TechLove

I’ve been searching for a way to carry around my iPad without looking like a complete tool, and I think I’ve finally found a solution that’s both practical and freaking adorable: the iPad Clutch from Happy Owl Studio.

Looks like a cute little purse, right? BUT THEN:
the iPad Clutch, open

AND ALSO:
iPad Clutch, half closed

*Happy Owl Studio is not in any way sponsoring this post. Although if they wanted to send me swag, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. Hint.

Damian Kulash. Grammar. Swoon.

If the sentence preceding the example were ‘Our tuition was wasted on our fucking Luddite teachers,’ the meaning is nice and clear, regardless of whether you then follow with ‘use’ or ‘utilize’. Similarly, if the sentence after the example were ‘The Amish kids just looked at their mentors with terror in their eyes,’ the inherent vagary of the example vanishes, whether you use ‘utilize,’ or you utilize ‘use.’

Reason #9,203,541 I love the internet: a vintage 2005 article about Damian Kulash and grammar in an LA Weekly blog, complete with Damian’s etymology geekery in the comments.

style council: Stop Making Sense

to ie or not to ie

So, show of hands: how many of you are looking at this site on IE?

Yeah, that’s about what I thought.

I’m debating making my graphics into PNGs, because GIFs are lame and full of lameness, but there’s the whole “IE can’t handle PNG transparency” thing* and it just makes me sad to think of poor backward IE people, looking at my site and going “Why did she put all her graphics in white boxes?”.

But who is thinking of me in this scenario? No one, that’s who.

I could check my stats, but that would be too easy. Plus it doesn’t involve ticky boxes.

Fill out a survey! You know you want to.

(If you can’t get the pop-up to load, click here.)

*Yes I know there are hacks, but I’m allergic to javascript & refuse to ask Not So for help. SUCH IS THE STORY OF MY LIFE. I do the same thing when I need to rearrange furniture.

in which donuts are consumed

I’m out of coffee, so Ellison and I took a stroll and picked up a latte and some donuts. I love donuts. It’s not even the sugar – I really wish I could get raised donuts without any glaze. Then I would buy them by the flat and eat them for every meal of every day.

On second thought, maybe it’s best that I can’t get them.

I had an uneventful bout of online window shopping last night. For those who don’t know, online window shopping is much like actual window shopping, only in the comfort of your own bed. I am a huge proponent of activities which can be undertaken while snuggled under a blanket. I visited the Gap, where the denim pencil skirt I want so badly is still not on sale, and Old Navy, where it is inexplicably 1987, and 6pm.com, where the shoes are cheap but indexed so badly that you have to wade through twenty pages of bespangled mules to find a simple pair of flip-flops.

Despite adding several things to various carts, I didn’t buy anything until I got to Drugstore.com. Or, specifically, Beauty.com, which now shares a cart with Drugstore.com. I clicked over on a whim (and because the kid was sleeping on my chest, so what else was I going to do?) (digital illustration, shockingly enough, is v. difficult to do with one hand) and completely by accident stumbled on –

Well, here, let me give a little background: I’ve been searching for nail polish that is free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate ever since I got all weird and paranoid about chemicals (about the same time I switched out all my cleaning products for Method and Mrs. Meyer and Ecover) but it’s been just impossible to find. Which is weird, right? I live in Portland, for crying out loud; we’re practically the epicenter of the environmental movement. But, whatev. So I’ve been searching online, but aside from some weird water soluble (?) or peel-off (??) polishes, it’s been a big no-go.

BUT! When I clicked over to Beauty.com, I found butter LONDON 3 Free, which is not only all non-toxic, it’s British. I got some in Union Jack Black, Tramp Stamp, and Come to Bed Red. Will report back on final result, which I fully expect will be full of fabulousness.

The caffeine is finally hitting my bloodstream so I’m going into web design mode. Cheers, y’all.

and how might you be?

You know, I was going to post something substantive and clever, but then I realized that I left the diapers at home. The office is now somewhat…odoriferous. Thusly, I leave you with these three things:

1. I posted a new video rant – scroll down if you’re on my site, or go see it on Viddler, or look for it in your rss feed or whatever. Or ignore it completely. So many options! (Note: it looks like Viddler’s having some issues, so hang tight if you can’t see the video & try again later.)(Seems to be back up now…)

2. Is Russel T. Davies the UK’s answer to Joss Whedon? Discuss.

3. I have 61,300 words on my book. Who wants to make guesses on how many words I’ll cut in this round of edits? Winner gets to be a background character.

Off I go to decontaminate the toddler. Here’s hoping we have the elevator to ourselves!

bore da

So I’m teaching myself Welsh. Yes! I am a crazy person. I can’t tell you that in Welsh yet, of course. Currently I am limited to basic introductions (Good morning! I am Jessica!) and the declaration that I am going to a club. (I am not going to a club, actually, but I could tell people I am. In Wales.)

I was inspired, of course, by a combination of too much Doctor Who/Torchwood (Cardiff is so pretty!) and Not So’s flat disbelief in the idea (“You’re going to teach yourself Welsh. Really.”) which is CLEARLY A CHALLENGE. So what if I have no talent for languages? I will learn Welsh, yo, and then we will go to Wales and I will converse with the locals and it will be glorious.

Moving on.

