Sunday, December 31, 2006

FAREWELL 2006!
Part 7

My blog continues. I celebrated the first anniversary of my blog. I changed programs and I’m happier for it. I tried bloggin’ every day--twice. Once during spring break (pure hell) and once for a class and NaBloPoMo (which, because of NaBloPoMo, wasn’t too bad). I’ll only do this again if NaBloPoMo happens in 2007.

To conclude this series:
2006, you may not have been the most exciting year. You brought some bad events, but you taught me a thing or two and I saw some interesting things along the way.

2007, I've got big plans for you, so I hope you're ready.

Here’s to another year of bloggin’ and another year of accomplishments, milestones, and adventures!

Happy New Year!
-T. Budnik

Just a little note: that blog for NaBloPoMo and a class wasn’t this one, but the link is still up if you’re interested.
Sundays I Write Letters

RE: NAUGHTY NORTH POLE
Dear Mom,
Thank you for censoring your language. I don’t know if my eyes could handle seeing such a word written out.

I kid because I kare.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Yes, this version of “Naughty North Pole” does look better. I think it’s because I can put pictures right into the text.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAREWELL 2006! PART 1
Dear KBezzie,
I know this was a depressing post, but nonetheless, it happened and had a great impact.

I don’t know what you’re talking about with the brown M&M’s. I always downed an M&M of each color at midnight. I invite you to partake in this tradition.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I’m glad that you liking the countdown. Please see my response to KBezzie for more information about the M&M’s.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAREWELL 2006! PART 2
Dear Mom,
No, I would not like to pay your bills. I don’t have fun paying bills. My point was that despite having to do all of that adult stuff, I’m having fun. It is way better than doing homework.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
No, I will not pay your bills. And, I would like to decline the offer to baby-sit any unemployed husbands.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAREWELL 2006 PART 3
Dear KBezzie,
I laughed my ass off about Andrew calling hills “mountains.” Good for you! You need to get that boy to Alaska. When I was in Alaska, I couldn’t recognize the value of mountains. Now, I do.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I will return to Alaska some day. Oh, yes, I will. First, though, I’ve got a lot of exploring to do.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: SIX WEIRD THINGS ABOUT T. BUDNIK
Dear KBezzie,
3. I am not jealous of your name.
4. I’m choosing peanut butter.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I will take the peanut butter over any guy, any day.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ADVENTURE THURSDAY
Dear KBezzie,
I DID go pee before I left and I even hit a rest area before I hit the traffic jam.

And, about your Utah bladder—I’ve got news for you: it’s the devil’s bladder. What did you do? Trade your soul for a large bladder?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I would appreciate it if you never, ever use the word “rag” in your comments unless you’re referring to Cinderella’s wardrobe.

The hold up was a tanker of some sort that had crashed. By the time I passed it, they had it over to the shoulder and were cleaning it up.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAREWELL 2006! PART 5
Dear KBezzie,
I find that gum poles and shirtless guitarists give the trails a little character. If only every trail had a guitarist to serenade the hikers.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I haven’t gone hiking at all this break! Bah! It really blows, but I was burnt out from a lot of school work and a lot of work-work. Plus, the holidays cause trails to be closed. I will try to go sometime this upcoming week. I’m hoping the first week of class is fluff. I will keep you updated, though.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Nik Budnik,
It’s too bad that you don’t like to hike. The trails I’ve done the most aren’t real trails. Shoot, there are 3-4 emergency phones (the kind of college campuses) up Stone Mountain and Amicalola Falls is all stairs convicts built.

I’m not sure if I believe in finding Mr. Right Now and/or Mr. Cute in the woods. But, I think I can believe in a both of those who enjoy hiking and going into the woods.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAREWELL 2006! PART 6
Dear KBezzie,
I do remember that Seinfeld. I love that show.

