Archive for the ‘Site’ Category

So, yeah.

So, um, hi. :)

They say that the surest way to know that a blog is dying is that it starts apologizing for the length of time that goes between posts. So I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to move right on and try to actually post, y’know, content.

Over the last year(!) since my last post, I’ve had a lot of things happen. The biggest of these is probably that a couple months ago, I lost my job, which has been a somewhat cathartic experience for me, and maybe a little bit eye-opening as well. It’s worth noting that I’ve done a TON of photography over the last year, some of it for fun and some for business. Yeah, that’s right, I said business. As in, I think I’m going to try and make a photography business take off the ground.

I’ve had a REALLY big jump in the quality of my photos over the last year and I’m going to take some time over the next few weeks to upload a bit of it (including some in this post), but it’s worth noting that I’ve purchased a new domain name and it’s going to be the primary focus for a photography portfolio. I want to separate out my personal/family photos from my professional stuff, so I’m thinking that what I’m going to do is either create a second Flickr username for my professional photos, or keep it only on my professional site (which will more than likely contain a photoblog, while this site will be more writing-, family- and life-oriented) and pull the professional stuff out of my existing Flickr pool.

But none of that’s happening just yet. Keep an eye out for the announcement of my photo studio website, but in the meantime, here’s a good cross-section of some of the photos I’ve taken over the last year. I’ll include links to the album pages if you want to look at the other photos from the sets.

Points of Light from Memorial Day Barbecue
Wedding Flowers from Seth and Christine’s Big Day
Slip 'n Slide from July 4th at Rob & Ryan’s
Dancin' Baby Cutting A Rug from Sailfest 2009
Fashion Shoot for Takeout/ATICC from Takeout/ATICC Fashion Shoot
from Brokedown Serenade, 8/29/09
Free Energy @ I AM Festival, New London from I AM Festival 2009
Amy Swinging


You might notice that the site has received somewhat of a facelift. Actually, a facelift is rather minor. This is more like the Six Million Dollar Man. You know: better, stronger, faster.

I had grown really weary of the old site design, but there was a certain element of pride involved with the fact that I had designed it myself, from the ground up, not to mention that there were some custom things I had done with it that had even prevented me from upgrading WordPress for fear that I might break something on the site. Not that there weren’t already things wrong with the site—the image galleries never quite seemed to work right, for example—but the concept of redoing it all, from scratch, was so daunting as to be completely paralyzing.

I had been trying to come up with a way to incorporate this particular look (a color-shifted variant of the Fusion theme that I was quite fond of) into the site, and using it to help come up with a site design that better fit my current interests. I wanted something that would allow me to incorporate all of the photography I’ve been doing lately, without losing the function and form of the pages I’d already incorporated into the site.

I dunno. I guess tonight was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I decided that come hell or high water, I was both upgrading the software on the site and changing the theme, and I would worry about fixing the problems that would undoubtedly crop up later. It turns out that I didn’t have anything to worry about. The upgrade wiped out the custom changes I’d made, so I didn’t have to worry about extricating them from the internal code—and thankfully, I have since learned that there are easier ways to customize, and I will definitely be using them should I want to make any changes under the hood from now on—and the theme installed flawlessly without any real effort from me. From there, it was a simple matter of moving the content around and installing or upgrading some plugins I had had running.

And speaking of moving content around, some notes on housekeeping:

  • The pages for my Senior Recital and the Plymouth Mozart’s Requiem performance are still here, but are now listed as menu items under the “Music Related” menu at the top of the screen.
  • The same goes for certain site related content: the Privacy Policy, Contact Form and Email Subscription options page are all available as items in the “Site Related” menu up there. Also, in addition to the archives dropdown menu and category listing on the right, there are links to the archives and categories in that same menu.
  • Those of you—particularly family members—who have been going to my Flickr page to look at photos of the niece can now simply come here. I’ve integrated the blog with Flickr, so all of my photosets and albums are available through the Photo Galleries link above. The integration allows for commenting and posting notes on the pictures without having to go to Flickr. I’m hoping that this will encourage you to participate in addition to just looking.

See? It’s as easy as clicking the photo album cover here. :)

Ultimately, this overhaul is intended to force me to actually use the skills I acquired during all those years of school and write more. But part of the new look is to incorporate my new hobbies—namely, the photography. I took some photos of a friend’s band at a club this past weekend, and after she looked at them today I was almost instantly offered a paid gig doing promotional photos for the band. Not only is this an enormous compliment, it’s affirming in a way, because I’ve gotten so into photography that I was considering starting up a small business with it, and this kind of thing lets me know that it’s a possibility, even if it’s only local and even if it’s only once in a while. It’s nice to know that people think what you do is worthwhile.

