September 2006


The blog world can be a challenge at times but rewarding similarly. I believe we all recognize that the greatest challenge in blogland is accepting the other person at the other end to be genuine, real, and sincere on all levels. The mask of the computer, with all its ability to ship information around at incredible speeds, does not provide that personal interaction, enabling an individual to make a proper assessment of a counterpart. It also provides a buffer that allows individuals to remain in the background safely, to some degree, assessing situations, conveying opinions without fear of retaliation, perhaps even studying an individual. Sound intimidating, eerie, perhaps creepy? It should be…we all need to approach this environment with some degree of caution. Otherwise, we risk the chance of being hurt – physically depending on the situations, but most definitely emotionally.

Then there is the opposite spectrum. Blogland provides more overt individuals, publishing blogs and/or commenting in those environments, an opportunity to interact with people having similar views, to possibly befriend readers in a positive way, to even meet some of those individuals and create long-term friendships. We live in an entirely different yet progressive environment when compared to twenty years ago. And the Internet is part of that progressiveness. It is only natural that it would become a place to acquire knowledge on a broad spectrum, a place to express our freedom of speech, and a place to meet and interact with other human beings.

I am part of that progressiveness I guess. The Internet has been a place for me to meet other people, to meet other gay individuals. And like any other person, I am human. I do have my inherent fears still of the Internet. Obviously that would encompass the blog world. Fortunately, I have had a positive experience blogging to date. I think one element of blogging that has caught my attention, as of late, is monitoring my readership. I like seeing where my readership is coming from….is it local? is it regional? is it within the U.S.? is it from other countries? It gets me thinking, “why or how did they come to my blog.” As of lately, I have found several repeat readers stopping by my blog. But these are readers that my sitemeter picks up…not readers that are identifying themselves openly through comments.


So, I have found myself wondering why are these anonymous readers coming back yet never stepping out to identify themselves and express their thoughts. Why not share your thoughts? If you have reached a point of wondering how this post is to conclude, here goes.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say to those of you who read my blog, but chose to remain in the background, come out…introduce yourself…share your thoughts and opinions openly…say HI! I know I have some readers from San Francisco, the San Francisco Peninsula, south unincorporated Orange County, and even San Diego that stop by regularly. If you fit the profile, I’d love to hear from you on my blog. I am pretty low key, generally shy initially, but love to make new acquaintances. Just come in as “anonymous,” maybe type in your first name at the end of your comment if you are comfortable with it.

That’s my post! Ya’ll have a great weekend. Thanks to those of you that left the most gracious comments about my design work and skills in yesterday’s post. I think it should help my self-confidence a tad. Hugs!

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It has been a while since I have posted anything related to my design schooling – I guess three months probably. You have seen my perspective drawings, my color renderings, and my original certificate program boards (these boards did not show any detailed renderings, full house spaceplanning, multi-room finishes and furniture/in other words they were basic). What I have to show you below evolved from my RESIDENTIAL DESIGN I class. This particular class was amongst the last of my associate degree classes. It was to demonstrate an accumulation of my conceptual, spaceplanning, perspective/rendering, color, and period style skills. It also involved using the modeling techniques that we had learned to demonstrate our finished interior and spatial design.

The project was a New York City LOFT which was to house three generations of women – basically involving a youth, a middle-aged woman, and an elderly woman. So if you think this through carefully, you will realize that each has certain needs in addition to desired items in a household. We created our own scenario of these three women, what they desired, and what ultimately would be needed. Based on the image created, we were asked to chose a period style and apply color based on that to finish the design picture while considering the clients’ opinions. Because the project involved NY City, I thought of the many Art Deco buildings in that city. I had stated that my clients’ residence building was of that period. To keep things consistent with the client profile and the architecture of the building, I opted to do Art Deco for my period style. From there, appropriate furniture was selected, appropriate fabrics suggesting the period, and appropriate color was chosen . In selecting color I also had to consider the art inspiration I had chosen from the Georgia O’Keefe’s collection. The piece that I chose is seen below in the first board, upper left corner.

