There's a neon light ablaze
in this green smoky haze
laughter down on Elizabeth Street

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I've started a new blog for my pending travels. I'll be posting to that one for the summer and I guess I'll pick up the farm blog when I get back to the farm in August. Please follow this new one! Hopefully it will turn into something really cussing awesome. I'll be posting much more frequently for this one.

Thanks, OK, bye!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I have definitely been slack with the blog posts! My sincerest of apologies...does that sound heartfelt? The end of the semester was a whirlwind. April seemed to never end with the amount of work I had to do and then grading 150 architecture essays the first week in May rendered me incapacitated. Then, as soon as I get home to Charleston and was able to rest I developed cussing bronchitis. I'm the only person I know that either gets bronchitis or pneumonia every year in May or June. I'm almost all better now and that will be the end of my complaining!

During one of my trips in between Auburn and Charleston I stumbled upon this little gem...
Yes, this is an advertisement on the back of a bathroom stall, in the gas station. And yes, I took a picture while I was in a gas station bathroom stall and yes, people were waiting to get in after me. No, I did not care that they had to wait longer so that I could take this picture. Anyway, my question is, why in the world do we need to be socially connected to a cussing gas station food mart?! What on earth could their status updates be? "Marlboro Reds 25% off"... "Cheetos, buy one, get one free"... You get the picture.

Is this what our generation has come to? I mean, talk about a car-centric country! Out of curiosity I looked to see how many people were fans or "like" Quick Trip...216. That's 216 people I hope I NEVER meet. If you're one of them I will de-friend you without the slightest hesitation. This is what it says on their page, which I could not fully access because I have not clicked "like", but so be it.
Our goal is to make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic. If you have a passion for Quick Trip, sign up and we'll let you know when we're ready for your help. You can also get us started by suggesting a relevant Wikipedia article or the Official Site.

Who the cuss has a passion for Quick Trip?! I hope the 216 people are all major stockholders or something. Alright, that will be the end of my rant against Quick Trip and facebook.

Moving on...

What am I doing with my summer away from the farm you may ask? Well, actually I'm sure everyone that reads this (assuming anyone still does) is my friend on facebook and you've gotten my annoying messages regarding my summer research project. Just in case you choose to hit ignore, I'll tell you about it.

Basically, my brother William and I are traveling around the country stopping in cities to interview people aged 23ish-35ish on their thoughts on the "American Dream" and cities and yada, yada, yada. The only way this is going to work financially is if we can stay at people's houses. We'll sleep on the floor...I think we have an air mattress. Cuss, we'll even sleep on the porch. Anyway, I'll be blogging along the way in a hopefully more regular manner. We're also going to film the whole thing. We'll see how that works out...

If you want to know more about it please email me. The plans are somewhat fluid, but basically we're covering the perimeter of the country...sorry heartland, we can't do it all! I'd like to leave June 1ish, but we'll see how that goes. My planning hasn't been the best. I want to plan cities one day, but I can hardly plan what I'm going to do a week from now.

Here's the problem. My blog title is not very fitting for this trip. I need a new one. I need help with that. Any ideas? Anyone?

Alright, this post has gotten long enough on words and short on images so I'm sure you're all bored to tears...if you even made it down this far on the page. I'll try to be more regular in my posts, but there's a lot of pressure to be witty and I'm just not that witty all the time.

ok. bye.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2nd Semester Wrap-Up

Is that not the most perfect streetscape you've ever seen? (NOLA)

Yeah, I know it's been awhile but every time I thought about writing on the blog it made me feel guilty for not writing my papers that are due at the end of the semester. I'm here now though and not feeling guilty because I've been at school 11 hours today and made some good head way on one final paper. Two more papers, two tests and a project left before I'm free! Well, I'll have 56 architecture finals to grade after I'm done with my work...then I'm free! Cue in some pop song about summer...

This semester has definitely been a whole lot busier then last semester, academically as well as socially (thank cussin' goodness for the latter!). The amount of writing I've had to do this semester should be illegal and would you believe that I'm considering prolonging this higher education kick into a PhD?!  We'll see. I've been told that by a few people that they definitely could see me as a professor and one even flat-out said it was because I was weird. What the cuss?! I know I'm strange, but that's no reason to become a professor! Or is it? I was hoping people would see me as a professor because they thought I was a serious academic, but I guess not. Who am I kidding anyway? Serious academic? Not possible...

