asked someone with a clue on IRC (freenode) to have a look at my site. they made some suggestions. I made various style changes related to gradients and text shadows. I asked my contact to have a look, and I was complimented with "glorious consistency" and "shazam".
there was a layout problem w forms wherein the "footnote" appeared to the right of the form itself instead of under it. the fix was to use the 'content' block instead of the 'main' block.