Sunday, July 20, 2008

Three weeks

It has been something like three weeks since my last post, so I think its about time to do so.
The last few weeks haven't exactly been the most incredibly jumping and jiving.
I went out to this place called "b.a sweetie's." It turns out, it is like one of the biggest candy warehouses in America. And it seemed like it. There were all kinds of candy I'd 1) never seen before 2) haven't seen in like forever 3) in nice big bulk packaging. And they had a whole giant shelf full of Moon Pies!! I didn't even know they made strawberry flavored ones, so that was new.

And then there was one big shelf full of Pop Rocks. I didn't know they made some of those flavors either. Now that I think bout it, I shoulda gotten some of the chocolate covered ones.

This past week I actually got put in charge of a project at work, and so far I'm the only one workin on it. At first I was kinda overwhelmed by it all, cuz there wasn't really any restrictions and stuff and I could create what I wanted and go in any direction I want. But I've got it narrowed down after showing it to my supervisor so its goin well so far.
I got a letter from my brother the other day. Sounds like everything is going well so far up there. Apparently whenever he gets his computer, its already got Call of Duty 4 installed on it. Lucky. Dang. How are they ever going to get any work done up there when theres such a waayyy cool game to play instead? Psh.
We went out to this outlet mall yesterday, and I finally got myself a sweater vest. And I think that it was my first purchase from GAP. And I got this jacket dealio. So it was a succesful trip.
On Friday I went out for lunch with a bunch of people from my team. We went to Golden Corral. And it was awesome. Whoever invented the all you can eat buffet is a genius in my book. Plain and simple.
I think thats about it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

End Week 5/Beginning Week 6

Everything is going pretty well on my end, up here in grand ol' North Olmsted 10-20 minutes outside of Cleveland.
This last week I flew home so that I could go with my family to the United States Military Academy at West Point to drop my brother off so that he could start his grandiose four year journey through college.

We had to get up by like 4 to get him to where he needed to report to at before 6:30. On Sunday and when we were with him on Monday morning he was so tense. You could just feel it around him, so much so that I was kinda feeling uncomfortable. I probably shoulda busted out the big brother wisdom, or told him everything was going to be alright and he'll make it through basic training. We went to West Point's theater (which is giganterous by the way) and an officer told us what the next 8 weeks would be in a nutshell, and then a cadet told us what an honor it was to go to West Point, how the next four years won't be easy, and how much better off they'll be when they come out in the end. Then she said "Its time to move on, new cadets. It is time to say your farewells, and then proceed down this aisle and the Staff Sargent will direct you to the staging area. You have 60 seconds." Than there were quick hugs and stuff and then he disappeared around a corner. Outside the theater there were a bunch of parent groups' tables and stuff to get from the West Point bookstore. Than we took a bus tour and then spent the rest of the day walking around campus. West Point's campus and the buildings are absolutely beautiful and it all overlooks the Hudson River. There was a briefing for the parents by the Superintendent, Dean, and Commandant at 3:00, and they told us what all the new cadets will be doing during boot camp, and what they're next four years will look like. After that the Cadre (upperclassmen in leadership positions) marched the new cadets out to Trophy Point for the Oath Ceremony, and we were all told that we're lucky if we see our cadet at all in the next four years when they're in formation, but we were able to point out my brother no problem. It was soooooo cool seeing him in formation in his uniform, shaved head, clunky glasses and all. Everyone so far has been asking me why all the cadets are issued the same glasses. I think its for uniformity's sake, and they might be durable, because thats the pair they have to wear when they go out for field exercises and training. They get their normal pair back when they start classes in August. At the beginning of the day they started with something like 1,306 cadets and by the time the Oath Ceremony rolled around they were down to something like 1,292. After they took the oath, the Cadre marched them to their dining hall for dinner.
And that was that.
They can receive snail mail, but they won't have access to a computer, and will have 3 chances to call home before boot camp is done. So I'm planning on writing him at least once a week. After the new cadets were marched away it started hitting me that I won't really be seeing my brother until Christmas. I'm not gonna have anyone to hang out with when I come home and none of my other friends are back f
rom school yet. I've got my sister, but you can't do the same stuff with a sister that you'd do with a brother.
Guess I'll just have to live with snail mail until August 23rd when the new cadets are officially accepted as the USMA's Class of 2012.

