Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy, Busy weekend for my Art Exhibition

It feels like only yesterday that I started my thesis, when in reality it was a year ago. My show on April 15th finally came and went.

But before my show happened, I had to take some time to set it up the day before. That was a lot of work!!! Way more than I was expecting. My roomie, Meagan, helped me set up my show, and to help prepare us I took us to IHOP for breakfast. It was originally just a treat, but we found that stuffing our faces with red velvet pancakes and hash browns was the best idea ever because we spent the next 12 hours setting up my show (actually, 14 hours, if you count the run around, last minute decoration shopping before we headed back to school). So, pancakes = energy. And we needed that energy because we kept going and didn’t realize we needed to eat dinner until about 9:00pm.

Woo, where to begin with setting up my show?

Well, we first had to bring EVERYTHING over from my room, which wasn’t far but we did have to make many, many trips. Then we had to move all of the chairs in Zimmerli Common to the storage room, put the cushioned chairs in the Howard Hall breezeway, and move the rugs. Luckily, my mom and siblings came to help us a bit when they dropped off my other reception food. But, they eventually left and it was just Meagan and me lugging epic heavy/bulky tables around. The majority of them were in the storage closet on a cart, so we had to wheel them out. Getting them off the cart was a whole other issue. I could barely get my arms around the table to lift them up from the leg, that and I had to hold the cart because it rolled very easily. Oh, boy…when we got down to the last two, Meagan and I just couldn’t get them off because they kept sliding into the side of the cart. Eventually, Meagan just pulled the tables off by herself and almost sent my rolling away on the cart from the force. Next was windexing, sweeping, windexing (again…), moving the tables (again…), and then arranging my books on the table tops. And finally, hanging my framed pieces and mini scrolls. Luckily, the scrolls were easy and Meagan did a fantastic job hanging them around Zimmerli while I had to cut some foam core. The framed pieces were…not easy. Command strips are awesome, but they are really tricky when you need three to hang a single piece on the wall (yeah, we were worried about weight issues). Two words: EPIC MEASURING. The 2D work looks great, but took quite a while….

We finished at 12:30am. :P

Poor Meagan....
Poor Meagan….

Then…da da da dum! My show! Ai-ya…my show. I was so nervous about my presentation. I went over it again and again that morning. I had to eventually stop and eat breakfast— the most important meal of the day— and then prepare my reception food on trays. Yep…arranging the food went by easy until I asked Meagan what time it was and she replied, “1:20.” OMG! My show was to start at 2:00 and I wasn’t in my dress clothes, and I needed to still bring over a few things! Then, the time finally came, and I my show opened much smoother than I thought it would about 40 minutes prior. But, then I had to present, and what happens? Well, I was doing great at first…and then my note cards were out of order from the middle onward! But, here’s the irony…after that little stumble, I just pushed my cards to the side, rolled with it, and did even better than before! :D

Everyone stayed for a bit to look more carefully at my books after my presentation. I had my professors all talking to me about what I should do after graduation with graphics and my writing. That was really fun. I already had some ideas, but now I have even more circling in my head. I just want to do everything lol. And, of course, we all also had some of my mom’s famous cake cookies too. All in all, everything went perfect. I even sold some of my books :) .

My show!!!

My show!

Me presenting my honors thesis

Me presenting my honors thesis

People viewing my work
People viewing my work
Jessica and Me with "Three Generations"
Jessica and Me with “Three Generations”
My family :)
My family :)

I was very tired after my show. My eyes were on fire from my contacts and my feet ached from being in heels for so long but, Meagan’s birthday was the following day. I fought my will to sleep to do what? Blow up 15 balloons as big as I could, write funny jokes on each of them, make a net out of streamers, and then tare more streamers so they were ready to be hung. I stayed up from 10:30-12:00am doing this, and then slept until 3:00am so I could then wake up and hang all of this. I put the net on her door (the sides of it taped to her door frame) and put 11 balloons in it so, when she opened her door in the morning they would avalanche! I put the other balloons in front of her door, hung up the streamers on her bathroom door frame and mirror, and on the main door to the apartment. I did all of this to the light of a goldfish tank. Yep, I’m epic. And, at about 8:00am, all I heard was “Waaaaa!” from the other end of the apartment. Quite funny. Totally worth the lack of sleep after a busy day.

Prepare for the Avalanche of BALLOONS!!!
Prepare for the Avalanche of BALLOONS!!!

So yes, this weekend was busy, but I had fun. I’m officially done with my thesis, and I now have time to sleep!!!

