ladybug_archive: (baxterstockman)
Frankie Valli released a Christmas album this year! Squeeeee. I saw it at Wal-Mart on Friday and I couldn't resist getting it. Somehow I resisted listening until after Halloween. It is awesome and totally puts me in the Christmas mood. And I adore that he's still working with Bob Gaudio after all these years!

I ended up doing three different things for costuming. At the party, I played Rouge. It was nice to pull out that old costume again, but I still wanted to try some new things too. On Friday, when Wal-Mart was having a party and costume event, I threw together a very bad costume of Lydia from Beetlejuice in her casual clothes. I never could find a pink sash I know we have, so I had to use a scrap of cloth left over from a sewing project. And my hair is too long to stand on end, so I had to settle for a ponytail on top of my head. At least the makeup was in both correct colors, but I had a terrible time getting the purple to show up well.

None of us could find those yellow clothes, so now I'm really worried wondering where they are. But I played April on Halloween anyway, doing a combo of the 1987 and 2014 versions. My aunt gave me some blue jeans for my birthday that are so soft and lightweight and comfortable, so I used those and my tan boots as the 2014 elements. Everything else was the 1987 version.

I'm so glad we went to the Trunk or Treat at the church; there were only two groups of kids who came to our door (aside from one or two that came so early they weren't expected and I couldn't get there in time). I think that's the slowest Halloween we've ever had. It's sad how things have dwindled in recent years. It's strange too, considering how much people are spending for Halloween stuff. You'd think the number of Trick-or-Treaters would increase, not decease.

I've started to warm up to at least one of the new Troll characters, as I figured I would. I like Poppy, who is the leader. She reminds me more of the classic Trolls than most of the characters do, so I would like to get a plushie of her, I think. Probably the Build-a-Bear one, as I'm not impressed by the "fur" softness levels of the more mainstream ones. I might even try to see if I can see the movie. I figured I'd really want to give it a try after all, since I've loved Trolls so much through the years. I've always tried any version of them I could find. I loved the computer game about finding baby Trolls (I was playing it just the other day) and the children's novels about a pink-haired Troll coming to the human world and making friends with a human girl, and I would have tried the series Trollz if I had been aware of it and had access to it when it was on. Regarding Poppy, from the trailers I've gathered that rather than being a naively cheerful idiot, she's a good leader who chooses to be cheerful even though she knows there's a lot of things to be unhappy about. I could be wrong, though.

I finally took some screenshots of Baxter and Barney from my DVDs and am continuing to work on my website. I think I almost have it to the point where I'll let it go live. I still need to decide what I'm going to do with my fanarts, if I should post them on dA and link them, or if I should post them on the website only. People on dA rarely seem to give a darn about stuff I post, so I'm pretty bored with posting there. That, and half the time when I try, dA ends up gobbling memory and I have a horrible time even getting stuff up. Ugh.

I'm still ordering Netflixes from that list Dad made of movies we'd seen many years ago and liked. A Mario Lanza movie came yesterday, That Midnight Kiss (ugh, what a stupidly mushy title). The music was beautiful, of course, and I was totally thrilled that Kathryn Grayson was the girl, as I adore her and her singing. But the movie itself was pretty stupid. Some guy convinces a temperamental tenor to trash his room when he's mad and tear up his contract, because they want to bring Mario's character in as the tenor instead and they have to get that guy to go. And it ticked me off how the girl just couldn't bring herself to sing the operas' love songs with the temperamental tenor, not because he's a jerk, but because he's fat, ugh. But that was the typical attitude of the day, that fat always equaled unappealing. Honestly, I liked the guy okay; in physical appearance he reminded me of Simon. And actually, in some ways he had a perfect right to be angry, considering the way he was being treated at different points in the film. And then there's a huge misunderstanding between Mario and Kathryn's characters and they're both acting stupid refusing to talk things out and she's doing the typical "I hate him! I hate him!" immature nonsense when he sends her good luck wishes and she stomps on the poor roses, yet for some reason when she sees him on stage instead of the other tenor, she's totally thrilled and happy and all anger is forgotten, even though they haven't talked anything out yet. Of course, you're supposed to take it that it's because she really loves him instead of hating him, but I was expecting an explosion on the stage before she calmed down.

At least it's just shallow, stupid fluff, though, and not rage-inducing like Kiss Me, Kate is. Ugh, I loathe that production. The guy is such a jerk I can't figure out what she sees in him. Such an egotistical, abusive creep.... And I hate the whole Taming of the Shrew plot in general. I know about the different alternate interpretations of the plot, that she's not really tamed and she's just letting the guy think she is, but to me it's still a really gross and disgusting story.

And then there's The Toast of New Orleans, which I love for the music while I'm unsure what to make of the plot. On the one hand, I think the idea is simply that the high society types changed the main guy too much and that by making him integrate into their world, they're destroying everything that made him unique, and that of course that's a bad thing. But when part of what they did was simply to teach him good manners, I kind of struggle with the whole thing. The character was very obnoxious and crude and annoying, and I found him far more appealing when he learned good manners. I suppose the idea was more that the girl loved him for his bizarre and unique personality and didn't like it being erased or seeing him stifled, instead of simply saying that him learning good manners was wrong, but I have a really hard time seeing the distinction. Of course, it's not a good thing for anyone to have to be stifled if they're not actually doing anything wrong, but eh, I don't know; the way the movie handled the whole thing kind of bugs me. At least she said "We changed him too much," implying that some of the changes weren't bad, but still.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
Still having some serious nostalgia about the TV series version of Beetlejuice. I remember how totally nuts I was about the friendship between Beetlejuice and Lydia. I think it was the first, or certainly one of the first, friendships I really went nuts over.

I don't remember how I found the show in the first place, but I suppose it was while I was watching other stuff on FOX and then it came on. That would have been during the fourth season, the longest and syndicated one. I'm not sure I ever even saw any episodes from the earlier, shorter seasons. I may have, though. I started watching it and liked it and then I saw a puzzle at Smith's and was really excited to see merchandise for the show. I told Mom about it and that I wanted it and she wanted to see the show before deciding if it was okay for me to have the puzzle. I don't remember what episode she watched with me that first time, but I do distinctly remember a scene where the car got mad and jumped on him/ran over him/something, and I wanted to sink through the floor because I was afraid Mom would not like the show and wouldn't let me have the puzzle. I can't quite remember now what happened, because it seemed to me that she was rather dubious about the show after that episode, yet she did say I could have the puzzle. (And as I mentioned in a prior entry, she actually ended up really liking the show. Like, seriously. She even liked it better than Darkwing Duck, although I'm still not sure why and I doubt she remembers any of that now. Maybe it was because Darkwing is so conceited sometimes, but then Beetlejuice is a con artist, so to me their faults are a toss-up.)

My memory was that all three of us were in the store when I got to have the puzzle. I have a memory of getting it and bringing it over to the cart or the checkout stand. I loved that puzzle so much and put it together over and over. It was one of my very favorites, along with my My Little Pony puzzle. (What a combination. LOL.) Years later, when we had a mold disaster in that corner of my room and many of the puzzle and game boxes had to be thrown away, I can't remember if that box was one of them. My memory is that it was one of the few puzzles that kept its original box. I know the Pony puzzle did. I think I ran across the Beetlejuice one last year when we were going through lots of boxes to make sure the contents were safe from the evil mice invasion.

The only other piece of merchandise I had was a color with marker book. The cover picture was the same as the puzzle picture, only flipped. That was with a few books downstairs, but I brought it upstairs three (!) years ago, which was when I watched a couple of episodes again (instead of last year, like I recently wrote, oy). I flipped through it the other day and felt very nostalgic.

