Monday, October 29, 2012

Bond Themes; James Bond Themes

I'm a big fan of the James Bond films and you can't have a Bond film without those incredible opening credits. More often than not they feature either scantily clad or complete nude women flying around visuals related to the film. You'd think that would be why I like them and while I do enjoy the ladies it's more about the music for me.

There are 23 Bond films not counting a few one offs but I'm going to focus on the aforementioned Broccoli films. Stylistically, they're all pretty much the same but each artist made sure their track represented them as well as the film since the title track's carry the films as well. Here are my top ten.

10. Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey

Yeah, this one sounds a lot like the Adele track but I think that's just because all of these songs are so familiar. Shirley Bassey? More like Shirley Classy.

9. Thunderball - Tom Jones

Contrary to my last pick I'm not a very big Tom Jones fan. I never even considered this one until I was trying to choose what I thought were the best. The little bits from the Monty Jordan theme are nicely integrated and go well with Connery's Bond. I may have to start listening to Tom Jones.

8. The World Is Not Enough - Garbage

I'm already a Garbage fan but until Shirley begins making sweet love to your ears it's anything but Garbage. Maybe that's why I like it so much. All of the ingredients are there but as the song progresses you get those little electronic bits that let you know it's Garbage. Garbage. I'm actually surprised that I picked the theme from a Brosnan film.

7. A View To A Kill - Duran Duran

I may have been a little biased when I picked this one since I pretty much never think of James Bond when I hear this song. The Bond hints are a little less obvious here but the departure from the norm almost fits in with  Roger Moore's departure. When I think of Christopher Walken and Grace Jones it's suddenly perfect. Bon. Simon Le Bon.

6. You Only Live Twice - Nancy Sinatra

I think I like this one for what it leaves out. It's has a certain ease about it that you really don't get with the other bond themes. The electric guitar is so subtle you'd miss it if you weren't listening for it. No Monty Jordan hints here but that's okay with me.

5. License to Kill - Gladys Night

A lot of people didn't think Timothy Dalton was a very good Bond but I think he was great. The song is a little dated but most pop music from the 80's sounded like this so it's to be expected. Gladys rocks it. It sounds a whole lot like the Goldfinger theme but I prefer this one.

4. You Know My Name - Chris Cornell

I like this song. I won't lie to you. Like the others it has all of the ingredients but when it's paired with the opening titles it sets a much more exciting pace for the film. There aren't any scantily clad ladies but I don't care.

3. Another Way to Die - Jack White/Alicia Keys

The internet didn't like this one very much but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that the movie was abysmal. I still don't know what it was about. What I do know is that this is a great Bond theme. I even considered making it my number one. The best way to watch this movie is to start it from the beginning then turn it off after the opening titles.

2. Skyfall - Adele

This is the title track for the latest film. It also has the distinction of being the second Adele song I've ever heard. That broad can sing I tell you what. Once again it's instantly recognizable as a Bond theme. It actually made me think of You Only Live Twice. Adele takes her time singing Monty Jordan's timeless tune.

1. Dr. No - Monty Jordan

Of course this is going to be my favorite. You hear this big band number in pretty much every Bond theme. Like the character it's got swagger and strength while being unpretentious. I think we believe James Bond is capable of doing what he does because of this song.

There are shitty bond themes as well. Madonna, Sheryl Crow, and A-Ha had no idea what they were doing when they did their respective themes. Thankfully they were able to lock it all down and are making sure that the scores of the new films are as important as the films themselves.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Catching Up

I hate the terrible lags I have in my blog but when you're a boring guy like me it's hard to find things to write about.

Most recently, the wife and I bid adieu to our Ford Flex. There was nothing wrong with it save for it's massive size that rendered it undrivable for Jill. We took it to and from California and it was a revelation. Sadly we don't go on 3200 mile road trips very often so the merits of motoring in a large vehicle went unnoticed while piloting it around town. I'll miss it because it was a very good car. The only peace of mind I get is the awesome car we've replaced it with.

I'd always had my eyes on the Subaru Outback but the planets just didn't align until recently. I tried to buy one when I was cross shopping the Flex but the dealership really didn't want to sell me one so I bought the Flex and got a killer deal on it so that's what I got. Jill can drive the Outback and as soon as she learns how to use her side mirrors she'll be a lot more comfortable driving it.

