How To: Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

Sometimes Universal Studios can be overwhelming, especially lately when they seem to keep adding new rides and parks. Hopefully this guide will help you navigate your way through Universal Studio if it’s you’re losing your park virginity, or it will help you save money or time  and learn some new tricks if you’ve been around the block before. Don’t worry, if this seems long for you there’s a TL;DR at the end.

What to wear

  • Something comfortable
    • You’ll be walking around all day so dress accordingly. Also no matter the time of year it’s usually really warm, so keep that in mind.
  • Layers
  • Possibly water resistant (optional) (some of the live shows have a splash zone, and if you go to the kids area, you’re bound to run through water)

 

What to bring

  • Backpack
    • One you don’t care too much about.
  • Purell
    • Get out of those bathrooms quick, maximize your time in the park.
  • Sunscreen
    • IT’s hella hot out there.
  • Food
    • DON’T pay for lunch there. Of course it’s okay to buy novelty snacks, but when you can pack your own lunch, DO IT.
      • Sandwiches or wraps are always a good idea.
    • Extra snacks are a good idea as well.
  • Beer
    • We love to day drink and in the past have just brought as many beers as possible. We bring the same beers they have there so when we drink in public, like you’re allowed to do there, it doesn’t look shady.
      • Some of the beer they sell include Budweiser, Modelo, and Bud Light.
      • In the photos below  I packed some extra PBR that we had, but put it in an aluminum water bottle while I was at the park
    • Water
      • Or at least a water bottle. It’s hot out there and you want to make a day out of it. Bring a water bottle you can refill at the very least.

 

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This is how I pack my backpack to maximize the amount of beer I bring.

When to go

  • Weekdays
    • If at all possible, AVOID WEEKENDS. It’s the absolute worst, the most expensive and super crowded.
  • It’s good to get your money’s worth so go as early as you can. Definitely check to see what time the park closes on the day you’re going because it varies.
  • Even after the park closes, you can spend some time at City Walk, if you have some more dollhairs to spend. There’s nothing cheap, but it’s all fun. If anything you can just recreate Chris Brown’s music video.

 

Best Order to do things

  • First: Harry Potter world
    • Do this as early as you can, the lines get long because it’s still so new and so popular.

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  • Next Studio tour
    • This is also good to get out of the way early because the lines get longer as the day goes on, like everything else, plus its an hour long ride.
    • This part is probably my favorite part of the whole park. I don’t know why, but it never gets old.

 

  • Later in the day
    • Try to hit all the rides as early as possible, but choose the ones you like most. Then in the afternoon you can do some people watching and
  • Live shows
    • These can be really fun, just make sure you know what time they’re happening and plan accordingly. For these shows it’s better to go when everyone else is going, because the audience reactions make them more fun. I recommend going to all of them, but if you can only choose one, I’d say go to the Water World show.

 

What to buy

I know it’s hard to resist buying things at a theme park, even when you’re broke. I’m not saying buy all of these things, but these are some good things to spend your money on if you want to spend some money while you’re there.

  • Food
    • Simpsons doughnut
      • They’re $5 and huge and amazing!! 10/10 would recommend.

 

  • Booze
    • Irish Pub
      • Get the Blue Lagoon drink It’s the booziest for your buck. IT’s essentially a Long Island Ice Tea and it’s incredible. Will get you real drunk.
    • Duff Beer
      • It tastes just like a Blue Moon, how crazy! If you go to the Duff Brewery or Moe’s and spend an enormous amount of money, you can get a sweet novelty cup.

 

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Duff beer with beer from home (that they also sell at the park)

 

  • Harry Potter drink
    • You must get that butter beer. Get if from the bar if you can.

 

  • Souvenirs
    • Wand
      • If you’re gonna go all out and buy a wand, you might as well get the ones that can actually do magic.

Look for those circle tiles on the ground and if you do the according spell ACTUAL MAGIC HAPPENS!!!

 

TL;DR

  • Bring your own beer and snacks
  • Go early on the weekdays
  • Do all the Harry Potter world things ASAP
  • Buy a god damn Simpsons doughnut

Moist Queef Book Club Presents: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To

TBWCSANHT book

Book title and author:  The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To by DC Pierson

Initial thoughts: LOVED IT!

