Thursday, December 11, 2008

Two things you don't want to have happen when working late.

1. "Mom, that blue cup of pop you left in your room just fell over onto the floor." ??? How does a cup fall off the back of the desk when it is two inches from the edge unless someone knocks it over?

2. Getting home, having an urgent need to visit the necessary facilities, and discovering that the water level is low before sitting down. Flush quick (luckily before using said facility), and HOLY FUCK THE FUCKING TOILET IS HOLY SHIT OVERFUCKINGFLOWING!!!!! OMG THE PLUNGER ISN'T WORKING!!!!! BRING ME THE TOWELS!!!! NOT THE FUCKING PAPER TOWELS?!?!?!? THE BASKET!!!!! OH SHITTTTT!!!!! I'M NOT SWEARING AT YOU, I'M SWEARING AT THE FUCKING TOILET!!!!!!!

Yes, it stopped. Yes, I used half of the clean towels I just washed, but hadn't yet folded. They are now back in the wash, and I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up the bathroom, including disinfecting EVERYTHING, while still having that urgent need.

I wish to GOD I had some margaritas right here, right now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

He he he hehhe

I just thought of the PERFECT present for that person I was having problems shopping for!!!!!! This is going to take some serious shopping to pull together...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Trying to keep my head above water

It's that time of year again. The week when I have to be at work every evening to run a special program designed to help relieve stress for our students. Unfortunately, it usually ends up generating stress for me, in by the end of the week, I am wiped out from not having any down time in the evenings.

So, in order to make this week run smoothly, I worked like crazy this weekend to get ahead in all of the daily chores, so that all I have to do when I get home is make a quick dinner, relax in bubble bath, and go to sleep. All of the grocery shopping is done (d'oh! I forgot to pick up the milk!), the laundry is done, the refrigerator is cleaned out, the dishes are in the dishwasher, and the dishwasher is running (even though it isn't full. Funny how long it takes to realize that you can run it half empty!). I made a big pot of spicy chicken soup this afternoon, which should last us a couple of days. I have a crockpot meal that can be made later this week. This should keep us from having to eat fast food this week. I feel so much better when we eat real food rather than going out. I have, however, promised my son that we'll go to Hickory Park on Saturday, after we are done Christmas shopping. (I have ONE present under the tree. ONE. And one in the closet, which I saw is on sale at Target for $10 less that what I paid for it on Black Friday. And I have no idea what to get a certain hard-to-shop-for friend, who shall remain nameless.)

So, I am as prepared for this week as I can be. Only two weeks left in the semester.

Longest two weeks ever...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Poor guy...

Icy school sidewalks and overly heavy backpacks do not mix with a 14-year-old who is growing an inch a month...

My son is fine, nothing broken, just scraped up, and he's going to really hurt by tomorrow. He fell face forward, and did a chin plant on the sidewalk. He's missing a silver dollar sized piece of skin from under his chin, and has a couple of wicked looking scrapes on his left wrist. His knees are a little scraped up as well. But, nothing broken! I repeat, nothing broken! He could have so easily broken his jaw or arm...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

'tis the season...

Three tree sections assembled. One mightily pinched little finger - the bottom section fell into the base before I could get my hand out of the way (that thing is heavy).

I am not looking forward to untangling the lights. I wish I hadn't been so lazy last year... Wow, I can type with my eyes closed! (still tired from the holiday)

Anyway, house decorating is progressing. I had a moments panic when I could not find the lights or the box of my favorite decorations. All is well now.

I'd still rather be napping.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There's a pumpkin pie in the fridge with my name on it!

Seriously, I will share, but my mom knows how much I love pumpkin pie, so she made one for me!!!!! She's making a pumpkin fluff pie for my sister, Mallory, which is a low-cal version of pumpkin pie. I like the fluff, but nothing beats pumpkin pie.

I made dinner for my parents tonight, and it finished just as my dad walked in the door. We all ate as much chicken tortilla soup as we could hold, and then my dad made hot wings. He tried a new seasoning combo, and his favorite sauce.

My mouth is still burning. I have never tasted anything so hot in my life, but it was incredibly tasty. (That is our word for the week). We could have skipped the sauce, and they'd still have been really spicy. With sauce... watch out.

Anyway, I am wiped out from the drive, and am ready to get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a long, long day. should be fun... I just wish all of my sisters were able to be here...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Well, that's one more thing I can scratch off of my list of things to do.

I learned how to make rolls from scratch! Someone mentioned Parker House Rolls in a comment on a NYT article. So, I googled for a recipe. After I finished cleaning today, I decided to experiment, and see if I could make them.

They turned out great! I am, however, going to have make some adjustments, as I placed too many rolls in the baking dish, as I misread the instructions. I am also going to brush the tops with butter before baking, as I think that would help improve the texture and taste of the top of the roll. Not that there was anything wrong with either of those, but I like the crisp, flaky tops I get when I make rolls from frozen dough.

It did take a serious amount of time to make. For example, if I were going to do this for a holiday meal, I would need to get started about 3 hours before I intended to bake the rolls. It's a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and a lot of oh-my-god-has-it-been-10-minutes-yet while kneading. It was totally worth it, and it makes a gigantic batch of rolls. Probably not enough for my extended family, but more than my son and I can eat before they go stale (any one nearby want some homemade rolls? The lab monitors are gone for the week, so I can't bring this home cooked goodness to them).

My son loved the rolls, and ate about 6, some with peanut butter, and some plain. Plain! And he's already thought of the next project he'd like me to try.

Home made noodles.

Not sure I'm up for that.

In any case, I have two more experiments for our holiday meal tomorrow. Green beans almondine, and roasted brussels sprouts. I was going to try making cranberry sherbet, too, but I don't have enough room in the freezer for the pan. Some other time. In any case, here is our Thanksgiving menu for tomorrow (and yes, this is just for my son and I. Leftovers are much anticipated!)

Roasted turkey breast, with my special seasonings
wild rice with water chestnuts and green onions (prepared ahead of time, and baked with the turkey)
green beans almondine
roasted brussels sprouts
parker house rolls, warmed
cranberry sauce

Of course, I couldn't eat so much as a single bite right now, as I, too, am stuffed full of rolls. And timing is going to be an issue, as I have never cooked just a turkey breast before, and in fact, have no idea where my meat thermometer is.

Hopefully, tomorrow night won't end with us in the ER...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funny

Today, I bring you everyone's favorite ex-vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, showing the utmost in class and complete unawareness of her surroundings. (warning: do not watch if you are a vegetarian, or have a fondness for live turkeys)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Hypocrisy here is just astounding.

So, apparently, certain of the clergy are freaking out about Obama being voted president, and are saying that
Roman Catholics who voted for him should do penance, and not receive communion until that penance is completed.

This is, of course, over abortion. Let's just put that out there right now.

I am too angry right now to even write everything that I am feeling at this moment. I am also disappointed.

I think I am done with the Catholic Church.

I was shocked during mass Sunday morning, when our priest, who I had respected very much, said some things that he shouldn't have about the topic. I wanted to stand up and challenge him, but it would have been inappropriate.

And now I am thinking that this is what has to happen. For far too long, these men in Rome have dictated to women what we can and cannot do. It is not a matter of abortion, it is a matter of control.

Control. Period.

For the clergy in the Catholic Church to try to tell us that voting for Obama is something to be ashamed of is unconscionable. It cannot stand.

One has to wonder at the contradiction provided here. Let's see... how many years of war, how many billions of dollars that could give the children of this country health care, an education that does more than prepare them for a life of "do you want fries with that?" or "How many grams did you need?" or "Where's my money, bitch?" How many kickbacks to corporations, how many cries of "we have to deregulate!" or "we need smaller government!"

How's that working out for you?

America spoke on November 4th.

It's time the Catholic Church to understand that sometimes, the best person for the job may not be the one who tells you what you want to hear.

I've lost something this week that will never be recovered.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And... it broke again.

The vacuum, that is. Second time in three months, and the stupid thing is JUST over a year old.

So, after about 20 minutes of deliberation after the second attempt at fixing it failed (no, it's NOT supposed to squeal like that!), I had my coat and shoes on, and was on my way to Target for a replacement.

This time, I spent a little extra and got a vacuum with a four-year warranty, instead of a cheap one with a 90-day warranty (never, EVER buy a vacuum without a good warranty). I vacuumed the main areas of the apartment, sucking up what the old vacuum had missed.

And as a bonus? The one has different scented filters you can buy, so as you vacuum, it makes the air smell good. I immediately installed the apple cinnamon filter, and the house smells nice and sweet.

Sometimes, it's nice to just give up fixing something and buy new.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So why haven't I been doing the post-a-day thing?

Well, the biggest reason would be that I forgot to actually sign up for it! I participated the first year, forgot about it last year, then remembered just in time for this year, but forgot to register! How is that for an illustration of how my life has gone for the last two years?

