Sunday, October 24, 2004

I GOT IT!!

Thats the big news- I GOT THE INTERNSHIP!!!

Not with a designer though, with the muralist. But I am still at the interior design place, and perhaps after some hard work I can move up, or if someone else needs a lot of help and I am not busy...

I have already quit with the transcriptionist. She was a bit mad, but thats okay. It has bothered me a little, but I will get over it. I didn't do anything wrong.

My first day on the job was Friday- Kerri called while I was in class and told me to come in as soon as possible. So I returned her call and said around 12:30. Luckily for me, class had been canceled, so I called my parents and told them the news, repeatedly, and then went home to find good clothes.

It took forever to find good clothes, but I did. And to find out I would be painting in the warehouse. Which was okay- I brought crappy clothes too, just in case. I changed after the catered lunch and put my hair back.

I did my first mural right then. They handed me a picture of a rabbit in a magic hat, told me the demensions were 4 foot tall, sixty inches wide, and said get to it. I cut the canvas off the roll myself, tacked it up on the wall, and began freehand drawing with a pencil. Then I cut it out, laid it on the ground, and painted it. I left around six thirty with it completely finished. This weekend it is going to Houston, and will be on some childs wall by Monday afternoon. My work was paid for by some stranger in Houston. That is just amazing to me. Even if it was only a bunny in a magic hat- I have to start somewhere.

This was just easy enough to make me relax about it. If I had been given the giant 8 X10 Italian country house in the mountains I would have been scared to death. But I also got a more trying first day than the other girl who only had to paint a pre-drawn and pre-cut Scooby Doo mural that was about half the size of my rabbit.

Nicole- the real muralist/supervisor person will be gone this coming week on install. However Starlet, the other intern, and I will both be there running the show and filling all the other 18 orders. Scary, huh? No one to correct our mistakes or tell us we are making them. She started one day before me. It feels like I was hired as a muralist, and not an intern. Which is cool.

The absolute best thing about this job is just that- its a job. I get paid seven an hour to paint. And I don't even have to buy supplies or store the work! But my complaints about being broke.. well, they are still there, but frankly I am a hell of a lot better off. By my calculations, I will be able to make all bills and pay $300 for camping, and maybe even have a hundred or so left over. As long as I work 15 hours a week. Thats two full 9 hour days- or 8am to 6 pm. Thats only calculating until the middle of december.

Depending on how this job goes, I may end up staying here over break. If that happens, I will ask if I can up my hours to three or four days a week all day long. That way I can work 24 - 32 hours per week, and start recouping some of my money I lost on Kyuubi, and get something saved towards Japan. I would only be upping my hours for three weeks or so, but given those times, its still an extra $350. Also, after I see how much my parents get back from taxes, I may ask to not pay them back the money I owe them from last year- still $2,000 left- so that I can have an extra thousand already saved. I planned to give them back a thousand of my financial aid. But if I don't, that means I have enough for the round trip ticket by January, and if I really pinch and save and work hard, keeping at least fifteen hours a week by the end of the semester I will have another $2,000.

That makes it $3,000 of my own saved money, and if I can gather a thousand off of the family (which is horrible to say, especially after not paying my debts to them already when they are so hard pressed), I will have $4,000 and enough to head to Japan for the summer by May. Its only enough really for two weeks, so if I can work more, or sell things in mother's booth or pies in papa's BBQ stand, I might be able to extend it to three weeks. Three weeks will be enough for me to say I have truely been to Japan and seen what I can.

It also depends on the season I want to go... the weather. I do not want to be there in the hottest time, but I do want to see the Architecture Expo, and at least one major festival, preferably the Hanabi Festival. If that is in August, I can work an extra month or two without having to go to school, which gives me another thousand to work with for sure. It is still possible, even with my mismanagement of funds thus far, and lack of job. This makes me feel a lot better.

