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To Boldly Go…

GeekI rarely talk about my disability.  Those who know me “in real life” know about it, of course, but for the most part I keep it out of cyberspace.  Sitting behind a keyboard, most of the blogospere doesn’t care, or need to know about personal details of that sort – unless that’s the theme of your blog.  If I were writing a, say, “living geek as a ridgeless Klingon” type blog (but my ridges are fine THANK YOU VERY MUCH, it’s just an example) then that part of my life might come into focus a little more.  But, I can largely ignore my “limitations”, as I sit here, typing these words that get flung into oblivion at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.

I’m a second generation geek.  Have I ever told you guys that?  Which, if I do my math correctly, makes Boy a 3rd gen.  He is so excited about going to Planet Comicon tomorrow!  We have talked for years of trying to make it to an actual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, or the big Comic-Con in San Diego (registration is today, by the way).  But the realities of that are slim to none.  Not because of the money (which is exorbitant) or the time Will would have to take off work (which is mucho) but because of me.  I am the limiting factor.

See, I’m not supposed to travel.  I’m not supposed to be in a car for any extended length and I’m certainly discouraged STRONGLY from flying.  I’m not supposed to sit cross legged.  What I can eat is limited.  Being in the sun is limited (not usually a problem for your average geek – but I thought that I would throw it out there).  I park in a handicapped spot most of the time (it’s ok, I’m allowed) and use a wheelchair some of the time.   In my middle 30′s I’ve come to know what’s likely to happen and what’s not – but 12 year old Boy still has to try to adjust on the fly.

TNGSo, finding out most of the Star Trek: The Next Generation characters (Wil Wheaton!  Brent Spiner! Michael Dorn!) - and Boy’s favorite Warehouse 13  dude (Eddie McClintock!), are no more than 20 minutes from my house was like finding out that you’ve been turned into Q for a day.  I no have magical powers!  I may finally be able to do something for Boy that he has wanted since he was little, but we’ve never been able to pull of until now.  I whipped out my credit card and booked us a hotel room for the night tonight, enlisted a dog sitter, a house sitter and a driver (that one’s just Will) and started making plans on what to have autographed.  Because, it’s quite likely that this will be a once in a lifetime chance to get my geek on with my only child.

So, at 6:30 in the morning, here’s my plea…. Please God, let us have a great weekend, let us meet Boy’s favorite characters, let us have a good time and let it be the experience that he has been dying for.  Because it’s a really, REALLY long walk to Vegas.

Amen.

Vegas

Yeah, just so that’s out in the universe – I know I’m a bad blogger.  But what can I say?  I took some time off for a mental health year.  Sue me.  No really, don’t sue me – I have enough problems.

So, I haven’t been around this part of the galaxy (blogosphere) for a while… a long while – but I’m back for the moment.  I’ve been having these occurrences lately, where I would see something just phenomenally stupid or whacked out and think, “That would make a really good blog post.”  And then I wouldn’t sit down and type it, would think about what I wanted to make for dinner and then the idea for the post would, literally, fall right out of my head.  Seriously.  Thud.

Planet ComiconBut, this morning, I was smacked in the face with the extent of my bad fan-girlness.  One of my crew notified me that the Planet Comicon thingie is going on this weekend – IN MY HOME TOWN.  A KC blogger with a Trek themed blog and I don’t already have tickets.  I had no knowledge of this event until this morning and I hang my head in shame.  But.  BUT… Now I do know and how could I not go to this and drag Boy and Will with me?

My aforementioned year of mental health saw me withdraw from a lot of stuff like my blog, errands, grocery shopping, cooking, email, haircuts, etc.  There was no crisis, no extra illness to deal with, we haven’t even moved or had a job change for Will.  I just wanted to let it all go.  Concentrate on homeschool, Netflix, reading on my Kindle and Candy Crush.  But, spring has finally sprung in KC and I feel like coming back.  So… I’m baaaaack.  Again.

I have spent some time revisiting Twitter this morning – checking up on the celebs who are going to be traipsing through the hallowed halls of the three-terminal KCI airport and then heading to the Bartle Hall Convention Center.  Boy is going to go crazy for Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13 and I’m excited for the ST:TNG cast!  All of them… well, most of them.

I probably won’t dress up.  I mean, I will be dressed, thank Odin for that… I just don’t think I’ll go in costume.  But, I’ll be there, Sunday, with Will and Boy (who may actually be dressed up, fair warning) getting my fangirl on and trying to retrieve some of the geek cred that I lost by not even knowing this was in town this weekend.

