I do not run a charity.

January 26, 2010

Client drama had reared its ugly head this last week.  *facepalm*

How the hell does it happen?  They go from good client to bad client like warewholves under a full moon.  ARRROOWHHH!

First I should probably tell you a little more about what we do for our clients.  To say that we design websites would be an over-simplification, that’s what we used to do.  A year and a half ago when we started our business, we would both scower craigslist looking for any ole programming or design job that we knew we could do.  We got various clients doing this, but usually (okay, MOSTLY) with these gigs, people were always trying to get something for nothing.  Putting up a website that both looks good and works well takes hours and hours and hours of work.  We would put in these hours/days/weeks/…months of work, and then have to literally chase down payment from them, or they wanted so many changes that took so many more hours that end the end the payment wasn’t worth all the effort.  At a certain point we came to the conclusion that there had to be a way for us to get something for nothing as well.  Everybody else was doing it, why not us?  What I mean is, a way to make fully-fledged websites without all the hours of work.  There are three basic purposes for most websites:  publishing, selling, or social networking.  So if we could design a framework that could perform each of these functions by simply installing it onto a web address so hours of programming the same thing, over and over, would be eliminated.  Better yet, we would make our program easy enough to use so that when clients wanted changes they could just go make them on their own.

If you’re having a hard time understanding what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I didn’t know crap about any of this until about a year ago.  If you want an example of what I’m talking about, look at WordPress.  WordPress is the perfect example of a content management system (CMS) used for publishing.  It’s complicated, it’s got a lot of buttons, but most people are able to figure it out on their own and create their own websites.  We’re like WordPress, except we’re geared towards businesses and we have a lot more applications and functions.

So anyways, we’re still in the development/start-up phase of our business so we haven’t had a public release of our software yet.  Hopefully that will happen sometime in 2010.  Until then we are always trying to get new clients both in the US and Turkey.  One new client we have here is chick my age, who is starting up a mining export company with a few business partners.  Basically they ship stuff like chrome ore to China, pretty simple.  She’s a cool chick, speaks English well and I’d say she was a friend before she was a client.  Because of this we gave her a deep discount, and I mean DEEP.  We normally charge $2,000 dollars for a basic CMS website, but that includes a lot- custom web design, content writing, logo design, stock photos, hosting, etc, etc.  Because we are still developing a bilingual application for our websites (that button you click at the bottom or top of the page and it switches the language of the website, not easy to do) and her website would be the first to test it we gave her a huge deal.  We’re only charging her $500 dollars of which she has only paid half ($250).  Her website is very simple and very small, but like I said, she is also a start-up so she only gave us a tiny amount of content and a few pictures.  One thing we cannot do is invent fancy or interesting content for you…well, technically I have, but only for clients who are paying real money.

From the start she LOOOOVED the website, and I got tons of glowing feedback from her along the way.  When I finally finished putting in all the data and images she sent us (which by the way she sent on Dec 28 and her site was up by Jan 5) she still loved it.  Then, it turned….

She had a “friend” of hers look at the site and they told her it was too plain.  What the fuck does this “friend” know about web design anyway?  Suddenly she hates everything about the site.  She sent us links to other websites (one that sells cell phones, the other a music website) and tells that she wants her site to be more like them.  Here is what her site would actually look like if she would send us more content.  She also says she wants flash.  No other description, just, “I want flash.”  Flash what?  Dancing rocks?  You sell fucking ROCKS, fyi.

Flash is web animation, if you’re not familiar, and it is EXPENSIVE and time-consuming to develop.  For that reason, flash is one of the only things we don’t offer.  If a client really wants flash on their website then we hire an outside flash developer and money has to be paid from the client directly to person creating the flash animation.  In other words, Flash=Money.

Then she also starts bitching that it took three months to put her site up.  Uhh, your emails say differently lady, we only got your content a week before your site went up.  You had “Coming Soon” page on your website for three months because it took you that long to get off your ass.  We don’t put up blank websites.  Did I mention she’s only paid $250 dollars?  That’s what I usually charge just for a logo design (and yes, I designed her logo AND a business card on top of that).

Friend or not, we just don’t have time to deal with this crap anymore, we have too many clients that have paid full price and we have plenty of work still to do for them.  We gave her two options, 1) Stop bitching, or 2) Pay in full by the end of the month.  If you don’t do either we will take down your site.  Period.

Luckily (for her) she came to her senses.  She chose option #1.  Maybe it was just her time of the month?  The full moon has passed and she’s no longer werewolf-cunt, I mean, client.  We’ll just have to see what happens on the next full moon…

If you want to see a hilarious representation of how web designing can go straight to hell, check out this comic by The Oatmeal.  It is sooo true.

