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

Advertisements

The “Subjectively Positive” One

This is gonna be another really long one… it’s more fun for me this way. 😏 Settle in and enjoy.

Now, this is something that’s almost impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t or hasn’t experienced severe social anxiety. πŸ€” But last Saturday, after spending about a week and a half without even leaving my house, while trying (and failing) to adjust to a new medication, and still tending to my gimpy knee… I had to go to a concert in Columbus. 😐 At the Schottenstein Center, which holds about 18,000 people. 18,000 loud, screaming, drinking, super enthusiastic, having an awesome time, concert-goin’ people. 😏 (God bless ’em… heh) Oh, and we had “Meet and Greet” VIP passes for Debbie Gibson and Tiffany after the show.

The story begins last year, when my friend Jim got us tickets to see Phil Collins at Nationwide Arena. I had seen Genesis before, but never Phil on his own… so it was a bucket list thing. We had a great time, so in the fall of last year when “The Mixtape Tour” tickets came available – I went ahead and got our tickets, sort of as a birthday gift / way to pay back his generosity re: the Phil Collins tickets.

Flash forward to last Saturday… and it took every ounce of oomph that I had to make myself get up, get ready, and go to the venue to meet Jim. πŸ₯Ί My anxiety was so bad that up until the minute I was finally able to make myself get in the car, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna be able to do it. 😬 But I had already cancelled on Jim on a few other things, and I would feel like a giant shit if I bailed on him again, and he ended up just going by himself. So I honestly went more because of Jim, rather than a desire to actually go. Well, no… that isn’t entirely accurate… because I absolutely wanted to go… heh… like I said, it’s hard to explain how anxiety can overrule anything that you think you might want or be able to do. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heh… I’m realizing that this isn’t gonna sound like a positive experience, so let me go ahead and interject here to say that I did have a good time while I was there, and was glad that I went. πŸ™‚ It was the getting there and getting home that were the biggest hurdles for my uncooperative brain. And of course there had to be construction all along the freeway on the way there, which is always fun – anxiety or not. And then when I got there, because I left so late, I ended up having to walk… *consulting google maps* … I had to walk “Total distance:Β 2,885.24 ftΒ (879.42 m)from the parking lot to the venue. 😧 But I had my cane, I took my time, and didn’t die too much. 😏 In fact, not only did it help me to unwind from the traffic, but it continued my DIY physical therapy that I’m trying – to avoid the costly, painful, inconvenient, time consuming, real thing.

The thing that probably saved the night for me, once we found our way to our seats, was that we were at the absolute top of the seats. Literally everyone in front of us, with the backs of our chairs being against the wall. 😊 Plus the seat next to me was empty. 😁 I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it makes to be “outside” of the humans rather than surrounded by a sea of them in every direction. So for the duration of the actual show, I was golden. πŸ™‚ Me and Jim, catching up on shit, no assholes around to be a nuisance, a decent view of everything due to the big LED screens, despite being in the very definition of “the nosebleed seats” for the concert… and it was awesome. I was glad that I “made” myself go.

Then the show ended. 😳 At which point we had to navigate through the herd of exiting humans, trying to figure out where we had to be to do the Meet and Greet part of our experience. 😬 Buttloads of people, slight confusion of where to go, the prospect of meeting a couple of celebrity singers… so, again, I found myself *this close* to just walking out one of the nearby doors and just waiting for Jim to go and do that part on his own. But he said the right things I needed to hear, I took a few woosah moments, and once a lot of the people were gone we found our way to what was essentially the basement under all of the seating. 😯

Sorry, I’ll try to tighten this up a bit. 😏 There were different M&G packages, some with just Debbie, some with just Tiffany, some with both – so thankfully, even though they had us all crammed into a relatively small waiting space, we got to do our thing pretty quickly since we had the dual package. Got a hug from Tiffany, they both autographed my lanyard, and while there was a little confusion with the official person taking the photos – it gave me some time to actually talk with Debbie while we had a short wait.

