a generic update on August

August is turning out to be a rather eventful month for me in many ways. As I mentioned before, my husband is going to Mexico, actually, two weeks from today we should know the verdict on his immigration papers, whether he will have to wait it out in Mexico for two months, four months, or who knows how long. I unfortunately will not be heading to visit his family there until probably December, by which time he will hopefully have come back again, but it’s all up in the air.

My mom, brother Adam and I will be trekking to the greater Grand Rapids area Saturday for a Bob Dylan concert, staying overnight and hopefully visiting the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park before heading back on Sunday. My mom is a lifelong Dylan fan and would like to see him as much as possible before he retires, or keels over, whichever comes first. Neither Adam nor I are really fans per se, but it’s always fun to do something together and I’m looking forward to going to what looks like a fantastic public garden.

With Fermin leaving, my job going generally well and feeling like I have a nice amount of free time on my hands, I am looking at taking several classes at the UW-Milwaukee Continuing Education Center. I would really like to take one writing, one photography and perhaps a cooking class this fall. I have been talking about taking more classes for years but this is the first time I have really felt like I have the energy outside of work to do it.

I also found out this month that my half-brother is getting married in Jamaica (destination wedding) in October. This will be my first such event and though we aren’t super close, I am looking forward to going to Jamaica, which is something I would probably never do otherwise and having a relaxing time in the sun while celebrating their wedding.

I am waiting for my first Journal-Sentinel column to be run. The editor mentioned she had already received 30 columns and they run six per week, so I don’t know how long the wait will be. After that, we are supposed to write every three to four weeks, so I’m waiting a while so whatever I write doesn’t end up really untimely by the time it’s published.

Finally, I got to go to Six Flags with Fermin, Jon and Mary Monday, and it was fantastic. I hadn’t been there in probably five years, it was Fermin’s first time on a roller coaster, and extremely fun to hang out with Jon, who is probably the most effortlessly funny person I know, and Mary, a long-time friend who is conveniently dating Jon. My husband is scarcely afraid of anything, nor does he express a lot of emotion, so seeing him totally terrified after riding the legs-dangling Batman roller coaster was something of a guilty pleasure.

I love (LOVE) roller coasters. It’s one of the only times a person can scream their head off and get away with it, and I’m fairly sure you could hear me screaming all over the park Monday.

My usual thought process during a coaster experience goes something like this:

1. Standing in line (really excited, talking about how fun it’s going to be)

2. Reaching the front of the line (watching people’s faces who are getting off the ride, starting to feel a knot in my stomach)

3. Getting strapped in (paranoid thinking starts, checking my belt and harness five to ten times, trying to remain calm)

4. Heading up the first big hill (pulling on my harness in anticipation of it lifting up, imagining my death as I fly of the car and my body crushes a small child or my body impales on a guidepost, I start thinking about how I could stay in the car by holding onto a railing or physically pushing myself into the seat, telling my friends who are with me that it was nice knowing them, telling my riding partner I am too young to die)

5. Reaching the top, starting to head down, harness still working (begin screaming)

6. Loops, smaller hills, dangerous curves (screaming, harness seems to be working, feeling happy to be alive)

7. Back in the station (happy, excited, not dead)

I think part of the thrill of roller coasters for me is that feeling that I might die, because inevitably my harness would fail. I start thinking how they check these things for safety and how often. I look at the 14-year-old kids staffing the park and think I have just put my life in their young, adolescent hands.

Needless to say, I survived my day at the theme park, despite seven or eight near-death experiences, none of which compared to the terror I felt when I “flew” on Superman: Ultimate Flight toward the end of the day. This coaster, which straps you in, puts your feet through some bars and then turns you parallel to the ground as the floor drops out, was by far the most terrifying ride I have ever been on. As you head up the first hill, you are staring at the ground, getting farther away, with little else to look at. On top of it, if that harness fails, you know there is no other way to keep yourself alive, you are for sure going to die. I was actually so scared I couldn’t scream. That was definitely a first.

And that’s basically life here with me. It’s been a great summer and I am sad to see it slipping away.

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One Response to a generic update on August

  1. Jack says:

    Laura, you remind me of the days when I loved riding on roller coasters, but those days are far behind me. The last time I rode, I think it was the Batman, with my feet hanging below the car, and when it was done, I felt like my body had about been shaken to death. I’ll leave that Superman thing to you young folks.

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