Saturday, December 22, 2007

No name

Today I went to Beggars & Choosers in Pittsboro with my mom, which was really great. Anyone who lives in the triangle area should go there ASAP. B&C is in downtown Pittsboro, which is like a smaller version of Hillsborough or a larger version of Stars Hollow. I bought this book "In The City and On the Farm." It's full of Stories To Read like "A Good Grocery Boy" and "Fun on the Farm." It's like DickandJane level, but with BillyandMary instead. It's superb. The illustrations are amazingly 50s, and I can't wait to trace/xerox them for some project. They use some kind of TimesNewRoman-y font that they also used in my kindergarten letterbooks -- seriously, they haven't changed fonts since 1954?

I also bought several neckerchiefs (sp?) and some Christmas presents for my bro. It was nice to be in a different place (ie, not Durham or Rals) for an afternoon, even though we ran into all my bro's Durhamite pals there, which was awkward and funny. In the Bargain Basement I found a beautiful quilted shiny yellow couch that was long and plush and comfy. I thought about buying it for a (maybe) apartment for (maybe) next year. Then I saw that it was $475. Bye bye, dream couch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Good and the Bad

In life there are Good Things and Bad Things, right? Right. So, here's a list of some Good and some Bad things that have happened to me recently (since you know I love lists so much).

1. I passed Art History!!! Most of you have heard me whine about the potentiality of failing it multiple times, so I'm really proud that I passed with a 79.5 on the final exam. I want to tell my mom, but she still thinks I'm high-school-straightA-Helen, so she probably wouldn't be as ecstatic as I am.
2. I ate bison for the first time at Alison's last night. And it was delicious.
3. I got boots! Beautiful, suede, brown, scrunchy boots. I'm a little concerned because I have a lot of black/gray pants -- if I wear them with brown boots, that's a fashion faux-pas, right? Whatever.

1. Upcoming Wisdom Teeth removal. Tonight T$$$ told me about how he got sick from Percoset, had his "nasal cavity pierced," and had the taste of blood in his mouth for a while. Ew. Ew.
2. I'm spending too much money. And I still don't know what to get for my brother for Christmas. Aaaah.
3. Leia has another Gross Open Wound. Leia is my little cat that had this Open Wound that would NOT GO AWAY, so we had to put a sad huge cone collar on her. It healed, but now she has another Gross Open Wound. Poor baby! I hope she doesn't have to have another huge collar over Christmas....because she knows what Christmas is, of course...

Monday, December 17, 2007

I forgot about My Mathematical Mind

And about Spoon in general, for some reason. But now I'm obsessed again. Break has been great so far -- Since I have my laptop and Big Huge MacPro at home, I'm transferring my laptop music to my naked MacPro itunes. So I did 50 Cent through Elliot Smith, then got bored and decided to go backwards from YeahYeahYeahs through Ratatat. So I guess I have E-R still to go? Or something.

Okay this has been officially the most boring and pointless blog post ever. However, everyone needs to listen to Spoon. Yes, you. Go. Right now. Do it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Xmas spiwit****

****This little girl we used to know had a pony called "Spirit," but had some kind of lazy "r" so she called him "Spiwit." Now, every time someone in my family says the word "spirit" they pronounce it as "spiwit." I'm so glad we do.

The power just came back on, so I felt the need to blog. Even though we were decorating the tree/house with Christmas decorations, and I had no need for electronics at that particular time, I admit I panicked a little. Plus the whole we-need-heat-and-just-bought-a-crapload-of-groceries thing was running through my mind. I kept having flashbacks to 6th grade when we had that big ice storm and our power went out for a WEEK AND A HALF, even though most of our neighbors had power (wtf). We boiled potatoes and soup in water over our fire, and all bunked down in our living room. Yeah. That was fun for about 26 hours.

