Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let's Visit Walt Disney World's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Attraction

I found this video of the updated version of Walt Disney World's "Pirates of the Caribbean" Attraction, featuring characters from the movie. You will see Captain Jack Sparrow several times here. I discovered this on YouTube.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Foregone Vacation

I was supposed to fly to Florida last week and be on vacation for 10 days. With the economy on shaky ground in the news, and with me personally suffering from a tremendous lack of business, I decided to forego my trip to Fort Lauderdale and Walt Disney World (where I figured that I would spend at least $560 and lose out on earning some money). Do I regret not going? Well, at first I kind of did regret it, but to get over that I decided to concentrate more on some of the things that I normally lament about when I'm on vacation. Things like: another year, another vacation to Walt Disney World, and no screenplay written. Come on, David. Either write a screenplay or forget about it forever. Another thing: prepare for your taxes. Look at your bank statements. Make adjustments in who you pay, and how much. Do you need to switch phone service? Are you going to send the information to your lawyer today? Overall, I decided, that it was not worth leaving Los Angeles at this point, when so much is up in the air for me. Better to put my head down and concentrate on success, and concentrate on producing more income.

So this past week I've taken in about $150. If I'd gone to Disney, I'd be out of the $560. This way, i'm in the positive $150, a $710 swing.

Another reason I'm glad that I stayed home is that I probably would have missed the opportunity to trade away the Ebay stock in my Mom's account like I did just before Ebay announced their earnings on Wednesday (I had a feeling to sell that stock before any news. It was going up mysteriously on Wednesday, so I said, "screw it. Whatever news comes, it won't help the stock, it can only hurt". I was right. It just so happens, I have been looking at another stock that my Mom owns, Build-A-Bear Workshop. It had been going down over the months, gradually and seemingly without end. I was waiting for a bottom. The price of the stock was beginning to look cheap, but I've learned over the years that until you see a bounce, you gotta leave the stock alone and let it keep on going down. Well, I saw Build-A-Bear stock go up today solidly, by like 5%. I also looked at the chart, and saw that it seemed to be breaking out of the low and going back up. I decided to buy 100 shares of that stock, with the proceeds of the 25 Ebay shares that I sold. I've heard it said that Build-A-Bear would be a great takeover stock for some companies, like Berkshire Hathaway, for example. I even could see how a company like Disney might consider buying it, since it's so cheap compared to the price that it was 6 months ago, and that Build-A-Bear might compliment Disney's Club Penguin acquisition, which was completed a few months ago for $300 million (at today's price, Build-A-Bear is valued by the market almost at that amount). Build-A-Bear was up on Thursday, big-time, after I bought it. The company's stock had been severely punished over the last few months, which is kind of weird for a relatively small company (with only 20 million shares) that is still, at least, moderately profitable. Anyway, Mom has 200 shares now.

So, I'll just be content to go to Disney's Grand Californian for 2 nights again this weekend. Hopefully it won't be raining as much as it is right now (boy, I don't remember this much rain in L.A. in recent years!) I'm planning another trip to Walt Disney World, for May or June. I'll be better prepared to take the trip at that time, hopefully (with that new "Stimulus Plan" that Congress probably will enact, I'll get some money from the government to help pay for that trip!) We will see.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reflections On The Death of Heath Ledger

I heard the news last night about Heath Ledger being found dead in his apartment in New York. It was shocking to me. They mentioned that they thought it might have been suicide, but I thought for a minute and said, "Naw. I don't think so. I hope not." Later reports said that his last two acting roles involved putting himself in some very sad places mentally. They mentioned that the last role particularly weighed heavy on his mind, and left him unable to sleep well. Now, I've heard that when people can't sleep, they hallucinate. Sleeping is an essential part of being healthy and happy. To have thoughts that are so uncomfortable as to cause you to not be able to sleep- that's torture.

I also heard that Heath Ledger had pneumonia when he died (I heard that on TV from that guy who runs TMZ, who said that he knew it for a fact). Walking pneumonia is not cute and doesn't feel good. If you can't sleep, I'll bet it's impossible to get rid of).

I've heard it said that, "Thoughts are things". I really believe that. What you put in your head- what you allow to go into your head- be it a song, a movie, or an episode of "Ugly Betty", will somehow affect you. The amounts of things and the kinds of things that we choose to put in our heads play out somehow in our lives every day. These things definitely affect your mood. Actors often get into character by trying to think the way their characters think. Always having to be someone else, particularly if you're having to be a sad or vile person, might adversly alter your moods. They say that that Heath's last role as the Joker for the new Batman movie had left him depressed and unable to sleep. Imagine being unable to control your thoughts. That scares me.

