Tuesday, March 30, 2021

47 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching 1970's "Disneyland Showtime"

I had a ton of fun doing my last Thoughts While Watching about the EPCOT film, so I decided to do another one! And just as I threatened in that last post, I tracked down the Kurt Russell episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, which is called "Disneyland Showtime." Sadly, Kurt does not wear that suit the whole time, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Watch along here:

And now, 47 Thoughts Jenn Had While Watching "Disneyland Showtime:"

  1. I'm getting a strong "A Salute to All Nations But Mostly America" vibe from this opening.

  2. Did the old monorail have a... foghorn?

  3. I wish more costume characters did the Charleston these days.

  4. That tour guide cape is sweet, but she seems to lose everybody almost immediately.

  5. All I think of when I see Donny Osmond is LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS! TO DEFEAT! THE HUNS!!!!

  6. Also, all these Osmonds seem to be cosplaying as Romulans.

  7. I'm going to have to look up this... E.J.... Peaker...? person later because I am blanking.

  8. I'm 90% sure I walk faster than any of the Main Street Vehicles.

  9. This human clock makes it sound like "fun rides" are only fun because you can quantify them.

  10. Hey, I know this song! Was "Down on the Corner" an Osmond Brothers song or is this a cover? (Somewhere a boomer is weeping. Who knows; maybe it's my mom. Although I think she was more into the Monkees.)

  11. I see you there in the background, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

  12. Donny found Splash Mountain walk around characters! Good for him; I've managed that exactly once myself.

  13. Not that I'm not happy to see him but I'm actually not sure why Kurt Russell is even here. He seems to be sort of in charge; did Kurt Russell run Disneyland in the '70s?

  14. Remember when you had to bring a whole separate camera with you if you wanted pictures?

  15. This "people in the crowd who are not Donny Osmond" montage sure is long.

  16. Split up and go in different directions, Kurt? Really? Have you never seen Scooby Doo?

  17. Wait, what's going on with this Native American dance circle? Did Kurt Russell really just throw off their schedule like that? And then Mr. Human Clock made them redo everything? Rude.

  18. "If they needed us, they'd come find us here, in this readily accessible Nautilus submarine."

  19. Counterpoint: "Gee, maybe we can find Donny here, on the riverboat, a 40-minute self-contained ride."

  20. Nope, never heard this song about walking before. The Romulans seem to like it.

  21. Hey, who let this E.J. character in the captain's area?

  22. Boy, these Dapper Dans are dressed for a sepia-tone Kansas.

  23. See, that's why you don't look for people on rides, dummies.

  24. The '70s sure were the '70s, weren't they.

  25. Conversely, the Kids of the Kingdom (which, who?) dress like Wesley Crusher before there was a Wesley Crusher. 

  26. Do yodelers still rappel down the Matterhorn?

  27. Did the Romulan Brothers just abandon Kurt? Jerks.

  28. Ah, there's Kurt's magnificent gangster suit.

  29. Okay, I'm familiar with this sugar, sugar song, but I don't know who this mustached individual is, nor did I know Kurt Russell sang. This has been very educational for me.

  30. WHY THE HELL ARE DONNY AND OTHER RANDOM OSMOND ON THE SKYRIDE. They're literally pointing at the stage and saying "Oh, gee, we're next."

  31. Oh, the flare indicates an emergency AND signals the start of the fireworks, does it? Seems like a sound idea.

  32. I don't know this song either. I also still have no idea who E.J. Peaker is.

  33. Judy Garland already did this in "The Man Who Got Away" and she did it like 85,000 times better.

  34. "Put on your suit so you look less like Romulans for the show."

  35. Never heard this rainbow song in my life. I'm really more of a '40s/'50s girl, I'm afraid.

  36. Wait, wait. Is this "Age of Aquarius" part of the same song? Because if so, then I have heard this song. But also, didn't, like, a Motown group or something do that first? Were the Osmond Brothers a cover band?

  37. I will not miss Mr. Human Clock.

  38. Everyone DOES want to go see The Haunted Mansion, Kurt.

  39. I desperately want to play in a Disney land/attraction model.

  40. Oh, that half-translucent animatronic is interesting. Explains how they get the fadeout on the Pepper's Ghost illusion.

