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Michaela gets a better body!

Michaela gets a better body! published on No Comments on Michaela gets a better body!

Michaela started off in an earlier incarnation as a CG head on a CG 1.0 body, but, when I redid her, I put her CG head on an articulated Barbie body with Obitsu hands, then painted the arms and neck to match her head’s color. [Linked entry shows her before skintone matching.]

Michaela’s Barbie body, while being appropriately small and slight for a girl that was killed and vamped at 13, does not pose very well. But Michaela is a key player in the next few seasons [in the Anneka and Will vs. Thomas plotline], so she needs to pose well! That’s why she’s getting a Volks Dollfie Plus body. Though I have eschewed these bodies in the past because of their fragile floppiness, I choose one now because, unlike an Obitsu, the neck width of a Volks will make Michaela’s head look in proportion. Hooray!

Identifying as disabled

Identifying as disabled published on 2 Comments on Identifying as disabled

In light of my recent completion of the quiz about my invisible illness, this entry on FWD [Feminists With Disabilities] has me thinking. If I can come out publically as having a mental illness, can I go further with a political/social self-definiton of "disabled?" I commented:

Nellie Jean said, I’m also “afraid” of coming out PWD because I never thought I had it “bad enough.”

I can understand that sentiment thoroughly. I have a sister with cerebral palsy, so the manifestations of her disability have strongly affected what I think of as “disabled.” I am very much loath to identify as disabled with my anxiety disorder and occasional depressive episodes because they don’t seem “bad enough.” The medical model is clearly talking here. I have more thinking to do.

Thank you for the post, Abby.

Tarot of the Sweet Twilight: Tarot for the night circus

Tarot of the Sweet Twilight: Tarot for the night circus published on 1 Comment on Tarot of the Sweet Twilight: Tarot for the night circus

While wandering around, looking for another deck that appeals to me as much as the luxurious, out-of-print Bohemian Gothic Tarot, I found the slightly more cheerful, equally intriguing and phantasmagorical Tarot of the Sweet Twilight. Following the general Rider-Waite format of traditional U.S. decks, the Sweet Twilight differs from other, more staid decks with its loopy, curly, slightly cartoony illustrations. Bright, soft colors, large-eyed figures and vibrant depths all add up to a dreamy, melancholy set of pictures. It reminds me of a nighttime circus, compelling and yet slightly creepy. Being in print, the Sweet Twilight deck is much more affordable than the Bohemian Gothic [sob!].

Bohemian Gothic Tarot: beautiful and out-of-print deck

Bohemian Gothic Tarot: beautiful and out-of-print deck published on 1 Comment on Bohemian Gothic Tarot: beautiful and out-of-print deck

So I was browsing around Aeclectic Tarot, idly looking through decks by theme, and of course I checked out the Vampire grouping. Among these I found not strictly a vampiric deck, but a dark and moody one in general, the Bohemian Gothic from Magic Realist Press. The deep, cool blues and jewel-like brights, the profusion of skulls and the disturbingly staring eyes, all in the style of Victorian lithographs, are heavily influenced by Gothic and Romantic tropes. Admire many of the cards at the deck’s own Web site. Then weep because it’s out of print and commanding nearly $400.00 on Dammit…and I really liked that deck!

“Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men.”

“Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men.” published on 6 Comments on “Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men.”

I didn’t say it. Stephen Marche says it in Esquire. He thinks that the recent spate of popular vampires represents not, oh, say, dangerous sensuality or suave seductiveness or something, but the desire of straight women to get into bed with gay men. He provides no actual evidence for his claim, other than noting that True Blood’s anti-vamp crowd ["God hates fangs!"] sounds a lot like the anti-gay crowd. In fact, not till the end of his blithering ramble does Marche reveal what may be his thesis:

And so vampires have appeared to help America process its newfound acceptance of what so many once thought strange or abnormal. Adam and Steve who live on your corner with their adorable little son and run a bakery? The transgendered man who gave birth to a healthy baby? The teenage girl who wishes that all boys could be vampires? All part of the luscious and terrifying magic of today’s sexual revolution.

The Vampire Tarot by Robert Place [chomp!]

The Vampire Tarot by Robert Place [chomp!] published on No Comments on The Vampire Tarot by Robert Place [chomp!]

