Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Monkey Has Left the Building.

I'm done, guys.

There's nothing left to do but complain, therefore, this blog has nowhere to go but down.
I need something positive in my life, and this ain't it.

I've had The Scarlett O'Hara Moment- As Jeebus is my witness, I will leave this profession! It won't happen today, or even in the next several years, but I will leave. I just need to set up a safety net first- and that takes time.

Anonymity has been...interesting, but I'm getting a clean start at TypePad- real name, real locale, real me. If I'm going to market myself (and beg for donations, heh) I have to learn to take direct hits to my ego; and have people know who I am.

If you want to follow, e-mail me.
If I know you in real life, I'll be updating you shortly- as soon as there's something to see.

Thanks to everybody for your comments and support over the last few years.

CAD Monkey

Friday, July 14, 2006

Amusing things I’ve seen lately:

A man who apparently owns a vast array of sport jackets from the Miami Vice Collection. Monday was powder blue, Wednesday was peach, and this morning was mint green. Each of these was accompanied by jeans, a white shirt, and hideous loafers in cream-colored leather.

This is on a cutsheet for some automatic sliding doors: “Stacked” finger safety applied to stroke.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mark of the Devil

First, the refrigerator magnet did not hold.

Second, when people ask me if I am “glad to be back [at work],” why do they always look surprised when I answer, “not really?”


Intentionally or not, a certain architectural louver company decided to give one of their products the model number “K666.” I’ve been calling it The Louver of the Devil. I called a local rep to ask some detailing questions yesterday, and she replied, “oh, you mean the Satan Louver. I don’t know why they decided to use that number.”

Also, the GMP* set for the project we're using this louver for was issued on June 6th. Think about that for a while.

*Architectural Term o’ the Day: Guaranteed Maximum Price

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Broke Ass

So I guess I’ve owed you guys an update for a while now. Doing almost anything other than writing in the blog has seemed like a better idea lately. Over the course of the next few posts, I’m going to fast-forward past the previous entry, then rewind, then resume at present time. Strap in and hang on. It won’t make much sense, I’m sure.

My six-week post-op appointment with the surgeon was last Wednesday. I finally got to see an x-ray showing the screws in my New and Improved Hip. There are three 3” screws placed vertically, and a shorter one going from back to front. The hospital charged me $506 for them. I should have asked if I could bring in some lag screws from the hardware store. According to my surgeon, I’m doing even better than he expected. He basically said “rise and walk, my child.” I’m down to one crutch.


My incision still hasn’t completely healed, and he said that may take another 6 weeks. He also showed me on the x-ray where I have a stress fracture in the inferior pubic ramus- also known as the “sit bones.”

Yes, I have a fractured ass.

I’ve reached the part of my recovery where I’m sick of being crippled, yet it will be another few months before I can expect to feel “normal.” I’m 80% pain-free, but I have the weird sensation of always feeling like there’s something in my right front pocket- even when I’m not wearing any pants. My leg feels like it’s crammed into the hip socket. I swear I can feel one of the screw heads through my skin, but I’ve yet to test it with a refrigerator magnet.

On Monday I returned to work. The good news is, they moved my cube while I was away- I am no longer anywhere near Hack n' Snort. Blissful, blissful silence.

Friday, June 23, 2006

CAD Monkey in the Hospital - Day 3 (Part Two)

I know that I’ve been dragging this out forever.
What the hell’s taking so long, you ask?

Simply put, I had a crappy first few days in the hospital, and I’ve been reluctant to relive them. I’m frustrated with my recovery (it’s going fine, it just takes forever), and I just want the whole thing to be over- recalling this crappy day in painful detail just hasn’t been high on my to-do list.

May 26 – Best! Day! Ever! (continued)

Little did I realize that actually getting a potty would be so damn difficult. There was no way in hell I was making it all the way to the real bathroom, so the nurse said she’d bring in a bedside commode…45 minutes later, it still hadn’t arrived. My bladder was quickly approaching critical mass; my gas-filled stomach wasn’t helping things.

My mother went out into the hall to track somebody down to bring one in; she found nothing but tumbleweeds. I rang the nurse call (which I was quickly finding out was pointless), and asked, “will someone please bring a commode in here?” A random nurse walked in, and tried to get me onto a bedpan by rolling me onto my operated hip. On the verge of tears, again, I told her to stop, and get me a friggin commode. In the middle of all this, a hapless hospital administrator walks in, and says she’s “here to ask a few questions about how everything is going.” Mom, in her finest Mother Bear voice replies, “it’s not going very well right now!” She told the lady our plight, to which she replied, “oh,” mumbled something about finding someone to help, and then scurried off into the hall. Never saw her again.

Somebody finally brought in a commode. Then began the complete loss of the rest of my dignity for the day. For the first time in 30+ years, I had to have my mother wipe my behind, because I couldn’t support myself to do it…myself. Someone walked in on me with my butt in the air, and said, “oh! I’m so sorry.” I bet. It seemed that every time I got on the damn commode, somebody would walk in.

When the rehab doctor came in to find me on the pot, he became extremely embarrassed, and said he’d come back. When he did return, he asked if I’d saved what was in there. Ew. No. He told me they were planning on getting me transferred over to Their Side, meaning the rehab wing. You could actually hear the capitalization every time he said it.

The day got worse before it got better. My stomach had swelled up large enough that I could almost rest a glass on it. The nurse said I had to move my bowels. They’re very concerned about your pooping schedule in the hospital, I’ve found. She brought in the dreaded secret weapon…suppositories. The worst part was having to roll over; it was extremely painful- cue another round of tears.

Did I mention that my mother and my husband were in the room for all of this? And for the aftermath of the suppositories? See above, “RE: complete loss of dignity.” ManThing said we’d never speak of it again- yet he is the one who insisted I finish this story.

Things calmed down a bit after the suppository adventure. The doctor said I was still anemic, so they were going to have to give me another two units of blood before I could transfer to rehab. They were very reluctant to give me blood, even though my anemia wasn’t improving. I was of the opinion, “just give me the damn blood already!” My IV had to be changed to another location (apparently, veins “expire” after a few days) before they could do the transfusion. I lost my nice, neat surgical IV, and traded it in for a nasty, painful IV that turned my arm into a purple and red tie-dyed nightmare from the moment it was in.

By the time the transfusion was over, it was 10:30 at night. I figured I’d be staying put, but hospitals work on a different schedule- they transferred me to rehab.

