Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stitch update and reviews

I spent the entire weekend finishing our 2010 Disney picture DVD's, but I did manage a tad bit of stitching:

That's right! A face is appearing and I'm so excited!

I also spent the entire weekend catching up on my behind movie DVD's, and since I haven't done a review in a while, figured I'd share (but they are gonna be brief).

First up, the only movie I watched was The Woman In Black

I love Daniel Radcliff (yeah, I know, it's shocking I'm a Potter fan, it's SO out of character for me), but I especially love Ciaran Hinds (my first Wentworth and another Potter alum). It was a typical gothic horror in every since of the word...instead of the gore or the in your face horror, it's all about the noise factor, a loud scream or crash at the right moment will cause even the strongest of constitutions to jump, and jump I did, many times. But also with gothic horror, it never ends the way you expect, and this was no exception! It was good, but not fabulous and I hate to admit I was a bit disappointed in the ending, but, hey, I still want a romantic ending, even in a gothic horror! Radcliff's ability to pull off playing a father also didn't work for me. Maybe in a few years!

Next up, Green Wing:

I was a bit put off in the very beginning by the Python-like humor, but it didn't take me anytime to get attached to the characters and I got to the point where I didn't even notice the humor! It was a really great show and I hated to see the ending! It was filled with amazing actors, a true ensemble cast!

Then, I finally got around to watching the fourth series of Being Human:

I was putting this off...the last series ended pretty badly and this series went from bad to worse in the first episode! But I stuck it out and was glad I did! Whenever you have a major character change in a much-loved show, there is a 90/10 chance the new lineup will never measure up. But once it was all said and done, I had forgotten about the old ones (no pun intended). The writing is what saved this show (and an even hotter vampire doesn't hurt!).

As of right now, I am halfway through Wire In The Blood:

So far, I have to say, it creeps me out a bit...I don't know if it's the music or the fact that he's an Asperger with a menigioma (way too close to home). I'm not a fan of Hermione Norris either, although she seems to appear in all my favorite shows...Spooks, Kingdom, Cold Feet, I don't know why that is! She must be attracted to well written scripts!

So that's it for my holiday weekend! Really NOT looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but who is! Hope the Queen's Jubilee went off without a hitch (and I can't WAIT to watch it), and no one tell me the results of Soccer Relief because I haven't seen that either! The isle's hottest guys (Mark Owen in particular!) from music to sports to movies on one pitch (and my pitch as well, Man U!)...well, I can't say out loud how that makes me feel and I better stop thinking about it or I'll never get any sleep!

Have a good week everybody and I have GOT to get caught up on reading blogs! I am SO far behind!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Walk Through The Highlands

Small update from yesterday. Bad headache today that I'm just now coming down from, so no stitching (and not very good typing either). But I did get asked for a close up of how small the 28ct is, so I'm including that as well.



And now that I can think a bit clearer...guess I should also add that each one of the grids is a 10x10 (or 100 stitches) block, and the dime takes up four, so that's 400 x's in the space of a dime!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hey guys

Tom from Tom Badguy Strikes Back as asked me to pass this along, and since I'm all in for fundraisers, especially where the arts are concerned, I couldn't not do it!

So here's the message:

The Mental Cast is having a fundraiser for the Staten Island Academy of Performing Arts

Please tune into The Mental Cast at mentalcast.tk on May 22nd, 2012, from 6pm - Midnight EST

If you are interested in donating, please send a donation via PayPal to: siapabenefit2012@gmail.com

Unfortunately, I will be at work and won't be able to listen, but, if you have the time, please give them as much of yours as you can!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Haven't been updating much...

I'm getting more used to the diet, but I'm still pretty low on energy. I have managed some exercise, although not very much. I know I need to get my feet ready for Disney World, but my motivation is lacking a bit. I'll get there in the end, I always do and no matter how much I walk on the treadmill, my feet will never be truly ready for the torture that is Disney World!!

Speaking of Disney, things have been quiet. I've been on the Dis Boards, but they annoy the living crap out of me...it's full of hateful, cruel, horrible people who ask the dumbest questions and get pissed when they get called dumb for it. In all the years I've been on them, I've rarely ever posted. I pretty much stick to the threads of photos and really only do that when I can't get my Disney fix from the various news sites. I do read the rumor posts, but most all of them are crap to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

On the work front, things have either gotten better, or I have just accepted my fate of being eternally walked on. I'm sure it's more option two than one. I'm making a paycheck, I guess that's all the matters. Work is work and home is everything. I just have to remember it.

