Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Post for Chris O.

I am doing good today.

Blah blah blah....filler filler filler...yadda yadda yadda...doesn't matter what I say because you skip this part anyway...bada bing bada boom.

Yup...today was great.

p.s. Love and kisses to you and Jeff!


Monday, April 27, 2009

!#%(&!***@ series........(ie: I spoke too soon)

I just heard that the final Wheel of Time book (A Memory of Light) will not be concluding the series this October.


Tor Books just announced that "A Memory of Light" will be a trilogy and come out as follows:
Book 12-1 "The Gathering Storm" to be released November 3, 2009
Book 12-2 "Shifting Winds" to be released Fall of 2010
Book 12-3 "Tarmon Gai'don" to be released Fall of 2011

I get the reasoning behind this and all but freaking crap....hasn't this series had us waiting long enough? I was getting ready to start reading it from the beginning (all 12 books if you count the prequel) so I'd be ready for this fall.

Forget that.

I will still buy it when it comes out this fall (I have all of the others in hardback already...no point in swapping to paperback now). However, I think I will wait until the final 3 books are published before reading them. I will probably start the series from the beginning about 6 months before the final release date so I will be able to finally read the entire thing through without being left on freaking cliffhangers anymore.

Honestly, as much as I love this series, after nearly 20 years its time to wind the thing up already.

One Man's Trash.....

is another man's treasure.

I've been thinking about this a bit lately....that and the uniqueness of you, me and the average Joe living down the street.

Case-in-point. Last night, leaving Jason's place after our Sunday dinner/Smallville fest, I looked up and saw a beautiful sight that literally took my breath away...Earthshine.

Of course my camera isn't the best for taking images over such distances, so while I was digging my camera out of my case, I told Jase he needed to see this and how he should go get his camera (his is much better than mine so I hoped he could get a decent shot). With some reluctance he dutifully got his camera and tripod and tried taking a few shots for me before stating that they would probably not turn out because his tripod was broken (I haven't purchased one yet but its on the list of stuff I need to get). He then said something that gave me pause...while acknowledging that he knew I loved this stuff it really wasn't his sort of thing.

I guess I hadn't thought of it too much. Looking back I now realize that my roommate does give me a bit of a grunt more than interest when I point out what planets are shining above and lovely juxtapositions of moon and stars. I knew that not everyone was overly observant about the world around them but it dawned on me on that drive home that some people just weren't interested. It may look pretty and thrill me to pieces, but to some people if it didn't effect them personally then there was really no point in looking. I am not just talking about stellar events here...a lot of people don't seem to notice the flowers, the sunset, the beauty that can be seen in really anything if you care to really look.

Funny, because seeing beauty all around me is one of the things that make it worth while getting up in the morning. If you aren't seeing the wonder of the world around you then I can see why so many people are just "going through the motions".

Its like going to yard sales. The ones that so many people tend to sniff at because "its all used or outdated trash". Personally I love yard sales. My grandmother used to pour over the Saturday morning paper during the "selling season". Long before the time I'd get there she'd have her highlighter out marking the paper up and deciding which sales she'd have the best luck at and planning out a driving strategy. For her the sale was the ultimate hunt for bargains (and goodness knows she hauled home far more than her fair share of junk but she'd end up with great deals as well). Long after she couldn't walk well anymore she'd still have me drive around and then insist I go by really slow so she could get a look at what was for sale. Often she'd turn to me and ask "did you see anything good?" because you can only drive by so slowly and making several loops around the block to scope out the same sale would look a bit creepy. I'd often tell her "no" even though I knew she'd have loved to go through the pile of small size women's shoes (she could never get enough shoes in her life) or to thumb through yet another stack of 8-tracks.

The point was that amongst the bits and pieces of broken toys, tangled jewelry and pile of self-help books, that you often would find bits of treasure, overlooked by the general public. Okay, maybe no one else was as big of a fan of that particular author or no one wanted glass goblets in that shade of red...but the fun was the search. To keep your eyes open on the hunt for hidden pockets of gold amongst the dross.

