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February 28, 2005

Itchy and Scratchy

If by chance, you ever tell somebody that touching X makes you itch, do not -- I repeat: do not -- let them say, "Well, let's quantify that" and then stick little pieces of tape smeared with that substance all over your back that you have to leave there for four days. Oh, and you can't get it wet, so no showers. And you can't scratch at it, either. Itchy itchy itch. Aaaarg. Every now and then I can forget it for fifteen minutes, and then it reminds me: "I'm itchy!"

On Thursday, I get it removed, and the nurse will stick a hundred needles in my arms to show that I'm allergic to cats and dust. Because this is apparently news to somebody out there. On the other hand, it means I can start getting allergy shots and stop relying on an inhaler to help me breathe freely, which is a good thing, indeed.

# Posted by ayse on 02/28/05 at 9:45 PM | Comments (2)

February 27, 2005


I'd kind of forgotten that I could write long rambly posts about things like going to the grocery store, chiefly because I haven't been going to the grocery store. I haven't been starving, but I haven't had the time to deal with it lately. So this afternoon, after Noel left to go home, I ran errands.


I got fuel for the car, which involved a stupid episode of me trying to charge it to my Von's club card (oddly, that didn't work!), then returned the two movies we watched (Eddie Izzard standup -- glorious!), then bought a bunch of balsa wood at Michael's for a model I was supposed to have finished last week -- thank goodness my professional practise teacher is so lenient. Then I went to Von's, where I gave the cashier my Albertson's club card (brilliant) and tried to charge my eggs and cheese to my school ID. I explained the gas station incident to her and she said, very sympathetically, "We've all had days like that."

I never have before, but there's a first time for everything.

I do like the pace of the quarter system. It's a bit crazy, but it fits my cycle of energy. On semesters I was always working like mad for the first ten weeks and then suffering through the last six, but with quarters I work like mad for ten weeks and then I have a vacation and then it's a new quarter. I don't run out of steam, which is a pleasant feeling.

I do run out of room on my studio table, but that's mostly because I work on everything there.

Speaking of studio work, I have some more pictures from my notebook scanned, since I know how excited that makes every one of the seven people who read my blog, two of whom are my parents so I think they have to by law or something.

Here's a self-portrait I did (sitting on the bathroom sink so I could look in the only mirror in the apartment). I also took a reference photo with my cameraphone, so I could get the colours right, though cameraphone colours are always weird, so I think the skin tone is way off). I drew this with my left hand in pencil and then inked it with my right hand, and I think it came out strangely near the top of my head. My left hand is much more accurate than my right hand, though, so it's probably better than it would have been the other way around.

Self Portrait In Pajamas

This one is from an assignment to draw a space that works well for its inhabitants near the location for our final project, which is on Garden Street in SLO. I was walking down the street and saw this shop full of random weird stuff, with a bathtub in the window. In the tub was an enormous goldfish.

Tub Of Fishie

I wrote him a little poem, too:

Dear little fishie
How do you swim
Wiggling by in your

Sly little fishie
Glides by on a whim
So short and fat and

It's been a long time since I wanted to read, much less write poetry. Editing a literary magazine does that to you. But this one was fun, and it just sort of came out while I was filling in the shading on the drawing at home.

# Posted by ayse on 02/27/05 at 10:28 PM

February 23, 2005


I mentioned that the second year studios were doing a sketch problem, right? It was due today, and this is what mine looks like. All the teachers will be voting for their favourites, and the solution with the most votes wins. I hope I win the contest, or at least get some votes.


Sketch Problem

Please do not respond to this by sending me e-mail saying, "Hot damn, and they let you into the second-best architecture program in the COUNTRY?"

# Posted by ayse on 02/23/05 at 6:16 PM

February 22, 2005

Until My Arm Falls Off

I've been drawing a lot today, which is probably why I have this terrible cramp in both my shoulders. Yes, I switched off hands, but there are some things my right hand does better than my left, and shading is one of them.

But I have photos.


All the second-year design studios are participating in a study problem this week. We have to find a space and redesign it. I chose the crappy, ugly grocery store around the corner from my house. I put in a cafe, a florist, and a decent grocery store than is not a glorified liquor store. And I made the laundromat nicer. See:

New Rich's Market

Grocery drawing

So you think that was a lot of drawing, but what you don't see is that I did lots of versions of this thing:
Many versions

I also sketched out the working drawings I need to get to our contractor and engineer this week:
Basement plans

So my shoulders are sore. And yet, I must stay up late and finish my engineering homework, which requires copious drawings and long, written-out calculations. Poor me.

# Posted by ayse on 02/22/05 at 10:51 PM

February 21, 2005

Soft Networking

I'm starting to think about getting a summer job. If you know of an architect or engineer in San Francisco or otherwise accessible from the East Bay, who wants a part-time summer flunky (or what the heck, full-time summer flunky) with CAD and hand-drafting experience, drop me an e-mail or send them here.

# Posted by ayse on 02/21/05 at 10:25 PM

February 16, 2005

Models of Complexity

Last week we worked on building complexity into our designs. We made three models of a space with a simple program (mine was a day spa with a sun deck and a pool) and increasing levels of complexity in defining the space.


With a low level of complexity, the space is defined entirely in blank white walls, featureless and opaque, all the same.

Complexity level 001

The same space, with a slightly higher level of complexity. I changed some walls to be screens, but simple screens, and added colour (which you can't see in this shot, but I assure you it is there). The use of the space remains the same, by requirement.

Complexity level 005

The most complex. The screens become complex, have colour and variation in member size, the walls change material, are made up of a lot of pieces instead of one monolithic piece. There are more colours and more ways of expressing colour (transparent and opaque surfaces). I am actually quite fond of this model, and making those screens was fun, if a bit fiddly.

