truth be told tuesday – hot & cold

michael and i had really similar up-bringings in so, so many ways. same city, same school system (not counting michael’s three year stint in private greek orthodox school… and yes he is jewish). we were both one of three and both out numbered by the opposite gender (michael the only boy with two sisters; me the only girl with two brothers). michael’s dad and my mom both attended our high school (the school where we met) and were even there at the same time and later went to the same college. we had overlapping friends growing up, we trick or treated on the same streets. lots of similarities.

but there are also differences.

the five main differences between our childhood households were:
1. the amount of television watched (and the amount of tv sets had).
2. the amount of hours spent at church and/or synagogue.
3. the amount of eating at restaurants and the amount of soda consumed.
4. the amount of lizards welcome in the home.
5. the thermostat.

today we will be addressing item #5, the thermostat.

people think we never argue. but we do. in fact, quite often. and it is always, always, always about the thermostat. except when it is not, but that just means the thermostat argument will happen later or has already occurred.

you see, michael grew up in sub arctic temperatures.

except, he will say he did not but that rather i grew up in a place he likens to being just slightly more bearable than hell (temperature wise, that is). i get where he is coming from. my mom never had a/c that really worked until just this year, and when the new unit was installed i happened to be home on a visit and was there for the inaugural use… which lasted about 15 minutes before both my mom and i were freezing and then we turned it off.

a scene never to be seen at michael’s house. they keep their air on allllllll the time. even when they sleep and even when they leave. if you are the last to leave my mom’s house and you don’t turn off the lights and air conditioning before you exit you are not going to be smiled upon on your return.

so what happens when i do this now? when i turn the air off before leaving the house and leave our two dogs in an un-airconditioned apartment in the westside of los angeles (land of NON-EXISTANT air conditioning… it is a marvel to many i know that we even have central air, it’s not common here) michael accuses me of trying to kill them. i try to remind him that the high was 72 degrees that day, but it doesn’t matter. i am a puppy killer for sure.

so i will spend whole days at home alone with the dogs without the air on, but if i i leave the house and do not turn it on for them before leaving, i’m going to hear about it. not that he yells at me. but he just informs me they probably almost died. What??

oy vey.

i’ve found my perfect thermostat setting to be 80 degrees. michael prefers it about 10 degrees colder (again, in his house that is acceptable, in my house i have never, ever seen the thermostat needle set below 72. ever. we were told that no a/c unit could actually be set so low. that if you dared try the entire system would die forever. i really believed this to be true. turns out it’s not… although it probably was true to our specific unit we had all those years. it couldn’t have handled it.)

so what to do….
i dunno yet. i’m really waiting for dual control home a/c. you know, like in cars.

but today my reality is, that as i write this the current temperature outside (as i just looked it up this very moment) is 57 degrees, and yet, our a/c is running.
and i have goosebumps.

dog sitting

we’ve been dog sitting this little (big) guy since friday:


his dad is in south america in his second month of a two month long trip. meaning his mom has been living the single parent lifestyle, but she’s out of town for work.

anyways, we’ve been hanging out with whiskey (the dog, not to beverage) for the past few days. i think he’s had fun, although i’m sure he’s looking forward to tuesday when his mom gets home. that is, he would be looking forward to it. you know, if he spoke english and all.




NCIDQ aftermath

the two days of testing for the NCIDQ were awful!
actually, day one was okay… day two was AWFUL!

it was hour after hour of my brain running as fast as it could and too much adrenaline and i couldn’t get my heart rate to slow down all day. it’s so horrible to have this massive task in front of you and only 4 hours to do it (then lunch, then you start over on a different timed task) and feeling every second of the clock.

it really doesn’t feel like a test of what you can do, but rather can you do it FAST!!

for those confused, the first day of testing is 7-1/2 hours of multiple choice questions, which sucks, but it was more than enough time to answer them and go back though and reread all the ones i have no idea on (about 1/3 of them… cool) and it’s the kind of test i’ve been taking my whole life… just really, really long.

but then day two is called the practicum.
as described on the ncidq’s website here: “The NCIDQ examination also features a practicum section, Schematics and Design Development, that requires candidates to produce a design solution. Candidates receive a program based on a multifunctional facility including at least three of seven areas of specialization (residential, corporate/office, hospitality, retail, healthcare, institutional and educational). The problem requires candidates to (a) interpret the program into schematics; (b) produce plan drawings; and (c) develop appropriate specifications. Work products must address the principles of universal design.”

which basically means they give you a folder saying, this is the client, they want a ridiculous mish-mash of spaces (like, retail, offices, and an apartment) all within this given building which is gutted, except for the existing plumbing line. but also, they want to enter this space from this street, and that space from anywhere but this door, and this room needs to be by that one, and these rooms need to be close to each other, but that one can’t be in view of the other…. etc, etc, etc.

it’s just so much to absorb really, really quickly, and then you have to get everything laid out and hand draft the whole thing, and also specify wall types and finishes. and, about 2/3 of the rooms required are given minimum square footages that you must conform to, yet others have required furniture that must fit, and the entire shebang obviously has to meet ADA requirements and building codes.

it’s something i’m sure everyone in the room could do with their eyes closed, if they had a day or two and A COMPUTER. but 4 hours is realllllly quick and FLIES by. by the time i was ready to start drafting i was so freaked out that i only had two hours left that my hands were shaking so bad it would be hard to recognize my handwriting.

after that whirlwind we broke for lunch. i had two people from my office taking the test as well so we ate together while realizing mistakes we had made that were too late to change. also, i found out i wasn’t the only one with the hand-shaking-issue so that made me feel better.