Sadly, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tarot is never to be, but check out the crisp, clean darkness of the recently issued Vampire Tarot by Robert Place. Heavily inflected by the novel Dracula and other literary vampires of the 1800s, the Vampire Tarot has novel Major Arcana [such as Jonathan the Fool {hah!}, Mina, the Count, the Madman {Renfield}, etc.] and Minor Arcana. Its four suits are Garlic Flowers, Stakes, Swords and Holy Waters.

I am gratified to note that several of the cards refer covertly to the polymorphous perversity of literary vampires, with the Queen of Holy Water being the famous lesbian vampire Carmilla and one of the Major Arcana being the hungry, sadistic, omnisexual Brides [of Dracula]. Poe and his reanimated heroine Ligeia also appear, so the deck may more properly shade into Gothic and supernatural, rather than just the vampiric. It is pretty damn awesome, even though there is no Baudelaire card.

The things that piss you off in other people are your own faults.

The things that piss you off in other people are your own faults. published on No Comments on The things that piss you off in other people are your own faults.

What if I’m interested in getting to know my subpersonalities, but I’m not sure what they are? [I personally don’t have the problem of needing to identify mine; we are pretty well identified!]

This exercise on Integral Options Cafe about defining the disowned self, or a set of disowned subpersonalities, gets me thinking. In a nutshell, the exercise suggests picking an intimate relationship that you have with a friend, family member, lover, etc. Then list all the ways in which that person pisses you off. In what ways does the person seem contemptible, inferior, weak, whiny, etc.? What don’t you like about this person?

Also, at the same time, collect a list of traits that are the opposite of what piss you off about this person. What’s so good about you? What are your strengths? What are the parts of you that give you satisfaction?

The traits that you identify with and that make you happy correspond to the traits of a primary self, someone that you identify with very closely, maybe even your ego or everyday persona. The traits that piss you off about the other person are still your very own traits, but put in the form of a disowned self, someone that you do not identify with and try to shove away.

The conclusion here is to run toward, not away from, the piss-off traits. The piss-off traits represent the parts of you that you dislike so much that you project them onto other people, claiming that someone else over there is a perfectionist, critical, uptight, unemotional, flat and pedantic problem, not you! The piss-off traits are all you, and, the more you shove them away onto other people, the more they will come back and bite you in the ass. [Suppression never works.]

Self-knowledge lies in the places you least suspect it: the places inside you where you don’t want to go. Potential self-knowledge lies, waiting, inside your faults. If you turn yourself to face you, but you’ve never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker because you’re much too fast to take that test [ch-ch-ch-changes], you need to slow down and scrutinize what you hate in other people.

What you hate in others is what you reject in yourself. What you reject in yourself is mostly just parts of yourself marked so strongly by dislike that they seem negative, but they’re not inherently bad. You in your hate just think they’re bad. They’re really not. They’re really value-neutral, and they can be employed beneficially if you look past the coating of hatred and see them for the raw materials they are.

This message has been brought to you by the one who knows these things. Thank you.

Dialogic self, personifications, more John Rowan

Dialogic self, personifications, more John Rowan published on 3 Comments on Dialogic self, personifications, more John Rowan

Apparently there’s a relatively recent movement championing the dialogic self, viz., the idea that we are groups of voices with different perspectives and positions.

Also, apparently, John Rowan, author of the rather dry Subpersonalities, is coming out with a new book next month called Personification: Using the Dialogical Self in Therapy and Counseling. I’m sure it discusses in a structured way what I learned the hard and lonely way to do all by myself.

What I want to know is where all this theory and information was when I was convinced I was going insane??

Internal Family Systems overview

Internal Family Systems overview published on 1 Comment on Internal Family Systems overview

Internal Family Systems [TM] is a mode of therapy that identifies various subpersonalities inside us and, as part of the therapeutic relationship with our therapists, identifies the roles and functions of the subpersonalities. The description below of Internal Family Systems comes from my interpretation of a summary of the practice here.

IFS believes in three types of subpersonalities — managers, exiles and firefighters — and a Self. A Self is defined as the authentic core of a person, an integrated system of consciousness and traits. Removed somewhat from the turmoil of managers, exiles and firefighters, it is competent and wise, full of compassion for the more fragmented subpersonalities. The Self is not a subpersonality.

