Rosie and I had an excitement at the beach today. We found a puppy! She was wearing a collar and had gotten out of her yard up the beach, and fortunately the owners were home when I called. They came down the beach to meet us, clearly bracing to be yelled at, but I was just happy they were home so I didn't feel obligated to take the puppy home. Though she was happy to see her people, she was none too happy about being caught, and I don't blame her: it was a gorgeous night to go for a walk on the beach.
March 2005 Archives
I am going to spend April Fool's Day on a college campus with 17,000 undergraduates.
I use Amazon's wish list to keep track of books I want to read or at least check out. I sometimes browse through their recommendations engine to find something new to read, but these days that's not as often as Amazon might like. Not because I have no money to spend, but because the engine is broken in a few really critical ways.
So, school started today. We lead off with environmental control systems, which is basically all about how to suit a building to its environment this quarter. Interesting enough, though I'm sure in two weeks it will be five of us in there (and it's a required class for all second-year students). Then structural systems for architects, ie more engineering. A longish break, then studio. Then I was done for the day and went to the beach with Rosie, because what good is it to have the dog for a visit if you don't go to the beach?
Rosie came down to spend the first week of school with me, because it's usually pretty light and also I have Thursday off in celebration of a socialist hero (Cesar Chavez, who's a big deal here in agri-land), so we're going to spend a lot of time at the beach.
We think she's got some kind of cold or something, because she was really needy and sleepy this weekend, and tonight I get her in, fed her, and she immediately crashed out in her crate and started snoring LOUD, which means she's deep asleep. I was going to take her for a walk but I don't want to wake her if she's not feeling great. I just made up the bed and she just lay there looking at me, waiting for the commotion to settle down.
I have a mellow quarter this time round: only 16 credits, but all in real classes (history of modern architecture, studio, environmental control systems, and my last structures class before I move on to building systems engineering). Depending on how the workload feels and our financial situation, I may try to find a part-time job at a firm or even at an art supply shop (for the employee discount) to cover my studio supplies.
And now, to bed. I'm taking the bus in tomorrow to avoid day-one traffic, so I have to be up bright and early.
Last night we had a few friends over to talk about classical organ music and the tendons in your hands. No, seriously, we just had some people over who we hadn't seen in a while, and that's what they ended up talking about. There was also some drunken piano playing and an argument about keyboard size that ended with the tape measure being taken out. It's no end of fun over here.
Today we walked around college town and campus a bit, ostensibly in search of a mail box, but really just to get out and get some exercise. Ithaca is dismal and dead right now, with students away and the slush in full force.
We're visiting my parents this week, which meant a startlingly long conversation this evening on the subject of creating bibliographic records and authority records. I'm fairly certain most people would find this an unbelievably boring conversation, but it was interesting and stimulating, if only because my mother clearly enjoys it so much.
I'm not wearing either green or orange today. This is not because I'm a spoilsport, or because I have no sense of fun. It's because I'm NOT IRISH.
At Smith, exams worked differently. You had a week or so to take exams, but you could mostly take them when you wanted, because you went, checked the exam out, did it, then checked it back in the right amount of time later. A good, well-enforced honour code and trust in the students meant that if you had two easy exams, you could do them the same day, and study for the one hard one the rest of the time.
I'm in a really bad mood right now, pretty much ready to yell at anybody who gives me shit. Why? Don't read any more if you don't like naughty words, because I have a lot of them.
It's been one of those days. I was trying to write out an entry about how it's been one of those days, but it turned into one long, stupid list. So, my list.
The last week of classes at Cal Poly is traditionally called "Dead Week" in the College of Architecture, for reasons which seem to be lost to antiquity. Anyway, the last day of Dead Week is when all the studio crits are held. Noel came down Thursday night so he could see my presentation. And now you get to see it (well, the pictures from it, at least), too. But first, some scene setting....
I'm the most smartest. See: Older Siblings Smarter, Norwegian Study Shows
So does that mean big sisters really are smarter?
