Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Layer Cake Dress

I've been dreaming of Kaylee's Layer Cake dress for years. The first time I saw the episode, Shindig, I wanted to make the costume. But I'm not very good at sewing.
I went onto a costuming livejournal group many years ago asking how I could make this dress without being able to read patterns or use a sewing machine. I was told that there was no way I could make this costume because it was too hard. That just made me more determined to make it.

Getting married and having a baby put my Layer Cake dreams on hold though. But when Charlotte got the bid for the 2010 Browncoat Ball, I knew I had to have this dress done in time for the event.

My plan was to buy a dress in the right shape and put the correct fabric over it. It worked out pretty well, but it was a very lengthy process. Because it was taking me such a long time, There was some bottom layers missing for both Dragon*Con last year and the Browncoat Ball.

The dress went back on the back burner again. I had wanted to get it ready for Fanaticon and ConCarolinas, but that didn't happen. So Dragon*Con became the goal again. And I'm happy to say that the costume is now complete!
I'll be wearing it Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Con. Say hi if you see me :)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Mask Issue

When I heard there was going to be a Masked Ball at Dragon*Con this year, I knew I wanted to go. It sounds like a lot of fun and my Kaylee Layer Cake costume fits well in the theme of a ball.

Masks are required so I went off to eBay and found a lovely pink mask to match my costume. It arrived about a week ago and I realized I had a problem. You see, I wear glasses, don't have contacts and am blind without my glasses.

There was no way I could wear the mask and the glasses at the same time so I pondered my options (as well as asking help from my Facebook friends). The idea of putting the mask on a stick came up and I wondered how I could do it and how to do it without spending anymore money.

We were at our favorite Chinese restaurant when I had the idea of using a chopstick. I took an extra pair home and worked to put my mask on the stick. I used some heavy duty tape and then I cut the ribbon on one side. The side where the stick was, I twirled the ribbon around it.

I think it turned out rather well. Now I can be able to see as well as having the mask I'll need to get into the Ball.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Sewing And A Clever Husband

I haven't sewed since a little under a year ago when I made a desperate attempt to finish my layer cake costume in time for the Browncoat Ball. My layer cake dress was worn for the ball, but it still needed a few layers to finish out the bottom of the dress.

Once the Browncoat Ball was over, I didn't think about sewing again. Now that Dragon*Con is days away, I'm in the midst of sewing fury again. But when I started, I found that I couldn't find my pin cushion.

After looking a bit, I was just going go without. Though I did need more pins since the majority of them were in the pin cushion. My husband, who was off to Walmart, offered to get me some pins.

He came home and he did indeed have pins. But he also had a dog toy - and we don't have a dog. He explained that this was my new pin cushion. He had found it in the clearance section for 50 cents and thought it would work.

I've sewed on all the layers and just have a little more to go. So far, the pin cushion is working out very well. Hopefully I won't lose it after Dragon*Con is over since it may be months again before I start on the costumes for next Dragon*Con. If I do lose it, I can depend on my clever husband to find another cheap alternative.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Popcorn and Beer

I'm a bit on a high tonight. I just found out that I'm going to be one of 's core contributors. This is a goal I've been working towards ever since I became a writer for GeekMom.

To celebrate a little, after I got Emily to sleep and did the dishes, I popped a bag of popcorn. As it was popping, I was taken back to a time when I was younger.

My mom used to make popcorn and have a glass of beer nearly every Friday night. It was a ritual after a while. The smell of beer and popcorn is something that will always remind me of my mom.

I always miss her but the surfacing of this memory makes me miss her even more. I wonder if she would be proud of my accomplishments – I do think that she would. For now, I will eat my popcorn, watch Star Trek VI and be happy for my promotion.

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The Failure of Jayne

Image: Wikipedia
It seems like every year, Adam Baldwin ends up on the guest list for Dragon*Con. And every year that I've been attending, he cancels, often at the last minute.

