Disneyland

I know that I’ve written about how much I love Disneyland before but after spending another birthday at the Resort I want to write more. I truly do love that place and I have a lot of respect for the cast members who work there.

I cannot remember a time where I had a horrible visit. I have had a time where I have been upset due to not feeling well or not knowing that I have quite a but of options to eat. But not once do I remember having a bad experience. People have told me that they don’t like Disneyland because they had a bad experience and usually it was something that cod have either been avoided or it is just something the happens. Disneyland has become a place where you need to know how to get around. There are tricks to getting around the park without trouble. Here are a few that I have learned over the last few years.

1. Get the Fastpasses. Trust me they make getting the most out of the rides. Not every ride has them but if you really want to get on a ride that has one it can cut the wait time from about 50 minutes to about 15 – 20 minutes.

2. If you have any questions ask a cast member of go to City Hall. City Hall is usually my first stop when I get into the park. This where you go if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions.

3. If you are having any type of celebration, birthday, anniversary, first visit, anything really, go to City Hall. They five you buttons to wear around the park Nd the cast members respond to them that’s how I got wished a happy birthday 45 times by just cast members.

4. Try not going in the summer. That is their busiest time of the year but you can still manage the park if that is the only time you are able to visit. Middle of the week also seems to be less busy than the weekends for obvious reasons.

5. If you plan on going more than three times in a year, get an annual pass. You can make payments so you don’t have to pay the full amount all at once since they are expensive but they are cheaper in the long run if you go a few times throughout the year. Also you get a small discount on certain stuff depending on what pass you have. Also depending on the pass, there are blackout dates but all you have to do is plan your trip around them.

6. You might as well eat in the park because the food is just as expensive outside the park as it is inside. For the four of us in my family, we can eat breakfast in the park for around $45.00.

For anything else just do a little research before your visit and you migt be surprised at how much info you can find on the internet. It can also be fun to just talk with the cast members. They are fully of knowledge and are they to make sure you get the best experience you can get. They want you to be happy and do their best to make sure of that.

Happy Birthday to Me

I’m not writing much tonight. I am sitting at Redd Rocket Pizza Port in Disneyland. Today I turned 29 and was the first in line for the park, I found a penny on the ground in front of the gate and I found a $20 bill on the ground while heading in to get dinner. Today has turned out to be a great birthday and that makes me happy since I was dreading being almost 30. Well we are almost done with dinner so I better get off the Internet.

Classic Novels

Since I was about 14, I have built a list of classic novels that I would love to read. Since I got the Kindle app for my iPhone and found out that classic novels are free I have decided that it might be time to sit down and start crossing titles off my list. Here are the novels on my list:

1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
4. Grimm’s Fairy Stories by Jacob Grimm
5. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
6. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
7. Gulliver’s Travels by Johnathan Swift
8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Aesop’s Fables
10. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
11. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
12. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
13. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
14. The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickson

I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me. My goal is to read most, if not all, by the end of the year. Continue reading

Turning 26

Since my birthday is just around the corner, I thought I would share some of my presents from my birthday in 2008 when I turned 26. I was working at Baskin Robbins at the time and I still remember my grandpa walking through the door with a couple of roses in his hands.

About six months before my birthday my grandma, mom and I were looking at some of my grandma’s jewelery. I looked at one ring and told my grandma that I wanted the ring when I got married. It fit my left ring finger perfectly. When we were at dinner, I opened her gift and there was my ring. I was shocked that she had given it to me then.

I set all of my gifts and cards on top of my desk and they sat there for a few days. I have said before that I love the look of dried flowers and have a hard time throwing them away once they have dried up and died while still in their vases. These roses that Pa gave me are still in my apartment three years later. They were the last roses that he gave me for my birthday and I don’t have the heart to throw them away just yet. One day I will but I won’t know when that will be and I’m not in any hurry.

Kindle App for the iPhone

One of the first apps I downloaded for my new iPhone was the Kindle. (Thank you Bryan) I LOVE IT!! First of all I love to read but lately I have a hard time picking up a book and sticking with it. Once I stared at the app for a few weeks, I decided it was time to download a book and start reading again. What book to buy?

