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1/12/09 05:32 pm

utterli-image
I'm updating from venice beach right now... It's like 85 degrees ( 30 C) and i'm sweating my balls off in this glorious january heat. Thank you santa ana. Unemployed in pseudo-summertime. Only just turned 23. It'll be ok.

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12/21/08 06:30 pm

being home in LA... is SO. freaking. WEIRD. O_O


twilight zone status...


there's a lot to update on... hopefully this will happen soon (and not 6 months from now as tends to happen with this crapjournal). i left new york for good. i'm currently jobless. i've become much more comfortable with certain personal things. i ate a pony. one of these things is not true.

12/21/08 01:45 pm

utterli-image
Lol i was stuck in phoenix due to a us airways fuck up, so i decided to take a desert sunrise hike instead of wasting away at the airport Hahaha. So pretty.

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9/11/08 06:01 pm - FWD:

utterz-image
I miraculously received a day off today. I think everyone in the office felt bad for me... All nighters and no weekends really make me look like shit. Today was great though... Spent all day biking from brooklyn up to the northern end of central park, chilin in various parks and cafes. Sitting in front of the hudson river right now, makes me remember how much i need the water to keep me sane. There was this really beautiful track which came on, didn't recognize it.... Looked at my ipod and realized it was "summer's going to hurt you". Strange. I miss old friends. I feel like i don't have any in new york anymore.

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9/11/08 11:11 am

utterz-image
Just testing out this cellphone blogging thing. This is the end of me.

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5/11/08 01:49 pm

you know your avant-garde cinema professor SUCKS when:

1) he pronounces Walter Benjamin as "Walter Ben-H-amin". CLEARLY HE WAS MEXICAN. i was fooled all along.

2) he decides to "treat" us to a 30 min. partial screening of Warhol's "Empire". But instead ends up showing us a 15 second loop OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR 30 MINUTES, thinking no one will notice. no, it's ok, I'll ignore the large, identical dust particles appearing in the exact same spots over and over again every 15 seconds.



hi livejournal.

11/4/07 08:21 am - sleepless rambles

it's funny how -- when i miss LA and get all nostalgic, conjuring images from my memory -- one of the first things I envision isn't the beach, or the mountains, or even my home or my backyard... it's a smoldering hot, sun-drenched concrete parking lot. hahahaha, which probably sounds horrid to the non-angeleno... but thinking about it, parking lots form such a huge part of angeleno identity... without public transportation or pedestrian accommodation, it's the beginning and end of your journey, it's the portal to the next destination, the entrance arch and final curtain. it's a hang out spot, a monumental slab of flat concrete accumulating solar radiation and emotional baggage, witnessing first love, murder, wholesome happenings and illicit activities. but of course, it's a reluctant public space, a reluctant witness -- who warned the parking lot that it would have to endure such a variety of events? certainly not the engineer, bringing the parking lot to life through a maximum amount of modular car spaces on x amount of square footage. it certainly is not designed to human scale -- and somehow that contributes to the magic and epic nature of the parking lot.
the parking lot remains one of the most emotionally-charged images in my mind when I think of my hometown.


(// pardon -- massively sleepless and work-stressed, as you can probably guess. this very moment in time sucks, but in general things are alright, I suppose? just weird, I can't tell whether or not I'm entering a dream phase or starting to wake up from delusions. i'm on the cusp and oscillating maniacally between the two. which is both pleasant and frustrating. Starting to looking at myself objectively from the outside is a little frightening;

to allow Levin, or to fight for Vronsky?)

10/4/07 01:57 am

long time no update --

i'm generally very confused about things -

but in the most delightful and exciting kind of way -

cheers!


ps -- oh, forgot to mention... i got into that class i was stressing out about two posts (/months?) ago, with the portfolio application and all that jazz. it's pretty interesting, but less exciting that i was hoping. just wanted to share a little good news for once, haha...

9/11/07 03:34 am

i am so grateful -- to be young - to live - to live and to be young - to sing and to dance at 5am covered in sweat and beer and cigarette smoke - to take part in all this madness and streams of love.




"Dans la vie, l'essentiel est de porter sur tout des jugements à priori.
Il apparaît, en effet, que les masses ont tort, et les individus toujours raison.
Il faut se garder d'en déduire des règles de conduite: elles ne doivent pas avoir besoin d'être formulées pour qu'on les suive.

Il y a seulement deux choses: c'est l'amour, de toutes les façons, avec des jolies filles, et la musique de La Nouvelle Orléans ou de Duke Ellington.
Le reste devrait disparaître, car le reste est laid, et les quelques pages de démonstration qui suivent tirent toute leur force du fait que l'histoire est entièrement vraie, puisque je l'ai imaginée d'un bout à l'autre"
(boris vian)

8/27/07 08:22 am

just got back to la-la-land, will be in town for a brief moment -- savoring my last droplets of summer before heading back to the enn-why sea this saturday. jetlagged as all hell -- my circadian rhythm is totally flipped. japan was lovely, though i gained a shitload of weight there. i've been exercising like a madman here to fix that.

fuck, i'm kind of sad i barely got to chill out in LA this summer... i think i've hung out with a grand total of two LA friends this entire break. the little time i've been back has been so nice. stupid california and your stupid beautiful weather! making me want to stay forever and ever and ever.

that said, i am super duper excited to go back to new york. of course. though my first couple of days there will already be fucking stresssssful... i got an e-mail a couple of weeks ago, when i was in japan -- a really wonderful e-mail from the head of the undergrad architecture department at columbia. oh wait did i say wonderful, i meant absolutely HEART-ATTACK-inducing. this course i really really REALLY want and need to take, which previously didn't require an application, suddenly became 10 times cooler (work on a real site, the professors are amazing interesting architects) -- and thus 10 times more selective -- and now I need to put together a portfolio application due sep. 4th, including work from every studio i've taken. non-architecture-majors probably won't understand how much work this is, but just to give an idea -- seniors usually take up a full semester and then some to finish their portfolios. in the world of architecture where graphic representation is a calculated, theory-laden science, every line having a significance, compilation is a project in itself.

granted, i don't have to present a senior thesis portfolio... but still, i have fucking TWO DAYS, since the majority of my interesting work is in new york. to make matters even more lovely, they're only accepting 10 people -- and i can easily name 15 students who not only want to take the course, but would DEFINITELY get in before me. i'm not saying that to be humble or fish for compliments, i just objectively know that others have stronger work than i do.



LOL fuck i started out writing this entry feeling all positive-sunny-LA-nicholas, but ended on a rather stressful and bitter new york-y note. time to bike to venice beach and enjoy this super-sunny day!


lovelovelovelove

8/3/07 01:02 pm - AOO bellllo!

ugh, damn IT. I've always wanted this journal to be a super-light thing where I could record little snippets of my life, not HUGE EPIC summaries of MONTHS worth of life-changing experiences. because no one really wants to read the latter, and it's excruciating to write as well. YET i manage EVERY TIME to let myself get lazy and build up all these wonderful experiences that will eventually never get written out... the only things that make it to my journal are the sleep-deprived, psychosis-induced manic-depressive 4am paper-writing rants. and that's so not cool, because the past few months of my life have been nothing short of wonderful and inspiring, and i'd hate to look back at my journal in 10 years and think "shit, my life at 21 was miserable". So hey future Nicholas, please remember that life at 21 was amazing and everything you wanted it to be.


Maybe I'll record everything that's been happening to me... crazy, fabulous new york -- my epically impromptu trip to see bjork in san francisco with dearest friends -- and then Rome!! beautiful, sensual, chaotic Rome...

and maybe I won't.

either way, it doesn't matter... all there is to know -- is that all is well. more than well, all is full of love!

my aunt : "you know, your father bought this water mattress when he was here a couple of weeks ago, to use in the lake. it made him really happy, just to float around in the water with this stupid mattress. but it's one of the things i like most about your dad, he still gets so enthusiastic about the 'stupid' little pleasures most people take for granted."

