Friday, April 30, 2010

Lovely. And Possibly Evil.

While doing my part to help the economy recover, I found this picture frame, which I thought was pretty.


It's a pale purple fabric with kind of a fuschia print, behind glass panels and a rustic brown metal frame.

Gorgeous, right?



Until I got it home, and realized there were fucking swastikas on it.


What the hell, Target?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Missed Opportunities

The scene: the meat aisle at the grocery store.

There is a cute boy standing in front of the ground beef, apparently unattended by any girls clad in a ponytail, tshirt, and sweatpants (that is how they ALL go grocery shopping). Single? Maybe. I am on my own quest and am flustered at my inability to find what I am looking for. I didn't want to pace around searching, especially after I blatantly checked him out on my approach. (I don't know if he noticed).

Not wanting to look like a moron, I retreat into the cheese section.

I roll my eyes at my loserliness and then point out to myself that it wasn't like I had anything remotely interesting I could have said, anyway. The only thing that would have come to mind is, "Do you know where the bacon is?"

Wait.

I realized, belatedly, how glorious this would have been for a(n unintentional) pickup line. I was, in fact, genuinely looking for bacon (it's with the eggs, by the way, what the fuck), and what man could possibly resist a cute girl seeking bacon? It's, like, ultra man-magnet food.

Wasted. Moment.

Just to round out my awesome evening, I decided NOT to buy ice cream (my hand was on the carton, but I willpowered my way out of it), had to finagle my way out of the parking lot without getting hit (this parking lot makes me stabby), only to nearly take out a bicyclist at the stoplight because I couldn't see because the sun was in my eyes and because holy shit I almost had a heart attack because I almost hit a biker. He glared at me the entire time he rode in front of me. It's not like I hit you, dude. You were still 95% on the sidewalk. And I don't even have ice cream now to calm myself down when I get home.

So I made little bacon-cheese quiches instead.

The end.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I HAVE SPECIAL EYES

What the hell, me? My own laziness astounds me. Only maybe it's not laziness. Maybe it's a raging case of indifference.

I just don't want to DO anything. Like, today. Softball was cancelled because it was raining and I was all, hey, sweet, I can go to TKD tonight, only guess what I did instead, I decided to take a nap and oops I should have left five minutes ago and I'm clearly not going to make it now so I might as well just curl up and keep sleeping.

You'd think the fact that I'm SO CLOSE to my black belt would be motivating me at least a little. But it's seeming to have the opposite effect. I could not give a shit less right now. Except I feel really guilty when I don't go. I missed so much the last cycle that I didn't even try to test. I wasn't ready. I could have faked it, I suppose, but I'd almost feel worse half-assing it than just sitting it out and picking up again.

I don't know, guys. It's not just this. It's the same reason my apartment is a mess and I haven't retouched my hair color and I haven't done all those things on my to-do list and I think probably I'm just pouring all my effort into my work which is fine because at least I'm doing something but then I get home and all I want to do is sit around or sleep.

I just don't know.

So, to divert attention from my clearly problematic underlying psychological issues, here's this. I saw this this weekend when I was actually watching tv and for some reason it cracked my shit up.

What the hell, me? My own laziness astounds me. Only maybe it's not laziness. Maybe it's a raging case of indifference.

I just don't want to DO anything. Like, today. Softball was cancelled because it was raining and I was all, hey, sweet, I can go to TKD tonight, only guess what I did instead, I decided to take a nap and oops I should have left five minutes ago and I'm clearly not going to make it now so I might as well just curl up and keep sleeping.

You'd think the fact that I'm SO CLOSE to my black belt would be motivating me at least a little. But it's seeming to have the opposite effect. I could not give a shit less right now. Except I feel really guilty when I don't go. I missed so much the last cycle that I didn't even try to test. I wasn't ready. I could have faked it, I suppose, but I'd almost feel worse half-assing it than just sitting it out and picking up again.

I don't know, guys. It's not just this. It's the same reason my apartment is a mess and I haven't retouched my hair color and I haven't done all those things on my to-do list and I think probably I'm just pouring all my effort into my work which is fine because at least I'm doingsomething but then I get home and all I want to do is sit around or sleep.

I just don't know.

So, to divert attention from my clearly problematic underlying psychological issues, here's this. I saw this this weekend when I was actually watching tv and for some reason it cracked my shit up.



I vaguely recall this being shorter on TV without the junk about the warehouse in Utah. Idk.

"They can't possibly have my brand! I have special eyes!"
"Look! Look with your special eyes."
"MY BRAND!"

Anywho.

PS - I decided that since I was clearly going to be sitting at my computer for a while, I may as well re-color my hair. Taa-daa! I'm cured.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

What was I saying? Oh, right. I'm awesome.

Hi friends.

How are you today? My, your hair looks nice.

Anyway, we're not here to talk about you. We're here to talk about me and how I'm awesome and I know this because Megs said so. Well she didn't SAY so, so much as give me a cute little blog award.

I'm always afraid someone is going to give me an ugly blog award and I'll have to be all, "oh. thanks" and present-facey and stick it on my blog anyway because that's the thing to do. I mean, I don't want to offend anyone. But I'm a former/sometimes graphic designer - and I paid a bajillion trillion dollars to a fine academic institution to be able to say that I'm ACTUALLY a designer and not some hack with a copy of Photoshop, so you bitches better recognize* - and so I get twitchy about things that are not designed well. BUT, fortunately, this award is adorable and makes me happy so I shall display it with great joy.

*I tried to be all "recognize" in the slangy, cool way but then I realized I don't really know how to spell it incorrectly because my brain is all NO THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO SPELL IT and I'm all SHUT UP BRAIN I'M TRYING TO BE HIP and my brain is like NO. And then it slapped me. So, just say it in your head how all the cool kids do and pretend like I typed it out phonetically to match.

See? Cute.

Anyhizzle.

I'm supposed to tell you five things and then give it to five other bloggers so I'm gonna do that now. So you should probably go visit their blogs, cause they're awesome. And also Megs's blog becauuuuse it's awesome and hilarious and when I found it I assumed it was one of those popular funny blogs that had like a zillion followers but apparently it was brand shiny new so now I get to be all hipster and be all, "pfft, I read it when it was new" and get to be a total blog snob. Or whatever.

I feel like I have consumed copious amounts of crack right now. Or speed. Or whatever makes you all wired and "wheeee!" like. Except maybe it was all the horrible deep-fried food I ate earlier when we took a client out for dinner. I dunno.

Ah yes.

Five things.

1. I have come to terms today with the fact that I have an incurable obsession with ballet flats. This is a problem because I am 5' 4" on a good day and I should be wearing heels. And sometimes I do. But sometimes they hurt my feet. And sometimes ballet flats do too but not usually as bad. Also, a little known fact, you can wear them to shovel a foot of snow off your car and not lose your feet to frostbite. I don't recommend this though.

2. I usually fall asleep by 6:30 pm on Fridays. Yes, I know. You're jealous of how cool I am.

3. I dislike black jellybeans. A lot. I'm beanist.

4. I like to take pictures of myself on days when my hair looks good. I don't know what I will ever do with all these pictures but since I usually look nice it helps me feel better about myself and the fact that I usually hate the way I look. Plus, I am extraordinarily vain sometimes.

5. I wish sweatpants were socially acceptable.


Five bloggahs.

I hate this because I love everyone. Okay not everyone. But if I read your blog it probably means I love you. So I don't want to play favorites. I guess this means I need to win more blog awards because then I can give one to everyone.

This is how I feel about if I ever get married and have to pick bridesmaids. Because there are limits as to how many you can have without everyone being all "what the fuck? she had twelve bridesmaids" and everyone talking about your wedding for forever but not in a good way but in a "this is an aberration to all weddings" sort of way. We don't need that.

