Category Archives: Drivel



My name isn’t the easiest to figure out for a lot of people.  My entire childhood was spent correcting my teachers’ pronunciation when they did roll call.  If I got lucky, they would just call me by my last name because it was easy.  But that was mostly gym teachers and it usually went like this “Stewart! What in tarnation are you doing over there?  Basketballs should NOT hit you in the face every time you dribble!  And you can’t grab ahold of the ball and run screaming from the person behind you, that’s travelling!  What in the …, never mind, just sit out for a minute, will you?”

Then that brat Alyssa Milano showed up on Who’s the Boss and all of a sudden everyone was wondering why my name didn’t have the fancy “y” in the middle and when I got a training bra did it happen exactly like on the show?  Just to prove a point I made sure my chest never developed whatsoever because I’m a leader not a follower, duh.  I mean really, Alyssa, is all of that really necessary?  Seems a little selfish is all I’m saying.

Because of the complexity and challenge of pronouncing my first name, I’ve acquired a lot of nicknames through the years.  Some of them are quite endearing, others make me want to punch people in the face.  I like to be a little mysterious, so I’ll let you decide which ones I like and which ones I don’t, and then the next time I see you we can play a little game of Nickname Sucker Punch Roulette.  Isn’t life fun?

Alissa’s Super Fancy Highly Specific Nickname List

The Childhood Years (In no particular order)

1. Aliss

2. Liss

3.  Lissa

4.  Lissy

5.  Lissy Lou

6.  Lou

7.  Alice

8.  Melissa

9.  Alicia

10.  Sewer Face

11.  Stewy

12.  Al

13.  Blondie

14.  Lefty

15.  Retainer Head

16.  Lou Lou

17.  Frowny

18.  Wart

19.  Grace

20.  Trippy

21.  Yellow Eyes

22. Sunshine

23.  Louie Lou

And add to this the extra special names I’ve acquired in adulthood:

1.  A-Bomb

2. Razzle Dazzle

3. Allllissssssssssa

4.  Wazowski

5.  Rachowski


7. Crash

8.  Allison

9. Razzy

10.  Racy

11. Fancy

12. Bruiser

13. Stompie

14.  A+

15. A Type

16.  Sporty Spice

People get my first name wrong so often that long ago I stopped trying to fix it, which has resulted in a couple of regular clients calling me by the wrong name for over 10 years.  The awesome part is my close friends get pretty riled up when my name is mispronounced and they always make sure to correct people and then look at me and roll their eyes while I shrug my shoulders because I’m just fine answering to pretty much whatever anyone wants to call me.  Except Dishwater Blonde or Airhead.  Don’t ever call me that.  I mean it.

And then there’s the last name.  Don’t even get me started.  If someone asks me my last name I just tell them not to worry about.  But that’s a pretty big problem in my job because of documentation issues so when they ask, I tell them to settle in for about 10 minutes and have a pen and paper handy.  Then the conversation goes like this “Okay, you’ve got your pen?  Right. Okay.  It’s R-A-C as in cat, Z as in zebra…” Then whoever I’m talking to does a mental WTH and asks me to spell it about a zillion more times, asks what nationality it is, asks how to pronounce it, asks what my maiden name was and declares I must REALLY love my husband to take on a name like that and then laughs like it must be the first time I’ve ever heard all of this.  Real cute.

And the telemarketers.  Wow.

“Hello!  May I please speak with Alisalkdie Raczlsbe8aldu91?” 

“Who? Speak slower please.”

“Sorry, ma’am!  I’m calling for Aaaaallleeeeiiiissshaaahhh Raaaccckkkzzzeeeecowwwwski?”

“Hmm.  Who was that again?”

“Yes, please and thank you, may I please speak with Alissson Racyzychawski?”


“YES! Is she available?”

“Well, to be sure, could you give me that last name again?”


“Excuse me?”




“Sorry, the first name one more time?”




“Try again.”

“Al.  Ally.  Alexson!”

“So let me get this straight. You’re looking for Alex Son Rice-a-Roni?”

“YES!  I have a very important offer for her.”

“Alex is a boy.  He wouldn’t like you calling him a girl.”

“Pardon me! So sorry.  Is Mr. Alex available?”


“Do you know when he might be home?”

“I’m not sure because there’s no Alex here.” Click.


Now E thinks he’s REAL funny because he’s come up with a new one for me.  I’ve been trying to ignore him and not buy into his sophomoric attempts at comedic talent but I have to admit, it’s kind of genius.  I mean it really describes me well.  Not the part of me that is graceful and stylish and brilliant and well-mannered and methodic about keeping everything I own nice and brand-new looking.  Because OBVIOUSLY this is how I live my life.

I’m talking about the part of me that ON RARE OCCASIONS crashes every car I own, falls and trips over nothing, drops everything that has an Apple logo on it, runs into everything as if it’s a target, falls off bikes, breaks items trying to tear open packaging, says the wrong thing at the wrong time, laughs when laughing is inappropriate and generally causes unnecessary chaos.

You know, acting in a reckless manner.

Wrecking everything I come into contact with.

I’m Wreckliss.

Don’t tell him I said this but it’s pretty badass.  Kind of like a villain in a comic book.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go design my evil super power costume that destroys everything in sight.

But first I need to find a sturdy foundation garment to wear underneath. Now where might a villain find a training bra?





Last week I had the pleasure of going to lunch with a very successful industry associate whom I had not previously had the opportunity to meet or work with.  The meeting had me feeling nervous because this person, before getting into real estate, was a very high-powered executive in another industry and this always intimidates me because I tend to attach positional and expert power to those that I perceive to be more intelligent than me, even when it is unjustified.

Also, it was a one-on-one meeting and what could I possibly find to say that would not only be amusing and witty but also professional and impressive enough to persuade him to like and trust me?  And besides that, what if I got spinach in my teeth? Or more statistically likely, fell off my chair or tripped while trying to navigate all the stupid stairs at Clinkerdagger’s like when I went there for Homecoming in high school and ended up splayed on the floor in front of my date, arms and legs akimbo, praying that a giant sinkhole would open up and swallow me whole? My life is really hard.