6/12/07 01:35 pm

wow.

so uh, I'm currently at the Tate Modern, sitting at the café and leeching off of their free wireless. I'm looking directly at St. Paul's Cathedral, right across the Thames. talk about spring break 06 version 2.0 (referring to the random impromptu washington DC bit, of course)... the past couple of days have been such a weird and wonderful blur...
i guess it all started sunday night in los angeles... i went to see CSS, and they were fabulous! i mean, it's so easy to hate them... they're really gimmicky, predictable, superficial (and aware of it)... but god i love them so much, lol. such a great, fun energy for the show, and a MASSIVE turnout compared to when I last saw them in the fall... it's crazy how much they blew up in the past couple of months.
But yeah... in a weird way, that show pretty much set the energy and vibe for the next events to come. I couldn't sleep after the CSS show, since i sort of hadn't even started packing for my flight which was leaving at 8 the next morning (lol, what a surprise right?). so it was basically like, CSS --> PACKING --> AIRPORT --> TORONTO --> LONDON! in the blink of an eye and without any sleep (I hate sleeping on planes). now it's tuesday? and here I am, deliriously wandering the streets of london totally dazed and confused, tripping out on the most random things in the street.

and OH GOD!

THE TATE! has an entire section devoted to minimalism... I nearly pissed myself when I entered the flavin room. there it was, one of his monuments to tatlin, glaring right at me, surrounded by a couple of other famous works. i hate to be such a minimalism whore after that one class, but shit. it hits me so hard whenever I see a pink fluorescent tube hanging diagonally across the wall.

woah ok i got really lightheaded all of the sudden, i need a serious dosage of caffeine... anyway, i don't even know what the point of this entry originally was. i'm sure i had interesting intentions. and intersections with intervals and interstices. interminably intermittent and interpoopular. entrails.

in conclusion -- man i forgot how much i loved london, despite the shit weather that's going on right now. every little detail of the city is just so witty and cute, almost as if acting like little "just kidding"s to counterbalance the indifferent greyness of the city.

i leave for milan in 5 hours... finally going to see my grandma after like 5 years!!! man i miss her terribly.

real update coming soon...

6/9/07 11:06 pm

ok... i swear, i swear, i swear that a real update is coming soon... within the next week maybe... but i have a (sort of not really) urgent question for lj-world!

In about 48 hours, I'm going to be in london for what is essentially a day-long layover (long story, will explain soon). Any suggestions for things to do? ANY tiny little tidbit would be appreciated, from the most touristy/crowded/obnoxious monument to the most obscure/hidden specialty shop... I'm open to everything.

aaaand go!


[for future reference -- a most pleasant new york experience, san francisco love, roman holidays]

5/21/07 02:45 am

many many words -- but for now, only five: all is full of love.

4/7/07 03:45 pm - ghosts

I had a dream last night in which I wrote the following sentences in navy oil pastel on a concrete wall:

"I believe in ghosts. But not the kind of ghost who represents a dead subject -- I believe in the ghosts of living people, of those people, friends, family, who begin to dematerialize not through lack of love but through lack of contact. I see them more and more, every morning now."

2/24/07 05:23 pm - best nyc encounter so far

I was resting on a bench in central park after an afternoon run, bathed in the pale-gold light that is so characteristic of this time of the year - the ice is melting, the temperatures are more bearable, and the city seems to be rising from its winter gloom.

all of the sudden, I snap out of daydreaming as this old old tiny, wrinkled lady starts talking to me without any introduction -

"the days are getting longer"

growing up in LA and then living in new york for the past couple of years, my immediate response is just to go along with the crazies so that they leave you alone...

"yeah, i know. they are..."

"there's more sun light at the end of the day... it's lovely... it just fills you with such... optimism..."

she then walked away with the biggest smile on her small whithered face, matching the biggest smile on my face i've had in a while.



i think that sums up a lot in terms of how i've been feeling lately. for the first time EVER i have a relatively stress-free schedule (i mean, i'm still in a couple of studios and i still pull an all-nighter once a week pretty much lol... but only ONE theory class, dayum). I also just had a final crit this past week, and it actually went fairly well. my first positive crit in like, a year haha.

at the same time, there's something sort of weird about all of this. don't know what's wrong with having fun for once, but it's weird to not be super-depressed and stressed all the time.

boh, oh well. I'm coming back to LA in a couple of weeks, i'm really really looking forward to it... as lovely as everything is right now, i'm exceptionally homesick for some reason.


[as i was sitting on the bench, i felt the subway throbbing under me in a very cardiovascular manner - dudun dudun... dudun dudun... dudun dudun...]

1/10/07 10:57 am

lol oh man, this LA vs. NY article I found is great. and depressingly true -


"I stopped taking for granted privacy in cars, cleanliness, being able to escape out to the beach. I miss food tasting like food, clean food, light and healthy. A tomato tasting like a tomato."

"The time difference is only three hours, but this city takes up 24 hours a day."

"Speaking of the competitive history of the East and West Coast jazz scenes of the 1950s, he explained, 'East Coast jazz was a flurry of excitement, all in your face. While out on the West Coast, it was more about catching the spaces between the notes.' "

1/7/07 01:20 pm

damn, so dorian died of a heroin overdose last friday. not that I was super-good friends with him or anything remotely like that, but it's always weird when someone in your circle goes off in that way, especially when you've seen him around so much and spoken to him a few times. a lot of people are speculating that it was a suicide overdose...
the timing was also particularly eerie, as I hadn't really thought of him for months... until the night he ODed, when diane and i were talking about him, completely out of the blue.

i'm almost expecting him to reply to this lj post or something... looking back, i realized that the last comment he made in my lj was when my dog died, over the summer. it's weird, i kept hearing about how he had all these emotional problems, but I didn't know much about it. It's SO eerie to look at his journal and see all the tell-tale signs though. I mean, damn, his last entry is such a clear indicator, I don't know how that slipped under the radar:
"This pattern forming will win yes [29 Dec 2006|10:36pm]
Im hoping for the best this time"

This is really eerily familiar, no?

bah. again, not that I knew him well at all, but it's still such an awful thing to hear, especially when it always seems so preventable.
rip, dorian.

-----

in other, less depressing news... Los Angeles has been treating me wonderfully, and I'm sufficiently rested and detoxed. Although I could stay here forever and ever, I'm heading back to New york this coming Wednesday. The weather over there is supposed to be ridiculously warm (for nyc standards, anyway) so i'm not too... frightened... haha. I know that this semester will be a carbon copy of the last which was a carbon copy of the last, but I'm trying to not think of that right now.
just keep on truckin.

12/28/06 08:59 am - annnnnnd I'm alive!!!

wow, i don't even know how to start this post. any of you who have actually been reading my journal for the past couple of years can probably guess at which part of my little annual "cycle" I'm currently at right now, haha.

but uh, damn. what was once a rollercoaster is now pretty much one of those sine waves which progressively keeps growing in intensity, while still maintaining the same period. and yes that was the quite possibly the nerdiest metaphor i've ever made, but it's pretty accurate if you think about it.

HHAHAHAAHAH wow a terrible quote just popped in my head in reference to the sine wave - robert smithson, on his work - "there's no temporal climax, just a entropic system of undifferentiated infinity".

I certainly hope my life doesn't dissolve into an undifferentiated infinity.

OK, ENOUGH AMBIGUITIES. I apologize. I just woke up after a delicious normal-length sleep in my bed, quite possibly the first in the past few weeks, and after my little affair with Mlle. Nuit-Blanche which has been off-and-on since November, I'm ready to leave that bitch and become a normal human being. for two weeks.

ok ok, structure nick, structure. no one wants to hear your hazy streams-of-consciousness drivel.

