ASOUE Challenge–Introduction

The first challenge for the ASOUE Read Along! For me the read along doesn’t actually start for a few more hours, but I thought I’d go ahead and post this before I actually start reading! 

–Who are you? Of course we don’t expect you to go into great existential detail on this matter, do try to limit yourself to the basics. (But if you would like to write on the existential aspects of the question we have no power to stop you) 

I am a 20-year-old Disney Cast Member in Orlando, Florida. I’m crazy about books and the internet and this reading challenge is perfect for that! I love dogs like a whole lot. I’m a super social person and love making new friends! I’d love to meet people through this event and talk about our love for books. I’m very open about my life, so if you have any questions or want to talk to me, don’t be afraid to!

–What do you look like? 


–Who are some of your favourite authors and books? 
ASOUE is definitely in the top list. Ted Dekker is a favorite author. I love reading The Catcher in the Rye over and over.  I also have an undying love for TFiOS and Looking for Alaska, even though I’m not usually a fan of contemporaries. I’m much more into the dystopias, fantasy, and historical fiction genres.

–Where is your comfiest reading spot? 
Usually my bed. Although last summer I spent a lot of reading time outside in a lawn chair. 

–Have you read A Series of Unfortunate Events before? 
I’ve read the series through twice! This will be number 3 for me.

–What are your thoughts on the movie adaptation if you have seen it?
I actually like it for what it is. I love Jim Carey, so I think him being cast as Count Olaf was a good choice. I can only imagine if it had been directed by Tim Burton how much better it could have been, though. But I like how they intertwined three books making it one story, just like the books are seamlessly done. Sure there are things that are much different, and after we read The Wide Window I may re-watch the movie and make a proper comparison, but overall I like the choices they made. 

–How are you reading the books? Hardcover? Paperback? Kindle?
Mostly paperback. But books 10-13 are hardback copies. 

–How did you obtain these unhappy tales? 
I started out getting them from the library, but then I ended up buying them all because I like owning my own copies of the books I read.

–Are you updating your progress anywhere else?
Tumblr and Blogspot! And maybe Instagram (@featherstach3). And I’ll probably tweet quotes (@SixItBe). So yes. 
–What are you hoping to get out of this read along
Finding new things that I missed or forgot about the first two times reading these books! It’s been a few years since I’ve read them last so I’m definitely looking forward to re-living my childhood and seeing how others are doing in this challenge as well!

A Series of Unfortunate Events Read-Along

Browsing Tumblr, as one does, I came across this post and got majorly excited for life. At first, I thought I had missed the start date, but then realized that the event doesn’t start until Sunday-perfect timing? I think so. Here is what’s happening, copied from the original post linked above:

Who? One and all are welcome to join in the readalong, whether this will be your first or millionth time reading the series. 
How?Together we shall be reading one book of Snicket’s tridecalogy a week, posting updates as regularly as we’re able. Post quotes, thoughts, reviews, recommendations, whatever takes your fancy! Just make sure to tag it #asouereadalong so we can all enjoy it together on our various functioning devices. 
During each week there will also be a challenge to complete. The specifics of each challenge shall be posted at the beginning of the week. Challenges will be tagged #asouereadalongchallenge, and we ask you tag your responses this also. 
When? The readalong begins on Sunday the 28th of September, with one book assigned to each week beginning on Sundays and ending on Saturdays. 
  • 28/09/14 – 04/10/14: The Bad Beginning
  • 05/10/14 – 11/10/14: The Reptile Room
  • 12/10/14 – 18/10/14: The Wide Window
  • 19/10/14 – 25/10/14: The Miserable Mill
  • 26/10/14 – 01/11/14: The Austere Academy
  • 02/11/14 – 08/11/14: The Ersatz Elevator 
  • 09/11/14 – 15/11/14: The Vile Village 
  • 16/11/14 – 22/11/14: The Hostile Hospital 
  • 23/11/14 – 29/11/14: The Carnivorous Carnival 
  • 30/11/14 – 06/12/14: The Slippery Slope
  • 07/12/14 – 13/12/14: The Grim Grotto 
  • 14/12/14 – 20/12/14: The Penultimate Peril 
  • 21/12/14 – 27/12/14: The End 

Let me tell you a few things.

Growing up, I didn’t read Harry Potter. But I remember the day at the library when my mom handed me The Miserable Mill and told me that it looked like something I would enjoy reading. I found The Bad Beginning and from there I was hooked on this series. This series WAS my Harry Potter. The friend I had at the time was equally obsessed with these books and we would write letters using VFD’s Bell code, we would try to answer all the unsolved mysteries these books offered, and lived these books just like the HP fans did with their world.

Now that I’ve read Harry Potter, I enjoy that series and love being immersed into the world of witches and wizards and magical beasts. But Lemony Snicket will forever be the author of my adolescence, a title J. K. Rowling can never have.   Count Olaf will be scarier than Voldemort could ever be, because Count Olaf was much more real as a villain; he actually is more on par with Delores Umbridge. A Series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter have very similar qualities in their plots, but I am not about to compare them (not right now anyway. Maybe I’ll work on that).

