02 April 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

I have to admit, I was getting worried about myself. Worried about myself and my lacking work ethic. My last job, if you remember, was at the Picture People where I spent my days taking adorable pictures of adorable children.

And I hated it.

I hated my job. But it didn't make any sense because I loved photography! And kids! And having a paycheck! Logic states that I should have been in minimum wage HEAVEN. Yet in practice, putting those three favorite things together, caused all logic to be thrown out the window, and I very much wanted to take a blunt object to the eye rather than go to work. It didn't matter if it was a pathetic 4 hour shift, I would dread every moment leading up to the time I had to go into work, and then I would count down every individual second until the shift was over. Basically, time was measure in increments of Dread.

Before that job, I worked at the YMCA nursery. I hated that too. And all I ever did was play Wii with children who made my heart sing and burst into a million tiny pieces with their hugs and adorableness and edible fat cheeks and everything. Before that, I worked at a Coldstone Creamery, which - come on now - is working with ice cream! ICE CREAM! Best thing in the WORLD! And there were waffle cones, and toppings, and so many tubs of buttercream frosting for the ice cream cakes, that I gained a pound every time I opened one up. All I'm saying is, I worked with the things that basically fill up my top ten list of Favorite Things Ever, and yet when I put them in the context of a Job, throwing myself on a bed of hot coals was suddenly beginning to sound like a better idea than - ugh - going to work. Again. Blegh. So naturally, I was coming to the inevitable conclusion over these past few years that I was just a lazy, lazy person and never wanted to do a single thing that involved me getting off my fat butt and leaving the house. Oh, I was so very disappointed in myself. *sniffle*

But - and here is where I cue a heavenly choir full of harmonic AhhhAHHHhhhaaahhhs - here I am at Disney, and I've taken to it like something else other than a duck to water, only because that is such a cliche, but I cannot for the life of me think of anything witty or fresh to put in it's place (Picasso to painting weird-ass pictures? Hitler to mass-murder? Fat women to hot dogs? Something like that...). If I had to work more than 15 hours a week at my previous job, I might as well be listening to someone run their nails down a chalkboard for 15 hours, it was that kind of torture. Now I work as many as 60 hours a week on Everest, and I love it (there are some crappy things about the job, but overall, it's pretty awesome). My body kind of hates me for loving it, because my legs feel like they weigh about a 100 lbs each somewhere around hour 50, but I genuinely don't mind the work. Guests give me a headache, and some positions can only be of Satan's devising; but I love the people I work with, I love most of the rest of the positions, and I love Disney. And finally, I have found something where putting my favorite things together does not bizarrely turn them into a massive vortex of Suck.

23 March 2010

As exhausting as the real Everest, I'm sure.

Do you have any idea what a glorious thing it is to sit down? Not just to sit down, but to sit down for ridiculously long periods of time while your feet bear not a single pound of the rest of your body? Oh my gosh, today and yesterday have me spoiled - this whole "having two days off for once in my Disney life" is something I could certainly get used to. While my schedule varies slightly, I tend to be scheduled something like 8 days in a row with only 1 day off, and these past two days were the first pair of days off I'd had in over a month, excluding that one week where I spent my two days off hiding in my closet sobbing to myself, packing, loading my car in 15 trips up and down 3 flights of stairs, unloading the car in 10, and then unpacking because my first roommates were horrible, horrible people. And I hope they're reading this right now. YOU WERE HORRIBLE PEOPLE, GOT THAT? How can I say this with such confidence in my own innocence in the situation? I can because people who steal from Wal-Mart and restaurants and make statements about truly "wanting to kill someone just once in [your] lifetime" tend to not fall on the correct side of morality. Also, because moral people don't partake in pettiness or act like high school drama queens and make others hide and cry in that aforementioned closet.

So, yeah, that's kind of why I haven't been around these here blog parts lately. A LOT has been happening. Between moving (which is honestly a blog in itself, and maybe I'll write about it one day), working 55 hours this past week, having a full course load, and practicing my clarinet, I've not had time to do anything else other than be really, really exhausted.

I work 9 days in a row starting tomorrow (or today, rather), with only one day off, and at first I didn't mind all these consecutive days because I really do enjoy my job. But I gotta tell you, I got so much done in these two days and I feel so FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC right now...it's just something I realized I could really use on a regular basis. I did laundry! I got my oil changed! I wrote not one but TWO papers! I went to Universal! I practiced my clarinet for five hours! I completed my magnum opus! I sang a song of six pence! I cured cancer! I built Rome in a day! And most importantly did a LOT of sitting on my butt while not moving a single muscle other than the ones required to aimlessly navigate my way across these here interwebs. Ta dahhh! I feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready to start the next 9 day work week, but I truly wish I had another two days off waiting for me at the end of it all. You know, like a little two day holiday to celebrate the end of the work week, Yeah, right there at the week's end. They could even call it that: a week end! But English is big on compound words, so it would probably be spelled something like "weekend." Now there's a novel concept. I don't think it's so much to ask either, is it? Maybe if it was something 99% of the rest of America also got, it wouldn't be so insane a request.

