halloween

Amusement Park Rides: You’re Doing It Right!

My family goes to Universal Orlando twice a year.  We sweat our asses off Memorial Day week and then go back for the much more pleasant October weather and all the Halloween madness.  We have become Universal Orlando aficionados.  But it still took six years to get this right.

Some of you may think I’m drunk again.  I am not.  Go read this blog post I did last year about our sucky amusement park ride photo game.  I’ll wait.

Is everyone on the same theme park ride now?  Good.

This past Memorial Day vacation, we went to the park armed.  Specifically, Universal Studios Florida.  More specifically, armed with props.  Even more specifically, props to use on our favorite ride in that park, The Mummy.  We love The Mummy so damned much, we need help.  It’s just a super fun indoor roller coaster.

E kept telling me I needed to come up with ride photo props long before we LEFT for Orlando.  He kept telling me I needed to come up with props the entire week we were IN Orlando.  E is an engineer with a Master’s degree but he leaves the really important, life changing events like photo props to a college dropout (that would be me).  This is pivotal shit, people, but I think I did okay.

Our first attempt had E and the kids waving American flag glow sticks because why the hell not be patriotic and clever all at the same time for your amusement park ride photo?  Are you a commie or something?  An unfunny commie?  Anyway, my one job was to simply take a bite of some fruit while the fam was being all anti-commie.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you already know what I was eating, don’t you?

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The banana joke started on Facebook a few years ago when I was waiting in the parent car line to pick up Landon at the high school.  I was on a strict diet, at my lowest weight in 25 years (in a good way) and I was starving, damn it!  I’m not saying I’m hot or anything but you just don’t see a chick with magenta hair in the high school car line enthusiastically eating a banana very often.  Some Dads may have noticed.  A few Moms may have noticed.  That’s all I’m saying.  It was completely innocent but then I had to be a smart ass and post about it on Facebook.  I have never lived it down.  The banana and I are in this for life now.  I may as well change my Facebook relationship status to “In Relationship With Banana”.

I’m not really a rule breaker.  I know, that’s shocking to most of you.  I was terrified I was going to get kicked out of the park for breaking some unspoken No Fruit On Rides rule even though I had thoroughly read the posted rules numerous times beforehand and saw absolutely no mention of a fruit ban during the ride.  Still, I could actually see in my head, in super slow mo, the banana peel flying out of my hand and onto the track behind us.  You know how that story ends.  I didn’t want that body count on my ledger.  So, I took a really big bite of the banana as the photo flash went off and figured I could put the rest of the banana in my lap so the peel wouldn’t fly onto the tracks, causing the car passengers behind us certain comic yet tragic death.

This might be a good time to mention that I have a really good imagination and probably have seen too many Final Destination movies.  That movie franchise should totally check out the death by banana peel on a roller coaster scenario, though.  That would make a terrifyingly hilarious kick ass scene.

But I digress.  I tried to put the remaining banana in my lap but it hit the safety bar and landed in the seat.  We were pulling into the station where you exit the ride right then, where a park attendant cheers and applauds like you just single-handedly destroyed the damned Death Star.  I was so terrified of being caught with my fruity and phallic shaped contraband, I told my completely disease free body to go fuck itself, picked up the banana lounging casually where potentially thousands of people’s asses had been seated that day and ate that bastard as fast as I could.

I just threw up in my mouth a little.  I still can’t believe I did that.  I can’t believe I just revealed to y’all that I did that.

As we were exiting the ride, I shoved the banana peel into E’s hand like the traitorous little bitch I am and then walked ahead of him like I didn’t know him.  Do not count on me at a crime scene.  I will go full stool pigeon on your ass.  I had smashed banana all over my hand and smelled like a minion but they weren’t pinning that shit on me.  In the words of the great Johnny Cochran “If the banana doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”  Or something like that.

