December 7th, 2019

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BIRTHDAYS, BLINDNESS AND DESIGN

It's my first-born's birthday today. He's 22, which, how is that even possible? Guess what he got for an early birthday present? A JOB! HURRAY!

He called a few days ago, excited because he had finally gotten hold of the manager at the sushi restaurant nearby, where he's been a couple of times on his job-hunting rounds. We've actually been to the sushi restaurant at least twice, when we were visiting during the past two years. He had left his resume with someone there ages ago, asking them to pass it along to the manager, but apparently that never happened because the guy said he never got it, and every time Martin had tried to connect earlier, he (the manager) wasn't available.

ANYWAY, this time he was there, and he told Martin to call back at 11 the next day and they would set up a time for an interview. So Martin called him at 11 yesterday and went for an interview at 1 and the guy hired him on the spot! He started yesterday, and is working for 2 weeks training (tonight is their busiest night of the year, apparently, as it's Noel Night in Detroit, so Martin couldn't have his birthday off) and then he'll be a server. He said the head server told him he was impressed yesterday with how fast Martin was picking up on everything, so that is positive.

I am thrilled, and so relieved. And I'm really, really glad that we didn't get him a plane ticket home for Christmas, after all, since this is exactly what I was HOPING would happen! I hope he'll not have to work through Christmas, though, as I know that lots of restaurants are actually open during the holidays in the US, but if that's the case, then so be it. Better a job than still unemployed!

Speaking of Christmas, I've made some major inroads on my holiday shopping...I've got Martin's completely done and sent, and have ordered a couple of other things, and yesterday Anders and I took Karin to Nova Lund because a pop-up store selling Spyder ski apparel there was having a 75% off sale and we got part of her present done, too! It means she knows what she's getting and she won't have much to open under the tree, but she's getting what she really wanted/needed, so no complaining there either! Anders also got a ski jacket for $35, so HE was happy, too!

I've been slowly sorting through tree ornaments and have boxed up all the ones that belong to the kids, and then started putting aside another pile of ones that I will be getting rid of. I've let the kids pick first but whatever they don't want is going to the local flea market. I have SIX giant moving boxes FULL of Christmas decorations. A purge is LONG overdue. Says the woman who just bought two more the other day when she was buying presents for her friends, because they were irresistibly pretty. Drrr. The first step to dealing with your problem is admitting you have one, right? :D

***

I'm in the middle of designing a logo for the new business of a friend of mine. She is trained in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, has a certificate in medical massage and is now finishing her certification for sports massage as well. The hitch is that she's blind. She went blind several years ago (she's about 10 years younger than me) before she was 40, with two genetic degenerative eye diseases. She's known since she was a young woman that she was going to go blind, but not that it would happen so fast. Long story short, I met her through the AWC, she was part of a good group of friends, then part of the Wonders, and then that all fell apart and we haven't seen much of each other for a long time. We reconnected a few months ago because of the massage thing...I get them regularly, and she needed people to practice on for her class. It turns out being blind is no hindrance at all when it comes to massage, and she is one of the best massage therapists I have ever had. She said it's very common for blind people in China and other Asian countries to practice acupuncture and massage, and it's actually considered an advantage!

And then she asked me if I would be interested in helping her with logo design and layout work for her massage clinic business which was in the process of starting up, in exchange for free massages, and I said YES with no hesitation.

We talked a bit about her company, its name, her ideas and thoughts about the logo, and I had immediate ideas jumping into my head. She has a really, really COOL name for her company, which I can't say yet, because the company registration isn't quite finished. I went to work over the next week and came up with 6 designs to present to her. But then I had a moment of panic, because

HOW DO YOU SHOW LOGO DESIGNS TO SOMEONE WHO IS BLIND??

I knew that I could describe them well enough that she would have a good idea of what they looked like, and since she was sighted for most of her life, I knew she would understand the concepts and the colors, but I wanted her to be able to SEE them somehow. I didn't want her only relying on the opinions of OTHER people around her, though I knew she would have to do that as well. Then it hit me, if she couldn't SEE my designs, maybe I could figure out a way that she could FEEL them. Like Braille, but not just dots!

So, I printed out each logo suggestion on a full sheet of paper, and I got a cardboard box and flattened it out. Then, because I couldn't see the design myself from the back of the paper, I PRESSED down the design from the front, on top of the cardboard, being very careful not to rip the paper, and then I flipped each one and pressed it again so that when the paper was right-side-up, the design was raised/embossed and she would be actually able to trace it with her fingers and SEE it physically!

And it worked! She was thrilled! And I was super pleased with my own ingenuity!

She had the logos for 2 weeks and then we met again and discussed them and I came back with some design changes to make. She had shown them to several people and gotten lots of good feedback that I've also brought back to figure out how to incorporate (the comments that were actually useful). I've started round two of the drafts and will have something for her soon, but it turns out that I'm discarding (with her permission), most of the designs I already made, because I came up with a better one this time around. I have one I am really pleased with from the first round, and this new one, so she won't have so many to have to choose between this time, which is how it should be...we are narrowing down to the best option that really works for her and for her company. She says I shouldn't be trying to finish it too fast and I laughed and said I could milk the free massage thing forever with just the logo design if I thought I could get away with it!

After the logo is decided upon, I still need to design business cards, signs, a pamphlet/flyer and a price list, so I know I'll still get a few more free sessions before I have to start supporting her business the monetary way. It's a fun project, and I'm really glad that I can contribute something for her.
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