Internship SmackDONE. Now what?

I am always surprised when people tell me they read this journal. As I tell my mother whenever she chides me about swearing too much, I write this blog entirely for myself. If people are reading this, it’s a bonus. If I ever somehow wind up on Digg and get a ton of website traffic, that basic premise will be the same. There won’t be ads, I won’t start pandering, and I won’t change who I am. But I am thankful to the people who do read this whenever it pops up, and even more so to the people who tell me they read it. And yes, I will eventually get to the whole internship thing, because that’s what most of you have been asking about. But first…

In honor of NBC making my television watching easy for me and putting every show I care to watch on that network on one night, I’ve decided to make my triumphant return to my blog with five mini-blogs so that I can catch you up with everything that’s happened in the last few months. Why five? Because Outsourced sucks, and is pretty racist to boot, and I don’t want people who would watch THAT mess finding this blog via some random Google search. 

Community
I started the final week of the Internship SmackDown! feeling pretty good. I had given everything I had to the class, and only had one week that was a stinker, so I felt I had a good shot at things. Earlier in the week, Cliff even asked me to help him with his final project for class. I felt pretty good about my final project, and I believed in his, so I figured if nothing else, the extra effort couldn’t hurt. In the final critique, Kurt and Mike told us that they were going to pick four finalists to interview. My review went really well, and I figured I had at least a finalist spot in the bag. Then Cliff posted the piece that I helped him with, and that got kudos as well. I figured I was in good shape, until Cliff hit me in the back with a steel chair, and ripped off his shirt to reveal a Copacino + Fujikado T-shirt, while Peter joined in stomping on my lifeless body. The class ended with Peter, Cliff, Kurt and Mike standing triumphant over my prone body while the rest of the class booed and threw rolls of toilet paper at them. 

Kinda like this. 

So yeah, I didn’t get it. Peter and Cliff picked up the internship spots, and I’m genuinely happy for them. Yes, they picked two winners, and I wasn’t one of them. What happened? I dunno. I started out strong, but somewhere after the Victoria’s Secret debacle, things kinda fell off a cliff. “Derivative and under developed” was the helpful analysis I got. Am I upset? Not anymore. Believe me-it took me two months and three drafts to write this post. The first draft included so many expletives that I think I started making some up, and I was going to cap the thing off with a picture of a bridge alight in flames. So I’ve calmed down since then. But I know things are going to work out fantastic for me, and I know Peter and Cliff will do a great job. 

Perfect Couples
I’m not saying Melissa and I are a perfect couple by any means, but given the massive amount of moves we’ve been through in our relationship, it is surprising that we haven’t ripped each other’s heads off yet. If my math is correct, this has been our seventh move in the nearly 5 years we’ve been together. It’s been a little extreme. But we’ve found a cozy little townhome in West Seattle. And yes, we’re going to be here for a while. I’m going to put this here, to make it official: this is the last lease that we are going to sign. The next housing-related piece of paper that I intend to sign will be a mortggage. We feel like we have a place that we can stay for a few years, our landlord is incredibly cool, and with the exception of our cat-owning loner weirdo neighbor, a nice neighborhood. I’m looking forward to getting settled in. Stop on by anytime.

The Office
I have became dangerously close to being comfortable with this whole working-from-home thing. I finished a website a month ago for the Oregon and Washington chapters of Meeting Professionals International, and I’m putting the finishing touches on a site for Bellevue College. And after that, I’m tackling another website for a career coach down in Portland. It’s been a rewarding few months, especially when this time last year, I couldn’t tell an <i> tag from an <em> tag. I mean, I’m still trying to figure most of it out, but it’s coming together much better for me. Part of my agreement with the MPI folks includes a complementary admission to their conference, as well as being part of their tradeshow as a sponsor, so there’s some potential to pick up some new clients. 

At the same time, I’m itching to get back into an agency. While I love the freedom that comes with freelancing, I do miss the workplace, co-workers, and having colleagues I can bounce ideas off. It’s just kinda lonely. Melissa always says that she wants to kick me in the mornings when I get to sleep in. Yeah, I get to sleep in, and work whenever I want, but I also have to work at times when I’d rather not-important family moments like holidays or Ohio State football games, for example. So I’m also looking for a full-time work. (Alert your friends!) I had a fabulous resume writer take a look at my resume, and she managed to make me look far better than I probably am, but now I need to get my portfolio back into shape. I’m meeting with Wexley again on Friday, and I hope they’ll give it another once-over, and we’ll see if I’ve made any progress since I’ve started this blog. Obviously, I’ll keep you posted.

