Friday, May 22, 2015

Taste of fun

   Taste of Kansas City VIPs, after wayyy too many plates of decadent food and plenty of trips to the bar. All free. With my favorite peeps. Not pictured: Carolyn and Mike. Thanks for the tickets, Monte!!!!
   We caught him for a few minutes before he got up on stage to film the competition in progress...
...whilst we were busy hitting the Scratch gourmet cookie bar over and over again.
   And in round two of festivities, we hit a dive bar and competed in trivia. I earned our team an extra 50 points for the drawing accompanying our name. (Google, aren't you looking for a Doodler? Everyone at that piano bar thinks I'm qualified. HINT HINT)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bravo to Cameron

   I am a big fan of cleverness, and when I opened the bag of Cameron's coffee to grind the beans this morning, I found this hidden message. They redesigned their packaging not too long ago, and I have to say, bravo! This is why every company should hire talented creatives. It doesn't cost anything more to add this to the packaging, and what a delight.
   Reminds me of the hidden message sewn into the hem of my Nike running shirt.

Inspiration: walk with the dreamers

   This morning I discovered this awesomely inspiring runner and Instagrammer, when she liked some of my posts. She has some great landscape photos from her runs, but I really love her selection of inspirations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beauty outside

   The neighbor's roses, above, and my peonies, below. I paused to enjoy these while I was mowing the lawn this evening.
   After I finished my lawn, there was still daylight and the rain and had held off, so I went over to Scott and Abby's yard and mowed theirs, too. Abby must have heard me, and came out of the house to give me a hug and thank me. She said she had a rough day, with the baby and the dog having thrown up on her, and the other kid (potty training is underway) peed on her. She was on her third outfit! I really mowed the lawn because I had been on the computer all day and was glad to be up and moving, getting some fresh air. Of course I knew they would appreciate it. But it made me happy to hear that it made her day! For about four years, my former neighbor, Bob, mowed my front yard for me. That saved me at least 30 minutes of work every week. I'm glad to pay it forward when I can.
   Back on the subject of beauty, I found the body of a beautiful Downy woodpecker just under their tree; it appeared to have been caught by a cat. It was sad to see, and yet it gave me the chance to fully appreciate the beautiful design of this sweet little bird. And as my buddy Rick would advise me, I regarded it with wonder.

Inspiration: another Instagrammer

   YES! And they go down easier the more you take them.
   There's truth to this one, although there's also wisdom in striving for the extraordinary at an early age. Wish I had started sooner. Now I'm making up for lost time... While also appreciating the seemingly ordinary and everyday delights.
   And a timely reminder, although I must say, I have certainly been doing the work!

Dear Google

   Dear Google, my name is Jen and I just submitted my application for your Doodler job. I drew this for you in my sketchbook (like, in pen, and I totally free handed it. Except for the deer, I drew him in pencil first because as we all know, deers are hard to draw) and hope we will get a chance to talk. Since I know a little about how search works on the interwebs (and I'm thinking you might know something about it, too?), I typed below what I sketched to help you find it:
   Dear Google, I was born to doodle. Seriously, I just asked my mom and she confirmed. (You're not calling my mom a liar, are you?) I'm a ninja with a sketchbook (Yes, that says 忍者. I dabble in the art of Japanese language just because), a science nerd and nature lover, an extreme sports enthusiast (I'll try anything twice! And I even have some previously-broken bones to prove it), an aficionado of funny (sing with me now: I like big words and I cannot lie), and I play really well with others (you otha bruthas can't deny) of the two legged and also furry four-legged varieties (not so much the furry eight legged variety… EEK!!!) Did I mention I'm a scuba diver? Yep… I even doodle underwater. Fo. Realz. I bet if you ask me to try sketching while I'm on my snowboard, I am dumb–oops! I mean courageous–enough to try it for you. I think we should talk. Don't you? xo Jen Rarey
   PS: Yes, that is an actual picture of my dear mother, and she is going to be very disappointed if I don't hear from you because she does NOT want me moving into her basement.
   PSS: I would love to join you in Cali. Where I can learn to doodle while surfing. That has been a challenge here in Kansas.
   PSSS: Seriously, don't call my mom a liar. She may be adorable, but she can take you down-town.
   All fun and games aside, I am a creative director and strategist as well as an illustrator and designer. I have a great pedigree from Hallmark, so I know little about collaborative creative teams and art that fosters emotional connections between people. I also have a long history of volunteering for local animal rescue organizations, and make time to support the causes I care about.
   In addition to the things I mentioned in the cartoon (which are actually true), I am a highly curious person, a lifelong learner, and a natural teacher. I know a little about a whole lot of things and I'm always looking to learn more. I value experiences and relationships. I live to make people laugh and love it when my artwork makes them smile.
   I believe I would be a good fit for Google because my personality and values will blend well with your culture. I hope I get the chance to show you.
   My career coach tells me that a common mistake people make is applying, but never truly asking for the job. So, I'm asking.

