Thursday, March 31, 2011

. . .

"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. "

— Charles Bukowski

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today is a No Bread Day

We ran out of bread at the house, so for lunch today, I ate my cheese and cracked pepper turkey sandwich meat on Ritz crackers. Which was still delicious, though not quite as filling.

Anyway, I'm sitting in the library eating lunch, avoiding studying for the PRAXIS (Yup, retaking that baby.), when I realized that I really needed to blog today. Definitely had to happen.

Then I felt inspired by my lunch, and I came up with the snazzy title for my blog. I was then going to think of some beautiful elaborate metaphor for why today is a No Bread day for other bigger, more awesomely existential reasons and not just because none of us have gone grocery shopping in a while.

But I couldn't think of anything. I was distracted by all this protein.

Soooo the metaphor crashes and burns.

Oh well. Next time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Official Proclamation

Dear Reader,

Due to the general bada**ery of my new camera, all pictures on my blog, from here on out, will be taken by me, unless credited otherwise. Therefore, please only borrow my pictures if you credit generously and promise to take me to Disney World someday. Those are my conditions.

With Love,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Open Letter to My Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dear Cookies,

You don't look as pretty as the ones in the picture on the recipe. Kinda dry and flaky. This saddens me.

You also taste kinda funny.

Was it because I used baking powder instead of baking soda? Because zee interwebbs assured me that this would be okay.

But I guess eet vas wrong.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Intramurals with the Biz Kids

One advantage to being a part of CCEW, besides the obvious benefits of learning a lot and stuff like that, is that the alumni base is ginormous. This is helpful for getting jobs and manning flag football teams. Which is what we did today. Intramurals with the biz kids!


Mimi, our fearless leader and organizer, planned the game today, and is taking requests for other sports for next weekend. I'm a huge advocate for ultimate frisbee, myself. But we'll have to see.

It was a little cold outside (what happened to the gorgeous weather?!), but running around like crazy helped. Well, I was running around like crazy. Flag football isn't really my area of expertise, so I kinda just ran around and yelled a lot when I thought I was open. Of course, I didn't catch the ball a single time. Sad day. But the exercise was nice.

CCEW Intramurals Rock!
Good times.

After the game, we compared scars...

... and took a group pic for future CCEW promotion. Always gotta rep!

What a good lookin' bunch.

And naturally, after the game, everyone negated all that hard work and good exercise karma by getting lunch at Caines. Delish.

Oh, and we took a break from bonding time to go around to people in the restaurant, getting them to vote for a fellow CCEW team, EYEChina, who is competing in a business plan competition this weekend. Hope they win Fan Favorite!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mailbox Surprises

The last two days have been awesome mail days. Really, the last month has been an awesome mail month. With my birthday and those camera splurges, it's been a pretty consistent stream of goodies in my mailbox all throughout March, and I love it.

In yet another example of mailbox domination month, the awesome birthday present from my sister Rebecca arrived yesterday.


It was a pink explosion of baking things!

The cupcake recipe book is full of both practical, easy-to-make cupcakes, and wonderfully fanciful ones with rose petals coated in sugar. I can't wait to try making one of them. 

I love the pattern on the apron and oven mitt. 

And then today brought two precious pictures of my niece Isabella, who is already one years old. I can't believe how much she has grown! And still the CUTEST. THING. EVER.

So much love.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fashion Issues

Some days I feel like it is an absolute miracle that I managed to find an appropriate outfit that both looked decent and fit the day's crazy Oklahoma weather.

And then when I get into my PJs for the night, I have a minor anxiety attack that I wont be able to find as perfect an outfit for tomorrow.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Monday, March 21, 2011

So, Funny Story...

Today I walked the entire length of campus with a full bladder. Not fun. Naturally, once I got to the library, I basically made a bee line for the bathrooms, grabbing the middle stall out of the three.

Then I washed my hands and spent about five minutes fixing my hair (side braid = unproportionately high amount of daily adjustment). Assuming I was alone, I was chatting to myself under my breath. I think I was practicing my sweet pick-up lines or something. 

Anyway, I'm standing there muttering away like a crazy person, when a small cough and the sound of a toilet paper roll comes from the corner stall. 

It scared the bazeebees out of me, and I literally let out a small scream. 

I then hightailed it out of there before the girl came out of the stall. I'm not sure which of us would be more embarrassed by that encounter. 

Thoughts on Family

I just finished reading the novel Caucasia for one of my classes, and the biggest thing that struck me was how it dealt with family. And while I wont go into much detail, I'll just say that it never ceases to simultaneously amaze and petrify me how much power parents have to inspire, shape, and completely f*ck up their kids.

It's absolutely terrifying, really.

Anyway, I wont get into that. But since family has been on my mind quite a bit lately, here are a few quotes... some pretty good ones, I'd say.

