Monday, December 31, 2012

Good bye 2012, Hello 2013!

Sadly, my 366 project is over!  Can you believe it?!  2012 - GONE!  Well, almost...
I know I had all these grand ideas for my 366 project and even though I didn't do a "Theme Week" or whatever else I had set out to do, my photos have proven that the Photo-A-Day thing can be fun!  It's also my equivalent to a Gratitude Jar.
What's that, you ask?  I've been seeing some posts on Tumblr and Pinterest about making a Gratitude Jar on January 1st.  Basically, you write one nice thing that happened to you everyday (or for that month) and then on December 31st, you read them all and express your gratitude for such a wonderful year.  Not bad.  I thought about how nice that would be and then I realized that my 366 project was already doing that for me!
So to honour that, I'll post my 5 favorite photo(s) from each month from my 366 photos.  This might be a tough one...

Photos after the jump!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holidays 2012!

Merry Christmas everyone!  And if you don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays!  I hope you're all spending some quality time with your families and I hope Santa brought you everything on your list!
Here's a little photo post for the holidays!

Hot chocolate The most perfect tomato basil soup Croque Madame Cleansing fire Cleansing winter fire Burning embers

As we all know, December 21, 2012 was a very anticipated day.  For some, it was the fabled Mayan Apocalypse.  For others, it was the start of the actual Age of Aquarius.  I, along with W and B celebrated it as our Day of Decadence.  I started off the day with some quiet meditation and sage burning and then met up with W and B for some wonderful French food and finished out by burning our own cleasning fire.

Merry Christmas! Chandelier Pernil Flan!

For our traditional Puerto Rican Christmas dinner at my Mom's, we celebrated with Pernil (delicious pork), arroz con gondules (rice with pigeon peas), Vegan biscuits (that I made from scratch) and flan!  Yum!

I also said to myself that I wouldn't take photos of my Christmas presents because that seems a little like showing off - to me but it doesn't bother me if others do it - but I couldn't help but snap a pic of the last gift my old man got me!

Two Supernatural-themed shirts and Dean's necklace! OMG!!  I love them!  We've been such Supernatural nerds the last few months and I think I might be borderline obsessed.  Just check my SPN tags on my Tumblr... (The last photo was just to fill out the Diptic frame and an excuse to Google the Winchesters)

I hope you all are having a magical Holiday season and if I don't post anything within the next few days, have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  See you in 2013!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Good friends and schlocky schweaters

This weekend, our awesome friends (and cutest couple ever) Jen and Nick hosted a Schlocky Schweater Christmas Party which was lots of fun!

Here I was thinking that no one else would have my look but, wouldn't you know it, two other girls showed up with the same sweater vest! Oh well. At least I brought a back up outfit!

Untitled J Chocolate cake
Nick cutting up some delicious chocolate cake Nick Table spread Untitled

Gotta love those Holiday / house warming parties! It was so great seeing Jen and Nick! They're, honestly, the sweetest couple ever.  I was so happy that Jen found a guy to treat her like a princess and Nick is the perfect gentleman.  They're perfect for each other!  I love them so much I wish they didn't live so far away (the drive to their place was just barely under an hour) and I know Jen has an erratic schedule since she still works at the jewelry channel where we reconnected.  It turned out that Jen's ex was "friends" with some of my friends and we crossed paths a few time in high school without even knowing it!  Small world!  That's why I'm so thankful Jen found Nick.  He's wonderful and I love spending time with them.  I wish we could do it more!
We did that thing we always do - we promised to get together more often but you know what?  I want to make good on that promise this time.  After seeing some of the old Movie Night gang, I got really nostalgic and I'm hoping we can get together like we used to!  I love my friends!

We have an office prankster...

Sorry for the extreme lack of posts!  It's so hard to do much of anything when you're preparing for the holidays!  Honestly, I've been updating Hello Avid more because that's taking up most of my time now.  This transition has been hard but I think I'm getting the hang of it now...Don't get me wrong - it's still a pain but I'm getting there!

Honestly, I had no idea this was a thing until they started talking about it at work so if you're familiar with the whole Elf on the Shelf thing, you'll enjoy this.  A coworker set up our new friend, Elvin, to be the office prank elf.  The whole idea is: if Elvin pranks your office space, you have to prank someone else and share the Christmas cheer.
Our first prank was a bit lofty since we went after...the President of the company.  Go big or go home, right?  Don't worry, though - it was harmless.

Elvin's first prank

Just some naughty blackboard wall writing.

The next prank was on someone else's desk.  Again, harmless.

