Right now I feel the need to say...

Discussion in 'Play Pen' started by See Post, Feb 11, 2009.

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  1. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    New Year's Eve was never as big a deal in my family as New Year's Day. None of us drink, and my grandma was born Jan 1.
     
  2. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Expanding on my rather laconic previous post:

    I'm a teetotaler because I find the pharmacological effects of ethanol (i.e., sensory, cognitive, and motor impairment) utterly revolting, and because I dislike the mouth-feel of ethanol almost as much as I dislike the mouth-feel of carbonation.

    My father is very nearly a teetotaler (at least within my lifetime): he has occasionally accepted a beer from a friend, to be polite, but I could count the occasions I'm aware of on one hand, with fingers left over.

    My mother was not merely a teetotaler, but a "reformer": she despised the "taste" (almost certainly actually the mouth-feel) of ethanol (and compared it with drinking furniture polish), and was firmly convinced that nobody really drank for any purpose other than to get totally bombed. Then again, as a child, she regularly had whiskey forced on her as a crude home cough remedy (she grew up Methodist*, and as such, her family really did only keep it on hand for medicinal purposes), and she had an aunt who married a stereotypically hard-drinking Scotsman, and so her opinion of alcohol was completely understandable.

    For several years, once I was grown up, and working part-time at a local ice rink, I served as acting manager (because neither the general manager nor any of the assistant managers wanted the job) every New Year's Eve, for a combination skating-and-broomball party run by a local church group. They were nice people, and I got to spend New Year's Eve around people who were having fun stone-cold sober.

    When that started to get old, I then spent New Year's Eve at Disneyland: again, being around people who were having fun stone-cold sober. That ended one year, when I was already less-than-happy with The Walt Disney Company about ABC's broadcast, commemorating the anniversary of the World Trade Center Atrocities, that was a rather transparent attempt to shift the blame to the Clinton Administration (never mind that George W. Bush went out of his way to ignore every relevant briefing and warning the Clinton Administration had tried to give him, and then went out of his way to insult Muslims as a group). I had (as usual) a dinner reservation at the Blue Bayou. And I arrived somewhat later than usual, to find that DL was in full lockdown (I think at one point during the evening, they weren't even allowing re-entries in!), and I was locked out of my dinner reservation. I had a lot of time to retrospect, while trying to find dinner that wasn't fast food, and I realized that my Disneyland pass had turned from being a boon to being a burden: my mother had begun her decline into debilitating agoraphobia, COPD, and dementia, and my DL pass was an annual birthday present from her. And my dad, by then, was stuck at home weekdays, taking care of her, and could only get out on weekends. If I went to DL on a Saturday or a Sunday, I was abandoning my mother to go someplace I'd literally been to hundreds of times before. And if I didn't hit the break-even point on my pass, I was both spitting on a very expensive birthday present, and effectively giving charity to a huge, and highly lucrative, for-profit corporation. And so I wasn't going to DL, and neither was I going anywhere else. I was regularly visiting museums in the Bay Area, in Seattle, and in Chicago, but had completely ignored most of the museums within 100 miles of my home, some of which I hadn't visited since childhood, and some of which I'd never visited. Which is when I made the decision to ask for something else for my birthday.

    Be that as it may, when I was growing up, New Year's Eve, for us, consisted (at most) of "watching the ball drop" (originally on The Tonight Show, when they did a live New Year's Eve show, then on Guy Lombardo's annual broadcast, then eventually Dick Clark became the only game in town). New Year's Day, by contrast, consisted of watching the Rose Parade (at least until I realized just how utterly boring a parade longer than the 22 minutes of a typical Disney parade really was), and then celebrating my grandmother's birthday that evening with as many relatives as could make it, often including one or two who hadn't made it to Christmas dinner or to the annual family reunion (usually hosted, as a cocktail party, by the aforementioned great aunt with the Scottish husband). So effectively, I grew up mostly ignoring New Year's Eve, but doing a lot for New Year's Day.
    _____
    * Methodists tend to avoid alcohol, even for Communion. Thomas Bramwell Welch, credited with inventing Pasteurized grape juice, did so because he was a member of (and an ordained cleric in) a particularly strict (especially so about abstinence from alcohol) Methodist sect. To this day, the United Methodist Book of Discipline specifies that Communion is to be celebrated with unfermented grape juice.
     
  3. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I read your story with some interest. There are many similarities to my life. My father was an American Baptist minister but that is not why my parents were teetotalers. My father was the youngest of 5 boys and his older brothers were all drunks. He always said he made the decision at 10 years old to never drink and he never even tasted alcohol. So New Year's Eve was not really a thing. When I was old enough to stay awake until midnight; I remember watching Johnny Carson and the ball drop with my sister. That is a tradition I carried on well after I got married.

