Theme Thursday: Qapla’!

Theme ThursdayTheme Thursday is where it’s at.  Every week several very talented bloggers test out their mad skillz and write their take on a certain topic and then link their posts up at Something Clever 2.0.  In other words, for a good time, call Jenn.  She’ll hook you up with all these fabulous writers.

This week’s topic is all about what makes you proud. 

(Yeah, yeah.  I know it’s almost Friday and I’m just now posting this.  I had something I had to take care of, more explanation about that will come later.  So call me fashionably late…)

Qapla’ is the Klingon word for success, and me being the geek that I am, I had to work it into this post somehow.  Yes, I have some successes in my life, and those therefore are things that I’m very proud of!  The following is a comprehensive list…

IMG_1439My husband

Why am I proud of Evil Genius?  He took a negative situation and turned it into something positive.  After one factory closing and rumblings of trouble at the one he was hired at next, he decided enough was enough.  He went back to school to be a Mechanical Engineer.  Going to school when you have a family is not easy, but he made it work and graduated at the end of 2011.  The next month he started as an intern at a company that makes agricultural sprayers and was hired on full-time in no time flat.  And yes, he’s still there, being all kinds of evil and genius and all that whatnot…

My writing

I guess it all does sound kind of impressive.  I’ve been blogging for almost a year and have lots to show for it.  I’m not saying that all of my posts have been award winning, but I am quite prolific and manage to keep a pretty consistently high quality of posts.  I’ve rubbed elbows with The Bearded Iris and The Domestic Diva.  I’ve been featured on Aiming Low and was lucky enough to write for The Epistolarians.  While I may not exactly be rolling in the dough right now, perhaps on down the line something will happen.  Maybe I can make, oh I don’t know, five or six bucks?

IMG_1259My kids

While my kids may not be perfect by any means, I am proud of the people that they are becoming.  They both have definite personalities and each have their very own sense of humor.  They provide constant fodder for my writing, and that’s all good.  🙂

The work in progress

I can’t exactly say that I’m proud of me, but I’d like to think that I’m a work in progress.  Kind of like Windows, I’m working on a better me for tomorrow.  A successful tomorrow?  Could be.  I don’t know, it hasn’t been written yet.

Thanks for reading!  Don’t forget to follow the link at the top of this post to see what all of the other participants take pride in!

The Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge: Family

I’m doing the 15 Day Getting To Know the Blogger Challenge through A Little Unhinged.  Today I’m talking all about my family!

8)  Tell us a bit about your family.

One of my Mom’s favorite quotes. She uses it often. It’s true.

I come from a military family of four:  a Dad, a Mom, myself, and my younger sister.  My Dad is where I got my red hair.  My wild sense of humor is a lovely combination of my parent’s personalities.  My Mom is the second youngest of six kids, and several of her siblings had multiple children.  We moved around a lot due to being military, but when we came home we had a LOT of family to see.  When we moved back to my parent’s hometown after my Dad’s retirement, I went from having no relatives around to being related to half the town.

In high school, when my sister or I met a guy we thought was cute, there was always the standard format we had to follow-make sure that we were not related to the boy in any way.  There was a chance that we would be.  Or if not, the joke was that Mom probably dated his dad in high school.

I went to school as far away as I possibly could when I went away to college.  Eventually I came back.  A few years later I met my husband.  At a bar (I know, you’re not supposed to meet people there, but I did).  After I did the check to find out we weren’t related, we started hanging out.  Eventually he proposed to me on a playground.  I said yes.

My husband is an Evil Genius.  He’s very smart in a math and science geek sort of way.  His brain never stops working.  He spends a lot of time trying to come up with cool stuff for work.  Sometimes it even spills over to home and we get cool stuff, which is extra fun.  Take our secret passage.  I’m fascinated by the old homes with secret passages all through them.  He combined this with the fact that we needed pantry space in our kitchen.  Therefore we have a set of shelves on wheels that is hinged to the wall in the kitchen, hiding the basement doorway.  Pull back on the shelf and presto!  Basement entryway.  There was also supposed to be a slide going down the basement stairs for when the tornado sirens go off, but that didn’t happen, and that’s a story for another time.  (For more on my terrible fear of tornadoes, keep following the challenge posts…)  He recently did the ultimate Evil Genius thing-he went back to school to finish his degree and somehow stayed sane.  He graduated this past December, and now works as a mechanical engineer.  It’s pretty cool, but he’s very tired.  What’s it like to live with an Evil Genius?  Living With An Evil Genius (Or Two).

The thing that has defined our family life for the past few years: The Evil Genius went back to school and got his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Showing off with the family here (that’s HIS Dad, by the way).

