Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I guess I should clarify the previous post...

I have become a much more social person lately. I like to be around people. I like to have fun, and for some reason, when I open my mouth anymore, I can't seem to stop talking.

I also had quite a bit of fun at my 15-year reunion last year. In fact, some of us want to have a 17.5 year reunion, because waiting another 5 years seemed too long. So, this mini-renunion sounds really fun, and since my parents still live in town, it wouldn't be a huge deal to drive down and just stay overnight. There probably won't be very many of us there, but it sounds like a lot of fun.

But about the whole talking thing...

Okay, Troy's going to laugh at this, if no one else. Would you believe that there was a time when I was really quiet??? I was quiet because I always felt that I was saying the wrong things, or that people would make fun of me, or some other such nonsense. Yes, I put my foot in my mouth on a regular basis, but as I have grown older, I haven't let that fear stop me from talking.

So when John P. got back Sunday night from visiting his parents in Lincoln, and collecting the tapes from the two news programs, I of course asked how the interview turned out (figuring it would have been cut severely, or not shown at all).

"Oh you both did great! And the parts when they didn't show you, you were the voice-over."


So, now I officially talk too much.

I haven't seen it yet, but I know that I'll probably want to die from embarrassment, because I honestly did not mean to talk so much. I was just excited to be there, and having a great time.

T.G. no one here saw it...


Just got an email from a former classmate - Denise:

Was just going to let everyone know that Stacy Vogel is going to be in town on Friday, June 23. That happens to be the same weekend as Greater Crater Days, so if any of you are in town, come down to Big Beeve's (formally the Back 40) in Manson. We'll probably be there around 7-7:30pm, I'm guessing. Pass this on to anyone whom you think would like to join us.

I may end up going, as I'll need some fun before a full week with screaming kids, and no air conditioning...

Urg... sleep...

I slept like a rock from about 1:30am, until I was woken up by a storm at 5:11 am. I couldn't get back to dream sleep. :(

So, instead of doing laundry and putting things away this morning, I am going to take a nap.

1:14 am and I am wide awake...

Incredibly fun weekend!!!!!

We got back from the Nebraska Renaissance Faire tonight around 11 pm, and were home and unloaded by 12:05am.

Long. Day.

I'll post pictures sometime tomorrow, but here are a few highlights to tide you over:

1. I LOOOOOVE being a pirate (even a wanna-be).
2. We had a great location! Right across from Bud's Root Beer (excellent root beer and cream soda, and great guys), close to the Pirate Stage, Glass blowing, and Tinne Lune/ Squire's Burden - very nice people all around!
3. Bodice. Burn. OMG, the Bodice Burn. I swear, I had 50 spf suncreen on, and applied it religiously, plus carried a sun shade Sunday and Monday. I also got burned through my chemise sleeves. Ouch.
4. I kissed a pirate!!!! (no, it's not what you are thinking! it was on the forehead, with bright red lipstick, as he was in the stocks for insulting the ladies. So, there were about 20 of us ladies who participated, then he got a bucket full of water in the face. Very funny!)
5. I met lots of people, and had a great time!
6. And yes, it was worth it to spend an hour each evening to drive to the Louisville State Park, spend $3 on a day pass to use the 25-cent pay showers. Trust me. It was worth it (15 minute drive, but we usually had to wait).
7. Having my son ask, "What's a hussy?" on the walk back to the van... (not surprising, considering how many times we heard the pirates call out to the ladies, "Oh, you shameless hussy!!!! Showing your ANKLES in PUBLIC???", usually when they were wearing shorts and tank tops). I'm just glad he didn't ask about Scarlett the Harlot...
8. Mango Italian Ice.... lifesaver!!!!

More tomorrow. My back hurts, and I am very, very tired...

(And HONEST, it was the forehead!!!!! There are pictures to prove it somewhere!!!)

Oh, and I was on TV!!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yes, I lost a bit of weight where I least wanted to lose it.

I can definitely breathe in this bodice. I was looking forward to actually wearing something that would accentuate rather than press completely flat (as the green dress did).

And it would have, too, if it hadn't been for the stress monster tying my stomach in a knot and causing me to eat less than half of what I normally eat.

Seven pounds, folks. Seven. And it wasn't in two weeks, it was in less than one (I may have said two earlier, but I was mistaken).


Well, I can comfort myself with the fact that this is actually okay. I am eating more realistic portions, and stopping when I am no longer hungry rather than stuffing myself with everything that TASTES SO GOOD. I also cut out sweets, which has helped me stop the low-blood-sugar-nausea when I start to get hungry.

Well just see how this weekend goes...


One good thing about the appetite decrease:

My smallest pair of jeans are no longer uncomfortably tight...

I suppose this means that I had better try on all of the garb I mean to bring this weekend...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Towel Day!

A big reminder to fans of all things 42, HHGTG, and Douglas Adams:

Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Carry your towel with pride!!!

2nd chemise = done

Yes, my back hurts.