He got right down to business, which I highly appreciated since as an introvert I find small talk terrifying and impossible.  Especially when personal questions are directed at me like a firing squad:  Where are you from? What are your interests? Where did you go to college?  My answers never come out right: Banana. Because airplanes.  Purple. Want to see me become a puddle of awkward socially inept misery?  Walk up to me and begin aiming questions at me before I have a chance to get comfortable and feel safe around you.  Extremely entertaining, I promise.

Somehow, under this particular direct examination, I managed to coherently explain my background, education and expertise, which led to a conversation about management, people, relationships and personalities.  And luckily, once I’m engaged in a topic I find stimulating and interesting, I have no problem carrying on coherent discourse and actually appearing poised and friendly…you know, almost normal.

But then out of nowhere, he goes:

“Wow, you are such a strong SC.”

(internally) Oh God, he’s judging me.  What does that mean?  Uhm, think of something smart to say.  What could that stand for?  Let’s see… Sardonic Chameleon? No, no, that doesn’t even make sense.  Uh, Sanguine Conversationalist? That would be a nice complement, but unlikely…Salacious Carpetbagger? Hmm, that would be inappropriately sexual and political…THINK ALISSA!

(aloud) “Affirmative.  Thank you.”

“Whereas I’m the complete opposite, I’m a strong DI.”

(internally) Son of a…… No. Clue.

(aloud) “Ha, ha, totally!”

“I make all my employees take an evaluation before I hire them.”

(internally) I’ve totally nailed it, hallelujah.  He’s talking about personality testing. Ugh, I can’t remember what I was on Myers-Briggs.  Well not an extrovert, we know that.  Wait, got it. INTJ – introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging. Whew, I can get through this, no problem.

(aloud) “Good strategy.  I had to do that at Washington Mutual before they went down in explosive flames.  The problem was that it led to stereotyping within the workplace.  For example, in conflict, people would tend to throw out others’ personality traits as a labeling mechanism meant to put the other down.  “Oh, I see you don’t want to discuss the yield spread premium cap or 135% loan-to-values Alissa. Typical delay due to your “thinking” behavior which requires extensive analysis before making critical decisions.” It got really irritating on occasion.”

“I can see how that could occur, however I use it to understand how I should interact with others comparable to how I like to be interacted with myself. It’s a tool to increase communication not conflict.”

“You’re absolutely on track there. Authentically connecting with other human beings is key to nonviolent communication theory.  We are all compassionate by nature, and violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture.  I admire your willingness to encourage honest dialogue within the workplace.  Well done.”*

(internally) Holy mother of Jezebel, I’m impressing myself here.  This is going so well.  Proud moment.  YAY!.

“Great.  Give me your mobile number.  I’ll text you a link to the evaluation.  Take it and send it to me.”

(internally) Awww, shit. Now he’s going to find out I’m crazy. Damn it all to hell.  Mission abort, mission abort!

(aloud) “First of all, I will take your little test.  Second of all, depending on the results, I will choose on my own whether to send them to you or not.”

“Oh, there’s some assertiveness coming out.  I can see that perhaps I’ve misjudged you a little.”

(internally) Damn straight you’ve misjudged me.  I haven’t even shown you my 7 other personalities yet, duh. Shut up Frank, no, you may not speak.  Alexis, tone it down a bit, you’re getting a tad aggressive.  Wilson, Larry, Becky and Maureen, a little help?  Pretty rude that you’re not even attempting to add to this conversation.

(aloud) “No worries, we’ll eventually get comfortable with each other and you’ll come to appreciate my deadpan sarcastic humor which is frequently misunderstood as bitchy or weird.”

“Uh, okay.  Well enough business talk.  What do you like to do in your free time?”


“And? You appear to be creative.  Crafts? Art?”

“You’re right.  Mostly creative sleeping. I’m perfecting the art of sleeping with my eyes open at sporting events.”

“Oh, you like sports? I’m a baseball coach for a local high school and coach a select girls softball team.”



“Oh, sorry.  I was showing you how skilled I am.  You mentioned sports and I immediately fell asleep.”


“Kidding.  See?”

“Uhm. Kids?”

“Yes, 10 and 7. Warren and Naomi. Nope, Webster and Nicolette.  Huh-uh….think, think,think…Wyatt and Noelle.  They’re amazing.  Sorry, I’m a little unskilled with personal conversations with strangers.”

“I see, and they play sports?”


“Which ones?”

“All of them?”

“Okay, I can tell this is too personal for you.  Anyway, it was nice to meet you and perhaps we can work out some kind of professional working relationship.”


When I got back to the office, I took the test, and wouldn’t you know, I scored 99 out of 100 for “cautious” and in the top 30% for “stable”, thus he accurately analyzed me  as “SC” based on very little actual knowledge of my personality.  I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I’m that transparent. And here I thought my aloof mysteriousness was intriguing and interesting.  Turns out, I’m just a plain old dependable, shy, conscientious, analytical dummy.

Link to DISC evaluation:  Take the test and get back to me with your results. DO IT.  My results below.

*The Center for Nonviolent Communication,









Numero Uno

I need your help this weekend.

When?  I might be available around 2:00 AM Saturday morning.

Uh, no? I need you to come to work and paint the office.

The entire office.


Newsflash, Manson, it takes a little longer than a day to paint a whole office.

This is exactly what I told Megan when she said you’d be happy to drop everything and do it for me since it is so clear you adore me from my blog posts.  And then I had to explain to her  that perhaps I’ve over exaggerated your sainthood.

Yeah, but I’m still better than anything else you could ever hope to get. Ever. Not a chance in hell. Got it?

So can you do it or what?

NO.  Not sure where you’ve been but there’s kind of a lot happening this weekend.

I know, right?  Why in the world you decided to sign Noelle up for basketball at the Y on top of everything else we do, I don’t have a clue.  Like we aren’t busy enough driving the kids around everywhere all the time.

You mean I drive the kids everywhere, 100% of the time.

Whatever. But I’m driving them in my mind so it’s still kind of the same.

Not the same.  At all.  But that is not what I meant about this weekend.

Ohhhh, right, the wrestling tournament.  I’m already actively dissociating and repressing that event so technically it will not be happening cognitively, which means I don’t see that day as being busy because it doesn’t exist.  Gone.  No Saturday, February 1, 2014.  I’ve erased it.  Sorry if something really great happens.

Like your son wrestling like a badass and taking 1st place?

Sure.  Sounds neat.

Yeah neat.  Neat that I’ve been training him for the last month on my own on top of everything else I do, so he’s ready when real wrestling practice starts.

