If anything can go wrong, it will.

Monthly Archives: February 2015

WP Themes: Starry and Peachy

In attempting to be some kind of productive today, I’ve put up two WP themes that I’ve created.

I’d put up the screenshots of them for you in this post, except that I’m a) lazy and b) tired beyond belief. You have no idea how far past my bed time it is right now.

So, instead of sticking you with static previews, instead, I’ll give you the means to test drive them.

Test drive: Peachy | Starry

Godspeed, Mr. Spock

Spock in "The Wrath of Khan"

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

Leonard Nimoy has passed away.

I’m a little too young to have grown up on the original “Star Trek”, but I did get hooked on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as a kid.  And it was because of ST:TNG that I played catch-up on the original series. I must confess that I quickly grew rather fond of Spock. In fact, I can’t watch “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” without sobbing uncontrollably at the scene pictured above.

I think a Star Trek marathon is in order.

Farewell, Mr. Nimoy, and Godspeed, Mr. Spock.

Human Kindness

As is my morning habit, lately, I made my tea and opened up my feed reader to make the rounds of the blogs I enjoy (a list that keeps growing). As I was making the rounds, I discovered a link to an unsettling post: “Freezing Child… Wow… Unbelievable“.

You might want to go ahead and click that link, watch that video, otherwise some of the things I’m about to say may not make a lot of sense…

I believe, perhaps naively, and sometimes, despite all evidence to the contrary, that people are good and kind.

From personal experience, I know that there are those who are not. I know this, but I’ve always chosen to believe that they are the minority. I’ve always thought that, particularly where children are concerned, the average heart is just a little softer, a little more open. A little less likely to assume the worst, that perhaps they are being taken advantage of, or conned in some way.

I know that here, in my own city, that some of the people who hold up cardboard signs near the interstate entrances are con artists. That they make more money sitting out there with their sign and their cup than they ever have with any job they’ve ever had. I also know that’s not the case for every person I see swallowing their pride and asking for help.

As for me, I’d rather be conned now and then than shut my eyes to the fact that there are people suffering when I’m able to do something about that. I’d rather my $5 be spent on alcohol or drugs or whatever occasionally than to miss an opportunity to offer help in what small way I can.

Maybe it’s because, while I’ve fortunately never been homeless, I have been the kid whose parent has run out of food and money towards the end of the month. Maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to find yourself cold and without a coat to your name. I can empathise.

Maybe none of those people in that video have never been in those kinds of situations. They can’t empathise. Where is their sympathy, though? Human decency? Kindness? Where are those things?

I’m not even suggesting that anyone should drop their money in the cup, but surely they could take a moment to ask him what his situation is… surely they could stop to suggest someone or some place that he should contact? Grab their smartphone and look up child protective services?

Most of them just walk on by.

NB: Thanks to “My Blog News and Blues Reviews” for sharing the link to “Little Karl’s Blog“.

Not In My Back Yard

My neighbourhood, situated in what is reputed to be a fairly rough section of town, is mostly quiet.

On the left of my house is my landlady’s home, and while there’s still plenty of spring in her step, she’s definitely outgrown any delinquent tendencies she may have had in youth. She tends to her garden, says hello to everyone she passes on her daily walk, and is friendly to all the neighbourhood cats.

On the right, there’s a young couple with three kids, and while the noise sometimes gets overwhelming, it’s never anything more than the morning fight about going to school, or siblings arguing over games & toys.

Across the street there is a church with a congregation full of immeasurably kind folks. The kind of people that will greet you warmly and genuinely care about your well-being, whether or not you are in church with them every Sunday.

One block east of me, there is a busy four-lane street, lined with businesses, that stretches for miles and miles. The businesses nearest me consist of a café specialising in Bohemian cuisine, a charming little niche bookshop, and a barbecue joint that’ll knock your socks off.  It’s as if my little neighbourhood is a pocket of quaint in an otherwise very urban environment.  And I like it this way.

