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Karla's Stuff and Things


Posted by Karla, 31 December 2019 · 1237 views

TLDR: 2019 was okay. It could have gone better, but I’ve taken steps to trying to enjoy myself.


So I’ve been working at my job for a little over a year now, and I’m starting to get an idea of how things work. The people who I’m closest to are on the Creative Team with me. I’ve talked to each of them at least once, and I’m starting to get a feel on their personalities and interests, and I’m also getting a feeling about their favorability of certain people, and I must say, I’ve felt the tension!
My job gets extremely stressful on 2 occasions: 1.) During what’s called “Partner Week” in October. A lot of design requests come in from attorneys for us to design materials that they can use to present with. Despite the creative team providing several options by default, we still get requests. My boss also gets stressed out at this time, and she has ordered us designers to not take any time off during October. 2.) Before the winter holidays. This is because attorneys and their contacts are submitting their requests at the absolute last minute just before they go on vacation, and this is also the time when designers on our team take vacations, so it creates a massive workload for the designers who are on duty.


Natural Occurrences
I do remember it raining a lot this year. It rained so much that my work clothes ended up being soaking wet when I came into my office one day. It also snowed, but we got more freezing rain than anything. Navigating was pretty difficult, and apparently the freezing rain wasn’t enough to warrant a 2 hour delay from the office.


Things could’ve gone better…
- Honestly, I think my mother’s getting worse when it comes to her attitude. She’s still at odds with my aunt. There are times when she tells me that my aunt betrayed her, and there are other times when she says that my aunt is ignoring her and is wondering why she won’t talk to her. With those kinds of excuses, I’m not buying any of them. She’s just hating for the sake of hating now, and I feel like it’s too late to get to her, so I won’t even try anymore.
- In January of this year, I have been assigned what I like to call the “Project from Hell.” I was designing an internal invitation for a fireside chat with the CEO of my company and the CEO from Uber. Unfortunately, the people who requested this clearly didn’t know what they wanted in the invitation, nor did they know what they wanted it to look like, so I kept getting emails with several revisions to change sentences, time and date, names, colors, images, even layouts. Not to mention, they suddenly decided that they wanted an external version of this as well, so I had to do twice as much work. In the end, throughout a span of 2 weeks, I have gotten over 20 revision requests…6 of them being major layout changes. At the end of it, the designers on my team did end up using the theme I used for other materials related to this fireside chat, and yet, I felt so emotionally abused and tired.
- I got 2 colds this year. The second one I got was during Partner Week, which was the time when every designer had to be present at the office, no exceptions. That cold was so bad, that no medicine or remedy I took helped to alleviate the symptoms, and I could hardly breathe.


- In addition to watching a bunch of shit on YouTube, I actually managed to see quite a few movies in the theater this time. I even got opportunities to watch older movies that were considered hits, and I enjoyed those.
I think the best one I saw in theaters was Us. It’s a good movie that’s more entertaining than scary, honestly, and it really teaches you to be grateful for what you have.
The worst one I saw in theaters was the 2019 remake of Aladdin. Half the actors couldn’t act, and the elements that the remake changed were either unnecessary or didn’t make any sense.
- I saw a few stage productions as well this year. I saw Falsettos and recently (as of this post), A Chorus Line. I really liked both of them. I also got to see Arin and Dan in “Game Grumps: The Final Party” when their tour came to DC. It was kind of strange, because it mostly featured them playing games with the audience members.


My mother and I went to Cancun earlier this December. It was a much-needed vacation, and it was very nice. We sat on the beach sipping cocktails, tried all different kinds of food, went to the Xcaret park, and saw some architecture in Chichen Itza. The only thing that kind of annoyed us was the abundance of crying and screaming children. They were EVERYWHERE. They were on the beach, on the buses, in the restaurants, in the places we visited, even near our hotel room! It didn’t stop me from enjoying the vacation though. I should note because of this, I’ve developed a small addiction to cocktails…Don’t worry, I’ll drink responsibly. XD


Because I’ve been focusing on my job and real-life matters, I haven’t been able to work on any art at all. If I ever do decide to make a new year’s resolution, it’s to get back into it. Sometimes I feel so drained from my IRL problems and job that I completely forget about the hobbies that I loved.


