Hiro Gets Game by Mr. President
In Someone Else's Shoes by Stella
My Day As Al by Andy D
Coversations 5th of February, 1987 by MooPig
I Am A Woman Damned by Jayne d'Arcy - feel free to appreciate,
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Conversations 5th of February, 1987by Pat Darnell aka MooPig
"Today’s Quiz is: 'What do jack rabbits, buffaloes, sharps, cotton mouths, raccoons, and Westheimer have in common?'” was the survey over the radio this morning on Gulf Wind FM.Begis divided his attention between the disc jockey, and the group of co-workers just outside his cubicle.
“The paving of Kirby will no doubt bring growth along the perimeter of West University Place,” said Bogota.
“When did the surveyors show up?” asked Rusty.
“They were there about 6 months before ground breaking,” said Paul Bogota, architect and owner of this association by the same name, Bogota Assoc. “What I don’t know is how they settled with the local businesses.”
“Hey, you guys, don’t you remember; KTRK 13 started broadcasting in Houston in November 1954,” hollered Begis from his cubicle.
They all looked at each other with dead pan poker faces to see who was going to call Begis’s bluff. No one did.
“Do you mean on Bissonett? We were talking about Kirby,” said Rusty.
Unabashed, Begis continued; “Old money, cotton money, has title to almost all the land where the SW freeway was built.” When no one spoke up, Begis said, “I think many developers have gone in but find area divided by the Railroad and the new freeway. Overhead high wires... all the negatives to create the buffer residents want... between them and any riff-raff that might try to squat on the border of WUP.”
“Wiff-waff? Eh, Begis? Where do you come up with this?” said Marjorie Bender. “And can you, uh, be quiet? ...How does he know all this stuff?” she whispered to the group.
“Like I was saying, I was reading Rinko’sª column this morning,” resumed Paul Bogotá, “he interviewed Mayor Welch, who said ‘the developments will likely dawn a new era for Houstonians.’”
“Duh,” said Mike.
Begis chortled at Mike, and cringed; then quit breathing as he burgled into a brain bubble thinking to himself; “That means the Triangle project will not survive the increases in land values due to environmental impact, water and sewer.... And , Yikes, it is now on the wrong side of the freeway also. What happens if we are the first high-rise in the area?”
Begis grabbed the phone to satisfy impulse and to call Claudia, “Do you want to go to the Hobbit Hole tonight?”
“Uh, sure but you have to pick me up after work in Sharpstown,” replied Claudia.
“At the shopping center; or at your house?”
The morning chat group had dispersed and all had gone to their own cubicles. Begis never stopped staring blindly at the pile of drawings on his drawing board. “No wonder the Triangle is not working out, all those soggy bottom types living right there in Montrose. And, developments nearby are dragging their twats. The plans are too tedious. How is Bogota going to justify all our time on this one?” all in Begis’ head. “I wonder what Stanley Tigerman would do with this site?” thought Begis to himself. “I wonder what the Chicago Seven would do.”
The following is how the mind of Begis functions on occasions like this; when a puzzle piece seems not to be part of the over all picture. His mind, having been pinched and augmented somehow, would launch into note-taking databases of information storerooms.
His body of work was a bramble of specifications tucked away to help in times of indecision. Experiential events that held significant amounts of information that support design decisions Begis would have to make. There were events in storage that would become authenticated on application. So he had to go into deep thought.
It was a backward, reverse sort continuum of vaults' opening from recent to past. It included his personal experiences; other history was sketchy in there. Begis sat sinking again more deeply in to himself, until he was in a state of inertia of an apparent stupor, instigated by his brain finding the shortest distance between correlations in his present state of cogitation: the brain of Begis had all metabolic systems supporting it, and it continued with humming something like this...
....During the 1970s, Booth joined the "Chicago Seven," a diverse group of architects that held a series of influential exhibitions and symposia to encourage new approaches to architecture in Chicago.....
First of all, in 1976—we began in 1975—we were the Chicago Seven and that first book about Chicago architecture. How did that come about? [It was] as a resistance to that single overriding goddamned thing, the Miesian thing. I love Mies, but it was about the descendants…So we evolved to make a way for another move in Chicago."