Um, anyway?

I went to go collect links and such but it seems like everyone I was going to give this to already has it, so I'm going to be a rebel and only give out, like, TWO.

1. to my in-real-life friend and blogger and designer and poet and photographer and general rock star with hair I want to steal, Steph, whose blog 33% Disaster (from her total website 33% Dreamer/33% Designer/33% Disaster, and no, she does not specify where the other 1% goes) is not updated as much as it should be *COUGH* but is usually full of gorgeous photos that she, of course, takes herself. Cause she's awesome.

2. to my other in-real-life friend and craft blogger Calee aka "chimes" even though she saves all the really juicy stuff for her secret, private blog.

The end.

*Also, I do have more than two in-real-life friends, OBVIOUSLY, but none of them blog, or at least none of them blog anymore, so they don't get to get awards. That's what they get for not splewing their life onto the Internet. So there.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

i hate everything.

Well, okay. That's probably not true. But I am extremely tired and therefore crabby and therefore pretty predisposed to hate all forms of everything that might possibly be making things Not Awesome.

You know what I don't hate? Lists. I'm going to make a list for you.

Of things I hate.


1. Wednesdays that feel like Thursdays.

I have nothing against Wednesdays - or Thursdays - but when you have to constantly remind yourself what day it is all day long, it's kind of irritating. Especially because Thursday is so very, very close to the magical day that is Friday, and then having to mentally add in a whole 'nother day... blah.

2. When People Don't Confirm Plans

My friend and I have been pulling teeth trying to get bachelorette party plans made for our friend whose wedding is rapidly approaching. It's not so hard to respond to a frickin' email, people.

Also? We both kind of got thrown for a loop because there was talk of a bridal shower originally for this Saturday, then... crickets. Then she got an invite in the mail on Monday. For a shower this Saturday that apparently I am co-hosting with the bride's mom that I knew very little about, but I now know it's at 2pm and I should probably bring my P-chef shiz because apparently she did, in fact, decide to do a Pampered Chef Bridal Shower after all. Which is cool, I don't mind... I just wish that I'd been, you know, aware of it.

And I have to miss the Freeman Concert, of which I have not missed in the entirety of its run (this is year #6) but whatever. I'm still stealing one of the tshirts I designed anyway. It's my design fee.

3. Boys

Ehhhh I'm kind of giving up on Bartender Boy. I tried to make somewhat of a move towards actually making plans or something, and once again it didn't really work out. So, I'm kind of done. I'm bored. And I'm not really getting the desired level of reciprocal effort. So, that's that. He has my number, he can use it if he wants, but I am not making any more effort because whatever. He apparently doesn't care, and, shocker, I don't really either. There seems to be very little point other than that he was hot and I wish I had someone to make out with regularly.

4. Doing dishes

I am very tempted to just give someone twenty bucks and be all, clean my goddamn kitchen. Or at least do the dishes. Because I hate doing it so very, very much. I like to cook. I like to eat. I need to eventually find some sort of SO that likes to eat and do dishes. Or will at least do them without complaining and without breaking any of my expensive kitchenware.

You'll notice how very low my standards are getting.

5. Broken chips at the bottom of the bag.

It's very difficult to eat my queso dip with them.

6. Money.

As per usual.

7. This week. In general.

In addition to the above... I am exhausted. And I have little peeves at work that are peeving me. My best work friend is getting moved to one of our other locations. This is sadness. I still haven't had my annual review. Which means I have not gotten my raise yet. This is also sadness. I keep getting more things given to me and then they're all like, oh we'll take this other stuff away, and it's like, Quit Underestimating Me, I can do this, I am at my perfect threshold of busy right now and I don't like my abilities being questioned nor do I like the fact that I never hear thank yous or you're doing a great job or anything anymore. I go about my business and I really only seem to get noticed if I screw up. Which is super fantastic. Just kidding. It's depressing.

You know what else is depressing? It's only fucking Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Speak Up, I Can't Hear You

In fighting the good fight against my Google Reader and its incessant mocking and BOLD UNREAD NUMBER over the past few weekends, I stumbled my way upon - not a meme, really, but an organized collection of themed writings, hosted by a blogger named shine.

It was a project called "Women's Writes" (a play on "women's rights" and, yes, the bad grammar bothers her, too) and it was meant to be a day of bloggers discussing a myriad of subjects pertaining to, well, women.

By the time I got through all the posts, I was (unsurprisingly) pretty agitated and generally worked up. (We know how I get.) There were approximately a million and a half things I wanted to say, and at the same time, there were a million and a half things leaving me speechless.

In all reality, I've been pretty lucky. I've never been sexually assaulted. I've never been physically or emotionally abused. I've never had to make a Choice. I've never directly experienced blatant sexism in the workplace (cause let me tell you, friends, that shit would not fly in my presence). I generally feel very safe when by myself. That's not to say I've lulled myself into a false sense of security; I know the bad shit's out there and I'm a highly paranoid individual. I know I need to be careful. I know there are certain things and places I should avoid when alone and in the dark. I've spent over a year learning martial arts basics and while I don't know if I could necessarily defend myself if the situation became necessary, I do know that I sure as hell wouldn't go down without a fight.

So then what? What do I have to say?

Lots, it turns out. Just because there are some issues that haven't directly hit ME, doesn't mean I haven't seen them, and it doesn't mean I can't use my voice to speak about them.

Because there are other issues that I know all too well. I'm not immune to the way society deals with women. I've been made fun of and I've learned to hate myself just like I've been taught to you. I've been used and discarded by careless, thoughtless men. I have issues with my mother and I have issues with traditional gender roles and I have issues with my weight and my hair and my self-worth and my ability to do (or perceived as being able to do) certain things because I'm a girl. I've been hurt and kicked around like everyone else. I've seen the bad things that happen to other women. I'm not oblivious and I'm not naive. I'm not immune to the spectrum of injustices that could happen to me; I've just managed to avoid some of them. We still have a long way to go, in the grand scheme of things.

I'm not going to write them all here... there is not enough space nor an attention span of any reader great enough to hold on to everything I want to say. So they'll be coming, in bits and pieces, here and there. I know my blog is largely a breeding ground for narcissism and fluff, with the occasional introspective post or an obscenity-laced rant about modern politics. I don't like to be preachy and I don't like to get myself riled up - it just adds to my already overflowing stress threshold - but I've found that I do have a lot that I want to say... and, duh, I have a place to say it. Maybe nobody will listen and maybe nobody will care. But sometimes you just wanna stand on the edge of an abyss and scream. The Internet has always been and will always be my abyss.

I guess that's your warning. Batten the hatches. Duck and cover. Whatever.

PS - ZOMG RAGING FEMINISM! RUN! Just kidding. I'm not particularly what you would call militant and I don't hate men. Obviously. As I've said before, I hate the word feminazi and I think it is used unfairly and EXCUSE ME for having a vagina and not wanting to be treated shittily because of it. I'm also not turning this into an exclusive FEMINISM WHEEE blog. It's already kind of been that. It's going to be the same as it always has been, probably just more ranty. We all like it when I get ranty, right?

PPS - This is probably the most-related post I have that I could put this with: I assume everyone has seen this ad? If not... it's fucking awesome.

Monday, April 19, 2010

VIVA LA VEISHEA

Errr yeah. I'm phoning it in today. Which means... PHOTO POST!

Anyway. In case you managed to actually read all of my post from yesterday (in which case you probably deserve a medal or something, but, you DID get the Beat It video, so, we're even), I talked a bit about VEISHEA.

So, I thought it would be fun to post photos from VEISHEA, not just of this weekend but in years past, also.

