Monday, April 28, 2008

I see the light!

Almost there. Survived two final project presentations today. Still need to study for two big tests tomorrow, come up with stuff for a sophomore review presentation on Wednesday, and then one last test on Thursday. And then I will be SO ready to not think about school for at least a month!

I definitely need the break. I'm having trouble keeping up on my celebrity gossip. And snacks.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Super Secret Spy Picture #1

The cool thing about having my computer in front of the window is that I can take pictures of people in the parking lot across the street without them knowing about it. I saw these folks stopped on the sidewalk chatting and the dog looked really cute, so I grabbed my camera and took a quick photo. Little did they know that their picture would be posted on the internet later today. Muwahahahaha!
I wonder what they were talking about? Maybe I should write a story about it. I'm sure whatever I made up would be more interesting. Like, I think they might have been talking about using penguin dung as fertilizer for their magical green bean patch, but in reality they were probably talking about the weather or some great new Gore-Tex jacket they saw on sale at REI.

Craftsmanship & Modern Art

"Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art."

Tom Stoppard, from Artist Descending a Staircase. British dramatist & screenwriter (1937 - )

Saturday, April 26, 2008

busy like a bee

No, I haven't formed my own company (yet). Came up with a quick logo for my final Studio project that I'm putting together today. Also, above that is a version of one of the final concept floor plans. Nose to the grindstone today. I need to draw an interior perspective, but I'm probably going to put that off until tomorrow. Why? Because I can!

Friday, April 25, 2008

sacred space

Peaceful morning: all we did for our last day of class in "Space Illustration" was go to the Chapel of St. Ignatius on the Seattle University campus and draw. We'd been there a couple months ago so it was interesting to revisit the space and see differences in how we chose to depict it. The building itself is really cool, very simple but with lots of textures and great materials/craftsmanship. (The architect was Steven Holl.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Roaming the City

Our Interior Studio class today involved of a field trip where we roamed downtown for several hours. One of the buildings we looked at was the 5th & Madison condo tower (shown above) which is next to the Central Library. It was... interesting. Not quite as luxe as I was expecting based on the location, marketing materials, price, and such.

Later I roamed with Mia (classmate) to the South Lake Union Discovery Center (aka Vulcan's real estate sales office) which was much more impressive and we also stopped at the Seva furniture showroom and tried out at least 80% of the chairs there. It was fun.

Then I ended up hanging with Snotty for a few hours and we split a bottle of wine and had a nice chat.

Did I get homework done today? Not yet. But was it a good day? YES!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Buried under piles of tracing paper.

Shockingly enough, I actually drew the picture above instead of swiping it from Google Images. I've spent the evening in Photoshop cleaning up a pile of scanned drawings from my Studio to put in the archive of my final project. I think I had to scan at least thirty separate pieces of tracing paper this afternoon. Ugh. (The one above is a sample elevation I was seeing how different colors showed up on.) Luckily, I snagged some time off from work on Saturday so I can devote extra time to my various finals that will all be due starting on Monday.
Don't think I'm not keeping tabs on what else is going on in the world though! I hear Hillary won Pennsylvania. I have mixed feelings about that. I'm not really for or against her (or Obama). Neither is perfect, both have good and bad qualities.
Also, I hear that Mariah Carey's album did well. Too bad. She doesn't strike me as much of an artist. More like an "enterfection!" (That would be an entertainment confection.) She seemed like she had some actual talent at one point, although now I look at her and wish she would just grow up already. Quit trying to be twenty-one again girl! You aren't fooling anybody! Her ho-wear and strange shenanigans are not to be trusted.
Back to Photoshop for me.

Monday, April 21, 2008


God, I hope I'm not getting sick. I was a little sneezy earlier today and I'm feeling sort of spacey/tired. I went to QFC and stocked up on Odwalla and other juices to help hydrate and load up on any vitamins they may contain. Sadly, the beverages I really wanted to get (Coke, fruit punch, etc) were all full of high-fructose corn syrup. Wanting liquids over actual snacks is never a good sign for me. Hopefully a good night's rest will do the trick!

