March 29th, 2002


the world of web design

I got this idea that after college I'll get a part time job. Maybe a substitute teacher. eh? With the rest of my time I'll promote my web design business and try to be a professional freelance designer. I would love love love to dedicate more time to web design right now, but it's awful, this school crap that keeps getting in the way.

I've learned the following things about being a professional designer in the past year:

1) When you quote someone, it's okay to quote more if you think they won't be good to work with. I have an extra $50 fee, for example, for people who say "u" instead of "you" when e-mailing me. That's so annoying! Friendly e-mails are one thing (although I find it very annoying there too), this is business.

2) It is not my job to pull content out of customers like I'm pulling teeth. If they promise to get me content by the end of the week and don't, I will send one e-mail reminding them I'm ready for it and will take it any time. That's all. If they forget about me forever after that (as one customer has this semester I think) then I need to let it go. I have their deposit. $200 for a starter set of buttons and sending a few e-mails isn't bad at all.

3) When a customer has eight million questions, just call them. I sound resonably smart over the phone.

4) The best clients are work-at-home mothers. That will be my target audience. They have money, like supporting young sweet things like me, and are amazed with the itty-bitty talent I have.

So with this, maybe I'll make it? Who knows. All I know is, the job search has gotten depressing and lame, and being a starving artist (can you be a starving artist whose tool box consists of a 1.2GHz processor?) might be my calling.

I'll be older soon, now I'm me

Okay, when you tell a graduating senior this:

"You might just have to find a job you weren't planning on as much. Pay your dues. It's okay if your dreams don't come true the second you get out, or the month, or the decade..."

What she hears is this:

"What's the matter with you? You can't just expect to be happy, are you insane?"

I mean jeebus, ever since I came up with the idea of the professional freelance thing do you know how many people have told me I'll never make it? It was just an idea! Plus, it's not like I'm saying I want to be a rock star or an actress or the freaking president of the united states... how does anyone ever get to be that? By purchasing earplugs at Sam's club to avoid all the people in the world telling them they can't do it, that's what I'm guessing.

The thing is, paying my dues at some big faceless company wouldn't bother me a bit if I thought it would put me on the road to fulfillment. But I don't think it will. I think it'll put me on the road to mediocracy, like the people I worked with this summer. Get your paycheck. Feed your kids. Have a coffee break. That was your life, aren't you happy, you had security... and now you're dead.

but i digress...

This week's used purchase (I'm addicted in the worst way) was The Crow on VHS. $1.50 plus $3.00 s&h, go figure! I had to get it, it would take me back to a time in my life I find both influential and amusing. Summer, 1994. I would start high school that fall. Kurt Cobain killed himself in March. Our parents called him a waistoid but to us he was saying something (what I don't know, when you're 14 you don't have to know things like that). We weren't quite in the freaky gothic era yet though, it was sort of a depressed grunge. My parents bought me a guitar, partially because I wanted to lead sunday school music at my church, partly because they hoped if I had something to do I wouldn't hang out with the anti-christ who lived down the street named Kristen. I still hung out with her. We played Magic: The Gathering and tried to seek the truth. Empowerment. Anti-establishment. Anti-soccer-mom too because our neighborhood was full of these awful gossipy women who did nothing but talk about how bad we were.

14 is an awkward age. Everyone does bad things when they're 14. Our activities were not that bad; looking back I wonder why my parents and the soccer moms were concerned because compared to some other kids at my school I was an angel. There were no drugs involved. I never drank. I wasn't having sex or getting in fights. We snuck out a couple times but jeez, all that meant was that we were running lose in the suburbs at night.

And we watched The Crow. and listened to the soundtrack. movies & songs about how society was messed up and the artists of the world needed to find something real and sacred. It'd be interesting to be in my old brain for a day. I thought I was very tough back then, that's one thing I've lost. I was sure of everything, all I knew was truth.

I suppose, in a way, I am still like that but with a different Truth. I don't base it on rebelion for one thing. I think of my relationships more logically. Finally being good at math did that to me - in the 8th grade I was still awful at math, I never really got anything until geometry & pre-calc, then it settled in to place. Weird, huh?

Oh, and those soccer moms? Their perfect kids grew up to be potheads. I know, I'd hang out at the pool this summer and listen to the highschoolers talk about how high they'd gotten the night before. I bet their moms still think they're perfect... good thing they aren't like those teenagers a few years back, huh? Yeah. Suburbs.