The American flags didn’t turn out so well because the flash washed out the glow but you can still see them.  As you can see, the banana and I were having a good time.  You can also see that E had his flag turned backwards.  Guess they didn’t teach that skill in engineering school, hmmm?  Or he’s a commie.

The minute we walked up to the photo booth to take a look at our picture, the employee called her manager over.  They both looked at their computer screen for a few moments.  I tried to inconspicuously lick the rest of the banana off my hand.  The manager started laughing and said “Y’all brought props!”  He was very cool.  We bought the banana/flag picture then went back out to the ride lockers to retrieve our next props.

The morning before we went to the park, I assigned Gracie and E the task of super gluing Uno cards together to make managing them on the ride easier.  I was scared shitless deeply moved seeing them perform this task together for damned well near a full hour.  The engineer and the National Honor Society student were not having some random, willy nilly card prop shit in their picture.  Oh, hell no.  I’m not sure what was involved in deciding which cards were glued to which other cards because I’m not smart enough to comprehend that fuckery but I know for a fact there was calculus involved and possibly some voodoo.

We retrieved our meticulously super glued Uno cards from the backpack and that’s when E decided he wanted to be the hottie with the banana in our next picture.  Yes, I had a backup banana ready to go if the first one failed.  I explained to him that the banana was my little inside joke.  I tried to discourage him from pulling a Single White Female on me but he was adamant and excited to use not only my backup banana for himself but also the Uno cards as his second picture prop.  Together.  At the same time.  Foreshadowing:  Karma is a bitch.

We headed back to the ride line.  I thoroughly read the ride rules once again just to make sure nothing had been changed from 15 minutes before.  I saw no signs of an Uno card with a big X drawn over it so I felt confident I’d be okay.  Single White Female and his banana were on their own.  Screw them.

The ride went perfectly and I felt really good about it.  E was just a little smoother with his banana disposal as we exited the ride but to be fair, he’d already learned from my mistakes.  Just saying.

Victorious, we marched down the exit ramp to take a look at our second picture.  The photo manager was already staring at the screen, laughing.  We assured him that was our last picture for the night.  As we gazed at our second picture, E held back sobs and I triumphantly shouted “Karma, baby!”  Karma truly is the biggest bitch of all because the Uno cards completely hid the backup banana in E’s mouth from view.

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I’m not sure if E is shitting himself, really enjoying that banana, pissed off at his Uno cards, or all of those at once in the above picture.  I respected his privacy and didn’t ask.

Seriously, this was a blast to do.  E was a good sport about the banana thing although he was disappointed that the Uno cards foiled his plans.  I hope our kids will look at these someday and remember how goofy and dorky their parents were and how much fun we had together.

Stay tuned as we hopefully top these during our Halloween trip in just a couple months!  If you have any props you’d like us to use, let me know in the comments or private message me if you don’t want it on record.  We are currently in the throes of ordering Halloween costumes for Mickey’s Not So Haunted Halloween party, which we will attend on October 29th this year.  If you want to see what we went as last year, click here.

Happy Weekend, y’all.

Screw You, Forrest Gump! And That Geico Pig, Too!

auburn

I know, I know.  I’m way behind.  I am still stuck in post-Halloween hangover.  Costumes are still not completely unpacked and put into storage and I’m already grappling with the fact that I’m one week away from being behind on Christmas.  What the hell happened to November?  I promise to post my Halloween wrap-ups in the next week.

I’m also still recovering from a really tough football weekend.  I won’t lie.  I had a meltdown by the end of the 3rd quarter of the Alabama-LSU game and exiled myself to my bathroom for the duration of the game, firmly believing I was a jinx to the team the longer I watched.  E would run back to give me updates from time to time.  I sat behind a locked door with the exhaust fan turned on so I could block out all football noise, temporarily uninstalled Bleacher Report from my phone so I couldn’t check the score or who had possession, wrote a Facebook rant, may or may not have called my friends “ass hats”, and rocked back and forth with a beer.  I’m not proud of that but there it is.  And we won.  So I may exile myself again this Saturday when we play #1 ranked Mississippi State.

