Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.



Back in Boston, but missing Austin.

Dream journal, day #10754

Thirty yards away or so, the car sped up, and suddenly everyone on my dream-block became as bone-coldly aware of the car as I was.


Nice one, and try to lay off the techno.

South by.

Putting the mild post-SXSW depression aside for a moment.

Splash screen no more

Six months after starting my freelance work, I finally get around to redesigning my portfolio site. A savvy self-marketer, I am not.

Four things



So, then, you’d better get started.


What they will be again, and then more so.

Digital Web: An interview with Dan Cederholm

I just conducted an interview with Dan Cederholm for Digital Web Magazine, to tout his most recent book. Also, cake.

Day zero

In which Ethan goes freelance, hyperventilates a bit, and then realizes that it’ll all be okay. Then he hyperventilates a bit more.

Birthday thanks

You all rock harder than Dokken.

Inquiring mine

it wasn’t until much, much later that you realized this.

Professional CSS: now with 100% more cover

As well as 100% more lumberjack.

Why I come home

Happy anniversary, my one and lovely.

Tagging out

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to leave the Web Standards Project.

These Chicago women

The night is fine.

I love the smell of mediocrity in the morning

It’s official: I am a C-list blogger. Kiss the pinky ring.

At trivia

We are nothing if not low-brow. Pass the fart jokes.

Boston-area Web Geeks’ Meetup

28 April, 7.30pm. Don’t forget to wear pants. Please.

Speaking at MIT

Not looking forward to another teary-eyed evening watching Hee-Haw reruns over a package of Ho-Hos? Well, not that it’s an improvement, but I’m speaking at MIT tonight.

Where’s Durstan?

How about a rousing game of “Where’s Durstan?” to fight off those early morning doldrums?

Coming soon: Professional CSS

I can finally blog about the upcoming book. One hell of an experience that I’m glad to finally announce.

It begins

Good lord, I shouldn’t be blogging after four hours’ sleep.

Southwest roll call

This is the post where I tell you I’m headed to Austin for SXSW.

Desk shopping

Or, “In Search Of A Place To Park My Arse.” It almost rhymes.

Hard time floor

Better be sure.


It’s quiet now, and I turn back to my work.

Before I sleep

On public speaking, deadlines, and sleep deprivation. And now, this fanboy could stand about thirty-eight hours of sleep. A good day to you.

In gratitude

Gratias agamus, gratias tuo.


When one spots about eleven of something when walking back to work, one is obligated take a phonepic.

Thesis dreaming

What is old, is new again. My time management still sucks, but at least I’ve forgotten where the tape dispenser is.

Adobe-Wan Kenobi

Who loves ya, baby?

UI9 (redux)

Part 2 of 2. Now with hot linking action.


Part 1 of 2. Now with hot linking action.

Splinters and splitting

Of course, few positions have changed, some have even been reinforced under duress.

Drowned Edward

And, scene.

Kitty hot

Duck duck goose, sniff sniff lick.

To the proud parents

Congratulations to the Zeldmans, on the birth of their baby daughter.

Everything but what I listen to

You look at each other before sitting down, smiling.

What I Did During My Weblog Vacation

By Ethan Marcotte, age 27.

Boston geeks’ get-together, redux

If you’re in Boston this Thursday night at 7PM, meet up with Dan and I at the Cassava Lounge.


Contracts were read, checks signed, belongings packed, and trucks rented.

No words of my own


Boba in Boston

What follows is deeply rooted in my tradition of posting hours, if not days, after I’d initially intended to do so.

Reminder: Beantown geek-out

We meet tonight. 7.00PM at Cassava Lounge, 1076 Boylston Street in Boston.

Remotely controlled iTunes

Not super-sexy, but it does the job.

Pynchon and pastries

I opt to blame the musak rather than my rabbit-on-meth attention span.

Quarter-life, lite

Twenty-seven. Half of fifty-four, thrice divisible by nine, and chock-full of questions for web designers that haven’t yet figured out what they want to be when they grow up.

Beantown geeks

Calling all Boston-area CSS junkies, web designers, and otherwise geek-esque individuals.

A day, still

You miss her.

The short walk

Happy anniversary, to my one and lovely.

Sweet, sniffling irony

In which your intrepid author bitches about allergies, Easter Bunnies, and Claritin. Fun.

The jungle moderne

And yes, I realize I probably used “smelt” incorrectly. You may go directly to hell.


Rounding corners, reminiscing.

Helpful hint

Change my pitch up.


The British invasion has begun.

End of an era

The names have been changed to protect the irrational.