Image via the office FB page

Then I came in one day to find this

Elvin pranks my office

With a note that read: "I was trying to help you with video production but my nose kept running...don't mind my cooties. Elvin"

Great...what on Earth was I going to do?!  I wasn't enthusiastic about the whole Elf on the Shelf thing so I wanted to take it and do something a little more...dramatic.  Like what?  Like take the little guy and send him on a bender on an unsuspecting desk.  I envisioned PBR cans and airplane bottles of booze all over the place but when I revealed my plan to the originator of the office prank elf thing, he scolded me and told me to keep it PG.  Rats.

SO - to keep it PG, I decided to prank one of my favorite coworkers - our Education Supervisor.  He's a music guy so I went the music route.

Elvin pranks Mark

I wanted the silliest things I could find - hence the burger and fries headphones plus the drum set (and a little word bubble with favorite way of announcing class).  I was kind of upset that I was going to miss out on his reaction but luckily, another coworker had a computer problem and I was asked to investigate.  Lucky for me since I was able to watch the reaction to the prank!  Needless to say, he liked it.  Mission accomplished!  I can't wait to see who he pranks next - but has to be before the Christmas - New Year's break!

(I'm hoping the photos from my prank make it to the office FB page.  It's been about a week now...)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday Fun Gets Medieval

When I woke up on Friday morning, I was still on a bit of a high from meeting Kevin Gillespie the night before.  I expected work to be the same ole, same ole.  I expected Avid woes and weird requests and the usual array of work shenanigans.

Boy, was I WRONG.

Sure, Avid was giving me a case of *Sad Panda* but Heather and I were able to sneak out for a little Pinkberry - which was an unexpected treat.  I was also able to share the Pinkberry love with my fave coworker via surprise Pinkberry delivery!

Pinkberry Friday

That was a nice diversion but once it was over, I sat in my cave of an office and lamented my time with Avid.  Not to mention I slowed my computer down in a major way trying to use the extrude function in After Effects CS6.  Oh, the horror, I know.
Then, my phone started ringing as I was exiting out of programs and shutting things down.  It was Lauren - who I haven't seen in FOREVER!  I'd been feeling like a bad friend because I hadn't seen her since the Summit (a month ago already!) and it had been way too long.  But I was to see Lauren again by way of a birthday celebration for one of her Medieval Times.


I've been wanting to go there FOREVER but I was never sure about their menu options being accommodating to the Vegan in my life but, to my surprise, they have Vegan options!  There was a Vegan in our party and they made sure her items came out separately from ours.  How sweet!  You know what else was sweet?  Fuckin' Medieval Times!  It was just like that scene in The Cable Guy and more!

I kid.  Well, actually, I don't kid because it was like The Cable Guy only audience members weren't allowed to fight in the pit.  Our party was placed in the green section so we had the Green Knight - who was channeling medieval James Franco realness via Pineapple Express.  Not my cuppa tea but he was our knight so I got CRAZY into it.  You can't help it!  The challenges are going, the horses are werkin, the knights are jousting...and all you wanna do is yell for your section's knight.  Don't fight it.  Don't be "too cool for school".  It's gonna happen no matter what.  I was lucky enough to score carnation from Mr. Green Knight himself!  LOL

Aww snap - it's the Green Knight!

My friend Richy described it as being "the most metal thing" he had ever done and I'll have to agree - it's pretty fucking metal.  And  I was trying to yell funny stuff but all these Game of Thrones references kept coming out and I don't think anyone got my "Winter is coming" lolz but whatever.  Medieval Times was crazy!  And I want to do it again!!  I need an excuse to go again!!

Why I'm not writing about the VS Fashion Show this year

Two things:

I'm not going to write about the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show this year.  I was irritated by it.  The looks weren't as jaw-droppingly gorgeous as last year or the year before and I have a bone to pick with Rihanna.  I'm not that big of a fan of her music and I don't particularly like her attitude as of late - especially after the coverage of her 777 Tour.  I was a little disappointed with VS for hosting her.
I was also disappointed with the "paparazzi style" camera work this year.  Yes, I know it's their thing but it felt like they were overdoing it this year.  Normally, you get cool shots of the girls in slo-mo (which they had), and doing cute poses (which they did) but I don't think some of the girls got the love they deserved.  In the Calendar Girls segment (where Miss January got barked at as they were trying to figure out if they should keep the hat or lose it - normal backstage shit but we don't need to see that), I don't remember seeing Miss November at all!  And they could've showcased the beauty that is Liu Wen - especially since she had all that beautiful work done for the Circus segment!

The reception to this look hasn't been good but I think it's gorgeous! I thought it was one of the better looks since I still heart Carnivale. She was a vision and I loved it!

And to spare you of my Avid drama at work, I've started a blog to chronicle my uneasy transition.

