Saturday, October 30, 2010

blessed samhain... that's halloween to most of you.

here we are at another halloween.  another october coming to an end.  target has fucking christmastime decorations up.  already.  seriously.  i was kind of shocked/pissed when i saw them today.  i mean IT'S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN YET technically.

so anyway, while i think halloween is pretty neat, because i like candy as much as the next person (except for awesome husband, he really doesn't like candy at all.  he doesn't cry at 'the lion king' either, and these are two examples of why i think he may be an android) and dressing up is kind of fun.  but it's not just a hallmark holiday full of candy and overpriced polyester costumes for the kids.  it's also one of our (re: neo-pagans) high holidays - samhain.  i could give you a long, interesting description of what it is and why we celebrate it, but i'm sure most of you don't care.

oh, you do?  really?

well, then, that's a different story.

neo-pagans have eight holidays spaced throughout the year.  four are at the equinoxes and the solstices, four are at right in between those.  we refer to the holidays as the wheel of the year.  each holiday that passes is like the wheel turning.  samhain is kind of like the end of our year - it's often called the witch's new year.  at samhain, we mark the death of the god.  and, yes, we have gods and goddesses, and a lot of it is kind of figurative to many neo-pagans.  the sun is very symbolic of the god (the moon of the goddess) and the days are shorter now, the sun shines less.  at samhain, the god dies and passes on - only to be reborn again at yule (the winter solstice).

i bet you'll end up hearing a bit about that as we get closer, due to my irrational dislike of people saying 'it's merry christmas NOT happy holidays' because the majority of this country is christian. 

ANYWAY.  history tells us that at this time of year, before the winter frosts moved in but after the harvests were done, many farmers would make sure they paid up all their debts - by october 31st.  so neo-pagans tend to make sure we are paid up karmically - that we don't owe anyone anything, physically or otherwise.  and of course it deals with the death of the god.  us pagans love death - because with every death there is a new beginning.  so at samhain, it's common to want to rid ourselves of things we don't want to bring into the new year.  writing bad habits on paper and tossing them into a cauldron of fire (or a barbecue pit, if you prefer) happens more often than you'd think.  many witches will work magick on samhain to help themselves overcome shit like that in the new year.  it's a time for cutting away that which is temporary and looking to the future.

actually, most of our holidays are like that.  huh.

another common tradition among pagans at samhain is to set an extra place at the table for those we've lost this year.  this is because at samhain and beltaine (may 1st - six months from now) we believe the veil between this world and the other are the thinnest - which is probably where the idea of dressing up came from.  what better way to hide them from the witches and ghosts than to dress your children up as witches and ghosts!  which means that halloween is more of a christian invention, really.  pagans didn't dress up for halloween.  personally, i actually find it a bit distasteful, but i'm a super annoying pagan rights lunatic. 

so while i will probably be handing out a few kit kats and hershey bars tomorrow, i'll also be meditating on the coming year, and the things that i will leave behind in this year.  i will look forward to the new seeds i will sow this coming spring.  we may even light up the ol' cauldron (yes, i do have one.  it's small though) and do some banishing work.  all acts of love and pleasure are her ritual - and i will know that i am of the goddess, and she keeps me as the wheel turns, and turns, and turns again.

brightest blessings for love and light in the coming year.  namaste.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things

i keep having ideas for great blog posts.  but they're like serious.  first it was that body modification post.  now i'm thinking about that bitch from marie clare that wrote about being disgusted by 'fatties'.  because, hi, i'm a fatty, and i don't know ANYONE who is disgusted looking at me.  i have a wonderful and super sexy awesome husband who not only isn't disgusted by me, but bangs me regularly.  and has been doing so for over 13 years now.  my mom doesn't vomit in her mouth every time she looks at me.  i have lots of family and friends who can look at me without being disgusted.  i mean, i'm physically pretty healthy - at least, none of my physical issues stem directly from my weight.

i'm batshit crazy, but that doesn't have anything to do with my weight, either.

but this week has been full of ups and downs... but the downs haven't been too down.  so i'm feeling excited and happy and full of the awesome today.  mom had a great job interview in new york, and we're doing the positive thinking thing and acting like she already has the job (i bet she does, she rocks).  awesome husband and i had a couple of days to ourselves, which is nice sometimes.  i'm nearing the end of my first round of classes - at university of phoenix in the program i'm in, each class is nine weeks long, and the two i'm taking now end next week.  and.  andandand


i got a new job!  i know, who even knew i wanted to go back to work?  well, i'm sick of not having any money and being super in debt.  I NEED A NEW IMAC and they is pricey.  also, once mom goes to new york, she may get an apartment with my brother for a while, and that will cost money.  which means she will no longer be contributing to this household.

anyway, it is funny how things happen.  i've been looking at arise's webpage for a while now (arise is the company i work with - they subcontract me to other companies to provide customer support/sales/service from home, aka homeshoring) thinking about getting back to work.  most of the contracts only require 15-20 hours a week - i could do that, and make an extra $150+ a week.  so i've had that in my mind for a couple of weeks.  a friend that i have from the days of working that selling-things-and-chatting job was chatting with me and mentioned someone we used to work with.  and it got me thinking, well, why can't i email her and say 'hello' and pick her brain, see if she knows of anything coming up that i might be a good fit for?

so i did just that.  and she recommended that i email someone who used to be over us, so to speak.  so i did just that.  and she emailed me back right away with a suggestion.  this was at 1pm yesterday.

at 12:10pm today, i got a call with an awesome job offer with a new client that arise has taken on.  and instead of me chatting with customers and selling shit, i will be helping other contractors do that!  so, when they are on a call with a customer who needs help, if they (the contractor) have a question, they ask me - IN A CHAT ROOM!  i don't even need to reconnect my phone line!

i told my father, and he had to point out that god put it in my friend's ear to mention the person we used to work with.  i'm sure that friend is reading this now, so thanks :D  i may not believe in the same god as everyone else, or a christian god at all, but i DO NOT believe in coincidences.  thanks, dollface :D

AND - yes, there's even more, another AND!! - i had my crazy doctors/drug dealer appointment yesterday.  he thinks i may be entering a remission phase for my craziness!  my medications make me a little tired, but are working well.  i'm not suicidal.  i don't have obsessive thoughts.  i don't get as anxious or have the panic attacks now that i have the tarzipan.  it's not like the world is a jolly, happy place and all my problems disappeared - but now i feel like i can handle them.

so, in celebration of this bucket of awesomeness, i am going to share a list of things i fucking like.  in no particular order.

