Monday, August 23, 2010


I have been MIA.

I have 8, eight!, unfinished posts saved. They are all half written and I seem to have no time to finish them. I hate that. I hate when life gets in the way of life.

One day, soon, I hope to finish them.

But it won't be tomorrow.

Tomorrow is date night! Jonathan's 27th birthday is tomorrow so I am helping him celebrate with a surprise date. I have wanted to go to [secret date spot] with him for years. I hope it is as fun as it is playing out in my head!

Stay tuned. I will reveal how our date went. And hopefully play blog catch up!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My scat don't stink

I have the most intelligent, adorable niece in the world. Tori, who is 10, just attended camp for a week. It was some outdoorsy/girl scout type camp where they learned about animals, etc.

Fast forward to the weekend. Tori and I are sitting in the living room and had a conversation that went something like this:

Tori: "Taylor, guess what I learned at camp this week?"

Me: "I don't know. What Tori?"

Tori: "I learned that animals that don't eat meat, their scat doesn't stink."

Me (trying not to laugh): "Really Tori? All vegetarian animals?"

Tori: "Yeah, all vegetarian animals."

Me: "Tori, I am not sure you understood that quite right. Maybe your counselor was talking about a certain kind of vegetarian animal? Maybe a lizard or a bird?"

Tori: "Nope. All vegetarian animals."

Me: "Tori, have you ever been to, or driven by a cow pasture?"

Tori: "Yes."

Me: "You know that horrible smell? Cows are vegetarians but their scat really smells."

Tori: "Well, maybe that smell is just their breath."

Me (Really, really trying not to laugh.): "No Tori. It is their scat for sure."

Tori: "Really? Cause I was thinking this would be a really good deal for you since you don't eat meat."

Me: No longer able to contain my laughter.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The green jacket

Have you ever seen the movie Under the Tuscan Sun?

You know the old man that walks down the street everyday with flowers? And every day Frances watches him, tries to wave and get him to acknowledge her?

Well I have my own old man with flowers. Only he is not really old, and he has no flowers.

There is a guy that walks down Lakewood, literally everyday. He wears navy blue bike shorts, a white t-shirt, and a green nylon jacket. (During the summer, he also carries a white towel.)

We moved into this house in Feb. of 2007. Since then I have never not seen him. He is literally ALWAYS walking, on the same side of the road, wearing the same outfit.

If I turn left to go out to MLK Blvd, I see him on that 2 mile trek. And if I turn right to S.R. 60, low and behold, he is near K-mart. It baffles me.

Jonathan and I have had many a conversation about green jacket man. We have run through dozens of scenarios about his life, and walking habits. But my favorite is this:

To me he looks like Muhamed Ali's long lost brother. I imagine that he was also an up-and-coming boxer when he suffered a career ending injury. But because his opponent was illegally using performance enhancing drugs, Ali Jr. got a huge settlement and no longer has to work.

But his dedication to fitness and meditation has never faded. So he uses his 'training' time to walk. He walks to think about life, and clear his head all at once. He walks to keep his physique and fill his free time. And he wears the same outfit for no other reason than, 'it's lucky.'

Well, yesterday I had a break-through. I had the luxury of sitting at the light at 60 and saw him walking up in my rear view mirror. He was on a different side of the road yesterday, which was oddly uncomforting. This guy is SO in a routine, why after all this time is it changing?

But then, as he was walking up to the cross walk, we made eye contact. Eye contact!

It wasn't the glorious, long-awaited wave from Under the Tuscan Sun. But it was my own little victory and insight into my old man with flowers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

If dogs could talk...

Jonathan and I were discussing tonight that we wish, for just a day, our dogs could talk.

I want to hear what they think of us. Learn what they do all day while we are gone. And what is it exactly about the 3 legged squirrel in the backyard that fascinates them.

I want to know what happened to Jake before we found him in the middle of the road. And if Reese really likes dock diving, or if she just humors me.

But really, I just want to hear their voice.

In my head, Jake's voice is very sophisticated. Like a Harvard professor with a gray beard, wire-rimmed glasses and a cigar.

Reese's voice is very different. It is high-pitched and airy. She would absolutely chew gum and twirl her hair while she talked. Much like the tri-Delt I sat next to in Economics 101.

Jonathan has a very male opinion. He thinks Jake would sound like Hugh Hefner and Reese a cheerleader.

(Ok, the cheerleader and tri-Delt aren't too far apart....)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Talent Tank

I heard a quote today that I hadn't heard in a long time:

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'

I really love the idea of a person striving to use up their limitless talents.

I mean, just imagine if we all tried to empty our 'talent tanks' each day...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Knocked my socks off, and washed them too.

Today we had Christmas in June. And I am sorry to tell you, cameras were not allowed at the celebration, so this will be a picture-free post. Keep reading though... it is worth it!