In the meantime, I had best be ready to do lots of work after I get home from school, and ahead of time on the weekends. I need good grades, at least 4 As and 1 B in order to even think about architecture school. It will take a miracle, since I am still not above the cut off for the grade point average. But I have raised it up considerably. It was around a 2.2, if I remember correctly, and now its at a 2.66. This semester might be able to raise it to a 2.8. But the cutoff is 3.25. I need Jeanne Crawford to make this work. This internship will help, I am sure, as will Steve's class, and hopefully, recommendation. I have to have a portfolio well to show my artistic ability. I guess that is not a problem, seeing as I got this job with very little trouble,it seems.

I have to choose classes again this next week. I need to talk to Mrs. Crawford as soon as possible and find out what I can do to help myself. I am crossing my fingers on this, and I suppose I can call her tomorrow to try and make an appointment while I am on lunch break, and clocked out. Its going to have to be on a limited time though, heh. Wednesday is my first registration, and Tuesday I am only available from 9:30 to 10:30 if I do not want to miss a class for it. Wednesday I am working. I am probably going to miss a class, or at worst first registration, so that I can talk to her.

Friday, October 22, 2004

I Just Keep Playing Catch Up

And that is all I do. Well that and anime.

Heh, and not even anime so much anymore because the sites are going down like flies in a fan box. Subs aren't coming out very quickly either, even when the sites do work. I am also getting a bit bored with it I suppose, the novelty having worn off. I am more short tempered and picky, and have allowed some shows to drift off without finishing.

But still. Its annoying.

School... heh. Well I had two exams today. I had two papers due- one which I turned in late. I dont think I did well on the papers. But the exams felt relatively good. This is bad. I need to make fantastic grades. I have to do excelent on all my papers, but for some reason I can't seem to get motivated enough to start them earlier than the night before. Hopefully Tim grades easily. Jessie, I have no hope. He is evil and strict as can be. I think we could proabably look at other TA's grading, and protest his. He is a nice guy though. But... just rough on grades.

I need to start looking at new classes for next semester- which means I have to talk to Jean Crawford again to see about what courses I can take in order to best get into architecture school. Which is where I am fairly sure I need to be- but not entirely sure. I want interior design actually. Not architectural engineering. Although these recent classes have made me admire and appreciate it so much more, I cannot actually imagine myself having to look at wiring, building codes, plumbing, geographical samples and studies, weather patterns and everything else under the sun for one building. Its too much detail for me to really go through. I am fairly sure I do not like to plan things out to that extreme. Maybe I do... but right now am scared of it. Either way, interior design looks so much more fun. But I think its in the same school. I have to check this.

I also want to try to sneak in Japanese next semester. Something tells me that I will have the space. Applying in the spring might just very well mean not getting in until next fall- and thats based on this semester's grades. Which as stated above, aren't going well.

Now, all of this fun pressure is added to by the fact that I have NO money. I bought Kyuubi with the presumption that I would be working, and would have made at least six hundred dollars by now. But I have not been working. On top of that, camping with Steve is going to cost maybe another three hundred which I do not have. My account is somewhere around $1,700 dollars to last through JANUARY 6th. That means paying a $600 rent three more times. If you do the math on that... yeah. And that does not include food, electric, internet, water and all those other fine bills that come along with life. Nor does it come with gas or entertainment money- which I need to use because Mom spent money so I could have discounts on theater tickets. I havnt gone to one show, and its already passed midterms.

Add to the monetary pressure that I told my parents that I have been working. So they do not know I am this short. I cannot ask them for money. Maybe I will ask for help on the camping gear... but money for bills, never. I have to stand on my own two feet. Now, add to that pressure the fact that I am going to Japan this summer. I was wishy washy on that for a little bit, but new facts have arisen. They are holding the world architecture expo there this summer, about a hundred miles outside of Osaka. Tickets are 4600 yen, and I am going if I have to use every penny on three credit cards.

But I don't want to do that. I will, but its not the best way to go.

SO, I went looking for a job. Obviously, this is the only solution when you have no money and cannot ask for it. You earn it on your own. I found one yesterday. I found two yesterday. The first one is as a transcriptionist. I learned the machine yesterday. Its an average of 6- 15 hours a week, and I can eventually work from home if I so choose. Then I would be paid by the project. Which would be nice as long as I can do them fairly quickly. I start officially this Saturday. Its a hell of a long drive though- 30 minutes to the Southwest side of Austin.

