My Red Dress Moment

If you haven’t read The Bloggess’ The Traveling Red Dress, then stop what you’re doing and check it out before continuing.

Read it?  Good.

Here’s the thing – I had a mega “red dress moment” during the past few hellish weeks.  It really had nothing to do with me, but was all about Bruce’s mother Marti.  I was never lucky enough to meet this incredible woman (someone recently called her a “goat-drivin’, bear-huggin’ space lady!” and they were not wrong. They left out many things including – but  not limited to – Jeopardy-writing/playing, house-winning, brilliant and incredibly funny).  She passed away suddenly and just as suddenly Bruce and I found ourselves in Arizona attempting to deal with the emotional trauma along with her estate.  It was one of the most difficult times of our lives.

While going through boxes and drawers and everything else that accumulates during a lifetime, we discovered a whole treasure trove of photographs that Bruce didn’t know existed.  So we spent several evenings winding down and looking through them, and he would tell me stories of his family.  And as we were going through them we discovered a photograph of her from 1956.  My reaction was immediate: “WOW, now that’s a gown! She looks gorgeous.

That’s amazing, isn’t it? Yes. Yes it is. It left rather an impression on me.

We looked through a few more pictures and then collapsed from exhaustion.

Early the next morning I took on the task of cleaning out the first floor coat closet that had a crawlspace back under the stairs.  It was hot and dark, and I could only see vague outlines of objects.  I grabbed at a large bundle that was hanging on a post and began to pull it out into the light, and as I did so I caught a glimpse of red – I assumed that it was part of her holiday decor.  But as I emerged from the crawlspace I saw the glitter of sequins and actually gasped with realization: this was her dress.  This was that dress from the night before – and it was RED.  One of the most vibrantly red gowns I had ever seen in person.

“Oh my God Bruce – look at this! It’s the dress! It’s THE DRESS!” He didn’t remember what I was talking about, and I didn’t waste time unwrapping the dress that had been bundled up in plastic while I tried to remind him of the picture.  I really was in awe of this woman I had never met, and a whole new understanding of her as a woman dawned on me.  This woman seized her days and was vibrant and didn’t hide from life.  She owned a red dress, completely rocked that red dress, and then preserved that dress for 57 years.  This discovery was one of the most amazing moments of my life.

So, cut to about a week later, and we’re back home and beginning to try to recover from everything that we had been through.  We had shipped as many items as we wanted home, and yes, one of those items was the dress.

I took the dress out of the vacuum sealed bag it had been in for its journey, and fluffed it out.  I then somehow managed to squeeze it onto my dress form that I had painted purple a few years back (have I ever mentioned my forever love of the color combination of red and purple? I have a forever love of the color combination of red and purple).  Marti was crazy-petite and I had to do some major smooshing of the dress form wires to get the side zipper zipped.

Finally after some very creative furniture re-arranging, the dress took up a place of prominence in our living room.  It actually looks like we designed the whole living room around that dress.  Bonus points are that Hafukiti LOVES to hide and sleep under that dress (Marti adored cats).

Here it is:

WOW.

Both Bruce and I marvel at how beautiful it is and how it beautifully fits into our place.  We both think that it’s a lovely tribute to his lovely mother, and that she’d be amazed that we love her dress as much as she did – and that it reminds us every day to live life to the fullest.

Thank you Marti.

A-Gent B!

Several weeks back I asked Bruce to order a 10″ Perry the Platypus doll for me that I could take to work (Bruce gets free shipping on a certain mega-webstore).  I love me some Phineas and Ferb, and I especially love me some Perry.  But it wasn’t just because of my love of the character that I asked him to get this particular stuffed animal.  I wanted to use it as a “talking stick” in my upcoming kids’ secret agent themed book club at work.  We’ll see how that goes.

Anywho.

If you don’t know who Perry is, then here’s a clip of an extended version of his theme song (but not the ultra-long extended version that’s out there):

All of this is leading to what happened after Perry arrived.  I happened to be at work when the package was delivered at home.  Bruce emailed me the news and said that he’d wait until I came home to open the box.  I responded with “you can either wait, or you can open the box and hide the Perry in the apartment for me to find. Sort of a ‘where’s Perry?’ thing.”

Challenge accepted.

Work was pretty hectic, and I completely forgot about my new Perry by the time I clocked out for the day.  When I arrived home and walked in the door, the opened shipping box was sitting on the kitchen counter and I immediately remembered what I had written Bruce.  I laughed, and suddenly from out of nowhere came the Agent P theme song.  Bruce had downloaded it to his computer and had it on repeat for my Perry hunt.  I about laughed to tears.

