First day of class!
My school schedule is as follows:

scary web design class where I have to learn Flash, Dreamweaver, and basic html & css.

corporate identity design
bfa-level magazine class


I guess I'm not used to higher education because the fact that I'm taking almost all design classes blows my mind. In some ways it's scarier, because my expectations for myself are higher. In other ways, it seems really easy, like I can't believe I could possibly get a college degree for this.

The letterpress class is really open in the sense that we just get to pick a project to do. Any project. I've really gotta think of something cool. But of all my online letterpress research this is the coolest thing I've seen that's out there. It was pretty popular among the folks at the BYU graphic design department, but for those who haven't seen it, I thought I'd share (it's from cameronmoll.com):


pee in the shower!

A repost from Suvi's blog. A Brazilian group suggests a way to save water.

end of summer cinema.

I never watch movies. It's just so expensive and time consuming. The only movies I've seen this whole year (2) were when Whitney took me to see "Valkyrie" and when Jared took me to see "Up." But now there are all of these movies I want to see coming out all at once!

I am making it a goal to watch all of these. It may take me a while, but I'll do it. Let me know if you want to join me and we'll make a pact to watch one of them together.

1.Julie & Julia. I received recommendations from Jared and Miriam back to back on this film last night. I'm pretty excited about it now.(click on the image for the trailer.)

2. Still Walking. By my favorite director, Kore-Eda Hirokazu. I've been yearning to see something like this for so long! Japanese films can take me somewhere American films never could.(click on the image for the trailer.)

3.Ponyo! By my other favorite director, Hayao Miyazaki. But I must watch it in Japanese with English subtitles. The English-speaking versions of his films have always been dreadful, in my opinion.(Where is the little boy singing this so I can squeeze him?! Cute!! I may try to learn the words to this.)



So, I was trying to formulate some dinner plans for Mike Alger's birthday (tomorrrow!) when I stumbled across this website for the awesome Chinese hot pot place in Provo. For some reason, the combo of the home-made aesthetic and jazz music kills me! I hope they never ever hire a graphic designer. I seriously love it.Click on the dumpling!


please make it go away...

Anyone who's around me for any length of time knows that I'm always complaining about my eye rashes. (All of the redness on my eyelid is rashiness too.)

Here's the story. Last spring when I first moved back to my parent's house, they had a cat named Willy. I was really, really, really allergic to him without really knowing it. When I was around him, my eyes would itch and I'd rub them. The bad news is that it was after I'd touched all of the surfaces that he frequented. I was so allergic to him that my skin broke out in a rash around my eyes. It was almost torturous then and I was scary to look at.

Willy has since been kicked out to live as an outdoor cat for the rest of his days (and I just know he'll find me someday and claw my eyes out... it's been a difficult transition for him.)

The really bad news now is this: I get the eye rashes back all the time even when there aren't cats around. It seems to be a part of the way that normal hay fever manifests itself. I am going crazy! It itches so so so bad. And my brother Tom, the doctor, informed me that you're not supposed to ever put cortizone cream on your eyes (something about how the steroids in it can destroy your soft and gentle eye tissues.)

So here is a list of things I am doing to cope:
slathering them with lotion
wearing an eye mask to bed
sleeping on my back so I don't bury my face into my pillow which could be full of dusty allergens
taking generic zyrtec everday
trying so hard not to itch and rub
not wearing my contacts

But they've been like this for 3 weeks! I can't take it anymore...



"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" has got me thinking so much about the natural differences between genders. Here's a recent conclusion I've come to: I admire the camaraderie among men, but it's not for me.

For example, Jared has this big group of guy friends in New York who lovingly call themselves "The Fellowship." They get together for rounds of "Ticket to Ride," movies, day trips, visits to historical sites, sleepovers, and tacos. It could seem a little silly until you recognize how deeply these men share in one another's lives. There's a lot of love and support going on that they truly buoy one another up with.