Not that all of life is a yard sale...but I do believe that in order to find beauty in life you do have to look for it. Sure, sometimes it falls in your lap, but if you aren't paying attention a lot of it falls by the wayside. But then what appeals to one person may not necessarily appeal to another. There are tons of things that would have one guy drooling (beer steins from Oktoberfest 1903 with commemorative bottle opener/nose picker) that I wouldn't have given the time of day to...so its all subjective.

I guess that's one of the things that makes this life (and we inhabitants of it)so wonderfully diverse.

Friday, April 24, 2009

8 Things...

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. Graduating with my Bachelor's degree next fall
2. My trip to Alaska next summer (reward for accomplishing #1)
3. Visiting Yancy and Leah in New York next spring
4. Going to Cirque du Soleil's performance in SLC this August
5. Getting more of this weight off (slow but steady wins the race, right? So far so good)
6. Seeing the new Star Trek film next month (yes I am a geek)
7. Getting to finally know how it all ends when the final "Wheel of Time" book is released this October (finally!)
8. Buying a hammock for the back yard and RELAXING a day or two this summer

8 things I did yesterday:

1. Went to work
2. Skipped lunch (again!)
3. Got a haircut
4. Spent way too much at the grocery store (last time I shop at Harmons...its expensive)
5. Made plans for girls night tonight with Cynthia (chick flicks! tacos! RELAXATION!)
6. Finally watched "Bedtime Stories" (I rented it from Redbox a week ago!)
7. Realized I forgot to buy hummus while I was at the store, and then remembered it was because I couldn't find it in the store...added it to my WalMart shopping list for tomorrow
8. Insomnia big time (I've had difficulty getting to sleep this entire week really)

8 things I wish I could do:

1. Its silly but I wish I could do cartwheels like when I was a kid
2. Find time to get more stuff made to put on my etsy shop
3. Find time to get more photography trips in the area
4. Remember where that function is in photoshop...seriously, every time I open the program I swear my functions have hidden in new sections
5. Go to Alaska or New York sooner
6. Spend a weekend with my sisters
7. Be at the ocean....right now
8. Draw better....I guess I will need to find time to practice more

8 shows I watch: (not that I watch these on a regular basis...I don't watch a lot of tv....most of these I catch on re-runs on cable rather than watch each week)

1. Castle
2. America's Next Top Model (c'mon...we all have to have at least one reality show as a guilty pleasure)
3. House MD
4. Heroes (waiting for current season to come out on dvd)
5. Lost (same as #4)
6. Smallville (Jase and I are currently in Season 6)
7. I was watching Battlestar Galactica but it just ended....bummer
8. 3-way tie between Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Last Restaurant Standing and What Not To Wear (I don't watch these religiously...I only watch if I am flipping through the stations and they happen to be on)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

8 Days...The Big Finale

Bet you thought I'd forgotten to post this, hadn't you?

Nope...not a chance.

Actually I spent some time today thinking about some of the things that make me happy.
Here are just a few of them....by no means is this all-inclusive.

"Here we go again" by Okay Go (aka the treadmill dance) this never fails to put a smile on my face.

Crows (see yesterday's blog)

Alaska has fascinated me for ever since I was 9 or 10 (yes Jason, a book is to blame) and I am excited to be taking a vacation there next year as a graduation present to myself.

Sirius. One wonderful thing about moving to Utah is that my favorite star is visible nearly all year here....in Washington it is visible late winter/early spring only and the sky was usually too cloudy to see it well at all. A few tidbits...Sirius was found to be a double star but some people believe that it may actually be 3 stars. As the brightest "star" in our skies Sirius has the sad placing to be part of the constellation Canis Major leading it to have the lousy nickname "Dog Star". It is also responsible for the phrase "the dog days of summer". In certain conditions you can see that baby in the daytime...now I love the night sky, but Sirius is my favorite. Another one of those weird "don't know why I love it but I do" things.

Cherry and Coke flavored Slurpees (yes you must mix the flavors). Yum!

Family....my sisters especially.

When I was little I saw the Disney cartoon "Cinderella"and fell in love with her blue ballgown. At night I would recite "starlight, starbright" and fervently wish that the dress would be under my bed the next morning. It never was. A few years ago I was at a yard sale with my grandmother and there, in a bin, was a little girl's Cinderella costume. I didn't even have the dime that the dress cost but oh how I wanted it but grandma noticed how much I kept looking at it and then wordlessly added it to her pile. It may have taken years, it certainly wasn't under my bed and it will certainly never fit me but I finally got my dress. I still have it today, currently hanging on my closet door. It still makes me happy every time I see it.