I really liked Heath Ledger. I was rooting for him to win the Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain", a film that he was superb in. I'd also seen him in "The Patriot" and "A Knight's Tale", and he was really good in "Monster's Ball". I saw him on "Oprah" a couple of years ago, too, and he seemed happy and normal. One thing that I do remember is that when he was living out here in Hollywood that the paparrazi would always stalk him outside his home, and he'd literally drive crazy down the street to get away from them. I do think that a law should be passed to stop the paparazzi from chasing celebrities.

He was only 28 years old. That's young. Not as young as James Dean was when he died. There are plenty of people who die younger. But this guy, who depicted life so magnificently through his acting roles, and who seemed to be really humble and down-to-earth, through his early death reminds us that it doesn't matter whether or not you were expecting to die. When death happens to you, that's it. It's too late to seek help if you need it. You're done.

I hope that Heath Ledger's death helps other people, - stars and non-celebrity people alike, realize that life is a gift, and that you have to love yourself and take care of yourself. Your life is fragile, and can be taken away in an instant. (I'm so glad that Owen Wilson survived his ordeal last year and I hope that he's doing better).

Heath Ledger will live on through his movies. There are tons of photos of him on the internet. He was a cool guy that I wish that I could have met. I'm going to miss him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm Selling My 2 Timeshares at Oak Plantation Resort in Kissimmee, Florida

If you ever thought about buying a timeshare, I have a great place for you, at an affordable purchase price.

I have two units for sale at the Oak Plantation Vacation Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. Each unit is deeded for annual use, and you will have each unit for 1 full week. The Oak Plantation Resort was built about 12 years ago by Vistana. Since then it has been owned and managed by Sheraton and then Sun Vest. This resort is very nice and quiet, and has really nice amenities. It's actually much nicer than Vistana Resort (in my opinion), but it's a little further from Walt Disney World (about 7 miles away). Another good thing about the Resort is that it is close to a Super Wal-Mart, and close to other dining places.

I have a 1- Bedroom Unit that sleeps up to 4 people comfortably, during week 36 of the year (usually the first week of September). I also have a 2-Bedroom Unit that sleeps up to 6 people comfortably, with week 24 as the use week (usually the second week of June). Both of my units are located at prime locations at the Resort. If you know about timeshares, you know that these places are homes away from home, with kitchen and bathrooms. You can check out the Oak Plantation Resort's website and make a decision for yourself if this is the Resort for you.

If you are interested in either unit at the Oak Plantation Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, and want to make me an offer, please call David at (323)393-5822. All offers considered. I'm in Los Angeles, California. (I put this on my blog because I figure that if I just "put it out there" that someone who wants it will find me). Why pay the Resort, with their fast-talking, scheming salespeople, $14,000 or more when you can come to me and get something for WAY LESS? - Try me. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dance War- Bruno vs. Carrie Ann

I love that new show on ABC Television- "Dance War- Bruno vs. Carrie Ann". It's a fun show. Living in L.A., I know a lot of people who are professional dancers, and I meet a lot of people from all over the world who come to L.A. to take dance classes. We have some really good dance classes here in L.A.

I started taking dance classes at Gold's Gym in Hollywood a few years ago, because it looked fun. I actually took a hip-hop dance class. It was cool, and I made a few friends when I did it. I'm no dancer, and I haven't taken any classes for half a year now, but once I start going back to the gym and losing some weight, I'll attempt to dance and look cute while I'm doing it.

Now, back to "Dance War". I like this show because I personally have taken dance classes and singing classes. I love to dance and sing. The one movie that I saw years ago that I loved, and made me want to become a performer was "Sister Act 2". That movie was so good, and it made me so happy to watch it. I wanted to get up there and sing and dance with those kids. I think that this might be why I like "Dance War" so much. I liked the numbers that they did on the show, and the idea of being in a show where you can sing and dance (remember the "Mickey Mouse Club"- any of them? The kids got to sing and dance. I'm a sucker for any show like that). I'm so shocked that I haven't seen "High School Musical" yet. I'm a big Disney fan and I haven't even seen that movie. (I just convinced myself that I should see it ASAP for 2 reasons. Number 1- I know that I'll like it; and Number 2- they will take away my Disney Card if I don't see it. I better not tell anybody else).

