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I like to scribble...both with markers, and, now, with words


Friday, February 27, 2009

mind doodles II

1.)  I can get $15 an hour to be an unclothed model for a life-drawing class here at ISU.  This means that I can get paid more money to take my clothes off than to be a research assistant to my professor, advancing the knowledge of mankind.  Welcome to the world.

2.)  I am not very good at adapting to change when I do not see it coming.  Maybe that sounds obvious, but let me give an example: The transition to college was not a big deal to me at all.  It was obviously supposed to be a change, and therefore it didn't bother me.  I can remember laying in bed the first night wondering if I was supposed to feel upset or lonely or something...because I didn't.  Conversely, I WAS upset last weekend when we went to eat at an at an Italian restaurant at the last minute instead of The Cafe, because I had my mind made up for one type of food, and my mind did not like transitioning to the other.  

3.)  I am trying to think of a name for the light I am designing for class/a lighting competition.  I am going the sustainable route, and am using recycled glass and pieces of glass to create the fixture.  However titling the piece is a problem.  Using "broken", "shattered", "fragment" or synonyms of those words (to reference the pieces of glass making up the luminaire) sound either too depressing or too dangerous.  Hmmm...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Current weather: 43 degrees, feels like 36.  Sunny and wonderful :)

This is definitely my favorite time of the year.  Walking outside when it is just starting to be warm and sunny makes my whole day.  There is no other time of the year when simply walking outside can make me so (consistently) happy.  The downer, of course, is when it is beautiful and sunny one day and then snowing the next, but it just makes the next sunny day seem even better.  The next step is the first day it is warm enough to roll down the car windows and open the sun roof, (which usually means it is somewhere around 50 degrees), but it feels like a heat wave after days and days of below freezing and even below zero temperatures.  Not to mention that it is tulip time!  

I wish I was born in the spring...I would definitely rather celebrate a birthday when the snow is melting than when the snow is falling!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

mind doodles

Just some things running around in my brain lately...

1.)  I may be considered "old-fashioned" by some because I do not believe in living together before marriage.  One of the #1 excuses I hear for living together before marriage, and the one that irks me the most, is that people say, "Well I need to know what they are like before I get married to them.  What if we get married and live together and it is awful?" or something to that extent.  (On a similar vein, though not completely related to living together, is people who have sex before marriage and say, "Well what if they are bad in bed?"  and/or "Well if you wait until marriage then that's the only person you ever have sex with your entire life."  That's the POINT dummy!)  Anyway, first off, statistics show that people get divorced at a significantly higher percentage than people that wait until marriage to live together.  Secondly, it has only become "the norm" to live together before marriage during about the last 60 years.  That means that for thousands and thousands of years people waited until marriage to live together and the human race has done just fine.  And lastly, if you are THAT worried about how living with your significant other will go, whether married or not, I am pretty sure you have bigger issues to worry about in your relationship.

2.)  I need to start eating healthier.  This is my reminder.

3.)  I am very, very sick of school.  I feel like I have been here forever and I am ready to be done.  Unfortunately, I have a whole nother year left.  I am actually extremely glad that I got into interior design the year that I did and consider it to be proof that God knows things better than I do, but...this is just another instance where I want to have my cake and eat it, too.  The biggest thing is that I am sick of running around and doing things for other people to try to please them and try to get that A.  And then to work hard on a project and get told everything that is wrong with it.  At least when I create a project in the real world to try and please another person, I will most likely know much more about it than my client, and will therefore be able to easily convince them that it is exactly what they want.  

4.)  Related to #3 above, I have also been very, very tired lately.  I come home every day and say "Today was such a long day."  What happened to all the short days?  Running away and doing nothing for about a week sounds awesome.  Can the whole world just be put on hold for a week?  Please?  At least my whole world?  And Tyson's?  That would be wonderful.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

McCafe part II

So quite ironically, I was able to go to a McDonalds that is part McCafe the very day after I made my last blog post.  

