This is my library, the place where I keep my books. It is also a place for my doll collection and the Dungeons and Dragons game that I’ve been playing with my kids for more than a decade. It is a place to read and think and… oh, yeah, there’s an X-Box also. Well, that’s one way to get the kids to spend time there too.
I do realize what a jumbled mess it is. The shelves are all cheap Walmart kits that I built myself. Some have been damaged over time and travel. I have rebuilt them, restocked them, and rearranged them time and again.
This reading nook is currently being used to display parts of my Captain Action collection. The Captain America costume on the left is my original property from Christmas 1967. The Steve Canyon costume next to it is an E-bay purchase and a rare find from a decade ago. Aquaman is a combination. The mask, trident,conch horn, and swim fins are from my original set from Christmas 1966. The suit itself had to be replaced from E-Bay because I played with it until it was no more than a mass of frayed thread. The gloves come from a innovative toy company called Classic Plastick run by Wes McCue. http://classicplastick.proboards.com/ You may notice cups and junk left by kids in my library. Cheetos wrappers from food that my daughter the Princess loves are often found crammed in between the books.
This alcove is where I store my customized Star Wars’ Twi’leck Barbie which I made myself with acrylic paint, Sculpey plasticine, exacto-knife, and Crazy Glue. It also is where I store my antique book collection, some of which are a hundred years old or more. (I have books from my Grandparents’ libraries as well as some from my own childhood.)
Let me show you the Star Wars shelf. (It is not big enough for all my twelve-inch Star Wars action figures, but… oh, well.
Here is the back side of the shelf. (How did topless Mermaid Barbie get in there?)
I also have a corner for the X-Box and the TV it is attached to. (But Dr. Evil is holding it hostage at this writing.)
And finally, let me bore you with the fact that the small upstairs bedroom that is now the library does not have enough room to contain all my books. The library also fills up the upstairs hall and large portion of my bedroom/studio.
It has been said that my library is as cluttered as my mind is. But don’t you believe it. My inner world makes this manifestation in the outer world look Spartan by comparison.
Cleaning in the library led me to rediscover an old project. Roy Rogers and Trigger had been sitting next to the TV in the library. I found them both on the floor between the TV and a book stack. Time to pick them up and put them back in shape.
The doll is a random military action figure rescued naked from a thrift store. I thought the face looked enough like Roy Rogers to turn him into that particular hero. The horse is from Mattel, and probably is part of a Barbie play-set. It was given to me by a relative. I dressed Roy in a Lone Ranger Captain Action uniform with a Tonto gun belt, both created by Playing Mantis Toy Company in the late 1990’s. The hat is actually from a Cowgirl Barbie because I wanted a Roy Rogers-style almost-white hat. The Lone Ranger hat is too flat-brimmed to look right and way too large to fit on Roy’s smaller head, and the only other cowboy hat I have for it is a Johnny West hat from Marx Toys in the 1960’s, and that is dark brown.
Everything Johnny West that I still have was salvaged from the house where I grew up back in the 1980’s. They belonged to my little brother, but ended up in my collection because he outgrew dolls and action figures long before I did. I wish I still had the doll himself, but I think Dabney blew him up with a firecracker when he was a teenager.
So, I have to be happy with only having Roy and Cowgirl Barbie to play with.
Being a doll collector with an advanced case of hoarding disorder, I am always finding new stuff to buy. And my mother made the mistake of giving me a gift card for Christmas. Well, after-Christmas sales are started. Toys that were mauled by Christmas shoppers are set out for clearance prices in slightly damaged boxes. The opportunities are endless.
I had thought my MLP collection was complete when I bought Fluttershy (on the left). But I found Lemon Zest (the pink horse-girl with lemon-yellow eyes) for less than ten dollars. Walmart is apparently trying to clear the shelves of the scourge of My Little Pony dolls that has infested them for about four years now.
Kristoff from Frozen and Deerla from the Netflix thing called Happily Ever-After High School were both clearance items for slightly more than five dollars.