  • ska music.  i found a new station on itunes radio called 'last rockers radio' and i'm in love with it.
  • cats.  they are furry and purry and cute and loveable and awesome and warm.  even if mine have herpes/kidney failure/no sense of smell/no hearing.
  • cold fronts.  it will ONLY be 80 degrees this weekend for samhain/halloween.  i dislike florida.
  • the venture bros.  we purchased the new season 4.1 on tuesday when it was released.  it's super great.  i FUCKING LOVE the venture bros.  awesome husband wants a venture bros. tattoo. i'm not so sure.  of course, my next tattoo is going to be the mushroom and invincible star from super mario bros.  woah - we both want tattoos of things with 'bros.' in them.  epic.
  • sprinkles.  i got sugar cones for ice cream, and have been dumping sprinkles on my ice cream cones.  i have chocolate and rainbow sprinkles.  i love sprinkles.  they are delicious.
  • tarzipan.  it's delicious, stops my anxiety/panic attacks, and makes me able to function outside of my home.  awesome.
  • debate.  discussion.  some might call it 'arguing'.  but they can go fuck themselves.
  • baseball.  specifically the new york mets.  please, no heckling.  just deal with it.
  • new york.  i completely, totally miss new york and cannot wait to move back there. 
there you have it.  a completely useless list of crap that no one else really cares about.  but that's fine, because i care about it.  now i have to go figure out how to convince awesome husband to go out for dinner on a weeknight to celebrate my new job.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a serious post about body modification.

i know, a SERIOUS post here?

sisterfromanothermister had posted on facebook about these videos, and it reminded me about how much i fucking hate them.  i hate these videos and i hate the stereotypes that accompany being modified.

for my new readers and to spark other's memories, i am modified.  i have both of my nostrils pierced, two lower lip piercings (one on each side), and my ear lobes stretched to 6g, or 4mm.  i have nine tattoos, on my upper arms, legs, back, shoulder, and neck.  one is always visible, another is usually visible.  i also have pink and orange hair.  which is awesome.  but not really considered a modification by most people.

i am going to link to both of these videos here.  the piercing one does show an actual lip piercing, so if you're super squeamish about needles, you might want to skip it.

okay.  now i will be the first to say that i think that chick has a few too many piercings on her face, but guess what?  it's not my face.  so it's not my decision.  i personally wouldn't have that many.  but i think she's beautiful and unique and being true to herself.  i think the guy with all the tattoos is amazing.  his body is truly a canvas and he too is beautiful and being true to himself.

HOWEVER the 'organization' that posted these videos is using them in an anti-binge drinking campaign with the slogan 'some people just don't know when to stop'.


while it is true that there can be health complications with some body modification, there is no way that it is anywhere NEAR as harmful to people as binge drinking.  my piercings and tattoos do NOT directly affect anyone except me.  binge drinking can affect not only the drinker, but those around them - friends, family, etc.  and forget about if they get in a car - they are basically a fucking accident waiting to happen.

i guess i felt the need to share this for a few reasons.  one is to prove that not all modified people are the same - we are typically stereotyped into young people with psychotic disorders, young people trying to be different and/or fit in, bikers, oddballs, freaks, what have you.  many of us are mostly normal people, living the same kind of life that you are, just with a couple of extra holes in our bodies.  there is no reason to change tables and not sit near us.  i have personally experienced shit like that more times than i care to count.  at diners, awesome husband and i have been seated in the noisy teenager section, i'm sure because of how we look, and we are quiet, courteous adults who should not have to put up with that bullshit.  we too are paying customers and are capable of acting like adults instead of hyenas on fucking crack.

videos like this just do more to make modified people look more like outsiders, like we're crazy (i mean, i AM crazy, but that hasn't anything to do with my modifications) or dangerous.  it fucking EQUATES US TO BINGE DRINKERS.

let me know what you think.  i know i'm overly sensitive to shit like this, but still.  does knowing about my piercings and tattoos change how you feel about what i write?  or make you look at me in a different way?  do you find yourself looking at or treating modified people differently?  SHARING TIME!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

new award!

that's right, i got me a shiny new award!  it's called the gold framed dog blog award and i received it from semi true torystellar at can u relate?.  remember, you can see all my (two) awards on the RESPEK KNUCKLES! page.

now, apparently i'm supposed to pass this on to five other bloggers.  and i will do so now.

i would like to bestow this honor upon my aunt motherfucking becky at mommy wants vodka.  because, OBVIOUSLY.  she completely and totally deserves it.

i also would love to give it to my sextastic blogcrush the barreness at hello, sailor!.  she is delicious and wonderful and lovely.

annah over at red means go! is always, always, always on the list for any blog award because she makes me laugh and think and cry laughing and wish i was just a bit latina most days.

tiffany writes on the verge, and honestly writes much less about diarrhea than she claims.  but is still hysterically funny.

and finally, nicki at the loaded handbag has this great mix of photos, life, humor, sarcasm, thought-provocation, and northeasterner that makes me happy in the pants. 

OMG ALL OF YOU HAVE WON THIS AMAZING BLOG AWARD!  i'll probably pester the hell out of all of you to come pick it the fuck up.

please know you deserve this adorable goggie-themed golden award.

pass it the fuck on to five other awesome blogs, please. 

ALSO.  thanks to a suggestion from reader and fellow blogger semi true torystellar, i will grow too big for my britches and give out my OWN blog award in the near future.  expect ridiculous rules and the threat of blog stalking and tormenting if you are awarded it.  it will be epic. 