  41. I love the moving bust illusion - even when you know how it works you have to really concentrate to see it.

  42. It's okay, Thurl, I'll sing the response lines.

  43. Ooh, do we get a full ride-through?!

  44. Oh, Human Clock, you're still here. Great.

  45. Let the record show that Kurt Russell is attracted to Medusa.

  46. The Haunted Mansion really hasn't changed much over the years. But then why mess with perfection?

  47. For a second I thought they were trying to imply that Donny turned into a ghost.

I don't know about you, but my primary takeaway from this activity was that I am not particularly well-versed in the '70s outside of the fact that Kurt Russell was clearly there. 

I'm still enjoying this little mini-series of mine! I think I might do the original Disneyland opening broadcast next, or maybe the Disneyland 10th Anniversary special. Hit me up if you have an opinion.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

In Which Brooks Ravenna Sneakers... Are Launches Now?!

I wrote a blog post a week or two ago. I was going to post it today, and it was going to go like this:

There are many reasons the Brooks Ravenna is my GOAT shoe, but none of them would be any help to me if they weren't so darned consistent. My first Ravennas were model #4, and I have used every version since up to the current #11. Every version has been a winner.

But that doesn't mean that there haven't been any changes from iteration to iteration. In fact, I noticed a pretty obvious change between my old #10s and new #11s. Can you spot it?

Brooks Ravennas

Brooks sorts their running shoes into four categories, or "experiences" as they call them: cushion, trail, energize, and speed. For as long as I can remember, and per the insole, the Ravenna has been an "energize" shoe, defined by "springy and responsive cushioning." But the #11s are now "speed" shoes, designed "for race day performance"! 

I'm still digging my pair, but I was curious as to why the Ravenna shifted categories. Naturally I asked Brooks Running's Twitter account, and they delivered!

Brooks tweet
Brooks tweet





All I did was try and go back and double-check the product page to make sure I hadn't missed something obvious about the switch, only I discovered there IS NO RAVENNA PRODUCT PAGE ANYMORE.

Apparently what they've done is paired all their old stability shoes with their neutral lines, and you can get those shoes now either with or without stability guiderails. The Brooks Ravenna is now the Brooks Launch GTS.

REPEAT: THERE ARE NO MORE BROOKS RAVENNAS. Perhaps you think this is an awful lot of capital letters for such an announcement. But THERE ARE NO MORE BROOKS RAVENNAS. No more of the Brooks Ravennas I've been using since 2013. Somebody hold me. I'm scared!

I went back to Brooks for comfort:

No more Ravenna

(By the way, whoever runs their Twitter account is 100% on point. They almost always reply when tagged.)

I mean, obviously I'm going to try the Launch GTS. Who knows; maybe I'll love it just as much and it'll be okay. But in the meantime, I have two more brand spankin' new pairs of Ravennas in my arsenal, plus a pair with less than 100 miles on it in the current rotation. I shouldn't need a new pair for a year or so. Although they are $10 cheaper now, so that's something I guess.

Thus I shall make the most of what time the Ravennas and I have left together. I hear it's better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all, so... WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In Which Jenn Is More Than What She Has Become

I need to look inside myself, I guess.

It's one of the best parts of the whole movie, no? When Simba's laying there looking up at the stars and Mufasa's ghost shows up and yells at him. Okay, well, maybe not when I describe it like that, but you know the bit I mean. 

I've always found the moment strangely moving, although I've never been the king of anything. More just the call to be... I don't know, true to yourself, I guess? I was trying to think of a less cheesy way to describe it, but I can't. I guess some cheesy things are also accurate.

Anyway, all this is buildup just to say that my little Disney Dandy heart has been longing for a piece of "Remember Who You Are" clothing for quite some time. There's a lot of it out there, too - tank tops, crew tees, cargo jackets, and more. But none of it ever felt quite right to me.

Until, of course, I found a great sweatshirt on Poshmark and pounced. I love the design of it, I love the colors, I love the readability (believe it or not, some of 'em get a bit too fancy with the fonts), and also, I rather love that it's a sweatshirt. I have lots of Disney dresses and a fair number of short sleeved shirts, but very little in the way of outerwear. Occasionally it does get cold at Disney and I need to be prepared (January 2017, anyone?).

