Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm changing the locks to my home!

A while back, I had purchased a Xbox 360. All was well in the land of Lexi, as she blissfully played Gears of War, Guitar Hero, and Eternal Sonata. But soon all was not well. Some time after bringing my new computer home, I noticed that some of my belongings were on the floor - some dvd box sets that were on a shelf in my room. How odd, I thought. I put them back into their place, and as I stood upright, I noticed that my Xbox 360 has a nasty brown scuff on it. I had began thinking someone had knocked over my 360 and put it back like nothing had happened. But the scuff mark told plenty, but not everything.

I had immediately assumed that the cable guy who had been in my room a couple of days earlier had done it, and didn't bother to let anyone know he broke it. I raised my voice at my mother for not watching him while he worked. She assured me that he couldn't have done it, or else she would have heard it being knocked to the floor (the big white sucker IS heavy...). So I was stumped. It couldn't have been my brother. He assured me that no one had been in my room when he had company over. So what was I to do? I gave up on finding a culprit and accepted that my Xbox had keeled over. I called support, and in a few days, I received the packaging to send off my 360 to Microsoft's Repair Center. And then I waited...

Today was a joyous occasion, for I had finally received a repaired Xbox 360 for my troubles. I hurried to my room, set up the 360, and turned it on. As I was creating new settings for the 360, the system recognized that there were already profiles on the hard drive. I proceeded to load my gamertag as the primary profile, when...it wasn't even there. Three profiles were already on the hard drive, and NONE of them were mine - a Brett, a Keem, and a Lakeem were the only profiles on the drive, and I was stumped to how they would've gotten there. I decided to recover my gamertag anyway to speed up the setup process. A few moments later, I began combing through the system to see what was on it. My game saves are nowhere to be found. My only downloaded game, Puzzle Quest, was not on the hard drive. As a matter of fact, by the time I made it to the media section of the hard drive, I was fucking pissed off. There's so much (c)rap music on this hard drive, and some vid about the Titanic, and yet none of my stuff (save my recovered gamertag and Puzzle Quest) is on this drive. This hard drive is not mine. As a matter of fact, THE XBOX 360 WASN'T MINE EITHER. I've been swapped!!! Someone came in with their own busted 360 and took my (somewhat) brand new system. OMFG?!?!

I know I sound a bit paranoid now. I began looking for suspects again. My sister would never do such a thing to me when she has her own systems (she has a Wii and I don't -_-), my brother hasn't had company over in a long time. My mother doesn't even know what a 360 is FFS. The only one who could've done it is someone who knew my Xbox was only purchased a few months ago, has easy access to the house at all times, and obviously dumb enough to think that they had to take my hard drive with the system just to use it. I know who my prime suspect is...I'm already pissed at that person. I will not name this person in case they find my blog. But know this...the suspect is not welcome in this house while I live here. I am already consulting with my mom to change the locks to the house. The worst part of this isn't having to start all over with my games - it's the fact that someone was so trifling as to take something they knew didn't belong to them from someone they grew up very close to.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

So far, it's good

I've been on the job for about a month now. Things can get pretty busy around here, and because of it, I had to find a good pace I could work at. Not only do I do web design, I do design-related support over the phone. Sometimes it's not design, but more software/account/internet-related.

One lady thought something was wrong with her web site no updating when it was really her browser loading a previously saved version of her site. She told me that telling her these things is what we get paid for...No, it's not, but it doesn't take much time to tell someone to ctrl+F5 when trying to reload their website in a browser. It is not my job to tell someone how to use the internet.

I have a rant, but I want to save it for when I can better word it (as if, lol). It will be called "The Do's/Don'ts at Network Solutions". Even though the most important stuff is described at Network Solutions already, some people either skim through it or have more questions about specifics that aren't explained on the site. As I am new here at Network Solutions I don't know much, so I'll be updating that Do/Don't list as time goes on.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

At work, lots of perks and no jerks

I'm enjoying myself at Network Solutions so far. It's only my first week, but I already like this place a lot. The culture is very friendly here, and this NetSol location is rapidly growing. From what I hear, it's mostly guys here, but the group of new hires that I'm in has only one guy. Not that he's complaining. :P

I've been hired as a designer for the Standard web design team. Basically I work on a lot of web sites for individuals or small to mid-sized businesses. The usual turnout rate for a standard package is only a couple of days. All the code is handled without my need to touch it unless there's some customization requested by the client. This is good, as it should help me concentrate more on the actual layout design. Hello, Adobe.

One of the new hires hinted me to www.sxc.hu, which is a free resource for stock photography. People can share their photos and others can download what they need. At least I won't have to come out of pocket for great photos to use whether for myself or for someone else.

Time to go. My lunch break is over, so it's back to training. Can you believe I actually have a final exam? D:

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Job get! *Da na na naaaaaaa!*

I've been hired by Network Solutions as a web designer. The interview went very well yesterday. The lady who interviewed me told me she'd get back to me in a few days, but she called back today with the salary offer and other documents I needed to fill out. Sweet! No more credit card debt, I can buy a new car, and I can save up to buy or rent a place of my own...life is good right now. ^__^

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Friday, September 7, 2007

My bank hasn't been good to me.

