Thursday, August 21, 2014

I am Princess Jellyfish

I'm sure I've blogged about this deep affection for Japanese animation (anime). I adored Speed Racer and Star Blazers as a kid and the love never faded. I still love to watch good anime to this day. Lately, I've been looking for something. I had such a strong connection to certain shows when I was younger, but I don't have a crush on Speed Racer anymore.

Over the years various friends have raved about certain movies and series, so I would watch and typically I would agree. They were good. But I was still looking for something. I wasn't sure what.

I found it tonight!

The kids were in bed and I was done binge-watching True Blood, so, what do I watch now? I watched a few more episodes of Heaven's Lost Property. Meh. It's good. Weird (which I like) and somewhat funny. But...not IT. Black Butler...also good. Super weird and twisted. Also not IT. Then I found Princess Jellyfish.

This is IT! Tsukimi is my long lost twin. Awkward, paralyzed in social situations, intimidated by super beautiful people...she is otaku. Just like me. Geeky, nerdy, yadda yadda. Finally, a character who speaks to the me I was at age 16 or so.

She made me realize something critical. Thank goodness the internet, as it exists today, did NOT exist back when I was a teen. I would have found my own tribe of like-minded girls online to hang with and I'd probably never have met a nice guy or gotten married. Not that my life would have been BAD if that were the case, but I am rather fond of my life now.

If you are a shy otaku girl reading this right now, I encourage you to take a risk now and then. Put yourself out there. I know it's scary! But things worked out pretty well for me. And I am still Princess Jellyfish on the inside. :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Star Wars Trading Cards!

Yes! It's so exciting, I'll say it again! STAR WARS TRADING CARDS!

Why am I yelling about the above twice mentioned cards? When I was 11-14 years old, Stars Wars was new. (Yes, I am that old.) It was new, exciting, and it captured my science fiction loving brain like no other film or television show had before. Why? Luke Skywalker and Han Solo... *sighs dreamily*  Oh I fell deeply in girlhood crush with those dashing fictional heroes. Hard core.

If it had anything Star Wars on it, I wanted it. Unfortunately, my mother didn't see the appeal or understand my all consuming obsession. I wanted a Star Wars lunch box. "That's for boys!" I didn't get one. But I think my brother might have. :( I wanted action figures and the big play sets! "That's for boys!" My brother got some, but I had to spend my babysitting money and buy my own Luke and Leia (keep in mind we didn't know they were brother and sister, yet! Sorry...spoiler alert!) They never got together on the big screen, but they did many many times in my Barbie Dream House. *cue cheezy 70s porn music*

Oh grow up. Most of their clothes were molded plastic and non-removable. ;)

Where was I? Oh cards! Fast forward to present day:  My brother was cleaning out my old bedroom and came across a shoe box stuffed with old hosiery. My mother handed me the box when I was up for a visit, apparently to see if I wanted to keep my old pantyhose from the 80s. *chuckles* I was ready to toss the whole box into the trash! Good thing I looked inside.  Under the hose I found THESE!

Rewind back to 1977 again! One thing I could afford were packs of Topps trading cards. Just like the baseball cards, the Star Wars cards came in these wax paper wrapped packages that included around 8-10 cards, sometimes a sticker and a stick of bubblegum.  My friends would make fun of that gum calling it "card board" and making wild claims that you could cut your tongue with it...but I loved that gum. It would shatter in my mouth on the first bite but would later soften. Good stuff!

But the cards! Oh how I loved those cards. I'd buy them every chance I got. Eventually, I found a friend in the neighborhood who was also collecting them. We would get together and trade our duplicates to each other. We both wanted a complete set of cards and would painstakingly put all our cards in numerical order. That's how I ended up with 2 of the "blue with stars" bordered cards (the original 1st series of cards from the first movie) and one card with a green border featuring Luke Skywalker (*sighs dreamily*). They are the oddballs in my collection but I'm really happy I have them.

My collection stops in 1980 when I abruptly stopped buying. Why? I can only speculate. I was a freshman in high school then. Maybe I thought those cards were just for kids? Maybe I was too busy being a teen with all the associated drama? Maybe I found more important things to spend my hard earned cash on? Who knows. I was a dumb teen. All I know is, there are no more cards in my collection after the 1980 Empire Strikes Back cards. I have a lot of those. Almost two complete sets - red and blue borders. I'm bummed I don't have any from Return of the Jedi. *grumbles* Stupid teenage me.

But what to do with all those nifty cards!? I had hundreds of them in that box. I brought the box home and lovingly put the cards into piles by type, then sorted them into numerical order just like I did when I was 12. They are in such great shape, I can almost smell the scent of bubblegum on them, but I knew they wouldn't stay that way for long in a house with 2 curious and somewhat careless boys.

It also hit me that one of those boys is 12. Yes, that very age I was transported back to while looking at my totally nifty and cool trading cards. Holy cow! I wonder what memories will stand out in his mind about this age one day in the distant future. I need to get that boy some comics or trading cards, stat!

Where was I? Oh yes, what to DO with my cards. I knew they must be preserved, but I didn't know anything about modern day card care. I vaguely recalled flipping through albums of cards at a Star Trek con years maybe a photo album or something?  I popped on to Amazon and BAM, it was overwhelming! So...much...card...stuff!  Snap cases, cases with screw-on tops, slip covers, album pages of all sizes, albums, yadda yadda.  Soon I learned buzz words like "penny sheets" and "top loaders". After hours of research, I decided on penny sheets, 9 card top loaders and a nice generic D-ring collector's album (like a 3 ring binder, only made to keep the sheets flat and from bending, rolling or crimping your cards.)

Tada! Isn't it beautiful?! Now we can safely flip through the collection and read the cards, front and back. I find myself wondering if I should go to another convention, bring my binder, and maybe see if I can get someone interesting to sign it. I love being a nerd.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


I have vivid memories from when I was a child of my mother saying, "You'll have to forgive her, she is old and set in her ways."  Mom was talking about my grandmothers, invariably, and I had a hard time absorbing that idea. What did it mean? When you got old, you got stuck somehow? You couldn't change your patterns or habits...why? It was baffling.

I used to get excited when new things came out. I always wanted the latest and greatest. Brand loyalty? Meh. This stuff has a NEW scent/color/package! Must have it!

Lately, I find myself getting annoyed when products I've used for a while suddenly change their packaging or smack "new and improved" on the label. I am downright suspicious! What, exactly, is new? The cynic in me says this means they are just using cheaper materials, having the item made overseas somewhere, put half the amount they used to in the box, and charge us a bit more for a bit less.

I remember my grandmother and great aunt would go positively apoplectic when a trusted brand would discontinue an item they liked. Their little world would nearly come to an end if the packaging on their favorite cereal changed one iota. They really were set in their ways to a rather frightening degree. I seem to be following in their footsteps.

I don't care anymore to find something new. I want what I want and no one had better fuss with it! Humph!

Good Lord, I am getting old.