Wednesday, January 4, 2012

baking cookies :)

Around Christmas 2010, my friend Chelsea had posted on her status that she had baked a few dozen mint chocolate chip cookies. Tom (my boyfriend) had replied with "Keep me away! I'll eat every crumb."
That was what started me on baking.. yes, I'm serious.
Tom loves mint anything, and I wanted to surprise and impress him with a homemade treat. I found a recipe online that was supposed to yield 3 dozen cookies and I ended up with 4 dozen delicious mint chocolate chip cookies that got devoured within a few hours.
Christmas 2011, I made 7 dozen of the same cookies and they disappeared. Everyone loved them.. I was ecstatic.
My mother bought me a cookie cookbook for Christmas 2011. I've discovered, along with my passion for food, that I love baking and giving my homemade treats as gifts or as a compliment to a party. Which by the way I NEVER show up to a party empty handed. I am the type to call the host or hostess and ask if they need anything, I show up early to help clean and set up if they need it, and I always bring a gift in the form of food. I was raised old fashioned and I thank my mom and dad for drilling that into my head, because my efforts never go unappreciated.
There are so many different cookies in that book that are just begging me to make them. I think I will bake the lemon snowflake cookies first.. they sound delicious. I can't give someone something I've made and not watch them take a bite. I want to see their exact reaction. I can't handle seeing someone say they like something I made and then spitting it in the trash.. that is very hurtful. If you don't like it, please tell me. Recipes can be edited to be made better and I appreciate constructive criticism about my cooking.
I love finding passion in life through random everyday functions. I am a food lover all the way through and I love to see what I can make and eat. It's fun and the end result is hopefully tasty. I'll keep you all updated on my baking and cooking journey. :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I just love the "enthusiasts" who turn their nose up and pick apart every little thing about a new coaster.. good grief, not every coaster has to be an exact duplicate of Magnum XL-200 or El Toro.

I just appreciate coasters for what they are. Heck I can even appreciate Ghoster Coaster at Kings Dominion. I go to a park and enjoy the rides, food, waterpark, shows, and scenery. It's even better when you have friends with you to laugh and ride with. To me, that's what being a true enthusiast is all about.
If a park debuts a flat or a water ride, people whine because it isn't a coaster. If a park debuts a coaster, people whine because it's not as big as they'd hoped. *cue sad violin music*

News flash: Parks cater to a wide audience, not just you. Quit being selfish spoiled brats and just enjoy what the park is spending millions of dollars on.

Don't we know by now as enthusiasts that taller and faster isn't always better? Look at Dragster.. the damn thing barely runs, and we all are aware it's not the best ride at CP.. so why do we expect something of the same caliber whenever a new ride is announced?

Is it really that difficult to just go to a park and enjoy yourself and what they have to offer?

People these days, especially kids and spoiled enthusiasts, feel they are entitled to everything, and when they don't get it, they throw a tantrum. In this economy we should be thankful that parks are building new rides at all. Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom slammed its doors in 2009 and hasn't reopened. Look what happened to Geauga Lake, Americana, and Hard Rock Park. That should be enough to tell some people to open their eyes and be happy we have amusement parks around us that are generous enough with their millions to build us a new ride.

Too many people judge before they ride just to sound authoritative, and then it's hilarious when they eat their words on opening day. Wildebeest and Mammoth may look to some to be the same layout (or so one may think), but the probability remains that it will not be the same exact ride. Mammoth and Skyrush are still on paper.. yet people want to act like they've already ridden them, taken the POVs, and gotten the tshirt. 

By the way.. enthusiast rank is not determined by how many coasters you've ridden, it's how you act in a public place. I see many that don't deserve the title.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Windseeker! :)

At first, when I heard KI was putting up a ride called Windseeker, and I learned what it was, I thought it was completely ridiculous and thought, "someone just wants a Zephyr on crack, they're running out of ideas." I maintained this rather narrow way of thinking..

until I saw the construction photos. One day, I decided for the hell of it to check out what was going on because my news feed was buzzing with Windseeker construction updates. I took one look at one of the photos and it was from the top pointing straight down. My stomach twisted itself into a knot. I could not believe how high it was already, and it was only 1/3 of the way up. That is when my dismissive attitude suddenly turned curious and quite apprehensive about riding.

