Ryan left. Megan has not.
Megan misses Ryan. She's ready to go too. A more appropriate final post will/should come soon. I don't think we can properly close this until we're both out of Greensboro...

saturday / June 12, 2010

Mangan,

Agreed. Absolutely. Sorry I have been so absent recently. I blame the fact that I will soon be physically absent.

tuesday / June 1, 2010

Viscount Ryan,
It's June 1st. We need to do a final farewell post before departure. Lets make that happen...

tuesday / June 1, 2010

These are interesting times.
Posting on this blog has been sparse in recent days. Many apologies to our dutiful readers, (Megan's Dad, Uel, Serah, um...?). So many things are happening. So many changes. The beginning of beginnings. The end of ends. New VISTAs are arriving and old VISTAs are wrapping up. People are coming, people are going. Here we are. It's been a year. It's almost June again. How...?

wednesday / May 19, 2010

Remember why you're here.
Remember why you're here.
Remember why you're here.

monday / May 10, 2010

Blitz Remembered.
Great site put together by the SCAD/OSU Greensboro Blitzers. Nice job guys!

tuesday / May 4, 2010

Dear Rachael,
I made something for you. I hope you like it. See you soon friend.

Love, Meg

tuesday / May 4, 2010

Correct, the Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Tonight, PieLab will know whether or not we have won the 2010 James Beard Award for "Outstanding Restaurant Design". Our fellow nominees include Choice Kitchens & Bakery and The Wright.

Dan and Breanne have taken the lead and are in NYC tonight representing PieLab. If we win, they get to stand in front of an audience of thousands and personally thank Greensboro for its support of PieLab. If we don't win... Then I will still be amazed that we were nominated in the first place.

It looks as if the James Beard Awards will not be on television, streamed online, or even on radio. If this isn't the case, please let me know!

monday / May 3, 2010

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
You will not be able to stay home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip, Skip out for beer during commercials, Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox In 4 parts without commercial interruptions. The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary. The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia. The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal. The revolution will not get rid of the nubs. The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

GIL SCOTT-HERON via Doug Kisor. Thanks Doug.

sunday / May 2, 2010

Another day, another flyer.

thursday / April 29, 2010

BikeLab Re-location

As well as renovations had been going at Old School Candy... Things just weren't moving quickly enough.

With less than a month left in Greensboro, I wanted to make sure to give BikeLab a proper home. So, beginning this week, BikeLab is officially moving into the Whelan House (the original home of the original PieLab).

The house is already slated to be next year's M VISTA home base and therefore BikeLab will not only be easily accessible, but it will almost always have someone available.

Construction has begun, more updates soon.

tuesday / April 27, 2010

Amos Kennedy re-Visit
Ryan traveled to Gordo with the lovely Ms. Clementine Blakemore to help out with a letterpress poster project of hers.

It was great to see Amos once again (probably for the last time) and let the time fly, lost in print production.

sunday / April 25, 2010

We do not claim affiliation with this at all...but we like it. It's good. Go.

tuesday / April 20, 2010

...and when Megan returns to Hale, she has things To-Do...
Call Serah
Call Brian
Call Aub/Rach
Fix M Presentation (hold)
Call Marcy
Talk to Ryan about bikes.
Talk to Pam
Email Emily

and...enjoy the end(s).

wednesday / April 7, 2010

I've been doing this a lot lately. The sappy schmaltzy thing. Sorry Ryan.
The end is near. Perhaps this isn't as finial as it sounds. These 'end' times come more then once in a person's life and actually happen more frequently then one might expect. One such end is drawing near for me as my year of service in Greensboro Alabama closes. My feelings are mixed. I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry or be excited. I suppose I feel a little of everything and therefore this bizarre feeling I feel inside me right at this very moment surely must be the overtaking of these disparate feelings and/or the mixing together of these feelings as if churning around inside a glass beaker of sorts. I'm not quite sure. It's odd.

But it's over. It's almost done. What a ride. What a journey. What a change I've seen in myself in one year's time. What a change I've seen in others I've come to love and respect. Who would have thought? WHO would have thought?

