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Creative projects #2: welcoming the new denizens of 1 12th Street

Creative projects #2: welcoming the new denizens of 1 12th Street published on No Comments on Creative projects #2: welcoming the new denizens of 1 12th Street

Dorothy and Jeff joined Jujube today as the latest inhabitants of 1 12th Street! They neither starved nor froze on their flight from Great Britain to the US, as Sam, my trade partner, packed them with an unexpectedly large wardrobe of clothing and a significant amount of Rement. Though I did order some 1:12 scale clothing for them from Tabloach Productions, it has yet to arrive, so I found outfits for everyone from the goodies that Sam so generously included.


Dorothy and Jeff required some work before dressing, of course. First I wired Dorothy’s limbs with soft brass 22 gauge wire. While doing so, I got an intimate look at her default hair and faceup. Though her glued-on brown mohair ponytails have flattened with time and frizzed slightly, I decided that she was so danged cute that I didn’t want to redo either her hair or her faceup.

I then tried to wire Jeff similarly, but failed. The staff at Elfdoll originally strung her with overkill elastic in her arms that completely filled her tiny arm channels. I have no idea how they wedged such [comparatively] oversize elastic through such small holes. Anyway, while I succeeded with wiring her legs, I couldn’t do her arms.

I finally got rid of Jeff’s original arm elastic and restrung her upper limbs with 1mm beading elastic. Though I always operate under the assumption that working with tiny dolls differs radically from working with, say, 1:3 scale dolls, my experience tonight proved yet again that all of the techniques that I have learned with larger dolls may be applied to smaller dolls. Smaller dolls differ only in that their smaller size. In other words, stringing a 1:12 scale 14cm Elfdoll tiny is the same as stringing a 60cm B&G Dolls BJD like Araminthe. The only difference is that the difficulty increases as the size decreases. Anyway, the 1mm beading elastic provided enough spare space in Jeff’s arm channels for me to wire her arms — hooray!


After several hours of work, the roommates finally felt ready to pose for their first photo. While Jujube ultimately needs a 1:12 scale power wheelchair and Jeff needs hair, everyone is now in much better condition [and much better clothing] than they were before Dorothy and Jeff came in! Continue reading Creative projects #2: welcoming the new denizens of 1 12th Street

Recent creative projects #1: repurposing Halloween hair clips

Recent creative projects #1: repurposing Halloween hair clips published on No Comments on Recent creative projects #1: repurposing Halloween hair clips

I went to the hospital gift shop today and examined their Halloween display for seasonal goods that I could use for my dolls.Continue reading Recent creative projects #1: repurposing Halloween hair clips

Kanya Sesser skateboards and surfs on hands, models lingerie, kicks ass, prompts ableist “journalism”

Kanya Sesser skateboards and surfs on hands, models lingerie, kicks ass, prompts ableist “journalism” published on No Comments on Kanya Sesser skateboards and surfs on hands, models lingerie, kicks ass, prompts ableist “journalism”

23-year-old Californian skateboarder, surfer, Paralympian in training, motivational speaker, and lingerie model Kanya Sesser is unusual because she is a successful multisport athlete and model who was born without legs. She is definitely newsworthy because of her achievements in realms from with people with disabilities are all too frequently excluded. Her challenge to ableist beauty standards — “I’m different and that is sexy; I don’t need legs to feel sexy…These images show my strength” — also rates coverage, as the idea that people with visible physical disabilities are sexy, sexual, confident, and okay with their bodies is, unfortunately, a mind-blowing concept for most people. Yes! She is a cool person with notable achievements in fields uncommon for people with physical disabilities! The news media should definitely propagate her story!


That said, coverage needs to nix the “overcoming disability,”  “inspirational,”  and “something missing” angles, especially when Sesser obviously doesn’t promote them herself. The New York Daily News article to which I linked describes Sesser as “determined to overcome her disability” from her youth. Never mind the fact that Sesser says nothing about overcoming anything. She talks about “expressing [her]self in a different way than people usually see,” enjoying herself [“It’s something fun”], making money, and “showing people what beauty can look like.” These are not the words of a person “determined to overcome her disability.” These are the words of a person who has decided to campaign against ableist conceptions of beauty and ability by demonstrating that she, as a person with a disability, is attractive, expressive, playful, and sexy. Y’all need to stop putting words in Sesser’s mouth, clueless journos.


