Posts tagged ‘Amberjack’

July 29, 2012

My First Drive-In Theater Experience

Growing up in Orlando did not offer me a lot of authentic, small town experiences.  For example, when someone mentioned “drive-in movies,” my mind went straight to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It’s a restaurant where you sit in fake old cars while watching cartoons and movie clips play on the screen:

Sci Fi Dine In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Of course this is not a legit drive-in theater, but I don’t remember ever hearing of an actual drive-in theater to go to in or near Orlando.  I gave up that the concept was probably outdated and that I would never get to go to a real one.

WELL, Tulsa does have its perks- one of which is that it *just* re-opened the Admiral Twin Drive-In.  The theater has two sides that each play one double feature starting when it gets dark.  My friend Briana and I ventured out on Saturday night to finally see The Dark Knight Rises.  Both of us were eager to see how this whole “drive-in” thing works (she grew up in New York- also not a big drive-in place).

Admiral Twin Drive-In

Based on what I had read, some people had complained of long lines getting in, so I played it uber-safe and got there around 7:15 (gates open at 7).  I wasn’t surprised to see the lot pretty empty, but we got a good spot in the second row back (there’s space right up to the screen, but the poles that mark the spaces for cars probably start about 50+ feet away).  After we got there, cars kept steadily coming in.  I would recommend aiming to get there at 8 if you plan on getting food.  You will still get a good spot, won’t face much (if any) of a line at the front, and you’ll have time to get food and settle in.

Now, I had no idea what the food prices would be or how strict they were about not bringing in outside food.  I decided to being some water bottles and a few snacks in my purse, but planned on eating some type of dinner at the theater.  They definitely don’t check any bags or your car for food, and there were a LOT of people who brought whole coolers of stuff.  I also saw a kid with a bunch of Subway subs, so yeah.  Don’t be afraid to make yourself a gourmet meal and bring it over.  Just maybe put it in the trunk until you park in front of the screen.

Admiral Twin Concessions Menu

If you do want to eat there, I posted their menu above with prices.  Their concessions and bathrooms (which Briana said were clean and decent) are located right under the back to back screens in the center of the drive-in.  I think the dinner options- cheeseburger, chicken fingers, etc. are VERY reasonably priced.  I got the chicken fingers with ranch and it was great.  They give you a good-sized portion that is not too much or too little, and it was nice and hot when I got it (few things are worse than cold fries).  I also opted to get their souvenir cup (see below)- and I NEVER get souvenir cups.  However, this one was only $5, and whenever you bring it back-for the rest of your life or however long this drive-in is open- you get $1 refills!  I plan on coming back- even being able to use it once more would get my money’s worth.  Plus, you know, I get to have another cup for home : D

Souvenir Cup for $5- Refills only $1

On the side we were on, you had to turn your car radio station to 88.3 FM to hear the movie’s audio.  You can turn this station on early because they play music before the film like regular theaters.  I was a little worried about my car battery dying with just the radio on, but I felt pretty assured that it wouldn’t- otherwise why would they broadcast sound that way? HOWEVER, it was really hard in this heat to not have the air conditioning on.  We kept the car off with the windows down for probably the first hour or so and I could feel my clothes slowly getting soaked with sweat (when we left at 11:45 pm, it was only down to 95 degrees!).  After the first hour, I turned the car on for about 5 minutes every 10-15 minutes just to circulate some air.  This worked well, and I was lucky to have a pretty quiet car as to not disturb nearby people.  Keep in mind that for a second, your radio will turn off to turn on the car, so don’t do this during key scenes.  Loud, action sequences would probably be best if your movie has them.  Many people sat out in chairs on the ground or in the back of their pick-up truck, so that’s also definitely an option.  I liked the sound quality of being in my car (the radio had absolutely no static- it was crystal clear), and the fact that I could avoid bugs- but then again, I’ve always been an indoor girl ; )

Amberjack in the backseat at Admiral Twin

Lastly, I really enjoyed that Admiral Twin allows you to bring pets as long as they stay on a leash.  Amberjack still has some issues barking and getting anxious when I leave, and she’s at her worst at night.  Because of this, I always try to get home before dark to appease her and my neighbors.  The drive-in, though, gives me a way to see movies at night without having to worry about AJ.  I just put together the dog-equivalent of a diaper bag, set up a little bed for her in the back, and she’s was all set.  Note: If you bring a pet, they have to remain on a leash at all times.

