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Monthly Archives: January 2008

The ‘Bucks

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When I was in college, I worked at Starbucks. For about three years, I worked many opening and closing shifts, either getting up at 4:30am to work at 5:00am (until 10:00 am, right before an 11:00 class. Guess how many of those classes I skipped. Add 4 or 5 and you’re getting closer…), or working until 1:00am, which was like working at a bar, but without the tips, because college kids are cheap and poor. This might make you think that I disliked working at Starbucks, but really, it had its ups and downs, but I worked there for so long for a reason (I haven’t stayed at any other job for as long since I left!), and the main reasons were that I worked with some pretty great people, and there were some customers that were genuinely nice to me, even at 6:30 in the morning.

Why all the storytelling, Megan? Well, internets, I had a pretty great Starbucks experience yesterday (not reported at the time because I had no internet at home, which is an entirely different, much angrier entry). Nothing major, but you may have heard or seen their new promotion, “Skinny” Lattes, basically lattes with sugar-free syrup and nonfat milk (which, thankyouverymuch, I have been enjoying for years– my favorite is the Cinnamon Dolce Latte). The only hitch is the new Skinny Mocha, which, rather than being made with the thick, fatty, chocolate-y goodness that is actual mocha syrup, is made with a sugar-free syrup, just like the others. I was wary, and had heard very mixed reviews. I brought it up with my friendly neighborhood barista after ordering the usual, and she made me a sample. The verdict: a little chemical-y, and if you really want some chocolate, go ahead and get a tall (or short!) mocha, because sometimes only the real thing is going to do.

Ok friends, off to enjoy the bounty of blagotubes that has been restored to The Apartment! Also, probably some covetous Valentine’s Day browsing at Red Envelope


The Happiest Place on Earth

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At last, we have internet in The Apartment! Our complex has a strange, fly-by-night internet provider (well, we could choose another if we had a landline phone, which we don’t because we’d never use it…) that uses more legitimate lines and funnels it to us, which means that when his line goes down, so do all of ours. Therefore…no internet, at all, for the last week. It was like 1995 around here.

So. Before we got back to The Land of No Internet, we were in Anaheim, enjoying a most magical three days of Disneyland. This has become something of an annual occurrence, in that it has happened at the same time for two years in a row– it’s our post-Christmas present to each other, and even better because the crowds aren’t as dense in the first few weeks of January. Since it’s Southern California, the weather is benign at worst and downright pleasant at best, so I really feel like we’ve discovered some crazy Disneyland secret. We drove down on Friday after a grueling half-day at work, and made it in time to watch the fireworks from our hotel’s exterior corridors.

We decided to do our Early Entry on the first morning, mostly because we were too excited to sleep in very much the first morning, so we headed to the entry gates after grabbing a quick breakfast from the cafeteria in the hotel. Because Disney is wonderful and organized, we ended up being first in one of the entry lines, getting a front-row seat to a mini-ceremony involving a woman who had “had a tough holiday season,” and who was being given a Magical Day at Disneyland, complete with front-of-line privileges, shopping, and a nice dinner. She cried, and I got a little misty, too, because I was so taken by Disney– of course they can afford to do this, it’s “nothing” to them, but really, they chose to do this, and it was great to see it firsthand. (And, for the record, I have experienced it firsthand…but that’s another blog. Seriously.) At any rate, we walked into the park as it was empty, and were led straight to the new(ish) Finding Nemo ride, which generally has lines upward of 90 minutes, so it was really a treat to get to walk onto it. We ran to, in quick succession, Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and most of Fantasyland (although we somehow managed to skip/forget Alice in Wonderland). Passes the rest of the day in near-breathless joy, and then headed over to California Adventure, the adjacent park that proves to the rest of the world just how self-centered Californians are (very, but we’re better than pretty much everywhere else, so really…it’s justified). Delicious dinner in bread bowls (Boudin! A little piece of San Francisco in Disney), followed by the (Main Street) Electrical Parade, which was just as magical as he and I remembered. We rushed back over to Disneyland to catch the fireworks (for real, with music this time), and then over to Fantasmic, which was more fireworks, as well as projections onto walls of mist, and general Disney awesomeness. Exhausted but not ready to really head back to the hotel, we gave Pirates of the Caribbean one more go before we retired for the day.

