ladybug_archive: (persuaders)
I'm slightly worried to use this as The Persuaders! icon that everyone probably knew was coming, since it makes it look like Brett and Danny are different heights when they're really about the same height, but it's such a squeeable picture. I don't have the DVDs yet, and this was the picture I liked best that was available in the highest iconning quality when I did a search.

It has been a very busy and interesting week. Maybe I'll type things up in more detail later, but right now I just want to blog about a couple of things.

We got a couple of awesome coupons to try out McDonald's Create-a-Burger thingie, so we investigated last Wednesday. It was epic and awesome and it's hard to think of ever eating their standard burgers after eating one of those. It was sooo good. I had two kinds of cheese and tomato and lettuce and a special artisan bun....

The coupon I used gave a free Happy Meal with the purchase of a Create-a-Burger. The kids' toys this month were ShopKins and Rabbids. I rather abhor Rabbids. I knew nothing of ShopKins, but anything sounded better than Rabbids.

I waited until I got home from our little shopping trip before I took the toys out of the bag to examine them fully. Apparently they're inanimate objects with faces. I got a ring and a mirror, and they came in a plastic bag (which, oddly enough, didn't have a face). I'm such a sentimental slob that I found the things utterly adorable. I looked at the available ones at Wal-Mart when we were there next, but I didn't find them as compelling. They're much smaller than the McDonald's toys, interestingly, and the current line is anthropomorphic food, which I ... really kind of don't like. Then it makes me uncomfortable thinking of eating food if I'm picturing everything from cheese to ice cream having faces and being alive. Um, no.

Actually, I kind of liked the McDonald's ones so much that I kind of wish I could get more of theirs. But I don't have the money to spend on that. (Plus, I guess they'll probably be gone now if they were December's toys.) They were really high-quality, though, and I was really impressed.

I got some awesome Build-a-Bear gift cards from Ladyamberjo and Lisa, and then the store sent me a $10 off thingie that was only good for this week. So I was worried about getting there and being able to use the certificate/coupon thing. Dad doesn't like to go out for just one thing. There's several things we need to do up there, but last night he finally agreed we could go up and we were borrowing a car again and we had to have it back by a certain time. Our car went kerplunk again earlier this month and the only way we've been able to get around is by borrowing a friend's car. Gah.

The store was so extremely crowded that it proved impossible to go anywhere else. I swear, I have never seen it that crowded except before Christmas. I didn't think it would be so active after Christmas! But I was able to get Shining Armor, as I hoped. I also checked out the new Pikachu. I was surprised he was $28 instead of $25 (yikes), but he looks really high-quality too. I'm considering getting him, depending on when Muffins is reissued. I still have plenty of gift card money and another coupon good through part of February. Meanwhile, my Funrise Cadance is perfectly in scale with Shining Armor, as I'd hoped, and she looks so happy to have him here at last.

Among the things I watched for Christmas was Mickey's Christmas Carol, which got me thinking a lot about Scrooge McDuck and Alan Young and how awesome it is that Alan still voices Scrooge. I can hardly believe that they really won't use him on this DuckTales reboot. Terrance McGovern says that everyone is being replaced. That is sacrilege. Why not use anyone who's still around and interested from the old days? I think I need to look into Terrance's Facebook; he sounds adorable. I read the blurb where he was talking about everyone being replaced and he said he hadn't told Launchpad yet. Launchpad was out in the garage working on the Thunderquack. I love someone like that who really cares about the characters they play, instead of just considering it a job. I can't imagine anyone else bringing Launchpad or Scrooge to life, honestly.

They used Alan Young for Scrooge just earlier this year, in some silly Mickey Mouse cartoon. He only had a line or two, but it was so wonderful to hear him again! He sounds just the same; it's incredible! He's 96 and still kicking. So, so awesome.

Apparently there's a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons airing now. They use a pretty retro style for the characters; Mickey only wears shorts and shoes, for instance. And it's some strange slapstick thing like old cartoons were. I read an episode guide and one episode said Mickey loses his ears.... Um, WTH? Mickey isn't Felix the Cat. But so I don't think I'd go much for the show. I didn't cotton a whole lot to the episode I watched. Goofy fell in love and Mickey and Donald were trying to help him, only at the end they find out he's in love with the sandwich the waitress was holding and not the waitress. The episode ended with a marriage ceremony and being pronounced "husband and sandwich." Goofy then ate the sandwich. It was so, so weird and stupid. But I have to admit, Mickey and Donald exclaiming, "He's in love with a sandwich????!!!!" was kind of epically priceless. ROTFLOL.

Another thing I didn't like a whole lot was that they kind of simplified Scrooge's character. He acted more like his namesake, LOL. He promptly kicked everyone out when Donald asked for money. I think the DuckTales version would have started choking on his tea and exclaimed, "WHAT???!!!" But regardless, it was so good to hear Alan again, and I'm so glad they had Scrooge wear blue, like on DuckTales. In the comics it's usually red.

If the whole cast is really being replaced for the DuckTales reboot, the only good thing about it is that there will hopefully be new merchandise. Maybe I can finally get a Scrooge plushie. I tried to get one years ago, when I got Darkwing, but I lost the auction.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I try not to let silly things irk me as much as in the past, when after reading a magazine article that showed the writer clearly didn't understand the Marik Ishtar character, I wrote a long letter to the magazine pointing out a bunch of things the writer either didn't understand or didn't know. I doubt I'll write a letter to the publishing company Little and Brown now. But ... I can't help feeling annoyed that on the case for a set of Equestria Girls novels, they made some actual errors about Sunset Shimmer when describing the book plots. You'd think that a case of the books would make an effort to get things right. Instead they make it sound like Sunset is still a problem for the characters following the first movie. They have the idiocy to say that the Dazzlings is her band, when in reality she had nothing to do with being in the band and instead wanted to stop them. And they call her "always rebellious."

...

Completely aside from the fact that she had a complete change of heart at the end of the first movie and wanted to be good and not rebellious, the books actually portray her as even more insecure in the succeeding adventures than the movies do. Even in the most recent book, the Friendship Games adaption, this is done. In the movie, a key scene has Applejack making a remark that could be taken as guilting Sunset about her past. But Applejack means it as a joke; they are close enough friends now that such jokes can be made. Sunset half-smirks in response; she knows it's a joke. But in the book, Sunset takes it as a way to guilt her and show they'll never forget what she did in the first movie.

Apparently the publishing company will certainly never forget, or forgive, since they want to portray her so unflatteringly on the box and even accuse her of things she didn't do. **headdesk.**

Saturday was an extremely long day. Where to even begin? I feel terrible everything took so long, especially since Mom wasn't feeling well enough to go and we had to leave her home and call in every little while or so. But things can't fully be explained on the phone, so she was still plenty worried and I felt plenty horrible at the time it took. Even moreso since some of the time didn't have to have been taken.

So let's see. We made good time getting to the church and made it for the viewing/wake, as we were aiming for. The following funeral service was lovely and all the kids spoke, but gah, it was so sad. They were all so sad and some of them kept breaking down. These were grown men. It was moving to see how much they loved their mother (and for most of them, she was a stepmother, but they still considered her a mom just like their other mom). But man, it was heartbreaking. I don't often cry at funerals, but it was a struggle not to cry at this one.

