Wednesday, March 12, 2014

600


I had a very different post planned for today.

I wonder how many blogs start out that way? Especially considering the fact that many or us, most of us probably, are not paid do do what we do. Man, that would be grand, wouldn't it? But then, I suppose if I were to be paid to do this, it might not feel the same. I certainly would feel the need to hold back a lot.

But since we are NOT paid, we have no obligation, truthfully, and therefore we can at a whim change our minds about so many things. My intent was to make this post solely about my sister, who recently went through...a pretty radical crisis in her life. But it is such a deep, complex story that I realized the following:

1. Her tale over the course of the past two weeks or so after she had a Ventricular Fibrillation, nearly died, was resuscitated five times, went comatose, came to, then later developed seizures only to finally walk out of the hospital the day of her birthday? That story took so many twists and turns, it became super, duper complex.

2. The intricate nature and complex backstory as to why there is little to ZERO mention of the fact I even have a sister at all in the pages of this blog is also something that has it's own fair share of twists and turns.

3. Which of course leads us to this conclusion...there is no way in Hell's Kitchen that I can tell the story in a single post. Not if I want to tell it the way I want to. And you KNOW how I like to weave them fireside chats. Especially when they involve the past.


So what does that leave us for a 600th post?

Um...I dunno. I didn't want to get all hung up on it, and as the days started to pass I realized...I was. I don't want to WAIT to start that tale, and I don't want to WAIT for something epic for a 600th post either. Can't let a stupid milestone get in the way of wanting to write. It's honestly the dumbest roadblock I've ever found myself facing.

I suppose I could talk about the number 600. It is a composite number, an abundant number, a pronic number and a Harshad number (thanks Wikipedia!). In the US, a credit score of 600 or lower is considered bad, and could affect your ability to buy a car or a home. At least it could affect your interest rate. 600 is also the advertised number of miles that NASCAR runs in the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race any of those good ole' boys drive. That's a long ride.

But why talk about that boring shit when they just announced the new BLACK WIDOW FIGURE OF SCARLETT JOHANSSON FROM HOT TOYS!!!


Is it me? Or did she lose weight? I noticed that in the previews for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Damn. I am not as much of a fan of the skinner Scarlett. But still, that is one FINE looking figure.

I'm not generally a 1:6th Scale guy. I'm not generally much of a collector of anything anymore. No display space, not right now anyway, and the fundages are super tight. I pick up around 4 1:6th figures a year, if I am lucky. This is going to be one of them. She'll fit in nicely with the OTHER two versions of Scarlett.


Though I must admit, what a LONG way Hot Toys has come from the first time they did Black Widow from way back in the second Iron Man film. They have really learned a thing or two about rooted hair.

And trust me when I tell you...NONE of the production pieces looked as good as their promo shots. It took a ton...TON of work, to get the hair to look right when you pulled her from packaging.


Their follow-up, from Avengers? Home run. This is an out-of-package shot somebody posted on the Interwebthingy. Very nice. Though the likeness? There is a bit too much Nicole Kidman in there. I swear a good customizer could probably whip up a solid Cold Mountain action figure in no time at all. Where's Inman?


And this new one? Looks pretty good, the most like Scarlett to date thus far, though I do admit...the bags under the eyes? Not so good. Hmmm...maybe they are trying to show that she has been working a lot more lately. But I do believe that thus far the nicest LOOKING one is, to date, the Avengers version, despite the Kidman thing, this new one is the most Johanssoney, which may give it a leg up.

And who can say no to Johansson with a leg up, am I right? BaDUMbump.

One drawback though? The expression. The Winter Soldier version looks a little like she just had a Conjuration Spell cast on her.


Oh...for you non-geek types that means she looks a bit like she was raised from the grave. She doesn't nearly have the beauty in her face that she has in the publicity shots from the movie. The one up top is one of those. It's angelic, don't you think? Not like this. Not so...undead.

But then again. BW doesn't smile a whole lot. That's why I dig the character. Very dark and serious. And that's why Scarlett can play Black Widow, it isn't something that requires a huge range, so the undead thing kinda, I dunno...works?

Some of you may ask...'Um, hey, Lilly, if you are bitching about the way it looks, why, oh WHY, would you still buy it?'

SCARLETT.

Hmmm...only I could shift gears from my sister's near-death experience...to an action figure of my favorite actress who can't act.

At least I am consistent. Hope to see you around at 700.

PEACE.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Meanwhile...


This is post 599, can you believe that? Wild isn't it. I'd be up to over 1,000 had I not taken a year off. Of course, taking the last couple of weeks off doesn't help when you 'Return' to writing a blog. Something terrifying happened a couple of weeks ago in my family that kept me from posting. I owe it some real thought, real consideration and time when it comes to sharing my thoughts about it. I had been writing about it as it was going in, with intent to post, and as the situation kept changing throughout the week I kept revising the post.

When the dust started to settle, I realized that I was coming up on the 600th post of this blog. So I thought...what the Hell, I'll post something else FIRST that I had been tinkering around with, and save that post for that special milestone. I like doing stuff like that. I've always had that streak of sentimentality even though it often causes me to stumble all over my well-oiled plans.

Speaking of which, coming back after a year off has been replete with stumbling blocks as it relates to fixing the damage this blog has suffered. You'll have to pardon the several dozen times I mention the 'Return' over the next several times I post, but I consider it no small feat that I pulled the trigger on the decision. But as I have tweaked and twooked and messed around with the blog mechanics overall, I am stunned by the sheer amount of devastation I have seen left by a year of neglect.


