the stars at night are big and bright

deep in the hearrrrt of Texas!

(Actually, those are just jets circling DFW.)

Yes, folks, I believe this may be my first out-of-state blog entry. I'm in Dallas, TX this weekend for a student design conference. (Check it out at www.dsvcstudentshow.org.) About forty or so MO State kids are down here, and I've had such a good time hangin' with my beloved sophomore comrades, as well as getting to know some of the upperclassmen. Tonight was the last night of the conference and I learned a lot (I think)... actually, it's more like I just took in a lot of information and advice and looked at a lot of work and processed it and taught myself a few things:

- Every professional you show your portfolio to will have different opinions about it. Therefore, you have the right to have your own opinion about what you think is strong and what is weak. There is no "right answer."

- I have (and all my classmates have) the knowledge, skill, and creativity to be great designers; the difference between a great designer and a not-great designer is hard work. (Just a little effort, as James Victore called it.)

- Great designers have passion for their work. Take what you love--books, music, politics, kitties (or Qian Qian's kitties)--and put them in your work, both personal and professional. Do what you like. Make yourself laugh.

- A graphic designer's best friend is her printer. (By printer I mean a guy at a printing press, not an Epson.) To repeat an analogy I heard tonight, an engineer can design the world's greatest car, but if it doesn't have wheels, it's all for nothing. The printing and the paper are the wheels of a design.

- Design is social. Collaborate or die.

- Designers need the perfect balance of vanity and humility. If you don't believe you're amazing, you'll never bring yourself to put anything on paper; if you don't know you're terrible, you'll never grow.

(Kim, I blogged from your house! Yay!)



Today I saw:

- A man in a power wheelchair wearing a black yarmulke with gold embroidery.

- A twig on a tree catch a piece of paper that was blown by the wind.

- A white Dr. Pepper special edition bicycle.

And it's not even 11:00 AM yet.

it's bronze for my boys!

So I never finished talking about curling. To sum it up, Team Fenson took home a bronze medal! It was the first curling medal for the USA ever, so it was pretty exciting. They played a great game against Great Britain, who even with their $30,000 dollar high-tech brooms couldn't take home a medal. Also, I did buy myself a USA Olympic curling t-shirt. (I know. I'm a dork.) I'm hoping that some cable channel will start broadcasting curling nationals and world championships, so I don't have to wait for Vancouver 2010 to watch curling again! Of course, there's always USACurl.org!


I've got Olympic fever and the only prescription is MORE CURLING!

I'm obsessed with the Winter Olympics this year. I don't remember being that interested when they were in Salt Lake City. I did watch some in 2002, and I remember watching some curling, because it was when I was the manager for the ladies' basketball team at OCC and we were on a road trip and when everyone got on the bus, we discovered that we had all been watching curling in our respective hotel rooms.

A few weeks ago I was up very late and I happened to catch the beginning of a movie called "Men With Brooms," so I watched the whole thing. (I won't watch a movie if I missed the beginning, even if it's 2 minutes. So when I happen to see the very beginning of a movie, I tend to watch the whole thing.) It was about a curling rink (aka team) who had to reunite to win the Golden Broom because their old coach died and it was his last request. Ooh, and Leslie Nielsen played the estranged father of the skip who reunites with his son to coach the rink. Anyway, that doesn't really matter except that it put me in a curling frame of mind. That night, I even came thisclose to buying a USA Curling t-shirt, but decided I really didn't have the money. (But now I really wish I had have, because now they are sold out... THEY ARE BACK IN STOCK! I just went to the site to add the link, and they have them! I am SO ordering one.)

ANYWAY, I love Tivo more than ever, because I put curling on my wish list and when I get home I have all the USA Curling I want there waiting for me!

Speaking of home, it's 12:30, so I have to leave work and go there... more later...


I'm back!

I've had the urge to blog several times in the last couple of weeks, so one of my New Year's resolutions is to blog something once a week. I think I may have made the same resolution last year, so who knows if it'll stick this time.

The main thing I want to share is that I had a fabulous New Year's Eve! Instead of playing Scrabble with my parents, I went to Columbia with my friends Adam and Jeremiah to see my favorite live band, Big Smith, play at The Blue Note. It was loads of fun, and we also got to eat dinner with Katie and George, and stay at Aunt Annie & John's. There are fates worse than playing Scrabble with your parents on New Year's Eve, but there are also fates that are a lot more fun, and I'm glad I experienced one this year! I'll post pictures soon, but I'm blogging this from work.

Yes, I said work. I am now a Receptionist for Adult Student Services & the Evening College in the Continuing Education department at Missouri State. It's your classic part-time on-campus job, and I've enjoyed it so far. I'm only in my second week of work, but I can already tell that everyone is very nice and that I'll be good at this job (mainly answering questions over the phone about how to register as an adult student). It feels good to hear someone say "Thank you so much! You were soo helpful!" with relief in their voices. I think many people are afraid of the collegiate beauracracy, and we are more of a one-stop-shop type of office, so adult students are happy they only have to deal with us.

