Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peppermint Infusion in a Budweiser Mug

That pretty much sums up the spirit of these January evenings.  Picture me sitting in the living room, hunched over the laptop with a mug of not tea, trying to sort through code and just sighing often at the mass delusion that is the concept of the absolute superiority of open source.

I'm about a week out from the full resumption of my scheduled rounds, with class beginning on the 22nd, so I've been trying to take advantage of the time I have now to finish up a couple of larger freelance web projects.  Currently, I'm in the process of trying to install a shopping cart on a client's site.  Actually, I have installed it, but it won't let me log in to the installed site, which renders the installation somewhat moot.  I might as well have installed gold bars into a safe and then dropped the safe into Mount Doom, for all of the use this is.

I realize that an increasingly large percentage of the Ramblers over the course of 2009 - 2010 were about this subject - the basic annoyance-tinged ennui that coding fills me with - and I apologize.  What it reflects is the vast increase in web construction I've had to do in that time.  Weird to by default find yourself at least partly in a career you have no real fealty towards.  Like most things that I've stumbled into - pretty much my entire life, including marriage and home-ownership - I've found the only way to make things work is to double down on the aspects you do well and try not to fuck up the things that don't come naturally.

With web design, that means helping clients organize their site under clear and accessible navigation (so many more sites are poorly structured than poorly designed, and it's in knowing the difference that's important).  Oddly, I'm better at architecture than design - I feel my designs are 'there' about 60% of the time, but my instincts for what makes a site navigable are strong.  It's odd not just because I'm a graphic designer, so you'd think that would be the bit I was good at.  It's odd because I'm such a disorganized slob in real life.  But I do have a knack for web architecture.  If only we really did live in the matrix, perhaps I wouldn't have such a hard time finding things in my house.


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