The other new love of my life is my tablet. I've been considering them for awhile now. I'm enamored with my iPhone and how it was faster than my bargain laptop. Sadly it's just a little too small to do everything I need a computer for so I was stuck with my laptop.  My only real options were the iPad and Galaxy tablet up until now and both cost way more than I prefer to spend. Mind you, I only use my laptop for pretty basic internet stuff. All the major stuff I do is done on a mighty computer but it's in the basement and not portable. When the Kindle Fire hit the scene with it's Graham friendly price tag I took notice but kept my distance. I wasn't sure if it was exactly what I wanted. I had a decent interface but it lacked what I wanted so I figured I'd just wait until either the second generation or something better came along. More than anything I liked the size. Enter the Google Nexus 7 which is another 7" tablet with way more power, a better screen, and the same price tag. I was smitten and Jill was gracious enough to combine a few birthdays and Christmas together for an early mega gift. Yeah, we don't like to spend too much on each other. It's not that we don't love each other and want to shower each other with gifts. We just choose to be smart with our money and blow it on vacations instead.

I pre-ordered it so I had to wait a week or two for it but now that I have it I can honestly say the wait was worth it. I still crack open my laptop every now and then but I've been doing pretty much everything via tablet. I'm converted. Best things ever.

I turn 34 in three weeks which isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Aside from my hair getting  thinner and going grey I'm doing pretty well physically. My doctor told me that my cholesterol was too high so I gave up butter (I ate a lot of it) and started watching what I was eating. I've dropped a few pounds but I find that I'm hungry more often than I used to be. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually. I haven't been exercising like I should be. Jill has been keeping up with hers and I feel like a schmuck for not doing the same. Motivation is a biggie for me. After a weeks worth of work I just don't want to get on the treadmill. I know if I just keep up with it I won't really notice how much I don't like doing and will just be in the habit of it. Somebody motivate me.

Keeping up with my awesome segues I'll just jump right into music. I've been trying to work on music but I'm back in a funk and just can't work out what I want to do. I know I'm over thinking it but I can't help it. It's what I do. One of these days it will click again and I'll be on the ball. Yeah, and maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot.

This is a really boring blog so I'm just going to stop right here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Return of the Blog

It's funny how I blog in waves. I'd like to say it's because I'm out in the world making a difference or that I'm extremely busy with scholarly pursuits but the fact of the matter is that I've been in a funk with nothing going on worth blogging about.

This will be one of my storied potpourri posts in which I just go off on tangents. I tell you this up front because it fills out my blog post and makes it look like I have more to say than I actually do. I'm no writer.

Graham: Stand up comedian.
I've been told time and time again that I should give stand up comedy a try. While I've entertained the notion of doing an open mic or twelve to develop a routine I've never actually done it. Logistics isn't really an issue since there are plenty of ways to get on stage and I've never had trouble booking a gig in the past. You pretty much just need to do it.

I like to think I'm reasonably funny as the occasional goofy comment on Facebook or Twitter will get positive responses. Contrary to popular belief there is lot more to doing stand up than being funny. It takes a certain kind of personality to get up on stage and keep a room interested for 15 to 20 minutes. It's not just firing off jokes because that gets annoying by joke number 2. If it were easy more people would do it and be successful at it. It's so hard that even the best comics get up there and bomb.

I'm sure I've got at least enough material for a typical time slot. Material is an important part but it's only about a third of the pie. The second part is your voice or rather how you address your audience. This is a little trickier especially for me.  Not only do I get incredibly nervous in front of an audience I don't have the clearest voice and I have a bit of a stammer when I'm nervous. Recipe for disaster. I'm sure if I really worked on my material I'd be in good shape but you do need to be able to adapt if you start to bomb.

That last third is the part that most young comics I've seen seem to have trouble with. Rhythm is very important as it sets the pace for your entire routine. If you get off on the wrong foot and miss your beats it just won't work. The first two thirds rolls into this. Your material and the cadence of your voice have to move. One liners are tough to do successfully. It's even tougher if you can't segue from one topic to the next. Since I tend to go off on tangents as noted above it's hard to bring everything together in a cohesive way.

