Action Figure Diary—Search Results

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(#71) Trish: Our little Dear Abby

(1) TRISH: What's all this? JANE: Questions for my new advice column. I get more every day. (2) TRISH: What advice have you given so far? JANE: Get Caller ID, take out your anger on inanimate objects, and avoid nutjobs. (3) TRISH: This is pretty good, Jane. BRIAN: You can't be serious about letting her do this! (4) TRISH: I wouldn't choose this hobby for Jane, but she isn't doing anything wrong. ALEX: Am I naked? In nightmares, I'm usually naked.

Jane offered some advice in Episode #70. If you'd like to get advice from Jane, or any of the other action figures, please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 11/20/05 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#74) Jane: Advice for neglected action figures and bald guys

Some people liked my first advice column and sent in their own questions. Check it out:

Q: I'm one of many action figures belonging to a dedicated and enthusiastic collector. Lately, the collector has not been spending much time with me or my sisters. Even his male action figures are feeling neglected or left out. I think our collector is ditching us, he seems very busy and tired all the time with his work and all. Any suggestions on how my siblings and I can approach our collector and let him know that we need some of his attention?

A: Whatever you do, donít whine! If I wanted someone to pay more attention to me, Iíd do something really cool where they could see it—then theyíd come to ME.

It sounds like you have a lot of action figures there. Get all your siblings together to make your own kung fu movie or something like that. Have your own great time and wait for him to join in.

If it takes a while for him to catch on, at least youíre having fun making a kung fu movie.

Q: Your question: My son is growing bald and he is very upset about it. I keep telling him that it's proof that he's coming out on top. What should he do?

A: This seems like more of a boy issue, so I asked Alex to handle it. Alex said, ďAction figures donít go bald, but our human, Joe, is bald on top and has been for years. I think you should tell your son to act like Joe. Joe is very confident about his looks and girls seem to dig that. Since he acts like heís got it goiní on, he gets treated like heís got it goiní on. Iíve seen lots of girls hit on Joe, even when other guys in the room were taller or had more hair. Attitude is everything, apparently.Ē

* If you want advice from Jane (or any of the other action figures), please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 12/11/05 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#94) Brian: Invention advice for action figures

Q: Why do your siblings give you such grief about making a catapult? Our human made us a working 1:6 ballista, and has promised us an onager. They should encourage your spirit of inquiry.

A: My siblings are still bitter about the catapult because we all had to spend a week helping with the post-fire cleanup. How was I to know that my catapult would be strong enough to reach a hot pan of oil in the kitchen?! My planned trajectory was the hallway. There were no hot pans of oil in the hallway. Thatís the last time I build a war machine out of kitchen utensils.

I do not deserve this reputation. When I create my next invention without a single spark, they will see that the catapult incident was just a fluke.

Iíll show them. Iíll show them all.

Q: Iím having trouble with some of the cats and dogs in our neighborhood. Do you have any adviceóor inventionsóto help action figures avoid becoming chew toys?

A: I was working on a keep-away spray, but it dissolved Alexís clothes for some reason and Iím not allowed to work with chemicals any more.

* If you want to send a question to Brian (or any of the other action figures), please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 04/30/06 | Permalink | Comments (3) |

(#182) Brian: Advice on secret labs

Q: I'm thinking about developing a secret lab to keep my sisters from interfering in my experiments. Have you ever tried this? Do you have any suggestions or warnings?

A: This is an intriguing and tempting idea. Having a place to experiment without criticism could really help an inventor grow. In terms of safety, however, I feel obligated to mention that a hidden lab could be a hazard to an inventor whose experiment has gone dangerously wrong, since it would hinder rescue attempts.

I think a better way to accomplish something like this is to hide in plain sight. If you could think of an activity that requires a private space with the door closed, but holds no interest for the other people you live with, you could use that as a cover for a lab. People wouldnít interrupt you, but they would still be able to hear you if you screamed for help.

For example, Lisa and Jane could be planning world domination in their yoga space, but since Alex and I have absolutely no interest in yoga, we would never go in there to catch them. Maybe I should go see what those two are really up to, just to be sure . . .

