Monday, December 27, 2010

Taking me back (throwback)

Growth is amazing. When I look at the things I had to go thru to be where I am today, and all the things that I am still going to have to go thru, I am overwhelmed. I started writing as a means of expressing my feelings I couldn't do verbally, release stress, analyzation the strongholds in my life, growth in who I was and initiating change. This was written at a lost part of my life and was the catalyst to identifying a problem in my life and resolving to change it. ENJOY!

I have let too many people come in and out of my life. They have entered my space and invaded my territory. But I play the good host and give them all a welcome present that soon becomes a parting gift. Because as quickly as the enter they leave.

I barely remember their names and vaguely recall their stories. Even some that wanted to stay, I pushed out to make room for the new group of visitors. "Don't take your shoes off, you wont be here that long" is what's written on the door mat. "You will be made to feel like you are invited to stay forever, but you are not. Admission is free and open to whoever shows interest", reads the sign at the entrance.

And everyone through the door comes and leaves with their gift. I have nothing material to offer so I started giving pieces of myself. One piece here, another there; I am spread all over different parts of the country. One person may have my knee on a mantle while the other has my heart thrown under the bed... I have had so many visitors that there is not much of me left and the employees who maintain the house are working for free. I have nothing t give them. They stay because they believe in this house, even more than I do. They know how special it is suppose to be and have hope for it's return to glory.

I am torn apart and spread to thin. Now I have reached a turning point. I am taking what is left of me and going around to everyone who has stepping into my space and taking back what is mine. "You don't deserve it and I need me back!" The house is now closed and my employees will be the new recipients of all of my pieces. Because I know they will stay in the house and put the pieces together the way they should be. I am not giving any more of myself to just anyone who walks through my door, but instead to people who have helped me build the house that it opens into.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Quit (throwback)

Here is another blog I wrote one day after a long day of work back when I was still in corporate america... It's amazing how when pushed to a limit, you can find the power to speak things into existence. I guess I followed thru on my promises to myself.

Sanchez Dictionary~ I Quit- I am leaving this place and transcending to a higher state of being that was originally written in my destiny.

I am going to write my way out of Corporate America

I am going to draw my way out of Corporate America

I am going to think my way out of Corporate America

I am going to read, design, talk, educate, socialize, inspire,

and entertain my way out of corporate America

When it is Monday and your first thought is that I wish it was Friday

It is time to quit

When you paycheck never seems to equate to a weeks worth of slave time

It is time to quit

When our streets are in peril but all the worthy young men and women are too busy at work

It is time to quit

When the streets and corrupt media are raising our kids

It is time to quit

When the cost of living is rising higher than you paycheck

It is time to quit

When you find you’re self unhappy, at home writing a blog about how much you want to work your way out of corporate America…… It is time to quit!

So…… I Quit! From today on… I quit.

Cooperate America is just going to be my tool until those two sweet words flow off my lips and into the ears of those who have been trapped by the Ultimate Slave Master we affectionately call Corporate America!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Losing it! (throwback)

This was written when I was still in corporate america. I am posting it to remind me of how grateful I should be that I transended from this place and also cuz I am sure some people out there can identify with this. I read it and was like WOW! This was real emotion. This is a stream of consciousness that I typed as I got to work one morning and the frustration was too much for me not to express it in some way. (Edited for adult content)

I am about to f$^*ing scream!
Am I just born to be a rebel, spoiled, impossible to please, lazy or lost? Seriously, what the f@#^ has me in such discontent. Why is it the thought of getting up to drive an hour to this God forsaken hell hole, makes my blood crawl, lips curl, forehead wrinkle, eyes water, hair stand and fist ball up. Why can't I just be content with having a job that pays well and a steady source of income? It will be dumb of me to quit so why can't these f^$#ers just fire me. Please! I suck at this job, and if you know me, I don't suck at anything I do. But I have no desire to be here.
But I find myself in a heated struggle to hold on to what is rightfully mine; something that is innate to my soul; my happiness. I can't continue spending 10-12 hrs of my day unhappy. I could just sit here and shed a tear, but I will not let them have it. They have taken enough out of my body. My time, my energy, my fu&^#ing sanity… Nothing else is available. Not even one single solitary tear.
The more money you make, the harder it is to make ends meet. If that's the case, why am I worried about salary? Hanes t-shirts, chilling with friends, taking the metro, enjoying just being here.... F$&^ the finer things, give me happiness!
I know you have heard this same cry from me for a while. But please believe a plan is in action. But my patience is so thin and my outlook is so jaded. Going from a bad situation to a worse predicament is my fear. But not a fear that is going to overwhelm my discontent. Save me from this SHIT, ANYONE!! Because I don't think I can take much more and I am…. Hold up… these mutha f%^$ers are about to go play golf as I prepare for our meeting… Bulls@*t… I QUIT!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pack Light!

