October 1st, 2004


Life Just Seems a Little Colder, Now

So, I have returned. I actually came back Wednesday, and was in work yesterday, but just haven't written anything until now. An interesting trip, for the most part.

Thursday night, we played the first session of our Buffy game, and the second session was last night. Overall, not bad. Has room for improvement, buuuut, the players seem to be having fun. That's what counts.

The trip. Shall I approach this as a day by day accounting? Shall I hit the highlights? Shall I assemble "five best" and "five worst" lists?

Let's just start off with an overview. Friday was flyday. Planes went fine, actually arrived on time/early. The four of us occupied two rooms at the All Stars Music resort. No cars, we bussed everywhere. Honestly, I think Disneyworld is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

Places we visited:
Downtown Disney (two seperate occasions), the biggest strip mall in the world.
Pleasure Island, which seemed fun, and yet which we did not stay very long inside -- lots of theme restaraunts, clubs and pounding dance music all over the walkway thoroughfares.
Epcot wins the award for second biggest stripmall in the world; it is split into two sections, Future World (which was sort of retro) and The World Walkway, which was rather nifty. I got a bunch of pics of Disney recreations of world locations. My least favorite was USA-Land, because it was a celebration of New England, where I live. Whoopie. I flew how many hundred miles to see recreations of the same shit I live around? China and Japan were great. Got to see 180 degrees or 360 degree movies, all location based. Very cool. The shots of the Great Wall were nigh-incredible. Funniest overheard comment: "I know there's an ATM-Machine between the USA and Italy."
MGM Studios had some great stuff -- Drew Carey's 'Sounds Dangerous', the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Indiana Jones spectacular -- and some duds -- the Star Wars ride (I think I need to turn in my geek card, I think I just don't like Star Wars anymore) and the Back Studios Tour.
Animal Kingdom was far and away the best of the lot. It had a total immersion atmosphere, and took great pains to create Worlds. Africa, Asia. Superduper. Captured my attention and held it. Interesting fact: The Savannah (Africa) section of Disneyland is so big, you could fit the entire Magic Kingdom (the place with Cinderella's castle and all the kiddy rides) inside and still have 30 acres left over for parking. Astonishing. Saw a baby elephant here. Saw Bengali Tigers in Asia. Dino Land was a little cheesy, but the adult ride (Called, imaginatively, 'Dinosaur') was great fun.

Hurrican Jeanne shut down the park early Saturday and all of Sunday. We had books and terrible television. We developed cabin fever.

Woke up at 3:00 am on Wednesday, to get to the bus at 4:00 am to get to the airport at 5:00 am to wait for our first flight at 7:00 am (which actually started boarding at 6:30). We flew 2 hours to DC and waited for the 10:15 flight to Rhode Island. Home, Trista had to go to work, I just sort of hung out. We went to bed at 11:00 pm that night, for a 20 hour day. Long, but I wasn't really tired, strangely enough.

Florida is hot and sticky. New England was cold.

Let's see what did I read on my journey? Jack Ketchum's The Crossings was an abfab novella set after the Mexican-American war. A bloody tale, sort of a Cormac McCarthy pastice, with that Ketchum sensibility. Excellent.

Junji Ito's Gyo is not as chilling as Uzumaki (the manga), it seems incomplete. Perhaps I just need to read through it, again. Interesting, though. Surreal and bizarre.

I'm now a third of the way through the greatest 'fantasy' novel I've ever read. China Mieville's Perdido Street Station is an astonishing blend of fantasy, science, philosophy, horror and ruminations on everything from art to flight to metamorphosis. I am in awe. Tolkein's trilogy and prequel wish they were this interesting or inventive. I already want to buy up all the rest of Mieville's catalog.

I am eagerly awaiting the last three volumes of the King's Dark Tower series. And Trista wants me to read Chuckie deLint's Spirit in the Wires. Looks like I'm sailing into Fantasy lit territory in the coming days.

Ginger Snaps was fun. Oz season 1, disc 1 was gritty. Next up on the Netflix queue? Law and Order SVU season 1, disc 1, Bourne Identity and Japanese sleaze (Entrails of the Virgin).
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