Ultimately I just don't think I can do it. I'm good in small doses among friends and I think it's best I keep it that way.

What's that you're listening to?
Thanks for asking. I've been listening to music again while working. It's not always easy as I spend a great deal of my day on the phone. I like podcasts but after awhile I get to the point of where I'm not really paying attention to what they're saying so those have gone on the back burner for awhile.

It's a funny thing about a great song and how it can turn your whole day around. I have a copy of Sloan doing a cover of Gary Numan's 'Cars' that is pretty darned good. I've always been a Numan fan but I don't listen to his stuff all that much which is a shame because it's really good. I know it's not for everybody but it's right up my alley.

You're pretty cool if you liked that.

I like to think I have broad musical tastes since I can find a favorite in most genres. I can't listen to everything though. I have a tough time with newer music. Maybe I'm just stubborn but I think a lot of it just isn't that good. There's always something missing. Maybe I'm just a music snob.

What's with that stupid grin?
I'm currently on a crusade to be a nicer person. My lovely wife noticed pointed out that I've been really cranky lately. More so than usual. I'm sure most of it is due to my new position at work. I don't like to go into great detail in such a public place because you never know who's watching so let's just say that it used to be great and now it's not so great. I think a great deal of that is me though since I decide whether or not I'm going to be happy.

I've begun trying to say nice things about people and things. Sincere things that I actually feel. It's not quite a mantra because I don't think repeating something over and over to myself in an effort to rose tint my world is productive or healthy. This is going to be a slow process but I think I can get back to a point where I'm generally happy.

Doing chicks.
It's not what you think. I haven't done much musically in awhile mainly because of my chronic depression. I came up with an idea recently and I've enlisted my brother in California to lend a hand. We're going to cover a few songs by female artists or groups. We've probably bitten off more than we can chew. I'm not the greatest musician in the world so it can be tough for me to adapt a really difficult song to something I can play with limited instruments at hand. I'm hoping my bro can fill in the blanks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I'm sure I've done a similar blog but I'm out of ideas so you get to read about film scores again. There are a number of great films out there but I still think a film is only as good as its score. I love film scores so much that I listen to them often. As with everything I like I'm very picky. While an entire score can get me through the day I always hit repeat on the main theme. Some people can listen to a commercial jingle and enjoy profound emotions but I'm not one of those people. I think more than anything, I'm drawn to the large orchestral works. When they serve as an overture that you can pop up all over the place. Here are my favorites. If you plan on listening to them I'd recommend a good set of speakers or headphones.

This Is Gallifrey - Murray Gold
It's not a film score but it should be. This tune is almost fifty years old and it's never been replaced. It's gone from a simple, space age, monster theme to an instrument laden adventure. The fact that music like this is used in a weekly serial is a real treat.

Patton - Jerry Goldsmith
There are certain songs and musical styles that define a generation of film. Most people know the Patton theme and immediately think of a military epic but they don't know where it comes from. The careful orchestration at the beginning lends itself to George C. Scott's accurate, portrayal of General Patton. The first few notes give me chills.

Back To The Future - Alan Silvestri
At first you wouldn't think this would belong among this group but all the ingredients are there. It says 1985 without even a hint of shame. Like most of the music I'm posting it puts images in your head. Try not to think of Deloreans and science. Go ahead. Try.

The Shawshank Redemption - Thomas Newman
Like the Back To The Future theme this one doesn't quite mix with this list but it captures to essence of the film perfectly. You can almost feel the pain, loneliness, and desperation. Like Andy and his hammer, it picks away carefully but confidently. I feel like an ass describing it that way but that's what it does.

Gone With The Wind - Max Steiner
One of, if not THE greatest theme ever. I've only seen the first half but I celebrate Steiner's perfect orchestration. It's delicate yet strong. There I go again. I love this and I don't care what anybody thinks.

Batman - Danny Elfman
There have been numerous Batman songs. One of them has lyrics consisting of "Batman" over and over. You could attach this to any modern Batman and have it fit perfectly. Subltle use of Gong and xylophone invoke images of movement within Gotham City. Rad.

The Magnificent Seven - Elmer Bernstein
Like the Patton theme is synonymous with military films this one is the foundation for westerns. Flowing strings accented by horns is invokes cowboys and prairies. Iconic.

