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: (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: (ecks_wye)
So I finished the 1987 Turtles disc about a week ago and greatly enjoyed the rest of it, although I think I like the earlier episodes the best (1-4-ish). The season 7 episode on the disc, where they have to fight a whole rogues’ gallery of past villains, seemed really familiar to me, so I think that must have been one I watched when it first aired on TV. I liked it, but I prefer the utter nonsense of earlier seasons. I went and read through an episode guide and decided that I want the season 3 discs first. Season 4 sounded kind of “eh” except for a few episodes and season 2 is filled with tropes I detest (shrinking, humans mutating, etc.). Season 1 was just a five-part mini-series/pilot-type thing, which I want, but not ahead of some other stuff. Seasons 5 and 6 sounded fun and I might plan to get Wal-Mart’s combined set of those. Also, season 7 sounded like a blast, especially with the Europe vacation arc that took place around seasons 3-4. Seasons 8-10 don’t sound as fun; I don’t think I’d like all the changes to the show. I know I watched some of those episodes on TV, though, but the only one I remember involved a biker gang and Donatello nearly getting hurt by one of the members as he speeds past. I couldn’t find it in the episode guide, but I know I saw it mentioned before. It seemed like any time I was actually awake and able to watch the Turtles, I always caught that episode. Heh. I saw it at least three times.

This week has been the saga of the Donatello plushie. I find it very sad that I don't have a Donny plushie yet, considering he was my second-favorite all through childhood and on into the 2003 series, until I somehow became super-fond of Raph. Without rehashing all the details, I basically decided I wanted the Donatello plushie the most that’s from the same line as my Leo. Only problem is, there’s suddenly a run on that plushie. Amazon is sold out and keeps changing the price and the date it will be back in stock, the only decently-priced one there right now is from a seller with 90% positive feedback and I don’t like to dip lower than 97% positive, Wal-Mart sold out (probably because people were mad about Amazon selling out; they were charging the same price), and Target has only three left. WTH…. Then I got mad and started thinking maybe I wanted the one styled like the 1987 series again, just to be able to get Donatello without waiting for ages. I do like it, but it’s just not stuffed as full and it’s not as soft. The other one has pros all around except for having the same expression as Leo, and I think I’d prefer that over one with a different expression but so many cons.

This year, the Scottish Festival was actually a lot of fun. I enjoyed it much better than some recent years and I actually found something I liked enough to buy that was decently priced. It’s a beautiful turquoise necklace that I thought had Celtic designs on some of the beads, but now I’m not sure and think it’s Native American designs instead. But either way, I love it. We also got to see a favorite band, The Fire, finally return after a three-year absence, and we got one of their CDs. We stayed on Friday until they closed up shop around ten, which was so awesome. I wanted to go back on Saturday and look around some more, even though I’d probably seen everything. But we weren’t able to make it until the very end, when The Fire went on again. That was when we got the CD. It was sad seeing all the booths close up while the concert was going on. I thought they might stay open until after the concert for one last hurrah, but no. After we got home, I took pictures of Christopher Cary as a Scot from Batman.

After the festival on Friday, I bought the second Turtles movie, which I shouldn’t have done. But I’d wanted it for at least seven years and was exasperated at never being able to spare a few dollars to get it. I’d never seen it in full and it was a blast. I still like the first one best, but the second one has lots of cute and funny moments and the nightclub scene and the ending scene are still priceless.

Also, Build-a-Bear sent me an email about a Boba Fett-themed bear. That is … kind of awesome. I have to say that if the character hadn’t intrigued me as a six-year-old child, he probably wouldn’t interest me now. But that six-year-old child never stopped being fascinated by him and there's nothing I can do about it. Dad would probably go through the ceiling if I bought that plushie, and I can’t get any there anyway without some coupons (which they hardly send anymore, waaah), but I am definitely considering it. First priority is looking at their Turtles up close and personal, though, and deciding whether to get the Mikey from their line. But there’s still that problem of not liking their second run Mikey's expression. He looks so cheeky instead of just cute like the first one.

Musings.

Jun. 3rd, 2016 07:47 pm
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So a couple of weeks ago I finally solved my dilemma about the Amazon books. I really wanted to get a manga in the order, but I couldn't figure out how to make everything come out to exactly the cost of the gift card. I really felt I couldn't pay any cash with that order, so finally I had to set the manga idea aside and I got the two Pony-related books and two Nancy Drews.

The package was delayed because of weather problems and other such things. I was worried it might show up waterlogged. Thankfully it didn't, but whoever packed things couldn't do a good job. The one paperback in the order, the Pony U.N.C.L.E. parody, showed up completely dog-eared on one corner. Half the pages in the book were also bent at that corner! WTH? I don't know whether it was packed stupidly and happened then or if the book was damaged to begin with. I was absolutely furious. I'm still not sure what to do about it. Returning and replacing things online is such a pain, and that was probably the book I was looking forward to the most, so I hated to think of waiting even longer to get to read it. But I don't like always having to settle for damaged merchandise when I order paperback stuff from Amazon, either. I really chewed them out when I bought comics from them and they were packaged really stupidly and all showed up bent. I wonder if Barnes and Noble packs things better. They also have the free shipping with $25 of books deal. The problem there is that I don't have B&N gift cards, so I'd have to pay cash.

(Oh, I miss Borders so much. I was actually in the area where it used to be a couple of days ago and I spent some time just staring out the window at its location across the street. They were so much better than B&N. They actually had discounts in general and coupons for more than 15% off. And they generally had a bigger selection of stuff, except Nancy Drews, but now B&N's selection of those is lame too.)

