Friday, August 28, 2009

For Lease

Company signage I designed

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dry Cleaning

What is it about dropping off dry cleaning that makes you feel so mature and chic? Dropping off my husband's suit for his interview on Monday!
(image from google)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kirkwood Pioneers Ad

Ad I did for the Kirkwood Pioneers Boosters Athletic Program

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Note to Self: Be Smart, Be Funny

So, I got this forward today. The sigificant thing about it is that I actually read it. Usually as soon as I see FW:, I delete it without a second thought. But my friend had taken the time to put "Read this, this is funny" in the subject line.

"Okay friend," I thought, "I will read this. Just because you specifically recommended it."

So I read the forward. The thing is, it was truly funny in a sarcastic and relevent way. What it actualy said really isn't my point though. My point is, at the bottom of the forward was this guy's digital signature. Grant Thorton: Tax. Audit...blah blah blah. But you know what, I was so impressed by the forward (I had to restrain myself from laughing outloud - at work) that I had to check this guy out.

"This guy gets me. He knows what is going down around here," I thought.

I mean, I actually googled him. And, okay, Grant Thorton isn't a guy - it's the company.
Brilliant marketing strategy. I sooo wish I would have thought of it first. Viral marketing.

Public Transportation Access: Access Isn't Enough

The object of LEED Sustainable Sites credit 4.4 - Alternative Transportation: Public Transportation Access is to build or renovate in areas where existing (or planned and financially backed) infrastructure supports access to public transportation. But how is "access" defined? Is it all about location? And does "access" equate "usage"?

Access, in the simplest terms, means ability to use. Having access is a green light, but it does not necessarily = go. We may have access, but we also have a choice. We may have clearance to enter a building, but what is it that compels us to go in?
If we're talking about people, we say they are "accessible". Accessible people are approachable. They're friendly and they encourage interaction. Having access to public transportation isn't enough to generate a significant shift from personal transportation. Public transportation needs to be accessible.

Perhaps proximity most obviously defines "access". LEED says (in NC 2.2) that public transit within a 1/2 mile that has pedestrian access is "accessible". But let's look at pedestrian access. We could say it is simply a sidewalk, but I think it has to be more than that. A side walk is great, but who wants to walk along a busy road with all of the noise and fumes that entails? Pedestrian friendly should mean not only the infrastructure, but safety and freedom from excessive noise and pollution.

LEED addresses public transportation usage with a nice, neat formula. Basically, LEED says that in order to double ridership, the frequency must be quadrupled. So, if the bus stops four times a day, as opposed to twice a day, four times as many people will ride it. I think this equation does have merit. A transit system is not accessible if it never runs, or if it runs at weird hours, or if you miss one bus another one doesn't come for two hours. So, frequency is a valid factor for usage.
At the same time, I drive past multiple bus stops every day. I drive under the light rail system. Why aren't I, and others like me, riding? Personally, I have several excuses lined up. I don't know the schedule; I don't know how it works. There's a fear factor. I don't want to walk down Manchester from the bus stop to work. There's a sidewalk, but it's a busy street - traffic flies by and consists of not only passenger vehicles but semis, dumpsters, trailers - you name it. Plus the shoulder space between sidewalk and street is nervously small. Then there is my "American" aversion to being in close proximity with strangers, i.e. I might have to sit next to someone I don't know! What if they smell? What if they have a rash? What if I smell!?

But then I think back. Not that long ago, I was a student at the University of Illinois, and I road the bus class, to Dr. appointments, to the mall and the movies. I didn't have a car, because I knew I didn't need one. I didn't need one because there was a great student/public transit system in place.

So what's the difference? At the U of I, we were initiated into the transportation system. We were handed schedules and routes. Everyone knew "how" to ride the bus. It was part of the lifestyle.
So what will it take for a city (like St. Louis) to operate on mass transit? I would argue it will take a shift in attitude. Public transit will have to be a lifestyle choice - and an appealing one at that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Couple's Guide to Vegas (or How We Survived)

If you’re thinking about going to Sin City with your significant other, take this opportunity to rethink. If you’ve already booked your flight, definitely read on. This is not your normal romantic getaway - there will be obstacles. To make the most out of Vegas with your one-and-only, it is advisable you dress up, drink up, and then get out!

