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Starting next week I’m going to be recapping the show High School Reunion for Television Without Pity. It’s a reality show that shoves together seventeen people from the class of ’92, and presumably all sorts of former bully/sweetheart/geek/angst hijinks will ensue, and what’s going to make it really weird is that the cast is from my own damn high school. They were freshmen when I was a senior. It premieres in a week, and the forums, which I’ll be moderating, are already up at TWoP. Feel free to stop by.

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Hello out there!

Are you freaking out at the new design? Is anyone on Netscape 4.X and freaking out because there’s NO design? Yeah. Sorry. I tried everything I could, and in the end just decided to override the CSS for that browser version. Whenever I checked out the design in it, Netscape 4.7 would act like a crazed horse and kick the page elements all over the place with its big, stupid, buggy hooves. So I posted the plea below. Big old thanks to Paul for responding and showing me a cool import trick that essentially shoots a big tranquilzer dart into Netscape 4.X and puts an end to its CSS-trampling ways. The alternative was having the browser show an unreadable page with overlapping blocks.

As you’ll see, I don’t have the photos and FAQ and other pages redesigned yet. That’ll happen in a couple weeks–I’ve got too many other things going on right now. I know you some of you will miss Glenda. She won’t go away completely. I’ll stick her on some more t-shirts or something. Or make a tribute page to her.

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I’m working on redesigning the site using some of the CSS stuff that I’ve picked up from reading some online tutorials, studying code on other sites, and from tweaking my own Blogger template. I’ve been playing around with div elements and a couple days ago I came up with a layout I really like.

Now here’s the problem: it looks like hell in Netscape. Yeah. Apparently, Netscape 4.X takes “CSS” and reads it as “ASS.” Apparently this is no secret, since I found tons of pages on Google that address Netscape CSS issues. The problem is that most of them are written for people who are web designers and are fluent in code and not for people with a half-assed knowledge of this stuff.

Today I managed to figure out that Netscape won’t render div elements with percentage properties for positioning, and while I’ve managed to fix a couple of things, now it seems that my test page actually crashes Netscape when I try to resize the page. And I know there’s a Javascript fix for that but I don’t know whether or not I installed it… you know, in the right… place in the… code… thingy. It’s driving me freaking nuts.

So I need help. From you. Those among you who are reading and who actually know what the fuck I am talking about and are probably cracking your shit up at my attempt to even put into words what is happening. I know what I must sound like to you. I know because I have worked with people who know even less about technology than I do and who’ve stomped into my office saying things like, “Do we have Adobe on our terminals?! Because I just clicked on a web site that is saying it’s going to download the Adobe onto MY platform terminal or else it won’t let me read the page and well, that just sounds fishy to me!” Which, of course, is their own very special way of asking me to help them open a PDF file. So I understand. But damn, it’s frustrating to be on the other end here. So if you are good at this stuff: please. Email me. Don’t go thinking that someone else, out of all my readers, is going to lend a hand. For your trouble you’ll get a peek at the new design and, if you can solve the problem(s), you’ll get a ton of credit and sloppy wet thanks and maybe presents or something. Yeah. Bring it on. I mean, pretty please. Thanks.

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Posting an entry for those of you who like to stick around the internet even around Christmas. You know how when you drive around late on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day you look at stores and stuff to see what’s open, and you’re like hey! Look, White Hen Pantry! I’m like that. I’m like a convenience store. Except not.

I would have been on more in the past couple days, except I’ve been working on redesigning the site. If everything turns out okay, soon this weblog will be on the front page of Poundy.com where I’ll post short updates like this along with links to the longer journal entry pieces. So I’ve been playing with code and Photoshop and Getting My Christmas On in between. Now that I actually have this bloggy venue to write about it, I am starting to see how much of a holiday geek I can be sometimes. Or maybe it’s because I really worked Christmas this year. This past weekend I finally got to ride the Santa Train, which was just as dorky as I hoped it would be.

