Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Sixteen

Day 16: Favorite Classic

If you haven't figured it out by now, well, you haven't been paying attention. From the time I can remember my favorite Disney movie of all time is, of course, Sleeping Beauty. I love everything about the film (except the fact that it forever placed Aurora in a pink dress when she wore BLUE for almost the entire movie) and I always will. Prince Phillip, Maleficent, Merryweather, Aurora will forever be with me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Iditarod 39: Toni's top 10 to watch!

We're a week away from the beginning of the latest Iditarod. Back are some familiar favorites to the race - at least two who said they were going to sit this one out are back - and all are knocking on the door ready to make history. I was originally going to just do a run down of the key players, and that's basically what this will be, but instead of looking at it clinically I will just go with gut feelings and personal opinion. Mainly because now that there are actual mushers reading this blog, well, I just don't feel qualified to make anything more than that. I don't know what I'm talking about, just know my fansense.

1. Mackey. Lance Mackey, to be exact. He's the reigning four time (consecutively at that, a first in Iditarod history) Iditarod champion. He ran last year's race without using his pain killing meds in order to prove a point - that his drug use was not giving him an advantage - I personally felt it also should have sent him a message that he didn't truly need the drugs, but he disagrees. There's been no big press release explaning what he will do this season, but considering the Iditarod was forthcoming last year saying he would not be affected by the new rules, I assume he's taking them with him this time. He's been battling knee problems, after all. Lance had suggested at the end of the race last year that he wasn't going to run this year, but when it came time to sign up last summer, Mackey was among the few who put their name down. Why should he? He's dominated this sport like no other in recent history. The only thing that will keep this team from winning the fifth consecutive title is Mackey's physical health.

2. Hans Gatt was second place last year, and has been knocking on the door for several years. He had a rough time on the Quest (didn't finish) but that might be a good thing going into the Iditarod. His team will have had just a few more days to recoop from their time on the Yukon. It could also hurt because it could be showing the team's weaknesses. With the random weather we've had again this year, who knows what to expect (the Iron Dog race which starts out following the Iditarod Trail had to stop and restart several times due to weather). Hopefully Gatt and his team still have confidence going into the Iditarod and continue their quest for the championship.

3. Dallas Seavey just won his first major race EVER. While he's been named as the one to watch for several years, he's just now starting to see major wins (or, rather one major win). Dallas is a third generation musher, and knows his stuff. He broke top ten two years ago with a sixth place finish, and last year placed two spots higher than his Iditarod Champion father. He is competitive, has set his goals high (he wants to break Rick Swenson's record of being the youngest champion, and he has three years to accomplish that). He went into the Yukon Quest as a rookie looking for it to be a training run for the Iditarod and ended up winning the whole thing after freak storms and accidents took out the main players. The question now is, can Dallas' team keep that momentum going into the Iditarod and are they capable of winning both (a feat only Lance Mackey has accomplished), or will they be too tired to be competitive for the last great race on earth?

4. Hugh Neff was supposed to with the Quest, but after losing one of his dogs during the Quest and scratching because of it, one has to wonder if Neff will be mentally ready to go up against another formidable race. Last year, the Iditarod accomplished a feat it's been trying for all along - no deaths on the trail. This should come as a comfort to Neff, but at teh same time - it's not a sure thing that it won't happen again. Will Neff be willing to push his team to be competitive or will he be gun shy?

5. Mitch Seavey won the Iditarod in 2004 and has stayed in the top ten ever since. He saw his son pass him and head into Nome ahead of him last year, and he's seeing quite a few new strategies pass him by. I wouldn't count Mitch out yet, though. He's one of those silent types who, at any moment, could come around and surprise us. But it seems that he relies heavily on sticking to his plan, and having others follow it. That's not to say he won't be in the mix or even win the thing again.

6. Paul Gebhardt has been one of the top contenders in the race for years. I honestly can't remember a time when I haven't heard Gebhardt and the Iditarod. He's one of those gotta pull fors because you really do feel that he should win it at least once. Just because he's a great guy, great musher, his dogs are awesome... But something always gets in the way of victory. Still, he's always one of those teams that strong up to the end, and you cannot count him out.

