Posts filed under ‘soapbox’

No, I don’t find this funny. Seriously.

This evening, I was reading my regular twitter and FB stream and came across this article that was posted by a few friends and others.

Some are just Disney fans, others, like me, are current and former Cast Members (CMs).

The fans? They find it funny. It’s a cute anecdote to them as well as a cautionary tale.

For the CM crew (including me), we are less amused. We are more annoyed by this article. Especially those (like me), who work(ed) at Disneyland and know the “routes” (what the Fantasyland rides are called) and what it takes to cycle them up and down.

When guests lose something on a ride that flies off, or a child drops accidentally and must have back NOW-like happened to me while I was working once with a 5 year old’s favorite pair of ears-we’re totally ok with getting it, even when it means cycling down the ride and bringing it back up again. Most people understand.

But when an adult does something like tweet photos from inside dark rides (which are notorious for sharp turns and blind corners-especially the older ones) and lose their phone, and we have to retrieve it, we are less amused. We will cheerfully do it for you, because that’s the Disney way. It’s how we are as a batch of CMs. That’s why we were hired in.


What we dislike about this whole situation is that we have to deal with the aftermath. The cycling up, down and sideways and the ticked off people that the ride is down. Some rides take longer to cycle through than others. Some guests are, shall we say, less understanding than others.

One cell phone or other item can make for a good hour of downtime on some rides. Sometimes, we can’t stop the ride, and we have to listen to the stressed out complaints of the person who lost the item in the first place.

To us, you just made our day harder, not funnier.

And for those of you who say things like “that lap bar kept me from grabbing my stuff,” please remember-you are most likely the one who would get your foot caught or something like that and go after the park for an unsafe ride. That requires the ride going down for a longer period of time with an OSHA investigation and the like.

So, no. That’s not funny to me. It’s just plain annoying.

Moral of this story? Be smart with your stuff.


August 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

Do the right thing, and no, it’s not the movie.

Let me start this off with yes, I do watch other things besides hockey. Frankly, from the time hockey ends, there’s that awful thing called Baseball, which I’m thrust into by the love of the Yankees and Cubs by my hubby and family. Sometimes, I don’t get it. Other days, I get it.

Like the other day.

Yes, everyone knows. Derek Jeter hit his 3,000th hit. It was a homer. It was amazing. He is now part of this exclusive club that few players get inducted into.

But that’s not what I’m all in a lather about. Honestly.

It is the way the court of public opinion has crucified the young man that caught the ball and didn’t ask for monetary compensation to return the ball to Jeter.

The young man wanted to do the right thing, and return it. Just to go and present it to Jeter was enough for him.

But not for the public.

They went gonzo, talking about how this kid gave up masses of money and the team can afford it.

But you see, this guy did the right thing. He just asked to present the ball to Jeter.  Derek Jeter worked for it, so he figured that he should have the ball.

Seems logical to me.


Think of it this way: You work hard all of your career, and whammo, your proof of everything you worked for goes into the crowd and then money is extorted from you and your organization for it? Yeah, no.


What kills me is that we’re telling our children and students and anyone around us to think before they act and to do the right thing.  We tell them to be “Godly” and in some circles to consider it a “mitzvot.”

Why then are we as a collective society decrying a guy who is embodying everything we constantly tell our children? Why are we slamming him for doing what is right, good and honest?

I don’t know. I don’t know why we do such things as a society.


For us here at Chez E. Nowhere, We made this a teachable moment. We talked to Isaac about how we do the right thing, and in this case, the right thing was to get that ball to its rightful owner.


That would be Derek Jeter.


So, to the young man who made that lesson in morals possible, Thank you. Thank you for doing the right thing and showing the world that there is more to being a good person than just saying it. Actions truly speak louder than words.

July 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm 2 comments

Get over yourself already!

I love heading over to youtube and watching the previews for the new season of Sesame Street every year. It’s a blast, because you never know what hilarious gem you’ll find. Last year, it was the Fiest clip with the chickens that tickled me pink for days on end. No, I won’t torture you with it again. Just know it’s funny. Seriously. Oh, and it’s here…if you dig back a bit you’ll find it.

This year, there was Katy Perry and Elmo! Hilarious. Then, I heard the flap.

Katy Perry’s dress was angering parents.

You’re kidding me, right? That dress?

Figure skating costumes show more skin than Katy Perry’s showing here!

Here’s the hilarious clip:

Kids aren’t going to notice the clothes. They’re going to be laughing at Elmo running around Katy playing tag. Seriously.

People who are outraged over this need to get a grip. There are so many other things to be outraged by in this world right now, and this…well, put on your fun hat and giggle along.

September 25, 2010 at 8:21 am 3 comments

As if this is going to drag them back or keep them away…

For a while now, I’ve been a part of an amazing organization to help save a beloved Girl Scout Camp-Camp Little Notch. Unfortunately, the council has decided to sell this amazing place to focus on more technology savvy camps, ect. This has been so big for the council, that it made the local paper.