Despite my oddities I've managed to make a few friends. Sad part is, they're all in a one year master's program and will be gone by the time I get back to Auburn for the fall. I do have a couple friends in my program, so I won't be going back to complete and utter loneliness. 

I did get to go to New Orleans for the American Planning Association Conference, which was great and not for the professional part. Yeah, I'm glad I got to pretend that I was a professional for a few days but let's be honest, I'm more comfortable in my rainbows then heels. Good god why the cuss do we have to wear heels?! Maybe I do need to be a professor...

Anyway, the great part was getting to spend time in NOLA. I'd been before, but never for longer then a day. Let me tell you, I fell in love. The neighborhood called The Marigny is probably where I belong. Please visit and tell me you can't see me there. Cafes, bookstores, music, Bohemians and bars abound! I was grinning ear to ear the whole time I was there and the group I was with thought I was crazy (a recurring theme in my life?). I seriously haven't had that strong of a reaction to place since being in Italy. Those of you who have been to that sacred nation know how big of a deal this is. After this trip I've decided a place can't be worth me living in unless I have a strong, gut reaction like that. It's what I'm basing my life on after all. This may seem ridiculous to you, but it is fundamental to me.

There's a lot more I could say about New Orleans, but I will say this about travel in general:
1. Don't travel with 12 people.
2. When traveling with 12 people, everyone has a different sense of what "good" is.
3. You learn a lot about people when you spend 4 days non-stop with them.

There's a lot more to say and I know there are tons of funny things that have happened but my mind is burnt out on land use law and can't think much more. I'll just leave you with some images of my new hometown...

My next residence.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

back to the *new* reality

These past few weeks have been somewhat hectic for me with school and then Spring Break 2010. Which is not as much fun, by the way, when you're in graduate school and 25 years old. Don't worry, I still managed to get some fun time in, but I felt slightly guilty having a week off in the middle of March. Now I'm back in Auburn and busier than ever. Which is why I'm blogging and not writing one of my three cussing papers due on Thursday. Priorities are set!

Anyway, my first part of spring break was spent in Crystal River, Fl with some friends from Auburn. That's right, you heard me. I have friends! I don't know why it took so long for these people here to realize how great I am, but I digress. Crystal River. Interesting place. The main attraction is the ever elusive sea creature, the manatee. Boy, those cussers are ugly. We got to go kayaking with them swimming (if you can call if that) underneath our boats, which was cool.


Anyway, I don't know why the font changes on me like that, but I'll just ride with it. Roll with it. Rock with it.

My apologies for that.

Crystal River is definitely in auto-centric retiree haven. The most interesting part of the trip was the three elderly people protesting outside a rental office about the rent increases. I wanted to join them, but I didn't have a fanny pack, a white hair-do, or a wonderfully, shaky hand written sign. I probably could have obtained all three if I wanted to, but the manatee beckoned. But how sad is that? Elderly protesting...I felt for them. They didn't get their cost of living increase this year with Social Security, but their landlord still increased the rent. I'm sure he is in just as much financial trouble, but it's still sad. No one is safe from this recession! Is it safe to call it a depression or are we all just avoiding that word?! I don't claim to know one lick of economics, so I should probably move on.

I rode to Charleston with the professor I work for, Carla, which was great. I hate driving and she drives a stick-shift diesel VW (aka good gas mileage), so it worked out well. We started the trip out having to fill-up her tank since she had only done this once since owning the vehicle. She bought it in August. It's March. She is my hero. We got all the way to Charleston and the back up to Orangeburg before having to fill-up again! How cussing awesome is that?! I did have to help her fill-up since she does it with such infrequency. That was funny. The car ride was one of the most fun times of the trip. We laughed the whole way. She laughs pretty hard at me and I don't know if it's because I am an idiot compared to her Ph.D from MIT or because she thinks I'm funny. I'll just continue to live in ignorance of which one it is. We were also mistaken for lesbians twice on the trip (to our knowledge, I guess it could've been more). Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'd rather that not happen. Well, now that I think about it, I actually don't care. It was just funny.

