Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My neighbors have a problem.

Someone's smoke detector goes off every single evening when they cook. Fifth time just now. Okay, sixth. That last one sounded warbled, so I hope they didn't disconnect it.

Okay, they didn't. Seventh, eighth, and ninth.

The fucking thing has to be broken.

Just great.


Open your windows, and use fans to get the smoke out, or call the fire depa...



update: My neighbors across the hall now have their door open, and a guy standing on a chair fanning the smoke away from the smoke detector.

This is going to be a long night...

Monday, October 29, 2007

To be, or not to be...


I am having a difficult time with my Halloween costume. I meant to put together something completely NOT renaissance faire garb, but have been in a daze lately, so that did not get done.

This costume would be only for work, and therefor would not include farthingales, corsets, or anything that would make me unable to do my job.

So, I have my green pirate garb, that I could dress up a bit, and be really Hollywood style pirate. It could work, and work fairly well.

Or, I could make a run to Goodwill and find a white lab coat (yeah right), and a black skirt, and be what I originally wanted to be: a punch-card girl/computer operator from the 60s/70s.

Decisions, decisions...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Well, there's two hours of my life I won't get back...

If you were even contemplating watching "Dracula 2000", wanting a Halloween thrill, I'll save you the trouble.


Somehow, I missed this movie when it first came out. I always meant to see it, but everytime my hand passed over it on the library shelf, I got distracted by something else (ooohhh! New Hugh Jackman movie?????? Squeee!!!).

Anyway, tonight, I was channel surfing, and happened upon this movie on AMC, which is running horror movies in honor of Halloween. So, having nothing better to do other than laundry and house cleaning, I watched the whole thing.

Okay, so I couldn't get beyond the whole fact that Dracula is dressed almost exactly like Neo in the Matrix, and that the effects were cheap crap. And then, they pull the whole, Dracula-is-really-Judas-Iscariot-thing, and I just lost it. Not even the cuteness of Johnny Lee Miller could save this stinker of a movie.

I'm just ticked that I kept watching.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bored. Filling time.

My son is at home sick again today. I took him to the doctor, and he has a virus that causes sore throat and body aches. He should be well enough to go to school tomorrow (crossing my fingers!!!!!!!!!!!). Nothing we can do, really, as it isn't strep. Just rest, liquids, and tylenol for the pain/fever (his fever is pretty much gone by now).

In any case, this means I have been stuck at home for the last couple of days. I am really bored. Really bored.

I was so bored that I decided to look up a couple of books on Amazon, and see if they had copies at a reasonable price for sale. I've wanted these books for a really long time, and that feeling was magnified by getting to thumb through them at Holly's house on Saturday. One book is out-of-print, and I wanted to see what the options were for used copies. The other is still in print, but can be a little pricy, so I wanted to see what the options for that one were as well.

I ended up ordering both, as the prices were very good. I am looking forward to receiving these books in a couple of weeks. All ren faire earned money goes back into costuming or other faire related expenses, and these books will help enormously with the costuming part!

* For those of you who are costuming buffs, here is what I ordered:

Elizabethan Costuming (For The Years 1550 - 1580) (Paperback) - I have heard some excellent reviews, and some not-so-excellent reviews of this book. I liked what I saw Saturday, which is why I decided to go ahead and buy it. I'll get what I can from this one.

Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women C1560-1620 (Paperback) - This is the one I am really excited about, after drooling over it for an entirely too short of time on Saturday. Excellent photos of extent garments, and detailed drawings as well as patterns. By patterns, I mean drawings on grids, and the patterns pieces are to be drafted by hand to the correct size and scale (1 inch grid). Very intimidating, but this book has the potential to teach me sooooo much. I can hardly wait!

I think I need to get another bookshelf for my room...

Monday, October 15, 2007

This test is totally biased...

Your Renaissance Purity Test Results

You answered "yes" to 70 of 152 questions, making you 53.9% FaireFolk pure (46.1% FaireFolk corrupt).
According to the scoring guide, your renaissance experience level is: A 'Dane'

I totally object! ;) A good 25 of the questions do not apply to any of the three faires I have attended, and another section was for men only! They also need a section more specific to performers. Some of these items, performers would not be able to participate in (specifically, the drinking until you pass out bits - performers know better than to drink alcohol on faire days, unless it is ONE glass of wine)

Here are some questions of my own, that really should have been included:

Have you ever:

1. camped at faire in the middle of a huge thunderstorm, and not packed up to leave?

