Monday, January 9, 2012

One year in the life of the Dana...

I last posted here more than a year ago… laaaammeeee.

A lot happens in a year of the life of Dana. In a somewhat form of chronological order, here’s the rundown of what happened in the last year:

  • I survived a terrifying, though thrilling, high-speed “vehicular mishap” that definitely could have killed me and others in my path. 
  • Nikki and I moved from our cramped suite in Leeds to a cute little house in West Deerfield (not to be confused with South Deerfield).
  • On the day that I moved my beloved four-wheeler to our new house, I discovered that the shed door was an inch narrower than the rear wheels of the quad. (At the exact moment that I rode it very fast into the shed for the first time… ripping the door off of its hinges and destroying pieces of the trim.)
  • Nikki and I accidentally made friends with some very, very famous people.
  • Thanks to my persuasion, Nikki started a business (Handmade by Nicole) making and selling jewelry and accessories.
  • My cousin John Hoyt, who greatly inspired me to pursue a career with automobiles, passed away suddenly before any of us could say our goodbyes.
  • While in New Hampshire for John’s funeral, Nikki and I did some sight-seeing and toured the Anheuser Busch brewery in Merrimack. Mmmmmmmm… free samples…
  • My friend Todd Sienkiewicz and I took a day trip to NYC, where we explored some of the sights that only he and I would appreciate as much as we do: Unbelievably huge and delicious pastrami sandwiches, quirky hardware stores, and musical instruments worth more than our lives combined.
  • I somehow convinced Cahilane Auto Body in Northampton to hire me as their lead Mechanic.
  • I graduated from Porter & Chester’s Automotive Technology program… with (almost) straight A’s.
  • I started saving 15% or more by switching my car insurance to Geico… no kidding.
  • We lost the luxury of having electricity for 5 days, courtesy of a freakish nor’easter in October.
  • I became a state-licensed vehicle inspector and have helped state police & local police and District Attorneys investigate cars that were involved in some very serious incidents.
  • I lost a lot of weight… like, a lottttt of weight through the year - Mostly in brain cells.
  • My father’s last sibling passed away after his body took a very long time to shut down.
  • Nikki and I discovered our new favorite show on TV: The Big Bang Theory.
  • I injured my hand while working on a Jeep Grand Cherokee… I think I broke a bone… but I’m not going to see a doctor!! I’m ok… I’m ok!
  • My brother from New Mexico, along with his wife and their almost year old daughter, visited for Christmas.
  • I somehow managed to go a whole year without adding to my collection of tattoos.
  • Aaaaand, the icing? I still DJ’d at 50-something events throughout the year.
  • Oh, and that door that I demolished with the wheeler? Yeah… it’s still dangling by a single screw at the top.

    Yup. It's been a year. Stay tuned... and maybe I'll write again... someday...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Proper (Re)Birth of Dana’s 6 Cents

Welcome to my new blahg!

New followers: Hello!!

Old followers: Please don’t freak out.

Here’s a little background: Since 2004, I’ve been writing a “blahg” on to ramble about miscellaneous happenings in my life. It’s where I told the world about almost dying while DJing one time. I enlightened my readers with the economic and sociologic factors that determine raffle ticket sales. I documented a trip that my lovely girlfriend and I took in our deathtrap Volkswagen through the mountains to visit my older sister in a far away part of New York. In the 6 years, I talked about my eye surgery, domestic challenges, confusing love/hate relationship with music, run-ins with reindeer, tattoos, and I even reported sightings of my alter-ego “Tootsie Roll Man.” It has been great fun … for me, that is.

On purpose, I just wrote on a page in my DJ website that wasn’t interactive. Unlike real blogs, I never created a forum for readers to participate in any way. It was a one-way relationship and I loved it. Well, I loved it at first, that is.

Through the years, I had no way of knowing that or if anyone was reading my postings, so I sometimes went close to a year before updating things. And then I’d bump into someone and they’d say something like, “Hey, does this mean that I’ll be in your blog?” Or, “Dana, you’ve gotta update that blog more often! You’re totally leaving us hangin’!” Cool!

And so, I’ve decided to give a proper (re)birth to my “blahg.” Dana’s 6 Cents will live on in a more proper form from now on. I promise. Enjoy and please don't hesitate to interact. 


Okay, you can stop reading this post now. 

I’m done talking.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Love Cars

My love for cars started when I was a kid, for sure. I remember collecting matchbox cars and spending a lot of time just looking them over. I loved the shapes and curves and how the parts so cleverly fit together. I don’t remember ever outwardly expressing my passion for cars – I never hung posters of sports cars on my walls … nor where there ever scaled models on my shelves … and I certainly didn’t hang around the “gear heads” in high school. No swap meets … no exotic car shows… I just sort of secretly adored cars on my own.

I wasn’t old enough to drive when I bought my first car. It was a heap of junk, but the perfect canvas for racing stripes and Bondo. I have owned a lot of cars since that first one … sometimes as many as six at a time. “What do you do with SIX cars?!” might you ask? Well … I spend a lot of time just looking them over. I love the shapes and curves and … you guessed it … I love how the parts so cleverly fit together. I love it enough to endure the ridiculous insurance bills that come every month.

My VW Baja Beetle has to be the craziest of them all. It’s a good ole fashioned bug with the roof cut off and doors removed. The engine is beefed up to about twice the factory horsepower. It has a roll cage and 5-point harness seat belts. Best of all, it’s road legal. (read older posts to hear about our trip to upstate NY in it). I’ve been having a blast sawing parts off and welding supports on in a slew of places.

So where was I going with this blahg posting? I can’t remember. I guess I just wanted to confess my gear-headedness. So there. I got it out in the open. Are you happy now?