Archive for February, 2008

Happy Birthday, Husband!



I have officially been unemployed for a month. While half of it I was caught up in the hustle and bustle of the wedding and honeymoon and working on Thank You cards, the rest has been putting the apartment together – 15%, job searching & portfolio/resume changes – 15%, reading – 20%, watching TV – no percentage because it’s on in the background, designing – 8%, trying new recipes – 5%, baking – 2%, running errands – 5%, and going stir-crazy – 30%. Now, after doing what seems like nothing all day, I have been having problems sleeping at night.

I’m longing for routine. I’m bored, restless and lonely. I only get calls in the middle of the day if it’s from a number I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t know if I’d feel like talking if it were any one else anyway. On weekends, Miles wants/needs to relax and even though I’ve done it all week long, I don’t think I’d feel like doing anything else. I have commercials memorized. The living room is a mess (or at least my area of the living room), an unorganized assortment of resumes, labels, Thank You’s, coasters, DVDs, envelopes, stamps, portfolio CDs, cords, etc.

Happy Accident If any of you know me, you should know by the percentage of time I’ve spent reading that something is not normal in my daily life. I know that this will probably be the last time I ever have this kind of time on my hands without a job, baby, or other larger responsibilities to worry about. And yet, it’s really hard to try to enjoy it – in fact, I really don’t enjoy it. And I’m not OK with it. I want to contribute to our income. I want to contribute to a company. I want to have something to do. The only problem is, I want to design. Even though I haven’t spent much time designing in my time off, I am very proud of what I have done. And it’s getting some sort of recognition, as what I’ve designed was for a contest. It hasn’t won anything yet and may not win anything at all, but two of my three designs for the contest were featured on the judge’s blog in an assortment of ones that grabbed her attention.

That gave me the confidence I needed today when I left for the SD Big Job Fair. I was asking nearly every booth “Are you currently looking for a graphic designer?” Of course, nothing design-related really came of the Job Fair because nearly no one in Sioux Falls is looking for graphic designers right now. But I do have a few leads from outside the Job Fair, one of which would mean commuting. If nothing substantial comes soon, I will be taking a job outside of designing. Which, to me, is a shame because why shouldn’t I be able to do what I love and am passionate about?

I know I’m a great designer and I have two years of relevant experience – more than many of my peers have at graduation. Unfortunately, graphic design is a popular degree right now, and no one is leaving their design positions in the area. I’ve been told many times that I’m “in demand” in this town. If that’s true, I wouldn’t know, because so few are hiring – and if they are, they’re looking for people who can be Directors. Not typically a position for recent grads.

I’m going to start sending out my electronic portfolio with my resume. Though my resume gets lots of comments on its originality and strong design qualities, I feel that my portfolio proves that I’m not just designing for class projects and that I do have real world experience and a creative eye, which gives me an edge.

Thanks, faithful readers, for reading this far as I vent about what I’ve needed to vent about for a month. Though I know many of you probably dreaded a long post, as I sometimes do, I appreciate you.

In somewhat related news, I was accepted into a graduate program in Georgia, for studying broadcast design. Miles and I decided we won’t be going – it doesn’t make sense for us to uproot and go to grad school if he has a job he loves. And hopefully I will too, soon. I am considering the option of getting that degree, through the same school, online. It would require some new software, which is – of course – expensive. And since I’m running on my last dollar, we can’t make any commitments right now. But that’s where I’m at.

Also, I finished HP5. Here’s to another 6 months working on reading about The Boy Who Lived.

Our Apartment

Living Room from hallway entrance

Well, Jackie inspired me to take pictures of our apartment to share with my readers. But I don’t feel like putting them all on here and then talking about them. I don’t have a lot to say. So go to my photo set to check it out! Make sure to mouse over the pictures to read the notes – they explain what’s behind closed doors and gives you a better feel for how the apartment flows. Ignore the messiness and random TVs on the floor. Also, if your gift is seen on the floor or something, don’t feel bad. If your gift is hung up or obviously in use, it’s because we like you best. Don’t feel bad. We have a guest room with bed and lots of space, so please visit! But call first.


Oh yeah, also…we got a new TV. The first thing we watched on it was LOST, of course. We bought it over two weeks ago, and finally got it today. It’s been hard keeping it a secret from you. 46″ Samsung 1080p LCD HDTV. Thanks to Kevin who had a truck, and met us at Best Buy at a moment’s notice. This thing puts our iMac to shame. We need to get a bigger one to compete with it. But they don’t make them bigger! We heart this TV.