Do you want to donate blood? I can put you in contact with my people.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I will donate away. Why did they refuse to take your blood? Did you go to Africa and not tell me? Or, are you not taking your vitamins?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, December 30, 2006

FAREWELL 2006!
Part 6

I have donated blood four times. This I consider to be community service--unless, of course my blood has gone to abusive parents or serial killers. It seems every time I mention to others how I donate, many of them state they can’t give blood because they get too woozy. Now, I’d like to call these people wimps, but that would use up the time I need to plan when I’m going to donate again.

Haha! I kid because I kare.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Friday, December 29, 2006

FAREWELL 2006!
Part 5

Hiking has become a serious hobby. I have to give credit to my dear friend Michelle, who, during my last summer in Alaska, hiked Bodenburg Butte with me every week. Once I got to Atlanta I realized that I missed the weekly hike.

My favorite places to go are Amicalola Falls and Stone Mountain. I’m sure there are more places I’d enjoy, but it’s hard finding a trail that is safe to travel alone on.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Adventure Thursday

Every break from school I like to get out and have an adventure or two. This break I decided to drive to see what I could see. My plan: drive north on I-75 for four hours and then turn around. (That is an eight hour driving day. Just perfect.) I've never been to Tennessee and I figured I might be able to sneak into Kentucky.

I woke up today at about 8am and started to get ready. I ate breakfast; I made a lunch; I checked my car's fluids and air pressure. At about 10am, I set out.

All was going well.

TN04


I stopped at a nice rest area just before I got to the Georgia/Tennessee border. At about 12pm, I ran into some trouble.

TN01


The traffic marquee said that traffic was being "diverted" at exit 36. I had to go to the bathroom at this point, but figured, "No problem, because at that exit there'll be a gas station or something. And, really, how long could I possibly be stuck in this traffic?"

TN06


One and a half hours and probably only three miles later, I finally get to exit 36. Not everyone is taking the exit, but I do. Ends up the advertised fast food place is about two miles off of the road. Once again, I really have to go the bathroom, but how bad can two miles be?

TN01


I run into more traffic and there are a lot of people pulled over to the side of the road heading into the woods. Not a good sign. I pull a u-turn, like many of my traveling friends and get back onto I-75 that's actually kind of moving.

The next exit is about five miles down the road. No problem when traffic is moving. Oh, but it teased me. I would get upt to 60mph just to have to come to a 10mph crawl. I was behind a church group school bus that had bumperstickers that taunted that Jesus saves. Oh really? Because I have to go to pee really, really bad. I could use some saving right now. I thought.

I started eyeballin' the woods in the same way the skinny man starts eyeballin' his fat friend on a deserted island. The signs said that shoulder parking was for emergencies only. This was an emergency. I thought about the logistics of peeing into a ziploc baggie or empty water bottle. That is NEVER going to work. For the very first time in my life I had Penis Envy.

With my mind powers, I willed the traffic to at least keep crawling. Just don't stop! Pleeeeaaaaase don't stop! Go! Go! Go! We've got momentum! Let's keep it up! I chanted.

At about 2pm, finalement: the exit I was looking for. I pull into the only gas station and trot in. There was a line about ten minutes long, which beats driving on the road not knowing when the next stop is going to be. I chatted with the friendly woman in front of me. I told her that I was from Atlanta and I was only out for a drive and damn, quite the wrong day to do that.

After using the funky gas station facilities, I got back into my car and consulted my road atlas. I had been on the road my four hours and I didn't really feel like trying to drive north or south on I-75 anymore. Highway 11 runs pretty much parallel to I-75. So I took Highway 11 south to Cleveland where I got back onto I-75 and drove, without interruption, back to Atlanta.

That's right, folks, I didn't even make it to Knoxville. But, I did get some sweet pictures.

TN05


This I took while sitting in traffic. It's a bonafide Tennessee home. Can you find the toilet in the front yard?

TN02


Here's the "scenic view." Ah, how cute!

TN03


Yes, I was in fact there. I'm not making this up. This old man asked me if I wanted him to take a picture of me. I declined, telling him I have a thing for self portraits. Come on, this is like the best picture EVER.