Superman - John Williams
It's like I'm five years old again, wearing a cape and my Superman t-shirt and running around with arms out in front of me. I was happy to hear the original, John Williams theme at the beginning of Superman Returns in 2006. Williams has plenty of iconic scores (Star Wars comes to mind) but I think this one speaks to my youth a little more. Is it possible for a song to be heroic?

The Rocketeer - James Horner
Yes, it is possible for a song to be heroic and this one proves it. The Rocketeer was hot shit when it came out but it fizzled away pretty quick. Perhaps it was a little too grand for its own good. I don't really care. This is easily the best use of trombones and trumpets ever. Yes, even better than the Star Wars theme. It used to be my favorite but something better came along.

Star Trek XI - Michael Giacchino
Disney/Pixar fans are no stranger to Giacchino though they probably didn't take notice of his name in the "Up" credits. When it comes to a musical build up he's a master. I challenge anybody to watch the montage at the beginning of "Up" with his moving accompaniment without getting a lump in your throat. Enough about "Up." I think the JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek was helped along by an incredible score. The Patton and Magnificent Seven themes are to the military the wild west as this song is to the vastness of space and the technological achievements of man. I may be the only one but this one is my favorite.

I don't get many comments but feel free to share any favorites. I can't guarantee I won't dump all over what you love but I'll try. Not really.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Disney World Trip Report - Day 7 and 8

Our last day in Florida wasn't very exciting so I'm combining the last two days.


Waking up on the last day was a bit of a challenge. We were fairly tired which is pretty typical for the end of our trip. We hit up the food court and did our routine. I usually polish off my breakfast but I just couldn't do it this morning. It was like there was no room in my stomach. That last detail is a big deal as I'm always hungry. I chugged my orange juice which was a really bad idea because it felt like it simply filled up my esophagus and never actually reached my stomach. My body was telling me to go back to the room and go back to sleep but I got really sick on our last trip and had to spend half a day in bed but never really felt better.

We hit the bus and went to Animal Kingdom. I had absolutely no energy. We wanted to get fast passes for Expedition Everest so that was our first stop. I made Jill walk slow in hopes that I'd get a burst of energy sooner or later. We even stopped for a photo. Can you tell that I feel lousy?

The stand by line was short so we quickly grabbed Fast passes and got in line. We buzzed through fairly quick but I noticed that it was extremely hot in the queue. Jill said it wasn't so I figured it was just a hot flash. By the time we hit the last room of the queue I was sweating. While waiting in the secondary queue for the front seat I began to feel dizzy and told Jill I needed to go and sit down so we got out of line. As we made our way out I began to feel my stomach turning so I immediately started considering how far away the nearest rest room was. Needless to day I didn't make it very far. I've always had the ability to make it to a toilet, sink, or trash can to throw up in but the Disney park style cans aren't easy to shove one's face in so I used the next best thing which was a nearby bush.

My horrified wife could only look on as I staggered to a nearby bench so I wouldn't fall over into the bush I just puked in. I proceeded to evacuate what can only be described as three meals worth of food and liquid. Jill waited patiently as a nearby cast member of the custodial persuasion decided he picked the wrong day to come into work. I drank some water and went to the restroom to freshen up. What a magical morning.

It was a good thing we prefer the front seat on Expedition Everest otherwise I'd have vomited on the ride and that wouldn't have been a good thing.

After that I felt fine but Jill made me sit on a bench and drink more water. I insisted that I was fine but she was skeptical so we walked over to Camp Mini Mickey since we had never been there. It was a long walk and we took a few breaks along the way so I could get my strength back. I could see why we had never gone over there before and we'll not likely go ever again.

Donald thinks that boot looks delicious.

See, I'm fine.

We wandered around for a bit snapping photos here and there on our way back from Tallahassee or wherever Camp Mini Mickey was stashed.

I wanted to go on Dinosaur so that's what we did. I didn't get sick so the only thing flying through the air in there were meteors. Just little ones. I grabbed a couple of Fast Passes just because.

Hey look! Our Fast Passes for Expedition Everest are ready to go. I made it through the queue this time and my nice folks on our expedition made it through without my sharing any of my previous meals with them.

