In which the dryer eats Will’s pants.
Comments: Just an excuse to show off my new laundry set, courtesy of Andrea.
In which the dryer eats Will’s pants.
Comments: Just an excuse to show off my new laundry set, courtesy of Andrea.
In which Anneka and Will meet for the first time in a long while!
Adult Swim characters have to go through a maze, but they have to put up with the prancing fop of a Maze Master and his therianthropic boytoys. This parody of Labyrinth is hilarious and kind of stupid and well-done and made with love, baby, love!
"Chains, these puppets are horrible stereotypes!"
"You lied! You never texted me!"
"How many babies are there in this song?!!!"
Thanks to Val for showing this to me.
She looks like she’s star-gazing from my desk, swinging her legs. 😀 Continue reading Jennifer wishing on a star
Hey look — a book! April Hamilton offers on-screen views of The IndieAuthor Guide for free.
In which eggs meet a fiery doom.
Comments: Just an excuse to use my new Rement acquisitions, eggs from Eggs Etc. and a microwave from the earlier set of household appliances.
Andrea sold me a 1:6 laundry room [photo by Andrea] with washer, dryer, ironing board, iron, cabinets, detergent, soap, clothing racks, etc. Either someone’s getting a really spiffy basement set, or this is gonna be a laundry facility. Looks like the detergent, soap, etc. could be displayed as in a store. Continue reading Laundry from Andrea
<victorydance> I just figured out how to make a PivotTable draw data from an ever-increasing range!!!!!!!!!! </victorydance> Gimme a trophy or three!
I’m King of the World!
Courtesy of Andrea comes a link to Wildflower Dolls, an Etsy shop for limited edition 1:6 doll heads sculpted out of whiteware, made for Barbie or Fashion Royalty bodies. The sculptor has a rough, lively quality that really comes through in the sculpts. I like the fact that the sculpts seem a little hurried and impressionistic. Fawn is my favorite, with an expression of delicate surprise. I also love the sparkling mischief in Kate’s eyes. I see a Frank doll in Kate.
In which Materyllis kicks Will out of her house.
Though there is not a lot of information about paracosms and imaginary friends out there, I have found a few books, which I cherish deeply. Another source of information about paracosms and imaginary friends is scholarly journals. I have found some scholarly articles, mostly in psychological journals, to summarize and share with you. This bibliography is a work in progress, added to as I find more material.
Hoff, Eva V. 2004. "A friend living inside of me: The forms and functions of imaginary companions." Imagination, Cognition and Personality 24(2):151-189. 26 children and their imaginary companions were studied in detail. Companions were mostly children of the same age, though there were some fantasy creatures. Inspirations were varied, though mostly from friends and siblings. Imaginary friends served several purposes for their creators: inner mentors, sources of comfort, self-regulation devices and life enrichment.
Kastenbaum, R; Fox, L. 2007. "Do imaginary companions die? An exploratory study." Omega (Westport) 56(2):123-152. Adults were interviewed about the "end" of their imaginary characters’ lives. While most reported that their imaginary characters just faded away or disappeared, some reported that their imaginary characters died. The authors suggest that, at the age when kids create imaginary characters, they are also trying to figure out the status of "alive" and "dead."
Mills, Antonia. 2003. "Are children with imaginary playmates and children said to remember previous lives cross-culturally comparable categories?" Transcultural Psychiatry 40(1):62-90. 15 U.S. children with imaginary companions are compared to 15 children from India who say they remember their past lives to see whether the phenomena are cross-culturally comparable. In conclusion, yes, they seem to be similar phenomena springing from the same source.
Sawa, T; et al. 2004. "Role of imaginary companions in promoting the psychotherapeutic process." Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 58(2):145-151. While usually studied as a phenomenon of childhood, imaginary companions may also manifest when a person has a psychiatric disorder. The authors point out that indulging and engaging the imaginary companion in the therapeutic process may help the therapist reach an otherwise recalcitrant patient.
Seiffge-Krenke, Inge. 1997. "Imaginary companions in adolescence: sign of a deficient or positive development?" Journal of Adolescence 20(2):137-154. 241 teens between 12 and 17 who had imaginary companions were surveyed about the traits and relationships of their imaginary friends. Three hypotheses were tested: 1) that only kids with social failings create imaginary friends; 2) that gifted, really creative kids create imaginary friends; and 3) that narcissistic kids create imaginary friends to feed their need for ego boosting. In conclusion, the creators of imaginary friends were socially and creatively competent teens.
I found that the Wikipedia article about imaginary friends contains a bibliography of scholarly articles for further reading!!
From melopoeia. When we get older, this article by Tim Krieder, "The Referendum," says, we see that our string of choices in our life has inevitably foreclosed upon greater and greater numbers of options for us. We then look around us at our friends and acquaintances. We see in them representations of the alternative choices we could have made. We contemplate their jobs, their hobbies and their families. We wonder if we made the rightest and happiest choices for our own. Our own finitetude descends upon us like a wall, and we experience "the naked 3:00 AM terror of regret." [That time is, in fact, the dark night of the soul.]
