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This page contains archives of May, 2005, entries. Oldest posts are at the bottom of the page, with newer posts at the top. Click here to go back to the main page.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 1:50 am

Wow, is May really almost over? I go home in a little more than two months. I feel like I just got here, but at the same time everything is routine now and my life back home seems further away and more difficult to recall.

I got off work at 12:15 tonight, which seemed really early to me. I was finally Last Apron, the person who stands at a podium giving out Disney dollars and EVC key returns. (Last apron sounds like the name of a post-apocalyptic comedy.) I am tired and cranky from cleaning up an overflowed toilet so I donÕt really want to write much now. I only got four hours of sleep because I closed last night and got up at 7:45 to meet my friend Isaac to go to Typhoon Lagoon. We did the shark swim, which was fabulous! I want to go back just to do it some more.

11:41 am

I woke up a few times because I was so cold. I could hear rain against the roof, which stirred feelings of home that warmed me back to sleep.

Now there is a constant overcast stretching the whole sky and the rain is thin, small, and steady. Normally, weather comes in torrential little bursts, charging forth and spilling their fury in a half hours time then departing. During Wishes last night, I found natureÕs light show more entertaining. We got a little breeze while it hailed at Epcot a few miles away.

I work at 4:45 today and am trying to decide what to do with the three or four hours I have before I leave for work. I kind of want to go to the parks because I havenÕt been in so long and love playing in the rain, but I also am very tired from yesterday and very disgusted with how filthy our apartment is. Maybe I will read, write, and clean. (Not necessarily in that order.) That will be cheaper; IÕm trying to save money again after realizing how much IÕve been spending lately and seeing my little hundred dollar paycheck from last week. So many people come down here with savings and begin living paycheck to paycheck after a few months here. I donÕt want to be one of them, or rely so much on my parents for money. IÕm almost 21, I should be able to at least pay my rent and living expenses on my own now.

My roommate was asleep last night when I came home. The last two nights sheÕd been up watching TV and said, ŅSeth isnÕt coming now,Ó and told me that sheÕd been crying. IÕve told the people I work with about her and they think I should confront her (especially on her inviting her boyfriend to stay here without asking if itÕs okay), but IÕm just going to continue to ignore her unless it becomes more of a problem. I like the rest of the people I live with too much to cause trouble for them or try and move. And, as I predicted, it sounds like Seth isnÕt even coming anymore, so it wasnÕt worth confronting her over. IÕm sure theyÕll make up (I think I heard her talking on her phone this morning but might have dreamed it), but IÕm not going to raise a stink about him staying here until he actually shows up at our apartment or I come home to find him in our room.

Friday, May 27, 2005 6:00 pm

IÕm trying to squeeze a quick little post in before I run off to catch the bus in 40 minutes.

Wednesday night, the Magic Kingdom was open until 11:00 pm then had three hours of ŅExtra Magic HoursÓ for the guests staying at Disney resorts. After the park closed, DisneyÕs scummy construction people showed up before weÕd even got the strollers out of the road. They nearly ran us over as a giant flatbed (lowboy? I donÕt know much about large vehicles) plowed down Main Street with a huge planet on board that was en route to Tomorrowland. IÕm glad they are finally fixing the planet sculptures that surround the Astro Orbiter, even if we did nearly get killed in the process.

I didnÕt get out of strollers until 3:45 on the morning, but thankfully I got a ride home from a new girl I work with since the Dynamic buses often donÕt show up that late. I told her about my roommate talking on the phone with her boyfriend at 6 in the morning on the way home and she laughed hysterically the whole time.

I was restless when I got home at 4:15. I saw Lindsay, whoÕd also just gotten off work (she works in Tomorrowland at Cosmic Rays, a fast food place). I made myself some tea, played World of Warcraft, and read ŅGhosts in the SnowÓ (a fun Ņforensic fantasyÓ paperback that IÕm finding much more of a page-turner than Fellowship of the Ring, the last book I read) until 5:30 or 6:00 am. When I finally went to bed, my roommate was already up for her morning chat with ŅStinky Feet.Ó (That is what she calls him.)

Yesterday, I woke up around 11:00 am. I was tired but couldnÕt fall back asleep, so I lounged around a bit and went online. I read and got an hourÕs nap in before I headed to work for another closing shift. I worked at Station Break (the locker rental) for the first time in two or three weeks and was lucky enough to be there during Spectromagic and Wishes. I saw a man with a Kingdom Hearts shirt on and got excited. (Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite video games and is a very odd, dark mixture of Final Fantasy and Disney.) He, his wife, and I all agreed they needed some Kingdom Hearts representation in the parks. They told me people had been complimenting his t-shirt all day, so I know the Kingdom Hearts lovers are out there.

Thankfully, I got out at 12:15 last night and I went to DennyÕs with Rachel, Nicki, and new friends Delba and Priscilla who just started working in strollers. We laughed and had a great time. I was bad and got onion rings even though I wasnÕt really hungry and knew I shouldnÕt eat greasy food right before bed. I justified it by watching everyone else order full breakfast meals. I ate some ice cream when I got home to wash away the nasty onion ring aftertaste.

