Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, In the Southland, NASCAR, Talladega
I am trying to type this on the laptop, when the cat has decided SHE is the laptop and the laptop is the armchair armtop. Sure as taxes there is a back pain thing coming, but one does not argue with nor displace a Siamese lest one wants poo in one’s shoe.
Anyway, last weekend was RACE WEEKEND. Or rather DIG-A-SEWER-LINE-THEN-RACE WEEKEND. We went to Mom and Dad’s Friday night, spent Saturday digging and laying….ok Terry and CJ spent Saturday…ok Dad, Terry, and CJ spent Saturday….ok Dad was contrary and in the way and bossy while Terry and CJ spent Saturday digging a 30-ish foot long trench and laying pvc pipe to the septic tank for CJ’s new place while Terry tried to keep Dad occupied by sending him out on errands fetching this and that to keep him out of the way but that only goes so far. eventually the pipe got laid and CJ was might impressed at Terry’s ability to get it exactly where it needed to be right to the very inch (flexible joints help). I was impressed at the amount of mud, but then it WAS raining most of the time. Which made the hard clay easier to dig but wow…clay mud is messy and sticky stuff. However, I know the menfolk in this family well enough to know that if a little dirt is good a lot of mud is even better. Viva la oldboots.
Thanks to the productivity of Saturday (the entire job was done except for burying the pipe, and that needed to wait anyway), we were all able to go to THE RACE IN TALLADEGA with a clear conscience. WOOHOO!
Ok yeah. Way fun….with PIT PASSES. I am glad we got to go into the pit. I am not interested in doing it again, unless there’s drivers there because I want to see if they really are as short as everyone seems to think. The cars are pretty small so I guess you’d have to be. Except for Michael Waltrip whom I understand is rather tall, or maybe it’s because he’s always next to Mark Martin who isn’t tall at all. But the pit is cool and interesting and it’s easy to tell which racing team has the big sponsors and which ones don’t. I kind of like underdogs. Do you? also, how the tires are all laid out for the changes and how some of the tool boxes are so fancypants they had touch screens in them and others are just…tool boxes. big ones, but nothing fancy at all. The well-sponsored teams had many sets of tires and the not-so-well-sponsored teams just had maybe 6 or 8 tires.
The race started with all the obligatory prayers and National Anthems (why can’t they just SING the song without all the “Listen to what I can do and I’ll hold this note so long that the flyover comes too early!”) and introductions and such…and honorary this and honorary that and no one will remember who got to drive the pace car anyway except the person who drove the pace car and maybe his mother but that’s ok because I wouldn’t turn it down if they offered it to me….where was I?
Oh yeah the race…43 cars with a total of 39,000 horsepower goes screaming by with all the woohooing and beer cans possible…it’s kind of invigorating, really. The first lap is watched with no earplugs and that results in a couple of hours of bleeding ears but hey…everyone is doing it so it’s ok.
Occasionally there’s a crash and of course I never have the camera ready for those but I can get pictures of some aftermath.
A little over 100 laps into the race it started to rain and we forgot the ponchoes, so packed up and headed home along with about half the other fans (some of whom forgot clothes entirely. Bless their hearts). Apparently after a 3 hour delay there was much excitement and the race was eventually won by someone who was not even noticed by the press until then- Front Row Motorsports. David Ragan and David Gilliland blew past the front runners who were bickering with each other over the first spot, and failed to notice them. Here’s to a young team and their first NASCAR Sprint cup win! First and Second place for 2 team members! We wouldn’t have seen it anyway, as all the excitement happened on the other side of the track.
As per usual, a NASCAR race is ripe for people-watching. There was the gorgeous young woman who kept wanting to do the Talladega thing and watch the race in her bikini, but the temperatures were fluctuating between 50 and 60 degrees (depending on the cloud cover) and she’d get cold and have to redress. There was the young man (who’s arm you can see in the photo above) who had no idea where his seat was and drifted all over the stands. There was the occasional whiff of ProbablyNotTobacco and the gravelly voices of 3-pack-a-day smokers cheering their drivers then coughing alarming, rattling lung-upbringing coughs. Stellar race-track hotdogs and hamburgers, beer, etc. The cool thing about a race as opposed to any other sport, is that there are 20 teams instead of 2 so there’s little (if any) animosity toward any other team. It would be logistically exhausting to boo 19 teams. Except for Kyle (Kurt?) Busch. Apparently no one likes him, and there were boos a-plenty and also rude hand gestures when his sadly crunched car was towed past.
Thanks to the wisdom of parking way out at the far end of the field, we were able to get out fairly quickly. And thanks to the logistical smarts of the whoever-does-the-planning, traffic wasn’t horrendous. Apparently they’ve dealt with it before, and all 4 lanes are one way. Also, lots of tractor-pulled trams, because the track is quite large. I also got a hat. I am fond of the Waltrip Brothers because they’re funny, and also Mark Martin because even though he’s the oldest driver in the world (at 54) and likely to retire soon, he’s a gentleman and I like him. Thus, I am following the Aaron’s/Napa Michael Waltrip Racing Team and bought an appropriate hat. Each driver/team has a huge trailer selling
paraphenalia stuff like t-shirts, hats, and autographed things.