Your in it. Your in it. Your in it. And you loose focus. You loose perspective. You get mad. You get really mad. You get annoyed. You want out. You hate your friends. You hate your life. But then you get out. You get out for a minute and look back upon. And then...(pause for dramatic effect) all is well with the world, your life makes sense and you understand that everything will be a-okay.

monday / April 5, 2010

...and when Megan returns to Hale, she has things To-Do...
Call Serah
Call Brian
Call Aub/Rach
Fix M Presentation
Call Marcy
Talk to Ryan about bikes.
Talk to Pam
Email Emily

and...enjoy the end(s).

sunday / April 3, 2010

A few things.
Megan has been OOTO for nearly a week. This, of course, means that her additions to this blog have been sparse. But now, as she lays on a hotel floor in Nashville, her mom watching a Richard Gere flick, her dad studying the atlas, she's overcome with the sudden urge to write about a few things (hence the title of this post). Below is the abridged version of Megan's seven days past:

Sun: Chattanooga. Melinda. Downtown. Blue Moon. Writer in bar. Amanda sings? Why did the cow cross the road? Floor. Mon: Love to Knead; Knead to Love. Create Here. SuperNova. DJ and Widgets. Ruby Falls. Picnic. Backwoods. "Kiss your elbow turns." Asheville. French Press. Amazing Indian. Tent? Bed. Tue: Black Mountain. Buckminster Fuller, John Cage. Meredith Davis. Raleigh. Another Robin. Michigan brew. Sitar. Schlitz. Floor. Wed: Coffee. Bertie Co. Edmonton. Shit Coast. Mystery Sonic. VAH BEACH! Brynn! Lunar Eclipse? Bed. Thu: Waffles. Coffee. Duke of Gloucester. Charlottesville. Amazing. Steal Drums. Pedestrian Mall. Iced Americano. Brooklyn Stout. Great Convo. Great people. Assetts. Values. Bed. Fri: Coffee. Iced Coffee. CCDC. 1.5 employees. LH&A Architects. Walking Score. 10 hours. NashVegas. Folks. Done.

saturday / April 3, 2010

&&&&&BLITZ&&&&&

wednesday / March 17, 2010

$$$$$BLITZ$$$$$

tuesday / March 17, 2010

!!!!!!!!BLITZ!!!!!!!!

saturday / March 13, 2010

The Weekenders
Q:What do you do when someone you know says, "hey...come to New Orleans?"

A:You go. And so, we went...Co-rin and Mego...on a train...to visit this guy...and hang with more friends who work here...to drink this...and this (never again). Here' why. Well worth it.

monday / March 8, 2010

Western counterparts:
Until this is published, I cannot disclose it's source of origin, but lets just say we have some pretty wise friends doing some pretty great stuff.I quote...

"We see ourselves as part of a change of tone occurring in the profession, led by students and emerging professionals who want more than what the profession has devalued itself to, working unapologetically for the socio-economic elite."

"We talk and write about what we are doing in the present or past tense, as if to say, 'Here is what we have done, and through that we learned about ourselves, our abilities, and the community, so now we are doing this.' In other words, we have not decided who we are."

"If it was easy and simple, then it would already exist."

"We are young, and able, but we are often reminded of our limits. We see those limitations as opportunities to bring someone else in, someone who knows through their own experience how to better approach a problem."

"We have not learned anything we should be hesitant to provide to others."


And to that I say, "Cheers!"

sunday / February 28, 2010

This past week in a pe-can nutshell
Busy week in Hale.

Mon: First trip to Auburn to meet up with new/old Friends of M, and hear Emily P. talk about Project H. (see more on that below)

Tue: Great day in Greensboro with Melissa Cullens, 2009 Project M Alum. Also, first Taco Tuesday of 20'X.

Wed: Visit and bike tour with Birmingham friends who work here, plus fun times with Emily and Matt (who did this in my back yard last year without me knowning) alongside their Airstream exhibit/house. (Read more about their visit here.)

Thu: Off to Nashville at the crack of dawn for the DISH Student Design Conference hosted by AIGA Nashville. Great food, great coffee, great beer and this guy.

Fri: Talky talky, giant bagels, and student portfolio reviews. Then the longest car ride home in the history of the world. CrashBangBoomOver.

saturday / February 27, 2010

STRESS.

tuesday / February 16, 2010

Megan and Ryan are OOTO...

thursday / February 11, 2010

..."the goal of listing our values was impossible if we were to remain faithful to what we had learned from each other and from the people we work with in the community...
...To say 'our values' suggests that values are something that we have, either things we carry around, or defining attributes like a person's height or weight. Instead of something we have, it is more considerate to think of values as guiding word tools that are part of the language of our time and place and are available for all to use. Care should be taken to avoid a possessive attitude that makes a claim that we own values."

The Gulf Coast Community Design Center on values.

