To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Plane Packing Procrastination

Perhaps I pin-pointed the cause of my procrastination pickle I always put myself in.

Its the airlines. I blame them. I sit in my window seat and stare out at the men throwing our luggage around. I've had the damaged suitcase before - and trust me it wasn't pretty. I've had things go into the suitcase in perfect condition, and by the time I got home they were irrepairable.

I think this is why I hate packing so much. Aside from always feeling fat when I try on my potential vacation wardrobe, I stress packing because I worry about my things being ruined.  I always carry-on my electronics and make-up. Too much money is invested into my cameras and make-up to let it get checked and possibly be lost, stolen or damaged. I end up placing everything in an exact manner in my carry-on bags so that my belongings won't be damaged in overhead bins when other people shove their bags, guitars and skateboards up against my appropriately sized bag.  I pretty much have the carry-on packing down to a science. That is the easy part.

My checked luggage is what I really stress over.  Finding the right clothes is hard enough, but then I feel anxiety when I figure out how to best make things fit in my suitcase. I don't want my bathroom things to leak, so I have liquids inside of ziplock bags that are inside of main toiletry bags. But then I can't just put my bag in carelessly. What if they toss a bag right on top of mine and it punctures my shampoo? Then I have a leak and that would be a disaster. So in the end I have to go and cushion my bathroom bag with clothes. And if shoes are packed in there, well then they must go in their own plastic bags so as not to get my clothing dirty.

AAGGHH - the stress!! You'd think I wouldn't agonize over this considering how often I travel - but maybe that is why I do stress. I learned my lessons when I was first flying, and now my anal system has paid of in successful flights without having things damaged or in-air suitcase content explosions!

Dancing Trees

This morning I was procrastinating on getting out of bed when I noticed something kind of pretty out my window. The trees in my front yard appeared to be dancing. The rain was coming down softly, helping make it an even more beautiful, dark gloomy morning. The wind was moving the bare limbs around, almost as if in sync with a symphony.

It was then that I fully convinced myself that Walt Disney's Fantasia got its original inspiration from a dark, rainy morning and some dancing trees outside of Walt's bedroom.

I'm sure I'm wrong -- but don't kill my dream... I am almost 100% positive that I am right.  ;-)


Monday, October 12, 2009

You're Not My Kindergarten Teacher!

Quick info: It was Fall of 2006. I went to Orlando alone for my annual vacation. I was staying at Disney's Pop Century Resort. Robin still lived in Orlando and we were going to have a night out at Parliament House - a popular gay "resort".
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I had yet to actually go to a gay bar, so I was very excited! On the way to my room after some afternoon shopping, I wandered through my food court/gift shop and discovered we had a little bar at the hotel. I hadn't planned on getting anything to drink - but I was at the start of the "R**** Gone Wild" vacation and going to be getting ready, so why not grab a drink?  Long Island Iced Tea in hand, I hurried to my room to shower, shampoo and shine! Robin showed up to get me and we made a little stop back at the Classic Concoctions bar to get another round of Long Islands!

Eventually we made our way downtown to Parliament House where I met up with my friend Brian and one of his friends. Danny! That was his name! Danny was only 18 - a fact I neglected to realize since we were in a bar and I figured we all had to be 21 ... apparently not at this particular club! The four of us had so much fun talking, people watching and dancing. Oh boy did I dance! I danced so much I could barely walk the next night!  My drink of choice all night was the ever faithful Long Island Iced Tea. Danny liked them too. I was sharing with him because I'm a generous person - but then learned that his color of wrist band indicated he wasn't old enough. Oh well -  no biggie - we were spilling half of the drinks on ourselves anyway.

I had a blast dancing in a sea of hot, skinny gay boys. The thumpa thumpa was moving my body and the disco lights were more than enough entertainment for me. It was just one big swirl of rainbow excitement. I was in complete heaven! But it was getting late - or rather probably early in the morning - and Robin felt it was time to go home. Apparently when your eyes are rolling in the back of your head it is time for you to be cut off??  ;-)   We said good bye to Brian and Danny and went to the main door. (Parliament is an old motel - so really we went to the lobby). Being the responsible one, Robin told me to stay in that exact spot while she ran outside to call/look for our designated driver. Big mistake!   ---oh, I'm laughing just thinking about this.

As she walked away from me I got this "I know I'm going to break the rules" grin on my face as I did a 180 in my 'stay here' spot. Stay here?? Me?? Stay in one spot?? I want to dance!! About 10 seconds after she left my side I was gone. I had to make one final lap through all these crazy rooms. Each room was a different theme. Different paint, different Go-Go boy dancers, different people. I wasn't ready to say good bye.