"Yes. It's hard to admit because I have older sisters," Salvanes said.
It occurred to me this evening, as I was contemplating the unpleasant task of changing the dressing on my ruined stump of a finger (no, really, I'll be fine; they say they might be able to save the arm), that I haven't washed my left index finger in about a week.
I woke up at 5am today, not on purpose, but because my guts woke me up.
Guts: Hey, wake up. I gotta go.
Brain: What? Shut up. It's still dark out.
Guts: No, seriously, I gotta go.
Brain: What time is it?
Eyes: 5am. Would you please tell Guts to shut up?
Brain: Guts, it's 5am. Shut up and go back to sleep. You can wait another hour.
Guts: Can't. Gotta go NOW.
Brain: Aw, fuck. Feets, do your duty.
body shuffles to bathroom in darkness
Brain: Happy now?
Guts: Just five more minutes.
Brain: No. Five minutes? It's 5 in the morning, you moron. I've gotta get up in an hour, and I want to sleep.
Guts: I just need five more minutes.
So I was up until 5:30 listening to my guts. This is when having cut my finger so badly is not so bad, because I had woodshop this morning, but can't go because, well, I can't use any of the tools, so I slept in by an hour. Stupid guts.
I actually finished building my model today, on time and on schedule. I was the only student who managed it, and I did it by not spending the first week screwing around like my classmates.
Today I did the kitchen and living room, both of which relied heavily on pieces built for other rooms (like cabinets and bookshelves. I also made some backdrop walls for the photos, which naturally I will be posting here as I work on my presentation. I'm so glad that I don't have to rush on this, because I have 200 doctor appointments this week and Noel is coming down Thursday night to see me and go to my presentation/crit. This will be his first visit during school, and I'm very excited.
Our final project for studio is a live/work space, and last week I made the "work" part of the equation. The thing that's due is a bunch of photos of the space, so I'm going to re-use a lot of the pieces for the kitchen and living room, which are all that remain to be built.
And of course, I have photos. Some actually taken with a decent digital camera instead of with the cameraphone.
I know you all find my long, detailed posts about what appears in my web logs absolutely riveting. So here I go again. This time, I talk back to the searchers.
I cut the end off my finger today. It was that kind of day. I didn't feel rested when I woke up, then worked pretty much nonstop from 9am, so when 3:30 rolled around, it's not surprising that when I hit the hard bit in some balsa wood, the knife slipped and sliced off the end of my finger and some of the fingernail. When it became clear that it was not going to stop bleeding, I went to the health center, where they made me soak it in ice water while my life blood poured out of me (it was quite dramatic). Then they put this interesting foam stuff on it and it finally stopped bleeding.
I had mild hysterics. They gave me juice, which helps low blood sugar but not hysterics. Now I am typing awkwardly with not all my fingers. The dumb thing? I keep thinking that this is going to really screw up my ability to do all the construction work I need to get done this week.
Lots of model-building today. I finished my framing model for practise (the final is going to be open-book! And open-notes!), and also did a bunch more work on my final model for design. Our "deliverable" is actually a set of photos of the model, so today I changed my strategy on the advice of one of the teachers and began "building towards the photos": basically, building only what I need to get the photos I need for my final presentation.
I must say that building out of balsa wood lends a finished look to the model that cardboard lacks. Some photos....
My desk in the studio is a bit cluttered right now, because we're in the middle of a couple of teeny-bits-of-balsa-intensive projects. In studio, we're designing a house to fit in an alleyway downtown, through a process of writing stories about how the space is being used (it has to be a live/work space for ourselves) and then creating models that fit those stories. Very interesting, indeed, though you should hear the grousing and complaining about it, all from people who don't have itchy pieces of tape stuck to their backs.
In professional practise, which also takes place in the studio, we're building a framing model of a sample house. We already did a set of working drawings (though not a very complete one), so we have all the measurements. I'm almost done with mine except that I keep running out of materials because it certainly takes a lot of STUFF to make a weensy little house, where STUFF is balsa wood.