This weekend I will be attending a roundtable discussion with Graphic Design students from universities in the area for the Nashville AIGA Dish event. I'm pretty excited. It's taking place Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Basically I'm going to sit at a table and students are going to aks me stuff about the "Real World" of Graphic Design. Ha. It's funny. I'm going in as a "professional" yet I"m kind of nervous.. I'm curious as to what people will be thinking of my work (I am to bring my portfolio, submit 3 jpgs of my work, and business cards.)

I am excited though. The president of the Nashville AIGA chapter is a former KU CD kid and she asked if I'd come and speak to the students as a recent grad who's just moved and started a new job in a new state. I'm looking forward to this! The rest of the Dish event should be neat too. I think Kutztown should take a stab at something like this. There are studio tours, keynote speakers, design jeopardy and other fun.

Makes me feel all grown up.



Ugh. They're back. Those little bastards are back.

I am NOT happy about this.


Smoky Mountain’s Majesty

(for Jenna)

If you are a hiker (and I mean a real hiker, no paved nature trail crap) you'll know where I'm coming from. I decided randomly last week that I'd spend this weekend hiking the Smokies. My trail of choice: Spence Field.

First off, I LOVE hiking. I love every bit of it.. the smell of the earth, the trees, the smell of dead leaves, the way your shirt sticks to you from sweat, the way your skin feels as the sweat mixes with dirt and dries, the battle between body and mind as your muscles cry to you to stop and your brain tells the body to go fuck itself cause you're making it to the top. period. The sound of your heart mixed with the sound of your breath and the way water tastes as you gulp it from your Nalgene bottle, the heavenly taste of a Clif bar, or better yet a PB&J sandwich somewhere around the 4th mile, the sound of the birds, the water at the base of the mountain, the cool air at higher altitudes, and the absolute quiet of the forest... it's just so serene. No phones, no cars, no laptops, very few if any people, just you, a mountain, fresh air, and peace. Just peace. The forest is my sanctuary. I've got a crush on the Smokies..

My day started out wonderfully. I got up at 4am, did a half our of yoga, showered, made a good breakfast, double checked my pack, stocked up on coffee and gas and made the drive out to Knoxville. You can't even know my excitement as I started into the park. I was beaming. Simply beaming. The blue sky, perfect weather and mountains all around me. SO beautiful. And just so nostalgic. I thought about Jenna and Raven and Kevin and Kutztown and Chimney Tops and Jim Thorpe, Summer, Potato Salad, Antiquing and Bonfires, Night Hikes, Building Forts with my sisters... my brain was brimming with happy times and fond memories.

And the hike, the hike was just amazing. The first few miles weren't bad, pretty quick. Lots of mini falls and creeks, log bridges.. where Anthony Creek Trail met the AT I met a goup of hikers, stopped to chat a little, then headed up the 1.7 miles to Spence Field. Let me tell you, that was the LONGEST 1.7 miles I've ever hiked. The elevation was the highest I've ever hiked, just shy of 5,000ft. and my body knew it! Every so often I'd stop to breathe, get my heart rate to a lower state and just relaxed.. enjoyed the nature, just breath in the forest. Take it all in. I really do love it up in the mountains.

Once I made it to the top it was awesome. Simply awesome. It was a field with craggy trees strewn about. I stopped for a bit in the midst of the goodness and just enjoyed the view of the mountains then hike the .2miles to the AT shelter. I met a guy from PA thru-hiking. He was on day 23 up from GA!! How awesome is that!! I hope he makes it the whole way! I can't even imagine how he'll feel once he hits Jim Thorpe. Amazing.

I met another woman who went to school in Reading and was up hiking with her husband so we chatted about Southeast PA. On the way down I met a couple and we talked about trails and maps and the AT and then further down I met a group of college guys that were THE nicest guys ever! We chatted about the south and hiking and moving and working. It was good. Mountain people are good people. I've yet to meet a person on a mountain I didn't like.

Of course, no good hike is complete without some pain (or at least in my book). A good hike is where you push yourself as hard as you can, you go farther and climb higher than you thought possible. When I come down off a mountain I want to feel it. I want my muscles to be all bitchy and tight, I want to feel it in my arms, my legs, my abs. I want my skin to be covered in a fine layer of sweat and dirt, snot on my shirt, sweat on my back from my pack. Hiking isn't supposed to be pretty, or clean. And as far as that scale goes, yesterday was a GREAT hike. And I'll be losing a toenail to further seal the deal.. turns out I definitely did not have good socks and I guess my toes hit the inside of my boots a bit too much on the decent and my toe's not doing so hot, but I've got antibiotics, so it's all good.

