Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Evolution of NASCAR

 

 

-Courtesy of Tool Orders

Change

“We cannot become what we want, by remaining what we are.” 
-Max De Pree

Change is scary. For me it is. The fear of not knowing what’s going to happen next is real, y’all. And I haven’t been able to hide from it no matter what I do or try.

It’s been one week since I walked away from The Ranch. The place I’ve called my second home for eight years, has now become a place in my past.  Boss #2 wasn’t willing to accommodate my school schedule any longer, and since school is something I’ve made a priority in my life today, I wasn’t willing to quit just to satisfy her selfishness. My future is important to me and only me, so I needed to act as such.

For over a year, the unhappiness of being there was beginning to show. I would dread pulling up in the morning, and would be more than willing to leave early every chance I got. The stupidity of the people I dealt with on a daily basis, just got to be more than I was willing to handle. Not to mention the yelling I would have to put up with from irritated agency producers. I became bitter watching the trainers go out on jobs making $50+ an hour, while I sat in the office getting yelled at, lying to people over the phone about why Boss #2 couldn’t talk to them, and, and, and for 1/3 of that.

“If it didn’t matter, you wouldn’t be scared.” 
–Unknown

I have finally come to the conclusion that perhaps a change was better for everyone. I’ve had a few people tell me that better opportunities are out there for me, but believe me when I say it will, without a doubt, be an uphill struggle to get through it. I’m scared. I’m unsure. And I’m doing it alone (despite the number of loved ones around me). I’m headed into unknown territory, but am determined to not fail. School is a year and nine months of my life. I can do this.

I. Can. Do. This.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

So, it turns out, you’re never too old to go back to school.

Finally took the plunge and dove head first into the pool they call college.

Electrical Engineering – Wikipedia’s definition is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
However, it has now subdivided into a wide range of subfields including electronics, digital computers, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing, instrumentation, and microelectronics.

In normal people talk, I’m going to learn to play with some pretty cool equipment.

When I was a kid, I would spend hours taking things apart and putting them back together. StepDad used to get so irritated with me, until he started to realize that time after time, I was able to put things back together without extra parts. He encouraged me to continue to take things apart and learn the inner workings of things, and so that’s just what I did. I learned to take computer towers apart and rebuild them into better and faster computers. {Thank you to The X for helping me learn that.}

It’s a little tough to get into a different routine. There definitely wasn’t extra time in my previous schedule for four hour long classes and study time and homework and drive time to/from class. But I’m determined to  ensure that the outcome will far outweigh the inconvenience it currently causes.

Decimal, Hexadecimal, Octal, Binary – not my favorite things to learn, but it’s definitely interesting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Always make time for fun

While we were out of town for Grandma’s funeral, we decided to take some time and play. Have to always find time to play. Playing is important.

 

The makeshift swing on a tree branch. My favorite kind.

We played with cousins….

…and King, the three-legged German Shepherd….

…I turned a sneaky kiss into a romantic moment….

…and I allowed this beautiful face to melt my mommy heart….

Family. We may not have it all together, but together, we have it all.

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New kitties

We’ve acquired a couple of new Egyptian Mau kitties for an upcoming project. The project doesn’t shoot for a few more months, so in the meantime, these guys have full run of the house at which they’re staying.

Meet MauMau….

 

And Luxor

 

Can’t wait to share some of the work they’ll do. #FutureCatStars

 

 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New wood bowl

Some people like to make things out of metal. Some plastic. SS’s dad, loves to make things out of wood.

So, what started out as Padauk maple wood – (a bright orange or almost crimson wood when freshly cut, but oxidizes to a darker, rich purple-brown over time), and a Redheart maple wood – (freshly surfaced Redheart can be a very bright, watermelon red—though color can vary in intensity and hue from board to board: anywhere from a light orange/pink, (similar to Pink Ivory), to a darker brownish red)…..

…….ended up looking like this…..

Now, I just need to find a place to put it, and something to put inside of it.
Any ideas??

Saturday, March 14, 2015

She lived to be 94!