In all honesty, sometimes I can feel just a little bit jealous. This isn't to say that I don't have amazingly loving and supportive friends, but I have a theory that females aren't as apt to experience this type of group friendship.

I've always found it interesting that in the verses on charity it says, "charity seeketh not her own" because I think this is what we, as women, have a very natural tendency to do. We are built to carry, nurse and raise babies. We are meant to look after our own. I think one of the most thoughtful questions you can ask a mother is how her children are doing.

The way that women express friendship to one another is often by helping one another look after their own. We watch one another's children or share good deals on bulk peanut butter at the grocery store. We lend a pair of shoes that will make the interview outfit complete or listen closely about the boyfriend situation. It seems to me that in female relationships, we often express love by helping one another out with the parts of our lives that we are living separately from one another.

In male friendships, it seems like one guy to another could express love by just being. I've seen men bond by sitting side by side in silence playing video games or fishing. Somehow, in that act of being, a friendship is forged. Other aspects of life seem to be left behind while the time is spent together.

I'll be the first to admit that as much as I can sometimes envy that sort of relationship, I'm simply ill-equipped to have one of my own. That's one of the reasons I blog. I love to discuss every immediate thing going on in my life. Analyzing with others is my favorite activity and I enjoy doing it one-on-one the very most. I love to plan, prepare, discuss, vent, and problem-solve.
But I do think I'll make a really good wife and mother someday.


zucchini joy.

While we were gone in Washington, my dad's garden went through a major growth spurt. We came home to 9 zucchinis the size of my arm. My mom hates big zucchinis.
Dad asked me if I could do something to get rid of them. He even suggested checking out if I could donate them to a foodbank.
Instead, I pulled out my cell phone and set things up. I made appointments with five different friends to give them zucchini.
I've now discovered that fresh produce is the best way to catch up with people. You just drop in, see how they're doing, say "I love you" by handing them a ridiculously large zucchini and then leave to spread more joy. I'm gonna have to have my own garden someday.
(Is that not the cutest zucchini in the world?! I found it when I was googling for zucchini images.)


dragon office.

This is the office that the Chinese Flagship gave me to work in on campus. Good thing I got a laptop...


one question.

How come all of my hipster friends out there never told me about Ratatat?
I can't get enough of them.



The sad truth is that I actually don't read very much. Not books, anyway. I used to read entire issues of National Geographic in one sitting, but novels are a different story. "Readers" in my mind read novels, and I've always struggled with finding fiction interesting. As soon as a plot gets too clean, too fantastical, too predictable, I find myself losing interest.

Because Jared is great, he suggested that we start "couple book club" and read something together. This has been one of my secret romantic dreams, to read a book the same time as a boy, so I was willing to give fiction another chance. He chose "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.

I was relieved to find that the main character feels the same way I do about fictional plots:

"Growing up spoiled the theater for Francie...she found she was becoming dissatisfied with the way things happened in just the nick of time...Francie couldn't understand why the heroine didn't marry the villain...surely a man who loved her so much that he was willing to go through all kinds of fuss because she wouldn't have him wasn't a man to ignore. At least, he was around while the hero was off on a wild-goose chase."

I identify so much with this book that it makes me a little uneasy to know that Jared has already read it all before me. (He's about 200 pages ahead of me.) It's got me thinking so much, so intensely about aspects of my life that I don't always consider with much depth. I've laughed and cried. I think about it all the time.

I guess this is what I've been missing out on by not "reading."

My enjoyment in reading this book reminded me when I was around 14 years old and Carl had just finished reading "A Separate Peace." He was crying as he read the end of the book and Tom said, "What are you crying for? I think you're crying because you finally finished a book." I remember thinking that it was so mean of him to say that, but maybe he was right. Maybe "readers" are used to viewing their lives from all angles and dealing with the range of emotions that books provoke.


monster hunting.

Reasons my life is presently perfect:

I have the best family ever.

I'm living my dream of being accepted to the BYU graphic design program.

