Saturday, March 15, 2008


The balmy breeze and the sounds of Jimmy Buffet further calm my margarita soothed nerves. You know the nerves. The ones demyelinated by hot, impatient crowds at a theme park. Yeah, those ones. Took the kiddos swimming where my Little Toot is determined to drown because I. Can. Swim! No. He. Can't, but don't tell him. He actually enjoys swallowing half the pool in a gulp. No fear whatsoever. My older two, nervous nellies both, make up for his verve.

We rode one roller coaster today. I would have liked to take them all in, but I would have been riding alone and that's not much fun for me, or for the people waiting in the baking sun. It was one of those water coasters where you get soaked. It was tall. Dang, going up is scarier than going down. We could see for miles at the top, and then they turn you around backwards to go down a little dip at about 20 miles per hour backwards (this turned out to be the most anxiety-producing part) and then it turns you around to face your impending doom. My daughter and I got seated with another mom and daughter on the front row. What the hell? Four burly dudes sat behind us. It just didn't seem right. She clung to me up the thing, look like a frightened bulge-eyed monkey during the backwards part and screamed full throttle going down. I laughed all the way down the four or five story, maybe more, drop. It's exhilarating. What is it about them? Gets the juices flowing and you just feel more alive. Well, it feels like you just cheated death, albeit in a very controlled way. Still, it's fun and endorphin boosting. Would have liked to do them all, but my pint-sized adventurer had had enough. Next time.

Shamu was doing well, by the way, and told me to tell you all hello. What is Shamu, like 50? The killer whales were big to state the self-evident. They seem like huge St. Bernards. The big tongue and lazy attitude that comes from being the biggest mammal in the room. You know how huge basketball players or football players just seem more relaxed? And why not? They can smash everyone. That knowledge tends to make a dude be laid back. Shamu has the same je ne se quois.

We fed dolphins. They strike me as more like Labrador retrievers. Loyal, sweet, and generally fun to be around. The one we fed, talked to us, because we were a bit slow. Amazing animals. When I get rich and weird (weirder) like Michael Jackson, forget pet monkeys or a herd of llamas, I want a huge pond full of dolphins. They're cool.

Budweiser could have been free flowing all day, but you know, it's just not that appealing when you're already dehydrated to guzzle a brewsky. That, or I'm just getting old. It could be both. It could be neither. Fifty bucks for four little pizzas, a frozen lemonade and four waters. What a rip-off theme park food is. I know, I'm no fun. Do the kids get memorabilia, you ask? No, they do not. No stuffed Shamu. No dolphin clock. No T-shirt. Nothing. They don't even ask. I'm not a big fan of memorabilia. The big cups that won't fit on any shelves. The enormously large Super Grover that I saw someone stuck with after winning it at some game. No, thank you. What are you going to do with that shit two days from now? I generally operate under the belief that kids these days, hell, we adults, have too much shit. No need to buy more of it at astronomical prices.

An aside: If you want to boost your self-esteem, go to a theme park. People are disturbingly overweight. Lots of people. Far too many people. If I believed in government intrusion, I'd suggest a public service that included not renting these people little carts. They need to walk. Society is enabling people by renting them carts. Actual sign in the Shark House: People mobility challenged may not want to enter as the floor is sloped and uneven. Mobility challenged? Is this a new category of people I haven't known about til now? Evidently. And there were many mobility-challenged people. Sigh.

An aside to this aside: I remember 15 years ago, when the scores of handicap parking spots at a grocery store were open. It was just plain irritating to walk (in this case, in the slush, because it was NY or Michigan) from twenty spots back into the store. Now, those spots are all full. Even handicapped people have to circle the lot. Are the Baby Boomers aging that far that fast? Or is everyone disabled? Used to be, people would pridefully avoid the handicapped spots. Not today. Oh no. Today, people scam the system and carry the tags around so they can snag a close spot. So lame.

Speaking of lame, I've been following Obama's Pastor Wright dealido. What a mess. I knew it was going to be. Dick Morris was so wrong when he said that Obama just needed to focus on something else. Um, no, this is a big deal, Dick. When your life-long bud spews black supremist garbage, people will take note. And, say it isn't so, Oprah. She has listened to this guy's bilge for years, too. What is wrong with people? Maybe, it's just nice to get a break from the man after fighting him all week and hearing how bad you've had it and to fight on, soldier. Whatever. It makes me think less of all of them.

Now, the Anchoress makes an interesting point--she says the pastor is not the community. She says that she has stayed through some interesting preachers and she acknowledges that it could be different in Protestant denominations. I would say that it is different, to an extent. Down here, I've had Catholic friends change Catholic churches because the priest in one was too liberal or too whatever. (Speaking of, by the way, the bagpipes are going on the River Walk, it is St. Patty's day weekend after all, and the river is dyed a nice shade of kelly green. Fun!) So, I do think that it is fair to judge a person by the company they keep preacher-wise. When we protestants choose a church, we do choose a community but the community, especially in Congregational Churches (which is like a representative democracy, in a sense, unlike the Catholic church which is more of a benevolent dictatorship) is represented by the preacher. At least, that's my opinion. I have quit churches because the pastor has been a flaming asshole and wouldn't stay no matter how great the community was. The main reason I go to church is to be spiritually fed. That's the sermon. That's the music. That's the doctrinal focus. So, maybe it is different for us, than Catholics.

Here's another thing. While Obama can denounce Dr. Wright and has, there is just something so powerful about the words "God DAMN America". Words have power. They mean something. And while I'll agree that America is sin-sick place, I would rather beg God's infinite mercy than call down damnation. And yes, preachers use hyperbole, but words matter. And those are some terrifying words.

I'm too mellow to be too worried about Reverend Wright right now. Just thought I'd add my two cents.


Anonymous said...

And while speaking of The Anchoress, she has an amazing clip up called, "Chinese Acro-Ballet...if you have not seen it yet. It is beautiful and astonishing!

Anonymous said...

After some arm twisting I gave into doing the nine and half hour flight to Florida. The highlight that made this long flight journey well worth the while was the Shamu show. However I pledged never to fly this distance again that was until my first granddaughter was born. We waited till she was two so she could enjoy the delights of sea world. I must say this time I was more excited, I could not wait to see her face light up when she seen Shamu. It was the day before leaving for the UK we visited sea world. Sadly we were informed that we we were late for the last showing - so we never got to see the Killer whale. Looks like I have to take to the skies for another 9 hours.

Anonymous said...

The other show that brought me to tears the first time I saw it was the Baluga Whales show. It was a most moving experience as I sat and watched them interact with their trainers. I could feel the love and respect they had for each other. It was beautiful!

Unknown said...

If you want to boost your self-esteem, go to a theme park. People are disturbingly overweight. Lots of people. Far too many people.

Heh. Check out #13 on this list:

A little ironic, no?

Anonymous said...

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eda said...


eda said...