Universal Studios

Got free tickets to Universal Studios, the local attraction featuring a couple of outdated 3D theater experiences and a cheesy but fun studio tour.  Seriously, Terminator 2 3D is laughably bad. 3D Shrek made me motion sick.  King Kong 3D was admittedly kinda badass, but that project was helmed by the man himself, Peter Jackson.

Best thing about the whole day?  There’s a place on the citywalk portion of the place called Popcornopolis.  They sell a delightful churro flavored popcorn that has been making a lot of appearances in my dreams at night.  It’s that good.

Self portrait.  Last time I was on the lot, it was under inauspicious circumstances.  I had to pick up my boyfriend from a business meeting there after a health scare.  It was nice to go back and just enjoy the place.  You can’t help but feel like there’s a little bit of fairy dust on everything- filming a movie is such a tremendous endeavor combining the best elements of science, engineering, and pure creativity.  It really is magical and there’s a kind of energy in the air that reminds me a little bit of the electricity one feels at the Capitol Building.  Sure, you become inured to it after working there for a while, but places like the Capitol and movie studios are nexuses of true power like grand cathedrals and sporting arenas.  Different shades of power, but power nonetheless.

Props from Tokyo Drift.  I actually saw that movie and I enjoyed it.  Someday I would like to take car drifting lessons.  Just because.

Hydraulics are so cool.  Dancing cars and fire- the tour was off to a good start.  This is the first in a series of 3 pictures taken from the wrong side of the trolley, hence the black bars.

Security.  Word up.

I’ve always been afraid of Jaws.  I didn’t see the actual movie until I was 25 or so, but he still haunted my childhood.  It all started with a studio tour when I was a wee one.  Jaws popped out of the water and attacked the trolley.  I never forgot it. For years, I couldn’t swim alone in a swimming pool for fear he would come out of one of the filters and eat me. Oddly, I had no fear of swimming in the ocean.  Anyway, I was prepared this time- or so I thought.  I knew they still had the Jaws attraction on the tour and I knew we’d stop the trolley and he’d pop out of the water but this time I’d be waiting with my camera and get the shot- a nice clear picture of a potemkin shark to put my mind at ease.  Fucker still surprised me.

Definitely the scariest dinosaur from Jurassic Park.  Blinding spit?  Thanks, but I’d rather take my chances with the raptors.

We drove around the Desperate Housewives set. They made a whole street of fake houses. I’ve never personally seen white and yellow wisteria.  That bothered me the most.

They built the set for that Grinch movie out of styrofoam.  It’s still standing.  It insulates well, lasts forever and can be made into whimsical shapes- I’m thinking they need to rebuild Haiti with this stuff.

Norman Bates attacked us.  Also, the Bates Motel is behind Whoville.

Part of the set from War of the Worlds.  It was a dog of a movie, but there were some pretty great disaster scenes.  I have pretty frequent nightmares that look like this.  No, really, I have a recurring dream where planes crash to the ground in front of me.  Looks like this, but with more fire.

Universal is very proud of their Fast and Furious franchise.  They had the cars on display everywhere.

This is a dog I saw on the drive to u.s.  He looked so happy.

Woman on her way to a gospel brunch at u.s.  I have definite plans to attend a gospel brunch in the near future.

They caught Jaws.  The kid on the right does not grasp the gravity of the situation.

They can fake anything at u.s., even skydiving.  For $50 or so, you can spend a couple of minutes pretending to fly.  This woman has clearly hatched an evil plan during her session and she wants me to know it.