Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 1199: Looking Up

Before coming to college, I'm sure I heard time and time again that junior year would be the hardest, and the comments from the upperclassmen that have surrounded me since day one only perpetuated that thought...but I'm pretty sure I didn't believe theme. Now here I am, about to say exactly what they told me: junior year is the most difficult year of college.

On a fundamental level, you usually have some of your toughest classes, and you have more of them during your junior year than you probably do any other year (I took an average of 18-19 credits/semester my first two years, and an average of 22 my junior year). Suddenly you're not only involved in student orgs, but you're helping run them, and thanks to all the college debt you've racked up, you now have two jobs instead of just one. Meanwhile, you're looking to the future, and instead of doing your homework for those 22 credits of class, you sit in your bed pondering if you actually picked the right major or if all your hard work is about to amount to nothing pretty quickly. It's a constant struggle, wondering where all this time to get things done is supposed to come from, even if you know very well that a lot of it was taken up by watching Netflix.

My junior year has been a bit different, and it's definitely been more stressful than anticipated. At the moment, it's mostly about taking things day by day: making sure I get up on time, finishing the dishes before I go to bed, double checking to make sure that the meeting I thought I had doesn't actually exist, and so on and so forth. It's almost as though for months I've simply been floating through the semester like a ghost, and it's an odd feeling that certainly doesn't help keep the blog updated.

But things are looking up. After our housing fiasco at the beginning of 2016, we're excited to have secured the apartment we want not only for the next school year, but for the summer as well, and in addition, after days of extra emails, requests, and confusion, my class schedule for next fall is also finalized, meaning that I have very little to worry about in the upcoming days. Alright, so that's a lie.

The end of the semester is nearing, and with it, I'm growing extra close to my next Disney vacation and having to move...again...from one apartment to another. With that Disney vacation comes new videos that have to be ready to filmed while in Florida, and each of those requires writing and research. Then there's the fact that Everyday Disney is still seriously far behind, and trust me, it's on my mind more than you might think. My attempt to find balance in my life is a slow process, and while it's going somewhat well, my blogging definitely gets the short straw, per usual.

But today I had Mickey Waffles, and that makes up for everything.

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Day 1198: Collect Me

A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, I shared my Spaceship Earth collection with all of you. Of course, that post was written what seems like ages ago, and believe it or not, my Spaceship Earth collection has grown considerably since August of 2013 (this really should surprise no one).

However, I've come to the realization that collecting Spaceship Earth items isn't the most common of collections. I also, like many of my fellow Disney fans, collect pins and mugs and Tsum Tsums and who knows what else (Star Wars merch is definitely up there too), but the shelf reserved just for Spaceship Earth tends to give people pause. And when I say shelf, I really mean shelf...

While I've bought a good part of the collection myself recently, a bunch of it was actually unearthed from the depths of my home, such as the Spaceship Earth waterbottle or the Spaceship Earth picture frame (and we still can't leave out the chocolate Spaceship Earth that has an honorary spot in the collection). 

You can go and read the original collection post from a few years ago HERE, but to find out all about every item in my Spaceship Earth Collection, check out my latest YouTube video! 

Have a magical day! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Day 1186: Last Cup of T

Every good thing, apparently, must come to an end. I'm not entirely sure that a year ago I even knew what the Mad T Party was, but now, as I watch some of the videos from the final evening of wonderful music and Disney magic, I can't help but feel so connected to this show.

For those of you that might not know, the Mad T Party was a presentation of live music at Disney California Adventure inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and last night was the final performance before Mad T, once again, disappears from the park. It's gone before, and come back thanks to the wonderful fanbase that I've been so fortunate to be a part of, even if I've only really seen the show once (or twice, but not the entire thing). I hadn't anticipated how much I'd end up really enjoying every second of screaming at the top of my lungs and loosing all ability to hear after a four hours of sitting by the stage, but it's always been connected with my friend Laura, and it's definitely one of my favorite parts of my Disneyland trip last August. Even now, when one of the songs comes on the radio, I jam out a bit more than I do to any other song.

I know for a fact that the Mad T Party was a family, and in the months since I saw Mad T Party for myself I've seen time and time again the absolute hospitality and love that that family is made up of. It's refreshing to see - a group of people who are so supportive of these musicians and musicians that encourage and inspire the fans time and time again. Mad T Party was a very real positive in a far too often negative world, and that's just one of the reasons I know that this show will be so very missed by so many people, myself included.

If you need me, I'll just be here rewatching video from August that has more of my terrible singing in the background than the musicians themselves.

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Day 1185: Trump, Trump, Trump

I never in a million years thought that I'd be getting up at 7 in the morning so I could go stand in line for two hours to see Donald Trump, but that's exactly what happened this morning, and honestly, it was kind of fun!