7. Sebastian Schnuelle was supposedly pulling a Jeff King and retiring after last year. Well, the retirement was short lived. He ran a great Quest, though was fouled up when helping other mushers out of the Yukon River, and gave Dallas a run for his money coming in very close behind Dallas (Dallas' team was just out of the finish line chute when Schnuelle's came in). My mom likes him just because of his hair. Go Figure. With King out of the way I see Schnuelle being the team that challenges Mackey's more than anyone else.

8. Dee Dee Jonrowe has an outside shot at a win. She is all over the map in finishes. She was supposed to take over for Susan Butcher as the next lady champion and it hasn't ever happened. Still, she's tough as nails running the Iditarod shortly after battling (and beating!) breast cancer - though afterwards she said it was too soon to come back. Her mom's been foremost in her mind the last couple of years as she battles her own bout of cancer (recurring). Look for her to be top fifteen, but she might get lucky and finally hold off the big boys.

9. Martin Buser hasn't won an Iditarod in a while, but still holds the record for fastest win. He's dedicated to his dogs first, sport second. Happy dogs are the goal for Martin, and he's a fan favorite because of it. But don't think he isn't competitive, he always manages to stay in the thick of things. Martin just has to be willing to push just a little bit harder. This isn't the 90s anymore, he's gotta be willing to play the game a bit differently now.

10. Rick Swenson is looking to see Mackey tie his record five wins. This might be the year that lights a fire under his butt as his "king of the Iditarod" title is now completely in jeopardy (if it wasn't already surpassed after Mackey's history making win last year). It'd be great to see this long ago champion take a whack at a sixth title, but I'm not sure his team is built for the new generation of racing. It's still a team to watch, though, if for no other reason than history.

So who do YOU think/want to win? Be sure to vote in the poll on my blog! (It's to the left of the blog entries)

What celebrity would you most like to meet in person?

Steven Spielberg. No question there. Other heros I've met, all I've ever done with Spielberg is stick my hands in his handprints outside the Chinese Theatre (which was pretty stinkin cool).

30 Days of Disney: Day Fifteen

Day 15: First Movie

I don't know what the first Disney movie it was that I saw at home, but I remember the first one I saw in theatres. It was in 1988 and Disney's newest feature animated film was Oliver and Company. I became obsessed with it very quickly.

Dodger rocks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Fourteen

Day 14: Favorite Kiss

True Love's Kiss - Phillip & Aurora. I love how after all he's been through, Phillip races up the stairs to save the beautiful princess and when he reaches the top of the stairs and the side of her bed he stops and just looks at her for a moment before gently kneeling and giving her, her first kiss. It's just a really well animated and touching part of the film.

So sweet, I want a Phillip... and a dragon.

Friday, February 25, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Thirteen

Day 13: Your Least Favorite Song

I'm searching my brain trying to think of one that is my least favorite. There are many that I don't care for, or are annoying, I don't know that I can pick just one... But, I guess the one that has annoyed me lately is the completely unneeded song which was rightfully cut from the film (and then added back in for the blu-ray addition) which was "Human Again" in Beauty and the Beast. It's where the household staff all dream of what it will be like once they all return to their former lives as humans. It's horribly animated, and doesn't fit. Maybe because I grew up without it, and I don't like change, but there was an obvious reason why it was cut from the theatrical release, and I'm glad it was. It's lame.

Another one I don't like is If I Never Knew You - when it's sung by the characters - in Pocahontas. It's a great love song for the credits, but it doesn't go AT ALL within the scene it's from in the film. Again it was cut for the theatrical release, but added in when the film went to DVD a few years ago. LAME.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twelve

Day 12: Favorite Villain song

Well, if Maleficent had a song you know it'd be hers, because she is awesome, but since she doesn't I went with my favorite Disney on Broadway villain, Scar. The character himself is awesome, but the costuming is "to die for". Everything about the Scar character on stage is just perfect, and I love the take on him. He's less wimpy in some ways on stage to the movie counterpart. While still whiney and not as noble or heroic as Mufasa and Simba, he's less... needy in some ways. And he's still that highly intellectual type. Just a great allaround villain.

My favorite villain song, then, is not Be Prepared which is in both the film and on stage, but a song that is from the stage version. The Madness of King Scar which ties in quite a bit of the movie, and adds a more adult element for the reason that Nala leaves the pride to "go for help." Besides, it's just funny.