So I’m hoping that I’ll contribute more often to the site, and not just in one medium, but in three—image, word, and music. It’s been a while since I put anything new on the site, musically, but I am working at it, if slowly. And the other two are just as lacking.

If you notice anything on the site not acting as you think it should, comment on this post. And keep an eye out for new content. It’ll be coming, I swear it. Just a reminder that you can subscribe via RSS or email. :)

(You might also notice that the name of the blog has changed. Think of it as my take on nirvana, I guess.)

Insomnia’s my favorite drug.

Screw narcotics. You want to really feel like you’re drugged? Try insomnia. It’ll mess you up but good.

On an unrelated note: You may have noticed that I haven’t written anything in a couple weeks. Essentially it’s because I try to sit down and collect my thoughts on any given topic and end up thinking of about five more topics to write about, at which point I go on sensory overload and decide not to write anything at all. The funny thing is, if I wrote about everything I’d like to write about, I’d never get any work done. And since I’ll never make it as a professional blogger, I figure it’s probably better to go to my job rather than write.

Or maybe I’m just one hell of a procrastinator. But hey, as the wise woman once said:

Procrastinate now. Don’t put it off. — Ellen DeGeneres

Site Moved

If you’re reading this, then it means that my site migration to the new server has been successful. Please, if you notice a piece of the site that isn’t working (I believe I’ve gotten all of the kinks out), let me know by posting a comment on this post.

Time for my first photo post

These are some photographs I took of two bridges in between Groton and New London, for my dad’s birthday. I took some black & whites, too, and I’m going to blow one or two up to poster size for my dad’s office. Thought I’d share these:

Site Update

Not that people do post comments on the site very often, but for those that do: I’ve added a subscription function. This way, if you post a comment and somebody responds to it, you can be notified that another comment has been posted. All it requires is that when you submit the comment, you click the checkbox below the submit buton.

Email Updates!

I know that there are at least a couple people who read my site, and while it does allow for RSS syndication, let’s face it: not that many people use RSS readers these days. I know that a lot of other people would really rather just get a notice when a site gets updated. So I caved and added an email notification to my site.

So if you feel like getting an email update when I update (those of you that aren’t reading this on LJ, that is), then put your email in here and submit.

My site’s Privacy Policy.

Site upgrade

Just upgraded to WordPress 2.0.2, which has various security updates. I think I’m actually coming up with a neat method of keeping my custom functions without having to rewrite whole files, which is nice. Now if only I can figure out a way to make it so I don’t have to update ANY files to keep my custom stuff in there, it’d be perfect.

EDIT: Interesting… I think it may have reset my stylesheets on me. Testing…

Site Updates

I’m playing around with the layout of my website because I never really liked how it looked and I want to make it play nicer with the various browsers. I was able to finally get it to display text at pretty much the same level in all browsers (and make it scalable, which requires a few hacks), so that’s nice. Now I want to make the sidebar play nicely with the main content column, but I think it might take a bit more work. Right now it’s still patched together with a little duct tape and twine, but at least it looks okay.

Lemme know what you think?

New Updates

I never realized just how fun working with CSS can be. I made some updates to the formatting of the pages, getting rid of that nasty old tables code and using CSS in its place. The page for the Mozart’s Requiem performance has been updated with fluid CSS, which makes the actual code for the page about half as busy and about a hundred times less complex. I also added a little box on my main page to show what music I’ve been listening to, courtesy of AudioScrobbler and its neat little Winamp and iTunes plugins and RSS feeds. Now that I’ve got that working, though, I need to figure out if there’s a way I can include it in the sidebar for my LiveJournal, which is why I started working on it in the first place.

Also updated/added are some dynamic updates to my Music Page, not only with a few new songs, but also so that I can add a song to the list just by creating a page in WordPress, which is going to be a huge timesaver when updates or changes are made. It’s a nice little hack, if I do say so myself, because it allows me to create a new category (right now there’s just “Songs” and “Projects”, but I could add more if I felt like it) and auto-sort the entries into those categories.

I’ve also futzed a little bit with the text formatting so that it looks more the same in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox. Talk about a war, there, though: Internet Explorer’s text formatting using CSS is a real bitch, and just when you think you’ve got it right, you notice that the sizing for IE is about two times as large as the sizing when looking in a “real” browser like Firefox or Opera.

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