What is it about: It’s the story of a high school kid named Darren who befriends Eric, a mostly quiet guy in his class, through their mutual love for comics and video games. As they become closer friends they decided to create a comic book together. After late nights of drawing, playing video games and coming up with ideas for their comic book Eric confesses to Darren is deepest darkest secret: he doesn’t sleep. At first, it’s just the two of them who know and Darren, a fan of all things Science Fiction, loves the idea of his new best friend having a super power and tries to test his limits. Eventually, word gets out about Eric’s secret and they have to go on the run. The story is an incredible and fun tale of friendship, trust, and adventure.
Why you should read it: If you are or have ever been any sort of nerd you’ll relate to this story. If you like DC Pierson or have ever watched Derrick Comedy  you’ll enjoy the tone and sense of humor. If you don’t want to read it, the audiobook is a great option and it’s read by DC Pierson.

Why we liked it: As a fan of DC Pierson already I was super excited to read something he wrote outside of Derrick Comedy. Pierson has a way of capturing the essence of what it means to be a high school boy that is so grounded in reality even when said boy is facing powers greater than anything imaginable. His portrayal of friendships and relationships, in general, is so realistic and believable. He really captures the feeling of a lonely high schooler searching for and then finding adventure and purpose. I’ve read it and listened to the audio book and they’re both awesome ways to read it.

Where do I buy it: If you want to paperback, you can buy it here and if you’re interested in the audiobook you can get it through Audible. (It’ll be free if you haven’t used audible before!)

Bonus: There’s also a proof of concept short for the eventual movie that will come out of this book.

30 Day Challenge: Bullet Journal

I’ve always been a fan of journals and journaling.(I’ll get more into that in a later blog)  If you’re journal obsessed and on the internet it’s hard to miss the infamous Bullet Journal and all its variations. It’s beautiful, inspiring, creative and makes for such an aesthetically pleasing Pinterest post.   I’ve always wanted to try it, but I get really anal about journals that have rules or guidelines. It seemed like work or like something I had to think hard about and could easily mess up. BUT I decided to give it a try. It seemed like the perfect thing to for someone as journal obsessed as I am.

Equipment

Journal: I use a Northbook grid notebook

It’s very helpful for things like To Do lists and habit trackers. But I find it annoying when I’m using it for journaling. (Then again, I’m sure I’d feel opposite if I was using a lined notebook). I didn’t want to commit to the infamous Leuchttrum notebook until I knew I would journal like this for a while.

Pens: Just your regular old sharpie fine tooth pen. They’re great for making it look like I know how to draw straight lines. Plus they come in cool colors.

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Initial Thoughts

Like I said before, I was a little put off by the “rules”. (Basically I was worried I would waste a page with a list I didn’t use or start something and then realize I could have used it for something else). But once I really just started using it every day, like with my other journals, it became habitual. When I wanted to take notes or make a list or journal my feelings I would just open a page.

What was helpful for me was I did sort of a test run in the second half of June before I “officially” started using it in July and that really helped. The most daunting thing to me were (and still are) the weekly spreads. I never know which template I’ll like the most. I also didn’t use the monthly spread as much as I thought I would, but I’m still testing out new templates.

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What I love about it is that it really forces me to write. I’ve always been a journal writer, but once I started grad school for whatever reason I couldn’t find a journal that worked for me and thus I was journaling significantly less. I love one that I can keep in my purse, but that isn’t too small. Using it as a calendar of sorts really forces me to use it and then since I’m already in it I just write my journal entry.

How I’m doing with the challenge

I’m doing okay! Doing a test run in June definitely made it a lot less scary and more familiar so I wasn’t immediately starting in July. I try to use it every day, but there are some days I forget. Usually just one day here or there, never two days in a row. I think if I use it more for journaling and daily to-do lists I’ll get in the habit of daily use.

IMG_2790 

Will I continue after 30 days?

