Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Editing my life, part 1: Redirecting Focus

Earlier today, I took the dust buster apart to dump out the dirt into the trash. As usual, I struggled to put the pieces back together. For some reason I simply couldn't lock it into place. I swore like a trucker; I said a list of naughty words I'd never say in front of my niece and then took a deep breath, turned around and stopped paying attention and decided to put the pieces together without looking and...WHAM...the pieces locked in and the dust buster went from two pieces to one.

I held my breath, counted to three and exhaled.
"Is this a sign?" I asked myself out loud.

I spend my life trying hard to make things work for me in friendships; in fitness competing; in college; in writing blogs, stories and in NASCAR journalism; in my relationship with my parents and sister; in eating healthy; in writing my resume, editing my resume, re-writing my resume, editing it once again and re-writing it all over; in making money and everything else in life that I want to do and do well, yet, I struggle. Just like I struggled with putting the dust buster back together. I was paying attention to how the pieces fit and still couldn't put them together, it's a stupid isolated incident but it made me think about life.
Ever notice how some people just fly through life by the seat of their pants and everything tends to fall into place? I'm not one of those people. I have to work hard and I have to study but more importantly, I pay attention. Maybe I should stop paying attention.
Another thing I noticed was there's always someone there trying to help and give advice. I worry about that. There's too much advice and too much help. There comes a time in life when you need to look at your friends and family and say, "I love you. I care about you and you will be a part of my life forever but I can't accept your advice."
So the point of this blog is, sometimes you just need to stop paying attention and stop asking for help and simply "Do It."

Edit your life - Redirect your focus!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 4: The Cast of my favorite show

I had a hard time picking one show so I've decided to post two pictures of my two all time favorite shows. Nowadays, they don't make fiction sitcoms or weekly drama shows like they used to. It's all about meaningless reality shows. Okay, some reality TV is a bit meaningful but there isn't anything out there that's pure fiction and entertainment, something to stretch the imagination after a long day. As a teenager, I had more favorite shows than as an adult, it boiled down to two and I haven't changed my mind. Here they are:


Carrie Bradshaw was created by a writer back in the mid 1990's by a woman named Candace Bushnell. The story was originally a novel. HBO got their hands on that novel and turned it into a series that sky rocketed into pop cultures hottest chic flick.
Sarah Jessica Parker plays Carrie and will unfortunately be recognized as Carrie for a long time, if not, the rest of her career. Sarah's acting resume goes as far back as the early 80s when she played in movies like Footloose and Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Her experience in making fun movies that girls and women love most is what makes her the perfect Carrie. Just about every writer I know wants to be the next Carrie Bradshaw in her own right. In conversations with friends, many of us pick a character we most relate to, most of us want to be either Carrie or Charlotte, the hopeless romantic that still believes in fairy tales; I've yet to meet anyone who admits to being cynical like Miranda or as open minded with her sexuality like Samantha but face it ladies, we all have one of these characteristics in us.
Sex and the City has not come back with weekly episodes but has two box office hit movies and for each release, it's a big party filled glitz, glamor and cocktails.

The second show I love the most is FRIENDS.

A quirky stage played sitcom in the NBC studios in California, FRIENDS found a way to touch the hearts of Americans and made us laugh. Although these characters are a bit harder to relate to, we still understood it. Each episode touched a part of adult life that we've all been through. Unemployment, divorce, single parenting, alcohol, dating your best friends ex; running into an old high school crush and finding out he's not that special - it was all relevant to life. Sure, it's odd and rare that six people meet and suddenly all fall in love at one point but if you've ever been a part of tight knit friendship circle, you'll get it. A lot of us, myself included, have dated our friends friend; some of you may have dated your friends brother or sister but if you didn't, this cast still made you laugh and made you cry. They ended their journey with a bang; we miss them but we can still watch re-runs and I don't know about you but I've seen a lot of these episodes about a dozen times and I still laugh as if I've never seen it before. The cast of FRIENDS were also the highest paid cast, bringing in 1 million dollars each for one episode (in other words, it cost $6 million to keep the cast and that's not including all the behind the scenes employees).
I even love their theme song, "I'll be there for you," by the Rembrants; it's uplifting and fun not to mention, this band is still making money from the shows success and their re-runs.

