Friday, March 31, 2006

You know what really sucks?

Remembering that you had fabulous notes for your training session tomorrow, from when you did the same training sessions last year, and NOT REMEMBERING WHERE THEY ARE IN YOUR CLOSET!!!!

grumble, grumble...

Update: Thank God I am a packrat... And why are there no notes on the first session that I have to teach?????


I am feeling pretty antsy tonight. Part of it is the fact that I am still really tired. I also just got back from a shopping trip to replace the microwave. I ended up with something a little smaller than I had wanted, but I got a GE. Hopefully it will last a little longer than the last one...

And my living room was destroyed by a certain eleven-year-old who thinks that Lego bricks need to be scattered all over in order to be used properly. And I have too much crap in my bedroom. But what is really bugging me is that I forgot the laundry soap.

In order to get back to normal, I am going to set my timer and work through my list:

1. Living room: All kid stuff to my son's room, and straighten up. --- Done
2. Sort laundry --- Done
3. Go over training stuff for tomorrow afternoon.
4. Work on special podcast for tomorrow!
5. Go to sleep at a decent time.

There. Now I have order in my life.

And a new microwave!

I should know better...

Never eat just a salad for lunch, especially if all you have to put on it are green olives and dressing.

My stomach is trying to eat itself, and I have an appointment to help teach someone something in a few minutes.

Food....... need.... foood...........

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Online, and ready to bore you to tears!

Feedback welcome!

Eek - it's almost done!

Okay folks. The podcast is being saved, and will be listened to one last time before uploading. I need to check that everything is where I wanted it, and that I don't have any weird crap going on.

Okay, first bit of weird stuff fixed...

Ooo, I forgot promos... for this one, anyway. I will have to be downloading some for later...

Okay, last bit of junk fixed!! I think it turned out okay...

Just saving, then will get it into iTunes, and uploaded in a few minutes...

86 Balmy Degrees...

In my office. Right now. Which is why I am in a skirt and flip flops. :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Kids. Amazing.

So about 20 minutes after I sent my son to his room with a cold washcloth for his eyes, so he could calm down, he suddenly announced that his headache was gone, and that he was happy again.


Sure, he's still ticked off about what happened at school, but he is otherwise back to his normal self.

I, on the other hand, am having a harder time with this. I am going to attempt to cheer up. I'll probably work on my podcast a bit more, in a vain attempt to post it before tomorrow morning. I'll probably listen to the new Kleptones release, maybe even get a little exercise.

Anything to get my mind back to the place it was this afternoon before he called.


That's the sound of my little bubble of happiness being blown into smithereens.

My son always calls when he gets home from school. It's the touchstone of my afternoon. It means everything is going well, and we get a brief chance to talk about the day. When I answered the phone this afternoon, it was anything but good.

At first I couldn't understand what he was saying. Sometimes he jokes, or talks like he's speaking into a walkie-talkie, complete with static. Today, all I heard was sobbing.

It took awhile to understand what he was saying, but I heard the words "fight", "hurt", "J--" , "made fun of," and "I-- jumped on my back".

"Are you hurt?" I asked, franctically trying to figure out what was going on, while simultaneously shoving things into my bag and shutting things down.

"I don't know..."

"Hang on, I'll be home in five minutes."

When I got home, he was curled into a ball on the couch. His eyes were swollen, red and purple, and looked like someone had given him two black eyes. "Are you hurt? Did you get into a real fight? What happened?" I fired off questions as I sat down next to him, and checked for other signs of injury.

He explained that a former friend called him "mentally challenged," among other things, and told him that he acts like a kid, and that everyone who sits at this former friend's lunch table thinks the same thing.

That's what triggered this. It wasn't specifcally that this kid was saying things, which was bad enough, it was that one of my son's best friends also sits at that table. It was the thought that this other kid was also in on the "bash my son" thing that made the dig that much worse.

The fight was all verbal, shouting in the hall after band, but stung enough that as soon as school got out, my son just couldn't take it anymore. He had his anger to get him through his last class of the day, but as soon as he got on the bus, it all got to him.

I had him relate as much as he could about what happened, so if/when this bully's mother calls (the odds are good), I would know exactly what my son said in return. No mistake, this kid has crossed the line. It seems like he lies more than he tells the truth, and is verbally abusive. Our policy to this point has been to just ignore him, be the better person, but obviously it did not work.

I just can't wait until this evening. I am a coward. I hate confrontation. But right now, I want to calmly explain to this kid's mother exactly what has been going on, and why the kids aren't friends anymore. When I saw her in February, she honestly thought that they were still getting along just great. I have to be honest, I want to find the right words to tell her as gently as possible what happened. The boy needs help, badly, and I let this slide for way too long. It's not going to be easy to say or to hear.

At this point, I just want to curl up in my bed and cry myself...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Most valuable lesson in podcasting:

Learning how to mute out your "Ah"s and "Um"s on the fly...

I have the beginnings of a podcast right now, and hopefully, before the evening is out, my first mini-cast will be posted to my space on SwitchPod.


Culinary Disasters

As if having dinner boil over in the oven yesterday wasn't enough, I popped my leftovers in the microwave for dinner tonight, only to have the microwave up and die.


Not a breaker. The hair dryer worked in the outlet, so all is good there.

My beautiful microwave is dead. Totally dead.

Now I have to try to warm up our leftover chicken and pasta in the oven... Maybe the stove top would have been a better choice?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Maybe 9:40 pm isn't the best time to decide to start doing my taxes...

It was the longing for a new computer that did it. All shiny, sexy, and fast...

The Federal taxes are done, and the state forms are downloaded and ready for tomorrow. I don't know why, but I was more confused about the whole process this year than last. I think I was too tired to properly do this, but I will recheck things tomorrow night.

Good: I made money last year.
Bad: I made too much money last year.
Good: At least I don't owe federal taxes! Yay, refund!
Bad: No new computer.

