THE SECOND STORY | March 26th, 2009

What’s behind what we think we see?

(I had to put on the brakes, park the car, and take a photo this afternoon when I saw this blast of color in the 1600 block of San Jose while on my way to an appointment. We can thank the gardener/owner for some wonderful forethought.)

A number of years ago a friend gave me tickets to see the play/musical STOMP. It’s an amazing and loud conglomeration of rhythm, noise, dance, and humor. I was so impressed with the talent. And then I realized that if I was walking down a street and saw one of the cast members, it would not occur to me to think…’hey, I wonder if that guy is a Broadway dancer?” Admitting that I can be quick to judge, I’d probably think the kid was a high school dropout. Not good and not correct. That was quite an awakening for me.

I’m trying to look beyond the surface of things these days. I’d like to see what’s really behind my initial perceptions, which are often wrong. In an effort to show the softer side this week, I share two items that were sent along to me this week. Maybe you’ve seen them.

One is Ilana Yahov, who does sand art. Now I love the beach, I love sand, and I’ve spent my fair share of time playing in it and with it. But the world this woman sees as she morphs one scene into another on a back-lit sand table is beyond me.

That video triggered a response from daughter Sutter in New Zealand. Once you click on the link, scroll down a bit to the video and then tolerate the ad for a few moments. This guy is known as the Sand Dancer. Sutter showed me samples of his work when she moved to NZ a few years ago. He works IN and ON the medium, and each piece disappears with the tide. We’re not talking sandcastles here. The way he carves and rakes his thoughts into designs on the beach with admittedly no initial plan, how he can visualize and then create a 3D picture in a rather two dimensional medium wakes me up to understand that what I think I see has nothing, nothing to do with what others perceptions are.

(I had one more item to share but I can’t figure out how to get it into the blog. Suffice to say I found myself crying with gratitude during the rather standard slide show format that had terrific pictures set to music. It was a good reminder to get out of myself. If you’d like to see it, send an email and I’ll attach it in a response.)

This is not to say that vision is solely for the artist. The engineer who has created the plan and execution of some seismic retrofitting being done around our house right now sees the world completely different from me. Not only in structure but in showing the workers exactly how to fit all the pieces together and eliminate mistakes! It’s like a piece of art. But mathematical and logical. Carl, as a yacht designer, could visualize his finished product in full 3D before he put it on paper, and then the builder translated those lines into massive shapes! His life-calling for work was both art and science.

It’s the same with toys and amusements! I had the chance to have some golf clubs fitted this week, and I was impressed with what the engineers and designers have come up with to make the design and function of each club more efficient and effective. Yes, I bought some new clubs. What a difference. Now I need to get used to what they can do.

And music! I’ve been fortunate to attend presentations of the SF Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, and Cal Performances the last two months. Oh my gosh…what those musicians pull out of their instruments! As I listened again and again, it hit me that each note for each instrument was heard in its completeness before the composer ever wrote it down!

How about the vision of the person who planted those gorgeous flowers pictured at the top of the blog this week?

All of these things were thoughts before they were manifested! As I control my thoughts, the opportunities for unlimited expression of them abound!

So that’s the softer side. I really do have one. And I know that each of us has equally amazing, diverse, unique talents, perhaps even still hidden within, yet there all along, just waiting for us to give them permission to come forward and change how we see the world.

Alameda real estate this week…

You’ll notice a decrease in the inventory and a jump in the pending sales this week. The property I called the Winner last week is now among the pending. Quite a few listings have expired or been withdrawn and then reinserted as ‘new’.

This article
repeats what I’ve been telling my clients about the financing process. Scroll straight to the heading ‘Sharp Underwriting.’ I’m warning and telling my clients that this isn’t about them…it’s about the moronic reactions to the moronic methods that lead the lenders to this moronic morass.

Active listings 167, 180 last report
Pending listings 68, 60 last report

Tuesday Tour
7 with 2 repeats (Clinton and Marina)

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

New 8

BOM (back on market) 0

Price changes 13

Pending 17

Sold 10

Expired 3

Withdrawn/cancelled 9

Alameda real estate awards this week...remember this is only my perspective!
Not much to choose from and only one was worthy

Cute/charming (and now pending)

So that’s a wrap. I’ll be holding 31 Oak Park open on Sunday between 2-4pm. It is really nice, priced well, and I think some of the buyers out there will be getting off the fence soon. Based on what I’ve seen when I’ve been showing short sale and REO property this week to my Gen Y first time buyer client, things are picking up…and let me tell you, the discounts are deep in San Leandro.

Carry on! Marilyn

Published by


I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!