And speaking of home, somehow I managed to give Zachary a haircut this weekend as a stitching break.

Yeah, he's worse than me when it comes to picture taking:

This is a bit better:

I didn't manage to make a dent in the shows piled up in front of my TV this weekend though! But without Once Upon A Time this week, I felt a bit TV lost (no pun intended...for those that don't get the pun, the writers of Lost are the ones that created Once Upon A Time). I'm still completely blown away by the finale! That really was an amazing show and really cool how it all came together and I can't WAIT for season 2!

Next week Gary Barlow is gonna be on Graham Norton on BBC America and I'm so excited! A little piece of my world is finally coming to my real world. I did find it kind of annoying that on the previews of next week's show they didn't mention him even though he's a main guest. Guess because people in this country don't know him.

Guess I'm rambling and I need to stop since this was the stupid post ever!

IHSW May results

I thought that my stitching had gotten slower, but actually, it's just the color of the material that is slowing me down because I worked on the 35th Anniversary Friday night and all Saturday and this was as far as I got:


But when I started working on my little Highland girl again today, I blew through it! I can't believe I made so much progress in one day!

So, overall, it turned out to be a very productive IHSW!!! Hope everybody else got a ton of work done!

TUSAL time!

It's that time of the month again and luckily for me it comes after a IHSW! There is still very little in my jar, but the green and yellow colors together in my Ort jar reminded me of a very specific creature:


Monday, May 14, 2012

IHSW again!

My stitching has been total crap this month, but maybe I just need a kick in the rear from Joyce and the gang, so sign up I did!

Stitching Update

It's the absolute smallest update ever, but I did get some stitching done this weekend!


I have also made it through the three-day diet (I'm cheating a bit on the LiveStrong.com diet). But, 1000 calories a day for someone of my size has basically reduced me to absolutely no energy and I've barely made it out the chair. At least I did get the minuscule stitching done and I've started building the menus for our 2010 Disney pics DVD (only a year and a half late!).

The season finale of Once Upon A Time totally blew me away! I won't spoil it for those that haven't seen it, but I can only say I have NEVER seen anything like it! It was amazing!!

I know it's a small update, but it's all I got, and now I'm getting tired.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A letter to my 14 year-old self

I don't know if you guys have been watching The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, but you should! Amanda (who just happens to be John Taylor from Duran Duran's ex-wife and mother of his oldest daughter, Atlanta) basically just sits in the living rooms of famous women and interviews them. It's very personal and honest and women I never really liked, I have a better understanding of (even if I still don't like them, i.e. Gwyneth Paltrow). But, at the end of the interview, she asks a couple of rapid fire questions (one of which being what is your favorite sexual position...and trust me, some people give away too much information, i.e. Jane Fonda saying that doggie doesn't work for her anymore because of her knee replacement!). The question that always intrigues me most is "what would you tell your 14 year-old self?".

I've pondered this question a bit, but not nearly as seriously as I did today when Darren Hayes (one of the loves of my life), posted a letter on his Facebook page to his 15 year-old self in celebration of his 40th Birthday, and in typical Darren fashion, it's bloody brilliant!

Darren's letter

So, I've decided to write myself a letter...I actually haven't thought about the wording of this, so what's about to happen is freestyle and pretty unpredictable, so there is no telling how it's gonna turn out!

Dear 14 year-old Keebs
(and yes, as 41 year-old woman, people still refer to you by your nickname),

I know I shouldn't give you clues about the future, but I'm going to anyway...just in case the altering time theory is true, I'd love a little (or even a lot) of alteration, or at least be able to learn sooner about myself so that I can spare myself numerous years of struggle!

First off, I know it's easy to say and harder to put into practice, but please stop thinking that you are alone in the world. I know you feel like the world is against you and the very thought of it is eating away at you, but it's because people don't understand you (and most never will). The condition you have hasn't really got a name yet, but don't worry, you're not crazy (and neither is the rest of the world), there is a medical reason why you are the way you are and you will learn to deal with it, better than most people actually, once you start trusting yourself.