The second job is not confirmed yet. I should receive a call back tomorrow or Monday. Its an internship under an interior designer working with the national incorporation NovemberDesigns. Awsome huh? I thought so too. Its .50 an hour less, but it has more hours available, not to mention looks great when applying to Interior Design for a major... I showed up and talked to them. My only worry is my references- they are a bit old. But I did show them some of my paintings, just as a whim. She was impressed, which pleased me. She wants to show them to their designer who does murals, thinking maybe they would want me as their intern. I could deal with doing the murals. Anything at that company would be awsome. Its also a lot closer to the apartment, which means less travel time and less gas spent- although sice this job requires driving for materials that might be a bit of a lie. But the experience and hours should more than make up for it. Plus its not typing all the time- so I wont get corpal tunnel syndrom from it, and its more actively engaging my mind while allowing me to learn the business. I really hope I get the internship. I think its a possibility as well. I just dont know my competition, but it should be leaner because its in the middle of the semester.

On a side note, Jinny was right about Kyuubi eventually learning to turn off my alarm. She has done it for a while now, just walking over it and hitting the buttons on accident. I was late a lot. Hopefully Tim is merciful when I explain this to him, and will allow me to forget that I missed one too many classes to actually make an A in the course. We shall see.

Friday, October 08, 2004

What Day is it?

So scratch today off the record books, despite its long range effects. I tried to write two papers in one night, and simply put, I failed. On top of that, I overslept and missed both classes. Frantically I emailed the TAs to explain, and turn in the one I had finished, and even blotched that- forgetting to attatch the paper, and then sending the attatchment to both TAs. After that I went back to sleep after some calming anime and leftover chicken.

Woke up to the sound of the door and received mom's dvds and kyuubi's toys, as well as some less than pleasing mail. I then have spent the last 3 hours or so watching those movies- they were good. I cried my eyes out on the couch with kyuubi at my feet.

So today I was a slob. I didnt get dressed, I did nothing, and on top of that I have one late paper that I need to finish, and a midterm I need to study for. This is weighing on my mind heavily. However for some unknown reason I also have a feeling of releif, an outer calm that belies the headache welling up inside. Something telling me to just go take a long bath, and fall asleep in the hot water, and everything will be okay. I still havnt done my 3 emails for today... its almost 8... does it count if I do them after midnight? I think I will read what emails there are, try to respond, and then go do what that soothing voice is telling me to. Light the candles, turn out the lights, shut the door and sit under the hottest water available for endless hours.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Well

You cant always have winners of days. Today was boring- I spent most of the night watching anime, and all of the morning sleeping/trying to get Kyuubi to use the toilet.

This afternoon I watched some anime and waited for Naruto to come out, while at the same time doing a bit of research for my paper on friday. I printed one article, and located several others which are in the Architecture library. Still, I don't believe the sources will be of much help to me as it is a paper on form, and thus calls for a bit of your own interpretation. Most of the sources I find anyway are on the architect himself anyway, not the buildings.

Talked to Sarah tonight. She promised she would call and she did. Only she wasnt interested in talking so briefly after a few negligent uh huhs she hung up. Said she would call tomorrow when she didnt have an exam or something like that to do. Of course I have a paper that I didnt write today... I dislike this brush off thing. I wonder if she realizes what she is doing, if its on purpose, or if she is just that clueless and selfish. All are possible, and none are truely acceptable. Or are my standards of friendship too high? Either way, I am not the one who is going to change. If it happens again though, I will have to bring it up. I will ask her directly what is going on, and if she is willing to continue this friendship or not. She has been crappy lately.

It seems like all my friends are an ill fit recently. Marcus and Elisa are dating- and didnt want to tell me. Jinny doesnt consider me her best friend, and seems to ignore what I say, tho is far more attentive than most. Joseph is gone, jojo is well.. himself. Sports and anime are it, plus his sporatic love life. Stephanie I havnt heard from in forever, neither have I heard from Megan or Carrie even. Jessica still talks to me a bit, but she is neurotic and very low on the self esteem. She calls me for a pep talk it seems. At the moment I dont seem to have one of those tv best buds that everything and anything I can tell. Psychology class: I'm always spinning plates/carrying rocks, no matter where I go.

