Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE staying in.......Toys Toys Toys!

Post Holiday shopping was a bit of a bust, but we were able to find a few close out Kre-O sets and I found some clearance Barbie accessories at Target.  I don't know if they are making more Target Barbie exclusives, but they came up with some beautiful dolls in 2010-2012.  The Stardoll line is interesting.  I like the clothes and K-Mart has great deals on those. 

We plan on building a Kre-o store in 2013.  I found more than 6 Optimus Prime Kre-O sets with Kreons included at different Marshall's and TJ Maxx Stores around town.  We found one Bumblebee set at a Ross store.  There are a ton of cool pieces and Austin will be working on some Lego TFs using some Kreo-O pieces in the next year.  With the new sets coming out, I think we're going to come up with something neat.

Thanks to our friends Tony and Rose, we are proud owners of the Energon Wheeljack!  Thanks again you two!  

Because of the purple, I think I am going to ask Austin to make a Lego version of him for me as well!  

We are both excited about the Fall of Cybertron Generations Line!  The Soundwave Toy with the discs are awesome!  It looks like they are selling fast too!  There are tons of the small packs of the Ravage & Rumble and Frenzy & Ratbat.   It seems like those were put out first.  I went to the same Toys R Us that we found Wheelie at to get Soundwave and Soundblaster.  

It's been quite a Christmas!  There was only one Swindle at Walmart, so we grabbed it as we were buying the storage bins for the Legos. I found Soundwave and Soundblaster today at Toys R Us!  Soundblaster comes with Buzzsaw!  Frenzy, Ratbat, Ravage and Runble have to be bought separate.  It's neat how they are CD or discs as oppose to the cassettes a lot of us grew up with!    I was talking to my friend Christina and had to get of the phone for a few minutes!  I didn't think we'd find em', but alas, there they were!  

This NYE we are staying in.  We planned on going out, but we changed our minds.  We have work coming up and need to recharge our batteries.  Plus, we need to organize our Lego and Brick collection.  

Walmart has these cool storage bins with 6 drawers.  This works for the bricks that we have to work with!  Luckily, these fit in the corner of the office!

Happy New Year Everyone!  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My only New Years resolution

Okay, this is sad.  My only New Year's resolution is to use my weekly Michael's coupons every week to stock up on Yarn, Jewelry making supplies, costume stuff etc.  I care less about about my progress with my natural hair journey, (4 years, 2 months natural) or weight loss (current weight, after Chipotle veggie burrito, 133lbs) and more about buying yarn and other stuff for upcoming projects.

I wanted to get a jump start on my weekly Michael's visit.  The picture above shows the yarn I saved 40% on and some clearance earring supplies.  In addition, I want to take advantage of the other bonus coupons from Michael's as much as possible.  Thus, on New Year's Day, I shall return to Michael's.

While, I was out on my Toy rampage this past week, I picked up some other goodies from Michael's:

I freaked when I saw these Peridot Faceted Beads! I haven't seen these at the stores.  I want to make a tiny bracelet with these.  The Black Onyx beads are a great staple, because my Step mom loves black Jewelry.  I am always running out of black beads and because I like gemstones, my options can be slim.  The Shell Beads are always fun to work with, I really liked these squares!  

Here are some of the things I was working on over the holidays......

More are coming!  I wanted to work on something a little bit every day, but we'll see what happens with that!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Not much time for knitting....

I had a goal this year about knitting for the holidays and that goal was to start seriously knitting by June.  Didn't happen.  With crazy things happening with work and my living situation, it just didn't happen.  I have gotten some things done and the kitties are either sleeping, watching and trying to help....Especially Blue.

It's the end of the year again and it's funny, there is always time for shopping for projects, but never enough time to finish these projects.

I have finished a few items, but I am not nearly as far along as I could be.  I have about 9 days left to complete 6 different projects.  Time to get back to work!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Diet goals? Well yeah, but not just for weight loss....