Oh well. I really hope that I get a state refund, too.

Looks like I may have to take my chances at the warehouse sale after all...

Update: WTF??? You still can't save the state form???? Why have a fillable PDF if you can't save it??? What happens if your computer crashes in the middle of typing your complex tax info? You have to start over. It's 2006, people. I give up. I am going to bed. I will do the state form tomorrow night, when I can finish the whole thing. Erg...

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Okay, so I was going to wait a little longer to write about this weekend, but I really want to get this down before I forget all of the great things that we did.

Friday night:

We arrived at Seven B well after dark. It was impossible to see much beyond our headlights, and the lights near the barns. We unloaded the troop gear into the kitchen (yes, full kitchen, w00t!), then set up our personal gear. Troy brought his vcr and DVD player, along with a ton of movies alphabetized, even! ;) The kids played basketball in the half-court on the second floor of the barn (where they were going to sleep), then came down later for a movie. I slept reasonably well, nice and warm under the heating vent. :)

Saturday, early, early morning:

My alarm was set for 6:30, but starting at about quarter to six, several of the kids made trips to the bathroom (did I mention, REAL BATHROOMS?), and I had to dig through the first aid kit for one of them (the big D. Who used the last of the pepto and didn't tell anyone?). I went back to bed for another half hour.

6:30 am. I woke up, and happened to catch a glimpse through the window. OMG. The barn is located near a string of small lakes. Absolutely beautiful. My sleepiness vanished, and I got ready for the day as quickly as possible. We kicked the kids out of bed shortly after 7:00, by sending our acting leader up to play basketball with them. When one was a little lax about getting up, another adult and I grabbed the ends of his cot and moved him out from under the hoop. We played a pick up game, with about four different teams. Lots of fun.

After breakfast and clean up, we let the kids play basketball a bit more, and then decided to take a hike. We spent about an hour and a half walking around the area, looking at the animals, the flower beds, the swans (Lancelot and Elaine, former tenents of Lake Laverne on the ISU campus, where they were known for chasing students to the point that they had to be replaced by more docile mute swans). We explored ruins near the river, located a trail we wanted to follow later, and in general enjoyed seeing what the ranch had to offer. I saw lots of emerging shoots, and a new types of plants just appearing (including one with the tiniest blue-violet flowers, growing on the gravel parking area).

When we got back to the barn, some played horseshoes, while others played shuffleboard (fun!).

After lunch, which was late, and clean up, we gave the kids some time to, surprise, play basketball. At 3:30, we set out for what we hoped would be a five-mile hike.

No, we did not end up on the news. ;)

When we discovered that the path looped back towards the barn, we decided to go off of the trail. The kids had a great time with this. We were basically following the river, exploring, and taking the time to enjoy nature. In an area where the riverbank dipped to the river's edge, we found a ton of clam shells, which surprised me, as I hadn't really thought about clams being able to live in Iowa. I found a beautiful shell that had a pink pearly lining, and a couple of other ones that were also very nice. My son ended up with about 10 (great....). The river was pretty low, or we would have missed out on that opportunity. Shell collecting and skipping rocks, and discovering animal tracks in the sand...

About this time, we decided to head back. I was never really worried about finding our way home, but dusk was approaching, and we had already walked more than an hour. We learned how to tell how much daylight was left using our hands.

The boys swear that the big black dog we encountered led us back to the ranch, and they may be right. ;)

Once we got back, we rested a bit, then it was time to gather the eggs for breakfast.

Okay, you can stop laughing! I was set up, I tell you! I will get even. Oh yes, I will get even... :) Word of advice: When you are learning how to get eggs from a nest, when there are about a dozen chickens in the pen with you, keep an eye on what the third person in the pen is doing behind your back. That way, when the chickens decide that they really want out, you are prepared. I still have no idea why that one chicken went over my arms, between me and the nests...

Oh, and make sure that you have an audience. At least I did not panic, and just stood still while being swarmed by killer chickens. ;)

I don't even want to think about how much lasagna and garlic bread I ate for dinner. It was good. Very good. So good that I had to go shoot baskets to work off some calories after dinner.

Later, we sat down to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I kept dozing off, and I saw a couple of the other adults doing the same, to the amusement of the kids, as occasional snores slipped out. No one protested bed time, although I was a little dismayed, as I slipped into my sleeping bag, when I heard the distinct noise of the kids playing basketball, again. They tired quickly, though, and by 11, all was quiet.

I slept like a rock until the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning.

This was the best campout to date. I know that they all can't be like this, but it would be a good model to follow. We had a good mix of free time and activites, we kept busy, the kids worked well together, and learned a lot. The group itself was great. Not a single discipline problem, no one acted out, everyone got along pretty well, and no one got sick or hurt. (Yippee!!!) I enjoyed being around the other adults in the group, too. Very fun!

Yikes! Look at the time! I had better get to bed, after taking a couple of tylenol for my aches and pains.

I really hope I don't have to do anything too physical at work tomorrow. ;)

Progress is being made...

Yes, I have the pieces of the mock-up cut out, for the Sheriff's doublet. I would have had them sewn together, but I sort of fell asleep on the couch this evening. :) This is pretty straight forward, no fancy stuff. Just a mock-up to see if the body will fit. I also need to figure out if the sleeves are going to be too tight for sword fighting. I may have to slash them at the elbow, to keep the look of a long sleeve, with allowance for movement. We'll have to see about that later.

"Hey Mom, did you know that oysters* have teeth???"

I had so much fun this weekend that my facial and side muscles ache from laughing and smiling. It goes well with the fact that my legs hurt, and I can't raise my arms over my head. :)

There are so many things to blog about.... I will post an update later this evening, once I've had time to think a little more.

What story to tell first... hmm???

*: Clams, actually...

