Friday, April 30, 2004

The Pain of It All (pt. II)

On Wednesday, I worked on my legs at the gym: leg lifts, press, hip abductor and adductor, calf press, etc. This morning, it's a bit difficult to walk. The fronts of my upper thighs hurt. I feel like a grumpy old man in need of a cane.

I also made the mistake of weighing myself this morning after promising myself to weigh in only once per week. 199 lbs. My pants still feel loose so I'm wondering (a.k.a. praying) if the gain is because of the gym. Still no sodas and very little of the fried foods. I did eat a lot of Oreos at The Center on Tuesday with Clark. That could pose a problem....

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

This year I'm participating in the AIDS Walk Orange County, a 7.5 km fundraiser to support 9 agencies that provide help and support to people in Orange County living with AIDS. In the past, I've both walked in and volunteered for this event, handing out water and orange slices to the walkers while shouting words of encourgement to keep them going. It's been a while since I've done anything for this event, and yes, I do feel somewhat guilty for my lack of participation. Therefore, I have registered to walk with the team from the Gay and Lesbian Community Service Center of Orange County and will join them on Sunday, June 6, in Irvine, CA. I added a link (above the Links menu) to my donation page for anyone interested in helping me raise funds. My goal is $250, but if I can beat that, so much the better for the community. All donations are tax deductible. Thanks for your time!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Look! Up in the Sky!

It's the "Dishonest Dubya" Lying Action Figure!! I found this nifty little item thanks to a link on djmags site after following a link from J.'s site (see Words, Weights, Whatever). Would someone actually buy this thing? I, myself, prefer the Billy Doll....
The pain of it all...

Ugh! I will never get used to returning to the gym after a long absence. The extreme exhaustion that tries to convince you that enough is enough. The strain of stretching every muscle until they feel as if they were about to rip from their tendons. The aching shoulders and arms the next morning as you attempt to type a simple blog entry. Even my fingers ache. Why do I put mself through this?!

Because you used to weigh 230 lbs., and the goal is to not reach that weight AGAIN!!! That's why.

I hate it when my inner voice is right.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Weight: 196 lbs.

Still hanging in their with the below 200 weight. I'm hitting the gym again tomorrow. 6 weeks since my last visit! Can my body handle it?

The Tower of Terror

hthwelcome.jpg Finally!! After two years of watching its construction, the Walt Disney Company presented us -- the Annual Passholders -- with the opportunity of a lifetime: to be some of the first park guests to ride their latest attraction. The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror. The latest thrilling attraction to be added to Disney's California Adventure.

Roughly a month ago, I received an email with information detailing the Tower of Terror, delving briefly into its design, background, aspects of the ride, etc. Down towards the bottom of the email, I read the words "Would You Like To Be One Of The First Riders?" (Okay, not exactly those words, but close enough for our purposes.) I thought, Hell YES!!!, and clicked the link.

The next site listed about four or five different packages for those passholders interested in experiencing the Tower before the regular guests. Some included three or four night stays at one of the resort hotels and even earlier access to the attraction -- if you could shell out $400-$500 per person. Unfortunately, I have not yet won the lottery nor has any relative left a goodly sum of many in his/her will. The most affordable, at $60 per person, was the Experience Package: special entry into the park (after it's closed) at 9:15 PM, a collectible pin, a lanyard and a commemorative gift. Each person also has 2 hours to ride the Tower of Terror as many times as he/she sees fit. I called C., who was immediately interested, and later that night, broached the idea with Sean, who was also willing to go for it.

I purchased three spots the next day. Event target date: Friday, April 23, 2004.

As the date approached, the more excited I became. I remember the feeling when I rode the first version of the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World, Florida. Turning the corner and viewing that imposing structure for the first time. The anticipation of that first drop, with the butterflies aflurry in my stomach. The sheer fright at falling 13 stories. The adrenalin rush that only results from extreme terror. I went back for more -- eight times, to be exact. Would this one be the same? Would they have improved it? Or worse, would it suck eggs? But, it's all C. and I talked about during the entire week leading up to last Friday.

