Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Musings

It’s Christmastime again, oh dear, the snow has covered all.
Though I should write, my mind is blank, so at this point I’ll stall.
The sky is blue, the snow is white, and Santa’s suit is red.
I know my quips are less than fun, I ask your pardon instead.

If only I had been so blessed with power over words,
My letter would have been complete, then I might watch the birds.
I wish I knew a clever story or witty anecdote,
But alas, I know of no such thing, I’ve doomed this tragic note.

But of course! Why, it’s so obvious! I know just what to do!
I’ll share with you a tatty old tale (I’ll spare no details too).
Although my hand knows not of that exquisite art of expression,
I’ll tell this story anyway, to alleviate further digression:

Our story begins, if I may borrow, with five most fateful words,
“‘Twas the night before Christmas,” a creature was stirring, though he went on unheard!
Now, I know it’s been said that all was quiet, even mice had taken to rest,
But this I can tell you, not all were asleep, for this mouse like Christmas best.

His name was Andrew and he was all white, a fact that poor Andrew hated,
For this was a fact that all Andrew’s friends made fun of and mocked, bluntly stated.
This young little mouse had snuck from his house, and went on an evening ‘stroll.’
The evening it was, a stroll it was not, for with purpose did he leave his hole.

“I’m such a disaster! No one is my friend,” our sad white friend cried out,
“But now I have a perfect plan, then I’m ‘in’ forever, no doubt!
If I can just get Mousie Claus to come into our home,
I know they’ll cheer and scream, ‘Well done,” then I’ll never be alone!”

What’s that you say? You don’t believe? Now I need to defend!
Mousie Claus is just as real as me! He’s Santa’s little friend!
Let me just ask one simple thing, since my good friend you mock,
How do you think those little holes get into Santa’s socks?

He travels ‘round on Christmas Eve, with Santa, in his sleigh,
Giving gifts to all the good little mice, they too need toys to play.
I will no longer press the point, but one final word I give:
Mousie Claus is real, ask any young mouse, and they’ll tell you ‘he lives.’

So! Andrew crept, so quietly, along the hallway wall,
Until he reached the sitting room, where Mousie Claus would call.
He scurried behind the chair and then, with grace he took a leap,
Right at the glowing Christmas tree, he never made a peep.

He landed on a branch that hung not far above the floor,
Then up he went the Christmas trunk, very eager to explore.
As he went past each ornament, he always gave due heed,
To the ballet girl, he gave a bow; A salute to the Soldier on his steed.

Eventually he found a spot where he could sit and spy,
The fireplace was in plain sight, not a thing would pass his eye.
“Mousie Claus would have to come through here, if he should leave his gifts,
And then I can jump out at him, he’ll have to grant my wish!”

And so Andrew waited for quite some time, thinking how Mousie Claus might look,
He thought of a big brown mouse standing there, with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in his book.
He pictured him with a deep, booming voice, with a hat of white and red,
With his bag of presents looped ‘round his tail, and belly that was clearly well fed.

The little mouse was deep in thought, when something brought him back,
He heard a noise, and so he looked, but through the window- pitch black.
He heard it again up on the roof, though gentle, very clear,
“This must be it!” our Andrew cried, “It’s him and his reindeer!”

Andrew shook high in that tree, his thrill was hardly tamed.
He restlessly, and with no blinks, looked at the room, and aimed.
Then with a shudder and one soft moan, a man came tumbling in!
He slowly stood, then dusted off the soot all over his skin.

He wore all red, except his boots, which were quite thick and black,
His great big belly held fast in place, by a belt, yet there was no slack.
His beard was white, his nose was cherry, his presence made Andrew pause,
For he knew now without a doubt this must be Santa Claus.

He peered around and took great care, until he saw a plate.
Then swiftly he did cross the room, and then at once he ate.
He took one bite of one big cookie, then followed with a drink,
And after he swallowed he reached in his coat, pulled out a mouse and winked!

