When I moved to California and started my job out here, I noticed the serious lack of American cars on the roads and I get a lot of crap from the people I work with about owning an American car. I do fire back but I just wait in the darkness to strike. So far this month, it’s been great gloating in the land of American car drivers.
When we first got back from break, one of the other new people (Keenan), got off the Fly Away bus to find his car had a flat tire. I suppose it’s not BMW’s fault that he got a flat – it’s the screw that he ran over’s fault, but my ole reliable G6 and little air compressor came to the rescue. Not only for giving him enough of a fill to make it to the tire repair place a mile down the road, but also to give him rides to work, to pick up his car and back to the tire place when it was all said and done.
Now, that story alone is not enough to warrant the effort that went into opening a tab, going to this website, logging on and figuring out the new interface. Today was a more epic story of why I am glad to have my awesome G6.
I had my car into the dealership for service so another one of my co-workers who lives close to the dealership gave me a ride to work. We had to leave early from work to pick up his wife from the eye doctor so I ended up driving his VW to his house while he drove her car home. We made it back to their house and not to long after, we left to pick my car up from the dealership. He dropped me off and we were about to be on our separate ways until he came back into the dealership, needing a jump start on his car. Well, my car could not get his car started, even while revving the engine. My car did not feel the effect of the VW at all. So after a few attempts to start his VW, I gave him a ride home to pick up tools, his wife and then we were back on the road to an auto parts store to pick up another battery. We got the battery switched and I was back in his car to drop it off back at the auto parts store to give back the old battery (In Cali, you have to give back the old battery otherwise they charge you extra – weird). The irony of this all is his car quit at the GM dealership and he’s already put in over $1000 this year (yes all 11 days into it). Gotta love those foreign cars! I got a good dose of comedy today
After 113 days and 510 missed games (including the Winter Classic at the Big House and the All-Star game), the NHL is FINALLY back. I haven’t really read the terms of the new CBA because I really could care less at this point in my life. I just need some hockey. The season is due to start sometime next week and that cannot come soon enough, let me tell you. The regular season will be about 1/2 the length so that means teams have to get to it right away. There is less time for slumps, less time for teams to find themselves and less time for those epic end-of-season come backs to secure a playoff spot.
As a displaced Red Wings fan, I have 2 hopes. One is that Wings games are not blacked out in LA on FS-Detroit and the other is that the Wings will come out to LA so I can attend a game. I will also be sending the Stanley cup back to Detroit where it belongs. Not in LA where they still have yet to talk about the NHL coming back.
So, what are your season predictions? I am curious to see what happens with all the players who are playing overseas, especially the KHL. I think Minnesota will be a team to beat – the eventual champion will have to go through them. Nashville will fall off big time for all they lost.
Bring on hockey!!!
Every year at about this time I reflect on the previous year and cannot imagine how I can top it. This year is no different and I truly believe it was the best and most “exciting” year of my life. Besides the obvious “moving across the country for a dream job” thing, which I will mention again later, it’s been a wild one.
Winter months (Jan-March)
I really rode the roller coaster in terms of job search. I worked at Kettering part time just doing odd jobs. It was not the worst time ever as it gave me time to really close out my Kettering career but it is not what I paid insane amounts of tuition money for, that is for sure. I was also able to join a pretty great Alumni group in Kettering LEADERS that has enabled me to give back to the University, throughout the year.
Spring months (April-June)
Spring is when the job search really took off. I was tired of the eerie crickets that were going on. It was a rollercoaster of emotions – get excited about something and then have it drop off. At the beginning of April, I flew out to LA to interview for the Easton bat R&D engineer position – something that I would not end up getting and knew LA had to be where I ended up. There is a pretty great story about that interview that I will save for the end too. About 2 weeks after getting the denial letter from Easton, while I was writing letters to other companies and working on lining up interviews, I got a call from Easton offering me a different, and better (I think) position. Heck yeah! Mid June, I was on my way to Los Angeles, my new home.
The last half of the year (July-December)
What. An. Adventure! I cannot believe how much I’ve been able to do, exploring my new home, meeting new people. There were the trips to Boston, Mexico and Scotts Valley but the most fun was spent around LA. My favorite (as of right now) time was going to the Rose Bowl and just picturing all of the great Michigan teams that played on that field in the granddaddy of ‘em all! It just left me in awe. But Dodger stadium was not too far behind the Rose Bowl games. I also got into biking a bit (OK maybe a lot) since I got out here. I love every minute out there riding the streets of greater LA. I’ve been able to enjoy the beaches along PCH and new friends who have become family. Also, I was fortunate to have a few visitors to bring me Michigan cheer – my brother, my dad and friends Dan and Shannon.
I mentioned earlier that I needed to tell a story. I think the person (people) that have made the biggest impact on me this year has to be Dewey and his family. When I first flew into LA, he was the 3rd of 4 people interviewed with and not going to lie, he scared the living daylights out of me. I could not figure how I was going to work for him. He seemed to have it out for me and I had no idea why. It was like he was very skeptical of me and I came out of that interview thinking he hated me and there was no way I’d get the job. Fast forward a few months and I am sitting at his kitchen table with his wife and Edsel, another person from work after a bike ride, having his famous waffles, telling this story to them. As the months have gone on, I realized my initial thought of him is way wrong and he and his wife have been one of the big reasons I didn’t get home sick.
