It's been a long time since I've been on vacation. Sure, I've had time off from work, but I don't think it counts if you can't move around because you almost died, or the recovery time after getting an organ removed. Vacations are supposed to be fun, they're supposed to be a break from regular life, and both times I've had a decent amount of time off from work, neither of those things were true. I don't have a day job yet (still looking, but hoping to go back to school soon), so technically this could count as a vacation, but it's not. Not really.
I work just as hard or harder when I work for myself than I do when I work for someone else. I'm kind of a evil boss. "Breaks" are few and far between most days. The list of assignments is long, and probably not possible to fully complete, I have to start things over frequently because they don't measure up, "quitting time" is often in the wee hours of the morning. Yep, I'm a complete jerk to work for... at least when it's me that's the employee. Though I've never really PAID anyone else for their help either... so I'm a REAL jerk to them.
Thanks family and friends. I wish I could pay you guys, but I just can't afford it.
The funny thing about working for myself is that half of the people that I know understand that I work HARD even though I'm not working for a Big Corporation or for an hourly wage. The other half just don't seem to understand. To that half, being home means that I'm not busy, that I have time to chat about things, and things like that. I guess those people seem to think that being out of work is like vacation. I wish it was, but nope. I put in 8-14 hours a day working on Monkeyville things. Right now, I'm working on my plans for Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and Christmas. There's lots and lots of monkeys to be made for those (if you want a Christmas monkey, let me know as soon as possible, I can't say what things will be like when that time of year rolls around).
There are other, really fun things that I'm working on too, but I don't want to mention those just yet, because they're just getting started. At the Artful Phoenix, I'm going to be teaching sock monkey making classes and doing birthday parties, and story times. Sebastian monkey will be coming with me to do the story times, and I'll be reading from a collection of Curious George stories*. Big happenings, and hopefully I'll be able to bring in a bit of extra money from the classes and birthday parties.
I really need to make some extra money so that I can pay off my medical bills (getting there, only about $1200 to go!) but also because I want to go on vacation. A REAL vacation, to somewhere fun. Like Disney World. Well, actually, David and I are thinking of going to Disneyland, or something like that. Ideally, we'd like to go to Disneyland just the two of us, for four days (or something like that) and just have a really nice get away. Neither of us have been to Disneyland before, so it would be somewhere new, but also familiar since we've been to Disney World a lot of times. I'd also like to go see the new Harry Potter World over at Universal in Florida, but I'm not really a roller coaster guy, so most of the things there aren't really my cup of tea.
My very, very favorite ride in Disney World is the Tower of Terror. Not just because the ride is fun, which it is, but mostly because of the line. Really! That whole spot is one of my favorites anywhere. There's a story behind the ride, and the line, the building, everything all feeds into that story and the details are so incredible, that you can wait in that line forever and not see everything.
I realize now that I have to explain the ride, or none of that makes sense. The story goes something like this: in the 1930's, a group of people were staying in the "Hollywood Tower Hotel" when a freak storm came up. The towers (as in the hotel's name) were struck by lightning and disappeared, taking the freight elevators and hotel guests with them. The ride bit is you get into an elevator and sort of re-live their experience, by riding in a "freight elevator" (it has seats, but it's designed to look like an old style freight elevator) which goes up into the "hotel", through the fifth dimension (um... I should have mentioned this is based on the Twilight Zone shows), and then there's a strange flash of light and the elevator drops. It used to drop all 15 or so stories at once, but now it's more of a random yo-yo effect. The ride isn't tremendously long, but it's fun.
I don't love it because the ride is fun though. I love it because the building that houses the ride looks just like a 1930's hotel inside and out! In fact, when they were building the ride, David said he thought they were building a new hotel, because it's that convincing. Of course, it looks like a very run down hotel, and everything inside is frozen in time from that night when the towers disappeared, but that's the fantastic bit about it! There's newspapers on the tables, suitcases next to the registration desk, everything is covered in a thick layer of dust and cobwebs (you can see all of this stuff, but not touch it based on the way the line moves). Even the ride attendants are costumed in 1930's style bellhop outfits. Before you get into the "elevators" you first go into a library filled with all sorts of funky nick-nacks, when there's a flash of lightning, and a TV comes on with Rod Serling explaining the story. Then, you go from the library into the basement of the building complete with boilers, and even a sparking pulley system for the elevators (all fake, but very real looking). Everything is executed so well that you forget that the building HASN'T been there since the 1930's.
