Archive | Uncategorized

Architecture in America

Posted on 17 May 2013 by Valkyrie

architecture in americaIt seems that America lacks architecture of any appeal to a large degree these days. I am not well traveled, and will not claim that I am. However, decorating and studying design has been a passion of mine for many years and I have grown quite fond of architecture from other regions. What I have come to discover in my studying process and noticing of America’s buildings, sky-rises, etc., is that the very concept of true design and architecture has been lost.

Competition seems to have all but taken over. Look to the cities for this prime example – the sky-lines. Every sky-scraper being built seems to want to achieve the winning gold medal for the tallest building in America. I never equated height with architecture (perhaps it is for the mere challenge), but – I am female and I would rather search for beauty, and I think other females would as well. I don’t mean to sound so blunt here (okay – maybe I do), but doesn’t it almost seem that these large sky-scrapers are trying to copycat erect penises? It’s almost as if it is a war of the egos and we are back on the playground with these architects and designers of these monstrosities while they chant, “Neener neener neener… my building is taller than yours!” Viagra anyone?

America is full of masculine architecture. Don’t get me wrong, I love masculinity to the nth degree… in a man though, not necessarily in a building or structure. I heard a philosopher once say that everything in nature is soft and has movement; there are no hard angles and lines. He is spot on. Then man comes along and tries to put everything in a hard-lined, sharp-edged, make-it-fit box. Seems we’ve done quite well at it too.

The modern built house these days is so unoriginal it just about makes me throw up in my mouth. We now have cookie-cutter, tract homes – where every third house is exactly the same as your own, to the left AND to the right. Albeit, there may be a slight change in color – just a different shade of tan, or off-white.

What happened to the styles and originality back in the day? Granted I did not live back in ‘the day’ (whenever that was exactly, as when we age and get maturity behind us… we all think we indeed lived back in ‘the day’). I am referring to the homes that had class, character, and charm. The Bungalow, the Craftsman, the Tudor, the Spanish style… why have we deviated from these beauties? Those homes had personality and told a story. Nowadays, it’s the stucco dream with drywall interior and bull-nosed corners, and if you pay the hefty upgrade price, you may get crown moulding and coffered ceilings… snooze.

I appreciate that drywall prevents fires from spreading as rapidly and that the tract home was in full swing and needed after the end of World War II, but still… I miss femininity in our architecture. Yes, some older and historic cities and neighborhoods still carry this type of style and grace in this country, to which I fully appreciate and cling to when I see it. But, I believe that needs to still carry on in our buildings today.

If you look at our hillsides littered in unoriginal homes, your eyes want to glaze over while scanning – never noticing anything visually enticing that you want to stop and linger at. Now, if you look at the hillsides of Italy, Spain, or Brazil… man oh man, visual delights – color! America is so afraid of color. What is wrong with the quenching colors of Cobalt Blue on a Mediterranean home, the Orangey Brown Adobe on a Spanish style, and the Chocolate Brown with Dark Green trim on the Craftsman, or the Slate Gray with a Red front door on the Tudor? What is wrong with color? Since when has America toned down and gotten so downright boring and wanted to all blend in with the other so badly? We have become camouflaged amongst ourselves… driving down our suburban streets not even recognizing our own home until the act of our garage door opening tips us off. Don’t even get me started on the one proverbial tree in the front yard concept and only two in the backyard nonsense. We, as a country, have become so rigid in our way of expressing and being individualistic.

Architecture in America is sadly a lost art, skill, and talent when it comes to displaying beauty and character. We are a country of erect sky-scrapers, flat strip malls, rectangular super malls, and boring cookie-cutter homes. I think if Frank Lloyd Wright were alive today, he would just shake his head. Now there’s a man that new what to do with angles and hard lines.



Comments (0)


Posted on 10 March 2012 by scanjack

So this is few months late…

A few months ago on December 16th I died, twice that I know of. On the 15th I was not feeling well, puked a couple times at work, finished what I needed to so my team had what they needed to move forward on their development projects, and went home after four or so hours. I came home and went to bed. I couldn’t get warm no matter what I tried; I took a hot shower and then went back to bed under three covers and shivered so hard I thought bones were going to break.

I finally passed out. My wife woke me up and took my temperature – 104.8. In adults that pretty much means you are not in your right mind; no clue which way is up. She saved my life. She’s been saving lives for twenty-six years at the very least. Going to the hospital was out of the question all afternoon and evening – in my mind, but this was a bit extreme, so I stumbled around and somehow managed to find a large pair of pants to wear…did I mention my stomach was so distended that I probably no longer had a 34-36 waist but 40-42.

We get to the emergency department at a hospital about five minutes away…great ER, I mean they are the best I have ever seen (and considering that due to our son, the ER and hospital are our second home), fucking stupid dumb ass hospital; zero management, but mostly very skilled people.

