Category Archives: laughs!

A jerk! Because I love…

I have an amazing little sister and I love her so very, very much.

And because of that… this:

Abby's UndiesUNDERWEAR!

This is a guided tour of my little sister’s underwear that moves from conservative granny panties on the left up to butt floss-style thongs on the right.  She came home one day to this.

I’m not sure if my favorite part was the anticipation of Abby walking up the stairs and finding the underwear or the moment I heard her scream… knowing what it was about.

Either way…


And this was how it always was and probably always will be.  I tease.  A lot.  But for me to tease, I’ve got to be comfortable.  And for me to be comfortable, I’ve got to love.  So in a round about way, I’m a jerk… because I love.

It’s funny, really, how crazy much I love my sister these days.  Because it’s a far cry from when she first came in to this world.  I still remember the day she was born.  I was so mad that the stupid baby was making my mom stay in the hospital when she should have been home with me.  I was angry with her before I even saw her, despite the big sister classes with baby dolls and all of that.  My 3-year-old self could barely stand it.

And then she came home, and things went steadily downhill from there.  Not because there was anything wrong with my baby sister (except for the biting… there was a lot of biting…), but because I was no longer the center of the universe and I didn’t like that feeling.

So, in my desperation, I developed a series of mysterious medical maladies that our rather astute pediatrician eventually diagnosed as Abby-itis.  (Blast!  Foiled again!)

And so it went, for many years.  I must have been some sort of torturer in a past life, because I delighted in tormenting my little sister… and eventually my brother when he came along.  Evil was my middle name and I wasn’t even allowed to laugh in the car since it usually indicated I’d done something awful.  (Rachel Ann!  Stop it, whatever you’re doing!)

But, despite all of that, my sister and I grew into inseparable friends and it is my mission in life to make sure that if I ever have a baby girl, I’ll never stop having babies until she has a sister.  Because truly, there’s nothing better.

Nothing better for me, anyway.  Ask Abby, owner of all that underwear taped to the wall, and you may get a different story 😉


I suppose as long as I’ve got that picture I should really tell you about what you don’t see…

In addition to being a grade A jerk face as a child, I also tormented my younger sister by being exceptionally territorial.  And our room was always split in half one way or the other.

Did you notice the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling?  Right.  Those were only on my half.  And I refused to share.  Refused!

However, I did throw Ab a little bit of a bone.  My rule was this: if a star fell from the ceiling and she got to it first, she could have it.  We had bunk beds in our room and Abby was on the top.  So on that rare occasion that a star fell, she’d come scurrying down the ladder and head for the star– Smeagol-style.  (My preeeeeccccious…..)

And the evidence is still there on the ceiling in my parents’ house to this day.  It always makes me laugh… an evil, evil laugh.  Because I still love very, very much!

Rachel Vonck and the Order of the Faux-nix

First off, to my sister’s friend Jackie– big apologies for keeping you waiting, my dear!  Lots of traveling and catching up to do when I got back.  No more delays, I promise!  I want to make sure you have something to do over your lunch break!  (Also, huge thanks for reading!!)


Now, down to business…


Harry Potter became kind of a big deal when I was in high school, but I didn’t really get into it until the summer after my first year of college.  While this meant I was definitely late to the party, it also meant that I could get all the books from the library without waiting AND that I got to read the first four books in rapid succession.

(I believe that I have mentioned before how when I get into something, I get really into it.  That summer, the Ypsilanti Public Library must have thought I was completely bananas– I checked out all four Harry Potter books, several books on the Manson Family, including Vincent Bugliosi’s book Helter Skelter, and lastly, Cameron Manheim’s Wake Up, I’m Fat!, because I was just started to realize that just maybe it was ok to not be super thin.  Seriously weird list, right?  Maybe that was how I ended up on some sort of TSA-extra-security list for a few years???)

Anyway, Harry Potter…

So I read the first four books (Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, and Goblet of Fire) in a matter of a few weeks and then had to WAIT… and wait and wait and wait and wait for the Order of the Phoenix to come out the following summer.

I was not a Harry Potter fan accustomed to waiting.

Fortunately, I went to Michigan Tech around the time that digital pirating was kind of a big deal (Napster was the shizzz my freshman year)… and there’s nothing Techies love more than pirating, hacking, and the like.  Maybe digital pirating is still a big deal?  I really don’t know.

So my sophomore year of college I was an RA in the dorms and so was my boyfriend, now husband, Seth.  Seth’s hall was FULL of guys who were super good at getting things in advance (I saw one of the Lord of the Rings movies way before it was ever out in the theater on a teeny tiny little computer screen in a cramped dorm room with crappy sound… jealous?) and one of those guys got an early copy of the FIFTH HARRY POTTER BOOK– Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  SCORE!

