Sunday, December 25, 2005

the ghost of christmas[tree] past

i’ve heard this year, through different media outlets, that it is now [politically correct] to refer to christmas trees as holiday trees instead. now as much as I believe we should all learn to be more tolerant and accepting of other customs, i disagree with this. first of all, we should embrace different customs and traditions and learn about them, not merge them into the narrow view of being politically correct. a christmas tree is just that, a christmas tree. it was a symbol of the newly found christian faith to the early germans. german immigrants brought this custom to America in the 1700’s and it caught on by 1850. since then most christians bring an evergreen into their house to decorate for the season. being of german descent i’ve always been proud of this tradition. there are many other customs during christmas brought to us from many different places. we should know where all these customs come from and celebrate them, instead of trying to force them into some [politically correct} box. having many different customs and traditions makes this world unique and exciting.

anyway, i hope everyone enjoys their christmas trees this year, or any other tradition that you and your family may celebrate. merry [christmas, chanukah, and kwanza].

here are some photos I found today, of past christmas trees.


Friday, December 16, 2005

taking the [stress] out of finals


well it is finals week here at kansas state, and the stress levels are high. some students are tied to their textbooks, cramming for comprehensive finals, while others are pulling all-nighters finishing up projects. i, however, must devote all my waking hours to watercoloring. now watercoloring was not the only task i had to complete this week. i had a rather large paper to write about the benedictine monk/architect, dom hans van der laan, due thursday. [don't worry, i had never heard of him either]. i did, however manage to avoid having to take any test, unlike my younger sister who had three finals, back to back to back.

i know that watercoloring in no way compares to studying for a final, but there was a smidge of stress involved. i had to have ten paintings done friday afternoon. as of monday, i had six. now you may be thinking to yourself, four paintings isn't that much. but here is the deal, i'm an artist and you can't rush art. did leonardo have a deadline for the mona lisa? did michelangelo have to turn in the sistine chapel by 1 p.m.? no. so how am i expected to rush my own art. well after finishing up my paper, i devoted the rest of the week to painting. overall it was rather relaxing. i had great playlist on the computer playing. i zoned in and became one with the pigments and palette. last night i finished, and although i was rushed, they turned out "sorta", "marginally", " somewhat" good. i'm just glad this stressful week is done with. note: [parts of this paragraph should be read with a sarcastic tone]

here is the watercoloring playlist:

billie holiday = east of the sun
bloc party = this modern love, so here we are
bobby darin = moon river
cake = guitar man
counting crows = a long december, goodnight elisabeth, colorblind
death cab for cutie = soul meets body
fountains of wayne = hackensack, valley winter song
guster = careful, i hope tomorrow is like today
modest mouse = broke
okkervil river = kansas city
rilo kiley = more adventurous
the flaming lips = mr. ambulance driver, yoshimi battles the pink robots pt.1
the long winters = cinnamon
the postal service = district sleeps alone tonight
the sounds = dance with me
wilco = at least that's what you said


Friday, December 09, 2005

merry christmas, you wonderful old [college of architecture, planning, and design!]

[it's a wonderful life] as seen through my socks

"i'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and i'm gonna see the world. italy, greece, the parthenon, the colosseum. then, i'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. and then i'm gonna build things. i'm gonna build airfields, i'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, i'm gonna build bridges a mile long... "
george bailey

last night i officially started my christmas season with my annual viewing of the best chirstmas movie ever, [it's a wonderful life]. now there are a lot of great chirstmas movies out there to choose from with each one holding it's own value:

[white chirstmas] 1954
[a charlie brown chirstmas] 1965
[how the grinch stole chirstmas] 1966
[a christmas story] 1983
[scrooged] 1988
[christmas vacation] 1989
[home alone] 1990
[elf] 2003

however [it's a wonderful life] always finds it's way to the top of my list.

as an architecture student, i find that we focus so much on our projects that everything else seems un-important. we get stressed, angry, upset, and frustrated. we finish our projects, crit, catch up our sleep, and before you know it, it's christmas.

this movie is my transition from the stress of studio, to the holiday season. i usually put this movie into the dvd player after my projects are turned in, and the craziness of deadlines are over. in the movie, stress and frustration take a toll on george bailey causing him to almost make a fatal decision. however after taking an alternate look at his life, he begins to realize just how great it actually is. he realizes how important friends and relationships are and how they can help you overcome any obstacle.

so, in the spirit of the movie, watch it with the people you love. if you haven't seen it, buy it, or at least put it on your list, as it makes an excellent gift.