Today was another relaxing day. I woke up at 10:00 am and watched ŅSharkÕs TaleÓ while I played World of Warcraft. I went to the gym (I felt bad skipping yesterday, although I had gone the previous three days) and then watched ŅWalking TallÓ while making a pasta salad and focassia bread. Both movies were formulaic, but Walking Tall was entertaining for a movie I only half payed attention to. It was nice to see a black family as the all-American good guys.

After the movie, I read then headed to the pool. I went to the one by the club house to be different, and found it better than the smokey one overlooked by the bus stop that is next to my apartment. I swam a bit then came back home because the clouds moved in between me and the sun.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Last night, I planned on doing a mixture of productive and relaxing things then going to bed early. I succeeded in the first two, but stayed up too late watching Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on my computer and snacking. I went to the gym for the first time since before my family arrived, and I could tell I hadn't been in a long time. Hopefully I'll make it back there again. The gym is boring, but there aren't a lot of appealing alternatives here and I want to stay in the decent shape I got in from bike riding last year at school.

I still haven't seen the new Star Wars movie. I am tempted to just download it since I don't know when I'll get to the theater to see it, but I wasn't overly impressed with Hitchhiker's Guide and wonder if it was because it was so tiny on my screen. I find I'm not really motivated to even see it, or excited about it. Do I just not want Star Wars to end for me? After I see it, that's it. Nothing new from the Star Wars after that, unless I track down that Ewok movie or watch the animated series or start reading those cheesy novels again.

Maybe I just don't want to spend 7 dollars or however much a matinˇe costs now. I feel like I've been such a consumer lately, and with my attempts at shaving and makeup-wearing falling by the wayside, so has my desire to go out to eat and buy things. It's like all of these temptations are being flung at me and it's an overload to the point that it isn't appealing. I'm full, Disney. I resolved to have fun while I was down here, but spending money isn't having fun. Spending time with people is what is fun. And I have made friends to have fun with. That surprised me. I was worried I wouldn't really connect with anyone. Maybe I haven't; I've had few intimate conversations with my friends here. But that is probably a good thing. I won't be set up for disappointment, and it will be less of a heartache going home.

Home. While my family was here, I thought a lot about home. Here is fine for now, but it isn't what I want for the rest of my life. I want to live in a place where I can go outside without the bend of my arm sticking under a film of sweat. I want the option of driving two hours and being at the ocean, the mountains, or another country when I feel like getting away. I want to live a place with sidewalks, with bikes, with nature. I haven't seen a single park since I've been down here, and I miss that.

Yesterday, I worked from 8:45 to 5:15. I was at the express wheelchair register for the first three and a half hours, and it was actually pretty entertaining. I watched the characters parade out on the train and the rope drop. Just as many people ran over to me to rent EVCs as people who ran into the park! It took about an hour and fifty minutes to run, out then the typical reactions began: the grunting, the shoulder dropping and sighing, the loud complaints about how much they pay to get in and how they aren't strong enough to push so-and-so around in a regular wheelchair. One lady really let us hear it. We supposedly told her we'd hold an ECV (electric cart) for her, so when we didn't have one she told me that her friend should take priority over everyone else who wanted an ECV because she was an annual pass holder. I offered a complimentary wheelchair, so then I got to hear about how the friend was legally blind and too big to be pushed around in a wheelchair.

"Well, you'll have to do something about this," the woman said. I could only find the area manager, who really let her hear it. She told him she should take priority over everyone else because her friend (who was nowhere to be seen this whole time) was disabled and they were Florida residents. She wanted him to call the other parks and have them bring an ECV over for them! He told her we have 200 people (hah) who say the exact same thing as her that also want ECVs.

I felt kind of light headed at the end of my shift, like I was overly hungry. I had been snacking on my breaks so I shouldn't have been, so maybe I was just dehydrated. I had been forgetting to take my vitamins, so maybe I was just low on iron. (I think I have anemia.) I have been having leg cramps in my sleep lately that my mom says is caused by a lack of potassium, so hopefully getting back in the vitamin habit will help. Maybe then I will finally have my period. I haven't had it since I've been down here, which is kind of annoying because I'd finally gotten on a regular schedule without hormones back home because I was eating well and exercising.

My aunt Patti wrote a recap for her trip down here. She gave me permission to post it, so here it is. I thought it was hilarious!

First Class was weak -- especially on the way down. Liz and I ordered a Madras (aka "Dirty Mattress"). When our bretfast arrived, we asked for red wine and the flight attendant said, "You aren't going to get silly on me are you?" I could tell he did not want to serve us. That's the problem with early fights - they think you don't want to drink. He did serve us ... but only offered up one refill for 5 hours. Food was weak, too.

Arrived at the airport to find our driver holding up a sign that said "Wetzel" -- Terri thought I saw someone that I knew .. but it was our personal driver to our hotel. We made the driver stop at the grocery and likker store so we could stock up on bevvies.

