Monthly Archives: June, 2016

The 40 Club

While I mourn my 30s, read this little bit about turning 40 that she wrote just for me. 😀

Knocked Over By A Feather

Guess who’s joining the ranks of the 40 Club today?

Alice!! That’s who!!

40Don’t make fun of my meme, I was in a hurry.

I called her early this morning to sing happy birthday (sorry about that, dear.)

And now, because turning 40 is such a great and wonderful thing (not really) I am going to do a short post on how to tell you are now officially middle-aged.

Pay attention Alice, this is important information.

  • That popping sound coming from your knee? Yeah, that’s normal.
  • Music may start to become way too loud for you and you’ll find yourself reaching to turn it down because old.
  • Young people will completely befuddle the fuck out of you.

millennialsSay Snapchat!

  • You’ll experience total face-palm moments when you realize that 80’s music is now considered classic rock.
  • The cashier at the store is now calling you ma’am (or sir.)
  • Starting a…

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Kryptonite: A review of Captain America Civil War!

If I go crazy

then will you still call me Superman?

– 3 Doors Down

Please do not snort glowing, green rocks, kids!

Please do not snort glowing, green rocks, kids!

Even if you aren’t a nerd, you probably know about Superman.  The big, tough guy who wears his patriotic underpants over his tights, whose secret identity can be bought at Lens Crafters, and whose greatest weakness is Kryptonite, a green space rock.  The fun thing about superheroes is that you can identify with these guys, whether it’s wanting to be like them (for Superman flying, not wearing my underpants over my pants) or having a weakness.  And we have many weaknesses.  Internet, binge-watching competitive cooking shows, heroin, or secretly liking Justin Bieber.

You’ll note I didn’t add liking Trump to this list.  That falls under the category of “evil-doer’s minion”.  Justin first must get into politics to qualify for that.  I’m thinking 2030 or so, but don’t worry, by then we will probably all be extinct.  Accentuate the positive!

Supervillain? Or his own minion?

Supervillain? Or his own minion?

Anyway, I recently went to see Captain America: Civil War in the theater with Thing One who had only been nagging about this since the beginning of time.  Okay, I was wanting to see it too because I like all the humor mixed in with this latest series of Marvel Comic Books movies.  Superman is from another comic company called D.C.  The best way to tell them apart is that Marvel got bought out by the great Empire of Disney and makes really profitable movies, while D.C. . . . doesn’t.

Tell all your troubles to super mutt there.

Tell all your troubles to super mutt there.

What I like most about these movies, in spite of never having read the comic books, is all the humor combined with unbelievable violence that never seems to really affect anything.   Also it might be because the guys are super hot (get it?) and wear tight outfits over their muscles.  I am not a dirty old woman.  For your information Captain America was born like in the 30s or something but was frozen in ice like a popsickle for years because – who cares?  And Thor is totally a Norse God so he’s like several thousand years old, give or take you know.  I want to be a Norse Goddess in my next career.

As you can see, these back stories make complete sense, so we definitely want these guys to have realistic problems.  And this movie did it.  If you don’t want SPOILERS, and I do mean this both in revealing secrets and in the way I give this review (SARCASTICALLY) then you might want to run, RUN!

Okay moving on.

Hot guy on hot guy action! Wait I didn't - mean it that way. . .

Hot guy on hot guy action! Wait I didn’t – mean it that way. . .

This movie took a while to get started.  Like a long time.  There was this Russian guy, and this other Russian guy, and this dude called Bucky (no really) who was Captain America’s best friend back in World War II but is now an insane assassin but Cap knows there is still GOOD in him even though he kills lots of people.  Even more than Captain America does!

And turns out people are bugged about the death and destruction while superheroes fight the super villains and save everybody!  Except those dead people.  I always assumed that they went back and found the people safely ducking and covering under the smashed cars, then did Habitat for Heroes and rebuilt the buildings.  Not really, I honestly didn’t care.  But now the U.S. government IS caring about killing random people (this is a first) and decide they need to reign in the superheroes.  Maybe it’s because the government prefers to kill them themselves?

After they wake up from their naps, that is.

After they wake up from their naps, that is.