I don't have any pics from 2004. I guess I wasn't as much of a photo whore back then. Or didn't have a (digital) camera.

EITHER WAY.

Anyway. Here are some random pics. I realize that it's hard to actually really capture VEISHEA super well so, um, you should be able to get a vague idea at least? And yes it's sort of cheesy and lame but fuck off 'cause I like it.

I didn't realize how many pictures I had. OK THIS IS NO LONGER PHONING IT IN, PEOPLE. THIS IS AN ACTUAL POST THAT REQUIRED ACTUAL EFFORT.

Also, VEISHEA 2007 was probably my favorite (well... no.... 2004 is probably actually my favorite, riot and all... maybe cause it was my first one. I dunno). It was just... perfect... that year. *NOSTALGIC SIGH*

Where was I? Right. Pictures.


*2006*

Hey Calee, remember this? Good times.

With Cy, our mascot. (Me on the left. In case you hadn't figured it out yet.)

In the VEISHEA parade. What up.
(That's me, in the very center, to the right of the banner, with the blindingly pasty arms)
[IRHA = Inter-Residence Hall Association. Yes, I was a nerd.
I was also President my senior year which made me hot shit, so STFU.]


*2007*

Me and Steph at Battle of the Bands.
This was the very last year that BoTB didn't suck.
And, you know, was free.
(The two variables are not mutually exclusive, just a horrible coincidence. Whatevs).


By our parade float. I have a ridiculous amount of pictures of this. It was so fun.

Yes, this picture was taken mid-parade.
No, Mandie was not supposed to be IN the parade.

Me and my sis with Cy, again. I love Cy. He makes me smile.

*2008*

2008 sucked a little bit. Cause it was COLD.
Like, it snowed.
There was snow on the ground.
This was also my first VEISHEA as an alum.

CHERRY PIES, BEEYOTCHES.


*2009*


I don't even really know. This is us trying to be rock star, I guess.


So.... apparently all we did in 2009 was go to concerts.
That is the majority of my pictures anyway.
I got some awesome sick pictures of Halestorm, though (my fave band EVER) because we wormed our way up to the front.

Possibly because it was rainy and cold the next day.
I have pics from the parade but they probably wouldn't interest you.
(Not that... any... of these do... but...)

CHERRY PIES! And I got beads without having to flash anyone.
This is a family event, y'all.

*2010*


Now, these may LOOK like your normal going-out-to-the-bars pics, but they're NOT.
They're going-out-to-the-bars-during-VEISHEA pics.
Which means we had to pay covers we don't normally pay,
and put up with assholes we don't normally have to encounter.
*damn kids grumble grumble*

Actual text message exchange:
Me: "Come to [Name of Bar]."
Danielle: "I'm currently in the trunk of a car. We'll see what happens."

I just think this picture is cute. That is all.


At the parade!
Asshole guy who yelled at us is in the upper left corner.
Feel free to give the monitor evil eyeballs.

CHERRY PIES!

Oh. I guess I do have some pics from 2004. They consist entirely of the damage around campus after the riot. A lot of the area businesses got trashed. People are such assholes.

(Yes, those are light poles. No, they do not belong there.)



Lame. I wish I had some fun pictures. But, these were my friend Michelle's pictures and I didn't have a digital camera at that time, so. This is what I get to remember my first VEISHEA by.

And now I'm crabby.

Let's end on something fun.




That's better.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Don't Even Know What To Call This

Friends. I think I owe you a proper update. And THEN I will set about sorting through all my drafted posts and maybe post some of those because it bothers me having so many of them because well it just does. UNFINISHEDNESS.

Speaking of unfinishedness (which is totally not at all a word, but it is now, because I INVENTED it), I have been accused of not following up on the saga of the cute-yet-unsettlingly-young bartender. And, yes, that is the case. I have not followed up on this. Because? I have nothing to report.

I've kind of been dragging my feet a little... I'm having a hard time getting into it. I know probably exactly what I should be doing and saying, I just can't bring myself to do it. My heart's just not in it (although, at least it's back in my possession, so that's a plus. It may have locked itself in its room like a sullen teenager, but at least it's MINE and I can keep an eye on it.)

It's almost like I don't want to put in the effort when I don't want/expect a relationship to come of it. It is what it is. But then I remind myself that maybe a relationship isn't even what I want, perhaps ideally, yes, but right now? Eh. Even so, to create an optimal fling-like situation, I've still got to put in some effort and lay some ground work. I just don't seem to care enough, though. (It's like I'm growing a male psyche. I don't even know.)

Basically, I'm half-assing it. And then I'm getting annoyed that it's not something I could snap my fingers at and magically have established. I'm impatient. I've been single so long and I've clearly got all the time in the world, and yet I'm still impatient. I mean, that's the whole point of a fling, right? Instant gratification. There shouldn't need to be any room for patience.

I was discussing this with Maria and besides the fact that we have decided we're probably like the same person or long-lost twins or something (and also, I've decided that she needs to move here so we can be best friends, Iowa's not that bad, I promise. In fact, you should all move here. It would be AWESOME.), we proceeded to overanalyze and be complete and total girls about it and are all, "if I do this, it will probably look like this" and "if I don't do this, maybe this" and all sort of "if X then Y" and see algebra is totally relevant to everyday life.

Despite all the original naysayers who were all "THIS IS A BAD IDEA WTF KELLY" there was an equal contingent that was all "OMG FUN, GO FOR IT" and since I'm not one to blatantly ignore fun-like opportunities... I think maybe I will get over myself and maybe make an effort. Like, next week. I mean, my weekend this weekend was FULL (I will tell you about it soon) and I wasn't even sure where I was going to be able to squeeze him in anyway even if it did work out.

The timing of it all was a bit undesirable. Because I would have hit that shit the following weekend while I still had the momentum going but noooo it had to go and be Easter weekend which totally threw a wrench in things and then the following weekend had very little of interest beyond a few text messages but it didn't matter really, because I had other plans and he was working anyway.

And then I decided not to bother with this weekend because as I mentioned, I was superbusy and also because I didn't want to appear desperate in any way by trying and failing two weekends in a row so whatever I clearly had better things to do with my time but maybe next week. I dunno. Because while I might be all "look at me, I'm being a modern sexy assertive woman" it might read as "omg, she's being a pain in the ass, go away" (Idk? Guys? What few of you read this? Thoughts? I know supposedly we're all 21st century and what-not, but is it still weird if the girl is the one making the move?)

I'll probably just have to casually go in to the bar when he's working and assess the situation. The problem is, it's hard to do it casually because I have to clearly make an effort because I have to drive for twenty minutes to get there. Of course the peeps that I was originally hanging out with that one weekend tend to frequent that place, so I could just go hang out with them, right? Yeah.

I must have a strategy for everything.

This, my friends, is called being a girl. In case you aren't one, and are like "man this chick is batshit crazy."

This is how we think.

And not that this matters one way or the other, but his texting style drives me nuts. I mean, I get that not everyone is as anal about the correct usage of the English language as I am and that people like to abbreviate. But, GAH.

That is one thing I liked about the other guy. He was articulate.

Grammar is hawt, y'all.

***

So, my weekend. Let me tell you about it. Since we're here and you clearly have nothing better to do.

