June 2006


Ok…you’re not seeing a reposting on my blog of Spider’s 6/28 commentary. In fact, I am wondering if I didn’t catch his little “bug.” I am so spent right now that I am finding it hard to really focus on a topic for posting. It has been a long day, a long week. Week 8 has gone by, leaving four more weeks of school. There is an incredible amount of work to accomplish in the time left, putting my head into a spin. Hmm! I wonder if this might explain why I am feeling a tad tired. Heck maybe it also explains why I have had a rash of migraines over the past to weeks.

In the four weeks left of class, I have a portfolio layout/format to generate so as to assemble photographs of my boards, renderings, draftings, etc. I have a mock taped interview to perform (oh yippee!). I have a portfolio book to obtain and place a physical book together of my work. And lastly I have an electronic version of my portfolio to pull together. Not that easy when you have to pull images and work together which requires corrections, reworking, copying, and to be imaged so it can be integrated into a layout. Then I have that mixed-use commercial/residential project. I have to finalize the occupants of the building, place the spaces appropriately within the building while meeting American Disabilities Act and program requirements, and spaceplan 10,000 sq. ft. of the 50,000 sq. ft. building. Sssschew!! I am tired having written these few sentences let alone think about the task at hand.

Or perhaps I am tired given I seem to survive on 3-4 hours of sleep a night as of late. I am just happy today is Friday and that there is no school for me. Hope to get a gym/weightlifting workout completed too. Then the schoolwork starts.

Ok…so I am back where I started. I think I am tired, thanks to Spider! Maybe it’s time for a nap!!!!

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OK…
I am a bit pressed for time since I was up late last night and again early this morning to wrap up some concept sketches for my 50,000 sq.ft. mixed-used commercial/residential project. They just love loading the work on the senior students. I have no concept of this size space and realistically what fits into it. But I guess I am going to learn real quick.

Anyway – on to my blog post. In Spider’s post a few weeks ago, he put out the idea of a bloggers’ get together in August, specifically August 26/27, when Pete from the Shortbus and I will be out visiting and before I head up to New York for some more sights. There has been some discussion of a trip to Sawmill, maybe some tubing on the Ichetucknee, which I think would be great to just kick back and get to know each other (no booze though on the river),
and/or rollercosters at IOA. We can pretty much make it anything that we’d like. I believe there have been definite verbal communications from Sorted Lives and Hypoxic that they would be in attendance.

But we would like to put this out again to you all. If there are any others out there that read me, Pete, Spider, Hypoxic, Sorted, etc. and would like to get away to Orlando for a short weekend, we would love to meet you all and make a day or two of fun out of the gathering. I am sure we will also have at least one night where we all get together for dinner. See Hypoxic and I have a date with a concoction known as a pineapple martini!!
WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON THOUGH SO THAT WE CAN START INVESTIGATING THE LOCATIONS AND MAKING ANY NECESSARY RESERVATIONS. NOT TO MENTION GETTING HOTEL INFORMATION TO POSSIBLY PASS ALONG TO YOU (UNLESS YOU HAVE YOUR OWN RESOURCES). Partners and boyfriends are welcome to come if they like. So check your calendars. If they’re clear, see if you can swing it! For me, it’s all about meeting all of you. No expectations – just the intent of having pure fun. The more the merrier.

So, again if any of you are interested in attending the Southeastern Bloggers’ PowWow, then get your ‘arse’ in gear, and speak up. No more lollygagging! You can contact Spider or me by email (our email addresses are part of our blogger profiles) and let us know that you are set to come and if you have any preference in what we all might do. Obviously, we may not please everyone, but remember the point of the gathering is to get to know each other and enjoy each others’ company. The surroundings are secondary.

Kelly and YNAGER (Mmm! pineapple martinis ‘Y’), can we twist your arms sufficiently enough to get you down here. You’d complete the group. Derek, are you and Mike definitively confirmed for those dates? What’s going to work for you – the river? Looking forward to seeing everyone so give it some hard thought. LIVE VICARIOUSLY!!
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Next topic, a movie to go and see! Yesterday I spoke about the environment and ecology briefly. I saw a movie with my Ecology class a week or so ago. I had mixed feelings about seeing it. In the end, I am glad I did. It is AN UNCONVENTIONAL TRUTH with Al Gore. All I can say is there is potentially some scary stuff going on that I think we, as US citizens, need to step up and take the lead over the rest of the world’s countries. Maybe it’s propaganda and maybe it’s not. I believe it’s the later. If you see the movie, all you need to do is pay attention to one portion of the movie, if nothing else. It is when they show the before and after shots of key glacier sites around the world. Enough said without giving away any other components of the movie. I truly believe you will find it thought-provoking. Hopefully it inspires you to start making some changes, writing congressman and senators, and so on.