Hotel was very nice. We stayed at the Shades of Green which is a Military hotel (much better than it sounds). It is on Disney property which is a huge plus. Our room overlooked the golf course. Hotel had 2 pools, 2 restaurants, plus a snack bar. Cocktail lounge right by the pool. It also had their own busses which took us wherever we needed to go (no charge). Our room was huge, plenty big enuf for 5 people.

The first night we went to the Magic Kingdom (think DisneyLand) to visit Ariel and Liz got busted for booze in her purse! It was too funny ... They did let her in and just said "don't drink it". There are 6 parks on Disney property and we hit all 6 in our 7 days - some we went to twice. Magic Kingdom, Epcot (which I loved), MGM/Universal Studios -- whichever is run by Disney, Animal Kingdom (yes, even an animal lover like me -- enjoyed it), and two water parks: Blizzard Beach (fake snow and toboggan rides) and Typhoon Lagoon (more of a beach theme). Loved the water parks - both had lazy rivers that took us throughout the park and one park had a huge wave pool. Best of all they served frozen cocktails. Also went to Pleasure Island (think theme park for adults -- with different lounges such as a comedy club, 8Trax (70's disco), the Board Walk (an actual board walk around a lake with restaurants and shops - Liz and I took Konner to ESPN), and Downtown Disney (more shops and restaurants on a different lake). Also walked around most of the smaltzy hotels on the property.

All the parks except the Magic Kingdom serve booze. At Epcot they have booze vendors everywhere. Italy and France had fancy wines, Mexico had all sorts of flavors of Margaritas. It was great -- just get your drink and walk around the park and enjoy.

Crowds and weather were great. Kids still in school so not too crowed except for the last day. Also, temps in low to mid 80's with no humidity. Only hot on the last day. We saw an alligator on the hotel property. We did some pool time (not lots) and spend the last day at the pool before going to back to Epcot.

Some of the rides seemed cheezey and dated (Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean) but most were fabulous. I did all the scary rides (with Konner and Ariel) -- Terri and Liz were too scared. They have a thing called "baby swap" which worked great on the rides that Kate couldn't go on. She did great -- she was trooper and loved the characters and the baby rides such as Dumbo and the Magic Carpet ride. They also have a thing called "Fast Pass" where you can get a ticket to return at a certain time for a ride and you don't have to stand in line. Worked great.

We ate all our meals 'on property' either at a park or at hotel. Most were good, some were OK. Food and booze expensive except for at our hotel since it was military it was cheaper.

We were on the go everyday ... No CF's to speak of ... everything went as planned. Liz was the Julie on this trip and it was wonderful to just go where I was told ... didn't have to do any planning.

Great to see Ariel. She works in strollers at the Magic Kingdom. Most 'cast members' (i.e. Disney employees) were polite, upbeat and positive, but you could tell some hated their job and were surly. I didn't think that was allowed at Disney.

All in all a great trip, but need a vacation to rest up from the vacation!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Finally, an update! I'm sorry I haven't posted one in so long. I've been trying to work on this over the last few days but keep getting distracted before I finish. I have been very busy this last week, but also finding distractions, such as World of Warcraft, which I purchased and began playing despite knowing better.

Most my waking hours this last week were spent with my family or working. Sunday, we went to Epcot, which my aunts loved. Monday was MGM. My mom and Terri were afraid to go on Tower of Terror! We ate lunch at the Brown Derby, which is the best Disney restaurant I've eaten at so far and the only one I desire to go back to. They had a breaded coconut tofu and noodle dish and a vegan, sugar-free desert that was delicious!

Tuesday was my day off and we did Typhoon Lagoon in the morning and dinner at California Grill in the evening. I had fun in the water park's wave pool but didn't do much else since I don't really care for water slides. California Grill was pretty good but not great. It's the restaurant on top of the Contemporary that has a great view. My roommate Kate met us there, which was fun, but they screwed up my order. They told my mom when she made the reservation that they didn't need to know ahead of time there was a vegan coming, but it seemed to baffle our waiter and I ended up with something that had cheese on it. I have bitten into things with milk or cheese in them so many times lately!

Wednesday, we went to Animal Kingdom in the morning. I took my family on the attractions in Dinoland and made them watch Tarzan Rocks before leaving for work. Thursday, I took a personal day and went to Blizzard Beach with my family then headed over to Animal Kingdom Lodge with my mom to check out their buffet, Boma. It was really good, but I ate until I was sick and have no desire to go back. Not for 25 dollars and too many accidental bites of nonvegan food!

Thursday, I was bad and didn't go to work and went to Blizzard Beach instead. I bought a water park pass for 99 dollars only to find out I could have gotten cheap water park tickets at Company D, the employee store. My mom and I went to Boma, an African buffet, at Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner. It was really good, but we ate ourselves sick. I loved the bok choy, falafel nuggets, pineapple, and raspberry sorbet. The waiter wouldn't let us take our leftovers home.

