Monthly Archives: February 2013

20 ?’s and Geek Girls



Yesterday hubby and I took our daughter and two of her friends to the Matsuri Festival up in Phoenix. This is a Japanese spring festival with lots of cosplay and anime. The girls were super excited and spent most of the time stalking um finding people dressed in their favorite costumes and taking their pictures.


Hubby and I also had fun looking at the booths, and I ate the yummiest thing! Fried mochi! As someone who can’t eat gluten one of the things I miss are crunchy, greasy, fried foods. But a lovely food vendor fixed that. Mochi is a sweet rice paste and inside was gooey and yummy but the outside was crunchy and sweet and greasy. I should have taken a picture but I ate them too fast!

Anyway, the point of this post on the way home the girls started playing 20 Questions. Nothing unusual about that, except these are Geek Girls, so the questions go like this.

Is it a movie?
Live action or cartoon?
Regular cartoon or anime?
Regular, but isn’t anime just a cartoon.
NO! Anime is special it is different it’s not just a cartoon!

Are you looking for the name of an actor?
Are they American
Are they English?
Is it Benedict Cumberbatch?
Martin Freeman?
David Tennant?
No, and he’s Scottish.
Matt Smith?
Crap, who else is there?

And my personal favorite.

Is it a movie?
Live action?
Did Joss Whedon direct it?

And this is what we call a parenting win!

Did you do anything fun this weekend??

Dr. Who Steampunk Bling


Gifts for Geeks is a new blog series I am starting. There are so many talented artists in the world trying to sell their unique creations, and while I can’t buy from everyone I can certainly entice and tease my readers into checking them out. So I shall make it my sworn duty to hunt down those people making jewelry, clothes, art, shoes, bags, etc. that speak to my Geeky little heart.

Dr. Who, TARDIS, Steampunk, necklace, The Broken Sprocket, Alica Mckenna-Johnson

TADRIS Gears Necklace

Shannon Dickey artist of The Broken Sprocket on is making the cutest Dr. Who and Steampunk jewelry. I saw a picture of one of her TARDIS Gears Necklaces on Facebook, and was so sad to find someone had bought it already.

I emailed her and asked if she was making more, she said yes, and then was kind enough to email me once it was posted for sale.

Squealing I quickly clicked the link and saw my prize a brand new TARDIS Gears necklace for the amazing price of $15.00. Now as many of you I was nervous about buying from an unknown source but I was willing to risk $15 for Dr. Who goodness.

Gifts, Alica Mckenna-Johnson, The broken Sprocket

Look at these beautiful boxes!

I waited, impatiently as I always do, and finally my husband brought me a package from the mail- I made him stand outside and wait for it to come. I opened the yellow padded envelope and a beautiful box tied up with black cloth ribbon decorated with white gears was inside. I hadn’t just bought myself a goodie, I had bought myself a gift, a wonderful present just for me.

I opened it up and found a sweet necklace. It’s light, the gears are suspended in a clear resin which makes the TARDIS look like it is floating. I loved it, and wore it until the two year old try to take it from me and then I hid it from his evil little hands. He might work for the Master, or the Daleks.

I emailed Shannon letting her know how much I enjoyed my necklace and to please let me know when there would be more. A few weeks later she said there were more up. I waited until pay day and bought myself a matching TARDIS Gears ring, and a necklace and pocket watch for my daughter. I also received a lovely pair of TARDIS Gears earring, which are made out of bottle caps and have the cutest little skeleton keys attaching the posts to the earring piece.

Dr. Who, Steampunk, jewlery, ring, earrings, The Broken Sprocket

My Dr. Who ring and earrings.

I am now all decked out in Steampunk Dr. Who bling, and I love it. These are fun pieces, I’ve gotten several complements on them and I haven’t even gone to a geek convention yet- I shall be a major hit at Comic Con just wait! But what is so lovely about the treasures at The Broken Sprocket, the prices are so reasonable. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for gifts for a Dr. Who/ Steampunk loving child the prices will allow you to deck yourself or loved one out in style.

