Sunday, November 09, 2008

SNAP SHOT (click me)



Deraild a bit

Alight fair enough, I've been a little bit slack happy. Not going to lie it is time for a long over due update.

So much has happen in the past, what where those, 8-9 months it's almost overwhelming, let's see here I've been to Denver Twice, home a hand full of times, saw one of my most nearest and dearest friends get married, saw my middle school sweetheart tie the knot with a best friend from high school (whom i set up - go me!) went on a true first date, went on countless good dates, two bad dates, broke up with a boyfriend, went up to Boston, cried a whole bunch, laughed until my spleen nearly burst, gained/lost weight, moved into the city, received two raises, found a kindred spirit, saw enough red ink on my drawings to make me think that i was going color blind except for the color red, also saw those drawings get signed and sealed allowing my building to go up, called my senior superintendent cup cake, got away with it and now I am being assigned to a new project. Well there is whole lot more but let's not waste time on the details.

Even though so many different things have taken place over those past 9 months one thing has been happily consistent, my involvement with Investment Guru X (i don't like to drop names or anything fancy-schmacy like that) , phase III expansion. Phase 3 expansion consisted of two office buildings (core and shell) done by my firm with the interior design done by another local firm as well as two large garages semi-sunk below ground to prevent any grossly inappropriate obstruction of the view (chuckle).

My involvement started with a simple request to tweak some drawings for a future guard house that X was thinking about installing... however it went off the deep end from there. Soon I found my time being devoured by the project and after about a month of doing odd tasks for the behemoth of a project I was full blown team member! I realized that is was due in part to fact that the original team members were dropping like flies, leaving my firm to join new ones or start their own. Which left the project team a little ... deflated.

From October to April the team pretty much consisted of Elizabeth (in our DC office), my amazing mentor Steve and myself. That's right 3 ( 2 freshly out of college and limited construction knowledge) of us labored constantly; day in and day out- every late-night evening and weekend hour we could scrape together was taken advantage of, all to get the job done. From about the middle of March to present time another (Adam) joined our team as Elizabeth got the opportunity to work on something new. Adam probably has about 5 years of experience and was semi-helpful to me but more so to Steve. He now had someone that had experience out in the field was was comfortable getting the in the face of our contractors.

The site developed week after week into the building I had imagined it to be. It suddenly became so overwhelming to me that what I had spent months putting onto paper was what these guys were using to put it all together. Talk about a yikes/ gulp moment.

First came the site work, digging all the appropriate holes then came the concrete for foundations and column footers and then came the steel, piece by piece it was matched up with their counter parts and popped up, what seemed to be, overnight. After the steel was erected they laid the metal decking and poured the concede floors. Once that was all done lightweight steel framing was installed on all of the exterior walls and topped with exterior sheathing. The interior partitions were next, framing went up along with some duct work and pluming. As all of that was going on the brick work began, each week a new section would be covered with brick and complete with window sills and lintels of cast stone. I do have to say that it did make me a little nervous to be walking around on site watching the construction crew looking at MY drawings, ones that I said were RIGHT. Part of me wanted to rip the drawings out of their hands and just apologize for screwing up this or that, and to remind them that I was green as grass. and really had very little idea of what i was actually doing.. but I didn't; I resisted, it probably wouldn't have done well for my site cred (if you know what I mean) .

Working with the contractors has pretty much been a roller-coaster of emotions, sometimes I hate em, sometimes i love em but all of the time i respect them. I (for unknown reasons) have developed a really good working relationship with our senior superintendent Wayne, which by no means considers himself a nice guy, i suppose you could say "he's as rough as they come" because at about 55 he looks nearly two decades older, got a constant sneer of disapproval on his face and a giant stoggie hanging out of the bottom corner of his mouth were a smile might be on other humans. But somehow i managed to win him over. I'm pretty sure it all started when i went to drop some drawings off at the site, and i naturally ran into Wayne. Now the only real interaction we have is on Thursdays when we have our weekly coordination meeting out on the site. I think I usually stay quite as a church mouse with the occasional "excuse me" and "no thank you". So needless to say he pretty much saw me as innocent pray. We started talking about the project and the difference between now and the old days when Wayne was just starting out as a roof framer. Well then he dropped the bomb. "Thanks for bring those drawings out pumpkin."

... This was not the first time Wayne called me pumpkin, as he did the Thursday before and asked "Do you need a hard hat Pumpkin?" which i laughed off and said i had come prepared and didn't need one of theirs...

But this was the last time. NO ONE CALLS ME PUMPKIN. So I stood my ground and said "You know Wayne, about that Pumpkin business... if you start calling me pumpkin, I'm gonna have to start calling you some thing like... cupcake. How'd-ya like that?" He laughed and was quick to point out that he calls may others pumpkin and I wasn't alone in receiving a pet name from the man. We had a good chuckle about it and I was on my way. I didn't really think about it too much after that however, in the time I had left the site and arrived back at the office a phone call was made from Wayne to Steve. I guess he wanted to clarify that he wasn't trying to make a sexist remark and that he had all the respect in the world of me and he was hoping (and praying) that I wasn't offended. I laughed and promised Steve it was all in good fun and I didn't see anything offensive there.
So needless to say every time I meet Wayne on Thursday mornings he offers up "Good morning pumpkin" to which I respond "Good morning cupcake."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

is there a pause button on this divice?

The feet are up, the sweets are on and the TV on mute. I finally am making time for myself and relaxing a bit before the week gets as busy as it consistently has been since the beginning of the year.
After the new year coming back to Baltimore only meant one thing, time to get down to business. With a set of construction documents on their way out there door i knew that a life outside of work we fading into the distance. The looming deadline for my project seems to be dangling in front of my face just as a fox tale would taunt a pack of greyhound dogs. Just as it seems to be getting closer and closer the date gets moved or more gets added. Each additional change means that i will be spending a little more of my weekend at the office as opposed to Ikea.
I think the only thing that is happy about making money instead of spending it is my credit card bill.