I Like Mike

More panic mode. I'm trying to get my presentation for our Art History "debate" together that we are doing tomorrow morning. Guess who I am? Michelangelo! I'm starting off with, "Good morning. I am Michelangelo, and I am here to defend beauty in six minutes." Mostly I have what I want to say together, I just want to practice reading/speaking it since I sort of hate speaking in front of groups. But it is a necessary evil, and one which I will be doing again a couple times next week. Bleah. (Glarg.)

I've learned a lot about Michelangelo in having to do this though. He was the first artist to have a biography published during his lifetime. Pope Paul III praised him as, "the glory of our century." His work began in the style of the 15th century, developed into the epitome of High Renaissance, and at the end moved toward Mannerism and Baroque. He was not just a sculptor and painter, but also a poet, architect, and engineer. Basically, he kicked ass.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Peas as Large as Beets

In an article by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr. in the December 1900 issue of Ladies Home Journal, he made a few predictions for what life in America would be like in the year 2000. Prediction #12 included that peas and beans would get to be as large as beets, and prediction #1 suggested that, "There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America." While he was off the mark on those, he did get it right with #9 when he said that, "If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later," and "Photographs will reproduce all of Nature's colors."
But one thing he didn't foresee was the Sorapot. Bryn ordered one of these a while ago and just received it last week. (Now he's "into" tea. I give it a month.) The Sorapot is pretty slick though, really nicely designed from an aesthetic standpoint, and seems to function very well too. I guess some serious tea afficionados feel that it brews too much tea at a time since with high-end teas one is supposed to steep them several times. But I think it is pretty awesome, and for a project that an industrial design student cooked up in class, it rocks. I like that he had a lot of interest in it, but didn't sell out his design for large-scale manufacture. Instead, he produced 300 initially, and recently had another 300 made again. Nice. An architectural form and a simple function created from stainless steel, Pyrex, and food-grade silicone.

The Aftermath

Bryn's birthday was yesterday so we had a few people over for snacks and cake and wine. I made grilled sandwiches and Bryn set up his turntables so he could play DJ. Plus, Snotty brought her little brother who was also having his birthday. It was an excuse for me to get a second cake, so we had traditional chocolate and also white cake with strawberry filling. I'm supposed to be doing homework all day today, but so far I'm trying to recover a little bit before I head to school. I'll be productive, I swear it. Just not right now.

Hey, I did load and start the dishwasher this morning. That counts, right?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Grandma Presley's Bed Linens

Although she does look rather scary in a way, when you consider that she will be turning 63 next month, you have to admit that Priscilla Presley looks good for her age. Still though, I don't know if I'd want to have dinner with her. Or really anyone who's had that much plastic surgery. I just have the feeling that sitting across a table from a face like that would put me off my food.

And you know how I like my snacks...

Interestingly enough, Miss Priscilla launched a line of bed linens in 2006. I'm sure you've heard of it. You know, the Priscilla Presley Collection? Oh, you haven't heard of it? Well, now you have! As Ms. Presley states, "We are out in the world fighting battles every single day and the one place you come home to is a place that is like your bedroom that is a sanctuary for you." (WTF does that mean?) In fact, of the nine lines in the collection's launch, one was inspired by a favorite pair of Priscilla Presley's pants. Might be the closest that the average Joe can get to getting into her pants. *shudder*

You can find out more about Priscilla's linens and other business endeavors on her site. She's also hawking such things as books, jewelry, and fragrances. Oh, and she offers beauty tips too! AND she's a Scientologist! Amazing! (Why am I writing this blog as if I'm Perez Hilton? I need to stop!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cher's Past Life

It appears that Cher is the reincarnation of the Duchess of Alba. (See the above image, painted by Goya in 1795.) Who knew?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Raspberry Stigmata?

Christie: I agree that the cadbury filling might evoke pus in any sort of chocolate Jesus experience. The idea for holes in the hands and feet with the raspberry filling to create a "Chocolate Stigmata Jesus" totally made my day. Here I was doing homework in the library at school between classes and then I took a break, signed into Blogger, and saw your comment. The only thing that might have made it better would have been if I was drinking chocolate milk at the time so I could have spit it out.
I'm sure it would sell well in Seattle. There are lots of heathens here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Drafting my cares away...

