Geek is in the air.

San Diego Comic Con, known to most as The Comic-Con, kicks-off tomorrow. And for those lucky enough to attend, it holds in store four unnatural, and completely unbalanced  days of awesome.

Sadly, I am not one of those fortunate souls. But I like to day dream of the sheer joy it would bring to frolic among 130,000+  attendees, all prepared to let their geek flags fly.

Too much jaw-dropping, kick-ass gaiety for one event? Perhaps.

If geekery were visible, this is what I imagine it would look like from space:

Geek Radiant Energy System

Have fun everyone! Maybe next year…

Earth image credit: NASA – Photoshop credit: ME

The saurus.

I have some strange methods for remembering things. Ever since I was little, I’ve always found imagery and stories the easiest ways to recall things later. When I was about four or five years old,  I remember telling my Dad there was a tiny guy in my head named ‘Pen’ and every time I learned something new, he would draw it out on a big board in my brain to help me remember. And sometimes, he would even act it out. Yeah, OK. So I was a weird little kid. But Pen became a habit. And still to this day when I’m learning new software, or watching a video tutorial, I try to find some odd imagery to associate with it or find a way to create a storyline around it.

A few years ago, I realized that I had a really hard time remembering how to spell ‘thesaurus’. I don’t really recall what was so difficult about it now, but I think it was just one of those words I never truly made an effort to learn. Plus, I didn’t use it often. So one day when I went to find an online thesaurus, I got the ever so gracious and always lovingly gentle correction from Google,  ‘DID YOU MEAN THESAURUS? (DUMB ASS?!)’ I immediately realized it was about time to learn the correct spelling of this word.  I studied it for a bit and realized it easily breaks down into THE-SAURUS, which of course instantly made me think of dinosauruses –err, dinosaurs.

This is what pops into my head now, whenever I am longing for a synonym:

I’ve recently learned that visualization is actually a great method for encoding details in your memory and also greatly increases recall. So maybe I wasn’t such a weird kid after all… just a little genius with a Pen in her head, and a pet thesaurus.

Playing catch-up.

I must apologize to you interwebs. It’s shamefully been almost 3 months since my last post. I had good intentions for this blog when I first started it – but like always I got distracted, busy, depressed, uninspired, blah-blah-blah. The good news is, I’ve done quite a bit in the last few months so I have lots to share with you. Here’s a teaser of some upcoming posts:

The Renaissance Affaire.

Phoenix Comicon – it’s a geek thing.

I’m so @Twitter #addicted.

I met the creator of Eureka in a bar.

Ignited by Phoenicians.

Yet another diet.

Books to change your life.

Netflix: The future of television.

Sore is spelled P-90-X.

Coffee, cookies, crafts & chain mail.

Wanted: Headphone Eater.

Designing the interwebs.

Poisoned Apple.

The day I made Wil Wheaton laugh.

Things I can’t talk about.

And of course I’ll tell the story behind the BAD ASS photo above. Oh yeah… PINK .22 cal. Oh, I KNOW you’re jealous.

NOW GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN BITCHES.

Uhh –ahem– sorry about that. Pink just makes me rage.

Any-who, I hope all you tens of ones of readers accept my sincerest apologies for my inexcusable hiatus, and come back to read my bloggy-type-thing.

See you soon.

And seriously, get off my lawn.

EDIT: Has one of the above titles really peaked your interest? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll work on those posts first.

A slight derailment.

I’ve been a naughty blogger. Correction: I haven’t been a blogger. A crazy whirlwind of projects has had me spinning around like dust devil, and eating up what little free time I do have. But I am determined to get back on the bloggity-blog railway –one way or another.


One project I am really excited about though, is my decision to open an etsy store. I have had a ton of different ideas for a store since I graduated last May, but something kept preventing me from going through with it. It turns out I’ve been betrayed by my very own mind. So I wrote this letter. It’s now the lock page image on my iPhone so that I can read it everyday.

Hopefully that’s the last I hear from that jerk.