Normally, I wouldn’t be all sorts of hot and bothered by this making the paper, and I wouldn’t even be blogging this. It would be small potatoes in my insane life. But, here’s where I got annoyed and irritated. The talking head from the Girl Scout Council basically said that girls needed creature comforts to want to come back to camp, and flush toilets were an important part of the equation, as were computers, cabins with electric lights and all of that.

Hearing this lets me know that the organization that I spent a lot of time in has lost their way. At the risk of sounding almost like my parents, who often tell me that they don’t get my generation, I don’t get it. What do girls need to be connected through technology for? They do it every day of their lives!

There are countless studies out there that say that the youth of today are disconnected from the Earth and the outdoors. It’s to the point where Wilderness Kindergartens are becoming highlighted programs-but most people only think it’s the granola crunchy set that likes them.

My wilderness experience was spent up at Camp Little Notch. It was here my passion for being in the water was nurtured. I WANTED to go back so I could kayak, canoe, swim and sail. I went on trips, I swam the entire length of the lake in a bright green swim cap-and earned my space on the ceremonial life preserver-where you can still see my name to this day. I hiked to the old furnace and spent a night there. Creepy as all get out, but SOO ever loving cool.

I didn’t care that I didn’t have lights in my tent. Frankly, it sent me to bed at a decent hour. I didn’t care (much) that I didn’t have flush toilets. I knew the joy of a bradley party-and when Doug went up to be the camp nurse, I indulged myself in washing my hair in one of them again, and Isaac looked at me like I had 20 heads…and helped by stepping on the bar on the bottom that turned it on.

Long story short, I was happy in being disconnected for weeks on end. It didn’t bother me, because I was meeting people that I never imagined I’d meet and I was with friends. I had a counselor from Australia. I had one from England. It was cool. I came home RAVING about my experience. Mom didn’t get it. She didn’t understand what I loved about being on that mountain, but she indulged me, and sent me (and subsequently my sister) back.

The summer I was staff there, I worked with a plethora of international staff-a cornerstone of CLN. I got to have calm, political discussions with people from the Czech Republic. I got to learn all about Scottish food. We laughed and shared the copies of the Green Mile that were sent to me,because I couldn’t wait to read it. Again-we were disconnected but connected.

And we loved it. It’s what drew us back.

It wasn’t the electricity, it wasn’t the lack of flush toilets-it was the programming, the friends, the fun. The safety to try new things and fail…and have your friends there to pick you back up and encourage you to try again. Even if you were scared…your friends were right there to support you-and it was ok.

Full disclosure here-I hate heights. I’m petrified of them. Yet I love roller coasters and rock climbing-go figure..

But there was a time that I had to climb a very, very high log to get to the top of a creek walk (the one that resulted in some serious scarring on my knee…but that’s another story…and a funny one at that…) and I had a minor panic attack. I had friends all over talking me through. I made it up to the top…almost hyperventilating, but did it. And had my buddies to thank for it.

Can a girl get that type of experience sitting in front of a computer? I beg to disagree.

Again-GSNENY-it’s not the creature comforts that keep girls engaged and coming back-as if a flush toilet will drag them back of keep them away. It won’t. It’s the QUALITY of the experience.

Why did I always go back to CLN? Why did Doug go up and work and lament that he couldn’t go last summer? Because we were in love. Love with the land, program and the family we had while we were up there. A family that came together in the summer…and stayed forever.

November 24, 2009 at 8:21 am 2 comments

Holy cow-the Supreme Court got it right!

I was parusing through the local paper this morning online and came across an article about how the supreme court ruled in favor of a set of parents who wanted reimbursement for a private education for their special education son.

I’m elated.

First off, the supreme court got it right-this is not for parents who deem the program that their child is pegged for to be inapropriate. For that, you still need to take the course of action described in the parent rights literature. This is for parents who are completely ignored by the school district, have not received a free, appropriate education for their child and have had to take their child elsewhere.

This is for the parents who have had the crap school psychs, teachers who ignore them and a system that is so broken that they had to pull their child to fix it.

In this specific case, the student was tested and the conclusion was that the child did not have a disability. Upon using their second opinion clause from the parent rights, the testing that the school had done was proven wrong, and the student was pulled to a private school for their education.

So, the parents sued for the cost of their child’s education, and who can blame them?

When a school district fails so miserably, they should reimburse the parents for the cost of educating their child. Private schools and therapies are NOT cheap, and can drain a parent’s income faster than anything out there.

Will the majority of parents need to use this recourse? I highly doubt it. This is an extreme step, albeit a needed one to keep the school districts in check and doing their job. I will say it’s nice to see that for once, the courts are considering the student and not the bottom line.

June 28, 2009 at 7:17 am Leave a comment


So, last night, I was talking with constant Sidekick and she brought up Sunday school for the fall. She’s on the committee, as she’s helping out with some of the stuff. She brought up the fact that they were starting to group the kids, and that Isaac was singled out to “experience Sunday school in his own way.”


