Saturday, January 29, 2011

So fly

I was antsy and wanted to get out of the house last night, so we took a trip to the mall. Sometimes I just need a little change of scenery to feel refreshed.

Several of my school project right now are still in the early stages... Brainstorming, researching, idea generating, DECISION MAKING. Just typing those out makes me sweat.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A wannabe bachelor

The other night, Jason and I watched the Bachelor together. Jason went to bed while I stayed up working. When I finally got into bed, Jason says groggily, "Where are you from?" Confused, I ask, "What?" He mumbled something about how he was on the bachelor.

I'm fairly certain he was having a dream that he was the bachelor and he was meeting one of his dates for the first time.

I'm also fairly certain that I shouldn't let him watch the Bachelor anymore.

Being thug nasty during our engagement sesh

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's not me, it's you

Yesterday was a victorious day, although it did not feel as such.

I finished my group project. From hell. Yeah, I said it. The following is a collection of my venting and ranting. You've been warned. It's more for my own benefit to get it off my chest than to entertain anyone.

Considering not one person in my group came to help me set up, it was a underwhelming finale, but a finale all the same. Was I surprised no one showed up? No. Did it still raise my already alarmingly-high irritability levels? Yes.

People, I was the grumpiest of grouches this week. If I was a cartoon character, I would have had a menacing, gray raincloud looming over my head. A storm cloud with extra scribbles made in extra-dark ink. There was lightning and thunder, fuming and growling. It was an all out Emily storm.

Apparently my group checked the forecast, and decided it was better to stay indoors.

I went into this group project with the best of intentions. We started on the cluster project, an interdisciplinary project with all of the design disciplines, last Wednesday, and I went in with a positive attitude. I was nervous, but hopeful. I spent extra time picking out my outfit because I was going to be meeting my group that day.

I met my group. One member seemed ditsy, one offered a stream of complaints for half an hour without stopping. One was an hour and a half late. My group wanted to name themselves Cluster8Create. They also didn't notice my wincing and twitching whenever the name was mentioned. My group wasn't the best and brightest of the bunch, but I still had hope. We plan to meet on Saturday to nail down a plan.

Thursday rolls around. I begin hearing of other groups that met in the morning. Some groups met in the afternoon. Some where meeting that night. I send an email out - can we please meet Friday? I don't want to get behind.

One member was working, and the one who was late previously, just didn't come. That left three of us to brainstorm, and three of us to make a plan. We had a shaky plan, nothing groundbreaking, but we had a plan. And I still held onto that hope.

Saturday. One of the girls in my group brings another girl with her to our team meeting. I consider asking if it's her sister, but then I figure it's a roommate or something. My habitually late team member is late, again. He is the only guy in our group, and a real chad in Kellie terms-basically a cocky d-bag (so much harsh language in my blog today) and a common sight on ASU campus. He is an architect major. We sit down to discuss our plan of action. The three of us summarize our plan so far and then architect chad says, "sounds great, bye."

He left some promises on the table, and we sat and stared at them for a while. Well, three of us. The fourth was staring deeply into her sister/roommate/friend's eyes. And then there was more than staring. I maintained composure and kept the bug eyes from popping out. I felt relief at not asking if they were sisters. I also felt disdain that she was not hearing anything our group was saying because she was involved elsewhere. Ditsy girl turned out to be really funny, chill and funny, just how I like it. Complaining girl complained some more, but we became friends. The trio of us did more planning, now as friends.

Our plan was to design an urban community as a solution to the water crisis. We tried to make the community as sufficient as possible, so that the least amount of water was wasted. I learned new terms that I had never heard before, like greywater and blackwater, and I learned the difference between site maps and rending sections, Revit and AutoCad, and a key and keyframe (which are actually the same, architects just like to add frame onto the end cause they're important like that).

By the end of the meeting, my hope was feeling a bit frayed. Can we really pull this off? We planned to meet again Sunday, so I held onto architect chad's promises of production. Meanwhile, I work and work as much as I can on my end of the deal.