As for the “inspirational” and “something missing” argle bargle, it shows up in articles like this one from Bustle. The article introduces Sesser as someone with “the biggest reason to be bitter about” her body, but then goes on to say that “she’s got enough determination, drive, and talent to make up for” the fact that she does not have legs. A clip of an interview with Sesser is introduced as “inspiring advice.” Once again, the coverage is ignoring Sesser’s actual story. She says nothing about bitterness; that’s an editorial aside on the part of the writer, who assumes that a person with a physical disability would automatically feel bitter because of her bodily difference. Sesser also says nothing about compensating for her physical disability by working extra hard; again, this phrasing speaks to the ableist assumption that her disability creates an emptiness inherent in her life. Finally, Sesser never describes herself as inspirational. She’s not doing a Supercrip performance to elicit the ableist hordes’ condescending admiration. As she herself states [see first paragraph], she is living publicly as an athletically active, commercially successful person with a physical disability because she is explicitly challenging limited conceptions of what people with disabilities can do and be and how they can act. The ableist media needs to stop silencing her with its patronizing templates and let her speak for herself.

Today’s hair for Isabel

Today’s hair for Isabel published on No Comments on Today’s hair for Isabel

After recently determining that 3×5″ sample swatches of faux fur yield at least one, if not two, size 4 wigs apiece, I ordered some samples of versicolor faux fur. This is a multicolored pattern where, instead of appearing in discrete tufts or stripes, the various colors blend more organically in round-edged patches. The samples obtained from my preferred supplier, LuxuryFaux Fur on Etsy, have a surprisingly long pile, maybe about 4″, and fine, silky, high-quality fibers. I made Isabel wigs from two samples today: orange/pink/purple [top photo] and light pink/dark pink [bottom photo].Continue reading Today’s hair for Isabel

Jareth has been updated.

Jareth has been updated. published on No Comments on Jareth has been updated.

Wow, when was the last time I posted a render?

One of the things that I really like about having digital likenesses of my characters is that I can change them over time. Applying different complexions and make-up involves simply loading up new textures, while experimenting with their shapes requires pushing morph sliders around. Therefore I can make drastic alterations to them without committing to anything permanent.


I changed my digital likeness of Jareth recently in a pretty significant way. He used to be stylized and cartoony, but I thought I’d see what he looked like in a more realistic representation. Instead of basing the digital version of him on the digital sculpt I made for my Jareth BJD, this likeness is based on my approximation of David Bowie from about 1975, with a lot of ageing, sagging morphs added, as well as some emaciation and curviness. Check him out.Continue reading Jareth has been updated.

50 Farts #4, entry 5

50 Farts #4, entry 5 published on 1 Comment on 50 Farts #4, entry 5

Two contracts figure prominently in the 50 Farts trilogy. The first is a non-disclosure agreement, which the characters refer to as an “NDA,” which Christian requires Ana to sign before any sort of physical activity between them. This is a legally binding document which Ana signs immediately, without fully reading.

The other document, which the characters refer to as a “contract,” is a description of the practices, obligations, and expectations of a bdsm relationship between Christian [the “Dominant”] and Ana [the “Submissive”]. Christian wishes that Ana would agree to the contract with as much alacrity as she agreed to the NDA, but she and he engage in tedious, minute discussion of its contents. It is not a legally binding document.

E.L. James lavishes much more attention on the contract than the NDA. We get the full text of the contract, but only dismissive summary of the NDA. Ana doesn’t even analyze the NDA at all; in fact, she skips directly to the signature line. By contrast, she queries Christian about many aspects of the contract, and James treats the reader to their endless back-and-forth. Clearly, she finds the contract much more important than the NDA.


But wait a minute… Back up there, author. I’m still hung up on the fact that a) Christian trots out an NDA before all nookie and b) Ana signs it without any compunction. Who does this doofus think he is? Usually people whip out NDAs when they have big, important secrets and/or when they have audiences eager for [salacious] details about their lives. While Christian’s interest in bdsm counts as a big secret, we have no indication anywhere in the narrative universe that anyone would really give a crap. [Seriously…do gossip magazines and paparazzi have any significant role in this series? No.] Sure, if Christian were a hot Hollywood celebrity with a reputation and a brand to manage, he might have an NDA, but I’m not convinced he’s famous, only that he’s rich. I suppose that anyone with his amount of money automatically has a reputation that they care about, but I don’t see his NDA as Christian Grey [TM] brand management. I see it as a way for a control freaky drip to inflate his own sense of self-worth by throwing his weight around in the form of unnecessarily punitive legal nonsense.


As I said, I also have great reservations about Ana’s uncritical acceptance of Christian’s NDA. Look at it this way: As soon as Ana and Christian establish mutual interest in intimacy, Christian produces a document that basically requires Ana’s silence so that the relationship may continue. This immediately makes me wonder what he’s hiding. What doesn’t he want her to talk about? Why doesn’t he want her to talk? What bullshit is he trying to keep under wraps? Absent any narrative indication that anyone really cares what he’s doing, Christian’s NDA comes across as an excessively controlling gesture by an abusive wanker. Ana’s blithe disregard for this red flag shows her to be very inexperienced and clueless.

