Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Greedy Awful People (2nd Iggy Pop song, although there was one between them)

My iPod is acting strangely lately. It's been playing two songs in a row from the same band – not necessarily the same album, but the same band. I know I have enough music on there from different bands that this is not necessary. It's freaking me out.

I would say that the highlight of June to date is the fact that I met Scott yesterday. I would like to say it was the highlight of the entire month, but I'm going to Austin next weekend for a good friend's wedding and the weekend after that is the Champ Car race at Cleveland where I'll be reunited with many, many friends and is always an absolutely excellent time. So, although it would have been the highlight in May, he just has too much competition in June. He is the second blogger whom I've met, Smed being the first. Oh wait, I lied. Mark Maynard was my first in-person blogger meeting. Now, I know some people get freaked out by actually meeting people they've only known on-line previously, but I've met so many people from on-line that I don't think anything of it. I didn't even leave Scott's phone # with a friend in case I disappeared. ;-) The many, many friends whom I'll be seeing at Cleveland were all met on-line 12 years ago when ESPN first started their website. They had a variety of chat rooms (baseball, football, hockey, basketball and auto racing). Needless to say, we all met in the auto racing chat room, where we happily discussed racing all day long (we're not sure how anybody kept a job as we literally chatted all day long). I think we were just so thrilled to find people who loved racing like we all did.

I remember the first day I went in and just watched. I wasn't brave enough to post. The second day I mustered up the courage and responded to something someone said and that was it. I was addicted. Here were like-minded people who understood what wasn't yet, but was going to become quickly, an obsession. It started in May 1995 and it was pre-IRL (crap ass All-American, All-Oval shithead run series), so we discussed the Indy 500, explaining it to the NASCAR fans who in turn explained NASCAR to us open-wheelers. Paula, the resident NASCAR expert as she actually lived(s) in the heart of NASCAR-land, initiated the first chat room pool for the Indy 500 that year. I have no clue who I picked or how I did, but I do remember how we grew in numbers and knowledge. A little later in the year we got a moderator, who was actually one of us, and he had some contacts so we had actual racing types come in for a Q&A period. The only one I remember was Dan Gurney. I was in awe and wasn't posting at all that day. I honestly had nothing to say to this man who is such a racing icon (developed and raced the first (and only) F1 winning American-made car, to say nothing of being the man who invented the spraying of champagne, after he won Le Mans in 1968), and so incredibly cool, but the moderator was a friend of mine and told him that I was a knowledgeable racing fan and Dan actually singled me out in a post. I don't remember what he said or what I said in response, but I remember the rush of color to my face at being singled out of a crowd, even though I was sitting in my office all alone. I was flustered, as I didn't want to appear stupid.

For the record, my work was always done by the time I went into the chatroom, or it got done while chatting. I had gotten pretty darn efficient at my job since I had been doing it since 1988. My boss knew what I was doing and didn't have a problem with it as long as my work was done.

Anyway, Cleveland is a reunion of sorts because it's the one race that the majority of the group get to these days. You've seen me mention HRH from my Vegas trips. She's one of the original chatters, along with Roadrunner. We're three single women, so we seem to have the most opportunities to go to races, and we've become a bit like the Three Musketeers (without the swords, Cardinal Richelieu or Madame DeWynter), except that Roadrunner is a bit more like D'Artagnan because she almost always stays at a different hotel. We've actually even had a number of couplehoods emerge from the chatroom. First there was emmo2 & Silver3. emmo2 was my impetus for starting my blog back in 2004 when I found out that he had a week to live. Jody & Sir Lancelot were next up (both couples got married within a few months of each other, so I had to fly from SF to IL and ONT in a short few months). Jody & SL rarely come to races anymore because they have a young daughter but they made it to Vegas. I'd show you pics, but I lost half my Vegas pics, which depresses me so much that I don't feel like blogging about it. Dammit.

Row and Spike make up another couple which formed from the chatroom. Row makes me crazy because he only uses SPF 4. I told him that I was not coming to his funeral if he dies from melanoma. He said, OK. I guess it wasn't much of a threat, eh? Spike always falls asleep in Cleveland up in the grandstands during the downtime. We all have pictures of her nodding off while holding my very beloved Tyler. Sorry, I couldn't find a picture of him, as I apparently didn't post my Cleveland pics from last year to Other friends I'll be seeing in two weeks are: DH1, DH2, LT & family (of Tyler fame), Mike, Mikey, & JR. It's sad now that I look at the list of how few we are these days.

