Our Christmas…Mostly in Pictures

So, our Christmas-not-on-Christmas was absolutely wonderful. :) We did adjust our plans a bit from the original agenda, but it didn’t make the day any less awesome. Here, I’ll show you what was going on in the Nerd in the Brain house:

Our Christmas Eve adventures:

After a rather short day of school, there was chicken pot pie and chocolate cake for dinner…pretty much just so we could say we were having pie and cake for Christmas Eve dinner. ;)


And on Christmas Day:



Santa Mouse was here!

Santa Mouse was here!

And someone may have been just a wee excited about her brand new bass and amp!

And someone may have been just a wee excited about her new bass and amp!


I got goodies, too! More than normal actually…mostly due to fantastic coupon use and nifty sales. :D

Of course, John didn’t get left out!

I’m pretty sure you could fly an actual spaceship with those joysticks. ;) (Thank goodness for buying things gently used!)

And we would never dream of neglecting the pup:

A special Christmas dinner! :D

A special Christmas dinner! :D

And we do like to get a little something for the whole family, so a couple of fun, quick-to-play-after-eating-dinner games were added to the mix:


Our nice feast of Chinese food left us all sleepy and happy, but I failed to take any pictures. ;) We opted not to go to the museum we had originally planned to see. Between Grace having a bass to play, John having the universe to save, and me having some very hoity-toity literature to consume, we decided more fun would be had at home. :D

A fantastic Christmas was certainly had!

Now I can sit back and enjoy watching everyone else have their celebrations! :D I do so hope that you all have/are having/had beautiful, wonderful, magical holidays! <3

Three Things Thursday: December 18 (Extended Edition)

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

As you may have read yesterday, today is our Christmas day around here. :D Alas, I live with two sleepy, sleepy bums, so I’m still the only one up. Not wanting to give into impatience (I’m really, really excited about what we got for Grace), I decided to go ahead and share my Three Things for the week…except I couldn’t narrow it down, so it’s more like seven things. :D


Is there anything more exciting than passing on a skill to the next generation?!? And she’s doing such a fantastic job with crochet! (I’ll let you know who this is for later.) ;)


A handmade postcard from the lovely Kate of Sincerely Kate. (Click picture for a link to her blog!)


Grace and I saw this book at the library in a display about yarn. I love that they have a yarn display…and the title of this book made us giggle like a couple of nut jobs. ;)


I love my little piece of art from Evil Squirrel! :D (Click the picture to go to the awesome blog!)


Speaking of awesome art, check out this adorable Hello Kitty holding a dinosaur that Kayly over at My Open Sketchbook made for me! Squeeee! :D (Click the picture to visit her fabulous blog.)


Some of the awesome Christmas cards I’ve received from other bloggers! Most of these are from the Christmas card exchange set up by the wonderful Jackie of To Breathe is to Write. :D (Click picture to visit her blog!)


The first six gifts from the Cards Against Humanity “Ten Days or Whatever of Kwanzaa” fun. I love that I have CAH cards with my name on them now! :D


So, what made you smile this week? Any fun stuff in the mail? (Things in the mail seems to be a partial theme here this week.) Any run ins with Bubu the Magic Alpaca? :D Any ideas on how I should occupy myself until these two lazy bums wake up…you know, so I don’t kick anyone awake. ;)

I hope you’re having a beautiful day that is just full of the awesome!

It’s Christmas Eve! (In My World)

Due to a change in plans, today has officially become my Christmas Eve! :D

As I’ve mentioned before, we alternate years with Grace on holidays, and this year is her mom’s Christmas. This does not bother us even a little bit, and we’ve become quite accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a fairly random day every other year. And we do go forth with the entire Christmas celebration…regardless of the actual date.

Well, originally, we were going to celebrate Christmas with Grace after Christmas. On the 29th to be exact. But there has been a change of plans! For reasons long and complex and, honestly, rather boring, Grace is going to be staying with us longer into the week than we had planned. (Always a bonus!) Since John’s vacation starts tomorrow, we thought we’d be bananas not to go ahead and get our Christmas on.

So, on this very evening, we’ll be leaving out cookies for Santa and sugar cubes for reindeer and cheese for Santa Mouse. (Yes, we still do this…don’t question us!) ;) We’ll be watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. We’ll drink hot cocoa and make googly eyes at the Christmas tree.

Here's our spread from last year. :)

Here’s our spread from last year. :)

And since we’re celebrating on a day that’s not the day, we have lots of options for how we spend our Christmas! Because we are who we are, we have planned a magical afternoon of going to a museum and having Chinese food for dinner. :)

The whole point of this post? To tell you my festive self won’t be around much today and tomorrow because I’ll be Christmasing all about the place. ;) (I’m sure I’ll peek in from time to time…I can’t resist you lovelies! And, of course, I’ll post Three Things Thursday tomorrow!)