ANYWAY it's back on now, so HEY INTERNETZ. I love you. I missed you. I felt so lost without you. Oh, and at the top of the page look at a really great photo of our cement snail, aptly named Snaily, with some antlers to get you all in the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa spiwit.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Embarrassing Moment #475858

Oh God, oh God. I just had a really awkward moment in Francesca's, a coffee shop in Durham. So here I am trying to write on the Typography blog (okay, fine, Facebook), and get some Neko Case going, but I didn't quite have my headphones plugged in all the way, so Neko Case comes blasting out of my tiny laptop, and ALL THESE GROWNUPS STARE AND FROWN. The worst part was that I had Neko up on both YouTube AND Myspace (thinking only one would work), but BOTH came blasting out, obviously not in sync. So. Embarrassing. I'm sorry, everyone. Sorry that I disturbed your artsy Durham peace. I guess that's what Raleigh Bitches do. So here I am, shamefully blogging and trying not to make eye contact with anyone here. Sigh. At least it's Winter Break!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Why can't I write in anything but lists?

This has got to be a helenfear record -- another blog within twenty minutes of the first one. WAAAOW.
TOP FIVES OF 2007, in no particular order:

1. Bucky Done Gun - M.I.A.
2. Seventeen Years - Ratatat
3. My doorbell - White Stripes
4. Satellite (remix courtesy Rob) - Guster
5. Stronger - Kanye West

Also, my favorite person this year: Saja Hindi, no doubt.

1. brown boots
2. turtlenecks
3. scarves, lightweight or fuzzy
4. pins from Vaguely Reminiscent in d-town
5. Alison's yellow jacket

1. a "segway" (ie, segwaying into one discussion topic from another) is actually spelled S-E-G-U-E
2. it is always N.C. State. Not NC State.
3. Art history is The Worst Class Ever
4. That hill in front of Tompkins/Winston/Caldwell is killer.
5. Saying "yes" to "delete all color information" is ALWAYS a bad idea.

1. C, M, Y together
2. Light green
3. Black. Or is that not technically a color? I don't know. Good job Fundamentals.
4. Ice blue and sea green
5. 5-5-15-0

1. Lily's pizza
2. Laura and Steph's apartment
3. 323 Witherspoon
4. Third Place

1. Peppermint Mocha - Starbuck's
2. Raspberry Mocah (iced) - Global Village
3. Michelob Ultra - from my favorite coworkers and friends
4. 79 cent coffee/hot choc mix - Bragaw c-store
5. Orange Fanta - Witherspoon vending machine

1. Not focusing (HA!) solely on the camera in studio
2. Designing and working with Laura P.
3. Taking Intro to Equine Mngmt!
4. Wearing Christmas boots
5. THE OLYMPICS. I love the Olympics! The world is so united for a short time. I just love it.

What I've learned

Dear darling blog,

Sorry I've neglected you for a while. I've been busy not sleeping and printing everything I have ever designed. So since the semester's almost over, and I can't sleep, I thought I'd document what I've learned these past few months:

1. How to plot something. The plotter is a long, thin, shiny black machine that is sometimes a friend and mostly a foe. Printing on it requires the changing of many settings so that the plotter understands what it has to do. Sometimes it will get confused and will print your concept map and chop it HORIZONTALLY instead of VERTICALLY and will spit out TEN FEET of paper behind it. Not that that happened to me two nights ago or anything.

2. How to bandage effectively. I was pretty confident in my equine bandaging abilities, but until Alison sliced her finger open with an exacto knife the other day, I didn't know about my human medical care. I think I'm a little bit sick for enjoying it, but Alison would have passed out in the architecture bathroom if I hadn't been there with my purple bag of first aid stuff.

3. The difference between registration black and flat black. Yes, I learned this with an alt-box drama in Technician this summer, but the bs-color-1 printing some of my book's spreads in flat black and some in registration black was a nice reminder.