Right, so yeah I’m in more pain than I have ever experienced in my life, and I am just tired; so tired. Well they do what they do and get me into the CT Scan (heh, two of my nicks 😉 ) and a little while later they determine that my appendix is toast, not burst yet, but needs to be removed. So at some point here they have got the IV in and are giving me fluids and thankfully some morphine. Well, that took away a great deal of the pain…that didn’t last.

Next thing I know I’m on oxygen. They say something doesn’t seem right for an appendix, there must be something more severe and my vital signs are crashing. So much for the pain relief; they can’t give me anything for the pain as it would kill me. No worries. I die anyway. Early, and often has always been my motto 🙂

Right, so, I remember my parents arriving and again the ER people are awesome. They were working to revive me, and keep me going, while the whole time my wife knew and played along so my mom was not stuck thinking her second and last child was dying on her as well. Liters and liters of heated oxygen, massive fluid IV pumps…and I checked out.

So I can’t say there was a bright light…not by itself at the end of a tunnel or anything like you always here from the “near death media shows”… but I very clearly was having a conversation with the power(s) that be. The scenery probably won’t mean much to those who don’t know my favorite painter; that’s saying something as I believe most art is fucking crap, not worth the bullshit, nose in the air crowds and don’t even get me started on Modern Art!

Dark, swirling marble stairs, lit up with light like a night pickup game court in the inner city, but with the grandness of the ancients and the city of gold. Columns, Greek, Roman, no clue, similar. It was time to come home.

“You can come home now. No more pain, you are welcomed home.” a voice told me.
The voice continued. “Or you can go through more pain, severe pain that cannot be dulled, only endured for hours on end and stay to continue this life.”

They told me I needed surgery to remove my appendix. I was not happy about this, but I said “So I have surgery and then a day or two in the hospital and I can go home by the end of the weekend, right?” It was late Thursday night. I was working as a contractor – Senior Developer/Project Lead over a team of three other Sr. Devs on a online banking system which we had only just managed to get up and running right after four months of work – which meant I only got paid for the hours I worked; no paid time off, buy hey! At least I had medical insurance 🙂

So they couldn’t give me any pain medications, or perform the surgery because I wouldn’t survive with my blood pressure extremely low and my O2 saturation very low.

I have a family. Wife, two sons, one of which is severely disabled and requiring twenty-four hour care, in and out of the hospital every couple of months when we are lucky. My Mom had lost her first born a couple of years ago, my only and older sister. I had promised my Mom I would not die until after she did.

I told the voice, “I’ll take the pain, I need to stay here.”

People have written about the deaths of others and how they were just so tired and couldn’t fight any more. Well let me tell you that fighting means you are in the most extreme pain you can imagine for hours on end. I fought for nine plus hours before I had stabilized enough that they could attempt the surgery. It sucked. No, really, it sucked!

It turns out my appendix was gangrenous and a “simple” burst appendix probably would have been better. The surgery went well – I’m still a bit pissed that one of the incisions was at my belly button. I don’t like that touched. – and I was in the ICU. They couldn’t get my vitals to recover. They had me on over 17, 18 liters of oxygen, pumping fluids into my veins and I swear I thought I was being tortured, old school style. No pain medications, just needle sticks, pressure, and PAIN.

So, I died again.

Same place, same disembodied voice.

“You can come home now and all will be well.” If I ever find the finances I am definitely going to invest in a marble patio or bath/sauna bit for the house.

“You may stay in this life, but we can do nothing for your pain. You must endure that alone.”

Again, I chose the pain. Yeah, like a mule I am 😉

Twelve hours later – the whole time I could swear I was being tortured but no one was asking me for any answers – I was stable enough (still on 17 liters of oxygen) for pain medication again. I wanted to go home. I needed to get home so I could at least work remotely; we had a software release to fix and get into production. Also, I needed the hours to get paid… I mean Christmas was only a week away.

Yeah, going home was going to have to wait.

Three plus days in the ICU and another three in the step-down unit, and they sent me home… too soon…but that is what I was pushing for, and I wasn’t very nice about it. I wanted to get home.

I managed to work from home about ten days after I went into the hospital, and was back in the office the next week. I had to have a visiting nurse come to the house for the first five days to draw blood and have it tested. Turns out I really should have had a blood transfusion…it took three weeks for my blood to finally get up to speed on production.

There you have it. My twin death life 🙂

I know what makes a great adviser, I am one. My advice to all – Life is short and fatal, try to enjoy it because you will only be Here once.

Be well,

Comments (6)

Game on…

Posted on 02 March 2012 by scanjack

I can’t wait for the October surprise…

Comments (5)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here