marcel barang

A beleaguered bilingual blog – 2

In English, Reading matters on 08/12/2012 at 2:02 pm

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Since the blog was online and right then totally illegible, I had to find within minutes a theme that would be large enough for the three columns. There wasn’t much choice. I settled on Delicacy. This theme is tolerably plain but the new code in compulsory use still made of the laid-out text a mess.

So I’ve been spending entire days (onto the dead of nights) trying, with tips on new encoding provided by a WP happiness engineer and encoding improvisations of  my own, to reintroduce a measure of order and legibility in the whole caboodle, one posting at a time. One posting at a time. One posting at a time. There are three dozens of them.

I must have overdone it on Monday last week, because when I woke up on Tuesday after four hours’ sleep, as I made coffee and toast for breakfast I was taken with severe pain at the top and back of my left shoulder that was to make my life miserable for two full days and nights by roving around the upper part of my torso so that I could neither stand, sit or lie down without bleating or barking with each intake of breath – the wonder of it being that I could still shrug my shoulders and flex my neck normally: it was the arms that didn’t seem to find a posture that would ease the pain.

It was like carpal syndrome, except it took place round the neck. And was of my own doing, if under the prodding of extra work: I owe it to the truth that on that Monday I actually didn’t work on the blog but did some other urgent work, and pleasurable work too: the reshaping of a translation of Thai poems into English to help out a friend. Besides, one can’t spend entire days in front of a computer almost without taking any breaks beyond eating and going to the loo, especially when one knows that the sitting posture is not what it should be (desk too high, inadequate viewing angle of the screen), without suffering dire consequences.

I’ve now fully recovered, piled cushions on the seat, further inclined the screen to avoid rounding shoulders, and I take frequent breaks – or try to. But there are still more than two dozen stories to ‘recalibrate’.

And that helpful happiness engineer over there (WordPress is on the other side of the Earth where night is day and vice versa, great for snail emails) is trying to convince me to ditch the laborious table stuffing, one row, one cell at a time, for the much more logical and easy laying down of entire columns using one-time CSS encoding.

Using what?

I’ve just learned kitchen Latin, Rosa rosa rosam … rosarum rosis rosis, merci Jacques, and now you want me to learn Greek?

Just send me a template, all-encoded, pullease, so I can go back to what I do best: translating Thai fiction.

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