Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And the search continues...

Husband and I did more house hunting last night - and there were some doozies. It's so interesting and almost voyeuristic to go into someone's home and open their closets, creep into their basements, and judge their abode and style of living. It seems, even though the housing market has taken a downturn and buyers are a precious commodity, some people put very little effort into giving their house any kind of customer appeal. For example, I was particularly interested in a white home in the Hedgewood Subdivision. It had everything we wanted: 3-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms, a basement, closer to work. While the pictures did indicate the house would need some new carpeting, kitchen flooring, and possibly a cover-up on some wood paneling, the house looked roomy, sophisticated, and comfortable.

Then we saw it in person.

Husband has noted a trend with the houses we've seen thus far - if the garage door is jacked up in any significant way, he doesn't end up liking the house itself. This garage door, up close, had chipped paint and a wonky basketball net attached that was not identifiable to me from the photograph. The carpeting and wood paneling was much worse than I'd envisioned (orange/brown fuzz - was the house's flooring growing mold? - with barn siding for walls). The exceedingly rustic "family room" was actually a converted porch - they even left the sliding glass door as a divider between this room and the kitchen! The rest of the house was more of the same, and when we stepped outside, we were greeted with a half-cocked baby swing with an extraordinarily large dog bone sitting in it. No, not a baby in the baby swing, a slobbery dog bone in the baby swing.

It was actually quite disturbing. And they wanted over $130,000. But was the dog bone baby swing included?!

We saw two houses that we would actually dare to live in, but one was a bit out of our price range (I will be keeping my eye on it!) and the other had a very dangerous driveway leading onto 9th Street, forcing the homeowner to back out into traffic. *Sighs*

So if you happen across a listing for a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with a basement and cable access, let us know; we remain, essentially, homeless.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"If Fonts Were People" - from College Humor

This video from College Humor is too, too funny. If you love fonts, you'll love this:

I have to disagree with Arial Narrow, however. I don't see this font as some close-minded hick. I always thought of this font as an anorexically thin and unnaturally tall model-type smoking those cigarettes at the end of a long stick *chuckles*

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grammatical errors that make KittyMarie angry...and you won't like her when she's angry.

The following are common grammatical errors that I have noticed in my day-to-day life. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but below are just a few of my pet peeves I would like people to take note of and store in their minds for future reference. I am certainly not a linguistic expert, but I think I should know something about grammar since it's kind of my job. However, for my position I often refer to Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. I'm sure not everyone would enjoy reading this slim volume for pleasure, but it is filled with the best and most often misused words and phrases. The following are simply my own observances.

Now I probably could not diagram a sentence if my life depended on it (don't tell my boss...or Mrs. Fehrenbach!). However, I generally know when something is wrong when I read or hear it. What can I say, it's a gift and a curse. These are the more glaring written errors:

1.There, Their, and They're: Use "there" to express a place (Diana's nuclear explosion shelter? Yes, I'm going there when the Red Fury descends.) Use "their" to express two or more beings' possessions (Cynthia and Dave's ostrich? No, that is not their ostrich). Use "they're" as the conjunction of "they are" (They're headed to the contortionist's house tonight to learn a few moves). If in doubt, just use "they are" and save me the headache.

2. Possessive S: Take care to put the apostrophe in the correct spot. It generally determines whether the noun is singular or plural. It was the bird's food (one bird). It was the birds' food (more than one bird). Otherwise, it determines if the noun is simply possessive (It was Diogenes' blog). For the record, s's is also acceptable, but I prefer a cleaner look with just s'. Personal preference dictates.

3. To, Two, and Too: The use of "to" seems self-explanatory (I plan to renovate the tree house in late Victorian style). Obviously, use "two" as a number (There were two paraplegic prostitutes). Use "too" in the place of "also" (I watched the kid eat glitter, too).

Bonus (Speech): The above are dependent upon the written word. However, when speaking refrain from phrases such as "I seen this bird one day that exploded in mid-air" or "He done the coolest thing ever when he jumped off that cliff." If you speak improperly and sound ignorant, people are going to think you're ignorant. It's just the truth.

