Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day Zero Project #68: Ride a roller coaster.

I have a confession. Roller coasters terrify me. Not like "Ohh, those are kinda scary. Let's ride one," but more like "pass out while on a ride" scary. Clown scary, even.

Needless to say, I wasn't 100% psyched to accomplish this goal. But, after years of being bugged by my wife to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter I found myself in an amusement park with a roller coaster and figured that I may as well get it over with.

 I walked up to the Dragon Challenge Coaster line full of confidence. The sign at the entrance said that the estimated wait was five minutes. The Gods were shining on my mission.

"Yeah, you can do this," I told myself as I confidently walked the path past Ron's crashed car.

 And Hagrid's hut. 

"Totally easy. Roller coasters are nothing," I assured myself as I marveled at the Triwizard Trophy.

And then I reached the end of the line. There was no turning back now and I somehow lost most of my confidence in the dark pathways that led me to this point. And to make matters worse it was one of those ones where your feet dangle so, not only was I going to pass out, but I was also going to lose my shoes.

I could turn back, but you don't want to be "that guy" who panicked at the last minute and bailed, so I jumped into the seat, brought down the seat belt bar-thing and started to immediately worry that I didn't bring the bar down tight enough. I was definitely going to fall out of a roller coaster.

And, before I had enough time to quadruple check my belt, the coaster starts to move up it's initial ascent. This part is safe, even I know that. But it's also the worst. The chain clunks loudly, climbing higher and higher, as the roller coaster says "Enjoy this nice view before you lose your shoes and then your seat belt flies open."

Then you near the top. This is where your normal (aka crazy) people start to hoot and holler and generally act as though they are somehow having a good time. I close my eyes and shoot up one last prayer.

There's a series of twists and turns. My stomach ends up somewhere near my throat, which can't be healthy at all. At one point I think I actually black out. I'm pretty sure that my seat belt is working at this point, but now I have a new mission. I just need to stay awake. It would be embarrassing to pass out on a roller coaster, so now I'm just doing my best not to. I take some deep breaths and say things like "You can do this" to myself. I may have already lost my shoes, I'm not sure. I can 't focus on that just this moment.

And then it's over. I have lived. There are shoes on my feet still! I haven't passed out!

"Let's ride the other one," I say.

And I do. And it's terrible. I have to enter a deep Buddhist-like trance state first and still sweat enough to lose three pounds.

My wife rides the only other coaster of the day by herself. I've chanced it enough for one day and I really don't want to lose my shoes.

See below for some random other pictures from our trip. The park itself is awesome. The attention to detail is amazing and the other big rides (which are basically simulators that are like indoor roller coasters that don't bother me for some reason) are well worth it!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day Zero Project #44: Have a psychic reading.

Having a psychic reading should have been one of the easier goals to accomplish on this list. Find a place that says they do fortune telling, plop down $50 and sit in front of a psychic who will tell you what your future holds.

Easy enough, right?

But, for some reason, I was nervous about doing this. It's probably because I don't believe in it and I was worried that I'd have an expression on my face that said "You are crazy" during the entire process. Another part was that I thought it might be some sort of weird situation in a dark room with candles flickering while a weird person waves their arms around a crystal ball and tries to read the color of my energy field.

Credit: Kyrukai (website)
 Neither of those sound particular appealing to me.

Nonetheless, after finding out that I had a few friends who were using their Saturday to get tarot readings down the street from the morning gathering spot I decided that their going was a sign and I added my name to the list for a visit to Enchanted Notions & Mystical Potions.

I showed up at the appointed time, nervous and expecting candles and what I got was a very normal looking shop at the end of the Crislip Arcade with a woman sitting who looked nothing like the crazy crystal ball gazer I was expecting. It was bright and sunny in the room and there wasn't any noticeable evil-looking flickering candles, either. So much for those stereotypes!

What I did get was a reading through some tarot cards that were laid out like this:

Which, for you aspiring tarot card readers, translates into something like this:

Basically, she did a basic overview of me and then we talked about some things like health and career and whatnot. I didn't know I was supposed to have some specific questions in mind, so I missed an opportunity there, but that's okay.

I wouldn't say I've been converted to a believer in this sort of thing, but it wasn't as weird as I thought it would be. If nothing else, it gave me something interesting to talk to friends about for the next few days as we went back and forth with what was said and if who amongst us believes and who doesn't.

Plus, if she is right I'm headed for a new career opportunity in the next eight months or a promotion at my job early next year so let's hope that part was right!