Oh wait...

Anyway, I have more to talk about but I really needing to be heading to bed. 11 hour day tomorrow. Gotta get ready to do more of this:


27 February 2010

So you no longer have to use your imagination

So, here's where I live:

The top floor on the right half of the building is my apartment, and my bedroom is the very far right window behind the palm tree. I'm in building 12. Please come stalk me.

Here's what my costume looks like:
Except it's less blurry in real life. I was in a hurry to get the photo taken, so this is the best I got for now. I prefer it over my Splash costume, although it's still not something in which I see myself getting hit on by guys. It hides my boobs and turns my entire body into one giant trunk in which I suddenly have junk.

Speaking of which, someone explain to me how Disney sizes work. My shirts are XS, my jacket is XXS, and my shorts and pants are size 14. FOURTEEN! I don't get the XS at all because I'm not THAT small - not with the poochy stomach I got from my mom's side and not with my chest region where I tend to be a C cup (well, my left boob is a C, and my right boob is a B and three-quarters. It's my Harry Potter boob.) However, I'm not a 14 either. But that's the only size pants I could get to fit around the smallest part of my waist, except I have enough room for another whole person in the legs. For whatever reason, these inexplicable sizing issues seem to only affect girls. Guys have no problem with Disney clothes fitting oddly other than needing to go up one size.

Anyway, here's what my side of the room looks like (barring the ghastly pink crap on the right. You all know how I feel about pink):

My prize possessions? My Epcot blanket, my Tomorrowland poster, and - my newest addition - my Splash Mountain canvas:

The photo doesn't do it justice, and while I was originally planning on getting another attractions poster like my Tomorrowland one, once I saw this, I just HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. So what if it's from the Disneyland version (one-across seating is a dead giveaway), it's muh Laughin' Place. I nearly got it in a poster as well, but to frame it would have cost a small fortune (my Tomorrowland frame was my main Christmas present this year), so I decided to pay a bit more and get a canvas which doesn't need a frame at all. Obviously I went with a smaller size this time. Since it was a canvas, it still cost me twice as much as my poster did by itself, but to get the canvas in the largest size would have cost me twice as much as what I paid for this medium sized canvas. Follow that? No? How about 2(Poster) = 1(Medium Canvas) = 1/2 (Large Canvas)? Okay, the poster was $30, the canvas was $60, and the larger canvas would have cost me somewhere around $120. I tried to be all modest and private about the cost, but I don't think I was explaining it well. ANYWAY. These prices were actually 50% with my Cast Member discount, which is the only reason I was able to ever afford these in the first place. I'm po'.

And in the future when I have my 16 babies, I'm gonna use the Tomorrowland poster in the boys' room and the Splash Mountain canvas in the girls' room and decorate them to match their respective themes. Always thinking ahead, I am. And always thinking with my uterus.

(If I don't scare the guys away with my costume, my uterus talk certainly will)

21 February 2010

Enjoying the Sabbath as it was meant to be enjoyed

I survived my 11 days of work, and honestly, it wasn't the job itself that I disliked about the 11 consecutive days in a row. I mean, it's rare that you'll ever hear me say that I have to, UGH, go work at the goddamn Happiest Friggin Place on Earth - OH WOE IS ME. No, the work - as far as work goes - is relatively enjoyable. I prefer working at Disney to any other job I've ever had, crappy pay included. It's just that my body was revolting by that last day. Not that I was participating in any sort of hard labor by any stretch of the imagination, but standing still for hours on end can be incredibly tiring, and don't you look at me like that - IT'S TRUE. Okay? GOSH. Plus, walking up and down the platform half the day asking each person to lift up on their lap bars, only for me to have to bend down and lift it for them when they either 1) decide "lift up" means "push down," 2) raise their hands in the air because that's what they've been trained to do at their local Six Flags, or 3) stare at me like I just spoke to them in Swahili is more wearying than you could imagine. And do I really need to mention (again) the miles and miles of distance between the parking lot and the mountain? Or the 17 flights of stairs I climb at night? Of course, I'm not sore or on the verge of collapse or anything dramatic like that, but oh my sweet, sweet Lord - being indoors, sitting down, staring at the wall, and exerting not a single ounce effort save for that which it takes to move the spoonful (oh who am I kidding?) fingerful of peanut butter from the jar to my mouth for hours on end is a special kind of bliss that I will never, ever take for granted again.


