Saturday, October 25, 2014

Making of the Monster Mash at Marketecture

So one of the quirks of working for Marketecture is Halloween is a super big deal. It's because it's one of the exec's favorite holiday. So we go all out in a Cubicles of Death decorating contest. This year my group worked ridiculously hard to bring you the Monster Mash. We decided on our theme on Friday. My roommate happened to be gone for the weekend, so it seemed like the perfect time to get started, and I dragged out the cardboard to cut out these gates:
 Saturday the craziness continued, and I crafted a coffin for Dracula:

I painted them in the next couple days. Meanwhile, back at the office, Amberly was hard at work cutting out bats, which were then hung...lots and lots of bats. I think almost 300 bats. Yeah. Crazy. We also worked on putting together a graveyard. (While not specifically mentioned in the song, doesn't a graveyard seem to belong?)

We spread the rumor that we were doing Nicholas Cage Halloween and the bats and graveyard was all part of National Treasure. People really believed it. But we didn't want our secret to get out, because our secret plan was to make a music video, and we didn't want to give anyone ideas. So we didn't do a lot at first on the lab, master bedroom where the vampires feast, or the monsters during that week.

Amberly, her husband, her friend, and I came in on Saturday to create our big monsters on the windows. If you'd told me last year I'd come in on Saturday to decorate for Halloween I would have laughed in your face. The crazies have gotten me.

I started out with the castle:

Amberly and co started with the monsters. I had previously drawn out monster options for them to work off of and they turned out pretty well! Once I finished the castle, I mostly helped by rolling tape, because boy did we go through tape.

Finally, we added smaller monsters down the backs of a row of cubicles. I don't have a picture of them out, but I do have this from when I was creating them:

We finished up the lab, with some bottles and vases and some pictures I drew of more vials and such, and we had a bubble machine for the music video. We also had the coffin, candles, and glasses of "blood" in the vampire's bedroom. Plus, we took the Darth Vader toy and made him into Dracula, with a red collar and fang teeth. 

Here's a photo of the whole area: 

You can even see Drac Vader in the back there, if you look closely. All the gravestones have funny things on them too, courtesy of Victoria on our team.

The final step was the making of the music video, which was a lot of fun. It's cheesy, but what do you expect in a video we made in a couple hours? We got our CEO, Ollie, to star in it and all dressed up as various monsters. Stayed late on Monday night and got some help from spouses even to get it done. You can see our video on Marketecture's Facebook page, link below.

So as you can see, we worked really hard. And we need votes so we can win this thing! Team 1 did Doctor Who, and they've been trash talking the whole time about how they're going to win it. They feel so confident, they haven't even put up their pictures and video yet. So vote for Team 2! And tell your friends to vote too! Just go to the Marketecture page on Facebook, find our pictures and our video, and like each one (5 pics, 1 video) and you can help us win! We really appreciate it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Had a Birthday, Shout Hooray

Wow I'm behind the times here. I've meant to write about various things, but never did. So a little while after the fact, here's how I celebrated my birthday.

It stretched out a bit. I kicked it off by getting my hair done. Just another shade of red with some lighter highlights. There's a birthday selfie a little later in this post that could give you an idea of it. I also bought a new top that I wore on my birthday (also pictured in said selfie).

At work, I've taken over birthdays this year, making a card that everyone signs and bringing in a treat. When they learned my birthday was coming up, apparently everybody wanted in on it...we had three volunteers to bring in the treat, and two of them did, so I had two cakes. The one on the left was Mississippi mud cake and Taylor made the chocolate cake on the right from scratch. Both were good.

Morgan made the card and they had everyone sign it. I had to laugh. Maybe I sing that song too much to my content team. I do sing it to my team when we meet, changing the words to be "everything is awesome when you're on content team." (Oh btw, I got made team lead a couple months ago, so that was cool.)