Thats a very accurate metaphore- lies are rocks you carry around your entire life and they get bigger and heavier as you go along until when you drop one you break your foot. So just drop them all, go sit in the hospital for a while and nurse your wounds, and when you finally go out again, drop the rocks while they are still pebles so you dont get hurt. Can I drop my rocks though? I kinda would prefer to burry them... a gentle setting down and leaving them behind.. phase the lies out. But then of course there is guilt which takes its place. I dont want broken feet though... yeah okay this one has gotten out of hand but you know the delimma yourself. In any case, I like his secrets of life, Professor Lewis'.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Success!

I made a plan and stuck to it.

I have done some laundry, I have done the dishes. I scrubbed the bathroom floor, the counter tops, the mirrors. I fixed the bed, and am in the process of organizing the binders. I have been productive today. I even threw out the last of my homemade chocolate. Its time to get back on track.

I feel like I will be cheerful and energetic tomorrow. That I will be able to face the day better than I have for the past month. I feel calmer inside. I suppose that is a result of ordering my surroundings. The physical act helps me to feel more mentally secure and ordered. Its a nice side effect.

Tonight has been wonderful. I cleaned this afternoon after watching anime, and a storm started rolling in while I was cleaning out my binders. I took a break and turned down the radio a little bit. I opened the windows and watched it come in, taking in the wind and the clouds and the contrasting tones of the sky. The scurrying of people as they rush home hoping to beat the rain. There were some awsome lightning strikes as well. I tried to take pictures of them, but by the time I got my camera and closed the windows against the rain, the majority of the bolts were gone, leaving only the blurry flashes in their wake.

Kyuubi was fairly afraid of them. She was very cute, wanting to be with me on the patio, but too scared of every car and flash and clap to make it out there for any length of time. She is more used to it now though, and I have been watching her since the rain stopped. I left the sliding door open so I could hear the rain and thunder, and air out the cat smell a bit- but without the water, she may think she can fly. She has her leash on just in case.

To enhance the mood, I lit the candles for the first time in ages, and turned out all electrical lights except the oven light. I am making spaghetti sauce right now, so there are some nice smells happening. Its very, very, relaxing. I hope the storm picks back up again and I get some more background music to take a bath to later. That would be a nice thing one day... to take a bath in a storm. In a room surrounded by windows or something like that on a hill... greenery and trees blowing and clouds swirling while your tucked into warm water up to your neck. A fantasy maybe?

But I should get back to the spaghetti and the radio and my binders because I will be calling my parents later and telling them all this. I think I am abnormally close to them. I also don't think I care. Its better this way. :)

And the After Effects

Well, it was a surprise to see what I wrote last time. It was supposed to be a nag page for small things that were bothering me- like classes and work or lack there of- especially about Marcus and his new girl friend. He is dating Elisa now- which surprised me because when I first mentioned meeting her, he said she was weird and he wanted to avoid her. But she says they have been dating for almost a month- which is about how long ago I reintroduced them. Interesting. I thought I was hurt by that- not them dating, but that I wasnt told. However, after writing last times entry, I felt such relief it was obvious to me that I was transferring the pressure from one ugly situation to what at least on the surface is a more comfortable one.

Its like a huge weight has come off my chest with this last post. I suppose it marked some kind of decision- not supposed. It does. By identifying myself as trying to run away, I have already aknowledged that I have closed that path. I am going to stick things out to the end, and work my way through. Which also means being more open to the questions in Steve's class and responding much more. And with that, speaking up more in life in general. I set myself a huge task, and I am still not sure on the execution.

But in any case, today marked the last day of sloth, slothiness, or whatever the word is. Basically, tomorrow I am getting up like I should always do, and I am going to clean and organize my binders, finally. Then I am going to do my readings and look up possible subjects for my upcoming papers. I am going to take action. I am going to become responsible for myself again. I will stop delaying action because I am afraid to take the responsibility that comes with trying. There will also be a certain amount of anime watching as well- but that will not be the only thing acomplished.

