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Even though you are reading this post on Friday I am actually writing it on Thursday evening. It will be filled with my normal friday meme fest…but I also wanted you all to know that I am going to be fairly scarce this weekend. My BFF is coming for a visit and I plan to stay away from the computer as long as possible. I may update my twitter (the orange box over there under Speed Updates).  Just a little FYI. Now onto the regularly scheduled meme fest:

Beloved sez: This week I decided to get my questions from the WWW. I typed “getting to know you questions” into google & picked my five favorites.

1. Is it easier to forgive or forget? I personally think forgiving leads to forgetting.

2. If, like the characters in the Wizard of Oz, you could choose a Heart, Courage, or a Brain–which would you take? Heart.

3. Have you ever wanted to change your first name? If so, to what? Well in high school I hated that fact that there were three Amy’s that were in the honors classes so we tended to end up in the same classes all the time but I never actually thought of a new name for myself. In sixth grade I went through a period where I spelled Amy every possible way except for the way I spell it (Amie, Ammie, Aimee, Ame, etc). Luckily I was the only Amy in that class and my teacher figured out it was me.

4. Which insect would you choose to eliminate from the world? Um…most of them? I know we need them for proper ecology and all that jazz, but I am so NOT a bug person. I can handle ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies and that kind of thing but definitely not spiders, mosquitoes and my arch enemies: Bees.

5. If you discovered you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do for the rest of today? Get in the car, play one of my favorite ipod playlists really loud and drive somewhere I have never been before.

Fill-In 74

1. For me oppression is the opposite of creativity.
2. Escape by Carolyn Jessop was the last excellent book I read.
3. I like fill-ins because they make me think and I like to read others answers to see where my thinking lines up.
4. In nature I like looking at flowers and animals.
5. ?? should win the US elections.
6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was the last time my bff and I were together no doubt.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with BFM, tomorrow my plans include a haircut, a car show and a concert (and hopefully lots of pictures) and Sunday, I want to watch the race with BFM!

Janet asks: How did you get into NASCAR?

My dad got me into motorsports in that as a very young child I have fond memories of watching races with him. Mostly Indy races but I do have memories of NASCAR races too. I have said this a lot, but races like the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 and Talladega races where treated like the Superbowl in my house. Days were planned around it. Plus I have just always had a “thing” for cars…and I think I was drawn to NASCAR initially because the cars resembled cars you would see on the street so it was something as a kid I identified with more than Indy cars. My mom says that it shocked the heck out of her one day when they walked into the living room and I was sitting on the floor watching a race instead of cartoons.

Karah-Leigh asks: Do you believe the media is putting too much pressure on Joey Logano? Why is your groove bad? What is your favorite thing about Tony, besides his driving abilities?

Regarding the media and Joey Logano…I say not necessarily. I think he is one to watch and has been for awhile and he knows this. He has already been very vocal about voicing his opinions on things like the age limits for driving nationwide and cup cars. He has made it no secret that he wants a Sprint Cup ride and ASAP. That is a high pressure job so learning to deal with press (both positive and negative) in addition with the pressures that come from racing in general might be a good experience for him. Of course this will not help with driving ability and maturity. Those will only come with experience so I say throw the little fish in the lake and see what happens.

Why is my groove bad? I mean it bad as in bad-ass. When I decided to move from blogspot to have having my own domain it was done very quickly. I had two ideas off the bat…badgroove.com and pencildonuts.com Bad Groove besides having a racing connotation is also a Slaughter song I like…so I picked badgroove.com (plus it fit better on my license plate when I had a vanity plate on my car: BadGruv).

My favorite thing about Tony Stewart besides his driving ability? It’s hard picking just one thing…but maybe his attitude/personality. Of course if you asked my friend she would tell you it’s because he is my “type” but that is a whole other ball of wax!!