Posted by erica | 12:28 pm

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Art Show is Coming

Woosh! Time is flying. I’ve been working trying to get everything together for my art exhibition. I only have about a week before the show…*gasp*

You should have seen me running around the mall at the beginning of the week. I really needed to get a navy skirt to go with the oriental Chinese shirt I’ll be wearing for my show. Ugh, I already knew that navy was going to be tough to find…but I didn’t think it would be nearly impossible. I ran around to probably every story that sold women’s clothing in the mall–searching through the juniors, petites, misses, and even in the kids’ section. I’m just tiny…that and COLORS are in. Waaa, I don’t want a pink and purple suit or neon blue skirt.

I did find one eventually…literally in the corner of a nook inside Forever XXI. It was exactly what I wanted; it’s just a surprise that of all the places I found a plain, boring skirt there.

Don’t get me started on trying to find a graduation dress. Just reread the top paragraph, insert dress, and capitalize/bold/throw in some fireworks at the word COLOR. Colors may be in, but I can’t wear a neon green, hounds-tooth dress across the stage :P

Anyway, if you’re in Spartanburg, come swing by to see my art exhibition! All of the digitally designed artist books I’ve been making over the past few months for my thesis will be on display.

postcard-4inx6in-h-front

Announcement Card. The images on the front are details from my books.

Exhibition:

April 15th-17th

9:00-5:00pm

Presentation:

April 15th at 2:00pm

Reception 2:30-5:00pm

Location:

Converse College

Zimmerli Common at the Heath

580 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302

Here is a little preview of my work:

"Three Generations" Accordion book removed from covers

"Three Generations" Accordion book removed from covers

Exterior view of the tunnel book "Not far down Mott Street"

Exterior view of the tunnel book "Not far down Mott Street"

Hope to see you there! :D

Posted by erica | 1:41 pm

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ahh, my ROOM!

Sorry I’ve been gone for such a long time. I’ve been swamped with work…and my room has taken a beating from the amount of stuff I have to do.

I went back and forth on posting a pic of my room just to show how I’ve been living since the semester started, and I’ve decided to go ahead with it as a funny. I turned my room in I Spy for you all. Have fun :)

Yes...I currently live in this.

Yes...I currently live in this.


Alrighty, so “I spy with my little eye…once you enlarge the photo“:

Three pairs of shoes

four Ticonderoga pencils

A sword

My glasses (see past posts to find out what they look like)

Two rulers

A pair of sunglasses

Three binders

Rosie the Riveter

Three different sized sketch books

Nemo

Two lamps

A pair of scissors

Popsicle sticks

The Great Wall of China

Dowel rods

The Flu (And his name is Ferb…and he is quite cute. Maybe you should google what the flu looks like for this one :) )

You want answers? Try enlarging my photo first…then scroll down.

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Answers!

Answers!

Hope you had fun :D


Posted by erica | 12:33 pm

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yuki

While I was strolling through my pictures to see what could inspire me to write this blog, I came across pictures of one special friend that I met about a year ago, Yuki.

Who is Yuki? Well…he went by many names: the Dexter cat, the Pell cat, that Siamese Kit-eh!, and Simon. Those were just the names that I’ve heard him be called…I bet there were tons more (He must have been one confused cat…). Meagan and I named him Yuki :)

Yuki!

Yuki! :)

I think we first caught some glimpses of Yuki around maybe the end of winter during our junior year. I heard little “meows” from the bushes in front of Dexter, but I couldn’t really see where exactly the noises were coming from since it was in a large amount of bushes. After a few weeks of getting used to humans, Yuki made some celebrity appearances and we all wanted to pet him (yes…I pet a stray. Not the best life choice, but I’m alive!). Of course he would run back into the bushes from our “Awwwww!!!” So…the next plan was to leave a trail of turkey (I don’t know how I convinced Meagan to join me in this plan since she doesn’t really like cats…but she helped me cut up some turkey meat :) ) We  threw some further and further from the bush to edge him out. It worked, but he still didn’t completely trust us so all we got were our hands sniffed.

I think it took a few more weeks until he started to let him pet his head. Meagan and I would bring turkey (or ham,  sausage, pork…he liked pork the most) to feed him in front of Dexter or in the crawl space opening of Pell (hence the name “the Pell cat”). Eventually he caved and actually sat for us since we and the girls of Converse were his food source lol.

