Monday, February 22, 2010

"reflection" parte dos

Here you go, the next section of my little story. Hope you like it! I get my critiques back tomorrow in class, so please pray for me...

Insomnia attacked me that night, preventing me from getting comfortable or finding peace from my own thoughts. Finally, thankfully, I fell asleep. It seemed like only minutes later my mom was shaking me awake. I squinted into her face lined with worry. “What is it, mom?”

“It’s your sister,” my mom whispered harshly. “She’s not home. She’s not answering her phone. I called Sierra’s house and her parents said they haven’t seen anything of Ainsley all day!”
I closed my eyes and groaned. Now it would be a grounding for both of us. God, I was ready to kill her. “What time is it?”

“Almost midnight!”

I sat up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. “I think she’s with some guy named Devin.”

My mother covered her mouth in horror. “Devin? Who’s that? Are you telling me you lied directly to my face earlier? Lindsay, how could you be so irresponsible?” Her words stung, and a part of me boiled up in protest. Me, irresponsible? Ainsley managed to total her car six months after getting it and mine didn’t have a scratch, but I was the irresponsible one? Ainsley runs around with all the boys and forgets about her homework, but I was the irresponsible one?

She continued, “Get up. Put a bathrobe on. Do you know where this boy lives? Drive to his house. Don’t you come home without her.” I could have said a lot of things. I should have ranted against the injustice of it all. But I was so tired from being woken in the middle of the night, and so tired of my sister’s crap, that I put on my bathrobe and trudged to my car without another word. I didn’t know this kid Devin very well, but I remembered that there’d been a party at his house last year. He lived on Kirtley Drive, which thankfully was only about ten minutes away. I cruised slowly down the street, squinting at the houses to see if I recognized them. I noticed a blue two-story with a green Toyota 4Runner parked in front, and I remembered seeing that car at school a lot. I shrugged to myself and pulled in.

Standing in their driveway, I suddenly wasn’t so sure of myself. What was I thinking, coming here in the middle of the night? What if they had a mean dog, and I got attacked, or something? I creeped timidly toward the front door and reached shaking fingers to knock on the door, feeling foolish. His dad answered the door, of course, in his bathrobe. God, she owed me.

“Can I help you, young lady?” His eyebrows were raised halfway to his forehead. I suppose I looked like a lunatic, showing up in my faded pink bathrobe to a stranger’s house. I saw the TV glowing in the background, thank goodness, so at least I hadn’t woken him.

“Yes, sir. Um, does Devin live here?” I asked, twisting the cord of my robe nervously.

“He does. Do you need to speak to him? Come on in.” He held the door open for me, eyebrows still raised.

“Er, thanks. Um?” I looked helplessly around, not remembering my way around his house.

“I’ll get him for you.” I nodded, thankful. He disappeared down the hallway and appeared a few minutes later, looking more disgruntled than ever, his son in tow.

“There appears to be another young lady keeping him company in there,” he huffed, and my heart dropped. What was she thinking, spending the night at Devin’s when she was perfectly attached to Logan? “This is turning out to be an interesting night.” Devin’s father turned and shuffled into what I assumed to be the kitchen.

“Hi, Lindsay,” Devin said awkwardly, shoving his black-framed glasses further up the bridge of his nose. “Are you looking for Ainsley?” I nodded crossly. No, I thought irritably as I followed him to his room, I’m here to sell you chocolates. In my bathrobe. At 12:20 in the morning.
“Well, there she is.” He gestured inside his room. Ainsley was fast asleep on a bed in the middle of the room, and I dimly registered some blankets and a pillow on the floor at the foot of the bed. I marched to the side and shook her awake.

“What?” She asked, and her sleepy voice reverberated around the room. I winced.

“We’re both going to be grounded, that’s what. Come on.” I pulled on her arm, trying to wake her up.

“Oh. Crap.” She looked at Devin, who looked shy and embarrassed from the doorway. “Sorry, Devin. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“That’s okay,” he said helplessly, moving out of the way as we walked toward the front room. “Ainsley? Feel better, okay?” She nodded at him.

“Bye, Devin.” I walked out of his house feeling incredibly foolish. I waited until we were safely in my car before blurting out, “Do you know what hell we’re going to face when we get home? And all for a one-night stand with some guy?”

