Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dreaming of a cruise

I've only been on one cruise, back in 2000 (which was also my first Disney World trip), and I've been dreaming of going again ever since. Now that I work for The Mouse, I can actually get Disney cruises freakishly cheap, but since I usually can't even afford food, I haven't been able to swing it yet.

Still, I'm awfully excited about the two new ships in the works! They have started construction on the Dream, and the pictures have me all excited!



The funnel is almost finished! They build the ship in chunks and then, I don't know, superglue em all together or something.

The finished product will look like this:



And the lobby is preeeeeetty!





I love that there is mini golf on the sports deck!

The plans for the Royal Palace restaurant:



Again, preeeetty!

And they're bringing back the Animator's Palate restaurant, a favorite on the Disney Magic & Wonder ships:



(Now with 20% more turtle!)

My favorite concept art so far is the Enchanted Garden restaurant:



Day



And night

Wouldn't it be a great place for afternoon tea? And I totally see a Pixie Hollow fairy character meal here!


And of course, the most important part of any Disney experience, the bars!! Bring on the booze!



"Pink"



"Evolution"


Finally, I think the very coolest thing is the virtual porthole on inside rooms! Inside rooms (ie no window or balcony) kinda suck because you have no window to the outside world, no way to know if it's light or dark or rainy or lovely outside, no way to know if you have pulled up to port or not yet. So, of course, Disney came up with this:



Quoth the site:

"A cruise industry-first for all inside staterooms, Virtual Portholes offer a “window” to the world with a real-time view outside the ship. Entertaining, animated characters – such as Peach the starfish from the Disney-Pixar film “Finding Nemo” – may pop by the Virtual Porthole."

I SO NEED A VACATION!!!!!!!!!

I can't tell you how much I miss planning vacations! Before I moved here, I used to spend most of my year planning my annual Disney World trip. I spent hour upon hour devouring online message boards and sites, soaking up all kinds of info and making freakishly detailed plans. It was like organized daydreaming, and I loved it! Nowadays my Disney planning is more like "Hmm, I'm bored. I'm going to Epcot." Awesome in terms of convenience and getting to be spontanious, but not quite as eventful.

I'm thinking about taking up a cruise planning obsession instead. Hey, everyone needs a hobby, right?

There's this great guilty pleasure part of Disney trip planning- Menu Obsessing. Disney World restaurants book up MONTHS in advance, so diehard disney freaks study the updated restaurant menus online for like, a year in advance, and then call up the second the 180 day reservation window opens up. (It's good I used to be kind of one of these people back in the day, or dealing with them all the time at work would just be LOADS of fun!) I was never big on making reservations- I never knew for sure what I'd feel like, and I'm not a big fan of dropping crazy amounts of money on food.

For some reason though, I do have fun obsessing about cruise food! First, going to dinner on a cruise is a big event! Everyone gets all dressed up, and it takes hours, and it's basically the highlight of the evening. (Especially if you have a hot Greek waitor like I did last time! Nom nom!) Second, all of the food is included, so you can order fifty desserts, and they will totally bring them to you! And you can feel free to try things you might not normally try, 'cause if you hate it, you can just ask for something else. Fun! Plus, the food is AWESOME. Especially if you, like I, live off of pop tarts and taco bell.

Want to join in the menu drooling fun? Here's the current Animator's Palate menu:


Normally I love all of the cocktail options, but all the puree somehow turns me off to these. Somehow, I just don't like anything pureed with my booze!

I don't eat seafood, and hate mushrooms, so that leaves us with the cheese tart thing from the appetizers! No idea what taleggio is, but it has the word cheese in it, so I think we're good!

The butternut squash soup gets major raves, but I think I'd stick with gazpacho! (I'm not a salad girl. At all. EVER.)



Entrees are where the choice gets tough! The pennette pasta sounds yummy because again, CHEESE! But the samosas could be a fun change. And mmmm, black bean chipoltle cakes! With salsa that includes cilantro, which is pretty much my favorite thing ever! Um, one of each, please?

And nom nom, bread with roasted garlic dip!




I think I'll just train my server on the first night to bring me every single dessert every night, and let it go from there. If I had to pick, I'd go with the sweet temptations trio, though!

What would you eat? And who wants to go on a cruise with me, already??

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wonderland


I am totally tempted to be the Red Queen for Halloween just so I can do that with my makeup.

So, who hasn't seen the new Alice in Wonderland yet? If not, go! (And I'm not just saying that since my company made it, dude.) I think the newest incarnation blows the past out of the water.

I think that what makes Alice stick out in our culture so much is the iconic imagery. Almost everyone is familiar with the original images

From the book...



to the original movie...



