So it's 7:36 pm on Thursday evening, my first of sixty in Anaheim, California, during which I'll experience the Disney College Program. I've already learned to refer to myself as a "CP," and I've heard rumors I'll receive zero respect from full-time Disneyland cast members (employees, for the layman) because that's just the way things go. Right about now I'm realizing I could be much more clever with all this, but I've been up since 5 am and my eyes are burning, so bear with me.
The first thing you'll probably want to know is how fast I made it from San Francisco (where I spent the last two nights at Simone's - hey, Simone!) to Los Angeles, and I'll tell you right now: five hours. I heard rough estimates and hard-edged assertions from friends, family members, and drunk members of other people's families that I'd be on the road anywhere from four to eight-point-five hours, and I can now claim that five hours is the appropriate time frame. My left arm is very, very red and sore right now because it was hanging out the window for the duration of the drive, and I didn't account for early morning sunburns - one of the worst kinds of sunburns, if you ask me.
If anyone wants to visit me, here's what you do: drive down I-5 until you reach exit 111 in Los Angeles. Take it. Turn left onto Lincoln Ave, then right on Anaheim Boulevard. You've found me! I'll be waiting in room 208 of Carnegie Plaza. It's just off of an enormous living room/kitchen, complete with hardwood floors and granite countertops. My room could be a bit snazzier, but I think a lot of what's detracting from the "oomph" is my (as yet unseen) roommate's half of the land. He's got a pillow and a single white blanket wadded up together on top of a bare mattress. And there's a wrapper for a vibrating condom in his garbage can. I know because I look at such things.* He also seems to have had one of New Orleans Square's street artists paint a picture of himself... for himself. It's sitting just behind his desktop computer, and he looks like he might be alright. We shall see.
The other two roomies are located on the other side of the living room. I don't know anything about them, except for that they're both guys and one has DVDs of the musicals "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera" out by the television... You do the math.
Orientation so far has included a lot of puzzled maneuvering inside a cramped apartment that's been converted into an office building of sorts. I sat alongside a dozen other confused individuals on beanbags as we watched "Cars" on an enormous flat screen and waited our turn to run the gauntlet. I provided the small talk because I'm way less terrified of this whole situation than I was with my Great New Zealand Adventure. I mean, my plane to Dunedin landed in a field occupied by sheep and cows. I felt isolated and depressed almost immediately. And it was cold. So, so cold. Here, the happiest place ever is literally two miles away, and you can see the tip of the Matterhorn and the Tower of Terror from a decent vantage point right down the street. I'm in my element and I don't care who knows it. Plus, for once I enjoyed not being the one who looked seconds away from tears as the brutal reality of the next few months blossomed.
A few more things:
I kinda made some friends(!)... But then botched it up during an awkward hallway goodbye after one of the orientation meetings.
There's a dishwasher in our apartment!
I'm almost positive I'll be working in Critter Country (I peeked at my on-screen information during initial registration). This means I'm either manning Splash Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, or the Davy Crockett Adventure Canoes. Here's hoping for Splash...
My cell phone is totally busted! And I need it to live!
Until next time...
*Though, to be fair, it could just have been a gag gift from what I assume may have been his birthday (there's a huge cake in the fridge).