Anyway, in the interests of not turning this blog into an unending litany of complaints about everything from politics to health concerns, I have been avoiding blogging when I am MOST irritated by those two subjects. And since I have been nothing BUT irritated by one or the other for weeks now, you have the reason why this blog has been mostly silent.

I am, of course, breaking this fast to give you an update on the situation.

I am sick again.

How is THAT for luck?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the flu. I was sick a full seven days, so nauseous I could barely raise my head, so lightheaded I could barely walk. I missed three days of work. The next two weeks I worked, and started to get a cold towards the end of last week. My son was sick during this time with a sore throat, and missed two days of school.

Over the weekend, my cold turned into a sinus infection. Oh joy.

My son missed school yesterday, and I stayed home as well. Both of us went to the doctor. My son - has a virus, nothing we can do other than fluids and throat lozenges. I, on the other hand, got the confirmed diagnosis of sinus infection, and had the supreme joy of having to visit the grocery store at the busiest hour of the day to get my prescription filled. And you know how the light just needles into your brain when you have a sinus infection, right? Add a bunch of noise to that, and it was not a very fun afternoon.

T the nurse practitioner recommended that I get some Claritin-D 12-hour, to take in the mornings to start drying up my sinuses. So I had the added joy of having to surrender my driver's license to the pharmacist, so he could swipe it and make sure that I wasn't a wanted meth-maker. Dude, look at my swollen sinuses. My only interest in the claritin is to get them back to normal as soon as possible...

Anyway, the babbling is just the boredom talking. I will go back to work tomorrow, as I can't take another day at home. Hopefully, I will last the whole day, and won't have tears streaming down my face from the sinus pain.

Oh, and if you are in Ames, watch for the Iowa State Daily, as I was interviewed for an article last Friday afternoon (one of the only reasons I dragged myself into the office that day, as I was dealing with a sore throat that was a prelude to this sinus infection). It is supposed to run early this week. As I was not at the office yesterday or today, I may have already missed it. It wasn't online, though, so perhaps not. Anyway, it has to do with how to waste time productively online, and stems from an article I wrote for my work website 8 years ago. You'll get the idea when you read it, as it really isn't about wasting time at all.

Okay, the teenager will be home shortly, and I am sure he has a ton of make up work to do. Plus, he missed a day of standardized testing on Thursday, and I am not sure when he'll have to make up that test. But, it does mean that he didn't miss much actual coursework that day.

I also suppose I should attempt to clean up the mess he left in the living room, where he camped out yesterday while recuperating on the couch. I have no idea why, with a wastebasket right next to the couch, he still managed to leave tissues and cough drop wrappers everywhere BUT in the basket. I've cleaned up most of these already, but I still need to pick up the various books, DVDs, and gameboy games that he piled around the couch. This is my fault for spending all day yesterday in my room, as he had claimed the couch. And since he left for school this morning, I have been alternately sleeping and reading in my room all day today. I DID empty and reload the dishwasher while waiting for my soup to warm up. So at least the kitchen is sort of tidy. It's just depressing that there is so much to do to get the house back into order. And I hate to even think about the laundry...

Oh well, I am two moments from sneezing right now, so I am going to sign off.

I hope this antibiotic works quickly...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Two down, one to go

I'm sitting in the basement of my parents' house, enjoying what little peace there is to be had in a house full of seven adults, one teenager, one toddler, and two babies.

I am exhausted from cooking, picking up, and cuddling my nieces and nephews. Not to mention the fact that my cold is getting steadily worse as the weekend progresses, and church was at 8 this morning. I'm ready for a nap.

Except, this little bit of stolen time will be the only down time I get until I am back at home this evening. You see, in about an hour, the third birthday party in two days will begin.

Yes, you read that right. Three birthday parties this weekend. My granny's was yesterday evening, my nephew's was at lunchtime today, and my niece's party is this evening. All three of these parties are in separate locations, and luckily (or maybe NOT so luckily), the last one is at my mom and dad's house.

This means that in the last 24 hours, I made a pasta salad, and helped make potato salad, baked beans, and Mexicorn. I did NOT have to make the cake or frost it. I DID wrap all but one present, as I am "so much better at it." This, if you do not know, is code-word for "I really don't want to do it" in our house.

So, I should probably be upstairs helping get ready for the party. I will go up in just a few minutes, or the guilt will keep me from enjoying my moment of privacy.

But here is the BIG question for the day:

Can I eat another piece of cake today?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Insanely busy day, and insane weather.

Thunderstorms tonight, snow by later this week. I am SO not ready for snow.

Way too many laser cutter training sessions today, way too many yesterday, way too many tomorrow. It really made it hard to get anything done. I played catch up all day.

Anyway, it's been a relaxing evening at home, and I am so ready to crawl into bed and sleep to the sound of the rain.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Okay, Now I can be HAPPY!!!!

Watching McCain's concession speech...

The only way I could be happier at this moment...

would be if I had a margarita in my hand to toast, and if it were closer to midnight that CNN was projecting Obama as the winner.

Forgive me if I want to be absolutely sure that Obama absolutely has won this election before jumping up and down for joy. We've been burned the last two presidential elections.

So, when a little more time has passed, and more complete numbers come in, I will join in the exhilaration that is sweeping the Chicago area.

He's got a very difficult job ahead of him, but I would not have voted for him if I did not think he could do it.

And yes, I am sitting here crying right now, just overcome.

This man SO needs to be our next President.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Words of Wisdom, and my opinion on Election Eve

"Have you noticed that there is this attempt to demonize those who would dare raise questions, or criticize any of our policies, and this whole effort to make people believe that Sarah Palin, for example, McCain for example, they love America more than you do. They love America better than Barack Obama does. This business about 'I love America, I care about it. I'm more patriotic.' I mean, that has been the whole mantra of this campaign. I think that Americans should not get frightened or fear offering criticism of their country. If we are to have a strong democracy, we must guard it with criticism, and to be able to point out where it's good, and not so good." - Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), from "Real Life" with Bill Maher, Oct. 17, 2008

For everyone thinking about voting third party tomorrow, please think about how you would feel if you woke up Wednesday morning to the news that McCain won. Gore lost Florida in 2000 by less than 300 votes. Every single vote counts. Please vote for the candidate who stands a real chance of changing the world for the better.

Obama/Biden - 2008!!!!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Busy, busy, busy.

Tuesday night was the Marching Band Spectacular, which featured the marching band playing in the high school gym. It was really enjoyable! A couple of weeks ago, the freshman band marched at one of the last football games (they only participated in two). I managed to capture the hyper trombone player right after the halftime show. They do not take the uniforms home, so this was my last real opportunity to catch him in uniform.

Yesterday, my son went to his first high school Halloween party at a friend's house. He decided a week before the party that he wanted to be a Jedi, rather than a pirate. I was up for the challenge, as I was in need of a project to flex my sewing muscles. I did the best I could at the last second, but I ended up not being able to get any pants sew, or find any boots. Still, there are some solid pieces to build upon for future Halloweens.

While my son was at the party, I was at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire cast potluck at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. At the end, only four of us wanted to go through the Haunted Houses. We had a GREAT time, and I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time. We definitely agreed that we have to do this next year, as we had so much fun.

The front gate, spooked up for the holiday!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Post a day keeps the brain in play...

Went to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park for the haunted houses. Way too much fun!

I can still taste the fog from the fog machine. Yuck.

Monday, October 20, 2008



Could be that maybe, just maybe, some pieces of the puzzle might be coming together. But seriously, folks, I swear that the moment you hit your 30s, your body is on a downward spiral, and you might as well go ahead and buy that little compartmentalized daily medicine box, and put away your cha-cha shoes. You're old!

Every stupid year, some stupid health issues come up and, once again, I have to have some annoying, expensive tests to figure out that it was nothing. Or at least, nothing that anyone could find.

Talk about feeling like a hypochondriac.

Earlier this month, I had my physical. This is the physical that I put off due to a funeral, then showed up for a day late, and finally got around to having two months after it had been originally scheduled. Of course, I had forgotten to get my labs drawn a week before (we were really busy at work), and as my appointment was at 8am, I did not have a chance to go over my results with my doctor as I usually do.

However, at my appointment, my doctor did have the chance to give me a list of vitamins to start taking, due to the fact that I passed the magical age of 36. Oh fun. She also added a test to my lab sheet, to check my vitamin D levels, as that is something they start testing at my age.

You can see where this is going, right?

Well, what with being sick, I haven't had the chance to get the mail since Thursday. So today, at lunch, I checked the mailbox, and found my lab reports, along with a note, and a prescription for a quite large dose of vitamin D once a week. Turns out, of course, that my vitamin D levels are low. I have to have a recheck in 12 weeks, and we'll see what's going on.

In the mean time, I have something else to worry about.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sick and Tired of being sick and tired

Yet another day spent mostly in my room, either sleeping, reading, or concentrating on not feeling sick to my stomach.