Environmentally conscientious, eco-friendly, ‘green’ ~ all means to describe the latest craze, ecology. I suspect that within the next 5-10 years this will be a major topic of discussion. We already hear and see it with the ever increasing prices of gas and electricity, the increase in the traffic on roadways and the resulting smog, pollutants being washed up on our shores due to what is exiting from storm drains, and contaminated water sources. I could go on with a list a mile long but the point is already established.

We live in nation that has got to start ‘pouring the coals to it’ before we find ourselves ‘caught between a rock and a hard place.’ America has become greedy and extremely spoiled in so many ways. Everything has become instant but at many sacrifices. Sacrifices of our time, sacrifices of our health, sacrifices of our natural resources and this country’s many rich beauties. This generation of people needs to start making personal sacrifices if we are to make any headway on what is eating away at this environment and if we want to ensure a healthy, clean, and abundant world environment for generations to come.

Where is this whole post leading? To my ecology project, of course. I have to admit that I have been pretty blind to this point on giving any consideration to the subject of ecology. But my Ecology class has actually been pretty interesting and informative. While the content has been broad at times to encompass issues outside of interior design, it is quite amazing how all of the components of this topic are really intertwined amongst the fibers of our society and its daily functions. This past Monday as part of my Ecology project, I was responsible for developing a lamp that, first and foremost, utilized 100% recycled materials with the exception of the electrical lamp kit from Home Depot that we were to purchase. I initially thought this would be both fun and a ‘cakewalk’ in comparison to doing research and a Powerpoint presentation which the other half of the class had to do. WRONG! OH SO WRONG! I spent so much time on the Internet researching recyclable materials. Plenty of stuff exists, all rather cool. But nothing in small quantities that I might be able to construct a lamp with. The class was finally given some latitude and told that if we could not find 100% recycled materials to approach the project with the next best thing. That could range from products less than 100% recycled, to renewable products, to reused or reclaimed products.

So here is the lamp I made…

My lamp project ended up being a structure of mixed used items. My inspiration came from these 2″x2″x 1/4″ sample 100% recycled glass terrazzo tiles that I had. The colors were those of nature and in particular, reminded me of beach colors…amber, off-whites, tan, brown, blue, turquoise, green, etc. I had a concept in mind, and given that my sister and brother-in-law were in Kauai/Hawaii where I wanted to be, I opted to name my lamp, THE TROPIC. From there I thought of other components of the tropical environment, in particular, bamboo, a fast-growing, renewable resource. This became the component I used in my lamp shade. I envisioned a lamp that was somewhat sculptural, thus the off-setting cubes. I used non-toxic glue to hold the cubes together, and recyclable metal wire, to hold the lamp components together. Mind you the projects tended to be a little more on the crude side since we aren’t your mass-producing factory line. But that was not the point of the exercise as I am sure you can sense at this point. I had to finish out my project with a scaled schematic drawing of my lamp along with a typed design concept statement and a short class presentation.

It was interesting to see some of the results. Many of my fellow students who were involved in lamp designs shared the same frustrations but managed to devise some clever concoctions. I have no idea at this point how I did but at least my project is over for the quarter. And I did gain something from the process. Now I just have to sit back and listen to Powerpoint presentations and take the final at the end of July. SWEET!

Read on to post#2, HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?, when you are done below.
Stonewall has been but one of a number events representative of injustices this world has seen. For some it may be viewed as …..perhaps not as vicious and large in scale as the Holocaust of WWII…. perhaps not as degrading as slavery during the American Civil War. But I beg to differ if not merely on a different level. Clearly the later events were perhaps far larger in scale. But any form of hate destroys the very fiber, the very essence of our being. I hope we each take a moment to reflect the past and how each of us can make a difference by simply doing one thing a day that is contrary to our “first reaction, ” if I am making sense here.

Hold your head high! Let the essence of this day ring forever. Thanks again Kel for bringing on the challenge of the flag to get us all to remember who we are.

Can someone tell me what today is? It’s Tuesday! It’s Tuesday! And that means it’s time for HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Time to drum up all the smuck and lay it all out on the line. It seems that most of the posts for this segment have been predominantly light-hearted so today I thought I’d mix it up with something a bit more serious. Some may not necessarily be in a state where this is likely to happen but I am sure you have had prior experiences, so feel free to share your thoughts based on those circumstances.

So today’s questions goes as follows: How do you like to receive news of a pending breakup ~ with immediate gut-wrenching pain like having a bandaid suddenly ripped from one of your hairy arms and legs OR slowly, likened to studying how painful it could be if I pull the bandaid off slowly, tugging carefully so as to minimize and cover-up the pain being experienced. I must say, I would want the breakup to happen immediately but hopefully the person separating would be classy and dignified in the manner with which he conveyed the breakup.

How is this question hitting each of you? Have you personally experienced this yourself? As always, use my comment section to share with us your thoughts!

PSI. I am looking to do that post on my eco-friendly lamp tomorrow night. Sorry.

