Friday, December 16, 2011

End o' Week Musings

The week has whizzed by and I am finally in the holiday spirit!

It began with my Polynesian/Tahitian dance recital Saturday. It was a community programs show at the Duarte Performing Arts Center and there were quite a few acts on the bill. We did one hula about the mountains in Hawaii. It was fun to be dressed up in a sarong and all the flowers! And I remembered the choreography too~ yay!

It the evening I met my friend Linda for dinner in Alhambra. We went to Rick's Diner and the food was pretty good. Then we wandered down to Gallery Nucleus for the "Jim Henson Tribute Art Exhibition." Wow! There was an amazing range of art- paintings and drawings mostly, but some really intricate paper cuts and even three dresses made to represent three Muppet characters. If you like Henson's work (and really, who doesn't?) you should make an effort to check out the show-- plus it's free!

Sunday I finished up what few things I had left to pick up on my holiday list, plus groceries and household stuff and then did laundry- woo hoo! I was good-tired by evening and definitely ready to settle in with my book.

I needed to get some good sleep because my friend Byron had invited me to go with him to Disneyland employee night Monday. It was rainy most of the day, so I was a little worried, but I packed my Snoopy rain poncho (from the OTHER theme park- oh my!) and was ready to brave it. Luckily the rain was gone by the time the event began.

Byron wanted to go on some of the rides and then shop. I wanted to sip hot chocolate and wander down Mainstreet taking in all the lights and excitement. We made a good team. First stop was Star Tours.

We were buckled in and CP30 was at the helm of our spacecraft when Darth Vader showed up. He said that there was a rebel spy on board and we needed to hand them over. Then my photo flashed on the screen! I was the rebel spy! Apparently my mission was so secret that I didn't even know. We all laughed and CP30 took off.

During our journey we fought the bad guys, avoided asteroids and bounced around a lot. We also received a transmission from one of the squid-like alien guys telling CP30 to be careful with his cargo (me) and where it (I) should be delivered. When we finally landed there was a lineup of dignitaries bowing and waving to meet me. Pretty cool!

We also went on It's a Small World. I usually avoid this ride because the song gets stuck in your brain for days, but I had never been on it during the holidays. There was different music and everything was decorated for the season. It's worth taking the time to boat through and if you're still unsure, check out the new video on the Disney Resorts web site about what it takes to get the ride ready for the season-- a lot of work.

We went on a clutch of other rides and paused for hot chocolate and a snack. Byron selected a scone, while I went for the gingerbread man in the Mickey ears hat- yummy! We sat in a stairway on Mainstreet to watch the crowd and the strains of a Victorian quartet reached our ears. It wasn't long before we were up and enjoying them. They sang almost any holiday song request (even if it was "after" their era) and were very good.

We ended our night shopping and spent quite a bit of time playing with the different toys and stuffed animals. I especially liked the Little Green Men from "Toy Story" that cooed "Oooooooh!" and other sentiments while dancing.

Last night I went to the Lindy Groove weekly dance in Pasadena. I'm writing a series on social dancing and the group will be included. I joined in the dance class and then split the rest of my night observing and stepping out.

This morning I interviewed Bradley Whitford, who is going to be in "Art" at Pasadena Playhouse ( ) in January. He was nice, smart and has a biting sense of humor. I could hang out with him over coffee for a chat. He's extra cool because he lives in Pasadena and has a normal life aside from his career. Brad's daughter is in the "Nutcraker" that is coming to the Pasadena Playhouse too! And he said that doing the play there has him a little nervous, as his kids' friends' parents will see him!

This weekend my apartment is going to become like Santa's workshop. I'll be molding chocolates, dipping cookies and candy canes in chocolate and making fudge, as well as wrapping presents. I really, really enjoy doing things to make other people happy. I get sooo excited to see their faces when I give them something I think they need or would like.

Next week is filled with holiday lunches, interviews and other fun- can't wait!

In rotation this week: All holiday music by Elvis (perfect for long drives), 38 Special, Annie Lennox and Lapia's Gold.

Photos we got 'em: A couple cute animal pics from the web and two cell phone snaps- Sleeping Beauty castle and the famous Walt and Mickey statue at Disneyland and part of the wonderful penquin window scene from Thematic Attic in Covina.

Thought o' the week: Make a list. This morning I needed to see my mechanic and we ended up talking about the importance of making a list before you shop- not just for the holidays, but for the grocery store, hardware store and anywhere really. Having a list helps you keep to your budget and cuts the time it takes to run your errands.

Lists can be done various ways. I tend to write one big list of everything and then, if there's too much stuff, I rewrite it, breaking it down by where I plan to get what. Most of my friends tend to write their lists by where they're going for each thing. I try really hard to go to as few places as possible- less gas, less time, less frustration.

I'm big on lists. In addition to groceries, I list chores, goals, ideas, things I want to research, books I want to read and so on. Perhaps that sounds annoying, but it puts my mind at rest. Rather than go over all the little tidbits again and again, I have them on paper and can let them go. If something's bugging me, I write it down and sleep well that night.

This time of year can be quite stressful, so consider trying my list thing. It will keep you organized and may give you sweeter dreams.

Keep on rockin'


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