Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All Hail — The Other Bible

Look what I got as a nice gift from Mr. Bierut on Monday! This wonderful catalog is not sold anywhere. When it first came out, Pentagram had an offer on their blog that the first 50 people who emailed, received one. But other than that, its a tough thing for just anyone to get their sticky little fingers on and I am SO grateful for this lovely souvenir of an incredible meeting and tour of the firm.

Jealous, you designer friends??? I thought so. Maybe I'll let you pray . . . I mean, look at it if you wash your hands and wear white gloves. ;)

Pentagram announced the Black Book, a compilation of over 400 projects from the last several years, arranged in alphabetical order, like a dictionary, and printed on Bible paper, like a Bible, complete with tabbed sections and ribbons for bookmarking. It covers pretty much everything they do, from architecture to graphics, buildings to websites, branding to signage, interiors, packaging, exhibitions, interfaces, furniture, products, brochures, magazines, and houses, all in simple picture-and-caption form.

Photos compliments of the Pentagram blog.

Another Life List Item Complete: No Soda!

I write this post as I happily sip a root beer. Oh, how I have missed you, my dear friend.

So near the end of September 2007, I vowed to give up soda for a full year (number 17 on the life list). It was a dumb weakness of mine. A horrible habit. And probably partially to blame for my crappy teeth problems. So I completely rid myself of it for 365 days (although I do confess to a single can of ginger ale when I had a tummy ache in February. . . but ginger ale is a borderline soda in my opinion).

Now I shall not withhold myself from it eternally, but I will not nearly drink it ever on a frequent basis. Or ever buy it for my home. Its a slippery slope, folks. I shall reserve it for special occasions — such as a Vanilla Coke at a diner or when I am forced to eat fast food on a Bolt Bus stop (such as now).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Job Fun in NYC

So I am shocked with how breezy this whole job hunt went. Why didn't I do this a year ago when I first said I would?!?! Any fear and nervousness is out the door as I regain my confidence as a designer and have made some great networks. Along with responding to a handful of job postings, I did my usual thing of just sending my stuff randomly to the firms I adore. Which really seemed to work in my favor.

I had three interviews this week. Two have told me they want to offer me the position, so I am in salary negotiations... which are making me at ease that, yes, I will actually be able to afford this city. The third firm I haven't heard back from yet which is okay because, although I loved them, the position was a step down from my Art Director level.

I am enamored with both firms in consideration and actually have an interview yet on Monday with the créme de la créme of design. I don't know how I will ever decide because they are such different yet wonderful environments.

More to come on the firms themselves maybe later. I'm trying to be a bit discreet (although half of you readers I've probably already told!). The most beautiful thing of all is that they all have such warm and easygoing vibes in addition to gorgeous design work. Obviously I'm prepared to work my ass off and find a place I'm passionate about, but I really clicked with the people and I've come to realize over the years, that is really the most important thing about any job.

I adore NYC so much and have had plans with all my awesome friends and sister throughout the week that have made me feel like a real New Yorker already. This weekend is no exception — busy busy busy!

Shockingly, I also cannot wait to start the apartment hunting. Anybody have any leads?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life List Update: September 17, 2008

Its been a while since I've posted my updates to my life list and I need a reminder myself! Last time I posted it I only had 15 conquered. In the last 4 1/2 months, I've conquered 6 more things! Great progress! Stuff in italics are DONE! Stuff in blue are in the works.

1. run a marathon :: completed on October 28, 2007 (PR 4:42:44). Training for my second right now for November 2 in NYC. I can't believe I'm training for another! I'm not even an athlete!
2. complete a triathlon :: completed at Douglas, MA 5 Star Triathlon on September 13, 2008
3. buy a bike :: completed on April 24, 2007