You all know that my dearest friends mean a lot to me. I may not be able to shower them with the moon at this time when it comes to gifts. But I sure can find the simplest ways to tell them how much I care and appreciate them. So today is a special day for yet another special person in my life.

I have a friend in San Francisco who happens to be stepping up in the world. Today he joins the hot 40’s Club! Nothing could be finer than the guys who make up this group. His name is Rob and he happens to be a blogger as well. He writes under Roblog. Some of you may remember him from BrettCajun’s when he was covering our SF Blogger’s PowWow in April of this year under his blog. Rob and his graduation/housewarming party kind of set the tone for getting the ball rolling on the PowWow.

I have to mention a few words about Rob. Rob was my first blogger buddy and one of my first gay friends as I began my journey ‘out.’ I know him personally. He is truly one of the most genuine, kindest, intelligent, trusting, trustworthy, and sexiest of all the friends I have. Not to mention having that killer ‘muscle bear’ look. Rob I hope you don’t shot me for posting your picture, but it is one of my favorites of you. See Rob has this thing about smiling for the camera…you generally have to do a sneak attack to get one of him with it. But man when he smiles, his face lights up. OK ROB ~ HAVE I TOTALLY EMBARRASSED YOU. WELL, IF I DID, I’M SORRY BUT I DO MEAN EVERY WORD OF IT BUD! There is a long history behind Rob that I think is best saved for those that might choose to venture to his blog and endeavor in some time reading through it. I know that you will recognize what an incredible person he is once you do. Rob happens to be partnered to an fantastic guy who thinks the world of Rob and who Rob feels the same about. Rob calls his partner his “Hairy Arab” and his name is Fuad. And boy is Fuad built. I told Fuad via a post on Rob’s blog that he has the biceps and forearms I would die to have. I guess it helps to be a personal trainer and to be genetically blessed.

So now you have met another of my friends. Rob, Happy 4oth big guy! I wish I could be there to say it in person. A BIG ‘BEAR’ HUG! I wish you nothing but ‘smooth’ sailing through your forties and much, much happiness. Nice to know that the world is populated with yet one more “DADDY BEAR.” Hehehe! I just had to do it again Rob.

To my fellow blogger friends, I hope when you have a moment today that you stop by Rob’s blog and wish him a happy birthday. Tomorrow, I hope to post my eco-friendly lamp that I had to create for my Ecology class. Working on the schematic diagram portion of the project at this moment. Later.

So the graduation ceremony has come and gone. I started my day at 7:30am to leave plenty of time to get to the hotel by 9:45am. Lots of luck. I swear I must have been in slow-mo! I was running out the door at 9:25am, having just ironed my graduation gown. I had just pulled it out of the box only 5 minutes before the pressing.

It was neat seeing all of my friends in one spot for the first time in quite a while. Our schedules change up each quarter as not everyone gets the courses they want so eventually our class paths change and we only see certain classmates on a more routine basis. Lots of hugging along with the introduction of classmates to family and vice versa. Unfortunately I did not have the chance to introduce my family to some of my professors.

Just prior to the ceremony there was a sit down brunch so that the graduates would have an opportunity to mingle with family, friends, and other graduates seated at their tables. Then came the ceremony. The ceremony included graduates from both the Bachelors and Associates Degree programs. There were five awards given out amongst the 75-85 graduates. The two highest awards, the Most Likely To Succeed and the Most Creative, went to two close friends of mine at school. In fact, all five awards went to most deserving candidates. We did have a keynote speaker, but I will not mention her name as I am sure none of you would know of her other than the work she has done. Once the ceremonies were over, the class pictures were taken along with the traditional tossing of the caps.

The celebration, for most, then moved on to more personal venues with family. I went back to my sister’s place where some of my family from the Bay Area were staying. Lots of chatting, a very light snack along with champagne, and then the opening of the family graduation gift to me. It was a nice leather portfolio in which I can carry my drawings and marker renderings.

After that I seemed to go into a ‘funk.’ I can’t explain it. As you know from Friday’s post, this whole graduation ceremony just seemed anti-climatic to me. I have no idea if this feeling/mood simply carried over to yesterday’s graduation or not. Maybe it was the thought of all the classwork that I still have to complete within the next three-four days on projects due this week?! Maybe it was simply me beginning to wonder what lies ahead for my future? Some people thrive on the unknown. I just don’t. Give me a glimpse into the future and I’d be better prepared and most likely, happier.

At 5:30pm my family took me out for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Dana Point (CA.). It was a nice, intimate dinner rather than a bunch of fanfare. The big shindig may come toward the end of the summer though it is still up in the air. So I managed to get through dinner but the funk was still there. I wasn’t very talkative and I am sure my mom was wondering what was up. Given I was feeling a bit bluesy, I had hoped to talk to a couple of friends on the phone last night. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Today is another day. Time to pick up on another chaotic run of work due for this week. A special thanks to those of you who extended me well wishes on my graduation. They meant so much coming from you guys. So I leave you with some gosh awful graduation pics of me.

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