Taking inventory

She’s here, for awhile.

Streetlight people

Decisions, decisions.

For reference

You’d each sip from your drinks, laugh, and begin the conversation again.

In progress

Back at the bar, he shook his head again.

Blowing off steam

Validate this.

Stoppard’s tech support

Unstirring the custard.

Pinterian tech support

Enough subtext to gag a hippo.

Home, happy

No place like it.

Moment of weakness

Pardon me a brief digression into a 12 year-old screaming fangirl. Thank you.


Boston could learn a thing or two.

Gotta get my Luddite on

I am a karmic sinkhole. I’m convinced of it.

Bound for SXSW

Hawks, handsaws…who cares?

From the weekend

There. Smiling.


For what that’s worth.

A day in the day of.

In that order.

Back in the posting saddle

Worst entry title ever.

The spirit of sharing

“That’s the way I believe the world should work. Pity that it doesn’t.”


Like I like my women. Or something.

Twelve below

Sent, received. Response.

Hawks and handsaws

“Hilarity” is the one thing missing from this equation.

Your sister, a horse, and an Alsatian

Separated by a common language.

Make it happen

There are always, I suppose, things to consider, and paths to take.

In that order

Be afraid. I know I am.

Addictive technology

The goal in this post was to use the terms “RSI", “fatty deposits", and “posteriors.” You have been warned.

First draught

You follow. Or you would.

Happy holidays

May you, yours, and your new year be well.

From the oops department

Stay far away from me, folks. I’m contagious, and will likely end up giving you The Stupid.

Sympathy pain

Let’s fogey it up, people.

Congratulations to the Meyers

They’ll make extraordinary parents, I’m sure…my very best to both of them.

Tryptophane dreams

A week of revelations: some small, some not, all presented in quick recap.

Second draft, discarded edition

the half bottle of cheap wine sits on the table, forgotten, a word on the periphery that’s unwelcome, cackling, fat.

A day in.

These things, today.

Saving my iPod from iTunes

I feel like I just gained half a point of hacker cred.

Second draft

In which things remembered, are.

The PowerBook shows its spots

After two shipping delays and a mis-delivered package, I was pretty damn upset to see some odd-looking spots on the display of my new PowerBook.

Note to self

Three things every good presentation on web standards should include.

What’s great about these PowerBooks, anyway?

I heart my new laptop. I heart it so much.

First draft

it’s these things we say that speak less than what we already have.

Guess it’ll make mom proud

I try to keep the self-promotion to an absolute minimum here, but I got a little excited. Sorry for the slip-up, won’t happen again.

Hello, Major Tom

Out sick, but still online. Can nothing stop him?


Communicate, rinse, reiterate.

Requisite weather rant

Give me a crappy New England December morning any day of the year.


Just bought a PowerBook, iPod, and the right to eat nothing but macaroni and cheese for the next three months.

Monkeys fling poo, and Winer does, too.

Quote of the day.

A weekend of little (and great) import.

Say what you will, I’m definitely a good little consumer whore.

My eyes, they bleed.

Once I’ve stopped shuddering in the fetal position on the floor of my office, I’ll try to blog about something else.


Anticipation’s a bitch.

A dialogue list

Honestly, I’ve no idea.

In memoriam

A moment of silence.


Suing a 12 year-old honor student who lives in the NYC projects for downloading music? Oh, this does not a happy sidesh0w make.

Rules of Engagement, part 6.

I don’t know about you, but candidates that empower me to hike up my socks, gamble for a horse for two dollars, throw it on a table, and start beating the shit out of it with a towel are ceaselessly inspiring. Don’t you think?

People I wish I’d been named after (or at least half as rockstar-ish as):

It’s a short list…but we’re after quality here, people.

Even in Cambridge

Which is the small?

I love Vacationland!

Maybe next time, they’ll have the construction workers dress up like cops. ‘Cause that would make about the same amount of sense.

Bidding farewell to Brace Cove

Pig roasts, cold beer, monsoon weather. Just another party weekend in Massachusetts.

A molded what?!

I almost spewed coffee onto the keyboard. Well, okay, not really…but you get the idea.

Quote of the day.

Trouble is, when you put Macintosh lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.

Jersey, represent.

Out of the garden, and into the bay. I’m back from the illustrious Jersey shore, and enjoying a very Cambridge Monday.

And of course, hubris++

Unsubscribed. I got better uses for my time.

And she’s gone.

There’s an empty spot across the street from my apartment where her girlfriend’s car used to be.

T-minus, redux.

She leaves a week from today.

