Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Wish

"The flower said
I wish i was a tree
The tree said
I wish i could be
A different kind of tree
The cat wished that it was a bee
The turtle wished that it could fly
Really high into the sky
Over rooftops and then dive
Deep into the sea"

"And in the sea there is a fish
A fish that has a secret wish
A wish to be a big cactus
With a pink flower on it
And in the sea there is a fish
A fish that has a secret wish
A wish to be a big cactus
With a pink flower on it"

"And the flower
Would be its offering
Of love to the desert
And the desert
So dry and lonely
That the creatures all
Appreciate the effort"

"And the rattlesnake said
I wish i had hands so
I could hug you like a man
And then the cactus said
Don't you understand
My skin is covered
With sharp spikes
That'll stab you
Like a thousand knives
A hug would be nice
But hug my flower
With your eyes" (--Antsy Pants, Tree Hugger)

I think this song is great, because I think everyone can relate to it. I'm sure that everyone at one time or another, maybe even still today has wished they had someone else's life. Like this song shows it's really just one endless cycle where ironically even the persons life that you view as "the perfect life" also wishes he had someone else's life. It's sad that so many of us waste so much time in our lives wishing for something different then what we are already blessed with. When really we should all just be grateful for the life we are currently blessed with.

So anyways, I watched Juno this past weekend and LOVED it, the script was unique and honest in my opinion. What made the movie even better was how perfect the soundtrack fit each and every scene helping tell the story. I enjoyed it so much that I have been listening to the soundtrack both in my car and at work every day this week.

I've heard a few people say the movie was a bit crude, and I've heard others tell me flaws in the messages it is seeming to spread concerning teenage pregnacy, I don't really agree with either critique, to me the characters where honest and believable rolls. The character of Michael Cera especially was one that I, as a shy awkward person can relate to. The movie evenly distrubtes doses of drama sprinkled with humor. It truly shows how to turn lemons into lemonade!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Join Us For A Splash!

Tuesday night I decided to stay up till 2:00 am designing a small website to help get the word out that their is this cute little girl living in our house that is turning 3 next month. So for the past month or so she is endlessly talking about her birthday party and how all of her friends are gonna come over, and they are gonna go swimming, and they are gonna eat cake! Last night when I got home from work she asked me if I wanted to come play birthday party with her in her room. So sure enough I squeezed myself into this small little princess tent we have set up in her room, and we pretended to eat cake and play, until my legs began to cramp and I got too claustrophobic and I had to break out.

Anyways so I actually designed a little invite, and the original plan (like always) was to actually mail those bad boys out to friends and family. However we are terrible at this, infact it's quite embarrassing and Heather may kill me for saying this but we didn't send out one single thank you card from our wedding. Also in the past I have designed a Christmas card every year since we have had Hannah, and also I believe I have made a birthday invite every year as well. It should be no surprise to any friends reading who didn't recieve them because we never actually mailed them, instead we hand a few out and everyone else just receives an email or a phone call. So to change things up a bit, and the fact that we really want to know how many people are planning on showing up, so we REALLY need people to RSVP us, I designed this website with 40 something photos all taken through out this last year.

So click on the photo above or here, and check out the mini site, and if you are interested in celebrating another year of life while swimming and eating a little cake, then go ahead and RSVP via the contact form on the website.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Practice Cafe 2008

If you recall in April 2007 I wrote a post mentioning how I had helped redesign the Practice Cafe website. Soon after that site was launched we quickly began to realize that the site had many limitations and flaws. The way the site was designed, was not conducive to a lot of growth and there wasn't much flexibility. At the time I was still learning how to design webpages and I did the best I could with the knowledge I had. One of the main flaws of the old site was that it was not very accessible as a website should be. not only that but we realized their was a lot of things we as a company wanted our website to do and say that it wasn't doing, and it was too hard to get it to do those things without redesigning it all together.

So back in July 2007 we decided to start refreshing our site. The last time we tried to do it way too quickly and therefore the site had far too many mistakes. so this time we decided we were going to take it slower and really think it through. After discussing the specific goals we needed the site to achieve I came up with a rough design for the site, shown above (click on the image to view a larger version).

However after further discussion we realized that I wasn't looking at this opportunity as giving myself a blank canvas. This design was only a slight modification of the old site, and I think I was trying to hold on to too many elements of the old flawed site. Another flaw to this design was that we wanted to have the entire waitress still standing to the side on every page of the website, since she has become one of the ways many people recognize our company. So I decided to start fresh, and I came up with a second idea for the website, shown above (click on the image to view a larger version).

Still this new idea didn't seem to really accomplish everything we had in mind. So we began to start to make several tweeks. One major problem was that we wanted the waitress to be one of the first things you saw on every page without having to scroll. We also needed her to be standing on the red checkered floor. So we finally came to a solid design which met all of our goals, at least on a graphics level.