I always have my hopes up that he will actually show up, and this year was no different as he canceled today - one week before the con. It's gotten to the point that it is a joke, but it is still disappointing.

It is especially so for Firefly fana who want to be able to meet him and get his autograph. It’s gotten to the point that every year I wish that Chuck would get canceled so he would be able to come to the con.
At this point, there won’t be any of the main cast of Firefly at Dragon*Con which bums me out. Though I have seen all of them except for Adam Baldwin and Gina Torres (who doesn’t do conventions or so I’ve heard).
I’m sure it will be a fun con, but I’m still a little sad at Jayne’s failure to show up… again.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Writing Challenge - Suffering In Silence

Here is my challenge story for this week from Indie Ink. I got the prompt, suffering in silence, from Mare of Please let me know what you think!        


   The spell hit Freya right in the throat which made her gasp and then made her begin to cough. Her eyes widened as she realized that she wasn’t making any noise as she coughed. Jaya, the witch who had just cursed her, was laughing.
                “Don’t even try to speak,” Jaya said, still chuckling as she looked at the pale blonde girl who was running her fingers over her throat, “As long as I live, you will never utter a word again.”

                Tears filled Freya’s gentle blue eyes as she mouthed the word, “Why?”

                “Why?” Jaya repeated in a mocking tone, “Why do you think, you little peasant? You have no right being the betrothed of the Prince. We will see how he likes you now that you can’t express platitudes on how wonderful  he is.”

                Freya’s cheeks become wet as her tears began to splash down. She should have seen this coming as she remembered how livid Jaya looked when the search for a wife for Prince Edward had ended with him choosing her. Jaya had been trying to net the Prince for years, and he was wearing down.

                But his father despised Jaya so he had decided that every eligible lady in the land would have to come pay call on Edward. One look at the Prince, and Freya fell madly in love as he had with her. Their wedding was supposed to be tomorrow.

                Rising to her feet, Freya gathered her skirts up and ran. She had to find Edward and explain what had happened. She wasn’t sure if he would want to marry a silent bride, but she had to make him know what Jaya had done.

                Her breathing was hard as she ran down the hall, but it seemed odd because there was no sound with it. It made her shudder to think that nothing she did anymore would make any noise. There was the sound of her bare feet hitting the tile floor and she reveled in the fact that there was some noise being generated from her.

                She turned a corner and came to her beloved’s study door. She began to pound on the door, the noise of it seeming loud in her ears.

                The door was opened and Edward was on the other side. “Freya!” he said, smiling warmly at her, but then he looked more closely at her, “What is the matter, my love?”

                Freya slipped into the room and found a piece of parchment and a quill. She wasn’t very good at writing as Edward had just started to teach her, but it was the only way that she could tell him what was going on.

                She wrote quickly and then handed the parchment over for him to read. A frown formed on his face almost immediately and deepened as he continued to read. After he had finished, he kissed Freya softly on the lips. “Stay here, my love,” he said softly, “I need to take care of something.”

                Freya sighed but that was silent as well. She did feel much better that her Prince knew what was going on. After a few minutes, Edward re-entered the room. “I have instructed the guards to detain Miss Jaya. The court wizard is out in the country right now so we may have to wait until he returns to fix this. But I swear to you, my love, we will fix it.”

                Her shoulders drooped and she looked as if she was going to start crying again. Edward took her in his arms, cuddling her close. “You will become my wife and Princess tomorrow, Freya,” he said softly, “Jaya is not a very good witch so the court magician will be able to restore your voice to you. For now, you will just have to suffer in silence.”

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Lack of Sleep

I was pretty tired yesterday though I really didn't have a good reason why. So I went to bed at the same time as my daughter. The first few hours of sleep were plagued by strange dreams. Then I woke up, and had a hard time going back to sleep.

Because of the lack of sleep, I've been zombie-like today. I did nap with my toddler, but that didn't help much. I've been in a fog all day.

Despite this, I did manage to get my school work done for the day as I'm taking online classes this semester. I did some cleaning as well as some blogging.