On my first day of training (which was ages and ages ago, it feels like), it somehow came up that I played clarinet, at which point my trainer invited me to audition for the Cast Member orchestra. I toyed with the idea, but didn't take it too seriously at first because 1) my clarinet was back in NC, 2) I didn't know where to practice down here and 3) having poorly balanced music, school, and sanity many a time in the past (have I really not mentioned the times I purposely attempted to break my hands?), I wasn't sure if I'd be able to add a full-time job on top of that, although my trainer assured me that it's a relatively low-key, though formal and dedicated, ensemble. But then one of my managers - who is a singer in the ensemble - got wind (haha, wind. Didn't notice that until the read-through) of my clarinetation skillz as well and also encouraged me to try out, and at this point I should mention that I'm trying my best to network while I'm down here and thus be as impressive and outgoing as possible to all my superiors. My trainer then mentioned practice-room-type facilities behind Animal Kingdom Costuming, which is pretty durn convenient considering the fact that - hey! - that's where I work! CRAZY! And it just so happened that I sort of knew this woman who was coming down to Disney this weekend from Raleigh who was more than willing to bring down my clarinet to me rather than make my mom ship it which would have cost only slightly less than Obama's stimulus package given the weight of the case and all my music. Also, the music the orchestra is playing this year is all Disney music (as opposed to last year when it was hits from the 60s and 70s, and I prefer to leave that stuff to the good folks over at Retroactive - I'm looking at you, Trevor), which means they could easily call this year's program The Only Music on Natalie's iPod.

So based on all that information I threw at you in that last paragraph, I determined that I was definitely being led to do this audition. I was able to ask that aforementioned kind lady (who I met only the one time when she was a customer of mine at my previous job) to bring my clarinet down, which she did just yesterday, and I was able to practice behind DAK's wardrobe last night.

And quite honestly, it felt good.

Now I have just over a month to make up for the fact that I've probably only played my clarinet about 7 hours in the past, oh....5 years or so.

Speaking of music, that is the NUMBER ONE THING I miss about Splash Mountain - the background music. And not just that music specifically, I'm talking about ANY background music AT ALL. There isn't a single position on Everest that has music within earshot, and I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself singing "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" while working at any of the consoles out of shear desperation. One of my favorite memories of Splash was working in the station with my fellow piece of Splash-Trash, Dan, who would belt out all the lyrics to the music playing around us in his soothing bass voice. And when he wasn't around, I'd hum along to the tunes myself. I even have all the tracks from the attraction, the queue, and the entire Frontierland area, and each time I hear any of them, I'm immediately transported straight back to my "Laughin' Place." Music really is a core part of my being, and while I truly do enjoy my new mountain, I miss the music like I miss pizza each second that I'm not eating pizza. And pizza's like oxygen to me, so you know: music = pizza = oxyen. It's like that.

So yeah, I gotta befriend an Imagineer and composer and quick. Gotta get them on putting together some pentatonic BGM.

12 February 2010

Tickle me any other color. Please.

I hate pink. Mostly. It's fine in moderation, and it's fine for my super-comfy pajama pants that I'm currently wearing, but that's about it. My previous cell phone was pink, but not by choice - it was a gift, and so I lived with it, because if there's one thing I hate more than pink it's spending money. But I felt so ashamed every single time I whipped that phone out because hello! Pink phone! Call me Tiffany, stick me in a sorority house, and watch me put out for a baseball player named Chet because THAT'S the kind of person who uses a pink phone. Gross. And I'm sure you can imagine how utterly fantastic I find it that every last thing my roommate owns is pink - her bedding, her towels, almost all her clothes, her lamp, her purse, her shoes, her fan! Even her hair straightener is pink! (UPDATE: She got a new laptop. Guess what color it is! Black! Wait, no, I lied. It's PINK. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?) Yep, we're kindred spirits, her and I. But whatever, this isn't about her. It's about a hoodie. A pink hoodie.

This pink hoodie to be precise:

Adorable, yes? But it's pink. PINK! Incredibly pink! Those stupid hearts didn't help either. But that Mickey owl, the tree, the leaves - the rest of it was so cute that I became painfully torn. To buy or not to buy? That was the question. And after three weeks of agonizing over it (and I mean AGONIZING. I had it in my hand ready to purchase on 5 different occasions throughout my time here, only for me to hesitantly change my mind the last minute) I finally bought it yesterday, the last day of our Cast Member 50% discount.

I love it.

And I hate myself for it.