Now Andrew could not believe what he’d seen, in fact he had to look twice!
He saw a mouse with a fluffy red cap, it seemed it was made just for mice!
And out of the hat stuck two big pink ears, for holes had been cut so they’d fit.
Andrew then thought, “This has to be him, Mousie Claus has now come! This is it!”

But what was amazing, in Andrew’s small mind, was how Mousie Claus seemed so bright,
For his fur wasn’t brown, and no shades of black, but instead it was snow-colored; white!
When Andrew saw this, he immediately gasped, for he’d never seen one look like that,
And then with a whisper he quietly said, “Mousie Claus looks like me…in a hat!”

Mousie Claus then sneezed, followed by a small shudder, then he grabbed a cookie and bit.
His little mouse teeth took tiny small bites, but it was gone lickety-split!
Then Santa Claus poured a small bit of milk, so Mousie Claus could sip,
Then Mousie Claus let out one soft burp, and Santa bit his lip.
Santa Claus stood, now laughing, and said, “We ought to do our job!”
Then Mousie Claus looked, with a twinkle in his eye, and up and down his head bobbed.
Santa moved away and picked up his sack, and gifts he started to spread,
While Mousie hopped off the table where he stood, landing softly on his head.

While Santa kept working, taking breaks for bites, Mousie dragged his Christmas sack,
All down the hall toward the small mouse house, where Andrew’s Family was at.
Now Andrew had so quietly snuck back down the Christmas tree,
So down the hall in hot pursuit of Mousie Claus was he.

But to his horror, with mouth open wide, he saw an unwelcome face.
It was the cat, her name Lily Belle, and she had come for the chase.
Now Mousie Claus hadn’t seen Lily Belle, for on the sill she sat,
And he may not have been here today if Andrew hadn’t screamed out, “CAT!”

Then Lily Belle pounced, heading straight for mouse, but Mousie Claus started to sprint,
Back down the hall, toward the fire, with Lily Belle’s eyes in a squint.
She quickly gave chase, sliding ‘round the corner and in the sitting room,
She spotted Mousie Claus climbing up the tree; her intent was to consume.

She stalked all ‘round the Christmas tree, her claws were poised to lash,
When Andrew had a sudden idea, to Santa he would dash!
But where had he gone? He was just here, how could he get away!
But Andrew noticed the tall milk glass, was missing from the fray.

Andrew sped with all his might, in through the kitchen doors,
To find the big round jolly elf engaged in household chores!
He sped across the floor, and scurried up his leg,
And through his beard, up to his face, and he began to beg.

Now Santa was confused at first, not sure what he was seeing,
For this was not his friend Mousie Claus, but some other similar being.
But that old man could see the fear inside that small mouse’s eyes.
He seemed to know the meaning of his little desperate cries.

With long, great strides, the big man stepped into the sitting room,
And in mid-air he caught that cat, before Mousie Claus’ doom.
The cat was placed into the kitchen; the door was then shut tight,
And Andrew was placed on the floor, to meet his friend in white.

Mousie Claus came down from that tall tree, with thankful, twinkling eyes
And he came close to Andrew, and then he said, “I’m alive!”
Andrew flashed a toothy smile, then Mousie asked him this,
“What is your name, my dear sweet boy? I’m sure you’re on my list!”

Then with a nervous whisper, Andrew answered very slowly,
“My name is Andrew, and I’m white, and I am very lonely.
My friends and family think I’m odd, and they won’t treat me nice.
Oh won’t you bring me a new coat, I think brown would suffice!”
Then with a chuckle, Mousie shook his head, then he responded thus,
“You’re white, and you will always be, there’s nothing to discuss.
Embrace who you are, that what I did, and look at me today,
Have faith in yourself, and who you are, then all your friends will play.”

“Andrew you have saved me, but that’s not all you have done,
You’ve saved Christmas for all mousie-kind, and you are only one!
Surely this act alone is enough, to make your friends turn green,
So what is there to worry about, you shouldn’t make a scene!”

But Andrew looked down at the ground and he made one more plea,
“No one saw what happened here, they won’t even believe.”
But with that twinkle in his eye, Mousie Claus removed his hat,
And then he said, “This hat will tell, you saved me from the cat.”

