Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I am heading to my best friend's house this afternoon so we can take our kids out trick or treating together. It should be a lot of fun.

 But to continue the story I started in my Devil's Night post, the Halloween that happened my freshman year of college was not so fun.

I had heard a lot of scary stories during the haunted campus tour. None were about my dorm building but there was one about a girl who was murdered in her dorm room. The story goes that after she died, her ghost lingered and would write the words 'Help Me' in the fogged up mirror after people took showers.

I was alone in the dorm room on Halloween morning when I went to take a shower. When I got out of the shower, the words 'Help Me' greeted me on the mirror. I was totally freaked out and even went to make sure the door had been locked.

I never said anything about it to my roommates, since there is a good possibility that my roommates were messing with me. But I did take cold showers for months. And the next time I attempted a warm shower again, the words appeared again.

I just did the math and that Halloween was 16 years ago. I'm much happier now - partly because warm showers aren't terror inducing events anymore.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Devil's Night

Tonight is Devil's Night and I'm spending it in a very laid back way. I'm hanging out with my husband and we are watching The Next Iron Chef. But I am reminded of a Devil's Night long ago that scared the pants off of me.

It was my freshman year of college and I was still trying to get along with my roommates. One of them wanted to go to a haunted tour of the campus, and several of us went (I had 3 roommates).

I attended Central Michigan University, which is very old have been founded in 1892. My freshman year was the first year that some student organization did haunted tours and the wait was really long.

I think it was getting close to midnight when our group finally was taken on the tour. At that point, Barnard Hall was still standing. It had been closed for a while and it ended up being demolished in 1997 because of structural issues.

It was also one of the most haunted places on campus. We were told the story of Carolyn, a girl who had died apparently in her sleep and was said to haunt Barnard Hall where she had died. That night there was a group of students who tried to contact her via a Ouji board. The story goes that she told them she was murdered by her boyfriend. But of course, I didn't know that at the time.

I just was walking around in the dark, freaked out of my mind. I didn't sleep well that night because of the experience. It wasn't really that fun, but it was an experience.

For me, I'm glad to be safe at home with my husband watching cooking shows that aren't that scary. For now, I'll leave it here though I'll write a post about what happened the next day that was nearly more scary than the haunted tour of campus.

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Friday, October 28, 2011


I've been a little quiet this week because of the evil that is midterms. After the bottom fell out of the economy a few years ago, my husband and I decided that it would be best if we both went back to school.

I'm nearly done with my degree in Medical Office Administration, but I'm not thrilled with the prospect of working a 9 to 5 job. This is partly because I'm afraid even when I'm finish that I won't be able to find a good job. I looked for 6 months for a job after I was laid off after Emily was born. Hundreds of resumes sent out and I only got one interview. Of course, that was in 2009 when things were really bad.

And I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to find a job that is going to cover the cost of daycare. Honestly, I wish I could just work from home, but I don't think this isn't going to be possible right now. Hopefully someday I'll be a published author and that can be a job. But until then I'm going to keep on with school and hope that I can get a job when I graduate.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Autumn is Slipping Away

A Winter View of  My Front Yard
Autumn is my most favorite season of the year, but it seems like this year it went by too fast. I know it is partly because I've been so busy, but it makes me sad that it is nearly Halloween signalling an end to the Fall.

This is partly because my favorite season is followed by my least favorite season. I abhor Winter, except when I want snow to get me into the Christmas spirit. But as I read how friends on Facebook and Twitter have gotten the first snow of the season today, I feel rather Scrooge-like.

I will hopefully be able to enjoy the little bit of Autumn we have left over the weekend. For a change, my husband doesn't have to work on Saturday. So we will be able to have more family time this weekend than usual.

I am looking forward to Halloween - Emily and I are going to my best friend's house so we can take Emily and her little girl treat or tricking. We are doing a sleep over and I'm getting my hair dyed (yay for a return to red hair) so it should be a fun time.

