Jamie Sinz

Can it be June already?

June 8, 2013

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Hand Quilted

Spring came and went this year before I could catch my breath. My not-so-new job leaves me exhausted most days to the point where all I can do is come home to sit on the couch and watch shows. I don’t see it as a sign of laziness, but rather a sign of satisfaction. I am working hard and it is stressful, but it is a satisfying stress. I know the work we are doing is leading to students and professors getting a little more out of their days than they did before. Also, my colleagues teach me something new every day, and because of this, I am becoming a better architect.

Other than work, Nik and I have been making the most of our weekends. We took a long drive up to the Russian River Valley, spent all of Memorial Day weekend with family here in the Bay Area (some were visiting, some live here), have gone on several long bike rides, and have had many breakfasts at our favorite neighborhood coffee shop while doing laundry. Next weekend we are heading south to Monterey to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary before coming back to the city to cheer a friend on as she completes the SF Marathon! Then the following weekend we will be driving north to Bolinas to have dinner with friends on a farm.

Speaking of weddings, I finally took a photos of our finished wedding quilt. I made the quilt top from the flags that hung at our wedding ceremony and then hand quilted it. I finished it just before our 1-year anniversary, and we use it all the time.

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Our Wedding Blanket

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Russian River Valley

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April 6, 2013 – Seven Years after our very first date

 


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Starting the Year off Right

March 31, 2013

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

2013 has already been an amazing year for our household. To make sense of it all, I give you a timeline:

Wednesday, January 2 – I was officially granted my Architect’s license from the state of California.
Thursday, January 3 – I decided it was time for me to get a full time job.
Friday, January 11 – I had an interview at a firm that I had been curious about, but didn’t think much of it.
Monday, January 28 – Nik handed in his letter of resignation after a happy year and a half.
Friday, February 1 – Had a 2nd interview, was quite impressed this time, and was offered the job. I accepted!
Friday, February 8 – Nik had his last day of work.
Saturday, February 9 – Monday, February 18 – Ten days of double unemployment bliss that included lots of celebrating and a much needed trip to Lake Tahoe.
Tuesday, February 19 – My first day of work as an architect, and Nik’s first day where he was able to focus on anything he wanted.

Honestly, we have been extremely fortunate, and we thank our lucky stars every single day. When the year started, Nik had already decided to leave his job, but we had no clue how long it would take me to find one. We worried about the awkward and stressful overlap where we were both trying to start something new without an income in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Granted, there is still a little stress associated with both of us starting something new, but it is stress brought on by excitement and anticipation of great things.

I am still getting used to the regular schedule. My work day starts earlier than Nik’s used to, and it is often later than his used to be as well. My body is also not as resilient to the long hours as it used to be, and working 40+ hours a week wears me out. I expect that this will calm down after my first big deadline on May 1, but then there will be another deadline a couple months later. It is an endless cycle in the world of architecture, but it is extremely satisfying work. It has been a while since I felt like I was part of a larger team that is passionate about the work they do, and I cannot wait to see what this group is capable of.

Home sweet home for a couple days

Home sweet home for a couple days

My fellow unemployed spouse

My fellow unemployed spouse

The Picnic Spot

The Picnic Spot


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Japan: More from Tokyo

February 17, 2013

A true Japanese Garden

A true Japanese Garden

Here is the second round of photos from Tokyo. It seems like the trip was so long ago!!!

A typical pharmacy storefront

A typical pharmacy storefront

The incredible hand laid stone walls of the Imperial Palace

The incredible hand laid stone walls of the Imperial Palace

Me & Him

Me & Him

Fall colors in the Imperial Garden

Fall colors in the Imperial Garden

Roof Tiles

Roof Tiles

Walking in the woods

Walking in the woods

Tokyo's man-made beach - Odaiba

Tokyo’s man-made beach – Odaiba

Street side flowers ready for pick up?

Street side flowers ready for pick up?

