Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Small progress

To say I did a little stitching tonight is an understatement, but at least I got something to share:

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I was more excited about getting a pic of my favorite hidden Mickey of Zachary's:
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He's covered in 'em, no matter which way he turns, but this one is the best!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's official!!!

Disney World is booked! We are officially going...brain tumor or not! Now I've got something else to focus on! Plans to be made, restaurants to pick, schedules to make! So exciting!

The basic restaurants have already been decided upon...some are non-negotiable...Le Cellier, Artist Point, Raglan Road. I'm thinking for our Animal Kingdom day we'll do Yak & Yeti, Am wants to do Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios, but I can't STAND BD, so she's gonna do lunch there and I'm gonna do something else for lunch that day. We are definitely doing the Indian Burial Ground Tea. But as a change up, I'm thinking that since Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney is getting a makeover, maybe we'll do it...I was already thinking T-Rex anyway and they are basically the same thing except for the theming. I was also thinking Coral Reef in Epcot..we haven't done that in a while and despite it's reviews, we've always had good experiences there. I always like to throw in at least one new choice each trip, but it's getting harder and harder to do that!! We've just about done all the ones that would interest us! I'd like to try Cat Cora's, but I think it's too "olive" for Am (she HATES olives)! She mentioned Flying Fish, and I thought Cat Cora's took over FF, but I was wrong (been too long out of the Disney loop I guess). We did the new restaurant in Mexico last time and it was good, so that's an option. There is a new restaurant in Italy and they are revamping the old one, so those might be options as well.

The ones on the forever NO-NO list are Sommerfest in Germany (bad food poisoning incident when Am and the fam went years ago), Wolfgang Puke's (yes, I did spell that wrong - on purpose), I don't like Japanese and I did it last time for Am, but I can't bare it again, Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco, rude service, bad food, rude service, oh, and did I mention rude service? Tony's Town Square in Magic Kingdom...never a positive experience there, 50's Prime Time Cafe in the Hollywood Studios - Google it, you'll see why, and any character meal...too many kids, for however long the characters are at your table the entire restaurant is staring at you, your meal keeps getting interrupted, need I go on?

Next month October schedule will come out, so days can be planned then. One planning gaff I always seem to manage is never being at the Magic Kingdom in the morning...gotta not do that this time. Plus, with flying, you loose half a day coming and going and driving we won't be doing that! And I may have to hog-tie her, but we will be spending an entire day with extra magic hours in Animal Kingdom...hear me Am, you must grant your brain-tumor suffering sister this wish (even though you are paying for the trip and we are taking your vehicle, and you are making this all possible, man, I'm stooping low now, huh!).

We've decided to drive straight there, stay somewhere off property, then head in first thing. Same thing with leaving, stay till the end of the last day, stay somewhere off property, then drive home. So that technically gives us another full day! But, for the first time ever, we will be able to go to the outlets, might do that on the way in, it would totally suck to find things in the outlets that we paid double for in the parks after the fact!

Anyhoo, enough rambling for now, I'm headache hungover and tired. No stitching progress to report, unfortunately. I'll get my stitching mojo back, just a lot going on right now. I have enjoyed looking at everyone else's progress! I'm crap at leaving comments, but I look all the time! That will be another good thing about going to WDW, Jasmine Beckett-Griffith, my current favorite artist and creator of my little Highland girl, is based in Orlando and has work at the gallery at Downtown Disney! I might get lucky and catch her there! It would be great to finish my stitch and run into her and have her sign it, but the odds of getting that huge HAED done are a million to one unless I work on it 24/7!

I also need to start up my reviews of Disney World again. Maybe tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ferg-id can hide no more!

Well, here he is folks! The illustrious Ferg-id Quinn! It's true what they say, pictures really do add weight because he looks huge!!

Ferg-id_filtered

The neurosurgeon has given him a 6 month reprieve. He gets to live in my head for at least that much longer then I have another MRI and we'll see. Part of me is pissed off...I don't want this thing in my head, part of me is relieved, I don't want my skull cracked open. It's a catch 22!

Oh well, gotta get to work!

Video: Ferg-id dedication

It seems like forever since I posted a video, and I know I'm boring when it comes to videos...it's either Take That or Darren Hayes, but I can't help it! But lately, because of stupid Ferg-id (and for those that don't know...Ferg-id is the name of my menginioma), it's been really hard for me to listen to music because it's just too much sensory overload. So, in light of tomorrow's (or I guess since it's almost 3 am, I should say today's visit to the neurosurgeon), here's a video dedication to little Ferg-id with my most heart-felt love! The lyrics to both fit pretty darn good!!

Darren should ALWAYS be heard live. Period.


And since another song is on my mind and I'm apparently going far back in time...let's add another one...a very young (and probably very stoned) Mark Owen (God, even stoned, he's totally hot!). I would do a Take That song, but theirs tend to be a bit too lovey dovey and Mark's solo stuff is far more in tune with me anyway lyrically (although I swear Darren Hayes sneaks into my head when I'm not looking because that man writes my life!):

TUSAL show off time

Well, here it is, my poor pitiful Ort...it's grown about the same size as Ferg-id! HA! I was hoping if I put it against the right background, you couldn't tell that there is very little difference from this month and last month and so I was right!
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Also, my newest acquisition:
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Thanks to everyone for your kind words for my progress this last IHSW! At least they may me feel not so bad for my crappy progress! Maybe once I have at least a somewhat clear head (well, minus a med or two, the lump, I'm afraid, still has his fate undecided), I'll get back to my master progress! I miss those days of finishing a page a weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guess what I got?!?!

