Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A-Z Blogging - Adventure Parks - S is for Six Flags

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is one of the most well-known amusement park chains in the world. The chain is the world's largest in the industry, owning and operating 18 properties in North America that include theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers.

The company got its start in 1959 as The Great Southwest Corporation and its first park opened in Arlington, Texas within two years as Six Flags Over Texas.  The Six Flags moniker stands for the six flags of the six different countries that have governed Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, The United States and the Confederate States of America.  (Source: Wikipedia)

I've spoken much about my home park, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, and the brand, like many other corporate brands in America, carries familiarity throughout their properties.  You'll find the Looney Tunes characters in and around all things Six Flags, and many of their roller coasters can be found at several of their parks.

Here's a wicked roller coaster that stil packs a punch and can be found at several Six Flags parks, including Great Adventure, Magic Mountain, Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags St. Louis, and Six Flags Over Georgia. My pal Gary, who just visited Magic Mountain, got to ride the thrilling classic backwards, something they're doing for a limited time both there and in Texas.  I can't imagine!  Anyway, here it is forwards, which is wild enough....

Of course, though I love Six Flags for many reasons, it is the coasters I love the most.  I've only been to one of their parks, and by now you know which one, but I'd love to one day visit them all because they've got a great collection of roller coasters, about 117 in the North American parks by my own unscientific count. In fact, here's one I'd like to try, and it's our "S" Coaster of the Day, Superman Krypton located at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio.  This one holds the record for the world's tallest loop and I wanna ride...

  "S" Coaster of the Day - Superman Krypton - 
Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio

Check out Six Flags to see all of their parks up close and personal, and check out my A-R posts in this month of Adventure Parks blogging:

Song of the Day - Problem - Ariana Grande, featuring Iggy Azalea

Here is a HOT HOT new one from Ariana Grande.  This one's happy, funky, and easily likable on the very first listen.  Love it!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Song of the Day Dedication - It Takes Two/Joy & Pain - Rob Base and D.J. E-Z Rock

Right about now
You are about to be possessed
By the sounds of M.C. Rob Base
And D.J. E-Z Rock

Hit it...

Today we've got a sad dedication for Song of the Day on John's World.  I am saddened to report that D.J. E-Z Rock, of this song's fame, passed away suddenly yesterday.  He was only 46 years old.

Rob Base and D.J. E-Z Rock weren't the most popular or enduring rap stars out on the scene when this came out in 1988, but It Takes Two was, and still is da bomb!  In fact, I once named it the 4th greatest rap/dance song of all time.  As a club-goer and a longtime deejay myself, I can attest to the popularity of this song, filling up dance floors whenever it was played, with everybody singing every word to this catchy and funky song.  So rest in peace D.J.  You will be remembered!  As for you, enjoy...

Here's a second song that came off the same album as the previous one.  It wasn't nearly as popular, but I always loved it, too...

Joy, and pain
Like sunshine and rain

Monday, April 28, 2014

Song of the Day - Pound the Alarm - Nicki Minaj

I've been listening to a lot of hip hop, both old and new, these past few days....thinking I might do some lessons around some of the songs.  After listening to Nicki Minaj's stuff on Friday, I'm wondering when her next big thing is going to come.  Anyway, here's a perfect Nicki song for a Monday morning...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Tarot

Today I had a play date with my friend Sonny and it was a really nice day.  I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I've been feeling like I've lost my mojo and well, such a nice day as this definitely worked to get me another step closer to finding it.  Although my time with Sonny was great, it was a Tarot card reading that really pushed me...

His name was Frank, and Sonny and I first saw him as we parked outside the coffee shop where we were headed.  As Frank approached the place for his regular session of reading in the shop, Sonny waved hello and he stopped over by the car to chat before he went inside.  After exchanging pleasantries, he started for the door and then stopped, turned around, and said something...

