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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:35 AM

A few weeks ago, I made a list of things I wanted to see and do before I left Florida. On the top of my list was see a space shuttle launch. It was the first thing to pop into my head, and the one I thought the least likely to happen since it would take the alignment of the planets to make the launch at a time I was off work and had transportation to get there. I do have incredibly good luck, and made plans with my friend and coworker, Natalia, to go with her and her roommates.

Her roommates flaked, so we decided to go to MickeyÕs Retreat, the park for cast members, because it has open fields giving us a clear view of the east. We arrived about a half an hour before the launch, and relaxed in the shade while we waited. Right before the launch, we joined a group of day camp children and watched the sky as the radio counted down. I was the first to exclaim, ÒI see it!Ó when a sliver of orange shot up over the treeline. The fire grew, leaving a trail of wispy puffs, until it suddenly it went out and the shuttled disappeared to slip through the atmosphere. Natalia and I joined in with their clapping and cheering. The implications of space travel and what weÕd just witnessed hit us and we began to ramble to one another about how amazing it was, how fortunate we were to see something so incredible.

In other news, itÕs my last ÒweekendÓ here at Disney. Today, I am going to begin packing and probably go to the pool. Tomorrow, I had my final presentation for my Disney class yet nobody really seems prepared for it. Starting Thursday, I am scheduled to work until the following Thursday, which is my last day. I have other plans in mind, however.

After work on Sunday, Eddie picked me up and we went to MGM. We went to ÒWho Wants to be a Millionaire? Play It!Ó and I got 10th place out of the whole audience because I knew what an archipelago was from reading Earthsea. (I knew forcing myself to finish that dry, classic fantasy be good for something.) We also saw the parade and Eddie seemed to have fun taking pictures of it with my fancy camera. Between that, my laptop, and my iPod, he must think IÕm rich!

After MGM, we went grocery shopping to get stuff for dinner. We stopped at Whole Foods and I stocked up on yummy hippy food to tide me over the remainder of my time here. I made him mushroom and onion fajitas for dinner, and they turned out really good. The best IÕve gotten them to turn out, actually.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 It's a great big beautiful tomorrow...

IÕm coming home in 13 days! IÕve meant to write more, but I havenÕt had much free time in between working and checking off items from my Òto-do-before-I-leave-list.Ó I worked Extra Magic Hours until 4 in the morning on Monday and didnÕt get to bed until 6 am, then had two days off before having to get up at 5:30 am to be in at 7:30. Two days is a short amount of time to do such a dramatic sleep turnaround!

I saw Willy Wonka on Tuesday night. It was cute! Wednesday, I just went to class and tried to get to bed. Yesterday, Eddie and I went to Epcot before we worked and saw our favorite, Turtle Talk With Crush, and made plastic robots. We got third place in the robot race!

At work yesterday, Nicki and I were in the stroller shop together both having problems that required a manager and we couldnÕt find one. While we were trying to fix that, I was yelled at by a cranky guest. When I apologized, he insisted (in front of the whole queue) that I was no sorry or I would have done it differently in the first place. What are you going to do? I didnÕt really care that he was mad and wanted to focus on getting my line down, so I told him he could choose to accept my apology or not, and the man quite loudly proclaimed that he chose not to.

I took my break at the same time Eddie did, which cheered me up a bit although I was still dragging my feet. I got out and got some fresh air on an ECV run (bringing a replacement for a breakdown). The problem? The machine was turned off. On my way back, a woman fainted beside me so I let her sit in the ECV until the alpha unit (paramedics) came. Security and managers showed up first and told her there was an alpha on the way, like sheÕd know what that was. I directed traffic, herding along all of the looky-loos.

Today, we hung out for a few hours at Magic Kingdom (after my shift ended and before his started) and had a blast. Eddie surprised me with some of the best chocolate ever (to make up for me being stressed out the day before, though of course it was no fault of his) and then we took pictures, went for a wild ride in PoohÕs honeypot, went on the river boat, and shared a yummy bowl of vegetarian chilly. I even did something crazy: on ÒCarousal of Progress,Ó the rideÕs host asked if anyone knew the song for the ride and I said, ÒI did!Ó He invited me to come up and sing it on the microphone and I did! I sang the whole entire song in front of the whole audience. When did I get so brave? Eddie even joined in!

