Wednesday, July 28, 2004

# 15 ..

++ 15. I have a bachelor's degree in architecture and a master degree in architecture from the university of cincinnati.
blah blah. you know this already. or you don't care. if you do. ask a question. i'll see what i can come up with.
are you an architect?
no. not yet.

will you make a lot of money?
no. never.

are you famous?
only in the eyes of my grandmother.

will you be famous?
according to jon's dad i will. he threatened to kick my ass if i wasn't.

why won't you make a lot of money?
we just like to dress all shiny. its really a facade. we're dirt poor. we just like to fool you into thinking we have a lot of money.

do you have to be smart to be an architect?
yes. smart like a brick. 'what does the brick want to be?' it wants to be a building. a big red building. with dogs that pee on it. and openings so you can walk into it just so you can turn around to see out of it.
no. you don't have to be smart to be an architect. you do have to be able to think things out though. like, if there were way to many people on a floor and you could feel the floor start to deflect in the center, what would i do? would you run toward a wall so if the floor caved in you would be alright? noooo. you would leave the building and go outside. thats why i'm an almost architect. because i'm smart.

is architecture easy to get into at the university of cincinnati?
for undergrad. yes if you have a minimum SAT total score of 1320 or an ACT composite 30 and you had a 3.5gpa or you were a valedictorian.
for graduate. yes if you have a 3.2 cumulative gpa for your undergrad and you have a portfolio and you have an undergrad in some related field and a minimum GRE score of 1790.
yes. its a piece of cake.

was architecture school hard at the university of cincinnati?
nope. if you don't mind staying up til incredibly late and odd hours of the morning everynight for 6 years straight. (including weekends.) and pulling allnighters for a week straight to finish your projects at the end of the quarter for studio. oh yeah, did i mention thats just for a 5-credit hour studio. you are still required to take 4 other lecture classes every quarter as well. (honestly, it wasn't hard. just long and laborious.)

are you glad you're graduated?
kind of. the first year i was a sponge. taking everything in. years 2-5 i knew what i had to do to slip by. to do as little as possible and get away with it. year 6 i actually learned how to be a student. i studied the things i wanted to study and i loved it. i made my own schedule. i made my own deadlines. i made my own goals and produced what i knew i needed to produce in order to show the things i needed to show to get my point across. it was a fun process. i'd do it again. (i'd still complain and whine, but i'd do it again.) ++

Monday, July 26, 2004


i went up to toledo on thursday evening to help out and make sure everything which got overlooked was taken care of. the wedding was on saturday. so friday was spent for the most part getting all the last minute stuff taken care of before the rehearsal. it consisted mostly of driving jon around in his father's rented out pt cruiser while jon co-ordinated everything via his mobile phone. he would be on the phone talking to kiera's mom or his mom and by the time he finished with the call, he would have two messages on his phone. he'd start to call one of the people back and by the time he had finished that phone call, he would have two more messages. never failed. and then to make things more stressful he would get a phone call from a stressed out and crying kiera. for all the things that could have gone wrong, everything was a breeze. rehearsal went smoothly. lots of clowning around and laughing (and crying) and 4 or 5 run-throughs and we all by the end could fake it enough to make everything look like we knew what we were doing. rehearsal dinner afterwards went well. good food. good good food. more laughing. (and more crying). thank yous. presents. and then back to jon's apartment (which was 30 minutes away) where as soon as we were dropped off, jon realized he didn't have his house keys. so we drove all the way back to the wyndham hotel to get his keys and then all the way back to his apartment. only midnight, but it felt like 4 in the morning. little zzzz's. saturday. wedding day. wedding starts in 6 hours. jon's up. not nervous. not fidgety. just another morning. goes for a run. i take a shower. wedding starts at 2. we need to be at the church by noon. jon decided he wanted to get a present for kiera to give to her before the wedding. panera bagel. mall. present. little ceaser's to pick up food for the rest of the groomsmen. church. groomsmen. wait. television. kiera's ring is delivered to me. getting ready. 20 minutes til game time. last minute photos. my button pops off. so does someone elses'. buttons fixed. we're walking. we're walking. music. lights. camera. action. people. all in row. one step forward to rake the place of the guy in front of you. my partner is coming down the aisle. she's at the 6th row. walk. say hello. present my arm. step over the aisle runner. focus point is the black piece of tape. one step. stop. one step. stop. one step. stop. one step. stop. one step. stop. one step. 'you're welcome. see you in a few.' go to the right. stand in line. here comes jon and pastor banks. pull out camera. take a few photos. jon. bridesmaids. wow, they look stunning. music. spotlight. kiera. walking down from the balcony. more photos. they're walking. they're walking. they're still walking. slow. they're stopped at the end of the aisle. why? someone is giving kiera her boquet. they're walking. photos of jon. he's crying. pastor banks just whacked his arm. oh. no he's giving him a hankerchief. ha. music stops. jon and kiera are walking up the steps behind pastor banks. they stop. i can see jon and kiera's face. they're glowing. absolutely beautiful. prayers. vows. candles. kisses. 'i do.' 'i do.' kisses. smiles. walking away. smiles. tears. hugs. oh my turn. we're walking. greeting. oh hi mom and dad and jeff and sara and cindy. 'yeah, i'll see you at the reception.' limo. photos. more photos. more photos. limo. champaigne. probably shouldn't drink too much. i still have to do some speech. more photos. toledo art museum. more photos. wyndham hotel. more photos. 'thanks for dropping my car off for me.' 'ok, i'll see you inside.' oh thank goodness, they brought out food for the bridal party. 'ok people, please line-up with your partner.' 'and the matron of honor, natasha bayes, and the bestman, jay blackburn.' do a little dance. oh right, walking. sitting. listen to toast. eat salad. another toast. tylenol for headache. eat dinner. another toast. cut cake. another toast. eat cake. bride's dance. another toast. groom's dance. another toast. jon and kiera's dance. oh right, my turn to toast. read from paper. don't want to mess this up. read. clapping. bridal party dance. whew. beautiful. go sit. (beacuse i'm not a dancing fiend.) good byes. congratulations. absolutely beautiful wonderful wedding. Congratulations Jon and Kiera. much love. ++

