Today has been a very long day and I feel like I have a lot to say about it. I got a birthday card from everyone in our department at work. It's something we do for people whenever a card worthy event comes up. I mean, I work at American Greetings...it's expected. Anyways, I don't actually interact with everyone in our department. I really only deal with the creative people on a daily basis and sometimes even not that often. As for those dealing with the business side of things? I don't think I could tell you the name of any of them. But today in my birthday card I received this message:
Hi Cheryl - My name is Rob. I hope to meet you someday. Happy Birthday. - Rob
I really enjoyed this. Not only because it made me laugh a little, but because it was so sincere unlike the other "Happy Birthday"s from faceless names. However, possibly better than that was the "Congratulations" that was mixed in with the bunch.
I decided today that I would treat myself to an early birthday present by going to the pet store and using the rest of a gift card I had gotten for Christmas to buy some new fish. Andrew argued that this couldn't be a birthday gift because technically it was just a remainder of a Christmas gift. So, in my defense, I decided that the birthday gift part of it would be going out and treating myself to something when I should be at home working on the 6 greeting cards, poster, and t-shirt design that I have to get done this weekend. So after working an hour overtime at work I went to the pet store, picked out 5 little neon tetras, and headed home. Little Italy is my least favorite place to park on a Friday or Saturday evening. Parking is bad enough during the week (at least for those of us that have to park on the street), but on the weekends all of our nice spots in front of our homes are stolen by rich people, who live in the suburbs, in their fancy SUVs looking for an expensive (but delicious) Italian meal. Thanks to the pummeling of snow we got on Wednesday and the lack of snowplowing on my street, the number of available parking spots was pretty much cut in half. The last thing I wanted to do when I got home with a bag of fish after a long day of work was spend 30 minutes digging out a parking spot for myself with a heavy, metal shovel. 30 minutes! I didn't have boots on. My feet, socks, and pants were soaked. My arms and shoulders that were already sore from digging my car out of the snow on Wednesday were feeling even worse. I was not happy. On top of it all, once I managed to almost get myself into a decent parking position (my car was spinning out so much despite my shoveling efforts that I ended up having to park on a diagonal) my steering wheel locked up. I've had so many car problems in the past few weeks that this just made me want to cry. I was completely frustrated, and cold, and wet. But inside the door to my apartment were two packages waiting for me. I love getting mail.
The first was from Blurb. This is the company that I used to publish and print the book that I created for my BFA thesis. My book was a "staff pick" on Blurb within the first week of it being available. Apparently my book has continued to stand out to them because they recently asked permission to use my book for their personal marketing purposes and in return they gave me two free copies of my book plus one more free copy of a book I have yet to publish. I was very excited about this. Not only for the amount of exposure that my book will be getting through their marketing, but also because the only copy of my book that I had before was handled by far too many people during my BFA exhibit and you could see it in the pages.
The second was from Andrew. I wasn't at all expecting him to mail me my birthday present since I'm going to be there on the 12th, but he did and it made me extremely happy. He said I was allowed to open it even though it wasn't my birthday yet. Inside was an antique locket already filled with pictures to make me smile when we are apart.
Later on I went to Presti's to treat myself to another little package. Chocolate mousse cake. Absolutely delicious.
And at the end of the day the new fish are happy at home.
I can see myself creating Gaudi inspired architectural elements in the garden I hope to have someday.
I think I would like to visit Barcelona to see all of his creations there. Especially Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia. I remember when I first saw the Sagrada Familia in my art history class and immediately being reminded of the drip castles I like to make on the beach. His work is so beautiful and thoughtful and fun.
(From NPR.org) All Things Considered, January 26, 2009 · Climate change is essentially irreversible, according to a sobering new scientific study.
As carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, the world will experience more and more long-term environmental disruption. The damage will persist even when, and if, emissions are brought under control, says study author Susan Solomon, who is among the world's top climate scientists.
"We're used to thinking about pollution problems as things that we can fix," Solomon says. "Smog, we just cut back and everything will be better later. Or haze, you know, it'll go away pretty quickly."
That's the case for some of the gases that contribute to climate change, such as methane and nitrous oxide. But as Solomon and colleagues suggest in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it is not true for the most abundant greenhouse gas: carbon dioxide. Turning off the carbon dioxide emissions won't stop global warming.
"People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide that the climate would go back to normal in 100 years or 200 years. What we're showing here is that's not right. It's essentially an irreversible change that will last for more than a thousand years," Solomon says.
This is because the oceans are currently soaking up a lot of the planet's excess heat — and a lot of the carbon dioxide put into the air. The carbon dioxide and heat will eventually start coming out of the ocean. And that will take place for many hundreds of years.
Solomon is a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her new study looked at the consequences of this long-term effect in terms of sea level rise and drought.
If we continue with business as usual for even a few more decades, she says, those emissions could be enough to create permanent dust-bowl conditions in the U.S. Southwest and around the Mediterranean.
"The sea level rise is a much slower thing, so it will take a long time to happen, but we will lock into it, based on the peak level of [carbon dioxide] we reach in this century," Solomon says.
The idea that changes will be irreversible has consequences for how we should deal with climate change. The global thermostat can't be turned down quickly once it's been turned up, so scientists say we need to proceed with more caution right now.