With that he gave a final wink, Santa set down his cup,
And with a finger on his nose, Andrew watched them both go up.
Then Andrew ran to see the sleigh go flying through the night,
And then he heard a soft little voice, then laughter jolly and bright.

The little small voice had certainly come from Mousie once maybe twice,
His message was short, was simple and clear:
“Merry Christmas to all and to all the good mice!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Gandolfo's is a sandwich joint in Provo. There are many franchises around the United States, but there are more locations in Utah than in any other state. I am lucky enough to live across the street from one of these delectable delicatessens. I must say, I am a frequent visitor.

I started going to Gandolfo's when I moved back up to Utah this past summer. After Danniey, Tyler, and I finished our combined garage sale, I convinced Tyler to come with me to Gandolfo's. Honestly, the menu is a bit daunting. There are about 70 different sandwiches organized into different categories. Despite the general organization, I had no idea what to do. Tyler, who shares the same feelings about the menu, helped out by ordering the only sandwich he has ever ordered there: The Urban Cowboy.

The sandwich is very good, and the next five times I've been there, I got the Urban Cowboy. Eventually I grew tired of the ordering the same thing over and over, and I made a decision that I would begin to branch out, and conquer my fear of the massive menu. I've tried, to name a few, the Throg's Neck Bridge, the Bridge Hampton, and my recent favorite, a hot Knickerbocker (if you know what I mean, and what I mean is a sandwich). I've been pleased every time. Now moving on the point of this entry.

I was at hard at work, working up a mean appetite. My lunch hour came and I decided to go in search of something to eat. Not too far up the street is a Gandolfo's so I decided I would rustle me up a sandwich for lunch, completely unaware of the impending challenge awaiting me. I pushed open the door, and stepped into this Gandolfo's and there it was staring me in the face, begging me to take it:

The Dagwood.

If memory serves me right, the beast looked a little like this. It was as long as my boot and it was just as thick with "Roast beef, turkey, ham, pastrami, swiss, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, spicy mustard, [and] s&p." I knew this sandwich was made to live in my belly. Without hesitation, I stepped up to the register and in the manner of the Man with No Name, I said, "Give me a Dagwood...Full."

The timid sandwich clerk slowly swallowed and as I watched his adam's apple lethargically return to it's normal position, the sandwich man timidly squeaked, "Are- are you hungry?" I struck a match off my fingernail to light my cigar, and replied from the corner of my mouth, carefully blowing the smoke in his face, "What do you think?"

Another worker came out from the kitchen and quickly stammered, "Ju-ju know, that t-ting gives you the cancer!" Before I could talk back, the third sandwich man appeared. Obviously more confident than the other two, he challenged me, saying, "You eat that whole Dagwood, and I'll give you a cookie." I squinted my eyes and gave him a slight nod, letting him know I was ready.

Within a few minutes, he carried the heavy sandwich out to the counter. Without a word, he dropped it into my hands. It was heavier than I thought, causing me to give a little as the sandwich made contact. I sat down, unwrapped my foe, and began to eat.

The first bite went down easy, filling up my empty and aching stomach. I could taste each of the meats as the slid across my tongue before dropping down into my belly. The mustard added some unexpected spice, but also provided much needed moisture. I ended the first half of the sandwich in about eight bites.

As I was swallowing the last of the first half, I twisted back and forth to pack down the contents of my stomach, and under the watchful eyes of the restaurant, I let out a soft belch. I started in on the second half. The first bite was alright, not much different than any that came before it, but as I went in for the second bite, I could feel the game was starting to change. I was slowing down.

After six or seven bites, I only had one quarter left of that sandwich. My only problem was, I was running out of space. I looked into the faces of those sandwich makers, narrowed my gaze, and exhaled a long, breathy burp, freeing up some much needed space. I looked at the remaining sandwich, cursed it in my mind, and went in on it again. I was taking smaller bites, chewing longer, and twisting a whole lot. The sandwich started to lose it's flavor and it no longer tasted good. For all I knew, I could have been eating mud scraped off of my boot. I stood up from my stool and began to pace slowly, concentrating on putting that sandwich in my stomach. Bite after bite after bite eventually led to the final moment. I had one last piece of that sandwich in my hand. I closed my eyes and tossed it back. On bated breath, I took my time chewing. After an entire minute of masticating every last piece, I lifted my head back, and swallowed.

As it traveled down my esophagus, I looked at the third employee dead in the eye, jerked my head to the side to create an audible 'crack'. Shaking, he grabbed a cookie from below the counter and tossed it onto the floor in front of me, as if he was too afraid to come near because I might decide to eat him too.

As the bystanders shook their head in disbelief, a small boy picked up my cookie and handed it to me. I ruffled his hair, unwrapped the cookie from the plastic, and with a bite, opened the door and walked off into the sunset.


I have the worst timing. I don't get it. I've had so many things ruined because of bad timing. What am I supposed to do? I have no control over these things! I try to work around the fickle mistress known as timing, and I do what I can with what I'm given, but somehow I am always just too late, or too early. The timing seems to never be right. Arg. I'm really bothered by it. I guess that is why CAKE writes music, so I can listen to it when I get smashed by my good buddy, Timing. That little jerk.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Experiment: Isolated Moment

I have this desire to improve my creative writing skills. Honestly, I'm not sure how to go about doing that, but, I want to, and that is what I know. I going to try something a little different today, to force myself to write more descriptively.

I feel like life is made up of the time between moments. We go through life doing what we need to. I, for instance, wake up, shower, eat, go to work, go to school, do homework, and then go back to sleep. That is the basic outline of my life right now. Now, every once in a while, we have a 'moment.' These moments often pass us by, leaving us with a lot of unrecognized feelings and impulses. They often don't last longer than a few seconds, maybe a minute, but if you dissect these little occurrences, you can find they are chalk-full with 'experience,' sometimes even more full than an entire day in the life.

So I have decided to take one of these complex chunks of experience, and write about it, hopefully turning a thirty second event in to an interesting and descriptive passage, broken down into specific thought and feelings. We shall see. Okay, here it goes... Feel free to give any feed back...

My heart stopped. Then it shortly thereafter started to pound. Whoa. Hold up. Is this what I think it is? It can't be...can it? Well, it definitely touched my foot. I think. It at least it got near my foot. I mean, that had to be on purpose. It doesn't matter that our feet are covered by the blanket, I can still tell exactly where my feet are, so she couldn't have 'accidentally' bumped into them, right? Right...?


Oh who am I kidding, people bump feet all the time, and there is no reason why that shouldn't have just been a complete accident. I mean can I really be so- but wait a minute. If it was just an honest mistake, why didn't those two little blanket snakes move away? There was no acknowledgment that said 'tricky trotters' touched me, and no apology whatsoever. That can only mean one thing:

Wait a second, what are we watching? Oh that's right. Note to self: I'll be playing this back on TiVo tonight.

What it mean is that those sweet little tootsies did happen to meander into my personal space. They didn't just get lost on their way to the shoe store. Those suckers were meant to be there. They were placed...Oh crap. Oh dang. Oh crap dang. Now what?

Easy now, easy...

Aw come on! Smooth move, buddy. You just had to pick this critical moment to have a leg spasm. Complete opposite of gently making my presence known to the encroaching hush-puppies. Instead of saying, "Oh! I didn't see you there, but it sure is nice to run into you here! Do you mind if I stay a while," I now said, "Hi. Hi. Hi. Oh hi. I am SO excited. Also, I've never spoken with any other foot before. Ever. You're pretty..." That's going to be it.

Well, I guess I was right. Nothing. I blew it. Nothing left to do. Pulse returning to normal rate, attention returning to the televisi-- Wait!

It moved again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Emotional Trail Mix

Have you ever had something that you know you needed to do, but you just didn't want to do it? It sucks. It's something that deep down, you know you have to do, but you keep convincing yourself that you can't, or you'll do it later, or why should I? I'm happy now! It really stinks.