Now I'm going to take it easy until its time to put Emily down for bed. I'm going to stay up a little later than her, so I can work on sewing. Only 10 days left until Dragon*Con, so I need to get some stuff done. And here's hoping that I'll actually be able to get some sleep tonight and be able to get more done tomorr.w

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Dragon*Con: To Party or Not to Party

Many people consider Dragon*Con to be a party con. And for lots of people, the parties, room or official, are the highlight of the con. But really, Dragon*Con is much more than a 4 day party.

I've never really liked your traditional party - the standing around and drinking lots of alcohol kind. I went to one of those in college and that was enough for me.

It wasn't really alcohol part that bothered me. I'm not a big drinker, but I like to drink every one in a while. But it was just so boring because it was just drinking. If I'm going to go to a party, I want there to be dancing or games.

Anyway, back to Dragon*Con. I've only been to one Dragon*Con party, which was the Shindig the year I was pregnant. It was pretty fun. I'm planning on going to two this year - the Masked Ball and the Browncoats: Redemption wrap party - and I'm looking rather forward to those. But I've never been to a room party and I do sleep.

These two things may seem like I'm a wet blanket. I love Dragon*Con, but I'd never be able to not get sleep. Even when I stayed on site, I still tried to get at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night. Now that I have a toddler and we stay off site, I really need sleep.

This post was inspired by a conversation at had on one of the Dragon*Con FB groups. Apparently by not staying up all hours of the night and going to parties, I don't get my money's worth. I beg to disagree. I have a great time at Dragon*Con cosplaying, going to panels, getting autographs and more. There is plenty to keep me amused during the daytime hours.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Weeks Until Dragon*Con!

Two weeks from today I'll be enjoying the first day of the best weekend of the year. I'll be dressed in a pink and white dress complete with a hoop skirt. And I'll be among one of the biggest gathering of geeks in the US. That's right, I'll be at Dragon*Con!

This will be my 5th Dragon*Con and my husband's 4th. There was some thought that we wouldn't be able to keep going after Miss Emily was born, but thankfully I have some awesome relatives who live close to Atlanta. They let us stay for free and watch Emily. It make Dragon*Con doable and affordable.

I do still have a lot to do before leaving for GA. I'm trying to work like crazy to have a decent paycheck come Saturday. Then I have to finish my costume. A few more layers and a belt of pink fabric for the middle and I'll be ready to rock out Dragon*Con - Shindig style!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing Challenge - Everyday Summons

I recently found the writing challenges through Indie Ink, and this was my first week. The goal is to take that challenge and write a short story. I was given the challenge by - everyday summons. Following is my short story. Please let me know what you think!

I will warn you that I didn't re-read this story to fix any minor errors. I've been so busy getting ready for Dragon*Con. I'll probably have to do the same for next week's challenge as well. I'll be skipping the week after because of the con, but after that I'll be trying to edit after I write my short stories.


With her blonde braids trailing behind her, Elsie ran down the hallway with her skirts balled up in her fists. Even though the Master summoned her nearly every day, it always filled her with dread.  Her thoughts skittered around as she run going from bad to worse. She wondered if the King was back, if he had an army at his back, if he was going to insist on the death of all magic uses. These thoughts did propel her to move faster.

The Kingdom of Alazia has been in turmoil for nearly a decade since the Queen exiled her traitor of a husband. Even though the years had passed and there was no sign of the faithless King, the people of Alazia stayed on alert. Elsie was more on edge than most, as she was the student of the high magician. Her Master was the source of the King’s discontent because he was the one that leveled the charges that got the King exiled.

Elsie’s thoughts reached a fevered pitch as she continued on. She reached the base of her Master’s tower and ran up the winding staircase, tripping up the stairs a few times on her long skirts. She skidded to a halt when she reached the landing at the top and the large, wooden door to her Master’s study.

After taking a deep breath, she rearranged her skirts and knocked on the door. The deep voice her Master said, “The door is open, Elsie.”