1 12th Street: where Jujube, Dorothy, and Jeff live

1 12th Street: where Jujube, Dorothy, and Jeff live published on No Comments on 1 12th Street: where Jujube, Dorothy, and Jeff live

I’ve decided that my growing interest in 1:12th scale requires a new universe for Jujube, Dorothy, Jeff, and anyone else with decides to join them. This universe, naturally, centers around the trio’s apartment on 1 12th Street, also known as House Rainbow Barf. As this universe’s main drag, 12th Street also contains any other sets I wish to add, such as the forest, the cemetery [which is the forest with gravestones], the diner, etc. Jujube, Dorothy, and Jeff will most likely appear in some photostories, especially if I ever get that diner set up and running…

Other creative projects this weekend: grave stands and Isabel’s wig

Other creative projects this weekend: grave stands and Isabel’s wig published on No Comments on Other creative projects this weekend: grave stands and Isabel’s wig

This weekend, I also made some stands for my Dellamorte gravestone magnets. Isabel kneels beside them while showing off another creation from yesterday: yet another faux fur wig.Continue reading Other creative projects this weekend: grave stands and Isabel’s wig

Polly has been helped: new hair and dress

Polly has been helped: new hair and dress published on 1 Comment on Polly has been helped: new hair and dress

Recent creative efforts this weekend included a new wig for Polly and a new dress, made from Andrea’s Barbie Angel Wing Trapeze Dress pattern. In this case, it’s more properly called Angel OF DEATH Trapeze Dress, since there are skulls all over it. :p Apparently I have a rather morbid little mermaid… ^_^Continue reading Polly has been helped: new hair and dress

1:12 scale stuff I already have

1:12 scale stuff I already have published on No Comments on 1:12 scale stuff I already have

As much as I like acquiring new miniature things, I just realized that I can use many of my 1:6 scale sets and accessories for 1:12 scale. Forthwith, a list of what I have in sets and medium-size things that can work in 1:12 scale:


  • everything in House Rainbow Barf
  • entire forest set, with the exception of the pine trees
  • Dellamorte tombstone magnets
  • Rement yellow dresser with lamp on top
  • Rement Beauty Counter
  • shojo screen
  • potted cacti and bonsai
  • some yellow and blue crockery
  • globe [pencil sharpener]
  • many of my Rements and smaller items in the lidded plastic trays, notably including jukebox, coffee maker, dish drainer, swing lid trash can, metal cash register, grey laptop, Rement toys, Rement office supplies, Rement food and kitchen utensils, most books, most decor


I see that I’m pretty well stocked with accessories, but I really need some basic furniture in 1:12 scale: a table, some chairs, a counter, a full bookshelf, an empty set of shelves for stuff, a bed…


Or I could eschew those pieces that I already have in 1:6 scale and go for a set I’ve always wanted: a diner! Sure, I have my Barbie Coke Soda Fountain in 1:6 scale, but I want booth seating and greasy food! What I really want is the AG Minis set Lil’s Diner by American Girl, makers of Groovy Room House Rainbow Barf. Of all AG Minis, though, Lil’s Diner proved the most popular, so it sells for disgusting amounts on Ebay, which means I’m not going to acquire it.


As I think about what I really want in a diner set, I come up with the following:

  • booth seating [vinyl benches with backs]
  • table with rounded corners and chrome accents
  • bright decor with chrome, checkerboard flooring, and neo-retro posters
  • jukebox
  • greasy food
  • condiments, napkin dispenser, menus, etc.
  • window with slatted blinds

I’ve got the jukebox, the greasy food, and the condiments etc. I can print out menus and neo-retro posters with no problem. I’m just missing the booth and the table. Hmmmm…

Timonium’s improved feets and outfit

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I finally got around to painting Timonium’s fairy feets in a dried blood color. I did solid color up past his ankles, then mixed the paint with some acrylic gel. I don’t know what the gel is intended for, but it diluted the paint so that I got a lighter, runnier application. I applied the diluted paint in a fade up over his calves. Then I used my Xacto knife to scrape the paint in the solid areas, texturing it and chipping off small bits, while also making the division between the solid color and the diluted color less regular. If there were any areas where I had scraped away paint completely, I filled them in with more diluted paint, as I wasn’t looking for the high contrast between plain resin and red paint, but a less obvious distinction between dark red and light red. Then I sealed the hell out of the paint. Continue reading Timonium’s improved feets and outfit

Doll recycling: welcome back, Dorothy and Jeff!

