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Manufactured Fun, Oh My!

October 29, 2007
Sunday, we went to Universal Studios Hollywood. Our annual pass expires Tuesday so we gave it one more use. Until Wednesday, the park closes at 6:00 pm and reopens at 7:00 pm for Halloween Horror Nights. Because we had Halloween Horror Nights tickets, we were allowed to stay in the park between 6:00 and 7:00 when they were corralling everyone else out. Within that one hour a complete transformation takes place, the signs for the day’s attractions and rides are covered up with new night signs with different information. Friday the 13th, Revenge of the Mummy, Nightmare on Elm Street is just some of the attractions that replaces Shrek 4D and other friendly, read not scary attractions. Oh and there is Jurassic Park in the Dark. The girlglendower loved the Jurassic Park ride in the daytime but could not fathom it at night. I thought it would be too scary for her because at the end of the ride is a long and steep drop. A humongous mutated Tyrannosaurus opens his mouth and right when it looks as if he will swallow the raft, the raft drops down fifty or so feet splashing most everyone at the bottom. The Jurassic Park ride is a raft ride (in water of course) that goes through a dinosaur park. Dinosaurs pop out everywhere, some spitting water. No one in the boat is free from getting wet. Thick fog and spraying water surround the boat during most of the ride. Someone who designed the props had a bit of fun poking at Disney (Universal Studios competition maybe?) by hanging a Disney bag with a big Mickey Mouse on it from the mouth of one of the dinosaurs.

When Mr. Glendower and I went to Halloween Horror Nights ten years ago it was so weak that we did not think anything of letting our daughter go this time seeing that she wanted to so bad. Big mistake. We went to one attraction, the Revenge of the Mummy, an indoor roller coaster ride. There was no waiting since we were among the first there for the night’s event. Always follow your first instincts. When we saw the coaster carts, we decided it was probably too scary. No one can accuse our family of needing to be frightened, thrilled or scared out of our wits to feel entertained. It is an unanimous decision, no Glendower likes scary rides. When we turned around to head for the exit one of the workers came after us assuring us that it was just a series of small ups and downs. What, do they get commission or something? Tucking the child in between us, we embarked to witness the Mummy’s Revenge. The child decided to close her eyes, which was best because as the cart takes off you are treated to Halloween friendly decorations, i.e. hundred of severed arms hanging from the ceiling and of course lots of other gruesome displays. That was not the worse of it, suddenly the cart excels into a series of ups and downs (as the attendant claimed) yet at the speed of light! In the dark! With several sharp turns! My butt lifted up at least three times. My butt. A heavy butt like mine was lifted up three times. This ride was not pretty. Then once it slows down and you attempt to focus your eyes to see the crowd at the station, where you may think it is time to get off, it goes the same route that it just did, but in reverse! Moreover, at the same demonic speed.

While the other two waited refreshing themselves with cool drinks and getting over The Mummy’s Revenge, I went on the Terror Tram alone. It is the same tram that operates during the day that takes people around the back lot. Except after a little ride, everyone exits the tram and walks through one of the old sets that belonged to Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas’s Whoville. There are employees dressed in morbid costumes complete with the scary clown cliché and the never-ending chainsaws. What is it with clowns and chainsaws? The tour follows around to what looks like a tent at Camp Crystal Lake, then around to the Psycho House and Bates Motel with a few Norman Bates roaming around looking for his mother, ending at a part of a set that was used for War of the Worlds. I’ve not seen War of the Worlds but this set includes a crashed large airplane, a 747(?) with dead body parts thrown about, dead bodies hanging, debris scattered around, suitcases and household items, etc. A police car is parked with its lights flashing and there are endless clouds and streams of smoke. Helicopters, emergency warnings, and commands are blasted through speakers. It would be scarier if the observers were allowed to absorb the atmosphere, instead of all the immature jumping out at people and following people, which ruins it in my opinion. Oooh scary bloody clown with a chain saw who cannot legally touch you……..I will tell you what is scary, –the people who made the silhouettes behind the shades at the Bates motel or, a girl who was bloody with her face up against a fogged up taxicab window. Scary. Subtle. Slight. Eerie. Scary. Not the stupid run after someone with a chain saw rubbish.

Universal Studios Theme Park has to be making millions of dollars a day, not thousands but millions. When we left the park right before 8:00 pm there was a line to get into the park longer and thicker than I have ever seen in my life. There were people for miles. The park closes at 1:00 am, I cannot imagine how anyone could see more than one attraction with all of those people. We were very lucky to be able to remain in the park during the change, thus being an early bird for the night’s festivities.