I need you right now! A lot of people need you right now. But you are not here. You still haven’t left the station.. Dragging along with 8 oversize bags for a weekend trip. Missing flight after flight to a place that you “claim” you wanted to be above all else. Now we are all at the airport waiting... Some still wait, some have just given up and gone home, some check back periodically. But people keep coming here waiting for you to arrive eventually. It’s a revolving door. The crowds change, but the results are the same. One by one everyone goes home disappointed because you have yet to arrive where you are suppose to be. You have packed everything to look good for us, presents for us and our kids, albums full of pictures of what you’ve done and things you have. You want to bring so much for us, but all we really want is the one thing that you are not giving us, you! Authentic and unadulterated. So your place remains vacant and others have to suffer because you couldn’t pack light.

In life we get so attached to stuff, image, perceptions, titles and status that it immobilizes us. When we are called upon to serve in an area that we are needed, we are too stuck in a place of obligation. Your car payment keeps you from taking a trip to the place that you always wanted to go. working to pay for your new winter wardrobe has stopped you from doing the volunteer work that you enjoyed. The need to be in the hottest spots has held you back from doing simple things that you always loved. Our attachment to status keeps up from associating with some exception but eccentric people. And our fear of people seeing who we are instead of who we say we are restrains us from being able to relax. We sacrifice peace of mind for piece of the pie while we are screaming out that we like cake! It’s insanity at its best. We want out of the cycle, but dive deeper in. Pack light! Get to the position in life that calls for nothing more than for you just to be you. Show up authentically and stop being held back by all this “stuff”.

When you have seen what you need to see, done what you need to do and just want to sit back, then collect as much as you want. Cement yourself there in contentment with whatever you desire. But DO NOT keep saying you want to fly while you keep acquiring more of everything that keeps you grounded.. Pack light, for the sake of yourself and all of us waiting for you to arrive...

My box!

At Birth, Society's gift was four even lines.

Strong, straight, definite lines..

My parents knew how they wanted me to act, speak and grow. They viewed me as the resulting fruit of careful growing, neglecting the fact that nothing in nature can be controlled. They made sure to pass along the apparent results of there constant devotion to my development. I erected a Line in their honor.

You know me from childhood. You make sure to hold me to the same predictability as my younger self. You love the one you knew and want me to stay the same. I erected another line in your honor.

The TV says this, the video says that, the preacher tells me this and that is how I should be. My desires are wrong, my passion is misplaced, and my motivation is ungratefulness. Thank you for teaching me how to be me. I lay a line across the other two I have already erected in your honor.

I see the man I want to be. I know the perception I want to give. I want to work on changing myself to be the ideal man I have in my mind. So I decide to stand on those grounds and lay my last line under my feet, connecting the bottom of my first two lines and enclosing me in a box of direction for my life

Ironically, Now that I have four different directions, I can’t go anywhere. I am trapped in the box, only to pace back and forth until I get held back by someone else’s expectations of me.

Unhappy, I rebel and change my situation. I run full speed into the side of the box, tipping it on to a corner. Content with my individuality, I am not realizing that my movements are now even more restricted in this diamond. All I can do is sit in the bottom corner as all the other space in the box goes wasted. But my new position has me yelling at the top of my lungs “I am different”. The self reflective line has literally tilted up to trap me in an even more narrow scope. Now I am stuck and everyone else’s expectations are unstable and slanted.

Finally I disassemble it. Aligning all the expectation, and believing I can be everything to everyone. So I break apart corner and flatten out the box. Now I am free to run back and forth with no limitations. But how do I transcend. How do I elevate to a higher level or dig deep to find parts of me that I have lost. The long line has now set a definite limit. Making it impossible to be everything to everyone and still evolve as a person

So now I am here with my eraser. I don't mean to be unappreciative of the care of my parents, the guidance of society or the support of my friends, but they are keeping me from being free. I have a pencil with a big eraser, and I am starting with the line of self restriction that I gave to myself. And erasing all the others are a necessity that is soon coming...