Thus ended the hellish part of my stay.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CAD Monkey in the Hospital - Day 3 (Part One)

Tomorrow will be one month since the surgery, so I figured I’d better get back to work on this before I completely forgot everything. As it is, I’ve already forgotten a lot.
Day 3 was, uh, eventful, so I’m going to have to break it into a few parts.

May 26 – Best! Day! Ever!

Day 3 started off with my now-accustomed runny-egg breakfast. I didn’t eat much, because my stomach was nearly full to capacity with lovely, painful gas. The doctor came in, and took out my drains. My fever was gone, and after I talked to the doctor, so was Nursezilla. She was supposed to be my nurse again for the day, but after I related the previous day’s events to him, he went out into the hall, talked to someone for a little while, and I got a new nurse.

Despite the two units of blood I’d received two days before, I was still anemic. As a result, I was still very weak, and my pulse was pretty high just sitting in bed. Nonetheless, physical therapy would start. The first person from PT gave me some exercises to do while lying in bed. Then he went off on a soooper-long spiel about crutches, crutch tips, what not to do, etc. I only remember pieces: anemic = loopy.

The next person from PT gave me some arm exercises to do with a Theraband. No problem.

The third person from PT, Lindsey, said it was time to get out of bed, and using a walker. She brought in this 1947-looking, rickety, green spray-painted, scary walker. (Now, here’s where my memory fails me. Damn me for waiting so long to write this. I know it must have hurt like hell to move my legs for the first time in two days, but I’ve already started forgetting.) I carefully maneuvered to sitting on the side of the bed. Since my butt was hanging out of the gown, she helped me put on the robe I’d brought with me.

Lindsey told me the first goal was to use the walker to go around the foot of the bed to the other side. My heart was already pounding, just from moving to the side of the bed. With a belt wrapped around my waist, and Lindsey pulling, I got into standing position. She told me to move the walker first, and then move my right foot forward a little. I moved the walker…and then didn’t move my right foot. The signals were leaving my brain, but my leg was out to lunch from the knee up. I had to use my toes to drag my foot forward.

By the time I made it to halfway to the other side of the bed, my heart was pounding in my ears, and I was sweating profusely. When I made it to the other side, I damn near passed out. I sat on the edge of the bed, with the vision in my left eye going a little black.

This is when the doctor from Pain Management came in to remove my epidural. While I was sitting on the edge of the bed, eyelids not quite working simultaneously, he just walked around behind me and pulled it out. Then, he started talking about...something. I sat there, sweating, vision going in and out.

After he left, Lindsey looked at me and said, “did you get any of that?”
“Nuh uh.”
“I didn’t think so.”

I have no idea what he said the entire time he was there- I was too busy concentrating on remaining conscious.

Sometime after my first pitiful foray out of bed, the nurse removed my catheter. This meant I would have to get my ass out of bed to use the potty. Oh, goodie.

Because getting out of bed had been so much fun the first time.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So I haven’t made much progress on the “hospital story.”

But let me tell you how I am right now.

Right now I’m sitting, crookedly, because I have a block of ice under my right ass cheek. I also have a bag of frozen peas in a pillowcase wrapped around my right elbow.

I have officially reached the stage where I feel better enough overall to be annoyed that I’m not completely healed, and frustrated with the things I want to do, but can’t.

Out of an otherwise completely healed 12” incision, I have a ½” area that simply won’t close up. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since the surgery. Close. The hell. UP. My skin is raw from pulling the tape off to change the dressing; it’s also covered in tape adhesive “leftovers” that I can only remove with rubbing alcohol- which makes the rawness worse.

One trip up and down the hallway outside our apartment leaves me panting, with my heart racing. This is also the reason I’m having to ice down my elbows- my weenie arms aren’t used to having to carry my entire weight. My physical therapist hath decreed that I shall make this journey five times daily.

I’m still waiting for it to become easier.

Any time now.

At least I have no trouble feeding myself. Like that was ever an issue.

Friday, June 09, 2006

CAD Monkey in the Hospital - Day 2

I was good and had this all ready to post yesterday, but Blogger had "issues." Guess that's what I get for refusing to pay for a domain...

May 25 - Nursezilla

The night after surgery consisted of one- to two-hour increments of foggy non-sleep; broken up by my IV tower beeping (low battery, out of blood, I’m a pain-in-the-ass machine ha ha ha), the nurse coming in to check my vitals, and the tech coming in to empty my catheter bag and surgical drains.

That, and the spasms. All of my limbs seemed to have a case of the twitchies, which wasn’t so bad, until it was my right leg’s turn again. My whole leg would kick, sending a shooting pain through my hip that woke me from whatever form of sleep I had been enjoying.

Around 7:00am on Day 2, things started to look better: breakfast appeared on my overbed table. People started calling my mom to see how I was doing, and the standard answer was, “she’s got food in front of her now, so she’s happy.”

Given that my nurse the night before had been so cheerful and attentive, I had no idea what was coming. My nurse for the day seemed nice enough, if a little cranky, in the morning. By that evening, however, I wanted her dead.

I started to feel feverish at around 4, and I asked her to take my temperature. Nursezilla said she “already had taken my temperature” (3 hours before), that it was 100, and that they “don’t do anything until it goes above 101.” For the next several hours, I tried to nap, but I felt like my head was boiling.

I called for Nursezilla when the IV tower started beeping; saying it was on low battery. She didn’t come. A short while later, I called again when my epidural ran dry. She didn’t come. Did I mention that I was being given no other pain medication besides said epidural?

Finally, the charge nurse came in, and found me sobbing uncontrollably, and my mother with a vein about to burst out of her forehead. Nursezilla came in shortly thereafter, with the nurse who would be working overnight. They didn’t say anything to me at all; they just stood at the IV tower, trying to figure out how to get it going again.

Finally, Nursezilla took my temperature (I can only guess the charge nurse made her do it). 101.6. Suck it, Nursezilla. I wasn’t just whining after all! She gave me some Tylenol… and told us we needed to close the curtains, because it was the sun coming in the window that was making me feverish! Then she turned the thermostat down to 60 and left for the night, saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow!” I just groaned and lay back down. And froze my ass off all night.

My poor mother stayed with me all night- for the second night in a row- because she was afraid to leave me at their mercy. I appreciated it more than she’ll ever know, especially since she had to spend the night chasing down someone to empty my catheter bag and drains every few hours, before they burst.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CAD Monkey in the Hospital - Day 1

I live!

I have been back home since the 1st; but there has been some craziness (which I’ll get to in a chronological manner), I’ve been exhausted, and my parents have just left this morning- all of which have made writing low on the priorities list.