As I somewhat hinted earlier in the post, my three year old pink (pink! blegh!) razr cell phone was finally dying on me (upside down screens, sometimes blank screens altogether, sometimes it would all go blue), so I had to suck it up and buy myself a new one. Nothing fancy like an iPhone, Blackberry, iWatermelon, or whatever other popular phones are out these days. I still don't even have a phone that can do something as basic as check my e-mail! It's like I'm perpetually stuck in 2005 or something, which is practically the dark ages in tech-time. My texts are all written on papyrus scrolls. But really, my current cell phone plan has me paying something like $15 a month, and between being cheap and the fact that I use my laptop for the internet often enough as it is, I wasn't about to invest in a higher bill for something I already do hours on end for free (kinda - internet is included in the utilities). The only new nifty feature it comes with is a QWERTY keyboard which I keep forgetting is even there. I can't tell you how many times I've struggled with text messages because this phone uses T9 for its usual number pad texting verses the iTAPEN that my previous phone used, and apparently they don't work quite the same way, and while I've only had unlimited texting for about a month, it's amazing how difficult 4 week old habits are to break and then relearn, only - WAIT! That's right! I don't need a psychic number pad to guess what I'm trying to spell anymore! I HAVE A KEYBOARD! Unfortunately, it's something I don't realize until I'm already about 20 minutes into a 5-word text and I only have about three letters left to type to finish off what I'm sure is a very important thought that can only be communicated through the power of thumbs rather than the sound of my voice through something as prosaic as a lame phone call.

But yeah, for being pretty quick to take on all things techy, I use cell phones like a grandma.

By the way, my new phone is red. Totally different from pink. A bit more badass. And since my car and my water bottle are both red, it also makes me a bit more Power Ranger.


07 February 2010

If I don't blog for the next two weeks, you now know why

The new schedules were posted today, so now I know how much I have to relish few remaining moments of this night and every moment I have off tomorrow, because Tuesday is the first day of an ELEVEN DAY WORK WEEK. That's right - I work eleven days IN A ROW with nary a day off. Most days are just normal 8 hours shifts, but I have a 12 hour shift in there along with a couple of 10 hour shifts, so now would be a perfect time for you to go "awww" over how cute I was a few posts back when I mentioned how I was worried that I wouldn't get enough hours working at DAK due to the fact that they're only open something like three hours a day. That's just adorable.

I find these ridiculous hours incredibly ironic too, given the fact that apart from Easter week during my previous Disney College Program, I never worked more than 5 days in a row (that one holiday week was 6 days in a row with three consecutive days being 13 hour shifts). And that was when I worked in Magic Kingdom! It's the most popular park, it's open twice as long as DAK (the least popular park), yet never did I have such a packed schedule back then! And here we are in one of the deadest months of the year for Disney, and so far I've had 6 days of work, one day off, 5 days of work, two days off, and now eleven days of work. And what day do I have off following those 11 days? A Saturday. SATURDAY! The busiest day in all the parks! The one day you'd think they would need me! The one day CPs NEVER get off! WHERE IS THE LOGIC, DISNEY?! I DO NOT COMPREHEND.

Bright side - at least the overtime will be nice. Plain ol' minimum wage kinda sucks.

(Pssst, I just heard my roommate open up her 38th Mtn. Dew of the day. She always starts one right before she goes to bed so that she has something to quench her thirst when she randomly wakes up in the middle of the night. I'm gonna guess it's her teeth screaming in agony as they rot away that cause her to stir.

Oh, and speaking of roommates, the other girls have all recently come forward to say that they don't like my roommate either. They've even stood up for me a time or two when she was being, well, herself. So...there's that. That's good.)

[Insert appropriate segue here, because I can't think of it]

I had to run to Wal-Mart the other day for a few things, and as I was pulling in to the store, I saw a homeless guy in the median begging for something (I don't know what, exactly - his back was to me so I couldn't see his sign - but I'm gonna assume it was something along the lines of a yacht or a spray tan or something like that. Wait, no. I mean spare change and food. Yeah, typical homeless request stuff). So I figured I'd do something nice and buy him a sandwich from the deli and hand it to him on my way out. And that's just what I did - I ran into Wal-Mart, I got what I needed, got a sandwich for the guy, and got in my car. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Bing, bang, boom. So as I'm pulling up to the median, ready to do my good deed for the day, what do I see? I'll tell you what I see. I SEE A LACK OF A HOMELESS MAN, THAT'S WHAT I SEE. Come on now, poor guy - you can't stay homeless for TEN MINUTES? Nope, he just HAD to go and get himself a job or something.


I ended up eating his sandwich for dinner last night. It was good and all, but I felt a bit chump-ish for eating something I meant to give away. Oh well. What can you do, eh?

01 February 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 11) - Sortakinda


I know it's Monday. I get that. I'm not crazy. Well, I'm not crazy for this particular faux pas. But I do have 7 things to talk about, and I know I won't have time to write them all in separate posts throughout the week because, well, let's just say that I now remember why I never blogged during my last Disney College Program (despite meaning to, and I later regretted that I didn't write down all the also stories I knew I'd eventually forget and totally did) - THERE IS NO TIME.