Cliffhanger! Haha. Anyway, you'll get the last bit tomorrow.

In the meantime, have a magical Monday night!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the big reveal

As some of you may know, I'm taking a creative writing class this semester, and on Thursday I turned in my first short story, to be read and critiqued by my classmates over the weekend. Gulp. If 20 strangers are reading it, possibly right now, I see no reason why people with whom I choose to associate can't also read it as well.

There is a back story to it, but that's for another day. It's called "Reflection," and I don't actually like the title, but that's the best I could do at 2 am Thursday morning. Here's the first part, and I hope you like it. (Go easy on me...I hadn't written anything creative in months.)

“Remember, projects are due this Friday,” Ms. Niblett called over the din of papers being shuffled and doors slamming as the bell rang. I stuffed my binder into my backpack and headed out of the classroom, making a brief stop to my locker before stepping out into the chilly November air.

I walked to my car, a 2000 Ford Taurus, and took my time unlocking the car and plopping my things on the backseat. I knew from experience that Ainsley would be late, ostensibly from talking to a teacher about upcoming assignments but really from chatting it up with her “friend,” Devin. I settled myself in the driver’s seat and watched my classmates stream by, getting into their own cars and zooming away, or milling around under the oak for soccer practice.
I checked my watch. 3:10. I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel, trying to shrug off my biting impatience. At 3:20 I pulled away, spinning my tires rather harder than necessary in my frustration. My phone rang at 3:25.


“Lin!” Ainsley’s voice was breathless on the other end. “Sorry, girl, I forgot to text you that I’m going to Devin’s today.”

Of course. I frowned and turned neatly into our driveway. “You text.” My voice sounded clipped, even to me.

“Oh, Lindsay. You sound like Mom. Lighten up, okay? Or that black hair will be sproutin’ grays pretty soon!” Click. Thoroughly irritated now, I lugged my stuff out of the backseat and stomped up the driveway.

My mom looked up as I swung open the door. “Hi, honey. Have a good day? Where’s Ainsley?” She bustled about the kitchen as she talked.

I’d already started walking down the hall to my room. “It was okay. Just another Wednesday. Ainsley’s with a friend,” I called over my shoulder. I flopped down on my bed and resisted the urge to yell into a pillow.

Listening to me rant, you’d think I was talking about my fourteen-year-old freshman of a sister, but Carmindy’s more like me. Responsible. Dance team and volleyball in the spring, and impeccable grades on top of that. She adjusted to high school better than I had, and I was proud of her. No, the sister driving me insane would be my twin, Ainsley. Older by two minutes, to be technical. We’re both juniors, sixteen, but sometimes I feel like she’s going on six. And the boys she’s always with! Last year it was Alek, the artsy kid from her theatre class. Then things got serious with Logan, the guy she’s been on-and-off with since our freshman year. He’s in the army now, and I bet he doesn’t have a clue who Devin is.

I sat up and looked at the mirror across from my bed. Black hair tumbled across my shoulders, blue eyes stared back at me. Though we’re twins, we couldn’t look less alike. Ainsley has brown curls and brown eyes. My skin is milky, while hers is freckled all over and tans easily in summer. I’m built like Marilyn Monroe, and she’s built more like Audrey Hepburn. At family reunions, great-aunts always come up to me and say things like, “My, Lindsay! What a beautiful young lady you’ve grown up to be! And that skin – Scarlett O’Hara would be jealous!” But what they don’t know is the boys like tans. And little bitsy teeny weeny bikini bodies. And brown eyes, apparently.

I turned my back on my reflection and started digging in my background for my history book; that project wasn’t going to finish itself. I tried to put my sister out of my mind and concentrated on the Civil War instead. I worked until I heard Melinda dropping Carmindy off after dance practice, then continued working until the light outside started to fade. Finally mom called us to dinner.

We ate at seven sharp every night, because my dad got in at 6:30. Carmindy was usually showered by then, and the dining room was filled with her chattering voice until we bowed our heads for the blessing. My dad picked up his steak knife and glanced at the empty chair to my left. “Where’s Ainsley?”

