Congrats to Manic Hispanic!

Manic Hispanic - Mijo Goes to Jr. College

I’d like to extend a big congratulations to Steve Soto and all the gentlemen of Manic Hispanic for the release of their excellent 3rd cd today on BYO Records!
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend their CD release party and Cinco de Mayo show this last Sat. at the House of Blues Anaheim, but the band’s fans on their Message Board are giving the show rave reviews.
Some cynic may say, “Hey Jen, you are just saying all of that because you are friends with Steve and you did their website.” Um…. no, the CD is very good, very funny, and I am very proud of those guys for their great music and Gabby’s 2+ years of sobriety (Go, Gabby, Go!).
Good on ya, boys! I hope you have a great show with NOFX tonight in San Francisco!

Getting Feisty with Spam

Sept. 2001, when I was on a one year contract as an adjunct art professor, we attended an Art Dept. retreat where the evening entertainment was sculpting Spam (the processed meat product) into famous works of art. Yikes! I watched from the sidelines.
The current war against internet spam, I have stepped off the sidelines and have personally joined the fray. All of us get obnoxious emails encouraging us to enlarge our peni (dang, I didn’t know I had one!), increase breast size (actually, I would like to go down a cup or two in size, thank you), or get a mortage (on my income in SoCal? Not a day before I am 85), etc etc etc etc.
In fact, today, Sunday the 4th of May, I had 14 messages awaiting me in my primary email box. Each and every one of them was unsolicited SPAM! Not processed pork coming to me through my computer, but bad email.
About 2 weeks ago, I decided to fight back. Now, when I receive a spam mail obviously intended for a man (Increase your Penis size 2-3 inches!), I kindly email back the sender – “Thank you for your informational email. But unfortunately, I am a female, not a male, and I do not have a penis.” Then for personal entertainment, I thoroughly insult the sender with creative insults that would make the Iraqi Minister of Information proud of me.
Yes, I realize that by replying it now has confirmation that I exist, but it makes me feel a great deal better to know that some email bot is getting a foul multiple syllabic response…. Not that it cares, but I feel a wee bit more empowered against the onslaught.

May Day Project

Ok, Heather Champ put this up as a link today – The May Day Project.
Here’s what the May Day folks have to say:

over one day in may, people all over the world will be taking a photograph an hour to illustrate a day in their life. will you be photographing yours too?

Lucky and others – I think this is a grand idea. Pick up cameras… put the photos up on one’s blog, send in the link.
May 10th (the day of the project) is a Sat, and I may be in Parker, AZ, for my brother’s birthday. Pictures of my dad’s Mallard RV….

Good News: More Work

Ahh… the life of a freelancer….
ergh…
((sounds of screaming and tufts of hair falling out))
I only know one freelancer who really seems to have the whole thing down pat (all bills paid a month in advance, no debt at all, and a healthy retirement fund at 30), she also grew up as a missionary kid and loves Target. Those of us who grew up as a Feast or Famine Hanen seem to be repeating the generational family habit…
I have dabbled in freelance artwork, design, and writing since 1992, but did not make the full break from day job or adjunct teaching until August of 2002. I am now 8 months into my full-time self-employment adventure, and am mostly on time with rent, not on time at all with minimum payments of debt, and occasionally eating strange combos of rice, dulse flakes and whatever is in the frig… But I am happy in a way that that I never was in cubicle-land of temp jobs, commercial real estate, higher ed, etc.
The Good News is that one of my main web design clients, after 7.5 months from my original proposal and 3 months after a revised proposal, gave full approval yesterday of a complete re-design of their website. Their site was originally designed in 1998, and has been updated by interns until my coming along last spring. In the year since I started working on it, I have updated and corrected code (no html, body, or title tags at all!!!!) on all the pages I have touched.
I am very excited to start the re-design, and will be doing it as a eDisciple of Zeldman, Tantek, and Champeon…. In other words, CSS layout here we come, goodbye tables.
Wish me luck. Occasionally call me in the next two weeks to see if I am still alive. It will be my goal to have the new site at testing stage by the end of next week and launched with revisions by Memorial Day.
Then I will celebrate at the OC Scottish Games!

Flying through the air with the greatest of Ease…

Ok…so I got feedback about the photos I posted from the birthday party… folks wanted to know – “Where is the Air Purse picture???”. Here it is, in all of its glory. Someone needed their purse across the room, someone tossed it, I actually got it on the digital camera. Hmmm…. have another glass of wine?

Noon to 9pm : Orange to Gorman and Back Again

Yesterday (4/26/03) was Grandpa Bill West’s 87th birthday, on the drive back to OC, I told my mom that I really wanted to drive up to the CA Poppy Reserve and see the flowers. She called me at 10:30am today and asked if I wanted to go.
Noon: Mom, myself, and Freckles the Dog left the grand city of Orange in the Mom-a-Saurus Explora-Saurus vehicle. There was a small futile conversational attempt on my part to convince her to go in my Honda Civic, as gas is now over $2…
Lunch: Where else? But El Camino Real, in Fullerton. Cheap, good, and the ice for the drinks is the lovely small, extruded ice bits.
Real Purpose of Wildflower Hunt: Drive all over Southern California on a lovely day and get away from people.
Route: 22 W to 5 North (stop in Fullerton for lunch) to 91 West to 605 N (avoid the 5 fwy between the OC county line and downtown LA like the plague) to 210 W to 5 N to 14 N to Ave I W (Lancaster Rd.) to Poppy Reserve to 138 W to Gorman Post Rd. to 5 N to Frazier Park W to Mt. Pinos back to 5 S to 210 E to 605 S to Dinner (Cerritos, Indian Food) to 91 E to 5 South to 22 E to Jen Home.

The truth of the matter is that Mom and I have a history of “just taking a small little drive” on a Sunday. Once we started in San Diego and ended up in Mammoth, Mom Husband #2 was not so pleased with us. Today’s drive was delightful, temps in the 60s (F), big clouds in the sky, the tail end of April post-rain wildflowers, the dog happily alert in the backseat, etc.
The best parts of the drive were all the poppies from west Lancaster to Gorman, the lupine & poppies on the hillsides of Gorman, and driving up to Mt. Pinos and seeing snow. When one lives in SoCal, snow is actually a fun sightseeing activity.
While at dinner at the Ashoka the Great, Mom said, “Today is the sort of thing that you ought to write about in your new blog. You know, going from City to Desert to Mountains back to City again.” Ever since I showed her Where is Raed, Mom really likes the idea of blogs, even though she doesn’t like to turn on her own computer….