4. Everything about a camera (except how to actually take photos). After focusing on this object in all three design courses, I can safely tell you everything you want to know about parts of the camera, social rules for posing, developing vs. uploading, and camera accessories. However, we learned NOTHING about photography in Imaging, which I find slightly ironic (insert Alanis lyrics here).

5. How amazing M.I.A. is. I think I played "Jimmy" for three hours straight one day. I think everyone at my table made fun of me. I think Maggie made up sick hand moves for "Paper Planes." I think putting bonus M.I.A. tracks on Transfer is the best. I think I love M.I.A.

6. That a baby turkey is actually a "poult." And that making an infographic about turkeys is surprisingly fun.

7. There's another solar system out there. And the sun is called Cancri 55. Or something.

8. How to barbecue a pig in time for kickoff. And that "geocaching" is a really neat treasure hunt for grown-ups.
And that Science & Tech has made me a more interesting and knowledgeable human being.

9. How amazing YouTube is. After your second all-nighter, you tend to run out of music to listen to. Solution? YouTube everything you want to hear but don't own. Suggestions? Faded (SoulDecision), Larger than life (BSB), Check up on it (Beyonce), Gangster Paradise (Coolio).

10. How much I love everyone in my studio. I'm really glad I got to know more people in studio...I made some new friends that I didn't think I would ever care to talk to. I'm glad that I made an effort, especially in these last few weeks.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Earlier, I was really angry about being jerked back to Raleigh and back to reality. Away from my 12+ hrs of sleep, away from my kitties, away from delicious food, away from my beautiful car. But. I'm here now, and I guess there are some good things here. So, in an attempt to be positive about school/life, here are nine things I was excited to come back to (I named them all "My ______" like Scrubs episodes):

1. My consistent water pressure. My water pressure in my Durham shower is weak, but here I can actually rinse all the shampoo out of my hair.

2. My Mac. My home PC moans and groans and tries to shut down whenever I open AIM, the interwebz or similar. I think it's so full of music and high school English papers that it's diseased somehow. Also, my laptop doesn't get the internet at home because my mom FORGOT the password for our wireless "LDEAR" system. NICE.

3. My roommate She made cookies, cleaned the kitchen and brought back Glamour. And she's just kind of great in general.

4. My knowledge map Today I did one outline drawering in Illustratorof my brother developing a photograph. ONE. It's going slowly, but I like this map about a million times more than my first studio map.

5. My job designing + friends + bojangles' runs + monie$$ + office hours where i do nothing = my job right now

6. My clothes Over thanksgiving break, I brought home ONE shirt and TWO pairs of pants. Dumb dumb dumb. It's nice to be back to having options.

7. My knowledge of missing links Meredith just told us all about missing links; too bad I KNOW MISSING LINKS VERY WELL ALREADY! Hey, 12:59. Hey, missing links. Yep, I forgot about you. CRAP.

8. My gmail Today I received several emails with me/LauraW/Alison/Maggie animated as dancing elves, which pretty much made my morning.

9. My routine I'm such a freak, but I really LIKE having a routine of having to do this and that in whatever order. I like structure. I hate change. Now I'm back in my little structured world, which is kind of like an invisible security blanket. I know that in 45 minutes I will trek to the office, hit up the budget office for some colored paper, draw out the front page, go to the budget meeting, split pages, eat dinner, design, design, send pages, go home, watchy trashy TV with Alison and go to sleep.

It's nice to be back. Sort of.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hello, internetz

Maybe this is silly, but I generally just think of my blog as only read by Nosila, Magattacksyou, and maybe Alisontheinternet. I keep forgetting that this blog can be read by EVERYONE who has internet access AROUND THE WORLD. Maybe THAT'S silly...maybe Nosila and Magattacksyou ARE the only readers I have.
Anyway. Since I am theoretically speaking to everyone on the webz, here are sites you should check out if you're bored over Thanksgiving (They've greatly improved my break, so I just wanted to share the love):

