Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poor Thumbkin

I must be stressed. There is no other explanation as to why I would sleep with my left thumb bent over so hard, for so long (thats what she said) that it would be extremely sore this morning. I could barely make my thumb stand up straight without pain! Maybe I was dreaming about walking down the side of a road but I didn't want to hitchhike so I tucked my thumb down as to avoid throwing it in the air to jump into a strangers car. My poor thumb still hurts. Poor little thumbkin.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Disneyland Part 4

The final post about Disneyland is here! I got a bit lazy about recapping and since no one was commenting, I figured I could take my sweet time getting this last post done and over with. I probably shouldn't have waited so long though because now, I need to go back to my pictures to remember what we did!

The house from "Up" made an appearance in front of the parks this morning. Luckily, I didn't start crying like I did in the movie.

We took the train from Fantasyland around the park to Orleans Square. It was nice to get around the park without walking since it was quite warm and my feet hurt. The train stopped in front of Disneyland so I snapped this picture of my Chris with the Tower of Terror from California Adventure in the background. They have photographers posted up around the park ready to take your picture. He was nice and took a picture with our camera in front of the Thanks For Visiting display. We went to lunch in Downtown Disney and headed over to CA Adventure for the afternoon. You can't visit Disneyland without buying Mickey Ears. They sure have fancied these up since I was little! I love the silly little things in the park gift shops, like this clock. Using the long shutter speed to make the water look extra cool. Neat, right? Believe it or not, I waited an entire 24 hours to eat this cookie. I didn't feel right snacking on Mickey's head while in his "house." We were lucky enough to find an empty bench and waited there for about 45 minutes for the Pixar Play Parade to start. The crowd grew and before we knew it, the sides of the "street" were packed!!
Here is Carl and Russell from "Up"

SQUIRREL!!!

Cars

Mr. Incredible

Finding Nemo float

Toy Soldiers from "Toy Story" Woody! He spit water out of his mouth, as did all the floats. I swear they were aiming for me because my shirt was covered in water when the parade was over! Tow-Mater from Cars.
After the parade was over, we walked around a bit more, trying to delay the inevitable. Leaving Disneyland was going to be tough! But eventually, we made our way to the shuttle stop one last time and went back to the hotel.
We had a great time! I highly suggest going to Disneyland if you have never been there before. It is loads of fun for kids and kids at heart....like us!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

MJ Thoughts

When I posted about MIchael Jackson's death on Thursday, I didn't really have my thoughts together. I wasn't sure what to write so I just linked to the awesome Super Bowl performance and left it at that. As we were driving to look at some houses today, we were jamming out to some classic MJ tunes. Chris had downloaded a bunch to his iphone before we left. Obviously, the songs have been everywhere since Thursday afternoon. MTV spent much of the afternoon and evening playing videos and a local radio station started playing just Michael Jackson music. I can't say I complained. I'm just going to say that yes, Michael Jackson was weird. But are your surprised? He was forced into a life of being a performer, most likely he was abused in someway and never really had a real childhood. He was messed up because of his success. So I'm not going to say anything else about Michael Jackson as the person. I want to talk about Michael Jackson, the performer. I have heard these songs before but this time, they sounded different. I asked Chris, how do you classify his music? Sure, he is the "King of Pop" but his music doesn't really sound "pop" to me. We listened to "Dirty Diana" and "Give into me". Those aren't pop songs to me. His music was beyond classification. It can't be labeled. He has his own genre of music. Even ballads, which you might label pop because of the content, go above and beyond current or past pop music. And this is why MJ's music is so incredible. I have a new appreciate for his tunes. I'm not the only one. 44 of the top 100 songs on itunes are MJ songs. And 22 of the top 50 albums belong to MJ on the itunes album chart. I have a feeling those rankings will stick for a while. His music is timeless. Like Elvis and The Beatles, in my opinion. Music that never gets bad. You will always feel something when you listen to it. It goes beyond just filling time on a radio or giving you something to focus on while you work out. His music has meaning, message and makes you move. I'm happy that we have these gifts to appreciate for many, many years. Music never dies even when the brilliant artists who were the creators have passed on.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Knock Knock is not a joke

