Tag: Downtown Disney

Souls sold to the mouse

Souls sold to the mouse

Anyone who follows my general social media feeds should know that I went to Downtown Disney with my Mom and sister today.

It was nice to get out of the house for a serious outing for the first time in at least a week, outside of that night where we went to dinner in Santa Monica. Not sure I’d count that as being a serious outing in the same vein as going to Disney, particularly the day after Christmas.

While I’m not exactly sure whether that proximate timing to the holidays is responsible for this portion of the experience, it was interesting to see a new metal detector/bag check station outside the entrance to Downtown Disney:

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Maybe it isn’t new and I just haven’t been there in a while. But either way a bit of the magic goes away when you have to think about the necessity of this sort of thing so early into the experience.

Luckily that magic is more than made up for by the wonders of Disney-branded capitalism. Everyone’s favorite kind!

My family was over in Anaheim looking into a present for my sister’s birthday tomorrow. After watching Wreck-It Ralph 2 a second time, she decided she needed one of the Disney Princess pajama shirts — particularly Tiana’s New Orleans’ themed shirt.

Obviously the best place to look for that sort of thing was the source, the Mickey Mouse clubhouse of infinite profit.

To make an extra long story short, we didn’t wind up getting that shirt. We also didn’t get the equivalent hoodie sweatshirt version.

Instead we spent a little more time at different stores around Downtown Disney. Like the LEGO store, which I have to admit becomes less fun the older I get simply because of how much more expensivethe sets get.

Also because they had this model of the LEGO store as a display within the store and it was 2 meta 4 me.

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It is cute, though.

While we were in that store I also made what I’m progressively considering to be a mistake by taking part in this ‘which LEGO mini figure are you?’ display:

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet little idea. You stand in front of the board, put your hand on the scanner and it gives you a (presumably) random figure. I can only assume the display is meant for a far younger age demographic because of how low it was to the ground.

But still I thought it could be fun. Found out that I am apparently a Buckingham Palace guard LEGO man.

The only issue is, now I’m 100 percent convinced that all of my privacy is officially gone. I’ve given up my fingerprints to the mouse.

If he didn’t already have them from when my Dad worked for Disney I suppose.

Thus I figured I had nothing left to lose. So we had lunch, then went back to the painting shop that we wandered upon first arriving. Our initial time through was the progenitor of this Tweet:

It was a funny ha-ha joke, but at the same time I was super serious. This painting strangely enticed me when we saw it.

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I guess it isn’t really that strange. Look at the thing, it’s god damn beautiful.

Gotta give a shout out to the artist, Brittney Lee, who works at the animation studio. Because you definitely made a fan of me today.

As well as a fan of my sister, who bought a print of hers featuring swing dancers with dresses based on different areas of the park.

But wouldn’t you know, she got lucky because it was her birthday and bought the ~$45 full-size print. I wasn’t quite as willing to dump $500 on the fully-framed painting.

Instead I got the post card version and bragged about it in a follow-up Tweet.

My friend Juan made fun of me for still supporting the mouse in spite of the fact that I was making taunting about not supporting him…

Which is true.

But.

Uhh…

I still really like this piece so I was willing. They already had my fingerprints, so why not?

Turns out my nostalgia totally can get gouged for all it’s worth.

That seems like as good a message to end this off with as any. No matter how strong you believe your spirit to be, always know that Mickey Mouse can and will find a way to pierce deep into the heart of your desires.

Merry day after Christmas, America.

September 25, 2017 Article Published

It’s starting to feel like I’m going to build myself a “breaks apart federal documents” niche the way this semester has been going.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR – not to be confused with the Orange County Register, since I did get that question during deadline night) announced Friday that they are withdrawing two documents that contain statements about policies and guidance for handling Title IX.

The documents, a Dear Colleague Letter from 2011 about sexual violence and a follow-up Q&A regarding the same subjects from 2014, received legal criticism and were apparently imposed “without affording notice and the opportunity for public comment” according to a Dear Colleague Letter put out by the OCR.

I go more in-depth into exactly what the original documents talked about in the article, as well as some finer details like what is still considered in place as far as policy goes, but it took long enough to get something together that was simplified down for print, so I think it’s really just worth pointing right to that for anything too intricate.

The other part of this story that was important involved the California State University system. Because part of the OCR’s message talked about how they’ll be starting a process to create new guidelines with more public input, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White’s statement in response to the Title IX changes mentioned that the school system will be a strong participant in the process.