Friday, December 02, 2005

the [past] and pending

i was awoken this morning to my radio.

for anyone that knows me, you know that i am a firm believer in waking up to the radio, because the alternative choice of the alarm, in my opinion, is pure and absolute evil. humans were not intended to wake up to a loud piercing squeal. of course sometimes the light music causes me to oversleep occasionally, but being late is far better then waking up to a high pitched, heart stopping siren. anyway, back to the story, i awoke this morning to the song [long december] by the counting crows, one of the best bands of our generation. this particular song was the perfect song to wake me up today for multiple reasons, besides the obvious one of irony, it being december.

the song is about reflecting on the year, which seems only natural for the month of december. while enjoying this song, still under the cover of my quilt, my mind started pondering my own past. the song ended and i left the comfort of my bed to bare the brunt of cold air on my way to start the safety of a steamy shower. while standing in the hot water, i was reflecting on where i was five years ago, today.

normally a person wouldn't know exactly what they were doing or felt five years ago, but i do. i'm not going to cheapen those memories by writing them down on the net, and it would be impossible to convey my exact feelings through the filter of writing. for now, i'll just keep them to myself. it was however a moment in my past that was great to reflect on today. then i wondered, do all memories consist of moments in our life where we were full of emotion? or do those memories just stick out more then the others? either way, i enjoyed taking a look back this morning on a great memory. i finished my shower today with my own, out of tune version of [long december] followed with an encore of [mr. jones].

so for now, thank you counting crows, for a great wake up call.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

how i wish life was [was not] like an episode of "friends"


i have a theory..........well......maybe not so much a theory as it is an observation. the sitcom known as "friends" has had a larger effect on my generation then one might assume. just think about it. the show was incredibly popular while we were in high school. we were glued to our televisions every thursday night, watching a group of people 10 years older then us, trying to make it in the real world. for thirty minutes, we learned about the issues that we would face as young adults. we saw, what life is like, to be young, adult, and single. these images have stayed with us.

i believe the impression left by this show, is why certain aspects of our society are changing slightly. my peers are entering the work force and starting their own lives. we are looking to live in studio apartments in the city, close to work, much like the set of "friends". we enjoy walking down and getting coffee, while discussing classes, projects and relationships, a classic scene from the show. i also see more and more of my peers deciding to focus on their careers before getting married. my generation was led by the cast of "friends" in this thinking. we are now placing more importance in the time after we graduate college, on ourselves, then the previous generations have. it is becoming a very important time to continue to grow and mature and learn about ourselves.

sometimes i wish my life were more like, and sometimes less like "friends". life, in my opinion, is a comedy, but even comedies need human drama to keep things moving. most of the plot of "friends" consisted of people falling in and out of love, and the incredibly idiotic things people do in both instances. in my life i know i've done things in both situations that would make an audience laugh and cry. i'd like to think of myself as a "chandler"most of the time, but i've been a "joey" once or twice, and lately i've felt a little like a "ross",the character that was always able to take a situation and make it worse, and known to constantly dwell on subjects and not let them die.

everyone can identify with one of the characters of the show and the situations they found themselves in. i do wish, that like the show, my problems could be solved in a half hour, or at least a continued episode. until my problems fade however, i'll just wait around for joey to do something dumb, and make everyone laugh.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

happy birthday pop

well it's only fair. i posted my mother's senior picture on her birthday, so here is my dad's. this picture always cracks me up, because of the fact that my father has had a beard since before i was born. so i believe this is one of the oldest pictures of him without any facial hair. the year on this photo might be hard to figure out, due to the extremely clean cut look of my dad. i can however tell you that in the year he graduated, the radio stations would have been playing lots of creedence clearwater revival, three dog night, the youngbloods, and billboards number 22 song of the year, you guessed it, sweet caroline, by america's greatest singer, songwriter, and performer, neil diamond.

