Monday, August 30, 2004

Inspiration and Annoyance

That sums up how my weekend started; more of the latter than the former, at least at first, but it turned out to be a pretty good one.

Toledo Express Airport hosted an air show this weekend. Our facility is very close to the airport, so the entire office staff spent an idle hour at the end of the day on Friday standing out in the parking lot, watching the Air Force Thunderbirds practice their routines. That was awesome. They fly in tight formations with such precision, and make the most incredible moves. I don't know if this was part of the regular routine or if perhaps they saw us watching and decided to show off, but at one point one of them broke formation and streaked towards us, performing a barrel roll at a low altitude directly over our heads. It was amazing to watch them. I'm frankly in awe at the speed and agility of fighter jets, and I love watching them. It's humbling to think of them as machines of war, being put through their paces for our entertainment.

That was an exceptionally cool way to end a work day, especially a Friday. However, I didn't stay buoyed for very long. I managed to leave work a minute or two early to start my trek down to Troy for that evening's game. Driving with a deadline, particularly one that involves football, is one thing that can crack my typical calm, and in that regard Friday's drive soared to new heights. There were two traffic jams within the space of a few miles on southbound I-75, both of which involved complete traffic stoppages. The first was particularly infuriating, as it lasted for several miles and took over half an hour to get through. In both cases the cause seemed to be broken-down vehicles that were well off the road--there didn't seem to be any reason for the major slowdowns that occurred, other than people slowing way down to have a look. That drives me crazy.

Once I got through those two trouble spots, though, it was pretty smooth going. There were some patches of rain that caused traffic to proceed more slowly than I would like, but it was manageable. Normally spots like that don't even bother me, but I was already put way off schedule by the previous traffic jams, so this just served to make me even more irritated. As I got closer to Troy, I tried to post to my blog (via Audioblogger) and that didn't work, which certainly did nothing to improve my mood.

High school games kick off at 7:30 on Friday evenings, and for home games I'm generally pulling into the parking lot at 7:00 and meeting Amy and Doug in the stands by 7:10 (after a stop at the concession stand for a hot dog or two). On this past Friday, I parked my car at 7:27. Still hopeful of catching the kickoff, I ran from there (behind Troy High School) to the stadium, and immediately saw that I could have saved myself the effort. There was a hellacious line for tickets. On one hand I was glad, as attendance at Troy games has been declining for the past couple of years, so this was a good sign; on the other hand, I just wanted to get into the game as quickly as possible. At any rate, by the time I got my ticket and into the stands, I had missed half of the first quarter and Troy's first touchdown. All things considered, though, that wasn't too bad, and just being inside Troy Memorial Stadium and watching the Trojans play football served as a salve for my abraded nerves.

The game, which I've already written about, was great. Afterwards I went with Amy and Doug to Applebee's in Troy to meet up with some of their friends for a bit. From there I headed to my parents' house, where I stayed overnight.

I got up somewhat early on Saturday (9:20 a.m.) because Dad wanted me to do some work on his old computer before I left, and I was planning to be back in Bowling Green early in the afternoon. A good portion of the morning was spent in a fruitless search for computer cables, and it turned out that I couldn't work on the computer after all. I hung out a little longer after that, and finally ended up getting on the road a little after noon.

I was still pretty sleepy when I got back, and it turned out that Brandi was as well--she had taught a class at noon and had just gotten home from that. We napped for a while, then got up later in the afternoon and went up to Toledo to have dinner and hang out with Brandi's co-workers Annette and Jeremy and their friends Cal and Chris. That was a fun evening. We went to Red Robin and had gourmet burgers for dinner, then hung out at Jeremy's place and played Cranium and euchre while watching (sort of) the Olympics.

We left there around 12:30 and headed home. Brandi and I decided to stop for a drink on the way, which turned out to be something of a mistake. BW3 in BG is under new management, and apparently they've decided to stop serving drinks at a certain point. We ended up going to Downtown, which wasn't all that great. It was less crowded than usual, but that isn't saying much. There were a lot of people there, and it was loud and hard to navigate--a lot of times I like that scene, but neither of us was in the mood for it that night. We had one drink and then headed out, and we didn't stay up for too long after we got home.

Oh yeah, and while we were driving through town on the way to the bar, there were a ton of students out partying or walking to or from the bars. It was cool to see so many people out and about, since that kind of liveliness is one reason I love living in a college town. Several people were obviously drunk, which is always good for amusement. One girl was wearing a shirt so revealing that one of her boobs actually flopped out as we drove past. On a weekend in BG, you never know what you're going to see.

On Sunday Brandi had to get up and go to work to provide a personal training session. I stayed in bed. I got up around 12:15 and played PlayStation until Brandi got home. We spent a good portion of the day after that doing some stuff that needed to be done (grocery, laundry, bills, etc.), but we were able to lounge around a bit as well. We both took a nap, and I played more PlayStation, and we capped the evening by watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on DVD.

Now I'm back at work, somewhat preoccupied with thoughts about my car. It did some more stalling over the weekend, mostly on Saturday night. I really need to get it taken care of--I'm going to be on the road a lot over the next nine weeks, and my car has to be solid. Of course, it's been perfectly fine since then, and today on my lunch break it felt perfect. I can just see myself taking it in to get it fixed for stalling, and then it won't stall until I get it back, so they'll just think I'm crazy and make up some expensive "problem" to fix to get me out of there. That's the way my luck runs with stuff like this.

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