Alabama withstood LSU but Texas A&M beat Auburn, and Notre Dame went down to Arizona State.  Even if you’re not a football fan, you will appreciate the latest round of social media meltdowns from this past weekend’s heart wrenching losses, brought to you by Roll Bama Roll.

Fans who got a double whammy of hatred for the opposing team and self-loathing for their own team became suicidal, turned on the adorable Geico pig, threatened assault on senior citizen coaches and accused leprechauns of sodomy!  I also learned that watching Auburn football can give you the Ebola.  Holy shit.

http://www.rollbamaroll.com/2014/11/11/7191807/nsfw-its-meltdown-time-week-eleven

Who knew other team’s fans called Bama fans “Gumps”, as in Forrest, I guess?  I didn’t.

It’s nice to know I wasn’t alone in my football meltdown.  Roll Damn Tide.  Also, fuck that Geico pig!

This Is Halloween, The Finale

We made it to the end!  Well, maybe.  I can’t know for sure if you’re going to read the whole post but I’ll give you the benefit of doubt.  If you read till the end, there will be prizes and confetti and strippers.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I’m sorry.

Welcome to the last installment of This is Halloween.  This series has covered each year we have spent Halloween Week in Orlando.  Here’s the recap of 2013.  This was the 4th year we went to Universal and Disney World for all the Halloween festivities.

The following video of Halloween Horror Nights 2013 only covers the scare zones, not the houses.  And of course, I don’t expect you to watch a 10 minute video but you can fast forward through it to get a good feel of the theme for 2013.  If you’re a Walking Dead fan, you’ll love it.  2013 scare zones were all Walking Dead, all the time.  I don’t watch the show but I did recognize most of the iconic backdrops.

I did not go through any houses that year, something I really regret now.  At the time, though, I felt like shit.  I would find out the next day at the emergency clinic that I had bronchitis.  Not fun.

If I had it to do over again, I would go through two houses that year – American Werewolf In London and Cabin In The Woods.

I remember as a teenager thinking that American Werewolf was the best horror movie of all time and the special effects for 1981 were mind blowing.  Cabin In The Woods is my favorite modern horror movie.  One of my favorite movies of all time from any genre is Army of Darkness.  AoD bridged the distance between horror and comedy in a way I had never seen before.  Cabin wasn’t that campy but it had just enough humor to make you almost forget it was a pretty gnarly horror movie and in that way, it reminded me a lot of AoD.

There aren’t a lot of pictures from that night, as E and Landon split off to do the houses.  Gracie and I did our best to hide from the zombies on the streets and were mostly successful.  I mainly spent my time feeling up Lard Lad while Gracie took pictures.  That’s the kind of Mom I am.

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For Mickey’s Not So Haunted Halloween Party, we decided to tackle all new Harry Potter characters, except for Harry Potter, of course.  Landon was The Chosen One himself, Gracie made an awesome Luna Lovegood and could even talk exactly like her, E was Mad-Eye Moody, and I was Bellatrix Lestrange.  Again, not many pictures were taken because I had bronchitis and the antibiotics hadn’t kicked in yet.  It was still a great night.  E was the most popular character this time around and was stopped a few times by people asking to get a  picture with him.

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Did I mention I had bronchitis?  Because I did.  I’m a trooper like that.

Thank you for sharing these memories with me!  I will upload a picture of us in costume sometime in the late afternoon/early evening hours right here on the blog on October 30th so check back often that day.  Get your finger limbered up for the refresh button.  If you want to save your finger from refresh button fatigue, follow me and you’ll get an email message every time I post a blog.  Or, if you prefer, I can post my blog link to your Facebook wall every hour on the hour.  Your choice.  Personally, I’d just hit the damn little blue “Follow” button somewhere on this page and be done with it.