ALSO ALSO.  i promish to have a new, useful, meaningful blog up and running soon.  possibly TODAY.  how productive!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

i hope this doesn't make you jealous.

my mom has a job interview in new york, which is awesome because we kind of needs jobs in new york before we can like, sell the house and move back there.  so she's taking a bit of a last minute trip to new york from today until wednesday.  she stays with my dad.  they would have JUST celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary yesterday, if they hadn't gotten divorced 24 years ago. 

i love my family.  on one hand, it's like the worst soap opera EVAH.  on the other hand, it's fucking awesome and we all really care about each other and support each other.

so awesome husband and i woke up early to drive mom to the airport, and since we were out we decided we should go to epcot for some more food and wine fun.  which it was - fun.  we love the epcot food and wine festival.

grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato puree, argentina

kielbasa and potato pierogies with caramelized onions and sour cream, poland

awesome husband with my frozen margarita, mexico

flavors of africa - salad, bread, and spreads, south africa

big bumbly bee in germany

bison chili with wild mushrooms, cabernet, and pepper jack cheese, united states

taste of spain - serrano ham, chorizo, manchego cheese, olives, and tomato bread, spain

canadian cheddar cheese soup and moosehead ale, canada
since we're passholders, we'll go back when it's not as fucking busy/hot and hit up a few other countries.  i still need bunratty meade from ireland, more souvlaki and spanakopita from greece, and a few other tidbits that are too delicious for words.

i also have to point out that after we hit the US of A, we walked towards japan to find a shady spot to sit and eat our bison chili.  i found the ONLY wet bench in all of epcot and had to walk around for an hour or so looking like i pissed my pants.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

things that really crumble my cinnamon coffee cake.

i made a delicious (boxed) cinnamon coffee cake yesterday. DELICIOUS.  and i was enjoying it's orgasmic cinnamony sweetness when i noticed a facebook friend had posted a link to a youtube video about glenn beck's 8/28 'restoring honor' event.

don't worry, i'm not getting all glenn-beck-hatey on you today.  this is not a political cake-crumbling.

it's a religious one.

which is SO much better, i know.

ANYWAY.  the airspace over much of d.c. is restricted, including over the washington monument and mall area.  where the 'restoring honor' event was taking place.  however, a flock of geese flew over the mall during the event, and many people are taking this as a sign that god himself is 'pleased with our efforts to maintain truth and freedom for america.'

huh.  feel free to click or not click.  there are tons of different videos of this on youtube, but this is the one i saw.

many of the videos of the goose 'flyover' mention that it's the hand of god.  it's not a coincidence.  that god knows that the majority of this country is christian and trying to bring the country as a whole back to god.  etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  insert whatever far right, superchristian bollocks you prefer.

please consider my numbered list as to why these geese are NOT demonstrating anything about a christian god, nor his/her approval/disapproval for glenn beck, christianity, washington d.c., republicans, democrats, etc.

1.  the area between the lincoln memorial and the washington monument is a long, straight, fairly open area.  so the winds there are probably really fun for birds to fly in.  the topography and buildings could cause air thermals and shit like that.  and seriously, even if it didn't, that is an epic flight path for any bird to take.

2.  these are CANADIAN geese.  even if a christian god was all like, 'dude, glenn beck is ON POINT and totally right, AMERICA FUCK YEAH!!' would he, in all his infinite wisdom and awesomeness, send some kind of AMERICAN bird to fly over?  preferably a bald eagle?  or at the very least, a flock of seagulls or pigeons?  some bird that is not specifically NAMED after a country that is not america?  

3.  also, geese like water.  there is a HUGE reflecting pool there.  maybe there were on their way migrating somewhere (not unheard of, that migration thing) and remembered there was a sweet ass spot to stop for a rest and a drink.  and changed their minds when they saw the people.  probably not, but i love canadian geese and like to think that they think like me.  HOWEVER.  geese fly in formation like that while migrating.  and canadian geese migrate north to south, stopping in the summer where it's cooler and stopping in the winter where it is warmer.  they do not have specific migratory paths or places they stop - it's different for each group of geese.  i think it's pretty obvious that these geese were on their way somewhere fun.

4.  if a christian god sends flocks of geese over places where things are going on that he approves of... like, if he specifically sent those geese to fly over the rally to say 'CHRISTIAN GOD APPROVED', then he TOTALLY loved my pagan handfasting/wedding.

that's right.  you might know i'm a pagan (and if you didn't, now you do) or witch or neo-pagan or whatever.  when i married awesome husband just over six years ago (our anniversary was like two weeks ago) we had an outdoor ceremony by a lake at sunset, because we're pagans.  we like shit like that.  we had a handfasting, which is basically a pagan wedding and our hands were tied together and i think it was really awesome and moving and even our 'enthusiastic' christian guests (read: born again) thought it was a touching ceremony (and didn't even question the 'god and goddess' thing).  

so, here we are, all pagan and shit, being handfasted and not believing in a christian god.  when a few geese fly over our wedding ceremony, honking the whole way, and land on the other side of the lake.  


i'd like to see the religious glenn-beckers stick that in their pipes and smoke it (legally, of course).

in sort of related news, i also prayed to christian god in church about my religious future days before i came to paganism.  i was raised christian, and truly believe it's all the same shit with different names.  i went to church and knelt and prayed with all my heart because what the church was telling me just wasn't making sense and didn't feel right.  i had studied some other religions, mainly paganism and wicca, and asked christian god to show me what path i was supposed to be on, what path would sit well with me and give me comfort and allow me to try and experience life and love the way i was supposed to.  mere days later, someone handed me the book 'living wicca' by scott cunningham and before i even opened the book, it just FELT like a sign.  if you've never been aware of having a 'prayer' answered, it's a hard feeling to describe.  but i felt at that moment like christian god was telling me, 'dude, you're right - it's all the same.  this is the path that will resonate with you.'

and christian god, in his infinite wisdom and awesomeness, was right.

bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?  i have no problems with christianity - it's just not for me.  the problem i have with some christians is that they are not christians - they do not live as christ would have.  they are mean and hateful and judgemental, and what is worse is that they use their 'christian' values as a way to continue being mean and hateful and judgmental.


