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This past weekend, the weekend before Christmas, found me at the local mall which was a veritable zoo. It then found me at the Target across the street from the mall, which was also a zoo.  My shopping and wrapping is all but done but I was there with my Mom.  My dad does not like her to go shopping alone for some unknown reason. But he also did not want to go anywhere NEAR the mall or Target the weekend before Christmas.

The stores were crowded and the lines were long but we survived.  We were leaving Target and were behind a little Silver Rav4 who had the blinker on. Little Rav4 was waiting for a spot to open up in the block. He spotted the leaving party and put his blinker on to signal his intention to take the spot. In our area, this is proper ettiquete for calling dibs on a spot that has not opened up quite yet.  I mean the Little Rav might as well as gotten out of the car and licked the parking spot. So, Little Rav waiting very patiently for the parent to wrangle the children in to car and booster seats and put the packages in the back of the car. I sat behind said little Rav chatting with my mother about what she had just purchased at Target. Finally the parked car pulled out of the spot that Little Rav claimed. And just as Little Rav was about to pull into the newly opened spot a small silver car turned left in front of Little Rav, swooping in and stealing the spot.  I was flabbergasted (but not really).  Little Rav pulled forward and the female passenger leaned out the window and flipped the bird to the spot stealer.  And, I admit it, I cheered for the little Rav. Because if ANYONE deserved to be flipped off the weekend before Christmas it was the spot stealer.

The reason I was not surprised by the spot stealer’s actions was that it reminded me of the time I went to a mall in San Jose with my friend the weekend before Christmas (back when I too drove a little Rav). Bigger City, bigger mall, sixteen gazillion more people.  We were driving up and down the isles of the parking lot looking for a place to park when ALAS…I spotted a mother just arriving at her car.  I put my signal on and patiently waited as she added the packages to the truck, the children to the car seats, folded up the stroller, etc.  This mall has very narrow isles in the parking lot so they are all one way. This of course held up traffic behind me- but its what you had to do. We were all driving around – choo-choo train style looking for open spots.  Well- except apparently for the guy behind me. He honked at me several times (mind you my blinker was on-indicating I was waiting for the spot). I just sat there chatting with my friend and waited for the lady…occasionally looking in the rear view at the creep honking. Well as the woman was finishing up buckling her children into the car, the guy got out of his car and started to yell at me through the window.  I just said- it will just be a minute- she is almost done. (I was very polite).  He then said I should scoot over then so he could get by…and which point I looked at him and said…”Um where would you like me to scoot? There is NO ROOM for two cars.” At which point he yelled some expletives…and then hit the drivers side window hard enough to rock the entire Rav (they are pretty light). I was surprised that he didn’t break the window or at least knock it off the track but it did not.  Luckily as soon as his hand hit the window to my car, a man in the car behind his car got out of the car and told him, in no uncertain terms, to get in his car and stay in his car…and to shut the f up while he was at it.  The part that was surreal about my experience with the guy who pounded on my window? Is the aggressor was an older, very conservatively dressed man. He did NOT look like someone who would go postal while waiting three minutes in a parking lot.  I wanted to thank the man in the car behind the jerk who was behind me.  However by the time I had parked and gotten out- he was gone…no doubt looking for a spot of his own.

**Yes the title is sarcasm. Hope you weren’t expecting a happy story. If you were…um…sorry.

Now where I live is fairly mild weatherwise. I mean, sure I bitch about it being cold…but really it’s rarely below freezing here- ever. And we never have to deal with that evil S-word (SNOW) because we are at 32 feet above sea level and it just doesn’t happen here (in the hills around us very rarely…and never here at least not in my 30-something years).

Earlier this week it hailed like all get out for about 10-15 minutes. It was tiny dried pea sized hail…but there were some major accidents on the highway because people drive like idiots on the highway.  That same day I went out during my lunch to see the results of a car flipped over in the medium of the highway.