We’ve had a few snags this week in the costume prep department but I think it will still all come together in spectacular fashion.  Have a great weekend, y’all, and Happy Halloween Week!  Be safe out there.

Not Lost In Translation

Halloween is 11 days away, we leave for Orlando in 5 days, and I had a pretty major costume malfunction last night.  Let’s just say that a project I elected to do myself on my costume, which should have been a simple DIY, went horribly wrong.  I had to take the main piece of the costume to our tailor to be fixed today.

For reference, our tailor shop consists of an older, married Vietnamese couple.  We have taken many items to them, from dresses for our cruises to pants to be tailored for E and Landon.  They definitely recognize me due to my hair color and I’m pretty sure they’d remember E if he went back in.  They always have the shop television tuned to a Vietnamese channel.  I didn’t even know those were available in Alabama.  Anyway, they always talk to each other in Vietnamese, which has never bothered me until today.

I was already a little embarrassed to take the item in to be fixed.  It’s kind of silly but as I was driving there, I determined that I’d be very detached about the whole thing, like it wasn’t even mine.  Here’s what went down, described in the vaguest possible way so I don’t give away the costume theme, which is a surprise.

Me (placing the item on the counter and for all the embarrassment I felt, it may as well have been my own personal panties):  I tried to iron these on with adhesive but they keep popping up when worn.

Man Tailor says nothing but glares at them while poking them down, somehow thinking they’ll stay for him.  Valiant but useless to me at this point.

Me:  Could you sew them on?  So they’ll stay down when worn?

Man Tailor:  You did this?  

Me:  Yes.  

Tailor Man pokes at them a bit more angrily, then turns to his wife, Tailor Woman, says something in Vietnamese, and shows her my screw up.  Tailor Man and Woman discuss my costume predicament for a minute and Tailor Woman starts laughing.  Then Tailor Man starts laughing.  Tailor Man starts stretching the garment and they laugh harder.

Me (weakly):  It’s a Halloween costume.  We’re going as XYZ.  To Disney World.

Tailor Woman:  Honey, not worth it.  Too much money.  

Tailor Man (putting the garment back on the counter between us and looks at it with disdain):  Too much.  Not worth it.

Me:  Well, can it be done?  

Tailor Man:  Have to sew around here.

Me:  Yes, I know.  That’s what I want.  How much will it cost?  

Tailor Man:  You sure?

Me:  Yes.

Tailor Man (pokes at one in particular): $7.

Me:  $7 each?

Tailor Man (Pokes at each one of them now, doing the math):  $7, $14, $21.

Me:  Okay, so $21?

Tailor Man:  $20 fine.  You sure?!

Me:  Yes, I really need this!  When can I pick it up?

Tailor Man:  You sure?

Me:  Yes!

Tailor Man:  Tomorrow, same time.

Me:  Okay, see you then.

Tailor Woman says something to Tailor Man and they both refrain from giggling but barely.

Tailor Man (holding up the garment):  Is this yours?

Me:  Nope.  It’s my husbands.

I learned two valuable lessons today.  First, laughter and mockery don’t need to be translated, people.  Secondly, I will not hesitate to throw you under the bus to save face at the tailor shop.  I’m not sure what that says about me but there it is.  I have a feeling E will find another tailor to alter his next pair of pants.

Final installment of my Orlando Halloween series will happen maybe later tonight or maybe tomorrow or someday.  It’s crazy busy and I had to get laughed at in Vietnamese today.  Cut me some slack, y’all.  Hope you had a great Monday!

This Is Halloween, Part Three

Welcome back to my Halloween series, where I recap each year we have traveled to Orlando for Halloween Week!  If you’re catching up, you can see Part One here and Part 2 here.

2012 is my favorite year so far for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party but first, let’s cover Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios.  Here’s what it looked like:

I don’t typically go through the haunted houses because I actually believe the best scares don’t originate in blood and guts.  I think true terror is in the mind.  The most disturbing horror movie I’ve ever seen, that still haunts me to this day, is The Mothman Prophecies.  No blood.  No guts.  But it fucks with your mind.  I’m a horror snob.  Okay, fine, I’m a pussy but I just don’t like the cheap thrill of slasher films.