I should probably tell you that less than 48 hours ago, my college campus was informed that Trump would be making a campaign stop at our school, specifically in the form of a town hall the would take place smack dab in the middle of the music building, where I have all of my Wednesday classes. As you can imagine, the stop messed up my music classes, but my friend Brian and I were lucky enough to just make it in the door before they closed it off. I took the below picture as we got closer to the door (which was teemed with secret service, metal detectors, and TSA), but even where we were standing (about a 1/4 of the way through the line), we were some of the last to get inside. The other thousand or so people behind us weren't so fortunate.

This isn't the first time a presidential candidate has visited our campus, as Hilary Clinton was here a few years ago, and Michelle Obama has visited as well, but Trump made for an extremely interesting experience for all. While there were only about 800 people in the auditorium and the event itself, there were also the people who didn't get in, those watching from home or on TV, and then a whole line of protesters, including some of my fellow SNC students who participated in an extremely well done silent protest. We're all pretty proud of the way the campus has dealt with the situation despite the fact that the large majority of us don't align with his views.

As I'm sure you can imagine, I'm not about to endorse Trump (I prefer to stay out of politics as much as possible online, the same way I do with religion. Life is easier that way), but we couldn't really pass up the opportunity to attend an event like this. Not only did we get a chance to lay our own eyes on Trump himself, but we got to hear him speak about success (which actually made some small resemblance of sense) and experience a real political press conference. A good chunk of the theater was absolutely filled with media, and the constant click of cameras reminded us more than a few times that the man in front of us is one of the most talked about people in the world right now.

We did end up standing rather than sitting, meaning that we stood in line outside for about an hour and half and then for almost two hours inside before Trump finally appeared. He proceeded to talk for roughly an hour, so by the end of the entire thing we were more than ready to sit down for jazz band afterwards. 

The thought didn't occur to me until I was pulling up blogger to write this post though - this visit sort of reminded me of Disney, but not in the way you might think. Despite the fact that some of the music leading up to Trump's speech reminded me of Epcot (I even commented on it to Brian) and I realized that if Trump wins he'll be in the Hall of Presidents (and wouldn't that be interesting), it was actually the media coverage that got me thinking. My college has been the top trend on Facebook for a good part of the afternoon, and it hasn't entirely set in that I just attended a historic event that could actually make an impact on both the country we live in and the world as a whole. That's actually pretty awesome, but it also reminded me of the fact that I've actually had the chance to do some really spectacular things in my life. The cameras hardly phased me, seemingly natural for someone who has, in the past year, attended the D23 Expo, started making regular YouTube videos, and attended a film festival to see the world premiere of a movie. I wouldn't have had those opportunities without Disney, and I'm so excited to see what the next few years have to offer as well. 

The town hall with Trump this morning seemed very small in comparison, but I'm absolutely glad I had an opportunity to attend. As I said once already, I do not endorse Trump in any way, but I do think that it's extremely important to seek out and invest in experiences like this. Even if you don't agree with the views of a particular candidate, it is important to showcase hospitality to everyone you meet, and that's exactly what St. Norbert College did this morning. We may not agree with what was said, but my fellow students and everyone around me was so accommodating and welcoming to the generous and kind members of Trump's campaign crew. I am looking forward to not having to walk through secret service to get to class over the next few days, but all in all, I'm sort of glad that Trump decided to stop here. It woke so many of us up to the world of politics, began meaningful discussions across campus, and was a worthwhile experience. 

Have a magical day! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 1184: Readjusting to Life

It's been about two months now since I made the decision to move to a new apartment and drastically change my life forever, and looking back at the past three months, it's obvious that I was challenged in ways that I never thought possible. That's just the bad news though, because the good news is that no matter how difficult it all seemed, I know I've been changed for the better.

For those of you that were around at the very beginning of the year, you'll know that I really wasn't doing too well. The first blog post of 2016 really outlines where my emotions were at, and those feelings continued to go on for the majority of January, even through a trip to Florida with Frank and my Mom. Since then it's felt like one blow after another, but regardless I'm happier than I think I have been at any point in college, and I thought that it was probably about time to give you a complete update on what that means.

The blog post detailing our new apartment isn't up yet (those other blows have really put me behind on blogging, but I'm slowly catching up), but we love living here a ridiculous amount, even if the building is scheduled to be torn down at the end of the year. We have another roommate, Erin, who we love and get along with super well. The corn in the picture above is part of a real meal, which I made myself for dinner, and is absolutely something that wouldn't have happened last semester. Eating healthier means I feel healthier, and that means I'm happier too.

