I gain the freshman fifteen during Thanksgiving

Who said college gives you the freshman fifteen?

I finally got to go home to the Philly ‘burbs this weekend. NU’s Thanksgiving break, granted, isn’t that long. We only get Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off, not the whole week like some schools. And I was a good student and didn’t skip any classes (I totally should have) so I returned home on Wednesday.

Traveling is expensive. A train ticket from Boston to Philly is anywhere from $60 to over $100, one way. Want to fly? That’s at least $100. The service on Greyhound is not worth their prices. Yeah. I’m a poor college kid. I prefer to take the Megabus, which, if you book tickets early enough, can be as low as $1.50 one way. Thanksgiving is a time when everyone travels, though, so my tickets cost $84.50—but my tickets to for winter break cost $12.00 total, both ways. Not bad.

So my high school friend and I got to enjoy an excruciatingly long journey from Boston to Philly! It was a wonderfully delayed, traffic-stuck ride.

So, two hours late, our bus pulled into 30th street station. From there, I took the regional rail home for another hour to reach my family after a good 9-hour trip.

I could finally start my break! And it ended up looking a little like this:

And at home, I don’t have access to a gym, so instead of exercising I passed my time like this:

So my break was, really, quite nice! Seeing my family and friends is always a delight. But now it is back to school, and I must deal with upcoming finals. Terrifying. Can’t it just be winter break yet?

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Black Friday is a fire hazard

Just playing around with video blogging. No worries, though– I’m not going to be a video blogger anytime soon. Watching myself talk is really awkward.

In reality it has no meaning

Just a quick post. I actually have this problem a lot. Those “creative” English assignments? Yeah, I always handed in these absurd, over-the top comics. My freshman year, for a project, I went crazy and drew this 117-page graphic novel. (A couple I drew for my senior year on Hamlet and Robert Frost are on my never-updated  deviantart, if you’re into poorly-drawn comics.)

We journey at midnight to watch shirtless vampires

My friends and I went to the midnight premiere of Breaking Dawn: Part 1.

You are probably judging me so hard right now.

But you know what? I have no shame. The Twilight movies are quality entertainment. I’ve seen every one, the first three times with my sister. Each time it looked a little like this:

So, when I was asked,

I had to respond,

Thus, we gathered up our fellow female dormmates and trekked off through the rain and cold. We actually printed out our tickets beforehand and reached the theater an hour early. Regardless, when we got there… it was ridiculous.

As for the movie itself? As entertaining as I had hoped! In my opinion, it was the best out of the series. Which says very little, since the bar was set somewhat-extremely low. But there was plenty of absurdity, plenty of awkwardness to laugh at, so I was thoroughly satisfied. I don’t want to spoil it– just know that it was highly entertaining.

And our group came out pretty satisfied as well.

I’m Facebook whoring and you should like that

I’m Facebook whoring.

I admit it.

I created a so-called “page” for I think in comics. I did it! I really did.

I feel shameless.

Dirty.

So now you can “like” I think in comics on Facebook. The sidebar on the, um, side has a widget to let you like it! Or you can follow this link.

(Pardon. I recently realized how many people follow me from my facebook profile, which I always update with new blog posts. So now I have a page open for everyone! Take advantage of it if you’d like to be updated with new posts!)

Sincerely,

Just Another Facebook Whore

Autumn-colored Boston

The seasons are a’changing, and so are the colors. Boston doesn’t have anything on, say, Berlin in terms of greenery and parks. But for an American city, we’re still doing pretty well.

In fact, Boston is rather pretty in the fall. Naturally, then, I had to pull out my camera. Why? In the words of the cyber-manga Battle Angel Alita, 

…Okay, well, maybe I’m not bloodthirsty, per se, but when I see pretty things, I want to take photos. Here’s just a few of the photos I’ve taken this fall:

A segway tour near Kendall Square, Cambridge.

Candy apples at Northeastern's Parents' Weekend.

Recycled, hand-decorated, candle-lit lanterns being sold at the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade.

Crossing the harbor on the train to Lechmere.

Trees at Northeastern, next to Ruggles Street.

A tree at the Arnold Arboretum, a tree conservatory located at the end of the orange line.

Boston Harbor.

A view of Boston from the 22nd floor of International Village. See that two-spired church on the left? I volunteer across the street from there.

Shillman Hall on Northeastern's campus, as seen from the 22nd floor of International Village.

The Arnold Arboretum has a sloth infestation, it seems.