The luncheon for the family and close friends was pretty amazing. I've never been to a funeral luncheon like that before. It was Mexican food. There were giant tortillas to fill with beans, chicken, cheeeeese, salsa, avocado spread.... It was so awesome. And there was ice water and several kinds of cake.

We hadn't actually planned to go to the cemetery part of the service, since it was even farther away and Dad just didn't see how he could afford the gas. But then my sister offered that we could go with her and her youngest daughter. We had to make a spur of the moment decision because everyone was leaving right then. I was worried to go with someone else, since then we'd be captive to their whims, but I could tell Dad really wanted to go to the cemetery, and I did too, really, if we could manage it. And I hoped it wouldn't take too long afterwards to come back to the car. So I figured we'd better try it. He left the decision up to me and I didn't want to be responsible for Dad not getting to go.

She didn't seem to know her way around too well for some reason, but her daughter set up the Google Maps app on the phone and used that to guide her up to the city where the burial would be. This was where we all used to live, and the cemetery is one of my favorites ever. It's so huge and old and mysterious.

The burial plot was in the newer section, so we drove over there, my sister got us to the wrong burial service even though we told her it was by the fence, and we had to try again. That time it went right and we arrived early.

I was surprised not to see the jagged triangular headstone in the area. I had thought it was right near the family plots in that area. Since there was a little extra time, I wandered off to find it. That thing creeped me out so bad as a kid, but it morbidly intrigued me too. It's just so unique. And then it's also creepy to me because from a distance, the only thing you can see written on it is the surname going vertically down the stone. The name is unusual and it's similar to the name of an aunt (just minus one letter), which only adds to the unsettling nature of it. I've tried to put it in every cemetery picture I've drawn (albeit I don't put the name).

I finally found it, over near where some family friends are buried. It still creeps me out, but it was daylight and didn't seem so creepy then. I walked right up to it. It's pretty big in person; it was about as tall as I am. Of course, I'm pretty short (five feet even), but that's still pretty big for a tombstone. I wonder why they used such a jagged piece of rock like that for the marker. That would make for an interesting story, I imagine. It's sad too; the person buried there was only 19.

I walked back and they still hadn't started yet; they were waiting for the hearse. When it finally got there, we did a little graveside service and tried to sing some family hymns, but we didn't know all the words, especially on the final one we tried. I'm glad we made it to the cemetery to participate in that final part of the service. It was after we left that the problems started.

We needed to drop my niece off at a friend's house where she'd arranged to spend the night. My sister detoured a bit to look at my dad's birth house (yeah, he wasn't born in a hospital) and the old shop where he used to work with his grandfather. Along the drive up, I had remembered that I wanted to check Marshalls for the rare Adagio Dazzle doll, as she's been turning up in a lot of them lately. The only Marshalls here are up in that approximate area, and my sister agreed we could try one on the way back down.

After some trouble with rush hour traffic, we finally got to the place and I went in to look around. I was really impressed with the store; it looks really upscale, even though it's a discount place. I wish Mom could see it; I think she'd love it as much as I do now. I couldn't find the doll, but I did find the big Twilight Sparkle figure. I'd just been thinking about her and that she wasn't in stores any more. I had wanted the original unicorn one and had not paid attention to the winged version, but I finally knew I'd never get the unicorn one since she's rare and expensive now and I was willing to get the winged one. When I saw her at Marshalls for $10, I figured I'd better snap her up.

We headed back to where we'd left our car at the church. We got off the freeway too early and started wandering around. Even though I saw street signs that said we were not in the right town, my sister didn't believe it. We wandered around some more as it got dark and ended up in yet another wrong town. Finally we all saw a sign proclaiming the name of the place and my sister believed we were lost. She didn't know how to work the Google Maps app, but the directions were still programmed into it from that morning as to how to get to the church. So she brought that up, followed them, and finally we were able to get back to the car.

I suppose I really should have just said for us to go home then, since we'd been out eight-nine hours at that point. But since we hardly ever get out that far and there were sales I needed to see about right then or they'd be kerplunk, I could hardly bear the thought of just going home then. I really tried to hurry regardless, but it didn't work out that way.

We also tried finding some stuff Mom wanted for Christmas presents, but we didn't have any luck finding stuff for the adults. We did get the stuff she wanted for the kids, so that was good.

I checked T.J. Maxx and Ross for the doll and still didn't find her, so then it was on to Toys R Us. They had a 30% off sale on all Pony stuff, and I thought I'd planned I'd get the archery Applejack and that would be that, but when I actually got in there and everything was on sale, suddenly it wasn't an easy decision. I debated for ages over several things I'd wanted, couldn't decide, and then we had to rush to the mall to see about the Build-a-Bear discounts. I had discounts adding up to $15 off, plus there was a 2 for $35 sale on. Both of my discounts worked with that, which meant I could get two for $20! Naturally I couldn't pass that up. I'd planned to get Zecora and Teegan (the purple cat/tiger) if I could get two, so that was what I did. It was fun and the girls were so friendly and sweet and fun. And since Teegan comes with a tank top (as well as sewn-on underwear), I found some cheap swim trunks for her to wear at least for now. Maybe later I'll have money to get her a nice outfit, but right then I just wanted to clothe her good enough and save more money for other things. But it took a lot longer to get two than I'd planned on; it was about thirty-forty minutes later when I got back to Toys R Us.

During the interim I thought I'd decided what to get at Toys R Us, the two-pack with Twilight and Flash. But every single copy Toys R Us had featured a stray glitter problem. It was shedding off of Twilight's skirt and getting everywhere. That didn't seem appealing at all, so I wondered if I'd rather get the characters separately and buy a Twilight without that skirt. I turned my attention more fully to the two-pack I'd tried to get in the summer, with Sonata and Aria from the second movie. There were only two copies of those, they're phasing out, and with the sale they were only $13.99. That was definitely the best deal. (Well, actually, the best deal was Photo Finish and her two band members, but I don't really know those characters other than Photo Finish herself. They don't even have any dialogue.) So I preferred Sonata and Aria. I still debated for a moment, feeling guilty as always to get antagonists, but I knew I really wanted them. They bicker like sisters, which makes me have a certain fondness for them. Plus, I knew I probably wouldn't be able to find the set before long. And I have a chance to get the Adagio doll from someone on the forum, so I wanted to have the other girls in the band right ready in case I could. It would be too sad not to have the whole group.

(Also, I have plans for a story where Sunset finds them post-movie and tries to extend friendship to them. One thing I did like in the book version of the second movie was that she felt some pity for them. I can definitely picture that, since Sunset had some similar goals of wanting to be popular/well-liked.)

With that taken care of at last, I wanted to just try one more Wal-Mart looking for Sunset Shimmer. (We'd tried one around the time we got the stuff for Mom.) That was a fizzle, of course. We had planned to try one more store looking for DVDs for the adults, but it was so late by then and I was exhausted and panicking, knowing Mom would be so upset and worried that it was taking so long. So we went home, arriving over twelve hours after leaving home. GAH. Mom didn't like the long time we'd been gone one bit, but she did like seeing what I'd brought back and was happy I'd been able to get those items, so that made me feel a little better.

I felt awful that I was too exhausted to stay up for long with Ladyamberjo and JP, though. That's the night I chat with them and Ladyamberjo and I have had all kinds of trouble having a conversation the last several weeks. And of course, on the night when Ladyamberjo tried extra hard to be available and awake, I'm so tired I'm falling over in the chair.