In a year that started with me as a brand new college grad, searching for a full-time job, living in Michigan ended as an Engineer for an amazing company in California. Can’t say I’ve done as much in a year than I have this year. Looking forward to 2013. Thank you for reading and hope to see you on here next year.
What are YOUR memories of 2012?
Six months after moving to LA, I finally have four vacation days so coupled with the days we get off for Christmas and New Years, I was able to string 10 days together to take a nice little vacation. Now, most people want to go to Florida, California, Hawaii, etc. where the weather is nice and just enjoy some time by the pool/on the beach. Not me, my vacation is in Michigan. I have not been to this state since June and I miss it. It’s still “home” and I think as long as I have friends and family here, it will always be – despite really liking not living here.
Half way through my vacation I’ve been trying to get a ton done and see a lot of people. Not a lot has changed, yet a lot of little things have. I’ve gone places without really thinking how I want to get there, just going with autopilot. Snow driving took me about 2 minutes to re-adjust to. There are construction changes to places around Shelby Twp. that are a little strange – they put the old-folks giant street signs up all over the place. The 25 mile/Van Dyke intersection got widened and there are more idiot lights, just to name a few things.
But I am sooooooo glad Michiganders are still driving American cars! It makes me smile every time I go out, looking at the beautiful cars. Last weekend when we went to the movies, we played the “G6/G8″ game (similar to the slug-bug game) and I am pretty sure we came out bruised. In that day alone I think we saw more G6′s than I have seen in 6 months in LA. I do also miss the cheap gas prices and Meijers – both of which I have embraced fully since being home and intend to embrace some more through the 2nd half of my trip.
One thing I got un-used to since living out west is coats! There have been a couple occasions where I walk out of the house, just forgetting that I need one and as soon as I walk through the door, I realize my mistake. I also really miss my mountains. Michigan is soooooooooooooooo flat!
Here’s to the 2nd half of my vacation in Michigan – heading out to West Michigan for a couple days and seeing a bunch more people. Looking forward to that.
PS, Merry Christmas to all the readers out there. Hope you had a fantastic day and were able to spend it with your families. Make the last 5 days of 2012 epic!
Tis the season we give thanks for the things in our lives. Family, good health, friends, jobs, the military, etc. For me, today is a lot different than it’s ever been. It’s the first time that I have not been with my family for thanksgiving, eating the feast that my mom (and recently my brother helps too) prepares for us. I suppose there is a point in everyone’s life that this happens and I have been lucky enough to postpone this until this point. But it gives me a new set of things to be thankful for: my new California family. I was expecting a pretty hang-low type of day, watching the Lions and probably not having anything Thanksgiving-ish – maybe a frozen pre-cooked-pre-sliced gravy included turkey dinner for one with maybe some mashed potatoes from a box. But I was lucky enough to be invited to a couple co-workers places for dinner. I ultimately accepted the first offer that I was given but I am definitely thankful for both of them this year.
So this year I am thankful for my real family back in Michigan, my Cali family (especially the Chauvin’s and the Snow’s), all my friends, the fact I have a job I love, and that my life is fantastic at this moment.
Safe travels to everyone who is traveling this holiday season, including my dad who was out here visiting this week and is currently on his way back to the Mitten.
As the election approaches, I figured it would be a good time to post an election-related post.
There needs to be some rules with voting. I am, by no means qualified to vote in this upcoming election. I became a Cali resident a grand total of 2 months ago and prior to living here, my only interaction with Cali was in making jokes. I don’t know any of the issues, until a week ago, didn’t realize Sacramento was the capital and that everyone thinks they are corrupt.
So fast forward til a couple weeks ago when I get my vote by mail thing with all these choices. Who am I to decide who gets in office and who doesn’t? Even if I read what these people want to do, how am I to tell what this state needs? Proposals are easy. It’s 30 different ways of asking to raise taxes. You just have to decode them, but the people? I think the best method is to set it up as darts. But really, is that the way they want people like me to vote?
I think that you need to leave in a place for a year before being allowed to participate in elections. That’s the same for people who move from city to city within the same state. They can vote in national and state but not city. By these rules, the only choice I’d need to make is for president.
Five years ago this week, my college journey was just beginning. I was moving things up to my dorm room in Unit 24 (I believe I stayed in 2406), not really certain that Kettering was the place I’d be graduating from but everyone has to start somewhere. I remember sitting through countless presentations feeling overwhelmed by everything. All these students coming up, talking about leadership and activities, things that I could only vaguely imagine myself doing. When I first started college, I was a very quiet, reserved person. Leadership, clubs; those weren’t for me.