Doll recycling: welcome back, Dorothy and Jeff! published on No Comments on Doll recycling: welcome back, Dorothy and Jeff!

In the past, I had an Elfdoll 14cm tiny Dodo and an Elfdoll 14cm Kai. Dodo, called Dorothy, was the BJD of one of my previous 1:3 scale BJDs, Sarah. Kai, called Waverley, was a minor character in LHF. I sold both of them in summer, 2012, then spent the next three years regretting it. Jujube, my remaining 1:12 scale BJD, had no friends and hung out in her Operation Rainbow Barf house all by herself, much to my dismay.Continue reading Doll recycling: welcome back, Dorothy and Jeff!

New hair makes Polly look better.

New hair makes Polly look better. published on No Comments on New hair makes Polly look better.

I found a size 4 Pinky wig [the same style as that which I originally intended for my Cutey Honey, but recently ruined] in light greenish blue in my doll supplies drawer. It looked like it might go well with Polly’s tail, so I tried it on her.

Continue reading New hair makes Polly look better.

Polly needs help.

Polly needs help. published on No Comments on Polly needs help.

I’ve decided that I did a rushed and messy job on Polly’s first iteration, so she needs improvements.


  • Cut off original ears. Replace with finny ears supplied with default Asleep Eidolon head.
  • Remove old faceup; clean head aggressively before resealing.
  • Redo faceup in same two colors [slate blue and cerulean], but incorporating bubbles somehow.
  • Make Andrea’s Angel Sleeve Trapeze Barbie Dress for her new outfit.


Just for future reference, here is the text of Andrea’s instructions for the dress pattern:



Cut out pieces following solid black lines, including the line between body and sleeves. Dotted lines indicate where stitching will be.


Sew shoulder seams back to front, right sides together.


Sew facing to neckline opening, right sides together, matching center fronts. [Back openings will NOT line up.] Clip seam allowances. Turn facing to inside; top stitch.


Hem sleeves. If attaching trim to sleeves, do so now.


Sew body side seam and sleeve side seam front to back, right sides together. Clip seam under arm where direction changes. Turn right side out and press seam open. Finger pressing should be fine. Repeat for other side.


Hem bottom of dress. Attach trim now if desired.


If dress will be closed with Velcro, attach it before sewing center back seam. If dress will be closed with snaps or hooks, sew center back seam to dot first. Then attach fasteners. Press center back seam to one side [to top side, folded over for fasteners].



“Dude…I’m, like, so high right now.”

“Dude…I’m, like, so high right now.” published on No Comments on “Dude…I’m, like, so high right now.”

In this 1973 promo video for “Angie,” the Stones are either really stoned or pretending to be very effectively. [Nice gold nail polish, Mick.] I really like this song, especially the way in which Mick Jagger turns the title into some four- or five-syllable plaint. It’s a rare example of the Rolling Stones showing up their talents without being misogynist shitheads. And here’s a 1995 live version, more familiar to my ears, with less stoned behavior, but some odd hand motions.

VTDL attendance trends slowly upward

VTDL attendance trends slowly upward published on No Comments on VTDL attendance trends slowly upward

I did a scatter plot graph of attendance numbers for VTDL since its inception in August, 2011. Attendance seems to be slowly increasing; we seem to generally have about 5 attendees per meetup, which is a lot more than the 2 or 3 we regularly had in the first 12 months. Continue reading VTDL attendance trends slowly upward

Roger’s unfortunate nickname and the history of the F word

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Dr. Paul Booth of Keele University was looking through Chester County [UK] Court plea rolls for 1310, where he discovered mention of “Roger Fuckebythenavele,” who was in the process of being outlawed. Because Roger was referred to in this way on three separate occasions, Booth opines that “Fuckebythenavele” is Roger’s nickname, as opposed to the clerk’s private joke. Booth further conjectures that the derisive epithet refers to someone who is particularly incompetent and clueless in sexual activities. Those etymologists who thought that “fuck” first appeared in English about 200 years later find Booth’s discovery very exciting.


Most of the news reports stop with Booth’s putative source of the name, thereby failing to take up some truly interesting questions. I, for one, am less interested in this example as a proof of the longer lifespan of “fuck” and more about its implications for Roger. For example, why is Roger recorded with a nickname surname? Surely he has an actual last name, so why is it not used? Is this nickname like a rap artist’s name, by which almost everyone knows Roger publicly, to the exclusion of his legal name? If that’s the case, though, wouldn’t he be referred to as “Roger [Legal Surname,] known as Roger Fuckebythenavele”?