That’s what Captain America is thinking.  Why trust the government even though he was a loyal soldier back in the 1940s and was eager to fight Nazis for freedom?  And Iron Man (played by the adorable, snarky, sarcastic Robert Downey Jr.) normally does whatever the heck he wants partly because it annoys everyone else, especially his teammates.  I love people who purposely irritate others and get away with it!  But this was not the Iron Man here.  This Iron Man wants to give it over the government.  Why?  Because they had his girlfriend Pepper (no really) played by Gwyneth Paltrow (no really) leave him and people come up and yell at him for killing their children while saving the damn planet and this has him all depressed.

SEE? You're even making the kid cry, Robert.

SEE? You’re even making the kid cry, Robert.

Noooo.  Iron Man is what makes these movies so much fun.  This is like turning Tigger into Eeyore and expecting the same dynamic.  But it’s not really about the other Avengers (Thor and the Hulk are off playing a round of golf or something) but a Captain America movie.  That’s why we have Russians and Bucky.  Bucky, Bucky, Bucky.  Right, well, part of the group are meeting at the United Nations building to sign some contract and KA-BOOM big explosion.  The king of *Uganda – for some reason the U.S. is suddenly paying attention to violence in Uganda – is kinda dead.  Oops.  Luckily Black Widow, one of the two women in this superhero movie, has survived the massive explosion with, I’m not kidding, a bit of dirt on her cheek.  Her hair is great, her suit is fine.  She hasn’t even broken a nail.  At least there was unintentional humor there.

Before explosion.

Before explosion.

After explosion. We makes spies explosion proof these days.

After explosion. We makes spies explosion proof these days.

Now in the advertisements there was much to do about Captain America and Iron Man beating the crap out of each other.  So I was sort of waiting for that.  It took a long time.  Really long time.  Most of the time Cap is trying to protect Bucky from people wanting to kill him for pretty good reasons.  It turns out Bucky is not at fault, though he was for all the other deaths like oh . . . Iron Man’s parents.  OOOOPSIES.  Iron Man doesn’t take seeing video (by the random Russian guy) of his parents being tortured all that well.  So runs after old Bucky, who Captain America protects, so then he starts whackin’ on Captain America, who whacks back, and so forth.

Finally Captain America darn near kills Iron Man, and leaves him there.  Cause justice and the American way?  Bucky gets frozen again – oh yeah he was frozen too – and later Cap writes a letter saying gee sorry Iron Man, want to rejoin the club?  And why not, right?  And it just ends there.

Like, I'm sorry, okay?

Look, I’m sorry, okay?

Oh there were some good lines here and there.  They get a couple of new characters, and when they are all fighting each other and asking if they’re still, like, buds after this, it’s got that same old feel.  Humor and violence.  But still, it’s not my favorite of the series (and there are a lot of these movies to watch – you actually need a list to figure out the order of all the movies about various characters.)  The politics were confusing, like real politics, as was a lot of the story.  But maybe my main problem was that everything around me is depressing, and depressing is my Kryptonite.  For turn your brain off fun,  I recommend the first two Avengers movies, or the Iron Man Movies, or anything with the name “Robert Downey Jr” in it.  Or whatever you actually like to watch.

Robert Downey, Jr., please cheer up.  Heck with Gywneth.  I am available anytime.

-Alice

* Edited to Add: Thing One informed me the country is Wakanda, not Uganda.  So it just sounds like an African country.  My bad.  In my defense, I think the U.S.  wouldn’t care about Wakanda either.

For some fun, check out this video.

 

 

Broken, but still good

My friend Merry wrote this when I couldn’t. Please read.

Knocked Over By A Feather

I was chatting with my amazing friend Alice yesterday, as we usually do on a mostly daily basis. I never dreamed that blogging would gift me with another best friend to add to my short list of the two other people who have qualified as “best friend” material in my 40 some years on this planet.

Let’s face it, not everyone we meet is destined to be a real friend, someone who needs you as much as you need them to get through this thing called life. My mom told me years ago that if you have one good friend, you’re lucky.

I think that I must be extra lucky.

Someday I will find a way to fly to Texas so that I can give her a hug and we will laugh and cry together.

“Did you ever see the movie “Lilo and Stitch?” she asked.

I said yes, of…

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How do you fight evil?

Note: This is not a post furthering an agenda.  Unless that agenda is “Try not to be evil.”

I’m sure most people know about the Orlando shooting by now.  I didn’t until just this morning because I tend to avoid news outside of what pops up uninvited on Facebook while I am talking to friends on chat.  I had just discovered the brilliant workaround of placing a napkin over the fb news box when I started chatting with my pal Merbear.  First we discussed our emotional states (meh) and how to scramble eggs properly (I cannot even accomplish this) and what we were currently eating (Me: waffles.  Her:  An English muffin with sausage and cheese – just in case you were wondering).  She had just written a post on the tragedy, and was more than a little bummed that our world seems to be going straight to Hades.