"These are all ... changes that are starting to happen in at least a minor way already," says Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University. "So the question becomes, where do we stop it, when does all of this become dangerous?"
The answer, he says, is sooner rather than later. Scientists have been trying to advise politicians about finding an acceptable level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The new study suggests that it's even more important to aim low. If we overshoot, the damage can't be easily undone. Oppenheimer feels more urgency than ever to deal with climate change, but he says that in the end, setting acceptable limits for carbon dioxide is a judgment call.
"That's really a political decision because there's more at issue than just the science. It's the issue of what the science says, plus what's feasible politically, plus what's reasonable economically to do," Oppenheimer says.
But despite this grim prognosis, Solomon says this is not time to declare the problem hopeless and give up.
"I guess if it's irreversible, to me it seems all the more reason you might want to do something about it," she says. "Because committing to something that you can't back out of seems to me like a step that you'd want to take even more carefully than something you thought you could reverse."
(Bill Nye isn't going to swoop down at save our planet. If everyone doesn't start making serious lifestyle changes soon we will be throwing away the chance of life for infinate numbers of generations to come. This past month I've been researching more and more about toxins, the environment, and the effect that our lives have on this planet. It's not good, not at all, and I'm becoming very enthusiastic about making changes. It makes me furious to think about how the majority of this planet is run based on money and greed. Not enough people think about other people or working to make this planet better. It's sickening.)
Those of us at Three Bears are looking forward to February when we will be having our first art show. The show will take place at Revival in Akron on February 13th (...and I'm almost sad to be announcing that I will be missing the opening because I'll be visiting Andrew in Florida). Not only will we be displaying our work, but we will also be selling prints and several new t-shirts. The work will be on display for about a month but we highly encourage everyone to try and make it out for the opening.
My Three Bears totem pole. It will be one of the shirt designs that will be making it's premiere at the show. (I think my love of Northern Exposure is starting to seep out into my artwork.)
Going over "to do" lists and deciding what to tackle next. Resisting the urge to just sit down with iWoz and finish reading it. Listening to Jens. I wish I could go back in time to the night he slept on my couch. I have so many more things to ask him now.
A few days after the election of Barack Obama, 826 students around the country were asked to provide advice and guidance to their new President.
“If I were president, I would help all nations, even Hawaii." -- Chad Timsing, age 9, Los Angeles
“I really hope you put America back together. No pressure though." -- Sheenie Shannon Yip, age 13, Seattle
"1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter. 2. Walk in. 3. Wipe feet. 4. Walk to the Oval Office. 5. Sit down in a chair. 6. Put hand sanitizer on hands. 7. Enjoy moment. 8. Get up. 9. Get in car. 10. Go to the dog pound." -- Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago
And, while it wasn't advice, exactly, we thought this was worth sharing:
"You are just like a big me." -- Avante Price, age 7, Seattle
Christian Kiefer, J Matthew Gerken, and Jefferson Pitcher released their album, Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies, in late 2008 on Standard Recording. This week they released their 44th song for Obama. It's a lovely listen, good for the day.
We got about 6 inches of snow since I parked my car last night. Of course that's on top of the previous 6 inches we had gotten earlier in the week. It's one of those days where I just want to sit on the couch and hibernate with a good book (which I did for a couple hours this morning). But I have a lot of drawing that needs to be done so I put on the jeans, sweater, socks, boots, hat, scarf, coat, gloves and braved the snow for a delicious mocha and m&m cookie...because even though I live right around the corner from the best Italian bakery I've ever experienced, doesn't mean I'll go there in my pajamas. It felt surprisingly refreshing and not so cold outside even though my computer is telling me it's only 21 degrees, but after a week of beyond freezing temperatures I'll take anything over 0.
Nope, Andrew is not the only nerd in this relationship. I took two semesters of computer programming AND I actually even had an electronics lab kit when I was younger. Ha. But anyways, I came across this book when I was browsing the shelves at the library the other day. I really enjoyed learning about the progression and transformation of media when I took my media history class a couple years ago. For me, it's fascinating to learn how certain factors, both in technology and culture, can effect the function and purpose of a product in our everyday lives. I think computers, especially the computers of today, can absolutely be considered a media device and so in my mind I'm just adding on another chapter to what I enjoyed learning in class. I'm only a couple chapters into it right now, but one thing I like about this book is being able to understand how a young Steve Wozniak was inspired and guided into the great engineer that he became. In a way, it's very inspiring to me just reading it.
(On a side note, if you are even mildly interested in this, or the history of Apple, I suggest watching Pirates of Silicon Valley. It may look incredibly cheesy based on the cover, and the movie it's self may seem slightly cheesy at times, but I enjoyed it a lot.)
My car won't start so apparently I'm not going to work today. Thankfully I had finished everything I was working on last night before I left. So I'm going to try and tackle a big chunk of my never ending "to do" list today...right after I bundle up and run over to Presti's for a mocha. Also, I just came across this great item on Etsy.com and really wish I had it to wear today. It looks so nice and cozy...
This is especially appealing to me right now because I recently took Andrew to see The Shining at the Cedar Lee Theatre on cult film night so it's still fresh in my mind. On top of that, it's absolutely my favorite horror film.