From Tracie: Did I Just Give an Ax Murderer My Address?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Did I Just Give an Ax Murderer My Address?

I had a moment the other day when I had to wonder that. I just finished talking to Vanessa from Much More Than Mommy on the phone, and we were going to meet in person.

Vanessa had gotten an email about a casting call for a new reality tv show called Focus Rally: America that will be airing on Hulu. She forwarded it to me and asked, "What do you think?"

My first thought, "That is just so crazy, it would have to be awesome." I was all about it!

There is a natural course for blogging friendships. You start out commenting on each other's blogs, and that turns to emailing. Eventually you take the leap and reveal your name and your life through a facebook friend invite. Sometimes there is a phone call or a skype session. One day you meet up at a blogging conference or in an incredibly public place. Not me. I went straight from the facebook friendship to this other, slightly less known step in the blogging friendship where I invite the blogger to my house and then plan to go on a five week long competition road trip with each other.

That is how I got to Wednesday afternoon. Waiting for Vanessa to arrive and hoping that she was really Vanessa. And not, you know, Victor the Vicious or Sid the Stalker. I was pleased to see that in person, Vanessa is just as sparkley and fun as she seems on her blog...and she didn't have an ax or a shovel with her, so I felt pretty safe.

There is a short video of our meeting, but I think it has been rated top secret to protect the dorky (referring to myself there) and you have to have a blog reading security clearance of at least 92 to be able to view it.

Yes. I totally made up that blog reading security clearance thing. I'm just saving you from a level of dorkiness that not a single one of you is ready to witness....and Vanessa hasn't let me see it yet.

We hopping in her car and made our way to downtown Orlando for the casting. We passed a 7-11 that was not a gas station (it was inside a building with offices) and found our destination. After successfully navigating the parking garage with was extremely twisty and had a stairwell with these strange people sized holes in the wall (which we may or may not have considered crawling through commando-style)  we were ready for our closeup.

Here is a picture to prove it:
Vanessa and Tracie 
A few minutes before we took that picture, we were interviewed by Jon Busdeker from the Orlando Sentinel. We told him our crazy story about just meeting, but he must not have thought that we were too crazy because we made it in his article. Thanks Jon!

Paperwork came next. One of the questions was, "What is the most interesting thing that someone would not know by looking at you?" and I restrained myself from answering "I am actually a unicorn". Then it was time to get in line for two hours. Which could have been boring, but our fellow line standers kept both of us entertained.

We were joined in line by Zeke (not quite his real name) who was sampling, and by sampling I mean drinking many many goblets of wine at Urban Flats when he saw the sign up for the show and decided to give it a go. His theory was the more wine the better, because they are always looking to cast at least one crazy person on a reality tv show.

We were standing there talking, when we heard it. What might be the most obnoxious sound in the world. A guy driving down the road slowly revving his engine to show just how stupid cool he is. It was loud. LOUD. And no one thought he was cool. But then there was another sound. See that truck? The silver is an unmarked police vehicle.
The siren turned on! The lights started flashing! The crowd went wild! Just look at Obnoxious Guy there, waiting for the police officer to write out his ticket. When he got that ticket, there was literal cheering and clapping and high-fiving of the police officer. It was awesome.

Vanessa is going to tell you how she started to feel sorry for the guy, but I was heartless and cheering. Let me tell you now, that is just because I love you my dear readers and I knew what a great blogging moment that was to witness. When I was cheering I was only thinking of you....and of how great it was that Obnoxious Guy got that ticket, because clearly I am not as nice as Vanessa.

There was also Toronto Girl (that is her real name of course) she asked us how we met. Upon hearing our story, Zeke asked, "What IS a blog?" Which prompted me to act out this video for Vanessa.

Then a guy walked by wearing two incredibly large sombreros. I would have taken a picture, but he also looked slightly menacing, so you will just have to trust that there is no way I'm making that up.

Toronto Girl gave Zeke a lesson in how to swing a golf club correctly.....lacking a golf club they used his empty wine glass which narrowly missed hitting Vanessa in the head.

Just as it was starting to get dangerous, the woman who was in charge of the line told us to keep an eye on her because she would give us a hand signal when it was our time to walk to the table to speak with Jen, the casting producer. We watched her carefully and at our cue (that's show business talk, right? Cue. I am ready for this tv gig!) we moved to the table, turned in our paperwork, and spent a minute telling her about ourselves.

At this point I'm sure you are wondering what this reality show is all about. What would inspire us to stand in line for two hours hanging out with Zeke and Toronto Girl? Here's the scoop. It is a race across America. Just me, Vanessa, and a Ford Focus 2012 for five weeks.

Okay, there would be five other teams, and we haven't officially been chosen to participate yet, but positive thinking never hurts. While driving across country we will be getting help from followers and friends on social media, blogs, facebook, twitter - that mean YOU. The exciting thing about helping us is that when we win...when we leave all the other teams behind in a cloud of dust....when we drive over the competition....the 10 people who helped us the most will each get their own Ford Focus.

I have to say that no matter what happens with the show, it was definitely worth it to go hang out with Vanessa at the casting and have all that fun. I laughed so much last night. Although I'm really hoping to hang out with her for five weeks on the road.  We established that we both sing along to the music on the radio, Vanessa is not at all scary (in face she is pretty awesome!), the Ford Focus has a GPS and parallel parks add in some junk food, and I think we are ready to go!

Part 2 of this story, A Successful Covert Mission or When We Went to CALLBACKS.