Yuki's home in the crawl space of Pell

Yuki's home in the crawl space of Pell

His appearances became normal as the semester went on. He sat on the granite bench outside Dexter or spread out on the stone pathways in front of Dexter or Pell to sun bathe. Whenever he saw someone he knew fed him he would roll over to have his belly pet and purr.

Yuki was such a good cat. I remember walking back from class and looking for him, and there he was. He’d meow for me pet him…and when I would start walking away after finishing he would follow beside me for a while.He even tried to play with my hand as I tried to pet him, as if it were one of those feather things on a stick, but that usually led me to dunking my scratched hand in a bucket of hydrogen peroxide. I usually avoided his claws…but there were those times when he was just too fast. Ugh. Sparkle band-aids :P .

Attempt to make Yuki a chill spot in the bushes. That cat sat on his box house!

Attempt to make Yuki a chill spot in the bushes. That cat sat on his box house!

But then came the best/worst day ever: the last day of the semester. Poor Yuki! I swear there were stories everywhere about this person or that person wanting to take him home. Turned out no one did because some people in the summer research program were going to feed him. So, everything was fine…until we returned. Yuki was gone.

Rumor has it that they took him away once summer came. Who “they” are, I don’t know…but hopefully Yuki is being well taken care of :)

Just chilling

Just chilling

Posted by erica | 1:26 pm

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Last Semester…

Senior year, oh, senior year…Where did you run off to? There are less than 90 days left of my time here at Converse.

On that note, I’ll let you know that, once again, I have another heavy work load like this past fall semester. I was spoiled by Jan term…and now I’m back on a very tight schedule.

Though I’m only taking three regular classes, I’m busy filling in the free time with ways to finish up both my thesis for art and my seminar project for creative writing. I knew I’d be tough, but I’m finding my way around things. I’m not panicking yet! Key word = yet

Some good advice: Don’t freak out the first week to week and a half of a new semester. I always give myself a grace period before I start to really analyze the severity of the work load and rethink some of my classes. In that period, I just keep chugging along and move my priorities around where I see them fitting best in respect to time.

What am I doing in my time? Well, as of now, I’m reading books for seminar and trying to write out my story for seminar as well. If I write at least one page a day and finish 2-3 books a week, then hey, I’m set. I’m not too terribly worried about my thesis either. I’ve set weekly goals, and this week’s aim is to print out all of the pages for my artist books and be done cutting them out.

All of that is squeezed in between the studying, reading, writing, and drawing of my other classes (Politics, Brit Lit II, and Drawing II). Lucky for me, I can do some reading and writing during work study sometimes. It’d be lovely if this semester was just a bit longer so I could have more space to work my stuff out.

More advice: Procrastination = bad. I know people say they work best under pressure, but I’m not too sure that will fix the printer problem, the power outage, or the blue screen of doom that you may possibly face five minutes before class starts. And, yes, it happens. Rare, but it happens. For example, I had to fix something in one of my essays this past Jan term. I wasn’t purposely putting it off; I had a meeting and I realized the error during then. After the meeting, while I was currently fixing the error, there was a power outage. Waa! My paper was due in an hour…and I was resorting to turning in my first printed draft. Luckily…everything ended well with a few minutes to spare. But, the moral of the story is craziness happens to anyone.

More advice? Nothing else more other than the usual: eat, sleep, and have mutual venting sessions with friends which always end up leaving everyone laughing. The last part maybe odd, but it helps when you know you aren’t the only one freaking out.

Sadly, this is as far as I can go with my blog. I must meet my goal of reaching the halfway point in a book I’m reading, thus, I’m off to read. More interesting news to come in the future.

Oh, wait! One more thing:

Midnight snacks are the cure to panic attacks during the crazy times of the semester. Or at least it cured my roomies :P

Midnight snacks are the cure to panic attacks during the crazy times of the semester. Or at least it cured my roomies :P

Posted by erica | 1:17 pm

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Lost Stories

Do you remember when we were kids, and on TV they’d shout, “On Friday we’ll show the lost episode of Spongebob!” or something along those lines…I was that weird kid that thought too hard about everything and would respond, “Well, where did it go then? How could you forget that episode your animators worked so hard on making?”

Anyway, I found “lost stories,” which are more so along the lines of: well, it’s not that I forgot, it’s just that other stories popped up that were more relevant to a specific week…and winter break came and threw everything off lol.

I have a few quick stories:

Way, way back in the day of the, oh, so long ago fall semester…I took advantage of Autumnal Equinox day! Lame?! Well, you try this on the Vernal equinox then! It is much harder than it looks.  I conquered gravity that day. I bet you can’t say that :P .