Because I’ve been so super busy and not able to come up with anything to post, my Sis did a post for me.

This last Monday, I got a call that Grandma was in the hospital. They were trying to keep fluid out of her lungs. Because I work in the medical field, I knew this was it. I thought about it all day at work.
Tuesday, I got the call. I was on my lunch break. Walking to Subway, starving, I heard my cousin say, "she's gone."  I lost my appetite immediately, turned around, and went home.

I knew this was coming, but it still breaks my heart. Thanksgiving was the last time I saw her. I made sure to see her because Grandma was 94! This woman had seen and done it all!

The last couple days I've been walking around in a haze. Today I feel very blah. Thought I'd open up the computer and start typing...

Last night I had a dream
That you were by my side
You held my hand so tight
You said you’d be my guide
You told me to be strong
That things will all work out
You always had faith in me
And never any doubt
You said your love is in us all
That love will never die
If ever I’m feeling lost
Don’t be afraid to cry
You said you had to go now
You’ve shown us all you could
I will always remember you
Laughing, smiling and feeling good

There were so many times, as a kid, I can remember leaving Grandma's house and wondering if I'd ever see her again... and then the following summer, we were at her house! Grandma loved to put puzzles together. I can remember a time she was putting a puzzle together and we were watching TV. A commercial came on, that we had seen a thousand times, and Grandma breaks out into song, "We're fruit of the
loom
." My sister and cousins and I started cracking up hearing grandma sing along in her cracky voice. Grandma never minded us. She loved all her grandkids. No matter the type of games we played in her house, she just loved having us around.

The oldest of 14, eight surviving kids of her own... Grandma had a very
busy life. And yet still, family was the center of it all.

-Sis

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When your driver isn’t racing

When I started watching NASCAR, I didn’t have a favorite driver. I watched because everyone else in my family watched. You can read that story HERE.

Fast forward fourteen years.
I’ve sat and watched two full races of this 2015 season (Daytona and Atlanta), and let me tell you, when your favorite driver isn’t out on the track, watching the race is very different. I cheer for Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, and now Carl Edwards because I ultimately like them as drivers – and teammates of Kyle Busch, but it’s just not the same. I’d like to think that Kyle could have given Joey a run for his money in the Daytona race. And I’d like to think Jimmie would have had more competition if Kyle had been racing at Atlanta. But, you just never know. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking from a fan that misses her driver.

Kyle moved last week from the first hospital in Daytona Beach, to his local hospital in North Carolina. He looks in good spirits after sustaining a right lower leg compound fracture and left mid-foot fracture.

And then just the other day, he was allowed to go home…….

 

It will be a long road to recovery. It’s likely we won’t see you back on the track until mid season, and because of that, I feel less bad about not being able to attend the Fontana race in a few weeks.

Now hurry up and get better so us KB fans can cheer you on!!

 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

1 year

It’s been an entire year since StepDad died. It still seems unreal. Sometimes I think, “I don’t know the answer to that, but StepDad will. I’ll just ask him.” or “I don’t know how to make that, I’ll just call StepDad.” And then I remember he’s not just a phone call away anymore. :(

Sis, Squid, RJ, SS, and I spent the day in Santa Barbara, having lunch and telling stories to a man that now swims in the ocean. When we released his ashes into that cold water last year, we gave him what he wanted, and it gave us an excuse to come to Santa Barbara whenever we wanted. To visit StepDad.

We drank whiskey, bourbon, and beer, and toasted to a much better place he’s in.

Until next time…

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

It’s race time, folks.

FINALLY!

It’s been an off-season that seemed to just drag on. January 19th had us all in an excited frenzy because tire testing began. I’m excited for another season. A fresh start. A new beginning, for some.

