Thursday, December 27, 2012

it's a [lounge] life

to all my amazing friends out there, digital and irl, thank you for stopping by and reading this blog.  i hope you have a very [lounge] holiday season and a happy new year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

now dasher, now dancer, now prancer and [hipster]

the christmas spirit has been in full force the past couple of days.  i've tried to stay focused at work, but visions of sugar plums keep dancing around in my head, along with all the other seasonal treats filling up the office kitchen.

so in between writing parodies to "the night before christmas" in my head, and testing out the new flickr app, it occurred to me today santa is actually a little bit of a hipster...though he would never admit it.  however, after looking at and analyzing a few of his traits, it's surprising his workshop isn't located in williamsburg or portlandia.

that being said, i give you the top 15 reasons santa is the ultimate holiday hipster.

1. he's really into red pants, although i'm sure he opted out of the "skinny" fit.

2. vintage patent leather boots. very rock star.

3. ironic stocking cap.

4. wears the same outfit ALL the he can't afford anything else.

5. runs a vertical integrated company which uses local labor. very american apparel.

6. very into d.i.y. products and making handmade goods found on mrs clause's pinterest page.

7. owns a lot of vintage toys, which he occasionally sells on his etsy page.

8. into alternative forms of transportation. it doesn't get any "greener" than reindeer.

9. lives "off the grid," commune style.

10. always seems to be dingy and covered in soot.

11. works really hard for one day, then takes an extended vacation.

12. has been to SO many cooler places than you.

13. finds cigarettes and cigars too pedestrian, so he smokes a pipe.

14. talks smack on "commercialism", yet he still works at the mall.

and the clincher!

15. a long, bushy, lumber-jack-like, 19th century styled beard.

any other traits proving jolly old st. nick is a hipster?

Monday, December 10, 2012

the eager young minds of [yesterday]

one of my best friends, who i met in college, is now a professor at the very college we attended. last week he invited me to critique his third year architecture class on their final project.  it has yet to be determined whether he invited me up for my novice experience in the field of architecture, or as an excuse for me to visit, either way it worked and i traveled up.  the weekend was a mix of feeling like i was in college again and feeling like an old man.

i have been out of college long enough now to see several changes in the students of today.  i did not however think i was out long enough to sound like a architectural dinosaur when talking about their drawings.  i'm not sure what it is, but students today rely too heavily on the computer.  digitally seven years seems like decades, and these students have access to amazing technology unimaginable when i was in school, yet their drawings were lackluster.  using new software, they have the ability to take section cuts anywhere and create amazing perspective shots, which they did, however there was no "art" behind it.  just lines on a page.  where was the poche?  where was the shading? where were the line weights?  where were those tricks and secrets architects know that can turn simple lines on a page into a beautiful communication of space?

well there i go again, sounding like a bitter old man.  the truth is, there were some very nice projects, i just wish they would have communicated their ideas better, but, truth be told, i could have probably done that better in school as well.

the biggest change however in the student attitude was found outside studio.  apparently, and to my disbelief, "bellies' is no longer the "architecture" bar.  actually, there is no "architecture" bar.  this makes absolutely no sense to me.  bellies was practically another class for my friends and i.  after spending 48 hours drawing and building models under loads of stress, there was no better way to cut loose then heading to bellies.  it wasn't just my class either, this had been a tradition for architecture students for years!

to remedy this problem we invited all the students out to rock-a-bellies, disappointingly only one showed up.  upon entering he said, "wow, this place is really cool".  to which my friend and i said, "we know".  that night, we showed him every place he and his classmates should be hanging out.  in a way i'd like to think we taught him a little bit about architecture as well as architecture life.  it's more than just lines on a page or knowing how to bs your way through a crit.  you have to get out a bit.  we design spaces for people to live in. places to work, learn, relax, meditate, play, and socialize in.  it's important to know how to do all those things well, outside of what any book may tell you.

i also received a bit of an education last weekend.  i learned aggieville now has a gourmet donut shop.  the delight i had eating my red velvet donut made me thankful it wasn't around seven years ago, or my freshman 15 would have been closer to an 30.

i also learned, we aren't kids anymore.  waking up the day after our architectural bar tour of aggieville, my friend offered me a bottle of water and a multi vitamin. unthinkable a decade ago, oddly enough though, it did help.

older, but wiser?


Monday, December 03, 2012

[elf] promotion

so i have a little secret.

i know santa...pretty well actually.

so well in fact i use to work as an elf for him at a local christmas tree farm when i was younger.  i say younger, but the truth is i was an elf until i was thirteen, which, even in elf years, is pretty old.  trust me, there's nothing more embarrassing than having girls you know from your high school see you dressed in red and green from head to toe, complete with suspenders and an extra long elf-like stocking cap.

oh well....situations like that build character...i think.

luckily for me however, that was the last year for my elf duties. the owner of the tree farm approached me that season and asked if i'd like to work for him the next year harvesting trees.  i saw this as a huge promotion within the kringle organization and eagerly said yes.

i ended up working at the farm every season through out the rest of high school, and loved every minute of it.  nothing could have put me more in the christmas spirit than being surrounded by hundreds of evergreens with families excited about picking one out for their home.  i could have enjoyed working there several more years, but with as with everything in this life, time kicks in and you move on.  i went to college, then got a job and slowly my christmas tree days became a found but distant memory.