The last night, Friday, was a really great finale to the week. I felt guilty for skipping work the day before so I went and worked my 8-5 shift. It went by really quickly, and afterwards I met my family at Epcot, where they decided to go for their last day. We went on Ellen's Energy Adventure then headed back to the hotel. We went to dinner at Shades of Green's fancy Italian restaurant and it was definitely the best restaurant I've been to down here. My family ate their the first night and decided to go back because they liked it so much. We have a fabulous waiter who was so funny and gave us free wine after they shared the bottle they brought with him. They told him about Walla Walla being famous for wine and prisons and about how they go wine touring while visiting their husbands in the big house. Kate got fussy so my mom started playing mean teacher and impersonating some of the bad teachers Logan and I had had over the years. It was hilarious! I hadn't laughed that hard with my family since before Kate was born. It reminded me of the good times we used to have when I was younger.

Work wasn't too eventful yesterday and went by pretty fast. I was in the tunnel for the first chunk of my shift, pulling in returned strollers and giving out Disney dollars. The guests were pretty nice and cheerful. Someone brought me an Epcot stroller, and we laughed at the oblivious gatekeepers and monorail people letting them get all the way to and into the Magic Kingdom with it. A British man asked me if the Disney dollars were real currency and we both laughed. He showed up again about an hour later looking for his kids' autograph book that they'd left in the stroller. We couldn't find it, so Rory went to the character break-room and had the best friends of the characters fill in the autographs. It made the guy's day.

I saw a woman wearing a Tinkerbell cast exclusive lanyard that we aren't supposed to wear to the parks and asked her if she was a cast member (I was going to tell her she could get a free stroller if she was, and that she isn't supposed to wear that lanyard in the park). She said she wasn't and she just shopped on Ebay. It looked kind of silly with the empty ID holder just floating there. This prompted me to look up Disney cast exclusive lanyards and pins and I'm surprised how much people are bidding on them. I'm half tempted to sell some of mine, but I have never been able to figure out how to use Ebay.

After my first break, I was in Newsstand for about two and a half hours, then I spent the rest of the evening stacking. I got a ride home from Alejandro, who I think is getting sick of driving me home. He seemed cranky, but the Dynamic buses haven't been showing up at night lately so I don't really want to go back to busing it home.

Sunday, May 15, 2005 7:43 am

I am crazy to be up this early! I am not even tired, which may have something to do with the vegan espresso cookie I just ate.

Yesterday, I woke up before 7 am and headed out to meet my family. I waited for them at Transportation and Ticket Center, where Shades of Green drops them off, so I could take the monorail into the Magic Kingdom with them. The park is more impressive when you see it rising in the horizon rather than slipping in behind Fantasyland where it smells like trash and you see characters without their heads.

We got into the park just before 9 and got to see the characters come out on the train and dance to the "KC Junior" song in Dumbo. I hadn't got to see it before, so I enjoyed it. Once the rope dropped I was anxious to beat the herd into the park, but my family wasn't in a hurry and even stopped to take a picture in front of the castle. Once I got them over to Fantasyland, we went on Peter Pan and Kate wasn't even scared! She loved it! We went on It's a Small World next, which was the same as always (zzz). My mom developed a sudden need to pee and ran off right when we were about to get on (I think it was her fear of boats) but took a picture of us when we came around to exit.

The next stop was Mickey's PhilharMagic Orchestra. I was worried Kate would be scared of the 3D, but she loved it! I think that was my favorite thing we did all day yesterday. We went on Pooh next, then they went on the teacups while I put my backpack in my locker downstairs and brought the stroller over.

We did more, but I am running out of time to write so I'll have to postpone the trip report so I can get ready to go catch the 8:17 bus to Epcot. I worked from 3:15 to 11:45 in the afternoon yesterday but didn't get home until 1:15 because the fracking Dynamic buses can't come on time or remember how to get back to Vista in an efficient manner. I work at 3:45 today and would be tempted to call in except that it is only 6 hours and one of my friends is training in strollers today.

Oops, looks like I never posted this entry I wrote the other day. Pasted below. Enjoy!

Friday May 13, 2005

Yesterday, I slept until 9:30 and missed the beginning of Regis and Kelly. Again, it was so fun seeing them in my workplace! Kelly was having some people do a workout in the Confectionary, our candy store, and they were pushing her in one of our blue double strollers! I'm glad one of our strollers made it on TV, but Kelly probably exceeds our maximum weight limit of 100 pounds. All of the characters came out at the end of today's episode, including a couple of face characters that I see in the tunnels!

I sat around all day doing nothing productive (including updating my iPod instead of writing) but go to the gym. I went on the bike machine and realized how out of shape my peddling muscles are! I need to start including that as part of my workout.

I started marinating tofu in my favorite salsa, Safeway Select's pineapple-peach. I let it soak all night and just now put it in the oven. I can't wait to eat it!

Around 4, I finally left Vista to go to Disney-MGM Studios. I ran into a woman I worked with when I was at the Emporium and her two guy friends and they invited me to hang out with them. The woman is a sixth grade teacher, one of her friends worked in the Emporium's money room and is about to become a merchandise trainer, and the third was a CP but was terminated for attendance and now works at the Rain Forest Cafe and Amber Crombie and Fitch. I hit it off with the guys and hope to hang out with them again.