I work with someone who has been gluten-free for over a year and it is no gimmick.  There are so many diet fads out there and nothing works.  Sensa, Herbs, low-carb, high-carb, raw food etc....It's exhausting.  I have always hated diet food and I have never jumped on the fat-free food bandwagon.  (I gotta have my half and half in my coffee).  I just want to feel good and have all of my organs function right!  With my health history, I cannot afford any more gastro-intestinal problems.   My co-worker and I are both obsessed with food and cooking so we always are on the subject of gluten-free.   This lifestyle works for her and not only is she healthier, she actually dropped weight effortlessly.   It was not about weight loss for her, but more of a cure for various allergies and health issues unrelated to weight.

Now, being a woman and being honest with myself, losing weight is something I never complain about.   It's a welcomed thing.  It would be nice to be 120lbs again, but I am not holding my breath.  I am closer to 40 than I am to 30.  I have been doing my best to maintain a healthy diet and treat myself to sweets in moderation (and maybe a fast food meal once in awhile).  However,  I am taking my friend's suggestion and eliminating gluten based products out of my diet slowly.  I am starting to see the difference in my bodily functions and it's awesome.  No more indigestion, gassy feelings and clearer skin! (OK this is better than weight loss!  Less Zits?  Are you kidding?  That means less makeup!)  I only wear make-up, because I look like 20 miles of bad road without it.  Some women are natural, others, well we can use some help and don't want to offend others when we go out in public!  Yet, as I am aging, I am attempting to wear less and prefer it that way.  I never wear makeup when I'm at home or out shopping.   It would be nice to get to the point to not feel the need to cover those brown spots on the skin from acne.  Anyway, I digress.....

I actually feel fantastic!  I'm not one to get sick a lot, because I eat clean 70% of the time out of habit, but since I have practically eliminated gluten, I feel 10 times better.  I have less headaches, sleep better, digest food better and my vitamins and supplements seem to be absorbed more. Have I lost weight?  Well I guess, but I lost weight when we moved out of the Inland Empire this summer.

My diet goal is to continue to eat better and to watch the gluten intake.  If I eat pizza that will be a cheat day for the week.  It's hard to get away from gluten, but it can be done!  Also to just keep moving.  Even if it's just walking, gardening, using the kettlebell or cleaning up after my cats.  Keep moving.........

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kre-O and Transformer Toy High!

Austin and I get pretty excited about finding Generations Figures and Kre-O sets discounted at close out stores.   One of our many date days or nights are as follows: Some good grub, (preferably meat and potato based) and a few trips to different stores looking for Kre-Os and Generations figures.  Sometimes Barbies and Legos if the price is right!  The Kre-O sets are not cheap and have some pretty neat unique pieces, not to mention Kreons!  Many Transformers collectors know about going to closeout stores like Ross, Marshall's, T.J. Maxx, Tuesday Morning and Big Lots to find Transformers figures that they may have missed while they were at the other retailers.   Sometimes you get lucky and find some stuff.  Other times, there are opened boxes with stolen Kreons and roughed up packaging.  T.J. Maxx and Marshall's tend to be on a cleaner and more organized side, so it's easier to find things.  Ross is great, but it's more of a crap shoot.  Many of these stores do have the movie toys, so any movie toy collectors should hit up these stores too!

This past week Toys R Us had a buy 2 get 1 free sale on Transformers Deluxe Figures!  How could we pass this up??  I have been focused on picking up Wheelie and I didn't object finding Cliffjumper and Swerve! I went to 2 different Toys R Us locations and no such luck.  I was checking stock online and they didn't have Wheelie available for awhile and that was annoying.  Generations Retail Tag is around 15.00 dollars and the sale was a steal that I wanted to take advantage of.   But earlier this week we were in luck!  We drove a few miles east of us and not only found these three figures, but found two discounted Kre-O sets at Marshalls.   Yay! There is nothing like a toy high!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blog More?? Why not.

Well it's been awhile since I have written anything.  I keep going over my head if I'm going to do a Blog a Day or not.  I doubt I'd have the time.  In between work, sleep, eating and life, it's hard to keep track of time.

