🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Musical History🎹Why Write? 🖊️Loser Level😔 We finally have only one piano in our house! Now, don’t get to thinking we’re this uber-musical family. We’re not. Wifey Poo, from what I hear, was a helluva clarinetist back in her day and did, indeed, take piano lessons. Boy The Elder is really goodContinue reading “One-Piano Family — May 22, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beyond Tired😫Busting Ass 🐝Covid Sadness😔 Everything is knowable. When I look back at the pace of change in my life, I think that’s the biggest difference between my life as a child and my life as an adult. Back then, if you wondered something, you just … wondered it. I mean,Continue reading “Knowing — May 21, 2022”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Fade to Black, Metallica, from the 1984 album, Ride the Lightning Line of Significance Things not what they used to be/Missing one inside of me/Deathly loss, this can’t be real/I cannot stand this hell I feel The commonContinue reading “SoS16: Fade to Black”
Ryan Lee (MMM ’16) talks about how Northwestern’s MMM program prepared him for his work as senior director of product management with Hologram, an Internet of Things startup. Published May 17, 2022 Ryan Lee spent more than five years as a consultant, and he enjoyed helping clients solve their business and technology challenges. But heContinue reading “Designing IoT Products to Connect the World”
Current student Raj Shekhar Madhurakavi talks about the lessons he’s learned in the MEM program as he prepares for graduation and a new role as senior program manager at Mathworks. Published May 17, 2022 Raj Shekhar Madhurakavi is ready to change the world. Shekhar will begin working this July as a senior program manager atContinue reading “An Eight-Point Plan For Success”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sad Anniversary😞My Back! 😳Dachau😭 Thirty-five years ago today, my first grandparent died. Grandpa was my favorite grandparent, and in looking back, I think it was because of his willingness to join my world. Grandpa played games with me endlessly. He taught me how to play rummy. He would spend hours onContinue reading “Grandpa — May 17, 2022”
What makes a good coach? Interesting question, but it’s the wrong one. Oh, that question has all the right words. They’re just in the wrong order. If you want to talk about what makes a good coach, we can list a bunch of coach-worthy attributes — things such as charisma, assertiveness, fairness, consistency. But again,Continue reading “The One Thing That Makes a Coach ‘Good’”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bye-Bye BTE✈️Rival Riot Rumble 🤼♂️Old Man John🤕 In a few hours, Boy The Elder will board a plane headed for Germany. He just completed his sophomore year at Mizzou, and now he’s going overseas for a two-week study-abroad session in which he’ll allegedly learn more about food science and fermentation andContinue reading “Study Abroad — May 15, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double-U🧸Big Sis 🦸♀️Preggo Healer 🤰 Anyone remember Speak & Spell? If you’ve seen E.T., you’ve seen it before. Don’t know why, but I was thinking about this toy the other day. For some reason, spelling wasn’t school if you had one of these things to play with. I can still hearContinue reading “Family — May 13, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Heat Wave🥵Lawn Mowing🚜Last Podcast 🎙️ It’s hotter than balls outside in my section of Missourah, and I’m not happy about it. I am not a hot-weather person. I hate heat. I sweat easily. I turn red even easier. Having a bald head does not match well with sun exposure. And hasContinue reading “Heat Wave — May 12, 2022”
Denny Hsieh applies lessons from Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Project Management (MPM) program into his daily work at Intel. Published May 10, 2022 Denny Hsieh speaks candidly when he discusses his skills as a presenter prior to starting the capstone communication project in Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Project Management (MPM) program. “I was pretty bad,”Continue reading “Making Sense of the Magic”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Friends😔What To Do?