Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY Pantry Project

Pantry project completed.

And I'm eager to start the next project...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DIY Pantry Project

Student housing in Austin's West Campus area is characteristically overpriced and undersized. The kitchen/dining room/living room of my condo, however, is almost comically tiny. Exacerbating space issues in the kitchen is the lack of a pantry and convenient storage areas. Thus I am making a small pantry which is sized to fit into a space between the wall and water heater.

I bought my saw off and the lumber from Lowes

I used thin wood runners for the shelf supports, but if I did it again I might just buy metal supports to save time.

I may box in that water heater with 1/8" plywood.

One of my neighbors happened to be throwing out this entertainment center thing, so I was able to salvage some free drawer runners. Score!

Paint primer

Monday, December 13, 2010

52 minutes until last final...

If I start living in Montgomery, I should either join or start a book club as a way to meet people and further my education.

I've found it difficult to concentrate on my studies this last semester. My imagination has left the university for greener pastures...

Monday, December 6, 2010


On Saturday I attended my college graduation ceremony. I am graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in East Asian Studies and a minor in Architecture. Instead of writing about what I enjoyed or regret about my two-year experience at the University of Texas at Austin, I'd rather write about my future plans. Some things I'm thinking about doing in the coming year include:

1. Learning German
2. Taking a cross-country motorcycle trip to visit friends and experience my country
3. Living overseas for three months
4. Transforming my father's attic storage into a guest room and art studio
5. Recording a music album
6. Continuing my education through a book list
7. Producing an art collection
8. Creating an investment strategy... I'm considering silver or fine art

Also, my dad gave me a MacBook Pro as a graduation present, which I'm loving (right now, in fact)

I'm still trying to think up a name for her...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This morning the the pedal bar broke off my bike on the way to class. Because of this I didn't have time to get coffee and was falling asleep in class. During my next class I was informed that an event that I would really love to attend is going to be held at a time for which I have already made plans. At the gym, I realized after working out that I didn't put any protein in my protein shake, so all I had to recover with was a banana and some milky water. I had been suffering the intense heat and direct sunshine all day, but when I went out to the pool to tan it was overcast and windy. When I got home I stepped into the shower, only to have a piece of plastic from a broken towel rack stab me in the foot. I got out and called the haircut place - they were booked until close. I took some laundry to the dry cleaners to find it was also closed. On the way to the dry cleaners I met a girl from one of my classes who wanted to talk to me, but I didn't use the opportunity to seduce her. I can't download reading files from Blackboard, even though my teacher has assured me I can.

Today sucked donkey balls.

NO!! This morning I overcame a difficulty and made it to class on time, and saved a couple bucks by not buying coffee. I also answered 5/6 in-class quiz questions correctly. I went to the gym and didn't waste time lounging at the pool. I discovered that a cute girl is attracted to me, and she is not only in my class but lives on the same floor of my apartment complex. I also found out what time the dry cleaners and haircut places close, and I didn't spend any money eating out. I'm now the cafe with plenty of time to do some much needed reading on a subject I'm passionate about, architecture.

Today was good.

UT Architecture Tour: Waller Creek

Here are some images from today's campus walk-about. Richard Cleary is the professor leading our Campus Architecture & Planning summer course.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Courses at UT & Landscape Architecture

This summer I am taking four classes at UT. The first two, The Human Body and Campus Architecture & Planning, began at the beginning of this month and have been fun so far. I really need to make As in these classes in order to have a competitive GPA for grad school application, but it's tough to stay focused during the summer. After dropping a hint to my Dad, I now have a short-term incentive to make all As as well - a new camera! I made an A on the first test so we'll see how it goes.

I am now seriously leaning towards landscape architecture as my future profession. Ideally I would be accepted to the Master of Landscape Architecture program at UT for the fall of 2011, but I haven't even begun to assemble my application portfolio (in fact I don't even know when the deadline is). I need to get smart on both landscape architecture and the application process at UT if I want to stand a chance of getting into that program next year.

And you may have noticed I also updated this site ;)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hope Had Died

I wrote this short story for my ANS 361 class, Suicide in Japanese fiction. It combines literary elements and parallels the contents of several works we read throughout the class. Part of this project also included a libretto detailing how the story related to our other readings. "Hope Had Died" is loosely based around real people and real events.

