A New Look

Day 240/241:

funny shaped tomatoes

A strawberry and tiny pumpkin (funny shaped tomatoes). 🙂

Yesterday I headed outside to water the plants. If I wake up early enough in the morning I can water without too many flies (or dreaded bees) bothering me. Sadly, I woke up early, but I didn’t head out until afternoon to water the plants. Also, since the spiders are coming out to start mating next month, I’ll really get spooked when a big creepy crawly comes out while I’m leaning over to water and hit its web.

My family are amateur gardeners. Weeds sometimes take over. The sun sometimes just slowly kills the flowers. And my favorite the over-water-that-we-drown-the-plants option.

Currently we have two fuchsias, a strawberry plant, multiple tomato plants, pumpkins and zucchini. The pumpkins will look great for Halloween. We’re not going to eat them, just save money by using our own pumpkins instead of buying giant bruised pumpkins at the supermarket. I came across one of those optical illusions with the garden today. Today I saw a strawberry that was plump and looked like a bear, so they nicknamed it the strawbeary. What I saw was something that looked like a strawberry and a tiny pumpkin in the same box. Both of them are tomatoes (my parents did not get the joke), but I found the picture entertaining.

Today, in the bright hot sunshine, my sister wanted to change her look (once again) for her new year at high school. She’s a sophomore now. She had purple in her hair which turned to pink after a while. Then with some pink strands she added highlights which was actually really pretty with her sun-kissed skin. Today she wanted to use a “crimson red” which turned to a bright pink after they applied it to her hair.

I don’t know whether I love it or hate it. Part of me think it looks ridiculous right now, but we played around with the still remaining sun and took some pictures. My awesome HTC Inspire phone is pretty sweet. When she got tired of taking pictures she started shaking her hair trying to mess up the picture, but I actually got a great one. I uploaded the pictures to my computer and she logged on to her Facebook to change her profile picture. I find it funny she replaced this crazy look for the picture that use to be her and her boyfriend. She tells me that she will take another one with him the next time they see each other.


Final Site Presentation

Day 237/238/239:

For my second online design class I had to create a presentation showing the work over the past seven weeks, a culminating project. On Sunday I spent about three hours straight staring at the computer screen, resizing the images, adding captions, adjusting the headers and footers. I also decided to add a Project Overview or Table of Contents slide since my final presentation had about 25 slides. I think my presentation was rather short despite my extra added wireframes (minimum was to design four web pages–I had seven). I also showed my initial designs with the updated designs towards the end of the presentation. My best work so far.

On Monday I spent the majority of the day catching up on my blog here on Marissa Meditation. I’m so sorry that I’ve fallen behind, but I’ve been pretty busy with school work. After Wednesday this week, I’ll be finished with my exams and have a few days of break before helping with the student orientation and then back into classes. 8 more weeks until the summer term will be over.

Today I finally finished scanning some copies of cookbooks I got from the library (for my own use). I definitely need to make something other than the signature bento (boring potstickers with rice and apples) with an occasional Nutella heart sandwich or toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on the potstickers and rice. I found some pretty intermediate bento dishes, so I’ll try those now that my classes will be all online.

Finish Something, Start A New Thing

Day 234/235/236:

This week’s lab was to look at different accessibility/usability simulations for web users. It was really an eye opener, since I am really thankful that I am able to still see my screen (I wear glasses). Also, it must take a long time to get use to the reader since its computer speak, so it pronounces everything. I feel sorry for the screen readers that have to try to read the misspelled words. I had to write a paper for my lab, so it was overall a great experience.