The fact that my favorite band when I was a teenager is still going strong, and still as hot as ever. Seriously, how many people can claim that about bands they loved in the 80's?

Gray, foggy days...torrential downpours...watching lightning flashes in a storm...endless mountain peaks fading into the distance covered with fragrant pines...bird calls...the feel of wool, soft and scratchy at the same time...the color of amber...sunlight sparkling on water...books that you can fall into time and again...the way a certain smell can trigger memories of times long gone...the smell of freshly cut grass...poetry and alliteration...blue jeans and tennis shoes...the joy of getting a fun catalog in the mail, like Sundance or Coldwater Creek...watching the snow drift down when you are safe and snug at home...the art of Maurice Sendak...fairy tales...fall leaves crunching underfoot...pumpkins (both as decoration and to eat)...

This is just a few of the things that make me happy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

8 Days....Day 8 has been rescheduled to respond to teachinfourth's blog "the crow"

Today I find myself at the end of my 8 days....and I am sad to see it go. I've really started noticing more and more things that delight me and I quickly found myself "out of time" so to speak, to list them all. Today was going to be a grand list of many things that make me happy.

That has been moved to a special Day 8 round-up post that will be listed tomorrow.

Why? Because of a blog by Teachinfourth that posted last night. In it he talks about one of my favorite creatures on the planet....one that definately was on my list of happy things....the crow.

I have loved crows for as long as I can remember. Sure they do not have the sleekness of the hawk, the beauty of bluejays and cardinals, nor the song of the sparrow...but something has always attracted me to them. Anyone who has ever seen a murder of crows soaring overhead has witnessed to their grace and majesty. Fallen feathers have shown a prism effect in their wings that I loved...a sort of hidden beauty in the depths.

Perhaps its because I was not attractive myself growing up...I was clumsy and awkward and felt out of place most of the time and was teased and ridiculed by my peers. Who know really; crows just always seemed to mean something...more. As I grew older and began to show interest in my heritage I found I am part Native American. Hmmmm...maybe some older, earthier part of myself had found its totem. I hid that secret thought deep inside for years thinking I was just being weird (as usual). Seriously, why in the world would someone want the crow as a totem anyway?

About 3 years ago I came across a reference in a book I was reading. It mentioned an old legend but didn't go into details...a passing mention more than anything in the narrative. It made me curious so I started looking into it. The story I found was amazing. I found myself thinking on it from time to time and it made my appreciation for the crow just that much more meaningful. Of course it is just a tale, but what a tale it was.

Why do I tell you this? Well, Teachinfourth's blog got me thinking (once again) of the mythology of how the crow came to be such a dark figure....a story I am sure many people have never heard, but always thrills me whenever I hear it. I am sharing that story today. Many different tribes have a variation of this story, passed down through storytellers throughout the generations...stories that are still told (and performed in dances) today. It is the story of the Rainbow Crow and this is my narrative.

Crow, you see, wasn't always such a dark and dismal figure. She was once celebrated among the People for her feathers of every color and her singing voice that was far sweeter than any songbird. She brought joy and lightness into the hearts of all that saw her soar and heard her soft song. Crow saw how her pressence eased the hearts of the People and strove to be near them. It was said that the Great Creator himself would turn his face to the world in order to hear her song clearer and to catch a glimpse of her beauty and the days were good.

One day the weather changed. Snow and ice began to fall from the sky, stirred by the winds. The snows piled deeper and deeper and the animals soon migrated away. The People were cold and starving, unable to leave their homes for fear they would not find them again in the drifting snows.

Crow heard the People's lament and knew she was not bound to the earth, blocked by mounds of snow. She decided she would fly until she found the Spirit of the Winds and ask him to stop stirring the snow and to blow warm winds to the lands again.

She set upon her journey and flew for days, sometimes just one wingbeat behind him, but not quite catching up, for the Spirit of the Winds was ever moving and never to be found in the same place for more than a few minutes. One morning luck was upon her for she found him swirling in an eddy in the corner of a valley and plead her case with him. The Spirit of the Winds was sorry but replied he could only work with what the Great Creator gave him. It was his job to blow the winds, regardless of what the winds brought. He suggested she speak to the Great Creator himself as it was he who had created the snows in the first place.