Despite being a classic, Alice doesn't seem to fall in with most of the other classic Disney genre fairytales, it has a certain air of counterculture. As a result, Alice-inspired things have been popping up in pop culture for quite some time. A few examples:


Sarah Hudson's video for "Girl On The Verge" was incredibly Alice-esque:







A bit before the film came out, there was an awesome collection of major designers that created Alice looks:



As usual, Alexander McQueen is my favorite.




followed by Bernhard Willhelm, who I'm not really familiar with, but will have to check out.



and these awesome shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood .


The new film is so visually pleasing, and I don't just mean Johnny Depp. I'm talking THE CLOTHES here, people. OMG, I want to steal all of Alice's dresses. SO much better than the original cartoon's classic blue frock!



The new movie has inspired a whole wide array of new clothes, accessories, and other random items. A sample of what I've found on the web:

Urban Decay's Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows





Eyelashes $9.99 each from Hot Topic


Cameo Cheshire Cat Alice in Wonderland Necklace by Classic Hardware - $119.95


Disney Couture Mad Hatter ring - $33

Abbey Dawn Alice
Abbey Dawn Alice


Avril Lavigne designed these Alice-Inspired items for her Abbey Dawn clothing line (available at Kohls.) I used Polyvore to put them together into an image, and then couldn't resist making another one of these Alice items:

Alice
Alice by CrystalW07 featuring Disney Couture jewelry




White Queen
White Queen by Milano Cookies featuring Alice + Olivia dresses




Alice in Lolita Land
Alice in Lolita Land by Thea Maia - www.maia-arts.com featuring Repetto shoes

These two aren't by me, just a sample of the zillions of other collections on Polyvore.

Sue Wong also designed a whole line of Alice inspired clothes for Disney:





This is the Mad Hatter dress, but I can't say I totally see the connection.


I think that (beyond the clothes), what I really love is that it isn't a story of Alice finding her prince, her mission isn't even really to slay the jabberwocky; it's a coming of age story about Alice finding herself and her own strength. I actually liked what I read in an interview with Anne Hathaway, where she described the book Alice "figuring out who she isn't, by process of elimination."

It's an inspiration for the rest of us who have also lost our "muchness."

(Plus, any film that lets me listen to Alan Rickman talk AND uses Christopher Lee as a villain voice gets the thumbs-up from me!)
I do a lot of surveys online for extra money, just a few dollars here and there. Usually they are new product ideas that the manufacturers want opinions on. Recently, I was doing one about cat food, and was asked for the names of my cats.


I paused for a second, because I couldn't decide if I should just put "Jasper", or if it would be more fun to amuse whatever poor person has to analyze the survey results, and put Jasper's full name, which is Freddy Jasper Jacob Dante Alberto Bandito Von Monkeypants.


I finally settled upon a compromise:


I'm kind of wishing I'd just gone for the full name, though!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today in GaGa...



It's a good thing she added the chicken foot accessory, or that outfit would have been SO boring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Petty Parking Pet Peeves

There are a couple of parking lot faux pas that make me totally crazy-go-nuts, but that I seem to encounter almost every time I go grocery shopping lately..

a) People who sit in their car behind a car that is loading purchases, waiting for their spot, for several minutes. There is an empty spot like FIVE spaces down, you could be parked and already in the store in the time you are wasting sitting there! Plus, you are blocking the entire row!

b) At night, people who sit in the car in the parking spot with their lights on. As in one person goes in the store, and the other stays in the car... a scenario that would be totally fine if they didn't leave their lights on so it looks like they are about to back up any second- very annoying if you need to drive past them, but aren't sure if they are about to back into you!

However, on the plus side, I made an awesome new discovery. Right by the Publix entrance, they have cute little premade shopping lists that you can take home and fill in! They probably won't replace my Homer Simpson notepad that sticks to my fridge, but I grabbed a bunch anyway, because I am very easy to amuse.

I finally added the Google friend connect follower gadgety thing, so be one of the cool kids and follow me!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy Dance

Holy cow, pardon me while I do a self-congratulatory happy dance about FINALLY making the font show up in a more legible size, without making the font in my sidebar ginormous at the same time. I've been fighting my template over this for a billion years now, and FINALLY WON! Celebrate!!

Now if I could only figure out how to make the little pink border bars show up, you know, on the BORDER instead of totally hidden somewhere in the middle. Ah well, baby steps!

Let's celebrate with some Lady GaGa, shall we? I've wanted an excuse to comment on the new Telephone video, so I'm making now that excuse!