I also came across some adorable Boo videos. If you don’t know Boo, he’s an adorable little Pomeranian trimmed to resemble a teddy bear/lion mix. He’s really sweet and an active dog. He even has a couple of books out about his little adventures. Try going to YouTube and typing, “Boo world’s cutest dog” and you should come up with some videos. 🙂

Friday I got an email about my replacement package, since my little adorable bento box from France got lost somewhere along the journey. I now will have to wait another 7-10 days and hope this time it makes it to my house. I guess I won’t be able to bring the cute bento to school for one of my Saturday classes. 😦

I submitted my lab early this time so I could start working on my final project. Its due tomorrow by midnight MT so I’m going to work really hard on it. Overall the final project (which will be proceeded with a final exam to be completed before next Thursday) is a culminating presentation of the work that has been completed over the past 7 weeks. My sister joked that I should have been able to complete all that work within a couple of weeks. I turned back and told her I can complete a whole class only in two months where she spends almost four months to complete part of her classes.

To all the Hunger Games fans, I was immediately hooked after seeing the movie in theaters. I checked out the first book and listened/read it and once I completed the book I reserved a copy of the next one, Catching Fire, at the library. Well I’ve been reading the book pretty much nonstop so it was hard to put it down and get back to homework. I finished reading the book today. I’m sad and shocked at the ending. Now I’m on the waiting list for me to get a copy of the next book from the library. 🙂


A Locked MAC Lab

Day 231/232/233:

I came across a sweet Multimedia Website Layout on Photoshop from my design class.

I’m thinking of trying it out once I complete my classes. My finals are quickly coming up.

My mom got called in for an interview so I wished her luck. She got lost trying to find the place, but I think the lady who was interviewing her said she got lost for a couple of years when she started working at the office.

I’ve also uploaded the 3 year anniversary video for my pet hermit crabs. You can click the video below if you want to see the unusual pets I own.

My design buddy and I headed down to the school for our weekly club meeting and we found our other design buddy sitting in the hall. Our professor was running late so the MAC lab was closed. We sat down outside in the hallway waiting for him to arrive so he could unlock the door. We decided not to bother facilities since we assumed they would require a professor be in the lab with us. Instead of sitting there feeling useless, we brought out our laptops and started working outside. Our professor was disappointed that no one offered to let us in to the room. I guess we know for future references that we can just be let in when we need to use the room.

Happy Birthday To You

Day 228/229/230:

arrangement of dog figurines

Sparky (race dog) and his wife, along with the twin puppies. ♥

My Friday was pretty laid back. I did spend quite a bit of time in Photoshop trying to create a “birthday card” for two of m friends who were going to celebrate their birthdays yesterday. For one friend I took a blue cake image and merged a smiling shark image since she’s a big fan of Shark Week and sharks in general. For my other friend, I found a red velvet cupcake image and cropped around her current cover photo on Facebook which was a butterfly and added some effects to make the sketch look like a cupcake topper. Both cards turned out pretty great and I emailed them to the girls so they would have them on Saturday.

Saturday we went to Olive Garden where I was very good and ate only half of my chicken Cesar salad with dressing on the side. I avoided the deadly bread sticks (calorie wise) and made sure to save my other half in a take home box. I also drank water and didn’t say yes to desserts. Since my other friends are on diets as well, we both were watching what we were eating. No one really touched the bread sticks and everyone passed on the dessert. Both girls thanked me for the cards and we hugged before we left.

Today after finishing up my lab for the week, I played some Littlest Pet Shop with my sister. She wanted to count every single one of her little pets and take pictures of every one of them. I think she wanted to name them later, so we tried to snap as clear of a picture as we could. Her room is pretty dimly lighted so I dragged my lamp into the room. My favorite set up would be Sparky, the race dog, with his wife and two twin boys that looked like a mix of the dogs. My sister also wanted to see if she had more cats or dogs….the winner? Dogs. After totaling up all her animals, she has quite a lot of them, she had a total of 217 animals. And to think we started the collection with only 2 and a tiny pet shop house.


First Meeting With Our Client

Day 227/228:

My design buddies got together to work on these huge project for the city and this week we actually got to meet our client. We were very professional wearing some nice clothes, showing up early to practice and then providing her a presentation to see what our ideas for the website were.

