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Of course, the whole reason Trey, Leslie, and I went to Ohio was so that Trey could attend a professional soccer match between the Columbus Crew and the visiting Chicago Fire.

Chicago Fire 1, Columbus Crew 2

I have to admit that I had more fun at the soccer game than I had thought I would. The atmosphere was enjoyably electric, and even the soccer match was unusually exciting so far as soccer games go. (The first goal was scored within the first 9 minutes, preventing the 0-0 tie I was expecting.) The Columbus fans were friendly and reasonably well-behaved, the exception being their children. Those little bastards went largely unsupervised and seemed to enjoy throwing their Pepsi cups and other trash between sections. Clearly, they are future Ohio State University students.

Naturally, with no preference between teams, I chose to root for the Crew. Trey claimed to have no favorite MLS soccer team, but Leslie insisted that he is secretly a Chicago Fire fan. The Chicago fans made the Columbus children look like amateurs, throwing smoke bombs and bottles on the field. There was even a fire in the parking lot after the Fire lost, an event I don't consider a coincidence. I'm sure that Trey felt like he was attending a Philadelphia Eagles game.

So that was my first soccer game. Would I do it again? Yeah. Maybe next time, we can go to a stadium that serves Coke.

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After leaving Sandusky, Trey, Leslie, and I headed south to Columbus. With some time to kill before the soccer game would start, we decided to follow a lead provided by our party planner, Brian. We headed directly towards the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, or as Brian described it, "Jack Hanna's zoo." This nickname is a little misleading; as I was disappointed to learn, you won't find Jack Hanna in any of the cages.

Yeah, we're out there having fun in the warm Columbus sun.

It was well over 90° in the midday sun, and most of the animals were smart enough to be lounging in whatever shade they could find. Naturally, our first objective was the polar bear enclosure.

The polar bears are very pleased that the Columbus Zoo is attached to the Zoombezi Bay water park.

Surprisingly, the polar bear was one of the only animals in the zoo that seemed completely indifferent to the heat. Perhaps that's because they had their own water park, fully stocked with toys and snacks. The other bears at the park, including the sun bear (seen below), had to settle for water misters. Personally, I'd take a swimming pool over a Willy Water Bug any day.

View of the Midway during an Icee break.

The zoo was full of exotic animals I'd never seen before, but from the pictures I took, you'd think it only had bears. There are red pandas, Asian lions, West Indian manatees, and Komodo dragons, to name just a few. But really, the highlight of the zoo was the great apes, the gibbons, gorillas, and bonobos. Many of the zoo's primates are very human, some making a sincere attempt to communicate with the visitors, while others just pointed and laughed. Generally, I'm no fan of the ape, but I have to say that the Columbus Zoo's apes acted more human than some of the visitors.

More pinks in Ohio.

Even with every creature great and small napping, the visit was still very much worth the time and expense ($15 per person, plus $7 parking). In hindsight, I wish we had more time to spend.

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Trey and Leslie's first trip to America's Roller Coast. Ride on!

For the Memorial Day weekend, Trey took Leslie and me to Ohio. Our first stop was Sandusky's Cedar Point amusement park, still the most awesome place on Earth. Trey and Leslie had never been before, and I'm sure they enjoyed themselves as much as I did. For the record, I'm not getting too old for this.

As I did for my last visit to the park in 2010, here's a trip summary in postcard-sized chunks:

Trey and the T-Rex
The new "ride" in 2012 is "Dinosaurs Alive!", the old riverboat retooled with dinosaur animatronics replacing animal animatronics.

Magnum ascending
Magnum heads up its lift hill into the clouds.

View of the Midway during an Icee break.
The Midway as seen from a shady picnic table behind the Dodgem pavilion.

Pink's slips into Ohio.
New since last visit: Pink's on the Midway.

Roller Coaster twilight.
A last look at the Millennium Force before nightfall.

Rest in peace, Wildcat.
Passing by the remains of the Wildcat. The space is being cleared for an outdoor "Luminosity" laser show.

After we left Sandusky, we headed south to Columbus, Trey's real destination. More on that later.

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This is the last post of Batman and Football Month, and it hasn't come a moment too soon for the Miami Dolphins, who have opened the season 0-3 and are facing the chip-on-their-shoulder San Diego Chargers this weekend before heading into their bye next week. If the Dolphins can't pick up a win before the bye, I predict very bad things for head coach Tony Sparano next week. It seems very likely he'll soon be joining the 14 million currently unemployed Americans. I'm not too upset: odds are that at least one of those 14 million would make a better coach than Sparano.

Meanwhile, this weekend will mark the third football game I've missed in Sanford Stadium since 2002. In recent weeks the Georgia Bulldogs have pulled out of their nosedive and look not half bad at 2-2 heading into this weekend's SEC contest with Mississippi State Bulldogs. Unfortunately, work calls, and I've been forced to give my ticket to Trey's girl Leslie. I'm sure she'll have a good time at this week's dog fight. Not as good a time as I would have had, but a good time.

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I recently watched Seth Rogen's Green Hornet with Trey and his girl, Leslie. Leslie noted with surprise that Trey, who generally likes movies, hated it, while I, known for hating everything, enjoyed it. No one could adequately explain the personality transposition, but for several minutes afterwards I felt like doing math problems while Trey read my Justice League comic book. Go figure.

Part of the issue may have been that I was familiar with the Green Hornet and his sidekick Kato from their interaction with Batman and Robin in the Adam West television show. As a result I was willing to give the movie bonus nostalgia points. Trey was less familiar with the Green Hornet and therefore may have been expecting something more... good. Rogen's movie may not have been good, but neither was the 1966 television show.

Then again, last week I also watched John Saxon's 1978 B-movie The Glove. To phrase it as an SAT analogy, The Glove is to good as Batman is cheerful. You may remember Saxon from such films as Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee, television's Kato. If I can stomach two hours of John Saxon's comb-over and uncomfortably inappropriate love scenes, I can handle Seth Rogen's implausible Green Hornet. What I'm trying to say is that Trey, a more discerning movie watcher, is probably more qualified to offer an opinion on the movie than I am.

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'Twas the night before Christmas, and I finished my book: Murder in Coweta County. (I personally like a little light reading before my holidays with the family.) Fortunately for me, it was replaced Christmas morn with a new Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle was purchased for me by my brother's girlfriend. My gift to her this Christmas was a box of Q-Tips. Not even a full box, mind you, but one of those half-sized "vanity" boxes. So I gave the gift of clean ears and received the gift of a very disgruntled glare. That's a pretty fair trade, if you ask me.

Last year I think I gave Leslie a bag of candy, and she gave me a video game. There must be some law of inverse exchanges between Leslie and me; the cheaper the gift that I give her, the greater the gift I get in return. Next year I'll try buying her penny candy to see if I can get a new car in the exchange.

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To be continued...


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