Thursday, July 27, 2006

Goody's Headache Powder 250

I'm pretty much up for going to any race at Martinsville Speedway as long as I don't have to drive. This has worked out well in the last few years since my friend RB from work lives in Stoneville and he goes to every race they have up there. We went on Saturday to the Busch Series race and it was the most action packed day I've had in a long time. Oh, the race was boring and they ran like 100 of the 250 laps under caution and nobody could pass w/o wrecking another car, but the rest of the day was filled w/ lots of excitement. I brought Desmond since kids 5 and under were free. I also resurrected David Weber from the distant past and got him to drive from Raleigh. We hadn't seen each other since I got married, so that was a lot of old school fun. Between the time we walked from the van to the racetrack, the 3 tickets I had fell out of my back pocket. We retraced our steps but the tickets were long gone. So I ended up borrowing $20 from Weber to buy the $40 ticket and the can huggies they sent w/ the tickets ended up costing me $30 a piece. Once we were inside Desmond started complaining about the noise, from the music they were playing over the PA. I had earplugs and those earmuff things they use at shooting ranges, but when the race started that wasn't enough to keep him from complaining. We lasted until lap 13 and then walked around until lap 230 when I finally forced him to sit and watch the last 20 laps (it takes like 15 seconds to run a lap there). When we were leaving he told us he never wanted to go to a race again. Everyone laughed. I'm a little relieved b/c I would have to buy him a ticket soon, and his Pepsi was taking up valuable beer space in my cooler.

Sirius Radio

Maria got a Sirius radio for Christmas and it makes regular radio seem outdated. Ignoring the fact that there aren't any commercials and that I can listen to the same station for a 4 hour ride to the beach, it is easily worth the $12.95 a month. The different stations may be niche formatting, but what is commercial radio? I've been listening to Underground Garage pretty regularly after my initial obsession w/ Outlaw Country. Just today I learned that the song Left in the Dark that's on The Shit Hits The Fans was originally done by the Vertebrats. I didn't even have to wait for a dj to tell me that. It's displayed right on the radio. I've wanted to know that for about half my life (if I had bought the Uncle Tupelo album where they covered it I could have accomplished this about 16 years ago), so you can see how this radio has made my life much better. Maria's programmed 20 songs as her favorites and any time they are being played on any channel a message pops up and lets you know. She says the only time The Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy comes on is when I'm in the car. I can believe that.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Past Few Weeks

Well, we took the family vacation to Oak Island. That included Uncle Pete and the grandparents, so I tried to assume as little responsibility as possible. Desmond got a boogie board and rode it as much as we would let him. Prior to this trip he was kind of leery of the ocean, but that is all over now. Since Desmond was having fun, Izabella had to get out in the ocean too. I was pretty well convinced that the tide would wash her out to sea and I couldn't think of any good excuses to explain what had happened (it was going to involve a dolphin somehow, but I figured it would be easier to just swoop her up as the water washed her by me).

We took 2 trips to Myrtle Beach. One for the kids to ride at the Pavilion and win an assortment of crappy prizes. The only notable thing that occurred was I took Desmond to the bathroom and he insisted on using a stall. He also insisted on sitting on the toilet although he only had to urinate. Anyway, he didn't really pull his pants down far enough and pissed all over his shorts. Luckily, we were right next to one of those water rides that soaks everyone in the raft, so I rode that with him and solved our problem. The other Myrtle Beach trip just involved me and Maria and the grand opening of the Kiss Coffehouse. Our planning wasn't really that great b/c we didn't have anything for Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley to sign. I improvised and had Paul sign my Local 506 membership and Gene signed my Flying Anvil membership. Here are transcripts from the actual conversations I had w/ them.

Dan: Thank you for coming down here.
Paul Stanley: Thank you for waiting in line.

Dan: Thank you.
Gene Simmons: Thank you. (emphasis on you).

Yes, I waited in line 5 1/2 hours for that and it was worth it.

I took the kids to the Fun Fourth parade and street festival. It was too hot to stay out there long, so we went to the air conditioned comfort of the Guilford Courthouse Military Park. We didn't time it right to see the movie, but I'm planning on taking them back the next hot day I'm in charge (probably next July 4th).

Desmond is playing basketball at the Y. So far they haven't called a single traveling violation (kind of like the NBA) despite the kids running the length of the court w/o dribbling. I told Desmond he needs to work on that, but he assured me that dribbling is only for practice and not their games. He likes this a lot better than soccer. I think his favorite part is taking the ball from other kids and being cheered for it. He also likes diving on the ground to get the loose balls (and then wrestling w/ kids who try to take it from him). I'm so proud.

The 2 of us also went to the best soccer game I've ever seen in person as the Carolina Dynamo defeated the Seattle Sounders in 3rd round of the US Open Cup. While the Dynamo consist entirely of college guys and the Sounders are allegedly a professional team, the Dynamo still controlled most of the match. The Sounders tried to rough them up and managed to draw the Dynamo into quite a few yellow cards (for dissent mostly), but the Dynamo kept their cool enough to responded to both Seattle goals w/ equalizers a few minutes later. There was a near fight at the end of regulation and rather than card either of the players the ref made them shake hands (and then they started jawing again about 10 yards and 5 seconds later). It was as they say "chippy." The game winner came on a corner kick in like the 112th minute and it was seriously the only decent play the Dynamo had on a corner kick all night. Of course the 4th round game against the Houston Dynamo won't be broadcast anywhere and I don't think I'll make it to Houston to watch in person. So goes US soccer.

Maria's birthday was Saturday, so we went to Bistro Sofia. The kids also insisted on getting her an iPod nano which wasn't a bad idea (they're a lot smarter than me when it comes to stuff like that. I think they got those traits from their mom). And Tiger Bear Wolf played at the Corndale House on Friday night (but not before the clock struck midnight so they would be playing on her birthday). I think it was a big success, but she'll have to confirm that for you.

And sorry to end on a downer, but when I die I want This Is My Song sung at my funeral (the international version not the Finnish version unless I die in Finland then just sing every verse you can find). If you can swing it throw in Radar Love and possibly Jet.