Well. Long day today, but productive. Had class all morning where we worked on hand-drafting out our floorplans with a mini side-lesson on elevations. Spent the rest of the afternoon at school finishing up my plans since I have two floors to worry about and I really needed to have all my dimensions finalized. I did take a break to go to my doctor appointment with my psychologist which was also VERY productive. Not the easiest day overall, but feeling good about having gotten so much done that I needed to work on. There is the possibility of a bbq tonight which sounds great, and even if it doesn't happen I actually feel more upbeat today than I have in a few days. Got some really good feedback on my cover letter for a museum internship I'm applying for from my professor, I never know what to say in cover letters or how long they should be. Luckily, she's got a PhD in art history and is not only writing me a reference letter, but had input about my cover letter too. No amazing snacks yet today, unless I count the Dagoba "latte" chocolate bar that Mia bought and split with me and Jasmine in class. Actually, it was pretty amazing and may have changed my life. But only temporarily.

Now I'm home, hungry, and gonna find something to eat!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Product Runway

What's not to like about an event featuring fashions made out of building materials? (Mostly interior design materials is my understanding of it.) Plus, it is hosted by a really tall drag queen, and the ticket price includes snacks and three drinks. They had me at snacks. And no, I am not affiliated with the event in any way, it just sounds like fun and happens to be on the evening of the last day of classes. So I'm going.

I heart swag

Went on a field trip to the Knoll showroom today to learn from one of the textile reps. It was a really great experience. I mean, it doesn't get much better for me than sitting in a Barcelona Chair eating a ginormous chocolate chip cookie from Specialty's Bakery while holding the most luscious sample of $240/square yard mohair fabric. It had everything I needed: luxe design (visual), tasty snacks (yum), and fuzzy textured fabrics (tactile). But what was even better was that they sent us home with a goody bag with samples, notepads, businesscard-holder, poster, canvas tote bag, mousepad, pencil pouch, and catalog of classic furniture. Why can't every class be that great?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Christmas vs. Easter

Scientists recently found spruce trees in Sweden that may be up to 8,000 years old. That beats the current 5,000 year old California record holder by three millenia! And since we're on the subject of conifers, we can easily jump over to Christmas, right? And from there compare it to Easter? And hey, how does Easter resist the commercialism of Christmas anyhow? I mean, both holidays have to do with Jesus. I suppose his torturous death does seem a little unsavory in comparison to the image of a newborn baby in a manger with some kings and shepherds trekking across the desert, following a convenient star in the sky. "Jesus remains the world's most famous victim of capital punishment." And that doesn't seem likely to sell quite as many Hallmark greeting cards.


The photoblog thing is more fun than actually writing about my day. Above is a sampling of my evening after my last blog. No actual schoolwork got done, but I did get to attend a product knowledge meeting and then eat a really good meatball sandwich. The parking sign has to do with my consistent observation of someone who seems to believe that loading zone parking signs don't apply to them. And it isn't like they do it because there isn't other parking available to them! I mean I could see for maybe fifteen minutes, but I think four hours in a space that is meant for quick loading/unloading is a little excessive... and disrespectful of others who need to use the buildings too.

Just Another Panic Monday

I hit panic mode this morning when I realized that I have about two weeks in which to finish two big final projects, participate in a formal debate, study for and pass two final exams, clean the house, finalize a new job, work a few days, celebrate my boyfriend's birthday, and probably about twelve other things I can't remember right now. Not everything needs to be completed all at once, but it's pretty close.

Of course, watching this YouTube video about the giant floating garbage patch of plastic in the Pacific Ocean didn't make me feel any calmer. (But it did help me procrastinate a little longer.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weakend Weekend

Ran across the amazing Dead Rio artwork by Ryan Hobson above and had to share it. The other picture is just for contrast; in the mini-gallery show I'm curating in my head, these two images belong together for specific reasons. That aside though, can I just say that panang curry kicks ass? Every time I eat it, it changes my life. For the better. I swear.

The list keeps growing.

And there's a short-list too. Look out, you might be on it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Katherine Heigl - Smoking Hot! Or Not?