Starting from the beginning…

May 24 – Surgery

My surgery was scheduled for 12:30. I was told to show up by 10:30…so I could then sit around until nearly 1:00. During these two and a half hours, I changed into a hospital gown (thus beginning the Week of No Pants!); read a trashy magazine; was grouchy because I hadn’t had food since 7:00 the night before; had my right leg “autographed” by one of the surgeons; and was offered an epidural for post-op pain relief- which I heartily accepted.

When I was wheeled into the OR, I remember the anesthesiologist starting the IV, telling me to sit up on the side of the table so they could put in the epidural, injecting something lovely into the IV…then fluffy, fluffy clouds.

I woke up in recovery; I don’t know how long after the surgery, or how long I stayed there. My mom said it was 8 hours before she got to see me again after they’d wheeled me away. All I remember is hearing the staff talking about how they’d lost my chart, and thinking, well, this is going great so far. At least the correct leg is hurting.

Boy, howdy, was it hurting. I still had the oxygen mask on, but I was pitifully mewling “eight” to anybody walking past, attempting to get someone’s attention. I was told I couldn’t have any pain meds until my blood pressure came up, and my pulse went down. This brought on thoughts of go up, blood pressure! Goooooo!! Mama needs drugs, now!!

At some point in recovery, my right leg started convulsing (seriously- no other word describes it better). One of the nurses tried to hold it down. I was told this was from the anesthesia wearing off. I wished it had chosen the other leg to torture!

Somewhere in the haze, I was moved to my room, via a painful transfer off the stretcher. They started to transfuse two units of blood into me over the next several hours. I don’t remember much else, except that my nurse the first night was really nice, and the tech became my best friend when he offered me two kinds of sorbet at 11:00 that night- my first “food” in nearly 30 hours.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

There seems to be some cosmic connection between my impending surgery, my immune system, and the suggestions of my coworkers.

Last month, my PA made the comment, “couldn’t you put this off for a little while longer?”

Ta dah! I got strep throat for the first time in 15 years, resulting in the surgery being postponed for another month.

This past Thursday, another coworker comments that I should be eating light, and trying to take off a little weight before the surgery. I won’t even go into how rude that suggestion is in itself.

Ta dah! That very night, I came down with a vile case of food poisoning, and have lost six pounds as a result.

I’m glad I’m not supposed to go back to work anymore before the surgery; I shudder to think what the next “suggestion” might inflict upon me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In pursuit of the Wild Bagel

Here in the Cubicle Jungle, we constantly get product reps in the office, hawking the latest cutting-edge technology in all things cut-pile, polished, and coved to the Interiors group. These reps often bring food, usually of the pastry variety.

Sometimes a fellow monkey will alert me to the presence of pastries; more often I hunt alone. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days for a hunt. Before the sun looms high over the Jungle, I watch the elevators for reps bearing boxes. The boxes will have curious markings on them like, “La Madeline,” “Corner Bakery,” or “Starbucks.”

Once a rep has been spotted, it is only a matter of patience. Interiors will nibble at a few pieces, and then leave the remainder out on the plain for the other animals. One has to move quickly, for there is a Rhino in the Jungle who has been known to take ice cream left over from birthday celebrations back to his desk- still in the half-gallon container.

As I made my way to the area this morning, I saw another monkey scurrying back to his desk, dropping a light spray of crumbs from the prize clenched in his greedy hand. Food is confirmed. A small huddle surrounds the box. Hands reach in, snag a piece, then skitter away to eat their find at their cubicles. As always, the Ostrich, wearing his bowtie,* turns up his beak at the whole affair. Nothing but crumbs is left after the feeding frenzy is done.

The Circle of Lard continues…

*a.k.a. “Designosaur.” ManThing has a gift for assigning animal characteristics to people. He hit it spot-on with this one. I snorted.

The way to his heart.

CAD Monkey: How do you feel about free sushi for dinner...and you can eat it at home, without pants??

ManThing: This isn't from someone who wants to get rid of their fishtank, is it?

CAD Monkey: No, I went out to lunch with Big Boss and [two other coworkers] at [our favoritest sushi place]. We over-ordered, and had a waiter cool enough to "turn his head" and let us take the leftovers. I've got some volcano roll, some russian roll, salmon, snapper, mackerel, and white tuna.

ManThing: Sushi, pantslessness, and WoW! All my favorite things in one night!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Hot damn!

I still refuse to play golf as a means of ass-kissery, but I just found out the Managing Principal likes sushi. Sushi eating is definitely an acceptable form of schmoozing.

Guess who I'm having lunch with today? I ain't ashamed.
I went to Starbux this morning for my usual double tall soy caramel macchiato. The barista made it with real milk instead of soy. It was tasty, but I will pay for it later.

[stomach rumbles ominously]

Oh, how I will pay.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A few weeks ago, we all received e-mails that an independent survey firm might be calling some of us, as part of a study the company was doing on employee satisfaction and turnover. I read it, and then promptly forgot about it.

My phone rang today: “Hi, [CAD Monkey], I’m from BlahBlahBlah Survey Company. Would you have time for a fifteen- to twenty-minute survey on employee satisfaction and turnover?”

Awww, crap.



Dilemma, Part the First: I hate the career I chose settled for (or at least I do this week, again). Going to lunch with two coworkers and engaging in a conversation that included way too many “and another thing!” statements didn’t help my frame of mind for the day, either.

Dilemma, Part the Second: This is a good company; so, do I give my honest opinion, or the opinion I’d have if I weren’t bitter and jaded against the industry?

Dilemma, Part the Third: Open cubicles make for difficulty in giving an honest opinion over the phone. I’d rather be overheard saying “hemorrhoids?!?” than giving my honest opinion of my office experience. Okay, maybe not. But you get the picture.

I settled upon the wuss-tacular answer set of “pleased with the company, outwardly optimistic of the future, with bitterness suppressed behind iron bars.” Then, I kept repeating “4” for the next fifteen minutes. (It was a 1-to-5 scale)

At least it got me out of working for a little while.

Funny thing is, I heard Hack n' Snort get his phone call a little while later. He asked if he could call the guy back from a conference room "for more privacy." Ha! It's probably so I wouldn't hear him say how great it is that all he has to do to get great assignments is play golf with the Boss Man.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Flossing is Fun!