happy birthday pop.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

a day for my [inner] geek

today is an important date. it is the 50th anniversary of an event that changed my life. now, you may ask yourself, "what could have changed eric's life november 5, 1955?" to give you a hint, it's a red letter date in the history of science. well, if you don't know your fictional history, this is of course the day that dr. emmett l. brown invented time travel. he was standing on the edge of his toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, he slipped, hit his head on the sink, and when he came to, he had a vision, a picture in his head, a picture of the flux capacitor. and as you all know the flux capacitor is what makes time travel possible.

yes, i am this much of a geek.

back to the future has been my favorite movie ever since i first saw it in 1986. i identify with this movie because it deals with the subject of time travel. traveling through time fascinates me on two levels. first of all, it gives a person a chance to see before or after their own life time. i would love the opportunity to travel back to any year between 1955 and 1965. i've always had a strong fascination with these years, i can't explain why, i just do. the other level runs deeper. time travel gives you the chance to go back to moments in your life, with knowledge you've gained from the future, and change them for the better. however having this opportunity, brings up several questions. are we, in fact, suppose to live with regrets from past decisions? is this what gives us character and helps us grow? does everything truly happen for a reason? if we could always go back and fix mistakes in our past, would we ever learn? are there moments in our life that were just not meant to happen? i don't have the answers to these questions, but i think about them a lot.

however, now that you know what today is, if you get a chance, pick up the movie, place it in the dvd player, and enjoy a great movie. if you don't get to it tonight, don't worry, you've got until the 12th. that's of course the day that lightning strikes the clock tower, sending the necessary 1.21 gigawatts into the flux capacitor, sending marty back to the future.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

sending the elevator back down

about a year ago, i was flipping through the television stations and i came to oprah. now normally i would have kept going, however on that day kevin spacey was on the show promoting his movie, "beyond the sea". while watching the interview, he mentioned some advice that jack lemmon had given him while shooting a movie. jack's advice to him was to make sure that in your life you always send the elevator back down. this means that wherever you are in life, you are there because someone else helped you in some way, shape, or form, and once you get to that position, you need to make sure that you reach down and help others in the same way. in my life many people have sent the elevator down to me. first of all my parents. they have always been there to help with advice. being a year ahead of me, jean has always been there to help me out with advice on studio and classes. and lastly the firm were i did my internship, allowed me to come in and learn the profession of architecture within their office, which provided an enormous amount of information about where i want my life to go.

today i had a small chance to "send the elevator down". i singed up to give a tour of the college of architecture to 6th graders. they were eager to see what went on inside these walls. while showing them the maze of models that line the halls, you could see at how fascinated they were with the miniature buildings. i was curious as to what they did in there lives right now that might apply to architecture. many of them stated that they love "sim city". this can be a very complex game, and it occured to me that these kids, though in 6th grade, are probably very good with using a computer, having grown up with them. it was 1992 when i was in 6th grade, and computers were not apart of my life, however legos consumed most of my free time. i would spent hours building, destroying, and rebuilding structures back up. so i asked them if anyone still played with legos, and to my relief many hands went up. i'm glad to see that they're not always in fornt of the computer, they'll have plenty of time to do that in college. it was however, great to show them around and answer their questions. who knows, maybe in ten years one of them will be giving a tour of seaton.

Monday, October 31, 2005

the weekend of [trite]

this weekend was a chance for the [populace] of manhattan, to forget who they were for a night, and [masquerade] as someone else for a while. while noticing the costumes, and [conversing] about how the same outfits are seen over and over every year, one of my friends stated at how [trite] they all were. this comment stayed with me the rest of the night, because i felt it was a great use of a word that i don't normally hear. my friend could have easily said that the outfits were boring or dull, but instead she called them [trite], which is defined as "boring from much use, not fresh or original". a perfect fit.

lately i've had feelings that seem to run deeper then what most words i use, define. some words to define my life, [dubious][hampered][despondent][adrift]. i'm sure that these words have defined a point in everyone's life before. but as an architecture student in my last year, with changes taking place, dreams fading, and the future looking more intimidating everyday. they seem to be the perfect fit right now.

