Orlando

Quarantine diaries: week 2

Day 7: I bought milk this afternoon. The store wasn’t particularly crowded, and, unlike the Walgreens next door, it was relatively well-stocked (and grocery stockers are getting very good hours lately). I had to laugh that they were short on beer except Corona Extra… and Heineken. What the heck did Heineken do, lol?

I saw a news story when I got back that both ICON Park and FunSpot America (in Orlando and Kissimmee as well as their park in Atlanta) are “closing indefinitely” as of Monday. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld closed last weekend. This means that everything fun in this city is officially closed. The I-Ride Trolley, is still running though (as Publix, CVS and Walgreens are still open)

Day 8: I spent the morning looking at apartment listings online. There are several new units available in both Baltimore and Bethlehem (PA) that are available within my timeframe… but they are not holding “open houses” nor can I schedule a “showing” due to the virus.

I spent the afternoon paying bills (because no-one else is going to) even though they legally cannot shut off my electricity/water service due to the quarantine. I also filled out the Census form online. It took slightly longer than they promised as I accidentally tossed the envelope with the “log-in” information. However, since I am the only person living at this address, it only took me about 10 minutes to complete.

Day 9: Woken up by landscaping crew (who usually work on Wednesdays) a full hour before my alarm went off. Also, “valet trash” is still being offered. Nice to see at least some things remain the same in these uncertain times.

I didn’t particularly want to do it after the disastrous delivery on Thursday, but I bought milk off Instacart (and due to their “minimum purchase” guidelines, I ended up buying a lot of junk too). While they didn’t have the kind of milk I wanted, everything else was in stock and the items arrived an hour ahead of schedule with zero notification from the app of this happening until the driver knocked on my door, but, then again, it did arrive, so I can’t complain…

Day 10: Next week is April 1st. Which means I need to find something fun to do that won’t piss off my followers (like, ahem, last year’s post). It also means I have to prepare one or more “Autis-meme” posts. I have more than enough memes for ten of those posts… but the truth is, I’d only curate them not because I “want” to but because it feels like I HAVE to. However, it is a nice change from constant virus coverage…

Speaking of change, I just received an email notifying me that the complex I’m renting at is going to be run by a different management company. That by itself isn’t necessarily bad news, but experience shows it’s rarely good news either. It’s also pretty strong motivation to keep up the apt search.

Day 11: Quite a lot of activity (and noise) on the sandlot at 8 o’clock this morning, pity it was a full hour before my alarm goes off. However, it will stop suddenly around 10am, and then nothing will happen for the rest of the week.

And I called it, so I went back to bed…which means I laid there uncomfortably staring at the ceiling with my eyes closed for about two hours wondering why: If I was so tired, why I wasn’t asleep? The same thing will happen tonight, but it will be for six hours.

Day 12: I ordered milk (and a few other things to meet minimum purchase price) off Instacart… which was good timing on my part as not only did I get my items in less than 2hrs, but, more importantly, I found out that their workers are planning a “general strike” on Monday for higher pay and actual health benefits – kind of important in times like this.

Also, Disney and LEGOLAND Florida have pushed back their opening dates until midway through the month. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are now closed “until further notice” and have furloughed 90% of their workers (possibly so they qualify for Unemployment benefits).

Day 13: Woke up today feeling like I had a moderate cold, but that seems to have at least partially cleared up since then. I don’t have a fever, so it could be allergies. The point is, I probably don’t have the virus. Even then, it’s not like I’m going anywhere this weekend anyway…

Categories: adventures, disney world, florida, Orlando, apartment hunting, Universal Studios, Autism, SeaWorld Orlando, Advocacy\volunteer, Williamsburg, Health, Orlando Eye, Coronavirus | Leave a comment

Photo: Somber statistics

Categories: Coronavirus, florida, Health, Kissimmee, news, North Florida, Orlando, Sanford, South Florida, Tampa, Winter Haven | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: Week 1

Day 1 – Unaware of the impending “Quarantine” order, I ignored the media hysteria and went grocery shopping. Other than paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies, the shelves were well stocked and, contrary to same reports, the store was relatively empty customer wise. Also, because the theme parks are closed, I was able to get across the street to my apartment without dealing with the usual nonstop traffic.

All I bought at the store was milk, bread and a 2-liter of soda (I don’t feel like getting up to check which kind): No coffee, no snacks, or anything else fun. Normally, I’d go back to the store about Thursday for another half-gallon of milk and possibly some more snack rations… but with the new “quarantine” in place, I’ve decided to skip that step and just go on Friday instead (it should give me enough time to go through reserves in my freezer).

Day 2: I had no real problem staying inside today. If it weren’t for the construction crew (like six people, so work continued until around noon) and the groundskeeping crew (which I think is four or five people), I would have slept the entire day.

