Almost a year has passed since my last post on the MB. To say I have been focused on other things might be more of an understatement than when General Custer uttered, “Where did all these Indians come from?”
What have I been up to, you ask?
Making Babies. The wife and I are expecting a girl child at the end of March. I am studying my Disney princesses and learning how to braid hair.
Fathering The Boy. His obsessions with Spider-Man and trains are either legendary or emotionally damaging. He also has a penchant for stripping naked in the middle of the night and yelling at his stuffed animals.
Broz Design-ing. I have entered year three and may have to let go of some of my control issues and hire some help.
I am drinking copious amounts of coffee and occasionally sleeping. Every so often I will wipe the crust from eyes and emerge from the design bunker to kiss the wife, play a hockey game and have a whiskey.
I have been a creative juggernaut this past year. I will be uploading a smattering of essays in the coming months that I am hoping to piece together someday into a book. I am currently getting my Rembrandt on and painting a self-portrait. Finally, I am back posting to the MB once again. Bestiality links will be imminent.
When I started the MB back in 2000, my original intent was to showcase my resume and minuscule design portfolio. I had just made the transition from print design to web design and thought the purchase of the domain name would motivate me to learn more about designing and maintaining websites. It did.
In 2002, the MB transitioned from a professional showcase to a personal one. I started posting about all manner of nonsense, because, in case you have not realized by now, I have a lot to say about a lot of shit. In 2002 there was no Facebook. No Twitter. No MySpace. No news feeds. It actually took some doing to track down links and write about them. I was happy to do this because my job was mind-numbing and management at the data slaughterhouse had no idea what the hell I was up to. Soon, links, emails and IMs started flooding in from the likes of Jake, Michael, DJ, Kaye, Monica, CH, Gay Joe and Mark. Boredom loves company? I was happy to be posting regularly as it fueled my passion for creativity in ways that my career was not.
Enter Broz Design in November 2008 and my posting to the MB fizzling out. Maybe its because I am fulfilled professionally? Or because I would rather hang out with my kid than waste my time posting about a guy that got fucked to death by a horse? Or maybe it is time to take the MB into a new direction? I go with the latter. I have always dreamed about writing the Great American Novel but am no closer to that goal than I was last year. My New Years resolution for 2010 is to start using the MB to focus more on actually writing a book and get some ideas out into the ether. It may not lead to anything other than me doing what I have been wanting to do for some time and that is fine. It is not like you want to read about a horse fucking a guy to death, anyway. Right?
Me: Thanks for the Xmas card. Tanya: You are welcome. Me: I teared up a little because it was so nice. Tanya: Teared up on the inside, right? Because tearing up on the outside would make you gay. Me: Yes. I bury all my emotions deep inside because otherwise I would be gay. I would rather drink through my emotional issues and kill a kid in a crosswalk DUI style then talk about my feelings. Tanya: Sounds like the manly thing to do. Me: Indeed.
Jake’s post got my juices flowing regarding my “career.” While I am overjoyed I no longer have to answer questions like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” in employment reviews to people who have no right to judge my design abilities in the first place, I will play along with the question for just this post.
So, where do I want to be five years from now?
Simple; still walking the path of fulfillment. I want to be able to choose the work I want to take on. I want to understand the direct correlation between cause and effect. I want to be a single point of failure. I want my clients to be happy with the work I have done for them and be successful because of it. In short, I want to be exactly where I am today. Whether it be designing websites or writing the Great American Novel or shoveling mule shit. For the first time in my life I can say I am satisfied. I am satisfied without being rich, having a really bitchin’ car or a loveless house in some wasteland suburb. I think that is the definition of success.
I am happy I committed to Broz last November. From a guy who has been laid off and fired more than most, I can tell you that offering to cut your own salary will do little other than show your employer you have no pride left. If anything, it makes you look desperate and afraid.
