Saturday, August 31, 2013

How I Met Your Father (or When Geeks Fall In Love)

My baby brother recently started a blog called “How I Met Your Ex-Girlfriend” in which he's decided to chronicle his search for his future wife. It's not at all inspired by How I Met Your Mother title got me thinking about how I met the hubby.

Since the two of us are geeks, our “how we met” story falls a bit out of the norm. Instead of writing a gushy, tedious story of how I met my husband, I thought I'd break the story down into easier to digest, sometimes amusing, bullet points. So here goes, step by step, what I went through to meet my husband and the father of my child.
  • Go to college
  • Get bored and surf stupid sites on the internet and find a site where people rate photos based on “hotness” and post a pic just for grins.
  • Get a personal message from a hot, though kind of hippy looking, guy that appears to have excellent taste in music. 
  • IM with the hot guy regularly, discussing music and geeky things we like 
  • Become good internet friends with hot guy, but never consider dating because hot guy has a girlfriend 
  • Date a few guys but break up with them or get broken up with because they aren't “the one” 
  • After a couple years of being internet friends, decide to meet hot guy in person. Make him drive an hour to meet me in a Taco Bell parking lot (because I worked there and I figured if something was hinky and I needed help my male co-workers would come out and give a beatdown) and then drove another half hour to meet up with some of my friends to watch Hidalgo. 
  • Find out on the car ride to the movie that he's currently single and inwardly rejoice. 
  • Have such a good time that I let him come and visit me some more at my parents house, where he's subjected to the parental 20 questions. The next morning I'm treated to the “what if he were an ax murderer” lecture. 
  • A couple months later, invite him to come down and see the super awesome fireworks show that my parents' neighbor puts on every year the weekend before the 4th of July. 
  • On the 5th of July go to out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and see the Garfield movie with hot guy. Decide after the fact this is our first date, since that's when we held hands the 1st time. 
  • Get completely freaked out because I knew down in my gut that if I continued to date this guy, he'd be the last guy I'd ever date, and I wasn't sure if I was ready for the whole getting married thing. Also, I was afraid that dating would ruin our wonderful friendship, since over the last two years he became that best friend I could tell anything to. 
  • After a couple days get over the freakout because I realize that I can't picture the rest of my life without him in it. 
  • Get engaged the following October. 
  • Get married a year to the day after the first fireworks show I invited him to. 
  • Just over seven years later get knocked up and have an adorable baby girl 2 days before the hubby's 33rd birthday. 
And that's the short, hopefully slightly amusing, story of How I Met Your Father.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lasso of DOOM

I am possibly one of the laziest graphic designers/photo editors ever.

I was in the middle of doing some work to some photos for a client when my lasso tool in Photoshop wigged out. The lasso appeared roughly 8-10 pixels below the cursor. So what did I do?

I just compensated for the wigged out tool and finished editing the batch of images I had open so I don't have to go back through and re-open the un-edited files.

THEN, and only then, did I decide to restart Photoshop. :P

Monday, August 26, 2013

Parental Vocabulary Changes

I have noticed some new words creeping into my vocabulary since having a baby. I'm pretty sure some of them aren't in any dictionary. So I'm starting my very own “new parent vocabulary dictionary”.

Noms – Adopted from the world of, it is used to refer to baby's food

Urp – A shortened form of the word burp, it is an onomatopoeic word for a baby spitting up.

Hiccurp – A hiccup that ends in an urp.

Poot – Another onomatopoeic word, this one refers to when a fart in a diaper comes with a bonus.

Please tell me that me & the hubby aren't the only parents that have done this. ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Mini-Me

There are days where I feel like Dr. Evil due to the simple fact that I have my very own Mini-Me. My daughter, though her features are a good mixture of mine & the hubby's, has inherited many of my mannerisms, in a short 4 months.

She sleeps in the same positions that I do. It amuses the hubby to peek into the bedroom when baby & I are sleeping in and see that we are in the EXACT same position. I've lost count of the number of times this has happened.

The most recent thing that I noticed is that she's picked up the habit of chewing on her lower lip. Until she started doing that, I didn't realize how often I do the exact same thing without even thinking. When I concentrate or am lost in thought, inevitably I end up unconsciously chewing on my lower lip. And Apparently I've been doing it most of my life, because I opened up one of my photo albums the other day and saw a picture of me as a baby, close to the same age as my daughter is now, with my lower lip in my mouth...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cooking without GPS

The other night, as I splashed balsamic vinegar into a bowl for caprese salad, I realized, I can't share this recipe with anyone, because I'm not following a recipe. As a matter of fact, even when I do use a recipe, odds are, I don't follow it strictly, unless it's a baked item where very specific measurements can make or break the finished product. So I have decided to call my method of cooking “cooking without GPS.”