And finally: My May Flickr Faves. As always click on the picture to be taken to the original mosaic in my flickr and visit some of these amazing photographers:

I just had to share this picture I found of the special non-race paint scheme that Tony is using during testing at Pocono. I think it’s totally bitching. What you can’t tell from this picture is that it says on the hood: Suck It Up and Go For It. Definitely words to live by.

LONG POND, PA – MAY 27: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota drives during NASCAR Sprint Cup testing at Pocono Raceway on May 27, 2008 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Getty Images for NASCAR

(see the first set of questions and answers here: Getting To Know Your Driver Redux. Also feel free to ask me more questions…doesn’t matter if you’ve known me forever or if this is your first time here…just put it in the comments).

RevJim says: Your photography is beautiful. What kind of camera do you use?

Photography is one of my newer hobbies and I love to take pictures!!! Thanks for the compliments about them. I am very pro-canon. Of my last four cameras- three have been Canons and greatly loved by me. The other was Sony I had no patience for. I actually have two cameras that I currently use. I use a very simple point and shoot Canon SD630. This is my “purse” camera as it goes with me wherever I go (in my purse). More recently I also purchased a Canon Powershot I5 IS. This camera still has a fixed lense, however, it is more complex and a step closer to a digital SLR camera. I am still learning the ropes with this camera but I love it. I took all my race pictures in March with my I5…except for the pictures of Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon at the autograph signings.

And Andrea asks: How do you feel about the body of work that Duran Duran has amassed since 1986 -and- is John Taylor still hot?

To many of my readers, 1986 probably seems like a completely arbitrary date to you all…but to me it is the year that Andrea (or Andi as I called her) moved away. See we went to school together and she was my best friend. After she moved we wrote back and forth for awhile but drifted apart…until she (somehow) found me! YEY.

Anyway back in the day the both of us were really into Duran Duran. Oh Simon made me swoon! And don’t even get me going about John Taylor!!! Andrea, you may be surprised, disappointed or horrified to find out that it wasn’t soon after you moved away that I discovered glam rock which quickly turned into a love of all things Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Bands like Poison, Slaughter, Cinderella and even Metallica quickly replaced my love for Duran Duran. I credit Metallica especially with getting me through some really rough times in junior high and high school. I then mellowed out and embraced country and now my iPod is full of a bizarre and eclectic mix of country metal and 80s pop with a couple of wayward rap songs thrown in for good measure.

Then about a year and a half ago or so my boss came in and was telling me about how he was buying tickets to go see Duran Duran (we both enjoy going to concerts so he was always telling me who he was going to see)…and I found myself downloading some songs to my ipod. I have to admit though, the stuff from the 80s is still closer to my heart than their newer stuff. And…yes…John Taylor is still hot. Simon however- not so much.

  • I still can’t imagine the devestating heartbreak of being so close to winning a race tand having your tire go freaking flat with two laps to go.   I went back and watched it on hot pass and you can see Greg Zipadelli’s reaction when Tony radioed in about his flat.  If it were me? I would have thrown something.
  • I also can’t blame Danica for throwing a fit after being taken out in the pits during the Indy 500.  Again…I probably would have thrown something.  I wouldn’t have taken after the guy…but that is just because I am kind of passive-aggressive that way. I definitely would have thrown something though. Indy needs Danica and more fiery spirits like her.  One of the reasons I lost interest in Indy racing was the lack of personality. I think my dad said it best…all the drivers seem very cookie cutter in Indy now adays.
  • Poor Sarah Fisher was having a bad day at Indy- first spinning herself out during a caution, then collecting Tony Kanaan after he got into the marbles and spun. (I don’t agree that his accident was Marco Andretti’s fault but don’t even get me going there).  Then if it isn’t bad enough to have Tony Kanaan tell the press that she spent the entire ride to the infield care center crying, she turns around and cries in front of the press.  She should have thrown something. She would have felt better.
  • This comes from something that happened a month ago or so but I just now got around to including it: Be careful when sending quick emails to friends to proofread what you write. I sent a one line message to my friend: Breaking news: Free Agent Carl Edwards resigns with race team.  I should have written re-signs because she thought I meant resign as in quits.  I got a quick phone call saying WHAT? (Nothing was thrown here…and I couldn’t even figure out a way to throw that in!).
  • I am looking forward to The Prelude To The Dream. I will be ppving it again this year. I am looking forward to seeing Jimmie Johnson out there in the dirt.  I will of course be rooting for Tony…but I enjoy watching it because all those guys are out there having fun. They aren’t worried about points or money. It all about bragging rights!  Dirt will be thrown.

It was another heartbreaking race for the Home Depot team this season. The Coca-Cola 600 saw a 31st place qualifying effort after pulling a qualifying draw on Thursday.  However, team Home Depot would not be swayed and slowly worked their way up towards the front of field and by the time night descended on Lowes Motor Speedway, the 20 team finally found themselves in the top ten of the field, then the top five.  Finally towards the very end of the longest Sprint Cup race of the season, the Home Dept team found themselves finally in the lead of the race, even after a cycle of late green flag pit stops the team found themselves in the lead once again.  However, it was not to be, with two laps to go Stewart radioed into his team that he had a flat right front tire and another race that team Home Depot should have won was lost in a flash.  However, unlike what the announcers (specifically DW) said on TV during the race, Stewart never tagged the wall. The flat was just that- a blown tire that forced Stewart to pit at two laps to go, thus handing Kasey Kahne his first points race of the season and his second win in a row.  Kahne was congratulated in victory lane with a big hug from teammate Elliott Sadler, who also ran a very good race.

In a post-race HotPass interview, team Home Depot crew chief Zipadelli claimed that their effort this race “just wasn’t enough”. However, I personally don’t think that is the case seeing that over the course of 600 miles the team found themselves at the front of the race when it counted the most, the end.  An poorly timed equipment failure, a poor run does not make.  Short of having a crystal ball, no one could have foreseen a(nother) tire failure.  The team actually worked very well, getting Stewart in and out of the pits well.  It was a great run, with an unfortunate ending. Team Home Depot still finds themselves winless this season, however they are tied for 8th in the race to the Chase with Jimmie Johnson.

Also to be noted was Brian Vickers accident where his tire basically flew off his car, bounced off of David Gilliand’s hood, down the embankment over the inside wall, and over the inside catch fence, landing a glancing blow to a pop-up tent trailer in the infield.  Luckily, no one was hurt, but those fans will have a heck of a story to tell their friends.  In an interview after being checked out at the infield care center Brian Vickers expressed that they (the fan’s whose trailer was hit by the tire) would get some goodies sent by him, since the track officials confiscated the tire to examine what exactly caused the tire to fly off.

Friday Fill-in 73

1. On my laziest day I like to read or watch a race on TV!
2. Finishing a project makes me feel like I’m being productive.
3. I love little gestures and big meaning.
4. This summer I want to write a book.
5. My insatiable urge to write made me start my blog.
6. Red pants and orange shoes clash miserably.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to babysitting my nephew, tomorrow my plans include lots and lots of cleaning and Sunday, I want to watch the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600!

And My Natural Disaster MI-5:

The Santa Cruz mountains are burning – I live not far from them and the smoke yesterday was crazy thick in the morning. That is my inspiration for this weeks MI-5:

