The Memory Collector

beautiful day track

A beautiful day for making and collecting memories.

The 17 long time readers know I march to the beat of a drummer who is blind and has no rhythm.

Ask them and they’ll tell you if you ask me to pull a card from your deck I will always find the joker and that guy is wild.

Some call it a curse, but I call it a gift, just one that takes a special kind of person to handle…me.

It’s Not My Fault She’s Crazy & Hysterical.

Anyway, when I started blogging in May of 2004 it never occurred to me that one-day blogging would be the reason why I would agonize whether to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia,

Ferrari 458 Italia

or a silver Porsche Cayman,


or a red Lamborghini Huracan.

red lambo

and that is just a partial list of the cars I could have taken out.

Those of you who aren’t into cars might not appreciate just how cool this was but I am here to tell you that I can’t properly express how much it meant to me other than to say that I am a memory collector.

The Memory Collector

I don’t blog solely because I am compelled to write. I blog because memories are of paramount importance to me.

People and things can be taken from you, but not memories. Memories and education are yours for eternity, at least in theory.

I suppose you could make a case to suggest my premise is flawed, but that is not what this post is about.

It is about what happens when someone offers you the opportunity to give/receive extraordinary gifts and why I didn’t hesitate to say yes when I learned what was possible.


It’s too bad my high school English teacher isn’t around anymore. I’d like to point out how I embedded that Emily Dickinson quote in a picture of the interior of a Lamborghini.

She’d appreciate knowing that I am still finding ways to make poetry and the poets relevant to me now. And I think she’d appreciate that I am still looking for ways to make ordinary into something extraordinary.

But the real difference between then and now is I am keenly aware of how tenuous our grip on life can be and why it is important to do more than just develop a bucket list of experiences we hope to have someday.

There are more than 100 items on my list. Some of them fall into the probable and possible and others are tagged as less so, but they all hold some kind of importance to me.

So it is with significant gratitude and transparency that I share these thoughts with you. This opportunity to drive a car like the Ferrari 458 Italia came because of a sponsored post.

It came because Cloud 9 Living asked if I was interested in writing a post about their company and how they provide gift-giving experiences.

I did it because when opportunity knocks you need to answer. I did it because I have very few regrets but the ones I do are massive and are there because I didn’t answer the damn knock.

I did it because wrestling about whether I should drive an exotic car, go zip lining, hang gliding, jetpacking, learn how to fly or be a fighter pilot for a day was the kind of mental gymnastics that are fun to engage in.

Ferrari 458 Italia enginesettled for the driving experience for practical reasons.

It was something that I have always wanted to do but also something I wasn’t likely to do anytime soon. That wasn’t something I could say about the other experiences.

Don’t mistake that for me bad-mouthing the other stuff because I certainly am not but the reality I live in says that there is a good chance that on a family trip we’ll all choose to go zip lining.

There is a good chance that we might go on one of the weekend adventures but driving the car, well that was one that I wanted and wasn’t sure I could make it happen anytime soon.

Between the normal expenses of family life and all that comes with it, well it seemed more challenging.

I liked the idea of learning how to fly a plane or helicopter but set those aside because the opportunity was for a lesson and I figured if I really liked it I would be upset if I couldn’t keep going so the car seemed both fun and practical.

Personalized Instruction

One of the things I appreciated most about this experience was the personalized instruction that came with it.

I kid around about being 200 some odd pounds of five-year-old but at 46 I am smart enough to recognize this car is more powerful than anything else I have ever driven, including the Camaro I drove in college.

And hell, it is substantially more car than the minivan and or small SUV I use in daily life.

So I was more than pleased to learn that the experience came with a technical briefing about the car, a couple of laps around the track, and a professional driver who would be along to advise and guide me.


Me and my instructor getting ready to head out onto the track.

Did I mention that I drove that beautiful car on a track?

That was another part of what caught my eye about this experience. There are car rental companies that provide exotic cars that you can rent but that is for normal driving and I didn’t want to take one for a spin in traffic.

I wanted to have a chance to see what they could do. I wanted to see what it means to push towards 200 miles per hour in a safe environment where I wouldn’t be concerned with police interference.

That wouldn’t be possible through the normal rental experience, but it was here.


After five laps I don’t think I can say I pushed it any faster than about 130 or so. Might have been a bit slower even, but it didn’t diminish the fun.

I wanted to go faster. I wanted to push harder and really make that car move for me, but this was my first time driving something so powerful and it was on a track that involved a few curves.

So I was cautious and a bit conservative at times.

My instructor pushed and encouraged me to move beyond my comfort zone. He was fantastic, but I just wasn’t ready to do more than I did.

But like I said it was incredibly fun and when it ended I wrestled with whether to buy more laps because I knew that each time around the track would lead to more comfort and a willingness to go faster.

I might go back and drive it again just to see what it is like a second time or I might go back and drive something else. I don’t know.

What I am certain of is that I have no problem recommending Cloud 9 Living and their services. They aren’t limited to the Los Angeles area either. Check out their website and you’ll find experiences are offered in cities throughout the United States.

If you do decide to use them don’t forget to use this promo code so that you can get a discounted rate on your experience.


BTW, if you are want to know about the car I drove feel free to check out the Ferrari 458 Italia Test Drive and Review.

Disclosure: If it wasn’t clear before let me remind you that I was compensated for my services on this post but all opinions are mine.

See you in the comments.

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  1. Kenya G. Johnson March 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I’m not into cars but my son surely is. When he asked me what my dream car was and I named the Infiniti G37 he laughed at me. I was like, “What? It’s expensive.” If he had any idea that blogging could lead to me taking a test drive of any of those cars, I don’t think he’d mind me staring at my computer so much wondering what to write about.

    Side note: My confession would be that I didn’t push it past 80.

    • Jack Steiner March 25, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Oh Kenya,

      This day is burnt into memory because it was magic. Watching my kids do the Corvette drift experience at the track was so much fun. Their smiles were huge.

      And that Ferrari, oh man, what a car. It drives like a dream, I was a little nervous at times because it cost as much as I paid for my first house, but what a car.

      Just outstanding.

  2. Ryan Biddulph October 25, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Hi Jack,

    What a sweet ride and take on life.

    I collect experiences. I love doing stuff. Owning stuff is OK with me. But I own enough clothes for 2 weeks, a suitcase, tablet, lap top, wallet and a few things back home. After circling the globe for 53 months I’ve need for little else. I love my memories and continue to collect them thru my journeys.

    Thanks much for sharing Jack.


  3. Kristen October 22, 2015 at 2:52 am

    “I don’t blog solely because I am compelled to write. I blog because memories are of paramount importance to me.

    People and things can be taken from you, but not memories. Memories and education are yours for eternity, at least in theory”

    I love this quote, a perfect way to look at blogging!

  4. Larry October 20, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I’m not a car guy, but even I think that is cool.
    Good for you! Glad you had such a blast.

  5. Janine Huldie October 20, 2015 at 9:32 am

    This looked like a blast and got to say I would actually love to try this someday! But glad you got to do it and seriously you can totally say you did it your way for sure 😉

  6. Liza October 20, 2015 at 6:24 am

    What a fun experience! My husband (and father) would love something like that…

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