Jan 27, 2008

Dairy Air on Your Derriere

As an addendum to the post about living the the Herpes Triangle, we finished our cheesecake cookies following an easy little recipe in a book that Andy's best friend Katie had given him as a housewarming present. The recipe calls for plain cream cheese, and Andy had the inspiration to sub in strawberry cream cheese and make them strawberry cheesecake cookies. As we were baking, we noticed a little note on the tub that read: "For cooking use regular cream cheese"

This could easily be interpreted as "For cooking use. Regular cream cheese." The break really makes the difference, or maybe a comma between cooking and use would help. They turned out yummy and buttery and delicious, but a little flat and chewy. We have to wonder if the texture would have been better with "regular cream cheese."

Jan 26, 2008

Thank Goodness for Valtrex

We live in the Herpes Triangle, according to a recent article in the Seattle Weekly. Which means that things are prone to mysteriously disappear and then later reappear in the form of a watery blister on your mucous membranes.

The best thing about that article is how it barely seems to qualify as news. Maybe it's my out-of-townerness, but to me it seems like a waste of newsprint (and a waste of newsprint is a tough thing to achieve because it's pretty much the worst paper ever) to detail the adventures of the local bar-hoppers, even to go all undercover and pretend to be single in order to gather research. To push the fact you're not actually single, just playing one in your column, as though being single was an experience as foreign to you as being say, a gay porcupine or an erudite journalist. And to present the results of your exposé in such a boring manner. The North High North Wind staff, on its worst most self-indulgent day wrote fake letters to the editor that were more hard-hitting.

Anyway. We do see a fair amount of drunken mumblers and slutty high-heeled tumblers in our neighborhood. A few months ago we heard a bunch of frat boys crossing the street and looked out the window just in time to see one fellow take out his penis and wave it around. Assumedly this is how the herpes is spread in Lower Queen Anne, so a good raincoat provides protection from more than just the rain.

Part of me wants to get down there and join in the party, because I've never lived in such close proximity to an actual bona fide party. Courtney often touted the benefits of living walking distance to bars and clubs, so that the toilet you collapse into will likely be your own and you'll never have to call that guy with the tiny motorcycle to save you from a DUI. But we've got our old-married-couple bedroom slippers on and instead we're opting to stay in and make cookies on a Friday night. Strawberry cheesecake cookies.

And nothing on our mucous membranes but sweet sweet mucous.

Chicken Soup For the Sad Girl in Seattle's Soul

The food that your mother gives you the morning you drive away and leave home for the first time to set out on your own in a new city will taste different than any other food you will ever taste. Is it a combination of the way it was hastily and tearily packed and offered and what it seems to symbolize: the desire to continue to care for you, to protect and nourish you. It's been 27 years since she gave birth to you, but does the bag of grapes she washed and put into a baggie for you come as close as you'll ever know to what it was like to be connected by your umbilical cord and fed by her directly? I guess they're just grapes after all, but having them in the hotel that first night made me feel loved more than anything else I can remember in a long time.

Jan 25, 2008

The road goes ever on and on...

...down from the door where it began

I think moving from Los Angeles to Seattle was the most emotionally draining and logistically daunting thing I've ever had to do in my life thus far. And although I say Los Angeles, most people know I actually mean Torrance, California, city of my childhood, playground of my youth, and the house that I grew up in.

I prepared for a full year, even so much that I went through and quit my old job and got a new job in order to make more money and gain experience that would allow me to start my career in a better place in the new city. I put everyone through what Emily termed "the Longest Goodbye Ever" and exploited my imminent departure as a way to get anything from free meals, to wild adventures in the city, to my choice of songs in Rock Band. And I almost got a lap dance.

But with all that preparation, I still found myself overwhelmed when the time came. The actual physical move went better than I had anticipated and cost less than I had budgeted. But I was not emotionally braced for the reality of leaving everyone and everything I know behind and running off into the great unknown. It was a strange thing to hug my family and friends goodbye and then get onto a freeway that I had driven on every day, and somehow end up in a different life. It was very Lord of the Rings-ie:

[Bilbo] used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

So yeah. The first night in the hotel in Redding I cried at the sight of the marshmallow roses my mom had given us, at the snowglobe Jean made me, at every little thing. A lot of the time I wondered to myself if I was making a huge mistake. Most of the time I just tried to allow my mind to float in space and not feel, because feeling was painful. And it was easy to do this because the landscape was beautiful: snowcapped mountains, silvery lakes, and a lot of roadside adult stores in Oregon for some reason. It was a nice drive, but it hurt like hell. Even at this moment it's just easier for me not to think about it. Talking through it a few days later with Andy, it seemed like a dream, and I think for a long time, the journey between point A & B, or rather CA & WA, will remain a numb blur.

I do remember we had a lot of coffee and beef jerky.

And now I am here, in Seattle! It is an exciting new place, and I think if I had to choose a city to start a grand new adventure I could not have found a better place than Seattle. Or a better navigator/tent buddy/Samwise than Andyroo. He's the cheese to my macaroni, as the saying goes. I miss my friends and my family, but in that I am fortunate also, for they have all been enthusiastic and supportive and they all know that I will still be there for them, just a phone call or text message away.

Into the caverns of tomorrow with just our flashlights and our love
We must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge.

At goodbye dinner, Jana shows us her Jana Face

Marshmallow flowers from Mom

Empty closet

We are attempting a sad "Hey!" Mine is very over the top but Jean's sadness is achieved through one or two fewer twinkles in her eyes than normal.