30 Weeks

January 21, 2010

Feelin’ good and lookin’ good thanks to a huge care package of maternity clothes from mom.  Only 10 weeks to go!  It’s crazy…

Lolz

January 16, 2010

So, I get back from the grocery store today, and I’m unpacking the bags and putting things away.  I bought some new toothpaste and I took it out of the box so I could put in the bathroom.  But then out of the corner of my eye, I see something…

AHAHAHAHAAAAHAHAHAAA!  I almost died laughing.  Out of all the words in the English language that could be used to describe dental hygiene and they pick those two?  Awesome.  The stock photo of the white family makes it even better.  This toothpaste was made in Egypt by the way.

It also immediately made me think of Andy Samberg.  You see, I was an Andy Samberg fan before he was on a motherfucking boat.  I was a fan before he ever put his dick in a box.  My friends and I discovered The Lonely Island in high school.  The Lonely Island was a series of web sitcoms that he and his fellow UCLA film student buddies Jorm and Kiv (who are now both SNL writers) made back in 2001.

Check out this video and you’ll understand why the toothpaste made me think of Andy.

Click here to see the full episode.  Andy, Jorm and Kiv get addicted to teeth whitening like it’s heroin.

Brain Food

January 4, 2010

Something very strange happens to me whenever I try to read up on labor and delivery-related topics lately.  I get dizzy, so dizzy that I have to literally stop and put my head between my legs to make it go away.  I think part of it is because I start to unconsciously hold my breath and my brain isn’t getting enough oxygen but the rest I can’t really explain.  I’m not usually like this with medical stuff, but it’s probably because I know this stuff is going to happen to MY body and my subconscious panics.  The only other person I know who also gets this way is my mom, but she is much worse.  Once when my step-father broke his knee cap, she nearly fainted at the hospital when the doctor was showing them the x-rays.

The first time I experienced this was when I was reading up on episiotomies a few months ago.  I was looking at medical illustrations, so that was kinda hardcore, but tonight I was just reading the side effects of epidurals (fairly mediocre stuff) when suddenly the room started to spin.

On a totally unrelated topic, since I’ve started my third trimester, I’ve been trying get a lot of DHA rich foods (aka Omega 3).  Enriched eggs, chicken, fish, and walnuts.  DHA helps big-time with the baby’s brain development in the last three months.  I just bought half a kilo of walnuts yesterday from a street vendor.  There are nut vendors everywhere in Turkey, selling anything from pistachios to acorns.  In the winter there are even carts that roast chestnuts on the street corners.  As romantic as that sounds, whatever they’re burning to roast them smells completely toxic and fills the street with smoke.  I can’t wait until they stop roasting chestnuts, it’s vile.

Anyway, so I’m eating walnuts yesterday (dipped in peanut butter, wut?) when I start noticing how much walnuts look just like brains.  How is it a coincidence that food which is known for helping brain development looks just like a tiny brain?

Tell me I’m not crazy…

New Year, New Kitty

January 2, 2010

Our New Years celebration was pretty low-key.  We went and had lunch at his grandma’s apartment, and as we were walking back we spotted a little fuzzball playing in the dirt in between the buildings.

Reading my mind as usual, hubby said, “Do you want to take him home?”

“Let me see if I can catch him first.” I said.

Strays usually run, but this little guy didn’t even try to get away.  I knew he was a stray though because he was filthy, his eyes were crusted and his stomach was all swollen with worms.  I scooped him up and managed to keep a hold of him until we got back to our apartment.  He immediately got a bath, he didn’t seem to mind too much, more just confused at what these strange people were doing to him.  The water coming off of him was almost black.  After the bath he curled up on my neck and wouldn’t move.  Hubby went out to get him food, litter and worm medicine.  I eventually pried him off my neck and fed him a can of tuna.  We’ve been bffs ever since.  He’s already a total lap-cat.

We named him Mavado, after one of my husband’s favorite reggae singers.

(BTW, if you’re worried about a stray cat being harmful to my pregnancy, fear not.  I’ve had outdoor cats my entire life and I worked at an animal shelter for two years.  I’m sure I’ve been exposed to Toxoplasmosis and therefore have an immunity to it.  Even so, I don’t handle the cat litter as a precaution.)

LolFetus

December 29, 2009

This idea comes straight from GingerMandy’s post about her annoying pregnant relatives.  Even I’m not immune to how annoying constant prego-chatter can be.  I have a lot of pregnant/new mom friends, which is awesome, but sometimes it’s a topic discussed into the ground over on Facebook pages.  Also known as TMI, and mommies can be some the worst offenders–no, I do not want to know what your baby’s poop smelled like!

So GingerMandy and her friend have invented LolFetus, just like Lolcats, only with fetuses.  Brilliant.  I had to Lol my fetus asap.

Don’t make bebeh angry…

Happy Belated Christmas!

December 27, 2009

I’m turning into a bad blogger once again, but that’s what New Years resolutions are all about, riiiiight?  Mine this year include writing more.