HereÕs a picture of us with Stitch. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2005

ItÕs 7:15 pm and IÕm leaving for work in less than an hour, so IÕm not sure how much of an update this will be, but I wanted to write something while I had the chance. Tonight is Extra Magic Hours so my shift doesnÕt start until 9:15 pm. IÕll be there until 3:15 or later this morning. IÕm actually looking forward to it. Extra Magic Hours are fun because itÕs slow and we have a lot of time to mess around. I got like 9-plus hours of sleep last night so I am feeling ready to face those awful hours.

So what have I been up to? I recently read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants then watched the film. I thoroughly enjoyed both. The book was quality young adult literature with strong, young female characters who cared about more than dating and fashion even before the growth they went through throughout the book. The movie had a few changes but followed the themes in the book and overall was refreshing and deep for a teen movie.

IÕve been working mostly morning shifts still, and my workdays have been going fast. I still enjoy my job, but am getting ready to go home. My time is running short, like IÕve been given three weeks by the doctor. IÕve made a mental list of who gets what out of my belongings, and IÕve made a literal list of the things I want to do before I go.

I knocked one thing off that list yesterday, which was visit Busch Gardens and ride SheiKra, their new coaster. I called in a personal day at work to go, and had a great time. I went with Eddie and we headed straight to SheikRa where we coincidentally ran into two of his friends there while queueing for the coaster. The coaster wasnÕt nearly as intense as I thought, but still fun. I actually enjoyed Montu and Kumba more (in that order), two of the older coasters there that were a little bit more intense and lengthy rides.

The new season of Battlestar Galactica, my favorite TV show, started on Friday. I donÕt get the Sci-fi channel here, so I watched a downloaded copy of the episode today. It picked up right where it left off, and things arenÕt getting any better for the characters IÕve grown to know and love. IÕm so into the show that it gets kind of stressful watching everything go wrong for them. I highly recommend the show to even the most casual science fiction fan. ItÕs filmed in Vancouver, so the scenes were they are outside make me a bit homesick for the northwest outdoors.

I havenÕt got a copy of Harry Potter yet, but I saw 8 people reading it at work on Saturday, the day it came out. Eddie and I went window shopping at the fancy and overpriced Millenia Mall on Saturday where they were having a bit of a party at the bookstore. The employees were dressed up and I let them humor me with muggle magic tricks and got a cute balloon parrot named Sinclare out of it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Finally, that promised picture update! These pictures are all from my day of fun with my tripod last month. Pictures 1 and 7 were taken during the night parade at Magic Kingdom, Spectromagic. 2, 4, 5, and 8 are from the Wishes fireworks. 3 is Cinderella Castle, and 6 is a waterfall at the Polynesian Resort I took to explain to my friend Amanda how to show motion in a photograph.

My weekend is here yet again. ItÕs kind of silly how fast five-day work weeks go by now. They used to feel like a month!

So the last two days were pretty much the sweetest two days, ever. I worked 8:30 to 5 on Sunday then Eddie picked me up from work and took me out to dinner to the Thai place we went to last week. I got some sweet and sour tofu, which was quite delicious. After dinner, he took me to Whole Foods so we could get some soy ice cream in flavors more fun than the vanilla and chocolate tofutti that Publix carries. I just about fainted with joy the moment we pulled into the parking lot. I bounced up and down the isles, squealing at all of the health food goodness populating the store. We settled on Neapolitan Soy Delicious and I picked up a few other things that arenÕt sold at Publix. If only IÕd gone there when I had more than a few weeks left here, or IÕd have bought the whole store. IÕm trying to wind down, food-wise, since I know IÕm going to have to give a lot away when I leave.

Yesterday, Eddie took me out to lunch at a cute little battery/sandwich place called Panera (I think) that totally reminded me of something weÕd have back home. I love the area he lives in. ItÕs suburbia with way more character than anything around Disney or downtown.

I had to be at work at 5:15 and made it there with little difficulty. I was on the stroller shop register for about two hours until I got my break. Because I was scheduled to work until 1:45 am, I found my favorite manager and asked him if I could take my break later. My friend Priscilla was talking to him because sheÕd torn her nail and wanted to go to health services. This is the same girl who got lost trying to walk to the Contemporary and called an alpha unit (Disneyese for paramedics) because she had a migraine. Since health services is at Epcot, I guess my manager figured Priscilla would never find it so he had me go with her. We had a nice little two-hour field trip to the health clinic and back. ItÕs a good thing I went because Priscilla has the worse sense of direction. I see why we took a few wrong turns getting to Epcot since there arenÕt signs to the cast services and we were both texting and talking on our cellphones during the drive over, but coming back? I told her, ÒJust follow the signs to Magic Kingdom,Ó and look down. Next thing I know, weÕre going into the Epcot guest parking. But hey, more time I wasnÕt really working while on the clock.