I just have to sew up the back of the red skirt, then the rest is hand sewing.

Most telling quote about Vista...

Beta 2 is a good looking operating system with a number of new features, which will be familiar to you if you’ve played with recent versions of Apple’s OS X.

from: Windows Vista Beta 2: The key word is 'Beta'

Yeah. Like we OS X users didn't see this coming...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Almost there...

At the thought of trying to sew eyelets in my new red bodice, my hands got a little numb, and my brain calculated the number of hours necessary to finish sewing 20+ eyelets and came up with a number that was too large to be feasible if I want to meet my goal of all sewing done by Thursday night (midnight).

A quick search over lunch today resulted in finding some beautiful toggle clasps in the jewelry department. I bought six bags of two, somewhat by mistake, but quickly realized that what I really had were gorgeous flower LACING RINGS. Shock!

So, six of the pretty flower rings are sewn to the front of my red bodice, waiting for their matches on the other side to be sewn on tomorrow night.

I also finished the chemise that I prepared fabric for last night. Totally done, hemmed and everything (hey, the hem is hidden, so it is machine sewn for now).

All I have left to do is finish the red underskirt (eek!), put hooks and eyes on the yellow skirt waistband, and maybe make one more chemise (literally, the one I finished tonight took a total of two hours. I would have been done tonight a lot earlier, but the thread in my machine kept breaking. I had to stop and oil the machine, which worked, TG, or my mother would have had to drop hers off tomorrow on their way out east).

Yes, I am almost done!!!!! And I am so excited about this costume, mostly because I also found the shoes that I wanted!!!!


The last few days I've had sort of a problem.

My appetite is pretty low right now. When I am hungry, I have not been able to eat much before feeling icky. It's like, "Mini Hungry." I've been closely monitoring what I put on my plate, to avoid overeating for my newly reduced appetite (I tend to just eat what's on the plate, "clear your plate," was drilled into my head relentlessly in childhood).

At lunch today, I decided to treat myself to general chicken, from the Manderin, since I had to run errands anyway. I was not hungry while I waited for my take-out food, and I was not hungry yet when I arrived back and work 10 minutes later to eat it.

I ate anyway, and it was just as good as ever, but I am miserably stuffed, and will probably not eat dinner tonight because of it. This will not be a fun afternoon.

I wonder if it is just stress, or something else?

Stripey Socks!!!!

My socks came today, from Sock Dreams, and they are very nice and soft, not too heavy, and are very cute.

But they only go to just above my knees.

Oh well.

They're still STRIPEY SOCKS!!!!!! Arrr!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

Status report:

1. Yellow overskirt - done except for the closing hooks.
2. Red bodice - outer shell pieces are sewn together. The two layers of lining are sewn together (two matching pieces sewn together, but it is not assembled yet), and the boning channels are sewn. I will have this finished, except for the eyelets (or lacing rings), by tomorrow night.
3. Red skirt (this may end up an underskirt, due to the trouble I am having finding leggings). The gathering strip is sewn to the red fabric, and ironed correctly, ready for the gathering stitches...

Left to do:

1. Figure out how the black overskirt is going to be made. I am thinking that I will just finish the raw edges, and tuck it in my belt, piratey looking. That would save a bunch of time, and if I needed the fabric later, I could reuse it (or finish it as an overskirt later).
2. Make a square-necked chemise. Both of the chemises that I have are not low enough. I am going to use Dawn's Chemise pattern, as it is very, very simple (a total of three four rectangles sewn together, with gathered neck and cuffs. I've seen pictures, and it looks great!). If it looks right, I may just make up a couple, so I have a change of shirts in case of disaster (rain or rips).
3. Finish the red skirt, which really is not going to be very full at all...

I just decided that I am NOT going to try to make a third bodice. I can use the blue one from last year, along with the dark blue skirt (I need to turn up the hem a bit), and wear it with the yellow overskirt, and the red sash. It uses the same pattern as the new red bodice (which I am already in love with). I just altered the front of the red bodice to have a square neckline instead of the angled one.

This means that I just saved myself a bunch of work.

Well, time to get some sleep... visions of sewing dancing in my head, pirates, dancing, singing, yippee!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

If you haven't already seen it...

you HAVE to go see Over the Hedge.


Honestly the funniest movie I have seen in a really, really, really long time.

If we hadn't been in the theatre, I honestly WOULD have been ROTFLMAO, and pounding on the floor to boot.

I want to see it again.


This morning, my son and I finally got the flowers planted on the deck. He had picked out Salvia, Assylum, and lobelia. I picked out petunias, moss roses, blanket flowers, morning glory, snap dragons, vinca, and one other that I can't remember. Only the moss roses, petunias, salvia, vinca, and assylum were bedding plants. The rest are seeds that will hopefully sprout and not die on us if it gets too hot and dry. My son had a great time making an extreme mess of potting soil all over the deck. He would have preferred to plant vegetables, but with the limited space we have, they just wouldn't do very well. So, flowers it is. I enjoy them, and he just likes growing things. We also have two trees on our deck, thanks to his habit of picking up seeds and randomly planting them places he isn't supposed to. ;)

I love how the deck looks now! If only I could find the right deck furniture, it would be a very peaceful place to sit and read.