What language would you like to learn how to speak?

German. It's where my european roots are mainly. But I hear it's pretty difficult.

Ask me anything

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Eleven

Day 11: Favorite Love Song

So since I chose a love song as my favorite yesterday I will do my second favorite. It's not going to be a shocker, as it's from Sleeping Beauty. It's "Once Upon A Dream" which is where Aurora and Phillip meet as young adults and don't know who the other is. Yet he's the man of her dreams, and he's completely enchanted by the young peasant woman. Or, well, teh woman he presumes is a peasant because she lives in a cottage in the forest. Boy was he wrong.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Ten

Day 10: Favorite Song

Oh dear, this is diffcult, we have many decades and many facets of songs to choose from!

So I'm going to cheat and pick one from film/tv, one from broadway... and one that is about Disney but isn't Disney.

First off, Erin's find that is pretty much my obsession. It's a tongue and cheek look at Disney World set to be sung like a gospel song. It's hysterical, and must have been written around the time the Southern Baptist Convention decided to boycott all things Disney due to the "gay days" at the parks. I remember that period as being very dark for my world. *Le sigh* but I understand the reasoning behind it. Too bad most Baptists didn't know/hear about it, but it was still effective. Nights of Joy came out of that whole deal, IIRC.

Anyway this is my pick for non-Disney Disney Song. It's entitled "Magic Kingdom In The Sky" and was written and sung by the group known as DaVinci's Notebook.

For Disney on Broadway it's all about The Lion King. My generation's Cats I suppose. I became obsessed with it after the show toured in Anchorage for six weeks. It was mind blowing, jaw dropping amazing! I was in awe and I saw it four times. My bank account suffered but it was SO WORTH IT. If it comes to your area, hock the farm and go. You will NOT be disappointed. It's spectacular and stunning and just wow.
My favorite song is Simba's solo in the second act where he talks to his father in his darkest moment. Where he feels alone and forgotten and so full of guilt. It's a powerful talking scene in the movie, but it's an AMAZING vocal in the show.

My favorite from tv/film was difficult. But I finally went with possibly one of the most romantic songs of all time. It's the love song from Cinderella, "So This Is Love". It's short, sweet, and beautiful. Sums up the romance perfectly. Even if it is a little far fetched that they fell in love at the very sight of each other - and that Cindy is blond enough to totally miss the fact that the dude she's dancing with is the prince.

So there are my top three songs. I was tempted to do one on pixar, but decided I'm too tired to do that tonight. Oh well. Ha ha!

Monday, February 21, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Nine

Day Nine: Favorite Original Character

Well, since I picked Donald as my ultimate favorite character I'll go with my second favorite: Chip. No, not Dale too... just Chip.

Fell in love with Chip when he was in the short lived series of "Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers" which lasted all of two and a half seasons.

Dale is okay and all, but lets face it, Chip is the brains of the operation. What makes it great is that even when he does help make the trouble, he can get himself AND Dale out of it.

Dale, Erin, Me & Chip - Disney's Animal Kingdom 2010

Sunday, February 20, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Eight

Day 8: Favorite Villain

Say it with me: DRAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!! Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty is forever the baddest Disney Villain. She is freaky evil, scary beyond all reason, and deliciously wicked. She is a rockstar and as bad as they come. And she turns into a dragon. Can't get much better (badder?) than that.

What's even better than the dragon in the movie? The dragon in FANTASMIC! a nighttime spectacular that brings Maleficent's Dragon to life at both the Disneyland and Disney-Hollywood Studios parks. It sends shivers down my spine and I go fangirl whenever she comes out (sadly Murphy did not work when I was in California. I'm depressed about it.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Seven

Day 7: Favorite Sidekick

Since they don't have a fairies category I guess this is where she'll go. Merryweather is one of the best personalities in an animated movie. She's sarcastic, kinda grumpy for a fairy, and she's right. She's all about blue which also helps. She's more intelligent than her colleagues, but is stuck as the third fairy due to who knows what.

When I was little I wanted Merryweather for my fairy godmother.

