September 29, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Autumn

The summer is fading out, and here in the BotTron household, fall has fallen. I thought I'd show you all a little about how we've been celebrating the change of the season.

We are displaying a lot of family artwork, including our pumpkins, some drawings, and a "declaration of happy halloween."
We've replaced our fresh flowers with black roses, and we've got halloween candies on hand.
We've got piles of autumn fruits (mmm, Honeycrisp Apples) displayed in the bowl Idiocorb gave us for our wedding (one of our eight wedding presents!).
More of our family artwork:
And, we have some halloween-colored tulle with hand-made felt decorations adorning the door to the kitchen.

And, we've got more planned! In celebration of the Crafty Bastards craft fair in DC this weekend, we've got a weekend of halloween crafts planned!

Welcome to the beginning of our favorite season!

September 28, 2009

Victorian Monsters

Recently, there has been a literary trend that, quite honestly, I don't know how to feel about.

That trend is the mixture of Jane Austen novels with . . .well . . . monsters. Monsters. Eliza Bennet and monsters. Wrap your head around it.

The first book I knew of from this trend was "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."
I haven't read the book, but my understanding is that some of the text is from the original book, only there are zombies. So, maybe Lizzy is telling Jane about how she has fallen in love with Mr. Darcy, and a zombie bursts through the room and they have to decapitate him before they can get on with their worries of becoming spinsters?

Here is an illustration from "the Heirloom edition" of the book:
I first heard of this novel about six months ago, and was intrigued by the concept. It combines two of my favorite things: Jane Austen and Scary Stuff. So, I should be the target audience for this type of literature. On the other hand, it's just . . . really weird. I was definitely looking forward to reading the book, until I saw this at Costco over the weekend:
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre? How big can the audience for these books possibly be? Is there enough room in the market for TWO Austen-thrillers?

But, then I saw this:
Ok. I feel like that's too much. What the H is going on?

But, I haven't read them yet. I am getting Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and Pride and Prejudice and Zombiesfor Christmas (thanks Troubletron). So, I can report back in the new year. But, I'd like input from readers. How do you feel about these?

Horrible Update

Remember when I blogged about this gentleman:

He was one of the interesting characters I saw outside Troubletron's work.

Neither Troubletron nor I knew who this guy was. However, last week, Troubletron overheard one of his employees (who had just come back from a funeral of a friend) say:

"the girl who saw the accident said that she saw something fly WAY up in the sky…it was his helmet, you know that joint with the Mohawk on it”


RIP Faux-Mohawk guy.

September 25, 2009

Marzi not a cracker

Many friends and family have requested more information about our bird, Marzipan. They want to know how this aviary family member is fitting in around the house, and if she's progressing.

Here are some fun facts about Marzipan that you may be interested in.

1. Her favorite TV show is The Cosby Show.

She LOVES it. As soon as she hears the theme music she goes NUTS in her cage, flapping all around, fluffing feathers all around the room. This was quite a relief for our family. We were a bit worried that an all-white bird might, well, you know, be racist. She has exceeded our expectations.

2. Her least favorite TV show is Grey's Anatomy.

I don't even watch Grey's Anatomy. I sometimes watch episodes of Frasier on Lifetime in the morning while getting dressed. And then sometimes when I run errands or something during the day, I leave the TV on for her so she won't feel lonely (a website told me to do that, so don't think I'm a crazy bird lady). Eventually, on Lifetime, Grey's Anatomy reruns come on. She gets REALLY upset.

3. Troubletron is still afraid if we let her out of the cage, she'll attack his eyes.

Interesting fear for someone who uses his eyes for his own form of terror.

4. Marzipan likes dance/techno and 90's alternative music.

She's rocking to Aqua right now.

5. She's still terrified of humans.

After weeks of being very nice, using soothing tones, and feeding her, she still cowers in what she considers to be her safe corner when a human comes within 10 feet of her cage.

September 24, 2009

Lord of the Dorks (not us)

Did I tell you that, for my birthday, my uncle and his family took me and Troubletron to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers at Wolftrap? It was a wonderous night of moving music, award-winning film, and a Balrog.
That pictures shows the setup: Large, HD screen for viewing the wonderful action. Live orchestra and choir under/behind the screen singing and playing the score/music for the film.

