Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The pagan-ish

aspects of the Lent/Easter season make it more attractive to me than Advent/Christmas. Is it obvious that I would appreciate a political execution over a baby's birth? Today marks the beginning of the "lengthening" days of Lent, and the press toward spring is ridiculously apparent, since it's actually almost hot outside.

Today is also the day you can see who is Catholic, for the best ones are wearing it on their (sleeves) foreheads. It's a day when the "fallen" come back to the fold and try for 40 days of repentence. (The Sundays are not counted.)

The smudge of black may look like a guilt sign, but back in Catholic grade school, you'd feel guilty if you didn't have one. You always hoped to get the younger priest, the one who didn't make you look like you fell head-first into a barbecue grill. The coolest girls (picture plaid skirts and white shirts) would bow their heads back at the pew and surreptitiously brush the ashes away. "How does it look now?" they whispered to each other, not daring to pull out a mirror. God forbid if Sister saw you touch your head. . .

One day without vanity is not too much to ask.

It can be when someone is making you devanitize, but no one makes me go to church anymore. For some reason, I didn't hear any church bells today, only the neighbor's Harley at 5 a.m.

Morning masses are over, and while I do not have last year's burned Palm Sunday fronds on my face, I find the chant that goes along with the ritual one worth repeating:

Remember, man, that thou art dust and to dust thou shall return.


Susan said...

This reminded me to look in my _Pagan Book of Days_ and find something to talk about today... kinda. So thanks! I like the pix from Tracy St. too.

For your html quest, the most helpful thing I have used to start getting more familiar with it, or at least with how it applies to Blogger, was to set up a hidden playspace blog with the same template as my real blog. First I just started guessing at where certain commands would lie, etc., based on tweaking something and then looking to see what it did - you can reset the template any time if you mess too much stuff up. At the beginning I used the Blogger help stuff, too, and usually had good luck with it altho apparently that depends on the person; Jessica thought it very unhelpful. When I started digging in on color changes I found some pretty good html true color charts (there are a bunch but here are two of my favorites) here: or The reason I use various ones is that for some colors it's easier to see them in the larger blocks but for others I like to see the contrast better...

Also I found a couple pretty good html tag lists, of which my faves: or or This last is from a prof here at AU who runs some of the tech workshops I've been in -- he's really a terrible teacher but has really useful resources on his site. I would say just start digging in and playing. As for specific wackinesses that you already have happening, unfortunately my html knowledge is not broad enough yet for trouble shooting :) but sometimes when I have something mess up unexpectedly on my page I copy all the formatting into my dummy blog so that I can play with it there and not do further damage... :)

the hardest for me sometimes is the sidebar text heading choices - I find them a little too restricted and once in a while I make a teensy change and it does some HUGE wacky thing so they strike me as less straightforward than the formatting on the rest of the template. I don't yet understand what makes them more wacky - it's probably a global sidebar format heading somewhere that I have yet to notice. also I know there are other ways around the headings they have "set" for each template but I'm just not good enough at the more creative things on html yet.

OH I just remembered a really helpful thing I also did - if you're using a template for which Blogger gives several color/font choices, that's the easiest way to see where the html tags for color, font, etc. are. My current template comes in some other dark colors instead and on those they have sans-serif fonts but on the white one they had a serif one I didn't like, so I changed the template on my dummy blog to one of the dark ones and basically just opened both templates and scanned them together to see wherever there were discrepancies. For colors this is easier because usually you can spot the 6-digit number or the number & letter code... then I'd compare on one of the true color charts so that I knew for sure what that color was applied to.

what a long answer, plus you probably know more about this stuff than me anyway... Susan Verbosity strikes again. alas.

have a great day t.!

Susan said...

t!! I forgot to respond to the lard part of your comment way back when - heavens no! Crisco City :) The crust was SO easy - I was really nervous but I'm the champion pastry-cutter-user of the world!!!! har! (Fun additional uses I apply to pastry-cutters: cutting up hard-boiled eggs for egg salad and cutting up avocadoes (unless not ripe/soft enough) for guacamole. Can't be beat :)!!!!!!

btw I'm so glad you're all better - hope Gear is all rosy again soon too. {sympathetic noises}