Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I just need to get up off of my A$$ and start doing something...

I'm in a rut, folks.

After the faire was over, I was just so exhausted that all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and read, watch movies, and clean my house. I have barely touched my sewing machine since then. Yes, I helped my mom with a baby blanket for my new niece, Sophie, and I have been working a little on play clothes for Grace (Sophie's big sister). But I haven't done anything garb wise since the faire got over, except buy two costuming books (one of which I love).

I think I was burned out a bit. Rehearsals started in February, and I had been sewing non-stop since March. It felt great to get to veg out, and just be normal for once.

And now I'm bored.

So, I am going to get out the play clothes again, and get them finished up. Then, I am going to finish the gold coif that I was making, and see if I can salvage that. Then, I'm going to be working on trim for the black gown, and hunting desperately for matching red corduroy for the red gown, so I can redo the bodice. And then there's the set of sleeves and forepart that I'd like to make...

Okay, I do just need to get off my duff and get to work. Maybe it'll help save my sanity at this time of year — the end of the semester is always hard, but throw in Christmas prep and it's harder than usual. Maybe my projects will help me relax...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Murphey's Law of Tree Decorating

At least one strand of lights will refuse to work, no matter what you do to try to troubleshoot. And then, when you are resigned to having one less strand on the tree, another strand doesn't work. Two strands, on which only half of the lights will work.

And I had almost successfully avoided having to brave the stores this weekend...

Saturday, November 24, 2007


BSG Razor was good. Very good. Lots of surprises, twists and turns. Because I have been going through the first and second seasons in order, I picked up on a couple of things that I would have missed otherwise. I'm sure many people are going to be confused.

I'm still ticked off that I have to wait until MARCH for the fourth, and final season. NOT happy about that. March. Arg!

Anyway, Razor will be released on DVD Dec. 4th. Sure would be nice to know when season 3 is going to hit DVD... it only finished back in January you know. Maybe they should get that out before March, bridge the gap, so to speak.

I just wish I was feeling better. Throat still hurts, and I definitely have a cold. No flu though, TG. The next three weeks are going to be very intense at work, and there will be no down time. No time to get sick. Today was a wash as far as getting things done at home. I spent a good deal of time on the couch, with a box of kleenex, and a book. I fully intend to spend a good part of tomorrow doing the same. Rest is important.

Anyway, my head is full of BSG right now, and I am going to have to push it aside so I can sleep. I taped it (I know, SHOCK, VCR still exists in this house!), so I can watch it again later this week. A girl has to relax somehow...

What now?

I am feeling a bit better today, although the back of my throat feels weird, and my headache is still hanging on. Or rather, I was feeling better until my son asked when we were going to put up the Christmas Tree.

Traditionally, we set up the Christmas tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That would be today. I am in a bit of a quandry this year, as I do not know where I am going to put the tree.

You see, we switched internet providers this summer (keep with me here, folks, it's related. Really.). Since the internet is now provided by Mediacom, and I don't want cables running the length of my apartment, the computer is now in the living room.

In the spot where the Christmas Tree usually sits.


So, I suppose I can move the little 4-port hub that is in my son's room, and hang a really long ethernet cable off of it from the living room to my room, which would mean that I would get to watch movies in my room again (which I have missed, especially when my son takes over the living room TV with the Wii). But, it would also mean having an ethernet cable stretched across the entire apartment. Which would suck.

So, I am trying to figure out how annoying it would be to have to live with that for a month.

Pretty damned annoying, really.

It may be my only choice, though. Hmm... I think I need to figure out how long the cable would have to be to make this work... yick.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Random Post #872365

This sign always makes us laugh. No idea what they mean by "open Taco". Just another random Manson thing...

After we got home this afternoon, I tried to sleep a bit before heading out to get groceries. I don't remember drifting off, as I was certainly not very comfortable due to my son digging through his huge box of Lego™ trying to find something, but before I knew it, an hour had passed.

My throat was sore when I woke up, and when looking at it in the mirror with a flashlight, I was not very happy to see that it is red, and has white spots. It's gotten progressively worse, and now my ears hurt, and I think that the glands under my jaw are swollen. I also have a slight headache, but no fever, and the beginnings of body aches. Way to spend the last two days off before crunch time at work.