That picture also shows a curly-haired lady who was VERY annoying.

Here are Troubletron and me. We were SO excited.
Uncletron and Cousintron were also pumped.
The girls were in the restroom, and it got dark before I could get their pics.

Lord of the Rings is the new Star Wars, in case you didn't know. So, it's time to update your convention-wear.

September 23, 2009

Is it weird?

Is it weird that when my husband wants to annoy me, or is in a teasing mood, he tries to wipe his bare eyeball on my arm, leg, cheek--basically any area of dry skin he can find?

I'll answer that for you.

YES. It IS weird. And, it needs to stop!

September 22, 2009

What's The Other Part?

Last weekend, after seeing something on TV, Littletron (9) asked me about what married people do on their honeymoons. The following conversation ensued.

Sparklebot: You should ask your dad.

Littletron: Just tell me.

Sparklebot: No. It's not my place.

Littletron: Come on. Just tell me.

Sparklebot: No!

Littletron: Is it boy-girl stuff?

Sparklebot: Yes.

Littletron: Then you can tell me! I'm part boy!

September 21, 2009

A+ to the Snuggie Marketers

Saturday evening, Troubletron was playing soccer with his work buddies while the kids and I sat along the side of the field, chatting. As the evening wore on and dusk fell, the temperature dropped suddenly. I handed Littletron (who is 9) the thin blanket I had brought in case the kids wanted to sit on the ground.

Sparklebot: Here. Wrap this around you.

Littletron: (While opening it) What is this thing?

Sparklebot: It's a blanket.

Littletron: Oh! It just looks like some material or something.

Sparklebot: Well, yeah. Sort of. But, it will work as a blanket.

Littletron: Oh wow. It's like a Snuggie, but without sleeves!

Weekend Recap and More Projects

Since I am eternally impatient for Halloween, we bought tiny pumpkins at the grocery store this weekend. Each member of the family selected his/her own pumpkin. We sat down on Sunday afternoon to draw faces on our pumpkins.

I would have liked to have used paints, which work on pumpkins so much better than markers do. But, I recently threw out all my old paints for dryness, and money is too tight in my unemployed world to go buy more, so we were stuck with markers. It didn't dampen the fun, though.
Here are the family pumpkins. I was going to do a contest for the best pumpkin, but I think it's too obvious which family member did which pumpkin--and I didn't want campaigning to play a part in this contest.
Each family member is represented by a pumpkin. From left to right, we have Teenbot, Marzipan, Troubletron, Littletron, and mine (Sparklebot).

What? Yes, Marzipan had a great time decorating her pumpkin. She drew a bat on it. Bats are scary to birds, ok?

What? No, we didn't get a pumpkin for the fish. Fish can't hold markers. That's ridiculous.

Also this weekend, Troubletron and I got the chance to wear our new monogrammed cardigans!
I "made" these by taking placing iron-on letters on existing cardigans. I am LOVING this look. And, to give credit where it is due, this was Troubletron's idea. He spotted these letters in the fabric store while he was holding my other stuff and I was finding thread colors.

He's a visionary.

September 18, 2009

Projects! (the kind we do, not the kind we live in)

Everyone all over the internet is sharing their projects, sewing, crafting, or otherwise. And, by everyone, I mean, my friends. Ok, so, I'm sharing.

I made this hat for Troubletron:
Only, it was pretty boring. And, Troubletron said he looked like the dude from Head of the Class. Even though I used to watch Head of the Class, I didn't know what he was talking about. I still don't, really. But, I realized that I needed to do something to set this hat apart. I wanted Troubletron to feel special.

I came up with this.

That's right. A pink skull.

I added a crocheted pink skull. It could kick your ass.

I included that pic so you could check the details, should you want to.
Also, I made that skull up. No pattern or anything. Just MADE IT UP. This is why I'm hot.

My favorite thing about the hat, though, is that it makes everyone VERY comfortable.
Maybe a little TOO comfortable.

Ok, he was getting ready to go to the gym.

