Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hold strong!

Oh crap.

Yes, that IS how I'm feeling right now!

I come back from break feeling like I am ready to conquer my projects, ready to start the race, ready to show the project who's boss.

And then I come home to find that the project's terrorizing me, the race is half over, and my project is that tyrant that throws rocks at me. Eep!

Well, we must do as students do and just work irrational hours while snacking and coffee-ing. I'm going to coin the term "coffee-ing" and incorporate that into my daily verbiage somehow.

If there are any of you out there who are flailing, listen up!

It's scary and stressful and difficult but it's just another speed bump you have to roll over. Pushy your tushy and it's going to be over in no time. Soon it's going to be Christmas and you will be groaning over bloated stomachs!

Stay strong!

Because that's what the salt and pepper shaker man says.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And this chick turns 19

woot woot to Odona! Happy birthday to youuuuu

We're back from San Jose and it was a nice getaway where we spent a lot of time with family and hung around eating. Well, it really was eat - sleep - eat - sleep. Ahh the life =)

I'm sad the first wave of holidays is over but only a few more weeks till xmas so.. here starts the countdown!

And in honor of Frodo, here is the evolution of her name:

-> Ying Chee (chinese name) = Ching = Chingo = Yingo = Cheese = Chingaling (Olivia's creation)
-> Odo = Frodo = Frodona = Fro = Fro Fro

Either way, what a weirdo...er, weirdona

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Popping bottles in the ice, like a blizzard...

My post is a wee bit late seeing that yesterday was actually Thanksgiving! And what a feast, my pants do not appreciate that.

...But how could I say no?! Look at what we had!

I am grateful of family traditions that have us drive the necessary 5-8 hours (it varies) to get to an incredibly cold house with no central heating. It's all worth it though to see the family that you see every once or twice a year. And it's always a treat to get away from home for just a little bit.

See the excitement?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

And we're here! 7 hours later...blegh

...that photo was taken before the trip so I guess I don't have an excuse for looking so bad... err

I have nothing to say but - it's sooo freaking cold!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It was a fundraising day today! 7 soups, 2 types of bread, and some lemonade. Welcome to the IA Fundraiser.

It's odd how some things sound so simple yet are so effective.

We basically spent our day slaving away at our tables with autocad, sketching, 3dmax (not me), and lots of evenly calculated sighing. After working on our library came the building codes lecture. Type 1 buildings are noncombustible and the means of egress is based on the maximum number of occupants and the number of toilets are based on the ....

say "Whaaa???"

Tomorrow is day 2 of the Crock Pot soup party and a possible jury duty call =/ wish me luck!

Jeanne and I went to Target and I found this by Mulberry. Cutie, welcome to my home

It's almost Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Really working on thesis now

From now till the end of my school year I will be embarking on a mission to fulfilling my thesis project: a taekwondo training facility that offers an large range of activities for both children and adults.

I spent last night interviewing fellow tkd members for my thesis project and here are my results:

Master wants a large space where adults and children have separate training areas to help better their personal fitness regimen

Anthony, 17, enjoys the facilities that currently exists but is excited at the prospect of the studio expanding. Also, he would like a pine freshener in the locker room.

Sean, 12, is interested in having an after school program where he can do his homework with a mentor/tutor. He also really likes training with people older than him because "they might teach us something we don't know."

James, 26, and Jimmy, 28, have concluded that they want a two story building with a large waterfall and holographic trees for accent.

Progress on project : 20%

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another visit to downtown LA

I don't have photos today! The blog always feels a slight bit emptier without pictures but I digress-

We made our way downtown today for a firm visit with Steinberg Architects. Every time we travel downtown I realize more and more that it is a place I have little interest working in. Of course sometimes beggars cannot be choosers so if I do end up in the maze of skyscrapers and impatient pedestrians.

The entrance to the building echoed the history of the city and with every step I could sense a tinge of excitement. Then we entered the firm's foyer and... well, it stopped.

It was a day of many personalities and a lot of private discussions. I must say it is difficult to work with others but the key is yelling or crying or silent treatments or any temper tantrums do not solve anything. Attitude deserves a slap on the cheek followed by a punch to the face.

