all hail mickey mouse.

Disney World 2014 Collage

Guess who recently returned from a really cool Disney vacation? If you guessed ME, you’d be right! :) I didn’t post much about it here because well, it was such a random, sorta last minute thing. See, my brother-in-law Eli and his wife Melissa both work for the Disney company in California, so they get free tickets (four each!) and discounted accommodations for the parks. They also run marathons and crazy things like that. They came to Orlando to do the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and then to vacation a bit. Adam’s family was joining them, along with Melissa’s mom. That left one space for me! I just had to pay for my flight and contribute a bit to the room cost, which was VERY VERY reasonable, what they asked. And of course, buy my own food, etc.

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the gang!

The trip was from November 7-15. I had to be with Eli to get let into the park, and then I could do whatever I want the rest of the day. Sometimes I stuck with Adam’s family (his mom, dad, sister, and niece), sometimes I hung with Melissa, Eli, and Vicky. Sometimes we were ALL together. A lot of times I went off by myself. I took a lot of selfies! Ha.

Back at Epcot!! ???? #Epcot #disneyworld #selfie #disney

The Magic started right away, when I went to check in and the guy at the desk gave me a pile of stickers and coloring books and crayons and buttons! And it just kept continuing, with people doing nice things, my friend Joe getting us into Garden Grill for dinner even though it had been booked for months, big hugs from Mickey Mouse and the gang, and so much more.

Here are the things I’ve learned the times that I was on my own at Disney World:

1. It’s an interesting experience. I loved the freedom of doing what I wanted when I wanted. It was much faster and easier to weasel my way through crowds when I was by myself. I enjoyed just answering to myself. If I wanted to do something, I did it. I didn’t have to get approval or wait for people, I could just go for it. And single rider lines for rides are the best. I pretty much walked right on to Test Track more than once. And there are some really warm and open people at Disney World. I talked to one wonderful woman about ten minutes and by the end of the conversation, she was embracing me. Little girls seemed to love me–so many would just stop and smile and/or say “hi” to me or just start talking to me. Little boys, too! And I got a free churro because I was at the Christmas Party by myself. If I wanted to sit and people watch, it was OK for me to do that. I didn’t feel like I was putting people out when my tiny bladder made its needs known loudly and often. If people in the group were doing something I wasn’t all that into, I liked being able to say “I’m going to do [some other thing] and I’ll catch up with you later.” I loved that.

2. Eating was so cheap when it was just me! Before I left for Disney, I purchased $150 in Disney gift cards from Target (using my RedCard so I’d save 5%), and I didn’t use all of it. Granted, one meal was an expensive one and I paid for that NOT using the gift card, but the rest? Well, I came home with $20 left, and I’d even bought a souvenir with some of the gift card money. This was done with some extra help though: I had granola bars and Pop-Tarts in my room. I bought one bottle of water and kept refilling it, and I also bought a refillable drink mug (with a gift card!) to use when I was at the resort. Seeing as I was there so many nights, it was a good investment, especially on my resort day. I also have a small appetite, so many times, the kid’s meal was adequate for me. I also forgot about my gift cards and got a couple of Food & Wine entries with cash. So, truthfully, I probably spent about $180 to feed myself at Disney World for nine days, including a refillable drink mug, a fancy sit down meal, and novelty snacks. I’d say $20 a day isn’t bad.

3. During a long trip like this, a day in the middle to do NOTHING is a fantastic idea. I never knew the value of it until last week. I realized that I am absolutely capable of melting down like the toddlers at the end of the night (or morning or whenever) who have had ENOUGH. I was like that Monday night after the Christmas party. I was just DONE. Then I dropped my brand new phone INTO the Murphy bed that I was sleeping on (which was very comfortable by the way). I didn’t sleep well. By Tuesday morning, I was a mess. I got on my computer while waiting for maintenance to come and help me get my phone out. I took my medication, and tried to calm down. It worked. Maintenance came and my phone was rescued and unharmed. The meds kicked in. I pulled on my bathing suit and decided to stick around the resort all day. I hung out at the pool and had a drink, and talked to my mom and Aidan on the phone. Then I took a nice, hot bath before heading to the food court for something yummy to eat. (Probably corn dogs, seeing as I can’t seem to get enough of the things lately.) It was a nice, relaxing, much-needed day of downtime and self care. I highly recommend a resort/pool day for all long Disney trips.

