Friday, June 25, 2010


Stupid Spiders.... Gah I hate them, but while I was recently talking to James about them, I realized, I haven't written on the blog in a long time... So, I decided to write about something I'm passionate about. aka: Spiders. Something about them just creeps me out... No... Everything about them just freaks me out.

My fear all started when I was a little boy. Vulnerable, and much closer to the size of a spider. I was on every little kids favorite field trip. A trip to the Butterfly Pavilion. Oh butterflies, how I loved them. So peaceful and friendly and not-arachnid like. I looked forward to seeing them fly above my head; however, my teacher, in an loosely-symbolic attempt to cure racism, decided that ALL insects deserved our attention and admiration. "Whether they be black, or white, or yellow, or hideous and deadly, it didn't matter because everyone and everything was equal!" She would say with a subtle jab at Hitler.

So I was dragged away from the Butterfly door with painted rainbows and smiling suns and forced to face the Spider room. 'Fine', thought I, 'I'm a boy, I'm supposed to like these better anyways!' At least until I saw one crawling across the hands of a "Trainer" woman. A big hairy freak from Space that probably crash landed on this planet and single-handedly destroyed the dinosaurs.

'F THIS!' thought I coolly, as I began to back away from the monster. But no, the Spider lady would not be denied. No more children would leave her for the lowly butterfly trainer woman, NO! She called me back, and I was forced to endure her attempt to brainwash me into thinking the freakish being was just misunderstood, not dangerous, but my instincts knew otherwise. Regardless, I, being young, fell for her temptation and allowed the alien creature to crawl across my hand. I hated it, but it was over quickly and no physical damage was done. So she let me go.

I was then shepherded to a see a rare species of Spider, a breed of Venezuelan Jumping Spider that can jump several inches or even a few feet. Yes... Jump... Once again, I found myself front and center to prove to the other children that the spider really can jump and was put in front of the smaller, but no less formidable beast. We stared at each other, our mutual hatred clearly visible. And then it was gone! I heard a gasp from the audience and then applause. My confusion increased wondering what sort of magic trick this lady had performed that was able to get rid of the spider and hoping she would teach it to all of us. It was then I looked on my sleeve and found him there, challenging me.
Needless to say I screamed like Tanner Hall with broken ankles (well worth a youtube trip) and swatted at my enemy throwing him hurtling towards the ground. The 'trainer' was visually upset at me, even scolded me! To this day I can't believe this! She sent her best attack, so I sent mine. How is that not fair? I was in trouble for overreacting, but a freaking deadly Venezuelan terror had attached itself to me! Its not even like I killed it or anything, despite best efforts... To add to this horror, I threw up all over the floor upon finally entering the butterfly room, having all my built up nerves release. Then they shuttled me back to the bus to sit alone as all the other children had butterflies fly all around them...

So I believe my intense fear comes from that fateful day. Every Spider I approach I fear lest it will be a Jumping spider, which evidently account for "about 13% of all species" (Thank you - Jumping Spider for providing that terrifying fact).

Oh but my ridiculously long story doesn't end there. No no no. Our hero, yours truly (feel free to picture me in a gleaming suit of armor), has yet to vanquish the world of the terrifying foe. This brings me to last week and another long story.

I was doing a job for a friend which required me to move all the rocks in her garden-like hill, rake out all the pine needles, and then put all the rocks back. They were big ol' rocks too! I was so tired that night... Anyways, turns out that Spiders kinda liked the rocks and pine needles the way they were. So it was war. But I came prepared with a Spider's greatest GLOVES! Whahahahaha! Sure enough, almost every rock I picked up had some sorta spider on the other side. Most were daddy long legs, that are like pawns, pretty much useless in war unless used properly, which of course they weren't. But nearing the end, I found their King:

Yeah... Gross... Probably roots for the Red Wings too... Grosser... Somewhere around 3 inches from leg tip to leg tip. And sending me running to the bottom of the hill with my heart racing... But I knew what I must do. In a courageous charge, I grasped the rock that once hid the beast and in a moment of satisfying irony, used the monster's shelter to crush it. Success! I then smote his ruin upon the mountainside. Darkness took me and I strayed out of Space and Time. Stars wheeled overhead, and every day was as long as a life age of the Earth. But it was not the end, I felt life in me again... (allusion to LOTR present in this paragraph, if you can find it, let me know and I'll give you your prize! You do of course also have to name the director, film, time of film referenced, character name and actor referenced, and exactly what it means and how it applies to this post.)
And there lies its dead body... RIP... No... Nevermind... Burn forever in a lake of fire and brimstone dirtbag!

Still, every night in bead, I fear the return of this Spider, and when the wind blows my sheets funny across my back, often leap out of bed, run to turn on my light, and beat the daylights out of my bed with my canoe paddle I recently bought as a solution. The problem is this canoe paddle is never present in my dreams, which, since this most recent job, have been spider infested many a night. Worst of all my subconscious has gotten creative and occasionally grants them the gift of flight... Yes, flying spiders, spiders with wings. There is nothing more terrifying. And without my trusty canoe paddle, I don't much stand a chance against their organized forces.
Spiders suck... Go America!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Providing the Finest in Family Fun and Entertainment

I typed this post up in word… before I came here and saw James post. To my embarrassment I found myself being redundant with the amusement park theme. But what can a girl do… come summer THIS IS MY LIFE. That’s right, everyday I provide the finest in family fun and entertainment at the number two best kids park in the WORLD: Idlewild and Soak Zone. Second only to Lego Land

If you have ever seen Adventure Land. WHICH YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. Its rated R. not for loiterers. BUT Adventure Land is filmed in PITTSBURGH at Kennywood… our sister park. This movie depicts my job as a worker in games (as James said the little stands where you win stuffed animals) as... well the worst job in the world. WRONG! My job is hilarious. Although I am stuck in a small box all day with socially off co workers I never miss the family gathering in front of the fountain for a nice family photo… and getting soaked when the wind comes. This is in the Idlewild section of the park. The soak zone section looks more like this.