Meanwhile,  I started a different job.  I am still in the library world, but with a little more creativity.  The patrons are part of this creative universe and this helps.   My love for books and film is appreciated.  I am surrounded by advocates for education and freedom of expression.  It fits.  I miss my old co-workers and the crazy kids that came to my past library job.   We still talk and see each other from time to time.

I have ended old relationships, maintained healthy ones and realize that you need blood to live, but water is important too.  It helps replenish the cells!  I am way too old for the hate, judgment and after all the drama, I am not hating or mad.   Oh well, less money I am obligated to shell out for Christmas and it's the same for them too. We all deserve to be celebrated, not tolerated.  I am not one to dislike anyone unless someone does something completely evil towards me, because it takes too much of my energy. Why people feel like the have to go around people they don't care for in their personal life is beyond me.  The only thing that I kind of regret is not following my instinct and not going around people that cannot stand me.  You know when you get the feeling that folks are just being nice?  Yeah, that's how I felt for awhile.    You can't please everyone and win them all.   They were only being nice to me to please my partner.  I feel bad for him more than anything.  I just focus on those around him who are sincere and don't have a judgement problem. (or a racial problem, hahaha) It's easy to get angry, call names, accuse someone of being a hypocrite (when we all can be at times) and act self-righteous.   This is a waste of time.  Before I got together with my partner, I avoided these type of circumstances, because I never cared.  Yet because I felt he cared at the time, I tried making an effort with the apathetic and the hateful.  It was exhausting and took it's toll and I was done by midsummer.  I needed to get back how I've always dealt with folks.  It's ok to agree to disagree.  But it's not OK to be dishonest.  Admit your truth and move on.   I call the BS as I see it and have always spoke my mind and been me.  Some people have issues with people like this.

It's the holiday season and for the first time in years, I stayed home and cooked.  The Mr., the cats and I were at peace.  I need to do this more often.  Holidays tend to being the best and worst out of people.   People from the past tend to pop up, because it's a season of retrospection.  I always hear from a couple of exes, which is provides me comedic relief depending on who it is or a long lost friend, which is normally welcomed.   Some friends come into town.  For instance Josh and I went to Venice Beach and walked around.  I only need to do this a few times a year. We passed Morrison's old apartment building.


  Interestingly enough, over the Thanksgiving break, my mother's 110 pound dog playfully pounced on me and broke the screen on my chocolate touch phone (yeah, I know I needed an upgrade, but I loved my old ass phone).  Because of that, I lost most of my contacts.  I guess that's a sign to really make a clean slate.  Also, I am behind on knitting projects, costumes and other crafty type things.  I am starting the annual fudge making process and the pumpkin fudge was an epic fail.  Ah oh well.  In the end,  I pray from a drama-free Christmas and great sales on toys and yarn.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My re-introduction to The Transformers, How I became a Transformer Fan.

I was born in the Mid-Seventies, so it comes to no surprise that I am a Star Wars Fan, a a fan of vintage cartoons and TV shows along with the toys marketed with them.  One of my younger brothers was born in the early eighties, thus I was surrounded by Legos, Plastic Robots, He-Man Action figures, G.I. Joe figures and Hot Wheels along with my Barbies, Herself the Elf Dolls and Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  We often would mix up our toys together, play and watch all the same cartoons during our indoor playtimes.  (Sue me, I love my little brother and he played fair.  Dad insisted we play together and ride our bikes together.)   Anyway, some of these toys, mainly “The Plastic Robots” looked complicated and I was afraid I would break them.  These were my kid brother’s Transformers.  I preferred all of these Robots in Vehicle mode because I would use them with all the Lego Mini figures we had.  (I had and still have a wild imagination, I made it work).  My brother was able to transform these toys in seconds and I could never figure it out.
We watched all the afternoon cartoons including the Transformers and G.I. Joe block.  I was around 9 or 10 at the time and my brother was 4 or 5.  I remember us singing the theme songs to both of these shows and thinking these songs were better than the cartoons at the time.  I would halfway pay attention to these cartoons while my brother was fully engrossed while they were on.  (It was Barbie time for me; these shows were just my background noise.  It was bad enough I was getting teased by some of the fast ass girls at my elementary school for still playing with Toys.)  Nevertheless, it appeared that kid brother was a casual fan who liked the cartoon and owned a few Autobot toys.  Years went on and we apparently grew out of our toys and got more into sports and music.  

