whose sending us loads of cute house listings in Ardmore and West End and West Salem and such. Since 90% of what we want from a home is city-independent, we’ve decided to shoot for the better value and cuter neighborhood…

But it’s not a done deal yet. He has one more job lead in Charlotte to follow up on. If that fails to materialize by the time I get back, we’ll be preparing for a move slightly north this summer…

House Hunt

Posted in Home on April 24th, 2006 by Дмитрий

We made an offer on a place in Winston-Salem yesterday evening. We’ll know by tomorrow morning whether we got it.


It’s on the higher end of what we wanted, but it’s friggin’ huge: 2100 immaculate sqft on the main level and an unfinished full basement that would make the coolest dungeon on earth one day. Not to mention that it’s in a nice neighborhood that we really like and has a 2-car garage, a nice small, low-maintenance yard on a corner lot, and would require absolutely no work before we could move in.


…Fingers crossed…

Mi Casa

Posted in Home on April 27th, 2006 by Дмитрий

As you may already know, we’ve entered into contract on our dream house. This is gonna be fun.


Posted in Home, San Francisco on April 30th, 2006 by Дмитрий

Lacking any formal plans for Walpurgisnacht, I decided to take a walk. A long walk. After finishing a quick bit of month-end prep at work, I walked through the RWP* District - encompassing Presidio Heights, Pacific Heights, the Marina, North Beach and the various northeastern ‘hills’ - not always an intelligent decision due to my familiarity with the little green monster (envy).


Strangely, this time I found myself obtaining an objective survey of these places, taking in the cuteness and the gaudiness for what it was, getting a few design and gardening ideas here and there, but altogether not feeling so generally deprived and sorry for myself. I think that the syrpuy-thick envy which dribbled from every orifice every time I would see a cute neighborhood or neatly cultivated garden was more than anything envy for the ability to do something which was mine rather than an envy over wealth or privelage. The psychological hole seems to have been filled quite immediately with the thought that once we close on this home we’re buying I’ll have something of my own which will be my responsability and my plaything - that responsability and that plaything is what I wanted more than anything, and now it’s what I have.


Damn. I’m gonna have a house…

Spare Some Change?

Posted in Home on May 25th, 2006 by Дмитрий

Geez, getting a house is a lot of work. We write our closing check today, after which we’ll be so incredibly broke. Thank gawd for that King of the Hill episode - maybe I’ll spend some time panhandling while I’m in SF next week - everyone else is doing it, and I’ll probably make more money than actual work…


Yeah, so that’s all I’ve got. Sorry a 2-week absence couldn’t produce anything more worth reading…

Ich bin ein Hausbesitzer

Posted in Home on May 27th, 2006 by Дмитрий

Or something like that…


We signed about 300 different papers and got a big comfy king-sized bed delivered, then spent our first night in the big empty house.



Now I’m off to San Francisco again in 12 hours. Hopefully I’ll have some time on my hands for catching up on journals then. When I return to NC on 6/12, it’ll be a mad rush to finish painting, moving, setting up the new office, etc before I have to leave again. It’s gonna be another busy month. Geesh.

Moving Day is Close at Hand

Posted in Home on June 9th, 2006 by Дмитрий

I land in Charlotte tomorrow night. Sunday morning we move into our house in Winston-Salem. It’s going to be a long weekend.


Anyone feel like being used for cheap labor? I’ll feed you and house you overnight and give you a ride home, even.

Entertaining Guests

Posted in Family, Home on June 17th, 2006 by Дмитрий

So yesterday we had a family housewarming get-together with all the in-laws from Greensboro. Now we know what it’s like to have about 30 people in the house all at once, and how well the A/C deals with that many bodies whilst also protecting us from the 95-degree heat outside.


Conclusion: the basement “game room” and screened porch is the place to hold gatherings in the future. The house is really big, but no upstairs rooms are singularly large enough to hold such a huge family as that which I’ve joined into. Especially considering that this wasn’t even the whole family - Xmas at hubby’s parents’ place last year had about 35 people, and some were even missing from there.


Still, I like our house. I also like presents. I hate people (esp in quantity), but I’ll tolerate them for an afternoon when they bring gifts and Ooo and Ahh about my house.


Posted in Economics, Home, San Francisco, Winston Salem on August 10th, 2007 by Дмитрий

This is a great tool which seems to get to the heart of what I journaled about a while back: how well does your ‘hood walk?

 The results? What I expected. My neighborhood in SF got an 85 (out of 100) and my neighborhood in Winston got a 48. I’m actually surprised my neighborhood in WS got so high a score. But then, I never much planned to be able to walk farther than my yard - thus my desire to grow ever more abundant foodstuffs on my property…