When I started reading the buzz surrounding an independent concept house for HHN 2012, I knew I had to see it.  It called to me just like the Edgar Allan Poe house had the year before.  It was called Gothic.  I’ll let one of the reviews I read by Inside The Magic sum it up for me.

“The most immersive, detailed, and impressive maze at Halloween Horror Nights 22, Gothic surrounds its visitors with room after room of rich environments with an incredible level of realism. The setting is an old cathedral, now under renovation, much to the dismay of the spirits that haunt the location. Those spirits all arrive in the form of gargoyles, guarding the cathedral by day and haunting it by night.

The sheer size of the sound stage-based maze is staggering. With two- to three-story individual rooms, guests find themselves looking up and around as the architecture serves as an excellent misdirection away from the lurking gargoyles. This house is also packed with unique moments, including several overhead flying creatures, a wonderfully surprising stilt walker, and two of the most beautiful and inventive scenes ever created at Halloween Horror Nights. One tricks the eye into feeling like guests are standing high above a huge church, looking down on its altar and pews, while the other utilizes hundreds of candles that extinguish in sequence leading up to a surprise moment.”

So once again, I paid Landon $5 and he went in ahead of me, my fingers securely hooked around his belt loops as per our tradition, screaming my head off.  This is what we saw.

I wish the video could have captured the part where it looked like you were walking very high up over the church, pews and altar below.  Everything about this house was beautiful, if a haunted house can be called that.

An hour later, we were walking through another section of the park and I noticed the couple who had went through the house in front of me and Landon.  They were pointing and laughing at me.  I didn’t realize I was that much of a handful going through the houses but I’m giving Landon a raise.  He gets $10 for dealing with me holding onto his belt loops, cowering behind him and screaming in his ear this year.

Here are some pictures from HHN 2012.

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) 2012 is my favorite year so far because our costumes kicked ass.  I won’t even attempt to be all coy and shit.  We kicked every other family there in the ass.  Repeatedly.

Seriously, Landon stole the show as Uncle Fester, Gracie was an amazing Wednesday and E and I didn’t do too bad with our roles as Morticia and Gomez.  It was the most fun we’ve had so far.  We got stopped numerous times by people requesting pictures with us.  Landon hammed it up with his light bulb that really worked.  E had Thing on his shoulder along with the necessary Gomez cigar (it was fake).

There are downfalls to awesomeness sometimes, though.  On Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, I had to scream repeatedly “Hold on to your wigs!”  Thing almost flew off of E’s shoulder while we were riding Space Mountain.  Gracie was sitting behind him and caught it.  Even with all the near costume malfunctions, these are my favorite costumes so far.  I proposed we make it our yearly costumes but was vetoed by the family.  After this year’s costumes, they may be begging to return to The Addams Family.

Here are some pictures from MNSSHP 2012.

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One more year, y’all!  Thanks for sticking with me.  I will cover 2013 later this week.  2014 costume preparations are fast and furious.  I can’t let myself think about it or I’ll panic.  It’ll be epic.  I can’t wait.

Do you like haunted houses?  Does your town have an annual Halloween event with houses or trails?  Tell me in the comments!  Also, tell me what horror movie still fucks with you to this very day.  C’mon.  I showed you mine.  Now you show me yours.

This Is Halloween, Part Two

Welcome back to my series covering my family’s annual Halloween trip to Orlando.  We are covering the second year we went, which was 2011.  Go back to Part 1 if you don’t love me and aren’t refreshing your web browser every 15 minutes, hoping I’ve posted something new.  Go on.  Look at Part 1.  I’ll wait.

First, a little housekeeping.  I’m a sucky blogger and forgot to include footage from the very first Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) we attended, which happened to be the 20th Anniversary.  Universal welcomed back HHN icons from the previous 19 years and it was amazing.  I think this sums up the event pretty well.