Even though I was feeling pretty good I was really exhausted still so I asked if we could go back the hotel for lunch and a nap. We ate at the food court and I restored some much needed electrolytes.

I fell asleep almost immediately as did Jill so I didn't feel too bad when we woke up. We usually scoff at people that take time out of their day for a nap but we may do this again on a future trip. It was a really good nap.

Look at how well rested and not sick I look.

Epcot was going to be the high note we ended our trip on. Of course Spaceship Earth was the first on our agenda. We were going to ride that adrenaline rush for awhile so we just wandered about, sat on benches, and looked at creeps.

It's funny how we do the same thing over and over. If you were about to say, "Then you guys went to Morocco for mint tea and baklava." you'd be correct. That's what we did. Rather than sitting at a table next to a family discovering that they don't like falafel we found this table away from the hustle and bustle. By the time we finished our tea and baklava people decided that we looked way too comfortable so they sat at the other table next to us. We got up and left but not before I glared at them for ruining our moment of zen.

While Jill used the restroom I wandered over to the stage where "Mo'Rockin" was starting their show. They were pretty darned good. So good in fact the belly dancin' lady came over to shake her lady bits. Moments later she got some little girls from the crowd to dance with her thus eliminating any impure thoughts among the various men in the crowd.

We wanted to go back to Future World but the walk was drawing objections from our feet. I noticed that the ferry was dropping people off at the nearby dock so I suggested we take the boat across since neither of us had ever done it. I still think the boats are on rails but again I was assured by my beautiful wife that they aren't.

This put us closer to Norway than we were before so Maelstrom subjected us to the spirit of Norway one last time. It was excellent.

Not having our fill of boat rides in the dark we also stopped in Mexico for the boat ride. When it was done we got off and left the world showcase. I'm gonna miss it.

We did a little bit of shopping for stuff then cashed in the Fast Passes we got earlier in the for Test Track. I don't know about 5 year old boy. 65 year old boy maybe.

Reality was starting to sink in at this point since we realized that as we made our way back it was going to be awhile before we'd see any of that stuff again. It was bitter sweet. The sweetness lay ahead of us in the form of Spaceship Earth. This was our tenth and last time riding it. For a change we picked German for our language. For those wondering, Dame Judi Dench doesn't speak a lick of German. It was some other younger and less distinguished broad. Auf wiedersehen Raumschiff Erde und Epcot.

With heavy hearts we left Epcot and got on the dreaded bus for one last time. We had our last dinner at the food court which consisted of "safe" foods to ensure I wouldn't have a repeat of this morning on the way to the airport. When we got back to our room waiting on our doorknob was our Magical Express departure stuff. What a bummer. We packed up just about everything except what we'd need the next morning and fell asleep on that uncomfortable bed for the last time.


We got up early so we could do our final packing and check our bags and get our boarding passes. We managed to use all of our dining credits which culminated another safe breakfast washed down with Powerade because of, you know, electrolytes. After that we went back to our room one last time to ponder our trip and kill some time before we had to leave. We tossed our reusable mugs because we already have a bunch at home we never use and I don't feel like having to use the step stool to put them on one of the top shelves never to be used again. There also wasn't any room in our bags for them. No big loss.

Waiting for the Magical Express bus tends to suck. They tell you to get there a few days before the bus arrives which is funny because it's always about 15 minutes late or at least it is for us. It was last time and it was this time. Waiting isn't a huge deal because we can mess around on our phones and stare at the other zombies. The only real annoyance is that we have to sit with the sun in our faces because we refuse to get there when Disney says we should so we can't take one of the benches that doesn't face the sun. The people waiting near us went all the way back to Nebraska with us. It's a small world... after all.

I've decided that Orlando has a pretty lousy airport. While waiting for our plane to arrive we noticed this creep relaxing nearby. This is the type of person I always end up being stuck next to. Thankfully there were only two seats in our row on both legs so I didn't have to suffer the horrors of some old lady's stinky pillow invading my space. They were on both flights as well but we had a repeat of the two seats on the second leg as well so woot.

