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  • Indy 500 was watched….I rooted for Danica Patrick and for Marco Andretti…neither won…and poor Marco Andretti ended up on his lid!
  • During the rain delay I made a cake (more on that next week)
  • Coca-Cola 600 watched…which because of the rain delay of the indy 500 was sporting because for awhile I was running back and forth betwix televisions…
  • Big Orange was rooted for enthusiastically…and had a pretty good run but didn’t win.
  • Am beginning to think maybe I shant cheer so enthusiastically for my favorites…maybe I am bad luck?
  • If I am bad luck maybe I should start rooting for Jeff Gordon…although he had bad enough luck on his own today…just a thought.
  • Devoured a whole book today- it’s been while since I sat down and read a whole paperback cover to cover.
  • Spent quality time listening to tunes on Black Betty (my big iPod). Last ten songs played:
    • Pickup Man – Joe Diffie
    • Little Moments – Brad Paisley
    • Jackson – Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line Soundtrack)
    • Problems At Home – Blake Shelton
    • Country By The Grace of God – Chris Cagle
    • I like it, I love it – Tim McGraw
    • How Do You Like Me Now? – Toby Keith
    • Boondocks – Little Big Tree
    • Freak On A Leash – Korn
    • Home Sweet Home – Reverend Run

So I have mentioned it recently that I am a race fan..Nascar in particular. This revelation might be new to some of you…but it isn’t new to my heart. I have been a race fan since before I could drive. I have been a race fan as long as I can remember!

The INDY 500 was always like…the Superbowl in my house when I was growing up (not that we don’t watch the superbowl too but you get my drift). Bubble day was our playoff games. I think I got into it as a way of bonding with my father (not that we didn’t have a bond..but he and my brother had hunting and camping…and my dad and I had racing). And got into it I did. I LOVED racing…any form of racing…but especially CART…or as we called them “INDY CARS.” Let’s just say- I knew the words the “Back Home Again (in Indiana)” before the words to my own state song! And what 5 and 6 year old knows who Jim Nabors is? I did. Don’t get me wrong…we watched stock car racing (nascar) back when the sponsors were mostly oil companies and ciggarette companies (when the Nextel Cup…was called the Winston Cup). Back when DW drove instead of commentated. Oh and if all we could find on Sunday was some drag racing…it didn’t stop us from watching. (wheels and fast…see it is a theme!)

My love affair with anything fast (with wheels) continued. I remember one summer I must have watched Heart Like A Wheel (the story of the Shirley Muldowney- the first woman in Drag Racing) about a zillion times (it was either on HBO or Showtime- I don’t remember which). I wanted to be like Shirley Muldowney! Then towards 1985ish I became a total tomboy and instead of having my room plastered with pictures of movie stars and pop stars…my room was plastered with race cars, Lamborghini posters, anything fast with wheels. Many of my little brother’s friends weren’t sure who’s bedroom was who’s at the time.

Then as I got into high school my room started looking more like a typical teenage girls room. Lamborghini posters were taken down to make room for Posion and Guns N Roses, and of course, Slaughter posters (Ok…maybe not TYPICAL teenage girl…but teenage metal-loving girl yes). My friends didn’t understand my love of “racing” so it sat on a back shelf and rapidly started collecting dust. Then some time around 10th grade or so- my dad surprised me with three-day race tickets to see “The Indy Cars” at Laguna Seca (a race track about 10-15 minutes from my house). I even got out of school on Friday to be able to go. Part of me was excited. Part of me was embarassed (hey it was high school). I thought we would go and sit in some bleachers for hours on end and watch cars…but he surprised me by getting paddock passes too so we could wander around the garage area…and then…I was hooked again.

Being in the garage area at an Indy race was so fascinating to me. It was an assault on your senses. LOUD engines being tested, the smell of oil and rubber, colorful cars, people running all over with a job to get this or test that. It amazed me. And then I saw him. I recognized him from TV…A.J. Foyt was standing next to his hauler in his firesuit having just run some practice laps. He was a lot bigger than I imagined…and slightly scary looking to me. I just stared and kinda went “Isn’t that?” My dad stopped and saw what I was looking at and dragged me over to him (yes dragged…you have to remember I was painfully shy back then) and we got his autograph and my dad took some pictures. Then it was like a game…who could I recognize? I even saw Mario Andretti but didn’t get his autograph…he was jogging towards the pits in a hurry…I then decided I needed to seek out my favorite drivers: Danny Sullivan (whom I found and got his autograph) and Al Unser Jr. (whom I didn’t find). I also found Scott Pruett – at the peak of his Indy career (before the crash in Florida) and ended up dragging my dad to him because I thought he was cute. It was fun…it was hands on…and we had kick ass seats on turn 11 at Laguna (before the built the pit suites- which block most of the view). I had a blast and was hooked again.

