Thursday, October 29, 2009
Today during sailing team practice the wind at Lake Travis was blowing upwards of 30 mph, which is really high to be out in a little 2 man sailboat. Inevitably the sailboat that my partner and I were in capsized in the very rough waters. It was chaos trying to get that thing righted, and after about 20 minutes of failed attempts I was getting exhausted. I was then instructed to grab a strap inside the boat to keep the vessel from rolling all the way over as my partner pulled on the other side. Well, I had to swim under the mast to grab this strap, but in doing so my life jacket got caught on something underwater and nearly drown me. I managed to get my mouth above the surface for some air, and also reached out to grab the strap. As the boat began to right itself I was still caught in the ropes, pinned to the mast. The mast continued to rise out of the water bringing me with it, arms flayed out in either direction and immobilized. "Fuuuck!" I yelled, as I was lifted up into the air, crucified to the mast. After I eventually freed myself we were towed in and practice was canceled. The sailing team said they had never heard of anything like that before.
When we finally got back home, I found that a tree had broken and crashed upon my bike.
Friday, October 23, 2009
She finds a hidden hammer
Now all the world's a nail
The salt is rising from her skin
Before her looms the snail
He'll melt under her shadow
He'll drive her leaden sail
Her tyrant sun is rising
Beneath the comet trail
She grips her hidden hammer
And swings it at the foe
The force of stolen sovereignty
Accelerates the blow
But high and wild it misses
Her castles fall from air
The nail drives deep into her heart
And pins her to despair
Forever, to despair
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Unfortunately, I seem to be having trouble with this concept during my weekly discussion sections in ARC 318L. When it is my turn to speak, I often feel intimidated and self-conscious, which inhibits the clear expression of my ideas. This intimidation stems from need to prove myself to the architecture students. They have a more thorough education on the subjects we discuss, and I often feel like I'm going to say something really ignorant. Added to this is my longing to become friends with these people who share my interests and who I, in a way, look up to. In effect, I get nervous and then immediately despise myself for allowing younger people to make me feel self-conscious. It sucks.
On the bright side, however, my response to Frank Lloyd Wright's "In the Case of Architecture" article receive maximum points. Finally, a good grade. The class also seemed to be impressed with my topic selection for our final project, which is a comparison between the modern residential architecture of South Korea and that which was built before the Japanese occupation of 1910.
Monday, October 19, 2009
So in regards to that, my current situation is that I am halfway through ARC 318 L, a course broadly surveying architecture since a little before the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, I haven't devoted all my energies to this course and am not doing especially well, but hopefully things will improve from here on out. Well, right after this nap anyways...
In this class we write short response papers to weekly readings, which I will start posting regularly. I am also just beginning our big research assignment tonight and have to turn in the proposal statement paper tomorrow. I've decided to research something related to the architecture of South Korea, a country in which I lived for two years while in the Air Force.
Response to Frank Lloyd Wright's 1908 Article, "In the Case of Architecture"
Friday, October 16, 2009
I replied to Mother, quenched her thirsty flowers
Greedy pigs so spied me, in their nightly prowl
And pounced like bloody robbers, dealing false and foul
Proffered easy money, they began to scheme
Published filthy slanders, charges base and mean
Necessity of nature, they assessed a crime
And so the whiteness of my name, was traded for a dime
Thursday, September 10, 2009
From left: Kyle w/ Style, Pirate Jeff, and Cameron (aka "the Clink")
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Just real quick before I pack up and head to Montgomery for the 3 Dizzy Weekizzee. I had an interview today for PROJECT xYz, and let's just say things could have gone better. First of all, I looked like a jackass after arriving late because I couldn't find the building, which was a bit outside of what I consider "the campus". Secondly, it was hot as balls out outside, and after finally finding the building I ended up meeting my interviewers while sweating like a glass of iced tea at a Texas BBQ. And yes, I said interviewerS, three lovely ladies who were well dressed and ready for business. My initial thought was that two of them were competing interviewees, at which point I considered that (A) this is bizarre (B) I've splashed into a pool of sharks, and (C) I am reeeaally underdressed (and no doubt undergroomed) for this.
Anyways it turned out that they were a team of interviewers, but I was still shaken up a bit. Afterall, you don't have too many job interviews while in the military. You're pretty much 'in' at that point. Stay tuned for more info on this mysterious PROJECT xYz.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
- 15 minute walk to class. This makes it easy to run home if I forget something or need to blow mud, and hours less spent each week commuting on the bus.