Or in other words...put away your thesaurus, stop trying to define yourself into oblivion, and just keep moving forward. Let the uncertain realm of experience, rather then the ideal realm of analytics define values for you. "Let values shape practice and practice shape values." Or, let PieLab exist in the community and let the community exist in PieLab.Noted.

thursday / February 11, 2010

Did you know...
that HERO empowers families to create change in their built environment through increased accessibility of information and education about homeownership, home repair and rental assistance programs?

No? Well now you do. Soon the world will know too. HERO website re-re-design coming soon!

sunday / January 31, 2010

Relative? I think so.
From Robin Hewlett - partner at Chicago's Backstory Cafe

"The world of conventional business offers no workable model for how to relate the diverse effort we each bring to our collective efforts. Nor do Utopian visions of non-monetary autonomous zones provide acceptable alternatives. Our journey necessarily begins within the structure of capital, yet ee struggle to build relationships that might break that mold."

*NOTE* Visit their website and read the General Info section. Backstory = PieLab, PieLab = Backstory.

friday / January 29, 2010

Customers talking to customers...
Perhaps this is what it's really about.

thursday / January 28, 2010

Aquaponics, BBQ, HBO Schedules, Helicopters and Cyberduck.
Another monday, but a morning like no other. A crowded table this morning at PieLab, with a few new faces and a couple regulars.

Larry and Terry were just passing through. They showed Charles how to use Facebook. They're going hunting later today. Larry likes his venison barbecued; Terry likes his in spaghetti sauce.

Erica is from Eutaw. She bakes and she's a graphic designer. Irony? Erica moved to Alabama in 2004 from Philly. She works with a nonprofit in Selma. She'll be back.

Charles is considering getting a computer. I think he'll probably have one by next week.

One of our most fascinating customers is Jerry. Three pieces of pie today. Two cups of coffee. I think Jerry just likes to have someone to talk to.

Every time I see James I remember the great time at his house earlier this fall. A wonderful family who makes wonderful pizza.

No other place like this one. This is what it's about.

monday / January 25, 2010

Read Often for Reassurance:
Maybe too much contemplation isn't healthy. But it happens. Constantly. Persistently. Endlessly. Forever. So...

We're designers who sell pie. Hopefully we're making a positive impact in this community, leading by example, and empowering others. It's about people. It's about community. It's about boosting this communities morale. It's about offering fresh (or "outside," if you must) perspective on a small, rural community like this one and it's about using design thinking to bring fresh, new ideas and possibility. And it's about having fun.

Bottom line? Everyone likes pie. There is nothing threatening about pie. In it's buttery crumbly crust and with it's warm blueberry filling.

And it's about rethinking how we do business. It's approaching business from the standpoint that a profit mission and a social mission don't have to be mutually exclusive notions.

There is an infinitely renewable source of young adults who want to do good things. And they're doing it. They're just stepping up and doing it, no questions asked. Embrace it. PieLab could be one more initiative that brings lasting growth to Hale Co, leading to more job opportunities, and a revitalized economy for local residents. Maybe. Maybe not? But we're trying. And we're here. All we can do is keep trying.

friday / January 22, 2010

BikeLab: A Mission

BikeLab is a small group of dedicated volunteers working in Greensboro Alabama to provide refurbished bicycles to Hale County residents who lack transportation. Our goal is to recycle as much as possible, waste as little as possible, and reach as many people in need as possible. BikeLab typifies how education, community building, environmental consciousness, and physical well-being can all come together through a single means, bikes.

thursday / January 21, 2010

This Weeks To-Do List
--Embrace optimism
--Welcome change
--Drink good coffee
--Talk to someone new
--Have fun
--Keep it simple
--Be responsible
--Inspire others
--Repeat
--Tell your friends

wednesday / January 20, 2010

Charles and I talked for quite a while today about Greensboro's thriving past. One time, the "streets were lined with people." Long ago, "stores were open until midnight, and a movie cost fourteen cents." Fifteen year old Charles was an entrepreneur. His farming family owned a produce stand. Young Charles sold hot dogs from the stand for fifteen cents each. Hungry customers got a deal; two for twenty-five cents.

Charles thinks Greensboro is good.

wednesday / January 13, 2010

Today I met Meg. Or maybe it's Mag. Pronounced with a long 'a' sound. Meg is originally from Faunsdale, Alabama. She lived and worked just outside of Washington DC for a while. Now she lives in Greensboro but commutes to Tuscaloosa to teach 6th grade math. Meg started a recycling program at the Episcopal Church.

Jerry stopped in again. Two of his cousins were working at the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks. He told me to insulate the water pipes at my house so that they don't freeze during this cold spell.

