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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?)

OK- so recently I have had a lot of new readers- which is REALLY cool. I contribute it mostly to me taking part in the Nascar Bloggers- Full Throttle. However it dawned on me that most of my new readers don’t know ME. So here is your chance. Ask me questions. Right here in the comments. You can ask anything you want. I will answer them in between my other posts…

If you are a long time reader you can ask stuff too. Ask away.

  • First about the Pit Crew Challenge- I love the pit crew challenge. It’s something I look forward to watching each year and I rushed home on Thursday to see it. My favorite part? When Jeff Gordon’s tire carrier “Tiny” threw his tire changer over the pit wall. Freaking awesome!
  • I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am that Kasey Kahne won the all-star race. I think there is some incredible poetic justice about the car that is voted in as the fan favorite wins. Yes I was rooting for Tony, but he seemed to be having issues after changing an engine during practice, amazingly he had worked his way up to fifth. Who knows where he would have ended up had their been one more segment. But Kasey Kahne winning just made the night better since Tony couldn’t win. That is awesome that the fan-favorite win. And I am sure both Ray Evernham and Budweiser are happy campers.
  • I love Elliott Sadler…he was one of the two people I voted for in the All-Star fan vote (the second was Travis Kvapil). I was sad to see him out of the Showdown so early. I understand his frustration. I am sure now he understands Tony Stewart’s frustration from Darlington.
  • Am I the only one who missed the inverting of the field? I always thought that made the race more interesting and more like dirt track racing. Maybe that is just me though.
  • I loved that during driver introductions, Kyle Busch waited for his crew to come onstage and then they all did his trademark bow. I LOVED that! I really think that Kyle is taking the booing thing in stride. I think he almost likes being “hated”.
  • This is the year of the paint schemes. First there was the Jeff Gordon Flat Black paint scheme that I loved…this time it was the Citizen/Soldier one. I loved that car too.  Hee.
  • Are they insane trying to set “rules” for a burnout competition?? Seriously what they should do is give them a time frame (2 minutes? 5 minutes?) and let them do their thing! I thought Jimmie should have won for best burn out. His pre-burnout interview made me laugh…he didn’t want to know about the rules. Burnouts aren’t about rules…they are about the fans. It would have also been more fun had there been more competitors.
  • Speaking of the burnout competition I would have LOVED to be one of the passengers. Just in case some one important is reading and can make that happen for next time-that too would be freaking awesome. (Hey I can dream can’t I).

1. There is absolutely NO way you can get me to eat liver!
2. This heatwave reminds me that summer is almost here!
3. I cannot live without my cell phone.
4. Sewing and fiction writing are two things I’d like to try.
5. When life hands you lemons squirt them in the eye of your enemies.
6. I have lots actually but one of my favorites is sitting on the floor of my bedroom while my dad sat on my bed playing his guitar and singing to me. I only remember him playing two songs…one was Puff The Magic Dragon which was one of my favorite cartoons as a child and the other was The House Of The Rising Sun (I think it was by The Animals).  (He also knew a John Denver one but I can’t remember which one) is my favorite childhood memory.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to sleep, tomorrow my plans include The ALL STAR RACE and Sunday, I want to do laundry so I don’t have to go to work nekkid!

1. I read several blogs written by Pastor’s around the U.S. sometimes their posts have nothing to do with the Christian walk but reflect on their own personal life. Like the one I read the other day by Tally Wilgis regarding the alignment of his coffee cup. He stated “I don’t know what it is about me that demands this but I always have to make sure the logo on the Starbucks cup aligns with the logo on the sleeve. Additionally, I have to position the lip of the cup so that I drink in alignment with the logos below.” Do you have any weird OCD issues?

I’m slightly fanatical about handwashing.. mean not overly so but I do wash my hands more than normal people do.  I use to fanatical about my foods not touching on my dinner plate but that has gone by the wayside for the most part.

 2. Some of you know that In April, 4 years ago I left my South Florida home of 23 years and drove with all my belongings to Maine to start a new life. The only thing Maine offered me was a job & it’s incredible beauty. Friends and family would have to be acquired after I arrived. What major decision/change did you make in your life that surprised your family and friends & how did things work out?

I dropped out of the teaching credential program after I got my B.A. Seemed to work out well in the end.

3. *We often learn certain behaviors by the folks we spend time with. An accent you pick up, words you add to your vocabulary, a certain way of washing your car, tying your shoes or folding your socks. What is something you picked up and who did you pick it up from?

If I am around anyone with an accent other than my own I will pick it up rather quickly.  I don’t do it on purpose I just easily pick up on other people’s cadence when speaking. I have always been this way.  I also tend to pick up certain slang terms depending on who I am hanging out with.

4. 2 years ago I was online looking up hiking trails and discovered the sport of
Geocaching & found an instant addiction after the 1st time I played. What is something you discovered by accident but has enriched your life?

Photography has in recent years become sort of a new found passion.  I am inspired a lot by what I see on flickr and on blogs (especially Janets and Miss Zoots).

