August 30, 2006
we always do

Sorry about that interruption in service, folks. I went to the Ex yesterday with my mom & Blake, and returned with the beginnings of a ridiculously awful migraine. And of course I made it worse by dumping a whole load of sugar on top to satisfy a craving for ice cream. Stupid stupid. No visuals this time, but I ended up taking an analgesic and an anti-nausea drug, the combination of which knocked me out at 8:30. Good ol’ drug-induced sleep. It beat moaning and writing on the couch, up a floor so I wouldn’t wake the baby.

The Ex was very good. This visit (as all things in my family life) was All About Blake, and every year, with the destruction of more adult rides, the Ex becomes more and more friendly to the under-10 set. This year we not only blitzed the petting zoo, we also took a rest at the on-site Early Years Centre, whipped through the playground, banged up a bunch of percussion instruments…and that was only in the designated kids area.

Our first thrill was the ride in, a sumptuous journey that encompassed all of the transit this region has to offer. Blake enjoyed his ride to the hilt, and even stayed in his train & streetcar seat most of the time. As soon as we got into the Ex, he fell in love with the huge costumed Mother Goose and Ex Beaver Mascot. He was so enamoured with these two that we found it hard to get him to move past the front gates. He still talks about them. He also had a kickawesome time at the petting zoo, where the mild goats & lambs whickered pellets out of his nervous fingers. As the designated holder of pellets, I was also quite popular amongst the animals. Proceeding to the “teach children about the world” exhibits, Blake “drove” both a fire truck & a Snowbird, tried to lift a Howitzer shell, and earned $4 an hour making snocones. Heh. Just kidding on that last one. When we decided to pack it in, we were at the Farm Food & Fun building, a sparsely populated but very educational experience for all three of us. The Butter Sculptures were there, featuring a butter Kraken menacing a toy Johnny Depp. I don’t even know how you would decide to make that out of butter, but my tri-cornered hat goes off to the artist who made it happen.

The whole experience has made me think about time. I’ve been going to Ex since I was Blake’s age, and a lot has changed. For one thing, you can’t buy huge cartons of cigarettes from the kiosks anymore. And, as I mentioned, the big rides are being torn down to make way for a soccer stadium (booo). The kids stuff has exploded in both quantity and quality. There are excellent hand-washing facilities in all animal areas, which makes my entire experience a lot less grubby. The other interesting change is that, with the addition of a casino running throughout the fair, the hardcore midway games like Crown & Anchor are completely empty. Back in the eighties you’d see people parked in front of those games all day, but now they’re in the windowless, timeless confines of an actual casino. I wonder if they’re happier this way.

As I buckled Blake into the car, he muttered softly too himself. I stopped to untwist a seat belt. "Ooh, baby," I murmured, wondering if it had hurt his shoulder.

"Mommy, we're going to give'r," he said matter-of-factly.

"We always do," I whispered, and stole a kiss to seal the deal.

Went into my new school today. My prep desk is holding a bucket, 2 dusty glass vases, and mysteriously lacks drawers. Lowest on the totem pole I suppose. This is also the first year I’ve floated for all of my classes; I’ve always had a room to call my own at Hogsboro. Still, these rooms are airy, close together, and they all have windows – a 180-degree change from my Hogsboro classrooms.

I’m a little nervous about the first day. I suppose I can do what Samuel recommended; when I run out of items, I can get them to count their teeth with their tongue.

Look at me, I’m actually working on my vacation pictures! Here’s a sneak peek.

If you can guess what it is, you get a cookie and a kiss on the cheek. Use my recently-fixed comments to try your luck!

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- Rocketbride's adventure of 8/30/2006 01:45:00 p.m.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*