Friday, February 18, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Six

Day 6: Favorite Animal

Percy from Disney's Pocahontas. He is Governor Ratcliffe's (the villain) pug. He is tormented by Meeko, Pocahontas' racoon friend. He is pampered, spoiled really, and snotty (a PUG!). He thinks very highly of himself and is quick to a temper tantrum if things don't go his way. He's absolutely ADORABLE.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

California Dreamin'...

So I guess I should blog a little about my trip to California. I apologise in advance if this becomes garbled, incomplete, or otherwise a mess. It's just a few random - possibly vague - thoughts from the trip. Pictures are still being editted and if I think about it later I may share more photos than what I do here, but for now... this is what you get.

The wedding went really well. There was a tad bit of confusion, but for the most part it was good. The two Hailles were so cute as they gripped each other's hand and walked down the aisle. I was worried Haille Rae would stop when the crowd all went "awwwwww" when they got a glimpse of the flower girls but all she did was grip Hailee Elizabeth's hand tighter. They made it down stopped in front of Gaylord and looked up like "okay, now what." I waved them over to their moms and they sat down.

The photography was okay. I wasn't too happy with the rules that teh church gave - but this is a church that has a gay wedding coordinator, no joke, so it was eye opening in lots of ways. I had a lot of stone faced guys to work with, too, so I feel a lot of the posed shots (and there are way too many of those) look more like prison line ups.

Thank God I had the 100-400mm lens because I was standing in the back of the church the entire ceremony. Because when God is invited in (um, WHAT?) the photographer has to stay away. Because God doesn't like photographers (I guess, because that's the only reason I can think of for disallowing it). Apparently photographers are also distracting and noisy. Um, yeah, more so than the kids in the audience, oh, that's right, they had to be quiet or go away too. Whatever. Give me a good ol' Southern Baptist hitchin' and BBQ any day! LOL Lutherans, I tell ya!

Rules aside, Judy looked fab, and it was a happy fun time. The reception was fun. The Hailles spent the entire night on the dance floor. The food was REALLY good.. and I got to see my cousins and aunt and uncle rock it out on the dance floor (and my mom... in her bridesmaid dress... epic). When Billie Jean started playing my mom busted out her Michael Jackson floor moppin moves. Oh dear.

Mom left for home the day after, she needed to be home for Duane's 16th birthday, Jake and Jillian also left that night. I got to spend the next couple of days with my aunt Becca and uncle Rick. I hadn't ever really spent a lot of time with them, especially not as an adult, and I loved my time there. Aunt Becca is so much fun, and Uncle Rick keeps it real. I got to know them in a way I'd never been able to before, and it really put my heart and mind at ease about how the family looks at me. But, those feelings will come at another time in another blog. Let's just say there were a lot of... guarded emotions that are starting to bubble up. Hurt that I didn't realize was as deep as it was has come to teh surface and I'm still fighting to regain control of the emotions.

Needless to say, the foursome of Rick, Becca, Jake and Jillian were a Godsend in so many ways. Even after we made it to Disney.

The day before Disney we took Haille and Juanita on a tour of Nevada City and Grass Valley. I love the old mining town feel of the two, and I took a lot of pictures of my favorite spots. The Mansion at the Empire Mine is my absolute favorite place to photograph. I wish Judy and Gaylord had done some pre-wedding photos there, but alas it was not meant to be. Actually, I kinda wish they'd had the wedding there, too.

The weather was great for walking around, and Haille was surprisingly interested in everything, which was great. I was afraid she'd get bored in a hurry. She loved exploring the Mine, and only got scared when we went down the mine shaft (which they told us they are planning to expand as soon as they can get more funding from somewhere - seeing as how California is broke).

Disney... well... I had a lot of high hopes that were quickly dashed. And it wasn't Uncle Walt's fault. I wish we could have done it differently. Hindsight being what it was. I wish we'd stuck with the plan. I wish we'd taken a break midday like we promised. I wish we'd had more time to do some things, and I wish... well... A dream is a wish your heart makes.

There were magical moments. Seeing Haille the last night dance with Goofy and scratch Pluto's ear is exactly what we had hoped for when we planned the trip. Seeing her dressed up like a princess was magical... and listening to her scream and laugh in delight as we went through teh Matterhorn... and get excited that the same ghost sat with us each time we rode Haunted Mansion was special.