This week I have really been thinking about those early college days when I see the statuses of my friends moving back to Kettering, some for the last time, others for the first time and realized just how much I have changed. Fundamentally I think I am the same person – I still love sports a little too much, argue and question things often, try and be respectful, etc., but my 4.5 years at Kettering changed me and I think it was for the better. Kettering broke me out of my quiet shell and I became active in clubs, having leadership rolls, I willingly talked to people I’d never seen before (sorry mom, I talked to strangers), and dedicated lots of my time to the acoustics lab and the physics department. 4.5 years is a short amount of time but so much can happen.
So here I am, in my old lady hat (with my cane, yelling at kids to get off my lawn):
If you are about to graduate: Enjoy your last term as a college student. Yeah, Kettering is super frustrating especially as you get closer and closer to the end, but when it’s all done, what you remember are the good/fun times. Make it count. Get through, do well in class, but hang out with friends as much as possible.
If you are an incoming freshman: Use FRI term to explore everything. If you are remotely thinking about Greek life, explore it, meet anyone you can, check out a bunch of clubs (embrace the free food that isn’t Ernies). That being said, make good study habits early. Maybe classes are easy for you now, but they won’t be forever!
If you are something between FRI and SRIII: It’s never to late. Make friends, study hard, have fun, join clubs, get yourself into leadership situations, it’s all worth it.
Yeah, in college you have to learn stuff and get a degree, but it’s equally about what you did (resume building!!) and who you met (life-long friends).
Alright, old-lady rant over. Time for a bike ride!
I am so beyond glad that college football is back! It’s my favorite sport of all time.
Michigan cut it a little too close for comfort yesterday against Air Force. The triple option gave the defense fits but the good news is we should be done seeing that! And, UMass is next so that better be a big W. The other bit of good news is Denard seemed to be back to being a good running threat, though his passing still bothers the crap outa me. Al Borges needs to get him straightened up before the B1G season starts up.
Wisconsin got upset by Oregon State and Arkansas got hugely upset by Lousiana-Monroe (both dropped from the AP top 25).
I was able to attend the UCLA game last night and I have to say, I have mixed feelings about it. The Rose Bowl was certainly cool – I approve this as the desired bowl game facility for the Wolverines – but UCLA was kinda pathetic. OK, yeah, they haven’t started school yet, but they had like a 15-member band that didn’t march and we could barely hear the national anthem. Their student section was VERY small and there were many more Nebraska fans than UCLA fans. Despite all of this, I got really into the game, as I figured I would because I get into whatever game I watch. I also figured that Nebraska would own but it was a fantastic game, close the whole way (though neither team played well – HA HA HA MARTINEZ!!!) and got to see an upset.
Michigan opened the #Team133 campaign last night with an pretty embarrassing loss to Alabama. Not going to lie, for the first game of the season, I expected a little better. Yeah, I knew it was likely that we’d lose, but I think we’d have more than 34 total yards at the end of the first. It’s easy to blame the loss on Denard (see analysis below), but this looked like a Rich Rod coached team, not a Brady Hoke one. Did anyone else hear the pre-game interviews where he had no voice and notice he was pretty quiet on the sideline? I was rather shocked to find that there were not more Shoelace run plays (he only had 27 yards), with Toussaint out and all (and yes, the suspensions were COMPLETELY justified. This is MICHIGAN (for godssake)).
Now onto Denard. As a Senior, entering his 2nd season with Hoke’s offense, I expeced MUCH better form from him. First, he still throws with his hips parallel to the line, thus his accuracy is not good and second, he still throws way off balance and rolls in weird places. He was overshooting receivers, throwing jump balls and just overall looked like a rookie and very uncomfortable. Yeah, Alabama’s D is good, but the fundamentals were just not there. I still do not get why he’s the QB and Devin Gardner was switched to WR (and Bellomy is the backup??). To win a big game, minus a RB, you need to complete more than 11/26 passes and can’t have the TD-INT ratio of 1-2…
Michigan 14, Bama 41. OUCH. Hope Air Force goes a bit better. At least it will be in the Big House.
A co-worker and I rode in to work the other day and he comes from about 15 miles further than me so we meet at the bottom of the hill I live on, usually. So today I get to the bottom of the hill, he’s not there (he usually flies past me). I call him, he’s at the top of Santa Susana Pass (SSP for short) with a flat tire (we are pro flat tire getters). So I ride up SSP to help him, but he calls me when I am about 3/4 the way up (it’s pretty much a small mountain – about 3 miles of up hill climb) saying he’s OK that we’ll meet at the bottom. So I get to the bottom, still not caught up (I almost stopped a couple times to see what was going on but he’s so fast down hill that I figured he’d get me). So I look at my phone, missed call, I call him, another flat, like 500′ from where he got his other flat. So I ride up SSP again and meet him at the top, he’s all set but we decided to go back to his house because it’s only 6 miles and we have only 1 spare tube left between the 2 of us. So we are riding and I am behind him because I want to make sure he’s OK. All of the sudden, he stops… another flat. So I give him my spare tube and off we go. As we are riding, I notice that he forgot to put his breaks back on his bike so I catch him and tell him and we reach a red light so he kinda Flintstones style stops at a light and fixes it but then almost falls off his bike while standing there (if he would have, I might have fallen off my bike laughing).