Mom and Dad came by to change for a wedding. They didn't want to drive from Manson in their good clothes, and it was an excuse to get to talk for a bit. Dad worked all morning on my car - the problem was not fuel related at all! A couple of sensors had gone bad. He replaced them, and replaced the fuel filter as well, since it had been about 25K miles since it was replaced. He tested the fuel pump thoroughly, just to rule it out. So, it's done, and we'll go get it tomorrow.

Mom loves her new job. Oh, did I forget to mention that my mom decided to get a full-time job at Target? Yes, my family loves Target. Now two of us work there (Movie Star works there, too).

After mom and dad had left, I took the old grand prix to Goodwill to continue my search for shoes for Ren Faire, and a suitcase. I ended up with a three-piece set of luggage, black, for $4.99, and a gorgeous red satiny stole that had gotten stuck in the curtain section and was only $1.99. It is the perfect pirate sash. I did not find any Mary Janes in my size, nor did I find any slip on black leather shoes for my son in his (the kid's feet are bigger than mine!). However, in the Salvation Army store last Thursday night, I did find a pair of shoes that look a lot like the style of ladies shoes worn in the Pirates of the Carribean movie. They are black suede, with a one inch heel of the right type, and couple of pearl brooches later, they are very piratey looking, if not quite period (I should call myself a privateer to Her Majesty, who lost her ship on a bet, LOL). I still want the Mary Janes for comfort issues if I can find them, but for $1.50, these are a good backup (they have a heel, and I am worried about being on my feet for 3 days straight in them).

Eek! So much to do, so little time!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Diet Tip #473

When you feel hungry, just go to Urban Legends Reference Page: Contaminated Food

I'm going to go throw up now...


At least it had long since stopped raining.

Interesting points about the new bus stop on Dakota...

1. No crosswalk markings on the street at all at the corner.

2. No sidewalk on the east side of the street at all near the new bus stop. It's just a slab of cement in a yard.

But, the buses here are clean, and not too crowded at that time of day, and I got to work about 10 minutes early.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I almost forgot to mention...

Thanks to the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries, I managed to get two of the three layers of my red bodice cut out (I had to iron the fabric first), and finished the gathering stitches for the yellow overskirt (cartridge pleated, and luckily turned out that it shrank a bit in the dryer, which means I don't have to turn up the hem at all! The red also shrank, so I don't have to hem that either. This will save me about 6 hours of work.)

Very productive evening, even after the car fiasco...

Commander Adama for President!

Lately, I've taken to watching DVDs on my computer while I am sewing. It keeps me company, and fills the silence, and lets me get a laugh or two.

Tonight, I am watching the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries, for the sixth or seventh time (I've lost track).

Better than ever...

How am I going to make it until October???

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all...

I am beginning to believe that I really AM cursed.

Yes, if you drove by the corner of Lincoln Way and Dakota, you DID see my car in the right lane, with the hazard lights flashing.

My car died, and refused to start again.

I spent about 5 minutes on hold with AAA, where I had a wonderfully sympathetic ear to my car woes, and a promise of a tow truck within an hour.

After letting that fact sink in, I thanked her, and hung up. I called Mr. B to get Mr. R's cell number, as he was waiting for us in the scout room. My son was not very happy that our night of unearthing treasure in the storage room was cancelled, but he'll get over it.

While I was on the phone with Mr. B, the tow truck dispatch called and said that someone was on the way. Yipee!!!!

The driver was there within less than 10 minutes (We didn't even have time to get bored), was very professional, and had us home in less than 30 minutes after getting off of the phone with AAA.

I am waiting to hear back from my Dad right now... The battery is fine, I had electical power, and half a tank of gas (from Casey's). It just refuses to start. It's probably a clogged fuel line or filter.

I can take the bus to work tomorrow, and maybe he can bring me a loaner. Mom and dad are coming here on Saturday for a few minutes, so maybe if it is an easy fix, he can drive it back to me....

I hope...

I suppose I could air up the bike tires and ride my bike to work tomorrow. :(

Update: Thank you, Dad! He is towing the old car to me tomorrow night, and taking my car back home to fix it. I really, really hope it's not the fuel pump, but with my luck, I had better plan on that being replaced. T.G. for the tax refund, and for not buying those boots that I really wanted...

Socks it is...

red & black AND black & white... No sleep for me tonight!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Shall we play a game?"

Trip down memory lane...

I am watching War Games while sewing tonight...


That kid would be so at Gitmo.

Decisions, decisions...

So, I decided to not buy the beautiful, sexy pirate lady boots that I wanted from scaboots.com. Yes, it's sort of a financial decision, as I don't know if I would wear them enough to make it worth the money. They aren't that expensive, though, and I have always, always wanted an excuse to buy tall boots!

