24 Hours of Disneyland


05-19-14-Event-logo-Starting tomorrow at 6am, Disneyland will be open for 24 hours for those who are brave enough to “rock” their Disney Side.

And although I despise the use of “rock” as a verb for donning any article of clothing and successfully gaining the approval of others and, therefore, really dislike this slogan, I will be there with the family. It’s okay if you think I’m nuts because chances are you’re right.

We’re not going because we’re hardcore Disney fanatics. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, being raised in southern California sort of desensitizes you from the ahhh! factor that mostly everyone outside of the state gets when they hear “Disneyland.” It’s just another stop along the 5 Freeway for us in most cases and our Annual Passports* were bought as a way to kill a few Sundays a year when we had nothing else to do.

But there are exceptions, like those who will be camping out starting at midnight tonight waiting to get in at the precise moment the gates open then partake in a marathon park visit for the next solid day.

That’s not me. While I like Disneyland and all that, let’s get something straight: you will never find me camping outside of anyplace for anything. You just won’t. Unless I’m camping for the sake of camping.

We’re going because we were invited to go by a friend who just spoils us too much, but whose spoiling is so appreciated. We simply cannot repay her for what she’s done and continues to do.

At any rate, here are the details of our visit.

It won’t be the full 24 hours. I am working until 7pm on Friday and Anthony has school, so right away there’s a good portion of the 24 hours cut from our visit. I plan on meeting the family and friends at the park around 8pm provided traffic around the park is not winding down every possible side street like an anaconda.

Lines won’t be an issue for us. While the crowds may be huge and lines long, the one thing those who camped out will still have to do is wait or, as they most likely will do, use a FastPass. Not us. We will once again have our VIP Guide giving us quick access to all attractions. He will be ours from 4pm – 4am so we need to cram in as much fun as we can in those 12 hours. He can also schedule prime seating for everything going on for this special event.

I am going all night. I have made it my quest to uh…rock my Disney Side from the time I arrive until 6am the following morning. I want to see how tired people are as they drag themselves down Main Street. I want to see the sun come up over the Matterhorn or Space Mountain. I want to see World of Color at 3am, ride the Haunted Mansion at midnight, eat a churro at 4:47 in the morning. I’m going to do this, even if the family decides they’ve had enough.

We have a room. If the family chooses to end their quest early, they’ll have a room waiting for them at the Disneyland Hotel. And when I drag myself in there at 6am, I can crash for about 5 then start to pack up for our 11am check-out time.

It will be social. What good would an event like this be without spamming your social network feed with umpteen photos? I plan on posting pictures/tweets on Instagram and/or Twitter at every ride we conquer along with the time we are in line, for as long as my phone’s battery holds a charge, with whatever hashtags are pertinent to the event. #disneyside seems to be the only one I’ve heard of as of now.

I have no idea what we’re in for but rest assured you will see it as it happens on the aforementioned networks. Wish us luck!

And hey, I think I’ll wear this loud shirt from 1990 – Disneyland’s 30th anniversary – to the event.

Or should I *cringe* rock something else?

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*We’ve since abandoned renewing our APs as they because way too much for us. Being unemployed didn’t help matters.

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Singing with Heart


Last Friday night I attended our monthly Karaoke Night at our usual spot. Sadly, not all of the usual former coworkers could make it as they had prior engagements. It’s easy to see why with the holidays now upon us.

To summarize, here’s the list of songs I “sang”:

  • Tainted Love by Soft Cell. Always a favorite.
  • Precious by Depeche Mode. A song about the effects of divorce on children.
  • Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit. I uh…I’d rather not talk about why I didn’t have to look at the screen for the lyrics. I knew them. Look, let’s not discuss this, okay?

I have videos but there’s a reason why I linked to the original songs. Don’t expect them to ever be seen.

BlossomDespite there not being a lot of former coworkers, the place was packed as there was someone there with a group of friends celebrating a birthday. Among the large group was what I presumed to be a sprinkle of hipsters—they can be spotted miles away without binoculars—who looked out of place with the rest. Meh, no biggie. I’m no pillar of fashion myself.

