Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Final Countdown

Last Day.

Monkey's day of choice. He choose to swim in the morning and then go to Epcot (or as he would say it, Ep-ee-cot - why? I have no idea. We do teach appropriate diction and pronunciation in this family). While Grandma spent the morning with him and enjoying the sunshine (while forgetting the needed SPF 50 on his shoulders! Darn you grandma!!! At least it wasn't too bad), I went into downtown Disney.

Why one might ask? Downtown Disney is really about shopping and shows and shouldn't I have had enough of those in the parks? Not really. Number one reason was that I needed some time alone and away from the Monkey. Too much togetherness is never a good thing. We love each other dearly and it is good to have time together, but it is always better with time apart mixed in. It is just human nature. We do better that way and I know it. Monkey doesn't quite know it yet, but he will in time. So I went to have some time alone.

Number two reason was that I was on an a hunt for an illusive item. A Holy Grail of Disney items. Something that would make me the envy of all small children every where...

Phineas and Ferb merchandise.

Don't tell me you, like the myriad of Disney employees I stalked *ahem* inquired of, don't know who Phineas and Ferb are?!

Go and school yourself then.
You should be ashamed of yourself for having missed the Disney genius at work.

The true disappointment is that they didn't have anything. How is that for annoying? They tend to get everything LAST and not first. Sad, isn't it? Dude. I'd have thought they were the mecca of all things Phineas and Ferb, but I guess not.

Anyway, after the lunch meal, we went to Epcot. It all started with Spaceship Earth again. Monkey and I did the Kim Possible adventure twice despite the down pours of rain. He had a croissant and I had a crepe. We wandered through the Japan store which was interesting and listened to the Taiko drummers. He had some pokemon love. We visited Canada which was fun - the video was quite good. Then we stay again for the fireworks. It was another great end to the day.

We had to toddle back and get ready to head home. Then we had to have a run for the bathroom before we could get on the bus and retreat to the resort. It was a good end to the trip - like ending on a big bang.

In the end, I think Monkey enjoyed himself. He had a hard time with the heat and the walking was harder on him than expected, but I am glad I didn't bring a stroller or rent one. At the same time, he would have enjoyed staying at a place where he could just play video games and swim. I think the experience is something going to be remembered more fondly than the moment being fond. The heat combined with not enough sleep and poor eating (it's hard to eat well when you only like a few things) made it harder for him to enjoy every moment. Next time, we'll bring our own bread and peanut butter, stock in crossiants and chocolate milk.

But in the end, there was magic.

Bright eyes watching fish being fed.

Laughter over a soaking wet mom.

Hiding from the big splash at the end of Splash Mountain.

Wacky futures on Spaceship Earth.

Awe of fireworks.

"I Love you Momma."

It's all in the small moments.

The Day of Rest

So after the creation of this miraculous world, God rested.

And so did we.

Though we only rested because it was on the schedule and because Monkey and I were rather tired of one another. We did sleep in and have some DS time. Then we went to the pool where we spent several hours. Now Monkey is fairer than I am and I am rather panicy at the thought of being sunburned. Probably because all I connect with Florida is the feeling of being rather hideously sunburned. If I was at my parents' house I would post the picture of myself beet red sitting on the sand in Florida. It was rather hideously painful.

So here we are in the land of sun and I am fearing nothing more than having to travel home hideously burned - like lobsterfied. This would not be good. It would be worse if it was Monkey. We lavished ourselves in our SPF 50 over and over again. Thankfully after a good portion of the morning and afternoon in the pool, with breaks for lunch. I also treated myself to a well deserved afternoon nap.

There was much discussion about the evening. All of us were ready to be on the move, aside from Monkey. He wasn't so keen. The real issue? He was hungry. Once we had a delicious meal of cheeseburgers and french fries for K and steak (with mashed sweet potatoes) for the rest of us, we agreed on an option. We would all head to Epcot for the evening fireworks/laser light display.