2. been nearly passing out from the heat, but still taken time to talk to patrons on your way to the first aid station?

3. given a tounge-lashing to three drunk men, interestingly dressed and tattooed, because they were touching the weapons on the Queen's weapons rack?

3a. And had them enjoy it, and do exactly as you told them?

3b. And overhear them talking about it later? "Some hot chick totally yelled at us!!! It was hawesome!"

4. played RenFaire Bingo, and in your group had everything on the list to win without taking a single step away from the booth?

5. had dust in your water goblet, and drank the water anyway, because it was too. damn. hot. to be fussy?

6. felt freezing on a 90°F day, after getting out of noble garb and into jeans and a t-shirt?

7. and not been able to stop shivering in bed with a quilt, a blanket, and a sheet, even after turning the air-conditioning off, because you aren't wearing nine layers of clothing anymore, and 80° is COLD!!!?

8. cried during final closing gate?

9. actually been on the jousting field at the beginning/end of the fight?

10. been shocked that when meeting a new gentleman, that he did not kiss your hand in greeting? (this is a Sunday evening/Monday morning problem)

11. been close enough to the joust to have to duck when the lance shatters?

12. attempted to go to rehearsal after spending three hours in the ER the night before, because you just don't want to miss a moment of faire related activities?

13. automatically repeated, "God Save the Queen/King!" without even thinking?

14. been in a commercial for your faire?

15. been to faire when NOT in garb? (I can honestly say, "No.")

16. slathered on sunscreen and foregone swimming for most of an entire summer, just to keep your pale skin for faire?

17. actually told your hairdresser to just make sure your hair is cut in a faire-friendly length and style?

18. gone to the plumbing department at Lowe's to get supplies for garb?

19. felt comfortable giving your 13-year-old son a dagger, and sword lessons, but are terrified of him learning to drive?

20. used a bodice-chiller?

Anyway, you get the idea. I could go on and on about more "specific faire" related items, but it's getting late, and I haven't eaten dinner yet.

In addition, I think my son has strep throat. I kept him home from school today, because he wasn't feeling well. He was feeling pretty good by the time we were supposed to leave for scouts, so I let him go, as it was a Court of Honor, and he had some awards to receive. He was feeling crappy by the end of the ceremony, and I think I am going to take him to the doctor tomorrow morning. He hasn't really had a high fever (it was normal all afternoon), just a sore throat and body aches. He slept a long time today (from 8:15 to 12:30 or so), and stayed in bed without protest all day.

Oh well, such is life...

Only 10 and a half months til DMRF!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gray Sunday

So, what exactly have I done in the last four weekends since the faire ended? I had to think about this last night, at the Royal Court party in Des Moines.

Not a whole lot.

My two social event type things that I attended were fun. One was a dress rehearsal for a local musical, and the other was a family event.

The party was really fun. Holly (who plays the Duchess of Kent) has a gorgeous house, and is an excellent cook and hostess. And I am insanely jealous of her wonderful sewing room that takes up the entire attic of her house! ;) Her sewing library is excellent as well. Her quilts are incredibly detailed, full of color and light, and gorgeous. There are a couple of books I need to look for, now that I have seen them in person...

It was great to get to see everyone again. :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oh, too many memories...

I am watching Grease 2 right now. This is a movie that I watched so many times in high school, that I could sing every single song, and often did.

I picked this up as an afterthought at the library last week, and just got around to watching it tonight. I had the worst crush in the entire world on the Michael character, and that crush was probably responsible for destroying my ability to seriously think about any of the boys in my high school. It certainly was mostly responsible for the fact that I was glued to the TV whenever this movie was on HBO.

And you know what? I had taste. Damn cute guy.

They better not ever make a remake of this.

Monday, October 08, 2007

So now I really won't be able to sleep tonight...

... for sheer, and utter terror...

Poll: Romney Keeps Iowa Lead

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Mitt Romney is still maintaining a lead in Iowa that he's held over other presidential candidates for months.

A poll released Sunday by The Des Moines Register shows the former Massachusetts governor with support from 29 percent of Iowa Republicans. ...The telephone poll was done Oct. 1 to 3 of 405 registered voters who said they would definitely or probably attend the Republican caucuses. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

The Romney people called me at least six times in September, despite the fact that I am a registered Democrat, and answered to that effect each and every time they called me over the dinner hour. "No, I am not going to vote in the Republican Causus." I can only be so lucky that they didn't call me for this poll. Maybe it was the fact that my patience was stretched to the limit at the sixth call, which came when I was very sick, and they would not let me gracefully end the call. I said it would be a cold day in Hell before I voted for Romney.