- Sweet location. Right on the drag, people, and it's just a 15 minute walk to JP's Java.
- POOL!!! Dang our pool is tight! Everyday I tan at the pool while studying, go for a swim, then study some more in the jacuzzi. This is known as 'ballin.
- More privacy. At Woodmeade, my bathroom was right out in the hall, my roommate had to walk past my door to get to her room, and our bedrooms shared a wall (...which made things a bit awkward at times). In my new apartment, I have my nice little bathroom within my room, and I'm separated from my roommate by the living area.
- Internet. At Woodemeade, I sapped wifi from one of my neighbors'. This is the equivalent of reaching a very long, very thin straw into the thick internet milkshake of someone sitting in a booth 100 billion light years away. My new apartment boasts a constant stream of 100mb/s deliciousness, similar to an internet milkshake pulsar going supernova in your asshole.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
My class schedule is a massive improvement over last semester's cluster f, which should allow me to start working out at the gym regularly. This semester I'm taking Masterworks of American Literature (E 316 K), Introduction to Astronomy (AST 301), History of the U.S. 1492-1865 (HIS 315 K), and World Architecture: Industrial Revolution-Present (ARC 318L).
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Since finishing the summer classes, I have been staying with my Dad and brother in Montgomery. My brother and I have been working on recording a music album, which is coming along slowly. Today I will attempt to make a bookcase for my brother, my first real woodworking project since making a birdhouse in middleschool.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
In other news, I finished my introductory CAD at ACC (DFTG 1405) class with an A and have started intermediate CAD (DFTG 2419). 1405 was pretty cool and Doug Smith was an excellent teacher and motivator. For anyone thinking of taking this course, I really suggest doing the 8 week summer course. The CAD skills you learn are essential but basic, and it would have been boring and frustrating to have stretched it out over a 16 week semester.
AND - I found my IPod Nano! It seems that I slipped it into a paper folder with some documents when I was moving to Austin and forgot where I put it for six months. So I've been catching up on some music. This week I've been listening to The Shins's album Chutes Too Narrow, and it is damn good. I don't really know how to explain it... kind of folky and quirky with superb song writing and great vocals.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Oh fine, look at my blog. Just don't tell me about it.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
And speaking of living with people in apartments, I had a little episode the other day with the guy who lives above me at Woodmeade. I was warned by my roommate and apartment management when I moved in that this guy could be a difficult neighbor, but I haven't had any problems with him save one - he gets pissed off when I play my stereo and starts stomping on the floor until I turn it down. This might be understandable if I played music really loud at inappropriate times, but this is not the case. Apparently he doesn't get that we live in an apartment complex, and yes you can hear my stereo just like I can hear you humping your wife or your pillow or whatever the hell you're doing up there at night.
Anyways, the first real incident with this guy happened on a Saturday afternoon. I was listening to KVET (best country station ever) on my stereo at reasonable volume, nowhere near 'party' volume. The guy upstairs starts stomping around and then calls my roommate (not sure why she ever gave him her phone number), who then asks me to turn it down to appease this A-hole. So I go up to his apartment to have a nice, civilized conversation, and the guy won't answer the door! What a pansy.
After that I just didn't bother worrying about it, and turned it down low each time he started his douche marching. But the other night I got pissed. It was around 8:45 Saturday night, and I was listening to my stereo while making dinner. Here comes this jackass stomping around above me, but this time I just ignore him and don't turn it down. He continues stomping, until my roommate comes out and wants me to turn it down, not because it's bothering her but because she doesn't want a confrontation with the guy upstairs. Guess what? I got confrontational.
Not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime throughout my six years in the military I changed from an almost pathetically passive person to a guy who will seriously SNAP. And snap I did. I won't get into the details, but suffice it to say that my hand still hurts from 'knocking' on this guy's door. I yelled, I cussed, I threatened. Thank goodness he never opened the door, because I'm not sure what I would have done.