Well, I was not personally involved but at the end of the day I am brought in as a mediator and so now I must plan out my next act.

My experience with group frustrations is to never take things too personally or too seriously. Life is seriously just too short.

Of course that is easier said than done but well, you can either learn to accept that later on in life or spend the majority of your life with frustration before accepting the facts.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Look at what I can do with my new camera!

Yes, that is the only picture I will show displaying my new camera's abilities. =)

*btw it is a Canon EOS Rebel T2i

This past weekend was a celebration for my friend's belated birthday lunch! After our sushi belt lunch we walked around the Atlantic Square Plaza and found an open house for brand new luxury condominiums. I had to snap a few pictures.

Honestly they are so so overpriced but still quite fun to walk through. Tomorrow's our firm visit to Steinberg Architects so hopefully I will return with great things to share.


Monday, November 15, 2010

New York

It has always been a place of interest. I've seen tons of movies based in New York and I always hear the wonderful and horrible things that happen in such a large city.

I was excited to experience the city myself and as I awoke early Tuesday morning (11/9) at 4:30 am, I was a bit giddy.

Yes, this will be quite the recap and a superbly loooonnnngggg entry so if you are not interested, there are pictures sprinkled throughout so you can just skim through =)

So we arrived in NY around 3pm and was immediately thrown into the chaos of activity. We were greeted with Metrocard machines where you could purchase your metro cards and reload them as necessary for each subway ride. It was quite the challenge getting through the subway entrances and stairs with our inconvenient check in luggage.

Walk, walk, walk, slide card, walk through, BAM...luggage stuck.


The city was so beautiful as every building varies in architectural design from another. We all found it difficult to not gape and immediately snap photos while walking towards our hotel. I ALWAYS had the urge to increase the 'I'm A Tourist!' status.

The hotel was...uh... not worth it.

...look at this nice building instead!

Second day, Wednesday (11/10) was the first of our many sightseeing days. We took the Metro - metro? subway? difference? - and walked towards Destination 1 of the day: the Guggenheim.

The interior architecture was amazingly beautiful with the spiraling walkways and gorgeous circular ceiling detail.

The space itself? Awful! As you walk throughout the museum you begin to feel uncomfortable with the lighting and the placement of the art. Once I walked up to the third level or so I was ready to go.

At least it looked nice!

Next we walked through Central Park and this was when my camera became too temperamental to retain enough battery for me to use.

"Stupid camera! You're getting Time-Out!"

We walked throughout the space seeing the Rose Center, Dakota House, Strawberry Fields, 41 Cooper Square, and ended our night in Chinatown. =)

Look at the awesomeness of our hotel!

That was sarcasm in case you cannot tell.

It had one main elevator for all guests and residences to use but this was not just a regular hotel, it was one shared with lower income housing so the space was a bit dilapidated and scary.

Think The Shining and add in babies screaming plus mommies yelling. <3>

Day 3 Thursday (11/11) Veteran's Day. I didn't realize it was Veteran's Day despite the fact that many men and women from the armed forces were swarming through the streets and crowding in all restaurants, stores, and drink places... Anyway, we made our way through the streets and found random treasures like this:

NY is full of randomly placed parks and sitting areas for busy bees to settle down for a meal or just to rest. It can be located between tally tall tall skyscrapers or just in the middle of streets. Beautiful =)

When we finally arrived at the MOMA, we were greeted by a large line of people outside the entrance. It was definitely worth it though! I really enjoyed the space and the art, it is now my new favorite museum!

After this was a walk toward the Rockefeller Center and then enjoying a good ole hot dog from the street carts. Soon we had to go to our first firm visit and found the Flatiron Building right next to the subway exit.

After the firm visit, we treaded through Chelsea Park to see the Highline Park. This was a former railroad system that was transformed into a beautiful park for all visitors and natives to enjoy. Night view!

We ended this night with a delicious dinner at a randomly found French restaurant and some shopping.

Friday! Day 4 (11/12) a long walk towards Madisson Garden.

We arrived at the Center of Architecture to view the interesting details of famous architecture throughout the country.