She asked if I had a good time and I told her “Oh, absolutely…” with a smile, but since other people were distracted I was able to lean over to her and kinda quietly say “… but man is my social anxiety kickin’ right about now.” Heh… probably a little weird, but it would have been awkward just standing there silently as we waited for the photographer to get ready. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But she just smiled back at me and said she actually knows what I mean, and that before each show she usually stays in her dressing room with her piano and just plays some random jazz or classical to help her get rid of herΒ pre-show anxiety. πŸ™‚ And that was a comforting thing to hear… since rather than her thinking I was a weirdo, she could actually relate. Then we got the pic, I got a hug from her as well, and that was that.

Well, that was it for me I mean. 😏 Jim still had to get his picture with them… but keep in mind, Jim wasn’t Jim for the night… he went as Squirtman. πŸ˜³πŸ˜„ The orange body suit, the cape, the Squirtman puppet, flashing LED glasses, the cowboy hat… heh… the whole deal. That was actually another good thing throughout the night – because when you’re next to Squirtman, you’re essentially invisible – which was perfect. πŸ‘πŸ»

He got there an hour before the doors even opened, so he was parked right in the first lot and was able to give me a ride out to my car – since all of the walking and stairs and such did finally take its toll on me. πŸ˜•Β I did have the typical “I need to be home”Β voice repeating in my head as I was driving, but the goody feeling from the concert buzz made the long drive home much more bearable than some drives I’ve made in the past. πŸ™‚

So yeah… yay me. 😊 I did a thing. 😏

If you remember any of these bands or singers and wanna check out some clips, here ya go:

Alrighty, that’s about it. Congrats if you made it through all of my (hopefully) descriptive weirdo rambling. πŸ˜‰

Less Bad, Overall

They came and plucked / cut all of the bushes out the other day. πŸ™‚ I don’t know why it made me feel so awkward, sitting in the house doing nothing while other people were out in my yard taking care of things… but I thought about the x-ray results of my knee, how nothing was apparently wrong, and whether I wanted to do physical therapy – and all of those thoughts resulted in me doing quite a bit of work inside the house over the past couple of days.

I figure that physical therapy would be “Yeah, I know it hurts, but keep moving your knee.” so I decided if I was going to hurt, it would be for something useful… something that allowed me to feel productive instead of sitting around like a turd while other people did work outside that I still feel (even though I physically can’t) like I should be taking care of myself. 😟 They did a great job though, and left the area in a condition where all I’m gonna have to do is spray a little poison on the nubs that didn’t get plucked, and then spread some grass seed (actually, quite a bit) and cross my fingers.

Inside, it was basically just a continuation of what I’ve been off-and-on working towards. The yellow bedroom is never actually used as a bedroom, so I donated the bed from that room to Bri when she got her apartment. Now, that’s my new “auction / sale” staging area. So a lot of what I did was just moving boxes from one bedroom to another, but getting it sorted much better and stacked more efficiently… keeping the more valuable things in their own area, separate from the random household goods or whatever.

It was frustrating, only being able to do a couple boxes at a time before taking another break for my knee… but I just spent a couple of days “keepin’ at it” and even getting several more tubs and boxes packed with stuff and stacked with everything else. πŸ™‚ It’s still frustrating that it took me two days to do something that would normally have taken an afternoon at the most, but I wanted to keep moving – but with breaks so I could tell if I was making my knee worse. 🀨 Which, luckily (and surprisingly) I don’t think it was. It doesn’t feel good now, but it’s actually slightly better than before I started doing all this… so, who knows, maybe my slow-ass self-PT’ing is working. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I did take today off though, because the next logical step that I would be taking is working in the basement, either packing stuff down there and trying to carry tubs and boxes up the stairs, or bringing individual items up one at a time and packing them upstairs… and I can’t quite trust my knee enough to consider either of those things. πŸ˜’Β I guess I could just take the laptop and go down there with the intention of staying down there and working, letting Netflix play in the background, and just wait until things are better before I try to haul anything upstairs. πŸ€” Meh… could have done that today actually… but after two days of solid “going” it’s probably better that I didn’t confine myself to the basement today.