I think so! I like having one place for my to-do lists, my random lists and my journal entries. I don’t know if I’ll continue past December, but I might take some of the ideas, like the habit tracker, and use them in the journals I was used to writing in.

Advice for people who want to try it

Just go for it. Be ready to make mistakes. All Bullet Journals do NOT look like the rad photos you see on Instagram or Pinterest. Don’t worry about your crap handwriting or your mediocre doodling skills. Just go for it. And see if it works for you!

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If you need any advice or inspiration just check out any of the plentiful Pinterest boards.

#tbt: An Open Letter To Cat Callers

So every few Thursdays we’re planning on posting some old blog posts we’ve dug up from previous versions of our website. I realize we posted an “Open Letter” yesterday, but who cares! In the middle of summer this felt appropriate and timely and relatable to us.

 

Cat Calling e card

 

Dear Cat Callers,

I have two questions:

  1. Why do you do what you do?
  2. What do you hope to gain?

Before I go any further, for those who have been lucky enough to never experience cat calling, it is essentially someone in their car, calling out to someone one the street. What they’re calling out is usually something slightly rude or sexually aggressive, along the lines of  “Hey Ma!” or “Ay yo shawty” hoping to get their attention and to talk with them further. Generally speaking it’s males calling out from their cars to attractive females they see walking on the street.

Which brings me back to my questions, first of all, why do you it? You’re better off starting a conversation with someone at a bar or a coffee shop or just somewhere where you both are stationary. Clearly, you’re driving somewhere and clearly the person you’re calling to has somewhere to be. Why do you think they would pause what they’re doing to see what you have to say? Especially when you get their attention so aggressively.

But more importantly, what do you hope to gain from this, Cat Callers? What is your best-case scenario? That the girls you’re calling to will come over and chat you up? That, maybe you’ll hit it off and go back to your place, hook up and fall in love?

Plus, how do you even know you’re right for each other? I once got cat called by a dude in a lime-green impala while I was wearing sweatpants and a shirt with The Flash logo on it. Right off the bat, did you think we had something in common? Maybe opposites attract, but in my experience an interest in comic books and tricked out cars don’t usually go hand in hand. But I could have been wrong, sorry I didn’t give you a chance. Also I was on my way to the library that day; if I did decide to stop and talk with you, do you honestly think we would have had anything other than a basic understanding of the English language in common?

My advice to you cat callers, perhaps find a method with a higher success rate. Go somewhere you like going, like a car show for tricked out cars (that’s a thing right?)

Because what are the chances that you’re going to cat call to your soul mate?

Sincerely,

Ailish

An Open Letter To: New Year’s Resolutions

Dear New Year’s Resolutions,

I love you, we all love you. But we’ve known each other for a while I’m starting to get the clichéd feeling that I love the idea of you more than you. I think we can all agree that we love what you stand for: hope, the idea of changing and evolving, new beginnings, the potential for a clean slate. I start every year thinking we’ll be able to make it together. Every year I start out with new wide-eyed hopes of self-improvement, ways in which I’ll actually stick to my promises, but I go overboard, and get caught up in the possibilities that I don’t plan realistically.

These were my New Year’s resolutions this year:

  • Reply to things on time
  • Make responsible choices
  • Learn to roll a joint
  • Be okay with less alcohol

There’s four this year because in the past I’ve gone overboard and thought I could accomplish way more. So this year, I decided I’d do less in hopes that I actually had a chance of accomplishing all of them. I just want you to know that I give it my all. I genuinely do, because, like I said before, I love you and I love self-improvement.

But a year is a really long time.

And I think my endurance pitters out around May or June. I get caught up with the end of the school year and focus on finishing my papers or projects and forget about my exercising or trying to eat better or keep in touch with my friends or whatever I decided on.

I think you’re great, I really do, but I think it might be good if we took the time to reevaluate our relationship half way through the year.

I think you’re in need of a change. I think our relationship is in need of a change.

I’d like to alter our purpose slightly if you’ll let me. Can we make July 1st a holiday, we’ll call it “Half Year”? On June 30th we’ll spend the day drinking champagne and thinking about how we spent the first half of the year, Half Years Eve if you will. We’ll go over what we did well, and not so well and work to make the second half of the year as productive as the first half was.