I should also note that Gracie was 10 years old when we attended our first HHN.  We truly didn’t know what we were getting into but she survived the first one and there was no turning back after that.  We tried to avoid the most populated Scare Actor areas.  She mostly hated the chainsaws and still hates the sound of them today.   The chainsaws are music to my ears and let me know that I’m at HHN.

Moving on, here’s a peek at our second HHN in 2011.  Check out the cool projections about the 4:30 mark.  It looked like the buildings were crumbling.  Gracie and I really enjoyed watching this as we were hiding from the Scare Actors.

I don’t do haunted houses and did not go through any at our first HHN but then Universal announced that 2011 would offer a house based on Edgar Allan Poe’s works.  I could not resist.  I’m a huge Edgar Allan Poe fan and had to see it, debilitating fear be damned.  I paid Landon $5 to go in with me and I hid behind him, my fingers through his belt loops and screamed like a little girl.  But I loved every minute of it.  I wish we could have just stopped and taken in the beautiful house scenery because it was like walking into Poe’s works.  It was amazing.

Here are some pictures from our second HHN, 2011.

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2011’s costumes for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) were all about the kids.  Okay, and a bit about us.  Both of them love Harry Potter because E and I read the books long before our kids could read.  We could not wait to introduce them to the HP series via book or movies as soon as we possibly could.  They loved it, and still do, as much as we do.

This is the first year E had to shave his beard off because Snape the character dictated it.  Just a tip, if you want full grown ladies to yell “Snape” at you all night long and ask if they can get a picture with you, go as Snape for Halloween in Orlando.  All we heard the entire night was “Snape!”  It was awesome.  Check out the last photo below where you can see the shadows on the sidewalk.  Perfect Snape silhouette.  I normally don’t kiss and tell but I totally made out with Snape on the Haunted Mansion ride.  Don’t tell Professor Lupin.

Landon was Harry Potter himself, Gracie was Hermione and I was Tonks.

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I’m going to try to finish this series within the next week because 2014 Halloween preparations here are stepping up and my time is increasingly valuable.  We leave for Orlando in two weeks! Two weeks, that’s crazy!  I am taking pictures of the process and can’t wait to post those pictures after the big reveal of this year’s costumes on October 30th.  It is going to be crazy epic.  I did a full dress rehearsal with Gracie last night and it turned out so much better than even I expected.  I absolutely cannot wait to unveil these to y’all.

In the meantime, I hope you’re having a great week!  If you’re dressing up for Halloween this year, tell me what you’re going to be in the comments.

This Is Halloween, Part One

My family loves Halloween.

This is usually exactly when the person I’m talking to or chatting with on Facebook says/writes “Oh, we do, too!”

No.  You don’t understand the level of our Halloween craziness.  Your $50 worth of 100% real juice fruit snacks for the neighborhood rug munchers (I once called toddlers that and my friend Lucinda immediately started laughing and informed me that I was using the wrong term but I’m sticking with “rug munchers”, damn it) and traditional delightful kitty cat costume isn’t really the same thing.  Bless your heart.

We used to live in a gated community in Texas where lots of young families lived.  Halloween was fun and festive and busy.  We’d answer our door and give the little rug munchers candy (not that fruit shit, damn it, it’s Halloween, people!) for about an hour, then we’d leave the huge bowl of future diabetes and death on our porch and the Honor System would reign while we took our kids around the neighborhood for their turn at the chocolate.  Or fruit snacks.  Bastards.

When we moved to Alabama, we chose an older home in an older neighborhood.  Newsflash:  80 year olds don’t like to trick or treat.  Our first Halloween here sucked.  It sucked so bad I think I would’ve taken those fruit snacks.

As the next Halloween was barreling down on us, I looked into going out of town, specifically to Disney World for their annual Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  This after hours, ticketed event happens during select nights in September and October and families are encouraged to dress up in costume.

