Thursday, June 30, 2011
Current Mood : Wanna go back to bed...
My tummy was still full this morning, but I woke up with massive pain in my lower right jaw. Took pain pills, it went away. When it came back, the ibuprofen didn't work anymore. Acetaminophen took the edge off, but it seemed the sharp stabbing got worse quickly. My mother used to suffer from gum and jaw pains, and I remember the plastic bottles she'd keep just to use as compresses. I did the same with a microwaved rice sock. I like rice socks - you can put 'em in the freezer or microwave, depending on what you need, and the rice smells good heated up. Lost of folks make pretty bags, but I'm cheap - I half-fill one of Dearest Son's outgrown socks with cheap rice, tie it shut, and we're in business. That helped, and I was able to sleep a bit this afternoon.
We'd heard from our landlord to expect an air-conditioning repair person anytime Thursday or after. So I actually got off my butt when I could and did an hour's worth of dishes, to complement the hour's worth that Beloved Hubby did last night. Also did a quick load of laundry, since both are piled up. Spaghetti dinner wasn't near as fancy and tasty as the wonderful dinner we had yesterday, but it was nice to be home. And now I have more dishes to catch up on ! (grin)
I had a little energy left, so I gave my 'new' PJ a quick bath. Her lock of hair in the front just won't go left or right, it refuses, so I'm gonna leave it where it likes to be. The new dress is super-tight on her, so I'll have to find her something else soon. It was nice to see how her hairline was rooted for the beaded ponytails she's so frequently photographed with - but I'll confess, it was that delicate line of purple eye shadow on her near-perfect Steffie face that intrigued me.
But it's precisely what's made it hard to conclusively identify her. In addition to the eye shadow, she has Philippines butt-markings and navy blue outlining the outside of her pupils. Seems if she has purple eye shadow, she should have matching pupil lining, or her Phillipines markings indicate she should have that 'peek a boo' tan paint job. Could be I need to research Steffie, not just Malibu PJ. Ah, well, not that it really matters. I just need to find her an improved body !
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Current Mood : Happy Tummy !
I'm running a day behind, so thanks for bearing with me. Massive thunderstorm cancelled Beloved Hubby's plans, so we got some extra sleep, got Simba/Oliver bathed and picked, had a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs, and sort of frittered. DFIL and the family wanted to celebrate a completed backyard cleanup - they really got a lot done back there, and it's looking like a start to a photo shoot of suburban backyards now ! - with a full-on cookout, and we were invited ! Much better than the Taco Bell dinner plans we were contemplating - my BIL and Uncle T. are fantastic cooks who grow their own herbs. This was bound to be an epicurean delight !
But first, we stopped at a local Army surplus store to scout a particular shirt Beloved wanted. I like going there, the staff is all family and very nice. There's dogs to visit with, and they love any attention they get without being demanding. I was happy to see the disabled young lady frequently behind the counter had a haircut similar to mine, she looked so pretty with her dark fluffy hair and ruffled yellow blouse that I told her so. She made happy sounds and waved to me, not something she always does. So I was thrilled we'd gotten to go - and that shirt is International Male-level sexy on my Beloved ! So glad we bought it.
Of course, making a suggestion to hit the thrift down the street was an easy pitch, so we texted DFIL that we'd be on our way shortly, since it was still kinda early for supper - did they need anything ? Nope, just us, they were glad we were coming.
Dearest Son found a stuffed tiger he liked, nearly right inside the door, but I had a harder time of it. Someone'd dumped a whole collection of Barbie's friend Teresa, but there wasn't any I wanted or didn't already have. However, I did find a really lovely Malibu PJ, with that classic Steffie face - too bad it was on a chewed-to-heck body. And I'd already winnowed my Malibu collection....hrf. What to do, what to do...? Ended up carrying PJ around - 'while I made up my mind', you understand - and ended up bringing her home. I couldn't resist her near-perfect face paint, or the Mommy-made dress, much better than most of mine. If it weren't for the outsized print and largish elastic at the sleeve cuffs, it could easily have been Mattel-made. Even though I'm not as 'into' Barbie as I was, I can't resist a rehab case, or a lovely Malibu, or a great Steffie, especially when I get all that in one doll for less than $3. I'm sure a body upgrade will find its way to me soon.
What was slightly ironic is that, for the same price, I could have obtained an out-of-box 2009 Holiday Barbie, a platinum Model Muse in a slightly rumpled but completely intact, 'Barbie Collector' tagged, big fluffy pink gown. Her hair and earrings seemed barely disturbed, either, but I forgot to check for shoes - 'cause I knew I wasn't buying her. Wow. Someone paid, like forty bucks for her not two years ago, and here she is in a thrift store.
While I perused books - nothing this week ! - Beloved wanted to show me these camouflage ballerina flats he'd found. Cute shoes ! I liked the digital camo on rip-stop fabric print, and the little silver buckles were just the right shiny touch. What size were they ? Turned out they fit my wide pods, so they came along, too. Examining the soles later showed that they were worn maybe twice before. Some slight side scuffs, no heel wear at all. Score ! Wore them to dinner at the family compound (giggle) and I think they fit better than the ones I wore when we left our place.
The rest of the evening was heavenly. It was just getting cooler and the coals were nearly perfect - you could smell the mesquite for two blocks. Our menu included fresh and grilled squash, home-made hamburgers, juicy bratwurst, hand-made marinade chicken, baked beans, and salad, with watermelon for dessert. I ate more tonight than I've eaten in weeks - my tummy is still protesting, but only lightly.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Current Mood : Concerned and wary...
Gave things some thought, and perhaps I'm as guilty as intolerance as anyone else involved with the insanity that seems to be part and parcel of Monster High fandom, so I'm gonna apologize to anyone I upset, and back away from the scene anyway. Either way, sewing will be much better for me than waiting to pounce on new stuff for sale.
Guilty secret : I kind of want to see Abbey Bominable 'in person', so to speak. I like the photos I've seen and the diaries I've read, I just don't know if she'll fit in here. I'm sure I'll find one sooner or later, and go from there.
