Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes I got up this morning

I know all of you reading this didn't think I could do it. You would be amazed at what power the thought of disappointing six other people has over me. We were out of the door by 8AM. Crazy.

Animal Kingdom was first up. We got fastpasses for Everest then went over to the African Safari. I'm likely a bit spoiled due to seeing some of the country's best zoos, but the Safari was good. Disney does an excellent job with all the little things and that makes it more enjoyable overall. Next was some animal walk next door. Not bad, but again, spoiled by good zoos. The back-in-time Dino ride was pretty neat. They do know their way around some animatronics. At this point it was time for lunch and we grabbed some burgers at a place nearby.

The Bug's Life ride was our first afternoon activity. Pretty cool though of course 3-D is wasted on me. The 4-D effects were nifty though. Melissa and Brittany let out a few quality screams. Walking to Everest we stopped by the Jungle Tour in Asia which was nice due to getting to see the Tigers. Although truly once you've seen Mike the Tiger I suppose you're good. :) Everest was such a good roller coaster that many in our group rode it twice. We got lucky and some tour guide in front of us in the fast pass line had extra tickets and gave them to us. I did not partake in ride number two. I needed the time to collect myself. Might need to find some Dramamine for tomorrow.

With Animal Kingdom complete as far as we were concerned, we boarded a bus to Hollywood Studios. Sadly when we got there the line for Tower of Terror and the Aerosmith roller coaster were over two hours. And no fast passes. Ugh. Since it was around 4PM it was time to get Melissa a snack lest Mulk show up. The snack turned into a nice long rest for us and we just sat around till it was time to line up for the Indiana Jones stunt show. Due to some mix up in the roping, we got pretty good seats, and more importantly got to witness a slight screw-up in Disney's otherwise amazing crowd control. While the stunt show was cool, I had seen it before, and all it really did was make me want to go watch Raiders. Man that's such a good movie. With just a short time till our dinner reservations we did the Great Movie Ride, which, if you like movies and a bit of cheesy, is cool.

Dinner at the Brown Derby was excellent, really and truly excellent. The atmosphere was perfect. The wine was tasty. The pork tenderloin was divine. The creme brulee was yummy. Even the coffee was good. I highly recommend the place although, as expected, it doesn't come cheap.

After dinner we attempted the Toy Story ride but with a 130 minutes wait, we decided heading back to the hotel was a better bet. A short boat ride and a walk around the pool and we were back home. Tomorrow the plan is Epcot all day with drinking around the countries to ring in the New Year. With eleven countries, it could get interesting.

Side note: If you are on facebook, I'm updating status and pictures any time we get bored in line, which is fairly often. I've also got a link to the photo album viewable by anyone that should update as we go.

Monday, December 29, 2008


After a one hour delay we got to Orlando no problem. The hotel is lovely. I think it's like a Disney-fied Grand Hotel. We spent some time in the Magic Kingdom this evening. Haunted Mansion, Lights Parade, and Fireworks, then back to the hotel so we can get an early start tomorrow. Apparently that's how some people do Disney, leaving for a park before 8 AM. Who are these people? :) Hopefully I can post more when I have a little more time before bed and can also upload a picture or two.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Quarter Day

Every year around Christmas time we and the Barattini's head down to the Quarter and take in the sights. It all started back in college when a bunch of the Loyola crew would take the streetcar to Poppy's. The tradition has changed with our age and size of pocketbook, so now we usually start with lunch at Palace Cafe. Jerry and Dot joined us this year and after lunch we walked down Royal, got a drink at Molly's, then walked back down Bourbon. One of the things I love about the trip is getting to see a different side to the Quarter other than Bourbon or Jackson Square. This year I especially enjoyed the views down alleys. Here are a few of the photos I took with the iPhone. Most are a bit blurry since it's just a camera phone so fair warning and all.

My favorite French Quarter view. The lovely Galatoire's with it's patrons all dressed up, right next door to a tacky lingerie shop. Good stuff.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

"At twenty below the winter storm it billows
But the fire is so warm inside
And the children while nestled in their pillows
Dream of st. nicholas's ride
And how the next day they'll get up and they will play
In the still falling christmas snow
And together we'll celebrate forever
In defiance of the winds that blow"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Doctor

I've always liked Doctor Who. I remember liking it as a kid. One of the first thing I downloaded once I had a web connection was the theme music to the show. (Fun Fact: It was in the au format.) Sc-fi, British, a guy with a scarf, what's not to like.

Funny thing is, I can't remember a single episode.

Did I ever actually watch it? I honestly can't remember. It's very odd. It must have come on late night TV or something. I don't know of anything else that I know I like but can't remember anything about.