My other favorite ride-- Toy Story Midway Mania has slightly less in terms of the over all intensity of both the ride and the story, but the line has a huge Mr. Potatohead who talks, tells jokes, and even interacts with the people waiting in line. He's anamatronic too, so he looks WAY better than a guy in a Mr. Potatohead suit or something like that. That ride is one of my favorites because I love the interactive bit of it. As you travel through the ride, you use a gun type thing to shoot at various targets (nothing flies, it's all done with video screens, and in 3D). That's fun because it's never the same ride twice, and I like to compete against the person I'm with (usually David, he usually wins).
I don't like rides where I stand in a plain, boring line for a while, get on a 2 minute ride, then move on to the next. That's what carnivals are for, and I don't do the rides at carnivals. We don't live far from Six Flags New England (about 2 hours). We *could* go there... but we never do. To me, a roller coaster is a roller coaster unless there's something to make it really special, I don't see the point in riding it. Also, people have died on the rides at Six Flags.
No thank you. I think I'll wait until I can afford it, and go to Disney World. Or Disneyland, which is REALLY expensive compared to Disney World. Unfortunately, right now I can't afford to go anywhere. We're going to Wisconsin in a couple weeks, but only because David's friend is paying for most of the trip. She's paying for him, I'm paying for myself. We got a pretty good deal on the airfare too. It will be So Nice to get out of the state, and to see these friends again. Unfortunately, it's only for a weekend. It's all David and I can afford, and I'm hoping to start classes very soon after to get a Biotechnology certification (this is free for me).
I'm hoping that getting away for a little while will at least scratch that vacation itch that David and I both have... but I'm not sure. We both really want to go to Disney World again. David's mother wants to go too, as does Michelle. If we go with David's mother, we'll probably get a big part of the hotel, etc. paid for. If we go with Michelle, we'll have to split everything. However, David's mother wants to go at the absolute busiest time of year-- the week of Christmas. David and I want to go near that, but in the MUCH CHEAPER month before, about a week or so before Thanksgiving, so that we can do the food and wine festival, as well as seeing the Christmas decorations and going to the Christmas party. Michelle is cool with that, as she's never done the food and wine festival (drink and eat your way around the world!) and she hasn't done any of the holiday events either. Last time David and I went (in 2008), went with his mother and did the Halloween party. I went trick or treating. Really.
Michelle would also be up for going for a bit longer and spending a day in Universal just going to the Harry Potter World. Really, I just want to do the Hogwarts Castle thing, drink butterbeer, and go to the shops. The wand shop is FREAKING AWESOME. I've seen Youtube videos of it. They do a whole show with the wand choosing the wizard just like in the books!
Gah! Someone build stuff like this near us! New England is gorgeous! Okay, so it snows here, but it snows in Paris too, and THEY got a Disneyland. *Pouts* Okay, so I can go take the train an hour north and hang out at MIT (MIT wants you to do this), but that's NOT THE SAME! Neither is Six Flags, Canobie Lake Park, or any of the other stuff. Not that we can afford to go to those places now. Michelle asked David if she could find cheap tickets if we would like to go, and David said we'd like to, but we just can't. The hospital bills and other necessary bills come first. Right now, Monkeyville is doing pretty good, but not as good as it could be (I need to work on updating Etsy more) but I still don't think I could make $2400 a month on sock monkeys alone. I did the math, and just to squeak by, I'd have to *sell* about 80 monkeys a month at the lowest price, and about 50 a month of the higher priced ones (the skeletons, zombies, and reindeer for example). I'm planning a Christmas in July sale, which will start July 1st at ArtFire (and possibly Etsy). There will be some reindeer and a few holiday themed monkeys that I've wanted to do, but never had the chance to do. There will also be a Hanukkah in July monkey on sale too, because that's what we celebrate (we put up a tree, but only for sentimental reasons).
I will be working hard the next few days to get the Christmas (and some Halloween ones) done, as well as the custom orders. I don't forsee much sleep for me in the near future!
I certainly do NOT expect that from Monkeyville, but even with the income I'm making from it now, it's been a HUGE help. Monkeyville is paying the hospital bills, the food bills, and for those little things that make life at least a bit more normal. Once a week, David and I (no kids) go to Whole Foods, and try the samples, then get something for us to have for dinner. This is something we started ages ago, and it would hurt to not be able to do that together still. Sure, we can't afford to get sushi like we used to, but a slice of pizza and a soda isn't too bad, and Monkeyville has allowed us to keep at least that one, normal thing.
Unemployment sucks, but I figured while I'm on it, I'll make the most of it, and put everything I have into Monkeyville. Even if the boss IS a jerk.
*Oh God, please, please, please stop me from making an idiot of myself doing this. PLEASE!!! Textual Tourettes is only funny when adults are involved!
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