Thursday night, Sean came home with a fever of 102˚ and terrible bodyaches. He felt like crap that this happened the night before our big event. Yet he was still determined to go, no matter what. I loaded him up with bottles of Gatorade and some cold and flu medicine, taking his temperature every few hours. After a fitful night of sleep, his fever broke, and his temperature fell back to normal. I still made him check, though, while I was at work. Thank goodness, it never came back!

I managed to leave work early, came home to pick up Sean (and to re-check his temperature, for good measure), and off we drove to the park. The event didn't begin until 9:15, but Disney scheduled registration to end at 7 PM so we had to arrive with enough time to gather our packets. We parked and walked from the structure to the Disneyland Hotel, following the signs to the Grand Ballroom and our packets. When we walked into the registration room, one of the employees was singing and acting goofy so, of course, Sean took a picture. (She's immortalized forever, though I can't remember her name....) The packets contained two letters about the ride, merchandise information, HTH lanyards which also acted as tickets for entry to the event, a special dated ticket, a collectible Minnie Mouse pin, and a coupon book. The coupons were for food, drink, and five games of skill. The prizes for the games were five more collectible pins, each dated and part of a limited edition. However, they wouldn't allow me to pick up C.'s packet. They required a photo ID per person, no matter how many are in your group. We told them our situation, and they agreed to hold his info until 8 PM. Phew! Crisis averted!! Sean and I wandered around, ate some burgers at the hotel, snapped a few pics, and mosied back to the Grand Ballroom to await C. Click here to see all our photos from the event.

After he arrived, we re-entered California Adventure. C. was starving so we sat and talked while he a bleu cheese burger from the Taste Pilot (an aeronautic-themed eatery). We still had plenty of time to kill before 9:15 so we all snapped a few night shots of the Hollywood Tower Hotel and browsed the shops. Waiting has got to be the hardest part. C. and I were getting more and more excited, almost willing the operators to let us through the barricade early. I think Sean was nervous. He generally doesn't enjoy these types of rides, but I'm glad he decided to try it at least once.

With about 15 minutes to go before the event, we lined up at our spot just outside the main entrance to the park, and very soon, were lead by a bellhop into the Hollywood Backlot. The Electrical Parade was in full swing, and I waved to Pete from Pete's Dragon. Other park guests stared at the long line of us, all wearing our HTH lanyards and some even dressed in 1930's fashion, trailing each other into the Backlot. We felt incredibly special, as if everyone envied us at just that moment because they knew where we were headed. And, damn, didn't they want to be with us right then?!

We followed the bellhop behind the barricades, past the partitions, and smack into the 1930's. A swing band played off to the left. Tables with red and white tablecloths filled the street. Directly in front of us, the magnificent Hollywood Tower Hotel, complete with the lightning scars and the "W" from "Tower" flickering on its last legs. Every once-in-a-while, one of the exposed elevator shafts opened, revealing a car filled with 21 screaming riders, alternately rising then plunging to the bottom of the elevator shaft. I tingled with anticipation! Once we neared the tables, the bellhop left us. Not knowing what to do or where to go, we followed the small crowd and lined up for the Tower of Terror.

The grounds of the hotel are made to resemble a grand 1930's hotel, with trellised walkways, a garden and a swimming pool, but as if no one has touched them in over 70 years. The walls are cracked, planters broken. The pool sits empty. We wind our way through the garden into the neglected lobby. Dust and cobwebs cover everything, and, oddly enough, nothing has been moved. A game of cards left unfinished at a small table to our left. A child's doll silently waiting on a sofa near the fireplace. Unopened letters in the room boxes. The elevator doors buckled and bent, with an "Out of Order" sign standing before them. The guests must have been in a hurry to escape.

