A Rare Glimpse Into The Private World Of An Aspiring Blogger

28 Aug

I’m getting into the home stretch of my proposed “One Blog A Day For the Month of August” goal, and surprisingly it looks like I may have a chance of actually accomplishing it!  Once tonight’s blog is written and posted I’ve only got three more to go, and here’s a dirty little secret, one of those posts is already mostly written.  (Is that cheating?  Yes… you say?  Oh, good thing your opinion doesn’t matter to me!)

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I wouldn’t label myself as an anti social person but for the most part I do prefer to be alone as much as possible.  It’s not that I don’t like people but to be honest it’s very hard to get anything productive done when you have folks hanging around all day, wanting you to “entertain” them. Thankfully this doesn’t happen too much. Sometimes it’s nice to be more or less repulsive in physical nature and almost entirely abrasive personality wise.  In fact, it’s always nice!

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So I thought I would share with you the environment in which my silly little blog postings are constructed.  I’m granting you a rare tour of my innermost inner sanctum.  The Sanctum Sanctorium, The Fortress of Solitude, MY ROOM, where I spend the vast majority of my free time. Welcome to “Club Domingosaurus Rex.” (Where the party never ends.)

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First of all there is a two drink minimum for any “blogging night.” My 31 day blog challenge may have an unexpected bonus of finally allowing me to achieve my life long goal of becoming a full fledged alcoholic!  (Hooray!)  Many times during my existence I have made valiant efforts at getting drunk every day but have long theorized I just don’t have the willpower.  I mean sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking.  (That’s a heavy cross to bear after all.) Yet for some reason (possibly due in part with my fascination with gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson)  I simply prefer to drink while I write. (And to write while I drink.)  As the booze flows, so do the words, it seems.  Perhaps it is a sort of handicap, but if so it’s one I enjoy immensely.

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I almost always turn on all my “party lights” when I am writing.  They help me focus.  I have all kinds of cool shit in my room.  (Some of which don’t photograph too well with my shitty little digital camera, so I’ll just describe them to you.)  I have two lava lamps of differing styles and colors.  I have two spinning police car style lights.  One string of Christmas lights (or as I like to call them “party lights”) long enough to nearly traverse the entire perimeter of my room, two red light bulbs a blue light bulb and a green light bulb, a police scanner, which I like simply because it has a little red light that goes back and forth along the front of it like KITT.  (If you don’t get this reference to a popular 80’s action show starring David Hasselhoff I have very little, if any, use for you. Go back to listening to your Justin Bieber music and stop reading my blog immediately)  To top it all off, the creme de la creme of my collection of party lights: no less than seven black lights.

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And as if I needed any more added inspiration, over in the corner are something like 12 THOUSAND comic books.  (And yet, believe it or not, I still kind of wonder why I’m still a virgin. You’ve heard of the 40 Year Old Virgin?  I got that beat.  I’m 41; going on 42!)

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All right I’m almost out of booze.  Guess it’s time to call it a wrap and go to bed.  Cheers!

Wanna Go To Cedar Point Today? (Naaaah…Let’s Go Explore Grand Rapids, I Said! It Will Be Fun, I Said!)

27 Aug

Remember when I wrote about the amazing summer my good friend Linnea and I bought season passes to Cedar Point?  (AKA The “Amazement Park?”)   Well here’s another amusing anecdote about that summer.

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An interesting thing we discovered after going to Cedar Point several weeks in a row was, it was actually possible to get kind of bored with it! So one morning when I showed up to collect her, it was somehow concluded neither of us felt much like riding coasters that day, so why not go check out Grand Rapids instead?  (Why not indeed!)  Grand Rapids. Michigan is a sizable urban sprawl on the western side of Southern Michigan and was a city neither of us really knew much about, other than it was enormous, (the second most in the whole state of Michigan in fact) and therefore was sure to be littered with all kinds of cool stores in which for us to spend our hard earned dollars.  Ballet supply stores were Linnea’s primary objective, comic book stores were mine, and both of us were interested in thrift stores, used music stores and book stores.   We were quite certain we would find a plethora of such establishments in such a wide spread metropolis as Grand Rapids.

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The drive there was uneventful, and actually took just a little longer than it would have taken to drive to Sandusky!  I stopped at a gas station just outside town to get a street map. I was hoping to score a phone book, but struck out on that endeavor. I figured with those two simple tools I would be able to locate all of our targeted shopping locations and navigate an easy route to them. (That was what I thought.) So without knowing a damned thing about Grand Rapids we exited into the business district and from there just started driving around. Our search got off to an excellent start. First we found a cool looking used book store and entered. It was just what a used book store should be: cluttered, dusty and full of books. The store had hard wood floors, few windows, and shelves and shelves of books reaching almost all the way up to the ceiling.  Behind the counter was a friendly looking elderly female clerk who asked if we needed help. (We didn’t.)

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 After visiting every portion of the store I walked up to the counter with a large Foxtrot comic strip book. As I was paying I asked if by any chance she had any old phone books she would be willing to sell me. I explained our objectives and she gave me a brand new phone book free of charge!  Just up the street from there we discovered a little used video game store. It, much like the previous establishment, was nothing more than a two story house with a sign in the front window and a little dirt parking lot in front of it. The place had cheap wood paneled walls, like you would find inside a trailer home, and many shelves of old Nintendo and Sega games.  I actually had a working first generation Nintendo and purchased, under Linnea’s advisement, a game called Burger Time.  (I recognized it as having been advertised on the backs of comic books in my youth.)  It turned out to be a pretty fun game, but neither of us could get very far past the third level.

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When we left that place we did so with the feeling that we had discovered the Treasure of the Sierra Madre, (whatever the hell that means) and both vowed to return many times. (We never did.) It seemed our Grand Rapids adventure was going well. At this point it was decided that the time had come to consume various foodstuffs. I of course, required a cheeseburger and fries and we drove around for hours discussing and dismissing several options.  (We did that a lot) Eventually we found a place that served Coke and didn’t look too awkward or busy.  (All of which we required)  This appeared in the form of a little family diner in an extremely narrow and elongated wooden building. We walked in and found that there were very few other patrons, which was the way we liked it so we selected a booth and sat down.  (There were little individual jukeboxes at each booth, but they did not work.)  We ordered food and while we waited for it I spread the GR map out on the table between us and began to peruse the phone book. In this manner I found several comic book stores, dance supply stores, record stores and thrift stores and marked their locations out on the map. (The excitement built) We consumed food, paid our bill, and walked out the door… into…HELL.  (Vergil did not accompany us.)

