Top 10 NON-Funko Collectibles Tag!

Despite popular belief, Jason and do not, in fact, only collect Funko stuff! It’s definitely been an obsession for a while, but we collect all kinds of other stuff as well, so we were super-happy to get a chance to share some of those items in this awesome YouTube tag! Check it out!

Memoir Mondays: Gimme!

So on Friday I explained that I’m going to begin posting “Flash Fiction Fridays” as a way to take the blog back to what it’s supposed to be: a writer’s blog. Well this is the second feature I’m adding to aid in this endeavor.

More than anything I’ve always wanted to write fiction – speculative fiction, to be exact – but just as a child must eat her veggies before she can have candy, a good writer must spend time honing skills in a variety of areas other than just the ones she enjoys most. Thus I am reserving future Mondays (which you may recognize as the crappiest day of the week) to hone my non-fiction skills by way of writing about my own life. These posts will often come with the help of prompts like the ones shared by the Daily Post, but they may also come from whatever interesting life moments may come my way.

Future posts may be a little longer and more involved, but for today I’m going to go with a quick prompt from the Daily Post that caught my eye:

Gimme
Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

I like to believe that I was the kind of kid who was happy with whatever she got, but that didn’t stop me from trying to get as much as I could. Once I was old enough to understand how things really worked I would anticipate the arrival of the Sears Wish Book on our front step at the end of the summer. For the months that followed that magical catalog’s arrival I would regularly scrutinize every page, carefully considering every toy and game, and circling the stuff that I really wanted. At first I’d be very careful, circling only the things that I felt I absolutely couldn’t live without, but by the time Christmas rolled around I’d have half the catalog circled because everything seemed awesome.

Of course I never got everything that I circled, but I almost always got the stuff that I really, really wanted, and even when I didn’t I got other awesome stuff that I was more than happy with.

But there was one thing that I wanted for many years in a row that I never got. I didn’t ask for it often, because I was a strange, strange child who was actually cognizant of how expensive some things were, but I did ask for it a few times and never got it… That special toy was a dollhouse; the kind that twice as tall as the kid who gets it and comes with massive amounts of furniture and accessories.

As an adult with a child of my own, I understand why my parents probably decided not to get me one of these dollhouses. For one thing, the cost of them is outrageous, even by usual toy standards. For another thing they tend to be enormous; one such dollhouse would never have fit in my childhood bedroom, and my parents were not the kind of people to allow their living area to be overrun with kid stuff. But of course, at the time, that logic meant nothing to me, and it meant even less when my best friend and her sister got a wicked dollhouse and I had to deal with the seething jealousy.

Eventually, when I was way too old to still be pining for a dollhouse, I took matters into my own hands. My friends and I had gotten into Sailor Moon and had collected some of the dolls, and I decided that my two dolls were damn-well going to have a dollhouse. I had a closet in my bedroom that wasn’t the wardrobe type, but was actually four large shelves. I took everything out of that closet, cramming it into wherever else in my room I could, and I made that closet into a doll house. I used cardboard, craft supplies, and whatever else I could find, and constructed a dollhouse, making each shelf a different floor, and I even “built” tons of stuff for the dolls to use, like books and magazines, a TV with screens to change what was playing, and pets to make the house a home.

I won’t tell you how old I was when I built this dollhouse, but I’ll tell you that I was old enough to known damn well how childish I was being. But for a while, that homemade dollhouse made me super-happy, because I’d taken matters into my own hands and given myself something I’d been longing for for a long time, and sometimes that’s just what you’ve got to do!

Still a Nerd, Just One Who Hates the Cold

I’ve always found it interesting how people change as they grow up; or rather, how they both do and don’t change.

A lot of it, of course, is because of what side of a situation you are on. When I was a kid, for example, I absolutely loved the winter. Snow was one of the greatest things ever. I could bundle up and spend all day outside, digging tunnels, making snow angels, building snowmen. Sometimes my mother would have to tell me to come in and eat, because I’d completely lose track of time. I didn’t even feel the cold, because I was too busy having fun. I could never understand how my parents could hate winter so much, and get more and more frustrated every time it snowed. How could they hate snow? Snow was so awesome!