Another bellhop directs us to one of two libraries, each wth shelves full of old, dusty volumes, eccentric antiques, an unfinished game of mahjongg and a television. The curtained window shows that a storm has hit the area, with lightning flashes and rain spattering against the window. With one big crack of thunder, the lights go out. The television turns itself on to an episode of 'The Twilight Zone,' introduced by Rod Serling. But this is no ordinary story. His tale concerns certain events at the very hotel in which we are standing. One dark and stormy night in 1939, five people entered the main elevator. On the way up, the hotel was struck by lightning, plunging the elevator 13 stories to the lobby. However, when they searched through the rubble, no sign could be found of those five people. They simply vanished. Serling says that it's up to us to discover what happened by re-creating those mysterious events from 1939. A secret door opens. We follow one another into the bowels of the hotel: the boiler room. It's dank, damp and dusty, filled with eerie sounds, and...what was that? I thought I heard a faint voice, a little girl calling for her father, saying that she's lost and can't find her way out. We follow the path to the closed doors of the service elevator. The doors open, we move to our assigned seats, click our seatbelts closed. The doors slide shut, and the hulking car glides backwards. The room fills with darkness and starlight, resembling the opening of a 'Twilight Zone' episode. The car swiftly moves up a few flights. The door opens, and we see ourselves. Lightning flashes. The car shakes. Our reflections have disappeared from the mirror. The doors close, and we move again to another floor. The doors open onto a long hallway, dusty, cobwebbed, a few room service trays still outside their doors. The five missing hotel guests materialize before us, beckoning us. They disappear as the hallway darkens, the one remaining light focusing on a door at the end of the hallway. It turns into elevator doors with the five missing guests. Our doors slide shut. The car shutters, drops a few feet, then flies up. The main doors open again, and we're looking at the outside, over the Disneyland Resort. We hover a few moments. The car shakes.

We plunge down the shaft, screaming and laughing.

The car stops. Shudders...rises...falls...lifts at an incredible speed to the outside view. Up a bit more. A bit more....

AAGGGHHH!!!!! as we drop thirteen stories!!! My legs fly, and my rear doesn't touch the seat! Sean's arms flail in the air! C. laughs hysterically!

It's over. We scurry from the car, filled with nervous, excited, terrified adrenalin.

Let's do it again!!!!!

C. and I rode the Tower of Terror four times. Sean made it through twice. (Yea, Sean!)

The exit took us through the attraction's shop. We seriously debated buying the HTH bath towels and room keys. They even sold figurines from episodes of "The Twilight Zone." What I enjoyed most about the shop were the display cases with actual items from episodes of the TV show: the camera that takes pictures of the future, a thimble, a typewriter, even the devil-headed fortune telling machine from an episode featuring William Shatner. We then played the games of skill, each winning five more pins of Disney characters in 1930's garb. Easy games such as toss he ball through the window, who can sort the colored letters the fastest, a ring toss, a game of Simon, and a clothing toss. In that short two hours, we certainly got our money's worth. The biggest surprise, though, Disney saved until we were leaving. Each guest was presented with an engraved pocket watch with a display case to commemorate the event. I was in disbelief. The pins, the ride, the special merchandise were already enough. But, a pocket watch?! We were all stunned into silence for a few moments.

I'd say it was $60 well spent.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Cute Baseball Player of the Week

Aaron Rowand, Centerfield for the Chicago White Sox. Not a lot of pics out on the web of him, but he's got a great smile, love the goatee, and nice arms. Hurray for the Boys of Summer!!


Potholes and Idiots

I usually don't rant (too much) on here. But after the drive to work this morning, I simply need to vent. First of all, when is the city of Huntington Beach going to repair the streets? The morning commute looks more and more like an Iraqi street, with drivers forced to swerve into other lanes in order to not wreck their front axles or ruin the suspension. I grasp my steering wheel tighter each time I approach one of those uneven intersections at 40 mph, afraid my car may disappear into the sewer system beneath the streets or fly into the atmosphere. One of the worst streets is Gothard, which I don't think has been re-paved or re-surfaced since the Nixon administration. funny thing is, all the automotive repair shops are along that street. Kind of makes you wonder if there aren't any shenanigans going on with the city....

