Monthly Archives: April 2008

‘Mornings with NPR’ – My new favorite blog

Each morning, Alessandra Olanow chooses an NPR radio story to illustrate in tongue-in-cheek fashion.

as a morning practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories

It’s a really simple and unique idea, and she does it extremely well. Alessandra already has a following who listens to the radio and tries to guess which story she’ll choose.

You can also receive her illustrations as a daily email newsletter through feedblitz.

Here’s one from April 14: “too many boys: demographic crisis looms in china”

'too many boys: demographic crisis looms in china'. Illustration by Alessandra Olanow

Illustration by Alessandra Olanow

Jen and I are Building our Dream Home

That’s right! We absolutely love it here and we’re building our dream home in the outlying Washington DC suburbs. We can’t even believe our luck! Someone just stalled construction and left a half-finished home, and we’re going to take it over and finish it to our ideal specifications. Jen and I constantly complain that we don’t have enough room to buy more stuff. That won’t be a problem anymore.

Jen and Javaun at our new home site

The lot is situated on several acres of old growth Virginia forest, which we’re clearing to make room for an extended garage, concrete patio, and tetherball court. Not counting the 3 story deck, the home will be about 12,000 square feet. It overlooks the highway and is just minutes from a mall that has a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant and the largest indoor Laser Tag in the DC beltway.

Honestly, we never thought we could afford a home like this, but it’s amazing what you can do with financing. Jen and I got a 5 year ARM with a 1.5% introductory rate that won’t adjust for at least 6 months. Because home prices always go up, they’re also extending us an equity line of credit for an additional $80,000.

Jen and Javaun at our new home site
Our new neighbors are awesome! They’re helping us pick out molded falcon sculptures and bronze torches for our front gate.

One downside is that we can’t ride our bikes to work anymore. Our commute is increasing from 30 minutes one-way to about 4.5 hours roundtrip. But I think we’ll be really comfortable in our new rides, thanks to the home equity advance. Jen and I are each buying one, since she gets up 20 minutes earlier than me and it’s therefore impractical for us to carpool.

We’re going to have 16 guest bedrooms and are really excited to host all of our old friends. Come and see us!