Thursday, December 22, 2005

Meeeeh.... I've been recovering from a bit of a nasty cold. It, combined with nine consecutive days of work, four eleven-hour days and minimal sleep from excessive coughing, has left me rather exhausted! I'm so sloth like. I'm off today and was going to go to the gym but slept, watched tv and ate Skittles instead.

It's quite terrible. I bought Christmas cards before I went to New York. They are all filled in and ready to post, but God forbid I find a place that sells the appropriate stamps. I should have just bought stamps and covered the envelopes with them but I was a knob and though I would find a place with the exact postage. Ha, what a fool I am. So let it be known that I have Christmas cards for lots of people, but the cards are still sitting in my purse. It's not that I don't love you, it's that it would take me two hours, (at least!) to walk to the Post Office. Bloody hell.

Man, I'm lazy today. Between my laziness and my passion for a giant bag of Skittles that was given to me for my birthday we're going to need a forklift to move me into the New Year.

In GREAT news I now have cough syrup! This is HUGE, and I'm sure my roommate will be thrilled. Seriously. I'm lucky though, a lot of people get colds or sick within a couple of weeks of being here. My immune system held strong untl now!

Things I did in New York City: Empire State Building at night, Central Park by the chilly day, wandered about Times Square/5th Avenue/6th Avenue by night, got to be ON TV.

By TV I really mean TELEVISION.

Seriously, Sonia and I got up early and after asking many people for directions found the outdoors taping on the Early Show for CBS. We got free bagels, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and tea and got to cheer when they went outside for filming. It was nice to be famous for three seconds.

I just realised that although I bought this cough syrup, I haven't taken it yet. However, I have drinken about a half-litre of orange juice in the past two hours. Good thing I bought the reduced-calorie stuff.... (See previous fork lift comment.)

Umm, done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tonight I was reading someones MSN space (Big Steve's, for the record!) and realised how much I miss people and how much I love reading everyones blogs. Then I thought about how little I update and thought, "Hey, maybe people like reading my blog." So, just in case my suspicions ae correct, I am going to make an effort to update this a bit more.

Thank you to everyone that sent me birthday wishes!!! I really appreciate it!!!

My birthday was GREAT! I was a bit bummed the day before as this is the first time I have been away from PEI on my birthday.

December 8th started off with a phone call from Aunt Adele, then me running down to an office to fetch a package from home. A couple of phone calls later from the parents and me taring into my package I ran off to catch the bus with my roommate (however we aren't late everyday is beyond me) and met a few friends to go to the Beach Club Resort for the infamous character breakfast I have been telling EVERYONE about for the past two weeks. The wait, my friends, was worth it and i will be posting pictures soon! The food was good, (not amazing, but still very good,) and I had such a nice time with my Florida buddies. It made me happy as although they don't replace my friends and family at home, they've become quite important to me and I'm lucky to have friends from so many places! :)

Oh yes, I got a free wee cake at the restaurant delivered to me by Goofy. So yes, a normal, run-of-the-mill, birthday breakfast ;)

End gushiness.

After breakfast I didn't do too much and had to work at 4:00. I had gotten two birthday pins, one with my cake at the Beach Club and one from a castmember at the back entrance to Epcot, and my managers said I could wear my Epcot one while working! I was happy. Two guests even sang me a birthday song! When little kids came in I would always point out to them that we have the same birthday. I would also make a point of asking everyone if they were turning 23 as well... Kids laughed... as did the older folk I asked! It was a good night. I got home and mostly packed and went to bed at about 3:00. At 4:50 my alarm blared and it was time to leave for New York City! So it was a rather sleepless night, as was the night before. (The night before I was paranoid I was going to sleep in and miss my breakfast.)

New York was FABULOUS! However, we did get off to a rough start. The cab I had arranged did not show up. We almost missed our flight. (We are talking mere MOMENTS.) But all was fine once we hit New Jersey and submerged ourselves into the Lincoln Tunnel and found ourselves in New York City.

End post. I am quite tired.

But I feel the need to do shout-outs!

Birthday bash attendance list (starting with me and going anticlockwise [because I still like to use british terminology]):
Erynn S.
Erin B.

New York Comrades:
Jen (again?! What are the odds?)
Sonia (Vive la France!)
Manuel (Vive la Fance encore!)
Meg (konechewa! Goooooo Japan!)

Time for bed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Character Breakfast! New York City!


Well, this is going to be a quickie as I am leaving for work in 20 mins and not quite ready. Me, last minute? Never....

On Thursday to celebrate becoming the fabulous age of 23 I'm dragging some folk to a character breakfast at a hotel close to Epcot. (The Beach Club, for those in the know.) I am REALLY looking forward to it as I have never been to a character breakfast before! It's an all-you-can-eat breakfast, (here's hoping for strawberries and cantelope!) featuring Goofy, Minnie, Chip and Dale and maybe some others. They walk around, pose for picture, sign autographs, etc. On Friday morning at 5:30 myself, two francaises and a japanese girl are chucking us on a cab to new York City! Mind you, the cab will take us only to the airport. We are relying on Continental Airlines to get us into Nifty Newark. I am soooo excitied for this trip! We are staying for three nights and pretty much have a full four days since we should be into New York City by noon on Friday and our flight doesn't leave Newark until 8:30ish on Monday night. I feel like I haven't been travelling in so long, and I can't even express how excited I am!

However, I have encountered a couple of wee problems. One, I'm cheap, but I'm willing to attack the bank account for this trip! Two, the cold. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that there will be snow and we can go skating and the Christmas stuff will be up, but when I came to Florida I really didn't prepare for the cold (we're talking below freezing!!!). I'm fine here, but I don't have a winter coat, mitts, a scarf, or appropriate footwear. Hmm. So, here comes the saving grace of the Epcot Costuming Department! As part of outdoor foods, I get issued a coat, hat, turtle neck and perhaps a scarf and a pair of mitts. Hey, it's cheaper than buying this stuff! Although I may buy a pair of mitts just to have as it does get a wee bit chilly here on some nights when we are outside for throw-outs.

Anyway, ten mintues to get ready for work... oops.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wait a minute...!

I just checked my last post to make sure it worked properly and noticed the date: November 26th. When the hell did that happen?!?! Christ, I'm going to back in Canada before I know it... 0_0

In an unrelated note, i was called over to the PEI section of the restaurant Thursday and there was a guest that just NEEDED TO KNOW how long the Confederation Bridge is. Swoop in Islander Jen to save the day!! :)

I heart PEI - I really do ^_^

I am TIRED, as per usual.

And lazy. Gah.

It's about 11.40 and I'm still bumming around in my pjs trying to decide what to do today. I have to go into work to get costumes but other than that I am freeeeee. Well, free to the restricted world of public transportation.

In bad news, my hearing aid is on the fritz and doesn't work. At all. Hmm. So sometimes when children talk to me I just smile and nod. It *seems* to work and I'm hoping I haven't somehow insulted some of them!

Happy two-days-late American Thanksgiving! Disney held a thanksgiving-dessert party for all the internationals and college program students on Tuesday evening. I was working too late and missed out on the pie, but got a couple of good squares, some cookies and delicious hot chocolate. On Thursday the restaurant where I work was doing a thanksgiving dinner for the (paying) guests. We got to eat the leftovers and they were sooooo good. Honestly, I think we are the number two restaurant in WDW (and apparently no. 3 or 4 in Florida?) for a very, very, VERY good reason. On Thursday night we went to PI. Honestly, there were soooo many people out! I figured it might be a bit slower due to the holiday but the bus we took there and home was absolutely packed.

