Monday, October 29, 2007

Freelance Human Being

At the ACT, I was standing under the canopy (that's not the right word, is it?) watching the rain come down after the test. I was working up the energy to run all the way to the station in the rain!

Then, one of the girls I took the test with (an American) and a couple of the other kids at the school, asked me about me, because they had never seen me.

She: so, what do you?

I used the first word that came to my head, which is quite a strange choice

Me: uh, I'm freelance

She: like, a photographer

Me: no, like a person.

I then proceeded to skip the entire way to the station in the rain.

That's me, the freelance human being.

Damn, being freelance is hard!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I don't feel like I did as well on the ACT as I should have. I was constantly running out of time and rushed with this and that, I had a lot of trouble concentrating.
It seemed somewhat harder than any of the practice tests I had taken.

Today, it rained like a ! I had a blast!

And got really fucking wet.

I am no longer wet or cold, but home alone and lonely on a Saturday night, and it is only 7pm!

I wish I had a social life.

quick question. which is worse: to do the right things for the wrong reasons, or to do the wrong things for the right reasons?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And My Walls Come Crumbling Down.

I really have no idea what is going.

There isn't someone for me to talk to about this that I can easily get in touch with, and I really need to get it out, so I will write it here.

I see many, many things wrong with the world, and some part of me, I don't what or why or how or anything like that, but I want to change those things, I want to make the world a better place. So many things that people see as a major effort on ones part to make a difference seem like common sense to me.

Take, for example, transportation. I have always loved riding bikes, taking the bus, taking the trains, walking, and have never enjoyed riding in cars.
When I was 15, got an apprenticeship working at the Portland Office of Transportation. I worked really hard that summer, and got invited back the next summer to work as full time intern.

The summer I was 16, I worked on the Bike Network Signing Project, trying to make the Portland, the world, and better, safer place to ride a bike, and to live.

I read the link about Brett on the bikeportland page, and realized something really terrible.

Brett was killed at an intersection that I tried really hard to make a safer place.

I don't think there was anything that I could have done that would have prevented the collision, but I can't but help from thinking, what if here WAS something that I could have done, and for one reason or another, didn't do. And now, because of that, I feel like a played a role in his death. I rode that intersection, being really dangerous, many many times, and it was among the first signs to be up, and I rode it many times after the signs went up as well, and I think about now and there was really nothing that I could have done, but I still miserable. I tried my best, and yet a friend of mine still passed away in a crash.

I look at what I am doing in Ito Toyo's office. Using vast amounts of terrible materials to make models for expensive projects that only benefit a very small number of people.

Construction along takes up more resources and energy than the entire lifetime of the building, why are we wasting so much on these new buildings that aren't really needed?!

I take the ACT in 36 hours, and only now do I realize how badly I want to do really well on it.

I have no idea what I want to do, what I want to study or where I want to study it.

All I know is that I know nothing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brett Jarolimek

I would like to take a minute to remember Brett, who was a friend of mine and teammate with me during my Veloshop days.

He was killed in a bike crash with a truck on Monday in Portland.

I really liked Brett, he was always really friendly, and super super supportive of me whenever we rode together, how ever much I held people back with my lack of speed.

He is a really great person, and is missed already.

You heard it here first!

Common sense is avant garde.

So, today at work I finally got to build models, instead of bookcases, but come on, how many people in the world can say that they have organized the library of one of the best architects in the world? Not many.

Today, I got to work at 10, and left at 8. I ran two trips from the office to the store to get supplies, and spent a crazy long time trying to build this one model. I would tell you more about all of those, and also put pictures up, if I were allowed to take pictures of the models. Everything that gets done in the office is a secret, and pictures aren't allowed to be taken. I thought that was pretty interesting.

I was, however, very disappointed with the idea of what we were doing, due to the ridiculous amounts of styrofoam that we were using. That just reinforces my theory that architecture can NOT save the world. I asked one of the guys in the office, a foreigner (Cornell grad), if he thought that architecture could save the world, and as soon as I finished my sentence, his one word answer was out.


The construction process along uses more resources than the entire lifetime of the building. Co2, energy, etc. Sickening.

Both him and the other foreigner in the office (a German, works in the annex so I have met him once, but crazy smart) said that they didn't think architecture could save the world, but what could be done to slow the destruction of the earth was awareness.

When I asked what they wished they had studied in school now that they see what architecture has really become, one of them said Physics/BioChem and the other programming stuff. I can see how both of them could be very useful.

Physics/BioChem can be used to try and create better materials (materials engineering) and less terrible ways of construction.
Programming can be used to make better models on the computer which in turn causes less need for all of the styrofoam trash.

Common Sense is Avant Garde?

I don't really care for modern architecture. I like to look at it, but its not very useful. I really like Le Corbusier, and I guess I enjoy civil/urban/planning sort of things, trying to make things run better, and putting new cogs into a broken system.

SO! Stop building cool looking buildings (I like looking at them, though) and build something useful!