We are discussing where to go next year (once a year is plenty). Maybe Bristol and it’s Gladiator Roman Colosseum-like experience, or maybe Charlotte, wouldn’t it be cool if they had drag racing the same weekend! That would be fun! Who knows…there’s time to figure it out.
Now, at a race I feel a little bit like a tulip in a turnip patch, as I possess no tattoos or bikini tops (that I am willing to wear in public), nor do I smoke or drink (heavily) (in public)but there is a definite thrill about it all and I come away from a race wanting very badly to drive one of those cars around a track, at 190 mph, just to say I did it.
I almost have Will and David talked into going to one with us.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, In the Southland, NASCAR, Talladega, Who does that
Agnes McCalvinox has been banished to the basement. Or attic. Or wherever it is you banish disapproving and judgmental inner voices.
I am preparing for some frivolous activities. For some non-productive relaxation of the sort many people think is dumb but only because they’ve never done it. Well, except that one young lady sitting next to Terry at the race in Atlanta who was so bored I thought her teeth were going to fall asleep. How do you read Kant while 43 cars roar past you at 190 miles per hour? I am sure she was faking it but I felt sorry for her boyfriend who wanted badly to enjoy himself but obviously feared her palpable disapproval. They were there with someone who appeared to be the young man’s father (looked just like him but 30 years older and 100 pounds heavier). I wondered if it was a test by the father, something to see what the young lady was made of (apparently starch and goats milk lentil loaf. She drank her Coors with distaste and more disapproval. Bless her heart.) I also hope that the young man allowed her to take him to a jazz club/poetry reading. Fair’s fair, after all.
Anyway, all I’ve got to say (well not ALL, obviously…but about this particular topic above) is “Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.” Oh sure, I know the arguments. “How exciting can watching 43 cars go in circles possibly be?” Well if that’s all it were I would agree. But it’s more than that and you have to kind of follow it.
There’s Plot Lines akin to pro-wrestling, with feuds and arguments and this guy helping that guy because the other guy pissed them both off. Occasionally Tony Stewart will throw his helmet at a car, or Jeff Gordon and Clint Bower will indulge in gentleman-like fisticuffs.
There’s strategy like a chess game, with teams and this team guy is close enough to the lead in points that the other team guy (who is nowhere near close enough) will do things to help the first guy out, like cutting drivers off or “accidentally* (it’s always accidental doncha know) bump someone from another team into the wall…unless it’s Joey Logano whom NO ONE likes because he caused Denny Hamlin (whom EVERYONE likes) to crash and suffer a broken vertebra thus possibly be out the rest of the season, so Mr Logano (who’s a young punk who needs to learn some manners anyway) keeps getting crashed…
See? There’s a lot more to it than driving in circles.
And it’s all about timing. When to pit for gas and a tire change…
/aside Speaking of tire changes….WHY can a pit crew change 4 tires in 15 seconds, and it takes 3 hours at Neville’s? If I wanted to, I’d open a tire store and staff it with former NASCAR pit crew people, and advertise 15 minute tire changes. (I know, I know…pit crews don’t have to deal with taking old tires off rims and putting new ones on the same rims…but I’ve seen that done and a good tire person can change out a tire on a rim in 3 minutes.) /end aside
Where was I…strategy. it’s there. Not only is it there, if you understand that it’s there and all happening at 190 miles per hour with 43 cars packed into a small space, and not just 190 mph but at about 130 decibles (to compare, a jet engine is about 120 db) (don’t believe me? check out the link from the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), it’s quite a rush. We ALWAYS wear industrial ear protection.
But…but…what about the FANS?? All those uneducated sweaty-armpit beer swilling toothless rednecks?? Oh. You mean the ones who anonymously hand a beer over your shoulder when they hear you say “oh shoot the cooler’s empty.”? Or the ones who open a bag of peanuts and pass it down the row, even though they don’t know anyone? How about the ones who are wearing t-shirts that say “F**k YOU! I’m from Nebraska!” and invite you to their truck where they’re grilling burgers and have more than they need? All I got in the luxury box at the football game was ignored.
Here’s what a (former) Formula 1 afficianado, Richard Hammond from Top Gear, has to say about it all.
Also, the crashes are Quite Dramatic…The speed shown on the video is slowed down significantly. They are a LOT faster than this.
ok that’s enough for now. I will be back probably Tuesday or Wednesday with photos and more gushing about how wonderful it is.
Also? Oh y’all…PIT PASSES
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Disease and infirmity, In the Southland, NASCAR, Talladega
We have a Big Weekend coming up. The race is in Talladega, about an hour from my parent’s, and also on the same weekend as MY BIRTHDAY. AND we have TICKETS to the race and also PIT PASSES. Did I mention that IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. and we have PIT PASSES. Did I mention that? I did? Ok.
