Mar 31, 2005

Whew! Friday

We left the apartments at 5:45 and parked at PCA parking. It brought back memories of other trips I’ve had with family. The airport wasn’t crowded at all, and even though Jen had to pick up her ticket at the counter, we got through to our gate with an hour to spare. They completely remodeled and renovated one of the new Southwest terminals, and it was funny because we both walk into the terminal and start critiquing the design.

The flight to Oakland wasn’t full, which was nice, and the flight was a little under two hours. The air was Oklahoma lite; little bit of humidity, little bit of grass fields. It was cooler there than Phoenix, so I wore my blue air force coat. The airport was pretty busy, and we met Jen’s dad Stan outside in the pick-up area.

He’s tall, late forties, with grizzly gray short hair around the sides of his head. He’s a manager of sorts for California’s Daimler-Chrysler. Jen said he basically goes around to dealerships to make sure they’re making sales, compares different company’s cars, and he also does expert testimony in cases involving vehicles catching fire or exploding, etc. He picked us up in an SUV, equipped with a hemi, sat nav, sat radio, all the goodies. As he changes cars every six months or so as part of his job, his license plate number was “4”. Anyway, he’s got a garage full of tools including arc welders, a metal lathe, and more tools than I could I identify. He’s built pool decks, poured concrete, and other construction stuff.

The ride to Jen’s house took about an hour. There had been more rain than usual, and the rolling hills were green instead of the usual brown and yellow scrub that Jen had prepared me for. We passed pastoral scene after pastoral scene, blue skies, sheep and cattle dotting the landscape. She lives in Brentwood, which is a rural commuter town, and she’s lived in the area since she was five. They live in a suburb in a “California” style house, very similar to the “mission” style tract homes in Scottsdale. Their town is really small, only recently has there been some major chains going into the area. There is still only one movie theater. Jen’s house was spotless and eclectically decorated, although Victoriana was the predominant style. Most of the house I would describe as artesian, although the upstairs bathroom had a heavy fish theme including suspended wooden fish above the sinks, and fish embedded in a blue plastic toilet lid and seat.

Jen’s mom, Diane, is about the same age as her husband, and a little smaller than Jen (which is saying something). She’s a very industrious, serious woman, most serious about decorating and cooking. She does freelance work in graphic design and interior decorating. She’s a pretty good cook too. Jen looks most like her mother.

Jen’s younger brother, Sean, is a junior in high school, but he’s got hair like Shaggy in Scooby-doo, including the narrow chin beard. He’s very much into cars, using his dad’s extensive tools and knowledge to soup up a ford focus. He was working on raising the spoiler height and doing other body work while I was there.

They have a “cockapoo” which is apparently a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. It’s got a cocker form covered with tightly curled poodle hair. She’s only two, a sort of surrogate for Jen when she left home, and a very jumpy, very licky dog.

Anyway, I put myself down in Jen’s bedroom and we took a walk around the neighborhood. She lives a very short walk away a stream with a spacious greenbelt along it leading out towards the hills. When we got back, we drove around Brentwood, Oakley, and Arcadia. It’s basically a collection of subdivisions and neighborhoods with a few massive shopping centers. We actually stopped into TJMaxx and Ross. Our salsa teacher recommended each couple coordinate their dress, and I had no shirts that stood out at all. Just a few dark shades of blue and green. I picked out a shirt that is a bit unusual for me, its got narrow vertical stripes in bright pastels. It’s very Easter-y and will stand out a lot in a lot of blacks and reds which I anticipate in our final. I’m wearing in one of the pictures I posted online. I went next door to this other store which is essentially a full store of only the home stuff from TJMaxx. It’s a lot cheaper than the stuff here, but the tax is higher. I bought a wooden mudra of Buddha and a copper kettle.

For dinner, Diane made grilled salmon with artichokes. Her walk-in pantry was crammed full, and it reminded me of the one in Beijing, stocked for any cataclysmic siege. The layout of the house is actually strikingly similar to our old house in Scottsdale. The entry faces a stair with a 90 degree turn halfway up leading directly to the master bedroom and a clearstory with a railing around the entry open space. The living room, kitchen with large central island, pantry beneath the stairs, and formal dining room leading to the formal living room and back around to the entry is eerily identical.

After dinner, we watched a little TV and then I went to bed because I was wiped. Besides, we had to be up early tomorrow.