I ended up reading the book last night. Of course it was a quick read and meant for kids, so it didn't get too deep, but I was intrigued that it touched, albeit briefly, on Bon Bon being weary and wanting to leave the secret agent stuff behind and have a peaceful life now. I would kind of like to expand on that in a fic sometime. And it ended happy, with her and Lyra still in the organization but being able to stay in Ponyville when not on missions. Also, the secret agent place was in New York (well, their New York) and it was accessed through a fridge in a pizza parlor. LOL.

The Equestria Girls book was really interesting. It takes place after the third movie and a large part of the plot is the human Twilight trying to befriend the girls from her old school. At first I was puzzled that it only focused on Sunny Flare, Sour Sweet, and Sugarcoat. But then I realized that the other girls, Lemon Zest and Indigo Zap, were already pretty nice people and probably didn't need any serious help turning their lives around. Lemon Zest is seriously adorable, definitely among the most normal of the girls at Crystal Prep, and so is Indigo Zap, basically. The other three are all kind of dysfunctional in various ways.

I don't think the author really captured the girls' personalities well, though. Sunny Flare was depicted as the nastiest of the bunch and the one most unkind to Twilight and worried about her turning into a monster again. That just doesn't fit to me, because while she was definitely nasty early in the movie, she was the one who called out Principal Cinch for trying to run away, and she looked really horrified and upset when Cinch said she was trying to get away from "that monster" and Sunny Flare should do the same. Sour Sweet was really the nastiest to Twilight in the movie.

Not once did the author do Sour Sweet's trademark of first saying something fake and nice and then following it up immediately with her true feelings, always a burn. She did occasionally do Sugarcoat's trademark of being very blunt, but it seemed more like she gave that trait to Sour Sweet.

I also didn't agree with the author writing that either Sunny Flare or Sour Sweet said they were Twilight's friends (and they were also apparently on her Friends list on Facebook). Not once in the movie did they ever act like they were interested in being her friends; they only interacted with her when circumstances forced them together. Sugarcoat was really the only one of those three who acted like she might be what Twilight considered a friend. And then Lemon Zest was really nice and didn't seem to have anything against Twilight at all. Indigo Zap kind of thought Twilight was an idiot, but she "defended" Twilight when the Canterlot High students started wondering what she was up to, which was kind of cute. (Although she probably only did it because Twilight was a Crystal Prep student, not because she really cared about Twilight personally.)

The author also set it up that Sour Sweet, Sunny Flare, and Sugarcoat were supposedly friends, but weren't happy together. The first two hung out together in the movie and really seemed pretty chummy to me. Sugarcoat, on the other hand, really gave the impression of being a loner.

I did love that Twilight eventually did make friends with them in the book and things ended happy for all of them, instead of them just being portrayed as one-dimensional characters that wouldn't change. But to be honest, I kind of think I could write a better story with that basic plotline that would stick closer to canon regarding personalities. I'll admit that Sunny Flare's personality is the most underdeveloped in the movie, but I don't think it was fleshed out in the book in a manner that fits with what we did see in the movie. Maybe I can try to start writing a story like that and see what happens.

Then last night I started randomly singing Unleash the Magic to myself. It's sung in the movie by Cinch and the Crystal Preppers as they try to tempt Twilight to, well, unleash the magic she's collected in her mystical pendant. I was considering maybe trying to record it and do all the voices. Cinch would be a blast to voice, although I probably wouldn't be able to sound as nasally as she does. But so I got to the line "I understand you have your reservations/it's hard to have a brain as large as yours" and suddenly I wondered if it wasn't just a line of manipulation, but something Cinch personally understood. I finally listened to the commentary track for that movie and they were wondering what her backstory is. Now I'm wondering if she was a smart outcast like Twilight growing up and if in some way, she is a dark version of what Twilight could have become had she remained an outcast. She certainly is smart and calculating and loves knowledge. And even though she seems to be very arrogant and egotistical and is worried above all about her reputation, I'm not entirely sure she was worried for completely selfish reasons. As she told Twilight, it was her reputation, and the school's, that was responsible for everything they had to work with. If the reputation dropped, they might not have all the funding and other things they needed to function properly. So honestly, I could understand her worrying about keeping up appearances to some extent, although of course she took it way too far and her manipulation of Twilight throughout the movie was horrid.

Another thing the commentary track mentioned was that an early draft of the script had Cinch fall through the gaping portal hole created by Twilight when she flipped out and became Midnight Sparkle and Cinch ended up a horrible monster in Equestria. They changed that because it seemed too mean. I agree, honestly. Maybe it would have been poetic justice, especially after how she ostracized Twilight's transformation considering she encouraged her to use the magic, but I wouldn't have wanted her to stay like that permanently or be stuck in Equestria. That's more like what a show like TMNT might do, or maybe even the U.K. Pony comics of the '80's and '90's, but it doesn't fit for something sweet like the current My Little Pony series and movies.

Speaking of TMNT, though, the new movie came out today! Eeeee! And hopefully I'll get to see it next week! I actually really loved the movie two years ago; I thought it was great overall and I loved that there was scarcely anything crude and it was largely absent of swearing. I was very surprised and impressed by that. And to be honest, I really think I liked that movie better than the one called TMNT that came out about nine years ago. (Oh gosh, that long ago? Seriously?) While that movie was cute too, it had some things I didn't like, such as April and Casey living together while not married, and how they made it look like only Raph did something bad during the fight between him and Leo. Honestly, it was kind of interesting how they had Leo finally snap and say something really awful to Raph ("I'm better than you"), but it was spoiled by neither Leo nor the script acknowledging that Leo did something wrong as well as Raph. That was just seriously WTH?