It seems to be getting pretty strong reactions, either love it or hate it. I am a lover of all things Gagaloo, so I'm digging it. Especially:




  • Cigarette sunglasses in jail
  • "I told you she didn't have a dick."
  • Did I MENTION the smoking cigarette sunglasses?
  • That's a lotta Tarantino references in one video!
  • How happy I am that they didnt doa cliche setting in a dance club
  • Dance parties always break out when I make a sadnwich, too!
  • OMG, a hair-bow shaped like a telephone.
  • JAI! Jai from Queer Eye! Jai from Queer Eye saying "Pussy Wagon."

The product placement was a little too much and awkward, though.

Do you love it? Hate it? Or just want to join my celebration of finally fixing my font size?

Random updates

Warning! Seriously non-cohesive post ahead!

So, first, I think I totally forgot to mention here that I have black hair now. Um, oops? I was at Target last month, and decided to give in to my recent desire for chocolately brown hair (quite festive for winter), and decided it was meant to be when I saw they were having a big ol' sale on hair dye. I selected a shade that SHOULD have been a warm darkish brown... and it ended up BLACK.

A fairly long chain of expletives spewed from my lips when I finished washing the dye out, but then I decided that it's pretty rock n roll, so I'll just rock it for a while. Thankfully, it is already starting to fade, and I am already pondering golden brown with highlights for Spring. Sorry, hair follicles, better luck next life.

Black-hairedness:





I probably should have put makeup on before taking pictures. Sorry 'bout that!

The fun part is that eye makeup colors look TOTALLY different. I can pull off purple eyeliner now, which I never could with red hair. I still want my redheadedness back ASAP, though!

Next- back on the 5th the awesome local Orlando band Ambertone put on a fabulous Haiti benefit show at House of Blues, which they were cool enough to send me free tickets for. And then send MORE free tickets when I asked. That's love! I ended up going with my friend Megan, who is in from out of town. (Hi!) I'd just had a ROUGH week, and she kindly listened to me while about it while I applied grape vodka directly to my sorrows. And then we ever so delicately elbowed our way up front to watch boys with guitars.



At the end, Greg tossed out roses, and I may have kicked a few asses to get one. Reminds me of my oldest sister's wedding where I totally fought another little girl for the boquet. Think I'm kidding?

After punching people for pretty flowers, we headed upstairs to socialize with the boys. Of course, I have this terrible superpower where if I just stand around rockstars flock to me and beg for photos. Tough life.


(Ok, so maybe I asked them...I'll never tell!)

The boys put on a fantastic show! Check them out on iTunes or Myspace, or the video I uploaded to YouTube of their Live cover at the last show by clicking here! (Yes, Dude In Front Of Us is reeeeally having a good time.)

Actually, I take that back. I mostly just uploaded the I Alone vid for Megan, but if you are new here, you should check out this video of My Disaster instead, since it is one of their songs, and the sound quality on the cover song video is kinda sucky.



Ummm, pardon the fact that the two videos have different guitarists. That happens a lot.

On a totally unrelated note, (Shocker, I know), there are a couple of ads I've seen online lately that I can't help commenting on. The first...












EVERY single time I see this, I expect the next frame to show the baby pointing in the bag and shrieking "THERE HE IS! I FOUND HIM!" I mean, look at the kid's face! It totally says "Whoa, there's like... um... God... in mom's brown paper bag!" I'm pretty sure this makes me a horrible person.

And then we have this delightful specimen:



Is it just me, or does Poor Mr Boyfriend TOTALLY not want to be won back?

HAH, I am now caught up with all the things I wanted to post about! I've been home sick for like TWO WEEKS, and other than an upper respritory doo-dad, I don't know what's wrong with me. You know how sometimes if you stay up for like 24 hours, you hit this wall of total, complete fatigue where you can barely move? That has been me for over a week. FUN! Waiting on blood test results to find out if I am turning into a zombie. Crap, I totally don't have makeup to match zombie!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kittens are earth-friendly

It has been really freaking cold in Florida lately. (People in snowy states, please do not throw things at me!)


Also, I am really, really broke. So I have been trying to use my heat a bit less, because my electric bill was like $200 this month, and I live in a 700-sq ft apartment! That is just sillyness!


Also also, I have been sick, so I have spent lots of time in bed. The other day I figured out the obvious solution- in order to cut down on the trauma of having to leave my comfy bed for the cruel, cold outside world of the rest of my apartment, I just took to wearing my blaket around the house:


This girl is sick, please send her Cadbury eggs. And some major under-eye concealer!
Of course, Cricket sees my blanket and thinks that means we are playing a giant, portable game of Kitty Fort!