Chapitre 1: My six-week-long heart attack

I guess there's not an enormous amount to really say about this period, except that it truly felt like a prolonged heart attack. and by prolonged, i mean spanning the course of 6 weeks. it was just constant deadline missing, living in constant fear, constant anxiety, constant stress, constant work and constant breakdowns. and booooy did i break-it-down like james brown (rip brotha!). little sleep was had in this period, especially in the past couple of weeks, in which i've been averaging at about 3-4 hours a night, every night. i think the worst part though, was just that it felt like i was constantly failing, OVER and OVER again for six weeks. like EVERY single new project/paper/exam was an opportunity for me to screw up and feel worse about myself, until I just boiled down to this emotionally haywire and physically fucked up excuse for a human being.

Chapitre 2: My Christmas with Merleau-Ponty and Eva Hesse

Finals technically ended and I technically was back in LA on the 21st of december, but of course super-punctual me had a late minimalism take-home exam to finish! Oh, only a couple hundred pages of dense minimalist theory/phenomenology/structural linguistics and 8 artists to cram into 16 pages. no pants, no problem! (lmao ok that expression doesn't fit here at all, but for some reason i was itching to type it out).
I mean, granted, it was FANTASTIC to be home and it definitely helped me a lot to have real food and whatnot. I was still kind of in heart attack mode though, since the paper was getting later and later, and I still hadn't contacted my prof. i was pulling red bull-fueled all-nighters for days straight in my own home, which was pretty bizarre.
But, damn, what a great paper. lol. With 21 blood-stained pages, I finished yesterday, and I learned so fucking much.

This class was fantastic... I think that after having such a classical education in high school (and which continued with columbia's core, obviously), there's always been this gap in my knowledge in terms of how we got to where we are today... and consequently i've always felt as if my generation were just so removed from all that i've ever learned about. it's such an amazing feeling to start to bridge that gap, and start to understand my own generation's place in the grand scheme of things. god, we have SUCH an incredible heritage from the postwar thinkers and artists.
thank you donald judd, robert morris, dan flavin, richard serra, robert smithson, dan graham, sol lewitt and eva hesse. you bastards were the bane of my existence for the past 2 weeks, but i love you.

Chapitre 3: Ballet rendition of Edward Scissorhands with the Katz family

So after finishing my paper, I had my first ever outing in about... oh god i don't even want to think about it. haha... But yeah, Sophie called up and invited me to go to "edward scissorhands the musical" with her family... ahahaha, best idea ever. as a whole, it was a bit lacking and hella cheesy, but it was nice to have a little "christmas moment" since I had missed it with my minimalism paper, lol.
but yeah, man, her family is the greatest. I always feel so inadequate going over to her house, lmao. her parents have fantastic taste, and they're all so intelligent and cool in the most with-my-eyes-closed manner possible. seriously, if i had to imagine in my head what i'd want my home/family to be like, it'd look a lot like the katz family. lol, not to embarrass you at all, sophie...
last night also made me realize how shitty my french is right now. oh my GOD. it's so sad that after 10 years in a french school, passing the bac and everything, it can all spiral down after three years.

Chapitre 4: Apologies and Beach brunches

My adhd is setting in and i want to finish this entry, so with that, i want to apologize to everyone who called me and whom i'd ignored over the past week. it was a horribly stressful time, and i pretty much shut everyone out.

alright, now time for a beach brunch with sophie at pt dume! woohoo.

12/7/06 02:57 am

you know how, for the end of finals season, people ask, "so, are you sprinting to the finish or limping with a broken leg?" apparently some kid at columbia answered back, "I'm sprinting with a broken leg," which is pretty much my (and columbia students' in general) usual state of mind for this "most wonderful time of the year".
well this year, it's a little different. i'm SO far behind everyone else in this race, so fucked for any kind of decent finish-line-crossing, that i've become that guy who just stopped, shrugged his shoulders, retreated to a cardboard box on the side of the racetrack and overdosed on heroin, peeing all over himself because all decency was lost anyway.

today in studio we had to fill in these course evaluation things... and one of the questions read something like "how has studio related to your general curriculum/everyday life?" a girl in my class answered (and this pretty much sums up how we feel at this point of the year) "every day I walk back to studio, I pray I get hit by a car on the way here." ahahahhaah.

I think I'm going to reset all my passwords (facebook/myspace/livejournal/forums etc.) with something completely random like fowiejfowiescj09ei032 and e-mail that to a friend. these things aren't helping much.

~*TAH!!!

12/5/06 08:53 am - messages from the past

all my shittastic whiney entries aside, I do have to say that I had a moment which made me smile last night/earlier this morning... for about three seconds... lol. I think only post-ravers will understand why the moment was so endearing, but whatever.

So I had this corny "PLUR book" I made last summer for shits and giggles, which i made all my friends sign and write little messages in. i covered it in glow-in-the-dark crayon and such, for the full effect ;P. I brought it to new york, but it's been kind of buried under mounds of stuff ever since i got back here.

Well last night/this morning I was frantically searching for something, when I found the book. I didn't really have time to look at it though, so i just kind of tossed it aside on the floor without even a second thought. it remained on the floor with all my other school crap for a while, and I just forgot about it there. I left the room to go work, turning off the light in my room, about to head out... when I saw something glowing in the corner of my eye. Everything in my room was engulfed in darkness, all my school crap and chaotic mess of a life invisible for that one moment... all I saw, surrounded by nothingness, was the word "PLUR" in bright glow-in-the-dark letters.

It was a really touching and metaphorical moment, which lasted all of three seconds. after which i dove back into paper-writing hell :P

12/5/06 07:28 am - "you're just too much person"

god, such a fucking trainwreck this is.

there are times where i really don't think i belong at this school (on an aptitude level). i just don't have the stamina necessary to keep up with all this shit. i love what i'm learning and in the end it's best for me I'm sure, but such fucking hell to do architecture within a liberal arts setting, in terms of time management. sometimes i wish i could just go to a "normal" architecture school and devote all my time/energy into that, or just choose a "normal" major and devote my time/energy to that.

this whole trying-to-be-everything-at-once is just so typical of me, on personal/academic/social levels all throughout my life. but i'm so fed up with trying to catch up with 800 different lifestyles.

it's funny though, i'm starting to understand why people think of me the way they do. often, people are surprised to learn that i have a younger brother. I usually get slightly offended (no offense only children, i just have this stereotype of the spoiled egocentric engrained in my head lol). I ask why, and the response is almost always "you're just too much person".

I don't know how i feel about that.

12/2/06 09:21 am

oh lol wow, how funny. i knew i wrote this somewhere...

in regards to the last bit of my previous post... I posted this little thing back in april when I was writing my rem koolhaas paper :

"notepad- rave scene as social manifestation of the new metropolitan condition caused by transnationalism, acceleration in telecommunication technology. very interesting and beautiful reconciliation of the psychic and hyper-rational industrial. creation of a truly transnational place-less space, defined by the electronic interface. everywhere and nowhere. everything and nothing."

which is funny, considering how it's really NOT that. or at least, it's like the ultimate failed experiment of modernism.

12/2/06 09:04 am

preface- I'm bordering my typical late-night-early-morning psychosis right now, so skip this post if you're not in the mood for the usual cracked-out senseless depressed nick-complains-way-too-much-about-his-life-on-LJ post.


uh. so the first pink-orange rays of upper westside morning sun just creeped over the tips of the buildings outside my window, and I had a moment. Not really a new moment, i pretty much feel this way everytime I pull an all-nighter in a room with big windows. But it's essentially this feeling of "oh that's beautiful" paired with an overwhelming feeling of dread and wanting to jump out the window, because such a pretty sight should never be juxtapposed with such a shitty state of mind.

I'm not going to get into why, but there's a lot wrong right now, and, yes, my own sloth/incompetence/disconnect with reality is entirely to blame. I just want to get the fuck out of here.

on a different note - who would have known that Bavarian rococo church architecture could have provided me with such amazing insight into my own life?

Stupid paper. but great readings. here's a snippet from a fantastic article, "the ethical function of architecture" by karsten harries... heavily pomo, maybe even a little outdated in some respects... but great still.