I promise that you will learn that the opinion of others is completely irrelevant in the overall scheme of your existence, and trying so hard to gain acceptance is what is doing your head in! You're not meant to be part of society, at least not the society you currently find yourself trapped in. The struggles you face with dealing with your weirdness, aren't really struggles at all...embrace the weird! It will be your making! But do keep learning how to control your ticks in public, that will be an invaluable trait when you are older and keeps you slightly ahead of the others with your condition (yes, I told you you're not crazy, there are others like you, believe it or not!).

Which brings up another point...stop treating Am so badly! She'll be the only person you can count on in your future! It was never her fault that Mother and Gary stopped looking at you the same way...Mother can't see past pleasing the men in her life and your step-dad only cares about the bloodline, blame the sources, not the catalyst of the change in their treatment of you. Yes, I know you ceased to exist the day she arrived and you've been acting out ever since, but look at it more as you can finally start living in your head, which you so desperately need to do for your sanity instead of throwing tantrums to get the attention drawn away from her. You're head is a wonderful magical place and you're going to be spending a lot of time in it!

Your tantrums never work, by the way (or BTW as we say now), and I wish I could say that you eventually stop them, but I can't...you still have your moments. You will eventually learn that Am will always be prettier, smarter, and just plain cooler than you. If you have moments where you still feel jealous as hell about it, that's OK because she has made a life for herself worthy of being jealous over, and I don't THINK she holds it against you!

You've got a tremendous sense of reading people...frickin use it! Stop trying to please certain friends (and you know the ones I mean) because it's useless and they are long gone to you now...one will be gone sooner than you think and you'll realize what a waste of space she was!

The boy who you think you have a crush on (OK, I know, you totally LOVE him), well, to put it bluntly, get over the rat! He never holds down a job and eventually becomes a preacher with fifteen or so kids (or so the rumor mill goes), and he really was never good enough for you anyway (even if you think you're the one not good enough for him)! The other boy you kind of have a crush on (and you know who I mean, the ones you're so-called friends make fun of you for talking to) IS worth your time and becomes a really decent bloke...eventually! Tell your "friends" to hang and like who you wanna like!

Besides, in a couple more years, you're gonna become friends with someone you never thought you would, and you will still be friends to this day (if only through email occasionally, but she still holds a special place in your heart and when you look back on your high school life, her friendship is the only good memory you have). The others will no longer even be on your radar!

And speaking of preachers, it's time to put your foot down and refuse to go to church if you don't want to. Mother forcing you is just making you hate the church altogether, so get out now and start exploring other options (which you will do later in life, but not when you're in a good place spiritually, so it's useless). You can be spiritual without being religious, they are two completely separate demons (so to speak). Read about all the religions and make your own mind up, don't listen to what they are forcing down your throat...there are options out there and the years you spend without your spirituality are some of your darkest!

But moving on, what a very different life you've had compared to what you are expecting. You're not a rich recluse living on your own private island or in the English Countryside, you're a poor recluse stuck not 20 miles from the town you hate so much. The energy you wasted hating your surroundings only ended up hurting you in the end by keeping you trapped in the very place you so despise. I know you feel like you don't belong where you are, and you're right, you never did, but you are there, so focus on getting out instead of dwelling on the fact that you're there! Study harder, focus more on school, realize what you love and focus on that! And go to college away...one of your biggest makes is going to A State.

Yes, I know you spend countless hours drawing and you think that's all your good at (and for), but ask yourself, "does it make you happy?". You already know the answer...no it doesn't. Keep it as a hobby, but don't try to use it to gain the tiny bit of admiration and attention you might get from it. It won't last and it ruins any future you had in it. Your father will not care one iota when you switch majors to Art, in fact, he'll ridicule you for it, even though it was his idea. He's just jealous because he didn't get to finish his architecture degree.

Which leads me on to the next point, the hardest one I'm gonna try make because I know you won't listen...don't try so hard to impress your father, because he won't be there when you need him (and realize he never has been and kick his ass off that pedestal you have him on). And all those promises he's making you, ignore them because he will never come through. He's got his own life and his own family which you ceased to be a part of the second they came into being. I know you think that your step-mom is your friend and you worship the ground she walks on, but look closer at her, you'll see the truth, and the same with your other sisters...you only exist to them when you are in their face and your step-mom will always make sure that her kids come first over you, even if you were there first.

You will spend your entire life pining for your daddy, even after you realize that he's lost to you, and I wish I could make that particular hurt go away, but I can't because I still feel it today as acutely as you do then. It's been five years since I've spoken to him, and not a day goes by that he doesn't pop into my head at least a million times. I haven't yet found the off switch for him in my brain, but one day I will, and maybe if you start looking now, I might be able to find it when I get to 42!

In a couple of years you are gonna start a job at a lab that, even though you leave for a while, you will end up working at, probably for the rest of your life! Know that the people you can't stand will become really good friends and the people you really like will be the most hurtful to you. Again, open your eyes...it's written all over their faces!

Oh, and I really shouldn't tell you this, but someone will briefly come to work there that is really hyper because she drinks coffee like a fish and smokes like a chimney, but she will have kids that you will babysit, albeit again briefly...hug one of them a little bit tighter because she will die a very violent death in a school shooting when she's in middle school.

You are beautiful (no matter how big or small you get), you are funny (even if your sense of humor is a bit dark), and you've got an amazing mind (when you choose to use it), no matter what people are gonna tell you (and I know what they say, particularly your step-dad), but don't worry, eventually people will believe how badly he treated you because when you are no longer around, he turns it on them. You won't be able to help the fact that you feel vindicated, but embrace it, it will give you a nice chuckle now and again!

Oh, and stop carving on your wrists with your fingernails in class! People don't care that you're suicidal and we both know you'll never go through with it! Trust me, the problems you have in your twenties and early thirties are far worse than anything you are going through now and the scars of all that carving have practically faded away now. Don't take that bottle of pills you are thinking about taking, because all you're going to do is sleep through the weekend, pee the bed, and wake up bright and early Monday morning just in time to get ready for school! No one noticed you didn't come out of your room for two days anyway!

One other thing, when you are in your late teens, you will start going to a psychic and she will warn you against getting involved with a certain man (even though she'll tell you that you won't listen)...bloody listen to her! You don't need to marry him just for the sake of being married! He will ruin a big chunk of your life and even to this day he will still stalk you! She tells you exactly when he's due to come into your life and you'll only have two weeks from your first visit to her to find another job (because you work with him)...DO IT!! Get away as far and as fast as you can!!

That's about it! I know you won't listen to a thing I've told you, and you might even just do the opposite out of spite, but hey, if you do, then we won't disrupt the universe because things will be exactly the same for me! Just know that even though you think no one loves you...remember that I do and, trust me, I'm enough to get you through a hell of a lot!! To thine own self be true!


PS, when the time comes to do your senior paper...don't let your teacher talk you out of Persuasion and into Wuthering Heights...you'll end up hating it! And definitely have her double check your grammar before you turn it in! She will gladly help you and it will be why you don't get an A++ on content and a D- on your bad grammar. Believe it or not, even at 41 you still regret doing your senior paper on Wuthering Heights!

Well, that's it! I'm not gonna read over this because I may feel too inclined to change things and disrupt the purity of it, but I do issue a challenge for all my fellow bloggers to do the same...write a letter to your 14 year-old self and see what happens!

Oh, and soapbox dismount for today!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New page

I've added a new page with direct links to all the A to Z Challenge posts so that they are in one location.

I've also managed to finally finish going through the lists of blogs!  I guess they have been weeding, because I've actually moved up to the 1400's.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Reflections Post - Walt Disney World

As a final hurrah to the A to Z Challenge, they have asked us to do a reflections post about our experiences during the challenge. So here we go, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

I got turned on to the challenge by my friend Katy at The Suddenly Kate Show and jumped in with both feet first! I started off-topic with a dedication to my beloved Zander, who was born on April 1, 1997, "B" through "Y" was all about my chosen topic of Walt Disney World, and "Z" was a dedication to Zachy-pooh, so this challenge was very personal because it combined my two favorite things, my pups (passed and living) and Walt Disney World!

I had a very hard time keeping my posts short (obviously!) and I had an even harder time restricting my topics for each letter but, in the end, I decided that it was more important to get my full thoughts completed, length be damned!! I didn't attract a lot more followers, but that's totally fine. For one thing, I was number 1501 on the list, so I'm sure most people (myself included) haven't made it that far down the list yet, and, for another, I don't really relish the thought of having a lot of people following me anyway...I am a total social-phobe after all!