Stuff you may not even be aware of.

First there is the simple stuff, the general falloff of people actually coming to visit. I get it. I would stop too.

You stop handing out candy, I'm not coming to your house for Halloween ever again.

It's funny. I said the other day that a lot of this Internet stuff is lost on me. So is the behind the scene junk on these sites. There is traceable data on sites like Blogger, Google and third-party software like Site Meter. If you scroll WAY down to the bottom of the page, you will see a little logo that says Site Meter on it. That is some Widget or Gadget or whatever you call it that is SUPPOSED to tell me the amount of people who come here and that kind of shit.

But here's the thing that I just never get. The stats in any of the stat-gathering places? Yeah...none of them match-up. So what am I supposed to believe?

And come to think of it...why am I so hung up on it?

Well for a long time I was. To be gut-punchingly frank with you, it was one of the reasons I bailed out for that year. I would pour out my shit with heartfelt enthusiasm and then see maybe 3 or 4 comments, then look at other blog sites that in my opinion had far less substance to them getting double digit comments every single day and then be like 'What the ---?' Soon I'd be walking around the house ranting like Jason Mewes going 'What the f--- do I have to do to get these people's attention, pull a Favre and take a picture of my junk or somethin'?'


Let's all pause for a moment and be grateful for my self-control.

Upon reflection, I began to understand why there weren't a lot of comments. The things I write about, and the way I write...and in many instances the overbearing length at which I write? I don't leave people a lot of room for comments.

I do most of the commenting myself. I'd simply forgotten that. I had forgotten the purpose of why I do this, and I had also failed to keep in mind that this is not a message board, or a forum, and it was different than the other blogs I had been a part of previously in my life.

It was interesting to watch those stats over the course of the year though. They maintained fairly evenly the first five, six months, then started to drop like a rock headed for New Jersey in a Michael Bay film with plenty of slow motion walking. Since coming back? I have no idea. I don't sugar coat it, I really haven't checked. Site Meter is configured to send to an old e-mail address and I haven't updated it since my Outlook profile crashed a couple of months ago, and so I don't have the data. Nor do I care.

It is interesting to note what I DO care about though. The aesthetic. That means the way it looks.

I have pulled the entire main column wider, and made the sidebar a single column instead of two. That requires a lot of change to the graphics of other people's site links, their 'buttons', which I will get around to, and it also inspires me to want to create some new buttons. But they have to fit into that spacial requirement now. But rather than go off half-cocked, I will need to make a template.

I only want to do that ONE time. because it will save me time in the long run. And saving time for that kind of thing is crucial for me now in order to keep up posting and maintenance of the 2.Oh Shit version of the blog. I want to do it, I enjoy it, everyone needs a hobby, but I don't want it to be hours every day.

There is also the matter of going back to all the old posts that have lost their photos. And that is something that, while a drag, has to be done. I used to host a lot of my photos off-site, and link to them. It was an old habit, I was worried that I would run out of space on the Blogger hosting, and so I hosted the photos on my own personal FTP site.

Well, then I switched domain names from Creatus Maximus to Blogzilly and all those links were broken. Long story short, I dumped Creatus Maximus as a host site because, for one, the host provider sucked ass and also because that was the name of a business I used to have (which used to be an ACTUAL business and now is just the name I use for tax purposes for freelance stuff). Anyway, not to be over-technical, but I was never able to figure out a way to easily transfer the files to the Blogzilly FTP from the Creatus Maximus FTP without manually rewriting ALL the HTML code that defines each picture.

I would show you what that code looks like here, but if I typed it, it would activate as code and then you would not see the text, you would see either a broken photo link or an actual whatever the HTML code was describing.


It's the Matrix people...the whole Internet is just letters and numbers that tell you what you wanna see. FREAKY. Bottom line is that I'm screwed, because now none of the photos show up in those old blog posts because the HTML code points to photos that NO LONGER EXIST. Look at any post in...oh, the first couple of months of this blog's existence. No photos. And there are a LOT more throughout ALL the years.

All those dead pictures have to be corrected. Essentially, if I want the blog, from start to finish, to look halfway decent in all those old posts that I stupidly put HTML links in I have to to go back and manually fix all the posts.

I'll do it too, don't think I'm not crazy enough.

I might even update the photos with the new border look I'm going for. That sort of ripped out look. I really AM that batshit crazy. I did on the very first post.

Wanna know something weird about that? I read that first post. It is dated February 10, 2009. When I started this blog, I had ZERO intention of it being a Special Needs blog. NONE. I figured I would pick up where I left off with Grey Matters, the last blog I wrote about toys. But then on February 12th, every single thing I knew about my life changed, just like that. What is equally odd is that I didn't write about it until well after the fact. I hadn't grown comfortable enough with being so open I guess.

But look at how much of that has changed. How much life itself has changed.

And then the irony continued, because I came back after a year off, with a new set of intentions, and then suddenly something occurs that was unexpected, took us all off our tracks, and got me thinking about a lot of different things in the life in not just my family, but in so many different aspects of how we live our lives with each other, in the human community overall.


If I were to be totally honest, I think the biggest reason for me to do this again, to come back to it, is the need to remember what things were like as they were happening. I like being able to do that. In the good times and in the bad times. To keep a living, breathing record of what goes on as the world unfolds around me. To be able to take a look back at where we've been, to help us get a better handle on where we might be going. I don't know about you, but all the little details and idiosyncrasies and minor obsessions aside?

I really like the sound of that.

Now I just have to work on making it LOOK as good as it sounds. ;)

PEACE.