14 July 2014

Self Image for Knerds

This subject has been swimming around in my head for a day or so and I think this is something that ESPECIALLY us Nerdy Parents need to address not just to our children, but ourselves.  Chances are pretty high that if you are a Nerdy Parent, you were once a Nerd Kid.  If you were once a Nerd Kid, you probably had a really low opinion of yourself.  As a matter of fact (and experience with the subject & research), you probably gave up on yourself a time or two and just let yourself go into full Geek Mode, unwashed, smelly, and covered in acne.

Wasn't like you were getting any invites
to leave the house any time soon.
Can I let you in on something?  Changes in hygiene practices, sleep patterns, and little to no desire for social contact are all symptoms of depression.  How do I know this?  Hi!  My name is Lori and I have diagnosed Chronic Depression.  I have lived (not suffered) with depression since I was in grade school.  I wasn't officially diagnosed with depression until I was 30, but I had/have all the stereo-typical symptoms of it since I was a kid so it wasn't like some big revelation.  Now, why am I making a point to say that I'm not suffering with depression?  Not because I'm medicated.  Medication for depression means counseling and really, all the counselors I've talked to all know I'm aware enough of my episodes, causes, triggers, and issues to where even monthly visits are just a waste of mine and their time.  I would be going in just to do a mandatory 1 hour chit-chat with them about how I'm doing, how's my relationship with my dad & sister, do I resent my current family life, blah blah blah.  It's because I chose to be unmedicated because I am aware of my triggers, stressors, and willingly reach out to my friends and family with full disclosure over what is bringing me down.

Depression has a big part over my discussion about self-image because depression is a big factor in how we feel about ourselves.  I urge you to research Depression Online so you too can be mindful of the symptoms and what you can do to treat it in yourself or your child.  Also, just because I choose not to be medicated, does NOT mean medication isn't necessary for everyone.  I know myself enough to know that my brand of depression will never be cured.  It's just that the right counselor/psychiatrist is VERY hard to find.  The only counselor I ever really enjoyed lives 2 hours away and I don't know if he's even retired yet.  I digress...

Back to Self-Image.  Nerdistry, though trendy as it has become, is still looked down upon.  For us REAL nerds, it's like being a part of "Thug-Life"; we didn't choose it, it chose us.  Real nerds, for the most part, are not the most aesthetically pleasing.  Heck, we're people the majority try to avoid because some how, our obsessive fandom waves reach out and creep people out because it thinks it's funny.  It's not.  There is the occasional "Hot Nerd", like my husband's cousin (let's call her Velma).  Those are the rare people that you think "Seriously, you're only nerd because it's trendy." until they correctly reference that latest anime you've been watching that hasn't even been dubbed yet.  Hell, I just found out that Velma plays World of Warcraft & League of Legends.  Nice.

It's hard for us Geeks to feel good about ourselves.  Even those of us who actually have jobs, live on our own, and even raising a family to feel good about ourselves.  Believe me, we get it.  We see what you do.  Sweaty, over/underweight, and not the freshest smelling people.  A lot of us don't shop the trendy stores because we don't feel we have business there.  Give us a T-Shirt with our favorite cartoon or Sci-Fi show on it and some sweat pants and we'll promise not to mar society with our presence.  Sadly, we do have to leave the house eventually to get at least groceries, batteries, and Taco Bell.

But what if I told you that's utter bull-shit thinking?  Seriously!

Look at these ladies.  About as Average Nerd Girl as it gets.  Do they look ashamed to be dressed as 4 out of the 6 elements of Harmony?  Hell naw.  They think they look hella tight looking like personified Flutter Shy, Rainbow Dash, Pinky Pie, and Rarity.

And that's the face of a dude who is feeling like a BADASS looking not-completely like Cloud from FFVII.  But you know what?  BIG.  ASS. SWORD.  You can't be depressed with that on your back.  It totally says "Don't wet yourself too much, ladies."

Here's the point I'm trying to make is this, nerds have a particularly unique advantage when it comes to building self-image.  If you don't like who you are in real life, then become someone else!  As long as it's someone more on the side of good.  We don't need any IRL Sepheroths trying to destroy everything for the sake of Jenova.

Nerds LOVE dress-up!  Especially the grown-up ones!  If you are seriously down in the doldrums, try to find your local LARPing group and see about making a character for yourself.  Be that character for a while and surround yourself with other people not being themselves.  You'll find after one session,  you'll feel so much better about your real self because you have just found a gaggle of folks who are just as nerdy as you are!  The only difference is they don't give a good Got Dayum what others think about them or their weekend hobbies.