She opened the door and entered the study. It was lined with bookshelves and had different tables with the Master’s different experiments on them. The Master himself was sitting behind a large desk, looking at the many papers in front of him as he nibbled on the end of his quill.

He looked up as Elsie, and she felt a shiver run through her as her pale blue eyes met his deep green ones. Despite his elevated position as Master of Magic, he looked very young. His face was kindly and unlined, and his auburn hair was so unruly most days that Elsie wanted to take a comb to it. He was a slender man who didn’t look like he could wield any power, but she knew otherwise.

“You summoned me, Master?” she said, giving a little curtsy as she moved to stand in front of his desk. She kept her eyes downcast as it was hard to hold his gaze for too long.

“Don’t worry, Elsie,” he said, a chuckle rumbling in his low voice, “I have good news today.”

She looked up quickly, her eyes going wide. In all the years she had been in his service, he had never had good news. Lots of neutral news and some bad, but good news was very rare these days in Alazia.

“Good news? What is it, Master?”

He stood and moved to stand next her. He murmured something under his breath, and Elsie found that she was unable to move.  She did retain the ability to talk though. “Why have you put a spell on me, Master?”

A laugh came from his lips but it wasn’t one that had any humor behind it. “You are such a fool,” he said, and then he began to weave a spell. It was complicated, Elsie could tell. It was a spell that was outside of her skill level.

Once his spell was finished, her Master was gone. In his place, was the former King of the realm. He towered over her, and began to laugh. “You silly girl, you had no idea that I killed your Master all those years ago. You have been answering my summons and working for me all this time.”

Elsie gasped and tears filled her eyes for the loss of her Master. She silently berated herself for not realizing an imposter had taken his place. “What are you going to do now?” she asked in a quivering voice.

The King did not seem to hear her though as he was weaving another spell. Just before he finished his spell, he turned to look at her. “I’m tying up loose ends, of course,” he said, and then he released the spell. All went dark for Elsie and her body tumbled to the ground.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Somewhat Useless Degree

Emily and I at the college
 I went to (2009)
Like many people right out of high school, I had no fraking clue what I wanted to do with my life. Heck, I'm 34 years old and I just recently figured out what I wanted to with my life. But, also like most people, I went to college right out of high school.

I attended Central Michigan University for 7 years. I went through three majors. I spent a year as a music major, several years as a computer science major and finally settled on broadcasting as a major.

I graduated in August of 2002 with my Bachelors of Science in Broadcasting (Yeah, I know that is a little funny). And I promptly didn't do anything with my degree. It didn't help that my mom passed away the same week I graduated from college. But I also decided that I wasn't competitive enough to pursue a degree in Broadcasting.

So I have a lot of useless knowledge that I don't use for anything. I did get to dredge some of that knowledge up tonight. I was the co-host of 2nd GeekMom podcast. It brought back some lovely memories of my college days.

My first degree is pretty useless and I don't really want to do the line of work that my 2nd degree will be in. I'd rather just be a writer, but it might be a few years before I can make a living at that. But at least I can find some uses for all the knowledge I've gained in all my years of higher learning.

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Of Crocs and Crow

With Dragon*Con coming up, Todd and I have been looking for new shoes so we can break them in before the con. I've been a fan of Crocs since my first Dragon*Con because they are very comfortable. So I got myself a new pair that are purple.

I've been urging Todd to get Crocs too, but he would just say that they are too girly. Over the past weekend, he went shoe shopping while Emily and I stay at home.

And he came home with... Crocs! They are brown and they don't look very girly to me. And I know his feet will thank him after all the walking he'll do at Dragon*Con.

He did say that he needed to eat crow for picking the shoes that he swore he wouldn't ever get, which I found quite amusing. Now I just need to get toddler Crocs for Emily and we would be an all-Croc family.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dragon*Con: Room & Board

Since it is only 18 days left until Dragon*Con, I'll probably be doing a few posts about it as it get closer.

