Things I Love Thursday: An Extra Shot of Pixie Dust

Good morning, everyone! It’s another beautiful Thursday here in Orlando, and I’m writing this before my first day of official, on-floor training. As much as I would love to share my experiences with everyone on this blog, I’ve been sworn to trade secrecy by the Mouse himself. You’ll find he makes offers that you can’t refuse.

All joking aside, I am beyond excited to start actually working. I think that I can divulge that I will be assisting with Disney’s Fantasmic show, which I went to see at Hollywood Studios on Tuesday night.  It’s been only one of many highlights this week!

What I’m digging this week….

Cinderella greeting me with “Hello there, beautiful princess!” at a moment when my self-esteem was at an all-time low and I really needed it ♥ The Entertainment “family.” Everyone is so sweet and helpful! ♥ Chocolate Haagen-Dazs mini-cartons. Treat yo self. ♥ News of the BBC Radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. (Benedict Cumberbatch as the Angel Islington? BE STILL MY HEART.) ♥ The Goats Yelling Like Humans video ♥ Grabbing the last Disney Princess water bottle at the Dollar Store. (Disney princesses are a trend with me, have you noticed?) ♥ The smell of fireworks and popcorn. ♥ Dinners full of veggies ♥Getting my first paycheck! Am I a functioning adult now? ♥

My shift starts at one, so I’m off. Keep on keepin’ on!

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Expectations → Reality

No matter how prepared I thought I was for the move, the reality is that no amount of overthinking and mentally psyching myself out for this experience (see also: worrying about dengue fever) could have prepared me for the reality.

You remember that Expectations vs. Reality scene from 500 Days of Summer? (It’s okay. I forgive you if you don’t, it’s on youtube). That’s been roughly my experience here – but unlike the movie, my expectations aren’t being crushed by a dim and terrible reality. More than anything, I find myself surprised at what it’s taking, and how quickly I’m learning. Both on and off the job, even!

Just a rough indication…

Expectation: Roommates being weirded out at my self-admitted eccentricity and/or roommates that I have nothing in common with.
→Reality: The best group of flatmates and neighbors I could have ever possibly wanted.
Expectation: Being thrown into a soul-crushingly boring and/or difficult job with no training
→Reality: Being stationed at an amazing position, after extensive training.
Expectations: Having a blast at Magic Kingdom on warm, balmy nights and catching a bus home.
→Reality: Having a blast at Magic Kingdom on a cold, windy night, waiting two hours for a bus, arriving home at 2.30 in the morning
Expectation: Cooking up delicious, healthy dinners for me and my roommates every night.
→Reality: Not being able to afford a crock pot yet, microwaving leftovers for every other meal, and putting the bottle of wine and lunchmeat back on the shelves to stretch that last $20.

Of course, there were also things I couldn’t have even considered – neighbors stomping across the ceiling and people outside hollering drunkenly at 2 in the morning when I have to be up at five, watching maintenance pull a battery (??) and rocks (?!?!) out of our busted garbage disposal, the nightmare that is showering with Orlando’s hard water, and the sense of victory one feels when getting three meals out of $2.50 worth of food.

Keep in mind, I’m not complaining! These are all experiences that I’m grateful to have.  The kicker is that although the expectation scenarios preoccupied me for months, and the realities are not what I was expecting at first, I’m amazed at how far a little positive thinking and a lot of adaptability are taking me. Worrying and fretting have not taught me anything (although fear has!), and theorizing didn’t get me anywhere.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a wannabe academic and will gleefully toss around a theoretical situation all day long. Book learning and the contemplation and discussion of theories and hypotheticals ranks up there in my top ten favourite things, along with newborn kittens, alpaca yarn, and birthday cake tea. But the longer I am here , the more it is becoming apparent – life’s lessons are best learned when you’re on your feet (and preferably, with a smile on your face).

Things I love Thursday: Greetings from the Magic Kingdom!

Happy Thursday! Since last we spoke I’ve played Juggle-My-Belongings-From-Suitcase-To-Suitcase, had all of my travel plans go pear-shaped not even an hour after bidding my family farewell, and managed to get myself and my 120 pounds of luggage to Florida in one piece on only about ten minutes of sleep. I’ve also gained some pretty amazing roommates and neighbors, realized how hard grocery shopping is when you’re just starting out, and just finished one of the orientations for working at at the Disney company this afternoon.

In short, it’s been a crazy roller coaster of my week, all crazy highs and lows. I thought the first week was going to be the most miserable – and while I did have some apprehension on the first night (due in no small part to said ten minutes of sleep) and a little bit of homesickness, the adjustment is better than I ever imagined it could be.