Well, at least that film contributed to my loving Raph more. He scared me as a kid because of his bad temper. That still scares me a bit, but I'm mostly seriously intrigued by him and he's replaced Donny as my second-favorite Turtle.

I still need a Mikey figure. Even though he's my least favorite, I want to have a complete set of Turtles. I just wish the figures weren't so expensive these days. It costs almost $9 for one from any current Turtles line! And that's the cheapest price, since it's Wal-Mart's. I've checked other places before and they've been worse.

(Amusing note: just about each Turtles figure I have is from a different line. My Raph, and my Fugitoid, are from the 1987 TV series. My Leo is from the second movie. My Donny is from a line that looks more like the comics. And my Casey Jones is from the 2003 series. I need an April too. Not having her is sacrilege. And Splinter. Actually, I'd kind of like another Raph too, since my Raph is a space suit Raph and even though I love him dearly, I'd like one that's just normal Raph. But then I'll probably feel guilty to have two Raphs and not two of everyone else. Heh.)

I also want Mikey and Donny plushies. I had thought of getting Build-a-Bear's Mikey, but their new Mikey has a different face than the old one, I think. The old one was just cute, but this one's expression is seriously obnoxious. And then with Donny, I always planned to get him from the same line as my Leo, since I'm not crazy about Nickelodeon's redesign of Donny and it's less obvious with those big pillow plushies. But I didn't want Mikey from that line too, since they all have the same expression and that's kind of WTH. That was why I got Build-a-Bear Raph instead of pillow Raph.

And then I was thinking that while the 1960s and 1970s fascinate me, it seems to be the 1980s that I have some serious nostaglia for. Which is funny because I don't even remember the 1980s. By the time I was old enough to remember much, it was 1990. But so many things I loved from my childhood are from the 1980s to begin with: Ponies, Mario, TMNT, DuckTales, Gummi Bears, Pound Puppies, Care Bears, Garfield (well, he started in the late 1970s, but he sure got popular in the 1980s), Baby-Sitters Club, Alf, the latter two Star Wars original trilogy movies.... Most of my paper dolls had 1980s fashions. We had a couple of huge catalogs, a Sears Wish Book and a J.C. Penney's equivalent, both from the 1980s, that I just adored looking at again and again. And when I go to antique malls, it's the 1980s toys that send me into serious nostalgia trips. Sometimes I remember happy times of playing with 1980s toys with friends in the 1990s. When I see shows from the 1980s, especially family or kids' shows like Punky Brewster or the Pony or Care Bear cartoons, the nostalgia continues even though I never saw those when they originally aired. There's just something innocent and sweet and fun and cheesy about that decade. Then there's things that started in the 1990s: TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Sonic.... I love those too. And I'm trying to remember when Trolls got a resurgence of popularity, the 1980s or the 1990s. I think the 1990s, but they've existed since the 1960s. Gomer even had a pink-haired one in his foot locker, which Sergeant Carter threw a fit about. ROTFLOL. ("A Troll doll is a non-regulation item!") But I just don't seem to be nostalgic about the 1990s like I am about the 1980s. Weird. I almost wonder if that's because I actually don't remember the 1980s and so it carries a sense of mystery and the ability to place it on a pedestal, whereas I remember the 1990s very well and it just doesn't hold the nostalgia/pedestal factor. I don't think there's one decade I remember that I feel nostalgic about, really. I get nostalgic over experiences and shows, but not decades as a whole.
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
This has been one very long week. Not bad, really, but long.

A week before, I was ranting on the Pony forum again about Funrise's distribution and how I still couldn't find Sunset Shimmer. A couple of people told me that the 12-inch size has started popping up in Targets. Someone else showed me that there have been a couple on eBay too. That made me hope that maybe my Target would actually have one too. I called and they did! But Dad wouldn't go in, so I had to ask my sister to get it for me. After a very long and tense day of waiting, she was finally able to bring it the next day.

I'm so thrilled to finally have her after a whole year of trying! She's gorgeous! I think the 12 inch and 20 inch sizes eliminate a lot of the sculpting problems Funrise seems to have with the smaller sizes. I think if the 12 inch size had been around to begin with, I probably would have collected it instead of the 10 inch size.

This has also been a week for getting other things I wanted. I've always been in love with the Archery Twilight Sparkle doll, even though I figured I'd focus on getting the two-pack with her and Flash instead. But on Monday, I discovered that Archery Twilight was on clearance for $4! That could not be passed up. Then on Thursday, I was at K-Mart hoping they'd still have the Twilight with the upswept hair that I've always wanted to be able to get. I thought they might be clearancing her by now. They had one left on clearance, and they also had the two-pack on clearance! I probably really shouldn't have, but I couldn't bear to leave the two-pack behind even though I'd just got the Archery Twilight, so everything came home with me.

I'm really glad to have all of them. If I'd got the two-pack first, I probably wouldn't have got Archery Twilight, and oddly enough, even though her glasses are wrong, she's the most accurate hair-wise of all my Twilights. I gave her wings to my original Twilight, however, since naturally human Twilight doesn't have wings except as Midnight Sparkle and since my original Twilight should have purple wings instead of yellow. I have a couple of pictures in my Scrapbook. I am continuing to have fun with Dad's tablet.

