Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh, Disneyland

I spent fall break in Disneyland with three of my very best friends in the entirety of the world. In some ways one feels foolish waiting in line for Snow Whites Scary Ride when one is 21 years old, but really and truly I believe that Disneyland is much much better when you are older.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great when I was a kid too, but everything was great when I was a kid. My mother, pleased to find an artistic streak in one of her children indulged my over active imagination, and my predilection for fantasy and make-believe made every day fantastical. Remember the day in summer when the fireman checks the fire hydrants. Cancel my appointments because my day was booked. There were weeks were I sat in my backyard and played with mud every day. A trip to McDonalds was frenzy inducing, and being torn away from the ball pit at the Burger King Kids play place was tragic enough to elicit tears. Between mud and fast food what did I need with Disneyland? I felt that kind of magic joy almost every day.

But sadly I grew up (well…sort of) and things that captured my attention for hours on end no longer held the same power. I think I could probably play with mud for a few hours now, but not for an entire day. I have no desire to go throw myself into the shooting waters of the fire hydrant, and when I go to McDonalds now, my meal doesn’t come with a prize, and all I can think about is the empty calories.

Instead of dancing happily through life I began to worry about boring things like money, jobs, and boys (mostly the lack thereof) all things I swore up and down I would never worry about when I was a kid.

But when I go to Disneyland those things disappear. The last night of the trip S and I went on Splash Mountain by ourselves because M and B didn’t want to get wet.

“We won’t get that wet,” I assured S who had never been on the ride, “You’ll get sprinkled but it’s not bad,”

But of course we sat in the front and I emerged soaking wet. But the night air in Annaheim was warm, even in October, and the complete dishevelment effectively obliterated the last vestiges of restraint and inhibition.

We sweet talked our way into the wheel chair entrance of Peter Pan, we ran madcap through the all but deserted temple of doom, come to think of it. We ran everywhere. When I was a kid, if a place was worth going to it was worth running to and I found the energy to run everywhere, and that night it was back. We ran all over the parks, past families and “too-cool” teens and we threw ourselves onto every ride with a breathless excitement. I wasn’t thinking about tomorrow or yesterday, only about now, running with fireworks exploding overhead, music playing everything was right with the world, because everything was right now.

` I love Disneyland because it allows me to be a kid again, and I excelled at being a kid. I feel sad that an evil faceless corporation can give that to me, but so it is, and I will continue to pay great amounts of money to live completely free of reality. I live reality every day, I don’t need it in my vacation. So here’s to the child within, here’s to spending a few days in a bubble! Here’s to Disneyland!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


There is a fly in my room, whom I have christened Edouard (franco-spanish spelling of course) He seems very fond of making his presence known at night right before I am about to fall asleep.
I am lingering blissfully on the subtle ledge between sleep and consciousness when a gentle but disruptive,
bzzz bzzz bzzz bzzzz bzzzz bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

For all my having named him you might think that Edouard and I have grown to love each other, like the cricket from Mulan, he might become a tiny companion.
But in fact I try to murder Edouard almost nightly. I chase him about with a shoe for some time, but my room has peculiarly high ceilings and i think Edouard knows i can't reach him there.
Worn out by failure and futility I go to sleep vowing "Tomorrow night Edouard, tomorrow night!" and occasionally I shake my fist at him to let him know I really mean business.
But Edouard, on his lofty perch, laughs a tiny fly laugh.
He's buzzing about my lamp right now, and oh how I despise him.

Once I found a spider in my shower, and I couldn't bear to kill it. I can't explain why. Could have been my very young readings of Charlotte's Web. It could be the strange affection I've always had for them. I used to make pets of them when I was too young to know that they were supposed to be frightening.
In any case, I didn't kill her, and named her Lucy. I only saw her about once a week. I've no idea where her web was, I never saw it, but when i sould see her scurrying across the wall I would smile and say, "Hullo Lucy,"
But in a plot twist strangely like Charlotte's Web, I started noticing that instead of seeing Lucy once a week, I was seeing several smaller Lucys.
Lucy, whom I had treated as a guest, had had the bad manners to reproduce in my home, and where one spider is a charming eccentricity, several is unacceptable, so I killed all of Lucy's offspring.
Sometimes I ponder the moral question here. Am I a better person for letting Lucy live, or a worse person for killing all her children. Would it have been better for me to kill Lucy to begin with, and therefore have less spider deaths on my head? Some of them probably escaped, does this redeem me?
I think like most big question, there is no easy answer, except perhaps that I live in squalor.
Strangely I've never felt any great longing to spare Edouard.
I think maybe flies are like chickens: they deserve to die.
Chickens are savage stupid animals and I don't think they can process emotions like happiness or misery. When I worked at "This is the Place" There were always several cases of Baby oh-so-cute-and-fluffy chicks brutally pecking and trampling their brethren and sistren to death! One time I found a dead chicken in my yard. It's eyes look the same living or dead. No life has gone out of them. They are always blank and alien.
They're not like sheep, or pigs, who are feisty and lovable. The best thing they can do is be food.
I guess the lesson here is really, the only animals who deserve to live are the ones that are easily anthropomorphised.
But I still eat sheep and pigs, so maybe the real lesson is that I am a carnivorous hypocrite.
One thing I know, Edouard and I shall meet again and he shall curse the day he pupated!

Destiny waits for thee, Edouard!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jenna battles the freshman 15 at 21

It's supposed to happen when you go to college. You're metabolism changes, and you inexplicably gain 15 pounds. I went all these years without this great misfortune, but I discovered a little over a month ago that I had, indeed, gained 15 pounds. With shock and horror I threw myself into healthier eating habits, but progress has been slow and often discouraging.
Losing weight is a bitch.
It should be against the laws of physics, that you can't gain weight any faster than you can lose it.