pssssst! brainfag is retired! i'm now at


I'm not the only stressed out geek in Portland

posted in Home Jabber on May 15, 2006

I overheard a girl at the cafe yesterday who seemed to be doing exactly what I do for a living: swimming in a ever-mutating sea of eternal todo lists, struggling to chisel a followable schedule out of the maddening tangle of loose ends and this-and-thats that independent employment gives constant birth to.

watercolor nate and soon bok

Her plea to her friend calling on her cel was way way too familiar to me: "I can't. The next two weeks are crunch time; I'm in total hermit mode. I have three big meetings next week and I haven't even started. I'm sitting here at the cafe, but I'm sending out mother's day cards."

I've been annoying my friends with such excuses while trying to get work done from home for over three years now.

We're not alone. This girl was no anomaly. There are a lot of freelance computer geeks eking out a living like me in Portland, huddling from cafe to cafe; a nomadic, scruffy, laptop-hauling herd with indecipherable code gibberish rattling around their barely-fed brains. Along with eBay, webwork and freelance design have become new avenues of work-from-home sustenance thanks to the all-powerful interweb.

This girl caught my attention as I was reading an article in the New Yorker about Google's plan to digitize every book on earth for their search engine, and they brought up how the web was nothing ten years ago. Now it's everything in so many circles. And if not everything, it's certainly familiar to a huge majority of the world. Our grandparents are buying $300 Dells left and right and wrestling with the clumsy Windows XP experience, trying to decipher what all the fuss is about. My luddite dad just signed up for Paypal and eBay accounts and my brother now has a faster computer than his little geek brother. Wtf?

jekyl and hide

The astute may have noticed a shuffling on the homepage, and a new feature on the Brainfag navbar: "recentnav". Fucking genius! Well, not quite yet. But I have plans for that little magical control panel to be a quick and easy scalpel into the newly planted organs floating around the guts of my site. Whenever I find a scrap of a moment to code on my own site that is.

3 comments on this entry

rationalize (verb) - attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate.

Nate, you're one of the most talented and capable "geeks" we've worked with. No offense intended, but maybe you just need to set your goals a bit higher. The little, unimportant, "odd" jobs get pushed aside (where they belong) when you have your sights on something a little higher and mightier.

At least that's just my two cents. Feel free to delete this comment. :)

Raymond 5/16/06

Thanks for the good words Ray -- and I agree with you (on all points, ha!). I just need to find the higher goal, I guess. Until then, any work is better than none.

Nate 5/17/06

i think there's something crazy in the air... everyone is freaking out. i am. mr.henry is, and allison is. at least we can all freak out together.

just to let you know, i am so stoked to hang out on saturday. we'll have a day where we don't have to worry about all this shit.

jonathan 5/17/06

Commenting closed.