Monday, October 24, 2005

happy birthday mom


today is my mother's birthday. i'm not sure if she will be thrilled or not that i posted this photo, but oh well, i think it's great. i love looking at senior pictures. nothing else captures what life was like when you were in high school more then your senior picture. this photo won't give away the exact year of my mother's graduation, so you can only make assumptions as to her age, however all you need to know is that she doesn't look a day older then when this picture was taken.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

the first signs of fall


today i found out that the class I usually have at seven o'clock was canceled. this ended up being a blessing for two reasons. first of all, it meant that i would not have to rush through the readings in the hour before class to make it look like i knew what i was talking about, it also gave me a chance to walk around campus as the sun was going down. being an architecture student, it's often easy to think that seaton is the only building on campus, since most of our lives take place with in these limestone walls. however it is great to leave studio behind and walk around a bit. i sometimes long for the days before switching to architecture when most all of my classes were taught in different buildings forcing you to experience campus.
this autumn, i believe, will stand out in my mind above most for several reasons. first of all it's my last fall on campus, which is the best season to be here. it's like walking around in a rockwell painting, complete with colorful leaves, limestone, and squirrels. all you have to do is replace the typewriters, and transitor radios with laptops and ipods. secondly, after spending seven months in san diego, and then returning to kansas for the last part of summer, i'm ready to finally experience a change in season. i've been wearing short sleeves too long, it's time to bust out some sweaters. Lastly, and most importantly, fall is a yearly reminder from mother nature, that nothing gold can stay, no matter how badly you want it to. there is always an end.

while walking on the fallen foliage today i had memories of brighter and sunnier times.

leaves_on_ the_sidewalk


Sunday, October 16, 2005

twenty[one] years later

my newborn sister, 1984
today is my little sister's birthday. i never could have imagined holding her in the hospital back then that twenty one years later, we'd be in college together, and, for that matter, almost havingher beat me through. my sister and i joke about our "worlds colliding", a term from the sitcom seinfeld meant to define what happens when different parts of you life merge that usually remain separated, such as family, and college. i am however glad that i could be here to celebrate her birthday with her and make sure she didn't get too "tanked" happy birthday sis.

maria at my favorite bar on her 21st birthday

Thursday, October 13, 2005

eric's music 101

usually i reserve this form of communication for any activity i deem "blogworthy", a term for anything that i think anyone that reads this blog will find slighty interesting and or amusing. i'm also not a fan of putting anything too personal on here, for reasons relating back to the movie i saw when i was just a lad called "the net" starring sandra bullock. that might of been before she became real famous.... anyway, nothing i've done in awhile has reached "blogworthy"status, and my personal life is way too complicated, sad and....well......personal, to put in this bog. so i though i'd drop some music information on you. most of my life is spent in studio connected to my computer. thank god for itunes. so as i work and think and work and think, a sort of soundtrack starts to develop. i find that depending on what mood i'm in, certain bands will emerge from the masses to be played more often. a band that i've gotten into recently is [interpol]. i found out about this band a little later then i would have wanted, but i'm enjoying their music none the less. a great song of their's is "c'mere". i, myself wasn't blessed with the ability of poetry, let alone the ability to put it to music, so i'm alway impressed when i come across something like this song. here's a small sample of the lyrics that seem to fit perfectly these days:

It's way too late to be this locked inside ourselves
The trouble is that you're in love with someone else
It should be me. Oh, it should be me
Your sacred parts, your getaways
You come along on summer days
Tenderly, tastefully

And so may, we make time
Try to find somebody else
This place is mine

You said today, you know exactly how I feel
I had my doubts little girl
I'm in love with something real
It could be me, that's changing

If you're not familiar with them, check them out. Here's another list of artists that have been making it to the top of my itune's play-list lately:

The Decemberists
My Morning Jacket
The Sea and Cake
The Shins
Death Cab for Cutie
Van Morrison
The Smiths
Kings of Leon
Sam Prekop

Check them out if you haven't' heard of all of them, there's something for everyone.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

googie in the news

i had a friend e-mail me this link, so i thought i'd share it.