The weather outside today is gorgeous, so I sat in my car, windows down, sunroof open, to eat my lunch. As I continued to sit there, the prospect of returning to work became less attractive all the time. I even made a list:

Things That Sound Better Than Going Back to Work
  1. Flossing my teeth over and over
  2. Donating blood at the bloodmobile parked behind me, even though they'd throw it out afterwards (I lived in Germany, thus I fall into their "permanent disqualifications" group)
  3. Faking a doctor's appointment
  4. Faking a child, then faking that it was sick
  5. Staging a "cat health emergency"
  6. Faking my own illness (wouldn't be hard, as I ate my entire Chipotle burrito- and now feel barfish)

In the end, I settled on going back to work, and writing this list. That killed at least another five minutes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

For the love of all that is decent and holy!!

Designosaur, who, up to this point, has had absolutely no concern for reducing the costs of the design, has “brilliantly” had the idea that we should lower the height of all the parapets on the two buildings to save some money.

Great. That’s just great.

I wish he would have thought about that before we started drawing the 24 wall sections that will be affected by this change.

Conversely, he is refusing to use off-the-shelf items for various other parts of the project. How much money are we saving there, huh? Huh?!? [pulls out hair]
Monkeys drink more alcohol when housed alone, and some like to end a long day in the [cubicle] with a boozy cocktail.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Architect Porn

Now that ManThing and I have rid ourselves of the mundane House of Monkey, and moved into a super-cool loft, I am one step closer to becoming an architecturally pretentious ass. Not that that’s a goal of mine, or anything.

ManThing and I love the new place. It is dripping with architect porn.* Today began the final phase of ensuring the loft is 100% cool, instead of just 94%: the nasty-gross carpet in the bedroom is being ripped out and the concrete beneath resurfaced and sealed (as it should be).

[arms crossed, CAD Monkey nods her head imperiously]

I have developed an intense loathing for carpet over the last two years, as a direct result of living in a house devoid of the fluffy menace. There’s just something attractive about not getting constant sinus infections as a result of your floor covering.

The bad part of all this is we had to disassemble all our bedroom furniture, and cram it into the master bathroom. In the process, I managed to smash both the foot and the big toe of my Golden Leg.** ManThing reminded me about how I’m not supposed to move things. Ever. For this very reason. Somehow, I can work a drill while half-drunk on mojitos, without incident, but can’t move furniture worth a damn. Guess I should stick to “drunken use of power tools” and leave “sober moving of large objects” alone.

*exposed concrete structure, an interior brick wall, primary colored paint (red), sealed concrete/ hardwood floor.

**My left leg; the one that has to support me for several months after my surgery, by itself, while the bones in my right hip are “setting.”

Friday, May 05, 2006

First thing this morning, I discover Designosaur’s latest edict elevation sketch laid ever-so-sneakily on my desk. Just as I’m beginning to bang my forehead on the desk in frustration, a co-worker walks past my cube and asks, “how’s it going?”

“Fine, except I’m wondering how this is supposed to work.” I point at the elevation, where Designosaur has shown a light fixture mounted to a 2 ½” window mullion- which is surrounded on all sides by vision glass.

“Ah, that’s just a little thing.”

“Yes, but it’s one of so many other things.”

“As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters.”

“SNORF. Yeah, I’ll let you know when that starts.”

Thursday, May 04, 2006

There are clients touring our office this afternoon, so a few days ago we got the “clean up your sty cell cubicle” e-mail from the Big Boss. I never do too much cleaning for these events, because an empty desk is a sign of an empty mind.

Thanks to the power of the ‘net, you’ll never know whether I managed to keep a straight face while typing that. Heh.

Every time a client tour is about to come through, I always picture myself in a small room at the end of a dark corridor; behind a door which reads, “Beware: CAD Monkey Sector.” When the tour comes by, Big Boss warns them, “that’s where all the production people are. We don’t go in there.” One hapless tourist sneaks closer to the door to peek through the small window at what lies inside. He sees me, sitting at my desk, hunched forward, scowling at the monitor (life inspires fiction, no?). I turn my head towards the view window and snarl at him; lunging out of my chair, against my chains

The tourist scampers off, whimpering.

He can't say they didn't warn him.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Something my favorite designer keeps forgetting about is that a building elevation drawing will never be seen that way in the real world. He keeps asking me to to things based upon how they line up on a flat piece of paper, where you see the entire face of the building straight-on, without perspective.
See, there’s this concept, called a viewing angle, which negates some things being seen from a normal person’s perspective. For example, a pedestrian will not see the mechanical unit on the eighth floor of a building from the ground, so why are we spending money (and my precious precious time) trying to cover it up with some whoopty-do fancy screening?
Someone standing in front of the building’s entry won’t notice that the mullions of the windows don’t line up between two faces of the building that are 40 feet away from each other. Yet, I keep finding myself being told to line ‘em up, anyway!
I would expect things like this from a rookie, but this is Designosaur we’re talking about here. He should know better.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yesterday I made the decision to kill off my other blog; you know, the worthless “weight loss” blog that I, like so many others, tried, in vain, to keep. Now, instead of not writing anything on two blogs, I can devote my full energy to not writing anything on just one blog!

You can hardly stand the excitement, I’m sure.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Oh, cruel twist of Fate!
Why doest Thou hate me so?

I was in the home stretch, getting my pre-op tests run yesterday morning. As I sat in the waiting room, the poor little lady with a walker next to me was told that her surgery was cancelled because her doctor was in a transplant surgery he couldn’t leave. I thought, “man, that sucks for her.”

Shortly thereafter, my surgery got cancelled because I had tested positive for strep throat over the weekend. Despite my bravery at taking a shot of penicillin in the ass on Saturday, the physician’s assistant told me “not enough days have passed for us to be sure the strep is gone. If we put in a breathing tube and the strep gets into your lungs it could kill you, blah, blah, blah.” I wish they would have had him come tell me that before they blew a vein in my arm while trying to draw blood.

So. After a crying jag; a call to Mom to cancel her flight (in which I used the word “clusterfuck”- yes, to my mother); and some leave-of-absence-paperwork cancellations; I’m back at work!


Suspiciously, this was the first case of strep throat I’ve had in fifteen years. I blame my PA, who kept asking me if I couldn’t put the surgery off until June, so I could help finish our current project. Absolutely diabolical, the way he got his hands on a vial of strep to put in my coffee.

Oh yeah, and since I’m back for an unspecified amount of time, there’s been talk of me being able to help out on the value engineering for…Project B (a.k.a., The Worst Project in the History of Projects)! For those of you wondering, “what’s ‘value engineering?’”, (I have no idea where to put the damn comma/ double set of quotes/ question mark on that one. Suck it, Grammar Police.) it’s when you take a project and try to scale it back so that the budget goes down, effectively “crapping it up” so that the contractor can continue to make a profit at the expense of the quality of the building. I love this industry. Love it.