OK. You're probably here about the kitten. And why I freaked out yesterday. So, here ya go. Dearest Son found a starveling kitten under a car in his grandparents' driveway during his visit this weekend. The little faded-orange sherbet feline actually 'belonged' across the street, to a kid not much older than Dearest. He'd brought the cat home without remembering his mother is epi-pen allergic. If you're unfamiliar with epi pens, they're like one med step above inhalers, and maybe a half-step below adrenaline straight in your heart. My inhaler is a scooter. An epi pen is a tank. Not something to be trifled with. So the poor little thing was still mostly homeless.
But quite clever. He'd found the one place perhaps on the whole street that'd find him a forever inside home - preferably with Dearest. I wasn't too sure, but I gave it a tentative OK, so kitty came home with him yesterday. He wasn't inside 30 seconds before he was out of the pet carrier and in my lap - what a sweetie ! DFIL had other errands to run, so he didn't stay long. Ah, well. I was contentedly petting 'Simba' when a small spot on his brow moved. Horrified, I pulled him off my chest and really looked at this three ounces of kitten...
Who was being eaten alive by fleas. Hundreds of them ! Oh EMmmm GEEEEEE ! We had fleas at our previous address, and it was torture until we got rid of them...I was not going through that again ! I yelled for Dearest to grab the Dawn dishwashing detergent and any bowl he could grab - his cat was getting a bath, NOW !
Three soapings and about six dozen scratches and bites to my hands and arms later, an exhausted Simba was too tired to even protest vocally...but despite the 70 or so fleas that went down the drain, he was still full of them, clinging hard to his belly, legs, shoulders...I vibrated in horror again, grabbed the rinse bowl, added a drop of Dawn to some hot water in it, and took Simba, the carrier, a comb and everything else out to the front porch.
Poor exhausted kitty almost fell asleep as I hand-picked as many fleas as I could. Most were still alive, others clung tight even stunned or dead. Fleas are unique parasites that, even dead, still draw for future flea generations - nasty ! So we had to eradicate every one. I also learned that, once dry, Simba seemed to be at least half longhair. This was not looking good.
Let him recover, with full dishes of water and Meow Mix outside for a while, but when I went to check on him, he was panting hard. Surprisingly, DC was keeping him company outside the carrier. Gave him another short bath followed by more picking - and earned more scratches. He was clearly feeling better. And I'd pulled 43 more, with who knows how many down the drain. (shudddddder)
By now, I'd let Simba go, I was exhausted and it wasn't so hot outside, so we sort of visited. He and DC seemed to get along without the carrier between them. DC had to establish some boundaries, but it was mostly done in yowls instead of claws-out cuffs. Beloved Hubby came home, gave Simba another rinse, and together, we pulled another 20 or 30. There were surely some that got away, but his inside legs and belly weren't black with them anymore, so we brought him inside.
He really is a clever kitty. I showed him the litter box, using the classic front-paws 'raking' technique, and darn if he didn't dig a hole himself when I let go, and used it then and there. Several times more since, poor thing. When he first got here, we couldn't quite tell his gender, he was so small - especially next to DC. Three more bowls of Meow Mix (small ones) and our suspicions were confirmed - Mazel tov, it's a boy ! He quite literally 'dropped' yesterday, in between baths.
So far, I don't seem to be reacting to him, but that may be due to the baths. So we shall see - but he's a sweet and playful kitten, who follows Dearest around adoringly. I got about another dozen off him today, and clearly he's feeling more alert and happy. He purrs at the drop of a caress, but will gently attack feet if they move provokingly. At least he doesn't bite. Just runs up, launches his attack, then runs off.
Oh, and stand by for a potential name-change. We watched Oliver and Company scenes on YouTube this afternoon, so 'Simba' may become 'Oliver'. Whatever Dearest decides on, it becomes final Friday !
Monday, June 27, 2011
Current Mood : You'll find out tomorrow...eeeek !
Discovered something interesting a few days ago that I didn't fully investigate until today - wow. Aubrey Silver borrowed a copy of Mari DeWitt's Vintage Clothing for the Fashion Doll though InterLibrary Loan last week. Cost him $3., but it's the best way to evaluate a pattern book before sinking cash into it. He mentions being undecided about it, then yesterday announced that his blog, A Bit of Aubrey's Mind, was on hiatus for a few days. Can't say I blame him, mine must've been mild torture or a cure for insomnia to read through for most of June. But I'm too needy to let mine go for more than a week or so. Even when I don't post, I still Muse every day for it.
He mentions that, if he decides he wants the book, it'll be about fifty bucks to get his own copy. I thought he was joking. Nope. While you can occasionally find 'em cheaper on eBay, steady sources like Amazon wanted $59. ! And a similar book I got for Elphie is even more expensive ! Wow. I may give Aubrey a few more days, then list both volumes on Half.com or Amazon - it's not like I've touched either book in years. And a hundred bucks would be so nice to have around...
I'm still wresting with Monster High fandom. Crap, I have apocalyptic nightmares about it ! While I wanna know when the next Whatever comes out, and I enjoy some of the squeal, it's getting so that, if I wanna enjoy what I have, I have to avoid most fan-based groups. Sad, but even that doesn't work. Few weeks ago, I got a rather ill-toned set of messages on my own Flickr image account, basically telling me that I should be grateful Mattel sells me anything - and I saw a similar line of conversation on (sigh) a doll board I visit once a week. I've had to dump and run from at least one doll site because the admins - or members who thought themselves admins - were rude and called anyone who didn't agree with them stupid morons, or worse. I've got Mattel apologists on the left, name-calling kids (at least, I hope these are children !) on the right, and the webisodes are going in a direction I'm already losing interest in. Even Flickr-type sites- that mostly exist to host images ! - are war zones on occasion, and I don't have time for that crap. No one should have to wade through all this because they like a doll ! What is it about MH that takes everything I learned to hate about Barbie Collecting As A Hobby and amp it to 11 ?
You've heard me whine through this before. I need to just sever all contact with most sites and just stick to my own pile of banality and a few Flickr friends. But it amazes me how difficult it is to do that. I still have that vision of grabbing up all my dolls and running away with them, so they won't be tarred with the awful brushes I keep seeing - it looks like today's image, from episode #28 of Urusei Yatsura. Just picture little Shinobu holding about 20 dolls instead ! And Ataru wearing a shirt that reads 'MH Fandom' or 'Mattel', your choice !
