Monthly Archives: October 2003

Moses would be proud

I made it up to Amanda’s salon up in Pasadena yesterday. She’s been after me to come back and get my hair done for a bit. With me moving down to Orange County, it is a bit of a trek, but she does great work. When I arrived, Sarah was there getting her massive do done, so there was a bit of a wait. While I was waiting, Amanda asked me if I’d be open to her co-worker Marie doing a bit of “cleanup” on my eyebrows. Now as most of my friends know, my eyebrows long ago joined forces and created a single brow – further accentuating my Cro-Magnon forehead. So as I climbed the stairs, I thought that she was going to do some strategic plucking to make the edges look cleaner and get rid of a few stragglers on my brow.
So I’m lying down, listening to the relaxing music over the speakers and Marie goes to work. I feel her combing my brows (something very soothing – I recommend it if u have never had it done) and gently plucking here and there. All of a sudden I feel a warm sensation in the middle of my brows. She then says to me that this will feel just like a band-aid. I then began to think about how much I hate removing Band-Aids because it rips the hair out – right as I was thinking the words “hair out” my eyebrows ceased to be joined. Man that smarted!! She then quickly waxed all around the brows giving me a natural look. I have to say I was amazed. I felt like I just got a ‘Queer Eye’ or ‘Oprah’ makeover. The reviews were unanimously positive (even from Dad who after chuckling “What happened to you?” said it looked better). I also received a new temp ‘do as I grow the hair on the top of my head out. Why? I don’t know – Amanda said I looked better with slightly longer hair and had great plans for me. She had to give me some refresher pointers on my hair goo, and then I was off.
It is still strange to look in the mirror, and I have an incredible urge to rub my fingers through my newly groomed brow. So far I have limited contact to a minimum since Amanda warned me I might break out. Depending on how it goes, I plan on making a monthly trek to the salon to get freshened up. One thing I can say is that thank god I don’t have back hair!
Tonight, it’s back to West Hollywood for the annual parade of the bizarre. This year I am going with a smoking jacket and pajamas – a la Heff. I am going to wear my long johns under my pjs since it is supposed to rain tonight. The stars are aligning in a way that I’m going to have to keep my guard up. I’m hoping it won’t turn into a drama fest, but when certain people are afoot and alcohol is involved, I have to step up and take charge and ensure everyone has a good time.
Tomorrow, Susie (and maybe Mark) is coming down for a minor get together to celebrate the recent birthday. Not really a party (I think last year’s Night of 100 Stars was prolly the last themed party I will organize for awhile – but you never know), more like friends coming over for drinks to watch movies. It seems in this day and age it is getting more difficult to organize an event weekend where we all get together and party. I hope that no matter who can make it or how many people show up, that my friends and me will always get together a couple times a year.

Smoke and Song

**Cough**
**Wheeze**
Man has it been smoky around here! Take a look!
Thankfully, it has cleared up a bit as the big fire in Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino has shifted and the winds are calmer so the smoke doesn’t travel as far. Saturday and Sunday were the worst days as it looked like you were driving through snow (or confetti if you are a big Rip Taylor fan). I went out to eat in Brea for Tiffany’s birthday and when I got home it smelt like I had been at a campfire. Some people at the resort decided to wear masks, and it was really tough on the eyes and nose and throat. I know a lot of people battling sore throats these days.
Nathan sent me the latest Jarre CD “Geometry of Love“. I have listened to it a few times and I think it is quite good. It certainly is better than “Sessions 2000″ which came out last year and had more of an experimental feel to it. I just never really got into the album. It reminds me of the way I feel about his 1989 album “Revolutions” which I never really liked, but in the last few years, I have warmed up to certain tracks. One thing I like about Jarre is that he is never afraid to try new things and experiment. On his latest album, for me, the standout track is “Electronic Flesh” (to listen go here scroll down and click on Electronic Flesh and it will play a sample. For some reason the track fits very well with where I am emotionally these days. To give you an idea how up and down things go with me (I am after all, a Libra), I alternate “Electronic Flesh” with the A-Teens “Perfect Match“.