In a broader context, what does Roger’s nickname tell us about the use of “fuck” in Chester County in the early 1300s? Just how insulting was it? What level of taboo did it carry? For example, would the modern equivalent of this be “Roger Navelscrew” [humorous, acceptable in print, broadcast media, and casual speech, but rude] or “Roger Fucknavel” [still humorous, but vulgar, unacceptable in most print, broadcast media, and general common speech]? Does the appearance of “Fuckebythenavele” in a legal document suggest that the word was more acceptable in everyday speech than it is now?


I’m also curious about nicknames in general during this period. Do other similar nicknames appear — i.e., Sue Shit-in-soup or Peter Piss-in-bed? How commonly are such epithets used? Can we determine if they are supposed to be taken as shocking insults, as amusing jokes, or something in between? Can we draw any conclusions about the social status of people likely to have such nicknames?


In other words, this snippet of information makes me want to know more about Roger!

A frustrating evening with digital and 1:6 scale dolls

A frustrating evening with digital and 1:6 scale dolls published on 1 Comment on A frustrating evening with digital and 1:6 scale dolls

I had one of those evenings where I felt dissatisfied with all my accomplishments. Continue reading A frustrating evening with digital and 1:6 scale dolls

50 Farts #4: entry 4

50 Farts #4: entry 4 published on No Comments on 50 Farts #4: entry 4

P. 117: Christian has one of his inane flashbacks: “Mommy is happy. She is singing. / Singing about what love has to do with it. / And cooking. And singing. / My tummy gurgles. She is cooking bacon and waffles. / They smell so good. My tummy likes bacon and waffles. / They smell so good.” The slashes indicate line breaks. I’m sad to report that this is a typical flashback into young Christian’s point of view. He appears to consolidate many of James’ worst writing habits into the space of a short scene: telling and not showing, useless paragraph breaks, redundancy, stating the obvious, overkill, and redundancy [hah!]. James does not know how to differentiate characters’ voices, much less how to write a young child.


P. 124: Christian’s talking about his penis: “I want you to become well acquainted, on first-name terms, if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body. I’m very attached to this.” Nobody talks like this, especially not a rich 27-year-old college drop-out billionaire. It’s just hammy, redundant, and ridiculous. I am sure that there are people who act like their penises are their “most cherished” body parts, but I highly doubt these people would express those sentiments in the above terms. They’re probably telling people to suck it [literally].

As for the last sentence, again Christian illustrates that he has something like an anti-sense of humor. I think we’re supposed to take that line at face value — i.e., he really feels emotionally “attached to” his penis. Sorry, Christian — I’m just too hung up on the fact that the adjective you used to describe your interest in your penis also literally describes the physical state of every single other body part of yours. I hope you’re attached to your penis, Christian, ’cause it’s attached to you physiologically. Christian’s apparent inability to recognize that words have more than one meaning [ref. his earlier, unremarked description of his unhappiness as “gray”] makes him sound really obtuse. He has got to be one of the world’s dullest and most literal people.


Better eyes x1, better hair x2 — slow going with doll restyling

Better eyes x1, better hair x2 — slow going with doll restyling published on No Comments on Better eyes x1, better hair x2 — slow going with doll restyling

I’m getting some 16mm low-dome Captured in Glass glass eyes for Thalia. They have white whites, black irises, and white pupils [ET2]. I would prefer black whites, black irises, and white pupils, but CiG doesn’t sell them.


My Takara Cy Girl Cutey Honey, last seen shorn of her brittle factory rooted red hair [back in April!], has on order a size 4 Monique wig, style Pinky [chin-length bubble bob with bangs], in a violently bright red. Now I either need to fix her sword, which broke at the VTDL meetup where I decided to remove her original hair, or get her a new one — preferable made of actual metal, so it has less chance of snapping.


I have discovered the intoxicating glories of, from which I will eventually buy hair for Timonium’s spiky, Jarethian hair. The proprietor offers so many types of hair in so many colors that I hope to obtain some free samples of the various dark reds to see which would work best for Timonium. He has the tips of his ears painted a color that looks very close to that of dried or scabbed-over blood, so I want the same for his hair.


I remember that my original concept for Timonium included splatters on his feet and legs, as if he had been walking through gore. I also remember that I never did this because, for some reason, I was unsure about how to accomplish this. Now, though, the process seems so self-evident — I should clearly just coat his legs with a few layers of matte sealant for a base, mix up some paint, and make a mess like I usually do.


I realize that I haven’t decided what to do for Fritillaria’s eyes. I kind of like the idea of pinpoint pupils and huge irises dominated by red and white hypno spirals, but I really should mock that up first…


26 letters of meeeeee!: variations of my name throughout the alphabet

26 letters of meeeeee!: variations of my name throughout the alphabet published on No Comments on 26 letters of meeeeee!: variations of my name throughout the alphabet

I recently challenged myself to find at least one variant of my name for each letter of the English alphabet. I’m missing 10 letters, but here’s what I have so far:

A is for Ailsa.

