Day Eighteen

If there is one big lesson that I’ve learned so far this summer, it’s that I absolutely cannot and should not read on a bus or train. This realization is rather disappointing as I have 2 nice chunks of time where getting ahead on my book would be nice. However, after making this mistake not once but twice.. I’ve decided that feeling enormously nauseous on the ride home is not a good plan. Especially in rush hour traffic with the bus driver slamming on the brakes. But enough of that.

More 10+ hour days at work this week. We’re finally making good traction on a project (or so it seems). The whole process has definitely been a learning experience. In addition to the project that I’ve been working on for a couple weeks now, I’ve added on two more. One of those is an intern project. There are 65 interns, we’re broken up into teams of roughly 10 each and everyone has a good mix of creatives, account managers, copywriters, etc. We’ve had two initial brainstorming rounds so far and are planning on a third tomorrow. It’s really neat to be given a full scale client project to work with. I probably won’t share too much about it until the final deliverables (in 7 weeks) at the end of my internship. A lot of the interns aren’t necessarily from a traditional 4 year design school background. I’m finding it really interesting to learn about all of the different ways in which people end up in advertising, especially when it sounds like most had very unconventional paths or never intended on getting there.

100 degree weather made a quick walk at lunch with Remy almost unbearable. When they said it was going to be 100, they really meant it. Unfortunately this only lead to work overcompensating with the air conditioning and I felt like I was in an ice box all day. I was originally planning on stopping by Millenium Park after work to see part of a concert that was going on there tonight but between working until 7 and thunderstorms/rain, it didn’t sound like a very good plan.

Tomorrow is Friday! It’s coming just in time because I’m itching to break the routine for a bit and fit some exploring in. I already have my list made for things I’d like to see and do, now I just have to hope there aren’t thunderstorms!

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Day Sixteen and Seventeen

The days seem to be running together lately and nights are going faster and faster. I can’t believe tomorrow is already Thursday! I feel like I just wrote my blog post for last weekend and here we are coming up on yet another. Meetings, photoshopping, more meetings, bus to and from, more meetings then feeding myself. In between I’ve managed to find time to finish the second book in the Hunger Games series (intense!), go to the gym and walk around downtown a bit. Meeting more of the interns for the baseball game and lunches has been nice. I feel like I moved to this city and really didn’t have to worry about where to find friends (definitely thankful for that). Between Kristin, Remy and all of the interns at work there is always someone interested in doing something.

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Work has certainly been a huge learning experience so far. As an intern my role in the department of design is not entirely defined. What that means is that it’s a lot of asking questions, figuring things out and trying to work as fast as possible. Deadlines are definitely way different than in school. There they gave us deadlines for sketches, process work, final comps, etc. Now it’s pretty much just get this done in 24 hours or less. The pen tool (in Adobe Illustrator) and I have become best friends and I feel like I’ve been picking up a lot of new keyboard shortcuts and faster ways of working.

More on projects and such later though- it’s bedtime! Perhaps I’ll remember to take some more pictures tomorrow.

Day Fifteen

Last night after work I went with the rest of the Leo Burnett interns to my first Cubs game ever! They had gotten us rooftop seats overlooking Wrigley Field which was pretty sweet. I can’t say I watched a whole lot of the game itself because being so far away made paying attention a bit hard but considering I know almost nothing about baseball and barely knew who they were playing that was fine by me. Awesome views of downtown Chicago as the sun went down as well.

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Got to spend a lot of time hanging out with some of the other interns which was nice. One of the other girls is from RIT as well (I didn’t know her then) but its interesting to see how much our lives overlapped. We seemed to know a lot of the same people!

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Day Fourteen

Today was a pretty laid back Sunday. Last night Remy and I went downtown since it was a guy a work’s birthday and didn’t come back until 1:30 am when I was absolutely exhausted. There is a bread, wine and cheese place that is 4 blocks from my apartment and it’s never open when I’m out of work so I was hoping to catch them today. What I didn’t realize was that today is the Pride Parade that was going down that very same street. So what was supposed to be a short walk to get bread and cheese ended up with large crowds and someone (accidentally) dumping beer on me. There were hoards of people down there with quite a few beers in them already and it was only 11 am so I decided that was perhaps not the best street to hang out on today.

Instead I had fun picking out cheese. I ended up with a local one from about an hour south – the person who sold the cheese to me was super helpful in describing them and let me taste some. The one I picked was from a cheese making shop that she went to this morning. I didn’t get a lot but told her I’d be back soon (if they’re ever open at a convenient time!). I took my bread and cheese home and made myself a sandwich and grabbed a book before heading in the opposite direction to Lake Michigan.

