Monday, July 22, 2013

Breakfast with Mom

[Mom on phone with El Seebeno]
Where are you? Are you in town?...again?!...*tsk* I made you some leftovers for's raining? Again!?!?...if you let the dogs out in that weather, I'm going to beat your eyes out when I get, we're going to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival today...the Cherry. Creek., not the Titty Creek, the Cherry Creek......

Mom is a Zen teacher for me. She moves at a steady pace, not fast but deliberate and purposeful. She reminds me to take a moment before you go rushing off into whatever nonsense you think is "urgent". She's been nursing a messed-up right shoulder, with some osteoarthritis and partially torn rotator cuff and partially torn biceps in it. For all I know, she's been using her shoulder joint as a fanny pack, and there's a pack of gum, a notepad, and a chap-stick in there, along with a Starbucks gift card. So she spent the week with me moving very deliberately, pacing herself and using her energy at elevation, plus trying not to re-injure the shoulder while slogging through PT, which was sometimes easy and sometimes made her wince.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

At the Cherry Creek Arts Festival with Mom

Mom:  You need this sculpture in your house.
Pixie:  To do what with?
Mom:  You could hang your keys on it, or put letters in it--
Pixie:  Like an odds-and-ends shelf?
Mom:  Hang off of it while you and Guy are getting it on, shit, I don't care! I'm just saying it would look great in your house!
Pixie:  No, I agree, it looks fantastic!
Mom:  And it's only $900! Chump change!

Pixie:  How fantastic is that purse?
Mom:  Oh my Gawd, it's got a little space underneath! You could fit a kitten through that space!
Pixie:  And there's a pocket in the bottom!
Mom:  That's where you hide your weed.

Pixie:  Mom, can you make that dress?
Mom:  Yeah, I think I have that pattern at home...but I wouldn't do the contrast zip.
Pixie:  Why not?
Mom:  Only trailer trash and Kardashians wear contrast zips in their dresses.
Pixie:  Baaahahahahaaaaaa!
Mom:  [walking away] That shit is cray.

Happy belated Independence Day!

Mom was here for a week, starting on July 4th, and it was fantastic. Great to see her and goof around with her, go to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, eat at amazing restaurants, go to the spa, go camping, and play Duck Duck Goose with my plants. (I was soundly admonished for not watering them enough this summer.) I'll provide pictures and commentary for the week in the coming month or so...

...just in time for me to go to Georgia in August. 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Didn't I already talk to you people?

Last week was meetings and finding just how many holes there were in our drawings, punctuated by a trip to Biefee, MT meet with some smaller groups of St. Ermahgerd's users. One of the biggest problems we've had with the St. Ermahgerd project is insufficient user group meetings, and it continues to plague us. Generally speaking, we meet with the user groups (the people who will actually use the building, usually grouped by department) during schematic design (SD) and design development (DD). We might have a couple of user group meetings during construction documents (CDs) to discuss special equipment issues, but that's it.

Last week's meetings happened seven weeks after we issued CDs. And the users even asked, "so when are you coming back, Pixie?"

Never, if I have my way about it. But having my way on this matter is about as likely as getting a unicorn to shit in my coffee every morning: not too likely. So, I'll probably have to go back at some point, even though we shouldn't. 

Yet we should. The project kept getting stopped and started over the course of 2012, so the user group meetings kept getting canceled and moved and canceled and moved, hence we never got the full, proper input we needed from the users in a timely fashion. And you have to give users their time--they don't read architectural drawings and understand space the way we do, so they need a certain amount of time and repeat visits to have these conversations and understand what they're getting. And you can't do that in the number of meetings we had. So,we're having to do all these meetings now. And they're still incomplete, and I still feel like I'm about to give these poor people a bad hospital, though God I hope not.

So I'm praying that we have the right information and our professional experience will be adequate to fill in the gaps in this project left behind by the lack of user group meetings. And I'm praying for that unicorn to show up as well.