is up over at J’s. This one is 40 Odd Questions.
I am going to start this post by telling you I have no feelings for Ryan Newman as a driver. Honestly, I have never really paid him that much attention- besides to perhaps make fun of his name in a grand SEINFELDian joke and snicker. That being said a week or two ago I stumbled across HELLO NEWMAN on YahooSport’s NASCAR page. It’s a regular weekly column written by Ryan Newman. I find it rather interesting. So you might want to check that out.
Anyway- I am using this as a rather long segue into my topic of pit crews because this week’s HELLO NEWAN is called IN THE PITS and it is actually written by Ryan’s rear tire carrier Trent Cherry- that gives a brief look to readers about what it is like to be part of a pit crew. It’s a fascinating read (or it was to me…but maybe I am a freak). My favorite quote from Mr. Cherry’s article was this:
My job is the rear-tire carrier. We’re not that cool. We’re like the guys who can grab rebounds – role players. The changers – the guys who put on a take off the lug nuts – are the cool guys.
That being said- I have always been fascinated by pit crews and pit stops as long as I can remember (remember I have been a race fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper). It amazes me that it takes them 13 – 15 seconds to get a full tank of gas and four tires (and sometimes a window tear off, grill cleaning, and driver hydration) when it takes me four hours to get my oil changed, my tires rotated, and an outside only carwash (and yes I do realize it doesn’t really take them four hours to do it but I can be darn sure it took them longer than 15 seconds to do it).
Pit stops to me always seemed like a synchronized dance of sorts. Everyone has a part and knows exactly where they are suppose to be when. One person trips up and it can cause other members to trip up. I remember the first race I ever attended was an Indy car race in the 90s- before they split into champ and IRL. My dad laid out a ton of money and got him and I really cool seats right off of turn 11 at Laguna Seca. He wanted to sit there because it was the bottom of the hill and you could see the cars coming all the way down the hill (this was before they built suites above the garages so now the view isn’t as spectacular). Anyway I loved the seats for a completely different reason. I could watch the pit stops! It gave me a healthy respect and fascination with the crew members- second only to the time we got to spend walking around the paddock area in the morning watching the crews buzz in and out of their areas working on this and that.
When I was younger I wanted to BE on a pit crew because how exciting would that be? Of course I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be…the Jackman looked pretty important…if you can’t get the car up off the ground you can’t get tires on it right? But I didn’t have the upper body strength for that. Same for tire carriers. Changer looked fun…plus you get to play with that air wrench thingy….but that always seemed like on of the more stressful jobs on the crew and frankly I am not that graceful. I decided gasman wasn’t where I should be because well- frankly-gas can start fires and fire scares the freaking daylights out of me (you should see me on BACKDRAFT at Universal Studios…I bruised my friend’s arm trying to get the hell outta there when they start exploding the stuff). As you can tell…this really doesn’t leave much room for me. Spotters fascinated me. Only problem with being a spotter? Is they are usually perched high up somewhere…and I am afraid of heights (although If I had to chose between gasman and spotter…I would probably choose spotter because I think I could get over my fear of heights much faster than I could get over my fear of fire). Spotters still fascinate me to this day and it is one of the few redeeming qualities about DirecTV NASCAR HOTPASS (I have a whole other post about this in the works) is being able to hear driver/crew chatter (I tend to turn it to team radio only because the announcers tend to bug the crap outta me because they talk over the most important radio chatter). I couldn’t be crew chief really so I would probably be stuck being one of the note takers or something (I always did take meticulous notes in school).
Anyway, I also found another interesting and recent article about pit crew on the Daily Dose called ONE FOR THE BOYS. If, like me, you are fascinated by pit crews you may want to check it out.
- I mutter to myself under my breath…usually curse words. (As hard as I am sure it might be to believe I don’t as much as you think I do- especially lately).
- I yell out…YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME for what probably seems like no reason. (I have a reason…usually).
- I will sit there and bitch about things I have no control over, like the relative “grumpiness” of respective customers.
- The playlist on my iPod is THE ANGRY MIX and its set to repeat.
- I bite my bottom lip while concentrating.
- I send out emails to my boss stating that “This sucks and its making me cranky.” Thank god for unsend.
- I will look for any excuse to drive home for lunch because even at 3.66 a gallon driving is a big destressing mechanism for me.