Somehow i have managed to squeeze a bit of fun in now and again! Most recently I headed out west to visit a most beloved friend in Colorado. I couldn't stand it anymore 9 months without seeing my friend Mackenzie was way to much! I boarded a southwest flight at 6:15 and was in Denver by 10! It didn't take long to realize how much i had missed this lady, life just wasn't the same without her! We had so much fun traipsing through Denver with her little puggle Mia! We saw much of what Denver had to offer by day, museums, shops, great architecture, and partied it up at night, liven the night life with a few of the other K-Staters about town! We ever made it out tot he mountains, and hiked around the red rocks amphitheater! The temperature was in the upper forties but i was sweating! The sun was warm and bright and the air was crisp as clear. Standing at the top of the amphitheater you could look out in the distance and see Denver just pop up out of nowhere. Sunday evening came too soon and it wasn't to long before i had to wave good by and board my non stop back to the charm city.

But now it's monday and i find myself preparing for the week ahead which includes my six month review. I can't belive that six months have come and gone so quickly. So finally i will take the time to reflect on the time that i have been at the firm and give deep tought to what my goals are for this up coming year and hopefully look back at what i have accomplished and be proud of the contributions i have made.... no is time for pen to hit the paper and to think important thinks... as dr. seuss would say

Thursday, December 13, 2007

'tis the season

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Day at the Harbor

Living near the harbor has it advantages.

This week there were two international boats docked in Harbor. This little beaut was docked at inner harbor and was carrying a boat load of Norwegians! The other was a Korean Ship, however it was a bit more battle-shippy, if that is a word, and was docked at Fells Point.

The Norwegian ship was built in 1914 in Germany, and was carrying students of the Naval Academy of Norway. Most of the crew that was wandering about the boat were young men, and very informative. They seemed eager to tell us all about their beautiful boat, trimmed in weather worn wood and dull brass. It was a great November day to wander the harbor and take in the what now seemed like fall sun.

In these pictures you can see two wonderful gals that I work with Sisi and Sarah!

sunny day in the inner harbor

all aboard the ship from Norway

the rear of the ship with the national aquarium in the background

letting out a little steam

it was a busy day on the Boat

Sarah and Sisi, next to the Viking life jackets... funny huh

we're going to hang out here for a while, maybe catch a ride back to the office,
they could drop us off at out dock.

they made me take this

i wanted to take this.... oh kids...

Love it

Hand made

wonderful day at the harbor!

Monday, October 29, 2007

lost time

i promise i haven't forgotten about you....

i feel that so much has happened in the past month and a half that is it all has seemed a giant blur.

i can't wait until my deadline is up and that i have some time to sit down and reflect and share what the beginning of fall has brought me.

so stay tuned it's coming soon i promise!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

like a pro

I find myself here again, Sunday afternoon. And after a long week of putting up a semi-professional façade, I am finally able to put on the sweats [which I wish I could wear at work] and lounge lazily in my Ikea sofa with my legs over the arm rest and my head propped up on a pillow, watching nothing other than golf. I can’t, as I sit here, believe that I am willingly watching this slower than molasses, running down a horizontal surface, sport. But it’s true; I have become one of thoooose people, and am getting into this Scottish born game.

I know it all started when I was continually asked if I played golf in various job interviews, in places ranging from Boston to Dallas. Each time I unfortunately responded with a regrettable ‘no.’

But now there is hardly a weekend that goes by that I don’t ‘hit up the range.’ I have stopped putting my Aunts old clubs away in the closet after each trip, but rather making them a permanent fixture in my living room. Where, on a few occasions I pull out the 3 iron and practice my swing in front of the television. Thanks to what little furniture I have in the space, I can swing away without fear that anything will go crashing to the floor, walls, or out the window.

After contributing my $7.50 to the pine ridge driving range, I take my medium bucket of off brand golf balls and head to the most secluded spot I can find on these sunny afternoons. However this seclusion lasts for maybe 30 seconds when some big shot, dressed head to toe in Titleist gear, insists on taking the slot right next to mine. It isn’t until the third ‘warm up’ shot that I take that he realizes that the space next to me isn’t his wisest decision. This mostly is due to the fact that I have consecutively hit the last three balls straight into the knee high partition with as much force as a F5 tornado shoots a 2x4 through the air. This ¾ inch piece of plywood has proven to be the saving grace in separating shear and utter pain and complete and totally humiliation.

But once things get going and the practice shots are over things start to straighten out and I can shoot for the 175 maker. I sometimes make it, sometimes not but if feels great to make solid contact with that small plastic ball. Each time I pull my arms back and raise the club over my head I anticipate the sound that comes out of the club when it hits the ball. It has a certain ‘ping’ to it that I strive for each time. I know it when it happens, but can figure out why, when it doesn’t. I try to remember what my cousin, coach RT, said about a proper swing, and how to fix it when it isn’t. But this, the guessing game, is [at times] more frustrating then not.

Then when I get home and flip on the tube and watch the pros hit the links I carefully observe, I try and figure out how they do it, hit is so far and so straight that it always ends up exactly where they planned it. However the sarcastic side of me usually kicks in and I think to myself... ‘I bet they can only hit it in that ONE direction,’ but me, oh no. I can hit it SO many directions without even trying. Even though I might have the same setup, stance, and swing, the ball can end up either to the left or right of where I was aiming, and on occasion it might even keep on a straight and narrow path. I suppose this shows how much of a versatile player that I can be.