Friday, May 29, 2009

office space

It's the summer of 2009, and Imagine Artists is officially working together in the same office.


...but, it's been interesting.

There are several little idiosyncrasies popping up.

It's one thing to be friends with someone..
It's another to be business partners.
And then it's entirely another to be friends & business partners who work in the same office space.

Let me go over a few quirks about Kristi & I that we have been "learning" over the past few weeks about one another... just another set of bullet points to add to our "differences" list!

I will note, though, that while we have a lot of differences, I truly believe it is what makes us such a dynamic team!

Watching the Clock
Kristi is a very prompt individual, if not insanely early. I remember when we'd run around together back in our early college days and we were both still living at home. We'd set a time to be somewhere, and about 25 minutes before that time she'd walk into my house.

Of course, I'd be upstairs in my bathroom, just thinking about getting ready. So she'd sit and wait on me while I changed my clothes, fixed my hair, brushed my teeth.

Anyway, it's an attribute that is positive-- we should all aspire to be on-time individuals. There is a reason we have clocks and schedules and calendars, so we should learn to adhere to these policies for the most efficient turnout.

However, my brain must have trouble processing that simple request. It is very hard for me to view "time" in the correct concept. In my mind, the party hasn't started until I'm there. Often, I feel like I have more time than I really do. I think, "Oh, that'll take me 5 minutes." An hour later, I'm finding out that I was wrong. Also, sometimes I am in such deep concentration over something that I don't even realize that time is escaping. It's crazy, really. But definitely an area that needs fine-tuning in my life! Let's just say that it's a good thing one of us is so prompt, or else we'd be in deep trouble!

Work Space
Kristi cannot even begin to think about working until her desk space looks flawless. No clutter. It would be the end of life for her to have to edit pictures or design a logo with a pen out of place or a cup off to the right. It would best be taken care of.

For me, I'm the biggest clutter bug on the planet. As I type, I have 2 pens, masking tape, a coffee cup, 2 stacks of checks, a customer folder, my calendar, a bunch of sheets of paper, my phone, and several folders all within reach. What if I need something? No really, though, I have to make a mess IN ORDER to start working. The clutter means I'm actually getting something done.

So, it's interesting when, Kristi looks over at my desk on a daily basis and says, "How can you work like that? Don't you have to clean that up?"

And I look over at her desk and say, "What are you doing? Where's all your stuff?"

Kristi's dream would be to video Skype chat with me while sitting just 4 feet away in the same room. My dream would be to turn my head 90 degrees and say, "Hey, Kristi, what do ya need?"

For real, though, ever since we both got our imacs, Kristi's been trying to call me and video Skype me. Perhaps I would do a good thing to just remove Skype from my Applications. I'm kidding... it's all in good fun. And trust me, we do plenty of verbal (and sometimes even nonverbal) communication while together, miraculously without the help of Skype.

We both have very different styles. It's nice that we've been able to collaborate and create a "look" unique to Imagine Artists, but as independent artists we are two totally different creators! It's crazy. We often sit and view images together before posting final sets online, and it never fails: time after time, I'll love an image that she'll hate, or she'll absolutely adore a picture that does nothing for me. There are plenty of times we compromise or actually agree, but in general, we are so different!

Kristi is very quick and efficient. She sees something needs to get done, she pulls it up, and she does it.

I tend to take my time. I think about something, I analyze it, I make lists about it, and then when I finally do it (if I do), I do it very thoroughly.

Both methods have their pros and cons, but it's been really evident as we both work on projects together!

Doer vs. Dreamer
Kristi is a doer. She sees something that needs to get done and she does it... right then.

I'm a dreamer. I think about something that needs to get done, and then I develop an idea about it. Then I write it down. Then I print it off and add more to it. Then I check over it with Kristi. Then I bounce my idea off of several other people. Then I might do it. Or I might not, because something else might come up.

This is manifested itself in our "daily" tasks. I make lists about everything under the sun-- all our projects and all our ideas. Then I decide the proper order to do everything and I go through and start working... often bounching from project to project or changing things along the way. I am a "big picture" person who wants to see the whole gamut.

