Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ocean Springs Mardi Gras,

The Ocean Springs Mardi Gras was a lot of fun. It started off with a day of grey skys. the outlook did not look promising. Depression was beginning to sink in because i thought that my first Mardi Gras Parade was goint to some how be deminished because of the rain. Oh.... How i was wrong. I will get to that in a second though.
My mom and her friend Al came into town for the parade. They got in Friday night. We went to Sweets, had a few beers and stood around the fire, and watche the meat for the next days celebrations cook. below is Ron, the owner of Sweets Lounge workin on the pigs.

The next day, we went in search of a place to eat breakfast, there is no diner in Ocean Springs (at least within walking distance from my house) so we ended up at a gasstation, and got bacon egg and cheese burritos. Mmmmm....

We headed back to the house to get all dressed up for the parade, and headed across the street to join the festivities. It was wild, much like tail gating for the Auburn Games. THere were folks setting up tents and marking off their little piece of territory to catch their beads.
It was a drizzly day but it did not seem to matter too much. Everyone was in the spirit and into the spirits. Not a rain drop was felt, i can promise you that. I dont have any pictures of the actual parade, i was too busy catchin beads. At the begining, i was a bit awkward asking for the beads. I felt a bit silly, but after an hour of bead slingin floats, i was a pro. I had so many beads, it is not funny. and this is only the first parade. Ahhh.. i am gonna be bead crazy. I dont really know what i am going to do with all of them, but i will figure it out.

My Stash!!!! All of the stuff seen on the table was collected at the Ocean Springs Mardi Gras Parade!!!

After the parade, we went back to my house, and changed into dry clothes, and returned to sweets for he rest of the festivities. It was a fun day! Cant wait to go to my next one

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finish house below and program boys and girls club

Today i am going to finish the Lee street house drawings and work on the programing of the boys and girls club

the boys and girls club in need of some love

I am beginning to work on one of the girls and boys clubs down here. Christine, one of my coworkers, and I went to visit the after school program yesterday, and we were pretty astounded at how the place is being used. Before the hurricane, the center had two buildings to offer a place for their students. A tree landed on the building where the older kids , a group comprised of students ranging in ages from 12-18, spent their afternoon. The building is unsafe and uninhabitable. All students, through kindergarden to 12th grade, now fill a little concrete block building that used to be a day care center I believe. Because it has rained a lot, the students couldnt really play out side due to the puddles in the play yard. They havnt been able to play for over a week at the boys and girls club because of the rain and cold. Think of the trouble the staff must be having keeping the kids somewhat calm. They are lacking storage, and space for the programs they need, and to meet the energy levels of the childeren. The directors have high hopes for the programs they want to offer the kids, but just dont have the space to do it. Oh, i hope this project gets funding. It really needs it. The boys and girls club is a great program, and this needs to be one too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

woah!!! its been a while

I finally got my washer and drier hooked up, and that is real nice. I did 5 loads of laundry last night and this morning. I am wearing clean jeans for the first time since Christmas break. So I feel good!

Yesterday, I got this project to pick up this house that another girl started. The other girl is out of commission today due to the cast of the Guiding Light being here (she has to lead one of the construction crews) and I had almost finished it. It was looking good, and working well. I had moved a few walls and had everything pretty set. I was about to start working on the elevations, so I went to the house to take pictures and measure a few things, and low and behold the owner of the house was there working. This was not a surprise because I have heard how proactive he has been on getting back in his house. I have a lot of respect for those people who are taking things into their own hands(This is another discussion all together). But, since I picked this house up mid project, and did not get to talk to my coworker, and had not met the client, I did not realize how much he had completed inside the house already. He has already finished most of the house, and he is waiting on us to give him the drawings to do the addition of another bedroom, a bathroom, a laundry room and a porch on the front. So a lot of the work I have done now is null, and the work I had done with the addition, it has been changed quite a bit because I learned that he has already purchased both a freestanding shower and a "Jacuzzi" for the new bathroom, not the standard tub that I had drawn in the plan. It was not a big deal, but I am glad I went over there.

To see a few more pictures of this house as it is now, check out my flicker set for this project

Saturday, January 13, 2007

my thoughts that have been building up and things i have been needing to put in this blog

I have been here on the Mississippi Gulf coast for two months now, and i wanted to get a few thoughts out. I will posting more about this in the future.