    After my father left the ministry; we joined the Methodist church. (There were no liberal-type Baptists in our new town.) I well remember the bottles of Welch's grape juice in the back room on communion days. Still, there was never any drinking in my parent's house regardless of the Holiday.

    In the 80's our children were involved in Camp Fire. We decided to start hosting a New Year's Eve party for kids. We would set it up like an adult party with food and sodas and games. VCR's were a novelty still so a rented copy of Superman was a big hit. We would charge the parents $10 and keep the kids all night; giving them a chance to go out. After the Camp Fire years, we started doing the same thing with kids at our church. We had as much fun as they did.

    When we moved to Hawaii they had a *First Night* celebration in Honolulu. It was a family oriented, alcohol-free event. If you bought a ticket, you could take the bus anywhere for free. There were multiple booths and events. Our favorites were the Monty Python sketches and the Rogers and Hammerstein sing along. (Two years running I was asked if I was a professional singer. Not because of my voice but rather, the fact that I could sing all the songs without using the song book.)

    In 2000 we had friends of our kids over and the mother of one of them was also our friend so she was here. We were not drinking and when she asked if anyone wanted to go downtown for the celebration; we all decided to go. There was live music and I ran into my sister who was there with other friends. So it turned out to be a pretty fun millennium night with the fireworks. The best part was the corn dog booth that had leftovers and sent us home with a whole box of them.

    Since then, we have stayed home either celebrating with friends and the only alcohol being a small glass of champagne at midnight or having the family over and playing games with the grandkids. So, even though we have celebrated NYE over the years; getting drunk has never been a part of it.

    Last night we watched "The Proposal" as a tribute to Betty White, had our beans and cornbread and some dessert leftovers from Christmas and I was horizontal before 10PM. (But the shotgun blasts and fireworks going off around us kept us all awake anyway.
     
  4. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Lots and LOTS of parallels. About the only area where there isn't one is the matter of abandoning my DL pass. (And it seems like for everything The Walt Disney Company does to make me want to reinstate it, they do at least two things that make me want to go a full year without setting foot on the property. Galaxy's Edge and the most recent MSEP encore both fell into the former category, "Pain In the Night" and not bringing back CircleVision both fall into the latter. And of course, abandoning my pass in favor of exploring local museums led directly to my docenting at the International Printing Museum (and if you ever visit, introduce yourself!)

    But back to the parallels:

    I remember one Sunday in a Lutheran (ELCA) church (I've mentioned, at some point, that I'm pan-denominational, right?), when it somehow slipped my mind which denomination I was in, and I forgot to signal for the Pasteurized grape juice. I managed to avoid choking when my error became apparent.

    Given that I find the mouth-feel of carbonation a good deal more revolting than that of ethanol, I can most definitely say (with apologies to Cole Porter) that I truly "get no kick from champagne."

    *****
    Right now, I have a large bite wound on the right side of my tongue (from molars, most likely; I don't recall how or when I did it), and an equally large one on the lining of my left cheek (ditto on both counts). And I'm seriously considering having a jar of baby food for lunch tomorrow.
     
  5. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that you mentioned Disneyland AP's. We just had a very painful conversation last week (instigated by me) while looking at pictures and videos. The gist of it was that we were very lucky to have spent so much time in Disneyland while it was still a very happy place.

    Getting all 7 of us on Splash Mountain on Christmas Day 2001
    SPLXMAS (2).jpg
    Commemorating it with a brick.
    zywil.JPG

    Parade of the Stars with my daughter.
    IMG_1490 (2).JPG

    Taking our mothers in their 70's.
    MOMSDLAND.jpg

    The 50th Birthday
    *Welcome Home*
    christmas2007+50thpix 107.jpg IMG_1391 (2).JPG
    Which lead to the most ridiculous (pricewise) souvenir ever.
    dlandApril08 111.jpg .

    Followed by the haydays of LaughingPlace
    Club33 in 2006 and again in 2008
    DlandJuly06 010.jpg

    Hosting a meet on the Train and seeing the expression on the CM's face when he asked how many in your party? and I answered,
    36!
    baloos in DL 082.jpg

    And The Year of a Million Dreams
    IMG_1677.JPG
     
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  6. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Why painful?
     