I made my victory lap and returned to my spot. The instant I got back to the lobby Robin appeared, grabbing my arm and taking me away. It was at this point that one of my most classic "drunk R****" lines appeared .... "You're not my kindergarten teacher!" How on earth I came up with something so funny  (to me) on the spot like that, I'll never know. Mind you Miss Robin was ready to strangle me at this point - and can you blame her really?? She's been around me enough to know when I need to be put to bed - and boy did she have a hard time. I can't tell you how many times I cracked myself up telling her she's not my kindergarten teacher. The entire ride to my hotel I was babbling. I never shut up. I knew I was going to vomit. Our driver kept threatening me with physical harm if I puked in his new car. I promised I wouldn't. And I didn't!

Once back at Pop Century, Robin tells me it took her almost 20 minutes to get me to my room. I was moving so slow and taking so many photos since I forgot my camera in the car and didn't get any in the club. Upon arrival to my room she left me to my own devices. I know I ripped off my party attire and ran to the bathroom where I proceeded to get sick all over. Good thing I had my own room!

The next morning I was awoken by a phone call from my friend. He and his son were on their way to get me for our 10am character breakfast reservations. It was Sunday -  9am. I never set an alarm. I was lying in bed, no clothes on, and still drunk, with reservations in 1 hour. We made it there in time - and what a fun character breakfast that was!

BEST NIGHT OUT EVER!!!!
Thank you Robin, Brian, little Danny, and our hot bartender Carlos.

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On a side note to this long blog .... a year or 2 later I asked Brian who paid for our drinks. He had no idea. Robin had no idea. We're not sure if anybody ever really paid. I think we did. I'm not really sure. We will never know I guess!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

OMG OMG OMG

In case you didn't catch that ... omigosh omigosh omigosh!!!

Yeah -um, I'm having an internal excited flip-out session right now!! Only five more mornings to get up for work before I am officially ON VACATION!!! Jessica and I have been busy texting non-stop about our trip. This week its been mostly last minute packing ideas/questions/tips. We've finalized our travel arrangements to get up to the airport, and discussed early morning breakfasts. My official (although still in draft version until the final day) Excel packing list has been printed and is home in my living room. It is so close, I can barely sit still and just work for 5 minutes without visions of a Disney park popping into my head! So in honor of my excitement, I thought I'd share just a small silly story from last year's annual Walt Disney World vacation!
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Feeling very much in my element, I was the token single girl faghag on vacation with 3 very different gay boys. Boys - does Mike being in his 40's count as a boy? Whatever . . . we were staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. Unfortunately on our first morning as a full foursome I woke up very sick. I was miserable. I got out of bed to shower, and went down to the delicious food quart to get a King Creole Platter - if you ever stay there, you MUST get this for breakfast!!  I sat outside listening to peaceful music, soaking up the morning sunshine, and people watching.

Across the path from me sat a group of about 4 people, all around my age. One was quieter and sitting more on his own, slowly smoking his cigarette. It donned on me that he reminded me of Gale Harold - an actor from Queer as Folk and Desperate Housewives.  Mike came out and joined me for breakfast - and I decided to point out to him my new "imaginary vacation boyfriend". This started the debate as to whether or not my "boyfriend" was gay. I said I thought he was just European or something, hence why he seemed so gay. Mike disagreed. I think he just WISHED he was gay. But he was MY fake boyfriend so I wasn't going to share anyway!

A couple days later I was standing alone at a high table in Mexico (Epcot) enjoying my first of many margaritas. I look to the left and sure enough, there was my "boyfriend." I tried to subtly watch to figure out the group and determine if it was another hag with her gays, or if maybe my "boyfriend" was straight after all. They walked by me and I heard him speak ... with his accent he said, "In France we....."  Ha! I knew he was European!! And the girl was American - so this made it an even more intriguing group of people.

Another couple of days later I was walking through Disney's Animal Kingdom when I notice out of the corner of my eye my "boyfriend"! This time he is walking with what appears to be his parents - and no other younger people. Now I was even more interested in figuring all of this out!

Cut to our final day as a foursome. All week long I had been telling my boys about how I kept running into my "boyfriend" and seeing him many times during the breakfast rush. Brian, Greg, Mike and I were all at my same outdoor cafe table as my first sighting ... and there he was. Walking with his parents, dragging a suitcase behind him. His trip was over. He and his family paused, and hugged the Americans saying it was great to have met them and they had fun hanging out. So it seems my French "boyfriend" had just randomly met strangers and hung out --- sounds like something I'd end up doing.
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But none of the above is embarrassing. I sort of skipped that part. Let's back up just a hair.

There I was in my same seat as my first breakfast, with my loyal gays surrounding me. I had just taken a bite of some delicious scrambled eggs when I spotted my "boyfriend". Instead of just saying "Hey, look who it is!" I began to choke on my eggs, turn red, started gasping for air, all while pointing. I'm causing a scene, and my 3 gays are all turning at the same time to face this mystery man.

As if that was enough, I needed a photo and my time was running out. I had a picture of him from the back as he passed by days ago, but I needed a face shot. Oblivious to my surroundings since I was on a mission, I pulled out my big camera, ripped off the lens cap, and started to zoom. I had it - a great zoomed in face shot of my "boyfriend" who's name I'll never know. And why did it look so great? Because he was pretty much smiling! Wait a minute -- I am totally facing him, zoomed in and blatantly taking his photo .... and he is smirking?!?!?! He was on to me. He knew exactly what I was doing and chuckled as he left on his way to the airport.

