Thursday, December 30, 2004

Find amusement wherever you can

Quite often, when I meet someone new, and tell them I’m an architect, I get the reaction, “oh, that must be fun.” (I also hear, “you must make a lot of money.” Don’t even get me started on that one.) Fun isn’t exactly the word I would use. Interesting, challenging, creativity-based, yes.


Read this over a few times and tell me if it makes ANY sense to you at all:

CORNER LANDSCAPING AREA means an area of any shape abutting the intersection of two right-of-ways equal to the area on a surface parking lot covered by a triangle formed by connecting together the point of intersection of adjacent right-of-way lines and points on each of the right-of-way lines 12.5 percent of the length of the surface parking lot's right-of-way frontage from the intersection, but in no case to exceed 225 square feet.

Someone actually got paid to come up with this. Further, it is indicative of a lot of code language. Woooo. We’re having fun now.

There are, however, funny moments and tidbits to the job. For example, I am working on a breast imaging center; where they will scan for cancer, and perform mammograms and biopsies. I have to type various e-mails regarding the project. Every time, Microsoft Word puts its little sqiggly green line beneath the word “breast.” It wants me to pluralize it. Every time, I think, they’re not going to shove both breasts into the mammography machine at the same time; leave me alone about it!

And there is also this: I found this beauty while searching for a rear-discharge, floor-mounted toilet. The seat has horns on it. They scare me. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Fun with search words!

Now that I am building a wee bit of steam, and have actual readers [insert maniacal laughter here], I recently have had some referrals that weren't from Blog Explosion.

Several people reached my humble page through...(gasp)... search engines!

Apparently, someone came to my site by searching for monkey breath. I brush twice a day, thank you. I don't even want to know why you're looking.

Some other poor soul found me while searching for cubicle workspace depression. Yep. Get a little of that here, sometimes. Mostly, I’m trying to alleviate it with snarky goodness.

Someone else was looking for a cubicle office layout. Sorry, you won’t find that here, but you will find me apologizing for a crappy design I once did. I put some thought to posting the finished design, to share how much it indeed sucked like a Hoover, but thought better of it.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Prepare yourself for one of the most ridiculous things you will hear today: I am afraid of learning to speak and read German.

“Nouns! Vocabulary! Grammar! Eeeeeee!” [runs away screaming]

After matriculating my way to a graduate degree, I am comfortable in my ability to use, or abuse, the English language at will. I speak fast, and often say big words. I have a sizeable vocabulary at my disposal; and I can either speak intelligently, or dumb things down, according to the situation. In most ways I wish to express myself, I am comfortable using English.

None of these things will be true once I begin to learn German, and it disturbs me. I feel that I will be rendered stupid by a foreign language.

This will not stop me from attempting to learn; it is just the reason why I have procrastinated thus far.

However, I have already learned how to say one thing: “Ich bin eine dick Tasche von scheisse.” That would explain how I feel about myself after lying around on the couch for two days in Lubbock.

And no, “dick” does not mean what it means in English.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Deep Breaths

While I have kept my promise not to alienate any of my coworkers, I have recently experienced some “deep breath” moments. You know, the kind of moment where, if you don’t take a deep breath, you may end up throttling someone? Yeah. That kind.

As of today, I have found the antagonist within my new cubicle jungle.

It is not who I at first thought it would be. It is not Designer Whiny Pants; his whininess has lessened greatly, and truthfully, we have gotten along just fine from the start.

It is not the guy two cubicles down, who has a whiny voice that I constantly hear, as he makes ‘whipped phone calls to his wife on a terribly regular basis, and who has phlegm issues that I hear too much of (and not because he’s talking about them, if ya know what I mean). No, despite the fact that I overhear him say things like, “[Joe] ‘rogered’ what I was saying, so I thought we were agreed,” he is not the one.

Nor is it the woman, two cubicles further down, with the croup-tacular cough, and who refuses to “release” her sneezes at the end. It is not this woman, even though a few days earlier, she left to pick up a sick child from school, and now obviously has what the child had- and she is spreading it to us all every day. Thanks, lady. Go the hell home.

