Monday, September 27, 2010

What a weekend...

I had quite an experience this weekend. It’s been one of those sensory overload weekends. Right now I am struggling with keeping up with life and trying to not let it pass me by.

Friday night I left work and ended up going to a rehearsal for a show where I am more or less a sound consultant. I am trying to make sure everything goes well for them. It was an interesting experience and realized that this place is a little out of sorts and I hope I don’t spend much time getting attached. That night I came home and found a movie on that I had heard was interesting and started watching it. The movie is called “Pan’s Labyrinth”. This movie gave me an interesting perspective on how cruel people can be and how powerful the human and especially a child’s imagination can be. It left an impression on me that I don’t think I will soon forget.

Saturday, I went to a birthday party for my family and realized that there are so many great things about my family but also realized that there are many things I wish I could change. But past attempts to do anything haven’t yielded me much success, so things are here for now. After that, I went and set up for General Women’s Conference at my stake center because I’m the media specialist, so I set up the projector and any TV’s that need to be set up.

I went swing dancing in the evening with some incredible people. It was such a wonderful time to reunite with friends that bring me such happiness. I have to say though, that as much as I enjoy the dancing, Jazz music isn’t my favorite. It’s not bad but that it’s just not what I would listen to in my car if I was driving to work.

After swing dancing, I had the first “club” experience of my life. I can’t really say that it was an actual club experience because there wasn’t a bar and there really weren’t any people drinking, but there were WAY too many people cramped into a small space that were all sweaty, listening to the same 5 songs over and over (literally), body parts brushing up against me that I’m just not comfortable with, and dancing some pathetic attempt at being awkwardly close to each other. The best I could do was bob my head (as these situations don’t lend to a Charleston or Lindy all that well). I’m the kid that barely makes it out of an institute dance with my decency and sanity. So when that gig was up, we tried to find some frozen yogurt but most of those places close at midnight and had closed by that time so we stopped by the Malt Shop. As usual, the swing dancers had converged on the Malt Shop patio and were dancing, so I decided to show my club friends what my flavor of dancing consists of. That pretty much ended that night because it was almost 1 am.

Then church today was interesting. I wasn’t too particularly interested in the talks. I had a conversation with the person next to me about how I feel completely incapable of getting the attention of the girls I want attention from (probably a good thing). I realized that the Sunday school teacher for this week wasn’t my favorite (but for the sake of any chance blog readings, I will leave out why). I just remember making that comment that many of the people that are in my singles ward are on a path and are lost and need the help and direction of Christ in our lives but that often, instead of embracing what He would have us do, we leave his teachings and rely on our own intuition and personal expertise to get by in life. Not the way to go, and yet I do it over and over again in life.

After church, I wanted to watch a movie. I found that I have “The Pianist”, so I decided to watch it. I now remember why I bought it. There were SO many emotions that I experienced while watching this movie. I felt so happy to know that I live in a place with so many freedoms and the peace of mind. I’ve realized I have a fighting chance at life and have freedom from oppressive forces. I was sad to be reminded of this human condition – that evil is such a persuasive force, that fear keeps you from acting, that the will to live can overcome even the greatest of opposition, other people will exercise power to do terrible things, move people will exercise power to do great and heroic things, and that music can bring immovable peace to the heart.

I feel angry that such an evil force was allowed to bring so much destruction. I feel glad to have my freedom. And I feel a resolved that I will stand against forces that threaten my family and freedom. I am grateful for those that give their time and even their lives so I can live free.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Some projects I've done

So, I’ve wanted to showcase what I’ve done over the past year to show what I can do. I’ve done quite a few things in Photoshop and I’m excited to be able to continue to find new and better things with Photoshop. My hope is to be able to purchase a nice camera so I can do this kind of stuff from start to finish. Take the pictures, create the designs, produce stuff that’s all my own. I also don’t charge for anything I do right now because I don’t consider myself professional.

So, here are a few projects I’ve put together for some friends and family over the last year.

If you’ve seen something you like and want it to be customized for you, I can duplicate a lot of simple designs. I also have the ability to remove things from photographs.

I’m not great at coming up with original designs, I just don’t quite have that creative edge yet, but when someone tells me what they want, and shows an example, I’ve become quite proficient at making it happen. So, these are some designs I put together for my sister-in-law’s mom.

I’ve had a few people ask me if I can do wedding invitations. I didn't ever go home and just create these, on each occasion, I met with the people getting married and they told me what they wanted and I put it together for them. I also created the inserts that were included as well.

This last picture was the invitation that my cousin did for his wedding. When they received it from the person who created it, there were a few things missing.