So, of course, we reached out to CSUF to see if they specifically would be a part of that effort, or whether it was something better left to the systemwide representatives. Our answer from the university’s Chief Communications Officer was essentially the latter, with a hefty agreement to the Chancellor’s message to boot.

Honestly that just about sums up the whole thing, and it wasn’t necessarily much of an exciting development process to get there. We waited for a bit to get the CSUF response, but otherwise everything relied on information from the OCR and the CSU statements, so it was more a matter of taking a couple hours to scour out the wording and pull it all together. It felt good to pull this kind of an information-heavy story in such a quick manner, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just not proclaiming any sort of fireworks were going off as it happened.

At least I got to show off my document scrubbing skills, like I said. Plus I didn’t have to do it while sitting in Downtown Disney like I did for that DACA article earlier this month, so I certainly can’t find any reason to complain.

If you want to see the article in its entirety, you can check it out here. You can also see my full breadth of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

September 11, 2017 Article Published

Pulling this story together was arguably one of the more interesting reporting experiences I’ve ever had.

Over the weekend, the University of California Office of the President announced that they had filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA last week.

As soon as we heard about that (though we heard about it a little late, admittedly) I jumped on the story. The CSU system and the UC system are totally different entities, but together they comprise a large majority of the higher education in California, so what one does tends to affect the other. Thus, even if the CSU didn’t make the decision to file a lawsuit, it was imperative to get an idea of just what the lawsuit was and whether or not our school system would follow suit.

Pun not necessarily intended.

Of course, as it turned out, the day that we found out about the lawsuit and I began to work on the article was also the day I had pre-arranged plans to spend time with a family friend. We were all having lunch out in Anaheim at Downtown Disney as both a way for my Dad to catch up and for me to network with some journalists.

Thus, I spent all day reading through and translating the text of the UC system’s lawsuit off of my phone while wandering Downtown Disney and trying to talk with people all at the same time. It was, frankly, a mess. The fact that I was wearing a black shirt in the blazing heat didn’t help either… But it was a mess that wound up working out really well.

I’m pretty proud of how I took the lawsuit apart bit-by-bit to really elaborate out the reasons why it was being filed. I think it turned out pretty comprehensive in that respect, despite the majority of the piece just being that discussion of the lawsuit itself.

In terms of the localizing details, that was a little trickier simply for getting information together than it was for translating legal jargon. Something was wonky with our news desk email, and that made us miss the message from CSUF’s Chief Communications Officer until yesterday afternoon before we published. We also weren’t able to hear back from the larger CSU Office of the Chancellor over the weekend, which meant we were essentially running off of our University’s perspective of what was happening.

And our University’s perspective was that it would be something handled at the systemwide level by the Chancellor’s office.

Ironically enough, in the midst of me writing this blog post we did get a response from the Office of the Chancellor. I was able to update the story accordingly, so now the text available online reflects that addition.

It wasn’t much of an addition considering the Office of the Chancellor essentially mimicked what our school’s representative said, but I suppose I wouldn’t have expected much more than that. If nothing else it served as a good argument for the magic of the Internet as a means of updating things as they go along.

If you want to see the article in its entirety, you can check it out here. You can also see my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!



Though the DACA-related article was the only one I wrote for our paper today, I did also want to point out that I actually took photos for a separate story running on our page.

As part of my Multimedia Journalism class I have a multimedia kit checked out for the whole semester. Though it has become a hell of a nuisance to carry that thing, my backpack and a tripod around campus whenever I have class, it turns out that having a professional camera available to me is a pretty useful thing.

When I went with our new assistant news editor to cover the Humanities and Social Sciences Inter-Club Council meeting (since SQE was presenting to them hoping to argue against Milo Yiannopoulos coming to campus), we realized we had forgotten to call a photographer to come. Luckily I had my multimedia kit so I could work on another assignment, as it let me take the pictures for that event.

Though I got some complaints about my camera shutter being too distracting (which at a public meeting did not mean much… But I still apologized), I think it wound up being good practice for my homework later and I was able to get credit in the paper for taking photos.

I really haven’t taken photos for anything beyond the Homeless Investigation last semester, so having the extra experience was kind of fun for someone so print-and-word oriented. I’m thinking I might try to take photos more often in fact, and if I do I might even try to reflect that here on the blog archives.

Guess we’ll just have to see.

If you want to check out the photo I took to represent the story, you can look over here. It is our first follow-up on the Milo Yiannopoulos stuff before getting the official confirmation of his coming by the College Republicans club president, so it’s probably worth reading for that too if you’re interested in following through.