Found myself a nice spot under a big shady tree and ate lunch and then read for close to 3 hours. I’m currently reading book two in the Hunger Games series! With the breeze off the lake, the sounds of sailboats coming into the marina, and the screams of people trying out the nearby trapeze school, it was definitely an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Tonight is going to include getting ahead on some work for this week (big project due Tuesday) and then reading some more.

On to week three!

Day Twelve – Revisited

What I failed to mention about Friday was the 2 hour scavenger hunt that Leo interns were sent on. This summer we’re split up into groups of 8-10 people who all have varying backgrounds from copywriting to design or art directing. We’re assigned a project to do all together that is due on the final week of our time here. Anyway, the scavenger hunt was meant as an ice breaker to get to know the rest of our group before we spend 8 weeks working with them. It was also meant for embarrassment purposes because we’re the interns after all 🙂

We were given a list of 15 different things to do that took us around various floors looking for things and the rest of the tasks were outside in Chicago. We definitely turned some heads while we were forming a “cheerleading pyramid” outside of the Leo Burnett building or when we went running through Millenium Park with a 2 foot Travelocity Gnome.

One of the last tasks on the list was to make it all the way down to Navy Pier (about a 15 minute walk), buy a beer and take a picture in front of the Ferris Wheel. It was both a pretty far walk and a REALLY hot day so we were all exhausted by the time we had made it down there.

Ended up taking a cab back which was a bit squished with 5 people crammed in the backseat. Certainly a quick way to meet a group of people 🙂

Day Thirteen

Now that I’m finally caught up on the past three days, how about today’s adventures..

The view I wake up to every morning (below). Waking up to sun coming through the window is never a bad way to wake up. Even at 7:30 on a Saturday. Slower start to the morning catching up with Jon and then seeing Kristin off (she’s going to Michigan for the weekend on a work retreat).

I decided that it’s too nice of a day to spend inside so I headed out on a walk/run/yoga/stretch through the park. Covered 5 miles total and probably could have gone further if I had remembered sunscreen and actually eaten breakfast before I left (I only intended on going on a short run). Oops. I headed north this time and got to see a lot of the park that I hadn’t before. There were SO many people outside biking, walking, running, yogaing, playing baseball, etc. About half of the time was spent along the marina which has a dog beach that is rather entertaining. Chicago is huge on outdoor sports events. They’re all sponsored by these bigger organizations who set up volleyball on the lake, baseball in the park or yoga classes at random locations. It’s cool to see so much group exercise and you’re definitely never alone if you go outside to work out. There are also those weight exercises along the trail (pushups, chin up bars, rings, etc) which I’ve never actually seen people use before. In Chicago there’s literally a line formed sometimes of people waiting to use them.

Up north towards Irving Park is this cool old clock tower that I think is now part of a golf course. This is the part of the path where I went a little off course – I didn’t realize I was walking into a Marina so instead of walking closer to home like I assumed I was doing, I was only getting further away. Oops.

And of course, Lake Michigan. So many boats out today!

This was my spot for yoga – really sweet view that makes holding tough poses just a little bit easier.

I’d like to wander down to Lincoln Park where they have a public market at some point but I might save that for tomorrow. I’m really missing the Rochester Public Market!! This afternoon looks like a good time for some outdoor reading under a tree, potentially going down to the beach on Lake Michigan and then meeting up with Remy later tonight. I’ve been trying to spend as little time as possible on my computer when it’s not for work purposes (aside from blogging now). I have a whole list of things I’d like to see and places I’d like to eat so I have to quick cram everything in!

Days Ten – Twelve

The posting is starting to get a bit bunched up here as I’ve been spending more and more time at work and less time in the evenings wanting to hop back on a computer. I just finished up my 2nd week at Leo. Like I said in the last post, days are going insanely fast. The number of meetings and things to do throughout the day has picked up which I’m sure contributes to that feeling. I’m getting pretty used to waking up before 7, getting ready speedy quick and making it to work by 8. I’ve found the shortest possible commute to work (15+) minutes and it goes right down Lake Shore Drive which makes for awesome views. The ride home, however, is a little bit more tricky because I haven’t memorized bus lines yet or attempted to make any sense of them so I tend to end up waiting forever. I should just learn to take the Brown Line home and enjoy the extra walk. Finally feeling like I really know the city or at least my small corner of it. Apartment, Bus, Work, Bus, Apartment (and lots of stops at the beach in between!).