Finally, around 4:30, I made myself sit up for awhile, browsing sites on my laptop, trying to make sure I felt well enough to go run an errand that had to be done tonight. By 6, I was able to take my son to Target to buy him a new winter coat. And yes, he needs it now, because it is really cold when he has to get on the bus in the morning (before 7am), and he outgrew his old one by several inches.

Luckily, we found a nice black wool, zip-up coat right away. Even luckier, he liked it, and it looked good. We also needed to look for some new sneakers for him, but I was not in any shape to spend any more time shopping. And my son's major concern - the new Indiana Jones movie - was taken care of by the big display right at the front of the store. :) We ducked into the soft drink aisle to grab more sprite zero, left the store, and ran through a drive-thru to get my son a burger and fries. I managed to eat some fries, which really helped, but I am just drained after the last six days of feeling like hell.

I am hoping that tomorrow is a lot better.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What in the heck???

I'm still sick. Yep, still. Since Tuesday. Erg.

Yesterday morning, I managed to stay at work for about 2 hours before having to go home. My headache was horrible, and tylenol did nothing to help. I slept about 4 and a half hours, then got up and ate a little something. After my son got home from school, I rested for about an hour before getting up to help him warm up leftovers for dinner before taking him to the high school. I drove back home, slept another 30 minutes, then went back to the school to watch my son march with the band at the football game.

Yes, I went to the football game. And I sat next to Troy and breathed sick germs all over him. Heheheh... no really, I only had the headache at that point, and just felt really weak. I remembered the camera this time, and got a couple of nice pics of my son in his band uniform, and a few of the band while marching. The only reason I went was because the freshmen only marched in two games this season, Homecoming (forgot my camera) and last nights game. Luckily, the game went fast, and we were home by about 9:30, and that included taking the time to buy my son two burgers from the grill (they were having a fundraiser for a sick child, half-price burgers and brats - there is nothing more torturous than the smell of a good charcoal grill when you have hardly eaten all week, and know that if you tried to eat, you'd feel worse). I'm sure I bugged Troy by mentioning that it smelled SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOODDDD too many times.

Anyhoo, so when we got home last night, I still had a headache, and my legs hurt really bad from walking. so I took a couple of Tylenol PM tablets thinking that I'd get a good nights sleep, as I was exhausted.

And. They. Didn't. Work.

I tossed and turned all night. I was so tired, but I just couldn't get fully asleep. I woke up at around 4, and was nearly sick. I held off, had a bit of water, and went back to bed. I slept until around 10, when National Geographic called for the 10th time in the last ten months to see if I want to join the DVD club. Nope. I decided that I felt well enough for some breakfast.


Then I decided at around 12:30 that I had better have some soup, as I needed to eat something more than a cookie (hey, that's all that sounded palatable at the time). By 2, after feeling worse and worse all day, I finally got sick sick, and then slept the rest of the afternoon.

Right now, I am in bed, with the laptop, trying vainly to not be bored out of my mind from the enforced leisure. Seriously, I've been sick since Tuesday. Tuesday! I haven't really been able to sit up long, except on Thursday during the day (in hindsight, I should have stayed home Thursday, then maybe I wouldn't still be SICK), so trolling YouTube for funny stuff hasn't been possible (the laptop is OLD, and has a slow wireless card, so video is excruciatingly slow). I can't concentrate on anything complicated, so reading political threads and articles hasn't really worked except in small doses. I tried making some new jewelry to go with the dress I plan on making for next fall, but I couldn't sit up long enough to do THAT either. I've read quite a bit, but there is only so much you can read when you have a headache and feel nauseous.


And I want to eat some Doritos, or really anything savory at this point. I should have had my son walk to the store earlier and get some.

I have no idea how I am going to get the laundry done this weekend if I don't feel better tomorrow...

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Worked all day, ended up having to park in the back parking lot after lunch, and felt like I almost wasn't going to make it to the building. Worked a little late, then had to take my son to a constellation party tonight at school for science. Walked around way too long trying to figure out where this was going to be, then stood for an hour while the kids made observations, and looked through telescopes*. I got to see Jupiter and 5 of its moons, which was cool.

And when we got home, I had to do laundry, because my son forgot to throw his band shirt in the laundry basket after he wore it last. He has to wear it to the game tomorrow night under his band uniform. The dryer just finished, so it's time for me to go to bed. I definitely overdid it today, and tomorrow evening I will have no time to rest before the game. :( Oh well... dozing off as I type, so good night all!

* Apparently, Johnny Carson donated 30 very nice telescopes to the school in honor of Carl Sagan! How cool is that???? The kids can check out a telescope over the weekend if they want! We are totally doing this the next time we go visit Manson (very little light pollution).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Yay! (TMI alert!)

I am feeling a LOT better in the last hour or so, although I really wish I could find my bottle of tylenol, as I still have a headache. And I should really eat something before I go to bed, but don't want to.

This was a weird stomach thing... Unpleasant, headache, body aches, fever went up and down until around 3 or so today, intense nausea but no vomiting (as in, I tried, and couldn't!), and the Other Problem.

Anyway, I am not terribly sleepy right now, as I slept in this morning. I slept a LOT yesterday, except for last night when the Other Problem keep intruding.

I cannot WAIT to feel well enough to eat REAL FOOD. You see, we went on a massive grocery shopping expedition on Sunday afternoon, then went HyVee Monday night to get the rest of the stuff that we couldn't get at Super Wal-mart (call me nuts, but I like the hyvee brand cheeses a lot, and for some reason walmart did not have the type of pizza sauce we like, nor any good roasts). So, for once, I had planned out menus for the next three weeks, was all organized... and then promptly got sick and was unable to eat any of it.

Here is what I ate the last 48 hours:

3/4 cup oyster crackers (including some in soup)
1 can of chicken noodle soup (minus the chicken), made with 1/2 can water instead of full can (condensed nutrition), over two days
about 9 vegetable crackers
1 tablespoon of cashews
3 pieces of wheat toast with margarine - one yesterday, two for lunch today at around 2pm
10 holiday grapes (most of these were eaten monday night, but I had a couple last night because I was so sick of tasteless food)

Anyhoo, I think I am finally sleepy enough to actually sleep.

Here is what Obama really said to "Joe the Plumber":

'Spread the Wealth'?

Responded Wurzelbacher, "the reason I ask you about the American dream, I mean I've worked hard. I'm a plumber. I work 10-12 hours a day and I'm buying this company and I'm going to continue working that way. I'm getting taxed more and more while fulfilling the American dream."

"Well," said Obama, "here's a way of thinking about it. How long have been a plumber?"

Wurzelbacher said 15 years.

Obama says, “Over the last 15 years, when you weren’t making 250, you would have been given a tax cut from me, so you’d actually have more money, which means you would have saved more, which means you would have gotten to the point where you could build your small business quicker than under the current tax code. So there are two ways of looking at it – I mean one way of looking at it is, now that you’ve become more successful through hard work – you don’t want to be taxed as much.”

“Exactly," Wurzelbacher said.

Obama continued, “But another way of looking at it is 95% of folks who are making less than 250, they may be working hard too, but they’re being taxed at a higher rate than they would be under mine. So what I’m doing is, put yourself back 10 years ago when you were only making whatever, 60 or 70. Under my tax plan you would be keeping more of your paycheck, you’d be paying lower taxes, which means you would have saved…Now look, nobody likes high taxes."

"No," said Wurzelbacher.

"Of course not," said Obama. "But what’s happened is that we end up – we’ve cut taxes a lot for folks like me who make a lot more than 250. We haven’t given a break to folks who make less, and as a consequence, the average wage and income for ordinary folks, the vast majority of Americans, has actually gone down over the last eight years. So all I want to do is – I’ve got a tax cut. The only thing that changes, is I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well - even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect the disagreement. I just want you to be clear – it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”


I am a little upset right now. I finally thought that I was feeling better. I managed to eat some chicken noodle soup with oyster crackers. About 30 minutes later, I was still feeling okay, and was starving, so I had a handful of vegetable flavored crackers, and about a tablespoon of cashews. Like I said, I was starving. This was about an hour ago.

And now my stomach is all goofy again.


And I'm doing my civic duty by watching the debate instead of the season finale for Project Runway.

And McCain is being disrespectful to the moderator as well as Senator Obama. Gad, it's worse than I thought it'd be.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The only thing worse that throwing up, is feeling like you have to throw up and not being able to.

I have the stomach flu, and it sucks. My stomach feels like there is a large massive ball in the middle of it, that needs to come out and won't.

This is my TMI post for the month...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A very worrying development that the media completely ignored...

Are we still living in a democracy?

Why is a U.S. Army brigade being assigned to the “Homeland”?