I did it! I got the Lion King Kinkade cross stitch! Believe it or not, they had it at my local po-dunk Hobby Lobby and I got the last one!! Plus, I had my 40% off coupon, so I only paid about $22 for it!! Whoo-hoo! I'll add it to my stash tonight when I do my TUSAL post!

I just needed to take a work break because I'm having a freak out moment...tomorrow is the big day with the neurosurgeon! I'm terrified he won't take out the tumor, I'm terrified he will take it out...I'm debating whether or not to break my 7 year long split with my father to let him know I have a lump in my head (although someone else would have to do it for me because I'm not gonna be the first to break...I DO have my Scottish pride and I'll only let someone else cross the picket line if I have surgery!). Basically, I had my first night without my Effexor and I'd probably be freaking anyway. The night before I visit the neurosurgeon probably wasn't the best time to get off the most addictive anti-depressant on the market!

But hey, on the plus side, I had a night last night filled with nightmare after nightmare and woke up about every 20 minutes, only to lapse into yet another nightmare! Oh wait, is that a plus? Well, compared to tomorrow's happenings...yeah, kind of a plus! I'm opting to weening slowly, one pill every other day for about two weeks, then complete stoppage...so we'll just see.

Oh well, back to work...8:30 am (heaven help me) is the verdict on Ferg-id's fate and I gotta get outta here sometime! Wish me luck guys!

DEATH TO FERG-ID QUINN!

TUSAL post to follow when I get home!

Monday, February 20, 2012

What a productive IHSW!

Just not in the stitching foray! Sorry! I did stitch...on Saturday I worked on the 35th Anniversary stitch and got to here:
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And Sunday I worked on my little Highland girl and got a lot more done:
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So a little bit of stitch work. I'm just surprised I made it two days without a headache!! The progress I did make was in the house work area. I figured I'd better get what I could get done now while I felt like it. But not only did I get the house clean and shiny, but I managed to get a certain child of mine de-hippied!!

Before:
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and his cute little butt after:
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Trust me, he's not as miserable as he looks in the second "after" pic! He HATES his picture taken (he comes by it naturally)!

I have definitely decided it's time to say goodbye to the Effexor. I'm pretty sure it's why my stitching is suffering, my work is suffering, and everything else is suffering...my OCD kept me motivated and the Effexor is taming it way too much. All I want to do is sit on my butt and do nothing but watch TV (and I pretty much do just that). I've never seen my OCD as a bad thing, if anything, it's one of my finer attributes...it keeps all my bad traits in check, including the Asperger's. And even though the Effexor is helping tame the Asperger's too, the risks far out-weigh the benefits. I'm just not me anymore, which is what I knew would happen. Problem with Effexor is, it speaks for you and wants you to keep taking it. Last time I was at the neuro, I had to control myself to keep from asking him to up the dosage! This may be what I would be like if I were a "normal" person, but I'm not now, nor will I ever be normal and, quite frankly, I don't want to be if this is what normality is (or at least normality for me)! At least when I'm the real "me" I have passion and goals and a head full of magnificent uselessness! I want it all back! Now I just have to ween myself off it again. Maybe since I've only been taking it for a month and a half and only 75mg, I can quit it quicker than last time. I guess only time will tell. But NO MORE ANTI-DEPRESSANTS!! I AM NOT DEPRESSED! Anti-depressants seriously fuck up people who aren't depressed and especially people who are already fucked up and also not depressed! I haven't been depressed since I was a teenager and I ain't about to start now!

Oh, and Vickie, I am SOOO jealous you got the Lion King Kinkade before me!!! (Like how I shifted gears there...yep...there might still be a bit of crazy left in me yet!).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

IHSW!



It's that time again for IHSW! I've had a pretty rough day head-wise, but at least I was smart enough this time to wait until the bosses left to take the big-bad drugs! I'm gonna try my hardest to do some stitching this weekend, but I make no promises! I think I might work on my little Scottish lass again for a while and see how it goes, but probably not tonight. Still have a bit more work to do before I can go home and I have GOT to clean my house! Being sick does not a clean house make!! Hopefully by tomorrow things will feel better "upstairs" and I'll be ready to stitch! Good luck everybody!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What a week!

First off...my wonderful Sister took my last post to heart because this arrived at work yesterday:
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But then, she had to take me to the ER with a massive headache (the first time I have ever a-been to the ER with a headache and b-missed work because of one). This headache was completely different than the ones I'm used to though, and, upon reflection, it scared me as well (although I was Miss Brave Pants at the time).

I've learned that hydrocodone is a completely useless drug and I don't know why people kill to get it, so I hit the Stadol yesterday, which I have a different reaction to everytime...yesterday was apparently stoner reaction day. That put one of my doc bosses in total freak out mode - they usually aren't around when I'm having a bad headache (or I hide it well), but it's really hard to hide stoner mode! Needless to say, by the end of the day, he had my sister up here, had me rushed into the ER, and had me an appointment scheduled with the neurosurgeon for next week! Sometimes it's good to have connections (sometimes, it's just annoying because they get all up in your business).