Buuutttt.... on the other hand, I found these really cute stripey socks that would look great with black Mary Janes... These are thigh-highs, and would be very piratey over leggings with my red, yellow, and black layered overskirts, and red or green bodice... Not to mention that they are only $8.00/pair as opposed to $85 boots. I want the red and black, and/or the black and white.

So, I need to make a decision NOW, so either of these items can get here on time...


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Note to self:

Jennifer Geek, you are not allowed to sew past 8:00 pm on Thursday, May 25, 2006, until June 1st. You will go to sleep at an appropriately early time, and you will be a cheerful person the entire weekend. You can do anything if you have the right amount of sleep (reference this Monday, and Tonight as examples).

(I may even take the 26th off of work, just to make certain that I am not too stressed...)

If you could only see me now...

You would see me with my hair up in a clip, waering a t-shirt that is two sizes too large, baggy J-Lo pants, no socks, and nicely exhausted from working hard on costume stuff all evening, and with a smile on my face.

Yes, I am happy to have gotten so much done!

Very productive evening, despite a major miscalculation on my yellow overskirt - the gingham I am using for the cartridge pleating, while light in color, is still darker than the yellow, and it shows through. Not quite sure what to do, yet, but I think I may make up something quick to go over that part. I also ended up having to redraft the sheriff's doublet pattern, again, because I realized that I had messed up on which pattern piece needed 5/8 in. taken off, and which needed it added. Luckily, I realized it before I cut fabric, or I would have not been quite so happy tonight. I have four different versions of this pattern now. ;)

I am taking a break before cutting out the lining to the doublet. It is good to take a break, as it lessens the chance of mistakes. I have more than enough of the lining material to redo things if I have to, but it is better to get it right the first time around. Then, after I fit the lining, I can cut out the outer fabric, and be well on the way to getting it finished.

I am always happy to have something to work on!!!

update: the doublet lining is cut out, and as I bought way too much broadcloth to use as lining, the remainder is more than enough to allow a black overskirt or scarf-type thing to hide the gingham problem with the yellow skirt...

Don't know what's wrong, but I can't concentrate today...

it feels like the thoughts in my brain are rushing around like a swarm of killer bees... (oh, that movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid!)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Red Jeni!!!!

(I'll have you know, the last 45 minutes were the longest of my life, because the internet in our building wasn't working... yeek)

Yes, we are going to the Nebraska Renaissance Faire!!!

Yes, I am going to be a pirate, albeit one who is going to bring a good dress with her, just in case.

Woo Hoo!

My son's going to another school party on Friday night! This one is for both sixth and seventh (or "sevies" as they call them).


Sunday, May 14, 2006

How much more can one person eat????

We just got back from dinner with my parents and my sister's family.

I ate so much that I probably won't be hungry until about noon tomorrow.

It wasn't that I ate so much at the restaurant... I didn't even finish my cajun chicken alfredo (which, BTW, was EXCELLENT!!!). It was the fact that I ate a quick sandwich before going over to my sister's house, because I didn't know what time we were going out (we left right after we got there).

My nephew was hysterical - my sister gave him a raw onion from her salad, and he ate it. As in, chewed on it, flailed it around, then chewed on it some more. That kid will eat ANYTHING, including fettucine noodles dipped in ketchup (which he decided to do on his own).

So, I can cross Legends off of the list of places I have never eaten in Ames. The view was beautiful, the food was good, if pricey (thanks Mom and Dad!). The only bad part was that mom and dad had to leave right after dinner. I didn't have enough time to talk with them.

Just another Mother's Day when I can barely keep my eyes open after dinner...

"Happy Mother's Day!"

Once again, shouted directly into my ear... :) This time, however, I heard my son's footsteps coming down the hall and into my room, so I was prepared.

Yes, he made a bowl of rice crispies for me, again. :) What a sweetie!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Uh oh...

So, while wandering through Wal-mart in search of a laptop bag (no such thing at wal-mart, BTW), I saw this rack of incredible belts.

So incredible, that I am tempted to go Pirate for the next ren faire (whenever that may be).

Of Mother's Day and Daisies

Every mother's day, I buy my mother a Gerbera daisy, usually hot pink (because that's my favorite). Every year, I plan on buying one or more for myself, too, but since they are sort of expensive, and very popular, I usually end up not being able to find more than one. And I give it to her.

Last year, I gave it to her more because my sister was graduating, and two weeks before graduation, they had a terrible hail storm that knocked the blooms off of every flower in the yard (and just about ruined the brand new roof on the house). She was able to find a couple of white ones at the nursery, but all of the beautiful, colorful ones were long since sold. That beautiful flower had a place of honor on the dessert table.

This year, I forgot to get her one. They have them in Hy-Vee for about $16, which is a full ten dollars more than they usually are. I may have to go Wal-mart tomorrow and try to find one there. She won't care if it is in a plain container. She loves them that much.