After work, I went and got a massage. It wasn't super relaxing because they really dug in to get rid of those knots, but it worked, so can't complain. I then went to get a pre-birthday dinner at Spicy Thai and my friend Greg (owner's son) was working and he gave me my delicious masman curry for free. I was not expecting that, and it was super nice. So extra plug for Spicy Thai—it's amazing, the curry is my favorite, and obviously the people there are the best. Try it sometime. It's our fave.

It was super nice to have a birthday on Saturday so I could relax and enjoy the day! I was hoping to sleep in, but that didn't happen. I woke up and was wide awake. So I got up and opened a couple presents and got ready for the day. When my roommate awoke, we went to Kneaders for breakfast. We both got the French toast with hot chocolate and it was delicious! That place was hopping, so our seats were at counter against the window so we had a nice view of the mountains...I attempted to capture my view and my breakfast in the same shot but it didn't really you get to see yummy food and parking lot...enjoy.

My parents and brother had sent birthday gifts to my grandparent's house, so I went there after breakfast. I visited with them for a while, which was very nice. Then I had plans to have lunch with a friend, so when he was ready we went to Savory & Sweet. I was still quite full from breakfast, so I got a dessert crepe and he got a real lunch. (Are you seeing the theme of food on this birthday?) This I guess would be my birthday cake on my actual birthday.

Here's the aforementioned obligatory birthday selfie.

After lunch, I had some free time before the next birthday event. So I set up my new television (thanks mom and dad) and watched The Importance of Being Earnest. See, that whole relaxing on birthday thing is the best. It was awesome just to enjoy the day and do various activities with friends but also take some time to just relax.

My birthday evening activities weren't specifically planned for my birthday, but that's when it worked out best to do them, and I was fine with that. Angie, Stacy, and Leah, pictured two below, and I went to Boudreaux's for dinner. They're all mission friends and so we got us some good Cajun cuisine.

After dinner, we went back to my apartment and chatted for a while, took the picture below, and then Stacy and Angie left as our friends from the ward showed up to watch Austenland. We had a nice little gathering of our girlfriends. There were at least a couple who hadn't seen it before, and the rest of us are obsessed, so it was fun to watch all together. Lots of laughs. Tallyho!

Sunday we got to relax more. We had stake conference in the morning, leaving the afternoon open for movies and Oscar's red carpet stuff. Then we watched the Oscars. I was sick of Gravity winning everything since out of all the movies, it's the one I have the least interest in. So I was relieved it didn't get best picture. Just ask my roommates, they were quite amused by my reactions.

Mom and dad came into town the following week, so I got to celebrate again at dinner at Texas Roadhouse, which was fantastic, and then dinner at my grandparents with grilled salmon—yum! Tons of amazing food, that's pretty much how to describe my birthday celebrations. For reals.

And while not directly connected to the birthday celebrations, I also got to go to a Vocal Point concert. I just super love them. It was a great concert.

We took this at intermission and Instagrammed it with the designated hashtag, (plus one of my own, #fangurls) so a few members of Vocal Point liked it and I felt so cool. ;) We're practically BFFs now. 

So there you have it, my more-than-a-week long birthday celebration! Here's to a great rest of the year. (I have a lot of plans to make it so...just you wait...)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Family Christmas Letter

Oh hey it's been a while, but here's some fun I didn't actually write! My dad writes our family Christmas letter every year in his witty way. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Holiday Tidings from the Thomas family, 2013

Really the whole year is a blur. If we could just print this letter blurrily, I could get away with almost any version of the 2013 story. But Maria is so vigilant about Christmas letters, and the children so picky about the record of their lives, that only my section will benefit from some creative thinking. 

So let’s do the fiction first. I published a lot of important and path-breaking scholarship, reclaimed the golf game of my youth, transformed the minds and lives of all my students, and toned my body into top-notch performance and strength. I brightened every day for my angel bride, inspired my children to legendary excellence and compassion, and cursed no cats. Also I stopped yelling at fallible athletes, exuded grace and charm in all social settings, and generally just made the world a beautiful place. On a lighter note, my doctor spent an hour cutting in my back, while we chatted about healthcare economics and other fun stuff.