Second, I approached an intersection with the green lights favoring me. About midway through, a Lexus zips around the corner without stopping, the driver chatting away on his cell phone, heedless to the fact that I'm possibly about to ram the backend of his car, and slows down. He slowed down. What moron turns into on-coming traffic and then slows down?? I slammed on my brakes and honked my horn, as if that were really going to do anything.

All I can think of to say is that perhaps, if he weren't on his cell phone, he may have been more cognizant of the traffic situation -- mainly, my car barrelling toward him. I still don't understand the need to drive and to talk on the phone at the same time. Are you a doctor trying to contact the ER? Are you having a coronary and need emergency attention? Chances are that you're not, and the call isn't really important enough to take your attention away from the road. Come on, folks, you're behind the wheel of a potentially dangerous machine. If you need your hands to steer, don't you think your brain is required, too? Even as a pedestrian with the right of way to cross the street, I've almost been hit numerous times by folks who are too focused on their calls to notice the live being in the crosswalk. Then, they shrug at you and point at their phones. As if that makes everything alright.

I want a hand held air horn to blast at them when they try someting stupid like that.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Weight: 197 lbs.

Managing along with the steady weight, even after the wonderful illness during the week. I still have the illness -- somewhat -- and food no longer makes me want to wretch. The weight gain, though, is probably from all the soup I've been eating. And the cheese sandwiches. And the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I know, I know...I deserve a slap on the wrist. But on the bright side, I haven't eaten any fried foods at all this week, and no soda since January 1.

This weekend was made to take it easy, what with the rainy weather. Feeling restless on Saturday morning, I viewed the music videos that are part of the DVD packages with movies: I Don't Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith (from Armageddon), Reflection by Christina Aguilera (from Mulan), Mad World by Gary Jules (from Donnie Darko), etc. Sean came down around 10 AM, and we wound up watching all of Down With Love for the umpteenth time.

After the movie and cleaning up, we checked out the Old Chicago Antique Mall for a few hours. Sean bought a jr. high yearbook to try to sell on eBay, and I considered purchasing a beautiful portrait of silent cowboy star Tom Mix, complete with his autograph. A sharp black-and-white image with him in full cowboy gear propped up on a rifle. I'm not a huge silent western fan, though I do love silent films. However, I found out a few years back that I'm related to Tom Mix on my Dad's side of the family. (A cousin in Washington State was a direct descendant.) I thought it would be wonderful to have a framed picture of him; unfortuantely, I could not buy the portrait on its own, but as part of a sample portfolio from the 1920s. Believe me, if I could have afforded the entire portfolio, I would have bought it. Some of the most beautiful portraits I've ever seen and all of old Hollywood silent film stars, inclduing Clara Bow, and complete with autographs. Maybe when I win the lottery....

Back at home, Sean worked away on the computer while I watched one of my favortie haunted house movies, the original The Haunting, from 1963, starring Julie Harris. I read some more in my Samuel Delany book, watched some TV, then went to bed. It sounds boring, but oh, how wonderful it was to do absolutely nothing of any importance!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Mercury Falling

That's what it is! That's why I have food poisoning. Bad things happen when Mercury is in retrograde, and according to Georgia Nicols, we're stuck until the end of April. I'm not a firm believer in astrology, fortune telling, tarot cards, etc., but I do notice that things tend to go wacky whenever that little planet decides to spin itself ragged.

Most of yesterday and all of last night, I paid homage at the Porcelain Temple. (Yes, disgusting, I know, but just think of what I could have said.) The very thought of food makes me want to wretch. My stomach feels as though a boulder has been lodged between my small and large intestines. If B. didn't have a client meeting this morning and M. weren't at jury duty, I would be at home, asleep. Instead, I'm at my desk with two 32-oz. bottles of Gatorade and some Kaopectate.