In the words of Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady: "The majesty and grandeur of the English language, it's the greatest possession we have. The noblest thoughts that ever flowed through the hearts of men are contained in its extraordinary, imaginative, and musical mixtures of sounds. And that's what you've set yourself out to conquer Eliza. And conquer it you will."

Or perhaps this quote is a bit more accurate: "There even are places where English completely disappears; in America they haven't used it for years."

Friday, July 18, 2008

No Vacation in Sight

*Sighs* This time last year Husband and I were just returning from our honeymoon in Michigan. It was a very relaxing, low-key vacation, and we just tooled around enjoying being legally bound to one another's hip. Since then I've been able to take a few consecutive days off here or there, but they usually had some kind of purpose (i.e. weddings, showers, appointments, etc.), so they weren't exactly relaxing (I refuse to count almost an entire week of sick days because Husband and I were both completely miserable, and I think I've suffered permanent brain damage from that fever). I would love to have a whole week (or dare I covet a fortnight?!) to sleep in and see sights somewhere with Husband at our leisure, but it won't be happening anytime soon.

Probation at my work is ninety days, so I won't be able to take any official time off until mid-September. Bummer.

It's not like I'm completely stressed out or overly tired (aside from the exasperating house hunt). I just want a little time to be a lazy loafer somewhere that isn't Warren County. My parents will be taking their yearly vacation to Wisconsin in late September, and, I'll admit it, I WANT TO GO, TOO! I really, really miss going to Lake Katherine (yeah, I'm named after a lake...I'm sure people are named after stranger things). During our annual family vacation, we went fishing almost every day, driving over to any number of favorite holes or taking the cabin's canoe to the different parts of the waterway like the "Ink Spot." On the off days when we weren't catching bluegills and rock bass for a delicious pan-friend dinner, we went into the "big town" of Minoqua and visited the shops along main street including the old dime store, fudge and candy shop, and cheese wonderland (it is Wisconsin, after all...). We also made sure to stop to eat at the "Pole Cat and Lace" (trust me, it's the shit...ignore the dead animals mounted to the wall...) or the "Red Steer" (mmm meat).

Granted, Husband probably wouldn't like this more rustic vacation since he doesn't fish and would probably have some kind of mental breakdown due to the fact that the cabins we stay in don't have internet access and the 20" television plays about ten channels. Still, unplugging from the world is a refreshing change of pace. I think I can make a fisherman out of him yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Babies Just Keep Popping Up

After posting yesterday about the current baby name fixation that I try to keep to myself in casual conversation, lest I creep out my close friends and family, I happened upon this article at

Uh-may-zing. My particular favorite is #7: Baby Mop. The inventor is either a complete and utter genius with obsessive-compulsive tendencies toward cleaning or an individual who takes great pleasure in scarring children for life...or both. Seriously, just read it.

Meanwhile: boy names. Not as fun, cute, or interesting, but necessary, I suppose. My personal favorite is Alexander John. This was supposed to be my name if I came out with a few extra below-the-belt accessories. I've always like this name, especially the nickname "Alex" (in spite of knowing other, dubious people nicknamed "A.J.") and the name "John" would serve to honor some special people in both my and Husband's lives. I also like Baylor. No, not like "hay bailer." Just an interesting name. This name has been firmly mocked by Husband, so I don't think it's ever going to happen. Husband and I both like the name "Odin," which is also the name of the chief god in Norse mythology. He rode an eight-legged horse, was the god of the god of wisdom, poetry, prophecy, and magic, and is also associated with war, battle, death, victory, and the hunt. The kid would have to be bad ass to pull off a name like that. Unfortunately, any child Husband and I produce will likely turn out to be a pale, sickly 5'1" lover of all things geek. I don't think I want to saddle a child with a name that entails shoes larger than he could ever hope to fill. Although it could be interesting to watch. Ooo the power.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby Names

Don't freak out and make any impromptu assumptions. My womb still has that new car smell.