Whew! Thursday

Thursday at my planning class I got my second paper back with an A, which made me happy. Right after that, I met Chase Kimball at my apartment for a final planning session for our European trip. He's in town for spring break this week. We made plans, and booked the majority of the youth hostels we are going to be staying at. We worked all afternoon, stopping by STA travel for a eurail timetable and to answer some questions we had. Around seven, we went to Bamboo club for dinner. I ordered fried calimari, really good, and not too expensive. I was bemused to find whole fried tiny octopi mixed in with the calimari rounds. Afterwards, we drove to Club Tropicana, where there are public salsa lessons for an hour. Chase, who had never danced before, worked on his basic moves while I learned a new move. There were a lot of older people there, along with a few ASU students. Anyway, Chase got a few dances in while the club was still pretty empty. After the crowds started filling the small dancefloor he stepped out to the sidelines and wached. Jen came pretty soon afterwards and we demonstrated more Salsa and Merengue. We danced for a bit, then conferred with Chase, just going over final things, action items, etc. We then shook hands and said "See you in Paris!" After watching our teacher's dance team do a short performance, we got our homework cards stamped and went home to pack. I got to bed around one AM.

Mar 23, 2005

Teachers New Pet

After my studio, I walked back to the apartment, worked on putting together a "fake" schedule, then drove down to south phoenix for the city of phoenix planning comission meeting. As one of our assignments, we have to attend a public meeting and give our impressions and analysis. The meeting was fairly easy to find, athlough I was surpised to find something as powerful as the planning comission meeting in a room with a large bingo board behind them. I sat in the public seating, room for about 36. I'd say close to thirty citizens showed up along with the eight commissioners. These people, mind you, are not professional planners, although there were three professional planners from city of phoenix there. There was an air of decided casualness which surprised me. Many council members wore jeans. Anyway, there were three agenda items, one of which was dismissed immediately becuase it was only one line about a zoning change, and there was no one present who knew anything about it. The second item was about this guy who wanted to change a mixed-use agricultural zone to a R3 (three family residential). There were five people who were there to oppose him, so he asked for a continuance to see if he could solve thier problems outside of the council. The last issue was the planned rezoning of a large parcel of land in Desert Ridge to accomodate car auctions and dealerships. This was initiated by the city of phoenix planner. Eight citizens came forward to the mic to give thier view, inlcuding the JW Marriott hotel head. A few were members of the DR HOA, and all were residents. They felt they had not been included in the planning process, that the dealerships would spoil the desert and bring even more traffic to an already congested area from the DR Marketplace. Armed with a petition from the DR denizens, they convinced the council to deny the rezoning. There was applause and the meeting ended almost exactly an hour after starting.

I drove home quickly, picked up Jen, and we went directly to Salsa. For some reason, we seem to have come into her view. Maybe she noticed us becuase we were one of the only couples that danced in the clubs with her second and third year students. Who knows. At any rate, all of a sudden, I'm the one she drags out in front of the class to correct most often. I got in front of the class three times tonight. I'm not complaining, its good because its individualized attention which is amazingly effective at correcting bad form, its just a little strange. We were learning these new steps in class, and I was just barely getting them. Tuesday's child or not, when I have to follow a new, set pattern to a set beat, I have the grace of a wildebeast on skates. We were praciting for the final which is set up as a dance competition, complete with numbers on our backs (not to worry, we get full credit for participation) and she went though picking the ten best, then the two best, then she drags Jen and I out on the floor, saying how good we are. I barely have the basic step down, but I muddle through it, only coming hideously off time. Speaking of the final, we have to put togather four dance routines, thankfully only less than a minute each. Salsa, Cha-cha, Merengue, and Rhumba. Well, back to work. I'm not going to have much time to work on a model for monday being in San Francisco from Friday to Sunday.

Rice Crispie Treats and Fake Classes

Monday we had a sort of back to school dinner at the apartment. I marinated some steaks and Ben grilled them on the barbeque outside, and Jen made rice crispy treats. Yesterday, I watched a movie in my urban planning class about growth issues in Phoenix. In five years, Phoenix has moved from sixth largest US city to fifth. It was kind of interesting, and I was bemused to find most of the footage shot in Scottsdale. Tuesday evening, people critiqued my story in creative writing. For the most part, they liked it, and they really liked the twist at the end. Last night, I worked until 2:30 AM on a model for my studio today.

