Photo: Happy Easter Eve

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Not-so-happy returns

(Sorry, I really don’t feel like doing a write up now. Hopefully, these notes will do)


10:15am – leave house

12:07pm – arrive in Harrisburg

12:35pm – locate the Sheet z across from the airport. Sandwiches is awful, fountain drink is okay… okay, the 2nd one was (as I dumped the first one out).

12:48pm – arrive at MDT, agent for American Airlines cannot find my tickets tells me it is MY responsibility to call Travel agent or booking site to find it.

12:59 pm – shouting my name and phone number into the phone just to get: “Sir, I can not hear you. I am hanging up.” *click*

1:07pm – try to call Expedia. Get nowhere. Go inside. “Try the other airlines.”

1:28pm – none of the other airlines can find my flight on AA either.

1:35pm – I have no choice. I MUST get a new ticket for an extra $100 plus taxes and fees. It is too late because the flight I was trying to get onto is already making its “final boarding call.”

1:48pm – have tickets in hand, go through security to have power happy TSA agent rip my bag open and lecture me about the toiletries in my clear mesh bag. She then informs me that if I continue “arguing with a federal agent” (apparently we are seeing two different things here) the officers surrounding me would “be more than happy to discuss it with you in our holding cell.”

1:54pm – Get to the other side of the “hey, that’s my fat, ugly, hairy stomach hanging out when I lift my arms, this isn’t awkward or embarrassing at all” machine and one of the intimidation agents from a few moments ago stops me and asks if there is “any medical condition that would impede me doing a full pat down of your persons?”

“Actually, yes, it’s called Autism Spectrum disorder and it means I have severe, um, dislike of strang…,” and of course he does it anyway. Thanks for making me to talk to myself.  It almost distracted me from the patdown. No, it didn’t.
“You can go now. Have a nice day.”

2:15pm – board flight as usual. It is probably the smallest plane I have ever been on. I can literally barely fit down the aisle, but my bag fit in the overhead… once I was able to figure out how to get it up there without hitting the passengers in the surrounding seats.

2:22pm – take off.

3pm – arrive at PHL for my 2hr, 15 minutes layover.

4:15pm – get early dinner at airport. Chicken was all right, but fries were cold.

4:23pm – return to terminal. Flight boards in an hour and twenty minutes.

4:47pm – Passengers from plane I’m going out on are disembarking.

5:11pm – “Once again, this is a completely full flight. ALL passengers in groups 7 or higher MUST check their carry on baggage.”

5:13 PM – cool. I’m in… group 8. Yah.

5:27 pm – boarding begins. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere for the next 10-15 minutes.

5:47pm – finally board – it is another 10 minutes before we finished boarding and pushed back from the terminal. Just to find out we are “number 20 for take-off…”

6:44pm – Airborne. Things are starting to look up…

Categories: adventures, Autism, flying, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, transportation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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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