forecast calls for partly cloudy skies-or is that mostly sunny?

my commute home from work everyday consists of a 37 mile trek i have subconsciously divided into 4 zones. first is the busy, 7-miles-in-25-minutes-bumper-to-bumper-through-road-construction-part from my office in downtown hot springs to just south of lake hamilton. this is followed by the 12 mile "dead zone" where i have absolutely no cell phone service all the way to the booming metropolis of bismarck. my drive along scenic highway 7 continues 13 miles through very beautiful landscape to lake degray, one of the few projects completed by the army corps of engineers that i really appreciate. the final 5 miles is a quick jump on I-30 into arkadelphia. the same drive 6 days a week for a year (we go to church in hot springs too) and i still find it to be quite a relaxing transition time from office to home and vice versa.

lately, i've felt this sorta "high-on-life" kind of attitude. it's been pretty easy actually. my wonderful husband and i just bought our first home, and we're arranging things just the way we want them. my precious puppy is finally housebroken after a year of training, and just in time to move into a new house. we're going on vacation in a couple of weeks and plan to do nothing but lay on the beach for 4 days straight. and recently, i've even been on the "pro" side of internship where i realize that being an intern architect is what i make of it. (this is opposed to the side where i think interning sucks-where i was at last week. this area of my life has its extremes). but lately, life is good.

so i'm drivin home yesterday in my new volkswagen, beltin out my karaoke version of some 80's song, and approaching the final zone between me and my happy bubble world at home. all of a sudden, it pops, literally. as i was pulling on to I-30, an 18 wheeler was passin me in the left lane and unknowingly chunked a loose rock right at me. i saw it hurling through the air at 80 mph toward my face and i helplessly swerved as much as possible without losing control, but obviously not enough to miss it. the rock hit the bottom left corner of my windshield and the cracks immediately crawled through my drivers side view and down into the depths of rubber sealant bracing the windshield itself. i had an instinct to speed up and flip off the oblivious trucker or to call "roadway" and complain, and the surge of dread of telling ryan, flowed through my body. this is our new car and he's constantly telling me not to follow too close to truckers. i knew he'd blame it all on me even though it really wasn't my fault.

then i stopped and thought to myself, ya know, it could be a lot worse. i may have to pay $300 for a new windshield, but after a year of driving 75 miles a day, i'm pretty fortunate nothing a whole lot worse than a cracked windshield has affected my commute. i mean, i guess ya never know when something will flip your world upside down and i know from experience that it's pretty hard to keep a happy-go-lucky attittude when the cards stack up against ya, but in the big scheme of things, i guess i just realize now that bad things happen, kinks are made to mess up my schedule, and everyday isn't a 6 year old's christmas morning. but ya roll with it. you make the best of it, thank the One who put you on this earth, and make due with what ya have. not the easiest bit of advice to digest when life seems full of misfortune and hardship, but when everything is put into perspective, i can't help but realize that the little stuff isn't worth fretting over, especially when there are people in the world who have things a lot worse than i personally have ever imagined. if life were analogous to weather, i guess i can handle a few small rainclouds and save my real worrying for the tornadoes.


you get what you pay for, or do you?

throughout college as an architecture student, business and economics classes were not a requirement for my degree. however, i decided my very last semester it couldn't hurt to try one out, so i chose the broad topic of "macroeconomics." after a semester of GDPs and endless parabolic graphs supposedly representing supply and demand relationships, i concluded with the broad analysis that econ sucks. primarily this opinion stems from the fact that a large majority of the "greeks" in my econ class would graduate college with a starting salary much higher than any architecture graduate can hope for and they certainly won't have to include the word "intern" in their job title for 4 years (minimum) after they've received their degrees. did they ever suffer through 3 days of no sleep in studio building tiny little parti models or coloring layer upon layer of one square inch on a prismacolor drawing? i think not. so why is it that architecture graduates are so under-appreciated? i've yet to find a happy little intern architect working steadily away at their bathroom details content to be bringing home a salary among the lowest of graduates with professional degrees. so why do we do it? we complain about the recording of every 15 minutes of every day for 4 years to wait 4 months to qualify to take/pass 9 tests to wait 4-6 months to receive our licenses. we complain about the hell we went through for 5 years trying to obtain a degree in the first place and of course we complain about the lack of actual design in so many of the projects we work on. so what is the payoff of being an architect? is it the rewarding experience of seeing a budget cut, value-engineered building completed? is it that when you tell people you're an architect, they kind of look at you like, wow, that's really interesting. (even though you can see them secretly filing that information away in the back of their mind so in the future if they need a new house, you'll be sure to give them a discount). or is it really finding the art in that one project that has an endless budget out of the hundreds that are stretched so tight the architecture is squeezed right out like water from a sponge? yeah, that's it i guess. i momentarily forgot when i received my paycheck that is nearly half of my engineer husband's, but now i remember. it's all about the "art". who needs to pay their bills?


high-tech redneck

well i guess i'm movin up in the computer world, i officially have a blog. i don't know why, i really just accidentally found a friend's and thought, huh, i could write some stuff that doesn't really mean anything to anybody but me, too. so ... where do i start? for some reason, it seems like this would be a great place to vent about my frustrations with the incredibly over-bureaucratic IDP process or share my liberal opinions about politics and the ways of the world, or at least the ways i think things should be. maybe later. for now, i actually am pretty busy at my job as an "architect intern" although the definition of "busy" is becoming synonymous with sitting behind a desk spending more time drawing infinite blue and red lines in PowerCADD than checking for news updates. there's just something so tempting about that little blue e representing an escape to the outside world from my 5'x5' cubicle. i can't hardly help but drag my cursor to that vicinity of my desktop every 30 mintues or so. don't get me wrong, i like my job, and i am very grateful that i have it, i think it's just a psychological tension between the need for both vacation and productivity. ahhh, life in the "real world".