Happy Birthday K-Chan!

Day 270/271/272:

K-chan’s birthday party on Friday was awesome! She had a homemade heart shaped cake which was really pretty even with bright green frosting. We joked since there was less candles on the cake then the age she was turning, but I told her that it was easier to make a wish and blow out all the candles. She ended up making her wish in 2 breaths. We joked that maybe only half of the wish might come true. The cake was yummy and I had an extra piece.

We were playing with her little kitten that was found by her grandparents. A black little tiny cat with big blue eyes and sharp claws. He scooted very slowly forwards and zoomed quickly backwards when startled. My mom is allergic to most animals so I avoided handling the kitten. He did like my bright neon socks I was wearing, so since his claws were not cut I tried to avoid the temptation of having him play with my feet, by putting my feet up on the couch.

Saturday was another clear night for a fire so we got the fire started in my mom’s fire pit. We bought the fire pit late in the season, so we’re hoping to get a little more use out of it before we have to pack it up for winter. It’s kinda smoky, but that’s most likely from the type of wood we’re using.

Also, my library finally had an available copy of Black Butler season 2 on DVD for me to watch. The last time I got a hold of a copy I was close to taking my finals so I couldn’t watch it. The anime is pretty interesting if you are alright with a darker shonen (boy) anime.

Client Meeting & Wrapping a Friend’s Present

Day 267/268/269:

One of my girlfriends invited me to her birthday party she would be having on Friday. I didn’t know what to get her. She loves to cook, loves anime, and loves Japanese things. Well I did have an extra Marie bento box from the missing package being recovered somewhere at my post office. She had always mentioned that she wanted to make bentos together. This would be a perfect present! Plus, each of us having a matching bento would be really cute. ๐Ÿ™‚ I made her a card on Publisher with some clip art images. Next time I should definitely try to sketch a cake on Illustrator. ๐Ÿ˜›

Before her birthday, we had to prepare for another important client meeting. Our team really wants to establish a good relationship with our client throughout the process of making a website for her. If we do well, then we’ll be able to do the second phase of the website, which we all are crossing our fingers and working hard to impress her. We headed down to her work bright and early (it was dark when we were driving) and arrived in this conference room high up in the building. Now I’m not really good with heights, so as I took pictures of the view from the windows I asked if we could close the blinds.

This was our largest client meeting yet. We had about three times more people in our audience than on our team. We all wore our custom shirts with a logo designed by me, and looked really professional with our presentation and our calm presenting skills. The website was more than just screenshots on a PowerPoint. We actually were able to demonstrate the current look and feel of the pages which really helped the audience see how beneficial this site would be. There were a ton of questions, comments and concerns brought up. Even if it didn’t run completely smoothly, we’re gaining experience working with a client.

Halloween Pumpkins & Family Fires

Day 264/265/266:

Pumpkins for Halloween in my family are usually meant to be carved but this year we decided to change things up. We grew our own pumpkins in our little “garden” which really was a bunch of seeds thrown into a dirt mound we had sectioned off. The pumpkins were white, orange, green and different sizes and shapes. To make them last longer my sister wanted us to paint them. I don’t think I’ve painted a pumpkin since I was ten or so.

What should I paint on my pumpkin? My sister had already claimed a white pumpkin which she promptly painted black to imitate zebra stripes. She’s a fanatic of zebras, but I haven’t seen a zebra pumpkin, although I wish I had stolen the white pumpkin.

I chose to pick a round orange pumpkin and my design was my little French bento box that I have come to love (even if I haven’t really used her as a lunch box for many meals). The sharpie outline looked great so I went to paint. The black paint we had was almost out due to Jenny painting her zebra stripes. Great. If you have seen my bento box since she’s in a maid outfit so most of the design would need to be painted in black. I did with what I could to try to paint something somewhat that would resemble her.

My first problem was the orange color. She’s tanish, so painting her face white just made her look like a ghost. We didn’t have brown so I tried to mix black and white, but I turned out with a puky color. I can’t bring myself to post a picture of the pumpkin since she’s so hideous and ridiculous looking that I can’t believe I can say “that’s my pumpkin.”

My mom finally got a fire pit that is an actual fire pit not a frame, so we had some roasted/burnt marshmallows to place in smores. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was very delicious.

My sister brought home a Boo book from the library and it was so adorable! If you do not know who Boo is, he’s an adorable Pomeranian dog with a hair cut to make himself almost look like a teddy bear or lion. Quite cute if you’re a dog lover.

An Excellent Interview

Day 262/263:

I got an email this week asking for me to come down to the school for an interview for a position I had applied for back towards the beginning of this month. Luckily, I was already planning to be on campus that day, so I told my carpool buddy we would need to be down to the school a little earlier. The fiesta (make-your-own-tacos event at my school) was also happening, so directly after the interview I would go to help set up.

