Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Suspense is like Anaphylaxis

I've been helping a friend edit her novel, every few weeks she gives me a new chapter. I read it and then return it covered in scribbles about grammar, possible continuity errors, awkward phrasing, word choice, phrasing I love, questions, and predictions. It's a great story, and getting the chapters so far apart means I'm pretty much perpetally dying to find out what happens next.

Early in the story, one character tells the protagonist that she definitely cannot ever be seen by another character. Halfway through the book, the protagonist arranges for the two to meet. I read this chapter right after getting my allergy shots. An important thing to know about allergy shots is that they have a slight possibility of causing a systemic reaction that makes you puff up and die. Allergists make you wait for 30 minutes after your shots because if you are going to puff up and die, it's probably going to be in that period. This systemic reaction is called anaphylaxis, and can progress to anaphylactic shock, where your airway swells up until you can't breathe. The cure for this is a shot of epinephrine and cup of weapons-grade Benadryl.

I read feverishly through confrontation scene, barely breathing through the suspense. I finished the chapter, and somehow still felt...suspenseful.

Apparently anaphylaxis feels a lot like suspense.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Buddy.

I recently watched the Chucky movies, and was uncomfortably reminded of the My Buddy dolls of my childhood.

 I never had one, or wanted one, and neither did my siblings or any of my friends. I occasionally came across one when visiting other people's houses, and they were always sort of tossed away in a corner and forgotten. The owner of said doll was usually vaguely embarrassed about it.

I always found them strangely unappealing, as if they were somehow deliberately designed to not evoke feelings of affection in children. The Kid Sister version of the doll was just downright puzzling to my child self. Every girl I knew had piles of dolls already, why would we need a vaguely unsettling and definitely unappealing one to lug around? I'm sure my uneasiness about the My Buddy dolls predates the Chucky movies, so I can't even use that as a convenient excuse.

Adult me would totally love a Good Guy doll, though.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Tractor Ride

On a recent trip to Disneyland, Z and I decided to try all the rides in the new Cars-themed part of California Adventures. This is where I found the most entertaining ride in the entire park: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. This might be my new favorite.

The basic concept is that the tractos pull little trailers with room for a couple of people. They move on interlocking circular tracks, describing something like a figure eight. Disneyland describes the ride like this: "Board a trailer pulled by an adorable little tractor and swing in time to lively music." Sounds pretty tame, right? What they fail to warn you is that the trailers swing with quite a lot of force, and the seat is a simple bench and lap bar, so there is absolutely nothing to stop the occupant from sliding across and whacking into the far side with each turn.

Now consider that the majority of the people on this ride are adults riding with small children. "Swinging in time to lively music" immediately becomes "Desperately trying not to squash your progeny."

The fact that I find this hilariously entertaining to watch probably means that I am a terrible person.