Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's a dog... in a dress!

No, really. This photo had me in tears. That is not a dog dress. That is a little girl dress... on a dog. HAHAHAA!

Have you ever perused PeopleOfWalMart.com? If not, you should... except not. I feel guilty when I gawk for obvious reasons. The site is mean-spirited - all about making fun of patrons of my least favorite store in the entire world.

Yet somehow, when I scroll through, I crack up. Fortunately, I don't look that often.

Just for fun...

This lady is in bright green and in AZ, which is pretty funny... What's funnier is the caption:

I don’t really see anyth……oh wait, there she is! I see her! She was blending in with the Mountain Dew; which is something I never thought I would say about a neon green beverage.

Pop Tart Love

Oh Em Gee.

I must visit Pop Tart World. Can I get a "YUM?"

Seriously, I have no idea why Pop Tarts would need a storefront location... but I don't really care either. Pop Tarts are always delicious.

I may have to convince my husband to go with me, but I'm sure that it'll only take a bat of the eyelash and a sad smile.

Pop Tart World, here I come!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Are you kidding me?!

Holy guacamole!

This guy can jam.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Important News...

As in - a 105 foot drop, corkscrews, loops, dangling feet and speed.

This may not sound like big news to you, but for me, this is HUGE. I am not a roller coaster person. First, the feeling of falling to my most-certain death is not appealing. In fact, it's terrifying. Second, every year (or so it seems) someone dies on carnival/fair/amusement park rides. I'm all about living on this earth in my same, well-maintained body forever... or at least as long as humanly possible. I like it here, so I do not find the need to take chances that could end in my death.

Sure, I drive a car, but I don't want to drive. I moved to NYC thinking that I'd never have a car again, but cruel fate forced a car and the required task of driving upon me... So don't play the "roller coasters are safer than driving" card with me; it won't work.

Third, I sort of have a traumatic history of being forced or coerced or manipulated onto scary rides. When I was maybe maybe 10, my Mom took me to Disneyland (yay - thanks Mom!). The day was great until I was FORCED onto Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain doesn't even have seat belts. Those who choose to go on Splash Mountain clearly have a death wish, and you cannot convince me otherwise. I bawled hysterically through the entire wait in muppet-singing line hell. My mom, clearly frustrated with my chicken-like fear, exclaimed, "Stephanie, you are making it seem like I beat you." Beat me, she did not (thanks Mom!), but force me down a 52.5 foot drop, she did. My dear Mom meant well, though. She hoped that I would get over my fear of such things, but the anxiety of it all was just too much for little ol' me.

It's just too bad that she hadn't forced me on Space Mountain because that one changed me a little bit when Paul convinced me to ride it when I was 17. What you can't see, you can't be afraid of... right?

Anyway, at least my Mom was well-intentioned. My other, way-more-traumatic experiences come from my mal-intentioned cousin, Jason. Said cousin was most times like the big brother I never had. He was cool and funny, rebellious and MANIPULATIVE. He could get me to do whatever... anything (including but not limited to anchoring his fake news show). Since my dad lived in or around KCMO for most of my childhood, each summer we would head to Worlds of Fun for our share in the worldly fun. I will admit that while I've never enjoyed rides, I've always enjoyed a good amusement park - Worlds of Fun, Disneyland, Castles n' Coasters... heck, even Peony Park while it was around. I enjoyed bumper cars and rock'n'roller rides (where you sit in a car, and you go around a track forwards and backwards at not-so-top speeds while listening to painfully loud pop music or bad hip hop), but more than that, I loved the food - cotton candy, frozen custard (Custard's Last Stand at WoF), fried bread...

Anyway, back to it. Each year, Jason would try to convince me to go on a scary ride that he would dub as not-so-scary. I believe the first year it was a tube water slide. That, I admit, was fun. After that, each experience became more terrifying until either I stopped believing him or until we stopped going (I can't remember). He convinced me that the Monsoon (with a HUGE 50' drop) went "slow, just 8 knots per hour." First, he went with a low number (8). Second, he went with a unit of measure that I did not know (knots). This made the ride sound harmless and made me look gullible (guilty). As soon as the not-so-secure bar was down and the boat was clicking upward, Jason looked back from his seat in front of me and said, "I lied. It's really fast and scary." Cue hysterical tears.

