But as our understanding and acceptance of the historical context has changed, the holiday itself has taken on its own meaning, tradition, and sensibilities. Truthfully, we don't need pilgrims and falsehoods in order to have Thanksgiving. Family, fidelity, togetherness and-yes- even thankfulness are reason enough.
My mother passed away nearly five years ago. Losing her was one of the most painful experiences of my life. It was to her house the family gathered every year for Thanksgiving. My clearest and most cherished memories of her take place around the holiday. The busyness of her decorating and preparation. The late night before and early morning of. The joy she felt at having everyone she loved around her for that precious day. When I close my eyes I'm still 6 years old- footy pajamas in the kitchen, my entire world the smell of her cooking, the warmth of hugs.
I miss her every day- every moment of these past several years. The pain dulls but the empty place in my heart is still there, always with me. I wish she were here, now, to see what I've accomplished in my life. I wish she were hear to be here with us all as we gather at my home, as I take up the mantel and do my best to fill her apron.
Thanksgiving isn't pilgrims or plenty to me. It's the memories and gratitude I feel for having been blessed with an amazing family, loyal friends and a life filled with joys and wonders beyond counting or measure. I am grateful for blessings big and small- not of the religious variety, but simply the minor and major wonders which shape me, have shaped me and will shape me.
Alice Walker wrote one of my favorite novels- The Color Purple. Her prose is poetry, rich with warmth and wisdom. Of thanks, she writes; “'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”
Prayer isn't part of my life anymore. Prayers are just wishes- and as with all wishes they tend to be selfish and misdirected. But I do say thank you, sincerely, respectfully and with all the love in my heart.
To my husband, I thank you for loving me and protecting my fragile heart with loyalty and gentleness that borders on the divine.
To my sister, I thank you for giving me someone to never doubt, always admire and forever respect beyond words.
To my mother, I thank you for raising me, for loving me and for teaching me every lesson on kindness, love, generosity and faithfulness.
And to my friends, each of you whether I see you each day or have never met you in person- I say thank you for inspiring me and filling my life with laughter and joy.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. My family. To each of you, one and all- Thank you.
Anyone have a clue what this is? It’s on the same page with Twilight’s Starswirl the Bearded costume so…Starswirl’s cutie mark? Confirmation for Season 4 or just random shiny swag?
UPDATE- Thanks to my friend Erik, aka ~CrossbowROoF on Twitter who pointed out this image of Starswirl's book from the season finale. Apparently it is his mark! Somehow I never particularly noticed it during the episode.
I had an absolutely wonderful and unforgettable weekend at Nightmare Nights Dallas. I can't say enough about everyone involved, how much fun I had, how kind and gracious EVERYONE was. Best of all, the convention raised an incredible sum of money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
I am awed by this community's sense of giving. Fandoms do not exist in a vacuum. There will never be an end to drama, bad behavior, petty disagreement and factionalism. That's being a geek and a fan and part of a vibrant, opinionated and enthusiastic community- good AND bad. But we can feel good knowing that when this group of miniature equine aficionados set our minds to something good and vital and important it gets done in a big way.
Thanks to everyone who attended, who came out and made this weekend an incredible success! And THANK YOU SO MUCH to Bob, Sandy and all the organizers and staff whose dedication and hard work made the weekend run smoothly, and who allowed me to be a tiny part of such an amazing experience.
Dallas ohoy! Okay, so that's really more of a nautical term and I'm flying. Also, it usually implies something is within sight, when in fact I don't even leave until tomorrow...
- James “Wootie” Wooton
- “Big” Jim Miller
- Sabrina “Sibsy” Alberghetti
- Mitch “M. A.” Larson
- G. M. Berrow
- Jayson Thiessen
I'm guessing most folks have or will be hearing about the Bravo Network's The People's Couch segment that took aim at the Brony Documentary. Lord knows our fandom- ANY fandom is ripe for all manner of comedy, critique and parody. Pony fans are at the same time remarkably creative, kind and fun individuals as well as sometimes awkward, tempestuous, and prone awesome and terrible levels of drama- Just like fans of everything else under the sun (and on Tumblr)
I'm not going to link to the video here because, frankly it's gross and I don't want to touch it with a 10 foot network cable. But its out there, you can find it on YouTube easily. The format seems to be a group vapid "Average Joes" sitting in front of a television and offering running commentary on whatever they're watching. In other words, it's what millions of 10 year-olds already do on YouTube, except with less professionalism and humor.
During the 3 minute segment, several of the commentators make fun of BronyCon founder Purple Tinker's appearance and question her gender. It would be bad enough as a one-off remark, but it becomes a significant point of mockery between several of the people on The People's Couch.
How was this determined to be okay? You want to make fun of Bronies? Sure, the fandom is more than ripe for ribbing and parody. Sure, Bronies can look weird, they can act weird. I admit, it's a completely bonkers concept when you try to explain it to someone. Run with that, dish it out. The fandom has taken its share of lumps from everyone from Howard Stern to Fox News.