(When referring to "VE" in the architectural community, pay no attention to what Wikipedia says. It's "crapping it up," pure and simple.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Been moving. No internet at home. Sucks. Thus the abbreviated rant below:

I hate feeling like getting ahead at work has a whole lifestyle associated with it. In order to be seen favorably, you have to work overtime, play golf, attend industry events, participate in fundraisers, and/ or go to office parties. Can’t I just come to work, do a good job, and become recognized for…coming to work and doing a good job? Do I really have to spend all my free time trying to kiss ass and put on a good show?

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Hi, it's me. I'm still as pissy as ever.

Did you miss me?

I didn't think so.

The whole theory of “paying your dues” is a bunch of crap. I thought, if I worked really hard to learn how to make “buildable” buildings; concentrating on details, and systems, that it would help me- one day- to become a GOOD DESIGNER. That plan was pointless. I will never be a designer, because I didn’t become one RIGHT OUT OF SCHOOL. Unfortunately, that depends on who you know; and I knew no one. Hence, I fell into the category: “Once a production person, always a production person.”

Why do I let this eat at me so much? I know this is a damn good job, and I should just shut up and do it- and do it well, as I am capable of. Perhaps even excel, a little.

Most days, I can picture myself being okay with what I do. I am hopeful that, with two properly working legs, I can begin to exercise away all this excess angst.


Every time I hear the designers next to me whine about how they should have a section of the office to themselves; creating a “Designers Only” Ivory Tower separate from the shit fields of Production, I get pissed off all over again. All I can think is, no matter what my performance reviews say, I will never get to design- because of this attitude. If you don’t walk in the front door as a Designer from Day One, you WILL NEVER BECOME ONE. Crossovers just don’t happen. There is no credibility established unless you had it when you arrived.

The Designers don’t want my shit-covered feet all over their Ivory Tower’s floor.

Maybe it would be better if they all moved to some remote corner of the building, after all. At least then I wouldn’t continue to harbor these stupid hopes, only to have them destroyed again by the designers’ separatist bitching sessions.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Planets Have Aligned.


After months of waiting, knowing nothing about so many aspects of my near-future life, all the information is coming together.

ManThing officially got his promotion today, complete with a stout raise.
I got my surgery date; in turn, we now know when we are going to move.
Chez Monkey is sold, and our mortgage principal balance is zero dollars.

I feel like I can finally breathe again (though it’s a little tough at the moment, because my belly is quite full of lamb from our celebratory dinner).

At work, I have made the conscientious decision to quit drawing with “smart walls,” start drawing with just lines, and to hell with the consequences. It is quite liberating. I had forgotten how good it feels to just draw; instead of trying to assemble a 3-D model using components that I don’t really know how to manipulate- it was like an octopus wearing high heels while trying to climb a mountain.

I feel so much better. I hope it will last. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Had a two-week break from Hack n' Snort. He's back now. Boy, is he ever. I heard the following when the IT guy called in response to a message HnS had left:

HnS: How many kay-bees is in a meg? Oh, a thousand is a meg? So I guess a 10,000 kay-bee file is too big to e-mail, huh?

I snorted. From the laughing.

Name That Client!

Yesterday during a meeting, the PM told us the owner had said, "If this building wins a design award, then we've failed our mission."

That's right, folks! It's Project B!

I wish I could have been there when he said it, if only to ask if we should change "stucco" to "cow manure" to save additional costs.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Monogrammed, perhaps?

I wonder if they'll personalize it to read, "Go the hell away."

Friday, March 31, 2006

How to Become a Better Person in Five Steps

1. Find a blog to read, preferably one you find annoying.
2. Become annoyed with blog.
3. Leave irritating comment for blogger.
4. Return to blog to confirm that blogger has indeed become irritated by your comment.
5. Enjoy that blissful, warm feeling of "Holier Than Thou."

Just read this glowing testimonial:
"[This blog is] useful to me. I read it and I remind myself how utterly annoying a constant complainer can be to other people, and I stop. Therefore, your blog makes me a better person!"

You’re a Better Person.

Great. Congratulations. Glad I could help.

Now scurry off, and be a Better Person on someone else’s comment page.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I know I'm not supposed to feed them, but they're just so darn cute!

Oh, goodiegoodiegoodie! I have caught a scaly little blog troll of my very own!

To celebrate this occasion, I have added a link to The Master Thwarter of All Trolls, The Misanthropic Bitch, to my blogroll.

My little troll-snack is served below:

I swear, I have never seen someone complain so much.

First, you have never “seen” me. This. Is. A blog. It is a slice of my life, not my entire life. It is a representation of my inner shrew; a place where I can complain every-fucking-day if I want to. I make the rules here. So suck it.

Second, visit that shiny new link I mentioned above. She has me beat by a mile.

Is there ever a day when you don't have a new ailment or something else to bitch about?

Yes, those would be the days between posts, when I’m off living my life, instead of leaving hatred-filled comments on other people’s blogs.

If you hate the work so much, get out!

If you hate the blog so much, get out!

You are making yourself unbearable, and I don't even know you!

No, you don’t know me, and I'm not sure why that would even be relevant. If the blog is “unbearable,” see above instructions; RE: Get out!

I only read your post to see what you are bitching about now (and, apparently, to leave this moronic comment), work or being sick or in pain.

So, that would make you...a masochist? In that case, you should be quite happy with what you read here- or unhappy, or however you psychos get off on self-inflicted pain.

Its amazing...Geez!

Yes, Anonymous, it is amazing that people must continue to flame on others in this manner, because they are too weak to say things like these to real humans in real life. What’s even more amazing is that you took the time to carefully pen this love letter to me, yet you couldn’t be bothered to come up with a more interesting pseudonym than “Anonymous.”

When I Googled the phrase “blog troll,” there were over 7 million results; with this amusing classification at the top of the list.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I wish AutoCAD had a neck...for the strangling.

I am, once again, working with the same old, crusty, needs-to-fucking-retire-already designer as on Project B. He is doing much of the same crap that drove me insane on the last project; such as putting transom windows above the doors to the electrical rooms, having windows the entire height of the exit stair towers, and centering window mullions on interior walls (walls that are between patient rooms, no less).

Also, Project PITA has some Labor and Delivery rooms, in which Design-o-saur has placed windows that go all the way to the ground. I hope you don’t mind having your “business” on display, ladies! We wouldn’t dare screw up Crusty Pants’s “design vision!”

