skip to Main Content

Someone Actually Asked Me To Be A Guest Blogger!

  • December 17, 2009

A little over a month ago I came home from work to find this in my e-mail inbox:


Just wanted to let you know that my friend Stephanie and I think you are HILARIOUS. We’ve decided to spend the rest of our work day reading your blog instead of being productive.

Thanks for being funny.

Taylor K


Taylor took the time to write me the above note to tell me how much she liked my blog and frankly, it made my whole day. I love when the blogosphere sends me new friends because I believe you can never have too many.

This month, Taylor has been featuring posts from guest bloggers called “I Believe.” I was honored that Taylor asked me to participate. You can read my list of things I believe in and discover Taylor’s awesome blog at Totally Tay.

Thanks for letting me play Taylor! You are awesome 🙂


This is what happens when the Hawkeyes play before noon

  • December 14, 2009

Dave and the offspring and I have been watching a lot of Hawkeye football this season. We especially like when the Hawkeyes are playing at night because we can get together with friends and neighbors and have a few drinks while we enjoy the game.

On Halloween, the Hawkeyes played at 11:05 AM. We invited a few neighbors over to watch with us and thought we’d make a day of it. We had already been trick or treating the night before because, here in Des Moines, we call it Beggar’s night and we go out on the 30th. I have no idea why and I didn’t make up the rule. But I’m glad we had already gone trick or treating because it left us an entire day to watch football and hang out. It was beautiful here on Halloween, sunny and unseasonably warm which meant the offspring and the neighbor kids could play outside while we watched the game. Following is a semi-detailed account of how much fun we had.

8:00 : Offspring wake up and start stuffing their faces with Halloween candy. I take away the candy and serve them an appropriate breakfast because I am a good mother.
10:30: Go to grocery store for last minute items before neighbors arrive. Mention offhand to Dave that I probably wouldn’t drink during the game because it was so early and alcohol didn’t sound appealing. Plus, I really wanted to go to the library after the game and maybe run a few errands. But, when I am in the liquor aisle buying beer for the guys, I am mesmerized by all the champagne with sparkly, pretty labels. Maybe one mimosa would be kind of fun and maybe my neighbors will want one too. Can’t decide which champagne to buy so I purchase three different kinds with the rationale that I can always save them for another time if no one wants a mimosa.
11:05: Neighbors arrive and Iowa game starts.
11:10: Finish setting out hot wings and vegetables. Remind offspring to eat their veggies. Commend them for choosing broccoli. Am totally a good mother. Encourage them to go outside and play because fresh air and sunshine is good for children.
11:15: Ask Brooke if she wants champagne. She definitely does.
11:20: Cannot believe I forgot how much Mimosas kick ass!
12:20: First bottle of champagne gone. How did that happen? Ask Brooke if I should open another bottle. She says yes. Go outside and point exploding cork toward Yeti and Smokey’s house. Laugh maniacally.
1:00: Tipsy.
1:40: Make sandwiches for kids. Use Halloween cookie cutters to make bats and ghosts. Am like perfect Martha Stewart type mother except totally buzzed.
1:45: Dave and the offspring and I morph into completely obnoxious Hawkeye fans. Convinced that our cheering may influence outcome of game. And that players and coaches in Iowa City can hear us.
2:00 Take small break and re-locate to Brooke and Spence’s house next door so they can put their kids down for a nap.
3:00 Cork number three? See ya!
4:00 All football games are over. Brooke breaks out her ipod. Appoint myself DJ and look for songs to play that are not sung by 80’s hair bands or Lady Gaga. Play all three repeatedly and refuse to let anyone else control ipod.
5:00 Serve everyone crescent roll wrapped little smokies. Decide that they are awesome and wonder why I don’t make them all the time.
6:00 Lauren asks if we can make a cake tomorrow. “Of course we can!” I respond.
7:00 Start flirting with Dave. Point to him and mouth the word “You”, point to myself and mouth the word “Me” and then make several additional gestures in case he doesn’t know what I mean. He totally does. And so does everyone else.
7:15 Tell Dave he can stay for a while longer and that I’ll take the offspring home. Read books to Lauren which shouldn’t be as difficult as it is considering they are written for the first grade reading level. She accuses me of skipping pages. Finally get her in bed. Matthew asks if he can eat Halloween candy. I tell him yes but advise him that eating a bunch of candy, drinking a big glass of water, and then puking will not be appreciated at all. Lauren comes back out of her bedroom because if Matthew is still up, she’s not going to bed either. Lauren sees Matthew eating candy, grabs her trick or treat basket and joins him. Finally wrestle candy away from them and tell them to go to bed. They tell me they aren’t tired now. Tell them I will give all their Halloween candy to less fortunate kids if they don’t go to bed immediately. Watch them fly up the stairs and go into their rooms.
9:00 Climb into bed to watch TV.
11:00 Dave crawls into bed and whispers, “Tracey, I’m home.” “Leave me alone,” I mumble (followed, according to Dave, by something that sounds like “don’t touch me!” but probably was just sleepy gibberish).
11:01 Halloween comes to a close in our household.