I got Expedition Everest, and in the options available in the Asia area of Disney's Animal Kingdom (aka DAK), that was definitely my first choice. So far, everyone I've met is pretty awesome and laid back, moreso than the people I worked with at Splash Mountain last time. Not that people were horrible or mean on Splash, but, well, some people were more prone to scaring me than others simply because I have the emotional resilience of a newborn turtle. I'm sensitive, see. But most people at Everest seem friendly enough, so everything's good so far. There is one downside though - I'm pretty sure DAK isn't even in Florida. It's the farthest away of all the locations I could possibly work on property, coming in at about a 20-25 minute drive from my apartment depending on how the traffic is and how much I drive over the speed limit. But on top of that, I have about a MILE walk from the cast parking lot to Everest, so I have to add that into my commute time as well. The first two days of work, I had to go in on the Africa side of the park, and since the entire path to that side is backstage, they provide bicycles - DAKcycles, actually - for Cast Members to use to get to from the parking lot to work. The first day I rode one while wearing a skirt, and I felt like a giddy high schooler on the way to a sock-hop in the 1950s (the bikes are a bit on the old-fashioned side). The next day I was in costume, but still - there was something so appealing about getting to ride a bike backstage of DISNEY WORLD. But since the only way to get to the Asia side is to actually walk through the park for part of the way, we don't get bikes. We have to walk the ENTIRE WAY. Lame.

Anyway, I've worked the past 6 days in a row (and I only have this one day off this week), that's pretty much why I am pressed for time to blog, because 1) this particular post was started at 11:00 this morning, and we're rolling in at close to 9PM here at time of hitting the publish button because it takes me THAT LONG to write these darn things and 2) I've had to get all my school work done within those few hours in between shifts and sleeping and fighting with my roommate, which brings me to...


I'm really not going to go into too much detail about the little tiffs my roommate and I have had, because they really are over the dumbest stuff and it's outrageously boring to recount, but let's just say that while part of it is a misunderstanding, it's also mostly her inability to be considerate of the needs of others (for one, I had to invest in ear plugs and a sleep mask). Now I can tolerate an inconsiderate person so long as they have a good personality, and I can also tolerate an annoying personality so long as they are considerate and kind to others, but I CANNOT tolerate both an inconsiderate person with an annoying personality, and that is what I'm dealing with here. YOU ASK TOO MUCH OF ME, UNIVERSE. IT CANNOT BE DONE.

As for the other roommate I mentioned in my last post, while I don't see much of her, I feel a bit scared of her when she's around, simply because she's got one of those personalities (whereas I've got one of these personalities) where her attitude is equal to or greater than that of a spurned woman on Jerry Springer, and God help me to not do anything that might piss her off. The other three girls are all very nice, and we get along well, although one mentioned she had an abortion last year, and while I am staunchly pro-life, I try not to judge people who have had them; however, her lackadaisical and shoulder-shrug attitude towards it was a bit off-putting for me. And for the most part, all the girls enjoy partying and talking about sex, which really is not me. They played the "Are you a Virgin? How many times have you done it? Where was the craziest place?" game, and let's just say I was the only one who didn't make it past the first question. Again, not that I have an issue with any of them going beyond that, it's just that they all have very different lifestyles and priorities from me, and when they're all together, I really don't fit in with them (though I do well with the three girls when it's just a one-on-one thing). So between all that and my actual roommate whom I really can't stand, I've decided to put in a request to move as soon as I am allowed to (which is a week from Wednesday). I'm considering asking for a "wellness" apartment, which means that it's mostly people who are under 21 and thus no alcohol is allowed, and maybe I'll get people who are less prone to partying, but at the same time, I worry that that's a naive expectation because since when has being under 21 prevented anyone from partying? It worked out that way pretty well last time I was here and under 21 - I loved, loved, LOVED my roommates. But do I actually think I can be so lucky a second time around? It is a gamble.


Okay, here's the part in the post where I come across as a total hypocrite, because I totally went out to a bar last night. Though when I say "bar," I'm talking about a dueling piano bar at Disney's Boardwalk resort, so it's not exactly one of the hard core clubbing places where everyone has anonymous sex in the bathrooms in between snorts of cocaine (that's what goes on, right? Or am I just stereotyping?). One of my roommates from last time moved down here about a year and a half ago, so she invited me out to meet some of her friends (about 40 of them, which is just about the worst way for me to meet people because I don't like people when they come in throngs), but it wasn't too bad. It was more about singing and mingling than about the drinking, and that's the way it should be, in my opinion. Of course, I'm so unaware of the bar scene, that 1) I had to ask the girl next to me if I'm supposed to tip the bartender, 2) I just spelled "bartender" as two separate words: "bar tender" which took me a minute to realize was totally wrong, and 3) I had to ask others what they were drinking and go with that because I don't know the names of any drinks other than water, milk, and apple juice. I ended up getting something blue, which was quite good, but apparently that was all it took for me to loose my sense of frugality because everyone around me was drinking from a small souvenir pail and I had just enough of a slight buzz that I suddenly HAD. TO. HAVE. ONE. It cost me 12 dollars (including tip! because you have to tip them! I know this now!), and I couldn't even drink a 1/3 of it because the pink drink inside of it wasn't that great. Tasted like grown-up kool-aid, which really shouldn't have surprised me seeing as how it was called SoCo Cool Aid, but WHO KNEW?