Look, just because you are obsessive doesn’t mean we all have to recognize it.  Don’t go there.  Don’t make it weird.

Listen. To. Me. Yoohoo!  Eyes on me, Focker.  No painty this weekend. Big things happening.

Oh my gosh, that’s right I totally forgot.  I need to go to the law library and spend a day doing research, thank you SO much for reminding me.

You’re right, that’s exactly what I meant.

I feel like maybe you are mocking me, but I can’t tell from the look on your face because that expression is not on the “How Am I Feeling Today?” chart that I stole from daycare that helps me recognize human emotion.

Oh my God, you’re going to make me go there.  This weekend is the Superbowl, Einstein. Kind of a big event.  Do you even know what teams are playing?

Gonzaga and St. Mary’s?

That’s basketball dummie, try again.

Real Madrid and Manchester United?


The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s?

What the…

Ooh, OOH!  Wendy’s and McDonald’s?  WHERE’S THE BEEF!?

Right, if it was 1986.

Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher?

I’m assuming those are real people. And what are you even talking about?

Historic feuds in history, for $800, Alex.  Duh.  The Gallagher’s are brothers from the band Oasis(singing) “Someday you will find me, caught beneath the landslide, in a champagne supernova in the sky.” Except they’re British so it sounds like they are saying “supernover”, which is funny.  From a linguistics standpoint.

The Seahawks and the Broncos, just FYI in case you want to try to maybe not look completely stupid for the next few days.

I’m not sure that is even a possibility but thanks for looking out for me.  You’re a great wingman.

Thanks, I try. But only because your behavior is a direct reflection on me and our family which results in me having to explain things to people a lot.

Wait a second.  Is that why that number is everywhere all of a sudden?

What number?



Fine.  Twelve.  You could have tried a little harder in German class is all I’m saying.

You could try a little harder to be a normal human is all I’m saying.

So….this number twelve guy.  He seems like kind of a big deal.

Sweet mother of…

I mean, isn’t sports about teamwork, why is he getting all the glory?  I’d be really pissed if I was on that team and everyone was all “Oh yeah #12 rocks, he’s the best!”

(praying aloud) Lord, I try with this one, I really do.  I don’t know why you continually punish me, what lesson am I supposed to be learning?

“Oh look at me #12 over here being so awesome and worshipped while all you stupid losers are over there being lame and unrecognized for your hard work.”

That’s….just….not…..never mind.

They could really use some management that understands that great teams are interdependent.

Okay.  I’m just agreeing now to stop the pain.

And some servant leadership would do them a lot of good. “Good leaders must first become good servants.” 1

(looking at bare wrist) Wow.  Look at the time.  I should get going!

At the very least, a view that the team is an interconnected web of inclusion.  You know, like Sally Helgesen posited in The Female Advantage.

Maybe you should be having this conversation with another nerd.  Just a thought.

Anyhoo.  Basketball, wrestling, soccer, and now football this weekend?  No thank you.

Uhm, let’s be honest here, you’ll make it to Wyatt’s first match and drive Noelle to her game and I’ll do absolutely everything else.

Sounds good.  But when can you paint?


1.  Greenleaf, R., 2002.
















I’ve made it pretty clear how uncoordinated I am in the gym, which is why I usually like to be alone when I’m working out. The problem with this is that while I’m very skilled at competing against myself, I never know if I’m achieving true badassery – athletically speaking. My friend Melissa makes me do hot yoga with her once in a while, but I’m usually so focused on staying conscious that I don’t have time to notice if I’m winning. If that sentence confused you, apparently no one informed you that yoga is a competitive sport.

And the hilarious part is that everyone is always asking me “what I’m training for this year.” Somehow I’ve tricked people into thinking I like exercise. I’m training to finally read 52 books in one year, that’s what I’m training for, people. Real athletes like Rochelle The Ironwoman train for things, not idiots like me. But admitting I have a reading goal is not the cool answer and I’m enlightened enough to know it, so I usually say ,”Oh, maybe a sprint triathalon or STP in one day instead of two.” And they nod knowingly because I’ve set up the expectation that this is an achievable goal for me when in reality it’s more likely that I’ll watch the Winter Olympics and call it good for the year.

I do try to hit at least 3-5 workouts a week which is really difficult lately because of the whole law school hobby I just started. But I am becoming quite adept at reading while I’m on my trainer (guys, this is what a road bike goes on for riding indoors, it’s not a personal trainer, you pervs). And anytime I can do two things at once, I feel like I’m pretty much crushing it. Other examples include eating a breakfast that requires utensils while driving a stick shift to work, and parenting my children while setting an example for others about how NOT to behave as an adult. These kinds of things.

My goal during the winter is 100 miles a week on the bike, which is actually kind of a pathetic goal, but let’s pretend you have no concept of what this means so I seem like a total stud because it is crucial that I think you think I’m amazing. In the DSM-5, I’m confident this disorder is called “Delusional Overachiever Low Self Esteem Complex,” which is technically me crushing THREE things at once, so not to brag or anything but I am pretty unfreakingbelievable.

Therefore, when said friend Melissa asked if I wanted to try a free spin class at a new yoga and spin joint in town this week, I figured I’d finally have an opportunity to show her I’m better than her at something, which is what all real friendships are about. I mean sure, she can balance on one toe with the other leg behind her head and slowly squat down into some poetic sounding yoga position while at the same time breathing slowly through her nose and reciting a Buddhist mantra, but has she made people 3 people cry on road cycling rides? Well I have, so there.

Then it will come as no shock to you that I strolled into that spin class with the expectation that when it was over, everyone would worship me. Just kidding, as an introvert, I slid into the room as quietly as possible and then freaked out due to all the overstimulation. I have a hard enough time encountering new normal situations, but this was like panic on crack.

Spin Room Introvert Observations:

1. Perception: 500 people in a room the size of a bedroom on bikes 2 centimeters from each other. Reality: 20 people in a room the size of 2 bedrooms on bikes 2 feet from each other.

2. Perception: Is this a sauna? Reality: Initial sweating due to panic attack and not actual room temperature.

3. Perception: I’m at a rave/disco/club, will someone be slipping me a roofie? Oh God, I forgot my safety whistle! Reality: Beautiful light show.