We even found a floor of student work! So cute =)

Then it was lunch at an Indian restaurant in Greenwich Village followed by a walk to the Meatpacking District for firm visit #2.

I didn't manage to capture any pictures in the firm but we walked to the Highline again afterward with the rest of our class and enjoyed the park in the daytime. Equally beautiful in my opinion.

Then we took a metro toward Staten Island where we could see the Statue of Liberty from afar. We managed to catch the gorgeous sunset on our last full day of New York.

Oh it was a nice trip and I will be very happy to return for another visit. Till next time, New York.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New York tomorrow

I'm pretty sure I have a problem. I don't really know why the excitement has not hit me yet but once I board the plane tomorrow morning I will finally realize I am going to New York. A similar thing happened when I was heading to Uzbekistan...

But yes! I am going to New York after so many years of contemplating, thanks to my school's outreach program we are able to take some time off class to go see architecture in other states around the country.

I think I have been having a bit of a difficult time with my student design career lately. I keep trying but would often end up lost.

My whole semester thus far has been numb designing. 'Numb designing' is my new term to describe someone designing for the sake of finishing a project but not really thinking beyond the box and pushing through that barrier between practicality and creativity. It's definitely not a case of senioritis for me but more of a confusion.

I've been pondering to myself whether or not I am a good designer and whether or not I have valid ideas. Often times I feel like I have a great design only to find that it fell flat. Bummer.

It's always subjective of course and I am not that naive to believe that my work will ever be perfect. There are those who will always see themselves highly and those who will always bash their work. I am neither.

My professor told me that I needed to break out in my designs. He said that I was a talented designer with great ideas. But that I was very timid so I start off well and end up just short of "amazing."

I understand what he means though... J says I should think of how I usually approach a program and then take a step back and take it a step further. I want to get better and I want to succeed. My confidence is low lately but I know I will bounce back.

My new project is to design a library for Golden West College. And I'm going to try to bring my design to another level.

Eat your heart out Harry Potter

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Saturday night! Err... Sunday morning? In any case, I am sitting in front of Julia & Julia (which btw is a pretty good movie) and I just realized that the past few days have been entry-free... we must fix that.

Thursday was when Mr. J took the day off work to hang out in the LBC with me. A bit past noon came a phone call-

Meng: Hey I just finished, where do you guys want to go for lunch?
Me: We were just talking about Korean BBQ.
Meng: OKAY!

heheh, there's the way to win someone's heart. Korean BBQ <3>

Later that day we headed over to Fry's Electronics and later 85C plaza where Jeanne's friend scored us some free drinks. Here's the JimOphe creation:

a mess.

Ever so full from sea salt coffee and carrying three free large Lollicup drinks, we walked into H Mart to find some things to munch on. It's always so interesting to walk into another culture's markets. This Korean market featured many unique and different looking fruits and vegetables.

We ended up with two types of fruit, first off was this Concord grape wannabe

Next was the rama...rab..ra...I forgot...

It looks odd but it basically tastes like a lychee


We went to Disneyland for the day to watch World of Color again. I didn't capture too many pictures but I did manage to catch this beauty

Jimmy's face is just like that


It was tour time to see the Golden West College Library. Last project of the semester!

It is a project where we are designing from the entry way into the third story library stacks. I'm kind of glad we get to have more liberties in our last project prior to thesis but I'm not quite sure which direction to head towards yet.

I like the skylights

And the exterior

After this grand tour was a grand drive back home. Luckily for me, the 10 West entrance was closed and then the 60 West was backed up and then the local streets were full of brake lights. Ahhh

I just realized that I've spent a large part of my life on freeways. Oh geez, someone pass the ice-cream.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Guess who came!

Meng did of course!


It's been very warm these past few days and I AM exaggerating when I say warm because "freakin hot" describes it better.

It's slowly hitting me that we are almost done with this semester, how odd it is to know we are that much closer to finishing off our schooling. Are we ready?

We spend hours upon hours complaining about projects and the justifications of why this is done this way and why that is done that way but in the end, does it really matter? Nahh. Think back to when you were in high school, didn't everything feel like the end of the world? But once you started college, what part of high school do you still remember?

Anyway, I'm going to Disneyland to celebrate my week off school intensity =)