Back in 1996 we had 40 people at Cleveland. Over the years, people have gradually dropped out. Hell'n Wheels got a boyfriend, so poof! Then her brother and his friends stopped coming. Skippy came from Australia, so it wasn't really feasible that he come every year. Woof was supposed to come last year but at the last minute couldn't join us, who knows what his excuse is this year. Woof? The first year he came with T-bird (it was probably Mid-Ohio, though, and not Cleveland), who couldn't be more laidback if he tried. Griz, my dear adopted Dad, left us in 1997 after his second bout with cancer, I still remember that November when his wife called me to tell me he had been given a few days. He lasted a full week, long enough to get the flowers I had sent him. I still have the e-card he sent me after the Wings won their first Stanley Cup in a jillion years that year. The really sad thing is the number of people I've forgotten who were such a big part of my life for a number of years. I remember rejoicing in births (one of the chatters had triplets), discussing children's accomplishments, etc. I have a bag filled with pictures of people, most of whom I never actually met, but mean a lot to me, even now, 12 years later.

Sorry, I have no idea where all this nostalgia came from, or to be grammatically, but stiltedly correct, "from whence all this nostalgia came." I guess I miss those days when we were all so close, because we chatted every day. That's what is meant by "the good old days."

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At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger mr. schprock said...

I told Scott to tell you "hi" from me. I hope he did.

You loaning me books through the mail was almost like meeting you - that was awfully nice. Did you ever read The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay?

At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger LL said...

It's funny how online friendships form out of nowhere but a common like for some obscure thing.

I too remember a time with fondness, but it can't be recreated no matter how much you'd like it to.

But then again... perhaps those other people are glad I'm not around anymore. ;)

At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Schprockie - Yes, I read that last year after you mailed it to me. Scott did indeed tell me that you said Hi. I think I told him how jealous I am that he has met you. ;-) I just checked my notebook. I read that last August.

LL - I doubt you're as awful as you like to pretend you are. I'll bet you're a big ol' softie.

At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

We use iTunes at home as a jukebox for listening to playlists from our CD collection (which I used to think was fairly large, but turns out is only about half the number you have). We made a giant playlist with about 18 days of music on it, but iTunes still seems to favor certain artists and certain songs. This has caused us to laugh every time iTunes decides to play Nickel Creek, especially The Fox or The Lighthouse's Tale, which happens at least once a day.

At Wednesday, 06 June, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Fermi - The funny thing? It had played two Barenaked Ladies songs right in a row earlier today and tonight when I was deleting and adding new songs, I discovered that I only had TWO BNL songs on the bloody thing! Weird.

At Thursday, 07 June, 2007, Blogger Scott said...

Damn, I'll have to catch you next time on a month where I can stand out a little more! And yes, you definitely let me know how jealous you are about meeting Schprockie. Understandable. The man is a legend!

At Thursday, 07 June, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Scott - No offense was meant. ;-) But it's very hard to contend against Cleveland (regardless of their stupid sports teams).

At Thursday, 07 June, 2007, Anonymous Suzy said...

I'll be looking forward to any Cleveland tips you may have - I'm heading out there the last week of June.

At Friday, 08 June, 2007, Blogger MyUtopia said...

Mine has a broken skip button. I have to manually skip a song. It sucks

At Sunday, 10 June, 2007, Blogger Heather said...

Was Mark Maynard how you found my blog & Collin's? I know Collin knows him! How odd!! :)

At Monday, 11 June, 2007, Anonymous Woof said...

Kathleen, one of the rough things for me has been the fact I haven't been to Cleveland the last few years. But I still get the renewal letters.

Say hi to everyone for me. It's especially tougher this year, given I haven't been to a race for the last couple of years (I miss the days of the Mid-Ohio trips for AMA and ChampCar, and the SCCA Runoffs)

If Paula ends up making it, and I don't, I don't know how I'll deal with the shame of it. ;-)


At Monday, 11 June, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

myutopia - I rarely skip a song, but I wouldn't know how to do it manually.

Heather - Yes, that's exactly how I found you and Collin.

Woof - Puhleeze! You think Paula's going to make it. Ha ha ha ha! You're a funny guy. Yeah, I miss Mid-Ohio too.


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