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Fuzzy Dice. Need I Say More?

2 Mar

World of Wheels, hot rod How often do you actually get to use the term “hot rod” in a sentence and have it be contextually accurate? Not often. Glory be for the World of Wheels!

Here’s the scene: a convention center with all of its acoustic shrill; thousands of people speaking in a vocabulary that I don’t understand; and cars shinier than you would think is even possible. So shiny in fact, that some are on mirrored platforms so you can see their pretty underbellies.

My car does NOT have a pretty underbelly. Does yours? Didn’t think so.

Fuzzy Dice and Airbrushed T-Shirts
YESSSSS! If only I wore airbrushed items, THIS would be the place to have them made. The memories every time I wore that shirt or trucker hat…

You Spend Money Your Way, I’ll Spend it My Way
The show was truly incredible and the cars stunning. Stunning for their beauty, the amount of time spent working on them, and the amount of money invested into them. But those folks probably think I’m wackadoo for having the camera lenses I do. A hobby is a hobby, and all that matters is that it makes you happy.

This was one of the greatest outside-of-my-bubble-world experiences I’ve had.
What’s yours?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.


Is it a Bird? Is it Superman?’s a Plane!

29 Feb

Great Georgia Air ShowThe Great Georgia Airshow is equally spectacular for the feats performed as for the people-watching. And to be clear (and fair) the people-watching isn’t especially, um,  special here vs at other festivals, it’s just that the nature of an air show calls for sitting still; so you get to watch the people more intently. It should be called the Great Georgia People and Airshow.

What Goes Up, Must Come DownAltimiters, Georgia Airshow, vintage planes
And evidently also get torn apart. There were tables galore with plane gear. Altimeters (I think) and other parts whose names I don’t know. I liked them for their history and because I’m drawn to anything in multiples.

Helicopters, Georgia AirshowHow’d You Learn to Fly Like That?
If you’re not impressed by the loops and formations, then you’re not human and certainly not American. I mean seriously. I get uncomfortable driving next to a car on the highway and they fly with four helicopters in alignment…. Shazzam.

Preaching to the Choir
No one needed to tell this crowd to quiet down. They were into this show. All eyes upward!

Great Georgia Air show, festival, planes, helicopters, people-watching

When a Rubber Chicken is an Absolute Necessity

17 Feb

Mardi Gras beadsThink Mardi Gras is all about the beads? Think again.

When you go to the family-friendly parades, the booty ain’t on the pretty girls; it’s in your bags-full-of-crap that you wouldn’t want otherwise but suddenly find essential.

Stuffed animals of varying sizes and mostly of poor quality–how they keep their stuffing in during all that partying is a mystery. Oh, and many are wearing Mardi Gras gear.  Of course they are.

A rubber chicken that I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO HAVE. I can’t explain why. I don’t like gag gifts, novelty items, or tradeshow giveaways. (That was my mom’s business and we had drawers full of thousands of misprinted pens (among other things). I hate imprinted items, but do thank them for sending me to college) But in the Mardi Gras moment–and even on the way home divvying up loot with my nieces, that chicken was mine. Then I gave it to a work friend who was truly baffled as to why I gave him such a thing. Probably the right reaction.

Other treats: a parasol with tassels, which I (generously) let my nieces keep.  Doubloons (coins) with the brand of each krewe (the crew of each float)–those are a treat. Or start a collection:  a necklace from every parade with the krewe’s name.

And of course there are the beads, which range from ordinary to huge and extravagant. Those are saved for women in the French Quarter or kids at the family parade. Good thing my nieces were there or I’d have left empty-handed. Seriously. Spending time with them, laughing and creating memories–feh. I needed them for the beads, people.

Mardi Gras doesn’t always bring out the best in people: drunken debauchery for some; or for me, jealousy when someone caught what I was hoping for. It’s vicious, competitive, and absurd. And wonderful fun!

