Unshelved is a daily comic strip, with years of free archives, chronicling the slightly exaggerated adventures of the staff and patrons at Mallville Public Library. The simple black and white style highlights the silly, playful nature of the strip and storylines. Recommended for anyone who has experienced the absurdities of customer service, especially as it pertains to books. Warning: You may get sucked into the archives, so have several hours handy….
I just made another installment on the Will doll, which brings me to $722.61 of $1498.60 paid off. I think I’ve just about successfully purchased his legs, which make up 40 cm of his 80 cm gangliness. Did I mention he was an expensive fucker? I hope he plays fetch, washes my dishes and gives back rubs for that kind of money…
Commissioned a doll portrait from Neurocidic on DOA a few months ago, forgot about it, just got it in a PM today.
This is what I said to her:
“Sardonix Sanguinarius is a teenaged succubus. Though her name sounds very Gothy, she is not really angsty. Instead, she’s playful, crafty, mischievous and very clever. She’s very intelligent, with a mouthy edge. She combines the rambunctiousness and imagination of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. She is not a sexually active being yet, but neither is she an innocent child. She’s in a liminal state.”
I also linked to some close-ups and the photostory with the vengeance unicorn.
Here’s the result. I am quite pleased, especially with the smirk.
Home on the Strange uses a light touch and bold, happy lines to show the amusing, slightly exaggerated lives and intersections of a small cluster of 30-something nerds. The usual jokes about gamer culture are here, but fleshed out with relationship dramas and a deft use of character development. Ferrett Steinmetz and Veronica Pare make a fluid and humorous collaboration.
The photo is from Zone of Zen user Marsha T. It’s her grandson looking at one of her Tyler dolls with that most amusing expression on his face. Macro by me.
I just finished reading Dylan Meconis’ completed online graphic novel Bite Me, which is about some silly vampires running around during the French Revolution…basically a big excuse for physical comedy and quips. Meconis has, at best, a thick, rubbery line that I really like. Plus the story is just snicker-worthy.
Another recommended Web comic is the ongoing Wapsi Square, chronicling the collision of ancient supernatural prophecies with the soap operatic lives of 20-somethings in a fictitious Minneapolis neighborhood. Paul Taylor manages the large cast with dexterity and a light hand, especially a sketchy graceful line. All the fems are uniformly ass-kicking, which compares them favorably to the tough broads on the Devil’s Panties, but I can’t easily distinguish the characters. Contrary to what Rampant Bicycle says, there is a clear modulation between once-off gags and longer plotlines. It’s just not as even as she would like. :p
In the summer of 2001 and 2002, I watched both seasons of TNT’s Witchblade with a friend.
Yancy Butler’s irresistible mouth the show [dammit!], I sought for it on VHS or DVD, but only found poor-quality VCDs. Loaded with skips and murky transfer, the discs, annoyingly enough, limited the viewing size to about 300 x 400 pixels. I could barely see Yancy Butler’s mouth in order to lust over it. Since Witchblade is a show that I enjoy watching the entire run of, I looked for alternatives with better picture quality and larger viewing size.
I just found my Holy Grail of DVDs! Here is an unofficial made-from-TV set of all of the eps in seasons 1 and 2 of Witchblade. The set is $100, but I would gladly pay twice that, just because I enjoy the show so much and have such sentimental attachments to it. It’s enough for me to have BTVS on my shelf and not watch it, but I watch Witchblade on my shelf and on my screen too! Woo hoo! Woo hoo! WOO HOO!
EDIT: I just found it for $70 here.
EDIT: And for $20 here.
I’ve been enjoying A Way With Words, a KPBS radio show, for a while. Just today I found another show, a podcast, in the same vein: Word Nerds. It’s a weekly podcast of about 40 minutes, a thematically organized discussed of the ways language is used past and present. The presenters are a bunch of high school language and literature teachers with solid knowledge of Germanic and Romance languages among them. Their style is quieter than the lively, explosive A Way With Words, but I still enjoy the dry wit.