4. ride a century (100mile) bike ride in honor of my Uncle Ray
5. run 10 5ks :: 4 out of 10 so far (PR 26:36)
6. learn to swim properly :: finished course at Y on 4/29/08, fluent with freestyle and backstroke
7. surf in New England
8. surf in Hawaii
9. surf in Indonesia
10. go rockclimbing outdoors
11. run in Central Park :: completed on 8/5/07 during NYC Nike Half Marathon
12. run up the stairs of the Chicago Sears Tower
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:08:59) :: next year
14. take boxing classes
15. do a yoga 30-day challenge
16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month :: why is this one SO hard for me?!?
17. no soda for a full year :: started 10/1/07 and don't really miss it shockingly. Only a few more weeks!
18. compete at least three seasons of tennis league

19. go skydiving for my 30th birthday :: have to reschedule this... my initial attempt on 4/12/07 got canceled because of weather
20. ride an elephant
21. ride a camel
22. go skinny dipping
23. gamble in Vegas :: completed on 5/9/07 on a work trip
24. go white-water kayaking and/or sea kayaking
25. scale/belay down a building
26. climb a volcano
27. target practice at a shooting range :: Liz and I keep talking about going...
28. play paintball :: finished on 4/13/08 with sisters, Bill, cousin Todd, and Tim... want to do it again!
29. go snowboarding out West
30. go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
31. swim with sharks
32. swim with dolphins
33. drive a sportscar around a track
34. go dog sledding
35. climb Mt. Kilmanjaro

36. climb Macchu Picchu
37. go on an African safari :: I think my good friend Jen is getting married in Kenya in 2009!
38. visit the Pyramids
39. drive across America from coast-to-coast
40. visit Japan :: completed on 5/14/08
42. visit 200 places in the "1001 Places to See Before You Die" :: 50 out of 200 so far
43. visit Stockholm
44. visit Kenya
45. visit Montreal
46. visit Morocco
47. ride a mule in the Grand Canyon
48. go on a mission trip
49. spend a weekend in a log cabin in the wilderness :: October 2 in New Hampshire with Laura, Braden, and friends
50. spend New Year's in an exotic location
51. ride in a hot air balloon :: completed on 7/12/08 in Stowe, Vermont (thanks, Steve!)
52. go on a yoga vacation/retreat
53. visit a rainforest :: completed in Belize on 12/24/07
54. fly first class
55. visit India
56. visit all seven continents :: 3 out of 7 so far
58. visit Graceland
59. attend Maine's Lobsterfest
60. attend the Head of the Charles Regatta :: completed on 10/21/07 - thanks Jeff & Sarah!
61. watch the sunset on the West Coast in a romantic setting
62. watch the sunrise on the East Coast in a romantic setting
63. spend an entire weekend on a sailboat
64. take a helicopter tour

65. get CPR certified
66. learn to make paella :: completed on 5/26/07
67. read the Bible
68. grow and eat my own herbs + vegetables
69. learn to roll sushi :: classes on 9/19/08
70. learn to pray the rosary (in memory of my grandmother + with her rosary)
71. bake bread from scratch :: completed 9/29/07 (rosemary bread... mmm)
72. learn to chop food like a pro :: finished cooking chopping class on 6/8/08 given to me from Danielle, Kristen, + Liz! I can't wait!
73. learn another language fluently
74. read/reread all 100 of the "Radcliffe 100 Best Novels" :: only 9 out of 100
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: 34 out of 100 so far, currently have MIDNIGHT COWBOY from Netflixx

76. learn more about investing
77. learn woodworking + make a piece of furniture :: finished a lovely teak coffeetable on 1/24/08

78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months :: working on it lately!
79. pick back up my contributions to my 401K

80. write a will
81. start a new 111 to-do's once this one is halfway finished

82. learn at least three songs on my guitar
83. take up art more regularly (though drawing, painting, photography, or mixed media)
84. commit at least three balloon animals to memory :: almost!
85. knit an entire sweater
86. sell some type of art/product
87. teach a class
88. be in another play or musical
89. write/illustrate a children's book and submit it to a publisher

90. convince someone else to start a list of life to-do's :: completed on 7/29/07, Lori and Missy
91. adopt a family for thanksgiving or christmas
92. volunteer once a week for at least 6 months :: going to a BostonCares orientation on 5/10/08, don't know if this will be a regular weekly volunteer or more sporadic but its a step!
93. organize a charity event
94. be someone's mentor
95. donate hair to Locks of Love charity