This week I also finally wrote the rest of that long Ginger and Lou ficlet that's been a problem for months. The whole thing was originally written around one scene, the initial scene I dreamed about with Ginger falling down the stairs in some big mansion and Columbo wandering in, and that was probably part of the hang-up with it. I'm so chuffed to finally have it done! Now maybe I can go on to the other ideas that have been accumulating for that theme set. I have quite a lot, including a demented Five Nights at Freddy's parody. I'll probably write that one next, unless I try to do an Easter oneshot and I don't know if I'll have the chance for that.

And I don't recall whether I posted about this or not, but last year I wanted to make a silly music video with Ginger and Lou and the Ghostbusters song. It required a lot of new artwork, however, and I just ran out of time. I've been trying to get going on it this year and hope I can do it, but I'm not sure there's even enough time now. I bought the song last night and was listening to it on Repeat and realized that my initial evaluation overlooked the instrumental parts other than the one at the beginning. So that's even more pictures I'll need to make. I'm using a few screengrabs and a few appropriate webcomic pictures, but the rest will be entirely new artwork for this MV. I'm just not sure I can do it all. I'll also need to at least ink all the pictures, if not outright color them. And if colored, they should really be digitally colored and I can't do that, so I'd need to see if anyone would be willing to come onboard the project and do that part of it. But I'd only want to ask people I knew well and I doubt any of them would have the time and I'm sure none of them would have the interest. It would be a pretty big commitment. I don't even know if I can stick with it, so I don't like to ask anybody else to try to. (Plus they might have a different vision of how they should be colored.... It's generally better to do everything myself when possible.)

I started drawing another picture for it today, one for the Black Agnes statue story where the possessed statue is putting people in comas, including Mike. I've never drawn Mike quite right, though; I realized that I think my drawings look more like Joey Aresco than Joe E. Tata. Heh. I love Joey Aresco's shaggy hair.... But so this time I tried to draw a Mike that looks closer to how he does in the episode. Only since I haven't been drawing him that way, I wonder if he'll even look recognizable to those who follow the webcomic....

I also created an idea for a framing story in the MV instead of it just being entirely random ghost-busting scenes. In between those, the framing story has Jim Rockford encountering the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man outside his trailer and calling Ginger for help. Ginger, Lou, and Jim get batted all around by the thing, and then Ginger finally has enough and blasts it with his shotgun. Marshmallow goes everywhere, Lou stares, and Rocky drives up. Jim goes, "Hi, Dad. How about some marshmallows?" Then they start roasting marshmallows while Ginger and Lou flee. Then there's a silly omake where Lou tells Ginger about some weirdo making the MV. Ginger responds with a flat look and "What." I was telling Ladyamberjo about that last night and got the giggles imagining Jim's expression when he sees the Marshmallow Man. James Garner is totally one of the masters of the WTH expression.
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....

Hmm.

Sep. 16th, 2015 10:29 pm
ladybug_archive: (dyinginformant)
Crystal found an old pic of the Dying Informant she macroed and I've been toying with it. I darkened it a lot (it was so light you could hardly see it) and made several versions. I also tried icons, like this one. I might not keep it; I'm experimenting. I wonder if it would look better with just the small text and not the big text?

EDIT: Both versions have pros and cons. I can't decide.

I love the aesthetic look of small text on icons, but I like it to mean something. This small text has my favorite part from Bed of Nails, the part I most associate with this character:

Bed of nails, every point is painful
Bed of nails, a thousand points of spite
Bed of nails, you know, the weak it ain't for
It hurts me just right

I'm thinking I may also make a banner version with bigger text and the entire part of the picture I'm toying with. (I cut everything with the macro off.) Maybe I'll prefer the banner and put it up somewhere in the journal instead of the icon. I'm just not sure. I wish LJ allowed more than 15 icon spaces without having to pay for any others!

And I've been pondering on Carmen's backstory. Of course, the most popular and well-known is that she was an ACME agent and decided being a criminal would be more challenging. That fits the Where on Earth cartoon version and is also the story in the games, I believe. But I'm not so sure it fits the game show version.

Of course, Carmen's attitude in the game show is pretty much stereotypical criminal, scoffing at law and order. That's the only side of her we see. It doesn't mean that's all there is. But I don't think the Earth version and the World version can really be the same character. The Earth version is the most well-developed and doesn't like violence. She's in it for the challenge. We don't actually know what the World version's stance on violence is, but we do know that her henchmen can be very violent. What Eartha did in Chumps D'Elysees was brutal. Top Grunge has also done very violent things (throwing the Dying Informant into a volcano?!). And I suppose we must assume that any time the Dying Informant comes back hurt, the crook of the day is responsible. Even if Carmen doesn't commit any of these acts herself, it would seem that she must not have too much of a problem with them happening since she keeps the gang around. On the other hand, the gang has certainly done plenty of things she doesn't like and is exasperated by, but if she really shared the Earth version's stance on violence, it would seem she would put her foot down on that.

