April 2006 Archives

Yes, I am being facetious, but I just read this article on the top ten reasons against same sex marriage, and I am offended. I am deeply offended, as somebody in what ought to be considered a completely mainstream marriage. The idea that somebody else's marriage will cause such trouble for my marriage is ridiculous, of course, but more painful to me is the implication that all my meaning as a person and as a wife is from the possibility of being a parent.

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Random Amusing Things


Sometimes a bunch of small interesting things happen that aren't really worth their own entry, so here's a group from the last few weeks.

One of my classmates referred to the Leaning Pine Arboretum as the "Arbitrarium," which delights me more than I thought possible.

The scene: a long hallway in the library, nine feet wide, no openings on either side. I am walking along the right side, maybe six inches from the wall, and a guy coming towards me is walking directly ahead of me. As he approaches he edges to my right until he finally squeezes between me and the wall rather than use the wide open space to my left.

I have recently changed radio stations from the big-band, easy listening station with the unfortunate call letters (KKJL, which sounds like KKKL in the jingle) to the local heavy metal station. It's all classic 1980's heavy metal, small town and very funny in an unintentional way. The best part is the advertisements, which are all, with no exceptions, aimed at the over-35 yuppie demographic. I find the morning show so fascinating that I've had to change my commuting habits so I have ten extra minutes to sit in the car to wait for the next station announcement. I mean, how can you not love "Live, local, and rockin' Pismo Beach"?

Oh, yeah, and we had a fire today. The building my studio is in also has the support shop, and the dust collector caught fire and they had to call the fire department. It's Open House, so there are like 40,000 visitors on campus. Amusingly, a few years ago the same building caught fire during open house weekend because of a mechanical model gone wrong. I guess it's a tradition. Anyway, I'm sitting out on the lawn in the sunshine (despite predicted rain) and waiting for them to get it under control so I can go back to studio. I'm guessing maybe we won't have much of a crit today.


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Designing a Sweater (or a Dozen)


One of my classmates was wearing a neat sweater the other day that got me thinking about possibly knitting a sweater, which either means dealing with a pattern or designing one myself.

My experience with patterns so far suggests that I am better off just designing the pattern myself because I'd have to modify any published one so much that it would not save me any time or effort. I don't tend to knit a lot of sweaters, mainly because I don't tend to wear a lot of sweaters, mainly because I live in a temperate climate where it rarely gets really cold. And I have a few really nice sweaters already, some knitted by my mother, some knitted by me, and some purchased, so there's not much call for additional sweaters in my life.

The sweaters I have knit are my own designs, and I like them well enough, though I can't wear them any more because they are wool. So I thought I might make a sweater along the lines of what my classmate was wearing, a monochrome scoop neck with ribbing that came up the body to an empire waist and stockinette above, and ribbing up the sleeves to the same line.

Well, I hate scoop necks, but maybe a square neck? I doodled some designs in my sketchbook, but none of them seems quite right. I present them here for your amusement.


I think this version would look better actually knit, when the ribbing would not be as contrasty.

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A Walk in the Arboretum


Up in the hill behind the Dairy Unit at Cal Poly is the Leaning Pine Arboretum. I went up there today after practise and had a little walk around (the gates theoretically get closed at five, so I curtailed my walk, but they were not closed when I did leave at five fifteen, plus I found what appears to be a pedestrian entrance).

Like everything else at Cal Poly, the arboretum is a learning project in progress, which means that there are sections which are looking a trifle experimental as well as mature, evolved designs.

Here's an example: a section of the garden had a swath of this drivable lawn paving material in it. You lay the pavers down and plant grass in the pockets, and it fills in and looks like a lawn while still having the structural integrity to support, say, a firetruck or ambulance in case of an emergency. A nice way to have your emergency access and reduce your overall paved area.

drivable lawn

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Dog Emotions


Some people think dogs don't have emotions like us: love, hate, jealousy, affection. I can't imagine they've ever spent time with dogs when they say or write things like that.

Rosie and Goldie have gotten much closer in the last few months. I think Goldie thinks of Rosie as her puppy, because she will often throw Rosie to the floor (she outweighs her by nearly ten pounds) and groom her the way she would a puppy. Especially cleaning inside her ears, which elicits little groans of happiness from Rosie.

At first when we brought Goldie into the household, we were worried that they would never be friends. But time and a return of Goldie's pre-puppy energy has made a big difference, and now they like each other quite a bit.

Snuggled up

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Another Bus Stop


The last 24 hours we have been doing a charette (an old tradition from the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris, in which everybody works on one fast design problem; the name comes from the little cart that went by all the ateliers to collect the finished work). The program was a bus stop on campus, and this is one of my screenshots of my computer model of my design:

Bus Stop Charette

I really don't care for the charettes; they tend to be very competitive and I think they don't really bring out the best in a lot of people. But whatever: the work was assigned for class and I did it.

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Good Dog!


The people next door in SLO have a dog named Mac who they are trying to train. Rosie and Goldie are spending the week at the beach, and it was warm today, so we are all sitting around reading about California water law listening to Mac's training session. And every command Mac gets, the girls obey, even when Mac doesn't. So they have done "sit" and "down" and "stay" over and over for the last half hour, each time hopefully looking at me, as if to say, "See, we know this stuff. Where're our cookies?"

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Old or Stupid?


I wrenched my back yesterday, and sometime this afternoon, while I was perched on my uncomfortable drafting stool in studio making maniacal notes about how to move a fire truck around a building (don't ask), it came home to me right proper. Yow.

Now, you may ask, how on earth did you manage to do that to yourself? Is it not the case that you merely walk around campus all day, occasionally cutting off appendages with an Exacto knife? Those are reasonable questions and reasonable summaries of my daily activities. I spend half my day walking and half my day sitting, but neither of these is an activity known for wrenching backs horribly. I do sometimes stay up too late reading novels in bed in an uncomfortable position, but that usually just aggravates my RSI.

I will tell you how I wrenched my back so badly that I am contemplating dipping into the emergency supply of Vicodin: I wrenched my back carrying a heavy box of architectural reference books across campus in a driving rain with an umbrella clutched in my teeth.

See? No matter what stupid things you have done to injure yourself, with that one sentence I made everything seem all OK.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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