(Little known fact about me.. I might as well say it: I never 100% got over my fear of heights that I've had since I was little. I had dreams when I was young that I was falling from a very high place and would hit the ground hard and get hurt. I am not sure if that's what traumatized me, and this is the first time I've ever said anything about it. I will also fully admit to having dramatic paranoid thoughts about a bolt suddenly coming loose and me tumbling to the ground to my death. Or that an observation tower will suddenly crack at the base and topple over, killing everyone. I know that is completely unrealistic, but my brain thinks what it wants to when I'm up at a crazy height on some ride with only one support. I'm sorry.
I am fine as long as I have something below me or my feet. That is why I love Dragster, I305, Millie, etc.. but that's also why I'm terrified on drop towers and sky coasters. I'm fine on inverted coasters, but there's just something about drop towers and sky coasters that really freak me out, so I was really nervous about riding Windseeker. Swings 301 feet up at 30 mph??!!! GAAAAAHH!!)

I went to Cedar Point a week ago, and Windseeker was closed for the entire day and a half that I was there. I was annoyed at the time, but I understand park operations' reasoning for not opening it. The weather was terrible and operations in the park were on and off during my entire visit. I really would have like to have ridden it and seen the lake, the coasters, and maybe more. So there I was staring at a dead Windseeker at CP while everyone else was at KI, and texting me and telling me how amazing their Windseeker ride experience was. You have no idea how badly I just wanted to throw my phone off the left side of Millennium Force's lift hill.

Yesterday, I went to Kings Island. Never mind that Windseeker wasn't open for ERT. Fast forward to around 3pm when I was exiting Boomerang Bay and saw.. was it?.. it's going up and spinning!.. WITH PEOPLE ON IT! OMG WINDSEEKER IS RUNNING WITH PEOPLE ON IT! I literally RAN from over by Diamondback all the way back to Windseeker and got in line!

While I was in line, I was getting more and more nervous as my ride cycle approached. By the time it was time for me to ride, my palms were sweating and my heart rate was up. The people around me in line were asking if I was OK. I fully admitted to being scared shitless, and one girl about my age took pity on me and said she'd ride with me because she was nervous too. I apologized to her in advance for anything I might say, and she laughed.

It scared the hell out of me being up that high with nothing below my feet and the fact that it has had so many issues with getting it running properly, but the view was spectacular and it's such a cool ride experience that it kind of evens things out. That and I KNOW that Kings Island would never in a million years open a ride to park guests if they knew it was going to put them in danger, so I tried to think about that when we were 2/3 of the way up and it started angling outward and making that whirring noise where it started going faster. That part really freaked me out, but I was able to somewhat calm myself.
If you want to hear something really strange: I got back in line and rode it 2 more times. I wasn't as panicky as the first time, but God DAMN THAT THING IS SO FUCKING HIGH. I cannot help but be a little nervous. I have not been this terrified of a ride since my first ride on Millennium Force in August of 2007 when I literally had a panic attack on the lift hill.
When you are faced with your fear of heights, it grips your every nerve like a vice and continues to tighten until you are completely and utterly feeling nothing but terror, and it's not easy to pull back from that once you've hit the point of no return where you're just flat out fucking scared shitless. It's not something I take lightly. I hope that some of you are able to understand where I'm coming from.

Fast forward to when Tom arrived at the park later that day, and he asked where I'd ridden on my three rides. I said on the inside. He asked if I wanted to sit on the inside again, and I decided that I was going to put on my big girl panties and brave the outside seat. We got up to that 2/3 point where it started angling outward and making that whirring noise where it started going faster.. and I started mentally freaking out. Tom asked if I was OK and rubbed my shoulder, and it was at this point I realized we were all the way up. I looked down and saw my knuckles were white. I forced myself to let go and enjoy the view.. and before you know it we were coming back down again. I felt a little sad about coming back down. I felt a little of my fear fading.