  7. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I was continuing my reminiscences and did not finish before you posted. The painful part comes at the end.
    Thank you for indulging me. Disneyland has been our go to since we met. Strangely, it was much more affordable back then than the types of vacations we take now. The memories are perilously close to entering a 4th generation of Disneyholics. (We have several adult grandchildren.) One of our plans for retirement was to get a PAP, stay at the RV park on Harbor and go to the Parks every day for a year. That plan and others like it are no more.
    I hope this is not too disjointed as I just tacked this on to the front of the post I was working on.



    Well, I did not mean to wax so nostalgic, but I have been transferring lots of pictures and these have been very much on my mind.

    So just a little more:

    Like eating at the Blue Bayou so many times it did not feel all that special (especially after they doubled the prices) anymore.
    1 a dland6 (2).jpg
    JohnAdIl.jpg

    So many wonderful trips with young grandchildren.
    Kiera (now 12) and I scored Jingles!
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    The buzzing door in Toontown lifted Morgan (now 15) off of her feet.
    P1000198 (2).JPG

    And to go way back; these are our two oldest in 1978.
    78CISJERSTROLL (2).jpg

    The first time we rode ToT there was no line and we did it 7 times in a row,
    IMG_1393 (2).JPG

    And the lucky days we ended up on the other side of Rope Drop.
    newcam2 013.jpg

    And one of the icings on one of the cakes.
    Our grandson as the Senior drum major leading his Titan's down Main Street USA.
    P1060915 (2).JPG


    The final upshot of all this reminiscing is that our fantasies of uncrowded, off-season days are filed away; along with the aspiration to once again have unlimited access to the Parks for a year.

    I won't list all of the things that have chipped away at the Magic over the years but that Starbucks on Main Street USA really felt like a slap in my old sentimental face.
    Our accumulated Reward Dollars will be saved until such a time as the grandchildren go again. With school and jobs and such; those no longer happen in any off season.
    To be there with the family though, we will suck it up and hope for the best. At least they all know how to use their *smart* phones to get things done.

    Just one more to complete the 3 generations:
    My sister and me around 1962. To this day: nobody remembers why she had her hair up in curlers
    at Disneyland.
    digi3 334.jpg

    Oh dear, just saw this one:
    For those who say not to take babies and young children to Disneyland if they will not remember it.
    Maile was only a few months old. This was the second day and when she realized we were back at
    *that place* again; she was all laughs and smiles. She may not remember it but the warm fuzzy feeling
    she felt that day had an impression on her little brain.
    1aadland 4.jpg

    Okay, I am wound down.
     
  8. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Starbucks on Main Street? Can't be any worse than that one-year wonder from 1955, Hollywood-Maxwell’s
    Intimate Apparel Shop ("The Wizard of Bras").

    For me, it probably started when CircleVision became part of the queue for the ill-advised, ill-fated Rocket Rods. And then became a paint shop for carousel horses.

    I actually thought Light Magic was a rather nice show; just poorly implemented, as if somebody was actively trying to create the worst possible bottlenecks. And neither did I object when Pooh replaced the Bears; to me, with the instantly-dated Vacation Hoedown having long-since replaced the timeless original CBJ, Pooh was simply replacing the more malodorous kind of "pooh."

    Another nail in the proverbial coffin was "Pain in the Night." And the business of completely throwing out the (folk) backstory of the Haunted Mansion, in favor of the axe-murdering bride backstory that I understand to have come out of the movie. Along with the whole mess involving the private preview for the PotC movie, and the treatment of the CMs who'd agreed to work the party.
     
  9. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Treatment of CM's (some of them friends) has long been on my list. As I recall; jobs at Disneyland used to be desirable and paid well. Like, you could survive living in Anaheim.
    I never could figure out Rocket Rods. 12 seconds of speeding up and slowing down after a 2 hour wait. That crazy *Pain in the Night* thing was awful. I always looked at CircleVision as an Eticket. I would give my eye teeth to have Carousel of Progress back. We have no use for Galaxy's Edge nor the Cantina. We are pretty big Star Wars fans but wish they would have found room for it at DCA or made a whole new park.
    Never understood the Corset Shop. It was long gone before I ever got there.
     
  10. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    It was more than 12 seconds: remember, it was the entire Peoplemover track, not just a short segment. But it was an enormous waste of time, money, and what had been a perfectly serviceable Peoplemover track. And to reinforce the "stupid" part of it, we eventually did get a west coast version of Test Track; we call it Radiator Springs Racers. Having ridden TT, RSR, and RR, I can tell you that RR is definitely the "odd man out."

    Personally, the one or two times I've been to DL since GE opened, I thoroughly enjoyed just walking through it. But I wish they'd move Star Tours there, and then stick something else in the old Inner Space building.

    I remember when there was talk circulating around, about retiring CoP at WDW-MK. I never saw it until my first trip to WDW; when it was in DL, I was too young to appreciate it, and never understood what it was until I saw America Sings.
     