As per usual, our bags took their sweet time making the fifty yard trip from the plane to the baggage carousel. Jill waited in the terminal while I ventured out into the cold to fetch our car. Sure enough the snow storm earlier that week left a nice layer of snow and ice on my car that was difficult to remove. I also had a decent amount of snow to stand in. It was supposed to be warm when we got home so I didn't have a hat which meant my ears were numb by the time I was done freeing my car from the icy clutches of Winter. Thankfully Jill was waiting by the curb with our two heavy bags so I didn't have to go inside to look for her.

We stopped to the pick up the dog on the way home. She was pretty darned excited to see us.

Some people hate the end of their Disney World or Disneyland vacations but we're pretty relieved. It's nice to get back to our routines and we have a very comfortable home.

Thanks for joining me on this trip. It will be awhile before we take another so don't expect any musings of travel and leisure from me in the near future. I love you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Disney World Trip Report - Day 6

Did you miss me? I missed you too.

Jill agreed that sleeping in would be a good idea so that's what we did. This was a rare morning where the bed didn't seem as bad or at least it didn't until we decided to get up and really the only thing that made us get out of bed was breakfast. We made it over to the food court before they switched to their lunch menu.

When we got to Epcot and did the locker thing a group of jerks clogged up the Spaceship Earth queue so we sauntered over to Test Track to get some Fast Passes for later. We weren't parched or anything but I suggested we stop be Club Cool because we've never done it.

They should call it Club Sticky Floor. I'll venture a guess that the people that don't make it to the food court in the morning to spill beverages on the floor there get their rocks off at Club Cool. The last time I encountered a floor that sticky it was accompanied by a motion picture. We'd heard about a beverage called Beverly which is apparently what they call tonic water in Italy. I wonder if they call sparking water, Audrey. I'll have to ask an Italian friend some time. It wasn't as bad as people let on though it would have been nice with a little gin. We tried them all but I don't recall being over the moon for any of them. I like a nice Dr. Pepper.

We were close to Captain EO so we checked it out. There was no line so we got our hip glasses and found a seat.
We missed the little "making of" video but not having to stand there was nice. The theater seats didn't move as much as they do in Anaheim which was nice but the lack of applause at the end was a bit disappointing. It's Captain freaking EO people. Show some respect.

We did the Finding Nemo ride again because I had forgotten the song at the end and wanted it back in my head. The dolphins were having a grand old time at the sea pavillion so I snapped a few photos while Jill looked at the manatee.
Am I the only person that gets nauseous looking through the glass?

All of that took about an hour which means it's time to cash in those Fast Passes and ride Test Track. We usually get a yellow car but today we got a blue car. This is a big deal for me because I hate yellow cars and drive a blue car. Hooray.

I really wish they'd switch Morocco and Mexico at the world showcase since I was getting a little tired of walking all the way over there. Yes, I know there's a boat. We planted ourselves on a bench since our lunch reservations weren't up yet. The place was pretty dead so we went to Restaurant Marrakesh and they let us right in. Jill went with her stand by but I decided to be adventuresome and got the Sultan's Sampler which wins the award for cheapest sounding entree in Epcot. The belly dancin' lady came out but a gentleman of additional circumference blocked my view. The two broads dancing this year were a bit on the skinny side. The dancer they had on our last trip had a rocking body. Before you scoff at me I'd like to point out that Jill agreed.

Afterward we slowly strolled around Morocco and snapped some photos. Jill didn't want to sit on the pillows but she humored me. I can only imagine how many sweaty people have sat there. Actually no, I don't have to imagine. I saw several.

While continuing our counter clockwise tour we saw the French guys setting up their show. We've seen it before and it's awesome so we watched it again. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. As the wind picked up the daring Frenchman climbed to the top and did this before they packed it in.

Anticipating rain we hung out by the tea shop while snapping photos of the English garden just in case we'd need to take cover.
The weather cooperated so we did some more wandering around Wee Britain. I sat in a comfy chair.
Then I had a staring contest with a mailbox. I did not win.

One of my favorite hobbies is finding an inconspicuous place to stand while Jill is in the restroom so I can take photos like this while she looks for me.

Canada is right next door so we went looking for Robin Sparkles merchandise but sadly they didn't have any.
This is apparently modeled after a garden in Victoria, BC so Jill and I have decided we'll go there some day and by some day I mean probably never.