Several bloggers today have pointed to this obviously disturbing article from Army Times, which announces that “beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the [1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division] will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North” — “the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.” The article details:
They’ll learn new skills, use some of the ones they acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while doing any of it.
They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.
The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.
“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”
The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.
“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body”… .
The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

For more than 100 years — since the end of the Civil War — deployment of the U.S. military inside the U.S. has been prohibited under The Posse Comitatus Act (the only exceptions being that the National Guard and Coast Guard are exempted, and use of the military on an emergency ad hoc basis is permitted, such as what happened after Hurricane Katrina). Though there have been some erosions of this prohibition over the last several decades (most perniciously to allow the use of the military to work with law enforcement agencies in the “War on Drugs”), the bright line ban on using the U.S. military as a standing law enforcement force inside the U.S. has been more or less honored — until now. And as the Army Times notes, once this particular brigade completes its one-year assignment, “expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one.”

The full article is a must-read, and the links provide essential details. Still shaking my head over this...

Two Videos tonight


The McCain-Palin Mob

Part 1:

Part 2:

VIDEO: The McCain-Palin mob in Strongsville, Ohio
Wed, Oct 8, 2008Politics
UPDATE - THANK KOS & WONKETTE & DIGG!! Please donate to keep my camera charged and the gas tank filled for more Ohio fun!
It’s no wonder that the slightest incitement from Sarah Palin or John McCain will turn one of their rallies into a lynch mob. Just talk to the folks who attend.
My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that Barack Obama is a terrorist. If I hadn’t spent most of my time at the event inside, waiting for the candidates to show up, I could have gotten dozens of these people on tape.

I’ve been doing blog video for a while, and presidential rallies a lot longer. And this is the most strange, ignorant, uninformed, angry, up-to-no-good, and gullible group of people I’ve ever seen at a political rally.

Other highlights:

• The guy who said he'd never heard of Obama.
• The blonde in the 1st video who keeps getting in the way of the camera when the interviewer is trying to ask questions (what was she drinking before she got there?). And she's GOT MORE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION THAN OBAMA.
• The parent whose child said that you'd have to wash your hands after touching Obama (wtf???).
• Wow, they really can't get over his middle name, can they. Isn't it the equivalent of John for popularity?
• They keep praising Sarah for being a normal person. Excuse me, but I think we need someone extraordinary to head this country. Personally, I've never met anyone at a bar that I'd want running the country. Seriously, folks. We're in the middle of a fucked up mess here.
• I like how one lady says that she can tell he's a Democrat, because he put words into her mouth...

Don't get me wrong, I do not for a second believe that most Republicans are like this, but enough are. I am deeply, deeply troubled by the fact that these people are CONVINCED that Obama is a terrorist. This is irresponsible, and dangerous, not to mention completely unfounded accusation. There are people screaming, "Kill him!" during rallies for McCain and Palin???? What does that teach your kids? Nice family values, right?

So, in America, the American Dream is that anyone can pull themselves up from nothing, be successful, and become President. I guess whoever crafted that dream did not really mean for it to apply to everyone.

Folks, this is all that the Republicans have at this point. They are behind at the polls, so they feed some story about someone Obama barely knew, who btw is now a respected Professor. Honestly, have we ever seen such underhanded tactics in an election? Don't answer that...

But still, death threats?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"Must-watch" video

KEATING ECONOMICS: John McCain & The Making of a Financial Crisis

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Shaking my head at this...

Palin Can't Name Any Supreme Court Cases

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Anyone else wondering what the frak is happening?

Seriously, folks. Just wondering if I am going to have a retirement fund or not. It's not like I have a lot of money or anything, and I wouldn't be accessing it anytime soon, but it would be nice to know if the last nearly 9 years of paying in isn't going to vanish overnight.

I've been trying to make sense of this whole mess, and to be honest, it sounds like there are some pretty stupid people running the show. Someone thought it would make sense to sell off bits of debt, to other banks, to spread around risk. Now, instead of keeping the amount of this debt to something realistic, they instead loaned out MORE THAN THE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

Did you get that last part????

Not only did they make loans that totaled more than the amount of money in the whole WORLD, they also apparently couldn't really track any of it. Entities don't even know how much of these pieces of debt that they "own". And they loaned it to people who they KNEW would have problems paying it back! This couldn't have worked out better to screw us over if it had been planned!

Deregulation, folks. It was responsible for the Enron fiasco, and now it is responsible for the World Wide WTF that has been echoing across the earth for the last week.

Funny thing, these regulations. You see, they were put into place after the Great Depression, in order to prevent the same thing from happening in the future. Regulations are not fun. They aren't supposed to be. In the 80's, there was something called the Keating Five. Look that up. Guess who was one of the five?

So, are we surprised this happened again? After all, there were still regulations in place to prevent the mergers of banks at a certain level, so we wouldn't get massive banks/insurance/brokers/etc. Except that those got chipped away, too.

So, all of the safeguards that were put into place after our first major lesson in humility were swept away in the push to get people into homes they couldn't afford, so a few people could make a lot, and I mean, a LOT of money. The lure of easy money makes one less likely to ask the hard questions, such as, "What happens when people default?"

And who is this 700 BILLION going to help?

Well, it will help some people keep their jobs. Some of those people need to be fired for gross incompetence, but I doubt that the real culprits will take the fall. It will be the chewing gum in the dam crack, though, frankly. Shockwaves are going around the world on this, and already countries are getting nervous. And there absolutely HAS to be accountability, as well as careful consideration of all aspects of the bailout plan. We don't want to agree to something that is going to come back to haunt us. Congress has the President on their backs, trying to hurry them along, which I think is a mistake. This is a seriously ass-load of money. They have to have the details sorted out before committing.

Eight years, folks. Eight years from fiscal solvency as a government, budget surplus, to the mess we are going to wake up to every day for a terribly long time. We will never be able to pay all of this back.

What a fraking mess...

Monday, September 15, 2008

So, there's no way he got this from my son...

My nephew has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease! It's been nearly two months since my son had it, and my God, I just realized we haven't gotten to see them since the week before he got sick. :(

Too much going on!

Anyway, the big news last Friday was that the Des Moines Renaissance Faire's final weekend was postponed due to extreme weather. Flash flood watch, lots, and lots, and lots of rain and mud. Turns out it was a good idea to postpone, as Sunday ended up being extremely cold and dangerously windy. But, things should be dried out by this weekend, when we will don our garb, and double-up on some parts to make up for key characters who cannot be there. It will all work out!

Gotta go finish the laundry. Wouldn't you know it - the first weekend I've had off in ages, and the laundry room was closed all weekend. Luckily, we had clothes for the weekend and today, but I would much rather have had all of yesterday to work on it, than trying to cram as much as I can in the evenings of this week.

Oh well.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I was actually making decent progress tonight on the King's doublet, until I got most of the cotton drill pieces pressed.

Until the iron quit heating...

...With only part of the cotton drill pieces finished, and none of the black cotton lining ironed at all.

...Which means that I can't even get a few of the pieces basted together, as I need to baste the black cotton and the drill together, treating them as one piece and constructing the garment.

And of course on the night when I really am not sleepy at all, thanks to new medication, so I am actually not really ready to go to sleep yet, although I should be.

Well, I guess I could spend some time cleaning...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

How to tell when the GeekGirl is really exhausted...

She's having a hard time staying awake long enough to watch Mad Men.

Note: I had a "Forest of Windsor" moment earlier today. I'll explain more later, but for now, I'll simply say that someone got a bit of a crush, and I was unable to remove myself from the situation in time to avoid feeling very uncomfortable. Last weekend's enthusiastic fan was following the rules of courtly love, and only bantered with me (and at least near my age). Not so this one...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Exhausted, but had a great opening weekend!

I am still trying to recuperate after the opening weekend of the Des Moines Renaissance Faire. The word of the weekend was, "HOT!". Temps were in the upper 80's, with yesterday hitting 90.

Lots of photo galleries are in the works. I'll post links once I get a moment. And since I have until Friday evening to finish the King's doublet, I may not get a chance for awhile.

Two great weekends left!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I knew that we wouldn't get through the summer without an ER visit...

Feeling pretty calm and relaxed right now. I am tucked into bed at 8:23 on a Thursday night, and feeling comfy and sleepy.

And the reason for this?

Weeelllll... I had to take a little ER trip today, as I was having shortness of breath, and a tight chest: basically what felt like an asthma attack that was not responding to my inhaler.

Verdict: anxiety attack.
Solution: relaxation medicine.

I'm going to sleep now....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I worked from about 8 to about 9 tonight, as I had to stay late to train new monitors. I didn't have time to eat supper, as I was rushing around Hy-Vee trying to buy snacks and pop for the training session.

I have 21 pearls left to sew on my red skirt, then I have to sew another trim to the skirt to tie it together visually with the bodice. I also have to sew lacing rings to the bodice, as we need the sleeves to lace on for the fashion show.

All of this, and nearly all prep work for Saturday, have to be done tomorrow night, as we will be at the I-Cubs game Friday night, to pass out fliers, and be background while the "King" throws out the first pitch.