1. Justice's D.A.N.C.E, a great song with a greater video:

2. Postsecret finally updated! Sometimes they don't, which is really frustrating. I count on you changing every Sunday morning, PS, and you keep letting me down:

3. Some scathing fashion criticism that my darling roommate shared with me:

4. I love old Penguin book covers -- the designs are so simple, yet there's something really captivating about them. I found this site last week during Art History; click on a thumbnail to look through all the covers:

5. Another internet gem I found during Art History. This magazine (GOOD) has this section called "Transparency," which is a collection of really nicely done infographics about world issues. I love information design, and I used this website as inspiration for our last Science & Tech page:
(The Solar Power infographic is my fav)

6. I'm generally too poor to buy lots of magazines, so I like to read this online instead. Their design AND content are cool. BALLLLER.

7. Only the best show on TV these days: Are you on team Lauren or team Heidi, internet friend?

8. Another great infographic HAHAHAHA:

Okay, that's enough finds for one day, I think. And, Thanksgiving dinner's ready. Mmmmmm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Okay, here are my top ten reasons why Thanksgiving is a great holiday:
1. Yesterday I slept from 11:00 p.m. to 2:35 p.m. and even had some dreams! I don't dream very much anymore since I'm so tired all the time, so it was a nice change.
2. Tonight my mom and I made chocolate sauce (for ice cream). And didn't argue! at all!
3. On Tuesday night my mom and I went to a Thai restaurant and I got some yummy pad thai. She then told me that the car "smelled like alcohol." And asked "if I drank," to which I replied "um, no, not today." AAAAAAHHH!
4. I stole some great tunes from my bro, including: Justice, Ratatat, The Knife, Jose Gonzalez, and more Broken Social Scene.
5. I have time to sit down and read. Today I read "Best of Brochure Design 6," which was the closest to book design I could find. I wish I'd checked out more books before the break.
6. My kitties suddenly don't hate me anymore, which is nice. Except one of them threw up last night (EW).
7. My brother's chinchillas are cute and soft and fun to pet. I especially like Lyle, who only has three legs.
8. I rode Blaze today; it was really fun and he didn't misbehave. I hate riding in the winter because it's so cold and the wind always numbs your face, but that didn't happen since it was like 70 degrees today. Thanks, Global Warming!
9. I can drive and blast my music and sing as loudly as I want. I love my ipod and listening to music on my computer(s), but I can never sing out loud without looking/sounding insane. Also, the sick bass in my car drowns out my singing voice.
10. Hopefully I'll hang out with Ana/Sophia and Lauren later this week. It's weird to switch from seeing them every day in high school to only seeing them on holidays...But this way we've all kind of accumulated a lot of stories to share.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A close call

So for my "experience book" in studio (make a book! about your experience! with a camera! oh okay), I wrote an essay about this internship I did in Durham when I was a senior in high school. For the internship, I got to take photos of the American Tobacco District with a really nice camera and design a brochure using the photos. So my studio prof suggested going back to the ATD and taking similar photos to use for THIS project. Simple enough, right? Go back to dtown, take some pics, hang out.


