A New Site Design Entirely for My Enjoyment

Filed under administrative

Basically since the beginning of this blog, my header background has been an image from the illustrious Circleville Pumpkin Show:

It’s potatoes with ribbons on them. Prize-winning potatoes.

I always thought it was brilliant. What could be more unapologetically mundane, right? Well, after two and a half years of staring at the thing (because of course I reload my blog twenty times a day just to marvel at it), I decided that maybe I should try something a little more, um, relatable. Like, you know, something to show what a good-time gal I am.

So I whipped out a new header, showed a couple of friends, and found out that:

a) half of them didn’t even get the prize-winning potatoes angle until I explained it, and
b) the half who did get it didn’t even like it.

(Well, Kamran liked it. But probably only because it made him feel smart that he got the joke.)

So I have a new header! And also a new seizure-inducing background! And apparently it actually all looks okay in Internet Explorer, which apparently it didn’t for, like, a whole year! Things are really looking up over here.


  1. I’m from the Midwest, so I know it’s hard to top some taters (so to speak)! I really do like the new look, though, U.M.! Niiiiice!

    Explorer. Eh. I took one webdesign class in college, and at least a third of the curriculum was devoted to why I should hate I.E. Which… come to think of it… might be why I don’t run it. Hmm…

    • Part of why I didn’t notice that my site looked terrible in Explorer is that I also never run it! Once I happened to be using it for something work-related and noticed the totally messed up code, I had to think back to when I made the changes that caused it to look so bad. Ooops.

  2. Serial says:

    Is that Amazon widget new, too? I hate it. People need to support independent bookstores. I’M WHINING.

    However, I’m a big fan of when you make that face that looks like my grandma (may she rest in peace).

    • It appeared a few weeks ago. I believe I’ve made something like 11 cents off of it so far. Boo-yah!

      I have a Kindle, so naturally I’m not supporting any independent bookstores. I’m not even sure where to find one in this city. How do you like THAT?

      Glad I can keep your grandmother alive for you. Jerk.

  3. bluzdude says:

    Chalk me up as one that never got the potatoes thing. Makes perfect sense now though. But I like the Many Faces of Mundane much better.

    • I figured no one was happening upon my blog, seeing the potatoes, and thinking, “Now that’s the best idea I’ve seen for a header yet!” I’m sure I’ll get sick of myself in due time, too, though.

  4. Noel says:

    I liked the potatoes. But your narcissism is great too.

  5. Jessica R. says:

    Love the new design! If I move my eyes a certain way, your background looks 3-D.

    • Same here! All in my site design genius.

      j/k; it took me, like, ten hours to make the background, because I am an idiot when it comes to creating repeating patterns.

  6. Red Stapler says:

    I loved the potatoes.

    But the new banner is also cool. :)

  7. Cassie says:

    What is this Internet Explorer you speak of? I only know Chrome.

    I take my love of potatoes to a different level than even a header on a blog can’t touch.

    Think about that.

    • I would LIKE to only know Chrome, but the dumb thing does this annoying password-protecting stuff that causes me to have to actually remember my passwords instead of just letting it remember all of them for me. I have 58 Chrome tabs open at once and then a few Firefox tabs for the passwords Chrome refuses to keep. So what if I want everyone to be able to break into my website at any time!

      I’m really sorry to have let you down, header-wise, but it sounds like even the header wasn’t enough for you and your potato love.

  8. For the record, I understood the significance of the potatoes. And now I feel smug, which is one of my favorite emotions. THANKS!

    I don’t think the background is seizure-inducing at all! But my favorite part is the photos at the top.

    • I knew you would! But I probably figured it was because I e-mailed you one day and was like, “Go look at my header! Do you like it? Can you stare at it for a while and tell me if it looks okay? Do you think I’m good enough? Do people like me?”

  9. Lisa says:

    Your new header is so much fun!! And you know how much I love the background!

    P.S. No problems in IE ever count. Especially not IE6 and 7!

    • Thank you! I’m afraid I’m just a little bit too ten-years-old to do the simple, elegant site design you do, but I appreciate that you can appreciate my weirdness.

      I made some change the other day to my site, and when I loaded it in IE, it gave me some crap about going into “compatibility mode” to deal with my “out of date code” or some nonsense. JERKS!

  10. Dishy says:

    I am totally digging the new design. Which is almost as good as digging potatoes, right? MORE KATIE, ALL THE TIME. I think you should feature that in the header beneath your photos. Would add just the *right* touch. PS: when’s a new post on is it pee pee or lonely leftovers?? my daughters are begging. they like you as much as the oatmeal. (i do too)

    • “More Katie, all the time” will be the title of every post now.

      You have inspired me to post on one of the lesser blogs today! I’ve felt reeeeeally unbloggy this week, for some reason, and that’s a perfect solution. Tell your girls I like them as much as oatmeal, too! And The Oatmeal.

    • Serial says:

      As much as the OATMEAL?! That’s a frigging compliment-and-a-half. You’d better appreciate it, Ett.

      • Oh, trust me, I appreciated it. But I figured she was exaggerating a bit. And also, these are kids who think things like ripping out hedges and building a deck is Ultimate Fun, so I don’t trust them at all.

        • Dishy says:

          You think they HELP??!@!!! BWHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHHH!!

          Kidding. The little one helps a lot. The big one.. not so much. She is always trying to figure out a way of not helping. So much so that it’s like work.

  11. Cristy says:

    I second Cassie that Chrome is really the only way to go and Kelly that I was enjoying feeling smug there for a minute. I always loved the genius of the potatoes. Love the colors! Nice.

    • The “genius” will live on in our hearts and minds forever. And also on your Facebook page, where I’ll be posting a picture of them every. single. day.

  12. Tracey says:

    When I told you I loved your re-design, it was before I knew that your side-widget thing was going to cover up the only picture of ME when I viewed it on my tiny Netbook screen!

    Still like it, though. I guess don’t need to see us smoking invisible cigarettes to enjoy your blog.

    • Aww! You know, Nik actually mentioned that I should move it down yesterday. It’d be easy enough to do, but I need to make sure netbook users can still see the whole thing. I moved it to the other side for a second, but then it covers ME up, and I’m pretty cute.

      • Tracey says:

        Well, I was never able to see the whole thing on my screen. Only the top two boxes. So it doesn’t really matter to me either way. Don’t cover yourself up on my account! You know I prefer to stay hidden online, anyway.

  13. Sandy says:

    You put the Pat picture on there that I like so much!

  14. karinya says:

    I (really) loved the potatoes, but I love your face, too! (How’s that for noncommittal?)