The bonus, of course, is that she also genearates heat, so I think I will keep her under here with me!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Orlando Apts, vol. 1

So, my lease is up in April. I thought it was May 10, actually spent the past 13-ish months thinking that, but got a little note on my door the other day informing me otherwise. Don't worry,it was only a tiny nervous breakdown!

I haven't totally decided what to do yet. Options thus far are:

a) Renewing my lease. I love my apartment, but this is a bad idea, because my rent is going up, and I am already surviving on bread and water (ok, oreos and coffee), and am eighty five billion dollars in debt. But on the plus side for renewing here, moving SUCKS, and sometimes it is worth any feat to avoid it!

b) Finding a new place to live

This is slightly preferable to, say, being eaten alive by wolverines while being forced to listen to Taylor Swift on repeat. I imagine that in some parts of the world, apartment shopping is a painless, possibly even pleasant experience. However, if you live where I do, pretty much every apartment either looks like this:

Or this:


There is not a lot of middle ground. And guess which category I am closer to affording? Yeeeah.

c) Moving back home for the summer. This is the kind of very crazy, kind of very scary, but kind of very appealing option. I've had health issues out the wazoo lately- I have basically been sick since like November, other than a few good weeks here and there. It is not fun. I have been so stressed and exhausted that going back to my ginormous old apartment where I can live rent and utility free (With actual FURNITURE! And TV! And internet!! Yes, I live like a caveman here.) However, it means probably losing my job, a crazy move, and missing a lot of people for a while. On the other however (totally not a real phrase), it also means five or six months of using money that would go towards rent to actually catch up on bills, and save up enough to move back to O-Town in the fall, and actually be able to do it right this time (like, with a couch! And food!)

Given that whether I pick B or C, I will eventually need to find somewhere new to live here, I have started apartment hunting online again. It is delightful. Except not. So I am thinking, maybe if I post my experiences on this here great big ol' internet, maybe some poor soul trying to do the same thing I once did (ie find a place to live here from 1000+ miles away) will stumble across it and actually get some use?

So, I set out on Wednesday to check out the Vinings at Westwood. However, I never found it, which is incredibly pathetic, because I have BEEN THERE BEFORE. However, I accidentally stumbled upon Cumberland Park in my lost wanderings, so let's look at that one instead!

This apartment place, dear friends, should serve as a lesson. DO NOT look at places you can not afford. Just like when you try on $298475927845 shoes, knowing your bank account contains exactly $11, and then you mourn the shoes for many months. This place is totally not in my budget (one bedrooms are like $890), but I WANT TO LIVE THERE NOW. Why?

1) It's gated. I'm big on gates, after the Great Apartment Break-Ins of 2008 and 2009! However, unlike my current community, there is a sidewalk that BYPASSES the gate, so while you can't drive in if you don't live there, you can totally walk in. Kinda dumb!

2) It's close to everything.

3) They have a freaking movie theatre in the main building. Their gym has actual free fitness classes. There is a game room with billiards and darts and chess and stuff. There is a hot tub. Did I mention the movie theatre? That you can bring your own dvds to and play on the big screen? Hello best free date night EVER!


Just add booze and a live band and it is like somewhere I would normally hang out!


No, I wasn't kidding about the movie theatre. And it has a popcorn machine!

4) The one bedroom is ginormous.


I stole this floorplan from their site, but whatever, they are getting free advertising. In fact, they should totally give me a free apartment for 6 months or so in return, don't you agree?

I went to look at the model, and kinda wanted to just stay.




This photo is not mine, I was just amused that their website had one almost identical to mine!

weird fact- You know how most model apartments have a bowl of fake fruit, or a plate of cookies or bowl of candy or something out in the kitchen to make it look homey? This one had a plate of kashi granola bars, which are my current obsession. The thing is, I never know the protocall here- is it ok to take one? (I did not. Totally should have.)



The bedroom was surprisingly small compared to the rest of the apartment. King bed with little nightstand on each side took up pretty much all the room. But the ceiling fan did have a light built in, which is a big FL apartment plus!



This one bedroom did not have a patio/balcony. If it did, the room would end about where the sofa does and the balcony would start there. I'm not sure which I would pick- balcony or giant living room?

Not pictured: GIANT closet that is actually oddly located in the bathroom, which is pretty much the most convenient thing EVER, since that is where all my clothes end up anyway.

You can't see it here, but that screen on the left is a full-size screen, covering the water heater. I wish I could have conveyed the giantness of the laundry room in this pic- must start taking my wide-angle lens on apartment hunts!

5) Their trash cans outside each apartment for the valet trash look like little benches, with seats that flip up for you to stick the bags in. My trash can here looks like a trash can.

6) I always seem to want what I can't have.