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Up until this point there had been a light cloud coverage which had offered protection from the relentless July weather but when we emerged from the diner all such cloud cover had completely dissipated, and the sun was now beating directly down on us in all its radioactive glory. It may in fact have been one of the hottest days on record in Michigan. The temperature was probably close to 135 degrees, the humidity close to 99.99%, and still our moods were unfazed. We had pocketfuls of money, full bellies, a whole day ahead of us and were absolutely 100 percent certain that somewhere out there, in the sprawling labyrinthine bustle of this place called “Grand Rapids,” there just had to be innumerable shops of varying degrees of awesomeness that had been designed just for us.  (And WHY hadn’t we thought of this before?)

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We first headed towards Division Street, which wasn’t hard at all to find. It’s sort of like the North/South Main Street of Grand Rapids.  After investigating (and dismissing) a sort of dingy thrift store near downtown, we soon came across a veritable Mecca of used retail: The Downtown Grand Rapids Salvation Army.  It is three stories tall and has a basement,meaning there were in fact FOUR levels of thrift store shopping enjoyment.  Now what we should have done, in retrospect, was loaded my car up with tons of cool shit, drove back to Jackson, bought a pizza, and spent the rest of our day hanging out in comfort digging through all our new stuff and eating delicious pizza.  We didn’t.  We bought a couple things but figured, now that we knew about this place, we could go back there any time.  (We never dd.)

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And so it was that we ended up spending the rest of our precious day just aimlessly driving from one end of Grand Rapids to the other, through blistering heat, infuriating traffic and a seemingly endless array of confusing detours and one way streets, none of which were indicated on the map.  In spite of the difficulty, I did manage to locate almost all of the places I’d marked out, but here’s the thing: they had all gone out of business. Every…Single…One.  And recently, it seemed, as we found, in each location, faded posters of Spiderman, dancing ballerinas, or Led Zeppelin concert posters lingering in the mostly boarded up windows, mocking us.  (…Mocking…Us.) It was like some massive city wide conspiracy set up just to frustrate us.

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 At long last I had the presence of mind to pull into a gas station where I had spotted numerous payphones lining the parking lot.  (Remember those?)  I went into the store to buy a coke, so I would have change for the phone.  (As usual, I didn’t want to be That Guy That Just Came in to Ask For Change.)  There were still a couple possibilities left on the list. The plan was for me to call the numbers to see if any of the businesses still existed before continuing to waste our time and gas. I collected my change and headed back to my car, which had no idea that it was about to experience the worst moment of its existence. I pulled up to the first payphone and inserted the requisite 35 cents.  I poised my finger to begin pressing buttons. I said “OK gimme a number.”

L: “What?”

D: “A phone number!”

L: “A phone number for what?”

D: “A phone number for anything! A Dance Store, a Comic Book Store! Whatever!” (Hadn’t we discussed this?)

L: “All right all right. Don’t get violent!” (Apparently I get violent.)

As the number was being recited it was then that I realized the phone had no dial tone.  I was also unable to retrieve my 35 cents.  I kept my cool, however.  I pulled up to the next payphone, which was apparently meant for people to pull up to in large trucks, which meant I had to open my car door, and kind of stand up between my car and the phone. I put in 35 cents and prepared to dial.

D: “Ok give me a number.”

L:  “Huh?”

D: “A phone number!”

L:  “For what?”

D: “…”

A phone number was produced. I punched it in. A voice said, “Please deposit 35 cents” (Even though I had already done so.) I foolishly deposited 35 more cents, The dial tone continued until eventually a voice said “Please deposit 35 Cents.”

And this, my friends was the precise moment when I lost my cool. The first thing I did was send whatever change I had remaining in my hand scattering all across the parking lot in every direction. (Didn’t need it!  Fucking payphones weren’t working!)

I then plopped back into my seat and proceeded to slam the door closed with every ounce of strength in my body.  The door did not open again for several weeks.  At some point (weeks later) I did finally manage to force it open, at which point it would not latch.  (Ever again, in fact.)

Did you know I once had a really nice car?  It was one of these.

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From that moment on I looked real stylish driving around in my almost brand new Chrysler Sebring Convertible with the driver’s side door bungee corded shut!

Thus ended our Grand Rapids adventure. We headed towards home. We did find one really scummy mall, where I purchased a couple of For Better or Worse Comic Strip Books, and a stereo cord of some kind that I wanted from Radio Shack. (there were only like five stores open in the whole place. out of what had once been about a hundred.  It was one of the most depressing places I’ve ever been in my life.)

Other than that not much happened. I seem to recall us arguing about a roadside Denny’s on the way back, as in whether or not to go in. (That might have been some other day.)

The End.

Want to Help Me Take My Beer Cans Back? (Great.)

26 Aug

I had been back to work from my vacation now for two full days yet I still had all these beer cans hanging out.  I figured it was time to haul them over to the grocery store and cash them in.

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It was an extraordinarily nice day for August.  Usually the heat and humidity is unbearable, but after a rough week some cool winds had come in and blown all the nastiness away.  Plus it was delightfully overcast, keeping my mortal enemy, the sun, from bearing down on me.  I crossed the street and into the large park across from my apartment complex.

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Between Two baseball fields.

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Past this structure where homeless people often camp out.  (I mentioned it before here.)

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Up this rather imposing hill. (It’s far more imposing in person, I assure you.)

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And now I have to cross one of the most ridiculous intersections in the entire city, Jackson and Stadium.  I have invented many a new and exciting insult to shout at people as they nearly plow me down with their moron-mobiles.  Usually it’s something unimaginative like “Watch it, Shit For Brains!” but one of my favorites is “Watch it Shit n’ Sniff!”  (A “Shit n’ Sniff” is a person so scummy they like to smell their own fingers after every butt wiping.  It is also used to denote anyone in my way, at any given time.)  (For the most hilarious story ever about me almost getting run over by a scumbag driving an moron-mobile, click here.)

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After making it to safety, I continue down the sidewalk.

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And at long last, after a perilous journey I arrive at the plaza that houses my usual grocery store of choice.  (It also houses Westgate Animal Clinic, where I recently took Vader the Cat for fixing. They were very nice there, and I highly recommend them.)

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I arrive at the entrance to the store.  As usual, there is a slow moving person in my way.  (Everywhere I go, there are slow moving people in my way.)

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And now the time has come to dispose of the evidence of my vacation.

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And what the hell is this sorcery?  Diet Coke!  Whaaaaaaat???

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Ka-CHING!  (Michigan is one of the few places where we get 10 cents for our bottle and can returns.  Now before any of you out-of-staters get any wise ideas about hauling all your 5 cent cans and bottles here to cash in big time, just remember it didn’t work out so well for Kramer and Newman, in one of the most celebrated episodes of Seinfeld ever made.)

