size matters in small towns
world's largest lightbulb
world's largest lightbulb

i'm planning what to do for my birthday. it falls on a friday this year, so it won't be for another two years until i get another three-day weekend!!! :-D so i want to make sure i do something fun whose memory will last me two years.

i came across this site: roadside america. and then i remembered that there was such a thing as the world's largest ball of twine.

world's largest ball of twine

"how cool!" i exclaimed, and i described it to my mother, who was the only one left awake in this house at 2 a.m. she was watching cnn. she wants to follow my first suggestion of going to milwaukee this year. and then i changed my mind and considered mackinaw island instead. and then i wondered that since i'm on a small town mood lately, might as well go for the ultimate in small town diversions: the race for the first, the best, the brightest, so yes - the biggest is a natural segway.

well, my mom looked at me and i can't look back. my family is used to my suggesting the craziest things. so i tried again, "cool! the world's largest coffee cup, mom!"

world's largest coffee cup

she gave one of her frowns and "hmms!" that ended the conversation. we're going somewhere, not just to all 'em small towns i just unearthed. but i persisted - one of my favorite books growing up was the yearly guiness book of world records, and the world's biggest ball of paint is actually in it!

world's biggest ball of paint

a couple brothers started painting a baseball decades ago, and they haven't stopped. you can actually contribute by painting a layer. when you're done, you get to sign a ledger and recieve a certificate to comemorate the occasion. you have to call in advance, of course - the ball hangs at one of the brothers' private garage.

i found more world's largest:

world's largest rubber stamp
world's largest rubber stamp

world's largest basket
world's largest basket

even canada is competing for the world's largest:

world's largest easter egg
world's largest easter egg

and my enthusiasm dampened there somewhat. ok, we're going north to another whole country and all we want to see's more of the same stuff? as if the world's tallest building isn't enough for me already:

sears tower by cardiss post office
sears tower and 311 s. wacker dr. building

and then i found another oddity that i stumbled across some years ago - and like the largest ball of twine and the world's largest potato, i didn't believe these things exist.

the writeup for the world's largest frying pan tried to be deadpan funny, but it ricochet from me:

"Rose Hill, North Carolina - World's Largest Frying Pan - Revisited

At first I thought that nothing had changed in the year since I last visited the World's Largest Frying Pan in Rose Hill, NC but upon closer inspection I see that the building that surrounds the pan has been treated to a new coat of white paint."

and i thought, visiting these places might feel like watching paint dry. i really don't have too many vacation days a year, ahaha. but i don't want to take things too seriously for this years' celebration of mine, either, ahaha.

well, my mom's gone to bed now, and my siblings and our pets have long left for dreamland, so i guess i'll hafta settle for the postcards for now. my birthday isn't nearly as unfortunate as christmas or new year, or better, leap year day, but it's still no fun being overshadowed by mostly more important things - the first day of school in manila, the first real storms, and later in chicago, the first real sunshine of summer. can't compete when the brilliant sun comes out like that. :-P

so hmm. mackinaw island i have to save for winter - i heard it's more picturesque when it's submerged in snow, and it gets so cold, lake michigan freezes enough to skate across. wonder what milwaukee's got to offer this time of year. if nothing else, there's always the milwaukee art museum whose buildings' wings flap every 12 noon.

... and then there's also the illinois capitol, springfield, and its new lincoln presidential library and museum. hmm. we'll see.
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