Or my mom for that matter. Yesterday my mother asked me to pay our home's electric bill at the supermarket. I said "Whoa. Why pay money just to pay your bill? Why not use the online banking?". She explained she didn't have time to go to the bank to deposit it and the $1 extra to process the payment would go to her gas tank anyway. So I complied and paid the bill. All was well, except for the fact that my mother's story was half-assed.

Today Mom told me she got into it with the bank teller about cashing her check against her savings in order to deposit the money into her checking account. The teller told Mom that she can't do that. My mother told her that she could and always have without complications. The teller told her that the check have to be one from our bank in order to be cashed and then deposited. Upset, my mother told her it was none of the her business (putting it lightly, Mom cussed the lady) what she does with the cash she now has in her hands, and if she wanted to put it in her checking account, then she can do so. She didn't bother to get the manager, but she was so upset, she just left the branch.

I don't know where such a policy would come from, but I don't know if I can call bullshit on its existence either. I've been through the same situation, except I didn't argue with the tellers. I can't say for sure it's policy, because it's occurred at the same branch. If it's policy to not deposit cash from checks that are not from the same bank, then the tellers should explain WHY. There was no "why" for me or my mom. Maybe they have a problem with people bringing in bad checks, but there are other ways to deal with that already. There's no need for the bank to inconvenience customers who may need their checks to be cashed in order to have money in their accounts for bills.

I'm sort of glad that I applied to work at Convergys. The place may be crap, but at least they understand the convenience of direct deposit. Not like it matters. The bank I'm doing business with now may lose it soon. Seriously, they've literally took my money (only $4.26 but still MINE) and they keep charging me $5.00 every month out of my savings just so I can have savings. I'm debating getting rid of the savings account altogether.

What bank am I talking about? I've decided not to say unless it pisses me off more. If I find that the "policy" doesn't exist, I will be back to edit this blog entry. The next time someone Googles the bank's name, this blog may pop up in the results.Devil

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Things are looking up

I won the Self-Study Cover Design Contest held by St. Louis Community College. Yay! Peace Sign Now I'm just hovering around my mailbox for the nice $250 check I should be receiving soon. I'll also be posting my concept design here. Too bad the colors will be changing to complement other recent printed material being sent out by the college. The package being sent out has some nice rich colors, so I'll be looking forward to the changes my design will be going through for the final production.

A friend of mine sent me an email containing a freelance opportunity here in the city. It's a web design job, and according to the email, they may or may not be looking for the designer to do any real coding. I'm pretty good with HTML/XHTML, and I've been researching CSS more extensively nowadays, but I can't do a lick of javascript. Crying The lack of coding may be a relief, but we'll see. There weren't many details in the email, but I should know for sure once I email the person in charge of hiring at the agency.

Speaking of coding, it's time that I learn Javascript. It's been a standard language to create many useful tools in not only web sites but weblogs. Bloggers use javascript to hack their blog's layouts in order to create a more individual look and add better funcionality to their blogs. And I'm not talking about adding some cutesy analog clock to your site; I'm talking adding a fully functioning calendar hack that links to all of your blogs current and past entries. I've picked up a javascript book from the library. It's pretty big, and I may not get through all of it. I plan to find better working examples on the web that will help when I can't understand something in the book.

I've been looking at CSS more and more lately. I want to improve on the little bit of what I already know. I'm going to challenge myself by implementing a CSS-styled no-tables layout in my next site revamp. It intimidates me a bit. I love having very graphical web design, and I didn't mind using tables to create image borders for my content. But if there's a better way of presenting my site without all the nested html, then I'm all for it. As simple as my current layout is, it's all a bunch of manhandled mess. That and it's beginning to load slower, and that's a no-no. It's time that I catch up with everyone else who's been doing web design for as long as I have. Frankly I don't want to remain ignorant when there's so much to learn, so it's time I change my attitude and habits.

I also want to use Flash again for my web site. My copy of Koolmoves has been sitting idle for far too long. I've just now started using it to create a digital portfolio I can present to prospective employers. It feels good to play with Koolmoves again. Now there's a slide show tool that I'm using to create separate slides for my work (design, photography, etc.). The portfolio flash site itself will be simple, because I plan on turning the swf file into a projector file that I can email to employers as a demo reel so they can save it locally. it's also been time that I separate my opinions from my work.

Before I go, I want to share a site that provides free hosting of MySQL databases. FreeMySQL.net is totally free, and the admins don't restrict your use as long as it doesn't violate anyone's rights or break laws. You can give them donations to help keep the service free. There are sites that offer free PHP and MySQL hosting, but if you've met your database quota (should there be one), then FreeMySQL.net is a good place to host the rest of your databases.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Birthday weekend

My birthday had come and gone on July 28. It was wonderful. The highlight was going out with my boyfriend and having sushi and drinks. We had a table outside in the nice warm weather, so we got to watch the sun set as we were sitting there. We experimented with sushi we've never eaten before. I liked all of it for the most part. Now for presents, I didn't get much, but it's to be expected. I'm not a little girl anymore. If I count what my boyfriend got me at Otakon, I got a $50 copy of the original Famicom "Mother" cart (aka "Earthbound Zero" everywhere but Japan) and a Phoenix Wright t-shirt reading "iObject". Cute. As for money gifts, my mother gave me $100, one of my uncles gave me $25 for lunch (thank you!), and my grandparents also gave me $25 (Another free meal? Woot.). Dancing

I do believe I jinxed my boyfriend by saying "This day has been great, and nothing bad has happened". "What do you mean?", he asked. "I mean I'm glad nothing has spoiled the day for me." I replied. Well, on the way back to his friend's place (I so wanted to play "Gears of War"; I miss that game.), his car's engine began to overheat. We exited the highway and parked at the nearest gas station. He couldn't find what was wrong, but he didn't want to risk taking me home without a more thorough inspection. So basically I crashed with him at his friend's place.

