So, I'm sitting here at my desk, sick as a dog, my wife just had her wisdom teeth pulled out, and I'm still trying to recuperate after SEMA, when Mike says, "Hey man, we have to have the next issue done before we go to Japan!" So I thought, okay, no problem, how long is that? I looked at my calendar and realized, hell, that's only seven freaking' days away. Basically, I'm a wreck at this point. And because I was sick, I was just kind of staring at Mike like one of those cereal commercials-where I'm hearing him but I'm not-because my ears are all stuffed up. The only thing that could make me feel better, at this point, was to lay down in my bed and maybe scream a little.

So, it finally dawned on me that this job is way tougher than I had thought. There is so much involved in this job, it's hard to even describe it to people. Just like all of you reading this right now, I used to sit at home and think, "Man those guys got it good, they get to travel, go all over the world, just take some pics and throw out a mag. What a piece of cake." Wow, was I wrong.

The truth is, this is a dream job. I get paid to do my hobby, basically. I mean, how often do you walk into your work and your boss tells you to go home today and work on your truck?

In essence, that's what happened to me a few weeks ago. Mike told me, "Ernie, we need some tech stories, and I think it would be good to do the tech on your Mighty Max." I thought great, there goes my weekend. But there wasn't going to be enough time to do this on the weekends. I'd have to do some of it during the week, as well. Awesome! I get paid to work on my truck, that rocks. Or so I thought.

But wait, I had to take pictures while I was working, and that would take twice as long now, and I had a deadline. What is this place, Orange County Choppers? I remember when a deadline was to make it to Resolutions or Texas Heat Wave, now I had three weeks to make my editorial deadline. So yeah, we have the ups, and the downs with this job. I get to work on my truck, but I have to "work" while I'm doing it, because I have to cover the buildup as an editorial piece.

I remember when I went to SEMA, and it would be business as usual for me. I'd check out the handful of minis at the show and then head off to all of the after-parties. This year, however, I had to walk around with a camera and take pictures, talk to people about the new products, and really make the rounds circling the whole place to make sure I didn't miss a beat. When you have to walk two million square feet, it really takes a toll on you. I also knew I had to return by Sunday, so I could start the tech story on STK TRUK. And it didn't end there. Knowing how backed up I would be after a week at SEMA, Mike offered to help shoot the tech story on STK TRUK, but then he became sick. What a disastrous week this had turned into.

At this point, we were both sick and preparing for Japan. You may be wondering, is it worth having to bust my ass for another week to go to Japan, only to be working there, as well? You bet your ass it is. Yeah, I have to work while I'm in Japan, but hanging out with the No Regrets Japan chapter and giving Mark at Truck Trends a hellish week is looking very promising at this point. A week of minitruckin' So Cal style in Japan. Just the thought clears my mind, the Mind of Macias.