Complexity level 009

# Posted by ayse on 02/16/05 at 8:02 PM

February 15, 2005

A Triumph of Engineering

I finished my engineering homework in two hours tonight, which is the sort of stunning accomplishment I never hoped to be able to write about. Granted, it was a shorter-than-usual assignment, but usually I average 45 minutes a problem (because they are so detailed), and tonight I finished eight in two hours. Hey, wow, I must be getting this.


I've been trying to be more careful about getting enough sleep lately, because I find that it keeps me agile for my five-hour-long studios. Actually, getting enough sleep is not as hard as it might seem, because I really don't have much of a social life in SLO, and what the heck, might as well just do some homework then turn in. Today I even squeezed in a nap, which was actually the wrong thing to do because I felt muzzy-headed afterwards, plus it made me late for class.

I was having some trouble sleeping last week, so the doctor here prescribed a sleeping pill, to be taken for only 2-3 nights. Nice stuff. It knocked me right the heck out, I tell you. One night I took it, and half an hour later Noel called. I only know that because in the morning I woke up to a phone telling me so, and a somewhat-worried message. (I'd sent him e-mail telling him I was taking the thing and going to sleep, but he hadn't read it yet.) Now I'm sleeping on my own, getting tired right when I should. I wish the doctor I had back in 1998 when I was unable to sleep had not been so afraid of sleeping pills. I have some extras in case I get stuck again, but I'm not excited about the idea of being dependent on a chemical to perform basic life functions, so I doubt I'll be taking them unless it gets really bad again.

The chemical kick in the pants did help with the getting of enough sleep, though, and I'm starting to feel like I have at least half the use of my brain again. Nice thing, that.

We've been working on models in studio, but I don't have any photos to show you yet because I left them at school. Not camera photos, but I used a classmate's digital camera and stuck the photos on the school server, and then forgot to move them to home. I'm starting to think a second digital camera might be in our future, if the house renovations keep happening when I'm at school.

Speaking of house renovations, I was home last weekend and got to see the diggers come in and break up the back patio and dig a gigantic hole under the house. It ended up being a much larger hole than I would have expected to eventually end up as an 8' tall room. Also, it's full of water. Welcome to Lake Alameda. Noel has the photos, so you can harass him if you want to see the dramatic transformation from random crappy old Victorian to full-fledged construction zone with giant piles of concrete chunks and sand taking up most of the yard (Rosie is not happy about this). While the diggers were going, every neighbor on the block stopped by, and a few people drove up and stared. We're quite the tourist attraction these days. I'm excited to go back this weekend and see how the work has progressed.

And now, off to bed. We're designing a chicken tractor in studio tomorrow, so I must be fresh as a daisy.

# Posted by ayse on 02/15/05 at 9:39 PM

February 7, 2005

Navel Gazing

There seem to be two opinions of bloggers: they're either wannabe reporters, or they're utterly self-absorbed. Personally, I think I lean towards self-absorbed, because I tried that reporter thing, and didn't like it when I was actually being paid to do it, so why do it for free?


The truth is, I know most of the people who read this blog, and I know they pretty much do it so they can keep up with what I'm doing without having to rely on my less-than-stellar ability to tell them myself. (Hi, parents!) So I figure it makes sense to just post things about what I've been doing here, because what the hell else do I have to write about? You can all read your news on other sites, and I don't feel much need to link to them every time they have an interesting article, because either you read them already or you can find them through a Google search if you're that interested.

That said, I know I'm letting you down by not posting every day with more luscious details of life in architecture school (read, draw, build, sleep). I got a letter from my mother the other day, and it began, "You have not updated your web site recently...." That's how serious it is, folks. The reason I have not been updating this site lately is not complex or interesting. It is simply that I have been doing schoolwork. Construction Accounting is not the most challenging class on my schedule, but it certainly does eat up a lot of time with journal entries and financial reports. I think I can do an income statement in my sleep now, which appears to be more than I can say for my classmates.

(If you ever want to meet a bunch of hunky guys who may not be high on the raw intelligence tree but will certainly be making big money in five years, take a class or two in Construction Management. Know how to explain accounting transactions and financial statements, and you'll get asked out for coffee a LOT.)

Anyway, this is just a quick posting to let you all know I am alive and busy and when I have some time I'll scan some more pictures from my sketchbook and bore you all to death.

# Posted by ayse on 02/07/05 at 11:43 PM

February 3, 2005

More Pictures from Studio

Three more years of this is really going to be a drag, isn't it? Well, suffer. Here are some photos from the work I've been doing in studio, plus one of me actually rowing my cardboard boat.


The assignment was to make a composition of 3" squares of modeling material that used a 9" cubic space (we were allowed between 12 and 14 squares), then we had to make a 3"x9"x9" "transition space" by removing material (well, modeling as if we had removed material) and set the whole thing on a 9" cube. It should look like a cohesive whole. My composition looked very Mondrian when I finished it, so I ran with it. Because, hey.

The finished model:

Mondrian Model

A detail of the upper part:

Mondrian Model Detail

And finally, my classmate gave me some photos of me in the cardboard boat race. Here's one showing me on the way back across the pool. I sure do look serious, which is odd for somebody rowing a cardboard boat with a pair of ping-pong paddles.

Cardboard Boat Race

# Posted by ayse on 02/03/05 at 10:59 PM

February 2, 2005

Speeding Into the Twenty-First Century

I had a minor technical issue with the feeds for this site when I set it up, so I didn't include them. I resolved the issue itself, like, a year ago. Today I added the links to the feeds for this site, Casa Decrepit, and Life Through a Viewfinder. So if you read blogs or news through an aggregator or an RSS tool, now you can add these pages in. Never let it be said that I am not up on the latest technology.

# Posted by ayse on 02/02/05 at 7:11 PM