What do you do for your mother?

To Do List

When all else fails, make a list and work the list.

1. Kitchen:
  • Take out garbage
  • Wipe off counters
  • Wipe off stove
  • Clean the stove hood
  • Vacuum
  • Clean out between the refrigerator and cabinet
2. Living Room
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Remind the lump on the couch that he needs to put on a shirt 50 million times
3. Bathroom
  • Clean the mirror - eeek! Buy Windex!!!!
  • Clean the vanity
  • Clean the toilet
  • Clean the floor
  • Clean the tub
4. Hallway
  • Vacuum
  • Dust bookshelf and pictures
  • Straighten up bookshelf
5. Dining Room
  • Clean off table
  • vacuum
  • Dust the ceiling fan!!!!!
6. My room
  • vacuum
  • clean out closet, 15 minutes at a time
  • bag up old clothes, and too big clothes and donate
Big list, but it will help me focus, and take my mind off of other things. This is for Sunday, too.

Opps, almost forgot - six loads of laundry DONE!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Did you ever get the feeling that you've done something wrong, and you don't know what it is?

Fairly miserable week here, and it looks to be an equally miserable weekend.

Not impetigo!???!!!!!???

Imagine my shock and surprise when the doctor took one look at my son's icky chin and said, "Why, that's not impetigo, that's a cold sore!"

It's always been cold sores, apparently. There are things that can trigger the problem, and he thinks that the sunburn that my son got on Saturday (you know, when he refused to wear sunscreen for SIX HOURS), triggered this one.

So, we got a prescription for an oral anti-viral, and a recommendation on a tube of medicine to keep on hand to apply at the first sign of a flareup.

I am still just reeling at the thought of how this was misdiagnosed when he was a toddler, and how the fact that they always told me to not bother to bring him in for treatment, just apply the antibiotic ointment (which BTW does nothing for this except protect the cold sore from getting a secondary, baterial infection). Because I did not insist on having him seen again for it until now (because it is so severe), he's suffered more than he had to.

I could just kick the original physician's assistant (which is all my hometown had when we lived there). Not to mention the times my mother took him in to the new clinic when he had a flareup while staying with her, and no one ever questioned the original diagnosis.

So, we are definitely NOT going to the zoo this weekend. We are going to sterilize the house anyway, because it needs it, and focus on getting his medication taken. Maybe later I can laugh at this, but right now I am angry.

Woo hoo!!!

When I was looking up the phone # of the school to call in for my son, I noticed that they had updated the Honor Roll.

I was curious, so I clicked the link for the 3.0-3.9 honor roll. Yippee!!!!!! My son made the Honor Roll for this trimester!!!!!!!

He just did a victory dance in the lab, then said, "Great! Now I have a better chance of getting into a good college!"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Renaissance Faire Photos

As promised, I have some photos uploaded to my new flickr account (the old one got cross-referenced with my old yahoo ID, and has ceased to be accessible on this computer - still logged in on my laptop, so maybe I can at least transfer them...).

Sir William!!!

Iowa Renaissance Faire 2006

Not too many, as I blew through my 20MB a month allowance already. Whoops.


To zoo, or not to zoo...

The doctor will decide.


My son came home from school Wednesday with a spot of impetigo on his chin. Normally, if he gets it, it is a tiny blister that may end up no larger than a very small pea. We put medicine on it, cover it with a band-aid, and in a few days it is gone.

This is a huge cluster of smallish blisters about the size of a quarter! Or, they are now, as this morning when I sent him to school, they were still tiny, albeit covering a quarter-sized area.

warning: medical related stuff ahead!

Impetigo is very contagious if the blisters burst and the fluid gets on any other part of the body. We are usually super, super, super careful that this does not happen, because it is ugly looking, and extremely itchy. In all of the years since he's had it (the first was when he was about 16 months old, and had contracted it from one of the other kids), I have been successful at keeping it contained. The type he gets is caused by staphylococcus aureus. The blisters are full of clear fluid first, then it becomes cloudy, then if everything goes okay, they dry up, and eventually just flake off, leaving good skin behind.

Because he has dealt with this off and on almost his whole life, having occassional flare-ups, usually no more than once or twice in a three year period, he is a kid who does not just itch or rub his skin. He leaves all scrapes and mosquito bites alone. This is in a new area.

But, I digress. It is very, very contagious. So contagious, that after sending him to school today with it covered by a band-aid, only to have it get worse, I am pulling him out of school to go to the doctor tomorrow to see if anything else can be done (prescription strength anti-biotic ointment, plus maybe an oral anitbiotic). The doc will also have to decide if we can go on our zoo trip this weekend. It's not just that we are going to the zoo, it's that we are going to be camping out and WORKING at the zoo. Lots of chances for spreading, and maybe having it get infected. Yuck.

He is devastated at the thought that he may not get to go.

I am just tired of having this happen.


