Oct 19, 2009  •  In Art/Design, Personal, Web

Design Updates

Every few months, I feel an overwhelming need to change the design of this site. I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences these nagging surges of inspiration, as many of you have attested to the same.

Living in a world where the substance of design seeps into every crevice of our lives, we not only primp ourselves but our personal websites as well — after all, in this wired society, it only makes sense that our websites are extensions of our personas.

We are introduced to beautifully-designed websites every day via the many design sources at our disposal. We read about the latest trends in web design and study tutorials on achieving said effects. And with time and experience, we are able to choose and pick what works best for us while staying true to our style and design ethics.

Slowly but surely, our websites become us.

I have been lacking the energy for a complete overhaul. But I did put my hours of insomnia to good use by making some changes that I believe puts an extra coat of polish on this site. These changes include:

  • new footer
  • re-designing and re-positioning the datestamp
  • small design changes to the comments sections
  • re-organization of the top horizontal menu and the incorporation of drop-down, nested menus
  • getting rid of the “Friends” section in my sidebar and creating a “Links” section in the top horizontal menu
  • adding “Currently Reading” and “Recent Comments” sections to my sidebar

What do you think of the changes?

You will also notice that my “Links” pages are now pretty extensive, including a “Favorite Blogs” page featuring choice selections from my Google Reader. (If you have a link that you believe should be included, please let me know.)

I am still not completely satisfied with this design. Will I ever be? Probably not. Just like how I know I’ll never be completely happy with my appearance.

How often do you re-design your site? Are you happy with your current design?

Oct 18, 2009  •  In Personal

Regressing

Yesterday, I stepped on the scale to find that I had lost 5 lbs in just one week. I know this isn’t healthy, and I really can’t attribute the weight loss to anything but a loss of appetite.

I have never been a thin person because I just love food too much. I am the girl who can polish off a 24 oz steak and then proceed to ask my dinner companions, “Are you going to finish that?” I am the girl who has made multiple runs to Red Lobster just minutes after a commercial pops up on TV (how do they make their commercials look so good?).

But now, food seems unnecessary and inconvenient. Even when I finally find myself craving something, rejoice and set out to satisfy those cravings, I lose the desire after just a bite or two.

It is funny how this baby was an unplanned pregnancy. Having been so independent and detached from human affection all my life, I always considered myself someone who could be perfectly happy without children. In fact, my mother told me that she and my sister had a good laugh when they first heard about the pregnancy because they couldn’t picture me with a baby.

There were even moments during the pregnancy when I asked myself, “Why am I even having this baby? I don’t even like babies.”

Now, a baby is what I want the most in the world.

Oct 15, 2009  •  In Personal, Touching

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

While browsing miscarriage support forums yesterday, I discovered that a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day exists.

As if it were perfectly timed, it is today: October 15.

I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of my friends, family, and even strangers following my loss. What surprised me even more was the flood of messages from other women, many of whom I know in real life, who came forward with miscarriage stories of their own.

Today, I feel as if I hit a turning point in my mourning period. Because today, I received a message from a friend who announced that she is pregnant, and is planning on sharing the news publicly – including on Facebook – next week. She wanted to tell me privately first because she had suffered two miscarriages in the past, and knew that seeing pictures of babies and ultrasounds, reading pregnancy updates, etc may be tough on me.

“I felt like I needed to give you a heads up to give you the chance to block me or remove me as a friend [on Facebook].”

Reading her message, I fully expected myself to feel jealous and a bit angry at her for sharing the news with me so soon after my miscarriage. As such, the first thought that popped into my head as I read the above sentence came as a complete surprise:

“Oh, heck no!”

This was the first piece of news I had heard all week that brought a big, goofy smile to my face. I was 100%, genuinely excited and happy for her and her husband. My eyes even teared up in joy. I immediately wrote back to her with a huge note of congratulations and told her that I would be honored to live vicariously through her until I get pregnant again. I wrote that I fully expect frequent updates from her, and I quickly said a word of prayer for her, her husband, and the baby growing in her womb.

My heart is still swelled up in joy at this news, and for the first time since my miscarriage, I feel true hope and happiness.

In commemoration of this day, I wanted to share a video that never ceases to bring tears to my eyes. I’m sure that many of you have seen this video already, but I wanted to share it one more time as a reminder that in the face of tragedy, there is always hope.

Many may view the story of 99 Balloons as a tragedy, and I admit that I did too when I first watched it. But now I see a story of hope, faith, and love.

Will we be trying for a baby soon again? I am not so sure. But I do know that when I get pregnant again, I will not hesitate to share the news again with the public as soon as we find out.

Some may say that I will be setting myself up for disappointment and despair if something goes wrong with the pregnancy. Some may strongly advise me to keep the pregnancy under wraps until we are certain that the baby is healthy and growing well.

But I disagree. As cliché as it may sound, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. This miscarriage has sent me to hell and back. I never thought I was capable of such pain and anguish. Despite the joy that my friend’s good news has brought me, I am still hurting, and I know that I will continue to hurt. However, I know that the love and delight that Tater Tot brought me in its short period here on earth more than makes up for the heartache brought on by the miscarriage.

There will be those who will roll their eyes and think, “Here we go again…” when I announce that I are pregnant again, I am sure. And if I miscarry again (knock on wood), they will wonder why I bothered to make the announcement again so soon.

But as the story of baby Eliot can attest, hope avails. Even though Eliot’s situation has brought much heartbreak to his parents, friends, and family, it brought to millions worldwide a story of hope and love. And I’m sure that it brought to his loved ones great comfort in sharing their grief with the world.

Oct 15, 2009  •  In Weird

Ever Dream This Man?

Yesterday I read a goosebumps-inducing post on Neatorama. Apparently, hundreds of people dream about this man every night throughout the world:

As you learn more about “This Man” at the website created in his honor, you cannot help but be a bit spooked:

In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life.

That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life.

The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.

From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moskow etc.

At the moment there is no ascertained relation or common trait among the people that have dreamed of seeing this man. Moreover, no living man has ever been recognized as resembling the man of the portrait by the people who have seen this man in their dreams.

Sweet dreams, everyone!