Category: Work + Design

Random Thoughts Thursday 128

By , February 16, 2017 6:23 am
  • Khali is recovering well! But she is anxious to go back outside. We figured we should at least wait until she is off her medication (last pill is tomorrow) to let her out. A lot of people ask me how Data reacts to her – he’s fine! He lets her approach, then usually walks away. I did see him hiding behind boxes and swatting at her when she walked by yesterday, but I think he was being playful (???).

  • What boxes was Data hiding behind? Oh, this load of stuff (sentimental stuff, a few games, kitchen boxes, etc.) we’ve had stored at the warehouse (for about one and a half years) since we started clearing out our townhome to sell it, and just brought home! We still have garage stuff and most of our books at the warehouse. Slowly but surely, we’ll get it here! (It’s obviously not a rush, since we’ve been without these items for one and a half years! Although, I do miss a few books, and Steven definitely misses his garage stuff!)

  • Another, “yeah, figures” article – “Scientific Proof That No One Wants to Hear Your Vacation Stories” (pdf here), but actually, not for the reason I thought. The article says people would rather hear stories they can relate to, rather than stories about experiences they’ve never had. Makes sense – wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to relate and connect with someone? But the reason we prefer relatable stories (according to this article, anyway) is because most people are crappy storytellers. “Human speech is riddled with informational gaps, and familiar stories allow listeners to use their own knowledge to fill in those gaps.” Hmm!
  • I know I’m a horrible storyteller. So let me try to tell you a story about a recent Target trip, ha. A lady and I were both trying to jockey our carts around the same section of the chocolate aisle. So I said to her “Looks like we both need our chocolate!” as I picked up the peanut butter cups I was there for. She starts asking me about the peanut butter cups and I tell her what I like about them. She picks up a bag to look at, and I finish my reasons of why I am buying them with “and they’re vegan!” and… she puts them back immediately. Ha, maybe I should have left the vegan part off?

  • I’ve been actually paying attention to the extra stuff my Garmin tracks, like sleep (to try to figure out how to sleep better) and steps. Last year I whined about how our work was going to have a steps competition but only walking steps counted, not running. At the time I thought it was major BS, but now that I actually pay attention to my steps, and realize I would rarely break 3,000 without running, I kind of see their point.
  • Work pet peeve – people who sent you pdf files but don’t look to see if they are properly oriented! I review a lot of drawings, and people send me the pdf rotated ninety degrees in the wrong direction, constantly. What does that tell me? You didn’t open the pdf after you made it to make sure it was correct. Sigh.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 127

Playing architect

By , January 10, 2017 6:34 am

Hey! I get to play architect today (and use my degree)!

And it comes complete with dirty fingers from drawing with pencil.


And stress.

And ridiculous deadlines.


Random Thoughts Thursday 103

By , June 16, 2016 6:08 am
  • My day job is in the design (interior architecture) industry. That means going to NeoCon, a several day design exposition and conference for commercial interiors at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago (I only went one day this year). All that intro is to tell you I saw this office jungle gym yesterday at NeoCon and ME LIKEY!!!! It’s called the BuzziJungle, by BuzziSpace. You basically climb in, and sit wherever! Don’t you think your office needs this?! Mine sure does!


  • I ended up completely starting over with the dishcloth I started Tuesday (I was only 14 rows in, so, no biggie d) so it would be more tightly knit. I thought I was going to finish it last night but I had to do work when I got home. Maybe I’ll finish it on this morning’s train ride! Or maybe I’ll nap. Ha.


  • Work has been frying my brain something serious lately. Pair that with days in training where I am trying to get my regular work done and pay attention to class, and I am SO brain dead. Blah. I can’t wait for vacation! I really need a reset.
  • It’s too hot out (for me) to wear pants or jeans to work (and not suffer from my sweatiness). Time to bust out some of the last few boxes I haven’t unpacked since February – summer skirts and dresses! Woo hoo! Let the legs breeeeeeeeeeeathe!


  • Ugh. The bugs out here. Those are NOT moles on my neck in my post run picture below. It’s not so much that the bugs gross me out, just that I wish they’d stay off my body/stop flying around my head. And summer hasn’t even started yet… muah ha ha.


Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 102


By , June 8, 2016 6:23 am

My boss and I were in Indianapolis yesterday for a two hour meeting. Getting there involved my two hour train commute, then a three hour drive from Chicago, and the same on the way home. Which sounds horrible, but I was actually not dreading it, because I highly enjoy my boss’s company and was looking forward to all that time to chat (which was fun!).

But then it did get horrible on the way home, because I started to get a migraine. UGH. This happens often when I am in long work meetings, or traveling for work. I drink less water, because I don’t want to constantly be getting up from meetings to go to the bathroom and BOOM – headache. And we had a nicer, cooler, windy day, and the pressure change didn’t help my head either. Blah.

So we’re driving home and it hits me, bad. We pull over and get medicine and more fluids. I think I am feeling better, then all of a sudden, I get that feeling in my mouth like I am going to throw up. Awesome.