“Lindsay said she was with a friend,” my mother answered, buttering her potato. “Which friend did you say it was, dear?” She turned to me.

I didn’t look up from my steak. More than likely, they’d freak out if I told them the truth. They don’t like Ainsley being with Logan because he’s a few years older, but they certainly wouldn’t like her being with some guy they don’t know. I’m sure they’d like to think Ainsley’s a fragile doll who needs her virtue protected, but oh, if they only knew the truth.

“She’s with Sierra,” I lied, buttering my potato to give my hands something to do. “History project due Friday.” Mom and dad beamed at each other across the table, and I looked down at my plate, gripping my steak knife. You owe me, I thought viciously.

I helped Carmindy with the dishes and headed back to finish the project. I just had to proofread my essay, and I was done. It isn’t that often I actually have free time, so I turned on my TV and flipped through the channels. There wasn’t much on, so I settled on a rerun of Boy Meets World. It was the episode where Shawn tries to win Angela’s military dad’s approval. I sat there, savoring the feeling of having nothing to do, until thoughts of Ainsley starting creeping back in my mind. I thought idly back to middle school, when she wasn’t the most popular with the guys – or the most unpopular with the girls, for that matter. We shared bunk beds back then in our old house, and we giggled late into the night, talking. We were like those twins you see in movies who can finish each others' sentences. I hurriedly clicked off the TV and sat in the dark. Suddenly I realized that I was on the verge of tears. I jumped up and started cleaning my room, sorting out piles of laundry and folding clean clothes just to stay busy. I had no choice but to go to bed early. It was either that or dwell uselessly on the past, because let’s face it – my sister was a different person back then.

That's the first couple of pages. There are eight in total. Let me know what you think! I like constructive criticism.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is enjoying their Sunday evening; don't forget to tune into at 7pm tonight for the live Be Our Guest Podcast broadcast! (Just because I can't doesn't mean you can't.) :)

Have a magical week, everybody.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

i like days like today.

It's 5:04. I get off in less than an hour, and I'm just sitting here enjoying a lazy Saturday at work. I usually take my coffee black, but today I decided to be adventurous and go for a shot of French Vanilla. Mmmm.

It really is the little things that make life so wonderful. I like working with my friend Molly, especially when the boys aren't here. I love the boys...but sometimes I just like my estrogen unpolluted.

I like reading my friend Michelle Sanders's blog and being inspired by the amazing things she makes with her hands, like the necklace I gave my mama for Christmas.

I like going on dates with my boyfriend, even if it's just dinner and a movie. It's so lovely having him in Baton Rouge these days.

I like bonding with my Disney friends about non-Disney things on Twitter, like musicals, hideous pants, and wedding dresses. I like listening to Magical Mouse Radio and remembering crying for 20 minutes after leaving the Magic Kingdom.

I like driving out of the way just to get Taco Bell because I'm craving it, then pretending it's from Pecos Bill.

I like getting messages from old teachers that I really loved in high school, especially when they make me tear up.

I like my sometimes average, often random, usually great life.

Everyone have a magical Saturday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

will you try?

A lot of people in the Disney community are lucky enough to share their passion with their significant other. However, a lot of us can't really share our obsession with our loved one, because sometimes they don't "get it." For those who don't always understand us, this is a song from Disney Mania 4, by Jesse McCartney. It's called "I'll Try."

I am not a child now
I can take care of myself
I mustn't let them down now
Mustn't let them see me cry
I'm fine, I'm fine

I'm too tired to listen
I'm too old to believe
All these childish stories
There is no such thing as faith
And trust and pixie dust

I try
But it's so hard to believe
I try
But I can't see what you see
I try, I try, I try...

My whole world is changing
I don't know where to turn
I can't leave you waiting
But I can't stay and watch this city burn
Watch it burn

'Cause I try
But it's so hard to believe
I try
But I can't see where you see
I try, I try

I try and try to understand
The distance in between
The love I feel and the things I fear
And every single dream

I can finally see it
Now I have to believe
All those precious stories
All the world is made of...
Faith, and trust... and pixie dust

So, I'll try
Because I finally believe
I'll try, 'cause I can see what you see

I'll try, I'll try
I'll try...
To fly

Have a magical weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

bet you never thought i'd do this.