I, myself was a LARPer of (real) Vampires for 10 years.  I came into my group at the age of 18 having a less than desirable outlook on myself.  I was overweight, had very few friends, and was disappointed in who I was as a person.  After gaming, I'm still overweight, have very few close friends, but now I'm pretty happy about myself, who I am, and even how I look for the most part.  Don't get me wrong, I have no disillusions about the severity of my sexiness.  I definitely dress for my body type.  I just have a better view of myself and who I am.

Do you have advice on how to boost a nerd's self-image?  Do you have body image issues you face as a Nerd Parent?  Do you have any questions about depression?  Feel free to make a comment or start a discussion on the Knerd Mom Facebook page.

12 July 2014

Airing Your Science in Public

You pick-up a lot of tricks, gadgets, and Pinterest ideas when you have to wash laundry by hand.  It's no big secret that we're broker than broke.  Especially since we live on a CNA Pay Check, and believe me, that's not a lot of cheddar!  I've talked about all the gadgets we've invested to make our already cheap life cheaper.  The Roku to watch nearly all of our shows, Magic Jack for our phone, even the fact that we only have 3 (well, now 5) monthly bills we pay.  Today, I want to talk laundry.  More specifically, how to do laundry when you can't afford a proper apartment with Washer/Dryer hook-ups.

I want to start this off by saying that when we live cheaply, it isn't because we're trying to save the planet.  We aren't doing this because commercialism and capitalism has replaced American Democracy (which in my personal opinion, it totally has and it's what keeps us po' folks po'.).  And we sure as hell aren't doing this to save the planet, though to a small degree does make for a pretty good perk.  We live cheap because we have no choice in this matter.  We live too far away from any family members willing to let us do laundry in their home.  Also, my husband has is male pride and HATES when I publicly ask friends & family for help on Facebook (which I get, but still.  Even at our lowest when we were homeless, he absolutely refused to ask for help and was just as pissed-off and embarrassed when I had to ask for it.).  So, on to laundry...

The thought of washing laundry by hand is a miserable one, believe me!  It's hard enough for the modern adult to do their laundry regularly, but even HARDER to motivate when you have to do it manually!  Seriously, it is a freakin' chore!  At one point, in our old apartment in Kennewick, we thought we'd be clever by using tax money to get a "portable" washer & dryer so we didn't have to pay for laundry or drive 15 minutes to Richland to do it at my Grandmothers.  The cost of gas for the later eventually equaled to paying for the damn machines at home which was closer.  Sadly, those portable units backed up the sink faucets and caused flooding in the apartment directly below us.  We got in HUGE trouble over that one.  Nearly $1000 down the drain for that one (pardon the pun.)  We tried selling them on Craigslist, but sadly, we had to eat the cost on that one.  Crap.

Goat Simulator; Star Wars Edition
...and because Goat.
Now we've learned our lessons and did our research.  Also, Pinterest is a GREAT tool for learning how to do manual laundry painlessly and without Land Lords threatening to kill you!  **disclaimer, the land lord didn't threaten to kill us.  Just threatened eviction.  Still...**  Here are the tools and tricks we employ in our hand washing.

We own this exact model, but there are other types out there that range from crank operated with no electricity, to some that are electrically driven and can even drain from the bottom!  This little item does a fairly okay job at washing, but there is an art to knowing how much clothing/water ration is too much or too little.  I have yet to try ours with Felting Projects, but until that opportunity comes, I use this for washing our clothes.  Sadly, you have to run separate cycles for wash & rinse.  That means filling the bucket with clothes, water, & detergent; run cycle; dump water out; refill bucket with clean water and optionally softener; run cycle; dump water; hang clothes to dry.  It can take me upwards of 45 minutes to wash a small load of clothes.  A total of 3 hours just to complete what a standard Washing Machine could in 30 minutes.  Still a good little machine to own if you aren't a fan of breaking your back.  I recommend running this thing on the floor with possibly a bath mat or towel underneath.  Will set you back $80 + any applicable tax + S&H.
Wonder Washer via Amazon.  (Feel free to shop around for other types of mini-washers to find one that fits your needs & budget.).

Here is a video demonstrating how these things work :D
HELPFUL HINT:  These kinds of washers take just a DAB of soap!  I wouldn't put in more than 1-2 Table Spoons worth per 1 load.  A painful lesson I learned when washing towels, I won't lie.