My antagonist is a fellow healthcare planner. He is senior to me; at this point in my career, damn near everybody still is.

It started out innocently enough. He started a department layout, and it was assigned to me to flesh it out with actual room sizes, handicapped accessibility, etc. As I’m starting to put it into CAD, he strolls past and asks, “Are you using lines, or walls? You should use walls. I think you’ll like it better.” Hey. Who is the CAD Monkey here? Leeme ‘lone.

This, in addition to him walking by, nearly every 15 minutes, and stopping to ask, “how’s it coming?” It would be going a lot faster if you’d go the hell away and stop interrupting my train of thought, jackass.

He then takes my completed layout, and changes it completely. It now looks nothing like what I drew; not to mention the accessibility problems it now has. I feel soooo productive.

Today, I had one assigned task to accomplish- rearranging the layout of another department. This is a task that would have taken me the whole day. At lunchtime, he takes it away from me to finish it himself. To add to the fun, he has, in the meantime, completely changed the shell of the building- which isn’t even the part he’s supposed to be working on! PA and I have been the ones working on the shell plans, trying to get the square footage numbers worked out, and this yahoo just changes it all without any background information as to why it was that way in the first place. There are now problems with the fire exit paths, and he completely got rid of the building lobby. PA was on vacation today, so I had no recourse, because I’m the new kid- I pretty much have to shut up and take it if PA’s not around to back me up. Then, Mr. Healthcare Planner goes over to DWP’s desk and starts sketching his version of what the elevations should now look like (which is apparently ass). Again, this is not his area, as DWP is in charge of the elevation design. DWP wasn’t around to witness this- [snorf]- art taking place.

So there I sat, planned work for the day gone, and the building completely changed by a guy who was only supposed to plan the insides. He offers me another department to plan. It is now 3:00. It is implied that it should be done by 5:00. No freakin’ way- it will take at least a whole day. Hell if I’m staying late tonight- the office is closed tomorrow.

For the next two hours, he passed by six times to ask “How’s it coming?”

[deep breaths]


Go and check out the latest link I Work With Fools. I came across it while looking for a better way to explain how Croup-tacular lady sneezes. Didn’t find the explanation, but the site is kinda funny!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Embrace the Dark Side, Mikey

CAD Monkey note: Another has come to the dark side…my friend Mikey has joined The Man and become a city employee. Mikey, Lori, and I all worked in the City Planning Office where we went to school, at one time or another.

Mikey: Well, I now have a good job... good pay; medical, dental, union benefits, and a retirement plan. I'm working at the City of [Mikeyville] this time. I'm a permit tech, for the public works engineering "team." The people here are pretty cool, and the job is slack, but I just can't get over the damn "I'm back at the city" feeling. Plus in typical fashion I've gotten 3 other job offers in the past month. I figured that I'd go for pay. The only positive thing is that it's a limited duration so if I don't want something else in the union I can leave.

CAD Monkey: That's so great! I know you may not be completely overjoyed by it, but selling out to The Man isn't so bad- I did it, finally! There's something to be said for having benefits and good pay. The rest is what hobbies are for. I'm doing fine here, working my butt off in order to try and provemyself so I can slack in subsequent years.

Lori: Sounds wonderful. Nothing like working for the City... no matter where it is.

CAD Monkey: Yeah, *we* don't get union benefits, sheesh.

Mikey: I just saw my newest favorite office piece of paper- a "Paperwork Burden Disclosure Notice." It basically is a federal notice saying that this is shitty paperwork, and it's going to take you 3 hours to fill out. This one’s for a flood hazard certification form.

And yes, it requires a coversheet.

CAD Monkey: Oh man. You gotta send me a scan of that.

Update: Mikey sent me that form…and it actually tells you “the public reporting burden for this form is estimated to be 3.0 hours per response.” Blech.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Dadddeeeee? Why is Santa acting like a spaz?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sushi Saturday

ManThing left today to attend a day-long bachelor party, and since the Dog puts on the “Woe is Me” Show every time her daddy’s gone, I decided the lesser of two evils would be to go shopping the last weekend before Christmas. In order to make this harrowing task more tolerable, I decided to bribe myself with a sushi lunch.

