Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

First, let me start off by offering thanks to Tina and Emicat for their kind comments. Tina, I know you must be a fantastic mother, because you're such a great cheerleader! Emiko, thank you for the condolences, I appreciate it.

I haven't blogged for a while, but this time I have a legitimate excuse. For the first time in many years (7?, 8?), I went on an actual vacation. You know, the kind where there are nothing is expected of you, and you don't have to visit anyone/anyplace because it is your "duty" (which is why I no longer go to Honolulu). So where did I go to have such a relaxing time? Just a little past the Great White North, to the wilds of Alaska. Actually, "wilds" is an exaggeration - I was in Petersburg, south of Juneau - but there was a lot of wildlife.


Killer whales:

Basket starfish (aren't they pretty?):

There were almost always deer in the backyard:

I went on a fishing trip with my mom, my cousin, and his 15 year old son. I had a great time harassing my cousin's kid; which probably says a lot about my level of maturity. I knew that he was getting much too comfortable with me when he started to call me by his sister's name; and she's 19! But I guess it's better to be young at heart -- the alternative being my "I only watch Fox News" cousin (hard to believe I'm only ten years younger than he is). Ah, I'm being uncharitable, he's really a wonderful guy; however, compared to me, he is a grown up.

I'm still trying to figure out whether or not this is the upside or the downside of my trip. Behold my freezer:
Anybody want some halibut?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mid-life Crisis

I swear, I think I am having a mid-life crisis...right before the end of school, I signed up for two summer classes at UC Berkeley Extension. Classes that have nothing to do with my professional life, but I have been getting nudged in this new direction by friends and colleagues. So I thought, what the heck, why not?

My first class (graphic design) started before my school year ended. At four hours once a week, it is a long class. On the first night, to soften the blow of having to sit in class for that long, we started to watch the film Helvetica, a documentary about the typeface. I never thought a film about typography would be so interesting! Of course, after watching it, I became a little obsessive-compulsive about identifying the font every time I saw it around me. Evidently, there's also a traveling exhibit that is commemorating Helvetica's 50 years. So far, I am really enjoying it; even though it freaks me out a bit creatively (Always comparing myself to others & coming up short. Why are we always so hard on ourselves and easy on others? ).

This week, I had to photograph signage: billboards, posters, etc. Of course, I had to have a juvenile moment:Is it me, or is the word of a little too close to the word ART? This is what happens to your brain when you teach second grade for seven years (potty humor abounds)!

We've been designing stamps too (it's all based on the alphabet):