Happy Autumnal Equinox Day

Happy Autumnal Equinox Day! Yes, that egg is balancing all by its lonesome

Egg balancing contest!

Egg balancing contest!

Alright, fine.  A more interesting story: I conquered duct tape! .

Meagan came over to visit during Thanksgiving break. During that time, I showed her my sword collection (yes, I’m epic like that)…and we took my practice swords outside…and the pictures speak for themselves.

Meagan and Me sword fighting

Meagan and Me sword fighting

sword broke *sniffle*

sword broke *sniffle*

Mom helping us Pam the sword so we could get the foam cover back on (we couldn't find any oil)

Mom helping us Pam the sword so we could get the foam cover back on (we couldn't find any oil)

Battle resumes

Battle resumes

????????!

????????!

I just don't know my own strength!

I just don't know my own strength! (man, do I look short in this picture...ugh.)

Poor Elmo Car and Snowy. Yes, we have an Elmo car. I found him one day outside and was really bored so I started hiding him in random places in Veronica’s room. Then, she’d return the act…and so on and so forth. But poor Elmo Car. I haven’t found him yet, and he’s been hiding in the same spot since the beginning of Jan term.

Elmo Car

Elmo Car

Snowy does the same thing. He hides in random places, but everyone in the apartment can hide him. It started as a joke between my sister and me back home, and one day he ended up in my suitcase when I was going back to Converse…and the game continued.

Toasting Snowy

Roasty Toasty Snowy

Snowy...again :)

Snowy...again :)

And finally, one day, Meagan, Elizabeth, and I all ended up wearing black collared shirts with jeans and sandals on. It was a pretty funny coincidence, so we rolled with it and decided to weird out Veronica when she came back to the apartment. So she came in and saw us all sitting on the couch, dressed the same and reading.

Yes, we be crazy :P

Yes, we be crazy :P

Free time with friends = crazy things happening :)

Posted by erica | 5:01 pm

Monday, January 23, 2012

Save the Pork!!!

Ah, the benefits of being in the apartments…everyone gets her own room (unless you’re in a duplex), a bathroom shared with only one other person, a common area where everyone can comfortably crash to watch a movie, a huge refrigerator, and a kitchen where you can cook what you want when you want.

Da dum dum…and that’s where the trouble begins, “a kitchen where you can cook what you want when you want.”

Like:

Chicken Pesto!

Chicken Pesto!

Super Coffee!

Super Coffee!

Panther Pancakes!

Panther Pancakes!

So many good meals are cooked…one bad one will have to sneak up somewhere.

And that lovely meal peaked out last Wednesday the 18th. Pork…or should I say twig. Oh, that poor thing was so dry I could have used it as a knight stick. Let me begin the story with what we usually do:

Typically, at the end of every week we think of three meals for the following week and write them down on a dry erase board we have stuck to the refrigerator. Two of us usually go out to get the food to cook…and then the week goes on with us cooking or FFYS (fend for yourself). When it’s a group meal, we normally have two of cooking and the other two clean up. It’s a great plan when everything goes accordingly, but Wednesday…uh.

Dinner time :)

Dinner time :)

Clean up = sad erica

Clean up = :(

So that day was Pork and Mashed Potatoes. Meagan put all of the spices on top and told Elizabeth and me to watch it because she had to go to class. Well, I did walk out once when I thought I was supposed to put the pork in the oven after it preheated, but it was already in there. I went back to working in Adobe Illustrator…and then that’s when I got sucked in. Sometimes when I’m doing a lot of stuff, my computer starts going crazy and heating up pretty bad…so I was in my room freaking out trying to save my files and then put them on my external hard drive. After that fiasco I went out into the kitchen, and saw Elizabeth in the living room on her computer freaking out about grad school applications and scholarships.

I decided to take a peek, and good thing I had my glasses on. I opened the door and got a big woof of heat and pork smoke. It was nothing that required a fire extinguisher, but it was definitely a surprise. I must have smelled lovely after that. Anyway, Elizabeth saw the poof and came over saying, “We killed it!”

And we did…Oh, we took it out and it shrunk two sizes smaller and when we stuck the thermometer in it well, in Elizabeth’s words, “Oh, it’s gonna hit 160—Oh…I’m pretty sure 180 was the maximum…and it’s still going…It’s dead.” She then got a knife to slice the meat. “Oh…it’s worse than dead.”

I’m sure you could have taken that thing and broken it over your knee like a twig. Pork splinters everywhere!