I'm on several Dragon*Con Facebook groups and there was a discussion about where to possibly get a hotel room at this late hour. Well, someone make a comment that was pretty much that they didn't see any point in going to Dragon*Con if you aren't at one of the host or overflow hotels.

To this point, I highly disagree! We don't stay at a hotel at all, and it works out well for us.

My first two years of Dragon*Con I stayed in the Marriott Marquis with several friends. It was nice to be able to go back to my room and veg / watch D*TV, but it was very expensive. Not to mention, the last year I was in a host hotel, I was 8 months pregnant. So the next year, we had the Emily factor.

Ever since Emily was born, we've stayed offsite. We have some lovely relatives in Roswell that let us stay and they watch Emily while Todd & I are geeking it up at the con. I was a little nervous the first year about taking MARTA in, but it works out so well because MARTA has a stop that is literally right at the con. It worked out so well.

This will be our 3rd year staying offsite and taking MARTA in. It makes Dragon*Con very affordable since we only live 3 hours away, so we only need to get our badges (which we pre-regged months ago), get MARTA passes (which is really cheap) and pay for gas to get down to GA. It makes our weekend really inexpensive, and leaves money free for autographs and other goodies.

Yes, I'd love to be able to afford to stay at a host hotel (we were talking about it, and we decided that we would want to try to stay at the Westin), but this is a great alternative when Emily is small. Our relatives love her and often there are other kids around for her to play with.

What is your opinion on room and board for Dragon*Con?

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Saturday, August 13, 2011


I'm a little tipsy tonight. I'm not a big drinker at all. I didn't even do it a lot when I was in college. And if I do drink, I opt for fruity, girly drinks that don't taste like alcohol.

I was a lightweight before, but I am even more now because I drink maybe once or twice a year. But tonight, my dear husband brought home wine coolers to enjoy while we are watching The Walking Dead.

I only drank about a 1/5 of the wine cooler before I started feeling tipsy. Which is pretty darn sad that it takes so little alcohol. But it is nice to sit back and relax after a very long week.

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Feeling Nostalgic

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about my wedding, which was nearly 5 years ago. That's what inspired the layout change for my blog - let me know what you think of it.

5 years ago, it was getting to be close to the wedding. We did a lot of DIY stuff for our wedding - Todd and I made banners, I carved fake pumpkins and make 150 little chocolate castles in our wedding colors. Since we got married in Michigan but were living in NC, we also had to travel will all of this stuff in our car - which I don't even remember what car we had at that time.

Our wedding turned out lovely so it was worth all of the work. It's  hard to believe that it's been five years. It's hard to believe that Emily is going to be 3 this year! Our life has changed a lot since we were married, but I am still madly in love with my husband.

I am a bit sad that I won't see Todd at all on the day of our anniversary. That is the day before my cousin Sarah's wedding, so Emily and I will be down in Atlanta to fly out to Texas with some of our family. But we will have to celebrate the next weekend.

I'll probably do a few posts about remembering my wedding along with pictures of all the DIY stuff we did.

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The Downside To Working From Home

I really do love being able to make money from the comfort of my own home. There is no commute, no co-worker, no set schedule, so it is ideal for me since I can, in theory, work while watching my toddler.

All of these things are great, but there are disadvantages of working from home as well. The job that I do is one that I have to work a lot to make a decent amount of money. So, I find that I'm working the majority of the day, with playing with Emily and keeping up the house taking up most of the rest of my time. So I get very little time just to myself, and that gets tiring after a while.

I am very grateful that I can work from home and not have to hire daycare for my daughter. But it gets wearing to never get a day off. Today I'm working and I will be tomorrow too, along with all next week. It is my own choice, but I feel the need to be able to earn my own money for my expenses.

Mostly the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but today I would much rather just veg out. Instead I'll be writing pretty much most of the day.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Review - "Dead as a Doornail" by Charlaine Harris

When I first started reading the Sookie books, I was also getting into the Queen Betsy books. I loved the Queen Betsy books so much that I couldn't help but compare the Sookie books. Because of this, I stopped reading the Sookie series a few years back.