Like I said, I'm still scanning all the blogs (I'm only in the 1200's), but I have found a few amazing ones! Even though I thought Disney would be a popular topic, I only ran across one other blog so far that was also about WDW, Nicki Elson's Not-So-Deep Thoughts. But funnily enough, she and I had a lot of the same topics (great minds think alike!). I also found a few that shared my work experiences, Grumpy IT Guy comes to mind, and Theresa's Tales of Teaching Tribulations and Typing Teen Texts did her blog on bands of the 80's, most of her choices I totally agreed with and it made me glad to know I'm not alone in my love for the great new wave and obscure bands of the 80's. I did find it odd that people kept commenting that they haven't listened to those bands in years, I guess I'm stuck in a decade, I still listen to that music (as well those bands new stuff) everyday! Since the humor of others most times just annoys the crap out of me, it was nice to see that there are others out there that share my dark sense of sarcastic humor and that could actually make me laugh (and trust me, it's a massive feat)!

About mid-stream, I read that the organizers issued another challenge to reach 100 followers. I didn't start this challenge to gain followers...it was more about me compiling my love of Disney World into organized groups - like the typical OCD'er I am, but I still found the very idea of blogging to add followers a bit off-setting to be honest. I felt like they were taking something fun and turning it into a competition which I guess was the original goal of the Challenge to win it, but at no point was that my personal goal (besides, I've never won anything in my whole life...why start now?). My blog has always been about me and my trials and tribulations, my loves and hates, in a nutshell it's about my world, as small as it is and this challenge was specifically about one of my passions, Disney World. I'm not writing to appeal to the masses (obviously, or I wouldn't offend so much!) and I definitely don't want to feel like I have to be funny 24/7 to keep others happy or to appeal to new people. A social-phobe on a stage...yeah, that's really gonna work!

When I started my blog, I said I wasn't in it for followers and I meant it. As an Asper-girl, I tend to isolate myself from the people around me because of my social issues, but I'm still human (even if I am a totally screwed up one) and I need to let what's in my head spill out my mouth (or in this case, my fingers) just as much as the next person, if not more because I live in my head and I need the space...it's crowded in here! I'm just not able to spill it face to face with others which is why a blog is the perfect outlet, so to speak, I can spill as the mood strikes me. I could really care less if anyone reads my verbal diatribes, because it's about the spilling process itself and that fact is as true today as it was when I started! Frankly, I'm really surprised I have any followers! Who in the world would want to listen to the junk that comes out of my head?

But back to the challenge, the biggest turn off was having someone leave a comment "your blog is great, check out mine!". I'm gonna offend here, but that's too much like pimping yourself out and that's not what I'm about and I pretty much steered clear of people that did that (unless their blogs were good) just on the principle of the matter. I added blogs that appealed to me. I'm not the type to add you just because you add me and I don't want others to do the same for me...it's too much high school gym where everyone's screaming, "pick me, please pick me!", but you're still the last one picked. Nuh-uh, I've lived through those years already thank you.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, that was mentally and physically exhausting, but I really did enjoy myself! I didn't really learn anything new from my blogging experience since I pretty much know Disney World like the back of my hand, but I guess I could say that I did learn that there are others who feel the same way that I do about WDW (and others who don't, but that's OK, to each his own) and, despite my comments to the contrary about appealing to the masses, I did find myself at times really wanting people to love WDW as much as I do! I hope I inspired people to go to Disney World, but I also hope they listened to me enough to know you have to PLAN or you will have a total crappy time, or worse, make my time in Disney crappy because you get in my way! Heed my words...Keebles is good, Keebles is wise and always let an Asper-girl have her way or there will be hell to pay - we tend to throw temper tantrums in public!

See ya next year A to Z Challenge (geez, I only have a year to come up with a new topic...OCD in full effect!). Thanks everybody!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I joined Twitter!

First off, since it's spring, it was time to lighten my page, so welcome to the new design! I've looked at design sites, but haven't found a pattern I like and, at least with Blogger, you can change it up to your specifications. There will probably be some tweaking in the next few days until I'm 100% happy with it, but I'll get there!

But on to the topic at hand, for those that don't know, I deleted my Facebook account about a year ago now because they tried to take $800 from my credit card for game play that I didn't do. They did give me my money back, but I was already disillusioned with Facebook because it just wasn't for me. Facebook is for social people, of which I'm not, or at least not in the sense that I could care less that someone is brushing their teeth before they go to bed, or the incessant bible verses from people I KNOW are NOT religious. It was extremely hard for my Asper-mouth not to spout off all the time and, in the end, the temptation was just too great! In all the years I was on FB (and trust me, it was a LONG time), I only had about 80 friends when I dropped it, most of which were people from high school and I HATED high school! I didn't care one iota what they were up to every second of every day, just as I'm sure they felt the same about me.

