Saturday, April 30, 2011

Took the Praxis today.

I really hope I passed. 

I have to pass this to teach in Alabama next fall. So. Much. Pressure.

Friday, April 29, 2011

RedBud Film Festival



The Student Film Production Club hosted our 3rd Annual RedBud Film Festival on Tuesday. My last major event to plan as a college student is over. Hallelujah!

Overall, it went pretty well. We had a record number of films submitted, and the films selected were our strongest set of student films yet. Production quality and story content have really stepped up this year, and I really couldn't be more proud of everyone (SFPC member or not) who made films this year. So awesome.

My heart is swelling with pride. From something I had zero control over. Go figure.

Of course, the event wasn't perfect. I was late showing up, we had some technical difficulties with someone's film, and we had some rando guy pull an "I'm Still Here" stunt on us. He was filming a documentary of himself (in exactly the same way that Joaquin Phoenix filmed his short "going crazy" stint), and decided to use our festival for one of his stunts.

So at intermission, he runs up on stage and steals the microphone, complaining about how his film didn't get submitted -- "I'm an artist! I'm an f*cking brilliant artist! My film was perfect!"

Not cool.

After he was forced off the stage, one of our filmmakers chased after him and gave him a piece of her mind, shaming him into writing me an apology email.

Crazy stuff. Never a dull moment with the Student Film Production Club.





So now that the festival is over, my time as the SFPC is coming to a complete close. Next week is our last officer's meeting, which is really just a turning over of the guard.

Which has pretty much already happened.

The club isn't my baby anymore. Event at the festival, it was less a "Goodbye Virginia" than a "We can't wait til next year" feeling. Which is awesome. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Though I did get a song dedication at the get-together afterward. So no complaints.





I am excited about the future of the club, though sad I wont get to be a part of it. Having seen the club come up from absolutely nothing, and looking at the successful force it is now, I am really proud of my involvement. I can't wait to see what awesome things it does in the next few years!

I'm Gonna Do It

I'm gonna be one of those bloggers -- one of those thousands of millions of bloggers -- who mention the royal wedding today.

You have been warned.

I would apologize, but that's pointless. Because I've already mentioned it. 

But sorry anyway. 

Anywho... on to the mention I was mentioning...



I love her dress. LOVE. I want her dress. WANT. 

It's actually almost everything I've ever dreamed of my future wedding dress looking like. Or it would be if I actually dreamed of my future wedding dress. 

But I don't. 

But if I did, it would look like that gorgeous lacy number. 

And that is my mention of the royal wedding. 

The End

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers

I feel so heavy this morning. Alabama, my future home, was rocked by tornados yesterday, and all I can think about is how devastating that must be for an already incredibly poor area. My heart goes out to the corps members working in the area now, my future classroom children, and their families. I hope they are all safe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

#Senioritis

#Senioritis is my new favorite hashtag on Twitter. These tweets are speaking to my soul.

Or something like that.








I'm especially feeling that last one right now. Probably because I just completed the film project for my senior capstone class in less than five hours -- over the course of one evening. I may or may not have had a month to complete it.

Woops.

I mean, hey. I only have two and a half weeks left to live up my college career. I have #priorities.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Printmaking

The rest of the semester in my Art for Non-Majors class is going to be spent on printmaking, and I've decided, for my last project, to carve out a quote "stamp."

I've always loved the quote below and I've been needing some serious cheese in my life lately. So today I spent about two and a half hours rearranging/resizing the words to make them look cool. I'm not sure it was a success, but I definitely used all the little design tips I've gathered through osmosis this semester from Megan, Crowdstory's graphic designer. For example, I used Helvetica font, which is apparently the granddaddy of all design fonts. And I didn't stretch or squish any letters (though I was super tempted) because that's the biggest design faux pas of 'em all.

The biggest challenge is going to be those itty-bitty "as they are the" and "of your" sections. Hope it turns out well!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

. . .



“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have 
known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss,
and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have 
an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that 
fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.”


[Elizabeth Kubler Ross]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Crowdstory Launch - Day Two in Pictures

I took a gazillion pictures. Almost literally. So so so many.

Here are the best ones, and if I find out how to embed a slideshow in a blog post, I'll show you the rest of the pictures from the day. It was a pretty good one.





The t-shirts, created by our graphic designer Megan Gessouroun, were a huge hit. Everyone wanted to know where they could buy one. We should have made extras, that's for sure.




It was a really cold day (esp. in comparison to the days before), so no one wanted popsicles. But Bryce Stubblefield can sell you anything.

