Diary, Photos

Letterpress workshop

Thanks to my recent jump into the Twitter-verse (mostly for Eastman), I heard there was a letterpress workshop at the Genesee Center for the Arts and decided that I should take it. I mean, what good is feverishly reading all about typography (including a pretty nerdy piece on typography in the movies) if I don’t start with the beginning basics?

The workshop was supposed to be from 10AM-1PM, but we definitely went overtime. The instructor, Mitch, was very knowledgeable, patient, supportive, and perceptive. I definitely want to take more classes at the center – looking at pointed pen calligraphy next. Birthday present, anybody?

For this workshop, we were making a card, so I decided that it would be smart to make one for Adrian’s mom (since it’s her 50th and I can’t go to Costa Rica this week for her birthday party). I plotted a few ideas in my head before class and knew that I was thinking of centered justified text for the front, which turned out to be much harder when you only have pre-defined typefaces and sizes! No .5pt sizes like I have in Illustrator. Luckily, I found a really great Gothic font with just enough all-caps letters and a couple of 36pt ornaments to make the top line match the bottom two in width, so I set that for the front and a line in Helvetica for the back (just to let her know that, you know, I made it myself). We printed on a Vandercook No. 4 proof press with Pantone violet. The paper wasn’t super soft so it isn’t super debossed, but I’m happy with my final product!

And of course, pics or it didn’t happen:

@RochesterArts Letterpress workshop was awesome!!  on Twitpic @RochesterArts Letterpress workshop was awesome!!  on Twitpic

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Diary, Web

Coming up: Web programming certificate

I finished my master’s over 2 years ago and, though I am always learning about something by reading or doing, I’m beginning to feel the itch to do some structured learning again. The last time I did a class it was cake decorating and I ended up successfully making a 3-tier wedding cake this summer. This time, I’m going to do something that will hopefully also help me professionally: a web programming certificate offered by the O’Reilly School of Technology. Not that the cake decorating wasn’t useful – knowing me, I still may end up a pastry chef/restaurateur someday.

If I finish it, I’ll end up with a Certificate for Professional Development from the University of Illinois. It was half off for a few days and my mother loves the idea of me doing some non-music schooling, so for the cost of one grad school credit (seriously, one credit is currently $1,040 at Eastman) that’s not coming out of my pocket, I can get a piece of paper that proves that I know more than how to play the piano. Sure, books are way cheaper and the classes may or may not be of the best quality (I get the feeling I’ll finish the HTML/CSS basics one in an hour), but my gut tells me that as a person with two degrees in music but a job in web development, a certificate in web programming can’t hurt.

As I get started and move on, I’ll try to remember to blog some thoughts – maybe using a WordPress for iOS beta?! (I got into the testers group! Woohoo!)

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Diary, Thoughts, Web, WordPress

More WordPress thoughts

I know it’s common to put a lot of time, energy, and work into other people’s projects and let your own personal ones suffer. I feel like that’s what’s happened to my own blog.

First of all, I need to write more, period. Second of all, I need to modernize this theme and add some functionality! I spend so much time these days making custom CMS themes and functions and super-awesome screenshot-filled documentation and installing and configuring a ridiculous number of plugins for clients and my regular job, but I don’t seem to bother with my own.

I’m still using this ancient theme (which I don’t change because I still like it) and it’s got some old old stuff going on. The comments are especially ugly and don’t have threading enabled. I’m sure it’d be easy enough for me to fix my own stuff, but I guess it’ll have to wait until I don’t feel guilty for not focusing on open projects, including a piano recital next Wednesday. Perhaps I’ll use that Lady René font (yes, the purchase happened) to make a new header so I feel like I’ve done something. But for now, off to do a little late-night practicing that won’t bother my neighbors!

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Diary

One week later… (awesome story inside, I promise)

This morning I had an evaluation for LASIK at the just-renamed Flaum Eye Institute (formerly StrongVision). I’m not a good candidate for that quick-heal LASIK most people talk about, but I am going to have an equivalent laser surgery called PRK done NEXT TUESDAY. I have now had a total of four surgeries – I don’t hesitate when it comes to scheduling anymore. I am totally worried about how I will function for the coming onslaught of rehearsals and performances, but if it’s the equivalent of a dirty contact (as I was told), I can deal, and have done so in my brief contact-wearing past. I love my current pair of glasses, but $500 every couple of years for the rest of my life? No, thank you.

Then in the afternoon, I went to Greece Town Court re: a speeding ticket. I have not had a traffic ticket in almost 4 years, so I am irritated, but that’s what I get for driving tired in a new place. Anyway, turns out I didn’t even have to be there after all because you can plead by mail, which was mildly annoying but also reminded me of the following story:

If you knew me in high school, you know that I had my license suspended twice for speeding tickets. Virginia is super harsh about tickets you get when you’re under 18: 1 = traffic class, 2 = 3 mo. suspension, 3 = 1 year suspension, and who knows what comes after that – I didn’t try to find out. Anyway, the reason why I had my license completely suspended instead of a provisional for school/work was because my father couldn’t ever come to court with me and, as a minor, I couldn’t go alone. So, I always pled guilty and paid for my tickets straight up, no court involved. Then, one time I paid my ticket and so, of course, didn’t go to the scheduled court date. A month later, BAM: a court summons for being “in contempt” with the threat of ARREST. Apparently for whatever reason, I had to go to court EVEN THOUGH I paid my ticket and nobody thought they should let me know. In addition to that being an incredibly frightening experience, I also had the great pleasure of having my father receive the summons first and assume that I was in trouble for DOING DRUGS.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve never even so much as smoked a freaking cigarette. Sigh.

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