I tried to close my eyes and relax and will it to pass away, but I couldn’t get comfortable. I was constantly adjusting my seat, the AC, and taking my jacket on and off. Ugh.

Can you imagine doing all that in a car with your boss?

I’m not sure I would have mentioned it, or at least, showed my discomfort to the extent I did, with previous bosses, but my current boss is so kind, understanding, and relatable, I felt okay about it.

In fact, she is so kind, that she INSISTED on driving me the entire way home from Chicago, instead of having me get on the train home. So… she added an extra two hours to her commute, so that I would feel comfortable, and could sleep in the car.

How nice is that?

At first I didn’t want to inconvenience her, but I was getting so out of it with the headache that I went along with it. Ha. And I am happy I did – sleeping in the car while she drove really helped me feel better, quicker. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep like that on the train.

So, long story long, my boss rocks. I’ll be really sad whenever she leaves our group (maybe that will be what finally makes me leave my group for something else in the company).

Also, I never threw up. Yay! (But Data threw up when I got home, so I got to clean that up while feeling crummy, ha ha! (Steven was gone all day (and still gone when I got home) so Data was making himself all stressed and that is why he threw up – he’s been doing that every now and then, lately, ugh).)

I don’t have any photos for this story, but here’s one from yesterday, of Freddie and Bill being demanding:


We used to think Freddie (the white duck) was the ring leader, but nope, it’s definitely Bill (the brown duck).

Day 2 of training…

By , May 17, 2016 5:31 am


Thankfully, that book is mostly appendices.

And thankfully, the training is only three days long!

I’ve been taking a lot of training courses at work this year. It can be a nice change of pace… as long as your projects aren’t on fire while you’re in training. Luckily, they aren’t too bad, for this session! Which is good, because this session has A LOT of math in it. Which I enjoy, but really need to pay close attention to (read: I can’t constantly be checking my work phone to take care of things!)!

Be less available

By , March 18, 2016 4:12 am

The other day I was venting to a coworker about someone. “Why do they always contact me to ask for things? I am not even the point of contact for this project!”

“Honestly, Kim?” they replied, “I think it’s because you respond so immediately.”

EEK. G-U-I-L-T-Y!!!

do respond rapidly. I am always in a hurry to respond to emails. Especially with that person – I just wanted to respond and quit thinking about them bugging me.


I LIVE to see this message. Ha.

But he was right – me doing that was making it worse for me, in the long run.

So, I will be less available.

I need to do this across ALL facets of my life.

I don’t handle having a long to-do list very well. I handle it in the sense that I get stuff done, and don’t procrastinate… but it makes me SO anxious. I am always yearning for a clean slate. I feel like when I get there, I can breathe. I can relax. Everything is done.

But, we all know, everything is NEVER done! That’s impossible.

I need to get comfortable with having things sitting on my to-do list (and emails left unresponded to!). In a sense, buying a house has sorta helped with that. There is so much to do, and no way to do it all at once, so it makes us prioritize and focus on the now – and let the other things be (although, we still keep talking about them…).

And I try to do this at work. I make a list and prioritize and do things in order. BUT I JUST WANT THAT LIST TO BE CLEAR! (then people keep giving me work because I got the other stuff done – slow down, Kim). Sigh. I think the email is a good place to start with this.

The one that made the cut

By , February 2, 2016 6:34 am

Do you guys still have nightmares about school? Missing tests and forgetting to study and all that?

I still have them, but my school nightmares are a bit different – I’ve forgotten or simply put off doing an architecture project until right before it’s due, which is ridiculous, because they took me weeks of preparation.

It’s amazing the panic these dreams still make me feel. And I’m so grateful when I wake up and realize I’m not in school and don’t have to do all that anymore. Now I do a completely different set of things I don’t feel like doing, ha! (But have great work/life balance, the majority of the time, so it’s fine.)

Throughout the years, I’ve slowly gotten rid of my architecture models from school, until the move to the rental house, when I got rid of all but one.


Bye bye models!

The one I saved

I wonder if this one will make the final move?

Random Thoughts Thursday 84

By , January 28, 2016 6:23 am
  • Steven freaked me the eff out on Monday! He called me and let me know he couldn’t find Data. And that there had been people working on the rental house. And he hadn’t seen Data since they left. Gah. Steven was looking for Data outside when he called me. Then he went back in the house and thankfully found Data under our bed – a CO detector was being tested while the workers were there and scared Data so much he hid under the bed for a long time. Gah. I was freaking out until Steven found him!