Poolside drinksies!!!! #vacation #goodlife #disney #disneyworld #selfie ??????????

I got to spend time at Disney with a little kid, which doesn’t happen often. I mean, there are kids THERE, but they’re not with me, so yeah. Hanging out with Lola was great. To hear that little voice say “I want to sit with RONNI” was soooo fun!

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how cute is this?

And I had to admire how they kept her fed and happy with PB&J, fruit, cheese sticks, popcorn, etc. They didn’t have to spend a lot of money on her nor worry about feeding her since she can be a picky little eater. And because she was in her stroller, they could just feed her just about anywhere. Chris and I didn’t do that with Aidan! Not that he’d have eaten PB&J anyway….

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I got to do some new things this trip. I finally got to see Fantasmic! :) I’d been hearing about this fireworks show for years and years but it always seemed like a pain in a butt to get to. You had to line up a million years before to get a good seat or even a seat at all, blah blah blah. But FastPass+ made it possible for Cassidy and me to get front row center seats (now, we’d have normally never wasted a Fast Pass on a show but that’s about all they had available by the time we made it to Hollywood Studios that evening), so there it was. And I LOVED it! It lived up to the hype for sure!

I sat at the Pinocchio restaurant and waved to people riding it’s a small world. That was fun.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is so much fun! Such a cute coaster!

I saw Finding Nemo: The Musical. I liked it, but The Festival of the Lion King wins. I missed the Jammin’ Jungle Parade. So sad it’s gone. I heard it is coming back after all the work is done in Animal Kingdom. I hope so.

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Animal Kingdom in the dark! That was certainly new! It either closes so early or it stays dark so late that I’ve never see it at night. It’s just as pretty.

And there was Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, where I got to meet these guys:

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And see Main Street look like this (complete with fake snow):

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The pictures do not do the castle justice, how pretty it is. It’s incredible, and now they’ve incorporated Elsa and Anna and Olaf (from Frozen) into the castle lighting in a very clever way. I approve! :) Here’s a video of the very ending, complete with a “wooo” from me.

And oh oh oh, I got to see the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights! It was sooooo cool. Definitely will put you in the holiday spirit, as long as you can handle the crowds!! Here’s a snippet!

Honestly, I cannot even begin to put all the stuff I got to see and do. It was just a nice, long, awesome vacation. If you’d like to see more photos, click here! There’s lots to see! :)

And I leave you with a photo of Mickey and me. Because yes.

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Till next time! :)

it was a weird week. and month.

It's 75 on October 27. The Sun is out and I am surrounded by trees. It is a good day. ???? #tree #autumn #sun #leaf #lake

I thought Mercury Retrograde ended on October 22, but the way this week went, it felt like it was still going strong for me! It’s been such a weird few weeks.

My Acting 1 class at Second City ended October 14, and I miss my friends and teacher from that class. I wanted to continue, but it just wasn’t in the budget and timing wasn’t right. I plan to go back in the spring and move on to Acting 2. I had fun, though! The teacher was great, really gentle and encouraging, yet honest. And some of our warm-ups was playing tag or red light, green light. My favorite was hug tag.

Adam and I went to the Arboretum for our annual fall trip, and it was a beautiful day. Sunny, temps in the 70s. Brilliant. Then we ate Cheesecake Factory for lunch, which was good. But something in that food exhausted me. We had lunch and I crashed really hard. We went to Target and I just wanted to be in and out so I could go home and sleep. Talk about fatigue!

My iPod decided to die. Like, seriously die over the weekend. Last Thursday it was working fine. I was listening to it in the car as I drove home from a long day on the set of SIRENS. But Saturday morning, when I went to listen to it on the way to a workshop at Moksha, it was dead. I plugged it in and nothing. Somehow, it managed to charge overnight being plugged into the wall. I listened to two songs on the way back to Moksha and the battery was almost drained. And then, it died and never came back. RIP Silver iPod Classic.

Luckily, Adam had an extra that he’d stopped using a long time ago. It’s mine now! :)

My car failed the emissions test, so I have to deal with a bunch of bullcrap with that. $300+ to get it fixed, then ANOTHER emissions test, and I have to hope I don’t get a ticket while waiting for all this to transpire because my registration is about to expire. I hate red tape. I really do.