Anyway, this big weekend coming up (TALLADEGA! PIT PASSES!) and of course…I’m coming down with a cold. This Is Not Acceptable. Normally I’d be all “oh welll, it’s an excuse to not do the floors and to watch movies all weekend” but not this time. I am fighting this tooth, nail, gin, and Zicam and seem to be…if not winning…the cold isn’t winning either. Y’all, that’s the remedy. Gin and Zicam. As soon as that first weird tickle, drip and headache try to manifest (it helps that #4 has a cold we thought was allergies but ended up not being due to it’s apparent contagion) I start downing the Zicam,and sipping the gin. Gin is the only thing that the Zicam doesn’t make taste weird. Himself opines that gin already tastes like paint thinner so Zicam could only improve it. I suppose that is rational. My theory (supported by my father the veterinarian) is that if your blood alcohol is high enough, the virus gets fried out of your system entirely. It makes sense to me.
Now, I am not saying go get plastered irresponsibly and use disease as an excuse to do so. I am pretty sure any police officer or judge who queries your decision would not accept it as a reasonable excuse. I also want to clarify that this remedy is ONLY employed when there is another responsible adult in the house, because I do not believe is driving under the influence of alcohol under ANY circumstance. I have seen firsthand the results of driving while drunk, and anyone who does it deserves the most serious consequences possible.
When a person is driving drunk (or under the influence of any other sort of relaxing/mind altering substance), they are very, very relaxed. If/when they collide with another vehicle, they continue to be relaxed. Consequently, rather than tensing up and getting injured in the wreck, they tend to just flop around. This is why the injuries in a DUI accident happen to the people being hit, and not to the intoxicated person. It’s not fair, but there it is. Thus, driving drunk/high…is not just stupid and reckless, you are going to likely be fine, but seriously hurt or kill someone who is just going out for a pizza or coming home from work and wants to see their family and watch a movie. So don’t be an asshole and drive intoxicated.
I didn’t intend to go into a lecture, but it is something I feel strongly about.
Anyway…where was I? Did I mention that my birthday is this weekend and we have tickets to Talladega?? AND PIT PASSES? I did? ok, sorry. I’m a little excited about it. The pit passes were completely unexpected and the idea of being able to get up close and personal to a real genuine stock car is a little heady. I want my picture made with Mark Martin’s car, if possible.
An autograph on my hat would be an unexpected and pleasant but unnecessary bonus. Word is that Dale Jr and Brad Keslowski (that punk) will be available for the fans, and I am not interested. especially since Dale Jr is doing that Wrangler ad that essentially says he needs Wranglers because his Package is too big for Levi’s. what ev er! And Brad Keslowski is a punk. I’d get a Jeff Gordon autograph for #4′s friend, if I could. He’d fall over. And Jimmy Johnson, because he’s winning a lot these days and is a really nice guy. Also Kasey Kahne because his eyes are almost as purty as Himself’s. Anyway…whatever. Going to a NASCAR race allows me to put on the Redneck hat for a while. I can set aside the ladylike chicken-salad eating demeanor and drink beer and eat hotdogs and peanuts and all that…for an afternoon. It’s fun.
And…I am going to do EVERYTHING I can to kick this incipient cold in it’s tiny viral butt because its my BIRTHDAY (did I mention that?) and we have PIT PASSES (I think I mentioned that). and I am not going to let some creature that can only be seen by an electron microscope screw with my weekend!
Also? This is the best part. I get to go with Himself, AND 2 of the boys. Because the other 2 would rather have root canals than be seen at a NASCAR race. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, In the Southland, Oh for pete's sake, perspective, Talladega, Who does that
I will admit it. Living in a small town in South Georgia isn’t the most stimulating thing in the world. But that’s ok. It’s enough for me. Reading the headlines about bombs in Boston and limbs flying around and how hard it is to treat the types of wounds caused by that, it makes me thankful that the most exciting thing to happen here in YEARS was a while back,when someone strapped some bottle rockets to his chest and yelled from the verandah of the local courthouse. Then there was the time when George W. Bush drove through, we don’t know which vehicle he was in, but it was one of several big black Suburbans. I remember that because Will tells of sitting on his second-story front porch and making socialist comments as the motorcade went by. He got a dirty look from the Secret Service, and that made his week extra special.
My form of excitement involves things like pine limbs falling on a neighbor’s roof, and the fervent hope that no one in the house was harmed. Once I find out that everyone’s ok and the only casualty is a 35 year old La-Z-Boy that she was wanting to replace anyway, I can cluck like a hen about how pinetrees are the cockroaches of the plant world and should be limited to non-residential areas.
Now that my children (with the exception of one) are grown and have developed some sense of self-preservation, what little excitement I had in the past has calmed down to the point where finding out about “Spanish pesto” makes me giddy, and I can see things like Boston bombings from a distance. My reaction is more in the form of clucks and mutterings about how sometimes, humanity sucks.