Carl Edwards
We welcome Carl Edwards to the Joe Gibbs Racing team, who I’m hoping brings some amazing talent to this group of drivers.
Kyle Busch
I’m not going to lie. I’m a little nervous about Kyle’s new crew chief being able to handle the pressures of the Cup Series. Although he’s the former crew chief for the #54 Monster Energy car that Kyle drove in the XFinity Series last year, I still fear they’ll struggle. A period of adjustment is always expected, so I hope they mesh real fast. :)
Denny vs. Danica
Have you seen the video of the Denny/Danica wreck? According to Danica, Denny wrecked her. According to Denny, he never touched her.
Danica was so angry, that she confronted Denny after the race POUNDING ON HIS CHEST!! If Denny had walked up to Danica and pounded on her chest the way she did, there would be people yelling and screaming and completely up in arms that charges aren’t being brought against him for assault. But, when a woman does it, it’s okay?? What is this double standard I’m seeing in NASCAR?
Kurt Busch
Yesterday, Kurt Busch wasn’t even CHARGED with any sort of crime, yet NASCAR has suspended him, and Chevrolet has terminated their contract with him. Pardon the language, but UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE. I know just as much about the story as everyone else does, and it’s my opinion that the bitch is crazy. There’s no doubt in my mind that Kurt is an asshole with an attitude that probably gets away from him from time to time, but is he a violent abusive monster? Absolutely not.

Now that racing season is back, I promise to spend a little more time on here. I’ve allowed life to get away from me, but it seems I’ve got a few readers who miss the crap that spews from my mind. ;-)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Letters

It’s been a while since I’ve written some letters, so let’s get to it.

Dear Lady-at-the-Courthouse: Thank you for all the help you provided, and the extra time you spent going through the whole case. I promise I’ll pay it forward.

Dear Jamie: Thank you for covering for me in the office so I could get some important paperwork done at the courthouse. It’s time that rules are put in place and people stop making decisions that are not fair for both parties. #FightForYourKids

Dear SS’s Daughter: You are officially eleven years old, and although we weren’t there to celebrate for your ACTUAL birthday, we will be there this weekend for your party. Can’t wait! #RoadTrip

Dear Simon Baker: You have done a fantastic job playing Patrick Jane in The Mentalist, and I’m really going to miss the show when it’s done. Hope you get another gig real soon. #ThreeMoreEpisodes

Dear Super Bowl Watchers: I didn’t get around to doing a post about the commercials we did this year for the Super Bowl, but know that we had three. Of course, the Budweiser commercial with the puppies was ours. Nobody could do them better than us. Thank you for loving it. :)
We also did the Go Daddy commercial that everyone threw a fit about and was eventually pulled off the grid. I can remember when we first got the call for that job, thinking about the repercussions. Only it wasn’t for the ‘sale of the puppy online’ that we thought would be the issue. We thought people would be mad about the puppy falling out of the truck, or the spoofness it had to the Budweiser commercial we were shooting at the same time. Thankfully, we have amazing trainers and American Humane Reps, so contrary to how it looks on camera, all the puppies were safe and never in harms way. Ever. And for those that bitched and complained about the ‘sale of puppies online’, shut up.
The final commercial we did was for the game Game of War. It was a white horse that a woman rode through the scene. Nothing real exciting, but it was ours nonetheless.

Dear SS: I’m excited to go on a mini vacation/road trip with you. And again, I promise I’ll be on my best behavior. xo

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Countdown has begun

42

Forty-two. An important number. A number that has ties to not only Math, but Science, Technology, Astronomy, Religion, Music, Television and Film, Video Games, and Sports. When I hear the number forty-two, it makes me think of Jackie Robinson. When a friend of mine hears the number forty-two, he thinks about the movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

But today, this 10th day of January, when I hear the number 42, I think of NASCAR. Forty-two days from today, I’ll be sitting in front of my television, watching my favorite sport come back for another season. I’ll be cheering for my favorite driver, and hoping some others don’t finish.

Like every year before, there will be changes for the 2015 season. Changes that’ll undoubtedly have me confused for the first few races. Here’s a few….

