Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Good Bye My Good Friend, I'll Miss You

On Sunday a very good friend of mine, Amos Camden Riley Bock passed away. He was killed by an explosion in Iraq. He wasn't just a friend, he was a neighbor, and I always considered him family. Camden and I grew up together. Most of my favorite childhood memories include he and his sister. I'm going to miss him very much.

I know that God has a plan for everyone, and I've always thought that to be true. But, in Camden's situation it's hard to grasp what that plan is going to be. I look at the war, and all of the things I don't understand about it. I wonder if those young men and women (yes, young, much younger than myself) even know why they are fighting now. I saw on the news yesterday a soldier saying that now they are just fighting to protect there comrades, so they can all go home together. How can we leave all of those innocent soldiers over there to just protect themselves until someone decides that we've won the war and it's time to come home. How do we gage when "we've won". Because lets face it, no one will ever say we lost, there is to much at steak. To much money has been spent looking for weapons of mass destruction that obviously don't exist, and to many American's have died. So when is it over? When can the rest of our friends, family, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents come home?

The death of Camden has brought a lot of question to my mind. I've never supported the reasons I've been given as to why we went to war in the first place, but I've ALWAYS supported the men and women who went to war.

This week, since finding out about my good friend, I've been touched to see the outpoor of poeple who have said how much they are going to miss Camden too. The guy who recovered Camden e-mailed me. In fact, he's e-mailed me several times, and his attitude and compassion have touched me. How these guys do what they do every day is beyound me. I'm completely in awe of this friend of Camden's and how well he's handled me during this situation. Camden was very lucky to have this guy with him in Iraq. My prayers are with him and the others that Camden left behind.

Good bye my good friend. I will never forget you, you will be in my heart always. I love you, and I'll always miss you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This Time

Every time she says to herself, okay this is it this time, no more talking, no more e-mails, this is it, he calls her. She misses him, she does, but she's tired of waiting. She thinks that if he really cared about her like he says he does, if he really wanted her the way he says he does, it wouldn't be so hard.

She knows it bugs him that he won't hear from her for a week, so he has to call her, has to see what's going on in her life. She knows that when she tells him she has a date it gets on his nerves, but she has to tell him this time.

This has happened twice. He's said he can't do it, can't do the distance. She tells him he is giving up to easy, and if that's how he feels then it's not going to work this time. But then he calls again, a few days later, aggravates her, makes her laugh, tells her he hates the idea of her going out with someone else. But now, for her, it's different, this time.

This time she is making the demands. She cares for him, and she hates feeling like she has to play games. So she's telling him what it will take for them to work it out this time. No more waiting around, it's time to make a decision. She knows that if they were closer it would be great, if they spent some real time together, it would be wonderful. But right now that's just not the case, so sacrifices will have to be made, and she's prepared for that. But if he wants her, he's going to have to put in the effort, this time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Post 150, And A Dream Come True

I was in complete shock when we pulled into Talladega early on Saturday morning. There were campers, motor homes, Winnebago's, tents, and NASCAR fans as far as the eye could see. It was a mad house. I wasn't prepared for the drive through the tunnel to the infield, I wasn't ready for the feelings that washed over me when I saw the first car hauler, heard the first car flying around the track at 198mph, smelled the burning rubber, and saw the drivers climbing out of their cars. You see, for a small town city girl who has always had a dream of seeing a live NASCAR race, this was that dream coming true. I was like a kid in a candy store, or better yet, I was like me at a shoe sale where all the Manolo Blanc's were free, I was in my own little heaven.

I met all of the guys from Birmingham Budweiser, they had made this weekend for me a reality. They were all so nice, and their families were just great. I started the morning with a Bloody Mary, and I headed towards the garage area, I had to take it all in, I had to be as close to the action as possible. Of course I was not in the typical NASCAR fan attire. I got kicked out of the garage area promptly for wearing a strapless shirt. I had to run back to the camp and pick up a jacket, but it was all worth that long walk back to the car. I had just had a taste of what a lot of fans don't get to see, and I couldn't wait to see more. I walked through the garage area and up and down pit road while the stock car's qualified. They were flying around the track, it was the best sound I'd ever heard. I saw Home Depote driver Tony Stewart and hottie Casey Kahn, point leader Jeff Burton, and former DEI driver Michael Waltrip. It was amazing, I was right there, just feet from them, it was incredible.

Later that afternoon we loaded up and moved to the back stretch to watch the truck races. I, of course, was there to cheer Arkansas native Mark Martin on, and as I predicted he won the race that day. About 50 of us sat in the back stretch, in the grass in our Budweiser chairs sipping Budweiser products shooting the breeze when all of a sudden I saw someone that looked familiar. It wasn't Shooter Jennings (Wayland's son), but it was his bass player. We struck up a conversations, and later my Alabama best friend and I ended up hanging out with Shooter, his girlfriend Drea (Christoper's girlfriend from The Soprano's that got killed off in the last season), Ted the base player, Brian the drummer, and their tour manager. We got in a golf cart, ran all over the place, and ended up in some VIP area so Drea could go to the ladies room. When we walked through security, I was standing about 10 feet from the track, just taking it all in, as the trucks flew by, I heard it, that voice that I've heard so many time. It was Dale Earnhardt Jr., and he was sitting just feet from me. I looked at him, and he looked right at me. I turned and walked away, then turned and looked over my shoulder, he was still looking at me, probably at my "ass"ets, or so I like to pretend!! We got back on the golf cart, went out through the tunnel, and towards the vendors. We walked around the trailers for awhile, looking at merchandise, stopping occasionally so a fan could shake Shooters hand, it was so great. Then we went back to Shooters bus and had a drink before AL friend and I returned to the Budweiser camp area. I told drummer Brian we would all meet up later, and hang out after the concert. But of course when they finally made there way to our camp, we were down on the strip partying with several thousand other NASCAR fans, I didn't want to wait around on them.