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Then I walked into the store, and began the tedious task of trying to decide what I wanted to prepare for dinner.  Suddenly, after the grueling hike and the laborious task of putting all those cans and bottles through the recycling machine, cooking seemed like a chore best left for another day.  Still, I don’t want to be “The Guy That Just Came in to Return Bottles.”

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…so I checked out the toy aisle, but nothing there struck my fancy.

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So I bought a bottle of Coke and a bag of Skittles, cashed in my slips, and headed out the door.  Here is what I had achieved for all my troubles.

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And I made my way out of the parking lot.

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Across a not so busy street.

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And down the hill towards Stadium, where all of Ann Arbor’s finest cuisine is located in one action packed area!  For instance, Cottage Inn Pizza.  (Not in the mood.)

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Mickey DEEEEEE’S!!!  (Nope.)

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Taco Bell.  (I already indulged in “Taco Tuesday” at work, so probably not…)

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Subway?  Not today…

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Ahhhh, now we’re talking.  Burger King.  Good ole reliable Burger King. (The king of burgers.)

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I made my usual Burger King dinner choices, put it in my backpack, and prepared to make the long lonesome journey back to my abode, through hill…

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and dale…

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Across that busy intersection once again.

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And back into the welcoming wilderness known as Vet’s Park.

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A short detour takes us up to the top of the hill…

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Where one can find one of my favorite views in the entire city.

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In fact I like this shot so much, a couple years ago I started a project in which I was going to take the same picture every day for a year.  Like most things I do, I only made it about two thirds of the way through before I got bored.  But, seeing as how I’ve taken the pic again, maybe now is as good a time as any to start anew, especially since the one season I didn’t manage to capture was Fall, which is ironically my favorite time of year!

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Down the hill and back through the passageway between two big baseball fields.

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Across the street  and through the trees.

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Where I find a welcome and familiar sight.

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And inside to find my cats, very happy to see me.  Get a room you two!!!

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Bon Appetit!

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These Are a Few (more) of My Favorite Things

25 Aug

It’s that time again folks.  I’m feeling lazy, but there’s no way in hell I’m gonna drop the ball now with only a week to go on my self imposed “Blog a Day for the Month of August Challenge.”  So here is a mostly visual based blog, featuring pictures of more exciting selections from the official Domingosaurus “Archives of Awesomeness.”

First off, Me!  (From way back when I was cast in a Stephen King movie, oddly enough as female twins.  Let’s face it, it just doesn’t get much scarier than that.)

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COME PLAY WITH US! FOR EVER…AND EVER…AND EVER…..

A beeramyd. An incredible feat of architectural engineering unmatched since the days of Ancient Egypt.  Unfortunately my cat Vader discovered it seconds after this photo was taken, and it became on incredible feat of instant chaos.

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My ever expanding collection of vintage 70’s-80’s era Fisher Price Little People (and accompanying accessories and play-sets.)  Incidentally the more modern versions of these toys (which they still make) are fat and stupid looking which I suppose is a more accurate representation of today’s average American.  (Also I suppose so they’re not as easy to choke on.  Hmph.  When I was a kid we just knew better than to choke to death on our toys!)

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A little ceramic bust of Neil Diamond.  (I don’t think I can really add to this with mere words.)

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A very small sampling of my collection of VHS tapes.  Some movies really are better on VHS.  Like all the original Friday the 13th movies.  I actually love making a big bowl of popcorn, busting out one of several VCR’s I still have laying around, and popping some of these movies in once in awhile.  (Takes me back to the good ole days…)

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Relatively recent Star Wars action figures of varying sizes.  (WILDLY varying sizes.)

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And an assortment of VINTAGE Star Wars action figures, which are oddly enough all pretty much the same size.  (Most of these I’ve had since I was a kid.  Oh wait, did I say since I was a kid?  I meant since I was a much younger kid.)

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A picture I drew of Boris Karloff.  (Every once in awhile I do some “arting.”)

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A boxed set containing what is pretty much the Ramones entire discography.  (Total runtime: 25 minutes.)

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OK I was kidding.  It takes at least 45 minutes to listen to every Ramones song.

My recent high scores at Galaga.  Read the names from top to bottom.  Uh huh.  That’s right.

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A small portion of my glow in the dark ceiling.  It puts the local Planetarium to shame.

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And to close out this post by using some of the most disturbing imagery I could find, here are a few instances in which I have badly cropped my own face into some of my favorite album covers.  (Have fun trying to sleep now.  I’ll be leering directly into your soul!!!)

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Oh wait, one more of my favorite “things” in the form of my favorite Red Foreman quote:  “Good Night.  Sleep Tight.  And don’t let the bed bugs put their foot up your ass.”

Food Babe Is The Antichrist

24 Aug

“And when thy delicious generic orange soda begins to run clear, then shall thou know, the End of Days is Upon thee.”

-The Bible.  (Book of Flavor Flav.)

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Anyone who has been reading my blog of late has possibly come to the conclusion that I am some kind of raging alcoholic.  This is actually not true at all.

I do have one major addiction however.  I am a soda junkie.  (I’ll wait for all the gasps of horror and murmurs of judgement from my readers to subside.)

Look I know the shit’s bad for me.  I drink it anyway.  I like it.  My usual beverage of choice is Coca Cola.  (Possibly the least healthy of all.)  But again, I like it.  No.  I love it.  There is not much of anything on Earth I enjoy more than an ice cold can of fizzy syrupy sugary goodness.  I love the taste.  I love the fizziness.  I love the acidic burn as it glides down my throat.  Ohhhh…Yeeeeah…

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My second favorite type of soda is store brand fruit sodas.

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For some reason, the more obscure and generic, the more delicious they are.  I particularly love going on out of state road trips, and purchasing store brand versions of all my favorite flavors from store chains I’ve never heard of.

There’s an Aldi just a couple minutes walk from my apartment, and they have a pretty good line of generic sodas with the very ambiguous brand name of Summit.  My favorites are grape, root beer, and orange.  (I generally don’t drink generic colas.  Probably because I love Coca Cola, and if I’m going to drink Cola, it’s going to be the Coca variety.)

So I picked up a 12 pack of Orange soda a couple days ago, which is something that I still get a little excited about whenever I decide to treat myself to it.  But as I prepared to put it in the fridge, I suddenly noticed something that froze my blood.  There was a label on the side of the box reading “Invisible Oranges!  New colorless formula!  Same Orange Taste!”  (It was a viscous pack of lies!)

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This shit ain’t right

I know what I want, and what I want is for my Orange soda to be ORANGE!!!  I want my Grape soda to be PURPLE!  I want my Root Beer soda to be BROWN!!!  I knew immediately who was behind this atrocity;  an evil entity known as “The Food Babe.”  Alternately known as Vani Hari, she is a self proclaimed “food expert” who did all her “food research” by immersing herself in such acclaimed sources as Wikipedia and Google search.  She is responsible for the brilliant saying “If you can’t pronounce the name of something: don’t eat it!”  (Her real agenda is to suck the joy out of everything good and unnatural in my world.)