Another sunrise and sunset, and we find ourselves again in College of Design South, room 326. Architect chad sends a text that he is still working, and he can work faster on his home computer than his laptop, so he isn't coming. Complaining girl calls his bluff. Formerly ditsy girl shrugs it off and remains positive. Other girl brought her not-sister/roommate/friend again.

Without architect chad's finished work, we're at a standstill. We facebook stalk architect chad and see that he checked into ASU headlining party apartment complex, The Vue, last night and he also has a status about ASU being the greatest place ever. We leave our meeting without much more done, except now my graphic design classmates are pissed at other girl's PDA in our studio. Other girl is just happy we finished before the big football games.

My hope has gone from freshwater to greywater. It's dirty and dingy, but still can be used for irrigation and the toilet. I try to filter the hope and save it, because I know we still three days left to get this product done and I'd rather not put my hope straight in the toilet. An annoying cloud of scribbles has appeared overhead and doesn't seem to want to leave.

It's Monday, and we meet during our normal studio time. Architect chad graces us with his presence, but it's a fleeting visit because he still hasn't finished his renderings so he goes to the computer lab to finish. A few more promises are pushed on the table, but this time they mock me. Other girl was given jobs on Saturday to do, but still hasn't done them. She leaves to work on them. It's the trio again. Complaining girl is even more mad that no one has gotten anything done, but I'm appalled because she really has yet to do anything but complain about other's lack of work. Ironic how that goes.

One of the frustrating things about this project was our deliverables. We had to have a 2ft x 6 ft poster (my job to put it all together and make it look nice) and some other form of media. I volunteer to do a brochure to advertise our new community to potential buyers, but that pesky little thing called hope was still there and led me to believe someone else could do a physical model or a 3D walkthrough of the rendering. We have 2 landscape architects and 1 architect, so it would make sense, right? That's something they have all have experience in.

Complaining girl said flat out, I don't want to do a model. It's takes too much time and I'm not losing sleep over this project. And that's to my teacher's face. I guess she missed the bags under my eyes. And the cloud rumbling above my head.

This is where I slip into a dark, dark grumpiness. If my thoughts had a color, they were a deep, charcoal gray. I wore a perma frown like nobody's business, and it stayed the rest of the project. If anything makes me grumpy, it's having to work last minute to get our crap together because everyone else slacked and procrastinated. I will be mature and say I acted immaturely. I am in charge of my own attitude, and I was a poor boss of it.

During this group session, I was trying to put our 2'x6' board together (which is all designed digitally, no cutting and gluing on thankfully) but couldn't do much with the nothing that I had. I still showed my teacher my board, but began to fall apart as I realized more and more how behind we were. My board was big, white and empty; other groups were sending theirs to be printed.

The tears began coming after I got in the stairwell, and I was a mess by the time I made it to the car. Jason patiently waited for me to cry it out and pull it together, he listened as I explained the utter loss of hope I suffered, and then dutifully offered to kick some design student butts.What a peach.

I prayed and gave myself a pep talk. I was still extremely grumpy, but I was facing this, and I was going to finish. I worked on everything as much as I could, waiting to get the finished renderings.

I got a text from architect chad that said "Hey Em I'm just waiting for the last rendering to finish then ill upload em via googledocs." This is verbatim. Considering I just met architect chad mere days ago, I was surprised by his jump into this new level of friendship, so I consequently bragged to formerly ditsy that chad and I were on a nickname basis now. She was jealous, naturally. I texted architect chad back, telling him I understood why they use indesign and not illustrator for making their boards because the renderings were bogging down illustrator (forgive the design school jargon, but the context is necessary). His reply, "Yeee get it girl." Architect chad, I can safely say, that was the most entertaining moment I had all week. So, thank you.

That earlier text was sent at 9:48 pm. His googledocs appeared at 1:04 am. I did a hallelujah dance, but still couldn't add them to the poster because someone else in my group still had to photoshop a garden onto 3 of the 4 renderings. I finally went to bed. Pretty sure I slept with perma frown still on.

From here, everything just went downhill and I'll spare you the messy details. But basically, I was in charge of everything (unwillingly so) and everyone went to me with their problems. My grumpy meter continued to sky rocket into once unknown territories.