This seemingly insignificant tool has proven to be a little rock-star when used correctly!  It's also FAR MORE cost effective than purchasing a mini-washer but at the cost of LOTS more labor!  This thing works on principal of suction.  Work this tool just like a toilet plunger.  End of directions.  It sucks up soapy water through the fabric of your clothing forcing water & soap to swish through all the fibers and nastiness thus cleaning your clothing!  The little "Hat" on top lets air escape so the water can release.  This manual appliance works even better if you let your clothing soak for at least a half-hour in warm to hot water before plunging.  I will post a video demonstrating how this thing works if my instructions confuse you but here's my

HELPFUL HINT:  I've found filling your bathtub with laundry soap, water, & clothing is far more effective than in just a standard bucket.  Even better yet, YOU CAN USE THIS WASHING METHOD ON YOUR COMFORTERS, BLANKETS, & SHEETS!
This Mom used the laundry plunger on a 2 year old, never been washed child's comforter...IT WAS EFFECTIVE!  Just soak the large item for 30 minutes in hot soapy water, plunge the living water of Christ out of it, then hang it up to dry!  It's amazing how clean it gets!

Seriously, my Kindergartner has used this and made clothing properly clean with it.  Speaking of which, this is an AWESOME way to teach your children how to wash clothing WHILE earning their allowance!  It's almost kinda fun!

The Laundry Plunder can cost you at most $30, but really, I got ours for $10
Laundry Plunger via Amazon


Above all else, get yourself a good sturdy drying rack.  Unlike the previous 2 items, the above picture isn't what we have, but it makes a point.  You want a drying rack that can hold multiple wet towels, jeans, and other heavy when wet items.  Also, make sure your drying rack can maintain balance when loaded to the gills!  We had a tall standing "tree" rack In which we had to hang our laundry on hangers, albeit flimsy hangers.  It was like balancing rocks to keep that stupid thing from tipping, but we managed until we got our table top style rack.  I'm loving how much more laundry I can get done and hanging on this thing!  There are various models you can get at various prices.  I won't post a link for one because really, this is something dependent on you and your laundry needs.


The picture is the model we ONCE owned.  It sits on your counter-top and spins the excess water out of your clothing.  As wonderful as this was, it was a bitch to keep balanced and works best if on the floor.  We set our on the counter top and it vibrated itself off and BROKE!  I now recommend a stand-up version that sits on the floor.  Here's how they work.

Note the amount of water that came out.  These expensive little beauties wring out more water than a standard washing machine!  Why is this?  Because that's pretty much the only function of this thing!  When we got our little one, we dropped about $80 discluding S&H and Sales Tax.  One of these more worthwhile floor models will set you back $150 minimum.  Personally, I'm REALLY wanting a floor model spin dryer when the weather gets back to "too cold to dry clothes".

Find yourself a Stand-Up Dryer (and even throw in a mini-washer) here at Laundry Alternative

Now, for my discover of the month!  You know how when you go to dry out a piece of wet laundry, you always go to wring it out first?  This method is quite counter-intuitive, but I have the law of gravity to back me up!

When hanging up your hand-washed laundry, don't wring it out.  Hand that stuff up SOPPING WET!    When you wring out your laundry, there is a chance you are just dripping more water back onto/into your item.  Also, the water is then just redistributed through out the item and is slowly working it's way downward as it drips.  Some will evaporate from the body of your item, but mostly, goes slow and dough down to the ground.  So when you hang  your laundry sopping wet, all that water is clumped together enmasse and just splooshes out quite quickly!

Now, there are some rules and set backs to this method.  Firstly, if you chose to do this, do this in a place where the water can drain thoroughly without hindering your neighbors (if you live in an upstairs unit).  There will be a LOT of water coming from your items and I would REALLY hate if it dripped through onto your neighbor who was downstairs watching the sun rise while drinking Darjeeling.  This method will also soak your feet so either do this barefoot or while wearing shoes you give 0 Fricks about.  Lastly, with faster drying clothing, you have wrinkles more likely to form.  If you don't mind a few wrinkles, then don't worry about it.  If you aren't a fan, make sure you lay your sopping wet laundry as smooth as you can on your drying rack and iron when dry.  Regardless of air drying method, always give each item a good solid shake or two to get the "stiff" out.  Fabric Softener and Liquid Detergents are your friends in hand washed laundry if you hate the stiff feeling of air dried fabric.

06 July 2014

YOU Miss All The Fun?!

I miss fun.  Like adult fun.

Wait, let me restate that.

I miss playing dress-up and pretend with my grown-ass friends.  When I was not even out of High School, I discovered LARPing and made a SLEW of nerd friends.  It was the official door that opened into the world of Nerdistry!  For the next decade of my life, I would dress in costumes, create all sorts of characters, and immerse myself  into the world of (real) Vampires, Animal Changing Vampires, Sick and Twisted Vampires, and the occasional Werewolf.  Some days, I would mix it up with a table top and play other types of characters, but The World of Darkness (WoD) was my nerdery of choice, with Anime a close second.  Sadly, this all changed when I was pregnant with my son.

