Heater, Mother of Lance

For the Love of God!

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided 10 days ago to redesign this website. I figured it defintely needed a change, but more importantly I felt that I needed to abandon my crippling dependency on nested tables and embrace the beauty that is CSS.

Now people, if there ever was a person on this earth who loves nested tables, my God, that person is me. I can take any design, however curvy or transparent or unnecessarily purple and turn it into tables. I cannot possibly extol the virtues of nested tables enough: Car won’t start? Try nested tables. Having trouble in your relationship? Try nested tables. Constipated? I highly recommend nested tables.

So when I sat down and started fiddling with CSS I felt as if I was typing without my hands. And I tried to give up several times, believe me. There were entire hours I spent cussing at the monitor and scaring the shit out of my dog. But my lovely bearded husband, like a concerned family member staging an intervention, wouldn’t let me fall back into my old ways. He’s defintely a keeper.

I’ve also gone back through my pre-Movable Type entries and entered them into Movable Type, perhaps the most time consuming endeavor of the redesign. Every night for the past week I’ve had dreams where I can’t do anything without an opening <div> and a closing </div>. Conversations had to begin with <div id= “conversation”> and end with </div>. There were <div> structures for going up the stairs, feeding the dog, and hitting the snooze button on the alarm, which proved to be the most exhausting because I usually hit the snooze button about 7 times. So in between the 7 <div id= “alarm-snooze”></div> tags there were also 7 <div id= “go-back-to-sleep”></div> tags.

So this website is coded entirely in CSS and, for the most part, validates in XHTML. I say “for the most part” because there are still some tables and old code hanging around in some of the much older entires, and I don’t have the time right now to go under the hood of each of those entries. And I just know that some self-righteous geek out there is going to run my site through a validator, and when it comes back un-validated he’s going to come here and make some snarky comment. And I just know he’ll be from Wisconsin.

To make matters even more frustrating, I couldn’t have picked a worse week to undertake a redesign. In the last 8 days my husband has accepted a job offer, we’ve procured financing for a house, I’ve developed a screaming bladder infection, we’ve found a house to buy, and now we have to haggle with 40 different people over how much and who gets to buy the house. I just needed that little extra anxiety of entering over 600 blog entries into a content management system.

<div id= “relief”> Phew! </div>

  • S.

    2003/03/11 at 6:52 am

    Try having a dream where you play Scrabble with HTML code. If ever I appreciated having a bedtosser sleeping next to me, that was it.

  • Shane

    2003/03/11 at 7:04 am

    Welcome to the world of sleaze. Now that you’ve gorged on the XHTML/CSS crack, you’ll never be able to go back.

  • Darian

    2003/03/11 at 7:13 am

    I love this new layout!

  • jonah

    2003/03/11 at 7:43 am

    Looks great and I’m glad you brought back the sidebar topics.

  • chunderchud

    2003/03/11 at 7:50 am

    First reaction: Damn!

    Second reaction: Duh, what’d I expect?

    Third reaction: Time to redesign.

    Very nice.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/03/11 at 7:52 am

    oh sweet merciful lord, dooce has come back to us!

    i can go back to procrastinating with wild, reckless abandon once again!

    and for the record, you could post this blog with dancing hamsters and little animated torches and i would still read the fucker religiously.

  • Jory

    2003/03/11 at 8:44 am

    Hotty McHot Hot. Nice design. Also: I’m not sure if your tostada lust is exclusive to Taco Bell, but apparently Taco Time makes several variations…

  • .sara

    2003/03/11 at 9:22 am

    neato. (: congrats on the new house, that’s awesome!

  • rusbravo

    2003/03/11 at 9:50 am

    Glad you’re back. I’ve missed you.

  • Lyric

    2003/03/11 at 10:05 am

    Gorgeous redesign. I’ve always loved your graphic sense. The next thing you’re going to try is replacing all the divs and spans with real HTML elements – and then you get to have the fun of overriding all the browser defaults so it looks like you want again! (And don’t forget that every browser has different defaults…)

    In all seriousness, it’s a pleasure to see someone else who’s made the jump to the Higher Plane Of Web Design. Congratulations.