4. Perception: Candles. Oh Lord, the place is gonna burn down and I’m not going to be able to climb over these people fast enough to get out! Reality: Battery operated ambiance.

5. Perception: Instructor is too All-American handsome. This is a new show called Prank My Spin, right? And why is he not shouting at us like a military instructor, he’s too nice and happy, it’s suspicious. Wait. Are some people happy when they work out? Reality: According to sources, Tyler IS actually a nice person. And some people DO enjoy physical exercise.

6. Perception: Too loud, can’t think! Reality: Awesome music.

All of this was hitting me so fast that I didn’t even notice Melissa two feet in front of me waving both arms to get my attention and show me she saved me a bike. In. The. Front. Row. Another thing about introverts? Well, for me at least, I do NOT want any attention. So the fact that my bike was located directly in front of the instructor was not a good sign. Thus I did what I always do in situations like that, refrained from looking at him and pretended he didn’t exist in the hope that he wouldn’t notice me. A lot of people tend to misinterpret this as being rude or bitchy when in reality, it’s just me trying to deflect any sort of attention away from me and hopefully onto someone way more interesting and capable of social conversation.

Melissa did notice that I was wearing my own clip shoes and that I didn’t have to rent some which shows I take the cycling thing at least semi-seriously. Hopefully it also scared her a little, because, duh, we were racing. ThenTyler started the class and I blacked out for 45 minutes, so I can’t tell you much more about the specifics except that when I came to, there was a pool of sweat all around my bike. I can recall random glimpses into the memory of the event, such as pain and darkness and lights and music and laughing, so I think he put on a pretty good show.

I have no idea if Melissa won or I won which means I have to go back next week for a rematch. The place is called The Union and for their first two weeks of operation, all their classes are free, which is brilliant. After that, they offer classes for a drop-in price, a monthly unlimited membership, or on a pre-paid plan. Melissa says the yoga is awesome too, but I’m not falling for that trick from her again so I’ll probably just stick to the spinning for now.

In conclusion, I tried something new. It didn’t suck. And it was a nice switch up to my isolated routine. Sometimes pretending to be a normal member of society isn’t so bad after all.








Deceased Rodent

After procrastinating because I hate anything that has to do with cars, I finally got my new stereo installed in Helga this week.  Wyatt and I are kind of the “techies” in our family so it was pretty important that I be the one in charge of picking up the car.  I mean not that E isn’t highly capable, but let’s be honest, he probably doesn’t even know what hands-free means.  Wait.  He probably has another definition of that. Err, never mind.

Anyway, of course when the car was ready it was a total blizzard and I knew that I’d be messing around with the stereo the whole time and the snow would just increase the likelihood of disaster, so E gallantly offered to follow me home.  At least when I ended up in the ditch, I’d have a nice warm ride home wherein I’d promptly get served with divorce papers because just how much can one man take?

The plan was that Wyatt would ride with me, not because if I’m going crash I should sacrifice my first-born, but because obviously he was pretty psyched to check it out.  Incidentally, when we pulled up, a hotel in the vicinity was in stand-off mode, surrounded by SWAT and tons of police so clearly the situation was fraught with danger.

This combination of factors MAY be why when the sales associate sat alone in the car with me to go over everything I completely spaced out and didn’t understand a word he was saying.  It must have been close to his break time because I’ve never heard someone talk so fast and since I’m an introvert, it takes a minute to process and analyze verbal conversation which resulted in me being about 90 seconds behind every time he tried to explain something.  Finally I just started nodding and pretending like I knew what he meant so he’d get out of the car because, duh, stranger danger.  He concluded with telling me I could download a manual on the manufacturer’s website, looked at me funny, and raced back into the store.

Wyatt jumped in after that and we were off.  Now normally, I’d mess around with the unit for a bit and then read the manual front to back and take some notes and basically become an expert on the situation.  Unfortunately I don’t have time for that nonsense in my life currently so I was hoping it was pretty easy to figure out.

If you don’t have a child, let me just fill you in on kids and technology.  THEY ARE SCARY SMART.  We got in the car and Wyatt started pressing all the buttons and I couldn’t keep up and drive and be safe at the same time.  The result?  Stereo programmed by a 10 year-old.

Let me paint a picture about how that looks:

1.  The face frame changes colors and flashes every 30 seconds so it looks like I’m throwing a rave in my car.

2.  The sound is set to something like “Is that an earthquake?  Nope, it’s that green Bug over there with the bass so high the ground is shaking.”

3.  The presets are all stations I hate.

4.  I can’t figure out how, but the playlists on my iPhone come across the screen as WorkoutFartPlaylist1 and WorkoutDiarrheaPlaylist2.

4.  When I get in the car, it greets me as “Hello Poopsie Chucklebutt.”

On top of that I can’t figure out how to get the clock back on the display so I’m constantly hitting buttons trying to find out what time it is.

As we were driving, Wyatt figured out how to get the song and artist information to scroll across the screen and all of a sudden he was all “OMG MOM!  This is the song from Camp Reed that I loved so much that I couldn’t remember the name of!” And I acted interested, but I was having kind of a hard time maintaining cognitive function because the piercing shrill that was coming out of the new speakers at about 200 decibels in an irritatingly repetitive pattern was making me want to tear my ears off.

“Can we get it?”


“Can we get it on iTunes?”


Then he turned it down and said, “Yeah, it’s the coolest song.  Remember how last year I was so into Knife Party and their album RAGE VALLEY, and the song Centipede that was our bunk theme song from camp?”


“Well this one is by Deadmau5. It’s called Fn Pig.” 

Except bless his little heart, he is so literal like me (and obviously a genius), he said “Deadmau Five and F-N Pig”.  Like at Christmas when he asked for Beats by Dr. Dre but said it “Dr. D-R-E”. And I had to correct him to prove that I’m smarter because I’m competitive that way.  And then we had to have a conversation about selling out and commercialism and Beyoncé and he didn’t know who that was and I reminded him that his sister tried to do the dance from the Put a Ring On It video when she was 2 and how hilarious it was and how sadly we didn’t get it on video for future blackmail.

“Uhmmm, I don’t think your dad would approve of me letting you get a song called Fn Pig, just a guess.”

“Please can we get it?”

“When we drop you off at camp each year, you’re going to a camp right?  You don’t get on a bus and go to like, Seattle or something and go clubbing for a week?”

“What’s clubbing?”

