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What I Learned This Week – 1/31/16

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Tiny little lines for intricate coloring. Seems more stressful than relaxing to me. I prefer my Hello Kitty coloring book any day.

This week I learned a new meaning to “adult coloring.”

Get your mind out of the gutter.

My asbestos friend the soon-to-be famous author bought a pair of white tennis shoes and decorated them with words using Sharpies.

Now, I instantly thought:

  1. What a great idea!
  2. What a waste of (a) canvas.

I love to write, but I also love to draw. When presented with a blank canvas and a rainbow of markers, my mind automatically goes to all the cool pictures and designs that I could create.

So, I totally stole her idea and decorated up a pair of shoes for myself. My son urged me to leave some white space, but I just couldn’t do that. I covered them in colorful doodles of whatever fell into my brain. Which, of course included Punky Brewster, the Wienermobile, and the logos for my website and book series.

My decorated shows-the front!

My decorated shows-the front!

My decorated shoes-the back!

My decorated shoes-the back!

I have been daydreaming about living in a little pink shack in Hawaii lately. There is a picture I love by Hawaiian artist Holly Kitaura. I did my own representation on my shoes. (Don’t worry. They are just for me. I won’t sell them or make any money off of them.) I wanted to put Stitch on (as in Lilo &), but I forgot to.

Rainbow Hale by Holly Kitaura

Rainbow Hale by Holly Kitaura

I had many more important adult responsibilities to attend to on a gloomy Sunday, but I was drawn to work on the shoes until they were done. It is very possible that the Universe was sending me a message that I needed to take a breather. I’m glad I did.

My decorated shoes-the insides

My decorated shoes-the insides!

My decorated shoes-the outsides

My decorated shoes-the outsides!

I wonder if anyone would notice if I wore them to work. And would I rather no one noticed so that I wouldn’t get into trouble, or that they did notice because they are that awesome?

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish ForANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW!

The One with Sanrio Puroland

I am not a brave person by nature. I have to REALLY want something to leave my comfort zone.

I hate driving in cities. I only drove to downtown Ann Arbor by myself when I was at the height of my Kid Rock obsession and their was a DVD that I just had to buy. (By the way, that particular DVD was not licensed by him and SOOO not worth it.) I only drove in Downtown Detroit by myself when I wanted to go to Wordcamp 2012. (Interesting, but not really applicable to me:-( )

I only volunteered in a presidential campaign, calling people and going door to door, when I was obsessed the candidate. Once my obsession waned, it was almost impossible for me to function in such an environment.

I only published my book because it refused to remain unpublished any longer.

I do like to travel. But to drive anywhere in the car takes forever. Most of your vacation days are eaten up on the road, only seeing asphalt and experiencing rest stop restrooms. To get across the country fast, one can fly. But the only two times I have flown for travel in my life, (both times to Arizona), I found myself homesick shortly after arrival.

I would REALLY love to travel to Las Vegas and Hawaii someday. I would love to see all of the 50 states, actually. Maybe a lil’ Canada. But I would want to stick to places that speak English. That allows for London. And I took a lot of French in school. So I might be able to go to Paris on the same trip, if I left myself to the mercy of a tour group.  After four and a half years of taking French in school, I don’t remember any of it. Except the swear words.

My husband would like to travel all over the world. But that probably is not for me. Although I recently discovered an attraction that could have me changing my mind.

Some people love to go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland and be surrounded by Mickey, Minnie, Donald, the princesses, etc. I don’t have an affection for many Disney characters, except for Stitch and Boo. I think I would just find it overwhelming.

But there is a place that would overwhelm my senses with over-licensed characters that I do have a deep affection for:

Sanrio Puroland, located in Tama New Town, Tokyo, Japan

By Nesnad, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Nesnad, via Wikimedia Commons

It is an indoor theme-parked, dedicated to all things Sanrio, who’s most famous universe-wide character is Hello Kitty.

By Matryokeshi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Matryokeshi, via Wikimedia Commons

It would be awesome to see characters such as Hello Kitty, Badtz Maru, Landry, and Kerroppi walking around among the visitors. But can you even begin to imagine the gift shop?!

Photo: puroland.jp/liveshow/arigato_everyone_2

Photo: puroland.jp/liveshow/arigato_everyone_2

Hmmm…Maybe the best way to resolve this whole travel oversees issue is for Sanrio to build a Puroland here in the United States! Afterall, they have a Disneyland in Tokyo. Stranger things have happened.

Cracking Nuts

I asked for two things for Christmas this year. And I was so happy to get them both.

Works of Ahhh... Nutcracker Prince kit

Works of Ahhh… Nutcracker Prince kit

One item was a Decorate-Your-Own-Nutcracker kit. A number of years ago, for some strange reason, I became very fond of nutcrackers as Christmas decorations. At one point, I even had a six foot tall nutcracker, but I had to kick him out of the house. He was always breaking everything.

You are such a pig!  Leaving nut shells all over the floor...

You are such a pig! Leaving nut shells all over the floor…

I debated how to personalize my little hunk of wood. I am sharing the results with you here, honestly, because it seemed like a really easy blog post.

