January 2007

Guys…I am tired tonight. I put in my first work-for-pay day at my new place of employment. No more internship hours. One day a week may not be much but given my nightmare Project class, it’s sufficient for me. And a little extra money will come in handy.

In any event, my brain isn’t working well this evening. Plus I am ‘feeling‘ for someone tonight – a friend. It’s terrible when people impose a sense of isolation on a person and/or make an individual experience loneliness in it’s various degrees. It’s worse when it comes from your own flesh and blood.

Rather than throwing WEDNESDAY WORDPLAY at you, I have this question for you.

When does family become too much in your personal life?

Or maybe what I mean to ask ‘is when do you find that family pushes the wrong buttons with you?’ Think about it!



IT’S OVER!  DONE WITH.  !  No, no!  I didn’t drop the class nor have I failed…yet.  Another Monday night class has gone by and just 9 more classes (actually 8 given President’s Day).  They had me start class last night by talking about my commercial design internship.  My reaction…where in the world did that come from.  I did get my polite little ‘stab’ in by mentioning that I was working one day a week now on a part-time basis so I could claim a bit of a respite from the elements of this class…my Senior Project class that is.   Hehehe!  I couldn’t resist.

So you’re probably asking where do I stand in the class thus far.  I can’t say.  They collected up our plans and took our notebook specifications.  I am a little panicked on the later because the required specifications were not in place in my folder.  But more importantly, I needed those specs so I could attempt to finish out the notebook segment and create the key that was suppose to be on my Furniture, Fixture, and Equipment Plan.  Guess I’ll be recreating somethings to do it…why do I end up with more work?!   One good thing…at least 1/2 of the class had not completed some portion of the work.  Many had issues with the Demolition Plan that was on disk…apparently it may have been corrupt.  Snicker, I got it to work though the line quality was weak.  Looks like none of us will know where we stand in the class until next Monday night.  No problem…just another week of sweating bullets, both on the grade element and working to generate the next segment of the project.

ENOUGH!  Onward to this Tuesday’s ‘HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?‘  You know, many of us have not seen very much rain or snow, depending on where you live in the U.S.  With that said, I am curious…

How do you like to spend your personal time on a rainy or snowy day (you can assume it’s on one of your days off)?

MeI just want to chill.  I have never been a reader.  So I like to open a window, recline under a warm blanket, and take in the clatter of rain outside. The only other thing that tops it, which I do on occasion (at my sister’s place), is lighting a fire.  Once in a while I will put on some good mood music too.  What’s crossing your mind as a response?


So it’s Monday morning…12:45 am to be exact. I gave up on my CAD project for the day about a half an hour ago, leaving all my work over at my sister’s place. I am down right mentally exhausted after 4 days straight, 12 hours each day keying in my project. And after all that effort I am not going to be turning in the required items for grading. Mind you, I’ll turn in something but I have no idea if it will even draw me any points, let alone ensure I move onto the next phase (that’s pass to the next level for you guys trying to read behind the lines). Someone special told me yesterday that I had accomplished something, even though it might not be what the instructors wanted. To that someone special, you are right. I am proud of what I do see on the computer thus far and what additional CAD skills I have picked up working this project…even if I am finding it hard to convince myself. Thank you ‘Someone‘ for encouraging me!!

Thanks again Mike, Derek, Spider, Pete, and Josh…yes I said Josh, Mr. Smiley who has alluded me for two months (but he finally called me!!!!). I appreciated the phone conversations. They were much needed respites from focusing so intensely on my project. Hugs a thousand times over.  And if I could give you MORE, I would!

So with my continued saga on this damn project, Monday’s “What Would You Do?” question is….

What would you do if you were in my position, knowing that you were going into your Monday night class with only about one third to one half of the required work to be graded? How would you handle it?

My brain’s tired of thinking of all the angles…and it’s a let down for me. Maybe you have something I can grasp.

P.S. I am hoping to do some blog reading Monday night after class and Tuesday after work. Of course any call coming in from Smiley will receive top billing (for this week), second only to Spider. LOL.

I want to post tonight but am finding it hard at the moment. Why? Well, after plugging away at my PROJECT today on CAD (that’s Computer-Aided Design program for you none-techies), my brother-in-law invited me out to dinner with my sister and the kids. His father, sister, and niece are out visiting. I just couldn’t say no when he said it was ‘his treat.’ And I really couldn’t say no when he mentioned that dinner was at Morten’s Steak House. I have been dying to go there since I was last in Chicago and we couldn’t get reservations at the restaurant. We happen to have one here in Southern California.