Okay, so to try and break up all the intellectual art/architecture stuff, I'll move back to celebrity gossip. I have yet to actually see this woman act in anything, be it television or movie, but I really don't understand why Perez Hilton has it out for her for smoking. She seems like a pretty enough girl, in a blandly acceptable way, but what does it matter if she smokes? Her body, her choice. To my knowledge she isn't barging uninvited into people's homes with a pack of cigarettes or blowing smoke in babies faces on purpose or anything. I only bring this up because I swear every week or so, there is a paparazzi photo of Katherine Heigl smoking accompanied by a mini-rant from Perez about how, "she's one of the filthiest smokers in Hollywood." I mean really, is she the only smoker in Hollywood? Why doesn't he call out the others if he is SO against it? Yargh! Back to art...

Wake Up

This morning our class went to the Olympic Sculpture Park to draw. The first time I saw Richard Serra's Wake in photographs while it was being installed, I wasn't impressed. When I saw it in person for the first time from afar (and above, really) I still wasn't impressed. But this year I've visited it a few times and really gone up to examine it more closely. It's grown on me. A lot. For me, waslking around inside the various steel constructions is like swimming with a pod of whales, or being trapped in a harbor amongst a fleet of gigantic ocean transport vessels. My art history classes have also helped me understand more about how to view modern and contemporary art. Without that backstory a lot of things just look ridiculous, when really, there are a lot of complex ideas and techniques that can go into an otherwise simple-seeming piece.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Went to a Space.City architectural lecture tonight at the Seattle Central Library. The speaker was Vincent James, Minneapolis-based architect and partner of VJAA. (Image above is from a recent book published by Princeton Press.) It was a pretty informative lecture, and reinforced that a lot of what I'm learning in school right now is very conceptually architecturally relevant. *Phew!* His design process looked pretty familiar, so I think I'm getting my money's worth from my tuition. Also, it was nice to see his work since a lot of the examples he showed were very grid-like, but he definitely takes an environmental approach in his work. I completely agreed with his assessment that in many cases, form and style are the driving forces behind a building's design without enough emphasis on the function of spaces or the environmental surroundings.
In addition to the talk, the whole experience was sort of interesting since I left one of my classes early after giving a brief, informal presentation and then drove to the library (lazy) to make sure I wasn't late. I was a little sweaty and nervous still since I really don't like presenting in front of a group, and I also hadn't ever been in the parking garage under the library before. Nothing special, although the elevator is that same bright, neon green that shows up in the rest of the building. At least it was easy to tell where the elevator was, right?
Being trapped in a room full of, I assume, architects wasn't so bad as being trapped in there with all of their glasses. Good thing I didn't wear my black plastic Prada frames today, because I might not have been able to tell myself apart from anyone else! Well, except that I was probably the only person there in a hooded, zip-up sweatshirt. Whatever. I'm a student. I paid the same ten bucks for a ticket as everyone else! It was just strange to be at a lecture that also felt rather like a cocktail party. Not like everyone was dressy, but most everyone was DESIGNY.
Also, I found out yesterday that I did get a departmental scholarship, and that I was also one of the eight people (out of forty-three awards) who was named a Kreielsheimer Scholar. This is significant for two reasons: 1) It means I get a bigger award; and 2) It embodied the closest I can get at this point to my high-school dream of winning the Kreielsheimer Scholarship. The "K" Foundation used to offer one full-ride scholarship to Cornish annually back when I was in high school, but I was chicken and never even applied for that, let alone to Cornish. So, now that the "K" Foundation is mostly defunct (it is now something like the Kreielsheimer Residual Fund Foundation since they met their goal already of giving away a bunch of money within a certain timeline) this is the best I can do on that front. And I did it. Word up.


MSN's "Celebrities Undressed!" writer, Kat Giantis described the gown Carrie Underwood wore to the "Idol Gives Back" event as, "shimmering like a Marshmallow Peep after an unfortunate self-tanner accident." SO ACCURATE!
(Snotty, it isn't Hitler-Peep, but I still thought you needed to know about this.)

Ice Ice Baby

Ran across an old article from 2005 about "The Seattle Freeze." Also found a YouTube video about it too. As someone who grew up around here, I would say that it is definitely true. It was best summed up by Julia Sommerfield in the article with: "Polite but distant. Have a nice day. Somewhere else." It has also been referred to as the Seattle nICE. Outwardly friendly and polite, but hard to get past that initial interaction. If you are a person who depends on social interaction and are thinking about moving here, be warned! It may take a while to form a network of friends.