The next day, while baking a cake with Lauren, I reflected back on the previous day’s activities and thought about what a fun time we had had. I also realized that there are windows of opportunity in our home. Lauren is good at identifying when the windows are open and I’m grateful that she only asked for a cake and not, say, a pony because I do try hard to keep my promises. And even though Matthew ate a ton of Halloween candy, he didn’t throw up so I guess everything worked out okay there. Usually Matthew is pretty good at utilizing windows of opportunity to his advantage.

Despite our 17 years together, Dave is still learning.

Google Apps Can Suck It! (Not Jolly Though)

  • December 5, 2009

You may have noticed that funny in the ‘hood was missing for awhile. If you typed in, you saw this chick. I have no idea who she is.

What I found even more troubling was the completely random collection of words to the left of the photo of the chick I don’t know. It appears to be a list of topics about baby names but then about halfway down it says IRA and I don’t know if they mean the Irish Republican Army or the money in my retirement fund, neither of which has anything to do with naming babies.

What you didn’t see when clicking on was a picture of me FAH-REAK-ING out because my domain name had just expired and I couldn’t get it back.

To be fair, some of this mess was my fault. My billing info was incorrect because my bank is all willy-nilly with my account info and keeps sending me letters that say ambiguous things like “your account information MAY have been compromised so we’re sending you this new debit card just in case.” This means that every time I want to buy something online where I have a customer account (which Dave says is everywhere) I have to edit the card number. But I can’t edit it if I’m not given the opportunity to purchase something and that’s why this current snafu is mostly the fault of Google Apps and it’s because of them that I got all screamy and psychotic. Also, their customer service department is make-believe because every e-mail I sent them asking for help fell into a big black hole in cyberspace, never to be seen again.

I switched my blog from a blogspot domain to a custom one last November, shortly after I started blogging. I’m not sure why I did this because all it did was make me super googleable to prospective employers and my dad and step-mom (who I hope still don’t know about this blog because I use the f-word a lot and even though it’s not the case, my posts make it seem like I’m drunk all the time).

It costs $10 a year to host a blog on a custom domain name and I knew I was coming up on my renewal. Because we recently changed our e-mail address, I updated my Google Apps account accordingly and waited to receive the renewal link e-mail which would allow me to continue to host this blog on my custom domain address for another year. For some reason, the link was not sent to me and that’s when the trouble started. And it turns out that it’s almost impossible to get the link once your domain has expired.

I contacted, the third party that Google Apps partnered with for the original domain name registration. Unfortunately, they only handle the initial registration so they referred me to Google Apps for the renewal. And they were very nice and answered their phone when I called. They also sent me an e-mail so obviously their services are not make-believe and their employees actually exist.

Next, I tried to contact the Google Apps support team. It’s like they were hiding from me because I had to spend 15 minutes on my Google account page just trying to find their phone number (which doesn’t exist by the way). I finally found an icon I could click on to send them an e-mail so I typed the whole saga out and waited for help. I got an e-mail almost immediately. Apparently, if you e-mail their support team, you will get an e-mail from them with a bunch of help topic links, none of which will help you because they all pertain to domain renewals that haven’t expired. Every time I sent Google Apps another e-mail, I got the same computer generated help topic links e-mail. It was at this point that I considered flying out to California, marching into Google Apps headquarters, and kicking everyone’s ass.

After I realized no one at Google Apps was going to help me, I decided to switch back to hosting this blog at the blogspot address. I figured maybe I could switch and then just register for my domain name again in a few days. But when I clicked on the “host on a domain name” tab, this is what I saw.

Okay, I get it. Since my name is Tracey Garvis-Graves, and a “grave” is something you bury people in, Google was just being “helpful” when they suggested alternative domain names for me (FYI – is still available if anyone wants to snap that one up).

Anyway, I was starting to think my blog would just have to stay at its blogspot address and there wouldn’t really be any way to let people know it had moved from my custom domain. But then some dude named Jolly, from Google Apps customer service department, sent me an e-mail so I should probably admit that they aren’t really make believe, just incredibly slow at responding to their customers.

Jolly sent me the link to renew my domain name and then helped me transfer my blog back. But since Jolly lives in India in another time zone, he was sleeping while I was awake and vice versa which meant that I had to wait 24 hours between our e-mails which also meant that it took over a week to get my blog up and running again. And I don’t know what happened but I lost every single comment anyone has ever left me and that really bums me out because some of your comments were so funny I had actually planned to make a blog post out of them and now I can’t.

I thanked Jolly a million times for his help and thought about telling him I loved him but that would have been weird, right? At least I have his e-mail address saved so I feel like my link to Google Apps support is slightly less tenuous and you can bet Jolly will be hearing from me if I ever have another technical clusterfuck of this magnitude.

Now that I’m done spending all my free time getting my blog back, I can start writing and posting again. And that means that I’m pretty jolly too.

Happy Holidays everyone, I’ve missed you!


Back To Top
×Close search