So then we had a team meeting during lunch where we came up with a strong sitemap for the site. In the meeting we discussed in detail the goals we had for our site as far as content was concerned. We came to the conclusion that we wanted our website to be more educational, and informative. We wanted the site to be extremely user friendly, and accessible. Another goal was for our site to be better optimized for search engines.

At the end of that meeting we set a goal to launch the new site in April 2008. So 47 pages later I am happy to now say that the new site has been launched and is happily in it's natural habitat on the world wide interweb here. Please feel free to follow the link and visit the site, and please tell me what you think of the site?

I have to say that this website was very much a collaborative effort, so although most of the design and coding was done by myself, it was only after a lot of brainstorming and other discussions with Joel. Also Angie took on the job of writing and preparing almost all of the copy for the website, and I have to say she did a very beautiful job. She really turned the site into a very educational and informative site. Shara also helped write and prepare the case studies, and all of the partner pages of the website and did an equally fabulous job. Then as a team we all took turns reading, re-reading, and searching the site to catch as many mistakes as we could find and fixing them all the way up until the last moment when I was given the "OK" to set the refreshed site FREE on Thursday April 17, 2008.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Solid Gold

I received a Veer's Solid Gold catalog at work a week or so ago. I usually get these things and quickly flip through them and enjoy all the nice stock photos, "cool stuff for creatives," and in the back they always have a selection of fonts I usually just check the fonts out and wish I could have some of them. I never actually read anything written in them, however this time I actually read some of the paragraphs they had written as fake articles to show off some of the fonts, after breaking out in laughter I began a closer investigation through out the entire catalog and I found a few good ones.

"Guitar legend Dickie Avery announced at a press conference that he and estranged bandmate Philip McCoy will reunite for a concert in Central Park. The duo, whose hits included "Wishing on Stars," "The Love Triangle," and "That Old Hat of Mine, " split in 1978, citing artistic differences. When pressed about the odd timing of the reunion, Avery defended his decision, "Just because Phil has been dead for 10 years doesn't mean we can't reconcile our differences. He never added much anyway."

"Central City (March 20, 2008) - Obscure hip hop artist Owen Daniels, known to a small group of fans as The 10th Wonder, was treated for minor injuries following an altercation with himself outside a downtown nightclub Saturday morning. Though there were not paparazzi on hand to capture the incident, Daniels contacted local media with a statement, "Nobody disrespects me and gets away with it. I've always been my own harshest critic. so then it was on."

Local vintage vinyl shop thriving

"They're celebrating at Spindustrial Revolution, the independantly owned record shop. Despite a poor location and low foot traffic, owner Shaun Watts maintains that his business is a success. "Technically we do record sales every month."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Quite the Imagination

So Saturday morning I am laying on the couch with Hannah laying beside me. I'm watching TV and Hannah is munching away on a strawberry pop-tart when all of a sudden I start to here Hannah having a conversation with her pop-tart that went something like this.

Hannah: "Mmmmm, Armf! Armf! Armf!" (that is chomping sounds by the way.)
Pop-tart (In a higher pitched voice): "No! Don't eat me!" as her little hand shakes the pop tart from side to side.
Hannah: "Mmmmm, Armf! Armf! Armf!"

Hannah has been doing really good with her potty training. You might even be able to say that she is already trained. A funny thing we noticed this weekend is whenever I'm around she yells for me to come into the bathroom and sit on the edge of the tub beside her and she talks to me the whole time she is peeing or pooping. However if Heather is around and tries to walk in on her in the bathroom she yells at her saying, "NOOOO! Go check your e-mial!"

It's the funniest thing in the world, she did it again in the middle of the night last night before she went to sleep, and she yelled from her room that she had to go pee, so Heather went to get her out of bed and stuck her head into the bathroom and that is what Hannah yelled to her, and everytime Heather would peek back in the door to check up on her she would repeat the same command.

Hannah has done so well that although we put a pull up on her when she takes a nap and goes down for the night she continuously wakes up dry as can be.

So let's get some Hi-Fives all around for Hannah! (A virtual Hi-Five can be given by way of a comment if you so chose.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lifting Spirits

If you are like me and you need something to pick your spirits up after watching UNC lose to Kansas. Especially since the first half UNC forgot to show up to the game. I mean seriously like five minutes into the game I was searching my remote for a reset button. The second half they finally decided to play and came within five but then for some strange reason they decided to make a change in their defense, even though I've always lived under the philosophy that if it aint broke DON'T fix it.

Either way Lykke Li should make you feel a little better, cause that girl CAN SING! But seriously try to get a hold of the actual version, this is a live acoustic version, the version on her album is MUCH better.

Check her out here or here.