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

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.

2013 List of 100

My friend, Ari, over at Love them Apples, has inspired me to create my own list of 100 for this year.  I’m going to start and add to it as thoughtful things occur to me.  I’d love to see your list of 100!

  1. Spend time with my LA friends. (working on it)
  2. Get together with LA friends I haven’t met in person yet. (soon!)
  3. See Nate.
  4. Record an album.
  5. Play an open mic.
  6. Make weekly phone call to family member. Mom and Grandma don’t count. (so far, so good!)
  7. Make weekly phone call to out-of-state friend. Nate doesn’t count.  (doin’ it)
  8. Move off the couch and into our own house/apartment!  (looking at places now!)
  9. Let go of more stuff.  Stop acquiring more unnecessary things.
  10. Get a cat for Jackson.
  11. Build an indoor wall hanging herb garden.
  12. Go back to Austin.
  13. Write Mythical Creatures script 1.
  14. Write Mythical Creatures script 2.
  15. Write Mythical Creatures script 3.
  16. Adapt the first script into a novel.
  17. Build the bed frame I designed.
  18. Get married.
  19. Get medical card.
  20. Build a fold-out arts-and-crafts table.
  21. Make light designs I’ve been wanting to build.
  22. Go to at least 5 (live music) shows this year. (1 down)
  23. Go to at least 2 gallery openings this year.
  24. Go to more events where I don’t know anyone, be brave, and make friends. (1 so far)
  25. Make my banana girl painting.
  26. Improve my diet.
  27. Try to buy more local goods and food.
  28. Exercise more regularly.
  29. Spend a lot more time down town.
  30. Finish sewing that dress.
  31. Start a new pattern.
  32. Read at least six books this year.  (If I didn’t 12 hours a day reading for work, this number would be a lot higher.) Three of them should be nonfiction.
  33. Learn woodcarving.
  34. Learn how to make metal charms with SJ.
  35. Make tiny costumes for the cats.
  36. Grow a small-space garden.
  37. Mail at least 12 random cards to friends.
  38. Write a blog post every Friday. (I haven’t had time, but this is coming)
  39. Go to the underground tunnels in LA.
  40. Go camping at least three times.
  41. Go for a hike once per month. (January, check.)
  42. Take a yoga class.
  43. Cut dairy out of my diet, with the exception of parmesan cheese. Baby steps.
  44. Make a trip to San Francisco.
  45. Make a trip to Temecula.
  46. Go on a winery tour.
  47. Make a project out of 1 item per month that I would have trashed, but reuse for practical or decorative use, instead.  (January, done)
  48. Use my reusable grocery bags instead of forgetting them every time I go to the store.
  49. Make a string garden.
  50. Go to Catalina Island, see some buffalo, and scuba dive in Casino Bay.
  51. Try to reuse containers more (like taking my empty plastic containers to the store to get bulk items instead of bringing them home in plastic bags).

I’m All Business Today

Holy cow!  I can’t believe it was November when I last updated.  Even more:  I can’t believe it’s already February.  Many have commented on this subject before me, but it never ceases to amaze me how quickly time seems to fly by.  Even now that I am cognizant of days passing, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done and do all that I want to do.

February is upon us, and February means RPM.  Nate and I are working on recording an album, the reason for which I finally found the motivation to finish setting up the recording gear upstairs.  Now all I have to do is learn how to use Protools.  From past experience, I know the best way for me to learn is to jump in headfirst and ask questions as I go.  It may be a glorious disaster of a train wreck, but I already know more about recording set up in the past three days than I managed to learn in all the other years I was surrounded by knowledgeable musicians.  It serves me right, in my humble opinion, that I’m having mini-meltdowns now.  Serves.  Me. Right.  That’s what you get when you’re a silly diva and you let your band do all the work when you’re young.

Quitting smoking went off without a hitch, and on days when I am not being ravaged by Texas-sized allergies, I am pleased to note that I have regained some range and clarity in my voice.   I know I’ll never be the mezzo-soprano I was in my early twenties, but I might actually have a fighting chance to get some of that high range back I’ve been missing for the past five years.  Nice.

In other news, I have started a work-trade agreement with my lovely friend, Suzanne, who’s a hard-body, hotmamma fitness buff for whom I’m building a logo.  In return she is kicking my ass thoroughly. At the current moment, my legs are on fire and I think I’ve torn something in my nethers.  Hopefully this pain will result in some gain of hotness or at least loss of weight and tone of muscle, but right now I’m pretty miserable and I want a goddamned cupcake.  That said, it’s pleasing to stretch the muscles and feel that burn after all these years.  Even now at the beginning, I feel a surge of energy and the sense that I want to leap tall obstacles and run through forests with wild creatures bounding alongside me.  In time, grasshoppah.

My motivation for wanting to get fit is some of unhappiness with body image, clothes not fitting, a general sense of being unwell due to lack of fitness; that’s 60%.  The remaining forty percent is for this.  If ever there was a more pookish fitness/athletic event, I surely haven’t seen it.  So this is my ultimate goal, and all things considered, being able to run a 5K after a year of training is definitely attainable.

It may be abrupt, but that’s all I got for today.

You stay classy, now.