I have the feeling it might be easier to make friends if you are well-off. (There are plenty of smug yuppies here.) Is it the weather? A sense of Scandinavian stoicism from early settlers? Native American ghosts bent on getting revenge? Poor socialization?

The strange thing pointed out in the article is that "since the '90s, this city has been majority owned by outsiders," with 60% of the population having moved from out of state. I guess even if we are socially inept loners, we are adept at assimilation. It really explains the shy/wild thing, huh?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Saarinen Song

Just got home from a lecture at Kerry Hall given by Mark Coir, Director of Archives at Cranbrook Schools and Susan Saarinen, daughter of architect Eero Saarinen and his first-wife, Lily. Eero's father, Eliel, came to the U.S. from Finland after winning second-place in the competition to build the new Chicago Tribune building. His design was extremely influential on the development of American skycrapers, it was the first to have that cascading-type of effect according to Mark Coir. And this from a man who came from a land without skyscrapers... His design wasn't built, but he ended up working quite a bit in Michigan, especially designing many of the buildings at Cranbrook.

Eero became an architect like his father, and ended up doing such things as the St. Louis Arch, and the terminal at Dulles shown above in the teeny-tiny bottom left photograph. He also shaped the modern furniture movement with his "womb" and "tulip" chairs especially; he was quite a prolific designer.

Susan Saarinen told about how "Charlie" Eames was her godfather, and had many interesting insights into the family's internal dynamics. The women were also prolific designers, Eliel's wife Loja and daughter Pipsan worked on many of the interiors of their buildings. Interestingly, the generation gap shows there also because Loja generally created one-of-a-kind pieces while Pipsan was interested in the manufacturing process. (Conveniently, Florence Schultz Knoll was an intimate of the family also. And Harry Bertoia. Among others.)

How do I sign up to be a member of this family? Not only does it have the only father/son team to both receive AIA Gold awards, but Kyra Sedgewick is Susan's cousin, meaning that she knows Kevin Bacon. How awesome is that when playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? "Let's see, um, me. And then Kevin Bacon." Forget naming movies and actors, if you know Kevin Bacon you've already won.

Maybe for Christmas I will ask to be inducted into an international design family who has a background in the European intelligensia of the late 19th century. They can totally be Finnish, but I will accept other countries too. I don't want to seem too picky.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Now Hear This!

My online class led me to the Acoustic Ecology Institute, which offers a fascinating array of information about sound and landscapes and the relationships between the two. Since I can only talk about frivolous topics like Joan Van Ark's bad plastic surgery or Ace of Base reuniting for so long, I figured I would share some of the interesting tidbits I found on this site here. I needed something nerdy to balance out all the pop culture gossip. For instance: I learned about the possibility that human-made sounds could be a cause of some unexpected whale beachings. It was discovered in the 1990s that, "animals seemed to have suffered some sort of physical trauma causing hemorraghing of internal organs, and which researchers identified as likely caused by acoustic impacts."

I have a personal theory that any local beachings of orcas in the Puget Sound region are likely the result of distraught animals trying to escape fleets of whale-watching tour boats. I'd love to go on one of those tours, but isn't it a little too much like joining the paparazzi on a stakeout at Britney Spears' mansion? (See, I knew I could get back to celebrity gossip if I tried!)

I saw the sign!

Ace of Base is reforming, but without the blonde chick? WTF? Won't that completely throw off their balance? And you have to wonder why she didn't sign on. Does she have an incurable disease? Did they get into a big ol' fight? She was holding out for more money?

The public has a right to know!

Other than that, my day of healthy eating yesterday led me to wake up at 7:30 this morning without my alarm. Shocking. I forgot that eating better makes it easier for me to get up in the morning. I was completely prepared to sleep in until 9, so here I am, blogging my morning away instead. Much more productive, don't you think?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Joan Van Who?

I will admit to being addicted to reading on a fairly regular basis. He seems like a slimy self-promoter at the base of it all, but I'm basically weak and unable to contain my addiction for sleazy celebrity gossip. I'd seen some pictures of Joan Van Ark and was like, "OMG WOW WTF?" I mean really, nobody is going to look at her nowadays and think, "Gosh she sure looks good!" Just another reason to avoid plastic surgery altogether. You never know what you'll end up with. If I looked like that I would probably never leave the house, let alone go to an event where I knew I would be photographed by paparazzi. I'm not being mean, I'm being honest.