🙋Creepy Dolls 🎎 Yesterday was a rough day. It’s one thing to be a person with essentially no friends. It’s another thing altogether to not be friends with yourself. That’s where I was yesterday — all up in my head and imagining the worst was about to happen inContinue reading “Wherever You Go … — May 10, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Losing Money 🥊The Best F’N Mom Ever👩Heat 🥵 Wifey Poo and I took our weekly date Saturday and went to the city made famous in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation movie: East St. Louis. No, East St. Louis isn’t in Missouri and no, it’s not a popular data destination, but whatContinue reading “Gambling — May 8, 2022”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. So Far Away, Staind, from the 2003 album, 14 Shades of Grey Line of Significance Now that we’re here it’s so far away/And I feel like I can face the day, and I can forgive/And I’m not ashamedContinue reading “SoS15: So Far Away”
I have absolutely zero formal training when it comes to planning events. Before this became part of my job duties, I hadn’t planned so much as a birthday party for my child. Of course, I have zero formal training for a lot of the things I do in my job as a marketer and communicator.Continue reading “Top 3 Super-Secret Event Planning Tips”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩One Long Sentence 🖊️Birthday Boy🎂Wine & Chocolate 🍷🍫 I remember being a kid and wanting to be an adult. I wanted to drive and have a girlfriend and be able to do whatever it was that I wanted to do, not what someone else said I should do. And now, hereContinue reading “Relentlessness — May 5, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ink Stain 🖊️Big Week 🎂Gas Pumps 😂 If getting a link of ink right across the front of your shirt while trying to catch a falling pen isn’t one of the Mondayest of Monday things that can happen to a dude, I’m sure there aren’t too many things that can beatContinue reading “Monday Things — May 2, 2022”
One of the great paradoxes COVID revealed in the human animal is how much we need each other while we simultaneously can’t stand to be around each other for long periods of time. Stay-at-home orders booted us from our familiar social circles and, in many cases, put is in direct contact with those we loveContinue reading “A Human Paradox”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tater Tots🥔The Waffle House League🧇The Baseball Speech ⚾ There’s a reason why baseball was America’s pastime and now is sinking in popularity. Baseball is different from other sports. It has a pace unlike today’s more popular games. It’s meant to be savored, not downed like a shot. Yes, it’s gone fromContinue reading “The Power of Baseball — May 1, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Truth ⚖️The Poor Man’s Chipotle🌮Jokes 🤣 Anyone else get sucked in by the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial? I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I did. This is extremely odd because Hollywood culture and all things pop culture in general annoy the crap about of me. There’s just something aboutContinue reading “Johnny Depp and Libel — April 29, 2022”
Soul Comforts A just-because gift An accidental nap Shared fries A hidden note, found A joined passion A soft hand Communicated desires A hug, freely given A safe landing place A secluded table Memory-filled songs Appreciation, openly stated Take me away from here Take me away Take me Take A common blanket A slow danceContinue reading “Soul Comforts”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What A Game ⚾Brain Power 🧠Stupid People 🤣 The Best Damn Real Estate Team on Either Side of the Mississippi spent much of the day yesterday inside a luxury suite at Busch Stadium, as the Cardinals took on the New York Mets. The game had a little bit of everything —Continue reading “Baseball, Brawls and Booze — April 28, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shanghai Surprise 👖Baseball Game ⚾Lawyer Joke😜 On March 27, I ordered some pants. I fully admit I went through Indochino because of its ads on The Tony Kornheiser Show podcast. Marketing works, folks. I’d ordered two custom-made pairs (not pair, Michael) before, and they are great. So I added some khakisContinue reading “Where Are My Pants? — April 27, 2022”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. One, Metallica, from the 1988 album, And Justice For All Line of Significance Darkness/Imprisoning me/All that I see/Absolute horror/I cannot live/I cannot die/Trapped in myself/Body my holding cell Metallica had a dedicated fan base of headbangers before One.Continue reading “SoS14: One”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Marketing Earth Day 🌎Lifeshit 💩Mawwiage 🪢 Happy Earth Day. I love that we celebrate a planet that demonstrates in so many ways how much it doesn’t like us. Today, The Best Damn Real Estate Team on Either Side of the Mississippi is doing a highway cleanup project, so I’ll be onContinue reading “Earth Day and Marriage — April 22, 2022”