I got paid from a big client on Monday, that was awesome. I got some work from Loyola last week, when I thought they wouldn’t use me at all this year. So that’s nice. And Berlitz is using me for more work, which is really great. Plus I make some change working on SIRENS. But I have big dreams, so Universe, I am ready to receive abundance and wealth and riches in the form of U.S. currency. Please bring it!

I started Christmas shopping for Aidan. I’m debating if I want to send out Christmas cards or not. I didn’t do the newsletter this year, I’m not sure if I’ll do it this year or not. I guess I’ll see how I feel. I got hit with that deep depression last year and didn’t want to do a THING as far as decorating, etc. I did it all for Aidan. This year is our year to go to my mom’s, so I am not sure if I’ll even bother. Adam hates it, I’m too tired, so what’s the point? But if Aidan asks me to decorate, I will. For him.

The apartment is a fall down mess and I have no motivation to clean it. I want to, in theory, but I just never do it. Adam did my laundry last week and it’s still in laundry baskets. Oops. The bathroom is best not even discussed. I am tempted to hire a cleaning crew to come in and just…deep clean. We need it, with these stinky cats running around.

Helena only uses the litter box about 1/3 of the time. Crookshanks went on a poop rampage and made the place smell so bad I had to open the window even though it was only 39F outside. YES, 39F on Friday when it was 75F on Monday. Mother Nature, you’re drunk.

You guys. This tree!!!!!! #autumn #tree #red
I wonder if she was drunk when she made this gorgeous tree?

Working on SIRENS has been fun and rewarding, as well as exhausting. Last Wednesday was a 7.5 hour day, but Thursday was a 12.5 hour day. Seems like no matter what time my call is, we don’t wrap until 7:30pm. I’m learning a lot about TV and how comedies are made. It’s fascinating. And my fellow extras are CRAY-CRAY. I laugh so hard when I’m in holding. And the food is delicious. It truly is. It’s such an interesting experience, working in the Industry. I’m pretty much a nobody as far as the food chain goes, but it’s still fascinating as hell. And I’ve gotten to see some really great actors at work with this gig. And the crew. You have to love it to do it, that’s all I have to say.

I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. So far I like it a lot. I would love to just…bulldoze my way through it, but Adam’s decided he wants to watch it with me, so I have to wait until he’s ready to watch an episode. And I can watch three episodes at a time (I used to watch four of The O.C. at a time), but he can usually only stand one. Sometimes two, if I am lucky. I just hope Netflix doesn’t take it off before we can make it through all the seasons. The DVD series is on my wish list, though, so if anyone wants to help a sistah out, I’d appreciate it greatly. ;)

I’ve been getting sick on and off. One bad cold/sore throat, random things, and now it’s just allergies. I’m sneezing a lot, anyway. I would say I am in fair health these days. I need to get back into great health. Or at least good.

It snowed today. This is how I looked when I was outside Chicago Diner for brunch today:

How I feel about today's cold and snow. ????#snow #chicago

Blah. Also, IS THAT A GREY HAIR? Jeez. I don’t like this grey hair stuff. It’s salting my game. I like it when people think I look 22 or so. The grey hair might give me away and I’m not OK with that. Hmph.

OH! In September, I filmed for Chicago PD. That was another long, tiring day but the food was excellent and I had fun and the director was funny. Anyway, the episode aired on October 23, and you can see me walking down the stairs near the end of this clip:

I’m a star! Ha ha. Not so much. But it’s fun to see me, and I look pretty good, don’t you think? One fun part was having people I knew contact me and ask “Did I see you on Chicago PD?” :)

Anyway, I’m tired. I’m ready to go read and relax. So, till next time…..

it’s october 3rd.

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How in the world is it already October? Time really does fly. In the meantime, I’m trying to get over this cold that settled in nearly two weeks ago and shows no signs of leaving me any time soon. I’m on some good meds, so that’s a concession. Except I can’t DO anything when I’m on the meds except stare at my computer screen and try not to fall asleep. That’s no good. But I do NOT want another four month sore throat, so I’m taking advantage of being in the position to get a lot of rest so I can get better. There’s a lot coming up this month! Two workshops, an author visit, finishing up my Acting 1 class, filming for Sirens, a visit from Aidan, and new books to read! I need to get better and QUICK.