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She has been largely discredited by the scientific community, yet she has still managed, mostly through the support of her giant herd of witless followers  (known as The Food Babe Army)  to have an influence on the food industry.  For instance, she already managed to ruin one of my favorite staples of childhood and adulthood alike:  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Remember that delicious nuclear yellow cheesy goodness?  Well keep on remembering, cause memory is all we have now. (sniff…sniff…Never…(sniff).. Forget…)

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Brightly colored food is fun and delicious!  It seems painfully obvious to me that food simply tastes better when it comes in bright glowing primary colors.  I don’t know about you, but I for one am not looking forward to the day when we get all our nourishment from tubes of colorless food paste.  They tried to pawn something like this off on us once before.  Remember Clear Pepsi? (That’s right you probably don’t.)

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Listen to me O ye of little faith.  The End of Days is nigh, and the fourth Horseman has reared it’s ugly head to glare down on us in judgement, and that fourth horseman’s name is Food Babe.

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The Cedar Point Chronicles (Part 4)

23 Aug

So another decade (and some change) goes by.  During that time I only get one opportunity to go to Cedar Point, and it’s as a chaperon for my little brother’s high school class.  (He was in 9th or 10th grade then, I don’t even know.)   As it turned out I didn’t end up riding on much of anything that day, not because I was scared of the rides (After all I’d more or less gotten over that.) but because it was miserably, unseasonably cold, and my dumbass hadn’t even bothered to wear a hoody!  I spent most of that day lingering around in the damn video game arcade, just like I had some twenty years prior, when I was too chickenshit to ride anything.  (See part 1 of this epic series in case you missed that one.)

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Wow. I paid 40 bucks to come in here, and pay more money to play video games. How. Awesome.

But then, around 2011, my buddy Mike invited me to come along with him and his family on their annual three day camping trip at Cedar Point.   I said “Hell YEAAAAAH!!!”  So I took a couple vacation days and piled into a mini van with him and his family (people I barely knew) and we were on our way to Cedar Point:  “The Amazement Park.”  (We drove down on a Thursday night, stopping at a grocery store on the edge of Sandusky for supplies.)  I purchased a case of beer, a half gallon of Smirnoff vodka, a half gallon of Kahlua, a gallon of milk, and some ice because nothing goes better with a hot summer weekend baking in the sun and walking on smoldering tarmac all day than beer and White Russians!  Can I get a “Right?”

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Thanks Dude!  So we get to the campground, which is on the peninsula with Cedar Point, just to the north of all the rides. (A place I’d never been.) We set up.  I’m introduced to the rest of Mike’s family and friends, and beers are consumed.  Eventually something like 20 people pile into the camper and go to sleep.  (Something I normally wouldn’t be down with at all, but fuck it:  CEDAR POINT BITCHES!!!!)

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Camping at Cedar Point, as it turned out is a completely different trip.  First of all, you can bring whatever food and beverage you want with you.  Second of all you get to enter the park a full hour before anyone else!  (Not all the rides are open that early, but some of them are.)  You also get to walk in through the back entrance, which is like having some sort of VIP pass or something.  And once you have your daily hand stamping you can just wander in and out of the park all day, completely at will.  (It was similar to having a season pass, but refuge is right there at the campground, which is only a short walk away from the park.)  And I’m NOT going to mention the fact that there are HOT scantily clad female types wandering around everywhere, because, after all I’m not a pervert.  (But there are.  You know.  If you like that sort of thing.)

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I was up and around quite a bit earlier than anyone else in the campground. (Which isn’t that unusual.)  So I went for a run along the beach.  There was nobody else around, and it was amazing peaceful, and maybe just a little bit surreal.  After that I took a shower in the public campsite bathing facility, which was not amazing.  In fact it was pretty gross, because there were dead bugs everywhere, but it was better than not showering, and by that time some of the other sleepy headed campers were getting up and around.

Breakfast was prepared and consumed.  Eventually people just sort of started heading in and out of the park in various groups, riding stuff, and then coming back out to the campsite whenever they felt like it.  This…was…GREAT!  In between short bursts of Cedar Point adventuring I would just hang out in a lawn chair, listening to tunes on my iPod, writing in my journal, and pounding drink after drink after drink.  (After drink after drink)

I went on all the usual old school rides throughout the day, whenever I could get someone to go with me, and I patiently sat and waited when whatever people I was with wanted to ride one of the “Big Kids” rides such as The Magnum or The Top Thrill Dragster, and was content to stick with all the older rides Linnea and I had ridden together over a decade earlier.   (I was used to those rides. They seemed safe, familiar, and fun.  I liked those rides.)  Oh and I probably ate some carnival food too. After all, someone once said something like “Man cannot live on Beer and White Russians alone.”  (And they very well may have been right.)

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But as the day progressed, and I made more and more trips back to the campsite for more booze, my fear level continued to decrease.  Towards the end of the night, an hour or so before the park was due to close, we were hanging around by the camper.  I suddenly announce, to everyone’s dumbfounded amazement:

“I’m ready to ride the Magnum.”

Mike jumps up and says:  “Let’s go!”  and he and I head back into the park.

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There was nobody in line, and we literally ran through the turnstiles and were being buckled into that colossal ride before I knew it.  (Remember the Magnum?  The 200 foot coaster with a nearly 90 degree drop I was so horrified by a mere 20 years earlier, when it first opened?  Well here I was on that motherfucker.  And let me tell you I felt absolutely NO fear.  (That’s the magic of liquor folks.)

It was AMAZING!  As we crawled up that giant 200 foot hill I said “Fuck it” and threw my hands straight up in the air.  Over we went.  WOOSH!!!!  It was actually kind of like that terrifying journey on the Cedar Creek Mine Ride 12 years earlier, but without the terror.  We rode it again right afterwards, then went back to the campground.  I had entered the park a boy, and left the park…a man!  (I have to admit was pretty damn proud of myself, and so was Suzie; Mike’s 8 year old niece, who had ridden the Magnum about a dozen times already that day.)

The next day progresses much as the first had.  In spite of all my drinking I got up earlier than anyone else.  (I do that.) I went for a run on the beach.  Have breakfast.  Start drinking.  Continue drinking.  In and out of the park all day.  Rode the Magnum again.  (Wow so much fun!)  The sky starts getting dark.  We’re hanging out at the campground.  I’m really REALLY fucking drunk.  I suddenly announce, to everyone’s dumbfounded amazement.

