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When I bought my HHR- I let the vanity plates that were on my trade in go.  There were several reasons I did that but one of the major ones is that I found out (after having the plates for several years) that my mom thought they sounded dirty (BADGRUV) even though that technically they were just the name of this site- truncated into 7 characters).   When I got my sequential plates for the HHR I immediately hated them.  6BCZO95.  It was the BZCO part that I didn’t like, but it wasn’t with enough vigor to go through the hassle and expense of getting new vanity plates.  But in March I decided what the heck and started formulating a plan for new vanity plates.

It took me awhile and I batted around ideas with Misty…and I finally came up with (heart)14 SHR (in CALI you can have a special character on your plate if you pay a little more). I filled out the form online and paid the deposit and began the waiting game.  I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting for something I want.

Eight weeks later I got a lovely letter in the mail from the DMV stating that my plates had been denied.  No reason was given other than they reserve the right to reject plates that are considered lewd or otherwise offensive and if I have questions I can call.  I did and the person I spoke with first compared my requested plate up against the list of automatic turn downs and it passed those.  I would need to speak with someone at the field office but it was a Thursday afternoon and they were furloughed on Friday so I would have have to wait til Monday or Tuesday for my call back. So I waited.  Meanwhile I wracked my brain trying to figure out what on earth could be lewd or offensive about (heart)14SHR…I came up blank. Everyone I asked came up with nothing.

I finally got my call back on the following Monday afternoon. Turns out…California does not let the number 14 on license plates because of connotation it has with the “14 Words.”  I had to look it up online because I hadn’t even heard of it before- it’s some aryan thing. So yeah…my plates were denied because they were considered racist of all things (can you read the eyeroll in there? Because it’s there.)  BUT she said…BUT I could write a letter of contest if the number has a special meaning to me and they would consider it.  BUT that would just slow down the whole process.  I hung up, admittedly disheartened.  I could NOT figure out a way to make a plate that showed my love of SHR and the 14 without using the number 14.  (Try it…it’s not easy). I did NOT want to write a letter and get involved in some battle regarding the semantics of a personalized license plate with the freaking DMV.

But I really wanted to get rid of my sequential plates.  So I chatted with Misty some more and I am pretty sure she came up with what I ended up with:

Get it? T STEW(heart). Say it out loud fast: Stewheart.  I just hope that there are no crazy people out there who think I am a stew lover….it could and probably will happen.  My first vanity plates were BK2RLTY– Back To Reality.  But people kept asking me if I was in realty.

Picture if you will, it’s my lunch hour…and I scurry across the street from my building with my keys in hand. I begrudgingly leave my awesome parking spot (parking where I work is a blood sport- have I mentioned that?) and crank up the tunes on my ipod. I head towards the center of town running through my mental list of errands I need to get done (post office, cvs, grocery store). There is this road that kind of connects the campus I work on with the town next to it. The speed limit on this corridor is 25 but people rarely go that slow and I am no exception. It’s easy to hit 40-45 mph on this road because it’s not really residential, but it’s not really rural. It’s hard to explain.

Anyway…today I happen to be cresting the small hill in the middle of the road when I see a motorcycle cop sitting there in the one street that intersection this section of road. He’s facing me. “Shit!” I proclaim to myself.  I do not slam on my brakes despite that being my first instinct but I definitely lift off the gas. I look down at my spedometer and I am going about 35 after lifting from the gas. “Great!”

I pass the intersection and keep glancing into my review mirror, fully expecting to see the motorcycle and his flashing blue lights behind me.  And they never come.  Did I deserve a ticket? Heck yes. Did I even get pulled over? No.  I will consider that my Christmas present from the police department. Thank you very much!

This may totally shock you but I do have a life outside of loving NASCAR…shut up I actually do!   I LOVE to write. And I LOVE photography. And I LOVE crafting of all types.  I write daily (not necessarily here or in a public arena really even) so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that.   Every single day- I have done some sort of writing.  I am taking photography classes to get better there- so I don’t do it daily but usually weekly because I have an assignment or five to turn in.  So naturally crafting has kind of taken a back seat lately only because I do have a real job too and and Roxy and two adorable nephews that I love to play with and you know…sleep which is also good. Oh and did I mention I have this thing for baking too? I do. I love to bake because it’s an exact science of measuring and following directions  (unless you are my dad- who is the only person I know who can throw stuff in a mixing bowl haphazardly and end up with delicious cookies no matter what he throws in the bowl or how much).  Ok so technically sometimes the love of writing and the photography thing intermix with NASCAR but they are actually also totally independent of each other.  Really!