I always wanted figures, but it seemed like the only ones around were for the movie, which I just wasn't interested in. I had Mom make paper dolls of Beetlejuice and Lydia instead. I also remember she did one of The Monster Across the Street. I always wondered why they never told his name. I wanted to know his name. She may have also made paper dolls of Lydia's parents; of that I'm not sure. I should get into the paper doll box and look. (I still wonder what happened to the Rockapella paper dolls, which are still AWOL. **sniffle.**)

I liked role-play and make-believe and I would always play Beetlejuice and Mom would play Lydia. I remember saying a corner of the kitchen was Beetlejuice's house and one time I was going over it with my little broom to get it "ready" for Lydia to visit. (Like Beetlejuice ever really cleaned the place before she came over, LOL.) I don't recall if that was in Autumn, but I do remember an Autumn during the time I loved the series. It was late and we were going to make cookies and I remember lying in bed hearing Mom getting the stuff ready in the kitchen. The TV was on, and for some reason it was on blue screen, which was what we got back then when the VCR was on and ready to go. I had either watched my few recorded Beetlejuice episodes or I was going to (maybe as background noise while we mixed the dough). The spider web we always hung for Halloween was up and stretched across the living room ceiling. It is a very clear, very happy memory.

My sister had a red hymn book that was temporarily at our house. Sometimes I got into it and very innocently made up songs/poems with other lyrics and modified melodies, but based on some in the book. All I can remember now was reworking one song to say something like, "There is beauty all around when Lydia comes to visit." (Yeah, like Beetlejuice would have ever been that cheesy, LOL. But it was cute.) I was sad when my sister wanted the book back, as I was sentimental after using it as inspiration.

Beetlejuice was also the subject of, I believe, one of my very first fanfictions. I told the story to Mom and she wrote it down. Unfortunately, I do not remember what I composed. I had several one-page stories taped together and that was among them. We need to find where that was put during the move. I'm rather curious to see it again.

I remember one time when we came back from church in the winter and it seemed like we were locked out of the house. I went into role-playing Beetlejuice with Mom in the snow while we waited for Dad to get the door open. I was enjoying myself in the snow, while Mom naturally was cold.

I think what originally made me drift away from the show was that I found some of the puns and parodies very silly and well, rather stupid. I know the syndicated season often parodied things towards the end, maybe because they were running out of ideas. I guess that means I never did like parodies, even at a young age. But I did still like the characters and I did try to reconnect with the show, and it was then that it was my misfortune to run into the episode that sent me away for good. It's a pity, really; if it had been some other episode, I probably would have stayed with it.

But there you go; one of the things that enchanted me as a young child and the ways it sparked my imagination. I remember those times happily and with fondness, and actually, I would have liked to dress up as Lydia this year. She was one of several costume ideas, but none of them worked out. In her case, I just couldn't find the key piece: a spider web cape/poncho. The party I'm in charge of is today, and I decided I'll have to try my Rouge the Bat costume for it. I only got to wear the bat wings once, so it will be nice to have the whole costume together again. I'm still kind of toying with the idea of playing Lydia on Halloween itself, if I could just find a cape....
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
... a movie and its corresponding TV series share music. I'm not sure why I think that's such an event, but I love that it's the case with Ghostbusters and also with Beetlejuice.

I was making a Halloween playlist earlier tonight, realizing again that there's actually very few Halloween-type songs, and randomly decided to see whether I could add the Beetlejuice TV theme to the list. Instead I stumbled into the movie theme and curiously listened and was pleased that it was basically the same music.

I actually never saw the movie (which is obvious), even though I was obsessed with the TV show. As a kid, I usually wasn't too interested in the movie versions of cartoons since the characters generally looked and sounded different from what I was used to and in the case of Beetlejuice, behaved differently too. Beetlejuice and Lydia were certainly not chummy in the movie. I still sort of wonder how one can connect the two verses, if one is of a mind to do so.

(Sidenote: The fact that I saw and adored the Turtles' first movie as a kid is kind of an anomaly. Then again, that was my main exposure to the franchise despite watching the cartoon too.)

I feel a little sad that some things can make me run screaming from Beetlejuice now, since I loved it as a kid. I just can't handle any head problems; it was one of those episodes that finally turned me off when I was about six. (And yes, I can never look at the movie DVD case too clearly when I see it in stores.) But I still am amused that when I dipped into a couple of the episodes I vividly remembered last year or so, I found the art/beatnik episode a real kick whereas I hadn't liked it that much as a kid. I guess with episodes like that one, most of the jokes are best understood when one is older.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
I haven't spent much time posting lately. I've been so busy writing things that for the most part, if I want to say something that I might ordinarily say here, I say it one-on-one to someone instead.

I've been working on the next Turtles fic, which is a light-hearted oneshot. I found it difficult to go from a more serious tone in the multi-chapter to a lighter tone in the succeeding fic and not have it look strange or mismatched, but after I fleshed some things out it looked better and flowed better with the multi-chapter. One problem with lighter ones is that it's harder for character introspection and development, so it's a challenge finding ways to work that in. I really want the stories to be like seasons 3/4, although they will definitely dip into season 7-ish territory sometimes.

I've been tinkering with a website to talk about my Turtles verse, the proposed "episode" ideas, and other things. I wrote a long essay on why I think 1987 Baxter should be able to be redeemed and I'm quite pleased with it. The site isn't live yet, although I've given a couple of people the link to examine assorted things on it.

I finally started that fic I wanted to do detailing Illya being haunted by Mr. Ecks. So far I have two vignettes done and at least two or three others planned. I don't want the story to wear out its welcome, but with a character-developing series of vignettes, it could technically go on and on. I shouldn't have it get too long, though, or it might be harder to align it with later fics in the timeline.

I've also got the WWW fic going again. I'm going back and forth among all of these fics and also hope to work more on Ginger and Lou fics and that Real Ghostbusters fic. (And that Equestria Girls idea I still haven't started.) It's definitely nice to be able to flip from one fandom to another, writing-wise.

I saw some pieces of the new Equestria Girls movie. Honestly, I love Sunset Shimmer more with each film. She and Twilight are definitely the best things about them. From what I saw, though, my fears about this film feeling like Winx Club were not far-fetched. I want to see this film in whole, and I'll probably buy it, but I don't think I'll re-watch it much. I do not like that it looks like Spoiler )

Had a wonderful birthday! I was very touched by all the warm wishes through here and Facebook and other places. Got some lovely gifts, with some belated ones still on the way. And the shopping spree went swimmingly, better than it has a lot of times. I found some things I wanted and some surprises and it was delightful to have money to get them. Somehow I managed to collect a pretty good amount of money for the shopping spree just in the month of September. Usually I start saving in the summer months, but that didn't happen too much this year because of surprise sales and clearances.

I had intended to get a Fashion Style Pony, but while I love them dearly, I still can't seem to justify paying $15 for one of them when it comes right down to it. Sigh. I want a sale. Meanwhile, I found Indigo Zap on clearance for $4.98. Yessss! I am sad that apparently I missed other things clearancing at Toys R Us, but at least I grabbed something before they were all gone.

I also found volume 7 of The Real Ghostbusters for $9.99. The standard price is $14.99, so I wasn't passing that up. I didn't think I'd find it at Toys R Us, but it was an idle hope, and then there it was. I got it mainly for the Egon's Ghost episode, and thankfully, this time I was not disappointed! It was sooo good. So intense and so much friendship squee! Unfortunately, another episode I'd wanted, Slimer, Is That You? turned up in the re-dubbed version with Dave Coulier as Peter and Kath Soucie as Janine. I love Kath's work, but not as Janine. And Dave Coulier was absolutely teeth-grinding. The Time-Life version has the original voice actors for that episode, so now I have one more reason to try to get hold of some of those older DVD sets. It was a really fun episode and I want to hear it with Lorenzo Music and Laura Summer.

At Target, I found season 1 of TMNT 1987, which thrilled me. Wal-Mart doesn't have it anymore and Amazon upped the price, but Target was only charging a few cents more than Wal-Mart had had it. Now I have all the human Baxter episodes. I've watched his season 1 episode twice on YouTube in the past. When comparing it with season 2, it is pretty heartbreaking to see how much he cracked.

Also at Target, I discovered that Tracey West is still active in the kids' anime scene and she has written a YGO anime guide. I have no idea why they put that out this year, unless it's to prepare newcomers for the movie. But it was great! I longed for something like that when the show was airing. Oh, there were some things kind of like that, but I didn't like them as much as I liked this one. And it covered all seasons and characters. I probably shouldn't have, since it was just basic information that a diehard fan would already know, but I couldn't resist and it had to come home with me. I feel like a kid again, going through it.