I noticed that one of them signed up to sing.

Eventually, this female hipster got her turn on stage. When she stepped up I thought to myself, “Oh, this ought to be good.”

She was dressed like Blossom (almost EXACTLY like the photo above) and wearing white horn-rimmed glasses. She took the mic and stood stoically on the stage as the following song started to play.

There she stood staring straight at the lyric screen on the left of the stage, looking as if she was dared to sing a song but her introversion was getting the best of her and she was having second thoughts. Absolutely no body movement from her.

The piano intro led up to the vocals and she started to sing.

I hear the ticking of the clock
I’m lying here, the room’s pitch dark

Not bad, I thought. She must have had some kind of training.

I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone

Well, she’s better than the regular we call The Pilipino Elvis, that’s for sure. I’ve always liked this tune and she was doing it justice.

And the night goes by so very slow
I hope that it won’t end, though
Alone

Okay, enough of the quite stuff. Let’s see how well she can pull off Ann Wilson’s amazing voice. Not a chance in Hell, I thought.

Still standing in the same place, holding the mic in the same position and staring at the lyric monitor, she starts to sing the next line.

And this was pretty much how the entire room looked when it happened.

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Sunday’s Activities


In addition to randomly coming across an Indy car in a parking lot on Sunday, here are a few other things we did along with even more pictures.

We love thrift shops and in particular, a chain called Savers. There used to be a few of them locally but unfortunately, they both closed so now we are reserved to traveling to the Anaheim location which considering we can hear the Disneyland fireworks from home, isn’t too far for us.

While we went for clothes, it’s always joy to meander through the store and check out shelf after shelf of useless and useful crap, oddities, trinkets, etc. You might even find a nice bike there if you’re lucky. But recently the crapfest hasn’t been as intriguing as it has been in the past so I’ve taken to looking at the books.

And here’s the kicker – I hate reading. Seriously, I do. Something has to be extremely interesting to make me sit and read it and for the most part, nothing does it. This is why Ann often doubts that I read the entire Lord of the Rings series in my younger years.

LOTR aside, novels don’t do it for me. I can’t stand them. This is why I thought this book might be an interesting read:

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Come on, you know…Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass and all that. I thumbed through it and while interesting, I guess I’m not all that enthralled with the man to even put down the couple of bucks they were asking for the 43-year-old book (hey, the same age as me). It was just letters he wrote to people. Interesting but…not enough for me.

I kept looking and found this one that was just the opposite:

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How to Be Pope is written in the style of an instruction manual detailing how your life would be as pope: the people who work for you, the significance of the vestments, where you can dine, etc. It’s chock full of facts about Vatican City, a place that despite my leaving the Catholic church has always been a place I’d like to visit. For example, did you know there’s a gas station and railroad within the City? Sure, the rail system is only 2,600 feet but it’s there. I’m halfway through it and it has brought back memories of how elegant and time-honored Catholic mass truly is and I’d be remiss to say that at times, I do miss the elegance of the mass. It’s all so beautiful and, well, holy. It was the church’s politics that made me leave but there’s still a place in my heart for the grandeur of the mass. Pope John Paul II was awesome.

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I had to pick this up. New season, new hat. #ItsTimeForDodgerBaseball!

Next to Savers is Vallarta Supermarket (or supermercado) which is, as if the name wasn’t a big enough indication, a Mexican market. It’s relatively new and is one of the most well-stocked, clean, and friendly mercados I’ve been to.

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You name it, the have it: carniceria (meat market) with prepared and unprepared meats of every variety, panaderia (bakery) with Mexican bread and tortillas made fresh, and even a restaurant that serves up some fantastic food at decent prices.

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The bakery had all sorts of goodies on display including these, which were two Mexican sugar cookies with frosting between them and an Oreo stuffed inside. You probably wouldn’t want to know the number of calories, grams of sugar, or lard in these things but you probably wouldn’t care once you took a bite.