Even with a clearer look in the daylight and driving around he couldn't pinpoint the problem. He took me home and had his car towed back to the dealership from there. After watching several episodes of "Samurai Champloo" (Bless that wonderful Dish Network DVR receiver, I've got almost every episode.), we left the house in my car and had dinner at Imo's Pizza. Then to walk off the food, we went to Best Buy where my bf purchased a copy of Quake 4. I watched him play it before going home, and now I want to play it. I honestly wasn't into FPS games back in the day, but they look really fun now. I might pick up a copy eventually. I have too many games to finish. And credit card debt. *slaps hand for thinking of splurging*

So that was my birthday weekend. It was fun, and my boyfriend's car is fixed. Whatever it was, I hope it wasn't serious and is covered under the warranty. As for me, I need to look into getting a new car, as mine is on its way out. Sure I could replace the engine, but what for? The body is fucked (partially my fault). With dents, rust, and faded paint, I do not want to rack up more debt to fix the inevitable. It's time for something that was made in the new millenium. RIP, 1992 Eagle Talon. And before anyone bothers to ask, no it's not a TSI model or has turbo or anything like it. It was a regular old stock manual transmission model that got me from destination A to B.... while letting my lead foot do all the work, hehehe.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

For all of you Perverted Justice skeptics out there

The volunteer-driven group Perverted Justice catches guys in the act of committing cyber sex crimes all year 'round. Despite their tactics of catching the losers, people question PJ's motives. Why not women offenders? Well that's a good question, but it has a very easy answer: women offenders are extremely rare. They are so rare that the number of female offenders out there pale in comparison to the male offenders. Also, a lot of them have not been convicted or got a slap-on-the-wrist kind of conviction.

The judicial system is horribly biased when it comes to men and women committing crimes in general. A number of these women didn't have to register as a sex offender, depending on where the crimes were committed and who the judge was. Where men would get the book thrown at them, their female counterparts usually get no jail time at all.

Another thing to note is that a lot of women offenders don't seek out minors to have sex with like men do. Men don't have to go out searching for victims either, but they're the most aggressive when preying on minors. With women, the child is usually someone who is very close to them, whether it's their own relative (eww), a friend of a relative, or (the most publicized type of victim) a school student. Here is an article with a compiled list of female offenders from all over the U.S. with some of them being from Canada:

List of women sex offenders (most if not all are teacher)

I don't know why I was shocked to see some of the faces, but I was. Seriously, a number of the women in that list are very becoming! Why they didn't go out and get a young but legal hotty is what perplexes me. Some of these women are/were married, and maybe felt that going out of their way to have an affair with an equally older person was too risky. Maybe they're bigger kids than the kids they actually slept with. Maybe they're just like the men, with the whole "sleeping with a minor is a fantasy" deal. I bet it's a combination of all of those things.

I guess I'm blogging about this crap is because I regularly read articles from FARK.com, and this was the one that caught my eye today. With the exposure of the 31-year-old World of Warcraft player who was having a cyber relationship with a much younger WoW player (17-y-o), it makes me think of how much women get away with here. And really, the whole double standard that's going on with women sex offenders makes me sick. Throw the fucking book at these basket cases! What's so hard about that? If they bonked someone who is not at the age of consent, give them jail time.

The NC judicial courts can give a 31-y-o Australian woman 2 years jail time for a kidnapping that was never planned (the boy was caught trying to fly to Australia on his own), but you can't jail a U.S. woman who knew the laws and screwed minors anyway. American law enforcers, you FAIL. The police have the mind to arrest the women, but the judges won't let them have the consequences of their actions. Just ridiculous.

Perverted Justice tries to catch both men and women, but women usually duck below the cyber offender radar. And why should they coerce teens over the internet? They're in the classrooms teaching your children or being extra nice to their son's/daughter's friends.

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A quick update on yesterday's post

A PR person from Scottrade responded to my rant I did about their Chinese Graphic Designer position. After publishing that, I began thinking I was making a mountain out of a mole hill, and my thoughts turned out to be true.

