31 December, 2009

2009: The Year of the Parkhopper

Here we are on December 31. It must be time for my traditional year-end mash-up post...

Take the first sentence of the first post of every month this year on your blog and put them all together.

It's a good thing I didn't make a New Year's Resolution to do a blog post every day, huh? Wii have been playiing wiith our new viideo game system a lot.

There's a link on the AOL main page today that I certainly won't be clicking:

Our purchase of a Wii was conditional. I've been peer-pressured into doing the May NaBloPoMo (theme: "sweet"), so Happy May! What to do with a mostly-full bag of mini marshmallows?

It sucks to have your 15 minutes of fame entangled with a tragedy.

I've once again been peer pressured into participating in NaBloPoMo. We're going to be hiring another full-time person into my office.

We're out of salt here at Apartamente de ParkHopper (as opposed to Casa ParkHopper, which is not where we currently live). I'm meeting up today with Laura and Richard for lunch. Scott and I pulled out of the garage on Sunday afternoon only to discover that someone had let their dog crap - twice - on our driveway and made no attempt to clean it up.

Happy New Year!! Stay off the roads tonight if you can. See you next year/decade!

28 December, 2009

Not Really...I'm Totally Lying

Scott and I are considering modeling next year's Christmas Photo after this family.

(do coconuts come in bigger sizes?)

24 December, 2009

Christmas Miracle?

Anyone who follows me on Twitter might have noticed the following tweet a few days ago:

Just informed TODAY by that gift I ordered for @mob308 on 12/14 is no longer available. It took them 8 DAYS to figure this out?
9:15 AM Dec 22nd

I spent a day whining about there being a GIANT HOLE OF DISAPPOINTMENT IN MY CHRISTMAS to anyone who would listen. It didn't occur to me that there were tons of retailers offering free shipping upgrades on the 21st and 22nd and that maybe I could find a replacement elsewhere. In short, I was being an ass.

Yesterday morning, I went online and found a different item in the same genre, plus a sweet bonus gift (and something for myself) for less than the cost of the one item that JC Penney screwed me out of. They offered very reasonable 3-Day UPS Ground shipping, which meant that it wouldn't be here by Christmas, but that I would get it next week. That was fine with me! (The alternative - overnight shipping - was $20. Since it wasn't a "Santa" present for a small child, that wasn't going to be worth it to me.)

I came up with creative ways to package "future gifts" so that Scott would still have something to unwrap tomorrow. I came to the computer just now to do some creative photo editing, and went into my email to pull a picture from the original order. The package shipped yesterday afternoon, and I decided to check the shipping email and see whether it had really shipped, or if the company had done one of those "notified UPS to pick up package" things. Imagine my complete and utter elation when I saw the following:

Status: In Transit

Scheduled Delivery Date:
12/24/2009 (Updated)

12/30/2009 (Original)

What's completely shocking about this is that I've followed packages online before, and have seen a shipping company (I'm thinking FedEx) HOLD things in their local hub in order to not deliver before the promised date. To think that there was room on a truck and that UPS said, "hey - she didn't pay for the quickie shipping, but we have the space!" just absolutely blows my mind.

I'm not getting my hopes up too high... I'm betting that my package has the lowest priority on the delivery truck. But for now, I'm holding off on doing my creative packaging. I might not need it after all!

And so, I'd like to wish a VERY Merry Christmas to the UPS drivers and warehouse workers out there delivering Christmas to children (and grown-ups) everywhere! I'd also like to wish a Merry Christmas to the people at an internet retailer whose name I cannot reveal at this time. I'm a fan for life!


I'd like to dedicate this Lovely Listing to Janette. See if you can figure out why!

Nope, it's not the tiger climbing the walls.

Nope, it's not the themed bathroom. (Actually if I were dedicating the listing to Scott, it would be for the bathroom. He likes turtles!)

Don't see it? OK, fourth picture down (has gravity-defying vines on the ceiling). See it now? All the way on the right? Dude! There's a ukulele right there!

Yep...that was the whole point of this entry. And now, 6 dozen unborn sugar cookies and two unborn apple pies are crying out for creation. Oh yeah, and Scott's gifts need to be wrapped. I think I'll start with the presents...

21 December, 2009


Christmas morning: you've woken up early because you've programmed to do that your entire life. You've opened the gifts. You've eaten your festive holiday breakfast. Now what? Well, if you're reading this, then you probably know me. And anyone who knows me is going to want to turn on the TV to the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

"I am?" you ask.
"You are." I reply

The Encore Cast Choir was asked to help out with the parade taping. See, there was this little-known woman performing a popular Christmas tune, and they thought her performance could use a little star power. Here's a YouTube preview from someone who attended the taping:

Sadly for me, I was a little too slow getting my robe. I ended up in the balcony where there were no risers set up and very little lighting (and where this woman never even bothered to tilt up the camera to). So most likely, you won't see my smiling face on TV. But I really was there. And I'll be watching, looking for Katie and Melissa, who were on the risers, singing on national TV on Christmas morning.