Posted by Karla, 31 December 2018 · 1714 views
2018, new, year

TLDR: 2018 was a pretty good year. Actually, it was better than I expected.


-I started working as a temporary graphic designer for one of my college’s programs, The Early Identification Program. I didn’t learn much from it, but it did feel rewarding contributing to their program. I actually kind of wished I knew about the program when I was in high school, ‘cause I could have used it to focus on science studies, and gotten a job related to science. Oh well... I knew for a fact that this job was temporary, so I was looking for jobs on the side. I left the job in May, and searched until I found a full time job in August.
- The place I started working at is called Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. It’s a HUGE-ASS law firm with over 30 offices around the world that specializes in several law practices. My job as a Production Artist is to create (or help create) design materials advertising their events. It’s a fun job, but sometimes it can be a little frustrating.


Natural Occurrences
Nothing major that I can recall. It did snow a lot, so I had to drive carefully in some conditions.


Things could’ve gone better…
- Mom was still being an asshole, especially beginning this year. She did get really sick though, so despite my differences with her, I put my anger aside to take care of her (That, and I was the only one who would do it. My brother was at work and my father was too lazy.) She also got into a heated argument with my aunt who I love so much. It got so bad apparently that she told her to not come to the house or call again. So my brother, father and I pretty much can’t see my aunt unless we leave Mom behind. Mom accuses us of “abandoning” her. She can call it whatever she wants, but she’s not going to stop us from seeing my aunt.
- The battery in my car died while I was in the parking lot of the university I worked at. It was freezing cold. I couldn't wait for my dad in the car because I couldn't turn the car on, and I couldn't go inside the buildings because I had to keep an eye out for my dad, plus all the buildings were pretty much closed. Not fun times. He did manage to jumpstart my car so he could get the battery replaced.


- I’ve been watching YouTube mostly. I’ve gotten addicted to this theatre company called Starkid back in May. I haven’t been able to stop watching their productions and videos on YouTube ever since. XD I think my favorite musical they’ve done is Twisted (It’s a parody of Aladdin, and I strongly recommend it if you’re a super fan of Disney movies).
- I think I may have seen 2 or 3 movies at theaters this year. Movie tickets are just too damn expensive, and I refuse to waste my money on movies that I don’t think I’m going to like. My mother always makes me watch movies with her, but she never wants to watch any movies I want to see. She always complains that I don’t see enough movies with her.


- I’ve tried all different types of food and restaurants this year, and I liked most of them. My favorite one is this place called Jinya Ramen bar. They serve Ramen in a pretty neat environment. If I had any friends, I’d invite them with me to eat there.
- I DID, however, get sick twice from a Thai restaurant I liked to go to a lot, but despite that, I keep eating there because my parents can't stop eating their "usual" dishes (They keep forgetting the names of the dishes, but I have to remember them because I'm the one always ordering them). I need to stop. It’s funny how an upscale place like that makes me sick, but I’ve never gotten sick from Chipotle or McDonalds. XD


Because of job hunting and the fact that I play on pet sites, I’ve pretty much abandoned my art, and I fear my artistic skills have suffered because of it. I’m going to try and take a sketchbook to work to practice on my art during my breaks, because I miss doing it a lot. :(


Posted by Karla, 04 January 2018 · 1503 views

TLDR: 2017 was an okay year.


- On the bright side, I was able to kickstart my career as a graphic designer. I got an internship with a privately held Financial Advisory firm called Monument Wealth Management. I really enjoyed my time there, and I wish it could have turned into a full-time job. But alas, it was not to be.
- My second internship was with a Marketing agency called ImageWorks Creative. I was hoping I'd learn a lot from there, but I didn't. They had me do mundane tasks any child could do, and they were stingy with payment. To add insult to it all, they gave me very little notice about my last day, so I was frantically looking for jobs.
- I applied for over 50 jobs, got 17 interviews (Phone and in person), completed 3 assessments, and only got offers from 2 places. The job offer I accepted was from my previous college. It's a part time job, but at least looking for full-time work will be much easier when my time there is done.


