Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Before I sleep

Yesterday, I was halfway back to the office before I realized that I didn’t know what color socks I had on. There wasn’t anything wrong with my vision; I’d simply gotten up ridiculously early to work on my presentation, dressed in the dark, and grabbed a random pair from the drawer. The color of my socks was just a detail I couldn’t be bothered with, and in fact wasn’t until about six hours later. The past two weeks have felt quite a bit like that. I spoke at Web Design World yesterday, and finished up a client site late last night. As ever, everything else fell by the wayside, to the periphery: focus on what needs to be done, and forget about the color of your socks until you happen to brush some dust off your trousers.

As for the whole Web Design World thing, it went pretty okay. You know, despite my goddamn-I-need-a-beer-or-eight nerves ‘n’ all. Molly had asked me to help out with her talk on The Marriage of Presentation and Structure; Doug had to back out of co-presenting with her, so she asked me to fill in last-minute. You know, sort of a “Well, Fellini’s outta town, so let’s see what the Farrelly brothers are doing” kind of thing.

So, yeah. I survived the experience: I can’t imagine I bowled anyone over with my talk, but at least I didn’t collapse onstage in some sort of gibbering mess. Having Molly onstage was a huge help, I think. Being next to someone who not only survives but thrives in front of an audience of a few hundred people? Yes, please. This stage-terrified white boy could definitely use that.

And while I met the man briefly before my talk, and he seems to be the rockstar’s rockstar, it did not help my god-I-need-a-beer nerves in the least that Jeffrey Zeldman was sitting directly in front of my podium. I can see it now:

Oh! Hello there, O Person That Basically Inspired Me To Get Into This Business. Mind if I stand in front of You for an hour and say things like ‘um’ and ‘pimp my kool-aid’ in front of You and a few hundred other people?
The Z:
[Ragnarok-like rumble from on high the first row] NO. HAVE FUN WITH THAT.

And yes, I do believe that I’m the first person to use the phrase pimp my own kool-aid in front of 350 people. And no, I’m not proud of that fact.

Nerves aside, there were a few high points. It was great to see Molly again, and dinner with Dan and Doug the night before was hellishly fun. And meeting Zeldman (albeit briefly) was quite cool. We exchanged about six words, but hey—a fanboy will take what he can get.

And now, this fanboy could stand about thirty-eight hours of sleep. A good day to you.


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