Pua: the Blimpie's is in a food court near the intersection fo Bixby and Michelson in Irvine, very close to John Wayne Airport. Stay away!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Foul Fowl

I think I ate some bad turkey yesterday. For lunch I decided to try something new and ordered a "Baja Turkey" sandwich from Blimpie's. It sounded pretty good: wheat bread, sliced turkey, swiss cheese, and a semi-spicy chipotle sauce. I knew something was wrong after the first bite: the turkey tasted a bit fishy. But, I was hungry and ate the entire thing. Late last night, my stomach began cramping a little, and I was hit with the runs (from which I'm still suffering). Other symptoms lead me to check the internet for what it could be, and Yahoo's answer was a mild case of salmonella. (Not sure if that's completely accurate, but from my symptoms, it's a perfect match.)

Today, my stomach feels bloated, and I'm incredibly sleepy, though that may be in part to Sean's loud snoring coupled with a wave machine. No fever. No nausea.

Maybe I should find a sanitized room and hermetically seal myself into it for the remainder of the year. I don't know how many more illnesses I can take.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Weight: 196 lbs.

Happy Easter to everyone! Checked around the house for any hidden Easter eggs, but to no avail. It's just as well. I'd probably eat them. Luckily, I'vemanaged to maintain the weight from last week and should return to the gym tomorrow. No relapse of the cold/infection that had me down for the past month (thank goodness).

The overcast skies yesterday made for a depressing day so I didn't feel like doing much of anything. I barely read, couldn't even nap. TV bored me to no end. We finally decided to slide a DVD into the player and watched The Maltese Falcon. I was one of the few people who had never seen this classic film noir from John Huston. Can't say exactly why, just never got around to it. And, I could kick myself. Great acting by Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet. A fine story with incredibly sharp and intelligent dialogue. The characters suck you in while the story keeps you enrapt. They don't make many movies like this anymore.

Increase and Cotton

Friday night, we were invited by C. to attend a play at South Coast Repertory (SCR). He'd won four tickets to opening night and entry into the afterparty at a silent auction. This is all that he and I have been talking about for weeks: would the play be any good? who would we see at the after party? (This may be Orange County, but we still have our share of celebrities -- movie, TV, authors, etc.) C. asked us to meet at the theater around 7:30 that night. I was excited the whole day at work....

I picked up Sean around 5, and we headed for dinner at The Clubhouse in Costa Mesa. Neither of us had dined there before so it turned out to be a treat. The building is two stories and decorated in hard woods with art deco flourishes to give the impression that you're at a dining club from the 1920s and '30s. Delicious food: we both ordered a 10 oz. prime rib served on a heap of mashed potatoes. Our knives glided through the meat, it was so tender! For dessert, I ordered a Black Bottom Cheesecake (white chocolate cheesecake on an Oreo cookie crust and topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and white and dark chocolate shavings) to split between us. God, what an incredible meal! Afterwards, we wandered around the restaurant, riding the elevator to the second floor dining room. When we exited the elevator, we peeked into the room directly opposite. A separate dining room, with a single, long table, a private bar stocked with all types of liquor. The winding staircase stood at the center of the restaurant and offered a grand view of both the upper dining area and the bar, dining area and walk-in humidor on the ground floor. We nonchalantly sauntered down the stairs and into the main shopping area of South Coast Plaza, to kill some time until we had to meet C.

There's only so much of women's clothing stores that a man -- even a gay man -- can take. That's mostly what South Coast Plaza is about. Armani, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Cartier, Tiffany, et. al. Patsy and Edina would go into shock with all the fashions. Yes, they have a few stores for men, but unless you have an athlete's or model's build, what's the point? So we strolled the walkways until we reached the other side of the Plaza, with the footbrdige that connects the shopping and dining to the arts and entertainment (i.e., the theater). We crossed, watching a small group of picketers picketing...something. (They stood on a corner too far away to actually read their signs.) A fire engine and amublance, both with sirens and lights blazing, turned at their corner. Continuing on, we stepped from the bridge onto the path headed for the theater.

