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High as a Flag on the Fourth of July

If you're breathing free air this moment, then follow the lead of Abigail Adams and thank a Founding Father today.  And his horse.


90 Degrees

This Monday I did something which is entirely new to my adult existence: I looked at an amusement park ride, and I said "No, thank you." I stayed right there on the ground. I could not imagine why anybody would want to subject themselves to this thing. It hung the people in the front row straight down, and then dropped them 205 feet at seventy miles an hour. I can do multiple inversions and power hills and hypercoasters, but this business of the straight down... in the words of one woman I walked past as she watched the coaster do its 90 degree thing, "Oh hell no."

I turned to Carah The BFFE for confirmation on the matter, but she didn't answer. You know why? She wasn't there. She couldn't come to Busch Gardens, because she couldn't ride even any of the non-insane rides, because she was four and a half months pregnant. Not old! New day.

Then I started noticing non-young-person reactions to other rides, like the Escape from Pompeii. I wouldn't call myself an overly sensitive person, and maybe it's the vestigial archivist in me who flinches when humanity is removed from history, but... I... really? A theme park attraction based on the deaths of 20,000 people from toxic volcanic ash? Sign me up! And then I want a ride on the Flaming Hindenburg!

you'll shoot your eye out at:



When I exited the ladies' room in Germany on my way to Scotland (you can do this, at Busch Gardens), I found Josh The Pilot contemplating this fountain, which initially caught our attention because it includes full-on public metal nipples, no bra or nothin'. I'll say this for Europe: They're OK with nipples over there, and I am OK with the OKness, because they're very artsy about it. What I have a problem with is American nipples, because often they're featured on Paris Hilton, and otherwise not respectfully presented. But cast 'em in bronze and stick a seal projectile vomiting water underneath 'em, and I am perfectly fine with the nipples.

So we made our way to Scotland, and my husband said, "That fountain reminds me of you."

"Be... cause I like to stand next to ice cream?"

"No, I mean the shape of her body is like yours, especially by the hips. See?"

You can find a rich man, or a tall man, or a man who can soulfully play the guitar, or you can find a man who looks at a sun-splashed moment of art and sees his very flawed wife in the graceful curves.

chose correctly at:


This So Did Not Raise Me Up

Josh The Pilot and I cashed in free time share tickets at Busch Gardens yesterday, which is subdivided into the nations of Europe, and yet still charges people five American dollars per beer. Which I desperately needed once we walked through Ireland.

Since when you think Ireland, you think American bald eagles, there were several of them in a little habitat about seventeen paces from the Riverdance Ripoff Theater. They sat on logs and in tufts of grass, looking various degrees of pissed.

"What keeps them from flying away?" Josh wanted to know.

If I were that close to funnel cake four months out of the year, I wouldn't go anywhere, either, but it turns out they'd all had wings ripped out or were horribly injured in various accidents. Each eagle had his own placard, featuring the bird's age and the long, sad tale of how he came to join the eagle DL.

This was all very educational, but kind of a vacash downer. "Look at the birdie, Mommy!" "Yes, Timmy, he flew into a power line and was found scavenging on an Alaskan garbage dump with one workable wing. Now he spends his days overhearing 'I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen' on an endless loop twelve hours a day as small children vomit at 43 miles an hour." Well, at least they were all having a good hair day.

screech at:


Vacations for Newly Married People

Josh The Pilot and I are off to celebrate his birthday and our first wedding anniversary by spending three hours in the company of timeshare salespeople. Because we love each other, that's why.

The freebies include a two-night stay at a hotel which includes the following on its "amenities" list: "Adjacent to Golden Corral and Cracker Barrel Country Store." A Crack House AND a Golden Corral? Well, now. They might just have color TV and air conditioning, too! Free HBO! Or... ice!

I'll stop here, lest I build myself up for disappointment.