Last Christmas we gave my mother-in-law tickets to Disney's Keys to the Kingdom tour. Fast forward 6 months and we got to go!

We met up this morning at 7am for the hour and a half drive to the Magic Kingdom. We arrived, umbrellas in tow, for the 9am tour.

Jeff greeted us in typical Disney fashion-- over-the-top happiness and cheer. (My favorite part!) We quickly learned Jeff was a Disney nerd and is making a career out of the useless Disney facts he knows. Love it!

In a nutshell, the tour gave us a behind-the-scenes look at how they make Disney so magical. The 5+hour adventure spent about 3 hours "on stage" (or walking around along side all the other guests, but having Jeff show us the park through Walt's eyes) and then 2 hours "backstage" (or in the utilidors seeing how cast members make the magic happen).

Here are some of my favorite tidbits I learned along the way:
  • Walt Disney wanted to create a place where children and adults could play together, thus Disney Land was created. But after it was built, Walt realized he wanted to have control over the whole Disney experience. He hated that from the roof of the Swiss Family Robinson tree in Disney Land you could see an IHOP. (In Disney World, you never see out, never see a car, are never taken out of the Magic.)
  • The keys to the Kingdom are: safety, courtesy, efficiency and show.
  • Your smile is part of your costume. And while on stage, you are always in costume and in character. (BTW, I really think this should be a general rule used in life!)
  • At the end of main street, on the left hand side, there is a big board (called the Tip Board) with a cast member there at all times. This board is updated at least every 30 mins. with park information. A ride that says continuous shows, has no wait! If it has a wait time, or is shut down, that will also be indicated here.
  • The new car used at the beginning of the afternoon parade was Tim Allen's Hot Rod in Home Improvement.
  • Charters have a 40 / 20 rule. Characters that are standing in air conditioning will work for 40 minutes and have a 20 minute break. Characters that are standing in the heat will work for 20 minutes and have a 40 minute break.
  • Cast members do not do one task for more than 45 minutes a day. Example, it would be hard to continuously smile and greet guests while pushing a button to start the ride all day long. But for 45 minutes, no problem!
  • Approximately 98 hats a day are lost on the rides in the Magic Kingdom.
  • Disney has a Christmas warehouse for all things holiday. We learned today that every ornament and decoration has a barcode. When you scan it, it tells you exactly what park, what location, what tree, and what level the ornament or decoration gets placed on.
  • Costumes are treated similar to Christmas ornaments. (Uniforms are called costumes.) Cast members may go to the costume warehouse and check out up to 5 costumes at a time. Then they scan them out like a library book. Once worn, they return them (dirty) and pick up 5 new ones.
  • And finally, probably the thing I will remember the most is the laundry. All those costumes have to be cleaned, and ironed. Apparently, if you do one load of laundry a day, everyday, for the next 44 years, you will still not do as much laundry as Disney does in 1 day. And yes, it is someones job to iron, all day. (YUCK!)
The tour ended with a very heartfelt speech from Jeff. He told us about how Roy is really the unsung Disney hero. Walt died before Disney World was a reality. Roy came out of retirement and for 5 years did nothing but make his brother dream come true. On the day of the grand opening, Roy, a very punctual man, couldn't be found. Turns out, he had taken his boat out into the lagoon with a close friend and was refusing to open the park without his brother.

But the good family friend knew the saying that: Walt was Mickey and Mickey was Walt. When animators were unsure how to have Mickey do a movement, they would have Walt do it. And when Walt was unsure about a decision, he would watch Mickey films.

About 30 minutes after the scheduled opening of the Walt Disney World Resort, Roy and Mickey opened the park. (Side note: Roy spent a ton of his own personal money to change the name of the Disney World Resort to the Walt Disney World Resort so that it truly honored his brother.)

I am a Disney nut. I truly believe it is the happiest place on earth. I have been to all the Orlando parks multiple times, I have done a Disney cruise, and been to Disney's island. I have seen every movie (at least twice) and am actively trying to go on a 'Disney Adventure'. And yet somehow, today, I just saw Disney for the first time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Make your own pizza night is one of my favorite nights. Normally, I dread making dinner. It is probably my least favorite part of the day. But on make your own pizza night it is F.U.N.

The whole family gathers in the kitchen.

We laugh as we mix the dough and decide on toppings. Jonathan went with a standard pepperoni. I got a bit more creative: minced garlic, onions, tomatoes and Italian spices. And of course, lots of Moot-Za-Rel-La (said in Jonathan's not so believable Italian accent) cheese on both!

Imagine a picture here where we are covered in pizza dough up to our elbows, and maybe a bit in our hair. (For obvious reasons, I didn't get the shot.)

Once we had everything in the oven we impatiently waited like little kids in line at Disney World. And by waited I mean we opened the oven, a lot.

Tasted the crust and toppings along the way.

And finally our golden brown creations were ready to be devoured.

And the best part of it all.... leftovers tomorrow!