  • Irk

    2003/03/11 at 10:14 am

    Dude! Sweet! Me likey.

  • Sarah B.

    2003/03/11 at 10:15 am

    How to charm/annoy me is back! All is right with the world.

  • Morgan

    2003/03/11 at 10:24 am

    You forgot to close the div tag here:
    There were

    structures for going up the stairs,

    Love it all otherwise.

  • Michael

    2003/03/11 at 10:38 am

    I actually put my hands together and prayed – PRAYED – that your site would be there. And it was. Proof there is a God.

    Great post to welcome us back with.

    I’ve never heard of someone’s bladder screaming? Can I come over and listen/see? 😛

  • an ardent stone

    2003/03/11 at 10:42 am

    Fuck, now I want a martini.

    Everytime I start to set up a site using pure CSS/XHTML, Walter from the Big Lebowski stomps into my head and shouts, “Mark that div tag and you’re entering a world of pain!” Congrats on pulling through with it, very snazzy.

    As always, thanks for the awesome site.

  • Chuck Cheeze

    2003/03/11 at 10:43 am

    Oh Heather. You charm me so. Furst you grow up around the corner from where I went to high school (Millington Central), then you move to LA where I am sure I saw you walking behind the same alley from 7-11 to the apartments at 4151 Arch drive off Ventura, then you off and get marries in Yosemite, my favorite place on Earth. Now you bring back all the best parts about your sites’ past. I am enamored and frazzled.

  • Brent

    2003/03/11 at 10:45 am

    CSS and

    ‘s are cool — and supposed to make life simpler — but I’ll be damned if sometimes they don’t end up making Web design a pain-in-the-arse! Ever tried to make a three column data entry form with

    ‘s? It’s trivial with tables, but requires some heroics with CSS. But, still, I jumped on the bandwagon a year ago, and never looked back. Glad to see you’re here, too!
  • Heather #2

    2003/03/11 at 10:47 am

    Morgan – you just earned your place under the “how to annoy me” heading.

    Jimbo – dancing hamsters, even from Heather, will never be ok.

    Heather – I totally missed you, sister. I’m glad you’re back. Congrats on the house. I will pray for your and John’s smooth transition into your new space.

  • Jon

    2003/03/11 at 10:55 am

    As adorable as your ‘keep coming back’ page was, I’m so excited that the Dooce is back! Most excellent design, and another priceless story.

    Praise Dooce!

  • Dyanna

    2003/03/11 at 11:09 am

    As always, it looks loverly ’round here. Glad you’re back! 🙂

  • The Fanboy Formerly Known As Beerzie

    2003/03/11 at 11:17 am

    Omigosh this new site is orgasmically wonderful, and I was suicidal the last week without your blog.

    Seriously, it looks good.

    Welcome back.

  • The Fanboy Formerly Known As Beerzie

    2003/03/11 at 11:18 am

    Oh, and I hope those are GIN martinis, because I’m the type of snob who believes that vodka martinis are not really martinis at all, they are BULLSHIT!


  • Alex

    2003/03/11 at 11:26 am

    Who knew a tiled background could look classy?

    Looks beautiful and inspires me to try out this whole CSS thing you speak of. If only there were more hours in the day…

  • Ismat

    2003/03/11 at 11:33 am

    Dooce, I would like to award you 50 points. You’ve earned it.

  • Ismat

    2003/03/11 at 11:36 am

    Dooce, I would just like to give you 50 points. You’ve earned it.

  • peggy

    2003/03/11 at 11:38 am

    Purty! Glad you’re back.

  • Ismat

    2003/03/11 at 11:39 am

    Dooce, I would like to take away 1000 points from myself because I am an idiot.

  • Morgan

    2003/03/11 at 11:51 am

    Having made a weak attempt at a joke, I’ll slink back under my desk and hide now.

  • Richard Barkins

    2003/03/11 at 11:54 am

    I’m dreaming in teal! Nice!

  • Lil' Lib

    2003/03/11 at 11:59 am

    Oh thank God! I was beginning to think I’d never get my next fix. Welcome back!