I want our relationship to be the best it can be. And I think instead of struggling to keep it together for the sake of what, tradition, it would be beneficial for the both of us if we also made Half Year’s resolutions.

As for the New Years Resolutions that I made in January, I’ve done alright.

  • I’ve gotten MUCH better at replying to things on time. I rarely have unopened texts sitting on my phone and I even got my inbox down to zero and keep it that way.
  • As far as responsible choices go, I’ve started to exercise at least three times a week, I eat much healthier and I’ve gotten a handle on my FOMO so I say no to parties or last minute babysitting gigs when I feel tired or over worked.
  • I still have yet to roll a joint, however, I’ve been smoking much less weed so that could go hand in hand with me making responsible choices. I still would like to know how to do this so I’m keeping it on my list.
  • (Everything about this makes me feel like a low-key alcoholic, but I put it on my list so I have to address it) This last one has been the hardest, but I’m happy to say I’ve cut back on my week day drinking and mostly just drink in social situations. I still drink the amount I used to, but it’s not as often so I’m counting that as progress!

 

I really like my New Years Resolutions, but I need to make new half-year resolutions so these are it:

  • Learn to roll a joint I’ve been smoking weed since I was sixteen and as someone who writes scripts and stories with characters who smoke, it’s embarrassing to not at least know how to roll even an okay joint.
  • Save money or just be more money conscious. This can be so simple! Set up those things that automatically put money in my savings so I can literally forget about it. Stop using my credit card as a “YOLO I’ll-Pay-It-Off-When-I’m-Rich”Card.
  • Get a new hobby. This is here because I need something on this list that’s fun and wasn’t on the first list. I generally put something like “Journal more” or “Write every day” but I think I need a creative outlet that isn’t writing. Like painting or sewing.

 

I think that’s a pretty solid list. I’m excited for the second half of the year. This holiday is really gonna stick I can feel it!

Let’s toast to the Half Year!

Love,

Ailish

TV Show Review: Red Oaks

Okie Doke! This is the inaugural television show review! I wanted to start with a show I’m pretty sure not a lot of people watch, but I think many people will enjoy!

red_oaks_ tennis 2

TV show to watch: Red Oaks

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime 

How much am I committing to? One ten-episode season so far. (Season two starts in October)

Red Oaks bffs

What is it about? It’s about a college kid, David, who starts a summer job as tennis pro at a New Jersey country club. He works with his best friend, Wheeler, and his girlfriend, Karen. It’s all about what it means to grow up, to fall in love, to make mistakes and what it means to be a 20something in the mid 80’s.

OAK_8261.NEF

Who is in it?- Craig Roberts (from Submarine and Neighbors) Ennis Esmer (from two movies about people fucking) Oliver Cooper (from Project X) Jennifer Grey (from fucking Dirty Dancing and Fucking Ferris Bueller’s day off) and Richard Kind (from all of the things)

Best episode: Body Swap. Without spoiling much of the plot, I will say that toward the end of the season there is a badass homage to Freaky Friday which isn’t completely a stand alone episode and even though the show isn’t supernatural in that sense, the characters definitely mention the fact that it happened in the episode after. It’s a great episode and really shows off the acting abilities of Craig Roberts and Richard Kind.

Red Oaks body_swap

Why is it worth watching? First of all it’s the most cinematic TV show you’ll see. Produced and directed for some of the best names in directing and producing including David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Prince Avalanche, The Sitter) Amy Heckerling (Clueless) and Steven Soderbergh (Oceans everything, Magic Mike)

 

Sabrina’s Top 5 Summer Drink Recipes

Summertime is made for drinking, just like all the other seasons. But I tend to be lazy AF during these warmer months, also just like all the other seasons. Anyway, laziness leads to me settling for a simple beer or wine, but I think I deserve better. I deserve to get drunk off edible alcohol served on a platter like it’s some kind of magical hors d’oeuvre. And so do you, so here are some recipes for extra-special summertime drinks that will motivate you to stop settling for that tall can.