So, if you’re looking for a cheap (free) way to design your wedding invitations, business cards, fliers, or just about anything, but want them to look professional, I’d love to sit down with you and put together your vision.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Well, I’ve had quite the holiday. It’s been full of exciting, insane, awkward, and exhausting experiences. It started with me going on a vicious campaign to clean the entire house (even rooms that hadn’t been partied in before) and make sure that everything was ready for the New Year party that I had planned. My goal was to make it bigger than it had been two years before, but I realized that it probably wouldn’t be. So, I cleaned 7 rooms in the house including the garage to set up as different stations. I had put DO NOT ENTER signs on Thayn’s bedroom and office, and also on my bedroom door. There were Women/Men signs on the bathrooms, and signs pointing to all the other things I had set up. Upstairs I had a game room set up. It was quite the talk when people walked in and saw the teddy bear wallpaper. On the main floor I had the Wii set up and that’s where all the food was (which I wish I had provided some better food, but what we had was pretty good, so I was okay with that). I hadn’t decided if I would use the garage for anything and then last minute someone asked me to have some swing

dancing and so I went out and cleaned it out because it was completely covered in dirt! It had tracked in on Thayn’s car from the snow, so after I cleaned that up, I set up the sounds system and it was all nice with Christmas lights and some good music. In the next level down, I set up a projector with Rockband. That was pretty cool. And then down in the room Dan used to sleep in was Karaoke. And I had a few friends that roamed into each room and made sure that it was all used which made me feel validated. It was really nice.

The night was kind of slow but still a lot of fun and I was really happy with the people that showed up because they are extremely great people. (If any of you are reading this, I just wanted to say thanks again for coming, it really made me happy to have people over).

When everyone left, I vacuumed up all of the confetti and stuff that was left over and put everything away. I finally went to bed at 5 am on New Year’s Day. I woke up at 4 pm that same day and finally peeled myself out of bed and went to Spanish Fork with some friends and then to dinner and met this girl named Amanda who was insane and we were insane together, so it was a lot of fun. Then I decided to go swing dancing up in Salt Lake and on my way up there, I called my parents and they said that I should fly down to Arizona for my cousin’s wedding the next morning. This was insane because trying to find a flight the day before is both extremely stupid and extremely expensive, but luckily I found a flight and after dancing until midnight, I packed, slept from 2 to 4, then showered, and had someone drive me to the airport and I was on my way.

I got off the plane and nearly went right to the temple for the sealing. We then spent the afternoon after the sealing eating and relaxing. I took a nap for an hour and then we were supposed to go “decorate” the bride and groom’s room with stuff but we weren’t able to get over there between the sealing and reception, so we ended up going during the reception and missed a whole bunch of things in the reception, but made it back for the dancing.

Sunday I went to the singles ward with Brad and Amy. We went to church in an old remodeled Baptist church so the chapel was crazy with vaulted ceilings and was really cool. That night we were going to have a quiet night with Carole’s parents, but then somehow a text that Amy sent to a few friends to come play games was spread to just about the entire ward! So we ended up having like 20 people over for a “noisy Sunday”. We played a few games and then around midnight everyone went home.

Monday morning we got up and packed and were out by about 9 am. We took home a girl named Sami. She was pretty cool and we had fun talking and playing Name That Artist on an MP3 CD that Dan had in the car. Then we spent about the last 6 hours watching How I Met Your Mother. I forgot how funny the first season is. We finally pulled in at home around 7:30 pm after dropping Sami off.

All in all it was a GREAT weekend and I had so much fun with my party, the trip, and even the ride home.

Monday, December 28, 2009

So, I’ve been trying to help a friend create stuff for her blog and I know there are ways to do it online, but I think it looks a lot classier if it’s doing with Photoshop, so I’ve decided to show how I do it and then she has the ability to see it here whenever she needs the help.
This specifically deals with how to create a header on your blog with a cool picture frame. The frames I’ve used in the past can be found here:
Once you find the frame you like and have downloaded it and saved it on your computer, here’s what you’ll do (assuming you have access to Photoshop):

Step 1:
Import your frame into Photoshop. You can do this at least 3 different ways.
1) In Photoshop, File > Open, find the picture and open it.
2) Right+Click on your picture, select Open With… > Photoshop.
3) Open Photoshop, then take the file and drag it right into photoshop.

Step 2:
Create a new layer by clicking the new layer button (see picture). A quick explaination of how the layers work in Photoshop:
It’s actually like pile of papers. The higher in the list it is, the closer to the top of the stack the objects in that layer will be. SO, if you want the frame to be on top of something else, like your picture, you’ll have to click and drag it higher in the list.

Step 3:
Import the picture you want to use into Photoshop (using one of the same import methods from step 1)

Step 4:
Now, select the entire picture and copy it. You can select all by going Select > All or CTRL+A on the keyboard. Then copy – either by Edit > Copy or CTRL+C on the keyboard.


Step 5: Go back to the window with the picture frame. You may have to CTRL+TAB to get there (you can also minimize your current window with the smaller minimize button below the program open and close button. Then paste the picture in the new layer I had you create in step 2 by going to Edit > Paste OR typing CTRL+V on the keyboard.


