Monday, December 31

"Virtually" Space Mountain

For those of us needing a fix! Complete with a fresh soundtrack.

Thursday, December 27

Mouse Trap

Whatever happened to happy, joyous, and free? Life was suppose to replicate a glossy advertisement, where the people are more beautiful than the place, and their smiles gleam proportionate to your desire to join them. Within the dimensions of the photo, nothing could go wrong. And if it did, well, it's nothing that a splash in the pool won't fix. It seems plausible. Does it not? For the vast majority, it does not. My search for such an existence has uncovered the deception of Photoshop, where I am somehow always edited out.

Oh! You poor sap, you might say. How could you have gotten it so wrong? How do you survive the day-to-day monotony? Good questions, though, not one deserves an answer. I’m speaking of the quest and yet you mock my devotion. This journey has made me bitter, resentful, and easily bored—especially on Sundays.

I get the occasional glimpse of abundant joy, usually during an activity of choice; however, peaceful interludes are cooked by distasteful tasks like laundry-mat laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, visits to the dentist, paying bills, or fixing my car with improper tools. The taste of victory quickly turns sauerkraut.

Why do share this missery when we have our own to contend with? This is my point. We struggle too much. There's a better place. A place where the glossy matches reality. A place called Disneyland!

Oh! You scoff. Disneyland is for children, and retards. But who, I ask, is not a kid at heart. Who among us has not been gypped on their childhood? Who, by sibling standards, is not a little mentally challenged?

Not once—during the four days as a park guest—did I think about income, personal debt, taxes, world hunger or any other depressing topic. Instead, my greatest concern was the line length for Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Matterhorn. There were other entertainment options when the lines became intolerable. Watching Cruella De Vil be snarky to the children on Main Street was one of my favorite pastimes—often preceded by dragging my father from the Churro cart.

In Disneyland, people are always happy. And who wouldn't be? The smell of cotton candy and other sweet confections fill the air. Catchy little gingles reach every corner of the park. Parades and fireworks are scheduled daily. All five senses are constantly being tugged at, much like the pant-legs of countless parents toting small children. And the Christmas decorations, Oh! My God.

It is so cool that I wanted to stay. After all, I've spent years desiging my life arround these ideals. I could work there. Yeah! Given my temperament, suitable Disney personas dwindled rapidly. My options narrowed to Cruella, or a mouse—like Mickey but smaller, and more of a cousin-once-removed caliber. Since no one had ever heard of Mickey's cousin, it became my mission to educate.

I only wish someone would have mentioned the real, live cats that patrol at night.

Wednesday, December 26

It's a Small World

I'm fairly certain that Disney commissioned Sparky Griswold
to adorn the lights on the front of It's a Small World. After
four days of carrying my camera, this was the only scene I shot.

Thursday, December 13

Ho Humbug

In an effort to bring smiles to countless faces, let’s assume that I devote some hard earned free-time to the inner lining of a Santa suit. I know. I know. It's a stretch, just bear with me.

A midnight craving for milk and cookies won't cut it if you strive to fill the boots of a high-profile Mr. Claus. You can't just drive to the nearest strip mall, waltz through the white picket fence surrounding the North Pole, throw down a few territorial elves, and claim the throne. That's not how it works. If you do choose this route, however, a trailer park version of a Santa suit--complete with red long johns and black galoshes--will help. But more sophisticated options exist.

Westaff trains and supplies Santas throughout Australia. Perhaps they solve the many mysteries of Santahood. "Ho ho ho" is easy enough, but what about the rest? How do you handle the third soaking of your pant leg? How much glue must you apply to your face to make the beard look natural? How do you keep those enormous pants up? These tips are helpful, but Westaff had a little something extra stuffed down their stockings.

Management felt that 2007 was the year to censor Santa. They told their trainees, "No more 'ho ho ho.'" Apparently "ho ho ho" had frightened too many children. Of course the whole Santa ensemble wouldn't have contributed to the fear factor now would it? Thousands of pictures document terror but consider the lurking political correctness or lack there of? Don't you know that the word "ho" is offensive to women. Oh! the injustice. They offered instead "ha ha ha."

O.K. “'Ha ha ha,' you’re idiots.” I'm sorry, maybe that's a bit brash.

Come on. You can’t take away Santa’s Bam. Just think if they censored Emeril--claiming that the expression "Bam!" was offensive. Say instead "ha" and say it softly. It doesn’t, and won’t, work.

Let's take a quick glance at what preceded political correctness. "Ho ho ho," by definition, is an expression of laughter, and has been recorded since c1150. That's a lot of frightened children. In the derogatory sense, ho (still considered slang) evolved as an abreviation of whore. Whore wasn't recorded until the mid 1500s. The original Saint Nicholas lived around 300AD. The egg of "politically correct" didn't crack until the late 1900s. It seems only fair that Father Christmas be grandfathered into the whole "ho ho ho" deal.

So in honor of the fat man, a paganized holiday, and my hillbilly Santa suit . . . "'Ho, ho, ho,' bitches!"