MBP director Danielle Tullman-Ercek and two current students talked about the American Chemical Society’s massive spring gathering and how Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP) is preparing students for new trends and innovations. Published April 20, 2022 There was a lot of “new” for Olivia Meyer and Byron Fan when they attended the AmericanContinue reading “Seeing the Science in Person”
Bridget McMullan (MPD2 ’17) is using her MPD2 knowledge to meet member needs as director of product strategy at Anthem, America’s largest for-profit health insurer. Published April 20, 2022 Bridget McMullan expected that falsified or lost COVID-19 vaccine cards would be a problem for the public once vaccinations became available. As the director of productContinue reading “Designing Products People Love”
Anna Garverick talks about her experience creating a robot that remains centered on a moving ball and the most important lessons she took away from the experience. Published April 20, 2022 The night before Anna Garverick was to present her independent project for Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Robotics (MSR) program, she learned aContinue reading “What I Learned Creating A Self-Balancing Robot”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 A Humbling Sport⚾A Kick-Ass Trophy🐴Punk ⛓️ Happy 4/20. This edition of A Puzzle Known As Life is delivered in an edible format, and you’ll feel the effects of all the awesome in about 45 minutes. Enjoy. Boy The Younger had a baseball game last night. It was a cold, windyContinue reading “The Boy Playing Baseball — April 20, 2022”
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩 Why We Suck🤡No Finishing Power🔚McReally? 🍔 The world is dumb, and America is the leading idiot. I don’t reach this conclusion with any sort of glee. It’s simply what I see. Societies hold together because of three things. Shared stories Strong institutions Social networks that engender trust. The past 10Continue reading “It’s the End of the World As We Know It — April 19, 2022”
Published April 13, 2022 Back in January, we gazed into The Official Allen Brake Team Housing Market Crystal Ball and asked the question “Is the housing market about to crash?” Now that we’re a quarter of the way through 2022, let’s take a look back at our prognostications and see how close we are soContinue reading “An April Look At Our 2022 Housing Market Predictions￼”
Published March 23, 2022 It sounds too good to be true: Boot up the old Google machine, punch in some data about the home you’re looking to sell and whammo! Have an all-cash offer in less than 24 hours. While it’s a possibility with sites like Offerpad and Opendoor, the old adage holds true: If itContinue reading “iBuyer Beware: How Sellers Lose￼”
Published March 8, 2022 Another day, another crash for a company once believed to have special insight into the real estate industry. This time it is mortgage lending start-up Better.com, which announced in early March it was laying off nearly half its workforce after stumbling mightily in a shifting housing market. Its decision to axContinue reading “Inside The Better.Com Debacle￼”
Published March 7, 2022 George Orwell’s famous book “1984″ came out 35 years before the dystopian world in which the author imagined a government that is watching you – always watching you. Now, more than 35 years after Orwell’s imaginary future, Zillow has made it a reality with people doing nothing more devious than searching forContinue reading “Big Brother Zillow Is Watching You￼”
Published March 7, 2022 When James Micioni passed away in 2020 at the age of 97, he left a long-forgotten investment for his family to uncover – a collection of more than 1,000 vintage baseball cards, including one signed by Babe Ruth. What was purchased for mere pennies as a boy had grown to beContinue reading “What’s Your Hidden Investment Worth?”
