“This is fun! Because now your brain can freak out about itself!”
– P. Harding, 2017
So my sister made some tuna salad dinner. Here’s the conversation that went down at the dinner table:
Sis: How is it how is it howizzit?
Me: Pretty good, but needs some more acid.
Sis: Here, I’ll throw up what I already ate.
Me: Are you saying that your cooking is literally so bad that even vomit would make it taste better?
It doesn’t help that tuna salad is already a kinda chunky-looking, nondescript, beige mush. I was thinking lemon juice when I said add some acid but her mind jumped straight to stomach acid. I think someone was AP Bio-ing too hard.
But really, if what you make tastes like it’s missing a little something-something try a tiny amount of an acidic component, or throw some more salt in there.
That moment when everyone is hyped for Will Ferrell at graduation but freaking Helen Mirren makes an appearance to also receive an honorary degree.
The (unemployed) valedictorian’s speech was also amusing and managed to make the professional comedian uncomfortable. (00:59:00)
Right afterward are when the 6 honorary doctoral degrees are awarded! Helen Mirren is at 1:20:00
For a bit of background, let’s just say that in the place where I grew up, the high schools have a *bit* of a culture of over achievement. This is pretty much the attitude you get regarding the number of Advance Placement Classes/Tests you’ve completed or plan to have completed upon graduation:
Yeah. By “a bit” I mean that it’s a bit extreme. It’s like an arms race (to get into a good college/university). But when you’re immersed in the culture it feels normal until you come into contact with students from other school districts in university.
Anyhow. this was all going somewhere. Just about every kid has an above 4.0 GPA. How is that possible? Well, the normal GPA scale is on a 4.0 but attaining an “A” grade will calculate into the weighted GPA as a 5.0
Anyhow, my sister was at the DMV getting her license and this exchange went down:
DMV Lady: “Do you have a 3.0 GPA?”
“stunned silence from my sister
Sister: “Sorry, what?”
Lady: “A three-point-o. what is your GPA?”
Sister: “…. 4.3”
Later retelling the story to me: “My first through was ‘what the hell am I studying so hard for?’ and almost blurted that ‘If i had a 3.0 i wouldn’t be standing here. Alive.'”
Yeah Mom would’ve murdered us the second it dipped below 4.0 which… never would happen because she stalked/stalks our grade-books. I”m pretty sure that she’s faster with the Blackboard passwords than we are
The hardcore helicopter parent culture is quite intense and we don’t even have the worst of it.
As my sister so colorfully described one classmate’s mom, “you can hear the blades whirring above his head as you get near him. Her presence is that strong even when she’s not physically there. If you tried to give him a hug, you’d feel the down draft… if you didn’t get sniped first.”
Con: People drive like intoxicated, blindfolded monkeys.
Pro: Shopping becomes a peaceful affair. People refuse to go anywhere, preferring to hole up at home instead.
I mean look at the Costco check-out area! It’s practically a ghost town. Normally on a Friday afternoon, I would be able to waltz from one side of the checkout floor to the other by walking across a solid continents of carts and never touch the ground.
It also looks like a different neighborhood out there. I swear these hills usually have fewer signs of life than Mars.
Checked into Disneyland Hotel (and Disneyland of course) for three days and two nights for some much needed therapy this weekend. The hilarious part is this was planned months ago around an anniversary… not after election week.
I went on the Tower of Terror for the first time (amid rumors that it is closing down for good soon) despite having gone to Disneyland at least once every year for the last 7 years. Map? who needs a map? Not me. All the new construction they are doing is going to change that though.
Anyways, the Tower cast member/ride attendant gave his usual in-character spiel before sending us off on our merry (spooky?) way saying, “Please tug on yellow tag, blah blah blah. Just so you know ladies and gentleman we are expiriencing some rolling balckouts tonight so all of you might not make it back. Please enjoy.”
I saw the slightest hint of a half smirk on his face as he slipped behind the wall to close the doors. It registered as a bit odd, that self satisfied smirk, but I didn’t dwell on it. We thought that last bit of speech was just him being in character
A few seconds into the ride though, we realized how very, very wrong we were.
The usual audio narration was running, but the projection movie was not. After the narration finished, nothing happened for what seemed like forever. It was less than 10 seconds, but more than 5. But those handful of seconds seem indefinitely long when you’re left hanging in space and wrapped in the kind of pitch darkness where you can’t even seen your hands in front of your face. Add in the adrenaline from anticipation, ride attendant’s parting words, and you have the perfect recipe for crippling anxiety.
So we just hung in limbo marinating in absolute silence and darkness for a few heartbeats until out of the darkness, one perfect word bloomed from a woman in the back, punctuating the moment and summarizing the collective thought.
The silence was broken by the whole cabin bursting out into hysterical laughter which almost immediately turned into screams of actual terror as the ride decided to resume, finally, and dropped us a couple stories.
At the end of the ride, the cabin immediately bubbled over with laughter and conversation about what we had just been through. This was obviously what the cast member had been expecting because he opened the doors and greeted us with a shit eating grin. Are we allowed to high five the Disney staff? because he deserved one.
The second funny incident was the caused by my boyfriend. He let out a HUGE sneeze; the concussively loud kind that feels like it compresses your chest from the sheer force of the sound wave slamming into you.
I’m used to it by now but from across the gift shop a shell shocked young guy muttered, “Damn.” and was staring wide eyed, deer-in-the-headlights style. Poor guy couldn’t help himself.
I started cracking up which caused him to sheepishly turn away. When asked by bf why I was practically in stitches, I told him and he started laughing too. I’m pretty sure I saw the guy across the store grinned a little, no longer feeling so bad.
Needless to say, this was one of my more memorable Disneyland trips.
Due to a little mix up at the hotel, my party was granted three sets of open ended fast passes. We used a set of them on the Tower of Terror to bypass the 3.5 hour wait which was when the first story happened. WORTH IT. In retrospect, they had probably started dismantling non essential parts of the ride like the video projectors.
We used another set to finally get on the Cars ride (Radiator Spin Racers) since the fast passes ran out within the first hour of the park opening and the line was, and always is, multiple hours long. We used the last one to bypass the always ridiculously long Small World line.
This video is too good. This post is an archive for my purposes so i can easily dig it up and come back to later… but hey, it’s also a great piece of work that should be shared. In the description box by Joel Pashby:
The Nutcracker with dancer Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer, JR Tight Eyex, James Derrick, and the California Phil in Pasadena on Dec. 12, 2015–from the brilliant mind of maestro Victor Vener.
aaand another one: