in recent years

   

   

an overlong ode to disneyland

I am missing Disneyland today.*

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Well, to be fair, I am never not missing Disneyland, but today is wielding a particularly powerful ache for it around my ribs. Sort of haunting and cold and sad.

This is partially because I spent a couple of hours last night reading posts about Disney projects that never came to fruition in their original forms — Port Disney, WESTCOT Center, Disney’s America, and The SS Disney — and partially because I am just a person who is subject to flights of whimsy, nostalgia, and misery.


» more: an overlong ode to disneyland

following an eastern wind

Okay, so here’s an announcement:

The girlfriend and I are moving to North Dakota in three weeks.

I’ve already posted about my parents moving there and now, for a variety of reasons that we have spent the last few months avoiding/denying/trying to fix, we to are North Buttkota bound.

We both have really mixed feelings, a large portion of which are borne of the fact that we’re moving in less than three weeks, basically. Have you ever tried to pack up your whole life on three weeks’ notice? It’s dumb. It’s so dumb. I don’t know what happened in our decision making process — we’ve been mulling this over for months basically — or if we thought my parents would change the schedule — they’re coming home to move their stuff and we’re going with them — when we decided to move or if it’s just because we were in so much denial and the final decision just came so FAST. I don’t know. But three weeks! And packing sucks so much. OH MY GOD. Packing sucks.

We’ve packed six boxes so far and they’re only books and movies and only ONE SHELF of books at that. THERE ARE TWO MORE FULL BOOKSHELVES that have to be packed. DO YOU KNOW HOW HEAVY BOOKS ARE?! WHY DO WE OWN SO MANY BOOKS?! And for the first time in my life — I’ve only moved three times before and two of those were to college and the other was to a furnished apartment for an internship last year RIGHT AT THIS SAME TIME LOOK AT THAT — I have to move FURNITURE. How does that even work?! FURNITURE! Oh god.

Anyway, I’ve been not-typing this post for the last three hours, instead dicking around on Tumblr and generally doing nothing of any use to anyone because I can’t sleep normal hours anymore, so don’t even talk to me about accomplishing anything. And also because what do I say?! I’m moving from the best place in the world — PERSONALLY, god don’t start a fight with me about how wherever you are is better, DON’T DO THAT TO ME — to the middle of nowhere! I don’t have anything more eloquent to say about it.

It’s an ~adventure~ and a chance for us to probably pay off some debt and save some money and live pretty comfortably (we get a whole giant finished basement to ourselves, I mean, that’s kind of okay even if I’m 27 and moving 1500 miles to literally live in my parents’ basement) and see some new places and try a new thing. A really new thing! Crystal and I are nothing if not creatures of habit, so, you know, trying something new is good. And it’s TEMPORARY. A year. Or two. Then back home to California where we belong.

But it still means I have to leave my beautiful, wonderful friends and family. Which is the hard part that I’m not ready to dwell on yet. So instead, I am going to focus on the fact that I have to leave all this:


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And also this aka my favorite place on this entire planet:


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I’m legitimately more upset about leaving Disneyland than anything else. My family and friends can continue to communicate with me and share wonderful, fulfilling relationships and shit at a distance. Me and Disneyland can’t exactly keep up our serious relationship as an LDR. Check in on me about a month into my North Dakota residency and you will find me listening to the Main Street music loop and staring at the HoJo Mattercam and shaking and crying on the floor of my new basement home.

Plus I’m going to have to keep paying my $40 a month through NEXT APRIL for my pass even though I’m not here to use it. >:(

And don’t even get me started on what a disaster it’s going to be when it SNOWS.

But I guess I have this to look forward to?


And I guess my parents or whatever. Plus the dogs are totally ready to go. (The cats are, of course, another story. And that’s who Crystal and I are in charge of. Of course.)

So wish me luck! I make no promises about blogging for the next three weeks, but I may very well panic-procrastinate a million and nine posts between now and our departure time. And I’m going to make Crystal make me blog our trip, if not here than at least on Tumblr because I had all these great productive plans for last summer and I didn’t follow through on any of them and that sucked. But, I’m stronger than her, so. No promises on that one either.

Oh yeah, two unrelated final points:



I dyed my hair! Like a long time ago. Yay.

And:

A PSA, free of charge, from me to you: ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN NO MATTER HOW EXCITED YOU ARE ABOUT GETTING INVITED TO SWIM. ALWAYS. SPF 1,000,000. SUNSCREEN. I haven’t been burned this bad since I was a TWEEN.

Also, sunglass tan lines. >B(

I guess… no pool-related-sunburns are a North Dakota bonus?

christmas 2010 in the can

Christmas is over! And I am bummed.

I am not 100% bummed. I mean, I love Christmas. I’m an atheist that loves Santa and all things Christmas (except Jesus, obviously) and spent most of my adolescence wishing I was Jewish, so I am a big fan of the winter holidays. But Christmas was basically a bust this year.

I ate some food and got some presents and had some good times, but I never felt the wintery-Christmas-sparkle and then BAM it was over. Lame. And it happens EVERY YEAR and yet every year I am surprised. Two thumbs, not so good with learning, etc etc.

Anyway, whatever, here’s some disjointed bullshit:

I am nothing if not really good at doing the same shit everyone else is doing!

But it’s SPACE, you guys. I would take a space flight even if they GUARANTEED that I would die on reentry. I mean, SPACE, guys. SPACE. Sending my name up is a pretty okay facsimile of space-travel-importance. It’s at least as good as going all the way through astronaut training and then not making the final launch team. BASICALLY. Self-aggrandizement is my 2k11 resolution numero uno.

 

A bunch of people are using their new Facebook ~photostream~ to express friendly/jovial sentiments. Or that thing where they break their face into pieces. I am not into either of those things.

 

Dyed my hair right before Thanksgiving and heard, “You look like a mermaid” three different times. I felt distinctly cartoonish and it took me three days to figure out that I was reminding myself of Sailor Neptune. Yeeeeeeeah! I think I have seen one half of one Sailor Moon episode in my entire life, but whatever, whatever, I DO WHAT I WANT.

 

Favorite new picture of my favorite person on the earth. She is getting peed on by a tree.

 

I have a couple of funny/interesting/whatever things to say that I have scribbled down in a notebook, but I am not feeling the focus to turn them into full-fledged words. Mostly all I am interested in right now is laying in bed and sleeping and not having to do anything except stay in blankets. I am like Scrooge McDuck if instead of swan-diving into a vault of coins, it was just a great big pile of dogs and blankets and he never surfaced for air.


(I would like to point out that this atrocious font is called “Thug” and 1. That’s racist 2. That’s stupid, and 3. I had to mouse-draw the plus and equal signs because they were just dots in the font. Like, wtf, thugs can’t math? Thugs need not plus and equal signs? RACIST, FONT, RACIST.)

 

I will, however, briefly talk about how “This Time of the Year” by Brooke Benton and “Little Saint Nick” by the Beach Boys are great Christmas songs that INFURIATE me because “Christmas always comes this time of the year” and “Christmas comes this time of year” are the two most idiotic lyrics to ever occur in holiday music. NO SHIT IT ALWAYS HAPPENS AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR THAT IS WHEN CHRISTMAS HAPPENS. Christmas has been happening for like MANY YEARS NOW and for most of those it has been happening on December 25th. I THINK WE GOT THAT SHIT ON LOCK, SONGWRITERS. Sort it out.

Anyway:

Merry Belated Whatever-The-Fuck! Merry Past-Tense Ballsmas!


on star tours and growing up

So Molly Lewis wrote a blog about the closure/redesign of Star Tours and while I think it’s sweet and engaging and an example of all the things I love about blogs — memories! nostalgia! complainery! — it’s also the kind of thing that makes me sad.

I love Disneyland. I love it beyond the ability to put it into words. And I love Star Tours. I think Star Tours is one of the best rides Disneyland has ever or will ever see. I loved it before I had ever even seen a Star Wars movie. Like Molly Lewis, I know it by heart and I recite it when I ride it and I once had a joyful ride with a strange kid on it. (When Captain Rex said, “I’ve always wanted to do this,” this bright and happy kid yelled, “MEEEEEEEEE TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” My girlfriend and I have stolen his line ever since.)