  • Carl Edwards moves from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing. He will now be teammates with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.
  • Adam Stevens moves up to the Sprint Cup Series from the Xfinity Series. He was the crew chief for the #54 team. He will now be Kyle Busch’s crew chief in the #18.
  • Sam Hornish Jr moves from the Xfinity Series (driving part time) to Richard Petty Motorsports.
  • Trevor Bayne gets a new look at Roush Fenway Racing, with a full time Cup Series ride.
  • Greg Ives was crew chief for Chase Elliot in the Xfinity Series. Now he will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief.
  • Horsepower reductions being made to the Sprint Cup cars will go from 850 to 725 with the help of tapered spacers.
  • Roller valve lifters will be used instead of flat valve lifters.
  • The rear spoiler will be reduced from 8” to 6” to reduce drag.

There are so many other changes being made but didn’t feel it necessary to list them all. You can check them out yourself at the NASCAR website.

Some of the rules have me annoyed. I feel like they’re making NASCAR more boring by making the cars even less fast and more the same. This is supposed to be STOCK car racing, not IDENTICAL car racing. And while I’m on the subject, can I just say when did a Ford Fusion or a Toyota Camry become a race car? They are grocery getters!

Forty-two days….

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New iPhone 6

Hi Y'all. 

Just dropping in to say "hi!" and "happy Saturday". 

I'm writing from my new iPhone 6. Didn't need a new phone, my previous iPhone 4S was just fine, but SS's daughter wanted an iPhone. So, sacrifices were made, and we both got what we wanted. #HappyFamily 

We are headed out of town, so see ya on the flip side. 

✌️

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014. Hello 2015.

Another year has come and gone. Time to celebrate, right?
But celebrate what? Are we celebrating because we’re happy we made it through the year without being thrown in jail, or run over by a truck, or that we didn’t make it on Uncle Sam’s bad list? Or are we celebrating because we’re starting over and, we know American’s have to drink and celebrate anything new they’re starting (i.e. new job, new house, new baby, etc.)? Maybe it’s just another excuse to get drunk. I don’t know.

2014 wasn’t my favorite year. It was a year that brought me many tears, many headaches, and many, many bad dreams. It was a stressful year. One that I’m happy is over, I can’t lie.

Please don’t misunderstand me though. 2014 wasn’t all bad. I had some great moments. Celebrated some great things. Learned some important lessons. Traveled to some really neat and fun places. And my favorite thing, stole the heart of a 10-year-old cutie.

Although life won’t be allowing me to have any more children, I feel a sense of satisfaction when said 10-year-old wants to be just like me. It makes all the hard work I’ve done to improve myself, worth every struggle I faced.

2015 will be a challenge. A challenge I don’t honestly know I’m ready to face. I have some great support in my corner, so feel I can’t fail. I hope I don’t let everyone down.

Here’s to a fabulous 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

If you liked Jumanji, then this movie is for you

Do you remember the movie Jumanji? A couple of kids play a board game that comes to life. They have to finish the game, regardless of what kind of trouble comes to life. Once the game is finished, everything resets and it seems as if nothing ever happened. Very good movie, if you’ve never seen it. And Robin Williams was amazing. As usual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the author of that book, wrote another one that was similar, and they turned it into a movie as well. Except it was called Zathura, and takes place in space, not the jungle. The premise is the same. A kid finds the game, takes a turn, and the rest causes the house to be invaded by meteors, robots, and aliens. Once the game ends, everything goes back to normal.
It had me scared a few times, worried about what was happening to the characters, and even had me tearing up at one point.

Point is…. If you loved Jumanji, you’ll love this one. Go watch it. It was worth the two hours of my time.

 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

When the love of a dog takes the pain away

Pain. It can be described in so many ways. A physical suffering. An emotional suffering. Or even a laborious effort that sometimes goes unnoticed. No matter the way you feel it, it’s real, and it’s in everyone.

I went in to the doctor for a female procedure yesterday, and the cramping it causes, is painful. Not so painful that I walk hunched over like an old man with weights in his pockets, but a pain nonetheless. An uncomfortable one that has mentally talked me into not going to work. This pisses SS off to no end, but ultimately it’s my decision, and when it comes to my body, I’m the boss. No matter what.