We open Saturday, and I am really, really stressed out, and just starting to get that glimmer of excitement.

I think if I had time to sleep, I'd be even more excited...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

If there were ever a night I would sew through my finger with the sewing machine, it would have been tonight.

I am exhausted. Can hardly keep my eyes open. And to top it all off, my son has to get on the school bus before 7 am.

Oh, this ought to be interesting...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Top Ways to Tell if you are under too much stress.

1. You keep forgetting key items before leaving the apartment, necessitating an about face halfway down the hall.

2. You leave to go run an errand, and realize halfway down the hall that you are still wearing your fluffy slippers (twice yesterday).

3. You have to write everything down, in order to make sure you don't forget to do something, bring something, or miss appointments. We have activities written on three different calendars at this point, and I have two little notebooks in my purse.

4. You make a list of things you need to get from Wal-mart over lunch, that you need for work that afternoon. You get to wal-mart, realize you forgot the list, and can only remember two of the three items on the list. After about 10 minutes, you give up on the third item, as you have to get back to work. When you get to work, and see the list on your desk, there are only two items on it. Both, luckily, are the items you actually bought.

And today's latest:

5. You feel all special because you planned a crockpot meal for dinner tonight. You got everything put together, crockpot turned on right on time. Then, you had to move it to make lunch. 2 hours later, you discover that when you moved the crockpot, you neglected to turn it back on. Dinner is ruined.

What is it going to be like when school and classes actually start????

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What is the matter with this picture?

Animal rescue leads to child endangerment charges
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- More than 360 domestic and farm animals, many of them emaciated, injured and suffering from mange and parasites, were rescued Tuesday from a filthy southwest Missouri property where they were hoarded and bred, authorities said.

Dogs taken from the Missouri property wait to be unloaded from a truck at the Humane Society.

The owner of the property was charged with child endangerment because six children, ages 1 to 11, also had been living in what authorities described as an unbelievable scene: 12 to 15 house trailers stacked to the ceilings with junk, trash and debris, crawling with cockroaches. The only water source was a bunch of garden hoses strung together.

"These homes are not fit for anyone to live in," human or animal, Polk County Sheriff Steve Bruce said.

The 363 animals include more than 70 dogs and more than three dozen cats, plus donkeys, rabbits, ducks, chickens and exotic fish. The Humane Society of Missouri and Polk County also found 12 to 15 dead rabbits, dogs, cats and poultry.

Authorities descended upon the property with warrants after the family who owns the land failed to heed warnings last month to begin providing proper care, said Tim Rickey, the Humane Society's director of rescues and investigations.

Nowhere else in the article are the children mentioned. Seriously. All sorts of stuff about the fate of the animals who they rescued, nothing more about the children.

Priorities, people.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shot of reality.


I've already been on the verge of tears today about 10 times, and all of a sudden, another urge to feel sorry for myself just came over me.

Folks, in just over a week, I will officially be the parent of a high-schooler.

Tomorrow, the teenager starts marching band practice, and the beginning of a fairly busy week before school starts. We had the band parents meeting this evening, and got a chance to meet the directors. Monday, I took my son to get a hair cut and to buy something to wear for his school pictures on Friday. He would not budge on the style, which is the same he's had since he was 4, nor could I convince him that a little hair gel wouldn't kill him. Pick your battles, right?* He also determined that black and dark charcoal gray look best on him, which gave him a huge boost of confidence. He was also shocked that there was no school supply list, really, and that he pretty much got to choose what would work best for him, rather than someone else's idea of what works best for many. I think he's ready for this, but I really am not.

I am trying to get the schedule worked out, three calendars so that I can try to impress into my brain and into his how many different places he needs to be in the next week. I am afraid we're going to miss something...

Anyway, part of the reason that I am feeling a bit teary-eyed and nostalgic for his younger years, has to do with this:

Someone reminded me recently that in four short years, I will be an empty-nester.

Part of me had to laugh, but the other part felt incredibly old at that point, even though I generally don't feel old enough to even have a kid in high school. In four short years, he'll be starting college. I'll be forty.

What a cheerful thought.

Okay, I have to get some sleep so I can lug around equipment tomorrow again. Night folks!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

So, what the heck have I been doing lately?

Sewing. Rehearsal. Work.

That's pretty much it. It occurred to me just a bit ago that I haven't linked to my latest project. Awhile back, I started a sewing blog on wordpress, mostly because I had a super-secret project I was working on that I wanted to share with people, without the recipients getting wind out it. This is also why this summer has been light on blogging. I've been sewing and trying to occasionally update the sewing blog. And I just kept forgetting to link to it.

So, without further ado, here is the link to my sewing blog.

The Clumsy Seamstress

A sketch of my current project:

Concept sketch of the queen's gown for the royal wedding at the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, 2008.

So now you know why I've been so silent this summer. :)

Thanks for the heads-up on the broken link, griff!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wow. I feel really special now.

I finally received my copy of the "Who's Who" spam...

Dear Candidate,

If you have received this email previously, we apologize. Our service provider had a small technical issue that has since been resolved. You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent your industry in the Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion into the upcoming 2008-2009 "Honors Edition" of the registry.

We are pleased to inform you that on July 9th, your candidacy was approved. Your confirmation for inclusion will be effective within five business days, pending our receipt of the enclosed application.

The Office of the Managing Director appoints individuals based on a candidate's current position, and usually with information obtained from researched executive and professional listings. The director thinks you may make an interesting biographical subject, as individual achievement is what Who's Who is all about. Upon final confirmation you will be listed among thousands of accomplished individuals in the Who's Who Registry. There is no cost to be included.

We do require additional information to complete the selection process and kindly ask that you access this form on our website by Clicking Here.

How in the WORLD could I EVER ignore this exciting opportunity to be in a book full of people who also paid to have their biography published in this book?!?!?!?

Trust me, when I finally decide to sit down and write my biography (and there would have to be a serious amount of money involved), it won't fit into four paragraphs.

And no, I did not click the link in the email. I feel dirty just for having opened the message...

p.s. This is blog theme is starting to irritate me... Can that quote text get any more yellow-green?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Busy day.

Worked like crazy on my friend Lynne's new gown. I got tons of work done on the bodice, including cutting and smoothing all of the boning.

Things of beauty:

Sewing the boning channels.

Nice and smooth edges!

Front of the bodice lining. Pretty! And this is only the lining.

Time to put the project aside. Sewing after 10pm never ends up going well...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I hate it when this happens!

I overslept by about 2 HOURS this morning. I even went to bed early last night, because I was exhausted due to a very busy day at work. I obviously turned off the alarm at one point, because I didn't move until 10, when I heard my son close the bathroom door.

I hate oversleeping on Saturday, because it pushes back all of the chores, and steals time that needs to be spent sewing. Luckily, we don't have rehearsal until later this afternoon today.

Okay, time to get off of my chair and get to work on the laundry and picking up the house, so I can get to the real work I need to do today.

Monday, July 28, 2008

He's got WHAT?!?!?!?

Kind of a long day today...

By Saturday morning, my son's fever had broken, and was nearly normal. He still had a sore throat, but I felt comfortable enough to leave him at home, so I could go to rehearsal in Des Moines. When I got home, he told me that he had white spots on his tonsils. By this time, we still hadn't heard the results of the strep culture, but I assumed that they would have called by then if it were positive. By this point, he was complaining about food like tomato soup burning his throat (I know, he insisted he wanted it, though). He also couldn't eat chicken noodle soup. Basically, I stocked up on banana pudding, chocolate ice cream, and chicken broth.

Sunday, still had the spots.

This morning, I had to go back to work, but I called the clinic to see if he needed to be seen again. The nurse called me back about 45 minutes later to tell me that he needed to come in, so they could double-check to make sure he doesn't have MONO. At this point, I'm two steps away from freaking out at the thought, as school starts in a month, marching band in a couple of weeks, faire in five weeks.

After stewing in the waiting room for awhile, and then discovering that he's already lost two pounds, the doc breezed in, took one look at his throat, and said...

"Hand, foot, and mouth disease. The spots on his throat and tonsils are canker sores, which explains why it hurts a lot to eat. He'll be back to normal in a couple of days." She went on to explain that teens don't get it as badly as younger children, he may luck out and only have the sore throat.

And that was it.

After talking with my mom, she googled HFMD, and of course got the scary CDC explanation. This is apparently highly contagious. Soooo, I am disinfecting the whole house, have bought paper plates, bowls, and disposable cups and utensils for him to use, plus paper towels so he doesn't have to use the hand towels and washrags.

At least 2 more days until this is over, and he can be contagious for more than a week after, although not as much as during the first week.

But, no matter how annoying this is, it could have been worse.

At least he doesn't have mono... ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why is the alarm set for 3:20 a.m.????

Long day.