A few things I noticed. Universal Studios has perfected the hierarchy of preferred options. The second one turns into the parking lot, he or she is faced with “do you want to spend $20 to park in the preferred lot or $10 to park in the general lot?” Why not say royalty over here and peasants this way. Then if that is not enough, one is offered to buy general admission (if they do not have annual passes) or head of the line passes. Once that hook is baited and many fish are caught, I expect to see the head of the head of the line line option for triple the amount of general admission. What is dumb about the head of the line passes is it is only necessary for the tram tour and we were directed to the front anyway because Mr. Glendower was using his cane. But not because he is an invalid, but because he had pulled a hamstring muscle by showing off. He told us that he could do the split, but the carpet was slippery and caused him to go down further than he had intended and as a result he pulled his hamstring muscle. Some days everything just works out perfectly.

* The pictures you are seeing are some roses Mr. Glendower gave me Friday. He bought them off a man in the barbershop. That barbershop is a lively place. I’m having trouble capturing the true colors that I see without the camera . For some reason the camera distorts. Perhaps what I want in photography I will not be able to get from a digital.

*This post is brought to you by an approaching middle age white woman, by all appearances, who claim to be half Mexican (her Mexican-American father was never around but her white mother was). She is married to a white man who does not intend to denounce his white heritage or privilege (even though he feigns feminism when her tantrums threaten the normal societal enforced female flow of the household). Her children appear white and have a Western European last name, they are thought to be white by school officials and others, once she hesitated when asked what race on an enrollment form but quickly filled in the bubble for white because her husband would not understand or approve of his children being called anything other than white. However, she lives a double life, her day-to-day thoughts are inundated with what benefits real white women may or may not get and she does not, and, she expresses her jealousy and hatred for them through what appears at first glance to be subversive activism. At her job as an insurance sales representative, she whispers loopholes and secrets to first generation Mexican-Americans and immigrants while making sure white women looking for a decent policy and who specifically asks for her in wanting to give another woman business, are gouged. Her daydreams mainly focus on her standing at a podium getting massive applause for becoming the next female Cesar Chavez. Yet the closest she has ever come to picking produce for a living was one day when she was twelve her uncle paid her to pick cucumbers on his farm in an attempt to steer her toward making better grades in school. She tends to exaggerate that experience when working towards her martyrdom. Her eyes are the prettiest shade of brown that you’ve ever seen, but she will only allow herself to refer to the shade as that of shit stain brown. —Character created by You Don’t Know Me™ Productions

  1. Professor Zero permalink
    October 30, 2007 3:32 am

    LMAO on the character description!

    And what is this – roses? I thought you were trapped in a loveless marriage you had to stay in for reasons having to do with military status? ARRGH you know where I heard that.

  2. Kitty Glendower permalink
    October 30, 2007 3:42 am

    Yes, and I did not ask for them, did not threaten or bribe or refuse to wash his socks and I would like to know what military my poor husband is in. I laugh at the thought of him fighting for Bush. LOL!

  3. Robbie permalink
    October 30, 2007 1:43 pm

    Wow! To think we were so close but yet so far away. I even almost went to City Walk to catch a movie on Sunday but opted for The Grove because I could buy tea at The Farmer’s Market and I hate having to pay $10 for parking at City Walk. But, after your character description, I don’t think I would have recognized you had I ran into you in the parking structure. Plus, me thinks you paid the $20 – you know, with the husband lame and all not because you’re of the royalty mindset.

  4. Kitty Glendower permalink
    October 30, 2007 3:56 pm

    LOL! No, no twenty dollars out of us. They would have to sqeeze that 20 out of my cold dead hands. With 10 we were able to come down by Bubba Gump’s and then walk right to Universal and keep 10 in our pocket.

  5. Attorneymom permalink
    October 30, 2007 4:07 pm

    Kitty, you been tagged. Read my blog to find out what this means.

  6. CountryDew permalink
    October 30, 2007 8:20 pm

    I haven’t been on a fun park ride in years. Of course, I don’t have a theme park anywhere close (Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is the closest, but that’ four hours away.) It sounds like you had fun even if it was well, not quite what you’d preferred.

  7. Chris permalink
    November 4, 2007 10:32 pm

    That is so sweet that he bought you flowers. I don’t do flowers a whole lot but have on occasion. I have found that a $6.99 bouquet from the grocery store for no reason at all during the middle of the week trumps $75 worth of long stem roses on valentines day. (Speaking of manufactured things – holidays).

    Trevor went to a fall festival at a church with Alexis and did a haunted house with his friend. He came out literally trembling and in tears:(

    Glad you got to use your pass one last time. I usually notice our passes to the zoo and Dollywood expire about a week after they have expired 🙂

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