Gaming is EXPONENTIALLY  harder to be a part of when you have children.  Especially when you have young children & infants.  Mostly because sitters, let alone GOOD and/or cheap sitters, are hella hard to find.  The next major issue is being a person who gives a crap what people think of you for leaving your children behind once a week to play said dress-up with your delightfully immature adult friends.  Sadly, I am one of these people.  Next, lets throw in the little matters of transportation, money, and time.  Mix these all together and you have me.

You see, I'm a stay-at-home mom who is at the mercy of broke-ass circumstance.  I'm home almost constantly.  When I leave to go somewhere which can be even construed as fun, I go with kid in tow and have to keep these "trips" kid friendly.  Can't go to the library without being constantly vigil for my kid.  Can't go to my favorite e-cig shop without having to "quietly yell" at my son to quit bouncing off the walls.  Can't even go inside a cafe to enjoy some reading or knitting without my kid in tow to get him a drink.
     When I do get the rare occasion to go out for my "Mommy Time", I go feeling rushed because I'm afraid that if I'm gone longer than 2 hours, I'm going to be hearing about it or that things will have gone terribly wrong.  Hell, I come home knowing that once I'm back, I have to put my Mommy Pants back on because my kid is going to want to tell me ALL ABOUT Kirby's trip to Dream Land or about Bowser trying to kill Mario & Luigi.

So, when I saw that one of my single, childless friends posted "I miss all the fun", I got a touch steamed.

I'm sorry, you said what now?
When you don't have children, you have more freedom than you think.  Especially nerds.  Sure, some are broker than Christ on Easter, but when it comes to events, games, movies, and gadgets they just have to have, they'll find the money AND time for it because they don't have dependents to absorb their cash.
"Hey, you going to game Saturday Night?"
"Hell yes I am.  9pm as always?"

I miss gaming with my friends.  I miss my friends.  Hell, I miss gaming in general.  But now that I've been away so long, I just can't get back into it.  The stigma of Motherhood has scarred me and it will never be as fun as it used to be for me.  All the players I knew before have come and gone their ways.  New players have trickled in and I know none of them.  Doubt many of them even have kids.  Some days, I really miss those childless days of nerdery.

...as for the comment?  It was actually in response to a Bit Strip I made involving e-mailed nudity at the office.  Ow.  My pride.

18 June 2014

Organic: Why are Hippies Ruining this Word?

I am not a woman with a lot of pet-peeves.  Having said that, it is becoming evident that since the turn of the century, we, as the human race, are devolving.  Well, Americans are at the least.  If you have facebook, and I'm sure you must if you found my blog, then you have seen the retardation of humanity happening all the time.  With the decreasingly bad grammar, spelling getting shorter and worse with each post, even Grammar Nazis (as much as I hate to use that phrase) are throwing their hands up and saying "meh, fuck it.  It's a lost cause".  But as much as that all just makes me sad, there is one trend in which a single word is being misused like a whore in a men's bathhouse.  I think you know the word.  If you're a science geek, you hear the common granola-muncher use this word and just cringe.  That word is:  ORGANIC.

Here is a great rant on the subject from your friends at io9.com (found in this blog post 10 Scientific Ideas Scientists Wish You Would Stop Missusing)

10. Organic

Entomologist Gwen Pearson says that there's a constellation of terms that "travel together" with the word "organic," such as "chemical-free," and "natural." And she's tired of seeing how profoundly people misunderstand them:
I'm less upset about the way that they are technically incorrect [though of course all] food is all organic, because it contains carbon,etc. [My concern is] the way they are used to dismiss and minimize real differences in food and product production.
Things can be natural and "organic", but still quite dangerous.
Things can be "synthetic" and manufactured, but safe. And sometimes better choices. If you are taking insulin, odds are it's from GMO bacteria. And it's saving lives.

Let's all recite this from our Jr. High Science Books, shall we?
"Organic means it contains Carbon Atoms"
And what things are Organic?
"Anything that lives or had once lived"
Which means?
"Pretty much everything on Earth."
Thank you class.  You may now close your text books.  Test tomorrow.

The moral of this lesson:  Everything we eat is Organic.

But seriously, most of the people who rant and rave about "organic this" and "organic that" are people I see who are just as uneducated as Vegans who are so into their culture that they enforce their lifestyle on their meat dependent pets.

