Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heart to Heart

As Adele listened to the words that Rod and Danielle spoke to one another during their wedding ceremony, she was impressed with how open and honest they were about their feelings, and in front of all of those people! Again, she thought about her relationship with Darius and wondered if it would have made a difference if she had been more open with him about her feelings.  What was it that he'd said to her in the limo - something about her caring more about outward appearances than what was really going on between them?  Well, it wasn't true.  She cared a lot about what was going on between them.  It's funny, she thought, how she could speak her mind on any subject, and she was known for being somewhat opinionated, but when it came to matters of the heart, she was quite guarded.  If she were to speak to Darius about how she still cared about him, she would feel extremely vulnerable, and that was a feeling that made her uncomfortable.  She was seen as such as strong woman, and she wanted that reputation to remain intact.  And that's when it struck her like a ton of bricks that Darius had a point.  During their relationship, she had been too worried about her reputation to show her vulnerability to her partner, the one person who was supposed to know her and love her, the good and the bad.  As she watched Rod and Danielle walk down the aisle together as man and wife, she made up her mind that she would let her guard down and talk with Darius.

After the ceremony, many of the guests remained inside the church chatting with one another while the wedding party took photos.  Darius and his date were chatting when they were approached by an old acquaintance of Darius'.  "Oh wow!" said Darius, "Man, how many years has it been?"  He turned to his date "This is an old friend of mine, Ken.  Ken this is... my date."  Darius' date shot Darius an irritated look, and turned to Ken and shook his hand and introduced herself properly.  After a few moments, Ken moved on to speak to other guests.  Darius' date turned to him and said "You forgot my name."  Darius said "No, no I didn't, your name is..." she interrupted him "In that moment when you were introducing me, you forgot my name."  Darius apologized, stating that with all of the excitement of the day, he had simply had a momentary memory lapse.  At that moment, they saw Adele approaching.  Adele said to Darius' date "Excuse me Miss, do you mind if I speak with Darius for a moment?  Alone."  Darius' date let out an exasperated sigh and walked away.  She wandered through the church and met many of the guests, who were very friendly and welcoming.  She saw Palmer standing alone and walked over to speak with him.  He smiled as she approached and said "Hey, Zalika!  How did you enjoy the ceremony?"  She smiled and said "You remember my name."  Palmer said "Of course I do."  They smiled at each other and began chatting away in a very friendly manner.

Meanwhile, Darius and Adele had found and empty office where they could be alone to talk.  Once inside, Darius leaned against a desk and Adele stood near the door, staring at him.  Darius glanced at his watch and looked back at Adele, who was still staring and trying to find the right words to say.
Darius:  You wanted to speak with me?
Adele:  I saw you looking at me, in the church, during the ceremony.
Darius:  Adele, what's this about?
Adele:  I... I was thinking about you during the ceremony.  About us, really.  And I saw you looking at me, and I wondered if you were thinking about me, too.
Darius:  Actually, I was.
Adele:  You were?  Of course.  Well, I was thinking about some of the things that you said to me in the limo.  And I'm not saying that you were right, but I can see how you came to certain conclusions about me.
Darius:  What are you saying?
Adele:  I'm saying that I could have done better.  In our relationship, when it came to expressing my feelings about you, I could have done better.  I know that I certainly didn't do a good job of expressing those feelings if you honestly think that I didn't care about you, because I did... I do care about you.
Darius:  I know that you care.  No one argues like we do unless they care.
Adele:  So what I am saying to you is that I can do better.  We can do better.  I can focus more on what's really going on between us, and you can stop being such a pain in the butt...
They both laughed.
Adele:  We can do better.  We can resolve whatever issues that we had, and we can be better than we were.
Darius:  Wow.  I'm really shocked to hear this coming from you.  Yes, I was thinking about you, about us, during the ceremony, and I thought about mistakes that we've both made.  And watching Rod and Danielle up there - you know loving each other just seems to come so easily and so naturally for them.  With us, it was a struggle.  The truth is, I want what they have.  I want true love, and someone who brings out the best in me.  As much as I care about you Adele, I think that we bring out the worst in each other.  If today is any indication, then we certainly do.  We need to just move forward from here.  We've both met nice people, and who knows what might happen.
Adele felt humiliated, and then enraged.  She wanted to lash out a Darius once again.  She wanted to hurt him more than he'd just hurt her.  But she didn't.  She took it all in, and she told herself that she would just take her time and process the things that he was telling her.
Darius:  I think that you deserve to have someone who you can easily express yourself to and who loves you unconditionally.
Adele:  Ok.
Adele reached for the door but Darius quickly stepped in front of it and blocked her departure.
Darius:  I think that we should talk.
Adele:  I don't think that there's really anything left to say.
Darius:  Don't just shut me out now.  That's what you always used to do when things didn't go your way.  You would just shut down and shut me out.  You say that you can do better, so show me.
Adele felt a wave of emotion and turned away from Darius.  She didn't want him to see.  She quickly contained herself, and turned back around and agreed to talk.  They had the most open and honest conversation that they'd ever had.  They came away feeling that even though they would not be a couple, they could at least be friends.