Today is Friday. I have the day off yet here I am, at 6:10 a.m. unable to go back to sleep. This isn't for a lack of trying. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to take my sister and her friend to the airport for a business trip. I got back into bed at 4:45 a.m. and tried to talk myself into falling asleep for at least 3 more hours. Not a chance. I'm not sure when I first noticed the knocking but I knew that it was going to hinder my sleeping. What kind of knocking? The kind of knocking that doesn't stop for hours. Do me a favor: Take your knuckles and hit them against a counter top, your desk, the wall. Any hard surface will do. Don't just do it once. Do it continuously. Not as fast as your would knock on someone's front door but at a steady pace. Now imagine hearing that noise during your regular sleeping hours (10:00 p.m.-6 a.m.) and not knowing where the heck it is coming from. Night after night. I can't escape it. Two nights ago, I slept on the couch. I would have done the same last night but my sister was sleeping there. So here I am, awake at 6:20 on my day off. Usually, I look forward to sleeping at night but now I dread it. How sad is that? It is fine for the next 3 days when I can take a nap during the day to make up for my lack of sleep but when I go back to work on Monday, I'm in trouble if I can't sleep. And sleeping on the couch every night is not an option. We just paid a lot of money for a king bed and you best believe I won't be letting my husband have that bed all to himself. And....just like clockwork, the knocking is gone. Just like yesterday morning when it stopped at this exact same time. Leave your creative guesses in the comments section of what this knocking noise could be. And if you have any tips on what I should say to the apartment complex when I go inform them on this nuisance, please add those as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Although the last decade of his life was turned upside down with trials and tribulations, I can't help but be sad about this news. Rest In Peace, Michael. You are a legend. The two videos are from his Super Bowl Performance in 1993. An incredible performance.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hello Everybody!

I don't like taking too long of a break from blogging because people might forget about me and I'm too much of an attention grabbing girl for that to happen. I returned home from my work trip to Berkeley Tuesday afternoon. And even though I left determined to not have a good time, I was so glad that I was able to experience the cool stuff this conference had to offer. I love when work commitments turn out well, ya know? Especially when they start on Father's Day! Because I had to work long hours at this event, I am rewarded with two days off of work which makes my weekend 4 whole days. And since today is my Friday, I am going to do a rundown of my weekend: Thursday, I am meeting a friend for lunch and at night my sister and a co-worker/friend of hers are coming to crash at our place for the night. They need to catch an early flight for a business trip and since we live so close to the airport, it is more effective for them to leave from our place in the early morning hours. Friday, I have a breakfast meet up with a couple of gals, I get to see my cousin who is new to the area (just 15 minutes from me!) and at night we are going to see David Allen Grier at the local comedy club which should be really fun since my husband is a big fan of his. Saturday, we have 2 BBQ's to attend so that should be a busy day. I'm looking forward to enjoying myself and soaking up the summer sun. It has been hot, hot, hot here. I hope everyone else has a great weekend planned. I promise to wrap up my Disneyland recaps also sometime before Monday. I haven't received any comments on those posts but since I started, I might as well finish it up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blog Silence

Due to a work trip that starts on FATHER'S DAY (seriously, what genius schedules a work conference including high school students that starts on Father's Day??) I will be out of town until Tuesday afternoon. While I am not looking forward to being away from home (and the internet and tv) for 50 hours, I suppose it is worth it in the long run. And no, I don't mean because I will learn stuff and come back a better person and be better at my job because of it. I mean because I get to take Thursday and Friday off of work. So even though this weekend only consists of Saturday and half-day Sunday, next weekend will be 4 long, glorious days. So really, I win. I'm doing it for the kids. And because my boss told me I had to go. Enjoy your Sunday off and your Monday and Tuesday back at work. I'll be strolling around the UC Berkeley campus laughing at hippies.

Friends in High Places

Thanks to my awesome friend Kim and her amazing email notifications, I am the proud owner of 2 tickets to see my favorite band in the world. And not 2 tickets sitting in BFE. 2 tickets in section 102, row 6. And while that won't be the same as my "OMG I'm sitting right in front of the stage in row 2" experience last summer... Any Coldplay concert ticket or better than no Coldplay concert ticket. See you in a couple of weeks, Chris Martin.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Sentimental Favorite: Conclusion