I pretend it's pork sausage.  It's what helps me through
when I taste the salt from my tears with each bite.
Now, before any of you who are living "Organically" get mad for assuming you're uneducated, I said "...most of the people..."  I will say this much, there are a handful of people I can name who live the "Organic" and even Vegetarian lifestyle who are EXTREMELY intelligent and living those lives VERY intelligently.  They do their homework on what the diet consists of.  They have researched independently and with great interest what and how much of what nutrients the human body needs to thrive only on plant based (and to a lesser degree sea-life and animal PRODUCT, not meat) to maintain a healthy body.  Heck, those people I actually respect.  My beef (that's right.  I said beef) is with those who are just going with the whole "Organic" trend and are using the word "Organic" like there was no other definition of the word.

Here's the deal:  I promise I will stop making fun of people who choose to live "Organically" when they can find a more correct term than "Organic".  Hell, make one up!  Tell me what term you would replace the misused term "Organic" with, real or made-up.  What other terms and phrases have been bastardized that you would love to see changed into something more appropriate for their use?  Post your answers in the comments below ;)

01 June 2014

Honey I Love You, But Games Came First

Read this to get some insight into what tonight's blog post is about.

The Mother Who Dang Near Killed Us - Single Dad Laughing

I think he brings in a very real and important lesson us parents in the 21st Century should really think long and hard about, because I'm about to drop an amendment on yo' azz!

I'm going to just right out assume that the majority of my readers are Geeks, Freaks, and Nerds.  With that, I am going to say that at least 80% of you are gamers.  Don't lie.  App games on your phones and tablets TOTALLY COUNT!  So, why is this relevant?  BECAUSE IT'S JUST AS EASY FOR US TO IGNORE OUR KIDS BECAUSE WE'RE JUST TO INTO WHATEVER DAMN GAMES WE'RE PLAYING!

Like Seriously.
And yes, this is me dressed as my
Toreador Tabitha Lenox.  Australian Punk Singer.
Here is a VERY good example as to what I'm talking about.  I have a friend (name with held) who grew-up with gamer parents.  Even though my friend has a younger sibling, they grew-up feeling alienated from their parents.  Why?  Because they were so immersed with their MMO that they just left their children to their own devices!  Their obsession over their game was so bad, the family ended up living with a relative because finding a job, let alone holding one down, became something that just cut into their gaming time.  There was even a time where the parents even kept their kids from school not just because they didn't want to have to drive them or have to go pick them up later, but it was because they had their kids get accounts in the game just to score swag and monies for their parents!

It's this experience that one day, when my son was about a year old and I had first discovered "Grand Fantasia", I had told this same friend about this cute new MMO I was playing that caused them to warn me not to get so into my game that I'm ignoring my child.  

And really, it's not just electronic games that can distract you from being a parent.  Role-Playing, whether table-top or LARP is just as big offenders.  

Another story about another friend...or rather...acquaintance:  Before I even married my 1st husband (yes I was married once before.  Try not to faint), we were friends with a couple.  The wife had 2 girls prior to the marriage and eventually became pregnant with her husband's 1st.  Well, Harry (my ex) and I would go over to this couple's place to do some table-top gaming.  Yeah, we had some good times.  Other times, I would just quietly knit or crochet away while hanging out with the wife and gripe about life...like we do.  Well, the mom was ALWAYS expected to care for their daughters at every moment.  Hell, she'd rarely even get the chance to even sit down for more than 5 minutes to play.  Well, on night, the mom went out to run some errands.  Lord forbid this dad had to raise a finger to even change the toddler's diaper.  Every 5 minutes, it was "[Eldest Kid] CHANGE YOUR SISTER" or "[Eldest Kid] GO FEED YOUR SISTER!"  And if that Eldest Daughter ever needed any thing, it was always responded with a threat of punishment.  Why?  Because he was in the middle of GM'ing a game!  After an hour of this, you know what this Behemoth had the audacity of saying?  "It's not fair!  I can't even play a game with my friends because I have kids!"
     I want to tell you a little something about this couple.  It wasn't like these people never could go out and have fun.  Au Contraire.  They were frequently conning people and guilt tripping friends to come over and watch their children.  Hell, they even used their neglect as an excuse to pull on people's heart strings (ESPECIALLY MINE!) because their children loved everyone else more than them (I wonder why?).  They were always going out to bars and clubs spending their hardly earned SSI money on what the hell ever.  They always had the latest expansions to games.  They frequently bought the latest movie releases.  I did NOT like being their friend.  
     So, that was this family.  Once again, gamers to the point of neglecting their own children.  Well, among other things they did because it was funner than being parents, but I'm trying to work on a central theme here.

So, I want end this on a positive note.  I'm not saying for any of you to give-up gaming all together because you're a parent.  Hell, even Carla from "Scrubs" got her damn game on because being a parent is rough as hell sometimes!  Noobs ain't going to pwn themselves!  Just game in moderation.  If you insist on continuing your weekly Role-Play events, then set yourself a time and a reliable sitter.  If the sitter calls because your kid gets sick or worse, then I promise, the other gamers, parents themselves or not, will COMPLETELY understand why you have to leave game early.  If they don't, find another group to play or host your own, but during reasonable times with your children around.  Same with electronic gaming.  Do like they do in Vegas, set a time limit and stick to it.