And I'm befuddled by Perez's fascination with Rumer Willis. Sure, she seems silly, but he is essentially assisting in the creation of her as a non-celebrity. You know, like Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie, who became famous based more on who their parents were than on any innate talents aside from shameless self-promotion and hard-pAArtying lifestyles.

I guess I can be glad I'm not buying magazines like Star or US Weekly. I would try to quit, but I've already got a lot of other things going on and I need a crutch of some sort to get me through these difficult times. Online celebrity gossip doesn't seem to be as bad as shooting heroin or shopping for clothing made out of endangered species.

Oh, and John Mayer made out with Perez? First Jessica Simpson and now this! Ewwww!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Help the Airline & Oil Industries!

Excerpts from Saving the World, One Annoyance at a Time by Seattle Times Columnist Ron Judd:

New Airline Feature: Pay-Per-Screw: Air Canada has unveiled a new "travel-assistance" program, which, for an additional $25 to $35 per ticket, promises to help travelers find other arrangements in the event of flight delays or other events "beyond the airline's control." That's right: The airline is charging you extra to do what it somehow failed to do, at a very high price, in the first place.

Seriously: It's pure, evil genius. Airlines finally have figured out a way to profit on the one thing they specialize in: gross incompetence.

They Give and Give and Give: Oil-company CEOs told Congress that competition and high production costs justify the industry's astronomical profits and massive tax breaks. Sounds reasonable to us. Is there a way we can send cash donations directly to Exxon Mobil to help it through this difficult time?

Emo Eating vs. Burlesque Bodies

I will fully admit to being an emotional eater. Food makes me happy. Hell, food makes almost everyone happy, at least superficially. (I look suspiciously on those who don't like eating.) Bryn is always teasing me that I suddenly perk up whenever it is time to eat. He does ply me with snacks to get his way sometimes, and you know what? It generally works.

My long, hard day of work yesterday ended with both an unsettling observation and the need to come to a coworker's rescue (two separate events). Since Bryn ended up staying at a friend's last night out in Redmond, I had the place to myself. Of course this meant I could be as depressed as I wanted about all things work-related, and after a brief stab at cleaning the apartment, I ended up in bed watching South Park with a glass of wine, crackers and salmon dip, White Castle cheeseburgers, and ice cream. Sadly, to anyone who knows me well, that is fairly predictable.

Then, since I was still feeling down today, I went with an ex to Taco Time for lunch and tried to drown my sorrows with mexi-fries and sour-cream-dressing. It was only mildly successful, but it did give me enough energy to go to school and work on some drawing. And ultimately, it only added to my sadness since I realized that mexi-fries are not the way to a well-toned body.

My dad randomly wanted to go to a Moisture Festival performance last week so he bought tickets and he and his partner met me at ACT Theater on Friday at 10:30 pm. We were amazed and amused by all of the performers. I had no idea what neo-burlesque was. And it was pretty freaking cool that there were so many "circus-like" acts too. Lots of aerial wonder on display, and even if people didn't actually strip down much, there were quite a few bodies being showcased by clingy fabrics and sparkles.

I was really impressed by a group of four guys called Nanda who did some sort of karate-esque routine where they were all fighting each other and ripping off clothes incrementally until they were just in their underwear. Their act also involved juggling and the transfer of a denim coat from one person to the next that was intriguing. Plus they were all in amazing shape with rippling ab muscles. Sadly, I'm starting to resemble that pregnant man who was on Oprah, so I might need to kick it into gear and start with that exercise plan I've been making noise about for a while now.

Shoot, I'm going to have to walk my talk and DO IT. If I don't, I'll just be emulating the source of my recent troubles. Well that puts it in perspective. (Note to self: Start running tomorrow. And wean myself off of fried foods and back onto vegetables.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Seattle's Classiest Companions


Wow. I ran across a job posting on craigslist tonight that seemed pretty special. It said, among other things:

"Seattle’s Classiest Companions is interviewing for a few positions now. We are a totally legal, licensed and legitimate upscale escort service. Our name says it all, Seattle’s Classiest Companions. Successful applicants will be of all ages over 21 years old. Refined, loves people, carries herself with class."