Anyone know what they throw in the French Quarter besides beads? A girl’s gotta know!

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

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Did You Know that there’s a Family-Friendly Mardi Gras?

17 Feb

Did you know that there’s a family-friendly Mardi Gras? Me neither. And just because kids are invited doesn’t mean it’s tame. Raucous fun, spectacles of artistry, wild characters–both in the parade and watching it–and Americana.

Meanwhile, I had no idea that the Mardi Gras celebration lasts so long–weeks–or had so many parades (over 40). We went to 7 in two days!

The floats were impressive: large scale, double-decker, and themed to the hilt. The people on the floats are members of a krewe and pay for the right to be on the float, plus buy their own throws (lingo for beads and toys). It could cost up to $1500 per person. It was never made clear to me, but seemingly the organizations do charity work throughout the year. And somehow it’s a city ordinance that they wear masks. No one could explain why…

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In between floats were horses and characters like people or a Star Wars Storm Trooper. Of course.

Storm Trooper at Mardi Gras Parade

And then the joy of high school band after high school band. LOVE their hats with plumes!

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Stay tuned for upcoming posts about why a rubber chicken is so compelling; and the incredible community of people who celebrate Mardi Gras with their families.

DragonCon: Oh, the Humanity!

3 Sep

Star Wars Storm Trooper HelmetsThe DragonCon parade was more than a girl could hope for!

Elementary school friend Naomi and I went early for the “mustering,” where the folks in the parade gather by theme (Star Wars, Super Hero, etc.). It was a fantastic behind-the-scenes peek: the juxtaposition of half-costumed people drinking Gatorade, hearing stories of how the costumes were made and their authentic materials, getting as close to the Wicked Witch of the West as I ever care to.

Naomi was my guide during the parade, introducing me to worlds of sci-fi, fantasy, and super powers. Silly me, I thought they were all the same. Not so.

This was absolutely the best parade I’ve ever seen! There were moments of acrobatics and combat fighting; wizards galore; and more people pointed a fake a gun at me than I could have hoped for.

A zombie growled at me and I blew in kiss in return–I’m not sure of the etiquette, was that the right thing to do?

What’s the best parade you’ve seen?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here. Want to see even more pics and see them all full size? Click here.

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DragonCon, posted with vodpod

We All Scream for Ice Cream

28 Aug

At Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’ festival in Roswell, GA they count on the fact that few can resist ice cream. And all ages came out to taste the community’s finest (and some of their worst…sorry).

Organizations and political candidates made flavors available for tasting and prizes. Funds raised from the entrance fee went to the Drake House, a 90-day emergency housing program for homeless mothers.

Friends Sandi, Lauren, and I, with a toddler in tow (who only eats chocolate ice cream), took on the heat and the masses in order to eat homemade ice cream from a tiny spoon. Wouldn’t you? And there really is Christmas in August: someone made peppermint ice cream–my absolute favorite. Happy Paula!

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Lactose intolerant? What do you do instead?
Not a sweets person? No worries, surely you love something!
Great – are all demographics covered?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

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Watermelon Eating Contest

22 Aug

Watermelon Eating ContestPrior posts transported us to the Watermelon Carnival in Water Valley, MS and to the nail-biting competition of the seed-spitting contest. Now we get to the nitty gritty (yes, I said “nitty gritty”) and explore the underbelly of the Watermelon Eating Contest.

Now this was a site to behold. And to be-stand a few steps away from.

There’s not much chewing necessary, which is good for all eating contests, and an innate bonus for watermelon. It should really be called a slurping contest. They plowed from side to side like it was a typewriter-ear-of-corn-hybrid and in a matter of minutes a quarter melon was gone. Just slush at their feet and goo on their faces.

And if you weren’t sure if competitive spirit was still alive, it’s thriving in Water Valley, MS. They went at those melons like there was more at stake than a measly prize.

Have you ever been in an eating contest?
Would you do it again?
What did you eat?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

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