Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 875: So Inspiring

I don't think I truly understood the importance of Memorial Day until two years ago, during my senior year of high school. The blog post I wrote that day was short, and you can read it HERE, but it's still absolutely true. On this Memorial Day I happened to think back to that day, which is probably one of the most memorable days of my life. I even wrote about it in my memoir at the end of my senior year, talking about how it would be pictured as a scene in a movie, simply because that was the only way to describe how it felt.

Our High School Band has a long tradition of performing in both the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony in our little city, something I participated in for 7 years, both as a Middle Schooler and High Schooler, and now for the last two years as an alumni volunteer. Why am I always there, helping with uniforms and carrying a banner and filming the band? Well, for one, my Mom is in charge or the uniforms so it kind of comes with living in this house, and secondly I am a music major, so it definitely makes sense. But beyond that, helping on Memorial Day is important to me because of that realization I had two years ago, and it's certainly a realization and appreciation that has come with a little help from Disney.

But first let me tell you a story. It's not a terribly interesting story, but I do believe it helps get the point across here. Back when I was in Middle School, I honestly didn't like marching in the Memorial Day Parade. It took a lot of effort, keeping people in line and everything that came along with it. It meant getting up early on my day off to go and march down the street with my instrument. Everyone else got to sleep in or have the entire day off of school but no, my friends and I had to be downtown at 8 in the morning, ready for the parade. When I reached High School, it meant getting into our terrible uniforms and marching in the heat. Still on our day off, only now it was also now unbearably hot. Wonderful. I lived that way until my senior year, when I stood at the top of my ladder as drum major and looked around to see how many people it was really impacting. Sure, I had to pay attention to directing, but as members of the service stood during our performance of Armed Forces Salute, including the five main service themes, I couldn't help but glance at the crowd. We were making so many happy, just by being there and taking part in the service. Of course, at that point I'd already decided to pursue music in college, so I have a greater appreciation for music in elements like this already, but something still clicked in my head.

And that's why I still go back and volunteer for the band, even if it means getting up at 7 in the morning to be on time. The band has provided me with countless opportunities that I'll forever be grateful for, and Memorial Day is one of the moments the band has a chance to give back to the community that supports them. And if I learned anything in my time as Drum Major and President of that band, it's that a marching band is nothing without support from the community.

There was one other thing that came to mind as I sat in this year's Memorial Day Ceremony, however: a quote from John Steinbeck. "We now face the danger, which in the past has been the most destructive to the humans: success, plenty, comfort and ever-increasing leisure. No dynamic people has ever survives these dangers."

I like to remember that quote, which you may recognize from The American Adventure at Epcot, when I feel like I'm pretty successful in whatever I'm doing. Yes, I may find success, but with that comes the danger that I will forget where I come from and push the important things aside. I could have a leisurely day at home instead of running around leading a drum line through a high school hallway, resulting in some hearing loss, but what would the fun in that be? And more importantly, is that really the right way to honor those who have served our country and made my success possible?

Oh, and just for old times sake, here's an old picture of me from my senior year in band. As you can see, I was really photogenic.

Have a magical day!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day 874: Anything Is Possible

The beginning of the summer for a college student comes with all kinds of new possibilities. You suddenly have tons of free time (at least in comparison to the amount of time you usually have to spend doing homework or going to class), and at least in my experience, you have so many things you want to do that you can't figure out what to do first. This summer is no different, and if the fact that I'm currently typing this on my mom's iPad because she left it sitting on the table on our deck as we discuss new paint options for said deck has anything to say about how I'm kicking my summer off, then I would say things are going pretty well.

This summer is filled with tons of new adventures, Florida and California included, but that's not all I have to look forward to. I actually have gotten a great start on several of the projects I want to accomplish over the next few months, including a bucket list that seems to grow longer by the day. Oh yes, that bucket list is getting full, and as a matter of fact, there's several items on that list that are very Disney inspired!

For instance, and you may or may not see these items later in the summer, we've got fly a kite and sidewalk chalk art and feed the birds all on the list. Pretty Mary Poppins inspired, huh? And then there's a whole list inspired by the Disney Princesses, like read a book for Belle or paint a picture for Rapunzel, not to mention the gumbo for Tiana.

But that's not all the Disney inspired things I have ready for the summer. Oh no. There's plenty more to come. And while I'd really like to continue telling you about it all, mom's looking to have her iPad back, so I suppose I should comply. Either way, this summer is sure to be interesting and boy am I ready to experience everything it has to offer!

Have a magical day!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 873: Tomorrowland

Well, I finally got to see a Disney Movie NOT three months after it came out! Impressive, right? What's even more impressive is I saw it OPENING DAY, and I definitely have a few thoughts on Tomorrowland that I'm ready to share! To be honest, I was really skeptical of this movie, and I sat in the theater confused for the majority of the two hours I was there. But that doesn't mean I didn't love it, and while I'll be sure not to reveal any spoilers, here's a short recap of what I loved and what I didn't:

What I Loved: Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow! 