“I’m ready for the Millenium Force.

Mike says “Let’s go!”

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The Millennium Force was just being constructed at the time of Linnea and my final visit to Cedar Point together, and we often joked about how insane people simply had to be to ride something like that, and there was no way in hell either of us would ever do it.   At the time of it’s construction nothing had ever been built like it before.  It takes you up 300 feet, then drops you pretty much straight down.  Then it whips you right back up again another 200 feet (same height as the Magnum,) then around and over and up and down and around again at ridiculous speeds that will literally melt your face.

But I was ready for it.

And I’ll tell you what it was fucking AWESOME!!!  (I even put my arms up on the first drop, although they warn you not to, because your arms could literally be pulled out of their sockets by the insane g-forces involved.  I just didn’t care. I was that drunk.)

So I guess the moral of my story is that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.  Especially if you have copious amounts of liquor in you.  In which case FUCK IT!!!

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This guy said something like that once.  (But without the FUCK IT part.  I added that myself.  Pretty sure he was an alcoholic though.  I think you kind of have to be in order to be president of the United States, and he did it longer than anyone.)

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Not Necessarily NOT About Dinosaurs. (Or Anything Else.)

22 Aug

First off, for those of you anxiously awaiting the exciting conclusion of my “Cedar Point Chronicles” you’re just gonna have to wait one more day for it.  (Maybe even two.)  The thing is…something momentous happened today, and I absolutely have to write about it.  (And no I did not finally get laid.)  What I did do, however, after literally YEARS of procrastination, was take a nice leisurely stroll from my apartment all the way down to the University of Michigan Natural History Museum, (a grueling journey of about 35 minutes) and I did so mostly to check out the dinosaurs. That’s right; DINOSAURS!  (Remember the name of my blog, and my blogging handle? Yeah?…Do ya?… YEAH?)

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The Entryway to Prehistoric Amazement.

Before I take you into this incredible place with me, let me give you some background.  When I was a kid, in case you hadn’t figured it out by now, I was kind of into dinosaurs. Now I know exactly what you’re thinking:  Everyone was into dinosaurs when they were a kid!  (And you’re right) Here’s the thing though I am, and always have been, downright obsessive about the things I get into.  In fact I had myself, and everyone else, thorougholy convinced I was going to be a Paleontologist when I grew up, and to be honest I still haven’t completely given up on that dream. Plus my family encouraged this (and any other crazy notion I came up with, because you know what, I had a great fucking family.)

In addition to a great family I had all these books about dinosaurs! (And many more that I was unable to google search. In fact I still have a lot of them, but it turned out to be way easier to google search them than to actually physically dig them all out, assemble them, and photograph them.  Thank you once again Oh Great and Wondrous Internet!)

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I had toys.  Mostly in the form of these little red green and yellow plastic dinosaurs that came in a bag which could be purchased from the “toy aisle” of any local grocery store. I absolutely loved these things, and my mom would buy them for me pretty much any time we went there, (because, truth be told, I was a spoiled little shit) yet somehow I don’t currently have any of these early, simple dinosaur toys in my collection!  (which is a situation I would like to remedy someday soon.)

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Another thing my mom bought me, and more than once I might add, was this specific coloring book.  For some reason I REALLY loved this particular one, and must have completely colored it in at least three times.  Mom was always willing to buy me another copy, usually accompanied with a fresh box of crayolas.  Oh that delicious smell!!!  (The smell of Paleontology.) Dinosaurs1As if all the preceding encouragements weren’t enough, back then we had this incredible special effects extravaganza, right on our television sets, called The Land of the Lost.  (And no it did not have Will Ferrel in it.)

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Marshall, Will and Holly, on a routine expedition…(ok I’ll stop now.)

One magical day my Aunt Jeanine took me and a few of my cousins to Ann Arbor, a place I’d never been, to visit the University of Michigan Natural History Museum, or as I like to call it (to this day) “The Dinosaur Museum.”  This took place, by my estimation,  about 34 years ago which would have placed me at around 7 years of age.  It was a simply wondrous day, so much so that it cemented itself in my memory throughout my entire life thus far. On that glorious day I saw real life dinosaur bones, a ton of cool dioramas. (and I mean for REAL dioramas.) and my aunt even bought me an actual Dinosaur fossil from the gift shop!  (It’s an Apatosaurus claw, and I still have it somewhere.)

But perhaps the most exciting part of the day was after we’d left the museum, and Aunt Jeanine was walking us through downtown Ann Arbor, seeking a lunch place.  I was kind of terrified, wondering what sorts of bizarre cuisine my rather fancy-lad Aunt might be preparing to subject us to, when suddenly we rounded an unexpected corner, and there, in the midst of all these weird restaurants with names I couldn’t pronounce, was the comforting sight of the Golden Arches! (In stained glass window form)

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This is in fact the exact stained glass window from the legendary two story downtown Ann Arbor McDonald’s. The restaurant no longer exists, and apparently neither do any pictures of it. But it was real. (I swear on my mom’s box of cremated remains, which are sitting on a shelf in my living room, also occupied by a few dinosaur and Star Wars toys. ) 

And that is all I remember about that glorious day.  So let me bring it all full circle back to this glorious day.  (I promise the vast majority of the rest of the blog will be in picture form.)

I can sum it all up pretty quickly.  The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History fucking ROCKS.  (Check it out.)

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And of course, if you haven’t figured me out by now, there was no way I was leaving that place without paying a visit to the Museum Gift Shop, where I bought these glow in the dark dinosaurs.  (Because I don’t have nearly enough glow in the dark stuff in my room yet, which you will find out about as soon as I get around to posting the blog entitled “A Tour of My Place.”

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And THIS: Charles Darwin himself, evolved into plush toy form.  The Patron Saint of Evolutionary Theory.  (I used that joke on my Facebook page already, but I do what I want, just like that honey badger fellow.)

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And last but not least, without further ado, is the running beer count.  (I’m rounding the bend.)

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The Cedar Point Chronicles Part 3

21 Aug

Getting Season Passes to Cedar Point did in fact turn out to be a great idea, and has gone down in history (for me at least) as possibly the best summer of my life.  (Which isn’t too hard really, considering I generally dread summer.)  That summer, however was AMAZING.

There turned out to be a lot of reasons why having season passes totally rocked, some of which we hadn’t really considered.  The first was, obviously, it was relatively cheap.  The passes cost us 109 dollars each, and although we only used them 10 times and 9 times respectively (Linnea was unable to join me one week because of a family gathering or some such nonsense, so I took my little brothers with me instead.) we definitely got our money’s worth.  A single day’s admission at that time was around 35 dollars.  Plus, if we’d wanted to, (and didn’t have to be bothered with such things as “jobs” or “lives outside of going to Amusement Parks”) we damn well could have went there every day.  (That would have topped out at about a dollar per visit!)