As for how I spent today, it was mostly in waiting. I watched anime and waited for emails. Saturday was a day of perhaps profound stupidity, or maybe of bravery. They often go hand in hand. Eitherway, Friday, because of my conviction in what I wrote, I emailed it to Steve as a reaction to the class. Saturday morning, I tried to take it back, but was too late. I actually sent an email with the subject "Can I take that last email back?" I then debated with myself, and sent another email that permited the proliferation of the email throughout the class. My reasoning was the paragraph on not speaking, and regret in highschool. If I were to burry this email, I would be conciously making the same mistake I made back then- only it would be worse because it would be deliberate. It would also make the post meaningless. In contrast, by acting on what was said, I have made it a starting point for a new time in my life where I slowly push out and realize my potential, and keep on myself to continue pushing. I said as much to Steve, then let it go. Immediately I regreted it, and watched for responses everywhere.

I am now somewhat more comfortable with what happened as I have had some favorable responses. Chris, who was recent, said he felt like he wrote it himself- minus the major. Rob was characteristic of himself with "architecture is hard." Somehow thats comforting, on a very odd and strange level.

Tuesday will still be weird though, for sure. But I can't change that now. I can only prepare to answer some questions on what I have said, and know that I will be questioned more thoroughly in class, now that I have reached out and made an effort to become part of it. Its only natural, and things will become harder content wise. The hope being that along with the increase in difficulty, the level of reward also rises.

I guess thats it for now. Hopefully this will get back to being much more regular an event now that I have decided to return to the medication and daily regimented lifestyle I had set up. Also going back to the diet again. No more chocolate covered raisens, or pastas after I clear them out tomorrow.

Friday, October 01, 2004

A Building Up of Emotions

Lately, things have kinda boiled over. I feel so overwhelmed- not with any one thing, but all of it at once. One of Steve's favorite things to say- an object is not just its collection of particles, but also the forces acting on those particles- the world pushing in while the object pushes out.

How strong then, is any one object to withstand the entire world? And can I live up to the everyday pencil? Heh... it pushes out and performs its functions until its gone or lost... I can maintain my form but continuing with daily life? Granted, my life is a bit more complex than a pencil, but still. Right now I am shrinking, being compressed into a pressurized Heather Ball of anxiety.

Basically I am scared, and I have been considering running. I look at everything before me in school, and I honestly feel like I can't do it. That I just don't have it in me. The desire is there, but the creativity, genius or whatever it takes... I lack. I can appreciate what is said in class, the buildings shown, but honestly, to try and come up with something like that on my own.. is at this point, impossible. All of my ideas have thus far been a rearranging of older concepts, or following the scripted norm- so while my projects are always well done, they have no depth. Where do I think for myself? Where is my own commentary?

I have an uneasy flash of memory that I will not, or have not allowed to materialize into thought. A moment in ninth grade when analyzing a Greek urn. It was one of the rare days, perhaps the only day, I spoke up in class with something resembling my own personal oppinion. Even now to me it seems brilliant, if over the top. But it sounded good, it made definate statements that could be refuted or supported depending upon where you stood. I felt brilliant when I made the comment, and even more happy that no one felt they could follow me up.

And then I began to shrink away again- afraid that I had gone too far out of the norm. Scared of the surprise in the teachers eyes. What I had responded wasn't normal nor expected. So I didn't do it again. I strongly stuck to researching other peoples oppinions that matched my own. Even if it wasn't for the same reasons, their position was the same as mine, and they had the right reasons while my reasons were really just justifications for an intuitive guess. Not real reasons.

And now the question arises- since I didn't train and nuture my own ability to think for myself, have I lost it? Did I have a spark of something, and simply let it die. Now too bombarded with other peoples thoughts to separate out what came from me and what came from a book?