We went on Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Muppet's 3D, and the Great Movie Ride. We were going to eat at the sci-fi diner but couldn't get it so we just went to Pizza Planet, an arcade/fast food place modeled after the restaurant in Toy Story. The place was really cool and had a DDR machine, but the food looked kind of nasty and overpriced so I just ate the food I brought. There was no alien claw machine!

We got to Fantasmic about 45 minutes before the show started yet still snagged seats front and center. A middle school band sat next to us and was really hyper. They were as entertaining as the show, and yelled some funny remarks. The show itself was as good as I remember and really reminded me of a simpler Kingdom Hearts, which is my favorite video game, an odd crossover between Disney and Final Fantasy. Fantasmic was a little too much good-versus-evil, though. I am reading Fellowship of the Ring right now and getting a little tired of black and white, good and bad. It is a nice fantasy, but isn't like that in real life, as much as history and our current events are portrayed that way. I like stories about conflicts in which both sides have sympathetic motivations. I think this is why Princess Mononoke is my favorite movie.

After the show, the guys told me about a new game coming out called Virtual Magic Kingdom that is launching later this month. I signed up for the beta, and hope it will be available on Mac if it isn't web-based. I read a little bit about it online and learned there is a term called, "advergames" that try to promote products to teen boys. I am disappointed even Disney promotes their video games to males. There is too much alienation among female gamers. Then again, this is the company with princess line.

The night before last, at work, was Extra Magic Hours. I worked until 1 in the morning, which was the latest I'd done on an Extra Magic Hours night. It was actually really fun because the strollers came in really slowly so we had a lot of time to goof off and push each other around in the strollers. Someone my mom knows from a Disney message board stopped by to say hi with his wife and kids. He told me to call my mom more often (I call her every day) so everyone in strollers got mad and told me to be more attentive to my mom! They'll get to meet her soon enough and see what a cool mom I have.

I probably won't have much time to post over the next week or so. My family gets in tonight and might stop by to see me at work! My mom, her sisters Terri and Patti, and Terri's kids, Konner (13) and Kate (3) are going to stay at Shades of Green, the military hotel on Disney property. I get to go to the parks with them tomorrow before work. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I work at 4:30 today, so this morning/afternoon I am just relaxing around the apartment. I got up at 9 and watched Regis and Kelly, which was live from the front of Main Street, right where I work! It was so weird seeing it on TV. I had a bagel for breakfast and cut up my pineapple. I went to the gym and ran into Rachel there. I only stayed for a half an hour but feel like I've gotten in bad shape since I'm down here so I should have stayed longer. Or is it that I'm in good shape if I feel like 30 minutes isn't much of a workout? I came back and watched Monsters, Inc., which I'd never seen before. It was really cute but had some plot-holes. (They may have been explained, I was online while watching.)

More about last night: The moon was an orange-purple sliver that looked like the Cheshire cat's grin. It was right after I found out how well I did on my shop, so it was like a magical, enigmatic cat grinning down on me.

Last night was one of those nights that the guests were naughty and didn't bring back their strollers. I was in my usual position outside the train station directing people to the tunnel when a man pulled up on an ECV and stopped right between the post and the wall where people are trying to get by with their strollers. He appeared to be in his fifties and is heavy by my standards but typical of the people who rent ECVs.

"I need help," he said.

"Okay," I said and motioned off towards the side. "I can help you if you pull forward right over here."

"I can't," he said.

"Is your EVC broken?"

"No."

"Then I need you to pull forward."

"Stop interrupting!" he said. "If you'd let me talk, I am going into diabetic shock and need a ride back to my car. I'm never going to make it onto the ferry. I have insulin in my hotel room."

"Okay," I said and walked off. Someone I work with walked up at this point and told him she'd get help for him. He kept going on about how we kept interrupting him and wouldn't let him talk. Um, pot and kettle? I walked away because I was about to start yelling at him for being an ass to me blocking the path when hundreds of people were trying to get out. I think that is the rudest a guest has been to me so far. It didn't help that I told my manager the man wouldn't move and my manager just sort of stood there and wouldn't help us.

Anyways, we can't call rides for people, but we can call an ambulance, but this guy just started shouting that he didn't want an ambulance and eventually left. I'm not expert on diabetes, but I'm guess he had Type II. Isn't that a bad idea to go out without your insulin?

When I opened the fridge this morning, I noticed a note on a pitcher that said, "Be Water, Be Quiet." Um... okay?

Monday, May 9, 2005 9:37 am and 11:04 pm

I'm watching Regis and Kelly right now. They're at Disneyland, which is fun for me to see what they did. I have to admit Disneyland is more fun than our Magic Kingdom, but I think that our castle looks a lot prettier than theirs. Speaking of Disneyland, Thursday night, I had a guest who goes to Disneyland regularly complain that they never told him about the Disney dollar they get for bringing the stroller back. I was curious what he wanted me to do about it. Disneyland feels so far away. I don't have any way to control what goes on there!

