Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Una chica nueva por Hispanic Heritage Month

Well. Look who's here, just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month!

Quince Nicole is ready for her big entrance.
Back in mid-August, I'd braved temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun to check out the big Toys R Us on Bell Road, mostly aiming for a look at new Bratz. (Spoiler: I don't like new Bratz. Not bratty enough.)

On my third or fourth circuit of the fashion-doll section, I did a little digging toward the back of the clearance items and hit a stash of QuinceƱera Nicole, who originally retailed for $25 at TRU and $20 at CVS. When I'd had my in-person encounter with Nicole back in October 2014, I hadn't been impressed with the cartoonish features or the sloppy rooting, and I'd sworn the doll needed to drop in price a lot before I'd reconsider.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Go West, Young 3/4-Scale Women!

It was a dark and stormy night in Long Beach (except for the very bright moon).

Definitely dark. Also stormy.
Mila and Kyla are punchy after the three-day drive from New England, but not so punchy that they can't be appalled by seeing the 1970s kitchen remodeling in person. Orange cabinets have got to go.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Barnstorming... and a surprise!

Thorne has found a dollhouse that's very much to her tastes.

"I don't think it'll fit in my room, though... unless it IS my room."
As I confessed on the last meme, my source of inspiration is roaming. Not seeing anything in particular -- though that helps -- but just roaming. So the trip to Flagstaff restarted my blood flowing, and then, as I mentioned to JoJo, as a Westerner, I find New England wildly exotic, even though I lived sporadically in the Northeast long enough that the glamour should have dissipated.

A peculiar feature of New England and upstate New York is the "book barn." It seems that used books are best sold in barns -- preferably hidden up winding country roads -- and these barns ordinarily employ cats. There was something soothing about striding into a book barn, scooping up a cat, and proceeding to browse. The Book Barn of Niantic was particularly good for this, plus it offered the extra fillip of goats. (I did not scoop up goats. Goats kick.)

So I looked at my 3/8-scale barn, where I'd never figured out how to finish the upper floor, and I thought it needed books.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Flagstaff, Arizona: So Cool, So Very Cool

On Friday, a young woman on the 50-Camelback bus broke down in hysterical sobs about how much she hated summer in Phoenix and needed to get out of the Valley of the Sun. The lucid and sensible homeless guy suggested Jesus could help, while the rest of us were looking at one another with the mutual discomfort of strangers, wondering who was going to snap next.

Not Babbitt as in Sinclair Lewis, but Babbitt as in Bruce.
On Saturday, I took the Arizona Shuttle to Flagstaff, which is 7,000 feet up in the pine forests of the San Francisco Mountains and promised highs in the low 70s at most.

Last time I went to Flagstaff, in the summer of 2009, downtown was rife with vacancies and slowly being taken over by Thai restaurants. This year, it's full, it's lively, and its main products are pizza, beer, and Route 66 memorabilia. It should be possible to stay for a long weekend in Flagstaff without ever tasting the same microbrew twice, and that's including having beer with breakfast. I did not take this challenge, but with the Northern Arizona University campus right there, somebody probably has.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tagged! (I Know What You Memed Last Summer)

Presto from Growing Up Is for Quitters has tagged me (thank you!), so as a ragtag rapscallion, what must I do? Let's see...

To do list

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog. (DONE)
  2. Give your readers eleven random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers to receive this award.
  5. Invent eleven questions for your nominees.
Eleven random things about me

1. I make my morning coffee in a vintage harvest-gold percolator. It'll take years for the hipsters to catch up to this one, though not for lack of my taunting them.

2. My favorite food is oysters, which doesn't stop me from referring to them as "sea sewage."