Anyway- today I got a little crazy and signed up for an online CROCHET-ALONG where  we will get weekly clues as to what to crochet and by the time it’s over we will have made a blanket. No problem right? I mean I know how to crochet.  I haven’t actually crocheted anything in over a year or maybe even more now that I think about it. But I have been wanting to pick up a hook again.  I mean why NOT?  So maybe I haven’t EVER made anything as big as an afghan before- there is always a first time for everything right?

Well that is what my crazy right-brain side of me is saying anyway.  The smart (albeit slightly anal) left-side brain is screaming things like DUDE ARE YOU SERIOUS? Another project? Really? It’s not like you don’t have FIVE different things you are currently writing (including this blog), and don’t you have THREE different photography assignments you are working on? And when do you plan to sleep?  Because this is actually the BUSY TIME of the year at work and they just included you on that new assignment that will probably be a lot of work.  CRAZY! YOU ARE CRAZY! Oh and did you not forget that you are going to races in October and November AND champions week in Vegas? When will you have the time? When??????

So yeah- I am slightly crazy and added another thing to my plate but this will be FUN! And an ADVENTURE!  Because not only have I not made anything as big as an afghan before BUT I also haven’t ever crocheted anything without a solid pattern (with pictures) before I started. So it will be odd.  Not knowing what it’s suppose to look like while I am actually making it…so it could all go really wrong.  I will keep you all updated on my progress.

These are the things that I planned to do this weekend:

  1. Write at least three posts for Badgroove.
  2. Write my next post for Racing In America.
  3. Do my photography class assignment (what? You didn’t know I was taking a photography class…you would have if I had completed number one).
  4. Upload said assignment into my online classroom.
  5. Change my sheets.
  6. Wash the dog’s blanket.
  7. Save a bunch of writing and photos onto my external hard drive.
  8. Work on some fiction I am writing.

What I actually completed from that list:

  1. Do my photography class assignment

What I did this weekend:

Took nearly 12 Gigs of photos in my adventures over the course of two days that took me to a parade:

SPD Preparade 1

Marine ColorGuard

Miss california rodeo

To the staging for the parade:

Prepping for The Horse Parade 12

Prepping for The Horse Parade 2

Prepping for The Horse Parade 3

A local state park that I had never been to before:

Foggy Day at The Dunes

Ben Contemplates The Sea 2

shoes on the beach

To a cemetery overrun with deer:

little buck in the cemetery 4

fawn in the cemetery 3

deer in the cemetery 7

Saw the USS Mobile Bay anchored away in the bay:

uss mobile bay

And while I was at the wharf I saw:

nautical knott

cannery row from wharf one

seagul 3

Had a great time but I ended up with a nasty sunburn. It was a great way to waste the weekend. I am such a procrastinator.

If you are privy to my Facebook or follow me at all on my Twitter you might already have figured this out but I figure there are a couple of you out that that do not do either or you might be a first time visitor here (WELCOME!) and might be interested to know.  Ok, honestly, I am just kind of excited about this opportunity and wanted to let you all know about it:

A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in participating in the Racing In America blogRacing in America is actually an exhibit in the works for display at the Henry Ford Museum where visitors can expect to be ” immersed in the history, and in particular the tradition of innovation in American auto racing.” Part of the website about this exhibit is a blog that does pretty much the same thing- it includes  several different bloggers from all over the  motorsports spectrum in the United States and features their writings.  The idea is to gather unique voices from the different genres of motorsports from more of a fan or regular person perspective.  I thought it was an honor to be considered and then to be chosen to be one of these bloggers.

All of this blather is to tell you that my first post is up over at the RIA blog: It’s called Heart Like A Wheel and explains briefly my love of NASCAR and motorsports in general. I would love it if you would go check it out and let me and them know what you think.

I will be writing something there every other week and will definitely let you know each time something new from me is up over there. But I also encourage you to explore the other writers and entries- I have been enjoying them myself!

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RIA did not ask me to promote my post there but honestly I think it’s a cool project and I am kind of proud so I thought I would toot my own horn so to speak. BEEPBEEPBEEEEEP!

You may have noticed that lately Kyle Busch has been driving the Pretzel M&M car (it’s the blue one).  I will tell you this? I LOVE the Pretzel M&M’s- and if it hadn’t been for Kyle and that car I probably would have never discovered them because I am not a big M&M eater in general- so that is your marketing money at work right there M&M/Mars! The Pretzel M&M’s are my new favorite candy and if you come to me bearing a baggie of Pretzel M&M’s* I will love you forever and probably do nearly anything you wanted.  Every time I see the Pretzel M&M car I want a baggie.  It’s like the crack of candy with its tons of chocolatey, crunchy, salty goodness.

And how on earth did I get stuck on that tangent of too much information? By wanting to tell you about the M&M’s Most Colorful Fans contest.  This contest is actually the perfect pairing because as many of you know,  NASCAR fans are a varied, colorful, loving, devoted breed of people (as demonstrated in my favorite NASCAR book THE WEEKEND STARTS ON WEDNESDAY- pick up a copy- you know you want it!) and M&M’s being the colorful candy they are want to recognize the most colorful NASCAR fan.