I bought season 4 of TMNT 1987 at Wal-Mart. I also wanted volume 2 of Miraculous Ladybug, but they apparently sold out after finally getting some in. Sigh. I should have bought it at Target. But oh well; I'm sure there will be other chances for it.

(Oh! Oh! Speaking of Ladybug, I saw a doll giftset at Toys R us with her and Cat Noir! Squeeee. Naturally it was $30, so I am hoping for a Christmas sale. I must have it.)

Between my purchases and gifts, I now have all 1987 Turtles seasons except 9 and 10! I'm less interested in them, since they're darker and someone else takes center stage as the villain, but I'll probably try to get them sometime for completeness' sake.

I made one other purchase that night: another plushie base at Jo-Ann's. As much as I hate sewing, I absolutely love being able to create the characters I want in a couple of weeks instead of commissioning someone for a lot more money and waiting several months for the product. Now I just need to decide whether I'm going to use this plushie base to make Snakes, 1987 Baxter, or a Richard character (probably Steve Drumm). I want to make all of them, so it's mostly a matter of which one first. I kind of lean towards Baxter. It would be a fun challenge working out the hair and the glasses. It's making the clothes that drives me up the wall for any plushie. I shouldn't start any new one until I've finished Barry's shirt and made Mike's jacket, but uggh, I keep dreading working in silk with Barry's shirt. And I hate sewing in sleeves in general. Definitely the most maddening part.

I have an Amazon gift card and I'm having my usual debate on what to buy/when to use it. I could get $25 worth of books, as there are some I want, and then maybe get one other thing to go with them. Or I could bite the bullet and do a splurge and add $29 in cash to my $20 gift card. Ultimately, I'd rather wait until I can get another gift card, but by that time, some of the stuff will have probably changed prices. Uggggh. I hate so much that Amazon changed the rules for free shipping. $49 for free shipping is just outrageous! The only other way to get it (without getting Prime) is $25 worth of books and anything else ships free with them.

Then I have my usual dilemma of what to be for Halloween. Every possibility seems to fall through. I wanted to try being a Ghostbuster, but I can't fit into Mom's (non-Ghostbuster) jumpsuit and I'm not crazy about the idea of spending a lot of money on an official costume. Even if I wanted to try that, I can't find any women's costumes (which is weird, considering the new movie had women Ghostbusters) and the men's ones only turn up in sizes too big. I've also considered either a Turtle or April O'Neil. For April, I'd base her mostly on Megan Fox's April because of the hair, and then she has the classic yellow of the 1987 cartoon April. I have yellow tops, but no yellow trousers. Sigh. For a Turtle, green clothes would be good. I do have green pants, and I could probably dig up some kind of green top. Then I could buy a Turtle shell at Dollar Tree and a blue mask/headband thing and whee. A cheap ghetto thing, but good enough for a church Halloween party.

I've also considered trying to dress up in Ghostbuster Abby's casual clothes, since I probably could find stuff around here that looks somewhat like what she wore. Abby wasn't at all my favorite in the movie, although I warmed up to her before the film was over. But she is the one I could pass myself off as the easiest.

Today I even had the thought of wearing my long green coat, my fedora, and my sunglasses, and saying I'm a random spy/secret agent/whatever. Heh.

Most likely, I'll go with ghetto Turtle. But Dollar Tree was out of blue headband things this past night. Sigh. Hopefully they'll restock.


Oct. 18th, 2015 03:17 am
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
Every time I think about the fact that I need to sit down and write an entry, I think, "But I have so many other things I need to do that need doing more!" And then things drag on and on until everything I need to write about has piled up so much I wonder how to ever get it done at all. That's why I barely write in my offline journal, which isn't a good thing.

Basically, birthday shopping trip ended up happening the day before, due to a $12 off coupon that expired on Saturday, and then Dad insisted we had to go to a place he wanted to go to or he wouldn't go at all, and they weren't open on Saturday. We didn't end up making it there anyway, and luckily he didn't really mean what he said and he let us go just for a fun birthday time.

I didn't end up getting the doll two-pack, as I couldn't find it for less than full price and I ended up having other things I wanted to make sure I had money for. But I'm still longing to get that. Gazed at it longingly in K-Mart last week. Maybe soon. I also still really want the Applejack archery doll. I just adore her; she's so autumny! And ever since I realized how much I really am like Applejack, I've felt much more of a kinship with her and like her a lot more (although she was already on the rise of my favorites before that).

I got DJ at Build-a-Bear, after an exceptionally long struggle over whether to get her or the cat/tiger I like. I could have got both, actually, with the 2 for $35 sale and the coupon both, but I had other places to go and didn't really want to spend all my available money in one locale. I also noted that the Halloween bat plushie has extremely soft fur, and even though I didn't think I'd want a bat plushie, I really kind of liked that bat and I wonder if I might want to get it sometime this month. I still have my birthday coupon, which couldn't be combined with the $12 off coupon. It's good through the month.

I saw some cat plushies at Toys R Us I absolutely adored, especially a Maine Coon! It's been years since I've seen cat plushies other than tabbies or whites. It was too expensive; $20 for a size that would have cost maybe $12 years ago, but it is an FAO Schwartz plushie, so very high quality. I might have to get it sometime. It was gray and had green eyes, so I'd kind of like it to represent Jane the Silver Persian.

I also had a Jo-Ann's coupon, so I decided I'd go there and look for plushies that might work for Sean and Barry. I only found one that I thought might work, so I got that for Sean and then got some material at Wal-Mart. I immediately began crafting the next day. Unfortunately, I had the wrong yarn color, so I had to wait until Monday to work with that, but I did get the ears and the brown part of the hair done. I just had to use my leftover muslin for the ears (and I think I might still be able to get one more pair out of the piece!) and leftover mohair from the Hamilton plush. I wish it was longer and curlier, but it's okay at least for now. I also started the blue shirt.

I puzzled for ages on how to attach the yarn and worried that I'd have to seal it with an open flame. Then someone at the craft comm presented a solution so simple I could hardly believe I hadn't thought of it: take a piece of yarn twice as long, twist it, and sew it down on the loop. That also saves time, as two braids get attached at once!

On Monday I searched and searched and couldn't find yarn in exactly the right color, but I found something that I hoped was close enough. I also got black fabric for the pants then. I wanted a light pink for the tie, but couldn't find any in the right material. Later I found a strip of light pink in exactly the right color that I had at home from my Rouge costume. I'd forgotten I'd bought that! I decided hot pink worked better for her and didn't use the light pink. I thought it would never get used. But it was exactly the length I needed for the tie! I was thrilled.

I also wanted Sharpie to make the face. I had to borrow a friend's brown Sharpie before, to make Lou, but I felt I should have my own, especially since I keep wanting to make these every now and then and I will be making at least one more (Barry). And I didn't really want to wait several days until I could maybe get my friend's again. Plus I needed a new black marker anyway. It frustrates me that I can only get brown in a set, but when I found a set for only $4 something after think it cost $6 something or even $8 something, I was over the moon enough that I picked that up too. I like making the face right away, as that brings the plushie to life for me.

I wanted elastic for suspenders, but I could never find any in the right color. The elastic was patterned, what the heck. No solid colors! Then I thought of bias tape, but I was low on funds and wasn't sure I wanted to pay for that. I thought maybe I could use leftover black cotton from the pants. It would take longer, since I'd have to do more sewing to use that, but I decided it would be worth it to save a little money.

Long story short, everything came together. The face shape wasn't quite right, as I knew it wouldn't be, but I really tried my best. The things I am most proud of are the yarn, the suspenders, and the fedora hat. I wasn't going to make one of those, especially when I couldn't find a decent tutorial, but then Wal-Mart had felt in exactly the right color and I thought maybe I'd give it a go and try to make it from common sense. And honestly, that worked! It looks really good. The only thing I haven't been able to do is dent it like a proper fedora. Still considering ways to do that.

