Oh Say Can You See

Posted July 4, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Uncategorized

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Happy Independence Day!

According to the awful, fake, sensationalized,  biased news-wanna-be (NEWS-FIX on CW39), one in four Americans do not even know the meaning of Independence day. While I don’t believe much that NEWS-FIX says, I do believe that, because let’s face it:  Americans just keep getting dumber and dumber. We have the best technology right now in the history of the world. We have all kinds of laws, bills and programs to educate the youth and help more people earn college degrees. We have all the tools and means to live as well-educated and informed citizens, but we deliberately choose not to. So I thought I would just go ahead and refresh everyone’s memory on why we celebrate Independence Day.

July 4th marks our separation from the Soviet Union.

I’m kidding. Although according to NEWS-FIX’s poll, that’s what about 40% of Americans thought. Pretty Sad.

Independence Day commemorates the birthday of the United States and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. And we celebrate by eating barbecue, watching fireworks and generally forgetting what the holiday means.

But here are a few fun facts about the 4th of July  (courtesy of USA.gov).

  • Texas produced 6.8 billion pounds of cattle and calves in 2010, so it’s a good possibility that you are eating home-grown meat today.
  • The U.S. imported $197.3 million in fireworks last year, with the majority of that coming from China. The U.S. exported only $37 million worth of fireworks, with Japan buying most of ours. So enjoy celebrating your American holiday in true American style:using stuff somebody else made.
  • Thirty-five places have “eagle” in their names. The most populated one is Eagle Pass, Texas with more than 26,000 people.
  • 81 million people reported taking part in a barbecue last year. I was really worried about that one.
Nonetheless, God Bless the U.S.A and have a happy 4th of July however you choose to celebrate.

It’s been a long a time, but I’m back in town

Posted June 30, 2011 by Dana
Categories: It happens, Life experiences

Tags: , , , , , ,

So after returning from my stay at the kingdom, my life was in shambles. Not complete shambles, as I wasn’t a staving child or homeless or pregnant, but very large chunks of not-so-good.

Everyday I was picking a different profession to be or a different grad school major to study and I literally came this close to joining the air force. Yep, I started training for the physical fitness test by running (that was just entirely bizarre) and contacted a recruiter via online chat (also weird, but not as much as the running).

I did a little soul searching, which is why I haven’t written, because for the past month I have been nothing but irritable and whiney. Because of this my mom has also become my best friend, but thats besides today’s point.

As corny as that sounds, I really did have to come up with a new life plan. I had hoped to stay in the kingdom, but did not get either of the two jobs I interviewed for and being the person that I am, I live off my back-up plans so I didn’t have any back-back-up plans.

So after much deliberation and weighing of various options, I have decided to go to law school. My reasons are solid; it seems like the best and most profitable idea I’ve had yet, so why not? Of course, because I can never make up my mind, I am not going to be going to law school until next fall because of applications and the LSAT and all that jazz, which means I will be here in Houston for the next year.

Furthermore, I will also be returning to RAFA as the receptionist and gluestick to try and save some dollars for this very expensive endeavor I am undertaking.

I also am planning several other things to do this year, but details have been not confirmed so far.

So I just thought I’d make my decision official, because as we all know, nothing makes facts more true than when you find them online. Especially when found on Facebook. That information is always a 100% guarantee.

20110630-121304.jpg

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

Posted May 19, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Uncategorized

My poor dear neglected blog. Sorry. Bygones.

So I made it home from Florida. Everything was very magical and so on, which is probably why I stopped blogging. The magic became slightly mundane and by the end of it all I was more than ready to hightail it away from my crappy little apartment filled with roommates I barely liked/talked to and I was sick of hearing all the full-time people moan and complain about summer bids. In other words, I’m glad to be back at home.

But at the same time, I really do miss it. And there is a chance I might be going back there, but I’m avoiding that subject until I know for sure.

Currently I am unemployed, well actually between jobs, because I do have something lined up starting June 1st, but nonetheless I have more time on my hands now than I think I’ve ever had.

So I’ve started doing home work-out videos.

While home work-out videos may seem dumb, they are actually pretty fun once you get into it and they are extremely convenient. Think about it. The gym is great, but you have to fight with people to take turns on the machines and there is hardly ever extra room for stretching or sit-ups. Then you also have people watching you, or some may want to talk to you. Or maybe they are talking loudly to each other or have their music volume cranked all the way up. Then you have to drive to the gym and drive home all sweaty and gross. So much unnecessary stress to complete an activity that’s supposed to help relieve stress.

They are also the perfect cure for boredom and they get you moving because the “instructors” are always yelling out words of encouragement (comedy gold I tell you).