- While driving home I have my iPod turned way up and screech along (and screeching is NO exaggeration) to songs like RIGHT NOW by Korn, DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS by Disturbed and even though its embarrassing to admit I will: RENEGADE by Styx (I love that song). Complete with cuss words for the ones that have them. (yeah I know one is not like the other two…bite me).
- I tell my blog readers to bite me. Whoops. Please don’t.
So Greased Lightning (GL for short) went in for her first oil change/tire rotation/general inspection yesterday at work. All went well and I am still impressed with my dealership’s service department (for those who are new here- I had major issues with my local toyota dealership service department- so much that I went out of town to have my car serviced or looked at…and even they weren’t great). My car was ready when they said it would be. The only issue is that apparently there is some sort of recall on my vehicle and they ordered the part to fix it- but that really isn’t their fault. So all is well so far with GL.
I started blogging a long time ago. I started off with livejournal…then I moved over to blogspot…before ETS hooked me up with Pete who helped me secure my own domain name and now I blog like a big girl using wordpress. However- my good bud J is off on a cruise drinking nonalcoholic umbrella drinks and prancing around in leopard print (his words not mine). He left me the keys to his kingdom and while he is away…I am gonna play. So today I posted my first guest post: Return of the Idiot Driver. Enjoy.
- So I have been having problems with comment spam so Pete helped me activate Akismet. So if your comments suddenly don’t show up or something…let me know. Thanks. As a matter of fact…if your a commenter please leave me a comment on this post so I will know it works.
- I hate feeling trapped at work. My HHR is in for its oil change/tire rotation/general inspection. My mom was kind enough to pick me up at the dealership and take me to work. But now I am stuck here with no wheels and no way to get starbucks or check the PO box. That sucks.
- I make damn good chicken enchiladas, in case you were wondering.
- I forgot to mention in my Letters of Martinsville entry how impressed I was with Elliott Sadler for driving the entire race in pain. Color me impressed because my dad has suffered back injuries and pain a lot and I have seen first hand what kind of pain that is. Everytime I left the room for a minute I would come back out and ask my mom “Is Elliott Sadler still driving?” and she would say “Yep.” Of course I wasn’t sure since she tends to sleep through races until the last 40 laps or so and then starts in with her “where’s jr?”
- Directly after the race I ran across the street and held my almost week old nephew for nearly an hour. He is such a content baby. And a great sleeper. And of course he is absolutely darling. I am not biased. What would make you say that??
- Speaking of my nephew…I took a really cool picture of him holding my dad’s (his grandpa) finger totally off the cuff. My dad handed me his Canon 20d so he could hold Matt the other day and I just started snapping some pictures. I think it came out good if I don’t say so myself:
Sometimes during the races I sit there and try to write letters catching up on correspondence (yes I am a hold back I believe hardily in paper letters, written on cutesy stationary and mailed through the post office). However I usually always get wrapped up in the race and the letter usually never gets past “Dear So-and-So, Hello! How are you doing?” This weekend was no different. However I did end up writing some letters in regards to the race. Enjoy.
Boogity boogity boogity rocks. Glad you have your voice back- I missed it at Bristol!
Let’s Go Racing- AMY
Dear Goody’s Headache Powder-
I have looked for you for years. I remember looking for it when I was about 10 years old in our local drugstore and my mom kept asking me what I was looking for and I finally told her. She told me they don’t sell you in California. Why?
I have a headache- AMY
Since when do you know Kasey Kahne by sight? That scared me slightly. And when did you stop asking where Mark Martin is? And since when do you call Tony SMOKE?
Kasey Kahne is too babyfaced to sell me beer. I do like the Allstate commercials though. A lot.
Not Drinking Beer at 10:30am, AMY
Dear Mike Skinner and Matt Kenseth-
Y’all missed the freaking pace car. You might wanna go back out and try for perfect.
Just call me Harry, AMY
(at Lap 120)
Don’t give up. I haven’t.
Still Cheering You On, AMY
Dear Aric Almirola (or however you spell it)-
Just how many spinouts do you plan on causing this race?
Getting dizzy, AMY
Dear Home Depot Pit Crew-
FASTER FASTER FASTER.
Hating Losing positions in the pits, AMY
(in regards to the hotpass commercial)
I find it impossible to hold it in for 400 or 500 laps– you must have a bladder of steel.