"Man has always tried to overcome distance, to bring things closer, to grasp them, and to make them his own. But only modern man has carried this effort so far that with some justice he can liken himself to God, to whom all things are equally close. The full consequences of this attack on distance are still uncertain: while it promises man almost divine power, it also threatens him with a never before known homelessness. [...]
Objectivity demands homogeneity of place. Both have their foundation in a self-displacement which transforms man from an embodied self into a pure thinking subject.
The reward of this displacement is a new freedome, its price a new homelessness. The pure subject cannot locate itself. [...] Infinitely mobile, the pure subject can acquire roots only by incarnating itself. To reason such incarnation and the limits it establishes will always seem arbitrary. Why should I be bound by the accident of location? The attack on distance is born of the resentment expressed by this question. If the destruction of boundaries is welcomed by freedom, it also renders man's place arbitrary. Pascal, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Turgenev, and Rilke give voice to the dread of post-Copernican man lost in the silence of infinite space.
Eliade speaks of the terror of history; equally well we can speak of the terror of space, for like the homogeneity of endless time that of endless space renders life contingent and insignificant. We demand heterogeneity and boundaries, periods and regions, sacred events and central places which can gather a manifold into a meaningful whole. Time and space must be shaped in such a way that man is assigned a dwelling place, an ethos. Pure reflection is unable to discover or establish such a place for reflective man is as such displaced. The effort to place man has to address itself to the entire person, especially to the body. Consider the way in which a Greek temple or a medieval cathedral gathers the surrounding landscape into a region which lets men dwell together on the earth instead of leaving them to drift across it as strangers.
From the very beginning architecture has had an ethical function, helping to articulate and even to establish a man's ethos - our use of the word "edify" still hints at the relationship between building and ethics. The architecture of the baroque was perhaps the last to preserve this ethical function; the past two centuries have lost sight of it. Only recently has the seriousness of this loss been recognized by historians of architecture like Sedlymayr and philosophers like Heidegger.
Like language, architecture is on one hand a product of human acitivity while on the other it helps to create the environment which gives shape to man's activities. To build is to help decide how man is to dwell on the earth or indeed whether he is to dwell on it at all, rather than drift aimlessly across it."

ok wow, i ended up typing WAY more than I initially wanted, lol. very hard to crop.

but uh, yeah, los angeles rave scene anyone?! It's kind of ridiculous how much it all seems to make sense now. this mass of drifting strangers in search of culture, in search of ethos...

on that note, I really, really, really want some drugs right now. *twitches*

11/23/06 04:06 am

change express release color identity power destroy

destroy composition destroy aesthetics destroy

destroy destroy destroy destroy

11/18/06 02:41 pm

hmm, times have been really weird ever since i got back from LA. i can't even explain it, but i've just had absolutely no motivation to do anything. work, play, whatever. i just feel like this tub of goop going through the motions, and it's a really terrible feeling. i was supposed to go to a good friend's party last night, which i'd been looking forward to... and i just blew it off. for some reason i couldn't even bring myself to get out and socialize. it's weird, and I'm really not familiar with this feeling.

it's funny, cos there was this poll online, asking something to the effect of "is your life getting any better? yes/no/same". at first i was like, that's the stupidest question ever, what the fuck is "better" supposed to mean? and why do we have to even think in these kinds of linear and "progressive" ways? at the same time though, it really got me to evaluate where i am now and how far i've come from, say, high school.
i was looking at these old rave videos online, from 2000 and such, out of pure nostalgia... for me that was all just like, a blink away, but then it made me realize that the year 2000 was six years ago now... almost 7. that's a whole generation away, for me. and, very strangely enough, an entirely different stage of my life. i've come a long way (both literally and figuratively, haha) since i was 14, and just the poll and the videos and everything happening right now forced me to evaluate whether, indeed, my life has gotten any "better" since that period in my life.

and i just don't know. i definitely feel like there's a lot of stagnant water in my life right now, nothing is changing or exciting anymore. i mean i'm SO happy with where i am - i'm studying in a fantastic field, i've made great friends here, it's a wonderful city and a lot of great opportunities for the future... but, you know, i'm not going out exploring the extremes of the beauty experience in the middle of the mojave desert at 4AM anymore, haha. in short, i just don't feel like i'm as conscious of the life experience anymore as much as I was back in that other period of my life. there's no danger anymore, there's no excitement or change going on. just developing a routine.

that said, it's not like i just want to be a crazy raver again or something - i mean those were fun, amazing times, but, as the anthem goes, "wonderful days belong to the past". i want to experience that same feeling of life-wonder and love for the world, but manifested in a different, new form appropriate to this stage in my life.

i need change.

11/5/06 10:19 pm - new york pulsates, los angeles breathes

I was about to start this entry with: "god, why did i ever move away from southern california, this is heaven, this is peace, this is breath and soul. i'm so miserable in new york and so happy here!"

But then I realized that I say this pretty much every time I come back to LA after a pseudo-nervous breakdown in New York, and that it's unfair to say that I hate New York in the large scope of things. It's totally a cycle now. (1) New York- I have a miserable zombifying period of non-stop cold work in which I completely neglect my personal happiness/health (2) LA - I come back and re-charge and re-discover what it's like to be a happy and good-feeling human being (3) I come back to New York re-charged and remember how much I actually love New York and am usually happy there too.

That said... my. GOD. I fucking love socal. There's not a doubt in my mind that i'm going to settle back here in the future. The past couple of days have been surreally pleasant... it's summer all over again. the weather has been immaculate (with the exception of one slightly overcast day) - it's so warm that i've been able to go surfing everyday without a wetsuit. tons of people are out in summer gear - i just got back from the venice boardwalk, and loads of funky (good-funky) people were out. there was a great drum circle going on at sunset... such an amazing energy flowing through it, people from all walks of life. Before that, I went surfing. Before that, I went hiking with my dad on this fantastic trail which culminated in one of the most amazing vistas of the Pacific I've ever seen. and that was all just today...

the past couple of days have been... to say the bare minimum... so, so, so nice. That feeling you get when you catch a wave... or even when you're tossed around by the Pacific and slammed onto the ocean floor (haha)... and then afterwards just plopping down on the warm sand and passing out in exhaustion/ecstasy... that's such an irreplaceable feeling. new york has vitality and a unique heartbeat, but this place has soul (for lack of a cornier metaphor). the feeling of switching from the new york rhythm to the LA rhythm is not unlike an complex knot coming undone.

agh, here i go again trying to analyze my life and squish everything into a new york/LA dualism. of course it's not that simple. but damn, it feels so nice to be here again. constant smiles and body tingles. warmth and peace.
and yes, i am very much trying to forget that i'm leaving the day after tomorrow... and that I have an architecture project due hours after I arrive in new york... haha :(

10/31/06 04:55 pm

ok, so random and somewhat unexpected turn of events...

I'M HEADED BACK TO LA TOMORROW!!!!!

woooot. I wasn't expecting to go anywhere for fall break, but my mom called all sad status and wanted me to come home. so just last night I purchased tickets to fly the fuck out of here tomorrow evening. hahaha... and shit am i READY to go home. god i miss LA sooooooooooooo much. I really need to get out of the city immediately. It's at the point where i've been playing LA-associated songs nonstop and thinking about it all the time...
There are people who hate LA and transplant easily to other cities like New York, but I'm definitely of the other camp. I love New York and I think it's a beautiful, amazing city... but there will always be a piece of southern california in my soul, tugging me back to the sun-drenched beaches, slow rhythm, fresh produce, plastic people and miles of congested freeways. ahhahaha. <3

and yeah, there are a lot of you i really want to see again!!

god I'm so exciiiiiiited. I really need this break. yay for sunny weather in the 70s too <3 <3 <3

10/27/06 03:01 am

ok, so my computer has officially died :(

I took it to the genius bar on 5th ave. today, and the guy basically told me that I would have to get my hard drive replaced (essentially the cost of a new computer) and that all the files on my old hard drive were gone (this still hasn't sunk in, I'm kind in shell shock right now lol).