I had every intention of cooking the leftovers in my freezer, but I broke down and bought Chinese delivery. I feel like both a rebel and a traitor at the same time. Food was really good though…

Day 3: Shortly after noon, I get a notice on my door about my rent renewal (which is a full month early, but at least it gave me a firm move-out date). So, I head downstairs to the leasing office… just to see it “closed due to Coronavirus. For all inquiries, please call…”

Bastards made me put clothes on for nothing… but now I’m too lazy to get undressed again (if that makes sense). However, I did force myself to call the leasing office as directed, and the three-and-a-half-minute call told me two things:

  • My actual renewal date is April 26th and
  • Because of the virus, all scheduled rent increases will be “suspended” for people renewing by the end of June. Something to think about…

Day 4: Forget to set my alarm last night. So, after staring at the ceiling for several hours not sleeping, I was finally woken up by a robocall on my phone at 10:43am (though I was probably half-awake long before then). Normally, the construction crew wakes me up around 8am, but they don’t appear to be working today.

Well, I decided to order tomorrow’s groceries off Instacart today. I got them, but I also got horrible communication with the app and a heap of unnecessary attitude from the delivery driver because of it. I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle of making a full post about it or not… but after having all those heavy bags angrily shoved in my hands, I’m glad I only ordered half of what I wanted.

Day 5: There was some brief activity on the sandlot next door this morning, but it appears to have stopped, presumably for the weekend. Otherwise, there’s not much going on here. I may order a pizza later, but I should be good on groceries for a few more days…

Categories: adventures, Coronavirus, entertainment, florida, Health, Orlando, Williamsburg, writing | Leave a comment

Update: Still a sandlot

It’s been a month of start and stop progress on the former woodlands behind my apartment (they aren’t working today as some of these are from earlier in the week).

It may become yet another 7-11 at some point, but, right now, it’s still a sandlot…

Categories: florida, Orlando, photography, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Photos: Shopping in times of Coronavirus

A flu-like virus with no IB elements, but people stock up on toilet paper and not tissues?
Cleaning supplies are gone too.
Bottled water is in decent shape.
Sodas, coffee, chips and snacks are appear to be uneffected by the panic shoppers.
Another aisle that looks relatively normal.
Categories: Coronavirus, florida, Health, Orlando, photography, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Photo: Returning home after a week out

This is what it feels like to come back to my apartment in Orlando after a length of time away.

“Is this REALLY how I live?” 😰

Categories: adventures, cartoons\memes, entertainment, florida, games, humor, Internet\FB, Orlando, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Some health updates

So, since it’s pouring rain outside right now, I guess it’s the perfect time to update you on things that I haven’t had the inclination (or “spoons” if will) to cover over the past few weeks:

I’ll start by saying I had a doctor’s appointment for my insurance required annual physical. While it wasn’t a complete waste of time, I didn’t learn anything new from it… other than I forgot to post about my last visit back in October. I also forgot to mention (and the doctor forgot to ask about despite it being in her chart) the painful bubble in the knuckles on my left hand. She largely dismissed everything I told off out of hand as “normal aging” or “whatever, I send you to the lab for blood work. They can tell me if something is wrong with you.”

I only remembered the knuckle thing when I accidentally hit my index finger (the more painful of the two) against the metal penholder at their checkout window when I pulled out my checkbook out for the co-pay. It wasn’t even hard, I just grazed it against the side of it for half a second, and the woman sitting there had that classic “what the fuck” look, like she couldn’t say anything even she was allowed too (which as regular readers know, I get… a lot).

While I was out, I decided to walk up the road to Wal-Mart Supercenter (I keep thinking it’s a half-mile, but it’s actually 1.3 miles) to buy some important thing or another. But while I was there, I decided to check on when the earliest appointment I could get with the doctor at the Vision Center as the doctor is only there two times a week. I got lucky, not only was she was there today, but there were only three people in the waiting area and the rest of the docket was apparently blank. The receptionist said if I felt like waiting, I could be seen by noon.

I waited and, sure enough, I was seen shortly before noon. My script hadn’t changed, and I chose a new set of frames. Plus, I was actually out of the store by noon. I didn’t have the “spoons” to go shopping, so I came back to the apartment and fell asleep until the rain started.

Categories: adventures, florida, Health, healthcare, Orlando | Leave a comment

A Simba assault

I went to Animal Kingdom this morning to get out and try to get a few new photos (this is still nominally a photo blog). Then it was time to move onto something more serious – lunch.

I continue around Asia into Dinoland USA, where I saw a cool Lion King (2019) refillable travel mug which I should have gotten right there, but I didn’t because I didn’t feel like carrying it around with me all day. Oh, and they were out of fresh popcorn, and told me to come back later (even though they kept serving people behind me).

