Friday, June 25, 2010

Why do you need all that stuff?

I'm taking a break from being angry on Fridays... somewhat. I still have the capacity to complain though. Let's discuss hauling stuff around Disney theme parks.

When I was young my family would make a yearly trip to Disneyland. Aside from it being a blast (though occasionally stifling) it was pleasant and relaxing. Our cargo for the day? Nothing at all. This includes my parents. My dad brought his wallet which was all we needed.

These days I'm a less of a casual visitor to the parks and now find myself among the masses of tourists. Living out of a suitcase forces many people to want to take a portion of their belongings with them. Water, wallets, sunglasses, cameras, portable DVD players, buckets of chicken and two liter bottles of Shasta don't carry themselves. There are various ways to strap these items to yourself.

Backpacks are great in that they will hold everything you'd want to bring with you to the park. My wife and I pack one up ourselves. I've stopped complaining. The only real purpose it serves for us is a method of bringing sweatshirts/jackets, a few bottles of water, and a change of shoes for Jill. We immediately shove it in a locker and forget about the contents until it's time to leave. Some people lug them around all day and I can't for the life of me figure out why. They're heavy and they make your back sweat. The fact that people don't know how to queue in this country also makes them even more pleasant. People forget that they have an extra foot of mass hanging off their back and bump everybody over and over.

Purses are another option for those not wanting to be an obnoxious backpack wearer. Some people call them messenger bags, cross body bags, or baggallinis. They're purses. Like the backpack, the purse is a lot of empty space to lug around unless you must have the kitchen sink with you at all times. Leave it in the locker with your backpack.

Compartment vests are stupid. Are you on a fishing trip? No. You look stupid. Knock it off. Nice safari hat. It looks almost as stupid as your vest. You know what? It looks stupider. The fact that you entire family is copying your ensemble makes it even worse. Are those Crocs???

Fanny packs are my wife's preferred way to carry all the comforts of home with her. She can cram an entire pharmacy, a pack of Kleenex, her camera, her phone, her sunglasses, and a partridge in a pear tree inside that little thing. It's pretty small and not that noticeable. I've grown indifferent. I'm almost 32 and I've realized that I tend not to notice what skinny people wear. I'm not about to wear one but I don't really care anymore. They're small enough to ignore.

Cargo pants/shorts are how I roll. I'll admit that I don't carry a whole lot with me. I'm a pretty spartan traveler as is so it's more of a question of what can I leave behind rather than what I can strap to myself. I've recently discovered the magic of cargo pants that can become shorts!!! The legs unzip and become a pair of shorts. The cargo compartments are big enough for the legs to be stored in but I usually have a small package of Kleenex in one of them so they go to the locker as soon as possible. If I carried more stuff with me I'd probably look pretty dumb but since I don't I think I've got a look that is pretty stealth. I don't need to be admired and who would admire me anyway.

I carry my wallet, phone, and a small pack of Kleenex. I'm switching over to transition lenses in the next month so I won't have to fuss with separate sunglasses anymore. As far as a water bottle goes I'll be using those handy water bottle straps. I'll probably have to check out Bass Pro or Scheel's since I think Disneyland has decided to stop selling those nifty straps.

All in all we do what we're comfortable doing. Some of us reduce the load as much as possible while others find ways to take it all with them. There's no wrong way to do it. In the end it's what you're least embarrassed doing. Enjoy yourself unless you're wearing that damned compartment vest and stupid hat. I'm going to point and laugh at you. I don't care if you are from Germany. You still look dumb.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Road Trippin'

Jill and I have a road trip coming up. We haven't done one in some time unless you count the occasional trip to South Dakota or Des Moines. Our last trip was when we moved ourselves to the Midwest after Jill did a stint in California while I figured out a way to relocate. We took the scenic route and went North so I could soak in some California before zipping across the plains. Our first road trip together took us to the Grand Canyon which was awe inspiring. Driving through the salt flats in Utah on our most recent wasn't as amazing but still pretty neat.

I've probably told this story here or maybe Jill has but I'll tell it again because it's easier than going back through old posts. I was initially going to make the drive myself because I didn't think Jill liked the long car rides. I figured we'd save our airline miles for our next Disneyland trip. Jill was surprised that I didn't ask if she wanted to drive out. We crunched some numbers and decided to drive and spend some quality time together soaking up scenery and putting some miles on my car.

As we get closer to the trip I'll be getting a blog ready. We're not sure how easy it will be to do updates but we'll try our best. It's going to be a pretty quick trip since it's only about 24 hours of driving unless weather forces us to take our Southern route which is 28 hours. I'm very excited about it. I love road trips and hopefully Jill and I can procure a camper in the coming years so we can do it more and more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Rant: Glee Edition!