That concludes my Tennesse adventure. This is what I learned: Don't drive on interstates during the holidays (a lot of the cars I saw had Christmas gift bags in the back) because this just makes for more traffic. Keep your eyes open for some good bushes just in case it comes to that. And, willing traffic to move with your mind helps relieve the tension of having to go to the bathroom.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik
FAREWELL 2006!
Part 4

I have worked one job for one consecutive year. This is a first. The years must be getting shorter, because it doesn’t feel that long. Although, I’m considered a “veteran” because very few work that long at one retail job. This will definitely make doing taxes easier this year. But, crap, I gotta go to work tomorrow.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Six Weird Things about T. Budnik

I was tagged by KBezzie. And, truthfully, I’ve seen this meme in other places and have been antsy to have someone tag me. Here it goes:

1. I rarely change my earrings. I have a nice pair of sterling silver and some kind of blue stone dangly earrings my late, great aunt Tess sent me a few years before she passed. I love ‘em and I hate changing my earrings. If anyone wants to send me some nice sterling silver studs for my second holes, feel free to do so. Or, if you prefer to send diamond studs, that’s okay, too.

2. I love baking, but I hate cooking. And, I miss living in a household with at least four other people to partake in eating what I make.

3. This is how I think “T. Budnik” started: A grad student once in passing called me “T.” I told him that he should call me that—just “T.” I said it as a joke, but he kept calling me “T.” The grad student was annoying, but I thought “T” was funny. Plus, it’s a nice little feminist statement. It’s fun to trip people up when they haven’t met me and only know me by “T. Budnik.” I’ve received letters addressed to “Mr. T. Budnik” and people have been confused about how to address me: “Just 'T'?”

4. My sophomore year of college it hit me: a HUGE craving for a peanut butter sandwich. Not PB&J—just the PB. I’d be in Astronomy class and I would daydream about peanut butter sandwiches. Finally, I got to the store and bought supplies. For the rest of my time in college, I usually had some peanut butter on hand and often bread. Now, I always bring a peanut butter sandwich to work for lunch. I’ve been eating a peanut butter sandwich 3-4 days a week for a little over a year. And, I’m not sick of it. Sometimes at work, I get a hankering for a geedunk (candy) so I go to the CVS Pharmacy that’s right next door on my break and buy one. What do I usually buy? Hershey’s Take 5, which has five main ingredients, two of which are peanuts and peanut butter, or peanut butter M&M’s. It’s not until I start eating my sandwich that I realize I’m having a lunch of peanut butter.

5. I started taking creative writing classes in college because the Portfolio Center (which I hadn’t been accepted to yet) stated that good writers made the best copywriters. I saw the creative writing classes as a way to prep for getting into a portfolio school (and it just may have worked). Until the very last day of my very last creative writing class, I stated that I was only taking the classes so that I could get into advertising. I didn’t mean to fall in love, but I did. I love creative writing and writing in general. I was scared that I’d be like the grad students I’d see occasionally in the English Department. The grad students and quite a few of the people in my creative writing classes seemed to take themselves way too seriously.

6. My senior year of high school when I decided I wanted to major in English, I was a little hesitant to tell my family or anyone else (and I didn’t for some time). Why? I don’t really know, but I think it’s because when you’re really into something, you don’t want to expose yourself to any situations where someone could tell you that it’s wrong or at least question it.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik
FAREWELL 2006!
Part 3

I have completed my first full year in Atlanta. What a year. I purchased Janove Ottesen’s album Francis’ Lonely Nights for one song: “This City Kills.” I only like this song for a couple of the lyrics:

But there’s no doubt about it,
this city holds a lot of thrills
but, it ain’t got no substitute
for mountains and hills

I’m starting to feel this is true. I need me some mountains and hills.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

FAREWELL 2006!
Part 2
I am a Champion of the Every Day. Adults will always tell you that their lives aren’t much fun and that they have a ton of shit to worry about and a ton of un-fun things to do. I’m happy to say that in 2006 I survived my first year living as an adult. I’ve conquered things from pulling crap out of the sink drain to replacing windshield wipers. Now, granted, I’m still a student and none of my loans have gone into repayment mode, but I’ve paid my bills on time every month and I’ve shown up to work on time every day. And, I've had a good time. Maybe I've enjoyed it because my life gets tweaked every couple of months due to school or the novelty hasn't worn off yet.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Monday, December 25, 2006

FAREWELL 2006!