Movie Updates

I’ve managed to do a bit of movie watching lately. First up was the Matrix Reloaded. I didn’t get to see this one in the theaters when it came out, but I decided to pick up the DVD at Best Buy. I have heard a lot about this movie, but I still enjoyed it. One of the things that got to me was how fake a lot of things looked. I know when you see movies on the big screen, film tends to make some of the computer effects look realistic. But robbed of the graininess of film and on my TV some of the sequences were very artificial (the freeway chase comes to mind as well as Neo fighting all those Smiths). I don’t remember noticing this with the first Matrix – save the bullet time sequence. Come to think of it, I really didn’t notice it until I saw a special explaining how it was done. Other than some of the fakeness, I thought it was better than most people said it was. I know I will be seeing the next one when it comes out next week.
Another DVD recently watched was the Star Trek V Collectors Edition. Many people consider this movie to be one of the worst of the series, but in fact I like this movie more as time progresses. Sure the special effects were doomed by Bran Ferren (I really think Paramount should let them re-do all of the effects shots in the movie a la TMP), but as a character piece it holds up (certainly better than that Nemesis crap). The special features on this DVD were great as well – I enjoyed the behind the scenes stuff as well as the myriad of trailers. I remember that I labeled some of my old video tapes whenever I caught a Trek movie trailer on them. It also makes me want to go through the Trek IV disc since it is still in its wrapper. One day!
I actually made it out to the Cineplex to see Scary Movie 3. I remember liking the first two, and when I found out David Zucker was directing, I knew I wanted to see it. The laughs were fast and furious, and I am always a sucker for spoofs like these. It’s not anything earth shattering or mind blowing, but a decent way to spend a few hours. I was disappointed that David’s mom Charlotte Zucker wasn’t there for a brief cameo as she is in most of his films.
Work continues on the WDW photos, I’ve managed to caption most of the Magic Kingdom and should have the rest done soon. My friends Mice and Wendy are in Florida this week (and seem to have a good internet connection, not like me) check out his site and read updates while he is there.
One last note – I managed to win some auctions on eBay of old vintage Disneyland photos!! I’m very excited!

WDW Photos!

Finally – after much procrastinating and hand wringing over file sizes, I have posted my photos from my recent trip to Walt Disney World. I have not added any captions to the photos – that will come over the next few weeks. Now all I need to do is work on the templates so that there is some navigation back to the Trip Diaries page. Once that is done, I will integrate it with my new design. As Mice points out it should take me another few weeks to get that done. In the meantime, enjoy the photos, even if you have no idea what they are. One other integration mess is my url of diaries/wdw – I now have to change that to an index page pointing to either the 2000 trip or the 2003 trip. Someday.
Monday, I was taken out to dinner for my birthday by Dad et. al. – my friends have told me to keep next Tuesday open for something, and Susie and Mark are going to come down on November 1 to hang out. Not sure if there is going to be an official party on the 1st, but if there is one, that is when it will be. Good presents from all this year including 2 map shower curtains and some nice duds. Still haven’t splurged on the Indiana Jones trilogy for myself. Gotta try and make it to Best Buy before the free DVDs are gone.

Where has the time gone?

Eeek. I can’t believe it has been almost 10 days since my last post. I have been uber busy with work and general goofing off that I really haven’t had much to post on the site. I did manage to have an epiphany on Friday about what I want to do travel wise. I came up with a list of places to go and see which I will post on the site soon. I have also been working on the Disneyworld pictures. I am still a bit aghast that it is still upwards of 60MB for 600 or so pictures. I am going to see if resizing to 600×450 makes that much of a difference file wise. I might have to resize them all. My goal is to get them up on the site soon!
I also was toying with a massive rollout of several redesigns on the site tomorrow, but due to the fact I fell asleep Saturday night at 6pm, I kind of blew my free time. I should have some more at the beginning of next week so keep your eyes peeled.
More soon, I promise!