As for subpersonalities, one group of them is the managers. As rule makers, managers demarcate the boundaries between the Self and the firefighters and the exiles. Managers are like border guards that want to keep everyone in their own little worlds. Managers are very invested in the smooth function of the whole person, so they may emphasize order, organization, rationality and rule-following. They remind me of the Freudian superego.

Another group of subpersonalities is exiles. Exiles are little, lost, lonely parts of ourselves, often remnants from childhood that we have hidden away. We can think of them as unhappy pieces of ourselves that we have shoved in a closet. Exiles can be strong and insistent in their demands because they want nothing more than to have attention paid to them.

Causing interference between exiles and everything else are the firefighters. When the exiles start to come out of the closet, the firefighters step in. The firefighters may be characterized as panicky, dancing distractions, personalities that we take on when things, such as sensations from our exiles, seem too overwhelming. Maladaptive coping strategies such as emotional eating, watching TV till one is in a stupor or getting smash-assed drunk commonly identify firefighters.

With all the managers, exiles and firefighters running around, it’s a very busy place inside us! According to IFS, we are often confused, our behavior directed by the immediate demands of an exile or by the stringent control of a manager or by the escapist fantasies of a firefighter…instead of by the calm, wise compassion of the Self.

IFS uses the idea of subpersonalities to help us identify our managers, exiles and firefighters, become conscious of how they act and why and talk to them so that we understand them. Once we understand the motivations of our subpersonalities, we can respond compassionately to them from our Selves. We may be able to change our subpersonalities’ behaviors so they aren’t so detrimental; we might even be able to integrate them into our Selves so that we can be more whole.


I have the following questions. 1) How do managers and firefighters differ? Both seem to be ways to manage the appearance of exiles. 2) If one is hung up on identifying with, say, the managers instead of one’s Self, how does one learn to get in touch with one’s Self? 3) In general, I understand the point of identifying and working with subpersonalities, but why is integration always heralded as the ultimate goal? 4) Oh yeah…and what does this mean for the world beyond the individual?

Discussion of and books about subpersonalities

Discussion of and books about subpersonalities published on 1 Comment on Discussion of and books about subpersonalities

Subpersonalities may be defined as little, semi-autonomous clusters of traits inside us with their own peculiar thoughts and worldviews that we as a whole employ in our daily lives. I personally think they overlap a lot with imaginary characters, which is why I just now typed "subpersonalities" into Google and came up with this blog entry from Integral Options Cafe, in which the author tries to define subpersonalities. The author also discusses some books and psychological theories that use the subpersonalities model. The author mentions the book Subpersonalities by John Rowan [which I have read and reviewed in my ongoing bibliography about paracosms and imaginary characters and such], as well as other sources that I have not looked into and need to.

Hooray, more places to look for interpretations of paracosms and imaginary characters!

Later I should write something about Internal Family Systems [TM].

I wanna live in Transylvania.

I wanna live in Transylvania. published on 1 Comment on I wanna live in Transylvania.

…Just because of its name. Its name comes from Latin "trans-," meaning "through," and "silva," meaning "woods." I just imagine that it’s a secretive land surrounded by a deep dark dense forest. By name alone, it’s worthy of fairy tales [and vampires].

I would also like to live in Elizabethtown or Allentown, but the reasons for that are humorous, not etymological.

La petite geante: The little giant girl and her diver uncle — big moving dolls!

La petite geante: The little giant girl and her diver uncle — big moving dolls! published on 3 Comments on La petite geante: The little giant girl and her diver uncle — big moving dolls!

From "Earlier this week, 1.5 million people filled the streets of Berlin, Germany to watch a several-day performance by France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company titled "The Berlin Reunion". Part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Reunion show featured two massive marionettes, the Big Giant, a deep-sea diver, and his niece, the Little Giantess. The storyline of the performance has the two separated by a wall, thrown up by "land and sea monsters". The Big Giant has just returned from a long and difficult – but successful – expedition to destroy the wall, and now the two are walking the streets of Berlin, seeking each other after many years apart.."

My favorite photo from this set is the one of la petite geante sleeping in her uncle’s lap. They look so peaceful and loving!

La petite geante goes pee-pee in the street, part of the same performance:

To see la petite geante in an earlier performance, go here. Watch her lick a lollipop! She has an articulated tongue! Also marvel at her body language; she looks on tenderly as the little girls are swinging on her arms. I think that one of the best things about these dolls is that they show body language, blinking, swinging their arms and breathing, while the operators are putting them into position.