Anyway, etsy store, YAY! I am thinking of creating recycled (or up-cycled) designs. The plan is to find interesting treasures at the local Good Will, and transform them into something spiffy & new. Right now I am working on some dog beds made from old hard-case luggage. This isn’t an original idea —I’ve seen these before, but I’m hoping to put my own spin on them.

And then this idea popped into my head last week.

It’s a lamp made from a used wine bottle and a short string of Christmas lights. It works really well as a night light and creates a soothing ambience. Mood lighting… my favorite!

So I’ve begun collecting wine bottles… again. I actually had a great collection started, but couldn’t think of a use for them, so in the recycling bin they went. It’s a pack rat’s worst nightmare come true. But at least now I have a good excuse to have a glass of wine every night! 😉

Besides dreaming up more product for my store, I need a name too. Here’s a few I’ve been considering:

– Rectified Designs
– Attic Nouveau
– Junk Jewels

What do you think? Leave a little somethin’-somethin’ below.

Oh and I promise not to go missing for so long again.

Christmas in January

I didn’t really do much for Christmas last year. As a matter of fact, I didn’t wrap one present, purchase any gift certificates, or hang any decorations –2010 was a rough year. But my husband Allen’s family had planned a visit for January. His Mom, Dad, Sister Megan, her two kids Blaise & Payton, and a close friend of the family Mr. Gordon, were all coming to Phoenix for a week to celebrate Christmas with us. We decided we were going to have a traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and even make homemade pierogi like we used to every year when we still lived back in PA. It was a second chance… Christmas in January!

The week before they came, we did a ton of cleaning. Then we dug out the decorations. We used to have a fake Christmas tree, but we never had room for it in the tiny condo we used to own, so we got rid of it a couple of years ago. And even if there had been real Christmas trees still available in January, I wouldn’t have bought one anyway.

I really dislike real Christmas trees. It’s not the trees themselves, it’s the obnoxious waste. It can take up to 6 years to grow a 6ft tree. That’s 6 years of watering, fertilizing and pruning. Then it’s chopped down, shipped to a tree lot, and if it’s lucky, bought by someone who only uses it for about 2 weeks. Then, in the tragic end, it is thrown out and ends up in a landfill. It’s horrific.

So I opted for a space saving, natural resource protecting, modernist interpretation tree.

Christmas Tree of Lights

OK. So maybe it does use some energy. But there’s only 3 strings of lights there and considering most people use about that many, or more, on a real Christmas tree, it’s still a winner. PLUS, in my version, a tree didn’t have to die.

Anyway, Allen’s family came in on Friday. Saturday night we made pierogi but unfortunately I went completely brain-dead and forgot to take pictures. 😦 Such a shame too, because it’s actually a fun process.

Sunday was a storm of cooking and baking. Back in December (Christmas for realsies), I had an idea to make Christmas Tree cupcakes using star shaped cakes. I made them for our Christmas party at work and everyone seemed to like them so I made them again.

I’ll be posting a tutorial for them soon. Although I guess there’s no rush since Christmas is still 335 days away.

After hogging up the kitchen for most of the afternoon with my baking project, I finally cleaned up and got out of the way. Allen and his Mom & Dad started cooking up a storm. Allen’s Dad made this delicious cracker coated fried cod. YUM. And Mr. Gordon, Allen & his Dad had also made fresh Horseradish earlier that day, so we made some cocktail sauce to go with the fish. DOUBLE YUM. The feast was quickly approaching!

Here’s a pretty picture of the table before all the mindless nomming and face stuffing commenced.

When the food was ready and everyone found their seats, I wanted to get a great shot of the whole family at the table. I had to mess with my camera for a bit and everyone was starting to get antsy. There was all this scrumptious food sitting on the table in front of them and I kept trying to get “the perfect photo”. So this is what I ended up with.

My Family looking THRILLED.

