Dreams

I have been having really vivid dreams lately. Dreams that I are all over the board. Dreams about people that would not normally cross paths in real life. Dreams about people I haven’t seen in a long time. This isn’t too unusual, but the vividness of them is what’s confusing me. I might have the occasional dream I remember, but this has been nightly.

It started sometime last week, where I had a dream about a song; in the dream I couldn’t remember it. So upon waking, I looked it up, and it was a Jeff Buckley song. (And to be ironic, the song in the dream was ‘So Real’.) I haven’t listened to Jeff Buckley in what seems like an eternity. But that led me to a course of relistening, which lead to another dream, where he was still alive.

The “Jeff Buckley Is Secretly Alive” dreams are reoccurring every few years, so it’s not completely surprising that a few days of intense listening would lead me to this dream. Usually it’s some kind of search, or he’s hidden away somewhere mundane. Once it was in a government/bureaucratic building of sorts (accessible only by sea?). This time it was some small retail shop.

But, my dreams are far from limited to Jeff Buckley. I’ve been dreaming about people I haven’t seen in ages, people I don’t know, like celebrities. I’ve been dreaming about working, and about being “caught” some how as a way to deny my disability. I’ve been dreaming about sneaking around a lot too, or uncovering crimes. And some have been very boring, like walking around.

What I don’t understand is why now with these dreams. Why would I have such a vivid run of dreams? I haven’t changed medications. Maybe I’m getting better or worse sleep? Maybe it’s a touch of restlessness and spring? I have been exercising as much as I’m able – maybe that’s stirring some activity in my brain?

Or maybe it’s just one pile of coincidence.

My Nightmare

I recently came into contact with someone who’s been doing “this web thing” for about as long as I have. Possible a little longer, at least as a creator. He’s about ten years my senior. And I am afraid – I hope I’m not looking at my future. Looking at design, it’s like that person stopped evolving 10 years ago. The work, attitude, and view of the web is cradled in what was the norm at the beginning of the internet. I’m genuinely afraid this could be me. I try to make sure I am aware of new trends, changes in the industry, etc . . . but what if I stop? What if 10 years from now, I’m the person being looked at as being stuck? I don’t want that, I want to keep evolving, I need to be on the razors edge. But it’s so easy to forget, to find a way of doing something and continuing to do it that way because it’s easy.

I recently scoffed at going to a class because I thought I knew the subject matter – turns out that it changed significantly 2 years ago, and I had been doing it the hard way the entire time. This should have been enough of a reminder that I don’t know it all. I’m hoping it is. I just set an appointment with myself yearly to remind myself to stay current. Who knows, maybe in 10 years time I’ll think it was cute and childish. Or maybe it will be exactly the kick in the pants I need.

 

Design or Code?

About a year and a half ago, I interviewed for a job at a friends company. One of the people interviewing me insisted that I couldn’t possibly be good at both code AND design. It’s a silly thing, but it has stuck in my head like a stupid worm burrowing its way into my brain. Am I a designer or a coder? And since when did they have to be decoupled from one another. Maybe I’m bad at design and don’t realize it. I don’t think I am, but it’s such a subjective thing. Then again, the person that said that looked disbelievingly at illustrations I did, as if it was easier to believe that I lied about creating them than be good at both.

Craig, we’ll call him, went on a long speech about how the two needed to be separate in a company, along with his explanation of how he felt all agencies should work. He was, apparently, some sort of expert in these things. In fairness, I couldn’t tell if he was an expert at how agencies should work, or in explaining things he had an opinion on. He said he used to believe the same person could do that job, but now they had to be separate because they were too complicated for one person to understand and be good at both. Really? I said, because I can do both. So he asked – if I were to take a job in the company and I had a choice between only coding and only designing, which would I take? Neither, I wouldn’t take the job. He tried to pin it down even further. Where is my heart really? Like, if I’m up late at night because I’m inspired and working on a project of my own design – which would it be, some code or photoshop. Either? I’m guilty of either, any given late night, just depending on where my mind has taken me. I’ve stayed up until the sun comes up writing code, and ashamedly done the same for design (though to be fair, it will as often be illustrator as photoshop).

