Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Trip To and Arrival in Las Vegas

What a day! It is 4:00PM here in Las Vegas and my day started 14 hours ago. I am tired and my trip began this morning with the unwelcome sound of my alarm clock. Yesterday I said that I didn't really feel like the SuperNats were coming up, but as I laid down to go to sleep last night I got excited. VERY EXCITED!

What was going to be a nice night's sleep turned into just four hours and as I got out of bed I thought, "this is going to be a long day!"

I arrived at Lambert International at 4:50 and I thought it would be a ghost-town with minimal foot traffic... I was wrong. The line to get into security was long and vast and I instantly began to shut down. Like most people, I love to travel but hate that process in the middle that is the security checkpoint.

With so many people, and on top of that unexpected amounts of people, I began to operate on autopilot. I saw the signs that said, "Please have your laptop out and ready to be inspected" but I did not react to it. This put me at negative points with the TSA agent and when she saw the amount of hairspray and sunscreen I had I was told, "sir, do not touch your luggage. I have to inspect it".

My aerosols were well over the allowed limit and she asked me if I wanted to go check my bag, but I was on autopilot mode and whilst on autopilot mode I will only give answers that end the conversation. So, unknowingly, I said, "fine" when she asked if she could throw them away. "But sir," she responded, "don't you want to simply check it and keep them?"

"Fine... wait..." and with that I made a motion to toss it and I got out of there. It wasn't until I was in the air headed to Memphis that I realized what had happened. All I had to do was say yes and backtrack a little bit to keep my supplies, but while I was overloaded with the security process I was unable to process with accuracy as to what to do. This has happened many times in my life and always happens when I am uneasy or overloaded with my surroundings. 100% of the time my response to the situation will be whatever will end the situation the fastest. I hated this even more when I bought sunscreen in Vegas (it seems to be much more expensive that in Saint Louis).

I had a one hour layover in Memphis and while I was waiting I realized where I was going and what is tomorrow. Tomorrow is the start of the 14th annual SKUSA SuperNats and I have the best seat in the house (see photo to the right). Because of this I had several bouts with my "Dance of the Fingers" (see http://lifeontheothersideofthewall.blogspot.com/2010/03/dance-of-fingers.html) and I became overly self-aware and I looked around as if to be like, "I hope no one saw that" but people did and I had many strange looks.

To say I was shaken over those looks would be an understatement. I have a hard time judging emotions, but there was no mistaking the look of, "um... sir, what was that?" I didn't let that get me down for long as I clammed up and began to hyper-focus on the crossword puzzle I was working on.

The flight from Memphis to Vegas seemed to take forever. It was only 3 hours 16 minutes but it felt as if I had been in that plane for months. Two reasons for this; one, I really wanted to see the track and get to the Rio, and secondly, I wanted a Starbucks Hot Chocolate. I have been addicted to those hot chocolates ever since I had at the Parents as Teachers conference and, well, I've had three today :(

Once I made it to the Rio I got checked in and made it to my room and I discovered I had a problem. I had no way to get on the internet. I talked to my dad and he said, "Well, just ask someone". It was stated in a way that made it sound so easy, but because I was overloaded I said, "That won't work. I never ask anyone." Again, I gave the answer that would end the situation right then and there.

Several hours later I got an idea of how to get on. I walked down to the track and made my way to the timing and score RV and asked the IT guy if there was anyway to get on the internet. He said, "sure, not a problem" and here I am now writing this. Asking was so simple, yet the anxiety beforehand was monumental.

So tomorrow is day 1 of 5 and I can't wait. I now know I have an internet connection but it won't always be up and the race days are very long so unless I write before the day or after the day I won't be able to update. But then again I seem to always find a way to update this, don't I :)

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