Been There, Done That

Trying to force my brain to take a break today… and having an evening NASCAR race helps with that. It’s actually at a track that I’ve been to, but when I went a handful of years ago it was still a traditional Sunday race. Ya know, having all the races on a Saturday night would be a good selling point for the out-of-shape, disabled, or old farts. (Of which I’m like 2.5 out of 3) Mid-day summer races, with all the blacktop and aluminum seats reflecting and radiating the heat… β˜€οΈπŸ”₯πŸ˜“πŸŽοΈπŸ’¨πŸ’₯Β Thankfully it wasn’t until I was a little older and more out of shape (after all my trips) that I realized how brutal it can really be. 😯

Tonight’s race is from Kentucky Speedway. I think it was four years ago that I went… staying free at ‘Da Boat for a couple of nights, and hopping over the river to Sparta on race day. 😎 If I remember correctly, Cassi went with – but just to enjoy the room and the getaway. It really is a fan friendly track, but woo… all that walking. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ It’s no Indianapolis… another track where I’m amazed that I would spend entire days walking around (miles) in the August heat. πŸ˜₯πŸ™‚Β I suppose it helps though, once you’re there, hearing the cars, seeing the drivers, getting the pics and occasional autographs… it only hurts and burns later that night. 😏

It’s funny, I remember having a Skoal Bandits matchbox car when I was a kid, but that was the extent of my interest in NASCAR until after I was out of school and Dad took me to a couple races at Indy. Since then I’ve seen two Brickyard 400s, two Indy 500s, one race at Kansas, and one race at Kentucky. πŸ˜ƒ But, probably showing early signs of what was to come, the last few times (and those were a while ago) that I went to Indy… I’d only go on qualifying / practice day. That way I could see the sights, collect all the good shots that I could, sneak in whatever areas I could manage… but not getting the “bake in the stands for however many hours” experience that actual race day would require.

I’m not saying that I’ll never go to another race, or another track around race days, but I just haven’t been able to stay as interested in the new drivers once “my drivers” or “our drivers” retired or otherwise exited the sport. 😟 Think about who you’re not seeing anymore when you go to a race, and if you’re old enough – it’ll probably make you wonder if you still wanna bother going too. πŸ€”πŸ€¨

Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Jeff and Ward Burton, Darrell and Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Bobby and Terry Labonte, Mike Skinner, Kenny Schrader, Ricky Rudd, the various Bodines, Rusty Wallace, Morgan Shepherd (oldest driver to start a NASCAR race, at 72 😯 years old), Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle,Β Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and even Dale Jr. That’s how you know you’ve been a fan a while though, when you’ve watched a kid come into the sport, run for a good long time, and now even they’re gone. And yeah, I didn’t necessarily give many shits about a few of those named… but boy did they all have personality. πŸ™‚

And that’s exactly what made their presence so easy to remember and, now, miss. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Gap

I know it’s been a good chunk of time since my last entry, but I’m not even gonna bother going back to catch up on what I’ve already written… because honestly not a whole hell of a lot has been different, so I don’t have that much to write about. We’ve had a couple decent snow storms, and a couple days where the temps were in the negativesΒ in the morning, so that’s managed to keep me at home just as much as my normal anxiety issues usually do. 😏

One out of the ordinary thing… I did take a trip to ‘Da Boat with Bri for two nights last week. 😊 We’ve talked about it for months, and have had it in the planning stages for the past several weeks – so we were relieved to have pulled it off, considering that both of us have any number of things that could have popped up to wreck the plan. 😳 Last time she was down there with me was years ago when Dezzy also came along, and they couldn’t even get onto the boat back then.

So of course that’s why we were really looking forward to this trip, since she could see and do everything along with me this time. We took a bunch of outfits and props and shit, just in case we decided to do baby belly photos, but it was too easy to just be lazy in the room or going up to the boat to have fun… so very few pics were actually taken, and that was absolutely fine with us. πŸ˜‹ Our luck would come and go, but it was good enough at times that I could actively see the gambling bug taking hold of her brain right before my very eyes. πŸ˜… Heh… it wasn’t really like that, but she did have a good time and played enough to where she developed favorite machines and everything.

This past week or so has been nice… not having any appointments, not forcing myself to worry about any responsibility stuff. 😐 Heh… that sounds bad. I just mean that I let myself take a break from all of the adulting for a while, although I’m picking back up where I left off here in a bit. (Catching up on the bills that have been stacking up in the mean time) Oh… I do have another “since our last episode” story that I almost forgot about. It’ll be coming up a bit later, if I manage to get through all the bills this evening…

But this trip… I dunno… the more that I think about my medical stuff, the more that I want to do stuff with my friends while I still can. πŸ€’ I have no reason to think that I won’t be able to do things for years to come – but just in case, ya know? Even Dad, a while back, reiterated that point to me a few times… that I need to stop worrying so much, and sometimes just do the fun thing while not worrying about anything else. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Trip Report: Extended Edition

This trip to ‘da boat was one of the better ones that I’ve had in recent memory, at least since the times when me, Mom, and Dad all used to go together. πŸ™‚ Great weather on the way down and back (which is more important than you’d think), awesome lightning over the Ohio River during the couple of evening thunderstorms while we were there, and Cassi and I were able to play and play and play – and I still came home with the same amount that I took to spend, andΒ she was able to go home over $200 ahead and with some comp’d jewelry and goodies from the gift shop. πŸ˜ƒ