Friday, March 24, 2006

What do you get when you introduce a geek to a new technology?

Answer: Someone who stays up too late two days in a row, even though she is going to have a very busy and physically demanding weekend.

Glow-in-the-dark dodgeball????

Thursday, March 23, 2006

So, this podcasting thing is going to take a little more time that I thought it would...

I am going to attempt to not be perfectionist about it, or it will never get done. The goal right now is to create a little teaser-cast, about 5 minutes or so. An introduction of sorts. I've already lined up free hosting at SwitchPod. I can upgrade to regular hosting if for some reason people actually like this little podcast, and I start getting actual traffic.


I've got a direction I want to go, I sort of have a loose plan in mind. This will be unscripted. There will be editing involved, and that is where the kinks are starting to come into play. My goal is to spend no money on this little side project. I will do everything with free tools, or stuff that comes with MacOS X. I do not have the latest Garageband yet, so I won't have access to those nifty little podcasting tools for awhile.

The goal is to just have fun!


Not only did I have enough laundry soap to do all three loads of laundry on my list, I also found something really cool in the roll of quarters I got on Tuesday night...

A quarter that is from 1940!

The raised edges are mostly worn away, and it's not the sandwiched metal type. I haven't seen one of this era before. It's like a time machine, in a way. How many people have handled it since 1940? This was around during WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Persian Gulf War I, 9/11, Afghanistan, the Iraq War...

A lot of history in a small, silver coin....

Holy Crap, I'm making a podcast...

Okay, so this talking to myself thing is pretty fun! I downloaded "Audacity," a freeware recorder and editor for MacOS X, and have been playing with it for an hour or so. Loads of fun. I have no idea if any of this will ever see the light of day, but it's amusing for the moment.

(crap, it's midnight...)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"I walk this empty street..."

Having a good time listening to something that we are not supposed to have because someone said we couldn't. Well worth the searching and clicking a ton of broken links before finding one that worked...

Favorite Quote for Today

This is /.*

What do you expect? Political discourse at a level greater than (and I quote) "Neener neener neener"?

ConceptJunkie (24823)

*: [SlashDot, for the uninitiated]

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Busy Geek = Happy Geek

I have long known that the busier I am, the more productive I can be, for some things. There is a balance, of course, that has to exist between the work and the play. Yesterday, work was great, because I hit the sweet spot between busy, and having time to explore problems and solutions. I didn't feel that cold hand of panic around my throat, the one that grips when too many people want too many things all at the same time.

Yesterday was just right.

Last night, when I got home after our scout meeting, I worked on costuming stuff. I redrafted a pattern to remove darts, and to make two separate pieces out of a single pattern piece. It took about 30 minutes, because I had to redraw the pattern pieces a couple of times. Tonight, I did the same to the back piece. It went a little faster. So, the pattern is finished! All I need to do is cut out the mock-up, sew it together, and get the Sheriff of Nottingham over here to try it on. ;)

I am getting very excited over working on this particular piece of clothing, as it is my first foray into sewing for someone outside of my immediate family (Movie Star, remember that sun dress I made you when you were three?). I am hoping it turns out great, and fits properly, and the Sheriff likes it.


Spring in Iowa
Originally uploaded by jennifergeek.

Didn't expect to get quite so much snow...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Somehow, I knew this would happen...

First day of spring...

One last snowfall.

It's gorgeous.

This movie is like crack to my preteen

Saturday night, Cartoon Network showed Spirited Away. Immediately, my son wanted to watch it again. Nevermind the fact that it was 9:30 pm, and we did not tape it.

The next day, he bugged me continually, and sat watching the TV Guide channel to see if it would be coming on again.

That afternoon, we had an errand to run. He nagged quite a bit on getting to the library, to see if we could check it out. I have never seen him so whiny or intent on getting what he wanted. Total addict.

When we got home, I checked online, and discovered that the library had a waiting list for the movie. If we got on the list, it would still be six weeks until we got to check it out.

Obviously, by this time, I was about two tiny steps away from flipping out at dealing with my SA addicted child. And this after seeing the movie ONCE????

I had to run to Wal-mart anyway, so I told him that we would look for a copy there. Right... Like Wal-mart would have anime...

So, we tried Hastings, which has everything. I was tired, I had a headache, I was trying desperately to keep my temper by this point. Normally, I never give in when my son throws a fit, but for the love of God, I did not want to have to go through another minute of torture.

Finally, we found the movie. Shelled out $21.99 plus tax, as there were no used copies.

Got it home, and guess what...

Four tiny scratches, barely visible except at the right angle, which make most of the first scene completely, undeniably unwatchable... as in it jumps then completely freezes. I nearly missed seeing them when we were trying to figure out why it wasn't working correctly.

It's sitting on my desk right now, waiting to go back to Hastings, where they will probably totally deny my request for a new copy, wrongly assuming that they were user caused. I watched my son carefully handle the DVD, an addict causes no harm to the object of his addiction. I can only hope that they will do the right thing.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

#1 on the list of things to do

Lose weight.


Yes, the corset fits, but it sure would be nice to be able to breathe, and have the underskirt and overskirt I just finished actually close over the corset.

And yes, there is a two inch gap in the back, as there should be.

No more junk food, fast food, or candy for me...

And I forgot that it takes a good 20 minutes to get into a corset...

Corset = Done!!!!!

Whew! After sewing 22 eyelets by hand, my blue corset is done! It should fit, as I did a test beforehand. All I have to do is figure out how long the lacing needs to be. I have a spool of ribbon that I can use to determine the right amount, so I can get in and out of this thing by myself, using only one lace (gotta love spiral lacing!). Maybe I'll take pictures later...

How I am going to cheer myself up...

I bought the special edition of Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail today!

I am going to really enjoy this. It includes a ton of special features, including the Lego version!!!!!

