Friday, November 25, 2005

A Few Explanations

Explanation of a Sunset

John and I got home from the hardware store and Safeway just as sunset started to fade. I carried in the three bags o' stuff, ran into my office for my camera, and pushed past John, who was standing in my way, complaining, to get outside before it all faded. It was already too late, really, but here's the best of what I got.

The first shot looks out onto Wilmot, and the second was taken in front of my house. I then walked to the end of the block in the other direction, as the colors started to fade from the sky. What I saw when I got there was barely worth photographing.

The third I took as I returned from my little walk. There was almost no color left in the sky by then, and what there was lurked between houses, a tiny patch of orange. But I kind of liked the gray wisps of dusky cloud that superceded the orange and purple ones.

An Explanation About Disneyland

A number of people commented about Disneyland after my last entry. Since some of you seem to be unaware of my abiding interest in the place, I think perhaps an explanation is in order.

I grew up in Manlius, NY, a very, very long way from Disneyland. Walt Disney World did not exist yet. I'd never been west of Colorado and Wisconsin, having been to those two states when I was three years old. (Yes, I do remember the Yellowstone trip, a little bit; but I think they're memories of memories rather than anything definite.) But I did watch Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, a show that promoted The Happiest Place on Earth every week. So when my parents went to California without Steve and me in 1968, I was terribly jealous.

My dad was in California to speak at a conference on continuing education, but he and Mom also got to Disneyland while they were out there. I know this because they brought me back a map of the place. I remember that the map was brown. I displayed it on my bedroom wall for years afterward. My favorite thing on it was the Carousel of Progress. I had actually seen that attraction, back at the New York World's Fair, and loved it. I longed to see it again, and was delighted that Disneyland had it.

It's long gone now, of course. Here is the building it was in:

And here is a banner on the front of that same building, commemorating that bygone attraction, as part of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. It was one of many banners celebrating the Tomorrowland-That-Was, or, I should say, the Tomorrowlands That Were. This area of Disneyland has been changed more than any other over the years, as Imagineers tried to stay ahead of reality. (The original Tomorrowland looked ahead to 1986!) For 1998 they gave up, and did a rather ugly retro-future instead.

How do I know all this? Simple. I'm a fan of Disneyland. No, I didn't get there on that family trip Out West when I was three, or with my parents in 1968, or even in 1972, when my mom decided to take us to Europe instead of Califonia with her saved-up earnings. (Just as well, really.) But I've been there lots of times since then, starting around 1977 or 1978.

The first Disney park I finally got to was Walt Disney World, in 1976. That was the year of my parents' divorce. My mom moved to Cape Canaveral (and then to Satellite Beach, and eventually to Melbourne). I went with her for the summer. WDW was only an hour away on the Bee Line, a toll road that gets a little scary during torrential downpours. But on that first trip there was very little rain. I loved the Magic Kingdom immensely. I did my best to visit Walt Disney World on every trip to my mom's after that. In 1986, John and I bought a five day pass, and photographed the same Magic Kingdom and Epcot attractions over and over with different kinds of film.

I finally got to Disneyland - I think! - during my mom's brief residence in San Bernardino in the late 1970s. My next trip to Disneyland was with John in 1986, as we drove around the country, on and off Route 66. We saw Chubby Checker perform in the Fantasyland Theater. I visited Disneyland again as a travel agent in 1988, as part of Anaheim Tag Days. I also went there with the twins and Tommy in the mid-1990s. Beyond that, the roster of Disneyland trips is a little fuzzy. John and I definitely got there in 1998, for the grand reopening of the badly-redesigned Tomorrowland; and again to celebrate the fake millenium on January 1st, 2000; yet again for the 4th of July, 2003; and most recently this past Labor Day. Here is how the place looked in September:

Now we want to go for Christmas. This has nothing to do with chidren (we have none), and everything to do with us. John's been going to Disneyland since 1959 or 1960. He loves the whole history and nostalgia of the place, and so do I, along with all the cool effects of a Space Mountain or an Indiana Jones Adventure. Even the effects of the older rides can be wonderful.

The Internet is full of info about Disneyland, not just the official site and tour companies, but also fans sites such as Mice Age, Yesterland, Mouse Planet and so on. There are even sites dedicated to individual attractions. I don't get to any of them very often, but John does. So we know that this is the final year of the Christmas redress of the Haunted Mansion, titled Haunted Mansion Holiday, starring Jack Skellington of The Nightmare Before Christmas. We haven't seen it before, so this is our last chance. There's also a Santa-themed area where the ranch / petting zoo was, and the alternative nighttime version of Space Mountain should be running by now. So even though we were just there in September, there are new things we want to see - and this is the time to do it.