I think the most important lesson I learned yesterday was suffer through the headache until the coast is clear to use the Stadol or you'll end up in the ER! Can't wait till that bill shows up! But then again, between the MRI last week and the CT they did in the ER, I'm sure I've met my insurance stop loss and any future med costs for the year should be covered!

But, hats off to Am, baby sis of the year, for putting up with her useless big sis!

And oh, BTW, in case you were wondering, that is my desk at work covered in Disney crap and that is just the tip of the iceberg! And you thought my house was bad!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy make single people feel inferior day!

I'm happy to be single...after my marriage, I'm lucky I didn't end up in a convent (only with my religious views they'd kick me out in about 2 seconds!).

But watching the worst of the office people get roses and flowers and bears and balloons all day can really make even the most content single person feel worthless!

T took me out for dinner on Sunday and we spent the day shopping as a Valentine's treat, but T is my best friend and I love him...like family (which, in my case, means my Sister since she's the only real family I got), doesn't really count in the romance department!

Normally I don't care, but must there be a holiday that shoves it in our face?  I'd like to get a dozen purple roses just because someone loves me and not because it was my birthday one year and my aunt got them on sale (and it was only a half dozen).

This must be the work of Ferg-id, making me feel things I normally wouldn't care crap about!  I've made it through dozens of Valentine's Days and haven't cared before!  Either that or it's the meds!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Resort/restaurant review - Indian Burial Ground Resort

I've had enough dealing with Ferg-id and his erratic moods.   It's time to get back into full Disney mode!

I'm going to do a review of a resort I've never actually stayed at, but I've taken tea at several times, The Indian Burial Ground Resort, or, as most people know it, The Grand Floridian Resort And Spa.

I guess I should first explain why I call it The Indian Burial Ground Resort!  Ever been to a place that gives you a "vibe"?  My spidey-sense is stronger than most people.  Most Asper-girls typically have stronger than normal senses;  hearing, vision (except in my case, I have keratoconus so my vision totally sucks), smell, taste, touch, and some have a stronger sixth sense as well (a higher than normal sensitivity to energy, not psychic, 98% of psychics are fakes).  But this energy sensitivity is why Asper-girls aren't keen on people...their energy can be overwhelming and also why we are good judges of character - you can lie through your teeth about who you are, but your energy can't be faked.  Another reason why a lot of Asper-kids don't like to be touched...they don't understand why people make them feel weird so they shy away from people coming near them...I'm still that way, I don't like to be touched, I'd prefer people keep their juju to themselves!  But I digress.

Now, to clarify, I've never felt or seen a ghost at the GF, it's just a negative vibe over the whole complex...like Gettysburg or New Orleans or The Biltmore or Arlington or Key West or any other site with a history.

Moving on...Here it is from the beach at the Polynesian - it's modeled after the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego (another famously haunted location BTW).

Here's the tea room:

Here's our spread...depending on what package your get, you get different options,  but we usually do the Grand Tea.  Normally I prefer a dark black tea, but they have a special Garden View blend (that you can also buy in a tin to take home, as well as all the other teas they sell) that is pretty similar to a Lady Grey with the citrus-y Bergamot flavor, but it has hints of Assam and Keemun as well.  I'm a total tea snob and I really love this tea...that says a lot!


We've done it several times and plan on doing it again this trip since we didn't do it last time.  It's definitely well worth the experience!

If you'd like to peruse the choices, here's the direct link at All Ears for the menu.

Now, as far as the resort itself goes, Am and Matt stayed their for their anniversary and she loves it (but keep in mind this is a girl who's not only been to the real Hotel del Coronado, but the Queen Mary, the Biltmore, The Winchester House and numerous other haunted locations...and has no problems, she actually enjoys them...need I say more?  And people say I'm the weird one!).

So there you go...The Indian Burial Ground Resort!  If you have no qualms about high energy locations, give it a shot!  It is a beautiful resort, it has some great shops (and it's own private Basin store), but, if you are like me, just spend an hour in the tea room...the lingering energy wears off pretty quickly once you get back into a park!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Setting the record straight...

OK folks, look...I haven't had any probs from my cyber friends because I think that ya'll read my blog and apparently understand me better than my apparent "real" friends and the people I'm around everyday.  But for the others, the ones who have taken my last post in a completely offensive vain...in the simplest terms...screw you!  I'm not going to get upset about something I have no control over and play the martyr, and if you knew me at all, you'd know that!  If one more person comes up to me and tells me I really shouldn't joke about my condition, I'm gonna punch them!

With everything I've been through in my life, one more log on the so-called funeral pyre isn't gonna cause me to scream louder! Christ-all-mighty!  Get a grip people!  I'm not a whiner or a wailer and I'm not about to start now!  So I have a mass in my head...I can't fix it, and crying 24/7 won't make it better, so why not make myself feel better by telling a joke or two?  Where is the harm in laughing about it?  It's my mass to laugh at, not yours!  It's my life being affected, not yours!  It's my cross to bear and if I choose to decorate it with sequins and glitter and Mickey Mouse heads, then by God, then so I shall!