Oh, and of course we poofed ourselves on the awesome brunch buffet. Mmm… 🀀 not just theΒ regular buffet food, but also all of the important breakfast stuff at the same time. 😁 They must be doing alright, because the entire place is in the middle of renovations. From the giant entry way, to the lobby, to the hallways, to the rooms… everything is getting cosmetic updates. 😯 They’re still in the middle of ripping up all of the faux “stone” flooring in the giant common area and laying down “wood” strips… and for the rest of the hotel, the entire color scheme has changed. The only inconvenience in all of that was that the updated WiFi wasn’t working yet. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Our time on the actual boat was limited the first day, because the machines kicked our asses. πŸ™„πŸŽ° That was okay though, because the trip was as much about “just getting away” as it was for gambling. We got one of the nicer rooms with probably the best view of all of them, looking right out onto the boat, the river, and the outdoor patio area for the indoor pool. 😎🚒 And, as it often goes, we took our swimsuits but couldn’t muster the “oomph” required to go down and actually swim with the larger-than-normal amount of assholes already in the pool. 😏 (For some of them, I think it doubled for their weekly bath.)

Day two on the actual boat was much better. πŸ˜€ I hit a big enough bonus that I was able to set back (to take home) the amount that I took with me to lose, and still have enough to keep playing and to share with Cassi so she could do the same. πŸ€‘ And it wasn’t just that one win. (I missed catching all the winning “sevens” in that video… meh) But both of us kept hitting nice “little-big” amounts that kept us going for the better part of the day. It felt like a totally different experience than the day before. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ‰πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŽˆ

It sucked to wake up after that second night, knowing that we had to head back home, but the winning came at a time and in a way that it let us both come home with a decent amount money, so we sure couldn’t complain. Besides, we were both anxious to get home to our kitties… especially me, since I knew that Maven was all by herself and probably wondering if I had permanently disappeared. 😿 She was happy to see me when I got home of course, but she didn’t even act grumpy… so perhaps I wasn’t as missed as I had presumed. πŸ˜„Β We absolutely had a good time on this trip… the last one we might be able to take for a while… but it was sure nice to be home again too.

Pre-Post Post

Got back from a little trip yesterday afternoon/evening, and surprisingly got a decent amount of sleep last night, so today’s all about readjusting to being back home and getting back into the groove with some things that I want to accomplish today. 🀨 I guess I wanna prove to myself that I don’t always have to be completely worthless the day after getting back home from doing something fun.

My shoulder is killing me, but that’s to be expected… you know how it is when you go on vacation and put the negative things to the back of your mind. In my case, that meant somewhat forgetting to take it easy and probably talking with my hands way too much. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Oh, and this time-lapse video… it was with the digital camcorder, so there were no bells or whistles applied – just a shot every 10 seconds with no extra processing or filters or anything. A “meh, why not” project for while we were there.

(I was going to make a super high resolution image of the boat by using the digital camcorder at high zoom and panning back and forth over it until I had the entire area covered with video – and I was going to use Microsoft ICE to process that video into a panorama… but it just wasn’t quite working so I ended up shelving the idea.)

But yeah, I just wanted to make a little pre-post post, so I’m gonna throw this up to the blog and then start figuring out what I’m gonna do with the day… and I already know that’ll include being on the laptop to do bills (since the WiFi wasn’t working at the hotel), to check and reply to emails, and to do a real trip report here in a bit. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ–πŸ»

Oh, Is That So?

I’ve been on and off the phone so much in the past couple of days, I’m fairly certain that my brain is at least partially melted. 😏 I joke, but Jesus I hate talking on the phone. πŸ˜‘ Especially when it deals with “shit that needs to be taken care of” or the like. One of my calls should have been relatively painless (or at least as painless as phone calls can be for me)Β since IΒ thought it was gonnaΒ be just a brief conversation with my casino host about reserving a room at the Rising Star casino boat.

Feeling rather miserable here at home still, I was thinking that a change of scenery could do me some good… so I decided to call and see about getting one of those little mini-suites like I’ve gotten several times before when I’ve stayed. 😎 Now, it’s been while since I’ve stayed and played there, but not that long. So I didn’t think I’d run into any problems. πŸ˜’ Wrong.

I wasn’t able to speak to my casino host, but the one that I did speak to… she informed me rather quickly that they couldn’t guarantee me one of the suites, and that they wouldn’t even be able to tell me until I was actually there and preparing to check in. πŸ€” What kind of bullshit is that? I mean, just type in my player’s card number… look at my history… this shouldn’t be a complicated decision.

But nope… they’d reserve a room for me, but if I wasn’t one of their higher ranked players on the day that I was checking in, it would be a standard crappy room for me and whoever I end up taking with me. And to that news I replied, “Okay, well thanks anyway.” and hung up. In a followup e-mail with myΒ casino host, I told her that I was literally staring at a stack of flyers, cards, comps, and calendars from Jack Cincinnati – including an offer for a suite in my choice of several downtown hotels.

And it’s not like I even played that much the last time I was at Jack. They just have better offers, and they don’t hesitate to reserve a suite for me when I’m arranging my accommodations. πŸ™‚ They don’t make me feel like I have to be in competition with my fellow guestsΒ just to get a nicer room. I concluded the e-mail by telling her that I wasn’t saying what I was saying in an effort to fish for more comps or anything, and that, in fact, she should remove my name from their advertising list.

Better comps, better room, bigger casino, 45 minute shorter drive, less hassle… the final decision of where to go was suddenly no decision at all, because the place where I had gone for years with my family and then on my own… it just left a bad taste in my mouth now. Funny thing is, after that conversation I was kinda done thinking about casinos for the day – so I haven’t even bothered to try and set anything up with Jack yet, and I’m not even sure if I will. πŸ™„πŸ˜