If I can stand to stuff a little more Christmas into my, um, my Christmas Experiential Repository, or whatever, I might try and go to Marshall Field’s on Thursday, because I haven’t been in years. One of my gifts to my grandma (I can say this, right? She doesn’t get on the computer. She watches PBS mysteries, and sometimes, for kicks, COPS.) is a book called Christmas on State Street: The 1940s and Beyond about all the old Chicago department stores and they way they’d do things up for Christmas. Looking through the book I got a spooky feeling because even though a lot of those stores were gone by the time I was growing up, their names and swanky logos were familiar from the garment boxes and old newspapers that we used to pack our Christmas decorations; so much of what I knew about Christmas referenced a somewhat earlier time, and the way I understood it, Christmas came from a slightly fancier version of downtown where people wore dressy hats, even though I sort of knew they didn’t anymore. And there were also the el trips with my grandma down to Field’s and Carson’s and Wiebolts, where we’d shop and look at the windows and we’d go to the Walnut Room at Field’s. We probably did not go to the Walnut Room as often as I remember. We may have actually gone just once, because getting in to eat under the big tree in the Walnut Room at Christmastime is a legendary pain in the ass, and perhaps after waiting for three hours in line my grandma told me I’d sure as hell better remember it (except she wouldn’t say “hell” in the Walnut Room) and I guess I did remember, and several times over.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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Tonight I got an email from Wendy Shanker, who is a comedy performer and writer and whose byline I’ve been coming across for a few years now–most recently Grace magazine, where she has a regular column. She wrote to say that she likes Pound and that often people think she and I are the same person. And sure enough, when I did a search, I see there’s been some recent confusion. Wow. Weird!

But I can see how we might have gotten mixed up: not only do we write about a lot of the same stuff like fat suits and body image, but she’s also contributed to BUST (a lot more than I have); moreover she’s written for a pop culture review website just as I do sometimes. So it’s pretty funny, and we’re both flattered, and since I’m the one with the weblog/journal site I feel it’s my duty to tell you that I am not Wendy Shanker and Wendy Shanker is not me. Two Wendys, no waiting! Thank you.

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I am actually pretty good at not letting Christmas kick my ass. If X = The Amount of Christmas I Need and Y = How Much Shit I Need To Do To Acheive Optimum Christmastic Effect, then somehow I’ve managed to come up with a stable formula that won’t give me a rash or create a holly-berry-scented acid byproduct or cause a really twinkly but fatal explosion even if I happen to drop the beaker. I think this is because I’ve had years to work on it.

At some point while I was growing up, I noticed that my parents were so busy with work and grad school and stuff that I decided to be The Girl Who Saved Christmas. “Six kinds of cookies!” my family would exclaim. “Why, we would have been fucking screwed without those, and without the decorative tinsel garland accents in the bathroom! Thank you, Girl Who Saved Christmas!” Except, really, they’d say, “That’s nice, honey. Don’t forget to clean up afterwards.” I know that now. But years of that managed to get a lot of holiday ambition out of my system. Now I only bake a couple different things and have a pretty small card list and I’m not afraid to be all lame with the gift certificates.

This weekend, as I’ve been getting stuff together, I’ve been more aware than usual of the things I still insist on. There are weird, residual little holiday compulsions that I try to abide by in order to avoid subliminal and potentially soul-eroding anxiety. Which is not to say they are a big deal, right? These include:

1.) Presents must be wrapped with several different kinds of gift wrap. This is important as it serves to create an eye-pleasing array of gifts. No more than two gifts can have the same paper, and they must be not be placed adjacent to one another in The Array. Wrapping all the presents in the same gift wrap severely diminishes the specialness of each individual present. A variety of paper styles creates a visual tableaux of abundance inasmuch as it signifies an abundance of wrapping paper and thus a generous spirit. It does. It does!!!!

2.) Candles must accompany as many Christmas-related tasks and activities as possible. I don’t know. I really don’t have an explanation for this. Jesus used candles, right?

3.) Any opportunity to tastefully make use of the fancy expensive craft ribbon with the wire sewn into the edges to create spectacular bows that stand up by themselves should be taken, and any quantity of fancy expensive craft ribbon with the wire sewn into the edges not used must be hoarded in regard to how fancy and expensive it is. This is not something Jesus would do. I mean, I hope not.

4.) Any minor present received before Chirstmas Day (i.e., cards, token gifts from co-workers, tins of cookies, et cetera) must retain as much of its wrapping and hence its precious Christmasness for as long as is practical. For these are placed among The Array. Unless they’re totally tacky.

5.) Time must be designated for staring at Christmas lights. Ideally the regimen of staring should be increased as the holiday approaches until, on Christmas Eve, a 45-minute long trance is achieved. Usually I get bored long before then, but I strongly believe the option should be there.

Is it okay that I’m telling you all this? Remember, Christmas is all about sharing.