And that was a very long lead in for me to tell you that I hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas…this one and the “real” one next week. <3

How to Be a Jerk Weasel: Cultural Performances

***This temper tantrum is brought to you by the rude oafs I found myself surrounded by at two performances over the weekend.***


Step 1: Be confused about what type of show you’re attending.

No, really. It’s fun! Peek around at all of the people seated quietly. Take in the dresses and suits. Note the high proportion of grey heads. Maybe peer into the orchestra pit and notice all of those fancy instruments. And then determine that you must be at a Skrillex show. Surely there’s a mosh pit somewhere. You just need to keep looking!

Step 2: Talk. A lot. About stuff no one cares about.

The people you’re with need to know about the chicken you had for dinner right now. Right now! It’s your moral obligation to tell them. Make sure you talk loudly enough that the people around you hear, too. They want to know!

Sure, it may seem like you’re disregarding the hundreds upon hundreds of hours of practice and preparation that enormously talented artists, dancers, musicians, and stage crews underwent to bring you this performance, but that’s okay! That chicken thing is really important. More important than all of that work and talent. (Especially if it’s a high school performance! Geez, what do those kids know about hard work anyway, right?)

Oh, and totally don’t worry about the people around you who paid good money to hear beautiful music. They’re really more interested in that chicken thing, too.


Step 3: Eat loud snacks!

When you’re all done talking about your chicken (and lots of other mundane things that really are of infinite interest to the audience members surrounding you), go ahead and eat some more!

But don’t eat just anything! No. You need to eat something loud. Something with a crinkly wrapper. Something that involves a lot of bobble-headed, cow-style chewing. Perhaps some peanut butter crackers will do the trick! Yes, that’s the thing.

I know there are signs all over the theater asking you to enjoy your concessions in the lobby, but they don’t really mean that. That sign is for other people. Not you. Nuh-uh. You can enjoy your loud snacks whenever and wherever you would like. You are special!

Step 4: Arrive late.

Not just late. Really late. Like halfway into Act 1. Yeah, that should do it. You didn’t really want to see this thing anyway, right?

But just being late isn’t enough. No, sir! You also need to disregard that whole notion of standing quietly at the back or side of the theater until an appropriate moment to sit down arises. (Intermission, perhaps?) Nope, standing around is for losers. And you are not a loser. As a famous scene is taking place on stage, you should demand that half a row of the audience stand up so that you can make your way to your seat. Who cares about the people in that row or the rows behind them? Don’t they know that you are special?!?

Step 5: Screaming children are awesome!

There’s really no reason to not bring a baby to a night performance. I mean, the baby crowd is really known for their appreciation of the ballet, and the screaming just adds a little je ne sais quoi for everyone. Definitely do that.

You are special and your baby is special, too. Bring the baby out…past bedtime to an overstimulating environment. Brilliant!

Step 6: Don’t clap. And, for goodness sakes, do not stand up for an ovation!

It’s just a bunch of people parading around on stage in silly outfits, right? They ought to be clapping for you just for showing up! In fact, you just sit there with a look on your face that indicates you just smelled something unpleasant while the whole rest of the audience claps for you. You are worth it!


And that’s it. In six easy steps, you can make your obnoxious jerk weasel dreams come true! Let me know how it works out for you!

Source for picture unknown...not my work.


A Night at the Ballet & A Bonus Performance

Last night was amazing! It was finally, finally, finally time to see Nutcracker performed by the Charlotte Ballet. :) The whole performance was just beautiful!

I wish I could share tons of pictures with you, but there is a pretty strict “no photography” rule for these things. If you want to see pictures of the ballet itself, there are a few on the Charlotte Ballet’s website. When you’re all done looking there, you can check out some of the wonderful things we were able to take pictures of…

A hugely tall Christmas tree in one of the buildings we toddled through on the way to the theater.

A hugely tall Christmas tree in one of the buildings we toddled through on the way to the theater.

The entrance to the theater was very festive and thematic. :)

The entrance to the theater was very festive and thematic. :)

John and Grace in the lobby....pretty tired of me taking pictures, I think. :D

John and Grace in the lobby….pretty tired of me taking pictures, I think. :D

Grace standing next to one of the lovely Christmas trees in the theater lobby. :)

Grace standing next to one of the lovely Christmas trees in the theater lobby. :)











I did sneak one picture inside the theater...I really felt like there should be Muppets up in those boxes. ;)

I did sneak one picture inside the theater…I really felt like there should be Muppets up in those boxes. ;) (John is busy picking out the next show we should attend.) 