“Not important. Anyway. We’ll have to talk about the song later.  When my head stops throbbing and my ears stop bleeding.”

This morning was the first time using it alone and I wanted to see the differences between the normal radio stations and the HD radio stations.  I pulled up at a red light and couldn’t figure out how to change the station or adjust the volume which resulted in me yelling at the radio while pushing every button conceivable.  Plus it was blasting some pretty terrible House music, so on top of looking crazy, it also appeared that I have really poor taste.

I love Helga but frankly it’s pretty difficult to hide anything when you are driving her.  It’s like being in a giant fishbowl and people tend to judge that you are a happy person if you drive a Bug, and they wave a lot and smile when you are near.  Or they hit the person next to them, which is way better.  But just to be clear, I’m not happy.  In the morning.  Ever.

I looked up mid-scowl and profanity to see if the light had turned green yet and the cars on both sides of me were staring at me like I had just conducted a car jacking.  The looks they gave me made me think that they’d probably be calling their Congresswoman to suggest making it illegal to drive the happiest car on the planet if you are not, in fact, happy.

So I smiled and waved and then flipped them off when they weren’t looking because on top of being competitive, I’m also passive aggressive and kind of mean.

Now I’ve decided that I’m going to have to get my windows tinted so people stop judging me.  Because figuring out how to operate the new thing in my car is just too overwhelming and I’ve kind of lost interest.  But it would be nice if eventually when the phone rings or I try to make a call over the Bluetooth capabilities, if I stopped holding my phone to my ear the whole time while shouting at the car and trying to figure  out where the microphone is located.  I’m sure this is how all the other technologically gifted people in the world operate their equipment.  Well, pretty sure.  Almost sure. Sort of positive.

Also, what the hell time is it?















Magic Devil Car

As some of you may have noticed without checking Facebook, it’s pretty cold outside.  I hate it when it gets this cold.  Mostly because of the heating costs, so we supplement with fire all winter long which means hauling wood, splitting wood, stacking wood, making sure there is wood in the fireplace at all times, getting up three times a night to add wood, etc.  I know these things happen because I watch E do it.  Then I listen to him complain about why this is his job and then I just point at our two children and say “breastfed” and walk away.  This worked amazingly well for a few winters, but now I think he’s been calculating on his abacus the actual hours of work he’s invested compared to my long ago sacrifice and for some reason I’m losing the battle.

The annoying part about the extreme cold is also that my car is diesel and doesn’t start when it gets cold.  It has a plug-in, but I thought that was for boombox beach parties, so imagine how stupid I looked this summer when I drove up on the beach in a neon pink and black Body Glove swimsuit with suspenders and zippers and tried to blast my Don Henley Boys of Summer mix tape and nothing happened. Major downer.

Anyway, E ordered a thing from eBay, or Craigslist, or some other website with things no girl is interested in that gets installed somewhere on the car so that it will start when it’s cold.  It probably has a technical name but I’m already asleep thinking about it so let’s just move along.  Also, when he ordered it, we kept getting emails like “You purchase is A-Okay, congrakulations!” and “You American moolah filtered through secret offshore account, shipping status pending!” and “Now we know where you live, we hand deliver you package, for safety hide you goats and cows!” I wasn’t sure on the last one if I personally was supposed to hide and was being insulted or if I needed to hide our goats and cows.  So just to be safe, I hid our neighbors goats and cows since we don’t have any, because seriously, I don’t want to be responsible for showing bad manners that might offend another culture.  And also, I needed that car part really bad.

It finally arrived Monday, just in time for the really cold snap.  E headed out to the shop to install it and was gone for a really long time.  Finally I got scared that a coroner might inquire about the length of time between death and body discovery if perhaps I was called in for questioning so I decided to go check on him.  I walked down to the shop and saw lights on and then heard a steady stream of cussing indicating that things were going smoothly.  As usual, I made the mistake of asking how he was doing.

“I’ll tell you how I’m doing. I’m doing terrible.”

“Oh man, did you screw something up?  Hold on, I need to get this on video.”

“No I didn’t screw something up. VW screwed up by building such small cars.  My hands won’t fit into the space where I need to install this.”

“Your hands are freakishly big so I wouldn’t probably blame that on VW.”

“Also, I can’t fit under the car and look what happened.”

“Uhm, okay, what am I looking at here?  Did you break the car?”

“No. I broke my head, don’t you see the blood?”

“Hmm.  Anyway, when do you think you might be done because the fire is low and needs wood and Wyatt already went to bed so I can’t count on him and I’m getting a little cold so…?”

And then I yelled goodnight and ran back to the house because sometimes my theory that he is Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk just doesn’t need to be tested, and once again, I needed that car working, so best not to push my luck.

The next morning I asked if he got the job done and he made some smartass comment about his genius and incredible man power.  Then he said he had already started it for me and it was great because the heater was already warm.

“What? I don’t get it. What do you mean the heater is already warm? How long ago did you start it?”

“Just now.”

“I’m not following you. How can it already be warm?”

“Because it was plugged in all night, dummy.”

“I know but what does that have to do with the heater?”

“Seriously? Wyatt, please be incredibly glad you are a boy.”

“Excuse me.  It’s not because I’m a girl, it’s because every time you talk about things like that I want to kill myself.  Let’s talk about conjugating verbs for a minute. In German.  You’ll feel the same.”

“Ich bin ein Berliner!”

“Sehr lustig.  Du bist ein Arschloch.”

Then I got a 5 minute sarcastic lecture on how the engine/radiator/fission/fusion reactor or whatever works and frankly I didn’t appreciate the tone so I didn’t bother listening.  He ended with:

Never start the car when it is plugged in.  Hey are you listening?  You. Don’t start when pluggy thing in orange extension cord, got it?”


“Just don’t do it okay?”

“Will my face explode?”


“Will the car come to life, like Herbie?”


“Will it start melting in a psychedelic rainbow acid trip swirl?

“What the hell?”

“Will it emit a sound only the dogs can hear and turn them into vicious man-eating unicorns?”


“Will it reverse the electrical current and force the electrons into different hidey hole orbitals thereby making it defined as in an excited state?”

“For the love of…”

“Will the horn start tooting ‘Fahrvergnugen’ in time to the beat of Berzerk by Eminem?”

“I’m walking away now.”