September 17, 2009

Bad Citizens

Last night, Troubletron had to work late, so I found myself waiting in a long line in the Taco Bell drive thru to pick him up some dinner. Saying the line was long is an understatement. There must have been 15 cars in the line--very unusual in our area, in my experience.

As I waited, a driver in a minivan behind me became impatient, pulled out of the line, and sped up into the parking lot next to the line. When she got up there, she must have seen that there were no available parking spots except for the handicapped spot. She pulled right in.

I sat there, watching, shocked. This fully-capable woman parked in the handicapped spot, jumped out of her van, and popped inside the Taco Bell.

I was outraged.

But then it happened again. Another driver pulled out of the lengthy line, realized there were no spots, and then pulled in right next to the minivan--only this driver pulled into the painted zone BETWEEN handicapped spots that allows space for handicapped people to maneuver into their car.
What the H!?

If I was outraged with one, the second sent me into a fury I cannot describe. Sitting there in the line, staring at those cars, I tried to think of what I should do. So, naturally, I took a photo with my phone for evidence. I wrote down their license plate numbers, the date and time of the occurence, and physical descriptions of each woman. I'll be mailing those to the police.

Then, I found some scraps of paper from my car (thanks, kids, for leaving trash everywhere!) and wrote special notes for both of these drivers. The notes said, "You are a terrible human being. Handicapped parking is alotted for a reason. That reason is not for your personal convenience. You have been referred to the police."

But, I still wasn't satisfied.

Don't worry. I didn't take any further action. But, I wanted to. I think I have anger management issues. It just burns me up that people can do this with zero consequences. The parking lot was way too packed for a police officer to bother coming by--not that there are officers cruising around checking handicapped spots. Anyway, it's the next day and I'm still mad about it.

September 16, 2009

Patrick Swayze

Last night, after our workout, I turned to Troubletron and said, "I was thinking that we could watch Dirty Dancing in honor and remembrance of the passing of the great Mr. Swayze."

Troubletron looked at me and said, "Oh yeah? You were thinking that? Maybe think something else."


I tried, Patrick.

Keeping it real!!!

So.....I'm a little upset. I am not a vain person and I, like many, find babies to be super duper cute. However, and I can only speak for myself here, if someone asked me which I would rather see, a naked baby or a naked man, OF COURSE I would choose the naked man!! Who wouldn't.....right???

Also, I am willing to buy votes...seriously...I am stressing out!!

COME ON GUYS!!! Why don't you like me?? I am not a monster :(

September 15, 2009

Sewing Challenge update

I haven't really done any sewing yet (I'm gonna get to it--chillax), but I have been doing some crafting. Last weekend, I pulled out my yarn and started doing some work.
I even taught Troubletron how to use a knitting loom! He made the colorful scarf all by himself.

I also made myself a Halloween garland. Check it:
Alternating pom-poms of various sizes and beads in halloween colors:
A closer look:
The pictures aren't doing it justice. But, we really like it.

Now, if I could just get down to sewing business.

September 14, 2009

Hospital Time

Troubletron and I spent some time in the hospital last week (his sister got in an accident). While there, we were constantly confronted with this poster:
How valuable can the opinions of a pinky-ring wearer really be?

September 12, 2009

Let's Try To Be More Observant

Hey readers! I put up a poll over there -->
on the top, right side of the screen where you can vote on who you think looks better naked, Baby JakieWakie or Troubletron.

I'll just comment that if you vote for Baby JakieWakie, you're probably a pedophile.

So, keep that in mind.


September 11, 2009

Sewing Challenge

According to my friend Katy, September is national sewing month. She put out a challenge on her blog to all her readers to do some sewing during the month of September, and to then share their projects with the blogosphere.

I'm taking the challenge because, hey, I love sewing, and I am unemployed. So, if not now, when?

I've decided to sew Christmas stockings for my new family. I wanted to do something different than the stockings I made for my mom a few years back (which involved a lot of hand-sewing and sequins). I've been looking for ideas online and I came across these lovely plaid stockings to the right.

Unfortunately, I could only find this photo and not the actual pattern for the stockings, but I think they look simple enough to wing it.