Steampunk, pocketwatch, The Broken Sprocket, Alica McKenna Johnson

Steampunk, Zodiac Pocketwatch, photo from The Broken Sprocket

The Broken Sprocket has a 100% satisfaction rating from 16 customers, she’s made 59 sales, people don’t forget to rate and review!

Yes, I do have some of her work and I would/will get more.

Go check out her wonderful store, which she just updated with all new wonderful jewelry, hurry before I buy it all.

Steampunk, necklace, jewlery, The Broken Sprocket,

Skeleton Key and Gears Necklace from The Broken Sprocket.

What is your favorite piece from The Broken Sprocket?

The Day My Son Swooned



I forgot to post yesterday so today you get a dramatic but true tale of my 18 year-olds swoon. My editor Kilian is in the hospital right now, so while I will give this a once over please overlook mistakes due to no Kilian, and the emotional content I am typing. All names except for Logan’s shall be made up to protect people or because I can’t remember them.

The Mng.

It was a normal Tuesday Morning. Logan was in Stage Craft Class at his high school. His teacher Miss. Bell was working with him on something when a student casually strolled into the light booth.

“Miss. Bell, Mr. Leon cut his finger off. Where’s the First aid Kit?” he said.

Logan sprung to his feet and ran, leaping up stairs, dodging students and vaulting over books while he put on the non-latex medical gloves he carries with him at all time, to the injured student teacher. Mr. Leon had wrapped a paper towel around the injury, which was a heroic move; kids should have to see such things.

Quickly assessing that a mere Band-Aid wasn’t going to help, Logan supports his wounded teacher and leads him out in order to take him to the ER. (The hospital is a few blocks away this is faster than an ambulance.) Logan, ever mindful of the rules, takes the route which leads them through to the office so he can let the administration know he is leaving campus.

Mrs. Hill springs into action grabbing her keys and leads them to her car so Logan can continue to support the now pale teacher.

At the ER Logan continues his vital support as they enter triage and the nurses begin their duties. The nurse, Jeffery, informs them that he will need to remove the paper towel and apply a clean wet/dry dressing. Mr. Leon, who is now a grayish color bravely, requests that Mrs. Hill and Logan look away. Logan does so while still supporting Mr. Leon’s wrist.

Nurse Jeffery tells them when he is done and thanks Logan for his assistance. Logan removes and throws away his gloves and sits down in a chair, unwilling to leave Mr. Leon until his family arrives. Mrs. Hill is also there to offer support and is making the needed phone calls.

Once seated my poor 18 year old son who is unused to massive adrenalin rushes begins to feel off. It starts with a light ringing in his ears, and then his vision begins to fade.

“I feel really dizzy,” Logan says.

“Ok,” says Jeffery who then slaps him on the leg.

Jeffery tries to keep Logan focused and talking, slapping him on the leg when he doesn’t respond quickly enough. Until Logan finally gives in to the post-adrenalin rush crash and passes out.

Logan wakes up shortly after the nurses put him into a bed. One nurse removes Logan’s shirt and starts to attach sticky monitor pads to his chest. Another nurse starts prepping an IV and blood work tubes (we live in the desert half the people who faint need water). While all this is going on Logan is being asked all the standard questions – name, DOB, allergies, etc, and is answering the nurse’s questions quite efficiently, which is a bit of a shock to her. Then the nurse asks him what happened and my son tells her the story. After this the nurse knows exactly what his medical condition is, adrenaline crash, she removes the IV from the bed. Then all the nurses leave. Logan is now alone and starts to look around. He notices that his blood oxygen saturation level keeps dipping a little below 90% (90-100% is the normal/healthy level) which he finds interesting.

Poor Mrs. Hill is hoping between the two rooms, and has to call me, while all this is happened. I bet she has made many calls to parents over the years I can’t help but wonder if this was the most interesting.

Dr. comes in and says they’ll do and EKG and let him go home. Logan nods and at 18 is able to sign forms and has his insurance card on him.

Nurse Jeffery comes in and checks on him. Logan asks, “I was planning on taking an EMT course this summer. Should I not do that?”