I’ve basically stayed offline, I’ve been ignoring most of my messages… but to have the oomph to do what I’ve been doing, I needed to unplug and just do my stuff in my own little bubble here. 😞 That’s a sucky thing, I’ll admit, but at least I get to feel good about finally getting a good amount of something done around here, after over a month of my knee making sure that that wasn’t likely to happen.

Why Do I Make Plans?

(Alternate / Extended Title:Β  Haven’t You Learned By Now? You Should Know Better…)

Another day, another disappointment. Not forΒ me… well, yeah, actually for me too… but the night before last I was feeling pretty good, planned on having a productive day yesterday, maybe even go grab Bri and take her somewhere so she could get groceries… but nope. πŸ˜’ I just haven’t found the “trick” when it comes to sleeping and my knee in its current state. One night it’ll be fine, next night… fucked. 😠 Last thing I really wanna do is have another round of xrays and scans, fearing that they’ll all “look fine” like with my lower back recently… but yeah, definitely gonna request xrays when I see the doc at the beginning of next week. 😣 Hopefully it’ll be something where a steroid injection will help, because I’m much more inclined to let them do that to my knee than to let them do it in my spine at the base of my neck. 😳

I think I’ve got it through my head now that “feeling better” on one day doesn’t mean it’s actually getting better. It’s not like I’m even pushing myself, but yeah, when I have a slightly better day – I do slightly more stuff… but that’s not working this time. So I’ve been in a shit mood, kinda disappeared from people for a couple of days, haven’t done most of the stuff that I had on my mental “maybe” list, but today – even though it hasn’t been quite as bad – I still haven’t pushed it, and I’m not feeling too bad. πŸ˜’ So that’ll keep my mental mood good enough to finally get through the bills (that I skipped the other night due to an instant headache) and probably check and respond to e-mails and messages. 🀞🏻 I think it being the weekend actually helps too, even though that’s sorta dumb when I don’t really keep a normal M-F human schedule except when appointments dictate.

But yeah, I’m around… and I’ll get around to the stuff that I need to get around to, whenever I end up getting around to it. 😏 It’s funny, when you’re young and healthy… and someone older tells you to enjoy it while you can, and tells you about all the random aches and pains and whatever… when you’re young, your brain just won’t allow that idea to register. (And therefore I don’t think anyone is really prepared for it, or accepts it gracefully.)Β Your brain doesn’t realize that you’ll eventually be the one with all the defective pieces, telling someone younger than you that this is what they’ve got to look forward to. πŸ™„ Heh… see… this is why it’s better that I just avoid people when I’m like this. Not exactly a ray of sunshine right now.

And say what ya’ want… but I still don’t think I’m old enough to feel this consistently beat up. πŸ˜•Β </whining>

A Couple Days Off

It’s not that I took a couple days off, but more that I took care of stuff that needed taken care of – and sorta dropped off the map when it came to answering messages or keeping in touch with anyone those days. πŸ˜• I just didn’t get much sleep before the early morning when the AC guys got here, and they spent all morning and a bit of the afternoon in and out of the house, making noise, getting shit done… and I’m not complaining, because they did a quick and awesome job, but it just threw my brain off for the day which triggered an unintentional nap and then 12 hours of sleep that night. 😳 Not complaining about that either.

