April 28, 2009


I'm sorely neglecting my on-line relationships. I've put in two 50+ work-weeks the last two weeks and the last thing my tired eyeballs need is extra computer time. The load should lighten sometime soon, in the meantime, please accept my apologies for not commenting on your blog or responding to anything on FB!

On the news snippet front:
  • Jrex's paper was rejected by the publisher. They said that while they recognize that it's important for his field, the information is not novel enough for their readers. Now he has to reformat for another publication and resubmit. Sigh.
  • He presented his findings in a poster session at the American Assoc. of Cancer Researchers and had many, many people who wanted copies of his work. Which helps reinforce that it's good science, it's worthwhile info, and there's an audience for it, but he's still fighting discouragement.
  • I got most of my onsite designs approved Friday afternoon. Which means I hit the 35% discount at both printers; the client is happy, I'm happy (though tired), and maybe I can start to think about something besides work!
  • We saw The Soloist on Sunday. Really well done. Great story. Worth seeing. Of course they dramatise things that don't need any extra hype, but it's still worth it.
  • We're going camping this weekend with four other couples. We're bringing the dog, they're bringing the children--it should be joy-filled madness. We've never camped with the mutt before. Not sure how it will work sharing the tent with her. Especially if a raccoon wanders through camp at night . . .

April 21, 2009

So much for winning...

I was hired specifically to design for one client, let's call them Solar Systems. Solar just got bought by another company, let's call them Big Red. Looks like the show I'm working on will still happen, but after that...who knows? Big Red is known for swallowing companies whole and taking all marketing and design internal. I don't think it will mean I lose my job; we have four other shows hitting in the fall. Those all need full-time design support and I'll be happy to jump to new accounts and help out.

Another sign of my selfish depravity is that I'm SO excited that this may be my grand finale for this client. One. I love the design I'm getting to create for the upcoming show. Two. I'm really sick of Solar's pathology as a corporation. Three: I need some variety in my portfolio and I just couldn't face another year of the same old.

Honestly, I already had my exit strategy planned so I wouldn't have another cycle of this particular show. Jrex will be happy to hear that now I could stay here until we move. More months of 401(k) money, more ESOP stock option time (Employee Shared Ownership Program, or something like that), more months of steady income.

I feel bad about my reaction. This might mean that a lot of people I work with might get laid off. They're good workers, so they may just get reabsorbed on other accounts, or get hired by Big Red, who knows? Ah, mixed reactions, challenging times.

For now though? I just have to keep on cranking out designs.

Other exciting topics I'd be writing about if I had the time:
-"Conversational Prayer" discovery. It's been a ton of fun! Branches into Jesus' sense of humor.
-I'm church-hopping with some friends
-vacation planned for Vancouver/Whistler right after the Big Show in June
-Gilmore Girls reflections (esp their treatment of Korean culture)
-Why I resist letting myself enjoy the weather here
-photos of neighborhood houses and their list prices

April 18, 2009

Sooo easy

Around four or five months ago, I tried calling home and it just rang and rang. When we lifted the phones at home, we didn't hear a dial tone. We both kept saying we should call AT&T, but really, the DSL was working, we both had cell phones, we just didn't worry about it. Sadly, that means that the last month of working from home, when every number I needed to call were toll-free and local numbers, I was sprinting through cell phone minutes instead. Sigh. That bill made us care again.

We finally contacted the landlord and the phone company on Thursday. Lo and behold, they had time to come by Saturday.

The guy showed up this morning and said, "Check your phone." I grabbed my cell phone and he shook his head, "Check your phone." OH! The PHONE. Huh. I plugged in and got a dial tone.

So, for all of you who gave up on our home phone number...it's back!

AND on Tuesday a great thing happened: Jrex left his cell phone charging during a wind storm.

Now, I've never lost power without the skies being dark and rainy. Very strange to sit in sunshine and get hit with 50 mph gusts. The power went out and his phone was FRIED. The fact that I'm rejoicing in his suffering is a sign of my total depravity and selfishness. I've wanted a new phone for a year and a half. As I've been lured into more texting, my Razr became more and more annoying, but I couldn't justify 'needing' a new phone on that basis. When his phone died, I mouthed all the proper sentiments, but inside I was gleeful as I thoughtfully offered to 'let' him have mine as a replacement. The next morning, we scooted over to the store and put his phone number on my old phone and bought me the one I'd wanted. He's lost his contacts, but hey, now he's got my good friends on speed dial!

As a designer, I know I'm supposed to lust after an iPhone, but yuck. I'm obsessive enough that the slime on the screen drives me nuts. Plus, I'm klutzy enough that I'm guaranteed to drop and crack the screen. Now I just need an affordable wireless headset. Any suggestions?

April 14, 2009

Bloody Fantastic

Britain's Got Talent's Susan Boyle makes Simon smile (be ready to cry. This is amazing).

Best illustration ever for not judging a book by its cover.

Click here to watch.

April 8, 2009

I'm winning!

One of my co-workers, Dancer, used to see us stressing as we rushed to hit a deadline and she'd ask, "Are you winning?"

For one brief shining moment, I am! Our big client got us the creative direction and show themes the Thursday before I started working again (back in March). On Monday the 23rd, I started my work life again with a phone call between me and the client-side creative director. He wanted to be the first responder as I worked on sketches and developed the designs. Last year another company ended up designing the on-site experience and I was stuck just doing production work. This year they gave me one page with colors, graphic elements and let me go ahead with the show design.

For the past two weeks I worked from home and just cranked out solutions. I put together a packet showing what the outside of the building would look like, what the inside big hall would have in it, created signage templates and even created my very first Flash banner (for an online ad). The client-side creative guy told me last week to cc him on things, but he no longer needed to be the approver.

I still have a ton to design and the on-site walkthrough still needs to be approved by the upper-level execs, but thus far, everything has been given the OK.

It's been a long time since I've enjoyed my job, mostly cause I've been doing politics more than design work, and (strange, but true) I became a designer because I LIKE designing things! It just confirms that the next step for me is to go back to a smaller boutique agency or start my own thing. I'm not cut-out for big, corporate clients.

Though it's nice to know I can play the game and win, even if I don't love the process.