When they emerged from the office, the church was nearly deserted.  The reception would have already started by now.  Darius glanced at his watch again and was shocked by how much time had gone by.  They walked outside, and did not see their limo.  When the couples had arrived at the wedding, the driver had dropped them off near the church, but had to park a couple of blocks away.  Adele told Darius to call the driver.  Darius said that he thought that the driver had parked just down the street, and that they could walk.  "In these shoes?!" Adele asked incredulously.  Darius smiled at her, and she said "Ok, let's walk then."

If only Palmer and Zalika had not been so preoccupied.  If only they had seen Darius and Adele approaching, then a most unfortunate situation could have been avoided.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here and Now

The couples arrived fairly early and not many of the wedding guests had arrived yet.  This gave them ample opportunity to choose seating on opposite sides of the room.

Adele immediately excused herself in order to visit the powder room.  Darius' date expressed an interest in going along with Adele, and Adele stifled an eye roll and said "Right this way."

On the way back from the powder room, guests had begun to arrive and gather in the entryway.  Adele recognized a few of them and stopped to speak with them, completely forgetting her manners.  Finally, she made the proper introductions, and ended by saying "..and this is... Darius' date."  Afterwards, Darius' date pulled Adele to the side and said "Sooooo, you really can't be bothered to learn my name?"  This time Adele did not stifle her eye roll as she responded "No, I really can not be bothered."  Darius' date stood there in stunned silence and the ladies glared at each other for a moment before re-entering the sanctuary and making their way to their seats on opposite sides of the room.

As Adele sat there next to her date Palmer, she re-played the events of the day in her head.  Palmer seemed really impressed and pointed out certain decorations to Adele and saying how nice everything looked.  Adele just wanted Palmer to shut up.  How could he have just sat there and said nothing when Darius called her pretentious?  She felt that she had been disrespected, and that her date did not stand up for her.  She felt that when she was in a relationship with Darius, he would've never sat idly by and let another man disrespect her.  Was Palmer just too weak to stand up to Darius?  Did he just not care?
Adele:  Why didn't you say anything when Darius called me pretentious?
Palmer:  What?
Adele:  In the limo, on the way here, remember?  Darius called me pretentious, and you just sat there.
Palmer: Well what was I supposed to say?
Adele:  I don't know!  SOMETHING!  You know what, never mind.  Forget that I said anything.
Palmer sat there quietly instead of giving Adele the real answer.  The truth is, Palmer barely knew Adele, and he knew that Darius knew her much better.  So if Darius felt that way, who was he to say otherwise?  Truthfully, he thought that Darius was probably right, and that maybe that's the reason that Adele went on and on about his suit, of all things.  He thought for a moment about giving Adele the honest answer to her question, but decided against it.  He just wanted to get through the rest of the day without any more drama.