Anyway, again, I've let way too much time go by between updates! I've been writing in my paper journal on the bus and at the parks, so I'll try to recap my last few days from that.

Thursday was the Happiest Celebration on Earth. I heard that the park was crawling with press, but they had cleared out by the afternoon when I got there for work and it was fairly uncrowded. I got there a little bit early and rode the Haunted Mansion with a girl from strollers I met on the bus. I wanted to scam my way into a free lunch, but she is a bit of a goody-two-shoes so I was afraid to do anything "bad" in front of her. Work went by really quickly, and I extended an extra half hour to help out with closing because I was off during the Wishes rush. While I was at Station Break, this sixteen year old kid puked because First Aid wouldn't let him in without an adult and sent him to go make protein spills around the park. Then he came over and talked to me for an hour with his puke breath and while he was having barf-spasms and vomited into the bag I gave him. It was really gross, but I am getting used to nasty things and just ignored the puke to try and make him feel better.

Friday was a day off. I woke up early and headed to Animal Kingdom. I forgot my pins, which disappointed me because I saw a bunch of people with cast lanyard pins. I visited a friend who works on the Africa walkthrough area, rode Kilimanjaro Safari, saw Flights of Wonder, rode Kali River Rapids, and watched Tarzan Rocks. Tarzan Rocks is a really cool show because it has a live band and singers and really talented dancers. Kali River Rapids is a really short, kind of boring river rafting ride. I think the queue and the costumes (form-fitting t-shirts and shorts) are more interesting that the ride itself, actually. The man loading the ride was grumpy and yelled at some of the guests I rode with. After the ride, the a little boy from my raft invited himself over for dinner but never showed. What a pity, I had it all ready for him!

I was kind of disappointed at first that I had to do Animal Kingdom alone, but once I got there I was cheerful. It felt good to have some alone time and do some writing. I brought my new iPod and walked around listening to music. I even explored backstage. They have bikes there because it is all open and spread out! Their cafeteria was really nice, too, had a lot more health food than the one at MK.

Friday night, I went to Downtown Disney with Amanda. We went to Disney Quest, which was entertaining but not something I'd need to see again. Their DDR machine was a crappy version of the original USA mix that didn't even have a "doubles" mode and only about ten songs to chose from. You couldn't even hear the music because it was drowned out by the two Pump machines next to it. I enjoyed the build-a-coaster ride and Pirates of the Carribean, where rode in a boat and fired cannons. The CP working their let us ride twice even though their was a line. He was a sweetie.

I worked during the day on Friday (10 through 6) and it went by fast. I spent the morning cleaning and unstacking strollers to go out into the park. The middle of the day I was in Newsstand, then I was the podium greeter for the last few hours of my shift. I love being at the podium. I give out strollers and get to talk to tons of guests so time goes by really fast. When I got off work, I rode Space Mountain then hung out back at my apartment. I walked over to this little grocery store run across the street and down a couple of blocks. They didn't sell yeast, and nobody would tell me how to use quick-rising flour! What is up with people not baking around here? After shopping, my friend Nicki came over and we watched Emperor's New Grove. I got to bed pretty early, like I did tonight but I got side-tracked.

Today I went grocery shopping with my roommate Kate. We took the bus to Chattam then walked to Publix, which rocked. I love the Publix we went to. They have tons of vegan snacks and organic veggies and baking supplies. I made some dough for focassia bread and then we headed to MGM, were in the water show on the Backlot tour, and then saw a cute movie called "Walt Disney: One Man's Dream." After that, we took the bus to Epcot and ate dinner at the table service restaurant in the Land Pavilion called "Garden Grill." I thought it was just okay... I could make something better for less than 25 dollars.

When I got home, I cooked my bread but it turned out gross. I've still been snacking on it, despite being stuffed from dinner. I am finally about to start my period, so I have been even hungrier than usual. (It's about time, I haven't had it since about three weeks before I moved down here. No, I'm not pregnant.)

My actual roommate, the one I share a room with, came back last night. She talked about her boyfriend coming to stay here so I got up the nerve to ask where he was going to sleep. She said in her bed with her. I told her if he did I was going to sleep on the couch because I wasn't comfortable sleeping in there with them. She said, "Why? We're not going to have sex while you are in there." Do I really need a reason not to want to sleep in the same room as them? Do I need a reason to be uncomfortable? This morning she was lying in bed watching the third Harry Potter movie (just like she was when I went to bed last night) and she got mad at me for having the door open while I was coming in and out getting ready. Tonight she ordered me not to have the door open tomorrow morning because she doesn't want to hear the "fucking water running." I said, "I thought you were awake," and she implied I woke her up. Does she really not want me waking her up when she has the TV on all night and talks on the phone in the wee hours of the morning?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 8:45 am

I couldn't post my update last night because the internet went down. It is still down so I am left to write because that is one less distraction. I stayed up to about two last night. One of my new friends from back at Western surprised me with a phone call, which made me really happy. Two of my roommates had their male friends over (they cuddle, but I don't think they are boyfriends) and my actual roommate was in my room, so I went outside to talk. That made me really appreciate the weather right now in Florida because I was comfortable sitting in my PJs and barefoot. At Western, the people outside the dorms talking on their phones had to bundle up and hug their knees so they wouldn't freeze.

