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.