Music was playing and the ceremony had begun, and Adele was jolted into the present and began to notice her surroundings for really the first time since being inside the church.  Everything was so beautiful!  The flowers, the tuxedos, the dresses.  There was Rod up there, looking so handsome.  He and Danielle love each other so very much, and it is evident in the smallest details of this ceremony.  And then the bride entered, looking stunningly beautiful.  But what struck Adele the most was the look on Rod's face when he saw his bride.  This is true love, she thought.  She was truly happy for them, but she could not help but to think about herself and how she would never have a day like this with Darius as she had once hoped.

As Adele watched Danielle go down the aisle, her vision suddenly became blurry.  Oh no, she thought - tears!  She quickly grabbed her handkerchief and dabbed furiously at her eyes.  She could not allow these tears to ruin her make-up.  She would not be immortalized in wedding photos with smeared mascara!  She looked up and waved her hands in front of her eyes to try to dry the tears before they actually escaped.  She managed to contain her emotions, but it was difficult.  She thought about Darius and how things had been so good for so long.  What went wrong?  Did he really feel that she was pretentious?  Probably, she thought, because she really meant it when she told him that he was full of himself.  They both had their faults, but so what.  Surely Rod and Danielle have their faults, and yet they've managed to work through them and come together to form this beautiful family.  Adele wondered if Darius was thinking about her at all and she glanced across the room at him, only to see that he was staring directly at her.  He quickly looked away when their gaze met.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Things come to light

When Darius and Adele were together, they would say "We never fight.  We just disagree vigorously."  Well they disagreed very vigorously in the limo on the way to the wedding.

Although none of the passengers of the limo can pinpoint the exact moment that the fight - I mean the vigorous disagreement - began, they all agree that the shouting began after Darius called Adele pretentious.

Adele:  Pretentious?  YOU'RE calling ME pretentious?  You are the most pretentious person that I have ever met!
Darius:  You ARE pretentious!  Take this limo, for example.  Why couldn't you just take a car?  You're not even part of the wedding party!  You're just a guest!  This was just a bad idea.
Adele:  If you feel that way, then why are you even here?
Darius:  Because I paid for this limo!
Adele:  You did not!
Darius:  Adele, who found this limo company?  Who signed the contract?  Who paid the security deposit?  Not you!
Adele:  But that was before we broke up, and I paid the rest!  But isn't it just like you to keep a running tally of who did what.
Darius:  I HAVE to when dealing with you because you like to take credit for everything.
Adele:  Well, you can have full credit for ruining this trip!
Darius:  Oh, please.  I'm sure that once we arrive at the wedding and your friends see you getting out of the limo, you'll forget all about this unpleasantness.  That's all you really care about, is impressing others.
Adele:  I used to care about you.
Darius:  Unfortunately, you cared more about outward appearances than you did about what was really going on between us.
Adele:  No, do NOT try to blame me for what happened between us!  You are just so full of yourself, and that's your problem!
Darius:  You know what, just stop.  Let's just stop, because this could get really ugly.
Adele:  Fine.  I won't speak to you.  Do not speak to me.  And stay away from me at the wedding.
Darius:  Works for me.
Afterwards, there was the most awkward silence inside the limo.  Even small talk was kept to a minimum.  The couples were relieved to finally arrive at the church and to escape the confines of the limousine.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tense Ride

The ride to Morristown was long and tension filled the air inside the limo.  Darius and Adele barely spoke to one another - they mainly chatted nervously with their dates.  But they were keenly aware of every word and every gesture that the other made.  Adele allowed Palmer to put his arm around her, and when Darius saw that, he grabbed his date's hand and held it.  Every time one of them made a move, the other one felt like they had to make one as well.  Their relationship had been somewhat competitive, and now it seems that their break-up was competitive as well.