As for the actual movie, I thought The Dark Knight Rises was only okay.  I’m just not a huge fan of this Batman franchise.  I find them a little hard to follow and get confused a lot about why people are doing things.  I liked the last 5 minutes a lot though : D  And getting to see the Man of Steel and Hobbit trailers beforehand was a big plus.  I can’t recommend The Dark Knight Rises movie, but I will recommend the Admiral Twin Drive-In.  The good food, new movie at a cheap price ($7!!), fun atmosphere, and great sound quality made for a fabulous first drive-in theater experience.

August 15, 2011

Dodgeball, Storms, and Some Great News <3

There have been many things worth updating about lately, but I don’t have time to write all of these entries right now so I’m going to condense it into a few with several points.  Here’s the first about dodgeball, Tulsa storms, and Nikita’s present for you to peruse at your leisure.

1.  I voluntarily played Dodgeball on Friday in a tournament…and had fun.  We played 5 rounds in an indoor turf field, and I was playing during the one round we won.  That was pretty cool.  I even got someone out by chance because I am horrible at throwing (they tried to catch it but it hit the ground first).  We played a hipster team first who were okay.  We should have won the last round with them, but the ref made a really bad call keeping one of their players in who was clearly OUT.  The next team we played was 30 something guys and girls.  The guys were tough.  They threw SO HARD.  I was good at not getting hit in the beginning because I think my body went into survival mode and ducked out of instinct.  I still eventually got out.  And we lost really bad.  My hardest hit of the night surprisingly occurred before we started playing when one of my “teammates” threw a ball super hard at another guy teammate and hit me by accident.  First, ow.  Second, OW.  Third, I don’t even know you and I am already pissed at you.  I have a huge bruise on my leg from this accident.  Not happy.  The rest of the experience was really fun, though, I promise.

2. Storms in Tulsa scare the crap out of me.  I grew up in Hurricane Central, but for some reason, the storms here just seem magnified.  There was a really bad storm a few nights ago.  I woke up to some thunder and checked the radar to see a huge red blob coming my way.  When I turned on the news they were talking about the worst parts of it and said the strongest winds that were potentially dangerous were moving to my exact location.  Thank you very much weatherman.  I will be running away now.  I was terrified during this particular storm (my fear of tornadoes goes back to 4th grade…it’s an irrational fear I’ve only somewhat overcome), and eventually decided to sit in my bath tub with Amberjack after the floor started vibrating with the wind gusts.  My bathroom is the only room in my apartment without a giant window, so I felt relatively safe.  Even if this was overkill, I felt calmer, and I think that’s what matters most.  Amberjack is apparently unphased by storms and even seemed slightly annoyed that I was removing her from her cozy bed to sit with me in the bath tub.  She did her “it’s going to be okay, just pet me” duties perfectly, though (see below).  We bonded : )

Hiding from the storm

3. Nikita FINALLY got his present from me.  This actually happened before I left Phoenix, but I didn’t find out more about his reaction until a couple weeks ago.  From what I heard, he loves it and has not stopped talking about it since he got it.  He was really surprised that I had included so many things he liked, and even wondered if I chose the album color because I knew he liked green (I did).  He’s enrolled in English classes next year and told Polina to tell me that next time we meet he will talk to me in English.  This makes me smile just writing about it.  I should get back to studying Russian again at some point.  All the Russian I wrote in his album was correct, but I have Google to thank for that (seriously Google, thank you for correct translations).

As the days go on, I think about Nikita less and less.  I think I just really wanted him to get that book and appreciate it for the heart I put into making it.  Now that I have that closure, I can move on a bit.  I should mention, though, that the first decoration I put up in the apartment last week was a photo frame collage that one of my colleagues from A Gift For Teaching gave me before I left.  It’s pictured below with my favorite picture, the letter Polina gave me when I left (it has owls on it!), and the words Russia and May 2011 written in Russian.

Russia Photo Collage

Must get to bed now.  I’ll try to do some quick updates this week as I make more progress on my first week lesson plans : )


July 31, 2011

The Tale of Amberjack

As most of you have realized from the pictures popping up on my Facebook page, I have recently adopted a Jack Russel Terrier named Amberjack.  I didn’t just go to the pound and pick out a dog.  Oh no.  This story actually goes all the way back to June 19th while I was still in Phoenix.  I was up late at night in my dorm going through picture after picture on the Petfinder app, just looking at dogs in case I decided to adopt one.  I wasn’t REALLY thinking about adopting a dog, but I indulged myself in this search process to get the urge out of my system.  Well, this was a bad idea.

