Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let Me Tell You What it is Like to Have 17 Bug Bites on One Arm

It sucks.

Beneath my sleeve lives an angry colony of bumps that constantly remind me of their presence. And for some reason, they decided to concentrate themselves only on my right arm. I have a total of 18 mosquito bites at this very moment and all but one are located on my single arm. And really the annoyance of said bumps is not the worst of it.

Having a mess of bug bites on your arm is something akin to having leprosy I am finding. I tried to wear a short sleeved shirt to work yesterday for easier itching access, but all I found were looks of horror at my bare arm. “It is just a bunch of bug bites,” I would tell them as they backed away nodding and running out to get a fresh small pox vaccine. Seriously…its not my fault. I can’t help it if my blood is so nutritious and delicious that bugs come from miles around to suck it. It isn’t an STD that I am wearing on my arm here. I guess the incessant scratching is a problem too. Apparently people have a hard time focusing while someone is itching the flakes of dry skin off their body and into your morning coffee.

You try having SEVENTEEN MOTHER-EFFING bug bites on a single extremity and see if you can resist the urge to scratch! Gosh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Tickets To The Looney Bin

Monday morning, 8:00 a.m. I took Gus in for his annual puppy exam. They told me mostly stuff that I already know…he is a fatty and stuff. Then I started mentioning stuff about how he cries like it’s the end of the world in the car and how he is scared of the kitchen floor and the vet was like…um…crazy?

Now I know that I am crazy. I came to that realization a long time ago and I am fully comfortable with my wacky ways. But when the doc suggested puppy Prozac to fight my pooch’s apparent clinical depression and anxiety…I had to wonder…did I make him lose his mind?

People often note the similarities between pets and their owners, but usually that is some flappy-jowled old man with a bull dog or something. But is it possible that the similarities are more than skin deep? Because God knows that I have a chocolate brown block head with crazy wrinkles, but is it possible that he has acquired my insanity as well?

Well, at least I’ll get to bring him with me when they commit me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Little Design Help

Learning to work with people is hard. There are a lot of little nuances to co-worker relationships that make collaboration difficult. This is not about one of those little things…this is just about stupid people and stupid stuff…two things for which I have zero tolerance.

Being a graphic designer…I make things “pretty.” A lot of my co-workers get offended by that word, but as long as you appreciate my ideas as well, I am perfectly happy to make it “pretty.” You might be surprised to know how many people care about the aesthetics of the wrong stupid shit. I mean seriously dude…you should ask my help picking out some non-pleated pants before you ask for my help to make your email “pretty,” because all I am going to do is change it from Comic Sans and delete that heinous clip art.

How would you feel if you were asked to create a collection of 50 bajillion icons for some stupid internal application and all but one were great, but this one kinda resembles a gall bladder, so could you please go back and do it over? Well no thank you very much. I would rather not waste more of my time because some random person who just had their gall bladder removed, thought an icon that I made looked kinda like a gall bladder (maybe if you turn your head and squint while on crack).

While we are raging about design-related irritations…lets discuss the design sophistication of email stationery. As much as I love puppy feet, I don’t necessarily think they are an appropriate choice for your law firm’s professional correspondence. I can see that if you are say…an engineer…that a graph paper background might seem like a stylish choice…but it isn’t. It is ugly. And when I get your emails I die a little inside. Less is more people…really…black text on a white screen is absolutely in these days. And while we are at it…animated gifs of little butterflies or belly dancers as part of your electronic signature…also mildly inappropriate. Here is a desperate plea to Mircosoft: “Stop producing these hideous backgrounds, it is like giving a loaded gun to a kid in a black trench coat…it is going to end badly.”

Ok…so now that I have worked myself into a flurry, I just need to express a few more things that annoy:
  • Times New Roman
  • Powerpoint transitions that involve checked flags or pieces of pie
  • Yellow text on black backgrounds
  • Buttons with bevel, embossing, gradients AND drop shadow (just cause you can open Photoshop doesn’t mean you should use it)
  • Microsoft WordArt…it is neither legible nor art…so don’t
  • Pastel rainbow excel spreadsheets

Cause…The More You Know…the less I will want to spoon my eyes out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What A Weekend

Let me tell you, because I know you are DYING to hear all about it.

On Friday night boyfriend and I decided to take my parents out. We bought them dinner and took them to see Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D! Other than Captain EO, 3-D kinda sucks balls. It always gives me an immense headache and then you try to take off your nifty space-age plastic glasses and the triple-vision of the screen without them is even worse. I have to tell you though; they have made some technological advancements in 3-D technology. You still have to wear those sexy glasses, but the lenses aren’t blue and red, they look fairly normal (for a cheap version of a blues brother). Also, they saved the really crazy pop-out stuff for special occasions, and the movie looked pretty normal the rest of the time. I was pretty impressed, how could I not be with a Brandon Fraser movie?