While I haven't gotten into True Blood yet, I'd like to. And it has gotten my interest back into these books. I went into a Borders as while ago, and I picked up this book at the store closing sale.

I just recently got around to reading it, and I found that this book was really entertaining. I read in in the space of a couple of days and I immediately got the rest of the books in the series.

If you like vampires, were-creatures, fairies and telepaths then this is the series for you. The story built a lot on the previous one, and involved a lot of trouble surrounding Sookie. Despite this being a very similar plot line as some of the other books, it was very easy to read.

I'm now hoping to get caught up on Sookie's adventures before Dragon*Con since Charlaine Harris is on the guest list.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life Is Pain

When I say "Life is Pain", I am talking pretty literally. I live my life in constant pain, though some days are better than others.

I have daily chronic headaches, so I always have at least a dull ache in my head area. Usually I can ignore it. I know my triggers and I try to avoid them as much as possible. There aren't any medicines that work, but usually I can lead a fairly normal life.

Which is why I hate days like this. From out of nowhere, a horrible migraine hit me and I'm having a hard time doing anything. There is no reason that I can see, but I'm knocked down with extreme pain.

I am stubborn and I won't let a migraine stop me though. I still made dinner for Emily, made banana bread (since the bananas were about to go bad), wrote a lot of paid work and am about to put Emily to bed. My life doesn't stop when I get sick.

I just hope that I'll feel better tomorrow. We have a birthday party to go to and I want to feel a least a little better before being surrounded by a lot of rowdy kids (mine included).

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Still Upset Over Firefly

There has been a buzz over my FB and Twitter this afternoon because of the news of Eureka being canceled. I never got to watch it, so it doesn't really affect me.

Now I feel bad for those who were fans of the show, but I can't help but think - At least they got 5 seasons. This is because my favorite show, Firefly, was canceled in the first season. And yes, I know there was a movie that came about, but honestly, I would have preferred to have a 2nd season with no movie.

Yes, I know it's been a looong time since Firefly has been canceled, but I think I will always feel this way. I am a Browncoat after all.

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Dreaming of Dragon*Con

Now that is only 23 days until Dragon*Con, a lot of my thoughts and plans are thinking towards the biggest Con of the year for me.

Some track schedules are being released, and I'm working extra to make sure I have some spending money to get autographs along with other things. I also have to finish my costume since it still looks a lot like the picture - which means that I need to add some layers.

This year is the 25th year of Dragon*Con, so there is some shiny things that are happening just for this year. The one I'm really looking forward to is the Masked Ball that will be on Friday. My mask is on it's way from eBay and I hope it will arrive later this week. I also got new Crocs so I can break them in before the long walks that are involved with Dragon*Con.

Half my conversations with my husband lately have to do with Dragon*Con in one way or another. We talk about the autographs we want to get, how I'm not going to hang out with him this year (he nearly killed me with his 'go, go, go' schedule last year), our parade strategy and more.

Are you going to Dragon*Con?

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Monday, August 8, 2011

9 Years

My sister & I with my mom in 1986
9 years ago today my life was turned upside down. 9 years ago today my mom passed away after a long battle with cancer.

I was only 23 years old when my mom passed away - I was pretty much still a kid. I had just graduated from college less than a week before my mom died, and I was lost for a while.

A lot has happened in 9 years - I got married, moved to NC, had a baby, started pursuing my dream as being a writer. I'm such a different person than I was 9 years ago.

I do remember one thing that my mom told me one. She told me that she loved how I was my own person and could care less what other people thought of me. She said that this was one of her favorite things about me.

I miss and love you Mom.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Is Santa Secretly a Zombie?

Is Santa thinking about BRAINS?
My husband and I were discussing power watching our way through The Walking Dead before Dragon*Con. I said that we needed to but not while Emily is awake. She already has a healthy fear of zombies thanks to a mistake I made when she was younger by taking her to the Dragon*Con parade.