The concert was great though! We watched Shooter, then 38 Special, and it was packed full of NASCAR fans there to drink beer and listen to great music. The keyboard player for 38 Special, Bobby Capps, is from DeWitt (where a lot of our group was from) so he hung out with us the entire weekend. After the concert we, by we I mean me and about 20 guys, got in a truck and drove up and down the strip drinking beer and having a good time until about 2:30am.

The next morning I was up at 6. I was so tired, but it was race day, I had been waiting for this for so long, I couldn't sleep any longer. That's when Bobby Capps told me I could go to the drivers meeting with him at 11:30. I couldn't believe, the drivers meeting is closed to the public, and every single driver would be there, all of them. I would get to see them all in one room, I was so excited. While I was standing in the drivers meeting Michael Waltrip was standing just two feet in front of me. Dale Jr. was sitting just three chairs up from me, Mark Martin was five chairs up from me, and I saw Casey Kahn, Jimmy Johnson, all of them, every driver, it was incredible. When the meeting was over every driver walked right past me. I could hardly wait for the race to start!

When I got back to camp we loaded up our stuff and got ready to head to the track. We had a truck set up right behind pit road with a huge rack on it that was raised, and eight feet off of each side so we could set up there during the race. Below the rack a buffet was set up with beer and BBQ, free cooler cups, Budweiser beads, hats, t-shirts, everything you could imagine. I sat in the very front, basically resting my feet on the fence right behind pit road. I could see it all, the golf carts driving past before the race started taking the drivers to their cars. I could see the pit crews getting everything ready, making last minute preparations, I could see the fans across the track getting ready for the race, it was like nothing I could have imagined. When the race started, and the first pack came flying past me I was standing on my feet waiting to feel the air pressure change, waiting to hear the cars as they screamed by, waiting to small the exhaust, just waiting to take it all in, every detail, and I wasn't disappointed.

I sat in my chair, sipping my Bud Light, counting every lap that ticked by, not wanting the race to end. I cheered every time Dale Jr. took the lead, and booed every time Jeff Gordon stole it from him. I took pictures, I tried to remember every little detail, but mostly I was just amazed, finally, it was coming true for me, and it was like nothing I could have ever dreamed up, the entire experience couldn't have been any better. Unfortunately we had to leave before the race was over. If we left early we had a police escort out of the track and we would avoid about six hours of traffic. I didn't want to leave, I could have stayed there forever, but it wasn't my call, so I took one last look, and walked back to the car. I turned the race on, and stayed glued to the radio as the last 15 laps played out.

Even now, I can't believe how much I got to do this past weekend. I can't believe the drivers I saw, the things I experienced, or that finally I got to go to Talladega. It was the absolute best weekend I can ever remember, and one I know I won't ever forget. I'm still amazed at it all. For a small town city girl who loves to watch NASCAR, cheer on her favorite driver, and cuss the tv when he gets wrecked, this weekend was like nothing else. For a small town city girl who knows the stats, knows the tracks, knows the history of the drivers, the teams, and loves every minute of it, this weekend was incredible. For a small town city girl, this weekend, one of her dreams came true.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Sometimes I feel like my life is a race to the finish line. I always have certain days I'm looking toward, certain things I'm looking forward to, and sometimes I think I wish my days away.

I'm looking forward to the MS Boy visiting at the end of the month. We've talked, and we think we need some "we" time. So he will be driving in on the 20th. I've had a lot of time to think about how I feel about us, and I've decided that the distance is terrible, but it's reality. I think after a weekend together with no friends around, no family, and no set plans, just he and I, we will know if it's worth it.

I'm looking forward to next weekend when I go to Fayetteville to celebrate the birthday of my best Fayetteville guy friend. He and I have been friends for a long time, and we hang out whenever he comes to LR. I don't get to Fayetteville much, but I'm always around for his birthday. We are going to the Arkansas game, I'm going to throw him a party with a BBQ and lot's of friends, it should be a great weekend!

I'm also really looking forward to this weekend. I'm going to Talladega for my first ever NASCAR Race! I've had tickets more times than I can count, but I've never gotten to go for one reason or another. I'm meeting my best old time friend who now lives in AL with her sweetie, and we are going to be on the infield at the race all weekend. Shooter Jennings and 38 Special are playing on the infield on Saturday night, and we'll be there to see it! We will get to walk around in the garages and see the cars (and hottie drivers), we'll get to walk in the pits, it's going to be amazing. I'm a big fan, so I'm really looking forward to the race. And you never know, my next fabulous disaster could be with a NASCAR driver (But I won't hold my breath on that!)!

So my lovelies, I'll be back next week. Don't be surprised if I'm married and my new name is something like Mrs. NASCAR Superstar!!!

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