Boy, did I eat well. Fantastic house onion bread, a Morten’s Salad (let’s just say it has all the fixin’s on it), crab cakes for my entree (nice chunks of crab-yummy), creamed spinach, hash brown pancakes, sauteed mushrooms, excellent cabernet, and a killer dessert…raspberry souffle. I relished every minute of the event and every bite. Mmm…mmm…good!

Would you see why it might be a bit harder to blog, to develop a topic? Could it be this fullness I am feeling in my belly and the sudden laziness that has overcome me?! Anyway, I thought I would throw you a bone to gnaw on. This arachnid critter that I call ‘friend’ had a post two days ago that blew me away based on the number of responses it generated for such a silly topic. Then again, I think we all need a bit of silliness in our lives. So here is the bone…WHEN YOU SHOWER OR BATHE, DO YOU PREFER TO USE BAR SOAP OR LIQUID SOAP (AKA – BATH WASH)?

images.jpg VERSES images-1.jpg

Kelly’s comment on the Arachnid’s blog got me thinking about this one. As for me…I use both. The body wash is probably used the most frequently as it doesn’t leave soap residue in the shower/tub – one less mess for me to have to clean. I generally use bar soap when merely cleansing my face or pulling off a ‘GI’ bath. Oh…but I do love bar soap when showering with someone else. That bar and extra lather feels good in those ‘oh-so-sensitive’ places. You know!


Yesterday (Tuesday) at 5:30pm, I officially moved to within one class of my second bachelors degree. Well actually 10 weeks shy of ‘mission’ accomplished. What’s this all about? I completed my commercial design internship which I began this past October.

I am rather shocked to say that I am feeling melancholy over the event. I know when I entered the internship I felt so apprehensive about the decision I made. I had convinced myself I was going into residential design, period! After 13 weeks and some newly-acquired information about commercial design, I can actually envision performing work in this field. I still think I would pursue the hospitality area of commercial interior design but at least I am aware that there are other good opportunities in commercial design.

I feel ‘naked’ now that my program has concluded. Work has been my respite, my place of peace oddly enough. School has become too much of a driving force in my life and it’s my fault. When you spend your first go-around in college obtaining merely ‘C’ status (trust me…I worked hard to obtain better but never could overall) and you see that this stint is drawing primarily A’s, it’s hard to let go of the obsession for top status. Hey…I’ve always been a perfectionist, even with average grades.

Some might think I am ‘nuts’ for classifying work as my sanctuary and I don’t know if I could argue against that point. But all I know is that I feel energized when I am not thinking about school and when I have the opportunity to communicate with ‘adults’ on a business and professional level. I have had the fortune of working with a small collective group of designers who are upbeat, fun, willing to train, knowlegeable, team-oriented, and easy-going. How could anyone part ways with such an environment? Well I am not! The owner and the staff want me to stay on-board permanently and I am setting my sights on that for now. Later this morning, I’ll meet with the owner to confirm my working part-time, one day a week until I graduate in early April. We will be talking money today for the PT position. I just hope I get a decent hourly wage. Once April comes, I suspect that we’ll discuss new terms for the full-time spot. From there, I will wait for my two friends to complete their design programs, slated for December, and the three of us will then discuss if we are ready to venture out as our own design group in high-end residential work.

With all this being said, I think it’s time for a wrap-up here. I hope your work week proceeds smoothly…passing on the happy ‘hump’ day wishes to you. Get you minds out of the gutter guys! Hugs!

P.S. On my post yesterday I had a picture of a church. I just want to clarify that this building was not my personal parish church – some thought otherwise. I had hoped to find some pictures on-line to post but there are none.

I KNEW IT WOULD BE HARD BUT NOT THIS HARD! No…I am not referring to pulling back from blogging though I am having severe withdrawal symptoms. I miss the daily bliss of posting as well as reading and commenting on other blogs. What I am referring to is my Senior Project. Guys, it literally gets worse with each week. And it’s compounded by the fact that I am still behind in my work. I haven’t given up the fight yet!

