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....

Hmm.

Jul. 25th, 2016 02:53 am
ladybug_archive: (paulgantry)
Weird dreams and I go hand in hand. I had a concourse of weird ones the last time I was asleep. My favorite involved us back in the creepy three-story haunted house that we can only live in about half of because of the ghosts. I had all my plushies in the living room for some reason and I took out a crocodile that looked like Vector from Sonic the Hedgehog, only it wasn't because it was a girl. Then we were having our kitty in the garage, and somehow the other neighborhood cats that hang around in real-life were in there too. One of them, a ginger tabby, kept getting in the house and we had to get it out. I kept calling it Ginger because of its color and because hey, I just wanted to name something Ginger. Dad was calling it Caruso. LOL. And my Hello Kitty plushie was in the garage for some reason. And she was alive. There were bunk beds out there and she was sleeping on the top bunk and leaned over upsidedown to look at me. She was bigger than the one I really have, she didn't have sprinkles, and she had a blue dress. She fell out of bed and I helped her up onto the bottom bunk.

Weird. But nice.

Then I've been reading a lot about all the different Ghostbusters series. There was that live-action series in the 1970s called that with Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch as the Ghostbusters. LOL. Then ten years later, the company that made that decided to make a cartoon based on it after the success of the unrelated Ghostbusters movie. But what I seriously don't get is that, of all the totally lame things, they made the main characters the sons of the ones from the live-action series. Uggggh, I honestly hate when shows do that. Gosh, only ten years later. They could certainly have had the original characters there instead, especially considering it was a cartoon and characters don't have to age in cartoons. Maybe there was some concern about celebrity likenesses, but cartoons can easily get around that. Look how they changed Egon from the movie. MeTV was doing an article about that and showed a picture of a figure line from that other Ghostbusters cartoon. One of them was this bizarre two-faced thing and I totally recognized it as a toy my brother had. I always wondered what it was, but I didn't think it came from anything specific. Anyway, that Ghostbusters cartoon is actually why the more popular one had to call itself The Real Ghostbusters. LOL. I always wondered why it was called that.

(LOL, and speaking of toys my brother had, I'm remembering the silliest and most random things. I have a couple of Gremlins, a big one and a little one he gave me later, and the big one was always the Federal Marshal when I played with figures and the little one was his son. Then we had a vampire figure who was our main crook until he fell behind the bed. Then I brought out a Penguin from Batman figure to be the crook, and I creepily named him Oswald without even realizing that was Penguin's real name.)

[livejournal.com profile] 31_days has an interesting themeset for August. They're calling it "A Summer Romance, A Summer Horror." I like the themes so much that I'm tempted to try to write for all of them. I can't decide what my subject should be, though. I instantly thought of Paul Gantry from Mannix, the cutie in my icon. But it was so heartbreaking how he thought Sheila loved him and she ended up betraying him to the bad guys because she loved material things more. I want to write at least one piece with him because what happened certainly qualifies as a horror for him, but I'm not sure I could take writing that much heartbreak all throughout the month. Another thought was alternating themes between him and Captain Scofield, but that would also be sad since I've set Scofield up with Giovanna and they'd be happy while meanwhile Paul was being used by Sheila. Yet another thought would be Rumbelle. They would certainly fit with a lot of the themes. Or I could write about a whole bunch of different characters.

Next question is, Could I really write a whole month of romantic themes, no matter who the characters are? That's just not me. I'm lucky to be able to write one little Rumbelle piece every few months, and even at that, they're not really blatantly romantic pieces. What I'd really like is if the themes could be used platonically. Some of them could be, so I'm also considering using those themes platonically and then figuring out what to do with the rest of them. It feels a little like cheating if I don't use them all romantically when that seems to have been the themeset author's intention. But they always figure the themes are open to wide interpretation, so maybe it wouldn't be too terrible.

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.

Sigh....

Sep. 24th, 2015 06:08 am
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
Since we seem to have caught all the mice except the elusive bugger that was in Dad's room (and may now be in the living room), we're trying to commence some of the cleaning of the rooms hit hardest. We have door sweeps all around now and have been keeping doors closed to protect the rooms from more trouble. In some ways, it looks like Mom's room isn't as bad as we feared; in other ways, there are still going to be problems, not all of them mouse-related.

