August 2006 - Posts
I am sick to death of CSS and I ain't gonna take it no more. Why is it so damned difficult to lay out elements horizontally on the page! Geezus. I want to move away from layout tables, trust me, I do, but not being able to lay out elements horizontally is just killer. The only options are tables, floats, or absolutely positioned elements. Can't use tables, since, hunh, I'm trying not to. Floats work, until you put one next to another and then decide, maybe, that you want to put something underneath the second float... See, according to the specs if you want to put something under a float you have to clear it, which unfortunately places it underneath all floats before it! So what's next, position:absolute. Pretty nifty, I like it, only one problem, it's not in the flow of the document so you can't wrap anything around it, can't use percentages, footers, blah blah blah.
I just don't get it. Laying things out vertically on the page works fine, but try doing things horizontally and all hell breaks loose. When I designed the interface for my Firefox extension I used XUL and marveled at how well it layed things out, both vertically and horizontally. I don't want to turn this post into a XUL primer but trust me, it's cool. Why can't CSS be this easy in laying things out?
CSS zealots say don't use tables, well give me something better and I won't, and no CSS is not better than tables. A lot of their argument is basically, "but think of the blind." Well, I say the blind should get better screen readers. I swear I'm going to start using class="thisaintadatatable" on my layout tables. So if you're a screen reader manufacturer key on the text "aint a data table" and then you'll know, this ain't a data table.
Whoa, I just experienced deja vu again. Well not literally just experienced, it was about 2 hours ago. I was sitting at my desk at work testing a web page I've been working on and when I entered something into a textbox on the page, the autocomplete dropdown menu appeared, and when that happened I suddenly felt like I had already relived that exact experience: me testing the page, the look of the web site, the recent changes I had just done, how I felt from sending the emails I had previously sent today, just everything.
Some people might dismiss deja vu as nothing but misfiring neurons in the brain but I've experienced this feeling enough in my life to really wonder what it is. You know, if I decide to go with my impressions then I tend to thing that time isn't as linear as we typically experience it. Every now and then a sci-fi show I look at will detail events going on and then the participants end up changing time, read saving the planet, and end up right where they were when the show started. But when they're back one or more of the people will experience something that never happened in the altered timeline but they'll feel weird about it, as if somehow they sense what they're experiencing shouldn't be happening. I wonder, could deja vu could be something like that, an awareness of a time once lived.
I was in my office at work when my officemate said there was a spider above my head. I looked up and there was a huge spider laying on a equally large web right above my head at my desk. The web was horizontal, like a hammock. I then noticed that there was another large spider laying on a horizontal web in front of my window. I then noticed three large, vertical webs with similarly sized spiders on them in front of my door. These webs were arranged with one in front of the other with the web closest to me being as tall as the door itself and the others being progressively smaller. The webs in front of my door had intricate patterns in them that were actually beautiful to look at. All of the spiders I saw were about the size of an adult human head and they were all just laying on their webs. The spider near my window seemed to be spinning around, almost dancing, and I noticed that it was red but had white and black spots on its abdomen. I didn't feel terrified of the spiders but I did want to get away from them since there were so close to me and really large.
I knocked down the web that was above my head and wanted to do the same to the one near my window but was more afraid to. When I was near it I noticed that the ceiling panels were developing brown patches, like from water damage; they were also sagging. As I was looking at the ceiling I noticed that the walls were starting to bulge and had wet spots on them. After seeing this I decided to leave my office and I grabbed my officemate and we both left. As soon as I got out the door a co-worker came out of her office and I asked her if she knew what kind of spiders were in my office. The spider that was on the web I knocked down was moving on the floor in my office, toward a wall, and I pointed to that spider. My co-worker said that those were common spiders and that they have those at the zoo. After she said this I wasn't quite so afraid of them.
I wasn't with my officemate anymore but I was at the auditorium in the building I work in. I noticed a lot of my old high school classmates and they were all sitting together as a clique at the back of the auditorium. I was kind of disgusted at this seeming elitism so I decided to sit somewhere else. The place was filled with people who were dressed up, not just my classmates. I ended up at a table with strangers but seemed to know a few. A pastry cart was brought to our table and I motioned to the person in front of me that I would like a croissant. I got it and took a knife to cut it open. The knife had already been used as it had bits of jelly and butter on it but I used it anyway. I spread some butter on the croissant and took a bite. Even though I had cut into it it was a filled croissant and jelly started entering my mouth as I chewed it. It was good.
Soon after the ceremony began and I discovered I was in an award ceremony. It felt like the final award ceremony before graduation. For some reason I decided to leave and go back to my office. When I got back the spiders were still there, stationary on their webs. I did notice more spiders on the wall next to my door, next to the large vertical webs. These were horizontal webs, but normal size with normal sized spiders on them. Before I left my office the first time the blinds over my window were closed and I was thinking that since they were closed the darkness is why I had so many spiders in my office, but when I got back the blinds were open and sunlight filled my office but the spiders were still there.