Yes, pictures from Sunday are on the way. Seriously! I just haven't had time to upload everything yet.

Until then, you can peruse the photo gallery at atthefaire.com.

Here's one of us! Boy, my hair looks like crap! End of a long, windy day... that's my excuse, and I am sticking to it!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nothing much to do, nothing much to say...

Okay, so I finally got tagged (twice in two days) so I should probably just fill this out and send it on. I don't have anything better to do, so here goes:

1. What time is it? 10:47 pm, a.k.a. past my bedtime
2. What's your full name? Jennifer Lee Geek
3. What are you most afraid of? Something bad happening to the people I care about. That and tripping in my Barbie Heels.
4. What is the most recent DVD you watched? The last complete DVD I watched was Bride and Prejudice.
5. Place of birth? Lake City, IA
6. Favorite new food? hmm... the last new thing that I tried, I hated. No new favorites. I am boring.
7. What's your natural hair color? This is my natural hair color! Cross between blonde and red.
8 . Ever been to Alaska? no, but I know someone who lives there!
9. Ever been toilet paper rolling? I guess I must have missed that...
10. Love someone so much it made you cry? YES
11. Been in a car accident? Yes
12. Croutons or bacon bits? Croutons
13. Favorite day of the week? Non-work days when the labs are closed! Saturday would be my next choice.
14. Favorite Restaurant? The Mandarin
15. Favorite Flower? Morning Glory and hot pink petunias! Red Roses are next on the list!
16. Favorite sport to watch? Jousting
17. Favorite Drink? Diet Pepsi
18. Favorite ice cream? orange sherbet in a sugar cone
19. Favorite activities blogging, reading blogs, sewing ren faire garb, going to ren faire, ripping the guts out of computers, tormenting my friends with long, drawn out stories about people they have never met...
20. Favorite fast food restaurant Culvers
21. What color is your bedroom carpet? light blue
22. How many times have you failed your driver's test? none
23 . Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? FlyLady! SHINE YOUR SINK!!!
24. What do you do most often when you are bored? The same thing I do every night... try to take over the world!
27. Who is least likely to respond? Um, I haven't figured out who I am going to tag yet, but it would probably be Troy, because he's busy.
29. Favorite radio programs? Radio??? What's that??? Favorite podcast: Rutter's Ramblings!!!!
30. What are you currently reading? I should be reading something about parenting pre-teens, but I am reading a romance novel. Without Fabio on the cover, TG.
31. Ford or Chevy? I miss my chevy! *sniff*
32. What are you listening to right now ? The quiet majesty of my computer...
33. What are your favorite colors? the blue sky on a cool summer day, where it seems painted, rather than anything that could just occur by accident...
34. How many operations have you had? 3, I think
35. How many pets do you have? do kids count?
36. Which came first the chicken or the egg? a single-cell organism that gradually evolved into a group of specialized cells that work together for mutual benefit.
37. What would you like to accomplish before you die? Besides take over the world? Get married, have two more children (because I am crazy!), become Queen of the Universe, discover a cure for aging, and live to a ripe old age with someone special and have a zillion grandchildren and great-grandchildren running around my fabulous mansion. Oh, and to see world peace.
38. How many people are you sending this e-mail to?... How many people do I know...

Okay, that's it. Way to kill a half an hour... I knew I shouldn't have taken that nap this evening. I am wide awake.

I'm tagging Troy, the Nerd, Her Majesty the Queen of England (a close, personal friend), that anonymous comment poster from San Fransisco, various others as they pop into my head. Oh, and if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! Post a link to your site in the comments! Let's all join in the fun!!!!

"Are you a slacker mom?"

Are You a Slacker Mom?

Your quiz results make you a Pretty in the City Mom

You might have a subscription to both Parenting Magazine and Vogue. While picking up a darling Easter outfit for your tyke at Bloomingdale's you're tempted to grab a pair of Manolo Blahniks for your own tootsies. You are a fabulous mom, and you take care of yourself fabulously, too.

Hmm... I am totally bemused by this result, due to the types of questions asked...

Overheard last night

Lots of people complaining about lots of things.

What I heard made a highly anticipated event (my son's band concert) into an event that I wanted to leave immediately. I also wanted to turn to the people and ask if there was anything that they liked about the situation they were discussing, and remind them that if they didn't have anything nice to say, they should remember their manners and quiet down, or talk about something else.

I am going to focus more intently on finding the good, and doing what I can to make others happy by not giving in to the urge to bitch.

I'll let you know how that goes...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Yes, my son finally just realized it is my birthday.

Just got back from a wonderful middle school band concert. The sixth grade was very, very good, even compared to the older kids. The new auditorium is great for acoustics, but it will be very difficult to use the stage for any theatre productions, as it lacks wings, backdrop curtain, and side curtains. Oh, and no spots.

I'm going to go eat some ice cream, and try to forget that I am a year older. 33 was so much fun that I hate to let it go...