It rained for a brief moment then cleared up so we went back to the world showcase because we wanted to go on Maelstrom because it's awesome. On our way to the queue we saw a woman's butt cheeks compliments of very short shorts. Work it, girl.
Back! Back! Over the falls!!!
I'm not sure why they have a large building behind these hills. You'd think they'd just mountain it up the rest of the way so as to not spoil the illusion.

How do you top off five hours at Epcot? That's right, Spaceship Earth. It rocked if you were wondering.

I did the locker thing then we hopped on the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom because that's where it goes.

Peoplemover. I don't think I need to say anything else.

We cashed in some snack credits on a couple of sundaes which we ate near the castle while people watching. Not a single creep.

As the sun set we hit up the Haunted Mansion. It's a little refreshing riding the Florida version because not only is it a little different from the Anaheim version but you don't have to listen to every and I mean EVERY person in the haunted room talking along with the "Ghost Host." I try very hard not to do it myself.

Jill didn't understand how the stocks worked but rather than explaining it I just took her photo.

We got some roasted almonds and sat near the spitting camel in Adventureland for some more people watching. The camel did not disappoint as it nailed countless people.

There wasn't anybody waiting in line for Pirates so we took our time going through the queue and snapped some photos.

The park was really empty so we just wandered about and took photos. This guy cracked me up.

Jill went in for a kiss but he played it cool.

The fireworks started up shortly thereafter but we ignored them because they're boring.

It's little.

We couldn't leave without one last trip in a Doom Buggy. It did not disappoint. It wasn't enough to hold us over until we can come back but it was still great.

We decided that the Peoplemover was the high note we wanted to finish on. Thankfully it was open this time.

That did it for the Magic Kingdom on this trip. We took our time heading back to the buses because they suck. It was fried chicken night for "Mom's Night Out" back at the Pop Food court so I had something nice to think about while I stood for yet another bus ride. It's almost comical how slow we move when we're near the end of our trip.

Thanks for joining me. Day seven is coming up and it's a doozy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Disney World Trip Report - Day 5

Jill made me get up early today. Grr.

Typical morning at the food court. A bunch of creeps. Plenty of food. Plenty of drink. All of it on the floor. Let's move on and never speak of this place ever again.

It seems like most people consider Animal Kingdom to be a half day park but our half day park would have to be Hollywood Studios. We got over there quick and early this morning so we could grab Fast Passes for the Toy Story ride. I had something to prove but it would have to wait until noonish.

Star Tours was old and crappy last time we were there. That was not the case today. They spruced up the queue with new, old jokes and replaced this:

With this:

They've finally done away with Captain Rex and his perpetual first flight. Did I mention it was in 3D?

After that I really wanted to see Ken Marino and an old lady so we went on Rock N Rollercoaster: Sponsored by Hanes. This is the only Hollywood themed ride that's nothing like Hollywood. Nobody goes that fast on the freeways out there.
Jill is a big fan of roller coasters even though they scare the crap out of her.

We had our fill of Aerosmith but still had some time to kill. There is no better attraction than The Great Movie Ride (most creative name ever) to kill time. The line was very short which made the experience all the better. Magic awaited in the form of an awkward girl with a microphone. There are tour guides that really get into this ride as well as those that phone it in. We got neither. I don't remember her name but I'll venture a guess she doesn't have many friends on account of her complete lack of personality. I knew from the start it was going to be spectacular. People generally hate the gangster option but in my experience it's way more entertaining. The guy doing the gangster bit was equally awesome. His over-zealousness was immediately stymied by the lack of haste the ride vehicles exhibit. Moments later Ms. Enthusiasm returned and the last few shiny faced movie characters pivoted awkwardly as children looked on, confused. Easily the best 20 minutes of the trip.

Jill and I were so impressed with Star Tours we went on it again. It was Wookielicious.

I wanted an ice cream sandwich so we stopped by a stand that was operated by a very nice girl that attended the same college I did. I should have known better than to start talking about Disneyland but thankfully we were saved by another customer craving an ice cream sandwich.

It was still too early to go on Toy Story so we went looking for snacks via New York.
Then San Francisco.
All I wanted was a stinking soft pretzel (which I want right now as well) and nobody in that stinking park was selling them! After traversing the entire park we asked somebody who directed us back to where we started. There was a line there and some lady farted. Jill got a churro and I got my darned pretzel.