I absolutely adored that the film started out with "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" from the Carousel of Progress. It was this little bit of nostalgia to kick things off, and from there it just got better. From the fact that it begins at the 1964-65 World's Fair to the inclusion of a very familiar attraction, I had to control my flailing around.

What I Loved A Bit Less: The Confusion

As I mentioned a minute ago, I was very confused the majority of the film, although by the end I finally got the meaning. Then, all of a sudden, the point becomes clear, sort of like when they finally solve the case on Psych or something. I suppose that's how most movies are, but at the same time I felt more confused during this film than I have in a theater in quite some time. I think the same runs true for the trailer, which I got more questions about than I had answers. Going into the theater, I really had no clue what the film was about, aside from the fact that I knew that, as a Disney fan, this was one I needed to see.

What I Loved: Originality 

We definitely live in a world of sequels these days. Just look at the films coming out in the next few years, even just from Disney. There's very little original material, and Sequels bring in the most money. It's hard to go against that grain, so to see a film like Tomorrowland was sort of refreshing.

What I Loved A Bit Less: The Constant Movement

This kind of goes along with the confusion point, but there were just so many elements that you had to keep track of to understand the story. There's the pin, obviously, this hat, the robots, this other city, a bunch of different characters, multiple locations, and several plotlines that seemed, to me, only half there. Of course, this is in addition to the never ending action scenes that are so popular with audiences today, although I felt that many of them were appropriate considering the topic.

What I Loved: The Point

Regardless of how long it took to get there, the meaning of the film shines through like the beginning of a new day and boy, is it ever powerful. No Spoilers, but as a college student with two majors that often lead to difficult career paths, I found a lot of comfort in the end of the film, and the speech that's made about our society near the end? Brilliant and spot on.

Overall, I think I like Tomorrowland a little more with each passing day. When I first left the theater I felt a bit disappointed, but as I believe the film intended to do, as I examine the society around me, I understand where the film is coming from a bit more. With everything else aside, though, it does provide a great motivational tool for those of us who dream to do great things for more than money or popularity, because sometimes we just want to have a little bit of fun.

If you've seen Tomorrowland, let me know what you thought!

(Note: This blog post was written on May 24 due to computer issues).

Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 872: 24 Hours

Spend 24 Hours in a Disney Park?

I can't decide if the concept is brilliant or crazy, although I know I'd do it either way, regardless of how busy things might get. However, while many of my Disney friends were off having fun for 24 hours in the parks, was sitting at home, doing work, like I do any other day. My turn at Walt Disney World isn't that far off though, and neither is a shot at Disneyland, so I'll just live in the excitement of that instead, right?

But let's be honest here. Aside from the crazy that probably went on in the Disney Parks the other night, attending 24 Hour Day at Disney sounds pretty great, and it's something I hope to do in the future. It's like the ultimate challenge, right? 6 A.M. to 6 A.M. And here's a few reasons why I definitely wish I could have attended:

Photo Via Sarah Sterling
You might recognize these guys from a previous blog post, as they're the Thingamavlogs Crew! I've been following their adventures over the past few weeks, and they too headed out to the 24 Hour Event at Disneyland. Of course, they managed to provide me with a double reasoning as to why Disney 24 Hour Day would be a spectacular opportunity! One, you get to wear PJs and still look classy in the parks, certainly something you don't get to do every day, and you also get to spend the whole 24 hours with your best Disney friends!

But actually...can we talk about how great Keith's PJs are?

Photo Via Tom Bricker

Of course, this one is a huge bonus! Getting to see the sunrise from inside a Disney Park! I can't even imagine how awesome that would be, as I know I've seen my fair share of Sunsets and every single one of those has been amazing!

But most of all, the fact that, for 24 hours, you get to experience a Disney Park is pretty amazing. I can't wait to head to both coasts this summer, and while I won't have a Disney 24 Hour Day and I might not get to wear my PJs, I do know my experiences will be filled with friends, dancing, sunsets and lots and lots of magic.

For another fun look at Disney 24 Hour Day, here's a video from D23!

Which leaves us with just one question: Would you be willing to brace 24 Hour day? Let me know in the comments! 

Have a magical day!

(Note: This Blog Post was written on May 24 due to computer issues).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 871: A Few of my Favorite Things V6

It's been a while since I shared some of my favorite Disney things, but when I had a post idea in mind, I figured I would make the most out of it and add it to the collection, especially since it fit in perfectly. So here we are, exploring A Few of My Favorite Things That I Don't Yet Own!