The view from work never gets old. In the two weeks that I’ve been here it’s rained once and that was conveniently during the work day so I was inside anyway. Blue skies, sunshine, the lake.. pretty nice. Certainly makes me want to spend as much time outside as possible.

Below is the view from the lunch room at Leo.

View of Wacker Drive and the River from the other side of the lunch room.

Even with late nights at work, I still manage to make room for a quick walk to the neighborhood ice cream place. It’s only 4 blocks away and we had been passing it every time we went somewhere so Kristin and I decided to try it out. We declared it quite delicious and might have to make multiple trips back 🙂 Peanut butter chip ice cream… I mean, you really can’t go wrong.

Last night after work I texted Kristin on the ride home and said we were eating dinner on the lake, no excuses! The other night I had the genius idea to make asian peanut-y noodles with cabbage, tofu and carrots (okay, that recipe needs a shorter name) but anyway there is A LOT of it which made for a quick grab and go dinner. So many boats and people out – it was really cold on the lake though so we stopped back at our conveniently located apartment before headed out into Lakeview to explore.

Our exploring took us past this vintage store that sold clothes that only looked appropriate for Halloween and some lady invited us in because they were having a party. Note: it was NOT as creepy as that just sounded, Mom. Turns out there was an art gallery opening in the basement of the building so we decided to go check it out. It did feel a little like we were going into someone’s basement though. I love being in an area of Chicago where we can just walk 4 blocks down and there are tons of people out and about on any given night. It makes the area feel tons safer and encourages us to get out as much as possible.

Our walk around the neighborhood had a pit stop at Trader Joe’s for a bottle of wine. We made it all the way back home before we discovered that neither one of us had bothered to pack a wine opener when we moved out here. Whoops. Guess that wine is going to be saved for another night!

Day Nine

Today’s post is going to be short because my day included (and is continuing to include) a whole lot of work.

Got to Leo around 8 am just in time to get a cup of coffee and admire the view. See below. That’s the view from about 2 steps away from my desk. Not bad, right? Lake Michigan is off in the distance with Millenium Park tucked in the upper left hand side.

Working on the 27th floor is a wee bit intimidating though if you happen to look down…

I seriously cannot believe how fast these days are going. I can’t believe tomorrow is already Wednesday of my 2nd week here. Today I worked on the same project from 8 until 1, switched it up for an hour and then continued on that same project until the end of the day. Had my first official reviews with Art Directors and other senior people today. It was nothing a little freshman drawing class critique didn’t prepare me for. Only thing is the deadlines are SO much faster than in college. As in, it’s due tomorrow in less than 24 hours. Eek. Good learning experiences all around. I’m feeling pretty slow with my workflow though. Other people are tackling 3+ projects whereas I’m focusing on two. I think with time and practice I’ll get faster. It did help today to have two computers (I got my work laptop back!) which meant dual monitor. I switched back and forth between projects without having to shut down programs or overload the computers (Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and After Effects would not have enjoyed all running at once).

I decided to take an hour or two to myself after work before continuing on things. I set out to run on the Lake Shore path that is just a block from the apartment. Unfortunately, what working in an air conditioned office all day didn’t prepare me for was the HEAT. And lots of it. It was a humid 93 degrees today, not exactly what I would consider ideal running weather. My ambitious running plans soon turned into a walk which turned into sitting on a park bench in the shade talking to my mom. Ah, it’s the thought that counts.

View from the path (above) and view from my park bench (below).

Headed back home, fed myself, and now I’m sitting down to work for a couple more hours.

Do these pictures make anyone want to come visit Chicago anytime soon? (looking at you, Jon :))

Day Eight

A rather frustrating day overall.

Spent over 2.5 hours on the phone with tech support throughout the day. I got into work an hour early figuring that I could settle in with some coffee before the crowds and get some work done.Unfortunately that extra hour was spent on hold with someone in IT because my computer issues were STILL not fixed. To make a long story short, this all involved numerous phone calls between 5 different people and myself, a few emails, people taking over my screen to try to fix things, uninstalling the entire Adobe Suite and then finally them sending someone up in person to take my computer away. Really great considering I was trying to get work done through all of this! Luckily I had the genius idea to bring my own computer into work today “just in case” so I wasn’t completely without something to work with. All of the passwords, internet issues and problems with file/font licensing and sharing did prove to be a slight problem though.

Can only hope that they fix it by tomorrow morning. And yes, I will be bringing my own computer.