But I’m not going to complain about the rehab or the changes or the podracing sequence or about George Lucas (even though I could, for days) or how Disney just can’t leave things alone because that’s not what Disneyland is about.

Watch out, I’m throwing down with a Walt Disney quote right here:

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

Maybe you and I hate the Star Wars prequels and all the too-noisy, hyperactive, CG scenes (and if you do, blame Steven Spielberg and Jurassic Park — no, really), but there is an entire generation of kids who loved them and a whole new generation who will ONLY know Star Wars in chronological order (this blows my mind, but as an entirely separate thing) and it’s their turn for the memories.

I hate that the Country Bear Jamboree is gone and it kills me that they took Mr. Toad’s out in Florida. I miss Circlevision sometimes, or more accurately, I miss getting dizzy staring upward for such long periods. I miss the Mary Blair murals in Tomorrowland and the PeopleMover. I miss the Fantasyland Autopia and how much fun it was to drive before I had to. Until VERY RECENTLY I missed the shit out of Captain EO. I miss Tom Sawyer Island when the settler’s cabin burned and there weren’t any pirates. I miss pre-Captain Jack Pirates of the Caribbean. Hell, I miss the Submarine Voyage and the parking lot. I even miss the Rocket Jets and the Skyway even though they both scared the living shit out of me.

But part of loving Disneyland is loving what used to be there, remembering, knowing for sure and certain and 100% that it was better when you were young, when this was there and that wasn’t, before everything changed.

What we didn’t realize then, as kids, was that things were changing all around us, all the time, at Disneyland, at home, and in the world at large. But we were young and change is often incremental and we were too busy having fun and playing on the teetering rock on Tom Sawyer and listening to our parents talk about A tickets and E tickets and how you used to be able to ride a real live pack mule where Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is now and how it used to be different, simpler, better.

Molly Lewis’s nostalgia is right, her love is perfect, her adoration commendable and so fucking right on the nose for me it isn’t even funny, but she’s still wrong.

“Disney tends to function in the way that Apple and Facebook do by which I mean that they will decide to change things that absolutely did not need changing, and you’re only left to assume that it’s for your own good.”

Star Tours is almost twenty-four years old. It’s had an incredible run, thrilling and delighting and creating memories for thousands and thousands (millions?) of visitors, but up until the last week and one random summer day last year, I never once in my dozens of visits saw the queue for the Endor longer than ten or fifteen minutes, even on peak days and times. And while that’s a great thing for visitors, it’s a death knell for Disney. And while I’d rather believe Disney was revitalizing a ride for the guests, it all comes down to the dollar.

Regardless of their motives, Star Tours 2.0 promises to create brand new memories for the next set of Disney fans. And, god forbid, I someday have a child, I’ll be there with him or her, talking about how when I was a kid there was this pilot droid named Rex and how he’d taken us on his first flight…

waiting for october

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Today, I got an EXTREME hankering for Halloween.

I’m a big fan of the end of the year holidays; Halloween and Christmas have been neck in neck for years and in the last few I’ve realized that I’m never going to be able to choose between costumes and presents and that I’m okay with that.

But today I got all wound up thinking about fall. I love autumn anyway, the way the air smells and the wind and the way southern California cools down in this back-and-forth way, spread between days that are miserably hot and bitingly cool. I like that fall is just a little bit melancholy — the end of the year is coming, summer is over, school is back in session — and that once you’re right into the thick of it, when everything’s yellow and orange and shades of brown, you put on a costume and walk around in the dusk light and get treats! It’s brilliant and thrilling. I’ll never get tired of the anticipation of it, even though I haven’t trick-or-treated in years.

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Disney does Halloween right. I haven’t talked about my love of Disneyland yet, but it’s BIG and their treatment of holidays is just one of the reasons why.

I love that each land has it’s own theme for the holiday and I love Frontierland and Main Street the very most.

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Disneyland at Halloween feels like everything you imagine Halloween should be.

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And I love love love the Halloween Tree.

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Since Halloween is… quite far away (210 days!) I’ll settle for perusing flickr for images to live vicariously and listening to my fall playlist.