I'd love to take her again. I really would... but I'd want to do it the way I do Disney. With planning. And input. And I don't know.. naps. LOL.

Thank God for my best friend, she helped me through my frustration. We've decided Disneyland is our trip for 2012. Yes, I know I said no more Disney until 2014... but I don't feel that I did Disney right - or at all, even though there are pictures to say otherwise - this last time. I need to go back to Disneyland and really feel the magic and feel Uncle Walt... so August 2012 here we come! (I hope, I gotta get back to nationals that year too).

Jillian came to Disney with us one day - after we, once again, changed plans five hundred times and went to Hollywood for the morning. So we didn't get to do a whole lot with her at Disney, but it was a welcome relief. I love me some cousin time. One of my favorite parts was when we ditched the family and went back to the car so that I could change into dry warm clothes for teh evening. And then we spent a lot of time chatting while we sat holding spots for Fantasmic for the family while they watched the fireworks from the hub.

The next day when everyone went to the beach I met up with my friend Mackenzie at the parks. It was a great day to just get away and we had fun (or, at least I did!). We hit all of the rides I'd missed previously, and then she made sure I saw Aladdin. Which is, by far, the most amazing production I've seen in the parks... aside from Fantasmic in Disney World. It was just wow. Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom comes close, but Aladdin is seamless and reminds me more of Lion King on Broadway in the way they interpret the story.

This was also the final day that the family was all in California, so I said good bye to Mackenzie and met up with the fam for dinner at Goofy's Kitchen. The magic finally hit everyone as Haille spent an amazing 2.5 hours hanging with the characters and having a blast. Goofy's Kitchen tops Chef Mickey's in food AND character interaction. Though, the characters are a bit random (we had Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale, Minnie... and Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother. Not sure how that works).

I had the next day all to myself after I moved from the hotel we all stayed at to the Anaheim Plaaza I headed for the park. First stop was the Carnation Cafe (okay, I lied first stop was Donald Duck) where I had my Mickey Waffle. All of a sudden it was DISNEY. I met Oscar who has been there since the park openned. He's the longest working employee Disney has. He autographed my menu and I got my picture with him. LOVED my experience with him. Great guy. Hope to meet him next year.

I spent most of my day taking pictures. I love Disney for that one reason, you can never get enough photographs. I haven't even started editing them all. I spent most of the day at Disneyland, but did pop over to California Adventure to catch another showing of the Aladdin Musical Spectacular. Genie is freaking awesome.

I also took a break and walked over to the Garden Walk and had me some Johnny Rockets. Then it was back to my hotel room where I grabbed my tripod and headed back to the park. I spent the hours before closing taking long exposures of just about everything. Again, haven't even started editing those. Before leaving I did my ritual of going to the partners statue when no one else was there and thanked Uncle Walt. I know, it's totally cheesey, but as I told Haille when she asked who that statue was with Mickey, without Uncle Walt, magic wouldn't exist. He built that park, it was his. I walked in his footsteps, I paid homage to his window... I don't worship the man, but I do admire and look up to him. He inspired this nation, and is one of the last true innovators we've had.

So that's the basic rundown. Pictures will have to come later, I am tired and I have to work in the morning.

30 Days of Disney: Day Five

Day 5: Favorite Hero

Mufasa. I don't know if it's because he's powerful and yet kind... or just the fact that James Earl Jones lent his voice to the role. Either way I love the character - especially the broadway version! I cry every time he dies and Simba calls out for help. Then scar ruins the moment by blaming the poor little lion cub and telling him to run away.

The speaking from the stars thing, while completely against my beliefs, is probably one of the coolest scenes. Again, especially in the stage version.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Four

Day 4: Favorite Prince

Oh, dear. This is where it goes bad. I LOVE the Disney princes. What girl didn't crush on at least one of them in her childhood. I was and am no different. In fact, I still crush hard on the princes. Especially when I am lucky enough to meet them in the parks and they are just as *charming* in person.

The prince I've loved longest is Prince Phillip. He's a dragon slaying, serenade singing, all around great dancer. He's that boy next door you don't mind bringing to meet your mama. He fights for his princess, which is rare in Disney fables, and he is victorious and has one of the best kiss scenes in Disney history. I've wanted my own Prince Philip for ages.