“Wait.  Will 27 clowns jump out with chainsaws and machetes?  I don’t like clowns. I could never listen to Insane Clown Posse because.. scary!”

“I can’t talk to you anymore.”

“Will it transport me back to 1991?  I would really like that.  Because duh, Nirvana and Alice in Chains would still be in existence. Plus, I was really nailing the leggings and flannel look.”

“No one is even reading your blog at this point.  Wrap it up.”

“Wait!  What will happen? It seems sort of important! Actually now I’m just curious.”

“It will break the car you idiot.”

“Oh, okay.  That’s not very exciting.”

Then last night before I came home, E called and told me to make sure I plugged the car in when I got there.

“Where? Inside the shop?”

“No, why would you do that?”

“I have no idea. Where else I would plug it in?”

“You should try plugging it into the orange extension cord I have ready for you coming out of the garage.  You think?”

“YOU should try not parking old cars and boats in the garage so I could park MY car in there. You think?”

“Do. It.”

Naturally I forgot to do it so E did it for me.  I was greatly impressed by the invention of this product until I started thinking about how cold it was during the day and what if I couldn’t start my car from work?  The thought of that made me VERY anxious.  I don’t want to have anything to do with cars needing work or breaking down or maintenance, I can barely get gas properly. Therefore, I asked E if he thought the car would start during the day.

“No. You should definitely take the extension cord to work and run it out the front of the building and keep the car plugged in all day.”

“Oh.  I’m not sure I can do that?”

“That’s what they do in Alaska, remember on the Alaska State Troopers show?”

“Well, yes, but this isn’t Alaska.”

“Uh huh, but you do want your car to start, right?”

“Uhhhhm, are you trying to get me to do something stupid?”

The conversation left me uncertain as to if he was serious so I talked it over with my friend Rochelle.  We agreed that the heater thing was extremely strange and that I’m driving some sort of magic devil car.  And we decided that I DEFINITELY should plug my car in at work.  And that I should also probably use the handicap parking spot to minimize other people tripping over the cord, because we are very thoughtful this way.  Then she asked if she could take pictures and I got a little self conscious and insecure about the whole thing.

In the end, I decided not to bother with it mostly because I lost interest due to being so busy with other life emergencies like remembering to floss and organize my Amazon wishlist.  Plus, if it doesn’t start when I leave today, I’m sure one of the people living an alternate lifestyle in the dumpsters behind the building will be glad to help.





The cool thing about having a career in real estate is that everyone is insane.  Add to this the competition and pressure and deadlines and economy and it boils down to making a decision every morning when you wake up whether you are going to fight the madness or finally admit your integral role in it.  I’ve been trying to recruit for Real Estate Fight Club for years, but apparently I’m a little too intimidating and no one wants to fight me.  Just kidding.  Based on my weekly visible injuries, most people are pretty positive I’m already the female Tyler Durden.  Regularly smacking myself in the face on accident, tripping over nothing, and openly talking to myself only helps perpetuate this perception.  I’m way more Edward Norton (quietly brilliant, handsome in an ugly way) than Brad Pitt (frequently mocked on SNL and showy handsome, ick), which means E must be Helena Bonham Carter (arty in that batshit crazy way), sooo, yep, that seems about right.

Even though we are all crazy, some of the most caring and generous people I’ve ever met are part of the real estate industry.  We hustle and compete against each other on a daily basis but then turn out en masse to support causes that really help our community.  It is a dysfunctional drunken spectacle – or basically completely normal, like families during the holidays.

This weekend, I have the honor of attending The Furr Ball.  This is an annual event at the Davenport Hotel that supports the Spokane Humane Society.  A friend of mine, Maria, who is also in real estate is on the board and helps organize the event each year.  My date is my other beautiful friend from my last post Friendionaire.  It should be a pretty ho hum evening, uneventful and calm.  RIGHT.  Last year we tried to sneak 3 free bottles of wine into the Peacock Lounge after the party was over.  By sneak, I mean we bellied up to the bar and demanded wine glasses, then caused a little spectacle when the bartender not only refused but asked us to get out immediately.  Then we sat outside the bar drinking at a table in the open area and warning all the patrons heading that way that they better be careful because some people don’t allow happiness and joy in the lounge.

The event is dressy, which adds to the fun because it enhances the opportunity to judge people.  In return, I acknowledge that people may judge me.  But let’s be honest, people who frequently fall for no apparent reason are already pretty comfortable with that kind of thing so it is not a big deal on my end.  I’m wearing a little vintage number that I got at a local antique store – if E will let me out of the house in it since he is not attending.  It’s not that he doesn’t support animals (or dressing like a 1950’s trollop).  He just really supports his right to shoot them (animals, not trollops, pay attention!), and he is a little suspicious of anything animal related that could possibly have ties to PETA.  I have my own bizarre conspiracy theories (AARP, I’m speaking directly to you), so I’m not going to get on his case about it.

I first met Maria when she came to my office for a business transaction and the underneath of my desk put a giant run in her $30 nylons.  Wanting to retain her business (and frankly, get to know her better because she’s  pretty amazing), I went down to Nordstrom and purchased a replacement pair for her.  I’m horrible at guessing sizes and weights so I quickly grabbed what I thought might be appropriate and delivered them to her office.  She emailed me later and I think the response was something like “Thank you for your generous thought in replacing my nylons.  My only question is, do I really look pregnant?”  In my rush, I had accidentally purchased maternity nylons.

When you hit rock bottom, the good thing is that things can only go up.  Which is exactly what happened with Maria.  Fourteen years later and a week doesn’t go by that I’m not exclaiming “God, I love my Maria!”  She is direct, and quirky, and hilarious.  I feel like I really get her and in return she gets me.  It is not an even trade-off on her end but that is her problem.

Between Maria and my other friend, I’ve never met two people more completely crazy about animals. Which makes this event perfect for both of them.  And it’s fun for me because duh, you already know wine is involved.  But it also supports a great cause and where else can you see live animals mingling with people in cocktail gowns?

So if you are around town this weekend and feel like taking a stroll through the Davenport Hotel, just remember this – no outside alcohol may be brought into the lounge, and always remember to spay and neuter your pets.








