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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

yeah. oh, and there will be a little bit of swearing today. just so you know.

so, it’s been kinda hot here in the northwest. z, mr sparkles and myself decided to visit a place called wild waves, located about two-and-a-half hours north of home base. to be more specific, i said, hey, let’s go to a winery. mr sparkles said, i kinda want to get wet. i said, what about that place off I-5 in washington? he looked it up online, and we bought tickets.

now, this is important. i asked mr sparkles, do they have their hours of operation on the site? just check to make sure they’re open and everything. he said, yeah yeah. of course they are.

that’s called foreshadowing.

anyway, we buy three tickets for saturday. we drive up to beautiful federal way, washington. which really is a beautiful area. we get there around three in the afternoon, because it’s freakin’ saturday and, as a group, we decided to sleep in. we manage to get off the freeway and find our way to the entrance. which is no small feat. because, even though you can see the park from the freeway, there are no signs. there’s no real easy way to get from point A to point B. we end up driving through a residential area, with z and mr sparkles in the front seat going, should we just pull over and knock on someone’s door? then there’s me in the back, with my knitting, saying, it’s gotta be a few more blocks that way, and pointing. i’m right, but still. there really should be signs.

so. we get there, we pull up to the parking kiosk. where we’re told the park is closed for a private function.

awesome!

basically, according to the parking dude (who is maybe 16, and acne is fighting world war III on the kid’s face. mean, yes, but i’m still a little bitter about all this), a church organization has rented the entire park for an event, and we have to have special tickets. meaning, we’d have to buy new tickets. we can still come in, but the tickets we’ve already bought are not valid for this special event. parking dude said the event is listed on the calendar on the website.

i reach over and hit mr sparkles. i told you to check, i said.

we’ve come all this way, so we park. we go up to the ticket booth. there’s a lady standing there with a bunch of tickets. she tells me she just has too many, and will gladly sell us three of them. we buy them and head in. our tickets bought online were $35 per. the tickets from the very nice lady – whom i referred to as “a scalper for christ” – were only $20 per. not as bad, but still. we’re still grumbling a little while we walk over to a roller coaster and get in line. we ride the roller coaster, and it’s awesome. as we’re getting off, we notice the ride is shutting down. mr sparkles goes over and asks one of the roller dudes why it’s closing. roller dude says, oh, all the rides are closing in 15 minutes for the bands.

i… we… wait, what? closing the park for jesus time? what?

yeah, he says. the church group brought all these christian bands, and they’re gonna play for the next four hours. so, they’re closing all the rides. he shrugs. the church paid a lot of money to do this, so that’s what they’re doing.

we drove nearly three hours and paid $55 to ride one roller coaster.

upset is too bland a word for how we felt. mr sparkles stalked off to find a smoking area, while z and i headed to guest services. i let her yell at some poor lady behind a desk while i sat outside watching people. the jesus people seemed to have no concept of personal space. they’d walk by, and step on my feet. it’s not like i have super long legs, or i was stretched out across the walkway. i’m pretty much short and visually unobtrusive. and yet… i was trampled.

also? i try really hard not to judge people’s bodies. we have too many body issue-related diseases and disorders in this culture of ours for me to be casually making fun of someone’s thighs, you know? however. i believe there should be some common sense. like, if you can’t see your toes, maybe you shouldn’t be wearing a string bikini.

i’m just saying, is all.

so, z vents her frustrations, and gets free passes for us to come again. no apology, no real refund. on the plus side, z’s buying our passes from us, and taking her kids on another weekend. they’ll totally enjoy it. and while i’d kind of like to go another time, i feel a little burned by the jesus people. and yeah, on the way back to the car, i said, dudes, jesus ruined our saturday.

and yet, that’s not the end of the story.

getting back on the freeway is even more complicated than getting off the freeway. we drive around looking for an onramp going north or south. there is nothing we can see. there are no signs to suggest there are ways of getting on the freeway. we’re driving around a little burg called milton. parallel to the freeway, but not on the freeway. adjacent to and in the vicinity of the freeway, but not actually bisecting the freeway. finally, there are signs when we drive further south and leave the town of milton altogether. we’re sitting at the light, talking about the amazing lack of onramps or even helpful arrows. from the backseat, i say, fuck milton in the ass.

we all laugh.

if i were inclined to find a silver lining in all this – and i sorta am – then i’d have to say that i got some great one liners out of the whole escapade. and i got some knitting done. as i’m sitting here, i’m fighting the urge to head over to zazzle and make shirts that say,’ jesus ruined my saturday’ (the graphic would have to be a little cartoon puppy with sad eyes), and ‘fuck milton in the ass’ (as long as i’m going to hell here, this one would have to have a giant fist on it. maybe a fist with a freeway sign).

and that’s how jesus ruined my saturday. thanks for stopping by.