On Friday morning I set my alarm somewhat early (8.30 - which is early when you went to bed at about 3.30!) and went to take in the "Black Friday" sales at the outlets across the street. Some stores had good sales, some had NO sales - including the store at which I really wanted to do some shopping! Between my shopping excursion, ($80, but that's not too bad as I bought a pair of boots since mine have needed to be replaced for, well, a bloody YEAR,) groceries ($50) and last night's entertainment ($15) I feel like I completely blew my paycheque. This week I made $180ish post-rent thus now have $35 remaining. Wow. Am I in service yet? I think I'll like the tips...

Last night I went to see Rent with a fellow food and wine alumni. The movie was mostly good, but I fell asleep anyway. At the cinema. I also fell asleep during Harry Potter last week. The movie was AMAZING, but seeing a show at 12.01am after five hours of sleep the night before and working all day pretty much did me in. And I think I only dozed off for a few minutes. I hope.

Anyway, I am off. I need to do something. I kind of feel like I wasted yesterday and wasn't too productive (although my new boots are quite a feet ;))

So today will be a Disney day as I know no one else off today (crap - why I miss Monday - Friday, 9-5) and do not have a car. I thought of going to downtown Orlando, but have the "must get costume" thing floating over my head. Ah well, maybe next week...


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

oh me me.

Lets summarise what's been going on here lately.

Last week my parents were here! It was good fun and very nice to have them here. On the Saturday they arrived I took them to the Hoop-dee-do review dinner show for some entertainment and "fine" dining. There was salad, bread, baked beans, ribs, fried chicken, corn (mmmmm), and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The show was cheesy and quite funny and I would definitely recommend it! The following day I did not see them as I had a long day of work. On Monday I took them into Epcot before I started work and they spend the day poking about there until I joined them when my shift was over. We wandered around the Food and Wine Festival some and went to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks. I was rather tired as I had felt the need to stay out until 2.00ish the night before and then had to be up at 7.45. Later, I left my parents and went to PI for a night out. Cue another late night followed by another earlish morning as my parents had hired a car for a couple of days! On Tuesday we, among other things, drove to a VERY small down called Mount Dora. It was cute and filled with antique shops and a large everglade-esque lake. I also got bit by an ant, but luckily not very badly. Those little buggers leave quite the scars and itchiness (just ask my dad!).

On Wednesday we drove east to a wildlife refuge and Cape Canaveral area. It was quite pretty and I saw flying/jumping fish! It quite reminded me of Super Mario Bros.

Wednesday turned out to be rather drama-filled post 1.30am. Prior to that I had booked a flight to New York for December (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and went to a friend's place for crepes and company. I got back to my apartment to find a lovely squad car outside my building. Turns out my housemate's iPod had been stolen. Long story short, I checked my locker and I was missing a goooooooood chunk of money. I usually lock my locker, but had forgotten to a few days earlier. Sigh. Although I realised I was missing stuff as well, I was terrified that I would find stolen stuff planted in my room. Maybe someone wanted me gone? But it was fine, and I didn't think anyone had any reason to dislike me but who knows....? Anyway, my flight to New York was only $145 (although I found a better one today for $110, boo) and I had about $100 stolen so I guess I can think of my flight as costing $245. Or something. Anyway, the whole ordeal made for a rather late night. The next morning I met my parents at the Animal Kingdom for a hop about in the parks before I started work. I was in a bit of a bad mood based on the previous night's events. However, I eventually cheered up and all was good. Friday and Saturday I worked, weeeeee.

My parents left on Sunday. As well, Sunday was the LAST DAY OF THE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL!!!!!!! We cheered when we got to drop the front flaps of the kiosk once Illuminations (the fireworks show) started up. I'm a bit sad though, I met a lot of great people that I would have NEVER have met had I been working in the restaurant or on popcorn. At the same time, I'm never pouring a cup of cheddar cheese soup again. EVER. Mwwwwwaaaaaaa. It wasn't as monumental as finishing my filing job, but I'm happy it's over. Don't get me wrong, I *would* do it again, but I don't know how many more weeks of it I could have taken.

I was off on Monday and went to Typhoon Lagoon with Erin! It was soooo much fun!! Typhoon Lagoon is one of Disney's waterparks and it has the best wave pool EVER. The waves are huuuge and I LOVE THEM. The waterslides are good too, but the wave pool is definitely tops in my book. Some of the lifeguards were also good. *ahem*

Monday night was another reallllly late night and for some AWFUL TERRIBLE BRUTAL reason I just could NOT manage to sleep in on Tuesday morning. I was tired and groggy all day and couldn't be bothered calling anyone despite it being my day off. I went to the mall across the way and spent too much time readings books in a store. My quest to buy footwear and jeans didn't go over so well.

Today was my first day in the restaurant! The uniform made me feel like a nun as the costume covers everything from the neck down save your hands. Weird, especially after wearing shortsleeves and shorts for two months outside. The restaurant is a completely different pace than being outside and seems much more proper. I do like the potential for longer guest contact though rather than a thirty-second meet and serve thing.

A few nights ago I set up a msn space for storing my pics as Yahoo has been pissing me off immensely. My msn space/photo album.

Anyway, I'm off. I've been ridiculously lazy tonight and have done NOTHING since getting home from work. Oh right, I tried setting up an account with an online long-distance provider and got ripped off. After paying $15 (pay-as-you-go long distance using the internet for outbound calls) the firewall/network wouldn't let me use it. So I'll have to give iNet a jingle and express my frustration with them. Boo. I figured that would be convenient as I LOST my last phone card (I believe the same day that I had my money stolen AND lost a necklace that I had bloody *&%$#* bought a mere FIVE FJOINOGIEGIOJOIE**###& MINUTES EARLIER.).

Christ I hate losing things. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE. It makes me feel like a clueless knob.

A year ago today I was in Tampere, Finland. Six months ago I was in Switzerland. Now I'm in Florida! hee hee hee.... :)


And shout-out to Anne, as it's her birthday today. Happy birthday, Anne!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I started writing an email to someone a couple of nights ago in Word when the internet was fried. I ended up never sending it. So I figure I'll just edit and post it here. So this is late Tuesday night/ early Wednesday morning....

There are just too many fun things to do here! Last night I was supposed to go to the gym and whatnot but found myself at a dinner show, Arabian Nights. The show itself wasn’t very good, the food was fine, and the beer/wine/soda was all you can drink. I got a wee bit tipsy. Shocking, I know. The show usually costs $50.00 or so but the first Tuesday of every night there is an offer for WDW castmembers to go for eight freaking dollars! How cheap is that?!?! I didn’t even have to chip in the for the cab there or back because it is tradition that the folk in tipped positions, provided enough of them go, cover the cost of the cab because they make in one night what the untipped folk make in, well, a week. No lie. So I should be putting in the effort to learn my menu right now, but I find it very hard to bother putting in the effort. I guess I got pretty accustomed to the slacker way of life since university ended! But I’m going to learn my menu…. The dinero is quite enticing. However, I find I get bored of positions easily so I don’t want to get into serving too early on or else I’ll be sick of it by March!