I have to get up at 3:20 to give my son another dose of tylenol, to keep his fever down. He's been running a fever of about 101°F with the tylenol, and about 102 without it. The last reading before the last dose of tylenol, however, was 102.9°F. My plans of letting him sleep all night to get recharged have changed. I am not risking having that fever be that high for several hours. No way, not good. I'm just glad he's 14 and not 4 at this point, so he's really helping out by resting and doing what he needs to do to get better.

The doc says that it's most likely a virus causing the headache, muscle pain, slight sore throat and high fever. The quick strep test came back negative, and the results from the longer culture should come tomorrow or Sunday. For now, all I can do is keep him hydrated, and giving tylenol to keep the fever down to a manageable level.

I am pretty sure that things will be better tomorrow morning, but it's still shocking to see that high a number on a thermometer...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday night musing...

Perhaps it is not such a good idea to watch a sappy movie while attempting to hand sew. Sitting here bawling while sewing the joins in L's new paned sleeves.

I think I need to stick to "Mad Men" and BSG while sewing...

My little sister...

Wednesday night, just as Project Runway was starting, my youngest sister called.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Just sitting down to Runway. Why?"

"I just wanted to call and tell you that I'm engaged!" she gushed.

"That's WONDERFUL!" I cried. "I'm so happy for you!"

The rest of the call was short and sweet, as she was working through the list of people to call.

And all I could think about was when she was a small, sweet little baby who had a habit of wanting to be up too late. I'd feed her the 10:30 bottle, so Mom could sleep, since I was a night owl, too. I remember introducing her to scary movies, probably too young, but she liked this certain living dead movie that we'd laugh, and laugh about. And how her favorite song when she was 3 was "Pour some sugar on me", and she'd freak out whenever the video came up on MTV (you know, back when it was MUSIC television, and not a haven for bad reality shows).

And now she's getting married.

Time really flies.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Strange mood...

I'm to the point where I'm not sure what I'd do if I actually got more than 5 hours of sleep a night.

I'm sure, however, that I'd be a lot more productive if I didn't feel like I wanted to go to sleep at 6 pm. I have massive amounts of sewing to do for the fall (mostly for other people), and I really don't need insomnia to rear its ugly head right now.

I'm off to try to get to sleep sometime before 1 a.m., and hopefully stay that way...

Saturday, July 05, 2008


You have to watch the whole thing...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Absence makes the heart grow fonder....

I really start out each day thinking that I need to blog.

Okay, I'm lying.

I don't, really. In fact, I haven't really thought about blogging much lately at all. There really is not much of interest going on in my life right now. I go practically nowhere of interest, and I see practically no one at all. It's really pathetic. I'll be the first to admit that I really have no good friends outside of the ren faire folk (who, BTW, are some of the BEST friends and people I have EVER met). My early friendships with the parents of my son's friends have all gone by the wayside, due to changing activities of their children.

But anyway, I digress. I really need to blog more often. I stumbled across some writings from an earlier blog, an anonymous blog, and I was struck by the clear difference in writing from when I was writing daily, and now. At the moment, my brain, which used to be so full that I HAD to write to get all of the superfluous thoughts, seems nearly empty of meaningful ideas. Who wants to share there innermost thoughts on the price of potatoes at the store (nearly doubled in two weeks!), or the fact that a week at home on "Vacation" has resulted in a five pound gain in weight, just like a real vacation would...

Or what about the fact that right now, I am sitting on my bed, writing this blog post because I cannot sleep, on a night when I really NEED sleep, because I have to go back to work in about 6 and a half hours? Truly pathetic, really. And what is a blog post other than a more socially acceptable form of talking to yourself, with the added bonus of sometimes generating comments, so that one doesn't feel quite so isolated...

I'm thinking a return to anonymous blogging may be in my future...

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Tip: When attending rehearsal outdoors, in sunny weather, do not forget the sunscreen.

We were outside from 9:30 to a bit after noon, quite a bit of that in the sun. I did not have time to put on sunscreen before we started, as I was hosing off my feet and legs (and capris) behind the castle. My cross-golf course trek landed me in mud up to my ankles rather suddenly. Flood mud. Icky, smelly flood mud. Luckily, I was wearing flip-flops that were washable.

Anyway, the new opening gate show is really funny, and our first rehearsal with the Predators of the Sea went well (only two were there, due to work schedules). Dancing went well, too, and we have a new royal court member: Merriweather Milquetoast is joining us!

It was a long but productive morning, as we had to block the opening gate show, move the trailer, and discuss changes and additions to the shows. After the rehearsal, we had a little excitement crossing the bridge from the faire site.

The site flooded during the big flood, and washed away some of the ground around the supports. So, we had about a foot jump to get up to the bridge, and on the other side, a narrow trench between the edge of the bridge and the ground. That wasn't the problem.

About halfway over, I suddenly realized that the bridge was swaying rather alarmingly with so many of us going over at once. So, we all stopped in our tracks, then proceeded more carefully, trying to walk so as not to start things up again. I was glad to reach the end, as things had started to sway again.

I didn't realize until I had gotten home that I was a bit crispy. Really starting to itch...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Up too late

Giggling over the commercials on Comedy Central... boy do things get weird after midnight...

Of course, the reason I am up so late is that I had a hard drive fail in my computer earlier this evening. Luckily, the drive that failed was not the boot drive, but a second drive that had Classic on it. Unfortunately, it also had my music and photos on it, too. Which meant I had to run to work to find an old copy of DiskWarrior, and borrow an external drive to shuffle data. Took about an hour to find what I needed, as I was looking for a CD, only to remember that I had purchased Diskwarrior as a download and the CD copy came later. Found it on my computer at work. Duh. I copied the MacOS 9 stuff to one of the FW drive partitions, booted from it at home, and managed to copy about 99% of the files after Diskwarrior couldn't repair the damage. I'm just lucky that 9 could mount the drive...

Moral of the story is: backup.

Okay, time to sleep now before I nod off at the computer...

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Anytime it takes more than 25 minutes to bake a frozen pizza, and it's still soggy on the bottom and in the middle, you know something's up...

I think my oven is conking out. And probably the stove top, too, as pasta is taking forever to cook lately, like the temp isn't steady enough. :( Luckily, I rent, so I just have to call up the maintenance folks tomorrow, and have them see what's up.

Unfortunately, that means that I had to spend precious time cleaning the stove, and straightening up the apartment. All on the one evening I actually could have gotten to bed early, due to NOT having to stay awake to monitor the extremely bad weather we've been having.

So, I'm done now, and exhausted, and I am two steps away from falling asleep at the desk. And my house is clean. Yay!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Exhausting, but great day!

Good-bye icky old car, hello gorgeous midnight-blue 2002 Buick Century!

Yep, the water pump was the last straw. Monday morning, my mom called very early, and told me that she had found an incredible ad in the Fort Dodge paper. Monday was a flurry of talking with the bank, getting an application faxed to me, and then faxed back to the bank, and approved. Mom and dad test drove it Monday night, and I filled out the papers and picked it up today!

What a relief...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Photos from Dubuque!

Here is a pic from the last royal audience of the faire. I was exhausted, but the music in the air made things quite bearable. :)

Here are some links to show what you missed!

Dubuque Renaissance Faire 2008 -

Digital Dubuque - Renaissance Faire

Flickr Set from cdedbdme The photo at the top of the post is a crop from one of this user's pics, used through a Creative Commons License.

This is what I have for now, as far as links. If you attended this faire, and have photos to share, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll add your link! :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wish list...

First thing I am buying after next year's tax refund...

8 yards of Periwinkle Blue Silk Dupioni - I666

A bit spendy, yes, but I love this shade of blue, and have been dreaming of a gown made of this color for ages... this summer is far too busy to make a new gown for myself anyway, so I can wait patiently...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Insult to injury...

First, let me say that this weekend at the first annual Dubuque Renaissance Faire was extraordinarily fun! This event was very well produced, and we had many people (vendors and entertainers) comment that the faire was more like an event in its fourth or fifth year than its first. Just fun!!!!!

And now, because I have had more than my share of bad luck this spring than is fair, for the bad.

#1: car. leaking antifreeze. My poor dad came to tow it from Dubuque, as we were unsure that it would make it home. Luckily, Chris gave us (and our luggage) a ride home to Ames. We actually had a great time, and kept each other awake (we didn't leave D. until after 8, and had to stop at the QD in Dyersville for supper). Just got home.

Bad thing #2: we lost electricity sometime over the weekend. Now, my math is probably off, but it was 12:01 am when I went into my room and saw that my alarm clock read 6:01 pm.... So, I have no idea how long we were without electricity. Which means, everything in the fridge and freezer will have to go, because I have no idea if it was off for five minutes or five hours. Guess this is an argument for an old-style plug-in non-digital clock...

Okay, tired now, going to bed as I have to go to work tomorrow...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let's lighten things up a bit...

Falling off of my chair laughing...

Monday, May 26, 2008


Iowans Sort Through Massive Tornado Damage

I am just feeling overwhelmed by this right now. On the heels of a weird spring, this round of severe weather just caught me off-guard mentally.