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so, i’m typing from southern california.

hi!

my day started out just awful. i got to the check in counter one minute past their baggage check deadline, and they refused to check my bag (seriously? i was 50 minutes early. i hate you, united airlines). so, i have to carry on my bag. because i wasn’t expecting to carry my bag onto the plane with me, i had soap and lotion and all the little assorted things you take with you when you leave your room. not only do most of my toiletries get confiscated (i should have just burned a $50 bill), but i get searched. like, bodily searched. like, with the little hand wand and a full pat-down.

also? when we landed at LAX, we were 15 minutes early. that annoyed me to no end. i could have checked my damn bag if we were so ahead of schedule.

anyway. worst flight experience in quite awhile for me.

but, ye gods bless moi. she not only took me to a lovely yarn store, but we swung by giant robot. which is honestly one of the coolest shops in the history of the ever ever if you’re a geeky dork. such as we are. anyway, we each made silly purchases. but, we had an honest-to-goodness snort over this:

sure he's happy.

sure he's happy.

yeah, it looks like a random alien toy. but check the closeup:

insert your own dorky joke here.

insert your own dorky joke here.

in lieu of a wang, the alien has this. an on/ off switch. which – let’s face it – is standard in human males also. and don’t ask me what it did when the switch was… er… toggled. this one didn’t have batteries, so we don’t know.

we saw a little anger:

he wants to eat my intestines.

he wants to eat my intestines.

and… well, i’m speechless.

bananas gone wild! yeah, those are nanners in stockings.

bananas gone wild! yeah, those are nanners in stockings.

the japanese are an unusual people. i must join them immediately.

i just won’t fly united to get to them. united asshats, if you ask me.

thanks for stopping by.

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i have a few separate things to talk about, and none of them really match. so, i’m going to mash everything together and hope for the best.

#1- i went to the aquarium saturday. it was a lovely day, and i kinda wish i lived at the aquarium. any aquarium, i guess, but specifically this aquarium. where they have a special exhibit of weird-looking critters.

#2- i went to the doctor this morning. i’ll be having an MRI on tuesday.

#3- i went out to dinner this evening with a nurse i work with. we don’t see each other often, but we seem to get the same buttons pushed in the same sequence, if that makes sense.

i am fascinated with jellyfish

i am fascinated with jellyfish

the place we had dinner at was one of those salad buffet kind of places. the salads aren’t boring, and they have fabulous soup and cornbread. but… well, i don’t know when this started, this salad buffet thing. i know buffets exist, and i know salad bars exist. i just don’t remember when the entire buffet was leafy greens, you know? and really, i’ve only noticed them in the pacific northwest. i’m sure they thrive in many other climates. i don’t know. it’s just kooky. in a good way.

this place was totally packed. we lucked out and got a booth, my nurse friend and i. my salad was wonderful, and the soup i followed it up with was the bomb. it was corn chowder with bacon, and this place has the soups set up next to this build-your-own-potato bar thinger. i scored some bacon bits to slap atop my soup, which i think was what put the soup over the edge.

the potato bar – which sounds like the kind of place that would have an amazing karaoke night – had all its condiments labeled, and the one that caught my eye was the marshmallow whipped cream. i wish i had a picture of this to show you all, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. i did not taste it. i couldn’t even bring myself to touch the spoon sticking out of it. just staring at the label seemed to deliver sugar straight to my bloodstream. i went back to our booth, and told my friend, dude, you have to go check out the whip cream. which is a weird thing to say to your dining partner in the best of circumstances. she went and had a gander, then she came back to tell me she was scared of such a thing.

yeah, it’s only marshmallow whip cream. it’s not armageddon, or flash fried crickets or anything like that. but still.

