Extreme Geekdom, Iron Man Style

Guess what this is?

For those of you who have read my “About” page, as you can see by the picture above Evil Genius really did make his own arc reactor.  Now it’s not real-all it does is light up, but it looks REALLY cool.  It’s LEDs and a power source, nestled into a pvc pipe vent that has been hollowed out and the design cut into metal by a laser.  Oh and vellum, that was my contribution.  It’s actually part of his cubicle sign at work, but this part he worked on for quite some time at home.

(Just in case you haven’t noticed, we are geeks.)

At some point in this process, Evil Genius promised The Professor that he was going to make him an Iron Man suit of his own for Halloween.  He wasn’t thinking at the time that The Professor would remember. He did.  I ended up buying him a cheap Iron Man costume at Target last week.  There were two different costumes.  The $20 one had muscles.  As far as I could tell, that and the glow in the dark arc reactor were the only differences that I could tell between that and the $10 one.  Needless to say, I bought the cheaper one.

Me being me, and the wife of an engineer, I had to make it light up somehow.  I jokingly asked Evil Genius to make him his own arc reactor.  Not going to happen.  Then I had a vision.  At Lowes they have these lights that look remarkably like the arc reactor in the movie.  Lowes is not a place I get to very often. It’s not like it’s out of my way, it’s just one more place to stop when I’m out running errands.  I checked the light section at Target while I was there, but it didn’t look enough like what I was going for.

Now who cares that a seven year old’s costume that happens to have the middle light up is authentic looking.  Apparently I do.

Today we finally made it Lowes after renting movies.  The light, while not exact, looked pretty darn close to the one in the movie.  So I shelled out the money, and have spent the better part of the afternoon trying to figure out how the heck to attach it.  The first idea was to sew a pocket onto the inside of the costume, and slip the light in that part.  I don’t want stitches showing.  So that idea went away.  My second idea was to use the circle of velcro that came with the light.  I had my son put on a black shirt, then the costume over it.  I slipped the light in between with the sticky side up against the shirt and stuck it on.  Then I sewed the velcro to the shirt.  Looks great, but it’s pretty obvious that the light probably won’t stay on.  The additional part didn’t work-I cut circles of velcro in half and stuck them to the light and to the inside of the shirt.  You could see the half circles of velcro through the costume when the light is on.

The light, attached to the shirt, with the velcro that I have since removed from the front.

This is kind of what it looks like shining through.

This is what I’m actually trying to light up.

So that’s where I’m at.  I’m not sure where to go next here.  Suggestions are welcome.  I’m sure I’ll come up with something, it may just take some time.

Here’s the funny thing, this isn’t an abnormal situation at our house.  We always seem to have something a little strange brewing.  Some days I don’t think we are just geeks, we are EXTREME geeks.  Now granted, I’ve seen people take it to extremes on the internet.  I’ve seen people get married in full Klingon garb and wear their Star Wars costumes around for fun.  But we get into the technical stuff, and that’s a little scary.

I think Tony Stark would be pretty darn proud of my ingenuity. Oh wait, he probably wouldn’t care. He’s a narcissist.

Halloween in my family has never had a shortage of creative costumes.  As an adult, that creativity has been stifled in me somewhat.  Mainly by a husband who doesn’t care for Halloween.  Also because I just haven’t had much opportunity to dress up.  This year, the kids are getting old enough that I can really have fun with it.  We have the house mostly decorated, we’re working on the costumes, I’m getting my geek on in a big way!

I’ll keep everyone posted on the costume.  I’ve had a couple of suggestions from friends on Facebook.  Maybe between that and the old brain, I’ll come up with an uber brilliant idea…

(Incidentally, just as proof that we aren’t just geeks, but well rounded ones- The whole family actually got to go to the football game this time.  It was meant to be.  Not only was it perfect weather, but the eagerly anticipated half-time performance from the marching band just happened to be music from Star Wars.  This was enhanced by the summary of the football season thus far scrolling on the big screen in a Star Wars type title sequence, as well as a mock award ceremony on the field with people dressed up as Star Wars characters.  It had to be one of the coolest things I had ever seen.  I don’t know if anyone else shared my enthusiasm outside of my family sitting with me, except maybe the guy who comes to the games in the Clone Trooper helmet.)

Toothpaste and Poop: The New Art Media

The easel helped a lot with the “surprise art” I would find around the house. It obviously hasn’t stopped completely. This was so sweet-she was absolved of all wrong doing that day, for at least a few minutes.