Thomas Sparks embraces the chaos of life as a full-time IT professional and part-time MSIT student in pursuit of his dream job. Published March 9, 2022 Evenings for Thomas Sparks can be a bit chaotic. As a student in Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) part-time program, he can easily spend twoContinue reading “Mastering the Work-School Juggling Act”
Published March 15, 2022 Andrew Benintende, MD, has witnessed the tragic consequences when a human body rejects a transplanted organ. His goal is to stop that rejection from happening. Dr. Benintende is taking time away from his general surgery residency at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City to perform research at NorthwesternContinue reading “Regrowing Hope for Transplant Patients”
Students in Northwestern’s Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) program collaborated with the company known for its Roomba® vacuum cleaner to address new business opportunities. Published April 14, 2022 Visitors to the iRobot website are greeted by a picture of a Roomba cleaning a living room floor on its own. The robot vacuum is the most famousContinue reading “Helping iRobot Become a Tech Lifestyle Brand”
Part-time student Kanika Singh talks about the lessons she’s learned in Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program and how the program helped her move into a leadership role at her company. Published March 25, 2022 Kanika Singh was a learning technologies analyst at the global law firm DLA Piper when sheContinue reading “MSIT Skillset Lands Current Student with New Job”
Andy Lin talks about his role at the major biotech company and his role as a mentor on the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) for Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP). Published April 15, 2022 Andy Lin knows what it takes to be successful in the rapidly evolving biotechnology industry. As the technical development teamContinue reading “Shaping Biotech’s Future, at Genentech and MBP”
Joanna Szymel (EMDC ‘20) talks about launching her own construction and consulting firm as an EMDC student, thanks in part to a professor’s simple comment. Published March 25, 2022 A twist on a familiar saying helped Joanna Szymel determine the next stage of her career. As a new student in Northwestern Engineering’s Master of ScienceContinue reading “The Question That Defined a Career”
Diane Zimmer (MPM ’97, EMDC ’14) has built a 20-plus-year career in the construction industry, thanks in large part to her willingness to ignore suggestions of what she should do professionally. Published April 13, 2022 One of Diane Zimmer’s favorite pieces of career advice is that sometimes it’s important not to listen to other people’sContinue reading “What Happens When You Ignore Career Advice”
Naveed Asem’s new MSIT mini-course will unveil how to responsibly shape the future with emerging technology. Published April 15, 2022 Naveed Asem said the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) has put humanity at a crossroads. In his opinion, those who embrace AI now will thrive in the future; people who don’t take it seriously willContinue reading “Embracing Artificial Intelligence and Automation”
MSIT IAB Chairman Kevin Glynn talks about next-generation technological innovations and how MSIT is preparing students to leverage them in the future. Published April 15, 2022 When Kevin Glynn thinks about the future of information technology, his mind goes to quantum computing. Glynn, who is the chairman of Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science and InformationContinue reading “Understanding Tomorrow’s Technology Solutions Today”
A recent MEM event with the American Association of Engineers of Indian Origin (AAEIO) helps students focus on finding their way in a post-digital world. Published April 15, 2022 Students from Northwestern’s Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program gathered earlier this year to learn how to shape their careers in a world where technology andContinue reading “Next-Generation Career Development”
EDI advisory board member Kevin Bethune’s new book, Reimagining Design, reflects the optimism he brings to design during times of exponential change. Published April 7, 2022 There is an aspirational nature that exists among most designers, a common feeling of optimism that design can make things better, that design can make life better. KKevin BethuneContinue reading “Designing with Curiosity, Bravery, and Optimism”
MEM student Usman Rafiq is helping humankind’s latest space exploration efforts. Published April 15, 2022 Usman Rafiq is part of humankind’s quest to reach faraway frontiers. As a member of Northwestern’s Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program, Rafiq is honing the skills he needs to push himself into higher leadership positions to help guide NASA’sContinue reading “Missions: Mars and the Moon”
Time is a fascinating concept to me. I’ve written about it before, but it just seems so arbitrary sometimes. It amazes me how we can suck at it so badly that we have to add an entire extra day every four years to keep our system going — and no one really bats an eye.Continue reading “First-Quarter List Review! Successes and Oopses and Covid Improvements”
The toughest thing about writing isn’t the actual writing. Give me a topic and tell me to bang out 500 words and you’ll have something passable in the next 30 to 60 minutes. No, the toughest thing about writing — these days, at least — is the reality that I have only so many wordsContinue reading “On Writing and Life Right Now”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Fly to the Angels, Slaughter, from the 1990 album, Stick It To Ya Line of Significance It hurts me way deep inside/When I turn and look and find/You’re not there. Rock music was on the verge of aContinue reading “SoS13: Fly to the Angels”
I believe there’s a sweet spot in life. It’s that space in which everything just feels balanced. There’s not too much work or too little play, the calendar is just full enough, your friends and family are who you need them to be and you are who they need you to be. Your job isContinue reading “Searching For The Sweet Spot”
So I wrote this big investigation, data-driven piece about what’s going to happen in the housing market. Then I wanted to turn it into an easily digestible flyer. PLUS, I wanted to give our CEO a chance to show his expertise. I hope that happened with this.