The PR told me that the company is looking for a Chinese designer because they are in need of someone who fluently speaks Mandarin Chinese. That wasn't in the job description until now. They updated it, so now there should be no confusion or mistaking the hiring practices of the company. The job title is still a bit iffy; you can hire a person of a different ethnicity who could fill the position because they speak Chinese as fluently as and have better credentials than someone who is Chinese . I'm not saying I fit the job description, I'm just sayin'. :P

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Today is teh suck

I knew something was strange when the kids have been totally obedient today. My oldest nephew has been sitting down and sharing toys with his younger brother, who happened to obey my command to sit on the potty and enjoy an episode or two of Spongebob, and my little niece had just slumped over on my mom's bed for her afternoon nap...after taking the time to play tug-of-war with my mother's curtains. Today has been good until now.

My grandpa's doctor just called because he couldn't get in touch with him. My grandparents' phone had been busy for some reason. I figured I'd better make sure I could get in touch with them because it sounded pretty important.

As I was sitting here in front of my computer, I received my daily job search alert from Indeed.com (great search engine if you're looking for employment). Guess what was on the top of the search results for today's "graphic designer in St. Louis, MO" search? Scottrade is looking for a CHINESE graphic designer. Not just ANY graphic designer; apparently you must be Chinese to apply. WTF?! Why is race being considered for this job position? I went to the page with the job description. It says nothing about how being Chinese is a plus for the graphic designer position. The link to their diversity policy is to the left of the page, and the disclosure that Scottrade is an equal opportunity employer is in bold at the bottom of the job description. BUT they are looking for someone of a specific race. I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but as a person looking for work in this field, it really does feel like a slap in the face. If recruiting employees based on their ethnicity is Scottrade's method of increasing diversity, I think they need to reconsider.

Next up on the WTF scale is the vandalism my grandparents and their neighbor received by the resident brats today. It happened sometime early morning. The bastards responsible poured mustard and hot sauce on my grandparents' porch, along with their next door neighbor, and smeared the rest of it on their front wall and windows. After that they put an open bag of cooking oil on top of my cousin's car, letting the sun's rays melt the bag which had the oil pouring down the back of her car. How creative. My grandparents and cousin just got done cleaning the mess a little while ago, and now they're talking with the police. My grandparents are seriously thinking about investing in a security camera. We already know one of the little shits responsible; he used to be a pal of my younger brother.

He's now the local bad kid. He's not much older than my brother (who is 16-y-o), and he's already breaking into people's homes. The kids he hangs out with are just as bad as he is. I would have thought he'd have more respect for my grandmother. She used to try to teach him right from wrong, and when my brother and him would come in from a long afternoon of playing she'd feed them and give them Kool-Aid. She was sweet to the kids even when they acted up. She would never yell at them.  A few weeks ago, she told his friend to stop breaking bottles on the street, but the kid cursed her and started throwing rocks at her. My brother's old friend didn't join his buddy in assaulting my grandmother, but he didn't stop him in time either. Even if he wasn't involved in what happened this morning, he'd probably rat his friends out. His parents should go to jail with him. They chose to not teach their son the discipline and respect he'll need if he's to make it out here. They're such jokes as parents, can you really call them that?

My mother is with my grandparents right now, so everything should be ok. I'll definitely be housesitting for my grandparents when they leave for Michigan this weekend. And I'll have my digital camcorder with me. Oh yes, I will be watching out for those punks, and they will be recorded should they try to do it again.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Good times ahead!

I finally got a company to respond to me. Cepia LLC. of Clayton, Missouri called me up for an interview, and I went there that very day. I was so nervous, and me traveling in a car with no air conditioning (it does have it, but it will make the car stall) didn't help keep me cool either. I made sure to have as much in my portfolio as possible, scrap notes and sketches included.

As far as the interview went, I was REALLY early. I made sure to leave early enough in case traffic was murder, but I got there pretty much 30 minutes before my scheduled time. I think that's a good thing. I always did that with previous interviews. When I finally got to sit down with the recruiters, I feel like I fumbled through my portfolio a bit. Despite my nervous wordiness, they liked a number of my pieces, especially my paintings. I felt the portfolio review of the interview went well, all things considered. Then I went on a tour of their main office. It's really nice. They mostly do toy design, but before that they did lawn care products. They now handle a wide range of product lines, and everyone there helps with a wide range of assignments, from design to modeling for package design, to human resources.

I REALLY want to work for Cepia, and it's not just because I'm desperate for work. I love all of what they offer, and I like that they provide guidance and a friendly environment for the employees. They seem really close to each other, but still professional enough to make sure everyone's doing their best. I want that, and I really hope I get the job.

I haven't stopped looking for work. I've been applying for any job I feel I'm qualified for. St. Louis Community College is now offering a graphic design job. Ironically, this 2-year college institution is looking for an applicant with a 4-year degree. I'm going to apply anyway; surely my recent college would be happy enough to employ one of their own recent graduates. Harrah's Casino is still posting that they need a graphic designer. I've applied twice for that job, and still no response. I've planned to continue bugging them with constant applications until I receive an answer from them. I feel it's unprofessional and very rude that I do not get any response from an employer. At least let me know if I'm not what your company is looking for.