Then what will I stand on?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Renaissance Renovation-Anacostia

Before I left to do the taping for @HGTV Design Star, I sat down with an architect and the owner of Equilibrium Real Estate Fund. As the newly contracted designer for their renovations, I was presenting possible layouts for a newly purchased property in historic Anacostia, Washington, DC. An area that has had a reputation as “the hood” for so long, but is yet so rich in history. I took an interest in this project because of the potential that lies in this once forgotten region of southeast Washington, DC.

The house was in terrible disrepair and had one of the funkiest layouts I have seen to date. having 2 small bedrooms but 2 unusually large bathrooms (a lot of waisted space) and the kitchen being split in two rooms, coupled with that fact that the house had no 90 degree angles and everything was on a slant, made this project a real challenge. After coming up with a layout that allowed for 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a relocated kitchen and a new sunroom, I had to leave for New York for my television debut.

When I returned I came
back to a completely gutted house. Framing was just finished and drywall had begun.

After some 8 weeks of work, We managed to transform this awkward property into a home.
The new layout and higher end finishes has made this one of the highest appraised
properties in the area. Not only was the house being transformed but the neighborhood as well.

We had many occurrences of neighbors stopping by to compliment us in the job we were doing.

Within one square block, there were new modern schools,
government buildings, coffee shops, salons and restaurant popping up.The once blighted neighborhood was returning to it’s former glory.
As the principle designer I make the decisions on final floor plan,
exterior selections, all finish materials (tile, flooring, lights, fixtures) and color. I decided to detour
from my usual modern style and bring in a transitional feel with some traditional touches.
On the exterior, I reconstructed the porch with traditional wood columns and railings and added shutters to
add interest to the exterior. On the interior, I brought in bamboo hardwood floors, porcelain tile, seamless glass shower doors, granite countertops,
stainless steel appliances and many other modern conveniences.

Seamless glass shower porcelain tile floor custom closet half bath

bamboo floors contemporary ceiling fan original stair railings

New Kitchen with SS appliances, slide-in cooktop and granite countertops

But one of the biggest additions to the property was a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment downstairs as well as 2 large decks and a rooftop deck. One of the biggest attraction of living in SE is the view of downtown.
Overall there is over 500 sq. ft of outdoor living space.

Back of the house with new porches

view from the rooftop deck

I am proud to be involved in projects that are able to change the face of communities across the nation’s capital. My goal is to reveal the possibilities that lay in our once neglected neighborhoods. Historic Anacostia is very much alive and growing, and I am grateful to be a part of it.

2243 Shannon Place SE, Washington, DC
Realtor: Brandon Holland-240.997.1696

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I want to die!

I want to commit poetic suicide

I want to figuratively shoot myself in the head

Personify a leap from the 27th floor

Metaphorically overdose on pills

I want to die!

but only hypothetically

a rhythmic slaying of old habits

a removal of negative self images by inflection

recite a spoken word performance of guilt eradication

I want to commit lyrical homicide

one where no one actually feels pain

but still respond as if sentenced a literal “go to hell”

I want to wage a haiku war

where it only takes 3 lines to change lives

Death is after life

heaven is life after death

life is earth’s heaven

irrefutable evidence that heaven comes with death

so let me die!

let me die today

so that I may live in heaven tomorrow


Monday, July 19, 2010

Design Star 5; Episode 5: Behind the Design

Design Star 5; Episode 5: Behind the Design

It was so refreshing to actually have real clients this week to design for. And not just any clients, we had the honor of designing for some of the most respected group of guys in this country, the FDNY! Notorious for bravery and infamous for selfless service, I couldn't have asked for greater inspiration.

The firemen evaluating our design

As a designer, I am very client driven and personality inspired. I design rooms to be lived in and customized to a person/persons' need. This week we finally had the opportunity to do what we are made to do, create "living" enviornments. Although we are still stuck with the impracticallity of having to work in groups, at least we could feel united by a common purpose on this challenge.

We were charged with encorporating a signature element into the space, and I couldn't let this moment pass by without a full explaination of my inspiration for my signature element. Most people knew I chose to do a mural of the NY city skyline, but it was never shown why on the show.