There are plenty of things that brought my tolerance to a screeching halt this week but they're going to have to wait a week because I'm going to open a can of whup ass on Glee.

I recall watching a pilot some time ago for what seemed like a hilarious new show. It was about a group of outcasts joining the high school Glee club. It had a delightful politically correct lineup that was done with such disdain for the status quo that it was easy to side with them. Each character had incredible depth and plenty of baggage for most everybody to relate to. For some reason the producers of the show decided to throw this all away in favor of a weekly karaoke jam smothered in auto-tune. Let's figure out what went wrong shall we?

Meet the original cast. A rag tag group of kids wearing white gloves being awkward.

Nice looking group of kids right? Hell no! They took everything that rich, attractive, and popular kids in high school hate more than anything. You have a street wise, black girl who happens to be overweight to ensure the "cool" kids can still make fun of her without upsetting liberal folks because everybody hates fat people. She can sing which makes her a perfect fit for the group.

Racial equality is important so there is also an Asian girl. The black girl already took obesity as her outcastic trait so they made the Asian girl goth. Goth kids tend to cut themselves in private and/or secretly plot to destroy the school so they made her shy and gave her a stutter. Check and check. The only catch is that she can sing which makes her a perfect fit for the group.

Kurt is a special case. I use his name because it's the only one I can remember. He's gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
It wasn't enough for him to be into men. They gave him a feminine swagger that was actually pretty damned cool. It didn't seem like the school got to him at all. His girly voice made him all the more endearing. He could sing which made him a perfect fit for the group.

In rolls wheelchair boy for the wild card spot. My wife and I were very excited to see this kid. He was hilarious as the captive pizza boy on The Office.
I would have liked to see them hire him on as a warehouse worker but alas it wasn't meant to be. To lessen the blow of high school students picking on the handicapped kid they dressed him like a nerd so they could dislike him for that instead. The fact that he had wheels was an avoidable topic. He couldn't dance but he sure could sing and play guitar which made him a perfect fit for the group.

Meet the showbiz nerd. Her story is interesting because she's obsessed with stardom and appears to have what it takes to make it. To counter that she's completely clueless that she's lame. They did an incredible job of making the (arguably) most talented member of the Glee a complete and total outcast. She could sing which made her a perfect fit for the group.

No show would be complete without yin to the nerd's yang. Enter The Jock, his cheerleader girlfriend, some other jocks, and some more cheerleaders. The Jock has an interesting back story involving his mom and a guy that paints dead grass green. The grass painter was banging his mom while teaching The Jock how cool Journey is. His girlfriend is a total bitch and loves to make fun of the girls in the glee club because they obviously suck. He can't really sing but he knows all about cool music which makes him a perfect fit for the group.

Rounding out the cast is the teacher guy and his bitch of a wife, an Indian principal, (I knew we were missing a race there) the mega butch cheer leading coach, and an anal retentive redheaded guidance counselor that I like very much.

The pilot was hilarious. Yeah, they were all outcasts but when they got together to sing it didn't matter because they were really good and Journey rocks.

What happened?
The pilot was a hit and Fox did what any network with a new hit show on its hands does. It completely revamps the show and kills everything that I found entertaining. They did it so gradually that most people didn't notice it. The slowly sliced away the layers of each character. What we have now is this fantasy program where everybody gets to be themselves and are celebrated for it. Ironically, the character I think we were supposed to love the most has become the least endearing character which goes to prove my theory that characters named Rachel ruin shows.

The Asian broad lost her stutter which, as it turns out. wasn't even real. By the end of the season she'll run for class president and win.

Kurt has softened up waaaaay too much. Apparently focus groups don't like their gays to be confident and unaffected. People want to see him pushed to tears which is kind of sad. His turn as a place kicker was pretty sweet but apparently the jocks forgot about that and went right back to threatening to kick his ass on a daily basis. Pick a plot line and stick to it!

The street wise, black girl is still fat but she's pretty much off everybody's radar. She'll be replaced before next season starts. Nobody will notice.

Wheels went from being a nerd that could sing and shred the guitar to one of the saddest characters of all. He wants to walk now which we know will never happen. Then again this is the magical world of Glee. They'll chalk his paralysis up to mental trauma and he'll be dancing about with little to no evidence that his legs are underdeveloped from lack of use.

Jane Lynch is still a bitch with a heart of gold. I'm starting to hate her character too. She does what she can to keep is real but you can tell they're pushing her to start sucking on the same level as the rest of the cast.

Don't even get me started on the teacher guy. The only thing he's good for is segueing a classroom scene into a musical number. He's a dork.

I've made peace with the fact that I'll never get hear the glee club on Glee sing another Journey song. I'm not even sure if I'd call it a show now. Mostly it just seems like the story gets in the way of the musical numbers which also suck. I want to like the show but I can't seem to find a reason to watch it.