Your expectations don't meet your talent.  It's spring, summer, the weather is getting warmer.  People are feeling good.  Create your art and raise your expectations of yourself.

At first, I wasn't sure which one of us he was talking to, but that sure sounded like me.  He was right on spot, especially since I haven't been feeling like I've been writing as good or as much as I should.  My confidence has been shot.  Sonny was a little confused by it too, the way he looked as he spoke, but I was sure it was directed at me.

Wow, that was pretty good, I told him.

What can I say?  I'm a witch.

Right then and there I decided that maybe, just maybe, I would have my cards read once we went inside. So, about ten minutes afterwards, Sonny and I found ourselves sitting at a large table towards the back of the coffee shop, right near where Frank was set up.  I excused myself and told Sonny I was going to have my cards read.

My Reading

Though he offered for me to record what he said, I didn't do it, but I should have.  I'm not very good at remembering details after one listen, but I can tell you that throughout our half-hour conversation he saw things about me that I really already knew, and I was glued to what he said as he offered connection and clarity to some of the things that I'd believed, but never really thought about.

Frank's talent is unquestionable.  He told me things about my life that he couldn't possibly have known, and I'd never realized the significance of these experiences and people I've connected with throughout my life until today.

Frank mentioned a very special person in my life, my nana Mary.  He spoke of how I follow in the lineage from my mother and her mother, and that my nana watches over me, rooting me on because I'm living my life kinda sorta how she wanted to live hers, only she lived in a different time and was never able to even try, but only to dream about such things.  From both of these women I've inherited my kindness and place in this world as one who is here to bring joy to others.  This is something I've always known about myself, but have never spoken of it to anyone.

Two other significant relationships in my life have affected me in a big way, too, one which I've gotten over, and the other one which I haven't quite.  I listened to Frank knowingly, and hearing these things out loud from a complete stranger told me that what I choose to see in the mirror isn't really what's there.  I need to bring my inherent energies out always, and retire the masks that I always wear.  Again, I knew exactly what he was speaking of.    

So what do I do from here?  Well, I'm not really sure.  A lot of the things that Frank and I spoke of today definitely added clarity to what I've begun to discern from Millman's The Life You Were Born to Live. After about twenty minutes of Frank reading my cards, he asked what questions I had.  I've always said that Millman doesn't really offer advice on how to fix stuff, only to explain one's inherent nature.  So I asked...

What do I need to do?

Be yourself.  Let your inner kindness come forth all the time.  He explained that we all have different energies about us and that we're all attracted to and repelled from one another naturally, like magnets. I just need to learn to recognize and just keep away from my polar opposites, energy-wise.  Like everything else Frank said to me, I understood.

So stay tuned as I continue to observe, learn, and hopefully grow as a result of this new found awareness. It's funny, but I was always afraid of having my fortune told or being read, but for some reason I had no hesitation to do it today, probably only because I'd met Frank outside.  Still, the experience gave me anenlightening feeling that I'm going to hang on to as long as I can!

Song of the Day - Poker Vogue

I was in NYC last night with some friends to see a show called Boylesque, which wasn't all that great, but there was one number where the performer did his thing to a mash-up of Madonna's Vogue and Gaga's Poker Face.  I was impressed at how well the two songs worked so well together, comparable to the famous Born This Way/Express Yourself mash-up.  Anyway, I tried finding the same mix, but this was the best I could find...

And just in case this gives you a hankering for the originals, well here they are...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A-Z Blogging - Adventure Parks - R is for Rolling Thunder

Rolling Thunder was Six Flag's Great Adventure's dual racing coaster.  I say "was" because the ride was removed at the end of last season to make room for part of the new Zumanjaro Drop of Doom ride opening this year.  Rolling Thunder was the second of two big additions to the park, debuting in 1979, one year after the then-revolutionary Lightning Loops.

