November 7, 2006

adding, subtracting, and spacing

Math is something that I can't get away from in my family.
My mom was a math major in college.
My brother got an almost perfect score on the math section on the SAT, and got a perfect score in his ACT.
We did trig on a table cloth in Paris while waiting for the check.

Math in design is a timeless thing. While in Europe, we had to find ways to take pictures of trees, hundres of years old, that were planed in parallel rows. Parallel rows of trees, like the beams on the bridge or light posts or a canopy that's natural but planned all at once. While the design is so simple, it creates an order that makes a room where there wasn't one before, a corridor in the middle of a garden. I have pictures, many of them, because my mom was obsessed with the parallel rows of trees, that whenever we saw them we had to take pictures. But, alas, they are in Wisconsin, and I don't want to steal someone else's creative image from the internet.

But instead of design, that math isn't very important right now.
Speaking in subtraction, I went home for the first time since I've been away at college. For a memorial service. My psychologist, who essentially helped raise me since I was 8, died in September and the memorial was this past weekend. There is still the same sense of loss. But not just losing her, there's a loss of what was home. The house is the same, except the porch is now a construction site, but that was expected. My room is the same. Everything is in its place, but I only use the bed. I'm a guest in the space that used to be my sanctuary and I'm not sure how to respond when I go home again for Thanksgiving.
In addition, I got a free and very large bean bag chair that's quite silver and has yet to find its proper place in my dorm room, where we now have 7 seating pieces in a double.

October 31, 2006

30 degrees

I don't enjoy the deceptively cold days.
Upon leaving my math discussion, it was sunny and looked lovely... only I was hit by the bitter wind and wanted to curl up somewhere inside and warm. Had I judged by just out my window this morning, I would've compared today to yesterday, when I wore flip flops. Today, it's back to a scarf and a peacoat... too bad, beause I had a Halloween costume for lecture that has too much exposed leg for the elements. Maybe I'll get the strength and inner warmth to wear it after all.

October 27, 2006

why

I think these blogs are more of a burden than anything productive.
Okay, so I don't really read many from the discussion, because I really don't care most of the time.

But now we aren't even getting prompts?

Was it worth it to even create this whole blog idea, which was supposed to be a creative discussion centre, when really they just sit here and wait to be graded?

Continue reading "why" »

October 23, 2006

and it leads to... what

I've never been good with gravity.
I'm clumsy and tripping over or falling into things seems to be a hobby.

However, recently, my biggest opposition seems to be climate.

Outside, we've hit the point where it looks warm because it's sunny, only to realize that it's bitterly cold because of that same sun. Inside, there is no light. My room is arranged in such a way that my roommate's loft blocks part of the window. Once I get over there and open the curtain, I'm only in the room for long enough to experience a few hours of sunlight before it's gone. I'm afraid of what the winter means, since I'm not from quite this far north. If I don't get enough sun light, there might be some kind of dorm killing spree. Kidding. But there is a point where I just need some light that isn't from a box somewhere in my room.

The lack of humidity when it gets to be more like winter is a personal issue.
My nose likes to bleed, especially when it's less humid out. That means that I get one at least once a week during the winter because of how cold is. Yes, blood is kind of a disgusting topic. But it's something that I have to realize is inevitable once is starts getting colder. I actually welcome illness, as it's a sign that my nose has a natural way to clog itself instead of deciding to bleed at random moments, like early hours of the morning. My room isn't humid either, so it's not like I can do any better inside as a measure to stave off the evident medical technicalities.

When it feels this dreadful to go outside (I expect to actually get an autumn, not a summer one week and winter the next), I wish it would just snow and get it over with. It seems like the temperature and the wind and everything want to say "snow!" but it doesn't. It doesn't even rain that much. I really need a good storm to at least set a dramatic mood for the dramatic changes in the weather, like the 20 degree difference between the afternoon and the evening. However, I'm glad that percipitation hasn't made it inside, as my bed is right next to the fire sprinklers that, apparently, have insane amounts of pressure and cold water. On a side note, I think it's really awesome that that building in Dubai actually had rain inside of it. I really like rain, when wanted, and I would love to be in a raining building. But rain in my room would ruin the violin, not to mention everything else of value or sentimentality or that can't withstand a high pressure blast.

I can't resolve any of my issues with nature itself, so I'll have to just resolve by coexistance. If I had some all mighty powers, that would be pretty sweet, and I could reak some havoc or, you know, be all nice and thoughtful about droughts and stuff. However, my indoor environment just seems like too much of a hastle to change. I open my curtains as much as I remember to, but there's always never enough sunlight. I could invest in a humidifier or some nose drops, but I hate sticking things in my nose. It's just a place on my body that likes to be as it is, instead of some invasive procedure.

And every night, I just have to hope that someone doesn't do something stupid and smoke in the building, or that I dont kick the fire sprinklers. I really really really hope that I never have to oppose them.