In any case, I don't know if I am getting the flu or not. I would say "definitely" if I had a fever. I've had the flu before, but not for about nine years. I knew I should have gone in and had the flu shot, but the clinic was early this week, and chances are, I was already exposed, if this is what it is.

Oh well. Looks like I'll be staying in and doing nothing this weekend. Good thing I am armed with an Enterprise marathon on SciFi, and the complete second season of Battlestar Galactica on DVD. Not to mention the BSG Razor premiere tomorrow night.

Okay, hot chocolate is done. Time to go doctor this sore throat...

We're back!

I actually did it. I actually managed to make thanksgiving dinner with my dad, and no one got food poisoning, nothing got burned, or otherwise messed up. Everything tasted great, and we had a lot of fun.

Now, I am home, exhausted, and am ready for a nap.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Light snow", my a$$...

Boy, is this going to be an interesting trip...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just my luck...

Just in time for Thanksgiving - first cold of the season. I am getting more and more miserable by the minute here in the Geek apartment.

So, let's make a short list of the ways in which I have been uncomfortable lately.

1. I can't remember the last time I slept well at night. I get very sleepy, but I can't actually get to deep sleep, just tossing and turning.

2. Upset stomach Saturday night, Last night, and until about 3 today.

3. Growing cold symptoms. Stuffy nose, my sinuses are starting to get icky, and I feel congested. Just great.

I am going to attempt to sleep with my head and chest more elevated tonight, and see if I can get more comfortable. I think if I could sleep, the rest could be dealt with...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Long Day, but good!

My new niece was born at 6:34 am today! Very surprised, as she was supposed to arrive on the 27th, by planned c-section. I guess she got a little impatient, and decided it was time. ;) Everything went well, and both mom and baby are fine! :D

We continued with our plans to go to my Granny's house for Thanksgiving dinner today. We left here around 8:40 am, and got to my parents' house around 10. I made the pasta salad that Mom was going to make (she was already on her way to Wisconsin), and we left for my Granny's around 11:45.

Tons of good food, lots of fun! We even got my Granny's Christmas lights on the trees and bushes. Dang, it was cold out today. My ears are still aching, and I feel a sore throat coming of as well...

And in a move that was pretty sad for me, and I am sure bittersweet for all of the aunts and uncles, all but a small section of my grandpa's garden was lightly tilled, seeded with grass seed, and raked, ready for the winter snows.


Well, life must go on.

And our new little sweetheart is so adorable, it made the whole day, no matter what happened, very special.

P.S. Oh, and I almost hit two deer on the way home. We didn't leave Manson until nearly 5:30, when we should have left at 3:30, to avoid driving home in the dark. We were watching very carefully for deer, and came upon two of them: one standing in the opposite lane of the road, and another just off on that sides shoulder. Very close. Very, very close. I'll admit that we both shouted, "Deer!!!" at the same time as I honked the horn, and tapped the brakes. She decided against entering the road further, and they turned. If she had decided to keep going, we'd have hit her, and maybe the other as well. I aged about 20 years in that moment. My heart was pounding until I got home. I hate driving at night during this time of the year...

My niece is on the way!!!

Nan's water broke this morning at 3am, and my mom is on the way to Wisconsin. No news yet, but she's having a c-section, so she's probably already had the baby.

Cross your fingers, folks!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Well, you know... it's like this...

TG tomorrow if FRIDAY, because my head would explode if this week were any longer.

I really hope I can sleep tonight...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's this type of thing that just tops off a day...

So, I wanted some popcorn after supper. We finally got our microwave kettle corn from scouts, and I was dying for some popcorn.

Damn thing wasn't popping right, as in, not at all. In the last second the microwave was still on, I heard a tremendous POP, and opened the microwave to this:


Yes, that is one of my pretty new plates that I bought a few weeks ago.

No idea how this happened, and the plate is taking a very long time to cool off. Yes, it is supposed to be microwaveable.

This just kind of ticks me off...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Thanks, Troy!

This is a new meme, about books, which is a pretty hawesome thing considering. An internet meme about printed material - sweet!

Anyway, here's how it goes:
Answer 5 questions. Tag 5 booklovers.

The Questions:
1) How many books do you own?
2) What was the last book you read?
3) What was the last book you purchased?
4) What five books are most meaningful to you?
5) What is your most obscure favorite book? Or, favorite most obscure book?