I don’t have zillions of friends.  In fact, I’m slightly distrustful of people who do. How does one acquire 1,250 Facebook friends? I don’t understand how that works, but to be honest I’m really busy reading books so I haven’t tried very hard to get to the bottom of it.  Plus, my social awkwardness helps keep the applications for my fan club pretty low (Keri and Rochelle, your requests are still pending, sorry it has taken me 5 years to make a decision.  I’m just still a little concerned about what you both put down under the “skills” section. Is experience in hiding a body a skill?  Really?).  Anyway, I’m pretty thrilled to say I have a handful of very close friends who took the time to get past their initial horrified impression of me to find out who I really am underneath the fidgeting and silence and general inability to walk without falling.  Also, you’re welcome.

But I have one friend in particular who just KNOWS me.  She’s the kind of friend that if you told her you were planning on committing total self-destruction she’d say that you are a fool, and that she told you so, but that she supports you either way.  Actually, she’d probably say “Don’t be a dick.  But if you do, let me watch that train wreck, because hell yes, that is gonna be one awesome freak show.  And then when you are trying to pick up the pieces of your tiny miserable destroyed existence, I’ll be there for you.  With wine.”

If I ask her how her weekend was, I don’t expect an answer like “I stained my deck,  crocheted a blanket and winterized my flower garden.”  Instead it would be something like “I figured out how to control the volume on the TV remote with one toe so that I could remain almost completely motionless on the couch for the whole weekend while I watched Dexter.” We both have more industrious friends and we sometimes talk about how exhausting it would be to live their lives.  Yet we both work extremely hard, are ambitious and competitive, and have been described as “scary smart”.

Speaking of scary. Besides having an amazing long-term connection, we are both a little, uh, incompetent about basic life skills.  One of us has backed up into a tractor in our own driveway and rear-ended someone while hooked to a breast pump. The other one has accidentally parked on top of a fire hydrant and played “street median jump” in a car rented under the other friends’ name because “It’s just a rental, they don’t care what you do.”

The first time I met this friend, she was a new employee where I worked and an hour late on her first day.  I hated her right away.  She frequently came in hung-over and sometimes I would find her sleeping under her desk, “just taking a quick little rest”.  She was a serial dater, beautiful, and could drink a 300 lb. man under the table – all completely validating reasons for my dislike of her.  Plus her Pontiac Sunbird was just so yellow.

I finally figured out we might be friends when we were sitting in that damned yellow car in front of the only Starbucks in town at the time, up on the hill.  She was hung-over from a night of partying.  I was exhausted from pulling an all-nighter studying for a chemistry midterm.  We’d somehow gotten there but couldn’t find the energy to get out of the car.  We were silent, just sitting in front of the store, looking at it hopefully.  Finally my friend said “God, I’ve got to pee like a banshee.” I still use that phrase today.  A female Irish legend that screams to warn others of impending doom?  No. Sorry Ireland, you got that wrong, she’s screaming because she’s incontinent.

We went to Lilith Fair once.  Apparently there was a strict “no alcohol brought into the concert” rule being enforced at the time.  Not to be deterred, and because obviously we are both highly creative, we filled water bottles up with straight vodka and sailed right past the security guard who looked at, opened, and sniffed the bottles.  Then we got overwhelmed by events, downed the vodka and slept through all the performances.  Every. Single. One. But not before my friend screamed “I LOVE PENISES!”  Because if you’re going to pass out in front of 20,000 lesbians, always try to start a fight first.

Then there was the time I convinced her to do an all female mountain biking clinic with me called Skirtzndirt.  The entire weekend was pretty much a disaster.  The first day they took us to a straight drop hill to teach us “how to descend”.  The first girl in our group that tried it went over the top of her handlebars and broke her face.  She had to be emergency transported to a hospital.  My friend looked at me, said “Eff that” and got off her bike and started walking.  We were immediately labeled “the girls who want to protect their faces” in a group of hard-core granola chicks.  They also called our sleeping arrangement “the Avon tent”.  Listen, if I want to look my best when I’m crashing down a hill, well then excuuuuuuuse me.  Also? There are a LOT of hot doctors, it just seems like good breeding to be prepared.  Survival of the fittest, bitches.

Or how about the time she tried to get me fired?  I forwarded an email to her from a customer and said “See what I have to deal with on a daily basis?”  She accidentally hit “reply to all” and gave me a 500 word description of the level of worthless human being this person was, using extremely unladylike words.  I had just started the job and had to go tell my boss that not only did I forward a company email to a friend but that she had so violated the person in her response that it might be considered a misdemeanor felony.  And then I had to call the person and beg him to delete it without reading it.

We’ve worked together periodically over the years, sometimes logging 16 hour days during the height of the housing bubble.  Tensions tended to get pretty short.  There was the time we were both escorted outside by the president of a company to personally apologize to someone sitting in their car.  My friend had screamed profanities at this person in front of the whole company and the event was too traumatizing for her to ever set foot in the building again. You might ask why I had to be involved in this?  I might have been laughing hysterically when she flew into her rage.  Mostly because I have extremely inappropriate responses to stressful situations, but also because who does that?!

Granted, most of this happened when we were still in our 20’s.  We are both WAY more mature now.  For instance, one of us is learning how to use rearview mirrors, and the other one is grudgingly trying to text rather than put her rants in email format.  Still, when we hang out, I usually have a moment where I wonder if today is the day we are going to get arrested.  She takes risks, sometimes calculated, sometimes reckless.  I blame her for everything that gets me in trouble, even if I instigated it. Neither of us live up to our potential and if someone tells us to do something, we both feel justified ignoring it or doing the exact opposite, just because we can.  I’m free to be stupid and silly and broken and imperfect around her.  In return she gives me unconditional acceptance, honest judgment, and her warm heart.








Kids, today we are going to talk about choosing a life partner and how personality traits play into a decision THAT AFFECTS THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

More specifically, let’s discuss Perfectionist vs. Achievement orientation.  These terms will be capitalized throughout the remainder of this post because they are important and also to irritate any English majors that might be searching for internet porn and accidentally get routed here.  Welcome to my blog.  Looking for a nude pic of Elizabeth Barrett Browning?  Sorry, can’t help you with that.   Read this long rambling treatise full of grammatical faux pas instead.  Also? Shame. On. You.

First, we should define Perfectionists and Achievers.  Forgive me for a moment while I use technical jargon.  It’s science, people.  Yes, I understand we are speaking about social science today and not magic beaker and Bunsen burner science.  Still.

