Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Confessions of a Disney Cast Member

You know how I like to share funny little things that I read!  I promise, I will be back to blogging on a regular basis in the VERY near future - my May from Hell is nearly over! :)  But until then, enjoy!

Confessions of a Disney Cast Member

Robert Niles spent five summers working on rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Tom Sawyer Island at Walt Disney World. He currently edits the site Theme Park Insider.

By Robert Niles

Excuse me, young man, are you pregnant?
What's more terrifying than the 38-foot drop on Disney's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Having to ask women in line if they're pregnant. It's for their own safety, but forget a woman scorned — hell hath no fury like a woman who's been mistaken for being pregnant. Once, when I was in training, I watched a coworker approach a larger female park visitor and ask, "Excuse me, ma'am, but are you pregnant?" "Pregnant!?!" the woman screamed, her voice turning heads at the happiest place on earth. "No! What are you saying? Do I look fat to you?!" She turned to her friend and screamed some more: "They think I look fat. Let's get out of here!"

I was so traumatized by that incident I crafted a plan to avoid offending anyone. Whenever I spotted a "suspect," I asked everybody in the vicinity — including teenage boys and women in their 70s — if they were with child. If the woman I suspected was actually pregnant, she left the ride quickly. If she wasn't, she just thought I was working a gag.

I sure am Randy today
Disney made the "first name" name tag famous, but the tag doesn't always match the person wearing it. One day, as I was steering the raft to Tom Sawyer Island, my name tag dropped into the river, forcing me to get a new one. There wasn't a single "Robert" left, so until a replacement could be made, I pretended to be "Randy," a name that amused visitors from the U.K. to no end. Elderly English ladies lined up to have their picture taken with me. One screamed when she saw me, grabbed her friend, and yelled, "Is that really your name?" Being a good Disney cast member, I lied and said yes. The friend said, "You know, we love a good randy man back home." But lady, even I'm not that good a cast member.

To get onstage, dress the part
A few attractions choose audience volunteers to be part of the show, but the selection process is far from random. Typically, you need to be a certain gender, size, and age for each of the different roles. You might even need to be wearing a specific item of clothing. On my off days from work, I used to go over to Universal Studios, and I would get picked all the time to play "Mother" in the old Alfred Hitchcock show. They needed a guy my height and weight who happened to be wearing the same type of plain white tennis shoes I always wore. Also helpful for getting picked: cuteness and enthusiasm. Curious kids who ask nicely and look excited often get extra attention, along with thrilling perks like riding up front and introducing shows.

Stroller relocation program
Disney's a family place, but the people who work there come to loathe strollers. It's part of a cast member's job to keep strollers in nice, orderly lines and to make sure they're only left in designated areas. But park visitors keep their strollers in an appalling condition, loaded up with dirty diapers, rotting bottles of milk, and half-eaten PB&J sandwiches. Others see no problem with parking their strollers right in front of an attraction's exit or entrance. Sometimes thoughtless individuals like this incur the wrath of the stroller police, and their precious Bugaboos and Maclarens are intentionally relocated to a place "far, far away" — at the very back of the area cordoned off for strollers.

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of (confiscated) rum
On special Grad Nites, when Disney hosts loads of freshly graduated high school kids, the park puts extra staffers inside Pirates of the Caribbean and other rides as lookouts to monitor less-than-legal activities. Our focus was mostly on what the kids were consuming. Booze, cigarettes — you name it, and a Disney cast member has confiscated it from a 17-year-old at one time or another. One clever kid, forced to hand over his bottle, noted the irony of getting busted in the middle of a ride that celebrates a drunken pirate orgy. "Hey, don't the pirates have enough?" he asked. "They need mine, too?"

Please keep your happiness to yourself
This attraction has been camera monitored for your safety. That's the spiel Disney broadcasts over its loudspeakers for many rides. But the cameras are also meant to protect you from yourself. One night, while most parkgoers were watching the fireworks display, a couple strolled over to Pirates of the Caribbean, where I was working. They not only had a boat to themselves, but empty boats all around them. The real fireworks display, it turned out, was visible on the security cameras to all of us working that night. Let's just say the show the couple put on wasn't exactly G-rated.