To be honest, I have not decided who to vote for yet. Hillary was in town tonight. In fact, she was less than 50 yards from where we were having our meeting. We could hear her speech through the open windows, and I went down to street level to listen. I liked what I heard. Grace, wit, and elegance. Unfortunately, the guys are going to eat her alive when it gets close to nomination and the election (if she's nominated).

She also didn't litter our town with her signs like Romney did during the straw poll. Every. Two. Damn. Feet. He had signs every two damn feet, and plastered across our lovely buildings in campustown. I was too busy sewing to blog about that bit of overenthusiasm at the time. Just trashed our town. I wish I had taken pictures.

Anyway, I have a feeling we'll be seeing more candidates in the state in the next few months. I just hope they treat us with consideration, and quit the overwhelming phone spam, and littering.

Gad, I wish I could sleep...

And if I find out who put me on the Republican phone list, you'll be put on an interesting list of your own... ;)

Need to waste a few hours?

Visit Etiquette Hell.

I've been sitting here for nearly two and a half hours. The wedding posts alone are enough to keep me reading for hours...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

List for today

1. Laundry
2. Sort movies. Find a better storage solution.
3. Vacuum (change filters, and clean brush again. Damn thing really needs to be serviced or replaced)
4. Finish dusting.
5. Declutter bathroom vanity.
6. Declutter my dresser.
7. Declutter bookshelves.
8. Start working in my closet (large walk-in closet - unfortunately the only storage area in the apartment. So all holiday stuff, camping gear, etc, has to fit in this closet, in addition to my clothes.)
9. Pack up the rest of the everyday dishes for Goodwill. Pack up granny's china and put in storage closet.
10. Go to Target. Yay! Dishes!
11. Don't forget about the committee meeting tonight!!!!!

I don't think I'll be getting my nap today...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Accomplishments (warning, boring post ahead)

(is it October or July??? It was nearly 90°F today! I had to turn the A/C on...)

By 3:30 pm, I had finished decluttering my entire kitchen. I went through my spice cabinet, and got rid of old spices, and seasoning mixes that I didn't like. I even got rid of the can of cocoa powder that I don't remember buying. I cleaned out the junk drawer, threw away the old oven mitts and potholder (the padding had separated, and I kept getting burned when I used them), and tossed the old cookie sheets that had discolored and warped and were no longer good. I also tossed the pizza pan, because the non-stick coating had started to flake off. Not good.

I boxed up the white dish set with the silver trim, the old corelle dishes, and the sage green plates that were all chipped up. I found the coffee cups to the white dishes, and four little cordial glasses, along with the ugly plastic dishes that we used when my son was little (oops! forgot one in the dishwasher!). I threw in a few other kitchen things, and some candles I never used and never will. Coupled with the box of books (Good-bye Tom Clancy Collection - can't read you anymore) and the box of toys I packed up a couple of months ago, I had five and a half boxes of donations for Goodwill. Everything was useable, it just needed to be out of my house.

I also cleaned out the refrigerator, and went through the food cupboards to toss out of date stuff. My thought is if it's open, and I can't remember when I opened it, it should be tossed.

Somehow, I ended up with a ton of empty popcorn tins, from Boy Scout Popcorn. I kept pulling them out when trying to clean out a really deep cupboard. I was going to donate them, but I put five of them to use. I put the brown sugar, the brown rice, and the hot chocolate and oatmeal packets into the tins, and put the tins in the cupboard. Nice and neat.

While I was working on the kitchen, my son was working on his room. He picked up any obvious trash, and put dirty clothes into the laundry. After I finished in the kitchen, I helped out. We threw away a ton of old notebooks, used up school supplies, and old magazines and other stuff he didn't need and couldn't be donated. We straighted up his closet, and argued about how he really needed to toss or donate more old toys. Specifically, the huge Hot Wheels playsets. I conceeded for now, in the interest of keeping things moving along. We are going to revist the room tomorrow, and further pare down possessions. He managed to gather a whole box of old books and movies that he didn't want anymore, but just one. I plan to up that by at least another box, if not a few playsets (he has FOUR that he hasn't used in at least two years. they can go!).