Enough about my job search. I have even cooler news. Picture.com has photo contests going on, with an annual competition with a grand prize of $10,000. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, my photo, which I have dubbed "Focused on The Fountain" has been entered into the Open Amateur Photography Contest for this summer, and I've been chosen as a semi-finalist for this competition. Not only that, but my photo will be published in the upcoming anthology currently named "Endless Journeys". I feel this is a great honor, so I plan to get 2 copies of the book, for myself and one for my family. It feels like a hefty cost, but if I want to be recognized, I have to pay to have my artist profile in the book. And since I'm going to pay for people to read about me, I'm going to buy the book so I can read about me too. :)

More good news: I've been approved for Smorty and Blogvertise, paid-to-blog sites similar to PayPerPost. While PayPerPost actually gets opportunities in everyday, the availability of the opps depend on how popular your blog is and how fast you are at accepting available opportunities. The popularity thing is a HUGE turnoff, but it seems to be a big payoff. The wait to be paid for approved blog posts also depends on the opportunity.

Smorty is a great way to get paid for blogging, and has a week wait on being paid for blog posts. After accepting an opportunity, the wait for your post to be approved or rejected is two days. Once your blog post is approved, you must wait five more days to be paid. Thus, you can get paid every week for each successful sponsored blog post you make. Unlike PayPerPost, you get email notifications when opportunities are available (I had to search the PPP site to even find the RSS feed). You have to log into your account as soon as you see the opp or else you might miss out on it. The opp availability is not based on popularity like PPP, which I like. With the number of companies looking to advertise on blogs, the number of opportunities increase. Very important: make sure your current sponsored blog posts can be seen from your blog's homepage. If they cannot be seen or not somehow linked on your homepage, your posts will be rejected. I don't believe the posts have to be permanently linked on your homepage, but please keep this rule in mind when you submit your blog posts for review.

get paid to blog

Blogvertise has a 30-day wait after blog post approval. Like Smorty, you get email notifications on new opps, and they are not based on popularity. However, if you choose to neither accept or reject an opportunity, it will go to someone else, and the less opps you will receive in the future. If you're not a very active blogger, accept at least one opp to make sure the Blogvertise team doesn't deem your account inactive.

Regardless of what paid-to-blog program you stick with, don't make consecutive sponsored blog posts. The program's moderators will assume your blog is a blog made strictly to get paid from, which they frown upon. So to avoid getting rejected in the future, keep your blog fresh and full of multiple topics. Also it is recommended that you have a blog that is hosted at your own domain. Most opportunities will not accept blog posts from MySpace, Blog*Spot, Vox, or Wordpress blogs. For instance, Smorty will not approve of blogs unless they have their own domain (i.e., www.yoursite.com). There are other excluded domains, so find a place that has reasonable hosting for your blog.

This is a sponsored post.

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Monday, April 2, 2007

I hope you guys didn't mind.

Har har har, April Fool's Day is over. Telling from the hitcounter at the bottom of the page, I'd say my AFD joke worked. I had something much better in mind, but was too lazy to execute it in time. So I made up the "Google stole my web site" page as a quicky. It fooled at least a few people I'm sure. As for the joke I wanted to do, I'm not going to say what it is. Should I remember what it is by time of next year, I'll do it then. It has something to do with the blooper that is my site's domain name. When I first paid for web hosting and opened my site under it's own domain 4 years ago, I had a bit of frustration keeping a certain group of people out of my site. That's all the hint you get to next year's AFD joke.

Time certainly flies. My site's been operating on the hosting solution Onedollarhost.net for a little more than 4 years now, but my site's technically been around since 2001 (when I was using AOL hometown as my site's host, bleh). Come May, Lexi's Lounge will have been on the internet for 6 years. Go, me! It's been through lots of changes, from content to layout to hosting solutions (free hosting solutions). I believe this current layout should be version 8 or 9 by now. I've learned quite a bit about web site design since my first time trying to learn HTML years ago. I still prefer simple over busy-looking designs. I spent a year with my site on hiatus, because I was planning on how I wanted to present the newest version of Lexi's Lounge.

I wanted for it to still be "my personal space" where I can blog about whatever I want and post whatever art or design I can come up with no matter how risque some people may judge it (half-naked womyns, lol). But I also want it to be a place where I can promote myself to potential clients/employers, showcasing what I can do when it comes to design, art, and communication. I want to be me; I want my site to present me as who I am today and what my abilities are as a graphic designer, illustrator, and general fine artist. Admittedly, I've worked more on getting my site to work than updating my art galleries, but they're updated little by little. Eventually, everything that I want in my offline portfolio will be online for viewing by companies that view my online job profiles.

Speaking of my online job profiles, I hope someone will get back to me soon on the jobs I applied to. Only one employer has, so that means people are at least looking at my resume. It's a shame most job sites only upload Word doc-formatted resumes. I'm planning a nicely designed printed version and would like to upload it in Word format if the software used will recognize the images and type used within it. PDF would be even better, but I guess I can keep that for my own site. I have a lot I want to say, as usual, but I'll save the thoughts for later. What's the point of blogging when you jot everything down in one entry? :P

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Multimedia message - PAAAAARTAY!

What a party. I hope i don't have the smell of smoke on my suede jacket. @.@

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

All good things must come to an end...at least for something better to come along.

Today I left my job at Dierbergs. The pay sucked, but the coworkers were kind and usually entertaining to interact with. Can't forget the jerk customers that came through. I wouldn't have toughened up without them.

