Month: December 2009 (Page 2 of 3)

Borrowed words

On Wednesday night Andy and I flew down to Georgia/South Carolina to attend Andy’s brother’s graduation from boot camp. He is now a United States Marine. He looks great, sounds great, and seems happy. We are extremely proud of him.

We are also extremely still in Georgia. We figured we came all the way down here, we may as well make a vacation of it. Right? Right! Well, we forgot that we’ve already been on like twelve billion vacations (or “vacations”) this year. And we’re tired. And the holidays are coming up. And we just need a break.

Oh well, too late now.

So anyway, while we check out all the town squares and fresh seafood that Savannah has to offer, I thought I’d serve y’all some delicious (borrowed) words.

Everyone’s favorite editorial assistant Moonrat has chosen the winners of her Mentors, Muses & Monsters contest, and I have to say, I’m glad I didn’t enter something (half-assed) because she got some AMAZING entries. Here are excerpts from the first two that she chose as winners:

“Tribute to Andy” by Gemma Noon (Note: The name is a coincidence! She’s not referring to MY Andy. That would be weird…):

Andy was my first real boyfriend. We were 15, invincible, naive and ambitious. He was going to be the top engineer in the country, probably work on the first deep space shuttle or something equally cool. I was going to be a writer. I’d win all sorts of prizes and be bigger than all the bestselling authors combined. We believed in each other. Nothing else mattered.

“Something to Spit At” by David Alton Dodd:

It never occurred to me that I should be a writer someday, I was too busy investing my time in studies and activities and work that would never wind up leading me toward anything I even remotely enjoyed. When I was a teenager, my mother gave me her old black Underwood manual typewriter with the round keys, and since I had spare time in those days I would pound out very bad chapters for what would have been a very bad novel. It was fun. Halfway through high school I lost interest in the story and in the typewriter. And then came college.

Angie also posted a beautiful combination of words and images over at our joint blog Just Between Us: “Darkness doesn’t exist without light”.

And last but not least, my friend Aurora is launching a new (and very eloquent) blog that ruminates on life as a twenty-something who is trying to find her path — personally, professionally, and spiritually. Check out First Person Narrator! Update 10-12-2010: Or not. She took it down. Sorry!

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All shapes & sizes

Continuing with the Best of 2009 Challenge

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

This prompt is especially relevant because I work at a graphic design firm. We specialize in branding and packaging, so I breathe this stuff day in and day out. I also blog about package design for The Dieline.

Instead of picking “the best,” I’m going to name a few highlights by category. To make life simpler, I’m also limiting the pool to packages that I posted to The Dieline.

Note: one of these packages was designed by the company I work for! In fact, back then I was still involved in account service, so I actually worked on it! Call me silly, but I still get stupidly excited whenever I see one of our packages on shelf. (I can only imagine how magnified that feeling will be when it’s one of my books in a store!)

Beautiful:


Marimekko
for Avon

Kate Macleod
for Bloom

Face Boutique

Kahina – Giving Beauty

Fun/Interesting:


Cleanup Soap

LH2O

Coca Cola ’09
ornament bottles

Redesigns:


Tropicana orange juice
(later un-redesigned)

Dryel

Kraft Cheese

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Angie for constantly emailing me about cool design stuff she sees. Probably 1/3 to 1/2 of what I post to the Dieline should be credited to her. Thanks, Angie-sama!

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Bride and Bulgogi both start with B…

For the record, I rocked Alex’s bridal shower today.

I say this only because I spent all week stressing about it, and hours prepping for it, and still on the way there today I was freaking out that I didn’t bring enough favors or my games would suck or whatever. But no, it went great, and everyone there was lovely and seemed to have a good time, and most importantly, I got to surprise my “sister” and bring a huge smile to her face.

:)

So, reminder to self: you always worry about planning things for other people, but it’s usually/mostly needless. Chillaxathon!

And now, continuing with the Best of 2009 Challenge

December 12 New food. You’re now in love with Lebanese food and you didn’t even know what it was in January of this year.

That’s an easy one. Korean food is a 2009 discovery for me, and it’s fabulous! Well, fine, I first tried it in 2008, but I didn’t realize how much I liked it until 2009. That counts, right?

