I've been sitting on my ass about writing a journal entry thinking, "There is so much I need to talk about and let me think about exactly how I would do it," but not getting any writing done whatsoever.
So, I decided to grit my teeth and just start writing again. Just do it.
I've been inundated with work. It seems that there is a lack of people who can do effective HTML coding and development on sites and so I've just got piles of work. I'm trying to juggle three (or is it four? I cannot tell these days) separate projects. Two of them have very similar designs, so it's not too difficult to work on one and then the other. Changing gears in design projects that are radically different can be a shock to the creative system but since they are so similar, I think that I'm working on the same project and keep up the working momentum.
The big problem is that they are so alike, I get the two projects confused. One is 800x600 resolution (the minimum display resolution is 800x600), while the other is 640x480. One is all 4.0+ browsers, the other is Netscape 4.5+ and Internet Explorer 5.0+ only. Augh.
Keeping them straight has been a nightmare. One is going to be completed tomorrow evening, so that is a small weight off my mind. Unfortunately, that means that the designs and screens have to be completed by then. Early to work tomorrow... and no tai-chi class either because that would require me leaving early from work. I believe I need the full eight hours for me to complete the development work in time.
I'm finding the pressure very refreshing. Perhaps it is because that when I first transferred to the Interactive team, I wasn't getting any work at all. It was slowly trickling down to us from the blueprints and Information Architects. Now it has hit the designers with full force. They are all scrambling and busy trying to get projects done and handed over to me to work on the HTML prototype and development. Busy hands, happy heart! Unfortunately, my desk organization has gone to pot. With the new Mac as well as my PC on my desk, I have no room for anything else and I'm finding the papers are mounting everywhere around me. I'm going to be weeding later this week once things quiet down. When I get desparate for space for me to eat lunch, I know a purge is in order.
We did get a new designer today. His name is Hitoshi. I've seen his portfolio of his schoolwork and I think it was absolutely amazing and fascinating. The attention to detail in many of his designs is astounding and his presentation was impressive. A lot of his work looked like the final product of a professional printer's press. Like a bound book of illustrations. I only got to wave bye to him as he left, since I was so engrossed with my work during the day. Someday, probably soon, we'll start working together.
It's inevitable. After all, I am the only HTML developer. This quarter we're going to be hiring more staff, hopefully with a similar skill set to mine. We need the man power. My name is associated with almost every project. It's very flattering, but an exhausting way to be flattered.
...they spread her thinner and thinner until she came, in her martyrdom, to fill whole libraries with frozen aisles of precious relics. No saint was ever pared so fine; at the Plesetsk laboratories alone, she was represented by more than two million tissue slides, racked and numbered in the subbasement of a bomb-proof biological complex.
-- William Gibson "Hinterlands" Burning Chrome
On the commute home, I finished reading 2061. I'm astonished that it was only last week that I picked up 2001 and started digging into it. Reading Arthur C. Clarke was like getting food after not eating for a few days. It's clean and refreshing and not burdened with style (although Mike likes to point out that Clarke's favorite word is "myriad" and I should be on the look out for it. I don't know why it is only after I finish reading that I remember to look for it). I'm not exactly sure why I started reading 2001. Perhaps the spark came from having a conversation with one of my coworkers who mentioned 2001 and Kubrick's superiority as a director. I then asked Mike about the plot of 2001 and what exactly was going on in the film over dinner -- it's been years since I've seen the nonsensical film. He explained that much of what happens is explained in the book and, lo, I spotted a worn copy on my shelves. It was a used book, one that I bought used and intended to read sometime but never got around to it. Until last week.
I tore through 2001. I felt the twinges of curiosity about space rise up from my memories. I remember nights staring up into the sky. Looking. Waiting. Wondering where out there in the darkness were other worlds with other creatures doing something similar to what I was doing. I see pictures of nebulas and giant stars from Hubble and part of me wants to see them in person. I'm sure it would be like the Grand Canyon. I had never seen anything like it before and it was so difficult for me to judge scale since I had no buildings or other frames of references. It looked like a gigantic picture that someone hung in front of me. It was unreal. I'm sure the nebulas and red giants would elicit the same response as the Grand Canyon. I probably would feel small and miniscule and lonely... but wonderful and unique and special.
I found myself perusing the Space and Technology columns at cnn.com frequently. I explored every corner of NASA. The space bug bit me very bad last week. I bought 2010 and finished it before the weekend. I bought 2061 and 3001 at Barnes and Noble on Saturday. I rented 2010 on Sunday, but soon discovered that it was a terrible film and retreated to reading 2061 (even Helen Mirren couldn't save that one). 2061 was an excellent book, although I'm not sure exactly what happened to Heywood Floyd at the end. Did he die? Did he get cloned? I don't understand that ending. Now, I get to pick up 3001 and I'm sure by the end of the week, I'll be lamenting over nothing good to read.
I knew I should have gotten House Atreides by Frank Herbert's son and Kevin Anderson on Saturday too. Dangit.
Excerpts from Burning Chrome © Copyright 1986 William Gibson.