It doesn’t take much to get excited around here. I don’t know if it’s the deficit of exciting things, or that, as a person who doesn’t respond well to sudden change, I have put myself in a living situation that could be considered incredibly dull. I like dull. I like predictability. I like getting worked up over 20 rows of ruffles and have absolutely no desire to hurl myself out of airplanes or surf in Maui or drive Formula 1 racecars.
NASCAR…that is another matter. That is rapidly becoming a once-a-year dose of adrenalin, shared with the family that might just lead to a 50th birthday personal gift of a driving lesson, Stock car style. I know. I am more the Library Book Club W/ Cookies type of person, than the Race W/ Beer And Tank Top type, but one needs excitement in a relatively safe environment where someone else is in control of most of it and there’s a sweet fellow with few teeth who will hand a beer over your shoulder when he sees your cooler is empty. True story. Where did this come from? Our tickets came yesterday. Talladega Aarons 499 both Saturday (Nationwide series) and Sunday (Sprint Cup) AND (drum roll please…) PIT PASSES! That’s Right. Ms Calvinist Librarian w/Thick Glasses And Family (well, 3 of them, anyway) are going to be in Talladega for a weekend and even get to be up close and personal with some race cars!
And that will be enough excitement to last us well into 2014.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, In the Southland, Oversharing, Spouse
and, no more navel gazing, at least not until next time. I promise.
So, the afternoon of Christmas Day (the morning of which was lovely and quiet. #4 gifted me with a rubber mallet and a set of chisels, because I am always griping about them not rinsing their dishes thus resulting in me saying something like “Now I need a hammer and chisel to get this mess up!”) we drove to Alabama to spend a bit of time with my parents and CJ (#3 son, who is living with them while looking for work…that’s another post.) CJ gifted #4 with a tricked out left handed .22 rifle, which #4 promptly used to hit a 4 inch target from 200 yards away. We were all impressed.
The next morning Terry and I left for the much anticipated 3 days in a secluded mountain cabin, where we essentially…well. Ok. I didn’t wear pants for the entire time. Or much of anything else,for that matter. There was a hot tub, and there was the end-of-the-trip reminder from Terry. “My sweat is the secret ingredient in Cialis.” And that’s all I’ve got to say about THAT.
We stayed here, in this cabin. It was rainy and gross when we drove up there, which wasn’t really an issue because we weren’t going to hike or do anything outdoorsy, and the cabin is comfortably equipped with a humongous hot tube and a lovely woodstove. The very moment Terry stepped out of the truck to check in at the main office, the rain turned to snow, and it was beautiful, big fat flakes like a welcoming committee that said “Of course it’s snowing! You’re in the mountains and there’s a hot tub!” Did I mention that the cabin is equipped with a hot tub? Sitting in the hot tub first thing in the morning (which is, inexplicably, 4am for us), when the woodstove hasn’t warmed up yet, and the coffee is fresh and hot…y’all, that’s bliss for me. Also having a big hairy man in a plaid flannel shirt and good fitting jeans which totally appeals to my Lumberjack Fantasy…but that’s all I’m going to say about that.
It was…probably…well, it probably ranks right up there with our honeymoon for an entry on the short list of Best Times Ever.
Also? That Lumberjack did ALL the cooking and ALL the cleaning up. All of it. He recognized that vacations tend to not be much of a vacation for me, as I generally do the cooking and cleanup just like I do at home. So he did ALL of it and all I had to do was sit around and read, soak in the hot tub, and not wear pants (or much else). I did wear a bathrobe, as the cabin could be cool, and in spite of being way out in the woods, there was an inherent reluctance to stand on the porch in the altogether.
Filed under: Awesomeness, Dewicate feewings, family, In The Southland, oh you self indulgent hussy!, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, Hotlanta, NASCAR
ok,first, a recap of the weekend. Saturday we drove CJ (our 21 yr old) and #4 (13) up to Terry’s parents house in Madison-about 3 hours north of here and 45 minutes east of Atlanta. Then Terry and I went back into Atlanta and met some people at The Georgia Dome, an indoor stadium, for the Auburn-Clemson football game. We had tickets for Box seats, which I was kind of excited about because I’d never been in an indoor stadium and never been in a suite. On Sunday we had tickets for the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Since it was a night race, we had time to go back to Madison, pick up the boys, and get to the race in plenty of time to tailgate, take in the sights, and all that. The race lasted until about 11:30, and we got home around 3am.
Now for the details.
The event at the Georgia Dome was…pretty much a typical college football game. Auburn and Clemson’s team colors are similar, and the mascots are the same, so it was kind of hard to tell immediately which fans were which, but the rivalry between the teams is a gentle one, with very little obnoxiousness. The running joke was “So, who do you think will win?”…”probably the Tigers.”…”Yeah, you’re probably right.”