The other thing I wanted to blog (mainly for myself) is that I had my first design dream last night. I was involved in some sort of intense graphic design workshop or competition or something and I had to take interesting digital photographs of all kinds of old junk, then convert the files to a bunch of different file types. It's interesting that it was actually more of a photography dream than a graphic design dream, but I definitely remember thinking it was part of some sort of a larger design challenge. I remember feeling very stressed, competitive, and also inferior and intimidated. I distinctly remember asking one girl for help converting a file, and she just glared at me.

I don't think I've mentioned that I finally succumbed to... something... and changed my major to Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (from Bachelor of Art in Art & Design). It's a much more intense program, and I'll have to submit my portfolio this spring to get accepted to the program. I'll post more about that later, I'm sure...

Well, I'm about ready to leave for the day (for the week) actually, so I'll wrap this up... I have to go email you, my faithful, abandoned readers to let you know that I have returned! Welcome back and thanks for reading!


a lesson from Katrina

OK, so it's been an unbelievably long time since my last post, but something just struck me that I had to blog...

I'm watching Oprah, and she was showing Julia Roberts talking with survivors of Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans who are now in shelters. One woman was very upset at the lack of reponse from the government, saying "they treated us like yesterday's trash." Then she said something like "if it wasn't for private charter busses from Atlanta and the people who gathered up money to pay for them and the Red Cross, I don't know where we'd be." She was furious that the government didn't swoop in to immediately save all of them. Of course, I'm thinking "THAT'S WHY BIG GOVERNMENT IS BAD!!! They will fail you! You have to rely on your neighbors and the kindness of others." To me, that seems like the one of the most obvious lessones to be learned from this situation, not that President Bush or the state governments failed (granted, the local gov'ts especially could have been more prepared and done more to evacuate sooner), but you just can't rely on the government, no matter who is in charge. I'm praying that Americans will look at this with open eyes and see that it's the help of private citizens and charities and churches that can save people's lives, and be encouraged by that fact, rather than despair at the inevitable slowness of any gov't beauracracy.


From north of the Missouri River...

I'm in Columbia, MO as I type this. My mom and I came up today to visit my Aunt Jonna before she goes back to California, as well as just hang out with the rest of my family. We're going back to Pomona on Friday so I can get everything together for VBS, which starts Monday night. (I'm the director for VBS this year; I don't think I mentioned that before.) The theme this year is Serengeti Trek and I think it's gonna be a lot of fun. The curriculum/plans are written well, and make it easy to execute. (Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to throw it together in three weeks!)

Last night, my friend Jeremiah (who is the youth minister at church this summer) asked if I could go as a sponsor to the Christ in Youth conference the week after VBS. I was looking forward to finally having time to just be in Springfield and finally get my apartment fully organized, and I also need to start seriously hunting for a part-time job. But, the more I thought about it, I think going away for a week to a spiritual (and fun) environment would be really good for me. Plus, Miah's pretty much desperate for another female sponsor, so that's the kind of friend I am: I'll sacrifice a week of doing housework for a week of spiritual refreshment while hanging out with a group of fun, normal high schoolers at no cost to me. Yeah, just call me Saint Sara. (Yes, T, that means I won't be in MO until a week after you get back from Spain, which is another downside.)

I finished summer school last week. My Drawing class went pretty well, I think. I ended up dropping my PED 100 class the week before the wedding, b/c I realized I wouldn't have time to study for the lecture tests (yes, a PE class requires studying). And, it fits into my schedule well for this fall.

I'm looking forward to school starting this fall, so I'll have some free time. This summer has been fun, but so jam-packed with fun that I haven't had time to stop and absorb it all, really. It will be nice to have a routine again. I'm also excited about finally starting my design classes after struggling through a year of my Foundations classes (all that Drawing...never again...). In my portfolio review, my Drawing professor said he could tell from the first day that I had strong composition skills, or what he called "perceptual analysis." He asked me if, when I'm putting a composition together (figuring out where to put stuff on the page), if I ever felt like "it just clicked." I feel like that all the time, actually. In fact, I would kind of freak myself out sometimes when I was working on something like a collage in 2D Design or a lamp or something in 3D Design, and something would just pop into my head, like "A CD will fit perfectly in that cylinder" and I'd measure and they'd both be exactly 4 inches across. (Handy thing to remember if you ever are sans ruler and need to measure something: A CD is 4 inches across.) He also said my weakness was capturing form and light on the page; and that I never got comfortable with "mark-making" or using the drawing media. I could have told him all that on the first day of class. That's why I'm excited to start making things "click" on the computer screen (or with a camera in my photography class), and not have to deal with graphite or charcoal.

Also, while I'm in Columbia, my cousin-in-law George is going to revive my comatose Dell. (Although, if for some reason it's un-revivable, I won't cry too much. I'll just get a PowerBook. I'm typing this from my uncle's iBook and I like it. I like it a lot.) I've missed my iTunes and my Bookmarks and the comfy feeling of working on your very own machine.

Speaking of comfy, I'm going to bed.


Wedding pictures!

More to come soon over at the wedding website; here are a few to tide you over...
(Sorry if these look distorted... click on the picture to go to a full-size version)

Woodson cousins take a break from decorating the Opera House

View of the hay bales & arbor from the roof of the house

Dani & Josh during the ceremony

Mr. & Mrs. B. take their first steps together

Escaping on a fire truck

Table at the reception (yes, those are personalized souvenir can coolers)