Tuesday, August 29, 2006

and a [year] goes by

it's been a year since katrina hit the gulf coast, and there's something about that benchmark that causes us to look back and reflect. i didn't personally live through that disaster, and i can't begin to imagine what it was like to have everything you own, lost and your life swept away. i did, however have the privilege to meet a man that did. i say privilege, because it was an honor to meet and work for ronald lewis. ronalds positivity and optimism were unbelievable after hearing what he had been through.

i've written before about my experience in the lower ninth, but i wanted to include an up-date on the project. earlier this month, the team of students and volunteers i worked with completed rebuilding mr. lewis's house and construction of a new museum. if you follow this link you'll find the npr page on new orleans. if you scroll down you'll find a box titled "24 hours-a day in the life of new orleans". they've put together a great slide show, featuring mr. lewis, also, i've included a few pictures taken by my friend jason during the grand opening. this experience will always serve as a reminder to me. when faced with unimaginable tragedies and seemingly hopeless circumstances, it's amazing at what faith, prayer, determination, and the support of friends and family really have.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

night of [voodoo]

so last thursday, instead of going to the "lava lounge" for sinatra night, i went to the derby to check out "big bad voodoo daddy" with mike and trent.

alright, so as much as i've always wanted to utter those lines, that's not exactly what happened. i was however able to check out "big bad voodoo daddy" at the sedgwick county zoo, as part of their summer concert series. now the zoo isn't exactly the hollywood icon the "derby" is, but i'll take what i can get.

the concert was not the low-key, lounge scene i had envisioned in my head, there were too many strollers and blankets for that, but the band sounded great live. although the place was packed with hundreds of those foldable lawn chairs, there was a space right in front of the stage reserved for swing dancers, which were easy to spot in the crowd. thinking of myself as an amateur swing dancer and not wanting to pass up the chance to dance in front of one of the icons of swing music, i gave it a shot. i threw myself into the mix of zoot suits and saddle shoes, and tried my best. i thought i was doing fine, until an eighty year old couple whirled by me and informed me to "move it or loose it."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

[home] is where.........

tonight, my childhood home belongs to a stranger.

my family has moved out and someone else has moved in. i haven't really thought about it much, because of all the other transitions going on in my life, but now, tonight, knowing that i would now be a stranger in the yard i mowed for 17 years, i find myself missing it.

the intern-architect in me, completely understands. people move. they move companies, they move residences, it's what keeps us in business. but the eight year old in me is having a hard time. the truth is, i haven't spent a lot of time there recently, having lived various places, but it was always home. a place i knew was always there, waiting for me, just the way i left it.

it was the only home i had ever known. i went from the hospital to that house. my view of this world began on the corner of foxbrier and main. starting slow. not being allowed to leave the yard at first, and then finally given permission to cross the street to check the mail. when i got my first set of [bike] wheels, i ruled the neighborhood, and could even go to the quick-trip to get a pop. even in highschool, i kept within the city limits, always returning to that house at night. when college came, i found myself spending less and less time there. but it was always home.

what ifind myself missing the most though, is mowing. i loved it. it was never a chore to me. i'd put on my headphones, zone out, and think about life, while still keeping straight lines in the yard. when i first started mowing i would listen to "tiffany" and "rick astley" with my red kool-aid tape player with belt clip. through the years i moved up to a "walkman" then a "discman". the last time i mowed, i had "the decemberists" and "clap your hands say yeah" playing over my ipod.

the reason i loved mowing so much, is the time it gave me to think. for two hours no one would bother me. it was suburban meditation. that yard isn't just filled with the mulch from grass clippings, it is scattered with several years of my thoughts. little ponderings like "do you really get a free tootsie pop, if you get an indian and a star on the wrapper", to those life long thoughts about relationships and career decisions, that never seem to end.

home, will always be with my family, no matter where we are, but that house on north main was the setting of my childhood. housing memories, experiences, adventures, trying circumstances, and life lessons.

well i better end this post before it sounds too much like a "wonder years" episode. but i do believe i'll play a little joe cocker tonight.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

the [domestic] life

i'm finding myself increasingly more domesticated every day, and not by choice, by necessity.

i remember at school weekdays and weekends blurred together with the only real difference being there were a few days where you'd leave studio to go to a different class. now there is a clear definition between the two. the weekends are now the time for me to do what i want to do, all day long. but even that statement has some exceptions. my whole day today felt like it was spent getting ready for the coming week. there were groceries to buy. clothes to wash, dry and iron. [on a side note, ironing was non-existent at college. i think i ironed five times in seven years of college. it is now however, taking up way to much time] then there's the daily cleaning. living by yourself, you come face to face to how dirty or clean you are. there are no longer any roommates to place the blame on.

i know it's all just part of growing up, but this change from t-shirts and jeans, to slacks and collars, was a bit fast. to be honest, though, the eye opening event that brought all this to light, was buying a swiffer today........and being excited about it.