So, I am popping two tylenol, eating dinner, then will laugh myself silly....

Grouchy Grouchy

That's me! I am anxious for spring. It seems like I am forever either too hot or too warm - been through both today.

I am too young for menopause, so let's cut the getting older jokes. ;)

I got more accomplished this weekend than I thought I would. However, I still have to wash that stupid couch cover, and the vacuuming did not get done.

I am NOT going to let these two things get me down.

I AM going to cut out the high sodium foods, though, because I think that has some bearing on how I feel today, that headache that is playing around the top of my head, and my eyes... I need to take better care of myself, so I can be a happy person, instead of a grouchy one.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Every once in awhile, I get a bad case of insomnia. I just can't sit down long enough to sleep, and when I finally can lie down, my mind is racing in too many directions.

I don't have this problem during the day. I try to fight the urge to take a nap on the weekends, because I know that I will not be able to fall asleep until very late. Last night, I was up until about 1 am, then woke up on the couch at 6 am. I went to bed, and just dozed until around 9. I really wanted to take a nap this afternoon, but I was able to stay awake. Now, here it is, after midnight. I am not sleepy at all, and again my mind is whirling in a bunch of different directions.

Blogging is the 21st century equivalent of warm milk, counting sheep, and twidling thumbs.

Is that weird?

Got more stuff done...

I just finished cutting out the pattern pieces of the bodice I want to make. Unfortunately, I decided that I didn't like it as is, so I got out the tracing paper, and traced the main pieces, then cut them out and basically redrafted the stupid thing. The original had so many damn grommet holes in it, that I swear the pattern makers had to intentionally set out to see how many they could pack in. Side lacing AND back lacing? I am using McCall's 4107, view C, as a base. I am making it all one color, except in the shoulder rolls, and the detatchable sleeves. All eyelets will be handsewn, as I can't stand metal grommets. I may use lacing rings for the back fastening instead, on this one, as I am looking to cut back on the amount of time I have to spend sewing eyelets (about 15 minutes per eyelet).

This lovely pattern also leaves out the boning channels. Not marked at all, other than an "insert boning channel here," with no specifics. If you didn't know how to do that, or where they were supposed to go, you'd be out of luck. I didn't intend for this to be a gripe session about this pattern, but I am very disappointed that I had to do so much work to modify this, especially when it is geared specifically towards ren faire use. They should at least mark the stupid boning channels. And there is no WAY you need 56 eyelets just to lace up a bodice.

Okay, end gripe about the stupid pattern...

I also managed to clean the bathroom, the kitchen, and get the grocery shopping done before 1:00 today. I stocked up on groceries, as the next few weeks (okay, six) are going to be very busy. Six weeks left until the end of the semester... In between, we have at least two weekends that will be spent camping, one Saturday at leader training (yes, I have to teach another session), DASH, my son's birthday party, VEISHEA, Easter, and all of the various events that make up our lives. I will definitely have to sit down and see how many free weekend days I have until Memorial Day weekend, and in the next six weeks. My gut feeling is that I will be spending lots of time on the couch doing hand sewing between now and then...


After the handle of the spatula snapped, as I was browing the hamburger, I just kind of stood there. My finger had gone into the pan, I yanked it out quickly, but my most immediate concern was the fact that I had nearly raw hamburger juice everywhere, including a spot on my arm that was starting to hurt.

I grabbed the tongs to get the bottom half of the spatula out of the hamburger. Then, I washed my hands, and grabbed a paper towel from the roll to wipe up the yuck. Only then did I notice that my shirt was more covered than I had thought, and my arm was starting to hurt worse. My son watched the pan while I ran to the bathroom, yanked off my shirt, and put cold water on the painful area.

Not bad at all.

My index finger seems fine. Thank goodness that the pan hadn't been on terribly long or I would probably be on my way to the emergency room right now.

All because my old, cheap spatula decided that today was a good day to die...

Difficulty getting motivated today

It looks gorgeous out, which probably means that it is cold. Spring starts Monday, and it's cold here, which is depressing.

We were out until late last night at a LAN party (where I thoroughly got my butt kicked at StarCraft by three different people, one genetically related to me. :) I hadn't played for over a year, and had planned to just watch a movie on my laptop. When I got there, however, I just didn't feel like watching a movie, by myself, again.

Goals for today (so that I might get motivated to do something):

1. Laundry (duh) - one load started (forgot to get more quarters)
2. Grocery Shopping
3. Vacuum
4. Dust - done!
5. Run dishwasher (that's easy enough) - done!
6. Sew, because the first Ren fest event is the first weekend in May, and I am taking my son. (he deserves to go to a faire without having to work during it. ;)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Wow. What a way to start out St. Paddy's Day...

First off, I forgot to wear green...

Second: Our entire basketball staff and coach were FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!! More on this story later, because things are busting out all over the place... Oh boy.

All of this before 8:00am... can I go home?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Eagle has landed

Yes, my son is back in town! I went to pick him up at my sister's house, then took him out to supper (because, you know, I was soooo tired from doing nothing all day. :)

After several days of quiet, my house is full of laughter again!

Ug. I'm very full.

I went to the grocery store, to get a couple of things, and to treat myself to chinese food. After I had picked up what I wanted, I went to the chinese food area, and they were having an all-you-can-eat buffet. No, I did not get that.

I left without my chinese food. I did not want to eat at Hy-Vee, I wanted to eat at home.

So, I decided that I would just go to Joann Fabrics to take a look at some faux suede, and then figure out where I wanted to get take-out. I was pretty disappointed in the lightweight crap they had for faux suede, and they did not have moleskin in black (which would have been the other option), so I left without getting anything.

I decided to stick with the original plan, and get chinese food from the Manderin instead. Oh, the lovely Manderin!!!!!!!!