As this read-along goes on, I will write about my process reading the series for the third time. The last time I re-read the books,  I went through with tabs and highlighters to try and piece together the mysteries given. With those notes, the companion books to the series, and even the spin-off series Lemony Snicket recently began working on, I hope to discover new plot points that I forgot about or didn’t catch the first two times. I hope you also join me in this read-along for the next three months and re-live some unfortunate times in the Baudelaire children’s lives starting Sunday!

Working Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Holidays around the Walt Disney World Resort are especially magical times. I’ve been to the parks for every season as a guest, and have been excited for working here for the different holidays. Even though I didn’t grow up celebrating Halloween, it’s quickly become my favorite holiday, and spending it in the Magic Kingdom is now my favorite part of the year.

Sunday night I was able to work a treat shift during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and had the time of my life. I’ve been trying to get a candy shift for weeks and finally picked up two for this week and one next week. Working during any special event is a must for me, and of course with recent events being what they are, anything I can pick up in Adventureland/Liberty Square is important.

I showed up and got my costume, and was already ecstatic to start this fun night. Then I met up with Jon who had the same shift I did. Our hope was to be placed in the same location. On our way over to the managers’ office, we saw our favorite Pirate coordinators and one of our coworkers and had to get a picture. After that it was time to head over with the others and get our treat locations.

Managers Mike and Kim explained to us how everything worked and started calling out names for the different locations around Ad/Lib. There were fewer and fewer people and locations. With the last location being Pirates, Jon got sent there and I wasn’t given a location. I looked at my managers with wide eyes and Mike said, “Just let Hannah go to Pirates.” Jon said later it was because Mike just didn’t want to see me cry, which I probably would have.
We headed over to Pirates and within minutes, the call came to the front of the ride that the ride was experiencing technical difficulties. Once a pirate, always a pirate, and Jon and I quickly assisted as we could until it was actually time to start handing out candy.  I didn’t know any of the other girls in the location, but found out one was a Haunted Mansion maid and another was a Jungle Cruise skipper. At 6:45 we opened the queue for the halloween party participants and the night began.

No one gave us much information as to where we were to stand or what positions we needed, so we decided we would just wing it and it seemed to work out fine for us. When we got tired of a position, we would switch, or if we needed a break, we took one. There were plenty of people to fill in spots and we ended up finding the place we liked and stayed most of the night. My comfort area was at the entrance/exit of the candy queue with Jon and the maid, Cheyenne, who we talked with for most of the night. Being in this position meant that at 9:30 when Hallowishes happened, this chick got to watch the beautiful display of perimeter fireworks, narrated by our one and only Ghost Host. 
I got to see so many wonderful costumes, and several of my friends came by. When I was handing out candy, I may or may not have given much more than the recommended 5-7 pieces. Because of this, I had many guests tell me I was their favorite because other treat locations had been extremely stingy with their candy distribution. 
Let’s talk for a moment how wonderful this night actually was for me emotionally. If you know me at all and my current work situation, you will know that I’m not a match for where I am. My heart is in Ad/Lib and will not be content until I’m back home. Every day in my current location I put on a fake smile and it’s exhausting to pretend to be as happy as I am when I’m in Ad/Lib.

But this night, there was zero faking my smile. By the end of the night, my face HURT from smiling as much as I did. I hadn’t felt that happy any day of being in merchandise. I didn’t count down the minutes until my next break, because I didn’t want one. I wanted to be in the middle of Caribbean Plaza at my ride with my friends. Ad/Lib is where I feel magical. Working in merchandise, I don’t feel like I work in the most magical place on Earth. Working at Pirates I feel happy.

I have another treat shift on Friday, another Sunday, and one more on Thursday. Not only have I been blessed with these treat shifts, but I was still able to work at my ride during the very first halloween party of the season. Last year when I got accepted for the college program, I visited WDW three days later and attended the Halloween party. My sister and I went to ride Pirates, and it was that night that I realized how much I would love to work there. They had their scars, swords, and were having so much fun with the slow night. One year later, I got my very own Pirate scar. Life came full circle. Crazy how that works. 
 Adventureland is my home, and I am doing everything it takes to get back there. It doesn’t matter where I am in Ad/Lib on those days, because I at least got to be at Pirates on my very first night. I can’t wait to make magic and fill bags with candy and see the costumes and talk to guests on my side of the park.  I’m taking every possible shift in my area that I can, be it treats or stroller parking, because it’s so important to me to be where I’m happbeen blesses with treat shifts, but I was still able to work at my ride during the very first halloween party of the season. 
I’m taking what I can, and giving everything back to the area that brings so much magic to my life and means more to me than any job I’ve ever had. Being able to experience the holidays in the area of my dreams is so important. All I want for Christmas is to be back home.