Getting on Amazon to download a book for the app is like walking into a bookstore. Where do you start? Especially when you’re me and read quite a few different genres. Then I remembered one series I have been wanting to read for over a year. The Vampire Diaries. I love the show (not to mention vampires) and knew that the TV series and the books differ, but that’s okay. I found Awakening by L. J. Smith and hit download. It didn’t take long for the novel to download and off I went. Immediately I found a lot of differences between the characters I have grown to love on the TV show and the characters I was discovering in the book. Very different but I like that both versions of the story have taken on their own life.

It wasn’t until tonight that Margi (my Mexican Mama) told me that she has a Kindle (the full one not the app for the iPhone) and she said that the classic novels are free. Free books was all I needed to hear but I have a long list of classic novels that I have wanted to read for the longest time but never found myself picking them up. My app came with Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin, Aesop’s Fables, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and the dictionary. Tonight I downloaded quite a few other classic novels and now I have quite a few books to read this year on top of all the books sitting on my bookshelves.

No matter how convenient and neat the Kindle or other electronic reading devices are, I will never give up a paper book. There is something about holding a book in your hands and reading the stories they hold waiting for you to discover them.

“When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue… you sell him a whole new life.” ~ Christopher Morley

Haunted

There are people who think I’m crazy because I believe in ghosts. It usually gets worse when they hear that I firmly believe that I am haunted. Not the area around me but me.

My first experience that I cannot explain was when I was about sixteen and I was helping to clean up an area of Cerro Gordo. We were playing cards in the Bunk House and my dad and I were sitting up against the wall. I felt five distinct fingers slowly moving down my back. I thought my dad was doing it but when I looked in his direction, both of his hands were in front of him. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched. I tried to shrug it off and went to bed. My mom and I stayed in the “haunted” room at the end of the hall. We were getting ready to leave and she was in front of me and no one else was in the house. I felt a woman’s finger creating a small circle on my back in between my shoulders. I know it was a woman’s finger because I could feel a fingernail. I turned around and nobody was there. I still refused to believe that it could be anything paranormal because I had not seen a ghost. I have also smelled rose perfume in a room when a woman had not been there and my mom and I both don’t wear any due to allergies.

My last experience at Cerro Gordo is the most memorable. All of the rooms were taken so we stayed in a tent outside near the house we were helping to restore. The full moon was up and you could see the slightest shadows through the tent. I’m not sure what woke me that night, but I heard footsteps outside the tent by where my head was. I looked the best I could but could not make out a shadow of anyone. I kept listening and noticed a specific sound in the footsteps. Spurs? I asked Mike, one of the owners, the next morning if anyone wears spurs. Mike said that he didn’t see anyone wearing spurs. I told him what I heard and he seemed fascinated that I would hear something like that. I think he added it to the list of experiences people have had.

This brings me to my ghost. While I worked at Baskin Robbins, we heard so many things that cannot be explained. We would hear kids playing and doors to the cases open and close. You have to understand that the cases were freezers. Whenever you open them and then close them, the warm air got sucked out to keep them at a certain temperature and these freezers were loud. One morning while I was decorating some cakes before we opened, I heard a noise from the dining area. From my cake decorating area behind the freezers, I could see a lot of the dining area in the reflection in a display fixture on the wall. I knew I was the only one in the store and the doors were locked. When I looked in the display, I saw a shadowy figure of a man in a cowboy hat standing against the wall. It frightened me and I practically ran to look around the case. Out of instinct, I grabbed my big knife off my counter. It was dull but I knew it would do damage if I had to. Nobody was there. I put my cakes back in the freezer and walked to Starbucks for a coffee and waited for my boss to get there. I didn’t want to be alone in that building. After that I started seeing and hearing a woman. She made me very uncomfortable and I just felt like it was a menacing spirit.

I saw the cowboy a few more times in the final years the store was open. Shortly after it closed, I started seeing shadows in my apartment. I have seen Cowboy in my apartment a few times. He doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable and it’s almost like he’s my guardian. He usually shows up after a very stressful day or when I’m feeling down. I don’t know if this is all in my head or actual paranormal experiences. I guess I’ll never know, but I believe that there are some things that happen in this world that cannot be explained.