Quite by accident, through the Dis Boards no less, I met a person who had a blog! We began chatting and, my now good friend Vickie over at Reading and Stitching, suggested I try blogging myself and I've been hooked ever since! All of a sudden, I wasn't alone in my universe. I was no longer the outsider, the weirdo, the rebel anymore...there were others like me! Others who loved cross-stitching and Disney and Jane Austen and Duran Duran and Take That and, well, you get the point! With blogging, I don't have to hear about other people's day unless I want to go to their blog and other people don't have to hear about mine unless they visit me! It's a win-win situation! I've met some great people in the blog world and gained an amazing friend in Katy over at Momuboocrea Island and, her newest blog, The Suddenly Kate Show, as well as Abby over at The Tomboy Princess and how could I ever forget Joyce over at Random Ramblings (and numerous others)! I admit I'm total shite at commenting on others blogs, but I do actually read them...I just feel weird about commenting sometimes!

But, in today's world, it's pretty hard to not be a part of social media in some form or fashion. There are a lot of things I can't do because I'm not a member of Facebook anymore, and, that's just a sad comment on today's society that you can't not be a lemming and still function cyber-wise. I began looking for alternatives, I'd even considered re-joining FB, but, really, there is only one other option (I did try Google+, but how weird that is!), so, yesterday I joined Twitter! Mind you, I basically just want to follow famous people and follow my shows (which is all I wanted Facebook for) and probably my only tweets will be about my blog updates, but still I'm sticking my toe back in the waters of the world wide web (as scary as that is). Time will tell if it annoys the piss out of me as much as Facebook did!

I've added a Follow me button, but please don't feel obligated...I just wanted to link my two sites.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What to say when...rants glore!

I got asked a question today that I have been asked before and I'm always reluctant to answer it because people are all different (and boy is that true in my case!)..."we have never been to Disney World, but want to go, can you help?". First off, for the average person, explaining to a complete novice how to do Disney right, would be daunting, but add my Asperger's, OCD, and just general Disney obsessiveness, and it's a monstrous feat! It's incredibly difficult for me to express in layman's terms anyway, but add to that something that I'm incredibly passionate about and it can be (and has been) a recipe for disaster (at least for my practically non-existent social life, I'm isolated enough, no need to scare people off)!

But, being the typical sap that I am, of course I offered to help (well, to be honest, it was more of a chance to show off my Disney knowledge and not really caring a rat's ass for helping, but that's the Asper-girl for ya! At least I'm aware of it!). First question out of my mouth, "when were you thinking about going?". "Maybe next month" was the answer I got. If I could have picked my jaw up off the floor, I would have said "you stupid idiot! Even season veterans have trouble booking trips that soon, especially during the start of the busy season! Where do you think you're going, Six Flags?". Luckily, the time it took me to pick my jaw up allowed me time enough to compose myself just a bit, or at least enough to get out, "that's not possible". Then my Asper-brain takes over and panic sets in...why? Who knows! But I feel it's my moral obligation to set this chick straight!

I just said, "let's get back to that" and went on with the next question, "what's your budget like?". You'll never guess the answer that actually escaped her lips...come on...take a guess..."maybe about $500 for a family of four". It would cost more than than to drive to the beach and stay and do nothing! If I could have hit her, I would, but instead, I sat her down and gave her the Disney planning facts according to Keebs:

1) If at all possible, give yourself at least 8 to 12 months to plan - a resort has to be chosen, schedules have to be planned out, dining reservations are made at the 180 day mark, money has to be saved up, and the most important thing, research must be done (and if at all possible, before the other items can be taken care of)...especially for the person who has never been there before in their life.

I always recommend to people to either order the free Disney planning DVD, or watch videos on YouTube for different reasons...to learn the lay of the land so you don't end up lost, to get an idea of the sheer size, see which resort appeals to you, but for those with kids...you'd be surprised how many little ones completely FREAK out over the sight of a 5ft tall mouse! They have it in their little heads that Mickey is their size. If you acclimate your kids to seeing Mickey 5ft tall and playing with other kids, maybe they won't be so scared and those in line behind you don't have to miss their chance because your kid took up tons of time throwing a fit at the sight of Mickey! The characters are only out for a brief amount of time when they come out, so get in, get your pic and/or autograph and GET OUT!