One last hug goodbye

Where it began

Andy and his Double Double

I'll miss you!

The littlest things keep me grounded

Cologne dispenser in a truck stop restroom

This photo is like time traveling: seeing the past & the future

Mt Shasta doesn't wanna come out and play

Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can

Jan 17, 2008

The Hills Have Eyes

Tonight the AIGA of Seattle held a fun little shindig down at the Evo Gallery called "The Hills Have Eyes." They got a pretty good panel of designers from in and around the snowboarding industry to show a little bit of what they do and give a run down of what they think of the industry. Dave Barton (Metajive), Stephan Hofmann (Spacecraft), Ryan Schmeis (K2), Mike Styskal (Dept. of Energy) and most of all, one of my favorite design personalities, Aaron Draplin (Draplin Design Co.) were all there.

Aaron Draplin was by far the best part of the evening. I have sort of gotten to know him through his blog on his website over the past year and some and it was good to see he holds true to exactly the way he comes off in his writing. He even wrote about the event on his blog the next day and posted the picture he took as he got up front.

I'm the dorky kid in the back with the green jacket and dumb smirk on his face.

After the lecture, Andre and I went up to meet Mr. Draplin and he was even cooler. We were met with a hardy handshake and a friendly smile. Also he started handing us free swag instantly. First he gave us each a free DDC key chain, and after telling him I was a fan of his Gocco expertise (which he claims to have a black-belt in) he gave me an official "DDC-007 Plectrum Set" just because he used his Gocco to print the card they're on. All and all he was as nice and friendly and anyone could ask for. So nice in fact I had to buy a t-shirt from him too (I've had my eye on it for a while).

Jan 14, 2008

Strange Work Week

It was a pretty strange at work last week. It started off well with a fresh new batch of business cards. This came about because the agency is now switching to the name TMA for 2008 after the merge with T:M Advertising in Dallas. Although I haven't been too impressed with the new name (or the logo for that matter), it has been good for both agencies coming together to make each other stronger.

The real strange part happened when we walked into the office to find all our computers were missing. For good. Some fine citizens decided that they needed our computers more than we did, so they took them, the big screen TV and whatever else they found on four other floors. The only thing with an Apple logo that got left behind (completely by mistake since the monitor was gone and all the cords removed) was my tower. I was pretty lucky. The other good thing that came out of this is that security has been bumped up so in the end we'll be safer. It's not quite the perfect route to take, but I guess it works.

Jan 8, 2008

Broadcast Yourself

So back in April I purchased the CVS One-time-use digital camcorder for research for ad school. The camcorder can film up to 20 minutes of video, has youtube-quality picture capability and pretty much only picks up the voice of the cameraman, or sometimes the loud barks of killer seals within a close vicinity. For instance, Andy is being quite witty while paddling the kayak up front, but the mic only picks up Beth's high-pitched squeals.

Once you've filled up your 20 minutes, or as in my case, used up the internal battery, you take the $30 camera to CVS and pay an additional $15 for processing. You end up with a $45 CD of crappy little videos that you can subject people to via email or youtube. Or your blog.

I think the most popular use of the camera is for kids to attach it to rockets and film the ensuing explosions, or do things like tie it to their dogs or tape it to bouncing balls and launch them down stairs producing very amusing headache-inducing films. Computer nerds are also fond of doing computer nerd things with it like hacking into the little hard drive and finding a way to access the videos without ever taking it back to CVS. Way to stick it to the man, computer nerds!

The video above was shot during Andy's spring visit to LA. We went on a kayaking excursion in Marina del Rey and took the camera along.

In the end my partner and I focused on the practical aspects of a one-time-use camcorder. Looking back, it would have been more fun to do some parody projects involving famous viral videos or create a fake character who got famous thanks to youtube and CVS. Something connecting the trashy videos and the disposable nature of the camera.

Oh well.

You can view the final print campaign here.

Jan 3, 2008

Photo blogging because I'm lazy

I think in the beginning here it's gonna be a lot of photos of stuff and crap. I've spent basically the whole day designing the header for our blog, I'm feeling tired and my wacom pen feels like lead. So here are whatever photos I have lying around on my desktop:

An old picture from 4th of July in Venice. Before we discovered the magic of the "heeeey" photo.

The view of Lower Queen Anne from our living room window.

A tail of two cities: Long distance animal cracker love.

Some of my most favorite LA people on a random night out

A portrait of Ben and Beth; Hey, I didn't know we were supposed to be trying to look cool.

The second place winner for the annual family Christmas card. My brothers are so adorable!

Jan 2, 2008

Bethy the Brave

Today Beth made a brave and bold move. She made the decision to resign from her post as resident Art Director at Motta in order to pursue her Seattle life. Even though it's something she wants to do, it's still a difficult thing leaving a place that she still likes and has many friends and family.

The good thing is that friends stay friends, and we all know you can't get rid of family no matter how far you travel. So it made me very happy that Beth took a chance and chose the opportunity to try a new life adventure.

So let's all wish Beth the best of luck on her new journey. Fun will be had, regrets pummeled and anything resembling an ass will be kicked.

Pretzel sticks & gingerbread mansions

Here's some leftover goodies from the holidays:

A photo of some chocolate-caramel covered pretzels by Beth

And Andy wants to move to Dallas and live in this gingerbread house

Jan 1, 2008

2008 is here

2008 is here and it's going to be a big year for Bendy. Full of big moves and crazy hijinks for a whole year. Bendy is very excited about all the prospects.