This article originally appeared in Budget Travel, May 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why I Haven't Been Blogging: A Story in Pictures

Yes, I know I've been MIA for a bit - we have had a very busy couple of weeks!  One thing that I do not have pictures of, but should update everyone on, is that Boo went in to labor a few weeks ago, but sadly none of the kittens survived the very traumatic delivery.  Suffice it to say that Boo is very lucky she was in our home and in our care, or the labor as a barn cat would have been her demise.

I say this as she is racing up and down the hall, chasing nothing in particular.  I can sympathize with her - I remember what it was like to finally be feeling myself again after giving birth to my little girl!

Any who, on with the show!
A visit from the GUncle.

Trapping wild animals.

Channeling Cyndi Lauper with our outfits.

Perhaps a little Spring Barrel Tasting.

A coffee break here and there.

Yard work with dad.

Road trip with my honey.

Mother's Day present.
First oreo cookies.
Trip to OMSI.
That's our heat radiation.  We're HOT.

Playing with our first chalk board.

As you can see, we've been very busy.  And this doesn't even begin to cover the things I've been planning and working on that are yet to come!  We are booked solid from April 24th - June 12.  But I will try to be better about stopping in every now-and-again.  

Now, it is definitely time for SLEEP.

-Grace's Mom

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

List: Songs I Can/Would/Could Karaoke To.

1.  Your Love by The Outfield.  If you haven't listened to this song lately, do.  It's amazing.

2.  Don't Stop Believing by Journey.  'Nuff said.

3.  Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield.  One of my top 5 favorite songs of all time.

4.  Only The Good Die Young by Billy Joel.  LOVE it.

5.  Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar.

6.  Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond.  "He's America's greatest song writer and I love him." - Wayne from Saving Silverman, and Grace's Mom from Being Grace's Mom.

7.  Sweet Child of Mine by Guns n Roses.  I used to say this song was written about me (eyes of the bluest skies...her hair reminds me of a warm safe place where as a child I'd hide?  that's so me) but now I say it's written about GRACE!

8.  Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson.  It's less of a song, more of an anthem.

9.  Shut Up by Black Eyed Peas.  My brother and I do an AWESOME duet to this song.

10.  If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher.  I like to think I do a slightly more powerful version than Cher does - I don't dance around in an S&M suit, that's for sure.  I bring a little credibility to the song - a little authenticity, if you will.

Anyway, that's what I got.  And now, I think I'm going to make a playlist on Playlist.com of these exact songs so that I can practice.  Be glad you're not in the office next to mine.

-Grace's Mom

PS:  Check out my playlist here!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm Lovin' It Friday: Cabaret!

Wednesday night, I had the great fortune of getting to see Cabaret!

My TV station is a media sponsor, so I nabbed two tickets as soon as they became available.  I saw Cabaret when I was in high school, but I didn't remember a lot about it.

I am from a very conservative area in Washington State, and the last time Cabaret was here it was run out of town, so to speak.  The folks who supported the theatre back then weren't too fond of the sometimes vulgar story.

This year, our theatre company was smart and produced two different series:  The Best of Broadway (The Wedding Singer, Annie and Camelot) and Broadway on the Edge (Avenue Q, Dixie's Tupperware Party and Cabaret).  This way, they were able to warn the public that the content of the shows in the Edge series were more risque.

I also had the pleasure of sharing the evening with four of my coworkers from EB.  We met for dinner and drinks (I think I was the only one drinking?) and then went for a stroll downtown before making our way to the theatre.
One of my gentleman friends took the picture, the four of us are posed in front of the old EB location that still has the EB door handles.

We have a beautiful theatre here, and bring in some really first-class productions.  This is the same place I listened to Naomi.  So you know it's classy.

Anyway, I just really enjoyed the show.  I had forgotten how haunting and powerful it is.  The man who filled the role of Emcee was absolutely amazing.  He took that character to a new level for me.  The young woman who played Sally Bowles was also extraordinary - especially her rendition of Cabaret.  Gripping and eerie, all at the same time.  Two performances that have really stayed with me since last night.

I have to give some mad props to our theatre company, who allowed this rendition of Cabaret to sew a pink triangle next to the yellow David's Star on to the internment camp garb of Emcee at the very end...signifying that the person was gay.  It is my understanding that not every production does this with the costume.  Powerful stuff.

It's Friday now, and I saw it Wednesday, and I'm still lovin' it!

-Grace's Mom

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hot Topic: School Reform - Follow Up

As promised, I am now going to give you my thoughts on the Seattle Business Magazine Editor's Letter I shared here.

