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

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μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”

There was one other day where I allowed myself to do something a little frivolous. It was already something that was going to be a little bit outside of my comfort zone, but then we had to completely change our plans. 😳 The original plan was for me to go up to Columbus and pick up Cassi from work, so we could then head over to Arirang Market – which also has (or had) a restaurant in the back that serves authentic Korean food.

We went into the store and I asked the fella at the front if the restaurant was open yet, since it was only around 11am, and he said that the restaurant is no more. πŸ˜• It’s a shame, because they had a ton of variety, at good prices, and they had all sorts of good reviews on the various sites. But since we were there, in a Korean market full of authentic Korean foodstuffs, we decided that we could just buy the stuff that would allow us to make our lunch and dinner from scratch. πŸ™‚

In no particular order, we got kimchi, tofu soup starter, yam noodles, seaweed, soju, red pepper paste, rice, sesame oil and soy sauce, eggs, chicken and cabbage rice dumplings, rice cakes (for soup), and then a few misc snacks and a couple pairs of metal chopsticks. We were excited, because between the music, the travel and foodie videos on YouTube, the differentΒ TV shows, the picking up of the language here and there – I dunno, it just felt like we were taking our next step in the appreciation of the country and culture.

I made the soup meal on the first day, including the kimchi… and while the kimchi was pretty awful, the tofu soup, noodles, and rice cakes were tolerable. 😐 Not good, not bad… it just kinda was what it was, and that would be something that neither of us necessarily needs to try ever again. πŸ˜… On the next day we teamed up in the kitchen, with her making the fried rice from scratch, and me frying up the chicken dumplings in condensed broth. Now that meal was amazing. 🀀 Part of it was because I was super hungry, but no… it really was amazing. I ate until I was beyond poofed, and I still wanted to keep going.

Granted, that was probably the furthest from “authentic Korean” and towards “normal food” that we could have gone, but it still counted as Korean. 😏 And neither of us were that bad with the chopsticks, either. From both days there was enough left over that I was able to send a decent sample of it all back up with Cassi so her mom could give it a try. And she agreed with us when it came to the dumplings and rice, for sure. (I forgot to send the kimchi… which is probably a good thing for her.)