Things here are quite good! I won some kind of award thingie at work for good customer service (the generic term, not the Disney terms of “Take 5 Moments” or “Making Magic”). Weeeee! I’m getting along well with my roomie and housemates and am starting to hang out with some more people.

Tonight I am going out for a friend’s birthday. Splurging on a $25.00 meal but it’s supposed to be amaaaaazing. It’s at a Disney resort called the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s African themed so it should be pretty interesting! I’ve been to the resort (Disney never calls accommodations hotels :P ) before and it’s pretty cool – there are giraffes and other animals wandering just outside the hotel! Disney sometimes skimps and does things on the cheap (a testimate to previous management that is no longer in the company) but they did quite go all out with this place.

I’m going to be the size of a small whale by the time I go home. I think one reason for the menu slacking and glutonous eating is that I feel like I’m constantly on holiday. Seriously, this is like a year-long holiday and it’s hard to get into the “real life” way of life that includes actually COOKING and being responsible. So come next week, I’m returning to my gym groove (which is hard when you sometimes spend twelve hours a day standing) and am going to actually start cooking and not eating cereal 400x a day. I’m basically telling you this to shame myself into “healthy living” practices.

One thing I LOVE about it here is learning about the different positions around the resort. Each month there is a schedule of people giving talks about their roles in the company. Some of them look pretty bland judging by the five-line description, but some look pretty interesting. There are also one- or two-hour sessions on various bits of history about the company, behind the scenes tours, and other stuff I gobble up as a fan. I want to explore Florida, but I will admit staying in Orlando on my days off is pretty appealing as there is soooo much to do here. I figure I’ll be sick of the Disney parks soon enough. Today is a shopping day as I haven’t really shopped since arriving here.

Hurricane Wilma hit Florida and some parts of Miami and Fort Lauderdale were without power for a good week. Lots of those folk came up to Disney World to kill some time which resulted in an extremely busy week for us. The hurricane didn’t affect me too much, it was just ridiculously windy and rainy for awhile. Then I hustled off to work for clean-up duty and got slack from a few guests because not everything was open. Umm, considering a HURRICANE had been in the park a mere two-hours earlier I thought we were doing pretty well restocking kiosks and putting all the stuff back together that we had stripped bare the night before. Honestly, SOOOOO much work goes into hurricane preparation. The storm itself probably lasted for only four-five hours, but the labour that goes into moving things indoors and then moving it all back outdoors is right mad. And besides some our Food and Wine Festival being closed, by supper time you would have never known that there had been a hurricane all morning and into the afternoon. Huge props to the custodial crew, they did an amazing job! In fact, they got the place spick and span and I hardly even noticed them. They were subtle!

One thing I love about working the food and wine festival is how many new people I got to meet! Many of the F&W castmembers are either American students on the college programme or older workers that pop out of retirement once in awhile for random work. Some are pretty interesting to talk to – they travel the continent in their RVs working or volunteering post “official” retirement. I think I would like to do that when I pass the half-century mark. Honestly, I’m going to have a hard time saying good-bye to some of the college students, especially some of the cooks that have been working in our kiosk. We have spent SO much time with them over the past weeks that, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to be kind of sad when food and wine ends. I know I have some teary good-byes coming my way in the next month of so. =( I actually had my first tear-shed about someone leaving just this week. It makes me realize how fast this year is going to go and it really scares me. There are people that I mean to hang out with but never end of meeting up. I feel, “Hey, there’s lots of time!” but TWO MONTHS have almost passed already. Scary stuff!

This year I had THREE different costumes for Hallowe’en. First up was my super hero costume that I wore to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Hallowe’en Party a few weeks ago. At a Hallowe’en party this weekend I dressed up as a campfire. Shockingly, no one else had the same costume as me. Last night for Hallowe’en we were supposed to go as pirates as part of the “Canadian Girls Drinking Team”. I obliged and splurged and entire $.75 on my costume. Three cheers for a yard of red and white striped fabric from Wal-Mart!

I’ve been practicing my French lately in an effort to get the “I speak French!” portion of my name tag. Basically it is a small attachment of the French flag onto my name badge. After I get the French flag I would like to work toward the Spanish flag but that’ll take a LOT of work on my part! Spanish is SUCH a fast language. Many of the F&W cooks are from Puerto Rico or speak Spanish and they talk so quickly that I find it hard to catch much of what they say. However, I’m going to try as I’m in a good environment to learn.

**** And that's when I stopped typing and started yaking on the phone or something.

Anyway, now to hang up wet laundry. We have a dryer here but I don't use it. I'm energy efficient! But I do need to buy a drying rack... The hangers kind of leave my clothes smelling like metal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

So I am writing this the night before posting this. My wireless card apparently doesn’t like the network here so I’m without an internet connection at the moment. Usually I would just plug Mr. Laptop into the wall, but not tonight as I have, once again, lost the use of my livingroom to one of my housemates and her boyfriend. Yup, I’m getting bitter about it.

Last night/tonight I went to Spirit of Aloha, a dinner show at the Polynesian Resort with Canuck Chris and Frenchie Sonia. We got 20% discounts for being castmembers, but 18% gratuity is added on top of it. Pfft. It was all you can eat plus all you can drink – including alcohol! Not that I’m a drunk, but usually only sodas come in infamous American bottomless servings. However, one must note that the beer was American beer – the weak stuff. Seriously. I don’t drink that much but I know if I had drank as much Canadian, Scottish, Belgian or ANY other beer as the American beer I drank last night I would have been right sloshed. My favourite part of the meal was the appetizers – pineapple, salad and bread. The bread was pineapple-coconut bread and absolutely delicious! The salad had a really sweat and zangy dressings on it. The servers brought each table giant platters of food. As it was all you can eat, they offered to get more of anything you actually finished. The main course was sautéed veggies, rice, ribs and chicken. I don’t really eat ribs, but I had one and I imagine these are just your typical ribs, as with the chicken. The veggies were really good, and the rice was, well, rice. There isn’t really too much you can do with rice, eh? The dessert was brought in on these plates with smoking volcanoes on them. The dessert was shaped like a trapazoid (uh oh… memories of geometry are sketchy so I’m not sure if that is the proper term…) and was kind of a chocolate-raspberry pudding. It was good, but not blow-me-away good. All the food was good, but nothing absolutely fabulous other than the bread and salad. The show was broke up into three acts. You had food in front of you for the first two so the singing and dancing was minimal, especially during the first act which was rather silly and full of over-exagerated acting. The third act, after our plates were cleared from the table, was really good! It was the actual luau (sp?) and very entertaining with the highlight being a guy doing a dance with batons that were lit with fire at each end. My ticket was $42 and while I don’t mind paying that once, I probably wouldn’t come back to this show as there are soooo many dinner shows in Orlando.

After the show was over we hopped on the monorail and headed to Epcot. It’s funny, I thought I would hate going to Epcot on my days off but I really don’t mind. It’s not like I work at McDonalds – there is sooo much to Epcot and I can easily avoid my work location if I feel like it. We booted it through the park (stopping to say a few hellos along the way) and watched a concert by the Beach Boys! It was pretty good… but man, those guys are OLD! Yet their voices sound the exact same. Afterwards we walked over to the Boardwalk Resort (there is a walkway connecting it to the back entrance of the park) and went to Jellyrolls. I may have mentioned it before, but it’s a bar with two guys playing pianos and they take request from the audience and know an obscure amount of songs! We then walked over to the next bar, an empty danceclub, and pranced about for awhile before cleverly trying to figure out a free way to get home. The gates to Epcot were closed, thus we could not take the Epcot bus home. So we walked to another hotel and caught the bus to Downtown Disney and then one back to the Commons. Phew!