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


cincinnati fun at its finest. ++

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


++ QUIPS RECENTLY HEARD at weekly office meetings.
"leukemia is spelled with a 'U' and lymphoma is spelled with a 'Y'."
"eh, they're sick. they won't care. how its spelled."
"there was a chick at the bar. excuse me, but thats what it was."
"she's yellow, has feathers, you know, she's cute."
"yeah, she was a bar chick."
"i must be a control freeak, because i start to lose control when i can't control the things i want to control."
"two words: hooters sluts."
"can you repeat all of that back for me?"
"no, i wasn't listening to you."
"i'm sorry, but what do you think strippers do for work? thats right, they take their clothes off. thats why they're called strippers."
", hookers are different than strippers." ++

Monday, July 19, 2004


++ ALL CHICAGO, ALL the time.
01. sleeping at any possible time it was possible to sleep.
02. spending an hour trying to get from millenium park to the shedd aquarium and then deciding it wasn't worth the money for the amount of time we would be there, so we turned around and left.
03. getting up at 7.30am to drive to chicago from toledo.
04. getting up at 4.45am to drive back to toledo from chicago the next day.
05. eating dinner with no silverware at medival times.
06. falling asleep after dinner at medival times .
07. train ride into the city. (when is it ever not fun to ride a train into a city??)
08. live music at a bar.
09. a hot breakfast prepared for you at 4.45am.
10. a packed lunch prepared for you to take back on your drive.
11. only having to fill up three times for a trip from dayton to toledo to chicago and all the way back.
12. 'the dungeon' museum of medival torture devices.
13. walking into the bathroom and seeing three grown men all standing at urinals wearing a knock-off burger king crown on their heads with the third guy having to crouch down because he was too tall for the little kid urinal.
14. millenium park. cloud gate. gehry pavilion and bridge. crown fountain. lurie garden.
15. spending quality time with a good friend. ++

Friday, July 16, 2004


++ ..for the weekend. it's jon oliver's bachelor party! ++

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


++If i destroy everything, does that mean i don't have deal with any of it?++

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


++ From a friend of a friend's away message:
"Eventually, all the pieces fall into place...until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason."
no better advice or statement could be made at the moment. there is some unforseen plan (from my eyes) and i'm ok with that. i know i can't control everything and i'm ok with that.
my mom has a way with being chinese. it seems like more and more whenever her and i have talks, she always manages to throw in an ancient chinese proverb. naturally she doesn't tell it to me in chinese (like it probably should be or would be the most true) because well then i wouldn't be able to understand it. she translates it into english (which sometimes it loses its full meaning, but the general gist of it comes through.) the most recent proverbs she has told me in the past 6 months are these:
there are two men in a village. both of them have had ailments which have bothered them for the longest time. they both have the exact same medical condition, a cut on their thumb which no matter what they do, always opens up overnight and bleeds. the first guy goes to his doctor and says, "doctor, i have a cut on my thumb and no matter what i do, it will never heal. i've tried everything." the doctor says, "don't worry, i will supply you with a life-time worth of bandages and if you come to my office i will treat your wound and bandage your thumb everyday until you die and your problem will be solved." the guy says, "thanks, doctor." and he does this for the rest of his life. the second guy at the same time goes to his doctor and says, "doctor, i have a cut on my thumb and no matter what i do, it will never heal. i've tried everything." the doctor says, "don't worry, i will cut your thumb off right now. it will hurt while i'm doing this, but it will heal properly, you will never have to worry about your cut again and you will never have to come back to my office." the guy says, "ok doctor. do it." the doctor severes the guys thumb and he is in pain for the next couple of months, but as foretold his cut heals properly and he never has to revisit the doctor for his ailment.