Tired from her journey, Crow nevertheless launched herself into the skies on her long journey to see the Great Creator. After endless days with no rest Crow reached the Great Creator and humbly gave her request. The Great Creator was touched by Crow's concern for the People but could not stop the snows. It was his way that what he thought of came into being and, once created, could not be unmade. Crow pleaded with the Great Creator, vowing to do anything he asked of her if he would only spare her People.

The Great Creator thought and then handed Crow a sacred stick. He told her the magic would not last, but if she was brave enough he would allow her to fly to the sun to bring fire back to the People. Crow thanked the Creator, took the stick and flew to the sun. Upon lighting the stick she turned on her journey homewards. In fear for her People, Crow flew as fast as she could...so fast that the smoke from the burning stick began to dull her wings and burn at the back of her throat.

Crow returned and presented the stick to the People who rejoiced at the warmth she brought. She tried to join in but was startled at the loud caw that issued from her throat. What had happened to her beautiful song, she wondered. She then looked down and saw how the soot and smoke had burnt her feathers and how they were black and singed. In shame she hid from the People and cried tears over her loss. She did not regret what she had done, but worried over the price she had paid. How would she be able to lift the people without her song and glorious plummage?

Crow then heard a voice calling her from the distance. It was the Great Creator himself, come to see Crow. Crow hid herself in a thicket, not wanting to be seen in such a condition, but the Creator found her and called her from her hiding place. He admonished Crow for hiding away from the world when the world was rejoicing in the warmth she had brought.

The Creator stretched forth a hand and began wiping away the soot and the blackened feathers took on new life. When he was finished he stepped back and gave Crow a hard look. Her sacrifice, he said, would not be in vain. While it was true that he could not restore her voice or her glorious coat of feathers to their original form, he could bestow upon her a gift. Look down, he said gently as the sun's rays pierced the clouds and settled around her. Crow did as he asked and was astounded to see that in her black wings all the colors of the rainbow sparkled in their depths.

This, said the Creator, is my gift to you. It will stand as a reminder to the People of what you sacrificed in order to save them. And the People came and sang her praises and from that time on, Crow has been loved by the People. Her song became myth and her beauty forgotten. The People loved Crow more than ever and still rejoice in the gift that she gave to them.

For those who look closely, the crow still does hold all of the colors of the rainbow in her wings...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ever wonder what's in the fountain of youth?

According to a new scientific study, the fountain of youth flows with fat.

Yup. Something we hefties have known for awhile....being fat helps fill out the wrinkles and makes you look younger.

Don't believe me? Here's the proof.

8 Days....Day 7

Okay, we all know what a major movie buff I am. I am sure that at some point in this blog I have mentioned how excited I am for this year's summer lineup...after all it includes the origins of Wolverine (though I am more of a Cyclops fan personally). I am all but bouncing up and down in my seat for the Star Trek prequel (17 days left!)and lets not forget the new Terminator movie starring England's bad boy, Christian Bale. I am not as excited for the new Harry Potter...sure I'll go see it but the pushbacks in release date have left me wondering if it will really be worth all of the hype.

But how about next year's slate?

I am squealing over the news that a remake of Clash of the Titans will be in theaters next summer....not only that but Liam Neeson has just signed on as Zeus and he will be joined by the amazing Ralph Fiennes who will be playing Hades. The screenplay is by the ever excellent Lawrence Kasdan so I have high hopes for an amazing experience.

Movie geek? Me?

You betcha.

Monday, April 20, 2009

8 Days....Day 6

A lot of things made me happy today.

First, I was so refreshed from my weekend of "relaxation" that I got a lot done at work.

Second, the weather was so nice again that we were able to open the windows and the bay door of the warehouse so the office was filled with the scent of the crab apple blossoms outside the building behind ours.

Third, I came home and saw that Annie had asked a neighbor's son to come mow our lawn. The air coming in my room at this moment is amazing. Seriously, the smell of freshly cut lawn is so mmmmmmmmmmmm good.

Fourth, chicken salad sandwich for dinner and strawberries for dessert. Yum!