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Normally, when one goes to an amusement park, the idea is to get up at the crack of dawn, hustle down to the place at the earliest possible time, drive down like a maniac and spend the entire day within the confines of the park, squeezing every last ounce of enjoyment out of the day.  We, however, had season passes, and we knew we were going to be back again the next week, so it took some of the pressure off of having to make sure we got the most out of every visit.

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We developed a pretty steadfast routine.  I’d pick Linnea up from her house around 8.  We’d mosey on down the road in no big hurry, swinging through McDonald’s in a little town called Dundee (around 9) for hash browns and fountain cokes (because of our weekly tradition from that magical summer I still associate those golden brown grease sponges with Cedar Point) arrive at the park around 10, make one pass through our usual circuit of rides, and then get the hell out of there before the noonday crowds and heat started making the place practically unbearable.

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Fuck. This. Shit.

It wasn’t actually until after our first couple of visits that one of us came up with the novel idea of spending the middle part of our day exploring the rest of Sandusky, then returning to the park for another round,  and it was usually a lot cooler and a little less crowded in the late afternoon, early evening portion of the day.   We did a lot of cool stuff there.  We usually had dinner at a different place every week (and it was always cheaper than inside the park) We checked out the mall, we went mini golfing, and we went to a few movies, including Chicken Run, The Crew, and Me Myself and Irene.  (I know there was one other, but I can’t recall it right now.)

Our weekly routine never varied much, so I’ll regale you with a few of the funnier incidents that took place that summer.

The First Parking Lot Incident.

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Our first day back to Cedar Point we were so excited we literally jumped out of the car and sprinted towards the front gate.  (Much like The Griswolds upon arrival at Wally World.)  That first day we did in fact stay in the park the whole day, having a hell of a great time.  It wasn’t until we walked back out near the end of the night that we realized, to our horror, neither of us had paid the slightest bit of attention to where we parked.  It took us…an hour… to find my car.  (A whole. fucking. HOUR.)

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The Second Parking Lot Incident

The first thing you have to understand about this story is the car I had at that time was a convertible, and usually, if the weather was nice, we drove into the park with the top down.  The second thing you have to understand about this story is Linnea and I used to make these mix tapes together for our weekly road trips, pulling songs from my massive collection of cds, records, cassette tapes, and sometimes Linnea would bring over a few selections of her own to throw into the mixes.  We would hang out late into the night, taking turns putting songs on these 2 hour tapes, and it got to be sort of a contest to see who would put the weirdest shit on them, and there was virtually nothing off limits.  One day, as we pulled into the park one of my own favorite tunes was playing and I had turned it up pretty loud.  (There’s a pretty good chance it was Message in a Bottle by the Police, a song I still crank up even now.)  As we sidled into a spot, right next to a perfectly normal looking family piling out of a big station wagon, my selection fades away and Linnea’s comes blasting through the speakers.  Zippadee Doo Da.  (Zippadee Fucking Doo Da.)   I quickly turned the music down, but not before the entire family was staring at us like we were lunatics.   (I can’t make this shit up.)

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Pipe down Uncle Remus. There’s normal people around here.

The Greatest Gag Ever Orchestrated (By Me) 

At some point it occurred to me that my friend Sean Seger lived just a little way off the path of our usual route to Sandusky.  (This was a guy I’ve known since 4th grade, and Linnea had come to know him pretty well too, through her friendship with me) I called him up to see if he and his wife would like to join us on our weekly trip, and he said “Hell yeah!”  I didn’t utter a word of this exciting news to Linnea.  I simply charted a path out that would take us right by Sean’s house, which just happened to be in the middle of an area that looked a lot like the area Children of the Corn was filmed in.

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All hail He Who Walks Behind The Rows!

As we cruised further and further off the beaten path, down a disturbingly straight path through corn row after corn row, Linnea began to express some concern.

L: “Where are we going?”

D:  “Oh I figured out a new shortcut!”

L: “Ooohhh…kaay?”  (Always the skeptic.)

Shortly before we arrived at our destination, I admit.  “Ummm, I think I may have fucked up.  Look I’m just going to stop at this house here and ask for directions.”

The look of terror on her face was priceless.

“You’re just going to walk up to a complete stranger’s door and ask for directions?!?  Have you lost your mind?!?”

“Oh come on, Nothing out here but perfectly friendly, simple country folk.”  As soon as I exited the vehicle, I’m pretty sure I heard the click of the car doors locking behind me.

I knock on the door.  Sean answers it.  (I’ve made sure my body is blocking Linnea’s view of who is at the door.)  I let Sean in on the gag, and tell him I’m gonna milk it a little more.  He laughs, and goes back into the house to get his wife.  I return to the car.

“Wow, this is so crazy, these folks just happened to be going to Cedar Point today too, so I invited them to just ride along with us!  Can you believe it?”

“You…can’t… be serious.”  The look of pure horror on her face was killing me, but still I somehow managed to keep a straight face.  After a few minutes Sean and Cindy exited the house, and the gag was revealed.  We all laughed and laughed the rest of the way to Cedar Point.  (And had a great time at the park too, I might add.)

The Mean Streak

The plan had always been to attempt to add one more ride to our itinerary every week.  We figured our courage would grow a little with each subsequent visit and by the end of the summer we’d be old hands at riding everything in the park.  Alas we were only able to convince ourselves to get on one additional coaster.  It was The Mean Streak; a COLOSSAL wooden roller coaster much bigger, much taller, much faster, and much MUCH more shaky then the Gemini.

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We both enjoyed the ride, but agreed it was only ridable once per visit.  (That thing shakes you up like nobody’s business, and there was almost always puke on the stairs leading away from it.  Never ours thankfully.)

I actually have (somewhere) a picture of us on that ride, but I can’t find it right now, so instead here’s a picture of some tiny kittens inside some tiny tea cups.  Enjoy it while it lasts, because as soon as I find the photo I wanted to post here, these kittens will be lost forever.

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And here’s the only other photographic evidence I have of “The Summer of the Season Passes.” One day we decided to get our pictures taken in “Old West Garb.”  (There’s all kinds of cool shit you can do at Cedar Point, aside from riding roller coasters)

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And there’s one other hilarious story to plug in here:

The Time We Got Bored With Cedar Point and Decided to Go Hang Out In Grand Rapids Instead,

Which I’ve decided to save for another blog all it’s own.

Eventually the “Summer of the Season Passes” came to a close.  It was to be the last time Linnea and I would go to Cedar Point together, as she eventually grew up, got a real job and a family, whereas I am determined to avoid doing any of those ghastly things until i am at least 70.  (or so.)