Whether I have the ability to come to conclusions on my own still or not, I certainly lack the confidence to speak it- to claim it as Steve says. I always had this ...self delusion? that I could have my own oppinions and thoughts and keep them to myself and be fine. But he is right when he says that its not enough to simply notice vaugely a feeling of unease when someone says something disagreeable. That you have to explore what is disagreeable to you, and find your own words to express what is wrong, and what you think is the correct version. Not only do you have to find those words, but in order to make them real, to validate them for yourself, you need to speak them to others. Fire them in the flame of judgement from other people, and show yourself to the world. Nothing comes from keeping them secretly inside, where you can safely change them without others knowing. Where it is easy to betray your own thoughts and loose yourself to the crowd.

And thus, without speaking, without crying out, I have given myself over to the ordinary, and currently lack the courage to pull myself out. And time moves on, precious time that with every second burries me deeper and makes me more complacent to be ordinary. Often times I say I lack determination. This is what keeps me from going to Spain or Japan like I so adamantly insisted. I keep being complacent and moving it off... and this future too, scares me. The average ordinary life that so many people give over to- can I handle that?

That I am unable to think or act, or that I am capable of acting and simply wont because what comes after I suceed is unknown territory in the spotlight, neither mapped nor documented on how to follow...which is the real fear, I am not sure. They both feel real, and what comes from these is a desire to stay here, where I am. Nothing changing and therefore nothing lost. Give me time to get over my hangups- but time wont help. Deep down, I know that time wont help me become stronger, to push out on the world with full force.

My advice to everyone that has come to me for anything has been to take their problems to the source. If you want to know what a person is thinking, ask. If you want to know how to do something, ask for help. And if the problem was within themselves, to force themselves to act the way they know they should, despite everything. It is so easy to say it, but how to execute the task? It was so much easier when I was against sports, or public speaking. They were common things. But afraid to live my life? What is the remedy here? What action should I perceve as the right one?

I have made a decision- architecture as a major. But did I choose this because it was on the list of test results? Was it an easy way out that looked like the hard way? Should I back up and realize that because I have these doubts I am not truely interested in architecture? Until now I have acted as if I was certain this is what I wanted to do, simply because if I don't act certain, how could people take me seriously? Or maybe, simply because people react more favorably to a strong personality saying they know they want this, so the choice would be more available to me should I finally decide this is what I want.

But is this the path I really want? More and more I fall back to playing with language, and when I get farther into languages, I fall out into art, and then history... did I really choose architecture because all these things seem to circle around and pour into it? A mix of all my loves.. culture, language, history, problem solving, design, art, construction. I was posed a question at the beginning of this semester- why architecture? and when I gave this reason, I was told "but why architecture? you could do any and all of those things without going into architecture." Is my reason really a reason, or am I fooling myself? Does my consideration of this question betray my desire to do architecture, or my own thoughts/reasons behind my choice? I think not... but certainty is hard to find these days.

When I said I wanted to do architecture, I knew almost nothing about it. I had preconceived ideas from outside the practice, that I am finding now are very different from what actually is. I had no idea that buildings could be as evocative as the Jewish Museum in Berlin. I almost cried when I saw the slides, it was so perfect. There were so many things I didn't consider to be architecture, and yet now I have to wonder about everything. Spiders webs, bee hives, river stones, canyon walls, mail boxes, situations in context... where do I draw the line? And simply that question would never have appeared in my thoughts before- that it was my line to be drawn. Before this semester, the question would have been "where is the line drawn?" as if it were something definate and objective.

So with knowing so little about it, how could I have honestly said I wanted to do architecture? What I said I wanted to do, and what I am finding out that is are so far apart, how can I maintain the position that I love architecture and want to make it a part of my life? The only answer I have to this question, is that it bothers me. That this question, and the others that have been raised, and my lack of understanding all bother me to the point where I can't fall asleep at night, to where I uncharactaristically do all the readings for my classes on time, and even reread. I spend more time on my classes than ever before, and I listen. And this disruption of my normal pattern means I care more than I want to admit. I care so much about architecture, and what it is and what it means is that I am uncomfortable saying it. Because if I admit how much it is to me then what happens if I can't do it, and have to choose something else? How can I choose something else, even, when every time some new question appears knaws at me and changes how I look at things and gives me greater appreciation? How can I give up something that affects me so much?