So, in the end, we didn't get as much done today as I wanted, but I did finish what I had started in the kitchen. All of the garbage bags went to the dumpster, all of the donation boxes went to Goodwill, and I went and got groceries. My son's room still needs work (more tossing! more donating!), but we were exhausted by dinner time, so we finished off the evening by finishing watching movies.

And tomorrow I get to go through and organize the DVDs and VHS tapes, declutter the bathroom, and hopefully get a start on my closet.

But, I am definitely going to try to work a nap in there somewhere... Too sleepy right now to even read.

Geek Girl's Massive Decluttering Initiative!

And so it begins.

Once again, I have let possessions pile up to the point where I want to scream everytime I open a drawer, cupboard, closet, or my son's bedroom door.

I don't consciously remember buying more crap, but garb takes a lot of space, as does my son's school bags, guitar, bean bag chair, and the toys that really need to go to storage or to Goodwill.

As an incentive to decluttering, we have decided that once this project is done to my satisfaction, we each can pick out something that we have wanted to a long time, and would not normally buy.

My son, of course, wants a new game for his Nintendo DS.

I want a new set of dishes.

This was an abstract thought last weekend, when I was talking with my sister, Kim. She had sold her Fiesta Ware to someone at work for about $325 (would have cost about $600 for this person to buy new), and was going to buy new Debbie Sarento dishes with the money. My mom bought new dishes last fall. I've had the same everyday dishes for 10 years, and they are chipped, warped from the dishwasher, and missing a few pieces. I have another set of better dishes that can't go into the microwave, and that I really just don't like anymore. And then there is my granny's china that she gave me when I moved into this apartment. And my own good china which we rarely use (graduation gift)...

I didn't know what I wanted to replace my dishes, until I went to Target on Wednesday and fell in love with the most beautiful set of dishes. Unfortunately, they are not available at the online store, so I can't link to a photo. They have a cream background, on a heavy plate, and have stylized flowers. Quite beautiful. I am going to start out with a four-place setting, and expand it. I really hope they are not a seasonal thing.

Anyway, enough of the obsession over dishes! Time to get to work! I want most of this crap cleared out by tomorrow morning. I'll post progress!

* yesterday's step total: 9171

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Better, but this thing can't possibly be working right...

Today's step count was 9619.

How is that even possible? Yesterday, just over 3000, and today I'm up over 9000?

In any case, I think it jostles a lot when I am just moving in my chair at work. I was a lot more active this morning, and afternoon, but I would have been shocked to even just have twice the number of steps, let alone nearly three times...

Maybe I didn't have the pedometer on right yesterday...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's never too early to plan for next year...

I have a confession to make.

I have started sewing projects for next year's faire already.

Yes, less than three weeks after the Des Moines Faire ended, I am sewing for next year.

I blame it all on the hours I spent browsing photos of the Royal Courts and Noble patrons last night. I was bored, I'll admit. I was at home all day with a cranky, sick teenager. Looking at all of the gorgeous, highly detailed garb made my fingers itch to add more detail to my own.

So, I resumed work on the gold snood I didn't have time to finish for this year's faire. It will be gorgeous when it's finished!

And then I started thinking about a piece of fabric I noticed when I went to JoAnn's a couple of weeks ago. It was gold, and embroidered. I had picked up the fabric, noticed it was only a 2 yard remnant, at $9.99/yard, and put it down as I wasn't thinking in terms of garb. Last night, it suddenly struck me that I had to have it, for sleeves and a forepart, and I was worried all of the way to the store that it would be gone.

Luckily, it was still there! So, I bought it, and will take it out of the money I earned at faire this year. While looking for a picture of it online, to share my beautiful find, I discovered a important, and happy fact:

I scored, big time.

Big, big, big time.

Embroidered Polyester Silk Oriana Camel Gorgeous golden color!

Regular price: $39.99/yard


Nothing like getting fabric 75% off...


Missing the mark

Today was the first day of the Walk to Wellness program at ISU. Basically, there are teams of 3-5 people, and we received pedometers once we registered (first 500 people to sign up got them free - our team included!). We have to wear the pedometers all day, from wake-up to bedtime, and enter our numbers of steps into a web site. We set a personal goal, and work to meet it.

The overall goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day.

I was so certain I could make that goal, so I set 10K as my personal goal.


So far today: 3136 steps

I am such a loser.

Well, this wellness program lasts the entire month of October, so maybe by the end I'll be able to meet my goal...