Saturday, June 28, 2008

Technicolor Symphony

We had our last couple annual work parties at the Reagan Library. They were adult only dos in the evening and while fun in their way, different from Friday's party. This year's party was along the lines of "picnic", only with the picnic on steroids. Work paid for admission for every employee, one adult guest, and any dependent children to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain. (More flags; more fun!)

They have a picnic area for group functions like this and they served us lunch and provided some entertainment during the food and work sponsored a raffle. I'd filled up on chicken, hot dogs, potato salad, corn, a couple of wrong tasting coca colas, and a cherry popsicle. I actually won something in the raffle for the first time (I still maintain I have bad luck at raffles, on the whole), but I got exactly the right thing - a bluetooth accessory so I can use my phone in the car hands free. It had been my plan to buy something like that as using my little wire doohickey is more likely to get me to crash than just holding my phone. And as of July 1 we have to go "hands free" with the car phones in CA. IMHO, it's just promoting more wireless industry (yay! My work supports wireless! More money for us!) but won't change accident rates. I think they'll go up temporarily while everyone learns their new interface then will go back to what they were. The conversation leads to far more distraction than the holding of the phone. It's just as bad having a rider in the car. But whatever, I won! I won!

I had a devil of a time finding someone to go who would ride rollercoasters with me. Finally, I hooked up with some colleague's relatives, some of whom I'd met before, at the picnic area. We took off after lunch, left my pregnant colleague guarding her nieces and nephews in the kiddie area, and rode Goliath. That coaster has one heck of a first drop. Naturally, we were in the front seat! It was also great because there was almost no line. We skipped over a couple lesser roller coasters (I now wish we hadn't) to go ride Katsu. The people I was with didn't let me look at the seats until we got up there.

There was a real line for Katsu. It wasn't helped by the fact that they intermittently stopped running one of the two trains for reasons that weren't well communicated, and seemed a little sketchy. At least for one of them, someone passed out and it took more than 5 minutes for them to get some EMTs up to haul the faintee off the ride. You'd think if they had issues like that, they'd have someone on call that would come quicker, but this is Six Flags, not Disney, and you'd be wrong. We got to the front of the line in 22 minutes. It took us another 44 to wait for less than 10 cycles of the train at the turnstiles of a 90 second ride. At this point, I had put in my time and was going to ride it even though you ride hanging face down.

The restraints were surprisingly comfortable, non-chafing, and the ride was really quite cool from the front row. Until about 3/4 of the way through. At that point it switched from an exterior loop to an interior loop putting us from stomach to back then stomach again. I probably would have been good still, but then they hit the breaks with us heading slightly downhill right after and my stomach shifted and my inner ear said, "this ain't good". I got off the ride with a shaky smile and had to immediately navigate stairs. By the time we got to where you can buy your picture from the ride, I couldn't even stand long enough to see the picture. I sat over in the corner near the edge of the sidewalk and tried not to move.

There was nothing for it but to boot up the hotdog, corn, and cherry popsicle. Probably other stuff came up too, but it was less identifiable, and I got most of it to go off the edge. If this was Disney, one of the 4 workers whose line of sight I sat directly in would have sent housekeeping over to finish cleaning off the barf. But this was six flags and one worker came wandering by, looked concerned, talked to my very patient friends, and went to find someone. They clearly ignored her. I don't know how long I sat there, but it was a while before I could move.

What I want to know is why a 15 second disruption of my balance can cause me to be a shadow of my former self for hours. When I lived on a boat for 3 days at fitness camp, I had used a transdermal scopalomine patch that worked wonders. I felt totally fine the whole time. But it was 2 weeks before I recovered my "land legs". I literally felt like I was rocking for that whole time. That can't be right. I'm a little strange with motion sickess. I didn't get it until I came down with mono at college. So now I get on a boat, think, "wow, this movement is so relaxing! why am I sick?" And I don't have coping skills for when I do. Maybe if I'd spent more time getting excessively drunk (felt exactly the same) I would also know better, but I avoid overindulgence.

So the rest of the day was kinda weird. We had some dinner, but I could only handle fries after about an hour of sitting with a cold liter of water. It wasn't all that hot, but I still drank 2.5 liters of water in addition to 2 smallish cokes and a sprite with the picnic. And I couldn't move very fast. About the time everyone else's temper was fraying, I started to come back to life. I thought I could maybe handle another "regular" rollercoaster that just goes forward, but the fraying kept going and we all decided to take off.

One of my new buddies was local and directed me to the nearest DQ where I got myself a strawberry sundae and an Orange Julius and drove home the 'back' way along 126 and down Grimes Canyon Road. GCR is one of my favorite drives - it's twisty and wIndy and a little scary, but not death defying like the 23 is from PCH to the 101. (It has shoulders and lines and everything!) Even so, it's not illuminated so it can be tricky in the dark and the couple of times I had to hit the brakes instead of downshift, my stomach let me know that I wasn't quite ready for more rollercoasters yet. It was made up for by the fact that my favorite song on Cake's "Comfort Eagle" album, "Symphony in C" came on right as I hit the start of the grade going up and there was open road in front of me.


Janet Webb said...

Wow ... almost as good as being there ... good times indeed except for the liquid laff :(

The dh's next company thing is Key West not Mardi Gras central so let's talk colours ... the holidays will be here before we know it!

farmwifetwo said...

This weekend we've done "Life is a Cabaret my friend. Life is a Cabaret!!!!" With one set of friends.

And crash, bang, pop, applause... at another friend's for Canada day. Pushed little boy too far... thank goodness my friend babysits :)

Hope you are feeling better.