this past weekend though, i had the urge to visit some of my christmas past, and rekindle some of that christmas spirit again, so i ventured out to the tree farm.  i had also heard from a very reliable source my old boss would be out there.  i stopped by and talked with the big guy for a bit and watched kids whisper to him what they wanted for christmas.  i also chatted up my other boss, the owner of the tree farm, and just like in 1998, talked about k-state football.  the whole visit only lasted about 30 minutes, but it was an excellent way to start the season.

so whatever traditions you or your family may have this time of year, i hope you enjoy them, it really does make the season that much richer.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

photography and [thanks]

during the last post i eluded to some [changes] in my life.  well, one of those changes was the fact i was laid off last month.  having gone through this before, i knew what to expect, but it was still a stressful time.  a lot of uncertainty fills your life when you're not sure when or where you might find a job next.

while unemployed, i had a couple of friends ask me if i'd like to take some family photos of them to use during the holidays.  since i wasn't sure when my next paycheck would come in i eagerly accepted.  it seemed like a good deal; they could get some family pictures, and i could make a few bucks.

as luck would have it, i was offered a job just a couple weeks after being let go.  this of course meant i couldn't take the photos during the week but would have to squeeze the appointments i had made into the weekend.  thankfully my friends were flexible and i was able to photograph both families this past weekend  i was very appreciative my friends were eager to help me out while i was jobless, and even more appreciative they know i'm not a professional.  when it comes to photography, i consider myself to be slightly better than a monkey with a camera, with my only advantage over the monkey being i know to take the lens cap off.  i have several friends who i find so incredibly good at this craft and take wonderful pictures; i learned again this weekend what a talent it is to capture great moments.

so with it being so close to thanksgiving, i wanted to give some thanks out on this blog.

[thank you] to my new firm.
[thank you] to my friends with families for letting me pretend to be a photographer for a weekend.
[thank you] to darrin hackney, anya elise photography, jamie green, jaclyn turner and anecdotally yours for your photographic inspiration.
[thank you] to my friends and family for always being supportive and wonderful.

Monday, November 05, 2012

ch ch ch [changes]

it seems there has been a lot of changes in my life the past couple weeks, and i have no idea how to feel about, or even handle them.

i know change isn't necessarily good or bad, but that does little to change the way i feel.

how is one suppose to act in the face of change? i feel those who wholeheartedly embrace it, don't ever fight for what they enjoy.  they're constantly looking for something new or different, and don't take the time to recognize the things in their life worth keeping. things worth protecting. things worth value.

j.d. salinger would say...

"certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone"

then you have those who never embrace change. they never look for anything new. they become static. they become stale. they devoid themselves the possibility of there being something else out there, something better.  something they can't even begin to imagine.

to that, mark twain would say...

"twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. so throw off the bowlines. sail away from the safe harbor. catch the trade winds in your sails. explore. dream. discover."

so tell me mark, j.d. which one is it?

couple this with the fact today is november 5, one of my favorite fictional historical dates in history.  the day doc brown invented time travel, so of course i've been watching the trilogy non-stop for the past couple of days. naturally my thoughts turn to looking at the future.  thirty years from now, what would my future self tell me? would he be happy with the decisions made, or would he advise me to take a different course.  will he be happy with where he is in life, or would he look at me, the 31 year old version of himself, and say now is your chance to do something different.

i know this isn't the movies, and the fact you never get questions like that answered from your future self is what makes this such a wonderful and unpredictable life.

i was told once, "if you follow your passion, you'll never make a bad decision".

it's great advice...i just have to figure out what my passion is.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

austin city limits [festival]

and now for some highlights from the actual festival:

- great shows on friday from first aid kit, tegan and sara, florence and the machine and the black keys
- banh mi's from the food court
- water filling stations and cooling fans
- purchasing an official acl koozie, fueling my new obsession for these objects
- being in an instagram rich environment
- chicken cones from the food court
- being well prepared for the rain on saturday
- purchasing a water proof blanket
- finding waldo
- random conversations with complete, but friendly, strangers
- jack white performing "seven nation army" on saturday night
- an amazing performance from the civil wars on sunday
- watching the avett brothers put on one of the best shows i've seen at acl
- chad smith from the red hot chili peppers playing drums for the avett brothers for a few songs
- reliving most of my childhood by rocking out to the the red hot chili peppers as they closed the festival
- hanging out with friends


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

austin [city] limits festival

this year found me traveling to the great city of austin a fifth time to attend the acl music festival.  what can i say, i love the music and i love the town.  my gracious austin host knows this, and thoughtfully plans out the weekend so we not only enjoy the festival, but also take in places and restaurants she's discovered the past year.  two very different sides of the same city. for that reason i've decided to split this annual post into two different ones; one focusing on the town, the other, the festival.  also, as i find myself ever glued to my iphone, i took way to many photos for just one post and needed to divide it up a bit.

some [city] highlights this year:

- having an influx of gluten free, organic, and vegan food items
- drinking kale smoothies
- walking 2nd street, and seeing a very well done pedestrian friendly street scape
- discovering new restaurants, including whip in and walton's fancy & staple
- live music everywhere, including the wine section of whole foods
- spending an evening at the highball, a retro style bowling alley/bar
- sitting in the studio of my favorite morning radio show, the bobby bones show
- chatting up and befriending bartenders, and having them give you the inside scoop on "the bats"
- great coffee every single morning
- spending time and catching up with great friends
- inside jokes