I'll try to get pictures soon, but I'm not sure when I'll be able to, as we don't have a working digital camera and we rarely develop film. And my Twilight costume is not working out (can't find the right wig anywhere and now I'm broke after buying the third Equestria Girls movie, but that's okay; I'd rather have something I'll enjoy many times than something I'll likely only wear a couple of times), so I'll probably have to do something ghetto. I am determined to be a Twilight, but instead of Pony Twilight turned human, I'll probably have to be Pony Twilight as Pony. I have a purple sports suit I can wear, and maybe I can make construction paper ears and bangs/fringe. I'll still paint her symbol on my cheek. But the costume will be so simple, I don't know if I'll want pictures of it. Maybe I'll just use it for the girls' party next week and try to do something different on Halloween.

Anyway, maybe I can take Sean to the party and have one of the other leaders take a couple of pictures of him with her phone. If I don't do that (and maybe I'd rather not, since I don't know what kind of treatment he might get from the well-meaning but hyper girls), then I'll have to find a chance to get some film and take pictures the old-fashioned way. Gah, it makes me cringe that it costs $10 to develop one roll of film these days....

Let's see.... Other projects.... I'm planning the party and I'm trying to think of fun, harmless Halloween songs for it. (I am heartbroken that I likely can't use my favorite Halloween song, Zombie Jamboree, unless I use Kevin's version and I don't care for his version with the zombies falling apart humor in the bridge. I like Sean's versions much better, but a song that goes "I don't give a damn" at a church party for 8-11 year-olds ... yeaaah, not a good idea.) So I listened to Halloween songs on YouTube the other night. When I played Ghostbusters, I got this image of making a music video with pictures from my Ginger and Lou comic and other pictures I could draw that would have them fighting the supernatural. LOL. Of course, no one would even care about that other than me, and I'd probably get a lot of thumbs-down and "WTH is this" if I posted it on YouTube, but the idea really amuses me. Ginger and Lou end up as ghostbusters in my stories very often, sometimes because I'm writing creepy Halloween fics and sometimes because the prompts take me in that direction and sometimes because it just plain amuses me.

I'm looking for a wig for the Barry doll and am annoyed that I'm getting lots of listings for wigs in fancy styles. I can't find one simple brown wig with hair long enough to pull back into a ponytail. (I want the season 1 look; I love that thick ponytail!) There must be one somewhere; I'll keep looking. This trouble definitely makes me amazed that I found exactly the right wig for Ginger, and so easily.

Also wondering if I'll be able to find green fabric for his shirt. I think sometimes he wore light blue, but since I opted to give Sean blue and asked for Haruka Kou to make Scott with a blue shirt, I'd rather not have Barry wear blue too. But I'm worried that I'll only be able to find forest green and that is totally the wrong color. Maybe I'll have to review the colors Barry wore in only season 1 and pick one of those. I really wanted green, though, like the dark green he wore in the full-length Zombie Jamboree performance and in some of the other season 1 and beyond episodes.

Crystal and I have been having fun breathing new life into our steady RP ever since Crystal's enthusiasm started us on a second Carmen renaissance, and we just did a powerful and poignant arc based on The Hardy Boys episode Sole Survivor. Part of me really wants to make a fic version of it. The other part isn't sure I'd be comfortable with that. But I'm going to attempt it and see if I like what starts coming out. Naturally, as with all my fic versions of RPs, some things would be changed. I'd try to patch up a couple of small plotholes, for one thing. And I really want Snakes to be involved, since he was key in the RP, but since his association with the guys is different in the fics, his involvement would be different too. I'm already planning how to work him in.

I also need to finish A Change in My Life, I know. I have chapter 9 started. And I'm almost done with the Perry fic! Just the epilogue to go, squeeee. Then I'm slightly considering a story in three or four parts with Della and Sergeant Brice and maybe Andy puzzling over the mystery I sent them and the others on three years ago in a disturbing place called the Twilight House, based on recurring houses from my dreams. I always meant to return to that storyline, but didn't have the chance. If I could do it at Halloweentime, it would be perfect.


Sep. 30th, 2015 01:01 am
ladybug_archive: (rockapella)
So we need new curtains for a window. Drapes were being used, but one of the @#*&^#&^ mice climbed them and that's how a lot of the chaos happened last month. And we can't find any curtains in the right size! It's ridiculous! And searching for the right size just ends up giving me reversed dimensions! It's like nothing can comprehend 72 inches wide instead of 72 inches long!

Also, shower curtains are apparently no longer sealed up unless they're fabric. WTH? It's very annoying to want a new shower curtain and only have exposed ones to choose from. We had a mold calamity in the bathroom because condensation formed like whoa while the doors were being kept shut to keep mice out and while door sweeps cut off the circulation. I'm still trying to get all the mold off. The curtain was not salvageable.

And my aunt sent a birthday package and it arrived literally torn open all along the middle! We're not sure if all of the presents inside are still there or if something fell out or was taken out, since of course we don't know all of what was included in the package. We are going to be complaining to the post office either way, though; this is preposterous!

And now I have pain. I'm grateful I won't have to deal with it on my birthday, but this isn't a convenient time, either. I won't be able to do much to help with cleaning projects this week.

While we were out looking for housewares things (and presents for a couple of people whose birthdays are today, the 30th), I sort of decided to make a preliminary run of those stores and determine whether to visit any of them on my birthday. No big surprise, but I couldn't locate many of the things I wanted. I did see the two-pack with Flash Sentry and naturally human Twilight Sparkle at K-Mart, however, so if I can't find it a little cheaper at Toys R Us or Target (or if I can't find it at all), I will probably buy it full-price at K-Mart. I hope they'll still have it in a few days, if the other stores don't have any; there was only one there. I was glad to see it; it was mostly a wearying time of not being able to find things.

K-Mart also had the first decent purple wig I've seen for the Twilight costume, but it's not very long. Sigh. But it's the right color and has bangs, so I'll need to consider it.

The main stores I want to visit on my birthday trip will remain the same, probably. And maybe I'll add a party store to the list. It has a lot of Halloween stuff. I don't think we have any actual Halloween stores right now, like we used to. Unless there's one in the mall. We'll have to see.

I'm thinking again of maybe making Rockapella plushies myself, with the JoAnn dolls for Sean and Barry. On Scott, it looks like getting the plushie-makers to make him will work after all, so yay! Pondering on Sean's hair; I had thought of using thin ropes for the braids, but yarn might also work, if I could find it in the right color. I'm wondering how to attach it to the other hair in a way that will make it secure, though. I don't want to just glue it; that seems like the lazy way out and glue can always eventually unstick. I've had it happen. And I worry if I try to sew it, it might slip out under the thread. But there must be some way to do it; I think yarn hair is typically sewn into the seam of doll heads, so I should be able to somehow sew it into/under the other hair without problems. I'm thinking of maybe using mohair for the other hair, but maybe I should get something darker? I know the hair looks darker, but I'm not sure I can find something curlyish that's darker.

If I do decide to do this, I might want to get the JoAnn dolls when I'm out. Something else to think about.

Today is the anniversary of when Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? first aired, too. I'd kind of thought of using one of my blogs to write a tribute, but I don't know if I'll feel up to that any time today.


Sep. 15th, 2015 04:25 am
ladybug_archive: (rockapella)
So Build-a-Bear sent an email on Saturday about the DJ plushie. Looking at the picture there and the one on their website makes me think I very likely will want her. That feeling will probably only strengthen when I see her in person.

And Wal-Mart is getting in a bunch of their Halloween stuff now. I didn't see a purple wig either there or at Smith's, though. Sigh. If I remember right, last year Wal-Mart only had the more red-violet wig I saw now and Smith's had the dark purple wig that would probably work better for Twilight. But it wasn't exactly what I wanted, either, or I would have gotten it then. Hopefully someone will get a purple wig in eventually. I wonder what I'll do if no one does.

Another thing I saw at Wal-Mart is Boba Fett costumes. My immediate reaction: "AWESOME.... Must see if there's one in my size.... Even though Dad would hit the ceiling if I actually wore one...."

At first I only saw some in the adult mens' section, and those weren't even as good as the ones I later found in the boys' section. The boys' costume has the whole suit, instead of just the top part! And ... I think if I could find the XL boys' size, it actually might fit me. And if it did, well ... I wonder if I could resist buying it? I'm still determined to do a Twilight costume, but it would be kind of epic to have a Boba Fett costume around just in general, not just for Halloween.