What I hate about wednesdays is that I generally stay up late finishing projects for studio tuesday night, then I have an 8:40 AM lecture to listen to SMurf drone for an hour, directly followed by more than two hours of lecture on building structures and materials. It's like watching golf followed by C-SPAN. Speaking of which, I havn't seen any television in about a month. I'm trying out some new music, specificially Interpol, Modest Mouse, and Pinback. Interpol is post-punk, but the latter two are more instrumental.

Tomorrow, pre-registration begins ASU. As architecture students trying to get into upper division, we have to pretend that we aren't going to get in and sign up for "fake classes." I'll probably sign up for a few fake classes, and then use two or three as electives I'll keep, making sure they don't conflict with the upper division classes. I'm thinking about taking Finding Purpose, a sort of psychology for design majors, and more about professional practice, and either a graphic design class or industrial design, or both. I'm also thinking about a Tai Chi class on the weekend. We'll see. A few people I know have already submitted applications to other colleges in case they don't get in. Most colleges would love to get someone from the ASU architecture program. My plan B is "don't screw up plan A".

Back to work. It's like a mantra. I feel like I'm saying it constantly. Today, this blog was brought to you by Dan Hoffman, who generously canceled his 2 hour structures class and allowed me to write this and to take a nap. I have studio at 1:40-4:30, a city of phoenix planning comission meeting to attend at 6:00 for my urban planning class, and Salsa from 7:30 until 10. Thursday, I have a planning session with chase in the afternoon, and we were kicking around the idea of taking him to dinner and the salsa club. Early Friday morning, Jen and I have our flight to San Francisco.

Fake classes

Monday we had a sort of back to school dinner at the apartment. I marinated some steaks and Ben grilled them on the barbeque outside, and Jen made rice crispy treats. Yesterday, I watched a movie in my urban planning class about growth issues in Phoenix. In five years, Phoenix has moved from sixth largest US city to fifth. It was kind of interesting, and I was bemused to find most of the footage shot in Scottsdale. Tuesday evening, people critiqued my story in creative writing. For the most part, they liked it, and they really liked the twist at the end. Last night, I worked until 2:30 AM on a model for my studio today.

What I hate about wednesdays is that I generally stay up late finishing projects for studio tuesday night, then I have an 8:40 AM lecture to listen to SMurf drone for an hour, directly followed by more than two hours of lecture on building structures and materials. It's like watching golf followed by C-SPAN. Speaking of which, I havn't seen any television in about a month. I'm trying out some new music, specificially Interpol, Modest Mouse, and Pinback. Interpol is post-punk, but the latter two are more instrumental.

Tomorrow, pre-registration begins ASU. As architecture students trying to get into upper division, we have to pretend that we aren't going to get in and sign up for "fake classes." I'll probably sign up for a few fake classes, and then use two or three as electives I'll keep, making sure they don't conflict with the upper division classes. I'm thinking about taking Finding Purpose, a sort of psychology for design majors, and more about professional practice, and either a graphic design class or industrial design, or both. I'm also thinking about a Tai Chi class on the weekend. We'll see. A few people I know have already submitted applications to other colleges in case they don't get in. Most colleges would love to get someone from the ASU architecture program. My plan B is "don't screw up plan A".

Back to work. It's like a mantra. I feel like I'm saying it constantly. Today, this blog was brought to you by Dan Hoffman, who generously canceled his 2 hour structures class and allowed me to write this and to take a nap. I have studio at 1:40-4:30, a city of phoenix planning comission meeting to attend at 6:00 for my urban planning class, and Salsa from 7:30 until 10. Thursday, I have a planning session with chase in the afternoon, and we were kicking around the idea of taking him to dinner and the salsa club. Early Friday morning, Jen and I have our flight to San Francisco.

Fake classes

Monday we had a sort of back to school dinner at the apartment. I marinated some steaks and Ben grilled them on the barbeque outside, and Jen made rice crispy treats. Yesterday, I watched a movie in my urban planning class about growth issues in Phoenix. In five years, Phoenix has moved from sixth largest US city to fifth. It was kind of interesting, and I was bemused to find most of the footage shot in Scottsdale. Tuesday evening, people critiqued my story in creative writing. For the most part, they liked it, and they really liked the twist at the end. Last night, I worked until 2:30 AM on a model for my studio today.