Beam me up!

Boy howdy, is it BRIGHT out there!  Day two of our “stuck at home” stay-cation and the stir crazy is setting in.  Especially for Will, who doesn’t work from often and certainly not TWO DAYS IN A ROW!  He’s outside, again.  Shoveling, again.  Looking for stuff to do, again.

I, on the other hand, have kept myself busy with housework.  All our laundry is clean, dishes are done, mail is sorted, bills are paid, schoolwork is complete, meals are planned, dogs are groomed and I am about to lose it.  When I get tooooo bored, I start baking and that is about the worst thing ever, because then the eating comes.  Lots and lots of eating.

Yesterday I was on my feet a bunch so I didn’t get to bake the thing I really wanted, which was Tortuga Rum Cake.  Boy and I ended up making Cake Pan Cookies.  They are just about all gone.  Seriously, if you want baked goods around here, you better move quick and snag what you want while it is still being cut from the pan.

So I can add to the torment of those around me, here is the recipe for your own baking, eating and then jogging on the treadmill pleasure.

1 box of yellow, white or chocolate cake mix. 
(We used yellow, from now on I will stick to white)
5 TBSP melted butter
2 beaten eggs
Chips, chunks or nuggets of your desired variety and quantity
(we mixed in white chocolate and topped with dark chocolate)
 

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer – I used my Kitchen Aid.  Blend it all together into the stickiest mess you have ever had to work with.  This is going to be cookie dough mortar.  Do you best to spread it in a greased baking pan, I used a 9 x 9 square but just about anything should work.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, remove when done, cut and eat while watching TV, washing dishes, getting ready for bed – whatever.  You won’t be able to keep out of them.

Mickey Mouse Cookie

Yeah, you’re welcome.

And yeah, that’s Mickey.

 

 Well, there’s really been a newsman’s boom around these parts over the last few days.

Credit: KC Star

Credit: KC Star

As I look out my windows right now I see about 8 inches of snow on my backyard, with more forecasted to come later in the day.  We had thunder accompanying it this morning, so that was fun for the dogs… who have now not been potty since 6:30am.

But the bigger news making headlines go to the explosion of JJ’s Restaurant on the Country Club Plaza.  Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, it would seem that a construction crew struck a natural gas line, igniting a deadly explosion that has cost one employee their life as well as the loss of the 27 year old Kansas City landmark.  15 more people were injured in the blast with 2 in critical condition last I heard.

Rumor has it that the subcontractor that struck the line didn’t have the appropriate permits filed with the city… if that’s true I imagine that someone is gonna hang for it.Credit: KC Star

My biggest gripe here, and what has me taking to the blog today to rant about it, is the media coverage.  As a blogger, and someone who holds the loose title of Social Media Mom, I feel that I am on the fringe of “The Media”.  I don’t report things as they happen, unless we are talking about stupid dog tricks or weird things my kid says, but I do take to the interwebs, occasionally, and talk about stuff.  The REAL Media, however, preempts programming, stayed with the story for a good 4 or 5 hours, reporting like it was freaking 9/11!

Ok, I do understand that what happened at JJ’s was a big deal.  Huge.  I, as an entrepreneur, feel sympathy for that loss down to my bones.  I know that families were worried, people needed to avoid the area and that many roads were closed during the search and transport of the injured.  But, here’s where I lose it…

One of the news stations has a video that shows the injured arriving at a local hospital for treatment.  The person is pulled out of the ambulance and the camera crew stays with them through the doors and into the ER treatment area, showing the doctors working on the individual and EMT’s holding up IV bags.  I will admit that the patient is NOT clearly shown.  Where the camera would have identified the person during the unloading from the ambulance, the camera operator focused on the wheels of the gurney and then brought it back up to the blanket-covered injured being rolled down the hall and into an ER cubical.

It would seem to me that the crew reporting this did EVERYTHING they could to show all the DRAMA of the situation, stopping just short of showing the torment on the face of the person that had just survived this horrific blast and then was treated to a bumpy, unnerving ride to a hospital for treatment.

It’s things like this that make me want to not be associated with the media at all.  Seriously, this person didn’t ask to be in the explosion.  I highly doubt they signed any kind of release asking to be videotaped on the transport to the ER and I can’t believe that this news crew didn’t have anything better to do than amp up the sensationalism by following this poor person through the labyrinth of the ER.

