Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 7 of 2011

I thought, what better way to spend the last day of 2011 than to reflect on some of the incredible things that happened this year?

So now...

In somewhat of a particular order, here are the Top 7 things of 2011:

7. 100th episode of Sundae Sunday:

YouTube is something that's opened a lot of doors for me over the years, and while I've made and posted videos online since high school, setting up the series Sundae Sunday in 2009 gave me a way to share things from my life on a weekly basis with a broader audience. The 100th episode really was an exciting milestone for me, and I'm grateful for all the friends and family who participate in and watch my videos and also for all the cool people I've met because of YouTube through the years. Here's to 100 more!

6. Ran my first 5K

At the encouragement of my friend Danielle, I decided to take up the hobby of running. This was my first ever race, and it was great prep for what's to come. Now, a few more 5Ks (and several pairs of running shoes) later, I'm getting ready to run my first Half-Marathon at Walt Disney World on January 7, 2012.

If anything bad happens, it's Danielle's fault.

5. I fed a dolphin

The one and only time prior to this that I'd been to Sea World was when I was a tiny tiny child. We sat in the splash zone, and I got wet. Let's just say I was NOT happy with Shamu... This trip was a lot more enjoyable. We fed dolphins! And we got to see how incredibly beautiful and amazing (and talented!) all these sea creatures can be.
(Thanks Alex for providing us with this awesome experience!)  

4. I was in the Big Brother audience

OK, sure, Big Brother isn't the most... classy of all reality shows, but this season me and my friends Franze and Whitney were ALL ABOUT Big Brother. So naturally, Franze and I signed up to get tickets to a live taping! Months passed and we never heard anything until one Friday afternoon we got an e-mail saying that we were invited to be a part of the studio audience. While I'll admit I was a little skeptical going into it, we grabbed Whitney and made our way out to LA to give it a shot.

And sure enough, there we were right behind Julie "the Chenbot" Chen on an eviction episode of one of our favorite shows. #prettycool


3. Travel
I've always enjoyed traveling, but this year was a banner year for me. Thanks to various circumstances, I've enjoyed the privilege of flying to many cities around the country and doing fun things like several of the things listed above as well as attending a St. Louis Cardinals game during Opening Weekend (Go Rangers!), visiting friends in Austin, and going to the Disney Parks more times than should be allowed.

2. Paris
Oh, Paris, what can I say? You know, sometimes life just hands you things. It says, "Would you like to go to Paris for the trip of a lifetime?" and all you have to do is say yes. That's what happened this year. During a casual conversation with my friend Franze about sometime, someday (far into the future) wanting to visit Disneyland Paris, our friend Theresa offered us a condo located 5 minutes from Disneyland Paris that we could use for a week. WHAT??!??!? It also just so happened that my friend Caitlin is currently studying in Paris and would not only be able to go to Disneyland with us, but she'd also be able to tour us around Paris for three days. WHAT???!?!!

So all Franze and I had to do was get ourselves to Paris and then onto the correct train to our hotel. While the train part proved a little difficult (the language barrier is truly intimidating. Luckily, our destination was "Disneyland," and everyone understands that no matter what language), we made it and had the time of our lives.
The sites were incredible: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame... everywhere you look a historical icon. And oh, the crepes...

We even got to see my friends the Collinses who were also in Paris at the same time! Go figure.

A trip of a lifetime that would not have been possible without Theresa and Caitlin. Thanks again!

So it's true: sometimes life gives you lemons, but it also sometimes gives you Paris.

1. Charlie Rucker was born!
I'm sure it comes as no surprise to those that know me that this was the most exciting event of my year. Sure, it meant that I had to pass down the reigns as "Baby of the Family," but it was definitely worth it. Charlie came a few weeks earlier than anticipated, so his January 2 birth was both a joyful and surprising occasion. Crazy that it's nearly been an entire year, but we've loved getting to see him grow up both physically and mentally during this time. And though he isn't speaking in full sentences just yet, I'm pretty sure he's been trying to say, "Uncle Adam is my favorite," for quite some time.

So there you have it! The Top 7 Things... Sure, there were plenty of not-so-awesome happenings in 2011 too, but, as Hannah Montana says, "Life's what you make it," so I like to highlight the awesome and let the not-so-awesome things fade into the past.

I chronicled these things and more in my Thanksgiving 2011 video you can see here:


Thanks for watching, reading, and being a part of this great year!


-Adam


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Disneyland Christmas 2011


The Holidays is one of my favorite times to visit the Disney Parks. This December I was lucky enough to go to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California and visit both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, and I'm taking you along with me!

Enjoy the Disneyland Christmas Fantasy Parade, The Magic, The Memories, and You projection show, it's a small world, and World of Color as they feature special holiday themes. You also get to see Santa and his reindeer!