I get to the American Tobacco District (it's like a big courtyard complete with waterfalls, bridges, a watertower, and businesses/restaurants/bars on either side) and start taking photos near the Mellow Mushroom. As I'm walking around snapping photos of this big overhanging, I hear "HEY YOUNG LADY!," so I turn around and see this large Middle Eastern security guard striding towards me. The conversation:
Security Guard: "What exactly do you think you're doing, young lady?"
Helen: "Um...taking some photos for a project."
SG: "Photos are forbidden here. You have to leave, now."
H: "Look, it's for a class! I'm a design student at NC State, and I'm trying to do a project based on an experience I had while interning at McKinney when I was in high school" [point to where the agency is]
SG: "I'm sorry, but photos are not allowed. Come with me."
So, panic stricken, I follow this guy inside the Crowe building, thinking he's going to chop me up into little pieces or something.
H: "But I don't understand. Why aren't photos allowed? Why exactly?" (sounding like a petulant six year old)
SG: "Well, after 9/11, they started to get a lot stricter. You know, since you look like a terrorist and all."
H: "Ha...ha."
So we go inside and talk to "Merv" at "The Desk." After I re-explain how I just want to do this for a design class, and no I CANT come back because i LIVE in RALEIGH and DONT have a car, Merv tells me to talk to the "folks at Management" on Monday. Whenever I talk to grown-ups that I don't know, I tend to get stressed, so I started to get all choked and sputtering and started to cry.
H: "But look! My professor is the only one who will see my photos! I'm not selling them!"
Merv: "I'm sorry. I can't make an exception for you. You have to leave now."
H: "Well, I'm sorry you can't give me a good reason. Thanks for nothing."
So I walk away and am almost at the parking deck when I hear "HEY MISSY!" It's the security guard again
SG: "Hey. I'm going to go take a walk. Be discreet, and be quick. When I come back, I don't want to see you."
H: "Yes sir. Thank you sir!"
YESSSSSSSSSSSS. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, but still. Thanks, nice blue dress. Thanks, ability to cry all the damn time. Thanks, sympathetic security guard!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

By the Numbers

So since I'm such a Technician sports fan (ha), I've decided to do a BY THE NUMBERS of my life in the month of November:

25 - number of minutes left in Art History

69 - number of points i earned on the last Art History test, mainly because a) i have a lot of studio work, so i didn't study much b) i have a job, so i didn't study much c) i didn't know we were supposed to know all that architecture stuff, so i didn't study it

115 - highest grade on said test, and amount of points i feel like i DESERVE. i mean really. i try, right? im a good person, right? WHY DOESNT THIS EQUAL A GOOD GRADE??

3 - number of approximate dollops of shampoo i have left. this is a problem. why exactly do i always end up with more conditioner than shampoo?

35 - cost (US$) of amazing brown suede scrunchy boots that i really, really want: DONT BUY THE 6.5s PLEASE!

5 - number of days left until Thanksgiving Break!

21129083129 - number of hours (approx.) that I will sleep over Thanksgiving Break

0 - number of turkeys my family will eat over Thanksgiving Break. hopefully we will order Indian food like we did last year instead.

8 - number of hours before i GET PAID, since I didn't get paid last time. I AM SO PUMPED!

4 - number of Gilmore Girls episodes I watched (season 2!) last night, since I refused to do anything for Typography. i really feel like it was time well spent...i had forgotten how many great the pre-Yale episodes were.

75 - approx. number of goldfish I ate while watching said Gilmore Girls episodes.

7 - number of scarves that i own and am excited about wearing this winter. for a minute i thought that was a lot of scarves, but then thought about how many maggie has, and then realized i was wrong.

18 - hours a day (approx.) i think I am online. like seriously. it's getting kind of out of control. last night, alison and i were sitting 3 feet apart in the room and were talking online. i think it felt so normal because we talk online in studio all the time, so why not when we are in the room? who needs real communication skills? not us. nope.

Friday, October 26, 2007

so much dancing

Okay, I'm just going to go ahead and say that this blog entry will be one of those LOOK HOW FUN MY LIFE IS kind of posts, so sorry. Just a warning; but you should keep reading anyway.

So today was kind of a normal Friday, full of normal studio stuff (except that there was steam coming out of one of the pipes in studio and I thought we were going to die because we thought it was poisonous gas and we kept yelling WE NEED A GROWN-UP and then meredith came and turned a dial and everything was okay).

Then I watched TV and Maggie called and we talked about production and boys and D.C. and all the normal stuff. It was weird and quiet last night to not have the Normal Thursday Crew up there. I miss Maggie and Saja (and I guess Tyler and Josh? maybe).

THEN we went to Moe's and got chips and salsa mmmm, and I stole a drink for Alison because she's too nice to steal soda like I do. What a wimp. If it's clear soda (ie, Sprite) in a water cup, it's not stealing. If it's dark soda (ie, Coke) in a water cup, then it IS.