For example, a pot of pasta sounds straight forward, right? Wrong. If I use canned sauce instead of make it from scratch, I'll add a dash of this and a pinch of that to make it taste better. Often, when I'm cooking, I'll add stuff that may not necessarily be in whatever recipe I'm loosely following just because it smells good.

Last winter I made chili from scratch to take for the fellowship meal at church. After lunch someone asked me what my recipe was. It's not very helpful to tell someone, “Well, there's not exactly a recipe. I just threw stuff into the pot until it smelled & tasted good.” 

Just tonight, while eating supper, I had an idea. We had huevos rancheros, and I thought, "Hey, I bet putting chicken breast in the same sauce I used for huevos rancheros would be REALLY tasty!" So sometime soon I'm going to have to try that idea, maybe with a little sour cream.... And now I'm going to go to bed hungry after typing this out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Still Not a Ginger!

Recently it was announced that Peter Capaldi would be taking the reigns as the 12th incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who. This announcement, of course, caused quite the brouhaha.

There were the “Oh, that's awesome, he's a talented actor, he'll do a great job” camp, the uber-annoying “OMG HE'S OLD AND UGLY, I WANT DAVID TENNANT BACK” camp, the “But he's been in Who before. Why could't they pick a new face?” camp & the “We wanted a woman Doctor” camp. Each camp, since this is the internet after all, trying to prove their point was the most valid and that the other camps were dead wrong.

I, for one, am disappointed by only one thing. One great, glaring thing. Peter Capaldi, though he is a talented actor who will undoubtedly put a wonderful spin on the iconic Doctor, is NOT a ginger. At the rate it's going, the poor Doctor will never get to be a ginger. And that's my only problem with the casting of the 12th Doctor.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Longstanding Feud

I have a nemesis. An unrelenting foe that dogs my steps and makes my life miserable.

I have a longstanding feud...with gravity. Unfortunately, I am almost always on the losing end. I even have the scars to prove it.

There's the scar on my nose & hairline from losing a battle when I was around 6 or so. Numerous ones on my knees. A particularly spectacular one on my right forearm when I was in my early teens.

Gravity has a nasty habit of sneaking up on me when I least expect it. I can be walking along a nice, perfectly flat surface, and BOOM, trip. So either gravity is jumping up and tripping me, or I'm stumbling over the Silence.

Somehow, I doubt I'm going to get any points on the scoreboard in the battle against gravity anytime soon.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Word of the Day - Part 2


on·o·mato·poe·ia  [noun]

The naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (e.g. buzz, hiss, meow)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Great American Double Standard

Today is a bit of a ranting-post type of day. 

Today is my daughter's 4 month birthday. It is also, apparently the 2nd annual Public Display of Breastfeeding (PDB) Day! According to The Bump the goal is To empower moms and show the world that if a mom chooses to breastfeed, it’s her right to feed her baby whenever and wherever she needs to. The more people who see moms nursing in public, the less of a big deal it’ll be.”

The fact that there is a need for such an event drives home to me the great double standard in America. People don't single out and berate women in clothing that their boobs practically pop out of, but heaven forbid if a woman sits discreetly in a corner of a department store to feed her hungry, cranky infant.

It's a double standard that in public places things like this don't raise an eyebrow. 

But this creates a firestorm of outrage from supporters & detractors of breastfeeding. 
Even supporters of breastfeeding are divided into the “cover” and “not to cover” camps on what is “appropriate” when breastfeeding in public. It's all ridiculous. There should be absolutely no controversy at all about a woman choosing to feed her child the way nature intended in whatever fashion works best for her and her child.

I choose to cover in public because A) my daughter is like me, and is easily distracted by new & shiny things and the cover minimizes distractions & B) I'm not personally comfortable with whipping out the girls in front of everyone and their brother every time my baby is hungry so the cover helps me maintain a personal sense of modesty. Other mothers choose not to cover because their babies will not tolerate a cover.

I think the world would be a much better place if overly photoshopped & enhanced advertising like this caused outrage.

It would be a much better world if nobody batted an eyelash and continued on their day if they happened to see this.