With weather reports of storms coming up this week, we decided we needed to look for the other DVDs on Tuesday. That was just two towns over. We left earlier than we do sometimes and spent the latter part of the afternoon checking out the DVDs at K-Mart and ShopKo. I also discovered that K-Mart's two-packs of Twilight and Flash are glitter-free and gorgeous, so I'm back to wanting the two-pack again and not to get the characters separately. I wonder if it would be worth paying full-price for it to get a nice glitter-free one.

I still couldn't find Sunset Shimmer, but I did at last find a good Scootaloo at Wal-Mart! All legs were the same length and her face wasn't shaped weird (yes, those are problems with Funrise sometimes), so I decided I should get her.

Also, I very randomly saw the 12-inch Applebloom at ShopKo. It was frustrating, because from a distance I momentarily thought she was Sunset. Sigh. But it was interesting to see a rare character turn up at ShopKo, of all places. ShopKo doesn't even have any Friendship Games dolls yet! I wonder if seeing her is possibly a good sign. Scootaloo just started showing up last month, and now an Applebloom.... Maybe, possibly, Sunset will still come? I don't hold out much hope of that, though. And I still wish I had taken that person up on her offer to get one for me in the summer. I was worried about shipping costs and I was fully convinced back then that we were just about to get her for fall stock. And then we didn't.

Well, anyway, we had some good luck with the DVDs, and I got a couple of Christmas presents, and it was a pretty nice little outing. We got back in time for me to chat with Crystal.

I also had good luck with one of my survey companies and got an Amazon gift card again already! I got a couple more Christmas presents with it, as well some more Get Smart for myself. Hopefully it will arrive in time for me to send one of the presents on and have it arrive before Christmas....

I also discovered that I need to watch every episode of The Persuaders!, ohmygoshsquee. It's wonderful! I plan to buy the DVD set with my next gift card. Meantime, I found it on YouTube and watched an episode in the morning. The friendship between the main characters is glorious, and it's even more awesome because they start out hating each other, and they go from that to really caring about each other and being really close friends. It's such a shame it only ran one season. It should satisfy my Roger Moore withdrawal nicely. I love his character, and the friendship with Tony Curtis's character, and I won't be surprised if I want to write fanfic somewhere down the line. As much as I love Simon Templar, he's a loner, and it's harder for me to relate to writing for loners if they don't have one good friend or family member to interact with. And if they're the only steady character in the cast. Then they work better in crossover fics. I really love to write about friendships. (Plus, I still worry about the fact that I prefer the TV show Simon while the few fanficcers prefer the book Simon. I'm still going to write that one fic with Simon appearing to be dead and Inspector Teal reacting to it, though. Then it flashes back to tell what led up to it, comes back to the present, and of course Simon will be alright when the drug wears off.)

I also became obsessed with the song Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. It's absolutely haunting and gorgeous. I'm thrilled Ladyamberjo found that song and shared it with me! I am totally going to want to write a fic based around it at some point, although right now I'm unsure what characters such a fic would involve. I'd also like to sing it, but I don't know how well it would go over if I tried recording me singing it, since it really does need to be a duet.

Wow.

Dec. 3rd, 2015 12:18 am
ladybug_archive: (joe_lew)
Went to the church Christmas party tonight. Yuuum, the food was delicious! I was hoping for a dinner like this one year when people made these amazing potato and cheese casseroles, but I figured it would probably be like it usually is, where it's just roast beef and baked potato and maybe green beans.

Well, this year it wasn't either one! This year there was turkey, and oh man, it was actually really good. Sooo soft and moist and juicy. I wish we could get ours to go like that; it's always so dry and frustrating.

The baked potatoes were divine, of course; potatoes always are. There were leftovers and we took six potatoes to bring home, buwahaha.

There were also many Jell-O/fruit salads. I tried one that I liked, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what kind of fruit in it I was tasting. I still don't remember.

Dessert was ice cream with giant brownies. YUUUM, brownies!

There were also some delicious rolls. And butter and sour cream for the potatoes, of course. And a vegetable platter; I took some olives and a pickle. I know I shouldn't eat them too much, and I don't, but I love me some pickles.

Some people at the table were talking about Jessica Simpson at one point and their kid didn't know who she was. Man, that made me feel old.

Then a local singing group performed a really fun Christmas concert on the stage in the room where we were eating. The group's name was Chantilly Lace; I wonder how many people younger than the group members know where their name likely came from! (A popular Big Bopper song from the 1950s. I got it stuck in my head as we left. I haven't heard it for years, but I remembered most of the chorus.) They sang some Christmas standards and some rare Christmas songs, a couple I knew, but most I was unfamiliar with. That was neat. The only one of the rare ones I thought maybe I'd heard before was about Santa using zebras instead of reindeer, LOL. I absolutely have never before heard one called Don't Wanna Wait, from children's perspectives, and one called Father Christmas (not to be confused with I Believed in Father Christmas). The only rare one I definitely have heard before is I'm Gettin' Nothin' for Christmas, an amusing ditty about a very naughty kid.

All in all, it was a lovely time and I'm so glad they didn't serve roast beef again. I really don't like roast beef; it mushes around in your mouth forever.

This is kind of a busy week. Sadly, the other busyness is not fun times; there's a funeral on Saturday. One of my aunts-in-law died. I don't remember her very well, as we didn't see her a lot, but she was a very sweet person and I feel so bad for my uncle. This is the second time he's been married and the second wife who died. The first wife had cancer, if I remember right, and she didn't want him to be alone, so she wanted him to marry her best friend after she died. That happened, and now it's the friend who just died.

I hate to use a funeral as a reason to do something fun, but we're not often up in the area where the funeral will be, so I am hoping to do a little shopping while we're out. Build-a-Bear sent me my $10 gift certificate because I have apparently spent $100 there since my last certificate. It's used like a gift card, so it can be combined with coupons, and I have a $5 coupon. I'm hoping to get Zecora. Man, I hope they'll still have her. I'll get Shining Armor if they don't, probably, or the cat I've wanted if they don't have either one. Since Zecora and Shining Armor are both leftover stock from the online-only period, I don't know how many were going out to each store or if they'll restock when they sell the ones they had. I've been monitoring the Pony forum hoping for some information on that, but no one has posted on it. Maybe I'll ask, but they probably don't know or they would have already said. I don't like asking on Build-a-Bear's Facebook page, because it seems like the people handling it don't always know what's really going on at the stores.

I'm also hoping to check some Wal-Marts for the Sunset Shimmer plush. Ours restocked with more Scootaloos (still flawed enough that I didn't get her), but no Sunsets, even though they're from the same wave. That's making me lose hope again. Seriously, what is the deal? Why is Wal-Mart being so lazy with new Funrise plushies this year? Or maybe it's Funrise being lazy about sending the new characters out, since they're scarce everywhere. There's Sunset, Sweetie Belle, Lyra, and Sweetie Drops, all in the 10-inch size and all missing from the majority of stores (including eBay)! There's also a 5-inch Sunset, I've discovered, and if I see her in person, I'll probably buy her while I'm waiting for the big one.