So, where was Perry?

I discovered him trying to hide à la E.T. in our closet where I keep my sentimental stuffed animals.  He had also borrowed a pair of Harry Potter glasses (that normally adorn the Sesame Street Honker) to further aid in the disguise.

Oh there you are, Perry!

Nebraska Libraries ‘N Me

First and foremost, I’d like to welcome anyone who’s here checking out my blog for the first time as a result of reading the recent NLA’s Nebraska Libraries journal. Secondly, for my longtime reader(s), I GOT FEATURED IN THE AUGUST ISSUE OF NEBRASKA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S NEBRASKA LIBRARIES JOURNAL!!! Ahem.

I had timidly submitted my name as a possible interview subject to the amazing Lindsey Tomsu many months ago, and she so sweetly agreed to interview me for the August edition of this quarterly journal.  Did I mention that she’s amazing?  She is.  I had the joyously exhausting experience of working with her on a teen lock-in she held many moons ago.  There I got to witness her rapport and just general fantasticness with her teens up close.  I hope that someday I can grow my programming like she’s grown hers.  So, it was a pleasure and an honor to have her interview me.

Click here or on the image above to access the journal (it’s vol. 1, no. 3).  My feature is the best one (i.e. the last), so you’ll need to do some scrolling.

The only thing I feel that I left out of my interview was mentioning that I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  I’ve already begun pinning things for next year’s SRP. Don’t look at me that way.  I go by “Hafuboti” in all three, so I’m pretty easy to find.  I love sharing ideas and really love those sites for how they accomplish that as well as inspire new ideas.

Last but not least, thank you so much for checking out my blog, and I wish you happy librarying!

A-Shrink-Uh Dink-Uh

Back before Hafuboti was even a glimmer in my eye, I had considered opening a completely different Etsy shop featuring my Shrinky Dink book cover creations.  However, the logistics and legality staggered me.  I just couldn’t figure out if I would be able to do what I wanted to do while maintaining my sanity.  I also couldn’t figure out if I could “get away with” what I wanted to do legally.  I’m very much a supporter of the free culture movement, but the law is what the law is (for now) and I try and respect that.  Therefore I don’t sell these anymore – they’re only for me or friends (sorry).  And if you’re the artist/owner of any of these here images that I’ve posted, then please contact me if you want me to remove them – I will completely respect that.

All that said, there was a time where I was living WAY below the poverty line, and I was selling some of these bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and custom orders in order to eat and have gas for my car to get to my day job (a barista at a cafe in New Orleans).  The Twilight jewelry truly helped me to be able to afford to eat for a couple of weeks (PB sandwiches – woohoo!).  I’m not a fan of the series, but I will be forever grateful to the artist who designed those covers.  So if you happen to be that artist, then thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me out during such a difficult time in my life.

So, I thought I’d share with you my previous crazy-dream.  Each of the non-silver charms is a Shrinky Dink (I’m stunned at how many people I meet who don’t know what that is), and is hand-drawn by little ole me.  They start off small and just get smaller.  See? They’re in this picture from a previous post and you probably didn’t even notice them on the wrist of the model hand.  Am I right?  I love doing them, and I love giving them as gifts, but they’re just not feasible for market.  But that won’t stop me from showing off (cuz I’m dang proud of them)!

If you have any questions about how I made them (because there are a few tips and tricks that I learned along the way), then don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments or via email.  Like any free culture-type person, I’d rather share how/what I do than be all stingy/greedy and hurt our cultural development.  If there’s enough interest, then I could even do a tutorial for an individual charm.

Next Time: I haven’t the foggiest. We’ll all be surprised!

Of Monsters and Men…and Decor

I thought it’d be fun to take a trip down memory lane and do an update on one of the posts that Aunt Peaches featured on my decor about a year ago.  It also ties in with the story of my boyfriend Bruce – so bear with me on this super-sized post.

After over a year of wear and tear, both “wallpapers” have held up better than I’d ever imagined.  The living room Rex Libris wall could use some replacement panels.  With Bruce having his studio along that wall, the paper tends to get bumped with his office chair.  There’s also a lot of paper curling along the baseboard since we went through a Nebraska summer where bug spray is obligatory: brown recluse spiders – need I say more?