I decided to head back to Discovery Island. Disney likes having their merchandise in multiple locations, so I should be able to find this Lion King mug in one of them…right? Apparently, as the Cast Member I asked about it said (after leading me back to the coffee mug wall I was just looking at) “beverage mugs are only available in restaurants. Check there.”

Fine, I’ll go back to the hotel to eat. Then when I got back to the room, I fell asleep and woke up in time to find dinner, so since DAK closes early, I’d make a surgical strike: get photos, get the mug and most importantly get dinner. I approached Flame Tree Barbeque, outside the entrance to Dinoland, and stood in what I thought was a line while I decided what to get.

I eventually realized it wasn’t actually a line, but just guests just doing exactly what I was doing. Once I figured both things out, I made my way to the long legitimate line. My cashier, Kendra, was friendly and efficient. However, when I moved forward in line, I realized I was essentially blocking the exit row (or, at least, the people in front of me were using it as such). So, after the second or third family tried to get past me, I decided to look for another, slightly less in-the-way row to stand. The row to my right was empty and the one on my le…

“Okay, buddy, you give me receipt,” an old man with a thick accent snapped at me, literally snatching said receipt from my hand. He looks at it, scoffs and says: “Buddy is in wrong line.”

I need to have a word with this “buddy” character, he keeps getting ME into trouble.

“No, he was in MY line,” Kendra said.

Either he didn’t understand her or he chose to ignore her because he grabbed his buddy by the shoulders and pushed him into what he thought was the correct line (which, coincidentally, was the empty one on the right).

“Buddy is all right now,” he said proudly, slapping my bad shoulder on his way back to his station. Yes, you read that right, he was PROUD of his boorish behavior.

Well, Buddy was decidedly NOT happy with the way he was treated, but was doing his best to move on without being a jerk about it.

However, if I understand straight, Neurotypical behavior correctly, I should have been like “wow, he slapped my shoulder and called me ‘buddy!’ OMG, that means he is completely 100% legitimately my best friend in the entire world and therefore him grabbing me by the shoulder and pushing into the next line wasn’t ‘aggression,’ it was…” I don’t know, this peculiar brand of logic doesn’t make sense to me, and – bonus – it looks stupid typed out.

I finally got up to the counter, gave the friendly young woman my receipt, she tore it the top of it and handed it back to me. A moment later, she returned with a tray with my food on it. I have reason to believe she saw what her colleague did or not (though she couldn’t do anything about it anyway).

I tried to forget this whole incident and try and find that refillable mug, but first I went to get a drink at the coffee kiosk (creatively called “Isle of Java”), but the band playing on the stage a few feet away made ordering anything next to impossible, so I went back around towards the Starbucks (renamed “Creature Comforts” on the map) next to the bridge leading to Africa.

However, in front of the round building was an adorable Asian guy with one arm standing under a blue “Guest Experience” umbrella. After explaining my problem to him, he said “I’m sorry that happened to you… but there’s nothing I can do for you. That’s a Food & Beverages Services issue, so you’ll need to talk to a supervisor at the location you came from. Sorry. Next!”

Yep, that was exactly the answer I was afraid he’d give me, and he gave it to me. I’m lucky that way.

Not only do I have to backtrack, but I also get to be that jerk customer who holds the (now considerably shorter) line up while the counter agent goes searching for a supervisor. In fact, when the cute 20yo boy (whose badge said “Andrew”) came out from the back and asked my name (presumably for “follow-up reasons”), I was half-tempted to say “Karen.”

“I’m sorry that happened to you,” he said with a slight shrug. “That was definitely wrong on his part… but there’s really nothing I can do about that.”

Not sure if my hearing is going or if there’s an echo in this park.

“Let me see your receipt,” Andrew asked. “Okay, so you paid in cash? Good. That means I can just go over to the register and get your money back. I’ll be around in a moment…”

That went a lot easier than I was expecting. He didn’t even ask for the name of my assailant (I told him he could “check the CC” as I’m sure he would recognize him). However, what bothers me more is that as I was walking away, I remembered I completely forgot to mention Kendra in my story… and as I headed out of the park with my coffee, I remembered I also forgot to get that mug from Dinoland, USA.

 

Update: I took time out of my rainy and miserable Valentine’s Day to go back to Animal Kingdom to get said mug. Upon closer inspection and a needlessly convoluted (and increasingly frustrating) back and forth with the man running the stand, I decided it was ugly (in fact, it may actually have been a different design than the one I saw earlier) and not particularly worth the effort. However, I forfeited my day at DHS to come back here, plus his co-worker had already rung it up, so I was stuck with it.

For the record, I ate at Restaurantosaurus for my V-Day dinner.

 

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Photos: Christmas Eve at Disney Springs

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Photo: That feeling when someone likes my blog

I love this shot. I just wish I was smiling.

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