But using your national platform to mock, deride, question and generally insult a stranger’s gender presentation? What would happen if you insert any other minority, disability or oppressed group into this scenario? Is it still funny? Is it still a joke? Or are there different guidelines for dealing with transsexuals in the official standards and practices of The Bravo Network and its parent company NBC?
I understand that shows like this get their mileage from comedic shock and awe. When you focus on a celebrity or someone in the public eye, their ego and persona is big enough to take the hit. Not to mention they’re making their living as an object of interest and discussion.
But Tinker is a private individual who took part in a documentary. Airing national footage of these unfunny pricks mocking her is absolutely reprehensible. There is no ambiguity- this was mean-spirited in the extreme and meant solely to wring out an “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” moment at Tinker’s expense.
I know, the canned response to anything like this is always that those involved are exercising their right to free speech- and that is true. The Brony doc is a matter of public record and Bravo is within their rights to discuss it in whatever manner they wish. But the point is not whether they should be censored, it’s whether they should have known better and perhaps chosen not to air personally directed insults to begin with. It’s not a matter of legality, it’s a matter of simple decency or at least a modicum of empathy. Faculties Bravo and the individuals behind The People’s Couch seem to be utterly bereft of.
Did you think that the ginormousness of Bronycon marked the end of the My Little Convention season? Well, if you did, that makes you Wrongy Wrongerson of Wrongville, North Wrongia! I am attending two more conventions this year and the next is right around the corner!
Just look at this doll! How could I possibly resist? Spectra is one of the few MH characters I don't have multiples of, which is a failure on my part given how beautiful she is. As a ghost, Spectra has a wonderful white-to-transparent color scheme and dresses is gorgeous, bright purple hues. I've no doubt Rarity would agree that Spectra is hands-down the ghost with most fashion sense!
I love the art deco haunted house in the background of Spectra's box and the whole color scheme is fun and appropo to a spooky-yet-classy ghoul. Still, I am a great advocate for toys needing to be played with, so out of the box she comes!
Spectra comes with a several neat accessories! In addition to the usual Monster High stand and brush, she comes complete with a photo album, compact, purse with removable chains, and an iCoffin, the MH equivalent of an iPhone. All the little details are nice, but the best part is that her accessories all fit perfectly into her purse, so when she's on display there aren't a bunch of loose bits and pieces to get lost.
I'll admit it, that purple raincoat is the reason I bought this doll. Obviously she's fantastic from head to toe- or in this case, from jaunty little hat to fancy high heels, but the shiny clear coat/vest thingie really brings it all together!
Spectra's leather driving gloves also feature the lock theme and have delicate, intricate stitching all around. Her dress likewise features several sizes and lengths of shiny silver and pink chain on a black background. With all the chains and her white pallor, Spectra may not be the daughter of a ghost, and may instead be related to this guy!
I also picked up the Ghouls Night Out 4-pack featuring my favorite Ghoul Ghoulia, Venus McFlytrap, Clawdeen Wolf and another of my favs, Rochelle Goyle! Each doll, individually, costs around $20 so at $40 the 4-pack is a great value. I totally reccomend the multi-doll sets if you're looking to start a Monster High collection of your own. Unfortunately, I must confess that I haven't been able to bring myself to open them yet! Maybe next review!
Thanks for all the concerned messages. I’m sorry to worry folks by just dropping off the social network map.
No, I’m not dead. Just so very VERY wearied by the fandom right now. Tuesday was a shit day and I just wanted to…stop. Just stop for a while.
So I did.
Now we’re heading to Maryland for three wonderful days of hot-tubbing, steak eating, hiking and role-playing game-ing and absolutely no internet-ing.
Anyway, it’s not a big deal, I’m not quitting or looking for sympathy or to restir the drama pot. I just wanted to let everyone know that I still function.
Back sometime next week. Be well, all.
Sexual exploitation is no joke, we all understand that. Having volunteered at a rape crisis center, I’ve heard heartbreaking stories and seen lives devastated by rape and sexual assault.
I applaud ANYONE concerned about these issues and willing to help with time and money. BUT trying to take down a tumblr about dirty jokes and ponies doesn’t amount to fuck-all. And sending someone money for a tee-shirt “supporting” taking down a tumblr about dirty jokes and ponies means even less than fuck-all.
If you want to lend assistance to something that matters, visit the websites of these 4-star rated charity organizations dealing with matters of rape, sexual exploitation, and women’s justice. Make a donation, volunteer your time, do something that MATTERS. Don’t be a tumblr warrior, be an actual hero and make a big damn difference.
Securing justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and violent oppression
RAINN Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
The nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Helping prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Bringing Human Rights Abusers to Justice
To find certified and verified charities in your area, please visit the Charity Navigator.