The trip there was uneventful and the Scooter (most bus drivers would add "O'Doom") earned us a rather priveledged viewing spot. I highly recommend making sure someone knows how to limp rather well when you and your partners in crime traverse Disney so therefore the wheelchair seems more believeable. It certainly gets you into things a lot faster and with better views. Though, I did see a lot of it really being utilized by grandparents seeing the joy with their grandkids. [[On the other hand, I recommend making sure your children walk if they are over five. If you have to rent a double stroller for a SINGLE child, it's time for them to walk. Monkey could have used a stroller by the last day, but I think he did well and it did his body good to do the walking. I am glad that I insisted. And dragged him. And really didn't have to practice walking around carrying fifty pound weights.]]

Monkey and Grandma settled in while I went for a hike, snapping photos here and there. Dinner had left me feeling rather rotound both out and in. The walk did me some good and then we had a very nice time enjoying the view of Illuminations. It was really quite brilliant - very well done. And where we were sitting, it felt like we were on top of where they were firing off some of the fireworks from.

It was excellent. Pictures to come!

Animal Kingdom

This was probably Monkey's least favorite place to visit. He's not a big animal person in general (considering I can't drag him to the zoo when he's in a good mood!). Therefore this was not his idea of a great time. It was hot and therefore he was exceedingly crabby. Monkey and heat just do not mix. It's rather like putting a live tiger and a bunny rabbit in a cage together and hoping they both come out alive. Sooner or later, something is going to go wrong.

We did okay with breakfast at the Rainforest Cafe. Monkey ate (lack of food has been another reoccurring theme). Then we went out into the park. We started the day with the Safari Tour. It was great. Kind of like the Jungle Cruise but on land and with live animals. I suppose that makes the only similarity the fact that they both require humourous drivers. I enjoyed it if nothing else while Monkey wanted to know if it was time yet for playing his DS and could he go back to the hotel now. This was the recurring theme of the day.

Before total patience was lost, we managed to get through a train ride around some of the area and a ride on the River Rapids which left us all soaked and dripping wet. By then Monkey was at his height of annoyance and demanding to be back at the hotel. He and I had several words most of which seemed to involve tears and gesticulating and wringing of hands and claims of lack of loving. It was not a high point. I was sure I wasn't going to be one of those parents who was scolding their child in the midst of the park, but some things leave us where they are and little can be changed about things once items are in motion.

Monkey and I eventually sorted ourselves out. Calmer, we stopped and played some of the carnival games wherein he promptly won two new 'friends' - a sea serpent and a turtle. Both of which have names though I am unsure what they are at the moment. I clearly need to be better versed.

We returned to the hotel and eventually went out and did some swimming before getting dinner with grandma and grandpa poolside. It was a lovely end to the day and Monkey was much more refreshed after that. He is loving the pool and grandma has promised him swim lessons when we return to our section of the world as she would like to see him become a stronger swimmer. He does well now, but a lot of his swimming really just involves diving in and around the water - not swimming from place to place. He does have good lung control - possibly better than mine!

Finally we all managed to toddle off to bed - making the mental note that perhaps Animal Kingdom was not the best choice for a Monkey who isn't keen on animals and would rather be strategically attached to his DS. One does live and learn.


Time has slipped away from me here in Disney. I meant to update on a daily basis but by the time we were done with the Animal Kingdom, Monkey Boy and I were out of sorts and it is rather hard to be witty about one's child when one would rather lock oneself in a small windowless room instead of write about said child. I think they would have committed me if it had been possible. This is why I am looking forward to WORK if nothing else.

That said, look tonight or later today. I will have all things posted the good, the bad and the entirely ugly.

See ya on the flip side.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Birthdays and Epcot

Today was a day of prime importance. It is very very important.

Today was Monkey Boy's seventh Birthday.

Clearly, he turned seven.

Therefore today was the ideal day to visit Disney. Now the advertisement is for free admission to the park on your birthday, but we had that covered with the price of our admission. I got to choose his prize for him and we selected the Fast Pass option. It allows you to 'jump the queue' for certain rides. Giving you an automatic Fast Pass to ride immediately. A typical Disney fast pass is for several hours into the future and they run out of them at a certain time - only a limited number being available. Except when you have a birthday fast pass. THEN you can have a fast pass even when they stop giving them out.