Instant endorphins, in raw fish form. Ahhhh.

Finding out that my first choice doesn’t serve lunch on Saturdays either (you suck for that, Blue Fish), I went to the contingency plan: Mr. Sushi. In stark contrast to the uber-hip, pretty people atmosphere of Blue Fish, Mr. Sushi is a mom-and-pop operation. I think it may have been “mom” who showed me to the table. There wasn’t anything outwardly noteworthy about her appearance, except for her eyebrows.

They were completely drawn on, and they were…purple. I tried not to stare. Too hard. I think I at least managed not to have my mouth hanging open.

Once at the table, I pulled out the sushi order sheet, and started putting down the old standards; one order each of fresh salmon, white tuna, yellowtail, and smelt egg. Each of these were around $6.50 for two pieces. ManThing and I had tried toro for the first time when we ate sushi last, so I decided to get an order of it as well. It was at market price, but I figured, eh, can’t be too much higher than the others, and put it down. Shortly afterward, I look at their specials board, and see that toro is $12.00, for two pieces. Oops.

When my order arrives, I pull my travel bottle of wheat-free soy sauce* out of my purse, and pour it into the little dish to mix with the wasabi. All the while, I’m getting curious glances from the Chinese lady at the table next to me. (I’m not being non-PC by not calling her “Asian,” she was speaking Chinese, thankyouverymuch.) At Mr. Sushi, when they bring you the bill, it’s always accompanied by a little origami paper boat with dinner mints in it. When this woman received her bill, she started fidgeting with the boat. I was preparing to be impressed as I watched her shaping the paper into something that seemed to have ears, and then magically became…a paper boat again. Another stereotype down the drain. When I got my bill, it was nearly forty dollars with the tip. Oops again.

That’ll teach ManThing to go to another all-day bachelor party.

*If you want to know why I carry my own travel bottle of wheat-free soy sauce, go see my other site.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Now that I've reached 1400 visitors, I can slack, right?
Just a little bit to tide you over until I *cough* formulate a new thought, or something.

Everybody play along!

Leave your answers and questions in the comments and I'll answer anything (don't be nasty!!).

(A) First, recommend to me:
1. a movie
2. a book
3. a musical artist, song, or album

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want. However, see above, RE: nasty.

(C) Then I want you to go to your blog/journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything & say that you stole it from me.

I stole mine from here. The reason why I'm resorting to posting a meme is that I've been reading her site voraciously, from the beginning, and I've just now caught up to "current time."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

1400 visitors


It's a nice, round number. Thought I'd celebrate!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I think I have found the blog I've been looking for: one that will chronicle an American expat's experiences in Germany, which ManThing and I hope to emulate some day.

Can't wait to start reading it!!

Adventures of an American Girl in Germany

My First Humongo Rant

CAD Monkey note: Those of you who know me (or even those of you who have read enough of this site) realize that, try as I might, I can’t stay on the Sunshine and Roses path for too terribly long. It isn’t natural. I could explode. While I still really enjoy my new job, the following situation has had me feeling a Bit o’ the Rant. It’s a good one; two weeks in the making. Enjoy!

The project I was assigned to, upon my arrival at Humongo, has proven an ever-shifting, changing beast. In that regard, it is absolutely the same as every other project I’ve worked on.
Said project began its life with one designer working on it, and was then assigned to another designer. The reason for the change arose from a need to shift workload between departments. The former designer was too busy to take it, and the current designer’s department has been slow, thus, the current designer was asked to design this job.

He has, in the world of CAD Monkey, earned the name Designer Whiny Pants, because the Project Architect keeps telling me this designer is being a whiny little bitch (my words, heh) about all the site restrictions and things we’ve done in order to better accommodate the highest income-generating, primary first floor tenant.

The site of our project is diagonal to the campus of the project’s owner (and major referral basis). Therefore, one might think our building should, architecturally, address this diagonal relationship; perhaps by emphasizing the corner facing the campus. DWP is angry because the symmetry he so badly wants isn’t going to work out without a ridiculous amount of forcing- and looking like it was forced.