after lunch, it was time for part two of the practicum which consists of a new space with a new program to absorb really fast. then you produce a lighting plan (with switching… which is weird because that’s something the electrical engineer would always do…. maybe residential designers have to do their own switching diagrams?? i dunno), and a power, voice, data plan (easy enough except i usually don’t have to do it with time breathing down my neck…) and also every fire-life safety device had to be placed… and then they describe a piece of millwork located in the space that you draw an elevation of and a section for showing how it’s constructed, which basically just means i throw in blocking wherever i think it looks pretty and hope that seems legit.

everyone keeps asking me how i think i did, and i seriously just have no idea. i think i did fine on the multiple choice, but not sure if i did fine enough. and as far as the practicum goes, i really just can’t even guess. it was SUCH a whirlwind. i could have missed some major, major thing and not even known. it’s just fast and hectic and then over.

so i guess i’ll just wait and see.
wait 14 WEEKS that is, because that is how long it takes to grade them.

maybe when people ask me how i did i’ll just say, “ask me again in 2010.”

and now i’m going to go flush these all down the toilet:

abercrombie - June 7, 2013 - 3:06 am

Думаю горизонтальный вариант, в случае если пунктов будет много не очень хорошая идея.

Amanda - December 16, 2010 - 3:50 pm

This is going to seem like an extremely random comment. I stumbled on this when searching for NCIDQ information. I just took it in the fall, and felt the exact same way you described here. I was just wondering if you passed, and if not, what did you do to fix things the next time? I don’t really know where I went wrong, and of course they do not give you any explanations. You may know they changed the format a little in 2010, and all the exercises are individual now, I failed the Life Safety exercise and the detail/section, which is weird because both of those seemed pretty straight-forward and I thought I had more trouble with other sections actually. Also, I tried looking through a few archive posts to see if I could find out whether or not you passed – and I found out you apparently live in the Tampa Bay area too?? Weird! I live in St. Pete, I just moved here around the time you posted this blog, September of last year. What are the odds?

the knot

our wedding photographer, agnes lopez, just emailed to let us know we are the featured wedding on this week!

here is the email agnes received from the knot editor

Hey Agnes,

Hope you’re doing well!

I wanted to let you know that Marissa and Michael are the featured wedding of the week on Please visit our homepage and follow the links! It will be promoted in the spot through next Wednesday.





and for the record, i AM studying all day today!! no i am not just sitting around writing multiple blog posts instead. i had planned ahead and scheduled that google reader post last week to post today (because i’m fancy and know how to schedule posts to post when i want them to … although i’m apparently not fancy enough to figure out how to get the italics off right now… ) but really this my first and only post i actually wasted time writing today. so there.

back to my flash cards.

google reader 101

in my opinion, if you read more than one blog, then google reader is advantageous.

i talk about my reader a lot and it’s one of those things that I assume is common knowledge and then realize isn’t when so many ask me, ‘what the heck are you talking about?’ so, i figured i could just say it here and it might help clear things up.

google reader (or any other reader program you chose) compiles all of the blogs you like to read into one place. i read a lot of blogs (wayyy too many, really) and it just wouldn’t even be possible without having a reader. if you don’t have a reader, and say you have 5 friends with blogs, then you have to go to each of their blogs and see if they maybe have or have not updated since you were last there. with my reader, i can go to one place ( and i can see which of my blogs have new posts. then, i can either read the new post right from there or I can click the little >> arrows and it will take me to the actual blog. i usually just read within my reader, but if you want to leave a comment, you’ll need to go to the actual post.

got it so far? as a visual, here is a screen shot of what my reader looks like: googlereader
you can see my folders on the left, but you can organize your blogs into folders however you’d like.

i have 91 blogs currently in my reader (i know, out of control…) so I’ve divided them into folders for: family, friends, design, photography, wedding, and misc. (and just ignore the folder named ‘avocado’ – that is just me being weird.)

i also subscribe to the comments of my own blog. so, instead of updating me on when my blog is updated (which i don’t need to be alerted to, since i wrote the post…) it alerts me when someone has left a comment. the alternative would be looking through each of my posts to find if someone had written anything. that would be dumb. google reader is smart. 😉

again, you don’t need to have this ridiculous amount of blogs in your reader… even if you just have 2 people you’d like to keep up with, I think you’ll like it!

need suggestions on who to add?

check over on the right side bar of this blog and there are links to the blogs of some of our friends and family.

other blogs you might like…

pioneer woman – lives on a ranch in the middle of no where. writes about photography, cooking, home schooling her 4 kids, and life on a working cattle farm. (this is a huge blog – meaning she has a GIANT readership.)
nienie – she was already a very established blogger (blogs about family, faith, cooking, etc… daily life) when she and her husband were in a plane crash last year. The one year anniversary of that crash was just a couple of weeks ago. She is still healing and writes about her recovery and getting her life put back together. Sometimes its heartbreaking, but more often, uplifting.


jessica kettle – a favorite photography blog. vintage-y, creamy, dreamy.

jodie – a photography blog but posts about all parts of her life, not just her thriving photography business (for a while she had three kids under the age of 3. eek)

serena gene – super fun, colorful, quirky, stylish family and wedding photography. and i like her extra a lot because she reads my blog too! 😉

design blogs:
apartment therapy (you’ll never keep up, but you can try! they post a LOT.)

design*sponge (love)

design mom

(interior designer, turned mom, turned blogger)

now go set up a reader!!!
it’s free! and you’re reading this so I know you follow at least one blog! and as much as i’d like to think i’m the only person in the whole wide world you come online for, i’m sure there are others!!!