Meanwhile, our landlord wasn't surprised to hear of our Adventures in Air Conditioning Cleaning - and told us the previous tenants probably hadn't done anything for the last five or seven years, minimum. Gee, thanks for telling us ahead of time. They're gonna make an appointment for an actual AC tech to come by later this week, so I have a real reason to get busy on the housework. Started small today, and redid the sloppy pile of books by my side of the bed. Got them all moved, some donated, some relocated, but at least ankles are safe again. And I found a few from the last thrift-store run I haven't read yet, so those are where I can grab 'em now.
While I was catching my breath from that simple exercise, I noticed that my bangs were in my eyes again, which drives me crazy. Beloved's gonna be working late this week, to catch up...so I took scissors and a breath and went after them m'self. I don't normally cut 'em on my own, last time I did, I wandered around looking like a lost Vulcan for a month, but if I wanted to quit tossing my head around, there was nothing else for it. Came out OK, I think - I remember how Beloved does it, and how my old stylist used to, and blatantly ripping their techniques off worked out !
Oh. Em. GEE. Dearest Son just came home with the new kitten. Stay tuned for tomorrow's tale of terror - I'm about to freak out !
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Current Mood : Hopeful
I think we're on the 'safe' side of ill now. I actually slept for several hours last night - only woke up once, and went right back to sleep. The inhaler's reverted to a safety blanket from a desperate measure in the last two days. Got up for a bit with Beloved Hubby as he got ready for Airsoft, and fell right back asleep 'til nearly 11am.
Devoured the most delicious orange in the universe and lazed around, plotting and planning. While I have a birthday coming up, it's gonna be on the quiet side. Don't think a huge, sugary cake is a good idea right now, honestly. And since the Monster High dolls I want aren't due out 'til mid-July or even August, we're gonna keep to the plan of having cash readily available to order them, tucked away in PayPal or House Checking, when they are released. In its own way, that's kind of exciting.
But I can always find something to be aggravated over, too. When Toy A is only available on eBay and certain overpriced dealers (coughAngelicDreamzHork - sorry, guess I'm still a bit under the weather !), and even the manufacturer doesn't have them listed at their own Company Store, it's nearly impossible to find out what the actual retail price is or will be. I like the 'Day at the Maul' fashion pack, but when it's $30. at High Price Boutique and $27. plus $10. shipping on eVilBay, how can you tell what it'll be at Mal-Wart and Target in the next week or two ? Frankly, I kinda thought the Barbie three-pack outfits, shoes, and a prop or two was a bit overpriced at $12. to $14., but it looks like the 'Maul' set really will be around $20. True, there are more props and such, but if anything, the outfits are Barbie-quality sewing, and there's no way to really mix and match the pieces. If it turns out to retail at about twenny bucks, I'll be somewhat less than impressed. Now, $15. or a buck or two higher seems almost reasonable, but any more than that, and I can't help but feel gouged for shoes.
Having said that, I'm now waiting to be told that I should just be glad and overjoyed that Mattel's decided to sell two whole outfits without dolls - and I should be thrilled to pay a 'with doll' price premium anyway ! Mattel doesn't owe me anything, ya know !
Sorry. My soda seems to be making me a shade bitter. We had to buy the name-brand last night, and I'm so used to the generic, it's throwing me a bit off. It's also hard to plan how much to put aside for the three 'locker' dolls I want when again, I have no idea what MSRP will be. Ah, well.
Filled and took out two bags of trash between the time I woke up and Beloved came back home. He was already suffering from heat stress, although he'd bowed out of the last Airsoft game. We watched a movie then I urged him to take a nice nap. Three hours later, he was cooler but still a bit edgy, so we had a leftover smorgasbord dinner and some quiet time. The house is comfy without being cold, and I'm breathing - life is gooood !
I'm hoping to sew tomorrow - make a simple shirred sundress for 'Forbitten Romance' DracuLaura, and offer her in trade for some red Ghoulia glasses via the FaceBook group. Or, just make a sundress, since I've been wanting to experiment with shoulder straps. Haven't done those before, and goss knows I got plenty of ribbon to play with. I'm kind of hoping I can score the glasses cheaply, 'cause that's how I roll. As adorable as the new DLaura is, I already have two that are just as cute, and I think Clawd's already chosen Basic as his steady ghoul-friend.
Not much else going on, and it's nearly sleepy-time again. I'm yawning, imagine that ! I think Beloved's watching Surrogates, which looks like a fairly big-budget sci-fi movie, so I think I'll grab the Pringles and join him. Hope your Sunday was fun, but not overheated !
PS - No Dearest Son or marmalade kitten today. DFIL's truck blew a tire in the heat, and Dearest is having fun playing Angry Birds with his Grand-dad, so he won't be home 'til tomorrow. Promise new-kitty photos as soon as possible ! But I'm really missing our son...
PS - No Dearest Son or marmalade kitten today. DFIL's truck blew a tire in the heat, and Dearest is having fun playing Angry Birds with his Grand-dad, so he won't be home 'til tomorrow. Promise new-kitty photos as soon as possible ! But I'm really missing our son...
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Current Mood : Happily on the sofa with Beloved. (content sigh)
Beloved Hubby had a salad craving of his own tonight, so we did a short grocery run. We're both still tired and weak, and now understand the appeal of grocery delivery. Too bad no one here does that.
Discovered that the odd dark curved pieces in the one I had from Braum's the other day were spinach leaves. I ate 'em, of course, they were actually kind of tasty. So far, I've had spinach three times I didn't know about until afterward - once on a pizza, one in pasta, and now a salad. Got a nice bag of apples and oranges, and some corn chips for me. I'm set for the rest of the weekend ! Believe this or not, I just yesterday polished off a bag of potato chips - that'd been open for three days ! Normally, I'll empty one of those suckers in two days flat. Four days is unheard of, but again, my appetite is still AWOL. I eat, I pretty much have to, my meds will make me very ill very fast if taken on an empty stomach, but I don't snack or nibble like I used to. And I really don't look forward to what's next to eat anymore. I'm pretty much down to a meal and a half a day now, with maybe a handful of popcorn or some hard candy for my throat. I doubt I've lost weight, since a fast-food salad still has all the calories of a burger, but I am enjoying what I do eat a bit more.