This is not the first issue with The Media that I have had here in KC.  A while back a car struck a school bus and knocked it on its side.  The driver jumped out of the car and ran off, people on the bus were injured and a manhunt ensued for the on-foot moron that had been driving the car.  What blew my mind on this stellar bit of reporting was a “witness” stood in front of the house where the bus ended up in the yard and proceeded to tell people that the lady that lives there is elderly, alone and hard of hearing.  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?  Who in the hell thought that contributed anything to the story and actually let that on the air?  They had spent the afternoon giving the location of the accident, showed the house with the bus on its side in the yard over and over, then proceeded to tell everyone in the metro that there’s an old, deaf lady that lives here all alone.  COME ON OVER!

What ever happened to responsible reporting?  Was there ever responsible reporting?  Please understand that I am not saying that all news outlets are guilty or The Media is bad.  That’s not it at all.  I do wish that reporters, with cameraman in tow, would think a bit about PEOPLE and not about ratings.  Believe me, that JJ’s explosion was a big enough story without chasing victims down at the hospital and trying to offer the viewers a glimpse of their misery.

I am truly sorry for the loss that Jimmy Frantze has experienced in the loss of his award winning restaurant, as well as the family of the individual that died in the blast, and wish the employees and guests that were there that night a speedy recovery and best wishes to all.  May “The Media” leave you in peace to deal with all you have to now.

End of rant – thanks for listening.

JJ's before

And the race is on…

I find February to be a boring month.  It’s sandwiched in between all the end of the year time off work and the start of spring, that I can never wait for by now.  I see all the spring-y stuff like patio furniture and bird feeders tromping their way back into the showrooms of the home improvement centers and department stores… and I smile, then grimace.

It’s a temporary fooling of my senses, this fleeting pleasure I get from seeing those items reappear in my favorite shopping meccas.  I know that the time to use that stuff is still soooo far away, that it almost becomes a cruel taunt.  Like I said, February bores me.  And, now that I think of it, annoys me.

A few months ago, when the impending doom that is this terrible time of year started to creep over my head, I began to brain storm ideas with the crew, about a way to liven things up.  I was really just looking for something to do for a bit, until that fickle witch that is spring finally made her way back to my neck of the woods.  But… the more we worked on it, the bigger it became and now it has a life of its own.

This blog has always been about Kansas Citians for Kansas Citians.  I know that we have other readers too, HELLO THERE!, but the stuff we reference and the places we visit are all, well… here.

We have noticed that blog contests have always been popular.  And I have done a few of those off and on through the years.  Lilith Fair tickets, Royals tickets, a Sony e-reader, Tribble Slippers… we’ve given some good stuff away.  But now, I am working on giving Kansas City away.  Not the “I’ve got a Bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you” kind of thing, but a blog contest that is all about Kansas City and the awesomeness that we are.Catch the Captain Calling CardStarting today, Catch the Captain is online!  It’s a pretty simple premise.  I am out and about often, as is the crew.  We have these cards, Catch the Captain Calling Cards, that we are leaving all over town as we do our usual thing.  The cards have a code on them and a QR Bar Code to scan.  Scan the bar code, enter your CTC code and you have just scored a ton of points to our bi-monthly giveaway (you don’t have to scan the QR, you can also come right to our website.  See that new Catch The Captain, Enter To Win button?  That’s the place!).  Twice a month we are going to offer a gift certificate, product or prize from a local Kansas City business and the winner will always be one of you.  We have set the rules so that anyone can enter but you have to be a KC-ite to win.

Sometimes we will partner with a business to pull this off, sometimes we will just buy the certificates ourselves.  When we have a partner, we are going to toot their horn.  We will tweet about them, tell you what’s so great, maybe offer a special coupon that you can only get from us… it’s all still in the works, so it’s possible it could evolve over time.  Our partner locations will have a stack of the Catch the Captain cards, so that you can always swing by there, check them out and pick up a card.  Neat, huh?  We like it.

Well, folks… the fun and games begins today.  Catch the Captain is online and ready for your entries.  You do NOT have to have a card to play our game, you just get more points for having it.  All you really have to do it be in KC-ish (50 mile radius of Arrowhead) and want to participate.  We appreciate our local community, our readers and the places that we like to shop, eat and visit – so here’s hoping that you can meet them and become friends, too!

So, good luck, have fun and Catch me if you can!

