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It was hot in my office yesterday. Unbearably hot.  So I put a workorder in to our maintenance department letting them know that something was wrong with the heating/cooling for our office….then one of the guys from the office next door wandered in and mentioned that their office was hot too…so I called up the maintenance office and kindly asked if their room could be added to our workorder.   About 15-20 minutes later I got this phone call:

ME: (standard department greeting) This is Amy.

MaintenanceManx: Hi Amy, This is MaintenceManX.  So, I heard this rumor that you are hot.

I had to laugh…wouldn’t you?

As I mentioned yesterday…I was suffering from sticker shock at the price of my race tickets (not that it stopped me from buying tickets). What that didn’t tell you? Was that I actually purchased my tickets for the race back in August..and have the actual tickets tucked safely in a book at home (that sounds weird I know- but I do that with important things like tickets to events- tuck them into a specific book in my room- so that I won’t place them on my desk and lose them in a paper tower).

However- my springing for garage passes for the same day didn’t happen until the beginning of September. So they were ordered separately. I seemed to get the race tickets rather quickly after ordering them..and was getting slightly nervous about the fact that I ordered up garage passes and hadn’t gotten them yet. So I logged into my account at LVMS and emailed the customer service people.

A represented emailed me back in a timely manner, explaining that they would be mailed out in November and that they should I only ordered Garage passes for Friday and that they assumed I already had tickets for the race. Yes…did you catch that. The email said FRIDAY garage passes. And I only ordered tickets for SUNDAY. Could I have made that glaring of an error. Shit. I looked up my receipt…and it didn’t mention WHAT day the garage passes were for- only the convenience fee and the Nascar Service Charge fee…and then my total. Odd. So I emailed back. Then looked online to see how much friday tickets were (expecting that since it is only practice and qualifying they should be fairly cheap…and tada…they were cheap). So I figured worse comes to worse I will just buy friday tickets too (by the time this is all over? I should have just sprung for weekend passes).

I called BFM to tell her there was some sorta screw up somewhere…and that I might have gotten us garage passes for the wrong day…but I could fix it buy getting us tickets for that day too because they are fairly cheap. After we discussed it we thought it might actually be better to have garage passes for Friday since there would be more action in the garage area on that day then on race day…plus you know…we would want to watch the race on race day! So instead of email all this information back to Las Vegas motorspeedway I called them.

I spoke with a very nice man at the box office, who told me his name but I don’t remember what it is (I think it might have been Paul?). Anyway…first I gave him my account number and asked him which day I had garage passes for. He looked and told me Sunday. So then I asked him if there was anyway to change them to Friday or was it too late? He checked for me and told me that he personally couldn’t do it because there was a cost difference (of $40.00) for the garage passes from one day to the next- but that he might be able to work it out. So he put me on hold….coming back on to tell me he was trying to move things around and to be patient (which I was…I totally appreciated everything he was doing!). So he finally came back and and verified that I wanted garage passes for Friday and not Sunday. And I told him yes if that was possible because I was planning on buying tickets for Friday. Then somehow he got mixed up and thought this was for the NHRA Drag races in October…and then after a couple of minutes of more confusion because I tried to tell him the date was Jan 31st when I meant Feb 29th (I felt really badly confusing the guy). So what he did is he switched my garage passes to Friday…and then I put the $40.00 credit towards the tickets for Friday so it all got worked out in the end.

So now I am going to Friday which is qualifying (yey!) and Sunday….(but not Saturday). And I should have garage access for Friday…and I am still really excited about going!!! And I have a great appreciation for LVMS and their box office staff who went out of their way to make sure I got what I wanted!!!

So…for those keeping track. I finally did it. I know you probably thought I was all talk before…but I bit the bullet and bought tickets for my first Nascar race. I am now the proud owner of two grandstand tickets in Blue4P at Las Vegas Motorspeedway for March 2nd. And I will be the first to admit that I got carried away and got Sunday garage passes too. I am excited and nervous…all at the same time.