This weekend is VEISHEA here at Iowa State University. And since you're probably now going "what the fuck - ?" allow me to explain. VEISHEA is an acronym (hence the all caps) of the original colleges that comprised ISU (Vet Med, Engineering, Industrial Sciences, Home Ec, Agriculture) and it's like a 122-year-old celebration-fest that is meant to, well, celebrate Iowa State. It has a bajillion and a half litte traditions that go along with it, the most recent and unfortunate one being that douchebags from all over the state pilgrimmage to this town to drink copious amounts of booze and be douchey and cause all the bars to jack up their prices and charge covers and in general disrupt my ability to not want to stab people. This is irrelevant, I guess. There have been several "disturbances" in the past - actual stabbings, riots, the like - the most recent was the Riot of '04 that actually happened my freshman year which I got to witness and still makes me twitchy when people joke about it or act out and it's NOT cool or funny even if it was mildly amusing at the time. (Flaming dumpsters! Drunken morons! Running jokes for ages!). I mean.. innocent people in the dorms got freaking tear-gassed because they had the audacity to have their windows open because it had been 90 degrees that day and they didn't have air conditioning. One girl had this really bad asthma attach and the ambulance wouldn't come because it was a "riot zone" even though there are about a million and a half back ways to get to campus while avoiding the whole kerfluffle. Anyway, I digress.

My point was, it was VEISHEA weekend.

This is my sixth VEISHEA (it would have been #7 but we didn't have one in '05 because they cancelled it after The Incident and tried to find ways to make it safer, or whatever, and with each passing year they get more and more assholish about it - this year, my friend was not allowed to take her clutch - a glorified billfold - into the concerts because it was "too much like a bag." It's a goddamn wallet. There was nothing that could have fit in there besides money and her IDs, which is why she was, you know, carrying it around. Last year, I was allowed in with my purse, no big deal. Anyway, it's stuff like this that creates rising tensions between students and The Man which is why the '04 incident even happened because all those tensions finally came to a head and exploded) and anyway my friends and I reflected that of all the VEISHEA traditions out there, the one we've never done was, well, drink. We usually just did all the free stuff and ate the crappy fried foods and did all the good clean fun stuff. (Saturday on campus is the "celebration of ISU" part - there's a parade and free shit galore and various displays by colleges and student groups and lots of food including $1 cherry pies which are glorious little tarts that are mass-produced and you have to wait in a city-block-long-line which only takes about ten minutes to queue through because they are EFFICIENT and while they're not OMG the best thing ever, it's the POINT of them, and I raise holy hell if I don't get a cherry pie, which happened in '06 and people did not hear the end of it until '07 in which I got two of them.)(the rest of it is the "celebration of beer" part). (anyway).

So we went out to the bars on Friday night and basically chilled at our favorite one which is the ONLY campus bar I will still go to because it's way better than the rest and that's where all the slightly-older crowd goes (aka, the young alumni who are, for whatever reason, morphing into townies). Still had to pay cover but it was only $2 and apparently it all went to the waitstaff as like a giant tip for putting up with the masses so then I was okay with it. And that's basically all we did. We closed down the bar and then wandered to the food vendors to get a gyro which is another of my personal VEISHEA traditions and then I went home and went to bed and slept for five hours and got up to meet my friend to go to the parade. Miraculously, I was not hungover, just sleepy.

So we went to the parade and there were douchey kids (ok, they were 5. Maybe "bratty" would be more appropriate) who were greedy motherfuckers and not only took parade freebies that should have been ours, but STOLE a FRISBEE from the LITTLE GIRL on the other side of us, to which we were all shocked, because their parents were apparently assholes and thought this was ok. You can steal shit from 20-something alumni, fine, but you don't steal a frisbee that a 2-year old is playing with that happened to fall out of her hands. Bitches.

And then there was the asshole that has apparently never been to a parade before in his life, because he camped out with his lawn chair BEHIND everyone and had the balls to come up to us and tell us that we needed to move or sit down because we were blocking his view of the parade and he had come and staked out his spot early.

Dude, if you were early, you would have put your fucking lawn chair on the curb like EVERYONE ELSE.

We were pissed. And we did not budge. And then a whole mass of people that presumably belonged to the Satan-spawn next to us showed up and TOTALY blocked his view and it was like sweet, sweet karma.

So we spent most of the parade being pissed off and then it was over and we went and got cherry pies and then wandered around a lot and I apparently got my first sunburn of the year although it seems to have faded a little bit today which is fine because it hurt a bit. And then we got bored and disbanded and I went home and showered and drove out of town to our CITY (we only have like two of those in Iowa) and went to a design exhibition thinger for work because we'd submitted some shiz including some of my projects that I'd worked on and I'm a glory whore and was hoping they'd win so I could feel validated in life.

We were all, "yay! we're escaping the VEISHEA douche parade for a bit!" and then we get to Des Moines and there's apparently an AC/DC concert or something so there was MORE douchery and now lots of traffic.

Anyway. Our agency got hosed because we're not in the cool kids clique of agencies apparently but we got one measly little award but that's cool I had some of the most awesome food I've ever had the privilege to consume and then we came back home and the plan was to costume change and go back out to the fray but by this point I'd had my fill of socialization and I was tired so instead I walked halfway down the block to my neighbor's who was having a mini bonfire and we hung out and then we watched a horrible movie that had no right to be as funny as it was and then I came home and went to bed with the full intention to sleep all day which obviously isn't happening but it's a really nice day and a good one to just bum around and recover and such and so here we are and I'm sorry this is a really long post but to reward your patience, I have another video for you.

The pause in the middle is Calee telling me I need to do Microphone Hands, which, if you've never belted along to a song off-key, is when you are pretending to do so into a microphone which is really your hand.

I totally just made that phrase up. But, like, I think it's like a legitimate thing. Like Jazz Hands.

Anyway she did tell me I needed to have a "microphone" though.

And then it cuts off because the dude who was taking it was all, "oh, I'm taking video" and me and Calee were like, "duh, that's why we handed it to you on video mode" so anyway it's short but still glorious and I hope you enjoy it.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

You're Welcome.

I got nothin'. It's been a busy weekend. Check back again soon.

Until then, I present to you:

"Four Guys Singing 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' At The Bar With Lyrics They Had To Look Up On An iPhone"




Yeah. That happened.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hey Baby.

Ok, y'all. As a bonus to my previous post, and because I'm horrifically vain, I'm going to post some baby pictures because we all like pictures and also because I was the fucking cutest child ever so it was probably a shock to my parents when I morphed into whatever the fuck I looked like in middle school. I'm surprised they didn't try to stick me in contests and pageants.

Also, it's really weird to look at a picture of a baby and be able to see my own face in it. That was me. And I grew into this. And we're the same person and I was once itty bitty. WEIRD.

[I thought I had a folder with my favorites in it. But I don't. So now I have to go through a bigger folder. And I am teetering back and forth between weepy-nostalgic and holy-crap-snarky-comments-ahoy. I could have a field day captioning some of these. Must... refrain....]

[Also, it's trippy to see all my aging aunts and uncles - young. Circa the 80's. hee hee.]

Behold, Little Kelly:

I frequently still get that dazed look on my face.


You see those giant baby blues? Still got 'em.

This is, in all probability, my favorite picture in the history of ever.

I started young. Chocolate? Ice Cream? Yes please.
PS - that's my uncle. He was an UPS man. Now he's retired.
And I have frequent kerfluffles with UPS and feel bad about it.


Nickels were kind of a big deal.
Hell, these days? Free money? I'll take it.
Probably with the same expression on my face.
PS - That's my grandpa. RIP :(

I selected this picture for two reasons.
1. The expression on my face is priceless.
2. I actually found proof of the green astroturf porch.
I was beginning to think I made it up.

This is my second favorite picture.* Look at those curls!
I clearly should have been a child model.

*I have lots of favorite pictures.



Anyway. There's a lot more where those came from.

I mean, like I said. Six albums.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

From There To Here

Every now and then, I'll just be sitting around, staring into oblivion, minding my own business, and all of a sudden, my brain will go "HOLY SHIT I'M 25." Like it's something new. Like I haven't been steadily getting older every day, every minute, for the last twenty-five years.