I guess more than anything yesterday and today's happiness was all about scents...so here are a few of my favorite scents:

Tabu powder (grandma used to wear it and it reminds me of her), freshly baked bread (especially when you know a hot slice of bread with butter will be coming your way), woodsmoke in the fall, freshly mown grass, that mix of oil and gas that comes from leaning over a hot engine, the earthy green scent of pines, freshly sawn logs, the smell of ink from a new magazine, the smell (and feel) of wool, the last breath of dying leaves in the fall, newly turned dirt in the garden, tomato plants when you brush up against them and sandalwood.

I could go on and on but that, for the most part, are the scents that I love the most.

8 Days....Day 5

What made me happy on Sunday was how beautiful the weather was. I sat in my room in my comfy chair, laptop at the ready (trying vainly to do homework) but just kept drifting off into daydreams. The air coming in through my window (which, conveniently, my chair sits right next to) was sweet and warm and the sky was so blue and the birds were singing that it made anything else hard to focus on. I kept breathing in that delicious air and looking forward to the joy of being able to keep my window open at night again.

The cats enjoyed it too....they kept running from open window to open window sniffing madly and going completely bezerk everytime a bird happened to fly past their perch.

Very relaxing....very soothing....very much needed.

It didn't hurt that I made a delicious quiche for dinner either......

Saturday, April 18, 2009

8 Days....Day 4

This made me smile...although, as a cat lover, it shouldn't have.

How to wash a toilet

This was simply too much of a time saver not to share it with you.

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power-wash and rinse'.

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can and quickly lift the lid.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

8 Days....Day 3

What made me happy today was a 3-day weekend. With the hours I worked this last week I only had to use 3 hours of vacation time to make 40 hours.....so cool. The guys didn't call me once and I spent the day between watching movies, reading, cleaning up a bit around the house and making pot roast for dinner. After how many hours I worked the week before it was wonderful to have a day with no plans whatsoever in order to totally relax.

Today I still have movies playing but I am heating up soup made from last night's broth, baked potatoes and roast. Mmmmmmmmm. I am also catching up on the homework I fell behind on while modifying those European switches last week.

What's playing right now? A marvelous movie that I adore called "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Strange little film, but I love Jim Carrey's dramatic roles. His comedy leaves me cold because he tends to go way overboard but he's a wonderful dramatic actor. Loved him in "The Truman Show" and "The Magestic". "Number 23" was good too....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

8 Days....Day 2

Waking up in a winter wonderland.

Yesterday it snowed off and on....enough to stick to the car and create a white-out that you couldn't see more than 100 feet through...yet wasn't sticking to the roads. By the time I went to bed at 10 the snow had stopped though it was still clinging to the lawn.

This morning I woke up and the world was covered in white with a brilliant blue sky above. The neighbor's tree was covered in thick snow and bent to the ground....on our side of the fence! I grabbed my camera and ran out to snap some pictures. I didn't think to take standard shots...mostly I was focused on macro this morning but it was so beautiful (and amazingly warm out...it must've been in the low 40's at least). Sadly, an hour later and everything is melting fast. What was once 6" on my car this morning is pouring off the rooftops and the roads are wet and bare. I actually rolled my window down on the drive in because the air was warm and smelled amazing.

Wish I could be out playing in it this morning, rather than at work. It definately won't last...temperatures for this weekend are to be in the 60's and its going to be uber sunny.

Winter's one last laugh as if to say "Spring break? Don't think so!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eight Days....Day 1

My favorite author, Tanya Huff, posted a fun blog this morning where for 8 days straight you post things that make you happy. In a world where bad news is all we seem to hear lately it's nice to remember that there are plenty of good things out there. Maybe the good news isn't being shouted from the rooftops...but its still all around us.

My first happiness was found on Etsy. The site doesn't allow me to post the picture, but click on the link to find a truly delightful shop. For those not inclined to click the link, this gal features delicious earrings and pendants that look like plates of sushi, hot dogs, and the most mouth-watering desserts all guaranteed to add not an single ounce to your waistline.

