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Randomperson (profile) wrote,
on 5-31-2004 at 6:04pm
Current mood: tired
Music: "Electrical Storm" ~ U2
Subject: My Weekend.
Well, after the car wash on Saturday my dad and I hit the road down to Indy... the trip down there was uneventful except for the fact that one of those obnoxious Shrek balloons on the tops of Burger Kings (Don't toy promotions for movies usually start BEFORE it comes out? This was a week late. But I'm not complaining.) but the head was not inflated properly, so it looked like we had a scene from Sleepy Hollow going on with a balloon on the roof of a Burger King. I tried to get pics on the way back today but they had taken it down by then.

We arrived in Indy at about 5:30 their time, and we hung around my uncle's house for a while, watching TV and reading movie reviews. Turns out reviews for Day After Tommorrow are mixed everywhere, not poor, just mixed. (The liberals and conservatives on the radio station my dad was listening to argued about how much the movie sucked and how both sides are using it in the political scene... Come on world, take it as an adventure/disaster movie, stop using it as a political mudslinging fest and just look on the bright side, for it's not as bad as the movie "The Day After.")

We then headed to dinner with the Vogels at Applebees a few miles from Mr. Vogel's mom's house. It was good. We went back to Tony's house and hung around, checked the weather.

There was supposed to be rain from 9-10 the next day.

No worries, they'll dry off the track by 11 and they'll start the race on schedule. We got up early the next morning and headed to our assigned parking space, then walked a mile to the racetrack. After going through the tunnel underneath the stands on one end we got into the center oval where we saw a small Chevy auto show going on. I tell you, Chevy's got it going on with some of those new models: The Cobalt SS, the SSR, and some others are really cool. We found our seats (Right behind the pits, about 50 yards from the starting line. We were behind a Redbull pit and the Subway pit) and it promptly started to rain. We waited it out, got some food, and went back to our seats and watched them dry the track with cars just driving really fast on it to heat it up, plus some trucks with trailers attached that had jet engines blowing down. What the idiots should have done was continue with the prerace ceremonies while drying the track. Instead, the parade of celebs, the like four singers, the invocation, and the parade of princesses all waited until the track was dry. So when the race should've started at 11, it started at 5 to 1.

The celebs in the celeb parade were mixed. Morgan Freeman (who drove the pace car), James Garner, Gary Trudeau (he got some boos), Godsmack, Jane Pauley, Florence Henderson, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Levar Burton, Jared from the Subway Commercials, Lee Ann Womack, And a bunch more I can't even remember.... So they did there thing, and by then everyone wanted the race to start so not even the reality show watching women (Reality people) or teenage boys (Jessica Simpson) cared anymore. But I did get to see Jessica Simpson. She was like 50 yards away from me. didn't beat my dad tho... he was walking around taking pics and she walked right in front of him across the red carpet. Ergh, i should have gone with him.

Now to the pinnacle of the weeked: The race. 33 cars entered. 11 did not finish the race because of crashes, mechanical difficulties or forfeiting, so it was a very eventful race. Another rain delay stopped the race after 25 out of 200 laps for about 1.5 MORE hours (each lap is 2.5 miles. 2.5 x 200 = Indy 500). After that we started up again. There were six Yellow Flag periods during the race for crashes, some of them were right in front of us near the pits. The one that was in front of us involved a car who like lost control of his steering when going into the pit, got rear ended by another car, and proceeded to smash up a third. From 0 to about 120 laps it was pretty interesting, sometimes tedious, but interesting. There were fair numbers of leader changes, the pit stops were eventful (Some guys couldn't restart their cars, others got done so fast they actually moved up in the rankings by taking a pit stop, and still others got hung up by running over equipment laying in the pit...). I kind of adopted a car during the race: The XM car, driven by Bryan Herta. He started at the 22nd position, made his way to the top 8 in the first 15 laps, and constantly held in the top 8 for the rest of the race. He was at #5 for a LONG time, and he worked his way up to 4th, then 3rd, then because of a pit stop by the #1 & 2 guys he took the lead, only to have to make a pit stop himself a few laps later. But, he regained his status in the top 5 until the race was called at lap 180 by the rain, and impending tornado warnings, right in the vicinity. This is where a day of waiting a total of 4 extra hours for a race we were there 3 hours before for and would take 3.5 hrs to run (IE it was basically a too f***ing long wait) turned into chaos.

So, we all bolted, no celebration by anyone, none of the ritual climbing of the fence or milk drinking, everyone was ordered to evacuate the premises. Mr.Vogel needed to get to the car a mile away as quick as possible because the touched down tornadoes in the area of Indianapolis were right near his mother's house, where his mom and two kids were (in fact it damaged a building right next to the applebees we were in the night before), so we fought the crowds and 20 minutes later when we got there, it started to pour, and his family in fact had heard the sirens and already reached the basement. It poured, traffic was backed up for miles, it flooded, and a tornado was heading our way. So, Mr. Vogel wants to head to the area where his mom lived, because eyewitness reports said it was a block from her house. So naturally we drive right into toward the tornado. Because it's the safe thing to do. When got within 5 miles, it got really still and stopped raining. Needless to say I was really freaked out. The rednecks were standing outside, just waiting for it to blow toward them. We were the only car we could see for those 5 miles. We got to his mom's house, no damage in her neighborhood, and the tornado had travelled on and dissipated. But we stayed at his mom's house for 30 minutes in that eerie calm, tornado sirens blasting, dark clouds condensing into loose, not-yet-spinning vertical shafts nearby. Finally, we got to leave the place, and got on the highway.

Halfway back to Tony's there was traffic backed up for some reason or another, so my dad took a detous or his own device:

(i.e. That means we ended up in a hick town where every other building was a church (the others were either grocery stores, shacks, or religious paraphrenaila stores) called Zionsville.)

We got out on 106th street, which took us right back near Tony's. We got inside, grilled chicken in the storm, lost power for 5 minutes, played with the chinchilla and watched the race replay. Sunday, we drove home.

That was my weekend. Fun, exciting, kinda scary at times, kinda boring at times, but well worth it.
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