B is for Bettina.

C is for Chabella.

D is for ?????

E is for Elizabeth.

F is for ?????

G is for ?????

H is for ?????

I is for Isabel.

J is for Jeliszaveta.

K is for ?????

L is for Liz.

M is for ?????

N is for ?????

O is for Orszebet.

P is for Peka [short for Elikapeka, the Hawaiian version].

Q is for ?????

R is for ?????

S is for Sibeal.

T is for Tib.

U is for ?????

V is for Veta [short for Jeliszaveta].

W is for Wiz.

X is for Xabete [short for Elixabete, the Basque version].

Y is for Yeghisabet.

Z is for Zabby.

From Ailsa to Zsoka and everything in between

From Ailsa to Zsoka and everything in between published on No Comments on From Ailsa to Zsoka and everything in between

As I mentioned a while back, all the digital hairstyles I have created are named after variants or nicknames of my name. Flush with creativity, I have been constructing digital hair like mad — about nine or ten hairstyles in the past three weeks. All but one [Receding Ponytail] is named after me. I’ve tried to distribute the names throughout the alphabet so they neither cluster around the same letters [like E and B], nor overlap confusingly. Names I have used so far are as follows:

  • Ailsa
  • Aliza/Aliza 2.0
  • Bess
  • [Messy] Bessy
  • Bethiah
  • Elisheva
  • Elspeth
  • Izzy
  • Jeliszavet
  • Lillibet
  • Liziko
  • Orszebet
  • Sibeal
  • Ybel
  • Zabby
  • Zabelle
  • Zsoka

My favorite variants are the ones that either start with an unusual letter and/or connect less obviously to the source. In terms of unusual beginnings, I’m especially partial to Jeliszavet and Yelizaveta [a name I used for a character morph I created]. For less obvious derivatives, I really like Ailsa, Sibeal, Ybel, and Zsoka.

One could probably span an alphabet with variations on my name, even including especially ornery letters like J, W, Y, and Z. I bet I could do it!


Finally got around to watching Utena’s Adolescence

Finally got around to watching Utena’s Adolescence published on No Comments on Finally got around to watching Utena’s Adolescence

I really should have read the manga or watched the series Revolutionary Girl Utena first, but, frankly, I wanted to find out the context of Utena transmogrifying into a car at the end of the movie. I am not sure that I succeeded, as I had to follow the plot summary on Wikipedia in order to get anything out of the series of events, but it was a wild ride nonetheless.

Utena’s Adolescence was not a particularly comprehensible introduction to the story. Nevertheless, I loved it. I love the way that the setting, Ohtori Academy, apparently exists on a series of endlessly moving platforms, gliding slowly through the sky, connected by infinite elevators and staircases. I love that the scale of the architecture makes all the characters seem both insignificant and caught in a labyrinth. I love that wind comes up out of nowhere and starts making Utena and Anthy’s hair seethe dramatically whenever the emotional pitch heightens. I love that endless gardens of red roses create showers of petals streaming down or eruptions of petals flying upward as punctuation to nearly every scene.  I love that the reliance on slow pans through a scene give the film a hallucinogenic sense. I love that water [rain, fountains, car wash] appears whenever a character transforms or moves from one world to another. I actually even love that Utena turns into a car at the end, and Anthy drives her away from the dream world, and the film ends with Utena human again, entwined with Anthy, both of them naked, speeding through a grey wasteland on the bare chassis of the car that Utena used to be [?!], their hair seething in heightened drama. Clearly everyone who worked on this film was enjoying themselves immensely and carefully crafting every single element to emulate the lacunae, logic, and layers of an engrossing dream. Primarily I appreciate this movie for successfully creating the seductive, immersive, vaguely sinister atmosphere of a dream, and the fact that it focuses on two young women, Utena and Anthy, struggling against the toxic bonds of heteronormative institutions, makes it much more interesting than if the main characters were some hetero couple.


I can definitely dig the interpretation, mentioned in the Wikipedia article, that this movie takes place in the land of the dead…or, alternatively, all inside Utena’s head [or maybe Anthy’s].

Fritillaria has been ordered!

Fritillaria has been ordered! published on No Comments on Fritillaria has been ordered!

I just ordered a Withdoll Adriana [Repuria Island of Fog Circus Girl special edition] this morning. She’s coming naked and unpainted, with no extras, in cream white resin. There are three tones of white WD resin. Unmodified white seems to be a pure white, untinged with any other color, while rose white has a pink undertone. Cream white has a yellow undertone; I selected it because the yellow reflects the patina of age that I would like to emulate.