I want to get the hell out this house as soon as possible. I'm 23, and I don't have my dream job yet. I'm working on it, and getting my foot through the door seems possible now, but I just wish I had my job just a little bit longer. Even though my mom's doing extremely well for a real estate agent (rookie agent), she doesn't make enough to even match what I was getting at Dierbergs. When I used to baby sit, I'd make $100/month to do it. I can't live off of that! My mom said that she would send people my way who need web sites done for them. That hasn't happened yet. I'm not letting her trap me here. I love her, but I want my own life and way of doing things.

Ok, rant over. So like I said above before going all emo - I've been working on the site again. The Contact page has been updated; I added a contact form for those who may just be lazy enough to not want to open Outlook/Eudora/Thunderbird or open another browser window to access their webmail accounts. It's faster. It's convenient. And hopefully it won't get detected by spam bots. I wish the form mailer script came with a captcha filter added in. Good news is that it catches more than 90% of the spambots out there. Bad news is that spamming companies now hire people to pass captcha filters. Good thing I'm not so popular. :P Whilst watching my sister's children tomorrow, the new job hunt begins, and this time I'm looking for a job in my field. I will update my resume and post it here, at my college's Experience database, and other various job sites across the web. Cross your fingers for me, everybody! :D

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Friday, March 2, 2007

The next 10 weeks are going to be hell.

Not only do I have to have a 10-minute Power Point presentation of the Postmodern Graphic Style complete with 500+ word essay done by sometime during the last 2 weeks of the semester, I have to create a somewhat costly portfolio setup after Spring Break, complete with Business cards, envelopes, first sheet, second sheet, and tear sheet. I have only begun digging through all of my work in order to pull together a portfolio with at least 12-15 pieces. I say 12 to 15 because I have no idea how many pieces are needed for the companies I will be applying at. Since illustration itself was a small part of my degree (even though it focuses on illustration), I don't have as many pieces as I want. I may have to come up with some stuff to add to my portfolio for its first incarnation.

Meanwhile at my part-time job at Dierbergs, I've been getting less hours. On average, I used to get 20 hours. Now we have more people, so the hours have to be scheduled amongst more people, which means less hours for everyone. Some people already work another job besides working at Dierbergs. There was a graphic designer position open at Dierbergs, and I would have a better chance at getting the job because they like to hire from within the company. However, I don't have much to show at the moment, so I think I missed that boat.

One poster I did a few years back was nice, and I wish I could find the file. It's most likely on the backup discs I created when I wiped out my old computer. It was a good example of graphic design using raster and vector in Photoshop CS, and it kills me that I don't have a hard copy of the poster. My teacher does so hopefully she kept the file of the project too in case I can't find mine.

Well, regardless of the status of my portfolio, I do have samples of work already available on my website and more to add, so I can just direct employers to my website. Or I can re-do my PDF portfolio and email that to them instead of just my resume. That would be good at this point.

OR!!! I can go ahead and make this announcement. In case you haven't noticed, The of my site has been updated to reflect my project availability status. Please read it for details. If you're interested, please ASAP so I can get back to you as soon as possible. I'd like to get more experience, and I need the money. ^^;;

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All done!

Well, except for the pencil roughs from the beginning of class, but everything else is complete. I hope it all is to my instructor's satisfaction. I bought the Clerks 2 box set about 2 weeks ago, and I told myself that I wouldn't open it until I was done with all my work. So there, I'll be watching Clerks 2 this evening. If I don't fall asleep first. O.o One more class, yay! I'll have to submit yet another appeal for financial aid since I believe I bombed my painting class. But nonetheless, that's what I shall do, and hopefully that will take care of most of my tuition for just one class. I forget what it's called when a person only takes one class. It's not part time...whatever. Hopefully I'll get something. The class costs $234. I have nowhere near that saved in my bank account. o_o;;

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Friday, December 8, 2006

It's that time again.

I must complete several projects in before monday or I'm doomed to repeat the same 2 classes. Most of the hard work is done, like conceptualizing them and getting them blown up on illustration board, but painting can take a bit of time. I went to sleep at 11:30 pm and woke up at 6 am with this horrible nagging feeling, "Get up and work! Get up and work!..." So after rolling around in bed for another 50 minutes, I give in and cleaned up my work space to finish my first painted illustration. After this gets done, I'll be moving on to my next piece. Luckily, it's not supposed to be realistic, but it's the only one that hasn't been enlarged onto illustration board. By far it's the easiest to do. Still time consuming, so I should get on doing it right away.

The piece I'm saving for last is an illustration done in pencil, ink, and india ink wash. Not a very easy medium to work with, as the ink is very rich, and it takes time to water it down to get the right shade. There's no correcting a mistake if the ink's too dark. I'll have to be very careful with this last piece. I'm glad I've taken a painting class this semester; at least I'm a bit more comfortable with putting paint to paper.

I will admit that I had to sacrifice a good grade in my painting class to get good grades in my required illustration classes. I know for sure I can't finish my last oil painting, which was supposed to be a self portrait of sorts. Unfortunately, the instructor made that assignment a nice big chunk of the grade. Maybe one day I will finish it on my own. Until then, I have to face the music when confronting my instructor next week (or this week if I see him around the Humanities building).

