I Remember Mama
TODAY IN 2000 the lady who brought me into this life left it.
Pneumonia was listed as the cause of death, but she was really killed by Alzheimer’s, a disease that, to all intents and purposes, had already taken her life back in 1993. What died in 2000 was not my mother, although I mourned her again when her body finally passed, and I was shocked by the depth of pain I felt at her demise. I thought I had already grieved for her during the seven years of her mental and spiritual extinguishment.
My mother was a natural comedian. If you’ve seen Woody Allen in a movie—particularly the early, funny ones—you’ve met her, in a way. The comedy was a defense against a despair she could never shake—because of what happened to her father, because of what happened to the boy she loved when she was a teenager, because because.
My mother loved her children more than anything, which is a big reason I love myself and can love others.
If there is a heaven, she is in it, and if she is in it, she is surprised and pissed off and complaining.
My mother never met my daughter, but I am startled by the ways my daughter sometimes reminds me of the grandmother she never knew.
Filed under: glamorous
Not a Thing in Texas
6:00 AM, AUSTIN. My nine-year-old vegetarian daughter just phoned from New York to inform me that matzo ball soup is made with chicken broth. She has just learned this fact, and wanted me to know so I wouldn’t accidentally eat food made from animals while I’m away. I thanked her and assured her that matzo ball soup is not a thing in Texas.
AN EVENT APART Chicago—a photo set on Flickr. Pictures of the city and the conference for people who make websites.
Notes from An Event Apart Chicago 2013—Luke Wroblewski’s note-taking is legendary. Here are his notes on seven of the ten presentations at this year’s An Event Apart Chicago.
#aeachi—conference comments on Twitter.
Chicago (Foursquare)—some of my favorite places in the city.
An Event Apart Chicago—sessions, schedule, and speaker bios for the conference that just ended.
AEA Chicago 2013 on Lanyrd—three days of design, code, and content on the social sharing platform for conferences.
A handful of seats are available for the final event of the year, An Event Apart San Francisco at the Palace Hotel, December 9–11, 2013. Be there or be square.
Filed under: An Event Apart, architecture, Best practices, Chicago, cities, Code, creativity, Design, Designers, glamorous, IXD, mobile, Mobile, Multi-Device, Standards, State of the Web, Usability, User Experience, UX, Web Design, Web Standards, Working, Zeldman
ME: Why’s your girlfriend’s sweater on the back of your chair?
MALE OFFICE MATE 1: It’s my sweater.
MALE OFFICE MATE 2: He’s Metrosexual.
ME: I experimented with that in college.
Filed under: glamorous
Dog Day Morning
THE DOGS leave today.
While my ex has been away this month, I’ve watched her two small dogs. And so have my two cats—especially the black alpha. Add an active eight year old girl to that menagerie and you have 34 busy but blissful days.
That time ends now.
This morning my daughter and the dogs shuffle off to her mother’s apartment, where her grandparents will take loving care of them all.
I mark the occasion by packing my bag for Boston and clearing away a last wet wee wee pad.
Funny the things you can get sentimental over.
Response to an anonymous note left on my apartment door, complaining of noise.
While my ex-wife is in treatment for a serious illness, I am watching her two small young dogs.
They get along well with my two cats and soothe my young daughter during her mother’s absence.
I am sorry that the dogs sometimes bark when I am at work. They are probably somewhat afraid.
The dogs will only be with us for a few more days. God willing, my ex will complete her in-patient treatment early next week.
I apologize for the noise during the day, and thank you for your patience and understanding.
Filed under: glamorous
And now for something completely different
IN THESE PAGES I have written on many subjects, but I never expected my ass to be one of them. The untimely passing last year of Hillman Curtis changed that.
Hillman was a friend, an inspiration, an artist admired by many designers and filmmakers. Over a brief but luminous career, he invented himself first as a songwriter in a touring post-punk band, then as an art director and eventually the design director of Macromedia (and Flash evangelist Numero Uno), next as the founder of a boutique design studio and the author of design books that have sold over 150 thousand copies—a staggering achievement in an industry where cracking 10,000 copies sold makes you a rock star.
He was a generous mentor and pal to the digital design community, perpetually sharing his insights and enthusiasm, and encouraging others to do and be everything they could be. If you needed studio space, he would find you a desk. If you were low on funds, he would help you land a suitable gig. Hillman and I worked on a couple of projects together when I first founded Happy Cog. The jobs went well and the work was good. He was a supportive and honorable design director.
Hillman’s final public creative incarnation was as a filmmaker. He is probably best known for his “Artist Series” about designers including Milton Glaser and Paula Scher, and artists David Byrne and Brian Eno.
Even his personal life was inspiring. He had two children and a wife, and the love in that beautiful family could be seen a mile away.
Colon cancer took Hillman from us on April 18, 2012. He was only 51.
I don’t know if Hillman’s cancer could have been prevented with a simple screening, but I know a colonoscopy is recommended for most men and women when they reach a certain age, and I know I love my daughter very much.
And so, this morning, for her sake and per my doctor’s recommendation, I set aside feelings of embarrassment and fears of discomfort and had the test.
It’s really not bad. There’s no pain, it takes only a few minutes, and you’re unconscious.
This post may cross a taste line for some readers; sorry about that. I’m also sorry this page won’t help you write better HTML or sharpen your collaborative skills. But I love you and would like you to stick around.
Worst Snow Ever
WORST snow ever. If you are eight and want to play. Because it has already melted. Climate change, you suck the Charlie Brown out of this world.
Filed under: glamorous
The Theme Line of Dr Moreau
I DREAMED I was designing an identity system for the mad scientist Dr Moreau, who kept changing his ridiculously long theme line after I’d arranged the type. “No, no, no! I’m not saving life, I’m creating it!”
Red All Over
ALL I REMEMBER from my dream is flushing a red towel down the toilet. It was evidence of some crime. There was a moment of horror, midway through, when it seemed that the towel would get jammed in the pipe, requiring the services of a plumber—whom I would then have to kill, because he knew too much.