I remain uncertain about whether to give her an articulated jaw. I’m afraid of making an irreversible mess on her, but it would look so damn cool!

Superhero and/or drag queen and/or dominatrix names

Superhero and/or drag queen and/or dominatrix names published on No Comments on Superhero and/or drag queen and/or dominatrix names

Anna Phylaxis.




Vivian Oblivion.

Hmmm, you know what would be an interesting story? A woman who works as a professional domme and has secret, shameful dreams of being a modern comic-book superhero. She imagines herself as a brave person who uses the element of surprise to scare the crap out of evildoers and then her imposing physicality to thwart them. Clearly we have some wish fulfillment here, as she has neither a generally imposing personality or physicality.

But of course she feels conflicted about her superheroic interests. For one thing, she imagines beating up people in a sloppy, raw, brutal way — concussions, broken teeth, de-socketed shoulders, crushed toes — that produces a maximum amount of mess and suffering. From this she feels a vindictive satisfaction in her fantasies, but the very existence of such thoughts horrifies her because she would never, ever, ever do something like that outside of her head. She abhors and abjures violence; in fact, she has a history of pro-peace, anti-war activism. Nevertheless, inflicting retaliatory pain has a seductive appeal for her inside her head.


For another thing, there’s all that sexualization and objectification mixed up in concepts of superheroic women. Some of that appears in her imaginings, as when she imagines herself as a femme fatale with weaponized accoutrements of femininity [i.e., stabbing heels, garrotting jewelry, poisonous lipstick]. This really disturbs her because her gender presentation is more like casual, sensible femme, and she thinks that she’s probably internalizing some societal misogyny or something.


Insert exploration of and commentary on roleplaying, shame, secrecy, power, powerlessness, the link of fantasy to reality, etc., here. Obviously someone needs to figure out how to relate to her deep wellsprings of RAGE!!!!

Number 4 in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy: entry #1

Number 4 in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy: entry #1 published on No Comments on Number 4 in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy: entry #1

E.L. James recently busted out with the super-imaginatively titled Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian. Naturally, given how much fun I had with the first three books of the trilogy, I just had to check out book 4. This time, I’m prepared: I have my tablet computer beside me to record my thoughts as I read. Forthwith, my discussion of the first 43 pages:


“Copyright 2011, 2015.” I assume that the 2011 date means when this was written. How does that compare to the chronology of the first three books? I am having trouble finding out when the original trilogy was drafted as fanfic, as it’s generally referred to by its official publication date, of which the first was in 2011. Basically I wonder whether this book was a part of the original story or whether it was written to capitalize on the enthusiastic reception that the first three received. James’ dedication of the book to “those readers who asked…and asked…and asked for this” suggests the latter. It’s the Midnight Sun of 50 Shades!

On that note, has anyone asked Stephenie Meyer what she thinks of her opus being an inspiration for this? As she espouses conservatively heteronormative concepts of sex, I have no doubt that she would feel disquieted and disapproving.


P. 3: The book begins with a dream from young Christian’s point of view in which he tries to get his mom’s attention by throwing toy cars at her, to which she calls him “maggot.” Upon waking up, modern Christian asks himself, “What the hell was that about?”

I can tell you what it was about, you dipstick — it was about your miserable childhood and your miserable relationship with your abusive mom! I suppose James is trying for sympathy here by making Christian a lost, lonely little boy. However, his ignorance about what the hell that means seems almost willful and pathetic instead of provoking sympathy. Well, it’s provoking, all right, but I don’t think it’s provoking what James intended it to provoke.

P. 4: “My mood is as flat and gray as the weather.” We have no evidence of this. Yet again, James prefers to tell, rather than show. Also Christian is apparently using “gray” as a synonym for “bleak” in all seriousness, with no acknowledgment whatsoever of the fact that he has just canonically, implicitly equated his own surname with depressingness. To me, this illustrates [yet again] his lack of even the most basic self-awareness, as well as his tragic, chronic, acute lack of a sense of humor.


I mean really! Realistically, people pay attention to these things. I have a character in my mini universe named Grey [partly as part of my attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of one of my favorite words and colors from its recent association with 50 Shades of Poo]. She’s introduced by someone who opines that she’s so boring that even her name is Grey, and his interlocutor says, “Like the color?” [Yes, like the color.] I find it really irritating that Christian doesn’t seem to recognize the metaphorical potential in his own name.


Now I kinda want to write more about Grey because, even in the brief appearances she’s made in the mini universe, she exhibits more intriguingness and depth than Christian….

