Friday, February 27, 2009
A long time ago, on one of my flights, I found a page inside the SkyMall catalog that would let you order a personalized font. I thought it sounded amazing!
It was a cardstock insert, and on both sides of the page it had little cells in light blue. They had guidelines, so that you knew how tall the letters should be and where the baseline would be, kind of like when you're learning to write, except more technical.
I. Wanted. One.
All you had to do was fill out the paper, and send it in with like, $300, and they would send you a disk with your font on it.
This amazed me.
I tore out the paper, and practiced my writing so that if I somehow stumbled upon lots of money I would be prepared to send my page in and get my font.
But $300 was a lot of money. Even more than the $84 ($82?) that an American Girls Collection doll that I couldn't afford either. Much more.
So I never got my very own, personalized font. Even though my little letters were written out perfectly, and I didn't go outside of any of the lines or ignore the baseline. I sure coveted that font though, the same way I wanted a "Welcome to (my longitude) (my latitude)" doormat that I saw in the SkyMall magazine a few flights ago. Okay, I actually wanted the font even more than that.
Imagine my surprise and excitement when Olympus shared Bismark's link to Yourfonts.com, which is a site that creates personalized fonts for FREE.
I printed out the pages with the little cells, and even though only the first page is required, I filled out both pages, so that I would have the extra letters with accents and stuff.
And then I carried them around in my notebook for a few weeks because I don't have a scanner. And I use scanners every day at work, but I just really didn't think about it. We've been busy.
But today, I finally took the time to nab a scanner in the computer lab, and I uploaded my pages that I wrote so carefully, and in about a minute I had my very own personalized font.
Holy smokes! It's as good as I had always hoped it would be. For like, years.
My only trouble now is, what do I do with it?
I can't decide.
I suppose I'll probably use it on posters. I could use it to write people letters. But when I send real letters, I kind of like to really write them. Because there's just something nice about real, handwritten letters that are not just typed letters that look handwritten.
I'm really excited with how it came out, though. The letters nestle all together just like real writing, and not with all the extra space around them like when I actually wrote them. Typing actually does look pretty much like my actual writing, aside from the fact that my real writing has variation. For example, sometimes my "e" are round, and sometimes they're sharp (like this font). I'll use both in the same sentence sometimes. I think maybe it has something to do with what letters it's next to...but I digress...
I highly recommend YourFonts.com because:
1. It is kind of a novelty.
2. You don't have to be a fancy technical person to use it.
3. It does not cost $300.
4. You don't have to wait until you get your hands on a copy of SkyMall to do it.
5. You can pretend you've written out your homework or essay by hand, and actually type it.
6. You can write letters that have a personal touch, even though they're typed. (Note: If you type because your handwriting is illegible, this will evoke in others a sense of irony, because your writing will still be typed, and also still be illegible.)
7. You can send postcards to clients that seem like they're personalized but are not.
8. You can address your wedding invitations by hand without actually doing anything by hand.
9. If you trick your friend into filling out all of the cells, you can write your friend letters from himself.
10. They even have a fancy schmantzy extra high resolution option in case you just can't get enough of your own handwriting.
11. You can write letters to companies that appear to be personal but are not.
12. Times New Roman, Schmimes New Roman. Who needs it?!
13. Um. Actually. I think those are all of the reasons that I've got for now.
OH! 13. It says on the site that you can use your font to personalize your digital scrapbook pages. This is actually a really good idea. I will probably do this.
I'm going to make more. I'm going to make a handwriting one, and I don't know what other fonts, but this is just too fantastic for me to stop with one!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I've been going through a list of several classic law movies.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I got a text today, at 6:24pm, from 5000 that read:
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
4 tablespoons sugar (You can decrease this amount slightly.)
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using)
and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook
for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if
desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or
Note:Using a 12 ounce mug is ideal, and won't rise over the top.
Monday, February 09, 2009
This past weekend I stayed at Jessica's house for Friday evening and most of Saturday. There were two main reasons for my visit; Jess had a project she wanted me to participate in, and I had one I wanted her to do with me.
Jessica wanted me to run a 5K with her. It was her first 5K ever! I told her all about how fun 5Ks are, and then the one we did was actually quite a bit different than the other races I've run.
The race that we did was the No Snow (indoor!) 5K at UVU. It had a pretty good turnout considering that it was the first year they've done it. I think they said there were about a hundred people.
Since UVU's buildings are all connected, they had two different routes that people could run/jog/walk—one with stairs and one without, and both went through a bunch of the different buildings.
Jess had kind of the same experience that I did when I ran my first 5K—she had been using the elliptical machine and it wasn't the same as running. So that was a lot of fun. At my first race, though, I got a medal for finishing. Which was awesome. And people waited along the finish line to cheer for everyone as they finished. I told Jess about this; it doesn't matter whether you're one of the people who officially wins—runners are suuuuper supportive of each other.