You already know the end of the story. No one showed; I begged everyone, someone to come; and then I collapsed in a big, grumpy, grouchy, angry mess. The grumpiness is still wearing off, but relief came quickly and happiness is slowly moving back in. Oh yeah, and each person in my group still owes me money for printing. I laugh in the face of the hope of ever getting it.

And that my friends, was my grumpy Emily storm. I will leave you not with parting words, but instead with a picture I snapped of our final exhibit space. Be warned of residual thunder and lightning, forecasters predict they should clear up in the next 24 hours.

And the logo I designed, which I did have fun with. The overall project was focused on water, so I used water droplets, but because our group built a garden community, I used the water droplets to make a flower. Wa la!

Converting it to jpg turns it fuzzy, so you'll have to trust me that it's not. I need to learn better image conversion... Also, as you can see, I slowly and gently eased my group away from Cluster8Create. We were team 8 and they wanted to use an 8 so were became HYDR8 (best said with jazz hands).

PS Good grief - could this be any longer? Like I said, it's for my own benefit. And I do feel better now. The emotions are out, and I can now leave them in this post for good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I want my money back!

This morning in Sunday school, we were talking about the story of the good Samaritan. Valerie, the teacher, asked the class if they knew what a robber was. After coming to the conclusion that a robber is someone who takes something that doesn't belong to them, one boy perked up and said, "That's like Obama! He takes everyone's money!" We teachers were so surprised, we couldn't help but snort and giggle as he started bobbing his head back and forth, saying "I want my money back!"

When we were done with the lesson, we all got up to start the next activity. One little boy complained, "Argh, my underwear always gets stuck in my bottom."

I love our kids and all the darndest things they say.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Food thoughts

The more I read and learn, the more I want to completely change my diet.

The ideal:
More fruits and vegetables than meat
Little to no red meat
More raw food than cooked (obviously not meat)
All whole-grains
All whole-fat dairy with no homogenization (click for more info)
More organic foods
Less corn syrup, more natural sugars like honey and agave nectar
Little to no pre-packaged foods

There's probably more but that's what I have so far. This is pretty radical for me, considering I can down a can of Pringles in an hour. Another important factor is being a poor college student and we can't necessarily afford to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Because of those two factors, I'm trying to slowly incorporate this into our lives. More salads, whole grain bread, less meat. Only time will tell as to how many of these standards we can adopt.

One fun way Jason and I have found to eat our vegetables is this smoothie recipe for a "Green Monster." It's yummy, easy, and healthy - the best of everything.

Two books I want to read:
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

That's all I have for now... just a little Saturday musing for you (and a nice break from my cluster project - there may be more on that later, but let's just say, it's a doozy)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


That's my camera circled in the picture above. I've had it since I've graduated high school and it's rocking some seriously outdated specs: 5 megapixels, 2 inch LCD (that is almost impossible to see in sunlight), 5x optical zoom, and a 516 mb storage card. It's nearing its 5th birthday, which is centuries old in technology years. And, bless its heart, it looks its age with scratches, nicks, and missing parts.

Yes it's old and ragged, but it's become a trusty friend after all those years. I get sentimental thinking about all the memories its saved for me. So in honor of my camera, and as a personal goal, I want to take my 10,000th picture with it. Within 2011, preferably.
I recently took my 9,000th. It's pretty random... the roof of the World's Smallest Museum in Superior, AZ. Made completely of beer cans.

I'm sad because I don't have the first picture I took on my camera. I must have deleted it, it was so bad. But here's #15, my oldest picture. It's my old backyard in Thatcher.

Hanging at WalMart, looking like a third wheel, fresh after getting my braces off (I had to keep rubber bands on for a few weeks even after the fact): #2000

Julie and I taking pictures in the bra section of WalMart (there's a reocurring theme of WalMart. Don't judge. I lived in a small town with not a lot to do): #3000

And flying kites on top of Mt. Laguna: #6000

Monday, January 17, 2011

I wish...