Darius touched his date's hair and complimented her on how nice it looked.  He told her that he was glad that she had worn it down, and said that he loved how spontaneous and fun she was.  Adele was seething inside when she heard this.  She felt that Darius was putting her down when he said this, because Darius knew that  Adele would NEVER wear her hair down to an event such as this.  Adele had spent 4 hours at the beauty shop the day before, and had meticulously wrapped her hair the night before to preserve her style.  She even slept sitting up to make sure that she would not have a single hair out of place for this occasion.

Adele complimented Palmer on his suit, and questioned him about where he got it and the designer.  She went on and on about how she loved that particular designer, how the suit fit Palmer so nicely, and how the material felt so good against her skin.  The more she spoke, the more furious Darius became.  Adele was well aware that Darius could not simply walk into a shop and buy a suit off of the rack because of his height. If he were to buy such a suit, he would invariably have to have the suit altered to fit him, which did not always yield the best results.  He would never dream of shopping at a "big and tall" shop, because those places simply did not fit his fashion sensibilities.  He always had his suits tailor made.  He would not give Adele the satisfaction of showing any response.  Instead, he turned his attention to his date and showered her with more compliments. The more Darius complimented his date, the more Adele complimented hers, and the more angry they both became.

None of the passengers can pinpoint exactly when the fight began, but what a fight it was...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rebounding to Morristown

Darius and Adele were invited to attend the wedding of Rod and Danielle, but broke up prior to the big event.  While devastated by the break-up, Adele wanted to go to the wedding to support her friends.  Although she would not admit it, she also wanted to impress all of the guests, so that word would get back to Darius that she has moved on and that she is doing (and looking) great.  She invited Palmer to be her date for the event.

Darius heard about Adele bringing a date and, not to be outdone, decided to bring a date of his own.

Darius and Adele had already paid for a limousine to transport them to Morristown for the wedding.  The couples agreed to share the limo and ride together.  This should prove to be a very interesting ride!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Becoming Rather Handy

Today I made some modifications to Denzel and Tariq so that their hands would fit better

Denzel is on a Toyfare Final Fantasy Ryan Whittaker body and he's using Hot Toys hands.  The wrist pegs for the hands are too loose for this body.  I didn't want to make any permanent modifications, so I did some brainstorming.  I ended up taking some of the clear plastic bands that secure dolls to the inside of their boxes, and I wrapped them around the wrist pegs.  Now the hands fit, and I can remove the hands and use them for another figure in the future if I need to.

Tariq is on a Blue Box body, and I don't even know what kind of hands he's using.  GI Joe perhaps?  All I know is that the wrist pins were too long and too wide for this body.  I didn't mind making permanent modifications to this one, because I think that these hands are going to stay with this body for good.  I used an exacto knife to carve away part of the wrist pin, and I cut the ends off with a kitchen knife.  It's not pretty, but it works.

Now these guys are ready for action!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

bs0039 Action Figure Body

I ordered a bs0039 action figure body and I like it a lot.

The body comes with 2 types of neck connectors, thicker thighs, and the hands come with extra wrist pins! I haven't tried snapping on the bigger thighs.  I guess I'll save that for a rainy day.

My Headplay Michael Jordan has found a new home on this new body, and he's looking good.  And with the extra neck connector, I was able to finally give Tariq from Integrity Toys the articulated body he's always dreamed of having.

Here's a quick height comparison.

From left to right, here's a Blue Box body, TTL, bs0039, Triad Omega, and DiD.  The bs0039 is taller than all of the others except for Triad Omega.  The body is slightly shorter, but broader than the Triad Omega.

MJ can finally hold his head up high.

Edit:  These dolls are made to be comparable to Hot Toys bodies, so I'm adding a couple of comparison photos with my Hot Toys TrueType figures.

