homeland security?! terrorists may be planning an attack on the ‘homeland’?! isn’t homeland used to refer to a base, a home, when a culture spreads its fingers of influence throughout the rest of the world? doesn’t that sound a bit imperialist? am i wrong in remembering a certain ‘fatherland’ in recent history?
i’ve finally begun reading neal stephenson’s ‘quiksilver’, the first book in the baroque volume, a continuation (albeit 300 yrs in the past) of his mindbogglingly amazing book cryptonomicon. these books are kind of like james michener novels – they tightly blend history and fiction, but stephenson’s novel are linked cryptography and computers. i’m only 120 pages into quiksilver, and already waterhouse has befriended and helped isaac newton sustain a life of discovery. newton! in cryptonomicon it was alan turing, among others.
i actually spent more than a day packing back in austin so that i wouldn’t forget anything. but, of course, on the first night i’m in ny i discover that i forgot my pajama pants – the comfy flannel pants that would be perfect in frickin freezing ny. i even washed and folded them and placed them next to my suitcase! ach. then i discover i left my copy of quiksilver! i’ve been waiting all semester to read quiksilver, so i had to buy another one. but guess what? my spending does not end there, as i also left my history textbook, also located next to my suitcase for easy packing. i intended to study over break so that i could test out of survey of architecture2 (basically a history class), and therefore had to make an emergency trip into the city to purchase a $70 a copy of kostof lest i not study and have to take the class. i’m going to return it for a refund when i get back from vacation and use my old textbook after i return from my mexico vacation(w/ the family for the next wk).
if anybody out there is wondering what a good gift might be, i’d have to answer that the new album from the new pornographers, electric version, is just AMAZING rock. really really good.
winter break officially started on saturday, but my few days of total nothingness are over. back to work, finishing various webpages for faculty, continuing research for the prefablab, and getting the prefablab/solar decathlon 2005 website into development. the only reason i’m not dreading this new website is that it’s the first one that i will work on in flash. there are 3 other people working on it simultaneously, but i have a leg up that they don’t – john szot!! john was my studio prof for first semester at UT school of architecture, but he has since left to pursue teaching at columbia and his own firm work in ny. he’s a flash whiz, making flash websites for architects on the side. he’s giving me the flash file for one of his clients to pick apart so that i can be a whiz-bang flash web designer! yippeee! a word of advice, john cautioned me – it starts out as a website here and there, but don’t let it become full time… gracias
DISREGARD ALL CRITICISM OF THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS.
it was AMAZING. sure, there was a cheesy line here and there, but on the whole, and i’d put it at the 98% majority, it was visually stunning and masterfully orchestrated. ups and downs, life and death, CYCLES. better than the message of choice was the balance and cyclical nature of all. DAMN THAT WAS GOOD!
and i’m sorry, y-l, but i had to put just this one pic up on the page.
ok, y-l apparently sent me the link to her site, which i talk about below, at 3:30a. read below to understand what’s up, and then you may look at her site. i notice a glaring omission in her site allowing visitors access to my site. how can you have a war w/o allowing the soldiers access to the enemy, huh?
and so it begins…the website war between my trendy, retro, non-graphical site and young-lan’s contemporary graphically intense site moved to full steam yesterday, when she announced that she began beta testing on her first page. of course, she hasn’t sent me a link yet, so i’ll assume that she’s full of hot air, intimidated by the daunting challenge of surpassing the quality of my site. however, let’s assume that y-l does get her site up, which she inevitably will b/c she’s a hard worker and competitive. when it does enter cyber-reality, will it really surpass the grandeur of this trendy, retro and supercool site? i think not. this is because my site has substance. what substance you ask? my baseless rantings, i answer. and that is the difference – her’s may look pretty, but will it make you laugh? will it give you great playlists? will it show you baby parent pictures? and more importantly, will it be an outlet from architecture, instead of a look further into the beast? aha! that’s where the lines will be well-defined! y-l’s site will be her portfolio, wow-ing viewers w/ the intensity of hours and hours of project research. mine will remain a weekly updated list of letters and humourous happenings. this preemptive defense will likely be seen as a futile and desperate attempt to salvage pride, but rest easy, and understand that it is actually an explanation of reality. furthermore, how often can you really update a flash site, huh? text is so much faster….