"The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."  ~Erma Bombeck

"Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family.  Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted."  ~Paul Pearshall

"If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable - each segment distinct."  ~Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An All-American Sunday

Today I had what I'd like the call the quintessential American Sunday. Valerie and I went to church in the morning, ate fried chicken for lunch while listening to country music, and then went to a baseball game.

And the weather was gorgeous. I couldn't ask for a better day.

OU at bat against Texas A&M

The crowd at the game. 

Please notice how frickin' cute that little boy is. So presh. My apologies to his mother for being a total creepster and taking a picture. I couldn't help it.

Standing ovation for our one home run of the game
I think we lost 2-5. But I was talking most of the time anyway, so I really didn't notice.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Adaptation Paper on Pride and Prejudice

For those of you who don't already know (which isn't very many of you, I'm sure), I'm in love with Pride and Prejudice. In. Love.

We have a very close relationship. Very close. Bordering on unhealthy. It's really much closer to an obsession actually. I'm really obsessed. But I can't help it! I feel incredibly protective of the novel, and I often find myself having to suppress my combative tendencies when other people say that they love the book.

No, you don't love the book. I do. You couldn't possibly love it more than me. End of story.

It's pretty bad.

Don't believe me?

Proof: I have read Pride and Prejudice thirteen times. Or rather, I stopped counting how many times I'd read it after the thirteenth time -- and that was in high school.

Proof: It was my go-to therapy session after every breakup -- especially in high school (to reaffirm my faith in men and romance).

Proof: I can quote the first paragraph of the book verbatim. And I have a huge appreciation for people who think they are being super clever by adapting that first sentence into something else for journal articles, posters, etc.

Proof: When National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) rolled around last November, I wrote a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. And I started my first sentence with yet another clever adaptation of that first sentence (thereby negating the cleverness. Damn).

Proof: I go crazy with those silly internet pop quizzes on anything related to Pride and Prejudice, and I'm kinda miffed if I miss something. For example, the other day I missed a question on Colonel Fitzwilliam. I couldn't remember his name. How could I forget his name?!

Proof: Give me a passage from the book, and I can tell you exactly who said it, what was happening at the time it was said, and how that passage relates to the overall theme of the book.

I need to get a life.

That is, after I write this paper.

Because, ladies and gentlemen, I get to write a paper on Pride and Prejudice. Booyah baby!

It's a paper on adaptations and why the director adapted the book into a movie the way they did, and I am going to town with this one. I haven't had this much fun writing a paper in .... probably ever. In fact, I'm actually writing this paper on a Saturday and not experiencing convulsions and intense procrastination urges (except for maybe this blog). Not bad, considering senioritis has hit hard this semester.

All this P&P talk makes me want to pick up the book again. At this rate, I'll never get anything else done.

Oh well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Norman over Spring Break

Nompton. It's an empty place. It's even emptier during Spring Break than it is in the summer, because literally NO ONE is here right now. Except soccer moms and retired people. The rest are in South Padre and Cancun.

I don't mind too much though. Lindsey Street isn't congested, the lines at Walmart are non-existent, and with no one around to distract me, maybe I'll get some work done.

Not likely. But one can always hope.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

South by Southwest: Day 5

It was a shorter day yesterday. The Crowdstory team did some promoting, talking to people, and checking out the trade show (more pitching involved). Mostly our day was filled with attending the VIP event at Oklahoma's Buffalo Lounge (the same location as OpenBeta the night before), where we set up our table again and talked to people who came by to ask about our app. 

We also got lunch at Gourdough's, an airstream trailer that sells food on donuts -- including chicken and BBQ (as well as the more tradition strawberries and powdered sugar fare). Strangely enough, it was delicious. 

Naturally, while it was super tasty, it was also ridiculously unhealthy. After SXSW is over, I am going on a food detox and eating nothing but broccoli and carrots. I am taking a break from meat, bread, anything fried, and anything with a sauce of any kind. I've never eaten so much meat in such a short stretch of time before; SXSW was rough on my stomach.

Of course, I say that and then immediately eat a giant breakfast burrito at the Diner when I get back to Norman. 

Hmmmm... What should we get?

Bryce and I
Part of Jack's aunt and uncle's property. They let us stay in their guest house, which was
situated on absolutely gorgeous property outside Austin.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

South by Southwest: Day 4 -- In Pictures

Just pictures this time. I need sleep.

I will blog more later. But today was, again, so much fun. And a success. Can't wait for tomorrow.

In the meantime, here is the day in pictures....

Posing with the Xtranormal characters.

That's our Xtranormal commerical that TJ made at the beginning of Crowdstory's existence. Hence the reason we posed with the characters today. We told them that we'd used Xtranormal to make a small commercial of our App when we'd just begun, and they were like, "Cool. Yeah, now Gieco is using us for their online commercials." Awesome. 