Here they are! As you can see, at 9 inches tall, Princess Celestia is quite a bit shorter than 12 inch Ghoulia. Ghoulia has 11-points of articulation- knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. Celestia has 5-points of articulation- hips, shoulders, and neck. Her feet/boots also pivot, but we'll get to the later. Pony Celestia has no articulation a molded and quite-beautiful mane and brushable tail. Ghoulia also comes with her own plastic stand while Celestia does not, I used a generic pink one in the photo.
As is traditional with Monster High dolls, Ghoulia has AMAZING shoes, a pair of platform sneakers with pantent-leather toes and wonderfully gruesome red brain matter soles.
Ghoulia's hair is wonderfully soft. I don't know what material Mattel uses for their doll hair, but it's soft and lush. I've had Monster High dolls packed away in boxes for a month or more, and when I take them out their hair is perfect and falls right into place. Sometimes they use a bit too much glue to hold more intricate styles in place, but it always looks picture perfect. While I was out taking photos it was humid and damp, but Ghoulia's hair never got frizzy.
Ghoulia has a nicely scuplted face with her curious, wide eyes and some sparkly makeup accents on her eyes. As is to be expected with Monster High, everything about this doll is fantastic. Just look at the way her colors come together and the great themeing on her outfit and accessories. Being the class braniac and a zombie, everything about her designs screams brains- both in terms of smarts and diet!
I have to say that Celestia is a BEAUTIFUL doll. She's super cute and her soft-edges, curves, and pastel colors really make her pop. And let's take a moment to be ever-so thankful that we got a non-pink Celestia, at least in terms of skin (fur?) color! She can war as much pink as Hasbro can layer on, just as long as her base color is show/movie accurate...ish!
Dem boots! Of course, Celestia is sporting the Equestria Girls-style chunky footwear. The boots are actually REALLY cute with nice detail on the lacing and bows. But once again they don't say much at all about who is wearing them. No sun accents, no flourishes or royal-looking symbols. Not even a color scheme that says she's older, more mature, an authority figure, or anything that sets her apart from any of the other dolls/characters. But the biggest problem with her footwear is this:
She's got a bit of a...thing going on there. This is the natural position her legs/boots want to fall into if you just pick up the toy and let her flop wherever. The problem is that the Equestria Girls Dolls don't have feet at all. If you are pregnant, suffer from any heart conditions, or are easily startled, I suspect you skip the next image as it's chock full'o nightmare fuel.
"Hugs?" "I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands" and "Hitler"
Principal Celestia doesn't come with any jewelry, but she does have a pair of crystal-y wings... crystal-y BUTTERFLY wings. Yes, her wings ARE so pretty but come on, Celestia doesn't even get her official feathered wings! Boo! Hiss! Angry words!
While the doll itself is a bit underwhelming, the pony toy she comes with is just lovely! Look at that mane. She has a detachable jewel cutie mark and a fancy little tattoo on her right foreleg.
The only downside is that despite the gorgeous molded mane, she has a McDonald's style brushable tail. Much like Human Celestia's hair, it turned into a frizzy jumble shortly after opening the package.
So now that I have the dolls to properly compare, I have to say I'm still disappointed in the Equestria Girls toys. I've actually grown to really like some of the EQG outfits and designs from the movie, and its disappointing that they didn't translate. I'd very much like a Twilight Sparkle doll featuring her outfit from Equestria Girls, but none of her doll counterparts wear it. The joints are loose and have extremely limited posability. No feet, relatively cheap feeling and looking clothes, and no real attention paid to the character's personality, style, status, or persona.
In a week or so I'll take a look at Cleo DeNile and her Vanity/Elder God Altar playset! Till then, take care everyone!
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What you see here are three posters signed by the entire cast and crew of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! The unbelievably wonderful Sam Vincent, my best friend forever and ever and ever and voice of Flim of the Flim Flam Brothers managed to get me every signature of just about every person on the My Little Pony team through a combination of persistence and- I suspect- no small amount of cornering people and shoving a sharpie into their hand. Threats and/or bribes may have also been involved!
Like Skelita, Jinafire is an absolutely GORGEOUS toy. You know that feeling when you pick up a toy and the colors on the box art are way brighter and accurate than what's in the box? I've noticed that a lot lately with Transformers. Constructicons may be a wonderfully garish neon green on the box, but the toy inside is more likely to be a muddy pea-soup or olive drab. Not here! Jinafire's colors are some of the nicest, brightest, and most dynamic I've ever seen on any toy. The Greens, reds, purple and gleaming gold of her scales just seem to radiate their own light.
Being from Fanghai, Jinafire has lots of Chinese influences to her design. Her dress in particular is fantastic! Remember that incredible scene from Skyfall where James Bond and the assassin Patrice fight in front of the glowing neon of the Shanghai skyline?
One of Jinafire's most unique features is her dragon tail. While it's not posable or bendable, it's got a great twisty shape and flared green frill at the bottom. Once again, I can't talk about her beautiful colors enough. Many times toys and accessories that are "gold" end up more of a dull yellow. But Jinafire SHINES. Her scales really look like metal and catch the light whatever way you turn her. The green fringe just pops right out of the gold!