This is a little light reading for my followers and other random readers of my blog. It's from a column that was published originally in April 2008 called "The Battle of the Sexists." Keep in mind, it was written before smart phones with built-in GPS became a thing. It was also written in fun and is not intended as an angry rant on either side. While your comments are appreciated as always, please be nice.


I get lost a lot. It’s frustrating and embarrassing.

I didn’t get the internal compass that tells me which way is north. I thought I just had a horrible sense of direction. I didn’t realize I was missing vital parts. It turns out there’s a reason.

Some people have natural iron deposits or something in their noses that helps them know instinctively where north is. Now that I know this, I want iron deposit implant surgery—it’s not cosmetic, it’s a necessary procedure. (Will my insurance pay for it?)

Well, according to, CALTECH scientists found that human noses have magnetite, the same thing that bats, homing pigeons, migratory dolphins and honeybees have, that helps them find their way through the earth’s magnetic field. It’s a tiny, shiny crystal of magnetite in the ethmoid bone, located between your eyes, just behind the nose.

I am apparently magnetiteless.

Because of this, I hate driving in new places—I take my directions in the flavor of right or left. North and south mean nothing to me unless I can see our familiar Utah mountains. I MapQuest everything, but still frequently find myself driving off into oblivion.

It goes like this:

“Hi, I think I’m lost.” I say into my cell phone after I’m already 10 minutes late.

“Where are you?”

“I...uh...just passed Snickerdoodle Street.”

“Snickerdoodle and what?”

“Snickerdoodle and 4th.”

“Snickerdoodle and...what? 4th North? You’re in the entirely wrong city! How did you get there?”

Substitute different street names and that describes any of a number of my ventures into the wilds of America’s streets and freeways.

My brother has the same problem I do. Apparently the lack of magnetite in the nose is hereditary. But he found a smart solution to his problem.

Global. Positioning. System.

It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. See, you plug it into your car, input the address, and it tells you where to go. Literally. A magical voice tells you when to turn and which way. It even says things like “left” and “right”. If you overshoot your mark, it corrects for you and recalculates your path. I feel now like I can conquer the world via freeway. Then I found out that it cost money, and gave up on my dream. I went back to MapQuest and somehow made it from Ogden to St. George, to Las Vegas, around Las Vegas, and home again. I found out along the way you can send the MapQuest directions to your cell phone—a happy compromise.

So, no. I don’t have any sense of direction whatsoever, but it’s not because I’m a woman, it’s because I’m a Loveland. It’s my father’s fault.


For Spring Break my pal and I sojourned to the slightly smelly ultra-consumerist neon Mecca of Las Vegas. Not to have my trip ruined by failing to find the place (which would actually be an accomplishment unto itself, considering the city is like a radioactive blemish on the face of the planet), I nimbly jumped to a computer and, in turn, the Internet to procure directions on how to reach the 500-mile distant societal scab.

And instead of a complex list of twists and turns, instructing me to merge onto I-9whatnot, which gradually becomes State Road 274563, taking the right-hand turn onto Jeb Podunkers dirt road after 72.695 miles to cut over to west-bound I-9whathaveyou, a mere eight-step list appeared nearly instantaneously, and four of them were telling me how to get out of my own neighborhood. Step numbers one through seven combined for a grand-total distance of three miles, and number seven was comical in its simplicity: Turn left to merge onto I-15 S/I-84 E toward Salt Lake; Continue to follow I-15 S; Passing through Arizona, Entering Nevada—460 mi.

These days, you have to be really trying hard to get lost. In an age where helpful technology (as opposed to unhelpful technology—Microsoft, I’ll have a chat with you later) flows like running water, no excuses exist for even the lowliest non-tech-savvy 20th-century Earthican to get lost (and mom, I’m talking to you here: The Internet isn’t broken; there’s a binder laying across the keyboard).

In fact, we did get lost when we got to Vegas. Here’s the situation: Two Vegas-newbs show up at two a.m. in a city neither of them has ever been in, the person were supposed to be staying with has turned off his phone, and we have no idea where he lives. However, unlike your abacus-using auntie, we didn’t simply find the cheapest motel and bed down for the night (we’re two dudes—that would be just weird anyway: Me and Chris spent a night in a cheap motel in Vegas. Kinda a party-stopper, that).

Being the MacGyver-loving future-nerds we are, we simply whipped out his laptop and cruised the dark Vegas residential roads, searching for... are you ready for it? ... An unsecured Wi-Fi connection. Yep, there’s actually a reason to password protect it! Anyhoo, after finding one and searching through several phone-book Web sites to no avail, and even signing up for one of those background-check services, we finally found the guy’s address by phoning back to Utah and waking somebody up (although we did find out an extraordinary amount of other information about him, such as his income and previous residences).

A quick Googlemaps search (note: Google is awesome: Street View anyone?) later, and we had pinpoint directions to the exact geographic coordinate from where we were. Actually, it was like a well-calibrated missile, (as opposed to that out-dated term, a well-oiled machine) ... (And if you couldn’t tell by now, I really like parentheses.) ... (And who cares? Threes no rule against excessive parentheses use!) ... (And for those who don’t like it, archaic grammar usage is simply another thing that changing to become more efficient, just like the advent of highly-effective technology. (Take that Ms. Biddix!))