"Four years ago, I was dismayed by the terrible math education my son was getting...for two years in a row, he had the same incompetent teacher."

Well, this statement is as good a place as any to begin sharing my feelings on Mr. Helm.  Firstly, you can request teachers.  I know I did!  There was one teacher that especially taught math in a way that I understood, and so I requested him for each math class I took.  Why is this a big deal?  Handle it, Dad!

"Started a before-school math program."

Um, that's what parents SHOULD do!  A teacher does not have time/resources to hold the hand of every student in his/her class.  If your child is falling behind or you aren't happy with the individual attention your kid is getting, hire a tutor!  That's what they're for.

"Public schools are failing us."

Well, that's a pretty generalized statement.  I think the main problem with public schools is that they have not managed the expectations of parents.  Parents seem to think it is the school's job to ignite passion in all the different subjects.  I disagree.  Public schools are expected to be a foundation of education.  It's the responsibility of the student and the parents to grow educational opportunities off of that foundation.

"We should give public school principals, like private school principals, the authority to pick the best people available to teach math and science classes, regardless of what their credentials are."

I think this is a really interesting theory.  My cousin, Pony Girl (blog name, her parents don't hate her enough to name her Pony Girl for real!) made this comment:  I do think it is important to have one for teaching above preschool. The reason is there is so much about curriculum, behavior management, inquiry-based and sequential learning, and teaching strategies that is important to know. Many brilliant mathematicians understand math, but maybe don't understand people or how to teach those concepts, especially to hormonal teens!

Pony Girl is a very educated woman and a wonderful preschool teacher without a teaching certificate.  I have to say that, though I see Pony Girl's point, there are also a number of teachers who, just because they took the courses and have a certificate, don't necessarily teach in an effective way.

I don't care if the person teaching my daughter has a certificate or not.  A background check - YES!  But I think about all the college professors I had, and how it was so great to learn from someone who has "walked the talk"...not just read about it!

"They (retired engineers and scientists) would not only understand their subjects better than many credentialed teachers, but they might even be able to get students excited about their field."

I agree about the excitement.  I disagree with teachers not having as good as an understanding as people who have worked in the field - I just don't like generalizations like that.  But I see the point.  I suppose this mainly brings me back to the point made before - that just because you understand your field does not mean you'll be able to teach it.  But it doesn't mean you won't  be able to, either.  And just because you have a certificate doesn't mean you are a great teacher.

Bottom line, parents need to be involved in education and can't rely on schools and teachers alone.  Family field-trips, projects, camping, gardening - all great ways to teach your kids things that they might not learn in school.  Or maybe it was taught, but the student didn't bother to pay attention because he/she thought, "I'll never use that."  Doing some of these things might just show your kid why it's important to learn these basic principles!

Oh!  My brownies are ready.  I sure am glad I learned to measure in elementary school math, so that I could make myself delicious brownies.

-Grace's Mom

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm Lovin' It Friday: Girl Scout Cookies!

In this week's installment of I'm Lovin' It Friday, I would like to give a shout-out to the Girl Scout Cookie.

Hell yes.

I know I'm not alone when I say, "Girl Scout Cookies are the highlight of my year."

Okay, maybe they aren't quite the highlight of my year, but they are right up there!

This year I had a devil of a time actually finding a Girl Scout to sell me cookies!  I knew the cookies were for sale because the special edition Dreyers ice cream was in stores!  But I could not find a Girl Scout!  So, I did was any cookie junkie would do...I put a post up on Facebook.

A friend responding saying, "Haha!  If you're serious, I know someone who is selling them!"  I can't believe she had to ask if I was serious.  Of course I was serious!  Why would I joke about the most delicious cookies EVER?!

So, through the magic of Facebook, I got hooked up with my Girl Scout cookies.  The poor woman I ordered them from probably thought I was nuts.  We had to arrange a meeting so that I could pay her and pick up my 5 boxes...which, by the time I actually got them, somehow became 8 boxes...and this isn't counting the other friend who shipped 2 boxes to me, just to help me get by!

Now, in my defense, two of the boxes aren't for me.  But, 8 of them are.  And I don't plan on sharing.

Freaking delicious.

I can't risk getting Grace hooked on Samoas, because you know what's going to happen?  Someday, there will only be one cookie left, and Grace will look at me with those big blue eyes, and I will give it to her.  I'm willing to share some of my Thin Mints - you can get cookies pretty similar at the grocery store year-round.  But Samoas?  No.  Those are unique and special and amazing.

