Category Archives: olden days

heartthrob (or, more evidence of freakishness)

So for the latest SSD blog challenge (hey, I’m making a ton of layouts, gotta take the easy points where I can), the question is: who was your teen/childhood heartthrob? Entertaining question.

I had friends who were TOTALLY into New Kids on the Block. But I wasn’t. I had friends with posters of singers or actors on their walls. But I didn’t. (I had calendar landscape and animal scenes, and posters with quotes and such, mostly.) I was a sort of odd child – I wasn’t into popular music, I became obsessed with characters (and recognized it?) rather than actors themselves (loved musicals, so Phantom of the Opera, Jean Valjean; also Robin Hood has long been a favorite). I suppose I was sort of fascinated with Anthony Perkins, Robert Jordan’s eyes, and that guy who played Dr. Kimball on the old black & white TV show The Fugitive. But this was pre eBay, so no posters. And not exactly traditional. (If I recall any, or find some in old journals, you can bet I’ll come update this – but it’s the best I can do for now.)

So no, I didn’t really have any consuming heartthrobs as a kid. (Now, well, now there’s a few. Not so much consuming, but fun. Like Colin Farrell, Denzel Washington, Sayid on LOST, Anthony Stewart Head, Josh Lucas, and of course, both my husband and I love to obsess over The Sexy Beast, aka, Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice.)


my oldest friends

old friends

1. Beep Sheep, 2. the College Bear, 3. Teddy, my first stuffed animal, 4. old Snoopy, 5. new Snoopy, 6. foxes, 7. Honey bear, 8. Sunny Bear, 9. Red Panda

(To see any of these photos larger, click on the above links. You can also read a little more about each of them in their flickr descriptions.)

What can I say? They’re my old friends. My parents like to tell the story of when I was little (3? 4?) and they were telling me that we would be moving. I looked very concerned, and asked, “Can I bring my toys?” When they assured me I could I was much relieved. Top criteria, you know.

old foxFinally this one. He has a bit of a bittersweet story. (Sorry he looks a bit sinister without his nose – a family dog chewed it off. Now I want to fix it but…)

So when I was a kid I was crazy about animals, but especially foxes. In fact, I have finally, just recently, decided that I’m actually going to officially collect them — though I don’t want it to get TOO out of hand, goodness knows. Anyway. When I was little Beanie Babies hadn’t been invented yet, and it was a lot harder to find cool, unusual stuffed animals. One Christmas, I believe I was seven, I came down to find this fox under the tree. I would’ve preferred one with four legs (this one is made to be more decorative, and only has the three you see), but he was soft and awesome and I was thrilled of course. (That was the moment when I figured out that my parents were actually Santa — the look on my dad’s face when I saw this fox, I just knew.)

What breaks my heart now (in an almost literal, ridiculously over-reacting, feeling-emotionally-unstable kind of way) is that I don’t know where it is. I fear that it may have become the victim of an overenthusiastic purge at some point (yes, I have gotten rid of stuffed animals in the past, though you wouldn’t know it from the number we still have. Most of which my kids have inherited, and love playing with, especially all my beanie animals, which is a whole other post). In fact, now that I think about it, I’m almost sure that’s what happened (oh dear, I hope my dad’s not reading this). I want it back, I want to find it… I would even settle for one like it but eBay and Google have not helped me out on this score. It would help if I knew the brand but I don’t (I thought it was a Russ or Gund or something). If you ever run across one just like this at the Goodwill or DI or something — would you get it for me? Pretty please?

(Bah, now I feel like an idiot. What adult gets all silly and worked up over a toy? I am tempted to delete all and start afresh. I will try to let it stand though. Partly because I can’t bear the thought of having to think of something else, and partly because I do want to try being a little more… personal and open on my blog. If this could even qualify. Oh well.)

family resemblance


toyland, toyland…

Here is a great article: the Anti-Gift list. I love the description of Bratz dolls in it, and also down in the comments.

gund-snufflesI am just a touch, a mite, a bit obsessed with toys. Probably partly because they were always the friends who moved with me. It is wise even now to keep me away from the stuffed animal (the term I grew up with, but I like “softie” and “soft toys” as well) section of the store. Example gratis: the “moon” bears at left. I used to have the large chocolate brown one. Now (courtesy of the local Goodwill) I have the large honey colored one. And yes, this one is mine, not my kids’. I still have my old beloved Snoopy, practically falling apart from all the love, as well as a newer one I bought while in college. (I will probably edit this and put in a photo of my dear old friends, currently, give them their moment of internet fame.)

