August 30, 2007

Minnesota State Fair, 2007

I've been so busy going to the fair I haven't had time to write about it. The weather has been perfect - warm enough to wear shorts, yet a hint of autumn in the air. The evenings are chilly, which makes for good snuggling while watching the fireworks.

The 10-In-1 tent was back again this year.* The freak-show-turned-human-oddities is always worth the five tickets to get in. (What does five tickets cost? Who knows? Taking five tickets off of your sheet of twenty makes the attraction seem less expensive than paying actual money to get in. Same goes for the rides. Would you pay $4 to go on a ride that lasts a minute and a half? Would you pay 4 tickets?) They have a bally** and everything. Poobah eats fire. Melinda swallows swords. Come on in and see more. How could you not?

This year the 10-in-1 had Zamora, the woman who turns into a gorilla right before your very eyes. I was pretty disappointed in this cheap knock-off of Zambora, the gorilla girl of years past. Don't ever confuse the two. The illusion of Zambora utilized dim lights and a hidden projector showing the actual transformation of the girl into a gorilla. The illusion of Zamora simply uses a lot of dry ice smoke and a trap door. Zambora scared the hell out of me. Zamora made me laugh.

This banner is for the original gorilla girl. It doesn't actually say "Zambora," but trust me, that was her name. She was alive on the inside, and the illusion was truly fascinating.

This is the banner for Zamora, the current gorilla girl. It says, "see her change," which you definitely do not. But since when do carnivals honor truth in advertising?

I'm very grateful for my nephews, who are now the only ones I'm able to go on the rides with. I've loved to ride the rides forever, and the spinnier, the higher, and the up-side-downer the ride is, the more I like it. However, this year I found my equilibrium to be a little off, and during the rides I couldn't keep my eyes open without hurling. It was kind of sad, and I hope this inner ear or circulation, or whatever problem is rectified by the time I go on more rides. They were fun, though, even though I couldn't watch while I was riding.

One evening we were fortunate to catch the concert at the Leinenkugel Lodge free stage. Dennis DeYoung. Yes, Dennis Frickin'-DeYoung. For free! It was a great concert, and he played for an hour and a half. Everyone loved it from the kids who have no idea who Styx were, to the middle-agers who grew up with Styx, to the oldsters who don't even like that rock-and-roll music. Fab. Absolutely fab. At the end he had the whole audience standing up and singing Sail Away. Dennis sounded as good as ever.

Come on down to the Minnesota State Fair. You just never know what you'll see.

* 10-In-1: Ten acts under one tent.

** Bally: a small demonstration on the outside of the tent designed to lure you into the tent to see more.

August 23, 2007

Are You A Fair-y?

Today begins the 2007 edition of the Minnesota State Fair. Of course it is only the most important event of the year, at least in my family. Even Boyfriend likes going to the fair. (He avoided the fair like the plague for many years. As a boy he would attend with Faux Ma and Faux Pa, which had a fun factor equivalent to a burning stick in the eye. Once he discovered that the key to a good time at the fair was the company he kept, he has come to anticipate the event weeks in advance.)

I've been going to the fair my whole life. My dad has worked at the fair for over forty years here:

My piggish, dykey, doofus of an ex-sister-in-law works here:

She is the one negative thing associated with the Minnesota State Fair. She's like a train wreck in that we go out of our way to see if we can spot her (which isn't hard to do; she's the one who looks like a white version of Shirley from the show What's Happenin'). When we do spot her, we stop and stare for a while, until she notices us staring and runs in the other direction out of fear and/or shame. Then we mosey on our way. I hate her.

I don't know what it's like at other state fairs around the country, but Minnesota is known for its food-on-a-stick. The whole concept has gotten a little out of hand, and I've pretty much disregarded new items-on-a-stick ever since they came up with macaroni-and-cheese-on-a-stick. However, the deep fried Twinkie-on-a-stick is just about the most delectable confection ever invented. They take a Twinkie and spear it with the likes of a corndog stick. Then they dip it in what is something like a crepe batter. Next they fry the whole thing. Fruity toppings are offered, but I prefer a dusting of powdered sugar. It runs a close race with Tom Thumb Donuts (which I've been eating for over forty years) for best food on the fairgrounds.

New food at the fair includes Spamburgers and Spam Curds (spam and cheese battered and deep fried) {no way}, Kool-Aid Pickles {maybe}, pork knuckle sandwiches {pig cartilage? You've got to be kidding!}, and Uffda Brats (Norwegian sausage wrapped in lefse) {Hate lefse, much to Faux Ma's dismay.}.

I'll be posting more about the fair, and maybe even posting some pics after I make my first visit tomorrow. Can you just smell the hot oil and cow manure? WooHoo!

August 06, 2007

Do That To Me One More Time

This is just too much. I think it's irresponsible and selfish to have this many kids, I don't care if you're a millionaire political/real estate hound. Mr. Dugger has aptly earned the name "Jim Bob" with his hillbillian wankie poking at his wife every night like something out of Deliverance, and his wife ought to know better; a woman simply doesn't have to take this kind of abuse. Read more about the story here.
Apparently this couple has interpreted the Bible as saying you're supposed to have as many kids as you possibly can within the span of fertility. And while the Duggers could be perfectly wonderful parents raising perfectly sound children, I think it's just wrong to purposefully try to over populate the earth for religious, economic, or social reasons. On the other hand, would I want families to be limited in number as determined by, say, a government? No.
I personally know someone who has twelve kids. She's learning disabled, as is her husband. Her children are dirty and ill-kempt. Money is very tight and her mother comments frequently to anyone who will listen how she worries for the health and safety of those children. This woman doesn't claim to be breeding this way because Jesus told her to. She's breeding because she's always liked babies. When she was a little girl and her siblings were born, she wanted them as her own children. Her mother told her when she was grown up she could have as many babies as she wanted. Poor idiot didn't think this through, as she and her husband are barely able to provide for their clan. She claims to be happy, though.
So, on the one hand you have Jim Bob with his millions of dollars and seventeen kids. On the other hand you have this other couple and their twelve kids. That's twenty-seven kids between two couples. It's weird and socially irresponsible regardless of being able to financially provide for those kids or not. Too many people is a burden for this earth.
I have a difficult time articulating what a strong distaste I have for couples who can't or won't stop having children. Why do I feel so adamantly? And when you have sex that often with the likes of rat-faced Jesus freaks like Jim Bob Dugger or bloat-faced emotional and intellectual midgets such as my acquaintance's husband, wouldn't you kind of lose interest? If you're squeezing out seventeen kids, you know old Jim Bob is shaking the headboard way more often than most, and his wife Fertile Mertle is just lying there and taking it like a dutiful wife. I wonder if she fakes orgasm, or if her orgasm, real or faked, is of any consequence at all.
I think that's it. It's not so much the number of kids as it is the whole sex thing. I would be repulsed to have sex with a dullard like my acquaintance's husband, as would I be repulsed to have sex with a man with only Jesus on his mind.
I can't say it enough: it's just weird.

August 02, 2007

Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis

There's not much I can say about this, except how grateful that no members of my family, none of my friends, nor I were involved in the tragedy. Investigations and searches are still in the early stages, but you can have a look at the local paper's report(s) here. And you can see the Minnesota Department of Transportation video of the bridge actually collapsing here.
Send nice vibes this way, for everyone affected by this bizarre occurrence.