Fast forward to more than twenty years later, I’m Iiving with someone who has been a Transformers fan from the beginning (Since he was 10) and is just as passionate about it as he was when he was a kid.  Not only does he own the entire series and all the Transformer Series that came after G1, he has a huge collection of Transformer comics. Also, this man owns many G1 and G2 toys and refers to all the Michael Bay movies as Bayformers. (Did I mention that his toys are in great condition and many are still in the box?) In addition, he builds Transformers out of Legos and they are on display in our house.   He goes to the main Transformer Convention, BotCon and has been going off and on from the mid nineties.  After he’d get back from BotCon, he would show me pictures and I thought it was neat that people were still fans and got together to hang out at conventions.  (I remember thinking, BotCon 1997 looked really cool!)  .  Keep in mind, I always knew that he was a huge fan all of these years I’ve known him, but I didn’t realize how huge until we became a couple.  When I actually saw every toy and how his collection continues to grow, I became fascinated.    Some of my girlfriends do not get it and do not understand why I am okay with toys being on display in my living room.  Sometimes when you live with someone, you become more curious about some of their hobbies that differ from yours, especially if it seems interesting and cool to you.  

Furthermore, being an avid movie watcher, I was dragged to the Transformer movie that came out in 2007. (I will not mention who dragged me. A mouth-breather.)  I thought the movie was so-so and I recognized that they didn’t really stick to the classic cartoon.  In fact, I thought the robots in the Michael Bay film were ugly and looked like the Predator.  Therefore, when the live action Transformer sequel came out, I had no interest in watching these ugly robots and I assumed the movie was going to be another lousy “popcorn mouth-breathing flick”.  Like a lot of die hard Transformer Fans out there, he watched the G1 cartoon in its entirety once a year.   The first year we were together, I decided to watch it with him. It took awhile for me to get into it, but by the fourth episode I was hooked.  I thought the Robots were handsome compared to those ugly Bayformers and Starscream cracked me up!  What a whiny pain in the ass!  As I continued to watch the show, I found that my favorite Autobot was Wheeljack and I loved Soundwave.  I was becoming too emotionally involved with the storyline and very soon I realized I was a fan.   A couple of my boyfriend’s friends stated that I only liked the G1 cartoon, because he did. (Insert annoying eye roll here.) I was not forced to watch this show and formed the opinion on my own.  Why can’t some geek/nerd guys accept that girls do think for themselves and not all of us are snotty FiFi girls who scoff at Toy collecting? Also, there is nothing wrong with being a new fan.  Why does everyone put so much rank on how long someone has liked something?  I’m sure Hasbro is welcoming all the new Transformer fans!

I have always like costuming and had just recently started cosplaying from time to time at local conventions, so I asked about Transformer cosplay.  I was really interested in putting my own spin on Transformer costumes.  I did a few You tube searches and my boyfriend recommended that I do a human version of Wheeljack.  We focused on getting the color scheme right and even adding some small details like the logo.  So I began creating my Wheeljack costume...

  He introduced me to some of his old friends, Tony and Rose who have been going to BotCon from the beginning.   Rose gave me a few tips on Wheeljack as well and shared how she designed her human “Nurse Rachet” costume.  

  The next year rolled around and we found out that BotCon 2011 was going to be in Pasadena, CA.  I knew I wanted to go and check it out.    I am glad I did, because I’ve made a lot of new friends.

  So far, it has been the best convention I’ve attended and it was neat seeing how big Transformers have become again.  I am looking forward to Bot Con 2012 and many more to come!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chronicling my Natural Hair Journey….not!