A photo Steven had sent me of Data from that morning

  • Yesterday wasn’t a great day for Data at the rental, either, with the new owners and their kid visiting. I can’t wait until we’re settled in at the forever home and Data doesn’t have to deal with that stuff. Unfortunately though, there will be construction at the forever home for awhile… I hope it doesn’t bug Data too much. He’s done well with construction at the townhome – he just hates it when the smoke detectors go off.
  • I am not the best version of myself right meow and I don’t like it. I am the highly stressed version of myself. Work is completely nuts, the house stuff is all effed up, I have some health thing to check out, and yeah… GET IT TOGETHER, Kim. Thanks to my friends/family for letting me vent to them so you guys don’t have to hear the details! (this bullet is actually replacing three that were listing the house details, ha! basically, we definitely aren’t closing tomorrow and still don’t know when we are – maybe next week?!)
  • I’m certain I have complained about this before, but what is with people who don’t have their work phone number listed on the signature on their work email (or don’t have a signature at all)? You don’t want to be called? Me either, but a lot of times, you gotta call someone, and that would be such an easy place to find your phone number. Ugh.
  • Another (no chip) nail came off Sunday night, but the other eight are going mostly strong, ha! I’ve been painting the missing nails with my own polish (seen on the right below). I can’t stand to have one nail not painted or chipped so I am happy these haven’t peeled off when I’ve been away from home and can’t fix it!


Thank gawd I take pictures of EVERYTHING to share with my snis so I have this sort of thing documented to share. Ha ha. 

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 83

Process based vs results based

By , September 3, 2015 6:26 am

I’ve been thinking about the first post I wrote about knitting – NOPE. Not a perfectionist. (For now?). Basically, everything I wrote in it turned out to be true – my first washcloth I knitted looked horrible, but showed progress as I moved along. I did stick with knitting and got better at it*. And I HAVE tried to make the things I knit for people** have as few flaws in them as possible. Not “perfect,” but as close as I can get.

I am not results based by any stretch of the imagination, so caring so much about how something turns out is new territory for me. And honestly, I think it’s good for me. Why not care about it, for once?

Ha, that makes me sound like some sort of jerk who never cares about anything. That’s not true! I’m just more process based for things that have a defined completion. Like training for a race, projects at work, or knitting something.

In racing? Eh, I definitely care how the race turns out, but I don’t get upset if things went to crap. I care more about the training and everything that led up to it. That’s where the joy lies, for me.

My job at work is to assist clients with design requirements and how their space will be laid out. But because of the way our divisions are set up at work, the project moves on to someone else and I rarely see the finished space. This has DEFINITELY made me process based, at work! I often have no idea what the results were! We obviously plan toward an ideal result, when working with the client, but not seeing the outcome*** really skews things for me.

And then knitting. I am still surprised I am doing it, because I’m not crafty at all, but I’ve found it’s something, that again, I immensely enjoy the process of. It’s so satisfying to see whatever I am working on “grow,” row by row. Sometimes a project surprises me – the yarn or pattern looks different than I thought it would – and that’s exciting for me. But… I have found that I am thinking about the end result much more than I tend to, compared to other things I work on.


There have been a few mistakes in the baby blanket but I’ve caught them and fixed them! Phew! I really want that to turn out nice (since it’s taking SO DAYUM LONG… and for my new nephew!!!).

I have to fix mistakes as soon as I find them (which is frustrating, but satisfying when it’s done). I have to plan out how much yarn I will need (ugh, planning). I have to figure out how big the thing will be. I have to constantly tell myself “Kim, this is a gift for someone else, and you don’t want a shoddy end-result with your name attached to it. FOCUS!” Ha ha.

Like I said, it’s good for me, just different.

And truthfully, not caring so much about end results before is probably what has kept me from doing crafty things. I know it’s kept me from doing house projects. And, any projects. I spent so much time in college building things with my hands that I have just been OVER it for a loooooong time. I didn’t want to have to think about how things were going to turn out. I didn’t want to be “graded” on it, anymore.

Maybe I am changing!

*still have so much to learn! yay!
**everything I knit – I haven’t made anything for me, yet!
***one of my current projects is not a typical one at all, and I am acting as the project manager instead of designer, so I will get to see how things turn out!

An option to stand

By , November 10, 2014 12:42 pm

Where you work, do you spend most of your time sitting or standing? Do you have the option to switch from one to the other?

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a lecture on how sitting all day is killing us and negating any exercise we do, ever (we’ve already discussed that!).

My day job is actually in office design, and it excites me that one of the current popular trends is adjustable work-height desks. So, throughout the day, you can move the height of your work surface so you can sit or stand (sometimes this is a function of the desk itself, and sometimes, it’s something you put on your desk, and sit your laptop on). 

I really hope this trend sticks around, because I like the idea of being able to adjust how I am working. In fact, I do it now, at the office and at home. Neither place is fancy enough to have a moveable desk height (manual or automatic), but I have bar height surfaces at both locations that I do use when I feel like standing – typically in the afternoon at home, and last week, at work when I realized how sore I was from my self-inflicted DOMS. Ha ha. 


Chair for Data to use to keep me company

Now, just don’t ask me how I feel about the trend of treadmill desks… I still need to try one before I can form an opinion. Yeah, that’s it!

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