So I find Boston in the fall quite pretty! Just nature’s last gasp before a cold, barren winter. Then again, it’s known to snow a lot in Boston… so that’s something to look forward. I just need a good pair of snowboots and I’m set!

I get paid to draw this crap

I’ve been asked a couple of  times about my second job, the one where I draw cartoons.

So, let me explain this in greater detail.

I work for the Northeastern College of Computer and Information Science. There’s a professor there (more accurately, he’s a PhD, so I refer to him as “doctor”) who is running a joint study with Duke University. They research the interactions between people and technology.

Their goal is to develop a mobile phone application that will help people lose weight. They’ve developed the app. Now, they’re running a two-year study where overweight people use this app to test its effectiveness. In the app, participants input the food they eat and the exercise they do into their phones every day. To make sure that people don’t forget, the phone will prompt them a couple times a day to record their dietary activities.

Food diaries like this are extremely effective in helping people lose weight. (I’ve tried it, and I can attest!) However, they are extremely tedious to upkeep day after day after day. My boss, one of the leaders of the study, would like to make the phone app more exciting. He wants it to be edgier, more fun, more interactive. He wants people to have an incentive to use their phone.

And what’s a better incentive than poorly drawn comics?

I was called in and offered this job. Since there’s a year left in the study, I’ll be drawing a year’s worth of comics. And since the participants use their phones every day, this is not a once-a-week strip– it’s a full-blown, daily, 365-comic strip project that I have to create. Hopefully, the participants will like the comic enough to actually check their phones when it beeps.

The other side of this project is that the comic has to be informative. It has to disguise diet and exercise tips in a palatable form. It’s supposed to highlight some of the challenges of a long-term lifestyle change, and how to deal with it. The best way to do this, my boss and I agreed, was for me to write a comic about a character actually in the study using the the actual app.

It’s a bit of an undertaking. But I can do it.

Admittedly, I don’t have much free time to work on it. At this point, I’ve outlined the entire storyline and have about a third of the comics scripted, but not drawn. For the sake of showing what I “have to do,” though, I have here seven “pilot” comics I created at the start of the project. (They had to be sent to Duke to get this whole “comic” idea approved, which, thankfully, it was.)

Enjoy! Apologies for the text-heavy post.

(The participants use Droids for the study.)

And that’s what my job looks like! Until next time!

I get married at 18 (and divorced two days later)

I had a wedding!

It was a beautiful thing.

Though I only got married because of my roommate. She had to shoot a video for her Intro to College Writing class illustrating the flaws of marriage. She asked me to be her bride, and I agreed.

The first step was to get a wedding dress. I didn’t own any white dresses, and my roommate’s only white dress was a short, breezy sundress. Outside, it was cold and windy. Thus, my “wedding gown” looked like this:

Then came the problem of the veil. We had no fancy gossamer cloths, no semi-translucent silks to stick on my head. Nope, we’re improvisational college students. Thus, I wore

Thus, my dear hubby and I (aka my roommate’s friend from her theater club) got married at the Christian Church of Science. Apparently we looked pretty legitimate. Passerby stared. The more audacious pointed. A worker at the church drove up in his golf cart and asked,

My roomie took a few videos and photos of us prancing around like happy newlyweds. They turned out… well, shockingly realistic looking, in fact. Here’s just a few:

Our life as a happy couple was not to last long, though! Two days later, my roommate filmed our dramatic arguments and tragic breakup.

I’m not an actress, nope. She ended up filming me from the back so nobody could see that I was secretly cracking up. My “husband,” on the other hand, is extremely good at improv, so he made up for my lack of talent!

So now… I am sadly divorced. So, so terrible.

It was quite a fun project. If you want to see my roommate’s completed film, check out the video below!

I love my job

I’ve been working at my job for a month or so now. I mentioned it before, I believe– that I’m an office assistant at the NU Procurement Office. And how is it? I love it! Northeastern puts a huge emphasis on “experiential learning” (meaning, the best way to learn is to go out and do it, basically) and I have learned quite a lot at my job! Here’s just a sampling from my newly acquired skillset:

In other words:

In all seriousness, though, I really do like my job! Everyone in the office is really nice and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. And though there is a lot of paperwork, I’ll also be trained (eventually) on how to use the university’s finance system for the sake of helping inquiring customers. It’s so much better than my previous job (McDonald’s) which looked a little like this:

Oh, the stories I could tell about McDonald’s. Just another reason why I’m much happier with my current job! Filing papers beats getting burned by burger grease any day.