anyway, i have to go finish up my paper on the origins on body piercing.  deadlines and all that.  mom's going to new york for a job interview and she leaves tomorrow.  so tonight i'll be helping her pack and making sure that everything's good to go and quite possibly having a few drinks.

and eating more cinnamon coffee cake.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the stranger

do you ever feel alone?  i mean, really.  i know the stupid commercials about depression and anxiety where they're like 'do you ever feel alone in a crowded room?'

but do you?  have you ever actually been in a room full of people and felt completely alone?  have you been sitting around the dinner table with your family and felt like there was no one there?  have you sat on the couch watching television with your significant other and felt like they weren't in the same room as you, or even on the same planet?

do you ever think that everyone is going to leave you eventually?  not just through death or moving away or normal things like that.  but that everyone you have shared anything with is going to desert you?  friends that you've shared good times and bad with.  significant others that you've shared the deepest, most intimate parts of yourself with.  parents who seem to love and support you.

the friends will eventually give up on you and stop returning your calls.  the significant others will eventually get fed up with your bullshit and leave.  the parents will throw up their hands and finally say 'i don't know what to do anymore' and ignore your cries for help.

anxiety and nervousness are healthy for many people.  if you didn't worry about walking down the dark alleyway, you wouldn't be aware of the bad things that may happen.  you wouldn't know that you even NEED to protect yourself in any way.  many people perform well with deadlines, or pre-test nervousness.  they are natural human feelings and we all experience them.  if someone tells you 'i never worry' then they are either lying through their teeth or they're a fucking robot.

for some people, anxiety and nervousness are crippling.  they wake up worrying.  they spend their day worrying.  they worry themselves to sleep.  they write an email and obsess over the tone of it.  they pick up the phone to return a call and repeatedly put it back in it's cradle, trying to map out the multiple ways the phone call could go in their head so that they are prepared for every eventuality.  they dive into a panic if their significant other calls to tell them they'll be late with no excuse other than 'work'.  they compulsively check that stoves are off, doors are locked, bank accounts have not been hacked into, the phone has a dial tone, the cell is charged, the surge protector is on and not under a pile of dust which could potentially cause a fire, the can of gas in the garage for the lawn mower is not in danger of spontaneously combusting, and the guy across the street is not peering in the window casing the house.

for some people, anxiety goes hand in hand with obsessiveness.  they may count things.  the steps between the couch and the bathroom.  the seconds while peeing.  the heartbeats while waiting for water to boil.  words on a page.  vowels in the words.  just the letter 't'.  spaces.  prepositions.

on the same page.

you would think that people who are obsessive and anxious like this, checking and counting and rechecking, would be terrifically focused.

you would think wrong.  they may be very focused on SOME things, but they can be terribly scatterbrained on other things.  they may never remember to take meat out of the freezer.  never check the mail.  never pay that one bill on time, even if all the others get paid in time every month.  no matter how many times you tell them to turn off the computer, they will never remember.  and when you point it out to them, they may say 'oh, right, thanks - i forgot' but inside they are screaming in frustration.

on the outside, they may seem like pretty normal, slightly eccentric people.  when you tell say 'i'll call you back later' they say 'okay' but really think that means that you hate them and never want to talk to them again.  they might seem a little ditzy, when you say 'i thought we made plans for this saturday' they'll say 'oh, you're right - i'll forget my own head next!' and laugh, when inside they are shouting at them self about how stupid and unworthy they are.  they may be able to hold a job, make dinner, take care of their family, keep a house clean, drive a car, and appear to be a productive member of society.

they are not.

we all have a face that we hide away forever, and we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone - billy joel, 'the stranger'.

i don't think that billy was talking about being crazy in this song.  but these people that i'm talking about, these anxious, nervous worriers - this describes them.  they wear one face, a mask, when they are with other people, interacting in the world. trying to be 'normal'.  and they hide their real face.

no matter how much you know about mental illness, no matter how much you think you know your crazy loved one, no matter how much you think you can understand or empathize or love or care for or whatever -

you will never see that face.

UPDATE: to the person who unfollowed my blog within hours after i posted this blog, i feel pity for you that you're too delicate of a flower to see the disgusting, dirty shit that is mental illness.  if this is the case, i'm glad you unfollowed me, asshat.

OR i feel empathy for you if you're too delicate to read about the disgusting, dirty shit that is mental illness because you too are suffering.  if that's the case, please come back and take the journey with me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

more harry potterville?! yes.

so awesome husband and i revisited harry potterville on saturday morning.  sadly, the parks are still fucking busy around here, and i want all of you tourists to go the fuck home for a week so i can have my parks back.  we rode the forbidden journey again, which i was still slack jawed and goggle eyed for.  we rode dragon challenge again.  twice.  we stopped in honeyduke's and zonko's, but the lines for the shops were 40+ minutes long. 

so then i rode the hulk again, which is quickly becoming my second favorite roller coaster (first is still expedition: everest over at disney's animal kingdom, and probably will always be number one).  and then we did the cat in the hat, which was cute but a bit lame, to be honest.  so we hopped over to universal studios and did shrek 4d, which was like a super sensory overload and i don't think i can ride it again without more tarzipan or unless they have stationary seats.  it's a theater, like a movie theater, but the seats buck around a bit.  not really fun.  and then we hit up the simpsons ride.  but there were long waits for lots of rides, so we kept it simple and got home by 3pm.  much of the rest of the weekend was spent watching the venture brothers or being in bed, and apparently my sloth-like tendencies are out in force this week because i finally dragged myself out of bed at 10:30 and am ready to get back in bed three hours later, to snuggle down with a book and/or to watch harry potter.

instead i figured i'd work on a blog post and try to be 'responsible'.  ish.  in the interest of full disclosure, i feel the need to share that i am not wearing real pants, just a super old grungy pair of yoga pants.  and no shoes.  enjoy more photos of harry potterville, and i promish to pull up my big girl panties and have a proper post at some point this week, tarzipan be damned.

hogwarts castle

a closeup of hogwarts

inside honeydukes

cute glass jars with candies - they were reasonably priced from about $6 and up.  it's not just a sticker, either - it's imprinted on the glass.  i think the price is worth the jar itself!