 

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MQ not living up to our full drink potential.

 

5. Sangria/Wine mixers

I don’t know if “wine mixers” is the correct term for what I’m talking about, but I literally mean ‘wine mixed with other things.’ Sangria is always good and there are a million bazillion recipes for them in the world, BUT… strawberries and blueberries are the BEST berries and that’s why I’d like to give a shout out to this goddess of a sangria recipe.

Another recipe that involves wine mixed with other things is this elegant raspberry limoncello prosecco. It’s extremely easy to make (4 ingredients, yas!). Plus, you get to sound hella fancy when you tell people what you’re drinking.

4. Watermelon + Cucumber

A personal favorite summer flavor combination is watermelon + cucumber, so I decided to google “best watermelon and cucumber cocktail.” I looked through a bunch and this one looked the best by far. It’s called The Firecracker which is great because I was sad that I might not get to experience anymore of those now that 4th of July is already over (holy shit time is moving too fast). Anyway, I really want to drink one of these, like… immediately.

3. SLUSHIES!

Slushies! get an exclamation point because of the childlike excitement I experienced when I realized I can add alcohol to them. One of my favorite cocktails that I never order at a bar because I feel like it’s probably annoying to make is the mojito, so it was love at first sight for me and this slushie. Or, if you really feel like bringing back a childhood icon with an adult twist try The Drunken Barney.

 

mjslush
#gimme

 

2. Piña Colada

Piña Coladas are probably my favorite vacation drink, and I wanted to find the best recipe, so I decided to do a little research. According to the internet, they originated in Puerto Rico in the 50s, created by some bartenders at a Hilton resort. Here’s the “original recipe”, shared proudly by the hotel’s website.

Anyway, after my brief research project on its origins, I wanted to know what kind of twists people are putting on the recipes these days. Turns out there are a ton of recipes for different flavors and… wait for it… PC FLOATS!!!

 

watermel
Cute and delicious at the same time! 

 

1. Jello Shots

Jello shots are number one to me because they’re also food, and they’re squishy! Plus, you can get super creative with jello shots by adding mix ins and molding them into different shapes (even dicks!). Some of the world’s valuable over-achievers have even turned the jello shot into true works of culinary art, all of which I would happily indulge in.

A simple recipe that looks the most delicious in my opinion is this strawberry inside a strawberry. This interesting combination of watermelon and basil had me droolin’ as well.

Bonus drink:

Here’s a drink that I make when I’m not in the mood to get all pinteresty with my alcohol (apparently it’s called a Cuba Libre, but only if the rum is Cuban):

Rum + Coke + Lime juice + Ice

The Martian: A Book Review, kinda

Book review time! Yay!!! Books are great. But what’s more great than reading books? Getting to talk to the author in person about it afterward, and that’s something I was extremely fortunate to experience recently.

It is for that reason, and also because I wanted an excuse to re-share my selfie with Andy

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That selfie I was telling you about.

Weir, that I decided to write a lil “review” of The Martian.

One tidbit about me is that I like to go into things blind. Meaning I like knowing as little as possible about the story when I go into a book, TV series or movie. I’ll watch movie trailers, but I usually cut them off in the middle. I don’t watch horror trailers at all because I feel like they show you too much and then you’re just waiting for it all to happen.

All I knew about The Martian before opening the book was that there’s a movie based on it and that it’s set in outer space. I personally love movies and outer space so I was like, “That sounds rad!” But, I also warned myself that it might be really boring sci-fi (sorry), and hoped for the best.

Right away, on the first page even, I realized I would not have to worry about it being boring. Andy had crafted Mark Watney, a character that is perfectly relatable to me. A character that, in his first two lines, made me root for him simply because he isn’t afraid to use the word ‘fuck’… like, a lot. I mean, why would he be afraid? He’s stranded on Mars talking to a machine not knowing if anyone will ever even hear it. I don’t even think Commander Lewis would have the discipline to hold back in that situation.