I'd like to thank this opportunity to thank my mother.

Four days.

Friday to Tuesday.

My mother was in labor with me for four days. Hearing that tends to make one feel very abashed.

I took four days to decide to enter this world.

Thirty-four years ago, also on a Tuesday, I was brought kicking and screaming into this world. Aren't you lucky?

I just wanted to say thank you, Mom. Thank you for not giving up on me, and for having the courage to go through the whole process three more times (with one set of TWINS to boot!).

I have to get use to saying, "I'm 34!" That's twice 17, so I feel really, really old right now...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Yet another disaster...

I just found out that one of my high school science teachers (earth science, chemistry, and physics) has a malignant brain tumor. They couldn't remove all of it, and it is a fast growing cancer.

A Very Charming "Dear Abby"

Dear Abby for tomorrow:

DEAR ABBY: I am 13, and all of my friends are talking about their first kisses. I can't join in because I have never been kissed, and I'm afraid that when I do, it will be horrible. Do you have any advice? I read somewhere that you are supposed to write the alphabet with your tongue. Please help me. -- WORRIED WOMAN, TIFFIN, OHIO

DEAR WORRIED WOMAN: What you read was wrong. Girls who are being kissed for the first time just close their eyes and purse their lips. (You can work your way up to writing the alphabet when you are older. Much older.)

So that's how it's done???


Student Dies One Day Before Graduation

Friends, Family, Remember ISU Student


Okay, lunch was an experience.

Ended up leaving Taco Bell because it was taking too long, and the guy messed up while taking my order. The manager card would not swipe so he could fix the problem. He was going to have to charge me for 3 steak soft tacos, instead of the two that I had ordered if he could not fix it. I very politely told him that I didn't have time to wait now, because I had to be back at work in 8 minutes (we only get 30 minutes in the summer).

I decided to just drive to Wendy's. Halfway there, at a stop light, my car died! I look at the feul gauge - EMPTY! I say a quick Hail Mary, and turn the key. It starts, and I drive quickly to the Phillips 66 near the Wendy's and put $10 worth of gas in the car.

At Wendy's, I place my order, and pull up to the window. I go to hand the $10 bill to the cashier, and it is blown out of my hand!!! And it was my last $10, because I had spent the other $10 on gas! I chased it down, luckily, as my stomach was growling terribly. I ended up having to pull ahead to wait for my chicken strips, too.

But, I ended up back at work, safe and sound, although a bit late (I usually just stay the extra half hour in the summer anyway).

Hopefully, that's it for the bad luck today...

I dreamt of running, a tornado, and a baby that was maybe my niece, but a lot younger.

I didn't manage to stay up past 9:30 last night. I turned back the quilt on my bed, set up my pillows so that I could read, and didn't even get the book opened when I decided to just go to sleep.

Weird dreams all night...

I was back in my hometown. I was running barefoot, on the road between our church and home, but the road was gravel instead of paved. I was running just for fun, and kept thinking to myself how glad I was to be running again (which is weird, because I never was a jogger).

Then, I was in the church parking lot with my family. We were milling around with a bunch of other people I didn't recognize, when the sky got dark, and it looked like someone stuck a photograph of a tornado in the sky to the north, and then it slammed into motion.

I was holding a baby girl. I don't know if she belonged to one of my sisters, or to me, but she was a relative. I cradled her close, and ran into the church, to the furnace room. Everyone else was going to the wrong place, so I was yelling, trying to get them to go to the right shelter. They finally listened. The baby just kept sleeping peacefully.

I took the baby to the bathroom, and made Kim and my nephew go there, too, because the furnace room grew too big to be safe. When we were in the bathroom, older ladies in wheelchairs were wheeled in, too.

I woke up when the tornado hit the building.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

We're back!

I am too exhausted to write much right now, but as my face hurts from smiling, I gather that I enjoyed the faire. I'll have pictures uploaded sometime tomorrow evening, as well as links to my favorite act: The Pirate Comedy Show!

Anyway, must go now. I have work tomorrow, and my son has school.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Brief note, then back to work!

My son's garb is finished. Yes, I resorted to an iron-on adhesive to put the sun on his tabard, but it looks good from far away, and can be redone later if it does not wear well.

I am close on my sleeves. I will be adding the pearl and gold bead decoration to just the upper sleeves (one down, one to go, and it is gorgeous!). I have to sew down the binding on the lower sleeves yet, and add lacing rings (plus figure out how long to make the laces, and get them tied securely). Then, I am finished. I even had time to turn up the hem on my chemise, and trim any loose threads.

So, if I make myself go to bed at midnight, I have a solid two and a half hours to work. I can finish sewing on lacing rings in the car if I have to...

There is some weird crap on AMC at 1:00 am...

Obviously, I have been working very hard on sewing tonight, sitting on the couch, watching movies (so glad I bought Bride and Prejudice last Saturday).

I don't know if I'll be able to get much sleep tonight, but I am going to try. Still no word on what happened with our student. Not knowing who it was is still bothering me quite a bit.