I spent some time in my office and after a while someone come down after the ceremony was over and said that I had won something. I was perplexed because I didn't know what I could have won. I went back up to the ceremony dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. I felt kind of conscious of going in there dressed the way I was. The ceremony had just recently ended so there were still a lot of people milling around, talking. I went up to the stage area and my university's president was the host and he gave me my award. It was an award for maintaining a B average all through school. The paper I was given had calculations as to how I got the award but they were all wrong. There were simple arithmetic mistakes and I could see the actual calculations, e.g. crossed out numbers, numbers being added together, etc. As I was leaving I heard what sounded like my mom's name so I went towards the host again and saw that he had an award for my mom so I got it for her.
I think I'm growing into my own skin some more. I've said and thought this before, but, you know, I guess you never stop growing. It's cool though. This time I'm starting to accept myself more, who I am, whatever that is. I think the world, the collective of people that's generally labeled the world, isn't as accepting of some expressions as others. That, or I'm just not comfortable expressing certain aspects of myself. But that's where I'm growing. Once you hit the bottom a few times you start to get comfortable with it, falling down seems like saying hey to a familiar friend, "Hey, how are ya doing ground! Life treating you good? Me? Ah, I'm staring at you again, that should say something! Ha ha ha."
Today, as in other days, I listened to my intuition again. What happened is that after starting out the door from home, after lunch, I wanted to bring my skates with me so I could skate after work. I was lazy at the time, it was blazing hot at the time, and I really didn't want to, but I felt it. It was like a person telling me that I'd enjoy it. So, after arguing with myself, internally of course, I decided to go back in my house and get them. Well, 6 pm comes and it feels absolutely fantastic outside: upper 80s temperature wise, humidity not so bad, clear blue sky, nice breeze. I mean, wow, we don't get too many days like today, especially after that killer heat wave. And to top it off there were hardly any people outside on the track so no potential obstacles to trip me up. I had a lot of fun skating today. I rotated my wheels so I was skating with a nice smooth glide, it even sounded nice.
Even me writing this entry is me listening to my intuition. It actually feels like I'm writing this for someone else, but I don't know who it is. It feels like this person, and it feels like a person in particular and not some generic every-person, but it feels like this person will know it's for them. So, enjoy this post, whomever you are.
I went clothes shopping a few weekends ago because quite a number of my garments had holes in them, and this is the only reason I go shopping for clothes. So I go and spot a few shirts I like. Up till now I've always bought shirts in a size large, even though I'm a thin guy these fit me well. Well, I go home and all of them look too big on me! WTF, I've always gotten large before and they fit!! I was able to replace one with a medium and washed the other two in hot water to shrink them. But still, I was shocked that I now seem to have to wear medium-sized shirts.
The last time I went clothes shopping -- a year ago maybe -- I noticed that the medium's fit me well. Hmm, I guess it's not a fluke then, I now wear a size medium. Strange, and I thought Americans were getting fatter, not slimmer.
But wait! A quick search on Google revealed the likely answer: vanity sizing. It seems that companies, in an attempt to get more sales, have started making clothes larger but keeping the same size label! All this in an attempt to help make fatter people feel slimmer. You used to wear a size 10 (or whatever that means in women's sizes)? No problem, if you wear Brand X you now wear a size 6! Feel better about yourself? And you didn't have to work out either...
Crud, what a mess. Although the problem seems to be worse for women's clothes my experience is showing me this affects men's clothes too. This just makes clothing sizes meaningless. I mean, if you go to store A and a large is too big for you but at store B a large fits you just fine how do you know what size you wear anymore!? Ridiculous.
Having said that, check out this Burger King Chicken Fries Commerical, it's hilarious!
Coldplay - Clocks
Once, I was talking to a person at work who reads my blog and she said I had a lot of interesting things to say. Once I was talking to this person and I told her I don't write on here like I used to, I told her it's hard for me to write from the heart when I'm happy.
It's a strange thing to say I now think; kind of sad too, that I only open up when I'm not happy. But, you know, I guess when you're happy and out and about in the world there's little attention paid to certain parts of yourself. I wonder why.
Heh, I guess I should start from the beginning. One of my beliefs is that we choose to come here, to this planet, to be born, to be alive. When I was a child I was out playing in my backyard one day and I looked up at the sky. I saw the big blue sky, and the clouds, and I had an overriding feeling of awe that I was finally looking at them, it, the sky, from the other side, as if I had wanted for so long to be here. It's probably one of the few moments in my life where I can point to and say I was ecstatically happy.
So, my question of why. Why is it that I choose to push people away, why is it that I choose to be alone so much, I wonder why so much. Why choose to create a life where I would spend much of it to myself, away from most people. Why even come here.
I can't say I have much of an answer now. Certainly, if you believe you're more than a single solitary human being, when you're away from life you have a broader spectrum of yourself, then it would be more evident why to create such a life. But, within the life, while you have it, it is difficult: to know why certain things are done in such and such way.
I thought today, maybe my life is for something else that I can't see. Who knows. Maybe I can be a nexus of sort for the expression of these "interesting things that I say" that the person at work said to me. Who knows. Why have such a life?...