Well I do remember one thing. There was this on episode with a guy stuck on some sort of space craft as it was about to crash into the Earth. Turns out in the Whoniverse that's what caused the dinosaur extinction. That's really all I remember. I spent some time looking it up and episode is the last in the serial Earthshock. Oddly enough it was a fairly important episode since it killed off a long time companion.

I think I always watched the 90s movie version, but it didn't leave a lasting impression.

Anyway, why do I bring this up now? I just started watching the new version of the show. I'm three episodes in. Pretty good so far. The new doctor is a good bit different from what I feel like the doctor was but he seems to fit with the new show. Anything British is entertaining to me, so that's a plus. The plot lines are appropriately crazy sci-fi and the whole slow reveal of the Time War details seems like it's a worthwhile season build up. As with most shows, I'm just curious if it will stay good.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Urgent Care

Melissa came home from school early yesterday with itchy eyes and the school nurse though it might be pink eye. Without going into too much detail, it didn't take looking at her eye long to know something was wrong. Neither of us have established any relationships yet with a general practitioner, but I had gone to one once almost two years ago after I got sick around the time we first moved here. I decided to give them a call. They informed me she wouldn't be able to get an appointment until the 29th. I was a bit taken aback. The person on the phone suggested the ER, which seemed ridiculous to me. Then I remembered the urgent care center near Oschner. So Melissa went there, they said yes you do have pink eye, prescribed some drops, and that was that.

Is this normal? Is the whole Urgent Care center business a new thing? Does it normally take over a week to get in to see the regular doctor?

In some sense the Urgent Care center makes sense. I think I have pink eye. I want to see someone now. This isn't complicated and it doesn't seem like a big deal not to see my normal doc. But of course the co-pay is higher.

I mean when I went two years back it took a day or two to get in, which seemed within reason. Maybe it's just the holidays. I guess I'm just worried that the option of an Urgent Care center is making the regular docs less likely to see people quickly and we're left footing the bill.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What the what?

30 Rock is genius.

That really could be the whole post and it would be an awesome post at that but I feel the need to say more. In the last episode we watched, Liz had this line where she says, "I just wish I could start a relationship about 12 years in, when you really don't have to try anymore, you can sit around and goof on TV shows, and go to bed without anyone trying any funny business." At this point Melissa and I looked at each other and just grinned. Good times.

Anyone else loving them some 30 Rock? Anyone else thinks that's a fairly accurate reflection of their relationship?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Smart People

I happened to catch a few episodes of House on Sunday. Seems like a good show, but then most of the procedurals on TV seem to be these days if you go for that sort of thing. What tends to suck me into to House episodes though is the man himself. His world view and his way of relating to people is both humorous and painful to watch. It doesn't often help that people, normally the patients, act pretty horribly on a number of the shows. What's interesting to me is his observations on human behavior and the leaps in the logic he is then able to make.

Has this sort of character become common on TV lately and if so why? Psych, Monk, The Mentalist, and likely a few others shows I've never seen all seem to deal with amazingly bright people using their power of observation for good. Sure most of them are a bit wacky, but that's TV for ya. Is this a new thing? I can't think of another time when we had this many characters like this on TV. Is it a side effect of the procedurals getting so popular? Maybe. You need someone smart making the leaps in logic to keep the show moving along. If we could all figure it out ahead of time it would be boring. I'm just wondering if this sort of thing is having any larger effect. I know personally I'm trying to be more observant about people and their behaviors, mostly after watching Psych. I think I just like the fact that smart people on TV are the heroes lately.


Monday, December 15, 2008

But it was a begining

Taylor and Richard are doing this hollidailies thing and trying to post every day. I am not that brave. I will commit to posting "more often" and to actively courageously suck.

I've become a total facebook addict. It's just so easy to upload pictures and update status and keep in touch with people. If you aren't already on it I encourage you to sign up. Trust me it's not as scary as you think.

For those of you that used to follow Claudia's blog and are sad that she hasn't updated it with pictures of Fiona, she mentioned in one of Taylor's comments that she has been updating the pictures on her flickr feed. I encourage you to check it out. It's crazy how much time has passed and how much Fiona has grown.

Esme is doing well. We saw her yesterday while we decorated my parent's tree. I even got to hold her a bit while she was crying and was able to get her to go to sleep. Good times.

Well that's enough for now. Hope everyone is having a good holiday season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

View from my "desk"

Well it seems that this whole sending blogging updates from the iphone is going to take some more work. That was supposed to be a picture.

Edit: I uploaded the photo the old fashioned way.