...I had the occasion for this dress

...the winter for this jacket

...and the money for these boots

All images from jcrew

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here we go again

School starts in less than two days.

I have some things that I wanted to get done today before the semester started, but instead, since church I've been balled up on the couch with no motivation, watching cheesy game shows online and really, just basically doing every but something productive.

It's like my body is going into lock down mode. I think of a scene from a movie where an intruder enters a building and trips an alarm. Immediately the building is filled with loud beeping, flashing lights, and men dressed in black with large guns flooding the hallways.

Lord, help me.

One of my resolutions this year was to live with less fear. And yet, here I am, already feeling myself frozen with fear. The emails are already pouring in of projects to come, namely, one huge group project/competition. The more information I get, the more the panic begins to rise.

I'm reminded of this promise in Romans:

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
(Really the whole chapter 8 is amazing and so applicable to me today. Read it!)

I can make this all about myself. I can doubt myself and live in fear. I depend on my own (desperately frail) strength to get me through. Or, I can trust in the God of the universe, who loves me and works all out for good. Even if that good is failing in school, I trust that he will still be glorified.

I found this picture the other day. I took it on the last day of school last semester. I don't know the last time my hair was washed, the dark circles under my eyes were menacing, I was running on a very minimal amount of sleep and too much caffeine, and my arm and wrist were in pain, thus the brace. But through the grace of God, I had done it.

Here's to the spring semester!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Argyle, Cardigans, and Dimples

Because school is coming soon, we wanted to have some fun on our last days. Fun was spelled g-o-l-f today. Jason had been itching to go to a driving range so I obliged. We brought Tiffany along because she bragging so much about her "putt putt" skills.

Here's the dream team.

Jason and I went to a thrift store to pick up a golf club, and then of course we couldn't leave without outfits. I picked up those brown slacks, and Jason got his first argyle sweater. Tiffany was mesmerized by my high waistline. Who can blame her?

As far as the actual golfing, well needless to say, I'm not a natural. Dressing for success really didn't help me, but at least I learned that the "dimples" on the balls are there to make them more aerodynamic. In my case, if those balls had a million dimples, I still would be hopeless. At least I gave the others a good laugh.

What's golfing without some black and whites?

(notice the ball is still there, teehee)

The weather was so nice! Mid January and I'm in short sleeves. The argyle kids were getting a little toasty.

I love this kid.

Spring semester is just days away. Ho hum sigh. That means I can't wear my pajamas all day anymore.

Katniss's #1 fan

This is what my husband looks like a lot these days.

I tempted him with the Hunger Games, promising he would like it. I had to work when we got back from California, so I left the book on the couch. To my pleasant surprise I started receiving texts at work: "Oh crap. Her little sister is going to the hunger games" and "This book is already awesome and the fighting hasn't even begun!"

Suzanne Collins deserves a lot of credit here because Jason is not a reader. He would almost always choose a Simpsons episode over a book. I'm quite delighted to see him so caught up in a good book. He's almost done with Catching Fire now and I'm pretty sure it's the fastest he's ever read a series of books.

What's even better... we can't walk normally to the car anymore. We have to dash and dart and hide and shoot arrows because we are in the arena and someone's going to catch us any minute. Yes, I married a child inside a man's body. I really wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Front and center

One of my favorite photographers, Jose Villa, named Rodney Smith as one of his inspirations. Ever since then I've loved Rodney Smith too. His composition is genius. I love how he can center the main object in the frame and it's brilliant. I feel like that's such a challenge when taking photos.

I wish men still wore hats like these.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You have the same eyebrows as him

I've finally been watching the 2nd season of Pushing Daisies. (Boo hiss at the terrible people who canceled this show and instead make crap like this.

The outfits on Pushing Daisies are phenomenal. I just about died when I saw the elk sweater. (is that an elk? I'm an embarrassment to my father, who had an elk/deer head mounted in our living room growing up - I honestly can never remember which it was or how to tell the difference)

PS, I love you, Ned.

A winter bookworm

One of my favorite things about Christmas break is the time I get to read. It's pretty much a guarantee I will be gifted with books and I revel in the time I can spend with my nose stuck in a book.