I hope to maybe connect with other FCP-to-Avid users and maybe swap stories or get / share tips.  Feel free to follow!  If I get enough followers, I might open the submissions for editors, motion graphics artists, graphic designers and other artists to share their stories as well!

I hope you all have a good weekend!

Friday, December 7, 2012

There's a Top Chef in my neighbourhood!

You know me - I LOVES my Top Chef - except this Seattle season that's been kinda blah and don't even get me started on Josie being back...
Anyways - I loves my Top Chef.  I also love certain chef-testants - namely Top Chef o' my heart Ashley Merriman*le sigh*
BUT - we also might know I got major love for the chefs that rep the ATL like Richard Blais and Kevin Gillespie, to name a few.  And with as many times as I've been to FLiP, I never ran into Blais.  Ever.  So I kinda figured it was the curse of me: I can't ever seem to nonchalantly run into people I've seen on TV - until last night.
My old man and I were at our local Harry's Farmers Market WAAAAY OTP.  I was in a funk because, well, the whole Avid thing, right?  So I was moping around the store trying to figure out what was for dinner.  Then I remembered that this particular store was hosting Kevin Gillespie for one of their Salud! cooking classes that night.  I would've signed up but let's be real, I don't think I'd ever get the chance to cook pork belly (even if it is in Kevin's signature delicious style) on any given day with my domestic partner being Vegan and all...but it would've been cool to add to the list of fun and interesting things I've done this year.  I would've done it for that but it was $79.  It doesn't sound like much BUT Christmas is coming up and I feel like everyone is trying to take money outta my wallet.  And I just flat out forgot.  I've got a lot of shit going on, man.  Cut me some slack...
So imagine my surprise when we ended up at Harry's the same day as Kevin!  WHAT?!  I hoped to get a sneak peek of him teaching the class as we shopped so I creeped around to the window with the hopes to catch a glimpse of him.  But he wasn't there.  Aww.  So, very loudly, I said, "Where's Kevin?"  And here he comes walking past me looking like he was on a mission so I blurted out, "There's Kevin!"  He didn't hear me.  I didn't intend for him to either.  But there he was in all his glory!  Kevin Gillespie on a mission!  Wowzers!
I got extremely star-struck (which means super shy) all of a sudden and then I couldn't concentrate on what the hell we were doing for dinner.  I couldn't even find my freaking vitamins!  I was so preoccupied with how I was going to ask for a photo with Kevin that I forgot what we were even doing at Harry's!
So there we were, in line to check out.  I abandoned my items (and threw cash at my old man to cover my purchases) and went to look for Kevin.  He was hiding out in a little nook before the class officially started at 6:30p.  I went outside and waved at him through the doors.  When he saw me, I kindly mouthed, "Sorry to bother you, can I take a picture?" and held up my phone.  I thought he was going to pose for me between the glass - which would've been just fine - but instead,  he graciously waved me around to come back into the store and met me halfway.
Of course I gushed about how he was my favourite Top Chef contestant and how he should've won over those shitty Voltaggio brothers.  But he was super nice and gracious about the whole thing.  He said that the Voltaggio guys weren't that bad and I was like, "Well, the producers like jerks so that's why you didn't win.  You're too sweet!  But you should've won - you're way cooler!"  He was really nice about the whole thing.  I need to learn how to act around people I'm excited to meet.  At least with Sharon Needles I had a little liquid courage.  Last night, all I had was my burning rage about my job, which made me a bumbling fool.  But you know what?  Kevin was great.  For the 5 minutes I got to talk to him, he was a really cool guy and I'm seriously thinking about making my reservations to Woodfire Grill now for when my Dad gets back to the states in March.  Yes, you HAVE to reserve that far in advance!  A coworker went and she had to make her reservations 1 month in advance...

So - in short - I was having a bad day yesterday and BAM Kevin Gillespie made it all better!
Thank you Kevin!  I hope your class was awesome!

I met Kevin Gillespie tonight!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Good-bye Final Cut Pro...Hello Avid!

The last few days have been rough. We filmed part of our education pieces, feverishly packed releases and most recently, I had to disassemble my office (again) and rearrange it (again) so that my workstation can transition from Final Cut Pro 7 to Avid Symphony 6.

Hello, my name is Katzi and I'm...I'm...stumped.

I haven't touched Avid since their FCPX disaster known as Avid Xpress DV and that was...errr...roughly a decade ago. That's a long time out of the Avid game. Granted, ALL editing systems do exactly the same thing - well, almost - and now I'm having to undo all the "bad habits" I learned in Final Cut and transition to the industry standard. 
While it's great and everything, I'm super intimidated because once again, I'm thrown to the wolves on my own. Maybe I'll channel my inner Liam Neeson via The Grey and do some makeshift Wolverine claws with broken bottles and go balls to the wall (my usual way)


I can get my shit together and just make it work, dammit!