We got to the stadium easily. Terry’s extremely practical plan was to park at the outermost MARTA station, pay the $5 per person for a round trip pass, and ride the train in, which deposited us at the door of The Georgia Dome. Parking was free. For $10, we parked and it took us 20 minutes to get from car to stadium. Genius!
We met our people there. One of the women was from Michigan, and had never been to an SEC game. Thus, she was woefully underdressed and recognized it immediately. She dressed as one (who did not know SEC culture) would think one would dress for a football game- casually in jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. However, in the SEC (SouthEastern Conference, to those of you not from around here) women DRESS for the football game. Nice clothes, good shoes, jewelry (all in team colors, of course)are the rule of the day. Even many of the men dress up a little- you’ll see the younger men in button up shirts and ties, pants in team colors that are embroidered with little team flags. Older men will have on polo shirts and khaki pants, nice hats, that sort of thing. I wore a navy blue scoop neck t-shirt, a floaty white skirt, an orange multi-strand beaded necklace, and navy blue wedge heeled sandals. Terry had a navy blue shirt and khakis, and an Auburn pin on his pocket. Anyway,we got there and made our way to the box. Very fancy. There was a VERY well stocked bar, a buffet, a cheese bar, desserts, etc. Outside the room on a balcony were 16 leather theater seats (cupholders, etc) that looked out onto the field. We had an excellent view of it all. It was so…Polite. Genteel.
and boring. People clapped when a touchdown was scored. Who the hell does that? You’re supposed to jump up and accidentally dump your beer down the back of the person in front of you! Not CLAP and take a sip of your Merlot! Good grief. Eventually I wandered back into the room and sat with the woman from Michigan, who was watching her team on the big-screen TV in there, as they were busy being made in to cream-of-mushroom soup by Alabama. Once the score was something like 32-3 she gave up and we talked about babies. By mid 4th quarter of the AU game, I was getting seriously nervous, almost agitated even…I hated being there. It wasn’t fun. The other women in the box were sipping their merlot and eating their stilton cheese and trying to arrange their well tanned legs to the best advantage for the men to see and all I wanted was to get out of the noise (indoor stadiums…NO THANK YOU) and away from the air that was so thick with pretention. Terry, bless him, noticed this and suggested that we leave ahead of the crowd. Half a xanax and 3 stations down the line later, I was feeling better and had a conversation with a gentleman about hip surgery. By the time we were at the hotel I was feeling happier and slept well.
Sunday, we got up, drove back to Madison and picked up the boys. Judy (mother in law) fixed a nice lunch then we were on our way to the track. When we got there around 2, parked in the back field near the exit (another VERY wise move on Terry’s part), and there were shuttles to the entrance of the track, PLENTY of port-a-johns , and people setting up for tailgate parties…tents,grills, cornhole games, etc. It smelled good- several people were making barbeque. One guy, a couple of rows over, was opening his smoker and it had a pair of beautifully prepared boston butts. (that’s a pork shoulder roast. Here in the South it is the cut of choice for making pulled pork BBQ). We hung out for a bit, drinking beer (Coke, for #4) and waiting for some friends. The people on either side of us set up tents and got their grills going. A little bit later a guy wandered over and asked if he could buy some charcoal, as his gas bottle was apparently empty, and the people gave him some, refusing his money for it. He was a big strapping man of about 20-something, and was wearing a t-shirt that had an ear of corn on the front and said “F*ck you, I’m from Nebraska.” on the back. That struck me as really funny (maybe it was the beer…)because he was so polite when he asked for the charcoal.
Eventually we met up with our friends, one of them, John, is a 68 year old who was really worried about being the only black man at the race, but we pointed out all the other people of color (blacks and Latinos) all over. We drank some more, started a betting pool on who was going to win and place, made noise, and around 6 ambled over to the track. Shuttle buses, people, Very nice. Old school buses picking you up, dropping you off, making the circuit around the track in a lane marked “Buses Only.” I TOLD CJ there would be a bus lane. He didn’t believe me. On our shuttle was a man with a braided beard, braids colored red, white and blue, and wearing a top hat with an assortment of small flags stuck in the band, leading everyone on the packed bus in various children’s songs (The Wheels On The Bus, etc), in a slurred and gravely voice. Guess what I didn’t bring…my camera. I’ll know better next time.
I noticed that people do not dress up beyond wearing their favorite driver’s number and colors. Comfort is the rule of the day. I saw one women carrying her high heeled shoes and wearing what were probably her boyfriend’s flipflops. Everyone else had on sneakers or sandals…bluejeans, what ever felt good. I was wearing loose linen pants (COMFORTABLE!!), a tshirt, and sneakers.
Once at the gate, there were many many trailers selling things. Driver’s trailers selling paraphernalia, Chevy trailers, Ford trailers….not little ones either, but semi-truck trailers. CJ bought himself a Carl Edwards shirt (he’s the one who does the backflip off his car when he wins) and #4 got a Ryan Newman shirt (he’s a Purdue engineer and Terry’s favorite driver) I couldn’t find the Mark Martin trailer, so didn’t get a t-shirt or hat. We saw it later after entering the track. I’ll know next time.
