One Year of Blogging Later…

Wow, it’s crazy to think that a year ago in class I started a blog, and, though I haven’t been as dedicated to it as I’d like to be, I’m proud to have kept this commitment and hope to continue to blog and write for another full year. In celebration of my second year of blogging, I’m going to take my first post ever-a class assignment, 33 things about myself-and create a new list, listing 33 things that have changed in my life since I began blogging.

This year, I…

1) got accepted into my school’s National Honors Society.

2) went to Austria and Germany, which included my first plane ride and traveling by myself (without family) for the first time.

3) acquired my driver’s permit.

4) acquired my driver’s license.

5) became both an honorary theater kid and honorary marching band member.

6) got a rifle (I only realized this after this post has been up for a few weeks…a COLORGAURD rifle, not a real rifle!) and Big Time Rush concert tickets for my birthday.

7) went to a Big Time Rush concert.

8) expanded my love of different artists and different genres of music

9) bought Taylor Swift’s RED album on ITunes-crazy how, once again, all her songs directly related to my life’s situation at the time.

10) got a boyfriend and continue to maintain a relationship with him

11) went to junior prom with my boyfriend and wore the most amazing dress-only about $30, it made me look beautiful without showing excessive skin, being excessively short or tight, or being the run-of-the-mill looking prom dresses.

12) haven’t used script, word, or anything to make a website, other than unsuccessfully trying to use script in this blog, since taking the Internet and Web Page Design class.

13) joined Science League

14) made some new best friends while subsequently losing others

15) was a semi-finalist for the New Jersey Scholars program but was ultimately not accepted

16) (hopefully) improved my public speaking and presenting skills

17) was too nosy and completely regretted it

18) got Halo 4….what, it’s important!

19) saw Wreck-it-Ralph, which was like, the best animated movie in a long time

20) couldn’t take German IV this year because it conflicted with other courses in my schedule

21) have continued to write, but unfortunately not as much; my journal has been barren for most of the year

22) took the PSAT and became incredibly jealous when I missed the National Merit by one or two points while another boy in my school became a Merit Scholar

23) took the SAT twice; still waiting for the most current scores but I got a 650 in reading, 650 in math and 760 in writing. Go figure.

24) have decided i will (most likely) not be attending the senior trip because my best friends do not or cannot go; we’ll just have our own little get-away

25) have started making my own sandwiches for school lunches! It’s a miracle!

26) have decided that I will start my own religion in which a woman can have more than one husband so I can marry Kendall Schmidt, Hunter Hayes and Trevor Bayne; my boyfriend can be my servant. (no, I’m not serious)

27) asked my dad if I could have the 1979 Chevy Camaro my great uncle sold to him (for like, $500) and he’s fixing it, though I should probably help him (blech I’m a terrible child).

28) realized because the car might not be done by the time school starts next year, when I’ll have a parking spot and be able to drive to school, we may have to start looking for a cheap, used car this summer

29) tore my ACL

30) got a bajillion letters from different colleges about applying but have not gone on any tours or anything

31) did go to a seminar for four different colleges, one of which I will most likely be applying to (Johns Hopkins University) because they have a good biology program. Other colleges I’ve been thinking of attending are Pittsburgh State, Gettysburg College, Arcadia, and trying to apply to colleges such as Chicago University, Princeton and even Harvard (because I would totally love it there haha [insert sarcasm here])

32) had my first kiss

33) have been leaning toward either becoming an English major (no clue where I could go from there) or becoming a molecular geneticist (something like that), medical scientist, biological scientist, geneticist or forensic scientist. I also want to have a minor in German and continue to travel.

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Nascar

So one of my favorite birthday cards my dad ever got was, appropriately, about Nascar. On the front it had two hillbilly-ish looking guys and a caption saying “Ever wonder how “Nascar” got its name?”. Inside the car the two hillbillies were looking at a car and their speech bubbles said, “That’s a nas car right there.” and “Yeah, a reeeaaal nas car.”

If you were to call me a redneck or hick or hillbilly for proudly proclaiming that Nascar (and racing in general) is one of my favorite all time sports (up there with soccer, and third would be hockey), I’d thank you because I have no problem with these terms.

I don’t mind, of course, when people don’t like Nascar. It’s like how I just don’t like basketball, for my own reasons (I just find it boring); everyone deserves their own opinion. I tend to get fired up and disagree, though, when people don’t consider it a sport. “Sport” is a very general term (go look it up in a dictionary, why don’t ya?), and if it can include cheerleading, it can include racing. Though they are not the quintessential example of “athlete”, they have the second best reflexes in sports, only after baseball players. They require more mental toughness than in any other sport, considering they are in a car that can reach speeds of almost 200 miles per hour (on the fastest tracks, even on the smaller tracks its still 150 or so) for hours, under the pressure of the G forces and knowing that a single move can, at best, ruin their car and put them out of the race, at worst injure them or take their life, or hurt someone else. As the commercials like to say, “Everything else is just a game”.

Honestly, my love for the sport doesn’t have any sense to it? Why would I waste a few hours just sitting, watching cars go around in a circle again, and again, and again, and again, for 200-500 miles. Essentially, that is all Nascar is.

But is so much more. There is so much engineering and technological genius that goes into these cars, that I guess people like my dad (who is a heavy equipment (crane) mechanic) can relate to. The athletes in Nascar are the most grounded, coolest guys in all of sports.  They make a fair amount, but it is far from ridiculous. They are just typical guys who love racing and cars.

I’ve watched Nascar so intently over my childhood and teenage years that I know most of the drivers by heart, and have my little preferences and inside jokes with my dad. Chad Knaus is probably one of the smartest guys around, and my dad likes to say he could have worked for NASA or something but went to Nascar instead. Whenever they talk about Juan Pablo Montoya, my family always quotes the Princess Bride and say, “I am Juan Pablo Montoya, and you killed my father; prepare to die.” Oh and it wouldn’t be a race without Sam Hornish Jr. wrecking. I’ll even admit to my crush on Trevor Bayne (if you’re out there, I love you, WAIT FOR ME. Sorry, I’m joking of course, but I couldn’t resist).

But most importantly are the wonderful ways it has affected me personally. Nascar just makes me feel good, and relaxes me (even though sometimes the suspense of those few final races kills me). When my favorite drivers win (such as when Brad Keselowski, won the championship last season), it’s as if I just won the race.  It’s exciting.  My dad, of course, works all week and sometimes Saturdays. Nothing beats Nascar season and the assuredness that he will be there watching the race on Sunday afternoon-and I can be there alongside him. We talk and joke about the race and other things too; it’s something that just brings us together, and I will always be thankful to Nascar for the wonderful experiences it has put in my life.

So, come Sunday afternoon, I will be on my couch, probably some tortillas and salsa on the table, with my dad and dog close by, watching the first race of the 2013 season of Nascar: the Daytona 500.