It’s a stupid thing to bug me. It’s not the first time I’ve thought that I have been judged as a coder only because someone’s preconceived notion that someone who is technical can’t be artistic. And, even though I’ve written it off as their own lack of binary skills, I can’t help having creeping self doubt. It was a long time ago and it still bugs me.

Dreaming and Wondering

I had a dream last night about the first flash piece I ever did. Well, sort of. That was in the dream but like so many other dreams it wasn’t really.

But the dream compelled me to get up and find that flash file, which lead me down an interesting path of searching through my early web pages and realizing just how much more I did back then. I did a redesign every few months! And that was back in the day when I was still learning, and still managed to do complete redesigns in no time.

HOW THE HELL DID I DO IT?

I can’t even keep up with blog posts, haven’t bothered to design anything for this site, haven’t finished about a half dozen other web projects I have on the back burner. Where did that time go?

Now I know some of that was I was young and often slept 4 hours a night. But that can’t be where it all went, can it? Oh, and I was working more hours and going to school some of that time.

That being said, I’ve managed to work on my design personal blog tonight, and get a lot further than I expected in just one sitting. Its not finished but its acceptable: http://www.think-twice.net/blog

Despair

I hate my job. I’ve said that so many times in my life at different places that the phrase should be meaningless. Yet here I go again, hating my job and thinking it means something. I have been having trouble sleeping at night, and I get just plain angry over nothing, and no amount of reassurance makes the anger go away. I’m afraid I’m skirting the edge of depression, and no amount of trying to re-align my thinking helps. I fear pills, I was on them once and it was the worst experience of my life. Oh, it probably saved me, but it also hurt me a lot, tolerating the toxic situation because the doc prescribed me some feel good pills instead of saying “You need to make a change.”

And here I am, not even in the worst situation I’ve been in, and I can’t stop thinking of how unhappy I am. I’m certain it’s because I tie up my identity in my work, and when I can’t excel, when I can’t achieve or move forward, when every project that comes my way is a train wreck before I’m even assigned, I lose my mind. I’m bored out of my mind. I resent everything about what I do because I’m not allowed to take pride in my work, instead churning out garbage.

And the thing is, it isn’t so bad where I am. If I were just a slacker that needed a paycheck, I’d do fine. I tell myself all the time that at least I’m there with people I like and getting paid. But I can’t talk myself out of feeling like shit every single day. I know it doesn’t help that there are just NO JOBS right now. The few I’ve seen and applied for have failed to get back to me. One head hunter contacted me, but he was looking to hire me for my job!

I’m not sure why I am writing this. Maybe getting it “out” will help? Probably not, self pity rarely does. I just need to stick my chin up and keep going.

And kick Jim in the balls.

Fuck all you tall people

I’m sick of all you tall people ruining it for us short people.

I needed a new computer chair. My chair of 10 years finally started to die. One arm fell at a 45 degree angle from the side, and just the other day, the back snapped when I was leaning back. So, despite being well worn and well loved, it was time for a new chair.

I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. But then I start looking, and I noticed one thing in common. None of them seem to go low enough. What. The. Motherfucking Fuck? My chair is just perfect, but all these chairs are so high.

I pick one out, one that seems to go the lowest. Its not perfect, but its a chair. I excitedly wait for my husband to assemble it, only to discover its 4 full inches higher than my old chair. Look, I know I’m short, okay, but I’m not the only one. What makes matters worse, it seems like there are no short people chairs anymore. I need something with  a 14″ height. But strangely, every job has always had ones that go that low. Usually the older chairs. So I surmise this is a change that has only come about in the past few years.  Oh, they have big and tall chair sections, but none for us small folk.

