A few months ago, perhaps in the throes of distraction related to the WIP or fresh from the happiness of a shoe shopping extravaganza, I uttered these famous words: “Sure, I'd go to Talladega to see a race.”

Oh be careful what you utter! This Sunday, I am going to Talladega for a Nascar event. I know nothing about Nascar. Ricky Bobby is my favorite driver, if that tells you anything.

Truly, the full import of what I have done is beginning to sink in. They drive around and around. For hours. It's loud (someone told me to bring ear plugs for pete's sake!). It's crowded (the gates open at 5-freaking-AM people! On a Sunday!).

We live a good 150 miles from Talladega, so I can't imagine what unseemly hour we shall have to rise for this occasion. (Can I confess that before I moved to Alabama, I thought Talladega was in Florida? It sounds like Florida, and since they have Daytona, I was certain Talladega must be there too.)

Getting up early and driving so far won't be fun, but maybe the day will be more fun than I'm currently anticipating. We are going with two other couples, people we like, and people who, apparently, already know things like who drives what car and what a points leader is and all that stuff.

Since I'm also the person who said, “Sure, I'll go to the Pro Bowl,” and who had a good time there (it was the tailgating more than the game) and who said, “Sure, I'll run an 8K race with you,” and who survived it with only two dead toenails (always get running shoes in the proper size), I suppose I should look forward to this whole Nascar thing. There will be tailgating, and that's always fun. There will be beer. And I — the person who brought a newspaper, a notebook and pen, and 2 books to the Pro Bowl just in case of boredom, and who never did a thing with any of them — will be taking an iPod, a couple of books, and maybe some paper and pens. Just in case.

So how's your spirit of adventure? If you don't know a blasted thing about Nascar (like me), would you go to a race with friends? Has your adventuresome spirit ever gotten you in trouble or committed you to something that you then asked yourself why did I agree to this?

Man, I hope I get to see Ricky Bobby……