I talk a lot about my kids.  They’re at that age where they are still very cute, and say many funny things.  My son will be eight in January.  We call him the Professor because in some ways he is like a miniature adult.  Think Sheldon Cooper minus the germ phobia, then you have a good idea of what my son is like.  He is ADD.  Someday he may thank me for that.  Nah, probably not.  I must admit I don’t write as many posts about him.  It’s not that I don’t love him, the other one just provides WAY more blog fodder than he does.  The ADD leading the ADD:  Is There Hope for the Future?  My daughter, Princess Whatever We Are Calling Her That Day is four, and some days seems like a little tyrant.  Other days she is more like an angel with horns holding up her halo.  She loves her Mommy.  She loves me so much she doesn’t want to share me.  She’s very annoyed at the fact that I have this blog, because when I’m on here I’m not cuddling with her.  My best Princess Tantrum post to date- A Zamboni Shall Lead Them:  When Art Takes Over.  One I just love that involves both kids-When Art Meets Engineering.

This made me giggle. YES I turn them off!

I could go on and on and on about my family, but that would get very long.  I hope you’ll stick around and read more about them in the rest of my blog!  😉

Previous Blogger Challenge Posts-This Could Be Fun:  I’m Doing The 15 Day Getting To Know The Blogger Challenge, Where I Grew Up, Favorite Childhood Memories, School, Work, Life, Friends

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.)

My husband: Engineer or Evil Genius?

I am married to an engineer.  A mechanical engineer.  He wasn’t actually an engineer when I met him, he was only aspiring at that point.  It took him many years to get to where he is now.  He just started actually BEING an engineer this year.  He designs stuff.  I’m not really entirely sure what he actually does at work.  He draws pictures.  He gets free pop and popcorn.  He gets a free gym membership (have I mentioned I’m jealous of the gym membership?)

Not THAT kind of engineer…

Sometimes he builds stuff.  Sometimes he even finishes what he starts.  Sometimes.  Occasionally.  Often when he starts something it morphs into something much, much bigger.

My husband’s stuff is more useful than what this guy comes up with…

The deck:  We have a pretty nice fenced in backyard.  There is a concrete patio area out there.  For some reason, he felt we needed a deck.  Is that a guy thing?  I had no strong deck feelings either way.  What started out as a very small deck turned into a quite large deck complete with rails and lights and a transformers looking gate.  The deck is still standing, the gate didn’t make it.  Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the deck!

Then there was the Barbie house.  My daughter had just turned three.  She was obsessed with my old Barbies.  At one point while watching her enjoy the Barbies he got a wild hair, as he calls it.  It started out small, and then grew and grew and grew.  You see, engineers have to build things to scale.  So he built a three story Barbie house based on the dimensions of a real house.

It’s big.  You can fit humans in it.  It’s deep.  I often walk in to find my daughter’s behind sticking out of it.  At least she’s using it now.  There for a long time she would simply take everything OUT of the Barbie house.  Barbies sat at their table eating food on her bed.  Not sure if that is something that little girls dream of (WOW a house that is nothing but a bed…).  Or all of the Barbies would be out on the floor, possibly meeting their fate of being stepped on by Mom in the middle of the night.

The Barbie house remains unfinished.  It has fared better than many projects in our house.  I have done a lot of work on it-I “wallpapered” rooms (scrapbook paper and modge podge), painted rooms, made mattresses and blankets, not to mention spent hours perusing rummage sales and online auction sites looking for furniture.  The outside that was supposed to be finished with trim remains undone, the roof has yet to be assembled, I finally gave in and painted the outside.  I guess I can’t complain considering the lumber that is now my sons bed sat in the living room for months waiting to be put together…

At one point recently he told me he wanted to scrap the whole house and build a new one.  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!  I have a couple of things working in my favor here-the fact that he works a zillion hours a week and the fact that he has to be properly motivated.

The very latest project just recently was completed-that would be my son’s bed.  It finally got painted after years of being left undone a couple of weekend ago.  It’s quite nice.  Now if only my son would actually stay in his room when he’s not being punished!  Now my husband wants to build our daughter a canopy bed.  She doesn’t even know what a canopy bed is but she thinks that if dad wants to build it therefore it must be cool.  She has no idea what she could be getting herself into.  I do…if it’s started it may get completed around the time she starts 1st grade.

I’m not complaining.  I’m sure other people have husbands who do the same thing.  Not necessarily build giant human sized Barbie houses but start projects and don’t finish them.  I guess I am guilty too-the kitchen was partially painted for quite some time and that was my project.  My husband’s parents house has had the same unfinished doorways as long as we have been together-currently they are still working on an enclosed porch that finally got a door that wasn’t made of plastic sheeting.  Much like my husband’s projects, this too was one that started small and got much bigger.  And I wonder where he gets it.

I always have to interject that I married “the interesting guy”.  He would rather be known as an “evil genius”.

No no not that evil genius…