Step 5:
You’ll notice at this point that the picture is HUGE compared to the frame, or it might just not be the right size to fit the frame. There are various ways to do this, but I’ve found this way to be fastest and easiest:
Make sure you are still working with the Picture Layer (look at the layers area and see which one is selected, it will be darker than the others). If the layer is selected, Go to Edit > Free Transform OR CTRL+T. This will then put a box around the picture:


Holding down the SHIFT key, click and drag the square to make the picture smaller or larger as needed. You may have to make it smaller, move it up and then move it smaller again. Then press Enter so the picture will stay the new size.

Step 6:
Once you get it to the right size, you need to put it behind the frame so it will look<>
like it’s inside the picture frame. To do this, go again to the Layers window and click and drag the photo layer so it’s below the frame layer. Then using the Arrow (with cross hairs) tool, move the picture to right where you want it.

If you want to add text, just click on the T tool, click about where you want it on the page, and<>
then type it. If you only see a line and no text, just move the text layer on top of the other layers (in the layers window). You can change the font and color of your text at the toolbar at the top of the screen (below the menus).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas Eve This Year

Getting my family together every year can be a very daunting task and seems to be frustrating. There isn’t a lot of room for a lot of people at my parents house and I wanted to be able to get as many of my family members together as possible. I’ve also wanted to have a party at my house since I moved in almost 3 years ago. It’s a nice house with a lot of room, so we I figured that I’d put something together this year. So I called all the members of the fam that would be close enough to come and have some food. It was a lot of fun. It was nice having all the kids here at my house.

I have to learn to host parties with a little less stress. I tend to over kill with everything and then I worry the entire time. Not that I don’t enjoy myself, but this time, there were new things that I didn’t expect. Most of my parties are for people in my singles ward or closer to my age, so having kids here made things a little different, but it was still very fun.

We had a Wii set up so the kids could play games if they wanted to and I put on a movie in a different room just in case they wanted to watch something. In the living room, we ate our food – sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and a LOT of snacks, probably too many.

My mom brought some poppers that had some fun toys in them and then we opened presents. All in all, it was a nice party. I’m glad I was able to have family at my home. It made for a very nice Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What does the world hold for me?

I've been fearing this day would come. I had hoped for the last 6 months that it would never come. I planned to go on living my life the way it was yesterday, last week, and even 6 months ago. But the time has arrived where I no longer am being assisted by Uncle Sam. No longer will he be sending me a check in the mail every week. As I've casually searched for jobs I looked where I knew I could do what I was asked but felt deep down that I didn't stand a chance. Often though, small glimmers of hope shown through. There were a lot of places where I had almost banked on being hired by the company. My interviews always seemed to go off perfectly. Often they would give me more hope than you should offer an interviewee. And now, as January 10th draws closer and closer, I wonder if anyone out there will ever accept me.

Not having a job, or anything else to do for that matter, has caused me to have spouts of depression, extreme stress, and even complete breakdowns of my mental and emotional wellbeing. In the same breath though, I could say that I have had many opportunities to serve others and build relationships with those around me that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. It's been a blessing and a curse.

The more that I search for jobs, the more I am directed to Salt Lake valley. Maybe because they have more jobs than where I am now and searching online brings more out of that area, but I still feel myself being drawn around the point of the mountain. But with moving to new places and starting new things there comes a little bit of anxiety. The idea of change is terrifying to me. I wonder about trying to start fresh with friends, dealing with new roommates, being on a normal-person schedule, or just knowing that life will be different. When I start to think about all of those things, I get scared a little.

And while it's no consolation, my only solace in all of this is knowing that, when it's all said and done, I'll be able to find a place where those I'm asked to serve will know that I'm there for them both in my friends and my job. The new people I meet will understand that I care, even if I've never met them before, and those that I will lose contact with, hopefully I have left something for them to appreciate and forgive those times that I spewed a negative or ungrateful attitude on them. And whether or not this ever happens, in the end, I will still be me. Just a kid, trying to get by in life. Doing nothing... always.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A short poem about Fudge

So, Tamara was looking for a story about fudge and so I was looking all over the internet and only found poems of how busy life is and how happy fudge makes people, so I decided to write my own poem.

This was the first poem I wrote:
Oh Yummy Fudge oh yummy fudge
How lovely are you eaten
Oh Yummy Fudge oh yummy fudge
Oh how you love my taste buds.
You come along and make me smile
You cheer me up when in denial
Oh yummy fudge oh yummy fudge,
How lovely are you eaten.

And then I wrote this poem:

My day was once sad and I needed a boost.
I went to some friends but their presence was moot.

I wandered my Facebook, but the evening was late
And none of the people were there to consolate
My house dark and empty had shown me no pity
So I figured I look for support in the city.

I put on jacket and gloves and my hat
And opened the front door just to see what?
A plate full of fudge was there waiting for me
And I suddenly knew what my deliverance would be
As for my long evening that was sad for a while
The fudge I am eating now will always make me smile!

So my suggestion would be that if you find yourself in this position, get some fudge, or see if you can find someone to doorbell ditch some for you.