There weren’t any major moves, school changes, or switching of jobs in 2006. Moving from one side of the continent to the other isn’t something you can do every year. You’d think I had a boring year, that nothing happened, but on further inspection, some major and not-so-major things did happen. Welcome to the countdown to 2007. Each day for the last seven days of 2006 I’ll write about the past year.

Part 1
Probably the most influential thing that happened in 2006 is that I lost two former co-workers: Claire and Lita. They were two of the three paralegals I worked with during my summers in college. Lita and I battled many large documents together--boxes and boxes of binders. My fondest memory of her: giving me instructions on how to feed her beta when she took the day off.

Claire and I also battled large documents, but together we scanned about a bajillion documents. Here at school, there's a huge focus on "brainstorming" and "thinking." I learned to do group brainstorming and thinking with Claire. She was also an inspiration. We earned our bachelor degrees the same semester. We often talked about school. It took her much longer to get her degree. Seeing Claire, a full-time working mom, go through college the same time as I gave me no reasons to complain (and I don’t think I ever heard her complain). If she could do it, then I could, too.

Although at the time of their deaths I was no longer working with them, I was keeping in touch. I miss them.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik
Naughty North Pole

So there I was, just sitting atop Meashell's sweet VW Fox enjoying some fresh air in North Pole

Naughty North Pole 02

when I caught Santa giving me “the look.”
Naughty North Pole 05

(I can't say that I was surprised, though, I had checked out his ass--now there's dessert.)
Naughty North Pole 04

Santa started chatting me up and offered me a drink. Now, usually, I don't accept drinks from men I don't know (and I have a personal rule about never telling men my name when we first meet), but how could I decline an offer from SANTA? And, he already knew my name--I've been on his Nice List several times.

Damn eggnog. That creamy goodness is too much for me to refuse. Stir it with a candy cane and it’s even better. I guess I just I had a mug or two too many of that delicious drink. Santa is such a flirt! He gave me a ride in his sleigh
Naughty North Pole 03

and even showed me the real North Pole.
Naughty North Pole 01 Naughty North Pole 06

We had so much fun. But, before parting, he told me I was on his Naughty List! Now isn't that just outrageous?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik


Merci à Meashell, the photographer.
**The events in this entry are fictitious. There is no intended resemblance to any actual events, past, present, or future.**

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: SUNDAYS I WRITE LETTERS

Dear Mom,
I’m glad to know that you love to read my replies. From now on I’ll try to reference the original comment I’m responding to so that my response makes sense in your brain. Geez, I hope that made sense.

Welcome once again to Sundays I Write Letters.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
You should enjoy that Mariah Carey Christmas tune. ‘Tis the season to enjoy things you normally don't.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
You shouldn’t second what Birdie said. Instead, you should listen non-stop to that Mariah Carey song. And, while you listen to it, imagine in your head a mini-T, dressed in a cornball Christmas sweater, dancing.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ARTIST TRADING CARDS

Dear KBezzie,

Oh, you do not know how giddy I am knowing that my postcards reside in your underwear drawer. I am so, so sorry that all of the interesting correspondence you have sent me (cattle punching and Graceland postcards) reside on my fabric bulletin board. I don’t have an underwear drawer. I don’t have any drawers.

I will scan and post whatever artist trading cards I receive.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I knew you would think that my postcards gone artist trading cards would be cool. Perhaps this is because deep down inside you wish to be blonde? Or, yearn for your blonde childhood days?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW (THE REAL DEAL)

Dear KBezzie,
Julia Sweeney is in fact Pat. Oh! My nuts!