Adelaide is very sweet. She once worked for the US Air Force. I think she reminds me of my mother.

A peculiar amount of DC connections today. This town continues to surprise me.

saturday / January 10, 2010

This week...
Today I met Jerry. Jerry lives fifteen miles outside of town. He ventures into Greensboro to do business and visit his cousins. This was Jerry's fifth visit to PieLab. He drinks his first cup of coffee with cream, and his second cup black.

Last night I met David. David teaches English at Greensboro East. He plays the guitar and lives in Newbern.

Yesterday I met Judith. Judith is left-handed. She enjoyed the spinach, walnut quiche. Judith would like to volunteer somewhere in town.

On Tuesday I met Meador. Meador owns a farm on Hwy 80. His business card is quite nice. I think that might be thermography...?

Last week I remembered that all of this isn't about us or for us. It's about every single person who walks in our door. I'll remind myself daily.

thursday / January 7, 2010

Hale Tour v8.0
Another day, another tour. Today a great group from the Alabama Poverty Project in Birmingham, visited Greensboro to find out more about HERO, PieLab, Project M and Rural Studio. Rain aside the tour went well finishing up nicely with some chocolate peanut butter pie!

monday / December 14, 2009

Philosophical Meanderings on Pie.
A new PieLab website is in the works. A full-on collaboration. Comps are being designed, content is being drafted. Here's some of it. Maybe.

For so long, the practice of graphic design has been a service-based industry driven by commerce. Designers are hired by global corporations, cultural institutions, small start-ups and the like to invigorate office standards, freshen an outdated image, and/or broaden the reach of communication to new audiences. However, with all that the industry has to offer, many designers find themselves dissatisfied by this work and with the typical top-down model of business that often accompanies it.

The state of our current economy is proof enough that business as we've come to know it is not sustainable and must begin to change. With this need for global change also comes a will for change. The cry for responsible business practices is getting louder, as more and more people express a desire for companies to focus on socially and environmentally conscious solutions. Leading this call to action is a whole generation of young people, interested in shifting the standards of business from solely profit-focused to more community-focused.

Enter PieLab

Challenging the dominant assumptions of what a small, independent design start-up can be, PieLab is a multi-faceted creative studio focused on developing socially-conscious design solutions for a range of clients and business start-ups. PieLab is not business as usual, but rather a new way of thinking about business as a catalyst for positive social change. One part pie shop, one part design firm, PieLab connects communities with resources for education, job training, product development, and entrepreneurial opportunities, while also helping to stimulate local economies by providing design services for small businesses and individuals who otherwise would not have access.

At PieLab, we engage, educate, employ and nourish the community in way that is sustaining, self-perpetual and fun. We are graphic designers who want to do good, give back to our communities, and inspire others to do the same. PieLab is our approach.

friday / December 11, 2009

Dan & Ryan Love to Read

The Greensboro Library generously donated several books to PieLab's Book Exchange. The two young men scrounged through hundreds and hundreds of books attempting to be as selective as possible so as not to take more books than they could handle.

PieLab Library now contains such titles as:
A Confederacy of Dunces, Adventures of Pinocchio, Benjamin Franklin, Don Quixote, Education & Peace, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, Human Rights, Moby Dick, On Liberty, Origins of Species, Paradise Lost, The Constitution The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Divine Comedy, The Fall of Rome, The Odyssey, The Prince, The Silmarillion, and Thomas Jefferson.

friday / December 4, 2009

Much of my everyday is spent analyzing (and over-analyzing) the things that we're doing here...
I wonder who we're effecting, if we're building 'the right' relationships, if our actions are advantageous, if we're exploring enough ideas, etc. I don't particularly enjoy blogging, and therefore I don't necessarily find it lucrative to discuss too much of this rumination in such a forum. Yet, I feel it important to share with others who may read this weblog some noteworthy items I've come across while reading through some old sketchbooks that I find to be quite relevant (and timely) in their relation to PieLab and forthcoming initiatives here in Hale Co. Bear in mind the following notes/ideas are collaborative and were conceived many months ago, prior to the influx of several young individuals to Alabama, at a time long before the idea of owning a pie shop on Greensboro's Main Street was even conceived.

--PieLab is a multi-faceted fresh approach focused on building community, and boosting the morale of these communities in a way that is sustaining, self-perpetual and fun. PieLab is not business as usual, but rather a new way of thinking about business as a catalyst for positive social change.

--PieLab is a negative energy inverter fueled by pie.

--Founded on the idea that simple gestures, like giving away free pie, can create joy, PieLab aims to bring communities together and help stimulate local business economies.