I would love to do an investigation with TAPS from Ghost Hunters or even go to some of the places that Josh Gates and his team have been to on Destination Truth. The only thing that would hold me back is I tend to spook easily. Even with that I would just love to get an answer to a lot of questions that have built up in me over the last thirteen years since I felt the hand moving down my back. People can call me crazy all they want, but I will continue to believe in ghosts.

During the two years I have been to Comic Con, I have been able to meet Josh Gates twice and Amy Bruni and Kris Williams from Ghost Hunters once.

Josh Gates and Me, Comic Con 2009

Kris Williams, Amy Bruni, Josh Gates and me, Comic Con 2010

Never a Sane Animal

What can I say? My grandparents’ have never had a sane animal. They had a cat that would suck on the end of its tail until one day my grandpa (and I think my uncle or someone) put hot sauce on the end of it and damn near burnt the cat’s mouth.

They had a bird that lived up to its name, Sapass (Sap for short) and I was one of the few people that he wouldn’t bite. Sap used to fly off his cage all the time and would try to bite you if you tried to pick him up. One day he flew off his cage and I was the closest person and went to pick him up. He tried to bite me and I lightly hit the tip of his beak. I startled him to the point that he didn’t know what to do other than get on my finger so that I could put him back on his perch. He would always snap and hiss but then think about it and get up on my finger without really trying to bite me. I was the one who found him dead in his cage after we noticed that he wasn’t looking too well on that Fourth of July. My cousins had made my uncle build a coffin for Sap and he is buried in the back yard along with a lot of their other pets.

I remember quite a few of their animals and I think the horses have always been the closest to normal that their animals have gotten and the horses have always been strange as well. They had another cat that would run really, really fast through the house until all of a sudden you would hear this loud thump on the hall door and you knew the cat has lost its grip on the floor and slammed into the door. My mom said that he would stumble around a little bit after that. Choo Choo is buried in the front yard. Both the front and back yards have quite a few beloved pets that are buried.

Sophie was basically a rescue dog. Our neighbor’s sister found her wandering around on the street. She didn’t have a collar on and was slightly wet like she had just gotten a bath. Tommy brought her to the house and showed her to us. They put ads in the paper and spread it around town. Nobody ever claimed her. Tommy was about to take the cocker spaniel to the pound and my mom asked if my grandparents could see the dog. Sophie really stayed with Pa and they adopted her. When ever Pa had to leave town for a doctor’s appointment and didn’t take her, she would ignore him for a week. I’m not sure how long they had her before she got sick and had to be put to sleep. I still remember my mom having to tell me and we didn’t know that Ma and Pa had left her in front of the fireplace while they dug the hole in the back yard for her. She was a good dog. We called her Sophie because she kind of perked up when we were trying to guess her name. I miss Sophie.

It wasn’t too long after Sophie that they got Abigail; another cocker spaniel. She travelled about 2000 miles to be with us and for the longest time, she would not leave her kennel. Abby is literally a scaredy cat. She has warmed up to various things but still gets spooked easily. She’s weird. That’s the only way to describe this animal. She still growls at bags and used to growl at luggage. Abby knows the sound of my brother’s truck and has her nose plastered to the glass door when he comes over. She’s always looking for someone to play with and will steal your chair if you’re not careful.

Tonight I was over at Ma and Pa’s house and Ma said that I needed to see what Abby does when she gets up in the chair with her. We waited until finally Abby got up there and did this:

She truly is a strange dog. It doesn’t take much to entertain her. We’ve tried teaching her how to play fetch. She know that she has to go get the ball or toy, but she’s won’t bring it back to you. Instead she runs away from you. She’s really funny when she really starts running. She puts her butt almost to the floor. If she sits on your lap she either sits with her back straighter than any human’s or she is lying on you arm. Yes I wrote on your arm. If she’s not lying on it, most of the time she will have at least her paw over it. She gets comfortable in the most awkward positions we have ever seen. As weird and funny as she is, we wouldn’t trade her for anything.

I keep telling Ma that they have never had a sane animal and she agrees. We have loved each and every one of them.