I, too, hate quote-whores. Shakespeare, anyone? Haha! Didn’t I make an allusion to Hamlet? Anyway, I hate quote books and collections of quotes. I believe in finding and collecting quotes one personally finds intriguing or true, but for the love of god, don’t bind a book and call it the “Quotionary.” (That’s a real book—or at least there’s a book called something like that out there.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Who told you to read “The DaVinci Code?” I could have stopped you from that misery before you even got a first look at the cover.

I know you like to read your own books and nothing that I read. (One day I’ll convince you, though.) Have you read a quilting series by an author with a last name that starts with a ‘C’. Sorry, I don’t know any titles or the author’s name. I only remember seeing some quilting novels at work while I was putting away some other books in the ‘C’s.

Also, have you read the Mitford series (by Karon)? I have no freaking clue what the series is about, but with every woman who comes asking for it, I’m kind of reminded of you. Maybe you should check this out.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for the lesson in literary criticism. Suspension of disbelief is probably the most important part of participating in literary arts.

(I think Birdie dug “The DaVinci Code.” We should plan a literary coup on her and Mom and get them to read some good stuff.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: I AM GRATEFUL

Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for that song. You are a musical genius. Stay tuned for more information about a new genius group that may be forming in the near future.

I’m assuming you have the manual to your car. There should be instructions on how to change your wipers in there. That’s where I learned. It’s super-easy. And, it’s nice to know when it’s 1am, raining, and dark.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

PS. Last week when I was at the grocery store next to the post office (old people central), I saw an elderly man loading groceries into none other than a silver Buick. Suck it.


Dear Mom,
Did you consult your manual to see how to change your wipers? It can be tricky. Mon Père and I had a hard time changing the wipers shortly after I bought my car. But, when I changed them a couple of months ago, I had no trouble (except for the fact that one just about came off a couple of nights ago).

I’m glad that you know at least where to get your wipers replaced.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, December 22, 2006

I Am Grateful

That I know how to install windshield wipers on my car. I apparently just don't know how to do it very well. I replaced my wipers a couple of months ago. Last night, driving home from work at 1am in the rain, my right windshield wiper kind of came off. I'm VERY grateful it didn't fling off into the street. Instead, it only tangled. No one sells windshield wipers at 1am and it's tough enough driving in the rain and dark let alone without wipers.

So, I turned my windshield wipers off, got into the right lane, and turned into a nearly empty parking lot at Phipps Plaza. I crept to a parking spot near a lamp post. I turned my car off and reinstalled the windshield wiper. Thinking back on when I replaced them, I think I had trouble with this one, like it didn't click in like the other one did. (I don't think it clicked this time, but when it's late at night, you've worked a full day, and you're in an empty parking lot, "good enough" is all you need.)

The rest of the drive home, through spots of heavy rain and high-speed settings, my windshield wipers made it.

Once again, I am a Champion of the Every Day.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Book Review (the real deal): The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006
Edited by Dave Eggers

nonrequiredreading

I can't say that I read this one cover to cover, because about three pages into the Iraqi Constitution, I skipped to the next piece. Sue me. I guess when there's a yearly collection published, you can't avoid the knock-you-over-the-head-with-a-two-by-four political.

I'm not a big fan of this knock-you-over-the-head-with-a-two-by-four political. Maybe it's because I'm a feminist and believe that the personal is politcal and you don't have to go any farther than your own front porch to know that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

This collection is broken into two parts. The first being random "Best American" things such as an excerpt from a military blog, first sentences of novels, or new band names. The second half is more traditional pieces. These I liked more. In the mix were a few "comics." Not a big fan of these. I find them difficult to follow and not quite organic. Words and pictures are crammed into a succession of boxes. As if they are their own sentences or paragraphs. Let loose, graphic novelists, cartoonists, whatever you may call yourselves.

My favorites: "The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day" by Haruki Murakami; "The New Mecca" by George Saunders; "Letting Go of God?" by Julia Sweeney; and "Kenyon Commencement Speech" by David Foster Wallace.

