Am I a roller coaster person now?
I mean, kinda
Roads Go Ever On 18: Am I a roller coaster person now?
💻 what I'm up to 💻
I walked slowly up a path, the opposite of eager. I saw the dark tracks of the VelociCoaster ahead, looming not that far off the ground. I said, “Oh this doesn’t look SO bad.” Then I rounded the corner and saw the loop and tall part of the tracks that were obscured by a wall. “Ohhhh shit.”
Yes, please appreciate that I read multiple articles about the VelociCoaster and watched videos but I was so nervous that once I saw it in person, I forgot about all of that and happily deluded myself for a few seconds.
I am decidedly not a roller coaster person. Or a thrill ride person. The Incredicoaster and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (Disney’s styling, not mine, and I don’t know why I’m using it either because who needs that many special characters?!) are the most aggressive rides I’ve been on in the past two decades. I haven’t boarded a more intense roller coaster since high school, when I felt peer pressured to ride The Beast at King’s Island.
And to be clear, no one pressured me to ride the VelociCoaster. I wanted to face my fears. After this last year and whatever number of months, I’m all about pushing myself and embracing change. Why not? So maybe, just maybe, I thought: am I a roller coaster person now?
Since I approached the VelociCoaster as part of a press event, the line was short. I took my time in the queue, diligently documenting the area with photos for Nerdist. But also, I was 100% dragging my feet. I approached the loading area all too quickly and though I could have waited in the line to get ridecam footage, I wanted to get it over with. Plus, no one needs to see me fully freak out. At the front of the line, a Universal team member checked in on me and I told her I was a little scared. She gave me a lovely pep talk and they kindly sat me in the middle because I asked for the least frightening seat.
What can I say… on the upshot, the VelociCoaster is smooth and leaps so quickly from one element to the next that you’re done before you know it. But even as I screamed and said, “No, no, no,” I could appreciate the design and how they crafted this seamless and ambitious beast of a coaster. Raptor shrieks surrounded me. The occasional raptor popped into my sightline. I refused to close my eyes. I was IN IT.
All sorts of out of sorts after the coaster, I stepped away a little shaky. But I did it. I didn’t opt for a repeat ride but… I did it. And I’m proud of myself. (You can read more thoughts and my interviews with some of the folks behind the coaster at Nerdist).
Then the next day, with the help of a friend and a publicist, I snagged a seat on Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Two roller coasters in two days!! It is way more chill than the VelociCoaster but still had some surprises for me. And I… had a blast! Like, would absolutely go on it again.
I’ve gone from a hard no to roller coasters to a hard maybe, and that’s something.
📘 my book things 📘
Signed books update! If you’d like a signed copy of any of these books of mine: Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, The Jedi Mind, Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, or A Kid’s Guide to Fandom my local bookstore Malaprop’s has them in stock and ready to ship!
My seventh book might just be announced tomorrow on a show that rhymes with Car Lores. 👀
📺 what I'm watching 📺
I’m only two episodes into this Netflix show based on Jeff Lemire’s comic of the same name. Trailer above. Gus is sweet and the first episode had me wanting to run away to the woods in hopes of finding a salvageable abandoned home of my own.
I’ve mostly been focused on catching up on Succession, which I did on Monday night. Oh my god that rap in season two… I had to pull a blanket over my head because I felt so embarrassed on Kendall’s behalf. In fact, I pull a blanket over my head for about 25% of this series.
📚 what I'm reading 📚
Ahhh I’ve read, like, 10 things since my last newsletter and I enjoyed so many of them! I’ll try to be brief.
Amoralman by Derek Delgaudio
If you liked In and of Itself, pick this up. If you haven’t watched In and of Itself on Hulu, please go do it. This is a memoir about truth, lies, and the lies we think are truth and I really enjoyed Derek’s voice.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
Okay, this book has a Schitt’s Creek Alexis type who gets exiled to a small fishing town in the Pacific Northwest. She has to figure some shit out. But that’s complicated by Brendan, a burly but sweet fisherman who’s processing his own stuff. Very opposites attract, very charming, very much recommend.
A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen
It took me a while to pick this one by my buddy Mike up because it’s set against the backdrop of a pandemic (it was published before COVID) but dang, it’s about four people thrown together and humanity and relationships and a world that has restarted after a devastating loss/reset. Kinda a picture of what could have been.
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
Meet Peyo, a hospital therapy horse. This whole Instagram feed will clear your skin, etc.
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
Raise your hand if you have more than one notebook. Now raise your other hand if you have notes, ideas, anything spread across multiple notebooks. So many of us do it. Recently I gathered my pile of notebooks and went through the contents. Some of them are from work, where I’ve kept notes from various set visits and events. One has some creative notes and ideas. Anyway, I grabbed Post-Its and listed the contents of each notebook and taped it on the front cover along with dates, so I can easily see what’s what without having to flip through. It feels nice.
I know that a bullet journal would solve my multiple notebook problem. But bullet journaling didn’t work for me, plus I largely use digital notebooks (yay Good Notes) now anyway.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
I’ve been reading physical books lately which means I don’t have my handy Kindle app highlighting feature at the ready for remembering quotes. So I’m back to an old favorite from Tolkien. Adventures keep going. It’s kind of the magic of them.
Thank you for reading this whole darn thing and for reading this newsletter. If you’d like to get a bonus third edition every month (I’ll always send two a month for free), or a monthly postcard, I have a Patreon now!