I'm doing something a little different for Lent this year. I'm still giving up the usual sweets, but I'm adding to that. Lent is about giving up what hurts the most, what you've become dependent upon...for me, that would be Disney trip planning. I'm not talking about REAL trip-planning, when I have a destination in mind and I'm sorting out actual plans for that; I'm talking about uselessly poring over forums and sites to read others' trip reports and dining reviews. For most people, this might sound ridiculous and extreme. But if you know me, you're probably not surprised.

I wake up every morning and check for the latest Walt Disney World news. I get Google alerts on Bob Iger, the company's CEO. I frequent to see what Debbie's got different up there, such as updates menus for different restaurants. I check the DISboards and the Be Our Guest Podcast forums at least once a week. I check blogs such as,, and my friend Rikki's blog, "A Disney World After All," nearly every day. I stalk Disney's official website and drool over pictures of various restaurants and resorts when I'm bored at work. Not to mention the countless podcasts I listen to every day in the car on the way to school and work.

I need an intervention. This is taking up too much time in my life...I used to read books at work, and now I read Disney blogs. Which is fine, to a certain extent...but not for 8 hours straight. So, to remedy this, I'm giving it up for Lent.

Because we are in the process of planning a tentative trip to the World this summer, I will still allow myself communication with the folks at The Magic for Less Travel. I will still allow myself to access certain parts of WDW's official site to book ADRs, etc. I will still allow myself to listen to Magical Mouse Radio and my Disney playlist, because they keep me sane when I'm having a bad day. But as for everything else...see you in six weeks.

I'm pretty nervous about this. I'm not gonna know what to do with myself. Maybe I can learn to use this time more wisely, like reading the Scriptures more. Maybe I can learn to rely more on God and less on a company that controls a theme park (well, they control more than a theme park, but you get my point).

I know I'll miss all my Disney time, but I think it's time I joined the real least for a little while.

Everyone have a magical day, and a happy Mardi Gras!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

my blog has a sister.

Hello! Just to let everyone know, I started a new blog dedicated entirely to food, chronicling my adventures in the kitchen. Oh, the possibilities. There will be plenty of Disney-inspired cuisine to come, I promise. Check her out at

"Be My Guest" will not replace "Searching For My Neverland," though, so keep reading. :)

Have a magical day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"and with every shot we take, we're making memories!"

Good morning! It's snowing outside, so I'm daydreaming of Florida...of course. Here's my post on my favorite Epcot photo ops!

It wouldn't be a trip to Epcot without a photo of Spaceship Earth. (And that is what it's called. Not "the big golf ball." Ack.) I like the back view from World Showcase, because then you get the lovely Fountain of Nations in as well!

If you hang around Spaceship Earth for a bit, you might see some of your favorite Disney characters!

There are all kinds of interesting attractions in Epcot that you've probably never seen before, like the jumping fountains in the Imagination courtyard.

There's a cool little place in Future World where you can sample various sodas from around the world...called Club Cool! Some drinks are tasty...but there's one little monster that's particularly sick.nast.

After exiting Test Track, you'll walk into a room showcasing various cars. After all, the attraction is sponsored by General Motors. Check out this crazy thing!

World Showcase is a Disney scrapbook heaven, because there are so many cute photo opportunities! Put on a sombrero in Mexico, hide behing a Venetian mask in Italy, or chat it up in a UK phone booth.

Canada, my favorite pavilion, has a beautiful reproduction of Niagara Falls. Think about how romantic this backdrop would be if you're taking a honeymoon trip!

Disney really nailed the Parisian air of the France pavilion.

France is my favorite place for meet-and-greets. Sometimes you'll see Aurora, other times Bella and the Beast...we got the lovely Marie Cat!

There you go! There are so many quirky thing to see and get a shot of, from the topiaries near the Land pavilion to the authentic Norwegian school bread at the bakery there. Don't forget to get some video of IllumiNations!

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"when we're making memories, happy days are always here!"