As you look at the boards, the renderings are what I envisioned the spaces looking like. I even designed the chandelier that you see in the dining room drawing. I went with black and white boards since that was one color combination of the Art Deco period.

Initial board showing the 1st floor spaceplan, models, and the dining room rendering.
Board showing the dining and living room furniture and accessories.
Board showing the second floor spaceplan, the master suite furniture, materials, etc.
Board showing the master suite bathroom, the materials, lighting, accessories, etc.

To give the client a better idea of the full home interior design and how it relates to the building, we create a 3-dimensional foam core model. Other materials are used in the model to get our point across visually. Trust me this is not an easy task. Modeling is an art in itself and if you’re good, can be a pretty decent paying profession. But darn….you have to have a lot of patience and great vision! I spent hours on this model…hours. And its not the best model I have ever done.
Full view of residential design showing what would be the top of the building only.
View showing the interior / second floor of the two-story loft in place.
View of the interior / showing the first floor after the second floor is removed.

So there you have it! You have now seen what one of my more extensive projects has involved in my Associate and Bachelors degree programs. I take a lot of pride in what I have accomplished and done. I know I have weaknesses as a designer but who exactly is perfect. I look at these weaknesses as opportunities to excel, to challenge myself. Admittedly, I do have a hard time feeling confident in some of the challenges but I am working on it. Hope you enjoy what you see.

***Note: Current status on what I chose to do with this quarter given the needed CAD skills in my Senior Studio (Project) class…I chose to drop the Senior Studio II class in hopes of picking it up in the Winter Quarter (keep your fingers crossed please), to stick with my internship program (I am looking at the moment), and to seek an outside Art History class (to complete my FIDER GenEd. requirement that I was surprised with last quarter even though I have a degree and adequate GE credits already). It looks like I will also try to obtain some short two – five day crash coursework in CAD – that’s computer-aided design.

LUST

Pronunciation: ‘l&st
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German lust pleasure and perhaps to Latin lascivus wanton
1 obsolete a : PLEASURE, DELIGHT b : personal inclination : WISH
2 : usually intense or unbridled sexual desire : LASCIVIOUSNESS
3 a : an intense longing : CRAVING [a lust to succeed] b : ENTHUSIASM, EAGERNESS [admired his lust for life]


It’s Wednesday WORD PLAY! Short and sweet, so I am shootin’ today’s word at you now…it’s lust. Gosh, will I be in trouble with what might be posted here today?!

Usage: I long for his gorgeous smile…I lust for the warmth of his muscled body. Or is that… I lust for his gorgeous smile and long for the warmth of his muscled body. Ah heck, with my luck it’s the later. LOL!

Again, the “play” portion…any comment you leave must use the word lust in it. Your response can be about anything ~ the post, me (watch it!), something about you, something happening in your life. Knock yourself out thinking of something serious, humorous, or off-beat to comment about. Just have fun with it!

Hope your week is rolling along, lookin’ good! It’s time for HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tuesday.

I think I’ll just step right in and ask the question:

How do you like to present yourself in attire?

Personally, I have changed over the years. I use to want to present myself in a more sophisticated light. I had a small closet merely housing my suits, dress shirts, slacks, and sportcoats, not to mention the 150-200 ties I had at one time. Today, they collect dust (albeit that may change once I rejoin the working force, depending on where I am employed…and that’s if even half of it still fits me…see I am a bit fuller in the chest and arms these days). In the last ten years I have gone totally casual though trust me, I can put on a mean ‘dressy casual.’ Were talking in-style jeans, dressy chinos (if you desire to call them that) along with Tommy Bahama slacks, shorts, and camp-style shirts. In fact, much of my shirt selection these days is short-sleeved versus the long-sleeve of years past. Even a variety of T’s are part of my wardrobe. Some of this is due to better ‘body image’ – and well, having ‘come out,’ one has to flaunt it a smidge (eyes rolling… a slight chuckle). And the shoe of choice for me, and I am sorry if I offend, is sometype of zorrie or sandal. Hey, I live in southern California. For now, it’s me, and I don’t much care what others think…even my gay compadres!

So me and the rest of blogland are waiting to hear your response. Make it good! Tomorrow, look for Spider’s post on me. It’s suppose to be revealing. Oh brother!