I was working off of his sketches this morning, completely baffled as to why things weren’t fitting right, until I realized the scale was not 1/8”, as marked, but 1/16”. Idiot.

Go get yourself stuck in a tar pit.
Whatever, just go the hell away.

In addition to the personnel fun, I am struggling with the software transition. Halfway through the 3-day long training, I almost started to change my tune about hating ADT. When the instructor showed how you could create an entire room schedule in less than a minute, I was nearly sold. Being able to put ceilings in the rooms with ease was a welcome change. I thought, “huh, maybe this stuff is ‘smart,’ after all.”


The inevitable disconnection between “see how nicely everything works out on a rectangular, perfectly made from scratch model” and “real, live, actual project” is kicking me square in the ass.

Now, I consider myself a fairly smart monkey. I think, for the most part, that I pick things up pretty quickly. This, however, is not the case for ADT. Partially, I still don’t see the value, as some of the niftiest features aren’t even being used on Project PITA. We’re still drawing wall sections from scratch; ditto on the exterior elevations- instead of letting the “smart” software generate these for us. That means it is a complete waste of my time to enter the heights of everything if it’s only going to show up in plan.

Further, I can’t even get just the plans to behave. Whenever I get an interior wall near an exterior wall, it goes crazy and merges really strangely. I called CAD Coordinator to help me learn how to fix this, and his answer was, “Okay, select the wall. Now right-click. Pick (something) from the pull-down menu. Hit return. Okay, select the wall again. Right-click, then pick ‘reverse in place.’” The hell? I’m supposed to go through this retarded process (which only worked for him about 40% of the time) for every place the inside and outside walls interface?

I have had an inner monologue running on auto-loop all morning: “What the?!? Piece of! Fuck it, I’m leaving a gap between them! Moving on!”

Friday, March 24, 2006

I am an angry monkey, all of the time.

I am angry with the fact that my career is in virtual standstill due to not being able to give my employer a surgery date.
I am angry that I am not a designer, and because I know that now is not the time to try to become one in this company, because of aforementioned surgery dilemma.
I am angry that I have so few contacts in the architectural community, thus I can’t get anymore referral bonuses from getting more people hired on here.
I am angry that the young designers who sit next to me are getting more of their young-designer colleagues hired on, thus bumping me farther down the queue to becoming a designer myself.
I’m angry with myself for not growing a pair during the round of interviews that lead me to this job; I was honest about my capabilities, like a weenie, so that I was saddled with the title Project Coordinator, instead of Project Architect, as I should be.
I am angry that I don’t know how to go about changing that, or if I even have a vote in changing it.

This is a good place, I know it is, but I’m afraid I’m hurting my chances here with all this anger. Things have the potential to get better, but it won’t be overnight, or even in the near future. Patience is not one of my strong points, and I’ve already been dealing with crappy assignments and frustrating tasks for over a year now- I’m surprised I haven’t snapped and done something really stupid before now, as a matter of fact. The way it’s been manifesting lately is in my tendency to snip away at the number of hours I work per week. Monday, I called in sick and played World of Warcraft all day. Yesterday, I snuck out an hour early. Today, I sat and typed this entry, when I could have easily found some busywork to do.

After returning from the convention the office sent me to a few weeks ago, I had a renewed sense of purpose. I was motivated and inspired, even though I was assigned, once again, to work on nothing but wall sections for my next project. Too bad it didn’t last. It only lasted long enough for me to commit myself to creating a presentation that I now don’t want to give anymore.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Our office has begun the painful process of upgrading to AutoCAD 2005. An upgrade alone wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the fact that Corporate has insisted that we now use the ADT portion of the program for construction drawings- meaning everything is drawn in 3-D, using so-called “smart walls.”

I consider myself the last of a dying breed- those who once did actual hand drafting. Until graduation, I drafted everything by hand. Therefore, I have a tendency to use AutoCAD as a glorified electronic pencil. Because of Project B’s lingering for so long, I haven’t yet been able to attend the training for this software upgrade; this is causing much frustration on my part. I don’t know how to get the “smart walls” to behave themselves. If I try to move a door, sometimes it jumps into an entirely different wall. If I trim a wall, it moves a door that’s in the wall. Weird-angled walls (which the damn designers absolutely love to use) don’t fillet properly, causing gaps at the corners, and the appearance of an annoying “you’ve fucked up” red circle with crosshairs in it.

"Smart walls," my ass. Nobody has yet been able to show me what’s so friggin’ smart about them.

This whole concept was sold on the premise that it would give us the ability to draw all the walls, using wall styles, and then be able to simply “slice through the plan, creating an instant building section.”

In a meeting discussing wall sections for a project using The All-Powerful ADT, I asked a coworker, “are you using the ADT, or just regular lines to create these sections?”

“We’re creating them with regular lines.”

Nope, not seeing any “smart” yet.

I can see the relevance of drawing all the exterior walls in 3D, because those could be used to easily create exterior renderings and elevations. However, none of the project’s elevations have been created this way. We do have the ability to create a 3D rendering of the Housekeeping closets, though!

Whooo, “smart walls!”

In order to give me a task that I could do until I can attend training, I was charged with changing the wall styles in floor plan files from “standard style” to “Humongo approved style.”

Yesterday, the CAD Coordinator asked me, “How’s ADT treatin’ ya?”

I hate it.”

CAD Coordinator assures me that, once I’ve had the training, I will learn to love ADT.

I said, “What I would love is if people would draw the damn walls as the correct style the first time.”

He said, “they couldn’t, because they didn’t know what wall types they were supposed to be yet.”

Let me translate: This means that, on every job, the walls will first be drawn as “standard,” then have to be changed to the correct wall styles later, next updated with the correct fire tape, and still have to be labeled with partition types.

Where’s the “smart,” again??

I hope whoever sold Corporate on the whole “smart wall” concept is enjoying his Hawaiian vacation. Or the absence of his soul. Whatever.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I knew I was right not to like Diet C0ke.
I have a temporary reprieve from Project B, while it's in the hands of the Contractor for pricing.

My latest assignment? Changing wall styles from "standard" to "Corporate-approved style" in floor plans.

I'm sooooo glad I got a Master's Degree, otherwise I couldn't do such stimulating work!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Maybe it's just me, but...

If 95% of the office is using AutoCAD, and you're a MicroStation user, who has, to the present time, not made any effort to learn AutoCAD, and you are, therefore, absolutely no help to the drafting effort, you have no right to complain about how an AutoCAD job has been drawn.

Shut it.