But I'm relieved nonetheless. I feel I have just enough time to get everything completed and turned in, and all I'll have left is one more class. And that's all I'll be taking Spring semester; no more taking electives for me. The one required class is all I can afford, and quite frankly, I'm done with paying out-of-pocket. I don't make enough money to keep supplementing the financial aid I managed to get these past few semesters. That and I want to get out there into the business and creative worlds and do my own thing. A.A.S. Graphic Communications degree, here I come. :D

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This Wednesday is my Friday

Yup, it is. I still have to work though. -_-

This monday was Nov 20th, the Day of Rememberance, a day where we as human beings take some time out of the day, a mere moment even, to remember those who who have died being themveselves or trying to correct the lives they were unfortunately born in. The full name of the memorial day is Transgendered Day of Rememberance, but it includes everyone from the gay, lesbain, and bi communities too. Hate crimes against someone of a different race gets national media attention with immediate sympathy toward the victim's family(-ies), but a hate crime against someone who is different by means of sexual orientation or gender identity barely gets printed unless there's enough of a fight put up by the families of the victims. And if the attacks do get printed, it's a bigotted story that sympathizes with the attacker and totally disprects the victim by labelling them a freak in between the lines. It's happened in major publications before, and no one but the victims (who in reality are few but enough) ever dared to challenge the media for creating and perpetuating such a horrible misunderstanding of the transgendered.

Racism still exists, sure, but why are there no/hardly any laws protecting the transgendered folk? People who are different because they, simply put, were born as the wrong gender and trying to fix their lives so that they can be honest and happy with themselves. If a man discovers that his gender is female, he corrects the genetic mistake by transitioning into the right sex. He begins to live his life as the girl he should've been at birth (or female to male sex transistion), maybe in stealth (meaning no one knows his past life except a small circle of loved ones) or totally out and honest with everyone. Rita Hester, the victim whose death inspired others to create the "Remembering Our Dead" web project, is one such case. She was loved and befriended by straight, gay, les, bi, and trans people alike. She was a lively woman who dared to be herself and open with everyone, living without fear of others' bigotry. She was murdered for being extraordinary, and all the the press did was call her by "he" pronouns and her original male name, and they stirred up rumors about her living a some double life.

Most transgendered don't tell everyone at first, or at all. And it's totally understandable why; almost every time one's outted by choice or accident, they're attacked. Many can't even live in relative comfort because their chance of death by murder is higher than any minority group out there. It is sometimes by strangers who're homophobic and sometimes by the ones closest to them who can't cope with the transistion. No matter the reason, it's truly evil to kill someone because of the hate and ignorance brought on by such a society of hypocrites. This could happen to my gay cousin. This could happen to you if you're "different" or someone you love who happens to be different. Every fag, dyke, and sissy dick girl is loved by someone.

Please take the time to look at this site: http://www.rememberingourdead.org/index.html

Read some or all of the entries on that site. Every year there are names added. For every name, there's a family out there whose lives have been torn apart by the tragedy of an often ignored hate crime. The only way to stop the killing of innocent people is to remember the ones who have lost their lives daring to be on the outside who they were on the inside.

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Friday, March 12, 2004

Tonight Just Sucked Horribly. My Eyes Are Burning... >.<

Everything went fine today. I babysat my nephew, and my mom didn't have to work today, so I didn't have to be the only one watching him. Gave me time to sit around and play for a while. Then around 11:35 pm, my sister, Shay, shows up ready to go home with her baby. Around 11:40 pm, Shay calls us to tell us that she's been in a car accident. Some stupid motherfuckers ran the red light and hit her front end. She was going 30 mph, while the fucktard in the other car was doing AT LEAST 55. They were going so fast, that they mowed down a tree (relatively small compared to the ones that can KILL).

Shay, being enraged at the crime, chased them down the street, where a passing driver actually pulled over to witness the scene. The culprits stopped, and began unloading clothes and other unimportant junk out of the car. The witness noticed that one of the men in the car got out with a gun. Fortunately, the guy must have noticed the man that witnessed the chase, or else my sister could've either been shot or beaten to death in front of her son. Chasing them was very foolish. The criminals fled down the street and sought refuge in one of the nearby houses. Six people in all were in that car: 4 men, 2 girls. All guilty of something, or else they wouldn't have run. When my mother and I got to the intersection of where the accident ocurred, there was debris from both of the cars involved strewn about every which way in the street. Seeing this, I was sure that my sister's car was (and is) in horrible shape.

We get to where the car chase ended, parked, and checked out both vehicles. Shay's car's front end is just FUCKED UP; the bumper is destroyed, the passenger front end of the car looks like a torn aluminum can, pieces are hanging out, and the radiator is busted. The other car's front end was even worse. Luckily, Shay wasn't going fast enough for the bastards to hit her in the side; my nephew was in there for Christ's sakes. Speaking of him, I got him out of the car as soon as we got there. My grandfolks showed up as well; upset very much they were. I just stood there (in my pajamas) and just sobbed. I'm soo pissed off. My sister worked hard to get the car she had; she used her tax refund to purchase it. She's doing so well, and someone just comes along and blows a good thing for her.