During the course of the discussion, Todd jokingly said there wasn't any problem with her watching it. So, I asked Emily what zombies say. I've been trying to get her to reply with 'Brains!' since she usually just goes 'roar!". But today she replied with , "Ho ho ho!"

So apparently Santa is a zombie and must be stopped!

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spoiler-Free Movie Review: Phineas and Ferb: Across The 2nd Dimension

I recordered the Phineas and Ferb movie from last night, but waited until today to watch it. Emily doesn't really appreciate Phineas and Ferb yet, but it is one of my favorite kid's shows.

The movie is a little different than the shows, and I'm not sure if this is a good difference. The basic plot is that the boys end up in another dimension, and they need to find a way back

Phineas is really cranky and angry through a lot of it. I don't blame him for that, but it just seems so out of character for him. The movie was entertaining, but I think the regular episodes are a lot more fun than this movie was.
y Channel, Kid's Show, movie review, 
I'd recommend this movie to anyone who is a Phineas and Ferb fan. If you are looking for a review with spoilers, there is one over at GeekMom!

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The Emily Report

I'm going to start doing posts every once in a while in order to try and document as my precious daughter grows up.

So, Emily is now 2 years and 9 months old. It won't be long until she is the big 0-3 as her birthday in October.

She's talking quite a bit, and using sentences. My heart melts when she says "I love you" in her little voice. She can count from 1 to 5, though after 5 it gets a little mixed up.

She loves playing with her dollhouse and her car garage, but her favorite game is tea party / cooking. She loves feeding me, Todd and her toys the creations she makes, and she has lots of play food to play with.

She loves to try to read and be read to. And she loves drawing - which she can now draw faces. They are usually either happy faces or sad faces.

She is growing up so fast!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review - "Doing It Right" by MaryJanice Davidson

I picked up Doing It Right by MaryJanice Davidson at a Borders going out of business sale a few weeks ago. I adore MaryJanice Davidson's Queen Betsy series but her other books seem to be hit or miss. For me, this book was a miss.

I like paranormal romance books, but I like there to be more paranormal than romance, which is the appeal of the Queen Betsy books. But this book was more sex than anything else.

The plot was flimsily created to be a bridge to all the sex, which wasn't that all that entertaining. If you are looking for a book that is mostly sex with a little bit of plot that was just there to fill up the spaces when the characters were 'doing it'. Otherwise, I'd skip this book entirely.

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Spoiler-Free Movie Review: Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Image: Wikipedia
I got to see Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon over the weekend, since I hadn't gone to see it when it first opened. My husband had seen it opening night, and he said it was pretty good. I hadn't seen the 2nd Transformers movie, but he assured me that I wouldn't need to.

He was a bit wrong about that. I was a little lost for bits of the movie, because I hadn't seen the 2nd one. The story was the standard "Decepticons trying to mess up the Earth, Autobots working with the humans to stop them" plot line. But it was fairly entertaining.

Alan Tudyk's character of Dutch was a hoot, and he was worth going to see the movie in itself. Of course, that could be the Browncoat part of me talking. The other characters where fairly flat, which made the movie a bit meh when the robots weren't beating each other up.

One character really annoyed me, and it was the main character of Sam Witwicky. Sam spends a lot of the movie whining about is lack of job, and how people should be thanking him because he saved the world... twice. When he does get a job offer, he almost doesn't take it because it's for a mail room clerk! It's hard to get a great job right out of college, and saving the world doesn't really give you skills that translate to an office job well. He really got on my nerves.

Otherwise, this movie was fairly entertaining. I wouldn't go see it unless you've already seen the other blockbusters of the summer, because there are many better movies that have been released this summer.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011


I've been a Harry Potter fan for years, as I discovered the books right around the time book 4 came out. I also love shiny, new things, so I've been terribly excited about Pottermore.

Starting on July 31, people were given the chance to answer a question, find the magic quill and be basically beta testers for Pottermore, before it opens for everyone in October.