Chatting with the CEO of Quibids.
The SXSW Interactive Tradeshow -- this is a line of people waiting for free alcohol. It never ceases to amaze me how little people value their time when it comes to free food and booze. They'll be rushing around, with places to go and people to see, but the instant a line forms, they are there.

Express yourself!

Crowdstory at OpenBeta

Jack presenting Crowdstory during OpenBeta's lightening talk.
So funny. There were tears of laughter from audience members.

Monday, March 14, 2011

South by Southwest: Day 3

It's been a long day. Another very very very long day.

And everyone else on my team is going to bed right now, which really sucks away my motivation to be lengthy with this blog. I just want to be asleep too. So today's entry will be short and sweet.

It's amazing what standing on your feet pretty much all day will do to your lower back, calves, and exhaustion level.


This festival is a BLAST.

I basically love everything about it. I love meeting the people here because most of them have incredibly fascinating jobs. I love people coming up and pitching their apps to me, because I appreciate when people listen to me pitching Crowdstory to them. I love the free food, beverages, t-shirts and swag bags. I now have a cup, bag, and frisbee to take home with me. And most of all, I love the atmosphere because it's electric. The passion and excitement are contagious -- it feels like everyone is stoked to be here talking about technology, it's future, and it's implications. I love it. Love.

So what happened in the land of Crowdstory today?

In the morning we split up into teams and attended various panels. I went to a talk by Guy Kawisaki, entrepreneur/writer, and a talk by Chris Poole, founder of 4chan. Both interesting, though Kawisaki was HILARIOUS. I loved his talk.

Also, after making small talk with the girls sitting next to me, they asked me if they could interview me (about Crowdstory) for their blog. Of course I said yes! I haven't checked their blog yet to see if we made the cut, but I'll let you know.

After the panels, we set up shop again on the corner -- this time on the mostest crowdedest street corner we could find. Which just happened to be right outside the front door of the Convention Center. Swoop!

Here are some candid shots of Team Crowdstory doing what we do best -- chatting people up.

And another picture of that sexy banner (note attempted creative angle with camera)...

And then in the evening, we got to appreciate free BBQ on the plastic turf "lawn" in the Hewlett-Packard trailer park. We sat around, ate delicious free food, and listened to music by The Nightmare and the Cat for a while, before heading back to network. It was a great break after a busy day.

Oh, and that's me. It's actually the first picture of me from the trip, but only because I finally let one of the guys pry the camera from me. What can I say? It's my baby.

Well, so much for a short blog. I never was very good at brevity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

South by Southwest: Day 2

Another good (long) day for Team Crowdstory. In fact, it was so long that I barely remember how it started.

Oh yeah. I took my PRAXIS test. Gag.

PRAXIS = test I have to take to teach in Alabama/bane of my existence

I woke up way too early and one of my teammates drove me into town to go take my test. I was so exhausted when I took the test that I don't have high hopes about it at all. I mean, I literally fell asleep during the test and had to take a bathroom break so I could walk around to wake up (I did about 50 jumping jacks in the women's restroom, which I think did the trick). Let's just say that the combination of sleep deprivation, inadequate studying, and high level of stress makes me pretty sure I'll be rescheduling to take that test in April.

But post-PRAXIS day was pretty awesome. The team split up and went to various panels on our own, and then met up after lunch.

Promotion time!
TJ pitching Crowdstory to a Gowalla developer.
On our way back to the Convention Center with banner on tow, we stopped by the Gowalla booth for free t-shirts and ended up talking with one of their developers. The guys had a chat about maps and things that I don't understand, but they walked away really excited, so it must have been good.

We then set up our gorgeous banner (thanks to Megan!) and started pitching Crowdstory.

Admiring Megan's work.
The team, minus Bryce and me, posing with our badass Crowdstory banner.

Overall people were pretty interested. It was difficult to get people to stop and ask about the app, but we'd set up near a truck with free ice cream, so we approached a lot of people in line and snagged them that way.

We're all getting pretty good at our short pitch for Crowdstory. Want to hear it?

"Crowdstory is a location-based audio storytelling app that allows you to tell a story and tether it to the GPS coordinates of where the story happened, which you can then share with friends.


I'm not sure what kind of impact we are making, as our marketing is definitely small-scale guerrilla stuff, but it's been fun. And I am definitely learning a lot about how to approach people and pitch our idea. The atmosphere here at SXSW is unlike any other -- exhilarating, stressed, and fast-paced -- and everyone has something to sell. But there's also an incredible amount of partnership going on. We'll tweet at someone and they'll tweet at us back. And bam -- we're getting traffic from some of the guy's 2000+ followers. At the small level on which we're operating, it all becomes a sort of give and take. And while I wouldn't exactly call it commiseration, I do think we are all painfully aware of how alike we are -- passionate and hungry for success.

About Me

... A few thoughts to pass the time...