Saturday, April 25, 2009

Holy Moses, What A Ride!

Half a dozen years ago, when I was in my early 40's, I did something out of the ordinary...for me, anyway. I've never had much love for roller-coasters, mainly because they make me want to hurl. Motion sickness just isn't my thing. But for some reason, after I had turned 40 I felt I had to prove something to myself.

I didn't even realize I had this need until after we arrived at Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando. When you arrive at the park you can see and hear the Hulk Roller-Coaster well before you enter the gate. It has a loud growling/roaring kind of noise that it produces. Right away I was mesmerized by the whole thing but I had no intention of getting on it. When we came into the park we stood and watched it for a while and then got on about our business of having fun for the day.

Eventually my oldest and her dad rode the Hulk. My youngest was, well, too young and I was too chicken. I wasn't afraid of the speed or the height or anything like that. I just don't like to be sick and dizzy (go figure!) because once I get motion-sick the feeling can last the rest of the day. Eventually, though, I found myself standing below the ride watching it go around again and again. That's when I began to feel the need to ride. The need to prove to myself that I could (and should) ride the Hulk. Somehow, I felt that if I left the park that day without conquering the Hulk I would not be able to look myself in the mirror - like I would really be letting myself down. It was like some right of passage that I had to complete.

At some point I left the girls with their dad and wandered back to the Hulk. I bet I stood there for an hour getting my nerve up, convincing myself I could do it without fainting or losing my lunch. After I had psyched myself into going, it took me about half an hour to get through the line to the top. It seemed like forever but then suddenly I came around a corner and there I was - next in line to board. Which I did. The contraption (photo from Mr. Noded, Flickr) closed around me, and then the ride began. For a couple of seconds you move along slowly and then you suddenly accelerate and get shot out like a canon ball, whereupon you immediately get turned upside down and dropped.

I found a good description of the ride on line:

"....riders are shot (they're not kidding!)out within 2 seconds at 40 mph and are sent through a zero-g roll, down a 105-foot drop (zoiks!!)and through a cobra roll. Riders complete a vertical loop, then enter a tunnel full of mist. At this point of the ride, the train's speed has reached approximately 60-67 mph (it was pretty much a blur when I could force my eyes open). The train encircles the gamma tube and is sent into the back area via corkscrew (there was a lot of upside down time). After another vertical loop and two over-banked turns, the coaster is slowed down by a brake run before being sent down another hill to a corkscrew and turn-around. Riders then travel sideways through a camera area (yeah, I looked mortified!)and then to the ride's closing after a helix.

Now, while I had stood below watching the ride for an hour (mentally preparing and all) I hadn't taken into account the fact that I had not yet seen the back half of the ride. Had I noticed the spaghetti-knot portion on the back half I'm not so sure I would have gotten on! I tried to keep my eyes open- it took a concerted effort! I also had to keep telling myself to breath. After the first corkscrew I thought I would lose it but somehow when you are going so fast and flipping around so much - well, maybe it's impossible to throw up when 'up' keeps changing?? Looking back on it now it's a wonder I didn't have a stroke.

When I got off the ride I couldn't believe I hadn't fainted or gotten sick. My legs however felt like jelly and it was quite a knock-kneed walk down. I did get to see a picture of my face from when we traveled through the camera area but I didn't want to spend money on a picture of me looking mortified! I found this video on you-tube that almost does the ride justice. Oh, and if you're wondering - no, I don't think I'll try something like this again!

Really, I guess roller-coasters are just a metaphor for life, aren't they?
Q: What's a metaphor?
A: It's where you keep your sheep....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Help! My Brain Has Been Hijacked!

Yeah, you heard me right. My brain has been food! I was reading online today about a doctor (Dr. Kessler to be exact) who has been studying what he calls 'conditioned hypereating' - and he equates it to having your brain hijacked by food. Particularly those foods high in fats and sugars. You know, those comfort foods we all seem to have a weakness for. So I'm thinking about this, and prime rib comes to mind. This picture came from a site called,
but it could easily be, say, a lovely piece of beef from a well known restaurant. So I'm considering the possibility of walking into this particular restaurant and shouting for help. Something like this: "HELP!! My brain has been hijacked!!! I need a prime rib right away or my cerebelum is gonna get it!" Actually, I know what would happen, and I don't think that particular style of white jacket would look good on me. A little too confining if you know what I mean....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Eye-Candy

I was just hopping about the internet looking for some images to share with you all. Easter eye-candy, so to speak!