(grin) I just remembered...back when Dearest Son was still natal, and things hadn't hit the fan yet, about all I could eat was salads. Beloved would buy a big, huge $3. bag of greens, a variety of croutons, meat bits, cheeses, and the like, and I'd mix up whatever I wanted to eat that day. I ate at least two a day, adding eggs and bacon bits and good bread, too. Ended up so sick of salad that, aside from a few restaurant visits, I really haven't craved salad since. Guess I really was sick - and I really hope Beloved isn't for much longer !
Beloved has an Airsoft training day scheduled for tomorrow, but he's not sure if it's going off or not. First, he's still mildly ill, second, it's gonna be 100 degrees with 45mph wind gusts fairly early on. Honestly, even if he decides to go on with it, I'm not sure how many others will show up.
But for now, we're on the sofa, watching silly Netflix movies. I need to write them - while we'll have some movies for *forever*, others come and go in a blink. It'd help if 'flix could tell us when a show's about to vanish, so we can make sure to watch it, instead of seeing Hot Tub Time Machine again.
Today's little heart-secret : It ranks to be so sick, but it's been nice to have the weekend with Beloved !
Friday, June 24, 2011
Current Mood : I scare m'self sometimes...
Things are continuing to improve - the air conditioning now does switch off on occasion - ever since we turned it on in late May, it's pretty much run nonstop. Our bills aren't too high yet, but the worst is coming, so I'm glad we took care of things now. I had weird Jericho / Monster High fusion dream-nightmares - in a world where food is scarce, collectable dolls get fought over, viciously ! - that I was glad to awaken from, but I still carried 'em around all day. Imagine how much worse it'd be if I actually wanted a Spectra Vondergeist doll !
Ironically, Dearest's client cancelled on him today, saying her house was sick, too. Nausea, exhaustion, headaches, lethargy. Now I'm starting to wonder if it was just the AC, or there's more going on. Regardless, as predicted, we were both still tired and weak, so we mostly loafed on the sofa and watched Jericho episodes on Netflix. Perhaps you remember that series, a guy goes home for a day and gets stuck there because he picked the one day nuclear strikes hit the US. We got through most of the first season, which reminded me of Mr. Barefoot, one of my high-school teachers.
Ostensibly he taught history, but I learned a lot more from him. Every year, he did a week where he detailed what would happen if a nuke was dropped at the Hardees' restaurant about four miles from the school. My classmates didn't let this bother them, but I spent most of the following lunch period in an isolated study carrel in tears, trying to get m'self back in order to get through the rest of the day. It can be argued that such intense scare tactics were uncalled for, but remember, this was 1983. And, frankly, I did need it. Thanks to Mr. Barefoot, that was the day I finally learned to think. When lessons weren't something to just be regurgitated for a test. When information mattered and was worth keeping. When I learned to look around and see, not just dismiss everything that didn't directly affect me in that second. Professor Tuck taught much the same way, and these are the two men I admire most in this world. That I'm not married or related to, that is !
Dearest Son enjoyed Cars 2 today, although the adult reviews have been far less kind. He got to wear the special glasses and everything, and had a great time. DFIL had another question for us...would we like a kitten ? Sweet little marmalade, six weeks old. Well... I was resistant. What about DC ? What about my allergies ? What about...this adorable photo of a sweet orange tabby curled up adoringly in Dearest's lap ? (sigh) Call me an all-day sucker, and I'll answer. We get to meet 'Simba' on Sunday. Neighbors were fostering the little furball, and they can evidently target a soft touch a county away. Dearest knows that kitty can't stay if I wheeze, though. Here's hoping. As for DC, I haven't seen his "dine and dash" hinder in two days. Here's hoping it works out, too.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Current Mood : Breathing deeper...
I think things are getting better. Beloved Hubby, who doesn't suffer from any of my health concerns, woke up nearly as sick as me today, and after a lot of back-and-forth questions, he cancelled his work day, called DFIL, and headed off to Lowe's. Came back with a new shop vac, more duct cleaners, and a new filter system with a double-filter housing set, and proceeded to take our central air conditioner apart. DFIL picked up Dearest Son early for a visit - and a showing of Cars 2, in the new 3D theater near their home - and to keep him safe from whatever was in that AC unit.
No wonder we're all ill. I don't think that thing's been cleaned since it was installed. Dust was wad-thick, and could be brought out with a hairbrush in clumps. Some of it was so bad, he had to take components outside and clean them there, since he feared making me more sick. It was still early morning, but he worried about me, so he got the fans going in our bedroom and blocked the door from dust entering. Told me to read, sleep, whatever, but to not come out until he was done. I had yet another bad night of insomnia, and fully expected to have more trouble with it, but before I knew it, four hours had passed, and our door was open. I'd actually slept !
And our air conditioning unit was clean. It now had not only new filters, but a whole new system of filtration, and he'd reassembled the cleaned components. He was also mildly worried about how the AC ran all day without stopping, and it pretty much did the same thing today - but tonight, it actually stopped for an hour. Whew. I hope this $130. investment helps our power bill, too - but I already felt better in the house. I was breathing much deeper, although I was still kind of weak.
I figured we'd both still be ill for a day or three, while the gunk in our lungs got swept out, but I could already feel some improvement. Even Beloved said he felt better. I found myself craving fruit and salad, so he took me out for one. The Braum's garden salad is delicious - full of green crunchies and cheese and carrots. Spoiled mine with a small order of fries, though. My appetite is still half what it used to be. When we go out for groceries, I'm gonna snag a bag of apples and oranges. When my system makes demands for fresh food, it's best to listen. Especially since its normal requests lean more towards corn chips and sour cream and onion dip.
Beloved took several photos - this is the one least likely to make you lose your salad ! - to show our landlord. It's still hard to believe, but there's the evidence. (shudder) Not counting the time, we spent serious money on this project - but it's still cheaper than an ER visit !
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Current Mood : Worried.
I'm percolating an idea. Thinking that maybe, if I make 'Forbitten Romance' DracuLaura a nice dress, maybe I can trade her for a set of 'Dead Tired' Ghoulia's clothes and glasses. That way, I'd have what I want without having to buy another doll, and I'd actually be finding one a new home, all for much cheaper than simply buying a DT doll. After all, Priority mailing a doll would only be five or six bucks - a DT doll retail is $14.50.