My problem is that I'm impatient. I'm also a visual learner. I also need some kind of support system. And I also need someone to remind me that it's okay to walk away. I shouldn't have to go through this alone and I know some Avid savvy folks but it all comes down to time and money. They'll want to be paid for helping me since I'll be the one "officially" on the clock but we just don't have those resources yet and that makes me sad. I guess the only support system I have is the notepad I took bare bones notes on and my dear friend, Google.

To tell you the truth, I've been counting down the days until my office upgraded to Avid and now that it's here, I'm a nervous wreck. Sure, I want nothing more than to have the title of Avid Editor under my name but now, I'm wondering if I should stick with it or keep my focus where I've been keeping it - with my true love: After Effects.

Maybe I have cold feet. Maybe it's first day jitters. Either way, I'm nervous that it'll take me more time than I thought to break all my bad habits and time is something I don't have at work, unfortunately. I should probably calm down and collect my thoughts.

I'm grateful for this opportunity and I'm super grateful that the company switched to Avid so I just need to chill, reorganize my brain and take it one day at a time...

My old man said: Remember, you control it, it does not control you.  Well said.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adventures in Dessert: The Cookie Dough Pie

After all my Food Network / Top Chef watching, I wanted to take all the culinary skills I had learned while being sick and use them for reals!  That meant finding the right recipes to try my new skills on.
I already know I can execute a damn fine Hot Toddy but can I really elevate my dessert game - especially after this flop?
Okay, it wasn't that big of a flop but people were saying it was too sweet which, to me, sounds like it could've been better.  Am I beating myself up over it a little too much?  Maybe.  But you live, you learn and you move Cookie Dough pies.
That's right - Cookie Dough Pie.  After seeing the recipe in the latest issue of Bust, I wanted to try it.  Why not?!  I designated the old man and me as the dessert bringers for Thanksgiving so it was the perfect time to try it out, right?

Finished Cookie Dough Pie Cookie Dough Pie slice

1. I hardly ever shop with a cart, much less with a freakin' list!
2. The cookie dough portion
3. In the recipe, they say that you'll end up with extra cookie dough and you should bake cookies to garnish your pie with (I garnished with 4 but I packed up the rest with the extra whipped cream I made)
4. The scary egg custard part.  I say "scary" because there's egg tempering involved and you know what?  I accomplished it without scrambled eggs!  Hooray!
5. My favourite thing to make: homemade whipped cream!
6. The various layer stages of the pie
7. The finished pie!
8. A pretty slice of pie

It was a complete success!  At first, I was really critical of the taste and my pie crust substitution - I substituted a "traditional" graham cracker crust since I couldn't find the chocolate wafers - because that's what I do but it turned out all right.  I could really taste the light brown sugar in the cookie dough but I think that's because I knew it was in there and I may or may not have packed the measuring cup a little too full with it but still, it was good and everyone liked it.  Sounds like I'll have to make it again!  I also have my eye on the first recipe on the page o' recipes c/o Bust: the Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Gluten Free Crust.
The old man attempted a vegan pumpkin pie a few years back and let's just say it didn't turn out the way he had hoped but I'm pretty confident that if I try this particular recipe, I might be able to pull it off!  Granted, pie crusts aren't my thing but I'll give it a try.  Maybe this one might turn out magnificent!  Buuut I'm not going to unveil it for Christmas dinner or anything.  I think I'll attempt this between holidays and make sure the recipe is slammin' before I present it to my family.

So...I'd like to express my gratitude to Bust Magazine for having such a kick ass recipe!  Actually, I'd like to express my gratitude to Bust Mag in general because I've been an avid Bust reader since the Girlfriends issue (with Missy Elliot on the cover) in the 90's.  That's how I found out about and fell in love with The Donnas.  That's also how I started to feel more confident about my body and it helped me recognize my rights as a woman.  It was quite possibly the coolest gift my step-sister could've given me as a teenager.  I haven't missed an issue yet and I plan on never missing one.  EVER.  You shouldn't either! Check it out!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm thankful for: My family!

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I'm thankful that I was over my sinus infection so that I could enjoy time with my family!

Mom Oni Carmen Oni and her new friend
Turkey Salad Green Bean Casserole Cranberry Sauce Desserts Cookie Dough Pie

1. My Mom / 2. Oni / 3. My aunt Carmen / 4. Oni and her new friend / 5. Mom's lovely (and delicious!) turkey / 6. Oni's pretty salad / 7. Mom's vegan Green Bean Casserole / 8. Mom's vegan cranberry sauce / 9. Oni's dessert spread - the aftermath / 10. A slice of my Cookie Dough Pie - recipe here

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!