Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Of Kabobs, Zorro, and Fonts

I have a new poem and a new design on my poetry blog. Regarding the poem, Tenleytown, the "I" in the poem is not necessarily me and the title refers to a neighborhood - and subway stop - in Washington, DC. Tenleytown seems like kind of a low-key place. The Tenleytown Wikipedia page is short on detail and lacking in meaningful history and not much seems to be going on. Apparently, one of the most important things people want you know about Tenleytown is that "A kabob restaurant called the 'Hungry Tiger' has opened there in the past year." Let's compare that to a recent development of some other non-randomly chosen town's Wikipedia page. I'll look up the page of Doylestown, PA (my "home"town): "...a masked figure known as Naked Zorro made news by flashing several women late at night on the streets of the Doylestown Borough....The event caused unrest among Bucks County residents...Naked Zorro's story remains veiled in mystery to this day."  I vote for Doylestown.

Regarding the redesign of the poetry blog. the pink might seem scary at first but I've never been happier about how take the body with you looks. It's always seemed like the neglected cousin of the blog family, the one that shows up every few weeks and you just don't want to bother because of the poor layout. 

Speaking of blog appearances, I appreciate the addition of Helvetica to the Blogger font family. It's not just because I saw that cool documentary about Helvetica a couple of years back. it's not just because of the font's clean lines and lack of fear about being tall and strapping. It's not just because the other fonts Blogger offers are disappointing: Verdana is nice in theory but falls apart when asked to do too much (bold, italic, etc.); Trebuchet looks nice on the small screen (iPhone) but on a standard computer screen, the odd spacing between letters is frustrating and it's easy to imagine those letters yearning - screaming - to be closer together, especially in winter; and the serifed fonts - Times, Georgia, Courier - still feel stuck in the 20th century, their winged flourishes mired in a Clintonian white paper in some locked file cabinet in the back of an office storage room and no one can find the key (to the cabinet, not the storage room). Serifs might come back in fashion but we're still waiting for someone to invent the font which will guide its return.

(Note: The last sentence went through various permutations, each with forced analogies and strained metaphors. The phrases "font train" and "super kerning machine" were actually considered. In the end, I went straightforward.)

(Note: Yes, I didn't even bother mentioning Arial. And I like Arial.)

I actually don't know if the Helvetica addition and two other added features in Blogger - easy to control colored text and a strikethrough button - are new or I just think they're new because I accidentally changed some setting during my famed November 29 redesign. Just know that I intend to overuse them. And look what I just found: text background colors!

Other news: I'm moving again. Three blocks from where I'm living now. $145 cheaper. 40% larger. 75% nicer/cooler. The move will begin in earnest in the next week or two, building toward completion on the weekend before Christmas.


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