On Friday of this week it had been raining moderately to lightly but had then slowed down to a very light drizzle.  Well there I am trucking along and a car is in the far right lane (three lanes now that his lane has merged onto the road) and the guy TOTALLY loses it right there in front of me. I guess he went around the corner too fast or something but it was pretty violent to watch actually despite the fact that it was single car and really all he did was spin out and I am a NASCAR fan and see much worse, much higher speed wrecks both on TV and in person (ie- Tony Stewart hitting the wall in Las Vegas right in front of our section was pretty damn scary).  However I have seen these cars up close and personal…they are virtual caccoons of protection- way more then our average passenger car. So people …PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Drive slower. Make sure you have snow tires/chains if its snowing. If you get caught in weather you aren’t prepared for (hail or stuff) please for the love of your fellow drivers and your family- pull the heck over and wait it out.

BillyRhythm tagged me to play Shot On The Spot. Basically I take a picture of myself as I am.  So I did. Of course I found out about this on the day I not only wore no makeup (which I don’t wear daily…usually depends on how much time I have in the morning) but on the one day this week I didn’t blowdry my hair because I needed to get gas…so my hair usually does not look this…disheveled…usually its all flat and even and shiny:

That first one came out blurry (dumb camera phone camera!) but I still have a dumb expression on my face. So here is the second one I took. Better pose all around says me.

This is a better one except I forgot to take off my headset. At least I am smiling and don’t look demonic.  I am suppose to tag five more people to play along…but I hate tagging people….so if you play YEY…just leavea comment so I can visit your entry.

First is G’s Holiday 6 MI-5. G says: Hope you all don’t mind but I’m offering up the following six (sorry I couldn’t choose which one to leave out) holiday themed questions).

1.  Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were a child? Yes until I was about 4 when I looked at my parents and said IS THERE REALLY A SANTA (to which my parents said yes) and then I said “Then why does he shop at Longs?” because someone left a price tag on something. They tried the “Santa ran out of time” bit but I wasn’t falling for that. Then I got the lecture about not spoiling it for my brother…who was the opposite of me and clung to Santa until he was like 9 or 10.

2.  Does your town get decorated at Christmas?  Tell us about the sights!  They put these poinsettia banners on all the down town light poles.  And then there  is the Hospice Tree of Light on top of the Steinbeck center. And then there are some neighborhoods that do it up big with the christmas lights. Ours is one of them.

3.  How many Christmas cards have you receive this year?  How many Christmas cards do you send? So far this year I have received 5 (but I haven’t been to my PO box in a couple days so hopefully there are more there) and I sent out 17. I know this because i had three stamps left over in my book of holiday stamps.

4.  What does your family traditionally eat for Christmas dinner? Barbecued Turkey, mashed potato casserole (which I don’t like) and rolls are always on the table. There is usually some sort of green salad.  Side dishes such as veggies usually change year to year.

5. What is the best Christmas present you have ever gotten? My Orange and Yellow bike when I was a kid.

6. If you could change something about Christmas time, what would it be? Having to work on Christmas Eve (I am low person on the totem pole with only 10 years here) AND BFM living so far away.

And Now…Friday Fill-in #103

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, who stole all your wool?.
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, hey look-a brand new car.
3. Rushing through the malls , Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, so we called the cops.
5. It’s returnable so, Let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing before you swig the tequila.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to buying some last minute presents, tomorrow my plans include standing in line at the post office for an eternity and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

So have I mentioned that I have a small problem with elevators? As in I am not the world’s biggest elevator fan? Now I won’t go OUT OF MY WAY to avoid them…but I if its a short hike up a couple flights of stairs I will usually take the stairs.  Its because I have a fear of being stuck in an elevator.

