Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crow just did whaat?!

Okay I just need to start this post one something pretty random that I just heard.

Crow just did what!??

It seriously sounded like a soft little 2 syllable owl call and I heard it twice before it clicked that I was hearing something birdish that I had NO idea what it could be. My first thought was that it must be some kind of weird dove, although there really aren't any around here (the band tailed pigeons are up in the forests) so then I was wondering if someone's fancy domesticated dove got loose..but who has domesticated doves around here? My host mom in Guate had some but I don't think it's too common here in the states. So-keeping in mind these thoughts were all within a couple of seconds-I looked up from my computer to see a crow sitting on the corner of Market of Choice's roof. Well, I dismissed him immediately, thinking the dove must be on the awning under which I was sitting. But then the crow did this little gulpy movement with his head twice in a row and I heard that soft musical double-note  coming from him! Twice in a row!

Then the bugger flew away.

I am not kidding you that I'm a bird dork and I am NOT kidding you my jaw dropped. After he flew away and I got to closing my boca, I wondered if anyone had noticed it suddenly drop open and wondered what the heck problems weirdo girl at her computer might be afflicted with.

I know crows can make some wacky noises, but that was the first that noise I'd ever heard one bust.

Anyhoo! I'll get down to business now and try to ignore the crow cawing back behind the parking lot. Maybe it'll come back and I can get a pic.

So this week we've started our third class, Visual Studies, which has taken the place of Suzi's Reporting and Information Strategies. To let you know what I think of it, I'll simply say this: I came here with the intention of pointing myself in the right direction for a career in writing and yet now I also  want to be: an editor (both in print and audio), a graphic/web designer and now a photographer! I have the editing/design ambitions thanks to my Newspaper Editing class where we have learned not just the obvious (thanks to the title) but also html and page design; the audio editing was something we did in Suzi's class and now I totally want to be a photographer too as we learn (in bootcamp are all the classes: short, sweet and JAM packed) how to work digital SLRs! Our teacher is quite the character (aren't they all, aren't we all) a gruff guy with years and years of experience under his belt. He's done a huge amount of work overseas, including areas in war.

We've spent the week learning and practicing how to determine shutter speed, ISO and aperture. It's fun to climb up the steep learning curve and feel slightly more competent each day. A lot of that I'll attribute to Chris. Although he is no longer my partner since the last class ended, that didn't stop me from recruiting him to give us an in-depth tutorial in Washburne Park after class ended. Ted, Ryan and I bopped around taking pictures each taking turns calling Chris over to help us understand what the heck we were doing. It juuust happened to be his birthday that day so he, Ted and I headed to Bepe and Gianno's for an authentic Italian dinner.

The food was IN.credible. We did the meal family style (which is how Chris, who is half Italian, told us his family would do it) and ordered all different courses, completely driven to ecstasy over each one--crostini with bree and roasted garlic cloves; pesto penne, eggplant parmesan, and almond cake-piled high with mascarpone. Glorious. Oh and you can't possibly forget the red wine!

Wednesday I enjoyed another fantastic GEARs ride along McKenzie View and Sunderman. Gary asked me an interesting question: would I like Eugene as much if I wasn't a cyclist? Well at the time I said yes, thinking of all the hiking around here and the perfect size of the town, the nice people, the coffee, the foooood...but, on reflection, I think I should have said no. I'd still love Eugene, don't you dare question me on that, but. The absolute bliss that settles upon me as I'm flying along on some winding country road on a perfectly cloudless day with a large group of the most friendly and dedicated riders, I just can't say that I don't love it here a huge trashcan's worth more than I otherwise might.

Speaking of great bike rides. I had another today! We went out to Franklin Firehouse by way of Meadowview and had another mindblowingly perfect day. It's funny, people keep joking how we've hardly had a summer here with all the rain and "cold" but honestly, I've yet to feel any need to complain!

So the rest of the week involved taking photos, learning how to use photoshop, laying out in Hendrick's Park with the dudes (my program posse) and eating a lot of Clif Bars (I need to stop buying those things...).