So…how to revive a twig. Well, I had some chicken bouillon cubes…and we threw the pork in it. Ummm…chicken pork. Cluck, oink! And, then we made a whole bunch of potatoes, and as more of a backup we also made corn muffins. Yay starch and carbs  :/ . Then, Meagan comes back from class and we show her the twig, and she said it didn’t look too bad, but when I went to slice it…I put on quite a show with the sawing and hacking, which made Elizabeth go through our spice drawer and make emergency mushroom gravy (yummy! Chicken pork with beef mushroom gravy! Think of those flavors…ummm, yeah. Cluck, oink, MOO). I stood there flipping the pork slices in the bowl with the chicken broth as everyone else continued with the potatoes and getting the dinnerware ready.

Trying to fix pork...

Trying to fix pork...

And by the time we ate, it was decent. The pork was sliceable and chewable, and full of crazy flavor (I call it mushroom chork :P ).

So…lesson of the day: Watch the PORK!

Posted by erica | 4:59 pm

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jan Term

*yawns*

I’m so sleepy…Though I have only one class, I’m still exhausted.

What’s Jan term? Well, it’s a one month term where you take typically one class, but you have a semester’s worth of info pounded into your brain. Some people also go on study travel trips during this month as well. If you pick your class right, then this term can be easy…but choose wrong and you’ll be crying like I did for both my sophomore and junior Jan terms.

The best type of Jan term class is one that doesn’t require loads of outside of class work. I took Drawing I during my freshman year, and it was great. It had the perfect amount of in class as well as outside work (sketches, gallery visits, midterm and finals projects). That kind of a class I really should have doubled up with another GEP…but uh…the next Jan term…

Waaa! I wanted to cry every day after the Honors class Bio/Eng: Human Sexuality. That was an awful class because I needed the Bio credit as well as honors interdisciplinary credit (2 teachers from different areas teaching the class from their field’s point of view). Though I checked off I wanted the bio credit from this (have to choose ONE!) because it was interdisciplinary, it was like taking 2 honors classes during Jan term…and I’m horrible at science and…well, I’m not the best either when it comes to analyzing old-timey literature (O, how art thy beauty plentiful—see, I don’t even know if that made any sense). So, a semester’s worth of work times two…with midterm at the end of two weeks and a final at the end of the month. I had to learn, obviously, human sexuality, which I think is self-explanatory, and then the lit part—Eng: birth, marriage, and death (I think that was what the Eng credit was called)—which is analyzing old-lit to see the people of that time’s views on sex in terms of birth, marriage, and death. My two inch binder was so full that I couldn’t close the rings without snipping one sheet of paper. All in all…it was a good class. Awkward at times, but good.

Jan term junior year—just as awful, but I was so stressed I didn’t have time to cry about it. Since I changed majors, I had to take two classes that term: Artist Books and Tutorial Fiction. No complaints about Artist Books, since I liked it so much that my thesis is artist books :D . However, tutorial fiction was a whole other thing. Tutorial Fiction is when we (creative writing majors) were taught by a visiting writer for that one month. It was a once a week class that also included one conference with the writer outside of class. Meeting only twice a week for a total of three hours sounded fine, but it was the outside work that was difficult. Basically, we were trying to perfect one of our short stories…which required so many rewrites of that story in such a short period of time. Doing that class with Artist Books… ummm…that led to an all-nighter that almost had me passed out during Artist Books the following day. I’m pretty sure that if I took the classes separately I would have had an easier/ more fun time…I was so happy when the last day of Jan term ended. I slept for a really, really long time :) .

This Jan term—awesome! Unlike the dread of Tutorial Fiction, I’m taking Tutorial Poetry now (same deal with class and conference), and the visiting poet is probably one of the coolest people I have ever met. She’s nice, friendly, and encouraging, and knows bits and pieces of just about everything in a down to earth kind-of way. What I love the most is that she’s one of the people (if not the only person) that pretty much fully understands what I’m doing with my thesis because she knows what artist books are and Adobe Illustrator and what I’m doing with my writing—and how I’m crazily mushing all of my loves together into my art exhibition. *Poof* she just pushed herself into my top favorite professors list. I’m so bummed that she’s only teaching for this month. She’s probably in her late 60s, and I have determined that, “I want to be just like her when I grow up, but with an awesome silver pixie cut, funky glasses, and an epic cane!” (Well, I think the first two parts of that are understandable, since I’m artsy, but the cane…yeah, I’m not sure about that one either, but I just envision myself old with a really cool cane that transforms into a sword or three section staff of some sort :P ).

