Friday, June 20, 2014
Anyway, we did the typical tourist stuff. Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios--if it was available, we did it. One of the most memorable parts of our trip was the Backlot Tour at Universal Studios. It was great! We crossed the parted Red Sea, saw the set from Psycho, had the bridge our tram was on shaken by King Kong; it was so much fun!
Until we started driving on an eerily familiar pier.
I knew I recognized this set, but I couldn't place my finger on it. There was this ominous feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I chalked it up to the Back To The Future ride from earlier that day (spoiler alert, it's a doozy). I can't remember happened first, the sound of that music or the gigantic mechanical shark leaping out of the water, mere feet from my cherub-like face.
But what I do remember is hearing this blood-curdling scream that sounded like it would never stop. And then I realized that this noise, this animalistic, guttural wailing, was coming from the very depths of my soul. Which was followed by a roar of laughter from the other 5 cars on our tram ride.
And a shout out from the tour guide to "the lady with the lungs in car 3".
While I tried to play it cool, the image of those teeth, those ungodly sharp and pointed teeth...well, it was permanently burned into my brain. I was a fairly logical 8 year old, but I was absolutely convinced that while in the state of California, a shark attack was imminent if I was near any sort of body of water.
Including the bathtub.
I spent the rest of the trip bathing in just an inch or two of water because I KNEW. I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. I would be sitting there, taking a leisurely bath when BOOM. SHARK ATTACK. Luckily, I returned home with little more than a sunburn.
I'm not going to say that California ruined me, but let's just say that I've never been back.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
the summer when i was eight years old, sandwiched by the youth of second grade and the impending maturity of being in third grade, was stellar. besides the usual summer affairs of a child in the south, we also visited family in southern california.
we crammed as much as possible during that week or so of vacation. we went to disney land and rode the tea cups. we watched the fireworks every night from my great aunt’s back porch. i saw my favorite hollywood star’s names in their stars on the boulevard, and put my hands in maryiln monroe’s. heck, we even ate at our first olive garden, and experienced totally smoke-free dining for the first time.
i didn’t have many expectations for the vacation…except for one. the minute we pulled into the parking lot of universal studios i had only one thing on my agenda.
i was going to be discovered.
maybe it was hearing the story of lana turner, maybe it was all of the sun, or maybe the motion sickness patches i wore on the boat ride out to see the queen mary. all i know was that i was certain that some big time hollywood producer would be walking around the park during a break in filming the next thriller and they’d find me,
charming, dazzling, talented me.
i have to admit, i was basically a triple threat. i could sing, i could act, and i could dance. i had stunning good looks and a sharp wit. i was the quintessential disney dream. so once we got into the park, my big plan began.
for starters, i had to look mature. i needed to pass for at least 11 or 12 so i could straddle both the child and young teen roles. and mature people? well, they sure aren’t walking around universal studios with their parents and grandparents. no. that wouldn’t do. i wasn’t going to let me parents hold me back. so while walking down the streets of the theme park, i kept a solid three foot barrier between my family and myself. three feet was the perfect distance. enough to look independent, and close enough to not get stolen.
BECAUSE WHO WOULDN’T WANT THIS, AMIRIGHT?
the second factor into my plan to stardom was my smile. i had practiced before leaving arkansas, and by the time we hit california i was on FULL SMILE ALERT. so much so that my cheeks strained, leaving my face pinched and sore.
the third and final step in my plan was to draw attention to my superior acting abilities. dramatic, grandiose hand gestures, over the top laughing, and model-esque poses filled every spare second.
unbelievably, after a full day of experiencing universal studios, i left undiscovered. i was completely defeated. my big break had come and gone, and i was staring at a life stuck in arkansas straight in the face.
they never knew what they missed.