While I may never purchase one of these items for myself, it certainly made me smile when I stumbled upon it this morning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gallery of the Graphic Designer-Tropicana

Okay....I've been asked to show some of my work. I'll keep posting more stuff...probably one per day for as long as I have decent stuff to post. Some of my files are rather large and need to not only be compressed but changed over to gif's for uploading.

Since this is the project I got several requests about I decided to first introduce my reworking of Tropicana Pure Valencia bottle orange juice.

Here is the original bottle.

And here is my re-working. Past of the assignment was to design it for a different market. The original bottle was (in my opinion)for health purists/organics. Mine appeals (or should anyway) to upper class moms for their kids.

Feel free to leave commentary....you won't hurt my feelings.

Some of the changes I made...I didn't like how Tropicana used the word "Valencia" twice on the front label...one right on top of the other. Did they think we weren't smart enough to read it the first time? Also, for pricing issues the original label didn't fit the bottle's unique shape....it just looked odd that way to me. I couldn't find an image online of the back of the bottle (and didn't think to take a picture before I ripped the original label off) but the nutritional values were printed in white ink on a clear background....which is fine when there is juice in the bottle, but once you drank it down a bit the front label has a back printing in white so you can't read anything without sloshing the juice around in the bottle. Bad thinking on their part. So I settled for a solid label where this wouldn't be an issue.

Easter Morning

10 am.

Here I sit in the living room, breakfast sizzling on the stove (which will need attending to in a moment), our pound cake dessert safely in the oven, baking...and the sun is shining. Amazing considering how wet and drizzly the last few days have been. Easter children around the Orem/Provo area at least have a sunny yard to discover hidden eggs in.

The weather is actually what got me pondering the true meaning of the day. Today is the day that Christ rose from the grave, fulfilling his destiny as the Savior of mankind. How appropriate then after several days of gray, wet, dark weather that the sun rises gloriously bright in an azure sky, filling the land with its warm rays.

The Easter bunny may have not made a stop at my house this morning...but an even more wondrous gift arrived instead....the promise that Eternal Life is available to each and every one of us. That loved ones long since past will be reunited in one great family reunion at the end of days.

The breeze coming in through the window smells sweetly of spring...and clean from the rain. How dear to me is the coming of spring...the chance to throw open our windows to the fresh air and clean out the stale air from being cooped inside all winter. No wonder women for centuries have opened their homes for a brisk "spring cleaning" at this time of the year. A chance to throw out the old and start shining and afresh.

Hmmmm....something I think I should do now and again as well. Maybe a little spring cleaning for the soul would not be such a bad thing...something to recharge and renew us for the coming year. Maybe that is why we have church conference in the spring and fall...a way of spring cleaning our spirits for the year to come...and a bit of spiritual preserving for the winter to come.

I have noticed that tucked between the peanut butter eggs, the marshmallow peeps and the chocolate bunnies that stores are starting to carry chocolate crosses. Perhaps its a reconciliation to the christian community for turning such an awe-inspiring confirmation into something so commercial. Its funny how schools teach that Thanksgiving came about as the early settlers celebrated a good harvest...thanks to the Native Americans who showed them what to grow, what to gather and where to hunt. The bounty gathered got them through that winter without starvation. Of course we eventually stole their lands and relocated them to reservations...so much for being thankful!

Sad then that schools do not teach the true meaning of this holiday...bringing about the saving of our souls. You would think such an important part of history would be glorified. But no, modern day schoolchildren learn instead about the reign of Hitler, the assassination of Lincoln and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Its probably a good thing then that Easter falls on Sundays...this way boys and girls can be reminded of the true meaning of the day. If they can stop daydreaming about all of the candy waiting for them in bright, pastel painted baskets.

I guess the candy industry knows what it is doing...after all, I am sure it is a lot more satisfying to nibble the ears off of a chocolate bunny than to chomp down on the arms of the cross.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The joys of being tired....

For starters, you forget that you needed to do laundry so you end up going to work looking....uh....interesting. I was seriously considering a skirt today since my jeans are all dirty, but a skirt is not exactly smart when you are boxing things up, moving things around and just generally getting dirty. I found my black capri exercise pants in the back of the closet and threw them on (luckily I shaved this morning!)and then pulled on an old green shirt that I don't really wear anymore. It doesn't look bad....just not my usual office fare. Since I am still modifying switches today (which includes using caulk) its an outfit I don't mind messing up so that's a plus. At least I can look back at this week and be satisfied with all that I accomplished here at work. It doesn't make me any less tired, but at least I have something to show for it.