This is the third year M&M has run this particular contest…and entering is easy.  Enter your favorite NASCAR themed photo (fan – ha that is a funny typo so I am leaving it…enter your fan- not your photo…good luck with figuring out how to upload a fan!) that showcases your love of the sport/your favorite driver and/or team  by uploading it to NASCAR.com/mostcolorfulfans between now and September 6th! Just by uploading a picture you get a fifteen percent off a one-time purchase at the NASCAR.COM Superstore, including free shipping so you are already a winner!  Other fans vote on their favorite photo and you could win one of the weekly $500 gift cards if you are chosen!  There is also an instant win game were you could win a $50.00 gift card.  Three finalist will be chosen to vie for the title of M&M Most Colorful fan.

The NASCAR fan deemed most colorful will win a trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, $10,000 and a yearlong featured display within the Hall of Fame!  Awesome prize right? Just watch this video about last year’s winner:

I bet you could sneak in a trip to your favorite race team’s shop while in Charlotte at the Hall of Fame if you won. If I won you know I would be like “yah yah that’s fine…now where is Stewart-Haas Racing again?”

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*No M&M’s were consumed during the writing of this post-pretzel or otherwise…and that is a shame!

Some of the best advice I ever got from a co-worker (at my real job) was  “Never apologize for doing your job…if you screw up sure apologize but do not apologize for something you were suppose to do.”  I pretty much have taken that to heart…which is easier said than done when you work in customer service/technical support like I do.  However I am going to apologize to you because I feel that I haven’t been doing a very good job here.  I feel my blogging has been incredibly uninspired…and dare I say forced.  And frankly I blame that on me- as I have been uninspired.  I do not know why or what is up with it…I just basically pretty much am forcing myself to blog because otherwise? I wouldn’t update but once a week…and that is NOT me…nor is it badgroove.com.  Maybe I am being too hard on myself as I have a huge tendency towards self-depreciation…but yeah…stick with me ok? It’ll come back.  The mojo, inspiration, muse, whatever you call it. Trust me it just isn’t here that is suffering from this lack-o-inspiration so it’s got to come home and soon.

In a desperate attempt to get some of the inspiration back I took a little road trip on Sunday since the race was on Saturday…I ended up at the zoo without meaning to.  I mean..by the time I got there I meant to be there but when I left the house in the morning I didn’t intend to be at the zoo. My dad and I love to go on “photo” outings…cameras in tow and my mom will often come for the ride.  Usually my dad drives and thus he picks where we go.  This time my parents and I had taken off with cameras in tote (five cameras between three people NOT including cell phone cameras) and since I was driving this time- I decided to head north on Highway 1 since we usually head south.  One thing lead to another and we ended up at the SF Zoo (ok basically my dad begged me to take him to the zoo).  Now I LOVE zoos. LOVE THEM!!!  Unfortunately the SF Zoo isn’t the best of Zoos but still I got some ok shots:

Baby Giraffe. Photo By Me

Gorilla. Photo by Me!

Lion resting in the shade. Photo by me

Swimming Penguin Photo By Me

I also took some flower pictures at the zoo:

Ruby Pinchshion Photo By Me

Some sort of purple flower. Photo by me.

On the way home we stopped to snap a few shots of the Point Pigeon lighthouse:

Point Pigeon Lighthouse Photo by me.

Point Pigeon Lighthouse Photo by me

And also on the way how we stopped and took some pictures of people kite boarding:

Kite Boarder getting some air on the pacific. Photo by me.

You can see the best of my pictures from Saturday’s adventures in my SF Zoo and NorCal Coast Flickr set.

Ok- the title of this entry might just be a little weird but I couldn’t think of anything else to call it.  So last month my beloved nephew MXM turned two years old.  At the time he had a brand new month old brother and my brother wanted him to have a good party outside in a county park with a bounce house and bbq and all that…and the weather was still pretty crappy…plus time snuck up on them and they didn’t have a chance to reserve the picnic ground so this Saturday I will be out at the park celebrating his birthday.

I asked my sister-in-law if there was anything he needed- and she said clothes. So I obliged:

Lots of Clothes for MXM. My favorite is a shirt that says "My Favorite Color is DIRT"

However- I didn’t want to be the aunt who gives the boring presents either. Yeah I know he is only two and probably won’t remember what I gave him on his second birthday or anything…but I had to get him SOME sort of toy. He loves two things: Cars and Sharks. Well Aunty found this the perfect opportunity to share her love of Tony with MXM:

Aunty found some Tony cars for MXM's Birthday!!!