"It's not too cold for a piece of paper though!" - BStubb

So, in a humorous instance of reverse psychology, people would feel bad for not wanting the popsicles and would actually ask for the paper instead. And in a land where people hate handouts almost more than they hate homework during Dead Week, this is a real feat.





After being out on the oval all day, the team went home for a break before the launch party that night. I took a nap.

Then it was Crowdstory Launch Party time!




Thanks to the awesome generosity of O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grill, Team Crowdstory had 300 beers on tap to give out for free. And in exchange for free beer, all people needed to do was either download Crowdstory, tweet about us, or put us as their Facebook status.




Also, to make the party even better (on top of having all that free beer to hand out), the Rockettops, a super talented band from Oklahoma City, came out and played at our launch. For free. Because they're awesome like that.

Overall, I think we estimated that about one hundred people showed up solely on account of Crowdstory. A HUGE success. We couldn't be happier with the turnout.

Walking Up the South Oval

On Wednesday, we weren't the only group out on the South Oval soliciting the attention of our fellow students.

Walking up the South Oval, you'd see...



Camp Out to Stamp Out, an overnight affair where student groups build "houses" out of boxes to stay in overnight. They stand out on the Oval and collect spare change to help fight genocide.

After Camp Out, there was...




Green Week recycle bins, out of recycled material. Keep the Earth clean! Throw away your trash and recycle!

And then there was...



Team Crowdstory, handing out popsicles encased in plastic and a plethora of paper flyers from murdered trees, promoting our launch party with "Free beer!"

Just doing our part to help society.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crowdstory Launch - Day One in Pictures



A successful day on the oval! We passed out ALL the popsicles and had to reprint flyers three or four times. I think we passed out about 700 flyers overall. Crazy. They go so quickly, especially from the 00:20 to the 00:30 of every hour (when classes are out and people are destination hopping).

Also, the snippet structure worked. Update on that one: Paper mache = failure. As soon as the balloon inside the paper mache deflated, the thing collapsed. But the new snippet top is a balloon (just no paper), which is still cool. And functional. Very important.



Overall, it was a pretty successful day. OU students are pretty used to getting paper flyers on the oval, so they weren't particularly excited to be getting more -- until popsicles were introduced to the mix. Total game changer. People were more than willing to accept flyers when free sugar water  was involved, and we even had people forgo to the popsicles but still ask for/take the flyers. Score.

I am excited to see the download numbers for today, and I'm even more excited to see the turnout at O'Connell's tomorrow night. Things are really rolling!

To stay up to date on our shenanigans tomorrow, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/crowdstory (and/or #crowdstorylaunch) or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crowdstory. It's going to be a great day!


Crowdstory Launch - Day One in Pictures

It begins.

Today is the first day of our launch. We'll be out on the South Oval, by Dale Hall, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., handing out Freezepop popsicles and telling people about Crowdstory. We'll also be inviting people to our launch party at O'Connell's on Thursday night, which'll be amazing. The band is good to go, and we officially have an official sound guy to make the band sound official. Score.

Look for us on the Oval, and I'll give you a popsicle. It'll be great.


Also, check it out! Crowdstory got an article on the front page of ou.edu -- prime real estate!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crowdstory Gets Ready for OU Launch

Team Crowdstory blanketed campus last night with posters and chalking, preparing for our on-campus launch Wednesday and Thursday. We will be on the South Oval on campus from 10 - 3 p.m. both days, handing out popsicles and flyers promoting our launch party on Thursday night.

Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. I may even give you two popsicles. If I like you enough.

The launch party on Thursday night should be awesome too. It will be at a popular bar on Campus Corner called O'Connell's, starting at 10 p.m., and there'll be live music by The Rockettops and awesome drink specials for people who download/tweet about Crowdstory.

Look for #crowdstorylaunch to blow up the Twittersphere on Thursday night.

As of now, the Facebook event for the launch party has a god number of people coming -- I hope it gets up past 100 RSVP'd, because we have 100 free beers to hand out. I'd hate to see them go unclaimed, and I certainly don't intend to drink them all myself (though I'll probably need a drink when this is all over).

I couldn't be more excited (and stressed) that this launch is finally here. Team Crowdstory has been focused on preparing for it ever since we got back from South by Southwest in March, and all the pieces are falling into place pretty nicely (though I'm still on a desperate search for speakers for the band -- anyone?).

It's going to be a great couple days for Crowdstory.

If you're in the Norman area, I hope you come out to O'Connell's! We'd LOVE to see you there!