  • “You can do it! “(when something is actually a little hard or just plain dumb looking)
  • “Are you ready for this?” (to build anticipation for a chance to literally do the same thing you’ve been doing one more time.)
  • “One more time!”  or “One more!” (which translates into like 15 more.)
  • “You’re doing great!” (why are you sitting on the couch? move your fat ass.)
  • Asking the dancers/work-outers in the background how they are doing. (usually leads to cheers, yells, people passing out, grunts moans, or in Weight Watchers videos – brainwashing with success stories.  Even better is when the people say actual words back, which often vary in excitement and tone.

Not only that, but with all the home work-out videos available, you  have the option to do something completely different every day. You can zone in on different parts of your body, or try a crazy one for comedic effect. You can also pick out how long you’d like to work out – 10 minutes or an entire hour and half. You never have to do the same work-out twice and you’ll never get stuck doing the same old routine day in and day out (like you might at the gym. I know I do.)

My mom has a collection from over the years and there are also a ton on Netflix.  Last night I did a 44-minute dance party burn (complete with salsa, party funk and retro dance styles) with Jennifer and a mega queer guy and several other uncoordinated poorly dressed girls. Today I did a Weight Watchers video twice with Karen and Eliane (who was 60 years old and really getting down.) Everybody was wearing pink. I had to go change.

Who knows what I’m going to pick for tomorrow? Maybe a little Richard Simmons or perhaps some Super90X (the off brand version of the popular P90X). Or maybe I’ll even go totale 80s flashback.We’ll see what strikes my fancy.

The Concert

Posted April 13, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences, music

Tags: , , , ,

So I went home last weekend. As a belated birthday present, my generous parents bought me air fare to come home and see them for a weekend. Conveniently enough, the same weekend of the Lady Gaga concert that Aaron and I have had floor tickets for since the beginning of last year. What a coincidence!

Anyway, the whole going home trip is  a story within itself (and for another post), but Lady Gaga was amazing beyond comprehension.

Last year when Aaron and I attended the Monster Ball, we went all out and got there at 6 a.m. to wait in line all day and be mega mega extra close to the stage and have our pictures taken for Spanish newspapers and the whole shebang. This time, since the concert was on a Friday and Aaron had school and I had some living to do, we took a more low-key route and just got there in the evening only minor-ly dressed up (but of course with heels) and basically just decided to let the night happen as it would happen.

And happen it did.  First we painted our nails a cobalt, spectrum blue with glitter. Aaron painted his while driving and eating. We’re pretty sure he ate more nail polish than what ended up on his fingers.

While waiting in line, shirtless Aaron had his picture taken with multiple concert-goers and a Toyota Center Chef only to be told he had to have a shirt to get into the concert. So we hiked back to his truck to get one.

Then I had to go to the bathroom (of course), so I told for sure we would have a terrible spot. But when we got on the floor, we actually weren’t that far back, which made us laugh at all of our antics from last year.We were smooshed against a very affectionate lesbian couple (one girl kept putting her tongue in her girlfriend’s ear – that’s just gross no matter who you are!) and some overweight and pushy couples who were also all up on one another.

However, when the amazing, fantastic, hilarious, old, slightly drunk, Gaga’s bestie Lady Starlight….

came on stage, I realized that I couldn’t see a damn thing, which was unacceptable since she proceeded to put on quite a show, including running in circles around the stage and freezing completely for a good 3 or 4 minutes. So we decided to move to the back of the arena. That was the best decision ever. We could see everything picture perfect, we just weren’t right on top of the stage and people were not surrounding us and hindering our concert experience. It was brilliant.

Being the idiots that we are, neither one of us knew who was opening for Gaga, so I was ecstatic when I realized it was Semi Precious Weapons…

I love Justin.

They played several new songs and made me love them even more. Justin (the lead singer) is so crazy with his nudity and sparkly heels and high kicks.  I love it.

While waiting for Gaga to take the stage (which took like 45 minutes since all of her stuff is so elaborate and spectacular), we read my latest SkyMall, which is truly the best part of flying ever. As a side note, you should see what SkyMall’s all about.

But I digress, of course Gaga was the best part of the concert. (A la SNL’S Stefon) The concert had everything: radioactive Asians, chubby gays in unitards, burning pianos, slobbering lesbians, glitter, screaming, dedicated text messages, drunk ladies putting their beers at our feet, people we knew, heels, grandmas in rainbow wings, babies, fruit loops in skirts, doting mothers, more screaming, blood fountains, Jesus Christ playing guitar, funky backup singers, shoving, Michael from Germany who likes boys and girls, subway cars, paparazzi monsters and anything else you could possibly imagine (as well as those things you can’t).

Gaga played both versions of Born This Way, came back for two more songs, cried a little bit, inspired us a lot and was just your average, typical out-of-this-world performer. And from where we were standing, we actually saw the Monster Ball this time around, which is a truly phenomenal show. I cannot imagine the amount of people and work it takes to make this show happen in a different venue every night. That takes some serious talent and teamwork, not to mention leadership.