I know I say this ad-nauseum, but Disney World is NOT Six Flags! The acreage used to be 47 square miles (but this has changed a bit since they sold off some conservation land), which is roughly twice the size of Manhattan! It has four theme parks, two water parks, four championship golf courses (used to be five, but the fifth is where the new rich-people subdivision is going - Golden Oak), two miniature golf courses, a Wide World of Sports complex, a Nascar racing area, a Downtown shopping district, and last, but definitely not least, eight Deluxe Resorts (as well as their DVC counterparts and not counting the Swan and Dolphin), three moderate resorts (depending on whether or not you count Port Orleans as one, if you count it as two, then make that four moderates), five values (if you add the new Art of Animation and count the All Stars separately), there are seven (about to be eight) DVC resorts (Disney's version of a time share, a campground, then you have the Swan and Dolphin, which is on property, but not run by Disney, Shades of Green (the military family resort), seven good neighbor hotels, and they are building a Four Seasons in the middle of Golden Oak. To make a long story short (too late!), Disney World is HUGE! Now, why on earth would you want to figure out what to see and do in a month?

2) I've discussed the on-site, off-site debate before, but since I'm in a mood because of this, I'm gonna do it again anyway. People look at prices of Disney resorts and go, "I'm not paying that! We'll just stay off-site". Yeah...save a buck on your room (unless you own property or have a time share, which BTW, can be exchanged for DVC points). Now that you've saved yourself money, add to that the hour to and from everyday that you'll loose, the $14 per day parking fee, and the lack of access to Disney transport (don't make me go into THAT again). You can't go back to your room for a midday break without wasting two hours in transport time, you can't take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours because that's for resort guests, you can't have your packages shipped back to your resort so you don't have to carry them around all day...need I go on? Yes, you pay more for a Disney resort, but you get more, and the higher the level (i.e. deluxe), the more benefits you get!! It has been proven, that in the long run with time and money, it actually costs more to stay off-site, you just don't feel it because you are paying it over time instead of upfront.

3) Save, save, save! It ain't cheap to go to WDW, and I wouldn't be able to go like I do without my benefactor, aka sissy extraordinaire, Am! But, having said that, Disney is one of the few places that means it when they say, "you get what you pay for"! Sure, a burger might cost you $10, but it's usually a bacon-double cheeseburger with a generous side of fries, a drink and most places have fixin' bars, so you can pile it as high as you'd like! And yes, you pay $2.50 for a bottle of water, but you gotta have a rock-gut to drink the water in central Florida...to an outsider, it smells like sewer water that has been over-chlorinated!

4) Plan, plan, plan! If you don't plan, don't get pissed off because you end up in the middle of Pop Warner, or the cheerleaders, or Gay Days (which I would think would be no big deal, but I've already discussed this as well, some people equate it to Sodom and Gomorrah), or the parks are closing early for special parties you didn't buy tickets for, or it's so crowded the parks are closed for capacity issues (another great on-site perk, you will be allowed entry (although maybe not to the park of your choice), even if it's at capacity), it's the middle of hurricane season, you can't get into a restaurant because you didn't make reservations, your stuck in one park all day because you didn't get a park hopper option added to your ticket...or my absolute favorite idiot non-planning snafu...you only went to the Magic Kingdom because you didn't know there were three other parks (yes, I know someone who actually did that!).

Which brings up a rant...Magic Kingdom is NOT Disney World...yes, in 1980 it was because it was all that was there, but times have changed and it drives me biszonker nuts to hear someone call the Magic Kingdom Disney World (or worse, Disneyland...that's in California). "Where did you go today?", I ask, "well, we went to the giant golf ball place and Wild Kingdom and Disney Studios (the only one they ever get right), and then Disney World"...UGH! Prepare to get a lecture if you say that to my face!! You were just there! Surely you noticed the multitude of signs and maps telling you exactly where you were!

5) And the final Keebs tip, reach out to others who have been there and can give your their tips! You may think it won't be helpful, but there will always come a time in Disney where you wish you knew more than you did (I still get that sometimes) and it's always better to learn from someone else's mistake rather than make the mistake yourself. But I do have to warn you, don't reach out to me unless you're serious, are willing to listen to everything I tell you, and follow my advice!

