Monday, August 30, 2010

The Indycar Race and a Trip to Chicago

Waking up on Saturday was a relief as I finally got the camera flash incident out of my system. It stayed with me until I went to sleep, but morning brought a new day.

The time flew by and before we knew it the time to go back to the track was upon us.

My goal during the day was to meet one of the flagman so as we got to the track I stood at the bottom of the stands to try and get his attention, but the ever vigilant usher said I could not stand there. This irked me because for one thing the Indy Lights race was still an hour away so what view was I blocking. Also, being talked to randomly like that made it difficult to think so I made the long walk, and then long climb to our seats.

My heart almost stopped when we got to our seats because I thought I recognized a kid that was sitting near us. Was it? Yes it was; the son of the man who I made mad with my camera flash. I was scared because would he still be mad? What I thought was going to be a dream day quickly turned into a day of fear. On this day he was sitting behind us so as long as I looked forward and watched the race perhaps he would not know who I was.

The Indy Lights race started out amazing, but turned scary when Charlie Kimball crashed and his car took of like an airplane and the car did a back flip. It looked fake from where we were sitting at the entry to turn one. The race was stopped, but the driver was 100% uninjured!

Once the race was restarted the race was non-stop action all the way to the end. Side-by-side was the order of the day and the race was decided in the last few feet.

After the Indy Lights race I rushed down to the flagstand to give a wave of hello to Tom Hansing, who I learned was the primary flagman (you may remember him from the posts at the end of May). I knew that power hungry usher would be there so I made sure to keep moving.

Tom was waiting for the fence to open up so he could get into the infield and as I walked down the stairs, slowly, he finally looked towards my direction and I gave a wave and he waved back so I don't know if he did know who I was, or if it was just a reflex. This question was debated for many hours afterwards.

A couple hours passed and it was time for the Indy Car race. The man I made mad was now seated next to me, but there seemed to be no sense of hostility. This confused me because, in my mind, if someone is mad for a second they were/will be mad at me forever. This concept of being mad for a second is lost on me. I sat next to him holding my breath for an outburst towards me, but it never came and once the race started I forgot all about him.

The action, compared to the night before (ARCA.NASCAR Trucks) could not be compared. Whereas the previous night had many lulls in the action, the Indy Car race was filled with "Oh my!" moments.

Sidy-by-side throughout the field was the norm, and at many time all cars on track were just one second apart first to last. At times three wide would occur and at one point in time everyone's heart skipped a beat when, at 220mph, some drivers went four wide into a turn.

The race was nothing short of amazing and at the end it was somewhat of a relief because there were no serious crashes, but also it was sad because the race was such a special spectacle to witness.

On Sunday we decided to go to downtown Chicago and go to the Museum of Science and Industry. Since I read about the museum in my 2nd grade science book I had always wanted to go but never have. Sunday would change that.

The first exhibit we went to was the weather area and instantly my system was in shock as there was a loud, well, exceptionally loud electrical thing that makes a very loud hissing/buzzing noise. A few minutes later, as I was regaining my composure, a loud boom occurred. I love learning about new things, but this environment was very rough for me to take.

Booms and buzzing stopped and a 12:45 we took the U-505 tour. Inside the museum is an entire German WWII U-boat. Captured off the coast of Africa it was brought to Bermuda and, according to two different tour guides, the capture of it cut the time of the war by six months.

We payed an extra few dollars to take the on board tour and this was amazing because I never had been on a submarine before. It was so cramped and it was hard to believe the tour guide lady that 59 crew served on board.

As we progressed through the tour the tour guide kept looking at Rob in a funny way and at the last leg she kept eyeing him, and then his shirt which was a Vancouver Canucks shirt, and the tour guide said, "Yep, uh-uh, Canucks fan, eh? Well, we won!" And then she showed Rob the "2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions" pin that was on her over coat. Rob's response? "Next year!"

The tour was amazing and the tour guide was too. If anyone for MSI reads this give that guide (I think her name was Amanda) a raise! I am not one to give compliments so this is a rare rare RARE event.