Maria wishes she could live up to that standard, but seriously! She did take Santa Lucia to the next level, incorporating some Swedish lore into the ward Christmas celebration that she orchestrated with much assistance from neighborhood children and grown-ups. (I helped with ideas.) She tried to resign from the local education foundation, but they begged her to stay—so nice to be indispensable! I think she now does all the Christmas shopping, for herself as well as everyone else. You can often find her planning her Relief Society lesson a month ahead, and she did a bunch of other stuff, but modesty prevents her telling all. I’d like to add two magic words, however: Suprep and sedation. Enough said?

Hannah, a feminist of sorts, has just about proposed marriage to her man Riley—and they have a wedding date in the Salt Lake Temple next April. We wish them well. She had a short but intense study abroad in the British Isles, with a side trip to Rome and Florence. We remember the day she got lost in the Lake District and had a standoff with a sheep. At the request of management, she moved from a supervisory role in the Cougareat to a similar but mellower role at the Museum of Art CafĂ©. To me this seems like a great move, since she actually studies Art and such, but she finds it kind of boring after the frenzy she mastered. She has enjoyed her roommates (a first) in a nice location near campus; she still LOVES to write papers.

He’s not that happy about it, but Jordan’s year resembled the previous one. Here’s a cut and paste from 2012 with minimal editing: He “strove for marital bliss, driving back and forth across the [Colorado] border to woo a maiden. Sadly, his efforts ultimately went unrewarded, and now he is a bitter old[er] economist, or at least a heartsick student. Luckily he’ll be retaking a few classes next year so he can get more practice with his major. Meanwhile he continues to work at Porter’s Craft and Frame, which would seem like a good place to meet potential domestic goddesses. Time should heal his wounds, if a steady diet of Taco Bell, [muffins], and Mountain Dew doesn’t kill him first. The cats appreciate the time he spends in bed.” [I changed three things.] His latest aspiration is to own a toy store. He says video games are just as real as sports.

Brooke has a knack for winning hot tickets—she got two to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert with James Taylor in September, as well as their Christmas concert this month. After a winter job search, she was hired at Marketecture in Utah Valley to write content for business web pages, helping retailers sell everything from camping equipment to pet supplies to home brewing kits. She commutes in her “new” Hyundai, loves the pebble ice, navigates the corporate culture, and debates proper usage of exclamation points in commercial prose, a practical expression of her college training. At church she serves in the Relief Society of a young single adult congregation; Prince Charming has not yet whisked her away from modern life.

We traveled to Utah for a Thomas reunion to mark the parents’ golden wedding anniversary and to Oregon to visit some of the Morgans. Later we went to the Cardston Alberta temple on the 90th anniversary of its dedication and to Palmyra, NY on the 190th anniversary of the angel Moroni’s first appearance. We returned from both places with fond memories (and British chocolate from Canada). We close by echoing the ancient angels’ message: glory to God on high and peace to all on earth.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Love

It will come as no surprise to those who know me well or have read this post from last year that I love pumpkins. I wasn't sure how much pumpkin love I was going to get this year. I figured I could carve a pumpkin on my own, but it's more fun with others too. So when my roommate asked me to help her carve one for her work pumpkin carving contest, I was happy to oblige.  We looked at various ideas online. One of our favorites was Ryan Gosling saying "Hey girl," but we ended up with a small pumpkin and that would have been really difficult to pull off, so we went with Tinker Bell instead and I think she turned out really cute! And isn't the pixie dust fun? 
You can see the flashlight we used to illuminate it in the picture, but don't let that distract you from the charm.