And once my buzz wore off, I realized that I just spent $12 dollars on a cheap plastic pail - THIS cheap plastic pail:

- and what on earth am I gonna do with it? Make mini sand castles (as opposed to the life-size sand castles you see so often)? Fail at saving someone from a sinking row boat? Put it in an armoire amongst my Swarovski crystals and decorative paper weights? Put more money in it and light it on fire every time I consider going out again (since that's essentially what I did with my money last night)?

THIS is why I never drink. I'm cheap, drinking is expensive, and I'm inclined to make personally-uncharacteristic impulsive purchases while under the influence. So if you ever want me to go out and have a drink or two with you, you better be prepared to pay for me because I'm not gonna pay for me anymore. I'd rather spend my money on an Epcot t-shirt. Or ice cream. Or pizza. Or anything else an 8 year old boy would like. Because that's what I am. An 8 year old boy.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of building a K'Nex motorcycle/spaceship hybrid.


Guess what I'm buying tomorrow?!


Oh, how excited I am to own this so I can watch "Waters of Mars" and "End of Time" and sob for hours and hours on end.

Also, none of my roommates are nerds like me. They were all cheerleaders and popular tomboys and princesses back in high school, so they don't get why I love Disney, why I listen to classical music, and why I watch terrible/wonderful Sci-Fi. And I don't get why they don't, because opinions, shmopinions. CLEARLY I am on the side of good taste in these instances. Clearly.


I know I said this in my last post, but oh my gosh I MISS MY DOG. I don' t know how I can accurately get across the level of heartbreak I have right now over her, but I feel like I left my child behind, because guess what? SHE IS MY CHILD, AND I LEFT HER BEHIND.

Here's one of the last picture I took of Skittles and myself:

And then here's a picture my mom sent me of Skittles in a brand new sweater she got for her because she was always shivering in the house:

My poor baby. :'(


Okay, I can't end on something sad, so here's something that makes me happy:

Good night. Gotta be up at 5 in the morning.

31 January 2010

Just FYI

Quick Takes Friday will appear tomorrow. On Monday. Which is so, so wrong. And I feel kinda dirty for it, but I figure it's better than nothing. Especially now that I realize I have a fan (singular) who misses them.

So...stay tuned.


22 January 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 10)


I didn't mean to stop doing these 7 quick takes things, but I honestly have just been pressed for time since the holidays. I'm not gonna go into it, because none of it is interesting - it's all the usual like school, work, moving, etc. and I nearly bored myself to sleep just typing that - but I just want you to know I didn't forget about you, my loyal, imaginary fan(s?). (My delusion, it's endearing). And if I ever skip these again or go on a sudden, unannounced blogging hiatus, I promise you there is a very good reason as to why. Usually. And I'll always come back. Eventually.


I just got down to Florida a couple of days ago, though it feels like more like a week from all the cattle herding they put us through during the check-in process. I got my location assignment - Animal Kingdom Asia Attractions, which will be either Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Flights of Wonder, or Maharajah Jungle Trek. Kinda hoping for one of the first two, but eh, we'll see. I find out tomorrow which one I'll officially be placed at.

Honestly, I had my heart set on Test Track. I knew the odds were slim that I'd just randomly be placed there, but man, is that ever where I wanted to be. But who knows, I might fall in love with wherever I'm put tomorrow. I hope I do.


I'm living in the newest apartment complexes, which is quite the step up from last time. These weren't even built during my last program, and back then I was in the oldest complex. It wasn't too bad, though. And while these are far nicer (we have a balcony! I LOVE balconies!), the rooms are a good deal smaller, and the closets are about HALF the size. Lame. I had so much extra room in my closet last time that I brought EXTRA clothes this time, and guess what? Now they're all shoved and stored under my bed. Eye roll.

Also, each bedroom (it's a 3-bedroom apartment, and I have 5 roommates) has it's own bathroom in it, as opposed to the place I was in last time where the bathroom wasn't attached and we had to share it with one of the other rooms. But I actually wish the bathroom wasn't in our room, because while the shower and toilet are behind a door, the sink is basically right here in the open and so who ever gets up first can't help but wake the other person up just by turning on the bathroom light and especially when blowdrying her hair. And while I'm normally a very perky morning person, I am only so when I wake up on my terms. If someone disturbs me before I need to be awake, GOD HELP THEM because I will have a conniption in my delirious, half-awake, hulk-like state of mind and kill them with my uglydoll (Babo) who sleeps next to my in lieu of my dog. It's nearly like a split personality thing, because I can hear the sane part of my brain saying, "Calm the hell down, Natalie," but my sane side is no match for my crazy, sleepy-time side which completely takes over. Honestly - I will hurt you. And I really won't care.