In retrospect I wish I hadn't acted so crazy, and in fact it is quite disturbing. Didn't really know I was like that... I'll probably apologize to the guy the day I move out, but until then I bet he thinks twice about stomping on the floor, lol!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I just saved a ton of money by switching to GEICO! Seriously, I will be saving 16.45% on my six month premium by switching my auto insurance from USAA to GEICO, while retaining all the same coverage. I'll need that money because it looks like I'll be moving into a swinging new apartment - with 5 other tennents. More to come on this... I just farted super long and loud at this coffee shop so I must now leave immediately.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Also enjoyable was scavenging for cheap welding tools. I ended up getting a tool box, steel square, striker, wire brush/chip hammer, and vise grips for $20. The tool box was also filled with a bunch of screws and other handy crap.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Today I started on my first oil painting in my Painting I class. Our painting professor is a massive ginger kid who probably could have been a successful ram-buster (Irish version of bronco-busting cowboy), but instead chose to become a soft-mannered art teacher. This afternoon in class I glimpsed his repressed Braveheart fury when I kept trying to make my painting 'good' instead of 'practicing basic paint application and removal techniques'. I wanted to explain to him that I needed to sell my painting to recoup some of the money I spent on the painting supplies, but I just decided it was safer to shut up and color.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Good news is that now I can see like a hawk! I still have some scratchiness and discomfort in my eyes but that's supposed to go away pretty soon. I just hope I don't wake up blind tomorrow...
Why did I opt for this expensive procedures?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
ANT301, Physical Anthropology with Professor Chris Kirk
This class about evolution was fun, enlightening, and I feel privileged to have taken it. Professor Kirk is freaking hilarious! There was no real homework other than studying for the exams, which were not too hard. I ended up making an 87 and would have made an A if I had studied a little harder for the second test. This is one of those classes that can change your outlook on life and help you understand who we are and why we act like we do.
ARC308, Architecture and Society with Larry Speck
Larry is a practicing architect and the former dean of UT's prestigious School of Architecture. He is also freaking hilarious. I can't really say enough about this class. It's great for anyone interested in architecture or building, or just wants to gain a better appreciation of the world we've created for ourselves. No homework other than studying for the tests and writing 3 papers. I got an A in this class, as should anyone else with decent writing skills.
GOV310L, American Government with Professor Edwards
I loved this course, though I could see how others might not be so into it. I plan to eventually be active in local politics, so I really tried to pay attention. I have also spent some time overseas in various countries, and when talk turned to politics I usually just shut up so as not to expose my political ignorance. I don't think I'll have that problem anymore. Professor Edwards is a little dry, but he has some kind of engaging old-school Vietnam protester aura that I really like. Plus he looks like Longshanks from Braveheart. No homework in this class except reading lots of newspaper articles, keeping up with current events, and reading the textbook. I got an A in this class but it wasn't exactly easy.
PHY302K, Physics with Professor Na Sai
Picture this: a donkey somehow acquires one of those golden 'grills' that rappers wear on their teeth. Then the donkey holds his teeth inside a furnace, heating up his grill until it is glowing a bright red. The donkey then proceeds to bite down on your ass - hard - and won't let go no matter how much you scream and struggle. Does that sound like something that might interest you? If so, take this class. OK, to be fair, this donkey did teach me quite a bit of about how our universe works, and for that I'm grateful. I'm also grateful that an 80 was an A in this class.
PHY102K, Lab for PHY302K w/ some random Asian grad student
The PHY302K's bastard mule child that kicks you in the balls once a week. I barely managed a B in this "class". I mean seriously, the quality of teaching in this class was pretty disrespectful. Also, the RLM building that this course was taught in is an architectural nightmare. It's layout is attrocious (i.e. the escalators take to you up to a certain level, the elevators take you to other floors, there are no bathrooms in the lobby, the corridors are disorientating, etc.) and it sets the tone for the class.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Not sure what I was thinking at the time (it was pretty late and I had been studying physics and drinking coffee all day) but I wrote an embarrassingly nerdy post about Game of Thrones... so I've deleted it. Sorry, it's bad enough that I have a blog, not ready to reach the next level of nerddrom. Suffice it to say, Game of Thrones is the first book in an awesome series that will soon be coming to HBO.
Moving on, after speaking with the former dean of UT's school of architecture, I have decided to shift my college plans. Instead of transferring into the undergraduate architecture program next fall and graduating with a BA in 2013ish, I will finish my BA in Asian studies in 2011. After that I will apply to the graduate architecture program at UT, which I should complete in 2014. I feel much better about this plan.
To stay focused on architecture while finishing my BA, I'm now minoring in architecture and am taking summer classes related to architecture. This summer I'll be taking welding, woodworking, and CAD courses at Austin Community College, and it's going to be sweet!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
1. JP's Java - 2803 San Jacinto Blvd
- good coffee selection, good roaster, good java
- open late; until 1am M-Th & Su, and until 11pm Fr & Sa
- chill atmosphere, good music
- lots of study space
- walking distance to UT campus
- wi-fi sometimes unreliable
- the HVAC is super loud sometimes
2. The Garden District - 2810 S Congress
- reliable wi-fi after 5pm
- balcony overlooks a nursery; nice view and sweet smells
- nice owner and all girl staff ;)
3. The Flightpath Coffee House - 5011 Duval Street @ 51st
- reliable wi-fi
- chill study atmosphere; well-lit tables inside, no annoying music
- hard to find a table or parking spot during peak hours
- 3 mins from Tex Burger mmmm...