The Easter Bunny that comes to my home doesn't take the time to paint eggs like this. We do end up with some drips, however...

I don't know why these bunnies are taking these eggs for a boat ride, but I sure do like they egg-shell boat.

I love these hand painted eggs. This is one of those projects that I say I'd like to do someday. You never know. It could happen!

Easter Cows?! Really??? What have cows got to do with Easter Tide? They are looking rather adorable on this old card though, aren't they?

Pussy-willows, kittens and a that's more Easter-like than cows! Hey, that's a pretty big egg for such a small chick, and look at the size of the kittens compared to the chick.

Now here's what it's really all about...the Risen Christ.

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Graph Jam

May I present, for your amusement, a selection of recent graphs:

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

href="">song chart memes

see more Funny Graphs

A few fails, for further frivolity:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

(Epic sunscreen fail!)

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Happy Tuesday, all!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Night on the Town...

My younger daughter and I recently had the pleasure of attending a live comedy show. The show was "Spark of Insanity" and was performed by Jeff Dunham - and his amazing puppets. If you're not familiar with Jeff's work turn on Comedy Central and check him out. Or for a glimpse of his humor hop on over to Youtube and look up Jeff Dunham, Spark of Insanity and watch the version with Peanut in it, and check out Achmed Part 1 as well. Hmmm, come to think of it all!

If you don't already know it, Jeff is a fabulous ventriloquist who has several 'puppets' (alter egos) who join him on his show. He has been around for quite a few years and has appeared on the Tonight Show as well as others. His material, and sometimes his puppets, change according to where he's playing. I'll go ahead and warn you that some of his content is 'adult' in nature.

The show began with a display of pictures and one-liners on an overhead screen to get us all warmed up. The opening act was a fellow known as "Guitar Guy" who can play the daylights out of a guitar and has a wonderful sense of humor! He takes well known songs and jingles and re-writes them. One of his 'current event' songs was about Octo-mom. He was loads of fun.

Al Jeffzeera TV was in the pre-show warm up. Achmed (the dead terrorist) was trying to do a Bin Laden style broadcast but Bubba, and others, kept cutting in. He wants so much to be feared...but he's not...

This is Bubba J. He doesn't play every venue but he appeared in our area because, well, this is the South. There were a lot of people in the audience who knew his lines by heart and even Jeff had to laugh at their verbal prowess.

This purple guy is Peanut and on the right is Guitar Guy...they were making jokes about Chinese food. I like that there is a big screen so that you can get a good view no matter where you are seated.

Here we have Peanut and Jose Jalepeno (on a steek!). Go look it up on Youtube...Jose's part is short but sweet (on a steek!).

Peanut is the in-your-face obnoxious and goofy type. He's also the type that makes fun of EVERYONE (except him self) and doesn't care if it offends you, at all.

Achmed the Dead Terrorist is a riot! Here he is with Guitar Guy, who made appearances throughout the show. Achmed's phrase of choice is, "Silence! I keel you!!" By the way, it's not pronounced "Ockmed", it's pronounced "A-(sound of clearing throat)-med", which is spelled (according to him) "A-C-phlegm..." You have to see it..go to Youtube. NOW! Or I keel you!!

What can I tell you about Walter? Crabby old fart? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. His catch phrase is,"Shut the hell up!" He likes to complain about his wife and pretty much everything else. From the beginning one-liners to the end of the show we must have laughed for two hours. Then, at the very end, Jeff brought out some t-shirts and shot them, with a hand held cannon, into the audience. He had a large 'cannon' that could shoot to the upper levels and a smaller one for close range. It looked like quite the grown man's toy! Sorry - no canon picture. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you see his live show - it was well worth the ticket price.