Wal-Mart has lowered the price on the archery Twilight doll. I've been debating whether to get her or whether to keep trying to get the two-pack with Flash Sentry. I still lean towards the latter, since the glasses are canon-correct in the two-pack but not the archery doll. And since getting two dolls is awesome and I like Flash Sentry. I don't get the hate regarding the character. He's a nice, sensitive guy. I may not particularly want him and Twilight to really get deeply, romantically involved, since I'd rather the focus stay on friendships, but when it's just an innocent crush, it's cute.

Wal-Mart also suddenly doesn't have any Fashion Styles. The Sunsets disappeared several weeks ago and now Cadance has followed suit. I don't know if they're going to restock or not. I always wanted the Sunset one, but kept hoping there would be a sale. There usually isn't on Fashion Styles, though, and I'm thinking maybe I'd better get her even at full-price if I see her at another Wal-Mart. Of course she'd vanish when I can actually afford to get her.... I also kind of like the motocross Sunset doll, but I don't know if I'll get her since I already have two Sunset dolls. But it's tempting when she is one of my favorite characters. Twilight is the only one I like more. Another reason I've hesitated on the Fashion Style is because I prefer Sunset as a human, but really, I love any incarnation of her. Well, I'm not too fond of the she-demon version when she got overwhelmed by the crown. But I would totally buy Midnight Sparkle if that doll ever comes here. Human Twilight didn't go all demon-ish when she got overwhelmed by releasing the captured magic; she just went dark. (And then was saved by Sunset and Spike, ohmygoshsquee.)

And Wal-Mart has these adorable Hello Kitty pajamas that are only $10! I've been debating getting them. I don't really need pajamas; I have two working sets. But they do last longer in rotation, so the more you have, the longer it takes them to wear out. Still, it doesn't seem very practical to get them. But they're so cute.... And possibly the top wouldn't be too hot to wear when it's lighter colors. I wear a nightgown with my pajama bottoms and only use the tops as shawls when I'm up and around, because they're just too hot to wear to bed. And my nightgown is rather in need of replacement by now....
ladybug_archive: (faye)

Me Singing Santa Baby
by Meromeroyui on DeviantArt

A couple of weeks ago I recorded this song in my femme fatale OC Vivalene's voice. If anyone has ever been curious as to what she sounds like, this is pretty much it.

And apparently you have to click the picture/link to get to the MP3. I was hoping it would embed the music here, but no dice.

Note that I do not sound like this in general; I'm voice-acting. :)

Shopping!

Dec. 27th, 2014 09:59 pm
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
On the 23rd, I made two awesome discoveries: a 24-inch Batman plush exists and K-Mart was having a sale on certain Equestria Girls dolls. I don't know why the original deluxe Rarity and Fluttershy never seem to go on sale (except for when Fluttershy was on clearance on Wal-Mart and I couldn't catch her before she sold out), but ohmygosh, Trixie was on sale! She's normally $25, and she was on sale for $16.99! That was still slightly more than I wanted to pay for one doll, but I've wanted her so badly since I first heard she was coming out that I decided I was willing to get her at that price (especially since I had the lovely gift money from JP). At the register, I learned that I could have her for $13.99, apparently because I'm a member of their rewards club! Squeeee.

She is definitely about the most deluxe of the girls, I think. Her outfit is so billowing. She seems more like a collector's piece than a kid's toy. I hate to think of kids messing up her clothes or hair.

I really wanted the Batman plush when I saw it at a Wal-Mart other than our own, but I felt like I couldn't get it until I saw what K-Mart had (and I also felt that I couldn't ask for it for Christmas since money was tight), and I'm glad I waited.

Still, I really wanted Batman too. When I received the pajamas in the wrong size, I hoped maybe I could get cash from them. I couldn't when I tried yesterday, and I also couldn't get them in the right size. **headdesk.** The nearest store with them in the right size is still pretty far for a drive just for that, so I don't know how I'm going to get it. If I can't have cash, I really wanted the pajamas in the right size instead of exchanging them for something else. And Kohl's has a really dumb policy of only allowing an exact price match of one item; you can't get several things that add up to the same price. I couldn't find anything that worked for the exact price.

I kept trying to tell myself I didn't really want the plush, especially after seeing one that wasn't stuffed as good as the first one I saw, but that was about as successful as when I tried to tell myself the same thing about the giant Boba Fett figure. (And boy, am I glad I got that; I haven't seen another one anywhere since!) I was really only interested in Build-a-Bear's Batman logo bear because I didn't know a Batman plush existed (other than a small one). The discovery of the big one was very exciting.

We were by then in the next town over from the Wal-Mart with the better stuffed one, and then we had a rather fortuitous navigational error that put us on the freeway again and unable to get off until we arrived at that Wal-Mart. The better stuffed one was still there, and we decided that since Dad wants me to do some work for him soon, the plush could be part of the payment for that.

So right now I am quite satisfied. I don't think there's anything else I want immediately, although I do want the Sailor Moon set (and some more Perry DVDs). I'm looking forward to the next 1960's Batman release in February and Richard Anderson's book in March.

BO-RING!

Dec. 23rd, 2014 04:35 am
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
So I watched part 1 of a CHiPs saga where Ponch is training a female motorcycle officer. She is seriously irritating, so cheeky and smarmy and disobedient. She's kind of a female counterpart to Ponch in some ways, but much more annoying. Usually I like Ponch; even when he's doing something stupid, he manages to be endearing.

At the end of part 1, Ponch is yelling at her for doing something really dumb and disobeying him and getting herself into life-threatening danger (seriously, he barely rescued her from being stuck in a car that blew up seconds later), and she's enjoying watching him blow his stack and you just know she doesn't really grasp the problem that she REALLY DID A DUMB THING and then Ponch goes and kisses her and she kisses back and part 1 ends.

Yawn. I know that back in 1980, they probably couldn't think of any way to do a script of a guy and a girl working so closely together without dragging romantic attractions into the mix. But seriously? What an eye-roller. And I really wouldn't expect Ponch to fall for someone so much like himself in some ways. He has a soft spot for kids who are growing up kind of the way he did, but that's a far cry from falling in love with someone acting like him. Then again, maybe it's not such a stretch for him. But in any case, I don't like it. Maybe I wouldn't be so irritated by it if the girl was actually likable.

Her roommate is a little annoying too, but overall she's much more tolerable. I really don't tend to like female characters who are in a constant state of amusement over the fact that guys find them attractive, though. Being a little amused by that in certain situations where it comes out would be different, but a constant state of that is just irritating. It makes them seem kind of ... uppity.

Oh, and then there's some girl that Ponch was apparently seeing kind of steadily. Long before the end of the episode and the romantic nonsense, the girlfriend walked in on a situation that looked bad but was really innocent. And, as is typical of girlfriend characters in shows, she isn't really up for hearing explanations. When another related innocent problem happens later, she just walks out and refuses to hear explanations. If she'd had trouble with Ponch before, maybe it would be more understandable, but as it stood, that seemed to be the first time there was any trouble. She should have been more willing to listen. And honestly? Being so smarmy with Ponch's friend and inviting Ponch to a party that turned out to be a party Ponch was throwing is just ... ugh! Of all the gall!

So overall, totally not impressed with any of the guest-starring females in that episode. At least Bonnie, the regular female cop from season 3 on, was awesome as always.

I'll be recording part 2 later day to watch, of course. But I am totally not expecting much from it. I'll be glad when we're past this saga and we can go back to Jon and Ponch patrolling the streets, as it should be.