While unfortunately I lost some friends over the past few months, my experiences have also brought me closer to new friends, and oddly enough, they're mostly people that have surrounded me for years. The best part though? They absolutely accept me for the really weird person that I obviously am. I think I've spent more time in the past two months in other dorms and trying new things that I ever have before, and even if I had to go through hell to make it to those experiences, I'm pretty grateful. I love and adore the people that I'm surrounded by now (not to say that I didn't love and adore those that I have lost, because I did, very much), and I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that a smile on my face is once again a feature in my everyday life.

And, of course, as you already know, I'm looking forward to my next Disney trips! I've already introduced my "Choose My Adventure" idea, but here's a video on it as well that explains a bit more:

Videos and blog posts have definitely been spotty over the last few months, but even as I approach the end of the semester, I'm making an effort to keep on top of things as best I can and catch up on what I've missed. My goal is write at least two blog posts a day (one for the current date and then one other), which allows for all of you to read through at a more normal rate, and allows me to have enough time and energy to spend on each individual post. YouTube videos will continue to go up on Tuesdays with the possibility of a few surprise videos here and there! 

Overall though, I can't express how thankful I am for all of your support. Previous to the last number of months I thought I knew what suffering and pain felt like, but the challenges that were thrown my way were never something I could have anticipated or prepared for, but I'm so much happier now that I'm not sure it even matters anymore. Rafiki once said that we have to put the past behind us, and I think that now, finally, after a lot of thought, I'm ready to do just that, and start readjusting to the new life I'm building for myself as we speak. 

Have a magical day! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day 1179: Appointment at Noon

Welcome to Wisconsin, where it can officially be Spring and Easter can be in a couple of days, but there's a blizzard outside your window...again. 

To be fair, it wasn't that much of a blizzard, at least not by me. I've spent the majority of my "spring break" holed up in my apartment at college, mostly because the internet is better and it's drastically quieter than everywhere else. After spending a couple of days in the apartment alone, both my roommates popped in and we ended up riding out the storm together...if it can even really be called a storm by Wisconsin standards. It doesn't mean that those of us here aren't incredibly jealous of our friends off in Florida, but still. 

The nice thing about a snowstorm though? You don't have to go anywhere. You literally pretty much have to stay inside, or you can at least use it as an excuse to stay inside, which means you have plenty of time to work on everything that you've been procrastinating on for days...and time to make Mickey waffles. It occurred to me today that I post more pictures of sushi and Mickey Waffles than any other food though, so there's something to think about. 

In case you were wondering what a snowstorm in Wisconsin in March looks like, I've got you covered there too. I somehow remembered that taking a "before" picture might be a good idea, and since I like right on the river, things worked out pretty well for me: 

That picture represents exactly 24 hours folks. Like I said, welcome to Wisconsin. 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Day 1178: Bored Beyond Comprehension

Spring break is a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, having an entire week off to do pretty much whatever your heart desires is great. You could travel to Florida (like everyone and their brother it seems), or to some other far off place. There's time to catch up on the numerous things you're behind on because school literally takes over your life. There's time to plan for Disney vacations, and watch movies, and even be sick (I fought off a cold with everything I had and won). But after a few days of basking in the freedom, you kind of start to miss your friends if you're far away from them and you definitely start to get bored.

Usually, my breaks are so filled with things going on that I hardly notice a break happened. That's how much of J-Term was for me this year, how fall break goes, last spring break, and everything in between. There's always so much to do that a real break hardly seems possible. But now, only half way through my spring break where I have actually very little going on, I'm so absolutely bored that there's no way to describe how much I want it to be next Monday when everyone comes back and we go back to the regular routine.

I got so bored that I actually color coded my box of crayons. That's where I'm at in life.

This is not to say that there aren't other things I should be doing. Unfortunately, because of the snow, my go-to activity of practicing is sort of off the table, and you can only sit in front of your computer screen for so long before blogging and composing and watching Netflix all seems like a terrible idea. Actually, I feel sort of like Baymax, needing a recharge every so often, but there's no in-between here. Either I have a ton of time on my hands to the point where doing the same thing for hours gets tiring or I have no time on my hands and I wish I could find a chance to sit down and write a blog post.

Finding that balance is a key goal in my life right now as I continue to adjust to, quite literally, life-altering events that force me to rethink everything. And maybe, just maybe, I should be looking to what I already do know for sure as a key to how to go forward. This could get really philosophical, like how on Splash Mountain there are a series of drops, and you're always waiting for the big one, but the first time you go on it you never quite know if the drop you're about to go down is the big one or not. Life is like that too, full of big and little drops, but you never quite know how tall they are until you're at the bottom. They can be scary, but they can also be exciting, and they can most certainly get messy. If that's not a metaphor for life, I don't know what is.

And that's just a taste of the weird thoughts that have come to mind amidst hours of boredom.

Have a magical day!