On Words vs. Real Issues

Someone in my family recently discussed terminating their relationship with me for using profanity on my own facebook page, based on their assertion that good people, righteous people, people who are worth having relationships with don’t use filthy, hurtful words like “prick*.” Continue reading

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Moving Forward

Cross-posted from PookiePots.com

It’s been frustrating to have to delay formal launch of this site, but I’ve decided to start updating as often as I can just to get some of this content out of my head and away from my to-do list. As some of you know, the Great Facebook Shit Show of 2015 (linky-poos to the storytale) seriously derailed my professional life in a big way, costing me countless hours of scrambling to accommodate my clients and get a handle on their social media accounts and websites after the fall of Pookie McNoodles. Continue reading

Facebook’s Dangerous Policy

At the end of the day, all I can do is shrug and say, “It is what it is.”

What a stupid, fucking meaningless thing to say. But what else is there?

I cannot fight the behemoth power of facebook. I send in ID they request, and they reply that it’s not good enough, ask for more, then send yet another link to their acceptable ID list. “Here’s what we accept,” they say (again). I look at the list again just to be sure, but the options are dwindling. The acceptable forms I possess have been sent, including the kind of ID I keep in my small, locked fire safe: My US passport, social security card, and marriage certificate.

A while back, I wrote about being raped by someone who was a former Continue reading

My Name is Pookie

My name is Pookie McNoodles.

It’s a name that keeps me remembering to look on the bright side of life when I’m low, which isn’t exactly rare. It’s a reminder that nothing should be taken too seriously in this big cosmic carnival. It’s me clowning for me when there’s no one else to make me laugh. It’s a cloak of protection my real name no longer gives me.

And should you feel that there is nothing left to life and all that you touch withers before you, and then you remember this name, how can you help but to feel touched by the multitude of small absurdities woven into every minute of every day? How can a smile not tug the corners of your lips? Continue reading

How to Be a Better Client: We Only Want it All

Do you know that behind every button, menu, and user screen on your (insert any) app/webpage is, usually at minimum, two people: a UX designer and developer/programmer who probably have many multiple combined years of experience, education, and expertise?

Think about your basic messaging app: Your image, and the image of your partner-in-chat may show up in a little circle, the conversation bubbles sporting a soft curve on the corners, maybe even a little “shine” graphic or drop shadow that makes it look three dimensional. There are icons that denote menus, options, settings, and everything else. The main screen that shows a list of your messages looks different across different messaging programs. Perhaps you have the ability to set an alarm  or custom noise for a specific person or persons. Maybe there’s a pop-up screen that allows you to choose multiple recipients. What does that pop up screen look like? What does the list look like? What font is chosen, and in what color is that font? What color is the background? Is it easy to read? Intuitive interface so you always know what’s where and how to get to x option?

All of that – ALL OF IT – has been designed and programmed. Someone sat down and said, “This is what I would like every screen to look like. I have written a style guide for my development team. I know how to communicate what I want because this is the language I have been speaking in the scope of career for the past decade.” That’s then handed off to a programmer, who is a separate person or persons who have taken the time and effort to learn the language and logic behind what is required to make that application run, and hopefully run smoothly enough that you don’t even have to think about it.

It’s interesting, in dealing with clients and their websites, how attaching a price tag to something they consider “super vital, we can’t live without it” makes a feature, after all, maybe not so important.

Even though it seems easy to do, since the end result might “only” be a popup, checkbox, or message…it’s not magic. Developers and designers spend real time and do real work to program, design, and implement those customizations.

And if you’re asking for these things and don’t agree with the price, please don’t ever say, “but all we want” – “but we’re just asking for”…as if I don’t understand the parameters of your request. I literally will never say, “Oh, that’s all? Now that you’ve explained how easy it will be for me, I will give you that huge customization for free.”

A client’s insistence on how easy it will be to implement a customization often leaves me feeling rather inclined to charge them much more than I normally would. Not with any malice whatsoever, of course; it’s simply the cost of having to put up with their relentless bullshit, because it eats up my time and it’s disrespectful. A restitution fee, if you will.

I am not complaining; this is part of my job. I just want you to know how to be the best client you can be. After all, I’m expected to do my best and be professional at all times.

It’s going to be a much better process for both of us when we cultivate a healthy, mutually respectful, collaborative relationship, instead of one in which you’re constantly telling me what’s easy for me to do and how, since it’s so easy, I should just go ahead and implement your ideas immediately.

Especially if you’re not willing to talk about that price tag.

Cake or Death?

I began seeing a new doctor on Friday. As he manipulated my arms, legs, and finger joints, his brow creased in concern.

“Wow, your right hand is seriously overworked. I need you to switch to your left hand — 100% for a while, ok?”

“I’m an illustrator; that’s probably not going to happen.”

“As much left as you can manage, then. The back and leg pain is concerning, too. This doesn’t look like a back injury. I usually only see this in patients who are carrying way too much stress for way too long. You’re a little on the young side to be experiencing this kind of prolonged stress. What’s your job like? Tell me about the breaks you take from work. Tell me about your boss.”

“My boss is the worst. Long hours, few breaks. I spend most of my waking hours working. Sometimes I forget or am too busy to stop and eat. I rarely get out to exercise, but that’s a catch-22 of the back and leg issues.”

He looked at me for a long moment with piercing eyes, as if to say, you already know what the problem is, then.

“Well, the boss is me. I run a small business.” Sheepish grin.  Ta-da.

There it is: I’ve done this to myself.

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Get Outta My Belly

Can we please stop already with the criticism what other people are eating? It’s old and tired, and you’re making me feel old and tired just having to explain this shit. This is about that meme you posted today, the one that says something derogatory about those of us who can’t or won’t eat gluten, dairy, or (insert other potential irritants and allergens and whatever people don’t want to eat for whatever reasons they have because they’re entitled to make that choice).

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