Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Tale of Thanksgiving Past

Every small town has one... that weird bum who you see everywhere you go. Oh, what's that? Every town does NOT have that? I just grew up in the weirdest town ever, that had SEVERAL locally famous bums that everyone still knows by name to this day? Oh. Ok then.

There was that one lady who was always wearing the reflective crossing guard vest, the guys who lived in shacks in the woods (the bum huts. obviously.) and the one I know best, Tommy D. You could see Tommy D coming a mile away. He had a very distinct strut, a purple tank top and a Hulk Hogan stache, which perfectly complemented his mullet. He could be found most of the time hanging out in front of Quik Chek, because he'd been banned from most of the stores and restaurants in town. The rest of the time, he could be found at our house. Yeaaaahhhhhhh.

See, my mom is like a weirdo magnet. She feels bad for people, which is funny to me considering she's far from the world's most sensitive person. She stuffs large bills into the town food bank's change can while everyone else is tossing in their pocket change. She befriends people that nobody else wants to deal with. It's endearing and aggravating at the same time. If you're selling it, she's buying it. My mom's awesome.

Sometimes the result of her charity is that you end up having Thanksgiving dinner with the town's most annoying bum. And let me tell you, turkey and stuffing just tastes better when it's served alongside prison tales and some extra salty language. You're probably gonna have to take my word on that, because I guaratee you'll never end up in this situation.

This guy used to randomly show up all the time. We'd see him strutting up the street, stopping across from our house. Sometimes you had enough time to hide before he got up the driveway. But when you and your extended family are sitting down to a giant Thanksgiving spread, there's not a whole lot you can do to pretend you're not home. We watched him bob up the driveway. He knocked his familiar obnoxious knock, and next thing I know I'm eating my Thanksgiving dinner next to the guy that every single person in my class made fun of for as long as I can remember. Crazy Tommy D. And he didn't disappoint. He dropped N-bombs in front of my grandparents. He ate with his fingers and chewed with his mouth open. He had food all over his face. It was glorious.

This guy would just not leave us alone, and it was becaue my mom was the only person in town who would talk to him. He dropped by all the time. I never suspected he would show up on Thanksgiving, but I guess with Tommy D, there's no surprise too big. He's a renegade. Eventually, my dad figured out a way to get rid of him once and for all. He loaned him $20. Never saw the guy again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top five Disney vacation tips for lazy procrastinators

You know those personality tests like Myers-Briggs that have four different types? I usually test so far into the quandrant that I fall under that it's uncanny. There's no middle ground for me, it's very extreme. The point is, I'm late for everything, I hate making appointments for things because it means I can't just decide to do something on a whim and show up, and pretty much my whole life is based on last-minute, split second decision making. So the fact that I'm perpetually late for everything ever is really just a birth defect. Or something. I like it this way, but I've found over the years that my style sometimes stresses people out.Lucky for Mr. F, he's not much of a planner either, or else going on vacation with me would have driven him insane.

Are you like me? Are you planning (or... NOT planning. Let's be real here) on taking a trip to Disney World any time in the future? Well then, hop on the tip train, cause I'm about to give you some pearls.

5. Do your research
HAHAHAHAHA! Do your research. Right. Okay, we've already established that we're not the planning types. So research is out of the question. Here's the only thing you need to know. You think you can just show up to the parks and float around all day, but you can't. You will be forced to pay attention to some things, like eating food, because if you don't eat food, you will die. And if you don't make reservations for the restaurants in Disney World, you will not eat food. I mean you will find stuff to eat, but who wants to eat hot dogs for a week? Even non-fancy buffet restaurants require calling ahead. So here's what you do - download the Disney Mobile Magic app. It does everything for you. You just open up the dining tab, and it tells you where to eat. You don't have to pay attention, you just pick which restaurants have availability and you show up. And that's what we like, right? Feeeeeed me, Disney app!

4. Do not book your trip during Half Marathon Weekend
I'm gonna go ahead and out myself here as someone who just does not understand runners. I'll just say it... I think you're all batshit. Completely insane. First of all, running sucks. A lot. Second of all, it's FREE to run, and yet people are out there paying all this money to run ridiculous distances and sometimes have people throw stuff at them and electrocute them while they're doing it. No comprendo. They also tend to wake up at horrible disgusting hours to do all this. So if you like getting woken up at 4 am to the smooth sounds of the world's worst DJ (Ghetto Electric Slide, Chicken Dance, Gangam Style, Original Electric Slide ALL IN A ROW, PEOPLE) then by all means, book your trip during Disney Half Marathon Weekend. Otherwise, don't.

3. Make your decisions early in the day
Being wishy-washy ended up costing us a lot of money on our trip. Too much money, especially when you consider that the difference between asking a simple question at 9 am and asking that same question at 9pm is sometimes in the ballpark of $250. I get you, fellow planning failure. I know you don't want to buy a six day pass because then you're stuck having to go to these Disney parks for six days and seriously how much time do you need in these parks anyway? I understand your mentality. But the answer is, a lot. You need a lot of time in these parks. There's a ton to do, even if you're only with an almost two year old who can't go on all the rides. You can buy yourself a however-many-day pass. Go ahead and only buy a two day pass if you want. Feel free to not commit, like I did. BUT, if you do decide you want to go to the parks for more days, for the love of sweet Baby Jesus, tell them in the morning. I repeat... do NOT wait until you're walking out of the park at night to ask about adding on to your pass. You can add on to your already purchased passes. If you wait until your purchased passes are up, you will have to buy all new passes, thus forfeitting any kind of multiple pass discount. Stupid, right? Doesn't it seem like some kind of weird, arbitrary rule designed to screw people over? Well, it's normal. Are you just not familiar with Walt Disney at all?

2. Book your Disney vacation during the slowest times of the year
This is really important. It's almost my number one tip. You NEED to go during off peak weeks. If you don't, you will be forced to make more plans for yourself. I didn't even need to pay attention to what Fast Pass was, because I didn't have to wait in any lines at all. Fast Pass is a great thing, but it involves more strategy and paying attention and I am on vacation, damnit! I just want things to happen without me having to think about them. I got off a ride, I got right back on the same ride. It was fantastic. If for whatever reason you can't get to Disney during the slowest times, then I'm sorry, I have no advice for you. Your vacation is going to be terrible and you will spend the whole time standing on line with a bunch of smelly mouth breathers or trading your first born for a Fast Pass to Space Mountain.

1. Do not take vacation advice from me
I'm not kidding about some of this stuff, but if you use this as any kind of definitive vacation guide whatsoever, I feel sad for your trip. Remember, you're taking advice from someone who bought quail eggs to prepare for an impending natural disaster.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The F family jumps the shark

Well, we've done it. We're on our way to Disneyworld! Expect lots of weird stories when we get back.

My suitcase is broken, so that's a good start right? Good thing my handyman was available...