the moral of the proverb is sometimes it is better for quick sharp pain which will heal than to have a cut which will bleed for the rest of your life.
the second proverb: there are two men in a village. one of them lives one the west side of town next to a well and the local spring, however his home faces the wall which surrounds the village to keep out intruders and attackers. the other man lives on the east side of town where the grass is always green, he has servants to do all of his hosuework and prepare him meals. his house sits on the top of a hill overlooking the rest of the village. he is well-stocked and lives very well, however he is so far secluded from the rest of the village that others must yell and chime bells when they want to approach his domain. both men are happy with where they live until a fire breaks out in the city center and quickly spreads in all directions burning everything in its path. the fire reaches both homes at the same time and both men scramble to save their possessions. the first man walks three steps out of his front door and dips his bucket into the well and local spring and douses the flames which are burning his house. the second man runs through the gate surrounding his house and down the hill through the town center and over the spring. he fills up a bucket and runs back through the town center up the hill, through the gate and manages to throw half a bucket on the fire which is starting to engulf his home. his home burns to the ground.

the moral of the proverb is sometimes it is better to live humbly and closer to the water than it is to live well and on the far side of town, for when fire breaks you will be closest to water and the first to put down the flames.
i understand these on a very basic philosophical sense, but i'm unsure i am able to read very far into their meanings at this point in my life. it seems like sometimes we are so close to the fire and i spend so much time putting out the fire, that i don't even know what is on fire. there is some larger plan in which everything i do falls into and i haven't the smallest clue to what that is. in the whole realm of things, today is but a small bump in the sidewalk which borders an alley which feeds into a street which runs to the boulevard emptying into the highway going across the country to a destination i can't see, beacuse it is so high up in the clouds, that once i finally drive into my gas tank has run empty and i can no longer continue the journey to the final destination, nor do i know what the final destination is, nor can i see ahead of me. the only clear path of vision is behind me, back down through the hole in the clouds down the highway, through the boulevard, down the street into the alley next to the sidewalk where the bump in which i now stand in is completely and utterly clear why it is. i will never reach my final destination and i will never see past the clouds, but thats ok, because i trust and i know my cloud and my mountain is but a bump on this earth, which is but a planet in the galaxy, which is but one galaxy in the vastness of space.
and i'm ok with that. ++

Thursday, July 08, 2004

# 14 ..

++ 14. I also don't wear deodorant.
ok, well i do sometimes. usually only when i'm getting all dolled up though. (which isn't often or often enough i guess. although i could now, now that i have more time and actually have some money. its a bittersweet thing..) actually i have only bought two sticks of deodorant ever. and thats only because i lost the first one. actually now that i think of it i use it when i play sports sometimes. but not every time. what a boring post. really though, can you actually have a good story about deodorant? ++

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

# 13 ..

++ 13. I go commando.
thats right. balls to the wall. airing it out. no underwear. no briefs. no boxers (well only sometimes). hey, what can i say. its cooler that way. as in less hot. thats one less piece of clothing i have to wash. its not that big of a deal really. its been 9 years and i haven't looked back. ok, actually i just bought my first pack of boxers for the first time in 9 years a couple of weeks ago. it was odd.
is it really that much less hot? debatable. i think it is. when do i wear boxers? who cares? sometimes when i play sports and i feel like it. sometimes when i go to work and the boxers i have are clean. don't i have to worry about 'clipping' anything? well, yeah. you just have to be careful though. you take an extra second zipping up .. just to make sure. although by now i'm so used to it, i don't really think about it. the other option is to just get button up flys. takes a little longer to button up or button down, but its well worth not having to worry about pinching. do i have to worry about my ass crack dirtying up the backside of my pants? you just wipe good. (you should wipe good anyway.) how do i deel with the leakies? shake it like a polaroid picture. ..twice for safe keeping. you put clothes on as soon as you get out of the pool. you make sure you're dry before you put clothes on. pretty simple and uneventful actually. you wear them. i don't. simple. ++

