November 29th, 2004

msauvage purple

(no subject)

Today's horoscope: You can't just dip a toe into your life's work. You need to immerse yourself.

All right: I need some help. This is sort of a variation on the holiday_wishes meme in that I don't want you to give me these things--I want you to help me find them so Mom and I can buy them. (By the way: I BOUGHT MY ARWEN DOLL WOOT WOOT WOOT. Fugagorn, the Fug of Men, will be pleased.)

Sister Girl wants a Hermione doll of some sort (this is her favorite character). I gave one to The Lovely Emily when we went to see one either SS or COS, I can't remember, but I haven't been able to find any now (probably because POA was released in June and all the toys have been snapped up). I think I'm hitting eBay for this, after finding nothing online at KB Toys or Amazon, but if you have a particularly good tip, let me know. Update: Have found good deals on two dolls, so that's taken care of.

Mom and I are desperate to think of things to get George--he's one of those people who's just not very forthcoming about wanting stuff, whereas Mom and I are all about the stuff. What I need mostly for him are recommendations. He really liked Band of Brothers, very interested in WWII, watches the History Channel a lot, loved Master and Commander, liked the John Adams bio that was so big last year, plays the drums and likes swing/big band music, and liked reading political books like Worse than Watergate (but we're trying to keep away from that kind of thing now that the election is a done deal, because he gets a little too riled up about it).

What we really want to get him is "something like Band of Brothers." (I'm pretty sure he has the book, also, so this is strictly a "similar product" recommendation.) That, and he mentioned wanting a DVD of the Phantom of the Opera Broadway show (hard to believe I'm not actually related to this man, isn't it?), but as far as we can tell, no such thing exists. And speaking of swing music, can anyone recommend any specific CD compilations?

(ETA: I should add here that George is my stepfather. Just so you know the age demographic we're talking about here. Fairly conservative guy, although he voted for Kerry. Served in the Army Reserves and plays with a few bands in his spare time. More of a reader than my father was, but needs large print. I just got an email from Mom about a suggestion I just came up with, and it turns out... he doesn't like musicals. Except for Phantom. And Blast. And Smokey Joe's Cafe. And... I don't know.)

I'm looking for Phantom of the Opera in the original French (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, Gaston LeRoux). I've found a great annotated English translation that we're buying, so that's covered, but I was a French minor and I'd really like to have the original French to brush up with. I'm having a hard time finding it, though--the one at Amazon, if you read the reader reviews carefully, turns out to be "abridged for students of intermediate French." Uh, no.

Finally: I am looking for this doll that the Franklin Mint put out. I have been haunting their website for about a year now, but they've never posted it there. I saw it in the Franklin Mint store at the Galleria which, I discovered two Fridays ago, isn't there anymore--probably because they finally figured out that there's not much of an audience for walk-in purchases of overpriced dolls and collector plates. It's the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and it has a tall pointy gold crown and it's bitch-ass tall and it's reaching back to stab you with a freakin' awesome dagger from the Stone Table scene and it is, quite simply, the most bad-ass doll ever created. But it was something like $200, so I never asked for it or tried to get it. I did show my mother, and it turns out now that she's almost as obsessed with it as I am--she's the one who reminded me today, and said she'd buy it if we could find it. But I've never seen it anywhere but this one store that doesn't exist anymore, not even on the secondary market. Fnarrr.



This is totally off-topic, but I was browsing Lemony Snicket items and found this. The author and product descriptions are priceless. I highly suggest that you read the product descriptions for some of the other movie tie-in products, like the Pessimistic Posters and the Ponderous Postcards.



Also: I'm finally getting myself a P.O. box so that I have an "address" I can give y'all. Like cards and postcards. I just like mail.
msauvage purple

(no subject)

As a companion to the previous entry: since I'm hounding y'all for family Christmas gift recs, the least I can do is repay the favor. If you're looking for movies or movie-related things (spin-off merchandise like Sister Girl's wand, for example), I can definitely suggest things. I'm pretty good with books. Music, you're shit out of luck. I haven't turned on the radio in something like five years and I'm listening to, like, Whitesnake right now, so... I am not the one you want to ask about the best and brightest new CDs. Books and movies, though, I can probably handle.


ETA: Interesting gift idea I just noticed for the Potter fans: the Alivans.com wands are great and come in a variety of woods and shapes, but they range from $27-65. At Noble Collection, they have replicas of the Prisoner of Azkaban wands (Ron's, Harry's, and Hermione's), which are apparently more intricately sculpted than they were in the previous movies (Hermione's has vines carved on it, and the boys' look more like rough, natural wood). Price? $29.50. Also? The Time Turner is only $49, which is positively inexpensive for these people.