My favorite quote:
"If you want to really hurt your parents, and don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

From "Here Is a Lesson in Creative writing" from A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Artist Trading Cards

My dear, dear sister, KBezzie, introduced me to the Artist Trading Card concept. Artist Trading Cards are 2.5 x 3.5" cards that you create using any method. You're supposed to trade them with other artists--almost like a business card. But, if you aren't readily near people who are hip to the ATC scene, you can't trade them. Some very cool people have set up websites and serve as traders. Send in 20 and they'll send you back 20.

So, however many months later, I finally have put together a set of ATCs--10 "Blondes have more fun!" and 10 "Hello, Echo! Hello!"


crapscan

Tomorrow I shall mail them out and eagerly await my 20. I'll let you know when they arrive and share them with you.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

PS. Yes, these cards were originally 4x6" postcards. I still have some left. Want one? Let me know.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sundays I Write Letters

Dear Readers,
Are you confused by seeing the “Sundays I Write Letters” series here? It ends up I liked the series so much that I decided to bring it to this blog.

I used to respond to each comment as they were left. Now, I will respond every Sunday in a post. If it happens that there is nothing to respond to, I will do one of the following: I won’t post anything, or I will write a letter to someone who’s address I don’t have or can’t have (i.e. dead people, fictional characters, etc..)

Other minor changes have been made. Take a look to your right. In the links column, you’ll find a new link to KBezzie’s “Random Meanderings” and my MySpace page (which is titled “Guilty by Association”). Under “Worth Checking Out” you’ll find a link to the Macquarium interview I wrote for school and two links to blogs I have stumbled across. The first is waterhalo. That blog features some kick-ass collage journaling. It’s simply a pleasure to look at, although I wish it was updated more often. The second blog link is to Theodore-friend to all. This blog features drawings of a ghost. I find these drawings simply humorous. I don’t know either of these people. The random button led me to their blogs. So, take a peek and enjoy.

Finally, on to what you can expect on at least some Sundays.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik



RE: I’M BACK.

Dear KBezzie,
It was driving me nuts. But, I was already nuts with work and school, so being nuts with filth wasn’t that much trouble.

The peeps lamp is the focus of my bedroom.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,

Don’t you know that I have commitment issues? If I can’t commit to a geographic location, what makes you think I can commit to some garbage? All of the various piles of paper I thoroughly went through and saved the single-sided sheets. I have a good stack to print drafts on.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT CLEANER

Dear KBezzie,
That was not an anti-nod. The person who made that kick-ass Amelia Bedelia Xmas card is a genius. Stay tuned for more information about a genius project.

I think I’ve tried to post medium pictures but they mess up my layout.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

PS. I’m not worried about ripping off anyone’s look.


Dear Birdie,
The tights are textured to the point that they have vertical stripes. Thank you for the Naughty Librarian-look support.

I have been listening to Christmas music. In my car (which is the only place I listen to real radio) I often turn to the all-Christmas music station. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is getting to be my favorite in cheese-factor.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Oh, you can always have that Mom coming out of you if it questions whether I’ve lost weight.

Don’t be jealous of my dartboard mantel because I’m sure you’ve got real places to put your lights. (By the way, I didn’t put my lights in any windows because windows equal spiders—sometimes on the inside.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO READ THIS FOR ENGLISH CLASS

Dear KBezzie,
What profanity?

Haha! I kid because I kare. Actually, I don’t know if they’d let me drop that much profanity. This was a “hypothetical” article. Hence, it doesn’t necessarily have to make sense for the current Anthem. Our concept for the online version was to make the writing more casual and ranty in order to encourage responses from the readers.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
That metaphor fucking rocks.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Thursday, December 14, 2006

You Didn't Have to Read This for English Class

My critique panel didn't touch on my Writing for Web because there was too much for them to read. In January I'll have a second critique just for this class. I figured I'd share one of the hypothetical articles I wrote for the online version of Anthem magazine my partner and I created. (If you've never seen Anthem magazine, think progressive posers.)

