Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm Being Watched.

There are few times when life slaps you in the face letting you know that you're being watched. I'm not talking about those little moments when you're rockin' out in your car at a stoplight and look over to see the person next to you laughing. Or those moments, when checking your blog stat counter, you see someone in your old college town was checking up on you. I'm talking about really watching you.

Friday at work, this man came to my register. (Surprising, huh?) He was wearing sunglasses and appeared to have been wearing them the entire time he was in the store. I start to go through my routine. He asks, "Did you live in Shady Acres?" (He didn't actually say Shady Acres, but I'm not going to say where I live.) I hesitate to say yes because of the verb tense--I didn't live there, past tense; I live there, present tense. The man confides he lived in Shady Acres last year. Once again I hesitate because of the time--I haven't been in Atlanta for more than a year. Oh, who am I kidding? I was stalling because I didn't want to tell this random guy where I lived.

Then he admits, "I used to park behind you and you had a distinctive bumper sticker. I always wondered who drove the car and I finally saw you get into your car."

"Ah," I sighed a breath of relief, "that was my car and bumper sticker." I explained to him that at first I thought he was a little bit creepy, but what a relief that he just recognized me from my bumper sticker. We chuckled, he left, and I started helping another person.

The next morning, the same guy with the same sunglasses comes in. He wants a newspaper. I tell him the price and he asks, "So, is the bumper sticker true?"

-T. Budnik

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm going to be arrested.

Finished Stickers2

In one of my classes I had to create these: concept, design, produce, and distrubute 'em--all in pretty much less than a week. I did it. This morning was devoted to distrubuting them. The Coke ones were put next to 2L bottles of Coke in three grocery stores. The beans were put next to cans of beans in two grocery stores. (By the way, grocery store management doesn't like it when you take pictures. They're not rude, but they'll let you know you're doing something they don't like.) The newspapers were put on newspaper machines. The coffee cup and grocery bag were put on trash cans. There were 50 stickers in all.

I didn't like distributing them. One, it's awkward sticking things that probably shouldn't. Second, about an hour's worth of walking was involved. I don't mind walking, I love it. It's just that walking in the heat sucks. I'm never happy when I'm sweaty.

-T. Budnik

Friday, July 14, 2006

Stone Mountain Revisited

Yesterday I hiked Stone Mountain again. I bought a annual parking pass so I should be going regularly now. I have to go at least eight times to get my money's worth. The first time I went I didn't get the chance to take some pictures that I wanted to. Also, because I didn't know about the gum pole, I wasn't able to participate. I did yesterday. I made sure to chew my favorite gum, WinterFresh, on the way up.

Gum Pole: the light blue gum is mine.

My Gum on the Gum Pole

Okay, this isn't a good picture of the carving, but I was too tired after my hike to walk over to a good spot to photog it. I'll get a better picture some other time.

Stone Mountain carving

Stone Mountain is basically a big blob of granite. The entire hike up there are all these grafitti carvings. Beats me how they did it.

granite carving

Picture 033a

And, finally, a scenic picture of Atlanta from a distance. The best thing I heard while at the top was said by a kid no more than four years old: "Look! It's New York City!"

Oh Atlanta!

-T. Budnik

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Alaska Girls Kick Ass

Perhaps I could be doing something a little more productive than relating the story of my bumper sticker like work for classes or work that should be going into my portfolio, or at the very least, working on Ma Mère's birthday story. But, I'm not.

The day after my critique I noticed that my Alaska Girls Kick Ass bumper sticker was missing. While you may be thinking that removing a bumper sticker is a difficult task, this one isn't. I made this sticker into a magnet. Maybe it fell off, I thought to myself. Nah, that couldn't be it. It stayed secure for 5,000 miles. Perhaps someone was targeting me--someone doesn't like the true North. I told my roommate about my missing bumper sticker. I had driven her to school for her critique the previous day because of the number of her projects. We put multiple items into my trunk. Nah, we figured, there would have been no way that the bumper sticker would have fallen off while we were loading or unloading the trunk. We would have totally seen that.

Disappointed that my sticker had been stolen, I decided not to take any action. If someone was targeting me, I didn't want to push them to do more. I was contemplating getting one of those white oval stickers with "AK" in it that are popular.

Then, a miracle happened. I was hanging out at school one day last week. BAM! Right there on the cluster of instructor mailboxes was my magnet. I couldn't believe my eyes. The man sitting at the front desk said, "Oh yah, someone found that in the parking lot and put it there. I figured it was yours." When discussing it with another school employee, she said, "Of course we knew it was yours. Are there any other Alaskans here?" Then a day or two later another employee exclaimed, "I see you took your sticker!" I then told him the story about losing it. He figured I had put it there to be funny.

It boggles my mind that no one sent me an email about my bumper sticker, especially the guy who knew someone had found it in the parking lot. Witness this, though, I am not upset that no one attempted to return my bumper sticker despite the fact that almost everyone knows I'm from Alaska and I am the only person here from there. Instead I am grateful. Grateful that the bumper sticker did in fact fall off in the school parking lot. Grateful that someone was kind enough to pick it up and take it to the front office. Grateful that someone didn't take it from the metal mailboxes. THANK YOU!!

Today I took the time to replace the bumper sticker. I'm pretty sure the reason why it fell off was because of the massive amount of crud that was between it and my trunk. So I cleaned the crud off of the magnet and the trunk. It should hold for a long time now.

Front before:

front of bumper sticker

Back before:

back of bumper sticker

Trunk before:

bumper sticker area on trunk

Kickin' ass:

in all it's glory

-T. Budnik

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stone Mountain

I never got a chance to post pictures of my very first hike, Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain is set in the middle of nowhere. The running water and flushing toilets at the top are deceptive. If Stone Mountain wasn't in the middle of nowhere, why would there be four emergency phones on the trail up?

Here's a lesson I learned: take pictures of the carving before going on the hike, because by the time you get down, it's going to be too dark. Or, just hike earlier in the day. Next time. Next time, I'll share photos of the Southern Heroes memorialized in the side of this mountain.

For now, here are the pictures I have:

The Gum Pole. Note to self: chew some gum on the way up so I can participate in this tradition.

Gum Pole

The absolutely spectacular view at the top. Sorry Stone Mountain and Georgia. While I enjoy your trees and bushes, you need to sprout some real mountains.

View from Stone Mountain

The mandatory picture of me on top with the mandatory sweaty hair.

Theresa on Stone Mountain

These monks appeared on the top of the mountain. I pretended to take a picture of my friend when I took this picture. Something tells me the woman at the end is on to me.

Monks on Stone Mountain

-T. Budnik