Saturday, July 03, 2004

# 12 ..

++ 12. I have lived here in the united states ever since then.
i think out of all the places i've lived in i enjoyed denver the most. i'm not quite sure why. maybe it was because it was the first time i had really really gone off and lived without any kind of guidance. when i left home to go to college, there is still that RA sort of thing on the floor and quality control for getting into the dorms. but when i went to denver, it was just me and brian and adam and drew and no one to tell us what to do or who to see or not to do or not to see. or maybe because it was my first time really being out west for any extended period of time. and in the mountains of all places! or maybe it was i really connected with denver. (doesn't everybody connect with colorado somehow though?) it could have been the hiking and camping in the mountains in the summer and then going back to the exact same places in the winter and snowboarding down them. or it could have been that it was the first time i had ever climbed outside. or the first time i had ever been on a multi-pitch route. or the first time i had ever been on a snowboard. doesn't matter. it was fun. i'd go back any day.
san francisco had its moments. of course the two times i lived there i lived in two completely different places. cole valley the first time (just right up the street from the haight) and in the mission (the OTR of cincinnati, except all spanish people). the first time i lived in cole valley i had to drive down through the castro (the gay district) everyday to get to work. the second time i had to drive over to the warehouse district over on the east side (over by pacbell park). i think what i enjoyed most about san francisco was the inevitable morning fog which would be replaced by sunshine in the afternoon. the distinct neighborhoods in a unified city were something you don't see everywhere, especially in suburbia ohio (which isn't necessarily a bad thing. just a different thing.) there is a completely different side of san francisco you get as a tourist than as somebody who works there or does installations and deliveries there. oh and the streets. oh the streets. you learn unless you live on those insanely steep streets that you avoid the insanely steep streets. or rather you learn alternate ways around them. not that they aren't fun to drive, because they are. but they do damage beyond what you would ever think to your clutch and to your gas mileage.
portland is a city which is deceptive. it is one of the largest cities in the pacific northwest (after seattle) and yet it feels about as big as dayton, ohio. it may be because it has so much room to spread out, that it does. or it could be that its not right on the water (which i really didn't know until i go there and looked at a map.) it actually sits about an hour inland on a river. oh oh! i get it now. port. land. its a port. its surrounded by land. portland. (holy wow i'm smart.) there is a code in portland that none of the buildings built now are allowed to block views of mount hood (which is visible from downtown even though its 2 hours east.) so i think the building height code is something like 30 floors which puts it at just around 450' or so above ground level i think. mount hood is ridulous. its a little kid's drawing of a mountain. its basically a triangle. and its soo cool. portland has free public transportation downtown and it operates on an honor system outside of downtown and oddly enough most people if not all people oblige to the honor system (except when they fall asleep drunk and accidentally take the train all the way to the end of the line 15 miles outside of downtown, but thats another post.) portland is basically a family town if you ask me. it seems that everyone is either married and has kids or at the very least married.
seattle is a place shrouded in myth and rumors to us people who are from the midweset (and by the midwest i mean our made up midwest of ohio, which isn't really in the midwest, but is for all practical purposes.) seattle is a place so far away that we (ohioians) think it rains there all the time. we think seattle never has sunshine. its always cold. and all the people are either gay or lesbians or ugly. .. most of this is true. well all except for the raining all the time thing. to forever dispell rumors about seattle (to the 10 people who read this. i'm not gonna lie. i don't pretend that a bunch of people read this or care.), seattle does not rain all the time. it is surrounded by water everywhere you go. it seems that every street you turn down, it ends at water. however in the summer when the high pressure system of california moves north, it pushes all the rain clouds north and its actually sunny (and hot .. 80+ degrees). it does however seem to mist a lot. which is different from rain. most buildings in seattle don't have a/c. why? it basically pretty much never gets warm enough to warrant the use of a/c. when it does ge that warm, people just open their windows and use that old and proven cross-ventilation cooling system. there is a definate critical regionalism thing going on in seattle. seattle's architecture carries that very techtonic feel, where structure is defined, shown, and almost celebrated. it is a very working class city with lots of ports and shipping plays a very big influence on the city's structure and skyline. and with that comes a very straightforward and honest architecture. oh and mount rainier. how could i forget about mount rainier. it is visible from seattle even though its 3 hours southeast from downtown. its absolutely huge! all those photos you see of the skyline of seattle where it looks like mount rainier is either photoshopped in or cut and pasted.. yeah those are real. its ridiculous how big the mountain is. disturbing almost.
cincinnati has grown on me over the past six years. its not that i ever disliked it. it just didn't have all the flair of the other cities. or maybe it was because its too close to home. but now it has turned into my home and really like it here. its not as big as columbus, but it seems like it is. downtown is completely different from the east side which is completely different from the westside which is completely different from the scene around campus. downtown is still really dead (especially after the riots and since it sits right next to OTR, which is one of the poorest districts in cinci.) downtown has gottne better in recent years or at least it seems. the eastside is comprised mostly of big fat old homes perched on small hills or tucked away in groves of trees. for lack of a better stereotype it is the rich part of cinci. the westside is a step back in time as well, but not for the architecture, more for its old ways of thinking and mentality. for lack of a better stereotype, the westside is the working class of cinci. they are hardnosed. they work mostly blue-collar jobs. they have a character about them which is completely different from the eastside. and then the campus parts of cinci. well its like most other campus sections of cities, except its a little more urban, but not a true urban campus. basically i'm saying its a fake campus. ..architecturally.
and finally last but by far not the least, fairborn, my hometown. i grew up there and spent my childhood there and the endless summers where i had nothing to do there. it was great. its still great. my parents still live in fairborn. and for the record i have never lived in beavercreek, although i was only a few streets off. some of my most vivid memories are in fairborn. playing soccer, endless games of soccer and practices. going on bike rides. summer midday holy hot runs. kickball. you name it. it most likely happenned. fairborn is a town made mostly of government employees. i would venture to say that if wright patterson air force base had not been more or less in town, the city of fairborn would not be a city, but still a town or a village or a settlement or still the wild west. fairborn is actually the conjoining of the towns of fairfield and osborne with a railroad more or less splitting it right down the middle. it is the all-american suburb except that main street and downtown fairborn has gone through a relapse and because of the transient nature of wright patt, downtown is not as vivid and busy as it should be. it doesn't contain as many cute little shops as it should. it is a sity of single family small detached houses with vasts amount of neighborhoods all sporting the same house, varied slightly, but more or less the same house for rows and rows on end. it is my hometown and i am proud of it despite its shortcomings.
what can i say. ..its home. ++