Lion King sweatshirt

So I picked up in the sweatshirt in a size large, because I tend to like my sweatshirts and outerwear to fit a bit big. It allows for layering and just generally feels cozier, y'know?

That did leave the question of how to style my new prize. Obviously I could toss it over some jeans and call it a day, but I wanted to spice things up a bit. First I went with the classic tuck into some high-waisted shorts, plus some socks to keep things cold weather-friendly:

But then I read an article dedicated exclusively to styling oversized sweatshirts, and one of the suggestions was layering it over a skirt. The girl in the picture had a pleated skirt peaking out of the sweatshirt's hem. I liked the look, so I tried to replicate it:

Finally, the wildcard look. That plaid miniskirt gave me an idea. You've seen sweatshirts and miniskirts, yes, but have you seen sweatshirt with MAXI TUTU???

I doubt I'd ever wear this one around the parks just because of the likelihood of snagging it on something, but it was still fun to swish about. Maybe it would work for one of those progressive dinners around Disney's Animal Kingdom?

I have some fun race costumes in my back pocket, so swing by in the coming months for more of my Disney Dandy shenanigans!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, March 15, 2021

In Which Jenn Suffers A Garmin Emergency

Garmin Forerunner 235

Okay, so, my Garmin Forerunner 230, greatest Christmas present of all time, developed a crack in the watch face a few months back. It was a little concerning, but the watch continued to work fine, so I assumed it was superficial. This theory was borne out by runs in the rain and even a couple dunks in the ocean (the Forerunner is rated up to 5ATM for swimming). It had a cosmetic defect, sure, and it was getting a little behind on the tech, yes, but basically my Garmin was working fine.

... Until last Sunday, when I was once again hopping about in the Atlantic. I splashed about in the waves for about twenty minutes and then intended to come in - but then I thought, what the hell, I'm having fun; I'll stay out a little longer.

I think we all see where this is going, and yes, you're right: ten minutes later, I did indeed look down and see my watch screen had gone blank. My watch. My GPS watch. The GPS watch I rely on for my training. The same GPS watch I needed for my 17 miler in two days.

Kuzco's poison
Here's your cadence.

"By this point you know how long it usually takes you to run a certain number of miles," said Pat. "Can't you just do it without GPS?"

"HAHAHAHAHA!!!!" I said in return, dumping my watch in a bowl and pouring rice over it in a time-honored ritual of desperation.

I didn't have a great feeling about it, but after a night hopefully drying out in the rice I tried to plug my watch back in. BZZZZZZZ! was what it had to say to that. I hurriedly unplugged it. It was also seeping salt.

Okay, time to get a new watch. I wanted it to be a Garmin again, because I like the app and I feel like they do a good job on running-specific metrics. The Forerunner 245 seemed the modern iteration closest to my current model, and it had excellent battery life. 

Unfortunately, shipping to Puerto Rico can be a bit of A Thing. We get Amazon Prime down here, but only in that the shipping continues to be free. Two day shipping is out the window. Actual ship times are variable, and what Amazon tells you is the estimated arrival date may or may not have any bearing on the reality. Sometimes it's quicker than expected, but other times packages been known to arrive in a Miami sorting facility and then just kinda hang out.

All that is to say that I found the Garmin Forerunner 245 on Amazon, but the estimated delivery date of a full two weeks from then was not comforting. 

I could get a Forerunner 235 for half the price and half the time, but that was an old model, and did I really want to buy a watch that was 5 years behind the technology? And anyway that's still not in time if I wanted to keep my training plan intact. If I wanted that, I needed something almost instant. How could I get my watch instantly?

In the end, it was a real, retail storefront to the rescue. Who says malls are dead?

Walmart had no stock. Best Buy had no stock. I was distraught. But then I had an idea that should've occurred to me first: I looked up, y'know, running stores in my area. I discovered there was a Fit2Run in the mall less than ten minutes from my apartment. Not only that, but they showed the Garmin 245 in stock! I called to confirm, and that night I double-masked up and went to the mall to pick up my treasure. (Oh, what a strange world we live in that I miss the mundane comfort of a mall!)