* If you want to send a question to Brian (or any of the other action figures), please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 11/03/08 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#82) Jane: Advice for scared siblings

As part of my new world order for 2006, Iím answering your questions and getting your life back on track. Hereís the latest:

Q: I have a mean sister who won't share the computer with me. I have to wake up early to use it or she'll push me off.

A: Iím not big on sharing either, but I think I can help. Think about how your sister scares you away from the computer and find a way to up the ante. A stone cold look and a menacing attitude can be very effective. If you threaten her, be vague about what youíll do. Her imagination will do the heavy lifting for you, and it will be harder for your parents to punish you.

Q: I fear for the lives of my action figures. When I leave them alone, a head goes missing. I know itís my psychotic sister who does this. What should I do?

A: Send me her home address and sleeping schedule. Donít tell anyone we spoke.

* If you want to send a question to Jane (or any of the other action figures), please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 02/05/06 | Permalink | Comments (1) |

(#174) Alex: Advice on bathing

Q: Alex, how often do you have to take a bath? My Mom expects me to take one EVERY SINGLE DAY.

A: I only have to wash when I get dirty and I donít get dirty very often. Action figures donít sweat, so thatís a big help right there. I donít spend much time outside because thatís where the animals live, so that helps, too. When I do have to take a bath, I like to swim laps in the tub or pretend to rescue my rubber ducky and that helps the time just fly by.

Jane and Lisa like baths so much that they take them for fun. They also use something called ďbath bombs.Ē Brian and I thought they were going to be really cool, but we followed the instructions and they didnít explode at all.

* Send your question to Alex--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 07/14/08 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#70) Jane: My first advice column

Iím tired of complaining about how dumb some advice columns are, so I decided to start my own. These are some questions I found in other advice columns, with my answers instead of those wimpy ones:

Q: Iíve been happily married to a wonderful man for over 20 years. A few weeks ago, an anonymous woman called and said my husband was cheating. My husband says heís been faithful and I have no other reason to doubt him. Iím having a lot of trouble getting over this. My husband is willing to go to counseling or do anything else I need. What should I do?

A: Everybody on the planet should get Caller ID and set it to reject unidentified calls. Life is too short to interrupt your Xena marathon for a telemarketer.

If you canít find out who did this, you need another way to deal:

1. Draw a picture of this woman. Youíre making it up, so go for something really repulsive.
2. Attach the picture to a punching bag or something like that.
3. Attack the picture mercilessly until itís destroyed. Feel free to use weapons.
4. Repeat until you feel better.

Q: My brother, sister, and I have a problem. When we disagree with our other sister, she takes revenge on us. When I said she was wrong to start a fight, ďsomeoneĒ called Child Protective Services on me. When my other sister disagreed with her, "someone" smashed her car windows. When my brother said something she didn't like, ďsomethingĒ killed all his birds (the day after she was there). We also get crank calls and she drives past our homes a lot.

She has bragged to other family members about doing these things. When we told our parents, they said it was all just coincidences.

This sister needs surgery and our parents want us to be supportive. We donít want anything more to do with her. I told my children to call the police if she comes to our house again. What else can we do?

A: Youíre not just taking what sheís dishing out, which is good, but you need to go a little further. Your sister is a nutjob and your parents have betrayed you by ignoring the fact that sheís a nutjob. (She admitted to someone that she killed those birds and your folks still wonít listen?!)

Why are you guys still talking to her? Why was she in your brotherís house? You would avoid a stranger who did these things. Why do you think you have to take it just because you have the same parents? All three of you need to push this nutjob as far away as you can and donít let her near any of you any more. Get Caller ID, change your phone numbers, change your locks, maybe even move. She killed an animal to get back at someone. Thatís Fatal Attraction stuff.

Your parents are a problem, because they could give the nutjob your new contact information. I suggest a pact where the three of you cut off contact with your parents for one year. (You can tell them why.) After a year, get in touch and see if theyíve wised up yet. If they have, you can work something out. If they havenít, avoid them for another year. If they think this nutjob is so great, they can have her all to themselves.