Ru ru and Gaga share the same blurry aura about them.

So how was the concert? Gaga told me to tell you that “We burned Houston down to the F-ing ground!” if that gives you any perspective.

Thank you for making me feel like a kid

Posted April 6, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences, This is how I feel, Very Busy

Tags: , , ,

I work at Disney World. I still have moments several times a week where I have to remind myself that this is for real.

However, it’s still a job.

Many people here, especially CPs, are envious of what I do. I’m not trying to brag or sound conceited; this is a true statement. You can ask anyone who has worked here. And I love my job, really I adore it. 4 out of 5 days.

What many of these envious individuals think about my job here, is not necessarily true because it is not all roses. There are frustrating guests, long hours, crappy locations and work conditions and all the other negative aspects that go along with any job, but of course nobody wants to think of those factors.

I’m more or less a realist and I knew going into this program that I would face these not-so-magical challenges and cope, which is why I am so sick of people constantly gushing over and glaring at me out of jealously because they wish they were in my massive shoes. Let me tell y’all, I’m exhausted. I’ve worked six-day weeks for the past three weeks because I have been picking up like crazy. The overtime pay is much appreciated, but I have gotten what feels like zero sleep and even less time to do anything else. I have no food agin, because Wal-mart seems to be an all day affair and I feel like I haven’t seen my roommates in months.

But then there are still things that reinforce the magic for me.

On the upside, Mickey’s new home at Magic Kingdom, TownSquare Theatre opened April 1st and I love it there. The rooms are themed as backstage of Mickey’s magic show, where he makes a curtain call to visit guests. There are hidden Mickey’s, park symbolism, magic tricks and all kinds of other awesome props and designs that make me feel like a kid in awe every time I visit. The imagineers did a terrific job. Minnie even visits Mickey sometimes too, which is very nice of her.

I love TownSquare and I personally like it so much better than ToonTown in every way possible.

Minnie and Mickey with Joyce the magical disappearing dove

 

Minnie and Mickey with Mickey's magic trunk

So in short, while my job is just that, a job, it has been the most magical, rewarding, challenging, fun and inspiring job I have held thus far and everyday I go to work feeling like a kid agin. As they say in Monopoly, I have no regrets.

Aren't they still so cute after more than 80 years together?

Clever Dads and other things I’ve learned

Posted March 29, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Because I have to, Life experiences, This is how I feel

Tags: , ,

So here in Disney World, I have had the opportunity to truly observe, study and document guest behavior. And in the two and half months I’ve been here, I’ve seen it all. Really.

I’ve seen happy guests, pissed guests, sad guests, dumb guests, fantastic guests, excited guests, bossy guests, shy guests, old guests, young guests, foreign guests, American guests, baby guests, bitchy guests, fat guests…. and the list goes on. Despite all their differences though, many of guests share a few similar behaviors and traits across the board. Allow me to explain.

Filming: Guests film everything here. Literally everything.  Kids playing in the hotel pool? Film it. Entire rides (most popularly It’s a small world)? Film it. People walking by? Film it. Character meet and greets? Film it. Dinner plates and other meals? Film it. Trash on the ground? Film it. Suzy and Jacob brawling in the Kingdom? Film it. Kids asleep in the stroller? Film it. Dad yelling about spending money? Film it. Waiting in line to use the restroom? Film it.  I do not exaggerate.

I honestly don’t know how these people have enough memory on their cameras or video cameras for all this filming, but it happens. And while I understand here at Disney we are celebrating “Let the memories begin,” begin does not mean make sure to record every second of every day, should something happen that we need to remember forever. My parents did not film every moment of my first trip to Disney, yet I still clearly remember the parts worth remembering. If you are so busy filming, then you are not actually living out the experience and congratulations all you will remember from your Disney vacation is what you caught on tape.

And the other thing is: when are you going to watch all these videos? Are you going to watch Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride before you go to sleep each night? Or are the kids splashing in the pool the video you must see every morning? Besides to embarrass your kids at their wedding or other family members at gatherings/reunions or as America’s funniest home video potential, I bet that 80% of guests will never watch their homemade Disney memories again after they post them on Facebook.

Clever Dads: This one gets me every time. It’s that type of Dad that halfway through the day you want to tell them to shove it up their ass. Seriously. These dads are the ones that make the stupid, cliché jokes every time. They want to look like the funny guy and have all the attention on themselves. Sadly, nobody actually cares.

For example, when meeting a character they have to comment on whether the character is right or left handed. Guess what dad? All of the characters are ambidextrous because they have to sign so many autographs every day. Also why does it matter what hand Mickey Mouse writes with? He’s signing your book, right? Then be quiet.

