My Latest Car Inspection Report

Inspection Summary for: MARSH, RACHEL D.

05/09/2017 1:52 PM

1999 Honda CR-V EX RED

Odometer In: 240966

License: XYY-8047

Sub Estimate #1

Lube, oil and filter

Labor: $35

Parts: $117.52

Total Taxes: $17.83

Sub Estimate Total: $170.35

Sub Estimate #2

R&R front disc rotor and alignment

Labor: $57

Parts: $478.98

Total Taxes: $90.05

Sub Estimate Total: $626.03

Sub Estimate #3

Radiator air shutter

Labor: $125

Parts: $732.60

Total Taxes: $208.75

Sub Estimate Total: $1,066.35

Sub Estimate #4

Something something something something car terms blah blah blah

Labor: $679

Parts: $2,450.38

Total Taxes: $980.57

Sub Estimate Total: $4,109.95

Sub Estimate #5

Automatic power steering transmission fluid I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa system flush exchange disc rotors hips don’t lie catalytic converter mmbop oil filter engine replacement.

Labor: $1,975

Parts: $3,050.45

Total Taxes: $778.94

Sub Estimate Total: $5,804.39

Sub Estimate #6

A voltage regulator, whatever the heck that is

Labor: $480

Parts: $3,728.55

Total Taxes: $752.90

Sub Estimate Total: Call your parents

Sub Estimate #7

Family vacation to Cancun

Labor: $4,085

Parts: $5,728.55

Total Taxes: $1,752.90

Sub Estimate Total: Your firstborn child

Sub Estimate #8

Transmission harmonic torque converter module

Labor: A LOT

Parts: We don’t even know if there’s a number for this

Total Taxes: Your rent for a year

Sub Estimate Total: Bankruptcy

Grand Total All Sub Estimates: the equivalent to your entire college tuition, times three, plus six years of indentured slavery, with an additional $65 service fee.










This week, my mother is out of town for some important media trip, and has asked me to dogsit for her.

Which is a task I dread every time I have to do it. And I want to be a good daughter, because she raised me and still supports me and has been there for me when I’ve needed her and blah blah blah. But every time she asks, I cross my fingers for an excuse not to do it because frankly, dogsitting for her is a fate I wouldn’t bestow upon anyone.


  • First of all, the best part about housesitting or dogsitting for anyone is raiding their snacks. But everything she has is so gosh darn healthy, I don’t even know what to do with it.






  • In fact, I can barely find any space to put my REAL food.



  • Okay, but no big deal. As long as she has coffee, I’ll be fine.


But…a jigsaw coffeemaker!?!?

But who invented this
Maybe if just shut it really hard
Maybe it just figures it out itself
Maybe I’m thinking about it too much


  • Oh and another thing. My mom has one of those iSmartAlarm alarm systems, so she’s alerted whenever a door or window has been opened. Therefore she knows whenever I get home at night, whenever I get up in the morning, and if I’ve stayed out all night partying without coming back to feed the dogs.



It’s like dogsitting for Big Brother.


  • And I can’t even try to get anything done with this face looking at me the entire time.

Should I Reinstall My Bangs?

I was bald for the first year of my life.

I went that entire year having to rely on my large eyes, easy smile, and rolls of fat to get people’s attention. I didn’t have the advantage of thick, shiny hair, like many of my associates had, to fall back on.

Every day was a struggle.


Eventually my hair grew in (blonde, in case anyone was wondering). I went through the “Baby’s First Haircut” photoshoot, and I’m sure somewhere there’s a lock of my hair stuffed into one of those baby scrapbooks that literally no parent has ever completed.


So as my hair grew and became like a normal child’s, my hairstyle matched those of any young white girl’s in the 90’s: long hair that was usually tangled in hundreds of places, topped with thick bangs sitting straight across my eyebrow line. And if I was lucky, my mom would toilet paper them on special occasions.




To put it bluntly, I was…well, I was adorable.

Then came third grade. When every girl whose parents had bestowed bangs upon them decided to grow them out. And since I was definitely cool, that’s what I wanted to do too. I asked my parents to buy me clips to help shove them aside during the growing process, and they did.


By fourth grade, my forehead was the clear, bangs-free forehead I had dreamed of.

I lived the low-ponytail, center-part life every day until middle school.


Like I said, I was definitely cool.

Then in seventh grade, the bangs fad returned. And since I was definitely cool, my bangs also returned. They were the feathery kind, not as thick as before…and I think they lasted about a month until I realized that they did not look good I was too cool for them.