Trust me, I am taking this situation very seriously...but I can't control it, so why make myself even sicker worrying about it?  And to those (you know who you are) who are planning my funeral as we speak...THIS IS ABOUT ME, NOT YOU!!!  For once, the world doesn't revolve around you!

Soapbox dismount...but my temper is still flared and if I get a headache because I'm pissed about this...well, that IS on your head!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Here's what I know...

absolutely nothing...say it again...WAR!  Sorry...couldn't help myself!  Spoke with the doctor's nurse this morning and as of now, we are in watch the mass grow mode.  I feel like my head should be a clear glass dome so everyone can get a look!  If it grows quickly, then we'll discuss Delta team extraction methods, but otherwise, watch the enemy and report to headquarters any activity...do not engage, repeat, do not engage!

I go back to the neuro in March and we'll see what he says then (plus, I'm taking Delta team leader Am in to light a fire under the general's arse so that extraction can occur sooner rather than later...there might have to be a black op mission in my future!).

The mass more than likely has been there most of my life and has just now decided that it is time to grow up and be a big-boy meningioma, so I though it should have a big-boy meningioma name, Ferg-id Quinn, after the three doctors at work that have caused me the most stress - they most likely are the ones injecting Ferg-id with his steroid shots...Ferg and id daily! 

Besides, Ferg-id has opened up a whole new line of jokes!  I've spent most of the day rambling on about the battle between Ferg-id and Clan Blair (that's me since I'm Scottish)...the big bad meningioma attacking the little (ok, big) Highland girl inside her protective fortress (that being my head)!   Ferg-id may be winning this battle, but he won't win the war!  You don't mess with a Scottish lass!

On the med front, wow, are the new ones scary!  People have gone to rehab for less than what I'm carrying in my purse!  I'm scared to take them!  I don't see the point in medicating me to the point of near death, while I still sit around waiting for the next headache (which is just around the corner), constantly have a completely numb face and mouth, periodically loose vision in my left eye, and now I'm starting to loose feeling in my limbs during headaches, when all could be fixed with just some quick sword-play by a surgeon!  I absolutely REFUSE to get the point where I'm having seizures before they do anything!  There are few things in life I'm scared of medical wise, seizures are one of them!  I spend most of my time alone which is bad for seizure sufferers and, although I'm not scared of dying, I don't want to be found like that (of course I would be worried about how I would look to the cute paramedics carrying me off to the morgue, after that point I'm not too worried, since I'm in the pathology business, it's all family from there...but then again, the real Ferg and Id will get their peek-a-boo's in...hmm, nope, not too thrilled about that either).

On a good note though (there is one?), T is taking me out this weekend for dinner and shopping (to buy a certain Brit an American care package that I've been promising!), so maybe Ferg-id will not puff up this weekend and ruin things like he has been lately!

DOWN WITH THE FERG-ID!  LONG LIVE CLAN BLAIR!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Well...don't panic...but...

I haven't received actual word from my doctor yet, but I know the results of my MRI and its good news, and bad news.  Do you want the bad or the good first?  Good?  OK..."it's not a tumor" (she says in her best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression).   Bad?  There is a mass there.  Best they can tell, it's a benign left frontal lobe dural meningioma (but that comes from a third source "in the know" aka, my sis, - our medical community is quite small and we're all connected "in the great circle of life", aka, I gotta a lot of family in the biz as well as myself). 

I wish I could tell you more, but until I talk to my neuro, I really won't know more.  It's more than likely the cause of my headaches, and I'd rather them take it out.  I'm sick of this!  I did a little net search (never a good idea with medical things BTW), and 10% of them can be cancerous (yea me), but I'm not gonna think like that!  But I have already warned Am that if it is cancerous, she is NOT allowed to sell my Duck stuff!  She is burdened to keep it FOREVER!!

My Mother doesn't know yet and we're not sure how to tell her, so don't ya'll do it (T - this means YOU!).

More info to follow when I know more!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Oh my stupid head!

Just when I think it can't get any worse, it does!  Luckily, I ended up with a doosy of a headache when I went to the neuro this morning and he dosed up pretty good!  But, on the bad side, I got a complete change of meds all across the board almost, which drives me insane!  Surely, if I keep on with these massive cocktails of drugs, my liver is gonna shut down!  The new cocktail is less drugs, but about 10x stronger!  People have gone to rehab for less than what I'm on!  I'm not a druggie, so I hate it!  But what else can I do?  I have a high tolerance for pain, but there is a limit, even for me!

On another bad side, I'm scheduled for an MRI in the morning (7:30 am to be precise...me...7:30 am...awake...HA!).  I am terrified and not for the reason you think!  I'm scared to death to go by myself to a new place!  Damn social disorder!  I don't care that I'm being put in a machine that's basically a giant coffin with a huge magnet in it (actually, I kind of like that part...I like enclosed places and the magnet might reset my internal alignment), or that they are gonna inject me with dyes that are gonna travel into my brain...oh no...I'm terrified of talking to strangers and going to a new place, a place that I pass everyday going to and from work!  Am I terrified I might have a brain tumor which is what is causing my headaches...nope (ok, maybe a little)...I'm scared to death of possibly taking my clothes off and putting on a gown (or worse, doing it in front of a man tech)!  And the worst thing of all?  What if I don't fit in the machine?!?!  I've heard that some "pooh-sized" people don't fit!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Small stitch update

Got very little done this weekend! Problem with the zombie meds is that they diminish my OCD and that's my stitch motivator!! Me and the Neuro are gonna have a little talk about that tomorrow!!