Before the whole dinner show adventure I had went to a “Career Insight” session being given by a Disney imagineer. Imagineers design, build, maintain, etc., the attractions at the park. They probably do work on the restaurants and shops too, but this guy worked with attractions. It was pretty cool and I got to ask some questions. The guy explained how it is sometimes difficult to bring together the practical folk, (say, engineers,) with the creative folk.

So yup, yesterday was a great day! Stuff like this is why I want to stay here for ages… As I told some people before I left, I’m not here because of the work, I’m here for the 102 days off!

This afternoon I’m heading back to Epcot with a couple of friends to partake in the eating and drinking festivities of the Food and Wine Festival. If I don’t go back to Canada weighing 497 lbs I will be FLOORED.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Happy Hurricane Day!


Well, I must say that is a *tad* windy today. And rainy. And, shocker, a bit chilly! Wilma has arrived, and while she is not the most pleasant houseguest, (she did get in as my smoker roommate failed to completely close the sliding door to our balcony...), she isn't causing too much chaos. However, she did screw up my plans to go to the House of Blues last night. Hmph.

The Disney parks are actually closed this morning!!! There are plans to reopen at least Magic Kingdom and Epcot (my park) in the afternoon, weather pending.

I think the worst of the weather is over. I woke up around 9:30 as the wind was pounding on our window, but it's calmer now. Too bad as now the video I took doesn't look as good... If only I had went out earlier! Alas, the comfort of my bed was too inviting. And actually, it sounds like I spoke too soon as it's getting really gusty again... Anyway. There isn't any thunder and lightening, so I'm happy. Last night I was working and the lightening was right mad! I really don't like lightening to begin with, so I was quite glad when we got to close our kiosk's flaps so I couldn't at least make out the outlines of the lightening. And in lucky breaks, I was working at a different kiosk last night (a visa no-no, but it was an emergency so it was okay) and when we were clearing it out for hurricane-emergency-preparation-blah-blah-blah I found a rain poncho! Yay! When I saw the fellow canucks later in the evening the poor souls were absolutely DRENCHED. :(

Despite the mad lightening last night, it mostly smoothed over by 9.00 and Illuminations (the fireworks show with the World's Best Music) went on!

Tonight I go in for clean up. Basically we put all the stuff in our food and wine kiosks in storage last night and now we have to sort everything and stock 'em back up. "Yay."

Anyway, time to hop off and do something. Adios!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

In preparation for the impending hurricane I bought a flashlight today.

Jen = 1, Forces of Nature = 0

Take THAT, Mother Nature!

It even came with batteries.

I actually bought water too, although that was before I learned of the hurricane and it was moreso because the water here tastes like wolf urine and as a result I'm rather dehydrated - not a good thing when working in the hot sun. And although I don't have much water, I have a case of beer to fall back on ;)

I'm lazy... I need to do something. Get some exercise of sorts. But I have to leave for work in less than an hour. Man, time here goes WAY too fast.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, it's been awhile, eh?

A whole week!

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Hallowe'en Party was lots of fun! It was like being a kid again - we got soooo much free candy. I probably have cavities now. The park wasn't too full and we were able to go on lots of rides with minimal waits. It was great! I paid about $30 for my ticket, which I think is worth it. Normally people have to buy a regular ticket and the party add-on for about $40. I'm not sure if I would spring for that. However, I've been to the Magic Kingdom so much now that it was cool to go for something "new", something I have never experienced before! There was a special parade and different fireworks, although some of the music for the fireworks was just weird. Almost like a cheesy radio version of older Disney songs which I didn't really like. There were also "dances" at a couple of venues. I walked into one that reminded me of a Disney World commercial because there were a bunch of characters dancing with children on a dance floor.

Wednesday was back to work and I can't for the life of me remember what I did after work. Probably nothing as I was rather tired as I had been working really long shifts. Thursday I worked a lovely thirteen hours shift. How joyous. I was in an absolute sour mood one day at work last week. I was just tired, the sun was beating down something fierce with minimal wind and a cloudless sky, had been working so much and slightly flipped out at the end of the night on Thursday after my long shift. We got to the bus by it's scheduled departure time but the bus was full so we were turned away. We used to be allowed to stand on the bus like regular public transit, but now it depends on the driver and we weren't allowed. I was pissed as the bus runs only every half hour that late at night and now I wouldn't get home until after 1.30 which would give me less than eight hours before I would have to leave for work again. Anyway, I think I cheered up by Friday night or something. But man, I hadn't been that pissy at work since my early filing days back in July when I used to sit on the floor in the washroom and try and convince myself not to cry.

On Sunday night I changed right after work and went to the House of Blues for some free booze, fun and socialising. Unfortunately, there was no free beer to be had, just mixed drinks or wine.

You know what bar serves the most awful mixed drinks of all time?

Shock! The House of Blues!

Man, those drinks are practically half liquor. It's brutal! The only decent thing I could get from them was amaretto sours and those things have so much sugar that I found my teeth hurting the next day! However, amaretto gives me fond memories of the fabulous Pownel Street summer of 2002 so that was nice. After hopping about to the HoB's horrible techno music we walked over to the ever-present Pleasure Island. Eventually I went home.

Monday was another day of work, but a short one as my shift was only seven hours long! Monday night I planned on staying in as preparation for my Tuesday plans but ended up finding myself at PI, again, and didn't hit the hay until 3.30. My bad.

Today, on THIS GLORIOUS DAY OFF (!!!), I went to Islands of Adventure, Universal's other park. It's pretty cool, although I can't help but think the layout of the park is a bit of a hassle. It's around a lagoon, so you have to walk all the way on either side to get to the "top" bit.

The Spiderman ride was GREAT! It was so different than anything else I've been on. It combines dark ride elements with 3D screens and, just, well, everything! It was so much fun and I probably wouldn't have picked up how they did it but I looked up at the ceiling at one point because I was completely disoriented. It was sooo cool! We also went on a log-flume-ride thing and got completely drenched. Perhaps even dripping. Actually, I know I was dripping. They also allow bystanders to control these weird squirtgun things that are on the ride. A person watching pays 25 cents and has the opportunity to take the riders from the lovely level of "pretty wet" to "soaking wet". Anyway, I got sprayed right in the ear and could feel water gushing around my hearing aid. Here is hoping it still works as I'm so useless without it at work as there is always background music and what not.

Anyway, time to hop off! Things here are, generally, going well. I'm pumped for next Tuesday as I'm going to a career insight session being given by an imagineer! Imagineers are the folk who design the new rides. It's a "clever" take on the words imagination and engineer.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Day Off!!!!

Today I do not work!!! At all. And it's a good thing because I've been working a LOT lately and and pretty much perma-tired. (I cleverly stole that from Anne ["I'm perma-pink"] and modified it for my own use.)

Last night the staff at Le Cellier cooked us up a big turkey and other restaurant food and we had a giant Thanksgiving Potluck. I don't even need to eat today. I woke up this morning after a somewhat restless sleep still absolutely stuffed. That being said, I *think* it was worth it, although my heart and digestive system probably want to murder me. And I'll want to murder me too as I try to fit into a Hallowe'en costume from my thinner (unfortunately thinnest!) days.