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Man in the Box, Alice in Chains, from the 1991 album, Facelift Line of Significance I’m the dog who gets beat/Shove my nose in shit. Today we look one of the four faces on my personal Mt. RushmoreContinue reading “SoS12: Man in the Box”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Iris, Goo Goo Dolls, from the 1998 movie, City of Angels Line of Significance When everything feels like the movies, yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive. If ever there were a line that encapsulate post-modernism, there’sContinue reading “SoS11: Iris”
My wife and son are going out of town for the week starting tomorrow afternoon, and I have absolutely no one I can call to do anything with. No one. Nobody. If I put in pin in my house on a map (remember those?) and drew a circle with a 50 mile radius, there isn’tContinue reading “Anybody Out There?”
I am not good at fantasy sports. This makes absolutely no sense to me. I have been a religious follower of statistics since I was, like, 5. My father would bring the newspaper home from NYC and I’d pour through the sports section to see who did what in the previous night’s baseball games. IContinue reading “List Item Achieved! #43: Play ball!”
The connections of life that come back around sometimes amaze me. I recently reached out to my network and let some folks know I’m open for side gigs. One person I heard from was the mother of the first child I did a story on during my time at Shriners Children’s. ‘“The Other Side ofContinue reading “Side Gig Alert! Bright Village Early Learning”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. You Were Meant From Me, Jewel, from the 1995 album, Pieces of You Line of Significance Put on my PJs and hop into bed/I’m half alive but I feel mostly dead/I try and tell myself it’ll all beContinue reading “SoS10: You Were Meant For Me”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Black, Pearl Jam, from the 1991 album Ten Line of Significance I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life/I know you’ll be a star/In somebody else’s sky/Buy why/Why/Why can’t it be mine Black has so much behind it.Continue reading “SoS9: Black”
I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. The reasons are varied and scattered. Part of it is how much death there is around me. Well, maybe not around me personally. But more than 1,000,000 Americans have died from Covid, and that’s a gross understatement because the true toll won’t be known for years, onceContinue reading “The Night I Died”
Email sigs can be boring like everybody else’s OR they can be used to try to spark genuine conversations about who you are as a person and a real estate person. I choose to go the second route.
Businesses can be really annoying when they communicate with you only about what they’re trying to sell. I love to let people get a look behind the curtain of the real people who work for them. So I created this for a series of posts.
Last week, a woman took to Twitter (because that’s what we do these days) to ask for advice on what to do following a male co-worker’s inappropriate sexually charged remarks, and ho-ly-crap did the Twitterverse jump all over that. So frequent were the calls from well-meaning Twits for the women to take the matter toContinue reading “‘Go to HR?’ Are You Kidding?”
Another example of taking a blog and turning it into an easy-to-digest flyer for our agents to use when they’re talking with clients.
Write the blog, make the flyer. Presenting the same information to people with different preferences in how they consume media is important. I love that we showed the mistake AND provided the solution.
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Nutshell, Alice in Chains, from the 1994 album Jar of Flies Line of Significance And yet I fight, and yet I fight/This battle all alone/No one to cry to/No place to call home Layne Stale lived a torturedContinue reading “SoS8: Nutshell”
I wanted to create a customizable flyer for those who are confident about selling their homes in this market but who then have concerns about how they’re going to find something to buy. This is our differentiating piece on how we’re going to do more than the other guy out there to find you aContinue reading “Let’s Get You Home”
The Allen Brake Team is a big supporter of the communities we serve. We just haven’t been really good about tactfully letting people know. This graphic was the basis for social posts to ask people to come alongside us and support some great local charities.
Real estate isn’t really complicated and, as much as my math-hating self hates to admit it, it really comes down to a formula. Awareness = leads, leads = conversations, conversations = contracts, contracts = transactions, transactions = commission. My responsibilities as a marketing guy fall all over the place in that formula, but it’s mostContinue reading “Calm, Confident & Caffeinated Contest”
Humanizing our team is important to me. So I created these social media graphics to help introduce us to people.