What does it say about me that I’m not in "midlife" yet, but I still experience this sidelong wistfulness all the time?
Inevitably, my research into paracosms and imaginary friends leads me in circles around Carl Gustav Jung, post-Freudian Swiss analyst who invented archetypes, introverts and extroverts during the beginning of the 20th century.
I keep coming back to Jung because his major contribution to the theory of psychoanalysis was to envision the psyche as home to many parts, In Jungian psychology, these parts can be personified (such as the Anima, Animus and the Shadow) and addressed in the way that people talk to imaginary characters.
Jung’s technique of talking to the aspects of oneself was known as active imagination. Please note that the Wikipedia entry suggests that active imagination means watching and recording one’s fantasy activity; however, Jung was very enthusiastic about encouraging, interrogating and otherwise assertively engaging with images and characters in one’s head.
Jung encouraged his patients to engage in active imagination techniques. He also used these techniques on his own. For sixteen years, he plumbed the depths of his own mind, verging dangerously close to obsession and madness. In a recent New York Times article, "Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious," Sara Corbett describes this formative period:
…[T]he [resulting Red Book] was a kind of phantasmagoric morality play, driven by Jung’s own wish not just to chart a course out of the mangrove swamp of his inner world but also to take some of its riches with him. …
The book tells the story of Jung trying to face down his own demons as they emerged from the shadows. The results are humiliating, sometimes unsavory. In it, Jung travels the land of the dead, falls in love with a woman he later realizes is his sister, gets squeezed by a giant serpent and, in one terrifying moment, eats the liver of a little child. (“I swallow with desperate efforts — it is impossible — once again and once again — I almost faint — it is done.”) At one point, even the devil criticizes Jung as hateful.
Clearly Jung was entertaining a very rich paracosm. But were his explorations deep and fruitful or excessive and mentally ill? Jungian adherents and author Corbett have no answers, and the case of Jung and his paracosm becomes especially confusing because he turned his paracosm into the crucible of his life’s work. Unlike Kirk Allen [previously discussed in a review of a Harper’s 1954 article, "The Jet Propelled Couch"], Jung did not find his paracosm to be an intrusion into and distraction from his mundane job. In fact, his paracosm and his job seem to have become inseparable, as he was practicing in his paracosm techniques that he would later publish and lecture about.
Corbett’s article does not deal with such fascinating topics, however; she is more concerned with the quest for Jung’s paracosmic records, or the Red Book, itself. As a sensitive, deeply personal document of a famous psychoanalyst, Jung’s diary of his travels in his mind has been closely guarded by his heirs and reverently visited only by a few adherents. It is soon to be published, though, with reproductions of its painstakingly done illustrations, as well as thousands of footnotes to explain its wide-ranging mythological, scholarly and alchemical allusions.
Again, Corbett’s article seems to ignore the significance of the impending debut of the Red Book. It’s a primary source about a paracosm, and primary sources about people’s imaginary worlds are pretty hard to come by. I don’t know why. It’s as if scholars are interested in paracosms only for what they tell us about their creators’ "serious," non-paracosmic works, not about the significance of paracosmic phenomena per se. But, as Corbett’s article implicitly suggests, paracosmic works such as Jung’s Red Book are indeed serious works. In these playgrounds of the mind, themes and characters develop in raw form the interests of many a creator, who then presents more refined versions of the paracosm in his or her artistry.
Why no, I’m not motivated to work today. Why askest thou? =P
"The Jet Propelled Couch," an article [part 1, part 2] from a 1954 issue of Harper’s, describes an analyst’s encounter with a university professor and scientist who lives a dual life. In his mundane existence, he works at the university and researches, but, in his fantasy life, his soul travels to other galaxies, where he is the ruler of a planet, charismatic, powerful, womanizing and benevolent. His trips to his kingdom planet were becoming more frequent, interfering with his job; hence the analyst was called in.
"The Jet Propelled Couch" explores how "Kirk Allen," the subject, nurtured his fantasy world as he grew up as one of the only white children in an isolated settlement in pre-statehood Hawaii. When he chanced upon a series of science-fiction books featuring a protagonist also named Kirk Allen, this coincidence propelled his fantasy world into detailed development. Kirk began to "fill in the gaps" and "make corrections to" the adventures in the Kirk Allen series, as well as drawing maps, charts and pictures of people and places related to his sci-fi activities.
The Kirk Allen paracosm sustained Kirk for many years and gave him much pleasure, and the analyst had to figure out how to "wean him from his madness." Eventually the analyst decided to partly indulge Kirk’s paracosm, getting into the spirit of his world, so to speak, taking it on its own terms. By agreeing with the reality of the Kirk Allen paracosm, the analyst showed Kirk what it was like to be a person who believed in his realm. Seeing a version of himself [i.e., a paracosm believer] in the analyst, Kirk slowly began to realize the fallacious assumptions upon which the reality of his paracosm was based. Thanks to the analyst’s participation, Kirk realized that his paracosm was indeed fantastical, and he apparently resolved his conflicts between his mundane life and his fantasy life.