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Plus, this dark fabric is a huge pain! How do ya'll do it?

Disney - A way of life

I wanted to do a blog about Disney people and non-Disney people, because in my world, other than my family, I am pretty much the only "Disney" person I know.

I have a note card on my bulletin board at work that says "Disney World, for those that get it, no explanation needed, for those that don't, no explanation possible". This is the truest statement if there ever was one. Disney, for me, is a spiritual journey. Having Asperger's I don't feel much. But at Disney, I laugh, I cry, I feel happy, I feel mucho pain (mainly in my feet!), but, the point is, I FEEL. That's major for me.

I've known people who have gone to Disney and come back totally not impressed, complaining that the food was too expensive, couldn't get into any restaurants, the rides weren't thrilling enough, the lines were too long, it was too hot, it rained everyday, everything was just too expensive, the roads were too congested, blaa, blaa, blaa. I'm about to address these points, probably out of order, but bear with me to the bear end (Country Bears reference, told you I'm in the Disney zone!).

My first thought when I hear this? "You obviously didn't plan". You wouldn't take a trip to Europe and not plan would you? And yet you would be surprised how many times when I ask them, "well, did you plan ahead?", I always get the answer back "why no, it's just an amusement park!". First off...Disney World is NOT an amusement park, it's a THEME park...four of them to be precise, spread out over what used to be 47 square miles (but this has changed since the recent land sales, so the current figures are unknown). This means Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan!!

This the official property map from Disney:
official property map

And this is a screenshot from Bing of the Wilderness Lodge from the air (a good size itself as you can tell from the cars):
WL map

And here is the entire property - the little itty bitty purple arrow points to the Lodge to give you perspective on the property's size:
Disney map

The best point of reference that I can give is this one - the purple is Disney, the pink is Universal Studios, and the green is Sea World (which are huge parks in and of themselves):
Disney map 2

OK, I think I've made my point about the sheer massive size of Disney World, now onto the other points. Point two I think was food and prices. Here again, planning. Every single Disney website, official or fan, screams from it's four mountain tops...Splash, Space, Big Thunder, and Everest (ha! inside Disney joke!), to MAKE DINING RESERVATIONS! There are also numerous sites that not only have current menus, but also have menu pricing! Yes, you may pay $10 for a burger at Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland In the Magic Kingdom, but the burger is HUGE! You get what you pay for at Disney (just don't drink the water! It smells like swamp water and tastes like pure chlorine! I'll happily pay $2.50 for a bottle of water!). Disney dining reservations are made at 120 days before your trip and some restaurants book fast. For my time zone, I have to be online at 3 am at the 120 point and still can't manage to get into certain restaurants. But you can keep trying and trying and hopefully someone will cancel and you can get in.

And while I'm on the subject of dining...luckily this is a mute point now because the new booking system doesn't allow double-booking (but some people still do it under different reservations if they are traveling with others), I do want to address the subject. When people double-book a restaurant, usually because they don't know where they will want to eat on a particular night, it keeps other people from being able to book that restaurant...it's selfish and rude and I'm glad they fixed it where not only will it cancel your second booking, but it will also cancel your first booking as well so you loose both reservations! I've always thought of it as, "on Wednesday we're eating Le Cellier" and I gear myself up to eat it", not, "hmmm, wonder if I'll want steak tonight?". You can't think like that in WDW. Off rant (for now).

Next point...weather. Come on! It's central Florida! It's hot and muggy and it rains! Duh! There are certain times of the year you can go, however, when it has it's cooler days and doesn't rain as much. Here again...PLAN! And a lot of these softer weather times have the best entertainment...Flower and Garden Festival in March and April, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in Sept/Oct (my personal fave), and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in Nov/Dec.

Nowadays, people take their children out of school to go on vacation instead of waiting until the summer time (a sore spot with me, but apparently Am and I disagree on this point...I think education is more important, she thinks family time is...you say tomato). That argument is as mute as religion, it's a matter of personal preference, but needless to say, no matter what time of year you go, there are kids there, so for those (like me) who don't particularly care for the little ones, be prepared, they are always there! Plus, other countries have different school let out times, so, depending when you go, there might be an influx of foreigners (which I mind less, unless it's tour groups and that's a whole other ballgame...stay far far away when they are there!).

OK, moving on...rides not being thrilling...Disney is a family park, not a teen park or an adult park or a kid park. It's made for all ages! I'm a roller coaster person and have been on a "real" roller coaster and Disney's coasters aren't the "real" thing, but some come close. The point is, all rides can be ridden with all family members (well, most rides providing you meet the height requirement - another sore spot with me - if you kid isn't tall enough, don't force it, it's a safety issue! I wish I had a dime for everytime I saw a parent fighting with a CM over their kid not being tall enough to ride a ride! Would you want your kid to get hurt because they were too small for the safety equipment to adequately contain them? Idiots! Which brings up another idiot parent move - forcing your child to ride something they don't want to...ugh! It's bad enough having to watch the episode play out, but to have to sit in a car behind a screaming child ruins the ride for other people! Then, having to listen to the kid go, "that wasn't so bad, can we do it again?" and the parent going "I told you so!", only my ride was completely ruined listening to the the entire scream-fest! Off topic again, sorry!).