What I hate about wednesdays is that I generally stay up late finishing projects for studio tuesday night, then I have an 8:40 AM lecture to listen to SMurf drone for an hour, directly followed by more than two hours of lecture on building structures and materials. It's like watching golf followed by C-SPAN. Speaking of which, I havn't seen any television in about a month. I'm trying out some new music, specificially Interpol, Modest Mouse, and Pinback. Interpol is post-punk, but the latter two are more instrumental.

Tomorrow, pre-registration begins ASU. As architecture students trying to get into upper division, we have to pretend that we aren't going to get in and sign up for "fake classes." I'll probably sign up for a few fake classes, and then use two or three as electives I'll keep, making sure they don't conflict with the upper division classes. I'm thinking about taking Finding Purpose, a sort of psychology for design majors, and more about professional practice, and either a graphic design class or industrial design, or both. I'm also thinking about a Tai Chi class on the weekend. We'll see. A few people I know have already submitted applications to other colleges in case they don't get in. Most colleges would love to get someone from the ASU architecture program. My plan B is "don't screw up plan A".

Back to work. It's like a mantra. I feel like I'm saying it constantly. Today, this blog was brought to you by Dan Hoffman, who generously canceled his 2 hour structures class and allowed me to write this and to take a nap. I have studio at 1:40-4:30, a city of phoenix planning comission meeting to attend at 6:00 for my urban planning class, and Salsa from 7:30 until 10. Thursday, I have a planning session with chase in the afternoon, and we were kicking around the idea of taking him to dinner and the salsa club. Early Friday morning, Jen and I have our flight to San Francisco.

Mar 20, 2005

Whew! Thursday

Thursday at my planning class I got my second paper back with an A, which made me happy. Right after that, I met Chase Kimball at my apartment for a final planning session for our European trip. He's in town for spring break this week. We made plans, and booked the majority of the youth hostels we are going to be staying at. We worked all afternoon, stopping by STA travel for a eurail timetable and to answer some questions we had. Around seven, we went to Bamboo club for dinner. I ordered fried calimari, really good, and not too expensive. I was bemused to find whole fried tiny octopi mixed in with the calimari rounds. Afterwards, we drove to Club Tropicana, where there are public salsa lessons for an hour. Chase, who had never danced before, worked on his basic moves while I learned a new move. There were a lot of older people there, along with a few ASU students. Anyway, Chase got a few dances in while the club was still pretty empty. After the crowds started filling the small dancefloor he stepped out to the sidelines and wached. Jen came pretty soon afterwards and we demonstrated more Salsa and Merengue. We danced for a bit, then conferred with Chase, just going over final things, action items, etc. We then shook hands and said "See you in Paris!" After watching our teacher's dance team do a short performance, we got our homework cards stamped and went home to pack. I got to bed around one AM.

Spring Break: Reprise

What did I actually get done this week? Let's see.
The majority of my time I spent working on my upper division porfolio, finishing the rough draft of the first two studios. It's approximately fifty pages long, so editing is definately the next step after I finish my last project for third studio. I worked on portfolio from Friday though Tuesday.