Speaking of Hallowe'en (yay!), tonight I am going to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Hallowe'en Party! It's a ticketed event (e.g., you must pay extra) held periodically at the Magic Kingdom throughout October. As castmembers, we get $10.00 off tickets that are usually about $35-40 depending on if you buy in advance.

Anyway, I need to run.... Papa on MSN distracted me (in a good way :) ) and I need to hop off and shower before meeting people in, umm, twelve minutes. Jen, late? Never ;)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oh, the delicious food I have been eating as of late!

The best things I have had at the Food and Wine Festival so far is a toss-up between Germany's apple strudel, Poland's nut bar and Canada's maple fudge. Yup, those are all desserts. However, the "mains" are pretty good too, with the exception of the weird sausage thing in Germany which I didn't really care for.

Things have been busy, busy, BUSY as of late! Lots of work and lots of stuff going on. I finished a 45ish-hour week today which isn't too bad, especially since three of my shifts were only six-hours long. Tomorrow I start a 60-hour week with the highlight being a 11.15 - 0.30 shift.

I'm in a good mood right now as I just came home from my roommate's birthday party and got to practice my realllllly rusty French! I think I get along somewhat decently, I'm just pretty bad with verb tenses. I was also practicing with one of my Quebec coworkers a couple of days ago. I find her much easier to understand than the French, but I think it's because Quebec's prononciation has become anglicized over the years, much how our Canadian English has evolved versus British English. Anyway, back to the point.... It was slightly intimidating going to a party with primarly French people. Not that they are scary whatsoever, but because they know each other and I feel kind of rude speaking English when they are speaking French. At first I was rather quiet and wished I had dragged someone along with me as suggested by my roommate. She then asked if I would mind going back to our flat and fetching the birthday cake (which I did :) ). When I got back I decided I was being retarded and tried to strike up a conversation. Flashback to an article I read long ago about being social and mingling. There are always a couple of questions, slightly modified depending on the situation, that can fly at any party. Most people at a party know the host, or know someone who knows the host (i.e., it's your date's friend). Commons style, the question can be, "Do you know who lives here?" if you do not have a clue whose place you are visiting or "How do you know [insert host name]?" So cheers to that article I read long ago! I picked someone who looked like she didn't know too many people as well, et voila, I now have some more people to hang out with!! Her English was quite good so I spoke English with her mostly. A guy showed up whose English was more than adequate but I felt trying to speak in English would be polite and kind of fun! Nine-hundred million grammatical errors later I am now home and in a good mood. This is what I like about the Commons - meeting people from all over. It's soooo easy to hang out with just the Canucks and it sometimes takes some effort to meet the other internationals. Don't get me wrong, the Canadians are great, but you tend to get curious about all those people speaking other languages :) And really, where else do you get the opportunity to do this?! So I'm very glad I went to Smiley's birthday party despite my initial feelings of awkwardness. But sometimes you just need to suck it up and take reign of the situation at hand. Even if you feel like everyone else knows everyone else, chances are there is a least one other person who is a bit lost as well! :) Moral of the story: going to a party because you know one person and like cake isn't a bad thing! Besides, by the end of it I didn't even have any cake (probably a good thing).

La fin. A demain!

PS: sorry for lack of emails as of late.... My internet connection has been a bitch to contend with as of late but it seems to have straightened out now. So expect replies soon! And to my parents, I may talk to you again someday, but at the moment our time difference is an issue. I get home from work after you go to bed and then stay up waaaaaay late. Bienvenue aux Commons!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Oooh, where does the time go?

I started working the Food and Wine festival kiosk a couple of days ago. Our food is quite popular and deservingly so! I got to try a bit of it, but I'm holding a grudge against our freakishly-popular, canadian cheddar cheese soup. It's really good, but it's far too hot and we keep burning ourselves on it. Our girl burnt herself pretty badly and has her hand wrap up and a large souvenir blister.

Last night I went to a party at a co-worker's place. Thank God, as the two previous nights I spent bumming around at home doing nothing. The first night I was just too tired to move until practically 11.00 (then I went and played volleyball with my roommate and hung out by the pool for a bit) and the following night I was kind of tired, kind of moody, yet bored and blaaaaah. I don't like being in a bad mood here because it seems so silly as I'm incredibly lucky to be here, but sometimes it just creeps up as I get frustrated, by times, with a somewhat lack of a social life. I think it's because, as I stated before, everyone works different hours and sometimes it's hard to track people down.

Next week we are doing mandatory overtime as our festival kicks up high speed. Honestly, if you are in Central Florida and have the opportunity to go to Epcot you really, really should. The festival has about 27 booths featuring local cuisine (local to the host region) and alcohol. You can get "sample sizes" of wine and beer (the beer is generally a proper portion) for less then $5.00 and a sample of food for between $1.50 - 4.00 depending on the kiosk. And honestly, the portion sizes aren't really that small either! To eat cheaply in Walt Disney World generally requires a lunch at a quick-service restaurant. This would be just as cheap if you were to buy two - three "samples" and probably much nicer. I'm half tempted to go in early today to do some poking about but I think I'll wait for a weekday and as apparently the locals will be flooding our park this weekend and next. This is the festival's tenth anniversary and we have had people tell us that they come every year to have some Canadian soup and fudge. Although many of the kiosks change hosts year to year, Canada is always a staple and it one of the first kiosks to the right side of the World Showcase. As I mentioned above, we serve cheddar cheese soup, maple fudge, maple glazed salmon (mmmmm...), Canadian Ice Wine, Riesling (wine), and Labatts. The most expensive thing is a 12-oz Labatt beer at $5.00 which is standard price on Disney property for that amount of beer. It's probably pretty standard at most theme parks, actually.

Our kiosk is quite close to Greece's. (Greece is staffed by Epcot staff and not actual Greeks.) I see a lot of people with the kiosk's version of Spinach Pie and it makes my stomach churn. When I was in Greece our group was served that for our dessert on a boat. Biting into a pastry expecting chocolate or strawbeery and getting SPINACH is pretty disapointed and disgusting. A lot of people say it's good, but I prefer to spend my money elsewhere, like Ireland or Catilla & Leon (mmm, Spain). I was looking at our guide for Ireland's booth (again, staffed by locals, sorry Shan :P ) and it is serving Leeks and Potato Soup. Ingrediants: leeks, potatoes. Hee hee...

Anyway, I'm off. I'm going into work early today to stock myself up with some new, clean costumes. I don't get my shorts very dirty (although my pair from yesterday has some nice splatterings of soup on them) but I pretty much have to peal my shirt off at the end of my shift as I swear I sweat nine buckets of sweat during work. It's kind of gross, my persperation is the body's natural cooling system. ;)


Monday, September 26, 2005

Well well well! Here we are again but on a much more positive note than the previous post. I did wind up going out on Saturday night to another Canuck’s place and played cards and indoor monkey in the middle and other such mature games.

Today, well, yesterday by the time I actually post this, I went to Universal Studios. I bought an annual pass for about $130 USD which is pretty decent consider a one-day pass costs about $60. So I figure I’ll have my moneys worth out of that by my year end. Again, today I was, “sadly” ;) , confronted with more super short lines.