Another side note, as a "large" person, or "pooh-sized" as we are referred to via Disney speak, Disney World is the first park I have ever been to that caters to pooh-sized people!! There is not a ride I can't ride or a place I can't go! Back when I was married and quite a bit larger than I am now, I had a very embarrassing episode at Six Flags St. Louis where I was asked to leave a ride because the safety bar wouldn't go down over my stomach! Can you imagine how horrible that was?! It was a long time before I went to another park after that (as a matter of fact, Disney was the next park I went to). I can't go to Universal Studios because most rides there I can't fit into (plus, I wouldn't go anyway as a matter of loyalty to Disney, but I would like to see the Harry Potter stuff, but I'm not going until I can fit on the rides, which will probably be never).

I'm not even gonna get into the roads being too congested discussion because I've already made my point about that in a previous blog...stay on property! That way you can use Disney transportation (don't use it if you're not staying on property BTW...see aforementioned blog) and get around without having to drive and you don't worry about the road congestion! Yes, there are times where you get a bad bus driver who doesn't know where he's going and end up trapped on a bus with a bunch of drunks from Downtown Disney at 1 am for over an hour, but that's only happened once and hopefully never again! But if you have to stay off property, prepare for the toll roads! Florida doesn't have state taxes, so they have to collect money somehow! And living in a state that has taxes, I'd much rather have toll roads instead! Plus, if you have reservations at Animal Kingdom and you are staying in a Magic Kingdom resort, don't wait until 20 minutes before your reservations to get a bus! It might take an hour to get there since they are all the way across property from one another! Plan appropriately!

And finally, the money issue. I only go to Disney once a year because it takes an entire year to save up enough money to go. And, if Am didn't pay for the actual trip, I probably wouldn't be able to do that! Why, you ask? My Disney obsession stems from my love for the duck! Remember the infamous duck room I keep mentioning? Here's a teaser of it's contents:

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And I wish I could say that was all I had...that's only part of the room and a wide shot. I also have a Mickey bathroom, my bedroom is princesses and villains and there are numerous other thing spread throughout the house. If it wasn't so cool, it would be just sad! I'm what one would call an "organized hoarder"! A hoarder with OCD might be better?

But anyhoo...just because I shop like a total maniac, doesn't mean you have to too! Donald merchandise is rare, so I buy it up like crazy! Even Aurora merch is limited. I always choose the least liked characters, I guess! And yes, everytime you exit a ride, you are pretty much gonna exit through a gift shop, but hey, if it wasn't that way, then when you left Mickey's Philharmagic (which should be called Donald's Philharmagic, BTW), there wouldn't be a completely Donald themed gift shop, so there you go! Here's a pic of it:

Oh, and before you ask, no, there is nothing I won't take a picture of in WDW. Don't believe me? One of my favorite tile designs, can you guess where it's at?
Did you guess? It's the bathroom outside of Lights Motor Action at the end of Streets Of America in the Disney Hollywood Studios! Yep, that's right folks, a bathroom! But hey, it's a rarely used bathroom, so good tip there!

As another side note, our favorite thing to take pictures of? People that dress like total idiots! So be careful what you wear to Disney, or you just might end up in our collection! You'd be surprised what people will wear in public! Off topic again, I know!

Let me just shut up here because I have pics to work on, but in conclusion, I don't get the non-getters of Disney. I think it says a lot about a person's character if Disney doesn't affect you. If it can take a closed off person like me and open me up, even if only for a little while, than what kind of person must they be that have no reaction whatsoever? I know people who have been and didn't like it, and I do group them into two categories: those who didn't plan but could have a good time; and those who are hopeless. The hopeless people I stay away from because, like I said, it says a lot about their character, at least from my point of view. They have a distinct type of aura anyway and I can tell those people from a mile off. They wouldn't be the type I would associate with anyway. I'm an excellent judge of character (a few notable exceptions excluding) and Disney is definitely a good measure of character!

I've helped a lot of people plan their Disney trips and I'm always surprised when people first tell me that they are going to WDW and ask me questions, how little they know, and would not have known had they not have asked me! I do tend to overwhelm them at first, but once I load them up with the necessary tools, I haven't had one unsatisfied customer yet!

My Disney motto is: "If you have a bad time at Walt Disney World, it's your fault, not theirs!". It's one I stand by!

Soapbox dismount!

Lodge walk thru video and other Disney sites

I can't believe I never noticed these before! All Ears net is definitely the best Disney fan site!

Here is the video for Wilderness Lodge:


I have to tell you, I have tears running down my face right now! I could smell the smells when the doors opened, feel the fire from the fireplace, feel the resin/other people's hand slime from Humphrey's nose, smell the weird chlorine/moldy smell coming from the bridge inside as well as the geyser outside, got itchy in my pockets through the gift shop, got growls in my stomach from the romp through Artist Point, and just got a general feeling of "I want to go home" (when you arrive at a Disney resort, the first thing they say to you is "welcome home").