Two Years with the Big Cheese

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since I started working at Disneyland. I would have never imagined all the events that have happened in the two years since I first walked into the park without any guests. Friends have come and gone and the attractions I work have changed, but deep down inside I am still having a good time. I am a trainer on two attractions, but am still hoping to become a lead (AKA foreman) for one soon. I am also hoping to learn a new attraction in the next few month that with any luck will be one of the last ones Walt supervised. Where will I be two years from now? I have no idea and I dare not offer any predictions. I do know that 2005 will be Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, and hopefully I will be a part of it in some form. One thing that is particularly interesting is that I have worked for Disney as long as I had worked for Edmunds.
I am nearly done with the photo resizing. Just the World Showcase and the Magic Kingdom left to do. Daniel still needs to give me his photos so I can combine the photos into a truly great site. I am going to be using the new Trip Diary format (maybe called something else like Journeys – dare I say Magic Journeys? OK, I am a dork) and when all is said and done it should be really sharp. Next step is to get Gallery installed (yet again – I think this is the third install on my server — gotta love customization!) in the Diaries directory. I hope to have it all up and pretty next week.
I also noticed today that my homepage design will be turning two. That is an amazing amount of time to have a static design like that. I keep looking at the page and trying to improve it, but I just love its simpleness and elegance. I think I might redo one or two if the icons (like the dorky mug shot of me), but overall I am still happy. If my Trip Diary redesign goes well I might just roll out the design site-wide. But then again you have all heard that before.
One last note: I received my DVDs from the Company’s 80th anniversary sale: Peter Pan, The Great Mouse Detective, Treasure Planet, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Complete Goofy all for $7.50 each. Can’t beat that! I’m trying to curb my DVD spending in order to wrangle my finances under control, but this month is tough. The Lion King, Star Trek V: CE, and The Adventures of Indiana Jones all come out this month.

Work Progresses

I have finished sorting the photos into their appropriate theme parks. Here are the preliminary totals (before deleting blurry or duplicate shots):
Animal Kingdom: 159
Disney MGM Studios:102
EPCOT: 201
Magic Kingdom: 249 (note these also include Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party so there are a few duplicates)
That is 711 photos of Walt Disney World, the other 170 or so are Sea World and Islands of Adventure. I will get to those last. When is 711 not enough? When you realize that you still have a few gaps in your photos. I am going to go through Daniel’s photos to see if he can help fill them in (for instance, I know he has some good Fantasyland shots that I don’t have). Also, he has more shots of me than I do, and likewise, I have more shots of him. Needless to say it is going to be sometime before everything is all neat and pretty.
I have decided to do the photos at 800×600, but I might have to go to 600×450 depending on how much space it takes up. The raw files are over 1GB and that would most certainly eat up my entire web space allotment. Darn that technology anyway!!
Yesterday was a good day at work. It felt nice to be back – albeit a bit weird. When I went for lunch, I went by the castle at Disneyland and thought man, it is short!! I know their castle is around 180 feet or so tall which would make it around 30 feet taller than the Matterhorn. One can only imagine how tall the Matterhorn would be if it was at the MK in Florida.
One last note: I updated the photo on the main page, I hope you like it!

Back from Florida

Well I am back. After one of my longer vacations, it feels good to be back home. I really had a good time at Walt Disney World, which I attribute to my friends going along. Not to say that we didn’t have our share of disagreements, but it just helps mature our friendships.
Some highlights:
- Tiffany’s face in almost every photo capture (especially her first time on Dinosaur)
- Appliances Direct
- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
- Getting a WDW name badge
- That first time on Mission Space
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Tower of Terror 3 times in 30 minutes (thanks Jeff and Jimmy)
That is just to start. I took over 800 pictures which I need to sort through and categorize before posting to the site. I am going to probably pare it down to around 400 or so for the site. I also was able to get some video snippets with the new camera which I will try and post as well.
I didn’t keep a journal regularly during the trip so there will be no Trip Diary, just lots and lots of photos. I also didn’t take very many Gorn pictures since he had already been there in 2000, but I did get some new ones that I will try and get up soon. Now its off to sorting – and I have to go back to work today as well.