austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We've been waiting for this night all year

We drove back to Cedar Point from the Merry-Go-Round Museum as the drizzly rain mostly let up. It was cool and damp and that didn't leave the crowds quite as small as we'd expected. After a little dithering on my part we parked up front, instead of around back by the hotel entrance (we weren't sure we'd be let in, since the hotel had closed for the week, and the season, at noon) or the Marina entrance, where it'd be convenient to go if we wanted to eat at the Bay Harbor restaurant after the park closed.

We'd eaten at that restaurant after the park's closing in several past years, as a way to take the edge off the end of the weekend's fun. But the restaurant was also becoming less fun. Because of the lateness of the hour and the season we'd be eating alone, or nearly alone, often and that felt awkward. And they're a seafood restaurant anyway, with not much for people trying to eat vegetarian. So among other things we let slip away in 2016 was the restaurant.

Not slipping away: seeing the magic show! We got back moments before one of the performances was to begin. This is the one at the Jack Aldrich theater, a bunch of magic performances with dance interludes, that I got up on stage for a couple years back. They still had that magic trick, although this year kids were called up to hold the banner and swap places with the clown-magician in the stocks. Seeing the same show a couple years in a row has let us in on one of its secrets, which is that they don't do the show the same each year. They swap out maybe one dance and one magic trick each year, of the five or six each, so that I guess things don't ever get stale but they also don't feel completely altered.

I also realized, belatedly as ever, that I had a new camera this year. A camera that's much better at taking fast, low-light pictures than I've ever had before. The stage lights and the dark make for the sort of brilliant spectacle that I love but that I'd learned from past experience were impossible to photograph. But now? Why not try with my new camera? I had happy results from this. The low, weird-light pictures --- including some with black-lighted props and costumes --- came out as well as I could have hoped. This could change everything, at least in the very specific field of what kinds of stage shows I could hope to photograph. You'll see pictures of that some Thursday or Sunday night, I suppose, around these parts.

Trivia: The human body has no specific mechanism for removing excess iron other than menstrual bleeding and the shedding of gut-lining cells. Source: Oxygen: The Molecule That Made The World, Nick Lane.

Currently Reading: P T Barnum: The Legend And The Man, A H Saxon. So until Saxon brought it up I had never pondered the question. One of Barnum's big early show successes was the humbug of ``Joice Heth'', supposedly a 161-year-old slave who'd nursed George Washington. The question: did Barnum buy her to show her off? The answer appears to be no; his contracts were clear that all he was buying was her performances and the right to exhibit her. But he bought those from the slave's master. Ah, America: there's nothing our racism can't make that little extra bit worse. (And it appears, although there's just barely the room to deny it, that he bought at least one slave for a southern tour in the 1830s. He did turn abolitionist around the time of Bleeding Kansas.)

Tags: cedar point, halloweekends

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