27 July 2009

Recent escapades in Oregon State

People in Oregon REALLY know how to enjoy their weekends! Although I am unemployed and not exactly swimming in extra cash flow at the moment, I have been able to join my friend Anna in some excursions that you need to see to believe.

1. I went to Tillamook, Oregon on Saturday to visit the cheese factory and then go to the beach. This beach visit looked more like a prelude to a horror film as the shoreline was socked in with a very dense fog. Fortunately all creatures at Cannon Beach - dog and human - meant no harm, and we simply wandered around in the mist for a while before retreating for lunch. Look at this though... creepy, right?

2. After leaving the beach we ventured North to Astoria, Oregon where we saw some cool stuff and I got to take my gratuitous architecture picture, of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Lots of Pirates and such. Good times.

3. Astoria is also home to the "Goonies house", aka the house that was featured in the 1985 classic film "The Goonies". Apparently this was not the first time someone has sought out this house since we were greeted with the following sign.

Here it is! I heard it used to be in much worse shape, so I'm glad to see it it's doing better now.

Also, I loved this house, which was just up the street from the Goonies house. This is a good instance where having a zoom function on my iPhone camera might be nice. House = nice... extra stuff around it = not so much.

Anyway, I'm still doing well here in Portland, although I am headed up to Seattle this week to visit my friend Abby and hang out there for a few days. I will most likely be back in Portland next week to housesit and then... well, let's just say I'll keep you posted! I'm formulating a plan but I don't want to talk about it until I can hash out the details.

Hope everyone else is doing well!

21 July 2009

Top Ten Things That Aren't So Bad About "FUnemployment"

10a. With unlimited free time, I can blog as much as I want, and that's OK.
10b. With limited amounts of interesting things to talk about, I can blog as little as I want, and that's OK too.

9. Catching up with my Google Reader, celebrity gossip, and nearly everyone I know on Facebook.

8. .....whoops, sorry, I forgot number 8, I got distracted by the Huffington Post, and there's no one to yell at me for it! Woo hoo!

7. Hopelessness is somehow easier to bear when you know there are so many others out there dealing with it as well.

6. I can actually read books again. Ok, well, I still prefer Audiobooks. So, I can actually listen to books again!

5. I'm almost caught up on movies that I wanted to see, and working steadily through the rest.

4. I've always loved listening to NPR - specifically All Things Considered - in the car. Without a job I can sit in the car all day and listen to NPR, if I want.

3. Going to the park or a cafe, hiking or to the beach on a weekday are not only allowed, they are encouraged. And people who are "stuck" at work actually want to join you!

2. The sky is the limit! Well actually the map is the limit... what I'm trying to say is that being job-free" means, in theory, not being tied to a particular place.

1. Being unemployed means you get to start cool projects like the GDC Portfolio Project or start a club with a cool name, like the FUnemployed Architects of America (FUAA for short... OK maybe not).

20 July 2009

Enjoying wildlife

Since arriving in Portland, besides noticing how great they are with environmental issues, it's also come to my attention how good people in the Pacific Northwest are at enjoying wildlife. Not only are there parks everywhere, but going outside of the boundaries of the city and experiencing nature is something that people in this part of the country take a lot of pride in. Here are some photos from my recent trips to Portland's Washington Park and accompanying rose garden, and a camping trip to the foothills of Mt. Hood.

Looking up at the peak of Mt. Hood after riding a chair lift to the 7000' level.

An outside view of Timberline Lodge was apparently used in the movie The Shining.

Ramona Falls was the highlight of a 7-mile hike I took while camping!

Mt. Hood is a "dormant" volcano. Emphasis on the quotes.

I need to get back to sending my resume to anyone who will take it, but just a quick note that I've officially signed off from my Archinect School Blog and all future blog posts from me will either happen here or at the GDC. It's nice to simply my life a bit!

14 July 2009

Portland is a warm fuzzy blanket

Hello! Sincere apologies for not posting more often... frankly, my life hasn't been too exciting since I left Los Angeles last week, but it has been calmer and much better for my overall mental well-being. Well, except for the part where I got a letter from someone at a mental institution. No, really. See below.