4. The Hideout Theater - 617 Congress
- really supports local artists and displays their work
- good downtown location
- reliable wi-fi
- seating not very cozy
- there is some damn 'tinging' noise I always hear coming from the refrigerator
5. Halcyon - 218 W 4th St
- two personalities; more traditional coffee house in the daytime, more 'club-ish' in the evenings
- wi-fi unreliable
- loud, often annoying music
- good downtown location
- you can cook smores over a candle on the table
- kind of cool to tuck yourself into one of the couches, sit in the darkness and noise, and watch people partying along 4th street
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So funny story - as I mentioned, yesterday was a pretty horrible day. Besides the bad test grade I received, I ended up missing two classes because I forgot my lunch and had to ride the bus back home to get it. Perhaps you're wondering why I didn't just buy lunch at school? Well I'm trying to put on some muscle, so my 'lunch' included like 3 meals of protein shakes, pasta, fruit, vitamins, etc. Anyways, when I finally got back to school and realized that I wasn't going to make my last class, I just went to the gym as I had planned.
Now at the UT gym there are many huge guys and many good looking girls, so I already have to fight through the trauma of exposing my spindly white legs and laughable high school freshman strength. On this day while trying pathetically to look tough, I slapped 45's on the bench and psyched myself up to lift. Unfortunately, my arms suddenly went out on the second set and the bar sank to my chest.
I had no spotter and couldn't get the bar off me, which as you might imagine is quite embarrassing. Eventually some guy saw me and rushed over, but for a second he didn't help - he just stood there looking. "Help," I gasped. He then pulled the bar off my chest.
"Sorry, I wasn't sure if you wanted my help," he said. "I didn't want to intrude on your workout."
"Oh, ya, it's cool man," I replied. "That's how I work out."
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Secondly, finals are drawing near! So far this semester my grades have been spending time of the borderline, but as of Monday I'm going into finals mode aka social deprivation status in an attempt to claim my rock star As. Shouldn't be too hard since I only know like two people in Austin.
One of those two people, my buddy Chris from Trinidad, came over Saturday and we changed the oil in our Subys. Man, I love using Wrenchy, the big socket wrench that came with my Craftsman tool set. Pretty sure that if Wrenchy could cook and take a good beating without squealing to the authorities I'd marry it.
Speaking of beatings, what's the deal with the Anderson Silva fight on Saturday night? Mr. Silva, dude, I love watching you fight, but don't act all whiny in the ring if the other guy isn't fighting like you want him to - just KILL HIM! What's so hard about that? Also, if you keep dancing during the fight you're going end up getting KO'd, my friend.
OK it's study time.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Tickets for Keep Austin Spicy Festival are on sale NOW!
Enjoy your day of SPICY goodness for only $5! You may purchase your tickets at the event. Cash only!
So stupid me, I assumed that there would be 50+ vendors handing out free samples of flaming hot tamales in promotion of their restaurants. Wrong. After paying the $5 to get in, I was then required to buy 'food tickets' to pay for food. There were probably less than 20 vendors at the entire event, and it didn't seem like I was paying much less than what I would have paid at the restaurants for their mediocre food. Also, nothing was spicy! This is Texas, and if you advertise something as "spicy" you had damn well better provide some jalapeno chili or something, not Thai bubble tea. When I got back home, pissed off and poorer, I combed through the event website (which was far classier than the actual event, btw) and found that it did in one area mention the 'food tickets'. Overall I still feel scammed.
In other news, I'm submitting my application to the UT Summer Academy of Architecture today, and hopefully I'll be accepted. I am doing well in my Architecture & Society class and my teacher recommended me to someone involved in the summer program's orchestration. I'm also throwing into the application a drawing of one of my favorite cafes, Sugarcubed in Montgomery, TX. Check them out if you get the chance!
Sugarcubed off highway 105 in Montgomery, TX
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I haven't been updating this blog much lately because I've been pretty worried about my grades. I'm walking a razor thin line, and I hate writing sad/scary/anxious posts. We'll see how it goes with my tests next week. I'll leave you with this pic of my Uncle Brent and his sweet Harley.