I've yet to see a good blue-and-bronze (not -grey) Ravenclaw scarf, though. Anyone have good recs for Ravenclaw merchandise?
msauvage purple

(no subject)

Hee! I just got a special award from hogwartsishome--which really belongs to you guys. All I said was, "Hey, it's cool, sign up," and y'all did the rest. : )



Am rapidly becoming obsessed with Phantom of the Opera. This makes me sad, because I can just about feel my friends laughing at me (and old-school fans grousing about newbies). But seriously, between the book and the show/movie, this story has collected about every Gothic romance cliché trope in the book: Something lurks in the shadows! A mysterious masked man! A monster with a heart of gold! "Ghosts" and "angels" and "spirits," oh my! Romantic abductions! Hidden passages and secret lairs! Beauty and the beast! Unrequited love! Ingénues! Orphans! Graveyards! Masquerades and roses and references to Poe! Paris! But also underground gondolas just for that touch of Venice! Two men who fight over the beautiful young girl (and would kill to get her)! No wonder Andrew Lloyd Webber said he thought of making the show a parody at first. It's just--too. How can you not love it?

(You know how we've all been sitting around moaning, "Why Joel Schumacher?" Well, interesting tidbit I found at ew.com: "Lloyd Webber has wanted director Joel Schumacher to be the one to bring Phantom's mix of goth and camp to the screen ever since seeing The Lost Boys in 1987." It's still kind of a cracked-out choice, and one that indicates that ALW was living in his own underground lair during the Batman's Nipples Forever years, but... I can kind of see it. Particularly with that hangout the Lost Boys had--wasn't it in a cave or something crazy like that?)

Totally unrelated: thanks to anne_jumps, I am seriously considering the idea that I might be a Highly Sensitive Person. It's mostly the parts about being easily startled, hating crowds and loud noises, and needing to get away from people and be alone after you've maxed out on stimuli. Sister Girl has started claiming I'm "moody," which I don't think is fair or accurate at all--but I am easily irritated by sudden interruptions or harsh sounds, and when you consider how manic she is, it starts to make sense that I would snap at her a lot. In fact, I bet this is why I'm terrified of phone calls--the whole thing is that you're hyper-aware of "subtleties" or infinite possibilities, and I'm so busy worrying about what to say or what I might be asked that I loathe using the phone, when it turns out--I'm starting to realize--the person on the other end is oblivious to half the things I'm angsting about. On personality tests I've taken in the last five years--since I started taking anti-depressants--I've come up as an extrovert, which shocked me considering how painfully shy I had been until I was about 20. But--from the website: "Dr. Aron explains that in the past HSPs have been called 'shy,' 'timid,' 'inhibited,' or 'introverted,' but these labels completely miss the nature of the trait. Thirty percent of HSPs are actually extraverts. HSPs only appear inhibited because they are so aware of all the possibilities in a situation. They pause before acting, reflecting on their past experiences." DUDE.

This doesn't mean I think I should prance around the house because I am such a unique and delicate snowflake. (Apparently it's actually really common--something like 20% of the population.) It just means that now I know why I snap at my sister and I can just chill the hell out about it and be like, "Can you lower your voice a little?" instead of "OH MY GOD GET OUUUUUUUUT!" In fact, it makes total sense that I'm usually wearing headphones all hours of the day--so I can control what I'm hearing and not be startled. I listen to the same songs over and over for days at a time because I hear something new each time--the "subtleties" thing. It's why people who cut my hair have always teased me about being "tender-headed," why almost all perfumes give me massive headaches, and why I hate hate hate loud gory slasher flicks or war movies. It's why I feel crazy if I don't have a significant amount of time to myself in the day, even though I'm theoretically an extrovert. It's probably part of the reason I procrastinate so much. It makes so much sense.

In other news: had a very good day shopping online. As previously mentioned, have several leads on a Hermione doll for Sister Girl, and have successfully purchased the White Dress Arwen that has eluded me lo these three many years. Also, poor Vladimir broke his Sideshow Weta "No Admittance" bookends (which are now sold out and bitch-ass expensive) in a tragic shelving accident, and somehow I managed to find a new set for a song and bought those for him, and it made him so happy. That's such a good feeling, to have fixed that for him.

In other, more terrifying news: Luis Guzmán is haunting me again.
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