The worst of his manipulative terror came when he convinced me to go on the Timber Wolf. This is your classic, Steph-should-never-ride, wooden roller coaster. Somehow Jason made it sound like an It's A Small World rip off. This was my first real roller coaster experience - one that I never asked for nor desired. I remember later hearing the story of the two girls who tried to switch seats before the big drop who plunged to their deaths (as it turns out, only one died - per Wikipedia). Had I known this, none of Jason's antics would've worked, but I was young, naive and unknowing of the future fatality. The worst part of the whole incident was when I asked Aunt Colleen or Jason to ride with me. "No, I'm riding with my mom," Jason exclaimed. Pansy. I had to ride by myself - except not by myself. Instead, I rode with a man MUCH larger than me - so much so that when the bar came down to our laps, it only came down to his, and I had to sit through the more than 2 minute ride wondering if I would slide out. Not cool, Jason. Not cool. I'm pretty sure I cried through the whole life-altering, petrifying ordeal yet somehow managed to come out alive vowing NEVER AGAIN.

And never again remained for a very long time. In high school, I rode the small, red roller coaster (the Patriot) at Castles n' Coasters a few times - each time realizing more and more that roller coasters were not for me. Once in high school, I convinced myself that I could go on the Sea Dragon ride though Paul tried unsuccessfully to convince me otherwise. We sat in the least-scary first row, and as soon as that pirate ship started to move, the tears flowed. Paul has always been wise beyond his years.

How he convinced me to get on Space Mountain, I'll never understand. I'm sure that Mike had a hand in that, as well. But as soon as we got off, I said, "Let's go again!" When they went on Splash Mountain, however, I knew better. Ha.

Anyway, back to present day. I went on Hydra: The Revenge... twice. I said to Paul as we boarded the second time, "I hope I don't poop my pants." Fortunately, I did not. I am not sure that I will ever have the gall to do it again, but it was fun on that day in my 28th year. Mind you, when we visited Dorney Park last year, I watched Hydra over and over and over again trying to get my nerve up. I left the park after a day of fun still disappointed in myself and my fearful, paranoid ways. So how did I get there this year? Somehow and I have no idea how, I just said, "Let's go on White Water Landing" (same as the Monsoon). As we ticked up the hill in our boat, I clung to the lap rest, eyes closed, chanting daily affirmations about coming out alive and saying to Paul, "This was a bad idea." With my eyes closed, as we dropped, somehow I thought we were going backwards. I came out alive and wet with a huge sense of pride... I even said, "Let's go again" even though I knew that I wouldn't have the nerve.

Later, I watched T, D & P ride Hydra with that same sinking disappointment as Dorney Park '09. Then before the end of the day, I said, "Let's go." Darshin wouldn't have it; Hydra made her feel sick. Trevs was done with coastering for the day, but Paul was a trooper. As we were strapped in, I kept saying, "I can make it through a minute of anything." Little did I know that Hydra was about 2 1/2 minutes.

I survived. And then I asked to ride again.

(Wow, this was long... but no doubt riveting.) (P.S. I am aware that I am wearing an almost-identical outfit as when we went last year. Same swimsuit, same tank top, different shorts. In my defense, it would've been exact had my board shorts not been lent out. I believe that I deserve a shopping trip.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flamingo Cloud

What have you seen in your clouds lately?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Old Friends...

I was lucky enough to see two old friends this past week (Chelse & Courtney). While I saw Courtney just last fall, I hadn't seen Chelse in 9 years (since her high school graduation). So often it happens to lose touch with old friends who were once so frequent and important in my life, and yet I'm always meeting new people and having new adventures and take each day, month, year... so dwelling on the older, less frequent people in my life is few and far between regardless of how much I care for said friends (oh, and I care a lot). Over the last month or so, I've thought about old buds a lot, as I heard some tragic news...

Unfortunately, an oldie but goodie of mine passed recently. I've known Jake for many years - since high school. We rocked out at many a show together. He was quite the drummer; he dated my high school bestie for a looooooong time. He was smart and funny. He recommended my first tattoo artist (the bassist in his band). He played in one of the quintessential Phoenix punk bands of the time (Jedi 5)... plus multiple bands with said high school bestie and her sister... plus a bunch of other bands, too. He wore Dickies and Chucks the entire time I knew him. One year, he helped me bring Halloween to Paul by decorating his driveway with pumpkins and other not-so-legally acquired lawn ornaments (too bad Paul & the Ess fam weren't amused by our stunt). Yes, yes... He was one of the good ones and only 29, too. So many good years to go.

He and I had kept in touch via Facebook and Myspace over the last few years, so I always knew to a small extent what he was up to... Now, while I wish that our messages back and forth would have been more frequent (more than just 3 - 5 times per year), I can't help but think of how lucky I am to have known Jake. He'll go down as one of my favorites in life... even if I only knew him for a short while; he was that kind of dude.

Miss you, bud.