Day two allowed us to sleep in for about an hour, but we were no less motivated to sprint over to the park for our “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour, which was fun. Because we’re both Disney nerds who would really prefer a park ops tour to a “Did you know…”-type tour, we had high hopes, and it was definitely a fun tour. There was a lot of revisiting things we already knew, like forced perspective throughout the park, but we did get to go into the lobby of Club 33 and ride in the caboose of the train that runs around the park, so it was pretty fun. We headed over to CA Adventure after the tour, in order to go on Tower of Terror and Soarin’ Over California a couple times, and even got to sit in the front row of California Screamin’– totally worth it if you can stand to wait a couple cycles (which, because it’s Disney, don’t take that long). Back to Disneyland for dinner at the Blue Bayou, the restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean, where we had a large amount of delicious food: crab cakes, salmon, beef short ribs, and a mountain of chocolate-mint doubloons. Because of winds, the fireworks and Fantasmic were cancelled, so we were able to squeeze in a few more rides on Space Mountain, Nemo, and Star Tours.

Our third day was begun in CA Adventure, where it was almost a ghost town– usually the less-popular park, it was also empty because it was a Monday, so we were able to walk on to all the rides we wanted to go on, which took about an hour. It was close to lunch time, so we headed to the Wine Country Trattoria for lunch. Here’s something that CA Adventure offers that Disneyland doesn’t: wine! Our lunch was eaten outdoors, starting with sparkling wine, then some crispy whites to go with our paninis…yum! After hitting the Aladdin show and Tower of Terror, we meandered back to Disneyland, to go on Alice in Wonderland, Small World (which I love unabashedly), and all of the other things we knew we’d miss like crazy once we were back home.

We packed, pouting, on the fourth morning, and headed up to Glendale to have lunch with Candice for her birthday, and make the looooong drive home up I-5. The consolation at the end of the five-and-a-half hour drive is that we only have about six more months until our next Disneyland experience…in Paris!

My apologies, friends…

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The internet in The Apartment is down, hence no Disneyland updates. But I promise there will be one, when the interweb decides to begin functioning…

Why I listen to NPR

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Not just because I’m a bleeding-heart, West Coast-living, registered Democrat with a crush on Ira Glass…but also because on local radio, especially in the morning, one’s ears are treated to scintillating segments (sorry for the alliteration, it flares up when I’m annoyed) such as, “Is It Gay?” Debate is then held over whether things like having personalized checks or being a male cheerleader is gay. Not that these people are social scientists, but I’m going to have to point out here that correlation is not causation. Thank god for Morning Edition!

Not sick not sick not sick!!

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You heard me, I am definitely not getting sick, not least of all because he and I are leaving for Disneyland (!) tomorrow. Headed home a bit early from work today, mainly because I’ve had little to do since mid-December, and also to do a bit of symptom suppression, in which I am a firm believer. I know a couple people who think that one should just let colds and such “run their course,” and I’m pretty sure these people should probably still be using iceboxes and horse-drawn carriages. Technology– be it electric, mechanical, or pharmaceutical, is generally your friend, especially when it results in less of a head-fog.

For dinner: Trader Joe’s chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers. Sick-person food for sure, but so tasty when it’s damp and crappy outside!

Blog ADD

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So, friends, this is officially the fourth blog that I have had in only 24 years on earth. Considering that only about 6 of them have been active blogging years, I’d say that qualifies me as one who just might have a slight case of the blog ADD. At any rate, I’ve decided to start of 2008 with yet another one…and some memes, how original!

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items.
You can only pick one thing from the following departments… what’ll it be?
1. Produce: Clementines
2. Bakery: Baguette
3. Meat: Spicy Italian sausage, because I suck at liking red meat
4. Frozen: Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wings
5. Dairy: Greek yogurt

Let’s say we’re heading out for a weekend getaway. You’re only allowed
to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what’s in your bag?
1. My Lucky Brand Jeans
2. Gap navy cable knit sweater
3. Black flats

If I was to listen in on your conversations throughout the day, what 5
phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. I know, right?
2. Why would you do that?
3. Please/thank you
4. Gross.
5. Yes’m. (I don’t know where this came from. It certainly isn’t appropriately regional for me, but I started saying it one day and it stuck.)