Yeah yeah you are probably asking yourself why am I such a fan of NASCAR if I started out as such a CART fan…and I honestly don’t have an answer except that I think it is because NASCAR (or STOCK cars) look more like “real” cars then their open wheel counter parts.

True story: my first car was a 1990 Chevy Lumina Euro Sedan (not the minivan) that I inherited from my parents. I am 99% sure that the reason my dad bought that car (although I am sure he would deny it lock stock and barrel today) is because it was THE car that the NASCAR chevy teams switched to the year it came out…and being featured heavily in the movie DAYS OF THUNDER didn’t hurt.

Plus it didn’t help when CART split into IRL and CHAMP and half of my favorite drivers went one way and the the other half the other way. I was confused and frankly didn’t understand the difference or the purpose of that move…and mostly- I still don’t.

So now instead of dreaming of attending the INDY 500 I dream of attending a NASCAR race (my dad says stock cars use to race at Laguna Seca but they don’t any more…and I want an oval…not a road course). Of course if I am going to go with my dad we will have an argument over where to go…He is all about Talladega  (big superspeedway) and I am all about Bristol (short track bumping and grinding).

Anyway…gentleman…start your engines!

First The Friday Fill-in

1. 10 years at sea; one more won’t hurt!
2. Why is the rum gone?
3. Here there be PIRATES.
4. Ah…the boy does not know his rump from his elbow.
5. The pirate from the movie theater must get out of the way of my rav.
6. Of course it makes you want rum.
7. This weekend, I will sleep in, enjoy some racing and maybe even bake a cake! Happy Memorial Day!

The YOU ARE Mi-5 edition:

1. You are attending a professional sporting event. What sport? Do you go to a specific venue? Who do you root for?

I would like to attend a nascar race at Bristol. I would root for Tony Stewart of course.

2. You are quitting your job because your dream job just knocked on your door and fell into your lap. How long of notice do you give? What do you say to your current employer?

I would give at least 2 or 3 weeks. I would probably just say that I had to resign because the opportunity of a lifetime crossed my path.

3. You are attending a costume party. What do you go as? Will people recognize you (assuming there are people there that you know of course)?

I LOVE to dress up in costumes. I really do. Some of my best costumes where ones I just kind of made up myself. Once I was even a dead roadie. That was the best costume ever. This time I would like to dress up as a maiden (as in RenFaire garb).

4. You are going on a road trip. How long do you go? Where do you go?

Well I have always wanted to rent an RV and take 4 or 5 weeks and just drive all over the United States and explore things. I wouldn’t need a map…because I would just drive. Biggest Ball of Yarn? I am there!

5. You are the winner of $15,000. Not enough to quit your job or move to Hawaii or anything crazy. What do you do with it? Are you sensible and invest it? Do you buy something you need? Do you buy something you want but don’t need?

I would use it to buy a nice new car. Doris the Rav is getting kind of old…I am ready for something new. I would probably end up with a new rav…but I would test some other vehicles too. Maybe I would even upgrade to a Toyota Highlander or something.

So…last year- not long after my yearly eye exam my beloved eye doctor suddenly up and retired on me. This is the same eye doctor I have been seeing every year (some times twice a year- when I was younger) since third grade (since I was 9 years old people!). My file? It was fat with notes.  I loved him and more importantly I loved his staff.

Well the inevitable happened. I ran out of contacts. Well not really but I am very low on contacts and I need new ones.

My mom suggested an eye doctor…so I made an appointment. I had the usual eye tests.  Then the doctor told me I have a significant prescription (thank you doctor I already know that). And then told me that they don’t make contacts in my prescription…and retested me then told me I am right on the edge of my prescription. I said I wear 8.5′s in each eye…with one eye being slightly over corrected right? And he LAUGHED AT ME and said “Um I don’t think so…” and proceeded to show me what an 8.5 lens looked like with that little machine you look through…and I could see WAY better than that. So I thought hmm….odd. I went home and looked at my box of contacts and indeed the ARE 8.5s.  And I assure you all that I can see just fine.

I am going to give him one more chance. I go in Friday for my lens fitting. I am taking my old contacts with me to prove my point. Because I see fine with these lenses…really I do. I don’t want to be over corrected in both eyes!

As I mentioned I got to go to the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at Mazda Raceway (which will always be Laguna Seca Raceway to me but that is a different story).  My dad called me on Friday and said not to make plans for Sunday because he got free tickets to the races.  Now I have alluded to it here before…I am a huge Nascar fan…and while this wasn’t Nascar…it was a race…and it was something to do…so heck yeah I was going.