The bathroom JTHM and Squee paper still amazes me – I was prepared for the humidity of it being the bath/laundry room to absolutely destroy the unprotected paper.  But lo and behold!  There’s only a tiny bit of wrinkling on one of the papers (the black panel that says ZOOM), and the top panels could use readjusting/more tape.  I went minimalist with the tape on the top row since I didn’t want the tape loops to show, and I’ve been too lazy to fix it.  There’s only a tiny bit of paper curling.  And yes eagle-eyed readers, some of my Pop Vinyl figures have changed.  The Wonder Woman and Batgirl are now with the rest of the DC and Marvel figures on our comic book shelves near the kitchen.

So that’s it for the quasi-technical stuff – now onto the fun stuff!  Back in my pre-Bruce days I had moved into a new apartment and the site Apartment Therapy was my decorating bible.  I was also getting anal about the look of my place – I was buying a lot of my own furniture for the first time and I wanted it all to look sharp and cool like “Apartment Therapy apartments.”  I was on my way to having a beautiful, if a bit soulless, apartment when Apartment Therapy posted a House Tour of Aunt Peaches’ (old) place.  It was like the heavens opened up and rained-down some perspective on my little head: I am irreverent and my apartment was NOT reflecting that aspect of myself in any way, shape, or form.  From that point on I had a blast decorating my place – but my pride and joy were the comic walls (and my vinyl figure collection).

However, after doing some “Muppet upholstering” I paused to look around and I thought, “As a single woman I’m never going to find a guy who won’t take one look at my place and run screaming.”  So, I decided that if there wasn’t an intelligent guy out there who didn’t enjoy watching cartoons, being a dork, etc. as much as I did, then I was fine being single.

A few months later a friend convinced me to try Twitter after I had left Facebook.  I gave it a go and my 30th follower was some guy named Bruce (I was his 300th follower).  We had fun getting to know each other online, and it wasn’t long before he, a friend of his (Tracie), and I decided to meet up since we lived less than a half hour away from each other.  We all met up to go to a comic shop together and we had an instant kinship.  The next morning I asked him out on a date (if he was interested).  Turns out he was indeedy-doodle interested!

Three days later we had our first date and he got to see my apartment for the first time.  Did I mention he’s a comic artist?  Yeah.  This is his web comic (I’m linking to one of my favorite ones, but be forewarned that many of the strips are NSFW).  His jaw dropped at my comic walls (bonus: he didn’t run away).  He even tweeted a picture of my bathroom wall.  Needless to say we fell deeply in love and he has since moved in (his stuff complimented mine perfectly) and we now share the most adorkable apartment ever.

So, for my fellow intelligent/irreverent ladies out there: there is hope that there’s someone out there who is as witty and silly as you are.  Truly, if a guy looks at your decor and runs away, then that’s his problem and not yours.  Please don’t be afraid to be yourself and hide your zaniness!  Oh look: I’m on a soapbox! Where did that come from?!  I think y’all are pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down.  ::steps down from soapbox::

On a fun/silly aside: the other sickeningly sweet thing about the two of us is that we have a Godzilla comic connection.  Back when I was in the 5th grade, I made my own comics that my homeroom teacher would kindly post on one of the bulletin boards in the classroom.  It was called Duckie and it followed the exploits of a toy duck who is purchased by a yuppie family (here ya go, people not alive or too young in the 1980’s: yuppie definition).  Duckie (or “Duckiekins” as he’s called by the snobby little girl who owns him) is so enraged at their shallowness that he goes into evil rampages whenever humans aren’t around.  Typically he’d beat up the other toys in the girl’s collection.  The Godzilla strip had a twist on this general pattern:

Later on in the life of the strip Duckie became very involved in raging against school-related injustices.  Needless to say, most of those comics weren’t posted in school.

Cut to ::mumble-mumble:: years later, and Bruce had worked on IDW’s Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters as the inker:

Cut to this weekend, where I attended I-Con with him and we created our first collaborative art piece (I pencilled and he inked):

I’m seriously just noticing how much my 5th grade comic handwriting matches my handwriting of today.  Yowsa!  But I love this piece so much that yes, it’s getting framed and will be proudly hung in our home.

So there you have it:  a little decor, a little personal stuff, and a little silly stuff.  Basically that sums up my hope for this blog pretty dang well.

Next time, on a very special episode of Hafuboti (Five gold stars to anyone who got my reference to Clone High. Six gold stars to anyone who knows what Clone High is): Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Kermthulhu Mup’lyeh wgah’fragl fhtagn!