Saturday, March 11, 2006

Dream a Little Dream For Me

Ok...the 2 people I wanted to share my news with now here ya go!

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved to cook. I'd beg my mother (though I didn't have to beg too hard) to make my sisters birthday cakes and always had to bring something I made to my Nana's when we visited. During my freshman year at Westfield State, I even inquired about attending the CIA in New York, but was told I had to finish "real school" first.

Several years have gone by since then (12!) and I've since tried to attend a different culinary school twice. Both times I was accepted, and both times I could not afford to go. Recently, I stuffed my dream back into my heart again, keeping it safe until an opportunity presented itself.

It's not ironic to me at all that the invitation was handed to me during a magnificent meal in my magical place. It's not ironic to me that (though some of you doubt it) the psychic mentioned that I'd be taking classes in April. It's not even ironic that she told me not to worry about the money.

In fact, irony and luck have nothing to do with it at all. While sitting at the pool one day last week, I looked around at the people playing in the water, sitting on their lounge chairs or walking to the bar. I wondered what they've done in their lives and what they've left behind to come on vacation.

Did people miss them? Are they important back at work? Do they like what they do?

And then I realized it. I've been waiting for something ever since I moved back home. I've been waiting to find that feeling of belonging I felt when I worked for Disney. And though I am generally a patient person, I am very impatient with myself.

I decided then and there that I had to do something about my lot in life-that I am the maker of my own problems and that I've become too lackadaisical about my future. I decided that I would find a way to do what I love: to make people happy.

I knew it would be near impossible...and then, without even asking, yet another prayer that wasn't prayed was answered...

I was offered a fatherly grant. ;)

And I am going to pursue my dream.

Florida Pictures

Tres Leches & Cuban Coffee (On our cool table)

Fish & Chips at Epcot-For Owl!

It could happen...

Postcard from Epcot

My favorite-Epcot sunsets...


Things I will never understand:
1. Why women insist on wearing heels or cute but uncomfortable shoes to a theme park and why dressing in your "eff me" clothes seems like the right thing to wear for riding Space Mountain.
2. Why women insist on wearing heels or spike heeled knee-high boots to the airport-especially these days when you'll most likely have to take them on and off each time you pass through security.
3. Where the "pretty people" get the idea that just because they look better than 95% of the "real people" that they are entitled to be rude and hurtful to others, and why society puts up with it.
4. Why people who never grew up in a ghetto (or even driven through one) insist on speaking as if they are the biggest, baddest gansters ever known to man.
5. Calculus. Well, I won't.

Things I will never get sick of:
1. My niece's cute ass voice and her rolling laughter. Oh, and watching her clever little mind unfold the mysteries of this world.
2. The sound of Main Street U.S.A at the Magic Kingdom...steam trains, park greeters, children laughing, strollers wheeling, bells dinging, the hustle, the bustle...all that is good in the world.
3. The first smell of the popcorn as you emerge from under the train station-symbolizing that the "show" is about to begin.
4. Spectro Magic parade. I could forever watch and listen to it. Simply magical.
5. Spaceship Earth at Epcot. I don't know why, I just love it.
6. Walking around World Showcase at Epcot at sunset. I could round that circle thousands of times a night.

Things that I didn't like or that disappointed me:
1. I didn't like the twin "alarm clocks" called my sisters the day they both were sick at 5am with the stomach flu...waking up to 2 girls throwing up is not fun. It prompted me to sleep on the screened in porch to try to avoid getting sick.
2. Getting sick even though I slept on the screened in porch to avoid it. Missing 1 whole day of vacation because I was sick in bed.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean is under refurbishment. That means I didn't get to see it. 8(
4. I didn't get to see any of my friends.
5. My mom and dad annoyed me. I don't want them to and try to ignore it, but after a while, they wear me down and I just can't help it.
6. Besides 1 meal, I didn't truly enjoy any of my food.
7. I got sun poisoning on my shins and now look like a leper.

Favorite things from vacation:
1. Going out to Downtown Disney with my parents for dinner at Bongo's Cuban Cafe (1 of my favorites), having a hotter than hot waiter, sitting in the coolest booth ever, eating the BEST black bean soup I've ever had paired with an excellent Mojito and fantastic food-complete with Cuban coffee and Tres Leches (delicioso!) and getting the best news I've had in years delivered to me. (More to come on that...I want to share the news with a couple of people first)
2. Watching Spectro Magic, even though 5 minutes prior I was crying.
3. Sitting by the pool reading an above average book with a margarita not far behind.
4. Going to Epcot for the day by myself. Not because I was alone, but because it was Epcot.
5. Hearing my father yell something with the word "Fuck" in it. Not because he yelled at my sister, but because he yelled at all and because it had the word "fuck" in it. It made my mother stop what she was doing and comment, and made C-Unit and I laugh hysterically on our beds for at least 5 minutes. (Sorry Flipper-if it was someone else, you'd laugh too)
6. Hearing Rye Bread say, "I'm not a nudist" and then days later tell Flipper "You're a nudist". All based on my prompting...(my version of Crab Apple Cereal, ok?)