Eight-hundred pages of delicious, advanced, Harry Potter-ness.  One of the guys even went to his computer lab in the middle of the night to print every single page and then to Office Max to have it bound for his girlfriend.  Seth just gave me a floppy disk.  Apparently, we weren’t that serious yet 😉

That summer, I worked at the front desk in Wadsworth Hall so that I could stay in the UP (that’s the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, God’s country, if you will…) while Seth was on co-op in Wisconsin (the 4.5 hour drive was a lot better than the 10ish hours it would have been if I’d gone back home) and I read every word of that wonderful book.  Working at the front desk of a dorm in the summer time is an exceptionally boring job… there’s not a lot of work to be done.  And I was good at being a body behind the desk.  Especially since it gave me so much time to read.

I would bring my little, red floppy disk with me every shift and pop it into the big, old desktop at the front desk.  Elbows on the table, face inches from the monitor, I pored over that book.  And loved it.

In addition, I felt pretty darn smug over reading that early release.  It even had a few typos because the editors hadn’t gotten to it yet!  How lucky was I?!

Fast forward a couple years to 2005.  It was May and I had just graduated from Michigan Tech.  Seth and my mom, dad, sister, brother, Grandma Rita, and Grandpa John all made the trip up to Houghton for my graduation and we were headed back downstate with all of my belongings in tow.  It was a beautiful day and we stopped on the Mackinac City side of the Mackinac Bridge for a picnic lunch on the way.  In eager anticipation of the release of the next Harry Potter book (the Half-Blood Prince) later that summer, my mom, brother, and I set about discussing the Order of the Phoenix.

I was a little puzzled about this Delores Umbridge character they kept mentioning.  Perhaps she was added after some editing?  Was she a minor character I had missed?  Had I forgotten that much of the book?  So I brought up my favorite part– the Ron and Hermione romance.  Oh, maybe that was edited out before the release?  Dang, I really liked that part.  But definitely it got a little Star Wars-y when it turned out the Voldemort was actually Harry’s grandfather, right?!  RIGHT?!



Fake book.

I was… shocked.  I had read 800 pages of fan fiction.

But truth be told, I wasn’t mad.  Not even a little bit.

In fact, I was elated!  Not only did I have the distinct pleasure of reading an extra Harry Potter book, but I also had the opportunity to once again plow through TWO Harry Potter books back-to-back that summer as I caught up on the real Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix followed by the newly released Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I found the series conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to be a highly satisfying end.  I could have done without The Tales of Beedle the Bard.  But that fake book number five?  Icing on my Harry Potter cake, to be sure.

Order of the Faux-Nix
Book Image Source



PS: Vonck was my maiden name.  I almost made the title Rachel Stankowski and the Order of the Faux-nix, but that would have been inaccurate since my name wasn’t Stankowski at the time.  I’m all about truth in… advertising?  Titling?  Whatever.  Vonck it was, anyway.

The hair.

You’ve probably noticed that over the past few weeks, I have made several references to my hair.  Perhaps it’s an unhealthy obsession, but what I want you to know is that my hair really is a BIG deal.  Big.  And it has a mind of it’s own.

I’m feeling kind of guilty for the downer-ness and severe lack of funny that was my post yesterday, so to make up for it,  I decided to share with you the photo I alluded to a few days ago when I said:

“Everything through the end of high school was essentially precambrian… early, unformed, and frizzy.  I wasn’t really sure how to have curly hair yet and many pictures exist to remind me of that.  (Many… frizzy… photos…  Want to see one?  Too bad!  It’s far too awful and I’m not that secure.)”

I’m still not that secure, but this hair– it’s too much, and I’m so relieved to finally be able to find it funny.  Here’s hoping you will find it funny too, because I owe you that!

So, without further ado, I present to you The Hair:

Mushroom Hair

This is my school photo from picture day in sixth grade.  To complete the look– that’s a BODY SUIT (complete with crotch snaps) under that crocheted vest.  Let me say that again: crocheted vest.  And I’m wearing green jeans.  Green.  Jeans.  Oh yeah.  Picture.  Day.

This was just the beginning of a really, really bad hair period in my life.  I still remember getting the cut in fifth grade.  I had a pool party at school the next day (because of course) and a boy in my class (who shall remain nameless, but I do remember his name, and this is the only reason…) said, loudly, for all the laughs in the class, “I wonder what it looks like wet?!”  Ahhhh ha ha ha.  Hilarious.  The answer: not so hot.  But then again, didn’t exactly look stellar dry now, did it?

You may be thinking right now something like, “well, it’s not that bad…”  because you’re a nice person and you don’t want me to feel bad.  But stop.  Because this:

Hair Compare

Oh man.  My future children are going to have a field day with this– I’m glad I’ll be laughing with them!


I know it’s hard to believe that a foxy lady like me, all square jaw and size 11 feet, used to look like that.  But believe it.  It’s true.  And my hair still has some of those special qualities.  For example, the more upset or nervous I get, the bigger my hair becomes.  Maybe it’s because my head gets hot?  I don’t know… but much like the mushroom cloud expanding over time, so is the hair on my head.  (You can read that like the Days of Our Lives slogan– like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.)

Cue violin music!