5. Often we are frustrated by the actions and attitudes of others. If you could influence a behavioral change in someone else, what would it be and how would you go about doing it?

I think people in general need to say “thank you” more.  Someone hands you the mail…Thank you. Someone gives you your change…”thank you.”  I almost always be sure to say “thank you” even when talking in one of those little drive through boxes.

What is it witht he media covering NASCAR this week? Are they all purposely trying to piss me off?

This article might actually be plausible…if you know, Tony Stewart had actually announced that he will be leaving JGR.  If Greg Biffle is indeed looking to move over to JGR, wouldn’t it be more plausible that he is looking to jump into the fourth car that is rumored to be in the stables, then replacing a driver (Stewart) who said he is looking at other offers but didn’t say he would jump? I mean come on, I am “just a fan” but even I know that the media shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions. Sure it’s fun to speculate where drivers will be going- but in my opinion it’s just too early to tell.  And if JD Gibbs has said they do NOT give out information on driver negotiations…why even bother to speculate if Carl Edwards was being talked too by JGR., let alone Greg Biffle. Arg.

In surfing about the web yesterday, I found an article on NASCAR.com called Pointing Out The Questions That Matter written by Joe Menzer. He came up with a list of questions to be answered, then proceed to provide an answer. Well- I have decided I want to answer them too because I don’t necessarily agree with his answers:

1. A streak? Or something more? (speaking of Kyle Busch)

Try talent, mixed with the right team chemistry, it’s amazing isn’t it? I don’t think Kyle clicked personality wise or driving style with with the HMS powerhouse duo of Gordon and Johnson. Kyle clicks better with JGR and mostly with Tony Stewart’s driving style. Also, streaks will only take you so far. I know there are a lot of Kyle haters out there, but the kid’s got raw talent. Don’t believe me? Look at him in the truck series and the nationwide. This is not to say that he isn’t a little too cocky and pushy on the track…but that is youth speaking there. His driving will mature just like he will.

2. Where art thou, brother?

Yeah most fans will remember the great Busch brother war of the all-star race. However- haven’t you ever been mad at a sibling? Sometimes you don’t always take it out in the politest of ways. Its called family. You should try listening to radio communications between Jr. and Tony Eury Jr sometimes. They talk to each other the way family talks to each other. Working in a college gives me this insight. I can’t tell you how many times I hear students talking to their parents on cell phones and you can ALWAYS tell. ALWAYS. Family doesn’t tiptoe around worrying about what is said and how its going to be conceived. Family usually tells it like it is. That being said, family doesn’t have to be blood. I notice that Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli’s radio communications are pretty darn close to family too…this was particularly evident to me during Darlington.

3. Where’s Tony?

Menzer’s answer to this question kind of ticked me off. Why did he insist on insinuating that Tony Stewart is “old”. He is about to turn 37. That isn’t old by any long shot. Yes he is considering his options as his contract will expire at the end of the 09 season, but that does not make him old. If it does then Greg Biffle is ancient. And Robby Gordon too. Oh and Jeff Burton. Kyle Petty. Let’s not forget Jeff Gordon who is just a few months younger than Tony. Call the senior citizen’s home now to get them all spots.**

That being said Tony is in the top 10 in points and has had a lot of top ten finishes this season already. The season is still fairly young and Tony always seems to do his best racing in the summer. Hopefully this season will be no different. As I have been telling my friend the JGordon fan…there is a long way between now and the chase and a lot can happen.

4. Will Junior’s winless streak ever end?

Law of averages says eventually yes it will end. Sooner or later the moon and the stars will align in the correct pattern and Junior will get his win. Will it be this season? I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you that his equipment definitely seems stronger this year with HMS than it was last year with DEI. I don’t know if he is just not clicking in the Gordon/Johnson team or if it is just bad luck. It’s too early to tell. The bigger question is, who will get a win first Gordon or Earnhardt. I am putting my $5.00 on Gordon.

5. What’s up with last year’s Coca-Cola 600 winner, the not-so-mighty Casey?

No one was hoping Mears would break out after his Coca-Cola 600 win and start winning more than me. Obviously that didn’t happen. I don’t know why. If he wants to win he has to step it up. That’s all that can be said there.

6. Where did he come from? (Speaking of David Regan)

David Regan may currently be 12th in the standing, the better question is, can he stay there. The magic 8 ball says no.

7. Are Jimmie and Jeff about to get it together again?

Short answer is YES. They will be bringing “it” to Charlotte. HMS is having a bad luck streak. It will end and soon.

8. Who will win the All-Star race?

My money’s on Tony Stewart of course. However, if it isn’t Tony? It will be Jeff Gordon. That’s my prediction and I am sticking to it. Of course you should know my predictions are based soley on gut feeling…which is why my fantasy team sucks on ice. It is also why I lose the football pool ever year.

(by the way…these opinions? They are mine.)

**This visceral reaction, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that Tony Stewart is just a few years older than me…nothing I tell you.