Crystal and I have always tried to combine the Carmen versions for our RP, but I have often puzzled over how to really unite the versions in a way that makes sense. I used the ACME backstory in a fic I recently wrote, but even at the time I was unsure about it. Maybe before I print that story, I'll want to alter that plot point since I'm just not sure the World version was ever an ACME agent.
ladybug_archive: (rockapella)
To try to cheer myself up with all the mouse trouble, I wrote a parody of Sixty-Minute Man. The original is a pretty trashy song, I think, but I adore the parodies Sixty-Second Man and Creepy Criminal. And the tune is always getting stuck in my head. So I took the lyrics of the original song and re-wrote them to be about a Pied Piper who charms and sings to and pets the creatures and gets them out of people's houses within a minute. The arrangement is the one Rockapella uses, which I read is one they got from The Persuasions.

If your house is filled with mice,
Come see old Piper Dan
I'll rock 'em, roll 'em all day long
I'm a sixty-second man

If you don't believe I'm all I say,
Come up; I'll tell my plan
Then I'll have you cry "Oh yeah!"
I'm a sixty-second man

There'll be fifteen seconds of charmin'
They'll say "Danny, Danny, please don't stop!"
Fifteen seconds of singin',
Fifteen seconds of pettin',
Fifteen seconds of them blowin' their tops

If your house ain't sealed up tight
Come see old Piper Dan
I'll rock 'em, roll 'em all day long
I'm a sixty-second man

Sixty-second man
Gotta please 'em
That's the plan
I'll rock 'em, roll 'em all day long
I'm a sixty-second man

There'll be fifteen seconds of charmin'
They'll say "Danny, Danny, please don't stop!"
Fifteen seconds of singin',
Fifteen seconds of pettin',
Fifteen seconds of them blowin' their tops

If your house ain't sealed up tight
Come see old Piper Dan
I'll rock 'em, roll 'em all day long
I'm a sixty-second man

Charm 'em charm 'em
Pet 'em pet 'em
All day long
I'm a sixty-second man
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
Tweaked the lyrics of Fliptop Twister to fit Snakes in the Old West days. In doing so, I also discovered how the relationship ended. The girl really sounds like a femme fatale in part of the song, so I altered the last part to have her continuing to cheat on Snakes and he finally gets fed-up and breaks it off, even though he knows he'll be alone again.

The full, tweaked lyrics and musings are here: https://sites.google.com/site/w3andperry/songs-for-the-characters/fliptop-twister
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... It just occurred to me that I forgot to post that Misguided Missile ficlet to [livejournal.com profile] 31_days on the 31st. **headdesk.** I was pretty occupied with worrying about getting out to get stuff for Dad's birthday, as well as trying to help him fit the side mirror back on the car, so it makes sense that I'd forget. (It's been attached with duct tape for months and he finally decided to take that particular day to fix it back on properly.) I'll need to look the fic over and see if I can add anything more to it that could be inspired by another prompt. If not, I'll probably post it here or something, just to have it up somewhere. I wouldn't be posting it on FF.net, most likely, since the only players are oneshot episodic characters.

I think I'll plan to try to get that noir fic with Steve Drumm done in time for Richard Anderson's birthday on Saturday. We'll see how well that works out....

Also, I got out the From N.Y. album and have been skipping around playing some of the tracks while I've been reading emails and such. I remembered something I'd forgot: that I thought the song Fliptop Twister could describe Snakes and perhaps some failed affair he had back in the Old West days. In my headcanon, the only girls he could attract the attention of in the circles he ran with back then were interested in his money and his gambling luck, so he went with that and put on a boisterous facade, trying to get whatever enjoyment from it that he could, since he figured there was nothing else for him. Maybe I'll finally get around to writing something with that song as inspiration. Of course, since I am very disinterested by pairing OCs with canon characters in general, and even moreso if the story would be long, it would probably be either Snakes monologuing in his mind or telling someone about it, instead of actually showing everything that happened. And, unlike the male character in the song, it wouldn't be in Snakes' nature to roam and check out other girls during the time the affair was on, since if he was trying to make something work with someone he would put his all into it. Since the song doesn't cover the end of that dysfunctional relationship, I'd have to think whether the girl or Snakes ends things and why.
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
Crystal and I have decided to do a Simon-only Tumblr: http://simonoaklandtribute.tumblr.com It was her idea, and I'm excited to see this branch of the project go forth!

I am having thoughts of getting another of JoAnn's pre-stuffed dolls to make a Simon plushie, if I could find another one with a bit broader build, like I used for Lou. I've been seeing a lot of Simon this week, and eeee, just seeing him always makes me happy, no matter what role he's playing!

Only problem is, I'm not sure what character I'd want to make a plushie of. Lieutenant Schrank or Tony Vincenzo would probably be among the top choices. If I chose Schrank, though, I wonder what color I should use for the suit. I know it's supposed to be gray, but I always think of it as being more of a purple-gray mix. This icon really seems to tint it purple, and it's what I usually think of when picturing the character, since I don't often watch the movie. Plus, Lou has a gray suit, so I'd rather use a different color for Schrank.

Also, if I chose either Schrank or Tony, I'd probably also end up wanting to make either Krupke or Kolchak too. I don't know if I'd be up for making two, especially when I've even had thoughts of wondering if I should make a Mike plushie to be with the Lou and Ginger plushies.

I wish they did several kinds of face shapes; if they had an elongated face shape, I'd make a Richard plushie too. But I'm still embarrassed over having the wrong face shape on the Hamilton plush, so I don't think I'll try any more plushies with face shapes that wouldn't work well with the JoAnn's plushies.

