Tag: blog design

Simple is the New Luxury

festive lighting

Daylight savings time is a human invented stupidity in which we pretend the sun is rising and setting an hour later or earlier than it really is.  The truth is that it rises and sets on the same schedule it has been rising and setting on for millions of years.  You are not more tired this morning because you lost an hour.  You just fell victim to your own hoax.  It’s the weakest mind-fuck ever.

I would love it if my state were to stop playing this ridiculous game with clock hands.

I spent 8 hours yesterday re-doing both my blogs.  The plan was to simplify them and I was amazed at how complicated and tedious the process of simplifying can be.  I chose the default wordpress theme 2012 because it has almost no bells and whistles and is really clean looking.  Though I didn’t settle on choosing it until I farted around with Atahualpa for quite some time first.  For so long the trend in blogging has been to customize and make your theme look your own with a million little details.  I couldn’t even get this theme to do drop-down menus and in the end I’m happy it doesn’t.  My blog may look like a thousand other blogs now – and that’s fine because what should really be important isn’t the bells and whistles of my theme but the content and my photographs.  I am a writer, not a programmer or website designer.  I don’t want to spend my time trying to manage the details of my blog from the technical side.  I don’t want to mess with that or think about it.  Except for periodically changing my header.  I do enjoy doing that.  But it’s not like I do anything really impressive or fancy.  So that’s how I spent my Saturday.  I wanted to sew but I’m glad I got this done.  The places I come to write should not bother me visually.  I feel like this theme is so simple and clean that I can breathe again.

That’s how I want my whole life to be.  Life is not generally cooperative in this way.  I guess that’s what’s nice about online spaces – we can make them as simple or complicated as we want and it complies because we’re the hand behind the machine.  Life is not getting more simple for me yet but I suppose that if it takes 8 hours of grueling computer work to simplify such a shallow thing as my blog – to simplify life takes an effort amplified by the things that are always out of our control, the diverse elements that make up our life, and time constraints.  When you need to fix your blog up you stop writing on it and do the maintenance work.  Life just never stops.  So you have to work on it while it’s moving and while meeting obligations and living.

I’m working hard to get things set up for Max with regard to school and his medical and psychiatric support so that he has the best chance at succeeding.  While that will never stop being work – it should ease up if I ever get a 504 in place.  I’m working to get him into some healthier habits like walking the dog with his dad and eating better food.  I find this exhausting which is why I periodically just give up.  But when I give up I let him eat whatever and it’s worse than when I only let him eat mostly whatever.  Those who understand, understand, those who don’t, don’t.

The thing is: parenting is already a full time job.  Being a mom or a dad is a 24 hour a day job for a minimum of 16-18 years with worry and involvement lasting an entire lifetime.  Just feeding, coaching, and making my kid meet the minimum obligations for a healthy life is a full time job in itself.  Forget about “having fun” or helping with homework or spending quality time playing board games or taking family outings – that stuff takes energy and if your energy is sapped just making your son eat one lousy item of produce a day and keeping all possible bits of produce he might eat in the fridge and encouraging him to try new foods – well – all that other shit just falls by the wayside.  Max is in a real food trying phase which is great but exhausting for me.

Meanwhile I have my regular job.  And on top of that there’s the animals and the household and having to sew my own wardrobe or look scary-shabby and cooking and I’m supposed to be fitting exercise in there every day and eating healthily and and and and and…

My life feels way over-full.  Too many things in the picture.  I know I need to make choices but I refuse to let go of the writing, I can’t let go of the paying job, obviously I can’t give up on my kid ever, I can’t afford to go buy a whole wardrobe of clothes that fit my body, and I need to be gardening for the sake of my mental health.  I am feeling overwhelmed.  I would like my life to be as simple and clean as this blog theme.  I keep telling myself that it will smooth out.  In another couple of weeks and many hours later I’ll be done with sewing my clothes.  I can start quilting – the fun stuff I can do while watching tv shows while winding down for bed.  Once I get Max his 504 I won’t have to have quite so many meetings with doctors and the school and writing letters and maybe there will come a time when he eats enough healthy things that I don’t have to constantly worry about and deal with HOW TO FEED MY CHILD SOME REGULAR FOOD.  Maybe he’ll thin out with the added exercise and slightly better food and I won’t have to worry about him being overweight.

What hard choices have you had to make to live the life you want?  What have you cut out of your life to simplify it?  Have you let ambitions fall to the ditch?  Have you figured out a magical way to meet your obligations with a minimum of fuss?

At least I simplified my writing space.  That only took 8 hours.  And at least while I’m sitting here writing in it I feel less oppressed by cumbersome details.

SIMPLIFY is my new anthem of intention.

Your Blog design is HURTING MY EYES

I am about to offer a piece of advice that will almost certainly be completely ignored, and while I’m not fine with that, I feel that bringing this up and offering my help is a public service.  If this piece of advice applies to you, I want to promise you with all my heart that someone you know has been dying to broach this subject with you (because they love you) but are afraid.


Many people believe that black is sophisticated and “frames” everything really well.  While this is occasionally true in design, it is never true of print.  So if you have a blog with white type on a black background it is almost certainly making people’s eyes uncomfortable and in some cases it may actually pissing them the hell off.

When I set up my very first blog on blogspot I chose that template with the dark green background and the white print.  I had that template for at least a year.  Maybe even two, before I changed it.  When I finally changed it my blog was transformed.  I have to say that looking at it every single day had irritated my eyes though I never realized how much until I stopped having to look at it any more.

A black background is not sophisticated.

Please,  PLEASE be kind to your prospective readers and inspire them to come back by not hurting them.

Recap of public service announcement: Black background with white type on a blog…KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF!

Credentials for giving such advice: design school, two years as the color specialist at a mens necktie company, growing up with an artist mother, my own dismal blog mistakes, I’ve painted many color wheels, I like to read and I prefer it not to be an annoying experience, all the books ever printed (that are worth reading) have been printed on either a cream, natural, or white paper using black ink.