Where was I? Oh yes, crying over fictional characters. Got it. It doesn't take much for me to cry but you would think it would take a bit more than to see Felicity graduate from high school and decide she was going to follow Ben to New York based on words in a yearbook. But that isn't the half of it. You see, when I watch Felicity go through trying times in college with her parents, friends, boys, classes and face major decisions about her future, it takes me back to my last decade of life. 10 years ago, I was 20. I was 400 miles away from home. Not one thing was familiar to me. I might as well have been in New York, like Felicity. All of her challenges were my challenges. And although I am now done with that phase of life, watching her experiences again makes me emotional. It makes me think of how I functioned at that age. What things were "huge" to me and what I brushed aside. What I valued and what I felt. The challenges I was facing as a 20 year old, far from home. Most of the people in my dorm lived within a couple of hours from home. 2-3 hours at the most. It would be a trip to go see their parents for the weekend but they did it more often than not. Me? I didn't have that option. A 6.5 hour drive just didn't make sense for a weekend trip. Don't get me wrong, I drove it. I went home just not as often as maybe I wanted to. The funny thing about being an "independent" college student is that you are not truly independent. You are still a kid! And while friends and roommates and professors play an important role in helping you develop into a mature adult, family is what you really miss and need. Felicity's parents fade in and out of the show. They go through some trying times as a family. A few of those times caused emotional conversations between me and my mom on our Post Felicity phone call. I would sit in the stairwell of my dorm in tears, hiding away from concerned friends. Because, really, I couldn't explain my past. I didn't want to. I'm not sure how I will get through an entire series of Felicity. It is going to be emotional for me. Not that I feel sad or depressed while I watch these episodes. I feel sentimental. Sentimental for my past although I am very happy in my present. Am I too young to feel sentimental about 10 years ago? Shouldn't those feelings be saved for when I am in my 80's, reflecting back on all the things I have (or have not) accomplished. I make a point to tell the students I work with that college is amazing. If they think high school is great, just wait until you go through college. I encourage them to go away from home, if possible. The self discovery you will do is mind blowing. You will NOT be the same person after crossing that stage with your diploma in hand. Not the same person as that shy 20 year old walking into her dorm room, hoping that her roommate doesn't have a skull collection. But secretly hoping that her R.A. is named Noel. And looks like this: Yeah, that didn't happen. I can say that, like Felicity, I left college a new person. A confident person but still myself. As you probably can guess, I bawled like a baby at the final episode. It was May 2002. I'm sure most of those tears were because I would get no more of my favorite show. It was like saying goodbye to a friend, which I had to do just 6 months earlier when I left Long Beach to move back home. I did have to say goodbye to my best friends. My old roommate Lisa being the toughest to part with. It was hard for both of us actually. Much like my relationship with Felicity, we were tight. Emotionally invested in each other and saying goodbye to a person who you shared so many memories with over just a 2.5 year period, well that was just plain painful. Much like my parting with Felicity. The final credits rolled, the tears streamed and again, it reminded me of the life I left behind just 6 months earlier. I always felt like I was connected to Felicity but thought that maybe it was just a college thing. After watching two episodes tonight, I know that some relationships never end. The sentimental feelings you have for fictional characters may seem strange to an outsider but the connections you form during your most challenging moments are important. Even if those connections are with Felicity, Ben, Noel, Julie, Elena, Sean, Megan and Javier. I'm leaving Ruby off because she bugged that crap out of me. Thanks for reading these posts, if you have made it this far. I end with a serious question. It requires a lot of contemplation.... Ben or Noel?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Sentimental Favorite

It was the fall of 1998. I was in my second year at a community college. I was living at home again, after spending my first year of college in a dorm. Yes, my community college had dorms. But they were being renovated during the summer and fall semester so I moved back home and commuted to school 4 days a week. I worked in the mall on the weekends and my day off from school, saved money, spent money and enjoyed being with my family. I came home from work one night to find my mom watching tv. She told me that I should sit down and watch this show with her, that I would like it. I asked what it was about and she said it was about a girl, who graduated from high school and decided to move across the country to go to college. She was following a boy there and defying her parents in the process. This show was called Felicity and it would be a show that I would fall in love with. I was hooked after the first episode. And not the kind of hooked like I get from a show like Lost or The Office or 30 Rock. I was emotionally hooked. I was invested. This became "the show" I would watch with my mom. When I finished community college in the Spring of 1999, it was only a matter of months before I would make my own journey, much like Felicity made. No, my journey didn't involve following a Ben or 3,000 miles or angering my parents. I chose my college, CSU Long Beach and with my parents assistance, moved down there in August of 1999. Upon walking into my dorm, I was very relieved to find that I didn't have a roommate like Megan. My roommate Lisa was great. We had a lot in common and I was so happy that the Dorm Gods allowed us to room together. We soon started our own tv watching rituals. She was into Dawson's Creek and would watch that while I did homework or played on the computer. And when DC was over, I would watch Felicity. At the end of every.single.episode, I would call my mom. Sometimes, she beat me to it. It was our show. We would talk about the episode, the characters, the plot. But most of the times, we would talk about how we could relate. Like Felicity's parents, my mom had to send her daughters away to college. She had to deal with the distance and hear about the ups and downs we experienced. And since my sister was a college athlete, she had lots of ups and downs. And because I was a bit of a drama queen, I had my fair share. It has been years since I have watched Felicity. It used to re-run on the WE channel but watching it was hard for me. I could never fully get back into the show, watching it out of order and not from the beginning. My wonderful husband (who also used to watch the show, so cute) gifted me two of the seasons on dvd in 2004. And I am not happy to admit that they are still in their shrink wrap. I never even opened them. Never opened the dvd's from my favorite televsion show ever. Tonight I know why. I decided with my regular tv shows in rerun status over the summer, that I would make this the Summer Of Felicity. I would start from the beginning, watch a couple of episodes a night and see how far I get. I still need to purchase the final season but I have a ways to go until I get there (there were only 4 seasons total). I watched two episodes tonight and it took only 10 minutes for me to get tears in my eyes. In order to avoid making this post 100,000 words, I am going to break it into two posts. You are on the edge of your seat right? For now, tell me....do you have sentimental favorites when it comes to tv shows or movies? How about music? Please share. It will make me feel like less of a weirdo because I cry at tv shows 11 years later.