I love going there. I walked in, placed my to-go order, and sat and read the paper for five minutes. After a long car ride home (traffic was nasty), I sat down, chopsticks in hand, and enjoyed my general chicken and egg roll. Mmmmm....

I ate all of it. Yikes!

So here I am, my stomach very full of wonderful food, very sleepy. It's raining out, and dull and gray. I am thinking I may settle down on the couch for a bit of a nap, maybe a movie and some sewing... whatever I want to do.

Lovely afternoon...

Weird Day Off

So, when my boss and I were talking about spring break, he asked if I was going to take any time off. Since he's going to be gone tomorrow, and part of next week, I decided I would take today off.

Here I am, sitting at home, in front of my computer, trying to figure out what I want to do today. You see, my son is still with my parents, at least until later this evening.

I slept in (which is good, since I woke up at aroun 4:30 this morning, really not feeling well), got ready for the day, and now I am sitting here without a whole lot to do. Yes, I could do laundry, but I don't think I even have a full load of anything, since my son isn't here to contribute. I want to do some sewing, but I'm at the boring, "cut out the pattern pieces and iron them" stage. I do NOT want to go shopping. I have no real goal in mind for shopping, and I refuse to buy something just for the sake of buying.

Luckily, someone posted a new podcast, so that is downloaded and ready to go. Should be entertaining. I should probably add that link to my sidebar, too... So that's one thing I'll be doing today.

Hmm... only eight more hours to waste...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Uh.. dududududududu..... NOO!!!!!!!!

Two hours. It was TWO hours long. Not one hour..... WHY DID I THINK IT WAS ONE HOUR!??????????????

time to search for a torrent...

Oh Holy S***!!!!

Watching the episode of Battlestar Galactica that I taped on Friday night...


Okay, still not sure about the hair...

Note to self: next time you decided on the spur of the moment to get your hair cut, wait at least 24 hours.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

39 weeks...

since I've had my hair cut. I know this, because the guy who cuts my hair told me so. "At least you've got good hair," he remarked.

I am not entirely sure if I like this style or not. It will all depend on what happens with the blow dryer tomorrow morning.

I always go through a moment of panic when I walk out of the door of the salon. I get into the car, and immediately panic sets in. What have I done? This time, the layers are awfully short, even if my hair is technically shoulder length (which seems to be the sweet spot for my hair). Well, time will tell.

I waited over an hour in the salon. Boring. I really wanted to just get in and out in under 30 minutes, but apparently everyone in Ames had the same idea.

I also had errands to run that could not be postponed until tomorrow (my hands are awful - I ran out of my Aveeno hand lotion, and it didn't take long to get chapped hands. Ugh.)

Anyway, the other reason that I am posting is to share some good news!!!

The case against my baby sister has been dismissed!!!!! Woo hoo!!!! What a relief. The lawyer kept saying that he had no idea why charges had been filed in the first place. Very cool!

Okay, time to get something to eat. At least I am actually hungry, and not just eating for the sake of eating.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Moment of cable zen...

I was watching Sixteen Candles while doing some hand sewing, and waiting for the dryer to finish. When I had put away the jeans, I sat down to do some quick channel surfing, and Sixteen Candles was playing on one of the channels, in nearly the same place it would have been if I had continued to watch it...


Playing Hooky...

As my son is out of town, I decided that I did not need to go to our meeting tonight. It is wicked cold and very windy outside, and my fingers are freezing. I am going to stay in and do laundry and sew. I may even watch the season finale of BSG, which I taped on Friday night, but have not yet watched. PJs and a blanket figure highly into this equation.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Highlights

Even after a three hour nap this afternoon, I still don't have quite enough energy to sit down and really write about this weekend. It was just wonderful, and I haven't laughed so much in a long time.

So, here are the highlights (and yes, this list could be much, much, much longer):

• My nephew running across the kitchen floor, yelling, "Touchdown!" while holding his football. He's 14 months old! So cute!
• Holding my niece, showing her the different silk flowers on my sister's wall, while she kept repeating, "Is that?"
• Getting a workout chasing two toddlers around in circles most of the day (don't they take naps?!?!?)
• Changing more poopy diapers...
• Eating lunch at 11, because we wanted to go out to dinner at 4, thereby avoiding the "meltdown" hour.
• Talking with my sisters about anything and everything!
• Showing my 70+ year old grandpa the joys of Google Earth, listening to him express his desire to own a computer, and realizing that yes, he would open every single attachment he ever gets, and realizing that yes, by the love of god, I will do everything in my power to steer him towards an iBook rather than a Dell, if only so I don't have to get a phone call from him telling me that he opened an attachement ("Well, it said it was naked pictures!").
• Hearing my family stand around throwing out ways they can embarass me in front of a certain friend who was joining us for the evening. Oh god, the stories. Finally, I just said, "You know I'm going to tell him all this, right?"
• At the restaurant, my son ordering three tacos, based on my sister telling him that they were really small, only to discover that the soft tacos are huge (the crispy are small). He ate two.
• Watching my nephew try salsa for the first time! He loved it! He also kept trying to steal french fries from my dad's plate.
• My dad telling the chili pepper story, which by far was the most embarassing story he could have told to my friend. Oh god, the chili pepper story (and it wasn't even a story about me!)
• My sister, LeAnn, being on her best behavior, yet managing to be extremely entertaining!
• Tons of funny stories, which are the tip of the iceburg, BTW, and hardly any of them about me! Yay!
• Watching my nephew dance to his play piano.
• My niece playing peek-a-boo, by walking around with her blanket over her head.
• Two of my sisters, the mothers of my niece and nephew, crying with each other because they both want another baby, but need to wait a while. I think a baby commercial started that one...
• My friend being such a good sport! Honestly, the stories could have been worse, and probably will be later!
• My dad, following us right out of the door. Thanks, Dad.
• Being able to offer a beer to my dad at my home, because it reminded me that I GOT CARDED FRIDAY!!!!!
• Not being able to get my right contact lens out. For about 15 minutes!
• This morning, calling my mom at 7:10 am, rather than getting a call at 7:10 am! "I hope we didn't embarrass you too badly..." Yeah... sure you do.... And being able to laugh it off, because there were soooooo many other stories that could have been told....
• My son, rolling over in bed when I reminded him that he wanted to help make bacon and eggs for my dad for breakfast. Finally giving up. "Do you want me to just wake you up when they are done?" "Uh huh... (mumble)"
• Eating only half of my omelet, because I was still full from dinner last night...
• Getting to my sister's house, and discovering that my other sister had talked her husband into staying for lunch at Hickory Park!!!!
• Yes, I got the onion rings!
• Not being able to eat much dinner, because I got the onion rings! (very good!) I even shared, and still ate too many!
• Bursting into tears at the table, while holding my niece, because they were going to be leaving. I couldn't even talk.
• Making my mom and everyone other female at our table cry as we passed around my niece for one last cuddle and kiss.
And finally,
• Sending my son off to my mom and dad's for most of the week, and having him actually be excited about it. Woo hoo! (Yes, I know that I will be missing him before tomorrow night, but it is nice to have a break!)

