Sometime Around Midnight

Here's the thing about moving somewhere for 11 weeks; you're temporary. The people around you have been situated in their lives for years now, established friends, family, locations, plans. I want to get to know people, make friends, make plans, but it's difficult for me to get past the idea that I've been temporarily placed into the daily routine of someone else, and that when I'm gone in 6 weeks it will go back to how it was. I'm sure someone might reference summer camp, where after a week of frolicking with a stranger you've become the best of friends, but working full-time isn't the same - there aren't other interns in my same position. My coworkers and boss and their families are great, but I'm not going to beg them to hang out with me because they already have their own thing going for them. I'm not going to go out to bars every night to meet people (is that where you meet people?) because I'll soon be gone.

It's a good thing dogs don't care about that kind of stuff.

Iced Iced Coffe

(read to the beat of "Ice Ice Baby". Obviously.)

It's getting too hot for brewed coffee in the morning so I'm trying my hand at cold brew, and let me tell you it is not as easy as brewing in a coffee pot.

As usual, I searched the world wide web for instructions on how to cold brew coffee. I found a lot of interesting things -further peaking my interest in cold brew coffee- such as the fact that its a lot less acidic than your average morning brew. That means no more coffee stomach-aches! (I don't get them, but I do notice a bit of grumbling after a cup of joe.)

So if you're interested in making your own, and you don't want to splurge on a fancy device to do it, you'll only need a few things to do it.
Medium sized coffee grounds, some sort of a device that holds liquid, and something that strains.
That's it? Yeah basically.

A ratio that I found I like after a few tries of doing this was 1/3 cup grounds to every 1 1/2 cups water.
Put your desired amount of grounds and water in the liquid holding device and wait 12 hours.
This is super easy though... Hold your horses cowboy.

After your time is up comes the part that should be easier for anyone that isn't me. Whatever online directions you find, be wary about using a cheesecloth as a straining device. Personally, my attempts with it resulted in a morning in which I was almost late to work. Any sort of a fine strainer will do for the initial rounds; I recommend pouring your cold brew through at least twice in order to get rid of most of the grounds.
Dillon, it's just coffee you know you can buy it at the store... This is the age of DIY, so shut it.

Considering the fact that I moved to a different state with very minimal kitchen supplies and minimal funds, I devised my own (effective) way to complete the straining process; with coffee filters! I had some from my coffee pot and it's job is to keep grounds out... So I tried it and it works. I rigged up a ghetto filter-placed-in-strainer-on-top-of-pitcher and cup-by-cup I let my brew drip into the pitcher.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'll probably buy my own from now on.


This week I realized what an amazing opportunity I stumbled upon with this job.

Up until now, when people have asked "How's Colorado?" I've responded with some version of, "It's different than anything else I've done!" And that's the truth. And different isn't always bad.

Thursday our boss invited us to see this 80's cover band play at a park in his community, and we all went and the other guys brought their families. The band wasn't half-bad for an 80's cover band called "Retro" but that's beside the point. What I want to get at is the fact that sometime that night, once the sun has set, the fire pit was dying, and the drinks were dwindling , the conversation turned to me, and my plans while I'm here. One thing led to another and my boss gestures to present company and informs me: "You've just become part of a family."

I took a job in a state I've never been to, not knowing anyone, a week before I actually started it. I drove 1500 miles by myself, not knowing where I would be sleeping the night I got there, and had to go to work the next day. I didn't know what to expect, honestly. All of a sudden it just became so real, like it was something someone else did, not me. Sure it's not backpacking through Europe, or exploring international landmarks, but it's an adventure nonetheless. Just like so many things in life can be.
Not knowing anyone is tough, and I was expecting -hell, planing- on doing everything alone. But it is sure nice knowing that I wont be.

Is this what growing up is like?


I wouldn't necessarily say that Colorado is radical, but I do enjoy the slogan "Coloradical" that I came upon this weekend.