The building is going to be a 7 story tower. We’ve had to add square footage, to just the first floor, in order to meet Important Tenant’s space needs. DWP is sad because of all the one-story elements around the perimeter.

In what I thought was a stroke of genius, I moved the other first floor tenant (a coke-and-chips retail area) to the front door of the building, so Important Tenant could have more contiguous space. DWP is upset because this gives the retail space “more prominence in the building.”

PA told me that every time he goes past DWP’s desk, DWP is mumbling and complaining about how ugly the building is going to be, and how the symmetry is all messed up, blah de blah blah, and so on. Dude, suck it up! You’re a designer! It’s your job to make it NOT ugly! If you don’t want to play, give it to me! I’ll make it not be ugly, and I’ll take the frickin’ symmetry and chuck it out the window, where it belongs!

Sure, this project has its limitations and problems, but I have yet to see a “real world” project that was perfect in every way. It’s so much better than the pitiful excuse for a hospital I worked on at El Hellhole. This is going to be a seven story building, most likely built out of precast concrete panels. It has so much potential for cool. I’d love to design such a thing. I keep telling the PA, “If Whiny Designer Pants doesn’t want to do it, I will!” I say it jokingly, but I’m really not joking. DWP is slated to be out of town for a majority of the schematic design schedule, whereas I will be in town from here to eternity- conveniently available for all your designing needs.

Here is my hypothesis on DWP’s proclivity for whining. Since he is a 60-ish year-old man, he has reached that stage of his career where being asked to design a building is no longer a privilege, It Is His Right for surviving the industry long enough. Obviously, DWP has forgotten what it feels like to be denied the privilege of designing anything. For the entirety of my architectural career, I have hungered for the design scraps I have been given: nurse stations, plan layouts, restroom wall tile patterns, or even a fleeting acknowledgement of my opinion on an exterior skin. Yet, I know I will continually be denied anything further because I am not a 60 year-old man.

I took this job because I had finally given up on the hope that I would be asked to design an entire building before another 30 years have passed. When I see someone, who has the opportunity to design buildings on a daily basis, whine and mope and complain about the process I want to participate in so badly, it makes me a little angry.

Monday, December 13, 2004

bad wife

I am a bad wife.
ManThing horked at work, and he is going home.
I find myself wanting to ask Mo out to dinner so I can minimize my exposure to the hork germs.
And the actual horking.
Can't handle it.
I feel like shoving a bucket in his general direction and hightailing it to a hotel.

And people ask me why I don't want to have children. Do I sound like a good "nurturer" to you?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Employee of the Month

My work ethic has returned, with a vengeance. Not once have I logged on to Blogger at work. I frantically try to fill every space of every day with work; if not project-related, then administrative or training related. Last week, I was given the task of reviewing a 22-story building for ADA accessibility, and was told I had four days in which to complete it. It took me 7 hours, including the typing of the 3-page memo. I am insane. The other night, I had a dream that I was given the Employee of the Month award. I’ve only been there for two weeks. Calm down, subconscious.

Some may wonder when the crabby CAD Monkey will return. Though this job is going extremely well overall, I have had some moments of annoyance. Chalk it up to lack of sleep, for the most part. I’ve just been too busy to do a write-up of minor annoyances, and there haven’t been any major affronts to my dignity thus far. I’ve been trying to spend some time with the people who listened to me being a pain in the ass the whole time I was at El Hellhole. I’ve lost my funny, crabby, angsty mojo, for the moment.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Scariest. Snack. Ever.

The holiday glutton-fest has begun in earnest in the office. Each day, four people are supposed to bring some sort of snack to share with everybody. Most of it has been the usual; chips, cans of nuts, cookies, etc. However, one of yesterday's offerings was kind of scary. It appeared that someone had attempted to make Rice Crispie treats, but deviated from the usual ingredients by using Cheerios. They also apparently wished to clean out their pantry, as the other ingredients included raisins, M & Ms, and pistachios. Instead of the usual squarish form of Rice Crispie treats, these were just globbed onto a plate, pretty much in one big lump. I gave the concoction a wide berth.