Yeah, that was written into the notes. That was their slang for “we don’t know what to do with him, so instead of calling Laura and ASKING, we’re just going to let him do whatever he wants based on seeing him 2-3 times this year.”


Yeah, that went over soooo stinkin well with me.


So, I made a phone call today. I had to get to the bottom of this, and I know dang skippy well that they were NOT expecting me to make this call. Well, let’s back this up. I emailed both chairs last night, and the one I called today, well, her email bounced back, so I had to make this phone call, if nothing else, but to tell them that the line in those notes? That’s a kop out. And you’re a teacher? Wow. That’s the worst kind of kop out you can give as a teacher.


So, I said “Hi R, this is Laura. I’d like to discuss Sunday School for next year and how Isaac fits in with those plans. ”

She immediately told me that they had absolutely no idea what to do with Isaac, and how the few times she observed him (umm..he was there all of 3x, and all of those times, there was really no curriculum….and one of those times, the staff in the room that he was in LOST HIM. He came down the stairs and I intercepted him and the staff had NO IDEA he was even missing. Nice, huh?), he really didn’t “join in.”  I immediately told her that 1) the class was CHAOS and that 2) he was never encouraged to join in. He and 2 other chldren were allowed to run around nutty style and trash the back playroom while the teacher watched.  He was only there 2-3 times, and I reminded her about the time that he escaped…and no one noticed.

I also reminded her that her observations were done almost a year to a year and a half ago. He’s not the same child he was, and if she was to put him where she had planned (WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN!!! WITH THE 2-3 YEAR OLDS AND NOT IN THE PRE-K!!!), he would not be atteneding, as he needs to be with his age appropriate peers. It is NOT ok to drop him into a class of babies because they decided they didn’t want to deal with him in the pre-k class.

I also reminded her that if they were going to have all of these plans for my son, they needed to have them for other children in the church wtih management needs.


Then, I played the teacher card. She’s a teacher, I’m a teacher (ok, not going to be that way for much longer, but I’ve still got the smarts in my head..)-so I said to her…


“Well, as a teacher, I find it highly alarming that you would even attempt to group my child in the most restrictive environment possible by putting him in wtih younger children and basing your choice of this on extremely outdated observations. As a teacher yourself, you can see the problems inherent in this way of grouping my child. Also, why has no one contacted me, the parent, your first line of resources, in this matter if you were all so at a loss for what to do with my child?”

She was quite taken aback that I said that. But, really, it needed to be said. It really did. She apologized profusely and said “well, maybe we should have called…”

Maybe? Come on. Give me a stinkin break. DEFINATELY you should have called.

They have never given my circle time loving, NASCAR addicted, silly, highly distractable, yacking a mile a minute boy a chance to show them what he can do. I swear. It’s like fighting for him to be in the integrated class ALL OVER AGAIN. I hate this fight. I really do. I hate where people have preconcieved notions about my child that they don’t even give him a chance to break free of.

Right now, at school, everyone who said he couldn’t handle the integrated class is chawing down on their words, while I bite my tongue and hold hte “I told you so’s” back.


I really am waitng to say “I told you so” to these people as well, who have pidgeonholed my child, and the sidekick of mine who hasn’t learned to say the famous words “Yeah, why don’t you call Laura…”

So, we’ll see. We’ll really see if I keep him in Sunday school or not…we’ll see if they keep their promises to me and impliment all of my suggestions for Isaac  and evaluate things and really address the concerns I had about last year…and listen this year…and allow my child to show them what he can do.


Soapbox over.


Weekend vacation pictures tomorrow. Need to offload my camera.

July 28, 2008 at 7:59 pm 2 comments

What the…

Yesterday, one of my favorite bloggers, Dooce, was on the Today show. Her appearance was around 10:30 eastern, and unfortunately for poor Heather, she was on with Kathy Me Gifford, talking about Mom Blogging.

During the interview, Hoda Kotb , the other hostess, could not get a word in edgewise. Kathy Me monopolized the 6 minute interview with Heather. She went on and on and on about how she couldn’t even really use a computer and how horrified it made her to hear of people blogging, putting their lives out there, and not protect their children.


Umm..can we say hypocritical?


When she was on wtih Regis, we heard all about her two kids and everything they went through…from burps to potty training to all sorts of photos of her kids. We knew every intimate portion of her kids’ lives.

Oh, she’s concerned. Whatever.

What’s even worse here is that she turned a great, amazing woman that could have given a KILLER interview into a eyebrow raising, host alienating 6 minutes.

Kathy Lee-Haven’t you heard the old addage “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” Come on. you were tossed off national TV for a reason. You haven’t worked in years for a reason. The world is better off without your idiotic banter and your self-righteous drivel. You are costing the today show viewers!


Plain and simple. Moron.

May 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm 3 comments

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