It's a shame how many great examples of "googie" have already seen the wrath of the wrecking ball.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

signs of googie


well today in manhattan it was very cloudy and misty. one of those days perfect for reading a book, or watching college football. i however finally took on a small adventure i had been wanting to take for a long time. today was my day. i am a huge fan of "googie architecture". now this isn't the most sophisticated form of architecture, such as renaissance or baroque, but one that i enjoy immensely. most of it consists of bowling alley's, liquor stores, and motel signs. for a short history lesson, this is because this style developed in the fifties and sixties when american's were having dreams of outer space. during this time americans were also in love with their cars. this style put those together and you end up with very large and flashy space like shapes to draw in the drivers attention. this style is closely linked to more serious style of modern architecture such as the designs of John Lautner. For anyone interested, you can get more information here.
back on track, there were a few signs in the manhattan area that fall under this category, that i had not captured on film yet. so i packed up my camera and headed out. first was the dreamland motel outside junction city. i've driven past this sign for years and never stopped. the sign is great. one interesting aspect of this sign that i enjoy is the use of kansas's own natural limestone. that element seems to find it's way into every style of architecture in kansas. next it was back to manhattan, to photograph vista hamburgers. another great sign. i'm not sure of the history of this restaurant, but i know that most college students in the past 35 years have eaten here at least once. i'm glad i got the pictures, i'll have to head back on a sunny day, or possible at night to show off the neon.



Wednesday, September 21, 2005

a stage full of mistle thrushes



last tuesday night, i made a quick decision to go to lawrence to see the decemberists in concert. i had been undecided the whole day, but after finding a few other people that were interested in making the trip over the "that other kansas school" i was able to convince myself. after a few phone calls to my girlfriend it was decided that we'd meet her at the granada. now normally i would have decided that the trip wasn't worth it, but since they are one of my favorite bands, and i know that i could see them with my girlfriend, i decided to go. the decemberists are a great indie band from portland. if you get a chance, listen to them.

my two other friends and i loaded into the car about 7:00 and headed to lawrence. we were running a little late, and were kind of concerned that we might not get tickets. however we walked up to the granada, got our tickets and met jean. to our surprise we hadn't missed the first band. the opening band, sons and daughters, wasn't bad. as surprised as i was listening to them, there is always that anticipation of seeing the band you paid for. the decemberists came out and rock out as expected. they're a very theatrical band, going out and drumming in the crowd, and reenacting being eaten by a giant whale. the only complaint about the concert was the young lad right in front of us, who wanted to dance to every song, in a sort of rhythmic spasm. but what are you going to do, some people just "gotta" dance, and he was obviously a fan.

after the concert we stopped in at jimmy johns, and ate some subs, as we hadn't eaten in our attempt to get to the concert in time. after finishing up, we grabbed some coffee for the trip back. i said good-bye to jean, and we drove west. we all rolled in to manhattan around two, which is no later then a normal night in studio.

i've been into this band for about a year now, and grow to love them more everyday. i never get tired listening to the lyrics and how poetic the words flow together. for the past year their songs have been a staple in the soundtrack to my life. my favorite songs shift depending on what mood i'm in. there is a song on their new album, The Engine Driver, that seems to find it's way to the top of my playlist lately.



Thursday, September 15, 2005


geometries found in trajan's forum

this week in in my geometries in architecture class, my partner and i were assinged a project, where we took plans and sections from trajan's forum and tried to find geometries within them. with the few sacred geometries we've learned in class, we set out to see what we could find, looking to see if anything in the plans or sections matched up. in the picture above we've found what we think is the plan based on the sacred cuts. it's not perfect but close. what i found the most interesting however was the process, and how close this assingment parallels my life. you have something presented to you, it's lying in front of you, and you're confused and you can't make sense of it. it might be overwhelming at first. but with a little patience you start to see things. things you can't ignore. you start to see things that line up. you apply what you've learned in the past, lay it over the new problem and things start to come clear. before you know it you've found the answer. now, it might not be perfect but it's close enough to see that it's right. I've felt this many times in my life. i've been confused, and i needed something to unlock it and become clear, sometimes it's patience, hard work, discussion, time, or prayer. in my life, i've learned that everything always works out, somehow......