It was good to get away, but it's also good to be back. Thank you to Megan for posting all of my guest posts this week, and for all of you who wrote things for me. I appreciate it, and hope you had fun!!

I don't have many pictures, but maybe later today if I get the motivation, I'll stroll out to my car and get my carry on luggage where my camera is...

Flight Patterns

Actually, flights were delayed...

Mine was only delayed an hour, but I heard others complaining about longer waits...

And flying out of Orlando yesterday was a long process-the security lines were WAY we know why!

Home Again, Home Again...

Aaahhh. Home. I arrived back in CT just a short while ago-at about 3am. It's been a long, long frustrating day, and I'm exhausted. Yet I can't sleep. It's good to be back and my bed looks so good I might just kiss it when I hop in. No vacation updates yet, I just simply wanted to let you all know I am back, and with the exception of a touch of good old sun poisoning on my shins, I'm safe. I'll post more later today, after I readjust to my little house and get some laundry done. I missed you all!!!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

== Time And A Half Plus Danger Money ==

Ladies and Gents, I give you Owl, for a second, most enjoyable post. Thank you Owl for groveling your way into my heart. ;)

I'm sure you're all familiar with the well known quote:

An Owl in the hand is worth two postings on Mag's blog.1

Mags liked my previous attempt at an entry enough to accept my begging and grovelling to be allowed to write another one.

So yay!

I was going to make some joke about how I was writing this entry for Mags a week before it was posted, but I couldn't think of one that was funny enough. If you wouldn't mind making one up and posting it in the comments, I'll claim credit for it before Mags gets back.

Keeping the subject on holidays, which I've noticed has been a dominant theme throughout this last week, our company recently decided to award perfect attendance at work with no sick days in a year with a day off as holiday.

You know what? That sounds kind of silly when I put it down in black and white like that, but it doesn't do anyone any harm, and rewards healthy people with time off that sick people would have taken in the previous year, so I guess it's ok.

On a slightly related note, we used to have an "arrangement" with management where we would work late and get things done for deadlines, but we would get time and a half off in lieu (hence the title of the post), but they recently recanted on this shortly before my 9pm stint on Valentine's evening, which some of you may have known about.

On a totally unrelated note, it's nice and sunny today, and I am planning to go for a nice walk at lunchtime, munch on some sandwiches, and wonder how on earth our famous and loverly Maggie Moo is doing at her luxurious holiday home in sunny and happy Disney World.2

1 Something like that, anyway.
2 Not Disneyland like I thought. Disney World. Got it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

And I Wanna Go Home...

Hi Guys,

It's Thursday and I'll tell ya, I'm ready to come home. It's been a long, and somewhat lonely week for me-I've had time to reflect on my life, had time to realize that I don't quite fit in anywhere anymore, and that I'm just sort of floating around waiting...for what I do not know.

I'm rather sad, and rather sun burned, but I am going to Epcot in an hour and so that will cheer me up.

I'm just looking forward to being in my own bed, in my house, knowing that at least whatever happens, that is mine.

*sigh* Not the update you wanted, huh? Sorry guys...something positive did happen-a very big positive that I will share later during the weekend...

I hope everyone is doing well. I sure miss your smiles and your laughter.

Talk to you all this weekend,


Kristarella's Castle

Today's guest is my new friend Kristarella from Australia. She's a cool chick who works hard, has lots of faith, and is learning what it's like to be a newlywed! Please welcome her and enjoy her thoughts as much as I do.

Mags' trip to Disney World has got me thinking about my childhood. There was a time that was really nice (not that the rest was horrible). It
must have been the early primary school time. Possibly even before that.

When I was young my favourite movie was The Wizard of Oz and whenever anyone asked me my name I would tell them it was "Dorothy", although I said it more like "Dorthy". For a dress up day at school I came as Dorothy. Mum made me this great blue-check pinafore and I had my hair in pigtails. I even had a basket with a little puppy in it. Not a real puppy but a mechanical one that when you turned it on it would bark and jump backwards and then it would do a backwards flip.