We were allowed to bring in small coolers and beer as long as it wasn’t in a glass bottle. Food was fine too. This morning Terry said “Did you notice the one thing that wasn’t there? Metal detectors.” There were no metal detectors going in. Bags were briefly searched, if you had one- coolers were checked for glass, but that was it. Thinking about it, it is very hard to hurt someone by hitting them in the head with an aluminum can, I guess. I reckon if one person brought in a gun, so would half the other people and if someone pulled a gun, everyone around them would have enough liquid courage in them that that person would get taken down before they had a chance to squeeze off a round. Kind of self-policing…there were security people, but they were all pretty relaxed. As it was, I saw NO belligerence or ugliness.
Once in, it got NOISY. You could hear the cars being worked on…revving up,etc. Ho.Lee.Cow. Seriously, you have to be there to appreciate what those engines sound like. I mean, I’ve always known what they sound like…but…well. You have to be there, that’s all I can say, to appreciate the sound of 43 cars of 850+ horsepower each with no mufflers or power
surpression (I can’t spell that, according to spellcheck) suppressing (there, after 3 cups of coffee, I CAN spell it right!) stuff like catalytic converters and the like. I regret that I never got to hear that when the cars all had carburetors instead of the fuel injection they have now. We found our seats, settled in, and started with the serious people-watching. By 7, the stands were full, the requisite Patriotic Songs sung by a really GOOD men’s Gospel Quartet, a bunch of Army guys were sworn in to service and cheered by the people, drivers introduced- they all take a lap in the back of a pickup truck and wave to everyone- and got in their cars to start the race.
Terry said he was going to listen to the first couple of laps without the earplugs, to get an appreciation of exactly how LOUD 37,000 horsepower can be when it flies by. It’s LOUD. earplugs really are necessary. The only one I saw who didn’t have them was Ms Thing sitting in front of me…more on her later. And you can feel it- not just the high pitched scream of the engines,but there’s a lower, sort of subsonic rumble that you can feel in your chest as well. It’s very much an adrenaline inducing sort of occasion.
In front of us were Ms Thing, her boyfriend, her husband, her son, her husband’s son, and a seemingly bottomless cooler of beer. She did not sit down the entire time, and every time her driver roared by she flapped her arm as if to push him by….every. single. time. A beer in one hand, arm flapping every 45 seconds as the driver went by. Every now and then the husband or the boyfriend would reach over and give her left boob or her butt an affectionate squeeze, and she would giggle and take a chug of her bottomless can of Miller Light.
At one point I went to the Ladies Room (another thing done right- there were a MILLION stalls, NO WAITING), and as I was leaving the stall, this…STUNNING young woman came in, looking slightly panicked. AS she turned the corner coming in the door, she already had her black miniskirt pulled up to her waist and was in the process of pulling down her lacy thong underpants. Several thoughts went through my head, all at the same time:
“Well…ok” and “I’ve been in that big of a hurry before” and “my word, she has the most incredibly perfect body I have ever seen” while noticing the desperation on her face. I was laughing as I came out, and Terry and the boys wondered why. I said “never mind…” I was also thinking if I had a body like that, you can bet I’d probably be in a miniskirt and an American Flag bikini top ,too.
Toward the end of the race, Ryan Newman and Jimmy Johnson were involved in a dramatic wreck (FLAMING CAR! SPARKS EVERYWHERE!), and Carl Edward’s engine blew up, and poor CJ was so disappointed he looked like he was going to cry, and since Our Drivers were obviously not going to win, we decided to leave. As we were walking toward the parking lot, we were stopped briefly because the fireworks were set up for the end of the race, and we got to watch them! We were RIGHT THERE underneath them as they went off! SO COOL! Then we hustled to the truck and made it out in less than 15 minutes. This was 11:30 Our friends,who waited until the very end of the race to leave, said it took them until 3am to get to the highway. As much fun as it had to be to see the very end, it was worth missing it to get to stand under the fireworks and be out of their well ahead of the over 100,000 other people there.
You really do have to be there to appreciate how FAST those cars are going, and just how loud it is.
Here is the Self Awareness part…
I have always kind of thought of myself as a fairly sophisticated person. I prefer Phillip Glass to Montgomery Gentry. I’d rather wear linen than denim and prefer expensive vodka to cheap plonk. But honestly, the race was 100 times the fun of the football game, and the people, those ones who had missing teeth and smelled of beer and Marlboros were infinitely more pleasant to spend time with than the ones with the manicures and expensively highlighted hair and Ann Taylor dresses. I still don’t consider myself a redneck. I’m not going suddenly get a tattoo or whatever, but I am likely to quit trying so hard to be something I am not. I don’t care anything about going to a ballgame and having luxury seats. You can bet I am going to another race. We’re talking now about possibly renting an RV, and taking the kids to Bristol in a year or two.