THEN we went to see Brent Dunnen/Avett Bros/Guster....We got there kind of at a perfect time, because we found REALLY AWESOME SEATS on the wing so we were kind of just right of the stage and were in the front of the balcony. Cams, Jamie, Alison, Lauren and I kept waving to Laura/Lesley/Emilia/Laura's brother/other Greensboro kids on the floor which was fun. OH HEY I SEE YOUR FACE ALL THE TIME BUT LET'S SCREAM AND WAVE AND BE REALLY EXCITED TO SEE EACH OTHER IN THIS COLISEUM YEAH OKAY. We also saw Alison Harman sitting behind stage and we hollered and waved at her, AND I saw Rob Fisher, Michele and Matt Walton right next to the stage, which was really exciting for about a minute. Phew. So many Technician people.

The Avett Bros were really good -- I think they're a lot better live than on their CDs. And so we all sort of danced and admired their sweatiness/amazingness.
Guster came on and I have to admit: I'd never listened to Guster before, which I'm kind of ashamed of, considering I'm kind of an indie music snob (except for my love of gangsta rap). But they were amazing. We went crazy and jumped up and down and danced like we've never danced before (no, that's not a cliche, that's the truth). It was really hot, but Guster was SO GOOD and they ROCKED OUT so WE rocked out and went crazy too. I haven't really enjoyed a concert like that since I last saw Jump Little Children before they broke up....In high school I was all about some concerts, but no concerts I've been to lately have made me feel the way Guster made me feel. I think we were also so stressed from the week that we needed to let go and JUST DANCE, which we did, and afterwards we all felt so relaxed and so happy, which is pretty rare for my little friend group.

THEN we walked in the rain to Harris Teeter, bought some Orangina and donuts, and sat amongst the pumpkins in the Harris Teeter foyer. On the way, we were so amped from Guster that we were all YEAH LET'S CELEBRATE LIFE AND HOW GOOD THE RAIN FEELS ON MY SKIN. On the way back, however, the rain was harder and colder than before, and then a car splashed Alison and I (intentionally? oh yes). So ugh. But it was all worth it, just for Guster. And now it's 2:40 and Alison and I are sitting here trying to identify the Guster song that I really really loved.

Alright. Sorry. My next post won't be so long. But this is all really important and fascinating info, as you all know.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What? What?

OKAY SO one day Maggie and I were talking about blogs, but I always thought that my life was not worth reading about.
So why a blog? Why now?****
WELL. It seems like EVERYONE has a blog these days.

Kelly Helder.

Maggie Luckadoo.

That's right. EVERYONE.

I later realized that my life is full of terribly awkward events that I can record here, so that's what this blog will be for.

A small example:
On Monday Jamie and Sidney and I were talking by the 3rd floor rotunda, and I decided that I wanted a drink, so I trotted off downstairs. Staircase #1, no problem. On the first floor of Brooks, I skipped (yes, skipped) past the faculty mailroom and said HI to our graphic design dean Santiago. Staircase #2, problem: half waving at Santiago, half skipping, I slipped down the entire staircase, flailing and trying to grab onto the handrail. Santiago yelled after me "Oh my gosh! Are you alright!" in his accent while i just sat in shame.
I'm going to go ahead and blame those damn steps. I don't CARE that they're historic. I don't CARE that it's cool that you can see where our design predecessors walked. IT'S JUST PLAIN DANGEROUS.
When I got back to class, I tried to quietly tell Steph, but I ended up laughing so hard that everyone in my studio overheard. Yeah. Great. Instead of finding out on their own how awkward I am, now they ALL KNOW. Thanks, Brooks. Thanks, NC State, for keeping the historical architecture around. Thanks a lot.

**** Special thanks to Maggers for helping me catch some simple spelling mistakes. You all know how I'm no good with the words.