Yesterday was my official birthday and the festivities exhausted me so heartily that I have waited until this morning to write about it. Since the medical establishment has not discovered rhyme or reason about my recent health issues, I made the decision earlier this weekend to eat what I felt like consuming, have a good time and return to my disciplined habits tomorrow.
Currently, I am sipping my peppermint coffee, while combating a vague lightheadedness and lower blood pressure and taking my beta blocker. I miss the robustness of my strong Supercoffee dark roast and had I known my blood pressure was low, I would have made some, but I feared it was high from my diet of Sheetz spicy chicken sandwich, jalapeno poppers and a premium sampler of salty fried snacks, pastries upon pastries, and sugary candy galore… because it was my birthday.
Little Dog stayed with us for a few days and her mother returned for her yesterday, bringing with her the largest pastry I have ever seen which I later discovered was an elephant ear and what I am eating now, which appears to be some sort of blueberry scone with a touch of lemon if I am not mistaken. But someone must tell whatever bakery Jan is visiting that the term “elephant ear” is not meant to be life size.
The Teenager wanted so terribly to take me for a nice meal of my choice, but I told her– you know what I want? Some decadent road trip snacks to eat on our way to Pocono Raceway for the Sports Car Club of America Road Racing Northern New Jersey Region Joe DeLuca and Linda Gronlund Freedom Major. (scca.com)
One of my high school peers works as an official at the track, so he invited the Teenager and I to come sit in the pits and watch as many classes as we wished and potentially stay for the cookout at the end of the day.
But I get ahead of myself.
The Writing Stuff
Little Dog and I slept in until a delightful 5:30 a.m. yesterday and then I copyedited the text for the next title in production for Parisian Phoenix Publishing. (We have 11 titles out now, one a tad delayed but due out as soon as we make the final tweaks, and this new one is #13, which since it is a tarot journal seems apropos.) Anyone who wishes to make my birthday even more exciting should consider buying one or several of our books. Here is the whole list on Amazon, including one book that’s not ours but shares a title and confuses the algorithm.
I finished the text of the tarot book, sent it to Gayle to mock up some design while we wait for the author to approve the text, and then headed to a meeting at Panera Bread with Larry Sceurman to retrieve his final proof on Coffee in the Morning. As it was my birthday, Panera gave me a free pastry after I already ordered my asiago bagel with chive cream cheese and Larry paid for my refreshments due to my day of birth.
I am happy to report that the changes to Coffee in the Morning are minor, and very good catches on the part of Larry and his wife, Barbara. The team spirit at Parisian Phoenix creates an atmosphere where we all really are putting our best foot forward and making sure we all look good in the end.
From there Larry and I attended the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group to surprise Darrell Parry, who was giving the morning presentation and afternoon workshop on poetry. I may have left with an invitation to be the October speaker and a nomination to serve as the group’s president. More on that here.
With my commitment to attend the races, I could not stay for the afternoon workshop. I went home and collected the Teenager and we drove over to Sheetz to gather our road trip snacks, redeem birthday points for gas ($2.92 a gallon) and head to Pocono Raceway with a Spotify playlist The Teenager carefully curated.
The Racing Stuff
I have not visited Pocono Raceway in 30 years. This area used to have two major racetracks, Pocono and Nazareth, and Darrell lived about a mile from the Nazareth track. It closed shortly after we graduated college, which is also damn near 30 years ago. I am not a NASCAR or Formula One fan, but my life tends to intersect with motorsports. My dad was a diesel mechanic known to race microstock, participate in tractor pulls and ride his Harley, anything to tinker with an engine.
When the Teenager was a year old, we went to the dirt track every Friday night to watch him race and when his racetrack closed, he told me not to attend his new venue as he deemed it too dirty and not family-friendly enough for the baby. I also have vague memories of going to drag races in New Jersey during my own childhood.
Once we found Bob and Erica up at Pocono, we settled in for our first class, Ford spec. Next came I believe a GT Lite class. Then the little min-formula one type cars with the small engines. The last class we saw was the Miata spec class, with three Minis and a Chevy Aveo sharing the track with them.
I definitely enjoyed the spec classes, as the cars are so similar that the race relies more on the prowess of the driver versus the classes where the cars have so many differences. In the mixed classes, the gaps between cars are much wider and that makes the race less interesting from a spectator perspective. The slow cars tend to be less interesting to watch also as they take so long to go around the track that you almost forget they are out there.
We stopped at Wawa on the way home for water and due to sale prices I ended up with fancy Hawaiian volcanic water for the same price as Deer Park.
And the special thank you goes to Santander Bank for making me feel ancient by sending me an email to remind me that my oldest account with them dates back almost 24 years and that they wish me a happy birthday.