Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The AT cure interview

The Interview from AT: the eight-step home cure

List your favorites in each category:
Actress: Meg Ryan, Hillary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Jodie Foster, Mary Stuart Masterson, Janeane Garofalo
Actor: Tom Hanks, Edward Norton, Tim Robbins, Robin Williams
Artist: Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Alfred Stieglitz (photographer), Victor Horta (architect), Victor Hugo (author/artist), David Mack (graphic novelist)
Writer: Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Anthony Bourdain, Chuck Palahniuk
Music: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Audioslave, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, Carmina Burana, Samuel Barber (composer), Joshua Bell (violinist)
Restaurant: Oregano’s for Italian, Chicago Hamburger Co. for sloppy burgers, Ranch House Grille for local diner, Chelsea’s Kitchen for decent sit-down American, Noodle Ranch for Asian fusion, Sushi 202 for Japanese, Indian Delhi Palace for Indian, CafĂ© Lalibela for Ethiopian
Automobile: old-school Jaguars just for the shape, most Toyotas for their reliability and endurance, four-door sedans to fit my friends and for their practicality
Television Show: The Biggest Loser for its inspirational qualities; random shows on HGTV, CreateTV, and the Food Network for its ideas; Whose Line Is It, Anyway? because it cracks my shit up; The Twilight Zone for its sheer creativity and storytelling
Clothing: pffft … comfy jeans and t-shirt … a V-neck t-shirt to make it maybe stylish? Practical shoes (flats). *shrugs*

How would you describe your style (3 words)?
1. Comfortable
2. Organic
3. Practical

Personal History
Where have you lived? The suburbs of Oxnard, CA (see below); the college dorms at Arizona State in Tempe, AZ; a couple of apartments with close friends in Tempe; a couple of rooms in a couple of houses in Tempe with good acquaintances/friends; a house in Mesa, AZ, with good friends; a room in a house in east Mesa with a good friend and his mom; an apartment in Phoenix—my first time intentionally living alone!; and a condo I bought in Phoenix—close to work, pretty suburban, with a stark combo of upper and middle class singles and families .

Where were you born: I spent my first 18 years in an agricultural beach-side, predominantly Mexican community. Most of the locals were blue collar or field workers, and those with money had waterfront homes and were usually white. I lived in the suburbs, originally mostly blue collars, but was starting to become more white collar when I left in ’94. Our house started as a standard-issue tract house, but my dad—creative, inventive, and skilled—did a lot to turn just a house into a home. He plowed under the front and back yards to make gardens, both for produce and for flowers. He added siding, stonework, and other architectural details to the outside, and paneling, tiles, and an extra room including a two-way fireplace/barbecue to the inside. Consistent with their cultural upbringing, my Filipino parents decorated in what I myself would almost consider gaudy, but really wasn’t—it was all rich in textures, done in rich metallics and deep earth tones. My dad built or at least designed a great deal of whatever furniture wasn’t upholstered—China cabinets, bookshelves, dressers, etc. For the longest time, I thought I’d use whatever fortune I could amass to have that house uprooted and shipped to wherever I decided to settle in my old age.

Where you grew up: See above.

As an adult: The college town of Tempe, then the more conservative Mesa, and now the professional environment of Phoenix, on the border of Scottsdale (also known as Snottsdale because it’s infamous for its snotty rich residents)

Whom would you consider a role model?
I’d look to both my parents as role models.

What three adjectives describe the qualities that you admire in this person (what I want to be in life)?
1. Self-sufficient
2. Focused
3. Hardy

1. Creative
2. Skilled
3. Not needy

What is the problem with your apartment (3 words)(how I feel about myself right now)?
1. Overbooked (I expect it to do too many things at once, and do them all well)
2. Naked (Just like me, it can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be wearing, so it dresses for function over form)
3. Distracted (Um … hey, what’s that over there? And look at this over here!)

If your apartment could speak, what would it say is the problem?
“What do you want me to do? Make up your mind, please?”

What one thing would you like to do or do more of in your apartment?
Have more friends over!

Eight weeks from now, when this project is done, if friends come to visit, how would you like them to describe your home (3 words)(want I want for my future)?
1. Loved
2. Comfortable
3. Welcoming

I answered slowly, had too many answers, and was very eclectic. Therefore, AT’s analysis would say that I need to be pushed, I want to to fit a lot in and may have trouble with clutter (need editing), and my style may not be focused or I may be conflicted about how I want to be perceived (need to be clarified).

On the health quiz, my condo scored a 9, but just barely, and a couple of answers were debatable: Healthy. Comfortable. Could use improvement in at least one area and toning all around. Why do we divide the number of yes answers by sixteen? My answer was 0.56.

I think I can interpret my answers into a design. I started a style tray set in my flickr account. I'd upload a slew of Art Nouvea art, especially from Gustav Klimt, Victor Horta, and Alphonse Mucha, but I don't necessarily want my home filled with those. I want to use their style and sense of color as accents, but not as the basis of my stule because I think all the swoops and twirls would overwhelm my little space.

In the book, Maxwell's example talked about how his client's answers indicated that her style was both low-maintenance and high-end. Looking at my answers, I think they show that my style is comfortable, accessible, and low-maintenance, but also stimulating without being overwhelming. I wouldn't call my style elegant, but organic, as Art Nouveau was built on organic imagery.

Maxwell's client had always had a stable home, and I did, too, until I was 18. After that, I seemed to move every year or two. I bought a place just so I could quit that, since I really am a home body and like stability. I guess I just don't feel like I really own the place, though.

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