On our last ride of the night, our group went for Windseeker. I put on even bigger girl panties and went for the outside seat on the night ride with Tom. I did freak out a little, but when we got to the top I must have said "WOW!" about 10 or 12 times. The view at night from way up there is IN-FUCKING-CREDIBLE. Honestly, it's the prettiest night view of an amusement park I've seen since Indiana Beach, and that's really saying something.
It's changed the way I see Kings Island especially since I was able to see things I have never seen before, like parts of Beast, the entire Starlight experience and Eiffel tower all lit up, looking straight down and seeing Vortex, and the coaster graveyard, I even saw distant city lights. I love the ominous music track too, and the incredible light program that makes it look so cool at night that you cannot take your eyes away from it.

The only parks I have ever been that high up on a ride has been Cedar Point and Kings Dominion. Seeing my home park from that high up in the air for the first time in my life was a completely new experience that reignited the love I feel for Kings Island. You don't even know how much I want to go and ride Windseeker again.

Thank you for Windseeker, Kings Island. I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cedar Point!

Yesterday I decided to take a little time off for myself, and visit what is arguably my favorite park of the 15 I've been to: Cedar Point!

Driving through Covington and Piqua, I hit every green light on the way to I75. I love it when that happens.

I have a lot of people ask me why I drive all the way up there by myself. For one: I don't mind driving.. I love to drive, always have since I got my license and drove everywhere I could that was allowed (and some that weren't allowed, lol). Another thing is that I occasionally need a day just for me. Every now and then I like to just get away from everyone and everything (absolutely no offense is intended here) but it's nice to go to a park and do what you want to do, when you want to do it, without several other people trying to argue with you. It's also nice because if they call out for a single rider, I get to jump right on the train that's loading!

I also have a lot of friends that work there, and I tend to spend more time at certain rides where my friends are working. It's a 3 hour drive from my house to CP, and I'm going to make it worthwhile.

I started my hour of morning ERT with a sweet ride on Maverick, and rode Millennium Force and Raptor during the ERT time as well. Once the general public rolled in, it got busy fast.. not only that but the sun was blazing hot and reflecting off the lake, and it was humid as hell. I really wished I'd brought things for Soak City.. it was that damn hot. I waited an hour for Dragster because I didn't get a chance to ride it on opening day (then again, not many people did). I learned a long time ago to NEVER enter a long line at an amusement park on a hot day without a cup of water. Even so, only half of Dragster's queue is covered with tent shades, and I nearly passed out from the heat. I decided after that ride would be a good time to eat and rehydrate. After that, I noticed that all of the lines had gotten pretty long. I spent the next several hours riding coasters with short waits such as Gemini, Raptor, Magnum, Blue Streak, and Mean Streak. I also took a break and rode the Giant Wheel, and watched All Wheels Extreme. I also took advantage of a deal they had: hot dog, chips and a drink for less than $5!

It was around 4 pm when there was a sudden cool breeze off the lake (there had been no breeze all day), and I noticed clouds building up on the horizon. I checked my radar and was horrified to see a bow echo heading straight for Cedar Point. It was moving fast and looked to be very severe, so I went out to my car for shelter (I had food in there too and was getting a bit hungry). It was bad.. the clouds got darker and darker, and the lightning was far too close for my comfort. It kept getting worse.. the sky turned green and the rain went flying sideways with pea-sized hail in it. It finally died down after an hour of torrential rain, hail, insane lightning, and strong winds. I went back into the park after it cleared up to find several areas of the park flooded, and learned that Millennium and Dragster had been hit by lightning and wouldn't reopen for the rest of the night.