it just doesn't look real. but it swims crazy fast

it just doesn't look real. but it swims crazy fast

you also overhear strange things in a place like that. while i was up getting that phenom soup, i overhead a woman talking to her uncle, or some male relative. they were discussing the upcoming wedding, and she was really upset because her hairdresser had cancelled her appointment because she had pneumonia. the woman was saying, i mean, it’s my hair on my big day. surely she can drag herself out of bed for that. i don’t want some random woman touching my head, you know?

i really wanted to throw my soup at this woman. she had very strange hair. it was streaked blond and black, and neither really seemed to be dominant on her head. when we were walking out of the dining room, we saw the woman with a large party of people. i would assume her wedding is happening in a few days, and these are the relatives that have gathered thus far. a few tables over, my friend pointed out one of the cutest babies ever. she has a thing for newborns, and she nudged me and said, that one looks pretty fresh. he was cute, chubby, and unwrinkled. his eyes were huge, and he kept sweeping them about the room over his dad’s shoulder. the whole language was, i was fine where i was. why did mom push me out here? who are these people? what’s wrong with that woman’s hair?

that kid was a bundle of cute, i tell you.

hagfish. aka slime eel. they generate gallons of snot. no joke.

hagfish. aka slime eel. they generate gallons of snot. no joke.

this morning, i went to the doctor because of shoulder pain. it’s been an ongoing problem, and one my prior doctor didn’t take seriously. she would tell me to not sleep on that side, and that was about it. it’s not a huge deal most of the time, but recently the pain has gotten worse. it has also gone from being a right-shoulder-only problem to involving both shoulders. also also, i have had tingling in both hands. like, when you sit on your foot, and it falls asleep. pins and needles. which in itself is not a big deal, like i said. but since i rely on my fingers to palpate for veins and such, it’s becoming a big deal. my new doctor – whom i really like, because he makes eye contact, makes sense, and knows how to spell and order lab tests correctly (these things are a big deal when you work at the same place you rely on for healthcare) – did some minor poking and prodding at me. i mean, really minor. squeezed my shoulders, nudged some nerve/ pressure points in my wrists, that sort of thing.

i don't know what it's called, but it was cool looking

i don't know what it's called, but it was cool looking

here’s the problem. my hands still hurt, and that was over 12 hours ago. my shoulders are crazy achy, and in particular my left thumb hurts quite a bit. it was pretty immobile for the majority of the day. when we were driving to dinner, my friend said it looked like i was trying to pull apart a rusty hinge, because i kept stretching the joint that connects my thumb to my hand. i was showing her how little i could move it, and it’s really uncomfortable. even now, typing is a little weird, because i’m trying not to move my thumb.

he asked me if i was stretching on a regular basis, and i said i’d been going to yoga class once or twice a week. he asked if i was taking any anti-inflammatories, and i told him about the pm pain reliever i have to take at night so i can sleep.

anyway. we scheduled an MRI, which is kinda cool because i don’t think i’ve ever had an MRI before. while he’s clacking away on the computer, my doctor says casually, yeah, once we have a look at your neck, we’ll know more about what’s going on. hopefully we can find a non-invasive solution.

which is another reason why my new doctor is awesome. i’ve only met with him two times, but each time he was all about the simplest plan of action. if he can avoid giving me a prescription, he will. it has a lot to do, i’m sure, with him looking at my medical history, looking at what i’ve been through thus far, and maybe making things easier for me. i actually interviewed a few doctors before i chose a new primary last year, which is something everyone should do, but almost no one wants to do. he told me on my pre-visit that if i want hollistic, he’s my guy. if i want a laundry list of prescriptions, and lots of labwork, maybe i should find someone else. which i am on board with.

so, when he casually said non-invasive, i thought, you mean, there may have to be an invasive solution? i’ve had surgery, but i’m not a fan. anaesthetic gives me nightmares, and i have a really hard time waking up. i tend to have a pre-knockout freakout, which doesn’t help matters. in general, i’m not a fan of being opened up again. even if it is in a new and exciting location.

can you spot the seaponies?

can you spot the seaponies?

