The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: October, 2006

Made Me Cry

Okay, I cannot be held responsible if you watch this and you choke up, okay? It’s REALLY well done, and I started blubbering when I got to the end of it. I plan to write to the photographer.
http://wt.us.publicus.com/static/slideshow/WhalomPark/index.html

(I’m in the middle of re-uploading my Whalom Park photo album – the one I took 5 years after the park closed and most of the rides were auctioned off. http://www.bigdumptruck.com/images/Whalom%20Park%20May%202005/)

[Updated 10/20] Also, if you’re looking for pictures of the park, Google “Whalom Park” in their images category. Wow, there is some seriously cool stuff out there. I know I saw I was going to make a Whalom Park page here a while ago, but now I really want to do it, even if it’s just for me. Also, I am now more determined than ever to find the old pictures (slides?) of me as a toddler on the rides in kiddieland. Is it a bad sign that I have the old Whalom Park (for a whale of a time) radio jingle in my head?

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Goodbye, Black Hole

I’m in mourning. I’ve talked about this before, but to heck with it, I’m talking about it again.

Whalom Park is gone. Well, it was technically gone when they auctioned off all the rides, but now it’s gone because they’re flattening the place. I’m one of those stupid blind believers who could drive past the crumbling ruins the past few years and not see the rot and rubble and overgrowth. I could see the train tracks and the Scrambler and hear the sounds of balloons popping from the water game over by the Flying Comet Roller Coaster. I can remember the daily bet on which car of the Octopus would be thrown up in first while I was working cashier at the front of the park. I remember running through the park in the pouring rain because they decided not to open after we were all at work. I remember my parents cramming as many neighborhood kids as possible into our car to drive us all for the Wednesday night two-for-one pricing. I remember actually falling in love for the first time with a guy who didn’t love me back, but still making me feel special because he treated me like a princess in front of all the other girls who had mad crushes on him. (I’m talking about you, Mr. Tilt-a-Whirl.) I remember the fun house when it was full of items that you couldn’t have in a public place for fear of a million lawsuits – the spinning barrel that the kids would do cartwheels in, and the big disk on the floor where you wanted to sit in the middle because then you might be the last to be spun off by the centrifigal force. I remember the horror when we all heard that there had been a fire and the haunted house was gone forever. I remember how every Easter Sunday I would BEG my parents to take us to Whalom for the Easter Egg Hunt, even though we never went. I remember being REALLY little, maybe 4, and riding on the kiddie roller coaster they used to have, and a fence post had fallen across the track but the kid running the ride couldn’t hear us yelling and we were damned lucky the train cars didn’t come off the track. I remember taking Junior as a tiny guy, him loving every ride he went on, and me being thrilled that I was bringing my own child to one of my favorite places.

I remember being grateful beyond words when Mark Chester invited me to meet him at the closed park for one last walk around and photo session. I will TREASURE those photos forever. [Note: I just went to look for these and saw that they are not on the server. I will make sure to re-upload them. I have no idea why they aren’t available.]

Here’s a note from a long ago Dump:

“I didn’t make it to Whalom Park again this year. I dread the time
when Junior becomes aware of it because we’ll have to find another route to Walmart. Not that I spend a lot of time at Walmart, but I won’t want to stop to ride the Merry-Go-Round every time I head off to buy lightbulbs.”

I take it back!!!

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Mittens! Where Are My Mittens?

Man it was coooold this morning. My hands were very unhappy with the temperature of the steering wheel for the first 5 minutes or so this morning. I couldn’t really do anything about it, because I’m still in summer mode where of course it’s not going to be “cold” out. Except according to the thermometer built into the Jodymobile it wasn’t even 40 degrees. Oh. Okay. That’s nice.

I got my Halloween costume yesterday. I forget what it’s actually called, but it’s sort of a death bride thing. Shopping for Halloween costumes is one of my favorite tasks in the universe. We didn’t go to nearly as many stores as we did last year, fwiw. Junior wanted a Pokemon-related costume and I can safely say we didn’t see a single one, so I’m glad he also had his backup plan of being a “medieval dead woodsman.” (I’ll have to confirm that this is what he actually told me he wanted to be). I know that all medieval woodsmen are by definition, dead, but we need to know that it had to be in a medieval style, and dead because that implies a level of pale ghostliness as opposed to just a “medieval woodsman” who would be alive. And not just a dead woodsman, because could be a guy who fell out of a tree yesterday. While that would make for an interesting makeup job, it isn’t what he was going for.

What was funny is that he apparently inherited my Halloween fascination with accessories, because he thought it would be perfect to dress as this ghoulish person, but get a little Play-Skool chain saw that said happy little things like “I love you!”

He amuses me so!

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Witch’s Woods Review

Joined my sister’s family for an outing at Witch’s Woods (at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford) and a fabulous time was had by all. Well, all but Junior (8), who was thoroughly freaked out and finally said he wasn’t going to go in the last attraction. (One other girl in our group, who I think is 9, also skipped one of the attractions 9, but not the same one Junior and I did.)