Mom's been worried to have her best clothes go in the washer because it keeps sporadically emitting some kind of black grease streaks on various articles of clothing. Dad thought he had fixed the problem, but ... I'm afraid he hasn't, not unless one of the things I washed tonight was also washed before he fixed the problem and acquired streaking then. **headdesk.** More likely, it happened tonight, especially since it looks like a second article of clothing might have a bit of it too. I am seriously dreading telling Mom about this.... And seriously wondering what we're going to do. There are lots of clothes in the closet that need washing in order to complete the cleaning, and if the washer is emitting grease, how can we wash them? And Dad probably won't want to believe there's still a problem....

I found the blue blouse I wanted to use for my Twilight costume and tried it on after I washed it. It's a little tight. Not uncomfortably, but the buttons are strained a bit. It's so frustrating to not be able to fit into clothes I once could.... I'll probably still use it, because it's so perfect, but ugggh.

A direct casualty of the mouse problem was a cardboard box that had originally been used as a house for the Turtles figures. I remember when I was a kid and Mom had the fun idea to make a house out of a box. We did that, and we made partitions and fit wrapping paper around as wallpaper and carpet.... In recent years it became a box to store things in Mom's room, but it still had the original features of the house. I salvaged the upstairs floor, which was protected inside, but the box itself had to go because the mouse did its thing on the roof. Ugggh. I was very sad to lose that piece of my childhood, but there wasn't anything else to do.

(Also, the Rockapella paper dolls Mom made for me are still AWOL and I've been afraid now that if I do find them, it will be my rotten luck that they'll be more casualties.)

And I had to store some of my stuff in Mom's room because I don't have room for it here. At the old house I had several places to put my stuff, but here it's largely crammed into one room, so some stuff had to remain in boxes, like my dolls. I always liked plushies better, but that doesn't mean I didn't love my dolls. (Baby/little girl and boy dolls, with the occasional Barbie, etc. I am not referring to dolls I've collected in more recent years, like Sailor Moon dolls. Those I have on display.) I was relieved that the mice hadn't been into the box, but saddened to see that some of the dolls have not weathered the passage of time well. One of them had some plastic age spots on her face; several others have plastic turning odd colors. And a plastic tote one doll is in is suffering plasticizer leakage. I felt a little like crying, honestly; suddenly it felt like such a long-ago era that I was looking upon and I thought of Mom's sadness when her childhood dolls suffered ill fates. (Far worse than mine, and I'm glad I still have mine with me.) I think she only has one left now, a bridal doll that's been stored with mine. She is actually in better condition than some of mine! And I felt sad that the dolls have been boxed ever since we moved here. They used to be on the top two shelves where I keep some books now. I wish I had room for everything in here....

I did have fun playing house and such with my dolls sometimes. I'd pretend they were all a big family. There are maybe 11-ish non-Barbie size big dolls; it's been a while since I've counted. I think what amused me the most was when I gave ridiculous names to some of the dolls. I still find that fairly hilarious. LOL. One of my oldest dolls, in a red and yellow dress, is Table. One in pink and white overalls is Chair. One in a blue jumpsuit is Picture. **snerk.** I think they had more conventional names once, but it just didn't stick; I wanted the funny ones. Thankfully, I think all the others have normal names. One is named after the half-sibling I'm the closest to.

The same day I discovered the dolls, yesterday, I started the day off by accidentally making a tear in my quilt worse. That's the quilt I've literally had all of my life, minus a few days; the sibling I'm closest to gave her to me. She's a Holly Hobby print quilt, handmade by his paternal grandmother. I remember when we'd have visitors when I was a kid and I'd carry her in with me. One of our favorite neighbors commented that there would be a day when Mom would put her in a drawer until I was grown-up and would ask to have her again. I said "I don't think so!" Everyone was amused. I was probably seven then; I'm twenty-eight and that neighbor's prediction never did come true. LOL. I still cuddle with that quilt every sleep session, even though I no longer take her to show visitors. Heh.

Well, so yesterday was not a good day for my childhood. I have a square of yellow cloth I specifically bought to repair some of the tears, though, and I decided it was time I did that. So last night I found time to sew a patch on over the tear I'd lengthened by accident. It actually looks pretty spiffy. Now to figure out how to repair the other worst tear without damaging what's left of what always looked like a cute little face in one of the corners. Wondering how to do both is why I didn't repair the tears as soon as I bought the cloth. I know I should just sew a patch over that entire corner, but when a couple of little holes there have made what looks like two eyes and a mouth and that's what I've seen most of my life, it's hard to think of covering that up. I have to do something with it, though, because part of that cloth had torn a lot worse since I was a child.

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