One interesting thing we talked about on the ride was her experience living in a gated, suburban community. One day her neighbor said to her, "I'm having company over so don't be alarmed if you see strange cars." She was like, "what the cuss, I don't notice cars to begin with. Is that what they notice?!". Isn't it funny that the man warned her of strange cars and not strange people? That just goes to show how conditioned we are as an auto-centric country. We design our communities to facilitate cars and not people, so it made total sense in this man's eyes to warn her of strange vehicles. Sad state of affairs if you ask me.

Well, I must get back to my prestigious studies. I also have a favor to ask. My dear grandfather is in the hospital. He's hopefully getting out today, but I don't know yet. He has to live forever, so please pray he's ok.



Sunday, March 7, 2010


(I made Millie get in this box at work one day. No idea why, but what can I say, I'm strange...but she actually did it, so maybe she's strange too.)

Today my close friend/sister I never had left for Haiti. I think it goes without saying, but please keep her in your thoughts and prayers! She's probably going to see some things that no one would ever wish on their enemy. Also pray she doesn't try to smuggle a child back in with her. I'd hate to have to write her in prison. Plus, she wouldn't last two seconds in jail. I mean, look at how miserable she was when I made her get in that box. She looks completely claustrophobic. An 8x8 cinderblock cell with Big Bertha and her 5 o'clock shadow and FUPA is not going to be any better...It's not like I would last in jail either, but I would never do anything illegal so there's no risk of me landing in the slammer. None. at. all. Lizzie Lawful is what they call me...

Anyway, there's some great opportunity to rebuild Haiti in a good way. Clemson's architecture school has actually been doing studies on container ship housing and was featured on one of my favorite websites. I'd love to be involved in something like that for Haiti. Also, Andres Duany, the practical father of New Urbanism, has donated his talents to the relief effort. Really cool. I'd also love to work for him in a completely selfish regard, but if I was able to do something really great as well, then added bonus!

On a totally unrelated note, a man moved into the "shack" that's on our farm. I have no idea why anyone would choose this house as their abode, but he has and that's fine. Well, it would be nice if he were a little less of a redneck and clean up his cussing yard, but that's not why I'm mentioning him to you. I'm mentioning him because he has two beautiful labs-a chocolate and a yellow. (I almost bought a yellow lab the other day by the way and would have if I didn't have such awesome plans for the summer that I'm not prepared to talk about yet.) ANYWAY, whenever I drive by his "house" and see the dogs outside I throw them up the peace sign! What the cuss do I do this for?! I realized it the other day and started laughing to myself. What am I trying to convey to these dogs...that I am cool with their existence? That I want them to be in peace? Again, I'm strange...Sully understands though, we email about it. I guess I'm just really missing having a dog. One day I'll have my own and I'll stop having part ownership in a dog. Oh, the future! How great it will be!

Alright, that's all I got. I will leave you with a quote from Gang Gang though. So, we were watching t.v and a McDonald's commercial came on and it must have evoked some strong emotions in her because she goes, "I remember the first time I EVA had a chicken nugget. We were at the World's Fair in Knoxville, TN and it was just wonderful. I remembered thinking, 'wow, no bones! How do they do that?'. It was sometime in the early 80s." Wow. The woman remembers a lot, but seriously being able to recall upon your first chicken nugget with such fondness is a feat.

Oh and I'd like you to enjoy some doggie photos as well.
Sully and Teddy. The two things in this world I might love the most. Sorry to my friends and family, y'all come second. Just kidding! Kind of...

And now the pups and the mother of the pups with the mother of all teets...
I think I deserve a medal of self-controll for not buying one of these guys. One even crawled up in my lap and told me he loved me...


Friday, February 26, 2010

Insert Clever Title Here.

So I know you've all been thinking all week long..."i wonder how that honky tonk Lizzie went to was?" And the answer can be summed up by this: I'm still laughing about it. No, really. I'll be walking down the street and just start laughing! I know people think I'm crazy, but it's totally uncontrollable! I'm not even laughing at the fact that I went to a honky tonk in LOACHAPOKA, AL either, I'm laughing about my conversations with the professor I went with. We were the first people to get to Fred's, which is an old feed & seed store. She, being from Rome, was like, "what the cuss is this about!?" and me being from Charleston, but having some experience with farm life now, was just as baffled. (I live on a farm, but have never performed any farmly duties. That may make my experience less authentic, but who cares.)

