Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Totally WTF? Day at Cedar Point!

I went to Cedar Point again on Wednesday. It was probably one of the best CP trips ever, but it was great in a bizarre way. Everything seemed opposite of what usually happens. What went on? Well, I'll tell you!

Hot weather--After one of the coldest, wettest summers I can remember, the September 2 Sandusky, Ohio, forecast called for 87 degrees and sunny. I didn't have to work that day, so I decided to go. The strange thing about this is despite mostly clear skies, it sprinkled a bit.

These are obviously not rain clouds. You can't tell, but it WAS sprinkling. One of the Millennium Force ride hosts asked me if it was raining, and I said, yes, but couldn't understand how or why. There were what looked like thunderheads a few miles away, but could drops travel that far? I guess so.

It felt right to experience Cedar Point on a day you might actually drop from heat stroke. That's what summer is supposed to be. For me at least. 

Freaky Short Wait Times--I was prepared to buy Fast Pass, but both employees manning the kiosk said I wouldn't need it. Color me shocked. Two peons of Corporate America were telling me NOT to spend money? But they were right. The wait time for Millennium Force when I showed up around 10:45 a.m. was 15 minutes. Later on, it went up to 30 minutes, but then went back down to 15 minutes. 
This is NOT a typo.

And it was blissful. I got to ride the best steel coaster in the world six times. SIX TIMES! I'm lucky if I ride it twice in one day. This was like being in a beautiful dream. But--and there's always a catch, right? Five out of the six times I rode MF I had to share my beloved front row with another rider.
But even so, that wasn't too bad, because this day had ...

Fairly Friendly Fellow 'Forcers--I've given up on trying to strike up conversations with people standing in line. People don't seem to want to talk. Waiting gets kind of boring, standing for an hour and a half (or more, in my case, because I'm a front row whore, and it's TOTALLY worth the wait) until you board the train. I usually people watch, or update CrackBook*, or watch YouTube videos. 

Today, even riding Millennium Force was weird, because instead of having the front row of the train to myself, the ride hosts kept saying, "single rider for the front seat." I protested, saying I wanted to ride by myself. That worked--once. The other five times I had to tolerate someone beside me. At least I got to sit in my normal left-side seat, looking out over Sandusky Bay. I can't remember all my fellow ride partners--one was some young blond kid. Then there was Andrew, celebrating his 1000th ride this season on MF. Think about that for a minute. We didn't speak until the end of the ride. But what floored me was his nonchalant attitude. I swear, right before the first zero-G hill, he looked like this:
Andrew was facing the other way, but I think you get the idea.

We were on the best coaster in the world, and he was sitting there like he was at a sports bar watching the Cavaliers lose, or something. The adrenaline rush I get from riding MF is amazing--I put up with waiting in line for hours, listening to people's complaints, watching their stupid games, antagonizing each other, because who in their right mind would fight back and risk getting thrown out of the park while waiting to ride THE BEST STEEL COASTER ON EARTH? Many a time I've restrained myself from smacking someone or telling them to stop being an obnoxious asshole because I know it will soon be over, and that instead of heroin coursing my veins (er, not that I've ever done heroin) it's the bliss of the ride, which makes me feel like I know what it's like to be a bird--I'm soaring, dammit, at nearly 100 miles an hour and those stupid people are far, far away from me.

After the ride was over, Andrew nodded at me. I felt compelled to say something, but wasn't sure if I should say, "wow, I hope you show more appreciation while getting a blow job than you did on this ride," but decided on, "the front row is the best seat." Andrew agreed.

But to show you how wacky this day was, I actually had a teenage boy strike up a conversation with me. Trust me, that hasn't happened in a loooooooong time. Even when I was a teenager, boys didn't talk to me much, so to have some kid young enough to be my son start talking to me was absolutely BIZARRE. We talked about hair (his was curlier than mine, if you can believe it) his friend's hair (Jonah: don't you think he has greasy hair? Me: Naaah, I've seen worse.) We also talked about veganism, and how it isn't really hard to do, but at some place like Cedar Point it's a bit of a challenge. He and his friends were actually nice. And because I didn't want to upset the karma boat, I told Jonah, since he was a single rider too, that he could ride with me if he wanted. I even asked him where he wanted to sit, and he asked me where I usually sat. I got to sit on the left, and both of us enjoyed the ride.

Playing With My New Camera--I could have ridden MF a few more times, but I wanted to play around with my Rebel T5. I walked around the Town Hall Museum. I don't remember ever going in there before, but they had a scale model of Mean Streak that was amazing. 
This is the starthouse and first hill. Three people spent 1400 man hours building this from blueprints.

Of course, now everything is done on the computer, and there's really no need to build models like this, but I still think this is mind-blowing. The case this was in was probably six feet long by thirty inches wide, by maybe eighteen inches high. Below is the real thing.

Sunset, shot underneath the first hill of Mean Streak.

I also played around with slow shutter speeds. The camera kind of scares me, but I'm getting used to it.

