it’s a new year, obviously

So far in 2015 I’ve put together a 4,295 piece Lego set and registered myself for Bloomsday.  I think we can all agree it’s been a really productive few days.

“But how was 2014, Rochelle?  You haven’t updated your blog since June, really, and we’re all getting concerned!”  Listen, the four of you that read this blog who I know, I’ve seen you and told you what I’ve been up to, and the rest of you stalkers will just have to resort to secretly facebooking or twitter searching me.  I know you’re out there, because I’ve been stalking you too.

2014 was a success and I am pleased to report I have no regrets from this past year.  Except that I may have spent a little too much on various Legos but they brought me joy and mild bemused entertainment to those who witnessed my Lego obsession so it wasn’t a complete waste of funds.

Reviewing the last 12 months in my brain I’m trying to decide what is most noteworthy to report.  I learned the most about North Korea this year from what I hope are reliable sources (but also secretly hope they’re not because the stories I’ve heard and read in the last year are terrifying and heartbreaking and I really wish everyone’s life was as easy as mine).  I recommend reading Camp 14 and Nothing to Envy and I’ll get back to you on The Two Koreas because I just got it for Christmas and it’s ten years long, and it’s mostly for context.

On a lighter note, the funniest thing I’ve seen all year was this video of my Aunt Tracey imitating me in all those Ironman videos I posted.

In summary:  Training, video blog, Bloomsday, Lake Chelan, Moses Lake Triathlon, Ironman, June 30th, Fourth of July, Lake Chelan again, painting, Race the River, SoCal, Titanium Man, Indian Summer Half, Bolts, Legos.  2014, #nailedit.

some things that happened this weekend

1.  Megan sat on the cat.  The whole cat.
2.  Two hulking African American men asked Staci and me where the strip club was at 7am on Saturday morning.
3.  I cut my nose with a chipped (clean) dinner plate while putting it back in the cupboard.
4.  Everyone went to Korea without me.
5.  My friend Jack, who is 2, is better at dancing to dubstep music than I am.  In fact, he might be better at it than most people.

recently, in downtown spokane

This morning, at the end of a painful six-mile run (painful for me because my feet are still bleeding, and painful for Staci because she actually worked out hard yesterday), we paused to discuss our weekend plans before parting ways. While complaining about my impending wisdom-tooth removal situation, a dark green Explorer pulled up next to us and the driver leaned over his co-pilot to ask us where the strip club was.

Here’s the thing: It was approximately 7:00am, this SUV had Oklahoma license plates, and we were standing at the corner of Riverside and… Maple? In other words, no where near East Sprague where they “needed” to be.

“Excuse us, but could you tell us where the strip club is?” -Driver
“Uhhh…” -Staci & Me
“Sprague? Sprague. You need to turn all the way around and head back that way!” -Staci *points opposite direction*
“Yeah, sure, something like that.” -Me
“Other direction? Ok, great thanks!” -Driver and Co-Pilot
“YOU GUYS!!” -Staci *slightly exasperated, also laughing*
“Well, it’s early still!” -Co-Pilot
*laughing* -Staci & Me
*driving away laughing* -Guys in Car

I’m not exactly sure why it being early in the morning is relevant, maybe I’m naive and someone needs to explain it to me. Aunt Keen?

booooooooooo, also… lol

My car has been possessed.

Not repossessed, I pay my taxes and debts, but it has been possessed by an unknown entity and I do not appreciate it.

A few months ago one of the belts started squealing every time I’d start up the engine.  Not a huge problem, but something that would eventually need to be taken care of.  Four weeks ago my supportive and infinitely wealthier father took my car in for maintenance and had everything replaced.  By “everything” I mean the belts (alternator, timing, etc.) as well as the water pump, spark plugs, and even put new wipers on!

Three weeks ago I took my car in to Les Schwab to get the tires rotated, and to see if they could find the cause of the “helicopter” noise the car made every time you veered right while driving between 45 and 50mph.  Oh that was just because the last Les Schwab guy had put my brakes and rotors on incorrectly a year previously.  Remember that mishap?  I do because it cost my entire tax return.  Whatever, I got free beef.  Ok, back to the present.  My Mazda also needed a new wheel bearing and alignment check.  Thank you, Spokane potholes.  Its okay, I got to spend most of the day with Lori and learned to make kettle corn at home.  Tastes just like Pig Out in the Park!

Two weeks ago I was on my way to the gym when something popped under the hood and my poor Protege5 refused to idle without acting like it was going to die.  Thankfully I made it to a dealership with an open mechanic shop on the weekend, and they replaced the spark plugs again!  YAY!  Apparently the first ones were too new.  That, or my car is a… female dog (I’m trying to swear less, leave me alone)… and isn’t willing to try new things or branch out of her comfort zone at all.  Dad was able to get a refund on the parts and labor cost from the first shop my car went to, so all is well that ends well, right?


Last Friday night I was headed to Cheney to pick up my sister so we could head to the Tri-Cities for Easter weekend.  About a mile before the Cheney exit I smelled something weird and immediately checked all the gauges in my dash.  Engine temperature pegged at hot.  YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!  Instead of letting out some swears, I called my Dad and calmly explained what was happening.  Then I hung up and started screaming prayers like “DEAR GOD LET ME MAKE IT TO MEGAN’S SO I’M NOT STRANDED ON THE HIGHWAY WITH ALL THE CREEPERS!”  Prayer is effective because I made it to Megan’s without being attacked by a stranger on the side of the road next to my dead car.