I then inevitably think back to my former self. Would she have had any idea what she would have turned out like? I doubt it. When I was a teenager, I never really pictured what my life would be like in my twenties. I simply had no idea.

Likewise, when I was a wee youngin', I had no idea what the teenage years would hold, or beyond. The concept of "when I'm grown up" just didn't seem to faze me much. I didn't have the types of existential neuroses like I do now.

Because I remember five year old Kelly. Twelve year old Kelly. Seventeen year old Kelly. It's weird to sit and think about just how much life I've lived so far. The first twenty-ish years of your life are the Big Years, because you change and grow so much and it's a whirlwind and then you're 25 and you're sort of settled but not really because you're only 25, but at least you have an idea of where you're going.

They say that any memories you think you have before age three are false. Because nobody's brain really is molded enough to be able to retain things before that point.

I'm going to go ahead and call bullshit.

Now, not to be all I'M SUPER but I was an exceptionally gifted child. I was reading quite a bit by the time I hit preschool (my parents told me later that once I realized that nobody else could read, I pretended that I couldn't, either. To fit in. Oh, me. Always trying to fit in. It took me eighteen years to figure out that that was a horrible game plan.). So I'm going to hypothesize here that my brain was, in fact, able to remember things from age 3 and slightly before.

I remember the first house I lived in. I remember the green astroturf on the front porch because whyyyy and it was scratchy and I actually sprained my arm on that porch when I was playing/being babysat by one of the neighbor girls. I remember the house had blue and purple carpet. I remember playing in refridgerator boxes. I remember that the kitchen had this weird booth in it (like a restaurant?) which to this day I have only been able to find one photo to prove that. I remember being too scared to watch E.T. I remember our living room was upstairs. I remember one Christmas we didn't have any snow save a giant round patch in the backyard, and I remember looking out that upstairs living room window at it. I remember playing on our swingset and my parents had friends over and we were playing and they were probably drinking beers and eating and the other mother had made puppy chow and they asked if I wanted any and I remember being horrified and scrunching my face up and declaring that I didn't eat dog food, ew. And then they made me try it and it was probably about as much of a religious food experience that a three year old could have. I remember birthdays and my grandpa, God bless him, and his "fizzle kisses" that he would impose upon my sister and I, which was basically trapping us and blowing raspberries on our necks while we squealed and squirmed. I remember my dad going hunting one time and he brought home rabbit and I think we ate it even though I was disturbed by it, because, BUNNIES! I remember playing with my stuffed animals on the stairs up to the living room. I remember dancing around along with the stereo on birthdays with the grandparents and my godparents (my aunt & uncle) because I was an attention whore, even then. Probably moreso, because I hadn't learned to be self-conscious yet. I remember plaid dresses at Christmas and in particular a blue dress with red, green, yellow octagons on it - stoplights. (to be fair, that dress might have been when I was four or five. Still.)

I remember moving to the nearby town - this was AT age 3, 3.5 maybe, so everything before this that I just described above, was clearly before that age when I really wasn't supposed to remember anything. I remember a neighbor girl cutting across the lawn with her ratty Care Bear and us bonding over the fact that we BOTH had a Bedtime Bear (he was blue. Mine, despite having come from a garage sale, was cleaner and newer and brighter, hers was well-loved and, well, ratty) and we were insta-best friends. I remember very little else other than the layout of the house.

Random things will come back to me, and, to be fair, I do have about six albums of photos to help me remember. (My sister is still pissed to this day - as the younger sibling, she got epically screwed. She has ONE album to my SIX, and in most of her pics, I'm in them, because, well, I was already there). What's odd is, I remember a lot of things vividly that aren't in pictures, and a lot of things I can pretend to remember but I really only know because of the pictures.

I could prattle on about my childhood, but I won't. Not today, anyway. I was a naive, sheltered child. I remember one time being in tears at a sleepover - it was with the "popular girls" or at the very least the girls who would go on to reign as such - and they were calling someone a bitch and I didn't know what it meant and they made fun of me and that is pretty much the story of my life. (Why seven year olds were even calling other girls bitches at that age, was beyond me, but whatever.) I didn't fit in. I was too smart, I was too imaginative, I was too... unlike them. I was largely content to daydream and draw and read and spend my time in worlds other than the actual world. My mother was always concerned that I was never going to be properly socialized and worried about my lack of friends. Which, you know. I faked it a long time and then I did have friends and then I went to college and had actual friends and now I'm making up for lost time because I want everybody to be my friend and I have literally like 900+ facebook friends and I can tell you, exactly, how I know each person in that list. Unless it's someone who got married. Then I have to look up their maiden name, first.

I digress.

It's the weird kids who turn into the cool kids, in my theory. Although nowadays it's the weird kids who get picked on and tormented and either flip the fuck out on everyone, or silently implode upon themselves. I think surviving high school these days is worthy of a goddamn award.

I don't want to talk about kids these days. I want to talk about myself. OBVIOUSLY.

Anyway. Despite my tendency to be introverted-to-the-max, I had a good childhood. Nothing that any therapy could try to blame my current disastrous state on. My parents did a good job, even if they maybe were too careful, too protective... and never once did I get a drug talk or a sex talk. They just assumed I wouldn't do it. I basically to this day know very little about recreational drug use. I learned about sex by reading my mother's issues of Glamour. Not that it mattered. I wasn't exactly someone that boys were clamoring to have sex with, anyway.

I mean, I was okay. No, wait. I eventually was okay. In middle school I was this godawful hideous beast of a tween-girl and those are the years that scarred me the most. In high school I was just... there. I had the sausage-curl bangs which I thankfully ditched by senior year. I was, in fact, one of Those Girls who came back from the summer of junior year into senior year and was - HOT. People started noticing me and liking me and I basked in the attention all while never forgetting how horrible they'd been to me for the previous thirteen years of my life. It was okay, though. I was hungry for adoration, I didn't care if it was superficial and overdue. It was mine now, dammit, and I was going to enjoy the feeling of fitting in. Finally. For once.

To circle back to my original paragraph, though. Here I am at 25 and I'm nearing 30 every day which maybe isn't a huge deal but for some reason it's just there in the back of my head because even though I'm cool with being independent and single and free, for some reason I've been trained to think that if I hit 30 and am as yet unmarried, I am officially an OLD MAID. Woe.

But, (I'm so very struggling to stay on track, or what should be on track, given as though I have NO IDEA since this post is largely just word vomit anyway), my 25-year-old me, while more focused on future 30-year-old me, occasionally thinks about younger me. If I could go back and tell myself anything to do differently, I wouldn't. I absolutely wouldn't. I would do it all the same, because that's who I am now, and I like who I am now.

Although I would maybe tell eighteen year old me that I was fucking hot and warn me that, yes, you will gain a bitchload of weight in college, so maybe you should get off your lazy ass and stay active so 25-year-old me doesn't have the daunting task of trying to drop 30 pounds which will never ever happen because I'm still lazy, but it's totally that bitch 19-year-old me's fault for succumbing to the Freshman 15, because it was all downhill from there.

So, other than that. I'd do it the same. Except for maybe with an actual, genuine belief that that shit doesn't matter, those people don't matter, what they say doesn't matter, you are awesome and someday you will outshine them all, but until then, hold your head up and keep going, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is your 25-year-old self finally saying that, yes, we are truly happy with what we have become. We did it, baby girl. We succeeded on our own. You can settle back, now. I'll take it from here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Books, Blogs, and Other Things That Start With B For The Sole Point of Clever Alliteration

A couple weekends ago (in which I actually wrote this post out, by hand, and never did anything with it), I spent my Sunday afternoon curled up on my couch with my windows open (even if the breeze was a bit chilly) and a book. (I also spent it keeping my cat out of my face, but whatever.)