We started our day in Tomorrow Land. We rode the Buzz Lightyear ride and the Stitch experience and then the race cars before heading over to do Peter Pan and then to It's a Small World (my choice - feel free to make fun). I love It's a Small World for some reason. I think it's because I had a mini Disney record of it when I was little. One of those brilliant things I looked at and listened to again and again. "You'll know it's time to turn the page when you hear Tinkerbell ring her bell. Like this!" Brilliant.

After that we had a nice lunch before doing the Haunted Mansion. Then we did Thunder Mountain. We tried to do Splash Mountain but it was down for 'technical difficulties'. So instead we did the Jungle Cruise and then Pirates of the Caribbean. That has changed from my memories. Well, most of it has changed since my memories of what it was like, but hey, 20 years shouldn't make that much difference! Then we did Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain again.

By that time, Monkey Boy was tired with it all and frustrated with Mom and the Camera. (I believe I was told 'no more flash photography' - clearly someone had been on Disney property too long). We decided to head out as it was starting to rain again. You should have seen those people and their crazy plastic ponchos! It was so hot and muggy that I couldn't imagine putting something plastic against my skin, but hey, good for them. I'd rather get wet, which we did. Kieran collected two different balloons for final birthday presents (one from mom and one from grandma, coverging from two different sides) besides the sword from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The balloons were carefully protected on the way home - worrying about them possibly impacting with something sharp - like a raindrop or something. I had no idea the Monkey Boy was ever so paranoid, but he clearly is.

Which gives me my favorite memory of the day. Little boy fingers clutching balloon strings as tight as he can.
Happy Birthday Monkey Boy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Today was Epcot. We were up early which was fine with me, but the Monkey Boy was not so certain. He would have rather slept as long as possible. What did he think?! That this was a vacation or something?! We had things to do and places to be! We got on the bus and to Epcot early enough to be there before the opening which was a rather cool thing.

We survived the mad trampling (ie gate opening) and went straight to the Test Track. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. I could have ridden that one about twelve times in a row. Monkey boy enjoyed it, but didn't want to go again. Then we went and got fast passes for Soaring and then to the Under seas exhibit. Monkey Boy LOVES himself a good fish. No wonder he loved Nemo for a year. Seriously we spent nearly an hour there wandering around looking at the fish. And the dolphins. And the manatees. The best part was the feeding show. They fed the rays and the other fish in this big aquarium and that was pretty awesome.

Then we went and rode Soaring after a spot of lunch. We wandered a bit more and then left the parents behind so Monkey Boy and I could return to the hotel. He was tired and hot and ready for some time to relax. We spent some time in the room and then two hours in the pool. It was very exciting. He enjoyed it which was all that was important. Nothing better than swimming in the pool. If he wasn't already Monkey Boy, he might have become fish boy....

Aside from that, I only have these few comments to make:
(1) Disney knows how to move people. Seriously. They can get you from A to B faster than greased lightning. They move millions with ease. It really is amazing. I'd love to have a chance to sit in a security booth for awhile and just watch them move people. They are clearly talented in that area.

(2) Disney is not the land of beautiful people. Seriously - NOT beautiful people. In fact, I'd almost go as far as saying the land of ugly people. If you want to see beautiful people, I'd recommend just about anywhere but Disney. The amount of inappropriate wearing of clothing and bathing suits is scandalous. If your fat hangs out of it, please, don't wear it. I'm not saying don't be fat and wear a bathing suit, just that they make things that cover these things (and I should know!). No one wants to see your fat - certainly not me. If I wanted to see fat, I'd go home and look at myself in the mirror. And men, speedos are a no-no in a family resort. NO speedos! None. Never. I think they should be marketed as ILLEGAL.

Daily Photos found here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Well in case you haven't been following my life as closely as you should be, I'm traveling at the moment. My mother, stepfather, son and I are on the grand adventure called Traveling With Small Children to the World's Most Crowded Vacation Resort (otherwise known as Disney World).