Kristi is more of a "here and now" type of girl. She knows what she needs to work on... today. She sits down at her desk and she gets it done. A to-do list like mine would put her over the edge. In fact, it does. Often I bring it out and she about falls off her chair.

I might note, since "personality typing" is so near and dear to my heart, that this describes a good difference between being intuitive and sensing. I am an intuitive who wants the whole picture. I NEED to know what's going on in all aspects... and I have to see it. Kristi is more of a here & now, present day, let's-focus-on-facts-that-matter type of worker. That's a Sensing characteristic.


It's been fun working together, and I'm sure as time goes on we will discover more and more differences and quirks in our "working" styles. As I stated above, a lot of these differences I attribute to our personality types. It makes so much sense that as an intuitive feeler perceiver, I'm often distracted, late, all over the board, dreaming, and looking at everyhing but today. And with Kristi being a Sensor, her mind is set on "today," all the relevant facts of the "now," and would rather take action than sit around and dream.

Fun times!

Love you all!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

have some time

It's Sunday night. Almost 11 pm. I'll tell you what I should be doing-- sleeping.

When it's past noon, sleep in my mind is overrated. If the alarm is going off at 5am then there is very little that I'd rather be doing than sleeping, but once I'm up and into my day, sleep is usually far from my mind. Even when I'm tired, I'd rather busy myself than rest. That may be slightly ADHD on my part but I guess it's how I'm wired. It almost kills me to relax unless it's either scheduled or so far removed from anything else productive that I could be doing that distraction is not even an option. Such as, I have no problem laying by a pool in the sun. But when it comes to watching a TV show at home or sometimes even taking the time to read a book when I'm busy, I almost feel guilty. I can't sit still or focus. Too much to do.

The other day I was working out at the gym and there was an older gentlemen next to me.

A comment was made about how it's unbelievable that the year is already half over.

"Time seems to go faster the older you get," I remarked.

The older man nodded his head. "That's for sure."

Then I thought: That's a universally accepted statement. Most would agree that time seems to speed up as we get older. It must be true because no one is getting younger. We're all getting older. So if we all agree that years go by faster the older we get, then it must be true. Is it because as technology increases, we are more accustomed to lives that deliver instant gratification, or is it simply because age equals a "faster" perspective on life? Perhaps a combination of both. Either way, all that I know is that I must take time to slow down.

Life is too short to let it rush by me.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Nobody ever laid on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office."

While this pertains to workaholics, it also applies to life that is "wasted" in general. Whether it's work or something else, we all find ways to misuse or waste our time, sometimes without even realizing that we're doing it.

Yet at the same time, we must find a way to conduct a meaningful life while allowing time for enjoyment. It's not as if we should sit in hammocks all day sipping lemonade and reading our favorite novel, but every once in awihle, it's good to make time to do that.

Some of us do a great job of decompressing and allowing time for "self," and others of us overcommit and find ourselves spinning in circles with too much to do and not enough time to do it. The key is balance.

Whether we are bored or busy, one factor that should stay constant is time w/the Lord. That's a challenge to me. Often I find that when I am busy, it's easy to make exceptions in my schedule and the most important thing in my life is the first thing to go. Often having too much time on my hands can also be a detriment. "Oh, I have plenty of time. I'll get to it later." The key to consistent daily time in the Word and prayer with the Lord is to make it a lifestyle. It's not an option not to do it. I don't go a day without eating or drinking; it's essential. Anyone who knows me personally could tell you that I'd be a train wreck if I tried to pull that. I'd be an emotional disaster. It would have a big physical effect on me. So if I cut off my spiritual nourishment, shouldn't hte same effect take place?

Sometimes I begin posts and I have no idea what I'm going to write about. Tonight was one of those nights. I never worry... there's usually always post material floating around in my mind somewhere. I even had a few topics that I've been wanting to cover, but this wasn't one of them. It's interesting... I don't know why certain thoughts come out of my mind but tonight, this was the one.