I'm also giving real thought to the 'who would go / who will stay' question that's haunting my Monster High-obsessed mind. Thing is, some of 'em, I almost *have* to keep. All three Clawdeens for instance. Each one - basic, Dawn of the Dance, and Gloom Beach - has a completely unique hand mold. And I enjoy having all three. Cleo has two, as does DracuLaura and Frankie. I'd have only bought two of the Gloom Beach cuties if it hadn't been for those exciting hands ! And it looks like Classroom 'Home Ick' Frankie has new hands. So far, Lagoona and Ghoulia just have one. Whew ! Of course, I can always put the 'blah' hands on the doll I least want and find her a new home, and keep the cool hands I like...
Anyway. Since you got 'Crew 2', the ghouls in the Sewing Arena yesterday, today you get 'Crew 1', everybody what's on my desk. These are all Basics, first editions of each character, whatever else they're called. These are the ones pretty much guaranteed to not go anywhere besides the Arena and back. What can I say, I'm always sentimental, I still remember Beloved Hubby bringing DracuLaura, Lagoona, and Frankie home - he went all out for me. So those dolls are mine forever !
Hm. I really need to do a 'hand inventory' of all the MH girls. With photos. Might be an interesting side-note to the line's history. Just...it's not gonna be right now. I swear, I'm getting sicker. This morning, it was all I could do to get up, keep up with Dearest Son, and make sure both of us got showers. I have no idea what's wrong, other than Spring's kicking my butt. Thing is, by this time, it's normally over, not getting worse ! Beloved Hubby's being very understanding, but the house looks like heck, and I'm not able to do much besides sleep and think of what I should be doing, and what I want to do.
Still can't sleep much at night, but I think I've figured out the 'always wake up at around 2am' thing, though. It's not good. I can sleep for a few hours, but I wake up in a panic around 2am - last night, I had to fight to breathe for a few seconds, which is scary as anything. I honestly don't know what to do, but hope things get better soon.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Current Mood : Crabby
Current Image Notes : Here's Crew 2, in the sewing arena, in the box TRU gave me. It's darn near perfect for what I ended up wanting. Love it !
In a bit of a crabster mood, but it's nothing major, and there's no real reason for it - but it did get me off my butt and into my sewing arena. Didn't sew, but I cleared some space and reshuffled stuff. I finally found a purpose for that Monster High cardboard book display easel TRU gave me the other day...
But first. I cross-posted yesterday's image all over the place. I don't normally do that, but I admit, I'm kind of proud of it. Many of my alterations /customizations involve taking something apart, doing something or other, then putting it back together. Lotsa folks will comment that they like the new look, but it's too complicated for anyone else to mess with. The 'Forbitten Romance' changes involve scissors and a Sharpie, no sewing, no fuss. Anyone with reasonably steady hands could easily do this or something better, so I shared it around. Maybe I gave someone else a new idea - that's the real fun !
I'm always nervous about sharing my alterations, though. You're wide open to folks who aren't always gentle in their critiques, and I tend to be a bit edgy when I think someone's being negative about my efforts. Character flaw #532 ! I got good response, though, mostly to DracuLaura's outfit - most folks like Clawd's ragged collars and plan to keep them and that bandanna. Ain't it great when everyone can be happy ? Everyone was nice, and I appreciate the kind words.
About the same time, someone else was selling her Clawd. Like most of us, she likes the animated character, but feels the doll representation is lacking. I can understand that. We chatted a bit on LiveJournal, and it led me to today's gazing at the plentitude of MH dolls standing, sitting, leaning, propped up, all over my desk - with two more on their way from yesterday's living room photo shoot - and thinking that this wasn't what I wanted when I started out. Like the lovely and thoughtful soon-to-be former Clawd doll owner, I really don't have space for stuff I don't absolutely love.
Yet here I was, with 19 MH dolls - and as far as I could tell, I loved every one of them ! Now, I said when I started out with them, that I just wanted one doll of each character. But that hit the bricks when 'Dawn of the Dance' came out and I was desperate for doll shoes. I bought all three, mostly for new clothes, shoes, and props. What the heck, we had money and I had transportation then... The 'Gloom Beach' dolls followed, and they were cheep in comparison to the Basic and DotD ones - new shoes, too ! Some even had new hands, and I was smitten. Ended up with all five, even though only one was a new character. Just when there seemed to be a glut on the market, I scored a second Ghoulia to customize. No regrets...but did I really need two ? And that led merrily to this weekend, when I snagged a third DLaura to go along with my three Cleos, Clawdeens, and Frankies.
That lady on Hoarders last night, Phyllis with the massive doll and stuffed animal collection, ain't got nothin' on me ! Unless you count her Cabbage Patch dolls... Still, I now have four characters who each have three doll versions. And I'm looking at buying at least three more. (sigh) It's just so ridiculous ! What am I gonna do with four Frankies ?!
Thing is, I really do like each version. With variances in hair and hands and facial styling, each is unique, but...I'm starting to drown in a sea of MH. I'm really at a loss. I'd always intended to sell the new DLaura and any red-glasses Ghoulia I decide to pick up, plus the 'Classroom' three...but the real question is, can I really go through with it, and is anyone really gonna want tube-redressed, no-shoes, no-props dolls ?
It's been on my mind all day, and I still don't have a real solution. For now, though, I got all the MH dolls in one place, and started shuffling. All the first-issue dolls are on my desk. The four guys are lined up in back, the six girls are seated. They're easier to see when they're not lost in an ocean of more. The other girls were relocated to the sewing arena, which meant I'd need to do some quick moving around. Hmm. I could move the doll patterns from the open-air basket to a plastic 80s sewing tote that was holding felt under the desk...yes, that worked. The felt went into a fabric bin, and some other shuffles got more bits out of the way. Finally relocated some mat board - cutaway pieces from the custom framing department that Hobby Lobby sells cheap in baggies - to the photo backdrop drawer in the desk, something I'd been meaning to do.
Now the Gloom Beach and Dawn of the Dance dolls had a place. But I already had a semi-diorama on my desk, one I wanted to keep fluid. Didn't want another I'd never mess with on the sewing desk. So I grabbed the book holder, fitted it into the former pattern basket space, and arranged the dolls inside. Perfect. Now, when I sew for a MH doll, I have plenty of models ready to go. When she gets new clothes, she gets to hang out on my desk, with her 'sister' going into the sewing arena for her chance at new apparel. I think this is gonna work out just fine. I'll have 'new' dolls rotating around frequently - or at least, I will when I start sewing again ! - and I won't keep sewing for the same three dolls over and over.