Sorry Grace!  These are mommy's "special" cookies!

Next year I am totally screwed...I'm just sure Girl Scouts have some sort of public forum where they let each other know about easy targets.

-Grace's Mom

Thursday, April 8, 2010

List: Top 10 Things I Appreciate More Now That I'm a Mom

Numero Uno:
Birth stories.  When I was a single lady, I could not have cared less or identified less with your birth story.  Now, I want all the gory details.  How many hours of labor?  Epidural?  Contractions in the front, back, or both?  C-Section?  Vacuum?  First thought?  Did Dad cut the umbilical cord?  Did Dad pass out?  Did Dad look?  How soon after did you decide you wanted another one?

Child-friendly restaurants.  I was the young girl who would shoot you dirty looks if your kid so much as grunted in a restaurant.  Now I'm the mom who expects you to think my daughter throwing her food/plate/silverware on the floor/wall/table to think it's cute and shut up and deal with it.  My daughter is usually pretty good at restaurants, but she definitely has her limits.

Don't even tell me you wouldn't want to eat right next to this.

The third item:
Music with a good beat.  My daughter loves to dance, and she's got some pretty sweet moves.  Her Auntie jokes that before long, we'll have to teach her the booty-drop.  My hubby does not think this is funny.  Among Gracie's favorite songs are:  The theme song to Gilmore Girls (Carol King, God love her!), the theme song to The Office (do you see a pattern?) and I've Got Feelin' by the Black Eyed Peas.

Childcare providers.  I want to ask them every single day, "How do you do it?!?!"  But I'm afraid they will start to ask themselves the same questions, and then realize that their job is crazy-demanding and will either demand the amount of pay they are worth or just run away screaming, like any normal person would do.  They are angels.

Baby wipes.  Seriously, how did I ever go without having a box in my car, on my kitchen counter, on my bathroom counter, in every bag I own, and within 2 feet of my daughter at all times?  I <3 wipes, and I use them for EVERYTHING!
What's that?  A new candle holder?  Nope, just my mandatory box of wipes in every single room.

Hannah Montana.  I've always thought Miley Cyrus was a cute little bugger, but now she entertains my daughter while not simultaneously driving me completely bonkers, and she is more of a God-send.  I absolutely hate cartoons, and I'm not real crazy about puppets or mascots or anything like that either.  Hannah is something the whole family can enjoy.

Don't judge.  "She's just bein' Miley." ;)

Lucky Number 7!
Small dogs.  I have two dogs who now reside with my parents - Rory and Stella.  Stella was my daughter before my daughter, but our house does not have a fenced yard so she lives on the farm.  Rory is the other dog.  These little dogs LOVE Grace, especially Stella.  And Grace loves them!  They are small enough that they can actually play with Grace without hurting or intimidating her.  Grace is scared of large dogs, especially really active ones because they are at eye-level with her and they always want to lick her face and inevitably she falls down and feels vulnerable.  It's just not good.  But she has a blast playing with Stella.  And Stella serves a double purpose of eating up all the food Grace has thrown on the floor! (see item number 2)

Me and my main squeeze, Stella, pre-hubby and baby.

Professional portraits.  I have never really liked these, and for my wedding I even said that I didn't want any posed pictures, I wanted them to all be candids.  Well, after about three months of trying to get a good picture of my little sack of potatoes, I began to see the benefit of professional portraits.  We had a set of family pics done last April, got married in October and had more professional pics done, and then did 1-year-old pics in December, and just now did another set of family pictures.  They are WONDERFUL, and when you see the pictures hanging on my walls, they aren't the ones I took.  Those go in a scrapbook.  The ones "suitable for framing" are the professional pics that I used to think were too posed and a waste of money!

Good thing I finally realized the value in posed pictures, eh?

No. 9
Food you can eat with no silverware & no mess.  This include cheerios, cereal bars (sometimes messy), english muffins, bread, graham crackers, animal cookies, fruit snacks, wheat thins, etc.  These items are absolutely priceless, in my book, and you can always find them in my cupboards!

And last but certainly not least, the Number 10 Thing I Appreciate More Now That I'm a Mom:
Mommy Blogs!  I had a blog a while back about my adventures with my horses, and I mostly read other horse blogs.  Almost two years later, I decided to look in to the Mommy Blogger community and I have easily found other women sharing my same first-time mom experiences!  Of course, I also read plenty of blogs of gals who are not first-time moms.  But the point is, I always felt like when you have a child, you become a member of this unspoken club...only, with the blogs, it's a spoken club! 

