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Free Money!!!! OT
Sr. Member
Joined  2009-08-30

Not for you, for me!

Somehow I managed to con the technical education dept. to give me a scholarship based on the essay below. The topic was "Something I Have Learned That Has Changed My Life"


This essay also gives some insight to my particular set of personality quirks, or as an honest person would say "my own particular brand of crazy".



"Something I Have Learned That Has Changed My Life"

If I have grease in my blood and WD-40 in my soul I have come by it honestly. I come from a long line of grease-monkeys. I have a long and pedigreed genealogy of machining and automotive mechanics.

As a young woman I was never into cars or electronics (my father’s other hobby). I had more important things on my mind. Mainly the three B’s; Barbie’s, Boys, and Beauty. I resented the time I was forced to spend as a “tool-monkey” as my father worked on cars. I should explain here that a “tool-monkey” is the lowest echelon of “grease-monkeydom”. A tool-monkey’s primary responsibility is to fetch tools, drinks, rags, and other miscellaneous items as needed. As a tool-monkey you will be told to quit screwing around, hurry up, pay attention, and you will quickly learn the difference between a 3/16 and a 5/8” wrench.

As I grew up I had less use for my father and his mechanics. By the time I was a teenager our conversations consisted mostly of “take me to the mall”, “I need 10$”, “absolutely not”, “what time did you come home last night” and “Jesus! Let the clutch out slowly!” (this as I struggled to learn to drive a stick). The spring before I turned sixteen my dad drug home a white 1985 Dodge Aries he had gotten from the junk yard for $125.00. He literally drug it home, it would not run under its own power and I was told that if I helped work on it, it would be all mine. My own car! I studied the car carefully, the body was in good shape, it had a few scratches and small dents, but it was all one color! No visible Bondo or mismatched parts (my mom was jealous). My biggest concern was that it had no radio, my father’s biggest concern was that it was leaking fluid and might have a cracked engine block. We began to work, and I soon graduated from tool-monkey to helper-monkey and my sister began her tool-monkey apprenticeship. She later earned her grease monkey status by helping rebuild a 1987 Shelby Daytona which became hers.

As he took apart the engine my father would explain the components. He would usually begin by saying “now listen dipshit” (dipshit was a term of endearment for my father). He would then explain the “how” and “why” of whatever we were looking at or trying to fix. Luckily the engine block was ok, it was a bad head gasket and the car was running by my sweet 16.

We spent many hours in the fading sunlight of our oil stained driveway and my grandfathers dark, musty garage. The smell of dust, grease, and WD-40 is enough to bring the memory of a young girl and her gruff, greasy handed father into sharp focus. I can still see the day my dad handed me an old ice cream bucket with carburetor parts, WD-40, and a toothbrush and told me “clean this up, dipshit”.

For me automotive mechanics is a poetic experience of the senses. Sunlight glinting off piles of parts resting on newspaper as their fluids leak out. Piles of rags stained black tossed into heaps. The metallic clang of a dropped tool and muttered profanity. Warm afternoon sun filtering through dusty windows and twilight creeping across the driveway signaling the end of that days repairs.
The feeling of anger and frustration as an engine coughs and grinds refusing to start, because you have been here all goddamned day and why won’t this piece of shit run? The incomparable elation when the engine growls and rumbles to life. And the sheer joy of being a young woman with a decent running car, an open road, and an endlessly bright future ahead.

I forgot most of what I learned at my father’s side, hunched over an engine or laying on the warm cement looking up at an oil pan. As a teenager I assumed that I would one day have a handsome Luke Perryish looking man (complete with the motorcycle) who would fulfill my mechanical needs. Besides, what woman would want grease stained hands?

It has only been recently that I have returned to my oil stained roots. Attempting to relearn things I had brushed aside as boring and unfeminine, the sole domain of “guys” and “car stuff”. I have discovered the joy of rotors spinning and pistons firing, of turning a wrench, and getting my hands dirty doing something so rewarding. And I have since learned that I have much left to learn about the art and science of auto mechanics, that most mechanics are happy to answer your questions no matter how dumb, and that I don’t really mind greasy hands. 


“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
—Hunter S. Thompson

Long Timer
Joined  2008-05-01

Fabulous essay!!! Dipshit is similar to Little Shit, which was a term of affection in my home.


Just so you know, I'm green with envy that you have such wonderful memories of your dad. It sounds so sweet in retrospect.


Your expertise and newfound respect for mechanics reminds me of Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinney (one of the funniest movies EVAH)



100% balls accurate!

Long Timer
Joined  2008-11-18

Congrats to you Mishelley on getting a scholarship.


I don't believe you "conned" them into giving it to you - you earned it and not just by writing the essay.


Honor The Past, Live The Present, Create The Future

J9 When you need me I am here for you.

