Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 At The Halfway Point

Today is the final day of the first half of the year. Maybe not in terms of days, maybe it is, but I go by months and not days. Anyway, today is a great day to look back on the year so far.

The year at the office didn't start out to good as chronicled in The Art of Evasion. Sadly, the sirens have sounded for legit reason way too much this year.

Later in January, one of the worst experience in recent memory happened to me in an Ill Fated Trip to The Office. Everyday I drive by that gas station and some days I go in when I do an energy bar instead of my normal bag of carrots for breakfast, but each time I drive by I still am dumbfounded by the anger and ignorance I saw on that day. Also, each time I drive by, I somewhat hold my breath hoping and praying I don't have another flat tire at that gas station.

Near the end of January I had jury duty. I had always looked forward to jury duty but after the experience I was left simply shaking my head in disgust. I still enjoy talking to people about the absurdity of the case and the verdict, and I can't wait until the 2.4 years passes, that's the average time span between jury summons in the city of Saint Louis, and get back on a jury. Why? I don't know, maybe there's something wrong with me.

I did an interesting video blog of sorts in February when I used iRacing to show how much I see in certain situations. This is kind of hard to explain, but it is one of my most viewed blogs so if you missed it, you should read it.

The next post I did was in somewhat of an angry tone when the television network, Fox, changed their theme music for NASCAR races. Order and sameness provide a sense of safety and this, what may seem like a small change, really bothered me.

February ended with me giving praise to Pop Cap Games for creating Bejeweled Blitz. The next month of my life at home was consumed by that game as I yearned to become the #1 rated player in the world. It was a long and sometimes angering road, but by the end of March I had made it to the top. To this day no one has eclipsed me at the top.

March 2nd was a joyous occasion as I celebrated working one full year at TouchPoint. Up to that point in my life a typical job would last six months before I got burned out, bored, and frustrated with the socializing with coworkers. I am so thankful that this job I have now is anything but boring, most certainly isn't frustrating, and everyone here knows about the autism spectrum so I am so thankful and can't wait to do a two year video next year.

Later in March I said goodbye to a near and dear friend. It was 16 years old and, well, it wasn't a person, it was my car. Saying goodbye was difficult, but slowly my new car has become part of my life and it's been a great ride so far making new memories.

My first race of the year happened in March in Phoenix and it was an event that has not been forgotten within the USAC staff. Last year I talked about my fear of bees, and this fear was realized when I was stung by a bee and found out that I am really allergic to them. In the same trip, on the way home, while still feeling drowsy from the sting, I had an interesting occurrence happen going through airport security. I still think back to that mom and sometimes in presentations, when the right question is asked, I will state the story.

April? Well, I don't remember much of April as I had my Autism Awareness Tour of Missouri. I think I drove over 2,500 miles and in one stretch I had 22 presentations in 19 days. I can't pick out individual posts because the entire month is something I will remember. The entire month is on this page in reverse order.

I lied, I can choose one post for April as the time I threw out the first pitch at the Saint Louis Cardinals game can't go unwritten. That day is still a blur to me coming off of such a trip across Missouri. It is a moment that I wish I could have taken in more. While I was standing, waiting, for the pitch to happen I may have been scanning the crowd, but I saw nothing. The sounds of life from the stadium were there, and yet I heard nothing. I may have thrown the ball, but I don't remember walking up to Skip Schumacher and I don't remember him signing the ball, but I have it here in front of me and he did sign it.

The beginning of May saw a West coast trip with a presentation at a college and a race in San Bernadino. I hasn't been two complete months, but this trip seems like an eternity ago for some reason. I do remember this trip fondly though and the ability to speak in front of a college psychology class was a huge honor. Also, after the race, I had an unique perspective on manners and that story has found its way into my presentations. Seriously though, my way is so much better!

In the middle of May Matt, TouchPoint's Community Liaison, and I had an amazing visit to a doctor's office. The visit was only half of the story of, A Tale of Two Doctors, as the other half was a story of a doctor that didn't really know a thing about the spectrum. The message to doctors is one that I know we will keep giving as, well, they need to hear it and the stakes are just too high not to.

If my life didn't have adventure enough, the first day on my annual trip to Indianapolis was filled with storms, flags, and a fast drive to escape the storms. I still haven't deleted my "max speed" reading on my GPS from that experience.

My last post from May was one that still haunts me and I am thankful my most recent golf outing last week wasn't as bad. Anyway, this post consists of two groups of old men yelling at me. If you missed this post the first time you surely want to know how I made eight old men angry.

June will forever be remembered as the month that I got dirty. That may sound, ahem, dirty, but the first week in June I flagged a USAC event in Hagerstown, Maryland and it was nothing short of the dirtiest I have ever been in my life. Typically I will freak if I have any dirt on me. If you ever see me in an environment where I get something on my hands take a look at what I do. Usually you'll see me see my hands, I'll look at them, and off to the nearest sink or towel is what will happen. However, within the power of, "Kansas" I was able to tolerate the dirt. At the end of the day, however, I went straight to the shower. I'm sure that the tub I used on that Sunday is still black!

The of course I wrote the articles that have been the past week and I don't feel a need to recall those. It's been an amazing year thus far and tomorrow I will make the announcement regarding my book. Also, next week is a big week for me as the annual USAC Battle at the Brickyard takes place and once again I will have the honor of flagging on the ground of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Again, it's been an amazing run so far this year and I'd like to thank you for reading. July should see the 100,000th page view of my blog (the number to the right is short 20,000 as that counter started late) which is a number I can't believe. So again, thanks for reading and double thanks if you are a follower, and I continue to look forward to giving you an inside look at life on the other side of the wall.

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