I'll know more tomorrow.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Waiting for bad news...

After an evening that started out by getting out of work over an hour later than usual, I am sitting here, waiting for the news to come on, waiting for an email or a phone call.

This isn't about my family or anything.

I was in Hy-Vee, buying breakfast for tomorrow, and a coconut for my son, when I ran into one of the ladies that works in my building. Apparently, one of our senior graphic design students who was due to graduate tomorrow, was in an accident this afternoon, and did not survive.

I am more than a little shaken up right now. These are the wonderful kids who are in my labs day in and day out (and often into the early morning hours). These are the kids who were so wide-eyed and excited to be in the program, and who I've watched mature in personality and in their art for the last four years. These are the ones who were so excited to be going forth into their careers.

No matter what the name they finally release, it will be a terrible loss. I can't imagine what tomorrow is going to be like at the Convocation in the Design building. I only hope that they can get this student's peers notified before the ceremony.

At this point, I don't even want to think of who it could be... I just want it to not have happened.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Getting nowhere

The last two evenings, I have had very specific goals.

One of those goals is to get my son a haircut. Yesterday, we were thwarted by two things: 1) I had to stay at work an extra hour, and 2) it was going to be a minimum of an hour wait at Great Clips (and since it was already six, and we hadn't eaten yet, that wasn't an option).

Tonight, we had somewhere to be at 7, for an hour. One hour turned into 2 hours, and we didn't get home until after 9. My son had homework, and didn't get to bed until 9:45. I picked up around the house, cleaned part of the bathroom, and in general, attempted to put things back into shape.

My other main goal for the night was to get the sleeves done for my dress. All of the parts are cut out, and I've got the lining and fabric of the upper sleeves sewn together with black satin ribbon for the binding. One of the uppers is finished, except for lacing rings and the pearl decorations. What is bugging me is that it took about an hour to hand sew the binding on just one sleeve, and I have THREE more to go...

I may not get these totally done...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Wonder of Wonders...

My dress is finished.

I can hardly believe it myself.

The only reason that it is already done is because I took a piece of bodice jewelry that I had made last summer, and adjusted it, and sewed it to the neckline of the dress. I am uploading photos as I write...

You know what this means, right?

I definitely have time to attempt to make the sleeves... They may not be decorated, but how hard could four cylinders be... famous last words, but I need something to work on tomorrow night at the scout room...


The Italian Dress - 1

A very crappy picture of me in the dress...


A view of the neckine


A detail of the center ornament


A detail of the shoulder quad

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


My son's tabard is done, except for the sun emblem on the front. I just spent a little over an hour sewing 5 yards of trim on it.

I am going to take a break, then attach the underskirt to my dress. Then, I'll try it on, and figure out where to hem the underskirt. I also want to turn up the hem on my chemise, so it doesn't drag in the dirt (yuck!).

Then, the fun begins!!!! Beautiful glass pearls!

Last movie night...

I have the movies. Everything is ready.

Everything, that is, except for someone to work the 2-8am shift. I had someone lined up, but she got sick. Unless I find someone in the next hour or so, we have to close at 2.

The chances of that happening are very slim, so I am going to go ahead and print up the signs as soon as I get to work to start the movies...

Monday, May 01, 2006

You would think that after tossing and turning after being awaken at 3am, I'd have given up trying to stay awake hours ago...

Instead, I did everything I needed to do tonight, plus did the Movies and Popcorn thing at work, then went to a meeting, THEN took my son to JoAnn fabrics and forced him to pick out a manly trim for his King Arthur tabard. Once I got home, I finished the edges of the underskirt panel, gathered it into a length of ribbon to protect it from fraying, then proceeded to finish hemming my dress, and sewing up the back. Officially, all I have left to do with my dress is to attach the underskirt to the dress, hem it to length, then add the ribbons and pearls. The sleeves can wait.

I also picked up the fabric paint for the sun emblem my son's tabard. I still need to add the trim around all of the edges. Luckily, we found a very simple black trim with geometric gold embroidery. It was actually in the ribbon section. I bought two spools, 3 yards each, for a little over six dollars. Buying by the yard would have been much more expensive. Unfortunately, this trim will probably have to be removed when I wash the tabard, as it will likely bleed. Yuck. I am going to paint the emblem on a piece of fabric, and sew the fabric to the tabard. That way, if I mess up, I don't ruin the actual garment. I wanted to applique the emblem, but time is very short.

Okay, I think that I have reached my limit... Time to get some sleep... oh... the coconut! Crap. One more trip to the grocery store tomorrow...

The Phone Rings...

It's an outside call.

It's Mr. I-got-all-of-my-homework-done telling me that he has to stay after school, again, because he wrote down the wrong range of problems, and therefore did not actually have all of his homework done. Oh, and he didn't do something for band, so he has to stay after for that, too.

I guess it is time to take away the game systems for a bit...