So, bad news:
- i have to buy a new computer ($$$$$!)
- all my music is gone (RGJTIRTgijsrtgoijerg34i523)
- all my school stuff is gone
- i think my all my architecture work is gone (I'm praying to God I backed this up somewhere)
- all my (illegaly obtained) awesome design software is gone. this is HUGELY inconvenient for me and my schoolwork.
- a lot of personal shit is gone. special emails, aim convos, tidbits of images and videos I collected over the past couple of years... that's kind of the shittiest bit... and again, major shell shock. i don't quite realize the magnitude of this loss yet.

The good news:

- this didn't happen a week ago during my papers-and-midterms craziness. I think I would have seriously killed myself if I lost all my class notes, papers, research, reading notes (!!!), architecture crap, etc. a week ago when I REALLY needed them... god.
- I get to get a new computer? lol. although that's kind of complicated, as I'll explain in a bit...
- I still have my iPod... and I heard there was a (hack) way to get music from your iPod to your computer. If not... uh, shit.
- out of PUUUUUURE coincidence, just a couple of weeks ago I thought to myself, "hmm, I think I'm going to back up my old photos to see if this external hard drive thing works". I think i would have been most devastated by the loss of photos.




as for getting a new computer... I spoke to my dad about it, who's trying really hard to switch me back to a PC, hahaha. I'm almost tempted to, considering how a bunch of architecture programs are PC-only (AutoCAD, AAAARGH!) and considering how much less PCs cost for essentially the same computer (I love Macs, but I really don't find them to be so incredibly superior to PCs). But Macs are so pretty :( hahahah. I was all looking at PC notebooks, and I just couldn't see myself switching back. Especially with the new Macbooks... *Homer drool*

But yeah, I'm not too sure what's going to happen.

In other news, my friends got me Indian food, an epic 3-tiered birthday cake from Kitchenette, delicious port wine, philosopher finger puppets (Plato, Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche) and a Nietzsche T-shirt. ahahhahaha. I am loved.


Oh god, and in OTHER news. I forgot if I even mentioned this here, but i've been kind of missing from LJ-land as of late (lol, weird that it takes a ghetto-ass gross computer lab in my dorm to get me back to LJ)... but I'm not going to copenhagen next semester anymore. long story, but I'm actually happy with my decision right now. as much as I talk shit on New York, I'm still kind of a tourist here and there's so much amazing shit this city has to offer... I want to stay here as long as possible. It's kind of crazy that it's already been two and a half years, and that I have such little time left.

and in OTHER OTHER news (last one, I swear)... I've been toying with the idea of working in a European arch firm over the summer, hahaha. random, I know. either Paris or Rome. If any of you will be there this summer, definitely hollah.


*DONE!*

10/25/06 06:03 am

arghhhhh. my 'puter just pooped out on me. it's been making funny noises lately, and I guess tonight was its last straw. SUUUUCKS. I'm so glad this didn't happen during midterm season though. I think suicide watch would have had reason to be at my door if that were the case, lol.

but yeah boo to my computer dying :( *shakes fist in computer lab*

edit: oh and I'm 21 as of six hours ago... ahahahaha. i hate that my first six hours of 21-hood were spent working in the architecture studio and making a really shitty project.

10/24/06 11:47 pm

Nick's faux pas du jour:

player 1: a Mexican architecture studiomate by the name of Fernando.
player 2: a big, popular Mexican restaurant near Columbia called Mama Mexico. I tend to bash Mama Mexico a lot cos it's a bit Disney-Mexico-y, and the food is way overpriced. That said, I actually quite enjoy the place and it really reminds me of home lol.

Game: So I was speaking with Fernando and another friend about Mexican food in New York. As you can guess by the lack of Mexicans here, it's not too good. Fernando mentions that his family actually owns a Mexican restaurant in New York. I totally imagined this small, authentic hole-in-the-wall establishment - essentially the opposite of Mama Mexico. In fact I didn't even REMOTELY consider Mama Mexico to be an option. So I said, "oh great! I totally need some good, real Mexican food, I miss it a lot. I'm so tired of shit like *waves hands around, makes a gross face and speaks in a different tone of voice* Mama Mexico!"
We continue conversation normally, talking about his place and the different dishes they serve, etc. Finally I asked him "so wait what's it called again? I really want to go."
Fernando: "Mama Mexico."
Me: "...OH!........."

10/23/06 09:26 pm

sooo last week was pretty shitty for me (to say the very least), and I decided that a little retail therapy was necessary. while for most people retail therapy = clothes or expensive chocolates, I decided to get myself a didgeridoo!! ahahahhaha



seriously, best impulse buy ever. my residents probably hate me, but it's suuuuuuuuuuch a relaxing sound and feeling. the whole vibration just goes through your body and it's very ego-crushing. which is totally what I need right now. plus it's way fun to play ahhahaah.

*wwooooeeeeeooohhhhheeeeeeeooooohhhhhhhhhDINGOBARKwoooooooeeeeeeooohhhhhhheeeeoooooohhhhh*

10/19/06 12:38 am

~!*NiCK's HiGHLigHTs oF tHe WeeK*!~

1) ~*2 midterms, 2 architecture projects, and a paper (40% of my grade) on minimalist formal theory in the span of 3 days!*~
2) ~*grand total of 8 hours of sleep since sunday!*~
3) ~*catching a cold!*~
4) ~*messing up at least one midterm!*~
5) ~*possibly failing out of architecture!*~
6) ~*spending 22 consecutive waking hours in the library reading hundreds of pages of dense deconstructivist theory and squishing it all into six pages!*~
7) ~*handing in said minimalism paper late, doing a shitty job!*~
8) ~*gaining a shitload of weight!~*
9) ~*having to walk home in flipflops through gross gross puddlesof rain!*~

and... last but CERTAINLY not least...

10) ~*having people worry about me so much they called suicide watch!*~

aahahahahahaha. the last one is actually all kinds of hilarious, cos i was so just soooooooo cracked out and out of it, when i just dropped off something quickly in my room... just so happens, that's when the suicide watch people came to knock on my door ("What, it's the RA?!?"). apparently they know exactly where and when you swipe your card, so they can figure out where you are. creepy....


(ps, no, I'm not going to kill myself... lol...)

10/2/06 08:43 pm

ugh. i keep forgetting how shitty it feels to go through a bad architecture critique. It's a bad feeling to get a low grade on a paper or midterm, but it's just a whole other level of horrible when it comes to creative endeavors like architecture, i feel... crits can become so personal and hit you at your weakest self-esteem points.
there were seriously so many times during the crit this morning where i felt like taking my exacto and jabbing it in my stomach. i went through sleepless weeks pouring all my heart and creative energy into this series of models, only to be told that my project "lacks heart and dedication".
I have to essentially start from zero and create a new model for wednesday, which is so fucking hard when feeling so aesthetically and conceptually incompetent.

ggggeeeeeeeeuuuuuggghhhhh. i hate to be so melodramatic, but hey this is livejournal right? lol. but yeah, fuck. i hate this feeling.

9/12/06 10:57 am

ahahahah shit...

So a couple of days ago, I get this e-mail saying that I had been dropped from my minimalism/post-minimalism course by the registry (booo). Of course I was really pissed off, since this is probably the most interesting and relevant class on my schedule right now. I pretty much spent the last half hour or so writing this loooooooong, carefully calculated e-mail to my professor explaining why, as a student in Aaaarchitecture (long and pretentious "a") and Aaaaart History (long and pretentious "a"), it was incredibly important for me to take this class, especially since minimalism has seen such a resurgence in the cutting-edge of art and architecture today (this is true, and i'm actually really sincere when i say that this class is super-relevant for me right now). I mentioned copenhagen, i mentioned my personal relationship with minimalism, i mentioned my trip to the film screenings he suggested, bla bla bla.