  1. That sounds like SO MUCH FUN!! And, the two of you look like twins!

  2. I always knew that you were a Unicorn!

    I don't watch much Reality TV but I would so watch you and I would definitely be your Twitter buddy.

    Good luck.

  3. You so should have put that you're a unicorn!!!! And also, sombrero guy was also not wearing a shirt, adding to his menacing-ness.

    We are so ready for our close ups.

  4. I hope U make it just so I can cheer you ON...
    And possibly have a chance of winning a Ford focus too...
    I LOVE that pic of you guys!
    Super CUTe!

  5. *GASP* And here I thought unicorns were mythological!

    Very funny the police HAPPENED to be right in front of that guy. LOL! Always nice to have excitement while you are standing in a line. (I would have cheered for the police, too, haha!)

    Can't wait to hear if you and Vanessa get picked!

    Hope you can share Vanessa... she is way cool so I just followed on her blog. :D

  6. You should have said you are a unicorn.

    What a fun day! I love you both, so I'm definitely jealous! Do you think they would let me stowaway in your trunk? No? Okay, I'll just be your twitter friend to help then.

  7. That is so freakin' exciting! And you're practically almost famous. I mean, you already made the paper. Dang. Five weeks on the road? No husband or kids? Have they finished casting yet? :)

  8. Victor the Vicious or Syd the Stalker... I busted out laughing!

    How exciting though - hope you all get called back! I get too car sick to think of all that time in a car! :)

  9. I've met online friends several times over the years and it's always such an incredible feeling...especially if you've built an online relationship. It's like meeting someone you've known for years.

  10. Oh to be young and fearless again. Oh wait. I don't think I was ever young and fearless. Do you think I could manage at 58, soon to be 59, to be young and fearless for the first time? It could be fun.

  11. Ohmygosh, you're a unicorn? I'm an elf! We're so destined to meet one day. In a ficticious land where cake doesn't make you fat and Diet Coke taps are on every corner. And also, Tom Welling rubs my feet every night.

    Also, I've known Vanessa for 13 years. She's pretty safe. Also, she'll correct your grammar and spelling, so she's pretty handy when you misspell words like Febreze. Also, she totally read Harry Potter, I'm quite sure, just to be my BFF.

    Man I hope you guys are chosen!! Also because I plan on helping, you know, just to be nice, and not at all with intentions of winning a Ford Focus. Nope, I'm kind at heart and think nary a bit about myself. Although I am pretty smart and funny and...wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I'm totally getting that Ford Focus.

  12. OH I hope ya'll win so ya can count on me for help lol.. I would have laughed till I cried at you two..5 weeks on the road UGH not my cup of tea but I will love watching you..

  13. Sounds like fun! I've given my address and met a few of my "online friends" before. One came out from Germany! Twice! We had a great time! So far no murderers thankfully :)

    And I'd be cheering about Obnoxious Guys' ticket too. I feel sorry for people who get tickets for accidental things (missing a blinker, going through a stop sign by mistake, etc) but just showing off? they deserve it!

  14. Wow! How cool. Hope you guys get selected. Do swing by my way - Mumbai, India! :)

  15. That sounds like an awesome show. I hope you make it!

    By the way, I totally would have been cheering when obnoxious car guy got his ticket too. I hate when people do that with their cars.

  16. Oh I love that obnoxious guy got a ticket. We have a guy in our neighborhood who likes to do that and he usually drives by when the kids are sleeping. Ticks me off to no end.

    And glad that you're still alive after your meeting. :-P

  17. Ha! I would've definitely told them that I was a unicorn! That sounds like so much fun. I hope that you both get on it. Especially since you are both bloggers and it would be such a great back story. Good luck!

  18. This is so awesome I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am that you even had the guts to GO for the casting call. TOO cool! And if you're chosen for the task and you forget to take Nutella, I may or may not forget to help you on your quest. Just sayin'! ;) Love you! Hahaha!

  19. i actually just upgraded a certain blogging friendship to actual voice-on-voice action via phone call. like the loser I am, i was so super excited. we could even be road trip ready but, i don't mean to scare her further with my emotional sluttiness.

    glad you had fun with the awesome vanessa--and that that car revving dude got a ticket. so annoying.

  20. I'm dying to find out what happened during your call back. I hope you guys get picked!

  21. You two look like twins! What a fun post!

    (Huge Halloween giveaway happening at my blog!)

  22. That would be so much fun. I hope you guys get cast. Good luck!!!

  23. I just told Vanessa how jealous I am that you two got to meet. No fair! But you look so cute together and I've got all my fingers and toes crossed for you---I need to go back and watch your video clip now!

  24. What an interesting adventure, like you said, even if you don't get on the show. I have some blogging buddies I would love to meet in person too.

    Visiting from Saturday Sampling.

  25. Visiting from Saturday Sampling.
    That does sound like fun! What a neat story. Good luck with getting on the show!

  26. You described meeting a blog friend for the first time so perfectly. : ) glad you had fun.

  27. Wow that's amazing!! Hope you get a chance to do it!

  28. Sounds like you had so much fun! Congrats on being in the article!

    Stopping by from your SU group. Have a great weekend.

  29. Hope you guys get in. And you do look like sisters! If nothing else comes from this, at least you have a good friend.

  30. How cool! Love the show concept, and I can totally relate to the moment of panic when you questioned your decision to invite her to your house. :) Hope you guys make the cut!

  31. This is awesome :D I hope you make the cut!! I will definitely help you out loads so I can get one of those cars, haha! :)