There’s the obsessive parents that will spend 50 dollars just so that all three of their kids can walk away with a giant dinosaur full of foam beans that will fall out the next day so that they are left with something that can’t even stand up because the heads too big and there’s now a hole in the neck, and my favorite and yours the kids who want to play the game and they argue with you when you try to explain the game yelling “don’t listen to her she just wants your money!” After three years I have decided that amusement parks are full of crazy people. Both workers and guests.

At least I get to know all the season pass holders. They collect stuffed star fish in every color and know if you have a really cute baby you can get free tries at throwing the ball into the toilet, and they don't have to spend five dollars before they realize the basketball hoop is not standard size.

Okay soo… I guess it’s more boring than I lead on… I guess ill just stop now. While you kids are doing cool summer things like going to the beach and flying kites. Think of me in my little stand providing the finest in family fun and entertainment and next time you’re at an amusement park remember there’s more to life than that giant dinosaur and just walk away.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sometimes you gotta suck it up and embarrass yourself for the sake of entertainment and obnoxiously long titles

Now for tonight’s bit, I thought I’d recount another good memory of old; James’ first ride on a roller coaster! This is for you Nick.

When I was 10, our Destination Imagination team kicked so much [CENSORED VULGARITY *GASP*] that we made the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee. The entire trip was a pretty amazing experience, but I think the day at Dollywood takes the cake as far as making it memorable.

So Dollywood is an amusement park, with funnel cakes and attractions and the little stands that you can win stuffed animals from and…roller coasters. At this particular point in my life, I had not ridden anything even remotely close to a roller coaster. As far as 10 year-old James was concerned, they were killer hellbeasts, and I could too clearly imagine my seatbelt failing and myself flying through the air, landing in a flattened heap on the ground, bones broken and pants soiled. However, this didn’t stop Nick. Nick was going to get me to ride on the Tennessee Tornado, whether I liked it or not. Now at the time, the Tennessee Tornado was Dollywood’s prime roller coaster. It featured a hair-raising drop straight into a cave thing, only to come out and do TWO full loops. Loops as in upside down. Being upside down. On a roller coaster. Understandably I was not so keen.

Pictured: Fun(?!)

Somehow, and I still don’t know how exactly, I ended up sitting beside Nick, getting strappedinto the freaking Tennessee Tornado. Oh, the back of the train too, because “the back is the mostintense.” Thanks Nick. So we go off. Sweat is pouring off my face. However, I'm feeling moderately ok as we climb up the hill.

But then….

The drop.

We go down the drop…

Big drop...


Not small...

And I rise out of my seat….

And I don’t think I’ve ever, before or since, ever so totally and certainly felt like I was going to die. My heart started racing, I closed my eyes and held onto my restraint as hard as I could. It was awful. I was still reeling from it as we got off the ride.


Oh, is the story boring you? Well, that was pretty much the introduction…

Nick wants to go a second time. Feeling like one near-death experience was enough for the day, I refused. And refused. And refused.

And then there I was, sitting beside Nick. On the Tennessee Tornado. In the back. But this time, I knew what to expect. And I was WAY more nervous. I kept replaying the drop in my head, over and over again. I was starting to panic. I could feel my heart racing. This was not good. I wanted to get off. But my shoulder restraint was on. I was trapped. The train was moving.

So I tried to keep my cool. I took deep breaths, I closed my eyes. We started to approach the hill when…

The ride stops.

The ride


And we sit there. And sit there…

I’m still not sure how this happened, honestly, but with the ride stopping and the attendants coming up to us to tell us there’s just a small “issue” or something that needs to be taken care of,

I snap.


See this peaceful, relaxing scene? Imagine the exact opposite.

Instantaneously, I transformed into a blubbering, screaming mess, begging for anyone to take my off that horrific death machine. I was pulling at my restraint, screaming at the ride attendants, generally doing my best to get the point across that I had completely lost my mind and I was going to do whatever it took to get off of the hellbeast. The people around me were desperately trying to get me to calm down, even though I really wasn’t aware of it. The funniest part of this whole thing though is that through at least 20 minutes of me being in full-scale freak out, the attendants never let me off the ride. They repeatedly told me throughout the ordeal that they couldn’t let me off. Secretly, I think they just enjoyed the sight of a 10 year-old who was absolutely convinced he was about to die. I still hate them to this day.

So the ride finally started again, we did the drop and the loops and my pants somehow stayed clean, and then it was over. I was still wiping tears from my face as we walked off. Needless to say, there were no more rides for me that day. I was ridiculed by Nick and the other members of the DI team for quite a while after that. Now though, I’ve made peace with the fact that I was a complete sissy. And that’s why I’m here today; to share my embarrassing past with the world. Peace out.