Filed under: bits and pieces, Dewicate feewings, home and hearth, I feel so smart! | Tags: a weekend away, Home and hearth, responsible adult
There are so many reasons to love getting away for a weekend:
- The household chores aren’t yelling at you
- You get to eat stuff you don’t normally have (DIM SUM! YUM!)
- The day-to-day stuff at home doesn’t seem so boring.
This morning, even though it was kind of hard to get out of the bed (we actually stayed there until 6:20 instead of getting up at 5:30) was…nice. The dogs were happy to see us, as was the cat. At least I think she was. She yelled a lot and chased Rusty around, bapping him on the head,which is what she does when she’s happy. The coffee tasted good. We are spoiled with the coffee. Luzianne chicory coffee is what we prefer, and outside of New Orleans and Cafe’ du Monde, you just don’t find it in a restaurant. Except here. It is the coffee of choice in the Toot household.
The day has actually been faced with good cheer. It has been difficult lately, life and all that. The trip was much needed and to be honest I wasn’t positive we’d be able to take it until The Owner told Terry to turn off his phone and “take your lovely wife shopping in Atlanta.” I was pretty sure we’d go, but there was a nugget of doubt that kept saying some crisis would occur and we’d have to cancel.
BUT…no crisis, low(ish) gas prices, and a son who was willing to make sure the dogs were fed, and it all happened. I love it when things work out.
and there’s even some smoked gouda, prominently marked with warning of bodily harm to anyone who would dare to touch it. I love my kids, but not enough to share the smoked gouda or dark chocolate. They can have some of the “nee-shwa” olives, tho. I think that is mighty generous.
And now? It’s time to get ready for school to start on the 13th.Yep. Tuition needs to be paid by tomorrow, supplies need to be bought. Office Max has these big brown bags and they’ll give you 20% off anything that fits in the bag. Since #4 never actually USED the notebooks he had last year, he can “use” (or not…most likely) them again this year. The really good news is that I made him sit down and do his Summer reading and book report (To Kill A Mockingbird) in early June, before he left for camp, so all he needs to do is a quick review. It’s due the first day of school.of t
And I had a lovely, lovely list (how I do love a list) of things to get done today:
- Take the trash to the dump (I have CJ’s truck today)
- pick up prescriptions
- do a bit of laundry
- make 2 weeks of menus and a grocery list
- double check on the measurements for a garment for someone
- give the dogs their heartworm meds
- change the sheets on the beds
- clean out the fridge
- and I had every bit of it done by noon
- Go me!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Dachshunds, Home and hearth, Hotlanta
I am not yet ready for the weekend to be over. Even thought we’re home now (no traffic on a Sunday morning, so driving was easy and I did all of it. Terry napped) and the dogs have quit telling me all about the horrors of being left in Will’s care for 2 days, I am still not ready for it to be over. Therefore I have turned in the chair a little bit so the pile of overlooked dog poo (they do that when they’re disgruntled about something) is out of my line of sight.
Because I am a paranoid worrywart, and the person left in charge of the house while we were gone didn’t ever answer his phone or respond to my 127 text messages, I was slightly (only very slightly, mind you, which is a vast improvement over times past) concerned that someone had broken into the house in the middle of the night and I’d find his dismembered corpse in the bathtub and all the dogs hides stapled to the living room walls. I’ve said before that my mind is like a chapter from a Stephen King novel.
Instead, what I found were 4 dogs who tried to convince me they’d not been fed for a week (we were only gone 2 days, but dogs have a lousy sense of time) and the person left in charge was awake and cheerful and the house (other than the small pile of poo I am trying to ignore) was in good order.
It took a bit of time getting all the purchases put away, but it is SO satisfying to have the empty mason jars filled again with purple barley, kamut, and wild rice. (and other stuff necessary for culinary creativity). I get a great deal of satisfaction in having such variety to choose from, and plenty of herbs and spices. The Dekalb Farmers Market has a nice selection of fresh herbs, in big bundles for Not Much, so I buy the ones I don’t grow, and freeze them- dill and tarragon, mainly. Those are herbs that really need to be fresh, as they lose most of their OOMPH when dried.
Oooookay. I guess I’d better go clean up the poo. At least, with the food we give them (Pedigree Small Breed ) their poos are small and hard, and don’t smell like much.
Terry was happy that we got home in time for him to see the race, and I have to figure out what to fix for supper, tho I might pull out the “I never cook on Sunday” excuse, even though I didn’t cook on Friday or Saturday.