Start a good book, grab coffee with a friend, play an instrument, go on a walk, pick some flowers, listen to your favorite song, or sit outside on your porch.

Even if you don't think you have time.

Because more and more... I'm finding that with myself, I have time for what I make time for.

Love you all!


Monday, May 18, 2009

time after time

Nothing is as it seems anymore.

I took a 5 minute "break" tonight to get a Dairy Queen with my mom. I was sitting in our SUV in the parking lot of DQ, thinking. I looked over to the Carius Root Beer Stand and saw the lights flicker off. It was 9pm, and the place was closing. A girl stood by the screened windows slid them shut, locking up for the night.

It took me back to when I worked at DQ. I started when I was 14 years old. Owned and operated by a dear family in Morton who are friends and relation to our own, it was an amazing place of employment. Summer nights would bring scads of people, with 2 lines reaching out to the street corners. Little kids ordering blizzards too big to finish, friends walking up and ordering mister mistys, and friends waving outside the window... all of this would pepper the outer perimeter of DQ. You could work one night and see more people you knew than in 7 days put together. It was lively, fun, and a great high school job.

All of this still seems so fresh on my mind. I feel like I was there just yesterday. Just yesterday. Just yesterday, wasn't my friend and I going out every summer night? This evening, one of my good friends texted me to see if I wanted to go roller blading. Sadly, I had to decline because of my giant to-do work list, but it took me back. It took me back to the warm summer nights when Laura and I would go roller blading almost every evening. We would strap on our blades and take off, owning the street, or so we thought. Sometimes we'd stop at the gas station and get Gatorade; sometimes we'd grab DQ, or sometimes we would just roller blade our 8-mile route and then sit out on my driveway upon returning and talk for hours. Our wheels would often get caught in the hot tar on the road and we'd trip and fall. Once we even roller bladed to Steak 'n Shake in East Peoria, but that's a whole nother story for a different time.

It's the time of graduation parties. What is weird for me is that I feel like that was just yesterday, too. Lately I have been stuck in something of a time crisis. I feel like life has rushed on without me. It's as if I should still be in high school, roaming the halls, stopping at my locker to grab a book, and writing a paper for class. In so many ways I still feel like I'm 16. Is that weird? I hate to say it, but it's almost as if I can't accept it that I'm not that young anymore.

Then I think aout how much I've been through since then and it seems like a really long time ago. We fast forward to early HS graduation. I was out of Morton HS by the end of the first semester of my senior year. That January I started full-time at ICC. It was marvelous. I had class 2 days a week and had M-W-F OFF to work at... you guessed it-- Dairy Queen!

ICC days were fantastic. I loved them. It was a clean slate for my life as far as I was concerned. I remember thinking that people were so different, more "real." All the high school pettiness seemed to fade away and in walked a whole new crowd. And I was loving every second of it. I quickly became a huge socialite with many new friends and activities to invade my calendar. I was also very happy with the Multimedia degree I was obtaining... a lot of really fun classes.

ISU was equally amazing. More great people... living away from home... an awesome Arts Tech program... a wonderful internship at Caterpillar.

Then I graduated from ISU.

Talk about a skewed reality on time. I feel like I just graduated from high school yesterday and in reality, I've been graduated from college for 2 years!

That's weird.

And now here I am. In 2009... just taking the last bites out of my chocolate dipped cone.

Do I have to grow up?

Love you all. T

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Top Ten Starbucks

Today's top ten is devoted to my favorite coffee beverage shop: Starbucks.

Upon entrance into any SB store of choice, you will hear festive jazz music drift into your ears, a wonderful coffee aroma will dance under your nose, and a friendly barista will take your order any way you like it.

These are my top 10 experiences pertaining to Starbucks. Choose your favorite or tell us about one of yours.

(NOTE: The 2 images featuring Tracy & I were snapped in the year 2005... which can explain the difference in our appearance!)