The Onion had the same sentiment.

The Onion had the same sentiment.

“It’s simple, evil exists.” she said.  “How do we fight evil?  How?”

I’ve had difficulty writing lately.  It’s hard to see outside of a sad pony, and often you turn inward.  My plan was to try to pull out a post for my daughters’, because Thing Two just had a birthday on the 10th (12 years old?) and Thing One will turn 16 (16 years old?????) on the 17th.  Then I realized that even with the depressing subject matter, I could do both.  Mer mentioned that she wouldn’t want to bring children into this world now.  I agreed, but then I thought of my own kids who are here now.  I felt badly for them, for all the violence and hatred that they have faced, and will face.  But then I remembered that they are the answer on how to fight evil.  You fight evil with good, and hope, and love.  I know, I don’t normally talk like I’m farting out skittles (as Merry would say), but it is the truth.

toot toot?

toot toot?

The other day we were driving and a man stood on the corner with a sign.  As usual I tried not to make eye contact.  I never know what to do in that situation.  It’s kind of dangerous to just hand out money to someone while you’re driving – you might get hit by someone.  Plus I wonder if it will do any good at all.  One dollar?  Five dollars?  I don’t know.  But when I looked behind me I saw that Thing One had her hands grasped in prayer.  I thought it was because I’d just called her, in a friendly type way, a little twit for something.  But no, she was praying for the man.  Because, as she said, he’d asked for prayers.

No fanfare.  No look at me I’m praying!  I’d have never noticed if I hadn’t looked back.  Sure, you might say, it’s just a prayer.  She didn’t go out and invite the homeless person into our car so we could get him a room at the Hilton with a free breakfast.  But she did do something that too many Americans aren’t doing enough of today.  She took a few minutes out to think about someone else’s misfortune.  Her sister is equally sincere in her empathy for others, often challenging those who bully others.  I try to be a good mom, but that’s not all me.  A lot of that is just who they are.  And it is those values that will give them hope to keep going, to keep offering kindness, and to make a difference in this world.

And they, thankfully, are not the only ones.  A line of people formed around a blood donation bank early the next morning.  This was symbolic not only of thinking of others, but of doing something about it.  They were giving blood for the blood lost.  It will be too late for the 50 victims of this tragedy, but not for the many injured people today, and those who may sadly be shot tomorrow.  As John Oliver says, “The terrorists are vastly outnumbered.”  I’ll show you a clip, because he says this all better than I do.

I saw much discussion in the comment sections of articles on Facebook.  As usual, many have turned to politics.  Either wanting to take guns or have more guns or complaining about the agenda to have guns or not have guns, or just blaming it all on Obama like they do the mayonnaise shortage at your local Subway.  Certainly the fact that it was a gay club, and the terrorist was Islamic played into the response in places.  But that – as I stated above – is not what I’m getting into right now, although I easily could (and have).  It’s about the basic question: How do we fight evil?  Hint: It’s not in a political argument on Facebook.

It’s in thinking of others.  It’s in doing for others.  It’s in following the greatest commandment no matter what your faith: Love one another.  Even if all you do is buy a coke for one person feeling down (you don’t have to buy a coke for the entire world), you did something.  You made a difference.  We all make a difference, all the time, with our words and actions.  For good or for bad, we make a difference.  Let’s try to make the right difference.  Here’s just a few more examples of what people have done for the victims in Orlando, Florida, from the Orange County sheriff’s office.

We thank the legions of supporters who are reaching out to the Orlando community!!
As the investigation remains active and open in the horrific Pulse nightclub mass shooting, here are some resources and links available to the public.
•Orlando officials are identifying the victims and notifying their families. The names of the victims will be added to this link: http://www.cityoforlando.net/blog/victim….
•The Department of Veterans Affairs is providing emergency mental health assistance to Veterans, employees, and the general public in wake of the mass shooting. An Orlando VA Medical Center Mobile Medical Unit is located at the Beardall Senior Center, 800 Delaney Ave, Orlando, 32801, or call 321-277-6672.
• Blood donations — OneBlood has reached capacity for blood donations, so no further donations are immediately needed. However, anyone interested in making an appointment to donate in the near future can go to oneblood.org/donate-now/ or call 1.888.9Donate.
•Funds for victims and families — Equality Florida has set up a GoFundMe page at Gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund.

