New Blog: An Ad a Day

I have a new blog! It’s called An Ad a Day and that’s what it does – it looks at one piece of marketing a day. Commercials, print ads, banner ads, anything that catches my attention for good or for ill. Check it out and feel free to comment on the ads and to send me any interesting ads you see as well (or places you think I should link to from there, since it’s blogroll is a little sad right now)!

Moving Update!

We’re in our new apartment in Austin, TX and Michael is off at his first day on the new job. I’ve been unpacking boxes like crazy and still can’t find some of the important stuff, but that’s how it goes. We’ll find everything eventually. I hope. So far we like that apartment a lot and I’m sure that pictures (and maybe videos) will be forthcoming.

On the drive down here I managed to read both of the first two 39 Clues books out loud and Michael and I enjoyed them very much. I’m planning to write a post about them in the next day or so. I’ve also pre-ordered the third and fourth ones for us already, so hopefully the story remains as compelling!

I’m hoping to be much better about updating both this blog and my book blog. I’ve been horrible about that (especially with this one, although I’ve been dutifully updating the pages to this website as necessary). We’ll see if I can actually stick to it this time!

Now back to unpacking!

Moving!

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted here much recently, but my life has been rather busy! So in November I had foot surgery to have a tiny bone removed from my foot (this wasn’t as big a deal as it sounds like, so don’t worry). The recovery from that was kind of long because it’s a foot and walking on it all the time makes it take longer to heal.

And just as I’m starting to be able to do more normal things again, Michael got a new job in Austin, Texas! So we’re moving. Next week. These things happen fast, it seems. Our possessions are already on their way down in a truck while we’re still in Madison with my parents for a few more days. We should get our new apartment down there next Wednesday and Michael starts his new job on Friday. See, things are happening fast! But I’m excited and hopeful that this will be good for us! So here’s to new adventures!

I promise to try and post here much more often in the coming months! Sorry I’ve been so silent of late.

New Feature: Gender-Flipped Tales

Prince and PrincessThere’s going to be a new feature up on PixiePalace starting tomorrow! It’s called “Gender-Flipped Tales” and it’s something that I’ve been doing for a long time, as sort of a thought experiment. I think other people might be interested in it, though, so I thought I’d share.

What I’ve been doing is taking traditional stories, fairy tales from Grimm, Perrault, other writers and stories from less well known collections (Celtic fairy tales, Asian tales, African tales, etc.) and rewriting the story with every character the opposite gender. I don’t change anything else, so you’ll find princesses out hunting and climbing towers while princes grow long hair and dance the night away. Obviously in cases like those, the story ends up sounding kind of odd. Some stories turn out pretty well, though. More importantly, the exercise reveals a lot about the characterizations and the gender biases presented in the story.

I’m going to try and put a new story up each week along with my thoughts on how well the experiment worked on that story and what I saw from it. The first one that will go up tomorrow is “Toads and Diamonds”, which is less well known but illustrates the process well. Please feel free to share thoughts with me on the stories or the project itself as I go along!

New Book Blog!

I know that few people read my book blog, but for those who do, it has moved! It is now located at http://www.pixiepalace.com/bookblog/ and is linked off the sidebar under “My Other Pages”. I decided that I wanted it under Word Press rather than LiveJournal.

For those who don’t know, my book blog is where I discuss book as I’m reading them. I write about what I’m thinking, how I am reacting to the book, and how I’m enjoying (or not enjoying) the book. It gets very nerdy sometimes as well as quite spoilerific. If you really want to know how I read and what goes through my head as I do so, though, it’s a pretty good account of it. Anyway, I’m excited that it’s moved and plan to continue using it for a very long time to come!

Site Updates, New Dolls

There have been a bunch of site updates lately that I have completely forgotten to post, so here are the ones I remember! Weeee!

There are movie lessons up for four new movies.

Bright Young Things:

- Men are dumb, don’t trust them with important things like money, they will mess it up
- Don’t marry, get engaged to or otherwise even associate with men who will either sell or buy you, your children or both
- Don’t let rich debutantes who don’t normally drive cars drive your race car. It’s bound to be bad for both the debutante and the race car (not to mention your standings in the race)
- If your father is the prime minister or otherwise important, don’t bring home your friends after a party for a drink and let them spend the night (especially if their reputations are less than spotless)

The Sword in the Stone:

- Your beard should never be so long that it can wrap around your head, it’s just asking for trouble
- Don’t turn into a squirrel during mating season, it’s just asking for trouble
- Small things will always defeat big things in the end

V for Vendetta:

- Remember remember important events in history or they will be repeated
- Don’t oppress people or they will rise up against you
- Don’t follow crazy religious fanatics, it’s really just a bad idea

X-Men III: The Last Stand:

- Don’t run races with girls who can phase through solid objects
- Don’t piss off women who can call down lightning on your head
- Don’t play with things that can cause your powers to disappear, even if you just intend to use them on someone else
- Don’t leave behind the woman who knows all your secrets