Now, of course, I’m a grown adult and I’m on the other side of the situation. When it snows, my husband and I have to shovel. When it snows a lot, we have to shovel a lot. We spend a great deal of money keeping our house warm while it gets colder and colder outside. We have to put up with the disgusting mess that seems to end up everywhere as a result of the half-slush-half-mud crap that inevitably becomes the most common substance in the world during the winter months. We curse and growl while trying to de-ice the windshield in the morning while our daughter laughs from the inside of the car and declares that she loves snow. In short: I’m a cranky adult and I hate winter now.

snowrage
Just LOOKING at this fills me with a Hulk-like rage.

This is an example of how people can change as they get older, and there are plenty more. I think a fair bit of the music I listened to as a kid is complete trash, because my musical palette has matured. Some of the foods I used to eat daily as a kid now make me gag because just knowing how bad they are for you changes my ability to taste them the same way. I care a hell of a lot less about what other people think about me because I’ve found myself in the excellent position to understand that in most cases it doesn’t matter two iotas what other people think of me. I’ve changed over the years. My thoughts and opinions have changed, sometimes dramatically.

But then there’s the exception side of the coin, because no one ever really changes completely, do they? There are always going to be remnants of who you were in an earlier time.

For me, you can see it in my nerdiness. I still love almost all of the fandoms I loved as a kid. To this day I can happily sit down and watch and entire season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without coming up for breath. I’ve been known to track down shows like Sailor Moon and Pokemon just to see if I can still stomach them and found myself curling up to binge-watch with a stupid, giddy smile on my face. I don’t watch Star Wars nearly as often as I used to, but I can still kick a lot of ass at trivia games because all that useless info seems so important to my brain for some reason. I was genuinely upset to find out that they only make three of the Power Rangers as Funko Pop figures because I would kill to have the whole set. I have almost every gaming console that has been available over the past two decades, but I will still happily curl up and play an entire run-through of Final Fantasy III or Chrono Trigger. And the thing is, maybe I’m wrong (because who can really tell?), but I don’t see any of this changing any time soon. I mean, if I’m still playing Final Fantasy III almost twenty years after first discovering it, then there’s probably a pretty good chance that I’ll be playing it in the nursing home when I’m 90, while complaining to the nurses about how this virtual reality junk that the kids play today is nothing compared to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

I don’t know. It just seems funny to me how some attitudes and options can change so dramatically, and yet other things can stick to you like glue throughout your entire life. There’s a psychology research paper in there somewhere, I think.

What about you? Which aspects of your personality have changed so much that the younger version of you wouldn’t understand what the hell had happened, and which things are so much the same that part ofย  you wonders if you ever really grew up at all?

A to Z Challenge: A Review

First, I want to give a bit shout-out to all those who are involved in the running of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It’s got to take a lot of time and dedication to keep track of so many participants, making sure that non-participants are removed from the list, and ensuring that participants get the attention they deserve. Kudos!

Second, a double-huge shout-out to all my fellow participants who made it (sometimes kicking and screaming) to the end of the challenge. Some of those letters were pretty difficult, but you did it! You rock! ๐Ÿ˜€

Third, a triple-huge shout-out to all those who stopped by my blog during April and commented on my posts. I had some great conversations this month, met some cool new friends, and gained a number of new followers. I hope you all stick close by, because it’s been a blast, and I’ve been truly happy to meet you all. ๐Ÿ™‚

The challenge has been a great deal of fun, and I got a lot of great comments on my 26 posts, so as part of this review I present a list of links to each of my posts in case anyone missed anything or is just dropping by now and would like to check a couple of them out.

Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)Day 2: Buffy Summers (the Vampire Slayer)
Day 3: Castiel (the Monster-Fighting Angel)
Day 4: Deadpool (the Lunatic Assassin)
Day 5: Eric Northman (the Viking Vampire)
Day 6: Freddy Krueger (the Nightmare Demon)
Day 7: Gau (the Wild Orphan)
Day 8: Han Solo (the Cocky Starpilot)
Day 9: Iron Man (the Smarmiest Avenger)
Day 10: James T. Kirk (the Star Fleet Captain)
Day 11: Kefka Palazzo (the Magitek Monster)
Day 12: Lisse (the Child of the Dystopian Future)
Day 13: Magus (the Lost Wizard)
Day 14: Neville Longbottom (the Heart of Gryffindor)
Day 15: Other-Mother (the Other World Evil)
Day 16: Peter Parker (the Spider-Man)
Day 17: Qui-Gon Jinn (the Jedi Knight)
Day 18: Ryuk (the Shinigami)
Day 19: Sherlock Holmes (the High-Functioning Sociopath)
Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp)
Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi)
Day 22: Victoria MacKinnon (the Lost Princess)
Day 23: Winchester Brothers (the Monster Hunters)
Day 24: Xander Harris (the Lovable Sidekick)
Day 25: Yuki Miaka (the Girl from Other World)
Day 26: Zelda (the Hyrulian Princess)