Continue reading "and it leads to... what" »

October 18, 2006

choices and criticism

While finishing my Desgin Fund project for the initial crit, I can't help but think about my TA's reaction.

When ever I have any kind of interaction with him, he seems to give the impression that I shouldn't be an architect and that I must be insane to be in this class. I hate doing graphical design... which is why I'm trying to go into a career involving spaces and three dimensional representation. But if I don't pass, and do well while impressing the professor (director of undergrad stuff), then I have no future as an architect here. This takes me to a place where I'd have to transfer in order to get into an architecture program anywhere... when the only reason that I even looked at Minnesota (Wisconsin snottiness kicking in, since the admissions here seem to be a lost easier than the ones for Madison) was that it was an architecture school that was cheap that wasn't a mile away from my house. (UW-Milwaukee, one of the best public programs in the country, is 8 blocks away.) If I don't do well, I'm going to have to transfer to somewhere that will take me... which scares me into thinking that I'm just not creative enough in general be an architect and I should give up now before I waste too much time and money on school.

My TA tries to nicely say that my projects are crap, but I know they are. They aren't graphically impressive in the light of day, but only when I'm half awake and the dim lighting of only my desk lamp is available. My ideas aren't amazing either, because I want to have academic integrity and not leach off of someone else's idea, since they should get credit for thir own brilliant thinking.

So I'm stuck with average to inane ideas that are poorly portrayed.

Maybe they won't look as bad during the day light.
Who am I kidding.

October 9, 2006

the feng shui of lines and arcs

Things, frameworks, clockworks. phenomena

In relation to text, every single text is a phonomenon. If we think about it, there are things: letters. Even at a more basic level, the letters are lines and curves that are formed by different societies to convey different sounds.

If we use letters as the thing, then all words are a framework. They can be cateorized as adjectives or verbs or nouns or some other obscure part of speach, but they can also be separated into length or by definition. The clockwords that exist among words are their habitualness of useage in the English language. In this post alone, I'm using "the" and "it" and "be", and yet I didn't plan on using "slinky", although I could. Certain words always repeat in relation to a certain subject, like using "tempo" when discussing music or "illness" when discussing medicine. They have this regular repetition. Even words in themselves have a regular repetition based on what we have governed as the correct way to spell words or conjugate verbs. Essentially, this comes to the idea that all text, and not one in particular, is a phenomenon.

If the geometric shapes that make up letters are the things, then the actual creation of letters is a framework. Letters have a set way of arranging the lines and arcs, but there are at least 26 possibilities. From the arranging of letters, there's another way to frame them into vowels and consonants, or letters that hang below the line (y), take up the entire line (h) or letters that only sit in the middle (e). They always come back the clockworks of having a standarized alphabet. By having a standard, the letters can always be arranged in a uniform way. If this position is taken, then not only are texts a phenomenon but words themselves are.

Continue reading "the feng shui of lines and arcs" »

September 30, 2006

Basements

Genius loci is just a fancy way of saying that a place has impact on someone's sense of being and attitude.

Since I haven't ventured too far around here, I can only say where I've found peace on campus: the basement of Ferguson, the music building. There, all the practice rooms create fingers off of an amazingly long cooridor. Although the rooms are sound proofed, the music leaks through the doors, so you can hear an opera, a bassoon, and piano concerto all at the same time. Growing up playing the violin since I was 6, music has been a significant portion of my life. I remember showing up at my violin teacher's house and sitting on the stairs inside, waiting for the student before me to finish, and hearing whatever they were working on. Or sitting back stage before my turn to play at a concert and hearing the muffled sound of the stage. By going to rehearsals there twice a week, I keep up with the tradition of being in an orchestra, another significant part of my childhood. I think without attending rehearsals, I'd miss a part of myself. At the same time, after feeling fatigued from a rehearsal, there's this sense of calm from walking through the dim hallway and hearing tid bits of whatever someone is practicing crawling out of the cracks between the doors. One week, someone was practicing a 4 mallet marimba piece in the hallway, and I was tempted to stay in the stairwell to hear the rest of it. Maybe the essence comes from secretly hearing the hard work that's coming out of somewhere unknown.

September 24, 2006

I still love socks

I remember vividly going to the Jersey Shore and laughing histerically at sock puppets talking into a microphone. My cousins in NJ were like the older sisters I never had and we'd sit around, eating Oreos over napkins to avoid crumbs on the table, and laugh at all the fun of Sifl and Olly.

