Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gone to St. Louis, brb...

WAD will be on hiatus while Guy and I drive to the heart of Kansas tonight ahead of the Impenetrable Icy Wall of Death that appears to be bearing down on Denver and the Front Range tonight. We'll stay in Kansas tonight and make the rest of the drive tomorrow ahead of the snow. Yes, we'll be careful. Yes, we'll call when we arrive/make landfall both nights. yes, I got Guy a cashmere sweater from Nordstrom's for Christmas. Yes, it fit. No, I didn't misjudge his size and buy him a large, which looks like a skintight "skinny" sweater like I usually do, rendering him hipster-like and forcing him to hide it in the back of his closet until we make a Goodwill run.

Back next week with more surprising tales of gossip, rumors, performance and pay reviews, and general mayhem.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Visual Inspiration: Shopping with Mom at Thanksgiving

I know, I know--I'm busier than a cat covering crap on a terrazzo floor right now, but I had to post a few pics of being out with Mom at the local mall during the post-Thanksgiving shopping hullaballoo.

Me: Ooo, that's cool! Can you make that?
Mom: The fuck you mean "can I make tha"...of course I can make that. I just have to adjust a pattern I bought in 1985.
Me: Those are big words from a woman wearing a stocking cap that looks like cat ears.
Mom: Bite me. My head's cold.

Me: Yeah, well, can you make that?
Mom: Nah, it's a knit, and you can't sew a knit. You have to knit a knit.
Me: Can't really wear a bra with that dress, can you?
Mom: And it's a thin knit. So it's a knit for nitwits.

Mom: Now I can make the hell out of this.
Me: Ooo, wonder if we can find that fabric at the fabric store tomorrow!
Mom: If we do, Imma get my sew on.
Me: [looks around] That saleslady is looking at us funny.
Mom: Act like you're taking a picture of me but get the jacket in the picture. You buy me the taffeta and you can have this.

Me: Mommy, look! Formal shorts!
Mom: [sighs] Christ almighty. An abomination.
Me: I bet I could rock those formal shorts.
Mom: [looking at me as I snapped the photo] Your short ass should be so lucky.
Me: What? I have nice legs.
Mom: Yeah they're nice, but you have the inseam of a dachsund.
Me: [mock offended] Mommy! How could you say such a thing to your dear Pixie?!
Mom: Cuz I'm the mommy, that's how.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back after these messages...

Sorry folks, I'm on my way out of town for a business trip and haven't had time to collect my thoughts for a decent post lately. More when I return...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Well, so much for that break.

I posted recently about how I was looking forward to being back at 40 hours a week for a month or so, but recent events leaving me not so sure I can get the break I've needed. I was put on a small hospital project to do some conceptual and clinical design on the front end, but then another project kicked loose with an extremely accelerated schedule for conceptual design/early SD. Last week, we were given the go-ahead on conceptual design for two more small hospitals. Guess who's slated to work on at least one of them?

I mentioned to DA partner Bosley, with whom I'll be working again, that I have over a week of vacation time that I'm "supposed" to burn off by the end of the year, to which he replied, "Oh, don't worry, I'll make sure Accounting carries it over." Um...that was meant to tell you that I was really hoping to not be in the office for a week, ummm.... [shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other] I really was hoping for that last week off so that I could take that time to do a few things around the house, plus just unwind during the shortest days of the year. It seems so odd that as architects we design for our buildings to respond to the climate and the seasons, but we don't allow our own bodies to do so. It's been a helluva year with Gestalt's Uber MOB, and I needed a month of just doing what I had to and going home so that I could start right back at it, 90 mph, in early January as I knew I would have to do. But alas, early January has leaked into early December.

If you're wanting to comment on this post with something along the lines of "well, many people would love to be as busy as you right now, count your blessings, those are the breaks with moving up the ladder like you've been this year," you can save it for someone who isn't burned the fuck out and exhausted from having lots of responsibility and little to no authority. I need to put my oxygen mask on before assisting others. I need a little rest now and again, and spending one week out of 52 in Yellowstone isn't going to cut it. And regardless of whether I'm an intern or an architect or a project manager or a partner, everyone needs a break now and again. There's nothing wrong with admitting one's humanity and occasional need for rest. The earth rests, and sometimes humans need to rest too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Visual Inspiration: Thankful indeed, but always looking up

From the trip home to Georgia for Thanksgiving:

One of the new kittens is thankful for Lenny. Here, they both sit in my lap while the kitten puts her wee floofy tabby paw on Lenny's big white one.

Mom is thankful for the new kittens, ReeRee and Dot. Here she snorgles Dot (I think) while showing me the beef jerky she bought Guy for his Christmas present from a Pilot store.

Shirley is thankful for her squeaky mousey that she has claimed as hers whenever she comes in the house, which is now everyday. We're all thankful for Shirley, who has made a near-full recovery from getting hit by a car a couple of months ago. (An SUV barreling down the road clipped Shirley straight on the side of her head and knocked her over. El Seebeno saw the accident happen and was able to take the pup straight to the vet, where they gave her some anti-stroke medicine that probably saved her life. The SUV that hit her didn't even slow down.)

I'm thankful for Guy's new project and for the fact that Design Associates has started hiring again and has several new projects in the house and in the pipeline. While I'm glad for what I have (and for what I've been able to hang onto over the past few rough years), I'm also thankful for the confidence to ask for more: a raise, a promotion, a new role on projects. I've asked Sven and Howie about making some of these things happen, and it seems like some good things might be coming my way, but I won't be holding my breath or betting on it until I see it (I don't want to jinx myself).

Being thankful, I'm finding, means that you can appreciate what you have but not be complacent about having better, about receiving new/more blessings that you deserve or have earned. It means to acknowledge and embrace the goodness you have in your life, both materially and spiritually, knowing that in some ways that's enough. But gratitude also means accepting more into your life--being willing to accept good things that come your way, even if sometimes you have to ask for those things. Fingers crossed that everyone else out there has these kinds of blessings coming to them as well.