Monday, May 18, 2015

My inner kid came out to play

   I love my neighborhood. There are at least four gorgeous parks within easy walking distance. This morning I ran by three of them, South Lake Park, Santa Fe Commons Park, and Strang Park. I often go by Cherokee, too. For the most part in the last couple years, my exercise has consisted of running, with occasional kayaking, indoor rock climbing, and snowboarding mixed in. My legs are in better shape than the rest of me. But not for long… I've started to use the parks on my route for their playgrounds, working out my arms and abs. And climbing their trees!

   Last night, this little girl and her sister followed me up about 20 feet, while their dad watched us from the ground and made friends with my dogs. So adorable!!!
   And OMG, is it just me, or does this tree have a big face? (Hint: it's not just me.)
    My climbing skills came in handy yesterday when my gutters needed cleaning. With all the rain we've had in recent weeks, I noticed that one of my gutters has been overflowing. Turns out a bunch of leaves and "helicopter" seeds were jammed up at the top. So I climbed up on the roof yesterday to remedy that situation. The kids across the street saw me walking around up there and looked shocked. I hope that I didn't give them any ideas… ;)
   Speaking of getting ideas, my ol' boy Taylor learned some new tricks from hotshot Hachi, and when I went in the house for about three seconds to get something, I came back to find this guy stalking my breakfast.
   So cute, so bad. Fortunately, he hadn't moved in on my yogurt yet. I had just come back from a 6.25 mile run, so I really needed that breakfast! Don't nobody go stalking my coffee!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Good times in Ireland

   So weird... I don't remember sailing in Ireland, but here is photographic evidence! Thanks, Brian, for capturing the moment!

IDC countdown

   A full day of sitting in the sunshine at the Lang house in Gower, studying physics, physiology, dive planning, environment, equipment and more with the best buddies imaginable. And the food and drink was just as good!
   This just in: sangria mix studying physics go down much easier. Smooth like butter!
   One of three naughty Westies running around. I'm not sure if this is Megan, Lacey, or Charlie:
   During our study session, Chris and Kevin's daughter Kayla (20) guessed me at "27-30 years old." Did I mention how much I love Kayla? And we decided I was going to start a band called "Jen & The Rebreathers" with our first album called Carotid Reflex, and our hit single "Air Embolism." Someone complimented me on how smart I sounded pronouncing all of these physiology terms, and I said, "Well, I don't want to brag… But my sister is a doctor." HA!
   And upon returning home, hanging in the backyard with my own sweet pets.  The birds were chirping so loudly you could barely hear yourself think! But think I did, and continued studying for a few more hours.
   On Sunday we spent most of the day in the pool at the shop, with staff instructor Scott putting us through our paces. SO fun. One of my hoses came loose and I had a free flow behind my head while we were in the deep end of the pool on the very first skill. The irreverent and inappropriate jokes started almost immediately, and devolved into someone accidentally breathing into the pocket mask on their pretend unconscious victim at the surface, motorboating her lips. (I was playing the other victim at the time, so my ears were underwater, and I could still hear everyone laughing.)
   I'm feeling more confident for the IE every time we get together! Two weeks and counting!

Quote: things we don't say

   I've been trying to process a very confusing interaction that I had the other night, and I ran across this quote, and suddenly it all made sense.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Drawing raves

   Jeremy Collins has done it again: produced a funny, touching, vibrant and inspiring short film about challenging yourself, true friendship, finding humor in adversity, saying goodbye, the love of family, artistic expression... All the things that matter in life. Jeremy even brought his beautiful and charming family  (his little girl is a total ham!) up on stage with him at the end, to the delight of the hometown crowd.
   He bookended the presentation with the famous quote by René Daumal, the same that Conrad Anker referenced in his lecture at UMKC last month:
"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know."
   He also began the presentation with the reading of "Oh, the places you'll go!" By Dr. Seuss--which suddenly seemed more profound than I had ever realized.
   One of my favorite thoughts from his film is that "your 20s are for learning, your 30s are for building, and your 40s are for thriving." I relate to that, having learned a lot about life and survival on my own in my 20s; learning and growing as an artist and a leader in my 30s; and now, learning new ways to apply my knowledge as I search for my next career. Consistent feedback from my networking sessions: my resume is impressive, my artwork is strong, and I am smart. In some ways the last few weeks of felt like I am climbing a great mountain; and I hope soon to be scouting my route from above. 
   In Drawn, Jeremy and his crew traveled to Venezuela to scatter his friend's ashes to the south, only to meet with insurmountable challenges. They had to admit defeat and head home. But sure enough, they returned months later and succeeded. Admirable courage and determination, in honor of a great friend.

   Check out this inspiring film. Highly engaging, and relatable to all.

Inspiration: Emily McDowell

    I'm trying to like Emily McDowell's work even more than I already do but it's exhausting and it's making my head hurt, probably because it isn't possible. So I'm gunna stop. I've been in love with her since last week when I saw her work at Milagro. (And I still like it today, so I'm SURE that it wasn't just a product of post-massage-bliss.)