Look at the time! It's Toy Story time! The Fast Pass queue wasn't clogged with a Brazillion people (get it?) so we got right on. Or at least we would have had they not decided to move us to another line so they could let the next three cars go empty. Swines. Jill got close to beating my score but thankfully I have much stronger arms than her so I can fire off more shots. It makes for a pretty lousy accuracy score. I'm still proud of myself. Jill got the beaver.

Next up was my favorite attraction, Lights, Motors, Action. We grabbed some pretty swell seats right up front but they were still uncomfortable. Thankfully there wasn't anybody in front of us so I didn't have to maneuver my knees between some girthy individual. Apparently Lighning McQueen is Disney's most beloved car. Suck it, Herbie.

We gradually made our way through the stunt show crowd which took us over to Star Tours for a third spin. We got a combination of our prior two visits but it was still good stuff. That was enough excitement for us. Time to hit up some shops then leave. We picked up a couple of ceramic mugs that don't hold very much liquid but they look pretty neat. They were gigantic with the protective wrapping so we took them back to the hotel to drop them off. I did the locker thing and apparently left my room key/pass/money with the key lady. It's a good thing we went back to the hotel. I hit up the front desk and took care it. With a fresh card in hand we went to the food court. I had the tie dyed cheesecake. I was not a fan.

Thoroughly nourished we got back on a bus and headed to the Magic Kingdom. The first thing on our agenda was to inconvenience a Photopass guy by asking him to take our picture.

Jill photographed the poorly tended to roses while I Tweeted.

We got our Peoplemover on which awesome but I don't need to tell you. There's more to Tomorrowland than just the Peoplemover. They also have the Carousel of Freaking PROGRESS!!!

Jill managed to break the zipper on her shorts (which I promise I will fix before Spring) so we had to find a safety pin. The Emporium obliged with may be the only safety pin at the Magic Kingdom. Modesty restored, we headed off to find some dinner.

We went to Columbia Harbor House. Jill had good food. I had food. That's all I want to say about that. The apple thingy I had for dessert was okay. Since there wasn't anybody around we took turns steering the restaurant. Or at least there weren't people until I took the helm.

I had a hankering for the Haunted Mansion or more importantly the new graveyard. The park was mostly empty so we wandered around and took photos.

Apppropriately haunted we moseyed over to Tent City er I mean Fantasyland to snap some evening photos and Tweet about snapping evening photos. Soon music swelled and this happened for a few minutes.
Everybody there seemed to like them which means they've never seen "Remember... Dreams Come True" at Disneyland. It started raining lightly and people were all like, "Oooo fireworks, AAAAAA RAIN!!!"

After the hooplah was over with we sauntered over to Snow White's Scary Adventure since they're going to doze it to make room for something retail oriented or chair storage or something else. I didn't feel like looking it up. Snow White's Scary Adventure has a whole lot more adventure than the abruptly ending Snow White's etc at Disneyland.

It was still raining so we went to the locker to fetch our raincoats to ensure it would stop raining. Guess what! It stopped raining.

I wanted to go on Pirates etc so that's what we did.

I'm not sure whose idea it was to go on Splash Mountain but it was probably mine. Okay, it was me. We had our raincoats and I'd never been on this one before. We got the coveted front seats (are they coveted?) in a boat with... additional weight. We almost submerged numerous times and got thoroughly doused after the drop. Jill got it worse even though she was sitting right next to me.

People had pretty much cleared out because of the little bit of rain we got. When extra magic hours began we enjoyed some additional magic. There was the usual assortment of riffraff trying to comprehend what extra magic hours were. The poor souls were trying to track down the member of their party with their Motel 6 room key not comprehending that they needed to be a guest at a Disney resort.

As always we headed to the Peoplemover to finish off the night but the bastards closed it. Didn't they know we were coming? I was reasonably mad.

Jill grabbed some stellar castle photos while I got some closeups of the castle.

Still broken hearted about the Peoplemover we decided that we needed some sweets from the candy shop which I ate back at the room.

Even though it was late there was still a mess of people waiting for the bus. We survived another day. Day five. What a day it was. Day six coming up. It's going to be a doozie. You've been warned.