I’m Still A Race Fan…

… Though you’d probably never know because I haven’t talked about it in, well, all of last season and my driver won it all. He’s the current Nascar champion.

I didn’t even watch most of the Nascar races last season.

Why not? Why did I end up taking a nap during most of the races I did watch? Because it’s become…tame. And boring. The leader would get out in front of the pack and runaway more often than not. The rivalry’s that the sport used to have are gone. The tension between drivers is just… Boring. Even when my driver won. Still. I found it boring and lacking any sort of real excitement. I mean, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have grown up and put their issues to bed and it’s been years since we’ve seen a good Kevin Harvick hood walking, jump and land a punch fight because tensions were high and there were wins on the line. Now… it’s just… It’s money driven. Keep the car clean. Keep the sponsors happy. Tow the line.

I’d rather see the knock-down, see the fire, see the spark. But, that’s just me.

I also haven’t been to a race in a couple of years. I didn’t want to pay that much money to people watch when I could go almost anywhere else within a 50 mile radius to find people doing stupid shit. Maybe not belly flopping in the mud after guzzling beer stupid, but ya know, sacrifices.

That’ll change this upcoming season, though. My son’s favorite driver since, oh… ’95, is retiring. Jimmie Johnson. So, we’ll be taking the 7 minute drive to Charlotte Motor Speedway a couple times to see him race in his final season.

The race watching has already begun in our house: Supercross began a couple weeks ago. And the Rolex 24 is this upcoming weekend from Saturday at 1:30pm until Sunday at 1:40pm. I plan to camp out in the living room, get TrackPass from NBC Sports Gold, and indulge. And bonus… Kyle Busch will be taking part in his first Rolex 24 in car #14, GT Daytona.

Plus, I stressed myself so much over the last few years with writing, or the lack thereof, that I didn’t take time for things I enjoyed (I didn’t even watch half the college football that I usually watch). I spun my wheels, did absolute shit to achieve any sort of meaningful progress for all my talk of mindset shifts and insights and whatever… None of it meant anything because I didn’t make any of the changes that needed to be made. I paid lip service, acknowledged some wrongdoing, wrong ways of thinking, but didn’t do the conscious work and it is work, very hard work, beyond journaling, to get through the internal bullshit and make real moves forward into a different mental and emotional place.

This year, though… 2020? Yeah, I’ve started actually doing the work. And it’s included taking some time away from the desk, to do things that make me happy. It’s mostly been reading, but I’m branching out to include other things… This topic is a post for another day, though. For now, just know, I’m taking time to smell the proverbial roses, and that includes bright, shiny cars with high powered engines.

You can take the girl away from Nascar, but you can’t take Nascar away from the girl…or something like that. That was bad, I know. Go on and roll your eyes. I did.

And yes, all this racing inspires other things that I’ll talk to you about at a later date, things like words…

Lissa

Glass Houses and Shit!

Kyle and Samantha Busch, image courtesy of FoxSports, Nascar. Related artlcle: http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/shake-and-bake/dale-earnhardt-jr-kyle-busch-carl-edwards-samantha-busch-richmond-international-raceway-042516

Yes, I said Shit. I’ll say it again. SHIT!

Wondering why? Okay, a little background…

During the Nascar race yesterday in Richmond, on the last lap, Kyle Busch was about to win. He was THIS close. He was bumped and moved out of the way by his teammate, Carl Edwards, who went on to win. I sat here and I watched it and the first word out of my mouth was SHIT!

During that part of the race, the television cameras panned to Kyle Busch’s wife, Samantha, and her reaction was SHIT! You couldn’t hear her say it, but you could see her say it. Since then, she’s received such hate on social media…

Now, I’m not a practicing Christian. Hell, I’m not even sure I am a believer anymore, but she is and her faith has been questioned because she said Shit on television. Mind you, she didn’t know she was on camera. And she shouldn’t have to mind what she says at any time. It’s not anyone’s place to judge her, certainly not assholes who have nothing better to do than jump on her for showing some real and raw emotion, something the drivers aren’t allowed to do when a microphone is shoved in their faces as soon they exit the car, win or lose.

Other things have been said about her, too. It’s stupid. It’s ridiculous. And it’s pathetic.

Social media for some reason has given nameless, faceless people an outlet for their judgment, for their less than magical opinions, for their hate, their bigotry, their racism, their boredom. Get. A. Fucking. Life.

Samantha has apologized and some of the drivers have told her not to apologize, that she has nothing to apologize for. And they’re right. So she said Shit on television. It’s not the end of the world and it’s not the end of her faith. She’s a role model, yes. I get that. But does it mean she has to be void of emotion? That she has to carry herself above everyone else? Nope. Not a bit.

Be real. I love when people are REAL! I love when those in the public eye go off on the media or even go off on their fans or their haters… You know why? Because they’re finally showing something real, most times not staged or faked, but real. I don’t know y’all… It’s fucked.

The race was good. It was great actually. Even the ending. Yes, I wanted Kyle to win. I stomped and said Shit out loud when he lost. I felt it… Every Kyle fan felt it… Samantha felt it, too, and to an even bigger degree of disappointment. She was the one on camera. She was the one who was caught saying it. She’s the one getting shit for saying it, for saying Shit.

Those who sit in judgment, who profess faith yet cast stones, who use social media to tear down others because it makes you feel big and bad and important, who yell hypocrite… Fuck. You. Your glass house is going to shatter…

This post has nothing to do with anything other than it’s my blog and I can…

~lissa

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep. That’s right. It’s my birthday. Or rather, it’s my real persona’s birthday but she allows me as Lissa Matthews to share it too. 😉

I am taking today off from writing. I always take my birthday off. I will do a little shopping. Some coffee drinking. I will indulge in a birthday cake from my favorite store along with some of my favorite foods. I will spend the weekend having fun, relaxing, indulging, and watching the season’s first Nascar races.

