Archive for April, 2011


Feeling feelings

I’m feeling lonely and ashamed. Just shared at Perry Street, got honest, no one came up to me afterwards. Okay, so my expectations are unrealistic, but the shame is real. I would have left at the break, but I raised my hand to sweep up after the meeting. After my share, the shame came, and I remembered the slogan “feel your feelings”. So, I tried that, although I have been avoiding feeling shame for decades, and I found that underneath the shame was sadness. I tried to let myself feel that, but couldn’t really access it. Or maybe I did, but I didnt get the release I would like. I guess I hoped that the point of feeling feelings was to get relief from them, but maybe I should try and feel them with no end in mind. More will be revealed.

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Black Swan Theatrical release posterI’m in the middle of watching Natalie Portman in Black Swan, a veritable work of art.  I have always loved Darren Aronofsky, and the way he can capture madness on film.  I am very happy to see him get the accolades and recognition he has gotten with this film.

At one point in the film, Portman’s character whispers, almost shamefully, “I just want to be perfect.”  A short while later, the ballet director points out the ease with which the character played by Mila Kunis dances.  He tells her that perfection is not just about technique, it is about letting go.  On a personal note, I am at this moment wearing a T-shirt that says “prefecionist.”  I have struggled with perfectionism much of my life, and it was fed early on by my getting perfect scores on standardized tests in high school.  My own perfectionism has resulted in my starting personal projects and not following through because I deemed them less than perfect.  This week as I design a website for darlynebaugh.com, I find myself lacking in ease while holding onto my ideas of perfection.

An example of this was an attempt to have the links to pages on the left menu highlighted so that the user knows where they are on the site.  I kept trying to change the code to make this happen, but I found that some other piece of code was overriding it.  I was able to make it so that I was able to change the background behind the link, but not the font color.  After attempting to find the answer I was looking for over the course of two hours, and trying different solutions, I was frustrated and no closer to the idea that I was stuck on, as to how it should look.  At some point, and I’m not sure exactly when or how I reached this point, I decided to just keep the background but change the color.  I said to myself it was good enough, but I was annoyed that I couldn’t figure out the answer to the problem.  As if I should know how to do something I had never had any experience with.  And that, to me, is madness.

It is certainly a good thing to strive for excellence, even perfection, perhaps, but not at the cost of ease and piece of mind.  In my experience, the thing striven for is never achieved in this way.

Working with a template in Darlyne’s site, and decided to have the page title and tagline hovering over the banner and using specialized fonts. At first, I just created the banner in Photoshop, but wanted to stick with best practices for SEO, that the title and tagline be indexable by search engines. I had some trouble getting my custom font to work by uploading the font and using CSS code, so I tried Font Squirrel , where they take your fonts, turn them into web fonts, and spit out the CSS. That worked, so then it was just a matter of getting the Title and Tagline to show up in the proper place on the banner. I did some research on fixed-width web layouts, and found that the standard was 960px. Then it was just a matter of playing with the size and margins within the template settings, and it’s good to go!

AWOL

I guess I deserted this blog about a year and a half ago, but I was recently asked to redesign a friend’s website, and it seemed as though a CMS was the best solution, so I am delving into WordPress.  So much to learn!  I’ve been reading an Apress book “Beginning WordPress 3”, and it’s a good start.  There is so much information out there about designing WordPress sites, that I feel as though I’m getting a bit bogged down.  My friend just published her first novel, and it is available on Amazon (although the publisher made a mistake ans sent them the wrong version), so getting the website done is a time-sensitive issue.  Which is good, because it will keep me moving forward.

I hope, that when this is done, I can start doing websites for other people and businesses.  The thing that has stopped me in the past is the design aspect of it, I can code, I can design a back end, but visual design was never a strong point for me.  With WordPress Themes, I feel I can now design a professional looking website.  I am very interested in SEO, and internet marketing as well, so, with practice, I hope to be able to provide a soup to nuts solution.  Good stuff.