So here's my new baby, the Garmin Forerunner 245. It has like a million new metrics and I am 100% in love with it. 

Garmin Forerunner 235

We went out together the very next morning and enjoyed a successful 17 mile run that was by some miracle 10 seconds/mile faster than my 16 miler a few weeks before. I have named it Louis, as in Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

Middle name "I like to think you shot a man. It's the romantic in me."

My old watch lasted me more than four years before I inadvertently drowned it, so as they say: FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Monday, March 8, 2021

In Which Jenn Shares Her Long Run Disney Parks Playlist

Pray for me now and in the hour of my 17 mile training run.

I will appreciate those prayers when the time comes (tomorrow), but as they say: the Lord helps those who help themselves. In addition to prayers, I shall try to make my long run as painless minimally painful as possible with the help of such items as KT Tape, mocha Clif Shots, a spare water bottle, and, of course, music.

I will start out with my usuals from Amazon Music (Aerosmith!) or my own personal iTunes stash (J. Roddy/Floggy Molly/Jukebox the Ghost), for at the absolute least the first nine miles or so. But when the going gets tough, I'm gonna bust out that big guns. You know what blog you're reading, so of course you already know it's Disney music.

But not just any Disney music - Disney parks music and parks music only! But not the background music loops; they're designed to create ambience, not capture your attention. For running, performance music is where it's at. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more transportive than a good show soundtrack. I'm talking fireworks, parades, nighttimes spectaculars - you know, with the stirring orchestral scores and catchy medleys, the ones that immediately thrust you back in time and put your imaginary feet on Main Street. You'll forget you're running at all

Want to follow along? C'mon, we'll run together - I put together a playlist special. It's unlisted, but I'm willing to share it with my bloggy buddies.* If the below embed gets wonky or you lose me at any point, here's a direct playlist link. Lace up and step into the magic!

*You know, all these other people think I'm talking to them, but I'm really just talking to you!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

In Which Jenn Makes A Flower & Garden Festival To-Eat List (Take 3)

It may be a bad idea to even write this post. It went wrong in 2017. It went wrong in 2020. Do I dare too much?

Sure, in 2017, it was my fault for being too zonked by sleeplessness to fully enjoy Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival. But it was the universe that took everything from me in 2020. Is it time to let optimism flounder? Can we set the bar lower than it is even now?

Too late: I've already started the post. It's happening. 

As is my wont, I've gone through all the published menus for the Flower & Garden Festival food booths and selected what I want to try, assuming my spring trip goes as planned. If I make it, the below food items are at the top of my to-eat list. Will 2021 be the year?

If it is, I shall eat:

BauernmarketPotato pancakesEither version
BauernmarketPretzel bread with ham and cheesePretzel bread FTW
Cider HousePotato & cheddar biscuit with salmon tartareThis sounds AMAZING
Cider HouseDark chocolate raspberry tartI feel like I had this at a Food & Wine Festival but it was good so
Cider HouseCiderPink lemonade?! Watermelon?! Jam?! I DEMAND A FLIGHT
Citrus BlossomOrange-lemon smoothieNot gonna lie: in it for the Orange Bird sipper
Citrus BlossomHibiscus lime aleI love hibiscus!
Farmer's FeastHibiscus lemonade cocktailHI, BISCUS!
Festival FavoritesMaple bacon stoutI have good luck with stouts at these festivals
Fleur de LysGoat cheese and onion tartOnly they spell it in French
Fleur de LysLa Vie en Rose slushyI hear good things
HanamiFrushiI think ordering this is required by Epcot law
Honey Bee-stroHoney & sweet corn spoon breadMan, I haven't had spoon bread in forever and I love it
Honey Bee-stroLavender chicken flatbreadLavender honey mustard? Lavender goat cheese? I am intrigued
Honey Bee-stroHoney mascarpone cheesecakeMascarpone is magnificent
Jardin de FiestasSope de chorizoI'm not 100% clear on what this is but fried dough sounds good
Jardin de FiestasTulum Mexican craft beerI've had my fair share of Caribbean seawater up my nose so I'll be the judge of that
Isla FrescaHibiscus Guavacation sour beerHibiscus AND it's a sour beer?!
Lotus HouseJasmine beerWhat can I say; I like to consume flowers
Northern BloomBlackberry beerAnd they said it couldn't be done
Northern BloomMaple whiskey with maple popcorn shakeWhat's not to like?
Pineapple PromenadeFrozen desert violet lemonadeIf you don't buy it they won't let you back on Instagram
Pineapple PromenadePOG beerPOG beer
Pineapple PromenadeViolet lemonade aleIt's a slow but steady takeover
Sunshine GriddleFried cinnamon roll bitesBut only if they'll give me extra frosting
Taste of MarrakeshHibiscus orange wheat aleI'm not shaping the universe to my whims on accident, am I?
Trowel & TrellisGrilled sweet corn with garlic spreadIn case of vampires