It's hard to believe how fast this year has flow by. I do admit as Winter and Christmas approaches, I feel anxious because of what happened last Christmas. I hope that our holiday season this year will be completely different.

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In Defense of Disney Princesses

The above picture has been showing up on my Facebook feed the last couple of days. Even though my opinion will probably be a bit unpopular, I feel like I need to say something. And it's my blog, so say something I will.

I find nothing wrong with the Disney Princesses and I allow my daughter to watch their movies if she wants. Lots of people think they are bad role models for little girls, and I don't think they should be role models at all.

The Disney Princesses are fiction, just something you watch and play for fun. As long as there is a strong female role model in a little girl's life, like their mother or grandmother who can discuss the issues with some of these princesses with their daughter then it can turn into a life lesson as well.

I take offense to that picture, partly because it doesn't paint the whole truth for some of the princesses. Some of the original princesses were awfully flat characters, but I happen to love Belle. Belle was brave and did what she could to help save her father. She is a bookworm, which I can relate to. But because she happened to fall in love with a man who turned out to be a prince, that makes her horrible for some reason.

True, doing stuff for a man's approval in the real world isn't a good idea. But that goes back to opening a line of communication with your daughters. It kind of reminds of the big uproar in the town next to mine over the Harry Potter books. Because a book about witches and wizards must be the work of the devil. Instead of what it really was, fiction!

So, Emily will be allowed to watch the Disney Princesses and pretend to be one if she wants. Heck, she got a Cinderella costume for her birthday which I think is adorable. I do look forward to when I can take her to Disney World to meet the Princesses. But I will also be there to talk to her about roles of women and be a strong role model for her, which I think is the most important thing.

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Writing Challenge - Numb

"This world has gone to shit," Dante thought as he shuffled along with the crowds of people entering the train station to head into work. His thoughts turned to the state of the world but then he gave a start as he saw something strange out of the corner of his eye.

Dante turned and he saw a strange sight for the middle of November. There was a tall woman standing by the transit exit. Her skin was very dark making her eyes seem to glow in the semi-darkness of the underground train station. What was odd was her clothes, a simple dress of black that looked more like a nightgown, and that her dainty feet were bare. Her dark hair was cut very short and her ears seem to come to a point at the top.

She was looking intently at Dante and their eyes met. A shudder when through him as he felt something that could only be described as power. He found himself taking a step forward but just then his train to work had arrived.

Even though he knew she had some to this place for him, for perhaps some great purpose, for he knew in his heart that this woman was not human. Instead of rushing to her, he simply entered his train and headed to work. He was too numb to even care what she had wanted.


For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Jen O. challenged me with "Watch this video:
v=8MdBU1wgk6c&ob=av2e (It's Holly McNarland's Numb, if the link doesn't
work). Be inspired by the song. Inspiration can come from the lyrics as a
whole, a phrase, the sentiment, the video, or from the music itself." and I challenged Lance with "Snow and Ashes".

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review - "Lost At The Con" by Bryan Young

I had heard that Lost at the Con by Bryan Young was very good. It is set at Dragon*Con (under the name of Griffin*Con) so that made me even that much more eager to read it.

But it wasn't very good. The narrator / main character, a reporter named Cobb, is a drunk asshole. His articles reminded me of a recent Men's Fitness article that made fun of chubby cosplayers who were at NYCC this year. Both made me feel angry because it was an attack by bullies. And Cobb's articles attacked different parts of the con, which just gave me a bad taste in my mouth.

Even though Cobb redeemed himself a bit near the end, it still wasn't a very good book. It was a little fun to read about places around Dragon*Con that I know so well. Beyond that, I couldn't recommend it to anyone, especially people who love attending Dragon*Con every year.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Update On Potty Training

My husband and I started seriously potty training Miss Emily a few weeks ago. We stalled though because soon after I got really sick and could barely function. And then it was her birthday, so we waited until that excitement was over to re-start the serious training.