--PieLab is delicious, hopeful, contagious, tasty, goopy goodness.

--There is an infinitely renewable source of young adults that want to do good things.

--Thinking Wrong is a creative philosophy to break the standard, calcified connections that currently drive business development and communication.

--PieLab is a design engine that enters a community and works in that community. PieLab is part of community, community is part of PieLab.

--PieLab should sustain itself through the products and services that are incubated and sold in-store and online.

--PieLab should support lasting change and growth in Hale County as a way of building job opportunities and business for local residents.

--Projects should (1) address a pressing social need within the community (2) can be implemented within the community (3) deliver positive results that can be measured.

--At it's core, design is about problem solving. But it's also about problem identifying. Instead of creating a need for things, designers should focus on responding to the things we do need.

Ideas are only ideas until action is taken. Action is being taken. It is essential that we all keep talking, keep questioning, keep ideating and remain self-aware and self-critical as we move ahead with this wonderful, albeit unpredictable, endeavor. Huge steps have been made in the right direction. Let's keep going. xoxo

thursday / November 19, 2009

Dear Megan,

Your sensitive nature has filled me with regret. I could accomplish nothing today other than sit in sorrowful contemplation over the pain I must have caused you.

To begin to repair some of the damage I have done, I commissioned a portrait to be drawn of you.

A truly remorseful,
Ryan.

friday / October 30, 2009

Being here means something. It's bigger then me. Much bigger. And I get it. I've gotten it all along but sometimes it's easy to loose it. Why do I live here? What's the point? Everyone comes to Greensboro for different reasons. Maybe those reasons change somewhere in the middle. I am a graphic designer. But first, I am a human being. A human being surround by other human beings, some like me some not like me at all. Good things are already happening here. I want to take part. I want to do something. Something real. Something meaningful. Something really meaningful. Something that matters. Something that makes a difference. Something bigger then me.

Maybe this is the five month wall...

friday / October 23, 2009

Day's Inn
Tonight, Amanda and I spent a lovely evening dining with Janice Day and her husband Joe at their home off Main Street. We also attended a Wednesday night prayer service at the Greensboro Baptist Church. Earlier last week Amanda designed a sign for Janice's shop, J-N-J Jewelry. Her compensation? A traditional southern meal for her and a guest, complete with BBQ, mac-n-cheese, cornbread, sweet tea and pound cake for dessert.

During the prayer service, we met a lot of pie-loving residents of Greensboro, many of whom have already visited or will be visiting PieLab. Pastor Dee even encouraged the church members to "go get some pie," at the end of the evening, but added, "it's not just pie, it's conversation too!"

They get it. The people are getting it.

wednesday / October 21, 2009

Ryan had an interview with Anne Bailey (Writer for the Greensboro Watchman and Co-Owner of Sledge Hardware) about the most recent Blitz with Auburn and M Lab.

tuesday / October 13, 2009

And so it begins...

Auburn Blitz participants Blair, Sarah, Ryan, Daniel, Katie, and Stephanie met Meg/Ryan in Thomaston tonight.

thursday / October 8, 2009

Oliver Munday's Birthday:

1. Pork Rinds and BRed Mad Dog for the birthday boy.
2. Banana cream, peanut-butter, chocolate, and whipped cream pie from Amanda.
3. High-Life and Michelob all around.
4. The most intense/epic several rounds of tourettes, ever.
5. A fun game of Kings.
6. Bed.
7... A tough morning.

thursday / October 1, 2009

As per usual.

Things never seem to work out as planned. After an unsuccessful early-morning-mad-rush to find the license and registration for the ambulance and trailer, Christapher was stuck in Greensboro.

Johnny Parker would have "driven the goddamn thing all the way to California," but Christapher didn't share his confidence or enthusiasm and so that night we worked to move the (blank)LAB to a new trailer.

Johnny helped signal Greg as he pushed the container onto the new trailer with a tractor. After some welding and light bulb replacement, the trailer was ready to go.

Christapher was pleased. Then we all crossed our fingers for a successful launch the next morning.

tuesday / September 29, 2009

So, it was Monday.

Ryan had just returned from a quick visit home (to see his brother off to Manchester).

Christapher and Dan were hard at work on (blank)LAB for its departure the next day. After we swept, mopped, and cleared out the entire shipping container, Johnny Parker and Pop came by to load it onto our trailer. After all sorts of industrial pushing and pulling, the container rested perfectly on the back of the (truck) ambulance.