It was just the most wonderful weekend!!!!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Trip around the world in less than 45 minutes

Last night, my mom called to let me know what time she would get to Ames. My dad had a last minute towing job to Algona, so is driving down this morning (um, he's driving my grandparents down, so it's an added bonus, as I haven't seen them since Christmas, either).

Anyway, Mom asked if we wanted to go over to Kim's that night. The guys would hang out and keep an ear on the baby monitor, and the girls would go get the enormous amount of groceries it would take to feed everyone for the next two days.

After we finished getting groceries, we went to Kim's to goof off and talk for a bit. Around quarter to ten, LeAnn called from the road, and asked how far Waterloo was from Ames. They were running early!!!!! We decided to look up on google maps to see exactly how long it would take the to get here, and as it was only about an hour and a half, we decided to just stay at Kim's house until they arrived. My brother-in-law and my son decided to watch "iRobot" in the basement.

Kim was explaining Google Earth to Mom, but she couldn't find it on their computer. I suggested she download and install it, so we could show mom. We started off with the usual, typed in Kim's address, and got a picture of the construction site of her house. :) We did my address, and looked at the cars in the parking lot. We looked at Manson, which is still lo-res.

Then we got adventurous.

Paris!!!!! The Eiffel Tower is so COOL on google earth!!!!! Rome! London! Central Park! Las Vegas! Disney World - love the Mickey Mouse lake! Bourbon Street! Type in a city or a landmark, and rotate and zoom your way on a world trip! We were pretty perplexed that the Louvre "couldn't be found." Kim asked if I was spelling it correctly. "I was an art major, Kim," I joked, but we looked it up anyway, and yes, I was spelling it correctly.

We had a great time typing in different things, including showing Mom the lovely picture of Area 51. "What's Area 51?"

We talked for another 45 minutes, and then heard the car pull up in the driveway!!!!!


We stayed a short 20 minutes or so, just long enough for my niece to get used to us again, and get a little chance to talk about the important stuff. Then, we went back to my apartment, had a snack, and crashed at about 1:00 am.

"Set the alarm for 6," my mom asked. "Are you NUTS?" I asked.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I had to laugh...

Guess what...

At the grocery store this evening, I was buying beer for my beer bread, and I got carded.

Way to make a near-34-year-old's day!!!!!!! (This means I must look under 27!)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not what you want to find less than 24 hours before your mother gets here...

SOMEone wiped boogers on my sofa cover! And it wasn't me, so it must have been the ONLY other person who lives here.


I ended up just stripping the stupid thing off of the ugly couch (which really isn't too bad, it just doesn't go with my decor or personality, for that matter). I've been wanting to get this gorgeous red sofa cover from Target for ages. This is my excuse to just go get it the next time it's on sale. Live in the NOW!!!

Some good came of it - this does mean that I now have the sofa bed aired out and ready to use for my parents this weekend.

I will be so glad when they get here, and I can relax. The apartment looks great (despite the very 90's couch), but I have been grinding my teeth when I sleep for about the last two weeks. I now have two very sensitive back teeth on my left side (top and bottom, very last molars). And I just went to the dentist on January 31, and had x-rays - no cavities. Just very sensitive to hot and cold. Ug.

Time for a bubble bath...

I tend to put my foot in my mouth by not saying anything, when even saying the wrong something would be better.

I am an idiot. I am just going to come out and say it.

I tend to avoid that which makes me sad, even if it is sympathy to another person. Part of it is a self-defense mechanism born out of dealing with traumatic events in the past. I shut down, because I don't know what to say. It's a character flaw that I can't seem to overcome. I'm working on it. But I'm still an idiot.

If I have hurt anyone with this inability to (see, I can't even get this right) say the right thing at the right time, or in fact say anything at all, I am more sorry than I can express in words. I want to be able to do this. I am trying to do this.

I just feel like I have let down people I care about.

I'm sorry...


My son got an "A" in a class that was not P.E., Music or Art!

Very good conference with his teacher!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wow, I really AM feeling better!

The sinus pressure seems to be pretty much gone! Oh, I hope this is the case, as I don't think I could take another day of feeling half asleep.

Wow, I think I actually feel a little bit better...

I still want to stay in tonight and sleep, prefereably fall asleep on the couch while watching Sixteen Candles for the umpteen billionth time.

It's Wednesday night, so it's time for the weekly fight about religious ed with my son. "It just takes up too much of my time!" he whines. Get over it, you're going. End of discussion.

He has a point about it, though. It lasts an hour and a half, and doesn't get over until fairly late. Sure, it's time to do errands, and goof off, but I usually end up in the back hallway, playing Animal Crossing on my son's DS, waiting for his class to dismiss.