Comments on Universal: The park def isn’t Disney, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’ve been to the Disney parks so much that I pretty much know every ride. It was pretty cool being on rides that I have never been on before! In fact, I got in the queue for one attraction expecting a show and it turned out to be a rollercoaster! Universal’s layout is a bit of a mess compared with the careful design of the Magic Kingdom. A huge difference is the playing of recent, top-forty style music. That would never be piped through the Disney parks with the possible exception of a store and, obviously, Pleasure Island (Disney’s club/bar complex). I must say though, Universal has the BEST simulation ride of any park, unless you consider Soarin’ at Epcot a simulation ride. Universal Studios has the Back to the Future Ride. So yes, I’m biased as I LOVE the Back to the Future movies, but it actually is VERY well done even though the video is obviously dated. What’s happening in the video isn’t dated, but you can tell them film is getting well-played and wasn’t recorded digitally or with a new state-of-the-art camera. But yeah, overall, good times at Universal. One thing that messed me up though is the fact that their walkways look exactly like roads with pavement/ashfalt in the middle and sidewalks on the side so I found myself looking both ways before crossing the road! Disney-MGM Studios is like that as well though, but the past two times I have been at the Studios I was walking during a busier time so I didn’t really pay as much attention to the sidewalk-road thing.

Universal and Island of Adventures also have a promotion right now in which you pay about $20.00 and can eat your face off all day at six of their restaurants. Each time you go to the counter you get a main, drink and dessert I believe. Consider you could easily pay $12.00 to get those at just once point it’s a pretty good deal. Also, it’s an EXCEPTIONAL deal if you use it at a take-away counter and then eat it at outdoor seating where the staff can’t see you sharing! However, there were no indulgence on my part as I had no one to share with and could NEVER justify spending that as I was in the park for only five or so hours. I actually ate well yesterday! … Until I got home and one of my Italian housemates offered me some of her dinner. I said, “Sure!” and suddenly I was eating spaghetti in extra-virgin olive oil and butter. It was quite good, but I doubt it’s included as a fixture on the “Road to Healthy Eating” or something.

I slept in this morning (both a good [necessary] and bad [waste of day!] thing) until 10.30. Whoa. I was planning on going to a “Career Insights” by the general manager of the Caribbean Beach Resort and Pop Century Resort but find myself heading to the pool instead. As I spent most of yesterday on my own, I don’t feel like devoting four hours of my day to being by myself – especially since it’s so lovely outside! (Weather in Orlando.) And although the talk is four hours, from the time I leave my flat until I would get back it would be at least four hours. I figure I’ll do this stuff once the weather gets cooler (apparently in a few weeks).

Anyway, off to the pool!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Well, I found a downside about living at the Commons.

I'm bored. I liked it when I worked, for the most part, the same schedule as my friends. Now it's Saturday night and I can hardly find anyone not working. As well, I feel slightly trapped as this is NOT like Edinburgh where I can walk to the main drag in ten minutes. My options are basically walk to the mall across the road/field/parking lot, take a Disney bus to a park (and they will all close about an hour after I get there), or go to Downtown Disney. Yay. In truth, there is nothing wrong with any of these options, but some variety would be nice. And I don't like how it's only 7.20 and the sun is almost set and will be completely down within twenty minutes. I could hop on the I-Ride Trolley but it basically goes down one street and I feel it would be a pretty sketchy street by oneself after dark despite the fact loads of other tourists would be around. And it's Saturday night. Christ. And it's too late to get a volleyball or tennis racket to play anything because the office with them closes at five.

Anyway, I'm just in a bad mood so I'm off to the gym to burn off some sizzling steam. Ssssss.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm trying to catch on life, I really am!

I started blogging yesterday... This is what I wrote:

Weeee – blog. My internet connection has been crap the past few days so I have given up on wireless and am now plugged into the wall.

I started work on Thursday and it turns out that it is super easy. I’m on cart duty which basically means I scoop popcorn and pour beer. You know, the important stuff that leads up to being vp of the theme parks division. So far the weirdest question I got is, “Is Canada a state or its own country?” from a British guy. I told him we are part of the commonwealth and actually have Queen Elizabeth on our coins.

I find time flies by when we are outside on the cart. Next week, or this week, I guess, I start training for the food and wine festival. So I get four special days of training, along with four other girls, and get to… actually, I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing. The festival is from September 30 – November 13. I think it’ll be nice, I mean, I do have the entire year to hang out on the cart or in the restaurant! Speaking of restaurant, I haven’t started to memorize the menu at all yet, although I did look at it. A couple of the other newbies ate in the restaurant yesterday and raved about it. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough top drop a substantial amount of cash on one meal, but I could always go at lunch as apparently the prices are quite a bit lower.

Today I, along with one other person, went to Epcot on my day off. Many attractions are closed and I found myself reminiscing about my first trip when I got to ride World of Motion and Horizons, two attractions to longer at Epcot. I really like them and wish they were still here. Spaceship Earth (the ride in the big silver ball that you see on commercials) was a similar type of ride but, in my opinion, the worst of them. And really, Spaceship Earth is pretty darn cool so that’s saying something about the greatness of the other two!

And this is where I stopped blogging because I ran off to visit someone. So continuing, I spent the morning and a chunk of the afternoon at Epcot and then walked to The Beach Resort via the International Gateway. There I took a bus to Downtown Disney and poked about in the shops since I hadn't done that yet. I saw lots of stuff I want. However, I held off as today I am going to Property Control where I can get merchanside at up to 70% off. It's like a seconds store that has damaged or mismatched merchandise. Please, give me a moment to kiss my paycheque good-bye. *Smooch*

Unfortunately, my real plans for today didn't work out. Disney University is offering a seminar about Pirates of the Caribbean "From the Ride to the Movie" or something like that. I thought they wouldn't be open for registration yesterday but forgot that DU is open EVERY day. Thus, when I called this morning, the class was full. I'm disapointed, but maybe I'll go the thing next week. There is stuff almost everyday (barring Sunday) and next Monday is the manager (I think) of two of the resorts giving a career chat. Anyway, I guess I'll actually have time to clean today. Bah. I actually should be outside working on the ol' tan right now...

I fell asleep during the show in the American Pavilion yesterday. Pathetic, as it's actually a really good show.

Last night I went to Pleasure Island with Vanessa and Jordana. We went to the Comedy Warehouse and bopped about in the clubs for a little while. It was good fun, although it wasn't quite busy enough! However, given it was a Sunday night, there were quite a few people around. We're going again tonight as pretty much the entire Commons goes there on Mondays!

So overall, things here are great! I'm not homesick yet, but sometimes I feel a little bored and/or lonely because I still don't know people here that well but it's coming along! I'm also pretty confused a lot about buses (public transit, not our Disney buses) and will be ringing home quite soon for a briefing. Speaking of home, sorry I haven't been in touch with, well, almost anyone. I love it here - I swear it almost NEVER stops!!! It's great! I've turned the TV on about three times since moving here and didn't actually watch it for more than fifteen minutes. TV is a filler between plans.

Ah yes, and I unwisely forgot to post a link to my pics. Apparently people DO look at them as I got a couple of emails about it! Ahh, to be famous. It's such a responsibility. ;)

Pictures: I've been careful not to post throw-in pics or people drinking underage.

Time to clean or go to the gym! Or something. Hmm...