Parks and Recreation
Melissa bought me NFL Training Camp for Christmas. Since we’ve moved even further away from an LA Fitness, and the 24-Hour Fitness around here is a dump, I haven’t been super motivated to workout. And with our Hawaii Honeymoon looming in May, I want to drop as much weight as possible. Weirdly enough, when I was living in Minneapolis, I routinely drove a half-hour in traffic during a Minnesota winter to go to the gym, but I can’t motivate myself to drive down to Southcenter. I can’t figure it out either. 

Anyway, NFL Training Camp is another one of those Wii fitness “games” that get you moving just enough to convince you that you’re actually working out. For now, that’s what I need. Problem is, whoever decided these workouts were easy needs to find himself in a bathroom with a drunk Ben Rothlesberger. These exercises are TOUGH. You start out by picking your favorite team (Vikings), and a player to train with. I picked Brett Favre, but he retired right after I selected him, so I picked Antoine Winfield instead. It starts out slowly with warm up exercises, then jumps right into what I like to call DEATH MODE, where Virtual Winfield proceeds to try and break my spirit. 

Virtual Winfield: Okay, it’s time for Side Planks. Get into position, and hold this for for twenty minutes. I’m going to go make a sandwich.
Me: Umph, gag, gasp.
VW: HEY! Don’t drop your hips, you PANSY! Keep that shit in a straight line. Don’t make me come through this TV. Do you think I won a Super Bowl ring by taking it easy with Side Planks!? Me: But you’ve never won a Super Bowl—
Virtual Brett: Hey guys, I changed my mind again. Do you want to train with me?
VW: Go home, Brett. I got this. Okay, let’s do this QB Challenge. It should be easy for you. I mean, the Patriots can do it, and they have a GIRL playing quarterback.

Virtual Antoine Winfield is a mean son of a BITCH.

30 Rock
I have no idea how to tie 30 Rock to anything even remotely tangible in my life, but I do want to boast a bit, so I’ll do this:

30 Rock is an Emmy-award winning show. And as of 2011, I am a ADDY-award winner!

On the advice of Mike and Kurt, and the encouragement of Cliff and Melissa, I entered a couple of my final Zipcar pieces from my Copacino class into a local student advertising competition. And then I completely forgot about entering, so the email was a bit of a surprise. On top of that, Cliff entered his ru2hot piece that I helped him with, so I’m a finalist in two separate divisions! After the shock of being named a finalist subsided, I had a paralyzing thought: What, exactly, did I enter? Shit. 

Of course, during the move, I tossed out tons of paper I had no use for, and my backup entry form was in the massive paper dump. I had PDFs of my entry forms, but I couldn’t remember which specific pieces that I entered, and they were now asking for digital copies of. Just my luck, right? After tearing apart the half-unpacked boxes in my office, I managed to find the thumb drive that had backups of everything. Whew.

So what does all this mean? Well, being named a finalist means I’m either a Silver or Gold ADDY winner. The Gold winners automatically get forwarded to the district competitions for further judging. Silver winners can enter as well, but have to pay the entry costs. I won’t know where I stand until the event, and I don’t yet know when that will be. Of course, I’ll keep you updated on my progress. By the way, there is no truth to the rumor that I have requested Melissa refer to me as an “award-winning husband”. But seriously, would it kill her?

Well, we’re now up to date. Well, actually, slightly behind, because I have some thoughts on the Super Bowl commercials that I’ll get to in a later update. So I’m still behind, I guess. 

Last year, Melissa and I had a mantra. “This is our year.” Whenever things seemed too bleak to face, or stress threatened to overtake us, we’d look at each other, and repeat that phrase. And by all accounts, it was a very successful year for us. We got married, we got our financial mess under control, I started working more, and had a very successful experience with my Copacino class. But I’m not done yet. I’m almost there, and I’m going to keep pushing until I get to where I need to go. 

2011 is going to be MY year. 

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Dwight Battle

Studio Battle, 9410 35th Ave SW #A, Seattle, WA 98126, USA

Dwight Battle is an award-winning independent art director specializing in mobile and digital design, branding, and creative direction. Dwight has been an art director and designer for over twelve years, and have worked with a variety of clients in a variety of stages of growth, from Fortune 500 companies to small family businesses, and from established companies to early-stage startups.