The night before we revised and revised the slides making sure that there wasn’t any technical jargon on them and included pictures of our site mockups we did in Photoshop. We ran through an overview, printed out handouts leaving room for notes and made sure to get home in time to sleep before our big meeting.


*beep beep* my alarm is louder than usual…maybe because its about 5 am and I need to get dressed and head over to my carpool buddy’s house. We’re going to head to the school, pile in one car and head to meet the client in the big city. We’re all nervous since we’ve never really worked with an actual client before. Will she be tech-savvy and question our designs? Or will she be sweet and accommodating and provide us suggestions or improvements with the site layout? We’re hoping for the second option.

Traffic isn’t too bad, thanks to the carpool lane. We get down there early enough to “circle our wagons” as our professor calls it, grab a Starbucks and review the handouts we printed the night before. We take some deep breaths as we ride multiple elevators to a high floor (I’m not good with heights, so luckily we don’t see too many windowed elevators). We wait out in the lobby looking around to see how they portray their logo, look at forms we might need to provide on the site, and finally are escorted in by the client. We meet in a tiny meeting room and set up our laptops. Lauren has the presentation up and ready and I’m quickly typing notes about the feedback as we go through the presentation. The professor occasionally explains one of the technical terms to our client, she smiles and we continue. For a moment she leaves to print off some handouts for us to review.

Quickly we evaluate our presentation skills. We’re moving a little fast, but we don’t have too much time to present. We take a couple of breaths as she walks in the door again. We continue with a Q&A session and I take about 8 pages of notes (which I’ll have to revise and organize later). After the meeting, she shakes all of our hands again and gives us a tour of the floor we’re on introducing  us to a co-worker or manager. By the time the tour has ended and we’re heading back to the parking garage we all breathe a sigh of relief. We just have experienced a great client atmosphere and hope that our next meeting with her in about a month will be the same.

Later she emails us with some great feedback. I respond with a PDF version of our presentation she can provide to her supervisor which she appreciates. First client meeting was a success!

Cake to Mochi to Apples

Day 224/225/226:

The one thing that my Lose It app reminds me when I’m entering my food that the only food categories I have are breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. No dessert, no midnight snack…just 3 meals and a snack (which I enter my desserts and in-between meals in).

My dad brought home one of these deadly chocolate cakes. And when I mean deadly, its not the flavor of poison, its the amount of calories if you decide to let a piece slide down your throat and satisfy your sweet tooth. They cut it into eight pieces I think. Everyone would have 1/8 of the cake tonight and tomorrow. Curious I scanned the bar code with the scanner option on my app and I about screamed at all the calories in just 1/8 of a cake. So I cut my piece in half and ate only 1/16 of the cake. No ice cream, no fruit as a topping, just the cake. Satisfying 200 calories, but it didn’t leave a pleasant after taste.

I’ve been looking at multiple recipe books from my library (mainly Japanese style and sweets ones), bookmarking my favorite recipes I’d like to try. Or my favorite activity, asking my sister if she thinks I could make the item as I point to a picture in the book. She’ll stick out her tongue and insist there is no way that I could make that. I am an amateur chef, but I at least know how to make basic foods. Today I gazed at a mochi recipe with strawberries and red bean paste inside the mochi. It looked delicious. Only problem is my family isn’t too fond of bean paste.

Tonight my design buddy and I helped out with Game Night so we could hold the fort while my other friend went to her club meeting. We sat at the sign in table, checking in people and telling them what pizza we still had left. Its pre-cooked Costco pizza so they only get three choices. Mainly people come for the free food, but it was pretty quiet tonight. When my other friend returned we headed to an empty table and pulled out the Apples to Apples game. I will admit that I do like winning the cards, because my word obviously was the best choice. I did have a 50/50 chance of getting picked since there were only 3 people playing. We would occasionally joke about something that wasn’t a good choice, like french fries being scenic.

There are some cards that I do not like winning, so I was glad that I was a judge for some of the words. The cards I won for the night were: radiant, violent, horrifying, normal, phony, scenic, casual and calm. 🙂

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