Wednesday, I went camping with Jen up in Sedona. There were still patches of snow on the ground in the shade. We got there in the morning and set up camp in the "reserved" area after finding a site with reservations for friday. As we'd only be camping there one night, I figured I was fine, especially since there were more than a dozen empty reservation campsites. Well, around two, the camp host comes around in her giant desiel pickup (she's driving around a loop that's less than a quater of a mile) and tells us that we have to move because these sites are reserved. "There's no reservation for tonight I tell her." I get a blank look and she tells us that we have to move anyway. What I should have done is called to reserve the site I was already on. Anyway, we took down camp and moved it to the most isolated site on the "open" campsites, still only about a hundred feet from the road. We paid $18 for this privillage. The campground has tables, running water, and outhouses sure, but I'd really like my wilderness a little more wild. Anyway, I got a fire going at dusk and we cooked hot dogs and smores. It was a really cold night, dipping down into the 30's. I had made the mistake of taking Dad's huge tent as it is much better shape than my 2 man tent, so it remained pretty cold all night. I took a stone from the fire though and wrapped it with clothes, so it worked as a footwarmer for Jen. The next morning we stopped in Oak Creek to look for a place for breakfast. Every place we looked was either closed or had stopped serving breakfast. We settled on an expresso bar/ lunheon place that had croissants with egg cheese and ham. The rest of I thursday I spent cleaning the apartment and working on other stuff.
Friday I started working on my taxes, rummaging through old papers, filing things, and putting together my W2s. H&R block has a free online filing service where they tell you where to find things and where to put them, but I came to a block in trying to figure out what to do about the check the school sent me, the remainder of my scholarship for about $450. I went to the IRS website, and of course they have a pdf on it about 80 pages long. Friday night, Sally and Johnathan had Jen and I over for dinner. It was really good, and Sally gave me a book of architecture details of particular styles as well as an extremely generous helping of leftovers. We played a few rounds of uno before heading back.
Yesterday (Saturday) I spent mostly working on my new architecture project. We're taking the same cemetery site, retaining all the critical elements of it and the programmatic stuff from the first two projects, and now we're placeing structures on the site. We have to have administration areas, lecture halls, kitchens, a museum, archives, etc. Last night I also got a guy "al" to come test drive the minivan. This is the first minivan he's looked at, so it's no surprise that he offered us $9,000 for it. Hopefully he will have looked around more over the weekend and learned what a steal it is at 12K. I should still doublecheck the price on bluebook though.
Today I need to do more planning for Europe. Chase is coming next week and we're going to meet up to finalize plans.
Taylor, congratulations on what mom describes as a stunning performance. Mad propz homey-T.

Whew! Thursday

Thursday at my planning class I got my second paper back with an A, which made me happy. Right after that, I met Chase Kimball at my apartment for a final planning session for our European trip. He's in town for spring break this week. We made plans, and booked the majority of the youth hostels we are going to be staying at. We worked all afternoon, stopping by STA travel for a eurail timetable and to answer some questions we had. Around seven, we went to Bamboo club for dinner. I ordered fried calimari, really good, and not too expensive. I was bemused to find whole fried tiny octopi mixed in with the calimari rounds. Afterwards, we drove to Club Tropicana, where there are public salsa lessons for an hour. Chase, who had never danced before, worked on his basic moves while I learned a new move. There were a lot of older people there, along with a few ASU students. Anyway, Chase got a few dances in while the club was still pretty empty. After the crowds started filling the small dancefloor he stepped out to the sidelines and wached. Jen came pretty soon afterwards and we demonstrated more Salsa and Merengue. We danced for a bit, then conferred with Chase, just going over final things, action items, etc. We then shook hands and said "See you in Paris!" After watching our teacher's dance team do a short performance, we got our homework cards stamped and went home to pack. I got to bed around one AM.

Mar 13, 2005

Working the day long

Got up and made a decent breakfast this morning: Fried eggs, sausage, and toast. I worked on portfolio stuff from then until about six. My portfolio is coming along ok. I've got a layout that is starting to work for me, and I've actually got my first project laid out (I'll probably inlude a dozen projects). I'm using InDesign, which is a really powerful layout program. I still need to re-photograph my most recent model against a black backdrop. I'll try to get what I've got out on the net somehow, maybe as a PDF for comments. Jen worked beside me for awhile. Her portfolio is due in late April. In some ways, its more difficult for them, as they have perscribed sections and a perscribed layout (8.5x11 in a view binder), thus putting a lot more emphasis on the layout design. To her credit, it looks extremely professional, like fashion magazine spreads.
Wow. I just realized that Taylor will be sixteen in April. SIXTEEN! how did that happen? Wish I was going to be there for your party, man. I really miss you.
Anyway, I ate a pot pie for dinner. After dinner, Jen and I went to Salsa. The club was really empty when we got there, but we arrived a little after nine which is pretty early. At least we got a few dances in where the dance floor wasn't packed. We saw our teacher dance tonight too. She's got to be in her fifties, but she looks and moves like a woman in her thirties. The only thing is that she smokes and you can see how it's aged her face. When we came up to get our cards stamped, she recognized us and said we looked really good. I was really impressed. She has literally 400 students in her salsa classes. I guess we stood out more since we're one of very few couples from her salsa 1 class who actually dance on the dance floor. Most of the time it's dominated by higher level students, and people who really know how to move. It's a lot of fun to watch the really good people, it looks like they're hovering, spinning around, kicking, etc. I'd highly recommend going to a Salsa club at least once if just to watch the people there. The only thing that bugs me is that its really loud so I always leave partially deaf. There's also some cigarette smoke that wafts in from the inner bar, and the intense crowd and heat gets to me after awhile.
It's surprising to reflect how far I've come since January, considering my difficulty in keeping rythm and gracefully following predetermined steps. Looking at all the other couples which put me to shame, I have to keep in mind how long I've been dancing, and how far ahead I am from those who don't go out there on the floor.
Tomorrow: Design Blitz Day!

