10 Things That Drive Me Crazy

1. People driving under the speed limit in the left lane of a two-lane road

tailgating on a three-lane autobahn


Tech Support, Please Don’t Make Things Worse.

woman computer problems

This year alone I have logged so many hours on the phone with tech support for my less-than-two-year-old lemon of a computer that at times I have lost full work days, my patience, and – quite nearly – my mind.

Sometimes, out of the boredom that comes with waiting for this diagnostic or that test to be run, a background in journalism, and a general curiosity about people, I have had conversations with technicians about family, the pluses and minuses of arranged marriages, what it’s like to work all night. One time I was on the phone so long that while the tech was working, I actually took a shower, dried my hair, got dressed and put on makeup. “Speaker phone is on. Yell if you need me,” I told the tech. “Do not leave me,” I warned, “because if I have to start over again with someone else, I will jump off a roof.”


Iowa Flood Chaos Brings Back Childhood Memory

Car Flooded

My home, Ames, Iowa, has just experienced the biggest flood in the city’s history. Bigger even than 1993 where the roads were closed and Des Moines didn’t have fresh water for more than a week. There was eleven inches of rain in central Iowa in three days last week.


Yes, I Broke It, Now What Gift Should I Send?

oops key

We just got back from a family visit to Toledo, Ohio where my husband grew up. In a whirlwind three days we visited his sister and brother; we saw old friends and new babies. We stayed with cousin Mike who lives alone in a beautiful townhouse with a private guest suite. Mike keeps an immaculate home; he makes Felix of the Odd Couple look like a slob. Mike says he likes “everything perfect.” And it is.