My apartment is almost bare and I’ll be turning in my keys today. My cats are now with my parents so it’s pretty loud there, but here in Salem it’s quiet. Almost. I’ve been singing at the top of my lungs while I clean (don’t judge the music choices too much, they have fun lyrics and I can dance to them as I scrub my shower):
So I’m “officially” done with the pre-course work for Hack Reactor. Remember that freakout a few posts back? Remember? Because I do and it makes me laugh out loud. I’m still going to work on all of the extra credit bits that they included but I have a month to go and I want to do some stuff I want to do. So here goes the site redesign I said wasn’t coming just a post ago.
While I redesigned this website and finally created my own minimal theme for WordPress I really wanted to learn the new awesome HTML5 tags that I’d only breezed through in the past. My first question was can I have multiple headers? Should I have multiple headers? According to Common HTML5 Mistakes, the answer is no on the “should” part at least.
My next rabbit hole was how those fancy newfangled button thingies work. I thought about using them for my main nav buttons, but after reading some Stack Overflow on Valid Button Uses I decided against it. Instead I just used some block divs.
From there I wanted it to be pretty. I have been reading about usability in web design. I’m starting to understand the Contrast Rebellion. I really want colors/fonts that are easy to read, still a little trendy, and with an eye to the UX vs UI issues.
Some other fun things I used/found useful:
- Adobe Kuler – my color inspiration
- Custom Text Select Color – for the heck of it
- CSS Selectors – more than I remember learning in web design
- WP-Markdown – I’ve started using Markdown and wanted to use it to blog too
- Disqus – much easier comment management
- HTML5 Reset – ridiculously simple wordpress theme with no styling that I hacked to bits
If you’ve tuned in for my regular poetic ramblings on life and web development for the past few days what you probably saw was a site in a bit of a mess. Instead of designing my own WordPress theme I had the zany notion that it would be quicker just to pick a theme and change some things. So instead of writing my own code I spent two days trying on themes like a teenage girl tries on prom dresses – none of them was just quite right. I eventually settled and looked for something that was responsive (meaning I could view it on my computer or my iPhone with ease) and whose structure and CSS was clean and easy to navigate. I settled on Tiny Forge. It was pretty right out of the box and I just tweaked some colors, threw up my own header image and added some of my widgets to the sidebar.
I have a feeling as I get busier I’ll have even less desire to mess with my personal projects, but currently the need make this site pretty is as strong as it was when I started creating websites, which is pretty cool because I never thought I’d get back there.
When I first became enamored with websites and building my own I, well, I sucked at it obviously. This was back in junior high when I was a part of the weird subculture of Petz (I link to the Wikipedia article because the current nature of Petz is sad and pathetic to those of us who started from the beginning) and had a tiny fan site all my own – long-lost to the internet. I can’t even remember what I called it and it was probably on GeoCities (RIP). I couldn’t figure out why images where all red X’s (I never actually uploaded them to the website) and those images I tried to link all had these ugly blue borders around them (oh CSS, how I came to love and despair you).
In 2004 for Christmas my parents bought me a web domain of my very own (this very one) and Leaena as a nickname and a website was born. I jumped quickly into blogs when they became a thing. From Blogger to MoveableType and back again while trying a billion others like Pivot, Textpattern, etc. Somewhere in there I tried WordPress and it stuck (sort of, I think I bounced around a bunch in between).
The problem with all of these blogs up until recently was nothing stuck. I’d write a few posts and then it would just be a static page that I would want to change the layout for once a month or so, but never actually update. So that’s what I did. I wish I had pictures of some of my old sites. I was generally always following the trends. From frames to iFrames to horizontal scrolls. From using CSS to only using Comic Sans at a very small font size (it looks cool tiny guys, promise) to learning box models and divs. All along I wondered why I didn’t actually want to post anything. There were people out there writing constantly about things! in there lives! that sounded neat! I can write, but they always say write what you know and I felt like I didn’t know much of anything.
Then all of this happened, I decided computer science was my way of life, I realized that I enjoyed reading other people writing about their coding and geeky lives, and I realized I could have that life and tell other people about it too. So here’s to the new leaena.com. I’m sure I will be changing layouts every month soon, but at least I’ll also be updating the content as well.
My best friend, Ava, starts Hackbright next week! So proud of her and it’s awesome to have someone so close who’s going to be going through the same things I am. She just started up a blog: Ava Goes to Hackbright. In her inaugural post she talks about the same issue I mentioned earlier: impostor syndrome.
Oops. That’s really all I can say to start off this post. No one will read it anyway and for that maybe I’m glad. leaena.com has been down for probably two months now if I can do my math right. It’s annual billing cycle came and went in March and I was such a ball of mess and unhappiness and I haven’t touched this site in so long that I never even checked. My old site, the one that the DNS servers probably are still pointing to for most people, is dead and gone. It was hosted through ASmallOrange and I have nothing but good to say about them. This new site is not hosted there for a variety of reasons. 1) I am too much of a wuss to ever talk to them about unsuspending me/seeing if my info is still backed up and 2) I need a fresh start and to make it completely fresh new blog, new domain hosting (leaena.com is now hosted through Namecheap when that whole leave GoDaddy day happened awhile back), and new webhost (MDDhosting).
My life is still mostly hell (I have a flair for the dramatic, but in reality I’m not in a very happy place right now) and I haven’t done much about it, but I’m taking small steps. I think my goal here is to write every day about something, anything and post it no matter how stupid/personal it is.