If a mother is being a good mother, no matter how she chooses to feed her child, the public should butt out and leave her to be a good mother!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Why I Love Being a Geek/Nerd

I am a geek. And a nerd. If you go a Google search for information on what makes a person a geek, or a nerd, undoubtedly you will come across posts, articles, infographics, & funny pictures detailing the differences between geeks and nerds and the different types of geeks and nerds that there are out there. And, of course, the differences between geeks and nerds. Here are some examples.

It takes a bit more digging to uncover that it's not that cut & dried. Just as there are different types of geek/nerd, there can be different combinations of different types. Because life would be boring if you could only be a computer geek, or a sci-fi geek!

I am a mixture design geek, sci-fi geek, book geek, etc. I love to read. Real, physical books. I love watching sci-fi & fantasy TV shows & movies. I love certain, select anime. I love graphic design & photography, and can make a bit of a game of identifying fonts in advertising. And I'm full of useless tidbits of information. (e.g. Dr. Seuss invented the word nerd.)

Before I embraced my geekiness/nerdiness, I spent far too much time worrying about what other people thought of me. But doing some growing up made me realize, who cares what other people think? I am probably a little fatter, weirder, and obsessive than what society considers normal & attractive, and I DON'T CARE! I am happy in my little world surrounded by friends & family that love me, quirks and all.

Simon Pegg puts into words perfectly why it's great to be a geek.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Geeky Baby Names

My daughter has the kind of name that geeks & non-geeks can embrace. Geeks love the connection to the sadly short lived brainchild of Joss Whedon. Non-geeks see it as a pretty, if slightly unusual name. I love it for both reasons.

When we first found out that I was pregnant, picking a girl's first name was a no-brainer. The hubby & I both loved the name Serenity. We didn't completely settle on a middle name until after she was born, though. We went with a family name for her middle name. It didn't cross my mind for a while that her middle name is also a bit geeky due to a character in an anime having the same name.

Because I'm a geek and a mom, I like looking at lists of geeky baby names. I've compiled a list of my own personal favorites (and of course mention where they come from.)

Boys Names
Rory (Dr. Who) - Rory Williams, the unexpected BAMF from the Who-verse who just couldn't stop dying.

Logan (X-Men) - The Wolverine. 'Nuff said.

Malcom (Firefly) - Captain Tightpants, FTW!

Thorin (the Hobbit) - Not the nicest dwarf, but he has the most usable name in the real world.

Ian - Naming your kid after Sir Ian McKellen comes with double geek cred, since he's Gandalf & Magneto.

Girls Names
Amelia (Dr. Who) - Spunky, fiery, red-headed companion to the 11th doctor. Comes with the bonus of not being overtly geeky.

River (Dr. Who & Firefly) - River is the double geek cred name I like for girls. River Song in Dr. Who and River Tam in Firefly are both strong, if slightly mental, women.

Éowyn (LOTR) - She killed the Witch King of Angmar. If that isn't a strong female namesake, I don't know what is.

Linnea (After botanist Carl Linnaeus) - This is one of the geekiest, without sounding geeky, names that I like. It doesn't get much geekier than naming your daughter after a flower that's named after a botanist.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Word of the Day - Part 1

I am a little bit of a word nerd. I like finding unusual words for commonplace things and trying to incorporate them into my everyday speech.

So, without further ado, here's the word of the day!




(of a voice or words) Sweet or musical; pleasant to hear.
mellifluent - melodious - honeyed - sweet - dulcet
An example of how to use this word. "He had a mellifluous voice."

Friday, August 9, 2013

Good Morning

This face is the reason I get up in the morning. And I don't mean the gushy, feel-good, existential reason. The literal, proper use of the word literal, reason I get up in the morning.  Who needs an alarm clock when you have an adorable, but hungry baby. ;-)

Lucky for me, it's usually about the time I need to get up anyway.  Unluckily for me, last night I stayed up a bit too late, so 6:30 am came WAY to early.

This is my theme song this morning. :-) Because even though I woke too early after a late night, I woke up to a happy, smiling baby.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I thought I'd be a terrible mother

I never planned to be a mom. (Never, ever make plans like that. The universe laughs at you & proceeds to thwart your plans, usually in spectacular fashion.) I think I didn't plan on it because deep down, I was afraid that I would be a terrible mother.