One such book I was received from my uncle was the Book Thief.

I loved this book. I think it speaks volumes when I feel as though I'm saying goodbye to old friends when I finish the book, and it was certainly the case with The Book Thief. I even had dreams about being bombed (the book is set in Germany during WWII). The characters are just simply wonderful though and I love them all. The end, although hinted at throughout the book, still came abruptly and had me sobbing. Jason was sitting next to me when I finished and was rather alarmed. This is book that will stay with me for a long time, and one I hope I can pass on to my children.

This book is next on my itinerary:

I haven't started it yet but I've heard so many good things about it.

The actual book is so charming, I just know I'm going to love it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm not gonna lie

The trend of nicknaming husbands on blogs irks me a little bit.

I rewatched 500 Days of Summer. I liked it a LOT MORE the second time around. Actually, loved it.

Jason liked it too; he laughed a lot.

Since watching the movie, I've had this song in my head:

I'm obsessed.

Speaking of obsession: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Need I say more?

Men in white suits creep me out.

I have a hot date tonight. It's casual so no need to worry about white suits.

Babies with long dark eyelashes are my favorite.

I secretly hope my future babies have hair.

I'm going to buy a domain for my own website. coming soon.

One thing new I've learned about myself this year is that celebrating holidays is important to me. A simple realization, but meaningful all the same.

I'm hopelessly forgetful and scatterbrained. I lose everything. It's getting in the way of my quality of life. F'real.

I watched the Bachelor last night. Terribly embarrassing guilty pleasure.

My husband watched it with me.

We made fun of all the boobs hanging out. And we cuddled.

One of my favorite parts of the day is falling asleep next to my husband. It's incredibly calming after a long day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new day of mostly the same

A new year.

Maybe not much has really changed, as much as I want to be able to talk about new beginnings. Most nearly everything in my life is still the same. Same curly hair, same string bean arms, same tiny apartment, same second-hand couches, same husband to call my own, same pillow, same bills to pay, same trusty car, same shameful dislike of vegetables.

But God showed me a new beginning this morning.

In my kindergarten Sunday school class, we have one boy who was held back a year. Now he's 7, a year or two older and inches above the rest of the kids. He also is a trouble maker. In a big way. I really don't blame him, because I would be mad too if I had to be in a class with kids that were practically babies (in his eyes, I presume). We've been working with him for months now, trying to instill some boundaries and discipline with him, while still loving him. Sometimes I forget that the loving is the more important part. And sometimes it feels like we're not getting through. It's a struggle when you only have an hour and a half once a week.

This morning, one of the little boys decided he didn't want to be in our classroom and clung to his dad's pant legs, trembling with tears rolling down his face. His parent's are missionaries and they live in Turkey. They're just visiting for a few months, but in Turkey they don't have Sunday school so he's not accustomed to it. I assured his dad that he should be fine once his dad leaves and he has a little time to adjust. His dad was finally able to pry himself free and left. The young boy promptly sat at the table and buried his head in his arms.

As I tried to console him, our little troublemaker walks up. "Don't worry, we'll make him feel welcome." My eyes widened a little bit. He and another classmate tried talking to the upset boy, inviting him to play and asking him questions. It was to no avail for about half an hour or so. I knew he liked our toy dinosaurs so during snack time, I brought him a few. He immediately perked up and began telling me every toy he got for Christmas, as though the past half hour hadn't even happened. The other sweet boys, troublemaker included, brought the whole box of plastic animals over for him. The rest of class, they played (nearly) peacefully together. It was more than I could have asked for, and I had more fun with them than I ever had.

When the Turkish missionary father returned after the service, his boy gathered up his belongings and was about to leave. Troublemaker walks up and sheepishly says "bye." The little boy says goodbye and then looks up at his dad and says, "He's my best friend."

Happy New Year, my friends. I think James wrote a better new years resolution than I ever could.

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."

James 13-15

Yes, I have some resolutions, but each day is a gift from God. It is his will that I wake up every morning, and each day I'm alive, he still has a plan for me. I don't want to forget that.