I'm excited to work with Dad on getting some stuff Mom will like for Christmas. I just hope we'll be able to successfully do it without Mom seeing, since she'll be right there. And I just wish Dad was as easy to buy for as Mom is. I feel terrible that we probably won't have as much for him. It's so, so very hard to find things that he really likes.

I looked at Wal-Mart's Hello Kitty again and she was much more appealing this time around. The clothes are kind of cheaply sewn on, but gosh, she's so soft and cuddly. And so much cheaper than Build-a-Bear's. So she's back in the running. JP sent some lovely gift money and a wonderful card and I'm pondering how best to spend the money.

Another possibility is that Target is running a sale on certain Equestria Girls dolls and I've had my eye on the recent Sunset Shimmer with her hair done the right way. But since I already have a Sunset Shimmer (wrong hair notwithstanding), I'm not sure I could bring myself to buy another one when I have so little spending money. It's a struggle. I would be thrilled to be gifted the second Sunset, but actually buying her when I could instead buy something I don't have in any form makes me quibble. I think there's a Rarity doll that's also part of the sale, and I don't have Rarity in doll form yet. There's also the Cutie Mark Crusader doll set, which is probably too expensive, but I couldn't even find the price on it when we were at Target last time.

I could get a DVD; I really want Maleficent. I saw that in the theatre and I adored it. Bringing out that true love isn't just romantic? And that it's not going to happen after just meeting someone once? Oh yes, please!

Or, of course, I could combine the gift money with some other money and get something at Build-a-Bear, which was my original plan. But when push comes to shove, I think I'd rather have a character I like better than Pinkie, and I'm not sure that the pure white Hello Kitty is going to be back in stock. (And I must admit, I cringe to think of how much it would cost to dress her. She would have to have clothes.)

I will be highly amused if I end up deciding to stick to the original plan and get Pinkie anyway. If she entrances me as much as she did last year, it could happen.
ladybug_archive: (hamilton)
So, today's Crystal episode. I have confirmed for myself that most likely, Crystal is divided into two arcs: Dark Kingdom and Black Moon. The next episode will be the final episode of Dark Kingdom, leaving the same amount for the Chibiusa/Black Moon arc.

And on the Generals/Kings: Spoilers! )

I like to say that the bad guys are better developed in the classic anime and the good guys are better in the manga and Crystal. That still holds true; classic anime Luna is so mean sometimes. Although Usagi is certainly ditzier there, but even when she's ditzy in Crystal, Crystal Luna understands the horrible burden that's been placed on her and is much more patient. Crystal Luna also worries that she's a terrible companion to Usagi and she's so adorable. And Venus is much better being a more serious, mature character instead of the over-dramatic ditz she is through most of the classic anime.

However, one thing that's definitely true is that Crystal and the manga don't really seem to take a lot of time to develop the characters' personalities, whereas the classic anime does a lot of this. Some episodes are filler, true, but a lot of the filler episodes help the characters grow. Overall, I will probably always prefer the classic anime in spite of its flaws, even if Crystal's Dark Kingdom arc ends the way I'm hoping for.

And on Thursday we did the big shopping trip. We're going to do one more this coming week, as we still didn't get to everything, but meanwhile, I'm overjoyed that I finally got my Twilight Sparkle ornament. I wanted her so bad last year and wasn't able to get her. This year I was determined to have her when I saw the ornament was out again. ShopKo had 60% off all ornaments, and Twilight was almost completely sold out except for the display copy, and they let me buy her since they wouldn't be getting any others in. I immediately got her set up in a prominent place on the tree, with one of the tree lights beaming on her.

Still didn't get the Build-a-Bear Pinkie plush, as I have money tied up in transit (again) and didn't have enough for her when I was also getting Christmas presents for people and the ornament. She's sharing a bin with Rarity and there weren't too many. I'm hoping I'll be able to get her this coming week if I want her. I also saw the Batman bear, which was cool, and I'm wondering if they're no longer selling the regular Hello Kitty. I only saw the watercolor/tie-dye and the 40th anniversary sprinkles editions. I'd rather have pure white, the way the character is supposed to be.

I also saw the giant Ty plushies at Hallmark, which are the same size as Build-a-Bear's. The hair is extremely thick and luscious and I like it a lot better, but the Ty faces look so pushed in and the noses are even shorter than on Build-a-Bear's, and for Ponies, that just doesn't look right to me. They look like they chomped into lemons. LOL. They're also stuffed much harder and aren't as soft to cuddle. So I'll probably still prefer the Build-a-Bear versions.

Ponies

Dec. 11th, 2014 03:37 pm
ladybug_archive: (faye)
After careful consideration of all the things Build-a-Bear currently has that I am interested in to some degree, I think the end result is that I'll probably get Pinkie Pie when I have the chance. I've heard that they're already retiring Trixie (although some sources says she'll be back after the holidays ... why can't they ever seem to agree on knowing what they're doing?), and I know that come next year there's going to be more new Ponies released, so I can't believe they'll keep Pinkie past the point of the next new release. While she isn't among my favorites, the second Equestria Girls movie made me like her more again (albeit that was her human version, but they're pretty much the same in personality) and I think I'll feel bad if they retire her without me getting to have her. I remember how entrancing she was last year, when I was restuffing my Fluttershy. I wanted so bad to scoop Pinkie up right then and there (and be carrying around two Ponies all day). I'm still a little exasperated and frustrated about Rainbow Dash retiring from the physical stores so suddenly (even though she had a good, long run and all, etc; it's just exasperating that they take her away right when I actually start thinking I might want her). I see she's still available on the website, but I'm not crazy about buying from the website, especially if they won't send the plushies unstuffed. I like to be right there watching as they're stuffed. And I just abhor paying for shipping and handling, but I would never have enough money to spend on the website at once to warrant free shipping.

But so anyway, yeah, after the fail to get Rainbow Dash, I don't want to see that happen with Pinkie, especially since I've wanted her more.

Hoping I might get a chance to get her on the big shopping trip when we go to the malls and such. There's probably only going to be one such trip and I'm assuming that will happen next week sometime; we did the smaller shopping trip, to stores closer around here, last night. If I don't get her before Christmas, I don't know if I'll be able to get her very soon after Christmas, since Dad would not be anxious to go shopping again after the day. It's hard enough to get him to go shopping before the day, sometimes.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So last week I was finally exasperated enough with canon Once Upon a Time that I actually started that vignette series I've talked about. Tonight I wrote another one. It's kind of fun, as long as I stick with characters I like to write about. I'm still not sure I really hear them as well as some other writers do, and I'm very shy about posting them off of LJ because of that, but I do kind of like how they're coming out. I've been posting them at [livejournal.com profile] 31_days, as the prompts have been really good and workable.

I may have tweaked the time of year a bit, as the first fic (the one from last year) is set sometime before Christmas. However, I don't recall mentioning Thanksgiving, so now I've decided that this is happening before Thanksgiving, too. After all, some radio stations start playing Christmas music right after Halloween, and most have started by now, so Belle could have very well heard the song Please Come Home for Christmas playing without Thanksgiving having to have passed. She would probably focus more on Christmas than Thanksgiving, since Christmas was celebrated in their original world too. (I assume.) And I decided I liked the idea of a Thanksgiving piece. I don't know if I'll actually get a second one written within the week, but maybe it would be some sort of cracky piece where the whole mismatched family is trying to celebrate Thanksgiving. I remembered David's cracky comment about how ridiculous it would be to try to have the whole family there and started to giggle.