We've been at it a few days now and she is getting better. She has actually peed in the potty more today than she has in her diaper. And she has learned the ever important skill of wiping after going to the bathroom.

We are still having to herd her into the bathroom every hour, so I think it's still going to be a little while before she gets to the point where she will go to the potty by herself when she needs to go. But we aren't going anywhere until Emily and I go to my best friend's house for a Halloween sleep-over.

For now, we will just keep putting her on the potty every hour and take it one day at a time.

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I Wish I Could Be Funny

One of my favorite websites is Cracked because in most cases it is super, laugh out loud funny. I even downloaded the app on my phone so I could have funny stuff to read wherever I went.

As I was reading a few days ago, I saw the very shiny 'Write For Us' link at the top of the page. I'm always on the lookout for these sorts of offers since a similar link is how I got to be a GeekMom core contributor.

I went so far to click on the Cracked "Write For Us" link and then I realized. I couldn't write for them - I'm not funny. Comedy has never been my thing, ever. And if I tried to be funny it would probably come out very forced, which isn't funny at all.

When I was in college, my best friend and I would write stories together. We tried to be funny once and it ended up being more of a satire piece with our current boyfriends being cast into evil dictator roles. It was weird but it wasn't funny.

So I wish I could write humor, but I can't. I hope my blog is entertaining but I know it will never be funny. Which makes me admire the fine writers at Cracked all the more.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Writing Challenge - Despite The Ocean In Their Way

The wind whipped through her auburn hair as she gazed down at the sea. The waves crashed against the side of the rocks that were below her and a single tear slipped down her freckle covered cheek.

A slight breeze lifted her hair, tickling down her pale neck. She quickly turned as a shiver went down her spine. There was no-one there but an uneasy feeling started welling up within her. Another breeze moved, this time caressing gently over her backside.

She looked down at the ocean, where her lover had met his death in a freak boating accident. The breeze continued to swirl around her, the touch feeling achingly familiar.

"Jason?" she croaked, her voice rusty from disuse and weeping. The phantom breeze moved over her face, a feeling like a gentle kiss slipping over her forehead. A kiss to the forehead was the first thing that Jason would do whenever they had been parted for any length of time.

Even though the ocean had claimed him, she knew that he was still close to her and always would be.


For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week,">Random Girl challenged me with "Despite the ocean in their way, they were as close as they had ever been" and I challenged">Grace O'Malley with "Fae and Children".

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3 Years!

Yesterday, my little girl turned 3 years old. I'm not really sure where all that time went to!

We had her birthday party at the park on Sunday since her actual birthday fell on a Monday. Todd did take the day off of work on her birthday so we did do some birthday things.

Emily loves her Build A Bear animals so we told her that we could get her a new one on her birthday. She got a puppy that she named "Shaggy". Build A Bear was pretty empty and they were really nice to her, even giving her a birthday sticker.

From there, we went to the food court for some lunch. We got her Chick-Fil-A and the lady who  helped us saw her birthday button. She gave Emily a free ice cream sundae for her birthday. She ate most of her lunch but was impatient for Todd and I to finish so she could get into the play area.

I think she played for an hour in the play area. It was nice because there was no big kids in the area like there has been the last few times we've gone there. It was probably because it was a Monday during the day.

The rest of the day was just at home and normal, except for the fact that Todd was home from work. I think she had a good birthday and I can't believe it was already 3 years ago that she was born!

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Day Full Of Holidays

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, which is being honored on GeekMom by a series of very personal stories by several of my fellow GeekMoms who have experienced miscarriages. My best friend in college experienced a miscarriage and her experience colored my pregnancy with Emily at the beginning. I was totally paranoid that I was going to have a miscarriage.

Today is always Sweetest Day, which is a holiday we don't celebrate. It's like October's version of Valentine's Day with less candy. It is just a little odd that Sweetest Day is also on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day since the two are really quite different.