But not at the UVU race.
What happened was, we all ran, and when we finished the race, Jess and I had run 3 miles in like 15 minutes. Except that we hadn't. Apparently there had been some problem with measuring the distance of the race. So everyone was setting new personal records. And they realized that something wasn't quite right. Nobody knew how far we had actually run.
"Well, this is the end," they told us, "so you can finish now, or some people are running it again."
Jess and I decided to run the race again.
Afterwards, there was a pancake breakfast for everyone who had run. The guy who was announcing apologized for the confusion with the distance, and joked that we should tell our friends that UVU is the place to set a new personal record. He promised that next year the distance would be correct. He thanked us for helping raise a bunch of money for Habitat for Humanity.
They gave away prizes, and I didn't win anything (I never do at races), but Jess won a gift card for the outdoor store on campus. It was kind of funny that she won it because Jessica's idea of camping is staying at a motel instead of a hotel. She's not exactly outdoorsy. But it was fun for her to win.
So overall, the race was good. It was cool to be able to run a race indoors. It would have been more fun if there had been race numbers, and if the finish line was not confusing, so that people would have cheered as everyone finished.
I think there are a few different purposes to running: first, there's the race aspect. People want to know how fast they run, and they want to compete. And that part of the "race" didn't work.
But more than that, there is a sense of community. At races, everyone is out there doing something healthy. They're supporting some cause or another, and supporting each other. People are having a good time doing something that they enjoy doing. I think that part of the race was still there. Plus the shirts were pretty cool.
They gave us fliers for another race at the beginning of March, which is actually right by Jessica's house. It's a Red Cross one, and it's not the first year, so I hope that if we do that one together too, there will be numbers and goodie bags with fliers for other races, (and red shirts,) and people cheering at the end. And then Jess will see that running is so much more fun that she ever thought it would be.
(Because it is.)
And our other project for the weekend was my project. It was fantastic, just like I knew it would be. Buuut it's still a secret. I'll blog about it later this week. And post some excellent pictures.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
The big thing we discussed was gender. Judith Butler wrote all about this. Girls are not girls; they're just people who perform girl-ness by having curves, and by walking the way girls walk, and by talking and dressing and doing everything else the way girls do those things.
[I think that's kind of ridiculous because I'm religious and I absolutely believe that gender is part of who God intended us to be, and not just something that we arbitrarily perform, but I digress.]
This also works for other things. I've started running more. I perform "runner" by wearing runner clothes, having the runner stuff, going to run in the morning, etc.
My real reason for mentioning this, though, is that I think people and schools are obsessed with performing green-ness. And by doing all of the things that look green, people feel more modern and like they're doing more for the environment than maybe they actually are.
When I visited Harvard during fall break, they had banners that said "GREEN IS THE NEW CRIMSON". Having banners like that does not do anything for the environment, but it gave me the impression that their school is doing more to act green, which may or may not be true. This raised my opinion of the school (but seriously, who has a bad opinion of Harvard?) because they were doing something that our culture values right now.
The University of Utah is also making an effort to go green. I think it's kind of funny, though, because the efforts that I have seen are not things that make a big difference, I don't think, but they're things that make it seem like we are doing more. I can think of four examples, which include two silly (but kind of practical) things, and two examples of budget cuts that were transformed into initiatives to go green.
1. Our campus had bike lanes painted onto some of our walkways down the middle of campus. To someone visiting our campus, we would seem really modern, and like we really care about the environment. The bike lanes signal to people that we have enough people riding bicycles instead of driving that we actually needed bike lanes. To someone visiting, or not paying attention, it would seem like something that would promote order, and something really organized.
This is not actually the case. The bike lanes don't really go very many places, and bikes don't really use the lanes very much. Since they are not used all that much, people walk on them just like they did before the lanes were painted.
2. Our campus cafeteria thing, Chartwells, put out water cups that are made of corn. They look like plastic cups, but they are "corn cups" and they are compostable. Why not just paper? Paper is compostable too. If we take a corn cup, water is free. If we take a paper Coke-style cup, water costs 30 cents. I understand that it's a good idea to replace Styrofoam (in fact Styrofoam is one thing that I actually care about), but corn cups seem like they're more for show than actual concern about the environment. I don't actually know much about this, though, so I did a basic search online. Corn cups are $127 for a case of 1000, with a multiple case quantity discount. Coke cups are $87 for a case of 1200.
3. This semester, most of my classes did not provide syllabuses. They were posted online. A couple teachers told us it was because we're going green. But they still expected us to print them out ourselves. SRSLY? It's not saving paper if we still have to print it. And, not only that, even if we do lose 1/4 of our funding, I am paying enough tuition that I believe I am entitled to syllabuses in all of my classes. For 3 cents a page, just splurge. Please, just splurge. Or charge everyone a $1 copy fee that covers all of the syllabuses.