Right before I sign off the e-mail, I check really quickly online to see if, by the off chance, spots opened in the class. I register, and get in the class. ahahhaha. essentially a lot of pretension and time wasted, but whatever... I'm so glad I got in, damn.

on another note, the weather has definitely taken an autumnal twist recently, which is really nice (if not very sudden). this kind of crisp and windy weather always gets me so excited for some reason, I love the fall. work is already pretty heavy (tons of reading + architecture project due TOMORROW :[ ) but things are balanced... for now... *KNOCKS ON WOOD* (haha i hesitated sooo much in writing that, I really don't want to jinx anything...).
The Sharits screenings were amazing, I even bought a membership to Anthology film because of how impressed I was by their choice of future screenings (haha, it also makes me feel like a pretentious prick carrying the card in my wallet, but WHATEVER.
I've actually been using my longboard quite a lot too, which i'm pretty surprised about. It's nice to have a kind of urban replacement to surfing. I ate it in central park the other day though, slid on my bare shoulder for a few feet on concrete... kind of akin to taking a cheese grater to the skin, lol. a large portion of my shoulder is basically raw right now, with nasty skinnings on my knees/elbows. good times though, sharp pain is definitely nice to feel once in a while :P in a really weird way.

feast of san gennaro this weekend! greasy, super-americanized italian food and culture galore! (admittedly still a lot of fun though).

9/7/06 01:11 am

neaaaarghh!

GODDAMN. soooooooo much is happening right now, it's kind of crazy status.

I got back to New York a couple of weeks ago, and strangely enough I'm kind of glad to be back. It's a very different brand of happiness here, but there's a happiness nonetheless. Already pretty stressful though, and it's only day 2 of classes. haahaha. The classes seem fantastic... All but one class is architecture/art history-related, which is pretty amazing/terrifying. The professors are cool... For architecture (first half of the semester) I have this really quirky spacey published (lol, of course i had to google him) british guy. The professor and TA from the first "minimalism and post-minimalism" lecture were dressed in stereotypical all-black sharply tailored designer clothing. Dunno if it was meant to be a self-satirizing joke, but even if it wasn't, I thought it was great.
The kind of lame bit of my super-interesting schedule lies in the months of october and december... at one point i'm going to have FIVE midterms in a single week (all memorization and concept-heavy), as well as FOUR term papers in a single week, both right before/after final reviews for architecture. mmmm delicious.

Oh, and I'm an RA. ahahhaha. which totally came out of nowhere, I know, but I am and it's been interesting. If not absolutely terrible for my residents, but hey they're big brave columbia students, they can fend for themselves... :P
I also somehow became Events Coordinator for the Architecture Society at my school, which is actually quite a demanding position (if not totally cool too though). I'm also going to be submitting a couple of articles for the Architecture publication here, which should be fun.

Re-prioritizing my life and putting sleep/health/social life in front of work? hah!

No, I really do hope to maintain some kind of balance. despite how absolutely ape-shit everything is going to be. Pfft, actually who the hell am I kidding lol. At least I can look forward to Ladytron in a couple of weeks, then Scissor Sisters in a month. Then Copenhagen next spring! Sustainable design field trips to Sweden and Finland! woot.

Okay, time to stop this scattered rant (as if my posts ever have structure). as a final note: avant-garde manhattanites, go to the paul sharits film screenings this weekend at anthology film! minimalist film at its finest. restored prints. message me for more info.

8/17/06 11:24 pm - warning: scattered post

ah, summer.

i don't even know how to start this post really, i feel like giving words to this beautiful feeling I have would destroy it. cheesy as it sounds, language really is inefficient at conveying many things, and in this case i feel like every sound i assign would disrupt the fragile existence of this emotion. it's not a collection of words, it's a smell, it's an orange sky, it's the feeling of bare skin and the warmth of friendship.
there are really few moments in my life where i've been happier though, and there's something tugging at me to chronicle this feeling before it fades away and i forget about all the amazing things there are in the life experience...

so, i ended up doing absolutely nothing "productive" this summer... in the practical sense of the word "productive" anyway. while i really hated it in the beginning and beat myself down for being such a bum, it ended up being the wisest decision i've made for my own well-being and happiness. it's easy to forget how important it is to just stop what you're doing and think about yourself, find yourself and remember what makes you truly happy in life. egocentrism in the most healthy way possible.

if i learned anything from this so-called post-post-modern age, it's that it's impossible to disassociate reason and intuition, mind and body, intellectuality and sensuality... yet in new york, i was living this life which was so sterile and void of the pleasure principle, completely diving into this seemingly inevitable delirium of intellect/rationalist-based living (haha, raskolnikov...). while i knew it was wrong, it really took me a complete dive into the sensuality and warmth of Southern California to remember just how important it is to have that balance in life AT ALL TIMES.

i'm tempted to leave it at that, it's so hard to write this for some reason. again, it's a feeling, not a collection of words, no matter how hard i try to put them together to even tangentially get to what i mean. life is just full of beautiful moments and beautiful people, and i'm so grateful to have experienced all that this summer.


i'm grateful for such colorful and amazing friends, i'm grateful for the sensation of beauty, i'm grateful for the love that can develop between human beings.




sorry for being so weird in this post, i know it was a little scattered and cheesy/random. i just needed to get that out for some reason, even though this was initially supposed to be a tribute to my close friends in southern california who truly mean the world to me and to whom i owe SO much.

8/14/06 11:18 pm

gah, so much going on right now. i'm leaving to new york in a couple of days, and it's making me very very sad (and stressed, so much to do already ahhh!). summer life here has been so amazing and beautiful, the friends that i have in this city are absolutely amazing... i am so grateful to just have known such colorful people in my life. but that will be another corny post, since it really deserves it haha.

for now - i just have to say that I FINALLY HAVE A PHONE AGAIN!!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

(this will be especially exciting news to those who are familiar with my 8 month-old saga... hahah... but god it feels so great to have a phone again, my god).

same as my old number (ending in 8611). if you lost it or want it, let me know and i'll give you the rest of it.

8/9/06 04:14 pm

haha, what the FUCK los angeles.

so i was all prepped and ready to go out afternoon surfing, when i checked the swell forecast to see if the waves were OK. instead of good conditions, i was greeted to this warning: "Two miles of beaches on Santa Monica Bay remain closed today after a pumping station failure yesterday spilled 20-thousand gallons of raw sewage into the ocean." ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

oh, and i'm back of course... although i'm going back to new york in less than 2 weeks, which i'm absolutely horrified about. this summer has been so beautiful for me, it really can't end... eugh. but oh well, it's always like that... i'm glad to have experienced what it's like to be human again, haha. and deep down inside i know i'm actually really excited to go back to new york, too. i miss it in a really perverse, sadomasochistic kind of way... ahhaha :P

as for japan pictures... well, as you all know i'm crap with this kind of thing lol. but i really hope i end up posting pics from japan, or at least make a post about it... it was a really amazing experience this time around too, and once again i have more respect for japanese culture than ever (even if my own association with japanese identity is becoming really weird now). their age-old understanding of man's relationship to nature is so contemporary, and a lot of the architectural sites i visited were so relevant in that sense. and god the katsura villa was a religious experience in itself, haha. awesome awesome. hopefully i will post about it later for my own personal reference.

for now, here's a teaser of what i saw -

7/24/06 10:40 am - off to japan for a couple of weeks

so i just realized i didn't tell many people (i didn't know myself i was leaving until very recently), but i'm leaving to japan in about an hour... haha... i'll be back august the 3rd (i think), so it won't be very long.

i might be able to steal the neighbor's wireless again, so we'll see how that goes. if not, see you guys in august!

7/9/06 02:22 pm - BRAVA ITALIA!!!

DOV'E LA VITTORIA?!?! AAAAAA RRRRROOOOOOOMMMMMAAAAA!!!!!