I practiced the night before. Going over my resume, looking at the cover letter I had submitted….reviewing my interview skills which really aren’t that great. I’ve only done three interviews in my life (besides the mock interview). An interview for a position at a grocery store, an interview for a position at a restaurant, and an interview for a position on the Ambassadors team. Only one of the interviews I had was successful….I would say that my last interview was more informal so I didn’t get so nervous. I recognized the person’s email who was going to be my interviewer. She was new to the campus as a director in Career Services when I first started working on my professional looking resume the summer after I graduated high school.

I laid out my new black slacks, a white polo shirt and my flat heels that I’ve had since eighth grade. I went to bed early, showered, blow-dried my hair and got myself mentally ready for the interview. I ate a quick snack since my stomach is known for growling really loud at bad times. My mom said I looked really nice and wished me luck. My carpool buddy and I headed down to the school early and actually arrived earlier than I planned. I reviewed my notes on the job again and jotted down some questions to ask at the end of the interview.

The interview process went surprisingly well. I didn’t stutter too much or add filler words when talking. I stumbled a little on the typical “Tell me about yourself” but overall I did really well. I had a copy of my resume and cover letter since she didn’t have a copy of the one I submitted to the application email. She jotted down some notes and told me more about the job. I was also a little nervous since a friend warned me that the job wasn’t as ideal as it sounded when I applied. I think she meant to say it was purely grunt work, but I’m fine with that since I like a routine with my job style.

At the end of the interview, she told me I was a pretty impressive candidate and mentioned there were still some more people to interview after me. I provided my LinkedIn recommendations I had printed out, which really impressed her that I was so prepared. I smiled, asked for a business card and rushed over to tell my friend that the interview went well.

I found out this morning that I was one of two candidates for the position. The position is only part time (15-20 hours/week) for minimum wage which is reasonable since I would be an assistant more or less to the director of Career Services. Plus, it sounds better than a college student working at a fast food place. I woke my mom up to tell her the good news. She congratulated me, but was a little disheartened. Her job interview yesterday had not gone as well as she hoped.

I’ll be starting the job by the first week of October, so I’m pretty excited. Now I have to round up all my nice looking shirts for work. I’m not sure what my schedule will be yet since I have to coordinate with another person so we can cover other shifts than the same ones. I texted J-kun and he said he was happy I had finally found a job. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Unique Experience…With an Expensive Price

Day 260/261:

My design team is roughly one week away from our next big client meeting. And when I mean “big” I mean that we’ll be meeting with not just one person, but with about 17 people (the last time we received an update on the attendees). I’m excited our main client is getting some energy from people outside of her department so we can spread the word, it just adds a little more to my nerves for the meeting. I’ve already designed a PowerPoint presentation based on the structure of the meeting suggested by the client, and I will be planning on providing a PDF version of the presentation so she can provide it to her other attendees. This way everyone will be familiar with the layout of the presentation and will bring more questions to the meeting.

We’re also trying to make our site appear “live” by testing it on a web server, so even if we don’t have Internet access, we’ll still be able to show the basic functions of the site. We want to make sure that we’re moving in the correct direction before we develop too much of our site. It would be horrible (plus set us back a lot of time) if we hard-coded multiple pages to find that the client doesn’t like the layout or wants us to make a big modification. Plus, we only have an hour to present our prototype and get the rest of her team up to speed with our project. If we hard-coded all these pages, it would be impossible to show them all in one hour. It would also be very overwhelming to explain too much content at once.

So our team decided we’ll show our home page, along with each main page within our navigation. Our group meeting went well as planned. We decided who would be able to attend the client meeting, based on other commitments by our team members. We’ll need to make sure that everyone meets down at the school on time so we can arrive early to prepare for setup and to review the presentation one last time before the meeting starts.

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So for those who were drawn to the title, what can be unique but also be expensive? The answer is a Study Abroad program offered by my school. I’ve attended an online webinar, looked into the application and what I would need to do to be eligible to apply. A completed application, two professional references, a short essay, a passport and the payment of the program. A trip to Japan for a little over a week next year; a one of a kind experience! Plus I haven’t really seen the program offered to my design program. I’m just wondering what would happen if I was accepted. The price of the program is roughly $5k. I can’t borrow more money out of my loans since I’m already maxed out, which would mean that my parents would have to since the amount must be paid before I start the class.

I feel like I maybe should just disregard the program. My family can’t afford it….but I’m pretty sure I’ll never see this experience again. I’ll have to talk with my parents this weekend about it since the application is due next week (conveniently the same day as my design team’s client meeting!). I’m going to apply anyways though, since I’ll find out if I get in at the start of next month. I’ll never know if I don’t try applying for the program.