Natural Occurances
- Nature was cruel to our neighborhood. Trees were falling down left and right, gusty winds accompanied by torrential rain, and probably one of the hottest summers I've experienced in my entire life. Our house was almost hit by two trees, and our unlucky next door neighbor had a tree pretty much destroy their patio. The rain was so bad one time, that a coworker of mine had their car flooded.


Things could've gone better...
- Early this January I got side-swept at a risky intersection. It wasn't even my fault either, because the idiot drifted out of his lane. It took some weeks to get my car fixed, and it turned out more expensive than we previously thought. I'm just glad I didn't get side-swept by a truck.
- My mother was being a complete asshole this year. I couldn't stand her, so I pretty much separated myself from her for about 2 months. I could've gone longer, but I needed her help to get somethings done. I still hate her, but I'm going to hold back my anger until I'm in more of a position to go out on my own. I should also mention that she's pretty much on bad terms with everyone, and is continuing to be a holier-than-thou hypocrite. And it's thanks to her that I can never see my aunt anymore.
- I've gotten to the point where I hate playing with my orchestra. Sure, they pay me to play $50 a week, but it's not worth it. It's not worth traveling to another state in heavy traffic just so I could rehearse a bunch of boring songs with a bunch of people who don't like me. So I've basically given it up. Mom's not happy about it, but who cares what she thinks. It's my life, my decision.


- I didn't see very many movies this year, but the ones I did see, I basically enjoyed. My favorite movies were Get Out and Wonder Woman.
- After several years, I finally got to see The Book of Mormon. I enjoyed it immensely. XD
- I got a PS4 last Christmas, and I've only played it twice. I've been focusing on work more than play this year.


- I think we can all agree that the world, especially the U.S., has been enveloped with a politically hostile atmosphere. Especially ever since Donald Trump got elected. I usually like to keep my political opinions quiet for the sake of preserving friendships, but I'll talk about how I've felt politically during 2017. I am not a huge fan of Donald Trump, but unfortunately I found myself agreeing with a few of his views, especially when it came to immigration and human policy. Don't get me wrong, there's no way we're gonna curb illegal immigration with a damn wall, but at least he's acknowledging that there's a problem with illegal immigration. I'm also not fond of us giving money to countries who are on bad terms with us and like to chant "Death to America." The things I disagree with Trump on is pretty much everything else. XD


To sum it all up, this year was good for me productivity-wise, but personally, it's one of the worst when it came to my mental health. I honestly don't see 2018 being any better.

Now I remember why I hate my mother...

Posted by Karla, 28 July 2017 · 2255 views

Since my previous entry, which I talked about my mother getting angry at me for the stupidest reasons, she had stopped talking to me because I decided that she shouldn't be driving me to rehearsal due to her sleeping at the wheel. And because I seem to be so much like her, I decided to stop talking to her too, for over two months, because I knew that talking to her civilly is next to impossible. She had the nerve to ask me what she did wrong and why I wasn't talking to her, but she clearly knew why, and never admitted it. Since then, we both agreed that if something was bothering us, we would talk about it, and not ignore each other. (<---remember this sentence)




Now apparently she stopped talking to my father, for reasons I can only speculate. Whenever she wants to tell him something, she uses me and my brother to get her message across instead of talking to him directly. I told her today that "I'm not her little messenger, and if she wants to talk to Dad, she should do the grown up thing and actually talk to him. I hate being used." So what does she do?


...She gets angry at me for not doing what she should've been doing. And now she stopped talking to me again.


Now, you're probably thinking: "Karla, why are you getting worked up about this? This is no big deal!"


But that's the thing. THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL.
But my mother likes to make things a bigger deal than they should be. Whenever she does or says something to somebody that is clearly her fault, she always turns it around to make herself look like the victim. To add insult to injury, she likes to stop talking to people whenever she feels like they're wrong, and after a while, she wonders why they aren't talking to her. I'm so sick and tired of it!! I even told her that I'm sick and tired of her doing this, but she keeps doing it anyway!


Well, fuck it. I might just consider not talking to her again, because there's absolutely no point talking to her. NO. POINT. There's no point in talking to a person if they're just going to keep being a total jerk to you. I'm gonna give her a week, and if she keeps ignoring me, then I'm going to ignore her for a hell of a lot longer than two months.


Sure, it's not the right thing to do, but it's right to me, because there's no point in spending your time with someone who's just going to be a cancer in your life. I suppose Dad had the right idea...