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


waiting for pizza

this weekend i was looking at pictures on my girlfriends computer, and found some that i had taken but forgotten about. i was delighted that i had found them because of the memories that are connected to the photos, but i had forgotten about them until the moment i clicked open the folder.

i can't believe how times have changed in the last 10 years. i remember waiting months or even seasons to see what pictures had been taken on a roll of film. there was always that slight bit of uncertainty of what was on the roll. "was the birthday party on this roll? or is this the vacation roll?" we'd drop them off at the pharmacy and then wait a week to pick them up. after waiting a week we'd pick up the package. opening a pack of pictures was always a little bit like christmas! we were anxious to see how we looked, and sometimes how much we'd change since the pictures were taken. then there would be those few pictures that had been on there so long that you'd forgotten completely about them.

now with digital photos, you do all this in a matter of seconds. you can see it right after you take it and delete the pic if you're eyes were closed or you didn't get the right angle.

are pictures better or worse because of this technology? did we gain something or loose something with this convenience? i'm a huge fan of sharing my digital photos with the rest of the world, but i do feel that technology is somehow short changing us.

anyway i hope you enjoy the "found photos" i found of one night waiting for pizza. as i finish this blog, i realize that these pictures are only a month old. not even close to the wait of an old roll of 35 mm film i remember from my childhood.

ceiling of flippis pizza grotto in pacific beach

Monday, August 29, 2005

i ain't afraid of no ghost[town]

downtown blaine, kansas

this weekend i went on a little journey to visit some "ghost" towns in rural kansas for a class project. my group and i decided to visit the towns of st. george and blaine. our first stop was st. george which is only a few miles east of manhattan. although it was small i wouldn't consider it a ghost town. there were people walking on the sidewalks and a small crowd in the local cafe. after taking a few pictures of the area my group and i headed up to blaine. we drove to where we thought the town was, and immediately found the church, however we couldn't find the town. we had seen a few abandoned buildings but assumed there was more, we were wrong. the only sign of life we saw were the few people setting up picnic tables at the church. we wondered over and asked a few questions about the town. after a short history of the town they invited us to stay for the picnic but seeing that it was two hours away we weren't sure if we could kill that length of time. driving through town i got out of my truck to take a few pictures. while taking pictures of an abandoned garage, a call pulled over and asked what we were doing. after explaining what we were doing to the older gentleman and his wife, he invited us to talk to his 97 year old mother who lived up the road. deciding to go along for anecdote's sake i followed the couple into a very traditional farm house. upon entering i was that this ladies whole family was gathering for the annual picnic. she explained that the city of blaine was settled by irish catholics from st. louis. the town peaked in 1910 with 250 people but since the decline of the railroad, the town was slowly dying with only a few people remaining. after enjoying some refreshments the family invited my partner and i to be there guests to the picnic. upon hearing that there was mashed potatoes, and pie being served i couldn't turn it down. we went to the church, and ate in the old school basement. during the course of the picnic i was introduced to many people all who gave me a little bit more insight into this small town. after playing a round of bingo and taking a few pictures of the gathering, my partner and i headed back to manhattan, but not with out the brownies and cookies that our new friends had so graciously purchased for us.

inside a forgotten garage

steps to a bank that once stood

doorway to the old depot

st. george grain elevator

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

my last first day of school

well yesterday was my last first day of school. i was curious as to how many times i've had to got through this and after some disbelief i counted a grand 20 times! 13 for grades k-12, and now seven for college. i'm finally on the last lap of this journey that started in august of '86. instead of heading off to mrs. primm's class with my striped polo shirt, a micky mouse lunch box, and a big chief notebook, i'm heading to professor hoag's class with a solid color polo, a debit card, and a sketchbook. what a trip. anyway....another concern is a name for this blog. i'm not in so-cal anymore, at least not physically, none the less i need a new name. so just wait for the change. also not posting pictures on this blog is starting to bore me, since that's the reason i started this, so i'll just wait untill i get my computer hooked in studio, and start again.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

you stay classy, san diego.

