Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Then there's the weekly trip to Tuesday Morning and Big Lots...

In my defense, I hadn't intended to go to Tuesday Morning until the bus driver declared a three-minute layover at the stop right next to it because the bus was ahead of schedule. I wouldn't have then gone to Big Lots if the Miller Road Trolley hadn't shown up before the next city bus, as the bus stops across the street from Big Lots, but the trolley turns and deposits its passengers right there.

Tuesday Morning is well into the process of remaindering Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse dolls, notably Midge, Raquelle, and Teresa. Having nabbed my Raquelle at Ross, I'm not that interested in the other two. Behind the endless rows of beach-y unarticulated Barbies, I did find a lone Fashionista whose face I didn't like, but whose articulated body had potential for transplants... and I'm glad I resisted, as she's cheaper on the Mattel web site. I'm still not going to stock up on bodies, just in case, seriously, I mean it -- but now I don't feel that this restraint caused me to miss a once-in-a-lifetime bargain.

Despite being awash in $7 Barbies (some of whom are $5.99 from Mattel's site), Big Lots has its own line of $5 fashion dolls. This poor waxy-skinned, unarticulated girl has the wide-eyed, straight-off-the-farm stiffness of Carrie Underwood on American Idol. She also appears to have the country-music wardrobe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blondes sometimes have more fun, but not always

Experimental Subject #5 gets her hair put up in curlers. Contemplating her own reflection, she wonders if there's a movie role that involves wearing curlers, so she could audition for it and, by playing "ugly," earn an Oscar nomination.

The worst hair in the history of hair seemed like the place to begin hair-styling experiments, since if it went well, that would be encouraging -- and if it didn't, that would clearly be the fault of the hair.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Experimental Subject #6 makes her choice

Still murmuring of banana slugs, Experimental Subject #6 is escorted to the Facial Therapy Chamber by Miss Hanzo.

After 24 hours under supervision, Experimental Subject #6's airheaded giddiness was deemed to be her natural personality, not the effect of drugs, thereby making her capable of informed consent.

Her response to the "change your face" offer was "cool beans!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A treat for Hayden and a detour into knock-offs (with no buying)

Alexis and Sophie placate Hayden by demonstrating that they did go shopping for bathroom tile! They got a deal on beige marble that should go nicely with the beige slate flooring.

In their world, marble comes in rolls. It's shelf paper from Dollar Tree, where I also picked up a second glass lamp so there'd be a matching pair, plus a pack of pipe cleaners to use as doll-hair curlers.

The Dollar Tree jaunt occurred because after weather forecasts of 115 for today, my Yahoo Weather app was showing only 108. (It lied. It was 113 with severe heat warnings.) The Dollar Tree on the way home from work is in the same sprawling plaza with Walmart and Home Depot, so of course I had to pop into Walmart, where I encountered (with no interest in buying, even on a better sale) this Fairy Tale High gal and her friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Have some healthful kale juice and relax...

As she sips her cleansing kale juice, Experimental Subject #3 tries to ignore Experimental Subject #6's cheerfully stoned chatter about sea slugs, butterflies, and how she hopes to score some peyote in Arizona.

Meanwhile, Experimental Subject #5 has caught sight of her own reflection in a mirror and is murmuring cheesy pick-up lines to it. "They must be missing an angel in heaven" is her favorite. Experimental Subject #3 is considering teaching her "I used to be Snow White, but then I drifted."

But where is Experimental Subject #4?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The spa does not have an off-season

Sophie protests to Miss Hanzo that the spa's activities have expanded to the point that people are going to notice. Just today, there are new experimental subjects lining up for intake.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The exit conditions are different for Experimental Subject #1

When Experimental Subject #1 meets with Miss Hanzo, the conditions of her leaving the spa are somewhat different from those imposed on Elena Rodriguez. Circumstances necessitate that she lose her identity, including her face.