I went to the largest fabric store in my area last weekend to get some plaid flannels to work with. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed with the selection, I almost gave up the idea. I came out with nothing but discouragement. But, I'm going to check a few more stores and see what I can find.

On a more encouraging note, I also fell in love with that pompom-and-bead garland hanging above the stockings pictured. I liked it so much that I made two similar ones for Christmas, and one for Halloween! I'll share pictures soon.

Is anyone else taking this sewing challenge?

September 10, 2009

Naked Realization

A few days ago, Troubletron and I were doing some grocery shopping at the local Giant Food Store. As we made our way up and down the store's various food aisles, we came upon the seasonal section of the store, already in transition for Halloween. Shelves and shelves of candy corn, pumpkins, and spiderwebs lured us in to glance over the early seasonal offerings.

As we perused the goods, Halloween joys rushing over our inner children, I spotted a package of cardboard Halloween decorations that I instantly recognized. I grabbed the package, showed Troubletron, and said, "I had these! We had these! When I was a kid! We had these exact Halloween decorations!"

But, strangely, Troubletron didn't believe me. He said, "are you trying to tell me that they have made the SAME Halloween decorations for 25 years? That's a little hard for me to believe. You're probably remembering them wrong."

What Troubletron apparently hasn't learned is that my memory is perfect. Yet, no amount of assurance and explanation would convince him that we had THE EXACT SAME decorations when I was a kid. Then, somewhere around the ice cream aisle, I realized I could prove it!

I remembered that somewhere in our family pictures, was a photo of a young JakieWakie standing naked on the bathroom counter, with one of the Halloween decorations in question taped to the mirror.

When we arrived home from the store, I dropped the grocery bags in the kitchen and headed straight to my office to rifle through my family pictures (that I happen to have all of so I can scan them for the family--haha--someday).

I found THIS:
October 1986. This is JakieWakie at 16 months, apparently right before his first haircut (that's what the back of the photo says).

You will notice the witch decoration in the top left corner on the mirror.

I brought this photo into the kitchen where Troubletron was diligently putting away groceries, shoved it in his face, and said something like, "SUCK IT!" or "BOOM!"

To my disappointment, Troubletron was still not convinced. He claimed he needed to see the decoration we bought in the same setting as the 1986 picture to know for sure.

So, we set that up.

Here are the rest of the decorations from the package (mostly for the benefit of my family). WE HAD THESE!

The witch in the house was always my favorite.
Haha. I think we should all give Troubletron a round of applause for letting me put a naked picture of him on the internet for the sake of the blog. Also, if you look closely, you can see Troubletron's newest tattoo:
It's a heart with our initials on the outside, and a number representing an important date to us.

September 9, 2009

When Will The Big News Come?

Recently, Troubletron was working hard when one of his employees came up to chat with him. With an inquisitive tone, the employee asked, "so, did your wife hear if she passed her test to be a lawyer?"

Troubletron responded off-handedly, "nope, not yet."

With unexpected impatience, the employee said, "WHY NOT? I NEED TO KNOW, MAN!"

Apparently, this youngster has a friend with a legal problem and wants my legal advice. Flattering. But, to this guy and all the rest of y'all who keep asking, I don't find out until October 16 (if the bar examiners are on schedule). We still have over a month of waiting.

September 8, 2009

Scenes from an Auto Parts Store Parking Lot

When I go to pick up Troubletron from work, I often find him still hard at work, helping three customers at once and handling issues for two others. That's what he gets for being Mr. Manager.
We just say Manager.

But, waiting outside for Troubletron is usually more fun. For example, I saw these next two gentlemen from my car on the same day while waiting for Troubletron.

To my left:
I enlarged that cell phone picture so you could maybe see it better.That's a gentleman on a motorcycle with a helmet with a mohawk. A blue faux helmet mohawk. He drove up, hollah'ed at some chicas standing around outside, and then rode off--all with the helmet on.

Second, to my right:
A cabbie's butt.

So, you can see why I would stay in the car and wait.

September 4, 2009

Skidmark Investigation

Real Conversation From Last Night:

Sparklebot: I was doing some laundry a few days ago, and I came across a pair of underwear with a big brown smear on it. I thought it might be mud, so I smelled it, and . . .