To make matters worse, my old chair is now disassembled (a failed attempt to make a franken chair to suit my needs.) And office depot won’t take returns on chairs that are assembled. but did I mention its impossible to take the base off once its on? And this goddamn chair is so uncomfortable. Sitting in the chair for 1 minute in the store it seemed fine. 20 minutes at my desk and I’m feeling all sorts of fatigue.

The Band

I had a dream last night. It was one of those dreams that sticks with you in that odd way that some dreams do. I dreamt I was out with friends and one of them knew the band Geggy Tah, that just happened to be hanging out that the same club we were at.
And they were excited to just run into some fans in the middle of the midwest, and my friend knew of a club that had an open stage. So they agreed they’d perform for us. It was a lounge setting with the stage sort of in the middle. After all, what more perfect a setting for Geggy Tah.

I talked to the singer Tommy for a while. We talked about my water proof camera (which I kept dunking in my drink to show how it worked). And then I found out that they had a new album coming out called “Pump”.

I woke up shortly afterward, but it felt so real. I even looked online, but there is no news of a new album.

Gotta love cold medicine.

I miss my beautiful friends . . .

Today was the last day for another coworker.  In the short year plus I’ve been at my current job so many people have left. I feel like I started at the end of an era. What’s worse; I feel like I found a really great team to work with, only to have it shattered by poor corporate decisions and bad circumstances.

I work(ed) with an amazing group of people. Smart, innovative, creative. Friendly, funny, silly, even. We have shared some great ideas and to have that just torn apart by uncaring, underachieving management – Well, its just shit.

I often fantasize how great it would be for all of us to start a company together, away from the constraints of the corporate machine that keeps us from accomplishing anything. The 20-percenters. The thinkers and the doers, the innovators. Of course it is just that – a fantasy. We’re all mid-career, needing the guarantee of a paycheck and not the risk of a start up. Still, it makes me sad, so much potential lost.

Tonight, I saw another brilliant, talented person walk out the door. Everyone gathered. Including several of the people that had left prior. I was so happy to see them all, yet couldn’t help but feel angry at the company that fucked it all up. Still it was good to see them. Such vibrant people. I miss you all.

Bloodletting

I reek of blood. Again. It wasn’t supposed to go that way. But I of all people should know better – it’s the nature of the beast. The nature of man, more like it. When you’ve got a half dozen highly motivated, highly aggressive individuals, it doesn’t take much to make a situation go from bad to worse.

Blood doesn’t come off. Not easily anyway. It’s thick, it sticks to your skin, it stains your clothes, even black. When it’s fresh, its the most striking of reds. The movies don’t do it any justice. Probably because no one would believe it, so they darken it for effect. Or maybe once movies tried realistic blood, and the audience couldn’t handle it, awakened by some caveman part of their brain knew, and was afraid  in a way a piece of fiction shouldn’t feel. Whatever. I try to wipe it from my face with the trickle from the faucet. No towels in the dispenser, and the hand dryer isn’t going to help get the goo off. Fuck! I’ve got to get it off before anyone tries to use this bathroom. I’ve jammed the door, but security would probably find it a little suspicious and it wouldn’t take much to overcome the built-in doorstop. Hopefully the don’t make rounds very often at 3 am.

So how exactly does one become covered in blood from head to toe at 3 am? Well, it’s all about the method. No one expects the petite blonde in a slinky black dress and Prada pumps to be carrying a 3 foot sword underneath her overcoat. And when the shit goes bad, the only thing that can save your ass from meeting it’s maker at the hands of trigger-happy hired thugs is plain old shock and awe. Slice a guy in two while covering everyone in a 20 foot radius with a crimson shower is a good way to do this.

I’ve got most of it off, save a little brownish maroon crust under my nails and at the roots of my hair. In the greenish subway station light, it looks no more than dirt. Hopefully that’s all anyone will see. Its a risk I have to take – I have to keep moving. There will be others.