I stumbled across a website entitled "The Perfect Baby Name" and have since been obsessively thinking up and researching names for my future offspring. I don't know why; I think I'm sick. For the record, I am not interested in procreating anytime soon, I just can't get the thoughts out of my head, but I won't be visiting Baby Gap for my own bouncing bundle in the next 2-3 years, hopefully. So there.

The point is, the site made me giggle with "Only in Utah" - a list of names from a state I'm glad I have no association with ( The names include: Bucket; Canteen; Denim Levi; Dull; Hummingbird; Iron Rod; Marvelous Man; Mint; Nugget; Orange; Rube; Shag; Zanderalex for boys and Abcde (pronounced AB-sid-dee); Apathy; Hereditary; Jeopardee; Jynx; K-8; Paradise Sunrise; Placentia; Pork Chop; Seavenly; Turquoise Nova; Velvaleen; X Y Zella for girls. The article attributes these psyche-scarring baby names to the yawn-inducingly common and prevalent Mormon surnames such as Smith.

Whatever, at least the names I'm interested in are aweschum.

One of the top contenders for a girl is "Alouette." You probably know the children's song: "Alouette, gentille Alouette/Alouette, je te plumerai." It's a totally endearing song until you translate the bouncy French verse into an English ballad of pain and torture for an unwitting skylark (skylark is "Alouette" in French). However, the name conjures up wonderful childhood memories for me about a book I often read in which the main character was named "Alouette." She was a homeless street urchin who sold matchsticks in order to buy food. When she found herself freezing and alone on New Year's Eve with no food to eat, she pressed her face against a bakery window. From there my memory of the book gets kind of fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure the ensuing events of the book are actually a metaphor for her death. As a side note, when I was perhaps four I told my grandma that I was "all alone in a small, dark world." She worriedly suggested to my mother that I be psychologically evaluated until my mother explained I was just repeating a line out of that book. Good times.

Okay, so perhaps "Alouette" doesn't contain the best connotations, but it's still a kick-ass name. I also like: Quinn; Cadence; Lenore; Olivia; Fiona; Lydia; and many, many, many names I could never ever choose because my last name is now Purple (i.e., Willow; Lilly). As my former boss said, "Never go on a date with a man whose last name you can't stand because sure enough you'll fall in love and marry him." Not that I can't stand the last name Purple. It's perfectly respectable and I could care less; I'm a much more memorable person now that I have a unique name that people can actually spell. That was just a bit of advice to my single ladies out there.

Perhaps later I will post some boy names that I like, but boy names just aren't as fun to think up as girl names. Just wait and see - my house is going to end up being a sausage-fest with no daughters to speak of. Because we have a vengeful God.


P.S. Happy (now belated) Bastille Day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Anniversary

July 14 signifies Husband and my first anniversary as a married couple. We made it through an entire year without one suffocating the other with a pillow as he or she slept, without any police intervention whatsoever, and without seriously contemplating divorce. Many people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. Others disagree and say that they hit their rough patch several years after that blissful honeymoon period. I don't know if a difficult time of disagreements is coming, but it certainly has not been during this past year.

During our first year of marriage, Husband and my living situation was quite unique and a bit sadistic: we were forced to spend almost the entire year locked together in a one-room home. If he was playing Grand Theft Auto IV, I was three feet away watching television. If he was pounding away on his oversized, loudly whizzing computer, I was three feet away watching television. If he was sitting on the bed playing his DS...well, you get the idea...I watched a lot of television and our room allowed for about three feet of personal space... Still, he commuted about an hour to work both coming and going and I didn't feel I got to see enough of him until we started working at the same Big, Fancy University.

We don't always agree, but we can always come to a compromise. He doesn't always complete tasks on my time schedule, but everything always gets done. I am not always calm, cool, and collected (okay, I'm rather anal about...everything), but he can always make me laugh and remember to breathe deeply and enjoy the moment.