My adventures at Cedar Point actually have one more chapter, which could be entitled “Camping, Drinking, and Gettin’ CRAZY At Cedar Point”  but will most likely be entitled, simply The Cedar Point Chronicles Part 4; and for that exciting conclusion to this long winded tale you’ll have to wait one more day.

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I know, I’m falling behind.  But the night is still young, and I still got a couple more days of this so called “Vacation.”

The Cedar Point Chronicles Part Two

20 Aug

So here we are at Cedar Point.  It’s HOT (My absolute least favorite type of weather.)  I’m slightly irritated from the “Turnpike Incident” and we both have to use the restroom.  I’m in and out of there first of course (that’s a guy thing) and while I’m waiting patiently on a bench outside,  pondering this terrifying predicament I’ve somehow gotten myself into I see this little kid making a MAD dash for the facilities.  It’s obvious from the look on his green face what is about to happen, and people are getting out of his way as quick as they can, left and right.

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The poor guy doesn’t…quite…make it.  A veritable vomit volcano explodes out of this little kid just a few feet from the door to the restrooms, splattering everywhere and I’m pretty sure a couple of the unfortunate bystanders have taken some shrapnel.    I’ve only been in the park for two minutes so far and this is what I’ve witnessed.  “Amusement” Park my ass.  If this is the sort of thing that’s going to go on all day, I’m gonna need a drink immediately, and as soon as Linnea rejoins me I let her know.  “Drinks first, then rides.”  (She’s OK with that.)

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It had a different name then, but this is the place

We went to the first place we found that served drinks, an “Old West Style Saloon” near the entrance to the park.  The liquid courage begins to flow.  Linnea has something to eat.  (I’ve decided it’s a liquid diet for me all day) and eventually, after as many beers as I can slurp down in the time it takes her to finish her lunch, she’s ready to head out in search of our first roller coaster. (I, on the other hand, am not ready, and could have used 7 or 8 more beers, but I know I’m going to have to get this over with.  It would have been nice if Cedar Point served hard liquor, but they didn’t.)

We make one full circuit through the park.  I’m stalling.  I’m looking up at all these monolithic rides, and each one seems more terrifying than the last.  We begin to make a second circuit.  (I’m really stalling.) Eventually the inevitable happens.  Linnea asks:  “Are we ever actually going to ride anything?” The time had come.  The moment of truth.  There could be no more putting off my fearsome fate.  I was getting on a ride whether I wanted to or not.

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This sign may as well have said “This Way to An Extremely Terrifying and Painful Demise.”

Of all the roller coasters we’d passed, one called the Cedar Creek Mine Ride seems the least daunting.  I point it out and say, “How about we start with this?”  Linnea says she loves that ride, so we cheerfully enter the line to our certain doom.  We weave our way through an endless zig zagging line of people for what seems like an eternity, and here again was that feeling that I was on my way to my execution.  On the other side of the metal dividers and turnstiles I see tiny children and little old ladies, and not a single one of them look to be in the least bit worried about getting on this rickety looking death trap.  Only me.  The 25 year old, full grown coward.

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Eventually, we climb into our death car.  My heart is threatening to beat it’s way out of my chest.  I’ve broken out in a cold sweat.  My knees would probably be shaking, but we’re crammed into our little compartment so tightly there’s not enough room for that.  We put on our pathetic little seat belts, as if they’re going to save us.  We pull our lap bar down, and it doesn’t really seem like it’s locked in place, but the bored looking ride attendant who comes by to “test” it by giving it a short, bored little pull doesn’t seem to notice and the train starts to move.  There is no fanfare.  There are no last words.  This is how my measly 25 years on Earth is going to come to an end, not with a whimper but screaming.  Terrified blood curdling screaming.

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Our train whizzes through a little building, then comes around a curve and starts the slow climb up the terrifying first hill.  Click….Click….Click….Click…Click…. Up and up we go.  People on the ground look like ants to me as we climb to the dizzying height of, something like 40 feet!   It seems like we are climbing that hill forever.

Click…Click…Click…Click

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The “terrifying” first drop on the Cedar Creek Mine Ride

Click…Click…Click…Click…

And then suddenly, without warning: WHOOSH!!!  We’re over the edge.  Our train races through the rest of the ride in a matter of minutes.  It swoops down over the water, (which I’m certain is made from the tears of the dead) back up into the air, and then down again.  At the end of the ride it shoots down this death defying triple spiral at which point I was convinced I would be dumped out of the alarmingly unrestricting side our car.

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The horror….The HORROR…

And suddenly, just like that…we’re back where we started.  The lap bars are released.  We’re being told by the bored looking ride attendants to exit the trains to the right side, and thank you for riding the Cedar Creek Mine Ride.  As we clamber out of the train I glance at Linnea who doesn’t seem to have even the faintest idea how close to death we have just come.   In fact, she seems… bored.  As I walk down the ramp leading away from the ride, my legs are wobbling, my heart is still racing, but all my parts are still intact. I’m alive!  I’ve somehow survived this horrifying ordeal, and in spite of everything, I have to admit,  I kind of want to do it again, but first I need more drinks.

The rest of that day we spent going on ride after ride, interspersed with stops at various “bars” so I could continue my consumption of alcoholic beverages.  It did in fact help somewhat, and I was able to go on several coasters even more daunting than The Cedar Creek Mine Ride.

Like The Wildcat.

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And directly across from there, The Iron Dragon.  This one was actually pretty scary the first time I rode it.  The cars swing from side to side as you glide over water and between the support beams of the ride.  I got over the fear when I began to imagine I was piloting an X-Wing through the trenches of The Death Star.

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The Blue Streak.  The oldest coaster in the park, and now one of my favorites.

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Disaster Transport.  A really cool indoor roller coaster, the premise of which is you are being transported through the earth to come out on the other side.  During some of the twists and turns on this coaster it was completely dark.  Unfortunately they tore this down last year to make way for some crappy new ride that I will probably never get on.

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And finally, the coup de grace.  After a whole day of downing beers, I was ready to try a real ride. A ride that made the Cedar Creek Mine ride look like a kiddie ride at the local carnival.  The gigantic, 180 foot tall, twin train…Gemini.

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By the end of the day I was having a rip roaring good time, and didn’t want to leave.  Linnea was the perfect Cedar Point buddy for me, because  these were pretty much the only rides she would go on, and she had been very patient with me while I built up my alcohol level enough to step foot on these terrifying monstrosities.  Another good thing about sticking to the older coasters is you don’t usually have to wait all day to get on them.  The lines for them are exponentially shorter and move quickly.

Now, at long last I knew what I had been missing out on all my life.