If advice column letters are each novelettes waiting to be written, what better omniscient narrator to have than the intelligent snarkmeister Dan Savage, who writes weekly sex advice columns for The Stranger?
An answer is below. Note to self: The Photoshop Burn/Dodge tool really helps to lighten the shadows in and around her eyes!
Jennifer visited Youth Pride yesterday! She got hit on several times [by people who even successfully identified her as an Asian BJD, like the girl with the pink bob], as any of my dolls do when taken in public. Why wouldn’t she be the center of attention? When she dresses to flatter her appearance, she looks attractive! Photos and story below.
The Cerebrus Project Mini Fee Ruth that I sold to Baiken in France WITHOUT insurance or delivery confirmation arrived safely! In the mean time, I worried that it would get lost just because I had tempted fate by forgetting insurance and delivery confirmation. Now that the damn doll has successfully arrived at its destination, I offer the following announcement for me and others:
If you’re sending a valuable package by USPS domestic mail, pay for insurance and delivery confirmation. If you’re doing the same with a package going internationally, send by EMS [even though it’s more expensive than air letter-post] with insurance and delivery confirmation as well.
As a rule of thumb, I usually insure the package for 15 to 20% more than what the person paid for it. While insurance and delivery confirmation do not solve all problems, they do obviate anxiety about the package between its departure and arrival.
I have a Destiny, doncha know? With a capital D. Really! I’ve got a
prophecy and superpowers and everything.
Yeah, I know, you wouldn’t think it to look at me. I mean, my dad was a
pencil pusher in the bookkeeping division of Somerville Pickle, and my mum
was a writer of fairy tales…when she wasn’t convalescing.
Despite my unassuming parents, I come from a long line of…well, let’s just
call ’em weird women: the Ashbys. It started way back in the 16th century
in England with Alys Asheby, who bewitched a lord’s son to fall in love
with her, then lived to almost 200. She passed her strange gifts down to
her daughter, whose speaking with ghosts saved her family from a flood.
The legacy moved through the generations, endowing each Ashby woman with
some sense of the supernatural. Sometimes it was a magical skill, like
Dame Alys’. Sometimes it manifested itself as an eldritch sort of art,
like my mom’s revisions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. I always lay awake after
her bedtime stories, waiting, electrified, for a transformation as if
waiting for a storm.
The Ashbys were always supernatural, always women. Ashbys just didn’t have
sons…unless you count my great-aunt’s miscarriages or that two-headed
thing that my grandmother tossed out in the midden three years before
giving birth to my mom.
There were no Ashby boys…until I was born.
When my mom finally got pregnant, she and my dad consulted my great-aunt.
You see – my mom had a delicate constitution – I think they call it brain
palsy, cerebral palsy, nowadays – and she wanted to make sure that her
childbed would be healthy. So she asked my great-aunt – whose Ashby legacy
was second sight – to predict my future.
“Don’t worry, Leonora,” she said to my mom. “Your lying in will be quick
and painless. Your child will be healthy, longer-lived even than Dame
Alys, and it shall have power over love and death.”
Feeling reassured, my mother then went on a search for a suitable name for
her daughter. Of course, she turned to the Metamorphoses.
There she found the story of Philomel. In brief, Philomel’s brother-in-law
Tereus rapes her, then cuts out her tongue so she can’t tell. But she does
tell, by weaving the story in a tapestry. When her sister, Tereus’ wife,
finds out, vengeance, murder, child-eating and transformation ensue – all
par for the course in Greek mythology.
Naturally, my mom thought that Philomel was a perfectly appropriate name
for her child. I was to be Philomel Ashby Cox, after a woman with no voice
and excruciating powers of shapeshifting.
If she had wanted something truly suitable, she would have chosen a name
like Iphis, who was all confused because she felt like one gender
inwardly, but looked like another outwardly…or Protea, Erisichthon’s
daughter, who assumed the shape of a man.
Anyway, I was born, premature and painless, just as my great-aunt said,
and everything was great, except that my parents had no idea what to call
me. For three days, I actually went by Philomel until my dad took pity on
me and stuck his name – William – before the rest of mine.