I had a small laundry list of reasons why I thought I would be a terrible parent. I'm deeply flawed & selfish. Patience is NOT my strong suit. I'm a control freak. I have low pain tolerance, so there's no way I could make it through labor without mentally breaking. I have a weak stomach, so I'd puke all over the baby when changing a poopy diaper. I'm clumsy, I might drop & hurt the baby. Etcetera and so forth.

I'm still deeply flawed, but much less selfish now that I have a life depending on me. Nothing builds patience like a child! (You know the old joke about praying for patience.) I'm still a control freak, but I am getting better about choosing my battles now.

I made it through labor with out a drop of pain medication (though lack of Tylenol was due to it slipping my mind that I could take it, not a conscious choice.) And I've never felt more like a strong, powerful woman than I did after having Serenity. (I am mother, hear me ROAR!)

And for other weak-stomached mothers-to-be, something incredible happens when you have a baby of your own. All those things that your friends' children do that make you gag and wretch? When your baby does them, you won't bat an eyelash. The only reason I went running for the bathroom after the first diaper explosion was because nothing short of a bath was going to clean that mess up! I still have a weak stomach, it just seems to be immune to the bodily functions of my child. (whew!)

I'm still clumsy and accident prone. But then again, so was my dad, and I've survived to adulthood, so there's hope for Serenity. I just have to remember to keep her away from the power tools for a good long time, just in case she inherits my, and her PopPop's, “grace”.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One Thing a Brand New Mom Shouldn't Do

There are lots of things that brand new moms should & shouldn't do, and there are countless websites, blogs & articles addressing those things. And if any of them reference what I'm about to tell you here, I apologize for the redundancy. And in all fairness, this is highly personal and may or may not apply to any brand new mothers.

Never, ever, while still under the influence of the postpartum hormonal flood, read this book.

Don't get me wrong.  It is a beautiful book, a wonderful book, a book that I had to make sure I got so I could read it to my daughter.

It's because it's a wonderful, beautiful book that you shouldn't read it until after your hormones level out. Because once you get to the point the book where you see this picture 
you'll be bawling louder than your baby when she's hungry & in need of a diaper change.

The first time I tried to read it to Serenity, she was a week or two old. The first page made me tear up, and the further I got the harder it got to read. I was sniffling, tears running down my cheeks, choking down sobs to finish the book.

But she will grow up, and spend her whole life knowing that the words in the little song are true. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Confessions of a Font Snob

I am, as my husband likes to remind me from time to time, a font snob.  Such is the peril of a graphic design background, I suppose.

I can name my favorite fonts to use from each font family. (serif, sans serif, etc.) Then there are the fonts that I love to hate. My friend & fellow font snob, Yllek, and I regularly text or Facebook each other messages that essentially boil down to "I can't believe they used that font!"

Now while I realize that being a font snob is kind of the graphic design equivalent of being a middle school "mean girl", I really do wish that people would learn the proper use of Comic Sans & Papyrus...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Shhhhh! I have a secret. *I want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom*

I went to college, got a degree, started working on a career, and never had any concrete plans of having a kid.  Then, life happened.  I got laid off from the job I'd had for nearly 5 years. I couldn't find a job in my chosen career field. It was one of the hottest, driest, most miserable summers I can remember. And I got pregnant...

At the end of my first trimester/beginning of the second I got a job. At Taco Bell. Getting paid more than $5 an hour LESS than what I was making before I got laid off. My mother-in-law was planning on semi-retiring while I would be on maternity leave and offered to babysit anytime I needed. "Hooray!" I thought. I can get back to work as soon as I'm able.

Then I had Serenity. My entire outlook on life changed. Everything I wanted out of life, changed. The second I held the tiny form that was my daughter. Everything. Changed. 

I don't care about degrees, or careers, or all of those things that are supposed to bring happiness and fulfillment to the to the enlightened, modern woman. I want to spend every minute of the rest of my life molding, shaping and cherishing this life that's been put into my care. 

I want to be a stay-at-home mom.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cinnamon Chips, Oh My!

Hershey's makes a wonderful thing.  They're cinnamon chips.  Think chocolate chips, only cinnamon flavored.  I first found out about them courtesy of The Pioneer Woman and her excellent cinnamon scone recipe.

Last week I had an absolutely brilliant idea.  Snickerdoodle cookies, with CINNAMON CHIPS!!! However, it took me a while to get around to making them.

I swiped the snickerdoodle recipe from with adding a half bag of cinnamon chips the only deviation from the directions.

Here's how they turned out!  Delicious!