96. give up coffee for at least 3 months :: finished 1/1/08
97. go to bed no later than 11pm every weekday for a month
98. one week without a single curse word :: shit
99. go one week without complaining a single time
100. no computer for one whole week :: completed week of 5/14/08 while in Japan, Vancouver, Seattle

101. buy a car
102. buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land!
103. own a pair of manolo blahniks or jimmy choos :: completed on 9/16/08 (thanks, you know who you are!)
104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body
105. eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant
106. be on a silly TV gameshow (reality TV shows DO NOT count)
107. do a keg stand with both my sisters :: completed on 4/12/08
108. kiss someone in the pouring rain (a la The Notebook... *sigh*)
109. throw an old-school all-girls pajama party sleepover :: completed on 4/26/08
110. go to the movies once a month for a full year :: what the hell? I thought this would be easier than it is turning out to be!!
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy

Oops, I Did Again

Talk about crazy juxtapositions again. The other night it was ice cream and "The Biggest Loser". Tonight its mashed potatoes, a single can of beer that's been in my fridge FOREVER and "America's Next Top Model". Skinny bitches make me hungry! I'm a bit of a couch potato lately, huh? I did a good abs/arms workout today though and have big plans for working out in the next few days and have been working my a** off, so its ok. And I just got my braces tightened and am on a mashed potato, applesauce, or oatmeal diet for the next few days. And the alcohol also eases the pain!

Can't wait to show you my cool logos for my friend Shelley — a phenomenally talented Indian Bridal Fashion Designer. And my logos for a local favorite printer of mine. And lots of holiday cards (yes, early huh?). And two web sites for some very talented photographers. And new stationery for a local interior designer. BUSY BUSY BUSY! And more leads on the way!

Brace Face Expiring Soon

Went to get my grill tightened today. . . and told them about my limited time left in Boston. So, I'm on the fast track now. November 19 is the day (technically I get them off on October 28 but November 19 is the permanent retainer of it all and then I'm only due back for check-ups which will obviously be less frequent because of the traveling).


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And I Don't Feel Bad About It . . .

Yes, I confess that I am eating ice cream with chocolate syrup on it as I am watching the premiere episode of "The Biggest Loser." I realize that most people may feel guilty by this pairing. Not me — I ran 20 miles earlier today and burned 2200 calories. This ice cream is entirely deserved. Especially only three days after my triathlon.

Sorry for the gloating. . . I'm getting to that exhausted and unmotivated portion of my marathon training so its good to keep reminding myself how well I'm actually doing!

I Love My New Choos

So . . . totally random and unexpected but another item is scratched off the old life list today. "103. own a pair of Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos." (yes, I put silly superficial things on my list to compensate for all the hard work of triathlons and marathons and such). Don't get the wrong idea and think I'm blowing my budget, they were a gift from a particularly wonderful and generous person.

I just love love love them. Yippee!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Crash Course in Triathlons

Literally. . . so Life List #2 "Complete a triathlon" checked off this weekend. Barely.

My sister Tessa schlepped her bike on Bolt Bus this past weekend from NYC (it actually worked pretty well, she just locked it to one of the bars in the baggage bins so it wouldn't toss around. Of course, then the bus driver said, "Oh, if I had known you had a bike we could have put it on the bike rack in the back." Nice, the Bolt Bus customer service folks failed to mention this but now at least we know!).

So Saturday morning. . . a lovely cool day, we left in our Honda Element zipcar at 6:30 am for Douglas, MA. We didn't get there without a lot of drama. AS I got on 90, I noticed a weird light on the dashboard and a very loud sound when I got around 70mph. Called zipcar team and they referenced the car's manual and said it seems like one of my tires was low. Pulled over at the next gas station, and sure enough the back tire was REALLY low. Had to go buy a tire gauge and fill er up. It didn't even register at 10lb pressure when I measured it. So after about 15-20 minutes we had it up to 40 and were good to go. Thank God Tessa was there to help run back and forth from the store there or it would have easily taken me 40 minutes.