Monday, April 18, 2011

I Want to Be an Ex-Pat

I am currently entertaining the idea of running away to Europe after graduation. I don't know where I'd go, but I'd use the money I've saved (to buy a car) on a one-way airplane ticket, an apartment, and putting up flyers about tutoring "with a native English speaker." Bam. I'd have a place to live, a job, and a little bit of extra dinero to tide me over until the tutoring started taking off.

About one-eighth of me is entirely serious about this plan. It's feasible. I know someone who did it. And if I could just make my student loans disappear, I'd probably be almost one-fourth entirely serious about this plan.

The future is stressin' me out, and the only thing I really want to do -- with all my heart -- is travel. Get out of the States. Live and breathe a different culture. Learn a new language. Write and take pictures.

I'm too impatient to wait a few years to do this. Darn financial limitations. Why do you exist?!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Afternoon at the Mont

When the weather is pleasant, all my friends and I want to do is be outside. Conveniently, just down the street is this place called the Mont, which has an outdoor patio. And their campus-famous swirls. And delicious chips and queso.

So the other day, to celebrate the gorgeous 80+ degree weather and the cool breeze from the incoming storm, Val, Brit and I went to the Mont for a swirl and some good chatting.




Now that we are getting so close to graduation (26 days!!!), all I want to do is hang out with my roommates and friends. I don't care about classes (though I still enjoy them) and I sure as hell don't care about homework. Hate to admit it, but my capstone project is going to be a joke. I'll be using Xtranormal, if that tells you anything.

And of all the things I'm going to miss here, it'll be the people. Sure, I'll miss the lifestyle. I'll miss being on my own time and own initiative. But most of all, I'll miss my roommates and the closeness we've created over the last year living together. And I'll miss the friends I've made during college (especially over this last year). Why is it that I meet all these cool people with only a year left to get to know them? Why couldn't I have met all these people freshman year? Oh the injustice! *shake fists*

I'm not ready to grow up. I'm not ready to get a real job. And I'm definitely not ready to move away and leave this oasis of awesome.

Anyone know of a good time machine salesman?

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Stroll in the Park



The weather has been absolutely GORGEOUS lately . . .  aside from a teensy minor irritation in the form of Oklahoma's tornado-like winds.

Seriously though. It's been so breezy that I haven't been able to comfortably wear my hair down in weeks.

Q: Why is Oklahoma so windy?





A: Because Texas blows and Kansas sucks.

Bahaha!


Sorry. Couldn't help it. Actually, I really couldn't care less about cross-state rivalries and yada-yada. But that joke still cracks me up.

Anyway, because the weather was so lovely yesterday, I went for a stroll through the duck pond on the way back from my stadium run. Well, I'm sure the park is called something, but we call it the duck pond. Due to the large number of ducks.

Yup.

Did I mention it was a beautiful day? I love the spring here. In Oklahoma, spring is my favorite season by far. Everything turns leafy green, flowers pop up everywhere, and campus turns into heaven. All I want to do is spend time outside. I have a feeling that this, coupled with my increasing appreciation for the Mont and overall lack of motivation, will make for a very pleasant, incredibly unproductive next four weeks. Can't wait!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Running Stairs at the Stadium

Check out the fancy stadium lights. Hardcore.

My Tuesday/Thursday workout is usually pretty boring. Run on treadmill at Huff, watch "Property Virgins" (or whatever that buying-a-house show on TLC is called), doing some sit-ups, and then walk home (sometimes half the workout, it's such a hike).

So today I decided to switch it up a bit and run stairs in the OU Football Stadium. The south entrances to the stadium are always open, so I often cut through on the way to/from classes, and I see people working out in the stadium all the time. And since I used to love running stairs in the dorms during my internship in Philadelphia, I figured I'd give this a try.




I almost died.

Seriously though. Heart attack waiting to happen.

I ran a down-over-up-over pattern, all the way around three fourths of the football field perimeter. When I started, I had the best intentions of going three fourths one way, and then going all the way back around. But when I completed the first leg, I was in major pain.

Tired legs + steep stairs = Disaster waiting to happen.

So I just jogged back around to my things and called it a day. After taking pictures, of course.


Painting lines on the football field -- getting ready
for the Spring Game (this weekend?).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just In Time

Because Crowdstory and the Student Film Production Club and studying for the PRAXIS are consuming my life, I literally forgot to blog today. Plum forgot.

I don't remember the last time I just all-out forgot to blog. Usually I just walk around all day with twangs of guilt that I haven't blogged yet, but this forgetful business is a new one.

So here's a pretty picture I took while chatting with my pops on the phone the other day...




And with that, I hope you'll excuse me for the lameness that was today.