I present to you, Nutcracker Kid Rock.

I'm a pimp, you can check my stats.

I’m a pimp, you can check my stats.

Also, I wanted to give props to “Works of Ahhh…”, the makers of the kit. The nutcracker is a nice size for decorating, the paints cover in one coat, and the paint brushes are a nice enough quality to save for use on future artistic creations. The stickers included were useful, with details such as eyes and a mustache. The worst part of the project was the patience required to wait for paint or glue to dry before proceeding on to the next step.

It stinks that now that I have him all done and he looks so cool, I have to pack him away for next year. I will forget where I packed him among my dozen plastic storage boxes of Christmas decorations. I probably won’t lay eyes on him again for three years.

Now I am thinking it might have been fun to make a Hello Kitty nutcracker. Amazingly, that may be the one item that I have not seen her feline face plastered on.  Sanrio, get on that.

What was the other thing I wanted for Christmas, you ask? Here it is…

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

What I Learned This Week – 4/27/14

Posted on

This week I learned that Avril Lavigne had a new music video debut for her song “Hello Kitty.”

I also learned that the media has nothing good to say about it.

You might be wondering why I like songs by a young girl.  But she will actually turn 30 this year.

Then you will wonder why I like songs by a chick who can’t dress her age.  Maybe because I also tend to dress strangely on occasion.

Her music keeps me feeling young.  I have all her albums.

It is a wonderful, candy-coated cupcake land to make my senses dance! Still from "Hello Kitty" video

It is a wonderful, candy-coated cupcake-land to make my senses dance!
Still from “Hello Kitty” video

First, the media was saying that the song was racist.  I’m not sure why.  I read in one article that it was because the Asian women behind her were expressionless as they danced, perpetuating some sort of ‘Asian women are submissive’ stereotype.  I’m not sure what that says about the white women behind Robert Palmer or African-American backup dancers in a rap video.

Then Entertainment Weekly (who I usually love), came out with this article:

A serious attempt to explain Avril Lavigne’s ‘Hello Kitty’ music video  http://popwatch.ew.com/2014/04/22/avril-lavigne-hello-kitty-music-video/

NOTE:  The guy who got assigned to the article didn’t even know that he was supposed to find the video racist.

The article angered me for many reasons.  It compares Avril to every other female artist in the last 20 years. Why?  She has to compete with Katy Perry shooting whip cream out of her tits.  Everyone thought that was a stroke of genius.  Avril is herself. That is who she has always been, even when she was being dissed for her skater girl clothes and pop-punk songs.  The writer also decides to go take advantage of his page space to “go off” on pop-punk.  Guess what?  She is still punk-y and pop-py and wearing her raccoon eyeliner and still selling tons of albums and getting radio airplay.  She must be doing something right.

The article spends more time talking about Gwen Stephanie’s “Hollaback Girl” than it does Avril’s video.  And I rewatched Gwen’s video, and find no similarities.  Gwen’s Harajuku girls are dressed up as gangstas.  What the hell is THAT about?

When the writer runs out of other nonsensical things to criticize Avril about, he start on the grammar of her song.  Really?  Since when are song lyrics held up to the same standards as that of high school English students.

Here is Avril’s response to the racist allegations, complete with more put-downs from EW:

Avril Lavigne responds to criticism that her ‘Hello Kitty’ video is racist  http://music-mix.ew.com/2014/04/24/avril-lavigne-hello-kitty-video-racist-response/

I am mad that the video has poor directing, but part of that could be that Avril used a Japanese director.  They do things different there.

People should be offended that I am pretty sure this song is sooo dirty:

Come come Kitty Kitty
You’re so pretty pretty
Don’t go Kitty Kitty
Stay with me
Come come Kitty Kitty
You’re so silly silly
Don’t go Kitty Kitty
Play with me

Um, is “Kitty” what I think it is?

If anyone should be mad about the video, it should be diabetics!  The song includes the lyrics:

Let’s all slumber party
Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties
Someone chuck a cupcake at me

If I was a fat kid, I would be offended by that!  And the video is enough to put anyone into a sugar coma.  But I can’t stop listening or watching it because it is so catchy & I find her cupcake skirt mesmerizing.

Here is Avril’s “Hello Kitty” video, so that you may judge for yourself.  It is near 3 million views.

My conclusion is that you should not be mad that the video is racist or cheesy.  You should be mad that it is dirty and sugary.  But hey, it worked for Def Leppard.  (Hey, their NAME isn’t even spelled properly!)

What I Learned This Week – 2/9/14

This week I learned that my family and I have very different personalities.

We spent a little family time at Build-A-Bear (or cat) Workshop this week. All the animals we picked out are very different. But I think the ones we picked out represent us all very well. It would be fun to psychoanalyze us by our choices. See the picture below…

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son's), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband's)

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son’s), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband’s)

FYI–If I get 20 different people to comment on this post, you will all be rewarded with a video of Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty twerking!!!

Quite the incentive, huh? Send over your friends and family! All are welcome here! (Except Negative Nellies! That is why my mom has no idea about my blog. Shhhhh!)

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