well this is the last post i'll have from sunny san diego. i'll be headed back to the land of oz in the morning with my girlfriend jean. i've had a great time out here, and as much as i'd love to stay, i know that there are good memories to be made yet in kansas. in a few days when i get settled i'll post some road trip pictures. but you can just imagine as i get into the car packed with the things i've needed to survive out here, i will quote the immortal words of our friend ron burgandy that i used in the title.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

i might be so money, and not know it.........

exterior of the dresden

after paying my respects to the eames' i had another pilgrimage to make, and that was to the dresden. now for those of you that can't quote every line from the movie "swingers" the dresden is one of the favorite places to hang out in the movie. in fact, most of the best quotes come from inside. after driving up sunset blvd. i turned onto vermont ave, and find it without a problem. with my camera in hand and a huge appetite i ventured in. as i walked down the steps from the back parking lot and into the doors i could almost here vince vaughn tell me that i was so money. i sat in a huge white leather booth, ordered, and ate the biggest reuben i've ever seen in my life. as i was eating the owner came up to me and said, "it's a pleasure to see you again sir." i of course told him that it was my first time, and he pardoned himself and told me that i looked familiar. i assume that he thought i was either russell crowe or matthew mcconaughey. (i get that a lot) after my meal i headed over to the bar and ordered a seven and seven and chatted with the bar tender. the inside couldn't have been more lounge. it looks like it was decorated in 1966 and never touched. after taking a few pictures and making some patrons recite a few lines with me i headed back to san diego, but not before the owner gave me a few matchbooks for souvenirs.

here are a few pictures, sorry they're a little dark, but that's the way it was. If interested here is a the website.

interior of the dresden

area where marty and elayne still play

my seven and seven on the counter

me, trying to look "money"

los angeles, with it's sweet, and bitter taste...

typical view of downtown l.a. from a car on the interstate

this tuesday i finally took a trip to l.a. that i had been planning for a while. one of the other buildings that i wanted to see was the eames house in santa monica, or pacific palisades. anyway i'll try not to bore you too much with the details, but the house was a case study house put on by arts and architecture magazine to expose the public to progressive housing concepts, with the eames house being one of the best examples. what i love most about his house is the fact that they used "off the shelf" parts, and were still able to create something so unique. i found the space to be very peaceful, and enjoyable. i think that the eames' were able to capture something that most architects practicing now are still trying to achieve. what i'd really like to talk about though is los angeles. i find this city fascinating. it's the ideal western city with it's endless one person per car freeways. it takes forever to get from one place to another, and chances are you're going to need a car to get you there. from the little that i've walked around downtown it wasn't as enjoyable as my experiences in chicago. but why do i still have this draw to visit it. is it part of my own"manifest destiny" to visit l.a.? or maybe it's because it's a city founded on the [american] dream. where everyone can have there own little space to enjoy. is that it. is that what makes little architectural wonders like the eames house and gamble house in this city so special? is it because in all of this pavement and smog and fumes and graffiti, that you're still able to create a little personalized space for yourself? i don't know. could l.a. ever turn into a pedestrian friendly environment like i've seen in chicago? or is this l.a's fate, is this what it was suppose to be. a city unlike chicago, or new york, where you can drive into the hills and look down on the chaos, while enjoying your own little piece of the earth. or is it a climate thing? cities like chicago, n.y., and boston have extreme climates. in the winter everyone is content to dwell in there little space, and be close to everything, and in the summer have the luxury of going to well established parks within the city. where as in places like l.a., san diego, and phoenix, you can enjoy your yard year round. but this doesn't hold true for places like k.c, or wichita. or maybe it's whenever a city takes "root". cities on the east where well established before the car, and cities in the west came of age after the introduction of the car. cities are very similar to people. my grandfathers generation come of age during the depression and WWII, and they know what sacrifices people sometimes have to make, where as me and my generation, just want to know if we can get it super-sized, and how many songs can be stored on the 40GB one. will we gain experience over time, or are we already branded like this? can we change? or would it be easier for l.a. to become pedestrian friendly? well i quite for now, because i can see that i'm rambling and getting off the point, enjoy the pics.

view of beach from the eames' yard

pathway in front of the eames house

front door to the house

courtyard in-between the house and studio

Saturday, August 06, 2005

where the turf meets the surf......

