I’ve been busier than usual lately.

It’s not my day job; things are pretty manageable there right now, almost slow. (Almost.) No, I’ve been preoccupied with other things–namely (a) prepping for Carnival, especially the Satyricon bal masque, and (b) a new blogging gig.

Luckily, much of the ball stuff is out of my hands at the moment. My biggest costume-related duty is done–building the frame for the headpiece/backpiece–and my capable friend Brian will finish the outfit himself. That leaves me to focus on table decorations and simpler, smaller things. Oh: and the ball program. Since I’m the only one in my krewe who’s even heard of InDesign, the program falls in my lap every year. It wouldn’t be so bad if the queens sending me ads understood the difference between 72dpi and 300dpi and also what I mean by jargony phrases like, “I CANNOT USE THIS DOCUMENT YOU CREATED IN WORD/WORD PERFECT/MICROSOFT PUBLISHER. IT IS CRAP. TRY AGAIN.”

The blogging thing is far more time-consuming. I’m writing for a niche site, which sounds like it’d be limited in scope, but it’s a niche that I don’t know much about, so the learning curve has been steep. The industry is enormous, and I spend a lot of time reading just to familiarize myself with things. (I’ve got 40 news feeds in the folder of my RSS reader, some of which are massive info dumps like CNN. The flow never ends.) When I finally get around to writing my allotted four or five posts a day, it’s slow going. I’m constantly checking my facts, and when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to check, I’ll leave things intentionally vague. Neither is especially good.

Part of the reason my friend hired me for the gig is because he wants to perk up the site’s content; he knows I worked for Gawker, so I can do short, snarky, and pithy. Only problem is, sometimes an item doesn’t lend itself to short, snarky, and pithy. Sometimes and item demands extensive examination. Like, you know, news. Which leaves me screwed.

All that said, I’m really enjoying the gig. I’m remembering a lot of stuff from childhood (when I was more engaged in the subject), I’m learning a lot about the industry, and I think I’m becoming a better writer in the process. And it feels like the tone of the site is changing, too, which is hopefully boosting traffic. I don’t have access to stats, but that’s how it seems. Best of all, my friend is very easy to work for, so the only stress involved is the stress I bring on myself. Once I learn to deal with that, I’ll be hunky-dory. Another couple of weeks, and I’ll be fine. (Assuming I don’t wipe out during the Satyricon ball. Then all bets are off.)

Anyway, here’s the point of all this: as I was walking home for lunch yesterday (yes, I go home for lunch, welcome to Mayberry), I noticed that fall has finally come to New Orleans. And only three months behind schedule–yay, global warming. The leaves on the crepe myrtles and the flowering pear trees have finally changed color and fallen into the gutter, along with the dirt and the glitter and shattered Mardi Gras beads.

And I realized that I’ve been so busy, I haven’t been paying attention to anything–or anyone for that matter. If you’re one of those “anyones” (or “anythings”), I apologize. Now that life’s looking up, I’ll try to do better.

So in honor of the fall that’s finally arrived–just in time for spring, which should begin next week sometime–here’s some appropriately fall-ish, introspective, gray-day music. I’m not sold on the low-rent Powerpuff Girls video, but I could listen to Shara Worden’s voice all day long.

0 thoughts on “

  1. jimbo

    So what is your preferred format for importing things into InDesign? I would always copy and paste things from lame MS programs into Notepad, then copy from Notepad and paste it into InDesign documents. With a newsletter that consisted of many shorter stories, it wasn’t a problem, but I’d be interested in knowing any shortcuts.


  2. richard

    I do EXACTLY the same thing. Otherwise, ID wants to kidnap all your formatting and bring it along for the ride. No shortcuts in my arsenal, alas…


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