I worked on my journal until about 2 am. I have added a glossary so people who don't know Disney talk won't feel so lost reading this. The link is both on the top and the little side panel thing.

My roommate woke me up at 7:30 this morning talking on her phone. My earplugs had fallen out and I couldn't find one of them, so I listened to music for a little while then got up. Lindsay's man friend was still over and asleep on the couch under a pink blanket, so I took a shower so I could have a place to get away. Fortunately, he retreated back to her room when I was clean.

Now I am trying to muster the energy to go to the gym. I ate so much yesterday I know I really should, it is just a matter of motivation.

1:26 am

Finally! The internet is back up. I'm too tired to write much, but I will do a quick recap. Kate and I decided to go to Magic Kingdom and hit up all of the rides we hadn't been on since we became CPs. We knocked quite a few off our list. I worked at 5 and started off rocky because I had a stomach ache and was stressed about coming home to my bitchy roommate. Things lifted though because my manager "shopped" me--or evaluated my guest service--and I got a perfect score. This is a manager who usually isn't very talkative and doesn't get excited about much, so it made my day when he gave me a big grin and told me it had been a really long time since someone had gotten a perfect shop their first time. I told him it was thanks to my old job at Safeway because we had something similar.

I came home to a note on my white board that says, "Ariel: Please do not slam the fucking bedroom door." OMG. I heard her the first time when she said the same thing to me this morning for closing the door too loudly. She wakes me up every morning talking on the phone or watching Harry Potter over and over again. What am I supposed to do about this? I don't like being sworn at or reprimanded twice for the same incident. So far, I just say, "okay" or ignore her. Does anyone who has more experience dealing with psycho girls have any advice from me? What is she trying to gain from this?

Thursday, May 5, 2005 Happiest Celebration on Earth 11:41 am

I just woke up a few minutes ago. I don't know how I slept so long or through Meg packing! She's leaving for the beach. I don't know how she can call in sick so often.

I haven't had much time to post lately. I started writing this post on Tuesday but never finished it:

Yesterday [Monday], I hung out with Amanda again. We went to the Studios in the morning and rode Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster twice each. We posted to make funny faces for the cameras on the rides. I got the kid's meal at the ABC Commissary for lunch, which wasn't as good as last time. We then headed over to Magic Kingdom, where we only went on Thunder Mountain and the train before I had to go to work. The girl at the fast pass line let us in without fast passes because I told her I didn't have time to go in the standby line. I love out CPs help each other out.

We're supposed to start wearing our new name tags now for the "Happiest Celebration on Earth." Somebody ordered name tags for the CPs who had already gone home, so almost every CP at the resort (5000 of us) has a fake name right now. I picked Echo because that was the most hippy name we had in strollers.

Also on Tuesday, I spent the morning before work hanging out with Shanika and Kate. I made more foccasia bread, which turned out even better than it did the first time. I also went to Walgreen's and actually bought something I saw advertised on TV: that razor with the built in soap. I don't even believe in shaving, so I don't know why I bought it!

I got my real name tag on Tuesday and had to return Echo. I was really sad to part with the cool name I got to wear for only a day! I am scheming to get it back, trying to use the fact that my cheap name tag already has a big old scratch across the castle.

I decided that I'm not going to worry about making money down here. It'd be a losing battle (see below) and something that kept me from having fun, so I am just going to try and come out with the same amount of money I had going in. I'll work at Safeway for a few weeks when I get home and probably make more than I did the whole time I was down here, anyways. So to celebrate my newfound financial liberation, I ordered a pink iPod mini online yesterday morning. It was only 170 with my Apple student discount. I could have gotten a nicer one, but the regular iPods are kind of big and only come in one color and I want something that will fit in the ridiculously small pockets of girl pants. My entire MP3 collection is only 4 gigs, which is what the iPod I bought can hold. Something curious: I've seen less iPods down here than I would walking to main campus back home.

After work, Nicki and Rachel and I were planning on going to this restaurant/bar right by our apartments but it was closing when we got there. Instead, we went to Wendy's and it was really nasty and made me feel sick. I wanted to complain but the guy who helped me looked high so I figured he wouldn't do anything anyways. I am not going to eat there again!

This morning, I am making more foccasia bread and listening to music in anticipation for my iPod, which is still in China according to FedEx tracking. I just checked my online pay stub, and after taxes and rent deduction I received 170 dollars for working 45 hours. That's like 3.70 for each hour I worked. Disney really needs to pay the CPs more. I suspect they are actually profiting from us (because of the rent we pay), since supposedly Coke and the state of Florida/federal government (something about a thanks for all the taxes they bring in and because Disney is providing unspecialized labor) pay all of our paychecks save a .25. I don't know if this is true or not, but I'd like to find out.