And we are not even into summer yet...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trials and Tribulations


Where to begin.

I am distracted right now, by many things. On the one hand, I have a ton of sewing to do this week and next, to get ready for the Dubuque Faire (May 31- June 1st!). I also need to clean my house, because a friend and her daughter are coming over tomorrow evening, so I can shorten the straps on a prom gown (for a fifth grader for a dance recital). And believe me, after six weeks of sewing projects, the end of the semester, and more sewing projects, it needs it. I am also distracted by huge hardware failures in our PowerMac dual-2.7GHz G5s. If you are a tech on campus, you may have already heard this one. If you haven't yet, you will at the next MacOS X Admin meeting, provided I haven't gone nuts by then.

However, the most irritating thing that is distracting me right now, is the most annoying thing that a seamstress who has to wear contacts in less than two weeks can have.

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) and blepharitis (which is probably temporary, and caused by the pink eye).

Anyway, my cleaning break is over. Back to cleaning. Have to scrub the kitchen floor and dust the living room. Then, on to sewing until at least 11 to catch up.

If I can stay awake that long...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Finally, (for better or for worse): Steampunk article in the New York Times

Steampunk Moves Between 2 Worlds

Photo by Robert Wright for The New York Times

For better or worse, a mainstream newspaper has picked up on the Steampunk movement.

Quaint to some eyes, or outright bizarre, steampunk fashion is compelling all the same. It is that rarity, a phenomenon with the potential to capture a wider audience, offering a genteel and disciplined alternative to both the slack look of hip-hop and the menacing spirit of goth.

The elaborate mourning dresses, waistcoats, hacking jackets and high-button shoes are goth’s stepchildren, for sure, but the overall look is “not so much eyeliner and fishnets,” said Evelyn Kriete, who sells advertising space for magazines like Steampunk, The Willows and Weird Tales, and who manages Jaborwhalky Productions (, a steampunk Web site.

Ms. Kriete and her eccentrically outfitted cohort of teachers, designers, writers and medical students, drew stares last week at a picnic at the Cloisters in Manhattan, but provoked no shudders or discernible hostility.

“As a subculture, we are not the spawn of Satan,” Ms. Kriete said. “People smile when they see us. They want to take our picture.”

Robert Brown, the lead singer for Abney Park, a goth band that has reinvented itself as steampunk, echoed her sentiments. “Steampunk is not dark and spooky,” he said. “It’s elegant and beautiful.”

While I normally play in the Renaissance, I have been picking up patterns for Victorian costumes, with a mind to modify them for everyday wear ala Steampunk (to be fit for work, of course). Believe it or not, my son is extremely interested as well, especially in Steampunked tech. Geeks like costumes, you know.

I think we'll see more of this on the runways next year, which would be refreshing...

"“I’m so sick of baggy pants hanging off your bottom,” he said. “This is more refined. It goes back to a time when people had some dignity.

“It’s a new day.”" - Mr. James

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Great diet-friendly find!

I just have to say, with summer around the corner, I found a great treat to have on warm afternoons:

Edy's Fruit Bars: No Sugar Added (Strawberry, Tangerine, and Raspberry)

Zero. Points.

Ohhhhh yummmm....

So, what did I do today on my afternoon off?

Well, for starters, I ended up leaving nearly an hour and a half late, due to needing to finish the DASH posters.

I went home, had lunch at 1:45 pm, and then sat on the couch, "for a few minutes," and fell asleep about 20 minutes later.

Good one.

I have tomorrow off, too, but it is scheduled breakfast to dinner with non-stop sewing. Oh, and I have to pick up the corsage at 4:00...

I totally did not want to waste this afternoon, but it felt great to snooze with the windows open....

Friday, April 18, 2008


Well... it had to happen sometime.

My son will have his 14th birthday this coming Monday.

And next Friday...

He will have his first date!


He asked the girl that he likes to the 8th grade semi-formal. Apparently, he's been thinking about it, and trying to figure out how to ask her for about two weeks. He finally told me about it Wednesday night, and I gave him a couple of pointers.

He had decided to ask her yesterday, and was a little scared when I asked him if he was still going to ask her, as he was leaving for school. Then, turns out that she was gone yesterday.

So, this morning, when I asked him if he was still going to ask her, he had a very firm "yes" as the answer.

He called me when he got home from school, and I could tell right away that he was smiling. "She said yes!" And apparently was smiling the whole time she said it.

And from what I understand, he's one of the few boys who actually asked a girl in person, and not through post-it notes left on lockers... It took guts to just go for it, and I made sure he knew that I was proud of him. :)

I am very happy for him, and at the same time, I'm feeling incredibly old right now...

Thursday, April 17, 2008


The Boomstick has it! (Joint poll between blogspot and renspace, and lab monitors!)

Okay, quick poll...

Buying my son an iPod shuffle for his birthday (the red one). It comes with free engraving if you want. So, I'm torn between two quotes. Can I get a quick vote from people as to which quote?

1. "'Tis only a flesh wound!"


2. "This... is my boomstick!"

Any thoughts????

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

One major project hurdle passed...

I am now at the halfway point on one of my major projects! The most complicated part is finished, and the rest should be really simple. I learned some new fabric finishing techniques, and am really excited about the results.

And this post degenerates into a series of nearly unrelated items. Enjoy!

Well, McDonald's had cheeseburgers for 59 cents and hamburgers for 49 cents today. My son begged and begged to have cheeseburgers for supper tonight, even calling me at work to remind me about the deal. So, I bought him three cheeseburgers, fries, and a coke for supper. You would have thought I was buying him an iPod or something. ;)

And speaking of iPods...

My son is turning 14 next week, and as a mark of his new maturity level, instead of video games, he's asked for a red iPod Shuffle (1GB model). I have to go back to WalMart tomorrow night, and see if they got any red ones in, because the last time I was there, they only had silver and purple left. He's already planning what songs he wants to put on it if he gets one. He he!

And because this is Iowa, turning 14 means that you can take the test to get a learner's driving permit.


Obviously, he has a lot of studying to do, and he needs to bring his grades up a bit before he can take the test. I did, however, stop by the DMV to pick up the book for him. Here's a hint: Don't go to the Ames DMV at 4:45 pm on Tuesday. The place was PACKED, and the line went out the door. I was very glad I only needed a book. He was a little surprised when I handed it to him. :)

Okay, time to try to sleep tonight. I slept great last night thanks to that Tylenol PM. My leg is feeling much better (no limp now - I had forgotten how awful a strained muscle can feel), so I am not going to take any tonight. It was nice to not wake up a bunch during the night, though. I didn't wake up until the alarm went off, and normally I wake up around 5, and then try unsuccessfully to get back to sleep until the alarm goes off at 6:30. If this lasts much longer, I am going to talk with the doc about it. I'm a night owl, and I cannot, repeat, cannot get up at 5 if I can't sleep until 11:30 or midnight. Tried it once, and it was the worst day... I was sleepwalking through the whole work day. That is a recipe for disaster in IT.

Seriously, good night. Hope you enjoyed the weather today!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

End of a long day, beginning of a long week.

(I'm sure I've used that title before...).

I got a lot done today. I didn't sleep well last night, due to noisy neighbors during my optimal "drift-off" period. It was VEISHEA weekend, so it was a given that it would be louder than normal. The iPod did an okay job of drowning out the drunken college boy yells, but not quite enough.

I was up later than normal anyway, due to trying to copy out a list of materials needed for this massive costume project for the Des Moines Faire. I was also trying to get some research copied out, so Holly and I could work on our outline for the show we are going to co-write with Lynne (Queen Catherine of Have Court, Will Travel). We are putting together a show for the ladies, since the men have their weapons talk (very well attended last year!). We will be dressing a lady of the court from pretty much the undergarments out, and explaining the various articles of clothing of that era, along with historical information. It will be both amusing and informative, and should be really fun! There are nine pieces of clothing that we will have to create, so we are anxious to get the planning out of the way so we can start immediately after the Dubuque Faire.

Speaking of the Dubuque Faire, Holly and I are trying to put together a short version of this show really quickly. Since there will be only two ladies in attendance, besides the Queen, it has fallen to me to be the model for the talk. There should be some great jokes in there, as we have toyed with the idea that I would be "late" to the show, as I felt it was inappropriate to accept the Earl of Oxford's generous offer to help.

Anyway, I think the Tylenol PM is starting to kick in. My legs and shoulders are in a great deal of pain, due to the enormous amount of sewing, cutting, ironing, and general costume creating that took place this weekend. Every single night this week has to be dedicated to sewing so I can complete everything I need to finish on time. I have a very hectic schedule pretty much starting this weekend, until after Dubuque.

I think it's really great that the court is booked at three faires this year. We have so much fun together! I'll have a post with all of the faire information later, as I am really sleepy right now. So much fun just around the corner!!!! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Yep. It snowed. It is snowing, just a bit. Obviously, we did not go to the parade (which just started about 10 minutes ago). I have a problem with standing in the snow to watch a spring parade.

