Boo, y’all! Six Flags FrightFest!

12Oct2016 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Confession time: I felt a little apprehensive about taking four teenagers to FrightFest at Six Flags Over Georgia.

sfff-group

I know that sounds weird, but the commercials make it look exceptionally dark and scary. The show descriptions online are quite…macabre. And then you find out that you can’t even exit the park without walking through what they call The Witching Hour! It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun for a group of chickens like us…even if we do love Halloween.

Well, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. And almost a little disappointed that there weren’t more scary zombies, clowns and monsters hiding around every corner.

They were rampant inside the scare zones, haunted houses and mazes, of course. I didn’t make it to the Bayou Bloodlust attraction, but a friend of mine did and said it quite literally scared the pee out of her.

Twice. (Bwahahaha! Poor soul!)

Our ride on the Terror Train topped my Creep-out Factor for the night, but I found that if I kept my sense of humor, I stayed pretty calm…even when the ride took a rather shocking turn.

haunted-train

I also found it helpful to keep in mind that the costumed characters aren’t allowed to touch you!

I wish I’d gotten more pics of how wonderfully decorated the park was. Along the entrance way, there were these huge wooden coffins that made great photo props.

violet-ombre

Eerie music wafted through the park all evening, and I agree with Six Flags that you probably don’t want to have little kids there after 6:00 pm. The daytime is filled with lighthearted Halloween fun for the littles, who are welcome to wear costumes and trick-or-treat in the kids’ areas. (Which looked awesome, by the way, and had plenty of great photo props, including these giant jack-o-lanterns.)

image000000-7

We also loved “Dr. Fright’s Dead Man’s Party” show at the Crystal Pistol theater.

sfff2

I’m not really a huge fan of zombies, but this show was highly entertaining, with lots of “Thriller”-style choreography, audience engagement and humorous takes on classic tunes like “Bad to the Bone”.

dmp

Now, I have to show you where the absolute SCARIEST moment of the night occurred for me:

wp_20161007_19_50_42_pro

Yes! Inside the adorable Monster Mansion!

Just take my advice here: if you have more than one heavy person in your group, make sure you distribute the weight evenly along the seats. Because these boats are free-floating and I swear to you, we almost tipped ours over more than once! We took on water and everything!

Looking back on it, it’s hilarious, but it would’ve kinda ruined the night if all of us ended up half-drowning inside a kiddie ride!

After surviving that peril, we all enjoyed the huge burritos we ordered at Macho Nacho, located near the Goliath roller coaster.

wp_20161007_22_14_34_pro

I quite enjoyed leaving the park at midnight through The Witching Hour, because there were so many scary characters congregating near the entrance! I don’t think our teenagers would say the same because the zombies and clowns pretty much left us old folks alone, choosing to garner easy screams from the teens. And let me tell you, the girls especially did not disappoint! And I thought one of the boys was going to wet his pants when a clown chased him into a gift shop.

If you have teenagers, I think you’ll understand the joy my friend and I felt over seeing them get scared for a change (since we mamas are usually the ones being terrified by their behavior)! LOL

d-and-k

There are three more weekends to enjoy all the FrightFest fun. Six Flags Over Georgia is open on all remaining October Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and on Halloween night.

Fridays: 6 pm to midnight

Saturdays: Noon to midnight

Sundays: Noon to 10:00 pm

Monday, October 31: 6 pm to midnight

spooky-me-and-e

Maybe we’ll see you there? Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Counting Down

4Oct2016 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Yeah, so I may be getting a little excited here!

I actually made a ticker to count down to my laser surgery and balloon dilation to fix this pesky blockage in my throat! I haven’t made a ticker since the last time I was pregnant, and the fact that I wanted to made me laugh.

But it’s such a neat thing to be looking forward to! Because it’s been five years–at least–of huffing and puffing. Of embarrassment over my loud wheezing and stridor. Of my entire life slowing down to the point that I now have to sit down and catch my breath after making the bed.

