Beauty Made

The FAILURE I wrote about yesterday led me to try exponentially harder on my next rug. So much so that I put in around 12 hours labor to get it right. That’s a long time for a twenty eight inch round rug. But I wanted it to be perfect. And it almost is.

I traced out the image as I normally do. This time I labeled each and every color spot and worked tediously to fill them in; leaving enough space to do the black outline in the end. After each colour, I trimmed the yarn. It was easier to do it this way so that the final touches would be minimal and easier to complete.

I have wanted to do this specific image years ago, but in an different medium. I was originally going to paint it, then I was going to paint it on a window, I even thought about doing it in stained glass; but now I created it in rug form. Beauty and The Beast is my favorite Disney Princess Classic. I’ve always loved this film. Great music, good story, very vibrantly executed. A masterpiece in animation.

I’m very happy with how this rug turned out. As usual though, I can see every flaw and just want to continue trimming and cutting. But if I do that, nothing will remain of my rug. The beauty will be gone and only a beast would remain.

This Beauty is adorning our master bedroom in front of the doors to our Juliet deck. It adds a splash of color and I am totally in love with this piece and the placement.

Now I don’t know what to make. This was the pinnacle of my desires. Maybe I’ll take a week off and get back to basic images. Unless you all have a suggestion! I love this hobby!

Get Back

The new Beatles documentary “Get Back” released on Disney+ on the weekend. It was put together from 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio tape that has been sitting in a vault for half a century. The final three part series is nearly 8 hours of footage.

I watched each episode as they appeared on Disney+. This is one of the first times as of late, that I gave a show my undivided attention. My phone was not a distraction as I watched the series. I was enthralled by the showcase of creativity coming to fruition of some classics songs. For 50 year old footage, I could only imagine how difficult it was to sift through and make a great series.

For me, it brought back memories of when I would hang out with friends at their jam sessions and recording studios. Those days were filled with loads of egos filling a room, and amazing talent that would piece together a few songs. Seeing the Beatles in a more raw form made me appreciate the hard work that many artists go through in the creative process.

I have always been a fan of the Beatles. At one point when I was 19, I had a loud car stereo. With 500 watts and two 12” subwoofers, I would play music of all varieties. Back then, I would have a rotation of cds available. One day I stopped at a liquor store with some friends. I was playing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and an older lady watched me step out of the car. She commented on how it was nice that I was listening to classics, albeit very loudly.

Besides having a few Beatles albums on cd, I had also purchased the Red and Blue albums on vinyl at a flea market a few decades ago. I have since given them to our daughter, who has enjoyed playing them on her record player as well. The Beatles are timeless, and watching the documentary this past weekend was a fantastic and beautiful way to appreciate their style.

Summer Graffiti

As the sun continues to shine, my work days have gotten a bit brighter. Even the rail cars are getting into the spirit.

I spotted a “Lilo and Stitch” graffiti painted car outside the window today. It made me smile at the abilities of some vandals. The recognition of a cartoon character on either side of a tag is becoming commonplace.

Seeing “Lilo and Stitch” reminded me of our trip to Hawaii seven years ago. As well as our trip to Tokyo three years ago. Which got me thinking about all of our vacations to Disneyland. I really do enjoy my time with my family as we make memories.

So if a graffiti vandal can make me happy, then I really don’t mind seeing their crimes. Especially on rolling art canvases that travel the continent.

Life Day

If there’s something that you need to know about me, it’s that I enjoy Star Wars tremendously. Let’s be realistic here, you all know I love STAR WARS. I mean honestly, I have numerous blog posts that are related to Star Wars in some way. Today is no different.

A few years ago I showed my children the classic in bad Crossover ideas ever. The Star Wars Holiday Special. The show is severely cringeworthy attempting to watch it. It’s so bad that my kids literally don’t remember watching it with me. But as a fan, I had to view it. I even grew up on those Star Wars made-for-tv-movies: Ewok Caravan of Courage and Ewok Battle for Endor.

Tonight, Disney+ and LEGO have released a Lego Version of the Holiday Special. I am overcome with joy and cannot wait to view it numerous times! I have been excited for months about this show.

Why?

Because LEGO somehow manages to make their stories based on movies or characters campy and fun while still holding true to the original content. So if you have kids- watch some of those LEGO shows with them. They are a ton of fun.

Tonight I shall wish you all an early “Happy Life Day”.

Classic Disney Films

Over the winter break, the family and I have been enjoying Disney+. Besides enjoying some of the newest content like The Mandalorian or Jeff Goldblum- we’ve been watching some of the oldest films in the library.

Last night was “Journey to the Center of the Earth“. I don’t recall ever watching it before. It wasn’t what I expected considering what my mind perceives Jules Verne works to be.

The other day, I made the family sit through “The Blackhole“. This was my choice after my wife had us watch “The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes“. Both were rather bad.

But when you look at the original release years of these films- they are ahead of their time in special effects, even if the dialogue is more poetic and theatrical. We have a few other films that we will watch as we jump around the various decades of movie magic that Disney has to offer.

A couple weeks ago the kids did enjoy “The Flight of the Navigator” and I happened to notice some other Live Action Disney films that we may need to have a viewing of. “The Rocketeer” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” are in our queue already.

Have you been watching some old content from Disney+ lately? Let me know if some of those films and tv shows hold up. I’m pretty sure “Ducktales” does, but “Hanna Montana” may not.