I learned early on in the real estate game that it is very much follow-the-leader. Everyone markets her business the exact same way. So I wanted to be different. One of the ways I’m accomplishing this is by making our open house social posts different from everyone else’s.
It’s amazing how many people don’t take the time to interview potential Realtor candidates (sheepishly raising my hand here). This is designed to guide people along the steps of some questions to ask to find the best Realtor to represent them.
Our team didn’t have any sort of introductory piece when I started, so I created this tri-fold brochure. The first page is the front, back and inside flap. The second page is the inside. I think it does the job of letting people know who we are and what we’re all about.
Just me doing my thing with design. Heard about how people who want to sell in spring need to start during the winter, so I did this whole timeline thing to showcase it.
There’s been a lot of talk in my area lately about banning books. I love this. Oh, it’s not because I think that banning books is such a good idea. It’s not. Nor is blindly insisting that every book needs to be in a school library to have significance. They don’t. What I’m happy toContinue reading “The Danger of Self-Censorship”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana, from the 1991 album Nevermind Line of Significance I found it hard, was hard to find/Oh well, whatever, nevermind If ever there were a line that defined a genre, it’s this one fromContinue reading “SoS7: Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Republished from allenbrake.com If I told you that super-cute sweater you were looking at was going to cost 10% less tomorrow, you’d wait to buy it. Of course you would. It’s 10% and one day. Smart move. If you’re taking that same approach when you’re looking to buy a house, you could be making aContinue reading “The Hidden Cost of Waiting to Buy”
Republished from allenbrake.com Attribute it to whatever you’d like, but most of us feel an increased desire to hunker down and hibernate during the winter. Tis the season for hoodies, warm blankets and cozy fires in the fireplace. Also tis one of the best seasons to buy a house. “Are you kidding me?!” you replyContinue reading “Top 5 Advantages of Buying in Winter”
Republished from allenbrake.com Your husband asks you where you want to go to eat Friday night. Great question. Of course, you’re not entirely sure why he doesn’t just tell you where he wants to go eat Friday night, but whatever. You’re on it. You think about what you’re in the mood for — Italian. Great.Continue reading “Five Easy Questions to Help You Select the Right Realtor”
Republished from allenbrake.com It’s not the winter weather that’s starting to cool down the hot sellers’ housing market of the past year or so, but the cold front is forming nonetheless. A mix of rising interest rates and an increase in the number of homes on the market are starting to tamp down buyer demand,Continue reading “Top 5 Reasons to Sell in Winter”
Republished from allenbrake.com Can we interest you in buying a house that doesn’t exist? Oh, and we’re not talking about a piece of property on which you can build your dream home. We’re talking about something that isn’t part of our reality. Confused? Talk to your kid. Today’s children know all about the metaverse. IfContinue reading “Welcome to Your New (Virtual) Home”
Republished from allenbrake.com A new year comes with a sense of freshness. Once that calendar flips from what was to what is, it’s like there’s a clean slate on which you can write a new story. No one wants to make the same mistakes from the previous year, whether it’s getting back together with theContinue reading “Five Home Buying Mistakes You Can Avoid in 2022”
Reprinted from allenbrake.com Key Points The year that just ended was a historically unprecedented seller’s market in the St. Louis region. Many of the same market conditions exist in 2022. Rising interest rates make this a key time for potential buyers to take action. Remember the Cabbage Patch Kid craze of 1983? If not, it’sContinue reading “Is The Housing Market About To Crash? “
Republished from allenbrake.com If you’re in the market for a Ferrari 485, first off, lucky you. More importantly, we probably don’t need to tell you that you might want to take it for a test drive before plopping down the more than $270,000 it would take to bring one home. Whether it’s a Ferrari orContinue reading “Top 3 Things To Learn When Test Driving Your Dream Home”
Republished from allenbrake.com Anyone who has ever tended a garden, worked on a farm or taken a basic science class would tell you it’s crazy to expect to be able to plant a seed one day and harvest the next. As it goes with seeds, so it goes with a home you’d like to sell. Continue reading “Want to Sell in Spring? Plant the Seeds Today!”
