Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Just a quickie tonight.

You know, since the surgery, we have had some issues with Bennett speaking. He doesn't say much other than No-No. Very rarely Dadda, and rarely again Mamma. It's been a struggle. So much so my mother bought him a shirt, with a fake 'name tag' on it that says 'Hello my Name is No-No'. I guess, since that is the word he hears the most, that's the word he's gonna say the most.

But the other day, for the very first time, he repeated something he'd never repeated before. The word 'juice'. It sounded more like 'Jeeeeeeeeeewzzzz?', but it is significant because it is something he did on prompting from his brother, AND it includes a consonant sound I had never heard before. That's a big deal.

May not seem like a lot, but I got a little choked up. Gave me some hope that I haven't had lately about his development. Some days I have more, some days less. But seeing any new thing is always good. Scratch that. I SEE new things all the time, the kid does learn.

It's just the language, that's my biggest hang-up. My biggest fear. And hopefully that is a sign of more to come. Of course, I was waiting like crazy since Monday for a new word, but nothing, and no more 'Jeeeeeeeeeewzzzz?' either. But I gotta believe there is more to come. Just gotta be patient.


Monday, October 26, 2009

My, How a Wife and Kids Change Your Collecting Habits

Unless you happen to be Michael Crawford. He seems to still get pretty much everything. I would probably pay money to tour his house. For those who don't do the toy thing but read this blog, Michael Crawford reviews toys and other collectibles at his website Captain Toy: Michael's Review of the Week.

Though I gotta be honest, I don't even know if HE refers to himself as Captain Toy anymore...all I know is that I read his reviews, I enjoy them, and I've seen photos of the dude's collection. A wife and kids has NOT been much of an obstacle for this man.

But it certainly has for me. I think if I had to really be honest and put it in a nutshell I don't collect much of anything anymore. I used to collect like crazy, like CRAZY, stuff like Star Wars for the most part, but other lines too, my own stuff that I worked on, and I almost never didn't get involved in some new line that came out. It was nutty. Now granted, some of it I got for free with 'inter-company' trades and such, but I still spent a TON on toys and statues.

I went over this a little bit earlier in the year in one of the first blog entries I did for the new and improved Blogzilly called I'm Square and So Are My Toys. Almost everything I said in that post is still true, I'm just going into a little more detail here.

Marriage was the first thing that changed my collecting habits, then along came Carter and my habits changed yet again, then I left Palisades and moved to Ohio and my habits and access changed again, then the industry REALLY began to change (it already had, but now it was getting really nuts) and prices slowly started to go up, quality went down, and many companies went out of business. Then we had Bennett, my own attempt at a business failed and my habits changed yet again. And then? Well, this year with everything that has gone down with Bennett my habits have changed even more.

Just look at these photos, taken from a townhouse I lived in during the first year or two I worked at Palisades. I had no kids and Jen had only JUST moved in to the house...I don't believe we had even gotten married yet when these were taken. These are all from the collection I had in my sort of 'Basement Lair', I had full control of the finished basement and had everything under the sun on display.

Then if you go upstairs, I had an office there. Toys aplenty there too. All kinds of miscellaneous stuff.

Those were the glory days. Then I got married. Then Jen got pregnant. Then Jen had a nesting instinct from Hell and wanted out of the townhouse we were renting. We had to buy a house and buy it soon. So we did. We bought a house and moved in before Carter was born. We didn't have a finished basement then, we had an unfinished, so that was just used to store most of my junk.

I was allowed to have one of the bedrooms upstairs for an office, the other for some storage/guest room, but I was limited in the space I was allowed to display stuff. So I jammed as much as I could into my upstairs office.

But then, after Carter was born, some stuff had to go. Notice this picture, which shows Carter, VERY young, and toys aplenty still on the lower shelves.

But by the time he was getting older, and could reach, I had to start clearing off lower shelves. And as he got even older, I had to clear off anything he could reach with the help of a chair that he could push.

By the time we moved to Ohio, and I started here with an office with a closed door also, I had SO few pieces on display at all. A few shelves. Nothing more than that. I changed the shelves out from time to time with whatever I was into at the time. That shelf space shrank a lot when I got booted out of the closed door office and forced to move my office into the loft area, which has no door to close it off from the kids.

In fact, if you look at one of the photos below, that unit that I used to display all those toys on now even the MIDDLE shelves are off limits since Carter can reach them. Not that I care if he were to touch something, but most of the stuff on display now are higher end collectibles or work stuff.

In fact, now with Bennett running around and getting into stuff, I need to get a door on to this office or something, because the last thing in the world I need is to have him wandering in here and messing with an MVP prototype or something. That would be bad.

Once that happens, I might...MIGHT, start displaying some more stuff again. Right now it's pretty bare. A few McFarlane NFL figures on some shelves, some MVP prototypes for review and such. I just recently started to, now that things have started to settle a bit in our free time with Bennett, try to clean up and organize some of the space in here a little, and I may start freeing up some time to display some stuff.

But it'll probably never be what it once was. And I'm cool with that. Now, I mainly collect MiniMates, Kubrick figures, a few NFL figures from McFarlane and then if there is a piece that REALLY jazzes me I might pick it up. Like this Black Queen statue. I picked this up over the summer cause I found it for a good deal. The Black Queen was the 'persona' Jean Grey from the X-Men took on shortly before she turned into Dark Phoenix. This one is from an Adam Hughes interpretation I showed in an old Artists Alley blog.

Yeah...I know. There is no way in hell I will get away with displaying it, but I can certainly TRY. Jen MIGHT allow it, though I think the price might be too high in the amount of grief I might get over it and she had problems with how interested Carter was in those Women of the DC Universe shown in the photos above, and the Slave Leia. Especially because of the kids. Not saying she's wrong, just saying that things are different now, and it is what it is.

I haven't even opened the shipping case yet. That's how different it is. :)

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