Mar 11, 2005

My Wild Wild Wild Spring Break!

Yesterday (tuesday) I took my essay test in urban planning. I think it went pretty well. After the test, I wandered over to Borders bookstore and started purusing some of the new books. I picked up one called Jennifer Government, and just reading the first few pages, I laughed so much I decided to buy it. It's not a great novel, but its a fun read. It's basically about a near future where everything has become privatized and people take the last names of the company they work for. It's basically how a Nike marketing exec orders the shooting of a dozen teenagers who buy ridicously overpriced shoes in order to increase thier appeal. The fall guy, Hack Nike, a kind of wishy-washy protagonist, goes to the police at the behest of his corporite-virus writing girlfriend. Events spiral out of control as the police offer to do the killings. They in turn, subcontract the job to the NRA, which has become a worldwide paramilitary mercenery force. Its a bizzare, funny, and biting novel about the excesses of consumerism and capitalism. Anyway, I read it and ate some ice cream outside. It got up to the low 80s again yesterday. For dinner, Jen, Amy, Ben and I went to Char's Thai restaurant. The food was good, but the decor threw me off. The facade was rustic wooden boards, there were wagon wheels at the head of each table, and longhorn steer horns on the exposed beams. This was all mixed in with small statues of Thai dancers, artworks, and gods. They had good chicken satay which really reminded me of going to the hawker stalls back in Singapore. I really miss Singapore.
Today I made a list of all the things I need to get done this week including FAFSA, taxes, homework, minivan work, and most importantly organizing my final portfolio. The program coordinator told us that he thought 120 people would apply for upper division, and there are 48 slots available, give or take a few. The due date is MAY 3rd at 5:00 PM, so feel free to harass me and check on my progress to keep me on track. It's not going to do anyone any good to turn it in at 5:05 and have to wait another year to resubmit.
I've spent the day working on portfolio, cleaning up and organizing my photographs from first studio. I'll do studio 2 stuff tomorrow.

Mar 10, 2005

A Departure from Salsa

Short post tonight. Took a test this morning in Architecture Structures I've got one tomorrow on Urban planning. It's going to be 5 out of 6 questions, essay format. I think I'm pretty ready, still need to do some more studying tomorrow morning before class. I have the concepts pretty solidly though. It was up in the low 80's today, and sunny. Gorgeous weather. I opened all the windows and sat in my armchair to study this afternoon.

In salsa class, about half the class was absent. I figure that half of the class that would take salsa would also probably leave for spring break three days in advance. Anyway, our teacher was a lot happier. She's this far out woman in her fifties or late forties. She's a great dancer, full of energy, smokes, and swears like a sailor. At the clubs we can always find her to stamp our cards at the bar. Anyway, we learned only one new move, then we did all these crazy dances. She started the class by telling us that if we all participated and were enthusiastic, we could leave early. From then on, whenever she did a move, or asked a question, the whole class errupted into cheers, clapping, and whistling. We started off just doing silly walks to the music, then dancing wildly with a partner in improvisizational silliness. Then began our tour of other dances. We did the macarana, the electric slide (boogie woogie woogie woogie), the jitterbug, cotton-eyed joe (performed in the Texan style of lining four dancers in a line, and shouting "Bulls***!" with each kick to the music), the conga, and finally the polka which is a much sillier dance than I ever imagined. Perhaps thats just how she did it. Anyway, we ended after an hour instead of the usual three. The most fun I'd had all week actually.

