Posted by: GeekHiker | September 16, 2007

Not Quiiiite What I’d Hoped For

(Updated below…)

So, I did make it to the Fair today, but it wasn’t quite the experience that I’d hoped it would be.

Not that I can sit here and say that it was a bad experience, per se.  Well, apart from being stuck in traffic on the freeway behind a freeway accident on the way home.  That kinda sucked, but other than that, it wasn’t bad.

It just didn’t fulfill its, er, potential.

Why?  Because just about everyone who was interested bailed at the last minute.

The one person who didn’t, the one friend who wanted to go in the first place, couldn’t stay more than a few hours due to some house-sitting duties.

[Now, before anyone gets any ideas or hopes up, this friend is only 23, and has happily been in a relationship for 4 1/2 years to a man who she’s quite looking forward to marrying in the not-too-distant future.  It makes talking to her an interesting experience because she has no clue what it is to be an adult (i.e. post college) and single.  None.  It would be a trifle annoying, but she’s not the “finding someone is so easy! *giggle*” type, so it’s okay.]

Oh, and the girl I flirted with on the couch last week?  Busy.  (Dammit, I keep wanting to nickname her “Couch Girl”, but that sounds so very, very wrong.  Will come up with something better if anything with her develops.  Promise.)

So I went out early and geeked out over the old trains out there for a while.  I even found something I’d been looking for for a while: a complete map of the old Red Line system (believe it or not, streetcars used to be all over this damn town).  “Train-geekness.”  Just one of the many geeky facets of The GeekHiker.  Heh.

Then my friend arrived and we toured the buildings full of stuff that will make your life 1,000 times better.  Odd how all these “miracle” products are only seen at fairs, but never cross into being mass-sold at Target, isn’t it?

After she left, I toured some of the artistic exhibits, passed through a grove of the most unhappy looking Coast Redwoods I’ve ever seen (man, I need to camp up there again soon) and walked around yet more booths selling cheezy stuff.

Ya gotta love a baseball cap with a sports team logo lit up by little flashing LED’s.  Classy.

But I do love the fact that they still have large rooms with winning pies, cookies, cakes, and table settings.  And an entire wall filled with all the first, second and third place winners for preserves.  Very Americana, but kinda cool to see it in LA, the last place you’d expect such a thing.

I figured I’d be leaving early, but ended up spending a good half hour talking with a LA County Fire Department Captain about everything from brush fires up the in the mountains to earthquakes.  It was fascinating, and so very worth it.

Before I go further, since I know you’re all dying to find out, the day’s naughty diet consisted of:

  • 1 Corn Dog
  • 1 Scoop Dr. Bob’s Ice Cream (Dark Chocolate)
  • 1/2 Funnel Cake (Split with friend.)
  • 1/2 Serving Deep Fried Coke (Also split with friend.  Interesting to try, but not worth writing home about. It’s essentially funnel cake batter with coke syrup mixed in, served hot.  Might work better if served with ice cream.)
  • 1 BBQ Beef Sandwich
  • 1 small Dippin Dots (Since I’d never tried them.  Meh.)

So that was the day at the Fair.  I’m glad my friend showed up, even if she couldn’t stay long.  Still, I had been hoping for a larger group, and having that fall through at the last minute was a bit of a disappointment.

That is one thing I do rather miss about being in a relationship: always having someone to do this sort of thing with.

I’m still glad I went, mind you, and even though I spent most of the time alone, I had a good time.

It’s funny, and I’m not sure how to describe this, but I didn’t really feel lonely, despite being at an event surrounded by couples/groups/family.  But I did feel alone.

Feeling lonely vs. feeling alone.  Is there a difference?  I think there is, but I don’t know how to put it into words.  All I know is that I didn’t feel at all down about it, it just kinda was.

But, hey, at least I got to go to the Fair.  And there’s always next year to do it better.

One final thought though: there’s a giant inflatable slide at the fair that’s shaped like the back half of the Titanic going down at a 45 degree angle.  I’m not kidding, it even has “Titanic – Liverpool” written across the stern.  That’s just all kinds of wrong…

UPDATE: Since I’d left my camera at home, you can find out all about the slide here

UPDATE 2: Better yet, Will Wheaton went to the fair this year as well, so here’s exactly what I saw…



  1. Huge difference between alone and lonely. I’m glad you went though and had a good time. If you want a do-over there’s a fair here at the end of the month I’m heading to with a couple people and it seems there are duck races…are you not totally amused at the idea of racing ducks???

  2. I think you ought to try the Vermont State Fair some year. There are two reasons to go: 1) Maple sugar candy. Yum. 2) Pig Races. Hilarious.
    You can tell what a sleepy state VT is based on the fact that there is so little real news going on that one year my pic ended up on the front page of the Rutland Herald when I was a spectator at the pig races. I musta really been whooping it up.
    Oh, bonus reason # 3: There’s a bar across the street from the called CJ’s where we go to laugh at all the inbred carnies and toothless locals.
    And what you said: “That is one thing I do rather miss about being in a relationship: always having someone to do this sort of thing with.” I agree, that’s such a great perk.

  3. Ruby is right–there IS a huge difference between being along and being lonely. But it’s definitely lonelier to be in a relationship with the wrong person than it is to be alone (to me anyway). Good for you that you’re comfortable enough to do things on your own rather than sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself.

    Inappropriately named or not (who came up with that Titanic slide??), you can’t go wrong with anything inflatable and bouncy. I know that doesn’t sound good, but you know what I mean. 🙂

  4. I was just counting in my head and realized I know 5 couples who were married at 21 or younger; 3 had never lived away from their parents even. Whoa.

    Sofa Sitter?

    I’ve never had a corn dog because the name always grossed me out.

    Big crowd events, like a fair, are the best for being alone. All one has to do to be entertained is slip on one’s sunglasses and people watch; fascinating.

    Lonely is more emotional and alone is a state of being.

    That slide sounds awesome! Where’s your picture of it?!?

  5. Ruby – don’t think I’m going to make that one, tempting as the duck races sound. They should be at least as entertaining as the turkey races I saw a couple of years ago!

    Charlotte – will add it to the life-list. Don’t suppose you kept a copy of the picture from the paper, did ya? And it’s nice to have a comrade in arms who misses the perk as well.

    quirkygirl – I definitely agree, having been in such a relationship before myself. And, yes, I know what you mean, but it still made me giggle. 😉

    just a girl – Wow. That might work, but I’m not going to worry about it unless I see her again and something develops further. I think you nailed the difference between lonely and alone, but I still felt alone, like I was conscious of it, make sense? Sorry, left the camera at home, but I’ve updated the post…

  6. Makes sense.

    Lonely is generally a negative feeling while being alone can be positive negative or just the way it is (neither here nor there)>

  7. I know what you mean. I went to the Aloha Beach Festival without the wife (she was at a school function thingy). I was surrounded by a a few hundred people and felt very alone. When you have been with someone for ten years doing everything together, ‘Alone’ becomes really noticeable – 100 lb gorilla in the room noticeable.

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