Also, another thing definitely different about this round of Carmen/Rockapella fangirling: I think that in spite of my love of Scott with season 1 hair, I may actually be starting to prefer the season 2 look. The reason being: I think I actually rather like the mild scruffiness now. It makes Scott look older, and as much as I love adorable so-young Scott, older and wiser characters intrigue me the most, so naturally I would end up somewhat intrigued by the style that makes Scott look that way the most. (Also, you can't go wrong with fluffy hair....) Hmm, maybe I'll try a drawing or two and see what I think. I've only drawn approximate season 2 Scott once.


Sep. 11th, 2015 08:46 pm
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
Neither of the two mice we know are still here have appeared again. This is very concerning. Aurgh, we can't really start cleaning the house until we know they're all gone! There must be some little nook in Dad's room where that mouse is managing to hide. The other one must be holed up in the wall downstairs. UGH!

Belle remains unopened as I try to save her for my birthday. Still three weeks to go. And I have very little hope that the house will be back to normal by then.

I've been planning out my list of stuff to look for on the shopping spree and trying to decide what I want the most (aside from Belle, who would have been at the top if I hadn't wisely decided to get her and not wait). I think that would be the two-pack with naturally human Twilight and Flash Sentry. And now that I'm more into the dolls than I was two years ago and Hasbro has improved so much since then, I think I'd be willing to pay full-price for the set, which would be $30, I believe. I'd rather get it a bit cheaper, but if I see it for $30, I'll probably go ahead and get it. I'm really impressed by both it and the dolls in general lately. I think this new line is the best yet!

The other top thing would be the Sunset Shimmer plush, which I'm starting to lose hope will ever come to this area. I probably should have taken that Arena member up on her offer to get one for me, but I was worried about shipping costs and I was so sure that we would still get her as Fall merchandise came in. That was two months ago and I am no longer sure at all.

I think I'll probably want to go to Toys R Us first to look for the two-pack, but Target might have it too, and they might more likely have a sale than Toys R Us. Well, we'll see what happens. I wish that Funrise would release Sunset Shimmer in other sizes so that other stores might have her. The 10-inch size is a Wal-Mart exclusive. If I actually find her somewhere, it will be such an exciting surprise.

The Perry fic is moving right along. I have four chapters up and I've started on the fifth. It feels so good to write one of these again! And I remember three years ago, one of my reasons for hesitation on the plot was wondering if I could carry a story with Della as the lead. I must have felt like I came to know her much better in the interval, because it's coming together so well now. I feel like I know much better how Della would act, even determining that she would hope to solve Ellena's murder and Ellena would then manipulate Della because of that and end up taking full control of her due to it. (Ugh.) Della is a very compassionate, romantic person, sometimes taking pity on people in canon whom she probably shouldn't. It never seems to come back to bite her in canon, but I have no doubt that sooner or later it would.

I need to write a tribute for Raymond Burr tomorrow; it's the anniversary of his death. I watched a nice documentary tribute to him recently, so I'm planning to talk a bit about that. I also hope to have chapter 5 ready to post sometime that day.

Also, I'm excited! We're planning an activity in October for the girls at church where they can dress up for Halloween. I imagine the leaders will participate too if they want, and I want! That would give me another chance to wear the costume for this year. I'm still vaguely considering Sailor Jupiter, but I think I'd really like to try Twilight. I'd just need to buy a long purple wig and a pink attachable extension piece; I think I could put the rest of the stuff together here. There's a blouse Mom has in pretty much the exact shade of blue that Twilight wears when she comes to the human world. It even ties in front with a scarf/ribbon, although it's blue and not red. And it's long-sleeved instead of short-sleeved. But I want to use that, and then I have a nice dark blue skirt that might work. Twilight has a purple skirt in the movies, but she changes outfits multiple times, so if it looks a little different, that shouldn't be a problem. Then I was planning to paint her Cutie Mark/symbol on my cheek, instead of trying to attach a cloth or paper one to the skirt. The dolls have the symbols on their faces, instead of on their clothes as in the movies. And I might try to buy purple socks.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
So I further discover the swift turn-around in that my Wal-Mart no longer had the big Cheer. They had a Good Luck Bear, which I probably would have gotten if his left eye hadn't been pushed in weird. Sigh. They also had a batch of the small ones and I heavily considered the Wish Bear, since she was finally a clean one. But they're coming out with a bigger Wish Bear (yes, I finally found some information), so I wondered if I'd rather wait and get the bigger one. Also, I kind of had my heart set on the big Cheer, so she's on the list of ones to look for. It's hard to know whether to grab characters I want when I see them, regardless of size, or whether to wait to get the sizes I want. I don't want to run into another situation where I find a big one I really want, especially of Bedtime, and then can't get him again because of not having funds. It seems very possible that he could turn up at any time!

There was also a big Funshine. I believe he was there last week, but I'm not fully sure. I'd considered getting the medium of him, but that was at least partially so he'd be in scale with Grumpy. (The medium was there last week and already sold this week.) I wasn't sure I wanted the biggest size of him before getting some of the other characters. And I definitely didn't want that particular copy, as he had loose threads. Gah.

There's a medium Tenderheart way up on the shelf who's still there, poor thing. I wondered if people weren't as interested in him because he's brown and they're more into the unusual colors. But it seems more likely that the only issue is that he's so far back on the shelf. Maybe if he's still there next week, I'll climb the shelf and bring him forward some more. **headdesk.** I know climbing shelves probably isn't the best idea, but I only do it occasionally when I'm really after something at the back. I had to do it for Grumpy last week. I'm interested in getting a plush of Tenderheart, but I want some others first.

I'm also thrilled that among the information I learned, Friend Bear will be released! She's another of the ones I've been especially sentimental about. I'm so excited for her to start turning up.

This overall fast turn-around is something so foreign to me. Compare this practically weekly change in merchandise to how slow the same Wal-Mart is about getting new Pony plushies, literally taking months to get the latest merchandise. It's rather phenomenal! They're also pretty good about restocking at least some of the dolls; they already got a new shipment of Lyra and Sweetie Drops, after they were gone last week. Why can't they get Octavia?!

I also started pondering on Halloween plans. It's never too soon to start thinking about a costume, especially if it will take a lot of work to put together. It was neat last year when I didn't have to wear a wig because the character's hair was the same color as mine. I'm sort of thinking of a Sailor Jupiter cosplay this year, for the same reason. If I put my hair up, it would be about the same length as her ponytail.

The only problem is, hair is the only part of such a costume that I have. **headdesk.** I would need green bead things to hold the ponytail up (or else I could fasten them to a bare barrette; I don't think I could fit my thick hair through those small bead elastics). A headband with bangs on it would be nice, since she has bangs. The elbow-length gloves would be one of the easiest things to find; I always see those at Wal-Mart every Halloween season. And big pink bows; I could just get some ribbon and tie it into big bows. I'd like taffeta ribbon, but that would probably be too expensive.

The most difficult thing would be the clothes. Naturally the skirt would be longer than it is on the show; no way in heck would I want to show off that much of my legs! But I don't know if a green pleated skirt would be easy to find. The white top should be easy enough, but the sailor collar probably a problem, especially in green. If I had a bandanna in the right pattern, I could easily make it work. But I don't know if they have bandannas in sailor patterns, at least in colors other than blue.

I could probably easily enough sew such a bandanna, but the thought of sewing a green pleated skirt doesn't sound fun. I'll have to keep a look-out for anything that might work. One fun thing about getting something like that is that I could wear it in regular life and not just for cosplay, so it could be a good long-term investment.

Rose earrings would be nice, too, since they're one of her trademarks. But I would probably have a terrible time finding them, let alone clip-on ones instead of pierced. I will likely never pierce my ears, since I rarely ever care about jewelry other than necklaces. (I love necklaces!) And I don't like clip-on earrings either, really. They pinch like whoa. I might look into seeing how much SetsunaKou would charge to make just the earrings, but when I usually can't wear clip-ons for long before I have to take them off, it probably wouldn't be worth the bother.

Of course, by the time Halloween rolls around, I may have given up and moved on to another idea. But the first time I decided to cosplay Marik, I decided it in July and it definitely came together for me. So I guess we'll see.