Custom Minnie Ears: 

Vintage Minnie Ears from ShopHouseOfMouse

Spaceship Earth Minnie Ears from EarsComeTrue
I mentioned the other day that I'm definitely in love with the custom Minnie Ears you can now find all over Etsy, and I certainly have a few favorites so far as I debate which ones I might actually want to get. Currently these two are at the top of the list, but I'm also toying with the idea of making my own DIY Minnie Ears before my trip in a couple of weeks! 

Hand-Painted Toms:

Custom Hand-Painted Shoes By The Enchanted Brush
Time is ticking away until I finally decide to order a pair of hand-painted Toms from this wonderful Etsy shop. I discovered The Enchanted Brush through another Instagram Account (or five), and instantly fell in love. What you see above is only one example of the beautiful work from this shop, and while the shop is currently closed, I definitely look forward each day to seeing what new creations are in progress. Follow The Enchanted Brush on Instagram to see all of the amazing work and get updates on when you can get shoes of your own!

OUAT Captain Hook Necklace: 

Necklace from FanVictory
As a huge fan of Hook on Once Upon A Time, this is something that's been rolling around in my head since Christina Perri wore her own reproduction of the necklace in The Words Music Video. Then again, there's any number of great Once Upon A Time pieces out there, but since a friend of mine already has an Emma Swan necklace and Hook is more on my radar, I think this would be a perfect addition to my collection! 

Disneyland Decades Mug: 

Mug from Disney Parks

I think I've had this one on the blog before, but it's definitely worthy enough to share again. I love my Disney mugs, and it's going to be mighty difficult to narrow it down to which ones I want...especially since there are some Starbucks You Are Here Mugs with my name on them.

Of course, I'm sure I could go on for ages with different products I really want at the moment, but I'm a Disney fan, and if there's a struggle we all understand as Disnerds, it's the continuing struggle between our Disney Obsession and Paycheck. So much to get, so little to get it with, so for now I think I'll have to put off buying a few of these.

Then again...I do have a birthday coming up...

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on May 24 due to computer issues).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 870: Immortals

Because I'm absolutely a music major and definitely addicted to this song, I figured I would do a quick spotlight on one of my favorite songs at the moment: "Immotals" by Fall Out Boy. And you know what that means, time to listen while we chat!

I remember watching the trailer for Big Hero 6 and just loving the music, which is actually a completely different song ("Top of the World" by Greek Fire), but for some reason, "Immortals" has really stuck out to me over the past few weeks since seeing the film. 

And really, I think this is a theme we've seen with Disney over the past number of years. Whoever is behind choosing the music from pop culture to go into these films and trailers is doing a spot on job. I fall in love with just about every song they use, one of the huge reasons that I'm actually thrilled to see Paint the Night when I head to Disneyland in August. For those of you that don't know, the entire parade is based on the song Owl City recorded foe Wreck It Ralph, "When Can I See You Again." It happens to be one of my favorite songs, as Owl City is one of my favorite artists, so to have my worlds collide once again is pretty awesome. 

But until August, I'll be avoiding full recordings of Paint the Night and instead sit here and enjoy some more Fall Out Boy. 

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on May 24 due to computer issues).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day 869: A Different Computer

As I mentioned in the last blog post, I've had a few computer issues over the past week. Actually, a few doesn't even begin to describe it. HAL, my beloved laptop, is currently at a repair shop because otherwise it might just be the end of the line for him. He's been through a lot over the past couple of years and, at this point, I'm just tired of technical difficulties. However, that's part of the job description, right? And at this point I just hope to have him back in some form or another, because trying to work on three other computers, none of which actually belong to me, isn't really working out for me very well.

Coming back to the home desktop computer has been strange. I've been typing with this keyboard for hours now and I'm still not really used to it (although thankfully I've always been decent at keyboarding so it doesn't get to me too much), and the fact that my files are absolutely all over the place isn't exactly comforting.

I have, on the other hand, made things a little more homey, this time with a new background from the Disney Parks Blog:

Via The Disney Parks Blog
I had a few other backgrounds I considered, but once this one appeared on the blog, that was it for me. I'm in love with the color and the simplicity of it, perfect for a larger screen like my computer here at home. As for Captain Hook here, it looks like he'll just have to wait for HAL to come back from the shop to have more fun.

Via The Disney Parks Blog
What does this mean? Well, it does mean that I'm several days behind on Everyday Disney, even if I'm working on remedying that as we speak. It doesn't, however, slow me down too much. While it's absolutely frustrating to be without my own computer, I'm making the best of the situation, working on pre-production for several projects, all of which I'm thrilled that they're finally coming together, slowly but surely. You'll know the second I have my laptop back though...or rather, Twitter probably will, as yes, I still have my phone and will be around social media!

In other words, I'm not taking any sort of hiatus from Everyday Disney as I wait for repairs. The only lapse that will officially occur is during my trips this summer, occurring June 6-10, June 17-20 and August 11-20. Other than that, it's full steam ahead!

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on May 24 due to computer issues).