Chaos Attraction

Solo to State Fair

2012-07-22, 9:20 a.m.

Last weekend, I went home to see a play in the Bay Area...and spent the rest of it being forced to help Mom clear out Granddaddy's 30+year-old storage unit. By moving most of the contents into a smaller storage unit. I tactfully restrained myself from writing the super-ticked-off entry I wanted to about this because all of this stuff is complete junk, but Mom insists on only getting rid of the contents in the "right" way--taking the old metal to the metal recyclers, finding someone to take the rotted furniture and rehab it, stuff like that.

But to her credit, she has actually emptied out the big one by now...and had the fun of trying to wheel two 30-year-old stolen shopping carts OVER RAILROAD TRACKS to take them to the metal recycler, only then to be told that they won't take them. Having stolen a shopping cart once in my life--I would never do it again to take home groceries because dear lord, those carts are not meant to be driven down sidewalks and across roads at all--well, to me that's ah...a learning experience for her to have to deal with.

This weekend was a vast improvement, comparatively speaking. Mom came up to my neck of the woods to go to some train event in Sacramento--she wanted Mauricio to go with her and he didn't want to go and there was some drama about that--so I said I would. It wasn't too bad--I got to see the McClellan area, which I hadn't before, and at one point we went to a British food store. I was ridiculously excited about that because I like to buy British candy at the British food booth at the Scottish Games, and it turned out that lady is the one who runs it. (Which explains why I could find all my favorites.)

The actual train event wasn't what I expected--it was people setting up trains to run and that was it. No sales, no giant landscape backdrops like I've usually seen at train events. So that was odd. But I got into knitting conversations with people there (especially Mom's friend working the event that she wanted to visit), and bought a scarf and got some free yarn from Mom's friend. That was nice. What was also nice was Mom going home early that night, so I could do other things as well.

As for Sunday, since I still have L's car for the moment, I figured I should do another driving trip--to the State Fair. Alone. Okay, so I'm planning on going next weekend too when L gets back, but since we were going to go Friday night and catch a show, I figured there wasn't going to be much time to see anything else. Plus I like going to state fair and it was nice to have the ability to freaking go without having to beg someone else, and I didn't have to worry about booking the Zipcar hours for it. I got there around 10:30, which is excellent for parking. I took a buttload of pictures, which is going to take awhile to upload. They had the following things:

(a) a kids' science area that was pretty awesome and Exploratorium-ish.

(b) baby pigs and baby sheep and baby chicks in various places. I also saw a baby deer trying to jump the hell away from the petting zoo. Alas, there was only one rabbit. Tons of guinea pigs instead. Why do I always seem to miss rabbit week over there?

(c) a soul line dance school doing a performance for an hour, and they encouraged audience volunteers to get in the show. Fun times. And something I probably couldn't have done for an hour with someone else along.

(d) really super amazing arts and crafts. Particularly the kinetic sculptures, holy cow. The guy who does them is a dentist and does these things for years at a time when he has free time. (It's kind of a shame that a genius like that has to have a day job. But...that's our shitty world for ya.)

(e) Toytopia, an exhibit featuring games, including the world's biggest Etch-A-Sketch and a bunch of giant toys and play areas. Really nifty.

I also wandered through the vendor areas, which tend to be pretty weird and "As Seen On TV"-ish, but I found a few cool booths here and there. I got a rainbow fanny pack, a glow-in-the-dark moon necklace, and a dress, all reasonably priced.

I also saw the county displays, which tend to amaze me because of how big and detailed they were. My hometown county sadly wimped the hell out this year with lame popup displays AND going in on it with other Bay Area counties. Meanwhile, my current county's theme was--not a surprise--"You Only Live Once." This year's standout was Glenn County, which had an awesome people display of dolls doing all kinds of crazy stuff, including getting stuck in the window of a tree house.

While I did not try any of the "fried god knows what" booths--actually uh, I didn't really see 'em--I did try the chocolate-covered bacon. It's $6 for a Chinese takeout box of six large, crispy, chocolate coated frozen yummy bacon. Worth It!

I kind of feel bad about going to the fair early without L, but there turned out to be a good reason for it-- we want to go see Joan Jett there on Friday, and I found out by walking past the stage that you only get the free tickets to the event if you are in line by 4:30 (which is not mentioned online). Which is not gonna happen for either of us on Friday, so we need to decide if we're going to cave in and buy the "guaranteed seating" tickets or hope they let us sit on the grass or something. I'll need to bring that up with her when she's back.

I eventually went home, went swimming, and then watched "Memento" with L's cat. All in all, it was a great day.

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