Welcome to Silver and Shadow

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Disneyland for First-Timers

I have a friend going to Disneyland for the first time with her family and I thought I'd write this up for her. Feel free to leave a comment with more advice if I missed something.

Start the trip off with a train ride all around the park. This way you can really get a feel for the park and see the layout.

Make sure to watch Fantasmic! at least once. Preferably earlier in the trip than later. That way you can go again if you want to.

Go on the Haunted Mansion ride at least one time at night. It's more fun to come off the ride into the dark.

If you see the line for Indiana Jones is not too long, go on it! That ride breaks down really often, so go whenever you can.

Don't bother standing in the line for the Finding Nemo submarine ride. Go to a cast member there and ask to go into the room they have for people with claustrophobia. It's the exact same experience, and takes a fraction of the time. Those lines are ridiculously long!

Eat a snack in the morning and go on the big rides before it starts to get really busy. Eat breakfast later when the ride lines start growing.

If possible, try to watch the latest Disney and Pixar films before going because these will have a high presence in the park.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If driving, buy a case of water bottles to take with you and refill them instead of buying them in the park. At almost $3 to buy a bottle in the park, this will save you tons of money. And with the heat, you will need to drink more than you think you will.

If you do Toon Town, do it early in the day or later at night. It gets really hot and crowded there during the day.

Study ahead of time and make sure to take advantage of the Fast Pass system.

Make sure to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe at least once.

When you go to Disney California Adventure, go right when it opens, and head directly to Toy Story Midway Mania. This is the most popular ride in the park and the line is always long.

On Main Street, use the reader board near the entrances to the other lands to see the wait times for rides. These are pretty accurate.

The kid's meals are usually big enough for an adult, and come with a drink. This is a great way to save money.

On the first day, go to the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, or Town Hall in Disneyland and get a "first trip" pin. They are free and make great souvenirs.

Make sure to clear out all bags of any pocket knives or glass bottles, as those will be confiscated by security at the bag check station.

Have your photo id ready along with your passes to get into the park as quickly as possible.

Always get a hand stamp before leaving the park!!! This is imperative!

Must Eats:A churro, a corndog, caramel apple(ask for them to cut it into slices for you,they're easier to eat that way), Dole Whip, Bengal BBQ skewer, and my personal favorite: a Schmoozie's Smoothie.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Morning Churchy Thoughts

I'm reading a thread on my Disney message board about Prop. 8 being overturned and the topic has turned Biblical. Leviticus and different passages. Somebody wrote about the early history of the Christian church, stuff I didn't really know about. Like, that some guy, Paul really got it started, and he didn't even know Jesus. So he took what he liked best from the Old Testament, stuck it with Jesus's stuff, and viola! Christianity is born. And then some other guy, Peter, comes along and convinces Paul that this need not be limited to just Jews, but that Gentiles ought to be welcome as well, if they alter just a few of the rules, to make them feel more at home in this new religion.

I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable with drifting away from organized religion. I mean, this Paul guy didn't even know Jesus but is claiming to know what he wanted and thought? Come on...I'm sure he had good intentions, but still...So that leaves me with what? Not necessarily following Christianity as it is known. So what do I do? What do I believe? Do I believe in God? Yes, though not necessarily how He's depicted in the Bible. More like a genderless spirit/entity than in the shape of man. It's still just easier to say He/Him, etc. Do I believe in Heaven and Hell? I believe in energy. I believe this is the energy of God, and that there is positive and negative energy. We come from it, and return to it, and whatever we give in our lives, is where we return to. So if we spend our lives moping and being negative or hateful, we return to the negative energy. If we spend our lives being hopeful and helpful and trying to do good, we return to the positive energy. I think following the philosophy and words of Jesus isn't really a bad idea, and that it works for me, but that it isn't relevant to every human on the planet, and they ought to be free to follow whatever path makes the most sense to them.

So, as a whole, I suppose I'm not against church or organized religion, but I think it gets used against others so much that it's really ruined it for everybody. We all have to do things the same way, we all have to clap and do the hand motions, we all have to go spread the good word, or we're bad Christians. Never question anything, just believe and do as you're told. I don't buy that. I started questioning organized religion in the 7th grade and haven't looked back since. But instead of feeling insecure and bad about myself, I feel strong and secure in knowing that I am allowed to have a different opinion and still be loved by my God. I am allowed to express myself however works best for me, and that is ok. That is how I was designed to be. And who am I to judge?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop. 8 Overturned

This is a good step in the right direction, but it's only one step in a long process. It made me think about our state and the "Everything but marriage law" or what I like to call "We didn't have the guts to really fight for equal rights, so here's a consolation prize instead" law. I think our state should pick up the fight, but I do not support the release of names of people who signed the petition against it. Why? Because I believe anonymity is vital to our voting system, and petitions are a part of that. People have the right to believe what they believe in this country, and shouldn't have to live in fear of it, even if I disagree. I also think that if that's a new precedent for petitions, some day it'll be one that I signed that other people disagree with. Do I want my name and info out there? No, so I'd be less inclined to sign. I feel this will ultimately impede our voting system, which can't be good for anybody.

Hopefully some day soon this will all be a page in a history book and kids will say "I can't believe this was ever an issue."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Let's Talk About Food

I was just reading some stuff on FB between a vegan and some non-vegans that started a huge fight/debate. I didn't want to become involved, but I did want to formulate my thoughts about all of this. Both sides need to come to see things from the other's perspective. I think that if vegans didn't have to deal with so much teasing and harassment for their beliefs, they'd more than likely be far less militant about it. It's really just a defensive act. And I think if vegans realized that they only make non-vegans dig in their feet more by their proselytizing, they'd probably do it less.

I realized, that what a person eats, is extremely personal. It is a part of who they are. A part of their identity. Just like their religious stance, political beliefs, and sexuality are. And quite often, what a person eats is wrapped up in all of that. To put that into question is to question who a person is on every level.

I would compare militant vegans to conservative Christians who are devoted to ending abortion. Sounds strange, eh? But just because one group claims to be liberal doesn't make them so. The inability to see things from any other perspective is what makes a person liberal or not. To not be able to see something other than how you feel about it, in fact, makes you conservative. It's just what subject matter you pick that makes the difference. And both groups have taken their particular belief and turned it into their own religion, which makes them even more similar than not.

There are lots of ways of looking at the world, and the food we eat, and how it is produced. I cannot fathom being a vegan, but I never say never. I try to remain open to experiences and thoughts about food, because that is how I look at the world. But I can see now, that teasing a person because of what or how they eat, is wrong. And should be discouraged. You know, live and let live...or maybe Live and let eat??