Frankie as dragon

Again with the insanity

Yesterday I got yelled out for my handwriting not being clear enough.

Now, the funny thing about this is this: our handwriting is SO SIMILAR that everyone in the office gets our notes confused. I know my handwriting is not great, but I do my best to make it legible.

I also got yelled at for using a grease pencil to make crop marks on a proof. It was "too thick." There isn't anything else that writes on proofs, except sharpies, and since the proof was mostly black a sharpie wasn't gonna cut it.

Today I got reprimanded for not consulting with an editor before marking color. How do I know what the editor wants? She was indignant. I know what the editor wants--anything. She does not give a shit. I got yelled at for not looking at the lasers more closely. The lasers tell me nothing--how closely should I look at them? She couldn't yell at me for not looking at the files, because she's told me before I don't need to do that and that's why I don't have the proper software. Then she told me that we were a "team" and that I should show her everything (I do, because she insists on it) and if I have questions I should ask.

I told her I don't have any questions, BECAUSE I'VE BEEN DOING THIS JOB FOR 25 YEARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAS BEEN UNHAPPY WITH MY WORK. Then she claimed that maybe I didn't know about color. I reminded her that I spent two years as a scanner and color correction operator for a national magazine. Then she claimed that that experience didn't translate to marking up color for overseas vendors, and I responded with my years of experience at Art Direction Books, Raven Press, and Watson-Guptill. Then she got mad because she thought I was expecting her to remember my illustrious resume, which I was not. I was just defending myself. AND THEN and then and then. She claimed I must need help because I keep asking her to look at things, but I only do that because she insists.

She's just insane. There's no question about it.

Cartoons, Be More Funny!

I made the mistake of watching Sit Down, Shut Up last night, based on the fact that the voice talent was made up primarily of the cast of Arrested Development, a show I adore. Sadly, like every “adult” cartoon on Fox (and pretty much every place else) post-Futurama, it sucked. In fact, it was so bad that it made the episode of The Simpsons that followed it seem almost good. And we know it wasn’t.

Here I will explain to all who are involved in the cartoon funny business how to make a cartoon that people actually want to watch. There are only two rules, and they’re very simple!

Rule 1. If you are making a cartoon, there should be something about it that cannot be done in real life with real actors. Futurama, which I don’t love but don’t hate, follows this rule. It has a sentient crustacean and a girl with one eye. The Simpsons follows these rules too, at least back in the old days when Homer worked in the nuclear power plant. Does Homer work these days? He’s never there.

For prime examples of this rule, look at any episode of Ren and Stimpy. Not only are Ren and Stimpy sentient animals that live in a world populated with (mostly) people, watch what happens to Ren’s body when he gets angry. Also, don’t be afraid of cartoon violence. R+S, Simpsons and Futurama don’t shy away from this.

You can sometimes break rule one and still have a good cartoon, usually if you have compelling, cute, or interesting character designs or a strange animation style. For examples of this, see Home Movies and Dr Katz.

Rule 2. Be funny. It’s a friggin’ cartoon, people. If you’re doing a 30-minute sitcom format, it should be funny. I should be laughing and not looking for youtube movies during your show. There was no funny during Sit Down, Shut up (whose name should obviously be reversed, by the way). If you don’t know what funny is, I cannot help you. Go study with the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Frankie as dragon

Last Night's David Foster Wallace Dream

Dude, I'm never getting over this if you keep showing up in my dreams.

Anyway, I had a filing cabinet--a four-drawer metal thing. It was red and old-ish. I was looking for a place to put it in my small apartment that I shared with my RL boyfriend and some random guy. I figured I might as well empty it a little before I moved it. I opened the 2nd drawer from the bottom and it was filled with mail that people had sent DFW. Crazy drawings on lined paper, little cards and typed things. Oh, it made me so sad. I took out the file and was going through things on my bed. I was not at all surprised that Dave had his letters sorted and filed. It was sweet. There was obviously a lot of care put into the file. It made me very sad and I kind of slumped to the floor in resignation. What sort of horrible world did I live in that someone like this had to kill himself? Suddenly, I was ATTACKED BY THE BLANKET. Only I quickly realized it wasn't an attack--it was a hug. The blanket was hugging me hard as I sobbed, and I realized it was Dave making himself corporeal via the blanket. That kind of made me sadder, but also made me feel a little OK.

Later, I was telling my RL BF, my friend Andy R. (who I haven't seen in like 20+ years) and some random chick about the experience. The girl kept interrupting to tell us about how she was going to quit her job at the ad agency where she worked and steal the biggest clients, including the ACLU. She had a black pen that she left on the table, and it bled all over my hand. Why did she think that her ad agency job was more interesting than me being hugged by a blanket?