Experimental Subject #1 is tempted to protest that she's fine with her birthmarks, and she'd be happy to take a job cleaning rooms or acting as lifeguard at the spa pool or. . . or massage therapy! She could get a certificate in massage therapy!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alexis finds unexpected goodies at Dollar Tree

Alexis attempts to placate Hayden, who's still unhappy about the progress of home improvement, with her finds on a junket to the big Dollar Tree out in Mesa. For instance, there's this very fine urn that will look lovely in the garden once it's repainted in beige.

There are four of those urns.

Look! Either tops for garden tables or stepping stones for the garden. Was this not a bargain? (The girls took their hats off because the sun went behind a bank of clouds, this being monsoon season. Alexis is looking a bit mussed from being out in the heat.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You can check out of the spa any time you like...

Miss Hanzo explains to Sporty the conditions of her leaving the spa. There are always conditions.

She will take the name Elena Rodriguez. She will be issued complete documentation under that name, including credit cards, a driver's license, and a passport. She will also receive a cell phone, which will occasionally receive texts. She will know what to do with those texts when they arrive.

Morning at the spa

Experimental Subjects #1 and #3 sip generous servings of breakfast broth -- loaded with kale juice! -- at the spa.

The spa robes are a shade of bright cyan that's unflattering to all complexions, but they're better than running around naked all day (and so excellent for selling more spa services!). The T-shirt that hit a snag -- literally (side-eyes cat, who promptly denies having claws while flexing them lazily) -- was equally unflattering on me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Experimental Subject #2 gets an identity, sort of

Dark-haired maybe-Barbie turns out to be a second-wave Barbie Fashionistas "Sporty" from 2011. This makes her the Barbie equivalent of Liv Katie.

Katie is delighted to catch up on news about fellow members of their college curling team, but she'd forgotten how small her former teammate's head is. (Oddly, Sporty looked prettier before I put clothes on her, but she can't very well hang out in the nude, not outside the spa. This is the spirit-dampening effect of Barbie clothes, but I'm also not pulling out the sewing machine at 10 p.m.)

Figuring out this gal's identity required quality time with The Vinyl Idol's comparison of body types and would still have gone nowhere if I hadn't spotted a passing mention that second-wave Fashionistas got a Pivotal-style knee.

Here she is in her original outfit:

Then you discover you're one of those ladies who buys decrepit fashion dolls at thrift stores for experimentation

"OMG! Could it be? It is..."

It's Cleo's cousin Hattie (short for Hatshepsut), who's a junior at ASU, majoring in archaeology. Hattie lost her left forearm in a dreadful accident of which the family does not speak.

(Of course, she's actually Dawn of the Dance Cleo de Nile, but I can't call them all Cleo. Or, given how the ancient Egyptians named their rulers, I totally could call them all Cleo, but I'm not going to because that would be confusing.)

Cleo and Draculaura go to the spa

Cleo and Draculaura -- who's thinking of calling herself D'Laura -- wait nervously at the spa for their hair appointment.

In my universe, Cleo and D'Laura have graduated from Monster High, so they're about eighteen and ready for a more grown-up, college-bound look. (They can have just as many monster friends at ASU, trust me on this.) It was time to take down Cleo's high ponytail and D'Laura's pigtails.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sophie goes to the hairdresser

Sophie looks askance at her hair, which persisted in having that thrift-shop frizz.

Her hair is not on her head because in Liv World, "snatch you bald" is not a figure of speech. Sophie's not quite bald -- she has a cute pixie cut -- but she's more than ready to have her hair boil-washed. ("I need that like I need a hole in the head" also has different meaning to the Liv girls, since the wig has a spike that goes in the hole in the head.)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Grandpa gets a new fireplace

The fireplace restoration is done, and the result is not candy-apple red after all.

After three coats of gloss red Testor's, the fireplace was still looking blotchy, plus it managed to clash with the living-room sofa. So it got a quick coat of khaki-colored Krylon Fusion which, despite being labeled "satin," decided to be gloss. Nobody has a problem with that.