Opinions? I think I'm leaning towards the latter -- the bright version is maybe a bit bright and modern for my tastes. Although with a baby in the house and her toys everywhere, I'm certainly getting more used to bright colors. :-)
I'm going to try to figure out how to make a background image today; I'd like to try a really subtle watermarked image for the left column, which will hopefully both a) be pretty, and b) solve the column problem. (Jed came up with another possible solution, but if I'm going to try making a background image anyway, then I might as well try this option first.) My Indian graphics arrived; we'll see what I can do with them. I'm not sure I have a good design program, though -- I don't own Illustrator or Photoshop, and I don't think Graphic Converter does this kind of thing. If y'all have recommendations for good Mac-friendly shareware or freeware, let me know.
Yesterday, I did a lot of syllabus work during the day; it's not quite done, but almost. Should be able to finish in good time on Saturday, while Jarmila is watching Kavi. I was kind of groggy all day, because Kavi was in some kind of distress Tuesday night and didn't really get to sleep until midnight -- by which point, I was so awake that I didn't get to sleep until 1. And then she promptly woke me at 5. Last night, she slept like a rock -- but I woke up at 2:15 a.m., for some ungodly reason, and couldn't get back to sleep. It may be a pretty dazed day.
At least I have plenty of curry in the house. Last night, Michael came by to give me his crits on AP and eat dinner; I made a bunch of Sri Lankan curries, and we had a good time. He liked the individual sections a lot, which is reassuring, although he wasn't sure the whole thing comes together yet. He thinks I need to fix two things that I had known were major issues and had hoped were fixed enough -- apparently not yet. Sigh. That's what first drafts are for, right? I wish I'd taken notes while we were talking; I was so tired yesterday that I'm afraid I'll forget some of his smaller points. Off to try to write them down now...