I've also been thinking of making a Sunset Shimmer plushie, since I prefer her as a human and there will probably never be human plushies of the girls. A few fans have made some other Equestria Girls plushies, and I'm particularly in awe of some made by Lavim on dA. I would probably try to make Sunset similar in style to that person's. Any movie-accurate Sunset plush would require making the plushie completely from scratch, though, and not starting with a pre-stuffed doll. That is definitely a frightening thought. I would probably have to use the sewing machine for at least some of such a task, instead of doing everything by hand. I might ask Setsuna how much she'd charge to make one, but ever since I discovered I actually can do it myself, I kind of prefer that, since I don't have to wait for several months and I can have the proportions be what I'd like the most, instead of being anything chibi-fied.

I'm also working on my first Table 3 piece for [livejournal.com profile] 100songs. I decided to use Bridge Over Troubled Water, because I felt the first piece should be serious and profound and use a song that has special meaning to me and actually use the song's lyrics in the piece, as per how I opened Table 1 with Hallelujah. I'm excited with the plot I've chosen for it, and I'm also excited about several other ideas I have in the works. One will involve idiots crank-calling Ginger and Lou and singing Weird Al songs at them, until Lou finally decides to play Weird Al's song Phony Calls any time someone does that. The calls stop soon after.
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
So yesterday I watched the first Lance White episode of Rockford, since I'm about to bring him into my story. I think the second episode was actually funnier, at least where he was concerned. It's not a favorite episode of mine, but Lance's goody-goody behavior was a howl.

Afterwards, I watched Ginger and Lou's scenes from The Queen of Peru.

Some time later, I had a nap. And I dreamed some bizarre thing where Ginger and Lou seemed to be living at our house/our house was their house. The old house again, not the current one. I was out on the lawn and had spread a blue-and-white quilt down.

Cats were everywhere. The current cat we feed was there, and many, many more. They climbed all over the quilt, ate the food that was put out, and wanted to be petted.

After a while, something seemed to be happening, some bad guy afoot, and Ginger and Lou needed to get out of there because the guy seemed to be after them. And me, apparently, because I got in the car with them and off we went. Or maybe I was just along because I wanted to help them.

Somehow we ended up at a cemetery and there was a blue casket that I was carrying (!!!). I don't think there was really a body in it. We were still running from the bad guy, and Mom and Dad ended up in the dream too at that point. There were several chapels right in the cemetery and we went in one, and there were about three different services going on in different rooms. It was a big place, and all the rooms were visible and open at once, kind of like they were all stages. We were pretending we were trying to get to a service, but not one of those. Eventually we ducked out of there and I think I woke up about then.

Weird.

And pondering on the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah, which I said I usually think of as either Ginger and Lou friendship or Ginger's life in general, according to my backstory. I definitely lean towards the latter interpretation. I used it as the backbone of a Ginger monologue piece where he's thinking on things and wandering through his childhood home. That piece opened my [livejournal.com profile] 100songs challenge, which only has about 12 fics left, I think.

Of course it doesn't fit exactly (no song would ever fit anything exactly, I'm sure), but overall, it works. To break down the song and explain how it fits with Ginger, it goes like this:

First Verse - Ginger's life in general. Does he like music? A good question. Perhaps it's Lou thinking on Ginger's aloofness and how to unlock the side of his personality he's keeping hidden.

Second Verse - Ginger's clashes with Vivalene. Although he did not return her advances, she certainly made them many times and tried to ruin him.

Third Verse - Ginger and Lou.

Modified Fourth Verse (altered it so it's ambiguous as to whether it refers to a sexual encounter or something else) - Ginger and his childhood friend Cynthia, with whom he had a falling-out. (Alternate interpretation: Lou thinking on how aloof Ginger has grown by the time of the Borland Diamond robbery.)

Fifth Verse - Ginger's cynicism and bitterness due to betrayals (such as Cynthia's).

Sixth Verse - Ginger's religious views, or lack of them.

Seventh Verse - Ginger trying to have some hope in his life, perhaps during the time he and Lou are in prison. He's hurt Lou and is regretful. He wants to do better.

Verses below the cut, including the modified verse 4. It's the first time I've shown it anywhere.

Hallelujah )
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. :)
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: (joe_lew)
So against my better judgment, I am now writing two Mannix fics concurrently, because I was dying to start the "town with a dark secret/town without pity" fic. Of course, I doubt I'm ever writing just one fic at a time, but I usually don't have two simultaneously going for the same category. I worry that will confuse people and make them mad, so I try not to do it.

Anyway, so the theme of the fic is "Town Without Pity" and out of curiosity, I looked up the lyrics for the song. It's been years since I've heard it. And honestly, I had to scoff and snark. It sounds like some melodramatic/over-dramatic teenager. The whole town turned against two people because they fell in love?

It would be different if there was some indication in the song that the pairing was somehow not what people would expect: one or both people being from the bad part of town, big age difference, something. But by all accounts and purposes, they're just an ordinary couple, one that people wouldn't generally bat an eye at.

I suppose the problem could be that they're considered too young to be seriously involved, but would a town really be absolutely violently and cruelly opposed if that was the only issue? Oh, I suppose maybe there's some that would be, but it sounds kind of ridiculous. Not it wouldn't always be ridiculous to ostracize people to the extent the song indicates is happening, but if it was that, say, one person had a bad reputation, that would be at least somewhat more understandable than some other reasons.

I also take issue with the song a bit for saying that "only people in love" know how cruel a town without pity can be, etc. That sounds pretty whiny/self-important/arrogant. There's a lot of people in real-life who have been hurt in towns without pity and many times it had nothing to do with romance. Of course, since the characters in the song are proclaimed "young", I suppose they're at a stage where they really could act whiny and self-important. And looking at it that way, the line makes sense, if that was deliberately how it was intended to come across.