17 December, 2009


For my entire life, Roy E. Disney has been the public face of the Disney family. For a long time, I thought he was Walt's brother. I didn't realize he was the "new generation" of the family business. Though he wasn't always in the spotlight, I think a lot of us took stock in the fact that we knew he was there, looking over the family name and business.

I don't really know anything personal about Roy, and so any clumsy attempt to eulogize him would fall flat. But his death really touched me in a way that caught me off guard. Maybe it's because I worry who will lead the revolt against the next power-hungry CEO. Maybe it's because there's one less person in the world who believes in the perfection his uncle demanded. Or maybe it's just because he was my Disney, and now he's gone.

I don't often talk on here about my time in the trenches working in the theme parks, but I'll break my rule in this case. When we were training as the opening team at the Walt Disney: One Man's Dream attraction, one of the trainers relayed a quick anecdote.

Roy walked the attraction before it was finished, and stopped in front of the recreation of Walt's office. He laughed and pointed at the chairs and made a comment about how many times he had sat "right there" and gotten yelled at by his dad or Uncle Walt.

I guess he was a bit of a trouble maker when he was younger. The story stuck with me because I couldn't wrap my head around what it must be like to see a room from your past stuck behind glass in a museum. Now it makes me smile to think that he kept watch over the family business for another 40 years.

Rest in peace, Roy. We'll miss you.

15 December, 2009

Top Ten

Apparently people who care about such things have recently realized that this month is the end of the '00 decade. To honor it, they have been making "Top _____ of the Decade" lists, because that's what people do. I was listening to the guys on SBK Live last night debating the top 10 movies of the decade, and only agreeing with one or two of their picks.

So here's my Ten Favorite Movies of the 2000's:
(in alphabetical order...because I can't pick a favorite)

1. Batman Begins
2. Chicago
3. Crash
4. Erin Brockovich
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6. Finding Neverland
7. Juno
8. Monsters, Inc. (which could have just as easily been Finding Nemo or maybe Up... I just couldn't pick one and didn't want the list to be so Pixar-centric)
9. Moulin Rouge
10. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Others that almost made the cut were Shrek 2, Traffic, and the rest of the Pixar movies.

The ones I've listed are the ones that I either own or wish that I did (looking for a last-minute gift? try #3, 5, 6, or 7), and that I would recommend that everyone see at least once. And with the exception of Chicago, which is more of a spectacle, these are movies that I really connected with. So what do you think? What are your top movies?

Update (12/17): I should have referenced my DVD collection before writing this list. I can't believe I forgot Saved! or Zoolander. Those two definitely should've been in the top ten, but I can't decide which ones get bumped.

11 December, 2009


Our second trip to Tampa for our season tickets to the theater (which I like to say because it sounds so gosh darn pretentious!) was yesterday. We saw a new show called Wonderland, which was good and bad, wrapped into one. Fabulous performances by the male and female leads knocked me on my butt, and I loved about half the music. I had trouble with the story not being flushed out enough, and the costuming seemed sort of half-assed for the magnitude of the story, but hey - it was a fun night out.

Instead of talking about the show, I'd like to tell you about the old lady sitting next to me. This woman was also next to me when we went to see In the Heights in October, so I'm guessing she's also a season ticket-holder, and will therefore be at every show we see. Before the show, Scott and I both noticed that she was holding her purse on her lap, and was eating something out of her purse with a plastic spoon. I think it was one of those pudding cups from the grocery store. And I think I smelled butterscotch. Of course, we're now calling her Puddin'. It totally fits!

Well halfway through act 2, Puddin' decided to spoon with me. Either her hemorrhoids were flaring up, or she was really cold... or maybe she just needed a nap. All of a sudden, she shifts her weight to her left hip (she's sitting to my left, in case you needed the visual), and presses her butt square against the side of my leg. I tried moving closer to Scott, but her butt filled in the empty space. I tried nudging her with my leg - a sort of "sorry to bother you, but you seem to be inappropriately molesting my leg in a way that's really creeping me out and BAD TOUCH BAD TOUCH BAD TOUCH" message, but she wasn't taking the hint.

So I went to my happy place and levitated outside my body for the rest of the show. What else could I have done?

Thankfully, Scott has generously offered to trade seats with me for the next show. Actually, he flat-out refused to trade seats when I asked, but I'm thinking he was kidding and will happily take turns cuddling the stranger. It's only fair, right?

09 December, 2009



Scott and I pulled out of the garage on Sunday afternoon only to discover that someone had let their dog crap - twice - on our driveway and made no attempt to clean it up. We were both annoyed, but decided to leave it until it dried a little so that we could sweep it out of the driveway.

Imagine my surprise the next day when Scott told me that he swept the poop out of the driveway, and whatever animal it came from, it was most definitely not a domestic canine! The poop had chunks of fur and sections of intestine in it. He showed me this morning. I would've touched it, if not for the fact that a) it's dead animal, and b) it's poop. Still, you can't help but laugh about it!

The following photos have nothing to do with poop. But they were taken on Sunday. That makes them relevant to the post, right?