We also go on classics like Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the Teacups, Dumbo, and Mickey's Fun Wheel!

Enjoy!

Comment Question: What's your favorite Disneyland moment (from this video or from your own trips!)?


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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grey's Anatomy - "Dark Was the Night" voice over quotes

The voice overs (spoken by Meredith) that opened and closed this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy were particularly awesome.
Here they are in their entirety:

Episode Open:

 "I had a terrible day." We say it all the time. A fight with the boss, the stomach flu, traffic... That's what we describe as terrible when nothing terrible is happening...


Episode Close:

These are the things we beg for: a root canal, an IRS audit, coffee spilled on our clothes... When the really terrible things happen, we start begging a God we don't believe in to bring back the little horrors and take away this.


It seems quaint now, doesn't it? The flood in the kitchen, the poison oak, the fight that leaves you shaking with rage... Would it have helped if we could see what else was coming?

Would we have known that those were the best moments of our lives?


------------

What an episode! Hats off to Shonda Rhimes and Debora Cahn who wrote this episode.

Such a shame we have to wait until January to see what happens next.

"Dark Was the Night" aired on Thursday, November 10, 2011 on ABC.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday Magic Kingdom! The Best of Walt Disney World


In celebration of Magic Kingdom's 40th Birthday, I put together some of my most favorite moments from the Walt Disney World parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios).

Enjoy!

And you can see these videos in full length as well as more from Disneyland and Disneyland Paris by going to my Disney Parks Playlist!

Leave a comment with your favorite Disney Parks moment!

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Disneyland Halloween Time 2011!

It's my favorite time of year at Disney Parks, Halloween Time at Disneyland! The park is decorated in its fall best, the characters are decked out in the Halloween costumes, and the weather is perfect!

Come along as we experience the Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas style, the Frontierland petting zoo, the Happiest Haunts guided tour, the Storybook Land boat ride, and World of Color from a completely new perspective!

COMMENT QUESTION: What's your favorite season to visit the Disney Parks?

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Big Brother 13 Audience Experience!

There are a few things that I can always count on from summer: droughts, extreme heat, and Big Brother.

Every year the obsession-inducing CBS staple hosted by Julie Chen makes its way onto the airwaves. This year was luckily no exception. Big Brother 13 has consistently kept up good (and increasing) viewership throughout the summer thanks to its high drama and ratings gold cast including returning HouseGuests Jeff, Jordan, Rachel, and Brendon.

Being the super fan that I am, I signed myself up for Big Brother's studio audience waiting list shortly after the season began. I knew the odds of making my way into the 120 seat studio were slim, but it was certainly worth a shot to see the iconic Big Brother house and the "Chenbot" live and in-person.

Much to my surprise, I received an e-mail late Friday afternoon notifying me that I received tickets for four days later at the September 6 taping of the September 7 eviction episode. After I finished freaking out, I gathered my belongings and two of my friends and made my way to Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.

The official arrival time for the studio audience was four in the afternoon, but since we didn't have guaranteed seats we figured we better arrive early to be safe. How early? 1:30 in the afternoon. At that time, there were five people in front of us.

A crowd slowly but surely built up behind us with most of the audience arriving between two and three. At 3:30 we were taken through a parking garage to a second holding area. On the way, we excitedly passed through the set-up of a scene for an upcoming episode of CSI: NY (much to the annoyance of the CSI crew).

Once all the releases were signed and audience members checked in, we finally trekked across the CBS lot to the Big Brother house (sound stage). Other shows filmed on the lot besides CSI: NY are Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Chen's daytime show The Talk, and Betty White's Hot in Cleveland, which, interestingly enough, films on the stage directly beside the Big Brother house.

Approaching the house was a semi-overwhelming experience as recognizable remnants of past Head of Household, Power of Veto, and Have/Have-Not competitions littered the lot. The grates over which Keith and Jeff squeezed milk out of their cow costumes, a gigantic pizza box, and OTEV the shark (who wouldn't even make his appearance on the show till later that evening) were scattered around the lot.

Finally, like the kids being led into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory for the first time, we were led onto the stage containing the astro turf and front porch facade of the house we loyally spy into three nights a week. I about lost it.

We were placed in our seats on the right side of the set behind where Julie Chen typically stands, and the smiles did not leave our faces until the taping was complete. (One Twitter user asked me if they told us to smile the whole time, and no, they didn't. We just physically couldn't stop smiling even if we tried!)

After having a few minutes of warm up with producers and the voice of Big Brother (the guy you typically hear calling HouseGuests to the Diary Room), Julie made her way into the studio with much applause and fan fare. Julie greeted the room and genuinely looked happy to be there. While we didn't get to meet or speak to Julie individually, she did comfortably interact with the audience, even injecting herself into a debate to set the record straight about who won a particular season (she knows her BB trivia!) After a few touches of makeup and a couple test shots, the taping of our episode (I can say "our" episode, right?) was underway.