I also loved that Andy decided to beat the crap out of Watney, as any good author should, with one sudden catastrophe after another. What makes each problem especially engaging is that Watney explains it using actual science (I presume). It’s essentially a series of word problems that he has to figure out to survive. Can you imagine if your life depended on your next physics exam score? To be honest, I didn’t always understand what he was talking about, but I definitely believed him.

 

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One time I woke up early & could see Venus, Jupiter & Mars. I took a pic with my phone, but Mars didn’t show up. It’s still kinda relevant, right?

And I believed the other characters too, even the women! That’s right, a guy wrote a sci-fi book with realistic female characters that actually exists on this planet! In fact, I made it a point to thank Andy for his portrayal of women as actual human beings. He said that he did receive some criticism over a harsh line uttered by Anne Havens which I, being an avid harsh language user myself, found perfectly relatable.

Anyway, is this even a book review? I’m supposed to say whether I loved it or hated it overall, right? Let me put it this way: it is so good that I didn’t want to watch the movie afterward because I felt like it couldn’t possibly live up to what I had imagined while reading. Side note: I did watch the movie, and I loved it.

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Here’s a pic of me and my cat Stella casually floating through space.

 

How to do Fourth of July

Without getting into the politics of this holiday here are some simple suggestions to have the best fourth of July possible.

It’s your day off work! Hooray! Spend it day drinking red, white, and blue drink recipes you found on Pinterest and waving flags you don’t normally think twice about, because today is about nationalism. Sure our country might go down the toilet like the UK just did in a matter of months, but our president is still black, and today is the only summer holiday that we have so LIVE IT UP.

  • Dress accordingly. Personally, I like to go with my classic matching American flag pajamas. They’re perfect for beach weather and ridiculous enough that I can get away with wearing them today. If you aren’t as lucky as I am, maybe take a trip to your local Target  and check out their inevitable section for everything fourth of July from bikinis to shirts to socks. Today is the one day where being an obnoxious American is encouraged and required.

 

Total Frat Move fourth of july addition
Just don’t be a total frat move.
  • Eat appropriately. I know we’re all trying to keep our beach body (whatever that means ) but today is basically the Thanksgiving of the summer when it comes to food, it’s everyone’s cheat day. So please eat like everyone’s stereotype of an American. Put BBQ chips in your bacon cheeseburger and drink as much Budweiser- I mean America- as you can handle while still having enough room for a keg stand after beer pong.
USA fruit cake
(Ina Garten’s Flag Cake for All-American as seen on Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa)
  • Listen well. What could possibly be the best playlist for this holiday? Could it be a country song about dirt roads and monster trucks? Or is it the gangster rap lyrics that describe the American struggle? Although those are both American in their own right, what I’m thinking of is truly the most American of all. Songs the describe the birth of our American, as told by our forefathers. I’m talking about none other than the Hamilton Soundtrack. Think about it, what is more American than children of immigrants and ancestors of slaves playing the roles of the founders of our country, rapping about how they fought for our right to be independent? You know your friends have been pressuring you to listen to it anyway, why not on the most appropriate of days?

Hamilton

  • Light up the sky Apart from what you wear, eat and listen to today, we all know the most iconic part of this holiday are the fireworks, so make sure you see them! Take a Lyft to the best view (no drinking and driving today my friend!) bring some extra beers and snacks, hold your friends close and watch the sky light up. Try not to think about how much money is being exploded in the sky that could have been better spent on public education improvements, and be thankful that you live in the most magical country in the world. Our president is black, No matter you opinions on her, we have a democratic nominee who is a woman, people are banning together for a new surge of political activism and fighting for the civil rights of every citizen no matter their physical ability, gender identity, race or sexual orientation. I’m certainly not saying our country is perfect, we all know we have a long way to go, we have a god damn oompa loompa reality show personality businessman insulting his way to the republican presidential nomination and people who cling to while not understand how old and outdated our amendments are. But it’s our country, where ridiculous and incredible things happen. So no matter your views on politics, we can come together on this day (who by the way our for fathers thought would be on July 2nd link) and say we’re happy to be Americans.

 

Sab:Ailish

Then tomorrow we can get back to disagreeing and complaining about the frightening state of our country.