Kristoff completes a Frozen set. I can die happy now.
But maybe not just yet…
I also found a twelve-inch PVC figure of Finn from the new Star Wars movie. Is that the beginning of a new collection? I guess I can’t die just yet. And I am still happy.
I have had a monumentally horrible week. And one of the hardest things about it, is that I cannot tell you about most of it and make fun of it for the sake of healing by humor because, after all, real mental health issues are a very private thing. So, I am left with a mish-mash of free-associations and brainstorming to fill up a page with random and unthinkable thoughts. (When I brainstorm, sometimes it is more like a brain-hurricane.)
Under the general heading of; Things a relatively sane older man who is battling hoarding disorder should probably not do is the new collection I started of Sparkling Disney Princesses. As you can see above, I unfortunately acquired some of the more recent Disney Princesses in sparkle form within the rules for collecting (not costing more than $20 and not spending more than $50 in any one month). I even added a rule to slow down the collecting mania. (No buying sparkle princesses of characters I already have in my Disney Princess collection.) Tiana, Merida, and Elsa add up to only $30 over the last three months.
This is actually Cowboy Mickey in the middle of the bedroom he shares with about 500 dolls and action figures, 1000 books, and the fairy in the foreground who is real.
The thing about the relentless doll collecting is more the space it fills than the money it burns. A few years back I completed a five year stint of buying, selling, and trading action figures in which I learned how to make the obsessive-compulsive-disorder part of it turn out to be profitable. I ran a used-toy and collectible E-Bay store that helped me pay for my mental health issue. Of course, I did not get ahead, as all the profits are tied up in the dolls, action figures, and stuffed toys that I have kept. Still, I learned how to do the thing effectively enough to believe I can effectively do that again if I need to, in spite of the fact that E-Bay got wise and raised their fees to make a $5 and $10 business far less profitable.
I should note that I gave up toy-selling on E-Bay after an irate Barbie collector teed off on me in the comments section over a misidentified 80’s Barbie. (Heck, how was I to know that the date on her neck was a copyright date only and not an indicator that she was sold in the 1970’s?) Lady Godiva Barbie on the wingless Pegasus from the Goodwill store is a new project I put on the project table. There is at least a month’s worth of hair-combing necessary and clearly visible in the picture. Mane and tail alone will take weeks.
And I am not yet done with the notion of collecting beautiful sunrises. The recent rains and cloudiness of Texas wild weather have provided some interesting color and variety to the skyline of the park next to our house. It all helps to keep my mind off of troubling issues that developed from dental pain and attendance woes. This has been a very rough week, but the sunrises keep coming, and I look forward to a new day.
If I were going to say it in Minion-speak, I would say, “Bwayno! Eebee da Minion apatoy tu La Mancha! King Bob!” Which sums up my entire movie review. So, there. Now I am done.
This is my lame attempt at copyright infringement… also known as “fan art”.
Seriously the movie is a non-stop slapstick and funny-punny carnival ride. And Bob is featured in this movie as the over-eager, reluctant adventurer who eventually becomes the rightful King of England. (Oops! I had promised myself to write no spoilers that weren’t in Minion-speak. Oh, well… Oopsie, again!)
So now you know why I posted such a pitiful excuse for a humor post yesterday… I took my family to the movies. Did you know the Minion language uses Tagalog words? My wife and in-laws are from the Philippines, so they recognized a number of Tagalog and Spanish words. They didn’t much get the jokes, though. The humor was apparently too sophisticated… or they were. They did appreciate all the nice explosions, though.
So, another lame humor post today… two in a row, in fact… because I was busy yesterday and lazy today. And don’t accuse me of building up to things by dropping hints about what I am going to be writing about next in today’s post. I am definitely not doing that because I am too busy now with Snow Babies, having got it back from the editor this morning with a number of revisions to make. I am working on those revisions this afternoon. So don’t bug me about it. Wait… wrong cliche for a comedy romance novel about freezing to death. How about, don’t snow on my parade? No? Oh, well… goofy is as goofy does. Go see the movie. It’s goofy. And if you’ve already seen it, then see it again. Slapstick jokes about losing your pants never get old.