I wasn't going to stay up all hours of the night waiting for the clue because I do have a toddler to care for and work to do. But today, the clue was suppose to drop somewhere between 11 am and 3 pm EST.

I was a little nervous that it would be live while I was putting Emily down for a nap, but thankfully it didn't. I got back on my laptop and started refreshing.

I nearly fell out of my chair when the clue finally arrived and I hurried to answer it. I was confused because it took me to Scholastic's website, but thanks to Twitter, I was instructed that the quill was in an ad on the top of the Scholastic site.

I wildly clicked on the ad, and finally it told me 'Congratulations' and took me to the page so I could put in all my information. My witch name is SandSilver128.

Then all I had to do was wait for the email to arrive. I had heard that is can take some time before the email does come, and that if you don't get the email you aren't really in. So I got up and did a few things before I went back to my laptop to stalk my email.

Thankfully it wasn't too long before I got my email letting me know that I was officially into the beta! Now it will probably be a couple of weeks before I can access the site, but I'm just terribly geeked that I actually managed to get in.

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Only 28 Days Until Dragon*Con!

I really, really abhor August for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is that Dragon*Con is so close, yet so far away.

I started attending Dragon*Con in 2007, though I had heard about it years before. Todd came for the first time in 2008, and we've been going back ever since.

For us, Dragon*Con isn't too expensive since we only live 3 hours away. And I have lovely relatives who live in GA let us stay for free and watch Miss Emily for us while we are geeking it up. So we basically just have to get our tickets (which we got months ago) and have money for MARTA. We do like to get autographs, so we also save for that as well.

This year is the 25th year of Dragon*Con, so there are some special events. The one that I'm looking forward to is the Masked Ball. I just need to get a pink mask to match with my Layer Cake dress. There is also the Browncoats: Redemption wrap party, which I hope I can get into.

Some of the tracks are starting to release their schedules, including my favorite - the Whedonverse track. So, I'm starting to plan out what I want to do. If you are going to do panels, it's a good idea to be prepared since they often require lining up early to get into the more popular panels.

I do need the 28 days since I want to be able to finally finish my Layer Cake dress costume. But this month cannot go fast enough.

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From Firefox to Chrome

I've been using Firefox as my browser for several years now. I started using it because I started working for an online job that only could be done via Firefox. I liked it much better than Internet Explorer, and was a happy Firefox user for years.

But lately, Firefox has been acting really buggy for me. Really slow and crashing a lot. I know that part of it is because my laptop is ancient and I really need a new one. But getting a new laptop isn't in the budget right now.

Since I work via the internet and I'm a huge multi-tasker, I needed to do something to fix the situation. My idea - delete Firefox and try out Google Chrome instead.

So I downloaded Chrome, kept Firefox around just long enough to transfer all my bookmarks to Chrome and then deleted. I've been using Chrome for about a week now, and the difference is amazing. There are no more slow downs and crashes. The speed that things load is lightening fast.

It's been a learning experience since I was so used to Firefox, but so far I'm really enjoying using Chrome. Since Gmail is my main email, and since I love Google +, I can safely say that it's all Google, all the time for me now.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Haunted Mansion

I've loved the Haunted Mansion at Disney World since the first time I rode the ride when I was 9 years old. It was spooky but fun, and it's been my favorite ride ever since.

In recent years, I've had an increasing interest in Haunted Mansion memorabilia. I have a few of the Haunted Mansion pins that I got off of eBay. But my best Haunted Mansion find was at a garage sale.

It was a few years ago, and we had spent the day garage sale-ing. It was pretty late in the day as far as garage sales go. I believe that Todd found the replica Haunted Mansion. I squeed and I had to buy it.

I think I spent less than $20 on it, and it's one of my favorite things. It comes complete with glow in the dark hitchhiking ghosts. Right now it's residing in Emily's room, but I need to get a better place to display it. I've never seen anything like it, and I'm kind of curious how old it is.

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