26 May 2014

Nerd Moms! Nerd Moms Everywhere!

Tonight, something magical happened.  A mutual acquaintance of mine, Heather Freeman of The Comic Book Shop and proud member of Valkyries (Female Comic Shop group) started her very first Nerdy Ladies Night!  Lucky me, it just so happened that this was a night the husbandry unit had off from work so I was able to attend!

I will admit, as open and social as I am, I was kinda slow and deliberate to pick my battles as far as breaking the ice with people.  Eventually, my need to be a smart-ass won out.  Especially when the topics of Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, and Crafting came up.  Hell, I even put a hand to God when the words "The Walking Dead" came up.  In the words of one of the gals there, "Hershal Died for Our Sins!" (or that's what I thought she said).

I think the best part of this 1st group meeting wasn't how many nerdy women showed, but how many were mothers!  I didn't keep count, but including myself, I would put it at at least 5 of us had children.


Sorry.  That had to happen.

But knowing that made me feel justified in having a blog about Nerdy Parenting.  Don't get me wrong.  I know Nerd Parents exist because I have a lot of nerds for friends and most of them have kids.  And yes, most of them read (or at least "liked" the blog page on Facebook).  But I'm more happy that there are complete strangers whom I never had met in real life who are nerds or have their nerdy genre they are really into and are parents.  I mentioned being a blogger and at least one of them was interested in my blog's concept!  I think everyone needs validation like that in their lives.  It's right up there in the Rules of Zombie Land.

With that, I hope I will have more opportunities in the future to enjoy these new monthly gatherings with some new gal pals.  Maybe start some new networking connections and (crossing my fingers here) finally start another successful crafting group.  Gawd I need some fellow yarnies here in Spokane!  I miss my Yarnies from the Tri-Cities!

27 April 2014

Knerd Mom's 30 Things for My Son To Know About Me

This is a great list, if not challenge for all parents.  Especially those who write parenting blogs.  I got this idea from www.babymakingmachine.com.  Each item on this list has it's own sub-list.  Being that I am a fairly wordy person, this is going to be a long post.  Bear with me!  Sure, there maybe things that may or may not shock you readers but honestly, I don't mind that you all know any of these things.  I promise I will not be damning anyone or trying on purpose to elicit feels.

With that, here is the list.