I am really looking forward to the weekend. Annie invited me to go to SLC tonight with her and a friend to ride the tram and wander the mall and Temple Square, but I declined. I don't think I will be working late tonight but I need an evening just doing nothing nothing and more nothing. Maybe I will go over to the lake and snap a few shots of the sunset but that's about as energetic as I plan to get.

Saturday is homework and cleaning....and baking a pound cake for sunday....with a movie or two thrown in.

Sunday should be fun....I don't know if anyone else is showing up for dinner but I picked up a small spiral ham, and am making that along with mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus (Jase is making the rolls) and then for dessert we will be having berry shortcake (I picked up a mix of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries....served on the poundcake it should be amazingly delicious!)

I also picked up additional berries that are in the freezer now....Annie found the box with my blender and I have some nonfat vanilla yogurt at home so its berry smoothie for breakfast tomorrow! (mmmmm.....anybody else drooling yet?) Needless to say dad BRING IT ON!

I have noticed a few times comments have been made about seeing some of my class work posted. You have been heard and I will respond....a few assignments will be posted over the weekend. Not a ton, but I will post some of it and I will try putting the items I talk about online from now on so you can see what I am talking about. Don't expect amazingness like the works of Waterhouse or DaVinci...I am still a beginner in most of my programs....but I do have some pieces I am really happy with.

Anyway, enough talking...I need to get going on my work day. The more I finish today the better I will feel about going home on time today.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Sorry but its going to be short and fast.

Dad called this morning to make sure everything was alright and that I was still alive and breathing (thanks Dad...love you!) He pointed out his concern because I haven't called and haven't blogged for awhile.

Just to let everyone know that yes, I am alive and well. I've been busy this week at work making modifications on a large shipment going to Great Britain that needs to ship out tomorrow. Between that and trying to get homework done I am bushed! I was lucky on tuesday that I didn't have to stay for class....I ended up getting 24 points out of 25 (he took a point off because he didn't think the fonts on the back went well with the fonts on the front of the package....he told me that individually they were both great but as a whole I needed to choose a font closer to the other I was using). No biggie. Turns out that even with the extension there were still students unprepared for class so I got to go home along with a few others while everyone else had to stay and finish their project. Needless to say he wasn't amused.

With work, I haven't finished tonight's assignment (I didn't get home last night until after 9 and I was dead tired!)but I have been given an extension to have it emailed in by midnight tomorrow and then I can show him the label on the candy bar in class next week.

Thank goodness for understanding instructors willing to cut you a break.

I am looking forward to the weekend. I still have to work on my portfolio and organize my desk (it looks like a tornado hit it) but I am also going to relax, watch a movie and catch my breath. I took a few minutes this morning to snap some photos of apple blossoms covered in rain...hopefully some of them will turn out. It rained last night and is still wet out this morning.

I love the rain and the pearly gray clouds that accompany it. Everything smells so clean....even if my shoes are damp it is worth it. Hopefully it continues at least for tomorrow....I wouldn't wish rain on the kids for this weekend, but I would enjoy it if it lasted a little longer!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Update for TGIF....

My car is fixed!!!!!

Grand total: $35

Turns out when the larger blade caught it stripped a gear that needed to be replaced.

Have I mentioned how much I love my car? I am still going to save money for a replacement (just in case) but its good to have my baby back.

Happy weekend everyone!


What a week.....

Last night I was the only one prepared for my assignment. Actually I panicked because I had pulled the labels off of the old orange juice bottle and left them at work so I ran to WalMart to grab another bottle (I had to show the original labels and my re-worked labels. I had my new labels (front and back) printed up and attached to my oj bottle by the deadline but the deadline has been extended. Why? Because no one else was even close to being done. The few that had a label sort-of worked up admitted they hadn't purchased the product and so they didn't even know if the label would fit the packaging and others hadn't even decided on a product yet.