Recently, though, I've fallen for Disney's newest Prince: Prince Naveen. He's very charismatic in the film, and the character in the parks just sealed the deal. I've become a Naveen stalker! The newer Princess films gives the princes more personality, so we really get to know Naveen through the course of the movie. He's a flirt, a playboy really, and yet he does have a soft side. He's very romantic when he's not trying to be, and through it all he's a good guy.

So I have two favorites. The more modern Naveen and the saintly Phillip. Mmm-mmm Good! ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Youngest Yukon Quest Champion Crowned Tonight

Youngest musher to FINISH the Iditarod just became the youngest musher to WIN the Yukon Quest Alaska's other long distance insanely intense sled dog race.

Who's the new champion you ask? Dallas Seavey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So excited! But now I need to go to bed, I stayed up way past my bedtime for this, and I don't even get to watch it unfold. Dallas was quoted at the finishline saying "I thought this was just a training run!"

You're just training yourself for how to be a champion! Congrats, Bubba!

30 Days of Disney: Day Three

Day 3: Favorite Heroine

When Pirates of the Caribbean opened in 2003, I was not expecting much. I mean, this was the company that was running their franchise into the ground with stupid half hearted films for the last near decade. The only saving grace Disney had at that point was Pixar, and they were on the verge of losing that company, until they held the Toy Story characters hostage.

Then Jerry Bruckheimer signed up to produce a film based on one of Walt Disney's park rides... Pirates. Who doesn't love pirates? Who'd he hire? Hollywood... "weird" Johnny Depp... Who's career was anything but big money maker. He was an odd duck type actor, in the same sort of vein as Tim Burton, how on earth was he ever going to be able to play a straight on Disney character?

Well, he didn't.

But that's not what the prompt was about. But I think you can figure out where I'm going with this. Elizabeth Swann is probably my favorite female Disney character we have to date (topping even Mary Poppins. I know, blasphemy!). I especially like her in the first film. The film itself was a welcome surprise, but each character brought something to the table. Elizabeth was someone I think every girl could relate to. She was part princess (or, well, governor's daughter) and part pirate. She could doll up for any occassion and yet share a drink and a laugh with the guys. I totally identified with her not wanting to just fit into the social norms of the day and marry the first guy who came calling - no matter what life he could afford her.

So here's to the Pirate Princess of the Caribbean, may she always keep Will's heart (if not I know a lot of girls willing to take over for her).

Drink up, me hearties! Yo ho!

Monday, February 14, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Two

Day 2: Favorite Princess

Everyone, say it with me: Princess Aurora. Known best just as Sleeping Beauty, I actually prefer her peasant name of Briar Rose. Aurora is Disney's second princess (Snow White, of course, being the first). I love just about everything in that movie, and the princess is no exception. I love the fact that she doesn't mouth off or run away or defy authority - sure she DREAMS about meeting someone, and she DOES dance with Phillip, but she doesn't go out of her way to break the rules... she's not happy with them, but what can she do?

I'm not sure exactly what it is about her that I love, but I always come back to her even after my mini obsessions with Belle and Jazzy when the movies first came out (actually the only princess I didn't like, and still don't, is Ariel).

So here's to the girl with hair as bright and golden as the sun, and lips the shame the red, red rose...

Princess Aurora outside her Castle, Feb. 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day One

Day 1: Favorite Character

Oh, this is simple enough. From the time I can remember it's always been about Donald Duck. Sure, every little kid that grows up with Disney knows the Mickey Mouse Club Theme (I even taught it to Haille Rae) and so you're immediately brainwashed to believe it's all about the Mouse, but it didn't work that long on me. Part of it may be due to the fact that my mom's youngest brother sounds JUST LIKE HIM when he talks to little kids. Haille kept calling him Uncle Donald Duck the entire week we were at their house for Judy's wedding. He's just way talented in that way.

So it may be genetics, but Donald Duck has always been my favorite. I'm very much like him, too, very quick to anger... very proud... very full of myself... ha ha! After all I have this blog that almost no one reads, right? Why? Because I like talking about myself. Duh. It's all about me... or, in this case, the Duck.

Tonichelle & Donald Duck Disneyland 2011

30 Days of [Figure] Skating: Day Thirty!

Day 30: Why Do You Love Figure Skating?