A Very Magical Honeymoon

Sunday, Day One: Arrival, Hollywood Studios

Bride and GroomMiles and I woke up at 3:00am to get ready and be at the airport by 3:45 for our 5:00am flight. All went well, except for the no sleep thing. After a smooth connection in Minneapolis, we arrived in Orlando at 11:30. We rode Disney’s Magical Express and checked in at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, where we were able to upgrade to a King-sized bed and fridge. Even better, it was already available so we stopped up in our room and dropped off our carry-ons. Then we were off to the happiest place on Earth!

We ate at 50’s Primetime Cafe at Hollywood Studios and spent more than we wanted, but the chocolate milkshake was worth it. After some Tower of Terroring and Stunt Driver watching and many other things, we realized how early the park closes and would have to return another day to ride the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. We ended the night with supper at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater and though I didn’t care for the food there, it was a great atmosphere.

That night, we decided to take maps from all of the parks and plan our days, because we did a lot of unnecessary walking because we didn’t have a plan. That proved to make our vacation even more magical.

Monday, Day Two: Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom After breakfast at the hotel, we headed off to Magic Kingdom and waited in a 10 minute line for Space Mountain. Then we get a fast pass for it. Because Monsters, Inc. is one of my favorite movies (my favorite animated movie), we decided to try out the new Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. After a pretty lame build-up, we came out of there quite impressed with the show. It’s animated and partially improvised, so you can imagine how much we enjoyed it. And if you can’t imagine how an animated show can be partially improvised, you’ll have to visit it yourself. After lunch, snack, dinner, characters, Thunder Roading, Small Worlding and many other -ings, we headed home mildly early. I was asleep by 9:00pm, which may sound dumb on a honeymoon, but it was quite enjoyable and needed.

Tuesday, Day Three: Epcot, Downtown Disney, Animal Kingdom Lodge

We woke up early and headed to Epcot to get a fast pass for Soarin’ (which stopped giving fast passes by noon), stood in line for Test Track, watched a Finding Nemo show and headed to Downtown Disney for a lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Cafe. Miles had sushi and I went the safe route with pasta…and hated it. After shopping a little and getting over some stomach sickness, we headed back to Epcot for Mission: Space and walking around the World. After realizing the next day was Ash Wednesday and we would be fasting and abstaining from meat, we changed our Boma’s reservation to this night.

Boma’s is an African buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge and very enjoyable. As a picky eater, I didn’t have too high of hopes but both Miles and I really enjoyed our meal there. It was a great ending to Fat Tuesday.

Wednesday, Day Four: Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom

AlbieWe arrived at Hollywood Studios at 9:01 (the park opens at 9:00) and made our way to Rockin’ Roller Coaster to finish our time at that park. Everyone else was headed there too. But we still only had a 10 minute wait. We headed to Animal Kingdom (Albie joined us there) and we Mt. Everested, Safaried, Dinosaured, fasted and rained. Came back to the hotel early and ordered cheese pizza and watched our week’s photos in a slideshow. We also walked around the hotel a little and bought hoodies. It was a great relaxing day to end the vacation.

Thursday, Day Four: Departure

We slept in, had a lovely breakfast, used Disney’s airline check-in and waited for the Magical Express to pick us up and bring us to the airport. The flight to Minneapolis was smooth and uneventful. I got more of HP5 read. Then after sitting on the runway, we went back to the gate to replace an anti-skid part. After determining that it wasn’t fixed, we had to transfer planes by walking across the entire terminal to a new gate. Then we had to wait because other planes were in line on the runway and to get de-iced. In any case, we took off 3.5 hrs later than we were supposed and didn’t get to watch LOST at the time we thought we would along with the rest of the world. But we DVR’d it and watched it when we got home. Excellent.

Clam-mobile We were given buttons when we checked in that said “Just Married” on them and so most of the Disney cast members congratulated us whenever they saw us. We felt special. Even a few Disney guests saw our buttons and congratulated us. And it was fun to see people around us wondering why they were telling them congratulations. We didn’t have the heart to rub it in their faces that the person was talking to us. Some told us Happy Anniversary on accident, but most got it right. It happened so many times in a day and sometimes so nonchalantly that I wondered if they get special rewards for saying it, whether or not we hear them.

My camera is still MIA. It has been since I arrived at the church on the Wedding day. So Miles and I had to share his. Our photo sets of the honeymoon will be exactly the same, but you can see photos here. Along with a few that I … borrowed … from their park Photographers.

Thanks to everyone who chose to put money towards our honeymoon as their wedding gift for us. You’ll get formal thank you’s of course, along with photos of us enjoying your gift. It turns out using that honeymoon registry was the best 2nd best [edit] decision of our lives because it nearly made us financially stress-free. If anyone is considering honeymooning to Disney, we say do it, and use their registry!

Enjoy the photos.

February Wallpapers

This month, the themes are Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. Feel free to download any to your computer to use as your background! Find them at this page.

Unfortunately, they’re a tad minimal because I was busy doing other things and only had time to make them today.