Well I was going to post this blog earlier but then I had to run off to work. Work has been fun but I haven't been called in much because they're really down this year, customer-wise. Aside from the usual difficulties of being on-call, working less has been okay for me because classes are a great big heap on my plate at the moment, but money is always nice...

Tomorrow I'm going on a hike up in las montaƱas with the Eugene Hiking meetup group. I offered to be a driver for the carpool so it probably would be a good idea to get some sleep so I can drive with all my faculties tomorrow! So, I bid a fond goodnight.

ps. Sending strong, supportive thoughts to Norway <3

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rain!?? Are you kidding me?

So last week went by in a blur, good thing I keep sticky notes on my desktop that recount the week's event so I can then elaborate (and elaborate, and elaborate...) on them.

Now. What better to start the week off than a resounding, cringe-inducing "CRUNCH"?

Well a heck of a lot, actually.

So the next thing I hear behind me as I'm locking up my bike  is "Oh no, were those yours?" I look down at the sidewalk where my war-torn glasses lie, completely smooshed.

If I recall correctly, there was an "Oh ****" uttered as I picked them up, staring at them through my prescription sunglasses that I always wear on my bicycle. The girl looked really uneasy and after attempting to bend them back to life, I let her take the cue to flee with an "It's not your fault".

My prof told me where I could go to get them bent back into shape because luckily the lenses weren't broken. I found my blurry way to the eyewear/doc store/place and in minutes I had my glasses back and in much better condition. No charge!

That afternoon we had what is known as a Grammar Party; it was organized by Melissa who was here last year. Tom Wheeler was ever so kind to give us a 2+ hour grammar review with a full on power point presentation. It was absolutely what we needed, although not everyone stuck around to find that out! Melissa (it was her birthday!) brought snacks and we munched on those while getting the grammar breakdown. I thought it was really awesome of the prof (to whom this was our first introduction) to put that time in for us. Grammar is hard, especially when you didn't get much of it in school. I attribute mine to reading and my Mom for always correcting me.

For Tuesday, Chris and I spent the entirety of our afternoon editing our video interviews on the river trail.

It's pretty neat to reach the finished product, after matching up video with audio, putting in background sounds and doing the voice overs. Took a long time, though! Turns out this is a lot of what we'll be doing in my next class, Visual Studies. Oh yea, and it rained. And everyone says how it's "so unusual" this "never happens" summers are "always sunny". Well sitting in class soaking wet, I was feeling heavy doubt in these Oregonians. Maybe that means the winter will be sunshine city??

Wednesday I made brownies for the following day, our last class with Suzi. I went on the Wednesday bike ride and it was fantastic out. It seemed like cyclists were coming out of the woodwork as we made our way over Bailey Hill (a doozie) to the Loraine, Spencer's Hwy crossroads. We met another group of about 30 who passed us by and Gary, our fearless ride leader, says how he loves to see more cyclists than cars on the road. Both ahead of us and behind, there were just loads of us! I loved being a part of that.

So Thursday Suzi had a movie for us and we ate all variety of baked goods brought in by only the girls of the group, I totally called that one in my head. Chris brought a handful of cheeze-its in a sandwich bag, but that definitely doesn't count. The movie was about this crazy journalist that wrote all these amazing stories and then the question comes up of whether he didn't make them all up..I love how Suzi says at the end "Don't do that." because hey, who knows, if I hadn't seen that movie, I might be embellishing left and right!
...I'm sad the class is over.

So Friday I went on another awesome ride (I think it'll be not awesome if I get hit by the pavement. They won't let you join the rides if you don't wear a helmet and believe me, that is never an issue for me!) this was with my new cycling friend Rachel who I met through GEARs. She mapped out a really great route with three big ol' hills and lots of beautiful tree-bedecked slopes. We saw a bobcat! A little one, but there was no doubt as it bounded across the deserted highway. Just after it disappeared, a turkey chick scrambled across the road in the opposite direction! We saw the mother at the edge of the woods into which the bobcat disappeared and wondered if we'd just interrupted a hunt in progress!