As I sat upon the throne in the bathroom today, I noticed that someone had put toothpaste on the full length mirror.  This isn’t unusual to find toothpaste on a surface in our bathroom.  There have been times when I have walked in to find EVERY surface of the bathroom covered in toothpaste-mirror, walls, bathtub, toilet, counters, floor.  Toothpaste as far as the eye can see.  I don’t know why they do it.  They just would rather wipe excess toothpaste anywhere but a towel.

What was different today was the toothpaste was not only covering the mirror, it had been used to draw a picture.  I knew who did it.  Princess Artiste was so busted!  I asked her about it, and she owned up to it.  Though it’s easy to tell-if it’s a mess with an artistic flair there is no doubt who was the culprit. We’ve known for a long time who the artist in the family is.   I sent her up to clean it up.  Then I called The Professor in to go up and clean up his toothpaste mess.  His was the blobby mess that had no artsy look to it, on and next to his drawer in the bathroom.  There might have been some sort of mathematical coefficient involved, but we won’t get into that.  I just threw that in here in case my husband actually reads this.

He has also confessed that he hangs out in the bathroom sometimes and “drinks the toothpaste” (my son, not my husband).  He’s a weird kid.

As a parent you deal with your share of messes, especially when you are ADD and it takes you a while to realize that “Oh, that’s not good, I should probably clean that up.”  And then forget for another few days.  It all depends on where the mess is, what it is, and sometimes it takes awhile to be discovered.  Like the abstract poop picture on the back of the shower room door (It was down very low).  Once that one was discovered after who knows how long, it was cleaned up quickly (this happened during the fun fun period where they are potty trained peeing but not yet pooping).  We’ve also had lovely artwork done on the table with pasta sauce, milk, frosting, glue, etc.  The hardened cheerios decoupage is my favorite, and it’s virtually indestructable.  Once those Cheerios revert back to their solid form after being soggy in milk they could very well be used as armor, except for the fact that you’d have holes in it.  Maybe it lets the surface breathe?

And there is the traditional media of pen and marker, which has found itself upon many surfaces in our house, including both my children’s bodies.  The Professor has always had a hard time keeping markers off of himself accidentally, his sister just decorates herself on purpose.  When Princess Artiste was pretty little she somehow got a hold of some of my scrapbook paper and a pen, and went crazy with drawing on it.  I was livid.  My mother insisted I keep it and use it to make a scrapbook page.  I did, and it actually turned out to be one of my more creative pages.  It helped that if you looked at her “drawing” just right, it looked like a face sticking its tongue out at me.

Oh yes, and we must not forget that she painted the dog. I’m really regretting the fact that I didn’t grab the camera on that one.  As far as most of the other messes, I don’t have evidence of them either since I didn’t see the artistic value in those, especially the poop one.  I did, however, take pictures of my daughter when she helped paint the hallway white.  SHE was also white, from her head to her toes.

In addition to the above, we have had lots of experience with anything that cuts.  Both kids have managed to cut things they should not.  The Professor attempted to decimate a scrapbook page of mine that was already in the scrapbook when he was pretty little.  Ironically, his cutting skills haven’t much improved since then.  Princess Artiste has got a hold of not only scissors, but my scrapbook paper cutter which she used to cut up her brother’s class picture.  She’s in support of the movement for smaller classes, apparently.

The Professor just isn’t big on art, unless it has a purpose.  If he has drawn something it is something that he has designed, like a car or a superhero suit.  I have a lot of their art framed in the hallway upstairs, and had to beg him to draw me something so that his sister’s artwork wouldn’t totally take over the space.  He finally did, in his own way.  He drew our house, and the school bus he rides every day.  He refused to color it in.  There it hangs among the other artwork-it is definitely one of his pictures.  Princess Artiste draws/paints/colors pictures for me every day.  At one point our refrigerator was so covered with her artwork it was hard to tell there was an appliance in there.  I didn’t put them there, she would dash to the kitchen as soon as she would complete a picture and put it on there.  She was very put out with me when we ran out of magnets!

Kids are funny.  Just when I think they are out of the coloring on the walls phase, or the cutting things they shouldn’t cut phase, they do something that totally paints me as a liar.  I’m happy that my daughter likes to do art, and that my son likes to design stuff (and with all of the art that she comes up with, it’s probably a good thing he’s not a prolific artist!)  When they do things they shouldn’t, I have to sit back and laugh after I’ve taken time to dole out the punishment.  And be thankful that I have creative kids-except for the poop.  Poop and creativity simply do not mix.

Here is another non-poop picture drawn of me by Princess Artiste. I’m not sure what is coming out of my armpit…