         My hair is naturally unruly, kinky and semi fine.  It breaks easily of it is not handled properly and worn in protective styles.  People either praised my hair or criticized it.  In elementary school, the principal's secretary (Actually, my godmother's secretary, she was the principal at the time.) actually commented to my mother, "Isn't it too bad that her hair isn't more like her daddy's but like yours instead?"  Now, if that's not ugly, I don't know what is.  Why anyone would say anything like that to another human being is beyond me.  Well, moving on from that, as a kid, I always wore my hair in thick plats in pictures and wearing one ponytail was such a big deal.  If I complained I got two extra braids, screamed and hollered?  I got eight big braids and looked like a gangly brown spider.   Some girls in school had mothers that relaxed their hair or used a hot comb to get it straight.  And they got to wear their hair down. I never did!  My mom only did it on picture day if she felt like it and it still wouldn’t look like the other girls.  So I had a complex about my hair for years.  Kids would tease me and say, “You’re mixed, you are supposed to have good hair, but you don’t!”   My mom would always say,”That’s because they all have perms! Don’t listen to them! “But as a kid, when it’s coming from girls and boys, it scars you! Having a huge flat Japanese head didn’t help either.  (Smile)
        I always envied my friends with straight hair because they always wore their hair down and it flowed.  Also, they got more attention from the fellas.   People bullied me about my hair and other women always suggested I relaxed it because it was so wild.  Back in the 80’s and part of the 90’s, the hair products were not the same and you either blow dried it, used a curling iron, hot rollers or a hot comb to smooth the curls.  I had moments where I was okay with my hair, but most of the time I was dissatisfied.

        I have been natural most of my life, but occasionally would use a mild straightener to relax my curls after the age of 25.  I stayed away from the harsh perms and anything with lye.   I did it for the first time in 2003, then again in 2005 and again in 2008.   But the mistake I made was relaxing it again after 3 months in 2008 because my curls immediately came back.   So, October of 2008 was the last time I relaxed my hair. I thought I was playing it safe doing using the same hair straighteners that the white and Latin girls used.  I used the same straightener I normally used, but this time it was different.  My hair started breaking off slowly, but surely.  I never had any serious breakage before, but this was my punishment for getting a perm.  I vowed that I would never do this again.   Much of this was due to dying my hair as well, most of 2008 I had magenta streaks and it was fierce!  I loved my purple hair and I would love to dye it again soon, but I need to wait till it’s completely healthy again.  

         Furthermore, I, being a dumbass and not liking my hair used a flat iron religiously.  My hair was at my tailbone and yes, it looked nice for awhile.  I spent part of 2009 and 2010 using the flat iron when I got frustrated with my in-between hair.  Hair was still breaking, not retaining too much length.   Oh well! Then I made a resolution in 2011 to shelve the flat iron that gets up to 485 degrees and not use it.  I haven’t used it since and don’t plan on it.  I have gotten used to my natural hair and have grown to like it.  Again, I hated my hair for years because people teased me for having too much of it.  Morons I dated thought I looked better with straight hair and other women complimented my hair on a regular basis for the first time in my life.  I wanted straight hair and like most black girls, used too much heat to get my hair straight.  

         But now, I think I am over it!  I was born with big bushy curls and can use product to smooth them out and I am gonna rock my afro like tresses.  Going natural has freed me from the bondage I was in for years with my hair.  I am not focused on my hair and it doesn’t take me forever to do my hair everyday! Not only am I saving money, I am saving time and energy.   Don’t get me wrong, some days are better than others.  For instance and many sistas can attest to this, our hair looks its best when it’s dirty! HAHA! It’s true, but I have gotten in the habit of keeping it clean and wearing protective styles more often than I wear it down.   I’m grown, so I am not embarrassed to wear my hair in plats or pig tails.  In addition, I don’t freak out if my man touches my hair or if it starts raining. 

         I should take pictures just to refer back on to see how much my hair has grown, but a lot of ladies are spreading the love and sharing their journey on You Tube and blogs etc.  Thus, I really don’t feel the need to. I have always had longish hair, so it’s not about length for me, but rather health and love.    I am also sort of embarrassed to take hair pics and post them even though the growth has been tremendous.   I am just happy I am getting my hair back and vow to never complain about it again!   It’s all about self-love and self-acceptance.