(sigh) True, this doesn't help me 'cull the herds', so to speak, but it's a start. I'm sure I'll begin to realize which dolls I don't really like to sew for, or don't like the expression on, stuff like that, once I see them 'one on one' instead of a sea of repeating faces.
To cap off a pleasant day's 'labor', I grabbed the ultra-fine markers Beloved bought us a couple months back and touched up Basic DLaura's Fearleader costume. The one I darn near wrecked trying to get the 'stitches' decals off, the same one that made me swear to make my own blasted costumes next time. The waist ribbon is nearly totaled from being in the way of too much scrubbing and rubbing, but a bit of fresh hot-pink helped it look a bit better, and the trusty black Sharpie helped hide that blasted decal residue that never would come off completely. I've had really good luck with a Sharpie this week ! I wonder if they make a white Sharpie - and if it'd work on that ribbon at all. Anything'd be an improvement !
Well. Maybe with these new changes, I'll start to feel eager to begin again. I have plenty of new ideas...
Monday, June 20, 2011
Current Mood : Weak and weary.
I had the absolute best intentions for today. After goofing around all day yesterday and feeling better, I was gonna whip our frightful kitchen into shape. True, I'd have to hack through it to even get to the mountains of dirty dishes, but even if I just did a little at a time, something would get done.
Problem is, the 'hacking' pretty much did me in. Emptying and gathering trash was about all I could do, and I still had to sit down and catch my breath with nearly every load. On the plus side, the trash in most of the house is out, but it's sad that it's all I got done.
I got some rest, though - while trying to catch my wind, I fell asleep three times - so hopefully tomorrow will be more productive. I got plenty of rest !
I also got a Barbie Collector catalog in the mail today. Much as I normally would love the 'outer space' styled doll - I still yearn for those amazing Astro Fashions from 1985 - I really don't like her. Of course, it could just be that I don't know how to react to facial styling that handles blush as a meeting of lipstick and eye shadow, yet the doll still looks like an expressionless mannequin. It's odd to me, but now that I look at most of the new dolls, they all look sort of vacant. They have a straight-ahead stare, but no real 'engagement' in their expressions at all. Sure, Monster High is so highly stylized they're darn near caricature, but at least I can see a sort of wistfulness in Frankie, a 'quietly studying your behavior' expression on potentially autistic Ghoulia, and a nearly imperial 'do my bidding' on Cleo's face. I used to see that in Barbie, but the new dolls seem to lack it...well, probably not. I'm sure it's just me.
Still, I like a lot of the fabrics used on the 'Goddess of the Galaxy' doll. I just hate that they went to crunchy plastic for the corset. It makes the whole outfit non-removable (or at least, not without a hammer), and one of the great things about corsetry is how it shapes, defines, and hugs a figure. Hard plastic hugs nothing, and you can see gaps between the silver shape and the doll. It's kind of funny to see MH-style shoes on a Barbie, though.
It saddens me to see more 'permanently posed' dolls in the catalog. I'm sorry, but a doll that can't move isn't a doll, it's a statue or a figurine. I'm surprised Barbie statuettes sell, but if it's a celebrity representation - or designed by Robert Best or Bob Mackie - I guess anything goes !
Well, anyway. Dearest Son got to pick out his treat for the month, and after taking his time to decide, chose the 1/24th scale Presidential Limo die cast car he's had his pretty eyes on all month. It's been ordered, and will probably arrive this time next week. I told Beloved Hubby that the next set of dolls we can simply mail-order, since I mostly want props and clothes, so he put some cash aside for them. Idea is, when they get released, I'll be able to order them, no problem. He won't have to find time to drag to TRU, I'll be happy to have them on the way. Pretty good plan, I think !
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Current Mood : Relaxed
Woke up this morning all jangly - jumpy, nervous, wired, and twitchy. Evidently I took an extra hit or two on the inhaler during the night. It happens occasionally. I'll wake up and need a hit, take it, and lie back down (if I can), then wake up a half-hour or an hour later, forgot I've just had one dose, and take another. I just need to find a small box for my nightstand. Since this hasn't happened in a while, I haven't had one since the move. Keeping it inside or outside the box leaves a message that I've already had some medicine, so I don't double-dose again. Before, I've gone to bed with the inhaler outside the box, placing it inside once it's been used to specifications. Making the inhaler a bit harder to find gives me more of an opportunity to wake up, think and remember. Kinda ranks, but if I'm sleeping solidly enough that I'm not doing so otherwise, that's kind of a good sign.
Once I'm awake and wired, normally a quick snack of a few crackers and water will help absorb the excess and let me relax again. I think part of why I was so wired is because I got so much sleep. Sure, I was still awake from 2 to 3am, and still don't know why, but I'd bedded down at midnight, and didn't get up 'til 9, the most sleep I've had in a while.
So today, I played with 'Forbitten Romance' DracuLaura. She really is a lovely doll, but I'm still on the fence about keeping her. First thing, that hosiery had to go ! Unfortunately, without that, her shoes are so loose they don't stay on, so I get to make socks soon. Her new parasol is adorable, and still has the little signature bat at the bottom. I was gonna dump her purse, since it's simply too 'Hot Topic' for me, but I found that I really liked the 'belt' detail on it, and it stands on its own on end. So it'd make a great vase for her coffin bedside table. Keeping ! Her earrings are black and pink bats on a pink chain suspended from another yellow button. Hmmm...if the rest gets altered, these'll need it too...
That decided, I moved on to her dress. I retain my original impression of it - that it was 'crazy quilt clothing challenge' day in Home Eck. So much going on, the dress looks almost traffic-jam busy, and you hardly even notice the day-glo pink in it all, since the day-glo yellow grabs your attention first. Well, I had ideas for that. They just took longer than expected. I really wanted to keep that dress, since it's beautifully made. See the satin pink skirt ? It has a built-in black tulle slip giving it shape, in two tiers inside. It's very much like a single can-can underskirt, sweet, feminine, and adorable.
I liked the heart print at the bodice, the lace-edged collar and hot-pink bow, the lovely tiered skirt and snug-fitting sleeves...but those buttons and that pink and yellow print had to go ! You can see the dress is improved almost instantly by simply taking off the eight yellow buttons. I've put 'em aside for later. Then I carefully went after the print part of the skirt and the shoes - even the earrings. Those took forever, and aren't quite dry, so those get unveiled tomorrow. I may not keep this DLaura, but I don't want her stained because I was impatient, ya know ? But I am much happier with my version. Can't wait to show it to you !