My first ride after the storm was Magnum.. I looked out to the east on the lift hill, and saw lightning bolts over the water from the storm that had passed us.. now that was pretty wicked to see. I got to see my friends Kelsey, Ben, Casandra, Kyle, Eric, and Adam yesterday. It's great to go up there and get to spend time with people you don't see often. I didn't get to see my friends Erin and Matt, and that made me sad.. I miss them. I ended my night with a ride on red Gemini, and headed out.

My ride count: 3 Maggie, 3 Blue Streak, 3 Gemini (2 red, 1 blue), 2 Raptor, 2 Mean Streak, and one ride each on Maverick, Millie, Dragster, Wicked Twister, Power Tower (space shot), and Giant Wheel.

I've discovered the reason why I have had so much trouble making it home from Cedar Point in the past.. I get so excited to go there that I run from ride to ride and literally wear myself out. I also haven't eaten very well in the past while at the park and I tend to underhydrate myself, so it got to the point where I was sleeping in my car in gas station parking lots. I'd like to avoid that.
Yesterday I must have drank my weight in water, and ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner and made sure all three were a sufficiently balanced meal. I also took breaks to sit down, I rode their beautiful ferris wheel and watched All Wheels Extreme, which was very good. I also packed a Monster Energy to drink on the way home in case I started getting tired. I made it home last night and I'm proud of myself.
I still consider myself a ride warrior. I just can't run for 14 hours straight when the heat index is in the 90s.. you have to be smart and take care of yourself.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I should be studying..

but I'm writing another blog entry instead.

I got signed up for summer classes. It's irritating how my required courses aren't offered in the summer, so I have to take prereqs or basic classes instead of my criminal justice/corrections courses. I'm taking Biology 104 which is an AIDS/HIV course, and Sociology 111 which apparently is "research heavy." ugh. I didn't really want that during the summer, but at least they are both online and at least neither of them are an accelerated course.. I HATE accelerated or "sprint" courses, as my COM 206 instructor calls them. I can't wait until fall when I can start my "real" classes and actually start learning more about corrections, the law, and basic officer practices.

I have people ask me "oh so you want to be a cop?" I am a corrections student and I aspire to be a parole officer. I wouldn't mind working in a halfway house or a detention center where I can actually help criminals become better people and help them to set a better example, you know, help rehabilitate them for their release into society. I don't want to write tickets and jump barbed wire fences and get chased by angry dogs and get involved in dangerous high speed chases. To hell with that.

well, that's all for now. I must finish this case study even though it's making my head hurt.

Monday, May 23, 2011

random first post!

So I randomly decided to start blogging again. I used to when I was on MySpace, but we all know how fossilized that has become.
Anyway.. I thought this would give better insights into things in my life, and give me more of a chance to really express myself. I feel better when I can write things out.. it's a release and it helps me de-stress and look at situations more subjectively regardless of they are good or bad.

I quit my job today at Speedway. I feel pretty good about it. I wasn't treated well there, at all.. in fact, I have never been treated so badly in my life at any job. I will admit that I do get frustrated at times, but it is not acceptable to get in my face in front of the customers and humiliate me. I was offered a server job at Cracker Barrel and I accepted it. I'm pretty excited about the new work experience.. I know it won't be easy, but there is no greater feeling than the one I have right now, knowing that never again will I have to deal with the drama, the gossip, and the backstabbing that happened daily at my former job. I'm done with that crap! :)

We had some pretty scary weather tonight. Sky turned black and green, the wind went crazy, and the sirens went off. After several minutes of cowering in the basement and the storm had passed, we went outside to see the aftermath. Snapped trees, branches everywhere, and metal flag poles on peoples' porches were bent in half. It turned out to be a bow echo with tornadoes in it.. the very same line of storms that produced the Joplin, MO F5 tornado.

I think I might go to an amusement park sometime this week.. which one, I'm not sure, but it sounds nice. It could either be Cedar Point or Holiday World. Amusement parks are my release too.. they are my passion in life, my getaway from the real world and a great way to have fun.

Well, I would write more, but it's past midnight and I'm tired. I may write again tomorrow.. or whenever the mood strikes. Love you guys and thanks for reading this.