I’ve never (not as a child, and definitely not now) been a fan of motorized toys, especially not electronic, talking whatevers that look like stuffed animals but aren’t soft and cuddly and moveable like they should be! Instead they have bulky blocky bodies with hard corners, and whirring sounds when their limbs move, and sometimes creepy voices. It’s just wrong. (The purist, even at a young age.) I didn’t realize for the longest time that you could actually replace the batteries in toys: my parents probably secretly removed them after they ran down and played innocent when we called it broken.

I wasn’t into dolls much (the only loved ones were my Cabbage Patch doll and, later, my American Girls one – mostly because of the books), but I had AND STILL HAVE a stuffed animal collection to rival any other. It’s funny because my daughter is just the same – can’t be bothered much with dolls, ADORES animals. (Which of course she uses almost exactly like a doll – but somehow the fact that it’s an animal makes all the difference.)

I was never into Barbie, but once I sat and played for hours with a cousin’s Barbie house – all the little THINGS it had! Milk cartons in the tiny frig! Awesome. I fear I could get totally into dollhouses, even now. Isn’t there a hobby section for dollhouses? PLEASE DON’T ANSWER THAT.

Toys that still fascinate me:

  • My Little Pony (curb the madness!)
  • the historical American Girls dolls
  • amigurumi
  • Blythe
  • all the beautiful, beautiful castle toys and dolls here

Any toy recommendations, or warnings? Any fond toy memories?

who do you miss most?

Officially I’m way too late for this over at Owlhaven, but I did actually spend time on it and I think it’s worthwhile. Even if it did turn out extremely long…

Who do you miss most? And why?

Continue reading

meta-fantasy on PBS

I actually posted this, way back when I first started this online journal-y blog-y whatever experience (go to the earliest entry). But then – TODAY – I actually saw the real episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, with this actual conversation in it, so I felt that it bears repeating (only more accurate this time). From the Neighborhood of Make-Believe:

King Friday: I heard a story about a king who got inside a bubble, and I thought that would be a-mu-using.

Handyman Negri: But King Friday, that story’s just pretend.

King Friday (leaning in like it’s a secret): So are we. So are we.

a rhyming GENIUS

This video (and song) are brilliant in so many ways. But the best part? is Donny Osmond dancing. Anyone so unafraid of making a fool of themselves is AWESOME. (If it won’t work, try reloading the page….)

Wow, bringing back the memories….

I was introduced to Weird Al by a neighbor who lived downstairs from us. I was about nine or so. The album: EVEN WORSE. Favorite songs on it: Fat, The Good Ol’ Days, The White Stuff, Alimony, I Think I’m a Clone Now, Lasagna, This Song Is Just Six Words Long, Melanie. My brother and I delighted in these, even though we didn’t actually know any of the songs he was spoofing (okay, maybe a very passing familiarity, but for most of my childhood, and teen years for that matter, I was pretty out of the pop culture loop). Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same. (DUDE, this post, at Kerflop, could almost have been written by me, right down to the N.K.O.T.B. and the Afterglow tape. I’ll have to address the topic again at a later date.) Later we watched and loved UHF as well.

But really, any way you slice it, the man is a lyric genius. If you search around on YouTube you can find many fabulous examples: Bought it on eBay (homemade video, but real song), Amish Paradise, The Saga Begins (no doubt it’s wrong, but I think he’s hot in that last one…).

[A note of caution: Weird Al himself has made the point that there are a lot of knock off songs, somewhat in his style, purporting to be by him, that are not, actually. Some of these unauthorized ripoffs are rather dirty. Just be forewarned.]