Continue reading "I still love socks" »

September 22, 2006

Social-ism

Here's a secret: I've been a Girl Scout for 12 years, and I now have a lifetime membership. Last spring, I recieved the equivalent of the Eagle Scout Award (called the Gold Award in Girl Scouting) for creating a project about how GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transendered) families are just like other families as a way to teah tolerance towards others to little kids. It turned into a book that showed the things that families embody, and that it doesn't matter whether a family has adoptive parents, single parents, or same gendered parents. It was a big hit, and a lot of people said I should attempt to publish it as there aren't really any books out there for kids who have "different" families to see that they aren't really that different from everyone else, and all that lovey dovey stuff.

In my research for the book, I found out a lot about the GLBT community in Minneapolis, though I wasn't taking notes at the time about specifics. I think I'd like to take this either to the Girl Scouts in Minneapolis, the GLBT community in Minneapolis, or a publisher and see if I can get it out into the "main stream". It's really strange to think that I could be a published authour before I'm allowed to legally drink in the US.

Pctures of the book and stuff will be coming... so look out!

September 18, 2006

And I hate toe clips

Today, I attempted to go to the Midtown Market.

Since it was all sunny and pseudo-warm, I decided to break out my bike for the first time since I've been on campus. Granted, it's not really my bike; it's my dad's bike that's older than me and probably hasn't been tuned in at least 5 years. That was my first mistake. The second was thinking that I could just bike the 3.5-ish miles to the Market no sweat. At least I'd get to see more of the city, as I'm originally from Milwaukee and haven't ventured too far off campus. But I felt confident in my generally good sense of direction. That was my third mistake.

I started by going across the Washington Bridge and it was crazy windy. I was rethinking the whole biking experience but decided that I'd be okay, since I had biked hilly, hot, 40km per day in France so a little 3 mile bike ride should be fine. The chain appears to be less greased than I'd've liked, but that's what I get for riding a "classic" bike. I thought I had seen Lake in the few times that I'd been downtown and that I could just do some crissing and crossing and I'd be in the market in half an hour tops. I started to get a little panicked when I kept going west and not seeing Lake anywhere, not realizing until later the drastic difference between avenues and streets downtown. (I had gone too far past 22nd AVENUE, and Lake happens to be going parallel to where I was riding.)

I wove through cars and had many near death experiences, especially as I'm not used to toe clips or biking with a messenger bag. I was even more anxious to get there, as I saw the website and the Market looked like one of those amazing places that's slightly European and trendy.
I rode around down streets that became freeways with little warning and found myself on some recreation department bike trail. According to the map, it didn't look that far to actually get to the Market, even though I had already eaten though my half hour.

After taking the bike path in the directions I had planned on, it became hilly and very suburban. I wasn't really expecting that. And the almost suburban area was too quiet to be comforting. It's something that I can't understand about residential areas that are almost suburban: the lack of sound and activity. I grew up in a residential area, but there was always activity and some kind of noise. All I heard was a little girl and her dad, and that was only after going up yet another hill.

I finally asked someone for directions when I felt hopelessly lost. He seemed nice, but not too confident. He was in a more urban neighbourhood. The urban neighbourhoods were obviously of lower income, but there was a sense of community and happiness there that I couldn't see in the more scenic homes. Why is it that the people who make more money to have more leisure time become recluses while the "lower class" understands play and the weekend on a much better level?

I turned on to a street that was under construction and was afraid that I was holding up traffic and someone would be vicious enough to hit me because they were in a hurry or in an un-Sunday afternoon mood. There was this terror that kept me moving, even though I was just too tired to really
care if I found the Market or not.

I got to Lake and 22nd avenue, finally, and didn't see anything except a bus stop and a lot of freeways. I asked a man at the bus stop if he knew where the Midtown Market was, but he only told me about the Farmer's Market. I was sure that it was there, because of my web research beforehand. But I just felt defeated and was ready to give up, especially since there was a light rail station there.
As I was riding away, my bike in a rack, I saw a building that was very generic but possibly the Market. I was tempted to get off at the next stop and go back, but I just felt so defeated after everything I had gone through today.

Instead of observing how energy was created at the Market, I watched it drain out of me as I neared my theoretical destination. I was thinking of all these amazing and poetic things to write about, like how children use laughter as a form of releasing energy and how the sun gives energy to make beautiful produce and how the people feed energy off of each other in this open market community that I was seeking. Instead, my energy was put into the journey.

Energy isn't made or created, but is channeled though our personal determination into something worthwile. In our environment, I think I see how I use energy is more on a mental level, in some way that I find worthwile. Since we're in a society that thrives on success, energy is spent most on personal gain and happiness, meaning that energy is what pushes us to discover what that is.
I found the energy to make this winding voyage. The suburban-esque community found the energy to avoid each other, or at least avoid the outside of their homes. The urbanites used their energy to enjoy the fleeting moments of what was left of their weekend.

Maybe I'll go back next weekend, when I have more energy.

September 12, 2006

The first post

There is no real reason for me to actually write this, except to start the ball rolling on this blog project.
In other news, I'm listening to the Flaming Lips.