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In an effort to be a good roommate today I bought cleaner to, duh, clean with. Turns out I bought disenffectant (sp?) instead. My bad. That's what I get for rushing around Wal-Mart so we could catch the bus. We ended up missing it regardless by, no joke, five seconds. By being five seconds late we were forced to lose another hour of our day to the Wal-Mart demon. Sigh!

I'm in the process of uploading pics to my photo album if anyone is interested! I have pics from the new group's throw-in last night but can't post them as throw-in's are top secret except for all parties involved =D

And suddenly yahoo photos is down so there are only twenty new pics. Ah well.

I start work tomorrow! I'm a little nervous as the pavilion seems rather competitive and the managers expect a lot of you. That's fair, but a little intimidating. I have a copy of the restaurant's menu and it's pretty big. Apparently Le Cellier is the second-best rated restaurant in all of Walt Disney World. (For those interested, the top restaurant is Victoria and Alberts in the Grand Floridian Resort and is super, super expensive and smaller than Le Cellier.) I actually probably won't be working in the restaurant for a little while though as the Food and Wine Festival is starting up and myself and four others will be working at that four the sixish weeks it's here. I'm actually looking quite forward to it! And there is no danger of me wanting to try the wine. Working the popcorn stand will probably be more challenging as I know I'm going to want to eat popcorn. Of course, I will not as I am a good employee :)

On Sunday evening I went to the Magic Kingdom with a bunch of folk. It's definitely slow season here as lines are virtually non-existant and I love it! Our first challenge was getting to the park as the buses were being uncooperative. Next, we managed to get seperated at the monorail as half of our group made it on at the TTC and half did not. No worries, we just waited for them :) It didn't matter too much though as we intentionally parted ways once we got in the park as it's hard to get a group of 15+ to agree on what to do. My group was made of all Canucks: Erynn, Vanessa, Dave and Kyle. We hopped off to Tomorrowland. First stop was Buzz Lightyear's Ranger Spin something or other. Secondly was Stitch's Escape, formerly Alien Encounter. It's not really scary anymore as AE used to freak me out. Next up we went on Space Mountain. It was Erynn's first time on and she survived and was a wee bit shaken. I could hear Kyle screaming the whole ride and when I turned around after the ride I realised he was wearing his sunglasses. So what is already a rollercoaster in the dark became a rollercoaster in very-dark dark! So we had to go on it again so the rest of us could try it. Yup, pretty scary. We then did a couple of rides in Fantasyland and Mickey's Toontown Fair then hopped over to Libery Square for the Haunted Mansion. It's quite different then the Paris one, which has been my local Disney park for the past sixteen months. We then bopped along to Frontierland to take in Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. After that we rode the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland. Man, the skipper on the Jungle Cruise was soooo funny! (Or should I say punny?) After that we watched Wishes, the new fireworks show. I'm not really big into fireworks, but they matched the music so well and the music was sooo good I swear I almost teared up. Kyle and Vanessa then left us (don't worry, not forever ;) ) and Erynn, Dave and I went to Downtown Disney. It was nice and we ate really good sandwiches mmmmmm.

We were off on Monday. Early afternoon Dave, Erynn and I headed to the Animal Kingdom to be greeted with characters and more short lines! Ahh, I heart it. Around supper time we went to the Studios (I usually call that park "MGM" but if we shorten the name at work we are supposed to call it "The Studios") for the evening. We went on Tower of Terror, another first for Erynn, the Rockin Roller Coaster and saw the new stunt show. However, the highlight is that I FINALLY got to be an extra in a show!!! Ahh, eleven years in the making. I was a star :)

Tuesday was Discovery Day at Epcot. Us and the new UKers got a brief tour of the park and learned about the history of Epcot during the morning. We got our costumes in the afternoon and mine is SEVEN-EIGHT sizes biggers than I would usually take. The pants are soooo high on the waste, it's quite disgusting. And since the waste is big, the width around the thighs is freaking insane. That's for my restaurant costume so luckily I can hide some of it with my apron. My lumberjack (popcorn) costume also has an excessive amount of material around the legs but isn't quite so bad since they are shorts. However, no apron so they may look worse. The shirts are fine. I mean, who WOULDN'T love a plaid shirt?! ;) And we get a hat with the lumberjack costume. And I love it. Seriously, I would wear the hat to the beach if I was allowed!

Anyway, I need to sign off. I have homework. Seriously - I need to prepare for tomorrow and read job duties and stuff. Weee...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Well, I now learned that I should buy an answering machine. After bumming about with the parents for a bit as they leave tomorrow I returned to the Commons unable to find anyone. Well, anyone I know. My phone list really isn't long enough... Anyway, I should be able to find people in about two and a half hours for another throw-out party. Until then... ??? Ugh. I really, really hate sitting around doing nothing. I could go to the gym as it's only a two-minute walk away, but who wants to actually go to a gym on Saturday night?! And I don't want ppl to see me having nothing to do thus working out, I need people to think I'm WORTH hanging out with ;)

Last night I went to hang out with some Canucks and then played a late-night game of volleyball with a bunch of Italian people. Words to add to my vocabulary list: la punta (point), la balla (ball), and mia/mio (mine). Any day now I'll be fluent ;)

Anyway, my phone just rang so I am gooooone!

Tomorrow I shall blog about missing the only bus to work today.

~ Ciao!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Oooh, the humidity. This morning we went on a coach bus to get our social security numbers and there wasn't an air conditioner on the bus. Or perhaps there was but it wasn't on very high, or was broke. Regardless, eeeewwwww. And I can't figure out how the a/c works in this apartment! I know my roomies don't like to have it on very high, which is fine with me, but it's actually cooler outside than it is inside! In a related note, I've been trying to get my sandals to dry for a couple of days and they just won't. Instead of drying they just keep getting smellier and smellier which quite defeats the purpose of washing them in an effort to get rid of the smell. And to think they didn't even smell that badly to begin with... I've given up on them since they are doing nothing but stink up our closest and I have shoved them in a plastic bag. I can just see Mum wincing.

Today I went rollerblading and saw lots of lizards. Not big lizards, but those wee ones that are super fast and climb on walls. I actually see them all the time, not just when out rollerblading. I've also learned where not to rollerblade and what socks not to wear. I bet I'm the only person here with a blister two inches above her ankle!

Last night I got a free discman. There was a throw-out for two people. A throw-out is basically a couple of people who have reached the end of their contract getting rid of stuff and telling stories about the stuff. They usually have stuff for specific people and some stuff has been passed down for YEARS but there is some stuff up for grabs for the newbies. I haven't tried the discman yet... It looks kind of old and actually requires FOUR AA batteries. I don't want to shove any batteries into it yet as I think I left my battery charger at home and don't feel the need to run off and buy a new one quite yet. In a related battery note, Papa MacPhail mentioned to me that sometimes it seems that batteries lose a lot of their strength on planes which I'm going to agree with. Batteries that should have a full life are giving me minimal life in my digital camera.

I've hardly slept in the past few days! It's been great though. Other people have been napping in the afternoons but I prefer to do other stuff. I actually only felt super tired during one presentation too! All those sleepless weekends in Scotland have paid off as I'm now prepared for sleepless nights in Orlando.

So far I've meet people (or a person) from Mexico, the US (shocker), Norway, England, Northern Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, South Africa and, another shocker, CANADA. I have to hunt down some folk from Japan, China, Morroco and Botswana.