If there’s someone who makes your blood boil, thank him.
He’s showing you what you need to know to become a kinder person.
He’s doing the best he can and so are you.
Byron Katie 2008

Long Timer
Joined  2009-10-19

  Great Essay!!!  Congratulations as well!

Cogito Ergo Sum = “I think, therefore I am.” (Descartes) The latin word “Cogito” is also a play on words. Co=together, Gito=shake….a second meaning of the phrase is, “I shake things up, therefore I am.” (Greary.)

Long Timer
Joined  2009-10-24

Gorgeous writing. I'm jealous.

Above the Waves
by The Jealous Sound

Long Timer
Joined  2008-08-12

Very creative thoughts...nicely done.

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

Sr. Member
Joined  2009-08-30

Thanks for the kind words postmo's, it's nice to have someone to share good news with.


“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
—Hunter S. Thompson

Long Timer
Joined  2004-12-15


Thanks for the kind words postmo's, it's nice to have someone to share good news with.

Hey, dipshit!  I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed reading that essay!  And congratulations on the free money...


Now, about this grinding sound coming from the rear of my Explorer... 



smiley23.gif border=0
Doing stupid things faster and with more energy since 1962.

Long Timer
Joined  2007-04-12


Thanks for the kind words postmo's, it's nice to have someone to share good news with.

Hey, dipshit!  I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed reading that essay!  And congratulations on the free money...


Now, about this grinding sound coming from the rear of my Explorer... 



Haul up yer anchor, mate!


-The Pirate...(arriving 200 years too late…)

...I’m not the first, won’t be the last.  Lust for the future, treasure the past… proud.jpg

“Make sure that your moral compass is set due ‘the right thing’.”  -Emerson Cod

This post has been reviewed for it’s content, and has been found to comply with the general concept of the mission of this website and it’s management.  Approved for submission by member #1087.

Long Timer
Joined  2009-07-06

I helped fix up my first car, too! Yup, those are some great memories. Great essay and congrats on earning a scholarship! Oh, and I have been seriously craving grits and eggs for some reason lately and it ALWAYS makes me think of My Cousin Vinny. I totally agree that it is the best movie EVAH!

Sheldon: You know, in difficult times like this, I often turn to a force stronger than myself.
Amy: Religion?
Sheldon: Star Trek.

—The Big Bang Theory

Long Timer
Joined  2009-02-02

Congratulations!  So happy for you!  I enjoyed reading your thoughtful and fun essay.  What will you be studying?

Hope dangles on a string, like slow-spinning redemption…

Sr. Member
Joined  2009-08-30

Trying to belatedly finish a BS in Comp. Science

“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
—Hunter S. Thompson

Long Timer
Joined  2009-01-15

Mishelley - Fantastic essay. Laughed out loud at several points, and thouroughly enjoyed it. I'm so happy for you for having received a scholarship for it!


You are, however, now going to be the resident PostMo auto consultant. Who knew the Tappet brothers had a sister!


Religion poisons everything - Christopher Hitchens

“Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you’re told regardless of what’s right.” -unknown

Long Timer
Joined  2008-05-01

I love Tappet Brothers!! NPR is such a precious gem. My favorite part is at the end when they give credit to the writers, producers, etc..


We'd like to thank the following people for their contributions:

