New Thing #2: Basic HTML Coding

I am late posting this blog, because I enrolled in the HTML course that NEVER ENDS. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I have spent at least 10 hours laboring over code and have 15 full pages of notes, and according to the site I am only 57% done with the class.  On the positive side, it’s a very comprehensive course, and it’s FREE at CodeAcademy.

At the beginning it was very exciting, like I was being initiated into a secret nerd society. Like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, I’d received my shiny decoder ring and was all set to reveal the mysteries of the digital world. I was thrilled to discover that I already knew some code, due to some tedious freelance textbook writing I did a few years ago that required me to input all my own code. I didn’t realize at the time it was HTML code; I thought it was just some cruel Sisyphean task foist upon me by the publisher (“Now tell her to type ' every time she wants to use an apostrophe! Bwahahaha!” *whipcrack*).

Anyway, as I said, it was exciting at the outset. Then we got to the part of the course called CSS Styling. This is not as fun as it sounds (“hey, we’re stylin’!”) This is where you learn a bunch of different code (CSS Code) in order to make the content you wrote with the HTML code look better. CSS and HTML are very different. HTML likes to use a lot of these <>, and CSS likes to use a lot of these {   }, which for some reason have to sit lonely on their own line, far away from their partners.  It’s like the CSS people got kicked out of the HTML clubhouse, and went off in a huff and made up their own secret code the HTML people would later have to figure out.

I should have been most interested in the CSS part, because I want to make my blog look better. But I am at heart a writer, not a designer, and it seemed like a LOT of work just to pick fonts and colors and put boxes around things, without actually saying anything different. And the further I got into it, the harder it got. It started reminding me, suspiciously, of algebra — so many little brackets everywhere.

But I am determined to finish what I started, so I will beat on, a boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into previous lessons. I don’t think I’m cut out to be a web developer, but I still think it’s knowledge that will come in handy, some day. Maybe on Jeopardy.

New Thing #3: Stitch Fix!

I have worked hard on my first two new things; I’ve sweated and twisted and squinted for hours at HTML hieroglyphics. So my next new thing with actually be New Things: clothes for me! I’ve heard a lot about Stitch Fix, and in preparation for my next blog, I’ve already placed my first Stitch Fix order.

Stitch Fix, if you haven’t heard of it, is an online service that will periodically send you a box of clothing pieces, which a stylist has selected for you based on your answers to a questionnaire you fill out before you start.  You tell them your sizes, the colors you like, the way you like your clothes to fit, the pieces you’re most in need of, etc.  You can get shipments as infrequently as once per quarter, which is good news for those of us with a limited clothing budget.

Join me next time as I style myself. No CSS code required.

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