And after the amazing, beautiful, wonderful ballet was over, we headed outside to be greeted by another amazing, beautiful, wonderful performance of a different sort:

These guys were incredible! They were playing Christmas songs for the crowd with so much energy and enthusiasm that I almost forgot I was, for the first time in years, wearing high heels…it is awe-inspiring what talented people can do with the simplest of instruments. I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t take a video so you could hear how great they are.

So, what did you guys do this weekend? Anything fun or awesome or exciting? Have you been to any ballets or other performances recently? Any performances coming up? (I’m thinking of buying tickets to “A Waltz to Remember” for February, but I’m not sure yet.)

An Amazing Evening…And a Plan

Yesterday evening, we had the awesome pleasure of attending a performance at the local arts & technology high school. It was an absolutely amazing show! It was a collaborative effort between the school’s bands (there are a few different ones), chorus, theater program, and dancers and every group was just fantastic. Here, I’ll share some blurry pictures with you! (It was kind of dark, and I, of course, didn’t want to use my flash…and those people were moving around way too much for me to get a decent picture.) ;)

Pretty cool, eh?

So, why did we go to a performance at a high school where we have no students? Well, because Grace has decided she would like to go to a performing arts school for high school. We, of course, fully support this goal, so we’ve been investigating options in the area. This school is actually in the same town we live in, so we had to give it a peek. Needless to say, we were quite impressed. The other school in our very short list of possibilities is pretty close to her mom’s house. I think it’s fantastic that we have more than one option for a public art school. (Since there’s no way we can afford private school!)

Now, the schools are public, but they’re still challenging to get into. The applications and auditions are taken quite seriously. Luckily for Grace, she just so happens to live with her teacher…and that teacher may be okay with her spending class time writing and perfecting application essays. ;) I love that Grace is getting to experience the fun of applying to schools well before college…perhaps it won’t come as a shock to her when that time comes. :)

Another neat thing about both schools? They both participate in Early College programs and have really strong academic standards. Squeee! :D

At this point, we’re in the very, very early stages of gathering information and applying. In fact, one of the schools won’t even release their application for next year until January. Either of these schools would be a tremendous opportunity for Grace, and we would so love to see her continue to expand on her natural talent for music. So, I do hope you’ll keep your fingers crossed for Grace. :D

* * * * *

As if an incredible performance and exciting school plans weren’t enough, the Geminid meteor shower also put on a pretty brilliant show last night! At one point, I was spotting one per minute or so. Of course, I was also freezing my tush off, so I only peeked for a few minutes at a time. :)

* * * * *

What about you? Any major changes in school plans for you or your kids? Did you see the awesome display in the sky last night? Seen any good shows recently?


Adventures in Business Stuff: Rebranding

So, most of you are probably unaware that, in addition to my Etsy shop, I also have a shop on Ravelry. The Ravelry shop has actually been sitting around for a few years now. It’s been quietly earning a few dollars a month without me paying much attention to it…other than paying my monthly fees, of course.

But then…

I decided to pull everything together under the name Nerd in the Brain.

What a pain in the rumpus! I’ve spent all morning and early afternoon plinking with the Ravelry shop in an attempt to get everything under the name Nerd in the Brain. I’ve had a couple of little setbacks…mostly created by my own self. For example, I can’t change my user name to Nerd in the Brain because I had another (non shop related) Ravelry account under that name. I deleted that account, but I have to wait for the user name to become available again. If it never does, I’ll just go with some variation of the name…I’m not too wound up about it.

Since my knitting shop has changed names twice now (“Dragon Knits” to “minus colour” to “Nerd in the Brain”), I have a mess of multiple names all over the place. *sigh* I’m still in the process of getting everything over to one name. The part I’m dreading most is downloading all of the patterns, reformatting and removing all references to old business names, and re-uploading them to Ravelry. *sigh again* Again, no one’s fault but my own for changing business names multiple times.

Curious about what sort of patterns I have in the shop? I’ll show you some examples!


Slouchy mitts knitted with sock yarn. :)


Oversized toddler sweaters made with thick, squishy yarn. :D


A scoodie! I do so love the word scoodie…even if it isn’t really a word. :D

The plan is to start adding more patterns (including some fabulously nerdy ones) to the shop, but I’m trying to get everything straight with the details first. *sigh yet again*

What about you? Have you ever bitten yourself in your own rear end with business or blog decisions? Did you leave things messed up for a long time because you just didn’t want to mess with it? Or are you more of an “on top of things, take care of business” kind of person? Have you ever gone through the rebranding process? Any tips or tricks?