Click here for the Catch the Captain page

Pregnant bellyYou know, I have always figured that having kids aged you.  It starts with the toll on your body, swollen ankles, backaches, stretch marks… A once semi-flat tummy now looks more like a deflated balloon… but it’s all worth it.  Or so I keep telling myself over and over.  Like a meditation chant.  Sometimes like a prayer.

I expected finding the occasional grey hair.  A new wrinkle under my eyes.  Another sleepless night because the kid is sick, can’t sleep or his internet is out and wakes me at midnight to see if it’s ok that he re-boot the router.  All these things add to theBrain fog brain fog that envelopes a parent, making remembering where you put your car keys or if you closed the garage door when you left the house next to impossible.  Much like fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans ever again.

But then the aging comes unexpectedly, too.  Right of out left field – WHAP!!!  Right between the eyes.  Hello, old age, let’s be friends since being enemies doesn’t seem to be in my best interest.

The other night, Will, Boy and I had settled in to watch a movie.  We try to do this together, a couple of times a week, or so.   We like to let Boy pick the flick, within reason.  He has gotten into the Star Trek old series, so he can be more like Papa.  So, we had made an executive decision to watch some of the Old Series movies.  We skipped the Motion Picture – because, dude.  Seriously.  No body wants to see that.  He loved Wrath of Khan, and the Search for Spock.  He asked for The Voyage Home and we found that we could stream it on Amazon with our Prime Membership, so decision made, everyone sprawled on the furniture and we settled in for a couple of hours of Sci-fi fun.

Pocket PagerBoy was riveted, Will was surfing his iPad (he’s more of a Star Wars fan, the traitorous wretch) and I was quoting along, for I had seen the movie about eleventy-hundred times.  There comes a spot where Kirk and Gillian are eating pizza and his communicator starts beeping.  Gillian asks Kirk, “What is that?” “What’s what?”, Kirk responds.  “You have a pocket pager.  Are you a doctor?”

Boy turns to me with his innocent, doe eyes and asks, “Mom, what’s a pocket pager?”

I died a little, right then.  I really did.

Kid C.R.A.P.

Ah, yes.  Another one from the “kid” files.  When you don’t work outside the house and really never see humans that aren’t on that TV thingy – kids are where the creative ideas come from.  Well, kids and wine.  Ok, kids, wine and MSG laden Chinese food.  Now, onward and upward…

Last week, Boy and I were in homeschool, working on Science.  We got to talking about evidence of the worldwide flood, the estimated size of the Ark, how many animals would fit, what everyone ate, etc, etc.  All of a sudden, his eyes pop wide and he turns to me in sheer excitement, “You know what you be SO cool?  If they could clone dinosaurs!”  Wow, that’s out of left field, but ok.

Well, being both a geek and a nerd myself, my child had, finally, caught my interest.

Jurassic Park“Clone dinosaurs… How do you think they would do that?”

“I’m not sure, but it would be AWESOME!  And they could put them all somewhere and let people come visit them.  You know, really learn about that prehistoric stuff.  I’d go, it could be for school!”

So, I smile and say sweetly, “Would you now?  You haven’t ever seen the movie Jurassic Park, have you?”

“No Mom, you’ve never let me.  You’ve always been afraid that it would scare me and I won’t be able to sleep.”  Mostly I was afraid that it would scare him, he wouldn’t sleep, so I wouldn’t get to either.

“Well, m’boy, I think you are of an age.  I do believe the time has come.”

So, after class I ordered up the 1st Jurassic Park in the series on Netflix and waited for it to arrive by MAIL – talk about prehistoric – which it finally did, so we settled in to have a Family Movie Night.

The movie starts and Boy is entranced.  The doctor schooling the snotKid on dig site nosed kid, on the dig site, about the Velociraptor is truly great.  The team helicopters in to the island.  They get on the ride and see the “creation room”.  They start poo-pooing the idea at the luncheon.  Then they go on the tour.  Ah, the tour.  Where, quite literally, all hell breaks loose.

They are just to the part where the power is out and the group is by the T-Rex fence.  Boy turns to me and says, “Man, this would be a GREAT holodeck program.  This is amazing!”

I just smile, with only a hint of evil glint, and mutter “Mmmhhhhmmm.”

Wheres the goatNext thing Boy knows, the goat is missing.  He’s thinking along the same lines of the little girl in the group… “Where’s the goat?” and then BAM!  Bloody goat pieces all over the top of the Jeep!

Boy turns to me, and clears his throat.  “Mom, maybe I would leave THAT part out of the holodeck program.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!  Welcome to Jurassic Park, child.  Still wanna clone dinosaurs?

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