Seattle's Classiest Companions? Are they for real? That name does say it all, and it isn't saying that I will find a classy companion! I'm picturing girls who are too blonde, too busty, with too much makeup and clothes that are too tight.

Or perhaps someone from Seattle's Elegant Escorts decided to go out on their own and this was the only name they could think of.

After a crappy day, it was good to find something to smile about when I got home.

Friday, April 04, 2008

race in your face

I just finished reading a Seattle Times article about how a "Colorblind" generation struggles with race, in response to the recent speech given by Obama about race.

It was a fairly tame article overall, but what struck me was a quote by a 30 year-old white woman named Amy Olsen who said, "I'm all for programs that help people who've been disadvantaged. But race doesn't make you disadvantaged. Poverty makes you disadvantaged." She also talked about going to college and how suddenly she felt left out, "...all of sudden, I felt like a really boring white person. I didn't have anything cool about me, I was just plain Jane."

I'm sure it was difficult for her to go from being part of the dominant culture where she felt comfortable that everyone she interacted with would be racially/socially similar to her (she's from Kirkland), but for her to say that being disadvantaged is an economic issue only, is pretty naive.

I grew up thinking I was white and it was a big shock to me when I started to realize in middle school that people could tell I wasn't entirely white. I mean, I knew I was part Native American, but the physical image I had of myself in my head didn't match my actual physical self. I've never experienced any overt racism, but I would definitely say that there is intense pressure to live up to a Euro-American physical ideal that is everywhere in the media. It has affected me, and a lot of my non-white friends. Why is being "all-American" only identified with being white?

To Amy Olson, I have one thing to say, "Amy, you might be a boring white person, but there are a lot of advantages that come with being a boring white person. Own it."

On aging...

I always have great ideas about what to write when I've either A) just posted a blog already, or B) am too tired to write because it is 2am and I need to go to bed.

The only firm thing I recall wanting to address today is my upcoming birthday. As it gets closer to the middle of June when I will kiss my twenties goodbye, I think that I am mostly okay with it. I always used to joke that I figured my thirties would be way better because it seemed like they would be what I had expected out of my twenties. I think I actually half-believed that. (Now I'm down to about ten percent.)

As much as I am looking forward to being taken more seriously, I am also still a little terrified of aging. I can tell that my metabolism has gotten the memo that things will be changing. Why? Because they've already started changing! Seeing how my father has aged has been really tough too. He's no longer the vibrant, engaged man he was when I was a child. At 70, the man who I knew as my father has turned into someone else. Sometimes there are flashes of him from before, but they come less frequently than they used to.

I'm not even going to be in town for my birthday this year, I leave a few days before it to spend two-and-a-half weeks in the wilderness at the Pilchuck Glass School. Was it just a few years ago when a birthday was just another excuse for a pub-crawl? What happened to the person who declared he was never going to, "get old and stop going out all the time." My semi-wild past has been replaced by a need to become responsible and professional. And as I get older and take on new perspectives about everything, I realize how little most of the everyday stuff I do matters, and how important it is to really make choices to do things that I believe in.

Does this sound depressing? It isn't. I have a sense of nostalgia for the past, but I don't feel a desire to try and appear to be something that I'm not. It might be disturbing to watch myself age physically, but it is a natural and (for the moment) unavoidable process. Plus, I really like learning and growing intellectually. I'm glad to be past that time of youthful arrogance when I thought I knew everything, or at least could figure it all out.

And I'm also getting beyond the need to feel like everything I do has to be perfect. For a long time I let that keep me from doing anything, since my expectations were so high that there was no way I could live up to them. More recently I just would get stressed out because I started knowing what I was capable of doing and recognized that it was good, but then I would overextend myself. Saying, "no," is difficult for me. Luckily (or not) I've been getting some good practice lately. I'm looking forward to a time in the future where I will accurately be able to recognize a situation as negative before I get into it, instead of accepting what people say at face value.