Because we knew Christapher was leaving early the next morning, we said our goodbyes and hoped for the best.

monday / September 28, 2009

Greensboro Finds Itself Star-Studded

Oliver Munday, Joseph Shipp, and John Bielenberg all in town at once? You had better believe it.

Oliver has been helping us through the renovations (tearing apart) of PieLab on Main Street. He also designed up a poster for PieLab's grand opening. Joseph brought some friends to see the area, but also to help our Kickstarter reward selection out (coming soon). John is going to help us think wrong about (blank)Lab and to help plan our upcoming Blitz with Auburn... among many other things.

monday / September 21, 2009

Today...we built a 10 ft. wall.
Tomorrow...we'll build two more.

wednesday / September 16, 2009

Day-Twa: Day 3: in five lines
1. Good Coffee
2. John B.
3. Horseshoes
4. BBQ (& Fantastic Beer)
5. Whoppers

tuesday / September 8, 2009

Gone to Detroit...

sunday / September 6, 2009

Happy birthday Breanne Kostyk!

A wonderful breakfast cooked by the birthday girl herself, an afternoon of relaxing, and then who knows what tonight in Tuscaloosa.

saturday / September 5, 2009

Megan & Ryan lectured at Southern Academy*

For questions or comments please contact Jillian Perez Dudziak at 321-438-4812 or jilliandudziak@mac.com.

*Immediately after tearing down a plaster wall.

friday / September 4, 2009

Grace Aberdean: Habitat Alchemy

Megan and I were invited to attend an art opening at Jamie Cicatiello's gallery in Northport. There, we had a chance to meet some amazing people and spread the word on our current operations here in Greensboro. Marcy Koontz (a professor at University of Alabama) was also there, and after talking to Dan and Breanne generously donated four chairs from Grace Aberdean to the new Pie Lab on Main Street (thank you Marcy!)

It was great to meet people who were not only excited about Project M, but believed in it enough to lend a hand.

friday / August 30, 2009

It was night, highway 69 south was pitch black except for the shine of my own headlights and the truck's about 20 yards back. We had just seen Inglourious Basterds and my eyes were somewhat fatigued.

Armadillo! Dan yelled. I saw it just in time to straddle the small creatures between my car's wheels. Its tiny eyes lit up in surprise and disappeared under my front bumper as I suddenly remembered what Megan had recently told me: Never try to drive over an armadillo. I heard that their defense mechanism is to jump... So, they basically pop up into the underside of most cars. I cringed, gripped the wheel, and sat quietly as the car slightly jolted and a muffled bump was heard.

monday / August 24, 2009

It was Betsy's last day.

After enjoying a wonderful breakfast with Dan and Breanne, I returned to my car with Betsy to find that my iPod was missing. Had I forgotten it inside? Had I dropped it on the short journey to their front door? No, it had been taken. (Luckily my external HD, my laptop, my camera, my wallet, Betsy's camera, travel bag, and lenses had somehow been missed)

Later, as Betsy and I pulled into the Target parking lot, I realized my phone was also missing. Crushed, I resigned myself to a dead silent trip to Panera where we would then transfer Betsy's photos from my HD to her new one (from Target). After the transfer began I called Megan (from Betsy's phone) to ask her to call Breanne to do a quick scan to make sure I hadn't just forgotten my stuff in their home. Soon after, Breanne called Betsy back to exclaim that she had found my phone in a pile of scraps (recently this building) about 20 yards from her house.

Relieved, (but still somewhat miffed) I was able to then enjoy a lunch at Five Guys with Betsy and her friend Julia. What would an adventure be without a few misadventures?

saturday / August 22, 2009

For a riveting recap of Ryan's weekend, please proceed ahead and read paragraph A. For a captivating synopsis of Megan's weekend, please venture forward and scan paragraph B.

A. :|

B. This is a detailed account of a weekend road trip to nowhere in meticulously structured prose: Ma and Pa Deal arrive. Greensboro Tour. The Animal Shelter. The 20K's. Lions Park. Etc. El Tenampa. Margaritas. Muckle House. Locked Out. Winnie Cobbs. Pajamas. Nicky Cobbs. Tetchy. Movie Night. Bottlerocket. Sleep. Fried green tomatoe/cheese grits/biscuits and fig jam. Parents + HERO. Road. Florida. Lunch. Drive. Drive. Scenic Route. Destin, Florida. Traffic. Grayton Beach. Seaside. Truman Show. Water Cooler. Mad Dad. DeFuniak Springs. America's Best Inn. McClain's Family Resturant. Buffet. Seafood. Nasty. Sleep. Drive. Cracker Barrel. French Toast. Drive. Three-hour-detour. Montgomery. Lost. Alpine, Alabama. Grist Mill. Winn Dixie. Spaghetti. Michelob Pomegrante Raspberry. Shawshank Redemption. Sleep. Laundry. Breakfast. Pool. Burn. Drive. Tuscaloosa. Dinner. Publix. Greensboro. Bye. Peach Pie. Mattress Pilfer. Sleep.