Things to do tonight:

1. Buy bread and salad stuff.
2. Tidy up the house and bathroom,
3. Take couch cover off and shake it out. Note to self: wait until it is finished raining.
4. Find the sheet to the sofa bed and make sure it is clean and aired out for mom and dad.
5. Eat supper (mmm, mmm good... tomato soup).
6. Get hand lotion from Target before my hands dry up and fall off.
7. Watch Project Runway.
8. Call my sister, Movie Star, and talk to her, because for the love of God, we won't see each other for like, two more days! (can't wait! can't wait!!!!)

Oh, and

9. Try to take over the world...

Okay, couldn't resist this one...

Google Plans Orbital Mind Control

You must read the article. You must bow down to our google overlords...

(wicked funny)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The difference between the old Sudafed Severe cold formula and the PE version...

is that the new PE version doesn't work.

On me, anyway. With the old stuff, I could only take a half dose (one tablet instead of two) or I would feel like I was drugged. One worked good enough for me to at least be able to sleep. I took one tablet of the new stuff, and I don't feel better at all. I am glad that I did not take two, however, as I ended up having to go into work to check something out.

I have a good hour before I can take more.

Thanks WB. For nothing.

So, a certain movie was released on DVD today. A movie that my son and I really enjoyed in the theatre. A movie with three previous episodes, all of which we own on DVD. All of which we bought on the very first day of release. All of which are two-disc sets.

Surprise, surprise. We bought our widescreen version of the Goblet of Fire today, got it home, and... one disc. No special features disc. Come to find out, you have to buy the special edition to get the two-disc set. So, there are THREE versions of the Goblet of Fire. Three.

Oh wait, I forgot about the wal-mart set with the Scene-It sample DVD. So four. Four different options when you want to buy the movie.

The normal price of this single-disc is going to be $20. (It was $14 today, as are almost all new releases at Wal-mart for the first couple of days).

Thank you, WB.

You know, the costs of producing the DVDs are going down, so why the hell are you charging more for less?

What does J.K. Rowling think of this?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Let's Bowl!

We went bowling tonight, instead of our regular meeting. Lots of kids showed up!!!! Yay!!!!!

Despite not having bowled in ages, I did pretty decently. I started to slip a bit in my bowling game towards the end, though. I have a stuffy nose, and my head feels just weird. I was getting pretty sleepy, too, because of the whole sinus thing. I don't even know what my final score was, but I didn't break 100. No biggie.

Monday down, and four more days to go before my family INVADES AMES!!!! I can't wait!

For the love of god, do not delete something until you are ABSOLUTELY postive it is not being used

A couple of weeks ago, I was all excited because I successfully moved the radmind folder from the boot volume to another volume with more space on it. I kept the old folder around, moved it to the desktop and renamed it, just in case.

I gave myself a pat on the back for being paranoid.

So today, I was trying to solve a problem in our photo studio, where this one particular machine with a particular IP address was refusing to pull the new transcripts related to the new command file that I told it to use in the radmind config file. The config file that I could get to by typing the correct commands showed that the right command file was listed, but it was stilll pulling the old one.

It finally occurs to me that maybe radmind is pulling the config file from the old radmind folder, and not the new one. Of course, instead of testing this in a safe manner, I start off by deleting the old folder. Via ssh, through terminal. Smart, right?


Luckily, I stopped it fairly soon, but unfortunately, my server is pretty fast at the old rm -r, so a few things are missing. I am replacing them right now from my back up. It deleted things in alphabetical order, so I lost very little of importance. I am replacing the most important thing, which is the base loadset of the operating system that the lab machines are using. Oh god, this is going to suck so bad... I stopped it before it had deleted too much of the transcript - the core OS stuff wasn't deleted, TG, but some of the default installed apps were. I am doing a straight ditto of the files in the whole loadset, to be certain I am not missing anything.

It's working so far, but there are well over 100K files to copy. I'm going to be here for awhile.

So, even people who are supposed to know better do dumb crap sometimes. I hope you all feel better. But you will notice the key thing that is saving my ass right now ----- I had a backup!!!!!!!!!!! And the ability to get to that backup immediately, and the '1337 command line skills to fix the problem.

Tomorrow, I will reboot the server and see if it picks up on the new location of the core radmind process. Ought to be fun. I must have missed that key piece of the instructions when I was looking up how to move that directory...

Sunday, March 05, 2006


The fog is so dense tonight that it's almost as if it is swallowing the light from the streetlights, the cars, the homes. It's just black out.

Write this on the calendar:

My son actually helped clean his room.

Without protest.

Coughing up a lung...

No, not me. My son has been coughing non-stop all weekend. He's not coughing in his sleep or anything, thank god, but this kid sounds awful.

I know that he'll get over it in a couple of days. I hope it's at least a little better before tomorrow, because I don't want him to have to miss school. It does sound better than it did yesterday, so I am hopeful.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Crazy Weather

It's pouring down rain right now.

Less than 16 days until Spring!!!! Yippee!!!


The laundry is DONE!!!!
The refrigerator is cleaned out! I think it had been three weeks, rather than two.
I cleaned the bathroom mirror, and a quick clean of the bathroom.

My son is fed, although $10 says that the words, "i'm hungry," will come out of his mouth in less than 20 minutes.

I have not eaten lunch yet. I ate a dinner roll with butter (yes, real butter) when I woke up, and a dish of orange sherbet for breakfast. Why the odd food? Well, the dinner roll made my stomach feel like I had eaten a huge thanksgiving dinner by myself. But I still had a headache, which is usually my cue that my blood sugar is low. The only thing that sounded good was the orange sherbet. It was exactly what I needed. I lived on orange sherbet in the early days of my high blood pressure problem, before I learned what I could eat (almost nothing prepackaged).