For the life of me, on Monday night, I could not figure out why the mass amounts of traffic that usually cruise down that busy four-lane were coming down my little cobblestone street, barely wide enough to allow two cars to pass each other going the opposite direction. Why the slow route? Why all the noise in my quiet little pocket of quaint, keeping me awake far later than I really wanted to be?

On Monday, Omaha police officers shot a man just down the street from my house. Reportedly, officers attempted to help the man before paramedics could arrive on scene, but to no avail. He died that night of his injuries. He was unarmed.

For years I’ve lived in this neighbourhood, and the worst thing to happen right here was when one of the kids down the street was bitten after teasing a dog.

Shootings don’t happen here; not right in my back yard.

Small Victories

I’m by no means a professional web designer, although, I did begin university for that.

I use a “mostly” WYSIWYG program for creating WordPress themes, though, and I have a lot of fun with it, most of the time.

Today has been one of those days where I’m definitely not having fun.

All that I wanted to do was make a small graphic to be used as a post divider. The graphic itself was easy, but managing to insert it in such a manner that it automatically follows each post in my theme, but only on the primary posts page, has been a nightmare.

I know how to work with CSS. So, doing it that way shouldn’t have really been an issue, except for the way that the program I use lays everything out. The CSS class that defines the layout of posts also appears in various other locations, such as the divs that category archive titles are in and after the navigation on single posts.  If I attempted to put the graphic in that way, I wound up with this little swirly image all over the place!

As a result, I have now butchered this theme about 46 times, and mangled the template pages for the software I use beyond all recognition. (Thank goodness I have been clever enough to back it all up!)

So, why don’t I just do the coding myself? Well, because that’s not the part of designing WP themes that I actually like. It’s the visual elements of web design that I enjoy, and really, the part I feel I’m better at. Ugh. CSS and HTML kind of make me want to tear my hair out, whereas, creating the graphics in Photoshop is enjoyable and even relaxing.

I really do love playing around at theme design, but, as someone who is really just playing, could you please, for the love of all that is holy, provide me with more options and less restriction?

On a happy note, though, I did manage to achieve my goal… after hours and hours of searching for answers in the support documentation, and pouring through more PHP files than I can count.

Too

be-you-tiful
My hair is too dark.
My skin is too fair.
My eyes are too small.
My nose is too bulbous.
My lips are too thin.
My breasts are too large.
My hips are too wide.
My butt is too round.

When I look in a mirror, or when I look at photographs of myself, I don’t see the same thing that other people see. Sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, true.

I have a boyfriend who tells me, every single day, many times each day, that I’m beautiful. He calls me “gorgeous girl” and tells me that he will always think I’m beautiful, no matter what. Sadly, the poor guy is combating years and years of “you’d be so pretty if..” Combating several emotionally and mentally abusive ex-boyfriends.

Or, at least, the baggage left behind by these things.

It’s not really fair of me to expect that he should help me carry my baggage, and yet he does, and almost always without complaint. I’m really lucky that he puts up with my shit.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Apparently, I need to learn to behold myself a little differently.

Happy Birthday To… Me!

Jack and Sally

Jack and Sally: Fan art by yours truly.

Today, because it’s my birthday, Alex and I watched “The Nightmare  Before Christmas” on Netflix.

Knowing how much he absolutely despises this film, it’s one of the nicest things he could have done for me. It really made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

There are presents coming, as well, but apparently, because I’m “stubborn“,  they won’t be arriving ’til next week. I do know what they are, though: light, warmth, and lots & lots of fun. I’m incredibly lucky to have such a thoughtful boyfriend. ♥

I also have a pretty fantastic set of parents. Their gift to me this year came in the form of them taking in my laptop to be repaired and updated. I’ve really missed my laptop, so, that’s a spectacular present, if you ask me!

I’m not sure what else is in store for today, but I hope there’s cake.

Edited to add: There was cake. Oh, man, was there cake. Chocolate-on-chocolate, and it was sinful.

The Divorce Diet: My Thoughts

The Divorce Diet

The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley.