Me and Andy’s fave in Cincinnati is Korea House, up in the Mason/Montgomery area. Might be a longer drive for some of y’all (especially my friends in TX lol, or Pseudo over in Hawaii!) and maybe a little pricier than some Asian places (although it’s definitely not expensive) but it is so, SO good.

For anyone who hasn’t tried Korean food yet, it’s not all kimchi and spicy-hot pickled stuff. Trust me. I don’t do spicy-hot. Or pickles.

My favorite two dishes are Kal-Bi, which are tender marinated beef short-ribs, and Dolsot Bibimbap, a delectable mix of rice, veggies, egg, and meat (beef or chicken) served in a hot stone bowl (which makes it crispy!). Another popular dish is Bulgogi, which is basically a slightly less awesome version of Kal-Bi.

A key element to any Korean meal is the array of side dishes that comes with (or before) your entreé. Yes, kimchi is usually one of them. But there are also yummy things like fruit salad (tart), pickled squid, steamed tofu, seasoned spinach, or my favorite, sweet potatoes (as in, potatoes that are sort of sweet, not the cousin-of-yams). Honestly, I know some of these things sound weird or look kind of… squidgy. But I recommend trying them all! (So long as they don’t have mushrooms, yuck.) Because many of the ones that seemed the grossest ended up being my faves. (There’s probably a good life lesson in that, huh?)

Crud, now I’m craving Korean food… Go have/try some for me, okay?!

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Hard work jeans and a swift kick in the butt

Okay, so I first started this post like two months ago, and at the time I was watching all of Sex and the City, so I thought it would be funny (or at least punny) to talk about hard work jeans instead of genes. Two months later, that doesn’t seem funny at all.

Nor is it funny how little writing I’ve done in the past week. This post was initially sparked by a discussion I had with my mom on whether or not I inherited my parents’ amazing work ethics. I guess after writing roughly 10 words in 10 days, the obvious answer is no.

:(

(Oh, and the SATC part was going to be about how Carrie Bradshaw was always writing her column while wearing only a top and her underwear. And how I wondered if her laptop ever burned her thighs. And how maybe I should try that uniform, since it worked out pretty well for her. But seeing as it’s about 20 degrees in Cincinnati right now, I’m thinking that’s a no-go.)

As for the lack of productivity, I don’t really understand how this happened. I’d been looking forward to this week for a while, because with Andy out of town on business, I thought I’d have plenty of time to dedicate to my writing. Because, you know, usually it’s Andy’s fault I don’t get any writing done. What with all his demands, like doing my laundry for me, cooking for me, watching TV so he doesn’t bother me… Wait a minute!

Oh right, what Andy actually does is make me feel guilty when I waste my time. And while I don’t enjoy that, I realize now that it’s good for me. (Oh god I hope Andy never reads this post…) All week I’ve had no one to answer to but Riley, and let’s just say Riley doesn’t have a whole lot of complaints as long as he gets his kibbles and some play time.

Sigh.

So, after reading Kiersten White’s hilarious and focused blog about her hilarious and focused writing, and after hypocritically chastising Les for saying probably she wouldn’t hit her 10k/month goal in December, I am now going to stop being such a waste of life. I am going to set realistic goals and meet them. I am going to stop pretending to work and actually work. I am going to write stories that I (and anyone) would love to read and then I am going to sell them.

This is me kicking myself in the butt. Because really, no one else should have to.

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Gems

I’m actually doing 2 Best of 2009 Challenge prompts today…

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can’t believe you didn’t know about until this year.

Actually there were several, but 2 is the theme of the day:

  • Kiersten Writes – YA writer Kiersten White recently scored an agent and a 3-book deal, i.e., she is living my dream. But she’s adorable and funny, so it’s impossible to hate her.
  • Uncreated Conscience – JJ is an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s Press, a fellow halfie, and a very creative soul. And if it weren’t for her blog, my beloved Twenty-Somewhere wouldn’t be under consideration by a publishing house right now. So yeah, if all the rest weren’t enough, that makes her an instant “gem.”

Like I said, I’ve found a number of great new blogs this year, and through them made a number of great new friends. For a complete list of blog-loves, check out my links page.

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

This is not the best representation, but it’s the best I have…

Nenagh 010

My best “moment of peace” of 2009 was sitting alone in Café Q in Nenagh, Ireland, after a nice long sleep, and a delicious turkey & stuffing sandwich, writing the afternoon away…

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