Clockwise: My Mom, My Gramm, Clara, Mr. Gordon, Blaise, Allen's Mom, Megan, Payton, Allen's Dad, Margie, Barry, My Dad, Allen

Not too bad. But I love how half the table’s faces read: “FOR THE LOVE OF BABY JESUS, can we just eat already?”. HAHAHA! Oh, and I didn’t make it in the picture because my Canon only has a 2 second timer and I couldn’t run around the counter fast enough. (sigh)

On a yummier note, dinner was delicious. I hadn’t had pierogi in quite a few years and I ended up over doing it a bit. I just couldn’t resist all the buttery, cheesy potato-filled goodness. But that’s what gyms and elastic waisted pants are for.

After dinner, out came the Christmas Tree Cakes and the camera.

My Gramm, Margie, My Mom, and Clara-bug

Allen’s Mom HATES getting her picture taken. I tried to take this one really quick but she has ninja-like reflexes, and hid behind her own camera.

Margie and Allen's Mom

Margie, Allen's Mom

My Gramm

My Gramm

My Mom

My Mommy! ❤

Ha! I finally caught her off guard.

Allen's Mom

The boys went outside and made a fire like a bunch of cavemen. lol

The boys around fire.

My Dad, Allen, Allen's Dad, Barry, Mr. Gordon

The Boys around the fire

My Dad, Allen, Allen's Dad

Christmas in January was a success! Actually, I enjoyed it more than real Christmas. There was no manic last minute shopping, no frustration with trying to find that “perfect gift”, and no ugly sweaters to return. I had a really great weekend and wouldn’t trade it for all the pristinely wrapped presents in the world. Even a shiny new iPad would never have had me laughing as loud, smiling as big, or feeling as grateful for my family and friends as I did this January. Beat that Apple.

I HATE writing.

It’s true. Something about stringing words together to create sentences and then stringing sentences together to create paragraphs, for me, is just pure TORTURE.

So why the hell start a blog you ask? Great question. I’m glad you are paying attention, (especially since you’re only 4 sentences into this post.)

The answer is, I recently realized why I hate to write so much. IT SCARES THE LIVING BEJEEZUS OUT OF ME. Writing is so damn permanent. It captures your inner dialogue & thoughts and then lingers around for someone to pick up, read, and react/respond/not respond/laugh/misunderstand/pick-apart/whatever. And it’s personal. All of the writing I have ever done (journals, school assignments, songs), always left me with this looming feeling of impending judgement. I never understood why people had this thing with locking up their diaries or trying to hide them. Because my thought always was, “If you don’t want people to know your thoughts, DON’T WRITE THEM DOWN.” So for the most part I didn’t, and when I did, every last word terrified me.

But recently I’ve been experiencing this strong need to share. There’s this voice inside my head screaming “I’VE GOT SOME SHIT TO SAY!” And no matter how much I try to ignore it, it’s not getting any quieter. This rather annoying voice has made me realize that it’s about time to get over this fear of writing. It’s not constructive and I truly believe in some cases, it has held me back. Well, BLOG it is then. Not only will I be writing, but I will throw it out into the wild blue yonder-webs for all to read –oh yeah, and comment.

My goal is to post at least once a week on this blog. I have lots of ideas. They range from completely normal/boring to WTF. My hope is that some of you are at least entertained while I share these ideas with you and overcome my fears in the process.

Blog post #2 complete. Nica, (1) – Fear of writing (0).

I’ve loved you from afar.

Hello blog world. I’ve been watching you. Everyday I read about some of your inhabitants, and I have to say, I really like what you’ve done here. You have some hilarious, inspiring, geeky, creative, (& all awesomely talented) people in your mix.

So I’ve decided to set up shop on the edge of town and hope that some of the greatness rubs off on me. Please feel free to stop by now and again. I’m not completely sure what I’ll have to offer – there is quite a bit of nonsense rattling around upstairs. But I promise I’ll try not to make a mess of the place.

Here’s to the start of something beautiful, slightly insane, or at the very least, mildly entertaining.

Welcome to my blog.