As the main posts are displayed on the home page, i was looking for a way to add a small icon for each post category. i found the plugin called 'category-icons' which didn't work too well.
anyway, here is an alternative method.
in the #content div, each post has its own div (div id="post-1", div id="post-2", etc.) and every single one of those divs has a category class.
here is an example of one of my posts, notice how it's got a class of 'category-football'.
<div id="post-18" class="hentry p1 post publish author-jeff category-football untagged comments-open pings-open y2009 m09 d06 h14 slug-ohio-state-vs-navy">
so with CSS i simply added a background image to the class '.category-football'. the background image is position in the upper left by default, which ends up being just to the left of .entry-title and .entry-meta
and that's how i was able to create custom category icons! anyone else use a similar method?