Photo: Victory at last

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Photos: Falling like Cutieflies

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Photo: We’re all a little mad here


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Photo: Woodstock wisedom


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4 new attractions at Toyko Disneyland

I’ve never been to Tokyo Disneyland, but if Doctor Disney is correct, then I may have to make a trip soon as Oriental Land Co. Ltd. are adding 4 new attractions plus a large theatre space to their two parks.

First is a ride and shopping\dining area based on Beauty and the Beast. Neither the name nor type of ride is known at this time, but the article implies it’s a dark ride. I like the idea of the shopping and dining area (they can’t do any worse than New Fantasyland), but I don’t see a “dark ride” working for that movie, a teacups attraction (their concept art shows riders getting into Chip shaped vehicles)? Sure, but I think they’re better off putting it into their new theater they are building nearby.

Next is a Whip-style attraction based on the movie Big Hero 6 (called Baymax in Japan) in which the titular “personal healthcare provider” takes riders on a spin to some catchy music similar to “Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree” at California Disneyland. Right property, right park (if there is ONE park that should OWN BH6 it’s Tokyo Disneyland or more likely its neighbor Tokyo DisneySea), WRONG attraction – forget B&TB this is your dark ride (imagine “flying” through San Fransokyo with Hiro on your title character’s back)! You see Mater’s attraction works because a) he’s a sidekick as opposed to the title character, b) it fits his character and c) it’s not the main attraction in that area.

Third and least interesting is a new meet and greet area for Minnie Mouse in Toon Town area. Tour her “interactive design studio” (no stereotype there) and get your photo taken with her. Maybe I’m just spoiled by WDW where some parks seemingly having more M&Gs then trash cans.

The fourth, final and ONLY one on this list from Tokyo DisneySea (which seems like a better fit for a Baymax attraction than Tomorrowland) is the opening of Soarin’ but the movie is more or less the same as the one opening at the other parks but they are replacing the gimmicky “hang gliders” with a Jules Verne-style “flying machines.” This attraction like the other versions of this film is set to open this summer.

I’ve been meaning to go to Tokyo Disneyland for a while, but once these attractions open, I may have to make it a larger priority.

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Photo: Unexpected popularity


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Film Fest 2015: Saturday (part 1)

Having learned my lesson yesterday about the quality of the hotel’s “complimentary” breakfast, I left the room around 11am and pressed the down button on the elevator. A minute later the door opened and I went in. The elevator descended five floors and then opened as the woman with wooden clipboard got off.

However instead of closing the elevator doors stayed open, and when I pushed the button to “close” all I got was an extremely loud “RRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTZZZZ” which repeated several times before the doors finally closed…and then again when they reopened a few seconds later just to reclose and reopen. This time, I get off and wait for the next operational elevator to get to my floor while the one I got off continues to malfunction without me.

I take a leisurely walk down St. Paul Street towards the Gallery and have lunch in their food court. I was extremely disappointed that they replaced those classy wooden booths with cheap metal picnic tables that rolled backward when I sat down in it and forwards again when I leaned in to eat so that in neither instance was it even with the adjoining table.

I take the escalator down two flights to the Starbucks kiosk on the second level. I order an iced decaf Macchiato and the young black barista at the other end of the counter calls over something about “break” or “breaking” followed by “did you get all of that?”

The white girl at the register looks at me as if that was my cue.

“She wants permission to go on break to go on lunch?”

The white barista looks at me, shakes her head and with a forced smile says “sorry, I didn’t get that. Could you repeat that?”

“I said: ‘She wants permission to go on break to go on lunch?’”

Now they’re BOTH staring at me.

“What the hell are you talking about,” the second barista asked shaking her head incredulously.

“I said – for the THIRD time – YOU asked her if you could go on break to get lunch.”

Like I asked in my previous post: how the hell do I keep ending up in situations like this?

“Um, no, I said ‘we don’t have any ‘decaf’ available, you’ll have to wait until I make a new pot.’”

THAT I could handle, and when I explained my order again she just said “okay” as if that was suddenly a non-issue. It took about 15 minutes to drink my coffee as I decided to take the opportunity to write out some of the day’s nonevents in my notebook.