Restarting an Exercise Routine

Day 258/259:

We went to the fair last weekend, but we didn’t bring up caramel apples like we usually do. My sister decided to make some yesterday since my mom was craving something sweet. She attempted to create a double boiler to melt some soft chew caramel cubes we had up in the cupboard, but after about ten minutes there wasn’t much melting going on. I don’t really know the cooking term for it. I think she eventually added some milk so that the caramel would melt. She dipped an apple for each of us in caramel and placed it on a tray in the fridge.

There was a ton of caramel leftover in the bowl, so I washed an apple and dipped the slices in the remaining sauce. It was interesting since the caramel hardened almost instantly when it touched the apple slices. It also stuck to the plate, the knife I used to cut the apple, and my fingers. A messy messy mess.

Later that night, my mom and sister attempted to eat their apples with no luck. The caramel did not really stick to the apples, so it was just sliding off. A sad attempt which my sister threw back in the fridge. Maybe she was supposed to throw it in the freezer if they wanted to eat it that night.

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Today was my second attempt at trying to stick to the Hip Hop Abs exercise videos. I started the first time back towards the end of August, but I didn’t really stick to the schedule as suggested. On Day 1 you do this workout, Day 2 you do another workout, etc. So I wanted to give it another try. I redid my body measurements, stepped on the Wii and recorded my weight….I had gained about 2lbs, and 2 inches on every one of my body measurements. I want to be going down, not up.

I took some new before pictures. I wanted to show how much my tummy sticks out and how round my thighs are. I pose at different angles, trying to avoid sucking in my stomach. My Lose It phone app has been helpful with watching what I eat, but I definitely need to exercise. Even though I’m in college I want to get my body back in shape. I’m considering making a before/after collaborative picture in Photoshop with my measurements posted next to the pictures. I’ll need to complete my routine first so I can have something different to show in my pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reality of College Homework

Day 255/256/257:

Thursday was a girl’s swim meet back at my old high school. I find it interesting that I appear to be more of a high school student than a college student.

What I mean by is I was one of the timers for the lanes. A high school girl, I’m guessing she was a sophomore or so, was my partner in timing. She asked if I was on the swim team because I was wearing a Girl’s Swim t-shirt, although she didn’t notice the 2010 on the shirt.

That’s right. It’s been two years since I was on a swim team swimming competitively.

I guess my face hasn’t aged much. Which I think is a good thing since I know many of my girlfriends don’t like it when people ask their age, so if I look younger than I am, I’ll use that to my advantage.

I’m proud of myself since at that swim meet I was wearing a pair of green shorts. The same shorts I wore to an overnight meet when I was on the swim team (back in 2010). The sad thing is I did put back on my body all the weight I lost while swimming and more after the swim season was over. Well this year I’ve been trying to lose weight. I’ve not really been too successful, but I mentioned a phone app I downloaded a couple of months ago. The app lets me count calories for all the food I eat with a budget given during the day. As I lose weight I’m given a slightly smaller calorie budget based on how much you want to lose a week (I want to lose 1.5lbs/week). Currently I’ve lost about 16 pounds since I started and have around 1350 calorie budget currently. Anyways, the same green shorts I wore to a swim meet back when I was a senior, I was finally able to fit into those and wear them to the swim meet. I talked with some of the girls on the team. It is not the same as when I was on the team, but they do a have a strong team this year.

Friday I got a text message from J-kun to play Tetris, but I didn’t realize I got the message. Silly phone on vibrate. I was working on homework anyways, which I have of course over-complicated as usual. For one of my classes, an assignment to design two pages for a “business” of our choosing seemed simple. I’ll continue on from a previous class’ course project. I already have some wireframes, an idea what I want the site to do, some beginner coding skills. I should be able to create something vaguely close to the original right?

Well I’ve beenย  working on the assignment until tonight. I finished around 7pm after working on the project for a straight 5.5 hours, my eyes were definitely feeling some strain. Wow.

Its amazing how much designing a project can take about 2 hours if I’m really focusing, and then when it comes to coding (making the design a reality) it takes about 3x the amount of time.

Wellย  I finally figured out what I wanted to do; this is only Week 2 of my classes so I shouldn’t be an expert in web design already. Plus, this is technically a 200 level class (a sophomore class), so I shouldn’t haven’t too much homework right? Wrong. I find that since its one of my many core classes in design that I want to make the most out of each 8 weeks. Yes, I go above the minimum requirements, but that’s how I score high grades and make the Dean’s List. I’ve heard from some of my friends that they’re sick of college homework and they just want to graduate already.

If you’re learning something that really doesn’t interest and challenge you, then you should change your degree. If you aren’t enjoying your classes, then how will your work in the field be different?

I will admit that I am no longer the gamer girl who was excited to be a female game designer, but I’ve transitioned to web design with a chance to learn online games. I’m more of a designer than a programmer, and I’m finding a love for the technical coding that creates web pages. Its amazing how such a simple idea can have lines and lines of coding.

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