The process of preparing for this journey took over six months, a million phones, weeks on the internet and enough patience that I should be qualified for sainthood. Seriously. Preparing was monumental and that was only making the lists for these things. Besides getting ready for this, I also had to get ready for school and that is enough to give most sane people a mental breakdown. I'm rather glad I'm not sane for just that reason. Who wants to be sane? I'm of the opinion that sanity is over-rated.

Aside from planning, the trip has been rather uneventful. We traveled in high style - economy by Northworst. At least this time they didn't manage to lose anyone's luggage. Usually the theme with them is to lose something that we might consider valuable. Hey - they even gave the Monkey Boy a whole can of Sprite without a single begrudging.

There was a great deal of laughter over my Mother and her commentary on things - namely how she was going to steal into first class and take over their food. Of course they paid $10000 for their ticket so heck, they should have some decent food if nothing else for those kinds of outrageous prices. And they were clearly into protecting said food on the other hand. To protect first class from us wild hooligans who were salivating over their brilliantly odorous lunches, they had a HUGE barrier in place. No one could see a way around this amazing obsticale. It was enough to deter those who cowered in the face of the mighty authority who's name is STEWARDESS.

The rest of us undid the velcro rope and tromped through, enjoying the luxuries of first class. Sniffing the odors of their delicious foods. Stroking the tops of their chairs.

So the flight went well. Monkey boy was a dream passenger - playing quietly throughout the whole trip and generally keeping himself entertained. They applauded all the small children for excellent behavior when we were done. *snort* Aren't children just supposed to be good?! Or at the very least be constantly trying without heaps of praise.

Regardless of that, then we went to have some lunch (a daily allotment of grease) before riding on the bus to Disney properties. From there we entered our room. They politely delievered my bag for me and then we went and had some lovely dinner (pizza - the ultimate food group) before swimming and having a quiet night in. Tomorrow - Epcot!

Pictures, to follow along, are here!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


So I live in an apartment that could qualify for the fifth ring of hell at the very least in terms of heat. I seem to be missing the laughing cackling evil things with pitchforks and the pots of flame, but hey, it's nearly the fifth ring of hell. I consider the apartment something of a concrete box surrounded by concrete boxes. I get no cell phone reception inside and it retains heat from now until December. I turn on the heat for two days in January and that's about it because it retains so much heat.

While it's nice not have to heat the place because it's so well trained in retaining heat, it's annoying in the summer. I get the afternoon sun and it heats the apartment despite closed blinds and ritual sacrifices. You can fry and ego on the wall of the outside of the apartment over an hour after the sun goes down it retains that much heat. Therefore I have to have the air conditioning going 110% of the time otherwise I really do live in the 5th ring of hell.

No one wants to live there - well unless you like to cackle a lot and have a thing for pitchforks.

And if you do... have I got an apartment for you!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Basement

Everyone wants to grow up and have a house with a basement. We want to be able to store that small million of Christmas ornaments we eventually plan on passing on to our darling children; to keep our childhood toys which our children love to sneer at as horridly dull; to keep that ugly furniture we can't seem to part with; to have a place to toss bored children on rainy days; to keep the food we may need for the large meteorite heading towards earth... I could go on. There are huge reasons for all of us to have a basement, but in general I would think that storage and a place to put the furnace and hot water heater (at least here in the northern areas. I know they aren't as popular in all places).

So you have your large lovely storage area to keep all those things which we assume are going to be useful but never really are. The thing is, one really needs to be selective about what one stores.

Here are good things to store:
  • extra canned goods and other extra large quantities of food for your next party
  • holiday decorations that you love
  • suitcases for all your many travel needs
  • books you read again and again
  • baby clothes for those children you could eventually have
  • items for work you may eventually need
Things NOT to store:
  • audio tapes for a stereo that is so obsolete that it runs on coal
  • film reels that are unlabeled and can only be played on a projector that you would have to borrow from the Smithsonian
  • furniture with odd shapes and sizes and special holes added by visiting rodents
  • books you never read or have twelve copies of
  • unused electrical appliances or broken appliances
  • computers or computer parts that are older than a decade or need a hard drive the size of a room to operate
  • any food that is beginning to ferment in its packaging
  • any item gnawed on or peed on or used by rodents or insects
I could go on, but I will spare all of you. I am hoping that you have common sense.