Anyway, I am seriously amused by the song when I shouldn't be and I couldn't find any workable lines to use as a title for the fic except the title of the song.

It's interesting that the song comes off the way it does, really; it originated in quite a dark and tragic movie of the same title, and the movie does have some dark and tragic and cruel reasons why the townspeople are acting the way they are. The movie brings out the worst of human nature and makes a cold sense, unlike what the song is making. I'm not even sure what the song is making.
ladybug_archive: (joe_lew)
Had a very lovely 4th of July. Wanted to go get Build-a-Bear's new Trixie plush, if she was a darker blue than Funrise's version, and she is! Bought her happily, and also got a custom shirt with the picture from my icon. That's my other favorite picture of Joe and Lew, along with the paper airplane one.

We had a picnic in the canyons, came home, and Mom started watching this year's edition of A Capitol Fourth. I joined her after a shower, although I was disappointed to not get to see Perry Mason, especially since I didn't get to see it last night.

BUT THEN FRANKIE VALLI CAME ON AND EVERYTHING WAS ALL BETTER.

OHMYGOSHSQUEE! Nothing else music-related could have possibly made me happier. Not even The Monkees. Although they would have been a close second.

Seriously, I am so, so happy I stuck around to watch that concert. Frankie was a complete surprise; I had no idea he would be on or that he was even still performing. I haven't heard much about him in quite a while and was wondering if he was doing okay. I guess they wanted him to come while the hype over The Jersey Boys movie version is going strong? Whatever the reason, it was sooo awesoooome to see him!

When the host went "The original Jersey Boy", I perked up and was thinking something along the lines of "Jersey Boy?! Can it be? Can it really be?! ... Ohmygoshohmygoshohohmygosh! Squeeeee! It is!"

And seriously, that man can still sing! He can't really get that classic falsetto anymore, but singing normally, he sounds almost exactly like he did in the 1960s! That is quite a feat.

I was enraptured during his part of the concert and I'm still inwardly squeeing all over in ecstatic delight. This day was wonderful; I could scarcely be happier.
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
Very saddened by Casey Kasem's death this past day. Although I didn't grow up with him as Crystal and many others did, I longed to be able to see Scooby-Doo for years before I was finally able to. And JP made me a couple of tapes of the Top 40 show. I was thinking I should get those out again for a listen.

Crystal mused in her post how Casey was somewhat responsible for her interest in the Monkees, due to the Davy Jones episode of Scooby-Doo. Meanwhile, I've mused many times how The Monkees are responsible for almost all of my current interests. How in the world did that happen? Behold:

- Because of The Monkees, episode 25, Alias Micky Dolenz, I became interested in Jimmy Murphy, who played Tony Ferano.

- Because of that, I started looking up all of his roles and finally decided to try Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a show I'd been idly curious about for years.

- Because of that, I got interested in Simon Oakland, whom I knew years before from Perry Mason, West Side Story, and I Want to Live!, although I hadn't taken note of his name.

- Because of that, I got back into Perry Mason while watching Simon's episodes.

- Because of that, I rediscovered my interest in Hamilton Burger/William Talman and added Wesley Lau (from I Want to Live! too), Richard Anderson (from The Student Prince), and H.M. Wynant (from a Nancy Drew episode; see icon) to my list of interests.

- Because of them and Simon (and Darren), I got around to trying The Wild Wild West, The Virginian, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Cannon, Mannix, Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and other shows that I liked enough to start watching religiously.

- Because of WWW, I discovered Christopher Cary.

- Because of that, I watched The Rockford Files and discovered Luke Andreas.

- Meanwhile, while watching Mannix, I finally tried season 1 and discovered Joseph Campanella.

All thanks to The Monkees.
ladybug_archive: (gold_belle)
(Disclaimer: Celestia and Cadance are two of my favorite characters, so even though I'd like to get one of each unique character released in plushie form, I don't think I'd go out of my way like I did here if it wasn't that I wanted these particular characters extremely bad.)

So when I got Rarity three weeks ago, I called Toys R Us to see if they had the Funrise Princess plushies. They didn't.

Last week, out of frustration and curiosity I tried again. I really shouldn't have, because my money was in transit to my account and not currently available. But I tried anyway, and learned that there was a white Pony with wings that was $29.99. That was totally the wrong price, so I didn't know if it was the one I wanted and they were mistaken on the price or if the price had gone up again (horrors!). I didn't do anything, knowing that was waaay too much.

But it kept bugging me, so later that day I called again to try to find out what had happened. This time the white one had vanished, but they had a pink one that was definitely Cadance and at the right price. I agreed to let her be put on hold when the girl offered and suggested she be held through Saturday, since I wasn't sure I could get in on Friday evening.

I had a two-fold problem: how to get there and how to pay. I didn't like to ask to borrow more money from Dad, which left asking to borrow from the friend I'd be asking to drive me there. I didn't like doing that, either, and Dad came along wanting me to practice the song I've been asked to sing in church this Sunday, so since I was still heavily debating what to do, I went ahead with that and didn't get anything accomplished that evening, plushie-wise.

Saturday I still didn't know what to do. Nothing got accomplished again and I had to call Sunday afternoon. I figured that they wouldn't have bothered to put Cadance back on the shelf since it was Sunday, and I was right: she was still on hold. I asked for her to be held through Monday. I tried to call my friend, but wasn't able to get her.