I realize that, unfortunately, the scar tissue will most likely grow back. A lot isn’t known about idiopathic subglottic stenosis because it is a rare disease, but the majority of people need repeat dilations, sometimes even just a few weeks or months after the initial treatment. A lot of people go on to need tracheal resections, a really complicated procedure that I don’t even want to think about yet.

Because right now, today, I just want to enjoy the anticipation of breathing easily again! Even if it’s short-lived, it’s going to be amazing to give up this struggle, to lay this burden down a while, to feel a degree of normalcy again.

I hesitated before writing this post, because nobody really wants to listen to someone blather on about health conditions. But we were talking on my ISS support group last night and one of the ladies said that we all bear the responsibility of spreading the word about this condition as often as we can. I went undiagnosed for so long and nearly every person in that group of 1,500+ has the same story.

People don’t know about this condition. DOCTORS don’t know about this condition. It bothers me to wonder how many thousands of people are walking around suffering like I’ve been, misdiagnosed with asthma and who knows what else because nobody ever thinks to have an ENT look down their throat!

So here is my PSA of the day: if you or someone you know suffers from the following symptoms, see an ear-nose-throat specialist as soon as possible:

  • Shortness of breath during exertion and sometimes at rest
  • Noisy breathing, also known as stridor
  • Cough
  • Voice changes
  • Feeling of phlegm “stuck” within the airway

Because, breathing. It’s kind of important.

 

Save

Debating the Debate

26Sep2016 Filed under: blah-blah-blog
brace-yourselves-2016-candidates

My husband is 100% sure he’s watching Clinton and Trump debate tonight, but I’m slow to commit.

I think it might be more enjoyable to clean the hair out of the bathtub drain, strand-by-strand with a pair of tweezers.

This whole election cycle has felt particularly exhausting. I honestly don’t feel like listening to Trump spout more one-liners off the top of his frequently too-hot head, or watching Hillary nod her way through yet another batch of carefully-rehearsed lies.

Their pettiness in planting arch-enemies in the front row seats at the forum just leaves me rolling my eyes.

Neither candidate is a prize. Both will bring problems to Washington and our nation as a whole. It really feels like voting against a set of beliefs than standing up for someone.

I noticed something the other day. At least in my neck of the woods, I see a lot of cars still sporting Obama bumper stickers from four or even eight years ago. I’d expect these voters to now support Clinton, but none sported a Hillary sticker beside the Obama ones.

I haven’t seen a single Hillary yard sign–all the ones I’ve noticed are for Trump. But I never seem to see Trump bumper stickers. It’s just weird. It seems like in years past, I saw a balance between red and blue, on cars and in yards.

Everything about this election feels weird to me.

Anyway.

Yes, I know how I’m voting. I’ve been trying to write a post about it but I can’t make it sound the way I want it to. I start a post, then feel completely “meh” about it and don’t finish. It feels like everything has already been said, far too many times already.

The one thing I do ask, though, especially leading up to, and after tonight’s debate:

Could we please stop calling each other stupid?

I am absolutely sick to death of seeing memes on social media about how dumb you’d have to be to vote for so-and-so.

trump-group-photo wgbay

Honestly, the people I know who are passionate about politics are far from dumb. They’ve usually studied the points and made educated decisions based on the issues.

I might’ve read the same exact articles and walked away with the exact opposite opinion of them, but if I did–that doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

I know quite a few people (myself included) for whom this election basically boils down to choosing a couple of issues you’re particularly passionate about and then casting your vote to the candidate who seems most likely to help those causes.

So don’t call me stupid when my heart feels more strongly about one problem than another. And I’ll try my best to extend to you the same.

Deal?

 

Save

A Chance to Breathe Again

21Sep2016 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

A month from today, something magical is going to happen–I will be able to breathe freely again!

I wrote a few weeks back about the providentially improbable way I found out why I’d been wheezing and breathless for several years.

Idiopathic subglottic stenosis is a narrowing of the trachea just below the vocal cords. So far, we don’t know why I developed it, though I certainly fit the demographic: it almost exclusively strikes white females between the ages of 30 and 50. That leads to an assumption of genetic and hormonal triggers. It is also known to be associated with some autoimmune disorders.