In a terrible tragedy I was going to play 'beer pong' last night but the party ran out of beer. I think the Newfie panicked the most. He runs to the phone, "What's Walmart's phone number?!?!" Anyway, it was too bad as I probably could have won since I hadn't been drinking so I like to think that would make my aim superior to those who had been drinking.

I can't decide whether to stick around home tonight or not. My roomies are all working and I'm slightly bored. Sure, I COULD put my pics in the photo album I bought, put stuff on the walls or organise some of my stuff but I don't really feel like. With so many people close by I would rather be hanging out with SOMEONE. Anyone. Hello out there?!?! However, I would like to stick around and actually talk to the roomies. I've hardly been in my apartment since arriving and I'd love to actually get to know them! I realise there is lots of time left to bond but I start work next week and I'm sure our schedules will be even more different!

Gasp, maybe I'll go to bed before 3.00 am tonight... I'm actually getting a little tired and I didn't really have supper yet.

Blah blah blaaaaaaah.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

This is gonna be a short one as I'm on my way out the door, but I made it safe and sound!

I live in a two-bedroom apartment and have three roommates. The two girls in the other bedroom are Italian and are from the ONLY area of Italy where I've been! One is from Milan and another from Lake Como which is the only place I've actually stepped foot in Italy! My roommate is from Paris. The places are pretty nice although quite undecorated so I *may* have to change that.

Last night was our throw-in party which I'm not writing about. It's a big secret what happens so I can't let the cat out of the bag in case someone is reading this who will be a new arrival soon ;)

This morning I went to a presentation, part of which was very boring and involved filling out forms. They were going through them VERY slowly, but that was probably necessary as some people don't have very good English. It would be pretty challenging here having to speak English all day, being trained in English, and having English as, likely, the only common language between all your roommates.

Apparently Orlando is having "bad" weather right now. Pfft - whatever! It's really warm and VERY humid. I figure I'm going to go through, like, nine sticks of deodorant a week ;) As for t-shirts, I now realise I did not take too many despite thinking so as I was my many kilos of luggage around.

There is a gym onsite here which I plan on visiting regularly. I foresee American food being tempting and, shocker, quite unhealthy seeing as this isn't a country known for its overall fitness!

Yesterday I learned that a CASE of beer can be bought for $5.00 USD.


I know the stuff isn't that good (I think it's Millwakee and Miller) but come on!! At home, $6.00 CAD (the equivalent of 5 USD) doesn't get you very much. Maybe four beer? (Which you can't even buy like that.) Here, it's like a 12-beer case or something.

So much for cutting back on the beer. ;) I kid though, I don't think I'll start drinking my face off just because it's cheap. Using that reasoning I would have ate only bread and ten-pence chocolate bars in Britain.

Anyway, I am off! I found someone who is home so I'm dropping in. Not sure where everyone scattered to this afternoon, I'm thinking to get groceries.


Saturday, September 03, 2005


In two mere hours my alarm is going to ring and I'll be off to the mighty Charlottetown airport. It boggles the mind.

First off, I'm giving a background to what's going on here. Way back in fabulous 1993, Papa and Mum MacPhail bestowed a trip to Walt Disney World upon their children as a Christmas present. After a couple of months of trip planning we were south bound on February 26th and got to Florida on the 27th. I actually remember these dates only due to it being my bro's birthday. To make a long story short, I developed an, ahem, slight obession with Disney. At some point in, perhaps, high school I learned that Canadians have the opportunity to be "Cultural Representitives" for a year and work in Epcot, one of Disney's park in Orlando, Florida. It crossed my mind to apply to go down as early as possible, (in this case once I hit 18,) but I put it off in favour of university and turning 21. At that time I had a job at which I was the only employee under the legal drinking as and I felt, as a result, I missed out on many social activites, (umm, like the staff parties that were held AT A BAR,) and got stuck with more than my fair share of weekend nights. I kind of put the whole thing out of my head again until I was 20 and working in Ottawa (2003) and started thinking about a few post-university opportunities. When I was back in Florida in 2004 right after finishing my last university project I was holidaying with my mum and I started to chat with some of the Canadian staff. I had already decided to go to Scotland by that point but I got kind of excited again about applying for the program. Eventually, I printed off an application at the Edinburgh library in August during one of my miserable unemployed days that was accompanied by miserable weather. However, I didn't apply right away as I eventually got a job and it kind of fell to the back of my mind. Sometime in September I sent in my application, resume and cover letter. I never heard anything back, so when I was home for Christmas I rant up the hiring agency that Disney uses for Canadian applicants to see if they ever had received my stuff in the post. They had, and they would be in touch in January for a phone interview!!!

January came and it turned out the interviews would be held in mid March in Halifax, Montreal and Toronto. Air Canada was having a seat sale that was set to end and I still hadn't had my phone interview. Eventually I booked a ticket without having my phone interview on the assumption that I would pass the phone interview and get through to the "face to face" interviews. To make a long story short, I ended up getting to bypass the phone interview stage completely! I made the long truck to Halifax from Edinburgh in March. The interview went quite well and I felt I hit it off with the interviewer quite well! Turned out we had been on the same flight from the UK to Canada and she had lived in France for many years and had worked for Disneyland Paris!

During the presentation portion of our info session (a presentation give TO us, not by us,) we were told that if we did not hear from the recruiting agency by the end of March to give them a ring. I got a little eager and crazy and called the agency a day early because of the five-hour time difference between Edinburgh and Montreal (location of the office) and commitments the next night. I found out I got in to Food and Beveridge and would have to be in Florida for September 6th!! I was rather estatic :) I even left early for work the following day so I could email everyone from the internet cafe beforehand!

Between that fabulous day in March and now I went traveling for almost six weeks in Europe (including some poking about in Scotland) and spent the summer working in Edinburgh temping and bartending. On August 24th I arrived back on PEI. It's now the wee hours in the morning of September 3rd and I am leaving for the aiport in about two hours. Insane. I'm quite sad to be leaving PEI again after such a short time, especially since I have no idea when I'll be back... I almost randomly burst into tears a couple of times tonight when out with friends but it hasn't quite hit me yet.

My 6.10am flight will take me to Ottawa where I am visiting Jeff and some other folk I know there. Sunday evening I head down to Orlando. That, I predict, is when it will "hit" me. Wow.

So down in fabulous Orlando I will, as previously mentioned, be a Canadian Cultural Representitive. I work in the food section, so initially I'll be either serving Canadian beer or scooping pop corn. I'm hoping for beer cart duty as I actually have previous experience in BOTH of those positions and far preferred bartending over scooping popcorn. (Shout out to Grand, who trained me for bartending at the Cumberland!) Eventually I should get moved into a sit-down restaurant where I can rake in the dough via tips!

Epcot, the theme park in which I will be working, is actually divided into two parts: Future World and the World Showcase. The world showcase has pavillions that represent different countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Japan, Morroco, the US, Italy, France, the UK and Canada. Each is staffed with citizens of that country, e.g., all employees in the France pavillion are from France! For housing we are all put into flats with 2 - 8 people with two people per bedroom. Sharing a room terrifies me as I have never done it before on a long-term basis, but hopefully it'll work out!

Anyway, I have a plane to catch and am leaving for the airport in two hours. I still have a few things to do (such as shower and umm, GO TO BED,) so I am off!

See you in Disney World!!!!