I think I just set a record for "most commas used (badly) in a single sentence."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Printing days are always fun (/sarcasm), but today’s printing is extra special, as the PA and her second-in-command are both out for the day, and I am “in charge.” According to the scant information I received from PA on Friday afternoon, I was to make sure all the disciplines printed their sheets, so that we could issue sets to the appropriate State reviewers this afternoon. This would mean two sets, maximum. PA would call sometime today, and tell us how many more sets were needed for the contractor, if any. These could go out tomorrow, no problem.

It sounded like a fairly easy print job, and it was, for about the first 20 minutes.

While gathering up everything required for the submittals to the State reviewers, I realized I needed several pieces of documentation. During the course of acquiring said information from Project Manager, he tells me “we don’t have that yet for this part of the project.” Since I can’t issue to the State reviewers without it; I ask, “Sooo, we’re not issuing today?”

Client Liason pipes up over the cubicle wall in a pissy tone of voice, “No, I need prints to go to the Owner today. I need three sets; no, four sets.”

I think: What you need is to sit back down and shut the hell up. And a clue.
What I say: “Okay, we can do that.”
“Thanks, CAD Monkey.”
I think: Cram it.

Okay, fine. Four sets are attainable by the end of the day, if I get everybody’s stuff by noon. The next task is wrangling the other disciplines’ drawings.

[the phone rings]
I pick up the phone, and answer, “This is CAD Monkey.”
It’s the plumbing designer. “Should the border read, ‘QC?’”
“No, it should say, ‘For Construction.’ You’ll need to update your border file.”
“But the one I just pulled up says ‘QC.’”
“Then you’ll need to update your border file, the current one doesn’t say that.”
“Okay, bye.”

[two minutes later, the phone rings]
I pick up the phone, and answer, “This is CAD Monkey.”
It’s the plumbing consultant. Again. “It says, ‘[Project Manager], underscore, .jpg…’”
“That’s for our architectural seal. Just freeze that layer.”
“Then it will be blank?”
“Then it will be blank.”
“Then I’ll need to wet seal it?”
[mentally smacks herself in the head repeatedly with the phone handset] “Yes.”
“Okay, bye.”

Firstly, this is someone who has been working a lot longer than I have. Secondly, it’s not like we haven’t been through all this on different packages of this project several times now. Thirdly, if it’s that damn difficult, hand it off to one of your interns!

It is lunch time, and I have one, count it, ONE discipline’s drawings on my desk.

PM comes to my desk, as I am hurriedly wolfing down some Monkey Chow, and tells me we need another 4 sets.
I reply, “okay, but it’s not going to get to the Owner until Wednesday morning.” He says that it really needs to get there by tomorrow morning.

[visions of reaching out and throttling PM dance through my head]

Client Liason won’t be there to distribute the drawings until Wednesday morning, and I never got any memo or e-mail saying what actually needed to go out, or when, so I don’t know where this “must go out” crap is coming from- but I have an idea.

Neither PM nor Client Liason ever seems to realize that printing sets is not an instant process. Let me say it again: this is not the first time we have gone through this! PM hasn’t even signed and stamped the specs yet; how can he expect us to have 8 sets in four hours?

Once I have the complete original set in my hands, getting copies is the next obstacle. For an office our size, we should, in all practicality, have three plotters. We have one. It is necessary to scan all of the plots before we can even begin making copies, and this has to be done by a print tech who can’t get anything out without several smoke breaks and the usual complaint, “why didn’t you get this to me sooner?”

I start repeating my make-it-through-this-week mantra, “Fuck it, it will get there when it gets there.”

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The mental picture my brain has assigned to my stress levels is that of a winch with a ratchet and pawl gear system. Whenever another problem arises, the pawl moves up another tooth, or several. When I can get some relief, like passing out at 7pm and sleeping until 6 the next morning, the winch unwinds a little, but does not release completely.

I don't know what it will take to let the winch unwind completely. Sometimes it seems like cutting the rope is the only option.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Mark of the Devil

More proof that Project B is evil. I ran an audit on a file I was working on, and I received this message in the text bar...

And for the day's final kick in the ass...

I was told that I got the boot from my next project, which would have involved me going to user group meetings through design development on a really big, from-scratch hospital.

The reason?

I don't yet know the date of my surgery, and "they can't depend on me" because of that.

I've been busting ass, and risking what's left of my sanity, on Project B for a damn year now, and my carrot-on-a-string just got yanked away from me. Because I want to walk without pain. Silly CAD Monkey! Career must come first!! I understand where they're coming from, but damn! Could the timing be any worse?

I feel like I'm going absofuckinglutely nowhere in my career. ManThing told me yesterday that sometimes he wishes I were more ambitious. With what seems like constant setbacks, it's hard for me to agree with him. Further, I don't think I really want to be more ambitious- or not in this career field, anyway. It seems a wasted effort. I don't even know if changing firms, yet again, would help. I'm firmly ensconced within my pigeonhole.

Meanwhile, a 36-year-old was just named associate managing principal of our office.
I'm turning 32 this year, and what have I to show for my seven years in the industry? Nothing- except for an architectural license, which is worth the same...nothing. The two designers that sit next to me are both 35, and neither of them have their licenses; yet, they are running their own design projects. Hell, even Hack n' Snort is running his own fucking project- sans license, and with less experience than I have! WTF?!? I can only assume it is because he has started playing golf with one of the PMs in the office. (rolls eyes)

Cube Neighbor's pyramid scheme is starting to look somewhat enticing...
Jeez, I could have been the author of this forum post.

Why do Mondays always seem to have this effect on me?
I need to be moved the hell away from the "project designer" section.

Today's Misogynistic Tidbit:
Team meeting for Project B. Project Architect, who is a woman, is trying to gain consensus on an agenda item, and goes back and forth between the two options. Client Liason (who is worse than worthless) leans over to me and says, "they say it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right? Heh heh heh."

I'm hoping the look I gave him properly conveyed my non-verbal response, "eat shit, heh heh heh."
I would sell one of my kidneys right now, if I honestly believed it would get me out of having to work on Project B for another two weeks.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My life is in a sad, sad state of affairs when I’m overjoyed at the prospect of having a crown put on a tooth, simply because I don’t have to get an accompanying root canal.

But on a funnier note...

Last night I had a dream that I was over at the desk of one of our structural engineers. He told me to add something to one of our architectural drawings. Standing next to me, there was a very short man, wearing a black turtleneck sweater, black pants, a black knit cap, and sunglasses. He told me that there was no time for me to go back to my desk and add it to the drawing in CAD- I had to tape the engineer's sketch to the paper.