So thank you, Husband, for making me feel like the best wife in the world, even when I'm not acting like it. I love you very much; here's to a countless number of years that are ahead of us. I can't wait to experience them with you.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Your drink of choice reveals more than you know...

If you woke up this morning wondering what the hell you did last night, this link is for you:

Friday, July 11, 2008


Bugs have been on my brain lately. Not literally, thank goodness.

It seems every time I step foot outdoors, bugs of all shapes and sizes accost me, sending me into a squealing and shimmying fit (very ladylike). It makes me long for the high drifts of winter when nothing flies but the snowflakes. I'll admit it, I'm an indoors gal and I'm gonna own it.

I've probably also been hypersensitive to the abundance of bugs lately because I am editing my first manuscript about, you guessed it, bugs. The author is the coordinator of Big, Fancy University's annual "Bug Bowl" in which children come to campus to eat chocolate covered crickets and the like.


Still, the manuscript is interesting and I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about Japanese beetles, caterpillars, and silkworms. However, I'm not completely sure that editing this manuscript hasn't somehow made me extraordinarily attractive to the insect species. As I trimmed unnecessary words and inserted missing commas the other day, a June bug flew about my office, lazily bumping into the lights in my office's ceiling. I left the room in search of a flyswatter (I'm bloodthirsty), but returned to find it had wandered away to disturb some other poor soul. Later, a Japanese beetle took up shop on my windowsill and refused to leave despite my best efforts to drown it in Clorox bleach (I couldn't find a flyswatter after all). Finally, as I left the building for the day, a wasp sent me scurrying down the sidewalk at an unnaturally fast pace.

At least none have crawled in my ear and taken residence in my brain. Yet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Husband and I are sick - blah! We probably had some bug in our systems and after spending the night sleeping in a very cold hotel room after a wedding this past weekend, I think the cold air exacerbated whatever was floating around our systems and we came down with our current affliction (we share everything...) Unfortunately, we had to leave work about six hours early Monday to go home and slip into deep, joint comas which seemed to revive us enough to head back to work the next day.

I felt pretty bad about taking the sick time because within the first three months at my new job at the Big, Fancy University, I'm not supposed to take any time off, except for emergencies...probably like having both of my hands severed at the wrists (you see, then I wouldn't be able to type or make corrections to the manuscripts and wouldn't be any use to them anyway). Fortunately, my current boss was understanding (and could probably care less at this point as he will be leaving in just two weeks for a Bigger, Fancier University).

However, I despise that my time off is dictated by "The Man," probably because I'm so used to a great degree of flexibility in the jobs I have held previously. At the Small Town Newspaper I worked for I told them when I would be in, and could change these hours at my will. At my last job at Dinky College, I could pretty much take time whenever I needed it (not that anyone would have missed me anyway...I worked in the basement where few dared tread and I wouldn't see another human being for days on end).

I'm sure as time progresses, vacation and sick time will remain a headache in an institution that actually keeps track of its employees and makes sure they fulfill their obligations to the Big, Fancy University. I don't even want to think about maternity leave and how difficult that will be to coordinate right now (for a variety of reasons, the main one being I'm not interested in any offspring just yet). Just another adjustment in my new Real Job in the Real World.

Stay in college, kids.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I realized something today. My job is hard.

Okay, well, maybe hard isn't the right word for it. A well-trained monkey with a giant copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and a good handle on basic spelling and grammar could probably edit the books successfully.

Maybe tedious is a better word for my job. Not that I am complaining, necessarily. Perhaps I'm simply shocked to have work that fills my entire day and is actually challenging. Of course, said work is comprised of vainly searching for the proper positioning of the apostrophe for words like "'em" as in "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Does the apostrophe curve to the left or to the right? Who knows. Oh, wait, I'm supposed to know. In my previous position, the majority of my time was filled with aimless blog reading and Web Tetris. This job is rather a relief from sitting blankly in front of a computer all day with few tasks but numerous headaches. In the next few months, I might look back enviously upon my days filled with nothing. But probably not.