What have I done? This is just today's haul!! #books #ya #andersonsbookshop #abyalitconf #yafandomfrenzy #noregrets

Even though I was sick, I powered through and was able to do a few neat things. The main one being the YA Literature Conference that Anderson’s Bookshop puts on every year. This is the first year I decided to go, and I’m glad I did. Something about being around authors, and books, and watching the panels and talking to people–it’s soooo inspiring. Plus, I got to meet Stephanie Perkins, who is one of my favorite authors. She is super lovely and just amazing all around.

Me and Stephanie Perkins
me and stephanie

Yeah, that was kind of a dream come true right there. :)

Among others, I also met Kendare Blake, Demitria Lunetta, T.M. Goeglin, Joan Bauer, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Jenny Han…man I could go on. So many good books and authors and people. It was a very inspirational weekend.

Monday I started filming for Sirens. That was a lot of fun. Yes, I was half-crazed with exhaustion and trying not to cough while the cameras were rolling, but I met some really cool people and had a really fun time on set. And the food was soooo good. Looking forward to going back next week.

This week, my TO DO list was so long that all of it couldn’t fit in my planner. And of course, I was sick! So I lost Tuesday to sleeping, went to the doctor on Wednesday, and lost the rest of that day and some of yesterday to sleeping again. Today I managed to drag myself to a Bar Method class (barre workouts kick my butt but I love them) and over to Native Foods to have lunch with some of my favorite yogi friends, but about halfway through lunch, I started fading. Big time. :( I was glad to get home.

I finished up a big project that I’ve been working on since August; it’s a relief to have that done. I didn’t realize it was almost 900 pages because I was so into it (plus it was broken down into manageable chunks), but when I look back, I feel proud that I did all that work.

Now it’s Friday night, and being the lame person I am, I’m going to take some medicine, have something to eat, and go to bed with a book and my teddy bear. And possibly a cat. Crookshanks has just plopped himself down very close to me and doesn’t seem inclined to move any time soon. At any rate, I am done for the day.

Till next time….

circles.

I first did this survey/meme in 2006. You can see my original answers in this post.

Curly Sunday
me in 2006

Here are my answers now. Bolded ones are the ones that have changed.

CIRCLE ONE: THE OUTSIDE

1. What’s your name: Ronni
2. How tall are you: 5’1?
3. What color are your eyes: hazel
4. What color is your hair: golden something or other
5. Are you male or female: female
6. What is your best feature (physically): eyes, smile, boobs, skin
7. What’s your shoe size: 6.5 women’s, 4.5 kid’s
8. Glasses, yes or no: yes
9. Did you ever have braces: no
10. On a typical day you are wearing: yoga pants and a tank top
11. When you go to bed you’re wearing: a cool nightgown, or a very cool matching pajamas and tank top set
12. Work out/exercise about how often: not often enough

CIRCLE TWO: MUSIC

1. Name five of your favorite albums:
a. Jennifer Berezan – Returning
b. ODESZA – My Friends Never Die
c. Lana del Rey – Born to Die
d. Haim – The Wire
e. –
…I’m going to add a disclaimer here that I have a LOT of favorite albums and narrowing it down even more will overwhelm me.

2. Name five of your favorite singers:
a. Enya
b. Ginger Doss
c. Lana del Rey
d. SJ Tucker
e. Suzanne Sterling

3. Name three songs you are currently playing nonstop:
a. The Protagonist – Philter
b. Feel Flows – Slow Magic
c. Krsna Govinda (MAKHANA remix) – The Kirtanias f. Jai Uttai
….and many many more!

4. Name one song (give lyrics) that best describes your life right now:
I guess that’s the problem with listening to mostly chill step. Most of the songs don’t really have lyrics….

5. Name one song (give lyrics) that best describes your life one year ago:
^^ See above.

6. When you’re driving, what are the preset stations on your radio:
I listen to my iPod when I am driving.

7. What’s the last CD you bought:
ODESZA – In Return

8. Was the last CD you burned an actual CD or a mix:
Oh gosh, that was so long ago. I don’t think computers even do that anymore!

