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.