For the afternoon, I worked on my profile on Tilke Elkins (check it out here!) at my coffeeshop/office. They have live music every Friday so I sat outside and typed away while listening to the band.

Saturday I slept in because it seems like the tired that I don't feel during the week hits me like a million tons on the weekend. I didn't go on the ride because it was raining and I couldn't get my tired body moving at 7:30am so I skipped out (and felt very guilty about it later...I let the rain get the best of me!). In the afternoon I joined Cathy and her work friend Jasmine for the Symphony in the Park, which I won ticket to via Twitter!  Mind you, the event is free but it has limited spots and there were no tickets left available except through a Eugene radio station that tweeted something about being one of the first 5 to email them, you could win a pair of tickets..well it had been tweeted 45 minutes prior but I for the heck of it shot off an email and not five minutes later they wrote back saying congrats and come pick up the tickets at the station headquarters! Pretty flippin' cool if I do say so myself!

The concert was awesome, the Eugene Symphony played in the outdoor Cuthbert Amphitheater and we sat in the grass, ate pizza and drank wine while listening to a very talented group of musicians. There were several songs sung as well, by a pair of opera (?) singers who were phenomenal! I really loved watching the conductor work his baton as if he were drawing the music out of the instruments before him. The rain, which had been pretty heavy all day, somehow neglected to drench our evening and everyone was pleased of that.

Not a bad venue!

Yesterday I woke up to...more rain. I feel like the more rain right now, definitely the more sun during the winter, it just has to be. Right? So Rachel and I had planned a hike and I invited Ted and Chris from my class. We took basically all morning to rally up because we all were tired and not eager to go tromping in the drippy woods but after some Supreme Bean persuasion, we piled into Rachel's car and headed east. The drive was gorgeous and so quickly it seemed we were in the mountains. The trunks and branches of the trees seemed to materialize more and more moss the farther we went.

The rain stayed with us for a good part of the drive but gave up while we were trying to decide on a trail (and where that trail may be..they're elusive!). Finally we settled on Hardesty trail near Oak Ridge. It was beautiful and mossy...and muted in a way. I guess the thick ground cover and the lushness of the forest does that. We did 5 miles or so out and then started back upon the start of a slight, sprinkling rain. That and the rumbling in our stomachs quickened our pace. It was fun to spend time with my new buds and do some serious hiking. I'm feeling like I once again evaded the rain and now it's going to sneak up on me and wreak some havoc soon...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oregon Country Fair!! ...and other stuff.

After class on Thursday I rode over to The Whittaker area of Eugene..the artsy hip side 'o town. I had a 4 o'clock one-on-one interview with the art-maker who's gallery show I attended last week. I had decided to do a feature piece on her and I am so glad that I did, the interview went great! It was fun to just ask her all about her art background, methods and what inspires her. We talked for more than two hours and I got a wealth of notes to work with. It was nice because we really got to a comfortable space where she was really open in speaking about many fascinating parts about herself and her work and I felt good with the questions I'd prepared and the whole thing went so smoothly.

Interview is too much fun. We've been doing that a lot this week for our various assignments and just really find out such interesting things about people and their backgrounds. Being able to approach someone and just get their story is something that I somehow can do with confidence when I'm "on the job". I was worried about how I'd do, since my journalism leanings was more focused on the writing with the interview part of the work looming darkly over me. Well it sure isn't looming anymore now that I've taken off the water wings and taken the jump off this crazy world!

That's not to say I won't be getting the dreaded Bad Interview Experience. I just gotta deal with it when it (or many of 'it') comes.

So this weekend has had its interesting spots: let's see, there was the GUH-orges Saturday ride that had a great group. We did 50 miles and I was enjoying feeling much better than I did on the Wednesday ride. I'm making some cool friends and getting really familiar with the regulars so that I feel more part of the group each time. It's nice feeling that community feeling, corny as that sounds!