I wish my beautiful daughters good luck in the future.  It may look dim now, but they will add brightness.  Because they are my Things.    They are my antidote to despair.  They are my reason for hope.  I love them both, and wish them a happy birthday.

~Alice

Nostalgia

Nostalgia.  Lately I’ve been dipping my toe in its waters.  Okay bathing in it.  Once you start, it’s just hard to stop.  I specialize in toy nostalgia, naturally, but my love for toys is more than just immaturity (though that’s a large part of it and I do highly recommend it).  Dolls, toys, the things that we play with reflect our environment and the styles, the culture, the values of the people living in it.  So you could say that collecting toys is rather like collecting a bit of history.

Yes, the 1980s really did happen.

Yes, the 1980s really did happen.

Note: Not all toy collectors live alone, dateless and friendless, in their parents’ basements.  Many people live alone dateless and friendless in their parents’ basements based on the economy alone.

Not all collectors are alike.  There are the ones who do it purely for evil monetary gain and will trip a small child to get to a new box of My Little Ponies only to immediately mark up Sparkle Twinkles on Ebay.  Not that I’m biased on that type of collector or anything.  Don’t get me wrong – having something that is of monetary value is cool.  And if you are in dire straights, like say having to live in your parents’ basement (oh nooooo) then at least you have some recourse.  Maybe you can sell your toys.

Who wouldn't pay big money for this? One-of-a-kind!!

Who wouldn’t pay big money for this? One-of-a-kind!!

Maybe.

But that’s the problem.  The prices of toys (and other collectible items) fluctuate wildly.  Some of the oldest toys may go for a lot of money, but not necessarily.  Even with a mint, still-in-the-box toy, you have no guarantee of high prices.  You have to deal with public tastes.  More than anything else, the monetary value of your toy ends up being pure luck.  Most items go up in value because no one realized it would go up in value.  If you make money in the end, consider it a bonus.  But don’t count on building a nest egg with rare toys.  There are quite a few homeless people now living in boxes filled with Beanie Babies.

You could always try breeding your own stuffed animals.

You could always try breeding your own stuffed animals.

Collect what you love.  Remember to still buy groceries.  You’ll win out in the end.  End of soap box.

Speaking of that old nostalgia, I mentioned earlier my new blog.  I wanted you to know that I won’t just be covering pretty plastic dollies.  I’ll cover anything.  G.I. Joes, Star Wars, Beatles toys, Sparkle Ponies, whatever.  Here’s just a sample of items I have lined up at the moment.

Lots of Barbies such as

  • A Barbie dog that eats its own poop
  • A Barbie with a magnetic stomach that gives birth only to have you shove baby back inside and make her do it all over again.
  • Barbie’s sisters (Skipper, Stacie, Kelly or Chelsea (this child is confused), and baby Krissy.  Yes, they are all her “sisters”.  Also a brother Todd who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
  • The Ultimate Boyfriend Ken doll – he says just what you want him to say!  The entertainment value in this guy is limitless.
  • Remember when Barbie and Ken broke up?  Meet the home wrecker, Australian surfer rad dude Blaine.
  • Lots of fun Barbie play sets.  For example: Barbie and shopliftin’ Kelly!
See my baby (cough) sister!

See my baby (cough) sister!

But wait, there’s more:

  • The “Sunshine Family” dolls of the 1970s – and I do mean OMG 1970s.
  • Star Trek the Next Generation‘s dreamy Commander Riker doll (er 12 inch ACTION FIGURE)
  • High School Musical Dolls.  Did you forget about Disney’s overdone High School Musical movies?  Too bad, I have dolls!  One named after a type of dog.
  • Luke Skywalker 12 inch ACTION FIGURE wearing Yoda in a Baby Bjorn.
  • One Direction Dolls (Why?  They were cheap and we needed boyfriends for Skipper.)
  • My Little Pony and all its incarnations.  Sparkles!
  • A Mystery Doll that sparkles.  Oh how he sparkles.  You’ll never guess what it is.
  • Disney dolls.  Of COURSE Disney dolls.
Leave us aloooone.

Leave us aloooone.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of my mind at the moment.  If there is anything you’d like me to cover, I’ll do it, even if I’ve never heard of it.  I do love research, the less value the better!  Just let me know in the comments.  Also – what do you like to collect?

Alice