I take more risks with my income than most. There is no guarantee when my next pay check will arrive. My retainer clients may decide to cut losses and terminate their contracts tomorrow. Yet in spite of all this, I am happier than I have ever been professionally. I have always refused (sometimes at my own peril) to justify to anyone why my skills and abilities are indispensable. If my work did not speak for itself or it went about unnoticed, than I do not want to work for you.
My employment missteps have led me to where I am today. I am flourishing. I do not have to wear pants to work. I am making enough money to keep diapers on the boy. I would rather fail on my own that be somebody’s puppet. I do not like anyone’s hand up my ass, be it metaphorically or literally.
Last Monday my boss and I had a Come-To-Jesus chat regarding my complete lack of enthusiasm for my current position. While I informed him my lack of passion did not hinder me from going through the motions (just ask my ex-girlfriend She Who Will Not Be Named), I did acknowledge that I was completely burnt out. Many factors led to my burnout; frequent late paychecks, a complete lack of any tangible project process (i.e. massive undertakings were given one line explanations like “Client Center back-end development: 36 hours”), lack of established deadlines and milestones (other than early 2008 or late 2008), non-payment of contractors/vendors and a general malaise regarding client/vendor relationships. I was issued an ultimatum to decide by that Friday whether or not I wanted to stay with the company. When Friday rolled around, I quit, packed up all my shit and went over to DJ’s house to get drunk and play poker (in a rare Ex-Data Slaughterhouse Employees Game victory, I took home $60). After a tumultuous career path over the past three years, I am finally growing some balls and committing full-time to Broz Design. I have already nabbed two and a half retainer clients (the other half happening once I get off my ass and draw up a contract) that will pay me more all while working less and living the pants-free dream. My pregnant wife is thankfully awesome and supportive of my pursuits and deserves a new Lexus once I start rolling in the dough. It is either that or we will be selling our unborn child on the Mexican black market to make ends meet. Wish me luck either way.
At the HOW Design Conference, I learned some new tricks, saw some awesome design work and ate deep-dish pizza and drank numerous beers with friend/former coworker Michael. I cannot wait to get back to work with renewed creative enthusiasm only to have it crushed in a matter of seconds when I am given four pages of copy and told to “make it work” on a one-sided direct mail postcard.
Caught a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The future wife and I soon discovered that our alcohol tolerance is much higher in the Midwest that at altitude. I spent the entire game covered in sweat due to high humidity and a broken air conditioner on the El-Train ride out to the game that was packed butts to nuts.
Visited the Art Institute of Chicago and saw some amazing work (Picasso, an orgy of impressionism) and some atrocious work (minimalism and American Gothic). Best quote while looking at the Georgia O’Keeffe collection: “She is very vaginal.”
The future wife and I took a beautiful sunset architectural tour of Chicago.
Visited future in-laws in Eugene, Oregon. I found out that Eugene is almost identical to Boulder, minus the sex assaults, random rioting and the Flat Irons.
Animal House was filmed at the University of Oregon so the future wife’s cousin took us on the Animal House tour at U of O, showing us the infamous frat house (currently vacant) and the cafeteria where the food fight scene took place.
Drove up the Oregon coast on Highway 101 that is incredible for scenery, shitty for traffic and great for fried seafood joints.
Spent three days in Long Beach, Washington in the heart of Lewis and Clark Country. We did the tours of various Lewis and Clark outposts, forts and landings, learned that the proper pronunciation of Sacagawea is Sa-caca-we-ah and ate a cut of fresh fish the size of our heads in Oysterville, Washington.
The closest I got to the ocean was dipping my feet in the 42-degree water. The oceans surrounding the Columbia River are some of the roughest and most treacherous in the world. Mix that in with the fact they are as cold as an Eskimo’s vagina so swimming is not ideal (unless you are white trash parents laying out on towels “watching the kids play in the water” while smoking cigarettes).
Sidenote: After months of procrastination and toil, I finally got Broz Design up.