I might head out to the parks, but I have a feeling I won't get around to it for a few more hours. I need to call my friend Rachel because she is working the same shift as me and is also sick of the Magic Kingdom.

Sunday, May 1, 2005 10:23 pm

Ah, a new month! I didn't do anything to celebrate May Day/Beltaine this year because I forgot it was until now. It's kind of hard to celebrate nature down here, anyways. I was going to pick up an extra shift because I had today off and only am scheduled 33 hours this week, but it didn't really happen.

Last night, I worked until 3:15 in the Emporium. I was in the Athletic Club, the section that sells men's clothing, and it wasn't as busy as the rest of the store. My shift was over ten hours, but I had three breaks so it went by pretty fast. I brought one of those microwavable Fantastic brand boxed vegetarian dinners with me to eat but didn't realize I needed a bowl so I microwaved the noodles and sauce in my Nalgene bottle. Fortunately, I brought chopsticks instead of a fork so it was easy to get out of the narrow bottle to eat.

I came home to find my roommate was there and woke her up while getting ready for bed. It was about 4:30 by the time I got settled in, and it was storming outside. My roommate told me it had poured and thundered here around 11, which was weird because it was just windy at the Magic Kingdom.

I set my alarm for 10:45 to get up early and go to the grocery store with one of my roommates before she went to work. I went to a different Publix than last time and it wasn't as nice. The people there didn't provide as good of costumer service and they only had one kind of tofu and no unbleached flour! They did have a lot of snacks in their natural foods section, though. I got stuff to make fajitas, which I'm excited about because I've never made them before and they are one of my favorite foods.

I made focaccia bread (which is an Italian flat-bread, nobody down here has had it before) with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary on top. It turned out pretty good for my first attempt, and was easy to make. The only bad part was waiting a few hours for the dough to rise and the mess afterwards since our dishwasher is broken. I finished cooking it while my new friend Nick was over and we were watching Napoleon Dynamite and playing "Can't Touch the Ground It's Hot Lava." I met him while working at the Emporium and laughed at his dark sun-glasses he wore as a part of the "Magic Preservation Task Force Alpha Unit One."

In the evening, I headed over to Epcot with Amanda. We went on the Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which I hadn't been on yet. It's my favorite 3D show, and Amanda seemed to like it too. We played with the fun, jumping fountains around the Imagination Pavilion. I hadn't really noticed them before... I guess I was too busy hurrying from one place to the next. We also went on Journey Into the Imagination, the new Figment ride, then headed over to the Land Pavilion, which was finally open again after their rehab to put in Soarin'. Soarin' was the first ride we went on, which was even better than last time because we were in the middle and highest seat. I got a little teary eyed, and at the end of the ride everyone clapped and cheered almost as much as the cast did on the cast preview I went on a few weeks ago.

Monday, May 2, 2005 10:35 am

I didn't finish my post last night because one of my roommates started throwing up and I got sidetracked. I'll finish writing about yesterday now.

At Epcot yesterday, Amanda and I went on the Land ride, which is a boat ride through a greenhouse. I think she thought it was lame, but I really liked it because all of the produce looked so good! The fish and alligators upset me, though, because they were crowded in tiny tanks with no plants or rocks or anything to do. I've been feeling kind of apathetic towards animals lately, but seeing those farm raised fished and gators made me glad I don't eat them. We also checked out "Seasons," the new counter service restaurant in the Land, and their table service restaurant that rotates like the Space Needle. They both look really good, and I want to go back and eat there.

We then went over and saw the rest of the World Showcase, starting in Canada and walking around it Counter Clockwise. We thought that the Magic Kingdom was open until 11, so we left Epcot to go over there but found out that we were wrong and it closed. We ignored the herding towards the ferries and took the resort monorail because the regular monorail was "one way." Wishes, the fireworks show, was going on while we were on the monorail, so we were disappointed to find that the park had closed at 9. We just went down into the tunnels and went home.

When I got home, I ate some more of my bread and the food I bought yesterday and did dishes with my roommate Tori because the dishwasher is broken and there was a huge pile in the sink. I'm beginning to notice which people don't do their chores; in addition to the kitchen being nasty, I don't think that the trash has been taken out in a week (I changed it every other day or more often when I was on trash duty). It was getting too full to throw stuff away so I took out one bag and set it on the floor next to the trash can a few days ago, but I am not taking it out to the dumpster!

My actual roommate came back again last night. I woke up at 8 today because one of my earplugs fell out and she was talking on her phone in the room. I found my earplug and fell back asleep until 10. The TV was on when I woke up and she wasn't in there. I can't believe how loud she is! Tori says she is planning on having one of her boyfriends stay here a few days, but she hasn't said anything about it to me. I don't want him to, but how do I say no without causing massive drama? I'm now listening to Ben Folds (the Rockin' the Suburbs really reminds me of Ashley Simpson, even though that song came out before she did) and trying to decide what to do with my day. I think Tori and Meg are discussing something involving me because I see them pointing at me, but I don't want to take my headphones off.