It was a bizarre experience to witness the show from the opposite side of the camera-- an experience that is somewhat unique to Big Brother as it is one of the only shows I can think of where the audience shares the stage with the host.

The episode went like clockwork. Julie made her announcements, the tape rolled, and we watched, learning the house's most recent developments at the same time Julie did as she watched on a monitor off stage.

It was fun to see what went on after Julie introduced a new segment of footage. Most of the time it was just a quick set change or a new puff of powder. Occasionally though, Julie would throw out an entertaining quip, like when she turned to the audience and boldly said "YA RIGHT!" after a clip was shown of Tori Spelling telling HouseGuest Adam that she'd name her newborn son after him.

During a break right before the live eviction vote, the audience was reminded that, at this point, the HouseGuests had been inside the house for 67 days and they would want us to be respectful and encouraging no matter who walked out the door.

Personally I didn't care if my arch nemesis from the 7th grade came out of the house; the adrenaline and excitement I was feeling in that studio would make me cheer like a nine-year-old at a Justin Bieber concert regardless of who was there.

As it turned out, Kalia was voted out after a tie was broken by Head of Household, Rachel. Kalia gathered her belongings and exited the house and entered the studio to a rousing roll of applause and cheering.

Kalia, while understandably upset that she was evicted, appeared to be overwhelmed by the support of the unfamiliar faces of the audience-- the first faces she'd seen besides those of other HouseGuests for 67 days. She remarked to Julie, "This is so weird! You're so weird!" explaining that she had only ever seen or spoken to her on the small screen inside the house.

And after just a few words, Kalia was whisked away to a holding room while the Head of Household competition took place. Chen took her spot at the setup on stage left, grabbed the clicker she uses to speak with the HouseGuests, and conducted the competition that would award Adam Head of Household with Jordan coming in a close second place.

As a viewer, I was disappointed that Jordan didn't win HOH, but as an audience member, I didn't care who won. I was overcome with glee realizing that I had just been a part of one of my favorite shows.

After the episode wrapped, they brought Kalia back for an extended interview to be shown on CBS.com. This is when we got to see her reactions to the HouseGuests' goodbye messages (and watch her jaw drop after Rachel's "a cow doesn't change its spots" comment). Directly after, Julie Chen waved goodbye to the audience and we were led out of the building and on our way back into the real world. The reality of what we had just witness still not fully processed in my brain.

From hearing the Chenbot say, "But first..." in person, to actually watching the evicted HouseGuest open and walk out the door 10 feet away from me, every single happening was one I was super excited to see.

It was truly an evening that will never be erased from my memory... or my DVR.

YouTube video reaction directly following filming:

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

In-N-Out Burger Comes to Dallas, Texas!



Sundae Sunday #123 is a very special occasion as me and my friends visit In-N-Out Burger in Dallas, Texas for the first time.  

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Walt Disney World: One Day, Three Parks! (video)


I recently got to go to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for ONE DAY. It was quite and adventure to see how much I could do in a little more than 12 hours, and I ended up covering a lot of ground!

Come along to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Animal Kingdom as I show you how to fit an incredible amount of rides, food, parades, and shows into one day at the Disney Parks.

Comment Question: If you have one day at Walt Disney World, what would YOU do?

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Late Night at the Museum - Dallas Museum of Art


I spent my Friday night with friends at the Dallas Museum of Art's "Late Night at the DMA."

The four of us explored the museum attempting to become "cultured." While I'm not sure if we were completely successful, we did win a contest there thanks to Paul's knowledge of Lady Godiva (I thought she was just someone that made chocolate).

So come along with us, and get culturized!

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A ROOM FULL OF BALLOONS!


Me and my friends spent a good part of our Friday night swimming through a room FULL OF BALLOONS! Some may find this scary. I found this entirely incredibly awesome.

The room is a piece done by Martin Creed at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas (disassembled August 21, 2011). We got to see the balloon room in its final days, and let me tell you: it was AWESOME.

And in case you were wondering: 9,000 balloons! Crazy!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

NEW Disneyland Adventures! The Little Mermaid Ride, Mickey's Soundsational Parade, and More!


Come along with me to Disneyland!

Check out the all new ride, Ariel's Undersea Adventure, the brand new Mickey's Soundsational Parade, The Magic, The Memories, and You projection show, and more!

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Disneyland Paris Adventure Videos!

I recently got to go to Disneyland Paris for the first time. I chronicled my two day adventure between the two parks there, Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios, into two videos... Enjoy!

Part One:
Part 2:

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sundae Sunday #108: Keeping it Classy!



My time at Dallas's Lower Greenville St. Patrick's Day Parade and tacos from a gas station!

Enjoy!

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