Friday / July 17, 2009

The Sugar Shack was quite tasty, but in the end proved not to be the Blitz opportunity Megan and Ryan were looking for...

And so Thursday began. Mr. Shipp had shared with us on the previous day that he Just wants to build something. Of course, we obliged.

We started off right with a quick tour of several Rural Studio projects and other interesting places such as the 20k Homes*, The Dog Pound*, Lion's Park*, Rammed Earth Derth*, The Safe House Museum*, and of course Pie Lab*. We then nourished our tired selves with a tasty lunch from Mustang Oil.

After we quenched our grease-lacking-stomachs we headed back to the lab and got to work. Several hours passed, but we finally completed our masterplan of filling the perimeter of the lab with wall-anchored tables. (All that remains is to take them back out and place them at the correct height...) It is important to note that as we worked in the lab we were visited by Bill Barton, the director of Blood Forest. Expect Meg/Ryan's acting debut soonish.

Later that night, Megan's parents showed up and whisked her away to God knows where. Empty inside and finding himself completely alone (with the company of Joseph), Ryan sat at his laptop until dinner... The most delicious dinner ever: Barbeque pork-butt pizza and Bud Light. After dinner we all sat down and enjoyed the next film in our unspoken, but proven Wes Anderson marathon: Bottle Rocket.

*Photos by Joseph Shipp

Thursday / July 16, 2009

Sometimes the best way to make something, is to buy it.

-- Johnny Parker

Tuesday / July 14, 2009

LIHEAP:

(or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)

Today was LIHEAP day at HERO. This session's participants were younger, abler Greensboro residents, a stark contrast to last month's senior citizen group. Megan manned the blue folders and played a rousing game of musical chairs, while I operated the newly donated copier between trail mix snacks. Nothing could stand between us and over 400 applicants...except for 7 hours of time.

Though my legs are undergoing some serious pain, and Megan's hands are permanently cramped, it was well worth it. An exceptional number of deserving Greensboro citizens will receive assistance on last months energy bills due in part to the hard work of the entire HERO staff today. The money each family saves could mean extra food for the month, turning on the AC on these hot summer nights, or even a little entertainment at the movie theatre.

Haik five.

Monday / July 13, 2009

As I sit here in the air conditioning...
So sundays have sort of turned into the best time to think about the week that has passed, think about the week that will soon be upon us, and reflect on what it is we're doing here, why we're here, etc. With the June session of Project M over, we're starting to settle into more of a working routine. We're trying our best to focus on the big picture while simultaneously remaining attentive to the smaller, everyday tasks required to keep the M Lab functioning. There isn't a shortage of project ideas by any means, but the challenge has been (and will continue to be) properly managing our time so that each of these exciting project gets enough attention.

I really hate blogging.

So an outline of our not-so-distant-future might look like this: We really need to continue building-out the lab so its a functional/working studio; we need to prepare the space and ourselves for a soon-to-be-visiting group from Auburn University; we need to keep considering funding models for ourselves and for the future of M; we need to wrap up a few lingering M projects; I need to calm down; we need to work closely w/ HERO to redevelop their identity and their presence on Main Street; and we need to play more basketball...for basketball does wonders to the mind.

Sunday / July 12, 2009

Dear Ryan,
Google Analytics is working!

Your friend, Megan

Sunday / July 12, 2009

Unfortunately...what I thought was a great tan was actually only sawdust and dirt.

Thursday / July 9, 2009

If one were to inquire about our 4th of July happenings, we might respond like this:

