So, while my father is still sleeping — and why he always insists on sleeping on the couch when I set up a room for him, I will never know — with my pug curled on his legs, I’m sitting in the office here downstrairs working on the redesign for Scarleteen.
Because in a month or so, the site revamp really should be finished so that when the book rolls out, the site looks its best and also has the supports needed to help sell and promote the book.
My end of the work isn’t huge, really: the users have always liked our design scheme and vibe, so I’m not making ginormous changes, just some sprucing up, and some work to create a layout that will both work in Drupal and be more useable overall. We also need some text design upgrades. Thank christ the users like the yellow jammie stripes we’ve had for years, because I couldn’t bear to part with them: they’re just so cozy. In fact, without even realizing I was doing it, I like them so much I unconsciously painted the upstairs studio in the exact same stripes.
(My poor AGA blogger and also longtime Scarleteen user who visited me a couple weeks ago had to feel like she was sleeping inside the site. Thankfully, most of our houseguests aren’t Scarleteen users, so they just find the stripes fresh and charming, rather than a little disturbing. Maybe the stripes are the issue with my Dad, though. Hmm.)
Truth be told, I miss design work. Back in the day, when I first started all the sites, I did a lot of freelance web and ad design to keep me afloat, and it was one of those things I rarely got tired of doing. It always feels a bit like rearranging your room, when you’ve got an existing design, with existing limits and contraints, but you get to freshen it up a bit so — ideally — you get that fine combination of the comfort and familiarity of your old room with the feeling that you’ve inherited a new one.
I wish I could donate every minute of the next couple of weeks to doing this, because fiddling with colors and text, moving things around to see how they fit, fashioning patterns and such is just a seriously good time. It’s the kind of work you can very easily lose hours and hours in without knowing they passed, and any work that has that effect is always my favorite.
Of course, we’ll see if I still feel this way about it once I get it done to the point where Garrett and I start trying to fit it into Drupal and make everything work. It’s always the functionality stuff that bursts my happy-play-with-the-pretty-colors bubble.
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While I’m doing this, I’m also talking IM with Becca about Montessori and such for her in-utero kid. It’s awesome to be able to talk to her about this stuff, but it’s also a really big bummer not to be there with her for all of this. Moving here has had a lot of perks, but there have been some very real losses, and not being able to see the closest friend I’ve ever had, especially right now, is absolutely one of them.
Thankfully, she has a visit here scheduled for a few weeks from now, too. Here’s hoping that when she leaves I don’t end up with a reenactment of the night before I moved from Minneapolis, when I had a cry about leaving her and Briana that I — and poor Mark — wasn’t sure would ever end. I’ve had some hard, hard breakups in my life, but it’s been really rare for me to end up upset to that level, where breathing was difficult, where I didn’t think I would ever stop drying, and where your stomach muscles hurt from sobbing so hard. Over the first couple months I lived here, I’d have to make myself just not think about Becca and Bri, because when I did, I’d end up a big, weepy mess all over again.
Anyone who supports the cultural mandate that romantic relationships are by default somehow the most important, more important and bigger than any other, has never had a cry like that over having to part with friends.
And now I’m missing teaching in the classroom, to boot. Best get back to designing to chase the impending blues away, and to, you know, get it done.