In case you somehow missed it, my theme for the challenge was “Fictional Characters”. Each one of these characters, even the ones chosen out of duress of very difficult letters, holds a special place in my heart for one reason or another. The TV shows, movies, comics, cartoons, and video games mentioned were overwhelmingly a great part of my childhood, and in some cases an incredible part of my adulthood. If you’ve got the time, check some of them out. You totally won’t be disappointed.

And finally, before I sign off, I wanted to share with you a couple of the blogs that I’ve come across during this particular challenge. I came into contact with so many awesome fellow bloggers this past month that it’s impossible to mention them all, but these are a couple of the ones I fully plan to keep tabs on even now that the challenge is over.

A Scenic Route – Kirsten is a fellow writer who blogs about her “journey into noveldom”. This month she wrote a wonderful series of posts with the theme “Backstage at the Blog”, in which she gave some wonderful tips, hints, and ideas for fellow bloggers, in addition to sharing info about her own blogging journey.

Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles – Sophie is a writer of many genres who uses her blog as a place to talk about reading, writing, all the topics in between, and whatever else she so desires. She is also the brains behind the mini-challenge that a few of us participated in in addition to the A to Z challenge: the Supernatural A to Z Challenge. She wrote about ghosts and ghoulies this month, and while I didn’t often comment on her posts because my WordPress reader doesn’t make it easy for me to deal with other blogging websites, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the creepy creatures that she posted.

Alex Hurst – Alex is one of my favorite new people because she is fun, bubbly, and friendly, and we apparently have a great deal in common. The fantasy writer spent the month talking about different aspects of writing and being a writer. Her post “J for Jargon” cracked me up because so many of the definitions she came up with were SO TRUE.

I would love to share some more blogs, and perhaps I will in the future, but this has been such a busy month that I simply do not have the time it would take to go through all the wonderful blogs I’ve found during this challenge. However, if you’re really, truly interested in finding some great new people to follow, check out the A to Z sign-up list and just start clicking. There are literally hundreds of wonderful blogs amongst that list.

And now, with all that aside, I must say adieu, and take a much-deserved nap. Cheers everyone! โค

A to Z Challenge Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi)

Uusagi

I have yet another confession to make: I cheated a little bit on this one. You see, the character in question’s original name does start with “U”, as soon in the title, but I personally grew up watching the translated, Americanized version of the show, in which her name starts with “S” (Serena). That said, the character was an important part of my childhood, and as I grew up and discovered that the show had actually been quite hacked apart and Frankenstiened back together by American sensors I did hunt down the original Japanese version and decided that I liked it much better, so let’s just go with Usagi, shall we?

If you didn’t grow up with anime in the 90’s you probably don’t know that it was pretty huge, but also pretty regularly ridiculed. These days geeks and nerds are actually pretty popular (is that an oxymoron?) but back then they were teased and tormented, and (at least in my experience) only geeks and nerds watched anime. I caught a strange amount of flack for watching this show, let me tell you. But watch it I did, because I loved the concept of it. In the same way that I loved Spider-Man for being a teenage superhero with all the problems that entails, I loved Sailor Moon because it was about a group of super-heroines, all of them school girls. They were dealing with growing up, managing school, dating and falling in love, having fun, and all that stuff that young people deal with, but they also occasionally had to save the world. I lived for those kind of stories.

And my favorite character in the show was the titular “Sailor Moon”, whose real name was Usagi. I loved the other characters as well, but Usagi was my favorite because of how pathetic she was. Does that sound odd? Maybe it is. See, the other characters had so much strength – intelligence, physical power, strategic skills, grace, street smarts – but Usagi was like the counter to all of that. She was flunking most of her classes, was clumsy and quick to burst into tears, and was wavering on the cowardly side of the scale. For the most part she was completely and utterly pathetic.

And yet, when it really came down to it, when her friends or family were in trouble, or when someone was being taken advantage of, or when big bad evil was all set to destroy the world, she bucked up, put on her big girl panties, and saved the day. That’s why I liked her so much more than the other characters. For all intents and purposes she was the weak link, but when it really counted she didn’t let that stop her from doing what was right.