chocolate frog.  i did not purchase one this time, since they're $10 and i'm a cheap bitch.

ton-tongue toffee

very cute peppermint toads

i really don't remember this from any of the books, but it looks DELICIOUS

a chocolate wand.  dark chocolate.  cute.

this is a HUGE chocolate frog in the front window of honeydukes.  it croaks from time to time. 

front window of zonko's shop

u-no-poo - the constipation sensation that's gripping the nation!  SHENANIGANS!
that's right.  i'm calling shenanigans on u-no-poo.  if you remember, fred and george weasley invent and market u-no-poo from their shop, weasley wizarding wheezes.  it was not ever carried in zonko's.  if you've read the books, you'll know that zonko's closes down after voldemort returns.  so i am terrifically justified in my calling of shenanigans on zonko's.  incidentally, the store is very small and maze-like, and also sells pygmy puffs, which are larger than i expected.  and also, pink.

the three broomsticks

vat of butterbeer.... yummmmm
 this time, the frozen butterbeer was working, so awesome husband and i ordered one of each.  the frozen butterbeer is DELICIOUS.  still like a butterscotch-y cream soda kind of taste, but the consistency of a slushy.  and it gives you an INSTANT brain freeze.  we have no idea why, but i am speculating here that it's because it tastes really yummy and you hold it in your mouth for a bit, and it's in contact with the roof of your mouth for too long - which is what causes a brain freeze.  i don't care, though.  it's delicious.

another shot of a bustling hogsmeade village
now i have one more photo to share.  it is not from harry potterville, but from universal studios - where they have halloween horror nights.  they put out lots of props and shit from horror movies.  i found this on one of the streets of new york.  awesome husband and i recognized it right away, but it's been on my facebook since saturday night now and no one has noticed it.  so i figured i'd post it here to see if anyone else recognizes it.

i know what this is... do you?
i'd love to say i have a prize for whoever identifies it first.  or some kind of giveaway for people who comment with the correct answer.  but i don't really have anything worth sharing.  except my tarzipan, and there are strict laws in place about stuff like that.  if you have an idea of something i can give you, that costs like nothing, and i can give to you over the internet... well, let me know with your comment and correct answer.  things like 'photos of your bewbz' or 'your real name' or 'your list of passwords' will not be considered.  obviously.  but get creative and i'll see what i can do.

Friday, October 15, 2010

harry potterville: first impressions

i decided i should do a first impressions post of harry potterville.  awesome husband and i are going to make universal our bitch again tomorrow, by leaving E A R L Y and getting there at park opening.  we'll probably only stay a few hours, but that's how annual passholders roll.  just to make you more jealous, we might hit up epcot on sunday.  or magic kingdom.  or whatever we want.  because we can.  i figure that since we know we're moving back to new york SOMETIME, we should get our fill of disney until we're throwing up little mickey heads.

SO.  we did harry potterville, which is actually called 'the wizarding world of harry potter'.  but that's a mouthful.  i could refer to it as wwohp, though.  but that's strange to type.  mostly because i'm not a fan of typing 'w'.

so harry potterville it is destined to remain.

we made our way back to where harry potterville is.  it's actually the village of hogsmeade.

the arched entrance to the village of hogsmeade
close up of the hanging sign
as you might notice, the attention to detail is remarkable.  i would say it is up to disney standards.  which you may know are super high standards.

the hogwart's express.  please ignore the muggles, i don't know who the fuck they are but we weren't about to wait in line to take a fucking picture.

hogsmeade train station schedule - very neat!
there are photo opportunities everywhere.  workers are in appropriate clothing, like adults wore in the movies.  the shops had very long lines - we may hit some of those this weekend.  in order to control crowding in many of the shops, there are lines that you wait on and they allow a certain amount of people in at a time.  a couple of shops, including ollivander's wand shop, have interactive shows.  depending on the lines, i may force awesome husband to see that one with me.

now along with myself and awesome husband were brother, sisterfromanothermister, and mom.  mom doesn't like thrill rides.  so she sat out a few, including the newly revamped dueling dragons ride that is now called dragon challenge.

dragon challenge ride - only 15 minute wait!!
dragon challenge is totally based on the triwizard tournament.  each track represents a different dragon and they run simultaneously - a couple times you will think you're about to crash.  it's super fast and twisty and upsidedowny and i loved it.  the queue is AMAZING - again, disney quality.  you walk through the outside queue and see signs for each champion.  you enter the tent that the triwizard champions waited in before facing their dragon.  you may also notice the goblet of fire and the triwizard cup!  it's very exciting - and then you climb atop your dragon (okay, you can see i've been indoctrinated by disney - you board the fucking roller coaster) and soar off into the sky. 

the triwizard cup!

since mom wasn't too keen on this ride, we needed somewhere to park her.  we found a covered area with lots of benches and went to deposit her there.  when we looked up, we realized this wasn't just a sitting area.

the owls moved, but did not poop.  thankfully.
it was the owlery.  when you looked up, you saw quite a few owls.  there was quiet hooting and rustling feather sounds (of course, i could have imagined those.... hmm.  i'll check on that) and the owls shuffled about above you.  very neat.  the clock gears were at the front of the covering - i didn't even check to see if the clock is actually out there.  i'll check tomorrow.

the clock from in the inside

there is also a small, wild mouse style roller coaster called flight of the hippogriff, which features an animatronic hippogriff and a visual of the outside of hagrid's hut.  the coaster cars themselves are cute - they look like wicker baskets, but are a bit snug.  this is not an actual children's ride, but one big girl (me) and one full grown adult (awesome husband) are a bit of a snug fit.  not uncomfortable, but.. well, snug.

finally, we did harry potter and the forbidden journey.  words alone cannot express the awesomeness that is this ride.  seriously.  it is that good.  i think universal outdid themselves and disney in this queue area and attraction.  i can honestly say that i think this is the best ride i've ever been on. it is not comparable to any other ride i've ever been on and deserves it's own blog entry, frankly.  i have been trying to think of things to compare it to, and NONE EXIST.  i am not being over dramatic here.  i rode this ride twice and sat in my seat slackjawed the entire ride BOTH times.  i will probably do the same tomorrow.  and the next twenty times i ride it.  it is that amazing.