I also discovered during that time that Universal Orlando was celebrating the 20th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights.  It is also an after hours, ticketed event held on select nights in September and October.  Costumes are not allowed due to their Scare Actors, haunted houses, etc.

Our first year at Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) couldn’t have been better due to the 20th anniversary.  They brought several of the marquee “bad guys” back from previous years in celebration and it was mind blowing.  We had found our people.

Here are some pictures from our first HHN.  We really didn’t take that many because we were so overwhelmed by the event.

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Our first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) was also quite the event but much more family friendly.  We decided it would be more fun to go in themed costumes so with the popularity of Alice In Wonderland that year, we went with it.

Landon initially refused to be the Mad Hatter so we called a family conference.  I talked to Gracie beforehand and told her that we were going to offer him $20 to go as the Mad Hatter.  She was all in.  He rejected our $20 bribe and Gracie immediately slapped her hand on the coffee table and said “Okay, 50 bucks”! without consulting us.  He agreed to the $50, E and I noted that Gracie was a really shitty negotiator and have since elected not to include her in any costume bribery.

Landon turned out to be the hit of the night.  There were a few other Mad Hatters but none better than he was.  He stole the show from all of us (and that wasn’t the last time he “stole” our Disney thunder but more on that in Part 2) and he enjoyed every single minute of it.  Here are a few pics from that night.

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We have returned for both events ever since.  This will be our fifth year of celebrating Halloween week in Orlando and we are just as excited for it as we were the first time.

This year’s costumes are a secret and there have already been a few incorrect guesses from friends on Facebook.  I will reveal the costumes, with us in them, on October 30th, the night we attend the MNSSHP.

This will be our most epic year ever for costumes but before I get too far ahead of myself, I will be doing blog posts on each year we’ve attended the events and also include pictures of all our past costumes.

Stay tuned!  And return those 100% real juice fruit snacks to Walmart.  I mean it.

Amusement Park Rides: You’re Doing It Wrong!

My family goes to Universal Studios Orlando and Disney World every Halloween because we can combine two of our favorite things, amusement parks and Halloween.  We also visited Universal Orlando this past Memorial Day because we had season passes but Halloween is definitely our favorite time to go.

I would like to think we’re amusement park veterans by now but I am deeply saddened.  It has come to my attention recently that I am doing this whole amusement park thing wrong, especially when it comes to those keepsake ride photos.

This is our last souvenir photo from our May trip.  We were riding the Forbidden Journey at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  We had talked about it beforehand and after a couple misfires, we thought we had our shit together.  We were all going to make funny faces, whatever felt right at the moment.  And quit looking at my chunky legs.  I’ve lost almost 13 pounds since then, damn it.

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E has the thumbs up thing down along with the crazed Jack Nicholson look.  Gracie looks like she’s deep into the weed.  All that’s missing is a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.  Landon almost got the thumbs up right but we’ll settle for side thumbs.  I knew this picture was coming up, we’ve been on this ride dozens of times.  It’s one of our favorite rides in the park yet I can’t even manage to look at the camera.  I’m the slow one in the family.  Please use small words and refrain from sudden movements around me.

There is hope for our Halloween trip and time to improve our keepsake photo game.  Check out these inspirations and my new heroes, from the Disney Splash Mountain ride photos.  Old people with bad eyesight (I’m looking at you, E), you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Oh dear God, the humanity!!!

Where the hell is my horoscope?

Where the hell is my horoscope?

Checkmate, mother fucker.

Checkmate, mother fucker.

Same guys from the chess picture, a different year.  They are either too epic to be true or really need girlfriends.

Hey, chess game.  Connect Four and Jenga kicked your highbrow, uppity ass!

Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking Disney ride!

Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking Disney ride!

Proving that beer pong can be played anywhere.  Also, they may need a 12 Step Program.

Proving that beer pong can be played anywhere. Also, they may need a 12 Step Program.