* If you want advice from Jane (or any of the other action figures), please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 11/13/05 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#113) Brian: Invention advice on household robots

Q: I want to make blade attachments for my robotic vacuum cleaner so it can do double-duty and mow the lawn, too. Do you have any pointers or suggestions for a project like that?

A: As someone whoís less than a foot tall, I prefer the small, robotic vacuums to the standard models. The robot vacuums are less intimidating to action figures, and theyíre quite fun for us to ride around on. But the thought of adding blades to a robot vacuum is pretty terrifying to me. It could all go horribly wrong for action figures and other small beings. Iím sure youíre sincere about only wanting to use such an invention on your lawn, but Iíve learned the hard way that we have no control over what other people do with our inventions.

As an inventor, you can release your creation into the world with the best of intentions, but people will corrupt it in ways youíd never expect. After a while, you start wondering whether you were better off when your inventions didnít survive the testing process. You start doubting whether itís worth the heartache to try inventing again, or if you should just try bonsai gardening or something.

I usually go lie down when I feel like this, but Iíd probably just have nightmares. Please abandon your plans for the blade attachments. The action figures of the world will thank you.

* If you want to send a question to Brian (or any of the other action figures), please fill out our advice form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 09/10/06 | Permalink | Comments (1) |

(#156) Jane: Advice for annoyed roommates

Q: My roommate is a pest when we have company. When my friends and I are watching a movie, she interrupts three or four times to ask if we want to play cards or Scrabble or whatever. We keep telling her that weíre never going to stop a movie in the middle to go play games, but she wonít knock it off. What would you do?

A: I would tell her that I want to play a game called ďXena vs. the FoolĒ and sheís the fool.

Q: My roommate is a slob who leaves his shoes, jackets, and other junk all over the house. It drives me nuts to dodge his stuff all the time. What would you do?

A: If I couldnít just ignore it, Iíd make a pile of all his stuff. However, thereís no guarantee that Iíd tell him where the spot is or that Iíd use the same spot two days in a row.

If Iím going to pick up after someone else, I might as well have fun with it.

* Send your question to Jane--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 10/22/07 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#77) Jane: My new world order for 2006

This time last year, I made my new world order for 2005:

Trish: Stop working so much and come home more. If you have to be out late, at least be out having fun.

Lisa: Let your inner bad girl out to play once in a while. Weíre sistersóyou must have one in there somewhere.

Joe: You work a little too much, too. You havenít really bugged me yet, so just keep making Trish happy and weíll be cool.

Alex: Stop being such a freak and just deal with real life. It wonít bite youóand if it does, just bite back.

Brian: Get out of your head and into the world more. If you can get out during Xena, that would rock.

Trish and Joe did a good job on working less. Lisa kicked everyoneís butt at poker, which was a pretty bad girl thing to do. Alex and Brian are just useless, though. I donít know what to do with them. Their Christmas with Khan play was beyond my help. What is wrong with them? Can action figures get brain damage?

For 2006, Iím going to take a break from telling my family what to do and focus on the bigger picture. I wrote my first advice column in November and my second column in December. Iím really digging that. I donít need to waste any more of my time trying to fix Alex and Brian. In 2006, Iím all about helping people who want to be helped. Thatís where the real action is.

You need to get in touch with me about where youíre going wrong with your life so that I can straighten you out. Fill out the advice form and Iíll get you back on track.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 01/01/06 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#165) Alex: Advice on being confidently weird

Q: I made up a great character for a Make-Your-Own-Superhero party a few weeks ago and had the best time. I like my costume so much that I want to wear it around the house sometimes, but Iím worried that my stepbrother will tease me. What should I do?

A: Start wearing your costume behind closed doors while you build your confidence. When you feel like you own it, you can start wearing your costume around the house without caring what other people say.

While youíre building your confidence behind closed doors, it probably wouldnít hurt to build some muscles, too. Get some free weights or something.

Q: Why are you weird?

A: Someone once told me, ďEveryone is weird, but everyone elseís weirdness seems strange.Ē

* Send your question to Alex--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 01/28/08 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#172) Alex: Advice on Batman vs. Superman

Q: Alex, why do you still refuse to admit that Batman is the ultimate superhero? He has expanded his natural abilities through years of vigorous physical and intellectual training. And donít even get me started on his magnificent inventions . . .