Well right now I have a small yet adequately embarrassing story to share with you.  Earlier this week I had quite the load of stuff to take downstairs from my office. I don’t honestly even remember really what it was. But for whatever reason I decided to take the elevator at work. I work on the third floor.  So I get into the elevator and stand smack in the middle of it. The elevators at work are HUGE (there are two of them) and it took me forever to figure out that they were so big because it IS a library and they have those rolling book carts to transport up and down). Anyway…I get in the elevator and I have all this stuff I am juggling. And I face forward as the doors are close behind me and then…well nothing happens. The floor indicator telling me what floor we are on stays at three.  I can literally feel the panic rising in me as I realize this elevator car is going NO WHERE. Am I stuck? Do I hit the emergency button? Do I just hit the door open button? What DO I DO?  DEAR GOD I AM GONNA BE STUCK IN THIS ELEVATOR FOR HOURS AND WILL DIE  IN THIS ELEVATOR.  I feel the panic clutch my stomach and start to try to ram it up my throat.  I am about ready to hit the panic button (which I think turns on the 911 phone in the elevator) when it dawns on me that the reason I am going no where? Is because when I got in the elevator I was so concerned with not dropping anything that I forgot to press my floor button.  Yeah.  My bad there.

So I press my floor button and am swiftly transported to the first floor where I rush out of the lobby and to my car so no one can see my bright red face.

So I told you mine…you tell me yours. What is something embarrassing that you have done recently. Don’t make me retell the story of the time I got stuck in a portapotty at the sports car races at Laguna Seca…

So just because it’s NASCAR’s off season doesn’t mean I have forgotten about it.  Oh contrare- I usually get crabby about the off season because there isn’t enough NASCAR to keep me sated. However this year I have a couple things that I am really enjoying NASCAR wise to keep me busy:

I have been working on helping Karah keep the stewarthaasfan.com site up to date. And I can’t wait for more discussions to break out on the stewarthaasfan.com forums.  I tend to by kinda shy in forum situations (bit one to many times) but I think this forum will be great.

The Nascar Insiders have been keeping me up to date on goings on and my favorite is their ASK THE INSIDERS Wednesday. They even answered one of my questions this last Wednesday…and I am trying to think up another one to ask them for next wednesday.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper!!!
2. Real tree or Artificial? REAL
3. When do you put up the tree? Depends…try to do it the weekend after Thanksgiving…sometimes that is too ambitious.
4. When do you take the tree down? Depends on garbage day.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not really
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Yellow and Orange bike
7. Hardest person to buy for? Changes year to year…this year it was my dad.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My Nephew.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Can’t think of one (Beloved’s answer fits me too)
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Carol
13. When do you start shopping? I usually start sometime around the beginning of September…unless I see something that just screams someones name in my travels
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas Cookies
16. Lights on the tree? Yes…five strings this year
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Take a Walk Through Bethlehem on the Country Cares for Kids album
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel to get my grandma and bring her here and take her home
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Changes year from year…this year its an angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve? Christmas? Both.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Lack of Parking
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? This year I myself was leaning towards a blue and silver theme…but really…our tree is a mish mash – basically it looks like santas elves went nuts.
24.Favorite Ornament on tree? Almost every ornament on the tree is special to me because they mean something.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Anything you chose to give me…
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I don’t know since I didn’t email it to anyone!
27. Who is least likely to respond to this? Ditto.
28. What was your most memorable magical Christmas memory from your adulthood? I am betting it will be this year…since its my nephew’s first.

29. Have you ever been involved in a Christmas gift prank? Oh yes…this year even I have a good one planned. BFM’s brother is getting a giftcard from me…but its taped to the back of a Matt Kenseth car…So that he will open it and see just the Matt Kenseth car…and think that amy’s gotten cheap.

30. Favorite Christmas Cartoon? Rudolph (the stop motion animation one)

Fill-in:

1. Friends warm the heart.

2. Strive for good health; it’s important.

3. I’m ready for the week to be over.

4. Demeter’s Sex On The Beach is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is one my friend made me- its a cocker spaniel that she painted to look like my cocker I had when I was young.

6. Take some good food, family and close friends, and an escape route, mix it all together and you have the annual Christmas eve celebration.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to sleep, tomorrow my plans include wrapping presents and laundry and Sunday, I want to read and or crochet!