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.