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik


You remember required reading, right? You had to do it during your summer breaks only to go back to school and do even more. Books and novels were assigned by an instructor a whole lot older than you who had long ago lost touch with the reality of teaching—if they ever were. Required reading sucks. Pure and simple. Fortunately, to make up for this miscalculation of required reading, The Best American Series has, since 2002, published The Best American Nonrequired Reading. In short, it’s all the good stuff. You should be reading this instead of that required crap. Or, at least, in addition to that crap.

Pick up any of the other Best American Series and you’ll find the usual tripe—pieces by authors who are already in the literary canon or strive to be. Down with the dead white men who haunt us all from the grave with their stuffy writing. The Nonrequired Reading series opens the gates to a bunch more authors and to a whole lot of mediums. The pieces aren’t just stories originally published in respectable magazines or literary journals edited by pompous grad students and their deadbeat poetry professors. This collection includes good works of any kind: shorter pieces, story fragments, transcripts, screenplays, and television scripts. You’ll find a comic by Lynda Barry right before Ryan Boudinot’s “The Littlest Hitler.”

What the hell is the point of this? Can’t we all find our own “nonrequired” reading? Well, jackasses, if you’re so goddamn smart, go ahead and find your own shit to read. The series brings to light those smart pieces written from a non-mainstream point of view to those assholes who think they know everything about literature.

Remember the teacher who made you read Dickens, Thoreau, and Eliot? All you could think is why you had to read crap written by dead white men. First, I’ve got news for you: George Eliot was a woman. That’s beside the point, though. There are a lot of misguided readers out there. They’re reading crap they think is good. The problem with that is most people labeling stuff “good” don’t know the world. These select authors write from one section of society. Meanwhile readers miss out on essays about Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Constitution, or the “Best American Things to Know about Chuck Norris.” That’s not to say that there aren’t any people with literary influence who have taken their blinders off. The editors behind The Best American Nonrequired Reading can see beyond this “good.” Why the hell can’t everyone else?

Life really would be better if we all took off our blinders, too. The series isn’t just about bringing non-mainstream work to the mainstream. There’s another purpose. Dave Eggers gives his cut of the profits from the book to 826 Valencia—a San Francisco-based non-profit that provides free tutoring to students on a variety of subjects. Just like the book, 826 Valencia isn’t all serious stuff; the workshop is behind a store that sells pirate supplies. Read the book and you take your blinders off. Read the book and you’re supporting a good cause no matter how many degrees of separation there might be between your fourteen dollars and Dave Eggers’s cut.

Now that The Best American Nonrequired Reading exists, there are no more excuses. No longer do you have to go through the horrendous task of seeking out those literary journals that are not in the laser beam waiting to be sucked up into the mothership that is the canon. It’s rough. Live in a big city and maybe the largest bookstore offers the journals for sale. But then the big-box bookstore that is ruining the economy of small business ends up being a million miles of stop lights away and, fuck, you don’t own a car. The Internet? Yeah, right. Some journals aren’t hip to this scene yet. They’ll flash a little flesh your way but don’t put out—you’ve got to buy the whole cow.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading presents it to you, the best of it all, bound and easy to carry. Teachers, pick it up and select a few pieces to assign your class to read. Students, raise a single-finger salute to your homework of reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (for the fifth goddamn time) and read this. Everyone else, put down whatever book you found at the front of the bookstore or on the homepage of Amazon.com and pick up this series. Find something you can relate to. Here’s a novel concept: find something that you don’t relate to and understand it. By reading just one piece in the series, you just may be able to avoid being abducted by the literary mothership.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Cleaner

Today, I had my critique. Here's what I wore. Everyone should know that I love dressing up for critique. Not "dressing up" in the sense of wearing fancy clothing. I love dressing the part. I've worn everything from jeans, a thrift store shirt, and red Converse to my Banana Butt Skirt and heels. A year ago, I wore the "Approachable T" outfit. A revamped version of it was worn this time.
Voilà!

