29 January 2007

pure morning

Oh, this past weekend ... ~_~

And now for a more-detailed account of the weekend's events, adventures in Providence, and terrorists on skis.

Friday afternoon I left work and headed inbound, stopping at Park Street to browse through the Borders at Downtown Crossing (and apparently there's another Borders on Boylston St. now, too?). I was looking for books on doll-making (big surprise, that is) and drawing super-deformed characters (chibi!), since the human dolls I'm interested in making are of the chibi/SD variety. All around, that was a very discouraging stop, since there was really nothing I could use in stock.

Art dolls are ... interesting, but they give me the creeps. I'm not talking about sock creatures or weird animals or patch-work creations--but rather dolls like this. I recognize their art value; I can even understand why some people would want to collect and create them; but I wouldn't deal well with having one in my room. I would have Puppet Master nightmares (except that the nightmares would actually be scary rather than stupidly funny, like those movies).

From Park Street, I went to Harvard Square to visit Tokyo Kid, looking to see if they had any plushies in a discount bin; because, at a cheap enough price, I wouldn't mind buying one just to take it apart. Yes, I should've known better, really. Nothing is ever cheap at that store. Plushies of the type I was interested in were starting at $14. Yeah. No. Not for a UFO-catcher doll. Not when I've seen them on eBay for $6.

They did have how-to guides for drawing manga characters, but they weren't really what I wanted (and $20 besides); so I left without buying anything and continued on to The Coop. They were also a no-go for doll-making books, but they did have a very nice selection of manga-drawing books on the lowest shelf in their Art section. I might've bought one, but when I looked at the neverending line for the cashier, I lost my verve and opted to just go home. It was easy to do, really, since I knew I'd be spending money on Saturday. And since I went to Amazon.com, and ordered this.

And, check, spent money on Saturday. Melissa picked me up at the train station and we drove 'round to The Fabric Place and A.C. Moore. At The Fabric Place (where my head spun around and exploded upon entering--no, not really, but yikes, it's overwhelming) I bought velour in white and light gray, an evergreen suede, and a book on the basics of making soft toys. A.C. Moore had beanie babies for $4 ... yes, ashamed to say it, but I bought two: a skunk and an owl who have joined Jiji on the top of my television set. Oh! and some fat quarters in red, black, purple, and blue with different and interesting patterns.

Really, I wasn't as bad as I'd expected. The grand total could've been much worse.

After that, we went back to Melissa's to pick up Erich so we could all go to lunch. We went to The Texas Roadhouse. It's awesome. Yeah, the music is country-western, and we could all live without that, but the food ... The food is really just to-die-for. I haven't had steak in ... forever; and this was the perfect reunion for me and steak. And I ate alllll my food--and didn't really notice how full I was until it was time to get up and leave. And Mel very graciously spotted me the money for dinner again, so I really must buy her and Erich dinner next time around. I feel like a free-loader! TT_TT

Then we went back to the house for stitching and season two of Doctor Who. The six-minute segue between the end of season one and "The Christmas Invasion" (that I'd never seen before) really helps the Christmas special make more sense (so far as Rose accepting the Doctor's body-change, and how they crash). And holy crap, I love the outtakes so much. It makes me want to dress up as a cyberman and run around the Common, chasing squirrels and pigeons. Mmm. David Tennant.

And I was being productive too! I cut new arms (as I was less than pleased with my first attempt), hand-stitched them, and hand-sewed them into the torso seam, all ready to be stuffed when I got home. That doesn't seem like very much when typed out, but it took me a while to do all that. I think the biggest headache was in figuring out the placement of the arms in seams; because I wanted the seams to be perpendicular, not lined up (I like making life difficult for myself). But after they were pinned into place, it wasn't too bad.

After the Doctor Who outtakes, Mel drove me home--which was super-nice of her. And I, of course, stayed awake to stuff the doll's arms and torso, and attach the head. This was all while half-heartedly watching Icebreaker. I didn't know what the hell was happening in that movie by the time I'd finished crafting and was actually paying attention ... so I started the DVD over again from the beginning. And promptly fell asleep.

I tried to watch it again on Sunday morning. It's a really bad movie, Bruce Campbell and Sean Astin notwithstanding. A concise description of the plot idea would be "Die Hard with skis." If you think that sounds dumb, you don't know the half of it. I swear it was written by somebody (probably a former member of ski patrol) who was working at a ski resort and got bored. I can just see it:

"Oh, what if terrorists showed up?" [for no bloody reason at all] "Hmm. Yes. They need a reason to be here, don't they? ... Uhh, they've lost their nuclear weapons from Russia in a plane crash on the mountain! And the only way to get them back is to take the ski lodge hostage!" [never mind that Russia is small beans anymore, but they can't just sneak up there and get their nuclear stuff back without anybody noticing?] "No! We want this to be like Die Hard! And, instead of a cop, what if a member of the ski patrol had to save the day?" [because, you never know, it could happen] "And we can have terrorists on skis, chasing the hero down the black diamond trail!" [the terrorists know how to ski?] "Yes." [and snowboard?] "Yes!" [and shoot guns at the same time?] "YES!" [how do all the terrorists know how to ski?] "Because they do!" [and, yes, losing me ...]

You know that's how it went. Sean Astin should've known to stay away from terrorist movies after Toy Soldiers. Oh, well. In spite of its being a really dumb movie (actually, maybe because it's a really dumb movie), I did kind of enjoy it. But then I enjoyed Toy Soldiers too, and that's equally absurd.

Oh, yeah. A little after ten o'clock the doorbell rang. It was the USPS carrier. On Sunday. My package from Aranzi Aronzo had arrived--less than a week after ordering it. From Japan. And on a Sunday. The EMS packaging boasts: "fastest International delivery." I think they've earned that boast. I really didn't expect it to arrive that fast.

The book is beautiful and chock full of visual instructions that make it really easy to follow along. And the fact that I can read katakana helps a bit too.

On the invoice somebody wrote a small note in very neat (and somewhat broken) English. But it was just so nice. And personalized. And it definitely made me go: "Awwwwww!"

It might be a generalization of their culture, but it's a good one--and so, hopefully, forgiveable--but ... Japanese people are so damn nice.

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