As a point of note, the music that you hear on both this video and the one I posted for the Polynesian is the actual BGM (Background Music) from these resorts! Most people don't even notice the BGM in Disney, but it's everywhere! It makes the atmosphere and it's changes are what mark your progression from one area to another more than the scenery, people just don't realize it! For those that do go, next time you are in the Magic Kingdom and are walking under the area that transitions from Adventureland to Frontierland or from Adventureland to Liberty Square or even from Liberty Square to Frontierland, see if you can tell the difference in the music, these are the areas where it is most noticeable to me! Wow, off topic again.

All Ears doesn't have a video for the Contemporary. I tried looking on YouTube for a suitable substitution, but alas, none were available. Apparently, people have never heard of image stabilization!

In case you were wondering (probably not), there are several sites I visit when planning a Disney vacation and even daily just for Disney information and I thought I would share these with you.

In the planning sense, I've already told you about All Ears.net, but there is also the Official Disney World site, of course, and The Dis, which I mainly use for their message boards (I don't typically post much, but I do read, and usually get pissed off because people get on my nerves, but that's another story).

For news and general Disney updates, I check, almost everyday, sometimes several times a day, The Official Disney Blog, WDW Magic, Stitch Kingdom, Mouse Steps, and Orlando Theme Park News.

Oh, and I guess I should add, there are two main podcasts I listen to, WDW Today and WDW Radio Podcast, both of which are downloadable on iTunes.

When I just get back from a trip though, I suffer from Post-Disney depression and pretty much stay away from all these sites, but eventually, I find my way back on them. Last year, I rarely got on any of them, just enough to keep updated with the new renovations in Fantasyland (the Magic Kingdom is going through it's largest expansion since it's opening) and any other massive changes, but the day to day stuff I haven't been keeping up with and I've stayed away from the Dis almost entirely! It was really hard not going to Disney World last year and I think, no matter my situation, from now on, I'm not going to miss a year again. It affects me in a way that recharges my "life batteries" enough that I can make it through whatever for at least a year and since I skipped a year, I've been running on dead batteries (which might be my problem) - yes, Disney is THAT powerful (see next blog).

Resorts past - Disney's Polynesian Resort

You thought I'd shut up about WDW didn't you? Just been too busy lately! Plus, this is gonna be a hard blog to do because I still haven't made it up to fixing the 2010 pics yet, so these pics are all raw and it's harder to dig through them! But alas, I'm gonna give it a go!

The second resort review is Disney's Polynesian Resort. We stayed there on my last trip in 2010. It's another one of the three monorail resorts besides The Contemporary and The Indian Burial Ground Resort (ok, Am, I know, The Grand Floridian). But The Poly and The Contemporary have something else in common, they were the only two resorts open when Disney World opened on...anyone...anyone...Bueller...October 1, 1971.

Although it is a deluxe resort and has been upgraded numerous times, it still has that 1971 feel to it, if that makes sense. The rooms decorations may be new, but the room itself feels old...I guess that is what I'm trying to say. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful! The main Ceremonial House is fabulous! Again, like most all the other resorts on property, you have to walk from the building that room is located in to the main house where the restaurants, gift shops, lobby, concierge, etc, are located, and depending on where your building is, than can be a walk and it is out in the elements (another reason why I love the Lodge so much).

Front Desk Main Ceremonial House (feel the 70's?) (again, Am, you don't want your butt in my pics, don't walk so damned fast!):

Lobby at the Main Ceremonial House:

Our favorite Tiki's behind a register:

But, it is a monorail resort, so you have instant access to the monorail, but as an added bonus, you are within walking distance to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) where the resort monorail changes over to the Epcot monorail, so instead of riding the resort monorail and switching once you arrive at the TTC like you have to at the Contemporary, you can just walk directly there and hop on an Epcot monorail or, if your room is closer to the TTC than the Ceremonial House, hop on a Magic Kingdom Monorail (the resort monorail loops through the Magic Kingdom if you are closer to the main House). We were about centered between the two, so some days we walked and some days we rode. Good thing Am has an excellent sense of direction! I'd never found my way back and forth through all that foliage!!

Our room:

Beach (and Am's feet - I'm sure she had a reason to take this picture like this, but it turned out good, so I'm posting it!) - oh and a bit of Disney trivia...when Walt first started buying up land for Disney, the land he was buying was all swamp. They dug up a lot of the swamps and made lakes out of them, but at the bottom of the muck, they found sand! White, beautiful sand which now lines the beaches of the water-lined resorts (although, after all this time, I'm sure they ship sand in, but it's a nice story):

Walking daytime and Am butt shot:

Walking at night (yes, it was that dark - Am's pic...she's not comfortable with taking night shots):

I'll eventually be doing a restaurant review of Kona, which is in the Ceremonial House, but we have eaten there several times, and it was what prompted us to stay at the Poly in the first place. But this trip, the meal was sub-par, which was unusual, and it was enough that we won't be eating there this time (even the sticky wings were bad and Kona's sticky wings are heavenly!).

Oh, I guess I should add, for those that don't know, you don't have to be staying in a resort to eat at their restaurants...at Disney, you can eat anywhere you want so long as you have a reservation, and dining reservations at Disney are a must! But more on that at another time.