After a week last week that started high and spiraled downward by Friday, I had a ho-hum weekend with some occasional blues mixed in. If it hadn’t been for some quality phone conversations with friends like Spider, Pete, Derek, and Tom this weekend and a Smileygram, I’d probably been “sittin’ in the dumps.” I wish I had gone with my impulse late Thursday and headed up to homeland, San Francisco Bay Area, to see family and hit the Folsom Street fair (lions and tigers and BEARS, oh my! – more like sweet!). Well, I have done my wallowing. It’s a NEW WEEK… time for “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” Monday.

Today’s question is: What would you do today (Monday) if you had it off? A simple question but I am sure one that will have a whole spectrum of answers.

Since I actually have no class on Mondays and am still looking for an internship at the moment, I guess I can disqualify myself here. I will say this, if I didn’t have to worry about calling all new companies tomorrow to inquire about that needed intern spot, I’d have been up in San Francisco this past weekend staring at all those gorgeous men struttin’ their stuff on Folsom. **sigh**

Here wondering what you will hit me with in terms of comments this week. Don’t you dare hold back. Have a great week! Just think, only 4 more days until the weekend and two more days until Spider’s special post.

My dearest Spider over at A Spider’s Web in Thornton Park just had to beat me to the punch and post his results off a borrowed meme from Jake over at Jakely Justified. He seems to be doing that a lot these days. Didn’t he just do this to Sorted on a meme?! Hehehe! In any event in this meme you describe yourself using five (5) song titles. Mine have no thematic thread tying them together. They merely befit my personality traits or describe me. And unlike my east coast friend, Spider, I stick to the rules…I have five, not ELEVEN! (Again LOL – you’re such a good sport Spidie!) I have left a brief description of what the song says of me.
  • Over The Rainbow (Eva Cassidy version)……Speaks of my desire to dream.
  • Get Over It (Eagles)……Talks about that occasional urge to be impulsive, to literally tell the world sometimes, “take this and shove it!” Gosh, I wish I did this more often. TO LIVE!
  • Once in a Lifetime (Only You Soundtrack – Michael Bolton)……It tells of the romance within me and the hope in finding that one element in my life that says ‘LOVE.’
  • Mayberry (Rascal Flatts)……Tells of my simple nature, perhaps the occasional naivete that still exists in me. How I miss those days when my life was simpler!
  • Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Sound of Music Soundtrack – Peggy Wood)……Perhaps best speaks of the inspirational/spiritual being within me. Of the tenderness locked inside searching to come forth, to be accepted and embraced unconditionally.





Now, without breaking any rules, every GREAT album (ME) has a bonus track. Mine is: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Michael McDonald)……Have to say that I am true to the bone as a friend.

So there you have it, ME…..a dreamer, a searcher of life, a romantic, a simplistic man, a spiritual being or rather a man of faith, a true friend. Do I embrace all these readily everyday of my life? I sure try but I am human. I don’t always succeed. Nor am I in perfect sync with them – yes conflict does exist. But this is who I am.

Thanks to Jake for sharing this post. I actually enjoyed putting some thought into this meme challenge. Y’all have a great weekend. Be sure to check out Spider’s blog next Wednesday, 9/27, ’cause there’s gonna be a special post about me. You never know what you might learn. And a special shout out to ‘Smiley,’ that would be my bud Josh! Wishing you the best as you take those steps onto the path of the next phase of your life…they’ll be just as memorable as those gone by! Hugs!
Today a received an emailed story that really offered an incredibly beautiful and powerful message. Apparently it is a from a chain email. It came by way of Derek from Past, Present, and Future.

Thank you Derek for taking the time to send it to me. It really tells us that we reap rewards a hundred fold when we give of ourselves unselfishly, without hesitation, and demonstrate compassion. I thought the message was important enough to share with you all. If someone desires to pass it along to a friend, a family member…great. So without further ado…

THE CAB RIDE

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, and then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers,” I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.

She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you. ”

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT ‘YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~ THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

You won’t get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on. Thank you, my friend…

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

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