Or I'd be executed on the spot.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I’m beginning to think that I need to stop telling coworkers about things in my life outside of work. The reason isn’t one borne of guilt, or inappropriateness, or even anti-social behavior (though that one is closing in on 2nd place). The true reason is I’m just tired of having to
A) repeat the same story 30 times; and
B) having to reply, “no, nothing’s happened yet.”

ManThing and I decided to put the house up for sale; and I unwisely asked around the office for a recommendation on a real estate agent. This brought upon an onslaught of people asking if I’d used their agent; was the house on the market yet; why were we selling; where were we moving; and, “don’t you want to keep your tax break?” Almost a month later, we still don’t have it on the market, yet the questions keep coming; and I have to continue to answer, “no, nothing’s happened yet.”

Then there’s Days of Our Leg (cue sweeping violin music) saga. I am becoming accustomed to the annoyance of having to wait a month after anything of relevance occurring with the course of my treatment. Go to doctor, wait a month. Go get imaging test, wait a month. Find out what kind of surgery I’ll have, wait a month for it to be scheduled. Unfortunately, nobody else knows this is the routine- so I get the questions. My reply, “no, nothing’s happened yet.”

Now, in my ongoing streak of luck, I am wearing a wrist splint because I have a ganglion cyst in my right hand. I don’t have to even tell anybody about this problem to get the questions; because, like the cane, it’s an outwardly apparent symbol of another injury/ disability/ pain in my ass. So I tell the story- 30 times.

Have I snapped and killed anyone?

No, nothing’s happened yet.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The scenario:
Coworker B comes into the office.
Hack n’ Snort asks, “How are you doing this morning?”
Coworker B replies, “Not so great. I don’t feel very well.”
Hack n’ Snort says, “What’d she cook you? Wives are bound to make something that will make you sick at least once.”

WTF?!? Is this guy from the 50s, or what? If he’s so sure that “wives” are out to poison their husbands, he should cook his own damn dinner.

Shut up, Hack n’ Snort. Go blow your nose. Or a goat.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The "B" stands for "Blows Goats"

Your favorite insomnia-suffering architect is back! Did you miss me?

Last night, I felt a post just positively bubbling up inside me, like so much acid indigestion, but I couldn’t bring myself to relive the day’s events just yet. Now, at 4:45 in the morning, with the last remnants of my cookie dough-induced stupor gone, I think I’m ready.

Project B has still. Not. Left. The building.

In fact, we just got another fucking extension on it. The extension is the ultimate double-edged sword. We desperately need more time, but I am so sick of looking at this thing, it’s a struggle to force myself to do anything productive each day. The light at tunnel’s end has been cruelly ripped away from me once again. This is the third (Fourth? Fifth? Who can keep up?!?) extension we’ve gotten.

The utter aura of stupidity that surrounds this project has caused me to have this damn song running through my head all day long.

You want an example, you say? Why, sure! I have one for you right here.

The Owner is an ignorant git who has made countless changes and taken forever to answer pertinent questions, yet still expects everything to remain on schedule. Mr. Client Liason- who hasn’t got a fucking clue how much work it takes to finish a project of this size- promised the Owner that the Contractor would receive a pricing set on December 15th. We issued it, even though the set was only 75% done, at best. Because of all the omissions in a set missing 25% of its information, we are now being inundated with 9-page long requests for information from the Contractor- most of which point out that “detail has no notes,” or “referenced detail doesn’t exist.”

No! Really? You don’t say, Mr. Contractor!

We are now working on Addendum 1. This means we have to draw a revision cloud around, and add a delta with a “1” in it, to everything that has changed since the last set of drawings was issued. The last set of drawings consisted of 680 sheets. 680 sheets that were missing a substantial chunk of information. Do you see how big of a pain in the ass this is? Yesterday, my PA hands me a copy of a spec section that reads, “Addendum 2.” Apparently, this is being issued so that the Contractor can use a substitution on a building material. My PA gave me a copy of it because it had been issued. Before Addendum 1.

I never thought I’d be eagerly anticipating hip surgery, but here I am. Next Wednesday, if my doctor says he wants to operate the very next day, I’m so there. I will totally bail on this project, like the sinking ship it is.

Morphine, take me away.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Howdy, kids.

Since we’ve been apart, some experiences have been had, and decisions made.

ManThing and I are putting Chez Monkey up for sale. No, we’re not buying another house. We’re taking one step down on the “I’m-An-Adult-Now” American Dream Ladder, and going back to renting. It is amazing to me, the sense of relief I have had since we made this decision (which also tells me it’s the right one). Apparently, I am an architect who (gasp) doesn’t want to live in a house. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we don’t have the money to fix it up to our standards. Perhaps it is because the house payment is draining us dry, so that we can’t afford to do anything but make the house payment. Whatever. I’m not going to go into it here.

For quite a while, I’ve been meaning to address some of the comments I received on this entry.

Anonymous said (Mikey, is that you?), “Find something to add joy to your life. Quit trying to make it architecture. That is a job to pay the bills. Some people live for their jobs. That is how they get in magazines. Screw that!"

Screw that, indeed.
In fact, I have come to realize that I want absolutely nothing to do with architecture or construction when I’m not at work. I’m even going to change the delivery address for my industry mags to my work address. There needs to be a clear separation between what I do to pay the bills, and who I am- “architect” is not as all-encompassing as my old professors would have me believe. The notion that you must be “passionate” about architecture at all times and in all aspects of your life is something I had shoved down my throat all throughout school. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great, steaming pile of crap. I am good- no, excellent- at what I do for a living, but I don’t want to bring it home with me every night- or constantly spend long hours at work. Divorce and unhappiness await me at the end of that road.

I no longer care about trying to do some design work on the side, entering design competitions, or doing upgrades to my own house. I'm no longer desperate for people to ask me to design their houses, or anything else. In my off-the-clock time, I want to make art. Pure, simple, art- no codes, no clients, nobody to tell me it’s crap except me (and occasionally ManThing, shrugging, offering the opinion, “Eh.”). Would I like to make a living creating art? Sure, but then it would stop being enjoyable, much like architecture school killed my love of hand drawing.

Philip said, “You need one sustaining daily goal to get you through these rough times.”

Right now, my sustaining daily goals, in this exact order, are going to be: uncluttering the house enough to prepare for sale, getting my leg fixed, and cramming some art-making in wherever I can. I even sat down last night and hand-sketched something- and it felt good, for the first time in a long while. Tonight, I’m going to my first figure drawing class. I’m excited.

Art therapy rocks.