Today, I have several of my toes wrapped in band-aids because of yesterday's new shoes combined with too much walking and standing. By the end of the day, my feet were burning nubs of fiery pain, and today I have blisters. However, that's even a positive thing, because it means I'm actually meeting with clients again, so I have to wear nice shoes.
Shoes that kill, but nice nonetheless.

I know it seems like I'm just mailing in these latest entries, but I'm frelling exhausted still. I haven't been sleeping well. I sleep too lightly, and once I wake up in the middle of the night, I can't get back to sleep because of the dog's constant slorp…slorp…slorp…bitebitebitebitebite…*snarf*…(scratches for five minutes)…slorp…slorp…slorp. ManThing also snores. Sucks to not have the ability to sleep like the dead. I could use that right now.

And, once again, Special Thanks to Blogger, for making it a pain to post, as usual. No, no, that's alright, really. I don't mind wasting more of my time waiting for your page to load, especially after working a 12-hour day. No, it's fiiiiine- reeeeeally.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

I dub thee Sir Honks-a-Lot

I am completely frustrated with my worthless, wireless internet connection. My frustration has reached the point where I can almost see myself, in an adrenaline fueled fit of rage, grabbing the monitor, lifting it above my head, and hurling it out the front window with a hearty primal scream. But then I wouldn’t finish this post. Of course, Blogger itself may keep me from posting this post, but I’ll do what I can, faithful readers- all four of you.

I have come to the conclusion that, upon becoming married, my life has become painfully boring. I love my ManThing more than I can say, but sometimes I miss being able to entertain the masses with my disastrous dating mishaps (I don’t particularly miss experiencing said mishaps). I am kicking myself for not writing down all the horrible dating stories of my past, because they are now gone. And I had some doozies.

Ah, what the hell. I’ll see what I can recreate …

The Crack Fiend
A short story, really. This was a blind date. I met him for lunch. We met at a sushi place, and my biggest concern was making an ass of myself by getting smelt roe all over the place. Somehow, during the first fifteen minutes, the topic of his former addiction to crack came up. Call me judgmental, but I ate my sushi, graciously thanked him, and never called back.

The Coworker
This was the first and last time I made the following mistakes, alllll rolled into one: coworker, smoker, and a pothead. Whew. I’m so very grateful I didn’t have to date several different guys to learn all those lessons. We were good on paper- in real life, however, we were a train wreck. A train wreck that happened sporadically for 3 years.

Okay, that story was supposed to be funny, but it just kind of sucked- as it did in real life. So, I’ll end with the piece de resistance:

The Honker
The Honker was a guy I met through mutual friends (who, as a result of the Coworker debacle, are no longer). He was your average affable, slightly geeky, but amiable enough kind of guy. We went out once, had some beers, had a good time talking. We didn’t kiss on the first date. If we had, it may well have been the end right there. On the second date, kiss contact was established.

Um, yeah.

Ever see a lizard with its tongue quickly darting in and out? I had managed to find its human counterpart. But it gets better. The reason I dub him the Honker was because, from roughly a foot away from me, he reached out with both hands and “honked” my breasts. While actually saying the word, “honk.” Slack jawed; I asked why he did that.

“I just wanted to touch ‘em.”

And … good night.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I give you...excuses

Uh, yeah.

I'm determined to not post at work, because I don't want any connection at all to be made between this blog and me. The problem is, it's wreaking havoc on my writing. I'll have an idea, and won't write it down, or start a Word file about it, and *poof* it's gone. My short-term memory has gone to crap over the last few months for whatever reason (I don't want to believe my brain hit the expiration date when I turned 30).

Also, when I get home, I am hesitant to attempt a post because my 'net connection has been a pain in my ass. Most of the time, Blogger won't even load, or I age considerably before it does. I get frustrated, and give up.

Sorry. This is a completely crap entry.

I think that somehow, losing some of my job-related angst has put a damper on the need for the outlet, as I feared it might.