Ben and I went to Filberto's for dinner. I got a carne asado burrito and a churro. One advantage of living in a heavily hispanic city is you can't beat the food's authenticity. The closest grocery store to me carries prickly pear, cow tongue, fresh corn tortillas, and sugar cane when in season.
The new architecture project is to add a spacial program of ceremonial spaces, a museum, archives, and admininstration buildings to the cemetery site, retaining most of what our design had and the concept.
Jen also finally found a condo. She's really excited about how she's going to retile and recarpet it. Its got its own washer and dryer, I'm so jealous!

Anyway, wish me good luck for my test tomorrow.

Mar 7, 2005

Papa's Got a Brand New Vac

The Critique
The reviewers (Navine and a work colleauge of his) liked the project and the concept behind it. However, they thought that using minor paths I had drawn up directly from the cemetery grid below detracted from the main idea, and that the intersection point wasn't as powerful as it could have been portrayed in the watercolor. I'll try and post some of those images and link them here soon. Apart from that, they liked it.

Recovery
As I had no sleep and skipped my structures lecture to get my work blitz done for studio, I was completely drained, both physically and mentally when I got back from the review. I came home, took a two-hour nap, told Jen I couldn't make Salsa that night, ate a little food, and went to bed. Thursday morning I got up and wrote a two-page critique of a planning paper (I may have mentioned it before, with Brenda double cited) and took it to class.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I mostly chilled out. I finished my process book for the second project. Sunday, I went to the afternoon Salsa class to make up for Wednesday. It was much smaller, much more relaxed, and much more enjoyable than my night class, which feels more like salsa boot camp. After the class, Jen and I went to Marvo's for hot ciabatti sandwiches for lunch. It was a beautiful day out, good thing too, as I had inadvertantly left the headlights on and drained the battery in the minivan. I called HondaCare and sent a guy out to give me a jump. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have called Sally, which would have been a lot closer. In the meanwhile, I read about how to jump a car.

Housekeeping
I've been re-arranging my room. I pushed the bed back against the wall, which freed up a lot of space, and put my easy chair beside the desk for reading and studying. When Sally came over to pick up Jen for Condo shopping, she dropped off a vaccum cleaner. It's a really nice one, worked great on our carpets, and not too noisy either. However, our carpets do need pretreatment and steam cleaning. I don't know what it is that gets into it. It's not like we have parties or anything like that. We're just two guys who don't clean much. Anyway, at least we have clean carpets now.

Mar 3, 2005

what a week

Counting back....
Missed my watch in the mail this morning when I was in the shower. I bought an i-control watch with this cool rotating bezel that lets you set an alarm by turning its indicators to the hour and minute. This will be useful for time management. Just finished writing a 2-page paper on a planning article on Amarillo Yard Art. I was bemused to find Aunt Brenda cited twice.
The last five days I spent on studio projects, working more feverishly as the deadline loomed. Monday night, I got five hours of sleep. Tuesday night, I didn't sleep. I skipped my structures lecture and worked up until the last minute, brewing tea occationally to keep me going. This is phase two of the cemetery project. What was due:

1 model of stacked chipboard at 1/8"=1' scale, which translates to a model about a foot and half by little more than two feet. There was just a lot of detail work, and a lot of cutting as there's 12 layers of 2-ply chipboard in my wall. Wore out a lot of blades doing just the cutting. The end product was missing about half the trees, but the general foliage idea was there. The rest of it looked pretty good, craft-wise.

1 plan at 1/8"=1' scale. Drafted on a 2' by 3' sheet of paper, neicht cheap since you have to buy a 32" by 40" watercolor paper and cut it down. Drafted out the plan then watercolored it. Jen showed me how to get more consistant, even tones, so my watercolor looked better than my last plans. Contrast needs to be popped up a bit, but I was using really light washes to let the drawing come through.

1 section (really an elevation of the wall) at the eigth scale and watercolored. I used my technical pens instead of drafting out the hardlines to save time.

8 3-D formZ renderings. People really liked my renderings. I'm decent with formZ. I used family members in my renderings. You can see the renderings here. The first three images. The perspective isn't exact but oh well, looked ok for last minute.

20 processbook pages. I literally printed these and cut them fifteen minutes before class. I didn't even lay them out. I just took my strongest process wook and inspirational images and had the computer size them at 5x7 and then print them 2 to a sheet.

the results of the review...stay tuned!

Medium is the message

I moved the blog again. I deleted the Tumblr account and moved everything to Medium.com, a more writing-centric website. medium.com/@wende...