I was supposed to be a superhero.
I was supposed to be an artist.
I was supposed to be my mother’s daughter.
Instead I’m an amoral vampire fag boy with 110 years of writer’s block.
I mean, how can I have a Destiny? I don’t even have a job, unless you
count lesbovamps.com, the porn site I run.
My dolls are my actors. They play out scenes from my imagination for the film of my camera.
My dolls are my catalysts for relaxation. When I play with them, I absorb myself with their interactions, their outfits, their personalities and their setting. I think less about the problems of my life I can’t control and more about my dolls, which I can control.
My dolls are my attempt to understand the world. They represent people, which I then put through different configurations. With my plastic cast of characters, I create 1:6 replicas of social situations to inform real life.
My dolls are my raw material. They have paintable faces, removable hair, bodies that can be hacked up and glued back together. To me, “doll” is a material like canvas, paint, stone or words, waiting to be manipulated.
My dolls are my photographic subjects. Because they never change shape or expression, they challenge me to achieve my photographic goals through presence/absence of light, width/narrowness of shot, angularity/straightness of aim and focus/lack of focus in lens. My dolls’ stillness makes my photos’ settings more active and expressive.
My dolls are my tools to find beauty in the world. The placement of a still figure in an active world highlights both the stillness of the figure and the activity of the world. The world plays off the dolls; I can see the world more clearly when comparing it to my dolls, and I can appreciate the change and evanescence of things more poignantly by putting dolls in my line of perception.
My dolls are my thoughts made manifest. They are all characters who used to live intangibly inside my head. When I make a doll of a character, though, the character and the doll unite, so the character takes on a physical form. As a doll, the character is real in a way that my thoughts are not.
My dolls are me. As works of art, they all express some aspect of me. As characters, they are all semi-autobiographical because I write about what I know best, which is me.
My dolls are time capsules. Either in their physical construction or in the ways they act, they remind me of how I used to do things. They are my history in holdable form.
My dolls are works in progress. I change their poses, clothes, hair, body parts and actions over time. They exist continuously, immediately, never finished. Even if I don’t modify their forms, I may change the way that I think about their characters, so they are as much of the present as they are of the past.
My dolls are my role models. I make them do things I’d like to do, but am afraid to do. I make them say and wear what I’d like to, but haven’t yet. I make them act the way that I will some day act when I get up the courage.
My dolls are my characters. Many of my dolls are not dolls OF my characters. They are the characters themselves, which is not to say that they are beings that know that they are dolls. It is rather to say that my dolls are my characters because they unite the imaginary aspect of the characters [what I’ve thought up in my head] with the solid reality that a well-rounded character has. The doll form is like a representation for my characters’ well-roundedness and convincing status.
My dolls are a means of self-examination. I separate aspects of myself from me and encapsulate them in plastic form, then have them play and fight. That way, I can stand back a bit to get a better perspective on how the multitude of people inside me play and fight.
My dolls are expressions of love. I make them with artistic care and pride, a form of love. I also make likeness dolls out of sheer love for the act of creation as well as affection for whoever’s likeness I’m doing. I give my dolls to people as a sign of friendship because I think that doing so might make them happy.
My dolls are my friends. They are well-rounded characters, and they are embodied, albeit in small plastic form, so they are real. Being real, they of course have their own subjectivities and voices. They talk to me. I talk back. A lot of it is me attempting to boss them around or vice versa. We know that the balance of control shifts a lot, so it’s mostly jocular.
My dolls are my equals, not all of them, but the strongest ones, the realest ones. I, as the ego from which I frequently experience the universe, am a created fiction, a character in my own drama. My favorite dolls are created fictions too, just like me. I realize it; they realize it; that’s why we can talk to each other as friends, without abasement or delusions of grandeur.
My dolls are my desires. They may be the kind of friends to each other that I want to be to other people. They have the kind of sex I might want to have. They act out my fantasies.