1.) Hmm... Do books in storage count? I have 303 books right now, and an entire rubbermaid container of books in the crawlspace at Mom's house. There has to be more than 100 in that container. Believe it or not, I have pared things down. My entire Tom Clancy collection went to Goodwill about a month ago.

2.) Last book I read... "Light a Penny Candle" by Maeve Binchey. I am currently reading "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams. That should give you an idea of scope...

3.) Purchased from Goodwill: "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell", by Susanna Clarke. I'm actually in the process of reading this book, too, but got distracted by DGHDA. It happens.

4.) What five books are most meaningful to me? This is a tough one...

  1. "Allan Quatermain", H. Rider Haggard
  2. "The Talisman", Stephen King and Peter Straub
  3. (And I'm cheating here for the last three, and listing series rather than individual books) The Wizard of Oz books - Frank Baum
  4. The Harry Potter Series (for just good storytelling, and making me feel like I did when I first read the Oz books)
  5. And the Dark Tower series, by Stephen King.

5.) most obscure favorite book... I'd say anything by H. Rider Haggard. Most of his stuff is out of print, but the Gutenburg project is amazing in that regard. Every book I read of his becomes a favorite.

And finally, who am I going to tag? Hmm... The Nerd - Mike G., Queen Catherine (a.k.a Lynne), The Duke of Somerset (a.k.a Marty), Raphael and oh heck, I'd say Jeremy, but he's on haitus, so I won't temp him. Still one short... Well, that's the list so far... maybe I'll add to it later. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The most annoying day ever.

I have been in the most awful mood all day today. Not sure why, but everything gets on my nerves.

Part of this probably stems from the fact that I did not sleep well last night, and then when I did finally drop off, the alarm rang. I shut off the alarm, and then slept until 9:30.

I didn't get everything done today that i wanted to accomplish. That's part of what's annoying me. I did manage to get the laundry completely done again (w00t! Two weekends in a row!), and I moved a new bookshelf into the living room. I sorted the DVDs and put them on the new bookshelf. I also managed to get a tiny bit of sewing done for my neice's Christmas present. And I made a big dinner.

But, what i really wanted to do was lounge on the couch all day, watching movies, taking a nap, and reading a book.

I think that not being able to do what I really wanted to do is the source of my crappy mood.

What a way to start out what is going to be an insanely busy week...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Week Since the Kitchen Flood

And is my refrigerator fixed yet???? Nope.

A full week, and they haven't yet come to replace the valve for the ice maker.


Friday, November 09, 2007

You have got to be kidding me...

Police To Charge Boy With Terrorism

STORM LAKE, Iowa -- A northwest Iowa boy accused of threatening to kill two teachers and blow up his school is expected to be charged with terrorism.

Robert Stewart, 13, of Aurelia, was arrested at Storm Lake Middle School on Tuesday.

Police were called about the threats. No weapon or explosive device was found.

(emphasis is mine)

Why in the hell is this boy charged with terrorism???? I don't get it. He's a 13 year old boy. An 8th grader.

Kids this age are volatile, yes, due to the changing hormones and changing expectations of the adults around them. Yes, there are problem kids, and the boy does not have the right to make those threats, but TERRORISM??

Why is this even being considered? Isn't there a more appropriate charge that could be made? This kid needs help. He does not need to be lumped into the same category as a car bomber, particularly since they don't appear to have evidence that he meant to follow through.

This, my friends, is a shining example of how fucked up our country is.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Turning into my mother...

One of the best things my mother ever did for me happened when I was in the sixth grade.

I was drowning in depression. Gawky, unpopular, picked on by Jason A. to the point where he pushed me down when I was on crutches, and turned my sprained ankle into a broken ankle. My only friends were others who were as big misfits as I was. I hated school. I would spend study hall drawing complex geometric patterns with my four-color ink pen.

I was miserable.

To complicate matters, I was not well liked by my teacher, for reasons which I will never understand. I didn't do anything to get into trouble, but I was not trusted or liked.

Mrs. N never collected assignments directly. There was no, "Pass your papers to the front of the row," or direct handing in of assignments. Assignments were put in a stack of letter trays. Because of this, my sixth grade teacher regularly "lost" my assignments, or else they were pulled out of the pile by others in my class.

I nearly failed sixth grade.

After the first several assignments were labeled as "late" or missing, I couldn't see the point. I worked my ass off, and got nowhere, so I stopped trying in her classes.

