Beer. It’s so easy, even a woman can make it.

Last Friday at work, the office hosted a potluck to celebrate Diwali. I brought naan. Homemade naan, no less, crafted by me that same morning out of yeast, flour, water, yogurt, and salt. I cooked it on a super-hot cast iron skillet, and I must say, it turned out pretty well. So well that two people independently asked me, “Did you make the naan, or did your husband make it?”

It’s a little hard not to find that insulting. Fair credit: my husband Ted is a genius baker who runs Batch 58, a local catering company that specializes in scones, lemon curd, quiche, and other tasty baked treats. But STILL. Their question brought back memories of Easter at my sister-in-law’s house a few years ago. 

Background: I’ve been brewing beer since 2001, with pretty good results. Sometimes terrific results, and occasionally less so (like the carboy that exploded when the babysitter was here), but overall, I like to brew and I definitely like to drink beer…it’s my hobby. It’s a fun science project in the kitchen. Somehow I manage to be female as well.

Clearly this guy was a dick. Although, honestly, I might say the same thing.

A couple of years ago, we were invited to a family Easter celebration. My husband’s sister’s husband’s sister’s husband (for real), who happens to be a network administrator at a large company whose name rhymes with “E-Kay”, was poking around the big iced beer tub on the kitchen counter. We’ll call him Jeff, because that is his name.

I happened to be standing nearby while he perused the available bottles, and came to the large brown one with no label.

Jeff: “Do you know what this is?”

Me: “Oh, I brought that. It’s one of my home brews.”

Awkward pause.

Jeff, tilting down chin and using the tone one uses with a fibbing 3-year-old: “Lisa. Did YOU brew the beer, or did TED brew the beer?”

Me (in my head): “F**k you. F**k you and your outdated assumptions, and your freakishly blond family. Yes, women can brew beer, and vote, and build websites, and run companies. Didn’t you ever watch ‘Free to Be, You & Me?’ And by the way, no one else has worn a pager since 1997. The network will survive without you.” (It’s possible that I was a teeny bit fired up.) 

Me (out loud): “Yes, Jeff. I made the beer.”

But since then, despite being exceptionally irritated at the time, I’ve gotten so much mileage out of telling that story that it was totally worth it. Apologies to my sister-in-law if she reads this…it was a lovely event.

How Many Lisa Garveys Does It Take To Change an Email Address?

In September of 2004 I received an early invitation from Google to set up a Gmail account; they hadn’t yet launched the service. It said “Gmail is still in an early stage of development. If you set up an account, you’ll be able to keep it even after we make Gmail more widely available and as one of the system’s early testers, you will be helping us improve the service through your feedback.” I accepted the invite, created an account, and I’ve been a fan of Gmail ever since.

I’m also an email hoarder and rather unorganized, so I have all of my email going back to 2004. (For those who really want to judge me, the current tally of unread messages in my inbox is 27,492. Sorry if something you’ve sent is in there.) 

Apparently I wasn’t feeling very creative the day I registered my account — I chose “” Which has been great for most things, including making me appear professional when I need to. (Side story: one day at my doctor’s office, they asked for my email address, and when I told them, my doctor said, “Oh, that’s how I can tell you’re a grown-up. Most of our patients have something like ‘dancinggirl22.'”)

The problem is that I’m not the only Lisa Garvey in the world, and it seems that most of the other ones THINK their email address is “” I’m not sure how people constantly get their own address wrong, but I’ve learned a ridiculous amount of personal detail about these other women who share my name. I’ve also formed some opinions, so please allow me to share some advice. 

An Open Letter to the Other Lisa Garveys

To Lisa, the realtor in Arizona: I replied “yes” on your behalf to the company Christmas party. The first 3 years I politely declined, but then I figured you probably ought to attend. That house on Tilman has been on the market too long, probably because all of your incoming “request a showing” leads are coming to me. Oh, and the title report came back clean for the listing on Front St. Stop reading “Cosmopolitan” — it’s just junk. 

To Lisa in the UK: Sorry to hear that you lost your job. I hope they also notified you some other way. Your sister sounds like quite a bitch, based on her messages, but she probably just wants what’s best for the family. And stop borrowing money at 35% interest rates — those overseas banks are just milking you. Oh, and Colleen told Skip the truth about why you and Pam didn’t to go the concert that night. 

To Lisa, the grad student in Rhode Island: That must have been a hell of a Greek Week party at your cottage for them to send a nastygram to the entire rental community. Next time please ask your landlord to include some pics! Also, your second semester deposit was due last week. 

To Lisa in Colorado: You’ve missed several appointments with Meineke to get your brakes fixed. It’s dangerous to drive a car in that condition! I’m glad to see that your daughter’s grades have improved since last year, but her teacher says she’s still struggling in Science class.  You may want to look into getting her a tutor. 

To whichever Lisa is gambling online at the Dubai Palace: Look, I love slot machines too, but it seems like you’re just wasting your money. 

To all of you: please provide your contacts with your OWN email address. Maybe you can write it down on a little card that you keep in your wallet.