The official company patch of FDNY Squad 18

The company patch is a very sacred symbol for each individual firehouse. Squad 18's company patch was special because it was redone just prior to 9-11 so it still has the original city skyline with the twin towers. So I chose to do a replica of the city skyline as it appears on the patch. But if you look at the twin towers in my mural you will see something different.
Squad 18 is the only squad to lose every firefighter on duty twice in its history! The last time being in 9/11 when all 7 of the firefighters on duty lost their lives. So in the twin towers in my mural you will see 7 lights left on to symbolize the lives and legacies of the 7 men still shining brightly. I wanted to give a perminent reminder and symbolic memorial to the brave men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our insurance of our saftey.

The mural and close up of the twin towers with 7 lights left on

The firemen were grateful for the design and gave me a patch of my own.. Thank you Squad 18!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Modern Touch

T h e M o d e r n B a c h e l o r

This is following the process of taking a loft style condo from a cookie cutter unit to sleek modern bachelor pad on a young professionals' budget. The goal of this project was to maximize the small space and create a very sleek modern style for a not so extravagant budget.


The first thing was to invest in quality pieces of furniture. Imported portugese bistro table, custom designed couch. Still to come are minimalist bar and bistro stools as well as additional seating. Wood flooring, lighting and art are the upcoming elements that will complete this space.

Keeping with whites and greys as main elements to kep the space very bright and sleek, bright color was brought it with accesories and one unexpected orange wall to seperate the work area.

The the work area I brought in hanging storage with frosted glass doors to minimize clutter and free up floor space.

Designer tip: Using wall mounted storage, glass surfaces and furniture with tall legs leaves more visable floor space. This is what gives the illusion of a room being bigger and less cluttered.

Savings tip: I purchased a pair of metal leaves at a discount home store. I bent them, primed them, painted them a bright yellow and then hung them on a wall. By bending them it made them curl off of the wall slightly and added an additional dimension for very low cost

I custom designed a sofa that was low profile, elevated on chrome sleigh legs and tailored with a durable, silver fabric. I then accented it with brightly colored pillows to contract the tone of my "power suit" sofa,

I brought in a mix of colorful, metallic and clear accessories to pull together the fresh and modern look...

I have an unexplainable disdain for traditional bath mats. It seems as no matter what the pattern or color they come off as... ummm... well... traditional. So instead I brought in a bamboo tile bath mat to bring in a natural modern element.

In the bedroom, I went with low profile, simple dark wood furniture. But I had glass cut to cover all the tops so that it gives it a more expensive look and reflects light around the room. I brought in live flowers (thanks design star) to soften the feel of the space. A full legth mirror was placed opposite to the window to bounce light around the room and make the room appear larger.

Overall this project is well on it's way of becoming a personalized urban bachelor suite that will be sure to impress. I can't wait to bring you the final project!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love's True Form-Part 1

Our nations capitol passed the law allowing gay marriage to be recognized in the Distict of Columbia. This mark in history is the muse that inspired this monumental chapter of an already unbelievable love story.

There will always be people who disapprove because they do not understand. But the courage it took to make this step is remarkable. I have known one of the brides for 20 years and I can not see her with anyone else other than the woman that destiny chose for her. Thru all obstacles, love prevailed and other's opinions took a back seat to their dreams.

Besides wearing white, tradition was out the window...

This was a day that was 14 years in the making. There was so much emotion that filled the room. It was a very small ceremony but definitely one of the most touching I have ever attended

And with one kiss... a dream finally becomes a reality...

Love's true form is unconditional, genuine and constant. It doesn't matter what package it comes in, just the honesty of its contents. I have photographed many couples and weddings, and I can honestly say that this is one that gave me hope for true love.

Dedicated to the beautiful newlyweds... Sherell and Benedicta

Monday, May 31, 2010

Motivation and Discipline

There are few goals that are reached without hard work. The tireless hard work it takes is impossible without motivation and discipline. This is a fitness photoshoot for one of the most "go-hard" people I know. Fitness model- Sterling August.

Anything great comes with pushing yourself beyond your preconceived limits. It when we are most challenged that we have the biggest breakthroughs.

This grind has become an obsession. Day in and day out!

Resting is necessary but quitting is unacceptable

Motivation and Discipline erases all limitations

Motivation and Discipline
Photographed by H. Alex Sanchez (
Featuring: fitness model Sterling August

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