Soon before my brother was born (probably soon before he was conceived) we went on a family trip to Queensland. We went to Nara Resort and we visited Sea World. Sea World is a theme park, it is cool! It was to me then anyway.

I was too afraid to go on the Corkscrew rollercoaster. I think my dad went on it twice! I loved the Pirate show! It was this show on water with a ship and water skis and the big nasty pirate had this big funny costume. It was called Pirates of Paradise. I even got to feed
the dolphins!

After we left Sea World we went to Curumbin Sanctuary Park, it had
hundreds of birds and you could hand feed them.

In that time Mum realised that the whole time we were at Sea World there was no film in the camera! She convinced Dad that we absolutely had to go back and take all the photos again. So we did!

I'm sure at the time for me it was great, I'm not sure I knew that the photos weren't taken, to me it was another trip to Sea World! I'm glad we got to take the photos again because without them I think I wouldn't be able to remember as many things as I can.

One thing that is moderately vivid in my mind was my shock when getting photos with the crew of Pirates of Paradise when they got close to me
they were all wet! And they got me wet! Now I think "Duh, they've just
been water skiing."

On that trip we stayed at a small resort type place with a swimming
pool and there was a lady there who gave me the
book The Hungry Caterpillar. I think there may have been a honeymooning
couple there too because I remember being in the pool (with my floaties on my arms - they're buoyancy things for kids learning to swim, I don't
know what the rest of the world calls them) and Mum and Dad had to keep telling me not to swim too far down the other end of the pool where a young couple was.

One of the funniest things from that trip was on the way up, we were in
the old green SAAB and it suddenly conked out. So Dad opened up the
bonnet, possibly with the intention to put water in, maybe just to see
what was going on.

It turned out the reason the car had stopped working was because Dad had left one of his old singlets in the engine! He used to use the old holey ones as rags and he must have been putting oil in the car and left his rag in there. That was a problem easily fixed.

Hope you're having a good time Mags!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Favorite Vacation, Hamel Style

Please welcome Hamel, of Hamel's House of Blog as today's guest writer. Hamel is an honest and dedicated teacher who a whole lotta love for his family. He has a passion for nature unlike anyone I've known, and now I understand why....

A stream, with boulders worn smooth from waters long passed by, scoured by grains of sand now resting on a foreign beach, or at the black bottom of the ocean floor. A movement in the woods. A shadow, fleeting and small. I have company, company I can’t identify but company nonetheless.

The water whispers to me, and I understand. Not then, when I was a child contemplating the ease and peace that flooded over me each time we invaded the woods of Northern New England. I understand those whisperings now, though.

“We’ll wait for you.”
“You’ll be back.”
“Welcome home.”

Little did I know those summer camping trips from Rhode Island to New Hampshire would serve as an informal introduction to the place I would later take root, raise a family, and loose my own boys on ponds and streams reflecting pure sunlight and images of mountains and hillocks.

Little did I know my vacation was not time away, but an experiment for my worldly palate. Taste a bit here, a bit there, and when the time came to settle down, I was be well aware of my preferences and the place that would leave me fulfilled and full.

There were vacations for thrills – Hershey Park and its Super Duper Looper roller coaster, Montreal and its Expo, Cooperstown and the hallowed halls of America’s pastime. Yes, they provided sights, but none soothed or refreshed like this place that is now my back yard. I’d come home with a bag of trinkets without even once having heaved a deep sigh of peace.

No, my parents weren’t wealthy. Far from it. But they did all they could for me and my brothers and sisters three. Little did they know the cheap campgrounds in the shadows of mountains, the smell of campfire smoke, the burbling of a brook just outside my orange, two-man tent, would leave far more an impression on this impressionable, overly simple young man than would rolling metal loops, towering cities of glass and cobblestone, bronze plaques and glass cases.

Those trips to the north may not have been me returning home, but decades later as I drive the very same roads as a father rather than simply a child, it sure feels like home now.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How Megan Does Toosdae's

Today's guest is not a blogger, but a dear friend of mine. She's also a local celebrity in her own right in my comments section. Please welcome her and do me proud by answering her questions.

Alright everyone-Mags is on vacation but in order to keep my good standing as one of her blog fill-in substitutes you have to answer MY Toosdae questions.

1. Would you rather have completely webbed fingers on both hands OR have ear lobes that hung to your shoulders?

2. Would you rather work at a job you love with incompetent people you don’t like OR work at a job you hate with capable people you like?

