Moving aheadWednesday, January 27, 2010
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I was really impressed by Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien in his final shows last week. I’m not a huge fan of his comedy style, but I liked his attitude in his closing shows. I admire him as a person and I think he has good character. He worked really hard and made his dream come true, which was to host The Tonight Show. He got to do it for a short time; now he isn’t going to have the show anymore. Instead of feeling sorry for himself and spending a lot of time blaming and being angry at others, he’s maintaining a positive attitude. He’s moving on and seems ready for the next chapter in his life. He was very thankful for the opportunity. He just wants to continue to do what he loves. For him that’s “having fun on television.” As I watched Conan on his last nights with NBC, I realized I can relate to him in a lot of ways. Instead of TV, my passion is driving Top Fuel. I’m sure that’s the not the last time we will see Conan. I’m willing to bet he will come back stronger, doing what he loves with another network.

I, too, plan to return doing what I love, as you probably know if you’ve been reading my blogs. I have some things in the works. I can’t wait to tell you all the good news when I have something solid to announce. It can’t come soon enough for me. I’m so thankful for all the fan support. It means more than you could ever know.

I think last time I wrote, I was leaving for Northern California for the holidays in December. It was so nice to be back with my family again. I spent a lot of time with my sister, Kim. She was nice enough to pick me up from the airport at 1 a.m. when I got there, and then she let me tag along with her wherever she went for the entire 10 days that I was there. We stayed at our mom’s house in Eureka and we spent a lot of time with her.

On my first day there, Kim and I, went to lunch with my Dad and Grandpa. Then we went to my brother, Kevin’s, basketball game. He’s an awesome player and led his team to victory at the game I got to see. His picture was even in the paper the next day.

On Christmas Eve, my dad had a little get together which was really fun. Then after the party all five of my sisters and brothers -- Kim, Kevin, Jessica, Austin, and I -- got together in front of the Christmas tree for a picture. All of us don’t usually have the chance to be together because we are all so busy with sports, work, and the geography between us. I don’t think all five of us have been together in a long time. I loved that we could all hang out and spend time together.

After my relaxing trip to California, the real work began once I got back to Michigan. It was moving time, which is never fun. Thankfully my boyfriend, Matt Hines, came over to help me pack and move. The two of us loaded nearly everything of mine into his truck and trailer. The best part was that moving day was when it was about 10 degrees  – with the wind chill -  outside so we were like icicles before we were finished.

We moved all the stuff to my new residence, which is in Brownsburg, Ind. The biggest challenge is that the apartment I now rent is about half the size of my condo in Ypsilanti. I lived in Michigan for four years and accumulated a lot of things. I have a lot of racing memorabilia that means a great deal to me and I cannot part with. Of course, I have a lot of shoes and clothes that I definitely “need.” It’s actually sort of sad that it’s a problem to have too much stuff. I was really feeling guilty about it. I gave a lot of things away to Goodwill and to my church, but I still am finding it a real challenge to eliminate things I don’t really need.

After the move but before I had time to get settled, Matt and I took a ski trip that we had been planning for a couple of months. We went with his brother, Andrew, and Andrew’s wife, Tanya. We flew to Vail, Colo., where we skied for three days. It was so much fun. Matt hadn’t skied since the mid-'90s but you would have never known. He’s a great skier. I think we both challenged each other racing… I mean skiing down the mountain. I like skiing in Colorado because even though it was cold, there was blue sky and sun the entire time. Matt and I always have a good time together, but we had an especially good time in Vail. I definitely wouldn’t mind going back there again.

In order to do stuff like that, I need a j-o-b. Right now I’m spending a lot of time working on getting back in a fuel car, which I’m praying will happen sooner rather than later. That’s obviously my first choice for a job. I’m also trying to get settled into my new apartment. I’m still trying to figure out how to creatively organize my new place. It’s small but cozy. It works for me for now. I’m just excited to be in Indy now. I do miss a lot of the people at Kalitta Motorsports. There are some really good people there. I made some great friends who will always be my friends. I’m forever thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of that team.

I’m so excited for the new season to start! I’ll be in Pomona and Phoenix. I can’t wait to see, feel, hear, and smell some nitro!