The rest of the day was broken up by two separate 1 hour meetings and a few random errands. Needless to say I did end up staying late. But I went out and bought myself some iced tea from Argo (a cool specialty tea store down the street) in the middle of all of this. A much needed break. I did, in fact, get some work done today and it felt good to get back into “designer mode” with Pandora playing and just cracking down on some Photoshop work. Currently working on a website – love me some UI design.

After work Remy and I both decided that going home to empty fridges didn’t seem like a fun idea (really needed to go grocery shopping) so we went out to eat instead! Took the brown line up close to home and there is a restaurant called Fresh literally right under the L stop. Tasty vegetable dumplings and tofu pad thai! I did stop at Trader Joe’s on the way home – Mondays are clearly not a good time to go shopping. So packed.

Probably headed to bed soon as I’m planning on getting to work early again (hopefully not wasting that time on the phone though..).

Day Six & Seven

Judging by the number of blisters on my feet, I’ve done a whole lot of walking over the past week. Always being on the go is kind of nice though as there are so many places to see in the city and so many things to do. Apparently I thought wrong when I said I wasn’t a city person. I love it.

After a long Friday and being out and about I assumed that I would relax a bit on Saturday morning. Turns out that I’m officially an adult now (well… only in some ways) because I woke up at 6:30 am with no alarm. I was rather disappointed with myself. Spent some time getting ready, reading for a little bit, eating lunch and then headed out to go see Remy’s new apartment. I was only there for 15 minutes or so because we had to leave and head downtown to meet up with two of her friends from Reno who were in town. They  had never had Chicago deep dish pizza so they took us out to dinner at Uno’s. Seeing as that’s my favorite meal ever, I had no complaints!

We had an event to go to at 8pm and ended up finishing dinner up at 5pm (midwest meal times anyone?) so had oodles of time on our hands to walk around and explore downtown. Below is a picture of the Leo Burnett building where both Remy + I are working! We’re on the 27 floor – it’s super scary to look straight down from the conference room windows.

Unfortunately yesterday was rather toasty warm so we popped inside a shopping mall for a bit to cool off. They had super sweet mosaic benches (which I apparently did not get a picture of).

Headed up to Old Town which is just north of the Loop and hung out in a Starbucks until the show started at 8pm. The show we were going to see was put on by Lampo, an experimental music organization in Chicago that was started by the husband of the woman who runs the Department of Design at Leo (small world). If you want to read more about the specific show you can read about it here. It’s the Joseph Hammer performance towards the bottom. It was a really cool performance and we got to walk around an experimental design exhibit afterwards as well. Always willing to try new things in this city, it will help to get to know it better.

Picture below is of Remy attempting to learn how to whistle at the L station – we probably provided great entertainment for the people around us 🙂

Saturday night after the performance we headed back to Remy’s for some ice cream and time with her crazy cat. The cat’s name is Wiki and is actually Remy’s new roommates cat. Remy had described the cat as weird but I didn’t understand the extent of the weirdness until I actually met Wiki. Seriously the oddest most ADD cat I’ve ever met. She would run around the apartment playing with random pieces of dust, scare herself, flop around like a dog on the floor and demand constant attention.

I slept over at Remy’s on Saturday night because I planned on trying a church this morning that was only 3 blocks from her place. Wiki and I had some quality bonding time this morning. That cat purrs louder than anything and is particularly chatty at 7 am.

Had kind of a slow morning leading up to church because both of us were exhausted from last night. The new church was good, it definitely made me miss Grace Road in Rochester. The building itself and the music were great but I wasn’t sure about the message especially because Remy had a hard time hearing it. I think we might look around a little more or perhaps I’ll just take this 10 week period as a way to try a new church every week for lots of different experiences.

After church we sped walked our way to a crepes place 20 minutes away called Crepes a Lot. Remy has some friend of a friend of an uncle connection with someone from Reno who recently moved to Chicago so we met up with him there. Super tasty peanut butter and jelly crepe which I forgot to take a picture of but I’ll most definitely be back. On the way home we walked past this super creepy doll collection at a yard sale. Uhm what?!

Rounded off the afternoon with some swinging in a park across the street from Remy’s apartment, more time with Wiki and now time in a Starbucks close by (free wifi!). Probably going to head home soon to get some dinner in me and get rested up for an early day tomorrow (short project deadlines this week, eek!).

Last but not least: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!! Wish I could be home to hang out with you! Maybe you’ll just have to come out here and play mini golf 🙂