My hair has gone through a lot of alterations since then, including some highlights, blowouts, bad haircuts, good haircuts, its own recent decision to become curly, and more split ends than I care to even imagine.

And now I’m starting to wonder if the bangs life is for me again.

And that’s where I need your advice.

If you’re thinking, “Well Rachel, how can we give you advice if we don’t know what your hair would look like with bangs?” I have a solution. A solution called the internet.

I’ve replaced my face with some celebrities’ faces, to see what exactly I would look like with bangs. I sat on my couch last night experimenting with all sorts of potential hairstyles, and I’ve set aside the best options for you to look at.

Take your time, sleep on it, don’t feel like you need to answer right away. But here are some accurate depictions of what I could look like with a new ‘do, for your careful consideration.



unnamed (3)


unnamed (5)


unnamed (2)


unnamed (4)


unnamed (1)

Technology these days is amazing.

Anyway, thank you for your contemplation, and I look forward to your feedback.

Official Retraction

I would just quickly like to issue an official retraction from my last blog post. For those of you who forgot, or for gosh sake’s didn’t read it, the post was about my poor cooking skills, and what it looks like now that I live on my own and have to cook for myself.

In one part, I wrote “Bad cooking is a curse that was bestowed upon my family, and unfortunately passed along to me.”

Since the post was published, I’ve gotten a heavy amount of backlash from a reader who wished to remain anonymous. This reader reminded me that I come from two separate families, one of which is actually very culinarily talented.

This reader then reminded me of all of the delicious nightly dinners she cooked for me over the years, the daily school lunches she diligently packed, and the highly anticipated Saturday morning pancake breakfasts I enjoyed as a child.

This reader also reminded me that I wouldn’t be here were it not for the nine months that she spent caring for me in her womb. Which seemed unrelated somehow, but I guess she thought it was important.

So, reader, I apologize for not making that part more clear, and in the future I’ll be sure to be more careful to specify when placing blame about my lack of cooking abilities.

Food Porn. Or…the Off-Brand Version

I’m not a very good cook.

Look, I’m not just trying to be humble, or cast out a fishing line in search of compliments and reassurance.

I really just have no patience for cooking, or interest in learning. Bad cooking is a curse that was bestowed upon my family, and unfortunately passed along to me. Just ask my dad, who kept Shake ‘n Bake in business during our childhood and made it popular long before Talladega Nights.

Or my grandma, who once almost burned down the kitchen on Thanksgiving.

This is a true story.

Anyone who knows me, or has to live with me (God bless you, Kathleen…) knows that I have plenty of talents, but culinary arts simply is not one of them.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t cook. I actually cook all the time. I’m just not necessarily proud of anything I make, nor would I ever dare to share it with someone else.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I’ve never been one of those people that takes pictures of my food. You know the type. Those people who make some sort of incredible paella dish or brunch feast, and document it on Instagram for everyone to see and envy? Those people that I half hate, half desperately want to invite me over for dinner once in awhile.

But bad cook nonetheless, I did start to wonder what it would look like if I was one of those take-pictures-of-their-meals people.

And here’s what happened.



For best results, add enough hot sauce to eliminate other flavors.



It didn’t burn!



Close enough.



I can’t remember what I meant for this to be.



Lettuce + dressing = salad!



The reason to have a roommate is for their leftovers splitting rent.



No dishes required.


Tuna Crackers

Or pair with crackers!



Ingredients for grilled cheese: some sort of bread, some sort of cheese, some sort of pan.















Just kidding, it’s from a cookbook.


The Daily Digest, Again

Ah, the Daily Digest. You may recall from my post a couple of months ago, where I discuss the Daily Digest, my apartment building’s daily wrap-up of the community message board.

For a long time during the winter, neighbors were complaining about the uncontrollable amounts of dog poop around the area. Which made for a lot of angry and passive aggressive posts, meaning LOTS of entertainment for the rest of us.

But now the weather is getting warmer, and people aren’t cooped up looking for something to complain about. Lately, all of the posts have been about selling furniture, watching the Bachelor finale, or seeing if “anyone is doing anything for St. Patrick’s Day because I’m a little lonely.”

Pretty mundane.

So the other night when I checked the Daily Digest and saw this rude, passive aggressive gem, I just knew I had to share it.

Here’s a quick recap: a resident in the building two blocks away from me apparently has been struggling with his noisy upstairs neighbors. What they’re making noise with, he doesn’t know, but he most certainly wants them to stop.

3/16/17 11:32 a.m.