Why do I write about these things? Consider it a polite word of caution against the mess I encounter far too often. I shall leave the location nameless, but if you need any of those things you shouldn't store - let me know. Between that and the thousands of dollars of tupperware and I might some day be sane.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I love to shop. I know there are people who don't, but I honestly love it. I don't necessarily like to buy (and right now have NO MONEY with which to buy), but I love to wander around and search for things - especially bargains. I like trying things on and fine special delight in shoes. Luscious in more ways than one.

More than just shopping though, I love shopping with others. Need a shopping buddy? Send me an email, I'm happy to come along. I love the challenges and delights in shopping. And I can convince people of what looks good on them - hence why my brother has a purple shirt and tie to wear with his new shoes.

Most of all, I love shopping with my mom. (*waves to her mom*!). I have to admit that I love my mom. She's an amazing person from top to bottom and we always have lots of fun together. Some day I will relate to you the story of cleaning out the basement and the tupperware attempting to claim us when we weren't screaming at the mouse droppings and spiders. Brilliant fun.

I love shopping with her. She's such brilliant fun. I think it's the best just because she always laughs at my stupid jokes. Just like a good mom, she thinks I'm funny and allows me to wander about the store attempting to amuse myself by showing off hideous fashions. Some clothes are just not made for real people. I admit it, I'm not a skinny minny, but then skinny is not attractive. Thinness can be, depending on how it is displayed. I have to admit, I'd rather see people with a bit of 'meat' on their bones as opposed to thin enough to see your ribs. Clothing appears to be made for the refuges of concentration camps far too often. I mean, just look at the manaquiens in the store. Those aren't shaped like real people! Those are the kind of people who only eat lettuce and come out at night. But it is just not the size that is ridiculous - it's the colors and patterns! You should see these things. *shudders* And then there are people who actually buy and WEAR these things....

And that is why Ilove shopping with my mom. She totally lets me run around the store like mad and make hideously stupid comments on the clothing choices. That and she lets me tell her what to buy.

So nice that your mother can take direction from you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


This is another one of those hideous pet peeves. Of course it is not as dangerous to others, unless sensibilities are one of those things that you don't think should be offended.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love socks as much as the next person. In fact, I'd rather wear socks than have bare feet. I don't like the feel of certain things on my feet which is generally why I wear socks most of the time.

On the other hand, there are some things that are not meant to have socks worn with them. High heels for instance. Flip-flops are another. But then these are obvious ones (one would hope).

What is completely and utterly wrong is socks and sandals. Seriously wrong. I mean, I can get that you might not like your feet, but then don't wear sandals. You should NOT ever consider wearing socks with sandals. It's just... wrong. I don't even care if you are a wearing a pair of pants - don't wear socks and sandals. It's the epitome of saying 'I have no style sense'. Which is just fine if you want to announce that, but wear a sign so that the rest of us don't need to be so tortured. If you must wear black dress socks and sandals, stay home where I don't need to be so tortured.

This trend is only slightly better than wearing knee socks or tube socks with shorts and trainers. Say what? I spent nearly a decade chastising my ex about this, trying to convince him that he needed to wear short ankle socks. It was rather like banging my head against a brick wall. Nothing is as weird as a guy with only his knees showing in the middle of summer. It's just like wearing plaids and stripes - it really shouldn't be done. Really.

Trust me!!

Top this off by my ex finally buying short ankle socks after we're divorced and being all 'Wow. You were really right about this sock thing."

That loud banging noise is my head hitting the wall ... repeatedly....

Saturday, August 1, 2009


As I was informed by a coworker this morning, just over a year ago at this time I was at work - having started the new school year. Funnily enough, even though we don't start until th 24th, I was at work.

I think that is rather a kind of irony.

But it sounds like my life.

Always working - even when I shouldn't be.

That and napping.

I spend a lot of time doing those two things.

It's a sad sad little life I lead.

But at least it's mine and I am happy to have a job, despite working as much as I do. I'd rather be employed than nothing else. It is a good thing. And I am looking forward to having a great year and being with the students again.