Thursday, January 28, 2010

Code Nightmare

Code One

I don't usually think I dream, but this morning I woke from a nightmare with all the physical sensations of panic and distress, along with relief, since I "found a solution" to the problem just before I woke. In my dream I was suppose to give a talk to students at a college in California (I know it was California but didn't know the school) and I was bringing sample fabric rather than images to the presentation. I know I went with a friend to the campus originally, where I met the people and set-up the appointment, and I remember being given a brochure with a map showing that I was at campus two, somewhere in the hills of a high desert region. Then I was in the car with Mark and another friend and we were looking for the school, for me to give the talk, and I realized that I hadn't brought any of the sample textiles with me. When our friend pulled up to the campus, I also realized he had brought us to the wrong campus. I went inside to try to call the department--I didn't have any contact names or information--and no one answered the phone. No one seemed to know where the second campus was either. We went down the road, which was sort of like the yellow brick road, and a hiking couple told us we were going in the wrong direction and sent us back to a highway. When we arrived at the school, I went in first, loosing Mark and our friend, which nagged at me for the rest of the dream, and someone tried to call the department, with no luck. But then a student from the area walked by, and took me upstairs. I was going to see if I had time to go home and get the samples, when we walked into a huge room full of students, sitting waiting for me. The instructor introduced himself and I told him I had nothing with me, no samples, no images, but I thought I could talk to them anyway and keep their attention. Maybe this doesn't sound like a nightmare to you, but I do alot of preparation before talks and workshops, and I was totally upset and sweating. Then suddenly I realized they had a digital projector and I remembered that my blog had a link to my slideshow, and I could show that--and that is when I woke up.

My first degree is in psychology, maybe I thought if I studied it I would find out why I never dreamed (yes, I know about waking yourself up in the middle of the night, with a little pad of paper next to you and immediately writing down the dreams, and then one starts to remember)--so when I have a dream that I remember it is an occassion, and I do dwell on it. I see there are overtones of the talk I did last Saturday at BigTown Gallery--where Holly Walker and I each spoke about our work practices and the work in the gallery to a wonderfully receptive audience. Instead of the usual dark room and slides, I had the wonderful light pouring in the windows and clear views of the people I was talking to, and they could see me! The talk went well, Holly was terrific, and though I was nervous to begin with, it was a wonderful experience. Much like my dream.

The other part, probably the cause of the nightmare, is that I have been trying to create a website for myself (and once I did that I was going to do one for Mark). I have been reading a book on Dreamweaver CS3, and watching tutorials on the computer, and reading code everytime I open a webpage. Did you know you can go to View>View Source and you will see the code for this page, or any page that you are on? It is a new language for me--and I guess I would say I have gone from intro level to basic level. In other words, I do understand some of what I am seeing, but not enough for a conversation--certainly not enough to make a webpage with lots of images that transition smoothly from one to another. In my head I understand, but in front of the blank computer page, I am stymied. Two nights ago I was up until 5:30am trying to understand this stuff. Yesterday I was a statue frozen in front of my screen until late afternoon, when Holly called with her own computer melt-down and I went out to act the hero. How wonderful to finally have a part of the day where I knew something, instead of being in this limbo place of understanding/not understanding.

I have decided that I am going to put the website on hold for now. In a few weeks I am going to a workshop where they will talk about web design, and hopefully they will be able to offer advice that will get me going. I know if I wanted to devote the next month or two to just learning this on my own, I could do it. I need more books, and I probably could use some other software, but then if I am doing that, what about my weaving? So the nightmare has helped me have a sense of priorities. I am going back to the loom, and begin this series of work that I have been planning. And if I need someone to see my work online, well, here it is, right in this blog--just go to the right hand column and click on the image in the slideshow and it brings you to the slideshow in a bigger format.

Thank goodness for nightmares. Oh, the code below is actual code from the last blog I posted. And now I am thinking that I am going to weave code. I especially like it when it has color, like the one above.

Code from my last Blog post


  1. Love the idea of weaving code! One of my favorite books for getting started designing webpages is 'Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML'.

  2. Thanks Sue. I will look for that book--but first get back to weaving. bhakti

  3. For a first website project, you could look around on the 'net for a Dreamweaver template that you like and buy it. That will take away a lot of the heavy lifting, code learning and you can learn from seeing the code the designer already has in place.

  4. Hi Bhakti... thanks for sharing the dream! By the way, since you're thinking code you might enjoy The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh. Fascinating stuff!

  5. i built my own using a template from AllWebCo Webpage Design

    their templates are nice and you get walked step by step. when i felt confident i started customising it.
    it takes a bit of patience, but it's doable and in the meantime i was learning while doing.
    good luck!

  6. Thanks Neki, your website is very nice. Right now I have webdesign on hold, but when I pick it up again I will consider AllWebCo--I see they have over 150 templates designed for artists/photographers.