On a potty break, AMY
(regarding the championship commercial)
Dear Jimmie Johnson-
Did you know that 1428 tires divided by 36 races is 39.667 tires per race? Just thought you might like to know.
I didn’t even use a calculator, AMY
Dear Jeff Burton-
Please paint your car a different color. Your orange is too close to Tony’s orange. Thanks.
Confused sometimes- AMY
Dear Fox Sportscasters-
I do not play darts. What the hell does “He drives like a dart with no feathers” mean? Is that good or bad?
Don’t make me ruin the darts in the garage, AMY
Dear NASCAR fans-
I have a great idea. Lets a WHOLE BUNCH of us…like all of us, throw in 20 or 30 bucks into a big pool of money (come on I know there are A LOT OF NASCAR fans out there) and use that money to sponsor poor Kvapil. His car looks so damn naked out there. We could have him list our names on his empty spots in alphabetical order.
I always wanted to work in Nascar, AMY
- Why am I grumpy and grouchy today?
- Why am I using a straw as a spoon for my shake that is frozen into a solid ice cream mass again instead of getting a spoon?
- Why am I even eating ice cream…It’s not one of my favorite desserts?
- Why do I have a rash on the inside of my wrists and no where else…and why doesn’t this rash itch or anything? And why won’t it go away?
- Why has my comment spam tripled suddenly?
- Why does it decide to be overcast and cold on my three day weekend that no one else has?
- Why is there a herd of buffalo in a pen somewhere near Gonzales,CA? And why won’t anyone show me where they are at?
- Why does no one else in my family like pepperoni and pineapple pizza with extra cheese? Or Even just pepperoni pizza? And what is with the light sauce people?
- Why is my iPod always dead on the days when I NEED music? Why?
- Why did I feel the need to post all this drivel on the internet anyway?
1. Some relationships are meant to be forever.
2. Slaughter is the last concert I saw; it was pretty good.
3. Spring should be a time to warm my bones.
4. Oh no! I forgot my checkbook!
5. I’ve recently started hanging out on infield parking.
6. My nephew never fails to make me smile.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to laundry, tomorrow my plans include oogling my nephew and Sunday, I want to (let’s say it all together now…) Watch the race!
And now…Paddy’s Working For A Living MI-5
Paddy sez: Since this issue has been on my mind as of late, here is a 5 about jobs and careers (Billy wanted it to be about funk tunes, but this is cathartic, so bear with me):
- Think back now. What was your first REAL job … you know, one thatyou had a W-2 from at the end of the year. Tell us about it: Actually it wasn’t that far off from what I do now. I was a Student Technician for the IT department. I was mainly assigned to the helpdesk. Ocassionally I would get to shadow one of our technicians and help them in the field. It gave me the great knowledge base I have that helps me in this job.
- Everybody has had a favorite job, perhaps one that they are still in. What was yours? Well I actually like this job most of the time. But my favorite job was as a part time nanny for a little boy. He was the cutest little boy…he was my little buddy. I often wonder if he remembers me. I did this for a couple years before I started at the University and several months in…but I just ran ou of time…but would still babysit occasionally for awhile…but then that dropped off too.
- Remember that job that you thought would be great … that wasn’t? My mom was able to keep me stocked up in the babysitting jobs because she worked at a school. Anyway she had me lined up to sit for this one family…there were three kids and the most I had ever sat at the same time were two but I didn’t think it would be a problem because these kids were all older. OMG they were holy terrors. I prayed for the parents to come back. The dad did and paid me and asked if I could wait he would give me a ride home. I thanked him and said that it was ok I didn’t live that far away (and honestly I didn’t). She would call and ask me to sit again and I just told her I was already booked. Urg.
- What is more important to you in your career choice: Money or Satisfaction? Or both … or something else? Explain: I think there needs to be a balance. You wouldn’t be satisfied to work at a great job if you were paid peanuts…however I don’t think I could work at a job were I made total bank if I hated the job. If that were the case I would be a nurse.
- OK, it’s dream job time. For the sake of this exercise, we’ll assume that you can at least make a comfortable living wage from the work … regardless of its nature. So, what is it that you would choose to do, day in, day out, to earn your daily bread? I would be a writer of some sort. Possibly a sports writer covering nascar? I am not sure…but there is definitely writing in there.