Or going on a ride a clever dad likes to say “Oh I’m not tall enough” and his devoted family laughs like its the first time anyone every came up with that joke. The last 12 dads in line before you also came up with that one liner. Dumb comments to the characters are also common like “Are you a boy or a girl?” Clearly, Mickey Mouse is male and Minnie Mouse is female. Does anyone question your gender clever dad? Then again, shut the hell up.

Family Guy's Peter Griffith is a good example of a clever dad.

Obvious Questions: It’s become the biggest joke amongst cast members, but yes, guests actually have asked what time the 3:00 o’clock parade is. Asking the obvious is a common behavior for guests and I don’t really know why. It might be that they stop thinking because they are on vacation, or are overwhelmed by all the sights, smells, tastes and magic of Disney World. Or maybe it’s the sun that fries their brains, but nonetheless it happens all the time. Here are some examples:

When an attendant announces that their character’s line is closed and the guest comes up and asks if their family can get line. When a mom measures her kid to go on Space Mountain and the kid is too short, then asks if he can ride anyway. When a family gets a fast pass to come back at noon and they come back at 4 p.m. and ask if it’s still good. When a guest asks for free park admission because it’s their birthday. When a guest asks for half price admission because they are buying their ticket a 6 p.m. and the park closes at 11 p.m. When a guest asks if they can just stand in the middle of the walkway to watch Fantasmic! When a guest asks if they can just stand on the stage and watch Fantasmic…can you see my point?

Yet all we can do is answer their questions and wish them a magical day.

“I paid a lot of money for this!”: This is an attitude of entitlement that almost all guests share. They think that since they paid so much money and traveled however far they traveled to get to Disney World, that they are entitled to everything. This is true to a point, but it seems like most of the guests forget that pretty much all the other guests in the park went through the exact same thing, paid close to the same amount of money and also traveled. The same is true for anyone celebrating anything, especially birthdays; they think they should just own the park. Do you know how many people celebrate a birthday on any given day here? Thousands at least.

This attitude makes guests viscous toward other guests, hard to reason with or communicate with and quite frankly makes them a pain in booty to be around or associate with. Please don’t be one of these guests.

Gateway tahtoo

Posted March 2, 2011 by Dana
Categories: Life experiences, This is how I feel

Tags: , , ,

So King Aaron and I have matching tahtoos. I bet many of you didn’t know this, but we totally do. For his 18th birthday, Aaron wanted a blue dot on his foot to represent “The world as viewed from a great distance” ala Phobe on Friends. So on his 18th birthday, Sept. 26, 2010, the two of us went to this hippie tahtoo shop near Kemah and Aaron walked out with a blue dot. He wanted me to get one at the same time, but of course I was too chicken.

After seeing him get his done and deciding it was really cool, I wanted a dot too. Since the two of us are so connected, I also thought it would be a cool way that we could telecommunicate. For example, “My tahtoo is tingling! Aaron must be in trouble!” So during Christmas break, right before I was leaving to come to this most magical place on earth, we went back to the hippie tahtoo place and this time I walked out with a blue dot of my own.

The world as viewed from a great distance on my foot.

Well anyway, little did we know that our blue dots would be gateway tahtoos because now I really want another one. I know its dumb, unprofessional and so on and so forth, but I want one nonetheless. I’m not saying I want a “sleeve” or a gross one that covers my entire back, nor will I get one that will stretch out and look awful when I become old and/or fat.  I don’t even want it to be bigger than maybe one or two inches. But I want another tahtoo.

In an ideal world I would get this sun, drawn by Marc Johns, minus the words on my right wrist. The same place as Gaga’s peace sign.

I think it would be cool because then I would have the world on my foot and the sun on my wrist so that my body would be the equivalent of a solar system. But since I would never get hired anywhere with such a visible tahtoo, I know it’s not going to happen. Although, I can wish.

Because of that, I have been thinking about getting some Mickey Mouse ears on my hip, since I am a really big fan of Mickey and Minnie.  I would get one like this without the year and on my hip:

To make matters worse, it seems like tattoos come up in conversation all the time. My roommate Courtney has three, which are all really cool. Being performers, we all change and get dressed in front of each other all the time and so everyone sees everyone else’s tahtoos and then we end up talking about them. One performer I met has a tahtoo of Pluto one foot and Eeyore on the other. Sports teams seem to be popular, as do tahtoos in remembrance for a dead relatives. Its ridiculous.

My parents were slightly pissed that I got y blue dot, which I barely even count as a tahtoo since it would be so easy to cover up if I/when I ever need to. I know they don’t want me to get anymore….

but I really, really, really, really, want one.

Footnote***: I know tattoo is spelled wrong throughout this post. But tahtoo is a joke and also more fun to say. It’s a thing.