A sentence fragment is sticking in my mind as I begin writing
this: "the satisfaction, and the sudden emptiness, of an
The quote comes from Tom Hanks' intro to the Apollo 12 episode
the Earth to the Moon," which I'm half-watching as I
write this, in honor the third man on the moon, Pete Conrad,
who completed his mission on earth earlier this week. It's my
favorite episode, actually, of a mini-series I highly recommend,
particularly for anyone looking forward to Tuesday's 30th moon
landing anniversary. (And hey, boxed sets are available now at
Price Club, for just $50!) However, the series is like 9 hours
long, so if you don't have that much time, I would instead recommend
Anyway, the quote describes rather well how we're feeling
this week. We've put all our energies of the past several weeks
and of the past several months into Contagious
Dreams, and now that it's all over and done, we're taking
a deep breath, unpacking, trying to get caught up on our e-mail,
and starting to think about what to do next.
We've also been riding roller coasters. It being Kristin's
Birthday, we went out to Six Flags America to celebrate.
"Six Flags America" is the fourth name I've seen
given to a gradually growing amusement venue just outside the
Washington Beltway. I first went there in 1980, when it was an
abandoned park previously known as the Largo Wildlife Preserve.
The Boy Scouts were using it for Order of the Arrow ceremonies,
and I performed the role of Meteu,
the Medicine Man, on those grounds. A few years later, the failed
safari park was reopened as a water park, called Wild World.
After they built a couple of roller coasters, they renamed the
park Adventure World. And then last year, Six Flags decided the
park had evolved to the scale necessary to become an official
Six Flags park, and so it was renamed once again. They built
2 more coasters for the grand re-opening, which, in turn, meant
that we just had to get over there and ride us some coasters.
The Six Flags improvements are pretty nice overall; however,
the new coasters weren't all that amazing. The Joker's Jinx is
just like the Outer
Limits at King's Dominion, except without the shell; the
novel zero-to-sixty launch is cool, but the rest of the ride
was rather rough and the restraints far too obtrusive. Much better
rides were to be had on the older coasters (the Wild
One, the Mind
Eraser (which now has comfortable restraints), and Roar).
As for the other new coaster, Two-Face, it wasn't operational
when we were there.
Since we went on a Saturday, the lines were long, but we made
the waiting more fun by playing Proton
throughout the day. We've been theorizing that Proton would be
the perfect accessory for a day at an amusement park, but this
was our first chance to try it out. And indeed, it's great! As
Kristin and I played, Alison kept score (and reset the game for
us), and by the end of the day, Kristin was ahead, 22-20.