BRAVO GROSSO, BRAVO CANNAVARO, VAFFANCULO ZIDANE, BRRRRAAAAAVVAAAA ITALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

man, i hate when games (FINALS!) end in penalty kicks... but italy TOTALLY deserved this cup, so i'm not complaining... ahahah... shit, grosso. what a guy.


LA VITTORIA E AZZUURRRRAAAA!!!!!!!! VIVA LA GLORIA DEL CALCIO ITALIANO!!!! :D

i knew we could do it. i was scared for a while, but shit. EGIJERIGJERGIERGJ FUCK YEAH.



(lol i made that a couple of days ago... but emotion still holds true :P)

ugh, such shifts in emotion... but i'm really glad italy won, it seriously meant a lot to me...

7/8/06 06:45 pm

while looking through the old photo albums i mentioned earlier, i actually found some pics from when my grandparents and aunt/uncle (all on my dad's side) came to LA. it was during the world cup in 94... this pic was taken during the final against brasil (in which, unfortunately, italy lost :P)



(lol, adunno why my aunt carmen looks all drugged out there, it's a weird picture haha...)

but yeah wow. my lil bro was so small, what the hell happened.. hahaah...

here's another one with my nonna (lol bad pic of her, but whatev...) and nonno, which also showcases the ugly rug we once had in our living room :P clickCollapse )

man, i'm scared shitless for tomorrow. in roughly 17 hours the game is going to start... and i have so many friends rooting for france, it's sick (haha, jk...). i really really really hope we win...

7/8/06 04:30 pm

thanks to those who gave support... it really means a lot to me that others understand the deep bond you can share with your pet...

i'm definitely not completely over what happened, but things are starting to settle here... my mom set up a makeshift mini-shrine thing in her favorite spot (where she passed away), with all the flowers and cards friends sent us, along with candles/incense, her water bowl and a little plate with her fave treats on it (probably sounds weird... it's a japanese thing, haha). it gives us a somewhat physical thing to remember her by, for now.

it only gets hard when i think about her cold body being put into the truck... that was really awful, i kind of wish i (and my mom) hadn't seen that, even if i know that it's a very humane company (calpets) and they do the best for the pets...
it's also hard when we automatically start to do something as if venus were still alive, not even thinking twice about the fact that she's not here anymore... for example, my dog's fave spot was at the bottom of the stairs, near the front door, and every time i'd go down the stairs i would pet her on the head, as a kind of obsessive-compulsive habit thing, lol. i went down the stairs today and bent down without even thinking, and just that moment of realization was really sad... it's worse for my mom around dinner time, when she'd save a piece of food for venus, or whenever she picks up a tuft of venus' hair in the house... she still changes venus' water once in a while, and changes the treats on her plate, out of respect for her.

i really prepared myself mentally for this though, and i pretty much felt she was going to pass away by the time i left for new york - after the initial shock of it all happening, i feel like i'm coming to terms with what happened fairly quickly... i always believed in the idea of "spirit" through love and memory, and i know that the love that we shared with venus will never go away - only her physical component.

i really hate, at this point, to talk about an MDA-related hallucination i had during a rave, but i think it's somewhat appropriate right now... i wrote about it here a few months ago, it was a really beautiful and moving moment to me... she was weak, and her health was already declining at this point, but in my little technicolored world she was young and perfectly healthy, running towards me in a tunnel of radiating multicolored light (lol, oh hallucinogens...) in slow-motion, to an epic and triumphant beat. she let me know telepathically (lol sorry, please bear with me...) that while in the physical world she was old and weak, in the platonic "world of ideas" she was young and healthy as before, and that i didn't have to worry about her passing away since our love we shared with her would last through her physical departure.

i know this all just sounds comic and "woah, duuuude!", but for me it was a really beautiful moment that exemplifies kind of how i feel right now about her passing. i'm sad that i can't hug or kiss her anymore, but even MORE so, i'm incredibly grateful for that bond that we had, her unconditional love she gave to us, her loyalty and companionship... it was such a beautiful experience, and i'm so grateful that she offered it to us.

thanks, by the way, to those who specifically mentioned my mom... she's definitely taking it harder than i am (i can tell by all the empty beer/wine bottles, unfortunately :P), and we're all doing our best to comfort her the most. things are settling with her as well though, i think she has the same metaphysical understanding of spirit as i do... she pulled out some OOOLLLD pictures (total gold mine, i had no idea we had these), and we all sat and remembered venus' better times, the things she used to do before she got old.
here are a few which i thought were particularly cute... there are so many other albums though, from which i'm sure i'll post in the future, so sorry in advance for overkill :P


<3 venus as a puppyCollapse )

7/7/06 02:34 pm

As much as I'm still in shock about all of this, and as much as I don't even feel it's entirely appropriate to divulge such personal crap online at the moment... I really need to vent, and I'd feel awkward venting to a specific person... so livejournal, here we go.

My german shepherd, Venus, passed away yesterday at around 1pm. It was a week before her 13th birthday.

I know it's so cliché to say this, but there really are no words to describe how everyone feels at home right now. those who know me well enough know how much I loved my dog... she was seriously another member of the family, who ate with us, slept with us, went to the beach/ hiking with us... when she was younger, if we'd leave for an extended period of time and come back, she'd take my mom's hand in her mouth and run around the house, "saying" hi with her ears down and wagging her tail... and occasionally (if we were gone for a really long time) she'd pee everywhere out of happiness also, lmao.

i totally remember when we first got her... we went to a german shepherd breeder's home, who led us to a caged area with a few tiny little german shepherd puppies running up to us, jumping all over us... there was one puppy though, who was REALLY shy and just sat in the corner, looking at us... i remember her being the cutest out of all of them, so we went to her and she stayed sitting down, with her ears down, eyes fixed on ours, wagging her tail faster and faster as we got closer to her...

she was seriously my mom's ultra-spoiled third child too, haha... she was really the one who raised her, who cleaned her and fed her and cooked like, steaks for her on her birthday... lol... and i shit you not, venus took on SO many of my mom's characteristics, like her preference to stay at home... whenever we took venus on walks, she'd keep looking back towards the direction of the house, until we finally said "ok venus, HOME" and then she'd SPRINT back home ahhaha... or when she'd sleep on the couch upstairs (lol yes, she was THAT spoiled...), she'd start facing one direction... but then as the night went on, she'd turn around and put her head next to my mom's, like this:

ahhaha.
especially in the last year or so, once my dog started to rapidly age and lose strength, venus kind of went back into baby mode, needing a lot of extra care. my mom would sleep with her downstairs so that she wouldn't be lonely (she usually slept in my parents' room upstairs, until she lost the strength to go up stairs).

we all knew this was going to happen soon - i even made a post about her declining health a couple of weeks ago, so it's not like it was a total surprise. since that last post, she had completely lost the ability to stand up (even with help), and we were basically keeping piddle pads and diapers under her, cleaning her/changing the sheets under her/replacing the pads each time. still though, she kept her typical venus appetite and was generally happy (although a lot more tired usually).

it was only yesterday, that i knew something was really wrong... after my mom had left to do errands, my dog started to breathe very strangely. my brother and i stood be her side, to make sure she was fine... she started to get really restless, trying to stand up... ryan and i helped her up, and she neither showed resistance nor made any noise, which was REALLY weird for her. she couldn't keep herself up, so we put her back down... after some more strange breathing, she put her head down, and her breathing started to slow. at this point, i knew she was going to die... i told my brother to call my mom and tell her to come back immediately, while i was hugging and petting venus, telling her everything was ok... her breathing became slower and slower, and eventually she closed her eyes, and her breathing stopped. her heart was still pulsing for a few moments, and that eventually stopped as well. it was a really smooth and peaceful death, after all. she passed away very quickly, in her favorite part of the house, in her favorite sleeping position.