I typically spend a week celebrating, or a month, but I have been terribly busy this year so far trying to get new books written, older books finished, and interesting new ideas percolating. I have one story under contract already and one that I’m waiting to hear back on. There will be at least 3 releases by late Spring and I’m very excited about that, with more releases coming in Summer and following through the rest of the year. This re-starting of a writing career is hard when I didn’t intend to ever have to do it in the first place. In the last year, I’ve grown and learned a lot about myself as a person and writer and friend. I’ve lost some people and gained others. I’ve asked questions I didn’t like the answers to, but have started learning from them. I’m enjoying writing again and I had lost that feeling for a while and wasn’t sure it was going to come back.

I’m learning to own my mistakes, own my reactions, own my failures, and own my triumphs. I’m learning to like me and who I am becoming. And I’m learning that life is way too damn short not to speak up, not to tell someone the truth, not to stay silent when I would rather do just the opposite. I am learning to ask for help, to say thank you when a compliment is given, to keep my nose to the grindstone and not give a shit in certain situations.

I am 42 years old today. And my goal for this year is to continue learning…my craft, myself, my passions, my life.

Birthdays are not a bad thing and I try to keep my head up as I grow older. I am learning and trying to be more appreciative of the days and hours that go by. I am learning who I want to let into my life, who I allow to affect me and who I cherish.

Over the course of the next month, until March 22, some of those people will receive emails from me containing gifts. Gift cards, coffee, sweets, books, or whatever I happen to think they’ll enjoy. I love gifting people for my birthday. It means a lot to me to be able to give to those who’ve made this last year better than expected.

Now, if y’all will gather around, I’ll listen to you sing Happy Birthday! 😉

Have a fantastic Friday and weekend. And remember… we want the #18 M&M’s Camry of Kyle Busch to win the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

~lissa

Budweiser Shootout 2012 and a Giveway!

Last night was the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. It was fast and, well it was a bit furious. The last few years, NASCAR racing at Daytona and Talladega has been less than stellar. Two car tandem drafts were kinda boring. There was no big wreck. There was no excitement. But, NASCAR has changed things around, again, and the boys are back to needing to think and drive in pack mentality.

Last night’s race was a lesson leading up to the Daytona 500 next Sunday. There will be wrecks. A lot of them. We have to hope for the best, that no one gets hurt, that one loses their life. We have to hope all drivers walk away after the race and after a wreck, just as Jeff Gordon did in the Shootout when he flipped over multiple times, when Kevin Harvick’s car was on fire, when several drivers ended up slammed into the wall.

But there will be wrecks. There will be tempers. There will sparks flying. And it’ll be a hell of race to watch.

This is me. This is how I was dressed yesterday. The important part was the hat. It was sent to me by my brother for Christmas, along with a limited edition Toyota t-shit from one of Kyle’s biggest wins. I didn’t wear that one. I’ll put it on next weekend. But, I sent this to picture to my brother and if any of you know anything about the last year for me, my half-brother has come into my life after 32 years apart. We share a lot of similar things and one of them happens to be racing. We can talk racing. We laugh about it. We discuss heatedly about it.

Last night we texted throughout the race. It was incredibly fun. We seemed to have the same opinions about almost everything. Our sense of humor is identical in most cases. So, yesterday, I took this for him and sent. Upon receipt, he took one of him and his new hat…

This was also my first piece of camo gear…grins

Kyle Busch, won the Budweiser Shootout for 2012. I couldn’t be more thrilled. He’s got a lot of haters, and well, that’s fine. Hate him. It just motivates him and his fans. Me included.

There were inches separating Kyle and Tony Stewart when they came across the Start/Finish Line. There were cheers and there were boos when Kyle got out and stood on the window cut-out of his car and took his signature victory bow for the crowd.

Now during races, I scream at the drivers, at NASCAR, at the television. I get as amped about it as I do college football. The adrenaline rush is amazing… The way the yelling relieves stress is too. Grins…

Once the race was over and I was so stoked that I couldn’t sit my ass down, I decided that in honor of this win by Kyle, I needed to have a giveway. Besides, it is my birthday this week and what better way to start off the celebration than this! Damn, I wish I’d been there!

As for what I’m going to give away?

1 copy of any of my backlist or 1 copy of my upcoming release, Forever In Blue Jeans (due out Wednesday 2/22/2012) and $10 in eBook Bucks from All Romance eBooks. (International)

1 Personalized Bag of M/M’s (your choice of color) with the #18 on them because well, that was the winning car number and winning car sponsor from the Budweiser Shootout. (US only)

What do you have to do to win? Leave me a comment here on my blog telling me your favorite color M&M. If you don’t like M&M’s…well, then tell me what your favorite candy is. Please remember to leave your email address along with your comment.

I’m not requiring you to follow my blog or my Facebook Fan Page, or sign up for my newsletter, but if you’d like to do any or all of those, that would be awesome.

So, congratulations to Kyle Busch and the #18 team and Joe Gibbs Racing on their victory last night and best of luck to all 43 drivers who will start the Daytona 500 on February 26, 2012.

I’ll choose a winner from the comments by 6pm EST on Monday, the 20th and post them on the blog.

Have a great Sunday!

~lissa

(Images, other than myself, obtained from Nascar.com)