Friday, November 5, 2010

Vampire Families and Theme Parks and Stuff

I have been blog-neglectful in respect to my own blog and other folks' blogs. I sort of get lost in my life and don't have time for even a few minutes at the computer. Of course that's not because I'm actually writing or cleaning the house or reading or doing any of the things that would make me timely and organized and increasingly published. It's because I'm doing...stuff.

One of those things did was take the kids to Six Flags, or two of the three kids and a friend. And of course then there was Halloween which completely absorbs me. We went to Six Flags just before Halloween.

Now, we are not a theme park family, but every once in a while, I roll a wheelbarrow of cash into one of those places just so we feel connected to the rest of theme-park loving America.

None of my kids are hugely into roller coasters, but we walked around, went on a few rides and let teenagers jump out at us and scare the scream out of Emma. Philip kept reminding her to "look cool" because the people paid to scare you "prey on the weak." But Emma is too young not to look terrified, so she provided those folks a perfect target.

What scared me the most was the family of vampires. Not too many people who weren't hired by the park were in costume, but this family stood directly in front of us on line with their fanged teeth and capes. After a few minutes of watching them, it occurred to us, I think simultaneously, that they were really, really, really into being "the vampire family" - in other words, you sort of got that they wore these costumes at times other than Halloween. Way scarier a concept than roller coasters.

I'm not sure what's wrong with us that we don't enjoy theme parks. Its seems sort of un-American.

I remember right after Emma was born, we took the boys, then four and six and a newborn to Florida. We stood in the middle of Disney World and only then did my postpartum, exhausted brain realize that we never really participated in much Disney stuff. We watched Lion King and Barney and knew the names of animals, but we didn't go to Disney movies or watch commercial tv. My boys did not know who Buzz Lightyear was and Philip grew absolutely terrified when Lincoln began speaking. In fact, he began wailing with terror. Christopher was in tears because he wanted to drive the go carts and after about ten seconds, he realized that the go cart was being controlled for him and not by him. "This place stinks," he pronounced. I remember going back to the hotel thinking we were the strangest family in the United States. What kids don't like Disney World? Well, mine.

But we did have fun afterwards talking about the vampire family, imagining them going shopping for their small, medium and large capes and fangs and pointy collars and sitting for the family portrait:
But now it's boring, wet November and I have to actually get back to doing stuff that isn't just stuff, like finishing a revision and adding at least 100 words to NaNo. I'm really hoping there is someone else out there who joined NaNo and hasn't started yet. There has to be: if the vampire people found each other, I can't be alone in procrastination, right?


Glynis said...

You are not alone, DH, me and one of our three are not fans of rollercoasters.
The vampire family sound interesting.

Happy NaNo..:)

Bish Denham said...

LOL! I thinking life getting in the way and doing stuff is way more important (and in many cases exciting) than blogging. And you know I'm not a big amusement park fan either. We live just up the road (like 65 miles) from a Six Flags and a Sea World and I've never been to either. A waste of money....

storyqueen said...

I have to admit, I love disneyland...but that Lincoln thing is kind of scary! And I'm with your son on the cars that little kids get to drive...don't like them at all.

I'm going to disney tomorrow actually, but I bet I won't be lucky enough to see a vampire family. That must have been so creepy-cool!

Happy Wet November! We are baking here in SoCal....95 on Thursday. Gross.


Anne Spollen said...
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Anne Spollen said...
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Anne Spollen said...

My form of terror, Glynis, is having teenagers learning to drive. And I'm going to Nano today. Having announced it here and getting that extra hour of time, I'll be more of a disgrace than I already am if I don't at least start.

I like blogging, Bish, I just get really computer-phobic sometimes. I think it's that there were only a few nice days left and I couldn't stand sitting inside at the keyboard. It's gross here now so I'll get more writing done.

And SeaWorld my kids liked way, way more than Disney. We had gone to more aquariums along the way I guess.

Anne Spollen said...

Shelley, It wasn't just the talking Disney Lincoln that got Philip. We were in some kind of boat where the dolls along the cave walls starting singing. He tried to bolt. I tell make you a very flexible person.

95, wow. I always say I would miss the seasons, but that sounds like perfect pool weather. We are baking, too, but the kind that you do to make banana bread to keep the house warm.

Jemi Fraser said...

So funny - I'm not a theme park person either. I don't like not being in control, so the roller coasters are not my thing. I think I'm a total control freak actually... :)

I agree, the vampire family is the scariest of them all!

I didn't see your nano name - I'm jemifraser if you want to buddy up though :)

Shannon said...

I've had entirely different theme park experiences, but I share the general feeling--at least, I think that I started not to enjoy theme parks once I had an elementary concept of finance and how ridiculously expensive "fun" could be, whereas going to the beach was free and inspired similar feelings of exhaustion at the end of the day (and the beach was better, because then Dad could toss me unceremoniously into the surf and kick up tons of sand and spray and not be scolded by the lifeguards, who were probably too sunburnt to care anyways). But I think it's very courageous of you to go to a theme park around Halloween--I went to the Trail of Terror once or twice and was so jittery afterwards that it took a can of coke and some ice cream to calm me down. And professional scarers can't be laughed off: if they don't get you the first time, then maybe you'll spend a couple hours worry free but you turn the corner and GAH! "How did you fInD mE??" Some of those people are just regular actors, I know; but, I think some of them have a genetic predisposition for general "creepiness".

Mary Witzl said...

I took my kids to Tokyo Disneyland and we enjoyed it, but I let them know ahead of time that NOTHING would get me on a roller coaster. Personally, I've never been able to stand people dressed up as Disney characters and I was intrigued to see that my kids hated them too, although I made sure not to voice my own feelings.

As for NaNoWriMo, I cut out the middleman this year and did not even start. I know I can churn out prose; I know I can start and finish a novel. What I need work on is getting one polished enough to get published, so that's where I'm trying to concentrate my energies.

Medeia Sharif said...

Roller coasters frighten me. I've never been on one. I'd rather be with the vampire family.

I go to fairs once in a while. I love the rides, as long as I don't have to be upside down.

Anne Spollen said...

Hey Shannon! Nice to hear from you again. Yes, the beach is better. And you're right about the "professional scarers" - Emma was actually getting upset so we had to put her in the middle of the group. Those folks seem just the tiniest bit sadistic to me. I think we are better off at aquariums and pools; no one chases you there...

You're right about the churning, Mary. Except that's what I can't do. I agonize. I thought NaNo would make that internal editor be quiet since it's quantity over quality so I thought I'd try it. I just have to get my butt over there. And yes about the Disney characters.

You've NEVER been on a roller coaster, Medeia? You may be the first person I've ever known who has never been on one. And yes, I think most writers would have been intrigued by that family. Upside down rides? I have enough trouble keeping myself moored as it is.

Mary Witzl said...

Just got 'The Shape of Water' in the mail today -- wheeeee! It's so exciting to see the same picture on a book that I've seen on your blog!

Anne Spollen said...

Great - I'm so glad you're reading that! Let me know what you think, Mary : )