Some highlights…

Having a beautiful goodbye dinner with my family in San Francisco, overlooking the Golden Gate. ♥ Being handed my apartment key and my job assignment in one fell swoop ♥ Living upstairs from the apartment complex service center (free cookies, but even better, free apples!) ♥ Singing the Can’t Hug Every Cat song with my new friend Jo while grocery shopping ♥ Arizona diet blueberry green tea ♥ Disney Traditions, the aforementioned orientation for working here through the College Program ♥ Mickey Mouse coming into our Traditions classroom! ♥ Getting to take a quick walk through the Magic Kingdom and passing a special Valentine’s Day show with the Disney Princesses! It took everything in me to keep from crying as we approached Cinderella’s castle. ♥ Naps. Ooh yes naps are wonderful, and sadly underappreciated until you really need one.

Despite all this excitement, I know I’m in for a lot of hard work and long days. But you know what? That’s okay. I feel like I’ve taken more steps and made more progress in the past few days than I have in the past few months, and it’s a good feeling. It’s a scary feeling, as I’ve previously mentioned, but still really good.

There’s a lot in store for us tonight (Valentine’s day party, and who can say no to free food when they’re on a budget?) and for me tomorrow (another day beginning at 5 and going until 5 in the evening, lucky me!), so I’m going to wrap up this week’s TiLT so I can take a quick rest. Keep on keepin’ on!

Things I Love Thursday 2: Eclectic Boogaloo

Has it really been a week since I last updated? I feel like time’s sped up, which I suppose is technically possible given that time is wibbly-wobbley – especially when preoccupied by things like carry-ons and TSA and baggage weight limits and whether or not one’s roommates will like Monty Python.

(If they don’t, I will cry, and as my tears are drying I will find new ones. I am a woman of simple needs, really.)

Here’s what I’m lovin’ this week:

iTunes U and the wide world of podcasts available through the iTunes market. Podcast on the history of Byzantium? Why thank you. An entire class about the early Middle Ages? Don’t mind if I do! ♥ Richard III mania hitting the internet and the subsequent history jokes being made. Let’s just ignore all that academic in-fighting for now… ♥ Djarum clove cigarettes and Guinness: Goth candy. ♥ Homemade guacamole ♥ Springtime slowly reclaiming the landscape here in California – complete with a riot of fragrant jonquils and a thick purple carpet of violets in my yard! ♥ Ike’s Cafe in Nevada City. Not in my top 20, not in my top 10….it’s in my Top 5 Favourite restaurants for good reason. (To-die-for etouffee!) ♥ Screaming about LOTR jokes with my best friends ♥ This article explains it all: Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed. In two words? HOLY CRAP. ♥

That’s all until next week, where I’ll be writing from sunny Florida for the first time. Keep on keepin’ on, lovelies!

Things I Love Thursday: An Introduction

I’m starting to become not just a compulsive list-maker, but an obsessive one.

I briefly touched on list-making in Tiny Quail and The Year of Power, but as February 11th (the date that I move out) rapidly approaches, what once was a minor quirk to help me stay organized and on-task is rapidly becoming a mania. Oops.

Luckily my passion for lists also doubles as a blogging tradition and content for Tiny Quails! I’ve been a follower of Gala Darling’s blog for many moons and always look forward to her uber-decadent, always-glittery Things I Love Thursday lists – which she shared some thoughts on last Thanksgiving:

My weekly TiLT lists serve a few purposes. Firstly, it gets me to focus on the positive, & not just in some abstract way: it forces me to really sit down, assess my life, & shine a light on the best parts of it. Secondly, it serves as a kind of “happy diary”, a way of chronicling & remembering my life — which I need, because my memory is not what it used to be!

I’m sure that to some people, my writing of a public gratitude list is weird & incomprehensible. I don’t write this to boast; instead, I write it to hopefully persuade you to do the same. When I commit myself to doing this every week, out loud & in public, maybe that will inspire you to commit in a similar way.

In this spirit, and holding myself to my promise of keeping a gratitude list, Things I Love Thursday is going to be a regular, weekly feature on the Tiny Quail blog. There may not be a ton of designer shoes or glittery manicures in my life (yet!) but there’s a lot of really rad things I need to remember to be grateful for – material or otherwise. So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been digging in the past week:

This song by The Changelings – the accompanying personal video of someone’s train journey through Japanese neighborhoods is interesting, too! ♥ L’Oreal’s BB Cream, which I can’t stop raving about (my skin looks dewy! and fresh! and my zombieesque undereye circles are gone!) ♥ Great, friendly, fast experiences at the DMV  ♥ Knitting for charity is a thing. I’m bringing my scrap yarn with me on my flight out so I can start churning out some squares! ♥ Harney & Son’s Paris tea – so yummy! ♥ Chaucer Doth Tweet (“Illuminate me lyke one of yower Frankish miscellanies”!) ♥ Vaccuum bags. Don’t laugh, they’re badass and the only way I could fit a mountain of linens in my suitcase ♥ Sock Dreams’ Stained Glass leggings. Ooh yes, come to mama. ♥

That’s all for this week. Keep on keepin’ on, lovelies!