Neither of these shows can be re-created but throughout pop culture history, a few sitcoms and dramas have come out to dominate the charts like these two have. Seinfeld was another sitcom that adults loved to watch for it's pure and outlandish humor. Beverly Hills 90210, DYNASTY and SOPRANOS were other shows that captured audiences and made lots of money.

What shows were you once addicted to and can still watch re-runs without getting bored?

Day 3 The friend I've had for a long time

I met her in sixth grade and we've been through a lot throughout the years. She lived two miles down the road from me and we made tons of memories together. From walks to the ice cream shop called LANGS, to swimming in the pools at each others houses to most recently, we spent 75 minutes on the phone TALKING (not texting or emailing or messaging, TALKING). She has two kids now and is still living in the first house she bought herself. She prefers to be called Asia when I blog about her and I'll always have a place in my heart for her. She is the friend I've had the longest.
This is a picture of us, she's to my left, with a friend of ours on my 32nd birthday; we were having dinner at Ned Divine's, Boston.

Day 2 of Photo Challenge: A picture of my night

So here we are, Day 2 of the photo challenge and I'm to post of something I like to do at night.

I love the night life. Whether I'm out with family for dinner, out the girls for cocktails or with a group of people at a local bar to watch a local band, I just simply love to be out socializing and having a good time.
I've had an amazing night life in Charlotte, NC but I decided to pick old pictures of friends that I miss.
Here's a picture of the past with friends in Boston, probably at the Bell-in-Hand Tavern, our favorite spot.

I've decided to add a second picture of my friends and I at my favorite restaurant in Boston, SONSIE on Newbury Street.

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 1: Me & 10 Facts

Here is a photo challenge that I decided to participate in, let's see if I can do this for 30 Days!


1. I love music
2. I love to read
3. I love to write
4. I hate to clean
5. I'm allergic to dust and strong scents
6. I sneeze often
7. My favorite hobby is exercising/working out
8. I'm a fish out of water: a true Pisces
9. I don't like sugar in anything, food or drinks
10. I'm a summer sports kind of girl, beach, pool and lakes

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When can you call yourself a writer?

This has been a topic of conversation in the past: When can you really call yourself a writer?

Recently, I met a woman who claimed to be a writer; impressed I asked her questions, 'what have you written?' 'what's your blog address?' all appropriate questions to ask and her response was "Oh I don't share that stuff and I haven't been able to write anything in two years, I'm too tired."

I sat down curious about why she felt entitled to call herself a writer. As I got to know her better, she told me she didn't feel the need to share her writing and most important, she never did anything that helped inspire future writing; not online, not in college, not with friends or family.
I on the other hand have shared more stories, blogs and articles then I can count. In the past six years, I've blogged about everything from personal relationships, to friendships, to heartache to happiness, to losing my niece and grandparents; to health, fitness, exercise, nutrition, Red Sox, Patriots, living in Boston, Politics, campaigning for a President; the rights to vote, moving to Albany, NYC trips, living with a boyfriend, living with family, moving to Charlotte, restaurant and bar reviews, NASCAR and now I'm going to press conferences as well as being scheduled to be in the media for two future races in Charlotte and NH.

Right before I took off to Bristol Motor Speedway last March, this very same woman advised me to sit it out and go some other time after I confided in her about my worry that it's a bit of an expensive trip.

I didn't take her advise; it occurred to me that she was filled with advise but her words were discouraging. She never once went out of her way to inspire herself to be a better writer, nor did she ever want people to read what she did write, so why should I listen to her? She took the safe road out, she got a desk job, doing the same thing every day for about five years of her life. Sure she has some money, a boyfriend, a few kids but she is not a writer and she can't tell me how to approach my journey to be a writer.

A writer, whether paid or not, is someone who writes every day. Someone who finds inspiration in every thing she/he does and goes out of their way to educate themselves and learns from other writers by reading every single day.
Writing is also a lonely hobby or job. It's hours of sitting alone at a desk, lost in your own world with characters; if you're into news writing, it's imperative to be accurate on quotes and details and no matter what you write, it's time consuming.

A few years ago, I met someone who didn't think you should call yourself a writer unless your novel was published; so I wonder, if you publish one novel and get paid $20,000 for one release and never write again for the rest of their life more of a writer then someone who writes everyday and doesn't get paid a lot?