I hate that there's a writer's strike, because I love my TV shows, especially on ABC Television, but I'm glad that this "Dance War" show is not being affected (I guess because it's like a reality show). Funny thing, though. This show has made me want to sing and dance again. I'm kind of old, in terms of how old that people should be who are trying to seriously make it in show business, but guess what? I feel like I can make it if I really tried. I can sing. I can dance pretty good- once I lose about 20 pounds, I'll really look the part. You watch!

Anyway, I'm excited about this show, and I'm going to enjoy watching it for the next few weeks.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Should I drop AT&T Wireless and Get Metro PCS?

I have been thinking now seriously for about a week of changing to Metro PCS, away from AT&T wireless. Why? Well, I spend, before taxes, $69.99 per month for the AT&T Wireless (I had Cingular originally). I get 1,100 minutes for that, plus free night-time minutes (after 9PM), and free weekend minutes. I also have unlimited roaming, meaning, I can go anywhere in the nation and not pay any roaming fees. Sweet.

Then there's Metro PCS, a new service, but popular, judging by how many new offices that they've opened up in L.A. just within the last 2 months. I went into one of their offices about a month ago to inquire about cost and service. They said that they are expanding. They said that they are building their network throughtout Southern California, but while I was waiting, if I wandered out of their coverage zone, I would incur roaming charges. They share networks with other phone companies when you wander out of their coverage zone, and you are charged per minute that you use another network (a few cents, not much). I would also have to buy my phone, and own it outright- but I don't have a contract. That appeals to me.

The Metro PCS option for me would be $35 a month. I would save $35 a month. If I should roam out of the area or go on vacation, I would pay for those extra minutes, but they have you pre-pay those minutes anyway, for the event that you should need to roam. That's kind of appealing, too. You either will be able to pay your bill, or you run out of minutes. Good.

$35 saved is really like $52 saved, if you think about it. How long does it take you at work to earn $52? Well, after you earn that and it goes to your company, by the time you get it with taxes taken out, it's about $35. I'm starting to think it's worth switching.

I like Cingular overall, but I'm not into wasting money. My sister has Metro PCS and she likes it. I have come close to running over my minutes twice in the last 3 months. I'm thinking about "unlimiting myself".

What do you think?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What's Wrong with People?

This video is cool. It shows how rude people can be, and how this girl deals with it. Notice her 2 defense mechanisms. What do you do when people are rude to you? I swear, when driving, I'm glad that I don't have a gun sometimes. Not that I'd shoot anyone, heck no. I'd maybe just shoot their tires or something. But that's in my fantasy world. But my fantasy world that day might not be as mild as that of others. Watch out. People are crazy.

And now, enjoy the video.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Elisabeth is Back On the View...Whoopi Proves My Point

Today "The View" on ABC Television was really good. They welcomed back Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and the whole show was devoted to Hot Topics. One thing that got discussed, and not even in relation to Obama and Clinton, was how attractive you have to be in the movies and on television. The more visually attractive person usually gets more votes from the public, based just on looks. Whoopi Goldberg said that most people in power did not want her doing love scenes, because they told her that she was too ugly.

Another point discussed on this show today by Whoopi is the point that I brought up in my blog post yesterday- that it doesn't matter who gets into the office talking about change- if you can't get to the other people in the Senate and the House of Representatives, then you won't have any change. Period. The question to ask yourselves is, "who can work with everyone to really make changes that help real people?" And not just middle-class people. What about lower class people, too?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Obama, Hillary, and Edwards....shades of 'Dancing with the Stars'

I saw the bulk of the Democratic debates that took place in New Hampshire on Saturday night (1/5/08). From the latest news polls, it shows that Barack Obama will most likely get more votes than Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.

I've noticed that all 3 top Democratic candidates are now talking about "change". To me, that word, along with a little explanation about not wanting to go with the "status quo", still does not realistically tell you what those candidates are going to do. Looking at all 3 top candidates, I notice something.

Barack Obama looks good. He's a good-looking guy, well-dressed, and a nice weight. He's kind of young. He's half black and half white. Half African. Half real African (unlike most black Americans in this country, many of whom are mixed with some form of caucasian and Native American). He speaks smoothly. He's got this kind of sexy thing going. Like Sidney Poitier. And he comes across as being super intelligent- I've only heard him on TV speak "black slang" only once to a predominantly African American crowd. Very articulate. Like Sidney Poitier. I can see how so many women would like him. On "Dancing With The Stars", I'd maybe compare him with Helio Castaneda.