The following day was reserved for doctor appointments, and a possible haircut… which didn’t end up happening… my knee was feeling more fucked than the day before, and the day before that, so just driving across town to Riverview was enough to put and keep a scowl on my face from the pain. 😣 Like the day before, I hit the bedroom (and night time meds) early, and sacked out just after the sun went down. Didn’t evenΒ think about checking messages, calls, or e-mails… just felt shitty and wanted the day to end. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Today seems like it could be slightly better. No appointments today or tomorrow, my knee actually feels a little bit better… which is always comforting, thinking that whatever it is may “heal” itself without any extra action by me or a doctor or surgeon, but like I said – it’s only slightly better, so I’m not holding my breath. πŸ˜’ But I did make a trip into town to pick up the meds from yesterday’s appointments, and it wasn’t too bad. I think it helped that the sun was out at the time, earlier this morning, even though it looks like the gloomy is starting to roll in along with the afternoon.

My mood hasn’t quite improved enough for me to start tackling all of the message notifications, but I’m hoping by later this afternoon or evening I’ll have shaken this mood and will get to all of the things that need my attention. Bri might be spending her first full night in her apartment tonight, so it’s possible that I’ll try to stop over there and drop off a few of the Amazon boxes of housewarming gifts that Gen had shipped here, for me to give to her. 😏 I dunno… playing this day by ear, still not exactly sure how it’s all gonna go.

Depth Perception

I’m not feeling too great, so I’m gonna keep this post short. Today was the day that Jim and his brother were going to the county fair, and he also wanted to drop off the Phil Collins concert ticket that he got me – so I just saved him the extra driving and time and met them at the fair. I wasn’t much fun for the Sweet Corn Festival, and I’m not sure I was a whole lot more fun today, but I did make an appearance. Plus I wanted to get some longer “real-world” footage with the 360 camera and take some “portrait mode” iPhone shots to see what Facebook’s new “3D” algorithm could do with them.

(Wow… vertical video shows up bigger than I expected. Click to make it “screen sized” at bottom of vid.)

It’s a neat little trick that they’ve come up with… something that I wish the phone could do natively… but it’s also something that once everyone and their brother learns how to do it, the motion sickness that it may cause will probably be enough that the peanut gallery starts demanding a button to disable this nerdy new trick entirely. But I’m feeling a little too “off” to fuss with that 360 video right now… not sure when I’ll get around to it, but don’t be surprised if it sits on the back burner for a while.

Oh… Yeah

Today was a good day. I have some papers that I needed to sign which also required two witnesses, so this afternoon I went over to my friend Amy’s house so she and Rick could provide some initials and signatures to help me out with that. I ended up staying there about a half hour, and we stood outside talking and looking at various projects that Rick either had been working on or planned to start working on soon… and lemme tell ya, that guy can do almost anything. πŸ’ͺ🏻😎 And like I told him, sometimes it’s nice to live through someone else’s inspiration and motivation about their passion projects. 😏

After that I made a quick trip to the gas station in Rockbridge so I could a) fill my car with gas, b) pick up enough necessities to make it to next week, and c) grab some Burger King so I didn’t have to do any cooking tonight… all in one shot. Basically just a mini-run to keep me “good” here at the house until next week, when I intend to do a much bigger “stocking up” shopping trip before my surgery… just in case I don’t feel like leaving the house and mixing with the unwashed public for a while afterwards.

But what I actually did while I was out today isn’t the point. The point is that I did all of that stuff today without thinking about the problem with my leg at all. πŸ˜ƒ I may have had some pain as I was getting in and out of the car, but I don’t remember it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And as I was walking around to get ready, or over at Amy’s house, or while I was filling the car and doing my shopping… once I got home I realized that I hadn’t been limping, at least as far as I know, through any of it. 😯

I’m not going to start cheering just yet, since I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs as I’ve been going through this… but yeah, it feels good to have not been nagged by pain for at least that small part of my day. I’m hoping that sitting on this giant silly yoga ball is actually making a positive impact, because I’m going to keep doing it. I’m also going to change the sheets on my bed and add that fluffy mattress topper thing that I bought a few weeks back.

I really needed something like this today. πŸ™‚ I mean, I’ve got much less on my mental agenda today than yesterday, but it really was an uplifting surprise to have (for the first time in a couple of months)Β such a span of painless walking. And the older and more broken that I get, the more that I’m learning to appreciate these small victories.