I am currently waiting for some eggs to hard boil, so I can have a salad for lunch. I fully expect that I will not be eating lunch until very late, but I don't care. I'm not that hungry yet.

After lunch, I wanted to take a nap, but I am not certain that is going to happen now. I really want to get to the grocery store, so I can relax the rest of the afternoon, with all obligations fulfilled. I think I may lie down for a bit, or I won't have the energy to deal with the store and the multitude of people.

Well, the timer is about to go off on the eggs, so I had better get to them...

Update: Grocery shopping is done, and everything is put away. I am going to try to get some sleep now. I finally remembered why I hate going to the grocery store on weekend afternoons...

Okay, I feel a loooott better now.

I guess all that I needed was to get up and moving. I don't feel nearly as crappy now as I did last night, or earlier this morning.


I kind of figured this would happen...

Normally, when my son is sick, I keep on going. I rarely catch anything from him, as I am careful to wash my hands, and not touch places of dishes that he put his mouth to, and other things like that.

This time is different.

First of all, just the sheer number of used tissues is outrageous. No escaping it.

Second, he is coughing on EVERYTHING. Poor kid. Every surface in our house is probably crawling with germs. I've told him that he really needs to cough into a kleenex, but it hasn't helped.

I have whatever he has, plus a terrible upset stomach. Yesterday, I had to force myself to eat dinner. No appetite. This morning, I just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep when the alarm went off. My throat is slightly sore, and I have a nice cough and icky nose, too.

This totally sucks.

I'm going to go throw in the laundry, so I can at least get that much done.

Friday, March 03, 2006

List of things to do tomorrow

1. Laundry. This is never off of the list when you have purged your closet and not bought replacement clothing yet.
2. Clean bathroom
3. Sweep and mop kitchen floor, swiffer-style!
4. Dust for fifteen minutes
5. Clean out the refrigerator. Oh god, clean out the refrigerator. Who knew skipping it for a week would lead to ruin?
6. Clean my son's room. This is going to be worse than the refrigerator... Too much stuff, too much stuff... Maybe I will send some home with mom and dad when they come and stay with us next weekend. I haven't put anything into that huge new storage room under the addition, yet, so maybe a couple of totes can go live there for awhile.

That is my short list of stuff I have to do at some point in the weekend.

Things I would like to do, and will try to work in as I can:

1. Go to the library and pick out new movies and books.
2. Spend time with a friend.
3. Sew
4. Learn to make a new main dish for dinner tomorrow night.

Simple goals. Very reachable. The alarm is set for 7:30 am, and the laundry is already sorted.

Totally doable.

Day Three of the No Fast Food Thing

Just as last year, my son and I gave up fast food for lent.

I have not caved yet. My son keeps claiming that Sundays are exempt. He's probably right, as I remember using that same argument with my parents when I was younger. But the whole point is that I need to eat healthier, and I'd like to save some money so that we can go and do fun things, rather than wasting it on 1200 calories.... I hope I lose 10 pounds like I did last year!

It will be a struggle, but I think I can hack it.

After all, I am supposed to be starting the Physical Fitness Merit Badge with the kids right after Spring Break...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I know you all are just dying to know...

how the sewing is going...

reposted from the Renaissance Costuming forums, under the name "elinore":

Here are some pictures of my green underskirt and the blue corset:

I wish I had a dress form to show this on, but she has to wait for my birthday and tax return. :)

Wow, you can really tell that the blue thread does not match. I knew I should have used the darker thread that I had, but I already had sewn a few channels before realizing it was so bad. The binding is green satin ribbon, that matches the green underskirt. I wanted golden yellow, but I may just have to add a bit of yellow trim to it. The binding was not yet finished when I took this picture.

Yes, this is going UNDER a bodice, but it is nice to have something pretty to wear under your clothes, right?

Here is a front view of the blue corset. Wow, is that ribbon shiny or what? And am I dumb or what, for not noticing that the left side of the corset has a channel going the WRONG WAY!!!!!


Oh well, I have just a couple of inches to sew on the binding at the top. Then I can finish sewing the binding at the bottom, and start on my eyelets. Hand sewn, of course. :)

I am going to go inSANE.

It's always difficult when your child is home sick. It is even more so when they are not able to go to school, but are feeling otherwise well enough to WRECK TOTAL HAVOC.

(eek, that was a nasty cough from the living room...)

I shouldn't complain. I am glad he isn't seriously ill. But after a whole morning of running after him, trying to contain the flood of used kleenex, and bowls of ice cream, I am ready for a nap. "I'm bored," he says, and then strikes down every idea I have on how to not be bored (and I only suggested homework once!).

I can't wait to get back to work tomorrow...

Not strep!

My son is on the couch, with a box of kleenex, a bag of Luden's throat drops, a blanket, watching a movie. He does not have strep throat (the quick test was negative, and the results of the culture will be in tomorrow). The doctor says there's a virus going around, and this year's is causing a pretty bad sore throat, so that's probably what he's got.

All I know is that when he blows his nose, it is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard in my life. And I'm old, so that's saying a lot...

He's coughing pretty rough, too. You can tell by his cough that his throat has to hurt quite a bit. There's a tight sound to the vocal chords.

Cough. Blow nose.

This is going to be a long day...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Jennifer's No-good, very bad day...

My son called after he got home from school, complaining of a terrible sore throat.

After getting him to take his temp, and asking him some other questions, I called First Nurse, to find out what to do. He's going to the doctor tomorrow morning. I hope he doesn't have strep, but he probably does...

I left work a bit early to check up on him, and make sure he had taken his temp right. Eventually, we decided to go to the store to get some ice cream and other soft food so he could have something to soothe his throat. Poor kid. He had some broth for dinner, followed by a huge bowl of neopolitan ice cream. Yum!

My son managed to find a bright spot, however. "Does this mean we don't have to go to church tonight?"