Transparent Menu Over HTML Positioning Problem

Hi, I made a Flash SWF horizontal navigation menu, it is only 427 pixels wide, and the site is designed to make use of an 800 x 600 resolution (so the site is 779 pixels wide). Currently I am using a table to position the content, with a bit of CSS.

The issue that I’m having, is that my navigation menu when it’s not being used is 73 pixels in height, however, when you roll over the buttons, transparent menu lists drop down from them to a height of about 150 pixels. Since my navigation menu is 73 pixels tall, the image that fills the remaining 352 pixels (352 + 427 = 779 pixels wide) is set as the background for the table cell to avoid that small amount of padding that you can’t get rid of at the bottom of an image if it were in the cell using an img tag. However, with a table row height of 73 pixels, the menu gets cut off and doesn’t display anything below 73 pixels (the Flash movie is cut to 73 pixels as well in the FLA’s properties). But, then if I make the row let’s say 150 pixels high, then the image in the cell to the left that completes the left side of the menu repeats itself along the Y axis, which is no good either. I could turn the repeat off, which would make it look fine, but then the new issue that comes up, is that the text that I want to start right below the menu would end up starting about 77 pixels too low, and would completely ruin the effect of having the transparent menu overlapping the HTML text when it’s triggered. The whole site is centered, so absolute positioning would be a huge pain.

Some solutions I’ve thought of include making the Flash item 779 x 150 pixels, and including that left area, but this would result in the next table row being 77 pixels too low anyway. I could fix that with relative positioning, but that would leave a big blank area below everything (since the original place of the item is kept intact). Absolute positioing could work for the menu, but since the whole site is centered, that could cause some issues if the window is resized, since it is “floating” in the center.

Are there any other solutions that you guys could think of, with CSS or something? Anything? Maybe there’s something I’m missing as far as positioing, window mode, a Flash publishing setting to make it work? I’m kind of at a loss on this one :(.