Nov. 2nd, 2014 08:20 pm
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
Halloween was so much fun. I ended up going to the Trunk or Treat my church always has, and it didn't last as long as I thought, so I was also able to answer the door. I saw more kids at the Trunk or Treat than at the door. But it was fun times. It was awesome to see a lot of costumed kids again, after seeing hardly any for years. And I really enjoyed putting together my Riddler costume and it felt so good to finally do it after six years. The character was recognized by people and I saw three Batmen and a Joker, so that was cool, and then we went out to see decorations and drop in at Wal-Mart. A girl in a Batman shirt complemented me.

Sometimes it's really nice to dress up as characters that are more easily recognizable. I really soaked up the praise and recognition and I had a blast.

As I said, I was of course playing the version of the Riddler from The Batman cartoon, with my long hair and the black makeup I'd found. But since I was never crazy about doing the jumpsuit for the clothing, I'd decided to wear Mom's green blazer and a black shirt and pants. I put a construction paper green question mark on the shirt. I also made a construction paper mask, as talked about, and it actually held together and things stayed tied and attached and it was wonderful. I did see a solid green eye mask at Wal-Mart when we went afterwards, but the one I'd made was actually closer to the right shape and it had held together so well that I think I'd be sad to replace it if I ever use the costume again. So I didn't buy that mask at Wal-Mart to save for another time. I figured I wouldn't be able to have a hat, and then I decided I'd invert the colors and put a green question mark on my black fedora. I was very pleased with the results. I need to take the question marks off my hat and shirt now, yet I don't seem to have the heart to do it yet.

You know, I had so much fun that I was really sad to get out of the costume at the end of Halloween. A lot of times lately I'm just weary and tired and discouraged and am anxious to get out of it. This time I just didn't want to give it up.

In the sequel to my first multi-chapter Batman fic, I have the Riddler attempting to go the way of his comic-book counterpart by taking on the work of a police consultant. In the story, however, he calls himself a consultant and troubleshooter, and is more of a private detective than a consultant alone. He also decides to try wearing a suit, so his clothing in the story is similar to what I wore for Halloween.

I was rather giddy yesterday when I stumbled on a picture of Frank Gorshin's 1960s Riddler wearing the suit of later episodes and he had a black hat with a green question mark! I hadn't remembered that. I thought the Riddler's hat was always green, when he wore one.

I love The Batman version of the character the best: serious and intriguing and voiced by Robert Englund. But I appreciate Frank Gorshin's giggling Riddler for being the first to really make the character popular. And I like that Frank wasn't comfortable with wearing the skintight jumpsuit and that's why they made that later outfit for him to wear.

I'm slightly wondering if I might be developing a slight crush on Frank Gorshin. If I am, it is highly amusing because he's also someone I've seen and been aware of for years, thanks to Disney's That Darn Cat! (the original). I suppose it's silly of me, but it kind of bothers me that I still can't think of anything I've seen Chrissy in years and years ago, because he is the only one who breaks the pattern. Absolutely everyone else I'm crazy about I saw in stuff many years ago. Yes, even Luke Andreas. I did see Chrissy on Rockford before I became a fan, and thought he was one good-looking British cutie, but that was only a year or two before I started really being crazy about him. These others, I saw them as much as ten or fifteen years before being nuts about them, and I liked them back then, too. I keep thinking I must have seen Chrissy somewhere, in something, many years ago and someday I'll find it.

They're finally releasing the 1960s Batman series on DVD starting on the 11th, with complete sets and individual season sets. Season 1 will be out on the 11th, with the other two individual seasons to follow sometime later. They're actually cheaper bought individually, according to current prices, and I'm seriously considering picking up season 1 when it comes out. I love the 1960s Batman series; it's so silly and fun and adorable and always makes me laugh and smile. I wasn't too crazy about one Joker episode I saw, but that was the only one I haven't liked. Maybe I don't care for Cesar Romero's interpretation of the character? I'm not sure. I'll have to see how I feel watching other Joker episodes. But I'm happy with most of the other characters, so I should be fine.

I also stumbled across a plunnie I had six years ago for some space-time dimensional accident to happen and The Batman's Riddler and the 1960s Riddler end up in each other's verses. LOL. The serious Riddler would be appalled and confused and alarmed and horrified at the weird world of the 1960s show, while Batman and Robin and Yin and maybe Batgirl (not sure if I'd include her) of The Batman series would be bowled over and weirded out and disturbed by the 1960s giggling Riddler. ROTFLOL. I might really write the thing sometime, just for cracky fun. But for now, I'm content to focus on my current Batman fic.

Yay! LOL.

Oct. 31st, 2014 07:40 am
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
As usual, I kicked off Halloween by watching the Grundy's Night episode of The Batman. I then decided to follow-up that specific Halloween episode by watching Strange Minds, the one where Hugo Strange and Batman go into the Joker's mind to find out where he's taken Yin. Going into the Joker's mind? It can't get much more Halloween-appropriate than that! The episode is hilarious and creepy all at once and has some of my favorite scenes and imagery, like Moon Joker and Hugo Strange analyzing Batman.

And I ended up with a plunnie. Now I'm thinking I wanna do a fic where Hugo Strange escapes from Arkham and manages to abduct the Riddler. He's intrigued by the Riddler's various actions in my multi-chapter fics and wants to go into his mind with that device he invented.

It would be a lot of fun to write and give me the chance to design what the Riddler's mind is probably like. I am imagining question marks and deathtraps everywhere. It's a dark place, yet there is still light. Naturally I'd need to create some intriguing imagery to showcase Julie's place in his mind. His deadbeat father would be depicted in a way to show how he was someone the Riddler trusted, until he grew jealous of the Riddler getting good grades in school and beat him for it. Batman would probably be considered the Riddler's ultimate rival/favorite person to play against. I'm not sure where Yin would fit in.

I'm also trying to figure out how to get her into the action, as I really wanted her to see into the Riddler's mind as well. Batman can go in to try to find out where Hugo Strange has him because Wayne Industries has the prototype of Hugo Strange's machine. Technically, I suppose that would mean two could go and Yin could get in that way. But that would mean he would have to reveal his identity as Bruce Wayne to her. Either that or pretend to break into Wayne Industries as Batman to access the machine. Or something like that.

It could be interesting if he revealed his true identity to Yin. I'll probably lean most strongly towards that idea.

I just hope I can refrain from actually writing this fic until I have the current one done. I have four chapters up and I'm not sure how long it will be. The first one was ten, including the epilogue. Maybe if the plunnie grows too insistent, I'll write a blurb or two to try to make it settle down.


Oct. 30th, 2014 08:52 pm
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
Was able to get some Halloween makeup tonight. It looks like the black crayon can be used around the mouth, so I'll have some form of black lipstick after all. I looked for the genuine article, but couldn't find it. I wonder if you can only buy it in places that cater to the goth subculture.

I'm going to cut out some green diamond things from construction paper and put them on the golden cane. The Riddler has green buttons on the cane that he uses to remote-control stuff. And I guess if I want a mask, it will have to be construction paper. I couldn't find any simple solid color eye masks, just really fancy ones. And I don't have time to sew one, especially since there was no chance to go to Wal-Mart clear across town to get fabric.

I am kind of excited to finally be able to try this costume. I can't remember why I didn't do it six years ago.

Also, there's a yard in town (one of many) that really goes all-out for Halloween with big figures and such. One of them is Freddy Krueger and I just had to giggle to myself. I've never seen the Nightmare on Elm Street films and likely never will, but I like Robert Englund for a much different role. He voices the Riddler on The Batman, the version I'm playing.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
It always makes me sad that people hate on The Batman version of the mythos so much. It is so much fun. And most people feel like it was at its best around season 4, when Robin came into it. There's some excellent season 4 episodes, granted, but I ... honestly like seasons 1 and 2 the very best. It shows stuff that we don't get as much of later in the canon, or much in other canons, like lots of Batman and Alfred interaction. Once Robin and Batgirl are around, they have the lions' share of the interaction with Batman. Also, Detective Ellen Yin is so awesome. I love how seasons 1 and 2 have her around a lot.

