Monday, December 18, 2006

What I’ve Been Doing

Well, my life has been busy and unusually complicated these last few months. Certainly there are people in this world who have lives busier than mine, whose every waking moment may be consumed by issues of unparalleled importance, and on whose shoulders rest matters of universal interest; there are people, I may even suppose, whose slightest whim or decision can affect the lives of millions; but, as I am not an NFL head coach, I can’t make such a claim. Yet even so, I can still say I have been feeling particularly tried and tested of late.

There have been a couple “family emergencies” I’ve had to deal with, and last September I rashly volunteered to become the chapter leader of a support group for stutterers which turned out to be more work than I planned on at the worst possible time. However, the main cause for my distress has been the production of a school book publisher’s catalog that simply will not die. The original deadline for it to go to the printer was just before Thanksgiving, but now the “drop dead” date has been moved to December 22. Our client, the notorious Ms. Smith, coiner of the phrase “I’d rather get shot,” is at it again, making my life miserable. It’s been one headache after another. At one point, Ms. Smith was even hospitalized for exhaustion. But as we stand poised near the denouement of this grand, overdrawn tragicomedy, I find myself with a moment to breathe and an opportunity to offer to my two or three readers actual comments Ms. Smith has written on layout proofs we have submitted to her. These are unedited words of criticism taken directly from the pen of Herself. Enjoy.

“Did someone who hasn’t seen the rest of the catalog design this section?”

“This spread is very poorly done. Please spend some time designing this — let me know if you need direction.”

“This looks empty and boring. Please work on design and layout. The page is not well laid out.”

“The flow on this page does NOT work. Please spend time laying out this spread.”

“I’d prefer you take more time to design something than to give me a spread like this. It’s frustrating.”

“This layout is very poorly done. Please spend some time making this page and spread attractive and balanced.”

There’s more, but you get the idea…

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Not Dead Yet

For those fearing for the health of your old pal Schprockie and wondering if the Grim Reaper has paid the dear old fellow a visit, I am as robust as ever. My overlong silence has not been due to injury or death, but rather because of a severe shortage of time. So many things have converged upon me at once that, in order to meet all the demands, harsh measures were called for. When there is a battle at sea, and a frigate finds itself obliged to speed away from a man o’ war, having first spread all its canvas and still seeing itself in danger of being overtaken, it is the wise captain who lightens his ship by pitching things overboard. Sometimes the heaviest items are of the most value; however, in the last extremity, they can only be burdens. First the cannons are heaved into the sea, which surely pains the captain; then the barrels of grog go next, doubtlessly grieving the crew; but if, in the end, the frigate can make its escape and live to fight another day, then the jettisoning of such valuables is justified. So, in this way, like a dutiful captain, I found myself compelled to toss my blog into the drink.

Things are still very busy for me and I can neither promise regular posts nor regular visits to the blogs of those who favor me with their kind attention. I suppose if there ever was a natural time to end a blog, this would be it, but I have hopes that my life won’t continue to be so nutty, and I can once again abuse the English language in such a painful and public way.