On top of Tutorial Poetry, I’m continuing my thesis, which has been fun and exciting since I’m making art in my own quirky style.

No pictures from this Jan term so far…so I will enlighten you with these cute pictures of my dogs with their Christmas jingle collars. I miss them so much!

Katie chilling out in frot of my heater

Katie chilling out in front of my heater

Leah getting a treat

Leah getting a treat

Both of them ignoring me while I'll calling them to look at the camera. Hmph!

Both of them ignoring me while I'll calling them to look at the camera. Hmph!

Posted by erica | 1:31 pm

Monday, January 9, 2012

Operation!

Well, I’m back.

I had a fairly interesting break…not too much out of the ordinary (work, school work, family, present shopping). I was pretty busy most of the time, but I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep.

However, I did do one thing super fun over the break…but let me back-track to November since I didn’t have time to tell you about the fun thing I did over that break (I was going through the dreaded week of Finals…read the last post lol).

OPERATION THANKSGIVING TURKEY!!!

Operation Thanksgiving Turkey!!!

Operation Thanksgiving Turkey!!!

The first day—more like after the first five hours of being home—I ventured out with my mom and sister to gut 300 twelve pound turkeys! Gross? You bet! :D

It all started with my mom telling me that Jessica (sister) and she were going out to volunteer at First Baptist Church in Fort Mill, SC. They said they were going to go cut some apples, and I was like, “Ok…?” (so confused…). But then my mom showed me a video about what exactly happened during the volunteer hours.  Basically, 300 turkeys are donated to the church along with apples, celery, carrots (stuff to put into the turkeys), and then non-perishable goodies, such as canned veggies, instant mash potatoes, and stuffing, that go along with a turkey dinner are put into big brown bags.

I decided to go too, since it looked like fun. Plus, the more volunteers the merrier.

When we got there, all the veggies and fruit were cut…so what was left were 300 incoming turkeys. My mom handed me some gloves so we could help with stuffing the turkeys, but when I looked over into the kitchen I saw that only one girl of maybe 15 years old was there ripping open the turkey bags.

I pulled Jessica along with me, thinking that we’d just help with ripping off the netting, but we ended up being a three woman team plus two guys taking turns sometimes to help us.

Step one...remove netting while trying not to drop frozen turkey on foot.

Step one...remove netting while trying not to drop frozen turkey on foot.

Ugh…those turkeys were still frozen! Not only did we rip off the netting, but we took the turkeys out of their packaging. That was gross—I had to slit the bag with a knife and then reach in to wedge my fingers between a leg, the hook thing, and a mess of bloodied ice as Jessica pulled off the bag to let the bloodied water spill into a big garbage can. There was so much ice water that we had to change the 30 gallon bags when they were 1/3 full because they got so heavy. Sometimes, there would still be water that we didn’t know about inside the turkey, and it would spill out onto the table or the floor. Bleh! It was so gross when I’d get flung in the face with that nasty stuff.

Everything was so slick, I’m surprised none of us got hurt with the knives that we had to put down sometimes on the table when we did the whole unpackaging process. Every now and again mom would call out to us, “You still have all your fingers???” How 3 girls got stuck doing the yucky work I don’t know, but I kept going without any complaints other than, “I have to stop for a minute so my fingers can thaw.”

Because the turkeys were still frozen, we had to pile them up on the metal table we were working at because the two women who were ripping out the giblets had to chisel the ice away inside the body. It got to a point that our 3 girl team had to start the chiseling process to help out. But no way was I ripping out the giblets. Yuck. :P

The process started from our 3 girl team, went to the 2 women gutters, then to a few people that were at large steel sinks rising off the turkeys, and then to the people in the other room…which is where my mom was with the other people—they were putting a spice rub on the turkeys and then stuffing them with apples, celery, and oranges. Then the turkeys were brought out on carts to the big smokers that were out in the back parking lot. And finally…the smoked turkeys were all delivered with their brown bags between 8AM-3PM the following day.

Psssshh...and there's my mom (the one in black with the blonde hair) NOT gutting turkeys with me and Jess :P

Psssshh...and there's my mom (the one in black with blonde hair; center of the pic) NOT gutting turkeys with Jess and me. hehe :P

Once we hit 175 turkeys, we took a small break. After the break…we were back to the frozen turkeys—except we lost our gutters! Another woman stepped up to take her place, but it was hard for her to keep up with how fast we had the turkeys unwrapped. So…I made the sacrifice and joined her on giblet removal patrol. UH!!! I thought unpackaging them was cold, but reaching in and taking out the guts was freezing! Sometimes the giblets bag (which contains the gizzard, kidneys, and neck) broke and I had to fish out the pieces that sometimes crumbled. I just kept telling myself I was helping 300 families, and I think that’s what got me through it, because I just wanted to pass out.