The instructor told me if I wanted to play with my design more over the weekend that was fine with him but I turned it in anyway because I was happy with it (he was happy with it as well) and I wanted to not have to think about it anymore. Our next assignment (the candy bar) was supposed to be due Tuesday but its being extended too. I asked if it would be okay if I had it done by then and he told me not to even think about it until then. Which is a good thing since I have to work on my website coding homework and pull together all of my portfolio pieces, so that'll be what I am working on this weekend.

This really hasn't been a good year for my car....the driver's side windshield wiper is having issues. I think some guide-wire do-hickey came off because it swings over too far and catches on the side of the car. It tries to keep up with the other wiper and just fails miserably. So its back in the shop this morning, however the mechanic assured me it should be really easy to fix and cheap.

The problem actually started last week when a clip snapped on that wiper blade so I got new ones. The guy installed blades that are too long but it seemed to work okay so I didn't worry about it. Last night it was pouring cats and dogs (and a few surprised mice) when I left school. I turned on my wipers and it went over too far and got stuck...the blade started slipping and was literally dangling outside my car door. Seeing as how it was after 10 and everywhere else was closed I called WalMart to see if anyone could help (even though I told them I'd bought the blades at Sam's Club) and the manager told me to come in and he'd see what they could do. Not much. Long story short I bought Rain-X and managed to gloss it over the windows but it wasn't much help....I did manage to get home without having an accident but that's mostly because I went the back way and drove slow. I wasn't home until after 11 and with the rain (and my mood) I didn't go on my walk and instead went straight to bed.

I think its time I consider getting another car. I told myself this morning that I will start saving up as much as possible and, if everything goes right, maybe look at getting a car this fall. I want to be sure to have a couple of car payments in savings to be on the safe side. I love my car, I really do but its not worth enough to keep investing in constant repairs. Hopefully it will behave for awhile now but I can't overlook the fact that its not a young car and it was probably overused before I bought it (I found a Nationwide Rental tag inside the trunk after I purchased it). It does have its problems that I have learned to work around but if much else goes wrong with it I may just have to walk away. At least if I start setting the money aside now I will be ready for when that day comes.

I probably sound blue in this post....I'm not really. I just hate to think of getting rid of my car. Its been such a good car to me and I really have grown attached to it...lets face it, I'm no spring chicken either and goodness knows I have parts that are wearing down as well.

I am, however, glad its the weekend. Tomorrow will be spent pulling together all of my portfolio pieces (and finishing up a few last ones) and then heading off to Kinkos (well, if I get my car back and the repair wasn't too expensive) to have them printed up. I have a dust jacket and a few other pieces that I can't print on a stardard copier...

I think, given the weather, maybe I will cook a roast. Mmmmmmmmm.......yeah, I think I will definately do that. No muss, no fuss cooking at its yummiest!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I knew it...

I am definately going to love my product design class.

First class was last night and the teacher let us out a little early (9 pm rather than 9:45)...this way we could run to the store to buy our first homework assignment.

Buy your assignment? you ask.


First assignment is to redesign a bottled product's label. We needed to find a bottled product that came in a unique shape....our first task was to do online searches to find 10 unique bottles. I was looking up Stetson cologne, Windex, All liquid detergent, green tobasco sauce (yum!), basalmic vinegar, octagonal jam jars, orange juice, body and hand lotions. Turns out everyone else in the class was pretty much looking up bottled water and wine bottles. I had already decided I was going to take on the orange juice when my teacher saw the bottle on my screen and got excited. Needless to say he started telling the class what images I had pulled up and made suggestions that they do similar searches.

I claimed the orange juice for my project, picked it up on my way home and started barnstorming.

We have to keep the same information (ingredients, size, weight, upc and logo) but we have to pull the old label off of the product, print up a new one and, if possible, tape your label on.

So freaking cool.

The only downside is that the project is due tomorrow night and I have class tonight in web design...working on it tonight isn't exactly feasible.

Gotta love time constraints. Luckily, if I have everything designed on the computer by the start of class tomorrow I can print it out at school, cut it out and attach it to the project. I already have my idea laid out, I just need to execute it. Luckily its a slow day here at work so once I get some orders filled I will probably sign off the clock for the afternoon (answering phone calls, etc as they come in) and work on my project.

I am so pumped for this. Our next assignment is to redesign the Hershey bar label and attach it to an actual candy bar to be sure our label is the right dimensions.

Bring it on.