This handsome, freshly groomed Poodle, is the best bed cuddler ever. He sneaks in between SS and I, and when he lays his head on our pillows, we just can’t help but feel our hearts melt. (We only allow this when he is groomed and clean.)
While cuddling this morning, it made me think about the dog I had as a child. She was a Beagle/Lab mix, and saved me a number of times from a bad situation. You see, my Dad would throw his cigarette butts out into the lawn in the backyard when he was done smoking them. Me, not knowing any better and assuming they were okay because my Dad was putting them in his mouth, would find them and put them in MY mouth. That awesome dog, used to take them out of my mouth and lay on them so I couldn’t eat them. Smartest dog ever.

Here’s me with her in the doghouse…..

She really was the best dog ever. We were ALWAYS together.

When I was five, my parents sold their house in the Valley, and moved to a huge 2-story home in a newly developed city called Valencia. You might all know it as the home of Six Flags Magic Mountain. There was very little here at the time, but now, it’s full of cars and people and is ultimately just overcrowded. Definitely not my favorite city anymore.
Not long after moving into that house, the dog somehow hung herself with a leash she was tied off to that afternoon. I can remember coming home from 1st grade and hearing the news. It was heartbreaking for a five-year-old, and the first time I can remember feeling emotional pain.

As the years past, we had other dogs. Labs, German Shepherds, a Cocker Spaniel, and even a Dachshund. And with all those dogs, I never could get close. I never developed a relationship that said we were friends. Sure, I would feed them, and maybe throw a ball once in a while, but didn’t go out of my way to bond with them.

Then I met this guy, and my whole outlook on dogs changed. I never thought a Poodle could steal my heart, but every day when he looks at me with excitement and recognition, my heart flutters and I know it’s true love.

LOVE is a 4-legged word.

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Toy

Guns. The topic of many late night conversations on television. A dangerous weapon? Or a tool? No matter how you feel about guns, they’re in our society and they’re not going anywhere.

stevie new gun

SS got a new toy for his birthday. A 50th anniversary Ruger 10/22. It’s a beautiful gun. I love the sleakness and the light weight of it, and I can’t wait to shoot it.

Happy Birthday to SS.

 

 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmastime is here

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

It looks like Christmas around our parts. Finally got the tree up and decorated the other day. Yay!
It’s funny, I can remember just a few short years ago, feeling as if it didn’t matter if Christmas came or went. It was just another day to get things done. Life sure has twists and turns you don’t expect sometimes. I’m happy for that.

 

How is YOUR holiday decorating going? Do you have everything up already? Have you finished your shopping? Yikes! I haven’t. Back to it….

 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Accident in Gnomeville

Kids. They can be so rambunctious and careless at times. And in times like that, bad things can sometimes happen.  Back in October, there were some kids playing out by our front door. One of them jumped down off of a balcony, and landed right on top of Francis.

Francis came to live with us back in March of this year, right after StepDad died. :(
He sat ever so beautifully at the top of the stairs that welcomed you to my home. (click the link to read the story).

I happened to be watching out the window when it happened. Francis fell from the weight of the kid when he landed on him, and I felt an immediate pain shoot through my body. It was weird. Took the breath right out of me as I fell to the ground crying. SS tried to be a hero and went after the kids, but by the time he went looking – after trying to console me – they were nowhere to be found. Fear not, I’ll never forget the face of that kid. When I see him, I’ll know.

Two and a half weeks later, Sis and Squid showed up at my house with a gift. They called it an early birthday gift.

Meet Grimble
He’s the new Gnome that resides at Casa de Gnome. He temporarily took Francis’ place at the top of the stairs.

Thank you Sis and Squid. He fits right in around here.

 

It took me a real long time to decide what I wanted to do with Francis after his fall. Call it not being motivated, or just plain lazy, but whatever it was, it’s done. He’s been placed back at the top of the stairs, and Grimble has been moved to the stairwell in our hallway.

Smile

 

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