I don’t know how you fans out there can afford to do multiple races because it is about killing me to know that I laid down a very sizable chunk of change for ONE DAY at the track. ONE DAY…and I am not even sitting where I wanted to be sitting because those tickets? Forget about it.

I am fairly sure that I paid more for one ticket to see the nascar race in March (not including garage pass) than my dad paid for the time he bought us tickets to see the Indy Cars at Laguna Seca the first time…and his tickets included Primo Seats in the coveted Turn 11 (not so coveted now that they built huge pit suites that block the view of the hill) and paddock (garage) passes for the entire weekend Thursday through Sunday. I could go on and tell you the embarrassing story about how we were wandering around on Friday in the paddock area and my dad saw A.J. Foyt giving autographs at the back of his hauler..(yeah THE AJ FOYT!) and he literally had to PUSH me at the man to get his autograph because THAT WAS AJ FOYT! (and let me tell you while most race car drivers tend to be smaller in person than you would imagine…he is bigger. He was very nice…but for some reason he intimidated the bejeebuz out of me).

That being said…I am soo excited about the race I could bust! I can’t wait to hear it…smell it…taste it…feel it. I remember all those sensations when I went to my first race…they assault you…and you either love it (like me and my dad) or you think it is kinda of gross (like my mom). I can’t wait to compare them with Nascar.

I am not going to even claim to understand why, but the televised Nextel Cup Series is covered by four different major stations during their season. First it is covered by FOX, next is TNT, then ESPN and then, lastly ABC. The only reason for this that I personally can think of, is that the Nascar Cup series has one of the longest seasons of a sport (starts at the end of February and ends in mid-November) and Nascar is thinking that they should spread the wealth during televised coverage so that they can reach a broader fanbase.

Believe it or not I see a big difference in the quality of the coverage (we are now three races into the coverage on ABC).

To me…the best coverage comes from FOX at the beginning of the season. It might just be that I really like the commentators (Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds totally rock as commentators and I miss them during the rest of the season!). But I also find that the camera angles actually seem to be better and if there is anything going on during the race- you were there when it happened. They have the cut-away car and explain things in simple terms quickly and it isn’t overused.

The second best was TNT. The reason that I didn’t like TNT as much as FOX? A big part of it had to do with the lack of Darrell Waltrip. Don’t get me wrong though- I liked Kyle Petty as a commentator but I missed DW more. The cameras also seemed to catch less of the action so there was more having to go back and see things in replay.

I find the coverage on ESPN and ABC to be very similar…and very annoying. ESPN especially uses too much filler. There is too much going to the tech center to explain this that and the other. While I do like more information on some things- they go to the tech car far too often far to long to explain things. They have all these fancy animations for engine parts and the like- but frankly…just tell me and get me back to the race already. I also find it annoying that when they come back from commercial (especially ESPN but ABC too) they will replay the last major accident right before cutting back live- so as a view I am unsure if this was something I missed during the commercial break or them doing another race recap. They even did this during the race today – they came back from the caution and were replaying the pre-race interviews…which confused me because for a minute I thought that Martin Truex, Jr got knocked out of the race on lap 53 or something like that.  It is confusing! The announcers also have the ever annoying tendency on both stations to talk over the in-car audio when they cut to it…and the in-car audio is my favorite part of the races…seriously. Both ESPN and ABC’s announcers seem to talk just to hear themselves talk..and that irritates me. I like to form my own opinions when a race is happening and they just blather on and on and on.

I really wish Nascar would pick ONE station (FOX) and stick with it all season.

(after sniffing the inside of my purse):

Why does my purse smell like a drunk man on the inside?

Susan says: My inspiration this week is the season premiere of Survivor: China.

1. Usually someone will emerge as a leader in each tribe, but last  night, one tribe sort of thrust leadership upon someone. He accepted the role, but said it made him a little uncomfortable. Do you feel you are a natural leader or is it something you had to learn? Or, on the flip side, something you were neither born with or learned?  I am not really a leader- or at least I don’t view myself as one.  Sometimes I will take charge of something but only because it is something I like to do or something I want to be done right…but I don’t view myself as a leader.