Everyone has been asking about my job, and due to the complex nature of the area, it has been hard to describe how what i do. So i am going to try to explain with full force what i do, and the organization i work with.

I work for the Mississippi State University's College of Architecture, Art and Design. I work in the School of Architecture, and within that, a program called the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.
The GCCDS is embedded within the East Biloxi Coordination Rebuilding and Relief Agency. (also known as the Coordination Center or just the Center) The Center is directed by Bill Stalworth, a Biloxi City Council Member. The Coordination Center has about 4 case managers who assess community members' housing conditions and economic conditions. They help people find money to rebuild their houses, and match them up with a volunteer group who will build their house.
We go to the homes, and assess the condition of the home if it is still there, and measure it, bring it back to the office, and draw it up as is. Since most of these houses are gutted, and mold treated, and all that is existing in the interior of the house are the studs, we have the opportunity of changing the layout of the houses.
So, once we have the interior of the house drawn as is, we look at the plans, and talk with the clients, and see if we can make it any better, we make the changes, and then we send the drawings off to the volunteer group, and the rebuilding begins.

In addition to the homes. we also do community projects. One that i have been working on is the Demonstration Housing Systems Project. It is a small arrangement of buildings or partial buildings, much like pieces of sushi, that show the different building systems available. It was even mentioned in the NY Times last week. here is a link:

We are also getting a group of students next week, to do a studio down here. We have one student from Auburn, one from Boston, a few from Mississippi State University, and a bunch from Minneapolis. They will be taught by David Perekes, the director of the GCCDS and Michael Grote of Architecture for Humanity.

So here are a lot of the groups that work with the Coordination Center:
Architecture for Humanity
Semaritans Purse
Beaverton Four Square
Hands On Gulf Coast
Urban Life Missions
Presbeterian Relief
Appolistolic Christian Relief
Habitat Virginia
Hope Force
Red Cross
and i think there are more, but these are the ones that were at the meeting last week.

so that is what i do, i will write more about my experiences at work in posts to come, for now i need to go work my dog

Thursday, January 11, 2007

An Update to my schedule

This schedule thing is just something i just need to keep working out till it works, for a lack of a better word.
I guess, what i am finding out is that it doesnt make sense for me to have a gym membership, because i dont really have a chance to go to the gym any more. And i can run with deloris. (yeah, i have started running, i know, all that i say about running, about how i dont like it, but this is for deloris so she can have her excercise)

So, now in the morning, i get up, i check the news while my coffee is making, and i feed deloris, then i drink more coffee, then i suit up and take deloris out. come back, take a shower, drink more coffee, and go to work. I need to start getting up earlier, and going to bed earlier. I think that will be key to my year of productivity.

so those are the changes i am making.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

ehhhgg it is cold yo!

I, brilliant as i am, wore flip flops today. smart..... cause we dont have heat in our office, and it is january. wow, sometimes my intellegence really suprises me.

I now have a couch, and a cushy chair. They were donated to me from my neighbors that moved out. They are both pretty clean, and in good shape, but i imagine that i will be steam cleaning them before my rear end really gets to know them too well.

I finished a big project i was working on for the past several weeks, that kind of feels really good. I am about to start on the new doors for the center. A fun little project.

I was supposed to start working at sweets a few nights a week, but that aint happenin, because the girl i was supposed to replace decided she was going to stay. So, oh well, but i might be getting a roommate for a month or so in Feb. because hands on is kicking out all of their long term volunteers.

The productivity goals are coming along, but i have not become totally productive yet.
I am working towards it. I am adding another goal, to make one thing every week in my own time.

alright. have a good day

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sorry for the way by blog looks

i would like to appologise for the way my blog looks, i am working on putting my blog into my website. so, please be patient. it will look better when it gets into the website.
thanks for your patience

Government Street Grocery

So, i went out last night for a second, and not to the normal Sweets lounge. I went to the government street grocery, down town ocean springs, which turned out to be a good decision. I love sweets, so dont get me wrong in saying this, but it was nice cause i was surrounded by men and women in their late 20's and early 30's. it was really nice. Auburn did even have a bar like this. Ahhhh.... And i hear i can bring deloris in there.