We, Woke up at 4-oh-clock am on friday morning; threw our crap in a white 1999 Pontiac Grand AM; got pulled over by the Greensboro police 3 minutes into the trip; stopped at Mustang oil for egg/cheese/tomato biscuits, dirt coffee, and 2 cans of Sparks; made our first pit stop in Thomasville, AL for iced coffees, McGriddles, and N.O.S.; continued on Route 43 south listening to a rotating mix of Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, and Michael Jackson; stopped at Walmart in Mobile, AL to purchase 4 gallons of drinking water, 2 bags of trail mix, 1 box of graham crackers, 1 bag of marshmallows, 1 package of Hershey bars, 1 can of Starbucks energy/latte/vanilla/soy/toxin, 2 bags of Chex Mix, 1 bag of ice, and 1 biodegradable tarp; hopped on I-90 west toward Ocean Springs, MS; arrived at Davis Bayou Park; decided staying at Davis Bayou Park would be an awful decision; headed back 12 miles east on I-90 towards Shepard State Park; met Stacy, the park ranger with pig-tails; payed $11 for our primitive camping lot; successfully set up camp, all the while burning our hands on fiery tent poles; drove to Pascagoula to find lunch and a beach; found Margaret's, a small cafe serving fried-meat-buffet and sweet tea; drank some sweat tea; declined buffet lunch; drove back to Ocean Springs; found restaurant Chandre Lure; ordered 4 waters, 3 salads, and 1 platter of Slammers; received 4 waters, 2 salads without hair, 1 salad with hair, and 1 meager plate of miniature hamburgers; attempted to take a nap in restaurant booth; drove west towards Biloxi, MS; pulled over at a beach; walked/slept/smoldered on the beach; continued west towards Gulfport, MS; stopped at the world's greatest McDonalds for McFlurries, sundaes, and cones; continued through Long Beach, MS towards Pass Christian, MS; viewed the lingering damage of Hurricane Katrina; enjoyed a philosophical conversation or two on Biloxi pier; drove back east to camp site, photographing lone beach-front Waffle House on the way; built a massive fire; drank some Shock Top and Bud Light Limes; ate some s'mores; went to bed in the hottest tent known to all mankind; lived through a could-be-inclement thunderstorm at 5:30 am.
**

Sunday / July 5, 2009

Awoke early Saturday morning drenched in sweat and covered in biting yellow horseflies; lingered in an air conditioned shower; packed up camp and headed towards New Orleans (from this point onward to be referred to as NOLA); parked on Julia street; walked along the riverfront; decided it was best to not walk along the riverfront; roamed the French Quarter; stopped for water, iced coffees, and lemonade at secluded coffee shop; had falafel and hummus at Mona's; toured around Decatur street; danced in abandoned parking lot; then jumped; got Cokes at 'Quick Mart;' got semi-turned around trying to find the interstate; was forced to pay $1 for 23 seconds of toll-road use; headed northwest towards De Soto National Forest; stopped in Lumberton, MS for bathrooms, sodas, gasoline, sour gummy worms, toilet paper, and fireworks; headed into the woods; arrived in Brooklyn, MS; crossed the Brooklyn Bridge; got pulled over by the Brooklyn police for taking pictures; continued into the National Forest towards primitive camp site; after long, empty, and foreboding road arrived at primitive camp site to find a lot full of RV's; decided RV's are lame; set up tent in record time; saw a real, live armadillo; built a fire out of wet wood; drank some more BL Limes; ate some trail mix; had some good conversation; lit two bottle rockets; slept in a hot, albeit not quite as sweltering tent.
**

Sunday / July 5, 2009

Awoke Sunday morning and darted towards the closet IHOP in Hattiesburg, MS; awkwardly ordered breakfast; continued north on I-59 towards Meridian for final pit stop; picked up route 14 in Alabama and headed home....Slept; went grocery shopping in Tuscaloosa; saw new Johnny Depp (or Christian Bale, depending on who you ask) flick; slept.
**End**

Sunday / July 5, 2009

happy father's day. love, megan

Sunday / June 21, 2009

Wine, Cheese, and Elitism

Thursday / June 11, 2009

Giant man-eating fish attack at Perry Lakes, but all are consoled with milkshakes at J&R's.

Saturday / June 6, 2009

Make it legendary
Sagmeister
Make me care
Poop is food
Let me give you an example...

...John B. lectures in Birmingham.

Thursday / June 4, 2009

Hello Megan, I'm Ryan.
Hi Ryan, I'm Megan.

Monday / June 1, 2009

Megan Deal and Ryan LeCluyse:

are two graphic designers living and working in Greensboro, Alabama. They each found themselves in the rural south after taking their Americorps vows, and then swearing a year of their life to service. Megan, who hails from Detroit, and Ryan, who comes from Baltimore, will work together over the next year to operate the very first Project M Lab.


The M Lab was born out of the 2008 Project M session and has since been used to station passionate young individuals interested in the possibilities of meaningful graphic design. For the remainder of this year M Lab will be the design studio (whatever that means) of the combined forces of Meg/Ryan.


Copyright © 2009 Meg/Ryan,
All Rights Reserved

About Meg/Ryan