the queue area is long.  super long.  it is a very popular ride.  the wait was 120 minutes that morning, and 45 in the afternoon.  i recommend checking first thing though - it was definitely worth a long wait, but it appears to rise and fall throughout the day.  i would not be upset waiting 45-60 minutes for this ride.  if you can stand riding solo, there is a single riders line.  it took us under ten minutes to get through the single rider line, and there was a 45 minute wait on the 'regular' line.  i took some photos of the queue with sisterfromanothermister's camera, but we were moving and it's dark in parts, and i didn't know how to use her camera or if it had a low light setting.  so i have some photos, and hope to take more of the other rooms (like the ones with the moving portraits!) with my olympus (which i mostly know how to use and does have a great low light setting).  be prepared to be attacked with photoawesomeness.  i'll try to put them in the order which we experienced them, but i cannot guarntee that.  since i was overcome with ridiculous emotions.  mostly awe.

humpbacked witch - the same who hides the entrance to the secret tunnels in the books?

inside the herbology greenhouse waiting to enter the castle

another shot of the greenhouse - it's two levels and has real hanging plants

mandrakes!  none of them were screaming though.

about to enter hogwarts castle!

i have read that this may be the statue of the architect of hogwarts.

there are SO MANY other things to take photos of, but it's hard to do so while walking and in such low light.  i'm also a big believer in NOT taking flash photos in dark rides or queues.  the darkness sets the tone and can also hide non-show quality shit.  i can tell you that you walk through dumbledore's office and the defense against the dark arts room, where harry, ron, and hermione make an appearance.

now, that was just some of the QUEUE.  the actual RIDE.  my mere words cannot do it justice.  really.  it's unlike anything you've ever done before.  it moves up, down, side to side, you'll lie on your back at one point.  it makes you feel like you're flying along the quidditch pitch, through the chamber of secrets, and across hogwarts grounds to escape a dragon.  you can try to find ride throughs online, videos that people take of the ride.  i haven't looked, but i doubt there are any out there that do it ANY kind of justice.  i cannot say how fucking awesome this ride is. 

HAVING SAID THAT.  i would have liked to see some elfs.  if you have read all the books, you realize what an important and central character dobby turns out to be.  having said that as well - it feels like this version of hogwarts nd hogsmeade is kind of frozen in book/movie four - the goblet of fire.  there's lots of stuff about the triwizard tournament, there are shows where the students from durmstrang and beauxbatons are introduced, and no one really mentions voldemort.  you can see why they did it this way - it is immortal.  nothing will really change in universal's harry potterville, and this was a great spot to freeze in time.  voldemort had not yet returned to power, zonko's was still open (which is why there is no weasley's wizarding wheezes shop), and dumbledore was in charge of hogwarts.  it is a beautifully done area, and worth many, many more visits - which is why awesome husband and i upgraded our day tickets to year-long passes before we left the park that day (it was only another $59 for both of us, and seems like a good idea considering). 

i hope to give you another blog post with more photos of harry potterville soon.  i'll exhaust my camera tomorrow, i promish.  i will end with this: if you come to central florida, i don't care why you do it, but if you come here and can get to universal in any way, shape, or form - do it.  it is worth checking out at least once.  if you'd rather hang out at disney, i don't blame you.  i still prefer disney to universal - but now i see that universal has something else to offer me!

plus, the fucking butterbeer is AWESOMETASTIC!

hogsmeade village

Thursday, October 14, 2010

mr. potato head is scarier than you think.

now, please.  don't expect my vacationblogz to be in any particular order.  because THEY ARE NOT.  and may encompass multiple days in one post, but all pertaining to the same storyline.

today's story is about mr. potato head.  you all know and love him.  he became the star of the toy story movie franchise with his lovely wife, mrs. potato head. 

at disney's hollywood studios, there is a ride called toy story midway mania.  it's a really neat 3d ride where you participate in midway-like games.  throwing darts at balloons, breaking plates, you get the idea.  it's AWESOMETASTIC, seriously.  and like all good disney rides, it has a great queue area.  it's like being in a big toy box: candyland on the walls, checkerboards on the ceiling, those cute monkeys from the barrel full of monkeys game all over the place, lincoln logs, and what have you.  and near the front of this room, a large audio animatronic of mr. potato head.  he's dressed like a county fair guy: straw hat, striped sleeves, mic in hand.

now, his arms move, his mouth moves, and he talks to you.  all 'step right up' and corny disney jokes/puns, of course.  disney audio animatronics are THE BEST there are.  and this one is no different.  his eyes are LCD it appears, and his eyelids move too.  his fingers can move.  in fact, he bitches about us not paying attention to him at one point:

'what do i have to do to get your attention, pull my own ear off?'

yes.  yes, you do.  and that's what he does.  mr. potato head's arm reaches up, grasps his pink ear, and pulls it out of his head.  hahahaha, very funny.  because that's what potato heads do, that's why they're funny.

what isn't supposed to happen happens while we are right up front.  he pulls his own ear out, as normal.


i cannot make this shit up.  the ear pops out like it's supposed to, and his fingers don't hang on to it correctly.  it flies to the ground with a clatter.  awesome husband, brother, sisterfromanothermister, and myself notice it IMMEDIATELY.  not everyone else does.  children are not crying yet.  and mr. potato head goes on his merry joke-making way.... missing an ear.

i know his eyes are freaking ass bright in this photo, but you can see his ear hole.  empty.  sad, really.
what to do?  we hypothesize that they may cut the line, and make others wait outside the building, then when we are all out of the holding room they'll reattach his ear.  some people are whispering at this point.  we don't hear any crying children yet.  i don't think anyone is particularly calling attention to it.

finally, a cast member comes out and picks up the ear, and takes it backstage.  NOW people notice.  there is some whimpering from children around us.  but that's what potato heads do, honey.  it's okay.