-Grace's Mom

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wine-O Wednesday: 36 Red from Chandler Reach

This is a very exciting day.  This is the day I write my VERY FIRST Wine-O Wednesday post!

What exactly is Wine-O Wednesday?  Whatever I feel like, gosh!  (Yes, I still think it's funny to quote Napoleon Dynamite.)

I mentioned here that I thought it would be cool to experience a little more of the Columbia Valley (since I live here and all!) and then, in my own private mind, I decided a good way to force myself to do this would be to create a weekly segment on my blog where I write about it!  And Lord knows I don't want to disappoint my adoring fans!

So that's my plan.

Now, here's the thing:  I don't know very much about wine.  And I won't pretend to.  Maybe this can be a fun thing where we learn together?

Anyway, on with the show.

This week, I wanted to write a little bit about a wine called 36 Red.  It comes from a winery called Chandler Reach.  Chandler Reach is a very cool winery.  They spared no expense in their details and design!  And the location is great.  This post card really is a picture of how the winery is situated - overlooking the valley and vineyard.  The colors of have been touched up, but there are days when you would drive by this winery and see the valley looking exactly like this!

At Chandler Reach, I picked up my handy-dandy copy of Grown to Greatness, Your Guide to Yakima Valley Wine Country - the Soul of Washington Wine.

[Side note:  The artwork for this guidebook won an Addy at our local advertising federation club meeting!  Very cool honor.]

Grown to Greatness Excerpt:
Chandler Reach
Our warm, northern-sloped vineyard produces premium-quality Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Graced with excellent "terrior," our winery is dedicated to crafting wines that represent this gift.  Come visit our "Italian Villa" style tasting room for a true wine experience.
I bought a couple of bottles of wine there, but the one I wanted to focus on was the 36 Red.

I am NOT a red wine drinker.  However, on my last wine-tasting excursion, it seemed that most of the wineries we visited had mostly red wines.  I'm not a girl who turns down a glass of wine, regardless of what's in the glass, so...when in Rome!

The 36 Red is a "table wine" which essentially means that this wine is suitable to be consumed with just about any meal.  The term "table wine" can also mean that the wine isn't fortified (?) or sparkling, and I also discovered that the "table wine" standard is that it must contain between 7% and 14% alcohol, by U.S. standards.

See?  We're learning already!

The professional description of the 36 Red (from the Chandler Reach website) reads:
This Cabernet/Merlot blend is an easy drinker by itself or a wonderful accompaniment to simple fare. Fruit-forward and plush, with a lip-smacking finish that belies its humble beginnings. Tasty!
Now, my unprofessional description would be:
This wine is a great bridge for a white-wine drinker to the rich and robust world of red wines.  Light and flavorful, the 36 Red does not overwhelm with any one taste, but is a safe blend that compliements food nicely.  A high point:  The finish.  No kick or bite, but just a smooth aftertaste that makes you instantly want another taste!  Drinkers beware!
That description probably took me 15 minutes to write...haha!

I had some girlfriends over and we cracked open my bottle of 36 Red.  I fried up some toasted ravioli, one girlfriend brought a cheese tray and another brought some purple grapes.  I also broke out the garlic crackers that I purchased at Chandler Reach.  We had quite the feast with our delicious wine, great finger foods and plenty of laughs!

I am already excited for next week's post, where maybe I will look in to what the devil a "fortified" wine is!

-Grace's Mom

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Addition: Meet "Boo."

Last week, we added a new member to our family.

Her name is Boo.

She has been going by Missi Mouse for the last couple of months, but Gracie isn't even close to being able to say that...so Gracie named her new kitty Boo.  Fitting, since she is an all-black cat.  And she has one green eye and one brown eye.  I can't quite tell if she is blind in her brown eye - when we get her "fixed" we'll have them check it out.

This was the hardest picture EVER to get!  She was very fascinated with my Blackberry, and wanted to rub on it/me and be petted!