Saturday was my pseudo-aunt’s 30th wedding anniversary, so the most awesome Boyfriend ever flew the four of us up to Napa for lunch. While they went off and have there romantic lunch, Boyfriend and I sat at the bar and ate…a lot. We watched all the Olympic skull racing that one would want to see (and more…considering that nobody would really want to watch skull racing) and hung out for a few hours. It was nice, our waitress was a spaz, but that was ok cause she kept filling up my diet coke every time I drank more that an inch out of the glass. She was my favorite and got a big fat tip.

We got home from our bay airplane tour (which made me appreciate not living in SF all the more, because lets just say that all we could see of SF was the tippy top of Sutro Tower and as fluffy as those clouds looked from the top, they probably just made things cold, sad and depressing gray below) and began to pack for our next prospecting mission (next weekend). We packed our backpacks and went over our scenarios of “what if we see a bear” or “what if I fall down” and the rope tied around my waist and the large machete that Boyfriend is bringing along ended those conversations quickly.

On Sunday, we woke up at the buttcrack of dawn…make that more like the taint of dawn, because there is no light to be seen at 4 am. We drove in sleepy silence to the Santa Cruz harbor to go fishing. Aboard a friends fishing boat, I quickly found cover from the cold in the cozy little cabin. I napped until it got warm…that took awhile. When the sun came out, so did I and I actually caught TWO fish. One was too small and I released him back to his home. The other one was not the biggest, but he was the prettiest, and in my world of non-fish eating…that is way better. I got sunburned on my face…again…proving once and for all to me that the sunscreen that I have used on the last three outings is ineffective. Burn me once…shame on you…burn me three times…I need to buy new sunscreen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Operation: Save-A-Chute

Our mission (and of course we chose to accept it) was to find the remnants from Operation: Drop-A-Chute. We gathered intel from a stump on a hill over-looking the canyon…it was there…we saw it…and it looked pretty much intact. The beauty of a reconnaissance mission is that you don’t actually have to DO anything. Mostly you find out what you want to know and then you get to play.

So that is what we did.

With the charade of finding a better route to the site we rode all over. We desecrated some graves, did a little trespassing, almost broke our necks several times, popped a tire and bent a rim…all in all a good old time.

Later that evening after the men had dropped me off, loaded me full of pain killers for my bruised and broken body and taken off again, I began to hallucinate. Every small noise in the bushes was an axe murderer and I knew it. So to busy my paranoid mind, I built a fire. Too bad the men had also taken all the matches and lighters away with them. So I tried to start the fire by banging two rocks together, but they were less like rocks and more like dense clumps of dried clay and just sorta crumbled. I tried rubbing two sticks together, but I did NOT have the patience for that shit. Finally I drew on the knowledge that boyfriend has imparted on me over our two glorious years together….grabbed a paper towel, dowsed it in gasoline and lit it with the car cigarette lighter. Boyfriend was so proud and I was pretty pleased with myself too…especially since my fire scared away the axe murderer.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You Learn Something New Everyday

So Boyfriend has decided to become a prospector (it is actually kinda cute as I imagine him growing a long beard and giddily shouting “Eureka!” while doing a jig over his gold pan). So the logical first step in prospecting is to fly over in your private plane and drop 300 pounds of gear into your canyon of choice.

Boyfriend found his parachute on ebay and it arrived balled up in a garbage bag. Now you would think this might be a problem, since neither Boyfriend nor I have ever packed a parachute, but nah…we got this.

After watching a 3 minute video on youtube about how to fold the thing, we spread the 38-foot monster army green parachute on the green grass in the pitch dark night and began folding. We were pretty impressed with ourselves. We even found a high-tech solution to the lack of parachute sack by stuffing it into an old pillow case and stapling the sides. Genius. Look at us. We went from parachute packing virgins to mother-effing professionals in two hours flat. Sunday’s lesson was complete.

On Monday, Boyfriend went to actually perform the drop. And as the duffle bags crashed down from the plane with not even a partially-deployed chute, we learned the daily lesson: that you can’t learn how to pack a parachute from a youtube video.

Somewhere down there in that canyon Sasquatch is snacking on MREs and enjoying Boyfriend’s well-fitting shoes that surely fell out when the bags hit the rocky bottom at 200 mph and split open like melons. You know what they say…big feet…parachute-packing failure.