so, an MRI. on one hand, i’m kinda excited to have that done, because it’ll be interesting, and it may help me help other people in the long run. i’m hoping they’ll find an answer to the issues i’m having, because that would be great. i’m curious if they’ll be able to tell if my scoliosis has progressed any since my last x-ray, which was forever ago. on the other hand, i’m a little worried that they WILL find something. maybe all my time as a human punching bag so long ago damaged the cartilage in my shoulders, and now it’s getting to the point where my circulation is being affected.

i’d also love to be told, oh, no big deal, go see a chiropractor. get more massages. go to more yoga classes. take more vitamin B, and sit up straight.

you realize, of course, that this impedes my ability to knit.

i know it doesn't look like much, but this eel was bigger than a good sized dog

i know it doesn't look like much, but this eel was bigger than a good sized dog

crap.

at least this flirty sea otter will still love me

at least this flirty sea otter will still love me

thanks for stopping by.

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hm.

i’m sitting on the floor. the floor of the terminal. the terminal in sacramento, california. shoes off, for reasons that escape me. and my plane, which was supposed to be leaving in about 45 minutes (i’m totally one of those people that insist on getting to the airport at least an hour early, because i’ve nearly missed my plane enough times to be neurotic about it), is now not gonna leave for almost double that.

thank christ and the airport authority for the wifi. i loathe hurrying up to wait, i tell you what.

so, i was just visiting my parents for thanksgiving. and usually, i try to have a list of things to be thankful for. this year, they seem to revolve around not living near my parents. and also? i’m thankful i brought a couple of the knitting projects to occupy my hands.

anyway. while i try not to chew my own leg off here on the floor, i bring to you a quick list of crazy:

  • while my dad has been pulling his own teeth instead of going to the dentist, my mom’s are naturally falling out. i wish i were making that up. my dad’s missing teeth are all on the upper level, while my mom’s are on the lower level. it’s kinda cute how they’re sorta a matched set.
  • all flights are delayed, it seems. one of the check-in dudes at the gate is doing a spontaneous karaoke. he is getting thunderous applause.
  • i’ve been with my folks for the last six days. they live in the middle of freaking nowhere. it’s almost culture shock to see more than three people in one room here.
  • i’m possibly the only person here not wearing jeans.
  • both of my folks’ dogs are rescues. they were both found on the side of the road, pretty close to starved. the smaller dog, whom i believe to be a pekingese, barks constantly at anyone who is not my parents. animals usually love me, but these two are understandably guarded in regards to anyone who is not – or are not – my parents. hey, guess who isn’t my parents?
  • i got to drive a tractor. strangely, there are no photos of this event.
  • saw lots of jackrabbits. and was amused to learn that the woodpeckers around here think my parents’ house is pretty tasty.
  • my mom is still stoned 24/7, thanks for asking.
  • six days with a yapper dog planted outside my bedroom door makes me long for the relative quiet of my regular digs, complete with loud, annoying, and odoriferous boys on the rampage. last night, yapper barked for nearly two hours.
  • pumpkin cheesecake is awesome.

still and all, there’s no place like home. let’s hope i get there sometime tonight, eh?

happy belated holiday, and thanks for stopping by.

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you know that feeling. you haven’t talked to one of your closest friends in, like, forever, and when you finally do get the chance to catch up, you’re stunned into silence. because you haven’t talked in so long, you’ve no idea where to start.

yup. welcome to my den of iniquity. take your shoes off at the door, please. i think i’ll just start somewhere in the middle.

so, for halloween? went to disneyland. actually, i went to southern california for a reason or two other than the mouse. first, moi had bought bacon. second, i needed to rub yet another dog’s ass. third, i felt it necessary to attend a concert put on in the birdman’s honor. which was a beautiful and strange affair.

he draws what the music tells him to

he draws what the music tells him to

the final act was this amazing instrumetal piece, along with a… well, i guess he’d be a performance painter. as the guys played, he drew on this light-up board/ sketchpad thinger. it was sort of like pictionary, but with music instead of words and clues. i mean, the whole concert was mind-blowing. oh, and go check out the cheat. nice guys, great musicians, and slightly silly individuals.