Love in a Better Blog Tomorrow,

Senior Stressball

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oh, the Temptations of Fluffed Sugar and Air

I'm not sure why I love this video so much, but I watched it the other day and could not stop laughing.

Just watch. It's awesome. And while you're watching, you should try substituting the little kids for adults and the marshmallow for bigger, cooler adult situations in your mind. Because basically, I think we "adults" still approach -- and react to -- temptation in pretty much the same way. 

Ha-la-rious. 




Also, I love the little girl who just grabs and eats the marshmallow without even thinking about it. There's no way she's waiting for another one.

But that boy who finally gets two -- I wanted to hug him.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wood Printing in Art Class



I am in an art class this semester, and it is one of my absolute favorite classes. That I've ever taken. Because I basically get to be all creative and artsy for six hours every week, and it's like a small peace of heaven.




Right now we are working on wood printing, which is a blast. Wood printing is a process where you basically make a giant stamp out of compressed sawdust. It lends itself well to pictures with simple lines and off-the-wall creepiness.

I swear. Not sure why, but most wood printing art is really strange.

Anyway, the process is really neat -- and fun.

First I drew out my design on paper, then scanned it in to Photoshop and fixed it up. Then I printed it off with a LaserJet printer -- which is important. It's LaserJet or nothing with this baby.

After LaserJett-ing, we sprayed, on the back of the paper, some sort of solvent that strips paint off wood (and smells deliciously citrus-ey... dangerous stuff). We then placed the paper face-down on the block of wood (really just compressed sawdust), rolled it under this giant roller, and the pressure transferred the image to the wood. Like magic!

We were all really excited at first, because wood printing is basically a destructive art by nature. Instead of adding things, you are carving away. And while it doesn't forgive mistakes very easily, it's still really cathartic to attack the compressed sawdust with a carving blade.

That last sentence makes me sound like I'm crazy, doesn't it?

I'm not. Promise.

I'm just working through some unresolved issues about becoming a grown-up. Like I said before, it's an inner angst phase. No worries. I'll snap out of it and start painting lame things like butterflies soon enough.

Taaaaangent.

Whoops.

Anywho, we've been at the wood-carving business for three class periods now, and it is starting to get old. Even destroying things loses it's allure after a while. And it starts to hurt your hands.



In the picture above, my lovely classmate is demonstrating the technique of carving. All the places carved out will be white, and the areas remaining untouched (i.e. raised above the rest) becomes the stamp and stays black (or whatever color the ink is).

It's actually pretty neat.

The project I am working on is a birthday present for my dad. It involves wood printing and painting, and until my graduation, when ma pops will come down to Oklahoma, I think I'll hang it up in the living room. Hope the roommates don't mind!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Graduation Announcements



Announcements came in the mail yesterday.

IMMA FIXIN TO GRADUATE!!!

It is so bizarre to me that I have finally reached this point in my life. I am about to graduate. From college. The last "mandatory" schooling I'll ever have to do. I'm about to join the world of grown-ups -- the land of salaries, filing big kid taxes, saving receipts, and paying for expensive things (like cars, apartments, & insurance).

What?! When did this happen?

I don't know why I can't get over it. This isn't the first milestone I've crossed and it definitely wont be the last. And yet, this particular one -- this college graduation business -- feels like it carries more weight than anything else.

Because after this, the choices I make actually matter. I mean, sure, they mattered before. But they mattered more in a "what I choose not to do so I don't f*ck up my life" kind of way. I mean, I chose to not mess things up by doing drugs or all those other things your mama tells you not to do.  But besides not getting preggo or addicted to crystal meth, the choices I've made haven't really had particularly permanent repercussions.

Until now. Now I'm graduating and choosing the direction of my life. And what I do now matters. I feel like where I go after college sets me on a specific path and will dictate all of my future opportunities. Such a scary thought.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING WITH MY LIFE!

*gnash teeth and pull hair*

And sure, I realize I have lots of time and nothing is permanent and yada-yada. But if one more adult chuckles and says, "I still don't know what I'm doing with my life," I swear... heads are gonna roll. Not cool, smart-allecky adults. Not cool.




Friday, April 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wrapping Up with the SFPC

My year as President of the Student Film Production Club is starting to come to a close. In a week, the club will elect the new set of officers for next year, and my duties will just be to preside over a couple more meetings, say a few things at the RedBud Film Festival at the end of the year, and tie up any loose ends for the next president coming in.