So last night, i decided that although sweets is pretty freakin awesome, it is time i try to find people that are around my own age. I was honestly a bit nervous walking into a new bar all by my self. But after i got a beer(they have a great beer selection) a guy sitting a few seats down from me offered me some boiled peanuts. then some girls sat down with them, and they started talking to me. Then a few guys walked up to the bar to order drinks, and they introduced them selves to me. this is the fastest i have ever met folks. it was awesome. I will probably go back another night next week.

On another note, i was pretty freakin productive yesterday. i woke up real early and got to it. i swept and mopped my entire house. I put away all of my clothes and straightened up my closet, i cleaned my kitchen, i moved my tv to my living room, swept off the porch, i cooked banana bread and vegie soup, took deloris for a long walk, and went to the gym. all before 3:00. but as soon as it hit around 3 i kind of just started getting distracted and started surfing the internet instead of working. maybe it is around then that i need a cup of tea or something, to kind of perk me up. i dunno. anyway, it felt good getting so much crap done.

i am going to work at it today. I woke up a little later today, but i wanna be productive till atleast 6 pm. thats the goal. no messing around until 6pm.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

this schedule thing is hard

Ha ah, well no kidding, it is just difficult to be busy all day long. I dont have a problem with it in the morning as much as i do in the evening. Maybe i should start drinking tea in the evening to wake me up a bit, but i dont want to be up all night long. but, i was pretty productive yesterday, and it felt good. so, day two of being productive begins.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

List of stuff to do on 1-3-07

move tv and table to living room,
put shelves together
change sheets
hang up clothes

continue working on jay's website

First day back to work

Today is my first day back to work after the break. It is nice to be back. I am working on a new house, and i will finish that tomorrow. I went to go meet the owner, and he was the smilingest man in the world. his name is arnel. He lives in the house with his daughter and her 5 kids. It is not a very large house, but he seems to make do just fine.
When we were leaving the house, a man out side, leaning on his black truck(i guess it was his) drinking a beer, started sayin "eh... eye...ayyy...ayyy denn doit. ayy denn doit." We just kept walking, then he said "happy new years" then he said "ayy denn doit, i nee a jobh" i dont know what he didnt do,b but i dont want to find out.
Oh yeah, so, myplumbing is getting fixed today!!!!! WEEEEEE. i get to go take a shower at my own house.

My newyears resolution is to be more productive(what ever that means) but no, i mean, schedule my day, so that i get more done in my life, in my work, in my own body of work. making time to learn things, and to make things, and design stuff, and clean my house. I dont want to waste any more time. I want to be productive!

tonights schedule:
6:00 - get home, walk deloris
7:00 - eat dinner(left over collards and peas)
7:15 - Clean Kitchen, living room, bedroom, move tv, and table to living room and out of my bedroom. take trash out, put up collection
8:00 - continue working on Jays website
11:00 - make to do list for tomorrow, go to bed

any extra time tonight, (like if i get home early) will be for cleaning

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Years and Damn the Worlds Gym for making me break my resolution already. And I need a shower!

Happy New Years,
I am about to head over to sweets to get some bbq in a little while and watch a game, while my black eyed peas cook oh so slowly.

So, last night, i came home to my tub being full of water and my toilet not really draining. hmmmm... so i borrowed a plunger from my neighbor, and i went at it. it did not work, so i went and got some liquid plumber, it didnt work. i gave up, and i am calling my realitor tomorrow. ehhh..... my bathroom kind stinks, and so do i.

So, i was going to go work out, and take a shower at Worlds Gym, the gym that has been my shower for the past few months, and they were closed. what kind of gym closes on the day that everyone makes promises to their selves to get into shape. what were they thinking? come on. they have forced all of us to break our resolution to work out every day.

i mean i know it is possible to work out without a gym, and i do, i just wanted a damn shower. i stink. oh well. i will just wait til tomorrow morning to smell better.

anyway, I have spent most of the day making greens and black eyed peas. I did spend a little time working on that chair right there below. It has so much potential, but just what to do with it is the hard part. I am working on it. I have tried two things, and they did not work, so i am working on another idea.

Well, off to sweets for some lunch.