Public Opinion Pollster:  Paul Murky of Murky Research
Statistician:  Marge Innovera
Corporate Spokesperson:  Hugh Lyon Sack
Communications Director:  George Stayontopothis
Secretary of Pain Relief:  Les Aspirin
Automotive Medical Researcher:  Dr. Denton Fender
Surgeon General:  C. Everett Koop DeVille
Chairman, Staff Physics Dept.:  Victor Analysis
Staff Physicist:  Moe Mentum
Jazz Music Coordinator:  Bertha Deblues
Director, New Product Repair:  Warren T. Mifutt
Regional Director, Atlanta:  Frank Lee Scarlett
Director, Gender Studies:  Amanda B. Reckondwyth
Chairman, Math. Dept.:  Horatio Algebra
Staff Meteorologist:  Gail Storm
Director of Unsolicited Advice:  H. Ross Peugeot
Air Quality Monitor:  Carmine Dioxide
Staff Disciplinarian:  Les Stern
Staff Chaplain:  Neil Down
Personal Trainer:  Kerry Oki, Victor Yugo
Staff Author:  Four-Door Dostoevski
Congressional Lobbyists:
    Orrin Hatchback, Dan Rustencarski, Paul Simonize, & B.F.Gingrich
Copyright Attorney:  Pat Pending
Spiritual Counselor:  Miss Dolly Lama
Fact Checker:  Ella Fynoe
Dental Hygienist:  Ginger Vitis
Graduation Coordinators:  Val and Dick Torian
Assistant Transportation Coordinator.:  Orson Buggy
Photographer:  F. Stop Fitzgerald
Emissions Tester:  Justin Hale VII (I, II,III, IV, V, VI may they RIP)
International Lubrication Experts:
    C.V. Boutros Boutros Gali and Fidel Castrol
Art Critic:  Phyllis Steen
Staff Geneticist:  Dr. Jean Poole
Assertiveness Training Coach:  Lois Steem
Coordinator, 12 step Recovery Program:  Cody Pendant
Marriage Counselor:  Marion Haste
Staff Bikini Waxer:  Harry Mouval
Director of Sports Information:  Linus Scrimmage
Elocution Coach:  Richard Shun (aka Dick)
Literary Critics:  Ernest & Julio Hemingway
Poet Laureate:  Ogden Nash Rambler
Fashion Consultant:  Natalie Attired
Producer's Office, Furnished by:  Rick Kliener
Chairman, Oral History Department:  Ira Caull
Director, Nutritional Supplements:  Rose Hips
Staff Cardiologist:  Angie O'Plasty
Manager, Employee Refrigerator:  Carmen Dating
Director, Congressional Funding:  Fred Knott
Director of Automotive Security:  Boris Karlarm
Automotive Registrar:  Megan Model
Attorney General:  Janet Torino
Parking Attendant:  Rick O'Shea
Lighting Expert:  Shanda Lear
Celebrity Consultants:  Richard Gere-Oil, Mick Jaguar
Grammar Consultant:  I.M. Shirley Wright
Seating Consultant:  Rush Lumbar
German Interpreter:  Axel Hausen
Defense Dept. Consultant:  Major Error
Director of Computer Services:  Dot Matrix
Asst Directors of Computer Services:  Sy Burnett and Sy Quest
Autobody Expert:  James Bondo
Child Development Expert:  Dr. Benjamin Spark
Director, Italian Traffic Enforcement:  Noah U. Turna
Asst Fleet Manager:  Lisa Carr
Director of Country Music:  Stan Beyerman
Automotive Finishes Consultant:  Rusty Steele
Electronics Technician:  Sammy Conductor
Repair Cost Consultant:  Bill M. Moore
Heads of Parts Dept.:  Al Lloyd Wheel, Constance Velocity
Chairman, Underemployment Study Group:  Art Majors
Car Talk Opera Critic:  Barbara Seville
Staff Nutritionist:  Arlene Menu
Staff Cooks:  Al Dente, Sal Monella
Staff Cat Feeder:  Ken Opener
Staff Reporters:  Walter Windshield, Walter Crankcase
Staff Dramatist:  Anton Chokeov
Director of Warm Weather Programming:  Sumner Reruns
Transportation Coordinator:  Rick Shaw
Fleet Manager:  Oscar de la Rental
Keeper of Bell Tower:  (Hatchback of Notre Dame)Quasi Automotive
President, Car Talk Hair Club for Men:
    Emerson Fittibaldie (he's also a client)
Director, Cadillac Steering:  Toulouse Toutrack
Manager, Car Talk Capital Depreciation Fund:  Les Ismore
Tax Consultant:  Lou Pole
Staff Composers:  Gustav Muffler, Bela Cartok
Conductor, Tappet Brothers Symphony Orchestra:  Philip Harmonic
Conductor Emeritus, Tappet Brothers Symphony Orchestra:  Sludgy Ozawa
Staff Psychologist:  Les Moody
Director of Purchasing:  Lois Bidder
Head of Security:  Barb Dwyer
Head of Bldgs. & Grounds:  Moe D'Lawn
Safety Officers:  Mort & Fay Tality
Sales Motivation Coach:  Norman Vincent Pealeout
Liaison Officer to Volvo & Renault:  Bjorne Toulouse
Director, Long Range Strategic Planning:  Kay Sera
Designer Of Our Casual Clothing Line:  Noh Tie, Woo!
Staff Urologist:  Willa Catheter
Director Of The Car Talk Psychic Network:  La Toyota Jackson
Montana Traffic Law Director:  Hugh Jim Bissell
Manager Of Cartalk.Com:  Cy Burnett
Director Of High Speed Impact Studies:  Ricardo Montana-Bahn
Director of Staff Pay Increases:
    Xavier Breath (assisted by Tony Von Thinkett!)
Curator of Tom's Car Collection:  Rex Galore
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff:  John Shall-I-Pop-a-Wheelie
Timing Director:  Benjamin Not-Yet-You-Yahoo!
Nutrition Consultants:  Eaton Wright and Liven Good
Staff Carburetor Expert:  Leslie Stahl
Chief of Stadium Seating for the Olympics:  Wayne Back
Staff Grief Counselor:  Ariel Bummerman
Conservative Political Commentator:  Eileen Tudor-Wright
Co-Chairmen of Apathy Study Group:  Ben Thayer, Don Thatt
Chief Legal Counsel:  Hugh Louis Dewey of Dewey, Cheetham and Howe


Our next project
will be announced soon.

Tax exempt status.

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