  11. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Now that I think of it, some of the more recent developments at WDW make it less attractive to me as well: two of my favorite attractions were Ellen's Energy Adventure and The Great Movie Ride. I will admit that the Wikipedia description of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway intrigues me, but I think I can do without a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster. (I will note that I was also a little bummed when Body Wars was shut down.)
     
  12. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I knew I was exaggerating about how short it was but that is how it seemed at the time. Only did it that one time because my boys insisted. Think I always resented losing The People Mover as well as the Skyway.
    I love RSR. It has a story line as attractions are supposed to.
    I have never been to WDW so cannot make those comparisons. We always hoped to make it but CoP was a big draw for me. Take that away and couple it with Florida's moronic attitude toward Covid; we may never go. Oh yeah, the $$$$$$$$$$$!!
     
  13. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Actually, WDW isn't all that expensive, so long as you don't pick an expensive hotel. My hotel-of-choice there is the All Star Music, and would be even if it weren't one of the cheapest Disney-owned-and-operated hotels there. I would regard it as the most adult-friendly of the All Stars. And breaking out the lodging for budgeting purposes, the All Stars are in the same price range, as I recall, as a typical Comfort Inn (except that you do have to pay for your breakfast).

    I think I've probably already shared my "Magic Band" story:

    I like my vacations complicated. As in multiple destinations. My last trip to Hawaii, for example, was four islands (Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai) in two weeks My last trip to New England was nearly a full week in Boston (with a day-trip to Plymouth), and probably a bit over a week split between New Haven, CT, Windsor, VT, Montpelier, VT, Mystic, CT, and Portland, ME.

    So naturally, my most recent visit to WDW was part of a vacation that started with a few days in New Orleans, then a few in WDW (with a day-trip, via GatorTours, to KSC), then a visit to Atlanta, GA, then a brief stop in Washington, DC (just long enough for a brief visit to the Air & Space), then Colonial Williamsburg. I forget what followed CW.

    And I think I've made my opinion of the whole "Magic Bands" thing very well known.

    So when I arrived at the All Star Music, without a Magic Band, I had to explicitly turn down the one they offered me, in favor of a card.

    Then, when I got home, I found, in my mail . . . a default red Magic Band that had arrived while I was in New Orleans.

    They had trouble with the concept of not wanting a Magic Band. And like the major cruise lines, they seemed completely unable to grasp the concept of a vacation of which they were only part.
     
  14. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Our vacations lately center around seeing friends and family with side trips to National Parks. One of these times when we are in Arkansas, we may head all the way to WDW. I have not checked carefully but I believe their RV parks are quite pricey. We also want to keep going to New England and the East Coast after one of our visits to Michigan. Sadly, we are kind of waiting for my MIL to die before we stay gone for more than a few weeks.

    That situation is getting worse as she deteriorates. She is in the hospital right now with a broken ankle and is going to have to go to a nursing home. If she is not able to return to her center; we do not know what we will do as the cost of her care will skyrocket.
     
  15. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    I don't have all that many living relatives to visit, who actually know me, and aren't still in Southern California. I have a cousin and her family in the Seattle area, another cousin and her family in Turlock, and a cousin once removed and his wife in the Bay Area. I do also have some friends who moved to the greater Portland (Oregon) area.

    My vacations tend to be shamelessly geeky: museums, classical concerts, theatre, and lots and lots of rail travel (the very first thing I usually buy upon arriving in San Francisco is a MUNI pass. For Chicago, a CTA pass. For Boston, a "T" pass. For New Orleans, an RTA pass. In Colonial Williamsburg, my admission badge is my pass for the little gray CW buses.) And I think I've mentioned the only sort of RV I'd ever want: the kind that's 60-85 feet long, has 8-12 wheels, no engine, and a coupler at either end; if you want to go somewhere, you call Amtrak, and prepare to write a very large check.
     
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  16. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I love your term *pan-denominational* If more people felt that way; I believe we would not be in the mess(es) we are in right now.

    I have been curious about your work. We will most definitely visit if we get to SoCal again.
     
  17. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Well, "Non-Denominational" had been taken by groups that were anything but . . . .
     
  18. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    I hear that! My husband was raised in a "nondenominational" church. They also refused to be called Protestant. Never mind that they were an off shoot of a bunch of disgruntled Baptists. They are the most insular group of sudeo-Christians I have encountered in my lifetime.
     
  19. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Well-Known Member

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    Trump missed out on what would have been a very rewarding career running a movie theatre: I can think of nobody better at projection.
     
  20. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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