Before long I came across this:

Jack Russell Terrier Amberjack

This is a picture of Amberjack from June.  I was convinced she was a Chinese Crested (those dogs that win the ugliest dog contests) because of how…interesting…she looked, but then I read her story.  She and her sister, Flapjack (my sister loved this because it reminded her of Pancakes on The O.C.), were surrendered to the Animal Rescue Foundation.  Amberjack had demodex mange, which is the lowest form of mange caused by a high amount of fleas.  She was expected to make a full recovery, but at the moment had no hair : (  She was only three years old and was already suffering from something that wasn’t her fault.  So, of course, I immediately felt like I needed to adopt this dog.  I think I have a Corduroy complex from that children’s books (must buy the broken toy!!!).

I put this adoption idea in the back of my mind because I wasn’t even coming back to Tulsa for another month.  I figured by then she would be in a nice home.  But, I did save her to my favorites on a whim.  When I got back to Tulsa in late July, I casually opened the app again to check on Amberjack’s adoption story.  This unfortunately did not exist, but there were new photos of her with a huge improvement in hair growth.

Amberjack Jack Russell Terrier

I told my mom about the dog (she was here to help me move in), and my mom urged me to go see her at the vet’s office where she was being held.  My mom had doubts that a Jack Russell would be calm enough for an apartment, but we called the vet and they said we could come in at any time to see her.

This was mistake number 2 for someone who was not going to adopt a dog.  Not only was she super tiny, cute, and still a little pathetic looking (which made her more cute to me), we got more information from the volunteer that showed her to us.  She said the dog had just finished recovering from Kennel Cough, and had not been very popular at all (it sounded like no one else was interested in adopting her).  Amberjack likes being held, but was very nervous and shaky when I picked her up at the vet.  I got her health records when I left, and as soon as we got in the car, my mom told me “You have to get her.  She’s much calmer than I expected.”

Sooooo I filled out the application even though I was really nervous about adding a dog adoption to my already stressful move to Tulsa.  I couldn’t bear the thought of this dog being at the vet’s office any longer (she had already been there over 2 months).  I figured there was a chance I might not even pass the adoption screening process since I lived an apartment, would be gone for long periods, and hadn’t actually owned a dog by myself.  But sure enough, while on a break from panels at Comic Con, I got the call that I was clear to adopt her as soon as I returned to Tulsa.

Now just a small FYI, dogs are not cheap.  Between the adoption fee, apartment pet deposit, and Petco supplies, my bank account took quite a hit.  Luckily, though, most of these costs are upfront.  I won’t need to buy leashes, collars, cages, beds, etc. too often.  I won’t even need to buy food that often because she eats so little at 11 lbs.

Since I picked her up on Monday, we’ve had our ups and downs:


-The volunteer told me she wasn’t completely housebroken, but she has been almost perfect about just going outside and has quickly gotten used to her outings schedule.
-She doesn’t bark, bite people, or chew on my belongings.
-She seems to have bonded with me within minutes of being in my apartment : )


-She started SHRIEKING when I left the second time after putting her in the cage.  Maybe she did the first time, but she might have waited until I was gone for a few minutes.  I worried about how loud she was and was paranoid that my neighbors would call and complain and I would have to give her up.  She has gotten better the past few days since I put old t-shirts of mine in the cage (they smell like me), gave her trick toys with treats stuffed inside, and put her in the closet (door is open) so she is more in the center of the apartment to bother less neighbors.
-She is very clingy and wants to be in my lap a lot.  I’ve had to work on saying NO a lot and also working out compromises like her being on the couch only if she is laying on her bed that is *placed* on the couch.
-She loves squeaky toys, but she is able to take the squeaker out of the thin ones in 30 minutes flat -_-  I don’t think she gets it that once the squeaker is out it won’t squeak anymore…

To deal with some of the downs, I think I’m going to sign up for obedience classes at a local dog club.  I think it would be good for both of us and would help her socialize with other dogs (she gets super scared when another dog is nearby).  My friend recommended getting her into agility training after obedience training because of her breed.  Maybe she’ll be ready to zig zag through poles and jump over hurdles by Christmas : D

Amberjack the Jack Russell Terrier

But for now, it’s me and Amberjay (my pet name for her) against the world out here in Tulsa.