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December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

Buon Natale; feliz Navidad; joyeux Noël; nollaig Chridheil; Danistayohihv; bon Nadal! Here’s wishing one and all the happiest of holiday seasons!

December 18, 2003

Santa Scrum

Last Friday after work, I accompanied a few of my coworkers to the Five Paces Inn - a bar just down the street lovingly referred to as the “Twelve-Step” - and much to my surprise, the place was packed with Santas! The Buckhead bar was hosting members of Atlanta’s Old White rugby team on their annual Santa Pub Crawl. Each year during this festive season the team gets decked out in Santa suits - for fun and for charity. After the somewhat unusual task of collecting toys for needy children and chanting in unison requests for free beer, the guys moved on single-file to another bar and all sorts undocumented merriment.

Rugby Santas

December 11, 2003

Twinkle, Twinkle

Years ago in a magazine (I forgot which one) I read an article on light pollution - essentially the artificial brightness of the night sky. The article included a satellite view of the United States at night with a lacework of urban centers and interstate highways beaming brightly. Since then I’ve been a bit more cognizant of that strange glow overhead.

I clearly remember driving towards Glasgow from the Borders and seeing this orangish radiance on the otherwise black horizon. (Note: Glasgow is one of my favorite places on the planet, and I’m sure the moisture in the air enhanced the glow - especially when contrasted with the sparsely-populated land to the south.)

When you step outside at night in Atlanta, it doesn’t take too long for your eyes to adjust. Even without a full moon, there’s enough lighting from street lamps, nearby buildings, and passing cars to see whatever you’re doing.

But I’ve digressed so much from my original train of thought before I started typing these words. Here’s what I really wanted to express:

It sucks that the sky’s often to bright in Atlanta to see the stars. But since the newly-hyphenated Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport holds the distinction of being the busiest passenger airport in the world, there are lots of shiny things to see in the sky! Maybe you think that’s a poor substitute because stars have this ancient, mythological, romantic, scientific connotation. Well, I find it fascinating to image where all those people on that plane, and that one, and that one are coming from or going to. What adventures are being had? Who will those passengers be sharing those experiences with? Which loved ones are being left behind and which ones will soon be reunited? Airports really intrigue me, but just seeing planes in the air gives my imagination much more room to roam.

December 09, 2003

Oh, what fun!

Leaping in front of the Centre Pompidou in Paris

Maybe it’s something I ate (namely holiday Peanut M&M’s) or maybe it’s something completely different, but at this particular moment I’m experiencing a certain joie de vivre. I’d try to explain it or rationalize it, but I’m certain that would ruin its ludic, fun-filled essence. So instead, I’m sharing a photo (courtesy of Mieko) that hopefully will bring as much of a smile to your face as it does to mine.


December 08, 2003

For Those of You Keeping Count

This is entry #171, but maybe more impressively, it’s the second entry in as many days! I can’t expect you to be too impressed because, given the seemingly forever case of typer’s block I suffered through, you’re probably reading this weeks if not months or years after I punched some keys and magically brought this rambling thought to fruition. So now onto something much more fun-filled…

Furniture! Since I’ve got a new address I’ve had to do some shopping for domestic supplies. Number one on my list was a table/desk. I searched far and wide (read: all over metro Atlanta and at least a dozen internet sites) for the perfect piece. I’ve made rudimentary desks before using a door for a top and whatever-can-be-safely-stacked for legs, but now that I’m a working man I figured it was time to buy an actual desk. After much internal deliberation, I decided on a rather unique — and I’d say fun — piece of furniture. It’s the Fasil Furniture Task Desk/Sofa Table.

The company claims there’s a 10-minute assembly time. I chose to approach the assembly process like one of those wooden block puzzles you see in the Cracker Barrel shop. The “cheat sheet” (a.k.a. - manufacturer’s instructions) remained safely in the box as I started to insert the slot of this piece into the slot of that piece. And in certainly no more than 5 minutes (I wasn’t actually timing it.) I had constructed my desk!

And in recognition of all my friends who are taking finals this week, when you need a break from all that “studying” - you can go to your nearest Target (obviously, Target.com since you’re reading this online) and buy your very own piece of easily-assembled furniture. See how fast you can put yours together. I’ll race you!

December 07, 2003

Up to Speed

Where do I begin? Since I seem to be updating this weblog only once in every other blue moon I suppose there’s quite a bit of catching up to do. Well, here’s my not-so-decent stab at it.

I got a car; I got a job; I got a place to stay.

The car’s actually a small SUV. I had a job before, just not a full-time architecture one. And the place to stay is only temporary.

I’m still adapting to life back in the US. I loved the convenience of not needing a car the past couple years while in Europe, but life in these United States necessitates a personal motor vehicle. Sure, there’s public transit, but most people would consider MARTA the laughing stock of Atlanta. So instead I cruise the town, guzzling up the gas and clogging the freeways.

From what they tell me at work, everybody gets stuck building a model their first week on the job. And sure enough, my first three days were spent cutting and pasting pieces of foamcore to make a massing model of a doll house of the Swan House. That’s right - not just a model, but a model of a model!

And since I’m living in a new location, I’ve got completely new contact information. Of course all my old email addresses still work, so if you’d like to reach me via phone or regular mail, send me an email and I’ll get you my new details or whatever other info you’d like.

OK, now that that is all taken care of, maybe I’ll start typing here more often. Maybe…