Boo is very sweet.  She arrived on my parent's farm late last Fall, along with a few siblings.  Two of the siblings have not made it to their first birthday - farm life is rough.  One of the kittens was actually severely injured when thrown out of a car on to our property.  Can you believe people do this?  Anyway, my mother, being the very caring animal lover that she is, took this poor kitten to the vet and had them do all kinds of tests and x-rays.  She spent a good chunk of money.  Unfortunately, the injuries were too extensive and my mom made the decision to put the little kitten down.

My mom then took up with another little kitten that she called Spooky.  But once Spooky got brave, she ventured out on to the road, and was hit by a car.

So then there was Boo.  Boo was very friendly, and got especially friendly with some male kitty about 2-3 months ago...this week she ventured on to our back porch, and when the dogs were let out of the house, they went after her.  She's not as quick with a litter of kittens in her tummy, and they caught her.  My dad managed to help Boo hide in the bar-be-que stand, and he wheeled it out of the fence so she could get away.  One of the smaller dogs got out of the fence and proceeded to chase Boo in to the garage.  It was all very traumatic.

My mom was telling me about this incident at lunch on Tuesday, and I said, "Screw it.  I'll take her."  Or something like that.

I have been resistant to getting a cat because I care about them and want them to be safe, but I don't like having cat hair in my house or on my things.  However, last weekend my hubby and I cleaned out our garage and got it all organized, and I realized that I could have a cat and she could stay in there, and then gradually start moving in to the house.

So that is what we are doing.  Boo's food, bed, and litter box are all in the garage.  She will be in there whenever we are not home or cannot supervise her.  I realize this isn't completely ideal for a cat, but it's for her own good, especially until she has the kittens.  Plus, she's one of those cats who really just wants to be a lap cat.  I think she'll be fine with the arrangement.

The first night was a little stressful for poor little Boo.  She tried to escape the dog kennel I had her in, and got stuck half way.  Then she hid under my bed for a little while.  Then I moved her in the garage and she got a good meal, then hid behind the water heater.  I had some laundry to finish up, and you know how sometimes the clothes in the washer get clumped together and the washer gets really loud?  Well, that happened and I thought Boo was probably having a heart attack...or maybe going in to early labor.

The next day my mom stopped by to check on Boo, and she said that when she opened the door, Boo came out of the little bed that I made for her!  She said that Boo had already used the litter box (pretty darn good for a barn cat!) and that she ate the dry food my mom put out for her.  I'm really thinking Boo is going to be a good addition to our family.

Now, in the case of the kittens...well, anyone want one?

Gracie is absolutely bonkers for cats.  My mom's indoor cat is not a huge fan of the baby, but Boo not only tolerates Gracie and her squeals of excitement whenever she sees a kitty, but I think Boo actually likes it.  I can't imagine how excited Gracie is going to be when the kittens get here.  That's how we got the hubby to sign off on this whole thing - "Honey, just think how excited Gracie will be to have a kitty of her own!"  That was it.  He couldn't say no.  He says no to me all the time, but not to his little girl.

Doing my best to photograph an all-black cat.  Hardest subject ever!

Stay tuned, I'm sure there are to be many adventures of Grace and Boo!  Wouldn't that be the cutest children's book ever?!

-Grace's Mom

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's here.

Okay, so I haven't really posted about this much, because I didn't want to jinx it, but I finally get to cross something off my Wish List!

I will now share with you the pictures that tell the story.

What's this?  A box for moi?


Does anyone else hear angels singing something gloriously wonderful?!?

It's in my hand!  It's in MY HAND!

Even the instruction book is fun.

Powering up!

This might possibly be the worst picture ever.  I love ya, Blackberry, but sometimes you really let me down.  But, every time you turn off the Kindle, it puts up a really cool picture.  This one was my favorite, so far.

I would like to thank my darling hubby, for totally coming through for my birthday.  I would like to thank Amazon, for being sneaky little devils and telling me my Kindle would be here between April 3 and April 8, but actually delivering it on April 1.  And I would like to thank peer pressure, for making me feel like a nobody because I didn't have the latest, hottest gadget.  I realize my Kindle will be technologically obsolete in a matter of months...but I don't care.  I am cool this week.

And what do you think the first book I uploaded via Whispernet (cool name, eh?) to my Kindle was?

What can I say?  I love me some Tori Spelling!

I know, I know.  Not the most thought-provoking book out there...but I don't read to get smarter.  I'm already perfectly brilliant.  I read for entertainment, and let me tell you, this family is entertaining!  Don't be jealous.

My pink silicone case and travel pack will be here soon...can't wait!