The Monster, shot at a two-second shutter speed at F22.

One of the great things about this camera is that it will display the shutter speed and aperture, so you can compare shots. Back in the day, if you wanted to experiment with shutter speeds, you had to write down what you did with each frame, have the roll developed, and then compare the prints to see what worked the best. With digital, you get instant results, so if it didn't work the first time, you adjust. I used manual mode because I wanted a certain effect. I got it in this shot, but it wasn't dark enough to make the lights stand out. I couldn't do anything about that except wait.

The Midway, at twilight. Raptor's track is silhouetted against the sky.

This last shot was taken at 1/125 with a 5.0 aperture. Of the three shots I took of this scene, this gave me what I wanted--some definition from the sky, with enough details in the foreground.

I wish the park had been open later. Riding Millennium Force and Maverick at night (pretty much any of the coasters, really) is pretty damn exciting, because you can't see where you are going. And I love the way the park looks at night, with the bright lights glowing against the dark sky. 

But wow...what a fun time. And how wonderfully weird it was. The usual didn't happen, and the nicely unusual did. As long as I live, I don't think I'll ever forget Wednesday, September 2, 2015. 

*CrackBook is Facebook, of course.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mini Movie Monday!/My First Video

This took me months to do. Why? Vista. If I'd known how much trouble it was going to be, I would have never bought that Sony Vaio. If I ever meet anyone directly involved with Vista, I'm going to punch them in the throat. My video editing software was too much for Vista, but somehow, I got this video made. I know creative types like me should use Mac, but don't get me started on those two 47 pound doorstops that let me down years ago. Apple: I used to love ya, now I gotta kill ya. P.S. I hate your phones too.

Lest you think I'm only making fun of others, I make a couple of appearances in this video, so calm the fuck down.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don't Hate Me, Just 'Cause You're Pasty...

Three people in the last two weeks have remarked about how tan I am. The funny thing is, I haven't laid out in the sun all summer, because it was just so cold and rainy. When it finally warmed up, the hot days happened when I had other plans, and by then, the pools were closed. If I lay out, it's usually by a pool. When I finally get too uncomfortable, I jump into the pool. I didn't go swimming once this summer. It was just too damn cold.

I don't think I'm super-dark, but I swear, I get darker if a flashbulb goes off. The "tan" I've got going is just from doing regular stuff I need to do by getting out of the house. But it's funny, people are envious and I'm just like, "I'm half Puerto Rican. I will never NOT be tan in the summer."

These are the legs that made one of my friends say, "I hate you."

And I have to shake my head when I see people who are seriously pale. They look strange to me.

My "EZ-Tan" skin and the jealousy make up for the time in elementary school when some boy called me a "nigger." Haters gonna hate...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mini Movie Monday!

My least favorite video of the 49 I've uploaded here. I entered a contest, but because The Onion couldn't buy one second of Super Bowl ad time, I and thousands of other entrants were denied a shot at televised national fame and glory. I collected my urine, and used an empty bottle of Dawn to spell out the Onion Sports Network logo, and the Roman numerals for Super Bowl 45. I was cut off because I couldn't say, "Super Bowl 45" in one second.

Because this got on an Onion contest website, I have more than 9,000 views.

What can you do in one Goddamn second? So I must have been channeling some "guy thoughts" because I thought, "I'll just spell stuff in the snow with urine."

My ex-boyfriend thought the idea was "brilliant!"

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mini Movie Monday!

Just when I was getting used to saying, "Congressman for Life Mark Souder", he had an affair with a staffer and resigned. I couldn't believe it when a friend called to tell me. I just love it when people preaching abstinence and family values gets caught doing the nasty with a staff member. Anyway, couldn't resist making a silly little rap and video about the event.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Restricted Area Means Just That ...

I'm sorry this guy died, but I have to question his motives. Is a cell phone THAT important? And if it were that important, why didn't he secure it properly? I've ridden this coaster several times, and before getting on the train, everything I care about is securely buttoned into several pockets in my cargo shorts, or if an item is too big, I rent a locker.

If this guy went to retrieve an iPhone, then it really is tragic. We had those at work, and because I hate Apple (AND the phones sucked) I chose an android phone. No regrets.

Still, sucks for this guy's family. I feel bad, but no possession is worth dying for. And if you can't live without your smartphone until the end of the day (when it was fairly certain he could have notified ride operators he lost his phone, and probably would have gotten it back) then society really is going to hell.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Vagina Monologues (Because He Liked to Look at It)

Last February, I was in a production of The Vagina Monologues. I really had a good time participating. This particular monologue was easier for me to do. It is called, "Because He Liked to Look at It."

We were not required to memorize our parts, although I tried to as much as possible, so I didn't feel like I was constantly reading it. We were not allowed to record video of the play, so this was shot in my backyard, so that a co-worker who could not attend the production could see what I was doing.

I'll shoot my other monologue when I get the time. That part required that I lose some inhibitions I had about the part, and to play certain lines for laughs. I understand how acting can become addictive.