Disney Plus Equals Life

Yesterday Disney+ was released. And if you watch any form of entertainment on a screen of some sort, you must’ve heard about it. So I’m not going to go into great detail about what it all includes, because that information is everywhere on the interwebs! Instead I’m just going to share what my family and I watched as our first few shows.

I paid for a full year up front for $89.99. It was an obvious choice because there is so much content that The Mouse owns that we won’t be able to watch it all in 365 days. After installing the app on our PS4, the first thing we did was set up individual profiles. Then we went searching.

We settled on a couple of Pixar Shorts called “Bao” followed by “La Luna” -which we hadn’t all seen before. So far so good, but we didn’t want to begin marathoning through any new series of shows. We did stop next on “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” and were pleasantly surprised and dumbfounded by it. Consider it a sort of documentary on stuff. In this case- sneakers.

Naturally we watched the cartoon that started the journey of the Disney Franchise back in 1928- “Steamboat Willie“. It’s a neat reminder to see how far that little black and white mouse has come. Not only that, but it also shows how far animation has come and how it was pioneered almost a century ago.

We have our sets of future shows already searched out. The Sneaker Who Wore Tennis Shoes from 1969 is top on my wife’s list. While High School Musical is our daughter’s choice. My son and I are stoked to begin The Mandalorian in a few days. But there is so much content, we don’t really know where to start.

What are you planning on watching on Disney+?

Mug Shots

Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

Are you as cheesy as we are?

Let me know in the comments.

Living Like Walt

Recently a friend shared a video about Disneyland and Walt’s fascination with trains. Check it out here: Lost Disneyland. Beside the fact that I work at a railroad, my life is a reflection of Walt’s on a not-so-grand scale.


I love films and their abilty to take us away on a visual journey from our seats. Disney always made remarkable movies.  My childhood contained many memories of “The Wonderful World of Disney”, VHS rentals, and movie theater matinees. This continued until my mid-twenties.  It was a time that I began working at Colossus and had a friend working in a video store.  Movies were an integral part for the start of my adulthood or at least my early twenties. Movies are a way that I continue to bond with my children.  With Disney taking on Marvel and Star Wars- I imagine many more years of family time to come.


It all started with a mouse.” My real career also began with a mouse.  While working at the movie theater, I fell into a position as a manager at Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Where I remained for almost five years. During that time, my coworker got a job as a switchman at CN Rail.  I followed him shortly thereafter. My family has benefited from all of the paths I have chosen.  


In a sense our home is like Disneyland.  There are ongoing changes and future visions to improve how we live. There is also a bit of fantasy spread throughout. From our own theater room to a forest with woodland critters-including a small railroad in our garden.  Our home is also always open for friends to come by and just relax. 


Walt was an inspiration.  He had dreams. Dreams that continue on years after his passing. I hope for my dreams to be passed on to my family and friends. 

Disneyland

Last Sunday night my family sat down to watch “The Wonderful World of Disney:Disneyland 60”.  It started off with a wonderful ten minute tribute to Mr. Walt Disney and the creation of his park.  Then the next two hours were filled with advertising for everything Disney.

With inflation since 1989, I wonder what this is worth now…

 
Maybe my children didn’t notice or maybe I’m a bit cynical.  But it was basically a two hour commercial for one of the biggest money making machines in the world.  Nowadays, Disney can basically print its own money.  The company owns Marvel and Star Wars! Why bother to advertise anyways?

 

Graph with numbers and a red line.

 

Simple.  The parks are always getting upgrades.  No one would visit 1950’s Disneyland today if it had never changed.  Disneyland had a tough time bringing in people during the early 90’s because it had become stagnant.  Then Pixar happened.  And the changes were inevitable. 20,000 Leauges Under the Sea became Finding Nemo. Astro Blasters with Buzz Lightyear was created. Woody showing up in It’s a Small World.  The park began a new era.  Plus California Adventure opened in 2001, thus expanding the park- although poorly attended at first.

1st Trip

Our first trip to Disneyland Spring 2009.

Sixty years in the making, Disneyland is a Theme Park that the world knows about.  Many have visited.  My family and I have made the 24 hour road trip there about once a year since 2009.  I love the place.  Every time we go, we experience something new and memorable.  Simple things like eating at Ariel’s Grotto and meeting the Princesses, riding in the Lilly Belle around the park, or a ride in the front of the Monorail (and having the engineer more excited to find out I work for a railroad instead of me being excited that I was in the front of the Monorail!), enjoying a lunch near the water of the Pirates ride in the Blue Bayou Restaurant, finding new Hidden Mickeys, Jedi Academy, the first time our children were each tall enough to ride the bigger coasters, meeting all of our favorite characters, Trick or Treating in Disneyland, eating a fabled turkey leg, Dole Whip,  and the list goes on.

This year we are going to Disneyland to see the Diamond Celebration before it ends.  The Season of The Force is also going on.  In a few years, we will attend in order to see Star Wars Land (ya, I’m a bit of a Star wars fan).  Perhaps one day, we will stay in a Disneyland Resort Hotel and immerse ourselves in all things Disney.  Or a night in The Dream Suite inside the park would be the ultimate experience.  Hey, sometimes dreams really do come true.

Until then, I look forward to making memories with family and friends for many years to come.