  • windosill wendy

    2003/03/11 at 12:11 pm

    Dooce, it’s just lovely. Congrats on conquering CSS. You have my full admiration.

  • Renee

    2003/03/11 at 12:23 pm

    CSS rules! And so does your new design! I love it!

  • Renee

    2003/03/11 at 12:26 pm

    Oh, and PS: for bladder infections I swear by grape juice. Not the from-concentrate kind, but the full strength, organic kind. I used to get them aaaaaall the time, now if I feel one coming on, I chug grape and POOF! Gone. (Yes, I said grape juice. It’s been proven to be just as effective, if not more, than cranberry. And it tastes way better.)

  • allisonic

    2003/03/11 at 12:35 pm

    This rules. It’s beautiful. I love that you brought back the how to charm me/annoy me headings.
    And, the colors are so cheerfully springy.

  • moose

    2003/03/11 at 12:43 pm

    Sigh. This won’t let me put my comment properly between brackets so you’ll have to imagine them:
    div id=”enjoyment-and-appreciation” dooce rocks once again! /div

  • joh3n

    2003/03/11 at 12:52 pm

    Hot diggity boo-bombly! Site looks rocken like dokken. Curse you, now I may have to attempt css myself. A pox on you and your cute dog and bearded manly-man, a pox!

    (welcome back!)

  • Naaman

    2003/03/11 at 1:07 pm

    Just wait until you learn the wonders that come with learning XSL and combining it with CSS and XHTML to make your life a tableless nightmare. Don’t worry though — after a while you can start nesting divs and really make a mess of it.

  • s00ka

    2003/03/11 at 1:10 pm

    great googly moogly! you’re back! 🙂 i’ve been like a crackwhore living off a patch. love the new look.

  • kate

    2003/03/11 at 1:21 pm

    Damn. It would take a life-altering catastrophe for me to mention a bladder infection in a mere parenthetical manner.

    Therefore, I’m glad you’re even ALIVE.

  • Heather #2

    2003/03/11 at 1:27 pm

    Morgan – I was totally kidding.

    Dooce – it didn’t remember my personal info.

  • dooce

    2003/03/11 at 1:36 pm

    heather #2: thanks for the heads up. fucking fuck fuck fuck.

  • Turner

    2003/03/11 at 1:37 pm

    Ok, so I’m surfing the web looking for some old wedding photos to play around with and I stumble on your wedding photos. Fabulous. So is your site.

    I’m turning your wedding photos into a video without your permission. I will put it on a DVD for you. I am not a psycho killer, just killing time.


  • MattE

    2003/03/11 at 1:53 pm


    Hot diggity dog! Glad to see you are back. I agree with the masses… a week without Dooce was hard to take. Your musings are addictive!

    I love the additions of the Annoy/Charm stuff! If only I could get something this cool on my blog!

    Welcome back. We’ve missed you.

  • Jen

    2003/03/11 at 2:37 pm

    Dooce! Love the new layout! (Especially the martini glasses.) Man, nested tables, huh? I’m in the process of doing a new summer re-design on my ol’ site… maybe I should figure out what the hell nested tables ARE.

  • Chrys

    2003/03/11 at 2:55 pm

    I only disovered your blog a few days ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the hours spent laughing and reliving the lastcouple years of your life with you. Thank you for “blessing” the rest of the world with such humor and humility. (PS – Love the new redesign? What software do you use?)

  • certified

    2003/03/11 at 3:00 pm

    Man, the past week has been lame. Nobody asked me once why I was laughing out loud. Welcome back.

  • shy

    2003/03/11 at 3:14 pm
  • Heather #2

    2003/03/11 at 3:23 pm

    Dooce: Fuck, fuck, fucking on heaven’s door.

  • scot-on-the-rocks

    2003/03/11 at 3:27 pm

    Amazing…spectaular…nectar of the blog-gods!

    But just what I would expect from you. You are among the bes MT drivers ever!

  • dooce

    2003/03/11 at 4:35 pm

    testing these motherfucking comments motherfuck.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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