Posted in meandering, motivation

Designers vs. users vs. maintainers

I know this has 8 tons of application in computer/tablet/phone software, but that’s not where I’m going today.

What was this post inspired by?

Hotel bathrooms.

The lead photo is from our bathroom at a hotel we stayed at in California over the weekend. Two bath towels had already been used, so at presentation, there would have been four towels up there. Under the sink, there were two more full sets of towels available.

There were no hooks. Literally zero. Not on the walls, not on the back of the bathroom door, not near the shower, not near the sink. (I feel like this paragraph isn’t too many tweaks away from being Seuss-ish.)

That bar, where the hand towels and washcloths are, was the only place supplied to hang any wet towels.

Why?

Are people so gross that they don’t hang up wet towels?

Are people so [I don’t know what adjective] that they pull hooks out of the walls?

While this hotel was worse in this regard than most I’ve stayed at, I think maybe one ever had enough hooks or bars or anything for all the wet towels.

It wasn’t a high-end hotel. Was it just so cheap that they didn’t want to install hooks for wet towels? Did they used to have hooks but over time or with [undescribed] people, the hooks were removed and never replaced? Is it a design or a maintenance issue?

Inquiry minds want to know!

 

Posted in about me, meandering

I hate writing titles

I know they’re important. Really important. I get it.

Maybe I hate it because I’m not good at it.

But where does one go to get feedback or training on title-writing?

The only training I’ve had has talked about titles as a means of getting clicks (“Use numbers! Five ways to write great headlines!”), and I guess that’s part of it, but really, I just want a solid title that piques curiosity in people who sift past clickbait.

I’m not selling anything (including ads, etc.), so it’s just a matter of sharing. I take time to write, I think it’s generally interesting, and I’d like people to read (and maybe reply! I’d love to be able to spark conversations!).

Thousands of people? Not necessarily. (That feels stressful, but maybe it would be OK.)

Only my biggest fans are going to click through and read if the title is crap.

It’s like when Dustin Hoffman realized that he had been dismissing potentially interesting women because of how they looked. (See that interview clip here.)

So. As with many things, I do my best, and people click or they don’t, and on we go.

Posted in about me, differences, ebb & flow, meandering

The silly helpfulness of fortune cookies

The best fortune I ever got out of a cookie was over 30 years ago, and while I didn’t keep it, I remember it.

“Today is a good day to go moose hunting with a belly dancer.”

I haven’t received any that were nearly as entertaining in the intervening decades, though some came close when we added the requisite “in bed” at the end.

My brain seems to see things a little bit differently than many people. (I’m pretty sure this was part of my demise in marketing/advertising.) Besides my own experience (which, admittedly, is tainted with self-consciousness), over time, I’ve had a small steady stream of people, usually friends, mention it.

Typically, it’s labeled unique.

Sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse—like anything, really.

Anyway, most of the time, this isn’t on my radar at all. I go through life thinking what I’m thinking and seeing things as I see them, just like anyone else.

But sometimes, I feel unheard, or misunderstood, or dismissed. I feel significantly different.

Enter fortune cookies.

The photo is a small section of the cork board by my desk at home.

The top two fortunes (“Your observations are useful to others” and “Your candid approach is refreshing”) are helpful on days when I’m not feeling particularly useful or refreshing.

I don’t just see them and automatically change gears, but it is a reminder to step out of the present moment and find times when these things were true. Or that my observations are useful, they’re just not being used.

And the bottom one? “Your efforts will result in much profit.” Might as well go with it. Profit can mean a lot of things, and I’m happy to take tangible or intangible rewards.

So yeah. Even though fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco, they’re still sometimes fun and sometimes useful.

Posted in differences, meandering

Meanderings: sports, energy, deafness

We went to another Mercury game (WNBA) and there was so much energy in the arena.

Years ago, I went to a Suns playoff game and the space was loud 100% of the time.

Baseball games sometimes get there, when either something exciting happens or the game is high stakes or both.

And it got me to wondering if the energy comes through the noise. Would a person who is deaf experience the energy? Some of it is just being invested in the outcome, for sure, but not all of it. As a performer, noise is feedback, and it makes a difference.

Along similar lines, would an introvert who is deaf be less overwhelmed by that sort of event than an otherwise equal hearing person?

Yes, the noise creates vibration that can be felt, but not to the same extent, I would assume. Perhaps I assume wrong. Places my brain goes…

Posted in about me, meandering

Just a little silliness

This is the fourth time this has happened.

One of my eyelashes is really long.

Just one.

I don’t know what makes this happen, but I get a disproportional amount of joy from my long eyelash.

People try to pull it off to prevent it from falling into my eye, thinking it’s one that fell out and got stuck in the other lashes.

When it curls down, I can see it.

I tried to take a picture so you could see it, too, but it didn’t work.

I have no idea why it grows like that, why it doesn’t always grow like that, if it’s always the same lash (or even over the same eye—I don’t remember), or why it’s so delightful.

But it is, so I’ll go with it.

Joy in the little things. Even if they’re really weird.

Have a great weekend!