4. At work (on campus), the school is not supplying Kleenex anymore. Okay. That's fine. I seldom get sick. There was a sign up though, that said it was because of budget cuts and also an effort to go green. Huh? How does that help us go green? The sign also said that the full-time people would be buying it instead, and that part-timers were welcome to contribute if they wanted to. Seems to me that if we're still buying and using Kleenex it isn't actually going to do anything to help us go green. They would have to give us handkerchiefs if we were really going to stop using Kleenex. And is that even greener anyway? Because how much water/energy does it take to wash a handkerchief? I don't know. I laughed when I read the note, because it sounded like a joke. It wasn't.
I partly think I should really embrace this stuff, though, and get all excited about going green, too, and involved in having more bike lanes painted--so that when I'm applying for grad school it looks like I actually care. Schools like to think that people care about this stuff. Because if they admit students who care, and more of the student body cares, then the institution cares more. Right? (Ha. Ironically, this is a logical fallacy.)
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
On Friday I volunteered at the Symphony.
I got all dressed up (but with flat shoes; volunteers will be standing for most of their shift) and caught a train.
I picked a spot near the middle of the train, where I had a normal bench, and then there was a seat facing the middle of the bus right in front of my bench.
A guy got on the train and sat in the seat right by my bench (instead of choosing a seat facing forward). Although I was reading something on my phone, I noticed that he was staring at me. He was a guy from somewhere in the middle east, and he looked about 40.
"Hello," he said.
"Hello," I replied.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"Emily," I said. "Yours?"
"David." He held his hand out, and I shook it. Because that's the polite thing to do.
"I liking you verymuch." He told me. He grinned. He grinned a lot while we talked.
"Oh, thanks," I said. [Because what do you say when someone tells you they liking you verymuch?]
I went back to reading on my phone, and he kept watching me.
"I like verymuch."
And then he put his hand on my thigh, like right above my knee, and left it there.
"I like verymuch."
I removed his hand. "Thanks."
Now that he had my attention, he started talking to me: "How old are you?"
"Twenty-five." I told him. "You?"
And while I waited for him to respond, I evaluated. He could be forty. Maybe 35. Maybe 32 and just looks older.
"Twenty-six!" [Of course.]
I didn't really say anything, so he reminded me, "I like verymuch." And he kind of pointed at me.
But I thought maybe he was pointing at my skirt because it was sparkly, so I told him I was volunteering at the symphony.
"Ah," he said, as though he understood.
I started looking outside the train to see where we were, because I needed to get off at the grocery store to get new stockings, since they seem appropriate for the symphony.
My stop was coming up so I gathered my stuff. He noticed that I was gathering my stuff, and he got up. He stood in front of the exit, waiting to get off before me.
"I like verymuch," he said, as we were getting off the train.
"Yeah," I said, not really impressed or surprised. "Like her very much!" I suggested, and I pointed to another girl who was getting on the train as we were getting off.
He smiled. "Ah." It was an affirmative noise, and I knew that he didn't understand but was pretending to, probably to impress me.
"You working?" he asked.
"No." Because I was going to the grocery store, not to work. And then I realized that probably wasn't what he was asking. "I'm a student," I added.
I avoided too much eye contact and focused on my phone, and on going to the grocery store.
I hoped he wouldn't keep following me.
We crossed the street and as we did, I remembered something funny:
[NOTE: I don't really remember the order of this story, or the details; I'll have to see if I can find something about it in one of my journals. This is basically what happened, though.]
When I was on my mission, we had problems with a guy following us. It all started because I thought we should give pass-along cards to everyone, because everyone needed the gospel in their lives. (Right?) So I invited this Albanian (I think?) guy to church. And he showed up at church during the week, and someone just happened to be there, and he said he was looking for the missionaries. And they mentioned our English lessons which were the next day.
I don't remember why we weren't there, but I think we weren't, and the Elders taught English that week. But he came for English class, completely drunk. Great.
And then, the next morning we were grocery shopping and he saw us as we were about to leave the grocery store. He said hi to me, and started talking, and kept talking and kept talking. And all of us had finished buying our groceries, and he started following us as we were walking home.
And he kept following us. And we kept, like, concluding the conversation and like saying goodbye, and he kept following us.
And we didn't want to bring him home with us, but we had a ton of groceries, so we weren't really sure what to do.
We ended up taking a bus from our little suburb to downtown Genova. We carried all of our groceries to the church. AND! He came with us on the bus. One of my companions asked him what he was doing that day, and he had nothing he was doing. Great.
When we got downtown, he stopped following us, and we waited at the church for a couple hours to be sure that he was gone, and then we went home.
After that, my companions would only let me give pass-along cards with the Elders' phone number to questionable people.
But David didn't follow me. When we got across the street, he said "Goodbye!" and I said "Goodbye," and we walked in opposite directions.