3. Would you rather have pleasant dreams 29 nights a month knowing you will have a horrible nightmare the last night of each month OR never dream again?

1. I think I would like to take the pendulous earlobes. I’d either keep my hair long enough to hide them or I’d find a way to pull them back and tuck them in the back of my shirt.

2. I would rather work at a job I hated with people that I like. I found that out by working at my current job. I realized that if my job was cleaning subway station bathrooms I’d like it if I was working with Mags and Judy. And even if my job was to eat bon bons and get massages every day with Pepe LaRue and Monkey Lady I’d never be able to last.

3. I’d take never dreaming again. I hate nightmares, plus I can always daydream.

Hey guys! Mags here-since I'll be away and won't be able to answer these in the comments section, here are my answers to Megan's FANTASTIC Toosdae ?'s.

1. I'd also choose the earlobes. I like wearing rings and wouldn't be able to with the webbing. My hair is long also and though I do often tuck my hair behind my left ear, I'd stop doing that and simply hide the lobes.

2. This is easy. I'd rather like my job and work with people who are not as capable. Chances are, I'd only have to deal with the idiots part of the time and so going back to doing what I love would be great. It's when you dislike what you do AND work with idiots that it makes your work life suck.

3. I'd take the 29 nights of dreaming and 1 night of nightmares. I can handle bad news well if I know it's coming and taking 29 nights of good, solid dreams would be great. Right now I only remember dreams every now and then anyway. And also, I'd know they were only nightmares and not real.

Monday, March 06, 2006

== Holiday with an Owl ==

Today's guest is a favorite of mine. Not only because he is kind and warmhearted (which he is) but also because he takes my love of "randomivity" to a whole new level. He makes me laugh and smile almost everyday, and I am simply delighted that he accepted my invitation.

Please give OWL a warm welcome.
(And enjoy his lovely British dialect)

*tap* *tap* *tap* Is this thing on?

Mags is off on holiday in Disney World, and she hasn't got internet
access, so she let us loose on her blog so that there were some entries
whilst she was away. She's not irresponsible like me, you see. She takes care that her readers won't be devastated when they visit and don't find any new posts.

She's nice like that, you see.

She asked me, the humble harkener, the one who listens, to blog-sit for
a day, so I leapt at the chance. And here I am.

Gosh. It's nice in here. She keeps it all tidy, doesn't she?

I've never been to Disney World, or Disneyland, or even Disneyland
Paris, though I've often thought that it would be nice. Our family never
went abroad when I was little. Our holidays were always in England, and
I've never even made it abroad more than once.

Oh, I've tried, but it never seems to amount to anything.

I tried to go to America to visit some friends of my folks many moons
ago, way back when I was a wee nipper of about seventeen, but there was a spate of hi-jackings which made them cancel loads of flights to
America, among which mine was one.

Ok, I thought, let's try going to central Europe. Hmmm... Medjugorie
looks nice this time of year. Tickets were booked, and suitcases packed, and then war broke out.

Yes, you heard that right. War broke out. Czechosolvakia split from a
single country into two. The Czechs and the Slovaks parted company in a less than peaceful manner.

So I wisely decided to not go to a warzone on my holiday.

Time to revise my expectations downwards. Calais in France. Only thirty miles by sea from Dover on the south coast of England. Have a nice
booze cruise1 just in time for Christmas.

My friend, Batty Natty,2 and I woke up at some ungodly hour
and set off down the icy roads towards France. All was going smoothly
until we arrived in Dover, and I saw a huge sign above the three lane
carriageway to the ferry saying "Please have your passports ready".

I got a sick feeling in my stomach as I realised that my passport was
still at home, tucked away neatly in a drawer so that "I wouldn't forget
where it was."

But I needn't have worried, because as we arrived at the English
Channel, a huge dense fog was descending. White as a sheet, and thick as molasses (however thick they are) it fell like a stone, covering everything in mystery. There was no way on God's green earth that the ferries were crossing on that day. So once again, my plans to leave the country were scuppered.

I got the subtle hint, and never actively tried to go abroad again.
Three tries, and three failures. I recognise Divine intervention when I
see it.3

So instead, we spent a lovely day in Dover, sipping tea in a highly
overpriced "Ye Olde Tea Shoppe" and shopping in a "Ye Olde Boots", and "Ye Olde Sainsbury's".

Which was nice.

1 Booze Cruise: Go to France and pick up loads of
alcohol for you and your friends without having to pay the hefty import
duties into the U.K.

2 Yes, I have a friend who likes being called Batty

3 Sometimes I do, anyway.