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if
you didn’t get to do, you probably wouldn’t be in the best mood?
1. Have a cup of black tea with Splenda (!) in the morning
2. Kiss him before I leave for work
3. Moisturize!

We’re talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities
might we find you doing?
1. Internet window shopping
2. Singing any number of musical soundtracks along with the iPod
3. Cleaning some area in the apartment
4. Reading
5. Creating a list

We are going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming,
so it’ll have to be a quick visit.
What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?
1. Otters
2. Sea Lions
3. Lions/tigers

You just scored tickets to the taping of any show that comes on t.v.
of your choice. You can pick between 4, so what are you deciding
1. Late Night with Conan O’Brien
2. Saturday Night Live
3. Martha
4. The Daily Show

You’re hungry for ice cream. I’ll give you a triple dipper ice cream
cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?
1. Pralines and cream
2. Peppermint stick
3. Chocolate chip cookie dough

Somebody stole your purse/wallet…in order to get it back, you have to
name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what’s in there?
1. Kate Spade glasses
2. Aquaphor
3. Lactaid pills for him
4. Dr. Grip pen
5. Splenda packets

You are at a job fair, and asked what areas you are interested in
pursuing a career in. Let’s pretend you have every talent and ability
to be whatever you wanted, so what 4 careers would be fun for you?
1. Event planner
2. Stationery store owner
3. Animal trainer
4. Pastry chef
*I know these aren’t very “reach for the stars,” but they’re also fairly not likely to happen in my life, so there.

If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high
school, and inform yourself of 4 things, what would you say?
1. Start working out when you get to college– you’re not going to look like this forever!
2. If you THINK it might be a bad idea to date him, it probably is.
3. Flip-flops and hooded sweatshirts seem tempting, but there are ways to be comfy and still be pretty cute.
4. Take advantage of those flight benefits! You’ll age out of them sooner than you think.

A-Available or not? Decidedly not. I carry around those Lactard pills for a reason, you know…
B-Best friend? Him, and a few of the friends I don’t get to see nearly enough
C-Cake or pie? Cupcakes, but in general pie
D-Drink of choice? 1)Water! 2)Good red wine 3)Lipton tea
E-Essential item I use everyday? Pond’s moisturizer
F-Favorite colors? –How about color combos? I love black with white, navy (because I’m a rule-breaker!), and light pink; yellow with dark purple and, of course, light blue
G-Gummy bears or gummy worms? Bears, of course, arranged in little gummy bear vignettes
H-Hometown? Teeny-tinysville, CA, and then San Jose, CA
I-Indulgence? Loads of lip products, shoes, jeans
J-January or February? January wins in a close race…New Year’s and our annual Disneyland trip!
K-Kids and names? No…and, really, I have so many more things to worry about before I start naming my children. I don’t even have a name for my CAR yet!
L-Life is not complete without…him, my family, friends, dog, and Tivo!
M-Marriage date? n/a
N-Number of siblings? 1 brother and 1 sister (both younger)
O-Oranges or apples? Green apples or clementines
P-Phobias or fears? Obvious ones like spiders, and weird ones like untidiness. Which I guess counts more as a compulsion than a phobia…
Q-Favorite quote? “We want to be rich, to be admired, to eat like a horse and be skinny as a snake, to have small children ask for our autographs, to be on terrific medications that make us calm and witty and sexy, to be able to give George Bush a piece of our minds, to sing Irving Berlin and Gershwin and Porter at the Oak Room and be described in the Times as “luminous,” but in the absence of all that, it’s enough to be loved.” -Garrison Keillor
R-Reason to smile? I leave for Disneyland in less than 48 hours!
S-Season? Fall or spring
T-Tag? Anyone who’s willing to get through all 26 letters
U- Unknown fact about me? I played the violin for 7 years when I was younger, and can still read music pretty well. Oh! Also, I stopped dotting my lover-case I’s when I was about 12, and haven’t done it since.
V-Vegetable you don’t like? Hmm…raw broccoli? I like most of the veggies, in one form or another
W-Worst habit? Obsessive cuticle-picking…leads to terrible hangnails
Y-Your favorite food? Anything cheese related! Really, I’ve never met one that I don’t like.
Z-Zodiac? Sagittarius