We got there in plenty of time to set up our equipment in the transition stations but barely got our stretching on. The triathlon was organized by firm-racing which was so great with customer service (I had to reschedule twice and they were totally fine with it. . . thanks, Wendy!). The park was absolutely gorgeous. A very serene lake and beautiful wooded surroundings.

Tess was in the 20-24 age group (our ages were marked on the back of our calves. Hey thanks, organizers). I was in the 30-34 age group.

Oh, an even more fascinating note, the Hoyt team was competing. Rick is the father of Dick Hoyt a man who was born with brain damage and is parapalegic. They compete in the Boston Marathon and many others every year. Rick Hoyt is now in the 65-69 age group and still kicking ass. Rick pulls his son in a raft through the swim and pushes him in a carriage for both the bike and the run. Amazing. They compete in the 15-hour Hawaiian Ironman triathlon as well! This was I think they're 956th or something triathlon/race overall and the Boston Marathon 2009 will be they're 1000th! Such an inspiration. They are up for the Versus Toughest Athlete Competition . . . vote for them and learn more here.

The swim portion was tough. Only 1/4 mile, I still kinda freaked I think because of the crowds. I did the backstroke for a while because the freestyle was exhausting for me and ended up way off course. I'm like a bad shopping cart. But I quickly recovered and made it (although I couldn't seem to do my bilateral breathing so I literally kept my head above water. . . I'm a wuss). I finished in 10:38 and Tessa kicked a** at 9:21.

Then off to the 11-mile bike portion with a very confusing transition for us newbies. We got started off and quickly realized we were in for a treat because the hills were INSANE!!! At a very sharp turn at mile 4, I hit a patch of gravel going too fast and took a pretty crazy spill. Off my bike in the way of another biker, rolled off and into the other lane. Thankfully there were police officers (and an ambulance waiting. . . reassuring!) and the one cop jumped between me and a cargo van that was approaching the stop sign and luckily going slow enough to stop in time. FREAKED OUT! So I got back on the bike and continued in a bit of pain as I noticed my scraped up shin swelling up. So through the last 7 miles (and that turn which we had to repeat in loop 2), I took it a lot more cautious and it definitely slowed me down. Thankfully Tessa was a few bikers ahead of me when I crashed because she had no idea. She would have totally freaked out and stopped too. So I finished the bike portion in 46:30 (pretty good considering) and Tess again kicked bootie at 45:24. Awesome job, Tess! I knew she would do well since last week she did a 36-mile tandem ride through New York with the Achilles Club. She's hardcore.

Then we put the bikes back and headed off to the run. Moron Melissa kept her dumb biking gloves on but they were good sweat wipers since the humidity was kicking in. Again, VERY HILLY. It was only 3 miles but they were tough. I finished in a pretty good (for having already pushed myself for the past hour) 30:19 and Tessa did 31:30.

And then we finished! HOORAH!!! Tessa's final time was 1:29:49 and she was 4th in her age group. One away from an award! Next time, Tess. I finished a bit behind her at 1:30:24 sadly 13th in my age group (which happened to be second to last only in front of a girl who got disqualified). No worries. It was my first time, I took a nasty fall and the next person ahead of me was only 1:30:08. Again. . . next time. I'm so proud of Tessa! And also of course myself . . . I think it could have possibly been tougher than the marathon last year!

And lastly (I apologize for such a long blog post), we made it to the part we had been looking forward to all week — Friendly's for lunch! Yummy greasy food of chicken fingers, fries, burgers, and onion rings and the piece de resistance: conehead sundaes. The light of my childhood. And then we finally headed back to Boston for showers and naps. MMMMMM.

Good day. Quite sore today but we both feel like we'd do it again. Although I think this may be my last marathon (unless I train with a friend), I think my goal is at least one half-marathon and one triathlon for each of the next few years. Tessa and I both think we can shave some serious time if we train a bit harder. I was definitely not prepared for the swim or the bike! We're still pretty much badasses though. :)

(more pics to come as we hammed it up for the photographers with the triathlon organizers quite a bit).

Monday, September 1, 2008