Also…the entire time that I was gutting I was trying to remove that metal hook thing that connected the legs together. I tried so hard and finally, I conquered turkey #300! Last but not least :P

Then it came to do the ultimate deep cleaning of the kitchen and other turkey work areas. *sparkle sparkle…lemon scents rising*

Lot of work, but it was really fun!

Jess, mom, and me :)

Jess, mom, and me :) .

Few more pics: http://q4fun.blogspot.com/2011/12/operation-thanksgiving-turkey-2011.html

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD!!!

Operation Christmas Child!!! :D

Operation Christmas Child!!! :D

I also did Operation Christmas Child the first free day of my break. That was super fun! I love helping out there. My mom and I were the ones who were able to go from my family since the shift was early in the day (sister and brother had school and, dad had to work :( ).

Don’t know what OCC is?! Well, what happens is that people (anyone of any age wanting to help) all over the country fill shoe boxes with toys/toiletries for boys and girls in poorer areas of other countries. These boxes are dropped off at drop-off locations, then picked up by OCC volunteers to be brought to the warehouse. The boxes are then divided into age groups (I think 2-5, 6-10, 11-14) and then checked for things that can’t be shipped (liquids, glass, CHOCOLATE–because it is used as currency in some places and kids could get hurt over it :( , etc.)

What I specifically did was go to the warehouse in Charlotte, NC to help out with checking the shoe boxes before they were shipped off to another country’s children. I probably looked through 300+ shoe boxes to make sure no liquids were in there and, if there was still some space left in there that the space was filled with toys and pens and pocket bibles that were donated from retail companies. My boxes were usually exploding by the time I got done with them. My mom said to me, “You’re trying to fit 2 pounds of love into a one pound box.” But I had to make sure each kid had the essentials! (toy, pens, paper, candy, bible, toothbrush, a shirt or pair of pants or shoes) :D

Packing a shoebox is also fun, which is something ANYONE can do (helping at the warehouse requires a few weeks’ notice because the help slots fill up FAST!) You just fill an ordinary shoebox with toys/toiletries for boys and girls and then drop them off at a drop-off location that you can find near you on the website. I always tried to make sure the boxes designated for the younger boys and girls had a stuffed animal in them! All little kids need a special fluffy animal friend :D . Also, yes, toiletries sound really lame, but those kids really need them! I’ve heard that in some areas you’ll find that 12 kids have to share a single toothbrush…and sometimes they’re just brushing them with water because they don’t have any toothpaste :( . Throw in a bar of soap too! What’s also really good are pens and paper so they can learn how to write (pens are better than pencils because pencils need to be sharpened)….I guess start off with the list I said in the last paragraph and go from there with other fun stuff. Just don’t put in: liquids (includes hand sanitizer and shampoo, but toothpaste is fine), chocolate, war related toys, magic related toys (includes Pokemon), food (hard candy is good though) and breakable things such as glass.

I think the most touching box I checked was a big boot box. Inside of it was a pair of cleats, shin guards, a deflated soccer ball, an air pump for the ball, and a soccer jersey, along with all of the essentials. It was awesome to see all of that, and I loved knowing the fact that that kid is going to be ecstatic when he opens it, which also reminded me of my little brother who plays soccer.

We were having so much fun that we were able to volunteer for another hour. Woop!

Mom and me checking boxes :)

Mom and me checking boxes :)

Go check out the website http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Journey_of_a_Shoe_Box/. In that link you’ll find descriptions, and hopefully you’ll be interested in helping next year! It’s fun and it helps out a lot of kids. 1.1 million boxes shipped out this year alone!

Posted by erica | 6:22 pm

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Jinxed Myself! Ugh!

So…this blog, which was supposed to go up probably a week or so ago, jinxed me. It all started with the below:

Nothing is really going on for once. Things are actually pretty chill over here. It might be because it’s getting close to Thanksgiving break or that I actually got some long term projects done already. *shrugs shoulders*

I’m sure the chaos will pick up as soon as the break ends. Not that I like a super crazy schedule, but I do like having some busy work because I’ll just be bored if I don’t have something to focus brain power on.