With all of the glitz and glamour of the strip, the pools and fountains, and the freezing temperatures in the casinos, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of the desert. Moisturize, apply your sun-block often, and stay hydrated. If you start feeling extra cranky, not only will it detract from time spent with your love, it could be a sign of dehydration. If walking down sunny Las Vegas Boulevard only renders stormy broodings and dismal thoughts, it may be time to walk into one of those ice cold casinos and grab an h20. You’ll feel pepped up in no time, and your beau will thank you for it. If water does not alter your mood, get yourselves to a bar. Spend some time out of the heat, distance yourselves from the dinging din of the casinos, relax and let the bartenders entertain you.

We all want to look our best, but just be forewarned that there will always be someone better looking than you in Vegas. Between the Pussy Cat Dolls, Chip and Dales, the high rollers and their arm candy, there is an endless supply of hot people. Be prepared to watch your significant other’s jaw drop to the floor at one point or another. Chances are, you’re probably staring too. It’s really not worth getting too worked up over. Don't get jealous - just pretend the hotties and freakshows are another eye catching casino or national treasure, like the Hoover Dam. Even take this opportunity to be a little more daring and baring with your own wardrobe than you would back at home.

Gambling is fun. But not always when you’re playing with your hunny bun. It’s hard enough to come out ahead on your own, but for both of you to win at the same time is a whole other story. Inevitably, you will end up watching your partner lose the hand you just won. It can still be fun, but just remember that “what’s mine is yours” takes on a whole new meaning when sitting around the black jack table.

Finally, the key to a truly fabulous Vegas get away with your sweetie is to leave there as soon as possible. This is not your ordinary lounge-on-the-beach-and-recharge type of vacation. It is a grueling test of how much fun you and your better half can handle. As a general rule, the longer you stay, the more sleep deprived and broke you will end up - major strains on any relationship. If you arrive that night and leave that morning, you have a chance of remembering what an awesome time you had (hitting your lucky number on the roulette wheel! Spotting Lindsay Lohan at Pur! Best hot dog you ever had at three in the morning! Watching the sun come up over the desert!) You might even look forward to your next Vegas trip.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stadium Wedding

Getting married at Busch Stadium basically says, me and/or my fiance love baseball/cardinals. Other than that, it's hard to let your personality come through when having your event at a larger than life venue like Busch stadium. Definitely a unique experience for your guests, but lacks a wedding vibe. Maybe it's because no matter how large your wedding party, you'll be dwarfed by the huge stadium. A Busch Stadium wedding totally lacked the intimacy of a traditional wedding. The nervous twitches, tears, and laughter are all lost in the void that is an empty stadium. Even with your picture displayed largely on the scoreboard, you seem distant.

One other note, planning an outdoor wedding in August at 3:30 in the afternoon is a little risky. I blame the heat for slamming down one too many rum and cokes (just trying to rehydrate!) and spending a good portion of the night with my face in a toilet at the Ballpark Hilton.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Shopaholic Made Me Sad

I was ecstatic when I saw they were making the Shopaholic into a movie. I considered the Shopaholic series a guilty pleasure that was passable reading because it fell under the chic-lit category. So it's literature - I mean I took a class on this stuff in college!

Even my husband got on board and agreed to rent it with me.

[There are two plausible explanations for this:
1) secret crush on Isla Fisher (Rebecca Bloomwood)
2) thinly veiled man crush on Sacha Baron Cohen lived vicariously through his wife (Isla Fisher)]

So as we watched it, I began to feel more and more disappointed. First of all, Rebecca Bloomwood is a character defined by consumerism. And if you haven't notice lately, consumerism is part of a certain predicament our country is in. The magical plastic that may have seemed nice and shiny a year ago just seemed dull and foreboding. Bex's uninhibited spending just seemed cutesy when I read the book years ago (oops, went over my limit again!), but seems criminal in the current climate.

Also, Bex is clueless. She lands her job at a financial magazine through a mistake. The need for a fluke to get her the position undermines any brains or talent she may really have. Instead of being competent and qualified, she sort of trips and stumbles her way into a job she doesn't really want because it has to do with "finance" and not "fashion". Also, her boss who she falls in love with just so happens to be secretly from a filthy rich family. So convenient!

What did I find so charming about Rebecca Bloomwood the first time around? How is it that I am jealous of and annoyed with a fictional character?

My only hope is that perhaps she totally redeems herself in the end. I can't really remember the ending of the book. Plus, it was Sunday, so we had to stop the movie to watch "Kendra" on E. So maybe I'll never know.