Archive for May, 2012

May 31, 2012

Packing Up

You can only imagine how difficult it has been trying to pack 2 months of my life into one large backpack and a tote bag (my carry on). I began stockpiling and separating a few weeks ago, hoping to keep everything I needed for the trip away from everything I didn’t need. My office became a makeshift packing station, and natural became a hot ass mess. I realize I couldn’t really put anything away until I visually could look at everything I was taking. When I finally did, I had a moment of panic. How the hell was I going to stuff all that shit into one small space and still be able to carry it around?!?!

Well as it turns out, it worked out quite well! Due to what can only be described as my over controlled and psychotic need to plan out everything, packing wasn’t as difficult as I initially envisioned. I used zip bags from Baggu, a bag company that I LOVE (do you hear me? I LOVE BAGGU).  Baggu is where I get all of my reusable bags. They also sell backpacks, totes, and really cute, simplistic leather goods, many of them in adorable patterns, like alpacas or foxes. I went online to Baggu and got XL, L, M, and S sized zip bags for me to use as packing cubes. These.things.were. perfect. It allowed me to roll up my clothes and tuck them away in a bag. All the t-shirts together, undies together, bathing suits together, toiletries separated out, shoes protected. I have a little bag for all my cords and chargers, and even one for my cotton balls and Q tips. Most things are travel sized (Ill buy full sizes when I arrive there), and made for really easy packing. The bags were a fraction of what I would have paid for packing cubes online at Amazon or at a specialty store and met my needs very well!

I didn’t have to edit anything  I packed JUST enough. Everything fit into my big ol’ LL Bean pack without having to over stuff or squeeze it in a violent manner. All my electronics, journals, and an extra zip bag with a change of clothes and some mini toiletries fit into my carry on tote with MORE than enough room.

I even did a test run and packed my bag to the brim with all my stuff, and it went great. Packing Success!

Check out Talia overseeing the process…think she has any idea whats up?

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May 18, 2012

As Three Years Comes to an End

I felt it only fitting to write this post today. Tomorrow at this time, I’ll be at Rehoboth Beach with some good friends, and I won’t want to write about this kind of thing at the start of a great weekend.

Tomorrow is the last day of my job. After about three years, I am saying goodbye to the position I intended to keep only temporarily. Sometimes I think we settle in a place for longer than we intended in order to see what our next step really should be. I have to admit, I’m definitely in a different mind set than when I started.

I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve worked with. I may not have learned it in a way that I prefer, but still, the experience has been quite valuable. I will take away a lot of great things, and I feel as though it has helped me mature while expanding my viewpoint. A few of the most important lessons I’ve learned are that I don’t need everyone’s personal approval- I need only do my job to the best of my ability. After all, I am there to exchange my capabilities for a paycheck. Second, Never under estimate the power of a great boss. This is something I have always known. I can truly say that if it were not for my boss being one of the most encouraging and supportive people, I would not have made it through some of the worst days. It is nice to have that kind of support, even if she can’t control EVERYTHING. The third thing is to remember that you never know what other people may be going through that takes them outside of their normal selves. I experienced this first hand, and I think we all do. When we are stressed, we act differently. No one I worked with is any different. People are human, and so we go through things. STILL- you shouldn’t ever be taken so outside of your element that you can’t or don’t want to do the best you can. This brings me to my final lesson- life is simply too short to be doing something that you don’t love, but until you are able to or until you find out WHAT EXACTLY that is, try to do your day job the best you can and don’t down yourself in the process. It all works out, even if the results are unexpected. There is NOTHING wrong with doing what you have to do to make a living.

I’m very lucky to have had a steady job and to work with a few people who were a joy. Thank God for them, because there are always a few in every job that aren’t! I joke around that there will be nothing I miss, but surely I can name a few things. For now, I’m off in a different direction, and I’m really going to enjoy seeing where I wind up.

LET THE FUNEMPLOYMENT COMMENCE!

 

Thank you Somee Cards for always knowing what to say!

May 9, 2012

No School for Summer = YAY X 100

Last night was my last class until fall. This semester has been so up and down for me. I started this program with such excitement and hope, but this semester, that level of enthusiasm dropped, with no sign of recovering.