I've heard every criticism known to man. I know more discouraging and disrespectful people then positive, helpful people. I've been in arguments about my spending money to be a better writer; I've even ended a relationship with a boy and moved out of his apartment because didn't support my journey (okay there were other reasons but lack of support was on the top of the list). The negative people are out of my life and I don't miss them. My question is: what right do you have to give me advise if you've never written a damn word; never been more successful than me and more importantly, never read a word I wrote?
The bottom line is this is my choice; it's my passion; I can't help it. I read; I write.
I write articles in my head when I'm driving or running or swimming or taking a shower.
I honestly do not know how to spend one day without writing something, even the few that I choose to not share with the world.
Whether or not I become as rich and successful as Danielle Steele, Stephen King or Candace Bushnell or heck even TV broadcast writers like Barbara Walters or Dianne Sawyer or Tom Brokow is not important to me - it would be sweet but it's not important.
A few years ago, when I competed, I trained every day and my trainer told us we were competitors, even if we hit the stage once,twice or 100 times because being competitive is in our blood. She even told us the only way you'll succeed is if you call yourself a competitor (or writer); live it and it'll come, she advised. Practice and it's yours. I'm a former competitor but I still have that competitive spirit; I even compete writing.
I train every day. I write every day. I read every day. Paid, successful or simply just as a hobby I am a writer.

Please check out my articles on Skirts and Scuffs. Especially check out the press conference I attended at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

When the rest of the world walked out on me, she walked in and gave me hope.

My mother taught me the most valuable lessons in life, without her, I wouldn't know how to speak in English. My memories of those days when I was six years old are faint but I know that because of her, I learned to love to read and write. We shared some books and we both love to spend hours at Barnes and Noble. She allowed me to express my thoughts, imagination and taught me that it's okay to be creative.
I do remember how I would fight with her about eating my vegetables and fish; I bet neither one of us ever imagined I'd grow up be a health enthusiast like I have but it's all because of what she taught me when I was young. I sometimes have to remind her that I prefer my veggies raw but I still prefer veggies and fish over any other food.
I remember the nights we'd play the music loud as we danced around the living room to Heart, Bonnie Taylor, Micheal Jackson and Madonna records. I remember how she would always drive us to dance, gymnastics and swimming classes. In the summers, she and my dad took my sister and I to Girl Scout Camp, where we spent two weeks in the woods of Vermont; riding horses, canoeing the 43 miles on the Saco River; surviving in the rainy cold or very hot humid summer weather. It was all possible because of her.
Growing up wasn't so easy but she stuck around, never giving up on me when she probably should have. Between Poison concerts, teaching me how to drive, learning to be a part time employee while going to high school and finally graduating, she was there and I never knew why but I guess that's because she believed in me more than anyone else did, including myself.
Our time together changed but it's always been valuable; from beach trips to fancy restaurants; to walks on the Marginal Way and long lazy days at Ogunquit Beach in Maine; to that time we spent in Boston Commons, walking around Boston on a bright sun shiny day and she tried to help me study for my Contracts Law class I was taking in college.
Or the night we went to that bar for a beer in the Theater District before the Blue Man show and I can't forget the most important days of my life.
She was there when I learned to be a fitness model; she helped me out when I needed sponsors to afford competing; she listened to me when I was stressed and frustrated and couldn't focus or was scared of my future.
She listened to me oh did she listen to me; she's sat there for millions of hours of her life listening to all my dreams, hopes and aspirations from the day I was born thru today. She even listened to me when I talked to her about things like how awesome it was that the Patriots won the Super Bowl and how the Red Sox games were coming along and now all my NASCAR stories; she doesn't care about any of that sports gossip but she listens to me and I could tell you I don't know why but the real answer is because I'm her daughter and all she ever wanted was to know I was happy and now I can tell you Mom, I am happy.
I'm happy with my imperfect life because the little things, the small successes in life matter most. It's the conversations we had when we drove from NH to Canada or those days we drove from New England to North Carolina. From the scary landings at Logan Airport during snow storms to the fun day riding motor cycles with dad, friends and cousins David, Steve and Kevin during Bike Week in Laconia.
I know I didn't grow up loving gardening but I grew up to love the outdoors, appreciate traveling, fine dining and most important, the value of family; the little one I have with her and dad as well as the one I have with my sister and niece. It's also about the relationship I have with myself - it's all so special so I thank you Mom for being there and for reminding me to never give up.