When I got to Megan’s she opened the door and made to grab her bag but I told her not to bother because my car was dying and we weren’t going to make it to Kennewick that night, to which she replied, “Awww, Jesus Weekend is ruined.”  Then we played Super Mario Brothers on the Wii for three hours.

Saturday morning I checked under the hood in the light of day, because I’m a mechanic and know things about cars so obviously I’d be able to figure out the problem immediately.  AND I’d probably be able to come up with a MacGuiver-esq solution as well.  No, don’t be ridiculous.  My car may as well be a guy for all I know about the subject.  Anyway, I could see that there was antifreeze everywhere and with my massive brain power was able to deduce that antifreeze is typically contained in some sort of tank, not spewed haphazardly around the interior of an engine.  Dad had told me to fill up the thingy that typically holds antifreeze with water and just stop once the car over heats.  It took me over an hour to get from Cheney to my apartment.  15 miles.

After unloading all my crap and letting the car cool down again, I drove it back to the dealership and said, “It’s your problem now, bitches!”  Eff, I’m not supposed to be swearing.  Also, that’s not what I said.  I explained to the guy as best I could what had happened, and he said at first glance something about cooling fans and things not working.  Well… duh.  I left the car there and my fake roommate Michelle came to pick me up.  Then I spent the rest of Saturday riding my bike.

Around 5:45, 15 minutes before closing, the dealer called me and said they still hadn’t figured out the exact problem and would need to do a full diagnostic on Tuesday.  Which is today.  I haven’t heard anything yet.

In the meantime, my fantastic Grandma has been letting me borrow her Ford Ranger with the anti-war bumper sticker.  Which I’ve been driving to work every day.  You know, the place I work at with all the retired firemen and military guys who bleed red, white, and blue.

I’ve been trying to figure out why things like this keep happening specifically to my car.  Could be a coincidence, could be a series of human errors, or it could be Satan needed a black car to get around Spokane in for awhile and he didn’t feel like going to the Tri-Cities to celebrate the fact that Jesus beat him in a death match because he doesn’t like reliving bad memories.  I get it.  I don’t really enjoy driving by my old middle school either.

I do believe that there is a specific reason for why all these car troubles have happened in quick succession, but I don’t know why yet.  There is a possibility I will never know.  Maybe Megan and I were saved from a fire-y car-crashy death.  Maybe I was just supposed to stay and interact with people here.  They have been unusually good weekends aside from all the expensiveness of getting a car fixed.  I’ve seen the insides of quite a few apartments for rent on the lower South Hill, got to ride my bike everywhere, and Shelby had to drive me places which is awesome on account of I love hanging out with Shelbs.  Or, maybe Megan and I just needed to play Super Mario.  I don’t know.

I do know this is all pretty funny when you really think about it.


two words: michael and christine are in town

I love that Aunt Keen’s best friend from college (and life) will show up in Spokane and she and her husband will call me to hang out.  I love even more that I had an excuse to not clean my apartment on a Saturday night.  AND she reads my blog.  So.  This is for you, Christine:


…also, I think your Dad is hilarious.  Not sure if you heard him, but he told me he’d see me in church.  If I’m sitting near a window.

To sum up:

“Dear Aunt Keen.  These really strange people bought me drinks.  And talked about their private parts.  Hope to see you at Christmas.  Love, Rochelle.”

this is my advice

…to Michelle, regarding her life plans.


Dear Michelle,

I think this sounds like a really good idea.

Also, you don’t have to be qualified to make it happen.  I think it’s more of a mind over matter situation.  I mean, obviously you can’t be a dummy and pull off something like this but NEWS FLASH:  you’re not a dummy.  You once told me so yourself.

I like that you have so many details planned out.  I think you should make this your goal and go for it.

Those Invisible Children guys only had degrees from Berkeley and lets he honest, that school gets referenced more for jokes than it does for its academic prowess.  I can’t think of specific examples, but I know its usually regular people who come up with the brilliant ideas and they become un-regular, you know?  You just have to have the idea.

As for losing interest… that happens to everyone.  That’s why divorces happen, and midlife crisis’, and TV.  Everyone loses interest in what they love from time to time.  The point is that you will yourself to come back to it because you knew it was right in the first place.  It’s a strength of character thing, I guess.

Your dream is too specific not to be attempted.  If you were just all, “Ohhh social justice,” and, “Ohhh the environment,” I’d be like, “Shut up Michelle, I’m trying to own slaves while driving my hummer,” but you’re not.

Unfortunately, I’m not any real help because I have no idea how businesses start or who even to ask for advice, but it sounds like you know where to go and who to talk to.  So I’ll just be an encourager or something.  I encourage you to pursue this because these asses ain’t gettin’ any higher (that’s my off-color way of saying we’re old).

I’m going to search wikipedia now and see if I can find out if George Washington had a British accent or not.  Do you think he did?  Kind of ironic, don’t you think?  Sort of like rain on your wedding day.

Love, Rochelle