Fashionista Alert #2: The classic black pump

Now that I have found a pair of gold shoes that I like to wear with my pretty tealish dress, I am in great need of a new pair of black pumps. The pair I have are ugly and tired. Here are the options. The shoe name is above the shoe picture. Please vote in the comments section!
#1 Annie Garnet:

#2 Annie Gaynor:

#3 Madden Girl Razzle: #4 Madden Girl Finallyy: All shoes were found on zappos.com

I have my favorite but I'll keep that quiet for now. Tell me which one you like the most!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breaking my silence and weighing in

I'm sure most of my readers know who Jon and Kate are from their TLC show. Even if you have never seen an episode, you can't help but be forced to know about these two from all the media attention they have received lately. I'm not going to share my thoughts on all the drama going on with their marriage because it is none of my business to have an opinion on another person's marriage. What I want to express today is my disgust for the magazines that are exploiting the heck out of this family. This article in particular. See the magazine cover on the sidebar of that site? "Caught Hitting her daughter." The nerve. The article says a "witness" saw Kate get mad at her daughter because she was blowing a whistle too loud. If you have watched episodes of this show the past week, you see that there is a very, very long driveway that leads up to the garage on their property. This driveway is behind a gated fence. They have paparrazi outside of their gate at all hours of the day I am sure. So this picture was probably taken from the street with a very long lens. Or someone on their tv show is taking pictures and selling them. Anyways, lets just say that the person who took this picture could only see what was going on but couldn't hear what was going on. This witness reported that she heard Kate yelling at her daughter. Not sure if that is possible from the street. In Touch Weekly isn't exactly a reliable news source. And hey, guess what? If her daughter was not compliant with what Kate asked, maybe she should have been spanked. Maybe she talked back. Maybe Leah's actions deserved a spanking. Why is a mom spanking her child and getting upset enough for Kate to be called out in a national magazine, as if she "hit" her child. I'm sorry but "spanking" and "hitting" are not the same. But the word "spanking" would not have had quite the impact, right? "Caught spanking her daughter." Yeah, so what. Lots of people spank their daughters. "Caught hitting her daughter." Eye brow raise. Say what? I'm going to read that. Kate abuses her kids. This is like a game of telephone through the tabloids. I watch the show and have been watching it for a couple of seasons. I'm more Team Jon than Team Kate, if I had to pick sides. Her personality bugs me a bit and I don't like the way she talks down to Jon. But this seems a bit over the top and hurtful. They are a family. A family with 8 kids. 8 kids who are probably not angels who keep their hands to themselves and say "yes ma'am" to every request their parents make. They probably act up, talk back and get in trouble. They might even deserve to get spanked or sent to their room on occassion. It is sad when a magazine chooses to print a story like this. A story about a mom disciplining her kids. I wonder how many people who work at that magazine have ever spanked their kid. I wonder if the person who wrote, edited and approved this story for print has ever had their child misbehave to the point where they gave them a smack on the bottom. I wonder if the person who purchased this picture from a camera man had any guilt about making that sale. If they looked at that picture and saw a mom doing her job as a mom instead of a beast "hitting" her daughter. I'm tired of these magazines that publish these sensationalized stories with "sources" and "witnesses" commenting on the lives of Jon and Kate. Back in the days of Nick and Jessica, I received Us Weekly in my mailbox. The day I got the issue about the speculation of their divorce (while Nick and Jessica denied), I stopped my subscription. Who cares if just weeks later, the story ended up being true. That wasn't US Weekly's job to break that story. Now you can say "these people chose to be in the limelight so this is what they deserve." I don't think anyone deserves to have a picture of them with THAT headline on the cover of a magazine. She spanked her kid. She didn't sell her into prostitution. She didn't have her drink out of a beer bottle. She spanked her. Please share your thoughts, if you have any.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Public Service Announcement