my brother's a really stoic guy, so when she passed away we just kind of stayed in silence, i guess trying to be "men" about it haha, not crying or anything... but then my mom hurried back like five minutes after venus passed away, and i told her "she's gone". she was in absolute hysterics, running over to venus, hugging her still-warm body, screaming her name and sobbing at the same time. of course that was just absolutely heart-wrenching to watch, so eventually we all let go, and everyone was crying... of course i'm devastated that venus is gone, but it definitely hit my mom ten times harder, as venus was really HERS... she shifted between stages of grief and denial, begging venus to wake up, and giving my dog her dinner and her favorite treats "just in case"... it was really depressing to watch, especially when she'd wet her fingers in venus' water bowl and bring it to my dog's mouth, begging her to drink some water...

we were all definitely in shock, not because it wasn't expected, but because it was so quick... she was eating and drinking earlier in the day, and she REALLY looked like she was just taking a nap... the reality of what happened wasn't there yet. we covered her body (but not her head) with a blanket, lit some incense and some candles, and decided to have her cremated the next day.

today was pretty bad too... the cremation services guy came this morning, and it was time to finally have her body removed. that's when the reality of her death hit really hard, for all of us... when we moved her to the stretcher, my mom muttered through sobs, "venus, you're so cold..." she had rigor mortis, and a faint smell of death lingered. that's really when everything was confirmed, when there was no going back... we took her to the truck, where there were other dogs in plastic sheets (for sanitary purposes, of course). my mom couldn't handle it, and started crying uncontrollably in the street, "they put the dogs in plastic bags..." she kept petting venus, telling her that she loved her, as did my brother and i. my mom left with her a small bouquet of flowers from the garden along with a small paper bag with her favorite treats (my mom labeled the bag "Venus"), to be cremated with her.

we're going to receive her ashes on thursday, right after her birthday...


again, there's really no way to explain how i feel right now about all of this... grief comes and goes in waves, whenever the smallest thing in the house reminds me of her (and that's like, everything here). She was such a great dog, i loved her SO much. She was such an emotional anchor for me, and it's just so weird not to have that anymore... i always assume she'll be at her favorite spot, but instead there are only candles and flowers...

it's really hard, but i know i just have to try and think of the good times in her life instead of focusing on her death. she was fantastic, such a beautiful, kind, and smart dog... i will always love her.

RIP, Venus <3

July 12th, 1993 ~ July 6th, 2006


<3

7/4/06 03:26 pm

ok i know some of you can't stand hearing about the world cup, so i've been trying to hold back... but DAAAAAAAAAAYUM. i can't help it, i have to post about how happy i feel right now ahhaahhaha...

FORRRRRRRRRRRZAAAAAAAAAA ITALIAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! god, i was so tense the whole time. i had this awful feeling in the back of my head that the game would go into penalty kicks, and we ALL know how GREAT italy is at penalty kicks :P thank GOD grosso scored in those last moments though, and what a goal!!!! fuck, that was so beautiful. and then that second one was just surreal ahahha....
goes without saying that the germans played really well too though... i mean their defense was just a lot better organized than the italians'.

but yeah i'm absolutely ecstatic. the italian team had definitely been sinking a bit in the past decade, and it's so great to see them move on to the finals again. restore the glory of calcio italiano, azzzuurrriii!!!!!!!!!!!! :P

6/26/06 11:35 pm - classic asian mom

before i get into my edc adventure (which, by the way, was fantastic - i had such an amazing time, a lot of very beautiful moments), i have to share something (SO asian) my mom said earlier today which made me laugh so hard...

so there was this news story on TV about some guy who was about to drown in the ocean, 10 miles offshore... luckily, he was rescued by a pilot who saw his flare (the story can be found here).

after she heard this, my mom's reaction was: "WHAT?! But pirates don't exist anymore!!"

XD

6/25/06 12:58 pm

aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaaahahahahhaha.

oh.

my.

god.


i slipped back into consciousness about three hours ago, finding myself alone, sitting on the concrete banks of the LA river in the middle of rosemead, california.



aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahah. let's just say i've reached crackhead bum status. and let's also say that i should be much more vigilant in mixing ecstasy and acid together.


stay tuned for: oatmealing with the world, entering through the portal of creation and destruction, achieving absolute harmony and balance, seeing the rave scene as world-in-a-box, revisiting raver trash through the lens of northern renaissance humanism, surging through space and time with cartoon super-ravers jade and seastar, and flat-out super-world-consciousness thanks to munky.

6/20/06 01:56 pm

:(

so yeah, my dog venus is not doing well. at all. i mean i've been noticing her age considerably over the past year, but especially when i got back a couple of weeks ago, it was tremendous... and just yesterday, in one day, her status got a lot worse :( she was pretty much able to walk around by herself before this, occasionally needing help to stand up (but she'd be able to walk around totally fine if we just helped her stand up). now, she has this little padded "helper" thing permanently around her hips, since her hips/ hind legs are just completely useless right now...
psychologically, a lot changed too... before, she was at least "there," she was still happy and venus-like. now, whenever we try to help her get up, she starts snapping at us and biting us, showing her teeth. my dog has NEVER bitten me like that... she's really not like herself...

it's really to the point right now, that we're discussing putting her to sleep... god i can't even write that out without getting a little teary, heh... i just want to wait until her birthday though (it's coming up really soon), and then i guess we'll see how she's doing by then...

:( i know it's life... and honestly i was expecting venus to die a while ago lol (she's a german shepherd, i remember in highschool I would pray that she'd survive until i got to college, so that i wouldn't have to see her deteriorate...). and obviously she's had such a luxurious and happy life lol. but it still gets to me... she's really just another member of the family. i love her so much, and i'm going to miss her...


<3


(lol aw that's not even a cute picture of her, but it's all i can find right now...)


edit: actually, right as i was replying to a comment here, my dog stood up by herself and walked over to me. she's still standing right now and drinking some water lol... i guess it just comes with waves. but egh, scary times.

6/14/06 10:43 pm - stolen from "delirious new york" (koolhaas)

"A hundred profound solitudes together constitute the city of Venice. That is its charm. A model for the men of the future."

- Nietzsche

"But New York, in addition to being a lot of other things, is a Venice in the making, and all the ugly paraphernalia by means of which this making is slowly going forward, all the unlovely processes, physical and chemical, structural and commercial, must be recognized and expressed and by the light of poetic vision be made a part of its beauty and romance."

- J. Monroe Hewlett, President, Architectural League of New York, New york: The Nation's Metropolis

6/7/06 05:20 pm - spring break part 2- montmartre hoes (Paris)

So after my whole cracked out adventure in DC, I eventually got through to Paris (where my two stranded non-French-speaking friends were waiting for me, haha... thank god for Skype and wireless in the airport, i was able to arrange everything so they wouldn't be on the streets :P).
It was SO weird to come back to Paris... i hadn't been there since i was like 14 or so, and it's not like i ever lived there... but i had this really strange feeling of "coming back home". This trip really made me realize just how much influence my lycée had on my own fucked up cultural identity. everything was ten times more familiar in paris than in nyc... i met up with my old highschool friends, and was just constantly surrounded by a culture and language which i practically grew up with. it wasn't so much spring break/visiting a foreign country, as it was just like.. i don't know... coming home for a couple of days.
as expected, it was kind of annoying to spend such a short amount of time in a city which demands you to LIVE in it, instead of just visit it... i still had a great time though, as it reminded me what kind of environment i feel most comfortable in, strangely enough (I would have NEVER thought to say that 5, even 3 years ago... hahaha...). I absolutely love Paris, and i really feel as if i'm going to be living there at some point in my life.

anyway, i know most of you won't read the above, so here are some pictures... ahhaha :P beware, dialup users. and i apologize in advance for the complete inconsistency in photo size/color treatments.


spring break part 2- sous le ciel de parisCollapse )

there was so much more, but i'm shit at taking pictures when i'm having fun (you'll see this with my comparatively tiny amount of capri pictures, unfortunately :P)

ahh. Paris. you're fantastic.
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