It was as I left the Gallery to wait for the Circulator to my first show that I remembered that I had originally gone into the mall looking for something. Well, whatever, it was one less thing to cram into my already jam-packed bag…

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Bagging groceries is hard

After coming back from Target, I drop my stuff in the refrigerator and grab a smaller bag from the table to get milk (as buying it at Target would not only take up too much room in my bag but make it too heavy for me to carry all the way up that steep hill to my apartment). With bag in hand, I make my way back down the hill to the Korean grocery store at the bottom of the hill.

Normally, the staff is friendly and nominally helpful, but I didn’t recognize the older, slightly balding Asian lady behind the counter (they’ve been adding quite a few new cashiers in the past few months to run their ONE register). The store’s owner sat a few feet away reading a Korean-language newspaper.

I gave her a green reusable bag. She looks at it, reaches under the counter and pulls out a back store bag which he starts placing stuff my stuff into. I tell her I gave her a reusable bag for my stuff, but she stops for a moment, shrugs and then continues putting my items in the store bag anyway.

She takes the plastic bag, slides it right into my reusable bag and tries to hand it to me with the world’s least convincing smile: “There, aaaalllll happy now.”

IF I was happy about this, that would make me… oh, right, I forgot.

Before I can say anything, she looks at me sternly and snaps (in perfect English): “Well then, what DO you want me to do about it than, huh?”

I explain to her, that sliding a plastic store bag into my reusable bag I gave her at the beginning of the transaction defeats the purpose of BOTH. She then looks at me as if I’m not allowed to insult her, dumps everything out of the bag and angrily chucks it my reusable bag before shoving it back to me with an evil glare.

Did I mention, her boss was still less than ten feet away? Well, he was, but he seemed completely oblivious to the exchange.

“Bye-bye now, haaaave niiice daaaaay…(drops accent again) stupid asshole.”

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Orlando Apt Hunting: Day 1

My first tour of the day was at 1pm. I left the hotel immediately after lunch and found out that Google Maps gave the wrong directions right out of the gate. I spent almost 45 minutes trying to find a place that was only a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

“Wait,” the leasing agent said incredulously. “You WALKED here all the way from Disney? That’s impossible – that’s at least a 30 minute walk plus buses to anywhere else in the world!”

Congratulations, you lost your sale right there. However, I wasn’t about to waste a 45 minute walk so I dutifully continued my tour. The unit (which I was told was the “only one available”) was small – literally half the size of my current unit in Baltimore – and at the very back of a pretty if sprawling complex.

I return to the hotel and try to check my e-mail, but I couldn’t connect to the free in-room wi-fi service. So I go downstairs to the lobby and set up an appointment for later that afternoon. I went back upstairs and fell asleep prolly from all the walking in the shade-less heat.

The next apartment I toured wasn’t all that hard to find – it was directly across the street from the hotel village. This unit wasn’t huge either, but it was considerably larger than the one I toured 3hrs ago. It had a large screened-in porch (it was on the ground level), a small kitchen and a walk-in master closet that was about a third the size of the one I have in Baltimore.

I thank the owner for his time, and head back across the street. This time I was able to connect to wi-fi so I checked if there were any new ads posted. There were – TWO of them at the complex I toured this morning. Both of them are “available now.” This means the agent means either the agent lied to me…or he’s lying to other prospective tenants – both scenarios are pretty bad.

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How to get fired without really trying

I ran out of cash yesterday so I decided to go down to the ATM outside the bank branch. I leave the machine and decide to head to the deli next door. Just as I was about to enter the establishment, an older couple stop me. But the lady never actually asked me anything and then stood there stammering there before asking what is “WRONG” with me and then finally releasing me to go into the restaurant before I could say anything to her.

I go in, look up at their menu but before I could order anything the same couple comes in points at me and demands “Does HE work here? Yes, HIM right here!”

“No ma’am, he no work here.”

“This ‘man’ right here – does he work here?!”

“He no work here.”

 She looks at the lady behind the counter skeptically, and then glares at me with that searing “you know what you did and I disapprove of it” look.

That’s the thing, I have no idea what I supposedly did to her, but I know what SHE was trying to do to me. Unfortunately for her, she cannot just saunter into an establishment and “fire” someone who was never hired just because… I have no idea.

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