The lyrics to “Boom, Da Boom” from the episode “Pete’s One Man Show” of House of Mouse. It’s funny. Go read it. Also from House of Mouse (from the episode “Ask Von Drake”) is Von Drake’s list of where everyone sits. Again, it’s very funny. And it took me a very long time to transcribe it all, so go read it. I also have the answers Mickey got when he asked “What would you like for Christmas?” in the episode “Pete’s Christmas Caper” from House of Mouse.  There is also now a growing page of the “Brought to you by” messages from the end of each House of Mouse episode. The products they come up with are great and Mic’s little speaches about them are very funny. I wish I could include screenshots, but I don’t know how to do that.

There is now a page for book clubs. I’m only an active participant in one right now, and only one book has been read by that group, but there are links up to people’s thoughts about Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies, so if you are interested check them out. The next book up is Bone by Fae Myenne Ng.

There is now a page listing all the profiles of famous historical women that I’m working on (two have been posted so far). More will come, but they should all be blogged too, so it’s just there for reference. There are a lot of women on my list, so more should be coming soon!

There are several new dolls today too. The first is a pretty doll inspired by a piece of art that I can’t find anymore by Clio Chiang. It ended up pretty different from the original art (I totally couldn’t do the hair and you could only see the girl from the waist up or so), but I love how it turned out. The next doll is another one from Season 2 of Project Runway. This one is Diana Eng’s design from the first challenge (the muslin one). I like how the neckline detail turned out. Otherwise it doesn’t look that interesting. The next one is Dorothy in her blue and white gingham from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I think that she turned out well. The lady in the lovely red gown is based on some old fashioned pin-up art by Gil Elvgren. I’m not entirely happy with her, but overall I think that she turned out ok. Fifth I have a cute pirate-ish girl who reminds me of Ramona Quimby (from Beverly Cleary’s books), but is actually based on some sketches by Deanna Marsigliese. I love her hair. I’m almost never proud of hair, but I’m really proud of hers. The last doll is a little odd. I was looking at some pictures of Princess Zelda from the Legend of Zelda games (thinking about the shiny new one coming out with the Wii) and I thought she had some very 1920ish elements to her costume. Don’t ask. Anyway, I decided to play with the idea and this doll is the result. Like I said, it’s a little odd and didn’t turn out quite as I would have liked, but overall I like her. She’s unique. Anyway, they will all appear on the correct pages soon and if you click on them they will take you to the website of their basemaker.
Chinese New Year DollDiana Eng Episode 1DorothyPretty Red Pin-UpPirate GirlZelda 1920s

Comments Fixed

Well, if you’d asked me last night I would have had some choice things to say about our web host. Our databases were umm…sort of broken around midnight last night. Despite that, this morning they’re fixed and SecureImage seems to be working fine.

So! Hopefully you should be able to comment as per normal again. Please let me know if you have any further issues.

– Michael

New TV Snippets

There are two new TV Snippet pages. The first is a song from an episode of House of Mouse sung by the “Angry Villager People“. The second is a page that will hopefully continue to grow as time passes. It has the “sponsored by” ads from the end of House of Mouse episodes. They are usually quite funny and I hope they amuse you!

Comments

You may have had problems posting comments in the recent past. The Security image (also known as a captcha) has been acting up, and I’ve disabled it for now. This may result in some unpleasant spam, and offending comments will be deleted without mercy. The image will be restored as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience.

– Michael

Boring Tech Bits

For the curious:

The new site is WordPress 1.5. Translating the site from MovableType to WordPress was stunningly easy, with automated scripts provided by WP handling most of the work. The most time-consuming bit was moving over her extra pages, on the sidebar there. WordPress is very easy to skin, and we went through a number of options before settling on this Theme, entitled ‘Thirteen’. It’s written by WordPress wonderkind Becca, who has several themes up for option. The sidebar opening menus were cribbed from several WordPress themes, drawing the elements together to make what you see there.

WordPress supports a number of neat options, including incredibly handy plug-ins. Pixiepalace.com uses Random Quotes for the quote selection on the left, Search Pages, to allow the search function to look at pages as well as posts, and SecureImage for the captcha that is even now making you squint to decide if that’s a 1 or an I.

I have to say, I was so impressed by WordPress that I toyed around with the idea of moving Randomdialogue over to the system as well. You can see my results over here (warning: url will expire). I ended up deciding to stick with Blogger for now, but during my mulling period I did a lot of research. What you see on that dev page is the result of a night’s worth of hard work, and without resources I wouldn’t have been able to do it. If you’re thinking of moving a Blogger blog to WordPress, I highly recommend Justinsomnia’s How-To and Andy Skelton’s improved transfer program.

We had a lot of fun making the new site work. I hope you enjoy it.

– Michael

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