Kinda mucked around the rest of the day. Beloved Hubby was home, and I made sure he got plenty of rest, and when Dearest Son returned from his grandparents, we had a nice Father's Day. Mostly by sitting around watching Parking Wars and Top Shot episodes and enjoying tag-team napping.
Hope your Sunday was fun and productive - and if you know any Dads, they had a good one, too !
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Current Mood : Delighted with Clawd !
I stunned Beloved Hubby last night by (gasp !) actually opening a new doll purchase on the same day shown on its receipt. Simply couldn't resist Clawd, and I had an idea on how to salvage DracuLaura's outfit into something I'd want to keep. My clear plastic band collection increased by 14 when the deboxing was done, and I fit their box in with the others. (sigh) It just doesn't look like it belongs. I wish they'd stayed with the original box design.
Since it's getting crowded, I hung up Frankie and DracuLaura's bed boxes with thumb-tacks, and arranged the Fear Uniform paper dolls around them. Oh, and I got a bonus at TRU I forgot to tell you about. They were tossing out a display box for the second Monster High book, and let me have it. It's a simple shelf-type easel-backed hot-pink box, with the 'Cleo' skullette and the legend 'Freak is the new Chic. ' in sharp blue letters on an image of black faux-crocodile. Cute ! Not sure what I'm gonna do with it, though, but it's part of my display now.
Last night and today, though, it was all about Clawd ! Most folks I've heard from, in various blogs and message boards, bought the set for one doll, not both. I'm as guilty of it as anyone - if it'd been a Frankie and DLaura set, Beloved would have had a much longer nap yesterday ! Problem was, $35. is kind of a lot for mostly one doll, and the early photos weren't encouraging. Succintly (for once), I hated his hair. Animated Clawd has a high and tight nearly vintage Ken style 'do, with more modern side styling, and I loved that. It really said 'man doll' to me, which is odd since I also like longer haired guy dolls, too.
Anyway. The first photos of Clawd showed that he mostly had thin flocking circling his head, with a slightly deeper pile in a near faux-hawk between his ears. Unfortunately, this left huge bare circles in front of his ears, and that made me cringe. Wasn't sure how this'd work, I didn't want to leave him in the included turquoise 'newsboy' cap all the time. Hat looked nice, but again, turquoise ? Really, Mattel. (snort) I had one of these hats when my father drove a Corvette - he called it a 'give-a-d@mn' hat, which always made me laugh and feel a bit reckless. I kinda leaned towards fedoras. Darn you, Laura Holt - I did not look like a Remington Steele extra in the one I bought.
But my Clawd looked pretty good, really. The ear-circles were smaller than expected, and he looked more like animated Clawd, too. So I was happy. Still wanna make him some hats and spray paint half his wardrobe, though.
As you can see from today's photo, most of his clothes have a ragged-cut white collar edge, I presume it's to demonstrate his fierce werewolf nature. Me no likey. It either looked like a ruffled pirate / poet shirt collar or raggedy - neither seemed to accurately reflect the Clawd character. Add to it that, while they look like white cotton, both collars are actually a plastic-y woven fabric, probably for stabilization and body. Ick. I didn't like it, so out came the embroidery scissors. Snip, snip ! His 'bones' shirt and gold vest are now denuded of white ruffled slashes, and I'm happy with both. Thinking of spray-painting his gold boots brown and his hat navy blue, but it can wait a bit. The grey shape between his feet is his pet, Rockseena - a gargoyle bulldog. She has a stone collar and everything.
Ya'll can laugh at me, but I was wondering why all Clawd's stuff was gold-colored. At first, I thought it was Clawdeen's influence, since that's what his biography says...and then it hit me. Werewolf =/= Silver. Silver bullets, remember ? I can be so dense sometimes !
Beloved's proposed 'Basic Training' for the airsoft group began today - and it went OK. He's been worried about it. He came back home for lunch before heading to work and I got to hear all about it. He worked pretty late today, too, but he was satisfied with the day. I'm kind of tight-chested, but I got a couple loads of laundry done, and a bit more living-room trash and dish harvesting done. I'm still kind of weak and wheezy, but getting just a bit done is much better to my psyche than anything else. Plus we were running out of towels again.
Tomorrow, you get to hear all about DracuLaura and all her slight alterations. I know you just can't wait ! (grin)
Friday, June 17, 2011
Current Mood : Thrilled !
Spent on Monster High dolls : $37.75
Well. I was a lot of sound and fury yesterday, and it turned out to mean nothin'. That's right, you've seen the Clawd / DracuLaura gift set images before, but this one is mine. Beloved Hubby had a cancellation - I think the homeowners took one look at how exhausted he was and sent him home. He told me he was homeward bound, be ready... but I took one look at him and put him down for a nap. He said it wasn't fair of him to make me wait any longer, I said he looked like he was gonna pass out, and an hour or two didn't matter - I'd rather have him a bit healthier than he seemed at that moment. Once he sat down, it was a moot point, he was asleep in the time it took me to pour him a soda.
So I drank it and grabbed a quick shower. Much better. PineCone had another survey for me, so that's $15. in my PayPal. Wheee ! He bounced up nearly exactly an hour later and I insisted he at least watch an episode of Top Shot to finish waking up, then we could go, and I'd be as quick about it as possible. And he finally got his soda.
Our TRU had about six C / DL sets from which to choose, and even all three of the 'School's Out' dolls and most of the 'Dead Tired' ones. About the only thing I wanted out of what our store had - besides the C / DL set, of course - was Ghoulia's red glasses, part of her 'Dead Tired' doll. But that could wait. She was only $14.50, but my gift set was $35., so I felt like we were spending enough on my selfish and greedy hinder for one day. Beloved scouted for something Dearest Son might like, but didn't see anything special. It gave me time to line up all the sets and choose mine.
But like any two-doll deals, if you like Doll A in Set 1, Doll B in the same set is lacking. Of course, in Set 2, Doll B is stunning, but Doll A looks like he might have a joint problem... This was compounded by the fact that I really wasn't sure if I was gonna keep DLaura or not. I was definitely claiming nearly all her clothes and accessories, and I already have two DLauras. But there was something about Set 1's DLaura...