I'm Running Out of Compassion for my Family

Posted by Karla, 08 March 2017 · 1193 views

Please do not mistake this for an "emo" post, because it's not. It's more of a rant.


About three weeks ago, my mother was driving me to orchestra rehearsal. Normally, I would drive there myself, but the road on the way there tends to be very dangerous, so my folks don’t want me driving on it.


While my mother drove, she started saying that her eyes were getting heavy. She nearly fell asleep at the wheel twice, and I had to yell at her just to keep her awake. One of those times, she almost got us into an accident. When we stopped for dinner, I insisted that I drive the rest of the way to rehearsal, but she kept insisting that she keep on driving. I’m not going to lie, I was scared about what happened, and I was scared the rest of the way home, thinking she was going to fall asleep again. Thankfully, she didn’t. She told me not to tell my dad what happened, and being the stupid person I was… I didn’t tell him.


Well, about a day or two later, she was driving (not with me), and she told me that she felt sleepy, she closed her eyes, and the moment she opened them, she was on the wrong side of the road. About a day later, my dad found out what’s been happening. We had a bit of a long talk, and I told him that I was putting my foot down, and that until we could find out what’s ailing my mother, she shouldn’t be driving me to rehearsal.


Last week, my mother insisted that she was taking me to rehearsal. I had to decline, of course, because I didn’t want to risk her getting us both into an accident, and until she finds out what’s making her drowsy at the wheel, she shouldn’t be driving. Of course, she didn’t listen to me. She didn’t even listen to my dad when he talked to her. So when rehearsal day came, she said she was taking me. I said no, she’s not. Dad and I walked out the door, and before I stepped out, she said, “You two remember this…”


She ignored my father and me for several days. I’m just so flabbergasted as to why she would be angry with me because I looked after her safety. I should also mention that my dad goes into surgery in about two weeks, and he won't be able to do anything for two months. I anticipate my mother getting angry at me and refusing to drive me to rehearsal (That's okay, because I don't trust her behind the wheel anyway), so I'll tell her that I'm going to be driving myself to rehearsal. If she says I can't, then I'll simply have to skip rehearsals until my father recovers. Of course, she'll say no to that, but what other fucking choice do I have??


I’m getting sick and tired of my mother being angry with me for the stupidest reasons, and I’m getting sick of her in general. I’m sick of her trying to control me, I’m sick of her trying to victim-blame, and I’m sick of her trying to shift the argument to make herself look like the victim whenever she's clearly in the wrong. I can’t bother wasting my time on a family member who doesn’t appreciate what I do for them.


From now on, my relationship with her is completely loveless. Whatever compassion I had left for her is gone.


I don’t hate her, but I don’t love her either. I can never forgive her for the things she’s done, and I certainly cannot forgive her for this. If she thinks that risking getting me and her killed is a better option than playing it safe, and then decides to act petty about it, then I want nothing to do with her.


Being an adult is hard.

2016 in review

Posted by Karla, 31 December 2016 · 1085 views
happy, new, year, 2016, 2017

I've got about 15 minutes before the new year, so I better type this ASAP.


Apart from the numerous celebrity deaths, the political events and elections, and terrorist catastrophes around the world, I'd say my year was about average.


The Good

  • I took Corporate Design & Branding, one of the most anticipated classes on my list. Passed with an A
  • I took Professional Design Practices and got to learn a bunch of professional dos and don'ts, plus our teacher was awesome. Passed with an A-
  • I got my graphic design certificate!
  • I landed an internship with Monument Wealth Management. It's unpaid, but I can still use it in my resume.
  • I found an item that I lost, and ended up with two of that item.


The Bad

  • I took Introduction to Photography, one of the least anticipated classes I've taken, plus our teacher was a dick. Passed with a B+
  • I've been ignored by people who I considered friends. AGAIN. When am I going to learn from this...
  • My mother almost died. She had blood clots in her lungs, and her constant breathing was a symptom. Thankfully her doctor caught it in time.
  • I've decided to delete my Facebook. For the most part, I'm glad I'm done with fake news and status updates that depress me, but I've also lost contact with some people I actually liked.