We sat around and drank beer for about an hour and a half and she sampled the refined menu options of duck and sausage gumbo and a chicken "panini" until people started showing up and the honky tonk got under way. She laughed at what they called a panini seeing as it was just a grilled burrito. (There's a restaurant in town that claims to make panini's, but they don't have anything on the menu close to what you get in Italy or even any city and it pisses me off to no end!)

Anyway, I had a great time! So much so that I'm going out with her Saturday to check out a band called Lucero. It's supposed to be a mix of punk/country rock. Yeah, what the cuss? The reason I want to go is A). Nothing else to do and B). I feel like they keep coming up on blogs I read or other people I know have gone to see them.

It's nice having someone that is up for just about anything like I am. Since I haven't yet found my musical soul mate, I find myself having to cajole people into going to shows with me. By the way, the musical soul mate does not have to be a romantic one, just someone that enjoys the same music I do and isn't afraid to check out new music.

So, that's all I have to say today.


p.s. I would like to extend a big thank you to Pearls for responding to the question I posed in my last post! And also, Katie enjoys mozzarella sticks and The Bachelor.

p.p.s My last blog post has also inspired a project for me and I hope to share it with you soon!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Now I'm talkin honky-tonkin.

Well, I've been living in Auburn for a little over 6 months now and my social life has come down to honky-tonks with a professor. Wow. The picture above is for the event I am going to tonight. I wish it were bigger, but the deer's trucker hat says: "I'd rather be honky-tonkin...". This leads me to ask, "Would I rather be honky-tonkin?" and "What does that EVEN mean?". Well my friends, I will find out tonight. Some of you may know what it means, but I'm proud to say that I have never been to a honky-tonk. Julie, you probably have. What am I in for?!

Anyway, I can't believe I've lived here six months already. It seems I'm just getting into the swing of things now. I will say it's getting easier having some social contacts that aren't seniors in college that drink me under the table. They're great, but I need to be around people my own age more.
So, I'm kind of feeling like I'm having a cultural paradigm shift by going to a honky-tonk, but I'm going to embrace it and enjoy it! It makes me think of the other shifts I've had. For one, I've realized that the further away you are from the coast, the less people like seafood. I don't understand not liking seafood, but I know there are a lot of things I don't like that people love. For instance, my grandfather struggled through eating a piece of salmon last night and the man couldn't get a bite of pie fast enough into his mouth to take away the "fishy" taste. What fishy taste?! I couldn't believe it. But, in the same vein, I wouldn't eat a piece of coconut pie for fear of the too coconutty taste.

The good thing about living on a farm and in Auburn is that I've realized I am definitely not a country mouse, I'm 100% city mouse. That isn't to say I don't enjoy the country, because I absolutely do. It's just that when I'm in a city, my heart is full. When I was younger I equated city with New York City. When I visited Charleston for the first time I didn't think of it as a city because it wasn't huge and congested and sky-scraping. I realize now that Charleston is very much a city and is a very healthy city because of a lack of those three things. Technically, Auburn's a city for crying out loud! I think we all have our different perception of things because of where we grow up and it's part of life to have those shift and shaken up a bit. I think traveling does this very well, but actually transplanting yourself does too. I know I'll be thankful for this experience of farm life when I'm living in a city somewhere (hopefully soon) down the line. It's almost as if you have to live somewhere you hate, to know what you love.
[i'm not saying i hate auburn, i just hate this TYPE of town. big difference.]

So, I guess this is me saying challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone. A year ago I wouldn't have seen the point because I said, "I love Charleston and want to raise my family here, why would I ever leave?" (ya know, that family that i've been promised, along with that husband).
Now I love Charleston even more and still would like to raise my imaginary family there with my imaginary husband, but the prospect of living somewhere else for awhile, even after I leave Auburn, isn't so scary anymore.

Anyway, I know people that stay in the same town their whole lives and they're perfectly happy and perfectly healthy, but I think the majority of people need to step out of their boxes for a bit and see what else there is...and then go back home. Wherever that may be. Or never return, that's okay too!

Just out of curiosity and because it's what I've decided to devout my life to...what comes to mind when you think of the word "city"? I'd really like to know and you can email me if you'd rather. Or maybe no one even reads this cussin thing anymore and I'm asking an imaginary the way, do you see my imaginary husband anywhere?! Even imaginary boyfriend will do. What is he like?