But, yeah, that’s what 34 has been so far: unrealistic goals, undertaken with great enthusiasm. Could be worse, yeah? My birthday was surprisingly Not Terrible, and it involved a gift of perfume from my beloved and a vast amount of chocolate cake. Can it be my birthday everyday, maybe? And we got our tax return, too, so it’s like my birthday and Christmas, only minus the pathos! It was good timing, too, because our DVD player picked last week to completely lose its little electronic mind. This could have been tragic (small child + me trying to work – televised entertainment = DOOM) but we were all flush with cash and financially irresponsible and splurged on a high-def Blu-Ray player. Hey, it was on sale! And we already have a high-def TV, so, really, it was almost sensible. (Need any purchases justified? Give me a ring!)

I also got a cheap and unimpressive (but functional, I think) external mic, so there will be another video post in the very near future. I can’t say exactly when, since we haven’t gotten to the “time” section of the Welsh lessons, but soon.

revamp

Yeah, I re-did the site again. It’s pretty, no? What with all the pink and the scribbles. That’s what it’s like inside my head these days. Pink and scribbles. Wait, that sounded weirdly porny. Okay, scratch that – it’s just that pink is the color of the future (yeah, that’s it) and scribbles are…

Whatever. It’s redesigned. Took me all damn weekend, too.

I’ve also got video (whee!) down there in the lower right. Now you don’t just have to settle for me bitching and whining in print: you can also hear my dulcet voice! I know, you are overcome. Don’t speak.

There’s still some tweaking to do on the site design, so if you notice any particularly egregious errors please point them out in the comments. I apparently can’t be bothered to check the site on a PC, so IE people, I’m looking at you.

neither s nor sw

Not So is at SXSWi. I? Am not. He promises to get swag for me, though. Swag makes everything okay, even seven straight days of solo parenting.

Which is not as bad as all that, actually – Not So has been gone since Thursday morning, and today was kind of okay, as far as days go. (Note that I am skipping merrily over Thursday and Friday. This is not unintentional.) The kid and I went for a walk, did a little shopping…and before you get all eye-roll, keep in mind that my kid? LOVES to shop. Seriously. If we walk by the mall and don’t go in, he will throw himself toward the door with all his strength, wailing like we’re killing him. He is a weird kid. But yes, so, we shopped, and then we came home and he actually ate food, and then he took a marathon nap. Good day!

I had this ridiculous idea that I’d be able to get some writing done while Not So was away, but either all my writing talent has dried up or I just don’t have the wherewithal to concentrate when I am On Call. Which is…lame, right? How many single moms can produce an amazing array of matching words while toddler-wrangling? Anne Lamott comes to mind, but that’s just because of Operating Instructions; other moms do it all the time. Other moms, but not me. I feel so scattered and kind of brain-dead, and everything I’ve written in the past couple of days has been flat as week-old soda. (I do not say “pop.” This is because my parents raised me right.)(Shush, you can recognize hyperbole when you see it.)

The house, though, is quite clean, and I’ve taken two (two!) baths today, so all is not doom and gloom at chez Cranky. I miss Not So, and Ellison’s having a hard time sleeping, but we’re good. It’s taking a lot of energy for me to make progress on the projects we’ve got deadlining for work, but part of that is just that we got a new desk at the house – and, while I love it unreasonably and it totally serves its purpose (namely, to make the damned computer less of a focal point so I don’t spend my every waking moment on it), it’s not exactly conducive to marathon work sessions. Then again, neither is the toddler. Good thing we have an office!

Next year, I am totally going to SXSW, though. Even if the kid has to come with us.

if by carnie you mean carnivorous

Had an unexpected attack of must eat flesh or I will die yesterday. After enjoying a spectacular medium-rare steak (Foreman Grill FTW!), I retired to the restroom, where – wouldn’t you know it? – I started my period. Iron cravings, anyone? I mention this primarily to illustrate that I appear to have gotten back in touch with my body (dirty!), but also because it’s been far too long since there was any TMI in this blog.

Currently I’m eating After Dark Chocolate ice cream (the best freaking ice cream ever, for serious) and trying to find tax stuff. I’m taking Tuesdays and Thursdays as “light” work days, so of course I’m working like a mad person. Seriously, internets: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Can I not take time off? Can I not prioritize? And it’s not like I was ultra productive today, either, what with my gmail being all wonktastic (the topbar is all improperly aligned and it drives me insane, it does) and my BlackBerry insisting that I have messages when I do not. But still. (I did update the portfolio section on the couldbe site, finally, so that if people go there they can actually, you know, see what we’ve done. Novel!)

I did spend some time this afternoon just hanging out with the kid. No TV, no computer, just us and the great urban outdoors. Then I dressed him up in Cranky gear and took pictures.

yodel shirt!

Next, I need to update that site. Maybe next Tuesday?

30 tiny moments: day 1

So I’m doing this thing, this “30 Tiny Moments” thing, which in theory will result in a post every day, assuming I am that organized. Which, I have been weirdly organized lately. Don’t tell anyone.

Jessica at Kerflop summarized the project thusly:

“I imagine casting my eyes over the usual chaos I’m constantly surrounded by and instead of throwing my hands up in despair, finding something comforting, something real, something I’d like to remember and capturing it with my camera.”

water bottle

This is the one actual spontaneous, unposed photo from today’s batch…Not So thought I was focusing on the baby. Who was totally vogueing, by the way. He will get in front of the camera and stay stock-still until the flash goes off. It’s freaking hilarious. But, so, Not So, and his water bottle. It is a pretty cool water bottle.