A's and B's in the classes she did not teach, and D's in the ones she did.

One particular assignment that I remember very clearly was a narrative for a contest. We were to write an essay, in narrative form, about something significant that happened in our lives. I wrote an eight page story about what happened to my family in the Manson Tornado, double-spaced, punctuated carefully, words looked up in the dictionary, rewritten to where there were no mistakes at all, no cross-outs. Perfect.

I was told I was a liar. That stuff didn't happen. I was too young to remember, and someone else wrote this paper for me. I was stunned. My paper was not submitted to the contest because of this.

The sheer unfairness of this blind-sided me.

Later, when my report card came out, I was stunned to see that I was in danger of actually failing the sixth grade. My mother was extremely angry at me, understandably. How could I be failing when I spent so much time on my homework? Why wasn't I turning things in? She put the fear into me so badly, that I went back to class, stopped hanging out so much with my misfit friends (or anyone, for that matter), and kissed so much ass that I felt like a phony.

I squeaked by. There was no way in hell I was going to repeat that year of hell. No way.

Starting in seventh grade, I worked my ass off in every class, and got good grades again. I was on the honor roll from then on. I also never had a teacher quite like her again.

I worked hard because I wanted out of my hometown. I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to make my mom proud, and I never wanted to be on the receiving end of a lecture like the one I had when I was failing sixth grade. You don't want that type of screaming. Trust me. ;)

So tonight, after going to my son's conference. I realized that I was going to have to make that same type of lecture. He's not failing, by any means, but he also is not applying himself, not turning in work, and is not paying attention like he should. He has the capacity to get A's, but is not working up to his potential.

I hated to do it. As his homeroom teacher said, "He's not a bad kid. He never causes trouble." In a way, it would almost be easier if he did cause trouble. He'd get the attention that he needs.

So, I came home, put aside my inner sixth grader, and made his ears ring. I focused on positives, set down rules, and expectations. I grounded him from video games during the school week, and from drawing during school hours (except during lunch - this was one of the problems he was having in classes). I will be inspecting all homework, the planner, and he will start studying for tests three days in advance. I am not letting this slip, or next year will be a fiasco.

I did not let myself feel awful during this. It is completely necessary. Something has to change. It is not enough to be smart. You also have to have the grades in order to make something of yourself. I don't want to let him throw away the opportunities he could have.

My mother must have felt the same way twenty-four years ago...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Update on the Kitchen Flood Situation

The maintenance guy and the appliance guy left at 5:20. They finally found the valve to shut off the water to the ice maker.

I am going to take a shower, then we're going out to Hickory Park. We deserve it after all of the crap we went through this afternoon.

Yum. BBQ.

Minor Disasters

I am exhausted. I am also getting more than a little angry. I had plans for today, that are not getting done, and at this point, it looks like this whole damn afternoon is going to be wasted.

About 2 and a half hours ago, I went down to the laundry room to take things out of the wash, and put more in. When I came back to my apartment, there was a flood of water making its way out from under the refrigerator! I stood there for a second, bewildered, then ran to the bathroom to grab towels. I finally managed to mop up enough water, and bunched the towels around the side of the refrigerator, where the water seemed to be coming from.

I grabbed the phone and the phone book, and called our property management company, and punched in number 9 for emergency maintenance. I explained what was happening, and then opened my freezer to see water coming out of my ice machine, and flooding my freezer, and ice catcher! The guy told me he'd call the appliance people right away, and that the appliance people would call me to let me know when they'd be there. And he did. He called them right away.

They just still haven't called me back!

I called again at 2:00, and told him they hadn't called back. I was very nice about it, and asked him if he could please call them again, as I was having to dump the bucket I had under the leaks every 10 minutes. He promised to call them back again. He sounded very concerned that they hadn't contacted me yet.

And 45 minutes later, they STILL have't called back.

I don't know what to do. I have to set a timer to get up every ten minutes and dump the water. I have cleaned up most of the water mess, emptied my freezer, and been working non-stop to make sure that the flooding part doesn't happen again. If they don't get here today, I won't be able to even sleep tonight, as the water really has to be dumped every ten minutes! I'm calling the property management number every hour until they get someone here. They could at least call and tell me when they are coming, so I can at least know what's going on, and that they aren't going to leave me with this problem all damn weekend.

What a mess...