We went one more time that summer, and during the long cold winter in between, I came up with a brilliant plan.  Next year she and I would buy season passes for ourselves, and with them we could go back to Cedar Point once every week!  She said that sounded like an excellent idea.

Stay tuned for part 3:  The Summer of the Season Passes!

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The Cedar Point Chronicles (Part One)

19 Aug

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a complete and total coward.  When I was little, everything terrified me.  Bullies, dogs, monsters, slow moving cargo vans with tinted windows, tornadoes, Popsicle sticks covered with ants and of course let’s not forget the imminent arrival of “World War 3,” which we were told was going to be with the evil “Communists.”  (I’m planning to write an entire post about just that subject.  One of these days.  If I get around to it.  Which I probably won’t, by the way.)

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This kind of shit didn’t help.

Over time most of these fears were self identified as irrational and faded away.  For instance, I really never got bullied, I was never abducted by a serial killer in a cargo van, (not that it doesn’t happen, but it never happened to me) ants are pretty much just ants,  the alleged threat of “War with the Evil Communists” I eventually came to the conclusion was mostly just propaganda meant to keep all the little slaves afraid and working for Big Brother (again, more on that later,) and monsters are really just bizarre looking animals we haven’t discovered yet, and mostly live in the deepest parts of the ocean, which is somewhere I seriously doubt I will ever go.

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Goblin Sharks.  They’re down there.  Waiting for your soul.

There is one fear I have always had that still remains.  I am intensely afraid of heights.  More specifically I am afraid of falling from great heights.  (Or even moderate heights.)  This of course is not an irrational fear!  Falling from a great height would hurt bad, probably even kill you.  Not only that you would have a little time to ponder your imminent fate before you hit the ground, and there’s a good chance the last thing you would feel, besides unimaginable terror, is a split second of intense agonizing pain as your body exploded all over the ground.

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I never thought this was funny. Not even a little.

This fear goes back deep into my childhood, and when my mom took me to the fair, I only rode the kiddie rides, and even some of those rides scared the shit out of me.  For a long time I didn’t even like being on the second floor of a house!  (That particular fear did subside somewhat by the time I got into kindergarten, and had gone away completely by the time I got to 2nd grade.)

Up through high school I had the opportunity to go to a place called Cedar Point a couple of times. Once with some kids I used to babysit for and their mom, and once again in high school band. (I played Trombone by the way.)

Cedar Point, for the uninformed, is THE greatest amusement park on earth.

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I know you’re probably thinking, what about those Disney places or Universal Studios?  Well. those are theme parks.  Cedar Point is mostly just a place full of mind blowing, cutting edge rides. A peninsula jutting out onto Lake Erie that is filled with one crazy ride after another, admittedly interspersed with vendor stands featuring ridiculously over priced junk food and trinketry.  But mostly it is just rides.  (Also fuck Disney-world.  It’s in Florida.  And fuck Disneyland.  It’s in California.)

Both of those early times I went to Cedar Point I spent most of my day hanging out in a place called Bernstain Bear Land, the Reptile Zoo (which they don’t even have anymore) the video game arcade, and basically anything else that would save me from the terrors of riding on any of those gigantic roller coasters that looked pretty much to me like instant death.

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During the high school band trip I somehow managed to summon the courage to get on something called “The Canoe Ride” which did in fact feature a horrifying 50 foot drop down a water slide.  I rode it over and over again all day, and felt like a real trooper about it.  Meanwhile, many of my peers were riding The Magnum, a brand new ride which featured a 200 foot, pretty much 90 degree drop, and was, in fact, at the time, the tallest coaster in the world.  (I was having NO part of that shit, let me tell you.)

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The Canoe Ride vs. The Magnum.  Nuff Said!

Fast forward some ten years.  My best friend at that time, a girl named Linnea, asked me if I wanted to go to Cedar Point with her.  Hmmmmm.  I hadn’t been to Cedar Point since LONG before I was of drinking age, and now that I had lived long enough to achieve that privilege, I figured there was a pretty good chance, with enough liquid courage, I might actually be inclined to ride one of those daunting coasters that had so mocked me in my youth.  Plus Linnea had assured me she had a certain ride threshold herself, and would only go on some of the more mild coasters, and absolutely nothing that went upside down.  (The whole thing seemed pretty legit.)

Yet there was an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach that warm summer day as I drove us towards Sandusky Ohio. Sandusky’s only about a 2 hour drive from Jackson, Michigan where she and I both lived at the time.  Or should have been.  An unfortunate misdirect on the Ohio Turnpike added an extra couple hours to our journey, not to mention an extra bite out of my wallet, since the Ohio Turnpike is a road that is apparently considered so incredibly amazing they actually charge you to drive on it!  By the mile! And we’d been on it so long we were almost in Pennsylvania before I realized we’d missed our exit long… long ago, and had to turn around and drive all the way back down that same damn turnpike for another hour to get to the so called Amusement park.  (There was no amusement involved in that shameful drive.)

Pa._Welcome_sign_SR_219_McKean_County

So eventually we arrive at Cedar Point.   We walk through the front gate.  My knees are trembling.  What had I gotten myself into?

CedarPointmainentrance3

Welcome to Hell. Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.

I’m staring up at all these monolithic rides which I had convinced myself, the whole drive out here, couldn’t have been as tall as I remembered, and indeed they weren’t. They were taller.  They were much…much…taller.  And I knew I wasn’t getting out of it this time.   Somehow or another, I was going to have to get on one of these ridiculous looking roller coasters.  I couldn’t possibly disappoint Linnea. I couldn’t possibly cop out now, and have to drive us all the way back to Jackson with my head hung in shame the whole way.  This was gonna happen!  There was nothing I could do about it.  I felt like a convicted murderer on his way to the gas chamber.

What…the fuck… had I gotten myself into?

To be continued….

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AlyZen Moonshadow

The words and works of AlyZen Moonshadow, digital mixed media photography artist, designer, musician, poet, philosopher, mother, muse, Goddess!

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AlyZen Moonshadow

The words and works of AlyZen Moonshadow, digital mixed media photography artist, designer, musician, poet, philosopher, mother, muse, Goddess!

Are You Finished Yet?

I like to write about stuff. I usually try to be funny. Take it or leave it.

Michael's Origins

Sherlock unlocking the past

anewperspectiveperhaps

This site is about everything from my philosophy on life to the little things that make me laugh. IIt is about living, and breathing, and pausing long enough to take it all in. I hope it makes you laugh, sometimes makes you cry, but always makes you want to come back for another visit. It is your words, and your likes that inspire me to keep writing. And it is through my writing that you have a very large window to my soul. Relax awhile, read, and enjoy!

Be Free 2 Love

Soaring through Life, Love, & Happiness: One story at time.

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La vie est belle !

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