I miss my dog. :'(


So far, my roommates and I get along pretty well, and while most of them are really nice and I don't have anything bad to say about them, they are falling SPECTACULARLY short of my roommates from my last DCP. I particularly loved 3 of them and miss two of them like crazy (one has since moved down here, and she's who I stayed with the night before I had to check in). They were hilarious, super friendly, and we just clicked in that very special, non-gay way where it's like you feel like you've known each other forever. Plus, they were all such Disney fans, and so I always had someone to go to the parks with.

As for this time, most of the girls are down here just because they needed a job. Not a single one of them has gone to any of the parks yet (save me, of course). One of the girls (who has got a huge attitude problem and is already planning on lying about having asthma so she won't have to work outside shifts in her Merchandise role)(who also skipped our mandatory housing meeting the first night)(and keep in mind that this is her second program too, and she is voluntarily doing it again) saw me putting up my Tomorrowland poster and came in and said:

"Why are you putting a picture up of the spawn of satan?"

"Aw, you don't like Tomorrowland?"

"No, I don't like Magic Kingdom."

"Well, I've got this EPCOT blanket here, is that better?"

"Ugh, I hate EPCOT too."

"Um, what do you like about Disney?"

"They got these mini doughnuts at Typhoon Lagoon - I like those."

"That's it? Why did you come back if you hate it so much?"

"I hated Philly."

So there you have it folks - the one redeeming quality of Walt Disney World Resort is the mini doughnuts.

Not only that, but she told a story about the last time she was here and someone took one of her bottles of water without asking, so she put a note on the fridge saying, "Whoever stole my f***ing water bottle better f***ing replace it by 9pm tonight." And apparently it was replaced on time, but she didn't even drink it until 3 weeks later. Listen, I get that it sucks when someone takes something of your without asking, but lose the outrage and attitude when it's something you obviously didn't need, mmmk? A simple, "Please ask next time," or "Please don't touch my food," is probably all that's needed in that situation.

OH! And ALSO, we're constantly told that if you don't show up for your last day of work, you're terminated and won't be allowed back in the future. Well this girl didn't go to her last TWO days of work - didn't even call to say she wasn't coming, she simply didn't show up (on New Year's Eve and Day of ALL days) - and she still was allowed to come back. And given her stories of how she acted on her job here, I have no idea how she even made it all the way through her first DCP let alone how she was invited back for a second.


I've really got to wrap this up, because I'm exhausted and have an early day of training tomorrow. Wish me luck.


No seriously. I really miss my dog. :''''''(

14 January 2010


We're discussing trends in my online customer service class, and one of my classmates chose bad grammar and vocabulary as his topic (I chose roller coasters because I'm obsessive and I sometimes wonder how close to Asperger's I really am because, also - my social skills (scary stuff), but I digress). He talked about how "text talk" ("lol" "brb" "wtf" "bbq" etc.) and how, according to an article, today's teenagers have a vocabulary of about 800 words compared to the 10,000 they had before the advent of the Internet (is that true? anyone know for sure?) (have I done enough asides yet? Have I lost you?). Anyway, some other student responded with "Only 800 words? That sounds like the vocabulary of a small child, or a highly trained German shepherd," which is, eh, a solid B+, suburban neighborhood stand-up joke. Bravo, good for him. But then the teacher - THE TEACHER - responded with...

(...are you ready for this...)


Anyone know what the trend is in irony?

11 January 2010

Eh, about halfway there.

It's official. I've started packing. And really - a set of sheets (which I borrowed from my grandmother, and they're probably older than I am judging by that gorgeous paisley pattern) and a potato masher (yep, I splurged. No more using the bottom of a glass) - I'm practically done. What else could I possibly need?

09 January 2010

Hoping for the best

Sorry, posting is going to be light the next couple of weeks (in case you haven't noticed). I'm moving to Florida in about 9 days, and so I've been trying to get three weeks worth of schoolwork done in two. See, I'm taking online classes so that I can stay in school while I'm at Disney; but instead of semesters, this school has 5-week terms, and wouldn't you know, the 5th week - the one with all the projects and final exams and papers - of the current term is the week I'm moving. Ha HA! The timing! It's fantastic! And I know I'm going to be busy unpacking, going to different lectures, starting my training, etc. in during that week at Disney, and I don't want the burden of finals on top of me during all that.