Later, I was skating around without skates, petting skinny dogs. The air reminded me of Florida at Christmastime--damp and temperate. There were puddles. I went home and some ladies came over for a party and brought some cats.

There are no spreads on this dick

The kids today, they show no initiative. Back in my day, if we didn’t know how to do something we were supposed to know how to do, we figured out how to do it ourselves. Here, at Ferret Limited International Publishing, what the kids like to do is pass their work on to me. I’ll get a forward from an editorial assistant that will say… NOTHING. Just a forward and the forwarded email will say something like “I need this file from you.” They send it over to me as if they are the bosses and I am their secretary, and they have no time to even explain what the hell this is about. At which point I have to go over to them and say, “Here, let me take you on a tour of the office. Here are the files! They’re in alphabetical order!”

I’ve had to show college graduates how to:
Add events to the Outlook calendar
Use an FTP program
Burn CDs
Sign for a package

I can understand how a 22 year old might not know how to fax something. But how does a person get through their life not knowing how to burn a CD?

Today’s annoying forwarded email had an explanation, probably because I got uber sarcastic on this person’s ass last time.

>> There aren't PDFs on the Leo dicks, any idea if I can find spreads anywhere else for Joe?
>> Thanks.

The “dicks” had application files, only when this particular person looks at a DVD and doesn’t see something that says .pdf, her brain breaks.

This particular person also ignores messengers when she’s passing by the un-manned front door. I think it’s more of a sense of entitlement than an actual inability to figure things out. It's too bad that no one here really cares what anyone does, except me. Not meaning that I care what they do, meaning that everyone cares what I do for some reason. It might be skin tone.

Crazy Dream

I dreamed that my boyfriend had a new girlfriend who was an artist and she was married and also had another girlfriend. So someone had the great idea that I should be the husband's girlfriend, because he was kinda bored and feeling left out and all (as was I). So we were all at the artist's apt waiting in her living room and I was waiting to meet the husband, and I was trying, in a lucid dreaming kind of way, to make him TV's Frank! But he wasn't. But after he came into the living room I thought to myself "Why didn't I try to make him Joel?"

There was more--geese and little Alice In Wonderland plates, and a mechanical cat, and a country club that sometimes turned its restaurant into an exercise room.

My boss is humorless

I sent out an email to a few people about the relative pluses and minuses of doing some very slight changes to a book to save some money. The savings were pretty small--about $850 spread over three titles. What I said in the email is, "It's not that much, but I'd pick it up off the floor."

I didn't think that warranted any sort of explanation.

my boss emails back, "I'm not quite following what this means, "I'd pick it up off the floor."

WHAT WHAT? I mean, heh, it's not "working on my night cheese" funny, but does it really need an explanation?

I realized yesterday that my boss does not ever make jokes, or laugh at my jokes, and I am HILARIOUS. OK, maybe no, but still, I expect to get a chuckle every so. She's not dour, but she doesn't seem to understand humor. So, I'm not surprised she didn't get it, but to call it out in a group email? Creepy.

Also, we had sales conference today, which meant CORPORATE MINI MUFFINS. I am a fan. But I only had one--that was silly of me. I don't get corporate mini muffins enough.

We got mold

I’ve been heavily involved in buying printing overseas for three years now. Previously, I bought most of my printing domestically, which has its own problems, but shipping usually isn’t one of them. Domestically, you just get a truck and the truck goes to your warehouse and that’s that. There’s some scheduling involved, and during the Great Truck Driver Shortage of 2005-2006, sometimes it was hard getting things from one place to another.

Overseas shipping is a whole ‘nother ballgame. There are export cartons, export pallets, containers, bug spray... it’s endless. And that’s just to hold the books. You need a freight forwarder and someone to handle your customs stuff, and then someone has to get the container at the port and open up and separate everything and then ship to the little warehouses. God forbid something is labeled ambiguously. I had a carton held up recently, a little thing from Hong Kong shipped Fed Ex that got held up in Alaska, where Fed Ex likes to keep strange packages due to its proximity to Russia. The Fed Ex person calls me on the phone and says, “I have a package here addressed to you, but it says, “Ferrets” on it.” I start laughing. It’s not a package full of weasels, as fun as that would be. It’s just that the name of our company has Ferret in the name, with Ferret being a stand in for another animal, or flora maybe. The person who shipped it, rather than putting, "Big Book of Nothing" in the reference field just put part of our name, much like I saw a friend of mine label a DVD of some youtube stuff "DVD."

A few weeks ago a container of my books got help up for special inspection at customs. I suspect it was because it was a cookbook named 20,009 Cupcakes. I’m sure they were very disappointed to find books.