1. What is the worst natural disaster you have personally experienced?

This is easy for me to answer.  That would be the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. I have lived in California all my life and you get use to earthquakes believe it or not.  I will never ever forget this earthquake.  I was in 10th grade and was home from school and home alone as my brother and mother went to visit my grandma and I decided to stay behind.  I was sitting in the living room watching tv and the power went off a split second before the shaking started.  I flew out of the chair because it was next to a picture window and I could tell this was a big one. I was trying to make it to the kitchen to get under the big table but I couldn’t make it because the shaking was too violent so I rode it out crouched in the frame of a door way.  From my vantage point I could see the chandaleir in the kitchen swinging and hitting the ceiling on each end of the swing. And I could see my parents computer shaking violently from side to side and I remember thinking I should close the computer hutch so it wouldn’t fall but then I was afraid to try because I was worried the hutch would fall on me.  It really freaked me out.  All in all we were out of power for 27 hours and we were lucky to get it back that quickly.  Our house didn’t really sustain too much damage just some new cracks in the driveway, some cracked tile/grout in the main bathroom and some broken dishes.

2. You were forced to evacuate your home. When you are finally allowed back your house sustained fire damage- but isn’t a complete loss. What one room do you hope remained untouched by the fire and why?

I am gonna say my bedroom because that is where I keep my important stuff like photos and momentos.

3. The smoke was so thick yesterday morning until the wind shifted that the sun was shrouded and actually cast an eerie orangish glow over things. Tell us about something or an experience that gave you an eerie feeling.

One day when I was walking home from  junior high I had just turned onto my block but I lived at the complete other end of the block so I had a ways to go yet. I was looking at my feet when I walked and I looked up and saw a redheaded woman in a white dress (singed with dark ash like she had been in a fire) holding hands with a little girl in a similar dress and similar hair standing in the middle of the street but up the street where my house was.  I stared at her because I didn’t recognize her.  I looked back down at my feet and then back up to look at her again but she was gone.

4. Lots of people are discending on the small town of Corrilitas CA to offer support. The small general store has become a makeshift command center where people gather for support and information. Does your community have a place that everyone would gather at? Where would it be?

In my direct neighborhood people tend to gather at the elementry school a couple blocks away.  We are fairly tight knit couple of blocks, which is one of the reasons my brother wanted to rent a house in the area.

5. I love to cook, but in my wake the kitchen looks like a tornado hit it! What is something you love to make and eat but only do it on certain occasions because preparation or clean-up is a hassle?

As I mentioned…I inherited my dad’s ability to make a huge mess no matter what I am cooking. But the mess I made making Molasses cookies was unparalleled because I ended up with molasses everywhere including in my hair and on the floor.

I must say that I thought the questions I received so far would be more personal in nature. Maybe my life is such an open book that you all feel you already know me. If you want to ask a question feel free to ask anything (using the comments section). Even if you have already asked a question or feel like you already know me…meanwhile I will tackle some current questions.

Janet wants to know when I am going to send her one of my handmade cards again.

Yes I make cards- I have a thing for pretty paper and instead of scrapbooking, I make cards. I won’t tell Janet when to expect one because that will take the surprise out of it all. But I promise Janet you will get another handmade card.

BillyRhythm wants to know when NASCAR season is over.

Never? Just kidding. NASCAR runs from mid-February to mid-November. It starts with the Budshoot out in Daytona and the last race is at Homestead-Miami in November. I think it might be on the 16th this year because I vaguely remember something about it being on my Mom’s birthday.

Trixie asks the hardest question so far: If Tony (Stewart) decides today, Sunday is his last Cup race…ever, which driver would you most likely become a fan of?And one more question…what is the square root of 16?

Ok…this question is hard. Really hard. For the longest time I decided to just answer with a list of drivers and why…but I think I have finally narrowed it down to one, with a close second: I like Kyle Busch (don’t hate me Jr. Nation). And as for my second, I’ve said it before and I will say it again- I think that Kvapil could be a great driver. Oh and the answer to the second question is 4, I think.

And Marc has asked me after my recent confession that I hate intensely dislike liver: How do you feel about fried kidneys?

My first reaction is to want to yack. Honestly, I have never had them and I try to be very open to new foods so I guess I would have to try them…but I do warn you that most of my…innards taste tests end in dislike. And um…kidneys of what? (Dare I ask?)