Troubletron: WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA! Stop right there!

Sparklebot: What?

Troubletron: I don't know where this is going, but I do know that if I found something brown on underwear, I wouldn't do any further analysis. I wouldn't run any tests or take any samples or take ANY steps toward substance identification!

Sparklebot: (Laughing) I wanted to know if it was mud or poop!

Troubletron: WHY?! Why would you want to know that? If I find brown stuff on underwear, the ONLY thing I would do is put it in the washer!

Sparklebot: But, don't you want to know what it is?

Troubletron: NO! I just want to wash it and not think about it!

Sparklebot: (Laughing) Ok, that's fine. We do things differently. But, my question is why does a grown man have poop in his underwear?

Troubletron: I don't!

Sparklebot: Not right now, but at least one day you did.

Troubletron: I am thorough with my wiping!

Sparklebot: I know! You are very thorough with most things. That's why I'm asking what happened!

Troubletron: I don't know. Maybe I farted.

Sparklebot: You farted? And stuff came out? That happens to you? I know that happens to Jeff, but I didn't know that was an all-man thing.

Troubletron: No! I mean, it could have, but I don't think so.

Sparkletbot: Ok . . . so . . . did it?

Troubletron: Oh, I bet it was from a work poop.

Sparklebot: Why is work poop different from home poop?

Troubletron: I'm in a hurry! I need to get in and out! I have a 3-wipe policy at work. Three fast wipes and then I have to get back to work.


Troubletron: I can't stay in there all day! What if someone else comes in? They'll know! It's embarrassing!

Sparklebot: Yes, it is embarrassing to poop at work. It's best if co-workers think you don't poop at all, if possible. I'm with you on that. But, there's always time for wiping!

Troubletron: You have to do a cost/benefit analysis. Cost: discomfort. Benefit: No embarrassment. I think we have a clear answer.

September 3, 2009

Confessions of the Unemployed

Sometimes, I don't shower until 3 or 4 p.m.

I know what time Saved By The Bell, Bewitched, and The Cosby Show come on.

I watched Dr. Phil yesterday. (Hangs head in shame)

Grocery shopping and going to the gym are the highlights of my week.

My feelings get hurt if Troubletron doesn't notice within 3 minutes of getting home from work that I re-organized the top shelf of the closed pantry or vacuumed the room in concentric circles.

I talk to the stuffed animals.

September 2, 2009

Poll Winner

Thanks for all your votes this past week in our family coloring contest. Thirty-eight of you voted and selected the pink Chewbacca with Orange-tan Han as the overwhelming winner!

I wonder if you can guess who colored the winning picture. I'll give you a hint--everyone's picture is hung on his/her personal magnetic bulletin board in our family art center (click to enlarge if you wish to see more detailed).
Have I told you about our family art center? I don't believe so.

Troubletron and I were trying to think of a way to use our former computer desk, and trying to think of ways to make the kids feel more at home in our apartment on the weekends we get to have them. We came up with the family art center:

Which essentially consists of a desk lined with all the drawing/coloring/shading/cutting utensils a child could desire (clearly organized into mugs/vases we already had in our house):
A little shelf with stacks of white paper, colored/patterned paper, construction paper, a bin of glues, tape, and extra crayons, and boxes of stickers and messier art supplies (paints, oil pastels, etc).

A drawer that pulls out to reveal personal notebooks with sheet protectors for the kids' finished products that they want to keep, along with notebooks for drawing/sketching/practicing:
And, of course, you saw above where every family member can display any of their own projects or inspiring works of others on their own personal magnetic board.
Many of you may be wondering how the kids reacted to such an awesome addition to our household. I got a half-smile from Teenbot and a "cool" from Littletron as he turned to go pull out the Lego bin. So, I didn't get the reaction I'd hoped for, but they used the supplies intermittently throughout the weekend, so I think that's a better indicator of satisfaction. Still, I would welcome any suggestions for improvement!
To sum up, your two jobs in the comments: guess which of us colored Chewy/Han, and give me any ideas you have to add to my art center!

September 1, 2009

Question: What is the opposite of "nonchalance?"

Answer: Chalance