A short list of what has happened in the last month or so:
Our apartment was broken into (actually all the apartments in our building were broken into). Stolen items include my Macbook (sob), 2 iPods, 2 digital cameras, 1 SLR camera, a hard drive (with all the seasons of The L Word!), Ellie’s purse (thankfully empty), a throw pillow cover, a change jar and our LAUNDRY QUARTERS. The biggest insult is that last one. It’s as if my dignity was in the cup of laundry quarters.
One of my best friends decided that our relationship was dysfunctional and planned to ignore me until I figured it out. I did! We’re no longer speaking.
The catalytic converter was stolen off my truck (again). Second time this year it’s happened.
I turned 26! Ellie and I went to the Wisconsin Dells to celebrate and stayed in an awesome B&B with a whirlpool jacuzzi tub and the biggest wasps I’ve ever seen. They would smash themselves into the ceiling repeatedly and I thought, “I’ve been there, Waspy. I’ve been there.”
At Mt. Olypmus (this incredibly kitschy Greek themed amusement and water park), I was rear ended on the go-karts. The ride was over and I was parked, waiting for the go-kart operator dude to say it was safe to get out when this middle aged, orange-colored woman slammed into me from behind. This made me cranky and I think contributed to the existential childhood malaise I began to feel on my birthday. Suddenly, fake scary (roller coasters, etc.) did not seem that fun to me. This is also possibly due to getting hit by a car. I now imagine all sorts of terrible things that could mangle my body. But that’s another story.
We also saw a magic show (he made a car appear on stage!), went on a historical boat tour and ate at the Cheese Factory (the only vegetarian restaurant at the Dells) every day we were there. Basically, we did an activity from every possible age bracket. The boat tour was rather hilarious – at one point, we all got out of the boat to watch a German Shepard jump from one rock to another. This was to symbolically celebrate one of the inventors of shutter photography. Obviously.
At first I was hugely impressed with the Dells, whose kitschy-ness and tourist trappery appealed to my shamelessness in a way that very few cities can. Ask Ammie about how I made us take a three hour detour on our trip to Alaska in order to take a picture of the world’s largest frying pan. The Dells had a similar pull. Neon peace sign shirts in the same store window as AK-47s? Yes! A building whose furniture is all upside down? Bring it on! Wizard stores that advertise signs for “Gnome Depot”? OMG yes. But after a while, it really started to depress me. It probably didn’t help that almost all of the town’s employees had been imported from Romania. I’m not kidding. There’s some kind of cultural exchange program and several students opt to spend their summers selling fudge in the Midwest. I can only imagine what propaganda they used to entice them. “All the caramel corn you can eat! Historical boat tours! Really big knives for cheap!” I’m pretty sure Disneyland does something similar. At this point, I feel I should confess that I did buy some fudge, and a coffee cup shaped like a woman’s crotch, and a shot glass with a thong in it that says “Mt. Olympus” I think.
Ellie was such a sport about all this. She hates roller coasters and basically anything that moves in a non-linear direction. She even yelled at me on the teacups because I was spinning us too fast. So I went on Hades by myself. Hades is a 200 ft roller coaster that plunges you into complete darkness (under the parking lot, I found out later) and whose structure is disconcertingly rotting. Right after I took my place on the ride, the attendant came around asking if any of our seats were wet since a girl had just peed her pants. (For once, luck was on my side and my seat was not wet). I took this girl’s urine to be an omen though, and started to wonder if I would die on my trip to Hades, which I found strangely appropriate, since I am most surely going to hell. Because of that, I spent the majority of the ride with my eyes shut and my teeth clamped tight enough to make chewing problematic later that evening. I did not die on Hades, however, I think a part of my childhood probably did.