This past weekend a few of the other interns and I went and saw "WALL*E" on Thursday night, which is one of the most amazing animated movies I have ever seen. I highly recommend seeing it. And than we got tickets for the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight". Its on a Thursday night, so the next morning at work is going to be rough, but I'll make it.
Now, until next time, adieu.
"The Last Star Fighter" is on.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Few Pictures

Up at American Greetings, we've got an art gallery kinda space upstairs near the Creative Department. People who work at AG can display their art, and if they so choose, try and sell it and they get to keep any earnings because the gallery doesn't charge any kind of commission.
The current exhibit is work from someone in the American Greetings Interactive Department, or the department that maintains our e-card website. Its titled 'Overspray' and is basically street art/graffiti. I've taken pictures of most of the pieces, but their are a few that I didn't shoot. And here they are.

These three are acrylic and something else which I can't remember at the moment.
And they're all printed on pages out of some kind of book
that helps put the phrase at the top into context.

Phone book pages

Paper money

Workbook pages

These are all acrylic, and I believe that
all of them are done on wood.

Dig Dug!

These five are acrylic on vinyl.
What they are is 'Sushi Pack!' which is
a cartoon (which AG created and owns)
of a four crime-fighting sushi and their
side kick which is a wad of wasabi.

These next three are acrylic and
spray paint on canvas,and are definitely my favorites.
I think what makes the piece is what he stencilsor spatters
on the chip board which he hung behind the pieces.
I would sooo take the orange one off the wall
and run away with it.

These are pretty nifty.
He took a bunch of MetroCards from
the metro in New York City and
took a paint pen to them.

These six are acrylic on purse, I guess you can call it.
All of the things painted on these (knock-off, cuz who
in their right mind would paint on an actual
Coach/Louis Vouitton/Gucci/etc. purse?) purses
are all characters that AG either owns or has a license to use.
I can tell you for sure that AG owns Care Bears, Pretty Freakin' Scary,
Sushi Pack!, Strawberry Shortcake, and Mad Balls.

Lastly, here is my cubicle!
Apparently it is one of the bigger ones.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Start of Week 4

Its the Sunday before week 4.
Everythings been goin pretty well.
I've been able to throw together some Hamburger Helper and I've been eating the leftovers for the last few nights. And I've got a bunch of Hot Pockets and such to last me a bit.
This past week I've finally been able to start working on some cards. They've all been what they call 'New Art,' basically new cards that haven't already been on the shelves. Its been fun actually getting to do work that will matter. I've had two of them come back from reviews for corrections, but they've all dealt with capitalizing a letter here and there, or putting a comma in somewhere. Another had to do with making the background on a picture of some puppies more pink than it already was. And I've also learned why cards are the way that they are sometimes. Like when it seems like a whole sheet of paper has been folded up and pasted on the inside of a card, it all has to do with perceived value. One of the cards I've had to do is like that. It was a z-fold (kind of like an accordion) but the first two pages are going ot be pasted together, so the front of the card will be thicker. So in the end, it will come out being like a horizontal single fold card. Then its got hot stamp on it too. Hot stamp is the shiny foil stuff. Crystaline is the glittery stuff, and flocking is the felt-ish kinda material.
On Friday night, Chris and I went out to the Executive Director of Creative Service for a poker night with a bunch of people from the Creative Department. Twas fun, but I did leave with $9 less than when I got there. But we got free pizza. It was great seeing some of the people I work with in a more laid back, casual setting.
Tomorrow we've been invited to a breakfast thingy with CEO for AG. Should be interesting.
In the course of writing this entry, I've seen Turkey beat The Czech Republic 3-2 and then USA scored in the first minute of their World Cup Qualifying game against Barbados.
And now I'm hungry.
More later.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

First Post of June

So its June.
And its a Saturday night.
My second week has been pretty good, even though I'm going to still be doing training with Craig on Monday. No matter how much I hate it, I know I'm learning all the ins and outs of Photoshop and Freehand, and everything I'll need to know to do my job later on.
This weekend so far has been pretty good. A few of the interns and I went out to the mall across the street and then to go see "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" on Friday night. I've been getting some pretty nifty stuff cuz it seems like every store we've been to at some point has been having some kind of sale, like 50% off something thats already 50% off its original price. So I ended up getting a $50 pair of pants at PacSun for $10. Pretty niiiicceee. The theater we went to go see "Zohan" at was pretty nifty. Its a Regal Cinemas theater, and it had two floors. There were 8 theaters on the first floor and then 8 on the second. It was about 20 mintues away, and the mall kinda place it was in was huge. Think the Streets at Southpoint, but more on a grid system and much bigger. We went back there this afternoon after dinner. We went to Brown Bag Burger which was voted "Best Burger Joint in North Eastern Ohio" and I definitely agree with that title. Quite the excellent burger. When we went to go see "Zohan" last night, there were little Emo kids running around everywhere. Marty hit the nail on the head when he said "It looks like a Fall Out Boy concert just let out."
My roomate is here now.
He seems like a pretty cool guy. Hes from Florida, has bachelors degree from the University of Florida in business, and got another bachelors degree in illustration from SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) in Georgia. He'll be working with the illustration team at AG and hes going to be starting on Monday.
Not too sure what I'm going to be doing tomorrow, we've gotta go grocery shopping, cuz all we've got in the fridge is some bologna, half a gallon of milk, and a little bit of V8. And then I went and got Frankenberry and Boo Berry cereal from Marc's across the street. Marc's is this grocery store-ish kind of place. But. I can buy carpet, power tools, and floor tiling if I ever need to. For cheap.
We might go see some kind of concert round here later this summer maybe. We haven't figured it out yet.
Time to take my contacts out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