Oh, I found the best video of a walking tour of the Polynesian at the All Ears site! i ran across this quite by accident! I use the All Ears site probably more than any other Disney site, BTW, particularly the menus. I look at them and decide where we are gonna eat. I am definitely gonna check and see if they have vids for both the Contemporary and the Lodge!



So, that's it! Another review down! I think next time I'll do Port Orleans French Quarter since I seem to be going in a pattern here, which will be my first moderate resort review.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I spy...

I spy with my little eye a certain duck appearing in a sea of navy!
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I finally get home at a decent hour and what do I do? Clean house of all things! But I did get started on 35th Anniversary Celebration. It's extremely hard stitching on not only dark fabric, but on 14ct again! I'm having to put my magnifying light underneath the frame just to see the holes and the coverage isn't making me very happy. But I went back and looked at the other projects that I bought at Disney World which were also 14ct, and they also look the same, you just can't tell it because they are on light fabric; Mickey's Self Portrait is on white and Past, Present, and Forever is on a pale bluish-green. But, from a distance, it doesn't look as bad as it does close up, so framed it will be OK.

There was a time I never thought I would be able to stitch on anything other than 14ct and now it looks not only huge, but 2 strands just can't give good enough coverage. I debated either getting 18ct fabric and trying it on that, or doing 3 strands, but I think I'm going to be true to the pattern since I did actually buy this in Disney World in 2006, so it is a memento.

I've also been thinking a lot about the Thomas Kinkade Disney projects...it's way past time for a new one to come out. Since he's done Sleeping Beauty (and we all know Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney film of all time), I would literally KILL to have that in cross stitch...Kinkade or not!! I figured with the re-release of the Lion King, that one would be put out in stitch, but nope. So where is the next one? Will there be a next one? I don't know why I care...I probably will never get around to stitching them in the first place.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finally!

I think this the longest it has ever taken me to finish a page of a cross stitch! But here it is...page 1 of A Summer Ball! Let's just hope the other 8 don't take as long! I did actually do the backstitching on this page. I usually wait until the end of the project to do all the backstitching, but I thought it best to do this one as I go along. I really feel like the pants should be completely backstitched, but then I think about it, and...awkward!!

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I think if I get home in time tomorrow, I'm gonna start on 35th Anniversary Celebration! Work has been crazy and I just haven't had a chance to start it yet. More on that in a minute.

I also have another new stash, but I can't show it. Why, you ask? Well, because it's a gift for someone (love ya T!) and I don't want him to see it! We may both be octogenarians before I finish it, but hey, that's when he'll see it! Since it matches his decor, I've already told him he can't paint or redecorate until I finish it and he's displayed it for at least a year, so if we are 80 before I finish it, he's gonna get awful sick of his current wall colors!!

On the work front...good news and bad news and don't know yet news and pissing me off news and getting better news and maybe future news and more bad news! Sounds like a lot of news, doesn't it? Well, I got a promotion at work! That's the good news. The bad news and don't know yet news is it may or may not come with a raise, and if it does, the raise is technically the same as I'm making now because I get tons of overtime and shift diff, so actually I make several dollars an hour more than I really make and they are only raising me up to that higher tier and I'm going down to 8 hours...long story short, less hours, same pay. The pissing me off news is the fact that I started this new job on Monday, and as of Wednesday, I have yet to work an 8 hour day, I'm still pulling my usual 10-12 hours. The getting better news is that I absolutely LOVE the new job and although technically it's tons more stress, since I do love it, it's good stress (if I could stop worrying about the pay and the working overtime still). The maybe future news is that this promotion could grow into a position really grand and I have every intention of showing off my talents and making sure it does go the way I want it too! And finally, the more bad news is that I'm still being pulled in fifteen different directions at work and added more titles to my growing list...I guess now my official title is Assistant LIS Manager/PM Coordinator/Transcriptionist/Cytology Prep Tech. The computers went up 50% and I'm supposed to split the other 50% between the other three jobs that I used to do in 100%. Yeah...I know I suck at math, but tell me it doesn't work out for you either! The transcriptionist part is supposed to be cut down and transferred to someone else...let's just leave it at that.

I just keep chanting...I'm going to Disney World, I'm gonna spend a shiteload of money on stupid crap that only I could love, I'm gonna see Donald Duck, I'm gonna ride Haunted Mansion, I'm gonna eat taco salads at Pecos Bill's, I'm gonna buy tons of Originals at Earl Of Sandwich, I'm gonna stay at Wilderness Lodge, I'm gonna ride Tower of Terror over and over again, I'm gonna sing along with Pirates Of The Caribbean while I ride it (which I always do), I'm finally gonna get that picture of Captain Jack at the end of Pirates Of The Caribbean, I'm finally gonna get a good picture of the Scottish It's a Small World kid, I'm gonna get stocked up on my Twinnings tea and my Basin Bombs, I'm gonna actually buy a bottle of Ice Wine this year, I'm gonna buy my Duffy Bear more clothes, I'm gonna ride things I've never ridden before even if I don't want to, I'm gonna make Am spend a whole day in Animal Kingdom...and enjoy it, I'm actually gonna see every parade and fireworks show, even if I have to do it alone, I'm gonna take pictures with characters, even if I have to take multiple xanax to do it, I'm gonna actually stop and take pictures instead of snapping while I'm walking, and finally, Am and I are gonna have the best time ever because IT'S DISNEY WORLD!!