My Christmas was eventful in completely different way.  I went and got my Turkish residence visa.  Always a pro a leaving things up to the last minute, I got this visa a day before my old one ran out.  My last two visas have been tourist visas, only 90 days, but that wasn’t going to cut it anymore.  Now I am one step closer to being a dual citizen.  The next step is to get legally married to the Hubby here.  Since we only had a common law marriage in the states, it turns out getting married here is more complicated than I imagined.  Can you believe I actually have to get permission from the U.S. Consulate?  Also we have to get blood tests to make sure we’re genetically compatible…haha…little bit too late there!  Also, he has to get a copy of his birth certificate from his father’s home town which is on the other side of the country.  But it’s okay, I have no problem waiting on the marriage thing.  To us we’re already married, and have been for a while.  It’s nice to know we’ve got plenty of time to plan it out and make it special.  Besides, being bundled up in my maternity pants and one of the few shirts that still fit, in this cold and dark weather with no friends or family around in a Turkish court room is not exactly how I pictured my wedding!  Summer time, pretty dress, baby, Mediterranean beach…that’s more like it…

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  Mine was unusual, but special in its own way.

I don’t think this is part of a balanced breakfast…

December 11, 2009

So I go into the kitchen for my cornflakes night-cap.  Let me preface this by saying that I am a cereal fiend.  Even as I’m pouring out the cereal, I’m making sure that I’m leaving enough for a bowl in the morning.  Yes, I’m even carefully planning out my next bowl of cereal.  I also make a mental note of how much milk is left.  Everything is still all good for the morning.

I go to complete my perfect bowl of cereal, the one I’ve been craving and imaging eating for the past hour, and reach for the bag of sugar to sprinkle (generously) on top.  Then the worst thing imaginable happens.

A roach falls out of the bag of sugar and lands in the middle of my cereal.

In my mind I’m still thinking I can save this (I must have gone temporarily crazy) and I nudge at the roach to try to encourage him to run over to the edge and make a quick exit.  He’s slightly smaller than a cornflake.  Of course in my mind I’m just rationalizing that if I can get him off as quickly as possible I can just scoop off the flakes that he stepped on and I can still eat this.  Wrong.

I grab a pair of wooden tongs and try to grab him, but that’s also ridiculous.  I end up hacking away at the bowl with the tongs as he rapidly disappears into the cereal.  Now there is a roach hiding in my fucking cereal.  My cursing and hacking even woke up hubby who was asleep down the hall.

Now I have no idea what to do with this goddamned bowl of bug cereal.  It’s still sitting on the counter where I left it.  We don’t have a garbage disposal and the trash is full.  Perhaps I’ll flush it down the toilet.

I have never lost a craving so quickly.

Sonogram picture (finally!)

December 9, 2009

Got another peek at the little princess today!  Yes, she is definitely a girl (woohoo!) and she is healthy as can be (double woohoo)!  The doctor also said she has long femurs so she’s probably going to be tall like mom.  I also finally found some maternity jeans and they rock.  Miracle of miracles, they actually make my ass look good!  Hubby even called them ‘sexy’ haha…  But seriously, I had almost forgotten that pants could be comfortable.

Now for the big name reveal:

Introducing Nasrin Ayla

24 weeks (I put in the labeling)

A little more about the name:

Nasrin is a Persian name that means ‘wild rose’.  My mom was really happy to hear this and pointed out that her name, Sharon, also means ‘rose’.  My husband’s maternal side of the family is Persian.

Ayla (pronounced i-la) is a very old name that is both Turkish and Hebrew.  In Turkish it translates roughly to ‘aura of the moon’ and in Hebrew it means ‘oak tree’.

Ew, I’d never eat…

November 24, 2009

My mind is on food lately!  Gee I wonder why…

But it’s got me thinking about the strange things that people eat.  Everyone has that weird dish or bizarre food combination that they love to eat, but grosses everyone else out.  I certainly do.

So my question to you is:  What thing(s) do you love to eat that grosses most people out?

Here’s a few of mine:

  • Yeast Toast

My mom got me hooked on this when I was little.  It’s toast with a thin layer of mayo and with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.  Whenever anyone in the house was feeling sick, yeast toast was the cure.  It’s got a salty, flaky, savory flavor that’s comforting but easy on the stomach.  Great with garlic salt even when you’re not feeling sick.

  • Grilled Cheese with Jelly on Top

Another one I inherited from my mom.  I have a theory that most strange food habits are passed down this way, because I know she got this from my grandfather.  Before you scoff at this one, just remember, fruit and cheese go together.  Call me I’m crazy next time you’re snacking from one of those party trays at an event.  Apparently I’m not the only grilled cheese and jelly connoisseur, a quick Google search found people raving about the magic sandwich.  Behold.

Don’t knock it until you try it.