In addition to carving pumpkins, I love pumpkin baked goods. My two favorite recipes are this cake here and these cookies. I just tried the cookie recipe tonight and yeah, they're awesome, with or without the salt on top, btw. So thought I'd share so you can give it a try too! Yum!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Being Daphne

Last night I went to a Halloween dance with my friends. For the past few years, they've dressed up as a group for Halloween—they'll tell you all about the glory days of Ghostbusters, and last year they did Mario. This year was a little more low-key, going with Scooby Doo. Since there's a scarcity of women in my old ward, when I mentioned that I was thinking of crashing their stake dance, they asked me to join them. I had the clothes for either Velma or Daphne, but since my hair is long and red, I was glad they chose Daphne.

Just before the dance, I was going to go see if I could find a more purple ribbon or hairband, since the one I have is super light and pinkish. I started driving and realized both my headlights were burned out...turned around and drove back. I knew the one was, and had purchased a new bulb, but hadn't put it in yet, so I was stuck. I ditched the ribbon idea, called my friend but he didn't answer, so I started walking to the church, since it's just a couple blocks away. I had a flashlight so cars could see me. I had texted the other friend and so when I was about halfway, he called and they came and picked me up. During this whole ordeal the irony that Daphne was always the damsel in distress did not escape me. I just really got into character!

Fred, Zombie, Daphne, Scooby, Shaggy with Scooby Snacks

So with the help of Scooby and Shaggy I got to the dance. It was a lot of fun. Had I not been there, these poor boys would have been stuck dancing without a girl for a good chunk of the night, since merging with other groups didn't always work out. So it worked out pretty well for me. And it felt great to dance!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Flooding and Zombies

The waters rushed in, quickly flooding the area. We moved to higher ground, barely keeping above the water as it quickly rose. Then the zombies came.

That's kinda how I feel about work right now. There's a flood of work, I'm sort of keeping up...a ton of content to write, but so far people are still getting their sites done in time...barely. But now we have more people on the products team...and not yet on content. That was the zombies...they appeared this morning. We're still doing okay, but I'm sure looking forward to getting someone else in here!

On a happier note (sort of), we read a bunch of really crummy writing sometimes. While it can be a little painful, it also is hilarious sometimes. Here's a taste.

Bad blog title: Do You Have the Jowls of a Bulldog?
What we wanted to write: You ARE a bulldog, so stop feeling self-conscious, little buddy.

Bad blog title: In the Following Paragraphs We're Going to Be Taking a Look at the Dark Side of Fat Loss Programs
(Yes, there are a ton of really lousy LONG titles...)
Following comments: Give into your cravings. Join the fat side.
Give into your hate for healthy food.
I find your lack of exercise disturbing.

And the worst, excerpts from an article online:
Do you like apple accent colors and Native American appearance products? Are you because decorating your home with some of these items?
This is a actual baby and simple account that can accomplish a big aberration in a room.
Learning about this appearance of adornment is aloof as agitative as adornment your home with some of these accomplished pieces. that one I found what appears to be the original article and they just substituted a bunch of words that made no sense...most of them starting with the letter A.

One more from today...don't have the exact quote, but it was something like, "When buying a silver bracelet, you want to be sure it doesn't fit too loosely, because that could cause embarrassment."

So there's a glimpse of the funny nonsense we see while writing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Introvert or Extrovert? The World May Never Know

So I recently encountered this funny little MBTI Harry Potter chart:
I looked at it and thought, I'm pretty sure I'm an ISFJ, which put me as Neville Longbottom. I read the description and it fit fairly well. But I left the chart open so I could look at my old test results from my freshman year of college.

To my surprise, my old results were ESFJ! Say what?! I came out on the extroverted side?! I read the description and it fit fairly well too.

I do identify with a lot of introverted tendencies, but sometimes I'm more extroverted. I really like to be around people and I don't really like to be alone to think. I do need my own time, but not to not think, more like...anyway...I took another online MBTI test and came out ISFJ, so I think I'm an extroverted introvert. Maybe an introverted extrovert? I'm thinking the former. Mostly just crazy? Yeah.