Stanley Tigerman continues "When I joined the AIA ...years ago you couldn’t displace another architect without letting him know. You couldn’t undercut fees. You couldn’t market, you couldn’t brand. (Tigerman, S; Interview, nd)
Now you can undercut fees, you can market, you can brand. And the AIA forces it at their conventions by spending tons of time on shit like marketing and branding! I’m asking YOU the questions. But I think encouraging signature work in formalistic ways is discouraging to people who are trying to be responsible, say, environmentally. Where were architects in the leadership field? Where were architects when ADA loomed large on the horizon? Were they leaders in terms of sustainability; absolutely not? (Tigerman, interview)...The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] was signed into law on January 1, 1970. The Act establishes national environmental policy and goals for the protection, maintenance, and enhancement of the environment and it provides a process for implementing these goals within the federal agencies. The Act also establishes the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The complete text of the law is available for review at NEPA net.
Notes to self: Timeline needed...The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended ...Publication L 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, January 1, 1970, as amended by Pub L 94-52, July 3, 1975, Pub L 94-83, August 9, 1975, and Pub L 97-258, § 4(b), Sept. 13, 1982 ... establishment of a Council on Environmental Quality, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that this Act may be cited as the "National Environmental Policy Act of 1969."
Begis was on a row, a bloody row of logic...
Purpose Sec. 2 [42 USC § 4321] ...The purposes of this Act are: To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; ....
........ There was commotion at the front doors, enough to start Begis returning from his brain- bubble existence and he exclaimed to no one around:
“Those are all names of streets in Houston!” the answer to the morning’s radio quiz.
The front doors swung open and in walked store planning VP from Main Street Stores; Gary Zakiewicz, big farmer looking dude. Tall, young and long-armed; he always wore dark tailored suits and red themed rep ties; he always walked just like some actor he couldn’t place. He seemed to be... “Oh, now I remember: Andy Griffith.”
Zakiewicz wore big black shined Florsheims that accented his long heel to toe, giant, country stride. Begis was reminded of his former Tom Jones fan turned hippie-sister-in-law’s paranoiac assessment of Nark’ shoes: “That’s how you can tell if a Nark’ is around. Always look at their shoes,” she had said.
Begis thought back, "I think she liked to fantasize about size of men’s' feet. I don’t think it kept her out of trouble, though,” thought Begis to himself.
The way Zakiewicz dressed was obviously en vogue Vice Prez uniform at Main Street. He had single break, no cuff, no pleats pants; someone said he had been in the Coast Guard. From his cubicle Begis noticed Zakiewicz had more grey in his hair than last time he saw him six months ago at Bogota’s Christmas Party.
Zakiewicz got along with Rusty Speck, somehow, and as he marched pass Rusty’s cubicle, Rusty said, “Oh, oh... here comes trouble.” The funniest thing about it was that Rusty later began dressing like old, young man Zakiewicz.
Everyone else gave Zakiewicz the hairy eyeball. He was oblivious, of course, being at the top of his game. He marched right up to Carol. She looked up as if she had not noticed the entrance march and she said: “Hi, Gary. Paul will be right out.”
“Carol, did those plans arrive here from Headquarters?” asked VP Zakiewicz.
“Let me ask Begis,” she said and picked up the handset.
Begis answered, “Yes, they are in the conference room. Carol, I think Bogota has assigned Russell to head that team.”
Begis kept looking at the layout on his table while spitting his monotone into the phone; contemplating the mass of cement needed to pour the piers, and cast the basement walls. "Who's going to tie all that rebar off?"
“All that concrete -- too hot... it sucks,” he breathed a curse at the design. To make this design better would put Begis in the role of authoritarian. Begis is a very reluctant authoritarian.
“The famed Chicken ranch at La Grange ceases operations according to Mayor of that town. Much of the shut down has to do with Channel 13's reporter Marvin Zindler’s investigative report started way back on August 2, 1973,” blurted an announcer to his morning radio listening day-time crowd of Greater Houston and outlying areas.
Begis thought to himself; “I’ve got to get me some of those Florsheims." He took a deep satisfying breath, first of the day: "Maybe tonight before I pick up Claudia.”
ª Leon Rinko is a fictional columnist for the former Houston Post daily newspaper. Begis read his column every Thursday when it appeared and sometimes Sunday. It was one significant thing he and his owner/boss Bogota had in common. Begis also listened to Gulf Wind Radio public broadcasts that sometimes included interviews with Rinko.
Begis = Ray-gis only with a "b"