Today, I saw a specialist at Emory, and am happy to announce that I’m scheduled for laser dilation surgery next month!

The doctor did a great job of explaining everything to me. A normal tracheal opening is about the size of a nickel. Mine is the size of a drinking straw.

So if you’d like to find out how ISS feels, plug up your nose, close your mouth tightly around a straw, then go for a walk or clean your house while breathing only through the straw.

If you try it, please let me know how you felt. :-)

I’m just so excited because autumn is my favorite time of year, and oh my gosh–I’m going to be able to breathe! And walk in the leaves! And do all the things!

Imma be even more indomitable than this guy…

ddb

 

A Taste of Japan in Atlanta

11Sep2016 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Who is attending the coolest festival featuring all things Japan?

Yes, that would be me and my crew! And JapanFest sounds so awesome, y’all need to come, too!

ecd7b7_453b7d281467406e990a0414d75deb51mv2

Organized by JapanFest, Inc., The Japan-America Society of Georgia and The Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, this year’s theme is “Cooler Japan.” This theme combines the best of modern Japanese innovation while honoring age-old traditions as the family-friendly festival celebrates its 30th year.

Children will be able to make paper puppets and enjoy Kamishibai, a form of Japanese theatrical storytelling that uses paper puppets. They can also learn Japanese calligraphy, try on traditional Japanese clothes, make kites, color in Japanese coloring books, fold origami figures, and play with traditional Japanese tops and paper sumo wrestlers. Children will get to play with Samurai Borgs (Japanese fighting robots), Beyblade, Hyper yoyos, and play a modern cup and ball game called Kendama.

ecd7b7_f3f2715d4fd5451595f2ba6ee15239f1

Kids will also be given the opportunity to let their creativity shine by using a 3-D pen that will make their art literally stand off the page! They can use the tool to draw fish and watch their creatures come to life in a 3-D aquarium. There’s also a special app that allows you to design fireworks and then see them on the big screen at the event.

Oh, and who wouldn’t love to have a picture made with Domo!

domo

For the second year, JapanFest is collaborating with anime convention, MomoCon. The Anime village is a section of the festival completely dedicated to anime products, anime viewings, and gaming, including an opportunity to meet Anime voice artist Kyle Hebert. Keep Momocon is also sponsoring a Pokémon Go! Meetup. Capture and boost a gym, claim resources from Poke Stops and build your team, all factions welcome!

ecd7b7_fac1ef9c34e548a0904a2449681addd5

Fans of traditional fighting methods will enjoy demonstrations of virtually every Japanese martial art in existence, including aikido, karate, kendo, kyudo, and sumo.

And of course, no festival is complete without music, shopping and food!

ecd7b7_5ef5d5516c9d4749955e1f6f525bb05fmv2_d_3543_2362_s_2

Musical performances include taiko drumming, J-Rock and J-Pop, classical music, Japanese dance performances, a kimono fashion show, and kabuki theater.

Shoppers will love Ginza-dori, organized by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and named after Tokyo’s famous shopping district. It will feature Japanese ceramics, traditional clothing and accessories, and fun items such as masks and toys. For those who want to try on a kimono, the Konnichiwa Club will dress them in the latest kimonos from Japan.

ecd7b7_5d80594cf4864cdd8ee785ab8c11a1d3mv2_d_2127_2653_s_2

Come hungry, because the best of Japanese cuisine awaits. Fill up on everything from sushi, bento, ramen or rice bowls, then indulge your sweet tooth with bubble tea, shaved ice and traditional Asian pastries. For lighter appetites, a Konbini store and Japanese grocery store, Tomato, will sell tasty and unique Japanese snacks.

Now, the details!

Date: September 17-18, 2016

Location: Infinite Energy Center (located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097)

Time: 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday) and 10 am to 5 pm (Sunday)

Admission: $10 (kids 6 and under are free!)

Although tickets are available at the door, attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online to minimize waiting at the event entrance.

Individual tickets are available for sale until the day before the event through the Infinite Energy Center ticketing system, AXS.

Save