An Explanation About Blog-Related Sites

I wasted most of today blogging, instead of working on the first novel's final edit as I'd planned. I set up my profile on BlogExplosion, claimed Outpost on BlogShares, read comments, edited and uploaded photos (which failed, a couple of times), tweaked my template yet again, wrote two entries, and surfed with BlogExplosion. What is BlogExplosion, you ask? It's one of several sites that rewards you for looking at other people's blogs by sending other people to yours. A timer counts down the thirty seconds minimum time you have to spend on each blog, but you can stay longer if something interests you. Two viewings earns one visit to your blog by someone else. Most people barely glance, and click away as soon as they can, but there's always a chance that you'll find a new reader this way. It also exposes you to the larger blogosphere, so you can see what's out there and what the possibilities are. Sure is time-consuming, though.

BlogShares is a little weirder than that. It treats blogs as stocks, which you buy and sell using Blogdollars. The values go up and down based on the buying and selling of shares, and on the number of links to and from each blog. The bad news is that the site mostly ignores LiveJournal, and only covers AOL Journals if you specifically direct them to the journal for a listing. The good news is that Blogspot blogs get on there automatically. When I visited today, for the first time in three months, Outpost Mâvarin was already there. The word Mâvarin was mangled, with a character glitch worthy of AOL, but at least it was listed.

Enough. It's 10:43 PM, and I've barely accomplished anything today that didn't involve blogging. I'll talk to you later.


P.S. Patrick had an outstanding entry today, answering a set of questions about AOL "deserters." Read it. The underlying assumption in the questions was that high-profile bloggers who left AOL somehow betrayed and hurt the people left behind. Here we go again!


Chris said...

We have Disneyland passes and go all the time, enough so That someone commented on a picture I had posted stating that I sure must like Disneyland because I seem to go a lot. Well yeah, with passes we do! I was there on the Weds before Labor Day and then I don't go back until about October when it's (supposed to be!) cooler. We were there last Friday and it was too windy for them to do the fireworks and we're going again this Friday as well. We pretty much go once a week. So I know your love of Disneyland. Being born and raised here, Disneyland is in my blood! It is beautiful right now for Christmas. It's our favorite time of year to go. I hope you make it out here!

Gaboatman said...

Watching The Wonderful World of Walt Disney growing up, i always wanted to go to Disneyland, too. The first park I got to was Disney World in 1979. My love of all things Disney is almost as passionate as yours. I hope you two make the trip as planned this Christmas. Christmas as Disney World was absoluetly magical that one time I made it there at Christmas. Take care!

Shelly said...

A few additions to your excellent entry. BlogExplosion lets you blogmark, or bookmark sites you like as you surf, so you can revisit them later at your leisure. It also has contests and games. And you can win mystery credits that earn you more hits.

I've found many blogs I now read regularly through BE and my blogs earned a few regular readers that way, too.

I never could get into Blogshares, tho.

I did get to Disneyland, and Universal Studios for the first time in Dec. 1969 when we went out to CA for my cousin's bar mitzvah. It was kind of cold and nasty that time of year, but we had lots of fun. I was 16. I've been back a couple of times since, and to Disney World and Universal in FL a couple of times, too.

maryanne said...

Darn! This is my second attempt to post!

You must have the same exposure that I do because I also see the sunsets from the front of the house. I like having the afternnon sun in the pool, too, so I wouldn't change it.

I'll always enjoy Disney, though never to the same extent as when the kids were young.

I read Pat's article and it was very good. I am going to add a comment from the "Other Side" as soon as I finish deleting my 999 email alerts!

Sheesh. What is wrong with me?


Madmanadhd said...

Personally I love the series of sunrise shots... speaks volumes of enjoying the beauty and wonders of life else they fade away, never to be recaptured again. Like a lost love, a friend we never contacted after a silly fight, a loved one we never told we loved.

My love and I were in Anehiem last November and spent a few days at Disney Downtown. We were broke and couldn't afford the passes into Disney, so we hung on the edge like refugees unable to come back home. But we brought our snacks and sandwiches to Downtown Disney and enjoyed all the free entertainment and people watched. A blast.

Steven said...

Blogshares is a trip. I lost interest around the time Journals appeared, I played it nightly through spring and summer of 2003. It's a complex game, but the blog industries are a great resource for finding new reading.

Nice photos :-)