Filed under: Awesomeness, family, food, Hooray!, oh you self indulgent hussy!, Rest and Relaxation, spouse | Tags: a weekend away, Hotlanta, Spouse
I can’t help it. I don’t like surprises and I am not one of those spur-of-the-moment types. I don’t like it when someone just drops in for a chat (unless it’s someone I know VERY well, whom I am confident won’t judge my floors or the pile of laundry) (Jerseechik…)
Because I am not the toothbrush-and-a-pair-of-panties traveler, plans are being made. O yes. Terry’s as non-spontaneous as I am and we both enjoy the process of planning. It’s not a Big Trip as time goes, but it is a Big Trip philosophically.
Thursday is our 26th anniversary,and also CJ’s 21st birthday. Yes, the child had the poor taste to be born on our 5th anniversary but I have forgiven him for that. Due to circumstances outside of ANYONE’S control, Terry has Work Things on Thursday, that will take him out of town until late that night. CJ is off that night, and also 2 nights following, so he is going to my parents’ place in Alabama, where 2 of his brothers (David and #4) are staying for the Summer. Which leaves me and Will here…maybe he and I can go to dinner or something. That decision will be made that day.
Anyway, Terry and I are going to Atlanta on Friday and staying until Sunday. We have a lovely room in a very nice hotel in Buckhead, and plans to visit Our Favorite Places, ones that simply aren’t anywhere else.
Terry wants to go to Highland Woodworking because they sell fancy tools and have great ideas and he needs a couple of bits for a thing so he can do something exotic and make a lovely and unique piece of furniture. This is an endeavor of which I highly approve. Also, I want to watch him in this Grown Man’s Candy Store because it’s fun to see him excited about something.
I want to go to Gail K because I have been saving up all the money I’ve made from sewing so I could spend it there on fine fabrics and interesting buttons. I have a list, and samples of the fabrics I already have so the purchase of matching stuff for blouses and linings can be made. And buttons. They have the best selection of non-typical buttons anywhere, ever. Buttons will be purchased, I guarantee you that.
And also The Dekalb Farmers Market, which is a food lover’s paradise O yes. I have a nice long list of spices and flavorings and grains and cheeses and maybe, just MAYBE, this time they’ll have Westphalian ham. They haven’t had it the last few times we’ve been there, which has been mildly disappointing. The stuff is the Beluga caviar of hams. The Napolean Brandy, the 30 yr Glenfiddich of hams. If they don’t have it, I’ll have to suffer with cappricola instead. O well.
See there, all plotted out, with a hearty breakfast at the hotel (they have what they modestly call “continental breakfast” which actually means there’s a guy standing there to make your custom omelet, and a pastry chef in the back making croissants, and probably a cow and a milkmaid churning butter and creme fraiche. We’ve eaten there before and it ain’t the breakfast you get at Motel 6. Not that there’s anything wrong with a cup of yogurt and a plastic wrapped muffin if you’re hungry and on a tight budget…anyway, now that I’ve offended someone…
We’re planning a trip. I love a trip. I love Atlanta. Even in late July. Which is why God put air conditioning in cars…Or someone did, anyway.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, solving personal problems
Last week, I made arrangements to spend a couple of days with a friend near Atlanta. Her husband and son were going to be elsewhere, and the idea of a weekend saturated in estrogen (and chocolate mousse) was too good to pass up.
Yes, it’s Father’s Day weekend, however, 3 of our 4 boys were/are in other towns for a while, so we relocated Father’s Day to July 8. We do that all the time with the Minor Celebrations such as this.
It was lovely. It was quiet. I slept until 7 am because I wanted to. 7 am. The mind boggles. I never sleep past 5 am around here. Either a dog starts barking, or Terry gets up to go to work, or something. There were no dogs, only the aroma of coffee and the promise of being able to wake up slowly…
and…feminine conversation. No discussions of bodily functions and the quality of biological production. No looking out the front window and feeling the need to mow the grass. Just time with a close friend who understands.
Ok. Now. I have issues with my touchpad rearranging things. I am going to illustrate the issue by refraining from editing here for a while so you can see what I am talking about…starting…
So, we did stuff. Lunch on the square aft the lates ing Asian grocery ore o yes,very nicehem.
Also, painthas t I am used to that. No one every excpet for the lack of kaffir lime leaves, but chips from Home depot. I had to call Terry for advoned teal (coral, I never oudl have gice on what matches a blue-tuessed)
Then, wandering und the square where I found the PERFECT for water in my sewing room. I have to keep it to refill the iron for steam. It is a loih roses, and a creamer (‘ll use for penicls, and a sugar bowl that is perfect for safety pins., while tvely china coffee pot.
You see, I can actually type about 90 words per minute. But, since about 3 months ago, the touchpad on my computer has become hypersensitive, and the cursor jumps around, rearranging things. How irritating.
Anyway, the weekend away did a lot for me, mentally and spiritually. My friend makes me think (even when I don’t want to. I prefer to remain comfortable in my delusions thankyouverymuch), getting away from The Usual Thing, and learning how to make chocolate mousse (do you believe I’ve never made it before? Well, I haven’t.) was a pleasant vacation and now I am ready to face the laundry and normalcy of Life, The Universe,and Everything that comes in the week ahead.