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
   1.)I'm a natural blonde 2.)I used to dream about becoming a voice actor for anime 3.) I am convinced that I am a distant relative to Famous Zoologist Steve Irwin 4.)  I am a distant relative to former President Bill Clinton (born William Blithe.  He took on his Step-Father's last name.)  5.)I have an older half-brother, Ian and a younger full-sister, Lisa.  6.)I am a second generation Lefty  7.)I found out I was ambidextrous when I slipped my growth-plate in my left wrist and needed a cast.  Even I was surprised how well I could write.  7.)  I was a HUGE band geek.  Started with violin in 5th grade, trumpet by 6th, tuba in 8th, various others through self teaching and an enabling father.  8.)  I quit band in 10th grade because I couldn't join the upper class-men band because my music teacher required all his players to be in the marching band.  He tried calling my bluff, I left with no regrets.  10.)  I tried beauty school twice.  The first time I quit because I was a teenager who took advantage of a good thing and quit due to frustration over finger-waves.  Second time I was pregnant with Luke and left on maternity leave which I maxed out before I could find childcare.  11.)  I gave up drawing for knitting when I graduated high school.  12.)  I dated a man for 4 years, married him, divorced him after 3 years, and was remarried after 1 year.  13.)  I was born on the 13th of the month.  I've only ever had 1 Friday the 13th birthday not be awesome.  14.)  I have 7 cousins on my mother's side and 2 siblings and I can recite each of their birthdays.  15.)  I am a novice speaker of American Sign Language and have only 1 deaf friend to speak it to.  16.)  I have had 3 great romances in my life by the time I was 26.  My 1st husband was not one of them.  17.)  My mother died on July 4th, 2004.  18.)  I have never personally owned a dog.  Only cats and 1 goldfish.  19.)  My left foot has been chronically swollen since I was 19 years old.  Doctors cannot explain why.  20.)  I have been overweight my whole life.  I became obese shortly after graduation.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears
   * I fear spiders.  It happened when my mom rented the movie "Arachnophobia".  In the beginning of the film, a spider jumps toward the camera and it scared me so bad that I can't hardly even be in the room near one!
   * I fear the dark.  I have always been spiritually sensitive and the dark is when I can feel a spirit's presence most acutely.  Just the thought of seeing one freaks me out.
*Zombies freak my shit right out!  Don't get me wrong, I freaking LOVE "The Walking Dead" BECAUSE I am so creeped out by zombies!  The rationale?  2 words...6-years-old and Thriller.
3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.
   Unconventionally Open.  I'm not saying we're swingers or poly-amorous or anything.  We just have no untold stories, thoughts, or secrets that the other doesn't know.  When you're married to a man who's bi, a woman who's outspoken, and are self-aware of each other's crazy mode, there is little left that can be said that would genuinely piss the other off. 
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
   *Don't be a creeper.   *Just let it go.   *Your real friends aren't the group of nerd boys in the parking lot.  They're the weirdos over at the grassy knoll at the park   *Quit stewing over your sister.  She may have the better job, but you have the better luck in love.   *Try harder to connect with Mom.  You have less than 7 years left with her.   *Do not hook-up with Harrison.   *Most importantly, DO NOT HOOK UP WITH RJ!   *I promise, it gets better.   *Start working on yourself now and have better discipline with food and laziness.  This is what you look like in your 30's.   *Would you believe me if I told you that you grow-up to be a hard core knitter & crocheter?  I know, blows my mind, too.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
   *The fact that I have a child
   *The fact that I have a spouse.
   *That I don't live in the Tri-Cities, WA any more
  *That I even have a best friend.  It's amazing how good it makes my sanity feel that I even have one.
   *That my son is left-handed like his mother and both his maternal grandparents before him!
6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
   *A home with washer & dryer hook ups...washer & dryer included
   *A car that is brand new that will last me longer than 3 years.
   *To be healthy and at a healthy weight.  None of this scoliosis and asthma crap.
7. What is your dream job, and why?
   *Owning my own yarn shop.  I know so much about yarn and am a great teacher.  I just figure I should at least be able to make good money doing it!
8. What are 5 passions you have?
   *Yarn Play
   *Singing, oddly enough
   *Reading Manga and watching Anime
   *LGBT Equality.
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
   1.)My mom for showing me the kind of mother I do and do not want to be.  2.)  My dad for enabling me to be the biggest nerd I can be.  3.)  My maternal grandmother for being there when my couldn't anymore.  4.)  My Paternal Grandmother for being the most independent and ahead of her time woman through the entire 20th century while raising 3 kids all on her own.  5.)  Pastor Janice Lynch for showing and teaching me that the metaphysical IS a real thing and that Christianity isn't THE way, just one of many that wasn't for me.  6.)  Nick York.  My 1st real love and the shortest.  He made me feel like the most beautiful woman and meant it.  I loved him for less than a month before he had to leave forever but the experience I wouldn't trade for the world.  7.)  Mariah Juleson for showing me in high school that you can be a big girl and STILL be hot to the point of others' envy.  8.)  RJ.  For ripping away my virginity against my will which finally lead me to see Christianity for the hypocritical faith it really is.  9.)  Julia Roberts for the interview she did for Family Circle Magazine about how she knits in her spare time between sets.  10.)  My Aunt Kathy for being the one grown-up who was on my level.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
   *Fine:  So we were jump-roping in Gym class (6th grade) and big fat me, it made me need to pee.  I was too embarrassed to ask to use the bathroom so I kept going.  Unfortunately, I started leaking right in front of the guy I had a crush on and was caught by him.  They all laughed at me and I was completely mortified.  I hid out in the locker room the rest of the period.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
   1.)  People who tell me my business  2.)  When people tell me "It's okay.  It's because you're blonde  3.)  Folks who act so much better by relating to me but fail because either it's been so long since they were in my situation or never truly WERE in my situation.  4.)  People who complain about being broke, but have expensive items that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.  5.)  Skinny people or those who are only "slightly overweight" who bitch about being or getting fat.  Do some freakin' crunches for a few days.  You'll be alright.  6.)  Parents who don't vaccinate and are SO convinced their view is so much more correct than those who when to 6+ years worth of school and specialize in infectious diseases and/or chemistry  7.)  Women who just flop their boobs out and breast feed for all the world to see.  See my post on my thoughts about that one!  8.)  Organic (Or-Gan-Ik):  A carbon based form.  NOT:  Produce, Foods, and other Manufactured Goods made with sustainable elements without the contamination of pesticides, non-fair trade, or other non-natural stuffs.  9.)  Political Correctness.  It's really unnecessary  As long as you don't use derogatory words, you'll be fine.  10.)  Teenagers and their latest stereo-type genres.  They filter into mainstream living and it's pissing me off.  I just want my boot-cut jeans back!
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
   as of this year (2014),  Take Luke to school, wait 3 hours at home watching TV and knitting or playing video games, pick up kid, Wait for husband to go to work, do dishes, nap, make dinner, put kid to bed, wait for husband to get home, spend what little time I can with him before giving up and going to bed.  Rinse & repeat.
13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
   Being the fat kid no one likes and being bullied by both boys and girls alike, being a grade behind and spending all of school in the same grade as my little sister, and my sister being the "Pretty one".  
14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
   *Not being able to just buy one thing in the store
   *Succumbing to food cravings
   *Eating when bored
   *I give up too easily when it comes to personal matters
   *I'm easily jealous of what other people have.
15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.
   I've always had a thing for nerdy guys.  Especially the scrawny, pale, with dark brown hair type.  So when Matt came walking into that call center looking like Richard Carradine from "Revenge of the Nerds", playing hard flew right out of the window.