I am sad to say that I was slightly disappointed.  The interior atmosphere I can somewhat excuse, as the McDonald's was not quite large enough to contain an entire "McCafe" addition, but served as little more than an extension to their menu in little Carroll, Iowa.  Something I cannot excuse is the fact that everything was automatic.  I stood, waiting at 8:45 am for a delicious vanilla latte to jumpstart my day, and was quite surprised when all of a sudden it appeared, after seeing no one touch the espresso machine.  I didn't even know the machine was on and working yet apparently it had been able to spit out my latte.  But there was none of the experience that makes it what it is: no grinding beans, no careful pouring of the steamed milk and mixing with the espresso...the only human touch was to put the lid securely on the cup.  I can pay 50 cents at a vending machine for that experience!

I would say that the taste was a step up from the gas station cappuccino machines that I mocked with my last post, but definitely a step down from my beloved Caribou, or even Starbucks.  I suppose you get what you pay for.  It wasn't entirely bad, but definitely could have been better.  The latte made up in sweetness what it lacked in strong, espresso taste, but that could possibly be remedied by not adding a syrup flavor to it.  

While I am not too enthused about the coffeehouse-style drinks that the McCafe has to offer, I am still enticed by their cold coffee drinks, and even their plain old cup of coffee.  Maybe my expectations were set too high by their cold coffee drinks.  At any rate, I will not be making special trips to McDonald's for coffee anytime soon (only potentially for an iced vanilla latte) but will just be happy that if I go to McDonald's for breakfast, I can have some decent coffee to go along with it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

McCafe v. Fashion Week


See above link.

A year ago, I probably would have thought the same thing as the author of the blog post above.  McDonald's + coffee?  Not just coffee, but espresso and lattes and mochas?  I would have assumed that it tastes like the "cappuccino" you get out of the gas station machines.  You know the kind, it's basically sweetened, syrup-y water infused with a drop of "coffee-flavor" substance.


While I have not had any of the hot coffee drinks from McDonald's, I have had their cold ones.  They make a mean iced coffee or (my personal favorite) iced vanilla latte.  Being a slightly picky coffee addict, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious these drinks were.  And all for a dollar or two cheaper than the big coffee chains (ahem, Starbucks).  I have had their regular black coffee, too, and it is also pretty yummy.  And I read on the McCafe website that they don't charge you for a syrup shot!  I realize it is only 60 cents (at Caribou anyway), but when I get coffee everyday, that adds up to $4.20 every week, or $218.40 each year.

I have no reason to believe that their new hot coffeehouse drinks will be any less scrumptious.  Let's face it, McDonald's is an advertising and research-oriented powerhouse.  They tend to set the trends for the fast-food industry, and other chains are now trying to get their own coffee lines up and running.  Mickey D's is already a step ahead of them, and I am sure that they have done their homework before releasing such a radical hit to the market.

And have you seen the new McDonald's, particularly the "McCafe" portion of them?  They're...nice.  Rich woods and warm tile...no more hard, cold, plastic booths.  Instead of wanting to leave as soon as I sit down so I don't catch some unkown disease from the starkly neutral plastic seat, I actually wouldn't mind staying for longer than 10 minutes.  They even have contemporary lighting: drop down pendant lights and cove lighting that gives off a nice ambiance. (McDonalds?  Ambiance?  Crazy, huh?)  Though evidence of the traditional ketchup red and mustard yellow that characterizes the McDonald's logo can still be seen, it is in a much more tasteful way.  Deeper reds and warmer yellows that warm up the space, instead of causing it to look like a preschool classroom.

I understand that McDonald's (even McCafe) being the official ANYTHING at fashion week seems a bit...low class.  But this is another evidence of McDonald's genius.  Get the celebrities, the fashion-forward celebrities, drinking their coffee, and oh, what a marketing scheme.  They don't have to do anything but give away free coffee, and the media will do the rest.  It's freaking FASHION WEEK, images of celebrities with a McCafe cup in the hand will be plastered all over the place.

I think it's brilliant, delicious, and that Ms. Wintour is in for a little shock.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I am probably more excited about this than I should be...


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