Alone, but one.

She called back.

Rules of Engagement, part 5.

Buzz less.

Who needs faith in humanity, anyway?

The American government is officially and utterly nuts.

Making Monday manageable.

When the mother ship comes, gonna have to give up the funk.

The aftermath.

Well, I survived my web standards presentation at Harvard. Hopefully my audience did, too.

Stage fright.

Always happens on game day. Currently: giving a presentation in four hours, and trying to talk myself off of the window ledge.

The game.

In which your fearless author attempts to discredit a colleague’s prowess ‘pon the chess board. And in which your fearless author fails, miserably.

We have the technology.

Silent car alarms. You know you need ‘em. You know you want ‘em. Let’s make it happen.


Quick catalog of things done not so quickly.

Givin’ a talk at Harvard.

On 24 July, I’ll be giving a talk at the monthly ABCD-WWW meeting here at Harvard on standards-based web design. I just got the confirmation, and I’m all sortsa excited.


After operating on too little sleep for too many days in a row, the day seems to take a bit of a blue-green tinge…much like every third shot in that crappy movie Swordfish (minus a naked Halle Berry and/or a past-his-prime John Travolta).

Failed cures for insomnia.

I’ll try anything at this point.

On emergency rooms.

We were in the process of haggling over which desserts she should order when the seizure hit. My grandmother’s face went ash-pale, and she dropped the menu with which she’d been fanning herself.

If not before.

Back from Vermont. I was hoping to post more tonight, but She has offered to take yours truly out for a fine birthday dinner…back online tomorrow.


My coworker is headed off to a meeting with several members of my company’s management team. She’s in for a bit of a surprise.

Don’t wanna be a thought leader.

Not that it’s even remotely in danger of happening.

In progress

You grab a putty knife, face the wall, and scrape; if you’ve any feeling in your arm after the first hour or two, more power to you.

An office moment.

I stood stock-still in the doorframe, in the dark of the alcove outside my office, listening to an unseen guitarist playing on the floor above mine.

All the wrong reasons

A poem written, for all the wrong reasons.


A presentation, not a representation.


"Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…"

Bam Bam and his baby.

In which the author exposes way too much familiarity with the wrestling world (gleaned largely from the Saturday morning cartoons of his childhood, he swears). Various and sundry links are bandied about.

The Rules of Engagement.

Some people just shouldn’t have access to e-mail. Or digital cameras. Or both. Blah.

But we listened, every one.

Something quiet, something beautiful, something ignored.

Weekend update.

Zelda. Zeldman. Two of my favorite things in one day. Thankfully, frightening Japanese pictures managed to ruin the day a bit.

Ethan’s back. Back again.

Back from London, and missing it already.

Heading on out.

About to head off to London. Let’s see if my anglophilia survives the trip.

Zen moment of the day

Voices from the ether. And in front of the laundromat, no less.

Dench’d *own* Walken’s ass any day.

Fireland is a very funny site. Sidesh0w wishes it was half as funny as Fireland.

Get some sleep, tiger.

A day without Matthew Arnold is like a world without peace — oh, wait.

Deep breaths have been taken.


All a-freakin’ out.

In which the author prepares for a trip which (until recently) he’d been so very excited for. Now, he’s not sure what to think.

You can’t have a post title before I have my coffee.

In which the author discovers the joys of Linux, peace rallies, and democracy. Wait. Scratch that last one.

Life gets so weird, art doesn’t want to imitate it.

In which the author discovers that multi-threading does not work well in the human world.

And miles to go.

There’s something humbling about having a Vermont highway to yourself at 10.30pm on a snowy Friday evening.

Coolest. Gift. Ever.

In case you were wondering (and I know you were), I’ve the best girlfriend ever.

Tuesday != Fun.

The fat lady’s sung again, but the Opera’s not over. A PRElicious link. We highly recommend Vermont for weekend bliss.

Things are afoot.

There’s a new style switcher in town. The author finds that he’s missing a certain something, and would love to know how to get it back.

Coffee + Coder = Fun

Fixed background images are good. Video games are bad. Bitmap font graphics are bad. Sleeping on the keyboard is bad. Suddenly, one feels the need to crawl back into bed.

Sleep is for the weak.

Yours truly discovers jwz on the web. Yours truly discovers that he might be in the wrong line of work.

Today, the weblog…

In an especially frenetic post, we discuss browser display bugs, XML, Mozilla, snowfall patterns in Cambridge, and site updates. You try to keep up.

Let’s try this again…

The site, she has been redesigned. The links, they are a-flowing yet again.