"The Jet Propelled Couch" is both fascinating and frustrating. It’s fascinating in that it gives a view, albeit heavily psychoanalytic, of how a person’s life circumstances may promote the development of a paracosm. At the same time, it’s frustrating because the fact that the analyst thinks that Kirk Allen is "mad" makes the whole business of paracosms seem more insane, threatening and maladaptive than they really are. I know from my researches and personal experience that paracosms can be an enjoyable, helpful, glorious part of the imaginal development of childhood and adulthood, even though people who are foreign to the idea tend to think it’s a little mad.
In my estimation, Kirk Allen was not mad and did not have a psychosis; I would say more precisely that he had an elaborate, engaging paracosm, the reality of which was interfering with the mundane reality of his life. The only problem with his paracosm was not that it was so well-developed and detailed, but that it was causing trouble with his job. In this case, madness lies not in the contents or existence of the paracosm per se, but more in its effects.
This meme ganked from arahitogami.
1. The illnesses I live with are:
Anxiety disorder, depressive episodes.
Continue reading Where’d my invisible illness go?
Wow, a whole antho about “fantastical tales of gender-bending, cross-dressing and transformation!” It’s an anthology made for MW! I even have two stories that I can submit: The Storyteller and The Strange Imagination. Of course, I won’t get published in this book, but how can I pass up the chance???
In which Anneka confronts Michaela with the truth about Thomas.
Among the many Rements Andrea sent me, there was an old [2004?] set from the theme of animals having a tea time. I’m not one for animals acting like humans, but this little, fuzzy, pearl-wearing swine, lightly blushed on its cheeks and holding its strawberry cream cake delicately in its forefoot, endears me to it. I could just be responding to the strawberry cream cake, for which I have a weakness, however. Continue reading Pig uses fork.
I’m linking to this article on Teatime Brutality about the lack of a Dr. Who canon because I find its observations on the relative primacy of fictionalities very interesting. It’s the glorious refusal to define a canonicity that allows fan fiction and reinterpretation to flourish. No, I don’t have anything else intelligent to say on the subject right now.
I baked a sweet potato this evening! I cut it into quarters and nuked it for 6 minutes. Then I put some margarine equivalent and sea salt on it, and it tasted good. I am pleased at my success. Continue reading Yummy sweet potato
All sorts of good stuff from my collection, including steak, dumplings, soup, lobster, tropical drinks, cotton candy, blueberry muffins, cake mix, pasta, pretzels, cake, ice trays, 1:6 mystery meat in foil…. Some Rements still sealed! If you want it, please comment or PM me. Continue reading 1:6 food for sale, Rement and Iwako [erasers], $12 shipped
All my 1:6ers, LHF and non-, as of today. Continue reading All my dolls, 9/5/09
Nicely enough, Andrea shipped her with a hoard of Rement so she wouldn’t get hungry and also some clothes so she could dress herself in clashing LHF style.
Continue reading N’Yenya is here!
Rement is coming out with a Candy Shop in September. Normally I become bored with Rement’s endless iterations of cakes, chocolates and other sweets, but these candies seem novel. I especially like the "Animal Pops," lollipops in the shape of animal heads. LHF can make room for animal-headed lollipops, right? Continue reading Sweet! Rement’s doing a Candy Shop!
Stuck at age 15 since 1973, Sydneyite Nina Harrison has no special powers as a vampire. In fact, she and her fellow support group members are weak, sickly individuals with extreme photosensitivity and an unfortunate propensity to drop dead from sunrise to sunset. They do not seduce, swoop or loom; instead they dither and bicker among themselves, activities that come to an end only when one of them is murdered. Only then do our crochety invalids come alive as they try to solve a murder mystery without involving themselves in violence or blood. Awkwardness results as the characters flail about, much in the way that real people might if they realized they were in a storybook whodunit. While the vampiric whininess gets tedious, Catherine Jinks compensates with non-stop action and plenty of twists and turns, all the while remaining true to her vision of vampirism as a combination of addiction and disability. Though Jinks does not have a sharp enough flair in her writing to pull off a biting satire [instead, it nips occasionally], her relentlessly realistic depiction of average people trying to be superheroic is consistently appealing.
Monsieur Z Fly Girl starts off with heavily made-up and spaced-out eyes, like this. Photo by cloudz. Having gotten one in a trade, Andrea repainted hers with a clean, crisp style that makes her look like a 1950s piece of clip art in the best way possible. Andrea calls her Wella, but her real name is N’Yenya Clippee
I have purchased a lot of Rement from Andrea [from one hoarder to another], 15 complete sets for $35, plus miscellaneous odds and ends [including Iwako utensils]. There’s a lot of stuff I can’t identify, but this is what I can pick out:
So someone at work today was requesting information from participants for a staff meeting, and she framed her request like this: "Here is my ask: [insert request here]." She used "ask" as a noun to mean "the thing that I am asking you for." Why does this piece of jargon even exist when "request" fits the bill as another noun created from a verb? What does "ask" accomplish that "request" can’t? Nothing!
Here’s my REQUEST: Don’t use "ask" as a noun.