Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, April 19, 2004 8:58 AM

Long Beach Grand Prix Weekend

Early on Tuesday morning I get out for a decent run before I go to vote in the Long Beach city council elections. During the run I am a bit slow because my throat is sore and I'm fighting some bug off. I get to the polls just as they open and the precinct workers initially think that I am the fourth worker that they are waiting for. But I correct them with, "I'm certainly working today, but not here." When I go to vote I see that the workers have accidentally given me two ballots. Now this would be a good way to start stuffing the ballot box! But I give one back and proceed to mark my selection. After I've marked my selection and because I am the first voter at the precinct, the workers make me verify that the ballot box is initially empty and then they seal the box.

On Friday I go home a bit early to mow the lawn, run a few errands, and do the laundry. I stay home this evening as Person N_V goes out with friends. He gets back home at about 2 am on Saturday morning.

Following an early Saturday morning run, Person N_V and I head out to practice and qualifying for the Long Beach Grand Prix. As we get to the track there is a light rain falling. The rain continues for a long time - creating some slippery conditions for the drivers and some fairly large puddles in the track. It's raining, it's windy, it's cold - why would we be anywhere else but watching practice and qualifying? Except that Person N_V is complaining about the conditions. A coworker joins us and we eventually wander around the (indoors) motorsports expo to get warm and dry. The crowd is way down this year (probably because of the weather). After noon the rain has subsided and the sun makes its appearance. The final qualifying session for the Champ Cars is almost dry but the lap times are about three seconds slower than Friday. But at least it is dry and warm for the spectators.

After the train ride home Person N_V and I take a nap. I'm up about 90 minutes after the nap started and doing little errands around the house. Person N_V is awake 90 minutes after that. There are a number of phone calls and Person N_V finally decides to go out with friends after changing his mind quite a few times during the evening. I'm in bed by 11 pm and Person N_V comes back home near 3 am on Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I get out for a reasonable bicycle ride, do some grocery shopping, and start reading the newspaper. The South African Grand Prix for motorcycles is on and Valentino Rossi fires the shot heard around the world as he wins his first time out on the previously-uncompetitive Yamaha M1 after a great tooth and nail battle with his rival Max Biaggi. Person N_V enjoys the race and we go out rollerblading. After more complaints, we sit down a third of the way through the skating and change skates - Person N_V getting my new ones and I get his old ones. And though Person N_V is no faster, at least his complaining his gone.

When we get home we grab some quick nourishment and start in on chores. I'm painting a room while Person N_V cleans and organizes a room. When I'm done painting I'm met with a "This isn't the color that most of the house is going to be painted" statement and question from Person N_V. And this starts a 2-3 hour discussion, argument, etc about remodeling and redecorating the house. As the 11 pm hour approaches, I need sleep and Person N_V has to head to LAX to pick up a former coworker and bring her back to Long Beach. It has been an emotionally trying weekend.