It was a beautiful day for the races- it was sunny…slightly breezy. My favorite part is always walking around the paddock area…where the teams set up their haulers in rows…

That is where I took the bulk of my pictures…I just find the paddock to be very interesting…full of sights and sounds…and smells (my mom had never been to a race before and looked at me as we were wandering through the paddock close to the back side of the pits and said…”Urg…what is THAT smell?” and I told her:”That is the smell of…racing!”. Then we happened to find the autograph session…where I got to get Scott Pruett’s autograph…I actually had met him once before when he was racing CART (indy) (now called Champ?) at Laguna Seca in like 89 or so. Here is a picture of him my mom took with my camera…because I was busy playing fan girl:

And here are the cars rolling out from the garage into the pits to line up:

Anyway…I had a great time at the races on Sunday…I enjoyed the invocation and the national anthem…I didn’t enjoy the two fighter jets screaming over the grandstands…they didn’t tell us they were coming so I glance over my right shoulder in time to see these two jets flying low and fast right towards us (since we were sitting across from the pits as close to turn 11 as you can get on the very top row)…I had a split second to stick my fingers in my ears and squat (because I was still standing from the invocation and the national anthem)…and let out a little yelp…the were really low…and loud…and unexpected. The announcer should have mentioned the fly over.  This cracked my mother up and she laughed through the rest of the pre-race stuff. It was fun…and as a sidenote: Scott Pruett ended up coming in second (I was rooting for him) and I guess because of the second place finish ended first in points in that series. Anyway…you can see the the whole flickr set here.

heaven in a venti cup

I am in the middle of trying to compose you a post about the weekend…mostly about Sunday and the races. But I was interrupted in my thoughts by my new starbucks drink.

Remember way back when? When I was all about the venti iced black tea lemonade with 7 pumps of Valencia and extra ice? I remember those days too….then the unthinkable happened and Valencia went away.  But now…I can have it sweetened with the new Orange syrup. Not as good as Valencia…but close.


Here is a link to a nest cam for a pair of peregrine falcons living on city hall in San Jose. It is really kinda neat. Be patient because sometimes the babies are laying really still and against the white background are hard to see.  There are three babies…two females and a male.

1) Brake DRUMS wear out on your car. How often do you take your car in for maintenance? Are you fastidious about it, or do you let stuff go?

Well I am firm believer in the 3000 mile oil change rule. I don’t take it in though, my dad currently does it for me. I have my dad do my brakes when it is time too.

2) A neighbor’s house burns down in a FIRE. You have a hunch, but no proof, that the neighbor did it for the insurance. Do you alert the authorities?

I would not alert the authorities because I have no proof. However if the authorities came to me and asked me I would let them know that I had a hunch but no proof.

3) Your ear DRUM is hurting like crazy. Do you bother to go to the doctors?

It depends on how bad it hurts and if I have other symptoms. If It is just an earache I will wait a couple days to see if it gets better before rushing off to see the doctor.
4) Think of song or movie with “FIRE” in the title. What is it? Why did it pop into your mind?

Well the first song I can think of is the song Fire Woman by The Cult. I have always enjoyed this song…specifically these lyrics:

You shake it up, you’re to blame, got me swayin’ little honey.

My heart’s a ball of burnin’ flame.

Now the first movie that pops into my mind doesn’t have the word FIRE in the title but is about firefighters and that is Backdraft. I really like that movie. But I didn’t like the Backdraft attraction at Universal Studios because being that close to the fire scared the living daylights out of me.

5) Remember Stephen King’s “The Shining,” and the whole reDRUM thing? Have you read much King? Seen his movies? Been by his house? Anything related to him at all?

I have read most of his books…with the exception of the Dark Tower series which are too sci-fi for me. I love the books he has written under the pen name Richard Bachman with Thinner being my absolute favorite. Did you know that Richard Bachman has a new book coming out? He does…it is called Blaze. I am looking forward to it. His newer book The Cell is in my large TO READ pile and I haven’t gotten his Lisely’s Story yet…but I really want it. Stephen King is also the author of one of the best writing books I have ever read, called On Writing.
I have not been by his house because he lives in Maine…and that is a bit far for me for a Sunday drive.

I have also read a book by his son who writes under the name Joe Hill. He has writen a book called Heart-Shaped Box that was a good book. On my wishlist is his first book 20th Century Ghosts…a book of short stories. I have also have just purchased Owen King’s book, who is also Stephen King’s son.
Bonus: What color FIRE ENGINE do you prefer: Red, White, or Yellow/Green? Why?

This is a great question…to which the quick answer is Orange (I have seen them so they do exist). I have an interesting long answer though.

When I was young I would get up early when my dad got up to go to work. Then after he left I would crawl into bed with my mom before officially beginning my day. My mom…of course would be trying to sleep but I was rested and wanted to talk and invariably the conversation would go like this:

Me: Let’s Talk

Mom: What do you want to talk about Amy?

Me: (after thinking for a minute) Fire Engines!

Mom: What about fire engines?

Me: Well..mostly they are red…but sometimes they are yellow like the one’s by Sweetie Pie’s house…

(sweetie pie was my nickname for my paternal grandfather…no one knows where I got it but it is just what I called him).