Secret Pop

Jan 13, 2006

Just a perfect day.

I started the morning out by panicking and thinking I'd left my camera at The Standard. I hadn't. But I didn't confirm that until I'd called Sarah and the hotel and then found it in my car. I was going to charge my battery for a few minutes before Jeff arrived, but then my camera was not in my bag. Disaster. I can't imagine going to Disneyland without a camera. I can't imagine going without at least two. Luckily, I wasn't forced to find out what that would have been like. And truthfully, I have plenty of other cameras I could bring. I was more upset over the prospect of losing all the photos I took the night before and the night before that. And also at the prospect of having to admit that I lose one camera a year in a bar setting.

Jeff arrived with coffee for me, and we headed to Disneyland where the line at the tram pick-up was long, but it was misrepresentative of the population in the park. It's as if everyone who was there showed up at the parking lot at exactly the same time we did. But then no one else came. Making it perfect.

The weather was lovely. We easily got reservations at the Blue Bayou. We never required the use of a Fast Pass. The longest we had to wait for any attraction was twenty minutes for that new Monsters, Inc., thing (which was monumentally disappointing, by the way), and that's just because it was brand new. We just breezed in and out of the things we wanted to see and do. And it was gorgeous and sunny the whole time. And it was the best Disneyland sales pitch I've ever been able to give to someone considering upgrading the passport I just bought them to an annual pass. Well done, Disneyland. We make quite a team.

I bought the photo that was taken of us on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. For some reason, even though I've totally been on that ride before and knew what was coming and even took pictures of myself mid-fall the last time I was on it, I was really sent for a loop this time. I involuntarily screamed words like "shit" even with children nearby. And I found myself pounding on my knees in a weird way, like I was trying to keep myself from freaking out. I was sort of laughing as I was screaming. I wasn't having a panic attack. If anything, I was amused and completely disarmed by how bizarre and uncontrollable my reaction was. Anyway, the picture the Disney cameras took shows me with my hands covering my mouth and Jeff looking at me like we're having a normal conversation. Maybe I've just accidentally shared something that should have been secret. It's not the best thrill ride photo I've ever been in, but it was worth buying if only because it's completely different from any other that has been taken of me. Plus, I have a premium pass now and I get a discount. So the value is inarguable. Once I get my desktop problems squared away and can start conveniently playing with my scanner again, I will post it. But it won't be that big a deal.

While we were in line for that Monsters, Inc., thing, there was a little girl being held by her Spanish-speaking mother, crying in the onomatopoeitic, "Wah! Wah! Wah!" way. It was like she had learned crying from a cartoon made in the forties. She eventually shut up. But not because of anything her mother did. That girl was one of a few notable cases of children making noises as if reading them from the pages of a comic book in which the noises need to be written as words. I wonder what causes that.

Jeff and I even rode the Disneyland Railroad, which I seldom bother to do. That's what's nice about going to Disneyland with someone who doesn't go very often. Even the boring stuff has awesomeness in it. And, of course, I made Jeff go on everything that I love the most. Including my beloved Winnie the Pooh ride. And Soarin' Over California and California Screamin' (I don't remember if they use those apostrophes or not, but it seems like every attraction in Disney's California Adventure is trying to be folksy in that way). It's a Small World was closed, which is a disappointment I don't care for. But that was the only misfire. We got lollipops at the candy store in Critter Country. Jeff learned how good those chocolate-covered pretzels are. I still didn't have any ice cream. And I didn't even look for turkey legs. And in the end, well-placed coffee purchases kept our spirits from flagging. And I never even required the support of the whiskey I was carrying in my purse. I guess not having to wait in line makes it a much less tiring day.

We drove back up to The Standard to meet Sarah and Paul and Arnold. Then we left almost immediately to go to Magnolia, which used to be Bar 66. I went to a party at Bar 66 back in late 2003. I think it was the birthday of my friend Hillary's friend Anna. Or maybe it was Hugo's birthday. I can't remember. I just remember that it was a party, and Hillary was wearing the pink Jem wig she had worn to the Halloween party we had gone to only a week or two earlier. It seemed like a hard rock kind of bar with a hardcore kind of crowd. And there was a patio in the back that people smoked on. A rickety wooden landing atop some uncertain looking stairs. When Sarah gave me the address, I realized I had been there, but I never would have recognized it. Now it's a very fancy-looking bar and restaurant with an outside dining area back there and nearly no evidence of leather pants or studded belts. The food was good and the service was friendly. And Sarah and Paul shared the Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwich after dinner, and that was something to behold. They wanted to go to Shelter, and I absolutely did not. So we went next door to The Bowery and had a drink, and then we went our separate ways, and Jeff drove me home, where Audrey and I continued our love affair and where I had work to do.

My throat was feeling scratchy, so I heated up some chicken broth. Then I read a few chapters of a Star Trek novel with On Her Majesty's Secret Service on at very low volume. The fact that James Bond falls in love and gets married in that one makes it seem somehow more sad and sentimental to me. It doesn't take much.

I sometimes feel as if I no longer have beautiful things to say. It pains and frustrates me. There was a time when my words might surprise me. There was a time when I might be pleased with the places my typing might take me. But I fall into these phases of list-making and traveloguing, and I wonder what the point of writing is if all one writes is where one goes on a night of the week. I want to write something lovely. Or something clever. Or something funny. But it isn't always as easy as that. I long for the times when it's precisely that easy. But I am in a state of longing for things more often than not.

In the end, I didn't take very many pictures at Disneyland. So many of the pictures I would have taken are pictures I've taken before. I was looking for something different. Something magical. And for a moment, I felt like congratulating myself for exercising standards from time to time. Quality. Quantity. They almost sound the same. And yet.

Oh, it's such a perfect day. I'm glad I spent it with you.

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