My dolls are my memorials. Some of them are based on my friends, my family members, people that I once knew but who now have left my life through death or distance of time. These dolls remind me of what I once loved. They are memories and tributes.
My dolls are my toys!
Good news: Submit has a buyer!
Bad news: Submit has a buyer.
I am sad because I will miss her because she is an enjoyable character. Her swappable faceplates make her the most expressive doll that I own. Her small size and large, stubborn personality also make for entertaining photostories… However, if, after my expenses are paid off, I still want a doll of her, I can easily get one in the same manner that I sold off, then replaced, Sardonix 1.0. Her replaceability is also a factor in her sale.
I can already tell that Submit thinks of her sale less as a sad departure and more as an exciting new adventure.
I’m gonna compare these to measurements for Jareth and see what clothes Will might fit into. The stupendousness is fascinating, huh?
1. Neck: 11 cm
Neck Front: 4.8 cm
Neck Back 3.6 cm
*I know it doesn’t add up, but it works*
2. Shoulder Width: 16.5 cm
3. Chest: 33 cm
Seam to Seam
Front armholes 13.1 cm
Back armholes: 14.3 cm
11. Natural waist: 24cm
12. Biceps: 9.2 cm (skinny boy!)
13. Wrist: 7cm
14. Palm: 10.5 cm
15 Hip: 29 cm
16. Thigh: 16.3 cm
17. Leg Width: 4.8 cm
18. Knee: 11.5 cm
20. Center Front to Waist: 14.6 cm
25. Side front to Waist: 17.8 cm
27. Shoulder point to Center waist, Front: 17 cm
28. Center Back (nape to waist): 17 cm
29. Side Back: 17.4 cm
30. Shoulder point to Center Waist, Back: 16.8 cm
31. Armpit to Waist: 8.7 cm
32. Length (bent): 27 cm * I like them on the long side*
33. Shoulder to Elbow: 13.5 cm
34. Sleeve cap: 4 cm
35. Waist to Hip: 8 cm
36. Waist to knee: 28.5 cm
37. Waist to Floor: 50.8 cm
38. Inseam: 38.6 cm
39. Crotch Depth: 11cm
Based on these measurements and the eyeballing of my BJD wardrobe, I expect Will to fit into the following:
Tops: stretchy lace leotard, the black sweater with red trim, the men’s white dress shirt with sleeves up, the lace shirt, blank tank, Hell Queen bodice [with some wedging]
Bottoms: Hell Queen velvet bloomers [hah!], Kala skirt, red leggings [legs too short], grey leggings [legs too short]
Shoes: Jareth’s shitkickers, Frank’s faaaaahbulous pink glitter-shitting boots
It’s now May. This month, three years ago, I had 1 BJD, a Custom House Ai Gene named Zephque d’Amaranth. He accompanied me and some others on what was then a traditional yearly spring sojourn to Provincetown, Massachusetts, gayest city east of San Francisco.
As you can tell from the pictures below, my tastes in BJDs hasn’t changed at all. Back then, they were self-important, nerdy, little supernatural weirdos with a propensity to loud colors and clashing patterns, and the same holds true today. It’s just that I photograph them in a slightly more flattering manner.
For a documentary of this momentous May, 2004, event, see below. [For pictures from Frank’s trip to the same town last July, go here.]
I’ve seen Just The Right Shoe shoe sculptures in tchotchke shops. The designs have attracted me, but the fact that there is only ONE shoe has annoyed me. However, now that I see that they are 4 inches long, I think that there might be an actual use for these frustrating collectibles. You see…4 inches = 10.16 cm, which is about 2 cm longer than Sabik’s feets [8.3 cm] and generally about 1:3. Perhaps it is possible to modify some of these JTRSs into fabulous footwear for my dolls…namely WIll, for whom I cannot find a decent pair of atrocious heels to save my life… JTRSs sold here.
Fete miniature shoes are sold through Amazon.
And these…oh, these…are the ultimate in coolness: Disco Diva JTRSs. Cheap here.