Republished from allenbrake.com If the past year has taught the real estate world anything, it’s that it’s actually possible to see dollar signs in people’s eyes. With a bounty of buyers looking to land their dream homes and a historical shortage of houses on the market, home prices have boomed in the past year. TellContinue reading “Top 5 Ways Buyers Can Win in a Sellers Market”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Bring Me To Life, Evanescence, from the 2007 album Fallen Line of Significance How can you see into my eyes, like open doors/Leading you down into my core, where I’ve become some numb.
As I’ve previously detailed elsewhere on my site, I have a bit of a Dark Knight problem. It’s kinda like I have a bit of a Shawshank Redemption problem, a Jewel problem and, currently, an Amy Lee/Evanescence problem. I watch or hear something that speaks to my soul, and it becomes an area of intenseContinue reading “List Item Achieved! #47 ‘If You’re Good At Something’”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Jeremy, Pearl Jam, from the 1991 album Ten When Jeremy stood at the front of his English classroom on the morning of January 8, 1991, so much had already happened. The 15-year-old was already an accomplished, award-winning artist. HeContinue reading “SoS5: Jeremy”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman, from the 1988 album Tracy Chapman Line of Significance And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder/And I-I, had a feeling that I belonged/I-I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone,Continue reading “SoS4: Fast Car”
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Closing Time, Semisonic, from the 1998 album Feeling Strangely Line of Significance: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Liner Notes 45Shinedown from the 2003 album ‘Leave a Whisper’ Lyric to remember In a box, high up on the shelf, left for you, no one else/There’s a piece of a puzzle known as life, wrapped in guilt, sealed up tight. Quotable “The box is your memories, the things in your life you’ve kept veryContinue reading “SoS2 — 45, Shinedown”
Welcome to the premiere edition of Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Cumbersome, Seven Mary Three, from the 1994 debut album, Churn Line of Significance: I have become cumbersome to this world/I have become cumbersome to my girl B. Goode is by no means a musicContinue reading “SoS1: Cumbersome”
There was a time in my life when I had swagger. I was never the most popular or athletic kid in school, but for a while there, I was a really good baseball player. I could hit. I could field. And, boy, could I pitch. Some of the most “over” kids in high school wouldContinue reading “Welcome Back, Swagger”
I am my music. I don’t know how much simpler to define me than to say that if you want to know who and where I am at a particular moment, check my “recents” in Amazon Music. Music has always been a big thing with me. I understand it now, but I didn’t understand asContinue reading “List Item Achieved! #24: Music”
I have a complicated history with alcohol. So stupid and naive was I that I it wasn’t until I was 8 years old that I learned a woman could drink beer. I mean, I actually believed beer was not something women were allowed to drink, or maybe it was that I thought that if theyContinue reading “List Item Achieved! #40: Cheers!”
It seems to me that a lot of things are easier these days. For example, I think it’s much easier to be a police detective now than, say, back in the 1960s-90s, when my uncle/godfather worked in Spanish Harlem. There are databases for everything from fingerprints to photos to DNA, and every block in theContinue reading “List Item Achieved! #90: Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid”
Ahh, January 2022, the month that will be remembered as the one in which, despite being vaxed and boosted, that little bitch Covid came to live with me again and as a month that lasted approximately 758 years. Yet despite its general assholeyness and inexplicable length, I managed to actually cross off very few itemsContinue reading “List Items Update! January in Review”
Dear World, Hey there. It’s me. John. John who? Yeah, I thought you might say that. It has been a day. It has been a week. Hell, world … it has been a life. Oh. Wait. You need to grab my file? Go ahead. I’ll wait. Give it a good read. Yeah, don’t skip overContinue reading “Dear World, Seriously … WTF?”
By the middle of 2021, I was, in a word, fat. Not the cool kind of fat, as in phat, but just plain-old fat. In the middle of my battle with Longhaul Covid and following a course of Hail-Mary high-dose steroids to fix a Longhauler mouth issue that remains to this day, I punished myContinue reading “List Items Achieved! #51: Pants”