Oh, Starbucks, how you torment me so.

Memories are a special thing. They can remind you of both good and bad times. Sometimes, they get suppressed in attempt to make things better... but, that usually doesn't last too long.

As I sit here in Starbucks after a long group project meeting discussing FELICA and Bluetooth and Sonar and vacuum tubes (don't even ask), I am reminded of a special time in my life from over a year and a half ago. A time that, although short lived, was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Something I can't stop thinking about.

Yes, I've tried suppressing these memories for so long. But what now? Out they flow, like water down Niagara Falls or character development in a Danielle Steel novel. Really. Just like that.

Oh, Starbucks, stop having such good coffee and ambiance. That way, I'll never have to come back... but that's quite unlikely. Sigh.




My windows are OPEN!

Just thought I'd share with everyone the following...

First comfortable weather in quite a while. Yep, I could TOTALLY get used to this!


Thanks, Mama Nature. Love ya.

God must have not wanted me to eat these.


These "Oreo Cakesters" were in the vending machine at work today. I put in $1. Selected them. They got stuck. I shook the machine. Didn't come out. Put in $1 more. Selected again. Just the first one dispensed. I ate them. And they really sucked. I could have had two double cheeseburgers from Burger King for that price. Oh, well.

A 10K? Awesome. At Disney? Even better.

I'm just gonna say it... Disney races are where it's at. Now, I know, I know...
  • They don't offer monetary prizes
  • They're typically full of a lot of details and particulars
  • They're hella expensive. 
I got it. BUT... you get to run through Disney World! C'mon, how cool is that?

I've been volunteering with the Volunteer Services Team, a small part of Disney Sports and Recreation (the big department in the sky that is responsible for putting on all these awesome events every year), since 2004. From the Marathon to the Cross Country Classic, Special Olympics to Muddy Buddy, I've had the opportunity to volunteer in numerous capacities at all kinds of events. It's a lot of fun. But to actually PARTICIPATE? Now, that's something I don't get to do too often.

My first Disney race was on March 30, 2003, just a couple of weeks before I would start calling myself a Cast Member. The Walt Disney World Inline Marathon and Half Marathon was probably one of the coolest endurance events I have EVER participated in.

Imagine, putting on your pair of inline skates (something you've recreationally done for years) and BAM! There you are, blading through the Parks with a few thousand other people, no guests around, going so fast and having the time... of... your... life. It was honestly a dream come true (how cliche!); an event that was so refreshing and so rewarding. (oh, and that's me blading through Future World in Epcot during that inaugural race!)

Sadly, the race made it's final roll in 2007, losing it's place due to a lack of popularity and to make way for the new Minnie Marathon the following Spring. Although a few pros did make their way out to the event, low participant numbers ultimately caused it's demise. Walt Disney World Inline Marathon, how I miss you so.

I didn't participate in a Disney race again until this past February (as I had mentioned earlier), but it was great to be back. The ESPN The Weekend 5K was so much fun! True, it wasn't on inline skates, but was still fun to run through the Studios early in the morning.

Getting to the real point of this post... this past Sunday brought Disney's Race for the Taste 10K and 3K, inspired by the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival occurring during the event. However, like the Inline Marathon, it has now come to an end. Sad day. Fortunately, I was able to register and race the 10K (that's 6.2 miles for you non-runners) in this, it's final year. Although a somewhat popular race, I'd just have to assume that it hasn't been making the revenue Disney wants to keep justifying its existence. So, it will not be returning next year (along with the Tower of Terror 13K and 6.5K, which I'll be running in next week - stay tuned), but will be replaced with an all-new event in 2010. Check out disneyenduranceseries.com on Wednesday at 3PM for the announcement. (Yes, I already know what it is, but I don't want to get fired by revealing it on here). 

Anyway, the race was SO MUCH FUN! Matt and I ran it together, with him pulling ahead of me about 2 miles in. We wound in and out from Wide World of Sports Complex to the Studios, Yacht and Beach Club and finally, Epcot. I managed to finish it in 56:12, which is about a 9.5 minute/mile pace - just what I was hoping for! Mom was there to cheer me on at the finish line, as well as help me sample some of the food brought out from the festival. All the finishers even got a cool medal! I really wish it was coming back next year, but I'll always have the amazing memories.


To sum up... Disney races are incredible experiences full of magic in every mile! I can do it, so why don't you give one a try? If you're not into the whole "beating your body up for personal satisfaction" thing (and I mean that in a GOOD way), try volunteering as a Sports Enthusiast. Not only do you get to help out the participants as well as a deserving beneficiary, but you can make friends and earn credits towards free Theme Park tickets! Check out disneyenduranceseries.com and disneysportsenthusiast.com today.

Horror Nights!

So, for the first time EVER, I went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal - this past Sunday was the evening of choice.


I have always decided against going because I don't like spending perfectly good money to get the crap scared out of me (the reason horror films and I don't get along). But, this year was different, as I have a bunch of friends working it and I really wanted to see them.


With Brendon's Team Member discount and Doug's additional support, the three of us went. I walked into it with the attitude that it was all just a lot of well-produced fun... which worked well. Thinking I'd be screamed at left and right, I was actually only a little bit scared one time!


I got to go through a bunch of houses and see Cory, Michelle, and Tiffany perform. They were awesome! The "frights" were even fun as I kept laughing them off.


TOTALLY didn't give HHN enough credit - I had a really good time! A little bit of fright can be a lot of fun, indeed.


Now, of course I won't spend full price for the thing, but certainly will be trying to get back once more before the season's done. If you've been putting it off because you don't do scary either, give it a chance! (just be sure to bring someone to hold onto as you go through the houses)

Oh...

... I'm approved! Yay.