You might think these would taste good
You would be wrong. They taste like soggy versions of their brother, The Original Now and Later: Hard Variety. The kind that rips the permanent glue off your permanent retainer.
True story.
So if you are at the gas station on your lunch break and have a hankering for some sugary sweets, stick with Starbursts or Mambas. Chewy Jolly Ranchers would also get the job done.
But not Soft Now and Laters. And really, if they are soft and dissolve in your mouth (unlike their brother that sits in your teeth, burying itself to create a future dental nightmare) they shouldn't really be called Now and LATERS, should they? More like just Soft Now.
Or should I say Soft Now, I won't be eating you LATER because you are gross.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Disneyland Part 3

I (wrongly) assumed that on Monday morning, Disneyland would not be as crowded as the weekends. That would have been awesome because Sunday wasn't that bad to my surprise. I was so wrong. It seems as though every school in Southern California planned their end of the year trip for Monday June 8. 6th grade trips, 8th grade trips and senior trips. Not senior citizens. Now, I work with 7-12 graders. I see them every single day for hours at a time. I can handle them in a controlled environment. Disneyland is NOT a controlled environment. Teenagers, everyone, are annoying. Especially when you are stuck in line for Space Mountain for 40 minutes with them only to have the ride break down and have to sit in a hallway with 20 annoying 8th graders for 10 minutes. I don't care how awesome Space Mountain is, we bounced outta that line with the quickness. We spent a lot of time in Toontown because it wasn't that crowded (when we got there). We spent most of Monday wandering around and doing odds and ends stuff at Disneyland because the place was.so.crowded. The lines were ridonkulous and just didn't feel like waiting 60 minutes per ride. Onto the photos!

Trying to pull out the sword in the stone.

Buzz!

The line for It's A Small World After All was too long.

The next 2 pictures are super special. Before leaving for Disneyland, I looked up a schedule of events for the parks and I noticed the words "Jedi Training Academy." I knew Chris would dig this. I sent him the link and he was SUPER excited...until he read it was only for kids up to age 11. Huge bummer.

After leaving Space Mountain, we stumbled upon the event. We stopped to watch and I am so glad we did. The Jedi Master (I don't know the verbage) trained the huge group of kids (each in cloak and with light saber) in preparation for their battle with the Dark Side, Darth Vader.

Darth Vader made a grand appearance and performed a ligh saber battle with each Padawan in training. Adorable. The cheesy dialogue between the Master and Darth was hilarious and the kids were so into it.

We waited in line to meet Minnie in front of her house. She had to take a potty break so I snapped this photo.

Minnie has a very small house compared to her main squeeze, Mickey. His house was massive. Minnie had a bedroom and a kitchen. That's it. At least the laundry room was in Mickey's house.

We get to the part of the story where I stalked princesses. No princesses were harmed in the capturing of these photos.

You see, the line to meet the princesses was long, just like every other line that day. They have all the princesses in one meet and greet section so that little kids can meet them all at once. Good for the little kids, bad for the grown ups who also want to say hi to Ariel and Cinderella but don't want to wait in line.

Well, good thing princesses have to take a break too. And good thing we realized that we can stand in the gift shop next door, post up on the wall and snap photos of them as they leave to have a smoke break....errr, I mean potty break.

And so ends Day 3 of Disneyland 2009. We went back Monday night but left the camera at the hotel. We saw the fireworks show which was great. It was a preview of their summer spectacular show. Main Street was packed with people. We were standing on the left side of the main square area, on the left side of the castle. I thought we had a good location until the fireworks started. And then realized that a group of trees blocked our view of the low set of fireworks. Goody.

Not all of them were blocked but we really couldn't get a great view of the entire show. Make sure you are standing on the right side of the castle, on the Tomorrowland Side of Disneyland and not on the Frontierland side of Disneyland.

We rode a few rides that night and got back to the hotel at midnight. It was an exhausting day. Literally because I sucked the exhaust of 20 buses while waiting for our shuttle to pick us up. Barf.