To make a long story short, the cops showed up, got the story from my sister, got the culprits' car (it's most likely a stolen vehicle) towed away, and she put her car in our empty lot. Then we drove her home. I will pick her up tomorrow so she can go to work, and I keep the baby as usual. My eyes are still burning from the crying. >_<

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Thursday, March 4, 2004

My Drives in Life (part 1 of ?)

I want to be someone someday. I like to draw, try to animate with flash, take pictures, maintain my own website, and practice designing websites. I would like to do all of this for a living, freelance preferably. I would also like to work for the likes of Nintendo. I would like to make my own game, PC or console. Of course, I would like to have my friends help me as well.

I would like to continue my college education and graduate with at least my associates degree in Graphic Communications. I would like to give back to my loving family who sacrificed for me when they were raising me and my siblings, or else I don't even think I would be able to pursue college. I would like to buy my mother the dream home that she's always wanted. I would LOVE to be with a guy that would love and respect me for being just me and not worry about me meeting expectations or desires. I would love to have a family of my own when I am ready. I would like to give my nephew and future nephew/niece (this is just a thought hanging in the air) every toy their little hearts would desire, in case I am not able to bear children of my own in the future.

Another one of my drives in life is to try and make more friends and find more people like myself, and those who offer me more in ways of personality and emotional stability. I don't need a human crutch, just someone I know that can help ease the pain of when I fall on my own. I have but a few people like that outside of family ties; 2 to be exact ( a 3rd is somewhat questionable, since we don't communicate as much now that we are apart). There are definitely times when I like my solitude, but overall I hope to never be alone.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Ghettopoly: Spoof Gone Too Far?

I picked up on an article posted at BlackPlanet.com about a board game that spoofs the classic Monopoly game, gangsta rap style. Click here for a "Ghettopoly news article". This has caused a considerable amount of controversy from the African American community. Now I'm African American, and I live in what was called a "bad" part of the city. I can see the humor in the game, considering I have pals that make fun of ignorant racist stereotypes all the time. But it was made by someone who is ignorant about the African American culture, and probably never set foot in 'the hood'. Not only that, but the majority of the players are not truthfully aquainted with the African American culture. I think that's the aspect that hurts most... [more at the forum]

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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The Double Agent Art Teacher, The Talon, and PSXExtreme Awesome

Back in college for my third year. God, is it boring already. For some reason, I can't even get into the swing of my Figure Drawing class, which sucks because it's a cool class. The instructor needs to lay off a little in my opinion; I get to school on time, but she insists on using the reeeeaaaalllly fast clock in the classroom, and therefore, I've been "tardy" 3 times in a row. I know I'm running the actual time on my watch so I know I was early, but I guess it's treason to argue my case with my art instructor. So uptight, that woman. >.> Being drained from babysitting from 3 pm - 10/11/12(!?) pm doesn't help the drive to do ANY homework. I use any chance I get to nap, mainly when my nephew naps. I also try to hang out with my peeps when I get the chance to. Brings some sort of relief to the work week. Thank God my Fitness Center class is only 8 weeks long; I get some more time to do shit before the semester's up, namely more napping and homework.[/rant]

Oh yeah, I've gots my car; it's a '92 Eagle Talon (Mistubishi Eclipse). :P Photos of it are in the forum. It's a 5 spd, so I had to learn to drive that sucker (God, I love my mother and respect her even more.). I've made some significant progress, but I'll just say that backing up in a 5 speeder has become my arch nemesis. Something's wrong with first gear, but most of the time, I can't get a good start off anyways. I take my foot off the clutch w/o giving it enough gas. At least the car doesn't stall like it did when I first started learning. ><;;

Anyways, I've joined the staff at PSX Extreme as an article contributor. I've done two tasty Playstation 2 game previews so far; I've linked them up in the Games section.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A slice of life, one year at a time

Two days ago, I celebrated my 20th birthday. Well, it wasn't much celebrating; everyone had went to work, since it was a monday and all, and I had only received one present: Advanced Wars for the GBA. I'm used to being disappointed when it comes to birthdays, because almost every bday, it's on a week day. That and everyone else is broke by time my bday comes up.

But this year, my friend Zero shined through for me; he went to a GameStop store and reserved DDR Max 2 for me. Weeee! Yeah, Max 2 doesn't come here until (supposedly) Sept/Oct, but it's worth the wait. XD Thanks, Zero! *huggles* My mom had given me $40, and my grandfolks $25, so with the money I'm holding onto now, I should be able to buy a digital camera. I can see the evil in that. Now, I'll be able to take pics of EVERYTHING!!! I should be able to put an updated pic of myself up soon. Well, it seems the reason why my bday was so cheap is because my mom and grandfolks are going to get me a car. It won't be much, just something to get me to/from home and college, with the occassional running around with friends. :)

News for today: Someone tried to steal my cousin's car. Honest-living people can't have anything, can they? Geez! I hope the bastard who attempted the theft gets caught. >:( Other news, I found where I put that piece of my anticipated flash movie. It's not much of a look into the entire toon, but it's proof that I've done something. Here ya go: Clicky for flash!

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