Green Kellys and [relatively] cheap articulated Barbies

Green Kellys and [relatively] cheap articulated Barbies published on 1 Comment on Green Kellys and [relatively] cheap articulated Barbies

Target is carrying an exclusive series of Kelly dolls, Merry Monsters, including an all-green one, who happens to have the best outfit, as Frankenstein’s monster. Also on the shelves are Barbie Fashionistas, which are your standard articulated Barbies with an under-bust and wrist joints. Unfortunately, 4 of the 5 Fashionistas are white, with no good representation of brown, black, green or any other color. MSRP for the Fashionistas is <$20.00. I need to get me to a Target to see if the Merry Monsters and Fashionistas are available!

“Lame” and “retarded”

“Lame” and “retarded” published on 3 Comments on “Lame” and “retarded”

I can’t stand when people use the word "lame" to mean "bad," "undesireable," "contemptible" or "worthless." Every time anyone uses "lame" in such a context, he or she is telling me that he or she equates a mobility impairment with a moral failing. More specifically, he or she implies that my sister is morally objectionable because she uses a wheelchair.

Same with the word "retarded" to mean "bad," "silly" or "stupid." Such a use equates brain damage with a moral failing and judges my sister as morally objectionable because she has brain damage.  And I also feel personally offended whenever "retarded" comes up because it disparages the non-neurotypical, and I don’t think I’m completely neurotypical. "Lame" and "retarded" are stupid, hurtful, prejudiced words. STOP USING THEM.

I can’t believe I’m even writing this entry.

Down for the Count costume: stupid, sexist and an insult to all decent vampires

Down for the Count costume: stupid, sexist and an insult to all decent vampires published on 4 Comments on Down for the Count costume: stupid, sexist and an insult to all decent vampires

If you see anyone wearing this costume, flee immediately in the opposite direction, or you may be inflicted with misogynist douchebaggery. The porno-worthy pun is bad enough, but the inflatable female as accessory just puts this costume into new realms of badness.

Jennifer has a new body!

Jennifer has a new body! published on 1 Comment on Jennifer has a new body!

A family photo occasions Jennifer’s new body, a DML Eve 1.5. The DML 1.5 body, much more robust and bigger than the original Momoko body, makes Jennifer’s head look slightly smaller, but I think this adds to the impression of her being a mature woman with kind of a baby face.

L to R: Jareth, Jennifer, Frank. Continue reading Jennifer has a new body!

Dolls with no point: Shaniqua, N’Yenya, Malgorzata, Dini and Dasu

Dolls with no point: Shaniqua, N’Yenya, Malgorzata, Dini and Dasu published on 2 Comments on Dolls with no point: Shaniqua, N’Yenya, Malgorzata, Dini and Dasu

These five dolls have names, but no designated characters. They obviously have personalities, but no assigned role in my fictional universe. Therefore they have the distinction of being dolls with no point besides looking nice.

Uh oh. Five pointless dolls is five too many! What shall I do?

Clearly they need to be incorporated into LHF!

Back row, L to R: Shaniqua, N’Yenya Clippee, Malgorzata Dawiskiba.
Front row, L to R: Dini, Dasu.

Shaniqua is a lovely Alvin Ailey Barbie. N’Yenya is a Fashion Royalty Monsieur Z doll repainted and with a new haircut by Andrea. Malgorzata is a Tao ninja head repainted by Andrea, haircut by me, on a ballerina Barbie body. Both Dini and Dasu are Jakks Pacific Juku Couture Girls.

As for personalities, in case you couldn’t tell, Shaniqua is shy, sweet-tempered and retiring, while N’Yenya is fun-loving and a bit sly. Malgorzata, called Gory, is blunt, straightforward and delighting in sick, twisted things. Dini is a rather skeptical smart-ass, while Dasu is intelligent, highly anxious and very picky about language. All of them dress as if they belong to the LHF universe, even if they don’t [yet].

Of the dolls shown, N’Yenya is my favorite and therefore most likely to appear in a main or side plot of LHF, if only because she, with her smirk and her stripey, starry tights, so clearly embodies the tacky snarkiness that many LHF characters possess.
Continue reading Dolls with no point: Shaniqua, N’Yenya, Malgorzata, Dini and Dasu

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