That evening, Chris and I went down to do interviews on the River Trail for one of our many class assignments. I was pretty exhausted and it seems like the week has compounded the lack of sleep and hard work to result mush for brains. Somehow that was enough to do the interview as Chris worked the camera. We had a good time with it, though, and talked with this one couple who had 7 foster kids! I was pretty impressed, most of the kids they took in were "problem" (translates to badly treated) children. They have their hands full but seem like they're absolutely made for it and, hey, if they're willing in able, more power to them.

So the thing about being mush for brains on Saturday? Well, not having a chance to rest and recuperate made it so that Sunday morning I was absolutely completely MUSH. I met Chris and Damien at the bus station to catch the shuttle for the Oregon Country Fair. Well, Damien was a ball of excited energy. Chris walked up and exuded that very same aura of exhaustion that I'm becoming so familiar with! We bobble-headed onto the shuttle for the 40-ish minutes to Veneta.

The fair is something that anyone who has been to it will tell you that if you're in Oregon when it's on, you absolutely MUST go. No questions, no arguments, just go. So we went.

And let me tell you.

This guy did The Labrinth David Bowie crystal ball hand thing!
If you're ever in Oregon and the Oregon Country Fair is on, GO. It was so freakin' great, I can't even describe so bear with me while I try. We get to the grounds and for the first stretch, all you saw were tents. People from all over come for this thing. I'm telling you.

So it is basically a verdant maze with hand-built wooden booths, of all variety, that are just too charming for words and blend perfectly into the forest-setting. The artistry that is represented is phenomenal and the people watching is Out. Of. This. World.

You've got stilt walking can-can "girls" (the quotes signify that you want to take that term loosely); elaborate, colorful costumes and quite obviously thought-out-specifically-for-the-fair outfits, hats, hair, etc.; beautifully intricate painted bodies with no holds barred on the sparkles; musicians and bands playing at random throughout the area; really the whole thing was stimulation overload but it worked out because it brought me out of my zombie coma.

We wandered, ate yummy food, marveled at the crafts and artwork, and I reveled in staring to my heart's content at anyone and everyone.

Random yoga "room" in the forest.
Our teacher was gracious enough to grant us the permission to "cover" the fair for our news piece this week since Chris and I couldn't find anything in our beat. I ended up interviewing a mandolin-maker, did you know that they call stringed instrument-makers luthiers? Well I didn't and now that's my new favorite word. It has such a beautiful sound to it. His works were similarly beautiful. Check out his time lapse video of making a ukelele on his website!

So my favorite part of the Eugene Country Fair was....storming the drum circle. I'm talking with, probably a hundred something people, a full-blown march across the entire fairgrounds, through the winding maze until we reached the drummers and waged war. For serious!

Well, it all started at the accordion guy's show. Jason Webley played to a huge group of us, all under this huge multi-colored tent. The guy was fantastic, a complete goof and really talented. He asked for recommendations and would burst into whatever song was called out with his accordion and complete enthusiasm. Near the end, he had us all stand up and he threw out the contents of a big huge bag to the crowd: tons of water bottles with beads or rocks in them. He told us he was going to storm the drum circle and show them that the Accordions were number one! So he seriously got everyone all jiggered up and started started a huge parade across the grounds, winding their way through the forest and lines of artist booths chanting for everyone to hear: "You with the drum, you'd better run, the time has come for acoooooor-di-on!" Well, wasn't about to get left behind so I got right in there and took up the chant with Damien, and Chris (daggummit!) who cleverly claimed it for his fair story ran ahead taking pictures. Somehow, all these accordionists appeared out of nowhere and melded into the crowd, playing away as we all marched forward, nothing but energy and good completely off-the-wall goofy fun! We made it to this bridge and there was our first battle, a line of drummers beating overturned buckets with sticks but they were no match for our force nor our volume. We broke through and made it to the drummers, who were ready for us. The accordionists played hard and we cheered them on. Webley climbed up to this crazy treehouse type structure (there were lots of these around btw) and played on and totally keeping us cheering, chanting against our foes. It was pretty incredible, the accordions and the thundering drums and the multitude of bodies. Very much what you would call a rush, yessirrie. Quite an experience, let me tell you.