Then there's John Edwards. I notice that he wants to win really badly. I notice that he's really anxious to win this race. One thing that you notice about Mr. Edwards is how good-looking he is. I've heard him called "cute" by women. In fact, it's been said, not only in the campaigning this time, but in the previous presidential campaigns, how good-looking he is. There is even a video of him applying make-up to his face, and holding a make-up compact while he and an aide apply the make-up to his face. He's an older man, probably in his late thirties or young forties. This man is very ambitious, and has nothing really to lose by saying anything in order to get elected. He was behind, a week ago, in the polls. He's got to rattle a few peoples' cages, and he's trying hard now to really rock Hillary. I guess he figures that between himself and Obama, they'll paint Mrs. Clinton as a Democratic form of George W. Bush, who will allow the big tax breaks for the oil companies and drug companies, and who will allow people to suffer from the evil policies of the health care industry. Edwards is good-looking, really good looking. I can see why so many women would like him. America, I think, sees him like that soap opera guy, Cameron Mathison who was on "Dancing with the Stars" this past season.

Then there's Hillary Clinton. She's an older lady. She's tough. She's obviously intelligent. I don't think that she's what most of us would consider "classically beautiful". She's OK. She's an older woman. She's smart, intelligent, and has lots of political and government experience. Up until recently, she hasn't been really on the offensive against her Democratic rivals. Some people like her personality. Others hate her. On "Dancing with the Stars", I'd like to compare her to Mel B (she doesn't have the looks, but she is good at what she does). (Did you ever notice that there are never any average-looking women on "Dancing with the Stars"? If Hillary were just a celebrity, I doubt that she would be asked onto the show, just because of her plain face.) So, for sex appeal comparison, we'll exxagerate a little and call her Mel B.

Now, for those of you who followed "Dancing with the Stars", you know that the Soap Opera guy hung in there almost to the end, and was finally voted off. He put up a good fight, but there were really 2 better dancers.

In the end, I think it came down to who everyone liked more. Helio and Mel B got the same scores on their dances in the end. The winner came down to who everyone called in to vote for, who was best liked. Let's analyze this.

On "Dancing with the Stars", I heard people comment that I knew comment, "I want Helio to win. He's cute and that Spice Girl already is more of a dancer because she's in show business". Kind of sounds like, "I want Obama to win. He's cute and that old Hillary is more of an old politician because she's been in status quo politics for so long".

I know this: a lot of women don't like other women. Even the pretty ones who dance well, like Mel B. Women are a lot harder on other women than they are on men, generally. I know a lot of women who don't like Hillary, only because they like Barack Obama.

Give America (or at least, the Democrats) the choice of a good-looking, intelligent, articulate black man who's not quite middle aged and a well-dressed, retirement-aged, intelligent, experienced but rather average- looking white woman, and what do you think will happen? Will "Sexy" translate into votes? Could Barack Obama get over with his unofficial campaign song as "I'm Bringin' Sexy Back"?

Well, on "Dancing with the Stars", Helio won. The fact that he was good, sexy, italian, young, male and likeable seemed to all translate into votes. A woman has never won the top prize on that show, in 4 seasons. Mel B, I have read, was really disappointed at her loss this past season, and wondered why people didn't like her. Kinda like someone else we know.

A woman has never been on the final ballot running as President of the United States.

Hillary's task is to make people like her. How she does that remains to be seen in the coming weeks.

Disney Music Makes Me Happy

I know one thing: I am a fool for Disney. Especially the music that they have produced over the years. If all my Disney stuff got taken away, it wouldn't matter to me that much as long as I got to keep all my soundtracks.

Today you can get some Disney soundtracks on iTunes. In this digital age of "free music", I'm sure that you can even find some Disney stuff out there online. Given this fact, I will still never part with my hard Disney CD's and records (if I can help it). I like to play my CD's in my car, and often take some of them with me on vacation to listen to in my rental car. I have collected my CD's ever since Disney started producing their music on CD's. I also collected the soundtracks right after Disneyland installed kiosks where you could make your own CD's of rare and historic soundtrack material that had previously been unreleased. (When I discovered those kiosks, I personally made 10 custom-made CD's that very day for myself). (I could have made a few more to capture EVERYTHING that they had, but I chose what I liked best). iPods are cool, but they are only tools, and a part of my picture. CD's made by the manufacturer rock!