After the tour I looked at some of the items taken from the boat and it really began to sink in just how old this boat was and the damage it inflicted on so many merchant marines. The task force to take out this sub involved five ships and the amount of names of the sailors that took part was staggering.

Instantly, as we got to the end of the exhibit, I needed to know more. I know in the coming days, and weeks I will do research on that era of history because I do not understand it. I can't fathom it at all that so many people and so many places were at war and the capturing of just one ship turned the naval tides.

As we toured around the other areas I became transfixed with other things and really wish I had turned out to be a scientist. If that had happened though I most certainly wouldn't have this blog so I guess it worked out, but still, that museum makes everything amazing.

After the museum Rob and I wanted to see more of Chicago, but there was no place to park, and getting anywhere took a long time. Roads were closed and the drivers around me were overly aggressive. I was getting frazzled and after showing Rob the United Center I was at my limit. Perhaps my limit would have been greater if I didn't have so much stimuli from the museum, but after driving by the base of the Sears Tower I turned into a zombie of sorts and when we turned North on Lake Shore drive I was seven miles North before I realized where I was going.

Once I realized that my system was at its limit I told Rob that we were going home. The town was just too busy for me. I love New York City, but there was something about yesterday that didn't allow me to enjoy a big sprawling city. This made me sad because I love the chorus of a city in motion. I love hearing many different languages in a short time-span, but yesterday I was unable to partake in that chorus.

Oh well, maybe I will have a better experience in Chicago the next time. Overall the trip was one to remember with the amazing races and the submarine. I only wish I could have done more, but when my system hits its limit I know not to try and power through it. It took me until I woke up this morning to work through the stress and emotions from yesterday, and as I said before today is a new day.

1 comment:

  1. Well Aaron, it seems we both had a blast this weekend! I went to Abunai, which is the best anime/manga convention of The Netherlands, meaning: ultimate Kansas for me!
    A lot happened and I'm very happy, but I also got sick... BUT SO WORTH IT!!!
    So yea, I'm really glad you had a great time too!

    There's just one thing I hate myself for not being able to let go and I'm already sorry for bringing this up as I write it, but I can't help it...
    As I've told before I love to help out at anime/manga events, just like last weekend. Now you told about the usher that told you you couldn't stand there, but the event wouldn't happen for an hour. I might be able to understand how this happened.
    Usually at events I (and others too) get instructed 'not one can, nobody can'. Thing is, when you let one person stand somewhere you're not allowed to, everyone wants that privilege.
    "But he could stand there too!"
    "Yes ma'am, but we didn't start yet then. He's gone now too."
    "You people aren't being fair! You should threat us all equally!"
    "Like I said ma'am, we didn't start yet, the situation is different now."
    Trust me, these things can go on FOREVER. 'Can people really be that thickheaded?' Yes, unfortunately they can. Even if it's just 1%, if you have 2000 visitors for example, that's already 20 people being thickheaded.
    Now that's just one situation. What if you stood there and then some other people came and also wanted to stand there? Situation is the same right? And we all get treated the same right? Right. So they want to stand there too. Then later the usher has to move a crowd of people on his own, which doesn't always go as smooth as you'd like it to be.

    Sorry Aaron, I'm terribly sorry, but I couldn't let this go and just had to write it down. Last weekend I had similar discussions with people, leading stuff to go wrong.
    "But I can have a look-see around before the convention starts right??? It's still an hour to go!" And I got this question several times, meaning if I'd say 'yes' I'd have several people looking around.
    Now there were volunteers being less strict and they let people/friends in to have a look-see and suddenly we had visitors wandering around while we were setting up, maybe even discussing secret suprise events... (yes we actually were...)

    Because of this, we suddenly had to filter out all the visitors and make the rules even more strict and the visitors hated us for it. I hated having to do it, but if people wouldn't think 'oh just 1 is ok' and just go against the rules, the rules would never have to be adjusted in the first place.

    I hope I can shine some light into why things are done the way they are at events. It's not just one person, it's all the visitors. Either all or none, that's it.

    Again I'm terribly sorry, but I just had to say this >.<
    Please don't hate me >.<