For me, it's Clean All The Things day as Emily's birthday party is tomorrow. I can't hardly believe that my little girl is going 3 on Monday!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Costumes

Emily is going to be a witch
Halloween is approaching and we went to get Emily's costume last weekend. She has been talking for months how she wants to be a witch for Halloween. We found her a really cute witch costume at our local Halloween store.

Since Halloween is on a Monday,Emily and I are heading to my best friend's house so we can go trick or treating with them. In years past, I've worn a costume to go trick or treating. But my best friend doesn't have any costumes, so I've decided to skip the costume this year.

Normally I use any excuse to dress up in a costume, but I'm a little costumed out. It will be nice to not have to haul a costume with me and just enjoy watching Emily being a little witch. 

I think I need to get some more costumes too. I wore the Kaylee Layer Cake dress for every single convention and gathering that costumes were accepted at, including all 3 days at Dragon*Con. It's a fun costume to wear but I'd like some variety for next year. 

I will have to think about new costumes for next year's convention season. And I need to figure out how to use my sewing machine so I can start on Emily's Layer Cake dress for Dragon*Con.

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Writing Challenge - Quote

She knelt before the massive statue of a man she had adored and admired. She bowed her head as if she was praying to the silent memorial.  A light rain began to drizzle down on her uncovered head, but she did not move from her spot.

Another young woman spotted her from across the courtyard and let out a sigh of disgust. She quicken her steps until she was standing over the praying girl.

"You are here again, Elise?" she said, a note of weariness in her voice. "You are going to get sick if you stay out here in the rain."

"You know I can't leave, Joan," Elise replied, her voice throbbing with emotion as she cast her eyes upward to the statue. "He is coming back to me, but as a god this time. We will never be parted again."

Joan grabbed Elise's shoulder, wrenching her so the two women were facing each other. "Professor James is dead!" Joan shouted, shaking Elise as if to get her point across, "You had a dream but it doesn't mean anything. You are wasting your life praying to this hunk of rock."

Elise just looked up at Joan, a sad smile forming on her lips. "Dear Joan, it is sad to see you have no faith. I know he will return to me and that is all that is keeping me going."

With a sneer, Joan let go of Elise. "Fine, waste your life. I will not be reaching out to you again." Joan stalked off muttering under her breath about the stupidity of some people.

Elise watched her former best friend walk away. She sighed for she would miss her friend, but her place was here. She turned her pale face back to the statue, once again bowing her head in prayer.


For the">Indie
Ink Writing Challenge this week, Andrea challenged me with "A sublime faith in human imbecility has seldom led those who cherish it astray - Henry Ellis" and I challenged Mary Terrani
with "A tree that grows toys".

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Monday, October 10, 2011


My Glitch character
If you haven't heard, Glitch is a new browser based MMO game that was just released.You can sign up to play at their website but the best way to get in right now is to get an invite.

I was lucky enough to get an invite from a friend of mine a few days ago. Since then I've been a bit obsessed with Glitch. It's a simple game - you are exploring areas, learning new skills, gathering items.

That is just a simple explanation because there is so much more to that. For one, it's an MMO so you are playing with lots of other people. But it's also a browser game so you do other things  while keeping the game running. This is great for a multitasker like I am. All I know is that I've wasted many hours on this game since I got my invite. It's that fun! I think the best part was buying my character's house since now I can grow things - this coming from a big fan of the Harvest Moon games.

I have 3 invites so if you want into Glitch just leave a comment with your email address. First come, first served. But be warned, it is addicting!

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Potty Training Day 1

So we have been attempting potty training in a casual way for a while now. Things have been so busy this summer it just never seemed like the right time do do a major effort to get Emily to pee and poop her in potty.

But now things have calmed down and we won't be going anywhere until Halloween. Her birthday party next weekend may derail things but we will see how it goes.

Currently we are trying to set our kitchen timer for an hour and having her sit on the potty when the timer goes off. So far she has pooped half in her training pants, and I think she's peed in her diaper. But it's only the first day so I'm trying to not get discouraged.