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This right here? This is what Heaven smells like and believe it or not, this is not even the entire row of pan dulce. This was all that would fit in the frame of my phone’s camera. We ended up buying about three bags of pan because hey, at 5 for $2, you would have, too.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the rainstorm that moved through our area which at times was a torrential downpour.

And doing tons of laundry.

By the way, the smell of a panaderia should be made into a chemical form and turned into a car air freshener, both spray and embedded into a little dangly thing in the shape of a piece of bread.

And if I were pope, you bet my Popemobile would have one – or several.

A Day at the Ballpark


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It’s not too often that I go to the ballpark. Frankly, while I love baseball, the cost of taking the family to a game is getting out of hand and I just don’t make the money I used to. That’s why whenever I’m offered tickets to a game, I gladly take them. It also explains why I’ve only gone to a few over the years.

The workplace organized a trip to the Angel game a few weeks ago so naturally, I signed up. Not only did we get admission but also a $10 voucher for food. That doesn’t get much but it’s something.

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Anyway, here’s how the day went.

Can’t go anywhere without people asking for your signature or money. Holy shit, even before I’m in the place, I’m being hit up to sign some kind of petition for a measure I’ve never heard of before. Sorry morons, but I like to do my research before putting pen to paper since there’s always more to what you’re telling me. And then there’s those idiots in the funky pseudo-nurse outfits whom I never give money to in the first place. Call me a dick, but I ignored both of them.

Two foul balls that almost killed us. Our seats weren’t even warm yet when a foul ball came in the direction of the area me and my fellow co-workers were sitting. In fact, it was a row and a few seats behind me. Then, a few batters later, yet another one flew in our direction but wasn’t as close. Everybody was alright.

One of my coworkers was shown on the big screen. I should have gotten a picture of it but by the time I grabbed my phone and turned on the camera, the camera had turned to someone else.

Kid got hit in the face with beach ball; was crying over it. Either there’s a ton of homeschooled kids on Orange County*, some are out for school, or some ditched because for a Thursday afternoon game, there were plenty of them. A group of said kids was sitting a few rows in front of me in the section to the left. During a break in the game, one of them had thrown a flattened beach ball  into the face of a kid who I’d say was at least 10 years old. He immediately started to cry and say, repeatedly, “You threw that beach ball in my face!” The kid was way too old to be crying over such a thing and honestly, if it were Anthony, he would be plotting sweet, sweet revenge and I’d have to sleep with one eye open. Guess the kid never heard this advice.

Freaking hot out there. I regretted my decision to wear jeans once the sun broke through the clouds because man, was it hot out there. I appreciated the occasional breeze because we had no shelter as we were sitting in the field level (see first picture above).

Just. Stop. I really wish they’d stop playing this song before the team takes the field (although for years they played this one), and the Rally Monkey needs to go away. Whenever the Angels are losing, this video and a few others are shown on the screens in an effort to stir up the crowd. It’s Anaheim, and it takes more than a Rally Monkey to stir up this pink-hat crowd (read: start with a few apple martinis). In the end, the power of the monkey failed as the Angels lost to the A’s by a score of 4-3.

A sick mind never sleeps. During the game, I tweeted the following which was an embellishment of something I had witnessed:

Peanut vendor: “Who wants a great big bag of salty nuts?” Blonde: “Why do guys always ask me that?” #theaterinmymind

Beats working. But despite it being a hot day, a whiny crybaby, and the other minor inconveniences I experienced today, a good time was had by all. This definitely beat sitting in the office all day, proofreading until my eyes begin to bleed.

Many thanks to The Powers That Be for organizing this event. Much appreciated 🙂

*Still refuse to recognize it as “The [its initials go here]”

The Captain Returns!


I’m in the Captain EO line at Disneyland waiting to get in. Media everywhere and we might get in before 10 am opening time. Haven’t seen anybody dressed like MJ just yet…

UPDATE: The pics are up! Video clips will be later.