Get Rich Quick Scheme #432 – The Bar Laundromat

>> I wrote this post in April 2013 and somehow didn’t publish it. Seize the day! Today. For publishing a blog from another time… A simpler time. 

I stumbled upon some notes from 2005 the other day. Notes just 8 years old, yet they transported me to another place, another time.

I had just started this blog. I was working as a temp doing odd jobs. And I was dreaming.

A lot.

One of my dreams was to own a Bar/Laundromat. The slash was a key ingredient; when discussing the plans with friends it was always pronounced “the-bar-slash-laundromat.” Never just “bar-landromat.” The Bar-slash-Laundromat. Continue Reading

the votes are in

Last Friday I asked y’all for your honest feedback about my new design.

I got four wonderfully truthful critiques (I LOVE CRITIQUES) and one very positive thumbs up (I LOVE FLATTERY) on my current, horizontal design.

Here it is for posterity, photographed on my big, spacious designer monitor where it looks really nice if I do say myself:

It also looks super hot on iphones and ipads (I think).  ANYWAY, I am totally one hundred percent convinced that this foray into pushing the boundaries of web design to the limits was a total waste of time.  I’m salivating over a new, sexy, vertical design so much that it’s painful to update this website as is.

I feel the need to defend this design a little bit.  Or myself.  I had just gone to WordCamp and gotten all these new skills that I needed to put into action IMMEDIATELY.  One of them is the little diary photos at the beginning of each Diary Project post and that I never got working right in Internet Explorer (made possible in Firefox, Chrome and Safari by “pseudo elements”; thank you Chris Coiyer, awesome speaker and geeky blogger).  Check them out on the post to the right (or below) but again, not if you’re running IE.

Sara Cannon taught me about responsive web design in which a website actually changes it’s layout depending on the size of the window.  I should make a video for this. OK, fine, here’s a video:

The last design iteration of got painful too.  I’m so sick of looking at those clouds.  And I realized that a sorta ex-friend was referring to the clouds when she was criticizing my “pixelated graphics” the other year.  We all have our axes to grind.

It’s interesting to me how much I love to update this website when I love the design and how much I hate doing it when I don’t.  I tell this to my clients — “When you have a website you love, you love updating it.”

Photo taken August 21st, 2011, before the horizontal scrolling action took over.

It’s so true.  And this is one of the greatest things about WordPress.  You can dramatically alter the look and feel of a website just by flipping a switch.  What’s that?  You’d like to know where you can get a sexy WordPress website?  Check me out over at Artsy Geek.

And now I’m off to develop my new theme on one of my testing ground websites and will go live with it as soon as I’ve tunneled to the bottom of my pile of volunteer and client work. I can hardly wait.

Jennifer Heller Megalomaniac

I have been searching, searching, searching for the right name for this blog.

Historical Sidenote: From 2005 to 2008(?), this blog was hosted on blogger and called “Ought Never Be Daunted,” a reference to a scene in The Sun Also Rises where Jake is not as drunk as Brett is, but Brett urges Jake in those words that it’s not too late to catch up. How awesome is that?

Since I moved those posts over here and gave up all claim to anonymity, I have been calling this site “Jennifer Heller dot com,” knowing full well how lame it was, but at a loss for anything better.

These past few weeks I’ve been giving this site something of a face-life in my spare time, and I kept hoping to come up with a name for the site that would express its mission: Fun, Friends and Hilarity.

We toyed with “Jennifer Heller Fun Friends Hilarity.” But the glaring lack of punctuation was a non-starter.

And then yesterday, Sue pointed out that I am pretty much a megalomaniac. A megalomaniac!! I loved it! I couldn’t spell it but I loved it.

I looked it up, just in case I didn’t really understand what it meant. Which it turned out I didn’t. Merriam-Webster definies megalomania as:

1: a mania for great or grandiose performance
2: a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur

Number two made me LOL. As did my new header graphic, which I’ll record again here in case it changes in the future:

Are there enough Jens in this graphic? Is it creepy??

So what do you think?  Is “Jennifer Heller Megalomaniac” not the perfect title for someone who spends her spare time betraying the secrets of her youth and planning extravagant birthday parties?  Isn’t any blogger something of a megalomaniac at heart?  Does it make you LOL??  And isn’t it really freaking hard to spell???

the truth of the matter is

I had a wonderful 17 days wandering around and having adventures with Will.

I came home, had a whirlwind-back-at-work 4th of July weekend and week after before heading out to Colorado for my grandmother’s postponed memorial and ashes scattering.

I’d never scattered any ashes before.

My grandmother had a computer. It was large and boxy and took up half of the room I used to sleep in with the water bed. She used it to write, as I often use mine to. She never had to use her computer to work.

Whether I’m writing or working or having fun with art, most of the time it’s at the computer. And it’s hard to work at the computer all day, every day. It was hard to come back to a life like that after walking for 6+ hours a day and exploring and swimming when I felt like it. Continue Reading

I hate routines

I want to live life by the seat of my pants. I want to do whatever it is I want to do every day.

And at the same time I want to be fairly fit and run an awesome blog (or two) and two businesses and one day have a baby. Those things take a routine.

My opposing desires are glaring at each other from across a cavernous divde. The sky is red, their eyes yellow. Who will win? Continue Reading

So you want to be a blogger?

I received an email from a friend of mine with an extremely unique point of view on the world.  I’ve been encouraging him to get a blog for awhile.  All through our college days, he collected followers to the point where people joked he should start his own religion.  A born blogger!  He asked me some tough questions about blogging.

(1)I noticed you have advertisements on your site but they are for non-tacky items.  Can you select what kind of ads go on your site?

The ads that I have on are for services or products that I actually use.  I’m signed up as an affiliate and should someone make a purchase, I make a commission.  I have made $0. So, yes, I chose them, and made the effort to add them to my site.
Continue Reading

Help me entertain you!

I spent kind of a lot of time analyzing my Google Analytics last night. As you can see from the graph above, the number of visitors has skyrocketed ever since May of last year. That was when I released the Diary Project, where I share my journal entries exactly 18 years after they happened, and is also when I started paying attention to my blog almost every day.

On my best day, I had 89 visitors!  Maybe in 2011, we’ll see a day with a 100!

I am honored that you are here today, and that perhaps you have visited in the past. Over the past year, I’ve had 4,621 visits and 2,336 unique visitors.  Those can’t all be my mom! Continue Reading

My Theme Song

I realized last week what my dream is. I’ve been planning all these crazy videos for so long, and pumping so much time and energy into my blog… but I didn’t understand how it all comes together to make me happy. Honestly, sometimes it just feels like a bunch of work. But this past week when I have actually been devoting myself to my videos, I have felt continually creatively satisfied. It has been an amazing week.

Sometime during the past week, I made the realization: I want to be a talk show host. I was born to be a talk show host. I can talk and talk and talk. Believe me! I can think of crazy skits like nobody’s business. Content will never be a problem!

I do need to work on my deadpan…I crack myself up entirely too much! Continue Reading