they shut down mr. potato head.  he just sits there, glaring at all of us.  not talking, not moving.  the cast member hovers near the wall to backstage, like she's not sure what to do.  someone must tell her to just go reattach his ear.  the stillness of mr. potato head seems to be creeping some kids out.  whimpering and questions are rampant now.

the cast member strides out, not looking towards any of us, reaches up, and pushes mr. potato head's ear back into place.  we applaud.  crisis averted! thanks, disney!

the real crying starts when they reboot mr. potato head.  his LCD eyelids go through this creepy angled closing phase which looks like it should have been in 'mr. potato head exorcist' or something.  now kids cry.  and i overhear mom ruining the magic by talking about offstage stuff to muggles.  i mean, non-disney castmembers.  shutupmom, don'truinthemagic! she clasps her hand over her mouth and shuts it.  i'm nothing if not loyal to the mouse.  i just wish they paid better.

so we go on toy story mania.  i was in my big girl chair this day (electronic scooter) and they gave us the special cars to ride in.  fun times.  and we continue with our day. 

HOWEVER.  in talking about the incident afterward, sisterfromanothermister admits that as soon as mr. potato head ripped his own ear off, she had visions of him inserting his own fingers into his eyes and gouging them out in a sea of potatoey blood. 

seriously.  no wonder she's dating my brother.  she fits RIGHT IN.

so then, all day long, as well as the next day, my brother mimed gouging his own eyes out repeatedly.  and it precipitated this photo the next night at downtown disney. 

sisterfromanothermister looks horrified and hysterical at the same time.  she's now one of us.
this may also be the first photo of awesome husband you are all seeing. so from left to right, it's brother (gouging mr. potato head's eye out), sisterfromanothermister, and awesome husband. this was taken outside of once upon a toy, the largest disneycentric toy store EVAH and it's a fucking madhouse in there all the time. i think i've been in there once.

we continued drinking a bit, then called mom to come pick us up.  she hadn't been feeling 100% for vacationtime, so we let her rest and didn't force her to party with us.  not that we partied A LOT.  because we're all basically old.  i mean, sisterfromanothermister and my brother aren't 'old'.  actually, i'm not 'old'.  30 is not 'old'.  but we're like, grown up and maturish.  and we had done three days at the parks.  so we were kind of, you know, TIRED.  you can walk 8-13 miles A DAY if you spend full days at the parks.  and we spent lots of time.  wednesday we did 11 hours, thursday we did 10 hours, and friday we did breakfast at chef mickey's and then another 9+ hours at the parks.  busy, busy little bees we were.

and get ready to be innundated with blogs.  i plan on posting a harry potterville blog later today.  MAYBE.  because i'm planning on going back again this saturday morning.  part of me is like, maybe i'll wait until saturday so i can get even MORE photos to put in my blog.  and the other part is like, blog NOW because that way you can record your first impressions.  any suggestions guys?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

tarzipan ftw

omg i swear i'm working on a super new blog post about my vacation last week.  HOWEVER.  i took lots of tarzipan today and spent about two-thirds of the day in bed.  i'm also trying to figure out how to watermark photos with picasa to put on mah blog but all copyrighted and shit.  because DON'T STEAL MY STUFF ASSHATS.

in cute news, samantha cuddled with me this morning while i was still in bed for like two hours.  it was very warm and loving and adorable.  since then, she has hissed at awesome husband and been mostly normal.

in school news, i created my reference list today.  i am full of the win because i figured out how to cite an aerosmith video as a source.  thank you.  hold your applause.

in batshit crazy news, i had a horrifying day for some reason.  hence the 'lots of tarzipan'.  and i watching a bunch of venture brothers today, too.  because, obviously.

in television news, we watched ghost hunters.  and are now watching south park.  it is the episode where they fucking RIP jersey shore.  it's.... oh my gah.  it's amazing.  snookie just raped cartman. 

amazing.  just..... amazing.

in piercing news, i pulled my nosering out today.  the wrong way.  noserings twist around on the inside of your nose to keep it in, called a nose screw.  now, i vigorously dried my face this morning with a terry towel.  one of the terry loops got caught around the little nose screw thing.  and pulled the nose ring THROUGH MY NOSE to the INSIDE.  so, the little half-dome head that sits on my nose that is larger than the actual piercing hole was pulled through the piercing. 

and got stuck.  so the 1.6mm half dome was stuck inside the fistula, the piercing hole, which is only 1mm large.  and it hurt.

and it was fucking stuck.  seriously.  i couldn't push it back through my nose, so i was like, well, let's lube it up and try to yank it all the way through to the inside of my nose.

so i dumped a bunch of olive oil in and on my nose and rubbed it in a bit, then got another straight nose ring to try and help push it through from the outside. 

nothing doing.  it was full of SUCKTITUDE.

finally, i did some deep, relaxing breathing and fucking yanked that bitch out.  OOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWIE.

and now my nose hurts.  quite a bit.  i put a glass ring in because it has much less of a bend, so less pressure trying to get it in there.  ouchouchouch though.

awesome husband is taking me and my tarzipan to bed.  maybe we'll watch some venture brothers.  maybe that tarzipan episode.  hmmm..

until then, keep your unit on you. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

vacation fun/sad times

it's been like a whole week since i blogged.  this must be some kind of record for me.  since i started blogging, anyway.

my brother and his girlfriend (aka my sister from another mister, and from another mother, because otherwise she'd be related to my brother and that would be horrifying AND illegal) came to visit from last tuesday until yesterday, sunday.  it was a busy time.  remind me to tell you about mr. potato head.  seriously.

the short version is we went to disney.  we went to universal.  my foot got super angry by friday and i rented an electric scooter thing to zoom around hollywood studios and epcot for my anniversary.   yes, friday was my sixth wedding anniversary.  i celebrated by being terrified by mr. potato head and using a scooter to eat/drink my way around epcot with awesome husband, my brother, and my sisterfromanothermister.

we also visited harry potterville (aka 'the wizarding world of harry potter') at universal studios.  it was AWESOME!  omg so awesome.  now, if you've been to universal, you might know there are a lot of thrill rides there.  that require shoulder restraints and fitted seats.