2. The contestants had trouble sleeping because they got soaking wet while trying to construct shelter. What is the longest you have gone without a significant amount of sleep & why?  I am one of those people who need at least 5-6 hours of sleep to function correctly.  Occasionally I will go through bouts of insomnia – usually triggered by stress.  My last one was Sunday night. I came to work and was trying to function on 2.5 hours of sleep. I was pretty useless and could barely keep my eyes open…I ended up going home early and taking a nap…even thought I only napped for about an hour I felt 900% better.

3. When the contestants first arrived on the island, they had no shelter or fire & only the clothes on their back. They were given one pot of rice, but no other supplies. So what’s the most important thing to make first–shelter or fire? I think fire…because with fire can come warmth and the ability to eat to sustain your self and purify your water which are all essential elements for living.  However I do think Shelter is pretty high up there on the list.

4. One of the first things the contestants had to do was participate in a Buddhist ceremony in a temple, with several idols lining the walls. The host made a point of saying that he realized the group was made up of people who had a variety of beliefs, so this ceremony was not worship, simply a way for the Chinese to say “welcome”. One of the women said she was not “religious”, but she has a personal relationship with Jesus & that when she bows it will be only to Him. Do you think she made the right decision? What would you do?  I think she made the right decision for her. It obviously upset her and she was not comfortable- so she left.  I am really a “You Can’t Please Everyone So You Got To Please Yourself” (to quote Rick Nelson) type of person- especially when it comes to spirituality and religion.  If it had been me- I would have gone through the ceremony.

5. The prize is a million dollars. Is it worth being separated from family & friends, risking your health & living very primitively for 39 days? My answer to this is a resounding AW HELL NO!  Not that I wouldn’t want a million dollars but I am not really that outdoorsy and this is not something I would do for a chance…and is probably not something I would do if I was definitely going to get a million dollars just not a chance at it.  It made me laugh when the one girl on Survivor China said “I am no not the outdoorsy type” and my answer was “They why the heck did you sign up for the show…you had to know what it was about.”

On of my Dad’s favorite movies use to be Dances with Wolves. Since he has had his shoulder operated on he gets a little stir-crazy during his recouperation. The back patio has two hummingbird feeders..although the little buggers will only drink out of one of them and then only one at a time because they each chase the other hummingbirds away. They are a very territorial bunch- these birds. Anyway we have created “Dances with Wolves” types of names for our hummingbird visitors:

Stands On Top- So named because after drinking and sometimes before he stands on top of the feeder to protect his food source.

Notch Head- So named because well…he has a notch on his head.

Red-headed Chief (or sometimes we just call him Chief)- So named because he seems to be the bossiest of all the hummingbirds that visit. Distinguished by his brilliant red head. Although lately, Stands On Top has been giving chief a run for his money.

Peers Around- So named because she sits down on the feeder, drinks and then leans way over to peer around the feeder to see what is going on in the kitchen.

Ok..you try to combine a NASCAR post with Talk Like A Pirate Day and then we’ll talk.

****

Arrrg, tis no surprise that the number of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s ship car is to be number 88. Thar had been lots of speculation that this be the case.  Avaste, it surprised this captain a might bit that the new sponsors be who they be.  For Sony be not in the picture (ok that is a total pun…get it in the picture as in like a tv?).  Nay instead we have ye Amp Energy Drinks/Mountain Dew (which should not surprise up since PEPSI is a major sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports) and Ye Ol National Guard.  Thar be two different color schemes for the number 88…aye- a blue white and red theme for Ye Ol’ National Guard car and a green white and red theme for ye Amp/Mountain Dew car.  In Ye Ol’ press conference it was mentioned that the rear deck on each scheme would be flat black and it be my understandin’ that the rear deck those scallywags be speakin’ of is what we common folk call a “trunk”.  Ye cars in ye picture in ye linked article have white “trunks.”