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
   *My son and actually having a child (that had become a bucket list item)
   *Finding a partner who actually wanted a family and provide for them
   *Becoming so good at something that people actually seek me out for advice.
   *Having and keeping a best friend for longer than a year (and it being reciprocal)
   *Getting out of the Tri-Cities.
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
   Losing weight and keeping it off
18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?
   *The fact that I love him for everything that he is, even if some of those parts that make up him as a whole would normally be deal breakers for most women.
19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
   *That exact moment, numb.  It was surreal and it hadn't clicked that I was finally a mother.
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
   *The day I met my brother.  He was adopted out as a baby so it was a shock to discover that I was a younger sister.  I thought he'd be a teen.  He was 12 (me 10, Lisa 9).  I should have done better math since our own mother was only 31!
   *Going to AWANAS every Wednesday night.  I HATED having to memorize bible verses nor saw the point.  I was told once "We memorize these verses so we have ammo against those who sin, like The Mormons."  Many years later, I'm married into a Mormon family.  Couldn't be happier!
   *On that same note:  Helping my team win gold medals in the 4-way-pull (tug of war 4 ways).  Didn't even sink in why they were cool with this big girl on that team, but didn't care.  My gold medallion back at my dad's house says it was worth it.
21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
   *With Mom, it's more with regret for not trying harder to connect with her, let alone say all the things I wanted to about her spending more "quality" time with my sister.  Since grief counseling, I can at least let it go and not stew in it.  With my dad, I'm getting the Karmic kick-back I had coming from my childhood of hating him.  I couldn't stand him and he was my enemy.  Now as an adult and he being the only parent I have, I wish I could spend more time with him but he really can't stand being around me more than he has to, unless I have his grandson in tow.
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
   *5 years, I see myself still big and depressed.  I don't have much ambition for my future that far.
   *10 years, I hope that we at least live in a place that has washer & dryer hook ups.
   *15 years, the kid will be on his own, I will hopefully have gainful employment, and Matt will have his RN.
23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
   *New Years.  I just love the feeling of a fresh start in something.
24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
   *The constant stress over every little set-back with my son's development.  Right now, his biggest one is his speech and attitude problems.  It makes me feel like I didn't do something right or that I failed as a mother somewhere.
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
   *Kurt Cobain.  I just want to tell him it gets better and his daughter needs him.  We'd probably eat Philly Cheese Steaks with a Coke or Pepsi.
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
   Christianity.  The whole faith needs a reboot and made a requirement to read the entirety of the bible from beginning to end, not pick and choose which parts suits their needs best.

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
   *My fingers.  I'm amazed at the dexterity I have with these things, as fat as I am.  Without my fingers, I wouldn't be the awesomely skilled yarnie I am.
28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
   *His sense of ambition when he sets his mind to something.  Even when it's something impractical and I have to voice reason to him (which kills me to do because I know how that kills him to have his dreams squashed).
29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
   *I honestly don't know right now.  We've had so many hard times and they come so consistently that as far as prosperity, I can only hope we can just live to keep our heads above water as long as we can and never become homeless again.
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.
   1.) My knitting & Crochet ability and being known as "The Guru"  2.)  I give genuine compliments.  3.)  That when a friend needed me, I was able to be there for them if I could  4.)  For speaking my mind.  5.)  For this awesome blog and writing ability  6.)  For ever having written a book and it becoming published  7.)  Being that one friend/person that you could tell anything to and not be judged for it.  Even if at times, she tried her damnedest not to sound annoyed or say anything to the contrary.  8.)  For being a good mom who raised her kids to be who they are and to have an ACTUAL childhood.  9.)  For being a hot mess in the beginning, but eventually pulled her head out of her own ass to be a really wonderful human being.  10.)  Someone people would regret not getting to know better and having spent more time with.