I go back to the office tomorrow at 10, its not like I have anything better to do.

Wait, I have the ACT on Saturday. Dammit, its not like I don't already have enough on plate, now I have to decide about college shit?

ps. I looked really awesome today, I wore a gray cardigan with a white shirt and a really nice blue/red tie. And jeans.
I got lots of compliments, just wish that the architectural profession left more time for human relationships!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I need a change of scenery.

People often talk about freedom to live a certain way, but the more you live a certain way, the less free you actually are. What does it mean to live free?

Something in my life needs to change. Now, nobody likes to admit that they are the problem, but I think it might be time for me to look at myself, and see what needs changing.

Unfortunately, I don't even know what it means to know yourself, or even what it means to look for yourself. What does taking a trip even do?

Does it uproot us? But if we are leaving a bad place, but we have roots there, then why are those roots there? Are humans so resilient that they will try to live in a place that is wrong for them?
How did a race as stupid as the human race ever manage to do half of the things that they did?

I wish I knew more about swarm theory. That's biology, and I have never had an interest in biology, but I can see how it would be useful in urban planning/civil architecture.
Does that mean I should study biology in college? Or maybe if I wanted to know about the green architecture, I should be doing chemistry? But if I do those, I would know nothing about planning/architecture.

I don't feel that fickle is quite the right word to describe me, maybe 'easily influenced'.
That's a lousy feeling by the way.

In a great deal of honesty, nothing but good things are happening to me, but that doesn't mean that all is good in me.

Does that make any sense?
Why would that even be? What isn't going right? And how do I even know those things?

How can anybody know so little about themselves?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Paint the Cheerleader, Save the World?

Make believe SAT prep:
Medicine is to vaccines as art is to?

How can anything I enjoy doing (most of which is all art) be used to save the world?

And in other news, I went to the NBC website to watch the latest episode of Heroes 2, and it wouldn't let me!

It isn't broadcast to my side of the world.

No Heroes? No Gossip Girl? Now how am I supposed to waste my time!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Not really sure what just happened.

Friday: got back to Japan
Saturday: school festival, saw some friends, went to part (5 of the 26 hours) of an architecture workshop, made some new friends, had a good time, got laughed at by this one architect, which was really funny, because when I first saw him and his presentation, I thought he was an alien.
Sunday: school festival again, saw more friends, had some good fun, had dinner with the Fukudas
Monday: went to work.

wait, what?!?!?!?

Sunday afternoon, my phone rang. One of the friends who I met at the architecture workshop the night before, told me that the office where he works needed some help. Monday morning I get another call saying to come to an address.

So, I spent my 3rd full back in country working at Ito Toyo's (yes, the real deal! I met him, too!) office.

Well, all I did was clean and organize the basement, but still, its a start!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gate glitch gives commuters free ride
The above is an abbreviated version of a story that was on the front page of the Japan Times this morning, about the ticketing gates on Japanese trains.

The cards they are refering to are charged with money outside of the stations, and then simply by touching the card to the sensor, you enter the station.

In the real version of the article, the company who makes the gates appologized for the glitch, saying that the problem must have given the commuters trouble.

Appologizing for free train rides?


The Sex Lives of Argentinians

Mom, on the Denver Airport: "Oh look! It's DisneyLand! On drugs."

The woman at United, to me, after I had just stood in a long line, and then as soon as I reached the front of it, that I needed to stand in another line: "Well, It's not like I can read minds!"

The flight to LA was uneventful, I think I slept, or maybe studied, probably both.

I had a couple of hours to kill in LAX, and my gate for departure was, at first, the same gate that I arrived in! But then it got moved two doors down.

I was going to eat at Wolfgang Puck Express, until I saw the sign on the wall that said "Foods that the State of California recognize as causing birth defects or cancer may be present here" Or something like that.

Anyway, I didn't eat there.

The flight to Narita was surprisingly nice, mom upgraded me to Economy Plus so that I could get an exit row (can you believe that they charge you extra for the exit row!?!?) and so I had like 5 feet of leg room and an aisle, which was really nice.

Unfortunately, the movies that they were showing were terrible, and I had trouble sleeping, so I spent most of my time preparing for the Japanese Exchange Exam, which I now feel pretty good about, just need to keep working on the math a little more.

I also talked at some length with two Argentinians, one of whom was a flight attendant. I went looking for water, and the two guys were talking, in both Spanish and English, and I just stood there and listened for a while, got my water, and listened some more, and then we all started chatting, and that took up most of the time. Every so often the flight attendant would have to run off to work, but when ever he came he would bring back little things and be like "this is what it is like to be in business class," and we got goody bags!

Went through immigration with no problem, got a one year entry permit(!!!) and made it back to the Fukuda's pretty easily.

I was crazy tired so I feel asleep around 8 with no dinner, and just woke up now about 6, and I am really hungry.

My whole body is sore, so the next couple of days, which are kinda busy with this and that, are going to be fun!

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I got a new computer today.

Photos, architecture, blogging?