Earlier this year, I predicted "My prediction is that 2016 is gonna be a crazy motherf*ckin' year. :o" For the most part, I was right. I'm hoping 2017 will be a little more successful for me. I seem to be on my way, for now.

AVT 414 Completed (Overdue Entry)

Posted by Karla, 17 August 2016 · 1079 views
school, corporate, branding and 2 more...

It just occurred to me that I forgot to write about how AVT 414, Corporate Branding & Design, went this summer.


...That's the thing. It just... went.


That's not to say that it was merely a summer class and it's shorter than regular semester classes, but I hardly felt like I had the class at all. We stayed less than the allotted time, which was 4 hours, and we had a whopping 2 weeks off from the class, which was supposed to be about 8. This was because my teacher was apparently going on vacation with his mother in California.




Despite that, I did learn quite a lot from the class. However I honestly felt like I learned more from the other students than I did the teacher. They offered actual critique on how to improve my design and work, but the teacher was all like "Do this, do this, do that, and this... FABULOUS!"


That's not to say he's a bad teacher (phew!). He's a good teacher. I fee like he could have been better if he had taught a full semester and not just a shortened one. BUT that's the price I pay for taking Summer classes.


Miraculously, I was able to get into the last class I need to take before I can complete my certificate. That's AVT 413 (Professional Design Practices). This is a capstone class, so I'm honestly kind of nervous. I've also been hearing rumors that people switch out of this particular teacher's class because he tends to make people cry. XD.


Also I just found out that he's a Grad student. wat?




...I'm going to bed.

I. Hate. Photography.

Posted by Karla, 10 May 2016 · 1616 views
hate, photography, spring, 2016

It’s probably no surprise that I hate photography and my photography teacher at this point, but now, I hate them more than ever.


This morning was the day we were supposed to present out final projects. When I got to class along with some other people at our original time (10:30 AM), we were unfortunate to be met with a lowered grade because we came in late. A lot of us were confused, because we came in when class started. But according to our teacher, we were supposed to abide by the Final Exam Schedule and come in at 9:45 AM. Only a few people got this memo, while the rest of us did not!


There was nowhere in the final project instructions that we were supposed to come in at 9:45 AM, and he did not tell us before the project was due that we were supposed to come in at 9:45 AM. We told him about this, and he said that he’s “not supposed to be our fucking parent and hold our hand through everything that takes place.” (ßhis actual words).


I pointed out that the exam schedule said that the time slot was from 9:45AM to 11:45AM. Technically, we should still be given full credit for our projects because we all came in at 10:30AM. He was reluctant to let this slide, and he wasn’t going to allow us to present either. He told us that we were lazy and not following directions, but how the hell are we supposed to follow instructions that more than half the class didn’t receive?!


The people in my class and I were flustered about this, saying that his instructions weren't clear. One student said that he was reporting this to the dean, and the teacher took it as a threat, saying "You're threatening me?! You're threatening to report me to the dean to give you a higher grade?!"


So I called my mother while I was coming home and told her what happened. She sounded appalled, and said I should report this to the dean or whoever was in charge. So I went back to the university, and I asked a woman at the front desk that I wanted to file a complaint about what happened in my class. The person I was supposed to talk to wasn’t in their office today, so the lady gave me their contact information. As soon as I got home, I was just about to file my complaint with the Associate Director, and then I got this email from my Photography teacher:


There seemed to be some confusion this morning when class started. Under GMU Spring Final Schedule 2016 class started at 9:45, but it seems that most had a different impression when class started. To save myself from BS drama you guys get a pass.”


Oh. My. God.


This guy’s got a lot of fucking nerve. He probably knew that people were going to complain about this, and decided to make up for it by sparing us. I was tempted to file the complaint anyway, but my mother and I figured, what’s done is done.


In conclusion for this semester: This semester was a clusterfuck of bad instruction with terrible feedback methods. My Editorial teacher didn’t give us graded feedback. He gave us vague message telling us whether or not our assignments looked good enough, so we didn't know how we were actually doing in the class. So everyone had to put all their energy into their magazines and pray that we did a good enough job to get a good grade. My Photography teacher didn’t give us our grades for our projects until about a month or two after we submitted them, so we didn’t get a clear idea of how we were doing. Not to mention, he hardly taught us anything at all. Most of what I learned came from online articles and tutorials. This has never happened to me with my past teachers. When we turned in our projects, we got feedback on them within at least a week, and the teachers actually knew how to teach. This was not the case this semester though. I dunno if this is because of me having male teachers or if those teachers were just shitty in general, but I did not enjoy this semester at all.