Ohhhh, but I'm starting to get nervous. And I don't have time to be nervous (did I mention that on top of all my school work, I have family coming in, I've got some baking to do, I need a haircut, I have a dentist appointment, I'm babysitting, I've got to pack (pack for 7 months!), and at some point I'm gonna have to pee...). In fact, if I had the money to spare, I'd take out a want ad in the newspaper and hire someone to be nervous for me (probably just on a part-time basis. I can't afford health benefits). But alas, I do not have the resources, so here I am being, well, me and freaking out over all the changes to come, which kind of sounds like something vaguely menopausal when I word it like that, but whatever. I just don't do change. Keep in mind that this is something I want to do and am excited about (see?! YAY! EXCITED!), but since when have I ever missed out on an opportunity to absolutely lose my mind with worry? NEVER! My default setting in life is Worried, and I'm not about to deny my very essence its ability to shine! So, like a good little psycho, I'm focusing on all the things that could possibly go wrong. Like will I get along with my new roommates? Will I like my new job? I don't know what my specific job is yet - I hope that my previous work experience at Disney bodes well for me - and I am literally making myself sick worrying about it. Seriously, I can feel it in my gut like my fear has manifested itself into little neurotic fetus that keeps kicking me in the ribs. I call him Henner.

Part of this worry is because my last DCP (Disney College Program)...well, it got off to a rough start. It took some effort and a lot of tear-filled phone calls, but in the end it turned into the best experience of my life. Happy endings all around. Hurrah. But you know how it is - once bitten, twice shy kinda thing. So here I am, scared as a cat (and that simile isn't really doing it for me, but I can't think of anything else that's known for being scared. Except me. Scared as a Natalie. Can I be my own simile? Is that possible?), and if I could be so bold as to request your prayers that God grants me the ability to quell my anxiety over the next weekish because it honestly might kill me. I'd really appreciate it (your prayers, not the dying from my imaginary tim'rous fetus).

And if any DCP recruiters just happen to be reading this, you might find it interesting that I have some rather impressive skills with this attraction simulation.

I'm just saying.

01 January 2010

The obligatory year-in-review post

2009. Not too bad, as far as years go, but I have a very high tolerance for bad years thanks to 2004, so my opinion should always be taken with a grain of salt on that front. But whatever. Still not a bad year. 2009 started off a bit shaky since I tend to panic when I don't know what I'm doing with my life, and that had been a struggle that had been building for quite some time. But luckily things started falling into place just so which seemed to push me in some sort of direction that made sense, so that helped a bit. Here's to hoping 2010 sees that through.

(Resolution for 2010: be an even bigger hot mess)

My camera broke, my laptop broke, Fry's Electronics broke my brain, and then my laptop remained broken. Plus, someone stepped on my mother's brand new GPS and cracked the LCD screen (we don't have good luck with those, it'd seem), I broke a string on my cousin's daughter's brand new guitar less than an hour after she unwrapped it for Christmas, my dog's vagina fell out, I lost my most favorite BPA-loaded Nalgene bottle and am still mourning its loss (I can hear Robbie shaking his head over that one), and I got my wisdom teeth pulled. So, uh, those were good times.

(In case you didn't notice: TOTALLY DRUGGED)

I had a boyfriend and then I didn't (which was rather nice on the whole considering 20 of my 23 years have consisted only of the "I didn't" part), and I learned how different it all seems once you're out of the relationship. It was fun while it lasted, but it was all for the best in the end. I went down two belt notches without really trying, but I find that I do have to try to remain those two notches down. I flew on an airplane and didn't have a panic attack, which is AMAZING for me, considering my track record on that. I visited two states I'd never before been to - California and Nevada - which actually led me to being west of the Mississippi for the first time in my entire life. The California landscape had me mesmerized - it really looked like another planet - Mars, maybe Jupiter. Somewhere red and barren. And with a lot of aliens.

(Dilemma: potentially offend your intelligence by pointing out the subtle joke in that last sentence, or risk letting my incredibly mediocre wit go unnoticed due to the fact that the joke is, in fact, kiiiinda abstruse. And dumb. By typing my dilemma, I hope I have resolved the issue. So there.)

And in complete obsessive nerd-style, I visited a bunch of theme parks, and in the process I completed my Back Lot Stunt Coaster trifecta, got my first 4-D coaster credit, and completed my North American Intamin launching coaster collection (okay, now I'm just making up milestones). I finally got to visit Disneyland as well, but I missed out on a lot of things due to me being too worried about what everyone else around me wanted to do. I can't help it, it's just my style. I also rode the Big Shot on top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas but skipped out on X-Scream and Insanity, and to this day I DO NO REGRET skipping them. There are some things I simply have no desire to do, and dying is one of them.

And finally, as the year came to a close, I was presented with the most generous offer by someone whom I've never even met. He knows who he is, he knows what he's done for me, and for that I thank him profusely and hope that in 2010 and beyond I can find a way to be so generous to others. You know...all Pay it Forward style. Without the stabbing.

Oh, um, spoilers.

Happy New Year everyone!