and if you've read my blog like ever, you'll know i'm a big girl.  universal has what they call 'modified seating' in select rows on some of their thrill rides.  meaning the shoulder restraint thingy has extra room for the fatties.  yes, fat seating.  which i actually used.  and enjoyed, since the restraint was able to restrain me without smushing my tits to the point of pain and causing me to be unable to, like, BREATHE.  they have seats you can try out in front of each ride.  in front of everyone.  so everyone there watches you and KNOWS you might be too fat to sit int he regular seats.  i didn't do that.  i just automatically got one of the modified seats on dragon challenge, realized it fit well, and kept using the modified seats.

we decided to do the harry potter ride in hogwarts castle a second time, and brother, sisterfromanothermister, and i used the single rider line.  now, on harry potter, the line is SUPER LONG and winds through the castle.  as you get closer to the boarding area, the line splits up into single riders, grouped riders, and special riders in the middle.  like, if you needed modified seating.  they had a seat to try right there.

i was totally planning on asking for modified seating. 

while on line, they pulled out a big girl to try out the seat and directed her and her companion to the middle, special riders line.  i felt horrible for her.  she was big, though.  like really big.  bigger than me.  glad i don't have to be embarrassed like that.

was i wrong.  they pulled me out of the single riders line and asked me to try the seat.  i didn't even react fast enough to know that i could just say 'i already know i need it' or something.  i had already taken half a tarzipan to deal with the anxiety i felt that day.

i was mortified.  and i've been embarrassed before.  i fell down the bleachers in front of the entire school while accepting an award.  i dropped an entire case of money in the middle of the hub in front of cinderella's castle during wishes on my second day of work.  i know embarrassed.

i have never been more embarrassed in my life.  awesome husband tells me that he doesn't like it when i call myself fat - it's a turn off, it's demeaning, whatever.  as long as i'm healthy (and i am actually fairly physically healthy aside from elevated cholesterol) it's okay.

thursday, i was fat.

did i let it ruin my day?  no i did not.  but it didn't get any easier on friday when my foot gave out.  i needed a wheelchair, and mom rented me a motorized scooter so no one had to push me in the heat.  i spent the day getting strange looks from people.  you might say, 'steph, your hair is pink and your face is full of metal.  that's what they are looking at'.  you'd be wrong.  they're looking at me and thinking, 'omg, look at this lazy ass fat chick.  she can't even walk around the parks, she's so fat and lazy'.  i got the same looks when we first started going to disney and i needed a chair, when my hair was brown and i had no facial piercings.

that is how people think.  when they see someone who is not visibly handicapped in a wheelchair, they wonder why they need it.  if the person is big, they think that they're a fat, lazy slob who can't be bothered to walk around the parks.  and i know it to be true, because i've been told it before. 

i was in a car accident in 2005 and smashed my toe to smithereens.  i have degenerative arthritis in my toe and foot, which will never get better or go away.  we did 11 hours in the parks on wednesday, over 9 hours on thursday, and by friday my foot could not take it.  i don't have a brace or cast, and i just look like a fat chick in a wheelchair.

maybe i need a sign that says 'i have a fucked up foot and need this wheelchair.  what's your excuse for being a dick?'

HOWEVER.  sugar ray played at epcot on friday night and we saw it.  and i got groped by mark mcgrath.  he ran around the crowd, hugging women and high fiving people.  he came up the middle aisle, ran to me in my electric convenience vehicle, and one-arm hugged me.  sadly, my brother and his lax camera skills missed it.  but i have it here (i'm pointing at my head) and that's all that counts.

we also had our first trip of the year to epcot's food and wine festival.  standouts this year are canada (as they always are for the cheddar cheese soup), greece (spanakopita and chicken souvlaki), spain (manchengo cheese and chorizo), and ireland for the bunratty meade.  yum.  YUM.  i. love. meade.  I.  LOVE.  MEADE.  i don't know how to explain to you how much i love meade.  MEADE!

expect more posts this week about my awesome vacation with my awesome family.  and more pity-partying.  and more tarzipan.  and the gays.  and the upcoming launch of a new feature on my blog called duckface à l'orange.  EPIC.  i promish.

FINALLY!  annah over at red means go made THIS BLOG the XXX blog love spreading button blog of the week!  WOOHOO!  i'm on my way to being BONed and obtaining famosity with annah!

Monday, October 4, 2010

cutesy names for serious medications

yes.  that's how i roll.  why call call it 'generic klonopin' or even 'clonazepam', it's proper name and which i likened to cloning marzipan.  because that's what it sounds like in my fucked up head.

well, awesome husband went one step further.  i was referring to it as cloned marzipan this weekend.  he decided to call it tarzipan.  observe:

see?  so now it's totally called tarzipan.  i may even write it on the bottle, because OBVIOUSLY.  awesome husband for the win.

in other news.  we had a garage sale.  it was, indeed, in the garage.  we did not have any twelve sided dice, though.

of course, we wouldn't sell them.  we actually need some twenty sided dice.  we used to have them.  but we don't now.  we lost them somewhere. 

anyway.  we made about $125 selling dumb shit that's been cooped up in this house for a year or two.  and we only sold about half of the stuff.  so now we have to figure out how to get rid of the other shit.  there's this garage sale store down the road (seriously) that sells stuff for charity.  that might be the way to go.  at least it's a write off.

my brother and his girlfriend are coming down from new york tomorrow!  we'll be doing disney and universal for a couple of days.  they're staying until sunday.  so i may or may not post at all from now until then.  i bet i will.  because i'll need some downtime to relax my feet.  there is A LOT of walking involved at the parks.  many people average 8 miles for each full day spent at a disney park.  really, it's tiring.  if you go gangbusters at disney, it's not a vacation - you need a vacation to recover.  we don't usually go crazy - we take our time and have fun.  disney's not going anywhere.  plus we go like all the time.  well, often enough.

so i'll end this pointless post here.  i'm really just procrastinating because i have to finish cleaning the house, and i really don't want to.  just can't get started today.  maybe i'll have another granola bar and take a nap.  then i'll clean.  maybe.