I was a little put off by the price (22 for adults, 20 for kids 12 and under) thinking I’d be giving them hard-earned buckaroonies for 15 minutes of people in makeup and wigs. On the other hand, we were there for 2.5 hours, had the bejeezus scared out of us over and over again, and just really enjoyed the whole party atmosphere. My one complaint is that they sold pretzels and fried dough but didn’t sell popcorn. I love me some popcorn.

There isn’t much I can say here to sell you on it that wouldn’t spoil it for you, so I won’t. I will say that if you are like me, and detest the idea of people popping up out of nowhere, this is probably not the place to spend an evening. (For instance, I hated playing hide and seek as a kid because I hated being startled by the other players when I was “it”.) The one section we didn’t do was the one with 3D glasses where you can’t tell which things are mannequins and which are real people who will pop out of the walls, etc. etc.

There is a “no touch” rule – they will never touch you and you cannot ever touch them – that doesn’t stop them from standing as close behind you as humanly possible. If you are last person in your group, don’t be surprised to find someone breathing on the back of your neck. Heh.

I give witch’s woods 4 out of 4 bats. I would leave the 5 and under kids at home, and maybe anyone under 10 who can’t handle haunted houses, ghouls and surprises. Otherwise, have fun!

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Join Us!

I am participating again. Christine had better start planning now, because I’m not going to take no for an answer this year. Do you hear me, Christine? Reid, are you out there? I’m talking to you! Plus we can use it as an excuse to have girl’s night out at Panera Bread, or someplace like that. Not you, Reid, you live too far away. But you are welcome to join us, if only in spirit.

If you sign on, let me know and I’ll add you to my list of friends (or whatever they call it) on the Nanowrimo site.

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Drum Dreams

So all you old school ELO fans should recognize the title of this post is the B-side of a circa for the All Over the World 45. That’s right, kidlings, I’m talking about a 45-RPM recorded disk that was issued back around 1980 from the soundtrack to the movie Xanadu. You have seen Xanadu, right? But have you seen it lately? You MST3K-wannabes can have a LOT of fun with this one. I think someone should do Xanadu 2 and show what happened to Sonny Malone when his dream establishment, a roller disco rink, failed in spectacular fashion less than 2 years after it opened. Because we all know how roller disco rinks maintained their cutting-edge popularity over the last 25 years. You can’t swing a dead mirror ball without hitting a roller disco rink.

But I digress. Drum Dreams, in this case, actually refers to the Blue Man Group concert we attended last night. Can I just say how much I adore Blue Man Group? This tour, called “How to Be a Megastar” is actually just a slightly updated version of their Complex tour, but I am so hooked on The Complex that I’m okay with that. I didn’t get to see The Complex when they originally toured, so last night’s concert was FINE with me.

It does make me want to run out and buy some PVC pipe. BMG has a hands-on exhibit at the Children’s Museum in Boston and I’m wondering how bad it will look if I pry the kids off of it so that I can take a turn. Sure, they’ll cry, but I’m bigger than them, so who cares? We’re talking about Blue Man Group!

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Lord of the Dance Update

Wow, how long has it been since I posted one of these!!! As I was telling dump reader (and now my Toontown friend) Beth the other night, one of the first regular features of the original dump 11 years ago was a Lord of the Dance Update.

Because the people need to know.

I got an email this morning from something along the lines of “Broadway Across America” (I think they have my email because I bought some concert tickets (not Broadway show) online. Anyway, it was an announcement that for three shows only, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance will be in Boston…on my birthday.

So I had to tell Mr. Dump.

Me: Lord of the Dance is being performed on my birthday (“3 shows only!”). At what point is he going to be too old to do this show? I’m impressed that he’s maintained his energy – that is, unless he’s not actually the Lord of the Dance, he’s the grandpa of the dance.

Mr. D: Wow… 3 shows all on your birthday. Talk about energy!!

Me: Well, the 26th and 27th. And on the 28th the Lord rested. BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!

If anyone is going to go, you have to provide us with details. And if you want to read some of my past Lord of the Dance updates, throw that phrase into the Google search over on the right and search the archives.

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Why Aren’t You Watching?

I just saw a news report that you people aren’t watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the brilliant Monday Night show that you are supposed to be watching.

I certainly hope you aren’t watching something else. Or worse, not watching television at all? Now I’m the first to not watch things. There are a LOT of shows that I don’t watch. But of the handful of “grownup” shows that I do Tivo and actually watch, this is one that I want to survive for at least a season.

So here is your required viewing: Studio 60, My Name is Earl, and The Office. Those are the only three that you are required to watch. If you’re smart, you’ll also watch E’s “The Soup” and the brilliant Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Brilliant brilliant stuff, and if his son Nick isn’t huge some day, I’ll eat my puppy socks.

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Ode to My New Socks

A puppy sock
Can really rock
But when your have two
You cannot be blue

They have ears on the side
Which fills me with pride
Don’t you wish that you
Had puppy socks too?

By Jody who feels like a kid in her new fluffy puppy socks

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