What I am learning however, is that I am not totally ignorant of CAD. Somehow this 47 year-old brain of mine has retained this necessary computer training because I am producing the start of a set of construction documents. Admittedly I am admiring my results albeit they are in poor form. There is a uniqueness to computer-generated schematics. So I say:

Please Lord, give me what I need to hang on and get me through this class. Help me get through the three floor plans…the Furniture, Fixture, and Equipment Plan for three floors to include all my furniture selections for one large residential and three commercial spaces…the start of my Specifications Notebook…the additional corrections to my Title Block…oh, and my Demolition Plan!

Don’t you just love all those dots (…) for added pause emphasis?! All that is just for next Monday night’s class. Gosh, I so need some quiet time, some ‘chill’ time. Hmmm! What a perfect segue into today’s business of and question for ‘HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?‘ Tuesday. The question for you is:

How do you like to spend your quiet time? Simple, aye?!

beach1.jpgAs I have gotten older, and especially as I have gone through my design schooling the past three years, I find the most satisfying quiet time in one of two scenarios. The first is hopping into my car, heading on down to the beach, sitting either at the shores edge or in the vicinity of the beach, and taking in everything around me. That includes the sounds of the ocean, the birds, the people around me, the wind. Sometimes I even turn on the iPod, playing soothing and or uplifting music while I merely absorb the sights around me, including a beautiful sunset.

200px-catane_san_benedetto1.jpgMy second quiet-time place, and perhaps the most calming, is church, specifically my parish church which happens to sit on a hill bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean a mile away. The whole back side of the church, where the altar is situated, consists of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, stretching some two stories high. When there is virtually no one in the church and there is near-dead silence, I can sit for hours. And I have done it! Trust me. The space and the environment around the church can be all-consuming. I miss it.

Hmmm! Guess I know what I am going to be doing the first moment of free time I have. So what about you? Do share.

…BY MISFORTUNE. Where is a bit of luck when you really need it. I could sure use some on this Senior Project of mine. As upset as I have been with the change that one of my two instructors made on my project plan development, I have proceeded forward with work for now.

Thursday I managed to get my club/lounge area spaceplanned with furniture and equipment. I also came up with a name for it and thought of some interior conceptual elements. Then I went to start entering the plan into my CAD (computer aided design) program. DAMN! None of my files would open…but they were all there. WTF!!! Deep breaths Tony. The brother-in-law, a computer techie, tells me that the files are good and that it appears to be software generated. Unfortunately he knows nothing about CAD. I go home to download the data from my memory stick to my own PC. Same thing happens. DING!!! The ‘brain buzzer’ goes off. I remembered that Monday, while I was opening and preparing to print my plans at my place of internship, my employer was downloading the new 2007 AutoCAD disk. Guess what? I have the 2005 version. 2004-2006 versions can interchangeably open but if you go to open those versions, while created on those versions, they will not open in 2007. You must go in and re-save them under a file type specific for 2004. I’ll stop here with the tech talk.

Bottom line. I resolved that problem but I had to wait until yesterday (Friday) morning. I lost probably about 3-4 hours of work time on Thursday. After correcting the issue, I then had to drive 40 minutes to a friend’s house to get assistance on re-doing my title block (simply put – it’s the ‘framing’ that surrounds the plans). That took 2 hours of time which also included some CAD tutoring. By that time, it was Friday evening traffic time. 50 minutes now to drive home. With dinner looming, I held off starting my CAD entry. Dinner turned out to be late. So no additional work was completed last night. I must get all the entry and corrections made today and tomorrow, Sunday, since Monday is a print day (Print day is the day I get all the info together for printing out of the plans for class).

Can someone knock on LUCK’s door and tell him I need it bad, real bad!

Well…enough said there. To all my readers, it’s hard for me to say this but I think you will be seeing less of me, both blogging and commenting. If you only new how much it pains me to say those words. Reading brings me relief, laughter, a sense of union and belonging. Posting only reaffirms that connection. And I so often survive on all your comments and emails. I really don’t know what I am going to do when I am not receiving them.

I hope I will not lose my readership but at the same time I understand. My friends will stay in touch and also check in via my blog from time to time. I know. And I do have good blogger friends out there, both who I have met in person and those that I know solely through the Internet. Please, if you don’t see me…don’t be bashful about dropping me an email at lifescolorfulbrushstrokes@yahoo.com. I am really going to try to post at least once or twice a week. Commenting probably will be limited and or dispersed on random days to random blogs.



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