Crazy to think how fast things went. I've been looking forward to being President since my sophomore year, but once I had the position, it felt like I was often too busy to spend a lot of time on it. I wish I'd had more time to focus on innovating and moving the club forward. There were a lot of half-cooked ideas that came out of the year that I would really have liked to see to completion.

But I am happy with the things I was able to accomplish. And hopefully I'll be able to spend some time creating a transition binder before I bail ship, so at least the next President wont have such a large learning curve and can "hit the ground running."

It's been real, y'all.

Love, Peace, and Elbow Grease,
Da Prez

Some of the SFPC minions reading the rules for the 24-Hour Film Blitz this spring. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paper Mache with the Team



Team Crowdstory got together on Saturday afternoon to do a bit of paper maché -- or papier-mâché, to be snooty --  while watching one of the Final Four games (per request from the gentlemen). Crowdstory is planning a super huge, super awesome launch on campus in a couple weeks (look for us on April 20th and 21st!), to promote our App and get the OU student body to use it. Part of the planning for that launch is creating a giant sculpture of a snippet (basically the red Google pin) to hang out on the South Oval with us.

After bouncing around a gazillion ideas for the sculpture's materials, we settled on paper maché-ing a giant helium-filled three foot balloon. It was hanging out in my house for a few days before the paper maché party, and it was actually really fun to have a huge balloon in the living room. Rather festive.

But all good things must come to an end, I guess. Kinda like college.

Blah.



Anywho... covering a giant helium-filled balloon with wet strips of newspaper (or torn up phone books in our case) is not as easy as it sounds. First of all, before the balloon is covered with enough paper to weigh it down, it's like a mini wrestling match. And the balloon usually wins.

That helium is some powerful stuff.

Then after you cover it with that first round of wet paper, you have to cover it again with a second round of paper, this time with glue on it.

And of course, one layer of goopy glue paper is never enough, so you'll need a couple more layers. But you have to wait twenty-four hours between each layer so it can completely dry. Gross. I just want to start the project and complete it in the same day. Instant satisfaction, s'il vous plaît.

So basically the ball still isn't finished because I haven't gotten around to those last couple layers yet. Covering a three foot balloon takes time. Something which is quickly disappearing. Poof.

Terrifying stuff.



Also, did you know that flour + water = paste?! Crazy! And flour + water + salt = paste that doesn't mold.

You learn new things every day.

So naturally, after my first experience with paper maché since elementary school, I now feel like an expert and deign to pass on my vast wealth of knowledge to the masses.

So here it goes...

The Essentials of a Paper Maché Project:
- newspaper or phonebook paper clippings
- flour/water mixture (the glue)
- water
- lots of hands
- a bowl or pot to hold the giant balloon in one place
- a Disney Princess towel to catch excess drips from getting on nice new rental carpet
- festive little balloons, to remind you that at least you aren't covering all of them



Monday, April 4, 2011

An Excursion to Pops

"Get your kicks... on Route 66!" 
-- that one song about Route 66




One particularly large item on my "List of Things to Do Before I Graduate" -- besides skipping class to get swirls at the Mont and eating at Bobo's Chicken in OKC -- has always been going to this magical place called Pops.

I'd heard about it once freshman year, where it went on my list immediately. But it's forty minutes away in Arcadia and I don't have a car and all sorts of other excuses, so I never went.

But now I'm graduating in five weeks. We're getting down to the wire, people. It's a now-or-never situation.

So it took all the way until my senior year -- and the panic of "I'll never get to do this again!"-- to get my butt up there to check it out.




I wish I hadn't waited so long. But I finally went to Pops last week.

And took a gazillion pictures and watched a gorgeous sunset and drank a Yacht Club Birch Beer soda and a funky cream soda (with a cool label). Barry had some cola with the Colorado flag on it and pop called Oregon Marionberry. We take geographically diversity very seriously.


From Left to Right: Zuberfizz Cola, Celon's Mythical Créme Soda, Yacht Club Birch Beer, and Oregon Marionberry. Mine were the two in the middle.




It was great.

What's Pops, you ask?

Pops is this awesome gas station/restaurant/soda shop. They sell gas and burgers and about 500 different kinds of pop. And they have a giant neon pop bottle outside.





On the outside, the gas station/restaurant kinda looks like a big retro space ship, and inside, the walls on both sides are made of glass. And, lining both walls, floor to ceiling, are rows and rows of pop bottles (which are unfortunately for looking only and are glued to the shelves).




Like I said, it's a magical place.




And that, my friends, is the story of my adventure to Pops. Next time you are on Route 66, just outside Arcadia, you should stop on by. It's worth the detour (or a trip unto itself).




About Me

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