I also actually had a brief moment of considering buying the DVDs, at least of the first two seasons. I don't know if I actually would, as I've always felt that I didn't like the show enough to actually buy it, but who knows what the future might bring.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
Sometimes it feels like I'm the only person who isn't totally wowed by Michael Buble. To me it seems like he just doesn't put enough emotion in his songs. They sound so slow and deadpan to me. And that's completely opposite of what most everyone and their dog thinks, so it must just be me.

That said, his version of Santa Baby is absolutely hilarious, cracky fun. I have never heard a guy try to tackle that song before. Clearly, he has quite the sense of humor.

ladybug_archive: (simontemplar)
I stole something from Tumblr again. This was on Gwen's Tumblr, but I'm not sure if she wrote it or was just posting it from someone else. (It wasn't a reblog.)


50 question meme )

I was also tagged to answer some questions that Kohaku and Trix wrote. I don't use my Tumblr for posting memes and such, so I decided to bring those over here too. Trix's first, then Kohaku's, which is the order I saw them.


Two more quizzes )
ladybug_archive: (raynorman)
So somehow I stumbled across this little article, which is a nice read: http://www.fm100.com/public/queue/view/5828 And the bit about Paul still having conversations with John is so squeeable! Love it.

Now I have more decisions to make. I have enough spare money for a nice little shopping spree. But since I like to stretch it as much as I can, I wonder whether to spend a certain part of it on one DVD set that has two episodes I want, or whether to spend it on several smaller, Pony-related items.

The DVD set is a nice show, but probably one I wouldn't be interested in if not for those two episodes. But those two episodes have Simon, and if he's the main guest-star and has a lot of screentime, it would be SO WORTH IT. But the set is newly out and I'll have plenty of chances to get it. But Wal-Mart has the best price and they might not have it long. They've been rotating their DVDs more than usual lately (or so it seems to me).

Then I badly want some of the new Pony stuff: the Celestia and Cadance plushies I mentioned, and some of the new figure sets, and also I'm getting awfully intrigued by Sunset Shimmer and want to get that figure. And there's an adorable Christmas ornament of Twilight in a stocking that I really want. Hobby Lobby has their Christmas stuff 50% off, so if they have that one, she surely wouldn't cost too much (unless their ornaments are outrageously expensive, which I doubt).

I still haven't seen the Equestria Girls movie, but I plan to do that soon. I dunno, for some reason, while humans turning into animals is absolutely abhorrent to me, I am kind of fascinated when the reverse happens. Of course, that's the premise behind Princess Tutu, and then there's two Ponies in Equestria Girls who become human (Twilight and Sunset). I'm particularly interested in Sunset's experiences. She seems more spoiled/prideful than outright evil to me, so when spoilers! )

Of course, then there are times when I don't like the "animal to human" trope, either. I was trying to do that in one of my YGO mysteries and have Oreo the cat be temporarily human, but I ended up not liking that and had the human just be a manifestation of Oreo's heart, so she had a voice.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So it really just hit me while I was looking out at the beautiful orange and yellow leaves on the trees in the yard and thinking how the sun hasn't quite come over the mountain yet.

Man, October is almost over. This is the last Sunday of the month.

It's quite a bittersweet feeling. I love October so much. And I remember back in the day when we went off of Daylights Saving Time today instead of a week from now. Ah, such good times.

It sure was stupid to extend it with the excuse that it was to keep kids safer on Halloween. Most of them still wait until after dark anyway, at least around here! People don't want to be trick-or-treating in the daytime! That takes away a lot of the spookiness and fun of it.

I remember when I was a kid and Mom and I would go crazy decorating, putting big fake webs all over the living room and kitty cutouts in the windows. (One time a real spider got into the web and sat there with the fake ones. Oy vey.) I always loved that, even moreso because Mom and I would often do some of our fun verbal role-play while we were doing it.

I don't know why it is, but for years now I've found decorating rather tedious, so we haven't done much of it. I get so frustrated when it takes so long with things not going right, like the Christmas lights tangling up or other things, that I really only like doing the barest minimum of decorating. I always think, though, that if I had the money there's lots of lovely Halloween and Christmas decorations I'd like to buy and have around.

I also don't know what I'm even going to do for a costume this year. Money has been tight and when I have it, I prefer to spend it on things that will get used all the time and not just on one night in October. Last year I just did some weird ghetto thing, putting on my M*A*S*H shirt and my YGO dogtags and my camouflage cowboy hat, and I suppose I was just a random nurse or something at the 4077th. I always think maybe I'll buy those fake wings at Wal-Mart so that for once I can do a complete Rouge the Bat costume, but they always seem to be gone when I have money set aside for them, and then this year I'm trying to balance out the money among other things. But we have to go grocery-shopping one more time before Halloween (and get the candy), so perhaps I'll still get the wings, if they still have them.

I actually had four costume ideas or so, but they all would have required the purchase of some pre-made stuff that I just couldn't see myself forking over that much money for. But I thought of Ishizu or a steampunk Mai, and crossplaying Jim West or Snakes Tolliver. I might still do a ghetto Ishizu; my hair is fairly perfect for it. The problem would be not having a dress that looks like something she'd wear.

I've almost got my October Writing challenge completed. The long entry was finished last Sunday and went up on time, even though I didn't think I'd ever be able to manage getting done for the opening of the ten-day window for posting it. Now I just need one final short story. My original idea was to end it with something silly, the way I started it, but then Mom gave me another serious, creepy idea and it immediately took precedence. If I could just think how to start it, I could get cracking on it. I'm puzzling over it because I'm running out of reasons for Ginger and Lou to stop somewhere freaky. I've already had the car break down, run out of gas, and just plain get lost. So I'm trying to think if their last ghost would come to them instead of them accidentally going to her.

I wish I could get to the Build-A-Bear and get Twilight while it's still October. I want one more lovely drive in the autumn leaves before it's November. They usually are mostly down by then.

Also, I hear the latest round of Funrise plushies have appeared on the East Coast. I'm anxious to get Celestia and Cadance of those when they arrive out here, but I want the Build-A-Bear Twilight more. I might end up asking for the others for Christmas if I don't have them by then. Hopefully the Wal-Marts out here will get them in time for Christmas, as I assume that's the point of releasing them at this time. It would be ridiculous if they're held up as much as Octavia and Applejack were!

And then next week The Queen of Peru (Ginger and Lou's episode) is going to air on MeTV. I'm wondering what to do about that, because while I do have the DVD version, I wonder if I might like a back-up VHS copy. And while I might like to have a back-up, The Rockford Files airs right during the news. Dad already has to watch a later broadcast of news on Sunday because we record Cannon. I'd hate to ask him to miss the other live news and just watch on his computer because of hoping to record something else. **headdesk.** Although if I didn't have any copy already, I definitely would ask.
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
Behold, the silly addendum/reworking of a very silly episode. It's different from my usual fare, to fit in with the tone of the Law and Mr. Jones episode, and I'm kind of proud of how I pulled it off.

http://31-days.livejournal.com/2888751.html

And Steve long ago claimed my other top spot of favorite Perry characters, I realized last Sunday. Hamilton, Andy, and Steve are my favorites. I'm ... kind of no longer sure where everyone else fits on the scale.
ladybug_archive: (andy and amory)
I thought Christmas episodes of old TV shows were always cute and fun and happy for everyone. I've seen a lot of them and have always been very impressed and uplifted.