That's the big question, isn't it? Originally it was because I liked to be entertained. I grew up during the "golden era" of North American figure skating. There were professional competitions and shows just about every weekend on TV (especially after 1994) and with skaters like Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning and Viktor Petrenko... well... those events were never boring.

In high school I fell in love with competitive figure skating because I loved the on the edge of your seat moments of finding out, after a great night of skating, who would come away with gold. There was a rush.

But really what has always been the reason? The skaters themselves. Like any sports fan I become invested in teh personal stories of the athletes themselves. It started with my obsession with Scott Hamilton, and through him I connected his friends on the ice and learned more about them - normally on my way to learn what they really thought about my favorite skater. In high school I began work on fan sites and official sites and connected with some of the up and coming stars that are now, mostly, professional skaters (insanity!). I was emotionally invested in their competitions, their success, their failures...

It's the human aspect that keeps me tuning in, even when I'm bored to tears with the 5 million Carmens and 20billion swan lakes. It's that part of skating that makes it mroe than just baby ballerinas and jumping beans.

It's the skaters themselves that make skating great.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ask me anything

Who are you cheering for for the Iditarod?

First and foremost Mitch and Dallas Seavey - but don't let them know that! Since I have a knack for jinxing my favorite athletes/teams, I've been forbidden to cheer for them... but I can't help it. Dallas is really on the upswing the last couple of years, and he's been labelled as one of the race's next big stars, so I have a lot of faith in his team and their ability.

I also have a soft spot for John Baker and Martin Buser... Then there's Sebastian Schnuelle, Hans Gatt and Hugh Neff.... yeah I have quite a few I'm cheering for... (Newton and Wattie are fan favorites, and mine!)

But, really, as long as Lance Mackey's team is in the mix I think we know who the champion will be... they're an amazing combination, don't know what he's doing that gets teh wins, but whatever it is, I've no doubt he'll continue that magic.

Ask me anything

New 30 Days after the last one...

The skating one ends tomorrow, so to keep myself blogging I'm going to do this one I just found. 30 Days of Disney! score! (Yeah, you're not excited, so what, it's my blog.)

Here's the run down

Day #1: Your favorite character

Day #2: Your favorite princess

Day #3: Your favorite heroine

Day #4: Your favorite prince

Day #5: Your favorite hero

Day #6: Your favorite animal

Day #7: Your favorite sidekick

Day #8: Your favorite villain

Day #9: Your favorite original character (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc.)

Day #10: Your favorite song

Day #11: Your favorite love song

Day #12: Your favorite villain song

Day #13: Your least favorite song

Day #14: Your favorite kiss

Day #15: The first movie you saw

Day #16: Your favorite classic

Day #17: Your least favorite classic

Day #18: Your favorite Pixar film

Day #19: Your least favorite Pixar film

Day #20: Favorite sequel

Day #21: An overrated movie

Day #22: An underrated movie

Day #23: A movie that makes you laugh

Day #24: A movie that makes you cry

Day #25: Your favorite scene from your favorite movie

Day #26: Saddest death

Day #27: Your favorite quote

Day #28: Your favorite Disney animated TV series

Day #29: Your least favorite Disney animated TV series

Day #30: Your favorite live action Disney Film

30 Days of [Figure] Skating: Day Twenty-Nine

Day 29: Favorite Skater of All Time

She's back! I will update on the trip eventually.... I hope... but for now I've got two more days of skating meme before Iditarod, work, and photo editting take over my life! LOL

Anyway, back on topic. Favorite skater of all time is going to be Scott Hamilton. Pretty sure I've said that several times throughout the 30 day meme (which has spanned over two months now, but oh well.) Without Scott i'd not have fallen in love with the sport of figure skating. Sure, I put skaters above him - now - in terms of skill and what not, but Scott will always hold that special spot in my heart. He was my hero growing up, and someone I continue to follow and get excited for when he's in the news doing something good. I pray for him, and send him well wishes and support/encouragement, and go totally fan girl when I am in the stands and he's commentating.

I've gushed on him earlier in this little meme thing, so I won't rehash all of that, but for me Scott Hamilton is figure skating. His name is the first that comes to mind when someone begins talking about the sport.