the first horse i bet on, [yearly attitude]

this friday i completed another one of my goals for this internship, to go to del mar and bet on the horse races. i went with my co-workers scott and chris, and none of us had any idea what to do. after reading the race program we were even more confused. scott however was able to get help from one of the tellers, which he then passed on to us. after we placed out bets we were able to sit and enjoy the races. i had a blast. i think what i loved the most was how much of an ordeal everything is, with the betting and the horses walking in the paddock, and trying to figure out what to bet on. so feeling that i was going to "clean up" i placed my bet on [yearly attitude]. Now the paper said that [triple stand] was going to win, but it said, and I quote, that, "[yearly attitude should run long and gets that chance first off the claim for gary stute. she has an improving look to her." I couldn't miss. The bell rang, the horses went around the turf, it came down to the finish, and my horse came in fourth. great! now i'm down two dollars. even with a few loses during the day, i came out nine dollars ahead, which isn't bad for betting in every race. after the race with my nine dollars in my pocket, and strutting like a high roller, i headed to the night event at the track, a concert by none other then the violent femmes. i stayed and listened, honestly i only know three songs, for blister in the sun, and then left to finish off the night with pizza and beer.

my horse coming in fourth

sunset at the del mar race track

nothing says goodbye like pizza and beer

the hanna gabriel wells staff

on tuesady the 2nd the firm i've been interning with the last seven months threw me a going away party. randy hanna had all of us over to his house to enjoy pizza and beer. the night was very enjoyable. our firm is very social, which makes for very enjoyable parties, especially after everyone had had a few beers. after a few stories consisting of mis-haps at the car wash, and skinny dipping at the salk institute, i received a book from the firm, "surf fever", to honor my new found hobby. the book has some amazing photography in it, and everyone signed and put a few goodbye's on the inside cover. i'm glad i've had the pleasure of interning with this firm, and it's an honor i'll get to put their name in my resume. not only do i feel the architecture the firm produces is well designed and thought out, but they truly strive to create buildings that make a positive impact on it's surroundings and for the occupants. i feel the people that make up the firm never forget you're suppose to be having fun with design and architecture, and don't get too caught up with the other b.s. piling up in other firms. what i'll miss most of all is the interaction and family quality that took place in our firm. i was able to learn something from everyone in the firm, and felt they genuinely cared about me and went out of there way to see that i had the best internship possible.

chris enjoying the pizza

sean and his wife

Friday, July 29, 2005

build it and they will come......hopefully

checking the spec's on the rotary girders

this thursday i went along on a site visit, with some co-workers, to chula vista. we went to check on the progress of the steel construction on a community/rec center that we are working on. most of the structure is exposed steel, so we went out to make sure everything was coming together correctly. a couple of months ago i had the [pleasure] of reviewing and checking the shop drawings for this building. i learned fast how much communication place a part, between the engineer, architect, and contractor. overall it was great to get out of the office and onto a site. i decided to take my camera and was able to take a few shots. as you can see, i changed most of them to black and white. i was going for sort of [lunchmen on beam in new york 1932] look, you know, that one picture, anyway. i'm not sure if i achieved it,...........maybe if we would have had some tools.

double checking the welds

welding the girders on the gym

orange pallets
(just couldn't delete the color on this pic)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

if i could only get you oceanside..........

the group at the beach

this sunday i was able to meet up with some friends that i hadn't seen in a while. a friend of mine, mike, who i've known since i was in diapers, called to let me know that he and his girlfriend, krista, were going to be near l.a. and wanted to make sure that we met up. he also informed me that another rose hill high alumni, rhett was stationed at camp pendleton with his wife lori. after a conversation on the phone and using the new [google earth] program we decided that the best place to meet would be oceanside. rhett was able to get all of us on base so we could get to del mar beach, and we spent the day there grilling, and surfing. as much as i tried, to avoid getting burnt by using the standard defenses such as sun block, and staying covered, i still managed to get a tad "crispy". however, i did find out that walking into the office monday morning looking like john candy from "summer rental" is a great conversation stimulator. also, i don't know if this is possible but i think i sun burnt my eyeballs. here's to aloe.

krista and mike

pay no attention to the shadow behind the board