I was browsing through old journal entries and found that six years ago I'd mused on trying a Riddler costume based around the version who appears on The Batman. I'm kind of thinking I might try that this year. I had originally wanted to try Twilight Sparkle, but I kept not buying the wig because I dread buying things I'll only be using once or twice. And now the one that was closer to the right color doesn't seem to be there. Sigh.

But I wouldn't need a wig for the Riddler; my hair is the perfect color. A little longer than his, but that's okay. I won't do the jumpsuit version of his clothes; I'll borrow Mom's dark green blazer and maybe combine that with a black shirt and pants. The Batman's Riddler likes green and black instead of green and purple.

Silly me; I was wondering what I could use to make his iconic cane, and then I remembered that DUH, I have a genuine article! My feet were cracking so badly about seven years ago that Dad bought me a cane. I just finished taping it up with some shiny gold wrapping paper I had leftover from my Marik costume many years ago. It looks pretty nice.

I'll probably have to forgo the black lipstick; Dad would likely go through the ceiling. But I will at least make those other marks on his jaw with the black Halloween makeup I have, also from the Marik costume.

Biggest problem will be finding a mask for the eyes. I'll either not wear one or I'll see if one made of construction paper will hold. Or maybe we'll go out today and I can look for a green mask.

Ah, ghetto costumes are such fun. And since the Riddler's clothes are different in every canon, and sometimes change more than once in the same canon, there's pretty much no right or wrong way to make a Riddler costume!


Oct. 4th, 2014 09:04 pm
ladybug_archive: (faye)
It ended up being a really nice day after all. Dad was able to find the things I'd asked for, so I got those and some nice surprises, such as a leaf necklace from an aunt. Crystal wrote me a lovely fic and JP's present and card came in time for the day. I received lots of well wishes from people online. And there are other things in the mail now that should come next week, so I have those to look forward to.

I ended up really feeling that the illness had passed and I was just left with post-nasal drip and this blasted lingering cough, so we went out. We didn't make it everywhere I had planned, but I trimmed the list way down and we made it everywhere I especially wanted to go (except we forgot to look in the Halloween store in the second mall, sigh).

Target has apparently eliminated their classic TV shows almost entirely. They used to be the go-to store for cheap Universal releases, but not anymore. Sigh. I was hoping to find some Kojak DVDs. I miss it being on MeTV regularly and the prices are too high at the moment.

But I had a fun time and was thrilled to find that F.Y.E. carries some of the new Sailor Moon plushies by Great Eastern. I'd been debating getting the Chibi Moon one for a while, but I was hoping to see her in person first, and then when I actually saw her in person, and at the same approximate price as Amazon's, I couldn't resist. I seriously adore Chibi Moon and am thrilled to finally have a plushie of her (although I hope in the future to be able to find a bigger one, too).

Then I found a Pony hat at Wal-Mart and decided to get it. I'd already tried to get it at the local Wal-Mart and didn't because it ended up being dirty. Blech. But this one was nice and clean. I can never find a Pony shirt that I can actually fit into, with decent-length sleeves, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and the hat was the same price as the character shirts I usually buy, so it seemed like a good trade. I did see a shirt at Target I might have been able to wear, but it cost $9.99 and that was more than I wanted to pay when it only had one of my special favorites and two others that I don't like as much.

I really don't understand why it seems like girls' shirts always have tiny sleeves these days. It's so annoying! They should have different styles so that everyone can get what they want. The $9.99 one at Target had long sleeves. Maybe if it goes on Clearance later, I'll think about buying it. Another thing I don't like, though, is how thin these shirts tend to be. Shirts in the boys' department have both longer sleeves on the short-sleeve shirts (to the elbow, like they should be) and are generally thicker.

We also went in the Hallmark store and had fun looking at things in there, and the lady knew about Mannix, so we all had a fun little conversation.

One thing I'm a little sad about, though, is that it looks like the lovely store that made custom shirts has closed up. I was actually surprised when they were still there last year. And then it was just in July when I had them make up a shirt with Joe Mannix and Lew Wickersham. But by then, they had a new process and the price had shot way, way up. I had to pay about $24 for the shirt, compared to $14.95 plus tax for the other two! They said the other process was better and made the shirts last longer, but honestly, if you take good care of them, like I do, they last fine with the old process. I think they should have kept both processes and let people pick what they wanted for the price they could afford. I have this feeling that people just couldn't take the more expensive prices and that's why the place folded. Sad.

... Although I also considered maybe they just moved, and after performing a Google search, it looks like they may have done that. I'm getting a listing that's actually closer to me. Yay! I'll have to investigate. I still kind of wanted a shirt with Ginger and Lou, too, although it will probably have to be the last one if I do it.

So yes, the outing was lots of fun. But I was honestly surprised to discover that our local Wal-Mart has the best Halloween selection over the one in the bigger city! Now we need to go to the local Wal-Mart so I can show Mom all the cute decorations, like the knick-knack Halloween shops and eateries and such.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So I was having a conversation with someone about Halloween stores and how gory some of the stuff in the Spirit Halloween chain is. I've only been in there a couple of times, or maybe just once, and I remember seeing this awful head or bust that had a knife stuck right through the face. Ick!

That sort of thing is definitely not my cup of tea. I like spooky things, like graveyards or spider webs, and am amused by talking or crawling skeletons and the like. But I don't like grotesque things like half-bodies or severed body parts or other things that seem to exist just to gross people out.

I think, aside from the high cost of admission, that's why I haven't ever tried going to a haunted house/castle/forest/etc., because while I might be able to find someone to go with me, I'm a little worried that it wouldn't just be spooky, since gross-out seems to be the order of the day. And if there was too much gross-out and too little spooky, I probably wouldn't like it and I might even be so grossed out that I'd throw up. So embarrassing. If I knew of a place that really was just spooky, though, I'd probably try to go.

I haven't ever said this before because I figured I was in a minority and that most people wanted Halloween as gory as possible. But thinking on it more, it's kind of the same principle that causes a lot of people to dislike modern horror films, saying they're just mindlessly gory and gross instead of creepy and spooky. So with that in mind, I'm surely not in such a small camp. And even if I am, oh well, I've never been conventional in my life.

So excited to start posting creepy stories! I'm debating whether to start my first [ profile] octoberwriting fic now or wait until after midnight to start writing it. The mods are both MIA, so after trying and failing to contact them I decided to organize an unofficial October Writing challenge this year since I wanted to participate so bad and had been planning on it for months. Several people also expressed interest, so good luck to us! If anyone else wants to join in, feel free!
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: (faye)
I like to steal Ask memes from Tumblr and put them on LJ. And since for me Fall started on September 1st and I'm excitedly planning for Halloween, I had to do this one as soon as I saw it on an Autumn blog.