I think we lost, though. *Sigh* .....But not for lack of spirit!!

PS. If you ever happen to be anywhere within some several hundred miles-or even more for that matter-of the Oregon Country Fair:

Just Go.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Turtle Gazing at the Moon

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day! I will admit, though that I felt the most patriotic today, the 8th of July, when I watched the space shuttle take off this morning. It was just an absolutely incredible sight, and emotional as well. I definitely felt some tear well up but they were those of excitement, wonder and pride. Just imagine what must have been going through the minds of those astronauts as they listened to the countdown...

In other news, well there's a boatload of it. I'll try not to get too carried away. (I got carried away..)

On Saturday I did a GEARs ride up to some covered bridges, it was a perfect day and I made a new friend! Her name is Rachel and we have an incredible amount in common, not to mention that we live really, really close to each other! She is a nurse at the hospital in town. We've both been too busy this week to hang out so I'm excited to see her again tomorrow.

Painting by Noelle Dass
On Sunday, Chris and I went to the Arts and the Vineyard festival on the north side of the Willamette River. It was a huge craft festival and I was covering it for my next story. Chris came alone to be my photographer (and good thing too, his pictures were far better than I could ever dream of taking). I interviewed a handful of artists and we both were totally enamored by our own chosen painting in one's mine, a turtle by Noelle Dass. Can you honestly blame me? I mean really.

It was really neat to hear the stories of the artists and how the world of festival hopping is not an easy one..constantly having to find and apply to new festivals and pumping out new work to have fresh supplies for buyers. It's not easy, but they love doing it, doing their chosen art and seeing people appreciate it.

It was a beautiful day and my photographer did a fantastic job of getting some really great shots.

Photo Credit: Chris M. Scotti

We watched a folk music duo play their various stringed instruments and sing in harmony to wind up a nice afternoon at the festival.

I met my friend Holly at Prince Puckler's, a homemade ice cream shop and we enjoyed rich creamy goodness and she got me back on track with my knitting. I'd say I progressed since I last saw her (which is when she got me started), but I pretty much missed a stitch not five minutes into trying it on my own when I got home that it's been pending until today where she had me start all over! Haha, she just slipped the whole thing off the needle, not that it was much at all..three rows? But it had the essence of a bandaid being violently ripped off!

On my bike ride home, when I passed Washburn Park on Agate St. I heard jazz music so I peeled off to check it out. The whole field was filled with people out on lawn chairs and blankets and a band played on a concrete patio "stage" on the north end of the field. They were a brass quartet and I pushed my bike up and plopped down on the grass to watch as the evening slowly closed in, breezy and golden.

Monday Chris and I met up to do the Butte to Butte 10k! We tried to find Melissa (also in our program) who was also signed up to run..we imagined finding her at the start line. There was absolutely no chance, the crowd of 4,500 runners and walkers and their significant whatevers just did absolutely nothing to help us find our running-mate. Rude, right?

So after milling about for awhile and warming up, finally all the 10k runners lined (massed?) up behind the start line. We shoved ourselves in the mix. Then we waited some more...til' the shot went off and we smacked pavement. Like, with our soles I mean. Although when we faced Donald Street which should be called Donald Mountain, I sure felt like my face might smack pavement! After a mile of steep uphill, we were greeted by first a sign that said "Free Donuts Ahead!", I laughed, thinking it was a funny joke and hoping for water. Nope. Boxes and boxes of donuts piled on a table at the end of a driveway full of cheerers on. I didn't see too many runners opt for what might have been a wonderfully kind gesture in any other possible circumstance. I skirted around them, trying not to think about fatty sugary goodness forming a solid rock deep in my shell-shocked innards.