I seriously have the best boyfriend on the planet.
The only problem I'm having with it is that it's hard to really believe that things could be this good. I find myself picking for imperfections, for reasons to doubt the peace in my relationships and my skills as a student.
I so much fear the dark monster that could be lurking around the corner.
I think I need to learn to relax.


made it!

I got into the graphic design BFA program at BYU! Yay! Here's the magazine design that I spent my whole life on to prepare for the required portfolio review.
Do I know anything about Janelle Monae? Not really. But I think she looks interesting.



On the ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge I sat outside on the deck. I took some pictures near the railing and returned to my seat with the aim of writing a postcard.
"You're not a very good windblock."
I look up. "Huh?"
"I said you're not a very good windblock."
Seated about 6 feet downwind from me on the same bench is a man dressed in a black business suit and a gray windbreaker. He is bald and holding a copy of the New York Times. I don't remember anything about his face.
"Mmm...Yep. I guess not."
"Doin' your best though, right?"
"Uh, yeah; right."
"I take this ferry twice everyday. To work."
"Where do you work?"
"In a bank, a big bank; US Bank... but it's been really tough lately."
"Just because of the economy?"
"Yeah, I thought I'd be able to retire last year, but things just kept getting worse. Now I'm hoping to retire this time next year. Yup, 2010...2010."
"Really? How old are you? You seem pretty young for retirement."
My dad's still working and he's 62...51 doesn't seem so bad."
"62! There was a time I thought I'd retire at 30!" he scoots a few inches closer.
"I work in real estate. Things were really good back then. But then came the wife and kids. That really changes things... but now that's over...
Yeah, I think I'm gonna go crab fishing tomorrow; just enjoy a day on the water."
"You get to just take off work like that?"
"Yeah, I get to play hookie when I want. So what are you in town for?"
"My sisters are meeting me on the other side. We're headed to a beach house where we're meeting up with my mom and dad and nieces and nephew."
"Oh, yeah? Yup, your dad...I bet he's got it all figured out... all of it."
"Yeah, I think so. He's so happy to spend time with the grandkids."
"Yeah, I bet so." A long pause passes between us and his head turns downward. He looks up.
"Well, you're not a good windblock, but you're a good conversationalist."
The ferry ride isn't even half-way through, but he picks up his newspaper and leaves with a short wave.
"Goodbye." I don't even have the chance to reply.

When I meet up with everyone at the beach house, my mom shows me these pictures:One her old Seattle friends emailed them to her.


crunch time.

When I asked my friend Kenji how his magazine redesign got so good he said he tore out one of his kidneys and pounded it against the keyboard.


maybe deployment isn't so bad after all/ technology blows my mind.

I've wanted to see what this would look like on my blog ever since i first cut it out:

(hmmm...kinda boring...)

The funny thing about my brother Tom being deployed overseas with the Navy is that it's possible I have a closer relationship with him now thanks to gchat. It's just a little strange to consider. I've asked him about the minor medical concerns of many and keep him updated on the details of my dating life.

And I think that Mike Alger knows less about what's going on with me since he's been home from China.

And I wouldn't have a relationship with Jared at all if not for the power of facebook (although we did meet in real life.)

I am still spending 12-14 in front of a computer everyday to prepare for my BFA review and it's had some major effects.

1. I HAVE to make myself exercise. If I'm don't, I'm REALLY sedentary.

2. I see my online peeps more, my real life peeps less. :(

3. I am getting better at using Adobe software. Did you guys know that Photoshop can do anything? It blows my mind all the time. But I don't want to minimize the coolness of Indesign either because I really do enjoy it too.

4. I am blogging less because I can't always publicly express my love of software. It would be more boring than this post.

Wish me luck! I'll be done on Tuesday when I will literally drop off my portfolio, hop a plane to Seattle where I will take a ferry, meet up with my sisters on the other side, and then stay in a beach house in Forks with the fam.

Can't wait. I need nature so bad right now.

This is what I'm using that image for, although it still may change quite a bit:


round 2.