This is what my Minions picture would’ve looked like in the 1960’s when the world was black and white.
Having already written well over a thousand words today on a different writing project, I don’t really have to worry about length on this one. But it is intended to be a scrapbook piece anyway. Thing #1 is the completion of a mini-collection. I now have all three of the main Minions from the new Minions movie. From left to right are Kevin, Stuart, and Bob posing for their picture with their fully pose-able arms in the middle of Cardboard Castle. There are still many many many Minions left to collect, but the first three are the most important bit… I think.
I have now reached the climax of the plot in my Sci-fi novel Stardusters and Space Lizards. I am at that moment in the story when characters, even the most important main characters, may die. I know, in fact, because of the ending that already exists that some of the main characters will die. I am not entirely certain that I know which ones yet. The three I have portrayed here are (left to right again because I am an English speaker/reader and horribly addicted to the same-old same-old) George Jetson, Davalon, and Sizzahl the Lizard Girl. At least one of them has to die for the plot to work out. But which one? I am deeply in love with all three.
My experimental flower wagon has been producing blossoms, but only one at a time. Each one blooms, I take a picture of it, and then the hot Texas sun burns the poor thing to blazes, and I have to wait for the next one to appear.
And finally, I think I need to define the two Mock-Iowegian words in my title today. Mock-Iowegian (as I am sure you are bright enough to already realize) is a made-up language spoken by Iowan farm folks in Mickian fiction where the object is to capture their eccentricities and mock them ferociously because I love them. Futzbatter… noun, meaning things that are fudged or made up on the spur of the moment and mixed together into the overall plan (or impending disaster… depending on the situation). Foohbah… noun, meaning something you tell a fool and expect him to believe, as in a honking-big-fish story, and nobody else will contradict for fear the fool the speaker is trying pull a foohbah on is the hearer, and they don’t want to let on that the foohbah-teller laying the big, fat, hairy foohbah on the group is talking about them, and they are only feebly trying to stop him.
So, there you have it… almost 500 words in spite of myself.
Life is never quite like the way it is in your head. Things you don’t believe are true will constantly surprise you with the reality they belt you over the head with at the most inopportune of times.
Today’s colored-pencil Paffooney masterpiece is a case in point. I never believed it was possible to take this good of a picture of it. It is a horror movie to try to light this picture so I can snap it with a camera and get a result with no fades or reflected glare. It was created in 1992, when I was really at the height of my colored-pencil cartoonist super-powers. The subtle lighting is so much better than I can convey with the arthritic turkey-claw hands I now use for such artwork. Torchlight in a pyramid is a hard thing to convey. And over time, this picture’s colored-pencil patina has become glossy and difficult to photograph without glare. It has subtle waves in the paper that photograph as shadowy valleys and reveal the two-dimensionality of the piece. You can still see them if you look closely. But it is far better than any previous photo. Go back and check my archives if you don’t believe me… or you wish to be bored to death with old posts that you have somehow managed to dodge before now.
But like Tanis in the Tomb, things always turn out to be surprisingly different in their reality than they were in your little mind’s eye when you went into that dark hole in the ground.
We were discussing this at lunch, my kids and I. We were talking about how Sims 3 portrays reality and how really surprising it can be when you realize that the game has got it right. When I walked all the way to the bottom of the stairs this morning before realizing that I had forgotten my shoes upstairs, I had to turn around and go all the way back upstairs. This, I am told, is exactly how it works in Sims 3. A character in the game cannot turn around on the stairs. If you change your mind half way down, the character. or avatar I think they like to call them, must go all the way to the bottom to turn around and go back up. So obviously this morning, God was playing Sims 3 and using me as an avatar.