When I get back, my homeroom manager silently hands me a shop (service evaluation) which I nailed. I wish they gave gift certificates like they do at Safeway, but I think Disney is too scotchy. I collected strollers for a few minutes, then was sent on an hour break because IÕd missed my first one. By the time I got back, I had hardly more than two hours left on my shift. Because itÕs so slow on Extra Magic Hours nights, most of that two hours was spent socializing.

What am I going to do with my day off? Probably sit around! ItÕs almost noon and that all IÕve done so far. IÕll probably put a movie in so I can watch something more entertaining than this talk show about food poisoning my roommates have on. (ItÕs all meat, anyways, so it isnÕt even scaring me.)

Saturday, July 9, 2005 9:30 pm

IÕve taken after my mom and become somehow appealing to the teenage crowd. Somehow I doubt they see me as a parental figure (my mom works at a junior high and treats the kids with more respect than most adults do), though. There is a group of 16-to-18 year old guys (about five of them) at my work who have been getting on my nerves. Independently of each other, they seek me out, make invasive personal comments, and a give me hugs and high fives.

Today, one of them went too far and pissed me off. The boy is 16 and always telling me about how his dad is in jail and his family makes him help with the bills. In the backroom, he said, ÒIÕve got ArielÕs back,Ó and snapped my bra. IÕve never had anyone do that to me before. I pivoted and said, cool and confident, ÒDonÕt do that. That isnÕt cool.Ó His arms shot up and he said, ÒOkay, sorry!Ó I turned away in disgust, finished what I was doing, then told my female manager. I wondered if I was making a big deal out of nothing, but I could still feel it hours later. I thought at first that maybe it was an accident, but I was wearing a sports bra with a snug, three-inch band that would have been pretty hard to grab on accident.

I worked from 2 until 8 today. I was the stroller distributor for the first half of my shift and over in Newstand the second. It went by pretty fast today. I got to sleep in until 11 this morning and had time to make pancakes for breakfast before work. I wish I had something better to use in them than Bisquick because I got low blood sugar today and it was probably from that combined with not having a snack on my break. (I was still too full from my big breakfast!). It was weird having it since I havenÕt in a really long time. IÕve gotten to the point where I can even eat small amounts of sugar and still be okay.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 3:30 am

I didnÕt get to bed until 5:30 last night, but my called me at 10 and I couldnÕt fall back asleep. I watched ÒHostageÓ this morning, a movie I found on top of the TV which seems way to cheesy to star Bruce Willis, and wished that I had some popcorn (but I cooked the last of it yesterday).

I had a great 4th of July. I worked a morning shift running on two hours of sleep (staying up was worth it, though) but felt fin. It was busy but not insanely so. We didnÕt run out of strollers while I was there, but the park was closed around noon because it had reached capacity. I heard it was insane during the fireworks. After work, I headed over to Epcot with Eddie to watch their fireworks show. Epcot put on their normal IllumiNations fireworks then had an extended special show afterwards. The whole sky above the lake was filled with light.

IÕve been so busy lately that I havenÕt had time to be sad that my family is at Lake Chelan right now. This is the first year IÕve ever missed. TheyÕve been going to KellyÕs Resort every summer since I was an infant. It probably was kind of a lame summer since my grandparents didnÕt even go.

I saw War of the Worlds on Tuesday night at Downtown Disney. It was my first time visiting that theater, and I went with Eddie after making my first homemade pizza. I even made the dough from scratch, and was most satisfied with how it turned out for my first attempt. War of the Worlds was really fun and enjoyable, even if it isnÕt up there with my favorites. I thought it was a really well done sci-fi movie. I enjoyed the point of view of a family over, say, the president in movies like Independence Day. I tend to enjoy fantasy stories starring regular people. I could analyze why that is, but IÕm too dang tired right now!

On Wednesday, my second day off, I went to Blizzard Beach with Nicki. I would have had a better time but we had a male tagalong who kind of got on our nerves. He was alright, but we would have rather been alone so we could talk uncensored.

