Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's All Good (in Theory)

Great googly-moogly! What a craptacular day!

Okay, let's back up. I have been pondering a blogiphesto about the documentary My Architect made by Nathaniel Kahn, Louis Kahn's "illegitimate" son. In case you don't know, architect Louis Kahn is considered one the foremost modernist "Form Givers" of the 1960's and early 70's. The hook is that he died in Philadelphia Station in New York in 1974, on his way home from India, and his body went unclaimed for 72 hours as nobody had any idea who he was since he previously scratched out his address on his passport. Ah, the life of a World Famous Architect.

I purchased and watched the DVD last year when it came available, and then I watched it again last weekend with my wife and a grad student friend from India (who reads this blog, so I have to be careful.) The movie -- or should I say film since I am a pretentious architect? -- is subtle and anti-heroic and heart-rending and eye-opening and lots of other hyphenated phrases. But I'm afraid it put my friend to sleep. In the film's defense, he drank all our beers before I subjected him to the cinematic tragedy that is Life of Architect. [In truth, we only had two beers--bad hosts--still he DID drink both of them. So there.]

And "so there" for your movie review, too. For the record: One particular Philadelphia politician who shall remain nameless earned my burning hatred because he took gleeful pride in preventing Kahn from ever having a single building constructed in his hometown. Lovely man.

Now back to my craptastic day...

First, my contractor directed the geotechnical engineer to conduct full-spectrum soil compaction analysis on the engineered soil that went in under the slab-on-grade and also on the bearing conditions of the drilled piers that were installed per the requirements and design of said geotechnical engineer eight months ago. Where's my beef? He never asked me. I specifically instructed said contractor NOT to do any materials testing during construction, trusting that the subs and excavator types would do their jobs to spec, and knowing that my client wasn't willing to pay for testing. I received an invoice from the geotech engineers today -- sent to me -- for $1,400 and change. Who's gonna pay for this? Certainly not me. And it would be a stretch to even conceive of the Hotheaded Client paying for it. Poor contractor...

Second, I gave my client an extra set of construction documents ("CD's" is the lingo) to deliver to his Homeowner's Association ("HOA" is the lingo) for their review and approval. I did this four months ago. Did he do this one simple thing? What do you think? Construction began a month ago. Last week the HOA noticed the excavation work being done without their review and approval. That led directly to a phone call to the contractor to cease and desist under threat of lawsuit. So we scrambled to deliver a set of CD's to the HOA President. Who then dinged us on two issues. The hotheaded client then told the President, this very morning, that he was a moron and that he should go to hell. Needless to say, I spent much of the rest of my day scrambling like a mad bitchdog after a run-in with skunks, porcupines, and horny studdogs. I finished up at about 10:15 tonight and emailed everything to the Prez. Wonder how forgiving he's willing to be?

And I wonder just how much the neighbors are gonna hate the hothead... a lot? or a whole lot?

Third, I put in four solid hours this morning on another neat job, waking up earlier than usual, and having some fun before being dragged back to client-from-hell reality. So I'm tired. Really tired. But I know you all want and NEED to hear about my day as Architect, so blog I must. (I'm beginning to sound like Yoda.)

Finally, my mom had hip replacement surgery last week and her recovery is not so good. Internal bleeding, and she's most miserable. My dad's doing a terrific job helping out, though -- at least according to the brief peek into their recovering lives I was able to discern during an hour visit this afternoon. Good for him. But worrysome to all.

What a damned googly-moogly day. The only bright side is that it's the end of the month, which means I get to INVOICE!


Post a Comment

<< Home