Monday, November 24, 2008

Rainy Days, Mondays and Friends

It's pouring with rain this morning, it's gloomy and just plain miserable. Yet, naturally, I love it. The only problem with days like this is that they should be enjoyed at home, not in the office. These are my best writing days, ones where I can sit in front of my computer and let the words fly. Still, I'm in the office, drinking my vile coffee and I can hear the rain. Well, it might be the bathroom sink since I sit very near to the men's bathroom and I know the faucet is leaking. However, I'm going to believe it's rain because that just seems like a nicer way to go.

I'm not a big fan of sitting near the men's bathroom, by the way. It's not very soundproof. I'd say I put my iPod on to tune it out but, well, iPod is no longer responding to commands and sounds. Little does iPod know that I have a nice generous friend who is donating his iPod to me because he has replaced it with one of those newfangled G1 phone things. Technology geeks are very good to have as friends. Also, in spite of some of his awful taste in television (he's proud to be watching Knight Rider which, by the way, I finally watched and all I have to say is ugh...they cancelled Pushing Dasies and Dirty Sexy Money- Why is Knight Rider still on the air?). Thus, iPod mini will give way to NanoPod. Yes, I have pre-named my incoming iPod.

But basically, what it comes down to, is I have a very good friend. I actually have a couple of them. Unfortunately none of them live near me which makes hanging out with them rather hard. This time of year is a mixed bag as far as friends go. I love being closer to my family now but I've also spent the last seven years in California, flying home for the holidays just a couple of days before Christmas. There are traditions I have in California that I'm going to miss this year.

My favourite California Christmas Tradition is Disneyland. I know some people think it's a bad place and that it's for kids but, really, it's not. It's a place where you can go and be a kid and no one looks at you twice. I think one of the reasons I loved it is that it involved playing hooky from work. My friend and I would trade off yearly: One of us would take a vacation day, the other one would either take a sick day or 'schedule a doctor's appointment' that day. We'd head out early, usually stopping for breakfast at Denny's and then getting to the park with enough time to enjoy the day.

Sometimes we'd go to Disney's California Adventure first. I like this park for three reasons: 1) It has Soarin' Over California, a ride in which you fly over California landscape, the air softly scented to match the scenery, 2) The burgers and beer at the place next to California Adventure and 3) The ice cream on the pier. That ice cream is seriously good stuff.

But we'd always end up at Disneyland in the end. We'd enjoy the Christmas parade in the evening. We'd try to go on Space Mountain a couple of times, knowing exactly where the camera was so that we could pose for it, (we'd try to imitate the warning signs that showed stick figures leaning out of the cars in a strangely aerobic fashion) and indulging my love of pirates by going on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride a couple of times. We'd enjoy the Haunted Mansion that had been redecorated with the Nightmare Before Christmas theme, the Small World ride that should always be enjoyed at night. We'd stop for sustenance at the McDonalds shack which was the best idea ever: Just serve french fries. They always tasted better there.

But, best of all, was the snow. Disneyland makes it snow nightly during the holiday season. We'd grab a mug of hot chocolate, position ourselves under one of the designated snow spots and then, after the fireworks, we'd be showered in snowflakes. Ok, so they weren't really snowflakes but it didn't matter. When you looked up to the streelights and saw the whirling clouds of gently falling flakes, it looked just like snow. We'd let it land on us, watching it 'melt' and we'd stop and take in the lights and beauty of the holiday season.

This year, I'll have real snow. Which as you know, I love. Something about a carpet of snow makes the holidays more real, more magical. Sitting on the Santa Monica pier in 70 degree weather in December was always a fun thing to brag about to my family and friends but it never made Christmas feel right. I'll miss the annual Disneyland tradition but it's not like Disneyland is going anywhere. The scenery will change, the seasons will change but the one constant in my life is that I have good friends.

Happy Monday.

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