It being my first weekend that I'm not living in a new place, I didn't have to scout out places to rent (my first weekend) or find the time to furnish my new place (my second weekend), so I ventured out into this new state. I knew that I wanted to go into Denver at some point, and I was conveniently asked to take my roommate/landlord to the Denver airport on Sunday so I figured, when in Rome! I spent Saturday afternoon trying to figure what I was going to do/see/get into the city and this nifty guide helped me out quite a bit. Saturday evening I felt like a real person because my coworker invited me to have dinner with his wife at their home, and it was a really fun time (even though I couldn't shake the feeling the initial invite was a little bit out of pity. He was asking me things like "so do you have family down here? friends? do you know anyone?" and then followed up with an invitation. But hey, I don't mind. I know practically no one. But I digress...)

SO. Sunday I made the trek up to the airport and then to a light rail station because I really didn't feel like driving into a city that I don't know. But in terms of cities it wasn't a heavily populated one; it's lack of large skyscrapers gave it an open feel that was similar to D.C. My plan was to start off having breakfast at Snooze, which was highly recommended. Apparently everyone else thought that was a good idea too because there was a 2 hour wait.
I didn't wait.
Instead I headed to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, then to Tattered Covers (a bookstore) where I ended up getting a book called Why We Build. It's about humans and power and architecture and that kind of sounds right up the alley of a an architecture student getting a minor in sociology. I wandered up and down the 16th Street Mall (which was more street than mall) and met a friend for lunch.

Sidebar: I did not have good experiences with food service while I was in Denver. My first stop was ridiculously busy. At the bookstore cafe I ordered an "iced mocha" and received a "spiced chai", and at lunch at Wynkoop Brewery I ordered a "salmon club" and received a "BLT". When they brought me out the correct dish the salmon was severely under-cooked and my beer was warm. Needless to say I'm not recommending it to anyone. EVER.

However, it was nice to see someone that I knew before moving here. Afterwards I went to the Denver Art Museum. It was slightly disappointing in content but the building (designed by Libeskind) was perfection. I might have enjoyed the architecture more than the galleries.

There is still so much to do in Colorado and only so many weekends to do it in!


This is not related to anything in this post. It my favorite picture from the annual architecture formal held at the end of each year.
Just enjoy it. I do. 

Today was the first day I didn't take a wrong turn or get lost, which is a big deal. Actually, no sarcasm at all. I have gotten so lost, and taken so many wrong turns and believe me when I say when you take a wrong turn in Colorado it is not easy to find your way back.

Here are a few of the scenarios in which I took wrong turns:
-You might just end up on a strip of highway in which the next exit isn't for several miles.
-Or maybe you end up on a back road that takes you into a forest.
-Or a mountain.
-Or you can't find your way out of one of the (many) strip mall parking lots.
-You might even end up on an Air Force Base!
Not even a joke. So the fact that today I DID NOT get lost is a pretty big deal.

But anyways, I bet you're sitting at home stewing over the question, "What exactly IS Dillon doing in Colorado this summer?" And I think I finally have an acceptable answer because to be honest before I left I didn't really know what I was going to be doing either.

So here is another list that contains things that I have done so far at work as an architectural intern:
-Took a sketched floor plan and recreated it digitally, consequentially having to learn a new computer program and also about how to size door jambs.
-Redesigned an entryway for a home in Florida and then made the construction documents for it so I guess that's the first thing that I've produced that is actually going to get built which is weird to think about.
-Adapted a concept sketch of a new entryway to a commercial building with 3D modeling
-My current assignment is to take a basic floorplan for a custom home and do all the construction documents for it.
-Also went out to lunch with the firm (4 people including me) for a coworkers birthday and over-analysed the patio trellis whilst eating delicious food and enjoying local microbrewery beer (that turns out that the firm I'm at designed an addition to.)

Today was my fourth day.

I don't feel so lost anymore.
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