I've missed reading. It seems that there have been so few periods in my adult life that I've had time to devote to being able to read. I think I did the most reading when I was working at Target - it gave me something to do during my measly little breaks and I blew through quite a few novels in the last few months I worked there. It was awesome. Then again, I ended up with quite a few new books to read, too - the book department was also under my reign, so I might have ended up with more than I had time to read, but I figured, eventually, right?

I'm starting to get to be as picky about my books as I am my movies. I hate the genre that has been dubbed "chick lit" - sure, I've read a few, but they're largely so vapid and predictable that I couldn't ever be certain that I'd made a wise investment of my time. (I don't judge you, if that's your thing... it just doesn't appeal to me).

I'm a book snob. Sue me.

I learned who the contemporary popular authors are; I largely ignore them. I like the offbeat, fresh, interesting trade paperbacks* that are usually written by brand-new authors. I got giddy on the days I got to change out the featured/breakout books display. It always took me way longer than it should have, because I always examined every title and read the description on the back and maybe flipped it open and read the first paragraph or two. My Amazon wish list grew considerably during this time.

*Those of you unfamiliar - there are essentially three types of books. Hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and mass market paperbacks. A large number of books follow the progression of hardcover to trade paperback to mass market paperbacks - some just skip to trade or mass market. Hardcover books, I'm sure you are familiar with. Trade paperbacks are the next step down - they run in the $10-$15 range (at least around here) and are a little "floppier" and less rigid - as well as larger in size - than the mass market paperbacks, which run $5-$7 and are, well, the smaller paperback. I'm too lazy to get up and find samples to take approximate measurements of them, but if you honestly still have no idea what I'm talking about, then you probably (a) don't read much or (b) aren't very observant and thus either way don't care very much. Trade paperbacks are my favorite. They're easier to curl up with and just the right size. I'm frequently willing to dish out the extra couple dollars to get it in that format versus the smaller mass-market version... unless it's a book I'm not completely sold on, or don't want to spend more on, or, you know, I'm poor at the time. It really depends.

I like the "classics" too. I still feel like there are so many I've never read. Perhaps it's cliche to be a woman and like Austen; "Pride and Prejudice" was one of the first "grown up" (non-YA) novels I'd read and once I fell into an understanding of the period language, I adored it. (One of my roommates, who happily devoured supernatural romance novels, liked to mock me and my "smart people books.")

I'm not saying that I'm some sort of literary expert. Hardly. I indulge in fluff and trash from time to time. I just don't have a lot of time to read, so I like to spend it on things that are beautifully written and/or make my brain think and/or leave me inspired to go, do, create, write, whatever.

I've recently discovered an affection for the memoir, but with stipulations. Generally I like it if they're by someone not overtly famous, and ideally, they're a bit funny. Humor writing is a weakness I have. It's like crack.

Anywho. I think this trend started with "The Glass Castle" by Jeaneatte Walls which was brilliant and beautiful and heartbreaking and fascinating. Obviously not "funny" but it was very good. Currently I am finishing "Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress" by Susan Jane Gilman - and I absolutely love it. Her writing style is basically the ideal style of what I like to read. It's like this book was designed to cater to my increasingly picky standards. It is the perfect book for me, right now, with my current tastes and personality and I'm clearly going to have to run out and buy everything else she's ever written. (That's a lie. There will be no running. Probably just online shopping. ILU AMAZON.)

[Random aside, before I forget, by the time I get done typing all this up - if you have any book recommendations? Please to comment. I love finding awesome new things!]

SEGUE ALERT.

I think, perhaps, that is why I enjoy the blogging world so much. It's like an endless parade of in-progress memoirs that you can watch unwind into full stories. Granted, not all blogs are like this, but the majority that I read are. It doesn't matter that I don't know any of these people; I can still share in their stories, live vicariously through other lifestyles and places, and maybe even offer words of encouragement or excitement.

I think almost every blog I read has had, at some point or another, written something on this strange phenomenon that non-bloggers don't seem to understand. Why do you share your life to the world? Who cares? Who reads it?

And while it may just seem to be one giant exercise in narcissism (which, let's be fair, it totally is sometimes)... it's kind of awesome. A lot of people care, as it turns out. It's a type of connection that is vastly underappreciated. Everyone wants someone to relate to... everyone wants someone to listen.

I think I figured out where I was going with all of this. Maybe?

As it turns out, a lot of bloggers also have some sort of post on how blogging has in some form or another changed them, changed their lives.

I've been writing online for quite a while, and it is only fairly recently that I've noticed how this outlet of mine has come in and quietly changed my life, as well.

For me it was always about finding a voice that I struggled with on a daily level. I've never been good at expressing how I feel. Ever. I grew up as an extremely introverted person; we didn't talk about feelings. So, I wrote. Pages and pages of thoughts and emotions that would never see the light of day, lest I die of embarrassment. (I was a teenager, after all.)

Years later, I still wrote. Instead of on paper, in a lengthy Word document on my computer. I'd add to it and add to it and it was basically a glorified diary, except diaries were lame and this was just a collection of thoughts and feelings and other shit that I didn't care to actually talk about.

Then one day I started writing where other people could see it. And that was somewhat terrifying, but also liberating.

That was five years ago. Before I'd ever even heard the word "blog" (which I still happen to hate) or knew that that was a "thing." I just wrote and my friends would sometimes read it and sometimes not and it helped me get through college and all the strange, weird emotions one has when one is actually becoming an adult and facing the great big unknown.

A few months ago I joined a blogging community, after seeing an icon on a blog I found from a blog I found from a blog that I had started reading regularly. Six Degrees of The Bloggess, or something. It seemed like a rather pretentious move on my part, insinuating myself on a group I hadn't particularly been invited to, but I figured, what the hell, I'm totally a 20-something blogger. Why not?

Holy crap, guys. My Google Reader is perpetually out of control and there are so, so many talented writers and interesting people out there, and while I may always be on the outside of the proverbial window looking in, I really do feel like this was a catalyst for a change for me. I was excited about writing again. (You may have noticed the uptick in the number of posts starting around December/January). I suddenly felt like I had Things To Say, even if they weren't particularly interesting. I wanted to make them interesting. I wanted people to come to my little corner of the Internet and say hi. I wanted to be friends with everybody.

But - and here's the funny thing - I started looking at life a little differently, too.

I started to question why I let certain things hold me back, what I was really afraid of... and if I didn't think my life was that interesting, why not? It was totally in my power to change it, right?

Maybe you remember me mentioning Not That Kind of Girl a while back. (C'mon, you do too. I won an iPod from her. Which could launch an entirely different discussion on how I've rediscovered my music collection, but... maybe another time.) You were all instructed to go visit her blog and you probably didn't because nobody listens to me, but anyway.

I kind of took her motto to heart. What could I do, that maybe I normally wouldn't? What's the worst that could happen if I took that chance, did that thing, went to that place - ? Little decisions - what if I go hang out with some of my coworkers after work instead of going straight home, even if I wasn't necessarily invited along? (Answer: drink beer and have fun.) Maybe bigger decisions - what if I ask for that raise, that promotion? (Yeah, haven't gotten to that one yet. I'm still a chickenshit at heart.) I find myself second-guessing my instinct to always play it safe and inside my comfort zone.

Which, you know. Is pretty much how I ended up wearing an Easter Bunny mascot suit one Saturday morning and kissing a strange boy in the parking lot outside of a bar in a different town that very same night.

Quite frankly, it was pretty damn awesome.

Moral of the story: blogs are more than narcissistic fluff and you should always be willing to take chances in order to get what you want.