A:What are you being for Halloween this year? Twilight Sparkle! I'm planning already and I'm so excited to try to find just the right wig in a week or so when the Halloween stuff starts coming out.
B:Favorite costume from past Halloweens? I love the Rouge the Bat costume I've worn and slowly perfected over three Halloweens or so. I'm also pretty proud of my Marik Ishtar costume.
C:Do you still go trick or treating? I wish I could. I don't really want to go alone and Dad would probably be appalled if I said I wanted to go. If I knew someone who was going, I would totally go with them.
D:Top 3 favorite scary movies. ... Good question. You know, it may sound sacreligeous, but I don't tend to watch scary movies. Unless someone I love is in them. So we'll say Curse of the Faceless Man. Old 1950s cheese, but the "monster" seems a lot more sympathetic than some, and Richard Anderson is the main character! Also, I like The Uninvited, but really, it wasn't nearly as scary as people toted it as being. It seems like there's one other movie just on the tip of my mind. I wish I could remember. For now, let's just say The Night Strangler, the second Kolchak movie. Lots of Tony being adorable and lots of creepy stuff going on.
E:Top 3 non-scary Halloween movies. I don't tend to watch Halloween-themed movies in general, actually. But is there really such a thing as a non-scary Halloween movie? It seems like an oxymoron.
F:Do you watch Halloween specials on TV? No. I saw It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on a friend's DVD last year. I ... honestly didn't like it that much. I found it preposterous that no one would give Charlie any candy. Adults were seriously so mean that they were giving him rocks everywhere? It would have been funny one time, but for him to receive rocks everywhere was just unreal. However, one thing I do like is watching scary episodes of my favorite TV shows, like Perry Mason and The Wild Wild West!
G:What was your first Halloween costume? Gosh, I don't remember. It may have been this superhero costume. I loved her rainbow hair on the wig.
H:Would you ever wear a "sexy" Halloween costume? No. I'm not the type, mentally OR physically. I don't want to attract the kind of guys who would be turned on by that sort of thing and I'd just embarrass myself.
I:Most ridiculous "sexy" costume you've seen? There's so many silly ones. It's hard to narrow it down to just one! I really think it's stupid when fairly innocent costumes are sexed up. Sexy policewomen annoy me a lot. I want to say I even saw a sexy nun once, but I can't remember for sure.
J:Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating? Trick or treating.
K:Favorite candy to find in your trick or treat bag? Butterfingers! And Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!
L:Candy or other goodies that make you want to **CENSORED!** when someone gives them to you? I don't like Mary Janes too much. Or candy corn.
M:Any Halloween traditions? Have the fake Jack-O-Lantern lit up. Visit the cemetery. Get in costume and stay in costume all evening.
N:Have you ever been tricked on Halloween? I don't think so, thank God.
O:Costumes: make or buy? Both. Around 1995, I decided that they weren't making the costumes I wanted, so I was going to make my own. And I proceeded to do so every year after that. For several years I just cheaply made and colored masks and tails, if I was playing animals. Then I started mostly playing people and just using make-up if I was playing an animal. But I still have to buy some elements of all costumes. I have a whole box of wigs.
P:Have you ever pulled a Halloween prank? No.
Q:Do you believe in ghosts? Yes.
R:You're in a horror movie. Are you the final girl, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer? Heh, either the first to die or the skeptic.
S:You're in a zombie apocalypse. What's your weapon of choice? A scythe is the first thing that came to mind. Dunno how effective it would be, though.
T:Costumes: scary, sexy, or funny? ... Out of those choices? Scary, I suppose. My favorite costumes are specific character-based, though, so none of the categories really fit.
U:You're a ghost. How do you spend Halloween? Haunting an old house and trying to entice people to visit. And then maybe chilling at a Halloween party.
V:Trick or treating: how old is too old? When you feel too old.
W:Do you pass out candy on Halloween? Yes.
X:Do you go trick or treating even when it's raining? I believe I remember that I used to. These days, if I had a way to go out, I might go if it was just a light rain. I wouldn't go out if it was pounding down.
Y:Top 3 favorite scary stories/books. The Hardy Boys Ghost Stories, Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shady Glen, and any Debi Chestnut books about real ghosts.
Z:Trick or treat? Treats! I'm just too nice to trick people. I expect the same in turn.
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.


Sep. 28th, 2012 03:17 pm
ladybug_archive: (perry_hamilton)
For [ profile] octoberwriting, everyone must do one Halloween-themed fic that reaches a minimum of 6,000 words. I asked what to do about posting if it went over not only that, but LJ's word limit for entries. I figured my fic (the haunted house thing I mentioned before) would definitely go over, but then started to doubt.

I've been writing a lot of it already and I'm still not near the ending. It went over 6,000 some time ago, and now it's moving steadily towards 8,000.

I really should have known never to doubt.

It's so much fun to work on. Even moreso since it draws even more heavily from my creepy house dreams than the FF7 fic Dead to the World did. It brought a very surreal feeling to the basement, especially (which is probably the house level closest to its real-life self in the fic). And someone has gotten lost from the group on the second level and will be thrust into the frightening wandering that goes on in my dreams. I'm not quite sure how that will get resolved, but I think it might result in a meeting with the rescue group that went out.

And Crystal may be creepily amused by some hijinks with an Angel of Grief statue in the house's cemetery.
ladybug_archive: (andy and amory)
I joined [ profile] octoberwriting. It looks laid-back, easy, and fun. On my search for an active comm with an Autumn/Halloween slant, this is one of the few that's turned up.

I've already started my Halloween project for it, as it may take me some time to write it. I got the plunnie on Wednesday, before I joined up.

It's going to be a haunted house fic, with all of the main Perry cast eventually ending up trapped in the place a la The Night of the Man-Eating House. I think I'll reinvent William Talman's hilarious line about hurting the house being nonsense talk and give it to Hamilton.

The people go there in groups, first Tragg, Hamilton, and Brice, then Perry and Della, then Paul, Andy, and Steve. I'd wanted to get Mignon in there, especially with her interest in the paranormal, but I'm not sure she'll fit. I'd also wanted Jimmy, Andy's cousin. (Maybe they can go as a fourth batch? Haha.) The house is where a murder suspect supposedly went to hide, which is how interest in the house got started. The first two groups go independent of each other, looking for the guy. Then, when they become trapped, Paul and the others go to find out what's wrong and the house gets them too.

Tentatively I'm thinking that there has to be a sacrifice to get them out of there, and tentatively I'm going to assign the role to Brice, because he should have a shot at being the hero for once. Of course, then I have to figure out how to save Brice. And I think there should be a graveyard connected to the property, maybe behind it.

So last night I was writing it late and had my door shut and after a spell of insomnia, the desire for sleep hit me like a ton of bricks. So I laid down for a few minutes, and once again proved that my creepiest and weirdest dreams happen during those little ten and fifteen minute spurts.

I ended up in one of those dreams that reinvents our house as a big, haunted mansion. For a while it proceeded very calmly and enjoyably. But then it came to where I needed to go into a room. I went in, waited for it to free up, and then went out its other door to wait some more. And the floor plan warped itself so I suddenly became lost in the maze and couldn't find my way back to where I'd begun, no matter how many rooms I discovered and corridors I traversed. The ghosts, as usual, were behind it, tricking and tormenting me.

Sometimes I like those dreams. They give me an adrenaline rush. But I wasn't in the mood for one then, since I was already involved in something creepy. And it was a semi-lucid dream, so as soon as I realized what was going on I brought myself out of it, gasping and a bit freaked out. I immediately opened my door.

I really wonder why I have those dreams. I never have recurring dreams, per se, if that brings to mind dreams that are exactly the same each time, but I do have recurring locations and scenarios. I suppose it has something to do with my love/hate fascination of being creeped out by ghosts, being convinced that the house is haunted, and my intrigue with big mansions. As much as I love the latter, I'm not sure I'd ever want to live in one. It would be so easy to often become separated from others in a bigger house, and extensively wandering in any house isn't something I handle well if no one is nearby (like, next room or so nearby). My imagination starts working overtime and envisioning ghosties hanging around. And if I already believe there's ghosts aside from that, ho boy.

A little bit ago, I dozed off again for around fifteen minutes. This time I had a mini-dream so intriguing I wish I could have finished it. It had something to do with The Six Million Dollar Man (which I've been watching more of, along with The Bionic Woman, and just loving) and a character played by Wesley Lau. Oddly enough, the character was said to be Master Sergeant Jiggs, who is from an entirely different TV show (The Time Tunnel) and doesn't look like Wesley's typical self. (Jiggs has graying hair and a mustache.) The character in my dream did not look like Jiggs, but had Wesley's natural looks, clean-shaven and blond.

Anyway, so this character was in a position of security or something, like Jiggs, and was being forced to do something he didn't want to do. Seems it had something to do with spying on Steve Austin or another agent. Eventually they got into a fight (and I can't remember if Wesley's character started it or not, but I'm not sure he did) and Wesley's character ended up choking the agent (who surely couldn't have been Steve Austin), but backed off in horror exclaiming he couldn't do it. It cut off around there, so I never learned the poor fellow's fate.

I half want to write it into a fic and create my own character based on Wesley's characters to be in it. But on the other hand, I wouldn't, because the character's fate probably wouldn't be hopeful in the end. Most likely he'd be dismissed from his job, at the very least, and he'd probably wind up in prison. If I could somehow get around those problems, I might write it.

The character kind of reminded me of Wesley's Joe Scully from Peter Gunn. He was also forced into something, and although he kind of wanted to at first, his attitude changed later and he didn't want to do it. And he couldn't bring himself to kill, if I remember right.

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