So, back to today's idiot, I give her my spiel, I could tell she was half listening anyway, and this point got reiterated when she said the following after I asked, "how long were you thinking about going for?"...prepare yourself..."four days, but we also want to go to Sea World, Universal, and Cape Canaveral, that should be plenty of time, right?" (her words, not mine). Ugh...re paragraph 3 under heading 1. She really didn't take it well when I said, "even for a Disney vet, minimum 2 days Magic Kingdom, 2 days Epcot, 1 day a piece for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, and 1 day for Downtown...not including anything extra you might want to do on property. Add another 2 days for Universal, 1 day minimum for Sea World, and an extra day to drive to Cape and that's a minimum of 11 days and you still won't come CLOSE to seeing everything. You could spend a month in Disney World and not see everything there is to see there alone. In my opinion, save Univeral, Sea World and Cape for another time or do it instead of Disney". Finally I could see the Six Flags veil disappearing from the whites of her eyes!

After explaining all this stuff, of course I get the usual reaction "well, if it's that much trouble, we won't go!". This is where a normal person would probably answer, "oh no, you HAVE to go! It's the most magical place on earth!", which is completely true. There is no place in the world like it. But that's not the answer I gave..."well, if your not gonna put in the time, you probably shouldn't, because you won't have fun, and might ruin someone else's time". Yep, I said it! I wish everyone who didn't really want to be there or wasn't enjoying themselves were suddenly magically whisked away to "away from me land" so I can enjoy my trip without listening to the person next to me bitch about how much it costs, or what they didn't get to do, blaa, blaa, blaa.

In the end, she decided she needed to discuss it with her husband more (especially since they have already told their kids they are going...BAD move!). I told her I'd still help her, but she needed to be serious and put it off a bit. Then she proceeds to tell me, "we could go in October like you! Someone told my husband about a really cool and scary Halloween Party", and here I thought she was gonna say Mickey's Not So Scary since she has two young children, but instead she goes, "at Universal". Now my blood pressure is rising..."Halloween Horror Nights is for 18 years and older, no children allowed because of the serious and scary nature of the scenes...hell, we're too scared to go!" (scared wasn't the right word, because Am and I are both into horror, but I have this bad habit of punching first and asking questions later when someone jumps out at me, it's just my natural reaction, my defense mechanism if you will). She then goes off on a rant that they can't bar her children if they go, she has rights...I just walked off.

She is a hopeless, lost case and I for one, hope she doesn't go anywhere near Disney World! I have this message on my bulletin board at work..."Walt Disney World - for those that get it, no explanation necessary, for those that don't, no explanation possible". Words to live by. And the first thing out of my mouth when someone says they didn't like WDW is, "well, if you have a bad time at Disney, it's probably your fault and not theirs", and once they tell me their story (for some unknown reason they think I care), it just adds merit to my motto!

Soapbox dismount.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MNSSHP Tix finally on sale!

Not only are the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party dates officially out, but I got our tickets today as well! As per usual, they are outrageously priced, and I had to get two sets of two, so don't even ask the cost, but it's worth every single penny (or at least I'll think that when we're there!).

We decided to go to the first party the night before we officially arrive, so I went ahead and booked a value resort for one night only...yes, you heard that correctly...I booked a value resort! It will be my first time, and I'm hoping since it's the new Art of Animation resort, it won't be so bad! We're gonna stay in the Little Mermaid section (my second to last choice...Cars being the last), but it's the only one that doesn't have family suites (which we don't need for one night). I just figured if we stayed on property, it will make things a lot easier...we can use the bus transport (and don't make me rant about non-resort guests using the bus service - there is barely enough room for resort guests and I admit I get a kick out of it when a non-resort guest gets asked for their Key To The World card before entering (even though I've only seen it happen 3 times) and they end up getting refused because they don't have one! And it's really hilarious when they start trying to fight with the bus driver!). Then we can transfer easily to Wilderness Lodge the next morning (even though the room won't be ready, but we can get our passes, they'll hold the bags, and we can go straight to the parks until the room gets ready!).

I still have to work out the departing night details! We've got ressies at Le Cellier (yea!) at 5:30, so do we stay at Epcot, go to Downtown for one final shopping spree and then get a room off property for the night, or do we drive home that night. Or do we do another night at a value? If we drive home, what about all our purchases? We can't leave them in the vehicle while we're in the park...one of the main points of driving is so we don't have to box things up, but it's looking like that's what we'll have to do if we leave the bags at baggage services. If we do get another room, we can transfer bags and stuff there first, but that's gonna take up a good 2-3 hours of the day. Trying to figure out this part of the drip is really doing my head in!