Ended up popping the box top of Set 1 and checking Clawd's neck. It just looked funny as-packaged, but was OK, so we took Set 1 home. For some reason, Set 1's DLaura seemed to have narrower, almost cat-like eyes. The other ones looked wider. Still undecided about Ghoulia - while I want those red glasses, I can go one of two routes to get them. 'Dead Tired' is the cheapest at around $14., but I have to admit I don't really want anything else in the box. Sure, I'd keep her pajamas and props, but neither are a solid 'want', ya know ?
Coming up soon is 'Dawn of the Dance' Wave 2, which includes a curly-haired Ghoulia with the same red glasses. It'll retail for about $23., but the accessories are better. I don't really like how they re-created the red gradient skirted Marilyn Monroe dress - I've seen fan versions that were much nicer and more accurate. Also don't care much about the shoes, but I like her purse and the DVD of New Ghoul At School, the Nickelodeon Halloween special. Sure I have it as a digital file, but it'd be nice to have an authentic copy.
So I'm sort of up in the air on Ghoulia's red glasses. Unless I can find 'em cheap on eBay, I'm gonna have to decide if I want the DotD version or the DT one. Later.
Of course, by the time I decide, it might not matter - because rumor has it that the 'Higher Deaducation' dolls will be out in July ! These are the dolls I really want. The ones with the lockers. After I have all three of those, Mattel can do whatever they like with Spectra and Abbey. Don't care much for either doll, especially after reading the diary scans from the 'After School' dolls that Tanz Fanatika generously posted on the LiveJournal fan page. While it's true that any manufacturer-issued continuity is always ignorable, I already don't really favor either doll, so the diaries just make it easier. Heck, I never could separate celebrity dolls from their namesakes, much to the poor Rosie O'Donnell doll's detriment.
Speaking of DotD, I finally saw photos of a production Deuce - and my 'want' list dropped by one. The fold-over faux-hawk wasn't anything that exceptional, and his outfit looked cheap, probably because of the bright silver stripes on the pants. As black pinstripes, his outfit had a classic hybrid zoot-suit / swing gear look, but the silver stripes made it look clownish to me. I can do better, if I have to paint the darn black pinstripes m'self, so I probably will. I was really on the fence with him to begin with, so I'm relieved to have that decided - and to finally find something I don't want, after all !
So - three 'Higher Deaducation' dolls and one Ghoulia with red glasses, and I'm done... unless I can find the 'Day at the Maul' clothing set ! I'm kinda hoping Mattel doesn't do much more. I'd love that three-story high school playset, but it'd be fine with me if it never materializes.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Current Mood : Disappointed with me.
Current Image Notes : Believe it or not, this is an all-new whaaamulance...
Dearest Son had a semi-early day today - he had to clean up his Hoarders-level room and grab a shower before DFIL picked him up in the early afternoon for a visit. He's getting better about his room, but it still gets out of hand if I don't keep after him, and I haven't had the wind power to go in there, much less nag to the standards he's accustomed. I'm not too demanding about his space, especially after my white-glove childhood, but when cars and Lego and action figures and remote-control magazines and catalogs are ankle deep, and I can't get in there to put away laundry, it's time to make things happen !
(sigh) Now I have to write what's really bugging me. I'm being petty and small and mean, and I hate to confess being so, but it's the only way I'll learn and hopefully not repeat this over and over. I hate for ya'll to know the truth of how I really am, but I can't keep lying forever.
So here's the deal. Beloved Hubby's been working ridiculous hours. He literally has more work than he can do, and I'm really worried for him. But at the same time, I'm petty enough to be restless and growly, because I really haven't been out of the house all month. I know, I'm lucky to be safe and cool at home when I'm sick anyway, but I'm jangly and wired and just want some time out of here - time that says I'm important and I matter.
That's not to say Beloved has been saying that I'm not important to him. Far from it ! By the time he gets home, it's all he can do to have a mouthful of dinner before he passes out in bed and starts another grueling day. I shouldn't be complaining, but here we are, you're reading me whine. Why ? It's stupid and petty and mean of me, and the reason I'm all ruffled up is because we were supposed to go out a bit tonight, and weren't able to. Beloved made a special effort and got off early, and we even got a special dinner, and spent some time together, watching Top Shot and messing around online and such after dinner. We both knew that the evening's first priority was tackling brake pad replacements to the Diesel - she was in need, and I won't compromise his safety. It's just that...we've done brake jobs before. I even help bleed 'em. It always takes Beloved less than an hour or so every year or three, start to finish. We had plenty of time...I thought.
Yup. Took three hours. There were major issues that took far longer than expected, and it's only because our wonderful across-the-street neighbors kindly drove Beloved back to the car parts place for a the third time - they gave us gas-truck parts, not Diesel-truck parts, there is a difference - that we finished before it was too dark to do so. Of course, by then, TRU was closed, Beloved was wiped out, and none of the other stores had what I wanted. TRU online was even sold out, and Amazon wasn't getting new stock until July. I knew there was nothing for it, and was glad the Diesel was safe again, but...
I was upset. There'd be no time tomorrow, he was already booked because he took time off today. Saturday he had to lead an Airsoft group, or there wasn't gonna be a game - he'd already tried to get out of it earlier - before heading back to work. Maybe Wednesday or next Thursday...
Luckily I kept my mouth mostly shut and Beloved's safe in bed. I didn't cry or screech or anything, I just sort of moped. He knows I'm stupidly disappointed, but doesn't think I'm being unreasonable, there's simply nothing he can do. And I know, and I appreciate all he does... but I still feel let down and a bit unimportant.
So I watched Parking Wars, got a good hate for humanity in general going on, and tidied up the living room a bit. Much better. (sigh) Next week isn't so bad, it's just a few more days. Life's fulla disappointments, and if I'm this wound up about a darn doll set, I really do need to take a few (hundred) steps back. Yeah, at the core of this is the fact that I want the new Clawd/DracuLaura set, and TRU is the only place around here what has it. I am so spoiled, somebody should really kick my butt. It's not like Mattel makes one of anything, ya know. I just need to get over m'self.
But I am a petty and ridiculous person. I'm still trying to figure out how to defuse it, and why I get so wound up over what's essentially meaningless. Wish me luck on this character fault - it's been in there probably since birth !