We have a sweet friend who usually sends us some money at holidays, so I started half-waiting for said money, hoping it would arrive and I could take my share to get Cadance. It didn't, and Monday also passed without anything getting done.

Tuesday, still no money, either arriving in my account or in the mail. I called Toys R Us again, explained that I was having some problems getting up there, and learned that a white Pony was being held along with the pink one. This time I got a better description and determined it was definitely Celestia, and at the right price.

That changed everything. Before that, I had half-decided that there was no hope and that I'd have to cancel the hold and hope to get Cadance another time. Cadance can be found online at around the same price Toys R Us is charging, but Celestia cannot. She's not even on Toys R Us's website. People charge $40 and $50 for her and it's just preposterous. So I definitely couldn't bear to let Celestia go. I decided I'd have to leave poor Cadance behind even though she'd been waiting for me and get Celestia.

I called my friend, got her that time, and she agreed that we could go get the Pony on Wednesday. I had tried to explain the problem of my money being in transit without outright asking for a loan, but we usually have a bad telephone connection, so I wasn't sure if she heard.

Well, it was embarrassing to call Toys R Us yet another time, but now that I had a way to get there it wasn't as mortifying to ask them to extend the hold one last time. I wanted to inspect both Ponies, even though I was sure I'd choose Celestia, so I asked for both Ponies to keep being held.

Mom had a bit of money she was able to give me, and Dad agreed to let me have the difference as a loan in order to get Celestia. They both know what a time I've had trying to find these girls since November. So, with both problems solved, I could relax.

The next day, I found out Toys R Us is running a free layaway deal and I decided I could put Cadance on layaway so I wouldn't have to let her go. So I determined that is what I would do. But when we got to the store and I saw both girls, my friend offered to loan me the money to get Cadance too! Squeeee.

So at last I have the Princess plushies safely at home, after they waited and waited on hold for me to come for five days. And my money will arrive next week and I can pay people back.

It was kind of a strange feeling to finally have such a long quest at its end. Currently, there are no more plushies for me to collect! But Luna will be out in June and I'm sure Funrise will be making more characters. I hope they make Lyra and Bon-Bon and Time Turner.

Wal-Mart actually did get Funrise's Trixie and Bubbles plushies right on time (it's a miracle!), and I have those girls now too. Trixie is an early Easter present.

I also thought of some other possible projects. I've been considering making Ginger and Lou dolls, using those cloth dolls from JoAnn's. I need to make a list of the materials I'd need for clothing and check Wal-Mart, since their fabric prices are better. I want to get stuff for both dolls at the same time, since I feel you can't have one without the other and I want to work on them concurrently so that they'll be together no matter what stage of completion they're at. ;)

The only problem with using the cloth dolls is that they're pre-stuffed to be around the same weight, and Lou is broader and heavyset while Ginger is very slight. But making the clothes and hair was enough of a horror for me when I did the Hamilton doll that I don't think I could bear sewing the entire plush from scratch, so either I'll have to try to put more stuffing in (which I don't want to do for fear of damaging the muslin doll) or else try to find one that is a bit plumper, since they all do seem to be a little bit individual.

And I want the Equestria Girls Trixie doll. Eee, I saw her for the first time at Toys R Us and I'm totally nuts about her. Trixie's blue-on-blue color scheme makes her just about my favorite Pony, aesthetically speaking. (Personality-wise, Twilight is my favorite.)
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
I'm a third of the way through the [livejournal.com profile] 100songs challenge now. I just put up the 33rd installment this morning and have been tinkering with the 34th. I like to have several ideas waiting in the wings, so I've been trying to think of how to utilize some of the other songs on the chart.

One that I suddenly realized might prove a problem is My Immortal. While I swapped out a couple of songs for ones of my choice, and added some Writer's Choice ones at the end, that one was already on the chart and I kept it because I've always liked it. Problem is, it also has some deeply painful personal meaning to me and I started wondering how to use it with Ginger and Lou without it being absolutely ungodly depressing. There's two basic ways the song can be interpreted (either that someone has died or someone has betrayed or abandoned someone), and using either way with them would be potentially very depressing.

I think I finally figured out how to use it without completely slamming myself into the dumps, though. I decided to set it more from Lou's brother Mike's POV, and it will mostly be a flashback to the time from some of the [livejournal.com profile] 31_days prompts where they thought Lou was dead. Perhaps Mike will get into a rare argument with Ginger, with both of them grieving in different ways. And then in the present, there will probably be some squee at the end, since Lou is really alive.

Another song I've wondered about is one of my Writer's Choice ones, I Hope You Dance. It's such a beautiful song that not just any old story plot will do. I want something very uplifting and joyful, a celebration of life and love and friendship. I'm thinking that since scenery is such important imagery in the song, I'll have scenery play some part in the fic. Maybe Ginger and Lou are enjoying a day trip in the canyons for some reason.

Then I also wondered about There You'll Be. Another beautiful song, it's also somewhat bittersweet, as it implies physical separation between the people. I'm still pondering what to do with it. Then I had to go and remember that it was the song sung at the funeral of a cousin and his wife when they both died in a fire several years ago. And it was the grandkids singing it, making it all the more heartbreaking. Gah. It really upset and stunned me when that happened, and remembering it again today, I almost ended up crying. I'm sure I'll figure out something nice to do with the song, as it's another of my favorites, but I'll probably set it aside for the time being.

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