Lately I’ve been practicing the 4×4 Rubik’s cube. Yes, to me it’s usually a fun hobby…but even I can get a bit tired of messing up the cube and solving it again and again.

I solved the 3x3 and the 4x4! 5x5 for Christmas please!

I solved the 3x3 and the 4x4! 5x5 for Christmas please!

So…let’s see. A slightly more interesting topic would be…

Well, I’m not exactly sure at the moment. I’ll just go on a random tangent.

1) I was sick for a few days. I was a wreck trying to get through everything. My eyes burned, my nose was stuffy, my throat hurt, and my lungs felt like they were being smooshed. It was so bad that I actually slept through two of my alarms. Luckily, I woke up with just enough time to get ready, but still…if Erica sleeps through alarms and then contemplates not going to class—oh she’s SICK. The good news is that I think the actual illness is gone and what I’m feeling now is just some fall allergies.

2) On my calendar I wrote down that I have an essay due on Monday, the 21st. Then on Sunday, I read my syllabus and freaked out because I thought I read it wrong and it was actually due the next day on Monday, the 14th. So, I started speed writing that essay…and when I reached the half-way point, my suitemate, Meagan, came in and read my syllabus. Turns out that I misread it and it really was due on the 21st. But no…no…the heart attack wasn’t enough. The next day in class, the professor cancelled the essay. That just killed me! I had the worst freak out in Converse over homework for nothing! I’m sure I’ll look back on this and think it was funny, but it’s not going to be for a while :/ .

3) I finished one part of my portfolio for Printmaking. I wanted to make monotypes that all had different animals of the Chinese Zodiac in their own element (water, wood, fire, earth, metal). I’m really pleased with them. They turned out way better than I thought they would. And, once the semester is over, I’ll be turning them into a giant book for my Artist Books Honors Thesis. Woop!

4) The Art Club has gotten together to make some paper mache Pink Panthers and Red Devils. They were slightly difficult to make due to some drying issues, but they turned out to be really cute. We’ll be selling them during our Holiday Art Sale on Dec 2nd. So, if you just happen to be in the area, you should stop by the gallery and see them along with other artworks and art supplies the students, faculty, and alumnae are selling.

Art Club beginning to make Pink Panther and Red Devils

Art Club beginning to make Pink Panthers and Red Devils

Setting them down to dry

The bodies are being set down to dry. Those little white things on the table are ears, horns, arms, and feet.

Almost done. Aren't they cute?!

Almost done. Aren't they cute?!

Left, right, left! Into the elevator!

Left, right, left! Into the elevator!

Waaaaaa!!!! They're ALIVE!!!!!

Waaaaaa!!!! They're ALIVE!!!!!

Nom nom nom! I ripped off your ear! (well, not really. It fell off :P )

Nom nom nom! I ripped off your ear in revenge! (well, not really. It fell off during the invasion, so we had to give it first-aid :P )

Good! Sit there and behave!

Good! Now sit there and behave! No more world take overs!

To now…

WAAAAAA!!!!!!!! Shoot me!

The moment I stopped writing that random list of stuff  I was slammed with a crazy amount of work! My life has been non-stop, and I don’t think it’s going to be slowing down any time soon.

What’s taking over my life?

Printmaking–Prepare portfolio, linocut, fix two monotypes, mat five or more pieces of my work, and prepare for a powerpoint presentation.

Professional Writing–Write out a recorded interview I had with a local band, The Wheresville Project, and then write my narrative piece about them. (Btw, they sound pretty good. Go google them.)

Art Senior Seminar–Prepare 3-ring binder with everything we did this semester. Minimum 20 image portfolio (with pics taken with an awful, hammy down camera that was dropped in water….Dear Art Department, I owe you lovely photos of my work after Christmas because that’s when I’ll be getting a new camera).

Astronomy–study for final. gross.

Yoga–make study guide and memorize all of the Sanskrit names and their translation. Ex: Supta Pādāṅguṣṭhāsana (yeah, you say that five times fast along with Irish Wristwatch).

Art Club–WAAAA!!! We’re not going to discuss this one….

What senior year is really like...

What senior year is really like...

And as you can see…I’m just going to end it here.

College life:  It’s has it’s peaceful times and it’s crazy times…It just has really bad transitions between the two. I recommend coffee and two ibuprofens.

But before I go, here’s a little shout out to my suitemate:

Congrats on getting engaged, Veronica!

In the words of Elizabeth, Meagan, and me, “May Ever Your Happilies be After!” lol.

Posted by erica | 3:39 pm