Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Happy Effect

I started taking two online classes a little while ago: Fashion Illustration, and Introduction to the Fashion Business. Both are extremely informative, both will be very useful in the long run, and both combined give me a work load that induces lots and lots of stress.

Since I started, I've begun to notice a pattern. Every time I think about what I'm doing and what I have to do, the stress sets in. As some of you may know (but probably not), I have little-to-no capacity for stress and will shift into panic mode. Panic mode is very, very bad. I will sit in front of my sketchpad/laptop and stare while my thoughts go from "Holy crap" to "I can't do this" to "I don't want to do this anymore" and pretty soon I'm considering dropping out.

Well, I haven't dropped out (and I do not plan to), so obviously I have stumbled upon some way to break through Panic Mode. What breaks Panic Mode? The Happy. The feeling of totally blissful ignorance and unawareness of anything and everything around me. Go figure that total ignorance of everything around me makes me focus like no attention medication I have ever taken (and I've taken a lot). While under the influence of The Happy, I work like you have never seen. I've done 20 sketches in an hour, and my teacher said they were better than my previous work. I can finish an essay in one sitting, with that sitting being under four hours. That second one alone is a miracle, especially considering how many I have to write.

So the question becomes, how do I achieve The Happy on a regular and controllable basis? So far, listening to dance music and eating cake have proved effective. So has singing, despite my complete and utter lack of skills in that department. There is, however, only so much dance music in the world, and I cannot eat cake daily for the rest of my education (although that would be pretty nice and I have considered it). I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Edit: Dress #41 on this slideshow also induces The Happy. It's so preetty!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Casey's Super Awesome Graduation Day

Graduation was actually yesterday. I would have written this then, except there was too much happening, and I was WAY too tired to even think about it by the time I got home. That said, here we go. Without further ado, here is Casey's Graduation Adventure.

The morning actually didn't start out wonderfully. I woke up around nine (would rather have slept till ten, but my grandma is sharing my room and has some demonic concept that none may sleep past nine), snagged a quick breakfast of toast, and was promptly nagged by my mom until I took a shower. As it turned out, EVERYBODY needed a shower, and by the time we had all gotten in the car, I should have already been in the Coliseum (where the graduation was taking place).

Thusly began one of the worst car rides this year. My mom drove at a seemingly glacial pace and ran into massive amounts of traffic, I was freaking out ("If I don't get there by 2:00, I don't get to graduate! Guess what time it is? 1:45!"), and, the two in the back seat were having an avid conversation about landscaping. Needless to say, I felt like strangling small animals. 

When we finally got to the Coliseum (at 1:55), I bolted out of the car, ran inside (directed by very nice teachers in very noticeable black gowns), and was greeted with a high five, lots of cheering, and cries of "There she is!" I felt pretty special.
The fuzzy warm feeling of specialness did not end there. Oh no. A few moments after that, we all marched out into the stadium (yes, stadium. It's the only place they had room for all 700 of us) in our bright green gowns and mortarboards to find ourselves totally surrounded by a full crowd of people cheering and calling our names. If that doesn't feel awesome, I don't know what does.
Everything eventually settled down, the valedictorian gave one of the best speeches I've ever heard at one of these things (and I'm not being biased). Paraphrased, "I have no idea how to make a speech that means something to all of you, so I'm cheating. Think of a word that sums up your high school experience and shout it." Everyone shouts. Ta da. Speech over. And thusly, we commenced to wait two hours while some poor teacher stood at a podium and called all 700 or so names. At the end of it all, some people tossed flowers into the air and one smacked me in the back of the head.

After we left (and after much carrying of many more flowers), the whole group went to Charleston for dinner. Dinner was one disappointment after another, followed by awesome. My first choice, Chai, is not open on Sundays. My second choice was Meritage, which is now out of business. FIG is also closed on Sundays. We wandered around looking at menus, none of which looked at all appealing for a grad night dinner, while people tried to "comfort" me because I have an annoying tendency to tear up when I'm aggravated and they thought I was sad. This last part, as it so often does, also made me want to strangle small animals.

Finally, when all seemed lost, I found Hank's Seafood. Hank's Seafood was a shining beacon of utter win in the middle of a city full of casual dining and restaurants that don't open on Sunday. If you're ever in Charleston, South Carolina and you have the money, go. Don't hesitate. This is probably the best seafood restaurant I have been to in ten or so years of living in this state. 
Now I didn't know this to begin with, of course. The menu itself made my mouth water just looking at it. Once we were inside, I was totally mind boggled and had no clue what to get because it all looked great (Hey mom, why don't we order the entire menu minus tomatoes?). I was at a loss. 
It was at that moment that the waiter came up and described the specials of the day. I think there were three or four, but my ears were deaf to all but one. A lobster (both claws and tail) in a portobello mushroom, white truffle oil, and white wine (don't remember which kind exactly) sauce; sweet corn, spinach, and raw tuna risotto; and to top it all off, a large marinated divers' scallop. My first thought was "I love you" and the second was "Gimme."

Our orders, which I thought would take a half hour or more (there were seven of us, and we hadn't exactly ordered the simplest things on the menu) took maybe 10-15 minutes to reach our table. I cleared my plate (rare occurrence), and received compliments on choice of dinner spot for the rest of the night.

The night does not end there, but since this is getting long, I'll cut the rest of it short.

We walked around the city until we thought we could stand the sight of food again, then went to Kaminsky's for dessert. I had a flourless dark chocolate tort, which my brother aptly described as "Like drinking fudge out of the jar, " and a grasshopper steamer, which is pretty much minty hot cocoa.

After this, I went home and passed out on my bed, feeling very much satisfied.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


What could have shocked me out of my blog coma, you may wonder? Druids on WoW getting their forms redone? My very first D&D group? A bird? A plane? No! It is none other than the most spectacular, wonderful, LAST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL! WOOHOO!

While I haven't exactly graduated yet (I think that happens sometime next week), I never have to step foot inside that stinky building again. If that's not cause for celebration, I don't know what is.

This post is very short, but that's okay. It contains wonderfulness, and that is all I needed to say. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spend the rest of the day cheering my brains out.