Monday, April 12, 2010

A Love Story.

Guys. I may have done something kind of stupid....

I have fallen in love with a $20 bottle of shampoo.

It started out innocently enough. I was killing time waiting for a prescription to be filled at the Target pharmacy, and was browsing the clearance endcaps, like you do when you are poor.

As a seasoned pro, I could tell they were getting ready to do a product reset, and they were in that phase of marking down things they were no longer going to be carrying. (Which, I may add, included my hair color. Of which I then bought five boxes. Even if I can find it somewhere else, which is chancy, at least I got it half off, for now.)

Included in this was a bunch of their fancy, "gourmet" shampoos. I was eyeballing the Frederic Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo - I've been applying a lot more heat damage to hair what with my newfound ability to straighten my hair and not have it look like shit - and I figured my hair could use some moisture. It was marked down to $10 a bottle... Still a bit more than the $3-4 I usually spend. (I know, I know. But I have a LOT of hair and I got through a LOT of shampoo and I can't afford to buy the nice stuff.)

But then! I saw it!

Hidden behind the rest was a 2-for-1 pack of this intriguing item. At this point, I figured what the hell, and tossed it in my basket. $5 each for two bottles of $20 shampoo? That's a $40 VALUE. Hells to the yes. I know how to shop.

I vaguely considered the repercussions of what would happen if I liked the shampoo, but dismissed it quickly. Also, I was a bit sad that there was no accompanying conditioner. Still, I figured I would treat myself to some nice shampoo for a change.

Guys.

This stuff is awesome. It smells heavenly, for starters - even though I've never been a huge fan of the shea butter lotions I've tried in the past - and it just feels luxurious on my hair (compared to my cheap-ass other shampoo, I guess that's not surprising) and my hair is soft and shiny and smells great and I don't know what I'm going to do when I use up both bottles.

Possibly because Target obviously isn't selling it anymore, but also because, well, it's not exactly in my budget.

Ah, tragic, doomed love.

Le sigh.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ramblethon

I am, like, overflowing with words right now. Somewhere in the last 24 hours my brain decided to start, and not stop. Which is fine by me, really. It is far better than the raging apathy that has taken over my body like an alien invasion. I haven't been motivated to do ANYTHING. My apartment continues to live in a state of disarray. The garbage needs taken out. Laundry needs to be picked up off the floor. Dishes need to be done. Bills need to be paid. "I'll do it later," says my brain.

It doesn't stop there. I haven't been going to my TKD class regularly, partially out of exhaustion, partially out of sheer laziness. The thought of forty-five minutes of intense activity actually makes me tired. Which, whatever. Except belt testing is in ONE WEEK and I'm officially losing a day of class each week moving forward because of softball starting. I'm so effed, guys. Except I always do this to myself, and I always pull it out of my ass, and I always pass, and it's fine. Except it's not fine, because I could be so much better if I could find my original dedication. I don't know what my deal is.

I also went a really long time without showering last week. I don't even know. I like showering. I like being clean. But since I'd straightened my hair at some point, it bought me a couple extra days. And I have a huge stash of headbands. So, you know. When you don't do anything but work and sleep, it's not exactly as if you are super dirty. Even so, it was gross and it annoyed me, but The Apathy took over and BAM. Three days without showering. I'm so classy, I know.

But, I did drag myself out of my laziness yesterday and showered and groomed and went to my friend Steph's housewarming party and today my hair is like a mess of cute curls which kind of saddens me because I AM going to my TKD class this afternoon so it's just going to be wasted when it turns into a sweaty mess. And then I have a softball meeting directly after, so that's going to be, um, sexy. Whatever.

But back to my original topic. I have lots of posts half-written and I am going to finish them and possibly pre-schedule them because we all know I am very anal about my one-post-a-day rule.. which only bothers me a little because WHAT IF SOMETHING AWESOME HAPPENS and I have to INTERRUPT MY SCHEDULE and it's a lot of work to rearrange things so maybe I'll leave, like, Tuesday open just in case, and then if nothing blogworthy happens, I will just fill it in with something else.

K? K.

While I am feeling ambitious... I need to clean out my Twitter feed. I mean... I used to be inseparable with Twitter. We were besties. I lived on my Blackberry. Lately? I'll tweet but won't check anything but replies because I don't have time to wade through everything. I am horribly lame and feel guilty about unfollowing people, though. I don't know why. It's not like anyone really cares. But I want to get back to the days when my list was only people I really cared about reading and it didn't take three hours to get fully caught up on everything. Sigh.

Similarly... I am ALMOST caught up in my Reader. Holy hell. I have way too many blogs that I want to read. So, if yours is one of them, I'm not ignoring you, I probably just haven't gotten to it yet. Because if I leave it alone for, like, a day, it sneaks back up to 700 items which is scary and I don't even know how it gets that high but it's a lot trying to get through them and I hate "marking as read" because WHAT IF I MISS SOMETHING. I know, I have issues.

Anyway. My point was, I feel good today and my goal for the day/next few days is to get caught up on everything so I'm not drowning in my technology and/or messy apartment.

And if I don't go outside for at least a little bit today, I am going to stop speaking to myself because it is fucking gorgeous out. Holla.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

GUYS GUYS I MADE A DESIGN

I've done pro-bono design work for the Freeman Spring Concert at Iowa State University for going on four years now. I say pro-bono because since I graduated, that's pretty much what it is, haha. When I was in school, it was just something fun to do, and maybe something to add to my portfolio. My 2007 design set actually got published in a design annual. (Fun fact, I got my work published in that annual for three years in a row. And then I graduated and stopped designing stuff. Meh.)

Anyway. This year's event kind of creeped up on me so I blew the dust off of Illustrator and am trying to poop out some designs for them. I actually kind of like what I've gotten done so far. Maybe I'll post the poster too when it's done. Or maybe I won't. I'M SUCH A TEASE.

Anyway anyway. Here's the Tshirt design, which I actually really like, so don't say mean things. I haven't designed for... ehm... three years now. Minus random stuff here and there, like, well, this concert.

And since this blog is, like, my proverbial refrigerator as far as showing off... BAM. Here it is.


hello there.

I spent the other evening writing up drafts of probably half a dozen blog posts that I will eventually need to post, and I could not make myself shut up for anything, but now that I want to randomly write in the middle of the day, I got nuthin'.

Except this. I poked around at my layout a little and created some pages at the top that are not overly aesthetically pleasing to me but I don't appear to be able to do much about that, but I am probably going to add some stuff so that's exciting. Also, I hate all the other Blogger layouts so I'm going to hang out with this one for a while even though I'm kind of sick of it.

ALSO! I spent a LONG ASS TIME going through and making a complete archive and summary page of ALL MY POSTS EVER because after not being able to find specific posts that I wanted to refer back to, I decided that some housekeeping was in order.

SO! If you are reallyreally bored sometime, feel free to visit my page of The Complete Unabridged Archives of Everything Ever - and scroll away. Read whatever grabs your attention. I put little stars by some of the posts I felt were deemed worthy of calling out.

Anyhizzle.

Yesterday was my 2-year anniversary at my job, which I don't really have a whole lot to say on... once I have my annual review I am sure I will have all sorts of thoughts, but right now, well. I'm good. Yay for milestones.

That's all for today.

xoxo.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

shake it, shake it, shake it like a....

This past weekend while up with The Family, my mother and I cruised around her town looking for garage sales. Because, you know, garage sales are awesome. People sell off their old shit and other people buy their old shit for cheap. And sometimes their old shit is exactly what you are looking for and it costs you a fraction as much as it would if you bought it in a store or on Ebay or whatever. Because usually, people just want to get rid of stuff, and they don't even care. And if my mother taught me anything worthwhile, it was how to snag a bargain.