We were early. Very early. No one but the box office attendants was around. So we waited outside the glass wall, waiting for C. The play we were to see was the world premiere of Amy Freed's Safe in Hell. It tells the comic story of Cotton Mathers as he tries to find his place in the church of his father, Increase Mathers. Not blessed with "inner sight" like his father, he soon finds that the best way to convince Increase that he belongs in the church is to monitor the strange proceedings in Salem, Massachusetts. (Doesn't that just scream comedy to you?) I tried to make small talk by telling Sean that I recognized two of the actors from previous productions at SCR. "That's nice. What is it we're dong after the play?" I reminded him of the afterparty, and then we fell back into awkward silence. Soon (thank goodness), C. arrived with his mother, got the tickets and inside we went.

It turned out to be an interesting -- and funny -- play. Robert Sella played Cotton Mathers, almost as if he were a little on the effeminate side. Very funny with both his line delivery and his actions on stage. Simon Billig was the Reverend Doakes, who takes religion outside of man's church, bringing the ire of the Puritans down upon him. (A very funny and strong performance.) Graeme Malcolm's portrayal of Increase Mathers was wonderful. Stong and imposing, he easily wielded the power that a man of religion during the late 1600s would have. Tracy Leigh was hysterical as Tituba, Rev. Doakes' slave who teaches his two daughters how to tell their fortunes and thus starts the witch accusations. The set and costume designs were equally good, infusing text from Increase's "Two Sermons" onto backdrops and onto parts of the clothing. I'm still amazed that Ms. Freed was able to make the Salem witch trials humorous without taking away the seriousness of the event.

After the play, we headed outside to stand at some tables while flutes of free champange and appetizers from Scott's Seafood were offered to everyone. We saw all the actors from the play, along with a few TV/film stars -- Jamie Sheridan from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, to name just one -- and many local politicians and members of the OC upper crust. Lots of attractive men, especially the tall one with glasses who smiled at me while I was waiting for Sean outside the Men's Room. I should be more into this kind of thing, the star-watching and hob-nobbing, but I just couldn't get into it. (Does this mean that I may have to forfeit my pink card?) C. left early, to take his mother back to his aunt's house. Sean and I stayed until 10:30, listening to the bluegrass music from the live band. A cool breeze from the ocean blew through the trees. The stars sparkled above. I devoured a chocolate-covered strawberry. It was a good night.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Le Petit Prince

It appears that the French have finally found Antoine de Saint-Exupery's plane. Saint-Exupery disappeared more than 60 years ago, and this find is, as they state in the article, akin to finding Amelia Earhart.

During my first year of French in high school, we all read Saint-Exupery's Le Petit Prince about a young boy who reigns over an asteroid. He decides one day to explore the neighboring planets and winds up on Earth. A simple children's book about discovering the universe and one's own place in it. And from this book, we first learned French grammar, how to write and to structure our sentences, how to think in French. We discussed the deeper meanings of each of the planets and the characters he encounters. All this from a children's book.

Hearing about his plane brings back all those little things I enjoyed about the book, from the author's own illustrations to the seemingly simple story. I need to dig through my old books and re-read this one.
And the winner is...

Writer Doug Wright's drama "I Am My Own Wife," about a real-life transgendered East German who survived the Nazi regime, earned the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Click here to read the full story. It's fantastic when a work that is unapologetic about being gay, lesbian, transgendered, or bi-sexual wins such an award. Rent by Jonthan Larson. The Hours by Michael Cunningham. How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel. All previous winners of Pulitzers. If only everyone could be so accepting....