By way of comparison, Superman was born that way. He wouldnít have even been considered super if he had lived his entire life on his own planet. In light of this information, how can you persist in your belief that Superman is the ultimate superhero?

P.S. Your sports equipment is spreading towards my side of the room again.

A: Nice try, Brian. I still maintain that the best superheroes are defined by their amazing superpowers and how they use them for the common good. Gadgets and training just canít compare, in my opinion. I respect Batman, but I still believe that Superman rules.

P.S. Letís not relive the ďmy side/your sideĒ debate of 2003. Nothing good can come of that.

* Send your question to Alex--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 04/14/08 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#138) Alex: Advice on raccoons vs. dogs

Q: I know that you are concerned about raccoons, but isn't there just as much danger, if not more, from neighborhood dogs? (Especially the yappy little ones that just have a generally bad attitude.) Also, what about squirrels?

A: Reasons why raccoons are MUCH scarier than dogs:

(1) Raccoons have thumbs, so they can open garbage cans, doors, and all kinds of other things that dogs canít.
(2) Raccoons are nocturnal, so theyíre most likely to sneak up on you when youíre sleeping.
(3) Raccoons have resisted domestication, so theyíre much tougher than dogs.
(4) Urban raccoons have been getting bolder and more dangerous, even going so far as to attack cats and dogs.

Squirrels freak me out when Iím outside, but no one I know has had issues with them invading the house. Iíve heard lots of stuff about raccoons coming in through pet doors and terrorizing families and pets.

Honestly, I donít know why everyone isnít building raccoon-proof panic rooms right now. Wake up and fear the raccoons, people!

* Send your question to Alex--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 03/05/07 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#161) Jane: Advice on stupid ponies

Q: My parents are always unreasonable about my Christmas list. I think I have a better chance of getting what I really want if I ask for something outrageous, like a submarine or a pony. What would you do?

A: I would make this exact same mistake and then suffer for it terribly. I asked for a pony as a negotiation tactic and now my family is torturing me with it. Every little thing I ask for these days is answered with, ďBut you just asked for a pony.Ē I had no idea they were such evil geniuses. Why canít they take over the world or something and leave me alone?!

I live in fear now. Every time one of them goes out, I worry that they will come back with a stupid pony. I know that would be taking it too far, but you donít know them! They are weird enough to get a stupid pony just to torture me even more. Stupid pony will probably get its own room even though Iíve been asking for my own room for years and I never get one! Or worse, Iíll probably have to share my room with the stupid pony and then it will be pony, pony, pony all the time and I wonít ever be able to get away from it.

Stupid pony will probably eat up my whole allowance and every time I try to go out they will tell me I have to take it for a walk or they will make me take it with me and Iíll have a stupid pony tagging along after me all the time like the weirdest little brother ever. Stupid pony will probably laugh at me the whole time and think itís funny that Iím its tiny slave.

I canít take the suspense any more. Iím having nightmares about them coming home with a stupid pony. I can only think of one way out of this. It will be extreme and difficult, but itís probably my only hope.

I know what I have to do.

* Send your question to Jane--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 11/26/07 | Permalink | Comments (0) |

(#116) Jane: Dating advice for doormats

Q: Iíve been dating my boyfriend for over four years. Three years ago, he moved into my house with his two adult children (early 20s). Iíve talked with his children about either following my rules or moving out. My boyfriend thinks it's okay for them to live here for free and ignore the rules. What should I do?

A: Itís going to be too much work to get him or his kids to change and theyíre just not worth it. Youíre better off spending your time figuring out why you put up with this crap for so long and learning to stick up for yourself.

Your boyfriend is a big part of the problem here. Kick all three of them out and change the locks. You can do better.

Q: Thereís this girl I like at school. Every time I ask her out, she says, ďIíd love to, but Iím really busy right now.Ē She makes it sound like I should keep trying, but I canít seem to close the deal. Should I bring her flowers? Invite her on a really expensive date? How do I get this girl to say yes already?

A: Stop asking her out. Sheís never going to say yes. She probably thinks sheís being nice by letting you down easy, but sheís a wimp.