I especially love the soundtracks to all the Disneyland Attractions. A couple of years ago, Disneyland (and Walt Disney World) sold a really cool CD set, with 6 CD's and over 100 tracks representing 50 years of Disneyland's music. That set includes a good hardcover book by Disney historian and artist Stacia Martin, as well as a vinyl record reprint of the classic Disneyland record, "Walt Disney Takes You To Disneyland". Pictured is the box that this special set came in.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Congratulations to Barack Obama!

I went to Gold's Gym in Hollywood this evening, and as I walked quickly on the treadmill, I was watching the results of the Iowa caucus. I was not surprised that Barack Obama or Mike Huckabee came in first place for their respective parties. I also was not surprised that the Democrats had a huge turnout, since the country really needs a good Democratic president to try to get us out of the muck and the mire that we are currently in.

I'm reading Barack Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope". It's a good book, so far (I'm on page 28). I have been for Hillary Clinton up to now, and I think that she would make a great president. I read Hillary's book, "Living History", years ago, and I already know where she's coming from. She and Bill Clinton went through a lot of needless shit while they were in the White House, and they still got a whole lot of good things accomplished, despite it all. Clinton worked well with members of both parties. It was only toward the end that he got clobbered with "Monicagate"...

I personally theorize that the Republicans did that to him as revenge for the Clarence Thomas trial, where Anita Hill brought up true (although vulgar) allegations about Judge Thomas' sexual harrassment. (There was a lot of sexual harrassment all the time when I worked at Fed Ex amongst all my coworkers at Fed Ex, but most of the time we didn't mind that much. If we could take it, we got to dish it out, too, once in a while).

Anita Hill probably should have simply quit her job and (and maybe filed sexual harrassment charges) if all that she said really transpired. I guess if she didn't and someone just dragged her out of nowhere to derail Mr. Thomas' appointment as Supreme Court Judge, that's kind of unfair. I guess that's why the Republicans felt that it was fair to pull a groupie like Monica out of the hat, force Bill Clinton into denying having anything sexual to do with her (under oath), and then taking Monica's unsensored, practically forced-at-gunpoint, explicit and vivid account of her sexual adventures with Mr. Clinton and printing them on the front page of "The Washington Post".

Yes, somehow Hillary stayed with Bill Clinton. I'm glad that she did. Their enemies tried to tear them apart, and it might have almost worked, but it ultimately didn't.

Barack Obama seems to be the kind of guy who says that the kinds of things that were done to the Clintons are things that would not likely happen to him, not because he's perfect and doesn't have any skeletons in his closet, but because he would appeal to his peers in Congress to be above all the bullshit. From what I've read in his book so far, I think that he would say, "Let's solve the problems of the people and the nation. Let's not sit here and sink in the mud". It would be interesting to see what his Republican rivals and opponents would try to do to him down the line should he be elected.

Oh, well, fasten your seatbelts.....

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Apostilles and Certifications in Los Angeles County

Do you need an Apostille or Certification of a document that is going to a country outside of the U.S.? With the Apostille Service from Hollywood Notary.Net, you can get your Apostille quickly, often on the same day or the next day, for Los Angeles County documents. Apostilles and Certifications are obtained for documents that are leaving the country, and are often required by authorities in other countries.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Easy Way To Make Money Doing Practically Nothing.

Do you talk on the phone? Of course you do. I was reading something online and I stumbled across this ad. It said "Easy Way to Make Money Doing Practically Nothing". Caught my attention. I clicked, and clicked, and found out all about it. I signed up for it immiately- it's free. It's a great idea. Click the ad below.
Brring! Get Calls, Get Cash!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's a New Year, and that means, for me: not time to just sit around. Sure, I will watch the Rose Bowl game today. I will probably peek at other games in TV. But I will go to the gym, if it's open. If not, I will go for a brisk walk for 40 minutes. I will control what I eat. I've already remodeled my business website, I'll call a few friends, some relatives. I will study for the real estate exam, which I will take soon. I will put in some entries for my other blogs, listed on the right. I will look at my recent bank statements, and cancel subscriptons that I don't need. I will impliment measures to bring in more money. It's time for a big change! I'm going to do it.