disneyland on halloween was crazier than i thought it would be, but not as scary as i anticipated. see, when i was a wee lass in southern california, my friends as i would go to knott’s berry farm for halloween. where they hired extra people to jump out at you from the bushed. and where folks in very strange face make-up would approach you with a plastic ice pik, and say stuff like, “i’ll pick yer nose for a nickel.” this was the late eighties, so i guess people were a little nuttier back then. or maybe it was because knott’s just won’t ever be as cool as the mouse. they were the awesome back then, but not so much anymore.

anyway. i digress hugely.

cheese never tasted so pumpkin-y

cheese never tasted so pumpkin-y

i do enjoy visiting the mouse. i’d be hard pressed to tell you exactly why i like it. i mean, it’s totally geared to kids and young-ish adults. but, as i’ve discovered, it’s also partial to ladies in their thirties who have no desire to have children, but who do like their wine. and no, they don’t serve wine in the main park. that i’m aware of, anyway. although, while moi and i were in line for the alice in wonderland ride, the dad in the family ahead of us was drinking wine out of a little plastic cup. and he smelled a bit like he lived inside a wine casket.

although, they don’t have nearly enough stuff with thumper the rabbit emblazoned on it. seriously, why is it all about tinkerbell? both thumper and tinkerbell were side characters in disney movies, and it’s that blonde minidress-wearing fairy that gets all the love.

i’m just saying, is all.

oh, they had a little day of the dead display in frontierland.

this-is-halloween! this-is-halloween!

this-is-halloween! this-is-halloween!

easily my favorite skeleton. and i didn’t know this, but they totally trick out the haunted mansion to be a “nightmare before chrstmas” sort of ride. which was so very cool. yeah, if you’re a purist you may not dig it, but i figure it’s temporary, so it’s okay. i love the unadorned haunted mansion ride. but, turning it into jack’s house? pretty cool.

what is this?

what is this? or, this is the house that jack built, y'all!

i mean, how can you not love jack? and, before anyone complains about my next picture, i have a disclaimer. i hate it when people take pictures inside the rides. first, they never turn their damn flash off. second, there’s usually a recording that asks you not to take pictures. it’s a little like peeking behind the powerful oz’s curtain, you know? so, i generally don’t agree with this srt of behavior. however, i try to leave my flash off whenever possible. and there was no recording saying i should tuck my little camera away. finally, both times we went on this ride, it stopped. so we had three to five minutes to check out our surroundings. which is the biggest invitation ever, really.

you really haven't lived until dead pumpkins have sung to you.

you really haven't lived until dead pumpkins have sung to you.

so. totally. cool.

the whip cream on my halloween pie was the bradbury tree. it was so amazing to look at.

why yes, i will be doing this when i buy my own house.

why yes, i will be doing this when i buy my own house.

i think moi can attest to the fact that i probably would have stood staring at it all night, if it weren’t for all the other cool stuff i just had to go stare at.

oh, and here’s a gratuitious weiner shot. i mean, dog shot.

obviously, she knows how to thwart me

obviously, she knows how to thwart me

yet another dog named bean. looking abnormal.

i took scads of pictures, so if you’d like to stare at more of the stuff i stared at, find me at flickr.

i have lots more to tell you guys, but i also need to get some laundry happening.

kiss kiss for now, and thanks for stopping by.

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i’m thumping

so, what’s the deal with thumper, the rabbit from the movie bambi? there’s so little thumper swag available. it’s all about that damn hussy, tinkerbell.

anyway. experiencing picture difficulties once again. but!

thumpers

i love how these two thumpers look like back-up gospel singers.

thanks for stopping by.

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just checking in

the weather here is so very lovely that i have been neglecting the computer altogether. the kids – aka, moi’s dogs, bean and biscuit – have been attentive. and also very kind to share their outdoor space when i go in the backyard with my coffee in the morning. disneyland is still disneyland. we went sunday for moi’s birthday, and while i did not take may pictures, we did both get the mouse ears hats with our names on them.

mine is green, and it has a little leprechaun-ish hat atop the hat. so dorky it’s awesome.  pictures to follow at some point.

yesterday, we went and saw miss pettigrew lives for a day.  it’s a sweet movie, with good music and great clothes. trailer here.

tomorrow… we hit knott’s berry farm. totally thrilling, because i haven’t been since i was in junior high.  yes, we are pre-teens with credit cards.

so, hi. see y’all in a few days. thanks for stopping by.

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