Sure, I died of embarrassment for a moment, then pretended that I was taking pictures of flowers. Only it was hard to find flowers to fake photograph. But whatever - in the end I got a great photo and we all had quite a laugh!

(Check in this evening for THE photo of my fake boyfriend!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Progress Report #2

I'm back in the game!

I had a minor ankle pain at the start of week 4, so I was slow to get going on this next round of training. After keeping my ankle wrapped all day yesterday, I was able to start week four. Oh boy, is week 4 a doozie! This was 16 minutes total of running - thankfully not a solid 16 minutes in a row just yet.  I did better than I thought. Throughout the run I had a roller coaster of thoughts - initially thinking there was no way I was going to be able to complete a single segment, to thinking I was going to kick ass and be more than ready for week 5. Ha! By the end of the last bit of running I was sure I was going to collapse or pass out. But I did it! I got through everything, and so far I haven't cheated even one single time!
Last night I also had my fastest minute/mile and my longest distance. I am glad my running website told me that. I needed that extra little boost to show myself that I am making progress and will be a runner someday sooner than later!
My running plan is all mapped out on a calendar for every run between now and my first race in December. I have no room for error, injury, or weenie moments .... so I will continue to go gung ho at it! I bought a new long-sleeve running top this week and it actually did a good job of keeping me warm. Last night was also the first time I had to bring out something to keep my ears warm. It sure doesn't take long to warm up when you're running anyway, so hopefully cool evenings and I will continue to get along!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Ups and Downs of My Running Experience

Here I am, supposed to be starting week 4 of my 9 week 5K training ... and I missed night 1. I am sitting here with my right ankle wrapped, yet I am determined to run tonight. I was on such a roll until Sunday night. I decided to do one extra run of the week 3 circuit. I felt great doing it - had my best mile/minute time yet! But my knee felt funny when I was cooling off at home. I woke up Monday morning and my knee was fine, but instead it was my ankle that was bothering me.
I remembered yesterday that I actually hurt this same ankle in college during an unfortunate "too high of shoe in a dark uneven ground alley" incident. In my defense, I was the designated driver and my shoes weren't a heel, more of a thick, high sole. I had never worn anything like it before and I ended up rolling my ankle. Looking back at those shoes - they totally weren't high at all and they are something I'd never wear again because they just aren't "Mommie Dearest" enough. (I like my "going out" shoes to be something Joan Crawford would approve of!)
So anyway, a third of the way into training and I am having a minor set-back. That's a downer, but I am determined to not let it stop my momentum!
What's are the ups of my running? Well, first off I am just so darn proud of myself! A couple months ago if someone said I'd be training to do TWO 5K races I'd have just laughed and said "No way!" I'm doing something I never thought I'd be able to do in my entire life. I'm a downhill skier, not a runner! But that is changing! Overall I just feel better about myself. I'm happy, I feel like I'm taking positive steps to get healthier. I find myself trying to eat better just because I know I'm doing all this running, why sabotage it with too many delicious French fries from Granny's Hut?? (Oh I love those fries so much!!) And what I am really happy about is something I just noticed! My face is already a touch thinner! I was looking at my photos from last week's drag shows and I can already notice a difference! Plus ... my tooshie is also feeling pretty firm. Go me!

Hopefully I'll be able to have a week four update soon - that would mean I was able to actually begin and end week 4. I have every single run scheduled on my calendar between now and the December 5k. I left no room for injuries, so I HAVE to recover ASAP!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's (not) a Drag!

What a fabulous couple of nights out I had! The Dream Girls are back in town ... Alex, Wendell, Coti and Dennis. Last year they were the Jewel Box Revue and an absolute hoot! I was counting down to their return, and let me tell you ... they did NOT disappoint! In an effort to not give out any "spoilers", I'll just show the evenings in photos.

(Alex is the tiny one. Dennis has the dimples. Wendell and Coti aren't in my photos this year .... YET!)

First up are photos from the first performance. Opening night was Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 7pm. Naturally I was there with my posse. ... Michael, Char, and Mommy! We were in the back row which is VERY different from my normal front row seat, but it was still a great time. Full of surprises and some not so surprising moments, it was fun mid-week entertainment!






















Friday night was my return to the show. I mean really, how can you stay away for more than a couple days?!? ;-)  This time our posse consisted of about 35 ... only a couple that I actually knew. Sitting in the front row, I felt more "at home". Alex was amazing as always! He never disappoints.  This time I was able to schmooze with all the gals post-show. Wendell was such a sweetheart!  I couldn't believe it was so late when the bar closed up and I had to go home. Michael and I realized we had just talked with Alex and anything and everything until 2 o'clock in the morning!! So much fun ... we're going back this week!