Rolling Thunder was the first wooden coaster at SFGA, and though I was never a huge fan, I did take a ride every time I visited the park.  Last September, I thankfully got to take one last ride on the really-not-so-old coaster before its demise, and it was kind of sad, I must admit.  So here's to Rolling Thunder, a nice coaster with a great name who's time ended much too soon!  Take a ride...

"R" Coaster of the Day - Rebel Yell - 
King's Dominion, Doswell, VA

One of my favorite racing coasters of all time is Rebel Yell at King's Dominion in Virginia.  Of course, every time I ride it, I get the Billy Idol song stuck in my head for hours, and it's not really as fun as it once was, but back in the day, when the two coasters began together in a true race out and back, oh, that was pure joy! Check it out...

Now that we're getting closer to the end of the April A-Z Blogger's Challenge, now would be a great time for you to check out the rest of my posts thus far...

Song of the Day - Doin It - LL Cool J

Hot!  Sexy.  Steamy. Downright dirty!  That's what this song is, but it's oh so good!  Sexeh!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - What's Luv - Fat Joe, featuring Ashanti

I was listening to hip hop from through the years last night and suddenly Fat Joe's What's Luv came on. Well, I started boogeying right there and knew it would be the song for today.  Click play and it'll give you a happy start to your Friday...


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Song of the Day - Mirrors - Natalia Kills

I love Natalia Kills! She's got the kind of music that you just can't shut off once you start listening. So far, she's got two albums, 2011's Perfectionist and last year's Trouble, and they are both full of catchy tunes. Here's one of my favorites from her first album, the fast n funky Mirrors...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A-Z Blogging - Adventure Parks - Q is for Quassy Amusement Park

Talk about tough letters!  The letter "Q" would be a challenge for almost anyone doing the Blogger's Challenge on any topic, and boy there are slim pickins in the amusement world for the letter.  Luckily, I remember once seeing an advertisement for Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut.  Whew!

Though I've never been there, I'd surely take a ride if I were ever in the area.  Quassy looks like a nice, small, old-fashioned type of amusement park and it's got 22 rides on 20 acres of property, including the Wooden Warrior roller coaster (always worth a ride to any park!).

The park is named after Lake Quassapaug, a Native American word meaning "big pond" or "big rock."  The lake is what attracted people to the area a long, long time ago and in the 1930's the place became a recreation area with picnics, paddle boats and a carousel.  After World War II the site became a full fledged amusement park and has been growing ever since, adding new rides and attractions virtually every year since the 1970's.  Today it is a family-oriented place for relaxation and fun.  To learn more about Quassy Amusement Park, visit their website here, and in the meantime, check out Wooden Warrior:

"Q" Roller Coaster of the Day - Quantum Leap - Adventureland - Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Again, it's been a real tough time finding "Q" roller coasters, but out of the four or five I did find, this one, located inside a mall in the United Arab Emirates, looks like the best of that small crop.  I'd ride it!

Check out my other Adventure Parks blog posts from this year's A-Z Challenge:

A-Z Blogging - P is for Pirate Ship Rides

Pirate ship rides have been around for some time now and virtually every amusement park out there has one, with varying names.  There's the Pirate Ship, the Buccaneer, the Mayflower, Pharoah's Fury, Sea Dragon,, and plenty more, and believe it or not, these rides have been around since 1897.  Basically, these rides are giant swings, and they go pretty damned high (some even go all the way around....scary!), leaving butterflies in your midsection with each upward swing.  Though not as exciting as a roller coaster, pirate ship rides are an indelible part of the amusement industry and are always fun to ride!

"P" Coaster of the Day - Phoenix - 
Knoebels Amusement Park, Elysburg, PA

A classic wooden roller coaster that originated in 1947 in San Antonio, Texas, now gives Pennsylvania riders thrills all these years later up in Knoebels Amusement Park.  I got to ride this one back in 2010 and it was fun.  Take a ride yourself...

Also check out my other entries in this month's A-Z Challenge...