Friday, April 16, 2010


It's strange how oftentimes my life will become organized only after I suffer through an exceptionally turbulent period. For instance, on Wednesday night I couldn't sleep at all, so I got up at 6:30am on Thursday and started my day. This might not seem like a big deal, but let's just say that I'm not exactly a morning person. That night I was so tired that I went to sleep at a reasonable hour - midnight - but then woke up at 7:30 this morning with a pounding headache and a terrible realization that I had a paper due in class at 9. I hadn't even started the paper, and it wouldn't be accepted late.

Surprisingly, I busted out the paper in two hours in my living room and made it to class about 45 minutes before it let out. The paper wasn't my best work but I'm pretty pleased with myself considering the time constraints. After class I saw my adviser and sorted out a schedule that will allow me to graduate at the end of this year, which got me thinking about my future options for grad school and employment. I'm beginning to compare landscape architecture to structural architecture, and at this point the former looks quite appealing.

Inspired, I then visited the School of Architecture graduate office and browsed through the application portfolios of accepted non-majors. Some of them were amazing, but I on the whole I know I can create something very competitive. With this in mind I returned to my apartment and finished a painting I had been working on.

Here is the paper I wrote this morning for ANS 361 Suicide In Japanese Fiction.

And here is the painting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A New Day

I'm Wide Awake It's Morning

Here's a paper that I wrote last night for ANS361, Suicide In Japanese Fiction. It's nothing groundbreaking but I'm kind of proud that I forced myself devote some quality time to it.

by Tom MacDonald

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Wooo the SXSW music festival is about to begin!! For those who don't know, South-by-Southwest (AKA SXSW) is a week-long music festival in Austin that draws musicians, fans, and media-types from around the world. Even now as I look out the door of Café Medici I can see excited people on the street and feel an energy in the air.
Unfortunately, I have a problem. I have developed an unhealthy sleep pattern over the last two months that I can't seem to break. I tend to wake up at noon (or later), slog my way through the day cursing myself for not having enough time to live a worthwhile life, and then mess around on my computer until 4 am. A must admit that this pattern has much to do with my devoting too much time to girl-chasing, but regardless of the reason I need to stop screwing around. My grades are suffering and one of my New Year's resolutions was to become a "morning person." Also I want to enjoy every second of SXSW.

Today I'm going to finish writing a class paper early, go to my friends party later tonight, and then down some NyQuil by 1am. Hmm... Now that I think about it I don't think you're supposed to mix alcohol and cough medicine... I'll have to keep that in mind. At anyrate I WILL get up at 7am tomorrow morning. Today will be busy. Fun, but busy.

Monday, March 1, 2010


OK I really need to get motivated to study architecture somehow...but what to do? I'll just start by reading a few architecture blogs today.

In other news I just got back from the Randy Kunik orthodontist office in Austin and am wearing my first Invisiline tray. I can't wait to see what my teeth look like in 8 months! I hesitate to review Dr. Kunik's practice this early in my treatment, but so far I have been very impressed. Everyone has been very friendly, professional, and just generally classy. The physical office and interior spaces are first-rate as well. Thanks to my dad for helping me out with the financing, it means a lot.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well, at least the comments confirm who comes to this blog. I feel used.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Are You Here?

Since January 27th, there has been a significant increase in people coming to this blog. I'm just curious - what is it that people are searching for when they stumble up this site?

Also, for anyone interested in planes or becoming a pilot, check out my little brother's blog at!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The V's Compel Me

I'm not sure why, but there have been a ton of visitors to this blog recently. I had just about given up on it but I guess I'll start posting again, starting... NOW.

My school workload this semester is very light. I am enjoying 4 day weekends and hardly any homework, however all this free time is both a blessing and a curse. One thing I'm doing with my spare time is pursuing my dream of playing music at bars for money and recording a rock album with my brother ( Unfortunately, I find myself neglecting the little schoolwork that I have and sleeping in way too late way too often. I have resolved to be more disciplined about this.

The musical projects are part of my architecture plan. While seeking advisement last year regarding what kind of person the architecture department is looking for, I was informed that one of the exceptional grad students had a background as a touring jazz musician. I was also advised to "just do what you love and you'll find yourself where you need to be." Well spoken.

Also on a side note, I have a really poor facial complexion and have suffered from mild chronic acne since high school. I tried everything and saw dermatologists but nothing ever helped much. That is, until I found The Acne Practice. This product has changed my life, and that is no overstatement. I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from any level of chronic acne. It works, friends.