Anyway, so I decided to start working through the massive list of things I need to do this weekend. Laundry is in the washers (three loads - one of the benefits of apartment living).

I got out the project I am working on, and discovered that I cannot find my good fabric scissors anywhere. Just gone. I have looked every conceivable place in my newly rearranged (and organized) bedroom, in the kitchen, and living room, and came up empty handed. I even looked under the couch. I am baffled. I really do not want to have to go out and buy another pair, as they can be pricey. I also don't want to use my paper scissors to cut fabric, as the sharpener I have is for the good pair, and may not work so well on this pair.

Anyway, I know they haven't left the house, and they will probably turn up where I least expect it. And my house is not that unorganized. I left them on the dining table, next to the pattern pieces that had been cut out. The teenager claims he didn't borrow them.

Well, I have to get back to my search. What a waste of time....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blogging Drought

Sorry. I meant to blog more frequently, but I've been working late nearly every day this week (and to be honest, for the last three weeks). Yesterday was the first time I was able to leave on time for awhile, and I was able to repeat that feat today. Yippee!

So, what have I been doing this week?

Well, last Saturday, we drove to Manson so I could work on my mom's computers, and my dad could change the oil in my car. We had a great time!

Can't remember what I did on Sunday. Drawing a blank. Monday through Wednesday were spent wrestling with a problem on our new printer (which is INSANELY BEAUTIFUL), nicely resolved by finding the correct drivers for the Macs. Thursday was spent adding the fix to the labs and rewriting installer scripts.

Oh, now I remember what I did on Sunday - I was sick all afternoon. I woke up around 8:30, after not really sleeping well (we didn't get home until nearly 11). I slept on my right shoulder wrong, and was in a fair amount of pain. I still managed to rearrange my bedroom, mostly because I had started before I started feeling ill, and couldn't just stop at that point to rest. Anyway, the reward was getting to take a nap afterwards, with the windows open. I slept a solid four hours without moving, and then of course, couldn't sleep that night.

And that was the theme for the week. Not able to sleep at night, extremely busy days, little time at home in the evenings. I slept well last night, and still managed to doze off for an hour this evening. I am hoping to be able to sleep well tonight, too, so I can get a bunch of things done tomorrow.

My son really wants to go to the parade tomorrow, but I am not so thrilled about the idea. We have a 50% chance of rain or snow flurries, and it's going to be windy and cold. We'd have to take the bus, as parking on campus will be insane, and I just cannot be out in that type of weather right now. I can't afford to have my cold get worse, as there is too much going on in the next seven weeks or so.

Anyway, so that's the update. Not terribly interesting, but such is my life right now.

Friday, April 04, 2008

15 Minutes to BSG...

So many questions....

5th cylon cannot be Baltar...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Long day yesterday, but even better than I had expected!

After getting home around 12:30 am, I was too keyed up to sleep right away. I think I fell asleep around 1:30 or 2.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, we had our first rehearsal of the year for Have Court, Will Travel. I say rehearsal, but besides reviewing the dances, it was mostly a meeting about what changes we are going to make this year, what new shows we are adding (I'll get back to that in a sec), and what we are going to do at Dubuque (if we get to go - crossing fingers!). All that and about about 15 minutes of us all talking over each other because we were so happy to see each other again!

So, the big news for DMRF for this year is the addition of two shows: The Royal Wedding (which will replace the coronation), and something we have dubbed The Fashion Show, which will be the ladies' equivalent to the men's weapons talk (which is always our most heavily attended show).

I am really excited for both of these shows, but even more excited about the Fashion Show because....

I get to work on it! Hollie (the Duchess of Kent) and I are putting together the research and clothing, and with the help of our Queen, write this show. L even told us that this was our show! We will be dressing a lady in waiting from the smock and corset out. And since this particular lady is new, we will be sewing every stitch of this new garb, and will make it as historically accurate as we can possibly get. No theatrical shortcuts whatsoever. We will also dispel some myths of renaissance life, like the myth that they seldom bathed (maybe not in a full tub of water, but most of the middle and upper classes washed every day). I think we can really pack a lot of information about renaissance clothing and day to day life into this show.

I'm so excited!!!!!

Anyway, Hollie and I figured out that we have nine separate pieces of clothing to make for this demonstration. We set a general schedule, and will be meeting a bunch to work on this stuff over the next couple of months.

In addition, I will also be making garb for another court member, plus my son once he's done growing a bit more (I never start his garb until July, or I run the risk that he will have grown out of it!).

Anyway, more on all of this later, as we start working.

I am going to have a great summer!!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Way too many things to do today...

But I still slept in for the first time in a month. Now I have to get my behind off the couch and get busy. It's going to be a pretty good day, if I can get things done as planned. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Byers, and Frohike, and Langly, oh my!

Okay, so I have a small Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi problem. It used to be a straight Dt. Pepsi problem, until last May, when I was forcefully reminded of the negative health benefits of caffeine on someone with high blood pressure and a history of stroke in the family.

So anyway, I have a flavored, carbonated water addiction.

This addiction has translated into a ton of those yellow bottle caps (orange if you buy it from a convenience story or soda machine) with the Pepsi points codes. I have been accumulating points and have entered 115 codes (and have another 25 caps waiting to be entered once I get really bored).

If you are unfamiliar with the Pepsi Stuff promotion, head on over to the Pepsi Stuff site for details. You can get free MP3 downloads, TV downloads, CDs, DVDs, and assorted crap electronics by collecting points. Free stuff is good.

So, awhile ago, I had earned enough points to get a DVD. And in the list of available DVDs, I spotted a blast from the not-so-distant past: "The Lone Gunmen: The Complete Series". I just had to get it! I had forgotten about this show, which is weird considering how avidly I watched it, and how terrible I felt when they canceled it (everything I like gets canceled).

The DVD arrived today, and I had the pleasure of introducing my son to yet another geek classic. :) He loved it! So, between working our way through the entire Star Trek Next Generation DVDs (Net Flix), season 3 of Battlestar Galactica (massive marathon necessary this weekend in prep for next Friday!), and now The Lone Gunmen, we're set for awhile.

8 days to season 4 of BSG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keep feeling like I am forgetting something...

1. Laundry - Check
2. Wipe off counters - check
3. dishwasher loaded - check (not full yet, so can't run it)
4. crochet for 20 minutes - check +
5. Groceries - check (bought and put away)
6. Diet - still on track, but getting harder. Damn restaurant commercials.

And yes, I did not forget about taxes, I'm just feeling allergic to math right now...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CBS you suck.

Just watched the last episode of Jericho, and I cannot believe that CBS is so stupid as to cancel it.

This literally was the last show on network TV that I watched regularly, besides the news.

Every other commercial during Jericho was for shows that are finally starting up after the end of the writers strike.

Every single commercial was indistinguishable from every other commercial. Only the characters are different. This is what we have to look forward to. And reality shows...

Sorry. I'm done with you.

Please, SciFi, please buy Jericho! We can't be left hanging like this.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Seriously meant to blog more this past week...

Spent another day sick at home. Friday, I barely made it to lunch, and had only gone in because I needed to cover the lab because the lab monitor was sick. Got home, slept for four hours straight. Fever never hit above 99°F, and was gone by morning.

Saturday morning, my stomach felt fairly normal, but I had the hardest time concentrating on what I needed to do to get ready to go to my parents' house for the weekend. I finally made myself sit down and eat a snack around 11, just before hopping in the shower (did laundry and packed all morning). Had to take my son to get a haircut, and to pick up the Easter candy. Felt fine the rest of the weekend.

And then, this morning, I woke up with body aches, icky stomach, chills, and a low-grade fever again! Of course, we had nearly no food in the house, because I didn't do the shopping this weekend. I dragged myself to the store around 11:30, and it was a huge mistake. I really couldn't sleep either, so I am worn out.

So far, the fever appears to be gone, but I still feel achy. I started to get restless around 7:30, so I pulled out some crochet that has been long overdue for attention. I struggled for awhile with the way I was attaching the second row of loops, then had the a-ha moment that finally made everything go faster. I ripped out the ten inches of the second row, and started over. I finished the second row in less than an hour, where it had taken me well more than an hour to get the ten inches done (40 inch strip of crochet, tiniest thread and hook I've ever used).

The only problem with crochet is that for every hour I do it, it is as hard on my hands as 3 hours of hand sewing or beading. I am all over the place with my typing right now, as my fingers just do not want to move normally. I tend to try to keep crochet time limited, and never when I also have to do hand sewing or cutting out pattern pieces or fabric. This piece should be finished in a couple of days, though, even with limited time. I just want it finished, as it is for someone else.

Okay, there is the rambling post of the week... I may have time to post tomorrow night, if I am not upset by the very last episode of Jericho...