The problem with me is that I really like where I am at. I don't want to do what I know I have to, because frankly, I like being stuck in the problem. I'm in a satisfying state of arrested development. I get to think, "Woe is me! Oh my contemptible life!" and I get to watch sad movies, listen to great music, even try to write a song or two (yeah right). Everything has so much meaning and personal application. It's really quite fun. Everything is about you, it seems. Sure, you feel kind of sad and lonely about everything in the moment, but there is a part of me that secretly likes that. That is a part of me that should probably be subdued. It doesn't really seem that healthy.

I need to do what I have secretly known I've needed to do- get real with myself. Realize it's not worth sitting around pining, wasting time over something that probably won't happen. You are only hurting yourself here. Kind of sad. I depress myself, and I don't want to anymore, so here I go. Up the great mountain of no more regrets, wearing my brand new hiking boot of what took me so long. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How I Changed My Summer

I'm sorry I've been neglecting my blogging, blah blah blah, you get the point.

I went to Smith's last Saturday to do my routine shopping. A couple of notes on Smith's. First of all, this Smith's plays the best music. It's not always music that I know, however it is always music that I cannot help dancing to. On one occasion, I recall rocking out to Dream Weaver in the 'Pop-Corn' Aisle. It's really high quality. Now I should clarify on how it makes me dance. The music in Old Navy makes me dance as well, but that usually wears off in about ten minutes. After that, I am in a terrible hell that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. Smith's, however, is a place where I could dance for an hour or more, never getting tired.

Another thing I love about Smith's is the produce section. When you are picking out your fresh greens and vegetables at the right time, you might just be able to catch a rainstorm right there in the store. There are thunder sound effects and the lights begin to flash, and then the misters unleash a heavy mist to keep your veggies fresh and crunchy. I love that. It's so theatrical and always puts a smile on my face. Now, I have heard it said, that when you are shopping in the meat section of the store, you can hear cows mooing in the distance, and can even catch the faint sound of their grazing in the fields. I have not witnessed this personally, however, if it is true, that is just one more item to add to my list of "Magnificent Things about My Smith's."

Well now to the point of my entry. I had received an tip from a friend that there were delicious (and large) popsicles on sale for 10 bags for $10.00. As I was passing the freezers during my shopping trip, I noticed the advertisement for this deal. I then proceeded to pile 10 bags of these Cherry-Mango popsicles into my cart. In each bag, there are 9 separate pops, so in total, I purchased 90 pops, for about 11 cents each. I steal, if you ask me. I mean these pops would sell for AT LEAST 50 cents at your neighborhood Ice Cream Truck. They are large, not those little dinky ones.

So my freezer is completely full of these popsicles, and let me tell you this. They are changing my summer. My goodness. I have four or five popsicles a day. It is such a refreshing treat after being the hot sun, or driving home in the hot car, or even cooking in the hot kitchen. Honestly, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love these popsicles.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hey Howdy Hey!

Good news everyone: I am now twenty years old. I am no longer a 'teenager,' and have moved on to an entirely new phase of life known as 'my twenties.' Exciting, I know.

My birthday was really a great day. The celebration was perfect for such an occasion. Stefani, my girlfriend, started the weekend off by surprising me with her presence. She had told me for weeks that she would not be in attendance during my birthday celebration, but she secretly got plane tickets and showed up for my birthday. She is really something, that Stefani Wood.

Anyway, we went to Disneyland on my Birthday and I finally got to enjoy the new Celebration: A Street Party, without having to clean up the confetti afterward. It was really quite the street party, and Stefani and I were brought out several times to join in the dancing. After the Street Party, we strolled trough Frontierland to set the mood for the most anticipated part of my birthday: dinner at the Celebration Roundup and Barbecue. I shot some rifles, tried on a cowboy hat, and thrust my thumbs in the strap of my fanny-pack (I don't care what you say, the fanny-pack was very useful).

We got to the barbecue and Sheriff Woody met us right at the entrance. Jessie, the yodelin' cow girl, came by and Chip and Dale were there too. We got a table right at the front and in the center, so we could enjoy all the cowboy songs, and playful cowboy banter. We were served an endless amount of Barbecue Ribs, Barbecue Chicken, Baked Beans, Corn Wheels, Corn Bread, Cole Slaw, and all the Coke you could swallow. During our entire meal, Miss Chris, the 'owner' of the ranch, would check up on her guests. She would also sing songs accompianied by Tex Tumbleweed and Sasparilla Sam. I knew most of the songs, thanks to my secret love of cowboy music and also my 5 years in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, but there were some new ones I really enjoyed. I sang along through a mouthful of meat and beans, stopping only to steal quick sips of delicious Disneyland coke. The whole experience was topped of with a 'Cowboy Cone Cake- A Party on you Plate.' Basically, a yummy cupcake baked into a waffle cone. They were good.

I loved it. Every minute of it. I loved talking like a cowboy, singing the songs, eating the food, and being with friends. I ate so much I literally had to loosen my belt. Then we had the fantastic idea of getting on the Matterhorn and squashing all four of us into one sled. Without getting too graphic, lets just say I was very lucky my pants were still clean when I got off. Later that night we watched the fireworks, then Stefani and I danced to the music of a live Big Band Orchestra. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Here are some photo highlights of my birthday and the rest of my weekend:

Stefani at the 'Street Party'

My friend, and my roommates' Girlfriend, Anna and Me

Me shooting a rifle at the Shooting Range. I shot many things

The Big Thunder Ranch Celebration Roundup and Barbecue

Brent, my roommate, Anna, Me, and Stefani (with ears on)

Me and Jessie the Yodelin' Cowgirl

Chip and Dale with Stefani and Me

Stefani and Me in Laguna Beach

Sunset at Laguna Beach

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Love Online Petitions and Facebook Groups Dedicated to Causes

Nothing floats my boat more than being able to voice my virtual opinion using an online petition or a Facebook group. Seriously. Give me any cause, I'll sign up for it, as long as I can do it online. "End Genocide!" Does it have a website? Cause if so, sign me up! "Stop Babies!" Check out their Facebook group! I'm in! "A Petition to end all online Petitions!" Hey, I found it in my Inbox, so it's right up my alley. I'll sign it twice!

I know many of you are asking right now why I would sign an Online Petition banning my favorite thing, Online Petitions. I'll tell you-- They are all pointless. It is perhaps the most ineffective way of voicing an opinion. It isn't just ineffective, but it's lazy. Why would joining a Facebook group called "Make Genocide History in 2007" help in any way to stop the act? I'm sure the people committing genocide will one day look at the group, notice taht it has 2604 Members, and they will think to themselves, "OH! These people don't like this! Well let's stop then."

Why would typing your name to a Forwarded e-mail (something that cannot be authenticated, and could be done and repeated by anyone) raise 20 cents for a starving child in Africa? The logic doesn't even make sense. The reason we sign up for this stuff is due to Slacktivism:
the search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society's rescue without actually getting one's hands dirty, volunteering any of one's time, or opening one's wallet ( It is so easy to just type your name, click "Join Group", or to forward to you entire contact list.

Instead of ranting for another several paragraphs, just read this. It's a great article about Slacktivism from, a website that confirms or denies Urban Legends.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bro, Come on, Bro

Here is a little whimsical conversation I just heard in my room.

"Bro, I'm not even lying. I'm going to be honest with you. The girls downstairs aren't that hot, but Bro, they have hot friends. Bro, you get with them, and they hook you up with total hotties. Come on Bro! I thought you were cool Bro! I thought you were going to drink with us tonight Bro. Bro, we're in California! CALIFORNIA. Think about the total hotness babes that are out there waiting for you. Bro. Bro Bro Bro."

I'm not judging anyone else (at all), but I just want to say that I am so glad I have no interest in being like that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Secret Project...

'Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo' has suffered the past couple months because some of my time and energy was being spent on my secret project. I know that some of you have noticed that I had a private blog that no one could read, and I will tell you now, that is my Secret Project.

The project is called 'The Happiest Trash On Earth: My Disney College Program Experience and the Adventures of Me, Carson Wright, a Custodial Cast Member.' If you remember back in October or so, I wrote about my acceptance into the Disney College Program at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Well I am here now, and this blog is dedicated to my experience with the Disney College Program, and my adventures at Disneyland.

I will continue to post on 'Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo' about my adventures that I can't write about on 'Happy Trash' (what I am calling my blog for short). So keep reading both blogs.

I hope that the time and effort I have put into my Secret Project has payed off. Please enjoy it and share it with all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Las Vegas Was Cold

Christmas was wonderful. It's been a while, but now I'm back and getting into the swing of things again. Happy New Year, by the way.

I finished up at Mesa Community College and came back to Tucson for my Holiday Break. There was plenty to do. There was a lot of family to be with, a lot of packing and organizing to do, and a whole bunch of paperwork to do for the Disney College Program.

Christmas day was as cheerful as ever. I must have been good this year because I got a lot of wonderful gifts, including some great Disney gear. I got a really nice Mickey Mouse Watch, a TomTom GPS navigation system, some nice clothes, and (my absolute favorite) A Musical History of Disneyland. It is six discs worth of Disneyland music. It has the rides, atmosphere music, and music that can no longer be heard at Disneyland. It also comes with a 72 page book about the musical/audio history of Disneyland. It was exactly what I wanted.

The days following Christmas were somewhat uneventful. Just more family, friends, and packing for Disneyland. I spent New Years Eve packing with the help of my friend, Alando. I finished right as the we welcomed in the New Year. When I finished, I went straight to bed so I could get up and drive to Las Vegas.

I was going to Las Vegas because I was going to run in the 5k event at the 'Running from an Angel Marathon.' Steven and I were meeting Aaron, Tyler, and Aaron's friend Scott in Las Vegas for the race. Also, my Mom, Dad, Danniey, Becki, Joey, Miranda, and Becki's Mom came too.

It was my first time ever to Las Vegas, and it was cold. It was windy and cold. Bad mixture. Las Vegas itself gave me some funny feelings. It was very surface level, even more so than I expected. It is all about appearances. I did enjoy going into the big Casino's. They were beautiful. My favorites were the Venetian and the Wynn/Encore, but all of the Casino's are quite marvelous. What I really didn't like was the blatant smut on the street. It is bizarro town out there.

On Saturday the 3rd, all the runners rose early to get out to Lake Mead on-time for the race. It was really windy when we got there. My nipples instantly put holes in my shirt. I started to pity to fool who wasn't using nip-guards. Aaron and Scott took off on their Marathon, and shortly after Steven, Tyler, and I started our 5k. Steven beat both me and Tyler, and I beat Tyler by less than a minute. It was a very cold, and windy 5k. I've never had this problem before, but during this race, my shins cramped up really bad. I don't give that as an excuse for my loss to Steven. I lost by several minutes, and I couldn't help that. I was lucky not to lose to Tyler though. He has been running a lot lately, and is much more conditioned than I am.

After Aaron and Scott finished their marathon, we ate the Paris Buffet, which was delicious. It was my favorite part about Vegas. Sunday morning we got the breakfast buffet at the old Main Street Station Casino. I really liked it there. Old and classy. The buffet was not bad either.

After breakfast, I parted ways with the rest of my family. They headed for Tucson, and I headed for California. As soon as I crossed the Nevada/California border an indicator light came on telling me to pull over immediately and contact my Toyota Dealer. I was in the middle of nowhere, and my car seemed to be driving just fine, so I kept driving. I made it to my destination without any trouble and took the car into the dealer the next day. I got it all fixed up with some help from the Twitchell's and I checked into the Disney College Program.

This has been a very brief, nutshell overview of the past few weeks. I am pretty busy getting settled in at the Disney College Program. I promise in the future my entries will be more thoughtful and planned out.

To Be Continued...