Oh, I smell what you got cookin', Rock.

Oh, I smell what you got cookin’, Rock.

One group of friends, three different years.  Someone find them now.  They are my new BFFs.

One group of friends, three different years.  They need girlfriends.  Like yesterday.  Someone find these dudes because they are my new BFFs.

And my absolute favorite:

Clockwise and harder, Brad!

Clockwise and harder, Brad!  Harder, damn it!

Up your amusement park photo games, people!  I expect pictures.  Hope you’re having a great week and thanks for stopping by.

You’re A Sneaky Bastard, Summer!

It may not technically be summer according to the calendar but it’s summer in my book when my vanity succumbs to my survival instincts and I actually don short shorts and a tank top to go out in public.  Throw your outdoor thermometers away.  The Weather Channel should just stand outside my house and post weather forecasts completely based on the amount of my flesh I am exposing to Southern air.  They could call it the “Flesh Tracker”.  No costly satellites needed.  Jim Cantore can retire to Florida and call his shit done.

Let me count the ways I have always hated summer.

I hate the temps.  If you’re in the South, you also know what humidity that takes your breath away feels like.  It doesn’t get much better when I go back home to Texas in late July.  A couple years ago, my friend “Fantasia” threatened to take my native Texan card away if I complained about the temps one more time.  In my defense, a whole bottle of hand sanitizer exploded in my car.  EXPLODED.  If I would have been in the vehicle when the bottle exploded, I could have been killed or even worse.  It was considered a “cool front” that year if temps got below 114 degrees.  I have located the mouth of hell and it is in or around North Texas.

I hate the fashions, especially when I have “more to love” than usual and I’m really lovable this summer.  I hate trying on swimsuits so much that I skipped it altogether, played swimsuit routlette and ordered online this year.  This is one of the suits I bought:

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The ad claims this suit will make you “suddenly slim” so I completely ignored the Law of Horizontal Stripes, figuring it wouldn’t apply to my suddenly slim ass.  I ended up just looking like the damned Hamburglar.

Robble fucking robble.

Now on a personal vendetta against the Law of Horizontal Stripes, this is the second suit I ordered:

No fucks to give. Not one.

It’s like Barney and the Hamburglar had a one night stand and this came out nine months later.  Before anyone asks, and I know they will, Barney was definitely the power bottom in that arrangement.  Hamburglar has done hard time and is through taking that shit.

I hate summer because no matter how much time I spend on my makeup, an hour later I look like a contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race who got his/her ass kicked by that coffee can full of bacon grease my Granny used to keep on the back of her stove.  Not a cute look, y’all.

I hate summer because I have a problem with swimming pools, aside from the obvious swimsuit debacle.  I can’t enter a public pool without desperately wanting to test the water for urine or even worse things.  I hate the toddlers at the local pool who smirk at me because they can swim better than I can.  One day, I’ll catch them when they’re not wearing their Disney arm floaties and it will be ON.

Before I send summer to therapy, I’ll attempt to find something positive about it.

I love the time off with the kids and the lazy schedule we strictly adhere to.  I’m usually at my fittest in the summer because we grill a lot and I’m more disciplined with my diet and exercise because I’m going home to see family and friends.  That’s another perk of summer, going back to Texas with the kids and seeing those same family and friends.  I love a really ice cold beer and summer was made for that.  I love Sonic Route 44 diet green iced teas.  I love summer action movies.  I love my summer playlist on Spotify, which I created last year and titled “Summer:  Let’s Do This, Fucker”.  I love knowing that on the other side of summer is the reward of fall, football, Halloween, cozy sweaters, knee high boots and mossy green eyeshadow.

Okay, fine.  Let’s hug it out, summer.  You’re not that bad after all, you sneaky SOB.

Let me know in the comments if and why you hate summer as much as I do.  Have a good week, y’all.  I’m down 8.2 pounds!  Woo hoo!