Anywho. I found... this.


That's right. It's an old-school Polaroid camera. I paid $1.25 for it. Supposedly, it works, but I'd have to find film (which, given my preliminary Ebay search, is redonkulously exponsive because Polaroid had to be difficult and STOP MAKING IT and so now people are scalping it on the instant-film black market. Or, something.)

I was completely enamored with this and my mother rolled her eyes and felt the need to explain to the girl working the cash table that I was a "designer" in such a tone that conveyed "she's a little excitable about weird stuff." Fine, whatever. Later, when I was telling my dad about it also, he kind of laughed in a similar you're-weird-and-I-don't-understand-you way and was all, "those take such shitty pictures." And I was all, "I KNOW! IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME!"

My excitement has waned a little, given how hard it is to find film - when I worked at Target, we used to sell it, but that was before Polaroid officially announced they were going to stop making it, so... I dunno. Even then, it's not cheap, and you only get like ten shots per cartridge.

Here is the thing, though, my friends. I get on raging benders of nostalgia and I hate the notion of something becoming obsolete or gone forever. In the case of Polaroid pictures - gah. I don't even know where to start. I absolutely adore them. Casual snapshots in time, weird grainy colored images... but they are the type of pictures people took when they really wanted to preserve the moment. They didn't have digital cameras; they couldn't take three hundred pictures in one evening. They took their Polaroid photos, and they kept them, the ubiquitous little white square, with a piece of time preserved on there. I admit, I am romanticizing it. To have The Photo that you loved to no end, tucked in the corner of a bulletin board or stashed away and pulled out years later... ah. I want some of these memories captured.

Don't get me wrong. I love my digital camera and I could not have benefitted more from this development of technology. I'm sure my parents hated giving me film for whatever craptastic 35mm camera I had because they always had to pay $6 to develop it and believe me I got carried away. (Shocking, I know.) I've always loved taking pictures. Ever since I was able to get my hands on a camera. With the arrival of digital, it was like the heavens opening and the angels singing a hallelujah chorus and I could take as many damn pictures as I wanted and I didn't have to pay for developing them AND I could edit them AND, obviously, instant gratification. Your picture sucks? Retake it quick. Bam. Easy. Wonderful.

Still, part of me longs for the days when you took a single Polaroid picture to preserve an entire night, relationship, era. You save Polaroids. Sometimes you save film negatives. You don't really have as much to save, with digital. You have discs and hard drives. Hardly as sentimental.

A while back... I found this super awesome website with this super awesome software/application that I downloaded that simulated a Polaroid picture with your digital pictures. I started using them on my other blog but me being anal-retentive crankypants I just cropped down my own pictures and pasted them into the picture shell instead... but! It's very cool. I blogged about it here, a long time ago, when I was making an attempt to highlight cool stuff I found on the Internet, which lasted all of three weeks. You can see kind of how it works - you drag your photo into it, it spits it out and "develops" for a few minutes, and voila! A shittily-colored, gorgeous vintage-looking digital Polaroid. Glory. (IT EVEN MAKES THE NOISE, YOU GUYS.)






I may or may not have started grabbing random pictures and turning them into pseudo-Polaroids just so I could show you how very awesome this program is. Maybe.


Still, not the same. Obviously. And obviously at this point I am sure y'all are very familiar with my need for things to be exactly perfect and while that Poladroid app is fucking cool and I do like it... I want something tangible. I want the ACTUAL film to spit out of the ACTUAL camera and I want to maybe shake it a little bit and wait and see what I actually ended up with.

However, I am a cheapass because I am effing broke and I didn't want to get into a bidding war and spend $50 for like a half-used cartridge or something. I was sad. I was defeated.

BUT THEN!!!!

I took to the rest of the Internet.

And I found...


Basically, a group of guys who are crazier than I am, decided that they would not let instant film go quietly into that great night. They bought the last functional Polaroid plant over in the Netherlands and recalibrated all the machines to start producing the film again. They basically had to re-engineer the whole process, since one of the chemicals they used to use, is no longer able to be made anywhere, because that last plant got destroyed in that bitch Hurricane Katrina. Well, I mean, that and like a million other variables of reviving a decades-old technology. No matter. They did it anyway.

Currently they only have black and white film cartridges but plan to introduce color film this summer and then crank up production. Given the prices I was seeing on Ebay? $21 isn't too shabby, really.

Anyway go read this article right now because it made me extremely happy and uses words like "magic" and "impossible" and "crazy"* and these guys are my HEROES because they saved something worth saving - even if only artistically - and they had the balls to do something that was, well, "impossible." And possibly kind of financially stupid but you know what? Fuck yeah, is what.

*I totally wrote that sentence before going back and grabbing the link and even looking at the title which I don't think I ever noticed which actually uses ALL OF THOSE WORDS all together which really kind of creeps me out. Kind of in a good way, I think?

I think this is my favorite line: "On the day of the ceremony [to close the plant], he looked around for this person, and saw one man he didn't know: A man with a ponytail, wearing the look of someone who believes in impossible things."

I'm a sucker for wordplay. Obviously. And the phrase "wearing the look of someone who believes in impossible things"... Yes. Just, yes.

Holy shit, it just got all cheesy up in here. Oops.

Another little snippet:
There are other things, marks of the whimsy and joy and freedom that is engendered by marrying magic, craziness and some serious brilliance. Instead of expiration dates, the new packs will be marked with production dates. "It's a little like a wine," says Kaps. "There is a lot of handwork; it's slow production." Each vintage is unique and who can say when a wine is done for? You have to taste it.

The blank plastic sheets that come out of the camera when you insert a new cartridge are imprinted with quirky sayings: The one Kaps produces reads "Smells like teen spirit." Others quips include "Explain the color orange" and "Dance without money."

The film looks blue when it comes out of the camera, instead of white like the old Polaroid film. "We don't want to copy," Kaps says. When there are mistakes, when a film run doesn't go as planned or the team devises a new "flavor" of film that doesn't seem quite right, these will be sold anyway. "We don't want to tell you how to feel!" says Kaps. "We want you to feel the magic on your own."



I don't know why I'm so fascinated by this article, this concept, this place on the other side of the world. Maybe because they are doing something they believe in, not just thinking about it, but doing.

And they saved a little piece of the past that would have most certainly been lost forever, otherwise.

Anyway.

I am going to acquire myself some goddamn instant film somehow or another and I am going to take my magical photos and I am going to be happy about it even if everyone else thinks they are ridiculous.

And if I can't find film... my grandma has an old 35mm camera that I would very much like to play with, too... even though it sounds like film for that is also starting to become obscure. It's a nice camera, for its age, and it's been SO LONG since I've shot anything on film... let alone with any sort of manual camera. And one thing I really miss about film is being able to take action shots... Digital cameras are never fast enough. Not that I really take many action pictures - the last time I really remember doing this was in high school for the yearbook of sporting events on a then-new digital camera and it sucked balls and we just went back and used the film camera because, well, it worked - but, well. You never know.

At the end of the day? If I can even take a handful of photos that I like, I will be happy. It's been so long since I've done any photography... not really since college. Years ago. One of my fears is that this adult-ish life is sucking my creativity dry and I'm not entirely certain its an unjust fear. I'm struggling to hold on to it.

And that, my friends, is an entire introspective post on a piece of junk obsolete camera I got at a garage sale. The end.


PS - I may as well ask - do any of you happen to HAVE any Polaroid film? Would be the Polaroid 600 film cartridges that I need. I will pay you for it... Just not, like, an obscene amount of money, because I do not HAVE an obscene amount of money. Just, you know. PG-13 amounts of money.