But yesterday we got an email from the US warehouse saying that they got a bunch of our books and the cartons were very moldy. See photo above. I’m getting wheezy just looking at it. But I think this means that the cartons got moldy in the container. So someone took those things out of the container and put them on a truck like that?? Or maybe the entire container went to the warehouse. I prefer to think that.

No one is sure what the implications are. I was told this happened like six years ago, and there was a whole six months of assigning blame to figure out who would pay to reprint the books. Those books were damaged. We’re not even sure if these are damaged--I think everyone is afraid to open them. What if a giant mold monster pops out?
Frankie as dragon

My boss is the bat guano-est

So, Monday afternoon my boss calls over to me. “Did you respond to the email from Al?” Her tone is ominous, which is bizarre because like, hey—-Al? He’s just a sales dude, trying to sell me some printing, and not doing a very good job. Also, why does she know about an email that Al has sent me that I haven’t even gotten yet?

I immediately apple-K to get this important email, which says something like “Did you get my email this morning?” and I had not, but it was below, and what is said was something like “did I get the job?”

So, like wtf, Al? Why are you ccing my boss on an email like this? Because I didn’t respond to you right away? That’s weird because I had to ask you THREE TIMES for printed samples of work you’d done, and I also had to explain to you what a cover template was.

Let me give you the back story on this: I have this book I’m bidding out, and part way through the bidding process my boss said, “Hey, why don’t you try Al?” Sure I said, but I don’t know Al. Send me his deets. And she does, and I send Al the specs, and 3 days later I hear that he’s working on it, and 3 days or so after that I get a price, and it’s good! It’s better than anyone else’s, in fact. So I request a dummy and printed samples, and the dummy comes, and meanwhile I get another price from someone else, just as good. OK! So now I have a choice. I get a dummy from the other peeps, and the paper is cream, which I don’t want. I call them and say what the what and their sales dude says huh, that’s not right, and we discover that this is a bulking dummy made with the wrong paper, but he assures me that the stock is white white and he’ll send me a sample.

Meanwhile, I’ve told Al it’s between him and another printer. NORMALLY at this point Al should say, “hey, what can I do to make this mine?” but no. Silencio.

Meanwhile again I go to my boss and say what to do, do you have any opinion on this? Because I’ll give it to Al if you don’t. And she says NO GO WITH THE OTHER PEOPLE THEY WILL DO A BETTER JOB. They’re like 1 cent more. Very insignificant dif. But meanwhile, I’m still waiting for samples from Al, and the paper sample from the other people before I can really make a decision.

So I get the paper sample Monday, and it’s decided-—it goes to the other printer. The printing samples Al sent me were very inappropriate for the job—none on the paper I’ll be using, and all illos, when I’m doing photos.

Then I get the email, and the ominous question from the boss.

OBVIOUSLY Al’s trying to start trouble. And he has! So I’m really mad, but I just say to him, because it’s 5:10, the job has gone to another printer.

He emails me and ccs my boss AGAIN asking why.

Then SHE emails me and says something like “It’s helpful if you can give him some explanation.” Actually, that’s a quote.

So in the AM when I see this, I get mad. Because clearly she’s telling me how to write emails. Which she’s done before and is very annoying because her emails are terrible. There are a lot of CAPS for NO REASON. They’re very mommy.

We have it out-—I start by saying that Al had no right to cc her and not expect me to get mad about it and she said he ccs her all the time, but he doesn’t. We haven’t done a job with Al since 2004, so I don’t know how she would remember such a thing, she can't remember last week, and I wasn’t here then anyway. And then I say that he didn’t even give me an opportunity to respond, and anyway, he was more than a big fat slacker during this whole process and she goes, and I quote, “whatEVER.” Several times. Like this is 2000 and she’s 15.

Then she told me that I didn’t know how to write a professional email and she would tell me how to do it. OK whatever girl! I told her no, I could handle that part. Then of course, she says I need to tell him why we’re not working with him and I say you don’t want me to do that and she goes why and I go, “We’re not working with him because YOU said Printer B would do a better job.” And then she starts screaming about hardcover versions of this book, and that's why she didn't want to give it Al, and at that point I realize that SHE HAS LOST HER MIND. There is no hardcover version of this book.

And you know what? This book is stupid anyway.
Frankie as dragon

sweet sweet irony

This is irony, right? my 6-word story for smith's travel nightmares theme won.
That's not the irony.

The irony is that the judge is an author whose work I'm not particularly fond of, and the prize is a collection of her books.

Also, is up.

did some fake book covers!

I wrote about fan fic!

I liked The Invention of Air!

They didn't treat cats very well in the olden days :(

The 6 word memoir: Canadian police thought tic-tacs were drugs.