Thursday, July 01, 2004

# 11 ..

++ 11. I have never been to Europe, but I was born in Taiwan, but I only lived there for 6 months, but it was the first 6 months of my life.
And so i don't remember it. i have been back to taiwan once since then to visit relatives. it was in 2002. i met relatives i haven't ever met before and it was absolutely great. downtown taipei taiwan is something similar to going to times square during rush hour in the evening when all the lights are on and everywhere, spinning around until you are aboslutely dizzy, then dropping a pin in the midst of all the foot traffic and taxi traffic, closing your eyes for 30 seconds, then trying to find the pin. absolutely insane. of course the bigger you are, the more control you have. so pedestrians have no chance. you avoid everything else. next come the scooters with the 20 and 30 something year olds on them, wearing a cloth or cotton mask over their mouths to keep out the ever-present car fumes. they zip in and out of traffic deftly and narrowly avoiding each other and being hit by 4 wheeled vehicles. sometimes with a passenger on the back. some with helmets. some without. next come the cars driven by mostly middle to older taiwanese who have made it in the financial world (well even some who haven't. but the its just like the US. BMW's. junkers. they're all there.) next come the taxi cabs. oh the taxi cabs. not as many as NYC, but a whole lot more crazy. they are probably by far the worst drivers in the country. they drive fast. they turn fast. they jerk back and forth. apparantly they have a foul mouth. they all smoke. and they all chew betel nuts. which stain your teeth red and contains nicotine in it. actually, taxicab drivers almost rule the road over larger trucks and buses. the one thing i did notice is they do not have any semi-trucks. lots of greyhound buses though. oh, you can take a bus from the top of the island to the bottom of the island in a day. actually in less than a day. taiwan is so small it can fit inside rhode island. the countryside once you get out side of the major cities are very rural. oh and temples everywhere. i didn't quite figure out the whole temple and religious thing, because to me the temples (which i guess are different from shrines) all more or less look the same. at least the buddhist and daoist temples. but in the countryside (well pretty much everywhere outside of the major cities where its banned to burn things) they burn this fake money at temples. i guess at the buddhist temples you pray to three things, the gods, your anscestors, and the heavens. (although i think i just got that wrong. anybody know?) oh yeah and confuscianism is different from buddhism. without getting into a spiritual dialogue, confuscianism is not a religion, its a way of life. buddhism and shintoism and daoism are religions. there is a lot about taiwan. i'll save it though for particulars. ++