Now, I don’t really like to believe God plays video games with reality… but my son Henry brought up the Rolling Stones as proof. It is common knowledge that Kieth Richards is an un-dead creature, having so completely altered the bio-chemical make-up of his entire body with drugs that he died in 1988 and still goes on tour because his brain has not yet fully registered the fact that he is dead. My son pointed out that in Sims 3 you can make your avatar all gray or green and zombie-looking and then play the game with your avatar walking around and doing all sorts of stuff without realizing he or she is dead. So, not only Kieth Richards, but the entirety of the Rolling Stones who are all skeletal old druggies who should’ve passed half a century ago, goes to prove that God is playing Sims 3 with the universe. My gasted is totally flabbered! And I hope this glimpse into the unholy truth has not ruined your day.
Last time, after months of me waiting to play with my X-Box Baseball ’04, Captain Carl Action and the Action Super-hero-guy Team had actually found where in the Library Dr. Evil and his minions had been hiding.
It took an unbelievably long time for my Library to be liberated, but finally liberation was just around the corner…
So Dr. Evil threw a monkey wrench into the liberation plans with a carefully timed real-identity mix-up ploy.
Captain Carl had to stop and think for a moment… something that he only did when forced to do it,,, because, well, thinking is something that hurts quit a bit when you have a hollow plastic head with only a plastic armature for a brain.
Max Steele, the most practical member of the Hero-Guy Action Team, put Dr. Evil/Ming the Merciless down on the Dr. Evil mint-in-box box and began to saw with his Captain Action Lightning Blade.
Max sawed and whacked and hacked and smacked, and nothing seemed to even put a dent in the non-removable brain of Dr. Evil/Ming the Merciless.
Soon the Action Hero-Guy Team had to give up. The dumb plastic brain was all one piece with the rest of the plastic head and was not coming out. Dr. Evil/Ming the Merciless was simply NOT the answer.
Captain Carl was fed up. He couldn’t take any more of this thinking… There was only one thing left to do.
So Dr. Evil removed his removable brain and handed it to Carl, allowing me to repeat enough silly phrases and stupid words to get to the 500 mark for today.
Like a lazy idiot I have been posting stuff I’ve already created to Mickey’s House of Fiction and pretending that it means I am actually getting writing work done. Today’s cartoon story, Expelling Evil, the Series, attempts to exploit my constant playing with dolls to make a humorous adventure cartoon strip. I realize that it is still incomplete and most probably a spectacular failure (at least, as much of a failure as is possible without destroying the internet or making your computer explode). But it makes me laugh, and I have been wanting to put it all together in one place. So, here is the link;
Here is a photo Paffooney from the story to help you remember how much you want to avoid reading it all again.
I do promise to add on to the end of it in Mickey’s House of Fiction every time I bore you with another episode and nearly make your head implode from reading it. The purpose of that plan being to allow to find all of it in one place and thoroughly ignore everything in one go.
When last we left the Captain Action Hero Team, they were busy trying to rescue Mickey’s beloved X-Box with the EA Sports Baseball ’04 game that Mickey loves. The Evil Doctor Evil had taken over the library and turned it into an evil lair for his evil minions of Evil. But Captain Carl Action had led his team into the fray and clobbered the Agent in Red with a kiss and the Grammar Nazis with bad grammar. Dr. Evil was feeling foiled.
The pretty Barbie doll (whose name was really City-Style Christie) was captured and at the mercy of Evil Doctor Evil.
Dr. Mindbender had an evil talent for bending minds. He possessed considerable talents of ESP (which here stands for Extremely Stupid Puddlebrains). The poor captive doll was bent to Dr. Evil’s evil will.
Suddenly Mickey’s blog stood on the verge of losing its PG rating (which was already on shaky ground anyway). Then, faithful Max Steele pulled an answer out of his… thin air… urm, yes, that was what I intended to say.
The day appeared to be saved by a good old bop on the bean. It was Captain Carl’s favorite problem-solving solution, as it is for practically all action heroes… definitely the ones with the hollow plastic heads in Mickey’s Action Figure Collection. But one important task still remained un-done.
Tune in next time for the only “Fight of the Century” in which Manny Pacquiao can’t possibly disappoint you!