I need to eat.

Dreams and Nightmares: Mostly Nightmares

Posted by Karla, 27 February 2016 · 1142 views
school, photography, dreams and 1 more...

My latest assigned project for my Intro to Digital Photography class is titled "Dreams and Nightmares," but this project has literally been nothing but a nightmare!!


The techniques we need to use are fast shutter speed, slow shutter speed, and panning, so the subjects in our photos need to be moving. The problem is, nothing moves around here! And there's almost nowhere for me to go to take pictures of moving objects without the possibilities of being heckled by security, dropping the camera, or getting hit by cars!


Not to mention, just like my last project, we need a total of 300 photos by the end of the project. I'm hardly able to get 20!


I really fucking hate this class. This class wasn't even supposed to be a requirement. While in the middle of the program, I was given a choice to take either Web Design or Digital Photography. Naturally I chose Web Design because I felt I would benefit more from this class, plus I hate photography. HOWEVER, while taking this class, the curriculum changed, and now I had to take both classes.


I was unlucky enough to register in a section that had one of the worst teachers I've ever had the (dis)satisfaction of being taught under. Our teacher is also a hipster. I really hate his attitude. He always speaks so stoically, and he swears a lot. News flash: Swearing doesn't make you a cool teacher. He doesn't even teach us anything. He just instructs us to look up tutorials on Lynda.com and expects spectacular results. And here I thought my Editorial Design teacher was going to be a PITA, but my Photography teacher is way worse!


Ugh, my head hurts.

AVT 217 & AVT 311 Completed, 2016 Here I Come!

Posted by Karla, 29 December 2015 · 915 views

I had meant to post this earlier, but me, being the lazy slob I am, eventually forgot to.


So I finished AVT 217 (Introduction to Web Design) and AVT 311 (Graphic Design Methods & Principles) I ended up taking a leave from Codex so I could concentrate on doing well in these classes. I'd say it was worth it, because I'd have bombed these courses hard if I didn't!


I got an A in my Web Design Course. I worried at first, because I was going to have to learn HTML and CSS coding, both of which I had little to no experience with. Turns out as time went on that it wasn't that hard at all, and was actually a lot of fun. I could have gotten an A+ in the course if I didn't completely spaz out on my midterm and final (I ended up missing points because I couldn't code a fucking nav bar correctly in BOTH tests). Even though this course is over, I'm going to continue studying web design techniques in my spare time.
You can check my coursework on this webpage (As long as it's active, of course...) http://kcsmith.byethost16.com/weekly/




I ended up getting a B+ in the Methods & Principles course. Our teacher was a very hard grader. I think there may have only been one student that ended up with an A in the course. Everyone else ended up with lower grades because we either missed a deadline or implemented a technique(s) that she didn't like. I only got one A for one of my projects, and ended up getting B+s for the rest. I'm satisfied with my grade because 1.) I finally got a teacher who doesn't feel obligated to give out all As, and 2.) It shows that I am not perfect and that there are a lot of things I need to learn. I don't think my mother was satisfied though. At first (during midterms) she said that I wasn't trying hard enough. After getting my final grade, she had wished that my teacher eased up and gave me an A instead. I suppose she's got the "Asian F" mentality going on (Anyone who watched Glee would know what I'm talking about).
(Feeling too lazy to attempt to show off my 311 work, sorry!)


In spring, I have to take AVT 253 (Introduction to Digital Photography) and AVT 313 (Editorial Design). Both of these courses are gonna be taught by men, and given my history with male teachers, this semester will not be easy... so I'm probably going to disappear again.


Primarily, I was offered a decision to take either AVT 217 or 253. I chose to take 217. HOWEVER, the curriculum had recently changed, so my counsellor told me that I have to take both of them. That totally blows. These teachers talk to me like money grows on trees... I don't want to spend more money on courses than I have to.


Anyway, ONWARD TO 2016!! It's gonna be a crazy year!

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