Jeffery smiles warmly. “No, this is totally normal. This happens to a lot of new paramedics until they get use to the adrenalin.”

Mr. Leon’s parents come in and thank Logan for his heroics.

When Logan leaves the hospital, the surgeon is consulting with Mr. Leon.

I am very proud of my son, but for @#%^# sake, he swooned after and adrenalin rush! They should have slapped him and thrown some water on him! I understand this was a CYA (cover your ass) move but come on, once the doctor and nurses heard what happened they had to have known what was going on. Just leave the boy on the floor until he comes to. I now flinch when I open the mail waiting for the emergency room co-pay from a swoon!

So next time you are heroic Logan, dearest, please just lie down on the floor and put your feet in the chair.

BTW just a point of interest, my son has never been to a hospital before. He wasn’t even born in one. And here he goes to help a teacher and winds up being treated. So weird.

Juggling Explosives

Photo by mbtphoto. Doesn't he make juggling look easy?

Photo by mbtphoto. Doesn’t he make juggling look easy?

Last night I had a minor melt down. I managed to hold off until the kids were in bed then the ugly thoughts and tears began. Now my overly emotional state might have been caused by the email saying I hadn’t placed in a writing competition I’d entered, the fact that I had gone almost a week without thyroid medication, or that I worked straight through the weekend and got the see my husband for only a few minutes each day (I’m rather high maintenance).
No matter the reason, I was in a bad place.

And while I was sorting my clothes- the nice ones to give away and the sweat pants which would fit once I abandoned my diet and stopped exercise, because why does the crazy night clerk at Circle K need to look good. I mean surely Circle K would hire a failed writer, mother, wife, human being right???

I had a thought. Yes, it hurt a lot a little bit, hush! I imagined myself as a juggler trying to keep all these balls in the air, work stuff, paperwork, work kids, personal kids, hubby, house, cooking, writing, sleep, social media, blogging, reading, working out, showering, crap that come along and fucks up my day. And there are all these balls and they are different size (based on importance) and some things like my family and work have more than one ball because, hello, there is a lot of shit to take care of.

Cold, heavy dread suffocated me as my eyes filled with tears. I shuffled to my computer and began filling out on line application to Circle K. I was never going to be able to do all of this, never. Needing a moment to figure out what my assets to the Circle K International team might be I scrounged up a hidden Snickers bar and while numbing my sorrow with chocolate and caramel, I began to imagine my life without writing.

I could still write a little bit, and of course pop in a social media and blogging enough to maintain what I had already created but I couldn’t keep trying to pretend I could do it all, when I was obviously failing at EVERYTHING!!!
So after moping about and finishing my Snickers bar, I decided to go to bed. I stumbled over the pile of clothes and as I brushed my teeth, not looking in the mirror because I didn’t need to see the evidence of five years of dieting failure at that particular moment, I had another less painful thought.

What if I gave each of the three main areas in my life one hour?

What if I gave one hour during my six ours off per day to my family? I could clean (we have a small apartment so I could get a lot done) I could prep food for dinner, or put together something, or put something in the crock pot. Sure my family isn’t home, but I can still support them and the space they live in by doing 1 hour a day. AND, because I am a multi-tasking fiend, I can listen to audio books while I’m doing so.

Okay this was sounding reasonable, which is not something I normally hear from the voices in my head so I paid close attention.

If I also gave 1 hour of focused time to work, one hour where I did something focused with the kids (preferably) or paperwork (an occasional necessity) I would feel better about how I’m doing my job. And I already read to them at bedtime, so 30min are already getting done, if I’m having a bad day and need to count it in.

This plan also gives me 1 hour to dedicate to writing every day. One hour where I will focus on my writing and nothing else.

Now I can still check Facebook and Twitter while the kids watch Sponge Bob, and I can read blogs while I eat lunch. Multi-tasking can still happen. But maybe, just maybe I will feel like less of a failure at life if I focus some time every day on the three areas I feel like I am always sucking at.

What do you think? How do you juggle your life?