1. One day about 3 years ago I drove through a Starbucks drive-through. This was in the Spring of 06 shortly after I obtained an internship w/Caterpillar and was working there in communications. I ordered my usual and when I pulled up to the window to obtain my drink, the friendly girl there started chatting away with me.

"Hi!" she said.

"Hi," I returned.

"How are you today?"

"I'm good!"

"Great-- what are you doing in life right now?"

"Well, I'm going to ISU and will be graduating in a year, and right now I have an internship at Caterpillar in communications. I also have a small design business."

At this, the girl looked out at me with a sincere smile, and reached her hand out, saying, "Wow, that's great. I am SO proud of you."

2. *(Note, to anyone who reads my blog word-for-word, you may have already heard this story. For anyone else-- and that's likely MOST of you-- enjoy.)

Once I was in Arizona, one of my favorite states =), and I was visiting-- you guessed it-- a Starbucks. I was waiting in line to order my coffee and for some reason I was also eating a banana. The lady behind me smiled and said,

"That banana looks SO good, I just want to take a bite right out of it!"

Cute. I smiled at her.

"You know, I used to work at film festivals in Hollywood," she went on to tell me, "and instead of Coke breaks in the middle of a long day, they would have 'banana breaks!'"

3. Starbucks always has the best stuff on sale. Such as really cool games and books, coffee mugs and music. I once saw a book there that I thought that I had to have... I just love unique books w/lots of great quotes and random facts & knowledge... but that was awhile ago and I forget what it was called. And I never bought it.

It was a cool book, trust me.

4. Starbucks is a great place for meeting a good friend to catch up. One of my favorite friends to meet over coffee is Tricia P, and we have done so many times. She is actually a SB veteran... she used to work there and served up many cups of coffee!

5. When I worked at a publishing company in Peoria for a year (07-08), I am pretty sure I kept the Starbucks on the corner of Knoxville and Pioneer Parkway in business. I would go there on average twice a week. In fact, often on nice days I would take my sack lunch there and eat outside on the patio tables and order a shaken iced tea lemonade (highly recommended!) to accompany my food. Also, my mornings were early. I had to be at work by 7am, so they saw me a lot at my best time of day- 6:50 am (not).

6. About a month ago, I was driving through the Starbucks in Pekin. I ordered my drink, and when I pulled up to get it, the guy working gave me a big smile. "How are you today?" he asked.

"I'm good. How about you?"

"Oh- you know. Just living the dream."

I smiled. "For some, it IS a dream," I told him. "In fact, for me-- it is. I've always wanted to work at Starbucks..."

I forget what his response was but I imagine it was something close to, "You would be the best Starbucks barista in the world."

(Ok... it probably wasn't. Had it been, I would've asked for an application right then and there.)

7. Once I was coming home from Peoria and I was on my way to a friend's house. I stopped to grab a Starbucks and I ordered my usual. When I pulled around to get it, the friendly face at the window told me, "We accidentally made this for a previous customer who wanted something different," she said, holding up a large caramel frappuccino. "Would you like it?"

I said yes.

8. Starbucks features "The Way I See It" quotes on their cups. I love this.

9. A year ago I was staying with my aunt & uncle during the Spring. It was a Sunday morning and we were getting ready for church. Around here (at home), Sunday mornings are just hectic because I usually sleep too late and then I'm rushing around to get ready.

Well, I was doing something close to the same and my uncle walks in and hands me a cup of coffee from Starbucks. He had gone on an early morning coffee run and remembered the exact hot drink that is my favorite from a few days before.

I don't know why this was such a big deal to me but it just was. I love small little acts of kindness like this... just know if you are the one handing me a cup of coffee during a busy morning rush, I'll be REALLY happy you did. =)

10. Need a coffee? On the road? Have no fear... there should be a Starbucks strategically placed on a city corner w/i the next 10 miles.


As much as I love coffee, I will note that just like everything else in life, it is best enjoyed in moderation. =) Too much coffee makes the heart beat faster and knocks off quality sleep.

Love you all!