It'll all work out. I've got a few good years left at least, right?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

"No offense," said the nine year-old

Today I saw this movie for the second time at the Pacific Science Center. You know what? I liked it better this time. Perhaps because I was accompanied by two very enthusiastic people, Snotty, and her nine year-old son.

It still made me want to go river-rafting. Although preferably with an experienced guide.

I also better realized exactly what I didn't like about it the first time. It had this whole patronizing tone towards Native Americans. Like they talked about the Anasazi very briefly without putting them into any context. I mean, if a massive drought is what probably caused them to disappear, that is rather different than the various dams that are blocking the Colorado River and the 30 million people who use it as drinking water (to say nothing of the farmers using it for irrigation). I'm just sayin!

Plus there was a hokey voiceover with a lady talking as the 'spirit of the river' or something. And they HAD to have the one and only (according to them) authentic Native American river guide and continually use voice clips of her talking about her deep connection with the river. I don't doubt she has a connection with the river, but I'm sure there's more to her than that. The two daughters of the guys leading the expedition got plenty of screentime in skimpy swimwear splashing about, or perched on the prow of a boat with their golden locks glistening in the sun as they cruised the rapids, reenacting the taming of the Western frontier. They were like an American Eagle advertisement. I guess at least they were sticking to stereotypes all around? And of course, there were no black people. Probably because they are smart enough to know better than to strap themselves to a boat and float 1000 miles through the Grand Canyon.

Enjoyed a crab sandwich afterwards with Marika and Oren at the Broadway Grill, and Justin eventually joined us. They had some sort of promotional event/fundraiser going on where they were locking up local 'celebrities' and trying to raise money to get them bailed out. People were dressed as cowboys and there was a lot of raucous laughter going on. I'm still not sure what was happening.

We stopped at QFC before they headed home and the highlight of my day was when Oren saw a tall, skinny, effeminate guy at the service counter and said, "Now HE'S gay!" And then turned to me and said, "No offense."

OREN IS NINE! It was hilarious. I was like, "Hey, none taken. That guy certainly is gay. He's got a purse, which is something I prefer not to carry around. But good for him." (If that guy wasn't gay, he should have been. Just in case, I will bestow upon him the title of honorary gay.)

Ah, to be nine again.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Design Rules Redux

When I was looking back on my Design? Design! blog, I ran across a post I'd written in December about some Design Rules to Live By written by NY designer Christopher Fahey on his blog,

Reading them again made me realize how a lot of what he suggests are simply good rules to live by in general.

I've definitely been thinking a lot lately about integrity in the workplace and where to set my boundaries about what I can and cannot live with personally. Once I get out of school, what kind of environment do I want to work in? How do I start moving towards that goal right now?

The rules that strike me most at this moment are:

  • Do work you can be proud of.

  • Work for clients and bosses you like and can be proud of. Show sleazebags the door.

  • Don’t lie.

  • Understand that your audience is not you (and learn who they are), but always treat your audience how you would want to be treated.

  • Generate ideas constantly. Write down every idea.

  • Design can happen first, even before a need or problem is identified.

  • But design isn’t just “a good idea”. It’s a good follow through, too.

  • Make ‘em think: Don’t be afraid to be a snob. Some people just won’t get your idea without thinking about it. Some people just don’t want to think. But those who do will appreciate being challenged.

Shy/Wild what?

Figured it was time to graduate from a MySpace blog to something a little more adult. Even if I'm the only person who ever reads what I write here, at least my thoughts will be slightly better cared for, right? I'll chalk it up to "dressing for the job you want, not the one you have." If I want to be a grown-up professional of some sort, then it is time to cast off the shackles of silly networking site blogs forever!

I picked the name from an episode of Absolutely Fabulous, it was a phrase that one of Edina's ex-husband's girlfriends used to describe herself. And as much as they were using it for laughs, as soon as I heard the words, "I'm borderline shy/wild," I realized how aptly they described me in a realistic way since I tend to gravitate towards either being a wallflower or a crazy person. My wildness has tamed itself since I stopped consuming massive amounts of alcohol, and I'm totally okay with that. However, that energy still needs to get out somehow, and I've come to the conclusion that I can be a really good leader, even if I might be a little on the quiet side. The strong, silent type? Shoot, I'm gonna have to start working out.

So here I am, mentally dressing for success one word at a time.