May 5, 2004

Requiem for Ra

Augh. I realized today that it’s been nearly two months since I’ve done anything more physically demanding than walking up a flight of stairs, and I’m really starting to feel it mentally. I feel like I’ve been slowly rotting away the last few weeks, that I’ve become increasingly bitter and crabby and sulky. I mean damn, I’m acting like I’m in college again. My body is on the brink of being completely healed (falls in gravel pits and attempts at snowboarding notwithstanding), so soon enough I’ll be able to pull this wreck around and quit being such a sour-puss. Honestly, there’s no excuse for this. It’s spring time in Bend, it ain’t forty below, and I didn’t shot a man. Johnny Cash has no words for this.

My injury did give me the opportunity to really focus on improving my skills at web design, and as a result I’ve pretty much maxxed out what I can learn about HTML and CSS. Hand me any design and I can probably slice it up and make it work. Quickly. Consistently. In Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla and Firebird. If I had a Macintosh testing station at my disposal, well, I could probably make these things work in there as well. Anyways, ya gotta start somewhere, and now I’ve got a pretty good head start.

So really, in the absence of other pursuits I’ve become a markup code monkey, and the upshot of this is that there is surprisingly little I still need to learn about hypertext and stylesheets. This is quite neat, as it frees my hands to delve deeper into learning Flash, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL, but it’s also frustrating in that I now find working with HTML and CSS, well, kinda boring. While my coding is far from perfect and will no doubt evolve as I continue to learn more about things I currently can’t even fathom, I’m already writing better code than 90 percent of the people out there.

I say this not to be boastful, but to shine light on a benchmark in my growth as a web designer. To keep this thing interesting in the future, I’m gonna need to dig into some areas that I haven’t had an opportunity to explore up until this point… more graphic design work, more experimentation with scripting, interacting with databases, a dash o’ Flash, DHTML, etc.

Really, it all comes down to learning new things. Thanks to the last few months I can now write happy code, drive a stick shift, shoot a rifle, and do my own taxes. I’ve also got a few plans to keep myself busy over the next few months, which include hitting up the singletrack on my new Specialized, getting back on my kiteboard, leading climbs at Smith, tinkering with FreeBSD, and learning how to play the bass guitar. Down the road I plan on dropping out of high school, hooking up with a shitty punk band, touring the country, and becoming addicted to heroin and whores.

Last night Simon threw a going-away kegger for himself. We had a bonfire in his back yard. I got drunk and used my outside voice. I toasted a marshmallow with my bare hands. The cops showed up three times.