Christmastime Is Gone

Sooou, I guess I was too lazy and/or busy this month to update, despite having come up with a couple subjects to write about. It’s the last day of December, and I should have mentioned this almost four weeks ago, but…

New layout! Even though it’s been up for almost a month now. Inspired by some plaid I saw in a commercial a long while ago. I really tried to make a layout that didn’t look like I designed it, but I think all my little me-ish touches here and there make it fail in that regard. :o

Oh! And after ages and ages (a couple years, I think) my blog is back to the basic two-column setup. I was inspired by [an old layout of mine (link to layout archive, simple geometrics)]. I still like that layout. One of the few from way back then that I still feel like sticking up here. hee! I like the simplicity of it, but it’s still attractive.

The current layout, I’m not so sure about, I always get stuck on wanting to use a light red-hued color for the background. Hopefully the color I settled on isn’t too offensive or too gross.

I also finally, finally, set it up so that the site stuff pages use the same layout as the main page. Just the About page, Colophon, all that. The Archives still have their own design… for my own reasons.

Anyway, I hope anyone reading this had a happy Christmastime or the holiday of your choosing, religious or not, and I hope your New Year’s goes well, and that 2011 will be a better year, whether or not 2010 was a good year for you.

blog blog blog!

I had to sit myself down recently and figure out why I find it so hard to update my blog. I mean, I have a whole list of thoughts to blog, ideas to write down, and yet I never get around to it.

The first obstacle I had to tackle was, what purpose does my blog serve? My mission statement claims I use it to write down thoughts. Okay that’s simple. Why do I find it so hard to write down my thoughts then?

Second obstacle, why do I keep up my blog? Other than my usual reasons: it’s my hobby, it gives me a website to maintain, I just like having a blog. I also thought it would be a good place to stretch my brain, since I’m not in college anymore and don’t need to write anything. Although I do really enjoy having finished school, no more working for someone else’s rating of my work! I thought I should still exercise my writing skills, make sure I can still do it if I ever need.

I had the what and the why established, so the last question was, Why do I feel so much pressure with my need to update at least once a month? Write one short little piece every thirty days, that couldn’t be as much of a strain as writing in school, certainly! Where was the stress coming from? My answer had to be that all the pressure and the stress was coming from me. This is a blog after all, meant to attract visitors and draw in attention. I couldn’t do that if I wrote poorly. Even though I hate that officious, stuffy voice my writings develop (even in this entry!), I continue doing it because I think it’s better suited to pleasing others.

But I don’t think I should do that. I have to tell myself, my blog is for me, I’m the one I have to please. I’m probably the one who reads through my archives the most, after all! Even after I take my blog off the web (Gasp! Unimaginable!), I’ll still keep a copy on my computer hard drive (and on my backup hard drive…) for me to look through occasionally.

With that said, a short review of my silly, but fun little purchase of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares is coming up!

black and white layout

New layout, yay! I thought it up while trying to fall asleep one night. *grin* Again, it’s a reversal of the previous layout. (Hm, going from black/red/white to bright colors to black and white… what will the next layout look like?)

It’s another gimmicky layout, a side-scrolling one. I’ve wanted to design one for a while now. Don’t know how long it’ll stay up though, I’ll probably get tired of it and redo it later.

I still don’t know if I like how I did the letters either. I keep messing with that… Overall, not as jazzed as I was when I put up the previous two layouts.

Also, why the heck did Internet Explorer mangle my previous layout so horribly? And why did I not know this until almost a year after I uploaded it? I thought IE was supposed to follow web standards by now. Augh! Even with the current layout, IE doesn’t like how I’m displaying my, uh, sidebar. (Firefox, Chrome, and Opera all show both layouts just fine…)

not dusting off just yet

Wow, I haven’t given much thought to my blog this month. As evidenced by the fact that I am writing an entry in the last hour of the entire calendar month! (I set myself a rule to update at least once a month, but that’s another story.)

I’ve had ideas of stuff to write about, but I never managed to write a whole entry. I feel like that’s reflective of my life currently, that I have ideas and maybe I start things, but I never really do anything. I won’t go into that here, either.

Just wanted to say … I miss my blog, and I don’t want it to die yet. (Although based on search engine statistics and the amount of spam I’m getting [which is close to none], other people seem to think my blog is dead.)

Hmm, something interesting to say, I feel this entry is lacking. (In a lot of things…) I’m trying to read War and Peace again! Last time I tried was 2005 maybe? At least I got to the war part of the book this time.

from XHTML to HTML

I decided, after reading an old entry on Jeffrey Zeldman Presents the Daily Report that I’ll switch all of my websites from XHTML to HTML.

I don’t even remember why I chose XHTML over HTML. Possibly I thought it was the wave of the future. Or maybe I thought all the cool kids used it. (Not really. :))

I guess I started using XHTML about five and a half years ago (“validation”). I didn’t even know what it really was! I still don’t. People commented on Jeffrey’s blog about the extensibility of XHTML, and while I’ve heard the term before, I never knew exactly what that meant, and I still don’t.

I know a little about XML; I had to do a small XML project for school and I thought it was nifty. (Although in my major it was more about JDF files, or job description flows? Something like that. A file that would travel with printing jobs and would contain information about how to print said job.) But beyond that I never got into XML and this extensibility gig. I didn’t understand how XML changed or could even make a difference with HTML.

Because of that, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really shouldn’t keep up with something that I’m not using to its fullest potential (and I should definitely take the mention of it off my resume o_o). All the work that I’ll have to put into removing trailing slashes from [every webpage I wrote (link to iat)] (including inserting some code into WordPress headers to strip the slashes out) is not a good enough reason for me to keep using XHTML.

I’ll get right on that. After I finish moving all my protected blog entries to a private blog, after I retag and recategorize all the remaining entries, after I tag all my Livejournal entries, after I tag all my dreams, yup. (Some projects that I’ve been working on for ever.) At least I’ll have a few years before HTML5 becomes a reality and I have to buckle down to transition to that.