Last night, Eddie took me to the Comedy Warehouse, the improv show at Downtown Disney. I sure liked it and want to see it again. Afterwards, we met Jennifer and Scotty at IHOP. (I keep wanting to write iHop. IsnÕt that sick?) I built a sculpture named Sin-Thya/Cynthia and egged Jennifer on (she told us about witnessing the birth of Baby and how she lives without a bank account) while the guys were quiet. I should have tried to include them in the conversation more, but I was kind of out of it so I just let her talk since she seemed to be enjoying herself.

Today, I mostly slacked off at work. It was Extra Magic Hours, so it was pretty slow since there was no huge rush of people. I extended so I could get a ride home and spend more time with my pals, and I sure did. I spent the last two hours of my shift just walking around and chatting with my colleagues. Priscilla, who is one of those friends who can drive me crazy despite how much I adore her, had an interesting adventure. She wanted to serve as a translator for some Spanish speaking guests, so she tried to take them to the Contemporary to call a taxi. She was going to walk them there (I guess they couldnÕt figure it out themselves?) but got halfway there before realizing sheÕd gone the wrong way so she took them back and rode the monorail with them, in costume. The Contemporary didnÕt want to call, so they sent her back on the monorail to Transportation and Ticket Center. When she rode back to Magic Kingdom, she told the guests who questioned her that she was a translator. SheÕs lucky she didnÕt get caught and fired!

Much more to write, but I am too tired. My bed is beckoning as I fantasize about having a foot massage. (Alas, my feet are too nasty to be that up close and personal with anyone.) I work at from 2 pm - 8 pm tomorrow and am looking forward to a nice little six hour shift. WeÕll see if I wake up early enough to get anything done. I accidently ate half my food today while watching ÒHostageÓ and need to go grocery shopping. Oops.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Another new month! ItÕs full on summer and the parks havenÕt even been that crowded. (From my point of view.) I havenÕt posted in a few days, so IÕm trying to think of what is new. Remember that dinner party one of my roommates had? Well she finally put the leftovers in the fridge after they sat on the table for two or three days. I think IÕm going to throw them away if theyÕre still in there in a few days. When she went on her cleaning spree, she put ShanikaÕs phone charger (like a plugged in phone charger is THAT much of an eyesore) in MegÕs and my room and we threw it away, thinking it was leftover from the girl who used to live in my room. Luckily, we hadnÕt taken the trash out yet. I think everyone is getting kind of burnt out because theyÕve been at each otherÕs throats over the dishes and borrowing things.

Today was just another little six hour shift. IÕm starting to appreciate those more now that IÕm on five day work weeks. I still like my job, but how busy IÕve been is catching up with me and I feel kind of fatigued. IÕve been downing my caffeine free tea and vitamins like crazy, trying to keep from getting sick again. I tried to go to bed early last night but decided to do laundry instead. By the time I finished, my roommate and her friend got home and kept coming in and out of the room and had MegÕs TV on. Once I fell asleep, my phone started ringing and woke me up again.

At work, I had a pretty fun day. I was on the express wheelchair register, which I think is fun because time goes by fast and I get to deal with a lot of problems. (They give me something to do.) TodayÕs problem was a bit of a unique one: a guest was stuck in her wheelchair. Scooter bug was there in the form of a lecherous man a decade my senior (liked to call me sweetie/honey and put his hand on my shoulder, but I feel kind of bad for assuming he was a perv when maybe he thought I was just a sweet little kid) and helped the managers take apart the wheelchair to get the guest out. The woman kept a straight face through the whole ordeal, which I have to give her credit for. I would be sobbing if I were stuck, especially because my, ahem, behind was too big to fit. That had to be more embarrassing than the girl I saw get her knee stuck in the fence a few weeks ago.

I have been pretty good about saving money lately, so I treated myself to some online shopping. I bought three new nose rings (since I keep losing or breaking them) that should last me until I get home. TheyÕre 18-gage screws so theyÕre a little bit bigger, more durable, and harder to lose than the 20-gage nose-bones IÕd been using. I also ordered two young adult books that my mom recommended: Rats Saw God and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She said that I should read the book before seeing the movie, so that I shall do. IÕll post what I think here, but first I must finish Here Abide Monsters, my first Andre Norton novel. SheÕs supposedly a pretty revered sci-fi novelist from back in the day. I hope Here Abide Monsters book is a parody, because so far it has every cliche known to paranormal stories: a young male protagonist and his Mary Sue being flung into an alternate dimension with unicorns, telepathic pets, flying saucers, and time fluxes. Of course, I am savoring every word of it.