End of Day 3

After day 3, I've decided to update.
Rolled outta bed on Tuesday, my first day, showered and headed out to World Headquarters. We (all the interns that were starting on the 27th had to be there at 9 AM) all signed in at the main desk and stood around and waited a bit. Then some people from HR came to get us and they gave us breakfast at the cafeteria and then proceeded to take our tax forms. Then round 10:30 our supervisors came to get us. I was quite happy to hear that the creative department is pretty much free to do what it wants with its space, and also dresses pretty casually as long as its respectable. People I work with have also told me shorts are okay when it gets hot. This aint quite the case with the rest of the building. I've only seen people in the other business-y parts wearing their dress pants and button up shirts.
Walking through the building on my way up to the creative department was kind of depressing. At first I wasn't too excited seeing that everything was just one giant room after another full of cubicles, everything was gray, white, black, and dark. Then the creative department magically showed up around a corner and it was all color and it was sooo much lighter and brighter. Every body's cubicles are decorated and personalized and all the teams are seated near or around each other. Mine is next to my supervisor's, Joe, and apparently I've got one of the larger ones. I went out shopping for stuff for it cuz I was tired of the gray cubicle walls and I wanted to make it feel smaller, surprisingly.
All the people on the team I'm working with are great. I like they're accents, cuz they're kinda like a northern accent but kinda not. There is the one guy from Minnesota, and his accent is def northern and he says "Dontcha know" like a Minnesotan. He also knows the town where I used to live. We've also got three Italians. We've got a DeFranco, a Bucco, and I definitely forgot Tom's last name. Pretty much everyone on my team is definitely somewhere between 25 and 35 years old, but Joe turned 49 today, and Tom and Steve are both 38. I made Melanie feel old today when I told everyone I'm 20 and she realized that shes only 7 years older. I can already tell that this summer is gonna be a good one just because of the people I'm working with.
On my first day, Joe, Tom, and Joe said "Today for lunch, we're really going to impress you. We're gonna take you to somewhere off of Brookpark Road. We're taking you to Taco Tuesday." Wow. Taco Tuesday was somethin else. Ya see, Brookpark road is near the airport. So, you get all the 'fine' establishments that spring up near airports, like the Cat House, Foxxy, and the like. So Taco Tuesday was at a place that I've never ever heard of. It was at Capn' Taco's. There is a big sign on the front that says "Taco Tuesdays! 79 cent Tacos!!" Well, lemme tell you, when you pay 79 cents each for 3 tacos, you get what you pay for immediately as well as later. An upside, though, is that you get a lunch who's bill comes out to be like $2 or $3. Food really isn't too much of a problem at work. I had a decent lunch at the cafeteria for, I think, no more than $4. I can also get a good breakfast for even less. I was definitely happy when I found out today that I can get as much coffee as my mug can hold for 60 cents. That gets me all the way through to lunch.
On to my job.
The last three days have been full of training. Myself and the other intern in creative, Cassandra, who started the same day I did, have been learning aaaaallll about Freehand. What in God's name is Freehand, you may ask? Well. Freehand is old. Like OLD. Like I don't think its produced any more. I'm not even sure which version they've got, but apparently it is glitchy, and can't handle scaling an image AND rotating it afterwards. So, I've been told to do the scaling and rotating in Photoshop. Photoshop CS, that is. CS. omg. CS. I've been trying to do the stuff that I know how to in CS3, and Craig, the guy that's training the two of us, has to remind me every time that I'm in CS. We've also gotta name our files and all the components that go into those folders in an incredibly specific way. If we don't do it just right, the computers will explode, giant cracks will open in the parking lot and every demon known to man will spill forth. Or, the folder and card might just be sent back by TechCheck, the people (or software, I don't know yet) that check folders and everything in them are named and arranged correctly before the card gets sent to production. Quite the pain, but I've been assured it'll get easier as I keep doing it. My team is also trying to push a Wacom Pad on me. They say they couldn't go back to just a plain mouse any more without problems. I'll give it a shot, just gotta get one sent to cubicle. And I've gotta get all my password stuff and company email stuff figured out tomorrow morning. Should be fun. One of the tech guys was trying to figure it out today. I was on the phone with him and he had taken control of my computer. It was kinda funny and odd watching my cursor fly all over the screen, knowing that it was being controlled by someone probably on the other side of the building. Oh yeah. They gave me a G5. Be jealous.
I've met the other interns staying in my hotel, five or six of them, and they're all interning in one of the business departments or We went out for dinner tonite, and I think we might be goin out somewhere tomorrow night. Should be fun. We're gonna start a carpool list and rotation, cuz gas up here is $3.95 a gallon. Runnin up my gas bill all quick like. I did pay $4.05 on the way up in West Virginia though.
Idlewild is on, and I've gotta do a few dishes so I can have my Honey Nut Cheerios in the morning. I'll try and get pictures up later, my connection is acting up right now and is being slow. Laterzzzz.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Friday on Monday

So I'm here.
All alone in my room.
My roomate aint here yet.

And I'm bored.
So, here is my trip here in a nutshell.
We (My brother Logan, Jen, Casey, and Sarah) left Cary at round 10ish on Friday. We stopped every few hours at rest stops except for lunch at an Arby's, where only Logan and I ate and the flat bread thingys are great by the way.
On the way through West Virginia I found out that my
car abhors mountains. I dreaded any upward sloping roads, which would inevitably cause my car to slow down and start the nice and slow chug up the mountain. If there were any flat or downward sloping roads I had to accelerate a crap ton so that I could get carried up and over the top on the momentum allowed by an itty bitty car with suitcases in the trunk. Twas no fun. From what I saw, West Virginia was a bunch of mountains with trees all over them and occasionally a valley, and then along came Charleston and some coal plants, and then every once in a while there'd be a mine of some sort.
Then we crossed the Ohio River, and we were in Ohio. The way we took was relatively flat. And Ohio was the first state we went through that we actually saw some kind of police officer, be it a state trooper or just a car marked POL
ICE, which we thought was kind of odd. On the way north, we passed sings for the towns with some of the strangest names I had ever seen.

More to come after I get those pictures downloaded!

Remember to say "Nope to Dope" and to "Stand Strong Like an Elephant."
Because Zach obviously didn't.