The articulation is very similar.  The quality of the bs0039 body is not as high as Hot Toys, but I think that it is a good inexpensive alternative.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sometimes Wishes Do Come True

Tonight my Michael Jordan figure is a little bit taller.  But his head does not match his body.  :(  Here he is on a bs0039 body.  I agree with my husband, who said "Well... it's better, but it's not quite there."  MJ needs an even taller body, and one that more closely matches his head.  Maybe tomorrow I will play more Musical Heads with my action figures.  Maybe I'll just throw a turtleneck and some jeans on MJ and call it a day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Calista's Diary Entry: Easter Blessings

Dear Diary,

Today is Easter and it was a great day.  Well, I think that I'm too old for Easter baskets now.

I still like wearing Easter bonnets, though.

And it's fun seeing the boys all dressed up.

There was one boy in particular who looked especially handsome today.

Check out this video.  Most of it is from the Easter Parade 3 years ago, but there are some shots of me and my friends from today.  Happy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Headplay Michael Jordan

I purchased a Headplay Michael Jordan head.

It is beautifully painted with a striking resemblance to Michael Jordan.  Maybe I should only post close-up photos.  No, I'll show you everything, even if it ain't pretty.

Here he is on the Blue Box body that I had ready for him.

This body is too skinny and too short for MJ.  He will have to have a new body, which is unfortunate because this body closely matches his skin tone.

The head came with a light colored neck connector.  Why oh why did they send a neck connector that does not match the head?  I can only wonder.  I tried to put the neck connector on the body, but could not, even after heating it with a hair dryer.  I asked my husband to put it on, and he was close, but the neck connector split.  I used a Hot Toys neck connector that is closer to MJ's skin tone, but is too dark.

My MJ is also currently having some issues with his hands.  The hands that he's pictures with have pins that are too thick to fit into the arm sockets.  I will have to make some permanent modifications in order to get them to fit (I'll save that for another day).

Here is a photo of MJ holding the neck connector that arrived with him.

 Denzel had to give up his hands to MJ.  Now I will also need to modify Denzel's Hot Toys wrist pegs in order to get his hands to fit on his body.

I wanted to put MJ on a taller body with broader shoulders.  I considered my Hot Toys and my Triad Omega bodies.  Neither is a close skin tone match.  Plus, I am very hesitant to make any modifications to my Triad Omega because he is not sturdy and I do not want him to fall apart in my hands.

Here is my MJ figure compared to a TTL body.  The TTL body is slightly taller and broader that the Blue Box body.

Maybe I'll buy MJ another body one of these days.  But for now, he'll have to wear bulky clothing to minimize his shortcomings.

Check out my new video featuring my Michael Jordan figure!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On the next Opal...

Opal interviews a legendary sports icon about life after retirement.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

American Teen Dolls

I read about these dolls on D7ana's blog and I knew that I had to have them.  I purchased Benjamin and Dominique.  

They are beautifully displayed in their boxes, but I could not resist opening their boxes.  These are 10" dolls with minimal articulation.  Their arms and legs move up and down and swivel, and their knees bend very slightly (they will hold one click).  They can easily stand on their own.

Here's a view from the back.  Dominique wears hoop earrings and a ring on her finger, and her nails are painted.  Both dolls have rooted hair, and Benjamin has real cornrows.

Here is Dominique with some other female teen dolls.  She is slightly shorter than the High School Musical dolls.  She is thicker than most other teen dolls, but not as thick as Tracy Turnblad.

Here is Benjamin with some other male teen dolls.  He is about the same height as the High School Musical dolls.  He is stockier than all of my other male teen dolls.

Benjamin and Dominique have made quite a few friends here already.

 Here is a scan of the back of their boxes, which shows all of the dolls in the American Teen line.  It looks like Anthoney and Tara have the same body and face molds as Benjamin and Dominique, so I probably won't purchase those.   But then again, I really like Anthoney and Tara's hair, so maybe I will.

I love the fact that these dolls provide some variety as far as the way that they are built.  I have been wanting some thicker teen dolls for a while.  I am really happy with both of these dolls!