ModestT

This is what I'm calling "Modest T." Almost 100% cotton (a little stretch snuck in here and there), not fancy, and doesn't really show off my girly figure--although I think this pose shows off my butt. It's what a down to earth person making ads for Sierra Club and Columbia Sportswear would wear.

The critique went well. I had a total of 7 campaigns. Of course there were a couple of stinkers, but when aren't there? Overall, my panel seemed to enjoy my ads. We were forced to write a summary of each of our classes and projects to give to each of our panel members. I poo-pooed the idea so I wrote up my own thing. On the back I drew directions for folding the paper into a thinking cap. It went over nicely.

I'M EXCITED FOR BREAK! I'll still be working, but no school. NO SCHOOL! To celebrate, I first cleaned. All those eyesores you saw in the last post have been taken care of. And then I decorated.

06Christmas05

The Christmas cards I've received thus far.

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Snowmen Garland: Same place as last year.

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Don't be jealous of the dartboard mantel. I know you are.

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Snowman collection. There is one polar bear in the mix.

06Christmas01

Thank you Lands' End. Stupid flash and stupid lack of lighting made it impossible for this picture to come out. This project wasn't inspired by Bezzie's Cheapass Christmass, but if you like the idea of decorating with seasonal catalog covers, you may like some of her ideas.

I have an extra of the Last Chance 2006, so if you want Santa and Rudolph snuggling in a jacket together, I'll send it to you.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more break fun.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm Back.
Well, not quite yet. I haven't gone to critique. Wednesday I will go. But, the fat lady doesn't really sing until January sometime. Tonight I'll be worry free. All of my art director partners have their critiques tonight. So, I'll show up at school to collect the work I did with them and be ready for my critique.

Because working 30 hours a week and getting done what seems like a bazillion projects doesn't leave time for much else, I present to you the exhibits of my state of living:

Animal Crackers


I've had those animal crackers there for at least a week. (I did ads for them.)

Desk


I had to turn my laptop so that I can sit on my stool while using it because I was getting a mean stinging spot on my back (on the side of my mousin' arm). My stool is a couple of inches higher than the picnic bench seat and so far so good--no stinging spots. While this is some progress, I still haven't shifted everything to the new direction. Getting a pen isn't the easiest thing when it's directly behind my laptop.

Dishes


Don't tell me that you've never played the "Clean Enough" game with your dishes. The past couple of days I've played this game with my dishes. It's what you've gotta do. Props go to my roommate for tackling these.

List


This is my list. I made it around the same time I got my hair cut. I can't even remember when that was. Let's just say, for as large as this list is, it didn't help me out too much. I pretty much just had to take it one day at a time.

Notebook


My notebook of two quarters. There will have to be a new one for next quarter. The notebook pretty much goes from my futon, to my little table, to my car (so I can do homework during lunch breaks at work), to my bag, and then back to my futon. Don't even ask me what's underneath it. It's a pile of paper that keeps getting shifted around. It's been on my little table forever so it might be important.

Pile01


This pile started last weekend, I think. There are some catalogs in the mix--Lands' End being the most recent addition. I will be sifting through this pile to separate the single-sided sheets I can print on from the stuff that goes straight to the recycle bin.

Pile02


This is absolutely ridiculous. Why can't I just throw away the FedEx/Kinko's box? Because I haven't gotten around the throwing anything out. Please note another pile of paper.

Shelves


Here is one set of my cubes. Hard to see them with all of the coats and jackets hanging on them. Even harder is getting anything off of them without one of the coats or jackets falling off.

Socks


Yep, those are dirty socks, but socks that need to be thrown away because they all have holes. See that in the background? That's my new hairdryer box. Inside of it is the old hairdryer that sparked and stopped on me. It happened quite some time ago. Again, haven't gotten around to throwing anything out.

Worse, I haven't started to decorate for Christmas. Well, I do have the Christmas cards that I have received taped up. I don't really want to put up a Christmas tree when I have decomposting leaves on my living room carpet.

Stay tuned, folks, because tomorrow I'm going to get up early and tackle my messes and with any luck, get some Christmas cheer up.

Enjoy!
-T. Budnik