9. Name one song/band/singer you’re embarrassed to like but do:
I’m not embarrassed to like who I like! OK, that might not be true, but I do like Michael Bolton. *runs away*

10. If you could only attend one concert ever again, it would be:
NOOO don’t do this to me!

11. Name one band/singer you absolutely can’t stand:
I mean, I know it’s out there, but I am currently drawing a blank.

12. Name a group you use to like but feel you’ve grown out of:
I don’t really grow out of groups, I don’t think. I just decide to take a break. I usually come back and revisit.

CIRCLE THREE: MOVIES/TELEVISION

1. Name your favorite actor: Theo James
2. Name your favorite actress: Don’t really have one….
3. Name your favorite television show right now: n/a

4. Name five really cool movies you’ve recently seen:
a. Divergent
b. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
c. The LEGO Movie
d. -
e. -
…OK I’m going to add a disclaimer and point out that I don’t go out and watch a lot of movies which is a shame because I do enjoy going to the theater. Also realize that my definition of “recent” may be different from most.

5. Your favorite canceled television show: Golden Boy
6. Name one movie you wish you hadn’t wasted time/money on recently: n/a
7. You would never watch a movie with: dunno
8. Favorite candy/food to watch movies with: Reese’s Pieces
9. Three favorite tv channels: n/a
10. Favorite reality show: n/a
11. Favorite character on a reality show: n/a

CIRCLE FOUR: WORD ASSOCIATION
(Write the first word/thing/person that comes into your head when you read this word:)

1. coffee: mocha
2. dog: Darby
3. slut: sleep
4. candy: eat
5. pole: dance
6. ocean: water
7. brave: Merida
8. loving: teddy bear
9. cookie: chocolate chip
10. death: fire
11. life: water
12. child: baby

CIRCLE FIVE: WHICH WOULD YOU PREFER:

1. Ten guilty men go free OR One innocent man goes to jail for life: :(

2. Eaten by a lion OR Eaten by thousands of small insects: Lion

3. A life of contentment without love OR A life with love and heartache: Quite often, I think the first option sounds ideal. But I’m not that type of girl.

4. Skydiving from a plane OR Bungee jumping off a bridge: Skydiving

6. No television OR No music: No TV

7. No more pizza, ever OR no more chocolate, ever: No more pizza, ever

8. A trip to Europe OR a trip to Hawaii: Europe

9. An hour with your future soul mate OR An hour with a lost loved one: Lost loved one. The future soul mate would come along soon enough.

10. No longer being able to cry OR No longer being able to feel the need to cry: No longer needing to cry.

11. Sex without love OR love without sex: Either is fine.

12. Loving someone who doesn’t love you OR being loved by someone you don’t love: Done them both. Whatever.

CIRCLE SIX: THE LOVE LIFE

1. Are you currently in a relationship: Yes
2. Are you currently looking/interested in someone: No
3. Are you a virgin: Negative
4. If yes, how long do you plan to be one: n/a
5. How many times have you been “in love”: At least four, I’m thinking more.
6. Looking back, how do you feel about that person(s) now: Some of them I just…I dunno. Try to forget about them. Others I am still friends with.
7. Name three things (physically) you look for in someone: lips, hair, voice
8. Name three things (mentally/emotionally) you look for in someone: silly, warm, intelligent
9. Biggest turn-offs include: cockiness, flakiness, dishonesty
10. Your ideal date would be: December 25th. Oh, you meant a different kind of date…
11. You want to get married, where, when, how: Been there done that.
12. Does anyone have feelings for you right now that you don’t return: Doubtful.

CIRCLE SEVEN: THE FRIENDS
(of your friends, who would you say is:)

1. The one you immediately go to with a problem: Wanda
2. The most rational: Adam
3. The funniest: Chris
4. The one you spend the most time on the phone with: Adam (I actually never talk on the phone unless it’s to Aidan or my mom, or sometimes Adam but we usually text.)
5. The craziest (but in a good way): All of them. Every single one.
6. The most honest: Jen
7. The purest: Not a one of the lot.
8. The smartest: All my friends are pretty smart.
9. The most athletic: My yoga friends.
10. The most compassionate: Wanda.
11. The one most likely to get thrown in jail and why: Adam, for getting all riled up in some anti-corporate protest
12. The last one who said “I love you”: last FRIEND who said it? Charla

I can’t believe 2006 was eight years ago.

Ronni
me now

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