But truthfully, it was a great run. Chris left me in the dust about 20 meters in and for the rest of the race I watched people with longer legs and wider strides fly past me in a never-ending stream, even on the downhill! I felt great though, enjoyed the run, the people-watching; and smiling, waving and saying thanks to the almost constant presence of onlookers cheering us on. That was definitely awesome.

In the last mile there was a man playing a big standing xylophone, a band playing either Under the Boardwalk or a song from the Little Mermaid, I can't remember which. As the song faded behind me, a second band was set up and playing a couple blocks down from the first! When I could finally see the finish line in the distance, I went into a sprint and somehow held it til the end, almost not able to stop in time at the crowded bottleneck of runners ahead. You can actually watch me come in at 1:01:20-something in this can scroll/fast-forward to 1:15 and watch me narrowly avoid running into the camera...

We were given bagels and water and energy drinks and I went and sat on a picnic table on a hill overlooking the final stretch and watched the never-ending flow of runners come in.

Melissa found me! But then she went to find water and we didn't see each other again. Chris found me! We watched for awhile and then pretty much walked the opposite of what we had just run (minus the hill) back to my house where he parked his car. It made for a good cool-down!

Later in the day we met back up for food and fireworks. Before we got to the fireworks, though, as we walked through campus I saw three guys playing soccer on one of the fields and after seeing if Chris was game, we walked up and asked to play with them! It was so fun, we played for around 45 minutes with these guys, two of which had arrived not long ago from Dubai. They were all really good so Chris and I made sure to let them know that we'd be "so much better" (pahaha..doubtful!!) if we hadn't run 10 kilometers that morning. Finally on the verge of cardiac and what I'm just going to call body arrest, we limped off after shaking hands with our new friends and heartily agreeing that it was a pleasure to play with them.

We joined some fraction of Eugene on the bike bridge above campus and saw some far off fireworks there and then decided to walk (limp) over the Autzen Stadium (yea yea, go ducks) to watch what ended up being a great show and we were able to get real close!  I think I blacked out from exhaustion after that. Buuut, t'was a super long but super fun day!

Monday Suzi had us interview (gah!) students around campus. That was nervy (I use this word in place of nerve-wracking, not gutsy, just sos you know). Nevertheless, it ended up being really fun and I loved hearing how they responded to my list of questions about what they thought of the news, if it was trustworthy, how they obtained it (tv, internet, paper), how much they followed it, etc. It was fascinating! Asking random people questions is fun. I did get some heavily annoyed looks when I came up to a table or two, though, and backed away pretty quickly to search for friendlier faces. I talked with one guy from Saudi Arabia who was working on his English so it was hard to get him to exactly understand my questions but just hearing a bit about him, assignment aside, was really neat and I would have stayed longer if I didn't still have more interviews to do.

This week we started our Newspaper Editing class with John Russial, who use to be an editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer which is famed as one of the best edited papers. The class is really me. So I'm the dork of my group that really gets a kick of spending an hour editing articles, what of it? I'm not saying that means I'm good at it, though. It's not easy! We have to not only check for grammar, punctuation and spelling, but also fact check. Now that is not easy and is very time consuming (or consuming of my time because I always seem to be the last one to leave after the clock has struck end o' class). I'm learning tons about AP style..which is basically a way to keep your publication standard between articles and authors, as far as making sure everyone complies with a single certain way of abbreviating, punctuating, etc. even if there are more correct ways than just one. This way your publication looks more professional, less haphazard. There are a lot of rules though, and they're definitely not all intuitive.