Itís like those movie rentals we get mailed to the house. When Iím excited about a movie, I make time to watch it pretty quick. When Iím not, it sits around on the table forever and I usually send it back unwatched. Youíre being sent back unwatched, and you need to accept that.

If she really wanted to go out with you, she would help you close the deal. Thatís not whatís happening here. Stop asking her out and donít let anyone string you along like this again.

* Send your question to Jane--or any of our other action figures--by filling out the Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 10/01/06 | Permalink | Comments (1) |

(#133) Jane: Animal advice for action figures

Q: Iíve noticed a lot of new dogs in our neighborhood lately. They havenít attacked me or any of my action figure siblings yet, but I know it happens a lot. What should we do?

A: Whatever you do, donít carry dog treats to try to pacify the beastsóit just makes you smell like a dog treat. (I heard about an action figure who tried thatóthey called him Stumpy.)

The way I understand it, handling a dog is really about attitude. Iíve seen a home video of three big Dobermans running from one little Cocker Spaniel just because she acted like the boss of them. Dogs are pack animals and follow the strongest leader, so be that leader. Use a strong, firm voice and make clear that youíre the boss. Thatís what I would do.

Q: Our neighbors recently got a kitten. It hasn't attacked me or any of my action figure siblings yet, but we are afraid it is only a matter of time. One of my brothers has the crazy idea that he wants to tame it and ride it around. What should we do?

A: Lock your brother in a room and donít let him out until he admits that he isnít He-Man and thereís no such thing as a Battle Cat. Just kidding . . . not really. How has your brother survived this long?

Cats are a big problem for living action figuresómany of us get mauled because theyíre hard to hide from and very tough to intimidate. Personally, I avoid them. But if Iím ever attacked by a cat, I wonít go down easy. If humans can sometimes fight off sharks with a punch to the snout, maybe action figures can fight off cats the same way. Itís worth a try.

* Send your question to Jane--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 01/29/07 | Permalink | Comments (1) |

(#125) Jane: Tag dodgeball advice

Q: My stepbrother hit me with a ball, tried to pretend it was part of a game called ďtag dodgeball,Ē and then ran away to hide. What should I have done?

A: Thatís an excellent--and timely--question. I believe that whether youíve done right or wrong--you should own it. Xena taught me that.

If I hit someone with a ball, itís almost always on purpose--because I have great aim--and Iím straight up about why I did it (ďThatís for taping over my favorite show!Ē). If I did hit someone by accident, I would never, ever wimp out by pretending, hiding, or anything like that.

People who canít own up to their actions have gone wrong and need to get back on track. I think Alex is a freak for wearing a cape and calling himself ďSuperAlex,Ē but at least he owns it--Iíll give him that much.

Iím the sort of person who needs things to be even. If someone does something to me and I havenít gotten them back yet, it eats away at me. If that sounds like you, you need to take some kind of action that helps you feel like things are even between you and your stepbrother. Then you can go back to doing fun stuff.

Q: I hit my stepsister with a ball, tried to pretend it was part of a game called ďtag dodgeball,Ē and then ran away to hide. When she got back at me, it really hurt. Where did I go wrong?

A: Pretending and running away. See above.

* Send your question to Jane--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 12/03/06 | Permalink | Comments (1) |

(#183) Lisa: Not home alone

Q: When your people go on vacation, do you stay home or travel with them? If you stay home, what do you do while the adults are gone?

A: Sometimes we all take a family vacation, and sometimes Trish and Joe go away on their own. When Trish and Joe go away without the four of us, they send us to stay with friends or family. Although Trish and Joe leave us home alone while they are at work, certain . . . incidents . . . have made them uncomfortable with the idea of leaving us home alone for several days in a row.

Jane sometimes asks if we can please stay home alone this time, but then Joe starts muttering things along the lines of ďWeíd come home to a smoldering hole in the groundĒ or ďThatís what we need, Lord of the Flies.Ē

The conversation usually goes downhill from there. Iím somewhat impressed that Jane keeps asking.

* Send your question to Lisa--or any of our other action figures--by filling out our Ask the Action Figures form.

| Posted by TSB | Week of 02/23/09 | Permalink | Comments (1) |