DEFINITION OF PERFECTIONIST: Compulsive striving for impeccable and often unobtainable goals, setting high self-standards in combination with being overly critical of others’ evaluations of their performance.  Can be either self-oriented or other-oriented, i.e. some perfectionists only set high standards for themselves, while other-oriented perfectionists also demand it from those around them.

LL74 Definition: Perfectionists are characterized by the need to have everything absolutely flawless.  Their motto is “A job worth doing is worth doing well, so long as it is perfect.”

Practical Guide

How can you spot a Perfectionist?  Say you are married to someone really creative and this person has somehow mastered furniture making,  painting, drawing, building houses, taking apart and rebuilding cars, pottery throwing, landscape architecture, hunting, soccer coaching, and double-clicking absolutely everything on the internet, when clearly only a single click is necessary.  Obviously, this is a random description of a person and not someone I actually know AT ALL.  Then, say you MacGyver together a table you bought at IKEA and proudly display what you think are your obvious skills at using a screwdriver to this person.  A perfectionist will first and foremost want to destroy the table because IT IS NOT A TABLE AND IS A PIECE OF GARBAGE MADE FROM COMPRESSED SAWDUST AND NOT FIT FOR A HOMELESS PERSON.  Then they will look at your crooked screws, uneven tabletop, asymmetrical leg placement and factory paint job and declare you unfit for life in general.  These are not exact words because, again, I don’t know this person but it is how I vividly imagine the conversation might go.

DEFINITION OF ACHIEVER:  Ambitious, driven, competitive, motivated to be the best, has high expectations and focused intensity.  Achievers are better than perfectionists. This is what several authentic websites say, at least.  And I think we all know Wikipedia is a very reliable and respected source, so who am I to dispute PROVEN THEORY?

LL74 Definition:  Always win and if that isn’t possible, give up and don’t even try.  How the win is achieved is not as important as the actual winning, so it is acceptable if the process is messy.  Imagine a race car screeching and flipping and burning as it crosses the finish line in first place.  Still a win.  Still beats everyone else.  But perhaps a total wreck.  As the intellectual genius Dale Earnhardt and/or Ricky Bobby may have said, “Second place is first loser.”

Practical Guide

How can you spot an Achiever?  Say you marry someone who likes to collect things.  These things are degrees.  But the degrees are not worth pursuing unless this person can finish top of the class.  This person might also like to watch Jeopardy.  They may secretly compete with you if you are watching it together and then at the end of the show scream “I win, sucker!”, causing the other person to look up from their eBay search of vintage barber chairs, shake their head sadly and exit the room. Say this person’s partner can’t swim and yet they still challenge them to a lap race on a vacation at Glacier.  When the partner that doesn’t swim wins the race, this person will demand a do-over, blame the loss on extreme differences in body length, and act like a petulant toddler the rest of the day.  You don’t know anyone like this I’m sure, I’M JUST SAYING.

When in conflict, Perfectionists and Achievers are not properly equipped to resolve issues harmoniously.  The Perfectionist will exhaustively explain WHY the problem exists, HOW it can be fixed, and go to great lengths to make sure the Achiever understands the importance of executing the process perfectly every step of the way.  The Achiever will not listen and instead formulate a quick fix plan that sort of arrives at the same conclusion but might require bending some rules, extreme tolerance of “gray areas”, and perhaps a small but quickly extinguished house fire.  They will then blurt out the plan, say “You’re wrong, I’m right.  I win!”, and stomp away while the Perfectionist is still mid-lecture regarding step 13 of 57,000 of the Grand Plan for Life.

A partnership that includes a Perfectionist and an Achiever is like asking Gordon Ramsey to marry Sarah Palin.  The union will spontaneously combust under direct order of The Universe.  Or perhaps it will be the best gift you’ve ever been given in life.  The key lies in your openness to accepting your Achiever partner as the winner.  So just sit there in your wrongness and be wrong, because eventually it might be absolutely right.


Try to contain yourselves, you pervs.

No Thanks

Every November, people go a little crazy on Facebook talking about the things they are thankful for. I’m not really into that but I respect those who can find 30 things to be appreciative of as well as comfortable enough to share these personal things with the world.  If the post is a sentence or less, I’ll usually read it and do a mental comparison to see if I might also be thankful for what they are describing. Because really, why should I always have to think for myself? I’d rather just be told what I’m thankful for. And then that would also make me thankful for being lazy, which I highly aspire to, soooo two birds, one stone, amiright?

But think about all the things we are unthankful for that don’t get recognized. Doesn’t it seem unfair? I’m not talking about things we loathe with venomous disgust, like photosynthesis. I’m talking about the things that we just don’t really acknowledge at all that have somehow shaped who we are, both good and tragically bad. They are the silent fillers of meaning, like pink slime in fast food burgers.

Rather than go another day without finally documenting my obsessive deep reflection on the obscure, or as E calls it, “getting drunk, again“, I decided to make a list of things I’m unthankful for. Plus, I’m an overachiever. I got my list of 30 items completed by November 5……first one done, Facebook suckers, I win. Booyah!

So in no particular order, here are some things I am definitely unthankful for that need to be acknowledged:

1. Unflavored dental floss

2. Little Orphan Annie

3. Ambivalence

4. Scantrons

5. Synchronized swimming

6. Cumulonimbus clouds

7. Manscaping

8. Hammer pants

9. The letter U

10. Paprika

11. Underoos

12. Wine coolers (the classy 2 liter kind)

13. 7-11

14. Armadillos

15. Paddle boats

16. REO Speedwagon

17. Juvenile detention

18. The entire spectrum of human emotion

19. Bell curves

20. Phineas, but not Ferb

21. 10:59 pm

22. Albatrosses

23. Reverse polarity

24. The Grind on MTV

25. 3rd gear

26. The Periodic Table of Elements

27. Noxious milfoil

28. Freddy Krueger

29. Moral relativism

30.  Helvetica sans serif typeface

I’ve probably forgotten some, or as E also calls it, “blackout”. Whatever. I’d love to hear what other people are unthankful for. Happy November.

Do you like my blog?

A. Yes

B. Yes

C. Yes

D. All of the above

Please completely fill in your answer.  Use ONLY a #2 pencil.  Do not mark outside of the bubble.  Answer C will only help you in the event that this is your 3rd time taking the SAT and you are still drunk from a night of partying. Believe me.