Brendan Joyce writes:

To a 6th floor resident of Lucky Strike, I don’t know what you’re doing up there but please find a time sooner than 10:30-11:30 PM to:
a. Let your kids run and jump all over your apt/floor
b. Practice your bowling
c. Host soccer practice
d. Let your elephant out of its cage
e. Work on your, from the sound of it, terrible dance moves
f. All of the above
The 5th Floor

I’m not sure how this got resolved, or if it did, or if the bad-dancing, late-night-bowling, soccer-practicing, elephant-owning parents of wild children even saw this post. Unfortunately, us neighbors see the complaints but never find out how the incidents wind up.

But, if I had to guess, here’s what I imagine their response would be:

Dear Brendan Joyce and the rest of the 5th Floor,

First of all, we would like to sincerely apologize for the consistent disturbance of your 10:30-11:30 pm hour. We know that’s a crucial period in your late evening, and we recognize that you prefer complete silence at that time.

But here’s the thing. We’re busy, working people. We have full-time jobs, plus many extracurricular commitments outside of that. By the time we get home, cook dinner, and clean up the elephant poop, we barely have time to relax, unwind, and practice our various hobbies. So, we’ve determined that it works best for us to cram all of them into one hour, before heading to bed and starting the grind all over again.

So when 10:30 p.m. rolls around, we first let our pet elephant out of his cage (he’s been cooped up all day!). Then we get our kids out of the beds we just tucked them into and encourage them to run and jump all over our apt/floor. Next we roll out the bowling alley, and practice our strikes (last week my husband got a seven-ten split!). After that, all of our friends come over, and we host a quick pickup soccer game. It’s great bonding time, and our team is getting really good. Then when our friends leave, we throw on our tap shoes and work on our terrible dance moves. And once 11:30 strikes, we put everything away (including the elephant!) and call it a day. It’s quite an hour!

Anyway, Brendan, thank you for your inquiry about our late-night activities. We’ll certainly try to keep it down in the future, but unfortunately all of our hobbies are pretty boisterous, so I don’t know how successful we’ll be! Might I suggest earplugs?

Either way, please do let us know if you would ever like to join! You might even enjoy yourself!


A 6th Floor Resident of Lucky Strike



What St. Patrick’s Day Looks Like at 29 Years Old

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. Technically it’s the day that Saint Patrick came to Ireland and saved a bunch of people or something. But in reality, we’ve managed to turn this into just another excuse to wear tacky outfits and get really drunk.

When I was younger, I will admit I was part of that population. For me, this holiday used to represent Irish car bombs, whiskey shots, four-leaf clover sunglasses, Guinness, and shirts that said things like, “Kiss My Blarney Stone,” all wrapped up in one day and topped off with lots of green-colored throw up.

Now that I’m in my late 20’s, however, St. Patrick’s Day has started to look a little different.

6:30 a.m. Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.

6:40 a.m. Alarm goes off again. Get up.

6:45 a.m. Get in the shower. Get dressed.

6:55 a.m. Leave for job at local independent coffee shop.

7:06 a.m. Arrive at aforementioned local independent coffee shop.

7:10 a.m. Brew and serve coffee for customer while thinking about coffee for yourself.

7:35 a.m. Coffee.

Continue the cycle of brewing, chatting, steaming, and pouring until your shift is over.

3:08 p.m. Grab keys and paycheck. Leave.

3:09 p.m. Drive to the bank.

3:21 p.m. Get to the bank and fill out deposit slip. Hand it to the teller with checks.

3:23 p.m. Smile and make stiff small talk.

3:25 p.m. Get back in your car. Drive to Kroger.

3:34 p.m. Arrive.

3:36 p.m. Pick out groceries. Smile and wave at all those random acquaintances you always run into.

4:23 p.m. Get home to your apartment building. Use your two bags of groceries as an excuse to take the elevator to the second floor instead of using the stairs.

4:27 p.m. Unpack groceries.

4:38 p.m. Go to the gym downstairs.

4:50 p.m. Get home.

4:59 p.m. Take a shower.

5:36 p.m. Make dinner.

6:14 p.m. Clean up dinner and the rest of the kitchen.

6:26 p.m. Vacuum apartment.

6:52 p.m. Turn on TV. Catch up on Netflix.

7:35 p.m. Look at the clock. Say “screw it” and put on pajamas.

8:05 p.m. Roommate comes home. Make small talk about each other’s days. Complain about the president.

8:32 p.m. Turn on bad reality TV.

9:07 p.m. Make popcorn for yourself and your roommate. Continue watching bad reality TV.

10:24 p.m. Look over at roommate. Ask, “Hey, wasn’t today St. Patrick’s Day?”


Hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day. I simply can’t wait for next year.