May 18, 2007

Why NASCAR is still the greatest...

I know this post is a little late, but a little late is better than never isn't it? Ben and I went up to Darlington International Raceway last weekend to see the Dodge Avenger 500. Although it was rained out Saturday night, they still ran in on Sunday. What a great time! We had tickets two rows off the raceway (yes, that means we had rubber in our beer), right at the Start/Finish line. As we were sitting there Saturday night, wearing our $5 trash bag ponchos, I couldn't help but think about how cool NASCAR fans really are. In most sports, even the THOUGHT of a rain delay would cause many fans to run for the dry warmth of home. Not us though. We sat in the rain (literally sat in the rain) for about an hour before the lightning started striking around us, driving us under the bleachers. It was there that Ben and I stood with about 5,000 other people waiting for them to call the race.Ben and I drove 60 miles back to Columbia just to find a room to stay in for the night. For the record, that was the scariest Ramada I have ever seen (and Ben wonders why I am a hotel snob...). Sunday morning dawned bright, beautiful, and Columbia anyway. As we got closer to Darlington, the clouds got darker, and it looked like it was threatening to rain again.

However, luck was on our side, and the race was run promptly at one o'clock. Of course, driver introductions were beforehand. Ben and I were less than 75 feet from the stage, and we got to see everything. what a great experience! Never in my life did I even imagine that I would be that close to Dale Earnhardt, Jr.The race itself was fantastic. Lots of competition, and several lead changes, combined with very few wrecks. There were several caution flags for debris on the track, but they only served to make the race more competitive I think.

Dale Jr. didn't win unfortunately, but he did make the Top 10. Jeff Gordon won (again). With that, Ben and I headed back out to the parking lot, and then back home...until next year...or this autumn...we'll see :).

May 4, 2007

When is too much of a Good thing bad?

When I left the Coast Guard, I knew that I needed some time off too spin down. I was a nervous wreck, completely stressed out, and about THISCLOSE to losing it at times. I needed a change of scenery - STAT (I've always wanted to use that word in a real sentence...). However, the idea of taking time off just to take time off was a bit daunting to me. To me it seemed like a colossal WASTE of time. It was also a bit scary. After all, what if I started to LIKE all of this time off?

Unfortunately, I never really relaxed during that time off. There were so many things that needed attention, between moving, paperwork that needed to be finished, fixing my car, and a myriad of other little things that popped up along the way. I got to a point that I couldn't stand being at home alone anymore.

So, I got a job, as was part of the plan that Ben and I had (although he told me to take off as much time as I needed). A job that shows a lot of promise. One that when I get to work in the morning, I'm excited about what it is I will be doing that day. I am so busy learning and working that I even lose track of time.

Why is it that before I get there, and at night before I go to sleep, I want to cry then? Why does the thought of working a long shift make me want to curl up in my covers and never get out of bed again? Why do I actually START to cry when Ben is leaving the house in the morning, and he doesn't quite know what to do with the sobbing mess sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor?

These questions, and more, I am still trying to answer. You see, I got this great job. It is exactly what I was looking for - something where I can work outside, have responsibility for a job that has tangible and visible results (i.e., can the ship get underway on time, did all of the containers make it onboard), and dress casually everyday (I do believe I will be issued coveralls here before long).

Something just doesn't seem to fit. I don't quite know what it is though. Maybe it is just because I haven't quite learned the ropes yet, and that it is something 180 degrees from anything that I've ever done. I have to worry about time equalling money now, as well as the consequences of getting fired if I screw up. They CAN just fire me on the spot now...and conversely, I can just quit.

Being part of the real world is scary. Part of me really wants my old life back.