... Something just broke that record.

Yes, I was watching a Christmas episode of something in the morning. Not because of Christmas in July (which, despite finding charming, I've never participated in), but because I was fiddling around again with actors' resumes. I'd had a particularly rotten time (the events of which I don't want to discuss, only to say that now it seems to be patched up) and was hoping for something nice that would cheer me up. This thing did not fit the bill.

It was an episode of a series called The Law and Mr. Jones, entitled Christmas is a Legal Holiday. I didn't like the main character much; I found him very annoying and much too giddy. But if that had been my sole quibble I would have forgiven all. After all, Christmas is a time to be giddy and maybe the character isn't always that way. (Although I suspect he is.)

The plot involved one of his clients inviting these homeless guys into her house, and continual misunderstandings about what she wanted them there for. Her relatives are worried and upset, especially when it looks like she wants them to live right in the house with her. The relatives think the men are ruffians and that it could be dangerous. They're pretty harmless, albeit they stretched the truth a lot about what their previous occupations were.

Well, so Mr. Jones goes to bat for her against the relatives. One particular relative, Roger, is especially belligerent throughout. But I was expecting a nice conclusion to the episode, especially after Mr. Jones gave a lovely speech on remembering the true meaning of Christmas. Instead, Roger is still stubborn and Mr. Jones accuses him of worrying about the property value going down and his own inheritance instead of his aunt's safety. And maybe he is, but he vehemently denies it. (We never actually learn what the truth is, either.) And he suggests they go into the other room to "settle things". His wife tells Mr. Jones of his weak spots and there's a big off-screen fight. Of course, Mr. Jones wins.

Now, I'm not saying Roger wasn't acting awful, but the fight and even moreso, the way the outcome was handled, really annoyed and discouraged me. We never see if Roger's alright. And one of the other people there is joking about the "surviving relatives".

Of course, I don't think Roger was killed. But seriously, what kind of Christmas thing is that? Any other Christmas episode of an old show that I've seen, especially one with a lighter tone like this, would let us see that Roger was alright, maybe even have a change of heart. As far as I can tell, the only people who would enjoy this episode are probably people who would get a charge out of, shall we say, vicariously experiencing beating up a frustrating relative. And that's all well and good for them, but that is not my idea of a good Christmas episode.

Especially when Roger is played by Wesley Lau.

... Honestly, what I would have found funny would have been if the men had knocked each other out. LOL. That would have been unexpected and hilarious. And then they could come to with Roger realizing how obstinate he was being and apologizing and Mr. Jones happy and everyone having a good Christmas time.

I can't believe I'm actually thinking of writing either that alternate scene or else an addendum to the episode as shown where Roger comes stumbling out after the fight and is apologetic. And maybe revealing whatever was his reason for his behavior.

I mean, it's one thing to want to write about oneshot characters from an intense drama episode. But oneshot characters for a cheap and silly light-hearted show that probably didn't last very long?

I'm hopeless. I'm really and truly hopeless.

I sort of cheered myself up by watching an episode of The Time Tunnel afterwards. Wesley being treated nice and playing a nice character was lovely, despite time travel not really being my thing (which is a rant for another time).
ladybug_archive: (hamilton)
Since Dreamwidth decided to temporarily open things up for people to get accounts without codes, I decided I might as well get one while I could. http://insaneladybug.dreamwidth.org/ I'm not sure what I'll use it for, though. Maybe mainly random assorted musings, like I wanted to use my Insanejournal for. I wish Dreamwidth had that cute ladybug theme that Insanejournal has. And I wish we got more than the standard 15 icons. But it's a nice-looking place. I have a theme called Winter Court, so I decided to be funny and name all my pages court-related things.

You know, it's funny. I've been a Mario fan a lot longer than I've been a Sonic fan. I knew about Mario when I was three or four, about four years before Sonic. And yet the only merchandise I had was given to me: a couple of Valentines, some awesome science card samples I was sent in the mail, and a ROM of an out-of-print game collection.

This year, in the last couple of months, I've ended up with some Nintendo merchandise I purchased. On my birthday I found that Toys R Us was having a sale on all Mario stuff. I went on a mini-shopping spree and bought a blue Mario shirt and a Mario backpack plush. And I got a limited edition scarf free with the purchase.

Even though I love both Sonic and Mario, and think there's no reason why both can't be loved, I honestly felt a little guilty at first. I wondered if I should have bought more Sonic merchandise instead, since his franchise is my favorite of the two. But luckily I soon got over such guilt and am thrilled with my purchases.

F.Y.E. has backpack plushies too, but their prices have become atrocious. They were charging $25 compared to Toys R Us's $16.99! (And I got the Mario plush at a further discount.) However, for Christmas they've had a sale where they charged $16.99. They're the only place I've seen Luigi other than online. So I decided while we were out shopping a week or so ago that I should buy Luigi with my share of some Christmas money friends had given us. I did exactly that. It looks awesome to see Mario and Luigi plushies sitting on my bed after wanting such things for years. I remember cutting a picture of Mario out of a magazine when I was about four and saying it was a plushie for one of my figures. And longing for it to be a real plushie that I could have.

F.Y.E. also had sales on a lot of TV show box sets. I got Perry Mason season 2, volume 1 and The Wild Wild West season 2 for Christmas. Each was only $14.99! And I bought The Wild Wild West season 3 when I got Luigi. With it being such an amazing sale, I decided I should milk it for all that I could.

And my gosh, Mario games are so much harder than Sonic. Or at least the old ones are. With Sonic you have rings, and if you're hit you drop them and you can usually gather at least some of them up again and keep going indefinitely. With Mario the coins have no bearing on whether you live or die. You can be plowed down in an instant by walking into a baddie, even if you have plenty of coins. It's so aggravating!

Also, I find it amusing that while Yoshi is one of the most popular and well-loved characters in the franchise, I barely know anything about him. The games I usually played were the first ones, before Yoshi ever came into it. The characters I'm familiar with are Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Bowser. While I don't know much about Princess Daisy, however, I am very fond of her. Mostly that's a bias due to her name, I suppose. And I know about Wario, despite never playing games with him in them. Luigi's counterpart Waluigi freaks me out. The main thing that creeps me out, for some reason, is the upsidedown L on his hat. I don't know why, but it looks creepy to me.

My latest Perry mystery is proceeding very nicely. I was thinking about the climax, but I don't think I'll muse on the details here, as I may be having some visitors who are reading the story. I want to keep this one's twists a surprise. But I will say that I'm in chapter 7 now and hoping that I can set things up for Paul and Hamilton to interact more. Right now they're separated, each trying to convince certain people who don't remember that what they're saying is the truth. I want this disaster to bring them closer together, even to the point where they might finally consider each other friends.

And you know, I've never been a really big meat fan. I eat it on pizza and in stews and soups, but when it comes to eating it plain, I don't particularly care for it. It always seems so dry. I love cooked cold turkey, but I rarely like it heated unless it's drenched in gravy. And I don't like roast beef. It mushes around and takes forever to eat.

