Tag Archives: imagination

My Dream Team of Female Superheros

When I was a little girl, I used to watch a lot of cartoons.  There were favorites that I NEVER missed.  And from that selection, I created and drew pictures of my Dream Team of Female Superheros.  Sort of a Fantasy Football thing, but with cartoon action figures.  I picked out all my favorites and put them in my own crime fighting, sass-mouthing team.  Believe me, this was the sole occupation of my thoughts on many a car trip.   And since it’s Guilty Pleasure Friday, I felt comfortable sharing my team with you.  Here are my favorite female superheros!

     Rogue:  If I could pick one superhero to become, I’d always pick Rogue.  Rogue in the cartoon X-Men was so much more awesome than the one in the X-Men movie.  Rogue’s story is a bit of a tearjerker, but she always comes out fighting, and that’s why I love her.  Her real name is most often unreferenced and unknown, but I hear it’s Anna Marie.  Rogue was born a mutant in Mississippi, with powers that caused her to unintentionally drain strength, memories, and supernatural powers from anyone she touches.  Yikes!  She ran away as a teenager and cursed her mutant talents.  She originally joined the Marvel comic book collection as part of the villain’s team.  After running away, she was taken in by one of the coolest female super-villains around, Mystique (who can shape shift into anyone she wants to).  Eventually, Rogue seeks counsel at Professor Xavier’s and joins up with the X-Men, fighting for equal rights between mutants and humans.  Her southern belle charm, colossal strength, and ability to fly make her my all-time fave.  Ok, it could have a little something to do with her red hair.

StormI loved X-Men so much my dream team has two of its superwomen.  Storm got her mutant name due to her ability to control the weather, and she is lethal with that power when pressed.  Her original name, Ororo Munroe, blends her heritage of a Kenyan priestess and sorceress mother and American photojournalist father.  She is one of the most featured X-Men of time, appearing in all versions of the series.  It must be the writer in me that needed Storm in my group because she was known for her dramatic and rich speeches while she fought evil.  😉

Ah yes, this was the theme song that played in my house everyday after school in 2nd grade.

     Invisible WomanSusan “Sue” Storm Richards became known as the Invisible Woman after being exposed to cosmic radiation during a test flight in space.  She, with her shipmates, love interest Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Ben Grimm (the Thing), and her brother, Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) all gain superpowers.  They inevitably become a crime-fighting team called Fantastic Four.  I want Sue on my team because of her at-will stealth abilities.  Becoming invisible will be handy when I plot to take over the world.  Muahahaha!

Dot MatrixI bet you haven’t heard of Dot.  She was on an early morning cartoon show called Reboot, which originated in Vancouver, Canada.  Wikipedia tells me it was the first half hour completely computer-animated TV show.  All the characters’ names played off of technology.  Right down to the villains, Megabyte and his wicked sister Hexadecimal!

Hexadecimal. See, look how creepy she is!

Hexadecimal scared the bejeezus out of me!  The show ReBoot was kind of like my generation’s version of Tron, but entirely CG-animated.  The main character was Bob, a guardian who had to protect gamers from viruses, like Hexadecimal.  Dot didn’t actually have superpowers; she ran a local diner, but she was a smart businesswoman, made sound decisions, and wasn’t afraid to help.  I wanted her on my team.

Here’s a pretty funny clip I found from ReBoot (which is hard to find now!)  It’s Bob, Dot, and Dot’s brother Enzo trying to figure out how to turn off the TV chip, Mike.  I think he’s on to something with his gift idea here.  Christmas is coming, you decide.

     Sailor MoonThis is one anime show that did suck me in.  I was babysitting all summer and the kids watched Pokemon.  I preferred Sailor Moon.  I was forced to create games around both shows.  Sailor Moon is the story of Serena Tsukino, a girl who hates waking up in the mornings and has many a catastrophe during her day, but she can transform into Sailor Moon, the “Soldier of Love and Justice.”  Aren’t you charmed yet?  Though she’s rather a crybaby at the start, through Sailor Moon, Serena gains confidence and finds the other soldiers known as the Sailor Senshi.  Together they will rescue the princess of their solar system and maintain world peace!  The cool thing about Sailor Moon *stop rolling your eyes at me, I see you!* is that this is the story of a girl who finds her own.  At the start, she is naive, whiny, and always getting into trouble and having to be rescued by her love-interest, Tuxedo Mask-which for the record is the dumbest superhero name I’ve ever heard!  By the end, she learns that she herself is the princess, Princess Serenity, and she is more powerful than she ever imagined.  All it took was a cat named Luna as her mentor, her destined true love *sigh, stupid name* Tuxedo Mask, and a camaraderie of true friends.

And check out her catchy theme song!

What say you?  Did I choose my Female Superhero team wisely?  Who would you have picked?  Who would you want to be?  Do tell!

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What’s a Little Blood in the Name of Sibling

It’s evident I’m the youngest, isn’t it?  A bit self-absorbed, over-imaginative, still wants presents from her parents.  But I’m also a bit of an oops baby, a party crasher if you will.  There my parents were, living out the American Dream, happily running their own restaurant, raising three children, forming friendships that would last them a lifetime.  And then yours truly showed up, rolling to the party during a Friday Night Fish Fry.  Of course my parents will tell you I was a surprise, and for my siblings who range 7-13 years older, I was a live doll to torture play with.  Here’s the thing, they started out by including me, they let me play games, use their toys, eat candy, and entertain them with talented impressions of Steve Urkel from Family Matters.

This is Steve Urkel.