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Weight: 196 lbs.
Slowly but surely, the weight's coming off. I plan to return to the gym next Monday as I will be finished with the antibiotics, which seem to have done their work. Finally! I haven't had a cold or infection hold on like this since the third grade when I battled bronchial pneumonia.

Weekend
I took it easy this weekend, sitting around the house doing laundry, going to the cinema, reading, watching DVDs. Friday night, we saw Home on the Range. I admit it: I dragged him to the theater. Great voice work by the likes of Roseanne, Dame Judi Dench, Randy Quaid, Jennifer Tilly and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Fantastic music by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. Yes, very cutesy animation that doesn't look as if much effort were put into it. But, it has a great story that kept us laughing the whole time! I think kids will like all the animals and the songs; adults will enjoy the references to old westerns and the adult humor. We came home, I finished Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire, and that was that.

Pretty much the same thing this weekend. Yesterday, I watched The Missing (not worth it; it dddddrrrrrraaaaagggggssss) and The Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart (in an Oscar-winning performance), both on DVD. He worked upstairs, listing items on eBay and watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He also said that he needed to start his laundry, which meant that he was going to bring down his clothes, maybe put one load in and forget about it. (I wind up doing most of his laundry, and then he gets upset because I don't wash them as he would.) Today, I drove to the theater to see The Ladykillers and left his piles and bags of dirty clothing sitting on the garage floor, untouched.

I'm noticing more and more that he and I spend a lot of time, while at home, doing separate things. Take right now: I'm upstairs, typing away on a blog entry and adding a link to photos from my parents' trip to Disneyland. (It's toward the end of the previous post.) When I've finished, I'll head for the bedroom and begin reading either the Delaney or the Barr book. He's downstairs, stretched on the sofa watching a movie on TV. It's like this most nights.

How have my parents done this for 39 years??

Friday, April 02, 2004

Happy Anniversary!!!

Well...almost. On April 10th, my parents will celebrate 39 years of marriage. (39 years and two kids later, they're still together!!!) When I asked what they wanted for their anniversary, they didn't hesitate to say "We want to go to Disneyland." And, because I practically live there when I'm not at home or at work, they insisted that I go with them. Who am I to argue with my parents? (And, yes, I paid for their tickets!!)

During the drive, they acted like two giddy school kids, telling me what rides they wanted to go on, where they wanted to eat, the shows they had to see. My mom decided on The Blue Bayou for either lunch or dinner so we headed for the restaurant once the park opened. For anyone who's never dined at The Blue Bayou, it's the only table-service restaurant in the park, and it happens to be located inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The restaurant sits on a plantation terrace overlooking the boats as they cross the bayou, headed for the pirate caves. Fireflies dance in the trees, and a few alligators camouflage themselves in the dark water between boats. Wisteria winds through the lattice work as you dine on Blackened Chicken or a Monte Cristo. After making our reservation for 1:10 PM, we set off for the rides.

I highly recommend visiting Disneyland on a Wednesday while school is in session. The longest wait for any ride was 15 minutes so we could take our time, enjoy the buildings and do a little people watching. We listened to a live jazz trio while wandering through New Orleans Square. Mom and I found a few bright shirts for my Dad in the Bazaar across from The Jungle Cruise. We rode the train on a complete circuit of the park...twice. Mom was even tempted to walk under the shooting waters of King Triton's fountain. Dad insisted on Thunder Mountain.

As we were exiting The Haunted Mansion, we noticed a film crew that had roped of quite a chunk of the riverfront. We ran into them again by the bathrooms near the Alice in Wonderland attraction. As it turns out, they were filming an episode of George Lopez. Unfortunately, we didn't see any of the stars from the show.

Judging by the exhausted smiles on their faces, I believe my parents enjoyed the day. Their favorite event: the Aladdin Storytime in Adventureland. (Like I said, with so few people inthe park, we did almost everything!) My Dad found it much more enjoyable than Snow White - The Musical. They're using the 2fer Ticket in a few weeks to check out California Adventure. I think they're old enough to tackle that park on their own.