Repetition

Repetition

Our view of Mt Fuji

Our view of Mt Fuji

Crispy remains

Crispy remains

The River Ferry

The River Ferry

Overpasses

Overpasses

Delivery Scooter

Delivery Scooter

Nik and the garden he wished was his

Nik and the garden he wished was his

The tea house at Hamarikyu Gardens

The tea house at Hamarikyu Gardens

Palettes with Characters

Palettes with Characters

Prayers

Prayers

Wedding Procession

Wedding Procession

Temple Gate

Temple Gate

Prize Flower

Prize Flower

Fuji Sake

Fuji Sake

Offerings of sake at Mieji Shrine

Offerings of sake at Mieji Shrine

The teen shopping mecca

The teen shopping mecca


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Japan: Exploring Tokyo

February 2, 2013

A hidden neighborhood favorite for Japanese Pancakes

A hidden neighborhood favorite for Japanese Pancakes

Nik and I went to Japan last year over Thanksgiving, and I have yet to say a peep about it!! The two week trip to Tokyo and Kyoto provided the perfect escape. We explored both cities to the point that we could barely stand at the end of each day only to repeat our torture the following day.

The vacation was somewhat impulsive in that we purchased our plane tickets just two months ahead of time, and made our final hotel reservation a week before we departed. We made very few concrete plans, and allowed ourselves to wander aimlessly through the cities (stopping frequently at convenient stores to stock up on snacks). Luckily, Nik did activate an international data plan on his phone so that we always knew where we were and could find restaurants while we were out and about. This batch of photos is hopefully the first of many I took, and if you want to see Nik’s account of the adventure on his brand-spanking-newly-designed website, click the link below:

Nik’s Blog: 10 Posts from Japan

 

Bicycle Parking

Bicycle Parking

Cage lights at the fish market

Cage lights at the fish market

The fish market shuffle

The fish market shuffle

Corner store

Corner store

A typical sidewalk

A typical sidewalk

Street Sign

Street Sign

The little one's wheels

The little one’s wheels

Pattern

Pattern

Push cart

Push cart

Ladder

Ladder

Clean

Clean

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Market Price

Market Price

"Yay, the leaves are pretty!"

“Yay, the leaves are pretty!”

Ginko

Ginko

Intersection

Intersection

Temple

Temple

Traditional Structures

Traditional Structures

School time

School time

Front Porch

Front Porch

Buildings

Buildings

Cemetary

Cemetary

Pedestrian Bridge

Pedestrian Bridge

Street sign

Street sign

Field Trip

Field Trip

Tourists

Tourists

Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center by Kengo Kuma and Associates

View from the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center

View from the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center

Pottery

Pottery

Electronics Mecca

Electronics Mecca

View from our hotel

View from our hotel

Government Building

Government Building

Mesh bags used to protect trash from bird invasion

Mesh bags used to protect trash from bird invasion

Birds on a wire...I mean metal bar

Birds on a wire…I mean metal bar

The gentlemen's lunch spot

The gentlemen’s lunch spot

The ladies' lunch spot

The ladies’ lunch spot

Parks

Parks


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A Thursday Picnic

January 17, 2013

Our first stop at the top of our hardest hill in the Presidio

Our first stop at the top of our hardest hill in the Presidio

Nik has been working nonstop since January 2, and has not had a single day off until yesterday. He spent the day at home relaxing and going stir crazy. But today, I had the day off as well, so we took a bike ride to Fort Cronkhite in the Marin Headlands. We rode through the Presidio, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and along the tunnel route out to the ocean. Our bags were packed with water, sandwiches and snacks so we perched above the beach with hopes of seeing whales or dolphins. As we ate, a large production crew filmed at the beach and several groups of middle school kids hiked along the path behind us. At least one kid in each group proclaimed, “I’M THE KING OF THE MOUNTAIN” as they stood behind us. We chuckled at their predictability!!

All told, we went about 20 miles, and we both needed the exercise because neither of us have been on our bikes regularly due to the cold weather and Nik’s schedule. It was a perfect first ride of the year, and I hope to do several more. Really, I want to rent a proper road bikes and do a super long ride up to Pt Reyes. Nik isn’t entirely convinced, but I think we would love it.

I will never tire of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge

I will never tire of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge

San-francisco

From the bridge

My companion for life

My companion for life

Our picnic spot

Our picnic spot

Looking south towards the city

Looking south towards the city


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