If this method doesn't work, we will probably do the underwear method. Where she just wears underwear so if she pees she will feel wet. Hopefully this hour method will work since I don't really want to use the underwear method.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Writing Challenge - Existence Is But An Illusion

The mirror was almost glaring at me and I tried to keep my eyes away from it. The mirror was cursed and it had shown me some horrifying things. But each time that I tried to rid myself of it, it would come back to rest in the corner of my bedroom.

There was a knock on my front door and I jumped out of fright. I grabbed my bathrobe and went to my door, peering through the peephole. There was an older man that I did not recognize standing outside my apartment. His deep green eyes turned upward and seemed to be looking at me. A shiver ran up my spine and opened the door a crack, the chain lock still in place.

"If you are selling something, I am not interested," I said in a small voice and went to close the door again.

The man stuck his hand into the gap to prevent me from closing the door. "I'm here about the mirror," he said, his voice very deep.

My eyes widened and I unlocked the door, allowing him into my apartment. I knew it wasn't the safest thing in the world, but if he could get rid of that damn mirror I would do just about anything.

He entered my apartment, limping as he walked. He went straight to my bedroom with me trailing behind him like an unwanted spirit. He headed to the mirror, putting a gentle hand on it. "Here you are," he murmured to it, almost as it was an old friend or even a lover.

"Can you get rid of it?" I cried out, cringing at the sight of it.

The man had a sad smile on his lips as he turned back to look at me. "I cannot," he said and my shoulder's drooped in defeat as tears began to spill out of my tired eyes. "But," he continued, as he moved to my side, "I can show you how to use it. Our existence here is just an illusion, but this mirror shows the truth. It chooses people who are strong of heart to help it with its quest to restore this world to the way it should be."

I just looked at him for a moment and then cast my eyes downward. "I'm not strong or special."

He gently lifted my chin, smiling at me. "The mirror is never wrong. We need to get started, my dear, you have much to learn."


For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Debra Elliott challenged me with "Existence is but an illusion" and I challenged Liz Culver with "Grim grinning ghosts".

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We Are The 99 Percent

I was in a hotel room this weekend, waiting for my daughter to fall back asleep after she had gotten sick. I was reading my twitter feed and I came across mentions of Occupy Wall Street as well as the We are the 99 Percent tumblr page.

I started reading the tumblr page and I began to realize how much I was part of the 99 percent. After I got sick last Christmas, I'm very afraid of having a relapse. I feel fine but it doesn't change the fact that I have a mass in my brain that the doctors don't know the cause of. I already have tons of medical bills I'm trying to pay back from my 5 day hospital stay and more hospital bills could break us.

We are lucky because Todd has a good job and that I can work online. I do worry about finding a job once I graduate in December. Things are okay for us, but for so many things aren't good and I feel for those people who can't find jobs or have to work 3 part-time jobs to try and make ends meet.

I'm not sure what the protests will be able to change, and I won't be able to participate because of Emily (though there is an Occupy Asheville). I am rooting for them since something needs to change. I will probably try and buy the special BPAL oil that has all the proceeds going to buy pizza for the Wall Street protesters. I am part of the 99 percent and I do hope that things will get better for us in the future.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Strange Dreams

I was very tired  yesterday due to all the traveling I did over the weekend. So I went to bed after I got Emily to sleep. I slept good most of the night but this morning I had a very vivid and weird dream.

It was based in the Firefly universe but things were not the way they should be. I think I was Kaylee and I was pursuing Wash instead of Simon. Zoe was married to some guy who never returned her waves and had a son who was about 7 years old. Mal, Inara, River and Jayne didn't really make an appearance in my dream until the end.

At the end of the dream, the crew was in a space station and suddenly Darth Vader was there with a bunch of stormtroopers and they were after the crew. Mal lead the crew to a heating duct to try and escape. It was at this point that Emily woke me up.

Apparently my brain thinks I need to watch Firefly or Star Wars or both at the same time!

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