It's time for another Disney post! Today I'm gonna talk about something fairly simple: my favorite photo ops in the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street, U.S.A. alone has many opportunities for photos! Some of my favorites are: the bench with Goofy by Exposition Hall, on the right when you enter the Magic Kingdom; the fire station; the Barber Shop, especially if you have children; and the bench with Roy and Minnie, at the head of Main Street (or by Town Hall if it's the Christmas season).

Of course, there are endless opportunities for funny photos in front of the many shop windows, as well. And don't forget about the Disney's Photopass Photographer, who can take a photo of your entire party in front of Cinderella Castle!

For me, a trip to the Magic Kingdom wouldn't be complete without a snapshot of the infamous "Partners" statue in the center hub.

I like to take pictures of each of the "land" signs, which is really great for a Disney scrapbook. Adventureland is full of trees and totem poles, which really add to the jungle theme. Of course, you'll want to take pictures of Disney's famous mountain range, and 2 of them are conveniently in Frontierland! Woody and Jessie sometimes hang out near Splash Mountain to sign autographs, as well.

Liberty Square has lots of detail, from the hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion to the stocks in front of the river!

Toontown won't be there for long, so if you're going to WDW soon be sure to stop in and visit Mickey and Minnie's houses! (They're taking out Toontown with the new Fantasyland expansion.) You can meet the fairies from Pixie Hollow, your favorite princesses, and the Big Cheese himself!

In Fantasyland, you can "wake up Tink" in Tinker Bell's Treasures (especially fun if you have little girls). Head over to the front of Cinderella's Carousel and pretend to be King Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone - sadly, since Merlin's death a few years ago the sword-pulling show no longer exists, but it's still great for a picture! You can also meet-and-greet with Ariel in Ariel's Grotto, or with Belle in the enchanted story-garden on the right side of the castle.

See if you can find "Push," the talking, robotic garbage can in Tomorrowland. He's always a hoot. If you hang around you might spot Buzz Lightyear or Stitch for meet-and-greets, and don't forget about Space Mountain!

That's it for my favorite Magic Kingdom photo ops, though the choices are really endless!

Have a magical day, everyone!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

things could be worse.

For some reason, I've been having a bad few weeks. Things just haven't gone my way, and I was all sad last night thinking I am a failure.

It makes me sad that no matter how hard I try in school, I'm just not the kid who makes a 4.0. School does not come as easily to me as it does to others.

My life is ridiculously busy and I feel like I'm always behind. There's always some homework assignment lurking over my head, my room is always a mess, I never have time to work out even though I desperately want to, and I don't spend as much time with my friends as I'd like.

It upsets me that I never have time to write creatively anymore. I can't exactly call myself an aspiring writer if I never write!

I get angry with myself for the little ways I screw up every day. I want to be more like Mary but I fail every single day.

People criticize me and I believe them when they say I am disappointing.

But you know what?

I'm am not a superhero, or a real life Disney princess. I am not perfect. There will always be room for improvement, somewhere. But that's the story of everyone's life. I refuse to feel badly for being human.

I made the decision to only take 12 hours this semester, and you know what? It was the right thing to do. I'm doing better than I was last semester, even though it's still a lot of work.

I lost some of my scholarships but I'm still covered by TOPS. We don't have to pay as much money as some people do.

I don't always feel like I have much to offer the world, but someday I will make a difference as a Catholic school teacher. I can write, and I can help people plan their Disney trips thanks to my obsession. I can bake, and I'm good at listening.

My job drives me crazy, but I am so lucky to have a job - especially one that is based on commission - in this job economy.

I'm trying to be a better person, especially in these weeks leading up to Easter. I'm trying to cut out swearing and eating junk, and spending less time on the Internet and more time reading books. I'm trying to get to know my Heavenly Father and my Savior better. But it's a work in progress, and I will definitely fail every day, but that's part of the growth process.

I don't see my friends all the time, but I know they're always there for me. Quality more than quantity definitely counts here. Plus, I have the best boyfriend in the world. He never criticizes or tries to change me, he just loves me the way I am. He works little miracles in my life every day.

A fellow blogger recently wrote, "Happiness is a choice." So even when it's raining and I'm feeling down, I know that "there's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day."

(It wouldn't be a "Seaching for my Neverland" post without a Disney reference, duhh!)

Everyone have a magical day.