Now let's see if I ACTUALLY get to play under the sea anytime soon.

Oh, and thanks to http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1291959847027916608RaXtHW for the lovely pic of Seby 2/3.

Life since May 22nd

Well, since my poor blog has nearly been left in the gutter since my last REAL post on May 22nd, let's see if I can do a brief overview on life since then. Fancy headings, maybe? Bear with me, there's a lot of stuff... here we go.

Life
Well, probably the biggest thing to happen to me in the last year is the fact that... I NOW OWN A HOME!!! A 3/3 town home, to be specific. Mom has really helped me out a lot with the down payment, as well as painting, outfitting, and all the other things necessary to make this work. It was quite the headache to make happen back in May, but was totally worth it. I'm so lucky to have had the economy, timing, and financials to be working in my favor to make this happen. Allie and Elisha are renting the two other rooms from me this year which, after a few "growing pains", is starting to work out pretty well. It's pretty crazy to know that I really am a homeOWNER instead of a home/apartmentRENTER. Although the thought of being "tied down" has crossed my mind, it really doesn't bother me all that much and I'm planning on making a move in five years or so. Hopefully, the cookies will be crumbling just right to make things work then, too.

This is Grandma. My Dad's mom. She was an amazing woman. She found home with God in the middle of July. It was hard. Really hard. Grammy, my Mom's mom, passed away around the time of Hurricane Charley in 2003. That was really hard, too, as she was the first person I can remember being close to that passed away. Grandma's death wasn't any easier. Probably even more difficult to accept in the fact that I had grown older and really learned the value of these relationships. Grandma was, by far, one of the most spiritual people I have ever known... and that was inspiring. She loved God, her family, her career, and the world around her. I may never truly realize the blessing she was to me, as the concept of death is something I still have a problem fully grasping. Maybe one day, though. Love ya, Grandma.

Not to harp on the previous theme too much, but 2009 really has been a rather sucky year overall. In particular, the number of notable deaths have been astonishing. From MJ to Farrah, Ed to Ted and Les to Patrick, it's just been insane. I've always hated odd-numbered years (weird, I know), so, hopefully 2010 will bring a lot of good things.

School
It's been quite the roller coaster. Spring > Summer > Fall > Now heading towards Spring. Starting with a full load, screwing up, not going to classes, making up for it, maintaining a good rhythm, withdrawing from classes, losing track of my schedule, and so forth. HOWEVER, as long as I stay on track (or whatever the hell you want to call it), I will walk in August 2010. Now that I can put a near-definite date on it, the thought of graduation seems a lot more plausible... which is good, very good.

Vacation
Okay, so I've only taken one trip this year (unlike last year's record), but it was a good one I figured it should have it's own heading. Back in August, I went to Utah to visit my friend Randall and had SUCH an awesome time! Randall was awesome hosting and taking me around to all these different places in a state I had never visited before. I learned about copper production at a mine that can be seen from space, went to a zoo, museum and aquarium for the first time in forever, climbed mountains, explored caves, saw beautiful gardens, went into Salt Lake City, saw the torch from the 2002 Winter Olympics and learned all about the LDS Church (which, surprisingly, was really interesting). I also got to hang with Amy, who I met on Randall's last visit to Florida, as well as a few of his friends from out there. They were all super-cool. I took 1,376 pictures, as well as uploaded a bunch of mobile pics from my phone to document the journey (in other words, picking just one for this post was rather difficult, nor can it even begin to describe the trip). The whole visit was just so amazing, I loved every minute. Hope I can get back out there again soon!



Work

I celebrated one year of "continuous" service in June, receiving my one year pin... finally. I'm not bitter after being employed by the Company since May 2003, it just seems like it's been quite the trek to this one little piece of metal. Nonetheless, I'm really happy to have it. So yay.

Also, in the little over a year that I've been in Entertainment (following my management internship that was in Spring 2008), I've actually learned a lot of different things. I was thinking this wasn't for me just a few months into the role, but, looking back, it sure has been a lot of fun and something that I'm certainly glad I made a step into. Here are just a few pics of some fun things I've got to be a part of so far... let your imagination run wild! 


That's just a small sampling of some of the exciting things that have kept work interesting and fun for me. Also, I'm learning how to swim "Under the Sea" right now and that whole process should be done by the end of this week. That has been the most challenging thing in this department so far, but will certainly be worth it in the end. More to come!

Relationships
Why don't we just skip to the air conditioning and Jacuzzi period, huh?

I know, I know. I'm a nerd. Stop judging.

Anyway, I just can't seem to get this right. I think I've made somewhat of a valiant effort four times in the past few months, but with no avail. Maybe I'm looking in all the wrong places - that idea has crossed my mind a few times, too. Maybe it's the fact that I'm just looking too hard... that, or I like crushing on straight boys, which NEVER works. Or, maybe I really do have an issue with commitment. This concept is really strange to me, though, as that's not who I know I am. I can commit. Perhaps it's just the issue with wanting to, but something in the back of my mind keeps telling me that the present situation just isn't right.

I think I'm back to the whole "enjoying the company of myself" stage. However, that thought never helps at night when I find myself being rather pensive. Oh, well. I'll keep my fingers crossed for 2010, but not fret if the chance doesn't pop up right in front of my face. We'll see what happens.

In Conclusion
Now, that wasn't all that bad, was it? Okay, don't lie. It was long. I barely scratched the surface to encourage you to read everything, so I hope that worked. (and this is why I keep everything in my iCal, so I can ACTUALLY remember some of these things) And if you made it all the way down here, I commend and thank you. Now that I've FINALLY jumped over the hurdle of bringing this thing back up to speed, I'll be posting more often. It's just been the odd-numbered year, I swear.


I'm glad to be back!