American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why I'm an Outsider - Part Three: The Wicked Witch of Customizing and the Birth of AG > 18

It was still just two.
It can be very hard finding one's place in any fandom, especially when there's a tone that doesn't mesh with yours. The American Girl fandom is both huge and small at the same time. And American Girl, unlike a lot of other fandoms, don't often seek out AG so much as stumble upon it one way or another as a child. It was catalogs in the 80s and 90s, and nowadays it's stores. Most people learn about AG as children too young to properly be on the internet. And a lot of people lurk to get a feel for a place. (I'm sure there's lurkers on AGC.)

I didn't like the tone of the AG fandom or the heavy fundie feel, but I endured. Even with the overall tone on AG Fans that conflict of any kind and bickering was improper, your posts had to be able to be read by the most sensitive of people, and there was a lot of stealth editing of posts and deleting of controversy. Things had to be for the children, and the baseline was "super sheltered Christian girl child whose eyes would melt at the mention of anything unwholesome." This also had the nasty effect of people often saying that we needed to consider the children in everything we did, thought, or posted. It was very Helen Lovejoy.1

I had other fandoms to get my weird out in, though I was starting to fade out of the majority of My Little Pony fandom, Gen 3's awesome notwithstanding. I was deep into into Harry Potter, where we were in the gap between Half Blood Prince and the unnamed Seventh Book Conclusion; I had Pokemon--which still was on Gen Three but creeping towards Gen Four with Diamond and Pearl due out in Japan that September. I was sewing and crafting some. Even if I was woefully unemployed, I was okay. Depressed, but okay.

But I wasn't getting a whole lot out of the American Girl fandom. There was mostly news, and keeping up with what was coming out.  The American Girl community on LiveJournal was slow moving, and mostly about the buying and selling of things. I stayed lurking like a motherfucker on AG Fans, but I had made some decent friends and connections. I'd signed up to AG Playthings--which was starting to rise--and people knew my dolls, Addy and Naomi. I'd taken them both to Texas for a vacation at my mom's and taken some photostories with them, mostly consisting of things like hanging around outside the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Texas A&M campus. I wasn't a big name fan, but I was making a bit of a name for myself. I was even, on my ElJay2 going into a series of posts about the issues in AG--sexism, racism, and the like. Seeds of social justice planted, though I'd had that for years in ways. About the only new thing coming around were small releases of historical stuff, some modern stuff, another set of All White Bitty Twins, and the Big Thing for Jess--since at this time they did the big thing during the summer. I wasn't doing great, but I was doing good.

Then a spark lit up. And it wasn't even me who fully started it. Go fig.

Prologue: Not Such a Sweet Baby Face
Part One: Finding AG Fans, or How Periods are Bad For Children
Part Two: There's Fundies in My Fandom

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: 2014 Holiday Winter Wrap Up

Happy birthday to me!
"OMG THE NEW SHIT HAS BEEN OUT FOR A WEEK, NETH, WHERE ARE YOU." It was my birthday, so there. Saturday I went and had dinner with a really awesome AG friend at the Cafe--AG Seattle lets you do a la carte where the rest do not, and damn was the salmon good--and when I ordered sorbet for desert, the staff put candles in it. AG Cafe Seattle, I love you. (And that was fucking good sorbet too.) Yesterday was the birthday proper1 and like a responsible adult I did shit all all day and had cake for dinner. Welcome to adulthood!

Did I get AG gifts? I did. Buddy Girl got me a designed shirt,  I got me Kit and Julie's Meet stuff, and my brother got me egg chair Egg Chair EGG CHAIR EEEEEN~ which is so going to get the shit reviewed out of it. But enough about me and my age no longer being a perfect palindrome but still being a pretty number. I know you can't live without me shitting on/praising/cockeyeing everything AG comes out with so lemme get on with it.

Normally the AG Holiday Blowout comes through in early to mid September to give you several months of "but I want it I need it i really like her mane!" before the holidaze hit. We are also overdue for a new moddie meet outfit cause it's been like, two years of this current set. But this year was the rise of BeForever and the Glory Therein, so maybe next spring or summer. Come on AG, we're due and I'm tired of looking at the outfit we've got right now. They didn't release much, but it's enough to go on.

Time to tear this shit up. Fuck the Bitty Shit.2 You know the drill.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Clothes Reviews: Sparkly Tunic and Jeans Outfit (2006)

Otters is Sparkling to the Nines.
Hey, guess what? The new stuff's out for the End of Year! Hey, guess what? I'm going to go see it Saturday, so I'll blog about it the day after. For now, a review of older stuff. 

My birthday is in less than a week; I'll be thirty-four, Year five giving a big eff you to the cultural assumption that assumes that women never want to be older than twenty-nine. Fuck "forever twenties" ideas. I remember my twenties, and most of it was terrible and rife with wracking depression that I now keep generally under control. Part of my celebration is that I'm going to the AG Cafe here in Seattle with a buddy--as the Beyoncé song goes, I'm a grown woman and can do whatever I want. And what I want is to take one of my gang members to the American Girl Cafe and eat their food and be a dolly nerd. Fun fact about me is that I like to say I ran a gauntlet to get my birthday as my own day. The 4th is my late Grandma Valeria, the 7th (or 8th) is my Aunt Florence, today (the 9th) is my grandma Aquilla (affectionately called Goose)1 and the 14th is my father, Harold. I missed all those days one after the other, showed up two weeks late, and hit Wednesday the 15th--and did the same thing my dad did with my grandma Goose and showed up as a belated birthday gift. That's fate for you.

When it comes to birthday gifts, I'm simple and complicated at the same time. Because I like dolls, right, so you'd think I want dolls and doll accessories--but when it comes to AG there's so much I already have so your best bet is to ask instead of trying to surprise me. Well until new stuff comes out and I go "I don't have that!" or "I don't want that." This was not true when I started collecting in 2005 and 2006. So for my 26th birthday, a buddy who wasn't even much into AG, Kaze, sent me the Sparkly Tunic and Jeans Outfit which had come out just that year in 2006. At the time I had two historicals and three moddies. Otters, Marisol, and Naomi had to share the set--and it looked great on all three of them and cemented itself as one of the best outfits ever.

The set at the time cost $26 and came with a tunic top, jeans, clogs, hairbands, and an informational story about bands, likely an article from AG Magazine.2 It was retired in 2008--about standard lifespan for an AG set, and unlike a lot of older clothes is somewhat common and almost never goes higher than the original cost, only to about $30 or so. It shows up regularly enough on the 'Bay to be found at a sensible cost.

Otters is rocking this because I took pictures of her in it. There is very little Otters does not rock because Otters is awesome.