So after reading about me in the LA Times, our friend General Fifth Sun (his words, not mine) looked up my Web site, found a reference to my previous employer, and then sent me a letter there. Oh, and the return address was a mental institution! For the record, no, I am not "one of those CIA student recruits", and I couldn't tell you if I was. I guess it's nice to know I've struck a chord with someone?! Eh.

Anyway, I'm now here in Portland and it's positively lovely. Blue skies, 75 degrees, green trees and hordes of people on bikes everywhere I go. I feel very much at home, which I imagine is a desirable trait for someplace I might want to call home eventually. I think part of it has something to do with the river... a river bisects the city from North to South, dividing it into two distinct areas, with a major East-West corridor (Burnside) further creating quadrants. Add to that the simplicity of numbered avenues and streets that run in alphabetical order in one direction (I'm not kidding: Couch, Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glisan, etc.), and I guess you have map heaven. And we all know that I am a big fan of maps.

Anyway, I know I glazed over my stop in Palo Alto, but my friend Kendra and I had so much fun while I was there that I really didn't have time to write. I have longer in Portland - hopefully a lot longer! - so look for more posts from me, provided I have something to say. In the meantime, all hail Dorothy, my new/old set of wheels, which got me safely past the roughly 1000-mile overall trip from LA to Portland, despite an apparent dislike for inclines. As I have lost my need for speed, this wasn't a big issue :o)

Thanks Dorothy!

03 July 2009

Plan Q (or is it S? X? I've lost track....)

(Parts of this have been sent out in emails to people, so apologies if it looks familiar.)

Greetings, from a Starbucks in Echo Park, Los Angeles, where they have copious amounts of coffee and delicious free WiFi.

It's been a roller coaster ride for me since graduation in May. I've been blogging, biking, and looking for jobs, but after several near misses, I'm still out of luck. The most recent was an interview I had with a Long Beach firm, who contacted me after seeing my name in an LA Times op-ed by Marjorie Miller. They seemed keen on the "idea" of hiring me but not so much on the reality. :o( As with the others, and for the sake of my sanity, I consider it their loss.

This is the last in a series of attempts to make plans for my life that have fallen through. I have tried to stop making plans, but I am a natural planner, so it is hard. So...I am now on what I am calling "Plan Q", because there have been so many variables that I've lost track of what actual plan I am on (plus, Q is a neglected letter). Anyway, I moved out of my Downtown apartment, put my stuff in storage, and I'm taking this show on the road! I just bought A CAR! It's a 1995 Ford Escort Wagon with only 27,000 miles on it that I got for a VERY reasonable price. Hilarious, right? I live in Los Angeles for two years without a car and I finally get one when I leave :o) I'm getting furry seats for it. Check it out here. My game plan, for the time being, is to go up the coast, visit friends, and look for work in San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. I mean, why not.

My sad, empty apartment in twilight.

Last pass of cleaning through the apartment. It looked smaller without stuff in it.

After getting rid of about 90% of my furniture and about 50% of extra "stuff" that I had, this is what my remaining belongings look like stuffed into a 5 x 10 storage unit.

I am quite excited to be going up the coast, actually. I get to spend time in Portland and Seattle, which seem like great places to be if you are environmentally-conscious such as I am. Plus I have never seen Portland in the summer and I hear it is gorgeous.

In my downtime, I have stayed busy; I think I mentioned this here already but I am working on a project in conjunction with my Web site called the "Portfolio Project" where I am offering free Web hosting for the portfolios of my under- and unemployed friends via sub-domains on my own site. Market conditions are simply TERRIBLE for architects and designers of all stripes right now, and I have many friends, besides myself, who are out of work or at reduced hours. I've gotten a lot of response to this so far, which will surely help us promote it more, but it's unfortunate when you realize how many folks are, indeed, out of work :o(

Anyway, I have lots of errands to run and the music in the Starbucks is starting to annoy me. If at any point in the future you wonder "Where in the world is Emily?", you can always find me here, follow my blog here, find me on Facebook, or find me on Twitter (yes I caved and joined Twitter).

Stay tuned! You never know when I'll move on to Plan R....