But then, we started playing new kinds of games, games called “Experiments.”  We learned what would happen when your teenage sister asks you to close your eyes and hold out your hand.  A cascade of clacking noises follow and little hard lumps topple into your hand.  It could be candy, you think with anticipation.  It’s not.  It’s your teenage sister’s collection of baby teeth.  That’s right, she dumped her teeth in your hand.  “Why do you have these?” you scream, your face contorted in horror.  There is no reply, she is laughing too hard.

Gross, but harmless fun, right?  Well, that was before my brother got a microscope for christmas.  This time when you’re asked to help “experiment” they tell you to hold up your index finger.  They proceed to wrap a rubber band around and around and around the tip of your finger.  They wait while your finger changes from its healthy, fleshy pink coloring to a purple blue bulging nub.  Then, they do the inevitable, they tell you to close your eyes again.  You should run, you should know this means trouble, you should call for help, but they’re so much cooler than you are, they can ride bikes and pick out their own clothes, and most important of all, they’re family, they wouldn’t hurt you. “Owwwwww!”  Turns out they can hurt you.  In fact, your siblings stabbed you.  They wanted to know what blood looked like under the microscope.

Early 90's version of a torture device, cleverly named science tool.

This is why I played alone.  And why my favorite game was called Orphan.  And it’s another example of why I’m convinced I have multiple lives.  But the truth is, I love my siblings.  I love them for helping make me a stubborn, and overly imaginative child.  If I’d have had a harmonious childhood, I’d have had nothing to write about.  And really, what’s a little blood in the name of sibling?

How about you readers?  Were you the mad scientist in the household, or the Frankenstein freak being tested on?  I’m thinking about starting a club someday, TITHAFYS, Teeth in the Hand Alliance For Youngest Siblings, I’ll be needing a strong leadership team, put your nominations in for VP, treasurer, and secretary.  Happy writing!

How to Play the Game “Orphan”

I am the youngest of four children.  A “surprise” if you ask my parents, a “mistake” if you ask my siblings, and a “party crasher” if you ask me.  Being seven years younger than my closest sibling, much of my childhood was spent watching movies, reading mystery books, and writing fantastical short stories to be later performed as a one woman puppet show in my room.

Seeing as I had only myself for entertainment, my imagination ran wild with adventure and tales of great woe.  Seeing as my parents were the age of my classmates’ grandparents, I was convinced they would be dead before I graduated eighth grade.  I thought, I’d better prepare myself for how to live alone.  Thus began the many escapades of Jess, lone street rat and orphan girl, hiding out by day in her makeshift cave and creeping by night stealing fruit snacks from the pantry cupboards.  She was not to be toyed with!

The stairwell in our house had a banister at the top with a few bars running horizontally for looks and structural support.  The space between the stairs and the first bar became the secret crevice to enter my hideaway and had to be crawled through on one’s stomach.  Once safely in my room, a string or jump rope was tied from the dresser handle across the room to the plant stand which doubled as a storage unit for my mass quantity of Cabbage Patch Dolls (Annette, Lanny, Paula, Patti, Heather, Tay, Humphrey, Barney, Keri Ann, Sara, Sloane, Chrissy, Pat, Camilla and Suzette).  After the string was tied, blankets were thrown over the line creating a secret canvas covered hideout or puppet show theater depending on your mood.  Hidden behind these draperies the cries from the streets of “Riffraff!” and “Scoundrel!” could not harm me.

The challenge while playing orphan was to go as long as possible being unseen.  So, to sneak food, one had to crawl through the secret crevice over the stairwell, descend the steps, slide down the frame of the door, quickly crawl under the dining room table and wait until opportunity came.  Then, you crab walked into the kitchen, silently opened the pantry door, pulled out a fruit roll-up or box of croutons, and crab walked back under the table to delight in your stolen afternoon snack.

Another challenge in the game of orphan could only be played when left alone in the house for short periods of time.  The game was called “don’t touch the carpet” and it counted how many times you could get around the living room using only the furniture before you slipped or fell onto the carpet.  Here’s how an expert at this game does it.

  1. Begin on the couch.
  2. Bounce across its cushions.
  3. Step onto the end table, avoid coasters and magazine piles.
  4. Jump onto the loveseat.
  5. Repeat step 2.
  6. Stretch legs to the rocking chair and go!
  7. Steady yourself, or pretend to surf for awhile.
  8. Stretch onto the smaller end table.
  9. Move to the chair in the corner.
  10. *Note:  The final task is extremely difficult if playing in sock feet, proceed with caution.  Step 10.  Crawl onto the TV, and cling for dear life on the frame around the screen, when a good distance jump is there, jump back to the couch.  Repeat steps 1-10.

One thing I learned while playing orphan is that you get lonely.  You really need a sidekick.  Soon I had two, a cat named Carmel and a dog named Tipper.  Make sure your sidekick is someone you can trust with secrets, such as your hideaway whereabouts.  Sometimes when you’re an orphan, a secret language must be developed so you can leave written messages to your pals without an invader knowing what it means.  These can then be conveniently pinned to your canvas with a clothespin.

So if you’re thinking about playing the game Orphan, here’s a list of supplies you may want to include.

  1. blankets to build your hideaway/take a nap
  2. stuffed animals/dolls for trusty sidekicks
  3. junk food for the road, the days are long are arduous as an orphan
  4. paper and pens/markers because orphans are extremely intelligent and creative
  5. a tape recorder and microphone because orphans are known to burst into song when they’re safely hidden in their getaway home

What sort of games did you play as a child?  Who would you take as your sidekick?

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