It’s a little bit funny the way this book found its way on to my shelves. I was exploring at WordPress, browsing “Anglophile” as a tag (Okay, you got me, I’m obsessed!) when I stumbled upon this charming blog called Notes from the U.K.

How appropriate.

I fell in love with what Ellen Hawley had to say about her experiences as an American living in the U.K., with the little glimpses into England, and Cornwall in particular, that she shares.

And then I read the “About” page. Oooh. Books! Curiosity piqued. With my birthday approaching (22/2, so, rapidly approaching), I decided last night that I’d treat myself.

Turns out, it was a pretty fantastic treat. I bought the book (Kindle format) last night and could not put it down. And I’m not one of those types who can’t leave a book unfinished, if it’s not engaging.

What I love about The Divorce Diet: 

Continue reading

Establish Dominance!

Beauregard B. Furpants

Beauregard B. Furpants. Or just Beau works.

I have the world’s most overly-attached little stalker of a cat. Oh, and well, he’s actually not so little, either.

He isn’t often allowed into the computer room, because of his tendency to rub up against everything as he tries to build up a static charge so that he can electrofuckulate you.

Or rather, me.

So, since the computer room is often where I am, and as I mentioned, he’s a stalker, he frequently sits right outside the door and waits for me to exit, so that he can follow me wherever it is I’m going, whether that’s to my bedroom, or to the toilet.

I spend an awful lot of time working (or playing) in Photoshop, and sometimes, I really get quite enthused with whatever it is I’m doing. So much so that I’ll ignore little distractions like the need to pee.

That’s a distraction that you can only ignore for so long.

On one such occasion, I was very nearly finished with a project, and ridiculously excited about how it was progressing. I just couldn’t wait to put the finishing touches on it. I got that first little notification from my bladder that it was approaching maximum capacity at just the wrong time. Just a few more brush strokes, so close… must finish!

When I was finally satisfied with the project, I just knew I’d delayed a bit too long. I dropped my tablet,  and made for the door with my bladder absolutely screaming at me for my foolishness. Right outside my door, waiting for me, was Beau.

I hurried to the bathroom with my cat right on my heels, quite literally. I nearly tripped over him as I rushed in and closed the door behind me. I undid my button and dropped trou as quickly as humanly possible, and this is where one of us, I’m not sure which, maybe both, made a fatal mistake.

Beau had positioned himself behind my legs, in front of the base of the toilet. I dropped my jeans right on his head, and of course, he moved out from under them. As I bent to sit on the toilet, I put just a tiny bit too much pressure on my overloaded bladder, and unfortunately, a slight trickle escaped.

My poor cat. He was in just the wrong place at just the wrong time, and that little trickle… it landed right on his head.  You can imagine his disgust and irritation.

To add insult to injury, naturally he had to have a bath.

On the up side, he was honestly the most well-behaved cat for about a week.

A Reason or a Season

Mended Heart

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I don’t know why it happened, I received nothing in the way of explanation, but I lost a friend overnight.

I like to pretend that things like this don’t phase me when they happen. I like to pretend that I’m the kind of person who can just laugh it off and say “Well, fuck you, then, if you don’t want to be my friend”. The only problem is, fantastic imagination or not, I really can’t pretend that well, not about that.

If I’ve done something wrong, I’m the kind of person who prefers that you tell me so. I’m not one to set out to be intentionally mean or offensive, so if I have wronged you in some way, please tell me how. How does a person learn from their mistakes if they’re not even sure what mistake they’ve made? I’m well aware that I’m an imperfect person, but I can’t grow or change if I don’t have my flaws pointed out.

In simply writing me off with no explanation, my former friend has made it reasonably clear to me that he doesn’t wish to talk about it, or work it out, whatever “it” is. I suppose there’s not much that I can do but stitch up the little hole in my heart his absence leaves.

A little part of me wonders if, maybe, there’s some strange reason that he wants me to “chase” him down and demand to know the issue, but that’s not really my way, and I guess I sort of expect that people who know me, friends, would know this about me.

It’s not that I don’t care… it’s that he doesn’t. Or at least that’s what the behaviour indicates to me.