😉 yes, it has begun…
speaking of daunting, yesterday’s construction final was a bitch. of course, as is always the case, more studying would have made a difference in my grade for the better. however, i feel pretty good about how i handled the actual problems as opposed to the short answer bull that vince always puts at the beginning of his tests. it was a long test, though, and i stayed until the last minute.
following my last final and the end of the semester, i joined some friends to smoke celebratory cigars while basking in the rays of the setting sun outside ruda maya, a coffee house / dive bar / punk club down on s. congress. it was beautiful and relaxing, and that marked the start of vacation.
and so, i will leave you w/ a playlist and some songs from a mix i compiled over the last week and a half – a mix whose spirit longed for the end of the semester. hence it was called ‘please end’. i finally burned it yesterday after the final, so it has since become ‘please end…it’s over!’ anyway, enjoy.
please end…it’s over!
|under control||the strokes|
|stream running over||apples in stereo|
|camping next to water||badly drawn boy|
|there’s no home for you here||the white stripes|
|once around the block||badly drawn boy|
|song against sex||neutral milk hotel|
|i want to be the boy||the white stripes|
|mr. blue sky||nerf herder|
|the celibate life||the shins|
|holland, 1945||neutral milk hotel|
|the electric version||new pornographers|
|know your onion!||the shins|
|when you were mine||prince|
|sunday on the west side||push kings|
|55 ford||the refreshments|
|i nearly lost you||screaming trees|
|the bandit||starlight mints|
|once we were treees||beachwood sparks|
new playlist: please end–it’s over!!!
under control……..the strokes
stream running over……apples in stereo
camping next to water…….badly drawn boy
there’s no home for you here…….the white stripes
once around the block…….badly drawn boy
song against sex…….neutral milk hotel
i want to be the boy…….the white stripes
mr. blue sky……..nerf herder
the celibate life……..the shins
holland, 1945……..neutral milk hotel
the electric version………new pornographers
know your onion!……….the shins
when you were mine……….prince
sunday on the west side………..push kings
55 ford………..the refreshments
i nearly lost you………screaming trees
the bandit……….starlight mints
once we were trees……..beachwood sparks
final review for fall2003 studio project, the manufactured home, is over. my project redesigned the manufactured home as a series of volumes, or modules, that get shipped to the site and connected on site. so the manufactured home is no longer a long box, nor is it one storey, as the house can rise or dip to conform to the sites topography (no more than 2 ft up or down). the roof (bogul roof = bump + mogul [taken from a train station project in Melbourne Australia designed by Grimshaw Architects of London] – my design happened to resemble theirs nearly exactly, so i combined the names, but i reached the form of the roof independently) is a series of bumps which enhance ventilation and daylighting w/ no mechanical intervention. the columns are springs made of a shape memory polymer – an experimental existing plastic that changes shape w/ an applied electric current.
with the exception that the project was not completed and my 3d model renderings of the interior did not come out properly, I had a good review – about fucking time. this is all due to the fact that Kevin Alter was not on my jury. as a comparison, he was on the afternoon jury, where several good projects were shredded. to relate my feelings about this, i’ll just relate an anecdote:
my final review for spring2003 was a disaster. my partner, josh lee, and i designed an amoeba like building that changed its shape continuously (though minutely) to respond to energy flows on site – changing sun angles, wind speed and direction, etc. it absorbed and redistributed these energies inside the building by changing its shape, creating differences in temperature and pressure that would induce ventilation. one visiting critic, a fat bastard from mississippi, after a long overblown speech likening josh and myself to female fearing sci-fi geeks (because we like sci-fi) called our building gay. GAY?! a building? what the fuck?! needless to say, it was an incredibly rude affront because it had nothing to do with anything and was said as an insult. this fat prick was interested solely in form and memory – instead of performance – and other architectural bullshit that continues to bog down and remove architecture from a position of importance – people like him make architecture inconsequential. anyway, kevin alter was also on the jury, and backed this guy up, and consequently hired him to teach at UT for a year instead of KRDB, a design-build firm based out of austin made of UT graduates, who are addressing real concerns for affordable housing.
so, as you can tell, i don’t have a particular affinity for this man. i am thankful i was not on the afternoon jury, and that my project was well received.
i must now study construction3 for the next two days. saturday afternoon marks the end of the semester for me – i have never looked forward to vacation like this before!