“…[T]he only thing to capture my interest recently has been my decision to send two freighters of cargo to Sudan.” I’d be more convinced of Christian’s interest if he provided some more details, like what he was shipping, exactly where he was shipping it, how he felt about his shipments, and why this decision stood out for him amongst the grey [har har] dullness of his life. As it is, he’s just claiming that the only exciting thing he’s done recently is to send two loads of stuff to a place. Consider my interest supremely uncaptured.

P. 6: Ana comments on the paintings on Christian’s wall, saying that they’re “raising the ordinary to extraordinary.” Christian judges this to be a “keen observation.” I might believe him if James gave us some detail about the “ordinary” contents of the art and how the artist made them “extraordinary.”  I’m not asking for William Carlos Williams and his red wheelbarrow charged with significance here, just a little more foundation for these otherwise baseless claims.

P. 7: “Grey, stop this now. … Stop being such a shit, Grey.” Christian talks to himself in exactly the same way that we had to suffer Ana’s internal monologue for three books. Fortunately, though, we have yet to see his subconscious or his inner goddess [or its equivalent]. [Incidentally, I’d be enthralled if Christian had an inner goddess. But no, that’s much too potentially interesting for such a straight-and-narrow author.] As for the advice that he gives himself, he’d do us all a favor if he took it, but then there’d be no story….

P. 13: Ana says, “Don’t let me keep you from anything.”

Christian’s inner monologue says, “Oh no, baby. It’s my turn now.” He has this irritating habit of calling Ana “baby” in his head; she doesn’t even really have a name to him. He’s just thinking of her as one of an interchangeable series of submissive brunettes.


Well, I guess I can’t complain about James telling instead of showing here. Christian’s behavior very clearly shows him paying zilcho respect to Ana. He thinks of her solely in terms of an object to give him pleasure as he hits her and uses her for sexual release.


One of Christian’s [many] problems lies in his control freakery. He has made the acquisition and exercise of control central to his identity. Therefore he controls everything, which, for him, includes playing the dominant role in his bdsm games. He sees the dominant role not as a role, but as an expression of self, an extension of his essence. He assumes that he should automatically be in control because that’s who he is.


Thus he completely neglects the negotiation common to a lot of bdsm practice. This negotiation, in which the participants talk about what their interests are and what roles they want to take, is an opportunity to ensure that all participants are getting what they want out of their games. Christian, though, doesn’t negotiate; he only cares about what others want insofar as it aligns with his compulsive control freakery. He doesn’t use bdsm games as a way to connect with participants, only to reassure himself that the world does indeed revolve around his straight white cis rich Western dude penis.


There is an interesting idea in here somewhere about a desperately empty person who confuses control with selfhood and, for some reason, turns to bdsm games in an attempt to fill himself up. However, I would find this story much more engaging if the pursuit of bdsm games provoked this desperately empty person to think about elective roleplaying. He could reflect that, while the role of control freak was an ingrained habit, it was also a role, not the totality of his existence, but a facet of himself that he could choose to perpetuate, alter, or nix. He could realize that he was neither necessarily nor solely a control freak; he could be other than a control freak! He could be someone who could play the control freak for bdsm games, and then, in the rest of his life, explore other roles, of which control freak would be only one. In other words, he could chill out and learn that he was a lot more multi-faceted than a desperately empty control freak. You know, a well-rounded, sympathetic human being. However, because this conditional tangent involves carefully considered character development and a slightly more nuanced discussion of the uses of bdsm games, we won’t be reading it in this book.


Where was I? Oh yeah, page 13. At this rate, I’ll never make it past the first chapter…

P. 16: He does a background check on Ana?! Oh, that’s real sexy.

P. 19: “I mainly shop online for my needs, but while I’m here, maybe I’ll stock up on a few items: Velcro, split rings  — Yeah. I’ll find the delectable Miss Steele and have some fun.” Okay, so it’s confirmed that Christian abuses his wealth to find out where Ana works, then goes way out of his way to her workplace to “have some fun” by ordering bdsm supplies with her help and watching her squirm at his innuendo. Hmmm, yes, because being manipulated by an arrogant, condescending, self-centered, power-hungry, pathologically possessive stalker turns everyone on.

Stop being such a shit, Grey!

P. 43: Christian is talking about Jude the Obscure and Tess of the d’Urbervilles: “Both are bleak books, with tragic themes. Hardy had a dark, twisted soul.

“Like me.”

Get over yourself, for God’s sake! If you really believe that you’re an unlovable wretch, there are less pretentious ways of expressing that sentiment than by straight-up comparing yourself to Thomas Hardy. This is only acceptable if you’re like 15, and you’ve just finished a unit on dead white British dudes of the 1800s in second period sophomore English. Even then, though, such a simile is in really questionable taste.




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