Book design, Aka the Wednesday night book club, ended last week. My Raven IPad App got decent reviews on it. Even though I wasn’t fond of the assignment, I did the best I could. I wanted more for it, but it gets to the point where I just need to bang it out and get it finished. When the deadline approaches, you gotta haul ass.

I signed up for my second class, Information Design, not really knowing what to expect. It was the first time Amy was teaching this class (it was the first info design class ever!), and I knew that it would have some kinks. I could lie and say that I made lots of connections between design execution and theories on how to represent information in hierarchies, but for realz, I don’t pay attention to that crap. No one else’s but mine. To me, important stuff should be represented ahead of smaller things, and I use my own discretion. If it doesn’t work, then trust me, I’ll hear about it during critique.

Our final project was a 2 part assignment. The first was to collect data on ourselves and use it to create an infographic.

The second part was to create a mobile application . We weren’t sure how these two parts were related, but I did my best to tie mine together. Below is my infographic.

My Infographic, which details my creative process…if you can call it one.

My app, called RUSH, is a creative conscience tracker. You use this app to track moments during the day when you have a creative idea you would eventually like to execute.  The app not only lets you track your idea, but then it compiles that data into a report (ideally) that would tell you when, where, and under what conditions you would produce your best artistic work.

I really love this project. Although the “frames” are just a start, I can see me developing it into an actual app, provided I gain the know how.  Definitely my favorite work of the semester! More projects to come later.

Home/Start Up Screen

Retrieve & Create Ideas your idea

Track your idea using a picture (taken with the device or uploaded), a sound bite, or write it in. The file folder allows you to access an old one, or you can search for it using the search bar

Type your idea in

Tag your idea with key works, which aides in generating the report

Share with social media…or NOT!

May 3, 2012

End of the Semester & Funemployment Prep

 This happens to be the lovely time of the semester where I fall off the face of the Earth for 2 or 3 weeks because I simply cannot manage both my life and a blog. Anyway, I am back, and I’m ready to get my write on!

 

PRAISE JEEBUS!

School is nearly done. I finished Book Design last night after presenting an interactive story app for Poe’s The Raven. No I did not know John Cusack was making a shitty movie about him at the time I started.

Next week marks the last class of the semester. Info Design has been a decent experience. For my final project, I created an app called Rush. It works as a tool to track your creative conscience. I can’t wait to finish it and be DONE!

There are 15 calendar days until I am officially closing the chapter of my life as a government contractor. Yes, I am still excited. No, I will not miss anything about it.

There are 4 weeks until I leave the country for a summer in Costa Rica. Yes I am still excited. Yes I am still nervous. Yes to all of the above!

I’ve already started setting aside the stuff I am taking (the fun part), and planning what I will do when I  return (necessary evil). So far, things have been smooth. The only part I can honestly say is the 4 vaccines I received yesterday, leaving me feeling like a sick little kid. Polio, Typhoid, Tetanus, and Hepatitis A/B (1st round) vaccines are running through my blood stream as we speak, getting ready to kill all sorts of shit in case I come across it. My own little army lying dormant…

I also bought these extremely thorough kits to prevent me from getting nasty little diseases like Dengue Fever (what the fuck), and another one to ease the discomfort of the travelers diarrhea that I am bound to get. The nurse lectured me for quite a while on what to eat and what not to eat, sucking the fun out of everything as she said no to street food and mixed drinks containing ice from unfiltered ice cubes. What the hell am I supposed to drink?! Oh well, beer it is.  How am I supposed to remember to not open my mouth in the shower, eat fruit salad washed in local water, put a straw in everything, etc? I know I’m a mess, and I’ll forget as soon as someone says, “drink this rum and passion fruit juice.”

 

SAY NO (Photo Courtesy of Pbase.com

 

She also broke my heart by telling me not to pet any animals. I understand why I shouldn’t pet random street dogs, but not hold a sloth monkey? That’s 75 % of the reason I chose Costa Rica! What am I supposed to love on while I’m down there?

Don’t pet him? That’s just mean! Surely this loving little creature won’t give me Ebola or Rabies….
(photo courtesy of escapevillas.com)

Aside from preparing for my doom via bat bite, life is normal for the next few weeks. Lots of things are on the way, but for now, I’m enjoying my last bit of normalcy before I take off. Friends, be prepared for me to be needy and clingy for the next month! I am going to get in as much time with you as I can.