Did a GEARs ride on Wednesday! It was super windy and we were heading straight into it for probably 10 or 15 miles. This wasn't a particularly long ride and the entire way home had the wind at our backs but I sure was wiped out by the end of it. I was still getting through the soreness from the Butte to Butte and my legs were pretty much down for the count when we finally wheeled back into Alton Baker Park. Sterling, a 70-something man with a long white beard who had remarked on my pace a couple of weeks ago brought me some old clip in pedals of his that he had promised to bring. I was really taken by his generosity, as these are not cheap! It'll be great if I can hunt down some shoes now that aren't over the top expensive. This way I'll be able to pedal more efficiently, getting forward motion not only on the downstroke but the upstroke as well. Course, how many times I'll topple over for not unclipping in time to catch myself on a stop is yet to be determined but I'm betting I might be cursing those pedals for the week or two of trying them out...!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Journalist on the Run

Feet at an artist opening we covered on Thursday
So I've been working for the past two nights at my job at Chef's Kitchen. It's really been fun, my co-worker Chelsea has taught me how to open. The day after learning how to do it, I was made to do it again, but this time solo! I found that I really enjoy working as a server (not that I'm taking orders yet, I'm happy for that to come in time!) because I like the act of prepping everything-like setting up the salad station, getting the ice, restocking the wine shelves, wiping down the restaurant, etc.

Nevertheless, I'm no pro. After proudly shelving the last bottle of new wine, The Chef comes out, with a serious look on his face, "Did you just restock the wine?" Yes! and don't you see me, such a good little worker, taking initiative over here and sweeping the floor when no one asked me to?? "Did you put the newest bottles in the back?" Uhhhh..ermm... " You always have to put the newest wine bottles in the back so that the oldest get used up first, and it's not just the wine bottles either, it's everything. That's how it works in a restaurant, it's intuitive!" Oops.

So yea, back down I go, this time taking ALL the bottles out and, with the supply receipt, carefully making sure to re-shelve the bottles so that the ones that had just been bough were at the back.

Yea, you've seen this before. So pretty.
Ya live and ya learn and ya make stupid mistakes...but hopefully only just once.

The rest of both nights went great though! I love it when there's actually a good number of customers and Chelsea and I are wildly running around trying to refill waters and clear away finished plates while our prep cook yells out what plate is ready to go to what table. And when that plate is ready, you gotta drop everything to get it out there! It is just too much fun!

Classes have been fun, we're learning audio this week. Chris and I went out and did interviews along the river trail. 

He taught me a good deal about audio editing which is so. cool. I don't know why, but I'm finding I really enjoy computery stuff. In fact, the other night I was up til 1:30am (which is actually late for me out here, no laughing!) completely enamored with this HTML tutorial. I made my own webpage...from nothing!!

It was just so darn neat to follow the directions and type out all this code into my computer's notepad application and save it and then open up a web browser, type in the address I made and there it was!!

Mind you, this took about 1 1/2hrs of tutorial-ing...and it doesn't look really much like anything...but this is a screen shot of my web browser (cropped so I could zoom in on the most important part)! Course, now I can't figure out how to get back to it...otherwise I'd give you a link, but still!

Hey, bear with me, I'm a beginner! But it was really fun to feel like I was behind the scenes and seeing how much work goes in to even just something as simple looking as what you see above. Very cool and I have Mindy McAdams, her Journalist's Toolkit and HTML Dog to thank!

Yesterday was busy, after class we enjoyed a cohort get-together which extended from a late brunch into the entire afternoon! We moved to a cute park on Monroe and sat and talked and kicked around a soccer ball, chased Tucker (Amber's puppydog), watched the park-going kids chase was a fun time and a great chance to relax and have fun together. We're bonding! I think our group is fantastic.

A goofy pic of Tucker on the move! My new bff, btw.

That evening, Chris and I finished editing our audio postcard and rushed down to The Whiteaker neighborhood to cover an Artist Talk at The Voyeur. I've never been to a talk before and it was fascinating to hear her talk all about her inspirations around her art, which was really quite beautiful. She had a very interesting perspective on nature and how she let her art present itself. Tilke Elkins, was the artist's name. I decided that I'd love to use her for my final project in my Reporting and Information Strategies class. We have to write a feature on someone and I think it'd be really fun to do a more focused interview on her and her work, and turn it into my feature! She was totally open to the idea and we are planning to do it sometime next Thursday!