Hmmm. That's a lot of drinks. I might need to boost my food selections. But then this is never a definitive or exhaustive list anyway; the festival booths demand your patronage in ever greater amounts, do they not? 

I hope to see you at the festival! I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope -

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In Which Jenn WANTS To Love UA Running Shoes, But...

Tape and sneakers

You know how sometimes you jump into a series of love affairs but just end up getting hurt? Yeah, that's me and Under Armour running shoes.

Before we start, I want to make it very clear that I am not disparaging UA or their products. They make great stuff. I love my long sleeve Baltimore Marathon tech tee with the thumbholes and my polarized sunglasses and the pair of running pants I tragically tore a hole in. Pat likes my rain-resistant jacket so much he bought one of his own. But for whatever reason, I just can't make the running shoes work for me - and what's more, every time they don't work for me, I turn around a try again.

Round 1: I get the original Sonic Hovrs. I LOVE THEM. They make me feel speedy! I get two pairs. But I notice after a 17 mile run that my inner knee bugs me the next day. Not the same day as the run, but the next day. Huh. It happens again after the National Capital 20 Miler. It is worse. I have a marathon coming up. I am nervous. I switch to my tried-and-true Brooks Ravennas and make it through okay, but it's a close one. I sadly give up my speedy Hovrs.

Round 2: UA comes out with the Guardians, which are support shoes. While I have one neutral and one support foot and have run in both types successfully, I think - maybe the Hovrs were too neutral? Or something? Maybe their support version will work?

And maybe they do, but it's hard to tell - I never run more than 10 miles in them, because I discover that after four miles I am increasingly at risk of developing a blister on my inside right heel instep (this is my neutral foot). So these seem to be a bit too supportive. In addition, the Guardians just feel kinda stiff and clunky to me. I am not a fan. I never run a race in them.

Round 3: UA debuts a NEW version of the Sonic Hovr - and they come in PINK! (They call it peach, but whatever; it's pink). Perhaps this latest iteration corrected whatever it was about the first edition my knee didn't like? 

I buy a pair and once again, I love them! So speedy! I run a race in them, and it goes pretty well. A couple weeks later, I start experience heel pain. Weird. Then I go visit family for a couple weeks. I've only packed a pair of the Ravennas since I don't anticipate any long runs, and indeed never go above four. The minimized mileage, I figure, will let my heel... heal. Heel heal. Yeah.

It works! I come back home and do some long runs, several of which are in the pink Hovrs. The heel pain comes back...? I do a little research and it seems to be the dreaded plantar fasciitis. Weird - I've never had that problem before! It waxes and wanes, seemingly unrelated to mileage... until after an embarrassingly lengthy amount of time, I finally figure out that my heel flareups correlate to long runs in the Hovrs.


They're so cute, too.

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. But I think I'm gonna have to break up with the Under Armour running shoe line. If you can trust me saying so - I've gone back on my word before. Heck, just a few weeks ago I said I wouldn't be picking up any Nike Vomero 14s and now I think I might because I like to have at least two models of shoes in rotation. I hear it (ha!) helps prevent injury.

John Mulany

All the same, if you see me tweeting or whatever about buying some UA sneakers again, make like the other drunk girl in the bathroom and yell "DON'T DO IT!" I'll thank you later.

P.S. I look forward to writing the post in the future when I say "I know I told you guys I'd never do this, but..."

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!