Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Of boredom, NASCAR, and normalcy

First of all, what's so bizarre about making love simply because you're bored? Yes, it's one of those "disclosure" posts. You can leave, or digest that first sentence while I talk racing for a bit. Racing is actually germane to it, believe it or not.

I still can't believe they restarted that Nextel Cup race on Sunday. What I saw and read is almost enough to make me finally give up supporting NASCAR as part of my bit for the environment. (I learned my love for NASCAR at my daddy's knee, and it's one of the few things that connected me to my grandparents and is a non-controversial topic for my mother. But I sometimes feel really guilty for watching a sport that so blatantly wastes fuel and causes emissions, even though I know all those boring ball sports I don't enjoy have pretty much the same effect. It's just not so obvious with the ball sports.) I have a theory as to why NASCAR competition director Robin Pemberton did what he did, but as I said in Yahoo! Answers NASCAR, I would need an MRI scan of his head to prove it.

When talking with the handful of other NASCAR fans at my work on Monday, I let it slip that my wife and I had "gone to bed" after what we were sure had to be the end of the race on Sunday, at approximately 5 pm, when a storm blew over Kansas City Speedway and lightning struck. Only the sick or the elderly go to sleep at such a time, and this group’s minds are never too far from the gutter, so dominoes clicked. I never set out to share; it’s just that I can keep anyone’s secrets but my own. Had I been born in a different time or place, I probably would have gotten in a heap of trouble extremely early in life.

Anyway, the race was halfway over, and it could have, should have, been called. The storm was only getting worse. Tony Stewart was in the lead. No, that’s not why I think it should have been called. You don’t have to be head cashier at Wal-Mart to see that only running 50 or so laps on a cool, rain-cleansed track with a setting sun and drivers desperate for a win is a recipe for trouble! We figured that once again, Smoke had won Kansas because of his crew chief Greg Zipadelli's gutsy call--it was only a matter of NASCAR officials admitting it. None of our friends had come over, and the cats were fed and sleepy, and nothing else was good on TV, and we didn't feel like going out or doing any crafts, and we were saving our new books for the bus rides this week. (Since I know someone will ask: My Lobotomy for me, A Thousand Splendid Suns for L'Ailee.) So we went upstairs for lack of other entertainment options, and we stayed there, and we missed the pathetic restart and subsequent wreck-fest two hours later. Stewart was among six Chase for the Championship drivers knocked out, his teammate Denny Hamlin got pretty much eliminated from the possibility of winning a championship this year, and Greg Biffle won an unsatisfying win. Boy, was I woefully unprepared for the post-race discussion at work.

Other people in this group have been ridiculously underinformed in post-race discussion, and other people in this group have overshared, so I guess it was just my turn this week. I'm not going to tell the other peoples' stuff--that's for them to tell in *their* blogs, and some of them undoubtedly have. But my accidental overshare elicited a really odd reaction. I'm not in the only same-gender couple there, not even in the only female couple, even though those are rarer. But apparently L'Ailee and I need to turn in our Womens' Union Cards because we are sometimes willing to do it purely for entertainment. It was the women who went, "You did *it* because...the *race* was rained out?" The men looked awfully intrigued. One straight man asked if I knew other women who would do it because a sporting event was rained out, which seems to be his idea of relationship paradise right there. If I had, I wouldn't have told him. It's enough that I found myself another woman who would; he can let dumb luck work for him, too.

Sometimes people extrapolate what constitutes "normalcy" from their own selves, and that almost never turns out well. When I was small, I thought pretty much everybody was equally interested in both genders. After all, I was, and those little girls who I kissed behind the "portable" classrooms when I was in kindergarten hadn't arrived there at spearpoint. It was a rude shock to me to learn what most people really thought a few years later.

So I should know not to assume about things like that, but I slip up sometimes. You mean not everyone gets turned on by Raekwon's "Glaciers of Ice"? You mean not every woman thinks Sean Hannity's really cute until he ruins it by opening his mouth? You mean not every woman does it because she's bored? How do they survive a blackout? I've had hints that this wasn't the norm--an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" in which a wife is outraged when her husband proposes doing it because the cable's out, a blog comment or two--but I wasn't prepared for those looks on other womens' faces. "Well, you know, there wasn't anything else on and we didn't want to go out." It sounded logical to me!

It's not like it's gonna stop, of course, just because it's not normal. I mean, if it's up to me, it's not gonna stop. If we let what was considered "normal" stop us, we wouldn't be together, after all. I guess it just nagged at me because no matter how weird you think you are at home, you can so often find a like-minded person in NYC, and I managed to shock jaded New Yorkers! Me, the pudgy little secretary who still likes bright colors and flowy fabrics! Plus I'm not completely off in the ozone--I do care what others think, because I'm a social animal just like most other human beings. In other words, normal in some ways.

Link time:

An old Florida Cracker environmentalist once told me that the goal isn't to "save the Earth." The Earth, he said, could and would save itself. Whether it would last in a way that we humans could live on and enjoy it, however, is another matter. With that in mind, I ask those of you not offended by this post to please bookmark and read Top 100 Ways Global Warming Will Change Your Life. The changes are mostly bad, of course, and each little blurb is accompanied by a link to a distressingly credible source. Things we may have to say goodbye to in coming decades include pinot noir, avocadoes, koalas, and the Ganges River. Things that may thrive in the new, harsher environment include ragweed, mosquitoes (in Moscow!), and Dick Cheney. Seriously.

Reason, which one may count on for an alternative view of pretty much everything, has a positive alternative view of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University. No, Dr. Deb, I can't say I'm convinced, but it's still worth reading.

I think Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's decision not to let him near Ground Zero with protection was one of the only good ones so far. But most of Commissioner Kelly's decisions have been pretty bad for NYC.

An interesting-sounding new book about Gertrude Stein's and Alice B. Toklas' lives together. Includes an anecdote of how Alice's jealousy made one of Gertrude's works even less comprehensible.

And a new book coming up, just for anti-Republican fun: the Brotherhood of the Disappearing Pants

Merle Haggard on his cousin, Ted. (No, they're not really related, but it's fun.)

Lastly, Sinead's on Oprah this week! She's gonna talk about bipolar disorder, among other subjects, and sing! I can't *stand* Oprah, but my TiVo's set!


cats said...

oh, for heaven's sake, you are completely normal. what did they want you to do instead? bake cookies, crochet a doily?

how wonderful that even after all the time you've been together you still do it for the heck of it. bravo! they are just jealous!

and gertrude stein is my favorite poet.

Jaded said...

I am at a loss, honestly. I didn't realize that there were "normal" times to be intimate with your partner, and that those times must be pre-approved by some normal committee. You made love with your wife because you love her, period. I don't see what's so strange about that...unless they're jealous that the two of you don't really need a special occasion to make love.

BostonPobble said...

Cats and Jaded pretty much said what I was going to ~ and with more eloquence ~ so I'll simply say "yeah, ditto!"

Zoe said...

I didn't realize that boredom wasn't a legitament reason to have sex, and that it's abnormal. Well hell, who needs a reason. Can't you just have sex for the sake of having sex? Who are these people? Are they card carrying members of the Junior Anti-Sex League?

Barbara said...

You're supposed to have a reason for having sex? Um, nobody told me that. Does that mean I've been doing it wrong all these years? I suppose it's too late for me. Oh darn, it's so hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

LeLo in NoPo said...

I love cooking with Rosemary: thank you for the simple syrup recipe. I've used rosemary infused in lemonade: quite tasty, as well as rosemary shortbread cookies. It's similar in ways to lavender, which can do the same.

And so many good links you provided, too many to comment on!!!