I do, however, have an insatiable love for chicken and pork. Particularly chicken with that wonderful crunchy breaded stuff on it. Pork I happily eat down plain or on sandwiches or with cheese.

I rarely eat meat of any kind, though, other than on pizza. Mostly we use meat substitutes. I love Morningstar Farms, dislike most of Boca's, can't stand Gardenburger, and generally like Veggie Patch. I actually feel a bit guilty for not liking Gardenburger, as I think they were the first. And without them there might not have been any others. But I just don't care for their varieties. There's too much mushroom, too much rice, and too much of something else (maybe seasoning). I've tried several kinds and I just can't get into it.

I really wonder what it is that Hobbits see in mushrooms. I don't hate them, but they're certainly not a go-to food for me.
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
I have a long post I plan to write up, discussing various things, but among all the things I needed to get done today, that was what had to be dropped. I'll work on it this week sometime.

I will say that I can hardly believe it's Christmas Day already. It feels like this holiday season just flew by. I wasn't ready for it to reach its climax and be over. I'll be soaking up this day and the week bridging Christmas and New Year's, trying to prolong the holiday season a little bit longer.

This year's Christmas fic is for West Side Story, a sadly dead fandom much of the time. If anyone's interested, reviews are loved! http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7663848/1/

... Odd.

Dec. 15th, 2011 01:29 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
Some of my strangest dreams are had when I doze off randomly at various points during the day. This morning I dozed for a few minutes while my radio was on next to my head, softly playing Christmas songs. When it was playing Bing Crosby's It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (yes, I was lucid enough to know what was playing then), I dreamed that Bing's ghost was sitting in a non-existent rocking chair on our porch at night, rocking as he smoked a pipe and was observed by a stray cat that hangs around. Only in the dream the cat looked like a calico and not a tabby. Oh, and I think he was singing the song that was playing in real-life, too.

Very strange.

This year's Christmas fic is proving a challenge. It's for West Side Story, using A New York Christmas by Matchbox 20 as inspiration.

Call on your angels
Come down to the city
Crowd around the big tree
All you strangers who know me
Bring your compassion
Your understanding
Lord how we need it
On this New York City Christmas

Yeah I'm sending you a Merry New York Christmas
And a prayer for peace on earth
Within our time
Oh, the sidewalk angels echo hallelujah
And we understand them
Now more than ever

So call on your angels
Your beaten and broken
It's time that we mend them
So they don't fade with the season
Let our mercy be the gifts we lay
From Brooklyn to Broadway
And celebrate each and every day
This New York City Christmas

Yeah I'm sending you a Merry New York Christmas
And a prayer for peace on earth
Within our time
Yeah the sidewalk angels echo hallelujah
And we understand them
Now more than ever
Merry New York Christmas

Call on your angels
Come down to the city
Let's crowd around the big tree
All you strangers you know me
Bring your compassion
Bring your forgiveness
Lord how we need it
On this New York City Christmas

Yeah I'm sending you a Merry New York Christmas
And a prayer for peace on earth
It's not too late
Yeah the sidewalk angels echo hallelujah
We understand them
We understand them
Merry Christmas
Yes a New York City Christmas
(Oh Christmas)
Merry New York Christmas


The plot I've got going (thanks to suggestions from [livejournal.com profile] ladyamberjo) involves the dead characters on assignment to try to bring a bit of hope to Schrank and Krupke on their Christmas Eve patrol. I have to both think of some discouraging things for them to encounter (which shouldn't be too hard) and some other, quietly hopeful things that begin to cheer them up a bit (infinitely more difficult). Everything has to feel real; I don't want anything that seems sickeningly saccharine or fake-happy or preachy. At the same time, I also don't want things to seem emo.

I've got my work cut out for me. Anyone got ideas?

Pan Am

Dec. 6th, 2011 01:22 am
ladybug_archive: (mickyandbabyface)
As I mentioned, I'm watching several new TV series this season. This is unusual for me. But they caught my eye for various reasons and I knew I wanted to check them out.

In addition to Once Upon a Time and A Gifted Man, I've been watching Pan Am, a period drama involving stewardesses on the Pan Am airline. It started really strong and I was absolutely thrilled. I really like the characters and enjoy seeing their various adventures.

But I am getting increasingly annoyed that, from the fifth episode on, they've found it necessary to have sexual encounters and people jumping in bed together in every episode (with the exception of episode 8). The most recent episode had two, with a third implied. Junk like that is one major reason why I don't watch many recent shows. Why must shows always have that content? It's pointless. It doesn't add anything to the plot! As far as I'm concerned, it just takes away from it. I've gotten to where I'm not sure if I'll keep following the show or not, but then something awesome like 8 happens or 9 ends on a cliffhanger and I know I have to keep watching. At least for a little while longer.

Laura is my favorite of the girls. I can relate to her on so many levels. Maggie is my least favorite. I try to see things from her point-of-view, but she just aggravates me so much. In the episode where she was in danger of being sacked, which was 5, I think, it was really her own fault. Her outrageous behavior and disrespect of authority got her into that mess. I suppose she did try to get better at towing the line after that, but her appalling personality remains and can still come out in full force.

And I keep thinking that Christina Ricci reminds me of someone else with those big wide eyes, but I just can't think who it is. She's never been a favorite of mine, but that is completely independent from why I don't like Maggie. I don't dislike characters because of who plays them; I dislike them for them, if I dislike them at all.

Also, I saw the 1938 Christmas Carol the other day. I was appalled. MGM wanted to make the story a "nice little family film", so they cut out honest-to-goodness important, darker plot points, like showing Scrooge's descent into greed, the woman he had loved, and the bit with the Ghost of Christmas Present warning Scrooge against Ignorance and Want. They padded the story with many things that were not supposed to be there, such as Bob getting into a snowball fight with some kids and inadvertently throwing a snowball at Scrooge, which gets him outright fired. They also expanded Fred's role, which was just about the one thing I didn't mind much. I like things that are added if they don't interfere with or go against canon, and showing more of Fred and having him strike up a friendship with Bob and his family was too squeeful. But the whole bit about the snowballs and getting fired was unnecessary and changed canon.

Another thing I detested was Scrooge acting like a child. And I don't mean his adorable joyous glee upon his transformation; this was instead completely ridiculous. He observed Bob telling the story of Aladdin to his kids. Then Scrooge pleaded with the Ghost of Christmas Present to let him stay, oh please, let him stay! Bob was telling the story of Aladdin and Scrooge wanted to hear! And on and on like that for a bit. It was painful. And they were always emphasizing that Scrooge hated Christmas. The Ghost kept saying, "But you hate Christmas." As I recall, that was not the emphasis in the original source material. His hatred of Christmas was just one part of a larger problem. And it was the larger problem that the Ghosts were trying to cure, partially through Christmas. By changing it so the main problem seemed to be that Scrooge hated Christmas, they simplified everything!

I think the only other things I liked were a scene at church, where Scrooge observes Fred and his "fiancee" (instead of his wife), and Bob and Tiny Tim, all singing O Come All Ye Faithful. And the Ghost of Christmas Past in this version was a woman, played by Ann Rutherford, and she was just beautiful. I was fascinated by that portrayal; I always like seeing how each version depicts the Ghosts.

But all in all, it paled miserably before the 1951 version, which was far closer to the book.

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