Last night I chilled out in downtown Knoxville (Jenna I missed you SO much!) ate some delicious food at TomatoHead and called it an early night. Now I'm back in my apartment, got some hiking books out at the library (and Jenna, I bought a Spence Field patch online!!) and now I'm hangin out, had a good dinner and am watching Grey's Anatomy then Six Feet under. Gonna do some yoga, relax, and enjoy the night.

Ciao folks!


A Life’s Worth of Stuff... Ripe for the Bidding..

My good friend Kevin is selling everything he owns to go on a 180 day drive around the country. Please help him out!

His story:
Dear gentle and hygienic reader,

My name is Kevin and I want to sell you everything I own.

You see - I want drive around the continental United States of America for 180 days. That goal necessitates money. Help me realize my goal.

Once upon a time I was interesting. At least to myself I was. I had stories to tell, and they amused me. I sat on hills and visited railroads and flew to Chicago just to see sharks in tanks. I laughed and yelled and enjoyed. And then I was here. Stuck in the birthplace of zombies and Warhol. The home of Mr. Rogers and the Steelers.

Now I’m paid far too little stare at monitors displaying aged programming. I no longer laugh and I don’t tell stories. My sleep is distressed knowing I’ll wake.

A few days ago my dog died.

I hate it here.

I want to leave.

Help me.

Buy everything I own.

Buy Kevin’s stuff right here.
Hear about it on Sirius Radio!

At the very least read his story and take a minute to peruse his amazing stuff (his belongings truly are amazing. vintage furniture, authentic Dunkin Donuts rug, taxidermied alligator in a waiter's suit, large screen tv, etc. etc.)



Update for the non-Nashville kids

So I really need to update this more often. Sorry kids, I'll try harder.

I removed my last Bonnaroo post. I don't have anyone to go with, so so much for that. Instead I'm saving the money I would have spent and putting it toward my birthday travel plans. Since this year will be my 25th I want to go somewhere good. Somewhere tropical, Carribean perhaps. I've never been anywhere like that, so I think it's got some great fun potential. I am only going on ONE condition.. I've got a laundry list of goals I want to accomplish by my 25th birthday, a few have been completed and crossed off, a couple are in the process, and a number have yet to be tackled. If I don't meet them all, no trip for me. It's just a personal thing.

In other news.. my hiking shoes came in!!! I've been nagging my mom for weeks to send them and they came in Saturday.. along with a bunch of forgotten stuff, and a random check for $25. I LOVE my mom! She's a keeper. I had wanted to get into the mountains this last weekend, but my lungs and sinuses had other plans which involved sitting on the couch most of the weekend watching TV DVDs including the entire first season of Grey's Anatomy and a fair amount of Buffy. This weekend though, this weekend's supposed to be in the 60s which means I may have to take a trip to Knoxville!! I need some more patches. (I'm totally itching for some Smoky Mountain goodness and a heaping helping of TomatoHead.. and maybe some McKay's if I'm lucky! --Jenna, I will SO be thinking of you! I really wish you were in Knoxville! Won't be the same without ya, but I'll take lots of pictures!

Not too much has been going on. I've been working a lot. I LOVE my job! Especially when clients email me with praise. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I love what I do. *sigh* It's a good time.

Been making a few friends which is great! There's been more live music and good bars than I can count. I LOVE IT! I've been to my first Hockey Game a couple weeks ago which was AWESOME! (I think I'm becoming a fan.. that's right kids.. I might actually like a sport *gasp*) went to the Roller Derby (if you've never been to one, I suggest you go) Thursday I'm going to see the Shins!! (I am so excited!) and I'm sure more adventures are on the way (a-hem: Kentucky Derby).

That's about it.. for you PA folks.. I'll be in Philly for St. Patty's Day to celebrate Karen's Bday with my lovely musketeers ;-) and I'll be home for Easter and again in June for Shelb's graduation. If I can squeeze in time to see anyone, I'll do my best, but no promises. (well, I can't meet anyone the weekend for Karen's bday extravaganza.. that weekend's reserved for my oh-so-lovely ladies)

k, my sandwich is almost finished, which means I should be getting back to work. Also, I think I may redesign this. not sure.
over and out!